Mary Maile Online

"...where the news is always quite contrary..." Humor and commentary...SOMETHING FUNNY IS GOING ON....A Second City graduate speaks out.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Oscars Review: You've Got To Get Back Up

Random thoughts on the recent Academy Awards

Oh, excuse me. It is apparently more "with it," and "hip," or......"sick" to call it The Oscars.

Whatever.

Seth MacFarlane did pretty well with the stand up material, making it timely and topical. I knew he would add some Great American Songbook with his vocal stylings -- but would a little ironic rewrite have killed him? I appreciate him introducing the classics to the young 'uns, but there was no correlation to the movies really, other than to entertain -- and with three hours of movie nominees, there should be a connection. The dancing was sweet and added to the classiness, but methinks MacFarlane was far too interested in how he was going to come off, than truly serving the occasion.

Not surprisingly, I am NOT a fan of the boob song. Badly written , boring and repetitive -- unless you're a desperate teen boy taking notes for tomorrow's rental order -- I did find redeeming value just to see Jennifer Lawrence's arm of victory waved because we HAVEN'T seen hers. Only 22 -- let's keep it that way!

I simply adored the glittering golden lights in the opening numbers as part of this year's set design for the Academy Awards. I also liked the swirl pattern on the main stage, however the floral sort of pattern behind the repeated Oscars looks distinctly stolen from Pinterest projects done using only the business end of a a plastic spoon. See for yourself!  http://pinterest.com/pin/177470041536368658/
And the reel to reel projectors used in the other background probably weren't even recognizable to young viewers -- I can hear them now, "What's with the ugly bicycles?"

In a tough opening spot, Melissa McCarthy and Paul Rudd did what they could, but could have used better material. It would have been nice to see the weekend's #1 at the box office star have a less gray looking dress though. Did she borrow no jewelery? Come on!

Avengers: Fellas, stick to the group action stuff 'cuz comedy ain't for sissies. And for the love of God and all that is holy, do NOT make Samuel Jackson angry.....

Life of Pi movie -- let me get this straight. There was no water, no tiger and no pie? Amazing!

Shirley Bassey singing one of the most iconic Bond songs that everyone "knows" (but really they  only the title) was a glorious touch to a Bond tribute, although I would rather have seen a reunion of the Bonds than the Avengers. Bassey wore a lovely outfit and made appropriate use of sheer material to smooth out the look -- though, wasn't that the approach Katy Perry took and got banned from the Muppets? Ah well, no GoldFinger muppet parody in the future I guess.

And how many of those hunched over young men, still exhausted from trying to write down all the movies named in the "boob" song, got a secret thrill when Halle Berry cited Pussy Galore that way? You got what she was really saying, right? Boy, the media sure caters to young men -- where is Dickie Moore when you need him, am I right, ladies?

Best quote so far, a dedication to "the center of my universe, my dearest Nina." And just a little politics for the evening when the winners of Best Documentary "Inocente" brought up a subject of their film, a girl who was homeless just last year. Support the arts, indeed!

Good to see Daniel Day Lewis has finally liberated his own left foot, by the way -- although it seems to have made its way into host Seth MacFarlane's joke about John Wilkes Booth. Yes, Seth....too soon, er, cheap.

The character Jessica Chastain plays in Zero Dark Thirty is noted as being dogged in her 12 year pursuit of one man, namely Osama Bin Laden. I was surprised she did not win -- that's a record any woman on Plenty of Fish can attest to as "fast." Those same women are running to see "Searching for Sugar Man," hoping it is a how-to.....

Jennifer Garner's dress was classic and admirable -- but how do you sit on a lump of fluff like that? I hope the trellis disconnects -- it would drive me crazy.

The overall musical theme of the Oscars added to the allure and classiness, I think. I was pleasantly surprised how well I know the lyrics to "All That Jazz," and also how high the hair on the back of my neck still stands to this day thanks to the rousing rendition of the Dreamgirls classic "And I am Telling You" by Jennifer Hudson. Anyone not appreciative of the emotional build during the Les Mis, production number, let alone the trio of young faces and unknown single male sandwiched by known entities like lead Hugh and Anne and Crowe -- all so serious and in character until the (seemingly) entire audience joins them on stage -- was stirring as well. Isn't it nice to see LIVE THEATRE performers making us proud!

Lots of long blonde hair this year. The women looked good, too....

Adele -- lovely as ever, rockin' the 60s eyelashes but every so often you get a glimpse of the young girl and mother she actually is. I felt she was overpowered by the music at all points,
however, I didn't have a great sound system so maybe it was just me.  And what the heck is Skyfall about anyway? Why is this "the end?"

BARBRA STREISAND. Just let that soak in. BARBRA STREISAND. There I said it again because I enjoyed it so much. She has finally achieved true love, has never had a problem respecting her gay son and has finally and forever conquered the fear of live performance that once kept her from touring. She stepped out at this year's Oscars looking as young as ever. (especially, quite honestly, from a distance).  Her fashion is exceptional as ever -- love the gold flecked outfit and I expect to see the bracelet copied, although the choker will either be lauded or copied as well (a bit dated and a bit much with all the necklaces, but I can live with it).  It breaks my heart to see her pay homage to her creative brethren and dear friend Marvin Hamlisch, except she does it so well. I had the same reaction when she spoke of him the last time I saw her in concert in Chicago last August.


There were some really interesting and jazz-fused themes/vocal styles in the running for Skyfall's/Adele's original song category. One of the other nominees featured Scarlet Johanson-- and she sounded like Adele!

I haven't seen Les Mis yet, but I've heard about all the weight loss tricks and especially how Hugh Jackman went without fluid -- and BOY, did that work. He looked Miserable in the scene showed at the Oscars.

Jennifer Lawrence's spill on the way to receiving her best actress honor simply reinforced what Ben Affleck said in his Best Picture acceptance speech about "You gottta get back up."

Best Picture winner Ben Affleck, accepting as one of three producers but who was also the unusual-to-be-not-nominated director noted the "eight great films " his production was up against last night and the fact he had been up once on the stage as a winner years ago for "Good Will Hunting." (As one report afterwards noted "For those who are keeping score, that's one for Matt Damon and two for Ben Affleck).

"I never thought I would be back here and I am because of so many of you who are here tonight....(they taught him) you have to work harder than you think you possibly can, you can't hold grudges... and it doesn't matter how you get knocked down in life, because that's gonna happen. All that matters is that you gotta get back up."


The show should have ended on that high note, but host MacFarlane took the opportunity to close with a parody song. His saving grace? Kristen Chenoweth, who added pre-show host to her credits this year.
====================
NOTE

According to the credits, it took eight "special writers" for this production, though three writers were given primary credit: Leslie Dixon, Jon Macks and Matt Roberts. The sole woman on board is the granddaughter of famed photographer Dorothea Lange, best known for the iconic "Migrant Mother."
She herself, is the writer of  the screenplays Hairspray,  Freaky Friday and even Mrs. Doubtfire.

Lots of commercials: I won't name them outright, but the cute commercials for the Unicorn game/cell phones were sexist as always. Women are only there to be a nudge and try to control spending from the men they work. Men whom they must actually refer to as the "creatives and business." So much for innovation of a non-glittery unicorn (and really, who would believe that?) when they can't treat women equally, or even fairly.

Say, with these short films -- documentary, live or animated -- where the heck is the public supposed to find them? Why aren't there evenings devoted to these,a number of these being shown --  totalling a longer production

Friday, February 01, 2013

A CRITICAL VIEWING OF (MOST) PRE-POSTED SUPER BOWL COMMERCIALS



A CRITICAL VIEWING OF (MOST) PRE-POSTED SUPER BOWL COMMERCIALS WARNING : SPOILERS & 
STUPID COMMENTS  

Budweiser
Teaser 3 - men - hockey
Teaser 2 - noise - men hockey
Teaser 1 - red, annoying scratching sound of man drawing
Verdict -- BORING x 3  

Doritos - Express Checkout guy and old blind guy, being served by female grocery cashier with morals, doddering female counting change to purchase, surprise but hack ending in crotch and cheap sound effects, foreshadowing with bananas?
Verdict -- Hack -- Sexist - Trite -- -- men have lead action-- Doritos deserves better
Takeway: Even a blind man could see this coming  

Doritos - Road Action Female toddler, faceless mama, sexless chihuahua
Verdict - finally a lead female, funny surprise but they'll hear from PET

Doritos - Goat4Sale Man buys goat from man, builds phallic hobby
Verdict -- frat boys will love it, waste of time otherwise T
akeaway -- Doritos would rather feature a smart goat than a woman  

Doritos - Fetch Man and picking on a chihauhau again, sexist image of woman on mag
Verdict - I liked this one (because the man dies?)
Takeaway -- even men who can read don't listen  

Doritos - FashionistaDaddy Another unthreatening female toddler, luring daddy who can't be bothered to spend time with the child unless there is a reward. Production values are questionable and distracting -- why all the flying dust -- is that supposed to be fairy dust? What IS with the photo of the child behind mom's head (looks like an ice cream cone is stuck up in her eye) when responsible, nutrient bearing mom comes home.
Verdict: Fairy enjoyable but trite, little girl is still ignored T
Takeaway: Doritos encourage transvestites, or at least metrosexualism and a broad color palette. Doritos are more important than little girls' needs -- she barely interacts with five multicultural males. Moms are powerless.

Mercedes-Benz
Kate Upton washes a Benz
Actually Kate Upton is an object to five multicultural males doing the dirty work
Verdict -- Who is Kate Upton Takeway Only men work hard, women are only good for smearing your foam  

Mercedes-Benz
Diner -- an actual teaser back doberman, three men, woman, man, black men, temp black man Is that a Rolling Stones song? Why New Orleans as a setting? Still all men and only black men at work Racist but an actual traditional teaser that does its job  

Mercedes-Benz
Dishes Just black guy from Diner, voiceover says "Something sinister is coming...." Tritely racist but OK  

Mercedes-Benz
Soul (extended cut) New Orleans restaurant again but no black people. White serving woman sets the tone for women in the whole piece who don't exist. Verdict: Complete male fantasy - enjoy! Women don't drive anyway
Takeaway: The Devil must spend a lot on pointy manicures Best actor: Devil (won't spoil the actor's name here)

Mercedes-Benz
Sundae
Phallic rising temperature, little girl drops her cherry eating sundae, voiceover, "Something hot" Another unthreatening pre-pubescent girl who literally loses her cherry leaving her with clearly phallic shaped lump of ice cream that is creaming over the her upturned receptacle. She never looks you in the eye so its okay Verdict - sexist, bad writing and too many metaphors -- why would this little girl care about your big, hot....car Takeaway: A little girl without a cherry is hot... Hey I plays 'em as I sees 'em  

Mercedes-Benz
Jukebox
Apparently they spent so much money heaping phallic piles of ice cream in "Sundae" that the M-B folks could only afford one other commercial that they recut mercilessly. Here a jukebox is the star, next to two seen male day players. Verdict: a waste of my time
Takeaway: Why a jukebox?

Mercedes-Benz
 Coffee Boiling black coffee with marshmallows, a literally hot woman waving the menu, followed by the stock footage of a phallic, rising temperature. Voiceover: Something scorching...
 Verdict - beyond boring Takeaway: Stock footage is fun

Go.Daddy
Fly the Danica Skies

Danica wear lipstick to work and puts it on suggestively in a way that is meant to feel non-threatening, even though she is in the driver's seat. Voiceover and title: Prepare for takeoff. Verdict: Confusing, what does an airline have to do with GoDaddy services. Takeaway: Get it up with Danica and you'll be sky high  

Hyundai Genesis
Excited
Speeding car, male voiceover of exclamations, near spin out and Jeff Bridges voiceover to calm us down
Verdict: Men say stupid things at all speeds Takeaway: Jeff Bridges doesn't need money this bad, does he? Oh....and black cars go vroom. Hyundai Santa Fe Team Another male fantasy aimed at boys. Verdict: Boys rule the world - of course and can do anything Takeaway: Women are subservient to little boys. They have no choice and don't enjoy Santa Fe driving. Mom here has a look like she is planning to eat her young.  

Gildan Teaser
Getaway Man wakes up from the floor with one sexy leopard covered handc
Takeaway: Men have been asleep until this product. Oh, and btw WTF is a Gildan?  

Skechers Man vs. Cheetah It's the same old story. Gazelle (betcha it is a weak girl one) meets cheetah Man chases cheetah meeting gazelle. Screen goes black. Voiceover Verdict - an actual teaser, congratulations
Takeaway: A white man in the Serengetti? And of course no woman of any nationality runs nor buys shoes, let alone skechers....they probably don't have feet.
Takeway 2: The Gazelle was clearly asking for it  

Taco Bell
Grandpa Goes Wild
Juvenile Grandpa soups up his Scooter and trashes the stadium field -- which is conveniently littered with items. Wiping out more than once, clearly Grandpa does not need the scooter. A lone male security guard chases him. Fade to black.
Verdict: There is no way to connect this with a taco -- the most feminine, metaphorically speaking, of foods...unless all that gas Grandpa is wasting is supposed to remind us beans.
Takeway: Grandpa is not high on Mexican, he is high on meth. Probably makes in his basement to afford to fix up that scooter.
Takeaway 2: Taco Bell promotes entreprenuerialism?  

Taco Bell
Viva

Young Female caregiver is oblivious to the escaping Goldblatt and his friends, another set of senile delinquent multicultural folks covered in foam and tatts. There appear to be two subservient females and 4 men. One is black! An actual adult woman is in foreground primping in a bathroom mirror because her aged alter ego just serviced a guy coming out of the stall behind her and that is the real focus of the scene. Either way, women lose out in this scene's portrayal. Not a true depiction of old people -- not once do you see anyone snapping their false teeth out at someone.
Verdict: Old white people love tattoos and being seen in parking lots eating tacos listening to Spanish versions of pop songs even the young don't understand.
Takeaway: These are the folks buying meth from the Grandpa in the previous teaser. Told ya so.  

Audi
Prom
 No teaser here at all. Complete story -- teenage boy heads to prom alone despite too young square mom, pain-in-*** sister and dad who throws him the keys to the Audi (because that could happen, oh yeah). Boy takes on new confidence, speeding to prom and kissing prom queen. Boy heads home with gift resulting from this kiss and it is not syphilis.....this time.
Verdict: Young men driving cars are okay -- it is safer for them than getting out of the car.
Takeaway: Women are prizes who must be taken to be won. Also, Sonny must have been thrown some meth from Grandpa in the previous Taco Bell teaser.  

Toyota Rav4
Wish Granted
Hardly a teaser, story is complete, but cute and family oriented. Typical family though dumb father is still the leader. Adorable but still a non-threatening girl becomes gyno-Braveheart which is the only encouraging thing I've seen so far
Verdict: Fun Takeaway: It's fun to say Kaley Cuoco fast three times.
Takeaway 2: Be careful what you wish for is the message that comes across -- maybe not a good way to promote sales?  

AXE Apollo
Lifeguard
Flailing, underage damsel in distress is shown as a female in need, a prize to be won. She is weak (of course she is, do you see how thin she is -- and the vanquished shark is probably a female, too). Female is apparently blind as well because she drops her swimming savior, the lifeguard, for the approaching AXE user. The tagline is almost wasted, but the surprise fits what the brand has been trying to do. Verdict: Sexist but consistent. Women are never grateful.
Takeaway: WTF does this AXE product smell like to overcome the smell of a current David Hasselhoff, sand, diseased ocean water, shark, shark blood, sweat, disloyalty and smog?

Hyundai Sonata Turbo
Stuck
Finally a female lead - passive and unspeaking but seen more than the male. Still not a teaser, but does the job. Volkswagen Sunny Side The power of German engineering better be of better quality than this thrown together mish mash. A lead girl cries, I'm not sure if these are all REAL youtube people or parodies. Famous singer Jimmy Cliff sings new version of Partridge Family Song! Verdict: Women cry and they like cats. This commercial is reminiscent of the old "The Real Thing/I'd Like to Buy the world a Coke/Teach the World to Sing" on a mountaintop. Takeaway: I miss Coke in bottles. What does any of this have to do with Volkswagen?
Takeaway 2: I knew Coke and this ad, sir, is NO Coke Volkswagen Jamaican ad that may be racist. Recut of Jimmy Cliff "Get Happy" song. Not really funny or effective -- another Coke reference by them.  

Volkswagen
Wolfsgart New approach but hardly a teaser. Seems long....but probably most effective for actual advertising of a product in this set of commercials!
Verdict: Mini documentary for old VWs. Takeaway: Old cars need love, too. Coke Chase Strong, brave men from all eras will race in the dangerous desert to have a phallic Coke. Women in a big bus dressed like showgirls are their only opponent. Men are portrayed in small, unique groups throughout history and women are portrayed en masse as Barbie dolls not afraid to shoot (a cannon). Verdict: The suspense is killing me. If it wasn't so sexist, it might be fun to vote for a winner. Takeaway: Cowboys and Rat Patrol rejects from Mad Max are there. You couldn't have ONE Madame Marie Curie running? You pick SHOWGIRLS?  
 
Pepsi
Party
Weak entry for those who haven't seen Animal House or Risky Business. Parents are dumb, especially dad, mother is stereotypical harpie and redheaded boys panic. What IS it with foam these days?
Verdict: I love Pepsi anyway
Takeaway: 60 percent less sugar - but clearly it was replaced with Grandpa's Meth (see above)  

MiO fit Bleep HEY it's a black guy!!!! wow!! Cancel that. It is Tracy Jordan. Not sure he counts. Verdict: WHY in heaven's name would they pick this spokesperson????
Takeaway: Tracy Jordan has nothing new to offer. Let's hope MiO does.  

GoDaddy Your Big Idea For Me
This is the one that started it all. This made me want to expose these ads for what they are -- when they are. Sexist - women are "equal" here but nagging across the party lines and geographical areas. Only men have good ideas -- and the one who actually acts on it has a wife who lives to listen, a female to serve him and a female captain to drive -- Danica?
Verdict: Embarrassingly stereotyped for no good reason.
Takeaway: Women have to nag men. Women are only equals if they are married -- the rest are on different levels.....

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My new movie: SOMETHING BLUE

SOMETHING BLUE is an independent feature length film by award-winning producer/director/writer Sean Gannon. He is originally from Bondurant, IA and the entire film was set in Iowa with Iowa connected actors.

My part is "bit," but my fortune was good, nay huge! (although it really could have gone either way).

Producers were slow to call me back and since I knew people who had been definitely turned down and definitely accepted, I took the bull by the horns and called them. Mostly I was disappointed since the audition had gone so well and I didn't peg them to be the type that would just leave me hanging. Producer (and IPTV personality) Pat Boddy said they wanted to work with me but I didn't quite fit any of the parts as written and that's what was taking so long. Further strangling the aforementioned bull and his horns, I let them know what I was thinking -- what's a wedding without a wedding singer? Shockingly, they accepted my suggestion and wrote me in!

The result: I got to improvise three different versions of the scene with Boddy at the harp. One of them featured my favorite version and 20-year standby for weddings "The Wedding Song: There is Love." That version languishes somewhere on the fabled cutting room floor since it would mean fees which the production could not absorb, but you can see the improvised "free" version.

Here is my one scene ("Musician Audition"). The entire movie is there, too, broken into individual scenes at www.youtube.com/SeanOfTheWed. Keep in mind, I am supposed to be bad and overblown. And I did warn the sound guy I was going to be loud on purpose.....I guess you can never be quite prepared for me!

Please feel free to leave a comment and/or tell your friends!

For another version of what we improvised, see the movie trailer at www.somethingbluefilm.com. Both are "solid laugh getters" according to director Gannon.

Translation: His mom sure liked it.

Although it was filmed over two weeks in 2006, the finished film's debut is not set to premiere until Spring 09. The most recent of the multiple delays was due to storms affecting the Gannon family home (shown in the film as the groom's home). As I understand it, this film will otherwise go right into contest mode slash DVD but we do plan to hold a premiere in this Spring at the art house favorite Fleur Cinema.

I'll be helping with publicity. Any ideas or tips? Let me know!

Musician Audition scene

Something Blue movie trailer

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

ONLINE CLIPS FOR MARY CATLETT

Welcome!
Thank you for checking out my blog Mary Maile Online at
http://marymaileonline.blogspot.com. Feel free to look around here -- especially at the link to the right for "Truck Driver Gets Send Off Fit for King of the Road" -- or do a search of the archives at www.newsrepublican.com.

Here are my online clips:

BEST PERSONALITY FEATURE STORY
Weeklies Class 1: First Place - Woodward NE Dallas Co. Record. (Wilkinson story, image at right)
http://snipurl.com/PersonalityFeatureC1

BEST FEATURE PAGE
Weeklies Class 1: First Place - Woodward NE Dallas Co. Record. (Garage
sales in Grimes, layout image at right)
http://snipurl.com/FeaturePageC1

MASTER COLUMNIST
Weeklies Class 1: Third Place - Woodward NE Dallas Co. Record.
Sample: Meet our new reporter article
http://snipurl.com/RememberMary

70 Valentines and still counting
http://snipurl.com/ValentineWagners

Tallgrass Theatre of Dallas Center
http://snipurl.com/TallgrassTh

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

R.I.P. Merv Griffin

He started as a singer known for the novelty song "I've Got A Lovely Bunch of Cocoanuts." He tried on the role of leading man but eventually drifted into a 20 year career as a talk show host, writer of the Jeopardy theme "Think," and multi million deals designed to improve his various interests like realty.

He estimated that he had done 25,000 interviews.

For me, Merv Griffin was a familiar face to come home to. For a kid in central Iowa, this was the closest I got to seeing a very interesting conversational style, with a wide range of guests.

A child of the 70s, I remember stand up comics of all stripes -- always vital to my TV watching/talk show loving habits -- but mostly Totie Fields and Orson Welles and his magic, as well as maybe a plate spinner or two and Howie Mandel telling his wait-for-it "It's My potty" joke. I hurried home to see this show circa 1976 through '79 and even multi tasked as I sorted mom's kitchen shelves and watched from the next room.

Yeah. I was a weird kid.

Moreover, Merv made me a winner because I watched his show and heard instrumentalist Herbie Mann tout his newest album Super Mann. The next night I identified the same piece being played and won a whole party for my sixth grade class at a skating rink.

Merv made me a hero.

His style must have rubbed off on me.

And I have to say one his best features was his public battle with his weight. He talked about it, dealt with it and still lived for a long time at a higher weight than he might have liked, but never rejected himself before, during or after.

For some reason, I like that!

See the master in a clip (that's not Charo)....

This essay is rushed, but "Thanks, Merv."

He weighed 235 pounds. Shortly afterward, singer Joan Edwards told him: "Your voice is terrific, but the blubber has got to go." Griffin slimmed down, and he spent the rest of his life adding and taking off weight.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Am I getting old?

Lisa told me Hairspray and I immediately thought stage production
(versus original movie vs. Ricki Lake movie vs. newest movie)

Colleen told me she had a new sidekick and I said, "Oh is this a new
co=worker, someone who looks up to you... a 'mini-me'?"

And the girls in office love the Spice Girls. So when I recently heard a
reference to Old Spice it took me ten minutes of trying to remember
which girl that was...........

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Gil-less Girls?

Are you a fan of the "Gilmore Girls?"

See what original creator Amy Sherman-Palladino, who was not there for the final season, said HER ending would have been.

BOO HISS
not funny