A blog about my favourite movies, music, and TV.
28 November 2009
I'm not ashamed to say Mo'nique is one of my favourite celebrities, while she may have the best movies on her CV, or even be the best stand-up comedian, somehow I find her performances so thoroughly enjoyable, even in god-awful movies like Domino and Soul Plane. Mo'Niques performances always shine through even inn the most woeful productions.
Fans first saw the the first signs of her break away from comedy in 2007's Shadowboxer, alongside Oscar winners Dame Helen Mirren and Cuba Gooding Jnr. Now Mo'nique herself could in the running for her own Oscar when her performance in the upcoming movie Precious is up for consideration. She's already won an award at Sundance for her portrayal of Mary, the abusive mother of the lead character in the movie, and already people are touting her as a hopeful at next years Academy Awards. Mo'Nique has gone from Vh1's Charm School to serious actress in a few short years, so there may be hope for Ricki Lake's career yet! (Somebody seriously needs to call John Waters about a Mo' and Ricki team up! It could be like Face Off in Baltimore...)
Check out the trailer for Precious here.
Watch some of the highlights of Mo'Niques stand-up special 'I Coulda Been Your Cellmate'
If you can't wait for Precious to be released, I think it's pencilled in for January 2010 in the UK, why not check out some of Mo'Nique's potential Razzie winners like 2005's diabolical Phat Girlz or 2003's highly original, Hair Show! For the literary connoisseur there's also her self penned bestseller Skinny Bitches Are Evil! Which comes highly recommended.
27 November 2009
How fab is this? I'm ashamed to say I hadn't heard it until yesterday when I came across it on Youtube! Santa better be bringing me their CD for Christmas or I am going to start channeling Divine in Female Trouble, "I told you Cha Cha heels! Black ones!!!..."
After finally selling a few albums with her 1985 and 1986 LP's of standards and torch songs, 'Camp Pia' decided it was time to cash in on thia new found 'credibility' to launch her as bonafide pop star, without much of the 'pop'. Poor Pia could never get a break and when her private jet touched down in the backyard of 80's R&B maestro's Jam & Lewis the duo knew they had a near impossible task. They had spotted Pia opening for Frank Sinatra and thought that launching Pia as the next Janet Jackson (well more like La Toya really) would be a great challenge and cement their status as super producers with the Midas touch.
The results are pretty damn hot! From the opening bars of I Donna Wanna Love one is aware that this is a very different Pia to the show tune belting diva-ette who pulled of the likes of Maybe This Time and I Am What I Am with the style and panache of a Shirley Bassey or Streisand not two years previously. It could even be said that Jam & Lewis played down the 'showey' aspect of Pia's voice, in favour of a subtle breathy style which plays on Pia's sex appeal - and all those dirty movies she made! Jellybean Johnson guests on guitar on this strong mid-temp R&B opener.
I just adore the next track, Still Remembered, it's got a great rhythm and the chorus is wonderfully robotic, it reminds me of the stuff Jam & Lewis did with Thelma Houston, especially You Used To Hold Me So Tight. I think this could've made a great single.
Speaking of singles Dance Out Of My Head is up next, this was the first and only single taken from the album, and although it's a great track I think it was a bad choice!
All of Pia's personality is drained from this one, and while I think it's as catchy as hell, it could be anyone singing it. That said this is the most danceable track on the set and it had a whole host of mixes from not only Jam & Lewis themselves, but Ben Liebrand and my personal favourite Shep Pettibone who makes good use of Pia's soulful vocals which are relegated to the background of the album version.
Laughin' At You is so sweet, it starts of with chopped up vocal samples and tinny drums and mellows into a cute mid-tempo ditty seemingly about Pia laughing at the sillyness of her man! Like most of the songs on the first part of the album it has a very mechanical vibe, it's unashamedly proud of it's European influences too. The title track follows in a similar vein. It makes you want to pull on a pair of leggings and a chunky belt and leap around with Pia pretending to be Paula Abdul!
Pia even has her own interlude!
I Really Like You (Not Him) is the first ballad, and it's sublime. Only a decent vocalist could pull off a subtle slow jam like this and Pia pulls it off so well. Again, there's no 'belting', it's all smooth and soulful vocals and a driving backing track. I think this is one of her best songs ever, it was also the b-side to Dance Out Of My Head. Two ballads, Silence and Since I've Been Loving You tie the album up with class and dignity, while Pia's Theme (another interlude!) closes the set.
It kind of fizzles out at the very end , but overall this album is fantastic, it shows off another side to Pia which would be followed up on Pia's next big budget foray into the pop world, Pia Z! When The Lights Go Out was a big old flop when it hit shelves in mainland Europe in 1988 which resulted in it never getting a US release. Dance Out Of My Head made #65 in the UK and was her final release here.
22 November 2009
I went to Memorabilia at the NEC in Birmingham yesterday and met British cult icon Kate O'Mara, best known perhaps, for her roles in 70's Hammer Horror movies, and in the 80's for playing some excllent bitches on TV shows like Dynasty and Howard's Way. But to me she is always Doctor Who's renegade Time Lady, The Rani! I loved meeting Kate yesterday and she graciously signed my DVD (of Mark of the Rani) and let me have a picture with her too.
Check out some of these clips:
I am bizzarely excited about Janet's 2 disc Greastest Hits which is out tomorrow in the UK! Simply entitled The Best, this near perfect collection features all of Janet's fabulous singles from 1986 up to her newie, Make Me. Perhaps Jan would rather forget her 1984 duet with Cliff Richard, but I digress....
Sadly I don't think this will take her back to the top of the charts, Make Me hasn't really taken off either. However, I think this will attract some fans who've fallen by the wayside during her crappy years and keep the crazies happy until she puts out her new album next year. All we need now is a DVD to accompany this set!