Archive for the ‘entertainment’ Category

50 Shades of meh

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015
  • Now that the Superbowl’s done and over with, the latest media blitz involves the upcoming film version of the dreadful 50 Shades of Grey.

    Back in my much younger and stupider days, I had to finish every book I started. Then I wised up and realized life’s too short to waste on crap. All along, I’ve been a compulsive omnivorous reader.

    So when my sister came to visit raving about 50 Shades (which she picked up at the airport, after realizing she hadn’t packed her Kindle), I thought I should take a look.

    Oy vey.

    Opening sentence: “I scowl with frustration at myself in the mirror.”

    50(!) pages later, when pervy Mr. Grey hands the idiot girl a binding contract (all puns intended), I had enough of the crappy plot – if you want to call that a plot – and the execrable writing and returned the book to my sister, who by then was working her way through the second volume.

    OF COURSE, 50 Shades is a huge hit and they made a movie out of it. The previews hit theaters six months ago.

    The movie opens on Valentine’s Day. I truly can not understand why anyone would want to watch that on Valentine’s Day, of all times, but then bondage’s not my idea of a good time, let alone romance.

    Last week I was feeding my addiction to British murder mysteries as I watched The Fall, wondering where I had seen the guy before, something that happens often since British actors constantly pop up on murder mysteries: IMDB,
    The Fall,
    Jamie Dornan.

    So he’s Mr. Grey.

    I wonder if he got that part from having played the creep in The Fall.

    To get an whiff of the full 50 Shades aroma you must read Katrina Passick‘s review:

    Now I’ll be totally honest, the biggest issue I have with Fifty Shades of Shit is neither the sex nor the horrible writing. It’s the plot. Thin as it is, it’s still there, its core message being that, given enough time, you can change someone. While I don’t have any problem with this if all you’re trying to do is help them to lose weight or quit smoking, when you’re talking about an emotionally and (dangerously close to) physically abusive relationship, sending that kind of message is ridiculous and irresponsible. Christian is controlling, possessive, condescending, and cruel. He doesn’t allow Ana to behave as she normally would, and Ana just puts up with it, insistent that if she can give him what he wants, when he wants, as often as he wants, she can eventually begin to pull his strings. Will it work? In the books, probably. In real life? No. Almost never. How many misguided women are going to waste their lives on some emotionally retarded prick because they’ve read shit like this and think this kind of fucked-up fairytale will come true for them? I’ve known women with this mentality. “Oh, he’s so dark and dangerous and threatening, but he’s got a sad, lonely side, and if I could just figure out what’s wrong, I could change him!”

    Two restraining orders later, the lucky ones may figure out guys like that will never change – the others get a nice funeral, if any. My initial reaction from the book was, “Grey gets carried away, the girl’s dead, he dumps her on Puget Sound from his helicopter, end of story.”

    As you can see from the links above, I’m not above making a buck, so if you still want to join the buyers of the 100 million copies, knock yourself out and please buy through my links.

    Blogging on more serious matters shall continue shortly.

    Oh! And I almost forgot –
    Since I didn’t read the book I didn’t know that E.L. James crapped all over Tallis by using his masterpiece Spem In Alium (THE masterpiece of choral music) as Grey’s background music of choice for inflicting pain on sick idiots.

    **ck James and the beaten-up horse she rode in on.

  • Argentina: Tango and fireworks

    Thursday, January 29th, 2015

    An audience of 200,000 turned out in Buenos Aires for the “La vida es una milonga” show designed by Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang.

    Here’s D’Arienzo’s orchestration of La cumparsita, performed live,

    I couldn’t find the name of the orchestra.

    The Saturday night Century of Sinatra post

    Saturday, January 17th, 2015

    The fabulous Pundette and the excellent @MarkSteynOnLine are celebrating the Sinatra Century.

    Pundette’s countdown includes The Last Dance,

    while Steyn is Home on the Range. Home on the range, you ask? Oh yes. Go read it.

    Early Sinatra was fabulous.

    Film: Boyhood

    Friday, January 16th, 2015

    My son recommended #BoyhoodMovie; it ‘s close to being the near-perfect Great American Movie of all time.

    Read my review here.

    Saturday night tango

    Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

    The late Andrea Missé dances with Javier Rodríguez “La Tupungatina” at the 2011 Taipei Tango Festival.

    The Interview. Yes, The Interview

    Friday, December 26th, 2014

    I plunked down $6 and watched it on YouTube.

    You should, too.

    Parts of it reminded me of Fidel Castro taking Barbara Walters for a ride back in the day, by land,

    and by sea,

    in preparation for Barbara Walters’s interviews of Fidel Castro.

    Read my post at Da Tech Guy blog.

    Argentina: Top Gear hot water

    Friday, December 26th, 2014

    The Top Gear Christmas special airs this weekend on on December 27 and 28. The lads covered a lot of ground,

    And they were run out of town:

    Top Gear Christmas Special: What really happened in Patagonia?
    Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond arrived in Argentina in September to film the Top Gear Christmas Special. The subsequent fortnight was even more dramatic than they could have imagined

    Saturday night tango: Matteo & Patricia

    Saturday, December 6th, 2014

    Dancing to Duerme, mi amor by Carlos Di Sarli

    No one does a better molinete.

    Dancing the hemispere

    Thursday, October 30th, 2014

    Couple dances the length of the Americas
    Watch as this young couple travel from Alaska in north America to Ushuaia in Argentina, dancing all the way

    I’m sure Rafa and Noelia were inspired by the ever-effervescent Matt Harding,

    Movies: Schultze, and Caviezel as the Count of Monte Cristo

    Sunday, September 21st, 2014

    The Showtime Family cable channel is playing Schultze gets the blues, a delightful movie I reviewed nearly nine years ago>. Here’s my review,

    Minimalism comes to life in Schultze gets the blues.

    The story starts when Schultze and his two friends Manfred and Jürgen are pushed into early retirement from the salt mines and receive salt lamps as retirement gifts. Schultze spends his retirement days playing the polka on his accordion, gardening (and polishing his garden gnomes), watching his friends fight over chess, riding his bicycle to get around, visiting his mother at the nursing home, and enjoying a beer or two. At the nursing home he meets whiskey-drinking Frau Lorant, who wants him to take her to the casino.

    Then he listens to a Zydeco tune on the radio and his life changes completely.

    Schultze’s played by Horst Krause, who bears more than a passing resemblance to Curly Howard, if Curly wore eyeglasses and a fedora, and had a deep voice. Not that Shultze is a man of many words.

    Director Michael Schorr’s touch is light, slowand I mean slow –, and makes for a very very funny movie. Schultze is a lucky everyman (I was told once that Schultze is a way to refer to a “generic German” guy, and probably not very complimentary, but have never wanted to find out on my own) who manages to break away from his everyday rutine, and, as Amazon reviewer Donald Liebenson said, “While Schultze’s journey comes to a downbeat conclusion, the film manages to end on a lovely grace note”. That note will make you laugh, too.


    I recently watched the 2002 version of The Count of Monte Cristo through Amazon Instant Video.

    I read Alexandre Dumas Sr.’s novels and all of Arthur Conan Doyle’s books at the age girls read Nancy Drew’s mysteries (which never really caught my imagination), and have, over the years, watched many of the film and TV interpretations of their works. I’ve watched the 1934 Robert Donat, the 1975 Richard Chamberlain, and the 1999 Gerard Depardieu in the title role as the Count of Monte Cristo (or, as Prince would put it, the sailor formerly known as Edmond Dantes). All were different and good (as long as you suspend belief enough to think 13 years at the Chateau D’If could not decrease Depardieu’s avoirdupois), so Jim Caviezel’s Dantes would complete the set.

    I loved the enjoyable, fresh, luscious production, and the very moving performances by Caviezel and Richard Harris. Don’t miss the Count’s grand entrance,