Saturday, 16 August 2008

Medium Rare Madonna

To see the end of this, Madonna's 50th Birthday, I am going to take a look at some of her lesser know tracks. Some are more widely known than other, but they all still deserve to be heard. Let's hope she releases an album of some rarities.

From her 'Emmy' days we have these three gems:
'(I Like) Love for Tender'
'No Time for Love'
'Laugh to keep from crying'
But as you will see on You Tube there are a lot more.

A very 'before it's time' version of 'Stay' from 1981. She was always ahead of her time. Also around this time ('True Blue') period she recorded 'Crimes of Passion'.

From the 'Erotica' album forward is where we get the best of the missing tracks. Left of the album was 'Dear Father'. Also on You Tube there are loads of demo versions from songs that did make the cut. Although she recorded 'Love Won't Wait' during 'Bedtime Stories' she never released it, instead it was given to Gary Barlow (Take That) to record.
It was the 'Ray of Light ' album that offers some of the most interesting tracks. The utterly brilliant 'Revenge', the sad and strangely compelling 'Gone, Gone, Gone', the ABBA cover of 'Like an Angel Passing Through My Room' and the slow and somewhat plodding 'Like a Flower''
And for something really fun, her are some of her 'Ray of Light' recording sessions recorded. Kind of cool to listen to the woman work.
'Ray of Light' sessions

Apparently recorded with Orbit for 'Music', 'Liquid Love' is possibly a better track than 'Runaway Lover' that made the cut. Strange how things work sometimes.

Most everyone has heard all the tracks from Confessions, but here they are again. They sound like b-sides, but are still interesting and deserve a wider release. 'Fighting Spirit' is a slower track that doesn't really fit in the confessions sound. 'Super Pop' is really just a lot of fun, would have stuck out like a sore thumb on the album, but glad it reared it's head. 'History' and 'Keep The Trance' are odd ducks. The former is a good track marred down by righteous lyrics, and the second is rather badly written.
Hard Candy was not the best album, so you can imagine the unreleased tracks not being that great, as you can see with 'Ring My Bell'

And finally a remix of "Give It 2 ME" that is far better than the ones released on the single:
Give It 2 Me (Fedde Le Grand Extended Mix)

Friday, 15 August 2008

Hippo Birdie 2 Ewes!

I still remember being driven to school by my mother and listening to the radio. We used to sing along to Air Supply (no judgement) and Chris de Burgh (judge) at the top of our lungs. One day, and I remember it clearly, the radio gave way to a sound that was like summer time to my ears. It was like frolicking and dancing and just being the happiest you have ever been in your entire life.

Dah da-da Dah Dah, Da Dah Dah, Da Dah……..Oh did I smile, and that song was of course ‘Holiday’ by Madonna. I was 8 at the time

I was in love.

It was as simple as that.

For the next few years my poor family had to deal with the ever changing posters on the wall, the video tape in the machine to tape ANYTHING remotely Madonna related on Entertainment Tonight. They rented me the concerts, and the video collections that I watched ad-nausea.
Even my mother who was partial to Michael Bolton and the like, had to admit that ‘Live to Tell’ was absolutely beautiful (she was slowly being converted to my cult). My cousin Carolyn and best friend Heidi shared my love, just not as fanatically. Cyndi, Tiffany, Debbie, Paula and Martika came and went, but Madonna was always there for me.

When I was 15 my sister bought me tickets to The Blonde Ambition Tour. Hence why no matter what I am forever indebted to her. There was my icon. The size of my pinky finger nail, swearing, dancing gyrating and driving me into a frenzy.

And you know what? I have stayed with her, and loved almost everything she has done (children’s books and ‘Hard Candy’ aside). Even her “English accent” never bothered me.

So today, of all days, I just wanted to take this time and wish a woman who has been as much a part of my life as any celebrity can be.

HAPPY 50th MADONNA!!!!!!!!

Why not revisit my “I LOVE Madonna” celebration on this, most holy day.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Anna Faris is just brilliant

She is such a gifted comedienne that even a still shot of her has me rolling around in the make believe aisles of my living room. Please give her something to match her talents, then again to do so would cause the poor girl to be in such demand she may die from exhaustion.

"I found out what the secret to life is: Oscars"

I so thought I knew who was going to win this.
I so figured it would be the person I wanted it to be, but it wasn't. But I cannot really argue with the eventual winner.
Sentimentality won out in the end, and don't we all vote with our hearts when the time comes.
This was a rather good year for the Supporting Actress as it is usually the weakest acting category.
The winner (pictured) had a long and illustrious career, but Oscar only really took notice later in it. Always the last ones to jump on the band wagon.

With a disappointing 5% at the bottom of the heap we have Diane Lane in 'Rambling Rose'

In forth place we find Kate Nelligan in 'The Prince of Tides' with 10%
Third place sees the eventual winner Mercedes Ruehl with 18% of the votes for 'The Fisher King'.

The person I so thought would win is in second with 30% of the votes. Little Juliette Lewis in 'Cape Fear'

So the winner is (probably because Dean and Lee voted many times on different computers) is Jessica Tandy for 'Fried Gren Tomatoes' with 38%.

She was a worthy winner I guess, but I was more of a Lewis fan at the time, even if she did sport corn rows.

So onto 1992 Best Actress!

Here are the women you have to choose from:

Catherine Deneuve - Indochine as Eliane
Mary McDonnell - Passion Fish as May-Alice Culhane
Michelle Pfeiffer - Love Field as Lurene Hallett
Susan Sarandon - Lorenzo's Oil as Michaela Odone
Emma Thompson - Howards End as Margaret J. 'Meg' Schlegel

Can Emma out hat Catherine?

Please vote in the poll on the right hand side!

Tuesday, 12 August 2008


Am I the only one who thinks mannequins are scary as shit, especially when monochrome?

I have to say this poster has intrigued me greatly. And it has Winona in it. You return girl!!

"Happy-Go-Lucky" trailer

This has been out in the UK for ages (and I missed it...such the twat that I am)

Does it just seem more and more right that Sally Hawkins gets a Best Actress nomination?

I mean all the other contenders at the moment are in such serious fare, there is always that bright comic spot in the top 5 for a lead actress, Ellen Page, Meryl Streep, Judi Dench, Kate Winslet, Diane Keaton, Renee Zellweger are all recent nominees who had been in a comedy. Add to this the fact that when Leigh makes a popular movie that wins awards, the lead actress gets nominated (Secrets and Lies, Vera Drake).

Monday, 11 August 2008

The year thus far.

Is it me or has 2008 been a slow year out of the starting gate?

Aside from the phenomenon that is “The Dark Knight” there has not been a lot to shout about, especially awards wise. We all know that the beginning of the year is the slowest part, but usually you have some strong contenders at this point.

In Best Picture we have “The Dark Knight” and “WALL-E” as the only real films that have opened to awards worthy reviews. That’s right a superhero film and a cartoon, two genre’s the Academy has not readily embraced, although this year could easily see one of these nominated. As much as I loved “WALL-E” my money is on “The Dark Knight”. Not only is the director very well respected, but the film has been met with flat out raves and stellar box office. Never under estimate the power of ticket sales in an industry where profits have been steadily falling. Added to this, the film is popular, and a nomination may just help out the Oscar ceremony come back from it’s dwindling ratings.

Over in Best Actress, Cannes gave tremendous buzz to Angelina Jolie’s performance in Clint Eastwood’s “The Changeling/Exchange”.
Also garnering raves is Sally Hawkins in Mike Leigh’s “Happy-Go-Lucky”. Both directors are very good with their actors, and are respected by the Academy so either of these could easily happen.
Melissa Leo has also garnered great reviews for the small film “Frozen River”. A hit at Sundance, this film could very well see a nomination for it’s lead performance.
If I were to bet now though I would say the one to be in the top five would be Hawkins. Playing an eternally optimistic and bubbly woman could be a breath of fresh air amongst the heavy performances that will be cluttering up year end.

Best Actor has also been quiet. Only two actors have made the type of awards buzz you cannot ignore. Benicio del Torro won Cannes for the epic and gruelling “Che”. Even if the film seems a little long in the tooth and doesn’t get the support it needs for other categories, you can expect del Torro to make it to year end.
Richard Jenkins has been getting wonderful notices for “The Visitor”. The TV vet has had the breakout role of the year thus far, and everyone has sung his praises. The film is small and hardly anyone saw it, but that should not matter much. I do expect to see him in the awards race come year end. A nomination will be tricky, but a good campaign and precursors will make all the difference. I actually wouldn't be at all surprised to see del Torro left off in favour of Jenkins.

Supporting Actress also only has two contenders thus far. Misty Upman in “Frozen River” seems unlikely at this point. If the film is going to be rewarded for anything it will be for Leo. The one sure fire nominee is Penelope Cruz for “Vicky Christina Barcelona” who is said to be sensational in the new Woody Allen film. Adding to this is the fact that many are saying it is a long overdue return to form for the director, who has released a few duds lately.

Supporting Actor…..well…it is all about Heath Ledger. And too right!

September will be an interesting month for releases as we have “Nothing But the Truth”, “Towelhead”, “Burn After Reading”, and “Blindness” . Plus many of the later ‘Oscar’ films will be having screenings to get the buzz-a-building so hopefully the best is yet to come. If not, how depressing.