Thursday, November 30, 2006

Pass the Parcel

Went to see the new movie "The History Boys" tonight.

In June I saw this same story as a Broadway play the night before it won a Tony for Best New Play. Originally performed in London, the same cast mounted the play in London and New York and starred in the movie (which was filmed before they came to Broadway).

"The History Boys" touches on lots of issues, but it's primarily about teachers and the role they play in our lives. Don't we all have that special one or two teachers who really made a connection and for whom we really wanted to learn?

I enjoyed the play very much, but I liked the movie much more. I understood it better -- even the scenes entirely in French.

Plus, on the big screen you could see their faces! On Broadway, GeezBob and I sat in the very last (crowded) row of the Orchestra Section. But we were "in the room" as they say.

Site Meter Update: November saw a record number of visitors to this blog -- approximately 875. The site meter was chugging along at a normal pace until a few days ago when the Rupert Grint (red-headed co-star of the Harry Potter movies) fan site linked to the photo I took of him at LAX in October. The site meter started whirring. On Tuesday alone I had over 200 hits.

Welcome to all those randy tweeners from around the world stopping by! Go ahead and add this blog to your favorites, girl/dawg.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Finally went to see Clint Eastwood's new movie "Flags of Our Fathers" tonight. It came out about a month ago with high hopes going into awards season only to sink like a rock at the box office.

The movie is about the story behind the iconic WWII photo of soldiers planting the American flag on Iwo Jima. On a bigger level it's about the use of propaganda to rally the American public behind war.

It's an OK movie, but sure seems like it's timing is horrible. With such uncertainty over the Iraq War right now, who wants to learn American's emotions over the last "good" war were manipulated.
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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Keep On Rollin'

The Delta Devils of Mississippi Valley State University stopped by the Galen Center to play the Trojan Basketball team tonight.

After scoring 39 points, the Delta Devils left the Galen Center and headed back to the Mississippi Valley.
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The Trojan Dance Force rocks the Galen Center during time-outs. Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 27, 2006

Tell Me Your Story

On Sunday I went to the Kirk Douglas Theater in Culver City to see "In the Continuum."

It's a show written and performed by two women -- Danai Gurira and Nikkole Salter. They developed it during their third year in NYU's Graduate Acting Program. And can they act!

It's two parallel stories -- one is about a Zimbabwe newscaster who catches HIV from her husband and finds out when she also learns she's pregnant. The other story is about an African-American young woman in Los Angeles who also gets HIV and is pregnant from her boyfriend.

Given the topic, I was expecting a real tear-jerker. It wasn't. But it was a fascinating set of portrayals of these two different women in similar circumstances and the women who surround them in their lives.

Tonight I saw a funny little movie called "Coffee Date." It's about a guy who is set up on a blind date by his brother. But his brother neglects to tell him the date is with another guy. The situation gets out of hand when his Mother (played by Sally Kirkland) flies in to support him coming out and refuses to hear his pleas that he's straight. The office gang shows their support and his boss points out the firm's domestic partnership policies -- so what's a poor straight guy to do?

Wilson Cruz and Jason Stuart both have the chance to show off their acting chops. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Irish Stew

USC vs. Notre Dame is college football's most-storied inter-sectional rivalry -- running for 78 years. The Trojans triumphed today -- for the fifth year in a row!

One more victory (next Saturday against UCLA) and USC will probably be asked to play for the National Championship.
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Like Father, Like Son. Posted by Picasa

I'm used to seeing Tommy Trojan wrapped-up to protect against dastardly Bruin tricks before the USC vs. UCLA football game -- but I was surprised to see the new George Tirebiter statue wrapped up too. Posted by Picasa

This year's Notre Dame Leprechaun seems a little tall for the costume. Posted by Picasa

The Trojan Marching Band entered the Peristyle end of the ColiseumPosted by Picasa

Probably my final photo of Traveler for the season -- sorry, KarenPosted by Picasa

Los Angeles City Councilmember Tom LeBonge stopped by to say "hello" to his cousin who sits near me. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 25, 2006

No Rush

Friday night the USC Basketball team beat the Long Beach State 49ers 79 to 61.

The arena was far from sold-out, but attendance was certainly better than Tuesday night's game -- partly because Long Beach State fans turned out to root on their team.

At least the energy level is trending up.
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This is Mr. Galen. He wrote the multi-million dollar check that allowed USC to finally build an indoor arena -- the Galen CenterPosted by Picasa

I guess if your name is on the building and you want to sit in two seats then you can sit in two seats. Posted by Picasa

Susan Carpenter-McMillen talked through the entire game. If you're going to sit courtside you should watch the game. What in the world was she talk, talk, talking about? Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 24, 2006

Light Holiday Fare

After dinner on Thursday I went to the movies -- to see "The Last King of Scotland" starring Forest Whitaker.

It's a gritty film about the rise and fall of Idi Amin in Uganda.

There's lots of buzz about Whitaker getting an Oscar nomination, but I went primarily because Whitaker and I went to high school together.

We weren't close friends, but always exchanged pleasantries in the hallways. He kept me posted on the doings of the Drama Club.

His time in drama class at Palisades High School sure has paid off! He gives quite an amazing performance as the African dictator. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Next Time I Want a Close-up of the Kugel

Saw the hilarious new Christopher Guest movie tonight, "For Your Consideration."

It's a satire about all the hype surrounding movie awards, including the Oscars.

A cheesy movie under production -- "Home for Purim" -- gets some Oscar buzz on the internet -- "that's the one with email, right?" -- and the egos take off from there.

Is Catherine O'Hara the funniest woman working in movies today? If there were any justice, she'd get an Oscar nomination for this performance.

Whoops, there goes that hype.
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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A Beautiful Reality

For two decades USC has dreamt of an on-campus sports and performing arts arena. Earlier this month, with the opening of the Galen Center, that dream became a reality.

Tonight I went to see the USC vs. Citadel basketball game -- my first visit to the Galen Center.

For a brand new building it works well. But they still need to find ways to pump up the energy. Hard to imagine they can't match the excitement of the white elephant Sports Arena -- but the atmosphere was pretty lackluster tonight.

At least the Trojans won.
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The new Basketball Court before the game. Posted by Picasa

Too bad they still have this guy in a ridiculous Trojan costume and terrible mask at the basketball games. Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 20, 2006

Did Someone Mention Cake?

Went to see "Marie Antoinette" tonight. It's Sophia Coppala's modern telling of one woman's addiction to spending and how she got that way.

The movie certainly is gorgeous to look at -- it's bound to win some design Oscars.

But ultimately the highly stylized story telling kept me from emotionally investing in the tale.

But I would have like going to some of those parties.....
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I Love L.A.

Friday night I went to see Pedro Almodovar's outstanding new movie, "Volver," starring Penelope Cruz -- in a great performance.

Carmen Maura plays Cruz' dead Mother who returns (volver) to finish some unsettled business. This marks the first time in several years Maura and Almodovar have worked together (a most welcome volver).

Almodovar twists a tale about familial love as only he can do. Posted by Picasa

Saturday I went to the USC vs. Cal football game at the Coliseum. As you can see from the line score, USC waited until the fourth quarter to wake up and score a couple of touchdowns.

Yesterday's victory assures the Trojans of at least a spot in the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day. But if they win their final two games (against Notre Dame and UCLA) they could possibly play in the National Championship Game on January 8 in Glendale, ArizonaPosted by Picasa

Funny Trojan/Miller Lite costume. Posted by Picasa

Spotted Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky on campus before the game. I'm pretty sure he went to UCLA. I'm surprised to see his choice of sweater colors. Posted by Picasa