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 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd

 

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Amy Adams for Janis Joplin

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Entries in John Travolta (6)

Friday
Aug222014

Look Who's Talking (1989) and the Perils of Revisiting Childhood Faves

Hello everyone, Manuel here jumping aboard my personal DeLorean and taking a trip to 1989 to catch up with what’s still Amy Heckerling’s biggest box office success, the comedy Look Who's Talking.

There's a certain joy and sadness in revisiting films you remember enjoying as a kid. Some, because of their continued playback on cable or at your own home theater, seem to age with you so that their flaws become endearing while their wonders become treasures you hoard as if they were intended just for you. In this, films can be like old friends. Catching up with one you haven’t seen in over a decade can be a terrifying prospect. Have they aged well? Do you still share the same sense of humor? Will there be awkward silences where there were laughs before?

Much like its stock male lead, Look Who’s Talking is a flawed, sloppy, lovable creature. It may feature the scariest CGI baby that side of Ally McBeal, but at its heart it’s a funny rom-com that handles its “women having it all!” plot with aplomb. Heckerling’s quippy film follows Mollie (Kristie Alley) whose married lover (George Segal) knocks her up, refuses to divorce his wife for her (doing so instead for his younger interior decorator), leaving her to raise young Mikey by herself. John Travolta plays James, a roguish cab driver who after helping Mollie deliver her son, begins babysitting for her and well… you can probably guess where the film eventually lands. Certain things have aged better than others. The performances still shine. Proving why they were stars before they were Kathy Griffin punchlines, Travolta and Kristie show that a great rom-com needs great chemistry at its center to succeed. Indeed, Travolta’s on-screen charisma remains undeniable whenever he’s dancing while Alley’s comedic timing shows why she was a sitcom superstar. And that doesn’t even cover the presence of always welcome Olympia Dukakis who proves she can do raucously funny no-nonsense mom in her sleep. My favorite exchange from the film is Mollie asking her mom why she married her father:

-He looked good in a uniform.

-Yes, but didn’t they all look good in uniform?

-No... I didn’t care for the sailors and their bell-bottoms!”

It’s all in the delivery, but there’s a spark in Heckerling’s script that is undeniable. The same cannot be said for the central conceit of the film. Hearing Bruce Willis’s voice as Mikey’s inner monologue is as bizarre as it sounds and adds very little to the film as a whole; maybe this explains the diminishing returns of the film's two sequels which relied more heavily on its voice actors (Roseanne Barr, Diane Keaton and Danny DeVito) and thus on its rickety gimmick?

Mikey, voiced by Bruce Willis

If Look Who’s Talking is indeed an old friend, it’s one I’ll be unlikely to catch up with any time soon. She's just as nice as I remember her, if not as funny but her schtick gets old very soon (am I the only one impervious to cute kids in films unless they're named Richie and are (s)mothered by Julianne Moore?). Now I’m scared to see other old friends from that time (I’m looking at you Willow!) for fear I'll be just as disappointed.

What childhood staple have you revisited recently? Are there films better left as untouched warm memories of sitting around with friends in party hats while celebrating one's sixth birthday?

Monday
Mar032014

The Best Tweets of Oscar Night

And if Matthew McConaughey can be his own hero, I can include some of my own tweets, too! But I'll be sure to thank God as well because everything i have comes fro...

 

 

I share the tweets primarily because Ellen DeGeneres made history last night with this selfie... which isn't really a selfie because Bradley Cooper took it ...although maybe not because that's a really wide view for a selfie. And there were other versions of this picture suggesting multiple cameras, like the one I tweeted below. a selfie that's not really a selfie that contains multitudes and all of our fantasies and dreams... and Lupita's brother.

 

 

 

FUN TWEETS after the jump.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Dec062012

Once Upon a Time in the Link

I have been remiss at sharing good stories and posts from around the web so I hereby return to it.

Pop Matters Jose takes another look at Marion Cotillard's work in Rust & Bone and contemplates Oscar
Pop Elegantarium Alexa loves the screwball comedy of David O. Russell's Silver Linings Playbook 
Sam Hiti Once Upon a Time in the West fans should check out this artists tumblr 
The Hot Blog David Poland on the NYFCC winners
Cinema Blend two Woody Allen classics coming to Blu-Ray this January 


EW top ten lists from popular critics Owen (Lincoln @ #1) & Lisa (Zero Dark Thirty @ #1). They both choose one Oscar hopeful among their "5 worst of the year" lists, too.
E! Online Rose McGowan is the latest actress trying to achieve Michelle Pfeiffer's now immortal Scarface look 
Antagony & Ecstasy wonderful piece on Life of Pi by one of the web's best critics 
The Carpet Bagger talks to the editor of Flight about the plane crash scene 
My New Plaid Pants who wore it best: animated decapitation
In Contention I totally forgot to mention the Golden Satellite nominations. Lots of love for Les Miz but also weird nominations for films that never opened in the States like Kim Ki-Duk's Piéta so I'm not sure what their criteria is for eligibility anymore

Coming Soon Anne Hathaway recently burst into tears when asked about doing a Catwoman spinoff, adding

...assuming there was enough Kleenex in the world, I would love to do a spin-off

 

 


Vulture Speaking of Anne Hathaway. Sort of. a screening of Les Misérables that I would've killed to be it for Academy and Globe members. Hugh Jackman sang and lap danced for birthday girl Amanda Seyfried 
Gawker on the 13 most powerful images of naked celebrities for 2012 
In Contention Pedro Almodóvar, as you know my favorite living filmmaker, will be getting an Academy tribute in London. I'm so jealous of Guy Lodge right now who gets to attend these London events
Stale Popcorn Glenn on Australia's film award nominations (formerly AFI and now called AACTA) . The musical The Sapphires leads.
Cinema Blend Casey Affleck stayin' creepy. He aims to play the Boston Strangler in a new film 

Finally, Grease superstars of yore, John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John made a new video together for their Christmas album.

No comment. My inner child loves Livvy & Grease too much to comment. (Other than that John Travolta who not so unrecently commanded $20 million a movie maybe could have spared two hundred thousand dollar bills so this didn't look like it was made for two!)

Wednesday
Oct032012

The Edge of Linky

Geekologie What if Disney villains had won? Fun illustrations of our favorites including Ursula & Maleficent 
Pajiba reads my mind on the Olivia Newton-John / John Travolta Christmas Album !!! Well they read my mind except the part where the article is all obsessed about John Travolta's fake hair instead of Sandy & Danny reunited again! 
Film Dr 10 Notes on Looper and the reciprocal nature of violence
Fleshbot *NSFW* Daniel Radcliffe gets naked for The F Word and Kill Your Darlings. After this and Equus... maybe he's telling us he's a naturist? 

Gawker Liam Neeson does his naked part for charity on "Ellen"
Badass Digest interesting piece on the splintering of pop culture. Film may no longer rule, but neither does anything else.
Playbill Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day, the musically inclined feature that starred Frances McDormand, Amy Adams and Lee Pace may be headed for the Broadway musical stage 
In Contention Beasts of the Southern Wild won't be honored at the SAG Awards who have ruled it ineligible. This could put a dent in Quvenzhané Wallis Best Actress hopes if you ask me since SAG has historically liked little girl performances even more than Oscar.

Team Experience
Pop Elegantarium Alexa loves Looper and Looper paintings by the director's brother
Stale Popcorn Glenn kicks off a miniseries 31 Horrors with Cat People (1982)
MNPP JA loves Barry Levinson's The Bay 
Serious Film Michael survives ocean storms with The Life of Pi 

Exit Music
The hilarious Rebel Wilson sang from her "breast voice" for her Pitch Perfect audition

 

Thursday
May102012

Tall Tales. Short Links

Village Voice the five most dream-like sequences from the John Travolta sex-assault allegations. (Hint: The comment section is hi-lar-ious. I especially love the pizza delivery analogy)
YouTube has one of those Taiwanese "news" animations about it.
When Obama Endorsed Marriage Equality... (gif parties ahead -- love the '95 Clueless shout-out)
La Daily Musto Tippi Hedren (of The Birds fame) claims that Alfred Hitchcock put the kabosh on her Best Actress Oscar nomination for their follow up Marnie . Um, Tippi... how would he do that exactly? Ol' Hitch didn't even have enough pull with AMPAS to win one for himself!

Tuesday
Feb012011

Link Shop

Fandor Sheila O'Malley on Melissa Leo's career and her ship coming in.
Movie|Line 5 Ways The Social Network can reclaim its Oscar mojo.
Observations on Film Art
Facial acting "less with the eyebrows" in The Social Network.
Playbill Actress Jane Lynch releasing a memoir in the fall. Fun.Vulture Harvey Weinstein's canny talking points to win The King's Speech votes. Not to be an ass but should anyone really hold up John Travolta as a taste-maker with a straight face? Yes, that filmography sure shows hisimpeccable taste in movies!
Movie | Line Sundance 11's Most Likely to Succeed

Self-Styled Siren "For the Love of Film Noir" blog-a-thon and restoration fundraiser in mid February
AV Club
asks if they'd ever really give Banksy the doc Oscar for a heavily fictional oddity like Exit Through the Gift Shop
Pop Matters
- Interesting piece on the fallible businees of naming "bests" and awardage in general.

We don’t sort art, it sorts us. Which piece of art tops the list says less about the quality of the art than who made the list. The shiny statuettes are shaped like human beings, because they signify the very human process by which they are awarded.

Finally, JA at MY NEW PLAID PANTS has begun to announce his annual Golden Trousers honors which includes "moments of awesomeness" like this one from Sofia Coppola's Somewhere...

My favorite part of SOMEWHERE

They're always good wacky fun to be had peering into JA's inimitable fever-addled brain.