“Dreamboat”

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This pic is from The Way We Were starring Redford & Streisand.  Here Redford’s character (Hubbell) is sailing with his best pal, and thinking back on all the good times he shared with Streisand’s character (Katie).  It’s a classic film, so check it out!

Movie Review: “Eastern Promises”

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I know I’m a BIT late in watching this (very interesting) movie, BUT I was wary about the violence.  Usually, I don’t like seeing blood, fights, etc.  However, the director (David Cronenberg) doesn’t glorify violence- it’s short, to-the-point, and then over!  He also made A History of Violence with Viggo Mortensen (also the star here).  Eastern Promises is engrossing (I was on the edge of my seat), short, and filled with great moments of acting from various characters.  Just like the previous film, this one has a BIG twist…

Viggo Mortensen covered in tattoos as a crime boss in new movie with Naomi Watts

Viggo is completely transformed- hair, mannerisms, and speech!  His acting is subtle, because that suits the role to a tee.  Naomi Watts (always looks good, even when wearing “ordinary” clothes) is the everyday midwife who gets pulled into the world of the Russian mafia.  She is the sympathetic character the audience can relate to.  Viggo is intrigued by her from the start, BUT they do NOT have a “typical” movie romance/relationship.  The film also hits on serious stuff: slavery/prostitution (of underage girls who don’t know what they are getting into), drug abuse, alcoholism, thievery, retaliation- what a list!

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Eastern Promises is a bigger film than A History of Violence, because it has more scope.  However, when you look a LITTLE deeper, you will find very interesting parallels.    In AHOV, the main character (Tom/Joey) was fighting to protect his NEW family (wife, kids) from his OLD family (his big brother, Philly mob).  In EP, Nikolai is fighting to protect a family (Anna, her mom, her uncle, and Tatiana’s baby) from his mafia family (Semyon, Kirill).  Tom became a new person when he left Philly; Nikolai became a new person when he decided to immerse himself into the crime world, instead of just being a “driver.”  Are these two guys “good” or “bad” or neither?  Is violence sometimes needed?

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The sudden bursts of violence in the small town setting of AHOV are jarring, but in EP, violence is less weird (gritty ethnic enclave of London).  The Russian mob boss looks like a pleasant old man (soft speech, big sweaters, cooking).  The Irish mobsters in AHOV, on the other hand, looked and acted tough.  What is more scary to you?

Check out this movie, and discover the different layers!

The BEST Oscar Gowns

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Kate Winslet: This dress was so low-key, yet elegant; it suited her figure VERY well.

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Cate Blanchett: This dress harkens our minds back to old Hollywood glamour, as do her hair and cool diamond pin.

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The designs on this dress are VERY cool, feminine, and youthful.

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Halle Berry: She’s known for making GREAT fashion choices, BUT I prefer the subtle look on her because she doesn’t need frou-frou to stand out in a crowd. 

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Holly Hunter: She can pretty much wear anything and look good with her petite, lean figure; I can’t believe she’ll be 50 this year! 

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Helen Mirren: This is one of my FAVORITE dresses of ALL time!  I think we should (unofficially) make her queen here in U.S. (since that job is filled in her native UK).

It’s alright to be an American Idol drop-out…

I stopped watching AI a LOOOONG time ago, so I didn’t know about country singer Bucky Covington, a finalist (8th place) from Season 5!  Browsing on iTunes, I’m getting to know a little bit about some REALLY good new country singers.  Bucky (I find the name a bit humorous) now has his first CD out and two music videos on CMT.  And just like Alan Jackson, he’s got the slightly long, light blonde hair and mustache. 

 

On an early 2007 Larry King interview, Bucky said that he still “loves” AI, but considers some of it “comedy” (like the success of William Hung).  Three cheers to Bucky for surviving the (very weird for small town NC guy, no doubt) AI experience and coming out with positive attitude and of course- success!  Mark Miller (from the band Sawyer Brown, and a great stage performer) has a young son who LOVED Bucky on AI, and was mad that he got voted off… so he asked his dad to call him up.  That’s how the record deal happened- cool!

 

That was then…

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 American Idol Clips:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbxF85HZ_SU (Best I Ever Had – originally sung by Gary Allan)

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IZTn09s5T8 (Real Good Man– originally sung by Tim McGraw)

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfUUMsiC1jQ (Thunder Rolls – made very famous by Garth Brooks) 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnGpcGggE9M (Part 1 of interview about the AI experience; can see his personality here!) 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPn-Q7aChV4 (Part 2 of interview- Wow, what a transformation!)

This is now…

 

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Music Videos:

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIjM6SNt8Hg (Good To Be Us – a fun rock/country song) 

http://www.cmt.com/videos/bucky-covington/133268/a-different-world.jhtml (A Different World – a song that my generation and a BIT older can relate to!)

 

 

Unlikely Queens of Country

Okay, I’ve written a bit about the MEN of country music, but there are quite a few talented singers/writers/performers who are WOMEN!  Reba, as we all know, is a star known ALL over the world (music/film/TV), as are Shania Twain and Faith Hill.  I saw Faith WAAAAY back in 1993 when she was touring w/ Alan Jackson!  She had her big, long wavy hair and wore black, elegant dresses back then.  Now on to two other GREAT voices (and luckily- beauties) in country… 

Lorrie Morgan

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Confident, glamorous, and more talented AND beautiful than BOTH Shania and Faith, Lorrie Morgan has deep, rich, powerful vocals.  She was truly a classy, feminine star in ’90s country- someone who was powerful AND vulnerable at the same time.  Even my “I’m not into country music” lil sis said she was cool!  Her image- clothes, hair, demeanor didn’t scream out “Hey, country singer here!”so she appealed to the masses (ppl who were NOT always country fans).  No padded/sequined gowns or big hair needed to accentuate her talent.    

It’s TOO bad that Lorrie is known to most ppl b/c of her relationships w/ various “high profile” men (like Troy Aikmen and former congressman from TN, Fred Thompson).  Wow, she could’ve had a shot at being First Lady (the hottest one) if that had lasted! 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwFsjOK96BA (I Didn’t Know My Own Strength)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6h5D-Ed03E (Watch Me)

Tanya Tucker

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Wow, it’s so weird to relaize that this GORGEOUS singer will turn 50 this year!  She is one of my dad’s faves, and has been a success for a LONG time- a rare kid singer who grew more popular with age.  Though born in TX, she spent most of her formative years in AZ (like me!)  Her parents nurtured her talent; several of her songs are about the importance of a solid marriage and close family life. 

Tanya’s smoky voice is truly the “voice of experience” in country music.  She combines country and rock, but maintains a balance (enabling her to reach ppl who may not be HUGE fans of “traditional” country).  She has her own label nowadays, and will release new stuff later this year!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3SfcANH-9A (Go waaaay back in time- a v. young Tanya sings her 1st hit, Delta Dawn re: middle-aged woman who is STILL waiting for her only- looong gone- love)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUsyHVjacJ0 (Two Sparrows in a Hurricane– my dad loves this song dedicated to her parents; she looks AMAZING in this vid!!!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-197v5Ioow (Little Things: a more recent song)