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Movie Madness: “Cake”

Jennifer Aniston in the film Cake.

Jennifer Aniston in the film Cake.

Cake written by Patrick Tobin and directed by Daniel Barnz is a good drama.  Jennifer Aniston does a nice job of playing a serious role, but it would have been nice if her character Claire was not so flat and one-dimensional.  Claire would have more depth if there would have been, let’s say, a flashback of happier times.  Just one.  A short one.  But, I get it.  Aniston’s character is addicted to painkillers and moonlights with the notion of suicide.

The fact that Claire is addicted to painkillers is a MacGuffin.  That is what the whole story is about.  If you are not paying attention, you will miss the reason why.  It also takes a little bit to figure out why the ghost of Anna Kendrick’s character Nina keeps visiting Claire from the grave after having killed herself by jumping off a freeway.  But, it’s definitely a nice touch.

This is Jennifer Aniston stripped of make-up, designer dresses, and high-heeled shoes.  That’s all I’m going to write.  I wouldn’t want to give the movie away in case you are into dramas like I am.  After all, you can’t have your cake and eat it, too!


Movie Madness: “Tammy”


The television show Roseanne helped pave the way for the film Tammy, not to mention, the success of Melissa McCarthy’s career. Let’s face it.

That is the first thing that I will write about this hilarious comedy. The second is that Melissa McCarthy and Susan Sarandon, who plays her grandmother Pearl, are a comedic dynamic duo. Watching Sarandon play this role was actually a little reminiscent of Thelma and Louise, but in a completely opposite fashion. Secondly, Kathy Bates and Sandra Oh play a lesbian couple who help Tammy and Pearl while they are on the run. How fun is that?

The third point is that the writing was truly witty. It would not have been as funny of a film, otherwise. That’s for sure! And, the writer? Guess who? Yep. Melissa McCarthy along with Ben Falcone (who plays Air Marshall Jon on Bridesmaids) are the writers. Falcone also directed Tammy.

The Castle is Not OK with K.


Novelist and short story writer Franz Kafka never completed his novel The Castle. He died first.

The Castle is based on a character simply named K. and focuses on his attempt to gain access into a mysterious castle that governs a small village by its inhabitants. The novel incorporates themes of alienation and bureaucracy.

Although Kafka never formally finished writing The Castle, the story implies that K. dies in his attempt to uncover the truth. Kafka, himself, died of tuberculosis on June 3, 1924. He was an Austrian-Hungarian Jew born in Prague, which is now the Czech Republic.

Being Green Can Be Easy!

Red eyed tree frogs are native to the rainforests in Central America and are arboreal by living on trees.  They camouflage their red eyes and the blue sides of their legs during the day by shutting their eyes and tucking in their legs underneath their stomachs.  They are not poisonous.


Photo Courtesy: Carey James Balboa.

Movie Madness: “Hateship Loveship”

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The subtle performances that Kristen Wiig and Guy Pearce deliver in Hateship Loveship makes this film worth watching with the serious nature of their characters creating a compelling storyline. Wiig plays a single caregiver / housekeeper obsessed with cleanliness, while Pearce is a father and widower drug addict trying to get clean. The storyline remains simple with life thrusting these two people together, and that is what makes it great. If less has ever been more in a movie, it is with Hateship Loveship. They both delivery.

Guy Pearce and Kristen Wiig in Hateship Loveship (2013).

Kristen Wiig and Guy Pearce in Hateship Loveship.

This is Wiig’s first dramatic role, although there are definitely funny moments. How can there not be? She is a hilarious comedienne. She can make us laugh without even trying. Only someone like Wiig has this type of duality. Actually, she reminds me of Robin Williams. It is hard to imagine any other actress playing this role. It was meant for her.

Thirty Years a Virgin Today

This image appears on the inside sleeve of the Like A Virgin vinyl recording and was shot by Steven Meisel.

This image appears on the inside sleeve of the Like A Virgin vinyl recording and was shot by Steven Meisel.  It is not included in the CD.

Madonna released her second studio album Like A Virgin thirty years ago today on November 12, 1984.  According to MTV News in 2011, this album has sold 21 million copies.  The first single released under the same title was Madonna’s first no. 1 hit.  She first performed the hit at the MTV Video Music Awards in 1984 weeks before the release of the album, the single and the video.  Madonna was that confident about it.

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Film still from the Like A Virgin video shot and directed by Mary Lambert predominantly in Venice, Italy.

Madonna’s performance of “Like A Virgin” in both The Virgin Tour and Blond Ambition Tour were independently nominated for Best Choreography by the MTV Video Music Awards in 1986 and 1991, respectively.

Film still from The Virgin Tour, 1985.

Film still from The Virgin Tour, 1985.

What female recording artist has sold more albums?  Well, look it up!

This is a list of the top selling albums by female solo recording artists in order of sales, as follows:

  1. Shania Twain:  Come On Over (1997) – 29.6 million
  2. Britney Spears:  . . .Baby One More Time (1999) – 28 million
  3. Whitney Houston:  The Bodyguard (1992) – 27.4 million
  4. Carole King:  Tapestry (1971) – 25 million
  5. Madonna:  True Blue (1986) – 25 million
  6. Maria Carey:  Daydream (1995) – 25 million
  7. Norah Jones:  Come Away with Me (2002) – 25 million
  8. Alanis Morissette:  Jagged Little Pill (1995) – 24.8 million
  9. Cyndi Lauper:  She’s So Unusual (1983) – 22 million
  10. Adele:  21 (2011) – 21.3 million
  11. Madonna:  Like A Virgin (1984) – 21 million
  12. Celine Dion:  Falling Into You (1996) – 20.2 million
  13. Madonna:  The Immaculate Collection (1990) – 20.1 million
  14. Tina Turner:  Private Dancer (1984) – 20 million
  15. Whitney Houston:  Whitney (1987) – 20 million
  16. Celine Dion:  The Colour of My Love (1993) – 20 million
  17. Shania Twain:  The Woman In Me (1995) – 20 million
  18. Madonna:  Ray of Light (1998) – 20 million
  19. Britney Spears:  Oops! . . . I Did It Again (2000) – 20 million
  20. Avril Lavigne:  Let Go (2002) – 20 million
  21. Celine Dion:  Let’s Talk About Love (1997) – 19.3 million
  22. Whitney Houston:  Whitney Houston (1985) – 17.2 million
  23. Mariah Carey:  Music Box (1993) – 17.2 million

SOURCE:  List of best-selling albums.  (2014, November 10).  Retrieved November 12, 2014 from

GiVe iT uP: Marilyn Monroe

Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe.

Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe.

ELLA FITZGERALD:  “I owe Marilyn Monroe a real debt.  It was because of her that I played the Mocambo, a very popular nightclub in the ’50s.  She personally called the owner of the Mocambo, and told him she wanted me booked immediately, and if he would do it, she would take a front table every night.  She told him – and it was true, due to Marilyn’s superstar status – that the press would go wild.  The owner said yes, and Marilyn was there, front table, every night.  The press went overboard.  After that, I never had to play a small jazz club again.  She was an unusual woman – a little ahead of her times.  And she didn’t know it.

Mr. and Mrs Miller x 2.

Mr. and Mrs Miller x 2.

ARTHUR MILLER:  “I took my family for granted.  But Marilyn never had one, and she made me appreciate what that means.  When you see how much a family matters to her and you understand the depth of that feeling, you’d have to be an ox not to respond.”

Marilyn Monroe (on the day she sang for J.F.K.) with Isidore Miller, former father-in-law from her marriage to Arthur Miller.

Marilyn remained friends with Isidore Miller after her marriage to Arthur ended in 1961.  Isidore was proud of his friendship with Marilyn, and she kept in touch via long letters that began: “Dear Dad.” Concerned about him after his wife died, Marilyn visited him in Florida in February 1962.  She took him out and entertained him for three days.  After she had left, Isidore found $200 stuffed into an overcoat pocket.

ISIDORE MILLER:  “You see, Marilyn wanted me to protect her, but she also protected me.”

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