Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Oh Mamma Mia!

Well yall, I saw The Dark Knight and it was dark. Not as good as I expected, but good. Bravo Heath!

I saw Wall-E and loved, loved loved it!!!

But, the best so far this summer is Mamma Mia! This movie is pure joy. It's a feel good, bright beautiful Greek scenary, wish you were there and knew those people movie. Sends you out skipping and singing and buying the catchy and totally infectious movie soundtrack, even if you already have the songs by ABBA. It doesn't matter that Mamma Mia's been around forever, it was new this summer.

I cannot express the wonder that is Meryl Streep. She is astoundingly real and joyful and...I cannot express it. Alex help me, girl.

The movie is full of people who look like real Greek villagers. That adds to the charm. And there's Pierce Brosnan who can't sing a lick but it doesn't matter because his sincerity works for him. And there's the wonderfully wicked Christine Baranski who I've loved since her Cybil days.
So good to see a big screen musical. So much fun.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Christian the Lionhearted

This was on The View today. If you haven't seen it, get your hanky.

The word here is love.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Windy City Queercast

Windy City Queercasts are FABULOUS podcasts hosted by FABULOUS actress/singer Amy Metheny. If you don't listen to these you are missing out and ya don't have to be queer to enjoy. You just need to want to be in the know about what's hot in not only Chicago but all over the world of theater, movies, TV, music, books, politics, and gossip, etc. Amy has the most entertaining, knowledgeable and lets face it, nutty co-hosts like Alexandra Billings, Stephen Rader or Mitchell Fain. I can always guarantee lots of laughter. You can listen to Amy's celebrity interviews and Queercast shenanigans while you cruise around the net or download it.

I'll start you off with this one where Alex Billings talks about her childhood, her transition from male to female, the loss of male entitlement power and so much more. And Amy interviews author Stephanie Brill to discuss her new book, (co-written with Rachel Pepper) The Transgender Child: A Handbook for Families and Professionals. This must have book for parents covers gender variance from birth through college.
Brill talks about how to tell if a child may be gender variant, the remarkable progress in Trans adolescent health care body development, parental rights regarding protecting children and how to be their best advocate and ally.

It's amazing how much has changed in the short time since Alex's transition. She talks about how little info she had about this complex issue and who her only role models were in contrast to the support and information available now. And yet, myths and ignorance, violence and hatred of Trans-adults and Trans-teens is still common. Imagine the confusion for children, even those with family support. Imagine the trauma for those without a supportive, loving environment. Alex points out the importance not only of educational tools like Brill's book but the need for visible role models. She's right. Children need to know that they can be OK. They need to see Transgendered actors on stage, in movies and on TV, in Trans or non-Trans roles. They also need to see Trans lawyers, bankers, athletes, etc.

So check out this podcast to laugh and learn along with Amy and Alex.
The Transgender Child: A Handbook for Families and Professionals is also a must have for health care professionals and educators. Monica has a copy on the way.
For more information visit the Gender Spectrum Web site at www.genderspectrum.org.

Don't miss Amy and Alex's Hollywood chat discussing summer TV shows, the Tony Awards, Tim Russert, Indiana Jones and Get Smart and Amy's adoration of Cougars (women over 35). Kate Hepburn makes a surprise visit too.

Checkout other Windy City Queercast recent podcasts and archives at www.windycityqueercast.com

Friday, July 11, 2008

John Hancock, Super Hero

Hancock is not your father's superhero, uh uh, nope. He is a rude, drunken, bummy guy who sleeps on public benches and wakes up with a hangover and saves people. Nope, it's not a disguise. His heroic actions are about as neat as his raggedy appearance. He looks like he smells, bad. His attitude toward the people he serves, sucks.

The story of how Hancock got his powers, his sucky attitude and social position is sketchy as heck. I'm sure all that will reveal its self in a sequel. I can't wait. I loved this movie. It's entertaining and funny and has a big surprise.

Will Smith is excellent as the reluctant Los Angeles homeless crusader. Jason Bateman, who I have been a fan of since he played a teen scam artist in his short lived 1985 sitcom, is the PR guy trying to save the world and then he is saved by Hancock.
Charlize Theron, who I hardly recognized because she looked like herself, is good at keeping us guessing about how she feels about Hancock's intrusion in her life after he saves her husband (Bateman). Is it pity, disgust, attraction, fear, or what?

Critics be damned, I really enjoyed this movie. Maybe because it put a different, funny, irreverent yet human spin on the superhero thing. There has got to be a prequel/sequel in the works. Actually, I'm more interested in the prequel. Can't say much more without being a spoiler.
So, unless your superheros must be well mannered and live in huge mansions or ice fortresses, just get some popcorn and enjoy.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Williams Sisters on Centre Court 2008

Defending champ, Venus Williams is winner of back to back victories making Saturday's win her fifth singles championship of the coveted trophy - a sterling silver salver aptly named the Venus Rosewater dish.

When Serena was asked how she would prepare to beat Venus, she said she would make sure to eat up all the breakfast food before the match so Venus would be hungry. Spoken like a true little sister.
Well, it seemed to work at first with Serena winning the first four games. But, Venus 28, hungry or not, beat little sis Serena 26, in straight sets (7-5 and 6-4). But, it was a dramatic hard fought battle for every game taking up to as many as 6 deuce (tie) points to decide the winner.

Venus didn't celebrate too hard immediately because of Serena, and said that her first job is that of big sister.

First and second place. Not too shabby.

OK, about 3 1/2 hours later the sisters paired up again at All England Club's Centre Court to win their seventh Grand Slam doubles title beating Lisa Raymond of the United States and Samantha Stosur of Australia 6-2, 6-2.

Including the prize money awarded to the singles champion and runner-up, along with what they earned for the doubles championship, the Williams family netted more than $2.5 million Saturday. Not too shabby at all.

"By the way, I know you ate all the Wheaties this morning."

Friday, July 04, 2008

Independence Day 2008

July 4th! This year I feel America is on the brink of starting to put it's money where it's mouth is. Whatever happens in November, I am prouder of this country on this Independence Day than I ever have been in my life. Not just because of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, but because Barack won in Iowa and Hillary won 18 million votes. Because Phyllis and Del were married in California and Ellen announced on TV that she will marry Portia and there are no threats of canceling her show. Because people may be ready to take their country back by paying attention and participating.

Last Saturday close to 4000 Unite for Change meetings were held across America. 4000! In backyards, coffee houses, parks, kitchens, restaurants, living rooms, field houses, rooftops, and you name it. There were breakfasts, lunches and sit down dinners, barbeques and bring your own food pot lucks. The gatherings ranged from 10 people in someone's kitchen to over 2100 under a tent at Taste of Chicago to watch Stevie Wonder. Monica and I went to Exchange Cafe on the south shore here in Chicago. It is a wonderful, comfortable loft style coffee/sandwich shop frequented by bikers and skaters and runners along the lake as well as neighborhood folks who gather for some good conversation. The place was packed with folks from south shore and other areas, all ages (including several using walkers) and races, even some former GOPers, and many Hillary supporters.
There were reps from Barack's campaign and workers who told stories of knocking on doors in Iowa and Indiana. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife Alderwoman Sandi Jackson were there and are as funny as they are intense.
We discussed the campaign and community issues including gun control. In light of all the recent and disturbing gun crimes and the ridiculous Supreme Court gun control decision that is so disheartening, this meeting was such a glimmer of hope that the court could soon possibly be salvaged.

It's been many years since I've seen people so ready and inspired to work together for a goal. Not just for the election but excited about making things better here at home. Hope is a powerful thing. The younger people questioned and listened and watched the older people hop off their same ole same ole treadmills and were eager with suggestions and ways they could take part. The grassroots spirit in that cafe was invigorating and warm and real. It was not so much about Obama as it was about people actually realizing that they have the power. In 4000 places we came together to participate in our democracy.
So my dear Founding Fathers, we may finally be on the path to making you men of your marvelous words and more.
Happy 4th yall!