Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Submarine Service

So that's what the kids are calling it these days...
I would think getting volunteers for this type of service
wouldn't be too difficult...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tuesday's This 'n' That, Ya'll!

We're saddling up for a special edition of This & That! Today's post features our favorite King of Cool, Steve McQueen... Because of his recent birthday (March 24), there's a lot floating around on the internet about the actor.

...He is featured in these never-before-seen photos on the Life magazine website -- some racier than others (one almost NSFW). You also get a peek at his personal life with first wife Neile Adams. I can't imagine any celebrity today allowing such carte blanche.

...Check out the Steve McQueen Blog-a-thon featured at The Cooler...a great blog for movie info and trivia, especially centered around Steve McQueen.

...And don't forget to check out the post I put up yesterday on SorryIGotDrunk, about a bar inspired by McQueen's film Bullitt. Better yet, check it out daily (or two or three times a day), because, not only do I post there often, but the site just rocks!


Monday, March 29, 2010

Monday's This & That

As I enjoy the nice Spring weather, let's take a peek at what's around the 'net.

HBO is casting for their mini-series Mildred Pierce, that will star Kate Winslet in the role that won Joan Crawford a Best Actress Oscar. HBO did really well with the 're-imagining' of Grey Gardens starring Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore. Let's hope this one does Ms Crawford justice, as well. Not familiar with Mildred Pierce? See a (hilarious) dubbed over part of the film featured in a previous post.

And speaking of unnecessary remakes, Dermot Mulroney is in talks to star in a 'reboot' of The Rockford Files TV series, taking over James Garner's famous role. Also to star is Beau Bridges. House creator David Shore will be a part of the 70s remake, and Steve Carell will executive produce.

Apparently Disney is making their newest fairytale flick "less princessy." They've changed the title from the classic "Rapunzel" to Tangled in an attempt to attract more boys to theaters. We'll see if it works. Critics speculate that its animation will be the real test, as the film is being done using traditional hand-drawn style animation, and critics say the style is of something that this generation of kids may not be accustomed. A teaser trailer is appearing on The Princess and the Frog DVD for the Fall release, but you can see it here, as well.

And the role previously thought to be taken by Keira Knightley may now be going to Carey Mulligan. The role? In another remake, of course. This one being My Fair Lady. The role Mulligan is close to signing was originally perfected by Julie Andrews on stage and Audrey Hepburn on film.

Got any NEW ideas, Hollywood?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Room Design by M.C. Escher

...and Harpo Marx, who contributed his trademark horn. I've always wondered what walking down an xylophone staircase sounded like.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Happy Birthday, Steve McQueen!

Steve would have been 80 years old today!

Must-See Movie: Support Your Local Sheriff!

Support Your Local Sheriff! (1969)
Jason McCullough (James Garner) is allegedly "on his way to Australia" when he comes to the raucous town of Calendar to do a little mining. He discovers that he needs to get a job, as things are rapidly getting more and more expensive with the gold rush. He checks the HELP WANTED postings and sees the town needs a sheriff, and the town's mayor and council eagerly hire him.

Jason soon learns why the job came so easily, as a family of outlaws named Danby seem to run the town. While in the saloon, Jason witnesses Joe Danby (Bruce Dern) gunning a man down, and as his first duty as sheriff, hires a deputy (Jack Elam) and arrests Danby. He takes the gunman to a newly refurbished jail, only to see that the bars for the cells haven't been put in yet.

This is just one subplot of this great comedy. James Garner's portrayal as calm and confident Jason is very similar to his role as TV's "Maverick," and his coolness pairs well amidst the chaos and violence surrounding him. The supporting cast of Joan Hackett, Harry Morgan, Henry Jones, and Walter Brennan makes this a western unlike any other. But Bruce Dern's portrayal as whiny and spoiled (yet dim-witted) Joe Danby, makes this movie a classic.

They tried to recreate the magic again in 1971's "Support Your Local Gunfighter," using much of the same cast and the same director, but it just doesn't add up. Not to say that it isn't funny or great to watch. After all, it's still James Garner.

Friday, March 19, 2010

"Va Va Voom" Star of the Day

June Lang
Hollywood in the 30’s brought this vivacious blonde to B-level stardom. Unfortunately her star burned out quickly: after appearing in over 30 films, her personal life was rocked with scandal, and the offers stopped coming.

Winifred June Vlasek was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 5, 1917. She was thrust in to show business almost immediately, dancing from age five. To encourage her talent, her family moved to Hollywood when she was around seven. She performed in a variety of vaudville shows. She matured quickly, especially when she worked in various chorus lines. At thirteen years of age, she was even cast in the show "Temptations of 1930" after lying to the dance director that she was 18.

June worked as an extra through 1930-1932. Fox Studios took an interest in her after a director saw her perform a swimming routine. Her first speaking role was in the 1932 film Chandu the Magician. The roles came slowly, and through 1933 to 1939 she had a steady stream of jobs. Even though she was effervescent and photogenic, June never received primary roles in the "B" films in which she was cast.

In 1938, Fox sent June to England to film So This is London but due to the threat of war, she abandoned the set and fled home. Fox punished her by canceling her contract. To compound her downfall, her 1939 marriage to Chicago mobster Johnny Roselli stained her Hollywood reputation permanently.

Although June denied knowledge of her husband's mob-related activities and the couple did eventually divorce, her career never recovered from the bad press. The film roles diminished, and she tried some television appearances in the 1950s and early 1960s, but never fully reached the A list of celebrity. June died in 2005 and was buried at Forest Lawn Cemetary in Los Angeles, almost an unknown to this generation.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Perfect Day

Well, since today is my $#@!&-th birthday, I thought I'd put together my best day. A day where everything went perfectly, and I got to do whatever I wanted.

First of all, I'd wake up next to Dyno. (Or maybe a young James Garner, if we're really wishing here.) He'd bring me a Starbucks café mocha, nice and hot, and we'd watch television in bed. Perhaps "Snapped" on Oxygen, or "Dog Whisperer" on NatGeo.

Then after a couple hours Dyno and I would finally get up and take my dog on a nice walk along the beach. (The dog wouldn't poop the entire time -- it'd be a miracle.) And it'd be a beautiful, sunny, and clear day, too. Oh yeah, and I'd be tan and weigh about 20 pounds less.

I come home and all the laundry is done, the house is clean, the dishes are out of the dishwasher, and a nice lunch of grilled ham and cheese sandwiches and pickles have been made. And a nice Manhattan to go with it all. I turn on the television to relax and eat, and the newest episode of "Survivor" is starting -- yes, even though it's Monday, and not Thursday.

Dean Martin, Joan Crawford, Errol Flynn, and Esther Williams call during the day to wish me a happy birthday and to ask what my plans are. I speak briefly with them, but really I just want to spend the day on the couch with Dyno. I fall asleep and end up napping until it's time for dinner, preempted by a few cocktails.

For dinner, Dyno takes me to the Playboy Club circa 1965, and I'm like Doris Day, wearing a beautiful gown with a matching coat, hat, and gloves. We sit and watch Bob Newhart do a stand-up routine, and then Mel Tormé comes out and croons to us. Dinner is a thick prime rib steak, lobster mashed potatoes, and a bold red wine.

I'm not going to go in to what happens after dinner. But let's just say (as they do in the old movies), the curtains flap in the wind and the camera pans left and then we fade out.

...And that's my perfect day!