SUMMER MOVIE WATCHLIST: The Butler

If The Butler is as good as the trailer, then it will take home every single little golden man come January.  Seriously.

The movie stars everyone under the sun – from Oprah to Forest Whitaker to James Marsden (formally Cyclops) and Alan Rickman (as Ronald Reagan) – and is directed by Lee Daniels (Precious). Ah, I forgot to mention Jane Fonda and Robin Williams and….well, everyone.

The story itself is a bit Forest Gump-y.  It’s history through the eyes of a simple man.  It follows Cecil Gaines (Whitaker), a child who grew up on a cotton farm and worked his way to being a White House Butler.  I can give you a plot synopsis, but no matter how I choose to write it, I’ll fail in giving you the same goosebumps I got while watching the trailer.

So watch the trailer.

Then go see the movie.

BOOK AWARENESS: Wallflower at the Orgy by Nora Ephron

To call this a “review” or a “critique” would be both presumptuous and arrogant.  In my opinion, Nora Ephron is the most perfect writer in Hollywood and Novel Land and she can do no wrong. (I just pretend Bewitched never existed.) So instead, I will simply call to your attention the sweet collection of essays that is Wallflower at the Orgy.

Wallflower at the Orgy is an excellent summer pool side read – quick, engrossing, and fun.  Written in Ephron’s charming voice, the articles feature the beginning of tabloid magazines, how Cosmopolitan became Cosmo, and why Orson Welles is a disagreeable actor.

Perhaps this is where Hannah got the idea to write a collection of essays in HBO’s Girls.  However, whereas Hannah thinks she is a voice of a generation, Ephron is the voice – for everyone. 

And as my friend Joanna once said: Fuck Kindles, Fuck Lena Dunham, Long Live Nora.

REVIEW: Love, Marilyn

LM posterTo say there is an over abundance of Marilyn Monroe documentaries and biographies is an understatement.  Everyone thinks they know Marilyn and everyone says they know Marilyn best.  But as Liz Garbus’s documentary, Love, Marilyn, reminds us – Marilyn Monroe was a character created by one of the best actresses in Hollywood history and nobody will ever truly know the woman behind the Mask.

Based on Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters, a collection of Marilyn’s personal writings, Love, Marilyn offers a more personal biography.  Blending Marilyn’s writings with audio recordings and interviews, Garbus weaves a story of a woman trying to follow her dreams and build a career all while oppressed by men and victimized by women’s pettiness.  Marilyn constantly had to prove to the world she wasn’t just a pretty face – sadly a story many women 50 years later can still identify with.

What stands out most in the documentary is Garbus’s brilliant juxtaposition of Marilyn’s personal letters with writings, personal letters and interviews of the men (and women) who famously worked with her–often putting them to shame.  Although nobody will ever know the full story, it is clear Marilyn was scapegoated and used to make others look better.

And then we wonder why such a beloved actress felt so isolated and alone.

Love, Marilyn is currently available to view on HBOGo.

MUST WATCH: Pacific Rim Trailer

Robots and Monsters and VFX – oh my.

Guillermo del Toro’s next masterpiece takes us into the apocalyptic future where reptilian aliens are resurrected from the ocean’s depths.  (More Godzilla than Silurian)  The only way to save the world is to assemble Megazord.

But seriously, it looks like we have a film worthy of the “summer blockbuster” title.  It seems to have everything a futuristic monster movie should have.  At the very least, the VFX look killer.

Now this is a movie worth killing my eyesight for in IMAX3D.

5 Reasons You Should Watch A&E’s “Bates Motel”

Bates Motel chronicles a mother and son, Norma and Norman, who move to a new town for a fresh start after the death of Norman’s father.  With life insurance money, Norma purchases a run-down house and motel combo that they rename “Bates Motel.”  But not all in White Pine Bay is as it seems…

A&E’s modern prequel to Psycho, of book and Hitchcock fame, started strong and is getting stronger.  It’s intriguing, addicting, and entertaining – everything television should be.

There are many reasons why you should watch Bates Motel.  Here are five.

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Ahhhhhhh!


Usually when someone dies, they don’t come back.  Unfortunately for poor Wilhelm, his death scream lives on in Hollywood legend.  His death bite pops up in the most hysterical places – like Disney’s Aladdin.  

I love people who have too much time on their hands and put together YouTube compilations like this one:

 

 

We’ve [still] Got it Going On

My longest relationship ever has been with five boys:  Howie, Brian, Nick, Kevin and AJ.  We’ve been together for 16 years and well, I want it that way.

In honor of BSB being inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame yesterday, I just want you to know that no one else comes close to them.  They’ve never broken my heart, and give me all they have to give.  We get down when the DJ keeps playing that song.  In this weird world, they’ll go anywhere for me because Darlin’, they’ve got it goin on.

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Congratulations to the Backstreet Boys on 20 years of awesome music.  Looking forward to your new album and the tour!

Dead Ringer for Love

After how insanely stressful last week was, I thought we could all use a pick me up.

I hearby dub this music video “In which Meatloaf successfully picks up a sassy Cher in a bar  because men and women need more than Rock n Roll and brew.”

Roar.