Sunday, July 20, 2008

Billy Daniels, a showman for the ages.

I love Billy Daniels. I first saw him perform on the Sunset Strip in 1950-51. As he started his physical and vocal antics, I chuckled in distain, but before he finished "I Get a Kick Out of You" I was a bonafide fan. And still am. The User Comment from IMDB pasted below seems a fair approximation of what Sunny Side of the Street, a standard musical programmer of its era is likely to offer on TCM tomorrow at 10:15 am. I recommend it to your DVR. It is set up on mine.

"It's all about the music., 19 December 2003
richard o'brien ( from beaufort, south carolina, u.s.a

Columbia's B musicals with Frankie Laine-Billy Daniels, etc., were all about the music. The plots are just there to, however haltingly, keep things going. Pert Terry Moore pushes tall, gangly, handsome Jerome Courtland to become a singing star. Why not? Courtland (with solos on "Let's Fall In Love", "The Love of a Gypsy" and a duet with Laine on the title song)has a fine voice, if not the performing charisma of the two leads. Daniels, a surprise smash in his first Columbia, keeps up the good work with a warm, relaxed rehearsal in an empty night club with pianist-backup singer Benny Payne, of "Too Marvelous For Words" and "I Hadn't Anyone Till You", later goes full-tilt on "I Get A Kick Out of You". Great camera work on all of Daniels' moments. Laine also gives his usual earnest, energetic and unique approach to his songs, including "I'm Gonna Live Till I Die", "I May Be Wrong" (with Toni Arden, who also gets a solo spot), and a bit of "Pennies From Heaven". Oh. Round tv screens, too! Almost impossible to find on videotape."

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A nugget from NetFlix

I don't often get the chance to recommend current movies. The Barbarian Invasions is a pleasant exception. It is about aged sexual philanderer on his death bed. His last days are filled with contact with his family, friends and lovers. The humane good will expressed by all characters in this photoplay is extraordinary, and welcome.

Though seriously manipulative, the screenplay is never condescending or sappy. The dialogue is erudite and its topics are sophisticated and mature. The casting and performances are extremely attractive in all categories. Though the professor's death ends this story, the interactions of other major characters invites further speculation. I'd kinda like to see a sequel.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Liars and hypocrites

So Tony Snow is dead. He can't write his book about the lying Bush Adminstration, in which he, as Press Secretary, was the busiest liar. He suffered greatly from the colon cancer that killed him. But America and the world has suffered even more from his own lying defense and promotion of the evil Bush/Cheney cabal. Is that why I feel no sympathy for Snow's painful death? Am I just a vengeful prick? Yeah.

And then there is the re-emergence of my favorite phony, Jesse Jackson, great Reverend of the Universal Church of Self-Serving Hypocrisy. I thought only white men castrated black men to protect the womenfolk, but now Jesse wants to use his clippers on Obama in a sick attempt to aggrandize his own legacy.

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