Archives

The Movie Every Woman Should See…

hidden-figures

After the election upset, women lost faith. We had crashed the glass ceiling and we all thought Hillary would be the first woman President. Well that didn’t happen and the whole world is ready to scream I told you so with the “so” called choice. But I digress…

This movie was made before the election but its message rings true and its more relevant than ever. “Hidden Figures” is doing more than making a mark on history, its is sweeping every category and won the SAG award for best picture tonight. This is one of the most competitive Oscar races in recent history. “Fences” “La La Land” and this movie have managed to take almost every category. The funny thing is that I knew about this movie months before anyone else. It was one of the darlings of the film festival circuit. Premiered at TIFF, I picked three movies I absolutely had to see. “Catfight”, “The Belko Experiment” and this one. It is the ultimate chick flick. It shows that girls can do it all. It is a testament to black history, but more than that. It is a testament to women’s history as well.

The movie begins with the young Katherine taken from her school because of her gift of working with math and numbers. Flash forward, Katherine is now an adult and played by that minx of music Taraji P Henson (Cookie on Empire) . Katherine and her two friends Dorothy and Mary.( Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae). The three of them work as computer counters at Langley for NASA. Their job is checking numbers as the US competes with Russia for the race for space. Unfortunately these women  are fighting two battles , one as a woman the other as a colored women. They encounter colored bathrooms and at the same time not being allowed to be in meetings that are crucial to the future Apollo space program because they are women. They faced discrimination at every turn. But there are others in this award winning cast that should be given credit for their performances as well. Kevin Costner deserves kudos as Al Harrison , the man who tore down the barriers to let these women do their jobs. Kirsten Dunst pushed the envelope as the woman who finally accepted the women and admired what they had  accomplished. Jim Parsons showed his versatility of jumping from comedy to drama to portray Paul Stafford. Stafford had the most trouble accepting the women because of the way society had taught him. These three women went further and were single handledly one of the most valued assets that the United States had in accomplishing one of the biggest events in history. That event was landing on the moon.

I think that every mother and daughter should see this movie. Not just black girls, but all girls. Just like the blacks, our struggle still isn’t over. If a little girl is called a freak because she likes math or is a geek, she should know the story of these women. She should know she is not alone. Another reason to see this movie is the powerhouse talents in this ensemble. Everyone from Oscar nominated Octavia Spencer to multi Emmy award winning Jim Parsons. Run don’t walk to see this movie that is breaking all records and winning all the awards. Mind you , it will be a film experience that you will not soon forget.

the-girls-are-stopped

A cop stops Mary, Katherine, and Dorothy and gives them a hand.

the-girls-meet-john-glenn

Glenn Powell plays the charming John Glenn as he meets the girls responsible for his trip into space.

katherine-and-her-fellow-astronaut-workers

Katherine (Taraji) finally feels like an equal when she stands with her fellow NASA workers as they watch Friendship 7 launch

“May The Force Be With US” The Effect on Princess Leia and Star Wars on Pop Culture

star-wars-characters

Today, we said goodbye to the icon of a generation. One that little girls wanted to be like and one that little boys had dirty dreams about. Carrie Fisher died from complications from a heart attack she suffered on Saturday. Always the film queen, Debbie Reynolds  followed her daughter into eternity two days later. We believe she died of a broken heart. Carrie made such an impact, actually everyone from this franchise has made such an impact on our society . Let’s just count the ways that Luke, Darth, Han and of course, Leia have come into pop culture.

princess-leia-friends

“Friends” The One With the Princess Leia Fantasy. Ross Geller (David Schwimmer) was asked by his girlfriend Rachel (Jennifer Anniston) about him having a special fantasy they could stage in the bedroom. Ross gave the answer that every geek boy wanted, Princess Leia in the gold bikini. Shame the fantasy was ruined when Ross imagined the Princess was his mother. Damn you Chandler!

that-seventies-show

“That Seventies Show”  “A New Hope”  Just like typical boys in the seventies, Eric and the gang go to see the movie and this brings fantasies to Eric of Donna as the Princess.

spaceballs

“Spaceballs” Blame it on the master , Mel Brooks to come up with the ultimate Star Wars spoof. Just like in his other movies, he shows up in the movie. This time he is in a couple of times, as a Yoda type character with the phrase “May the Schwartz be With You” . The late John Candy was Barf , Bill Pullman as Lone Star. Daphne Zuniga from “Melrose Place” played Princess Vespa.

blue-harvest

“Blue Harvest” from “Family Guy”  Seth McFarlane has to be the most popular guru in pop culture. He has taken celebrities and made fun of them and McFarlane himself is a sci fi geek. We remember fondly the “Family Guy” spoof where Vader is none other than the evil one himself, “Stewie” Lois makes an awesome Leia.

scream-3

Wes Craven’s homage to Hollywood in “Scream 3” allowed Carrie to make fun of herself. She played a studio employee that helped Gale and the fake Gale (Parker Posey) look up Maureen Prescott. Carrie claimed that she was close to the part of Leia , but the other girl go the part because she slept with George Lucas.

princess-leia-darth-and-sheldon

“The Big Bang Theory “is a tribute to geekdom . There have been many comic book icons and sci fi ones that have guest starred on the show. . These include Stan Lee, Nathan Fillion, and the late Leonard Nimoy . In” The Convention Conundrum” Sheldon wishes to make his own Comic Con and runs into James Earl Jones. They spend a fun day together that ends with them playing a practical joke on Princess Leia herself. Guess the Princess didn’t take it too well.

scrubs-star-wars-references

“My Two Dads”   “Scrubs” took the gang and made them Star Wars characters. It was hilarious to see the opinionated Dr Cox as Obi Wan …JD was of course Luke.

liz-lemon-gets-married

Liz Lemon(played by Tina Fey )worshipped Princess Leia so much she wanted a Star Wars wedding on “30 Rock” .

barney-stinson-with-storm-trooper

“How I Met Your Mother’s” Barney actually had a life size storm trooper in his apartment . His buddies, Ted and Marshall tested relationships by asking potential girlfriends questions like , do you like ewoks?

bailey-loves-star-wars

“Freedom” Grey’s Anatomy” Bailey proved that she was a Star Wars fan by explaining to a young man that he is like Han Solo when he has trapped himself in concrete .

luke-in-the-short-robe-modern-family

“Modern Family”  “Planes Trains and Automobiles” Mitchell  tells Cameron that he left his Luke action figure on a plane and his father never tried to get it back. Cameron surprises him by replacing the toy.

final-frontier-2

“Castle” Final Frontier” Castle is at a sci fi convention and there is a murder. Beckett and Castle discuss that when Alexis was a little girl she made the cutest Princess Leia and he was Darth Vader when they went to the Comic Cons. We also find out that Castle has a statue of Boba Fette in his bathroom.

17-again

“17 Again” Matthew Perry becomes Zac Efron and he has to stay with his geeky friend , Ned. Ned is played by none other than Matthew’s” Odd Couple” co star Thomas Lennon. Fun fact: Thomas was on an episode of “Friends” as Joey’s hand twin when the gang was in Vegas.

RIP Princess and her mother from Chitownstarconnections

Dempsey Delivers in Bridget Jones Baby

bridgets-birthday

It ‘s something that all of us middle aged girls deal with…another birthday and we are single. Bridget Jones has to deal with the same thing. It is brought to her attention at the passing of her former lover, Daniel. Her friend, Miranda (Sarah Solemandi) invites her on a wild weekend at a music festival. Drinking and moshing , the girls have fun and then Bridget falls in the mud. But a prince comes to her rescue and that is the former Dr Derek Shepherd of “Grey’s Anatomy.” (Patrick Dempsey ) . Dempsey is introduced to the series as American millionaire, Jack Qwant.Throwing caution to the wind, she sleeps with the man. After her one night stand, she attends her niece’s christening and guess who is the godfather but Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) . Darcy is now divorced and Bridget realizes  that things happen for a reason. The two exes spend a night of passion together . Now Bridget is pregnant and doesn’t know who the father is. Mark or Jack?

This is Patrick’s debut to the big screen since the much publicized departure from “Grey’s” last year. By no means, is it the first time that he has played in a chick flick. Dempsey has that killer body and that look that made women want to have tumors just so they could be examined by him. He also has that romantic hero quality that leads in Shondaland have. They will do anything for their women. I will admit that it was odd to see him with another woman besides Ellen Pompeo. He seemed to fit in with Firth and Zellwegger and they made a delightful little triangle. Bridget and Darcy have brought back their own magic. in this third part of the trilogy. Once again, Jemma Jones adds to the comedy by returning as Bridget’s mum, Pamela Jones. Photograph singer , Ed Sheeran makes a cameo and performs in this outing. With Sheeran, the movie has a kick ass soundtrack and fans of the series are in for some fun surprises. And girls that are fans of McDreamy , he doesn’t disappoint and there is eye candy as well.  The movie is rated R.

mchotness

Yes this is McDreamy on a bike. He still has it !

the-christening

A blast from the past is at a christening. Colin Firth returns as Mark Darcy.

bridget-bride

Finally Bridget walks down the aisle, you will have to see the movie to find out who is the lucky groom.

When Destiny Calls… Disney’s Tarzan Celebrates an Anniversary

tarzan poster

In 1999,  Disney had made a decision to make an animated version of the Edgar Rice Burroughs classic of a man forced to live in the jungle among the apes”.Tarzan” is also considered one of the great classics before the Disney slump.With its huge gross, it was also the most expensive animated motion picture ever made. This classic has also the distinction of having a winning team for the music and vocal cast. The score was created by the incomparable Phil Collins of Genesis and the instrumental by Mark Mancina . Many awards awaited Collins for one of the singles from the soundtrack “You’ll Be In My Heart.” Most notably was that the song had received an Academy Award for the best original song for a motion picture the following year. The actors that lent their voices to the characters in the movie today range from a cop eating doughnuts to the President of the United States. So let’s see who the voices are for those crazy animals and others in this classic.

wayne knight

Wayne Knight of Seinfeld fame and Third Rock from the Sun was Tantor

tantor

ben stryker on castle

Here is Lance Hendriksen when he was a guest star on “Castle” He voiced Kerchak

kerchak

nigel hawthorne in the object of my affection

Nigel Hawthorne is shown here as the theatre critic in “The Object Of My Affection” He voiced Professor Porter.

professor porter in tarzan

Les 101 Dalmatiens

 

Glenn Close is usually remembered for her dramatic roles like Cruella De Ville in “101 Dalamatians” “Fatal Attraction” and “Sunset Boulevard” She is the charming mother of Tarzan , Kala

kala

rosie o donnell on empire

Rosie O Donnell has had her own talk show , played a variety of roles from best friend to Meg Ryan in “Sleepless in Seattle” , played ball with Madonna in “A League of Their Own”, and mothered a child with Jack on “Will and Grace”Most recently she appeared on “Empire” as one of Cookie’s former cell mates. . Rosie sings up a storm in “Tarzan” as Terk , Tarzan’s buddy

terk

minnie driver on will and grace

Minnie Driver is a theatre actress , film actress, and television actress. Her most hilarious role was on “Will and Grace” as the woman who stole Stanley from Karen, Lorraine Finster. Minnie had also worked with her “Tarzan” when he directed her in the movie “Conviction” Minnie was the Jane in the movie.

jane

Finally we come to Tarzan himself. At the time , the actor had done guest roles and was most known as Carl in the romantic classic “Ghost” . Of course today , Tony is known for being the man in another woman’s life.

naked olitz

tarzan and jane

phil collins 2000

In 2000, Phil Collins won the Oscar for the movie’s hit song “You’ll Be In My Heart”

A Sky Full of Stars – From the Earth to the Moon

From_the_Earth_to_the_Moon_Title

So many movies today were made a while ago. These include movies like “Almost Famous” and “Dazed and Confused.” Both of these movies have people that were unknowns that went on to become famous. In 1998,  Tom Hanks produced a mini series that told the saga of the “space race of the sixties.” called “From the Earth to the Moon” . The mini series contained a very large cast of well known stars like Dan Lauria from “The Wonder Years.” Most of the cast would go on to more known roles. Here are some of the stars of this dynamic mini series. If you want to learn more about the Apollo / Mercury programs, you should definitely watch this box set from HBO.

buzz aldrin

Here is Bryan Cranston when he played Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin. Cranston has made quite a name for himself in the past few years. He was the harried father on “Malcolm in the Middle” and the villainous Walter White on “Breaking Bad.” This year Cranston was nominated for an Oscar for his role in “Trumbo”

bryan cranston in trumbo

tim daly as jim lovell

Tim Daly showed his bravery by playing the astronaut Jim Lovell. Daly has had a lucrative career since the ending of “Wings” He appeared on Broadway in “The Caine Mutiny Court Martial” and also a regular on the ABC series “Private Practice.” Currently Tim plays Henry McCord, the husband of Tea Leoni’s character on “Madam Secretary”

tim daly on madam president

tony in moon

Tony Goldwyn has had a long and illustrious career as well. Starting with the movie “Ghost’ and also including  movies like “Last House on the Left”, The Last Samurai’ and many others. His role in the movie was a serious Neil Armstrong. Goldwyn’s career has taken off and he is one of the most known alums from “Moon” Today Goldwyn has done Broadway, directed movies and television , and made quite a name for himself. Currently he is the charming, romantic President  Fitzgerald Grant on “Scandal”, wooer of Olivia Pope.

fitz declares war

walter mondale  john slattery

John Slattery played the young senator Walter Mondale who tried to shut down the space program following an accident. Slattery has made his mark on a few shows, a scorned lover on “Desperate Housewives”, Will’s brother on “Will and Grace.” and as a politician on “Sex and the City.” Slattery will be forever known as dapper Roger Sterling on “Mad Men.”

john slattery as roger on mm

josh maliina in from the earth to the moon

Joshua Malina was data entry specialist Tim Messick. Joshua was the mastermind behind Celebrity Poker Showdown in the nineties. Joshua has made his name in such series as “Sports Night” and “The West Wing’ . Today Joshua plays political once again as Attory. General of the US , David Rosen on “Scandal” .

AbbyDavid-slider1-620x350

mark harmon in moon

Mark Harmon charmed viewers as jokester Wally Schirra. Harmon has also had a long career playing such roles as a doctor, cop, politician, and astronaut Sam on “Moonlighitng” . Sam came between Maddie and Dave as her mature boyfriend that competes with Dave for Maddie. Today Harmon fights for the law on “NCIS” as Leroy Jetho Tubbs

NCIS

 

tom verica in moon

Tom Verica was Astronaut Dick Gordon. Tom has also come along through the years as well. He has played the ex of Grace , Danny, on “Will and Grace.” Tom currently is one of the producers of “Scandal” and is a frequent director of the show as well. He also was the late Sam Keating on another Shondaland show “How to Get Away With Murder”

TOM VERICA, VIOLA DAVIS

 

george newbern moon

George Newbern is another veteran actor known for roles on series. He played Payne , Dixie Carter’s son on “Designing Women” , in the movie “Father of the Bride” and most notably another guy who Rachel dated to get over Ross on “Friends”Currently George also joins his fellow alums from “Scandal” as Charlie, Huck’s mentor from B613.

george as charlie scandal

Adam in fron the earth

Adam Baldwin was another of those brave men who touched the stars as Fred Haise in the miniseries. It wouldn’t be the first time he would fly into space. Adam was the beloved Jayne in the sci fi classic “Firefly.” He would reunite with his Capt Reynolds in the future on his show “Castle”. Both Fillion and Baldwin would be on the Comic-Con circuit for years. Baldwin has also appeared in many shows including “Chuck” CSI Miami ” and Law and Order SVU” Currently he is Mike Slattery on “The Last Ship”

adam baldwin in last ship

kevin from the earth to the moon

Kevin Pollak must have made quite an impression as NASA head Joe Shea. He was actually nominated for a Satellite award for his portrayal of the executive responsible for the early part of the space program. Kevin has also done a lot of roles to show his versatility. He has played a gangster in “The Whole Nine Yards” and its sequel as well. Recently he played the lover of Allison Janney on “Mom”. Currently Kevin can be seen on the new CBS series “Angel from Hell” as Dr Marv Fuller.

kevin pollak angel from hell

dann florek

We end our tribute to this dynamic series with Dann Florek as Robert Seamans. Today he is the force behind the unit on the hit series , “Law and Order, SVU” . Dann plays Captain Donald Cragen on the show.

It only goes to show you that when a project is made, years later the actors have made such an impression on you, you never know where you will see them again. By the way , the mini series won many awards that year including Golden Globes, Emmy’s and many awards for its casting. With this stellar cast,it is no wonder.

Still Believing – Ghost Celebrates 25 Years

ghost cast pictureIn 1990,  a film was released that caught the eye of the world.. Screenwirter Bruce Joe Rubin took the idea from “Hamlet” to have a ghost visit in the modern day 20th century. That idea resulted in the movie “Ghiost” . Patrick Swayze was coming off the success of his movies “Dirty Dancing ” and “Road House” and Demi Moore had just made headlines by marrying superstar Bruce Willis. Whoopi Goldberg had just started her meteoric climb and a newcomer by the name of Tony Goldwyn was making a name for himself as the villainous Carl. The movie swept the Oscar noms that year and won screenwriter Rubin and Goldberg gold statuettes.

Twenty five years later, the movie has stood the test of time. It has been parodied, made into a Broadway musical, and named one of the best movies of all time. lLet’s revisit this classic and the stars of it.

iconic ghostMolly and Sam are young, good lucking and in love . This is one of the most iconic scenes of the movie.

patrick and tony ghostSam is a banker and he works with his friend, Carl. Carl manages to get into a lot of trouble and as a result , he has Sam murdered.

patrick and whoopiSam enlists the help of a medium Etta Mae to warn Molly that her life is in danger. Carl wants the codes that Sam had and he will do anything to get them. Whoopi won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress that next year and was the first African American actress  to win since Hattie McDaniel for “Gone With the Wind”

GHOST, from left: Tony Goldwyn, Demi Moore, 1990. ©Paramount

Carl holds Molly hostage when he realizes that Sam ‘s spirit is after him.

dead carlCarl realizes that the window has killed him and next he is taken to hell. This is one of the scariest scenes in the movie . Little bit of trivia , Tony’s wife, Jane Musky was the production designer on the movie.

ghost endSam ‘s death is finally avenged which means he can go to heaven. Before he goes,he says good bye to Molly.

TODAY…..

whoopi on the viewWhoopi is one of the hosts of the ABC show “The View” Here she is with very special guest President Obama . Whoopi also had a reunion with Ghost co star Tony  Goldwyn as well.

declaring warTony is now one of the biggest stars around. He plays the very sexy President Fitzgerald Thomas Grant 111 on “Scandal” . His romancing of the fair Olivia Pope is one of the hottest romances around.

Sexy shower fitz

Cookie and Lucious the Early Years- Hustle and Flow

terrence howard and taryn j herndon

This movie was the hit of the Sundance Film Festival in 2005. What brought it to my eyes was the fact that this was the first time that those sweethearts of hip hop , Terrence Howard and Taraji P Henson worked together. Today those two actors are burning it up as Lucious and Cookie Lyon in the super hit “Empire.” Watching the movie, I could almost say that it could be described as “Cookie and Lucious The Early Years.” The plot of D Jay and Shug starting out the hip hop music with drugs and pimping is strikingly similiar to the plot of “Empire.”

Terrence Howard won critical acclaim for the  part of D Jay , a pimp who wanted more out of life. He realizes his dream when fate brings into this life a keyboard and his old friend, Key. Key is played by Anthony Anderson who also appears on television this season on the ABC hit “Blackish.” Key partners with D Jay as they take their talent and try to make a hit. Henson shines as Shug, the pregnant prostitute who sings hooks and supports her man. When D Jay finds out that rapper Skinny Black (Ludacris) is back in the hood , he devises a plan to get the tape to “Black.” The late Isaac Hayes also appeared in the movie as well.  D Jay plans on attending a Fourth of July party to get the tape to Black.The  party turns violent when Black throws the tape into the toilet while he is drunk. D Jay pulls a gun and then a fight breaks out. When D Jay gets home, the police are waiting for him and Shug is hysterical . He is imprisoned for assault and possession of a firearm. One of his other girls takes it upon herself to hustle the music while he is in jail.

The movie has some great music . You can’t help but start singing “You Know it’s Hard Out Here For A Pimp” . Actually the song won the Academy Award for Best Original Song that year. It also delivers a great message. “Everybody has a dream.”

hustle_amp_flow_2004_portrait_w858They make beautiful music together. Ten years later, they still do on “Empire “

Empire