Saturday, October 30, 2010

Rally To Restore Sanity

Here is Jon Stewart's closing thoughts at the Rally To Restore Sanity

I have to say I found the rally very comforting. I really have been starting to feel embarrassed by my country. To see so many come out in support of moderation, and respectfulness has been a reminder of who we really are. Hopefully we can start showing that with our votes. Politians only tell the lies we tell them we want to hear. So let's get them, at least, lying about what the majority of us want instead of the lunitic fringe.

Good Bless America.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Charlie Chaplin and Time Travel

So, here's a crazy thing I heard about on the Charlie Chaplin Yahoo! group. It seems a film maker was watching some bonus features on a Charlie Chaplin DVD and saw someone walking in front of Graumman's Chinese theatre, at the 1928 premiere of The Circus, talking on what really looks like a cell phone. Check it out below.

Here's The Washington Post's coverage. I gotta say I don't think the writer has much of a grasp on the time space continuum, based on her argument against time travel. Furthermore the extra footage is not from the film but from the premiere, and said time traveler just happens to be walking by.

Finally, when time travel becomes available. I am definitely hitting 1920's Hollywood and getting in on the ground floor. If fact, that could be me in the bonus feature. I do have very big feet.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sherlock on PBS

Sherlock on PBS is a modern version of the great sleuth story. Check your local listings, it starts this week. I know it begins on Los Angeles' KCET this Thursday at 9PM.
I saw the first episode and it was really fun to see how they twist the story and characters to fit modern times. I particularly enjoyed one part where Sherlock and Holmes aren't sure if one is hitting on the other.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Moguls and Movie Stars on TCM

Moguls and Movie Stars is an amazingly comprehensive look at the movie industry from the very beginning through the 1960's. It airs on TCM Wednesday nights starting Nov 1st through December 13th.
With seven one hour episodes they're really able to look at the turning points in film and the seminal characters.
There is also a Moguls and Movie Stars traveling exhibit visiting select cities. It will include memorabilia, costumes, and interactive displays. Check the web site for cities and dates.

In other news tickets go on sale for the TCM Classic Film Festival Nov.3 and if you buy before December 13th you get a $100 discount.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Baz Luhrmann DVD Giveaway

20th Century Fox is releasing Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet and Moulin Rouge on BluRay today. As part of the celebration they're giving me a copy of each to giveaway.
If you haven't seen these, they really are amazing. Moulin Rouge is definitely one of my favorite films.
To enter just leave a comment on this post. Make sure to include your email. If you want a second entry please tweet the giveaway and leave a second comment letting me know you did so.
All entrants should live in the contiguous United States. I'll announce the winner on Friday October 22.

Winner: Our winner is number 6, Audra. Thanks for playing everyone.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Mad Men Season 4 finale

Mad Men Season 4 finale wrapped up a lot of loose ends from this season. I was so disappointed in Don. After everything he went through this year, he's back to square one. He could have built a real relationship with Faye but instead he's in love with Megan. By "in love" I think he means completely unchallenged. Megan doesn't even know about Dick. I will give her, she's great with the kids. But you can't base a relationship on not flipping out when the kids spill their drinks.
I loved Ken trying to explain to Roger, Pete and Don that his relationship with his wife was more important to him than any client. They all looked at him like he was from another planet. You won't find him marrying his 25 year old secretary.
I know I'm the only person in the world who doesn't think Glen is creepy, but I thought he was so sweet saying goodbye to Sally. He really has been supporting her through the remarriage. His advice may not be great but at least he tries.
Betty continues her long streak of crappy parenting by firing Carla. She really can be such a child. I can't believe she wouldn't give her a letter of recommendation. I'd like to think she would reconsider and hire her back. But we all know that's not happening. Maybe Don and Megan will...
Henry's definitely over the honeymoon. Truer words were never spoke than Henry telling Betty "there is no fresh start". Too bad Don wasn't in the room to get the message.
The scene of Peggy and Joan commiserating was fabulous. The contempt they have for these "men" is palpable. Peggy seems truly disappointed that Don would marry his secretary.
Speaking of Joan, we have our answer to did she or didn't she. You could see in the scene where Pryce gives her the title only promotion that she was showing. All of which was confirmed by her phone call with her husband. I was just waiting for his tent to explode. I can't wait for the look on Rogers face when she makes the announcement.
Finally, how about Betty waiting for Don at the house. Was she thinking she could get back with him. When she gives him the key to the house and they each walk out a different door it felt so final. Nothing left but a bottle of Canadian and a juice cup.
Our closing scene is of Don looking out the window to the future. Which is 9 months away for all of us. If Weiner holds to form episode 1 of Season 5 will have Don and Megan married and Joan's baby born. 270 days and counting, see you there.

Great lines:
Roger to Don after the engagement announcement "See this is the way to behave" When someone marries their secretary.
Roger after the American Heart Institute pitch "Did you get Cancer?" you know he'd been waiting to say that.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Alan Cumming at Joe's Pub

Hey all you readers in New York. You have got to go see Alan Cumming At Joe's Pub on the 24th. It's guaranteed, by me, to be a great show. More importantly though, it is for an amazing cause, Fight Back New York.
If you go, please report back with all the details.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

AFI Fest 2010

AFI Fest 2010 is almost here, and I just found out I am getting a press pass. YEAH!!!
Here's how you can come too:
AFI continues its groundbreaking offer of free tickets to all AFI FEST 2010 screenings, including galas. Free tickets will be available to AFI members on October 27 at noon and to the general public on October 28 at noon. This year, festival-goers will also be able to get last-minute tickets at the day before the screening or at the festival box office the day of the screening. Rush Lines for screenings will begin forming one hour before the scheduled screening start times.
I am hopeful that I will be able to get into the screening of The King's Speech. It star Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter, and Geoffery Rush. I have a feeling it is going to be amazing.
I've yet to see much of the schedule, but it will be out soon. Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Waiting for Superman

Waiting for Superman is a very stirring film about the state of public education in the United States. I will tell you right off the top the film started on the wrong foot for me. The narrator is talking about how ideally he wanted to put his kids in public school, but as it became a reality it was too frightening/concerning and put them in a private school. He says how he drives by 3 public schools to get to his kids private school. It's at that moment that the film shows a car pulling into a private school parking lot. It's the private school that is two blocks from my house. The schools that he drives by are the neighborhood schools in MY neighborhood. Some of these are better than others but none of them are bad.
While I'm pleased that they made this film, and think it is very effective, I think the film makers need to realize that they are a part of the problem. When I was growing up in Los Angeles in the 70's and 80's most people put their kids in public school. Including the fabulously rich. I went to school with movie stars children, there were plenty of kids with BMW in high school, as well as kids who lived in apartments with single mothers. We were all lumped together. Maybe we were tracked and self segregating, but we were all in the same school.
I think the affluent have to take some responsibility for their loss of faith in public education. Once they started fleeing then all the middle class wanna be's followed. I'm not saying there isn't a huge problem happening with public education, but when the most financially prepared to help deal with the issue just leave, it cripples us all.
OK, that's off my chest. Beyond the above, the film makes some extremely valid points about the Teachers Union. A union two of my sisters are members of. (The following could really make family gatherings uncomfortable for me.) This film makes me want to go picket the teacher's union offices here in LA. With all the protections for terrible teachers, to the point of paying people to not work, our children are being robbed. That tenure after two years of teaching has got to go. It is costing us far to much, when we have to fire new enthusiastic teachers and keep "teachers" who literally sleep in class.
I'm going to try to find out how best to confront the Teacher's Union with that. You may be hearing back from me to that point.
Anyway, go see this film. It will rile you up and hopefully make you want to do something.

Thanks to K12 for sponsoring this post

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Mad Men Episode 12 Season 4

Mad Men Episode 12 Season 4 is ironically titled Blowing Smoke. I say Ironically, because Don blows smoke by writing a full page ad in the New York Times saying he hated representing tobacco for Lucky Strike and SCDP will never represent tobacco again. He changed the conversation, and it worked. It was really Peggy's idea, but of course Don didn't say thank you.
I am loving Sally's therapist. Not only is she great with Sally but she is excellent at soft shoeing Betty into mental health. Hopefully, she'll make some headway. Not that you can tell from this episode.
I loved the little scenes between Glen and Sally. I know many viewers think he's creepy, but I don't get that. He really cares for Sally. The two of them in a vacant lot, reminded me of my childhood doing the same. It also points out how these two kids are searching for something where there is only a derelict house. Pretty straight forward.
Poor Midge! I was surprised to see her, but even more surprised to see she's a heroine addict who is looking for old lovers to bankroll her. I had hoped when she told Don to walk home through the park, he had just given her all his money, that he would bump into Sal. But it was just a tease.
Finally, I love the on going saga of Don and Pete. Boy meets boy, boy hates boy, boy tries to ruin boy, boy hates boy less, boy needs boy, boy respects boy, boy spots boy $50,000. Then possibly boy finds out boy got girl knocked up and boy hates boy again, but that's probably next season.

Great lines from this show:
Bert-"get my shoes"
Ken-"I'm getting married. It's going to be Barefoot in the Park" If you haven't seen Barefoot in the Park, starring Robert Redford and Jane Fonda, get it now! That's an order.

Here's the trailer

Next week is the season finale. I can't wait to see it, but I also don't want to because that will mean it's over till next year :(

Friday, October 8, 2010

John Lennon

Happy Birthday John. Hope you're having a great one wherever you are.
I was annoyed to see, on Yahoo! people are critical of the supposed commercialization of him. Which translates to a slam on Yoko. Seriously, people this is 2010 Bob Dylan is in a Victoria Secret commercial. If you think John's message was anti consumption. Then stop buying so much stuff. Meanwhile, I love my babies John Lennon sheets, and have great respect for Yoko putting up with SOOO much crap over the years.
End rant...

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Michael Feinstein The Great American Songbook

Michael Feinstein's The Great American Songbook started last night on PBS. This is a great show, first because of the music, but secondly because of Michael's adventures in rescuing music from all manner of peril. I think he may have a little hording in him, but in the tidiest of ways. Regardless I'm grateful to him for saving all of the recordings and orchestrations of these great songs.
I know there is a group of people who are very conscious of keeping classical music alive. Michael's definitely ahead of that curve. I'm glad to know my great grandchildren will be able to hear Accentuate The Positive, or We're in the Money, or any of those songs that my husband wonders how I can recognize in the first few notes and know all the words.
You can catch the next two episodes Wednesdays on your PBS channel.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Tim Gunn's It Gets Better

God Bless Tim Gunn for this. I'm sure it was difficult for him to talk about. I'm also sure it will mean a lot to all the teens struggling with their sexuality.
I hope we will see many more of these "It gets Better" videos. I think they will not only help the struggling teen, but also open the eyes of other teens who may be making these kids lives miserable.
Thank you to everyone that makes one.

Monday, October 4, 2010

August Osage County, The Movie

I just heard that August Osage County, the movie has been cast with Meryl Streep and Julia Robert's. I wrote about August Osage County at The Ahmanson almost exactly a year ago. It was a fabulous play and as is always the case I'm a little concerned about the hollywoodification of it. I love these two actresses, but I'm just not sure. I guess I have a year to wonder and fret about it.
No matter what I'll definitely be first in line to see it though.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Mad Men Episode 11 Season 4

Mad Men Episode 11 Season 4 The Chinese Wall
Wow, Roger is getting what he did to Mona last season. He was faithful and loyal to Lucky Strike for 25 years and they're dumping him. Not only Lucky Strike, but it looks like Joan is cutting him off too. At least Jane still dotes on him. Did anyone else think Sterling's Gold was a bit thin?
I'm just waiting for Don to say "I always depend on the kindness of strangers" Ok maybe their not all stranges, but the girls really take care of this guy. Megan seriously went above and beyond for him this episode. Do you think Joan gave her the same talk she gave Peggy? (Am I the only one who think Megan is a dead ringer for Gene Tierney). I can't believe Faye risked her practice to get him a meeting with Heinz. He better be good to her. Megan made it sound like she was fine with nothing coming out of their laisson, hope she holds to that.
So happy for Peggy. Abe is totally hot and adorable. Hopefully she finally got that going around she was promised by Duck. I love that Abe pretended to be a delivery boy, so he could visit her at the office.
Finally, Danny comes across once more with "Last Hired Last Fired". No One even says anything they all just share a knowing look and move on. It not as good as "Don't cry over fish in the sea" but I loved it.

Supporting cast sighting- Richard Beymer from Twin Peaks as Ken's soon to be father in law. I think we'll see more of him.

Two more episodes, sports fans. How will we make it to next summer?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Social Network

The Social Network opened yesterday. Sony invited me to a screening earlier this week and I loved it. The actors are all really great, including Justin Timberlake, who I had my doubts about. The writing is amazing. It's Aaron Sorkin so that is no surprise. You may not know this but I was a major West Wing groupie.
Definitely, go see this. I think everyone will enjoy it, especially social media junkies such as myself. My inner grandmother would like to warn you though, that some scenes have extremely loud music. Beyond that, it's a slam dunk.