Category Archives: TV and Film

Straight Talk

This article is from Forgotten Films. Click the title to hop over there.

Dolly Parton should’ve been a bigger movie star than she was. Sure, she’s a country music icon, so it’s not like she got the short end of the stick, but I think she brought something special to the limited number of movies she was in. She’s absolutely magnetic in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, and in 9 to 5 she upstages the likes of Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin (who are also great in that film). Before you say “what about Rhinestone,” I don’t think you can place any of the blame for that on her. In 1991 Parton came back to movie theaters with the comedy Straight Talk, but it came and went from theaters pretty quickly.

Parton plays Shirlee, a small-town lady who likes to talk. It turns out she likes talking a little bit too much, as it has caused her to lose her job as a dance instructor. Too much talking, not enough dancing. With no job prospects and a slimeball boyfriend played by Michael Madsen, she decides to head off to Chicago in search of new horizons. She ends up with a job as a receptionist at a talk radio station. However, when she wanders into the studio searching for coffee, she is mistaken for the psychologist host of a new call-in show. Of course, the show is an instant success.

With a hit on his hands, the station manager (Griffin Dunne) launches a campaign to make “Doctor” Shirlee Chicago’s new favorite radio personality. The fact that she isn’t actually a doctor doesn’t matter. The meteoric rise, though, catches the eye of James Woods’ curious newspaper reporter. He sets out to learn the truth about Shirlee for a tell-all article, but naturally, romantic sparks begin to fly.

Straight Talk features a formula that we’ve seen in many other movies. We have a charming lead character who somewhat unwittingly gets roped into a big lie that they struggle to maintain. In this film, though, it never feels like Shirlee is really being all that dishonest. Sure, she’s not actually a “doctor,” my understanding is the Dr. Phil doesn’t exactly have a license to practice medicine anymore either, but Shirlee is truthful about everything else. The doctor lie is just because Griffin Dunne’s bosses insist that the host of the show be a doctor. I don’t think that she ever claims to be a licensed professional any more than Dr. Dre does. The fact that Shirlee comes across as such a genuine character is what makes the film enjoyable, despite a very by-the-book storyline.

I don’t claim that Dolly Parton is an amazing actress. Her range is limited, but she has a way of lighting up the screen. This is a role that she is perfectly suited for. Her southern-fried quips (“Get down off the cross, honey, somebody needs the wood”) are effective ammunition for disarming the hardened big-city types. In some ways, this is a fish-out-of-water story, except that the fish instantly declares “this is my pond now.” I think it’s fair to say that your enjoyment of this film entirely rests on how easily you are charmed by Parton, and I was charmed

The film does feature a strong and eclectic cast of supporting players. James Woods does make a good match for the spirited country star. Together they make a mismatched but believable couple. The rest of the cast is full of familiar faces, including Philp Bosco, Charles Fleischer, Jerry Orbach, Spalding Gray, Jay Thomas, John Sayles, and Teri Hatcher. All do their job in this film, which is basically to make Parton look good. The one rough spot is Griffin Dunne, who turns in a slightly unhinged performance that feels like it exists on a separate comedic plane than the one the rest of the cast has settled on. A strong lawyer could make a case for attempted scene-stealing.

Of course, with an iconic country star as the lead, the studio had to involve her in the soundtrack. Parton ended up composing nine new songs for the film, plus a remake of her classic “Light of a Clear Blue Morning.” It’s strange, but the songs are a bit of a mixed blessing. They are all good songs, I’d gladly put the soundtrack on while doing the laundry or cleaning my basement. In the context of the film, however, they do become a bit of a distraction. It would’ve been criminal not to have Dolly Parton contribute music to the film, but I think we may have gotten overkill in this particular case.

When all is said and done, though, the movie left me smiling. It’s the kind of film that is pleasant enough to just sit back and let it breeze over you on a lazy weekend afternoon. Even if you’re the type who tends to give the side-eye when it comes to country music, the magnetism of Dolly is strong.

Go to Source – Forgotten Films



Forgotten Filmcast Episode 156: Turkey Shoot

This article is from Forgotten Films. Click the title to hop over there.

On the new episode of the Forgotten Filmcast, Todd is joined by Elwood Jones from From the Depths of DVD Hell to delve into the realms of ozploitation cinema. Get ready for Brian Trenchard-Smith’s 1982 film Turkey Shoot.

Download the Show:
iTunes
Podomatic

Show Notes:
From the Depths of DVD Hell
Elwood on Twitter

Music:
“Protofunk” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Go to Source – Forgotten Films



Forgotten Filmcast Episode 155: Phantom Lady

This article is from Forgotten Films. Click the title to hop over there.

Episode 155 of the Forgotten Filmcast is here! This time, Todd is joined by author Christina Lane to discuss the 1944 producing debut of longtime Hitchcock collaborator Joan Harrison. Ella Raines and Franchot Tone star in Phantom Lady.

Download the Show:
iTunes
Podomatic

Show Notes:
Author Christina Lane
Phantom Lady: Hollywood Producer Joan Harrison, the Forgotten Woman Behind Hitchcock

Music:
“Protofunk” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Go to Source – Forgotten Films



Rock Of Ages

This article is from 80sNostalgia.com. Click the title to hop over there.

You’ve GOT to be a fan of 80s rock music if you’re here, haven’t you? Of COURSE you are!

The musical Rock of Ages is currently showing at The Opera House Manchester and tells the story of two people falling in love – Drew (Luke Walsh) and Sherrie (Rhiannon Chesterman). Drew works at a nightclub called The Bourbon Room where he cleans and practises song writing. One night he meets Sherrie and asks Dennis, the owner of The Bourbon Room, if she can work there.

The Bourbon Room owner Dennis (Ross Dawes), is struggling to keep his club from from being demolished but takes on Sherrie as a host, where she and Drew start to fall for each other.

A love rival arrives on the scene and comes between Drew and Sherrie, in the form of loathsome ladies-man Stacee Jaxx. In the performance we went to watch the love rival character of Stacee Jaxx was played by Kevin Clifton off of Strictly on the telly.

The other main character, and by far the most enjoyable one in my opinion, was Lonny (Joe Gash) who played the parts of Bourbon Room employee and The Narrator brilliantly. Lonny delivered the perfect mix of one liners, clever quips and perfectly improvised comments. His character is meant to be over the top and flamboyant and Lonny achieves this perfectly.



There are quite a few laugh-out-loud moments in Rock of Ages, the most memorable of which for me was where Lonny and Dennis perform an acrobatic cartwheel scene. It needs to be seen to be understood why this is so good, but the aftermath of it was something genuinely hysterical and lead to a nice moment or two of improvisation.

Another funny touch was that all the transport used in Rock of Ages is a miniature version, so when Drew and Cherrie are heading out for a picnic the bike they are both sat on is child-sized. It certainly made the audience laugh a lot!

All the scenes are played out through the medium of 80s rock songs performed by a live band, so if you have ANY appreciation for 80s rock then this is the musical for you. Renditions of We Built This City and Here I Go Again went down a storm with the crowd, whereas ballads More Than Words and Every Rose Has It’s Thorn were sang beautifully.

Overall the evening was great, with the cast definitely finding their confidence more in the second half. There were certainly some giggles in the first half along with a few perfectly performed songs, but the second half was a lot stronger both in comedy and in musical performance.

Rock Of Ages is at the Opera House Manchester until Saturday 9th October.

Get tickets – https://www.rockofagesmusical.co.uk/tour/

Opera House Manchester
Twitter – https://twitter.com/PalaceAndOpera
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/PalaceandOpera/

Rock Of Ages Links:
Website – https://www.rockofagesmusical.co.uk/tour/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/rockofagesuk
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/rockofagesthemusical/


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Go to Source – 80sNostalgia.com



Heathers – The Musical

This article is from 80sNostalgia.com. Click the title to hop over there.

Heathers (the film) is one of the cult classics from the 80s. It told the story of an unknown girl at high school who wanted to become popular, and inadvertently became embroiled in a murder or three. Heathers The Musical is a modern, updated version, and my WORD is it good!

Heathers The Musical is set in Westerberg High School in the US and tells the story of a geeky girl called Veronica who, just like the majority of the other students, is trying to get through school relatively unscathed. Most of the students are equally looked down on by a set of three girls, all called Heather, who dominate their fellow students with callous and mean comments, and who each have inflated self importance and obnoxious attitudes. They only engage with people who can be of benefit to them, snubbing or berating anyone who dares so much as talk to them.

After recess The Heathers are caught out of class without a hall pass by a teacher, but before they can be penalised geeky Veronica steps in and presents a hastily forged hall pass which includes their names. The Heathers recognise Veronica’s ability to forge writing as being something they could use in future and allow her to join their clique. Veronica doesn’t necessarily like the Heathers but she instantly gains popularity, or rather she is no longer subject to quite as much ridicule from them, and she starts to enjoy school life more.

A new student by the name of J.D. joins Westerberg and Veronica instantly becomes besotted with him. J.D. helps Veronica to “address” the issues in her life, (and by “address” I mean “kill”,) and the play is about how the school comes to terms with the death of a Heather. And then the deaths of some more students. And then… (in fact, no, go and see it! It is awesome!)

Highlights for us were right at the start of Act 2, during the funeral, one of the Dads makes a speech about how proud he is of his son, and the audience erupted in supportive cheers. It was absolutely deafening and genuinely heart warming. It’s one of those things you only get at the theatre – you just don’t get that kind of emotion from the audience at the cinema.

At one point the teacher broke the fourth wall and had a brief conversation with an audience member. She asked him to stand up and a guy with a shaved head got out of his seat. She then proceeded to “break up” with him, stating “You have a lovely head of hair… It’s a shame you didn’t wear it tonight.” Again, the audience interaction was brilliant.

Also, there was a fight scene in slow motion which was absolutely fantastic. It was perfectly synchronised, with all cast members working at exactly the same speed. There was jeering, there were punches being thrown, it was a genuine fight but in slow motion. The amount of hours they must have rehearsed for, to get that level of synchronicity… Superb.

The musical numbers are fantastic with such catchy tunes, and everything is performed live by a band. Both sound and lighting were excellent, lighting especially, with spotlights used to accent the clothing colours of the Heathers and a single white spot used to highlight solos.

EVERYTHING about going to the theatre is ace – you’re not watching a recording on a screen, you’re watching live actors, you’re listening to a live band play music, the lighting is done live, the gasps and cheers from the audience, EVERYTHING about it makes it such a bigger event than going to the cinema. The Palace in Manchester is an excellent venue.

Heathers is at The Palace Theatre Manchester until Saturday 9th October, and tickets start from just £13. Just let that sink in… £13.00 to watch a live show in a theatre. Bonkers!

Get tickets for Heathers The Musical here – https://www.heathersthemusical.com/uk-tour

Explore The Palace and Opera House Manchester:
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/PalaceandOpera/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/PalaceAndOpera
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/palaceandopera/



















Go to Source – 80sNostalgia.com



Forgotten Filmcast Episode 154: In Harm’s Way

This article is from Forgotten Films. Click the title to hop over there.

Get ready for an epic World War II adventure that is just shy of three hours long, and still feels over-stuffed. DJ Valentine from Simplistic Reviews joins Todd to discuss John Wayne and Kirk Douglas in the 1965 film In Harm’s Way.

Download the Show:
iTunes
Podomatic

Show Notes:
Simplistic Reviews
DJ on Twitter

Music:
“Protofunk” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Go to Source – Forgotten Films



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