Tag Archives: Michael Jackson

Monday Morning Mommy Movies at the Americana!

With the 2009 award-season already in full swing and the movies Christine and I have seen this fall essentially boiled down to two — “Precious” and “The Road”, which we are seeing tonight — we were both thrilled to learn that the super cool Pacific Theaters at The Americana in Glendale are now offering Monday Morning Mommy Movies!

The rules are pretty simple. Every Monday at 11:00AM, parents of any gender — I guess Daddy and Me Mondays didn’t have the same ring to it! — can bring their babies/toddlers and any older kids they want, to see a new release movie in an actual theater (!) without the fear of bothering other viewers. I mean, when the seats are packed with screaming babies, who’s gonna complain, right?

Needless to say, as soon as we heard about it, Christine and I were hooked. The problem is the movies they have been picking kinda sucked. Yes, the theater picks the movies. And honestly, that is my only complaint with the program. I mean, ain’t nobody going to see a movie on Monday morning EXCEPT sleep-deprived parents of young children, so, why not let us have the run of the joint for that first showing? Kinda stupid if you ask me.

Anyway, when the Michael Jackson documentary “This Is It” hit theaters a couple of weeks back — and more importantly, was selected as a Mommy and Me movie! — Christine and I packed Greta in the car and headed to the Americana. We sat in the fourth or fifth row back with our friends Chris and Jess and their new baby girl, Lily, and lemme tell ya, we had a blast!

Sure we were surrounded by strollers and diaper bags and shit, but, since most of the parents were sitting on the floor in the handicapped section behind us, we pretty much had the entire row to ourselves. Greta got to crawl around the seats a little, Christine and Jess could spread out to nurse, it was the next best thing to watching a movie at home.

And best of all, the movie itself rocked! The music, the dancing, the sheer enormity of the staging, the King of Pop in fighting form…there wasn’t a slow moment in the entire movie and more than anything, it makes you realize how freaking awesome that concert would have been. Wow, so sad…

Anyway, the girls seemed to dig the movie, with Greta even grooving a bit to “Wanna be Starting Something” — which I played into the ground this summer on our iPod! — and the older kids were seriously rocking out. There was one little African-American kid with this gigantic Afro who was dancing up and down the aisles the whole movie…it was so awesome!

So, kudos to Pacific Theaters for starting up such a cool program to begin with. And lest you think the Americana is the only place to see a Monday Morning Mommy Movie, think again. The screenings are held at Pacific Theaters all across the Southland, so, check it out!

Oh yeah, and if you wanna spread out on the floor with your wee one, I recommend you get there really early because those “seats” were snapped up by 10:30. At least that’s what Chris and Jess told us when we rolled in at 11:05…

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Kanye West: A-hole extraordinaire!

OK, normally MTV’s Video Music Awards are totally fast-forwardable. Overlong, boring and packed to the gills with live performances by people who Christine and I can’t stand — last year offered us the Jonas Brothers and Lil’ Wayne, nuff said — but as you can tell from my previous post, this year, the show was kind of insanely watchable. Emphasis on the insane!

Host Russell Brand was almost as cheeky and hilarious as he was last year, and the opening tribute to Michael Jackson was very cool, even if Madonna got a little Madge-centric sometimes in her speech. I mean, come on, your worst review for “Swept Away” was better than whole years of Jackson’s life, so, stop with the comparisons already…

Taylor Swift @ the 2009 VMA's #1

Taylor Swift @ the 2009 VMA's #2

But the real fireworks last night came when Kayne West interrupted Taylor Swift’s sweet-ass acceptance speech to tell the crowd that he thought Beyoncé should have won instead.

Yep, the man who famously said that George Bush hates black people and gets all bent out of shape when he doesn’t take home enough gold at award shows is judging the winners and losers in categories he’s not even eligible for! WTF?!

Sorry, dude, I’ve seen every video in that category and Taylor Swift’s was the best in the bunch. The song rocked, the video told a story (shocking, I know, in today’s boring-ass video age) and it looked great. What else is there?

Taylor Swift @ the 2009 VMA's #3

And honestly, whether you liked her video or not, for you to interrupt Ms. Swift’s speech like that to tell the world that she didn’t deserve the award she’d just won was just plain shitty. And on live TV no less? Yikes, ain’t no half-ass apology gonna make up for that shit…

I mean, seriously, you can make fun of George Bush and you can act like an egotistical prick all you want, but you verbally beat down America’s Sweetheart on national TV…well, that shit’s gonna haunt you.

Have a nice life, a-hole!

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Last Call Doritos for the King of Pop…

On the eve of what I expect will be a pretty rocking memorial to Michael Jackson, Christine, Greta, Ryan, Laura and I climbed into the Vue to do a little MJ memorial tour of our own. First Laura, Greta and I drove to the Staples Center to see the crowds and sign the massive placards they had set up for fans.

But that line was crazy-long, it was hotter than hell, and, well, we did have a baby with us, so, we opted for pictures and a quick drive-by instead.

MJ #1

MJ #2

Later in the day, Christine and Ryan  joined us for a jaunt past the ever-expanding crowds outside the main gates of Forest Lawn, where Jackson is to be buried. That was cool too and we got some nice action shots from the car, but the highlight of our MJ memorial tour was our trip to the Jackson family compound in nearby Encino. Located just a couple of blocks off of Ventura Blvd., this is the house where Michael and the rest of the kids were raised when the family moved to California from Indiana.

Michael mania being what it has been the past couple of days, we weren’t expecting to get very close to the house or the sea of flowers out front, but, just in case, we came bearing a card for the family and a baggie of “Last Call” Jalapeno Popper-flavored Doritos for the Man in the Mirror to enjoy in the afterlife.

Yes, I said Doritos. See, earlier in the day, Laura and I had seen a friend of Michael’s joking on TV about Jackson’s bizarre eating habits. She said something about him being a hard core vegetarian since he was younger, but joked that that didn’t stop him from loving junk food like Doritos, which he enjoyed regularly.

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MJ #4

MJ #5

So, when we were mulling over what gift to bring the King of Pop, the half-eaten bag of “Last Call” Doritos seemed like the perfect fit. Christine, of course, was mortified by the idea, but Ryan and I stuck to our guns, labeled the plastic baggie with a message for the King of Pop and headed off to Encino.

But what came next took us all by surprise. I mean, sure, we thought it would be cool to see all the fans and the messages and artwork they created for Jackson, but I don’t think any of us realized how emotional it would be.

Seriously, amigos, it was like Graceland West. For the first time since all this insanity began, we actually realized the true depth of feeling that the world had for this dude. And I know it sounds corny, but there was a real sense of magic outside the family home.

MJ #6

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I don’t know if it was the crowd — who were very quiet, friendly and respectful — or the fact that the setting sun cast a dreamy glow over the place, but the whole aura outside the Jackson family compound was really amazing.

I’m sure there will be many memorable moments from the official funeral and memorial service today, but for us, this was it…a truly moving send-off to the once and future King of Pop.

To see more of the scads of Michael Jackson-themed pics I took over the past couple of days, click here. And in the meantime, here’s hoping MJ digs the Doritos as much as we did…

MJ #10

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Michael Jackson (1958-2009)

First Ed McMahon, then Farrah, and then, inexplicably…Michael Jackson? Yikes! What a lousy week to be a 1970’s icon. Not only is Jackson’s death completely shocking, but, it’s also very sad to me for one key reason.

See, I loved Michael’s early stuff with the Jackson 5 and his groundbreaking music videos are literally seared into my memory banks from watching them so many times, but the thing I’m most sad about today is that Michael Jackson never got to truly come back from crazy town.

Michael Jackson #1

The upcoming farewell concerts (that, sadly, will never be) in London aside, Jackson never got to have the true career resurgence I always felt he was owed. I mean, love him or hate him, the dude was a freaking musical genius that we will probably never see the likes of again.

Not only could he sing and dance with the best of them, but the dude knew how to write and market amazingly beautiful pop songs. I defy you not to move your body when “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” is playing. I mean, seriously, his music shimmered!

The problem with Jackson was always his personal life. And while a huge chunk of Jackson’s personal problems can be laid square on the bulky shoulders of Jackson family patriarch Joe Jackson, I gotta say that a lot of the craziness that haunted Michael Jackson in later years was sorta self-inflicted. Sure, he had a hard-ass childhood, but that doesn’t excuse everything.

And whether he really was guilty of all the stuff he was charged with over the years or not, the fact remains that Jackson was a very strange dude who long ago lost touch with reality. My sincere hope for him was that someday he would put out an album on par with some of his best early solo work. You know, something that would make even the most jaded Jacko hater remember what he was famous for in the first place.

Michael Jackson #2

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Michael Jackson #4

I mean, shit, if Britney Spears can come back after shaving her head and going batshit crazy on a nightly basis for years, why couldn’t the King of Pop? Sadly, the answer to that question is that he just didn’t have enough time. And while the grand Michael Jackson comeback I always hoped for will never be, I can take solace now in the fact that the music he left behind is pretty damn spectacular.

So, rest in peace, Michael J. I know your time here was brief and not always sunny, but I can assure you that the worst days are behind you and that your legacy as the once and future King of Pop is pretty rock solid in our book.

Keep on rocking, amigo, and, by all means, make sure and say “hey” to your ex-father-in-law, Elvis, for us…

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Farrah Fawcett (1947-2009)

Anyone who watched that crazy-sad documentary “Farrah’s Story” a few weeks back knew that this day was totally coming, but, wow, who knew it would come so quickly? And Christine and I had no idea it would move us like it did. I mean, we were sad and totally shocked about Michael Jackson, but, Farrah’s passing made us both cry like babies.

Farrah Fawcett #1

I guess it might be the cancer angle, or maybe just watching her fight so bravely in the face of completely shitty odds, but for whatever reason, the death of Farrah Fawcett hit us both really hard. Sure, she was crazy sometimes — that boozy meltdown with David Letterman in 1997 comes to mind — but for anyone who grew up in the 1970’s, Farrah was the 70’s. I mean, seriously, who didn’t love that woman back in the day?

One season on “Charlie’s Angels” and that awesome, nipple-tastic poster above would have been enough for some women, but not Farrah. Fawcett showed she could really act in hard-hitting, award-worthy movies like “The Burning Bed”, “Extremeties” and “The Apostle” and, hell, even her bad movies kinda rocked. I mean, hello, my brother and I did not run to the theatre to see “Logan’s Run” for Michael York.

And even though I have yet to sit through it, I must admit I’ve always been curious about that legendary robot rape scene with Farrah in the epically-bad “Saturn 3”. Yes, amigos, the villainous robot apparently attempts to rape Farrah at one point. Don’t know if it happened onscreen or not, but I do know that was a key selling point when the film came out. And we were totally buying…but, well, it was rated R, and we were way too young pass for 17…so, we never saw it.

Farrah Fawcett #2

Farrah Fawcett #3

But even crazy misfires like “Saturn 3” prove that Farrah’s appeal was kinda bulletproof. She wasn’t just easy on the eyes, but she was funny, smart, opinionated and one of the most interesting and one-of-a-kind badasses to ever rock the pop culture spectrum.

So, for that and so much more, we salute you Farrah Fawcett. Your humor, your strength, your style and most of all, your rocking hair, will live on forever. Vaya con Dios, angelita de Carlos…you will be sorely missed.

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