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About Rinaldo

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    Music (that's what I studied and teach), theater, movies, TV, reading, games, travel.

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  1. TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    Just a quick note after finally seeing all of Bedknobs and Broomsticks (see above): Sadly, it was rather a letdown. The song mentioned by @Milburn Stone above is indeed lovely, as is Angela Lansbury's whole performance, and there are other very enjoyable bits like the animated underwater sequence (less so the aboveground animation). But the whole thing doesn't hang together; unlike Mary Poppins (a comparison Mr. Maltin said we ought not make, but I do it to point out the difference from a simple fable-like children's movie that actually works), we're never sure what's at stake or how it can be solved -- the rules of the game, so to speak. Plot threads are introduced and left hanging (the vicar played by Roddy McDowall) or emerge without having been set up (the children's book that solves everything, on two occasions). I know that the last-minute abridgment for time that was made for the US premiere may be at fault here, but we can only judge by what we see. Even the big Portobello Road production number makes a poor showing (compare it to Oliver!'s "Consider Yourself," its obvious model), because it doesn't actually build: there's just a film dissolve to a new set of characters, and we never know how we got from one situation to another, or where it's going. Even the final defeat of the enemy, in which the animated empty armor is indeed magical and impressive, again fails to satisfy because we haven't been told the rules of the magic: how did Lansbury transition from barely being able to make a pair of shoes move to mastering an entire squadron, and why must she be riding her broom for the spell to continue its effect? So I guess once will be enough for me. Sorry to be a spoilsport.
  2. S02.E06: We're All Beasts

    Someone could still have uttered that sentence; "bring <whatever> to work day" is a thing that's been said for a long time. I actually figured that was clearly a drag performer lip-syncing to a recording (who would indeed be introduced as the real thing, wink wink), but I guess I'm alone in that. There was a lot of action in that speech, Candy trying get Lori in the right frame of mind, Lori seeing through that and not having it. Exposition shouldn't automatically be assumed to be bad, and dialogue can be a good thing if it's making something happen.
  3. TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    After tonight's Disney (see my note above), early Tuesday we get a series of "painter" movies (Lust for Life, The Picture of Dorian Gray, An American in Paris, The Agony and the Ecstasy) but the one I'm recording to watch for sure is Rembrandt. It's an early (1936) outing for Charles Laughton, it pairs him with his wife Elsa Lanchester, on hand are an assortment of British rep actors famed for their stage work who didn't get to make much of a career in movies (Roger Livesey, Marius Goring, Abraham Sofaer)... but the most interesting aspect to me is Gertrude Lawrence, in one of her rare film appearances. Maybe this one will give a clue why stage audiences in both the UK and the US found her magnetic and unforgettable.
  4. S04.E01: I Want to Be Here

    They have clearly and repeatedly established that when Rebecca (not Rachel) is singing "for real" -- the other characters hear it as singing -- she's not good at all. Rachel's own singing is fine, as shown not just within the show but at live appearances delivering the show's songs. Exactly -- and perfect examples! (Just the ones I was going to name in fact.)
  5. I remember it too! The show's star Diana Canova sang it. (One odd thing I remember about the lyrics after all these years, and just verified, is that in the phrase "like/as a child would" -- "like" being more colloquial, "as" more grammatically approved -- is that it happens once each way.)
  6. The episodes have been taken off YouTube and are now dropping once a week, each Friday, with newly made introductory conversations between Kate or Andrew and another cast member. as part of the new STAGE streaming service. There have been some new bits of information in these intros, like their having to scramble to shoot Eric Hennigan's scenes early when Patrick Heusinger decided to move to LA, or some of the more outrageous story lines being based in fact (an actress announcing at parties, "I broke my vagina").
  7. S02.E05: All You'll Be Eating is Cannibals

    I was going by my experience, but I'll concede the point to dictionary.com. (There were other idioms -- not many -- used in a way I found anachronistic, but I can't recall what they were, so I'll just figure the writers thought about this before I did.)
  8. S02.E05: All You'll Be Eating is Cannibals

    Me too. I loved him for not only being absorbed in watching Blue Collar but repeating and rehearsing Yaphet Kotto's dialogue afterwards. (He must have sat through at least two showings to do that -- which was possible at that time.) I want to see more of this, and more of him (in every sense). Also appropriate was the brief bit of Mamet's Sexual Perversity in Chicago that we saw (long before it was transformed into About Last Night). They're so good about film and drama references for the period, and, as @Mindthinkr said, props and design, that I wish they could avoid the occasional anachronism in dialogue that sticks out. One example is the reference to "tweaking" a script -- a figurative sense of the verb that belongs to the last 20 years or thereabouts. (I suppose the defense would be that someone could have spontaneously decided to use it metaphorically with no precedent, but it does obtrude.) But this sort of thing can be the hardest to manage consistently.
  9. S02.E04: What Big Ideas

    I'm assuming it's real until reliably told otherwise. Gbenga Akinnagbe famously appeared nude off Broadway a few years ago, and his physical generosity was widely noted.
  10. TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    I like the description of College Swing. @Crisopera, has it just played, or is it coming up? -- I couldn't easily locate it on the schedule.
  11. TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    For me, the Sherman brothers hit their peak in their (non-Disney) score for The Slipper and the Rose: The Story of Cinderella, which I have gone about before. I know it's overextended, I know that a couple of the songs have that overly cute family-fare "let's think up another Supercalifragilisticexpialidcious!" tinge... but I don't care, I love it all, their songs included. I'll certainly be keeping an ear out for "The Age of Not Believing."
  12. TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    Some interesting stuff coming up on the TCM schedule: Tomorrow (Monday) primetime, two instances of what they're calling "Gender-Flipping Remakes." (Sorry, the teacher in me had to add the hyphen that they didn't.) The early film of The Front Page followed by the immortal His Girl Friday, in which Hildy Johnson becomes a woman (Rosalind Russell); and the equally immortal Strangers on a Train followed by the rather obscure 1970 Once You Kiss a Stranger, in which Carol Lynley is the nutso one who proposes victim-swapping to someone (Paul Burke) who doesn't take the proposal seriously and amiably agrees. This seems to be a TCM premiere (no viewer reactions on the website); I can't find any mention of it offiicially crediting the earlier film, but it's clearly the same premise with the instigator gender-switched (and different details, including blackmail for a sexual indiscretion). I wonder if there are any more pairs of movies one could put in this category. Featured star this month is Rita Hayworth, with several titles each Tuesday. But this week has three I'm especially fond of: Gilda, The Lady from Shanghai, and Cover Girl. (And then in the wee hours, a favorite of hers that I haven't seen, The Loves of Carmen.) Thursdays this month are about "funny ladies," going more or less chronologically. The titles chosen are mostly either familiar or uninteresting to me (YMMV of course), but Illeana Douglas's co-host for these is Carol Burnett, and I'll probably DVR most of them just to hear what Carol has to say. Monday the 22nd is another Disney evening hosted by Leonard Maltin. On the schedule I see three good early shorts and a good feature to kick it off, Bedknobs and Broomsticks (which, believe it or not I've never seen in its entirety, so I'm recording it for sure), but otherwise all post-Walt stuff, not even much identified with the Disney brand. Maybe Maltin really loves these and can make a case for them, but I don't feel like we've reached the point of scraping the barrel yet: there's at least one of the early British live-action adventures still unshown, the anthology films of the 1940s that are rarities now, some of the better True-Life Adventures, and so on, any of which ought to have more magic than, say, The Last Flight of Noah's Ark.
  13. Younger even than Taxi, I would say.
  14. S03.E03: The Brainy Bunch

    Man, once again I have never before seen a series so dedicated to giving us a season's worth of story in half an hour. And once again, I have no idea what can come next. And I'm not going to speculate, because it's more fun to let them all delightfully surprise me. As they will.
  15. S09.E06: Pastry Week

    She has made me laugh several times. One that I still recall with a smile was during the debriefing after the Naan technical challenge when she said "At least I wasn't the worst Indian in the room." I understand that she caught some flak for this on Twitter, but it struck me as silly self-deprecating joshing among friends, such as anybody might do.