Posts Tagged ‘The Silence of the Lambs’

Random Friday Thoughts — August 6, 2021

Hello again!

After a two month hiatus, I’m back! I’ve missed sharing whatever random thoughts crossed my mind.

I hope your summer is off to a great start and here’s to those of us that are ready for fall!

Thank you for taking the time to see what I’m thinking about this week.

SOME GOOD COVID-19 NEWS…

By the numbers from the CDC (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) released earlier this week:

  • There was a 28% increase in the number of people getting vaccinated last week over the week before (a daily 441,329 people initiating vaccinations — the highest number since July 4th)!
  • 49.7% of Americans of all ages are now fully vaccinated.
  • 20 states now have half of their residents fully vaccinated! Thank you California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin, as well as Washington, D.C. 
  • Alabama and Mississippi are the only two states with less than 35% of their residents fully vaccinated.
  • 70% of adults have had at least one dose of vaccination! Twenty states have reached this plateau, including Illinois and Minnesota!

COVID VACCINATION FRUSTATIONS

This is great since I’m getting very frustrated with the spike in COVID-19 cases due to the “delta variant” and the high number of unvaccinated people.

I recently shared my thoughts about the summer of 2021 in the COVID-19 world. It was well received and one of the most viewed blogs I’ve written this year.

If you didn’t read it, here’s the link. And, if you disagree with me, do it diplomatically!

Just click on this link and it should open in a new window:

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2021/07/23/the-4-fs-of-our-future-fantasy-frustration-fear-f/

HELL IS FREEZING OVER!

Okay, not really. But, I finally agree with something that Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has to say!

The 76-year-old governor, the oldest in the nation, and I don’t agree politically on many things including LGBTQ rights and more.

In the third week of July, Ivey addressed the fact that her state ranks 47th in vaccination rates (just under 52% of adults have at least one dose), according to the CDC.

And, data from Johns Hopkins University shows that Alabama leads the nation in positive COVID tests, with 40%!

When asked what’s it going to take for people to be vaccinated, Ivey said, “I don’t know — you tell me. Folks are supposed to have common sense. But it’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks. It’s the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down.” 

Ivey added, “Almost 100% of the new hospitalizations are with unvaccinated folks… And the deaths are certainly occurring with the unvaccinated folks. These folks are choosing a horrible lifestyle of self-inflicted pain.”

She concluded with this: “I’ve done all I know how to do. I can encourage you to do something, but I can’t make you take care of yourself.”

“LOVE, VICTOR— SEASON 2

On a lighter note, I absolutely loved the second season of the Hulu original series, “Love, Victor”!

As much as I enjoyed the first season, this one was better since all of the characters showed maturity in dealing with all that’s going on in their lives.

And, I’m not just talking about the teenagers.

The separated parents have important storylines dealing with dating, reconciliation, and, most importantly, dealing with your child coming out as gay and accepting it (or not, because it’s at odds with the Catholic Church).

In October 2020, here’s what I wrote about season one: “‘Love, Victor’ has a great cast including the adorable lead, Michael Comino as Victor, Anthony Turpel as his best friend, Felix, and George Sear (Benji) and Rachel Hilson (Mia) as his two crushes… it’s a well-rounded story that just doesn’t just focus on Victor’s coming of age story and coming out. His parents have their own drama!”

While season two ended with a major cliffhanger, I’m excited to report that hulu renewed the series for a third season last Friday!

SEASON 2 GRADE: A

“MINARI”

This 2020 dramedy featured more drama than comedy, but there were many funny scenes and lines.

While it’s a subtitled film, which is a turn off to some, it’s incredible!

The movie picked up six Oscar nominations this year and a win in the Best Supporting Actress category for Youn Yuh-jung.

It’s the story of a Korean immigrant family moving to small town Arkansas from California in the early-1980s.

Jacob Yi (Steven Yeun of “The Walking Dead”) wants to farm and make a life for his wife and two children. But, they run into obstacles and his mother-in-law, Soon-ja (Yuh-jung) comes over from South Korea to attend to the children.

The ensemble cast was amazing, but Yuh-jung was incredible and definitely deserved her Oscar win.

Yuh-jung became the first Korean actress to win an Oscar and the first Asian actress to win an Academy Award since 1958!

GRADE: A

“THE FATHER”

This Oscar-nominated drama dealing with Alzheimer’s Disease featured Oscar winners Anthony Hopkins (“The Silence of the Lambs”) and Olivia Colman (“The Favourite”) in the lead.

It was nominated for six Academy Awards this year and it won two — one for Best Actor (Hopkins) and the other for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Colman was also nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category.

While it was (intentionally) hard to follow, it all made sense in the end.

It’s worth watching just for the incredible acting, but I’d never watch it again.

GRADE: B

“FALSE POSITIVE”

This modern day retelling of “Rosemary’s Baby” on Hulu is an okay movie, but I’d skip it!

The final scene with Ilana Glazer and Pierce Brosnan was great. And, while it’s always a treat to see Justin Theroux, it’s not enough to save the movie!

GRADE: C-

“SCANDALS OF CLASSIC HOLLYWOOD”

Subtitled, “Sex, Deviance, and Drama From The Golden Age of American Cinema” by Anne Helen Petersen (2014) was an interesting read.

Here are some of the things I learned:

Humphrey Bogart: “always defended the underdog and ‘loathed’ social injustice in all its forms, a point supported by his vocal support for African Americans in Hollywood. He was ‘proud’ to have actress Lena Horne as his neighbor.”

Bogart: “In the world of theater or any other phase of American life, the color of a man’s skin should have nothing to do with his rights in a land built upon the self-evident fact that all men are created equal.”

While Bogart was 43 and Lauren Bacall was only 19 when they were introduced for their first movie, sparks ignited. A famous line from the movie, “To Have and Have Not” (1944), brought a naughty smile to my face — Bacall’s Slim to Bogart’s Steve: “You know how to whistle, don’t you Steve? You just put your lips together and… blow.”

The book also focused on Judy Garland, Dorothy Dandridge, James Dean, Montgomery Clift, Clark Gable, Mae West, Marlon Brando, and Jean Harlow.

ANOTHER AUGUST THOUGHT

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

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — April 16, 2021

The weekend is upon us and I hope you have fantastic plans.

I’m working part of it, but will make the most of it!

Thank you for taking the time to check out my random thoughts!

AGATHA CHRISTIE

Okay, I’ll kick off with an astounding statistic that might blow your mind! (There’s a theme here for me to kick off with a writer that’s been dead for 45 years, the same year her last novel, “Sleeping Murder”, came out.)

English writer Agatha Christie, who’s mostly known for her 66 detective novels, has had more than 2 billion (that’s with a “B”) copies of her work published!!!

In 2019 alone, she moved 2 million copies!!!

She’s only been outsold by the Bible and the works of William Shakespeare!

Jokingly, some could say that “fiction sells”! 🙂

ARMIE HAMMER

34-year-old Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Award nominee Armie Hammer is still under investigation for sexual assault by the Los Angeles Police Department.

This comes after multiple women came forward earlier this year about abuse they had allegedly experienced during relationships with Hammer.

His wife of ten years, Elizabeth Chambers, announced their separation in the summer of 2020 — before the allegations surfaced.

He’s now been dropped by his talent agency and his publicist is no longer with him. He’s also been fired/dropped out of several new movies, including one with Jennifer Lopez.

If that sexual assault allegations weren’t bad enough, texts with “disturbing sexual fantasies” involving cannibalism surfaced!

DEATH ON THE NILE”

So, what does this mean for the blockbuster release of the Kenneth Branagh-directed movie, “Death on the Nile”, which Hammer co-stars alongside Gal Gadot (“Wonder Woman”), Annette Benning (“The Kids Are All Right”), and Branagh?

The movie opening has already been delayed, at least, six times.

It was originally scheduled for December 20, 2019, and was pushed back to October 9, 2020. Then with COVID-19, it was pushed back to September 17, 2021.

Last month, it was rescheduled once again to February 11, 2022! And, I’d bet money this was due to the Hammer scandal!

COSTLY SCANDAL SOLUTION

What I think will happen is that unless Hammer’s role is a major one, his scenes will be re-shot this summer with a new actor.

This happened with Kevin Spacey in “All The Money in the World”.

After his sex/rape scandal, his scenes were re-shot with the late Christopher Plummer. Plummer earned an Oscar nomination for his performance.

If you don’t remember the story, gay actor Anthony Rapp, a star of Broadway’s “Rent” and the CBS All Access’ series, “Star Trek Discovery”, alleges that back in 1986, then 26-year-old Spacey invited him to a party at his Manhattan apartment, when Rapp was only 14!

Rapp told “Buzzfeed” Spacey tried to seduce him and that “I was aware that he was trying to get with me sexually”.

It was then that Rapp says that Spacey “sort of stood in the doorway, kind of swaying. My impression when he came in the room was that he was drunk … He picked me up like a groom picks up the bride over the threshold. But I don’t, like, squirm away initially, because I’m like, ‘What’s going on?’ And then he lays down on top of me.”

Spacey’s career disintegrated and he was written out of the final season of “House of Cards”. I absolutely loved that show and would still watch it again with Spacey, but it would a little cringy.

However, my main draw to the show was always Robin Wright as Claire Underwood.

“CALL ME BY YOUR NAME”

Now, with Hammer, I’m torn because the LGBTQ+ classic “Call Me By Your Name” with Hammer and Timothee Chalamet was my favorite movie of 2018!

I know I’ll still watch it, but just like listening to the music of Michael Jackson, I still do it. It just adds creepiness to it!

MOVING ON!

THEY SAID WHAT???

GEORGE H.W. BUSH (then Republican National Committee Chairman, in his August 6, 1974, diary entry three days before President Nixon resigned, on President Ford and President Nixon): “this era of tawdry, shabby, lack of morality has got to end… I will take Ford’s decency over Nixon’s toughness because what we need at this juncture in our history is a certain sense of morality and a certain sense of decency.”

LEGENDARY DIRECTOR MARTIN SCORSESE (about Glenn Close, who was recommended to play Tony Montana’s (Al Pacino) mistress in “Scarface” by Oliver Stone in his book, “Chasing The Light”: “She’s got a face like a horse!”

Um, WTF? Glenn Close is beautiful! Well, definitely not in “Hillbilly Elegy”! 🙂

Darren Franich (in The Bullseye “Entertainment Weekly” March 2021): “‘Clarice’ is a ‘Silence of the Lambs’ spin-off about… who cares, ‘Hannibal’ is on Netflix.”

“JUSTIFIED”

I just finished binge watching the 2010-2015 FX series, “Justified”, with Timothy Olyphant, and absolutely loved it!

It’s tells the story of U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (Olyphant) having to go back to his home state of Kentucky in the Appalachian Mountains as punishment for shooting a Miami thug in a questionable manner. (Givens has his own set of justice that doesn’t set well with his bosses!)

I’ve had the biggest crush on Olyphant since I saw him in Greg Berlanti’s 2000 LGBTQ movie, “The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy”.

His character, Dennis, did have major flaws though — he wasn’t into commitment, he definitely got around, AND, worst of all, he hated the Carpenters! 🙂

Fast forward ten years or so –this is how you rock your 40s (from “Justified”)!

And, there’s been industry buzz that the team behind the series may be bringing it back in some form with the Emmy-nominated Olyphant rumored to be coming back!

Final note: if you want to see a more comical side of Olyphant, he was amazing in the three seasons of the Netflix’s comedy “Santa Clarita Diet” with Drew Barrymore.

BEWARE OF HARLAN COUNTY

Since much of “Justified” took place around Harlan County, Kentucky, “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive” was featured prominently in five of the six season finales. (Only season three didn’t use it.)

It’s an amazing and haunting song. Brad Paisley’s version from his 2001 album, “Part II” is amazing and was used in the season one and season two finales.

However, my favorite version of the song is by Patty Loveless from her 2001 album, “Mountain Soul”.

“HIS VERY BEST, JIMMY CARTER, A LIFE”

Final comments from Jonathan Adler’s must read 2020 biography…

Nine months before Islamic Revolution “students” seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran, on November 4, 1979, and kept 52 Americans hostage for 444 days, they briefly took over the embassy nine months earlier on Valentine’s Day, but released them!

President Carter sensed allowing the exiled Shah of Iran to stay in the U.S. could cause Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini and his radicals to take over the embassy again. In March 1979, President Carter asked his Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, “What are you guys going to advice me to do if they overrun our embassy and take our people hostage?”

After the Soviets invaded Afghanistan over Christmas 1979, it led a longshoreman group’s members to refuse to load ships with grain headed to the Soviet Union. While high ranking officials in Carter’s administration was behind a grain embargo, Rosalynn (Jimmy’s wife and one his closest advisors) and Vice President Walter Mondale was opposed.

President Carter went along with it and that decision was later compared to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. When Johnson signed that into law, it turned the Democratic South “red” (Republican) just as the embargo did for the farm belt states!

THAT’S IT

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

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — February 12, 2021

Happy Valentine’s Day weekend!

To us single people, it’s just another day or the day we prepare to get leftover chocolates for half-price the next day. 🙂

Thank you for taking time to check out my thoughts. It’s fine to disagree with me, just do it diplomatically!

BEING RACIST — NO PROBLEM TO SOME!

Country music star Morgan Wallen is “embarrassed and sorry.”

Earlier this month, after a night out on the town in Nashville, Wallen returned home and was yelling back to his friends that were leaving, “take care of this “p****-ass mother******” and then says, “take care of this p****-ass n*****” .

Once TMZ shared the video and story, iHeart and many country radio stations stopped playing his music, CMT dropped his videos, and his record label suspended his contract indefinitely.

Admitting he was embarrassed and sorry, Wallen went on to tell TMZ, “I used an unacceptable and inappropriate racial slur that I wish I could take back. There are no excuses to use this type of language, ever. I want to sincerely apologize for using the word. I promise to do better.”

So, you’d think his career would be pretty much over? Hold up!

Sadly, a large number of country music fans don’t seem to have a problem with his racist stupidity. I’m not speculating. In the wake of his rant, they’re still buying his music!

Earlier this week, a week after TMZ broke the story, Wallen still had 12 of the Top 100 most downloaded songs in the U.S. on the all musical genre chart, not just country.

He had an astounding 26 of the Top 100 country downloads with six in the Top Ten!

That says more about the people continuing to support this man than his racist stupidity!!!

HOW TWISTED!

Enough about him!

It’s hard to believe that the Oscar-winning “The Silence of the 🐑 Lambs” came out 30 years ago this weekend.

And, what’s more twisted about that — it came out on Valentine’s Day 1991!!!

It’s still one of my favorite movies of all-time!

CHINESE NEW YEAR

Xin nian kuai le! Gong hei fat choy!

February 12th is the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Ox!

By the way, “Xin nian kuai le” is Mandarin for “Happy New Year” and “Gong hei fat choy” is Cantonese for “Congratulations and wishing you prosperity.”

I learned those from reading the three-book “Crazy Rich Asians” series by Kevin Kwan!

REMEMBERING WHITNEY HOUSTON

It’s hard to believe that Whitney Houston has now been gone nine years!

On February 11, 2012, the 48-year-old singer was found dead in her room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, one day before the Grammy Awards. 

The autopsy showed that she drowned in the bathtub and subsequent toxicology reports attribute that to heart disease due to chronic cocaine use.

“A SONG FOR YOU: MY LIFE WITH WHITNEY HOUSTON”

Leading up to the anniversary of Whitney’s death, I read Robyn Crawford’s 2019 book, “A Song For You: My Life With Whitney Houston”.

Crawford was Whitney’s personal assistant and creative director for much of her career. Whitney and Robin met in New Jersey when they were teenagers.

There was always gossip that Whitney’s relationship with Crawford was more intimate than just working together. In this book, Crawford confirms that they together in every way!

You can tell in the book that Robyn definitely cared for and loved Whitney. She didn’t shy away from their use of drugs that started out with marijuana and then progressed to harder drugs. While Robyn cleaned up her act and left Whitney’s circle, Whitney couldn’t break the cycle.

What was astounding was how Whitney’s parents closed their eyes not only their daughter’s relationship with Robyn, but more detrimentally, her drug dependency.

A couple of things that I learned that I couldn’t believe slipped by me from being a fan of almost four decades:

Jermaine Jackson was tapped to produce Whitney’s 1985 debut album! The horror!

I recently listened to their duet, “If you Say My Eyes Are Beautiful” again. If that recording would have been any indication of her first album, her career probably wouldn’t have reached the stratosphere as it did!

Also, I was shocked that Whitney was close to marrying another “bad boy” when Bobby Brown came into her world — Eddie Murphy!

CISSY HOUSTON’S “REMEMBERING WHITNEY”

In early 2013, Whitney’s mother, Cissy Houston, now 87, released her book, “Remembering Whitney: My Story of Love, Loss, and the Night the Music Stopped”.

I refused to read it because of how Cissy responded to a question from Oprah Winfrey while promoting the book.

In the book, Whitney’s mother writes, “I knew I didn’t want Robyn around my daughter, and I told [Whitney] that. There wasn’t much I could do though. [Whitney] liked Robyn. She was past the age when I could forbid her from seeing someone. Kids have a mind of their own when they get older. They want to experiment with all kinds of things. And I don’t know if it was more than that.”

In the interview, Oprah read that excerpt and asked Cissy, “Would it have bothered you if your daughter, Whitney, was gay?” and she replied,  “Absolutely.”

At the time, I tried to be objective because Cissy was 79-year-old and religion played a big role in her career and life. However, it still bothered me.

In my January 2013 blog about book, I closed with “All I know is that my God, the one I pray to each night, loved Whitney for what she was, his child — straight, gay, or anything in between.  And, he’s happy to have her with him now.”

After reading Robyn’s book, I’m going to read Cissy’s book, even if I cringe through it — to see if she mentions the gay rumors!

MARDI GRAS

While it’ll different again this year, February 16th is “Mardi Gras”!

As much as I love New Orleans, I’ve never had a desire to be there for this event. However, I’d definitely take part in Blue Bell’s fan-favorite Mardi Gras King Cake ice cream!

Doesn’t this sounds amazing: “cinnamon cake flavored ice cream, tasty pastry pieces and a colorful cream cheese swirl with festive candy sprinkles”?

“THE PROM”

Let me first say that I enjoyed this Ryan Murphy/Netflix musical.

Really, how could you go wrong with Meryl Streep and one of my girl crushes, Nicole Kidman (as Angie Dickinson — the name alone is so campy!)

It tells the story of a group of down on their luck, self-centered New York City entertainers looking for a “cause” to support to help change their image.

They find it in a small town Indiana lesbian banned from attending prom with her girlfriend by the incredibly close-minded mother of one of the girls (played with such villainy by the gorgeous, very open-minded Kerry Washington).

A couple of the numbers were fun, but it wasn’t worth waiting an hour into the movie to see Kidman perform a solo number.

Last week, it picked up two Golden Globe nominations — one for the movie in the musical/comedy category and one for James Corden for actor in the musical/comedy category.

GRADE: B-

“HILLYBILLY ELEGY”

This “white trash” movie barely made my top 20 movie list (#19) of 2020 solely on the incredible performances by Amy Adams and Glenn Close.

Both are Oscar nomination-worthy performances and last week, Close earned a Golden Globe nomination in a supporting role.

Would I watch this movie or “The Prom” again? No!

Am I glad I watched them once? Yes.

GRADE: B-

WHITNEY’S GREATEST

In honor of Whitney Houston, here are my six favorite Whitney Houston songs. Why six, no reason! 🙂

And, you’ll notice that there are no ballads! WOW!

My favorites would be “The Greatest Love of All” and “I Have Nothing”.

“IT’S NOT RIGHT, BUT IT’S OKAY”

“MY LOVE IS YOUR LOVE”

“QUEEN OF THE NIGHT”

“HOW WILL I KNOW”

“SO EMOTIONAL”

“I WANNA DANCE WITH SOMEBODY (WHO LOVES ME)”

What are your favorites?

THAT’S IT

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

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — October 9, 2020

What an interesting week across America! And, hello to my friends beyond our borders! 🙂

Thank you for taking the time to check out my thoughts. While we don’t have to agree, we must do it diplomatically!

“HAPPY HOLIDAYS” DOESN’T REALLY COVER IT!

Let’s start off light and cheery! I found a new greeting to get us through the next three months!

And, this is still one of my favorites!

COVID-19 LATEST

I’ve been trying really, really hard to stay out of the fray that is the past four years of 45’s presidency.

But, just when you think nothing else can shock you, SURPRISE!

What? WTH? WTF?

More than 212-thousand people in the U.S. have died this year from Covid-19 and more than 7.6 million have tested positive for it and he tweets, “Don’t be afraid of Covid.” and “Don’t let it dominate your life.”!

While I’m no doctor or medical expert, I feel pretty confident in saying that many people testing positive for Covid-19 are doing so because they’re following pathetic advice like that and not following safety protocols!

This GIF has nothing to do with his comments, but it works!

“VOTE NOT GLOAT”

“Halloween” movie icon Jamie Lee Curtis tweeted an incredible and powerful message last Friday after Donald and Melania Trump tested positive for Covid-19.

As you can see, I approve this message!

PROOF THAT MASKS SAVE LIVES!

If you don’t believe that masks save lives, I have two words for you –Hannibal Lecter!

Now I want to watch 1991’s Oscar winning Best Picture, “The Silence of the Lambs”, again!

#1 SELLING NON-CHOCOLATE CANDY BAR

I recently read the 1991 Chicago Sun-Times book by Don Hayner and Tom McNamee called “Metro Chicago Almanac”.

Since Halloween is nearing, I’ll share this candy stat from the book.

It states that PayDay is the top selling non-chocolate candy bar in the U.S.!

If you love that candy bar, but you crave chocolate, too, a new PayDay was introduced in August — Chocolatey PAYDAY!

What are your favorite candy bars?

Mine are (#4) Milky Way, (#3) PayDay, (#2) Snickers, and at (#1) Zero!

By the way, the original Zero candy bar was produced in Centralia, Illinois!

HAPPY HEAVENLY BIRTHDAY MARY GRIFFITH

Mary Griffith died earlier this year at the age of 85. She shared the same birthday as me (October 13th).

Most of you don’t know the name. But, in the 1980s, she became an icon after she saw the light and became one of the strongest advocates for the LGBTQ community.

However, it took a tragedy for that to happen.

Because of her faith in religion and the Bible, she terrorized her gay son, Bobby, constantly with Bible verses and with the fear of God after he came out to her.

Bobby ended his life is the summer of 1983 when he jumped off a Portland, Oregon, overpass into the path of an 18-wheeler!

Over time, Mary realized that God didn’t need to change Bobby because her son was perfect just as God created him — gay!

Through heartache and pain, she became a staunch advocate for PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) in her northern California chapter.

Mary, now that you and Bobby are reunited, I hope you’re enjoying the happiness you never found together on Earth.

I’m honored to share a birthday with you!

If you want to read Mary’s story, Leroy Aarons’ book, “Prayers For Bobby” is excellent.

And, there’s a great Lifetime movie with Sigourney Weaver.

“LOVE, VICTOR”

When this project was announced, I was excited thinking it was a movie and a true sequel to 2018’s “Love, Simon”. When I found out it was a 10-episode Hulu series and would not be a Nick Robinson-series, I was less excited.

So, I waited a almost three months after it premiered. Boy, was I wrong!

“Love, Victor” has a great cast including the adorable lead, Michael Comino as Victor, Anthony Turpel as his best friend, Felix, and George Sear (Benji) and Rachel Hilson (Mia) as his two crushes.

And, it’s a well-rounded story that just doesn’t just focus on Victor’s coming of age story and coming out. His parents have their own drama!

Plus, Nick Robinson does make a brief appearance in a later episode.

“Love, Victor” was renewed for a second season.

There were many funny one-liners including this one from Benji to Victor about Dolly Parton:

“She’s actually one of the few things that gay sons and straight guys agree on!”

“LOVE, SIMON”

This was my #10 movie of 2018 grossing $66.3 million in theaters. When I saw it March of that year, I gave it a grade of B+ and wrote:

“LGBT icon and trailblazer Harvey Milk once said, ‘You gotta give them hope.’ The new romantic dramedy, ‘Love, Simon’, gives LGBTQ teenagers and young adults a lot of hope.

Nick Robinson is adorable as closeted high school student Simon Spier living in an Atlanta suburb.  He has a great family and a group of close friends at school, but he a “huge ass secret” — he’s gay.”

I went on to add, “I loved the movie and the message it presents to youngsters and young adults (and their families).

However, as a realist and an older gay man, the movie was wrapped up a little too perfect even with the drama Simon experienced.

But, regardless of age, we all want a happy ending!”

SELENA

One day I was singing a Selena song and then in a scene that night in “Love, Victor”, his mother was singing one of her songs!

It took me back to my 1997 Lubbock, Texas days when I was a reporter and weekend anchor at the CBS affiliate, KLBK.

That was the year that the movie, “Selena”, with Jennifer Lopez came out. I felt like I was on the Selena “beat” because it seem like I was always doing stories on the movie.

And, I remember interviewing Jackie Delgado, who I honestly believe was Selena’s biggest fan in West Texas!

In 1994, I became a Selena fan when I moved to Chicago and bought her fourth album, “Amor Prohibido”.

At the time of her death, at the age of 23, in the spring of 1995, Selena was working on her English language debut album, “Dreaming of You”.

That album debuted at #1 that summer and produced her only Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 (the title track).

“SELENA: THE SERIES”

This new series debuts December 4, 2020, on Netflix with Christian Serratos (“The Walking Dead”) playing Selena.

“A HOLLY DOLLY CHRISTMAS”

This is Dolly Parton’s first new Christmas album is 30 years.

I loved the duet with Michael Bublé, “Cuddle Up, Cozy Down Christmas”, and the duet with Willie Nelson on his holiday classic, “Pretty Paper”.

Also, her upbeat duet with her brother, Randy, “You Are My Christmas” is great. And, her giddy versions of “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” and “Holly Jolly Christmas” are fun.

I also liked her originals “Christmas on the Square”, “Circle of Love”, and “Comin’ Home for Christmas”.

Now, the downside, her duet with Billy Ray Cyrus would have been much better as just a Dolly song. Despite his success in the 1990s, who said he could sing? And, the pairing with Miley Cyrus was forgettable.

However, the most unforgivable song on the album is Dolly’s remake of Mariah Carey’s Christmas classic, “All I Want For Christmas Is You”, with Jimmy Fallon!

While I love Dolly and I like Fallon, this song is iconic and it shouldn’t have been so gimmicky!

All I can say is “Mariah, I’m sorry!”

After the first listen, I didn’t feel too cheery. On the second listen, the grade went up some. I hope it continues to grow on me!

GRADE: B

HARVEST SEASON

It’s harvest season, so watch out for farmers and farm machinery on the roadways.

Also, you never know what you might find in your gardens! 🙂

THAT’S IT

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

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — September 18, 2020

This is my last post of the summer! Fall officially begins next week!

Thank you for taking the time to check out my “Random Friday Thoughts”!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TAMMY!

Next week, my baby sister will be celebrating her birthday and her first in Central Illinois.

I’m so happy we’re in the same city again and that we get to spend more time together. Here’s to the holiday celebrations!

Happy Birthday Tammy! I wish great things for you in the upcoming years!

“I AM WOMAN”

Iconic singer and women’s rights advocate Helen Reddy is finally being honored with a motion picture, “I Am Woman” — the title of her 1970s #1 anthem!

It’s now showing in select theaters and is available through video on demand.

Also, the movie arrives on DVD on November 3, 2020 and you can pre-order it on amazon.com!

The movie stars Tilda Cobham-Hervey, Danielle MacDonald (“Patti Cake$”), and Evan Peters (“American Horror Story”).

Helen’s fans were asked to submit a short video telling what the song and Helen Reddy meant to them. Those selected would be used in a promotional campaign for the movie.

I’m honored to say that a portion of my video was chosen!!! 🙂

Here it is! (Just click on the arrow.)

Here’s the movie trailer.

And, finally a month ahead of my birthday, I shared the 13 biggest events and my 101 favorite songs of my first 35 years (1964-1999).

Of course, Helen Reddy was high on the list — at #16 with “I Am Woman”!

If you want to see the rest of my countdown, here’s the blog with stories of my ups, my downs, my secrets, and my successes! So far, it’s been well received. (Click on this link and it’ll open in a different window!)

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2020/09/11/my-life-the-first-35-years/

By the way, back to Danielle MacDonald, if you haven’t seen “Patti Cake$”, add it to your list of movies to see!

“Patti Cake$” was one of the best and most overlooked movies of 2017. It was my #10 favorite movie that year!

As you start to watch, be patient!

When I reviewed the movie late that year, I said, “As I started watching the first 10-15 minutes of the movie, I was unsure what I was going to think about it.  However, it clicked and I loved it.”

GRADE: A-

YES, PLEASE!

Here’s another reason for this dreadful year to end — look what’s coming in January 2021!

Nabisco is treating us to Chocolate Hazelnut-flavored Oreo cookies!

That same month, the company is releasing Java Chip Oreos — coffee-flavored crème with chocolate chips sandwiched between two classic Oreo cookies!

I still want to try the Caramel Coconut Oreos! Please share so I don’t have to buy a whole bag! 🙂

ALL READY FOR FALL!

Yes, I rushed summer out and decorated for fall on Labor Day weekend!

Why so quickly?

My Christmas decorations go up November 1st until the end of January! 🙂

“RUMOR HAS IT” TURNS 30!

While Reba McEntire became a powerhouse superstar in the mid-1980s, I was all about dance and pop music in my 20s during her rise to super stardom.

However, I discovered her at Sidetrack in Chicago on country night in 1990. That voice singing “Rumor Has It” blew me away and I’ve been a huge fan ever since.

It’s hard to believe that the album turned 30 years old this month! And, it was re-issued and released on limited orange vinyl!

“Rumor Has It” was my first Reba album (I own them all now) and it’s still my favorite.

While “Fancy” was not the biggest hit from the album, it’s become one of Reba’s signature songs.

I love “Fancy”, but it’s not one of my 20 favorite Reba hits!

But, a new dance remix from hit master Dave Aude may change that. Check out this incredible version that I hope clubs across America start playing!

By the way, if this becomes a dance club hit, it won’t be Reba’s first.

In 1996, the dance remix of “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” reached #2 on the Billboard Dance Club Play chart.

And, this isn’t the first time that Dave Aude has taken one of the biggest stars of country music on the ride up the dance charts.

He hit #1 on the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart in 2015 with “You Have To Believe” with Olivia Newton-John and her daughter, Chloe Lattanzi.

It ended up being my #16 song of the year with my favorite U.S. city, Las Vegas, as the backdrop!

“THE ALIENIST: ANGEL OF DARKNESS”

In the first season of this TNT series, the “Alienists” were on the hunt for a “boy-whore” serial killer in late-1890s New York City.

Years later, in the second season, “Angel of Darkness”, we’re chasing down a a psychotic, sexual deviant baby kidnapper/killer!

The stellar cast of Daniel Bruhl, Luke Evans, and Dakota Fanning return.

However, the standout in the second season is Rosy McEwen, who plays Libby Hatch.

In a very dramatic, Emmy nomination-worthy scene, McEwen’s character exclaims, “Stop looking at me, you stupid thing! <Nervous laugh> “Stupid, stupid, you stupid thing!”

Just reading that line, it may sound “stupid”, but seeing the chilling scene of a deranged character saying it to a nemesis bully that was just murdered was powerful!

TED LEVINE

When I watched the first season of “On Becoming a God in Central Florida”, I thought, “it’s nice seeing Ted Levine” again.

He’s now in seasons one and two of “The Alienist”.

However, I was shocked to learn that’s he’s worked constantly (before and) since his breakout role in the Oscar winning movie, “The Silence of the Lambs” as Jame “Buffalo Bill” Gumb!

“MY LIFE AMONG THE SERIAL KILLERS”

While reading serial killer profiler Helen Morrison’s 2004 book, “My Life Among The Serial Killers”, all I could think about was Sigourney Weaver in the 1995 movie, “Copycat”!

Although the real life Morrison profiled many serial killers, I didn’t buy a lot of her conclusions. And, neither did others in that profession. The book was panned!

And, Weaver, Holly Hunter, and Harry Connick Jr. were incredible in “Copycat”. Watch that instead of reading the book!

THAT’S IT

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

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — June 5, 2020

It’s been a couple of months since I last shared some “Random Friday Thoughts”!

I’ve been busy with the move, transitioning into a new job and schedule, and just walking, reading, and binge watching television.

As always, if you disagree with me, do it diplomatically!

While I always say that, I’m stressing it today because of recent events across the country!

VIOLENCE AND RACISM

If the unprecedented COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic isn’t enough to depress America, the outward racism and violence across the country is pathetically sad!

Here are my thoughts in a tweet last Sunday. Let me clear: protests SHOULD BE peaceful ☮️ and looters and rioters SHOULD BE ARRESTED!

There is a difference between protesting and being a criminal!

And, he’s worried about being fact-checked on Twitter?

NO “GLEE” FOR LEA MICHELE

The word “glee” means “great delight”, but when it comes to “Glee” star Lea Michele, it’s more of nightmare.

Well, I guess she is more of a nightmare!

On May 29th, Michele tweeted about the death of George Floyd.

Lea

This opened the gates of hell for her.  

A guest actor from the “Glee” series called Michele out for her rude behavior to her when she was on the show.  Then many other guests and co-stars came out to share their horror stories!

While her “Glee” co-star Amber Riley didn’t address the social media stir with words, this GIF pretty much says it all!

Ouch!

Glee Rachel Slushie

COVID-19 — YESTERDAY’S NEWS???

My friends, please be vigilant and be safe!

The number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. has now topped 1.9 million and the death toll has surpassed 109-thousand!

With the murder of George Floyd and the unruly riots that are burning U.S. cities, Coronavirus has taken the backseat on television news coverage.

But, as America reopens, please be sanitary and keep yourself (and me and my family) as healthy as possible so we can move on to the “new normal”!

ON A LIGHTER NOTE — COVID-19 RELATED

HAPPY PRIDE MONTH!

While there won’t be amazing parades with music divas performing and scantily clad men and women, the LGBTQ community is still proud!

This is still one of my favorite Pride pictures of all time when I was in Chicago!

So, in honor of pride, cheers…

And, dance like you just don’t care!

ON A SADDER NOTE OF PRIDE — THANK YOU LARRY KRAMER!

Sadly, most people don’t know Larry Kramer.

What’s even sadder is that most of the youth in the LGBTQ community today don’t know the pain and sacrifices this man went through to give them chances that many of his friends never had back in the 1980s and 1990s.

And, many people living with HIV and AIDS are alive today and owe much of it to Kramer!

Sadly, the 84-year-old advocate died in late May.

Kramer was a Hollywood screenwriter and gained fame in 1969 penning the Oscar-nominated film “Women in Love”. 

But, his fortune came four years later on the flop, “Lost Horizon”. That film gave Kramer the financial security to do something he wanted to do —  write about the gay community.

He did and his 1978 novel, “Faggots”, about the out and openly gay community of New York City in the 1970s before AIDS, was very controversial.

Middle America was shocked about the easy come and easy go world of sex and drugs and the gay community shunned him because he exposed its seedy secrets.

But, Kramer became a beacon of hope for gay men dying of AIDS in the 1980s by starting the Gay Men’s Health Crisis Center (GMHC) and ACT UP, an activist group that put the heat on politicians (most notably President Ronald Reagan, President George H.W. Bush and New York Mayor Ed Koch) to get off their asses and start fighting AIDS!

Kramer was so outspoken and blunt that he was forced out of GMHC, the group he founded!

His biggest literary success was the autobiographical Off-Broadway play, “The Normal Heart”, in the 1980s.  It played on Broadway in 2011 and was made into a hit movie by Ryan Murphy in 2014.

There’s an amazing HBO documentary called “Larry Kramer In Love & Anger” that you must see to learn more about this incredible man.

“THE CELLULOID CLOSET”

This 1981 book by Vito Russo covered the representation of the LGBTQ community in entertainment through the early years into the 1980s!

What an eye-opening read!

It’s appalling to know that gays and lesbians, when they were shown in movies in the early days of film, were only there to be made fun of, even though they weren’t even referenced as “homosexuals”.

Once movies in the 1960s and 1970s moved beyond using gays, lesbians, and cross-dressers as sight gags and to be made fun of, they became either the victims of heinous crimes or they would commit suicide because of “being that way”!

Even critics, from reputable publications like “Time”, “Newsweek”, “The New York Times”, and others perpetuated this appalling stereotype, even after gay liberation started at the beginning of the 1970s.

No wonder it took America until the 2000s to really make progress in LGBTQ rights!

Even one of my all-time favorite movies, the 1991 Oscar-winning “The Silence of the Lambs” made the serial killer a transvestite that killed to be more like a woman! 

And, it starred a lesbian, Jodie Foster, one of my favorite actresses!

The late actor Richard Burton, who played a gay character, summed it up best to gossip columnist Liz Smith talking about homophobic theater critics, “Are they even vaguely aware that some of the greatest voices in the theater belong to homosexuals? They frighten me. Because they’re supposed to be the intellectuals, and I suddenly realize that they’re the audience for this film. I have never known anyone who took great exception to homosexuals that there wasn’t something very wrong with that person himself. “

And, “Abuse” director Arthur J. Bressan was asked by the mother of a teenage boy auditioning for his movie if her son would turn out gay by acting in the film. He replied, “No, and if he plays Hamlet he won’t inherit Denmark, either!”

One final interesting note from this book: director Herbert Ross made some of the most homophobic movies to come of out of Hollywood!

He was also the director of such major films such as “Funny Lady”, “The Turning Point”, “Goodbye Girl”, and “Footloose”.

And, here’s the irony, his biggest hit was 1989’s “Steel Magnolias”, one of the gayest (non-gay) movies ever made!

come sit by me!”

TV VIEWING & BINGE WATCHING

After binge-watching 60-plus hours of television in April, I got caught up on “9-1-1”, “9-1-1: Lone Star” “Prodigal Son”, “The Good Doctor”, and “The Sinner”!

I also watched season three of “Ozark” and it was incredible! WOW!

While the nominations aren’t out yet, just go ahead and give Laura Linney, Janet McTeer, and Tom Pelphrey their Emmy Awards now!

I’ve loved Linney since I saw her as Mary Ann Singleton in “Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the Cities” in 1994 and I feel this is her year to collect another Emmy!

In May, I watched the series finales of “How To Get Away With Murder” and “Homeland”. Both were perfect!

Thank you Viola Davis, Shonda Rhimes, and Peter Nowalk for six amazing, crazy years of “Murder”!

And, Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin, these eight years of “Homeland” were so intense and rewarding!

These A+ finales join “The Americans”, “Breaking Bad”, and “Six Feet Under” as my favorites series I’ve watched from beginning to end!

Sorry “Dexter”! Loved the entire series except that finale! Really???

OTHER MAY TELEVISION BINGEING

I’m also now caught up on “Sex Education”, “Mindhunter”, “You”, and “Eastsiders”.

“Eastsiders” is a funny, touching LGBTQ series on Netflix.

Check it out since the fourth and final season was just nominated for eight Daytime Emmy Awards!

Congrats to creators Kit Williamson and John Halbach and the incredible cast! Hi Willam!

If you’ve never seen it, live a little and start with the six episode final season and you’ll be hooked and want to see it from the beginning!

The finale was so touching, beautiful, and funny!

LADY GAGA “CHROMATICA”

The sixth studio album from Lady Gaga, “Chromatica”, came out in late May.

The second single, “Rain on Me”, with Ariana Grande, debuted last week at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

It follows “Stupid Love”, which reached #5 on the Hot 100.

“JAMES CAMERON’S TITANIC”

Earlier this year, I read the 1997 picture book about the making of the “Titanic” movie.

Titanic

With text by Ed Marsh and photographs by Douglas Kirkland, it was very enlightening to see what all went into Cameron’s masterpiece.

ALSO READ…

Earlier this year, I also read “The Perfect Storm” by Sebastian Junger (1997), Tatum O’Neal’s “A Paper Life” (2004) and Dame Judi Dench’s “and furthermore” (2010).

THAT’S IT

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

Anthony

Come Into My House, But Not For Dinner!

“A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti”.

“I do wish we could chat longer, but… I’m having an old friend for dinner.  Bye.”

“Good nutrition’s given you some length of bone, but you’re not more than one generation from poor white trash, are you, Agent Starling?”

“”Well, Clarice – have the lambs stopped screaming?”

Those are just some of my favorite quotes from the Oscar-winning 1991 movie, “The Silence of The Lambs” with the infamous serial killer/cannibal Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) and FBI agent Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster).

07209105.jpg

It’s been six years since we last heard from a young Hannibal Lecter in “Hannibal Rising”.  “Hannibal the Cannibal” is making his return Thursday night, but this time it’ll be in the luxury of your own home on the lowest rated network, NBC.

Hannibal-NBC-Poster-2012

Hannibal Lecter has appeared in four Thomas Harris novels and has been the focus of five movies.  Before “Silence” and its sequels, “Hannibal” (2001), “Red Dragon” (2002), and “Hannibal Rising” (2007), there was the 1986 movie, “Manhunter”, based on the first Harris novel, “Red Dragon”, which ended up being the third movie of the popular series.  Are you still with me?

While Anthony Hopkins will always be Hannibal to me, I’m ready to give the new television Hannibal, played by 47-year-old Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen, a chance.

TV Hannibal

On the 13-episode ‘Hannibal” television series, the story will focus on the relationship between Dr. Lecter and FBI special agent/criminal profiler Will Graham, played here by English stud and husband of actress Claire Daines, Hugh Dancy.

Hugh Dancy

As you recall from the “Red Dragon” movie (Spoiler Alert!), Lecter and Graham would have a working relationship to catch another serial killer after Graham got too close to Lecter and almost paid the price with his life.  In the movie, Graham was played by Edward Norton.

From the trailers, I feel that NBC is definitely pushing the envelope with the network’s standards and practices department with the gore and violence.  But, then again, this is a story about serial killers and a cannibal.  This isn’t Disney!

Scary, gory version:

Psychological version:

From what I’ve seen, I’m very excited to see this new adaptation of “Hannibal”.  I believe that this show can run the distance, unlike “The Following” on Fox.  I was very excited about “The Following”, but that love affair is fading like a flower as we head toward the season finale April 29th with a lot of filler just to extend it to 15 episodes.

And, if the story of Hannibal Lecter wasn’t enough to arouse my curiosity for the series, here’s another reason!

Gillian Anderson

Gillian Anderson (“The X-Files”) will have a recurring role as Bedelia Du Maurier, Lecter’s psychotherapist!

“Hannibal” premieres on NBC Thursday night at 10/9 central.  And, if like reviews and grades, “Entertainment Weekly” gave the premiere an A-.

Anthony

P.S.  Note to self — Chianti is okay, just don’t make fava beans and liver for dinner Thursday night!