All posts by Paul Stroessner

Pat Benatar releases memoir

Pat Benatar has just released her new book called Between a Heart and a Rock Place.” She talks about her struggles, and how she became successful. Benatar opened the doors for a lot of women rockers in the ’80s. She had great hits such as “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”, “We Belong”, ” Shadows of the Night”, as well as “Love is a Battlefield”, which was in very heavy rotation in MTV’s early days.

Trivia Challenge Tuesday – 6/15/10

I am going to try a new segment: Trivia Challenge Tuesday. I will post the question, and the following Tuesday, I will post the answer, and submit a new question. Feel free to enter answers and/or comments.

Here is the inaugural question:

What 1982 top 10 hit contained the lines: “Like ohmigod! Like Totally! There’s like the Galleria. And, like, all these, like really great shoe stores”?

And, the second part of the question – Who performed the song?

If only I had a dime for every ’80s remake – Arthur remake is in the works

I know the ’80s was the greatest decade ever, but what is with all the remakes lately?!? And to make matters worse is that Dudley Moore’s iconic character will be played by Russell Brand. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jennifer Garner and Nick Nolte are in talks to join the cast. Helen Mirren is also set to star in the movie.

Arthur is the story of a rich, happy drunk with no ambition. He is also an heir to a huge fortune, which he is told by his mother that will only be his if he marries a woman of her choosing. He does not love the woman, but she will make something of him the family expects. Arthur proposes to her, but then meets a poor girl who he falls in love with.

The original movie was a huge hit in 1981, and John Gielgud won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in his role as Arthur’s butler, Hobson. The film also earned another Academy Award for Best Original Song with “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)” which was performed by Christopher Cross. There’s no truth to the rumor that Justin Bieber will remake the theme song for the new movie.

Here are some memorable quotes from the original movie:

Arthur: All I can tell you is, I wish I had a dime for every dime I had.

Susan: A real woman could stop you from drinking.
Arthur: It’d have to be a real BIG woman.

Susan: Arthur, will you take my hand?
Arthur: That would leave you with one!

Arthur: [while taking a bath] God, isn’t life wonderful, Hobson?
Hobson: Yes, Arthur, it is. Do your armpits.
Arthur: A hot bath is wonderful… Girls are WONDERFUL!
Hobson: Yes, imagine how wonderful a girl who bathes would be. Get dressed.

Hobson: Thrilling to meet you, Gloria.
Gloria: Hi.
Hobson: Yes… You obviously have a wonderful economy with words, Gloria. I look forward to your next syllable with great eagerness.

Arthur: It’s terribly small, tiny little country. Rhode Island could beat the crap out of it in a war. THAT’S how small it is.

Hobson: Would you remove your helmet, please?
Arthur: Why?
Hobson: Please.
[Arthur hands him his helmet]
Hobson: Thank you. Now your goggles.
Arthur: Why?
Hobson: Please.
[Arthur hands him his goggles]
Hobson: Thank you.
[slaps him across the face repeatedly]
Hobson: You spoiled little bastard! You’re a man who has everything, haven’t you, but that’s not enough. You feel unloved, Arthur, welcome to the world. Everyone is unloved. Now stop feeling sorry for yourself. And incidentally, I love you.

Hobson: I’ve taken the liberty of anticipating your condition. I have brought you orange juice, coffee, and aspirins. Or do you need to throw up?

Here is the original movie trailer:

So what are your thoughts? Is this remake going to be any good? Is it really necessary? Is anybody else annoyed with all the remakes recently? It costs around $10 a ticket for a movie now. You can probably buy the original movie for less than that, and watch it as much as you would like. And there’s a very good chance that the original is better anyway.
Or does anybody feel that the remakes are introducing a new audience to the stories we grew up with and loved?

Go-Go’s Cancel their Farewell Tour

The Go-Go’s have canceled their “Happily Ever After” tour this summer after guitarist Jane Wiedlin tore her ACL after suffering a 20-foot fall in the mountains in California last month. She has to have surgery to replace the ACL, and could take up to a year to heal.

The band made the following statement on their web site:

It is with great regret that the Go-Go’s announce today the cancelation of Happily Ever After, their summer farewell tour. The tour was scheduled to kick off July 7 at Lilith Fair San Diego, and conclude in Austin, TX on July 27. The band will also be unable to perform live on Good Morning America, scheduled for July 16 in New York’s Central Park.

The news comes as a result of guitarist Jane Wiedlin injuring herself after a 20-foot fall while hiking near her home in Northern California a couple of weeks ago. Jane is scheduled for ACL replacement surgery for her knee in the coming weeks, with a prognosis of up to a year recovery time.

The band is heartbroken and hopes their fans will send best wishes for Jane’s speedy recovery. In the meantime, tickets can be refunded at point of purchase.

The Karate Kid is the box office champ this weekend

It must have been my review!! The Karate Kid had a great weekend, grossing $56 million. It made more than twice as money than The A-Team, which came in second. The A-Team didn’t do bad either, making $26 million. It got very good reviews, so it should do well over the next few weeks.

Here is the article from Entertainment Weekly:

Who would have thought a 12-year-old descended from Hollywood royalty would be the summer box office savior? Such is the case as Jaden Smith and his starring role in The Karate Kid propelled the box office to 11 percent up from last year at this time, when everyone was talking The Hangover and Up. He also dominated over the macho A-Team, more than doubling the opening weekend gross of the ’80s television adaptation. In a summer that’s been primarily dominated by misfires, we’ll take the good news even if it means Mr. Jaden Smith is going to command quite a paycheck the next time he lands a starring role.

From director Harald Zwart, The Karate Kid grossed an estimated $56 million and earned an A grade from audiences, according to exit pollster CinemaScore. It seems not even the 2 hour and 20 minute run time thwarted moviegoers from the China-set underdog story. And with such a strong score from audiences, Karate Kid is now on track to become one of summer’s biggest hits. Don’t be surprised if this film with the $40 million budget grosses well over $200 million before the summer is over.

In contrast, The A-Team, earned $26 million for its opening frame. It’s not a terrible start, but it is well beneath expectations. Its solid B+ grade from audiences should help the film hold in throughout the upcoming weeks. That’s an outcome studio Twentieth Century Fox will be counting on. After a disappointment last weekend with Marmaduke, Fox needs both A-Team and the upcoming Knight & Day, starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz, to be hits.

Shrek Forever After is still holding in well. The Dreamworks Animation film earned another $15.8 million, 38 percent less than what it made last weekend. That puts the film’s cume at $210 million, a number that, while solid, will still likely end up far beneath any of the other Shrek releases.

In fourth place was holdover Get Him to the Greek which performed almost exactly like Forgetting Sarah Marshall, the film where these lead characters originated. Earning another $10.1 million, the film dropped 43 percent for a total take of $36.5 million. The Ashton Kutcher-Katherine Heigl-starrer Killers also fell off less than 50 percent for a fifth place slot. The romantic actioner that’s been panned by critics grossed another $8 million, putting its total at $22.5 million.

Holdovers dominated the rest of the top ten with Prince of Persia grossing $6.5 million, a 53 percent drop that puts the film’s three-week gross at $72.3 million. Marmaduke took the seventh slot, falling 48 percent for its second session in theaters. The talking dog movie earned $6 million its second weekend in theaters for an anemic two-week gross of $22.2 million. Sex and the City 2 dropped 55 percent its third weekend, grossing another $5.5 million for a total cume of $84.7 million. It’s practically impossible for this sequel to match the original which earned $152 million two summers ago.

Iron Man 2 is on the verge of $300 million with an additional $4.5 million added to its coffers this weekend. And poor Splice rounded out the top ten with another $2.8 million for the well-reviewed but poorly received horror film. Losing more than 60 percent of its value its second weekend, the Warner Bros. release has only grossed $13 million after two weekends in release.

The Karate Kid in Theaters Today

One of the most anticipate movies of the summer comes out today – The Karate Kid. It stars Ralph Macchio, who was last seen in the awesome movie The Outsiders. In this movie, Macchio plays Daniel LaRusso, an Italian boy who just moved from New Jersey to California with his mother (Randee Heller). He has a difficult time adjusting to California life. But things appear to get better when he meets a high chool cheerleader, Ali Mills (Elisabeth Shue in one of her first movie roles, may have a good career ahead of her). But as it turns out, her ex-boyfriend Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka), is the best karate student at the Cobra Kai training school. Daniel gets bullied by Johnny and his fellow hoodlum students. After one of his beatings, Daniel is rescued by Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita – best know as Arnold from Happy Days), as Mr. Miyagi defeats all five Cobra Kai easily. Daniel asks Miyagi to be his teacher. Miyagi refuses, but agrees to go with Daniel to the Cobra Kai dojo in order to resolve the conflict. They confront the sensei, John Kreese (Martin Kove), an ex-Special Forces Vietnam Veteran who sneers at the concepts of mercy and restraint.
Kreese and Miyagi agree to a match between Johnny and Daniel in two months’ time at the All Valley Karate Tournament.

Mr. Miyagi becomes Daniel’s teacher and a father figure. He begins Daniel’s training by having him perform laborious chores such as waxing cars, sanding a wooden floor, painting a fence, and refinishing Miyagi’s house.

Daniel becomes frustrated because he wants to learn how to fight. After a while Daniel becomes angry with Mr. Miyagi, then Miyagi throws several punches at Daniel. But, much to his own surprise Daniel is able to block all of the moves without think about it. By doing such particular chores as painting a fence, sanding a floor, and waxing a car (“Wax on. Wax off.”), he was really learning defensive moves.

As their bond grows, Daniel learns that Mr. Miyagi’s wife had died giving childbirth. So the loss of Daniel’s father, and the loss of Mr. Miyagi’s family strengthened their father-son relationship.

Daniel does well in the tournament, and comes face-to-face in the finals with Johnny. I don’t want to spill any spoilers about who won the match. But, I will say that a “Crane Kick” stance plays a factor.
I give this movie an A.

Here is the movie trailer:

A-Team in Theaters Today

Here is the movie review from Entertainment Weekly:

Reviewed by Owen Gleiberman | Jun 10, 2010

The A-Team, a testosterone-on-steroids big-screen blow-up of the popular schlock commando TV series of the mid-1980s, was not — repeat, not — produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. Yet the picture might almost have been designed to make the Bruckheim-meister jealous. It’s arguable that he has never produced a movie that’s this jam-packed with bluster and noise, hurtling metal, preposterous hair-breadth escapes, eyeball-filling explosions, snark-under-pressure one-liners, and so-gung-ho-it’s-almost-nostalgic American ass-kickery.

The movie introduces its characters with witty comic-book touches, like slow-mo shots that reveal how the Mohawked B.A. Baracus (Quinton ”Rampage” Jackson) has ”Pity” and ”Fool” tattooed on his fists (he never actually says the words). For the next two hours, The A-Team rockets forward on little bits like that. The director, the cheerfully shameless and undeniably talented Joe Carnahan (Smokin’ Aces), works hard for the money. One of Carnahan’s favorite tricks is to stage an elaborate chain reaction of an action sequence, the sort of thing that would have been a major piece of overkill in a movie like Con Air, and treat it as just one more casual movie moment — another sandwiched-in, throwaway thrill in a film that’s addicted to them. When Col. Hannibal Smith (Liam Neeson), the jaunty, cigar-chomping leader of the A-Team, plots out an operation to recapture a collection of top-secret American-currency printing plates that have been smuggled out of Iraq, the movie cross-cuts between two things: his explanation of the plan, complete with little models on a game board, and the actual carrying out of it — a speeding-truck chase sequence full of perfectly timed wisecracks and firepower. That overlap between planning and execution lends the sequence a breathless, leaping-forward quality, and that’s what the whole movie has. That’s the fun of The A-Team, and its limitation, too. The movie is such a relentless action windup toy that it’s never about anything but its own high-megaton ingenuity.

On TV, The A-Team was like The Dirty Dozen made prime-time clean, and the movie preserves that basic hero/outlaw go-USA wholesomeness, but crazies it up a little. The team itself, a squad of U.S. Army special-ops soldiers who are found guilty of a crime they didn’t commit and carry on anyway as good-guy renegades, are entirely one-dimensional characters, but they still pop on screen. Liam Neeson has reinvented himself as an action star, and he’s a natural at it: loose, funny, and physically imperious, a middle-aged bruiser who always looks like he’s enjoying himself immensely. Bradley Cooper, as Face, the group’s hotshot and lothario, has some fast, funny lines (as when he impersonates a British reporter to filch a TV babe’s ID card), but he grins so smugly that he looks like he’s just seen the grosses of The Hangover. Quinton Jackson, as B.A., is stuck updating an iconic yet anachronistic character (Mr. T played him like an angry action figure), and he’s a little innocuous, if likably quick. Sharlto Copley, the star of District 9, completes the quartet as the manic, meshugana Murdock; he’s like the missing unhinged Wilson brother, and very amusing when he impersonates Mel Gibson in Braveheart or breaks into perfect Swahili to talk his way past a customs gate.

The team tangles with a whole welter of antagonists and authority figures: Patrick Wilson as a CIA stooge; Jessica Biel as a frowning Defense Department officer who’s still in love with Face, her former flame; the excellent Brian Bloom as a mercenary gone very, very bad. The movie itself just keeps whizzing by — it’s entertainment on hyperdrive. Carnahan is obsessed with action logistics: dogfights and fistfights, last-minute rescues by missile attack, bullets fired through skyscraper windows at the exact right moment, the insane image of a tank plummeting to earth while dangling from a parachute. At times, it can all grow wearying, but Carnahan works in a way that’s much lighter than, say, Tony Scott. He really does see blowing stuff up as the ultimate extension of playing with toys. After all its tossed-off climaxes, The A-Team finally finishes with a real climax in which piles of colorful train cars get blown up as a ”diversionary” activity. But who’s kidding whom? The whole movie is a diversionary activity. It’s trash so compacted it glows. B+

That is a really good rating. Click here to see the movie trailer.

Mr. T beats up on the new A-Team movie

After seeing a preview of the A-Team movie, Mr. T says that he’s shocked with how graphic it is. This may not be good news for the film, which opens this weekend.
Mr. T said, “People die in the film and there’s plenty of sex but when we did it, no one got hurt and it was all played for fun and family entertainment. These seem to be elements nobody is interested in anymore.”

“It was too graphic for me. I’ve no doubt it will do big business at the box office but it’s nothing like the show we turned out every week.”

Mr. T is a born-again Christian, and he represents good values, and has been a good influence on children. So, it’s not really surprising that he is bashing the movie. He did say that the movie will “do big business at the box office” but admitted that it was just too graphic for him.

The commercials that I have seen do seem more graphic than the television show. The movie just seems to be aiming to an older audience than the television show. This is not surprising either, since the people who watched the show when it aired are older.

The television show had a lot of action and explosions, but I don’t ever remember anybody being killed, or even hit by a bullet for that matter. So, it was unrealistic, but it was a lot of fun. It was one of my favorite shows growing up. I’ll hold my verdict on the movie until I see it, if I see it.

Belinda Carlisle interview on “The Joy Behar Show”

Last Thursday, June 3, Belinda Carlisle appeared on The Joy Behar Show, which is on CNN’s channel HLN. Belinda is out promoting her memoir “Lips Unsealed”. In her interview with Behar, Carlisle talks about being physically and mentally abused has a child by her stepfather. She also talks about her 30 year addiction to cocaine, and she talks about her husband, Morgan Mason.

Here is the interview: