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Intown Rundown: 'You give me fever'
March 24, 2011 - April Diodato
For whatever reason, whenever the seasons change (approximately 75 times per year), our immune systems can’t keep up. Some of us, myself included, have come down with spring fever in the literal sense. I think I’ll be switching back to hot tea and will forget about spring cocktails for a while.
LOSING A LEGEND
"I've always admitted that I'm ruled by my passions," said the late, legendary Elizabeth Taylor, and I think that sums up why we loved her. After eight marriages, a long, celebrated film career and a Rasputin-like resolve to cheat death through many illnesses and more than 20 major surgeries, Taylor died on Wednesday. She was the first female film star to be paid $1,000,000 (for her role in “Cleopatra”).
If you want to pay proper tribute to the screen goddess, I recommend watching what are, in my opinion, her three best films: “A Place in the Sun,” “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” and “Butterfield 8.” I'm not certain that they are her best “technical” performances but they do include some of her most vibrant cinematic moments.
Turner Classic Movies will dedicate an entire day to Taylor's films on April 10. Until then, a handful of them are available to watch instantly on Netflix or you can, of course, find them on DVD.
For those interested in Taylor’s tempestuous relationship with twice-husband Richard Burton, I suggest you read “Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Marriage of the Century,” by Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger. I’m partway through it and I do hope that somewhere out there, Burton and Taylor, draped in diamonds, are back together.
To combat boredom, I’ve been lowering my cinematic standards considerably and have seen films ranging from barely tolerable to absolutely terrible (like “Red Riding Hood” last week). The two movies I’m writing about this week were both bad but one was enjoyable and the other was far from it.
A hard-partying alien on a road trip with the two fellows from “Shawn of the Dead” sounds like it could be fun. If you’ve seen the trailer for “Paul,” you have already seen the most entertaining parts of the movie. The rest of it contained some bad running jokes, an ill-conceived plot and the wasted talents of several fine comedic actors, including two “Arrested Development” alums (Jason Bateman and Jeffrey Tambor), Kristen Wiig, Seth Rogen, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Jane Lynch.
“Paul” is now playing at the Dunkirk Movieplex.
If you thought that “Burlesque” was essentially the second coming of “Showgirls,” you’re almost right. It’s a campy, over-the-top story of a small-town girl trying to become a star in a big city nightclub. What saves it is Christina Aguilera's monumental talent – when she starts to sing, it’s hard not to keep watching. “Burlesque” is basically a two-hour showcase of her talent (vocal, not so much acting, but she does seem to give it her all), along with Cher and many, many musical numbers ranging from fantastic to fast-forward-worthy. If you like your movies with extra glitter and a feather boa on top, ignore what feels like the judging glances of the other customers at your local video store and enjoy “Burlesque” for what it is: fabulous, delicious and devoid of nutritional value.
“Burlesque” is now available on DVD.
WATCH THIS “Mildred Pierce” was the only film for which Joan Crawford won an Oscar. Both the noir-ish, melodramatic 1945 classic film and the new HBO miniseries starring Kate Winslet will be shown this weekend. The miniseries is not a remake of the film but a new spin on the classic story by James M. Cain about an ungrateful daughter (played by Ann Blyth in the 1945 film and Evan Rachel Wood in the miniseries) and her mother (Crawford and now Winslet) who will go to extremely great lengths to win her approval. I’ve read some mixed reviews of the miniseries so far but it won’t stop me from watching both versions this weekend to compare and contrast. “Mildred Pierce” (1945) will be on Turner Classic Movies on Saturday at 8 p.m. and the miniseries will air on HBO in five hour-long parts, with the first two segments on Sunday at 9 p.m., part three at 9 p.m. April 3, and parts four and five at 9 p.m. April 10.
- 41 West will have live music by Side Effects from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Friday and Heard of Buffalo from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Saturday.
- At Rookie's on Saturday there will be live music by US from 8 p.m. to midnight.
- On Saturday, the Brocton Booster Club will be presenting a comedy night at the Brocton American Legion on East Main Street featuring three comedians. The Brocton Booster Club is a group of volunteers who raise funds to support extracurricular activities at Brocton Central School that were cut from the last budget. The proceeds will be used to fund activities such as the French Club, cheerleaders, volleyball, bowling and etc. The doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. Roast beef sandwiches and pizza will be available at 6:30. Tickets are $10 at the door. A Chinese auction will also be held. Donations are gladly accepted.
- The crew at Zinophobia is throwing another show at BJ's next week. The event is called Zinoshowbia II: The Reckoning. It's a two-day affair that will take place on Wednesday, March 30, and Thursday, March 31. Wednesday features the musical talents of Longitude, Mr. Boneless and Chromakid. Gonculator, Well Worn Boot and Elephant Upstairs will take the stage on Thursday. Kyle O'Connor will be acting as master of ceremonies. The makers of Fredonia's favorite 'zine are claiming that this will be the type of event where you go home and re-examine your life goals when it is done. The show starts both nights at 10 p.m. It's free for 21 and up with a $3 cover for those under 21.
April Diodato is the OBSERVER Lifestyles editor. Send comments and events to firstname.lastname@example.org