Moments of escape can be moments of clarity!

"Oh, had I but followed the Arts"-William Shakespeare

Sunday, March 27, 2011

An Aussie accented weekend

The Reel of the week was 1991's "Flirting" with Nicole Kidman, Thandie Newton and Noah Taylor.
To call it a coming of age film would do it an injustice. I'd describe it as a warm, funny, sensual and awkward slice of all our lives.
The story takes place in 1965, it's about those, horrible, wonderful high school years we all lived through. The back drop is an all girls boarding school in Australia. Nicole Kidman plays Nicola the head of the popular girl clique, with the other girls clawing and fawning and one upping each other. Vying for her favor.
Thandie Newton plays Thandiwe Adjewa a new student from Uganda and the only Black girl. (It was back when Thandie Newton had good old fashioned Black girl Hair...What happened? Hollywood I think) Most of the girls fall over one another to make her life a living hell.
Across the Lake the all boys boarding school. Noah Taylor plays Danny Embling. The intelligent, stuttering butt of most of the other boys jokes. Jock Blair (Felis Nobis) is Nicola's male counterpart.
The two schools intermingle only at once a week dances. At one such dance is where Danny meets Thandiwe. They find in each others dare to be different attitudes a kindred spirit.
propping each other up and giving each other the strength to be who they are. Danny said it best when he said. "People wondered how Hitler got so many followers. It never surprised me."
The Film brought back some of my own discomfort with High School. The constant pull of intellect versus self-preservation. Thank God for intellect.

"Flirting" was a delightful film and an afternoon well spent.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Other worldly Sunday

First CAREER update Let's see I'm in rehearsals for my audiobook. Can I read a 258 page book for two days without losing my voice, we shall see. A paycheck tells me Hell yea.  My TV commercial is now a radio spot so CHA CHING I can pay my cable bill, I see more movie watching in my future. On a down note still waiting for my call from Edward Allen Benero to play an UnSub on "Criminal Minds".

The Reel of this week was 1997's "Contact" with Jodie Foster and Matthew McConaughey. Jodie Foster plays Ellie Arroway an astronomer who's curiosity was nurtured at a young age by her doting father, played by David Morse (I met him once when I was an extra in "The Langoliers" , not a movie I boast about, he probably doesn't either) Ellie is passionate about space and science, she meets Palmer (Matthew) who is passionate about faith and spirituality. This is all in a backdrop of the excitement of Carl Sagan's questions, what's out there beyond the Cosmos, are we alone, is there other intelligent life out there. Then there is the Military answer to that. If there is life out there, let's kill it and steal it's technology.

This was an early movie for Jodie Foster and it shows. I found her acting in this movie, refreshing. She was a much more open actor back then. She was able to let the audience in. I found as she got older her performances were good, but much more closed off, tighter, holding back emotion, even facially.
Matthew McConaughy on the other hand, has no fear and always gives a good performance. I was a little distracted  by the mullet and then the overly coiffed do, but was quickly brought back by the slow southern drawl.
I liked the character of Ellie, I was happily on her side and of course the ever cautionary tale that yes , the military always wants to take over everything and make it a weapon.
The payoff was a little disappointing but all in all not a bad Sunday distraction. to quote Carl Sagan "The Cosmos are also within us, we are made of star stuff"

Thursday, March 17, 2011

It was a TV night

I freely admit it, I love "Criminal Minds", but lately there has been a definite strain on the relationship. I mean I own Season 1-5, so it was a very serious relationship. The stories were smart, I enjoyed the little plot twists that happened every episode. Mostly I loved the dynamic between the main characters.Garcia and Derek, Hotch and Spencer, Rossi and Hotch, Emily and Garcia, JJ and Garcia, you get the picture. I was invested and loving every minute of it.
All of you who watch, know what happened next. It all went to shit. AJ cook got canned (JJ), they changed writers. The new writers seemed to not know the history of the characters. The stories lost the twists and turns, became more formulaic. Then CBS added insult to injury and we lost another character, which brings me to last nights episode. "Lauren".
It was the swan song for the character (Emily Prentiss) who was leaving. It involved undercover work, the IRA, revenge, flashbacks, BLAH,BLAH,BLAH. Don't get me wrong there were moments that I glimpsed a little of the old "Criminal Minds" Hotch at his Alpha male best (Love it), Garcia with her wit and tender heart, even a little Derek playing the "Angry Black man". The worst part is the new character played by Rachel Nichols, I can't even be bothered to remember her characters name. She is so woefully miscast it"s just sad. She's like a cardboard cut out, when she speaks it's like a distraction you just want her to shut up so you can get back to the story. I find myself changing the channel when she speaks. With the departure of Emily (Paget Brewster) We are left with one woman profiler.....cardboard girl (Sigh) Can Thomas Gibson's (Hotch) acting and hot alpha male looks keep me watching I'll have to wait and......Hey "Tabula Rasa" from season 3 is on ION gotta go! 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Gerry, The Pacemakers & A Georgy Girl!

This week I'll start off with what's happening in my Reel life.  Well the check is finally in the mail for a commercial I did in November (That's show biz..I guess) But on a happy note I landed my very first gig as a voice artist for audio books. I'm on my way, well I've actually been on my way for about 15 years, but hey I'm working and that makes me an...ACTOR.

Now for my review, I'm going to cheat and go back 2 weeks, just because the reels were so fun.  I decided to go for an old school weekend. I rented "British Invasion: Gerry & the Pacemakers" and "Georgy Girl" It was definitely a fun-filled evening. Watching Gerry & the Pacemakers do their thing kind of made me smile, no I DID smile. I mean they were in their late teens and early 20's, but seemed so much older. I was struck by the thought of how much fun they looked like they were having and wearing suits no less. The music was catchy, the lyrics relevant. They didn't seem to care about money or bling. The narratives were not about drama or drugs. They broke up because they stopped paying attention and doing the work so they dropped off into obscurity.

"Georgy Girl" was a funny, simple little story. It was really an ugly duckling story, although instead of longing for love, Georgy longed for a baby. Alan Bates was quirky and quite amusing, James Mason.... a bit creepy. It made me wish Lynn Redgrave was still with us. All in all I recommend both for an evening of toe tapping frivolity and Ferrying across the Mersey.  LaLaLaLa

Sunday, March 13, 2011

About me, and my movie of the week

First off, I love movies, TV and music, the arts color every aspect of my life. They paint pictures, provide background and change my mood on a daily basis. I created this blog to put down the thoughts that run through my head after I've seen a movie or watched a TV show or listened to a great (or not so great) piece of music.

I have been an actor for about 15 years, so this blog will contain snippets from my journey as an actor. that's always good for a laugh or some insight.

I watch a lot of movies, read a lot of books and listen to a lot of music. Every week I will talk about what I watched or listened to.

This weekend I went to see "Battle: Los Angeles"
It was like an amusement ride that scares the shit out of you and makes you a little nauseous, but you can't wait to go again.
Aaron Eckhart was perfect marine material, you rooted for him from the very beginning.
What I loved most was they took time for character development so it wasn't just body count. You got a chance to care about what happened to the characters.  The story was there and you wanted to be a part of it. Don't get me wrong their was plenty of edge of your seat excitement and incredible special effects. But I was involved in an actual story, unlike a previous alien movie which was just , well just bad. You know the one I'm talking about, yes 
"Skyline" which seemed to be written by drunken frat boys after a kegger. 
So back to Battle, the aliens were, well out of this world.  All the actors believed in what they were doing so we believed. I was rooting for them and they delivered.
One thing they probably didn't expect was it made you think about all the men and women serving in the armed forces all over the world who put their emotional and physical lives on the line every day.  We only wish they didn't have to.  Oorah!