Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Cindy Crawford Is Not A Cougar, She's A Pussycat Post.

Although she said a while back that she doesn't like cats. Another reason I like her. This was over the weekend. Linda Evangelista and Naomi Campbell were there too, but not here. If you see what I mean... it's all about CINDY here!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The I Wish I'd Been There Post.

More than 650 people attended "Another Opening, Another Show," an all-star salute to television theme music held Thursday, Oct. 11 on the campus of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

The two-and-a-half-hour show featured clips from more than 120 different TV series dating back to the early 1950s, as well as live performances of classic TV themes and several stars introducing montages of great "main title" sequences through the years.

In addition, journalist and author Jon Burlingame – whose 1996 book
TV's Biggest Hits
chronicled this quirky genre of music – interviewed television composers Earle Hagen, Vic Mizzy and Mike Post, along with producer Steven Bochco, about the role of TV themes and the use of music in the medium generally.

Singer Monica Mancini, whose father Henry Mancini practically launched the TV-theme craze in 1958 with Peter Gunn, served as host. "We knew the names of the people who wrote the music for shows like Dynasty and The Fugitive and Bonanza," she said, citing the composers for those shows by explaining that "to the Mancini kids, Bill Conti and Pete Rugolo and David Rose weren't just names on the screen, they were the guys our dad hung out with."

Maureen McCormick of The Brady Bunch fame introduced the sitcom montage, as well as her former boss, Brady Bunch and Gilligan's Island creator Sherwood Schwartz, in the audience. And while the original Brady Bunch opening was projected on the big screen, with Schwartz's original lyrics appearing beneath the images, the entire audience sang The Brady Bunch theme to the 90-year-old producer.

The opening sequences for The Addams Family and Green Acres were screened, after which Burlingame introduced Mizzy, the composer of both iconic themes. He regaled the crowd with amusing anecdotes about shooting the sequences and directing the
Addams Family cast in the famous finger-snapping of the opening; and of coaching singer Eddie Albert and non-singer Eva Gabor in performing his Green Acres words and music.

Actor-singers John Schneider and Jean Louisa Kelly did a 10-minute segment devoted to live performances of classic TV theme songs. They dueted on "This Is It!", the theme from The Bugs Bunny Show, as well as Car 54, Where Are You?, Three's Company, the rarely heard vocal version of Bonanza and "Happy Trails" from The Roy Rogers Show.

Schneider soloed on "The Ballad of Jed Clampett" from The Beverly Hillbillies, I Love Lucy, Davy Crockett and The Dukes of Hazzard. Kelly sang Petticoat Junction and Welcome Back Kotter and wowed the crowd with a torch-song rendition of
The Mickey Mouse Club March.

Former St. Elsewhere costars William Daniels and Bonnie Bartlett introduced clips of great themes from medical and legal dramas; Mancini (subbing for an ailing Robert Conrad) introduced the Westerns segment and producer Steven Bochco introduced the cop and detective show montage.

Burlingame was joined onstage by Bochco and Mike Post for a discussion of their collaborations on Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, NYPD Blue and other series. Especially interesting were Bochco's recitation of the struggles involved with several different producers attempting to decide on a musical approach to L.A. Law – and Post's attempts to reconcile the idea of an all-percussion theme with another involving subway sounds for NYPD Blue.

Robert Vaughn, best known as Napoleon Solo on the seminal 1960s spy series The Man From U.N.C.L.E., was summoned from the audience to the podium by the original pen-communicator sound effect from that show. It was a 1960s flashback that the crowd loved. Vaughn saluted U.N.C.L.E. composer Jerry Goldsmith – who also wrote the themes for Dr. Kildare, The Waltons and Star Trek: Voyager – in his introduction to the segment on spy and action-adventure show themes.

Former Bionic Woman Lindsay Wagner quoted Rod Serling in her introduction to a montage of clips from science-fiction, fantasy and superhero shows. She mentioned John Williams' early career efforts in such Irwin Allen shows as Lost in Space and The Time Tunnel, and quipped that the Wonder Woman lyrics ("in your satin tights, fighting for your rights") were "the greatest in the history of television music."

Stacy Keach revealed a talent as a jazz pianist by performing "Harlem Nocturne," composer Earle Hagen's theme for his long-running Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer series, and then introduced a montage of great themes from drama and anthology shows, mentioning Bernard Herrmann's work on The Alfred Hitchcock Hour and the fact that Aaron Copland even wrote the theme for CBS Playhouse.

Burlingame brought Hagen to the stage after a medley of several of his long-running series: Make Room for Daddy, The Andy Griffith Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Gomer Pyle USMC, That Girl, The Mod Squad, Mike Hammer and I Spy. Hagen talked about his years as a composer in television, noting that he was the whistler on the Andy Griffith theme and pointing out that "I had never whistled before, and I've never whistled since."

Post surprised the veteran composer by returning to the stage (along with Academy Chief Operating Officer Alan Perris) to present Hagen with a special award from the Academy "for his pioneering work and enduring contributions to television music."

Emmy-nominated composer Ray Colcord, a governor of the ATAS music peer group, produced the event, from a script by his co-producer, Arthur Greenwald. Stan Beard was the musical director.

Thanks to the Film Music Society.

Friday, October 26, 2007

The More More MORE Post.

Feltz: Writers Joy Blake & Melissa Blake and director Lesli Glatter, for an unforgivable error (apart from all the scenes with Niki/Jessica, that is) in the otherwise quite good chapter five of volume two of Heroes, "Fight or Flight." I'll just copypaste my comments at the relevant post on Tonight We Make Soap: (Slight spoilers for anyone watching on BBC2 pace)

Dana Davis is fiiiine.

Kristen Bell is wonderful.

But neither of them can make up for the fundamental flaw of Monday night's new episode - good though it was, it was also
the first ever episode of Heroes with NO HAYDEN! And damn, I missed her (even if she would also bring along more of West) - Heroes without Hayden Panettiere is like The Simpsons without the Simpsons. It's like Dark Angel without Jessica Alba. It's like Hawaii Five-O without Jack Lord. It's like Angel with David Boreanaz. And so on. (Coincidentally, this episode was written AND directed by women. Hmmm.)

Cindy: Cindy.
This must be that fabulous-looking one Cindy shot earlier this year in Malibu (where thankfully her home reportedly didn't go the way of Sean Penn's trailer - let's hope Butch's friends in the area share her luck). And no, I don't speak Russian, but who needs to?

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Ratatouille Post.

Pixar's Cars was a bit of a disappointment, all told. So Ratatouille's indication that it was just a blip is a relief, as well as testament to Brad Bird's unwillingness to rush his movies (see the gaps between this, The Incredibles and The Iron Giant).

The movie works so well, even though I hate rats, because it skips so many of the obvious turns for something like this - if this had been from another company, mentioning no names (coughDreamWorkscough), you can bet that at some point we'd have heard Fergie or some such doing a version of "Rat In The Kitchen." This never happens here.

We also don't get emphasis on plot points you'd think would be of major, massive, climax-depending importance - when we hear about Linguini's link to Gusteau the expected ending (i.e. of his winding up owning the restaurant) does not come, and the expected romance between him and Colette is also not all that important to the movie... it's all about the food. And the characters.

It's funny but it's not really a comedy; Remy does look more cartoony than the other rats, but the movie never trades on his cuteness (and kudos to writer-director Brad Bird for having Remy communicate with Linguini without going the talking route), and though the animation's fabulous - the icing on the cake is the cel-animated end credit sequence - it never takes over the proceedings.

Add a rafter of marvellous voice actors (Patton Oswalt, Brian Dennehy, Ian Holm, Peter O'Toole, Janeane Garofalo, Will Arnett, Brad Garrett, John "No Pixar movie is complete without him" Ratzenberger...), throw in delightful Michael Giacchino scoring, and what have you got?

A gem.

Which only leaves the question of why this is illustrated with Monica Bellucci, Jessica Alba, Hayden Panettiere and Erica Campbell.

Simple. I still hate rats...

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Rules, People, RULES Post.

Sexy supermodel Cindy Crawford snapped at a fan during a signing session in Dallas, Texas recently - when he asked her to autograph a copy of men's magazine Playboy. The bold fan took his copy of the 1998 Playboy, which featured nude shots of Crawford - and asked the model to sign away. But Cindy was far from amused, according to the National Enquirer, and she stopped the session - at Bachendorf's jewellery store - there and then. A fellow fan says, "Cindy was furious." Sources tell the publication that Crawford was told she'd only be signing promotional pictures of her wearing an Omega watch she was there to promote, and when she was handed the Playboy spread she was surprised. The fan adds, "Security promptly threw the fan out." An event spokesperson confirms the incident, explaining the model was put in an awkward position after all fans were told she would only sign authorised photographs, provided at the event.

People can be sooooooooooooooo STUPID!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Cindy For Movieline Post.

Cindy at an event for Movieline this past weekend (the 4th Annual Hollywood Style Awards, if you must know), dazzling as ever. Here she is with Mr. Lucky:

With Vanessa Minnillo, the latest to ignore the rule about never standing next to Cindy Crawford even if you're a genuinely hot woman (a rule also broken by Teri Hatcher that night):

And Cindy by herself, just as nature intended. In a picture context, anyway.

Monday, October 08, 2007

The Book Post.

Season Finale: The Unexpected Rise And Fall Of The WB And UPN is the tale of, well, the rise and fall of the WB and UPN, paving the way for the CW and the hatred of Everwood fans everywhere. Expect me to talk about it more when I get a copy, but in the meantime read a review here.

Expect to hear a lot about Charmed, wrestling, Joss Whedon and 7th Heaven. Expect no explanation for the existence of The Wayans Bros. Or the Wayans bros.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

The Playmates Are People Too Post.

One of the things that being a girl-crazy lifelong singleton has taught me is that it's always fun to see a little more of women who strip off for cameras. Not in that sense, you creep; in terms of internally - it helps remind you that they're people just like the rest of us. Sometimes it's hateful (like the Danielle Lloyd business), sometimes it's saddening (like Sharry Konopski's crippling) and sometimes it's life-affirming (like Rebekka Armstrong not letting HIV ruin her life). And sometimes it's... amusing.

One fan in Steve Sullivan's group (see below) posted images of Playmate/actress Carrie Stevens, and as well as being blown away by the shots it led me to her website, and her blog. I love things like that; Carrie reminds me more of Erica Campbell than Naomi Campbell, and that's A Good Thing. A Very Good Thing. Just for that, this post has a link to HotMomsClub.

And that's not what it sounds like either. Think people, not perving. Just for a change. :)

Saturday, October 06, 2007

The Man, I HATE The Postal Services Post.

So as well as yet another thicko with no concept of patience moaning about Heroes and giving students a bad name, I'm tired. Cross and tired is not a good combination.

And there seems to have been something wrong with post from the continent... I should have gotten a letter from the Cineworld people about my Unlimited card long ago, but nothing. I've got an eBay-bought magazine with Cindy due, and Quigley Down Under as well, but they're late. Damn post.

Monday, October 01, 2007

The October 1 Post.

High School Musical 2 isn't as much fun as the first one, because

1. There's too much Zac Efron;
2. There's not enough Vanessa Hudgens;
3. There's a bit too much emphasis on the story;
4. Once again there's no real reason for Sharpay to be counted as one of the crowd (unlike Ryan, who genuinely earns it);
5. It's not technically a high school musical this time around; and
6. The songs aren't, on the whole, up to the original.

But will I watch it again? Yes, because it still succeeds in leaving a nice warm fuzzy. And because Vanessa is still... you know. :) Even if she is the world's worst lipsyncer.

And now, if YouTube doesn't screw up, the Queen.