Thursday, May 31, 2012

Wes Anderson Moonrise Kingdom

Finally got a chance to see a screening of Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom last night, and loved it. It had some of Anderson's regular players, like Bill Murray and Jason Shwartzman, but also some new people like Bruce Willis, Ed Norton and (one of my personal favorites) Frances McDormand. The entire cast was phenomenal, especially the two kids in the lead roles  Jared Gilman and Kara Haytward.

The story is about two misfit children who find one another and run away together.Reminds me in the vaguest of way of A Little Romance. It is incredibly sweet and as with all Wes Anderson films somewhat quirky. His mastery of the ridiculous had this audience laughing out loud throughout the film. There are several homages to great scenes from other films and it is fun to try to figure out what is from where. (see trailer below for one)

Some of my favorite characters were Jason Shwartzman's scouts supply sergent, who just like in every WWII movie, is able to get everything for a price. Though the scene was brief, I think he was channeling Tony Curtis from Operation Petticoat. Francis McDormand didn't get a lot to do but her bull horn wield mother was extremely real, and frankly I'm considering a bull horn of my own. Bruce Willis' cop was a sad little man but had some really gem lines like "Even smart people stick their finger in socket sometimes"

I give this film to Khaki Scout/Beige Lunatic thumbs up. If you love Wes Anderson like I do this is a sure thing. If you maybe somehow aren't that familiar with his films this is a great place to jump in and see what the waters like.

Here's the trailer if you need more convincing

Find Moonrise Kingdom at a theatre near you

Monday, May 28, 2012

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Mad Men Season 5 Epi 11 The Other Woman

Tonight's Episode, The Other Woman, had the ladies doing things that I doubted they would ever do. It's hard to believe some of the men's behavior too, but frankly they are often pretty sleazy so it's less surprising.

Peggy's phone pitch was brilliant (was that Matt Weiner on the other end of the call?). It took Don being that awful to her, to push her off the cliff. Still I don't think she realized what she was worth till Chaough offered her exactly what she asked for plus $1000. Anytime someone says yes that fast you know you didn't ask for enough.

I hope we will still see our Peggy. I can't wait 2 or 3 seasons for her to resurface like Paul or Freddy. Her goodbye with Don was very firm. Don had a hard time hearing he had nothing to give her and I think she had a hard time realizing it. They were breaking up, but hopefully will actually stay friends.

I have to say I thought Joan would figure out a way to get out of sleeping with the Jaguar guy. But in the end, a single women with a baby in 1966, there really was no way to say no to that kind of security. It was sad, but practical. Was it me or after Don's visit when he said "Say goodnight to your friend" Did he think she was Joan's lover? Like the lesbian rumor he talked about last week?

Ginsberg??? What is this guys story?? He seemed to be intentionally looking the other way when Megan's friend was crawling on the table. He really seemed to find it disgusting. Which it kind of was, but he's the only one in the office who can see that. With Peggy gone he's going to have to jump in the drivers seat. They better hope he can develop some kind of social filter.

This and That

Peggy saying she needs a chocolate shake when Chaough offers her the job.

Trudy telling Pete he has to get over New York

Just waiting for Lane to get busted for the money!

UPDATE: Reading a lot of posts this morning about how moral Don is for telling Joan not to sleep with Jaguar , even if it was too late. But let's all remember how easily he fired Sal when he wouldn't sleep with Lucky Strike. I believe he said "you people" in disgust. He is evolving but still...

Also in Roger's defense once Pete said that Joan was up for it but said they couldn't afford it, he basically said well let her do it then, I just don't want to hear about it. So it wasn't exactly like he liked the idea.

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby comes out this December. You only have to watch the trailer below for 2 seconds to know it's Baz Luhrman, he's so distinctive. I'm not sure I like the modern music in period pieces, but I do like it on it's own.

I was raised with the Robert Redford Gatsby, and I have to say "Wow" this has a very different energy. The later was extremely subdued and this is on fire. At least from what I can tell from this trailer. Definitely looking forward to seeing how incendiary it really is!

See for yourselves....

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Bill Hader Hosts TCM Essentials JR

Billl Hader is hosting Essentials JR on TCM this summer, beginning Sunday, June 3. I love that they have this special 8pm ET time slot every Sunday set aside to indoctrinate share these movies with kids. Another great list this year kicks off with 12 Angry Men June 3rd and ends with, one of my favorites, Ball of Fire August 26th.

In a phone interview I did with Mr. Hader he informed me that he really wanted to have Shane on the schedule this summer. Unfortunately it was not possible, so I'm sure he would be very grateful if you would take the time to screen that for the kid in your life too.

Here's the promo for the series. See the complete schedule below.

June 3rd 12 Angry Men
June 10th The Wizard of Oz
June 17th Rio Bravo
June 24th The Circus
July 1st Lassie
July 8th The Bank Dick
July 15th The Theif Of Bagdad
July 22nd The Great Escape
July 29th The Band Wagon
August 5th The Invisible Man
August 12th 42nd Street
August 19th North By Northwest
August 26th Ball of Fire

Happy viewing!

Essentials-jr HomeFeatured FilmScheduleMeet The HostsVideohome

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

My PS Vita Favorite Features

After a few months with my PS Vita I have definitely developed some strong feelings for many of it's features and games. I am so grateful to Playstation for having me on their PS Family board, and giving me the opportunity to explore this hand held gaming system that is so much more.

I know I've said this a bunch of times in a bunch of places but I still love Escape Plan. It it such a great game. It's main characters Lil and Laarg die often at my hands but they always bounce back up and are ready to go again and again until I can finally figure out how to clear the level. See the trailer below

Aside from games there are other uses for the PS Vita. I love to have it handy for watching movies on Netflix. Here's a picture of me watching Breakfast at Tiffany's. The picture is small but so so clear. 

The last feature I'm excited about is the new Skype app. You can contact anyone on skype and and have a face to face chat. You can even switch the camera to rear facing and show them your surroundings. It really is insanely cool. Here's a playstation video explaining all it's features.

With all of this you hardly need anything else. 

I really have enjoyed using the Vita and can easily recommend it to one and all.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Knotts Soak City OC

Sunday was opening day at Knotts Soak City OC and they invited my family to come and "soak" it in. I've never been to a real water park before. I've been on the occassional hotel water slide but this is really an epic water experience.

There are so many different slides, a lazy river, and the above pictured Tidal Wave Bay. My kid was running from area to area with barely a moments rest, unless forced. If you're looking for a fun activity this summer I think you can't beat Soak City.

Knotts Soak City tickets are pretty resonable as compared to other amusement parks. I'd recommend getting a cabana, the shade is limited and it is very hot in the sun all day.

See you there!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Mad Men Season 5 epi 10 Christmas Waltz

So tonight's episode opened with Lane getting the bad news that he owes the English $8000 in taxes. I'm a bit confused how he let this happen??? But there it is. Now Lane is up to his eyeballs in lies. He's embezzled from SCDP, lied to his wife, committed forgery and basically made a mess of things. I hope he can make it all right before it blow up in his face. Lane doesn't seem like the kind of guy who would fair well in prison.

So happy to see Kinsey back. He's a disaster and still stabbing in the dark trying to find his place in the world. The Hari Krishna stuff was interesting. Funny that there was a time people needed a cheat sheet for the lyrics to their song. I love that Harry has some kind of allegiance to Paul, and even though he'll "have sex" with his girlfriend, he really wants to help him. I don't know what will happen to Paul out in LA, hopefully he'll steer clear of all the cults, especially Manson.

I'm hopefully that Joan has turned the corner. She started the episode in her sad brown dress telling Roger to take a hike and then screaming at the truly inept receptionist. But after a night out with Don she returns to the office in a leafy green dress of rebirth. Would'nt you just love to see Don throw Megan over for Joan...I know it will never happen but they could rule the world together. Love Don's flowers from Ali Khan.

Finally, dear sweet Roger. I would have loved to have seen the scenes of him celebrating Pearl Harbor Day with his fellow WWII vets. I think he really feels something for Kevin and Joan. I don't think Joan wants him back, but maybe now that she is healing she'll reconsider. I hope so.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Elementary CBS this Fall

Just as I was getting all sad about the last episode of Sherlock on PBS tomorrow night I heard CBS is premiering a new series this Fall called Elementary. That's right kids there is a light at the end of this summers tunnel. Elementary stars Johnny Lee Miller as a recently sober Sherlock. His Companion, Joan Watson is portrayed by Lucy Liu.  Surprise, a lady Dr. Watson!

If the above doesn't peak your interest than I have one more enticing morsel. AIDAN QUINN, sorry did I scream that. I kinda like Aidan, just a little, don't mind his poster over my bed. Anyway he is the reoccurring NYPD Captain.

See the preview below. I have high hopes, it looks original and quirky and just plain old good. We'll find out Thursdays this Fall.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood on PBS

I just got back from PBS' Annual Meeting. They have so many great things coming up I hardly know where to start. Since I attended as a member of the PBS Kids VIPs I'll start with all the great kids programs.

Their big announcement was for Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, a new show, that's a spin off of Mr Roger's Neighborhood. Daniel is the son of Mr. Rogers tiger friend Danny. He'll be continuing Mr Roger's work of empowering children and fostering their social emotional developement. Each half hour episode will have two segments that focus on a developemental issue. Just like Mr.Roger's show there will be lots of catchy songs with educational lyrics, to help children solve all their most pressing problems.

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood premeires September 3 (my birthday) after Sesame Street and will continue daily in that time slot.

Other highlights for the coming year are:

The Cat In The Hat Know A lot About Christmas a one hour special Nov 21, 2012

Wild Kratts one hour special Jan 21, 2013

Dinosaur Train one hour special Feb 18, 2013

Curious George one hour special April 19, 2013

Stay tuned for my post on all the great adult programs coming our way.

Lastly don't forget to donate to your local PBS station.

Monday, May 14, 2012

What to expect When You're Expecting

Last week I was invited to a screening of What To Expect When You're Expecting. I'll start out by telling you that I really didn't know what to expect. This film is based on the bible, of the same name, of almost every pregnant women. Truthfully, I didn't think it really lent itself to a screen play. But wouldn't you know it I was wrong.

Of course the film doesn't actually follow the book. There is no second act about the thinning of your cervix, or darkening of your nipples, at least not directly. The movie is about 5 couple and their journeys to parenthood. Personally I love these huge ensemble casts. Everyone is very funny and for me it never crossed the line into the ridiculous (or at least not ridiculously so).

I really enjoyed the large part of the film that focused on a group of dad's who walk as a group every weekend. It made me pity the poor husbands, just a little, don't tell any of the other mothers I said that. Anyway they were hysterical led by the incomparable Chris Rock.

The moms were great too. Jennifer Lopez was of course gorgeous. I loved watching the know it all expectant mother learn that it wasn't a pleasure cruise being pregnant. I always think this is the first parenting lesson. You never know what is going to happen so be prepared. Some what less fun to watch the mom who is completely unfazed by her pregnancy. 

I feel like there were lots of conception scenarios, if not every possible one. It would have been great to have a same sex couple, in there somewhere, but maybe in the sequel. Over all I would recommend this to pregnant ladies, and people with families. It's very fun with only brief moments of seriousness.

Opens this Friday 18th!!!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mad Men Season 5 Epi 9 Dark Shadows

Tonight's episode was named Dark Shadows, and I gotta say can Mad Men lighten up. So many refernece to darkness this season. Hopefully it won't turn into the gothic soap opera that was the tv show Dark Shadows. I suppose the title  refers to the shadows cast by everyone previous actions. For Don the shadow of Anna, and the shadow of Betty.

Opening tonight's episode with Betty weighting out her food. There were several moments where I thought Betty had gained some control of her behavior. Her pep talk with Henry was so supportive. But then seeing that note from Don to Megan sent her right back to preschool. She's acting out without a care for how it might effect Sally in seconds. Come on Betty I'm pulling for you.

Don seems like he's feeling a bit threatened by Ginsberg. He doesn't want to end up like Roger with Pete. Though Ginsberg seems like he might self destruct. He has no understanding of human interaction. See Roger realizing in seconds that he can't be trusted at a client dinner. Also the quote from Shelley's Ozymandias was a bit foreboding, the mighty do fall...

Sally is turning into an obnoxious brat. I know she doesn't have many good examples of how to behave but lashing out at Megan about Anna was really awful. Course Megan isn't doing herself any favors by teaching Sally how to fake cry. I think that's a skill Sally will learn to abuse.

Pete has really hit the jackpot with Marie. I thought it was possible he was actually going to get everything at once. That is until the piece in The Post didn't come through. Still Pete looked pretty happy after her office visit. 

Roger seems like he's getting back on track with work and life. That acid trip is the gift that keeps giving. He really is more introspective and concerned with his behaviors repercussions. Was I the only one that was nervous he was going to have a heart attack when he was with Jane in her new apartment? I remembered how he had said to Mona that he hadn't had a heart attack since he'd been married to Jane. I swear if they kill off Roger I will cry like a baby.

This and that:

Peggy- "Am I the only one who can work and drink at the same time?" We all know the answer to that one.

Roger asking if Pete was going to get a paper route, when Pete was talking about The Post.

Cooper corrects Pete's Hip with Hep. 

Rogers "Now they want to make wine for normal people"

When Henry is telling Betty about betting on the wrong horse, I thought it sounded a lot like Betty situation. You know she's wondering if she bet on the wrong horse with Henry. She could be living if that modern apartment in the city instead of the Addams Family mansion.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Geffen 2012-2013 season

I am so excited about the Geffen Playhouse's 2012-2013 season. They are going for a marathon 8 show season, with world premieres and old favorites. As always there is something for everyone drama, comedy, and music. Another great thing about both of their theatres is that they are very intimate, with no bad seats.

So enjoy this amazing line up!

By the Way, Meet Vera Stark

Written by Lynn Nottage

Directed by Jo Bonney

In the Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen Playhouse

West Coast Premiere * Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award Winning Playwright

It’s Hollywood’s heyday and the streets of Los Angeles are filled with glitz, glamour and the chance at stardom – that is as long as you have the “right” look. But when former maid Vera Stark lands a groundbreaking role in a new Southern epic, she turns Hollywood on its head and paves the way for future generations of black actresses. More than five decades later, Vera’s influence on race, film and feminism has seeped its way into pop-culture. But who is the real Vera Stark? Part comedy and part commentary, Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage’s West Coast premiere uses today’s fascination with celebrity and controversy to get to the truth behind the legend.


Written by Michael Golamco

Directed by Will Frears

In the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at the Geffen Playhouse

World Premiere

Kip and Will became Silicon Valley legends after the viral success of their blockbuster video game. But success has driven them apart: Will has become a suit obsessed with the bottom line, and the death of his wife has turned Kip into a total recluse. Now they've been thrown back together in a high-stakes gamble to complete and ship a new multi-billion dollar game; but as Will re-enters Kip's life, he realizes that his old friend has built a whole other world – complete with an artificial intelligence to whom Kip escapes to ease his loss. Now Will and Kip must work to resolve their differences, confront the past and face the fact that technology's brave new world often leaves us with little else but a yearning for the old one.

Coney Island Christmas

Written by Donald Margulies

Directed by Bart DeLorenzo

Based on the short story “The Loudest Voice” by Grace Paley

In the Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen Playhouse

World Premiere Commission * "A Jewish Christmas Show" * Pulitzer Prize Winning Playwright

Pulitzer Prize winner Donald Margulies weaves together nostalgia, music and merriment in the world premiere of this new seasonal classic. A holiday show for people of all ages and all faiths, Coney Island Christmas introduces us to Shirley Abramowitz, a young Jewish girl who (much to her immigrant parents’ exasperation) is cast as Jesus in the school’s Christmas pageant. As Shirley, now much older, recounts the memorable story to her great-granddaughter, the play captures a timeless and universal tale of what it means to be an American during the holidays.

The Gift

Written by Joanna Murray-Smith

Directed by Maria Aitken

In the Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen Playhouse

American Premiere * From the Playwright of the 2010 Geffen Playhouse Hit The Female of the Species

Acclaimed Australian playwright Joanna Murray-Smith brings this comedic American premiere to the Geffen Playhouse. When two couples meet while vacationing at a ritzy resort, they instantly transition from strangers to the best of friends. Despite their almost comical differences – Ed and Sadie are middle-aged, rich and traditional, while Martin and Chloe are young artists glowing with their potential to change the world – they find themselves spending the rest of their week together. When one seemingly inconsequential event throws both their lives into a tailspin, the couples find themselves wrestling with a moral dilemma: while it’s human nature to want what you don’t have, is it unnatural to abandon something that you do? This provocative new work draws audiences in with a beguiling hilarity that gives way to an unsettling twist, posing searing questions rather than providing comfortable answers.

Miss Julie

Written by August Strindberg

Adapted and Directed by Neil LaBute

In the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at the Geffen Playhouse

World Premiere Adaptationfrom Tony Nominee and Returning Geffen Artist, Neil LaBute

August Strindberg’s classic play about sex, greed and manipulation is adapted by the modern master of such tantalizing topics: Neil LaBute. This scandalous turn of the century play that chronicles the night-long flirtation and seduction between the wealthy lady of the house and one of her father’s footmen was banned in Britain until 1936. Set in its original time and place and featuring one of theater’s most commanding female characters, this world premiere adaptation couples provocateurs Strindberg and LaBute to capture the timeless consequences of passion and power.

American Buffalo

Written by David Mamet

Directed by Randall Arney

In the Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen Playhouse

New Production from the Geffen Playhouse Artistic Director * Pulitzer Prize Winning Playwright

One of Pulitzer Prize winner David Mamet’s defining works, American Buffalo was instantly hailed as a new American classic when it opened on Broadway in 1975. Now, Geffen Playhouse Artistic Director Randall Arney takes a fresh look at these misguided misfits who are a little out of luck and way out of their league as they plot the theft of a rare coin collection. As the time of the heist approaches, tension and anticipation build revealing loyalties and testing friendships. Negotiating explosive humor, frenetic energy and surprising tenderness, this play, which has not had a major Los Angeles production in more than a decade, promises a mesmerizing night whether seeing it for the first time or rediscovering this groundbreaking work.

The Judy Show – My Life as a SitcomStarring Judy Gold

Written by Judy Gold & Kate Moira Ryan

Directed by Amanda Charlton

In Association with Daryl Roth and Eva Price

In the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at the Geffen Playhouse

West Coast Premiere Comedy

Judy Gold has always dreamt big. Maybe because she is BIG (and by that, we mean tall). This six foot three inch Jewish mother of two is bringing her big, critically acclaimed off-Broadway hit to LA. A nonstop 90-minute ride, The Judy Show is Gold's chance to broadcast her hilarious life story through the sitcoms we all knew and loved. As an awkward kid growing up in New Jersey, Gold has fantasies of running away to The Brady Bunch house or climbing aboard the The Partridge Family bus, all while unabashedly recounting the mix of riotous, touching and otherwise embarrassing moments that taught her The Facts of Life. Infused with pop-culture references as well as her signature irreverent humor, The Judy Show covers life, love, showbiz and ultimately her quest for her very own show - all in a way that might make Rhoda proud.

Yes, Prime Minister

Written by Antony Jay & Jonathan Lynn

Directed by Jonathan Lynn

In the Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen Playhouse

American Premiere * First Production after the Acclaimed West End Run

This quirky comedy based on the acclaimed BBC television series draws liberally - and conservatively - from current events as well as age-old political gaffes. Join the mostly clueless Prime Minister and an always hilarious cast of characters, ranging from the morally questionable Kumranistan ambassador to the scheming cabinet secretary, as they sort out the world’s problems despite their best intentions. Will this coalition of comedy manage to unite Europe under one currency, resolve the energy crisis, solve the debt crisis, and avoid a crisis in the press? Maybe not, but Brits and Yanks alike can bank on the laughs in this uproarious political satire.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

RIP Maurice Sendak

I'm so sad to hear of the passing of Maurice Sendak. His books are a fond memory of my childhood and of my daughters. He let generations of children know it was ok to go out and be a Wild Thing, even get in trouble, and then you can always come home and find you dinner waiting.

I hope he's found his dinner is still warm....

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Mad Men Season 5 epi 8 Lady Lazarus

Tonight's episode opens with Pete reading Thomas Pynchon's Crying of Lot 49. I wish I had a better memory of this book. The one thing I remember is that the girl I sat next to in the college class I read this in and I became pen pals and for years after exchanged letters that featured the muted horn and the words Report all obscene mail to the potsmaster(not a typo), a line in the book. The story has something to do with  conspiracy theories and the post office. Perfect for Pete who has no idea why anything happens the way it does.

Am I the only one it made nervous when Pete mentioned the suicide clause in his work insurance policy? He is so lost. Part of me hates him and the other part just wants to tell him, he is a worthy person, and if he could only believe that the world would be an easier place for him. Perhaps knowing that his fellow train travelers wife cares for him at some level will help??

I don't know what to think about Megan following her dream of acting. Maybe it's a good thing, she isn't trying to live some lie like 90% of the cast. But then I worry Don didn't like it when Betty tried to get back into modeling. On the third hand Don looked positively terrified when he came home and found Megan cooking dinner, in a housewifey way. I don't think he knows what is going to work.

That empty elevator shaft, when Don tried to follow Megan didn't seem like a very promising sign. I was pretty sure they would be married when this season opened and now I'm just as sure they won't be by the time the next season starts.

The name of tonight's episode, Lady Lazarus is a Sylvia Plath poem about a women who has died a few times but is always revived and isn't happy about it. I suppose many of the characters on the show keep getting dragged back to a life they want no part of. Obviously Pete has never been happy in the life he is leading. Don seems afraid of his new marriage becoming like his marriage with Betty. Peggy has made some comments about not being sure about the path she's taking. The list goes on...

This and That:

The show has really caught up to me. I recognized cover art from the records and books. It kind of freaks me out actually.

Cracked me up when Don said they knew what The Beatles sounded like. Unlike The Stones a few weeks ago.

Don's line I grew up in the 30's. My dream was indoor plumbing.

Pete asking if the skies Roger was giving him were going to blow up.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Mother's Day Havaianas and Baby Buggy

I had a great time at The London West Hollywood getting custom made Havaianas flip flops the other day. It was all in the name of promoting Havaianas partnership with Baby Buggy to raise money for needy families.

Several celebrities have designed Mommy and me sized flip flops, each of which, will earn Baby Buggy 10% of their purchase price.They're all great but my faves were Rebecca Romijn's and Tori Spellings. I know I'll be wearing them everyday.

You can find them available at Nordstroms and

Hurry up and get yours they make a spectacular mother's day gift both for the mom in your life and mom's around the country who could use Baby Buggy's help.

Special thanks to Hollywood Hot Moms for the invitation.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Joel McCrea on TCM tonight

Tonight on TCM they are running several Joel McCrea classics. Starting with Sullivan's Travels. This co stars Veronica Lake and makes must classic film fans top 10 lists. McCrea plays a rom com movie director who wants to make a film about the difficulties of life and heads out on the road to discover them. Hilarity and misadventure ensue. If you haven't seen it make a point to, and if you have seen it, I know you'll make a point to catch it again. Airs at 8pm est, 5pm pst.

The Palm Beach Story costarring the incomparable Claudette Colbert as a wife who romances a rich man to get funding for a project of her husband's. I realized typing this that Indecent Proposal was a very dark remake of this Preston Sturges comedy. Airs at 9:45pm est, 6:45pm pst

I love this love story set against the housing shortage in DC during WWII. Co starring Jean Arthur and Charles Coburn as their match maker. The Cary Grant film Run Don't Walk was a remake, that actually is a s good as this original. Airs at 11:30pm est, 8:30pm pst