Saturday, November 16, 2013

Hoping for Movie Magic

Tom Hanks as Walt Disney? Emma Thompson as the author of the Mary Poppins books? Yes, and just think about that practically perfect casting for “Saving Mr. Banks,” which will open in our nation’s multiplexes on December 20th! This eagerly-awaited drama focuses on how Disney persuaded author P.L. Travers to let him make a “Mary Poppins” film. Disney was highly motivated because he promised his daughters he would bring their favorite heroine to life on the big screen. However, the author didn’t like that idea one bit. She finally agreed to meet with him – but only to explain why she was against such a project. So Disney used all his charm and resources to change her mind. Wonder if he gave her a spoonful of sugar? (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) I can hardly wait to see this one! Here's hoping it will be Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

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Sunday, November 03, 2013

Viva Las Vegas!

Author Susan Marg deserves kudos for her impressive research in connection with "Las Vegas Weddings: A Brief History, Celebrity Gossip, Everything Elvis, and the Complete Chapel Guide." It’s an entertaining read packed with fascinating information about how Vegas weddings intertwine with the history of the town itself. It’s also fun reading for movie addicts like me, mostly because Marg highlights the nuptials of so many film stars who got hitched in Las Vegas. What a treat to find out the revealing facts behind weddings of such glamorous actors and actresses as Angelina Jolie, Michael Caine, Judy Garland, Paul Newman, Elizabeth Taylor, Rita Hayworth, Janet Leigh, Tony Curtis, Nelson Eddy, Bette Midler, Joan Crawford, Richard Gere, Cary Grant, Clint Eastwood and Elvis Presley! And speaking of Elvis, Marg includes an entire chapter titled “What’s a Wedding without Elvis”? She writes, “While there is an impersonator for any celebrity…it is the King that couples clamor for.” There are hundreds of Elvis impersonators in Vegas, of course, and it’s no problem to hire a fake Elvis to escort the bride down the aisle and to serenade the newlyweds after the ceremony. The book also features a chapel guide that helps prospective brides and grooms plan their own wedding festivities in Vegas. It’s no wonder Vegas and Hollywood seem like a perfect match, so I’m pleased that Marg mentions various films about Las Vegas -- including "Honeymoon in Vegas," "Vegas Vacation," "Viva Las Vegas," "Fools Rush In," and "Ocean’s Eleven." She points out that movies like these have played an important role in making Vegas weddings so popular. Despite the massive amount of information in "Las Vegas Weddings," it flows seamlessly. Marg has a breezy, appealing style that draws us in and keeps us interested. Her book also presents some rare photographs of celebrities. I especially love the one of Michael Caine and his beautiful bride as well as the photo of Elvis and Ann-Margret dancing together while filming "Viva Las Vegas!" I think this book would make a wonderful holiday gift for movie fans. For more information about "Las Vegas Weddings" (published by Harper Collins), please go to the site listed below.

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