Showing posts with label birthday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label birthday. Show all posts

Friday, July 1, 2022

Happy Birthday, Debbie Harry

Today is the birthday of Debbie Harry, Queen of Pop Punk.  

I'm a Blondie fan and a Debbie Harry fan.  That's all I have to say about that lest I start to wax rhapsodic.  

She's the absolute best.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

101st Anniversary of Jane Russell Existing

One-hundred-one years ago today, Ernestine Jane Geraldine Russell joined us on this weird orb flinging through the otherwise uncaring cosmos.  Her arrival and subsequent Jane Russell-ness was and remains a sign that maybe the universe isn't the meaningless void one might otherwise assume.  

Russell is still generally well remembered by the public, if for no other reason for most folks as a co-star in the classic Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.  But Russell was a major star in her own right.  She's a natural in front of the camera, a talented comedic and dramatic actress, can sing and dance, and was game for all sorts of scripts.  Paired with Robert Mitchum in a few films, she's met her equal and acting partner - I highly recommend the ill-titled His Kind of Woman, which is just a hell of a movie, and then move on to Macao.  

I'd highly recommend you check out her work some time.  

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Judy Garland at 100

June 10th marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of Frances Ethel Gumm, who we all know as Judy Garland.  

Garland was a star from almost the time she could walk, and was a performer of stage and screen until her untimely passing just 12 days after her 47th birthday.  I am now older than Judy Garland ever was.

I would be very curious to know what the average person on the street thought of Garland during the 1940's til her death.  To put it mildly, her life was tumultuous.  And I am sure the movie magazines and gossip columns covered that, but most people couldn't have known much about her issues at work and at home.  She simply had to have been a given - she had been on screen since before The Wizard of Oz, and even if she disappeared for a while, she always seemed to return, whether it was television or stage shows.  

But the studios seemed literally cruel to her, in ways that anyone should share with their starry-eyed kids considering a career in show-biz, both in front of and behind the lens.  But in the end, though she's been gone for almost 53 years, she's still a draw, whether it's folks tuning in for Easter Parade or Meet Me in St. Louis or The Harvey Girls or Wizard of Oz.  A few people can name directors or studio chiefs, but folks will still stop to see what Garland is doing on screen.  

I don't know if it's a triumph or a tragedy.  But you also can't imagine movies without her.

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Happy Birthday Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

As a kid, I was an NBA nut.  And because it was the 1980's, I watched the Lakers.  Chances were always good they were in the playoffs or the Finals.  But I watched them, the Pistons, the Bulls and the Rockets when I could (I would become a real Rockets fan when I moved back to Houston in 1990) all season long.  

I liked most of the guys you think of from that era, but my favorite Laker was always Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.   I made the crucial mistake of trying to imitate his play as a 6'3" kid, but I did play center and I wore glasses, and it all made sense in my head.  But my skyhook was not Kareem's skyhook.  And my defense was not his.

Of course, Kareem is one of the intellectuals of the NBA.  And that had an impact on me as a kid.  I understood that, like Muhammad Ali, he had abandoned his birthname of Lou Alcinder.  I understood why.  Those are both big things when you're a kid, but also helps frame it in a way that's understandable and something you're keen to appreciate when you know that's part of the story of someone you look up.  

I knew Kareem was a reader and a smart guy, and I have delighted in his post NBA career as a sort of wise elder.  I mean, no one is going to Bill Laimbeer or Dennis Rodman to get their take on current events.  They aren't writing excellent think pieces that show up in the news.  

If I met Kareem today, though, I'd probably just ask him about making The Fish that Saved Pittsburgh, and if he'd rewatched it lately.  

Anyway, I had a lot of sports heroes as a kid, but Kareem was always the top of the list.  

Its been wild watching the current series Winning Time about the people and forces that combined to become the Lakers you know and love, and to see Kareem dramatized by Solomon Hughes in a way that feels like maybe it could be right (but you'd have to ask the man himself).  

Anyway, happy 75th to one of the best in the game.  

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

PODCAST 193: "Chances Are" (1989) - a Birthday Exchange Movie Discussion w/ Jamie and Ryan

Watched:  04/10/2022
Format:  Amazon
Viewing: First
Decade:  1980's
Director:  Emilie Ardolino

NSFW! In retaliation for his selection, Jamie busts out a mostly-forgotten late-80's magical-realism romantic comedy that really draws some interesting lines in the sand for what it thinks are totally fine ideas to put into a movie. Thrill to Jamie and Ryan pondering how this was a mainstream movie that went without comment at the time.



After All - Cher and Peter Cetera
Chances Are - Johnny Mathis

Jamie's Cinema Classics


Middle Kids

Dream wives pushing up their prices
Even though it's a dying trade
Cool hands sticking to their guns
Hoping it'll keep them safe

They're eyeing off each other
Hoping to discover the only needle in the hay
But the sun's gone down and they're feeling around
With palms stretched open skimming the ground
I was hoping that things were better since we're all so clever

Quick cash filling up the pockets
Of the most boring men in the room
Red lips, the promise of kisses
Whisper sweet nothingness

They're eyeing off each other
Hoping to discover the only needle in the hay
But the sun's gone down and they're feeling around
With palms stretched open skimming the ground
And you're sitting high above it
Modern comfort is always having something to say
And a million artists have come to this in the past years
Tired and hungry, laughing through tears
I was hoping that we'd feel better since we're all so clever

You look better in the spring
(The violins play the rite of it)
I see you ever considering
Packing up your things and driving into the sea

We're eyeing off each other
Hoping to discover the only needle in the hay
But the sun's gone down and we're feeling around
With arms stretched open skimming the ground
I was hoping that things were better
I was hoping that things were better
I was hoping that things were better since we're all so clever

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Happy Birthday, Sterling Hayden

Yesterday marked the 106th birthday of reluctant movie star Sterling Hayden.

I don't think it's a huge surprise that I'll pick any of a number of female stars from the mid-20th Century as a perfectly good reason to watch a film, but the number of male stars who push a movie to the top of my watch pile is smaller.  Up at the top of that list is, and always will be, Sterling Hayden.

Hayden didn't seem to think much of acting, I guess, but it was how he made his living when he wasn't running off on a boat.  He has an insane war record that includes lying about who he really was (he wasn't famous yet) and winging up in the OSS where he was basically a Howling Commando.

In films, Hayden always plays someone reflecting his presence, but it's cops, thieves, cowboys, pirates and eventually General Jack D. Ripper in Dr. Strangelove.  He's better than he probably ever gave himself credit for, and while not every film he was in was a homerun, he was never the issue.

Anyway, if you haven't ever see a Sterling Hayden film (and you have, he's the policeman in The Godfather who Michael takes care of in the restaurant.  Spoilers, I guess.), I'm happy to suggest a few.

Friday, March 25, 2022

PodCast 190: "Showgirls" (1995) - A Day-Drinking Surprise Birthday Movie Exchange w/ Jamie and Ryan

Watched:  03/19/2022
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  Second
Decade:  1990's
Director:  Paul Verhoeven

NSFW!!! This year for their birthdays, Jamie and Ryan are exchanging movies, but each will surprise the other with their selection. For Jamie's birthday, Ryan rolled out the martinis and 1995's most notorious camp-tastic hit in glorious NC-17 style. It's a wild world of the American Dream if your dream is to DANCE. Mine isn't, so this mostly seemed like it was trying very hard to make a point, but forgot what that point was multiple times along the way.



Vision Thing - Sisters of Mercy
Goddess - David A. Steward, Showgirls OST

Ryan's Random Cinema

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Thursday, March 17, 2022

It's my Brother's Birthday!

Everyone wish my brother, the amazing Steanso, a terrific birthday.  

I started blogging way, way back in 2003, and back then, he was but a simple attorney who played a lot of GTA and the bass in a band.  Now, he's a respectable attorney, a family man, and drives a crossover SUV to keep the kiddies safe.  But he does still play the bass!

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

101 Years of Cyd Charisse

Today marks the 101st birthday of film star Cyd Charisse.  

Charisse is one of those people that - if you know *anything* about classic film, you're like "of course, Cyd Charisse".  If you don't know who she is, study up.  

I'll put my cards on the table and say, Cyd Charisse made quite an impression on me as a young film student.  An amazing dancer - maybe one of the five or so best I can think of in film, and seemingly with the most diversity in her dancing bag of tricks, Charisse was also not just movie-star gorgeous, but had a restrained sexiness that the studios deployed with as much taste as possible. 

She was a partner of choice for Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire and other giants, and it's no wonder.  Ballet, modern, whatever was needed for a sequence, she was there and making someone like Gene Kelly somehow look even better as a dancer.

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Happy Birthday, Laura Dern

Happy Birthday to the one and only Laura Dern!  And, hey, they released the trailer for Jurassic World Dominion today.  So, our gift is more Dr. Ellie Sattler.  And that's never a bad thing.

Saturday, February 5, 2022

Happy Belated Birthday to Ida Lupino


Yesterday was the birthday of film star, producer and director, Ida Lupino.  

She's in several amazing films, including a personal favorite, While the City Sleeps.  In the movie, she plays the fast-talking gossip reporter for a major newspaper, who wants to get with Dana Andrews (and does, somewhat on screen enough that you know offscreen the characters hooked up) but he returns to his pure as the driven snow girlfriend in the film's finish.  

Dana Andrews made a wrong choice.

you fool, Andrews.  

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Happy Birthday, Nichelle Nicols

Happy 89th to the great Nichelle Nichols.  Trailblazer, sci-fi hero, performer and all around favorite.  

Monday, December 20, 2021

Happy Birthday, Audrey Totter

Today marks the birthdate of film star Audrey Totter, born December 20th. 1917.  

As you should well know, this is an Audrey Totter fansite.  

Raise a glass today for Ms. Totter!  One of the best.  And who knew how to exit a car.

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Happy Birthday, Sarah Douglas!


Happy birthday to Sarah Douglas!  Among other things, this site is a Superman fan site - and what would Superman: The Movie and certainly Superman II be without the casually-delighted menace of Sarah Douglas's Ursa?  I won't get into her full filmography, because that is what we call "a storied career" and you can IMDB her on your own.  You will begin realizing "man, I really have seen and heard her voice work in a shocking amount of stuff".  

Ms. Douglas is also on twitter, and seems as cool as you would hope!  

Here's to Ms. Douglas, and let's hope she's celebrating with pals.

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Happy Birthday, Rita Moreno - she's 90!

Happy Birthday to Rita Moreno, who has been a stone cold fox for what I am aware is, like, 7 decades.

Accomplishments?  She's got them.  Storied career?  Achieved.  Awards?  spilling off her mantle.  Dramatic romance with Marlon Brando?  Check.  Still wildly great at her job?   Absolutely.  Lady who yelled "Hey you guys!" at the beginning of The Electric Company?  You know it.

Here's to Rita Moreno, who is an absolute g-d delight.

Friday, December 10, 2021

Monday, November 22, 2021

Happy B-Day, Jamie Lee Curtis


Today is the birthday of Signal Watch hero and our second favorite Jamie, Jamie Lee Curtis.

Y'all put out some good vibes into the universe today in honor of JLC.