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Naked Hollywood (1991)
Also Known As Hollywood 101
I'd seen this on TV in 1991 and didn't see the entire series. The parts I remember though were the difference between James Caan and Arnold Swartznegger. James being the Artist, Arnold being the Entrepeneur. I never thought of actors being like that before, but I guess it was in the back of my mind when I was watching it realizing how much sense it made to me. It's the type of mini-series that should be in the library of every film-making school. I wonder if it's on DVD anywhere or some specified library in anyone's town? I'd love to see it again just because it was so fascinating and insightful. I look at this and wonder what kind of actor I am and what kind I want to be. I suppose most actors would rather be James Caan while the viewing audience would like to be Arnold.
Hotel Babylon (2005)
Not a Bad Show, Good Performances.
At the suggestion of a friend of mine, I was encouraged to watch this new show that might turn into a TV series called, Hotel Babylon. The premise is that of some land immigrants who work at a hotel and how they deal with daily occurrences and personality clashes. So, I sat down, taped the show and after it was over came to my own conclusion: it wasn't that bad. I'll admit, it started off slow in the beginning but picked up some speed before the end. One thing stood out though: the characters were strong, especially that of Awaovieyi Agie, portraying a Maintainence Man who was a cop in his native land. I hope to see more of his performances in the future, whether or not this show becomes a series.
The Woodsman (2004)
I'd only heard a little bit of this film and read a review in a local newspaper, so my curiosity dragged me to see it. During the film, I hated and sympathized with Walter, squirming in my seat, knowing full well what trauma he'd inflicted on some young lives. If Walter was someone I'd known in real life, I wouldn't associate with him. Or maybe I would, just to gain a better understanding of him. Most of the time, a pedophile is imagined as a monster and we see him as visually different from "normal" people, meanwhile Walter blended right into society. If I didn't know there was a Walter sitting with me on the same bus, or standing in line at the grocery store, or living in the same neighborhood as I, I would never identify him as a threat to young girls. This movie brings out the humanity in the type of person we don't want to see as human. All the actors, especially Kevin Bacon, did a fabulous performance. I hope more people see this film.
Hollow Reed (1996)
The Message Was Clear.
Oliver Wyatt [Sam Bould], who's at the centre of this drama, felt he would bring on more drama and feel blamed, coupled with the abuse he put up with if he expressed his feelings about it. Martyn Wyatt [Martin Donovan], who's the ex-husband and father to Oliver, battled discrimination from his wife and the court system to save his son. Tom Dixon [Ian Hart], Martyn's boyfriend, who stood by helplessly yet made the occassional attempt, ended up even more frustrated. Hannah Wyatt [Joely Richardson], who was torn between a possible failed relationship with her current boyfriend and the welfare of her son. Frank Donally [Jason Flemyng], the one who's oblivious to his treatment of the boy and trapped wrestling his own demons. All well-played roles by fine actors.
Inside the Actors Studio (1994)
Save Your Money On Acting Seminars & Watch This.
I can sit in my living room yet feel like an audience member learning from this show. Here, the interviewed actor/director/writer feels liberated enough to reveal a relaxed side of themselves: There's always a golden nugget of info the actor shares with us. Actors should watch this with a pad and pen ready for note-taking. I don't know about the general public, but most aspiring/struggling/starving/working/professional actors who watch this show will toss away the idea of attending seminars to absorb the info being spilled here. Why read a book on acting when you can hear Julianne Moore talk about how she approaches a roll? Most viewers have their favorite interview: The best actors are the most educational ones while the rest are entertaining. I like James Lipton's approach to the actors. How else can he get the actors to relax and spill their guts? If I want hard-hitting journalism, I'll watch 20/20 for that. All I want is more info on what could make me a stronger performer, not this person's sexual preference or how many times they've checked into rehab: I'm not interested in the gossip and I'm thankful this show isn't about that.
The L Word (2004)
"Let Them All See This!"
I was in anticipation of this show, ever since I heard of it way back in 2002. Finally, it pops up on the dish and I wasn't disappointed. You've got to love the insight of what goes on with these women's lives. It's good to see Jennifer Beals and Pam Grier working again, and to discover some fresh new (to me) faces that'll no doubt be noticed. The show was neither pornographic nor too talky. If the worry that straight men will watch this for their own "pleasure", then the more viewers the better, I say: keeps the show on the air. All sorts of people should appreciate this show, but some won't dig this, as 'to each his/her own'. I hope to own this series on DVD in the near future, and I hope this get a world-wide release rather than restricted to Showtime (hint, hint).
The Chosen Family (2002)
Hopefully, At An Art-House Cinema Near You.
There's a line that Margaret (Morgan Brayton) says to her brother Ewin (Dmitry Chepovetsky) about coming out. "Life still sucks. It's just queer and it sucks". The mock-umentary part of the film is about documentary filmmaker Faith (Farrell Spence) who is interviewing Margaret with her ex-girlfriends, meanwhile the story behind it focuses on Margret's biological family. After her sister Christine (Colleen Wheeler) divorces and comes out of the closet, Margaret predicts that her other brother Emmett (Tyler Tone) will come out next, but an ironic twist pops out of nowhere. In all this, Margaret is still looking for her next girlfriend, dealing with the people in her life making it difficult for her to live the way she wants to, all while volley-balling the bouquet at a wedding. It's fresh, funny and enjoyable. It may have breezed through a film festival in your town, but if you find it playing at an art house cinema, catch it if you can.
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
The Best Chick Flick Ever!
Fine, you can see this flick because it was directed by Quentin Tarantino. You can see it because of the hype that typically follows his name. You can see it because of your appreciation for Swords and Martial Arts, but some of you will see it for the revenge theme that it is. I know that everyone on this planet gets screwed at some point in their lives, but the hero for this story is a nameless woman, who sets out to "Kill Bill", the one who almost killed her. How many women have thought of avenging a wrong-doing in the name of dignity and self-respect? For those of you who have a strong stomache, for those of you who get a twinkle in their eye at the thought of combat, this'll turn you on. I was worried that the public would label this a chick flick, but hardly anyone mentioned that phrase at all. Maybe that's my issue to deal with, but I'm glad this movie is only appreciated for its style and action sequences, as I have. I'm seeing this film again! I can't wait for it to come out on DVD, and I can't wait for KB.V2!
My Two Loves (1986)
Scenes I Remember From Way Back When.
*************************SPOILERS************************* Gail Springer (Mariette Hartley)seeing a therapist, asking,"Am I a lesbian? Am I bisexual? Am I straight? What am I?"; Gail meeting up with both Ben (Barry Newman)her male date and Marjorie Lloyd (Lynn Redgrave), her female date and when the two dates were left together at a table, Ben was being rude and bigoted towards Marjorie; Gail tearfully breaking up with both Ben and Marjorie to sort out her feelings; Gail entering her daughter's room to tell her what's been going on with her, only Amy (Sara Inglis) is distracted, listening to her Walkman, so when Amy realized her mom wants her attention, Gail smiles and says,"Nothing", and you know everything will be fine, that she's got this inner conflict under control. I'd give this movie a 6.5 out of 10.
Life and Times (1996)
Who's Who In Canadian Talent.
This is the show that every Canadian should watch on CBC Television. It's also the show that those outside of Canada should watch to see what kind of talent is flourishing here. The world is overwhelmed by American celebrities, so the talent we have here isn't given the attention they deserve, especially when the viewing audience realizes that the actor they've admired hails from North of the 49th parallel. A few of my favorites have been: Ernie "Mr. Dressup" Coombs, Mary Walsh, Burton Cummings, The Royal Canadian Air Farce, Wayne & Shuster, Raffi and several others that have reminded me of our abundant talent pool. This is recommended viewing for all. Keep an eye out for this gem of a show.
I'm Not Blind, But.....
I went and saw this movie yesterday at the cheap theater and it wasn't bad. My thing about it is, if I were a blind person, would I appreciate this? I mean, it's based on a comic book, a very visual medium, then they make a movie about it, another visual medium. I can admire a person who overcame a catastrophe and used his heightened senses to defend himself=typical comic book hero ingredient. I can admire when despite hiding his shame and pity towards his dad, he'd want to avenge a wrong-doing done to him, but unless I were partially blind, would I see him as a hero? Would I post his poster on my wall? Write an article on how he changed my life? Would I be able to appreciate the creator's message? Maybe there's something I'm not seeing that a blind person could easily point out to me, exposing my ignorance. I'd have been more impressed if the actor were himself blind, but instead, a big name actor, who could see, was used to rake in more money at the box-office. I wonder......
A Thank You Letter To The Beastie Boys
Thank you for being the creative geniuses that you are.
Thank you for being my first DVD on Criterion.
Thank you for Intergalactic's spin-off, "The Robot vs. The octopus Monster Saga".
Thank you for including 2 discs and a reason never to leave my room again.
Thank you for License to Ill, Paul's Boutique, Check Your Head, Ill Communication, and all the other albums resulting from them.
Thank you for making my ears purr with delight listening to the many remixes by way-too-many DJ's to list.
Thank you for the out-takes on 'Body Movin' that were a scream.
Thank you for choosing Nathan Hornblower, Adam Bernstein, Evan Bernard, Tamra Davis, Ari Marcopoulos and David Perez to direct your videos, as well as Spike Jonze's commentary on the supplemental materials.
And thank you for the storyboards, the double-sided poster, photographs and subtitles to rap-along
In other words, thank you for this anthology and for allowing me to enjoy it.
For Those Still Not Getting the Message!
No matter how often you try to tell people about this soul-damaging violation, there's still boundless ignorance. This movie portrays one woman's quest for justice and the ignorance she had to fight through to get it. It's a hard movie to watch, since it was based on a true story, and she'll be labelled as a man-hating feminist, but she withstood all that, and the results helped the others come out with their testimony. For anyone who thinks they're immune to it, for those who think only certain women deserve/like it, for teachers who want a PSA to show their students, and to those who've been through it, it's a must see.
Oh, The Trauma!
I love Harvey Keitel as an actor, and I'd read a review of his performance in a magazine, so I thought I'd take a peak to judge for myself. After watching it though, it left a bad taste in my mouth. From that day to this, all that stands out is the rape scene in the bathroom and his demand for the other woman to take out her diaphram before he has sex with her. I wanted to enjoy his performance, but those scenes were too disturbing for me. I don't even remember what the movie was about, since the rest didn't leave an impression on me. Now, whenever I see him in anything else, those scenes get triggered in my memory, and I wait out the shivers it gives me. I'll get over it eventually. In the meantime, I'll watch his other films to wash out this one so I can sleep at night.
2gether: The Series (2000)
Are The Monkees and 2gether any different?
Whether you love'em or hate'em, boy bands are a reality. From the Beatles to O-Town, they are a staple to the music industry what beans are to rice. Mtv thought so, and decided to parody them in this formulaic recipe that's worked for record producers since The Monkees. No one should take this show too seriously, like the Backstreet Boys did. I find it hysterical to see the actor Kevin Farley in a band of cute young boys, which makes the joke even funnier as he attempts to sing and dance along with them, looking more like their dad than older brother. Alex Solowitz plays the bad boy very tongue-in-cheek, like a black guy stuck in a white guy's body. Evan Farmer is comfortable with his looks to parody the hunk stereotype without being too hammy or squeaky-clean. Noah Bastian has the comic wit to pull off the shy one, which really comes off as the dumb one without being irritating. Michael Cuccione was the sweetest one of the bunch, the kid brother who wanted to be accepted as a man, and was accepted for being who he was. The actors playing their managers lampooned the reality of our idea of producers. Since the passing of Michael Cuccione, the show ended 2 years ago, but I was fortunate enough to tape a majority of their episodes from late night tv. It was fun to be a background performer before the series aired, and I'll be watching my tapes now and then, just to laugh at the industry whenever I feel like it.
Love This Show!
I was fortunate enough to see the short film this was based on: "Heterosexuality". Then, an aquaintence gave me a VHS tape to keep, and that was "Metrosexuality". I loved sitting before the t.v. screen, watching the shenanigans of the characters weaving in and out of conflicts, the daily goings-on of life as a gay/lesbian/straight/parent/whatever person displayed humorously for my enjoyment. It only ran for several episodes, but it's superior to my tastes, and I hope it'll be for anyone who'll be fortunate enough to watch this.
The Watermelon Woman (1996)
Not On Any Syrup Bottle
There are hundreds upon thousands of lesbian movies, and the majority are labelled "Adult". Name one lesbian movie about black women that isn't pornographic? Watching this one was something I could relate to. Finally, a movie touching on black history, interracial attraction, stereotypes, and the fictional day-in-the-life of an aspiring film-maker. More original than most, speaking as a black woman. Excuse the bad technology, and you've got a story about a woman researching her black history and getting laid in the process! Maybe she couldn't get the rights to do "The Aunt Jemima Story". You know, that black maid who's face stared back at you from the pancake box, having gone through a few make-overs through the years? There's even a scene where Cheryl holds up movie stills of black actresses playing the usual slave/maid who become unknowns in the process. Well, this is one important movie for me, and I hope more people appreciate this as they listen to Cheryl's closing monologue. Now this movie deserves a remake!
Lesbian Love, For Sure!
I love watching movies, and often times, I ignore documentaries, because I feel they're too dry. You see, they try to educate you or inform you, and I want to be entertained. Well, this did all three! I was fascinated with the women's personal stories, and would often compare theirs to my own. It was insightful to here about life back then, dispelling others into thinking that it's some sort of trend (tsk, tsk!) or some other backwards idea. If you want to get cozy with a bowl of popcorn and lend your ear to some tales of long ago, if you're straight and disbelieve that older lesbians existed, if you want to rid yourself of ignorance to find out more than "what lesbians do in bed", if you want to see fiction mixed gracefully with true life stories, watch this. You may have met one of these fascinating women and not known it. I was at a bookstore, and I heard a familiar voice behind me, thinking it was someone I knew. I peaked behind me, and there stood the Native woman who appeared in it. I was excited, but did nothing about it. If I wasn't so shy, I might have thanked her for sharing her story and for being an inspiration to the younger generation who heard it.
The Brilliant Brandon and his Sidekick Philip.
After seeing this movie so many times, one thing occurred: The only reason Brandon had the party was to prove his own brilliance.
Brandon concealed Rupert's invite from Philip, until he casually let it out (the cheeky devil). He thought he was so composed, until Rupert showed up, then he was filled with fear and mischievious delight. Rupert caught on, eventually, coming back with an obviously made-up excuse, arousing Brandon even more.
When Rupert made the final discovery, however, he gave the boys a tongue-lashing. Philip felt bad for listening to Brandon, who felt bad he disappointed Rupert.
Rupert's harmless fiction turned into dangerous fact. He hated it so much, that he vented his self-disgust at the boys. He fired three shots out the window: Death to himself for conceiving it, to Brandon who planned it and to Philip who held the rope. I'll never get tired of the scene, where it looks as if Philip is serving David's flesh from an out-of-frame cabinet onto the dinner guest's plates! Hysterical!
Bedrooms and Hallways (1998)
Why I Loved This Film
I loved that the mood was light and airy. I loved that the lead character wanted guarantees about his future, and that his roommate sets him "straight" of all people. I loved that they tackled the dynamics of how the members in the men's group dealt with each other, considering this was directed by a lesbian,the whole theme of masculinity was put out there, ridiculed, dissected and questioned. What makes a man? What makes one straight, gay, or bisexual? You aren't really sure if our lead character has decided on who he really wants; he's living in the moment and thrown caution to the wind. These, and other reasons, make me love this film.
True Romance (1993)
Whenever I watch this movie, I have to get ready the mute button: that disgusting "N" word pops out of one of my favorite actors, and he says it more than once. The worst part of this scene, is that it's my favorite one(Rock/me/A Hard Place). Christopher Walken and Dennis Hopper are the best actors in this entire movie. Not to put down the others, but doesn't anyone disagree that that scene is their favorite one? My favorite quote:"...it's better to have a gun and not need it, than to need a gun and not have it". It rides along with that old boy scout motto: always be prepared, but Clarence's way has more lettering, and funnier. You forget that it's a romance until the ending, otherwise people focus on the violence and the profanity. Ridley Scott did a good job of handling Quentin's script (no comment on Oliver Stone's butchering of Natural Born Killers), but I want to see more of QT's direction, (and less of his acting). He'll use that disgusting "N" word, and we'll call him a genius, and I'll be venturing out to view his latest,"Kill Bill".
Three O'Clock High (1987)
Not on DVD?
It's too bad this isn't on DVD. I have this on VHS, so I still get to enjoy this teen-aged show-down. The actors look old enough to have their own young'uns, the shadow cast over the movie is what gives it it's style, and the fight scene took me back to Jr. High. I'm sure that somewhere, on this earth, there's an art house flashing this obscure classic on its tired and ratty screen. There may be a secret group that gathers at a designated basement somewhere, tucked away, squealing with delight at watching a teen cult classic, for the bazillionth time. Dare I say, this may be the part of the '80's that I'll preserve as a worthy memory. It still sticks in my brain. We all know of a Buddy Revell from our past, and how we dealt with it: fight or fright. Jerry was liberated when he made the final decision, and we supported him for it, mostly for ourselves. Those who didn't appreciate this gem were probably bullies themselves, or the tormentee who lost their battle. All I can say is that I hope your scars heal.