Posts Tagged ‘zac efron’

Random Friday Thoughts — June 15, 2018

It’s been a few weeks without a new “Random Friday Thoughts” as I moved across the country to Duluth, Minnesota.

This now marks my third weekend in the “Northland” and I’m looking forward to making it my home.

Thank you for taking the time to check out my thoughts.

TWO YEARS LATER

Earlier this week, we marked the two year anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida.

Pulse

49 people were massacred while out having a good time with their family and friends.  At the time, it was the worst mass shooting in modern American history.  That distinction now goes to the Las Vegas shooting last October.

Pulse

Former President Barack Obama, in 2016, said, “This is a sobering reminder that attacks on any American — regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation — is an attack on all of us and on the fundamental values of equality and dignity that define us as a country.  And no act of hate or terror will ever change who we are or the values that make us Americans.”.

No comment from #45 this year on the anniversary.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY PRESIDENT BUSH

On a happier note, earlier this week, the nation’s 41st President George Herbert Walker Bush turned 94-years-old.

George-H-W-Bush-wife-Barbara-Bush

He’s now the oldest living president and the first former president to live to age 94.

It’s been a tough year for him with numerous health issues and hospitalizations on top of losing his wife of 73 years, Barbara, back in April.

Jimmy Carter

My favorite president, Jimmy Carter, is now the second oldest living president.  He’ll turn 94 on October 1, 2018.

“HALLOWEEN” IS CLOSER THAN YOU THINK!

Excitement is building for Halloween and it has nothing to do with what costumes will be popular and how much candy you’ll get.

The reboot of the “Halloween” series hits theaters Friday, October 19, 2018, and it’ll pick up as the sequel to 1978’s original.

In this movie universe, none of the other sequels even happened!  After Rob Zombie’s very rancid and painful to watch “Halloween II” (2009), it’s time for a fresh start!

The trailer was released last Friday and had almost a million view in just four days!

“TAB HUNTER CONFIDENTIAL”

Movie icon Tab Hunter was the hottest sex symbol is the 1950s and was usually seen in public with beautiful ingenues.

It was all a front to hide his sexuality and maintain his matinee idol status.

Tab Hunter Confidential

In his book, the 19th that I’ve read this year, Hunter doesn’t go into any sordid details about his sexual escapades, but he did talk a lot about his relationship with “Psycho” star Anthony Perkins.

tab_hunter_anthony_perkins.jpg

One interesting story that Hunter shared was when an ex-lover tried to blackmail him.  The man, desperate for money, threatened to sell all the letters Hunter had sent him to the “Enquirer” in the late-1970s.

Hunter paid him off ($10,000) and the man asked to keep them because they meant something to him!!!! Um, yeah, blackmail material.  However, the man died a few years later.

Hunter is almost 87-years-old now and is still with his partner of more than 35 years, film producer Allan Glaser.

CELINE DION GOES ON AND ON

The 18th book I read this year and shared a blog about was “Celine Dion:  My Story, My Dream”.

Celine

I really enjoyed reading about Celine’s life story and I don’t want to give too much away in case you want to read it.

I was surprised to hear that she’s the youngest of fourteen (yes 14!) children!

I became aware of Celine in the early-1990s at the same time as most Americans.  We also learned around that time that she was in a relationship with her manager and future husband, Rene Angelil.  (They married December 17, 1994 in Montreal, Quebec.)

Celine wedding

It was still a little weird reading about the love affair — with the 26-year age difference.  She was the one that fell in love first and pursued him!  But, knowing that the love was real made me smile.  We all want that!

I love how Celine was upfront and honest about the nastiness of the press about things such as her love life and her weight (calling her anorexic).  Being a recovering food addict, I feel for her having endured that.

Celine House

While Celine has been a multi-millionaire for much of career (after hitting it big worldwide), I’m glad she didn’t sugarcoat her love of spending money.  She earned it!

Celine is definitely a survivor and one of the greatest entertainers of all time!  Definitely check out “Celine Dion:  My Story, My Dream”!

And, I shared my ten favorite Celine Dion songs.  Here’s my all-time Celine favorite!

You can read about how the book saved two ducks from a turtle and see my other nine favorites by clicking here:

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2018/05/22/celine-dion-saves-two-little-ducks/

“THE GREATEST SHOWMAN”

Before beginning my journey north, I did get a chance to check out the musical “The Greatest Showman”.

It was very entertaining and Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron looked and sounded amazing.

Many people know Jackman as Wolverine from the “X-Men” series, but he does have a background in musical theater and musicals (“Les Miserables” in 2012).

He gained worldwide attention playing flamboyant Australian entertainer Peter Allen on Broadway in “The Boy From Oz” in 2003, which earned Jackman a Tony Award for “Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical”.

In “The Greatest Showman”, he plays P.T. Barnum, a down on his luck showman and entrepreneur that started the world famous circus.

The song, “This Is Me”, won the Golden Globe Award for “Best Original Song” and it was also nominated for an Oscar.

It’s an incredible life affirming number!

My other favorite was from Jenny Lind, the “Swedish Nightingale” (Rebecca Ferguson), “Never Enough”, with real vocals by Loren Allred.

GRADE:  B

“SANTA CLARITA DIET”

If you’ve never watched this Netflix zombie comedy, what are you waiting for?

Season one was funny and season two was outstanding — even funnier and more crisp and cutting.

It’s the story of a typical California family that wakes up one day and the wife/mom begins violently vomiting and then starts craving human flesh.

The main cast, Drew Barrymore (Sheila Hammond), Timothy Olyphant (Joel Hammond), and Liv Hewson (Abby, their daughter), are incredible.

However, the one that cracks me up the most is Eric Bemis (Skyler Gisondo), the Hammond’s teenage neighbor and friend/love interest for Abby.

Small spoiler_alert_300_w2ahead!

In one scene, Eric is about to lose his virginity to Ramona, a Rite-Aid employee, and tries to sound more experienced than he really is. 🙂

Eric Ramona

Ramona : There are a million things I wanna do to you.”

Eric Bemis : There’s a million things I’ve had done to me. But I did all of them myself. Actually, it’s just one thing a million times.”

“Santa Clarita Diet” will be back for a third season in 2019.

HUGH GRANT & BEN WHISHAW MOVIE

Hugh Grant goes gay again (“Maurice” in 1987 and “Our Sons” in 1991) and this time with my major crush Ben Whishaw.

Ben Whishaw

In “A Very English Scandal”, a three-part series, Grant plays former British Liberal political party leader Jeremy Thorpe, who went on trial for the attempted murder of his ex-lover, Norman Scott (Whishaw) in 1979.

Spoiler! 🙂

The limited series was written by Russell T. Davies (“Queer as Folk”) and directed by Stephen Frears (“Florence Foster Jenkins” and “The Queen”).

Ben_Whishaw

If you’re not familiar with my major crush Whishaw (other than as the voice of Paddington, the bear), check out “London Spy”…

and my favorite movie of 2015, “Lilting”.

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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They Said What??? Paul Ryan, Seth Rogen, Ke$ha, & Dr. Ruth

FORMER REPUBLICAN VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE PAUL RYAN

(on reversing his views on not allowing gay couples to adopt children):  “Adoption, I’d vote differently these days. That was I think a vote I took in my first term, 1999 or 2000.  I do believe that if there are children who are orphans who do not have a loving person or couple, I think if a person wants to love and raise a child they ought to be able to do that. Period. I would vote that way.”

ACTOR/COMEDIAN SETH ROGEN

“Zac Efron is incredibly handsome.  He’s the sexiest ****** on the planet!  I did a scene with him, and we’re both shirtless, and it was a very humbling experience.  I marveled at the fact that we’re literally the same species.  I’m hairier than he is, so I win at that.  [Zac’s] very veiny. I’m not that veiny.”

POP STAR KE$HA

(to Conan O’Brien on what she uses to write some of her songs):  “It started as a joke but it’s produced some of my favorite songs on my new record.  I turn off all the lights, I walk over to the piano, and I gently low myself, my boobs….  They go onto the keys and I just let them tickle the ivories.  They really just go crazy, and all of a sudden, I have these chord progressions.”

RAPPER A$AP

“I respect men more for coming out.  They joke on Frank Ocean a lot, but at least he ain’t out here frontin.’  I respect gay men who identify it and they out with it. I don’t have a problem with gay people at all.”

NBA CENTER JASON COLLINS 

(coming out and becoming the first openly gay male athlete in a major American sports):  “I’m glad I’m coming out in 2013 rather than 2003. The climate has shifted; public opinion has shifted. And yet we still have so much farther to go. Everyone is terrified of the unknown, but most of us don’t want to return to a time when minorities were openly discriminated against.”

MORE JASON COLLINS

“I’m impressed with the straight pro athletes who have spoken up so far — Chris Kluwe, Brendon Ayanbadejo. The more people who speak out, the better, gay or straight. It starts with President Obama’s mentioning the 1969 Stonewall riots, which launched the gay rights movement, during his second inaugural address. And it extends to the grade-school teacher who encourages her students to accept the things that make us different.”

PSYCHOSEXUAL THERAPIST DR. RUTH WESTHEIMER

(on Collins’ coming out):  “I find it very sad.  That’s why I said that I have mixed feelings, that we even have to talk about it. In my opinion, this is a private matter and everybody has to be respected for who they are.”

ESPN SPORTS ANALYST CHRIS BROUSSARD

(about Collins coming out): “If you’re openly living in unrepentant sin, whatever it may be, not just homosexuality; adultery, fornication, premarital sex between heterosexuals, whatever it may be — I believe that’s walking in open rebellion to God and Jesus Christ, so I would not characterize that person as a Christian, because I don’t think the Bible would characterize them as a a Christian.”

JENNIFER ROBACK-MORSE, PRESIDENT OF NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR MARRIAGE’S RUTH INSTITUTE  (The Ruth Institute is anti-gay and anti-equality)

(complimenting Broussard and downplaying Collins’ announcement):  “I mean, it requires no courage at all today to say ‘I’m gay.’ It’s my understanding [Collins] got a phone call from the president congratulating him on his courage. Well, how much courage can it take if the president’s going to pick up the phone and give you a personal phone call, you know? But in the meantime, this fellow who says, you know, ‘I’m a Christian, and I believe that sex belongs in marriage and it belongs in man-woman marriage,’ to say that, now that will bring the whole wrath of the society down upon your head. So that’s the guy that really required the courage and I give him a lot of credit for it.”

Anthony

Some Wrongs You Can’t Right

While I’ll continue to fight for equality, I’m going to talk less about politics in 2013.  I’m saying that because no matter what politicians say, chances are they will lie or promise more than they can deliver.  Another wrong that we can’t right is “Crash” winning the Academy Award for Best Picture for 2005 over “Brokeback Mountain”.  While Ang Lee won for Best Director for “Brokeback” and the movie won “Best Adapted Screenplay”, it was a shock to many that “Crash” won for “Best Picture”.

Brokeback Mountain

Another wrong that we can’t right is the box office disappointment of the 2012 Disney movie, “John Carter”.  While the budget for the science fiction adventure film was $250 million, it only grossed $282.8 million thanks to a very strong box office outside the United States.  Domestically, the movie only made $73 million.

“John Carter” is definitely a wrong that you can make right by renting it on DVD.  We did that this past weekend and I’m so glad we took a chance on it.

The problem with the movie is definitely not with sexy Taylor Kitsch as John Carter or beautiful Lynn Collins as Princess Dejah Thoris of Helium.

Taylor Kitsch as John Carter

The problem with “John Carter” at the box office was in marketing.  I don’t think Disney knew how to sell the movie.  I was expecting the action flick to be some far-fetched science fiction movie set in some future time.

While the movie predominately took place on Mars, known in the movie as “Barsoom”, it opened with a death scene set in New York in the late 19th century and then flashed back to the Wild West!  At first, I was confused as to how this movie was going to move from a western setting to another planet.

I’ll go ahead and give away a spoiler from the opening scenes.  John Carter, a former Civil War Army Captain, dies suddenly and everything is left to his nephew.  Carter is buried in a tomb that can only be opened from the inside before his nephew arrives.

As his nephew reads a locked diary that John Carter left him, we flash back to the Arizona Territory where Carter is arrested and jailed.  He escapes and after an altercation in a cave where Carter is searching for gold, something happens and for much of the 2 hours, 12 minute movie, we’re on the neighboring planet of Mars, aka Barsoom.  There, John Carter realizes that he has developed a special power that comes in handy since a war is taking place on the planet.

I thoroughly enjoyed “John Carter” and it had little to do with the hotness of the two lead characters, John Carter and the princess.  The movie also featured an army of Green Martians, the good guys in the war, and a very loyal Martian “dog”.

The American box office and the trailer does not do “John Carter” justice.

GRADE:  A-

‘THE PAPERBOY”

Nicole Kidman is one of the best living actresses out there.  I absolutely love her.  I found her mesmerizing in “To Die For” and “Moulin Rouge!” and there are still many of her other movies I still want to see.

In “The Paperboy”, she plays seductive and trashy Charlotte Bless, who falls in love with a series of prison convicts.  Her latest crush is Hillary Van Wetter, played with intense creepiness by John Cusack.

thepaperboy_nicolekidman_web

Kidman was nominated for a Golden Globe award and a Screen Actors Guild award for this role.  And, boy does she chew the scenery whether she is teasing Cusack into a frenzy during a prison visit or  urinating on Zac Efron (I won’t say why, but it’s not what you think).

The movie is the followup to director Lee Daniels’ Oscar winning “Precious”.

“The Paperboy” also stars the aforementioned Zac Efron as Jack Jansen, who falls in love with Kidman’s Charlotte.

Matthew McConaughey plays Efron’s older brother, Ward Jansen, who is investigating the case that put Cusack’s Van Wetter in prison.  This was McConaughey’s third highly acclaimed role in 2012 following his star turn in “Magic Mike” to his frightening and under appreciated role in “Killer Joe” to this one.  Ward is harboring his own secrets that could cost him his life in the racially-divided 1960s South.

After seeing “The Paperboy”, you’ll likely be very thankful for the life you have and you’ll probably want to take a shower!

GRADE:  B

Anthony

They Said What??? Zac Efron, Wanda Sykes, Ben Affleck, & Out of Touch Elected Officials

REPUBLICAN ARIZONA JUDGE JACQUELINE HATCH

 (To a victim who was sexually assaulted by an intoxicated police officer in a bar.  He was found guilty by a jury and given the maximum sentence, but the judge reduced his sentence):  “If you wouldn’t have been there that night, none of this would have happened to you.”
REPUBLICAN VIRGINIA STATE DELEGATE BOB MARSHALL

“The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion with handicaps has increased dramatically.  Why? Because when you abort the first born of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children.”

MORE FROM MARSHALL

“In the Old Testament, the first born of every being, animal and man, was dedicated to the Lord. There’s a special punishment Christians would suggest.”

CONSERVATIVE RADIO TALK SHOW HOST LAURA INGRAHAM

“If you can’t beat Barack Obama with this record, then shut down the party. Shut it down, start new, with new people. Because this is a gimme election, or at least it should be.”

MOVIE DIRECTOR NICK CASSAVETES

(inadvertently tying incest and marriage equality): “I’m not saying this is an absolute but in a way, if you’re not having kids – who gives a damn? Love who you want. Isn’t that what we say? Gay marriage – love who you want? If it’s your brother or sister it’s super-weird, but if you look at it, you’re not hurting anybody except every single person who freaks out because you’re in love with one another.”

COMEDIAN/TALK SHOW HOST WANDA SYKES

“I’m a black, gay woman. I think the only way to make the GOP hate me more is if I sent them a video of me rolling around on a pile of welfare checks.”

ACTOR ZAC EFRON

(on marriage equality):  “It’s an issue that affects so many people in my life — a lot of my close friends and some of the most influential people around me. I just want them all to be happy. It would make me so happy to see them able to live their lives and do what they want to do.”

MORE FROM ZAC

(on whether he chose the underwear he wore white dancing in the rain in with Nicole Kidman in “The Paperboy”):  “I did, yeah. It’s a period movie, so there weren’t really a lot of choices. Initially, I wondered if my character would even wear underwear at all. But that would’ve been a very different movie.”

ACTOR/DIRECTOR BEN AFFLECK

(Affleck kissed Jason Lee in “Chasing Amy”.  Damon is playing Liberace’s (Douglas) young lover in a new movie):  “Matt’s like, ‘Yeah, I’m going to make out with Michael Douglas tomorrow,’ and it triggered that memory.  Not that it would be hard to be better than my kiss, but it was much better than my kiss. Maybe Michael Douglas is sexier than Jason Lee.”

MINNESOTA VIKINGS PUNTER CHRIS KLUWE

“I think it’s great the Ravens came out in support of him (a Maryland politician asked the Baltimore Ravens’ to censor linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo after he defended marriage equality).  As athletes we have this very prominent platform where we can affect social change. It behooves all of us to do the right thing.”

Anthony