Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Bonjour Paris!

It's a good day to fly to Paris.  While we won't be singing our way down the Champs-Élysées, I remain very excited to spend some time in the romantic City of Lights.  Recent book club reads The Paris Wife and A Moveable Feast and Woody Allen's latest, Midnight in Paris, have me even more in a French frame of mind.  Something tells me I may have a Russell Crowe sort of moment on Thursday night.  And I think a visit to Laduree for a macaroon or two is also in order!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Pop Culture Weekend

Every once in a while, the calendar lines up so that my birthday falls close to Easter.  This was one of those years, which also very conveniently meant I had Friday off from work.  And what were my industrious goals for that extra day in the weekend?

1.  Getting ready for my book club meeting about Water for Elephants, which was my suggestion for April, and reading reviews of the movie version.  Also, wondering what Robert Pattinson will do post-Twilight.  This was not in fact necessary for book club preparation, but a pleasant diversion nonetheless.

2.  Watching Giant, which was recorded from Turner Classic Movies during their Elizabeth Taylor marathon earlier in the month.  She really did have a vibrant screen presence -- so sensual and alive.

3.  Seeing a few episodes of Band of Brothers, and perfecting my impression of a World War II paratrooper during battle.  (You might notice all of these activities could be done from a comfortable sofa.)

4.  Getting my ping pong on at Spin and standing very near to Susan Sarandon while a guy in a Speedo and nothing else battled to be tournament champ.  You might say Susan and I hung out, technically.  (Also: this meant I actually got off the sofa!)

And in a final pop culture installment for the weekend, a very thoughtful someone surprised me with tickets to Anything Goes on Broadway for Sunday afternoon.  A buoyant, brash, hilarious musical, I almost never wanted it to end, and the dance numbers had us tapping up and down the staircase during intermission.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Elizabeth Taylor: 1932-2011

Elizabeth Taylor has passed away at the age of 79.  A potent combination of beauty, talent, and sheer star power, Ms. Taylor became famous as a child actor and never stayed far from the public's imagination thereafter.  From her serious health scares to her multiple marriages, the drama of Ms. Taylor's off-screen life frequently rivalled that her on-screen roles.  She was one of the last great movie stars.

There are many tributes appearing online: The New York Times obituary, this 1986 piece by Vincent Canby, a look back from The Washington Post, an appreciation from Roger Ebert, and another obituary from Entertainment Weekly.  Vanity Fair has a number of articles at their site, including this excerpt from a book on Ms. Taylor's passionate relationship (and two marriages) with Richard Burton.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Reasons to love England

There are many things to love about England, our good friend across the pond.  You have The Beatles, queens with great first names, a no-nonsense attitude about getting on with life when things are challenging, and such fine contributions to gastronomy as Ribena and the digestive biscuit.  And, one of my personal favorites, their sense of humor. 

Lately I've been watching and loving hilarious show The Inbetweeners, a cringe-inducing look at the live of four awkward high school students.  One of the most refreshing aspects of this program is that the four leads are regular people, not impossibly good looking model types, and their situations and dialogue seem both believable and funny without being needlessly crass.  Just took their "which character are you" quiz online, and am pleased that I'm most like Simon, who's bio leads off with "Not too painful -- all the time."

Sunday, September 26, 2010

"I'm in a very good place right now"

Elisabeth Moss, also known as Peggy Olson on Mad Men, spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the current season of her show and the DVD release of Get Him to the Greek, in which she appears as Jonah Hill's girlfriend.  I hope Fred Armisen is eating his heart out.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ben and Locke, together again

More good news for J.J. Abrams and Lost fans: NBC has picked up his new show starring Michael Emeron and Terry O'Quinn, the erstwhile Ben and Locke, respectively.  When Lost was winding up last spring, both actors professed their hope to work again, and the show is said to portray them as former black-ops cops.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Welcome to Fall

Hello from lovely San Francisco!  Work sends me to some nice cities sometimes, and while this isn't a hotel I'd plan to visit again (sorry, Radisson), I do welcome the opportunity to sit down and enjoy television premiere week on the major networks.  Here's what's on my mind, pop culture wise:

1.  Undercovers from J.J. Abrams.  Currently playing on my TV, and halfway through the pilot episode.  First, the man who created Lost, one of the most spine-tinglingly great shows ever made, is pretty much a genius, so this show already has a lot going for it.  Second, what a fun premise!  Two married former spies are running a catering business, having a nice but unexciting life, when they get pulled back into active duty to find a missing friend.  You get world-wide travel, attractive people in exciting situations with a taste of danger, and how refreshing that it's about an already committed couple who clearly still love and enjoy each other.  You so rarely see that in movies or TV -- the journey often seems to end when they get married.  And for an especially great third, the lead actors are both black and it's not a big deal.  A major show with a lot of money behind it anchored by two charismatic leads who happen to be minorities not usually given major roles in primetime: extremely cool.

2.  A new trailer for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows!  How I cannot wait for November, and not just because of a certain birthday.  This. Looks. So. Good.

3.  The novel One Day by David Nicholls, now in paperback.  My love of all things British continues with this laugh out loud funny, moving, and altogether engrossing book.  College students Dexter and Emma meet on the night of their graduation, and although they don't initially seem like natural friends, the relationship continues and each chapter revisits them on the same date for two decades.  True to life in the way we don't always progress in the straight line we envisioned, and how random chance can have such enormous impact.