Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Wishing You and Yours an Absolutely Delicious New Year!




Friday, December 27, 2013

This New Years Eve, get caught in the delicious grip of 'ANACONDA'. Your sides will ache -- with laughter!

No single movie in the annals of cheesy aquatic flicks fashioned after Jaws -- we're talking Orca, Killer Fish, Tentacles and Jaws 2, 3 and 4 -- has ever provided more unintentional laughs than Anaconda
 
When "low budget Jacques Cousteau" Eric Stoltz sets sail down the Amazon to make a documentary on a famously elusive Brazilian tribe, he takes with him the least likely boatmates assembled since "Gilligan's Island": USC film school grads Jennifer Lopez and Ice Cube, surfer dude Owen Wilson, disco-livin' wanton Kari Wuhrer, Tim Curry imitator Jonathan Hyde, and inexplicably menacing captain Vincent Castellanos. "Pray you didn't forget your bug spray," Stoltz says to these dubious companions. What they really need, though, is B-movie repellant, since they come upon stranded Jon Voight, who, despite the exotic surroundings, is instantly recognizable as that staple of the civilized world, pure Spam.

Playing a "failed priest" from Paraguay (by way of Marlon Brando U.), Voight proceeds to mumble, mush and gargle his dialogue in an accent that is completely unidentifiable but which mercifully makes most of what he has to say incomprehensible. "Ah trap snaaakes fer a libbing," he informs us. (Out of consideration for our readers, the remainder of Voight's line readings have been translated back into English.) When a wasp sneaks into Stoltz's mouth (don't ask), putting him into an unconscious state for 90 percent of the film (obviously, Stoltz took one look at either the Amazon or Voight and demanded to be written out of this story), Voight is free to mislead the would-be documentarians into treacherous waters. You'll be grateful he does, since that's all that saves us from shot after shot of Lopez cooing at comatose Stoltz.


Turns out Voight is an anaconda fanatic who hopes to catch one of the 40-foot-long snakes to take back to civilization for beeeeg money (perhaps Voight had an inkling he might never work again after his performance here). The sinister reptile wrangler helpfully explains the lure of the anaconda: "It strikes, wraps around you, holds you tighter than your true love, and you get the privilege of hearing your bones break before the power of its embrace causes your veins to explode."


When an anaconda that is clearly not quite ready to be taken to the civilized world kills captain Castellanos, Lopez, Ice Cube et al. become further disenchanted with the Spam in their midst. "Don't make me out a monster -- I didn't eat the captain," Voight snaps in his own defense. (No, that's the scenery he's chewing.) At this point the killer snake, which looks for all the world like two flashlights mounted behind plastic eyes atop a rogue firehose, provokes further hilarity by leaping onto the boat to gobble down Wilson, who deserves to die for having said things like, "Is it just me, or does the jungle make you really, really horny?" How on earth can this boatload of filmmakers hope to get out of the clutches of dialogue like this and the overacting Voight?

Employing the wisdom of the ages, Lopez applies a fresh coat of pastel pink lipstick and proceeds to vamp Voight by cooing, "I thought this movie would be my first big break. Instead, it's turned into a disaster." Were truer words ever spoken? Needless to say, Voight succumbs to Lopez's charms, whereupon the other voyagers crash in and Hyde bashes him over the head with a golf club, crying, "Asshole in one!"


Voight will do anything to get free again, and we do mean anything: when Wuhrer shows the first and last signs of justifying her existence in the film by getting too close to him, the bound villain traps her head between his legs and--he has not been studying anacondas for nothing! -- thighs her to death. At this point, the killer snake lunges out of a tree in a giant coiled spring action that closely resembles the Beany and Cecil jack-in-the-box toy I had as a child, and gobbles down Hyde, who deserves to die for having said things like, "I was up all night picking leeches off my scrotum."

There is much more -- Stoltz wakes up briefly to attack Voight before going back into his coma; an intriguing recipe for anaconda flambe is presented--but you'll be more than ready for the finale, which takes place when Lopez and Ice Cube wander into a deserted shack searching for fuel for their stranded boat. This is obviously the least explicable plot point in the script, since if the movie has established anything, it's that Jon Voight is a natural source of gas.




 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The BBC uncovers the true story behind the "true" story of SAVING MR. BANKS


The story of how Walt Disney courted P.L. Travers into letting him option the rights to Mary Poppins is brought to the screen in this non-fiction drama starring Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson, and Colin Farrell.

A doting father, Walt Disney (Hanks) promises his adoring daughters that he will bring their favorite fictional nanny Mary Poppins to the big screen. Little does Walt realize that surly author P.L. Travers has no intention of seeing her most famous creation bastardized for moviegoers, a fact that makes keeping his promise a difficult endeavor. Years later, however, when Travers' book sales begin to slow, dwindling finances drive her to schedule a meeting with Disney to discuss the film rights to the beloved story. For two weeks in 1961, a determined Disney does his absolute best to convince Travers that the film version of Mary Poppins will be a wondrous and respectful adaptation, meanwhile the author only grows more convinced that she has made the right move in preventing the proposed film adaptation. Later, just when it begins to appear that the rights to Mary Poppins have slipped through his fingers, the ingenious Disney reflects back on his childhood, and realizes that a sensitive chapter from Travers' youth could be the key to clinching the deal.

Below you will find both the trailer for the new Disney movie and the wonderful BBC documentary that delves even deeper into the truth behind the creation of one of the classic movie musicals of all time.



 

RANDOM POLITICAL YUMMIES






Sunday, December 15, 2013

DELICIOUS remembers the legendary Peter O'Toole

From the Associated Press (London):
'Lawrence of Arabia' star Peter O'Toole dead at 81

Known on the one hand for his starring role in "Lawrence of Arabia," leading tribesmen in daring attacks across the desert wastes, and on the other for his headlong charges into the depths of drinking, Peter O'Toole was one of the acting world's most charismatic figures.

O'Toole, who died Saturday at age 81 after a long bout of illness, was fearsomely handsome, with burning blue eyes and a penchant for hard living, which long outlived his decision to give up alcohol. Broadcaster Michael Parkinson told Sky News television it was hard to be too sad about the news of his passing.

"Peter didn't leave much of life unlived, did he?" he said, chuckling.

A reformed — but unrepentant — hell-raiser, O'Toole long suffered from ill health. Always thin, he had grown wraithlike in later years, his famously handsome face eroded by years of hard drinking.

But nothing diminished his flamboyant manner and candor.

"If you can't do something willingly and joyfully, then don't do it," he once said. "If you give up drinking, don't go moaning about it; go back on the bottle. Do. As. Thou. Wilt."

O'Toole began his acting career as one of the most exciting young talents on the British stage. His 1955 "Hamlet," at the Bristol Old Vic, was critically acclaimed.

International stardom came in David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia." With only a few minor movie roles behind him, O'Toole was unknown to most moviegoers when they first saw him as T.E. Lawrence, the mythic British World War I soldier and scholar who led an Arab rebellion against the Turks.

His sensitive portrayal of Lawrence's complex character garnered O'Toole his first Oscar nomination.

O'Toole was tall, fair and strikingly handsome, and the image of his bright blue eyes peering out of an Arab headdress in Lean's spectacularly photographed desert epic was unforgettable.

Playwright Noel Coward once said that if O'Toole had been any prettier, they would have had to call the movie "Florence of Arabia."

In 1964's "Becket," O'Toole played King Henry II to Richard Burton's Thomas Becket, and won another Oscar nomination. Burton shared O'Toole's fondness for drinking, and their off-set carousing made headlines.

O'Toole played Henry again in 1968 in "The Lion in Winter," opposite Katharine Hepburn, for his third Oscar nomination.

Four more nominations followed: in 1968 for "Goodbye, Mr. Chips," in 1971 for "The Ruling Class," in 1980 for "The Stunt Man," and in 1982 for "My Favorite Year." It was almost a quarter-century before he received his eighth and last, for "Venus."

Seamus Peter O'Toole was born Aug. 2, 1932, the son of Irish bookie Patrick "Spats" O'Toole and his wife Constance. There is some question about whether Peter was born in Connemara, Ireland, or in Leeds, northern England, where he grew up.

After a teenage foray into journalism at the Yorkshire Evening Post and national military service with the navy, young O'Toole auditioned for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and won a scholarship.

He went from there to the Bristol Old Vic and soon was on his way to stardom, helped along by an early success in 1959 at London's Royal Court Theatre in "The Long and The Short and The Tall."

The image of the renegade hell-raiser stayed with O'Toole for decades, although he gave up drinking in 1975 following serious health problems and major surgery.

He did not, however, give up smoking unfiltered Gauloises cigarettes in an ebony holder. That and his penchant for green socks, voluminous overcoats and trailing scarves lent him a rakish air and suited his fondness for drama in the old-fashioned "bravura" manner.

A month before his 80th birthday in 2012, O'Toole announced his retirement from a career that he said had fulfilled him emotionally and financially, bringing "me together with fine people, good companions with whom I've shared the inevitable lot of all actors: flops and hits."

"However, it's my belief that one should decide for oneself when it is time to end one's stay," he said. "So I bid the profession a dry-eyed and profoundly grateful farewell."

In retirement, O'Toole said he would focus on the third volume of his memoirs.

Good parts were sometimes few and far between, but "I take whatever good part comes along," O'Toole told The Independent on Sunday newspaper in 1990.

"And if there isn't a good part, then I do anything, just to pay the rent. Money is always a pressure. And waiting for the right part — you could wait forever. So I turn up and do the best I can."

The 1980 "Macbeth" in which he starred was a critical disaster of heroic proportions. But it played to sellout audiences, largely because the savaging by the critics brought out the curiosity seekers.

"The thought of it makes my nose bleed," he said years later.

In 1989, however, O'Toole had a big stage success with "Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell," a comedy about his old drinking buddy, the legendary layabout and ladies' man who wrote The Spectator magazine's weekly "Low Life" column when he was sober enough to do so.

The honorary Oscar came 20 years after his seventh nomination for "My Favorite Year." By then it seemed a safe bet that O'Toole's prospects for another nomination were slim. He was still working regularly, but in smaller roles unlikely to earn awards attention.

O'Toole graciously accepted the honorary award, quipping, "Always a bridesmaid, never a bride, my foot," as he clutched his Oscar statuette.

He had nearly turned down the award, sending a letter asking that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hold off on the honorary Oscar until he turned 80.

Hoping another Oscar-worthy role would come his way, O'Toole wrote: "I am still in the game and might win the bugger outright."

The last chance came in, for "Venus," in which he played a lecherous old actor consigned to roles as feeble-minded royals or aged men on their death beds. By failing again to win, he broke the tie for futility which had been shared with his old drinking buddy, Richard Burton.

O'Toole divorced Welsh actress Sian Phillips in 1979 after 19 years of marriage. The couple had two daughters, Kate and Pat.

A brief relationship with American model Karen Somerville led to the birth of his son Lorcan in 1983, and a change of lifestyle for O'Toole.

After a long custody battle, a U.S. judge ruled Somerville should have her son during school vacations, and O'Toole would have custody during the school year.

"The pirate ship has berthed," he declared, happily taking on the responsibilities of fatherhood. He learned to coach schoolboy cricket and, when he was in a play, the curtain time was moved back to allow him part of the evenings at home with his son.

O'Toole's death was announced by agent Steve Kenis, who said the actor had been ill for some time.

His daughter Kate said the family had already been overwhelmed by the expressions of sympathy.

"In due course there will be a memorial filled with song and good cheer, as he would have wished," she said in the statement.
__

AP writer Raphael Satter contributed to this report.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Disney serves up a delicious 'FROZEN' treat for the holidays!


From the outside, Elsa looks poised, regal and reserved, but in reality, she lives in fear as she wrestles with a mighty secret. Elsa was born with the power to create ice and snow. A beautiful ability that also proves to be extremely dangerous. Haunted by the moment her magic nearly killed her younger sister Anna, Elsa isolates herself, spending every waking moment trying to suppress her growing powers. However, her mounting emotions trigger the magic, accidentally setting off an eternal winter in the land that she can't control. But Elsa's sister Anna is a fearless optimist. She sets off on an epic journey - teaming up with rugged mountain man Kristoff and his loyal reindeer Sven - to search for Elsa. Encountering Everest-like conditions, mystical trolls and a hilarious snowman named Olaf, Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save Elsa and the kingdom.

Check out the trailer and musical number sung by Broadway's own Idina Menzel at the bottom of this post:

 


 

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