Daily Archives: December 5, 2014

Flashback Friday-Bring It On (2000)

Bring It On is one of those movies.  On the surface the plot is trite and predictable. The screenplay contains lines that are outright dumb. But somehow, it was successful and led to a series of sequels that went from bad to worse.

Torrance Shipman (Kirsten Dunst) is newly crowned captain of the Rancho Carne High School cheer leading them.  Their team is poised to take an easy victory at the national cheer leading championship for the sixth year in a row. She discovers that their routines are stolen from The Clovers, a cheer leading team from the inner city. Isis (Gabrielle Union), the team captain wants to see her team take their rightful place as winners in the cheer leading championship.

While Torrance and her team prepare original routines, Isis and her team need a way to get to the championship.

This is the type of movie that re-runs on cable when the station does not know what to put into an empty time slot. Shakespeare and Oscar worthy, this movie is not. But it does make a very interesting point about race relations in America, even if it is couched in the story of two rival cheer leading teams.

Do I recommend this movie? Why not.

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Filed under Flashback Friday, Movie Review, Movies

Flashback Friday- Spaceballs (1987)

Mel Brooks has a very specific type of humor. Low brow, possibly crude and potentially politically incorrect. But without a doubt, the man knows how to make audiences laugh.

In 1987, he threw his movie making hat into Spaceballs.

King Roland of Planet Druidia (Dick Van Patten) is about to see his daughter, Princess Vespa (Daphne Zuniga) marry Prince Valium. But Vespa wants nothing to do with her groom to be. She runs away and is kidnapped by the evil race of Spaceballs led by President Skroob (Mel Brooks, who always seems to find parts in his movies) and Dark Helmet (Rick Moranis). They will return Vespa to her father, if he will give them Druidia’s clean air to replace the Spaceball’s polluted air.

King Roland contacts Lone Star (Bill Pullman) and Barf (the late John Candy) to rescue Vespa and her loyal servant Dot Matrix (voiced by the late Joan Rivers). After the foursome escapes the Spaceballs, they land on Yogurt’s (also Mel Brooks) planet. Yogurt knows the truth about Lone Star’s past. At the same time, he is selling everything he can with his likeness.

This is another Mel Brooks gem. He knows how to lovingly riff on the science fiction genre, especially Star Wars with it’s variety of memorabilia. It is incredibly funny and incredibly quotable.

Happy Friday and may the schwartz be with you!

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Filed under Flashback Friday, Movie Review, Movies, Star Wars

Bangarang Peter- Peter Pan Live Review

 

Peter Pan is the immortal youth. He is energetic, optimistic, intelligent and just a little full of himself.

Last night, NBC aired Peter Pan Live. Starring in the title role was Allison Williams. Playing Peter’s long time nemesis, Captain Hook was Christopher Walken.

Using the same format as they did last with the Sound Of Music (live television program, classic family friendly musical, hiring Broadway and non Broadway actors), NBC has created a new tradition.

The supporting cast included Taylor Louderman as teenage Wendy, Christian Borle doubling as Smee/Mr. Darling, Kelli O’Hara as Mrs. Darling and Minnie Driver as the narrator/adult Wendy whom we meet briefly at the end of the program.

I liked this Peter Pan. Whatever was missing from Sound Of Music last year was not missing from Peter Pan. Despite being known for non Broadway roles,  Williams and Walken were well cast.  Williams played Peter with the right mixture of youthful energy and silent questioning. Walken, for his part, was foppish, but with just enough menace to keep the audience on their toes. The supporting cast, especially Broadway veterans Borle and O’Hara gave the program a nice authentic Broadway feeling. Louderman, as the teenage Wendy, represented the feelings and changes that many of us go through in our early teens. The icing on the cake was Driver as the adult Wendy, giving the audience both a nice ending for her adventures with Peter, while opening the door for her daughter’s adventures with Peter.

There was some changes from the stage production, most notably that the Captain Hook and Mr. Darling are usually played by the same actor.  But I was fine with the choice of Smee and Mr. Darling played by Borle instead.  The only thing that was missing was the authentic Broadway audience reaction. I’ve seen Peter Pan on Broadway. The reaction of the audience, which is mostly young kids is immediate and powerful. The scene where Tinkerbell has drunk the poison and Peter breaks the fourth wall to bring her back to life is not the same as it is front of a live audience.

But overall, I have to say that it was enjoyable and I cannot get those songs out of my head.

And I could not stop thinking about Robin Williams. I think he would love this Peter Pan.

 

 

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Filed under Broadway Musical Review, Television

Guardian Princesses

The princess genre has been defined by Disney for generations. There is nothing wrong with Disney, but that doesn’t mean there is room for another group of princesses.

Guardian Princesses is a new series of children’s books. They tell the stories of a diverse group of princesses whose focus goes well beyond beautiful dresses and charming princes.

The aim of these novels is to teach diversity, gender inclusiveness and independence to their audience.

If I had young daughters, these books would be first on my list to buy.

The only thing they are missing is a ginger princess ;).

Happy Friday!

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Filed under Books, Feminism