Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Nora Ephron RIP

Nora Ephon past away yesterday and I feel I've lost a friend who always gave me great advice.

When I was just a teenager Nora Ephron was teaching me about being a strong woman. First in Silkwood where Meryl Streep stands up to the man. Then in Heartburn where Meryl Streep stands up to a man. Both films taught me that doing the hard thing is often the right thing, and hey if you can hit your cheating husband in the face with a pie on your way out the door, so much the better.

Since then there have been so many great Ephron films. They taught me about love, and love in the movies, and why they're not the same, but that it's ok to want love to look like it does in the movies, because sometimes Mr. Right DOES meet you on top of the Empire State building.

In the end she left me with one last Meryl Streep film Julie and Julia. Where once again I watched as Ephron showed me to follow my bliss even if  it seems like it is for naught.

Simply put and in her words "it was magic"

RIP Nora Ephron

Monday, June 25, 2012

Disney's California Adventure

This past weekend Disney California Adventure invited my family to come experience all the exciting new lands and rides. I have to say I adore the new entrance into the park. The first thing you see is the replica entrance of the Pan Pacific Auditorium. Once through those gates you find yourself on Buena Vista Street, filled with classic Hollywood landmarks and characters.

Carthay Circle Theatre is a replica of the Theatre that Snow White premiered at and has a wonderful restaurant inside. It is a bit pricey but the interior is gorgeous, the food is delicious, and if you order the the full meal (including starter, entree, and dessert) you get VIP passes to the viewing of World of Color. Reservations are recommended for the Carthay Circle Restaurant

Next we found ourselves in A Bug's Land. This land has been open for a while. But is one of our family favorites. If you have bug lovers in your family, I'm sure they'll enjoy pretending to be a bug in the giant grass and clover forest, not to mention the bumper cars pictured above.

 Probably my little Dare Devils favorite ride at either Disneyland or California Adventure is California Screamin'. This Roller coaster has everything speed, loop, and huge drops. I spend a lot of time waiting on a bench while my family rides this one. They're lucky if they can get me on the ferris wheel.

Finally of course there was the piece des resistance CARS LAND! I can't believe how incredibly awesome this is. My 3 year old god son is going to lose his mind when he sees this place. It really is like walking through Radiator Springs.

There's so much great stuff to do I can't list it all here. But possibly the most important thing I want you to know is how great the food is and not just in the fancy Carthay Circle restaurant, Cars land has fun food in cones and a great restaurant, and there is some super food in Paradise Pier too.  But just a word to the wise if you're going to ride California Screamin', eat after.

Enjoy the park!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Closer's Final Six Episodes

I'm so sad The Closer is starting it's final six episodes July 9th on TNT. I love this show.  I suppose 7 years is a good run. I'll be glued to these last few. Hope they find a good ending for our leading lady.

Still the show isn't totally gone. Because practically the entire cast will continue on a new show called Major Crimes beginning August 13th We'll be trading Krya Sedgewick for the amazing Mary McDonnell. 

So a little good news with the bad.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My top 5 movies of 1991

I was just over reading The Cinementals site, which I highly recommend, and they had a great post on movies of 1991 and why they should be considered classic. If you are as old as I am or even older it's a bit painful to think that 1991 was more than 20 years ago...OUCH! Anyway they have a list of their 5 top movies of 1991. Which made me curious what came out that year, and it's incredible how many amazing films were released. It's like the 1939 of the 90's.

Here is my top 5 list, excluding those that the Cinementals listed, all of which I loved with the exception of Slackers. That movie just never clikcked with me, and trust me I was slacking with the best of 'em back then.

Now for my list in alphebetical order:

Fried Green Tomatoes has a phenomenal female ensemble cast, that tells the stories of 4 women. Two in the 1930's and two in 1990's. The main gyst is women's empowerment but it comes wrap in a great story.

Grand Canyon also has an amazing ensemble cast. It focus' on mid life crisis and LA city living. Complete with car jackings, affairs, and teaching your kid to drive.The older I get the better this movie gets.

I love this movie about the love affair between George Sands and Chopin. The supporting cast is a who's who. Such a fun movie.

Jungle Fever, Spike Lee's follow up to Do The Right Thing explores interracial relationships. I don't know if anyone ever even blinks at them anymore but back then a young black man was killed in a New York neighborhood when residents thought he was dating a girl of another the race. The film is dedicated to him.

Thelma & Louise is THE quintessential women's road movie. Saradon and Davis are amazing and this film launched a shirtless Brad Pitt on America. The message is dark but the film is joyful.

I'm loving going through all these movies. I think I may have to pick another year next week and pick favorite movie.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Newsroom on HBO

The Newsroom premieres this Sunday, June 24th on HBO. If you feel the way I do about writer/producer Aaron Sorkin, you have been waiting, not to patiently, for this. With a cast that includes Jeff Daniels, Sam Waterston, and Jane Fonda, it's a guaranteed home run. Ooh did I mention, my not so secret girl crush, Olivia Munn is in it too?

The premise is a popular newscaster who is no longer able to hold his tongue and starts reporting the news without network filtering. It's the 24 hour news cycle turned on it's ear. I think it's going to make newscasters around the country VERY uncomfortable and me VERY happy. I'm sure it will be full of insanely sharp rapid fire dialogue, and commentary on current events.

I can't wait!!! See you Sunday, until then here's the trailer to whet your viewing appetite.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World

Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World opens June 22 and you have to see it! Focus Features invited me to a screening last night, ok maybe I begged a little bit. I'm a huge Steve Carell fan, especially in this kind of role. The writer/director Lorene Scafaria compares him to Jack Lemmon, and I think that is dead on in roles like Dan In Real Life  Crazy, Stupid, Love and this film.

Seeking A Friend opens with the imminent end of the world by asteroid, of course, all rescue option have been exhausted. Our characters have 21 days to do what they will with. Oddly enough the end of the world looks a lot like my parents parties in the 70's. The statute of limitations is up on that, right? But I digress.

Carell and Knightley are neighbors who find themselves thrown together to muddle through these last days together. Their time is both hysterically funny and incredibly moving. this is definitely what you see in the dictionary if you look up black comedy. Your emotions will run the gamut, in the best possible way.

There are also a few fun "easter eggs: to look for. Keira Knightly's character has a fixation on vinyl and you can play the name that album cover game during the film. There is also a funny little nod to Knightly's role in Pride and Prejudice, see if you can find it...

If you don't believe me just watch the trailer. This is not a case of all the good lines being put in the trailer it is just the tip of the iceberg, or asteroid if you will.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Ann Rutherford RIP

I'm so sad to hear Ann Rutherford passed away yesterday. I was worried when Ann Rutherford and Anne Jeffery didn't attend the TCM Film Festival this past spring, that one of them may be ill. You can see her picture above at the 2011 TCM film fest opening night screening of An American in Paris.

She was always very sweet to everyone on the red carpet and still quite beautiful in ruffled pant suits, which she and Jeffery's had to match in at least two different colors, to my knowledge.

Rutherford came to fame in the Andy Hardy movies and of course in Gone With Wind as Scarlette's younger sister. If you want to see some of her great film tune into TCM  Tuesday July 3. See list of films and times below.

Ann Rutherford6 a.m. – Of Human Hearts (1938), with Walter Huston and James Stewart; directed by Clarence Brown
7:45 a.m. – Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938), with Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland; directed by George B. Seitz
9:30 a.m. – Four Girls in White (1939), with Florence Rice and Una Merkel; directed by S. Sylvan Simon
10:45 a.m. – Pride and Prejudice (1940), with Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier; directed by Robert Z. Leonard
12:45 p.m. – Washington Melodrama (1941), with Frank Morgan and Kent Taylor; directed by S. Sylvan Simon
2:15 p.m. – This Time for Keeps (1942), with Robert Serling and Guy Kibee; directed by Charles Reisner
3:30 p.m. – Whistling In Dixie (1942), with Red Skelton and George Bancroft; directed by S. Sylvan Simon
4:45 p.m. – Two O'Clock Courage (1945), with Tom Conway and Richard Lane; directed by Anthony Mann
6 p.m. – Adventures of Don Juan (1948), with Errol Flynn and Robert Douglas; directed by Vincent Sherman
8 p.m.Gone with the Wind (1939), with Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh; directed by Victor Fleming

Monday, June 11, 2012

Mad Men Season 5 Finale Party

I was so excited to get to attend the Mad Men Finale party with the cast and creator of Mad Men last night at The Academy of Television Arts and Science. First we watched the Mad Men Season 5 finale, then the Chris Connelly moderated Q&A, and then a fun cocktail party. Sorry about the quality of picture, they're all with my iPhone.

Here is Christina Hendricks at the cocktail party looking gorgeous as always. I loved what she had to say about Joan's choice to sleep with the Jaguar guy. She felt that it was more of a selfless act to be able to provide for her family. That Joan's character was not making much money and was refusing funds from Roger and this one act would provide stability for her family. Looked at from this angle wouldn't any mother go to this length to take care of their child. I'm sure most would do much more "unpalatable" things.

The adorable Kiernan Shipka is amazingly well spoken. Often showing up her adult cast mates by comparison.

Joan's "stake her claim" at the office after having baby Kevin dress. So pretty.

Jane's LSD dress, no wonder Roger chose to go au natural on his second trip, who could top this fabulousness. Costume designer Janie Bryant really does do the most amazing clothes for this show.

And such a fun parting gift. Martinis anyone.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Mad Men Season 5 epi 13 The phantom

Tonight's last episode of season 5, The Phantom, was a bit sad. Everyone seems to be chasing a phantom dream that they will never catch. Or is it just that none of them are ever happy with what they have. I have to say it made me like them all less. Except maybe Pete, who at least you finally feel like realizes he is just a completely damaged person, and maybe just maybe will evolve.

Pete who was so desperate for his fellow commuters wife, Beth, finally gets one last tryst with her. Only to have her go in for shock treatment and forget him entirely. He gets/begs two more beat downs, from Beth's husband and the train conductor. After revealing to himself as much as anyone that these "temporary bandages on permanent wounds" are never going to work. Talk about self flagellation. Hopefully, we will find him next season working on permanent fixes, not sleeping with numerous girls in his New York apartment his wife has agree to.

Hurray for Peggy. So glad to see her. She too is in pursuit of her dream. She thought everything would be better at the new firm, but we open with her yelling at her staff and close with her "view" from her fancy airline trip to Raliegh, Virginia. It's not what she thought, but she does sit back on her bed with a glass of wine and looks happy. So maybe she's ok that it's not what she thought??

Don and Megan are stabbing around in the dark to make their marriage work. I think old Don would have continued to sabotage Megan's career to make himself happy. But now, like he let Glen drive last week, he gets her the commercial. He's going to make her happy and hope it makes them happy. Though the closing scene with him leaves us wondering if he will pick up the obviously willing girl at the bar. Is he alone?

Don has the only literal phantom in Adam, his dead brother who appears throughtout the episode. It's only natural that Lane's suicide would bring back his guilt over his brother. Don has a permanent wound like Pete and it isn't his rotting tooth. Maybe his new outlook will help heal him, or maybe he'll start his diary again. Hopefully we won't be waiting 18 months to find out.

This and That

Harry Crane telling Joan "I need a window Joan, I'm getting scury"

Pete's fresh lifesavers

Pete leaving meeting and telling Don he's his proxy. Don "We can do that?"

Megan's Mother "Not every little girl gets to do what she wants. The world could not support that many ballerinas"

Pete telling Don "I'm going to have the same view as you" in more ways than he knows.

Stay tuned for my post from the Mad Men FInale Party I attended with cast and creator. Coming Soon

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Swedish Affair at Sowden House

Last week I was invited to Frank Lloyd Wright's Sowden House for The Swedish Affair (Please don't tell my Norwegian grandmother). The house is amazing the photo above is the facade. All the Swedish things happening inside were just as cutting edge. 

I don't know if you've noticed but Sweden really is taking over the world. I mean really who hasn't read, seen in Swedish, then seen in English The Dragon Tattoo series? Of course we know my favorite Swedish export is Greta Garbo. If that weren't enough GRAV LOX .

Check out the amazing list of exhibitors and performers.

Here's the description of the event:

The Swedish Affär

Movies like “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and “Let the right one in”, and the Swedish directors Tomas Alfredson with “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” and Daniel Espinoza with “Safe House” are just a few examples of the latest Swedish wave to hit Hollywood.
Furthermore, Sweden is now among the worlds’ top 10 game exporters. The Swedish-developed games Minecraft and Battlefield are described as a "global phenomenon" and the biggest cultural export since ABBA. Robyn’s “Call your girlfriend” has 4,5 million views on YouTube and in 2011 Swedish advertising agencies won 31 lions and the Grand Prix in the prestigious advertising competition Cannes Lion.
With this two-day event we want to manifest the love affair between creative Sweden and Los Angeles that once started with Greta Garbo and Ingmar Bergman. We are inviting like-minded to come and join us for networking and creative exchange in a laid-back atmosphere at the fashionable Sowden House.
The two event-days are filled with activities such as panel discussions, keynote speakers, screenings, match-making and speed-dating opportunities. We will also offer Swedish inspired buffets and bar servings, unplugged music performances and much more. The first event-day will focus on the creative industries and the second event-day on all of the gaming and film industry.
The Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Los Angeles, Swedish Games Industry and Media Evolution are organizing the event together with private companies, government agencies, the Swedish Embassy and the Swedish trade organizations for games, music, fashion, film, television and communication/advertising.

All that and I got to hang out in this amazing house. Seriously look at this fireplace....Thanks Sweden you had me at grav lox.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

iVillage and PBS Kids Summer Reading Community Challenge

iVillage and PBS Kids are challenging our communities children to keep up their reading through the summer. Children lose so much during the summer break, but with all the fun they'll be having with this challenge they won't have that problem. In fact they may pick up a few new things!

Just sign up on the iVillage PBS Kids Community Challenge page by June 18th and you'll be on your way. 

Here are all the perks as listed by PBS and iVillage

Once you're signed up beginning June 18th you'll receive daily emails with activities and ideas from coaches, Angela C. Santomero - creator of Super WHY! on PBS KIDS, or Jessica Wollman - VP, Scholastic Media (producer of WordGirl on PBS KIDS). You'll also get book suggestions and discounts, free downloads of PBS KIDS shows and a daily chance to win $1,000 and other great prizes!

Really it's a win win!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Mad Men Season 5 Epi 12 Commissions and Fees

Tonight's episode, Commissions and Fees, was all about things coming home to roost. Most importantly for Lane. I was so hoping when he couldn't get the Jaguar to start that he would think better of his plan. But then to have him shown so gruesomely strangled. Sad Sad Sad.

I had a hard time swallowing Don telling Lane that he could no longer trust him, after telling one lie. Don the king of lies couldn't give him a second chance. He could have let it slide the way Cooper let Don's lying about his entire identity slide. 

This whole thing reminded me so much of Don's interaction with his brother. He also begged Don to help him and Don said no and threw money at the problem. Don gets the exact same result both times, someone hanging themselves. He is devastated by both incidence.

Oddly he also ends up driving someone at the end of both episodes. After his brother's death he drives "The Teachers" epileptic brother to a new job as a janitor. But ends up letting him out just outside of Ossining, since he really doesn't want to go to the job and thinks his life is just an inevitable disaster. This time however when he finds himself having more or less the same conversation with Sally's friend Glen, Don tries to give him something to make things better. Letting Glen drive, take control of his life at some level. Even if things go badly sometimes, sometimes you get exactly what you want at the most unlikely time.

Loved Don's conversation with Roger about going for bigger fish. He has finally woken up. Further when Roger meets with Ken and Ken works it to his advantage that they are going after Dow Chemical. Ken sticks the knife in Pete and turns it. He is ambitious after all. Though he wants no part of the dirty work of being a partner.

Now on to Sally, the new women. I love her relationship with Glen. They are confidants. I see them growing old best friends. I can't wait till she tells him why she had to run out on him at the museum. I guess the show probably won't run till she's an adult, so we may not see that one. She's going to have to come up with a good lie to cover this one until then.

Betty did rise to the occasion when Sally came home. I think she loves being needed. She knows now that no matter how shrill Sally is being, when things get really bad she will come running to her. Sally could have gone to Megan with her questions, but she took a cab and came home to momma. You know Betty loved telling Megan Sally just needed her mother.

This and That

Don's "Or do you want me to leave, so you can do whatever you want."

Don "What is happiness? It's a moment before you need more happiness." This is why Don is never happy.

Roger's enlightenment "wore off"