Posts Tagged ‘Sacha Baron Cohen’

Random Friday Thoughts — November 23, 2018

I hope you’re having a great and happy Thanksgiving holiday and the kick-off to the Christmas season!

Thank you checking out my Random Friday Thoughts!

THANKSGIVING

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Before work, I enjoyed the Thanksgiving feast with my friend, Katie, and her family and friends.

I still have vivid memories (and pictures) of Thanksgiving pasts!

Our Turkey 2012

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PLAY THAT CHRISTMAS SONG NOW!

A few weeks ago, I highlighted the soundtrack to “It’s Christmas, Eve” on the Hallmark Channel by LeAnn Rimes.

LeAnn

I wrote, “It’s the best Christmas album in the past few years!!!!” and I gave the album an “A”!

Not only am I telling you again to get the album, but I’m thrilled that LeAnn saw my review and called me “sweet” on Twitter. 🙂

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By the way, LeAnn and I crossed paths back in Salisbury, Maryland, in 2005.  She was just as sweet and fantastic then as she is now!

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Check out this mix from the soundtrack!  Incredible!

LeAnn and family, Merry Christmas and Happy 2019!

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY

While “Bohemian Rhapsody” went through cast changes (Sacha Baron Cohen was originally cast as Freddie Mercury) and a rocky road from development to screen, the movie was amazing!

In just three weeks, the $52 million production has already made $404.1 million (one-third of that in the U.S.)

Emmy winner Rami Malik (“Mr. Robot”) was incredible as Queen lead singer Mercury and will very likely be nominated for a Best Actor Oscar!

GRADE:  A- 

QUEEN — BY THE NUMBERS

In the U.S., the band scored eleven Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100.

Its first “Killer Queen” reached #12 in 1975.

Queen hit the Top Ten five times (two of those were with “Bohemian Rhapsody” — #9 in 1975, #2 in 1991).  “Rhapsody” also reached #33 on the Hot 100 this year, too, when the movie soundtrack came out.

They topped the chart twice:  “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” (1980, 4 weeks) and “Another One Bites The Dust” (1980, 3 weeks).

As risque as Mercury could be, in 1984, the band’s relatively tame video “I Want To Break Free” was banned on MTV because the band was wearing women’s clothes!

Because of that ban in Reagan’s uptight America, the song only reached #45 here.

However, it hit #1 in three countries and the Top Ten in eight others around the world!

“MAMMA MIA!  HERE WE GO AGAIN”

In 2008, “Mamma Mia! was one of my favorites of the year and it grossed $615.7 million worldwide.

I was excited when the sequel was announced to hit theaters in the summer of 2018.

Mamma Mia Here We Go Again.jpg

Well, that was until I heard that a major character (my favorite) was dead in the sequel, but would appear briefly.

So, I refused to go see it in theaters.  But, it made $393.4 million worldwide.

Now that it’s on DVD and Redbox sent me a free movie for my birthday, I saw it.

Pros:  Jeremy Irvine, Lily James, Meryl Streep (in the closing credits production number), the closing production number, Cher, and Jeremy Irvine. 🙂

Cons:  incoherent mess (at times), the “I Kissed The Teacher” production number and several others, and Cher.

Instead of sharing the trailer for the movie, here’s the amazing closing credits production number!

GRADE:  B- 

JEREMY IRVINE

I put Jeremy Irvine in my “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” review because I’ve loved him since his 2011 movie debut in “War Horse”.

Jeremy_Irvine

I even enjoyed him in 2015’s reviled “Stonewall”!  About that movie, I know it was “white-washed”, but it still told a very important story in LGBTQ history!

“BOY ERASED” & “BEN IS BACK”

There are a few more movies I want to see this year.

“Boy Erased” (with the always incredible Nicole Kidman and the incredible Lucas Hedges) about gay conversion therapy ( P.S.  IT’S WRONG AND IT DOESN’T WORK!),

“Green Book”, “Mary Poppins Returns”, and “Ben Is Back”.  (I may have to wait until 2019 for some of them since they’re only playing in bigger cities for now!)

I absolutely love Julia Roberts and Lucas Hedges (him again) blows me away.  When I heard they were doing a movie together, I was excited.

All I knew about it was that Ben is a drug user and he shows up on Christmas Eve.  So, I figured it was going to be a drama-filled holiday.

However, when the full trailer debuted, I was floored.  It’s so much more intense and powerful than I expected.

I’ll definitely be there when it opens in Duluth, Minnesota!  WOW!

Final note from the trailer:  When Ben says, “I’m not going to die.”

Really?  If this is like horror movie foreshadowing when they say “I’ll be right back”, you’re know they’re doomed and they won’t be back!!!

THAT’S IT

With all the craziness in the world, make it the best in your little part of it!

Anthony

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Move Forward & Stop Looking Back

Birthdays are interesting annual events.  Some people count down to the big day and some would rather it pass unnoticed.

As life goes on, the way we celebrate the natal day changes.  As a kid, we’re excited for a cake, a party, and gifts.

That’s me celebrating my first birthday with a cake that ISN’T chocolate! 😦

October 13 1965

In retrospective, I’m grateful I got to celebrate that birthday.  When I arrived six weeks early, in the fall of 1964, I weighed about three pounds and I wasn’t expected to make it.  The survival rate for preemies back then was only 28%!

For many, becoming a teenager is exciting and to others, it’s a terrifying time. Then, there’s 16, 18, and 21.

After that the pressure settles in as 25 nears and you become frantic at 30 feeling as though your youth is gone.  It’s time to evaluate where you’re at in life and where you’re heading.

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I survived college, partying, and finding myself in my teens and 20s, starting my career in my 30s, finding love in my 40s, and losing it in my 50s.

There are days of bitterness and anger, but many more are now filled with uncertainty — not only of what lies ahead down this road of life we travel, but mortality!   Dessie-Hollie-Anthony -- Fall 1964

While the average life expectancy in the U.S. is now 78.7 years, my beautiful mother, Dessie, didn’t get anywhere near that.

She died at 47 (in 1990).  My father died three years earlier at 55.

Time

I’m optimistic that I have many years left since I’m physically and mentally healthy.  I just have to work on becoming emotionally and mentally happy!

My next birthday is right around the corner (October 13).

If you send birthday wishes to me via Facebook, I’ll get around to responding to them when I can since I’ll be out of the country!

I’m marking another continent off my travel list!

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This will be the fourth continent I’ve visited — following North America, Europe, and Asia!

To help you narrow it down, I don’t think I need to visit Antarctica and going to South America isn’t high on my travel “bucket list”.

Final clues before you see the pictures on Facebook when I have internet:  It’s north of the Equator (never been south of it), 99% Muslim, and it’s ruled by a King.

Birthday Trip 2

And, in August, Madonna spent her 60th birthday there.  I’m sure that her arrangements were on a grander scale! 🙂

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P.S. I share my birthday with Sacha Baron Cohen (47), Nancy Kerrigan (49), Fox Mulder (57), and Marie Osmond (59).  Oh, I can’t forget my dear friend, Crystal Craddock-Posey!

With that being said, I want to share some of my favorites birthdays of the past with you.

BIRTHDAY 2016

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BIRTHDAY 2014

For my 50th birthday, I wanted to visit Tel Aviv, Israel.

When booking the trip, the connecting flight was through Paris, so it was decided to spend three nights in Paris and four in Tel Aviv.

For my birthday, I was treated to a Seine River dinner cruise, a view of Paris from atop the Eiffel Tower, and sitting stage side at the historic Moulin Rogue sipping champagne at midnight as I turned 50!

Anthony 50

Days later, in Tel Aviv, I had the best meal ever at Benny The Fisherman, right on the Mediterranean Sea!

Benny The Fisherman

BIRTHDAY 2012

The day started with an incredible brunch at the Stratosphere (back when it was good) in Las Vegas and ended with seeing Madonna and the incredible “MDNA Tour”.

Champagne

Madonna MDNA

BIRTHDAY 2011

This would be the last one with my best buddy in the world, my beautiful golden retriever, Miss ABBA.  It was a warm fall day in the Quad Cities and we spent it outside playing.

ABBAAnthonyBD2011

BIRTHDAY 2009

2009 Gifts

As I head into my 55th year and beyond, I’ll live by the words of Kylie Minogue and her life affirming hit “Golden” (which chronicles her turning 50 earlier this year)!

Kylie Golden 1

Kylie

Kylie Golden 2

My one goal for 2019 — seeing Kylie’s “Golden Tour” here in the U.S.!

Here’s to future!

Claire

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — August 10, 2018

Thank you for taking the time to check out my random thoughts and to see what I’m thinking about this week.

Have a great weekend!

OFFENSIVE?

“Arrow” star Stephen Amell, a longtime ally of the LGBTQ community, enjoyed Vancouver Pride last weekend and his shirt caused quite a stir.

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Some find the shirt offensive saying he’s not really our ally to wear it!

However, a poll about whether the shirt is offensive says otherwise!

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What do you think???   By the way, I voted “Seriously?”

Let me know while I run to the ATM!  I know I have $20 in my checking account! 🙂

Now on to something really serious!

“CONVERSION THERAPY”

Conversion therapy is harmful and sad!

Kids that feel broken suffer even more and it doesn’t mend families, it destroys them.

Love Cure

If you’re not familiar with “conversion therapy”, it’s an ill-fated, sad program that preys on a family’s fear of their son or daughter being LGBTQ.  It claims that you can change if you have feelings for someone of the same sex.

It uses psychological, physical, and spiritual torture to make an LGBTQ child “straight”.

In the United States, before 1981, ice-pick lobotomies, chemical castration with hormones, and aversion treatments (applying electric shock to the hands and/or genitals) were used to “change” gay people.

Electric shock treatment is still used in some places today!

A couple of popular expressions in the field are “Fake it till you make it” and “Pray away the gay”.

conversion-therapy

In the United States, 12 states and the District of Columbia have outlawed conversion therapy for minors based on sexual orientation and gender identity of expression.  Those states are California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

Maryland (October 1, 2018) and New Hampshire (January 1, 2019) will soon be added to the list.

There are many other counties, municipalities, and communities in the U.S. that outlaw conversion therapy for minors, even though it’s not recognized on the state level in those states.

As of this summer, there are bills to ban conversion therapy on minors that have been introduced or are pending in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Puerto Rico.

MICHELE & MARCUS BACHMANN

Minnesota’s own former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who has a record of being very anti-LGBTQ, has a skeleton in her closet when it comes to “conversion therapy” or “reparative therapy”.

Bachmann

The procedure was notably performed at Bachmann & Associates, a Christian therapy clinic started by Bachmann’s husband, Marcus, based in Lake Elmo, Minnesota.

Marcus Bachmann

Ironic that I used the word “closet” when discussing the Bachmanns because of the “rumors”!

“BOY ERASED”

Two movies dealing with conversion therapy are coming out this year.

“Boy Erased”, based on the 2016 memoir of Garrard Conley, an Arkansas teenager outed in college to his fundamentalist parents.  His choice — be disowned or gay conversion therapy.

After seeing this powerful trailer, I’m convinced “Boy Erased” will be a strong Oscar contender.  It stars Oscar winners Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe and Oscar nominee Lucas Hedges.

I love Kidman and I’ve been a huge fan of 21-year-old Hedges since “Manchester By The Sea” and he was great in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”.

It also stars out pop star Troye Sivan.

“Boy Erased” hits theaters November 2, 2018.

“THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST”

The other “gay conversion” movie, The Miseducation of Cameron Post” starring Chloe Grace Moretz, debuted last weekend, in very limited release.

In just two theaters, it had an incredible box average of $26,500!

Chloe is a great actress and I can’t wait to see her stunning performance.

“MADAM SECRETARY”

As the fourth season ended in May, it was bittersweet.  I smiled, but I wanted to cry.

Madam Secretary Elizabeth McCord tells her husband Henry, that she wants to run for president.

He replies, “I’m with you!”

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MORE “MADAM SECRETARY” (BIG GUEST STARS!)

When the fifth season of kicks off Sunday, October 7th on CBS, the shows will have some heavy hitters making guest star appearances.

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Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Colin Powell, and Madeleine Albright will star.

This will be Albright’s second appearance on the show.  She guest starred in 2015.

P.S.  In 45’s revolving door of cabinet and staff, whoever is Secretary of State was probably not invited. 🙂

THEY SAID WHAT — ABOUT 45???

Madonna (to “Vogue Italia”):  “I felt like we needed a change, and I wanted to get out of America for a minute ― as you know, this is not America’s finest hour.”\

Hollywood show runner Ryan Murphy (on having a 1980s version of “that man” on his FX hit series “Pose” and then scrapping the idea):  “I just don’t want to see him. I do not want to see that face, didn’t want to hear that voice, didn’t want that presence to pollute something very pure and beautiful. We almost never say his name, it’s a Pavlovian cringe at this point. I think it was a right decision.”

Republican South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham:

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“WHO IS AMERICA”

If you haven’t seen this Sacha Baron Cohen and Showtime series, you’re missing out on mind-boggling reality television!

I call it reality because, sadly, it shows how really f***ed up some are in this country!

The blatant racism is sad to watch and the things people say or do to show their blind love for 45 is just incredible.

After his ignorant and racist appearance on the show, Republican Georgia lawmaker Jason Spencer resigned his position.

Here’s what I tweeted to Cohen and Showtime about the show.

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Cohen also duped former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.  It’s unknown if that segment will air or not!

RETURN DATES ON MY FAVORITE SHOWS

Now that “Pose”, “Dietland”, “Claws”, and “Sharp Objects” are done or winding down and “The Sinner” is just getting started, I can’t wait for my next round of favorite series to return this fall.

Here are the return dates on those:

September 12 — “American Horror Story: Apocalypse” (FX)

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The first trailer came out earlier this week!

September 23 & 24 — “9-1-1” (FOX) (2-night premiere)

September 24 — “The Good Doctor” (ABC)

September 27 — “How To Get Away With Murder” (ABC)

October 7 — “Madam Secretary’ (CBS)

November 2 — “House of Cards” (Netflix)

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Still no date on the return of season 4 of “Mr. Robot” (USA).

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

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90s NOSTALGIA

In the late-1980s and 1990s (and beyond), I was obsessed with Taylor Dayne and her music.

I’ve seen her in concert twice (and almost a third time, but we won’t talk about that).

My favorite album is still “Can’t Fight Fate” from 1989.

That album produced Taylor’s only #1 Billboard Hot 100 hit, “Love Will Lead You Back”, and two more Top Five hits, “I’ll Be Your Shelter”, and this one, the album’s lead single, “With Every Beat of My Heart”.

This is such a stunning and sexy video!

“Heart of Stone”, the fourth single, peaked at #12 on the Hot 100.

THAT’S IT

With all the craziness in the world, make it the best in your little part of it!

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — July 26, 2013

It’s Friday morning and since I’m working the afternoon and evening shift, I have not been up since 1 a.m.!  While I’ll have a shortened weekend, I’m looking forward to it, nevertheless.

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend.  Here are the things on my mind this week — my random thoughts.  Let me know what you think of them and what you’re thinking about these days.

CHINA, KEEP YOUR FAST FOOD

As you know, I love buffets and Osaka Buffet in Moline, Illinois, and Wise Guys in Davenport, Iowa, are my favorites.  However, I know some people who hate buffets because they have issues with cleanliness and others touching the same serving utensils.

However, maybe they should reconsider their eating out options, especially if they’re going to China.

mcdonalds-kfc-kungfu

China Central Television tested the ice at McDonald’s, KFC, and Kungfu, a Chinese fast-food chain, in Beijing, and found that the ice cubes contained 13 times more bacteria than water from a toilet.  The worse offender in the undercover test was KFC.  There were 900 colony-forming bacteria units per milliliter.

KFC

Now, while this sounds very gross, Dong Qingli, a food safety expert, says the headline might get your attention, but the information is not useful stating, “The bacteria count on your teeth or on the bottom of your shoe is about the same. Instead you should look at which actual bacteria types exceeded levels.”

Nevertheless, all three restaurants promise to improve their sanitary procedures.

I guess I don’t have anything to worry about with this because I have no desire to visit China and even if I did, I wouldn’t be eating American fast food in Asia!

THREE UPDATES ON LAST WEEK’S BLOG

The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that the city’s Fox affiliate KTVU fired three producers involved with reporting the offensive and fake names of the pilots involved in the Asiana Airlines flight 214 airplane crash that killed three people.  An investigative producer, a special projects producer, and a producer who tweeted “oh sh*t!” right after the names were read on the air were let go.

This is the graphic that started it all.

KTVU Asiana Flight 214

It now looks like Sasha Baron Cohen will not be playing Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury, who died in 1991.  Deadline.com exclusively reported, “The reason is that the band wanted to make more of a PG movie about Queen while Cohen was counting on a gritty R-rated tell-all centered around the gifted gay singer.”  That’s a bummer because I love Sacha and I know he’d be perfect in the role.  I guess I’ll have to watch him in “Borat” or “Les Miserables” again.

borat-mercury

And, Josh Rottenberg of “Entertainment Weekly” is reporting that Orson Scott Card, the controversial author of “Ender’s Game”, has “quietly stepped down from the board of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM)”.

Ender's Game

As I blogged last week, NOM is an outspoken group that is against marriage equality and Card has been very vocal in the past with his views against gay people and same-sex marriage.

The $110 million movie, based on Card’s book, hits theaters November 1, 2013, and is facing a public relations’ nightmare and a boycott because of Card’s personal views.

You can read more about all three of these stories in my original post last Friday:  https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/07/19/random-friday-thoughts-july-19/

NAUGHTY SHIRLEY JONES

Although I was only 5-years-old when it premiered back in September 1970, I remember Shirley Jones as Shirley Partridge on “The Partridge Family”, the musical comedy that lasted four seasons on ABC.

Partridge_Family_first_cast_1970

On the show, Shirley and her children record a pop song in their garage and it becomes a hit and then they get an old school bus and go on tour.

Fast forward 43 years and the Academy Award winning actress has just released her autobiography and she shared some very naughty stories.  You may want to close your eyes and not read some of the juicy stories she tells in the book (Spoiler alert:  I share some after this picture!).

Shirley Jones

She talks a lot about her troubled 18-year marriage to the late Jack Cassidy, the father of her three sons (including Shaun Cassidy) and the father of her stepson, David Cassidy, who played her television son, Keith, on “The Partridge Family”!  Jack’s body was found in December 1976 the morning after his penthouse went up in flames.

In the book, Shirley reveals that Jack was her first lover, that he was well endowed, and that he carried on a sexual affair with musician Cole Porter before and during their marriage.  Oh, and they had a threesome with a woman that she didn’t enjoy.

David Cassidy

Now, back to David.  Apparently, he and his father shared a family trait.  Wink, wink!  Shirley writes, “David’s brothers called him Donk, for Donkey.”

Okay, Shirley, I really didn’t expect to hear such things!  But, I’ll definitely be reading your book!

BREAKING GAGA-LICIOUS NEWS!

Yes, I’m getting very excited about the new Lady Gaga single coming out in mid-August (the new album arrives this November).

Lady GaGa on stage at the KOKO club in London

Gaga sent out this news Thursday afternoon!

“It’s official! Lady Gaga returns to the stage at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards on August 25th for the world premiere performance of the first single from ARTPOP!”

LEBANON IS EVOLVING

After being heavily criticized by the “Human Rights Watch” for mistreatment, torture (which included conducting “anal probes examination” to “test” if a person engages in anal sex as “evidence” of being gay), and arrests of LGBT people, some progress is being made in Lebanon, in the Middle East.

LEBANON-SOCIETY-HOMOPHOBIA-RALLY

The Lebanese Psychiatric Society (LPS) made it clear last week that being gay is NOT a mental disorder and it does NOT need to be treated.  It went on to say that “conversion therapy” that falsely converts gays into straights has no scientific backing.  The LPS made these comments after Dr. Nabil Khoury stated on prime time television that being gay is a disease and it needs to be treated.

The group says, “Homosexuality in itself does not cause any defect in judgment, stability, reliability or social and professional abilities.  The assumption that homosexuality is a result of disturbances in the family dynamic or unbalanced psychological development is based on wrong information.”

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Cold Crazy Hungry

ADVANTAGES OF BEING A GAY DAD TO A 12-YEAR-OLD GIRL

One of the advantages is that you get to discuss which member of One Direction is the cutest.  I say it’s Harry Styles and for the most part, Gretel agrees.

Harry Styles Pics

And, we also both feel sorry for him for dating Taylor Swift (even though she likes Taylor and her music).

One

Harry and his band must be doing something right because they faced the fury of the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC).  The cult calls One Direction “perverted” and went on to diminish them and the United Kingdom as “sin-chasing, fag-enabling, God-hating, Christ-rejecting”.

In June, the WBC released this statement about the band, “These freaks and their fans think it’s funny for these five perverts to grab each other’s asses on stage. “They glamorize sin and make a mock of God’s standards. Their one purpose is to encourage the youth of this generation to pursue every lust their evil hearts can imagine.”

So, last Friday night , the cult protested at One Direction’s Kansas City, Missouri, concert prompting Harry to send out this tweet.

Harry Styles

The cult quickly tweeted a compliment to Harry for mentioning God, before sending this follow-up.

WBC

All I can say is that at this point, the Westboro Baptist Church amuses me with their ignorance.    And, while I’ve used this before, it’s still perfect and I do it every day! 🙂

Live Your Life WBC

TINA TURNER GETS MARRIED

Pop superstar Tina Turner is a married woman again!

Deutscher Medienpreis 2005

The 73-year-old Tennessee native wed her longtime German-born record producer boyfriend Erwin Bach at their home in Lake Zurich, Switzerland, last Sunday.  Tina reportedly says, “I am happier than I could ever dream of.”

While the couple has lived in Switzerland for 18 years, it looks as though they will be staying there since Tina received her Swiss citizenship in late April.

“BLURRED LINES” HAS SOME COMPETITION

I love the biggest song in the country, Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”.  The song is now spending its seventh week at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and it’s been the top-selling digital song for the past eight weeks ago.  A few weeks, I featured the PG version and the unrated versions (featuring women showing their boobies).

Today, I’m posting the best parody of the song and video from the Seattle-based Boylesque group, Mod Carousel, which has been viewed more than a million times this week on YouTube, to positive reviews.

COMIC REACTION TO PAT ROBERTSON

A couple of weeks ago, I featured a video of televangelist Pat Robertson talking about what makes him want to vomit.  I stated my opinions then, but here’s another. 🙂

Conan Pat Robertson Follow

“THE LONE RANGER” = BIG BOMB!

I knew the latest Johnny Depp movie, “The Lone Ranger” was going to bomb at the box office.  The marketing ploy told the story.  When I saw “World War Z” and “White House Down”, the previews for “The Lone Ranger” basically stressed that it was a movie that you had to see in theaters for full effect.  In others words, please come see it and don’t wait to watch it on DVD.

The Lone Ranger

The movie’s budget is reportedly $215 million and since its July 3rd opening, it has only made $148.9 million worldwide ($82.5 million of that is from the U.S.).  It’s not the only bomb lately.  “R.I.P.D.”, “Red 2”, “White House Down”, and “Turbo” also tanked.  “Pacific Rim” performed poorly in the U.S., but is doing very well across the rest of the world.

A MOVIE RECOMMENDATION & TWO TO AVOID

We rented movies recently from Redbox.  Avoid “Texas Chainsaw 3D” and “Hansel & Gretel:  Witch Hunters”.

Hansel & Gretel

It was painful to watch Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner in “Hansel & Gretel:  Witch Hunters”.  If you love special effects, it was a great movie.  However, the story line was lacking and the violence was over the top.  Also, this is definitely not a movie for kids!

While it made $55.7 million in the U.S., it was a blockbuster around the rest of the world with a total take of $225.7.  A sequel is on the way!

GRADE:  D

Texas Chainsaw

There have been much better Texas Chainsaw movies and the only reason to watch this movie would be for the eye candy.  No, I’m not talking about Leatherface!   The movie earned back its budget grossing $39.3 million.

GRADE:  C-

Side Effects

The movie you should definitely rent soon is “Side Effects”, which was in theaters earlier this year.  The $30 million dollar movie ended up making $60.3 million.

It stars Oscar nominee Rooney Mara and Oscar winner Catherine Zeta-Jones, along with Jude Law and Channing Tatum.

It’s a suspenseful drama that focuses on a trial drug and who’s responsible if something bad happens while someone is taking that pill.  It has plenty of drama and a few surprise twists including the finale!  It’s a must see movie.

GRADE:  B

PICK HIT OF THE WEEK

Even before I saw the tweets between Harry Styles of One Direction and the Westboro Baptist Church, I caught a snippet of the band latest song, “Best Song Ever” and I actually liked it enough to check out the video.  And, I’m glad I did.  It cute and humorous and the song is fun.  Yes, I admit to liking a One Direction song!

And, I’m not alone.  The “Best Song Ever” video debuted Monday and broke the Vevo record for most views — 10.9 million views in the first 24 hours!

PEEPS’ ’80s FRIDAY FLASHBACK

Jennifer Holliday is best known from her Tony Award-winning role of Effie White from Broadway’s “Dreamgirls”.  “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” from that musical was her only top forty Hot 100 hit, reaching #22 in 1982.  It also won her a Grammy Award.  However, “No Frills Love” hit #1 two times on the Billboard Dance charts, first in 1985 and, again, in 1996.

I got to see fabulous Jennifer Holliday in concert at Market Days in Chicago in August 2010!

And, as a bonus to kick off your weekend, here’s the extended dance remix of “No Frills Love”.  Have fun this weekend!

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — July 19, 2013

I know that there are many of you out there that are just loving this heat and humidity.  I just love the fact that the central air works!  I’m so ready for fall!  Here’s a comparison of the first 16 days of July 2012 to the first 16 days of July 2013.

First 16 days of July

Notice that it was hotter and drier last year even though we only had rain twice this July in the first 16 days of the month!  It’s so dry and I don’t want to have to keep watering the new trees we planted and the garden.  Other than the heat, the humidity and the dog days of summer, here are my other random thoughts this Friday.

THERE’S STILL SO MUCH HATE IN THIS COUNTRY

Tensions are still running high across the United States following last Saturday night’s acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin in February 2012.  Race is definitely playing a role in how people are reacting to the verdict.  But, believe it or not, the hate group, the American Family Association (AFA) is using this trial and the verdict to attack gay people!

Conservative radio host Bryan Fischer, who’s also a high-ranking official with the AFA, is one of those hateful people.  Here are some of the tweets he sent out defending Zimmerman and attacking others.

Fischer TweetFischer Tweet 2

TALK ABOUT HATE AND IGNORANCE

Latin singer (and Jennifer Lopez’s ex-husband) Marc Anthony sang “God Bless America” Tuesday night in the seventh inning of the MLB All-Star Game in New York City.   And, this did not go over well with some fans of America’s favorite pastime.  Check out some of these ignorant tweets (and these were some of the more innocent ones that didn’t involve really bad racial overtones)!

Marc Anthony 1 Marc Anthony 2 Marc Anthony 3

For the record, Anthony was born in New York City in the Spanish Harlem neighborhood.  While he may be of Puerto Rican descent, he is an American!

Marc Anthony sings God Bless America during the seventh inning stretch at Major League Baseball's All-Star Game in New York

We have come so far in this country, yet we still have a long way to go.  We must never give up hope!

RUSSIA, MOVE OUT OF THE DARK AGES

While I love vodka, I have never had any desire to visit Russia.  And, now, with a new law in place, I definitely won’t be going there and I wouldn’t be welcomed.

Putin

The new law that was signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin and went into effect June 30th allows the government to arrest or detain gay or “pro-gay” foreigners for up to two weeks before expelling them from the country.  While the “pro-gay” language is vague, Travel + Escape, a Canadian website, says it could be “gay-affirmative” speech, displaying a rainbow flag and same-sex partners holding hands.

Fines could range from $156 to $6,250 in U.S. dollars for what “The Voice of Russia” calls “any display of affection between same-sex couples could cause a ‘distorted understanding’ that gay relations and heterosexual relations are socially equivalent, and risk spreading Western liberalism”.

But, Putin says the law is not anti-gay and that others should mind their own business, “We are talking about protecting children from the respective information.  We ask that (other countries) do not interfere in our regulation.”

I guess we should still call Russia the U.S.S.R. (or the Soviet Union) since it’s still living in the dark ages!

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

CUREDEyes Ear Mouth Resolution

CANCUN

Last fall, I visited Houston, Texas, with Ray, twenty years after my first visit.  The first time was with one of my best friends, Dennis.

Interestingly enough, the first time I visited Cancun, Mexico, in 1993, it was also with my friend Dennis.  He got us round trip airline tickets from Nashville, Tennessee, and the Cancun trip for only $299!  Now, twenty years later, Ray and I have passports and we’re heading to Cancun in about a month.

Here are a couple of pictures that I took from that 1993 trip.  I hope now that we’ve planned this beach vacation, I’ll find the motivation I need to lose ten pounds in four weeks!

Cancun 1993 001 Cancun 1993 002

KELLY CLARKSON GOT ME EXCITED

All it took was one tweet!  And, no it wasn’t a backstage shot of a shirtless Adam Levine since her tour with Maroon 5 doesn’t start until August 1st!

Kelly Tweet

Although you know as much as I do from this tweet and picture, it would appear that Kelly is recording new music with Reba McEntire and Trisha Yearwood.  Since ABC cancelled “Malibu Country” and her last radio single was in late 2011 (“Somebody’s Chelsea”), we haven’t heard much of “singer” Reba.

I don’t care if this is for a new album for Kelly or Trisha, I’m just excited that there will be new Reba music.  One could only hope that Reba is recording an album for early 2014!

Reba and Kelly first worked together on Reba’s “Duets” album that debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 album chart (her only #1 “pop” album) in the fall of 2007, selling more than 300,000 copies in the first week!

The lead single from that album, “Because of You” reached #2 on the country charts in August 2007.  Two years earlier, Kelly took the song to #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 becoming her sixth Top Ten hit on that chart.

Come on Reba.  Let’s make a return to country radio in 2014!

ASSOCIATE OF THE MONTH — REALLY?

Through the wonders of Facebook, people you haven’t talked to in 20 or 30 years can touch base with you.  And, you can find out that you were named “Associate of the Month” for your “excellent coverage” of a news story!

WYTV May 2001

This was at WYTV in Youngstown, Ohio.  While I don’t remember this achievement, I do remember the story.   And, I have to admit that the picture of me is a bit of a scary flashback, but the little blurb did bring a smile to my face since it was May 2001 and Miss ABBA, my beautiful golden was turning one year old!

So, here’s a bonus picture of Miss ABBA from the summer of 2001.

ABBA Spring 2001

GIVING JOURNALISTS A BAD NAME

Asiana Airlines accepted an apology and is dropping its lawsuit against San Fransisco television station KTVU after the station announced wrong, offensive names for the pilots involved in that airline’s deadly plane crash July 6th that killed three people.

The station made a call to the National Transportation Safety Board and apparently got confirmation of the names of the pilots from an intern.

But, seriously, what kind of idiots (and it wasn’t just the news anchor) didn’t catch that these names sounded out as “Captain Something Wrong”, “We Too Low”, and “Holy F**k”.

KTVU Asiana Flight 214

Just where did the station get these names in the first place?

How fitting is it that Don Henley of The Eagles scored his first solo hit with the anti-news business song, “Dirty Laundry” (#3, 1982).  It includes the lines, “We got the bubble-headed-bleach-blonde who comes on at five/She can tell you ’bout the plane crash with a gleam in her eye/It’s interesting when people die/Give us dirty laundry”.

Rest assured that not all journalists are irresponsible with information and your trust!

IOWA SINGER IS READY FOR THE BIG TIME

Earlier in the week, I blogged about Eli Lieb, a southeastern Iowa musician that has been working in New York City to make a name for himself in the music business.  He now lives in Los Angeles and is on the verge of making it big with his latest song, “Young Love”.

Eli Lieb Facebook

Since its release about a week ago, the video has already been viewed almost a quarter of a million times on YouTube!  If you missed it, here’s the video.

And, here’s the link to Tuesday’s blog so you can read more about Eli:  https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/07/16/finding-young-love-a-world-away-from-iowa/

FREDDIE MERCURY LIVES!

While it was announced back in late 2010 by Queen guitarist Brian May, it now looks like we’ll finally be seeing a movie based on the group’s bisexual lead singer Freddie Mercury, who died in late 1991 from an AIDS-related illness, at the age of 45.

freddie_with_crown

Mercury was born Farrokh Bulsasa, in Zanzibar, in East Africa.  While he was flamboyant on stage, he was personally very shy.  The singer, who dated men and women, became the first major rock star to die of AIDS.  Interestingly enough, it’s reported that he always denied that he was HIV-positive or had AIDS and it was only announced publicly one day before he died in London on November 24, 1991.

sacha-baron-cohen

“Borat” and “Les Miserables” actor Sacha Baron Cohen will play Mercury and he’s already taking singing lessons.  IMDb is reporting that the film will be “a chronicle of the years leading up to Queen’s appearance at the Live Aid concert in 1985.”  It’s also rumored that Tom Hooper, who also directed “Les Miserables” and “The King’s Speech” will be behind the camera.

This sounds like an exciting movie and it’s expected in 2014.

PEEPS’ ’80s FRIDAY FLASHBACK

The English rock band Queen formed in 1970.  While the band did not achieve instant success, it has now sold an estimated 150 million to 300 million albums world-wide since its debut album, “Queen”, came out in the summer of 1973.

“Killer Queen” was the band’s first  American hit in 1974 peaking at #12.

Queen Radio Gaga

Queen would go on to chart 13 Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100.  Of those, five would reach the Top Ten and two would top the chart:  “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” and “Another One Bites The Dust” (1980).  “Bohemian Rhapsody/These Are The Days of Our Lives” would go all the way to #2 in 1991.

My selection today was released in late October 1979, but it reached #1 on the Hot 100 in late February 1980, so it qualifies as one of my “80’s Friday Flashback” songs.

GOD SAVE THE QUEEN!

And, since we’re on the subject of Queen, let’s curtsy to Queen Elizabeth II!

Queen Elizabeth II Pride

Earlier this week, the Queen gave her blessing on marriage equality after Parliament passed its third reading.  Back in May, the House of Commons passed the bill by a vote of 366 to 161.   Same-sex marriages will begin in the United Kingdom next year!

Prime Minister David Cameron has pushed for marriage equality since 2011 when he told his own Conservative Party, “Yes, it’s about equality. But it’s also about something else: commitment. Conservatives believe in the ties that bind us; that society’s stronger when we make vows to each other and we support each other. So I don’t support gay marriage in spite of being a conservative, I support gay marriage because I am a conservative.”

Congratulations, Great Britain!

ENDER’S GAME” CONTROVERSY

EndersGame

“Ender’s Game” is a science fiction action movie coming out November 1, 2013, starring Asa Butterfield (“Hugo”), Academy Award nominees Harrison Ford (“Witness”), Viola Davis (“Doubt” and “The Help”), Hailee Steinfeld (“True Grit”), and Abigail Breslin (“Little Miss Sunshine”), along with Oscar winner Ben Kingsley (“Gandhi”).

It’s based on the popular 1985 novel by Orson Scott Card.  However, with just a little over three months before the $110 million movie’s premiere, it’s marred in a publicity nightmare and the LGBT group, Geeks OUT! is even proposing a boycott of the movie because of comments made by the book’s author.

Orson Scott Card

Card is on the board of directors at the National Organization for Marriage, a group that is very aggressive and mean in its views against same-sex marriage.   In 2009, Card wrote in “Mormon Times” that “marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down.”

And, just last year, while supporting North Carolina’s Amendment One, he called same-sex attraction, “reproductive dysfunction” and added that “normalizing a dysfunction will only make ours into a society that corrodes any loyalty to it, as parents see that our laws and institutions now work against the reproductive success (not to mention happiness) of the next generation.”

Now, the director of the movie, some of its stars, and Lionsgate Entertainment are distancing themselves from Card.  Lionsgate issued this in a statement, “As proud longtime supporters of the LGBT community […] we obviously do not agree with the personal views of Orson Scott Card and those of the National Organization for Marriage”.

Card recently told “Entertainment Weekly” (“EW”) that his anti-marriage views are now “moot” because of the Supreme Court’s late June decision on  the Defense of Marriage Act.

And, even with all of his negative views toward same-sex couples wanting the right to marry, it sounds like Card is playing the victim telling “EW”,  “Now it will be interesting to see whether the victorious proponents of gay marriage will show tolerance toward those who disagreed with them when the issue was still in dispute.”

Say what????  Let me get this straight.  Now, Card wants the LGBT community and its supporters to be tolerant and open-minded and come out to see “Ender’s Game” — just to line his pockets with more money.  That, Mr. Card, sounds more like a joker than an ace!

enders-game-boycott

So, what are your thoughts on this or anything else I talked about today?  I welcome your opinions whether we agree or disagree.  Have yourself a great weekend and, as always, thank you for checking out my blog.

Anthony