Saturday, May 15, 2010




poster Sometimes it's unclear whether romantic comedies provide the emotions they're meant to convey.  Whilst many have become timeless classics, others have simply used the template to masquerade as an endless travelogue.  Letters to Juliet almost veers towards the latter with its pretty characters going through starry-eyed angst in gorgeous foreign climes.  Although predictable the picturesque settings provide a distraction from its somewhat risible tale.


Engaged to restaurateur Victor (Gael Garcia Bernal), Sophia (Amanda Seyfried) arrives in Verona Italy, the setting for Romeo and Juliet, for a holiday.  More interested in recipes than romance, he leaves her feeling deserted.  Bored she meets a group of women who respond to letters from those seeking advice on love.  Joining them, she discovers an old letter from Claire (Vanessa Redgrave).  Reading about her search for a lost love, she sends a heartfelt reply.  After receiving it, Claire leaves for Italy with her Grandson Charlie (Christopher Egan) who holds the key to Sophia's future as she becomes intoxicated by Italy's seductive allure.


Despite the contrived nature of events and a far fetched premise, Letters to Juliet manages not to be a total waste of time.  This can be put solely on the chemistry of those involved despite an old fashioned script just about passing muster.  When the Italian locals speak perfect English, you know you're in pure fantasy-land.  One shouldn't take it too seriously as after a rather clunky opening it gradually settles into its 'searching for love' narrative quite well.  The scenery is a feast for the eyes as it isn't too difficult to make Italy look good as it papers over the screenplay's more implausible moments.

The message of seizing chances as they arrive is interwoven well with Claire's search. Bringing together her Grandson and Sophia in her quest, her mischievous match-making hides her pain of missed opportunities. With an actress of Vanessa Redgrave's standing her seemingly one dimensional role is given an added touch of poignancy.  Complimented by Seyfried and Egan's appealing presence, the film plays more of an ensemble piece than predominantly focussed on the leads.


If you don't like romantic comedies then Letters to Juliet won't change your view.  It's corny in the extreme and fluffy as you'd expect any over-ripe yarn to be.  The enthusiasm of the cast and the great Italian vistas manage to make it more bearable than others of its rose tinted ilk.

Movie Review Rating 5 / 10

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

If you have any comments to make about this Movie Review, then please use the comment box, titling your comments with Movie Review Letters to Juliet

Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at current movie releases in Australia.

Official HomePage click HERE




poster Ridley Scott seems to be the master of re-invention.  Putting scares back into science fiction with Alien and returning big screen epics with Gladiator, the British director's interpretation of classic genres have kept him in good stead.  Robin Hood continues his skilful trait with a grittier take on the famous legend.  Along with Russell Crowe, their fifth teaming finds both with the same energy which propelled their first movie to grandiose heights.

Robin (RUSSELL CROWE) bids farewell to Marion (CATE BLANCHETT) in "Robin Hood", the epic action-adventure about the legendary figure whose exploits have endured in popular mythology and ignited the imagination of those who share his spirit of adventure and righteousness.

Fighting in the Third Crusade alongside King Richard the Lionheart, Robin Longstride (Russell Crowe) is a soldier of valour.  After the King dies in battle, he returns to the English village of Nottingham to return the fallen ruler's crown to the royal family.  There he meets Sir Godfrey (Mark Strong), a treacherous French agent in the employ of the cowardly Prince John (Oscar Isaac).  With the help of village local Marion (Cate Blanchett) and his band of merry men, Robin aims to defeat the looming French army and protect England's borders as only its finest archer can.

RUSSELL CROWE stars in "Robin Hood", the epic action-adventure about the legendary figure whose exploits have endured in popular mythology and ignited the imagination of those who share his spirit of adventure and righteousness.

It's great seeing Ridley Scott back in form after a fallow '90's period.  Where his lesser films suffered from being too weak to support his vision, his recent slate have ably kept up with his directorial flourishes.  Robin Hood is no exception with a mostly fine blending of myths and rough reality forming a satisfying adventure.  All of the elements audiences know from previous versions of the story are here and adhered to quite faithfully.  Making this one stand out are the characterisations of its well known heroes and villains as their motivations become better defined. 

Marion (CATE BLANCHETT) falls for Robin (RUSSELL CROWE) in "Robin Hood", the epic action-adventure about the legendary figure whose exploits have endured in popular mythology and ignited the imagination of those who share his spirit of adventure and righteousness.

Those fearing a drab and serious interpretation shouldn't worry as Scott avoids becoming too heavy handed with the material.   Whilst the sweeping battle scenes are marvellous to view, the quieter moments also shine with Crowe and Blanchett making an excellent pairing with spirited performances matching the energy of the action sequences.  The story could have been tighter perhaps with some scenes suffering from a lack of focus and one too many characters.  This doesn't spoil the overall enjoyment too much however, with the viewer receiving a bit more than they'd expect from Robin Hood's oft told exploits.

Untitled Robin Hood

Although it may be difficult to erase the rosy image of Errol Flynn as the emerald archer, this new Robin Hood is a more than worthy replacement.  Mixed with some interesting characters and perfectly pitched acting, it adds another fine coda to an enduring legend of English folklore.

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Move Review Rating 8 / 10

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

Robin Hood released in Australia on Thursday 13 April 2010.

If you have any comments to make about this Movie Review, then please use the comment box, titling your comments with Movie Review Robin Hood

Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at current movie releases in Australia.

Official HomePage click HERE






A 12-year-old Oklahoma boy has become an internet sensation with a video of his performance of the Lady Gaga song "Paparazzi."

Sixth-grader Greyson Chance was recorded singing the song, self-accompanied on the piano, at an April 12 school talent show in Edmond, a suburb of Oklahoma City.

The video posted on his YouTube site had more than eight million hits by Thursday morning.

The performance also caught the attention of producers of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."

ellen degeneres--468605046.rp350x350

He was flown to Los Angeles to perform on the show, and spoke by telephone with Lady Gaga. She told Chance he is sweet and talented and said he should follow his dreams.

He acknowledged his popularity has increased due to the video and said he's "gotten a couple of (phone) numbers.





Tom Cruise: $250 Million [Katie is worth $25 Million]

Tom Cruise

Actor Tom Cruise was born Thomas Cruise Mapother and has an estimated net worth of $250 million. Cruise spent his early years moving around the country, with a brief stint in Canada. His first taste of acting came in high school when, after a knee injury rendered him off of the wrestling team, Cruise won the lead role in Guys and Dolls. After high school, Cruise moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting. After a handful of minor and supporting roles, Cruise had his big break with Risky Business, and secured Cruise as an up and coming star and earned him his first Golden Globe nomination.

His next big hits were the 1986 film Top Gun, which grossed $356 million worldwide and 1989’s Rain Man, which won four Academy Awards. Cruise’s first Oscar nomination came a year later with Born on the Fourth of July, followed by a Golden Globe nomination for A Few Good Men. Cruise simultaneously starred in and produced the blockbuster hit Mission: Impossible, which grossed worldwide at $457 million and produced two more successful sequels. Other films produced by Cruise include The Last Samurai, The Others, and Shattered Glass. Cruise’s second and third Academy Award nominations came with the critically and commercially successful films Jerry Maguire and Magnolia, for which he did earn a Golden Globe Award. To date, over twenty of Cruise’s films have grossed well over $100 million worldwide. Tom is currently married to actress Katie Holmes.

Leonardo DiCaprio: $200 Million

Leonardo DiCaprio

Actor and producer Leonardo DiCaprio was born and raised in Los Angeles and has a net worth estimated at $200 million. After appearing in a smattering of commercials and television roles, including a reoccurring role on the last season of Growing Pains, DiCaprio landed the lead in biopic This Boy’s Life and received much critical praise for his performance. His next role in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? earned DiCaprio an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor. Dicaprio garnered acclaim for his performances in the intense dramas, Total Eclipse and The Basketball Diaries.

In 1996, DiCaprio starred in the box office hit William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet which grossed $147.5 million worldwide. Following this success came the 1997 film Titanic, a record-breaking, multi-award winning film that secured DiCaprio as a leading man. DiCaprio moved forward with a string of successful movies, including Catch Me if You Can (grossed $352 million worldwide), Gangs of New York (grossed $193.7 million worldwide), The Aviator (grossed $211.7 million worldwide), The Departed ($289 million worldwide), and award-winning film Revolutionary Road. DiCaprio’s credits as a producer include The Aviator and Orphan. Among DiCaprio’s awards are two Blockbuster Entertainment Awards, one Golden Globe Award and numerous critics’ groups’ awards.

Johnny Depp: $200 Million

Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp is an American actor whose films have grossed $2.3 billion in America and $4.8 billion worldwide. His personal net worth is $200 million, his annual salary is over $25 million. Depp was born in Kentucky and moved frequently as a child; at the age of fifteen, he dropped out of school and joined a band, and later moved to Los Angeles in pursuit of a record contract. He decided to pursue acting instead, and took minor film roles throughout the 1980s, including a role in Nightmare on Elm Street. In 1987, he won a starring role on the TV show 21 Jump Street, and in 1990 he collaborated for the first time with Tim Burton, playing the title role in Edward Scissorhands. The two would go on to collaborate on a total of seven films, including Sleepy Hollow and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

In 2003, Depp appeared in the first of three Pirates of the Caribbean movies, playing eccentric pirate captain Jack Sparrow; his performance earned him an Academy Award nomination, which he followed up with another nominated performance as the author J.M. Barrie in 2004’s Finding Neverland. He was nominated again in 2008 for his role in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Depp married Lori Anne Allison in 1983, though the couple divorced in 1985. He has been in a relationship with French actress Vanessa Paradis; they have two children and split their time between Los Angeles and the south of France.

Will Smith: $188 Million

[It didn't say how much Jada is worth]

Will Smith

Will Smith is an actor, film producer and rapper with a net worth estimated at $188 million. With modest beginnings as the son of a school administrator and refrigerator engineer in west Philadelphia, Smith became recognized as the vocals for the radio-friendly rap group DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince, earning the first Grammy ever won for the newly formed Rap category in 1988. Smith’s acting debut came in 1990 starring in the NBC sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, which spanned six seasons and won several awards.

Smith’s film debut with the drama Where the Day Takes You, but kicked his career into high gear with a rapid succession of action films including Bad Boys, Independence Day, and Men in Black, the latter two earning worldwide revenues at $817.4 million and $589.3 million, respectfully. Smith never left music, though, and while working simultaneously on his films released four solo albums, two which have gone platinum. Smith had numerous hit singles, among them Men in Black, and Gettin’ Jiggy wit It, earning Smith two consecutive Grammy Awards for Best Rap Solo Performance. Smith was twice nominated for an Academy Award, both for portraying real people, Muhammad Ali in Ali and Chris Gardner in The Pursuit of Happyness. In addition to acting in, Smith has also produced several of his films including I Am Legend, Seven Pounds and Hitch. Among his awards, Smith has two BET Awards, one Image Award, four MTV movie Awards, and two People’s Choice Awards.

George Clooney: $160 Million

George Clooney

George Clooney is an American actor, screenwriter, director, and activist. One of most sought-after actors in Hollywood, he has a net worth of $160 million. Clooney was born in Kentucky and raised there and in Ohio, and upon moving to Los Angeles won minor roles in television shows such as The Facts of Life, Roseanne, and The Golden Girls. His first major role was on the sitcom E/R in 1984—not to be confused with his star-making role on the NBC drama ER, which began ten years later. While still on ER, he appeared in a number of films, including From Dusk til Dawn, One Fine Day, and Out of Sight; he also succeeded Val Kilmer as Batman, though he appeared only in Batman & Robin.

He left the show in 1999 and had a spate of box office successes, including his most popular to date, Ocean’s 11. In 2005, Clooney appeared in the film Syriana, for which he won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor; the same year, he was also nominated both for writing and directing Good Night, and Good Luck, and became the first person in Oscar history to be nominated for directing one film and acting in another in the same year. Clooney is active in a variety of political causes, including the conflict in Darfur, Sudan, and fundraising for relief after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. He married Talia Balsam in 1989; they divorced in 1993, and Clooney went on to live with his pet pig, Max, until the pig’s death in 2006.

Brad Pitt: $150 Million

[Angelina Jolie is worth $90 Million]

Brad Pitt

Award-winning film actor and producer Brad Pitt has an estimated net worth of $150 million. Raised in Springfield Missouri, Pitt left the University of Missouri for Los Angeles two weeks prior to his graduation in order to pursue his dreams of a career in acting. After various guest appearances and minor roles, Pitt gained notoriety for his supporting role in Thelma and Louise before going on to star in the Academy-Award winning film A River Runs Through It. Pitt received tremendous praise for his performance in the highly successful 1995 crime drama Seven, which grossed $327 million worldwide. Pitt received a Golden Globe award as well as an Academy Award nomination for his next film, Twelve Monkeys.

Pitt’s dedication to his roles has taken him up the Alps, in the boxing ring, and in the depths of startlingly accurate accents. Other noteworthy films of Pitt’s career are: Oceans Eleven, Troy, Pitt’s highest grossing film to date, award-winning Babel, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which garnered Pitt his first Screen Actors Guild Award nomination. As a producer, Pitt co-found Plan B Entertainment with ex-wife Jennifer Aniston, which has helped produce such films as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Departed, which earned the 2007 Academy Award for Best Picture. Additionally, Pitt is involved with humanitarian causes, specifically the ONE Campaign, Make It Right Foundation, and global humanitarian aid fund, Jolie-Pitt Foundation, which he co-founded with partner Angelina Jolie.

Tom Hanks: $130 Million

Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks is one of the most famous, highest-regarded, and best-paid actors in Hollywood. With a net worth of $130 million and a worldwide total box office gross of $3.521 billion, he is also the number-one box office star in the world. Hanks was born and raised near San Francisco, and studied drama in community college and at California State University at Sacramento until he was encouraged to join the Great Lakes Theater Festival, an internship that stretched into a three-year commitment. In 1980, he moved to New York City and landed the cross-dressing sitcom Bosom Buddies, which lasted two seasons, and which he followed up with a series of minor film roles.

He gained major recognition in 1988 for his role in the hit movie Big, and has since made a career of defying genre constraints: he went on to appear in Sleepless in Seattle, Apollo 13, Toy Story, You’ve Got Mail, Saving Private Ryan, Cast Away, The Da Vinci Code, and Angels and Demons, among others. In 1993 and 1994, Hanks became the second actor in history to win back-to-back Academy Awards for Best Actor: in 1993 for Philadelphia, in which he played an HIV-positive attorney, and in 1994 for Forrest Gump, in which he played the title role. In 1996, Hanks wrote and directed That Thing You Do!, kicking off his career behind the camera; he has since directed and/or produced several more movies, including Cast Away and The Polar Express. Hanks was married to Samantha Lewes from 1978 – 1987, and he married actress Rita Wilson in 1988. He has four children, including actor Colin Hanks.

Bruce Willis: $80 Million

Bruce Willis

Bruce Willis is an American actor, producer, and musician with a net worth of $80 million. Born in Germany to a bank teller and an American serviceman, Willis moved to Penns Grove, New Jersey as a child and attended the drama program at Montclair State University until he left to pursue acting in New York City. He has appeared in over sixty films, and although he is best known as an action star, he got his first big break (and several major awards) on the TV comedy Moonlighting, in which he flirted with Cybill Shepherd for five seasons.

Willis’s critical reception has been inconsistent, but he has also delivered several box-office hits: he starred in four Die Hard movies, grossing a total of $1.1 billion worldwide, as well as Armageddon—the highest-grossing film of 1998, at $553 million—and The Sixth Sense. He won two Emmys (for Moonlighting and for a guest-starring role on Friends) and a Golden Globe (for Moonlighting). Willis is also a musician, with three rock albums and favorable reviews to his name. Willis married actress Demi Moore in 1987 and had three daughters (Rumer, Scout, and Tallulah Belle) before their divorce in 2000; he subsequently married model Emma Heming in 2009.

Matt Damon: $65 Million

Matt Damon

Matthew Paige Damon is an American actor, writer and philanthropist who was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts on October 8, 1970. One of America’s most successful and sought-after actors, he currently earns approximately $24 million a year. Damon has one brother and briefly attended Harvard University before launching his career in show business. His big break came when he and his good friend Ben Affleck wrote the screenplay for Good Will Hunting. They each received an Oscar for Best Screenplay and Damon also won the Oscar for Best Actor. Other important film roles quickly followed in such films as Saving Private Ryan,The Talented Mr. Ripley and featured parts in the Bourne Series and the “Ocean’s” Series. Matt Damon already has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, has received many award nominations, including 4 from the Screen Actors Guild and was voted Sexiest Man Alive in 2007 by People Magazine. He also owns his own movie production company, Live Planet.

Why these two don't get a little snippet, I don't know, but here you go :

Christian Bale: $60 Million

Christian Bale

Robert Downey Jr.: $55 Million

Robert Downey Jnr



Lisa Marie Presley Blogs About

Michael Jackson's Grave


Greetings MJ Fans....

While visiting him a few days ago at Forest Lawn , Riley and I couldn't help but notice that , while there are a few bouquets , candles and gifts there is a very large empty space around him and in front of him that could use a whole lot more.

While , I am sure that the staff at The Holy Terrace do their very best to place what is sent and what is placed at the door at his tomb , I thought you might like to know that he would want and deserves more than what is there and I had an idea.......

Some may or may not know this but his favorite flower was the Sunflower. They made him happy because they looked happy to him , Thus, he called them "The Happy Flower".

When we were married , I would try and fill up rooms with them wherever he was. I wanted to bring something to place near him that he liked and that wouldn't die so I brought a large vase of silk sunflowers and placed them near him.

This barely made any kind of dent in the atmosphere so I thought of maybe letting those who care know what the situation is and how we can solve it.

I know how much he loved and appreciated being showered with Gifts and flowers by his fans , I thought if whoever wants to bought just one silk sunflower each and sent it , the whole area around him and in front of him (As well as the two large empty vases that sit on either side of him) could be filled up in no time , which would be much more appropriate than what the current status is right now.

We can all cause a "Sun shower" if you will...........
He deserves to be flooded and surrounded , LETS SURROUND HIM!

Lots of Love,

There are two Forest Lawns in LA which is confusing,
Below is the correct address to send them to:

The Holy Terrace At Forest Lawn
1712 South Glendale Avenue
Glendale Calif, 91205

Friday, May 14, 2010





Production company FilmEngine has just optioned to 'reopen' the case surrounding Marilyn Monroe's mysterious death. The film will dramatize Lionel Grandison's experience, a deputy Los Angeles coroner who claims he was forced to falsify Monroe's death certificate to say it was a suicide rather than murder. Grandison also contends that he read Monroe's diary.

"Marilyn" will be penned by John Ryan Jr., a filmmaker-producer who also had cameo appearances in The Parkers, Boston Public and Judging Amy. The production company FilmEngine has produced movies like Lucky Number Slevin, Raise Your Voice and the Butterfly Effect series. -_-

The "Marilyn" project brings Grandison's story to the bigscreen for the first time. His involvement with Monroe's case has been mentioned in several books.

"After being forced to sign a falsified death certificate, he was threatened for years about what he knew. The threats only stopped recently," Producer Anthony Rhulen said.

Marilyn Monroe



TOP 10 ...


20050425-stephen looking older

Fox Home Entertainment is bringing several horror classics to hi-def Blu-ray as part of their Feed Your Fear campaign, with most of them already at a store near you. In lieu of the classic Stephen King adaptations Misery and Carrie now available on Blu-ray, we present to you "The Top 10 Stephen King Adaptations."

10. Christine

Christine is by no means a John Carpenter classic, or even a particularly good movie  but there’s still some solid stuff here. In his defense, Carpenter was up against a doozy of an obstacle from the start. Namely: cars aren’t scary. My advice? Don’t go in expecting to be frightened out of your wits, and you’re in for a relatively diverting 110 minutes. Actor Keith Gordon makes Arnie’s nerd-to-stud transformation surprisingly believable, and Carpenter gives the film a visual slickness that suits the material well. Two added bonuses: an excellent soundtrack, and a pre-stardom, pre-Scientology Kelly Preston in a minor role.


9. Silver Bullet

This mostly forgotten 1985 adaptation of King’s novella “Cycle of the Werewolf” is surprisingly decent. It features a pre-hot mess Corey Haim as a disabled kid living in a small town plagued by a series of grisly unsolved murders. After he encounters a werewolf on a bridge late one night, Haim enlists his lovable, alcoholic uncle, played by a pre-bat shit insane Gary Busey, to help solve the mystery. Busey has some great lines, and he and Haim share an easy-going chemistry that’s a pleasure to watch. The werewolf effects are okay, if a little rubbery-looking, but overall Silver Bullet has a sense of humor about itself (Stephen King scripted) that helps make it better than you’d expect.

Silver Bullet

8. Pet Sematary

Admittedly Pet Sematary is kind of a cheese-fest, but it still holds up as one of the better King adaptations due to a few genuinely creepy moments. This is mostly due to not only theose uber-disturbing flashback scenes, but the performance of young Miko Hughes, whose sweet, high-pitched voice and cherubic features come to serve as an ironic counterpoint to his murderous acts in the last third of the film (“Now I wan-too pway wiv you!”). Just prepare yourself for a few unintentional chuckles, not to mention one of the most grating performances by a child actor (the young girl who plays Miko’s older sister) ever.

Pet Sematary

7. The Dead Zone

This David Cronenberg adaptation of King’s fifth novel comes dangerously close to violating the rules – namely, the one about the films having to be straight horror/thrillers in order to qualify. But at the end of the day, The Dead Zone does possess enough thriller-centric qualities to make the cut. This is a really solid, if rather dry adaptation, with a strong central performance by Christopher Walken (despite that hideous, fit-for-an-80-year-old grandmother hairstyle he seems to sport in every movie). It’s no masterpiece, but it’s deeply felt; and if you haven’t read the book you’re in for a pretty nifty little ending.

The Dead Zone

6. Cujo

Dee Wallace Stone is a perfect example of a really terrific actress who, over the course of her career so far, has never been given the opportunity to fulfill her sizable potential as more than just a terrorized genre-film heroine. This is due in large part to the enormous success of E.T., which pigeonholed her into the “frantic mother” role in seemingly every single film she appeared in thereafter. Stone really anchors Cujo, which could have been just another lame King adaptation, and makes every hysterical moment in that demonic-St. Bernard-battered Pinto entirely believable. Kudos also to Jan de Bont, who provided the cinematography that proved so effective during those heart-in-the-throat attack scenes.


5. 1408

If you take it for the market-tested, slot-filling big-studio product that it is, 1408 is a surprisingly decent little horror flick, with some inspired special effects and a truly creepy hotel-room setting. Of course, director Mikael Halfstrom also helmed that Jennifer Aniston snooze-fest Derailed. Given the cringe-inducing enormity of that debacle, he’s still got a long road to hoe before he repays his debt to society.


4. Misery

Misery is such a solid, enjoyable little entertainment. Unlike the previous three entries, Misery doesn’t harbor any grandiose ambitions, which shouldn’t be a surprise given that Rob “Big-Studio Cocksucker” Reiner helmed the thing. But as a slick, modern-era Hollywood thriller, there are few as good as this one. Bates’ alternately hilarious and disturbing performance alone makes this worth a second viewing.


3. The Mist

Frank Darabont, the director responsible for the terrific Shawshank Redemption and the overlong, if nearly-as-good Green Mile, delighted Stephen King fans everywhere when it was announced he would be tackling King’s grim, apocalyptic short story “The Mist”.  Darabont hews miraculously close to King’s vision (save for that love-it-or-hate-it ending) while also managing the feat of making a truly scary horror film that functions equally well as a queasy, post-9/11 satire of American life.

The Mist

2. Carrie

What misfit teen didn’t wish for telekinetic powers after Carrie, Brian De Palma’s near-perfect adaptation of King’s first novel, was released in 1976?


1. The Shining

What true horror fan (at least one who doesn’t hold movie directors to unrealistic standards of literary faithfulness) doesn’t like The Shining? This was made back in the heady early days of Stephen King adaptations, where arty, top-shelf filmmakers were taking a crack at his work, rather than the hacks that mostly took over later on.

The Shining

Just for Fun


Tuesday, May 11, 2010






Enjoy the full Lipton Ice Tea ad featuring Hugh Jackman.







Lena Horne, who was the first black performer to be signed to a long-term contract by a major Hollywood studio and who went on to achieve international fame as a singer, died on Sunday night at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York. She was 92 and lived in Manhattan.

Her death was announced by her son-in-law, Kevin Buckley.

Ms. Horne might have become a major movie star, but she was born 50 years too early, and languished at MGM in the 1940s because of the color of her skin, although she was so light-skinned that, when she was a child, other black children had taunted her, accusing her of having a "white daddy."


Ms. Horne was stuffed into one "all-star" musical after another - "Thousands Cheer" (1943), "Broadway Rhythm" (1944), "Two Girls and a Sailor" (1944), "Ziegfeld Follies" (1946), "Words and Music" (1948) - to sing a song or two that could easily be snipped from the movie when it played in the South, where the idea of an African-American performer in anything but a subservient role in a movie with an otherwise all-white cast was unthinkable.


"The only time I ever said a word to another actor who was white was Kathryn Grayson in a little segment of 'Show Boat' " included in "Till the Clouds Roll By" (1946), a movie about the life of Jerome Kern, Ms. Horne said in an interview in 1990. In that sequence she played Julie, a mulatto forced to flee the showboat because she has married a white man.

Ms. Horne's first MGM movie was "Panama Hattie" (1942), in which she sang Cole Porter's "Just One of Those Things." Writing about that film years later, Pauline Kael called it "a sad disappointment, though Lena Horne is ravishing and when she sings you can forget the rest of the picture."


She had proper direction in two all-black movie musicals, both made in 1943. Lent to 20th Century Fox for "Stormy Weather," one of those show business musicals with almost no plot but lots of singing and dancing, Ms. Horne did both triumphantly, ending with the sultry, aching sadness of the title number, which would become one of her signature songs. In MGM's "Cabin in the Sky," the first film directed by Vincente Minnelli, she was the brazen, sexy handmaiden of the Devil. (One number she shot for that film, "Ain't It the Truth," which she sang while taking a bubble bath, was deleted before the film was released - not for racial reasons, as her stand-alone performances in other MGM musicals sometimes were, but because it was considered too risqué.)