Sunday, 25 September 2011

Opening credits - Hong Kong Phooey

I don't know quite why I loved Hong Kong Phooey as much as I did as a kid but I thought it was the best thing ever. Along with The Pink Panther, it was my favourite cartoon. It might well be because of the awesome opening credits.

"Rosemary, the telephone operator?"


"Henry, the mild mannered janitor?"

"Could beeeeee!"

It's genius frankly.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

The Sound of Music

Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start. When I was little I loved The Sound of Music as all children do. Then I went through years of not being able to bear it as it was so overplayed. However in recent years, I've come back to it. And let's face it, it is easily a contender for best musical ever made.

It's wonderfully sweet but has the darkness of the Nazis to stop one getting toothache. Julie Andrews is perfect. Julie Andrews is perfect actually, I could listen to her sing all day long. All of the children are good too but the person I most adore in this is Christopher Plummer. I have such a crush on Christopher Plummer as anyone who has seen International Velvet has and he is gorgeous in this.

I couldn't pick one favourite scene or song as there are so many. I really enjoy the opening scene with Maria running round the hills, who can resist How Do We Solve A Problem Like Maria? I think I Have Confidence is under-rated (Jane Horrocks chose it for her desert island after all!) but it all comes down to a face off between Do Re Mi and The Lonely Goatherd. Both are spectacular and beautifully filmed. But the yodelling wins.

Less of Climb Every Mountain next time though, eh?

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Elvis - Viva Las Vegas

Elvis never fails to lift my spirits. This isn't going to be a post about the wonders of Elvis as I am too tired to do him justice tonight. Instead let's just admire one of his finest moments ever. One of the best songs that only Elvis can sing.

This song defines Vegas for me, when I went a few years ago, we stayed at The Bellagio and went to admire the famous dancing fountains. I can't tell you how excited I was, I've wanted to see these fountains for a long time. They do a little routine to various different songs, we got there for a performance and what burst out? Viva Las Vegas! I thought I was going to expire with happiness.

This is also one of Elvis's better movies. I love this scene:

Ann Margaret looks so amazing in this, I love her outfit. I want a day off work to watch Elvis films now!

Monday, 19 September 2011

Roxy Music - Avalon

Roxy Music is a bit of a funny band for me. I am not a huge Bryan Ferry fan (mostly cos he's an arse) but boy, did they do some great songs. I was reminded of this minor masterpiece while listening to a Desert Island Disc archive on my ipod one evening. It was at the end of a particularly trying day and I was being thoroughly entertained by Kathleen Turner. She was explaining how she met her husband (he was selling her a flat) and he picked her up in his car and this was playing on the radio as they drove through the streets of Manhattan. No wonder she married him, I'd have married him!

Kathleen Turner is a hoot by the way. When Michael Douglas was dating Catherine Zeta-Jones there were rumours that they might remake Romancing The Stone so she went out for dinner with him and said "If you do that, she'd better play your daughter!" She said he didn't find it very amusing as she guffawed. What a woman. I can't recommend the Desert Island Disc archive enough - you can download over 500 DIDs and every single one I've listened to has been fascinating. I am tagging this as Living Legends - that's for Kathleen, not Bryan, ok?

This is a beautiful song and very fitting for a Monday night, nice and relaxing and just lovely. Enjoy.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Favourite scenes from Friends - The Doctor who Loves Fonzie

This episode came to mind as I heard that Henry Winkler received an honorary OBE yesterday. As a reminder, I love Happy Days. So this episode always tickled me. I am not quite sure why Phoebe objects so much to a doctor who loves the Fonz. Who doesn't love the Fonz?

Anyway, it's another very funny one but my favourite bit is when he says "I need a clamp, a sterile towel and channel 31."

Click here to watch a nice little montage of the Fonzie related bits. I also love it when she shouts at 'Doogie!'

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Diamonds are Forever, Shirley Bassey

It's extraordinary I've not talked about Bond songs yet. I actually can't quite believe I haven't. Anyway, to a classic and one that is most definitely in my top five Bond songs of all time, Diamonds are Forever. I prefer this to Goldfinger and that's saying something as I love Goldfinger.

Diamonds are Forever is epic. From the opening twinkling, the way Shirley sings forever in that opening line to the lyrics "they won't leave in the night, I've no fear they might desert me... touch it stroke it and undress it!" The whole song is so cinematic and evocative, it's impossible to just sit and listen to this, you need to sort of sashay round the room. Preferably in a long, tight evening gown.

Shirley is such a performer, I adore the way she sings live. Check it out and her expressions.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Enough already

First Dirty Dancing and now Point Break? Has Hollywood got a vendetta against the late, great Patrick Swayze? I am getting properly and righteously annoyed by this. There is absolutely no need to remake Point Break.

It's a great film as I have previously discussed.  It's perfection, there is nothing that can be improved about it (possibly they could replace Lori Petty but I'd even be willing to defend her if I had to). Are they going to find a better director than Bigelow? No. Anyone as beautiful and sympathetic as Keanu? No. Anyone as funny and playing against type as well as Patrick? No.

If it's made it will be super-violent, starring someone like Vin Diesel and it just makes me shudder.

This article made me giggle. I am thinking of starting a petition - Hands Off Swayze Movies You Philistines. Who is with me?

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Power Ballads - Endless Love, Diana Ross & Lionel Richie

Continuing Riviera classics (see yesterday's post) I bring you Endless Love. Another bad song I can't help loving. It's so awful, it's from the equally dreadful Blue Lagoon (not seen that for years, must watch it again) and yet naturally I adore it.

I dislike Diana Ross intensely and mainly think she could do with a bit of poke in the eye with a stick but her and Lionel are quite wonderful on this.

It brings to mind another favourite scene from Friends too so we are killing two birds with one stone here. When Chandler is singing along to it on headphones, heartbroken after splitting with Janice and Phoebe joins in. Click here to view.

Here are Diana and Lionel showing us how to do it. Note, do not ever listen to Mariah Carey and Luther Vandross murdering this. Ever.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Power Ballads - Africa, Toto

Well hello there, have you missed me? I've been on holiday to the delectable south of France for a week of sunshine and red wine. Now I am back and it's September and autumnal but I bring back a little Riviera style for you. No really, I do. Our drive up into the mountains to the villa takes about an hour and a half and so we switched the radio on. If you've not heard of Riviera Radio, you are missing out.

Basically this radio station is made for me. Billy Joel, Chicago, Robbie Williams... they were all there. Today on our drive back to the airport this classic came on. It was like welcoming an old friend. It's ages since I'd heard this.

What is this song about? Teen Boy and I had an animated discussion trying to work it out. Africa you say. Well dur.. But have you listened to the lyrics?

"I know I must do what's right sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus over the Serenegeti"

As Teen Boy said: "Kilimanjaro rises like Kilimanjaro, not like f*****g Olympus."

He has a point. The lyrics are total nonsense. This is a truly awful song but still I love it.

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