Thursday, July 30, 2009

Movie Song of the Week: “The Parisians”

I have no real explanation why I'm posting this number from 1958's Gigi. I just happen to like the song. And hey, whoever knew Leslie Caron could speak Spanish so well?

As for the Parisians she sings about, well, I can't pretend I understand them either. It's as if they spoke some kind of foreign language...

I hope you all enjoy this.

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Movie Quote of the Week

What have these South Americans got below the equator that we haven’t?
--Mary Kornman, Flying Down to Rio (1933)

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TV Quote of the Week

What are you talking about, 99? We have to shoot and kill and destroy. We represent everything that's wholesome and good in the world.
--Don Adams, Get Smart, “Island of the Darned”

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Fantasy Quote of the Week

Naturally I do, but as I have already proven to you, I make mistakes like the next man. In fact, being -- forgive me -- rather cleverer than most men, my mistakes tend to be correspondingly huger.
--Dumbledore in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

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Science Fiction Quote of the Week

Beauty is almost wholly a matter of fashion; what is beautiful today would have been grotesque a couple of generations ago and will be grotesque a hundred years ahead. It will be worse than grotesque; it will be outmoded and therefore faintly ridiculous.
--Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore, “Vintage Season”

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My Love Life Explained in One Movie Still


Or at least it would be if my former bride-to-be wasn't a brownette.

That said, I'm not adverse to dating women who don't look anything like Ms. Kelly and Ms. Jurado but for some reason, the powers that be keep steering me away from them and towards Latina brunettes and white non-Hispanic blondes.

Except for the exception I mentioned above...

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Things You Aren't Supposed to Mention If You're a White Non-Hispanic

1. The relative who is a drug addict.
2. The relative who is an alcoholic.
3. The relative who is a hidden alcoholic.
4. The relative who is a deadbeat dad.
5. The relative who is an adulterer.
6. The relative who conceived a child out of wedlock.
7. The relative who had an abortion.
8. The relative who arranged an abortion.
9. The relative who is an ex-con.
10. The relative who married outside of his or her religion.
11. The relative who married outside of his or her race.
12. The relative who is a wife beater.
13. The relative who is a drug dealer.
14. The relative who is a bisexual.
15. The relative who is a closet homosexual.
16. The relative who is an uncloseted homosexual.
17. The relative who is an ex-stripper.
18. The relative who is currently employed as a stripper.
19. The relative who is an ex-prostitute.
20. The relative who is currently employed as -- you get the idea.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Movie Song of the Week: “I Got Life”

From the 1979 movie Hair, it's actor Treat Williams adding new meaning to the term “table dancing.” Of course, nowadays, it seems like even actual table dancers don't dance on tables like Mr. Williams does, but that's probably more information than most of you would like to know.

And yes, the song “Let the Sunshine In” from the same movie would be a more obvious choice, but then I don't always try to be obvious.

I hope you all enjoy the song.

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Movie Quote of the Week

What’s a bathing suit?
--Anne Francis, Forbidden Planet (1956)

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TV Quote of the Week

Who am I to be squeamish about something out of the ordinary?
--Anna Paquin, True Blood, “The First Taste”

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Pop Song of the Week: “Making Love Out of Nothing at All”

It's getting harder and harder to find 80's videos that are available for embedding so this will probably be the last one I post for a while.

I'm not really a big Air Supply fan but I always thought this video was cute and of course, Jodi Russell -- who plays the wife of one of the musicians in both this video and real life -- is very easy on the eyes.

If nothing else, the video deserves some credit for coming up with the idea of moving photographs long before the Harry Potter movies came up with it. Plus I'm a sucker for cheesy merry-go-round shots.

I hope you all enjoy it.

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Science Fiction Quote of the Week

I smiled to myself. Sure it was, but can you sell the people on anything as abstract as conservation? Hell no. Tell ‘em they’ll save credits, tell ‘em they’ll get better service, and you’ve got ‘em signed up already. But tell ‘em they’re saving their grandchildren from a serious shortage and they’ll laugh in your face.
--Anthony Boucher, “Robinc”

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Belated New Year's Resolutions

1. Always finish what I sta

2. Always will try to used good grammar.

3. Never mispall a word.

4. And above all, always proofreed.

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

R.I.P. Walter Cronkite

Former CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite, once known as "the most trusted man in America," died Friday at age 92.

His death marks the passing of the last of the old school TV journalists.

I fear we won't see their like again within my lifetime.

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Movie Song of the Week: “Now You See It, Now You Don't”

From the 1942 film This Gun for Hire, it's Veronica Lake (the original Jessica Rabbit) giving us all an economics lecture. (Edited to add: Oops! Please check here for the official inspiration for Jessica Rabbit.)

I hope you all enjoy it.

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Movie Quote of the Week

Don’t tell me it’s subversive to kiss a Republican!
--John Lund, A Foreign Affair (1948)

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TV Quote of the Week

I may not know who I am but at least I know who I’m not.
--Eliza Dushku, Dollhouse, “Omega”

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Science Fiction Quote of the Week

The next time you see a particularly attractive young person undulating along across the street, and you wish that she was wearing a whole lot less, just remember that you are but the victim of yet another wretched government plot.
--Leo Frankowski, The Fata Morgana

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Nonsequential Links VI

Here we go again...

Lust can make you do extremely stupid things, but it takes true love to really motivate you to screw your life up.

After all, to go up, up, ever upwards—isn’t that the fantasy everyone’s had at one point or another, in childhood or beyond?

It's a place, in the INS reporter's words, where "fixed incomes" battle "galloping inflation."

There's no mystery as to how he rose so high: He hires talented people and sucks the life out of them.

Interestingly enough, the movie with the most original story this summer was digitally created, so it's not the technology that's to blame. It's the lack of imagination.

Hell, if you look at this divorced from prior knowledge of who this character is supposed to be, it looks as though The Authorities have sought Holmes' help primarily for his martial-arts and acrobatic skills.

Hey, Mike, go spend a day in the Brooklyn shipyards and get a little PERSPECTIVE, man.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Drag Me to Hell -- But Don’t Pick on That Guy Because, Hey, He’s Cool


Ay, Dios. There are probably a dozen things I could say about the new Sam Raimi movie Drag Me to Hell. And if you haven’t seen it yet, you might want to skip the rest of this post right now and come back after you’ve seen it. It’s a very good movie, I assure you, and I suspect it will be a very popular rental around Halloween. Besides, if you continue, you’ll come across some potentially spoilerific plot details which would be best viewed by people who have already seen the movie.

Anyway, there are some disturbing elements in this movie that deserve discussion. And if I had to pick the most disturbing aspect of the movie, it would be this: The way it continually hints that the one thing that assures the movie’s doomed protagonist a fate worse than death is not her ruthlessness -- but her lack of it.

Stop and think about it.

The whole movie revolved around a poor farm girl named Christine Brown (played by Alison Lohman) trying to make it in the banking industry who one day failed to grant a loan extension to the wrong person -- an old gypsy lady -- and promptly became the victim of a gypsy curse. The curse involved a demon called the Lamia -- odd name for a Romany entity, but I digress -- which would take poor Christine to Hell within a few days if it was not defeated or appeased.

Christine hired an exorcist to defeat the demon but the exorcism ultimately failed. So she was faced with the choice of either embracing his hellish fate -- or else evading it by passing the paper on which the curse is written to another person and making it an official gift, a process which would ensure that the recipient of the cursed paper--and not Christine -- would receive the demon’s punishment.

Interestingly enough, Christine was next presented with not one but two opportunities to pass on the paper. One when she was talking to her boyfriend -- a guy who admitted to being willing to do anything for her. And two when she talked to a rival bank clerk who had been undermining her. A man who was perhaps even more worthy of punishment than Christine but ultimately spared by Christine’s own conscience.

Now it could be argued that fate saw to it that Christine never could have passed on the cursed gypsy paper even if she had wanted to. But up until the shock ending occurred, poor Christine didn’t know that. All she knew was that her giving away the cursed paper would save her -- and condemn its recipient to Hell. The fact that she tried to give it away anyway didn’t make her a nice person, of course. But the fact that she ultimately chose not to do so to her worst enemy did. As did the fact that she didn't even try to talk her loyal boyfriend -- the one who would have done anything for her -- into taking it.

Or did it?

Director Sam Raimi never settled the question of whether or not Christine’s character was a good or bad person (though he did give us abundant evidence to support either interpretation) -- and all we ultimately have to go by in judging her are her actions.

Nor does it help that the dice was ultimately weighed against Christine by the fact that she is given little choice but to commit evil acts if she is to survive. The demon cared little about Christine’s desire to make amends and indeed, made even her most evil attempt to save herself -- apart from the paper giving, of course -- seem futile.

Plus there is the fact that Christine was a small fry where she worked. It was unlikely that she was the first person in that bank to turn down a loan extension to a sympathetic person and indeed, her sin seemed minor compared to the type of sins that have been making financial headlines as of late. It could be argued that she nevertheless knew better -- but still the movie appears to be asking us to condone a system of supernatural justice in which a person who commits the financial equivalent of jaywalking ends up losing her life -- while people with far worse crimes on their conscience get off scot-free.

I suppose it comes down to who you know and who you don’t know. Which might have been Ms. Brown’s trouble all along. It was established early on in the movie that she was an outsider -- a country girl still in the process of adjusting to the big city who was still insecure about many things, including her chances for promotion and her current status as a rich man’s girlfriend. Because she was an outsider, it seemed a dark irony that she was ultimately punished by yet another outsider--the gypsy woman who originally gave her the curse -- for an act that “insiders” in the banking establishment undoubtedly committed every day.

So was justice ultimately done in the case of Christine Brown? The hell if I know.

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Monday, July 13, 2009

Quote of the Week

It is still relatively easier for Hollywood filmmakers to deal with someone suffering from schizophrenia than to deal with someone “suffering” from being Hispanic.
--Migdia Chinea-Varela

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Canciones de la Semana

“Amor Prohibido” -- Selena
“Cucurrucucu Paloma” -- Lola Beltran
“Las Mañanitas” -- Jorge Negrete
“Paloma Negra” -- Lola Beltran
“Te Aviso, Te Anuncio (Tango)” -- Shakira

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That's Funny. She Doesn't Look Latina

That's Funny. She Doesn't Look Latina: Parte I (Anita Page)
That's Funny. She Doesn't Look Latina: Parte II (Rita Hayworth)
That's Funny. She Doesn't Look Latina: Parte III (Raquel Welch)
That's Funny. She Doesn't Look Latina: Parte IV (Ginger Rogers)
That's Funny. She Doesn't Look Latina: Parte V (Joan Baez)
That's Funny. She Doesn't Look Latina: Parte VI (Catherine Bach)
That's Funny. She Doesn't Look Latina: Parte VII (Linda Ronstadt)
That's Funny. She Doesn't Look Latina: Parte VIII (Lynda Carter)
That's Funny. She Doesn't Look Latina: Parte IX (Charisma Carpenter)
That's Funny. She Doesn't Look Latina: Parte X (Yvette Mimieux)
That's Funny. She Doesn't Look Latina: Parte XI (Joanna Kerns)
That's Funny. She Doesn't Look Latina: Parte XII (Madeleine Stowe)
That's Funny. She Doesn't Look Latina: Parte XIII (Cristina Saralegui)
That's Funny. She Doesn't Look Latina: Parte XIV (Daisy Fuentes)
That's Funny. She Doesn't Look Latina: Parte XV (Lucie Arnaz)
That's Funny. She Doesn't Look Latina: Parte XVI (Daphne Zuniga)
That's Funny. She Doesn't Look Latina: Parte XVII (Mariah Carey)
That's Funny. She Doesn't Look Latina: Parte XVIII (Stacey Dash)
That's Funny. She Doesn't Look Latina: Parte XIX (Julie Brown)
That's Funny. She Doesn't Look Latina: Parte XX (Joanna García)
That's Funny. She Doesn't Look Latina: Parte XXI (Cameron Diaz)
That's Funny. She Doesn't Look Latina: Parte XXII (Jamie-Lynn Sigler)
That's Funny. She Doesn't Look Latina: Parte XXIII (Alexis Bledel)
That's Funny. She Doesn't Look Latina: Parte XXIV (Aubrey Plaza)

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Thursday, July 09, 2009

Movie Song of the Week: “I Feel Pretty”

Why am I posting yet another song from West Side Story so soon after the last one?

Perhaps it's because my first girlfriend was named Maria -- just like the female lead character of this movie. Or because West Side Story won the Oscar for Best Picture of 1961 -- i.e. my birth year. Or because I think Natalie Wood is so darn pretty.

Or maybe because it is my blog -- and I don't trust anyone else on my blogroll to post this song.

Anyway, regardless of my reasons, I hope you all enjoy this.

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Movie Quote of the Week

Some people expect to be tortured, others are outraged by it.
--Ernie Kovacs, Our Man in Havana (1959)

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TV Quote of the Week

This ghost comes with the sunshine.
--Joanna Pettet, Night Gallery, “The House”

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Song Quote of the Week

What a drag it is, getting old.
--Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones, “Mother's Little Helper”

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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Sigh

I found out yesterday that Mi Mejor Amiga -- the woman who once saved my life -- has been diagnosed with diabetes. Ironically, I found out the same day she and I celebrated my most recent birthday.

I'm still trying to process the news and I'm praying that she'll be all right. She has already made plans to change her diet and her exercise routine but... We'll see.

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Tuesday, July 07, 2009

That's Funny. She Doesn't Look Latina: Parte V



Joan Baez (1941 - ), folk singer born of Mexican and Scottish parents. Most famous for her cover of the Band's "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down."

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Literary Quote I Like

Look, kid, don’t try to label things. Words foul you. You call a guy a printer or a lush or a pansy or a truck driver and you think you pasted a label on him. People are complicated; you can’t label 'em with a word.
--Ambrose Hunter in Fredric Brown’s The Fabulous Clipjoint

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You Write Sixteen Posts...

What do you get? Another year older and deeper in debt.

Well, at least another year older.

And yes, I'm aware that I did write more than sixteen posts between now and last July but for some reason, "you write umpteen posts..." didn't sound right.

Anyway, it was my birthday yesterday and as you might guess, I took the day off from blogging. I'll probably be celebrating with various friends and relatives this week but I will try to post something from time to time.

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Saturday, July 04, 2009

Canción de la Semana: “Las Mañanitas”

The traditional Mexican birthday song, sung by my late father's second favorite singer, Jorge Negrete. (I could have posted one by his first favorite singer, Pedro Infante, but I couldn't find a version with which I was satisfied.)

It's my late father's birthday today and I'd like to think he would like this.

By the way, there will be no movie song of the week this week. Maybe next week.

Anyway, I hope you all enjoy this.

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Movie Quote of the Week

If I'm to hear myself called an Englishman, sir, I assure you I prefer I'd remained asleep.
--Howard Da Silva, 1776 (1972)

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TV Quote of the Week

Mr McGee, your newspaper is only interested in reporting murder, rape, horoscopes, UFO's and Farrah Fawcett. I don't happen to fit into any of those categories and I don't wish to be interviewed.
--Bill Bixby, The Incredible Hulk (1977) (TV Movie)

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Friday, July 03, 2009

No, Pamela Sue Martin Was the Real Lady in Red



Contrary to what you might have heard from other sources.

Seriously, folks, the flick pictured in the poster above is a good movie, although you hardcore Johnny Depp fans might prefer a more recent flick.

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Thursday, July 02, 2009

R.I.P. Karl Malden

Karl Malden, star of the 1954 Oscar-winning movie On the Waterfront and the TV series The Streets of San Francisco (not to mention endless American Express card commercials), passed away yesterday at the age of 97. He won an Oscar for a supporting role in 1951's A Streetcar Named Desire, but oddly enough, his last role was as a priest in the TV series The West Wing. (His most famous movie role, of course, involved his role as a priest in On the Waterfront.)

He will be missed. And no doubt giving all the Terry Malloys up there one last pep talk...

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Wednesday, July 01, 2009

That's Funny. She Doesn't Look Latina: Parte IV


Just kidding.

The actress pictured isn't actually a Latina. She just happened to be dressed that way for a movie role.

I must confess that it would be nice if she was. But the way she was in real life is nice too.

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Pensamientos Acerca de Televisión

True Blood: “Strange Love”

This show is all about the South and how weird it is down there. (Sounds almost Freudian, doesn't it?) Okay, actually it's about Louisiana -- or to be more accurate, a Hollywood screenwriter's version of Louisiana -- and how weird it is down there. At least, that's the impression one gets from the show's opening credits.

To be fair, the show is also based on a series of novels written by Southern author Charlaine Harris about a telepathic waitress named Sookie Stackhouse and her various supernatural acquaintances. Not the easiest type of material to depict in a believable fashion and it's to the show's credit that the lead character looks more sympathetic than ridiculous. However, producer Alan Ball of Six Feet Under fame can't resist taking a more sensationalistic approach to the material than Ms. Harris did -- for example, he never resists the opportunity to show off yet another unclad female body -- and I'm not quite sure I appreciate the “improvement.”

However, Anna Paquin makes for a believable Sookie Stackhouse and Stephen Moyer does a fair job of depicting her vampiric future novio, Bill Compton. Moreover, as a fan of Ms. Harris's work, I'd like to think that the TV series has as much potential as the book version has had thus far.

So for now, I'm keeping my fingers -- ahem -- crossed.

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Pensamientos Acerca de Televisión

Torchwood: “Everything Changes”

It's the episode that started it all. The one that introduced us to Welsh police officer Gwen Cooper and the whole Torchwood crew. The episode that first introduced us to the idea that Captain Jack Harkness could be a lead character in his own right instead of just a supporting one in various Doctor Who episodes.

I'm not quite satisfied with every element of this episode. Indeed, I found the scene in which one character uses an alien substance to change another character's mind about sex to be especially disturbing. (And yet the show's writers try to depict that incident as just another wacky sex stunt and not a thinly veiled form of date rape.)

However, I can see why the show has so many fans. And thus far I managed to make it to the second season without getting so impatient with the series that I stopped watching altogether.

If only the show didn't try so hard to convince us all how different it was from the Doctor Who series it spun off from. After all, the harder -- no pun intended -- the show tried to convince me that it was more adult, the more adolescent it seemed. Almost as if it aspired to be the type of science fiction show that Boston Legal creator David E. Kelly would write if he ever decided to write a science fiction show.

And that's not a good thing.

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