Moments of escape can be moments of clarity!

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

Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Hardy Yee-Haw and a we are not alone!!

I feel like I have died and gone to heaven, my two favorite genres in a Mash-up! Wonderful!!
So, you've probably guessed my Reel of the week is "Cowboys & Aliens" .  First show of the first day as usual.    

The film takes place in Arizona in 1873. A man , played with steely magnificence by Daniel Craig. Wakes up in the desert with no memory and a strange device attached to his wrist. Unbeknownst to him he is Stagecoach robber Jake Lonergan. He eventually falls into the hands of the town sheriff (Keith Carradine), but Colonel Dolarhyde, played crustily by Harrison Ford, wants his gold back so since he owns the town lock, stock and barrel he is determined to have his way.  Their Tug of War is interrupted by strange lights in the sky, explosions and people being pulled into the air by lasso-like steel ropes. Colonel Dolarhyde's son is amongst the taken. Jake's hand device seems to have a mind of it's own and seems to be the only weapon that can kill the invaders.So the town has to unite, to fight this common enemy. Jake's strange weapon seems to interest another stranger, Alice, played badly by Olivia Wilde, who seems to have only one facial expression. I think it's saying: "I can't act worth shit, but look at me aren't I sexy" I'm not sure who the target audience for the useless sexual tension scenes were, (teenage boys?), but I for one as an audience member, went to "Cowboys & Aliens" for just that "Cowboys & Aliens" So to quote Michael Bolton I wanted to get "Back to the good part".

What I loved most about C & A was the fact that each story could stand on it's own. It was a great Sci-Fi story and a great Western. I was so happy to see my NDN's. Adam Beach held his own in every scene with Harrison Ford, who was at his grizzled best. Adam's last scene brought tears to my eyes. Kudos to David Midthunder and Moses Brings Plenty.I just wish the NDN character's were given names instead of warrior # 1 or Apache #2.  C & A was full of everything that makes a great western and everything that makes a good Alien Flick. The Aliens scared the crap out of me, which I loved. C&A was pure indulgence,like licking my favorite ice cream cone (coconut) while it's dripping down my arm...delicious!!!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

"The Past Is Never Far From Us!"

My Reel of the week is 1991's "Paris Trout" based on the novel of the same name, written by Pete Dexter.
 I read the novel about 15 years ago. I was happy to see that the screenplay was written by Mr. Dexter so it retained the vision of the novel. I can't tell you how many times I have read a novel and found the screen adaptation so far removed from the novel as to be totally unrecognizable.  A perfect example was the adaptation of Robert Ludlum's  "The Bourne Supremacy" I urge all who saw the movie, but did not read the book, to read it.  I swear you , it will not bring even a second of deja vu.

Sorry, I digress. Back to "Paris Trout" The story takes place in Cotton Point,  Georgia shortly after WWII.  The title character is played by Dennis Hopper in what I think is one of his finest performances. He is so convincingly loathsome I found myself  giving him a piece of my mind out loud.
Paris runs the General Store in town, which means he pretty much runs the town. One day he goes to the Black part of town to collect a "Debt". He takes the law into his own hands,  resulting in the murder of  Rosie Sayers (Darnita Henry) a twelve year old .
His wife Hanna (Barbara Hershey) is longing to do the right thing and break free, but is trapped by violence and fear.  Harry Seagraves (Ed Harris) is Paris's  Attorney. He is fully entrenched in the "Rules" of the South, but battles with the ghost of Rosie and his growing attraction to Paris's wife.  The lives of Rosie, Hanna, Harry and Paris collide with Horrific results for all.

This movie haunted me, as did the novel.  I can't say it was a "good" movie in the same way as other movies I have reviewed. It's not the kind of movie that you pull out on a Saturday night , when someone says "Let's watch a movie", but that being said I believe this is an important movie.
When I watch a movie dealing with one of America's two Holocaust's (Black Americans & Native Americans), it touches that deep place of anger and pain.   It reminds me of how far we have come and how very far we have to go. We need to be constantly reminded, because that is the only was we can move forward.
So, as uncomfortable as  these  types of  movies are, they are a teaching tool, and a Remembrance to all who lost their lives fighting for dignity.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Bits & Bobs

Yes, I admit it, I've been a bit of a slacker. I have a good excuse... It's summer! Things are a little slow.
Ok, what's been going on?  The life of an actor continues. Last month I had a chance to audition in front of 20 film, theatre and production folk.  It was simultaneously scary, nerve-wracking and exhilarating. I was glad I did it, and glad when it as over. Now I wait for the jobs to come rolling in (the consummate dreamer).
The song writing is going well, there is always a plethora of material at my finger tips.
I start a new dance class next week. I plan to master African dance.  There is always room on ones' resume for one more thing.   I think summer and dance go together, the sun makes me feel like I can do anything.

Musically, I have been listening to Cat Stevens "Tea for the Tillerman". It's a great CD, and reminds me of one of my favorite movies. "Harold and Maude".  It makes me all smiley!!
The pages I'm turning bookwise are  John Connolly's "The Whisperers". Another great Charlie Parker novel. Can one be in love with a fictional character?  The way John Connolly writes them, you just can't help it.  I look forward to our time together. Is that strange... Don't answer that, I just want to continue on the road I'm on. Must go, can't keep Charlie waiting.
Reel of the week soon!   Also a bit of CM news. Thomas Gibson has signed a new contract. The cast and crew have returned to work. As I write they are filming episode 701. YEA! The new season begins September 21rst.  So we will have to be happy with season 5 on ION television until September or get out and enjoy the summer, I shall dance.