Category Archives: Movie Stuff

Date Night Movie: “Into the Woods”

Usually when I write about date night movies I'm taking about stuff that Mrs. Yeti and I see without Greta, but, tonight's “date night” was even more special. Greta and I saw a screening of Into the Woods on the Disney lot tonight and it was magical.

The movie was fantastic, the weather was wet and shimmery but not cold and the studio backlot was decorated to the hilt for tomorrow's annual tree lighting ceremony. Daddy/Daughter “date night” perfection! Seriously, we could have strolled around that gorgeous, candy-colored backlot all night…in fact, we kinda did. Enjoy the pics!

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“Star Wars: Rebels”

OK, I tend to be pretty generous where Star Wars is concerned. I worshipped the original trilogy as a kid, I loved the second two prequel films (Revenge of the Sith actually made me cry at the end!) and I thought the various iterations of the animated Clone Wars series were pretty solid with a few moments of true greatness peppered throughout. But, the latest addition to the Star Wars universe, the DisneyXD animated series, Star Wars: Rebels is straight up amazing!

I never thought I would say it, but, selling Star Wars to Disney a few years back just might be the smartest thing George Lucas has done in decades! Rather than water down and Disney-fy the franchise, the influx of new ideas and behind-the-scenes talent like Clone Wars veteran Dave Filoni and Star Wars über fan, director/producer Simon Kinberg has injected new life into what many fans once saw as a creatively bankrupt franchise, at best.

I mean, sure, I've watched just about everything that's been churned out over the past decade, but that doesn't mean it's always been good. But if the rest of the season lives up to Star Wars: Rebels' thrilling, action-packed pilot “movie,” then sign my Jedi ass up!

Seriously, this is top-notch Star Wars storytelling here! Cool, beautifully crafted characters with actual backstories and emotions, awesome action set pieces and best of all, one of the coolest storylines since the original trilogy. Set five years before the events of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, Rebels follows the adventures of the ragtag crew of the Ghost as they sow the seeds of rebellion in a galaxy that has begun to grow weary of the galactic empire.

I know that sounds impossibly geeky, and it is, but it's also one hell of a ride. Centered around the adventures of the newest member of the Ghost crew, a Force sensitive orphan named Ezra, Rebels really went into overdrive when they revealed that the leader of the Ghost team, Kanan Jarrus, is actually one of the last surviving Jedi knights. Cooler still is the fact that Jarrus offers to train Ezra in the ways of the Force is he joins them. Does it get any cooler than that? Seriously, Greta and I were cheering out loud when Jarrus whipped out his lightsaber for the first time. So rad!

Of course, we're only on the third episode, so, the series could totally fall apart at any minute, but for now, I'm basking in Star Wars perfection. It's been a long time since there was anything this good in the new Star Wars universe and I'm gonna enjoy it!

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The Return of “Twin Peaks”

The past couple of months around here have been totally surreal and packed with enough weirdness, heartbreak and family drama to fill a whole season’s worth of episodes, so, it was kind of strangely appropriate for this to be the week that Showtime announced that they would be airing a nine episode “third season” of Twin Peaks in 2016.

That’s right, the show that brought dark, daring, non-linear storytelling to network television is finally returning to the airwaves. Hooray! I’ve been waiting for something like this for years, and though most die-hard Peaks fans expected a return to the Peak-a-verse via another movie, graphic novel or a spin-off series featuring new characters, no one was expecting co-creators David Lynch and Mark Frost to reunite for a third season of the original series! Wow, Bob, wow, does it get any cooler?

News is still trickling out about the casting and such, but, if the clip Lynch and Frost released is any indication, I imagine, we, like Kyle MacLachlan’s Agent Dale Cooper just might be seeing Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) again as well.

I know it sounds geeky, but, I remember totally flipping out when the scene in the clip above aired on the original series. “‘I’ll see you again in 25 years?!’ What the hell does that mean? Is she coming back to life?!” And while I relished discussing the meaning of that scene (and almost every other aspect of the show!) back in the day, the thought that it might actually be clarified literally twenty five years later is downright thrilling!

To steal a quote from a fellow, diehard Peaks fan: can we just skip 2015 and get to the good stuff already? So excited!

 

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Sexy “Frozen” Costumes

Yikes! I'm cool with sexy nurses, pirates and maids and shit, but when I heard that Yandy.com was selling sexy Frozen Halloween costumes, I got seriously creeped out. I mean, at least sexy Anna and Elsa costumes make sense, because, well, like it or not, sexy/slutty Disney Princess Halloween costumes have been around for years, but, Sexy Olaf? Yuck. Double yuck!

The worst thing is that it's not even that creative! Mrs. Yeti and I are working on homemade Olaf and Princess Anna costumes (to go with Greta's Queen Elsa ensemble from Costco!) as we speak, and let me tell ya, my non-sexy, hand-sewn Olaf is gonna kick slutty Olaf's trashy ass. So, watch out, Yandy.com! 🙂

 

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Allison Williams as Peter Pan!

OK, I love me some Allison Williams (she is probably my favorite character on Girls) but, even I was a little taken aback by the news that she had been cast in NBC's upcoming Peter Pan Live! I mean, I'm sure she can sing and everything, but, if NBC's latest live “musical event” is as lame and over-produced as last year's The Sound of Music Live!, well, let's just say there's a pretty high probability that it's gonna totally suck.

And then I saw this super cheesy pic (above) of Williams in costume as Peter Pan and I knew that this movie wasn't just gonna suck, it also has serious train wreck potential. Which I always love, especially at Christmas! So, slap my wings and call me Tinkerbell, because this train wreck — which is produced by the reliably ham-fisted duo of Craig Zadan and Neil Meron and also features Christopher Walken (!) as a singing Captain Hook! — is only gonna get better/worse from here on out. Simply put, I cannot wait!

Peter Pan Live! airs December 4th on NBC.

 

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Lauren Bacall (1924-2014)

It’s official, amigos, the golden age of Hollywood glamour is gone forever with the passing of Lauren “Betty” Bacall today at the age of 89. Truly one of a kind, Bacall’s smoldering beauty lit up the screen for over 70 years but the thing she’ll probably most be remembered for is her voice. Oh, that voice!

I think my favorite Lauren Bacall movie is probably Key Largo, but I will always have a soft spot for that big ball of convulated craziness that is The Big Sleep. Even Raymond Chandler (who wrote the novel) used to joke that he couldn’t make heads or tails of that story. But when you’ve got a 19-year old Lauren Bacall making her screen debut opposite Humphrey-flicking-Bogart, who cares?! A true classic in every sense of the word!

I’m just glad old Betty finally got an Oscar before she died too. It might not have been the one she was hoping for — Bacall’s Best Supporting Actress loss to Juliette Binoche for The English Patient in 1996 is still considered one of the biggest upsets in Oscar history — but Bacall did take home a richly-deserved honorary Academy Award in 2009. So, rock on classy lady…and please give my regards to Bogey!

 

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Robin Williams (1951-2014)

Like the rest of the world, I was deeply troubled to hear of the untimely death of Robin Williams on Monday. My brother and I were huge Mork & Mindy fans — Mrs. Yeti and I even made a pilgrimage to the old Victorian house they used on the show in Boulder, Colorado! — and I have always had a soft spot for Williams' later dramatic work as well. Expecially The Fisher King! I think of that gorgeous dance sequence every time I'm in Grand Central Station…truly magical shit!

But perhaps my favorite film in the Robin Williams cannon of awesomeness is Disney's Aladdin. Having watched it dozens of times with Greta over the years, I can honestly say that the movie only gets better with repeated viewings, and the songs are still some of the best Disney jams ever.

But the true standout in the film is that crazy-ass genie with the heart of gold. If ever a part was tailor made for an actor, it was that. Funny, sad, self-deprecating and completely lovable, Williams' voice performance as the genie might just be his best work ever.

And though I'm still terribly sad about his death — and the horrible details of it all — I gotta tell ya, the magic of that amazing genie will live on forever. It really is a performance for the ages.

While listening to another beautiful tribute to Williams on SiriusXM's EWRadio this afternoon, Greta finally asked me who died. And though I spared her the details, I told her that a very famous actor named Robin Williams had died rather suddenly and that the whole world was sad about it. She asked me what movies he made and I told her that she would probably know him best as the genie from Aladdin to which she replied: “Wow, he was a good actor with his voice too!”

Truer words were never spoken. RIP you sweet, sad man…you will be sorely missed.

 

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