Category Archives: Humour

The Cats Trailer We Need. The Cats Trailer We Deserve

When the grotesque trailer for the movie version of Cats was released a few weeks ago, the reaction was near-universal horror. Remember that scene in The Producers when the theatre audience responds to the first song from the musical Springtime for Hitler with stunned disbelief? It was like that.

For anyone who has (understandably) suppressed their, uh, memories of the disaster, here it is again:

YouTube to the rescue. A YouTuber mashed up shots from the trailer with clips from Stephen King’s Pet Sematary, and has given us a trailer for Stephen King’s Cats:

Vast improvement, isn’t it?

King himself has tweeted his approval.

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90210 Revisited

I missed it!

I lost track of time and completely forgot that tonight was the premiere of Fox’s BH90210 miniseries. Even worse, I can’t find the show playing on any of my video-on-demand accounts, as if it’s, I don’t know, 1990 or something, so I’ll have no idea what happened in the first episode unless I can find somebody who videotaped it. Hope they have VHS.

But having no idea what I’m talking about has never stopped me from posting here in the past, so what follows are my thoughts on the Return to 90210.

As I’ve previously written, I’ve always blamed Beverly Hills, 90210 and the even more horrendous Saved by the Bell for making the Millenials the way they are. Those two shows were originally broadcast at the exact point in time when gullible young Millenials—and are there any other kind?—were in search of role models, and at their most suggestible.

It’s no coincidence that the Peach Pit’s specialty of the house was avocado toast.

But enough about the past.

Unfortunately, the new version of 90210 is without the one actor who held the original show together. I’m referring, of course, to Joe E. Tata,* aka Nat Bussichio, the owner and operator of the Peach Pit.

You probably thought I was referring to someone else. And you’d have a point: Where is Tiffani-Amber Thiessen? I wouldn’t be surprised if someone made a surprise guest appearance in a later episode. Maybe she’ll bring Screech along for a visit.

And what about Carly Reynolds, played by Hilary Swank, who was reportedly dropped from the show because her performance wasn’t up to 90210 standards? I haven’t heard much about her since she left the show, and I’ve always wondered what became of her. Did she ever do any more acting?

Also MIA,  Jim and Cindy Walsh, who are probably still in Hong Kong, leading the demonstrations against the oppressors on the mainland.

Anyhow, since I missed the first episode, I have no idea whether the producers used the plot outline I’d submitted for their consideration.

In my version, which may have been slightly influenced by the fact that I’d recently binged on 16 slasher movies on Netflix, we discover that Scott Scanlon, David’s friend in the first season, survived his famous gun accident, but was left horribly disfigured, and was sent to a Mexican sanatorium by his guilt-ridden parents. While there, he met two other patients undergoing court-ordered therapy: Dylan’s deranged stalker, Emily Valentine, and the embittered and violent Ray Pruit, Donna’s abusive ex-boyfriend. The three of them escape together and hide out in the attic of the Peach Pit, where they plot revenge and design scary facemasks. One by one, the main BH90210 characters meet grisly fates, until there’s no one left except for The Last Girl….

It’s gotta be Shannen Doherty, right?

I mean, who else stands a chance. Not Brian Austin Green. Not The Ziering, that’s for sure.

if you saw the premiere, I’d love to hear from you about how close I came to the final product.


*If Tori Spelling had married Joe E. Tata, she’d be Tori Tata. If Tiffani-Amber Thiessen had married Joe E. Tata, she’d be T.A.T. Tata.

A Faithful Man –– Official U.S. Trailer

Louis Garrel, my favourite French actor, reminds me of Joseph Gordon-Levitt and James Franco. Like them, Garrel is a hugely talented actor who has created a body of work that mixes intriguing indie projects with big mainstream hits. They all take risks and make often-brave choices in the roles they play. All three are about the same age.

With his new romantic comedy, A Faithful Man, Garrel has progressed from acting in memorable films like The Dreamers, Ma Mère, and the delightful Les chansons d’amour, to writing and directing one as well.

In A Faithful Man, Garrel plays Abel, whose partner Marianne (played by Garrel’s real-life wife, Laetitia Casta) tells him that she’s pregnant and that he’s not the father. They go their separate ways, and time passes. Eight years later, Marianne’s husband Paul is dead, and Paul’s little sister Eve has grown from a 13-year-old girl into an attractive young adult who has had a longtime crush on Abel….

It’s all very French.

Eve, btw, is played by Lily-Rose Depp, daughter of Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis.*

A Faithful Man was released in France on 26 December 2018, and opened in the US with a  limited release on 19 July  2019, and will expand this weekend.


*Garrel, Gordon-Levitt, and Franco might want to take cautionary note. That description of their careers in my first paragraph could once have been used to describe Depp’s early trajectory. Both personally and professionally, the last 10 years have not been good ones for Depp.

New Tales of the City

“When I first got off the bus years ago, I had the strangest feeling that I’d come home.”
—Laura Linney as Mary Ann Singleton in Tales of the City

Oh, yes, Mary Ann, in this you are not unique. The first time I was in San Francisco, I had exactly the same feeling.*

And now, thanks to Netflix, we’re going home again.

“inspired by the books of Armistead Maupin, the new Netflix Limited Series Tales of the City begins a new chapter in the beloved story. Mary Ann (Laura Linney) returns to present-day San Francisco and is reunited with her daughter Shawna (Ellen Page) and ex-husband Brian (Paul Gross), twenty years after leaving them behind to pursue her career. Fleeing the midlife crisis that her picture-perfect Connecticut life created, Mary Ann is quickly drawn back into the orbit of Anna Madrigal (Olympia Dukakis), her chosen family and a new generation of queer young residents living at 28 Barbary Lane.”

Tales of the City had its start as a three-times-a-week serial in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Author Armistead Maupin mixed real and (mainly) fictional characters to capture the essence of San Francisco in the 1970s.  Maupin succeeded in doing for The City what Tom Wolfe failed to do for New York in Bonfire of the Vanities, probably the most overrated novel of the late 20th century. The column became must-read material, and a cult was born.

The first novelization of the serial was published in 1978, followed by five more volumes published at two-year intervals, with three more books released after a 20-year gap.

In 1993, Channel 4 (UK) turned the first book into a superb miniseries, which was shown on PBS in the US in early 1994. Here’s the trailer:

Good news! That original series is currently streaming on Acorn.

The new series will be released on Netflix on 7  June  2019.


Bonus Track

The great Laura Linney makes an uncredited appearance in this video for the also-great Aimee Mann. Watch closely, and see if you can spot her.


* Granted, I also had exactly the same feeling the first time I was in London, and the first time I was in Paris. Never had it in my own hometown,  though, for some reason….

2019 Cookery Project — Easter Lunch

Easter Lunch

Easter Lunch

A full plate. It’s a holiday!

Clockwise from the top, we have rosemary roasted onions, made with garlic, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and rosemary, then sliced leg of lamb, with more garlic and more rosemary. There’s a dab of store-bought mint jelly at six o’clock.

The star of the show was the serving of Brussels sprouts with onion and crumbled bacon.

Rating

★ Disaster. Inedible. Poisoned the cat.
★★ OK, but once is enough.
★★★ Mixed results. Something went wrong, but might try this again.
★★★★ Good, but lacks that special something. for the onions.
★★★★★ Excellent. Goes into my “This is a winner” file. for the Brussels sprouts.


Lamb to the Slaughter

This seems an appropriate place for a certain memorable video.

From 1955 through 1962, Alfred Hitchcock hosted a television anthology series called Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Hitchcock only directed 17 of the 268 episodes—in those days, a television season could run to 40 weekly episodes—but he hosted all of them, displaying the famous Hitchcock dark humour during his introduction and closing comments to each show, and mildly trolling his advertisers before the mid-show commercials. His appearances were sometimes the best part of the episodes.

Here’s one of the classic Alfred Hitchcock Presents stories, written by Roald Dahl, starring an absolutely-perfect-in-the-part Barbara Bel Geddes, and directed by A. Hitchcock himself. It’s called Lamb to the Slaughter.

The Further Adventures of Florida Man Rabbit

A headline that starts with the words “Florida Man” is almost guaranteed to be followed by a trip down Alice in Wonderland’s rabbit hole to a strange, exotic kingdom where the laws of logic and physics as we know them simply don’t exist. Things get curiouser and curiouser, as Alice herself once said.

So naturally, this happened in Orlando last weekend.

According to Click Orlando, “Apparently, the fight began when a man bumped into a woman and the duo began fighting. The video, posted by Instagram user Workfth, shows the Easter Bunny joining into the fight and throwing rabbit punches and haymakers.”

There were no arrests reported, this being Florida and all.


I’ve posted in the past about the Adventures of Florida Man and the Twitter account dedicated to immortalizing them.

Definitely worth revisiting.