Saturday, July 14, 2007
- I happened on Dracula 2000, which wouldn't have caught my interest except for that when I turned to it, it was in the midst of a sequence where first Omar Epps and then Christopher Plummer are brutally beaten by Dracula (who apparently has developed bullet-time powers). This is followed by a ludicrous spectacle involving Jeri Ryan threatening another woman, but I was too distracted by Ryan's fake fangs.
- ESPN Classic was airing a pair of episodes of American Gladiators, and I found myself rather inexplicably transfixed. Of course, the show makes no sense--are we supposed to be rooting for the "everyman" contenders, or "Your American Gladiators?" But the spectacle that is Atlasphere cannot be denied.
Also, I briefly wandered into a toy store, which rather inexplicably (and in poor taste) had a substantial selection of Chris Benoit action figures on display--it was clearly an act of obliviousness rather than active bad taste, but still, gave me the willies.
A few words on the sing-a-long 1776 itself -- they've got the bones of a great experience there, but it needs some work. For starters, parts of the film are just way too boring for the kids in the audience -- the Broadway-record twenty minutes of no-singing between "The Lees of Old Virginia" and "But Mr. Adams," plus the absolutely show-killing "Molasses To Rum" and John & Abigail Adams duets. But other aspects were great -- animal sounds, shouts of "Huzzah!" and all the new calendar dates, snoring loudly when Franklin slept, etc.
So what they ought to do is divide it into "family" and "grownup" performances. For the kids, edit out all the boring stuff from the DVD, use the narrator/host to explain what you're skipping, and add more (and less tacky) props for the kids -- something better than a plastic made-in-China 50-star flag, for example. And you can bring it down to and hour-and-a-half, easy.
And then the grownups can have their fun separately, and with this, we had some ideas:
- Whenever Josiah Bartlett of New Hampshire does anything, shout "What's next?"
- For Delaware's ailing Caesar Romney, "Hail Caesar!"
- For William Daniels as John Adams, do you go with Mr. Feeney or K.I.T.T. references?
- For each of Ken Howard's entrances as Thomas Jefferson, "Shadow!" would be appropriate. Either that or "Dump Sydelle!"
- Also, with the kids gone, there's more you can do with Jefferson's "lust" issues.
- That said, we're probably the only group that had people snapping to honor Edmund Burke's being quoted.
Friday, July 13, 2007
I don't know that the man's ever given a bad performance, though if I had to pick a favorite it's either Maurice "Snoopy" Miller in Out of Sight, as Sammy Davis Jr. in HBO's Rat Pack biopic or as Mouse in Devil in a Blue Dress, i.e. "the one where everyone noticed him for the first time." (Okay, I haven't seen Hotel Rwanda yet, which makes me both a bad moviegoer and a bad citizen of the world, nor have I read his book on the genocide in Darfur, but his continuing activism on genocide in Africa deserves to be recognized as well.)
(Also, try to watch this duet with Adam Sandler without cracking up.)
I just like Don Cheadle, and I am happy to see him get more leading roles. You?
Thursday, July 12, 2007
I'll be there, as will Matt, Kim, Phil and apparently a bunch of y'all. We'll figure out where we're going afterwards, afterwards. If you don't know what any of us look like, um, guess? (Or Google.) This'll be fun.
UK military spokesman Major Mike Shearer said: "We can categorically state that we have not released man-eating badgers into the area."Oh yeah. Denials just don't get much better than that.
And the working title? Badgermania? Lycanthrobadger? Lycanthrobadger II: Burrow of Blood?? For the love of Pete, somebody get Treat Williams' agent on the phone!
Tonight's results are going to come down to the solos in a pretty serious way -- there's no girl who really deserves to be sent home based on last night's performances. And if Cedric doesn't make the bottom three, I think Kameron is toast unless Lacey keeps him safe.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
But those Fideos. It eventually came out really well, but do not follow that recipe. The problem is step five -- it's impossible to fit a pound of dry (and toasted) pasta in a medium skillet along with a pound of clams and have both the pasta cook and the clams steam and open -- littlenecks maybe, but not these larger clams. It's a mess, and it really impaired my ability to get those clams steamed sufficiently. Next time, I'll just (par?)boil the capellini separately while preparing the clams, then combine them with the saffron-cream sauce in a casserole dish and complete it in the oven. Let me know if you try it.
Then, four teams of three, three dishes in each course, and a panel of elite diners in wacky semi-masonic scarves. Sadly, there was no pre- or post-prandial sing along, and the big question remained unanswered: what do they give each other the little medals for? (The scarves are here, actually, and the merit badges are on this page.) Anyway, tonight, Shrimp > Beef > Fish > Fruit.
Lessons from this week? Do what you do well, even if it’s not dessert. Taste your teammates’ food before it leaves the kitchen. And the big take away quote: “If you don’t know the basics, you can’t improvise.”
Also, what kind of edit is Casey getting here? I feel like I was just invited to hate her.
A certain porton of this site's readers have already clicked away to grab tickets.
It's not clear whether the music will come from the Broadway version of Footloose, or whether Zac will be doing his best Kenny Loggins impersonation, or -- most likely? -- whether the HSM scribes will churn out some new toe-tappy tunes specially for the occasion. (Although they could probably drop "Stick to the Status Quo" right into the middle of Footloose, at a nice non-denominational revival meeting somewhere.)
I'm reserving judgement on Efron as Ren until I see Hairspray, although my initial impulse is that he's missing a little bit of appropriate edginess for the role. But here's the more pressing question: how quickly do we expect Ashley Tinsdale to sign on for the Lori Singer role? The over/under is currently set at 3 days.
And am I crazy to read the subtext of Ratatouille as Pixar -- the rats in the house that Mickey Mouse built -- reaffirming the true mission of Walt Disney as Remy the rat reaffirms the values of chef Gusteau?Indeed, the real-world equivalent of Chef Gusteau's frozen burritos -- Disney's profitable-but-crappy direct-to-DVD sequel program -- has been scrapped under the new Pixar regime. The rats have won.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
If anything interesting happens tonight, this thread is open.
Monday, July 9, 2007
A few songs are cut that I miss from the original, but I'm not going to harp on it right now, though my favorite fourth-wall-breaking line does disappear from "Without Love" (which, if you know the musical, you know what I mean.) And that's because the overall movie is so positive, fun and catchy. You will smile. The dancing is energetic, and it's all done with a wink -- especially from Zac Efron's Link.
We can talk in more detail once it's released on July 20, but for now, just know that if you were looking forward to seeing the film, you'll be satisfied; and if you weren't, you should. And be sure to pay attention to a few nice cameos -- from the talent agents in the final scene, and a certain flasher who lives next door...
Related--yesterday's Times Op-Ed page featured 4 writers, including Meg Cabot, Lost EP Damon Lindelof, and former Simpsons writer Larry Clark, providing their own endings to the series. Interestingly, the most common plot point for them? That Voldemort is somehow an ancestor of Harry.
In addition, if you have any thoughts on where we should go afterwards (the event's at 3d and Chestnut), let us know. Since Jake & Oliver's closed, I have no idea where to go in Olde City.