Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Tuesday Ten

Closing out Black History Month:

Miles Davis

Rita Dove

Martin Luther King, Jr.

President Barack Obama

General Colin Powell


Jackie Robinson

Harriet Tubman

Oprah Winfrey

Monday, February 27, 2017

Music Monday

Stolen from Tex's blog:  A 15-song playlist comprised only of 1980's solo female vocalists:

1980:  "Fame" - Irene Cara
1981:  "For Your Eyes Only" - Sheena Easton
1982:  "Gloria" - Laura Branigan
1983:  "Time After Time" - Cyndi Lauper
1984:  "Love Is a Battlefield" - Pat Benatar
1985:  "Missing You" - Diana Ross
1986:  "Live to Tell" - Madonna
1987:  "Didn't We Almost Have It All" - Whitney Houston
1988:  "Fast Car" - Tracy Chapman
1989:  "If I Could Turn Back Time" - Cher

Wild Cards
'We Don't Need Another Hero" - Tina Turner (1985)
"Miss You Much" - Janet Jackson (1989)
"Straight Up" - Paula Abdul (1988)
"Holding Out for a Hero" - Bonnie Tyler (1984)
"Mad About You" - Belinda Carlisle (1986)


Sunday, February 26, 2017

Oscars Bonus Post

Woo hoo!

Best Original Screenplay

The other nominees were All that Jazz, ...And Justice for All, The China Syndrome, and Manhattan.  The first two were good but not consistent enough.  TCS was overrated.  So it's the winner vs. Manhattan, and I'm comfortable with the Academy's vote.

The other nominees were Diner, E.T., An Officer and a Gentleman, and TootsieE.T. is a children's movie.  Tootsie is well-acted, but a bit overrated.  An Officer is good, but kind of actor-driven.  So it's the winner vs. Diner, which is a good, script-driven film, despite featuring talented actors.  I agree with the Academy on this one.

The other nominees were The Big Chill, Fanny and Alexander, WarGames, and Silkwood.  I haven't seen the second one.  The first one is known more for its soundtrack than anything else.  WarGames was good once, but I have no interest in seeing it again.  So it's the winner vs. Silkwood.  I think the Academy got it right, though not clear-cut.

The other nominees were "Crocodile" Dundee, My Beautiful Laundrette, Platoon, and Salvador.  I haven't seen the second one.  Salvador is way too biased.  The first one is one heck of a comedy.  Platoon is one of the best war films of all-time.  I would pick the latter, and Dundee would be my second choice.  Hannah is a good film, but a tier below Woody's best.

The other nominees were Crimes and Misdemeanors, Do the Right Thing, Sex, Lies, and Videotape, and When Harry Met Sally.  The third is edgy, or was then at least.  Entertaining, but not exactly best of the year material.  The fourth is known for one scene.  The first IS one of Woody's best.  The second is better than plenty of films that won the award.  I would vote for either of these two over the winner, which had its moments, but was too much of a cheese fest to deserve this award.

The other nominees were As Good as It Gets, Boogie Nights, Deconstructing Harry, and The Full Monty.  I haven't seen the last one and have no interest in it.  DH is another good film from Woody Allen, but not one of his best.  So it's the winner vs. the first two of the others.  I would vote for Boogie Nights, with the winner edging out AGAIG for second.       

Friday, February 24, 2017

Film Friday: Best Picture Oscar Winners

All the President''s Men, Bound for Glory, Network, and Taxi Driver were nominated.  Network's good, but a bit overrated. Same for Taxi Driver.  I haven't seen Bound for GloryRocky and AtPM are two of my favorite films.  So I support the Academy's decision, though it wasn't clear-cut.
All that Jazz, Apocalypse Now, Breaking Away, and Norma Rae were nominated. 
The first is a decent film, but not Best Picture material.  Breaking Away is good, but not Best material.  I haven't seen Norma RaeApocalypse Now is an all-timer.  So I think the Academy got this one wrong, though K vs. K is an excellent film.

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Missing, Tootsie, and The Verdict were nominated.
The first is a children's film.  Tootsie is good, but not Best material.  I haven't seen MissingThe Verdict is elite.  But so is Gandhi.  I'll let the Academy have this one.

Broadcast News, Fatal Attraction, Hope and Glory, and Moonstruck were nominated.
Good but not good enough for the first one.  Same for Moonstruck.  I haven't seen H and G. So it's Fatal Attraction vs. the winner, and I think the Academy got this one right.   

The Accidental Tourist, Dangerous Liaisons, Mississippi Burning, and Working Girl were nominated. 
The first features a stand-out performance from Geena Davis.  The fourth is cute, but out of its league here.  The middle two are both better than the winner.  So the Academy got this one wrong.

Four Weddings and a FuneralPulp Fiction, Quiz Show, and The Shawshank Redemption were nominated.
The first stars Hugh Grant.  The fourth is good, but overrated.  Quiz Show is good, but not really Best Picture material.  So it's Pulp Fiction vs. the winner.  Both were worthy, but I think the Academy got this one right.

Gosford Park, In the Bedroom, The Fellowship of the Ring, and Moulin Rouge! were nominated.
I saw the second one for Marisa Tomei and I don't remember much else about it.  Moulin Rouge! is a good film, but not quite Best material.  I haven't seen Gosford Park.  So it's Fellowship vs. the winner.  It's a tough choice because they're wildly different films, but I think the Academy might have gottten this one wrong.  

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Tuesday Ten

Best Song Oscar Winners (stolen from Tex's blog)

1973:  "The Way We Were" stole it from "Live and Let Die".

1977:  "You Light Up My Life" stole it from "Nobody Does It Better"

1980:  "Fame" beat "On the Road Again" and "9 to 5".  I wonder if the country vote was split, though I might have voted the same way.

1981:  "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)" beat "Endless Love" and "For Your Eyes Only".  It's not as bad as a steal, but it's definitely a mistake.

1982:  "Up Where We Belong" beat "Eye of the Tiger" and "It Might Be You".  I'm okay with this. Not enthused, but accepting.

1983:  "Flashdance... What a Feeling" won, of course.  "Maniac" was also nominated.

1984:  "I Just Called to Say I Love You" won.  "Against All Odds", "Footloose", "Ghostbusters", and "Let's hear It for the Boy" were all nominated this year.  I always thought "Ghostbusters" was overrated.  "Footloose" and "Let's Hear It for the Boy" were good songs, but "Holding Out for a Hero" was better, from the same film.  So it's the winner vs. "Against All Odds", and I can see an argument either way.

1985:  "Say You, Say Me" beat "Power of Love" and "Separate Lives".  I think the Academy got this one right.  "Separate Lives" chose the wrong year.  "Power of Love" was a worthy nom, but not quite best of the year material.

2000:  "Things Have Changed" won. Dylan.  Good stuff. 

2013:  "Let It Go" beat "Happy".  So the writers' song beat the fun song.



Monday, February 20, 2017

An Elliptical Contest: Round Two

This round is simple.  Pick the winners in the following categories at the 2017 Academy Awards:

Best Picture
Best Director
Best Actor
Best Actress
Best Supporting Actress
Best Supporting Actor
Best Writing (Original Screenplay)
Best Foreign Language Film

3 points for a perfect entry
2 points for the winning entry, if not perfect

If a tie, the above applies to each entrant involved in the tie, unless nobody gets a category right. In that case, no points will be awarded.

Deadline:  The start of the awards show telecast, on February 26. 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

January Recap

Finished January with the lead in a local weekly's NFL pick 'em contest. 

Settled on a new dentist finally.

The 2017 Elliptical Contest started. The standings are as follows, with one round completed of twelve:

Ericka - 3
Birgit - 2
Tex - 2

Took a break from poetry, and thus only read four books in January.

Seattle Noir by Curt Colbert The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic by Jessica  Hopper

The Hot Kid by Elmore Leonard  Critics, Monsters, Fanatics, and Other Literary Essays by Cynthia Ozick