Thursday, December 31, 2009

There Is Nothing Like a Dame

Who knew Dame Judi Dench could belt out a tune with the best of them? If you don’t believe me, catch her in NINE, the movie version of Broadway’s hit musical. When Judi comes on camera to sing about the Folies Bergere, her performance almost stops the show. Judi’s voice is so loud and clear and fascinating, it makes you think she’s spent her entire life in musical theater productions.

NINE also features fine solos by Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Kate Hudson, Nicole Kidman, Sophia Loren and Fergie, but it’s Dame Judi Dench who delivers the most memorable turn here.

Leading man Daniel Day-Lewis rounds out the cast as a famous Italian film director who’s lost his inspiration. As always, he simply becomes the character he plays. But in the vocal department, he’s no match for the ladies.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Leg Lamps, Bullies and Nostalgia

While paying tribute to A Christmas Story on Movie Addict Headquarters yesterday, guests Julie Matthews and Zack Ward talked fondly about their experiences working on this wonderful holiday classic.

Julie, who played one of the carolers and helped with recruiting extras for the movie, mentioned that A Christmas Story Museum Store is open in Cleveland, where the movie was made, and leg lamps -- resembling the one in the movie -- of various sizes can be purchased there. She also expressed admiration for the nostalgic appeal of the film, and insisted that everyone “who lives on this planet” should see it.

Zack, who portrayed Scut Farkus, the fierce red-haired bully, revealed that although he and Peter Billingsley (Ralphie in the film) were bitter enemies on screen, they became friends off set during filming. “We were just kids having fun running around in the hotel. We liked to order room service for other rooms,” he confessed.

Film critic A.J. Hakari (The Mad Movie Man) also joined in the discussion. Although a very tough critic, A.J. believes “the pitch-perfect take on nostalgic Americana in A Christmas Story earns it a place among cinema's most precious treasures.” I couldn’t agree more, A.J.

Click on the link below to hear the entire show.

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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Rockettes Still Going Strong

With their impeccable precision, exciting high kicks and gorgeous costumes, the Radio City Rockettes always put on a great show. It was a treat to watch their Christmas Spectacular on PBS last Sunday night!

As a former tapper myself, I've admired the Rockettes' routines for many years now. Their "Parade of the Wooden Soldiers" number was especially entertaining during Sunday's program. But everything they perform is definitely worth seeing.

If you happen to be in New York City during the holidays, be sure catch the Rockettes in a live show at the magnificent Radio City Music Hall. I had that pleasure way back in 1949 -- and it's something I'll never forget.

Keep on tappin' on, Rockettes! You make each holiday season a happier one for your many fans.

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