Archive for October, 2012

They Said What??? Chick-fil-A, Rick Santorum, Ann Coulter, Aziz Ansari, & Tom Hanks

FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE RICK SANTORUM

“One of my speeches, I went to Iowa. And immediately when I announced that I was going to Iowa, everyone started, well, is he running for president?  Well I said, yeah, that’s the logical thing for someone who lost their last Senate race in 2006 by the largest margin of any incumbent in 40 years.  Sure, run for president! That makes all the sense in the world!”

CHAMBLEE, GEORGIA CHICK-fil-A ADVERTISEMENT

“Only a fruitcake wouldn’t love our party trays.”

STEVE ROBINSON, CHICK-fil-A EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF MARKETING OFFICE

“This is an advertisement that a locally owned and operated restaurant has been using for the past five years to promote Chick-fil-A’s catering options during the holidays.  It was simply a play on words referring to the traditional holiday food, and the restaurant had no intention of offending anyone whatsoever. We regret the flier may have been taken out of context.”

BEEFCAKE ACTOR MARIO LOPEZ

(in a tweet that ticked off gay activists):  “Why does it seem like I always crave Chick-fil-A on Sundays?? #Frustrating.”

REPUBLICAN MOUTHPIECE ANN COULTER

(tweeted):  “Last Thursday was national ‘coming out’ day. This Monday is national ‘disown your son’ day.”

GLAAD, THE GAY AND LESBIAN ALLIANCE AGAINST DEFAMATION

(acknowledging that Coulter’s words were meant to be a joke):  “she is not really taken seriously in any context anyway.”

ROCK STAR BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN

“Right now, there is a fight going on to help make this a fairer and more equitable nation. For me, President Obama is our best choice to get us and keep us moving in the right direction.”

MITT ROMNEY ADVISER BAY BUCHANAN

“Governor Romney also believes, consistent with the 10th Amendment, that it should be left to the states to decide whether to grant same-sex couples certain benefits, such as hospital visitation rights and the ability to adopt children.”

OSCAR WINNER TOM HANKS

(after dropping the “f-bomb” on “Good Morning America”):  “Man oh man, I’m sorry.  I have never done that before. I want to apologize to the kids in America that are watching this right now, and let me say next time on the show there will be a seven-second delay.”

RYAN MURPHY, “THE NEW NORMAL” AND “GLEE” CREATOR

(tweet):  “Guess who’s coming on The New Normal as Bryan’s [Andrew Rannells] sexy ex-boyfriend? The one and only Matt Bomer!!!”

“PARKS AND RECREATION” STAR AZIZ ANSARI

“At this point, why is anyone against gay marriage?” Ansari asked Kimmel. “You know you’re going to lose. You know you’re on the wrong side of things. These are the same people that didn’t want women to vote, that didn’t want black guys to play football. What was the last thing they were opposed to? Interracial relationships? Look, if you’re opposed to interracial relationships, guess what: I’m f***ing white girls, there’s nothing you can do about it!”

CALIFORNIA LT. GOVERNOR & FORMER SAN FRANSISCO MAYOR GAVIN NEWSOM

(about Vice President wannabe Paul Ryan):  “I mean this is a guy who voted against Matthew Shepard and the Hate Crimes law. This is a guy who voted against gay and lesbian couples adopting.  What’s so disappointing about Ryan is the generational disappointment. He’s roughly my age, and I have a lot of Republican friends my age and they’ve just moved on, they’ve evolved on these issues. But Ryan hasn’t, and that’s so extraordinarily disappointing. If he represents a generational shift in the Republican Party, that scares the hell out of me. That’s a generational shift backwards, from my perspective, not a leap forward. So a Romney presidency concerns me also because of these federal court appointees. I really fear for that even more broadly speaking. Not just the marriage issue, but the rights of gay and lesbian Americans.”

Anthony

Reflections

Reflections — visibly, you can see them in a mirror, in shiny new kitchen cookware, and on a smooth body of water, like this December 2007 photo of Miss ABBA on vacation in Andover, Ohio.

And, you can reflect in your mind of things that happened in the past or things that will happen in the future.

This weekend, as I continue working through my eight-day schedule since returning from Vegas, I’m thinking that one week ago, I got to spend my birthday with Elton John, Madonna, and Ray.

Yesterday, while talking to my sister, Tammy, on the phone, she reminded me that two months from this weekend, we’ll be cruising the western Caribbean on our pre-Christmas cruise.  I’ve been so busy trying to stay afloat after our Vegas trip that it slipped my mind.  Gretel and Betty (Mom) will also be going on the cruise with us.

That means in less than two months, we’ll be in New Orleans checking out the Christmas sights and sounds of the “Big Easy” and allowing Miss Gretel to have gumbo and beignets.

It’s nice to reflect on happy times in the past and future things that we’ll experience for the first time.  I know all of us are very excited for the cruise because we’ve never done anything like this before (except for Ray more than twenty years ago).  And, to do it at the holidays is even more magical.

Reflecting about the upcoming holidays also takes my mind off the fact that my work contract is up at the end of November and I haven’t had any talks about renewing my contract!!

Anthony

Wallflowers Do Blossom!

Thirty years ago, in high school, I was a wallflower and Ray was outgoing and fun (and he’s the one that went to a Catholic school)!   A wallflower is a loner or a shy person that doesn’t socialize or participate in activities at social events.

The only thing that I took part in during high school was reciting the creed in a Future Farmers of America (FFA) function my freshman year, only because it was required as part of the initiation process and then I opted out of FFA my final three years of high school.

The only things I thought about in high school were making straight-As and becoming a weatherman.  Look where both of those things got me.  🙂  Luckily, in college and beyond, I blossomed from an introvert to a very outgoing, public figure.

That is a good thing because I feel that confidence is something that I want to instill in my 11-year-old daughter, Gretel, as she goes through those ever-changing, drama-filled teen years!

Thursday night, Ray and I went to see the movie, “The Perks of Being A Wallflower” (now playing at the Rave Cinema in Davenport, Iowa, and in more than 700 theaters across the country).  And, it’s definitely a movie I suggest to parents with kids in  junior high or high school.  We may have forgotten just how bad or stressful high school really was and that it wasn’t always a blast.


The movie is based on the 1999 novel of the same name by Stephen Chbosky.  Luckily, when the movie was filmed last year in and near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the author also wrote the screenplay and directed the movie.

“Perks” follows Charlie, played by Logan Lerman, who’s biggest role has been playing demigod Percy Jackson in the series based on the books by Rick Riordan.  The first movie came out in 2010 and the sequel arrives in theaters next fall.

Charlie is a shy teenager beginning his freshman year of high school and he’s already counting down the days until he graduates from day one.  He writes letters to an anonymous person to express everything that happens in his life since he doesn’t feel that he can talk to his family.  His closest relative is his Aunt Helen and we see her in flashbacks.

At school, he develops a rapport with his English teacher, Bill, played with quiet subtly by Paul Rudd.  Bill encourages Charlie to read many classic literary works to expand the young man’s intellect.

In shop class, Charlie meets Patrick (Ezra Miller), a senior that is taking the class with the freshman because he’s such a cut-up that he can’t pass the course and move on.  We also learn that Patrick makes jokes about everything because he’s harboring his own secrets and heartbreak.

Last year, Miller starred in “We Need To Talk About Kevin”, which is still one of my favorite movies that I saw earlier this year.  He was even nominated for his performance in that chilling, psychological thriller that was grossly passed over by moviegoers and the Academy Awards.

The third of the major stars of the movie is also the biggest star in the movie.  Emma Watson, who played Hermione Granger in the “Harry Potter” movie series.  This is her first starring role since leaving Hogwarts behind.

All three actors are very believable and you feel their joy and their heartbreak throughout the 102-minute movie.  You’ll laugh and you’ll want to cry and you’ll be thankful that you survived high school.

The movie follows Charlie as he meets Patrick and Sam (Watson) at a football game and he mistakenly thinks that Patrick and Sam are dating.  Actually, they’re step-brother and sister.  Charlie writes about going out afterwards to a diner with Patrick and Sam, a ride through the tunnel that becomes a focal point of the movie, Patrick’s love affair, Charlie getting his first kiss and his first relationship, and his falling in love with Sam.

The funniest scene in the movie is when the group attends a party and Charlie samples brownies at a stoner’s house.  While the laced treats allow Charlie to be honest with his feelings, it also hints at the darker past that haunts the quiet teen.

There’s also a Christmas scene in the movie and I definitely have a weakness for movies that feature my favorite season.

“The Perks of Being A Wallflower” is a powerfully charged, must-see movie this fall.

Along with “Argo”, it goes to show that Hollywood does produce some quality offerings.  Now, bring on “Lincoln” and “Zero Dark Thirty”.

GRADE:  B

A Plea For Me To “Quit Destroying Our World”!!!

More than 381-thousand people live in the Quad Cities’ metro area and with our newscasts streaming live on the internet, potentially we could reach billions of people (ha! ha! — just sayin’), so it goes without saying that we’re bound to make someone mad. 🙂

I love when viewers choose to watch me for their weather forecast to plan out their day or weekends.  However, we can’t always please everyone and sometimes, we downright tick people off.  No, I didn’t interrupt someone’s programming this time to give them a severe weather update.  Let me share an email that we received this morning (and I’ll leave the typos in there) and my response.  It takes all kinds to make this a wonderful world.

From “Brett”:

“My tip is to let people know that the people involved in broadcasting news at wqad are not people who think before they speak. Any listener watching wqad should be aware of this, and be very careful what they listen to when watching wqad. For example, in this mornings 6:30am broadcast, the anchorwoman and the weatherman both made statements regarding the wonderful rain we have finally been receiving. The anchorwoman said”Rain, rain, go away.” The anchorman called for the rain to leave and the sun to return; planting those seeds of thought in all of your veiwers minds. Just last week your station reported that we were @10″ behind on rainfall for the year.
We need any rain we can get, as soon as possible, if we are to return any moisture content to the soil and subsoil. If we dont get it, we will have devasting effects on our food crops next year. This in return will lead to food shortages. Is that really what your broadcasters want to happen. I am working together with a group of people to bring back reality to our world. People like me veiw you folks are a microcosm of society. The majority of people are now acting on thoughts produced from a reaction to some emotional sequence(ie.:fear, anger, sorrow). The example of your broadcasters words this morning proves my point. Think! Stop planting bad seeds in the minds of your veiwers! The books “Think and Grow Rich”, and “The Secret”, both touch on the idea of thoughts creating reality. Have you read them? Thoughts are things! PLEASE, quit destroying our world with your lack of rational, reasonable, logical thought. Thanks. 🙂

My response!

Brett:

Since you live in a world of “reality”, here’s something that may come as shock to you.  The universe does NOT rotate around my axis or yours.  People listen to my forecast to plan their day or weekend, but they don’t hang on every word television people say.

Rebecca may have said what you are crediting her with and my response was about sunshine returning this weekend.  However, did you zone out after that when I said more rain is on the way Sunday night through Tuesday?  And, all through the morning show yesterday, I talked about much-needed rain would be falling the next couple of days and that would work to replenish the subsoil.  And, I did mention that while we are above average on rainfall in October, we’re still more than 9″ below average for the year.

Brett, the bottom line is that I live in the “real world” and in the scientific world of meteorology, I also know that the atmosphere is always working to balance itself out.  That doesn’t happen overnight and it may take years.

We’ve had flooding rains some months and droughts in others, but neither last.  Otherwise, we’d have deserts in the Quad Cities or we’d become an extensive of the Great Lakes and be underwater.  That’s reality.

I appreciate you taking the time to watch us and to respond.  I’m glad we have you to keep is in check with a “rational, reasonable, logical thought” process.

Have a great weekend and enjoy the rain today, Sunday night, Monday, Monday night, and early Tuesday.

Anthony Peoples

In 1985, Mr. Mister released the album, “Welcome To The Real World” and in 1990, Alan Jackson charted with “Here in The Real World”.  Maybe I should listen to them again and come back to reality.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Anthony

Peeps’ Friday ’80s Flashbacks

It’s Friday and I’m been back to work for four days and I need a vacation already.  I’m just kidding — sorta.

Last weekend, we saw Madonna in Las Vegas and I dedicated my “Peeps’ Friday ’80s Flashbacks” to her.  So, this week, I’m dedicating all three of my favorites from the 1980s to Sir Elton John that I saw in concert last Friday night.

Since Elton first charted on Billboard’s Hot 100 in the 1970s, he has hit the Top 40 a total of 57 times.  His most prolific decade on the charts was in the 1970s when he scored 25 hits.  Of those Top 40 hits, 16 of them reached the Top 10, and 6 topped the charts.

In the 1980s, Elton charted with 21 Top 40 hits.  Six of those reached the Top 10.

“EMPTY GARDEN (HEY HEY JOHNNY)”

Choosing just three of my favorite Elton John songs is a difficult thing to do, so it’s a good thing that I do this each week and I’ll have other opportunities to share more.

My first selection today is one that didn’t reach the Top Ten.  Elton recorded “Empty Garden” for his friend, John Lennon of the Beatles, that was shot and killed back in December, 1980.

It was released in early 1982 and reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100.

“SAD SONGS (SAY SO MUCH)”

In the 1980s, Elton started the decade off with the #3 hit, “Little Jeannie” in 1980, but it would be 1983 before he charted with his next Top Ten, “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues”, which peaked at #4.

In the summer of 1984, Elton reached #5 with the first release from the album, “Breaking Hearts” and it was the only one from that album to reach the top ten.

“SACRIFICE”

In the 1980s, Elton did not have a #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, but he did reach #2 in 1988 with “I Don’t Wanna Go On With You Like That”.

As the decade came to a close, Elton was climbing the charts with the second release from the “Sleeping With The Past” album.  The first single, “Healing Hands” only reached #13.  The follow-up, “Sacrifice” peaked at #18 in January 1990, and the third and final release from that album, “Club At The End of The Street” only reached #28.

BEYOND THE 1980s

In the 1990s, with the exception of the huge success with “The Lion King” soundtrack, radio continued to cool toward Elton.

He charted with 11 Top 40 hits.  Of those, only four reached the Top Ten.

He did achieve two #1 songs in the 1990s, “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me”, a duet with George Michael, in 1991, and “Something About The Way You Look Tonight/Candle In The Wind 1997”, a tribute to the late Princess Diana.  That single not only topped the American charts, it also sold 11 million singles in the U.S.

2000s

What’s wrong with radio these days?  Sadly, no Madonna and no Elton.  He has not scored a Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 this decade.
The closest was #49 in 2000 with “Someday Out of The Blue” from the “El Dorado” soundtrack.  However, he has scored Top Ten hits on the Billboard Adult Contemporary charts.

Anthony

I’m Imposing A Political Gag Order on Myself

This is it!  I’m done with it.

Mark October 18th on your calendar because unless something happens over the next few weeks to tick me off, I’m not going to mention the race for the White House again until I breathe a sigh of relief on the evening of Tuesday, November 6, 2012.

I’ve made it clear that President Obama has my vote and I admit that he’s had a rough four years.  It also should come as no surprise that I think Republican presidential wannabe Mitt Romney is having an equally hard time keeping his stories straight to even know what he thinks or believes.

On election night, I’ll be glued to the television just like I did when I was younger watching the returns come in from around the country.  I will waiting to see if America chooses to re-elect President Obama (which I think they will by a small margin) or if Mitt Romney will be the next President of the United States.

However, that is just one race that I’m concerned with this year.  I’ll be watching to see how the great people of Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington vote on making marriage possible for all residents in their respective states.

In Maryland and Washington, the governors of those states initiated this process and things look good for marriage equality.  A SurveyUSA poll in Washington show that 55% support marriage equality and 40% are opposed.

And, in Minnesota, things are looking good for marriage equality for the first time this election season.

On the ballot this November is a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.  The latest poll from Public Policy Polling show that only 46% support this ban and 49% are opposed!

Independent voters are credited with the swing in the polling.  52% now oppose the ban.

Another race that is important to me is also in Minnesota.  I want to see former failed Republican presidential candidate (and whack job) Michele Bachmann voted out of office.

The latest poll from SurveyUSA/KSTP shows Bachmann leading her Democratic opponent, Jim Graves, in the race for the 6th Congressional District by a margin of 50-41%.

What is shocking to me is that Bachmann has an 18% lead among the men polled, while Graves leads in women polled by 1%.

Graves is definitely feeling the momentum in this race and there’s no disputing the fact that Bachmann feels threatened in her re-election campaign.

I was very vocal last spring about Bachmann’s anti-gay rhetoric when she was a contender for the Republican nominee for president and that is why I want her voted out of office in Minnesota this fall.  This woman is mean.

Bachmann’s lesbian stepsister, Helen LaFave  says that she’s “hurt and disappointed that my sister is leading this charge.”  LaFave and her partner, Nia, have been together for almost 25 years.

In the past, she sent Bachmann a letter that the candidate never responded to and said, “You’ve taken aim at me.  You’ve taken aim at my family.”

Family is everything and everyone should do whatever they can for their family.  Bachmann’s children have campaigned for her and I sense that the congresswoman loves her family — as long as your family is not gay.

Anthony

 

Justify(ing) My Love On My Birthday

They say that the third time is a charm.  Well, they may be on to something.  Saturday night, I saw Madonna in concert for the third time.  It was also the best seats that I’ve ever had and it was on my birthday.  Sadly, she didn’t know I existed because I didn’t get into the “Golden Triangle”, the pit by the stage.

Nevertheless, it was an incredible concert and like a fine wine, Madonna only gets better in time.  So, what if radio doesn’t play new music by women over 30.  That’s radio’s loss.

The visuals for the concert were incredible and if you’ve never seen Madonna in concert, you don’t know what you’re missing.

The “MDNA Tour” is expected to be one of the top grossing concerts of all time.  And, I can’t wait for it to come out on DVD some time in 2013!

Now, you’ve seen the shirt that I’ve been waiting months to wear that required me to diet this summer and shave my chest in Las Vegas.  Here is the kicker.  While we were out walking and buying souvenirs, I bought Gretel a fake diamond bracelet that spelled out her name and I accessorized my shirt with a similar bracelet. 🙂

It’s Vegas, baby, so if I want to wear a pink diamond bracelet that spells out MADONNA, I can do it. 🙂

Now, here are pictures from the show!

“Gang Bang” was the fourth song in the set and from her “MDNA” album.  It was also the most graphically violent and most physical song of the show, so I opted to watch it without taking pictures so I would not miss all of the gun play and blood splatter.  Luckily, for me, Ray took some pictures, too.

During the middle part of the show, not only were there drummers on the stage, but there were also drummers that descended from the ceiling and played in midair!  Cinematically, it was amazing.

As rapper Nicki Minaj, who appeared on the big screen during “I Don’t Give A” exclaimed, “There’s only one queen, and that’s Madonna, bitch!”, and she is so right.

Here is the video montage of “Nobody Knows Me” that has been causing controversy, especially in France from Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Front party.

Anthony

Royalty In Vegas: Sir Elton John is Still Standing

My much-anticipated trip to Las Vegas is now history and I have many wonderful memories of the vacation:  spending time away with Ray around the clock, the shows (Elton John, Madonna, and Frank Marino’s Divas), the food, the glitz, and the people watching.

As you know, the purpose of the trip was my birthday and to see Madonna.

 

After we made the arrangements to go in February, Sir Elton John was forced to cancel nine shows earlier this year due to health reasons and it was announced this summer that he would make up those dates in October.  But, we didn’t have tickets.

Late Friday afternoon, just hours after arriving in Las Vegas, I searched ebay one last time and we got fantastic rear orchestra seats for a great price and just like that, two hours later we were sitting there waiting for the show to begin!

I’ve always been a fan of Elton’s from the days of my childhood and his poppy ’70s songs, the fun, yet sometimes, moody hits of the ’80s, the more mature themed music of the ’90s when radio began to move away from playing his new songs (except for “The Lion King” and his tribute to Princess Diana), to his recent adult contemporary fare.

I remained a loyal fan of Elton’s even as he relentlessly bashed Madonna in the press this year.  I have enough love for the theatricality of Elton, Madonna, and Lady Gaga, that all three stars can exist in my solar system without crashing into each other!

When the lights went down and the stage lit up, Elton John had arrived and he opened with “The Bitch Is Back”.

For the next two hours, he would perform some of his biggest hits of the 1970’s:  “Bennie and the Jets”, “Rocket Man”, “Levon”, “Tiny Dancer”, “Your Song”, “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”, “Philadelphia Freedom”, “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me”, and “Crocodile Rock”.

After that decade, the selections became more scarce.  He performed “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues” and “I’m Still Standing” from the 1980s.

Going into the show, I had looked at an online set list from the night before and it showed that he performed “Blue Eyes”, one of my favorites.  However, glaringly missing was “Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny), Elton’s tribute to the late, great John Lennon.  That is one of my all-time favorites of Elton’s, but I would survive without it.

But, I got the shock of my life. When it was time for “Blue Eyes”, he started talking about his friend, John Lennon and he sang my song.  What a pleasant surprise.  While he dropped “Blue Eyes”, I got to enjoy “Empty Garden” live!

Elton closed out his 19-song set with his award-winning “Circle of Life” from “The Lion King”.

Going into the show, I didn’t know what to expect.  Someone riding on the bus from the hotel to the airport in Chicago said she saw him with Billy Joel and was disappointed and she became a Billy Joel fan that night.  I’ve heard of the tantrums that he’s thrown onstage and off and sadly, people post some really bad quality video that they record at concerts on YouTube that does performers no service!

However, it was two hours of pure gold entertainment.  Sir Elton John sounded great and was in a fantastic mood telling some really touching stories about his past, his collaborations, the friends he has lost (Ryan White, Lady Diana, and Elizabeth Taylor), and some naughty stories (John Lennon) and he did make one, very funny Madonna reference.

While talking about his glitzy Yahama piano, Elton said that the company went all out with the construction of the piano.  He said they even installed an aquarium on the front of it so if he got bored, he could watch the fish.  He then said that we could see fish and through optical illusions, the sides of the piano changed like his background and we saw fish swimming.

At that point, he said the fish reminded him of Madonna.  All of the sudden, a small gasp could be heard from the well-informed, and he hushed us, saying that he and Madonna have made up and that they met for dinner in France, “I hugged her and she kicked me in the balls”.  The crowd loved it.

The set was stunning, the background videos were fantastic (one featured Elton throughout the years in all of his outlandish looks, the stars he has met, and one featured Elton and his husband on top of a cake and their baby), and Elton was incredible.

What a pleasant surprise to my birthday weekend.  I can’t wait for this show to come out on DVD.  Sadly, if you want to see Elton, unless you make plans soon, his “The Million Dollar Piano” show wraps up at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, on October 28, 2012 — only seven shows left!

My only complaint is that I called Caesars Palace to specifically ask about cameras and they said “no cameras” and I didn’t take mine.  When I got there, it was no video or audio recording and if you were using a camera, no flash.  Needless to say, I wanted to throw an Elton-sized tantrum.  But, by not taking pictures, I enjoyed all of the show without worrying about getting that perfect picture.  Nevertheless, epic fail, misinformed Caesars Palace lady that answered the phone when I called!

Sir Elton John, you were simply amazing and I’m glad I got to spend two hours of my birthday weekend with you.

Anthony

“Argo” — Early Oscar Contender???

When people see shows in Las Vegas, some of the ones that come to mind are legendary singers, female impersonators, hot “Magic Mike” dancers, skinny women with big boobs shaking their bon bons, magic shows, and comedy shows.

Sitting in a movie theater probably isn’t one of the shows that you thought about when I brought up the topic.  But, that is what Ray and I did Sunday.  Director/actor Ben Affleck’s latest thriller, “Argo” opened nationwide this past Friday.

I’ve been very excited about this movie since I first saw the trailer months ago.  While I was only 15-years-old back in November, 1979 when the American Embassy in Tehran, Iran, was overtaken and 52 Americans were taken hostage, I remember it very well.  I also know that the 444 day hostage situation, along with the faltering economy, doomed President Jimmy Carter’s re-election campaign.

That historical event plays into the storyline of “Argo”, however, the main emphasis of the movie focuses on the six Americans that escaped when the embassy was seized.  They hid out in the home of the Canadian ambassador.

It was up the United States government to figure out how to go into Iran and rescue the six Americans before they were discovered and killed.

So, CIA operative Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) came up with a bold plan.  He went to Tinseltown to recruit a make-up artist that has worked with the government in the past (John Goodman) and a successful director (Alan Arkin).  They would pretend to be producing a Hollywood science-fiction movie, “Argo” that would be taking place on another planet and they wanted to use Iran as the set for the movies.

But, would this bizarre operation work and if the Iranian government allowed the crew to film in the country, would it go off without anyone getting caught and killed?

The aforementioned actors, Goodman and Arkin are so convincing and funny as the Hollywood types.  It was probably so much fun to lampoon the industry and people that they have both seen throughout the years acting.

Affleck was convincing as brooding agent with a crumbling marriage and the lives of six Americans and his own at stake.  And, while it shouldn’t have anything to do with the movie’s success, he was so hot with that 1970s shaggy hair.

All of the sets and costumes were very vintage ’70s and I felt like I was living through the whole hostage turmoil again.  The movie was suspenseful enough and you were rooting for all of them to get home safely.  However, it was sad that President Carter did not get any credit for the safe return of the 52 hostages during his presidency.

While the movie states that this was a potentially deadly situation if the Iranians found out that six people escaped, I wish that “Argo” had showed us more of the violence and sentiment toward the West and Americans without glorifying it.  Otherwise, the movie was very successful at telling its story and was very enjoyable as a thriller.

Critics are already raving that “Argo” is an early favorite for the upcoming award season.  After seeing it, I think that Ben Affleck will earn a Best Director nomination that many felt he deserved for 2010’s “The Town.”

GRADE: A-

They Said What??? Ben Affleck, Elton John, Lady Gaga, & Sam Champion

“GOOD MORNING AMERICA” WEATHERMAN SAM CHAMPION

(discussing his upcoming wedding and the outpouring of support):  “I felt like we lived in a small town… I was born in Paducah, Kentucky, and to me that’s exactly what it felt like. We walked out on the street and everyone was like, ‘Hey, congratulations.’ Thank you for the tweets, and the Facebook and just coming up on the street and saying the most wonderful things.”

ACTOR/DIRECTOR BEN AFFLECK

(to Sam Champion):  “I want to congratulate Sam.  It’s to our shame that you can’t get married in every state in the union, but one day I hope you will be able to. It’s very exciting. I was very inspired…a moving, love story.”

ELTON JOHN

“I know a lot of people, and perhaps especially religious people, will say that David and I should count ourselves lucky for living in a country that allows civil partnerships, and call it quits there. Well, I don’t accept this. I don’t accept it because there is a world of difference between calling someone your ‘partner’ and calling them your ‘husband’. ‘Partner’ is a word that should be preserved for people you play tennis with, or work alongside in business. It doesn’t come close to describing the love that I have for David, and he for me. In contrast, ‘husband’ does. A ‘husband’ is somebody that you cherish forever, that you would give up everything for, that you love in sickness and in health. Until the law recognises David Furnish is my husband, and not merely my partner, the law won’t describe the man I know and adore.”

FORMER CEO OF WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT & REPUBLICAN CONNECTICUT SENATORIAL CANDIDATE LINDA McMAHON

“I have changed my position on DOMA [Defense of Marriage Act, which states marriage is between a man and a woman] because, with gay marriage now approved in the state of Connecticut, I don’t think it’s fair.”

REPUBLICAN MICHIGAN STATE REPRESENTATIVE TOM McMILLIN

“Well, I think that the thousands of people that have been in that lifestyle and come out would say that it was their choice when they were in and came out of the lifestyle.”

“ONE MILLION MOMS”

(protesting the as-yet-unproduced Jennifer Lopez lesbian-themed television show, “The Fosters”):  “Hollywood is continuing to push an agenda that homosexuality is acceptable when scripture states clearly it is a sin. As Christians, the Bible also says that we must speak up against sin. If we remain silent then we are guilty of sin also.

LADY GAGA

(tweeting after vomiting several times on stage in Barcelona, Spain):  “Was praying nobody saw but actually its quite a good laugh if u need one! Check out Lady PukeGA doing Swan ‘Vomit’ Lake.”