Tag Archives: Greta

Blake Edwards (1922-2010)

I don’t know what the weather’s like where you are, but, it’s raining cats and dogs here and on a day like today I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the late, great Blake Edwards, than snuggling up with the ones you love and watching his classic film version of Truman Capote’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”.

Edwards directed dozens of awesome films — I lived for the original “Pink Panther” movies when I was a kid and “Victor/Victoria”, “Days of Wine and Roses” and “Experiment in Terror” were all instant classics — but for me, his most memorable flick will always be the perfect little gem of a movie that it “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”.

Great cast, lushly-beautiful locations — both the real-life and backlot NYC locales look gorgeous! — and that swinging Henry Mancini score…wow…watching “Tiffany’s” is like eating giant strawberries dipped in really great chocolate. Mmmm…sheer cinematic yumminess all around.

Ironically enough, I just recently sat Greta down and made her watch “Tiffany’s” in all its widescreen DVD glory (she loved the music and any scenes with “Cat” the best!) and lemme tell ya, it holds up beautifully.

So, rest in peace, Mr. Blake Edwards. Thanks to you, I have an instant, tried-and-true cure for the “mean reds” for years to come…

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Strawberry Fields, NYC

Had he not been so suddenly and violently taken from us at the age of 40, the late, great John Lennon would have turned seventy years old last month. That’s right, seven-zero. Crazy, huh?

In honor of John’s 70th, Christine and I wanted to post some pics we took last summer during our visit to Strawberry Fields, the Lennon memorial in New York City’s Central Park. Located on 2.5 acres of sprawling parkland just across the street from the legendary Dakota apartment building where Lennon lived, and died, Strawberry Fields can only be described as peaceful.

I’m not saying the rest of the park isn’t peaceful, because…wow…Central Park in August is all kinds of breathtakingly peaceful, but, Strawberry Fields just felt almost magical in its stillness.

A designated quiet zone — Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono still lives in the Dakota and apparently grew weary of the singing of the fans in the park — Strawberry Fields has a serenity that truly sets it apart from the rest of the park.

Sure, there were tons of fans milling about, and the crowd taking pictures around the stunning “Imagine” mosaic that serves as the areas centerpiece was pretty intense, but, despite the sheer volume of people there, Strawberry Fields was a very chill place to spend the afternoon.

And though I was a bit disappointed to discover that there were no actual strawberry plants in Strawberry Fields (I know, I’m lame, but, it would have been nice) I gotta tell ya, I haven’t been that moved by a memorial since our 2007 visit to Graceland.

It’s like John’s aura was all around you, and though there was none of his actual music playing anywhere (designated quiet zone, remember?) you didn’t need to hear it to know that it was there, in our hearts. I know that sounds hopelessly cheesy, but, it’s how we felt.

So, happy birthday, John. Seventy years on, you continue to rock the world…

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Countdown to London 2012…

Yesterday, our friend and fellow Olympics-nerd, James, mentioned on his Facebook page that the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England are due to begin exactly two years from now. Hooray! I know it’s a little early to set up a season pass on our Tivo — seriously, I would if I could — but, it’s never too early to start talking about the latest Olympic mascots!

Introduced to the world back in May, the official mascots for the London games are a pair of strangely-hideous, one-eyed blobs named Wenlock and Mandeville.

And while they are not nearly as cute as the Fuwa Friendlies from the Beijing games, or the epically-cool Quatchi and friends from the recent Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Wenlock and Mandeville do have a pretty interesting origin story, and the animated clip explaining it all (below) is even cooler!

I won’t spoil it for you by giving any of the plot away, but, their names do carry great meaning for folks in the UK and the story behind how they were “born” is really kinda cool. And on top of all that, the clip holds up very well on repeat views. We’ve watched it dozens of times already on YouTubeGreta is obsessed with the rainbows! — and I still get misty-eyed at the ending every time.

Anyway, though I probably won’t be dashing across the pond to buy plush figures of these new mascots (if they even come in plush!) when the games begin, I do heartily approve of them in concept.

So, check out the first of what I’m assuming will be many videos celebrating the world’s next big Olympic mascots…and by all means, let the countdown to London 2012 begin!

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Trailer Thursday: “Somewhere”

Well, so far, the only comment I got about the launch of Trailer Thursday were in regards to the name. So…I’m guessing you guys aren’t as excited about “Never Let Me Go” as I am. And that’s totally cool…see, the best thing about a regular weekly blog post about movie trailers is that eventually, you will be excited about one of my choices. Um…I hope.

That said, this week’s offering is the trailer for the upcoming film “Somewhere”. Written and directed by “Lost In Translation” Oscar-winner Sofia Coppola, “Somewhere” stars Stephen Dorff as an actor who’s life in the fast lane is thrown off course by a visit from his daughter, played by Elle Fanning. Hmmm…kinda makes you wonder if Sofia making a movie about Daddy, doesn’t it?

Well, even if it’s not a big old juicy expose about Papa Coppola, it is definitely a movie about fathers and daughters, and, as you can imagine, I’m all over that shit lately. So, sign me up!

And on top of all that, the movie looks absolutely gorgeous. Great new music from Phoenix, loads of hipster Hollywood locations, and Stephen Dorff finally getting a chance to prove he was worth all that early-career mega-hype…what’s not to love? Oh, before you answer that…Elle Fanning looks great too.

But more than anything, I just really dug the vibe of this trailer. Even in her lesser efforts, Coppola has always had style and mood to burn in her movies and “Somewhere” looks like it’s cut from the same dreamy, effortlessly-cool cloth. I mean, shit, even the poster is cool.

So, again, I cannot vouch for the movie itself until I see it this December, but, judging by the clip, I’d say the Oscar race has just gotten a lot more interesting. Now, if you’ll excuse me, Greta and I are gonna try and sneak into the pool at the Chateau Marmont…this heat is killing us!

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Trailer Thursday: “Never Let Me Go”

Thanks to a certain video clip that our friend Danielle recommended for Greta, I have been spending a lot of time on YouTube these days and…wow, there are some cool-ass movie trailers out there! So, starting today, I am going to share my favorite new movie trailers with you every Thursday. Pretty exciting, huh?

To launch this bold, new venture I’ve chosen a trailer for the upcoming Oscar-bait drama, “Never Let Me Go”. Based on the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro — one of Christine’s favorite novelists, Ishiguro is probably most famous for writing “The Remains of the Day”“Never Let Me Go” follows three characters from childhood to young adulthood in a mildly futuristic England where human clones are “grown” to adulthood and then harvested for their parts.

Most of that stuff is hinted at in the trailer, so, I hope I’m not giving too much away, but, wow, this book absolutely floored me! Yes, Wendy, I read a book, and it was beautiful. I actually dreamt about  this one several times while reading it and even now, I am totally haunted by the strange, delicate beauty of this novel. Seriously, if you haven’t read it, amigos, you gotta check it out. Amazing…

Or, you could just wait for the movie, which, judging by this awesome trailer, seems to capture at least some of the wistfulness of the book. My only concern about the movie is that it’s directed by Mark Romanek, who is a former music video guy and that always scares me a bit.

But when you have Oscar-nominees Carey Mulligan and Kiera Knightley starring alongside the dude who will be the next “Spiderman”, and a script from “The Beach” and “28 Days Later” scribe, Alex Garland, it’d be pretty hard for Romanek to screw this one up. That said, great books become horrible movies everyday in this town — um, hello, “Atonement” anyone? — so, you never know.

Either way, this trailer rocks. So, enjoy!

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The Kickin’ Green Pork Chili @ Sam’s No. 3, Denver

I don’t know where you live, but, it was freaking cold here today. I’m talking serious sweater weather in Los Angeles in the middle of July. Insanity!

So, while I was cuddling up under a blanket with Greta this morning, my thoughts turned to my favorite cold weather foods…stews, hearty soups and best of all, chili! And when I think of chili, all I think of now is the sweet, spicy Kickin’ Green Pork Chili we had a few years back at Sam’s No. 3 in Denver.

Located on Curtis street in the heart of the city, Sam’s No. 3 is a classically hip diner that dates back to 1927, when it was part of a small local chain called Coney Islands. Still family-owned and operated all these years later, Sam’s No. 3 was so good that we actually ate their twice during our visit.

The fact that it was walking distance from our hotel — The Curtis, which is still one of the coolest hotels we’ve ever stayed at anywhere! — didn’t hurt, but the thing that brought us back was that magical “gringo hot” Green Pork Chili!

I don’t know for sure what’s in it, aside from tender pork strips and green chile deliciousness, but, I had something very similar in a sauce form at The Shed in Santa Fe, and I swear to God, that taste haunts my dreams, amigos. Amazing!

So, here’s to you, Sam’s No. 3. Many thanks for brightening my cold, dreary day in green chili memories…you guys, rock!

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Happy Father’s Day, amigos!

Thanks to this delicious 10 pack of Dad’s Root Beer (made with real cane sugar, y’all!) I know what I’ll be drinking this Father’s Day. But even better than the frothy root beer will be the awesome company I’ll get to share it with!

I know it sounds super corny, but being your Daddy is the best job I ever had, Greta B., and I’ll love you forever. Happy Father’s Day, everyone!

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