Πιστεύω (I Believe) – Lindsey Vonn’s Olympic Mantra

vonn_glove_getty

photo by Getty Images

Πιστεύω (pronounced peestevo) is the Greek word for I believe. What a great message to carry at the Olympics and in life.  Believe in yourself, believe in your dreams, and you can achieve great things. Watch Lindsey go for Gold tonight at the Olympics. – BMT

#Olympics2018 #teamusa

Advertisements

The Harry Connick, Jr. Show is Being Cancelled

If you are just as devastated as I am, please comment below, like the Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram post, and tag NBC and Harry Connick, Jr.  There is hope to convince them they are making a mistake. If NBC won’t, maybe another network will pick it up. #bringharryback – BMT

Shaun White makes history for U.S.

What an awesome day for Shaun White and the U.S. Olympic Team!

Shaun White not only put himself in the history books when he won his third gold medal in the men’s halfpipe Tuesday. He nabbed a big win for the United States, too: White’s gold medal is the 100th American gold medal in all of Winter Olympics history, per the Associated Press. The U.S. is only…

via Shaun White Just Won the United States’ 100th Winter Olympics Gold Medal of All Time — TIME

“Fifty Shades Freed” – Movie Review

IMG_3975Don’t mess with Mrs. Grey! Anastasia has two new titles – wife and editor – and has now become a force to be reckoned with.  No longer the timid Anastasia, she’s determined not to loose herself.  She will not allow Christian to dominate her outside of the “red room.”  In this story, Ana seems to be the one “calling the shots.” She’s constantly defying Christians instructions and it’s making him crazy. She’s also fearless and will do anything to protect her family.

“50 Shades Freed” is probably the best book and movie adaptation of the entire E.L. James franchise. It goes beyond being an X-rated love story and builds into a suspenseful drama.  If only all of the “Fifty Shades” books had this type of story line where the sex is secondary to the plot.

This movie opens with the wedding vows, followed by various scenes from the romantic and steamy honeymoon, making some girls wish they had a man with the finances of Christian Grey!  The honeymoon is cut short by the news of a break-in and fire at Christian’s business office.  Jack Hyde (Ana’s former boss) is determined to make her and Christian pay for their happiness and his self-serving misery.  If you haven’t read the books, I won’t spoil the plot for you, go see the movie. It is the last movie of the series, so it ends with a montage of scenes from all three movies.

I was invited to screen the movie by the Sly Fox Club at the Santikos Casa Blanca Theater.  The theater seats over 200 people and every seat was full; I was almost turned away.  I was lucky enough to get the last of the cool gifts (shown in the photo) that were given out to various audience members.  The mirror compact is really nice.  Unfortunately, mine fell on the floor and cracked.

“Fifty Shades Freed” opens Friday, just in time for Valentine’s Day. It goes without saying that it is for mature, adults only.  If you are in the San Antonio area, I recommend seeing it at Santikos Casa Blanca Theater; the seats are really comfortable. “Fifty Shades Freed” is a perfect date night flick. You may want to go to the earlier show and plan for some alone time afterwards 😉 (I’m just saying!)

Enjoy the show and come back and tell me what you think. – BMT

Winners of the 60th Annual Grammy Awards

grammy-60th

James Corden did a great job hosting the live broadcast on CBS of the 60th Annual Grammy Awards from Madison Square Garden in New York City.  He announced that Jay-Z was the recipient of the 2018 Music Industry Icon award at that Recording Academy Pre-Grammy Gala.  One of the funniest performances was James Corden, Sting, and Shaggy doing “subway karaoke” – watch here:

Here’s the list of the 2018 Grammy Winners (in order by category):

Record of the Year – “24K Magic” – Bruno Mars

Album of the Year – “24K Magic” – Bruno Mars

Song of the Year – “That’s What I Like” — Christopher Brody Brown, James Fauntleroy, Philip Lawrence, Bruno Mars, Ray Charles McCullough II, Jeremy Reeves, Ray Romulus & Jonathan Yip, songwriters (Bruno Mars)

New Artist – Alessia Cara

Pop Solo Performance – “Shape of You” – Ed Sheeran

Pop Duo/Group Performance – “Feel It Still” – Portugal. The Man

Traditional Pop Vocal Album – “Tony Bennett Celebrates 90” – (Various Artists) Dae Bennett, Producer

Pop Vocal Album – “÷” — Ed Sheeran

Dance Recording – “Tonite” — LCD Soundsystem

Dance/Electronic Album – “3-D the Catalogue” — Kraftwerk

Contemporary Instrumental Album – “Prototype” — Jeff Lorber Fusion

Rock Performance – “You Want It Darker” — Leonard Cohen

Metal Performance – “Sultan’s Curse” — Mastodon

Rock Song – “Run” — Foo Fighters, songwriters (Foo Fighters)

Rock Album – “A Deeper Understanding” — The War On Drugs

Alternative Music Album – “Sleep Well Beast” – The National

R&B Performance -“That’s What I Like” – Bruno Mars

Traditional R&B Performance – “Redbone” — Childish Gambino

R&B Song – “That’s What I Like” — Christopher Brody Brown, James Fauntleroy, Philip Lawrence, Bruno Mars, Ray Charles McCullough II, Jeremy Reeves, Ray Romulus & Jonathan Yip, songwriters (Bruno Mars)

Urban Contemporary Album –“Star Boy” — The Weeknd

R&B Album – “24K Magic” — Bruno Mars

Rap Performance – “Humble” — Kendrick Lamar

Rap/Sung Performance – “Loyalty” — Kendrick Lamar Featuring Rihanna

Rap Song -“Humble” — Duckworth, Asheton Hogan & M. Williams II, songwriters (Kendrick Lamar)

Rap Album – “Damn” – Kendrick Lamar

Country Solo Performance – “Either Way” — Chris Stapleton

Country Duo/Group Performance – “Better Man” — Little Big Town

Country Song – “Broken Halos” — Mike Henderson & Chris Stapleton, songwriters (Chris Stapleton)

Country Album – “From A Room: Volume 1” — Chris Stapleton

New Age Album – “Dancing On Water” — Peter Kater

Improvised Jazz Solo – “Miles Beyond” — John McLaughlin, soloist

Jazz Vocal Album – Dreams and Daggers — Cécile McLorin Salvant

Jazz Instrumental Album – “Rebirth” — Billy Childs

Large Jazz Ensemble Album – “Bringin’ It” — Christian McBride Big Band

Latin Jazz Album – “Jazz Tango” — Pablo Ziegler Trio

Gospel Performance/Song – “Never Have To Be Alone” – CeCe Winans

Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song – “What A Beautiful Name” -Hillsong Worship

Gospel Album – “Let Them Fall in Love” — CeCe Winans

Contemporary Christian Music Album – “Chain Breaker” –  Zach Williams

Roots Gospel Album – “Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope” — Reba McEntire

Latin Pop Album – “El Dorado” – Shakira

Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album – “Residente” — Residente

Regional Mexican Music Album (including Tejano) – “Arriero Somos Versiones Acústicas” — Aida Cuevas

Tropical Latin Album – “Salsa Big Band” — Rubén Blades Con Roberto Delgado & Orquesta

American Roots Performance – “Killer Diller Blues” — Alabama Shakes

American Roots Song – “If We Were Vampires” – Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

Americana Album – “The Nashville Sound” — Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

Bluegrass Album (tie for winner) – “Laws of Gravity” — The Infamous Stringdusters; and – “All the Rage – In Concert Volume One [Live]” — Rhonda Vincent and the Rage

Traditional Blues Album – “Blue & Lonesome” -The Rolling Stones

Contemporary Blues Album – “TajMo” — Taj Mahal & Keb’ Mo’

Folk Album –“Mental Illness” – Aimee Mann

Regional Roots Music Album – “Kalenda” — Lost Bayou Ramblers

Reggae Album – “Stony Hill” — Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley

World Music Album – “Shaka Zulu Revisited: 30th Anniversary Celebration” — Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Children’s Album – “Feel What U Feel” — Lisa Loeb

Spoken Word Album (includes Poetry, Audio Books & Storytelling) – “The Princess Diarist” — Carrie Fisher

Comedy Album – “The Age of Spin & Deep in the Heart of Texas” — Dave Chappelle

Musical Theater Album – “Dear Evan Hansen” — Ben Platt, principal soloist; Alex Lacamoire, Stacey Mindich, Benj Pasek & Justin Paul, producers; Benj Pasek & Justin Paul, composers/lyricists (Original Broadway Cast Recording)

Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media – “La La Land” — (Various Artists)

Score Soundtrack For Visual Media – “La La Land” — Justin Hurwitz, composer

Song Written For Visual Media – “How Far I’ll Go” — Lin-Manuel Miranda, songwriter (Auli’i Cravalho)

Instrumental Composition – “Three Revolutions” — Arturo O’Farrill, composer (Arturo O’Farrill & Chucho Valdés)

Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella – “Escapades For Alto Saxophone and Orchestra From Catch Me If You Can” – John Williams, arranger (John Williams)

Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals – “Putin” – Randy Newman, arranger (Randy Newman)

Recording Package (tie for winner) – “El Orisha De La Rosa” – Claudio Roncoli & Cactus Taller, art directors (Magín Díaz); and – “Pure Comedy (Deluxe Edition)” — Sasha Barr, Ed Steed & Josh Tillman, art directors (Father John Misty)

Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package – “The Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition” — Lawrence Azerrad, Timothy Daly & David Pescovitz, art directors (Various Artists)

Album Notes –  “Live At the Whisky A Go Go: The Complete Recordings” — Lynell George, album notes writer (Otis Redding)

Historical Album – “The Goldberg Variations – The Complete Unreleased Recording Sessions June 1955” — Robert Russ, compilation producer; Matthias Erb, Martin Kistner & Andreas K. Meyer, mastering engineers (Glenn Gould)

Engineered Album, Non-Classical – “24K Magic” — Serban Ghenea, John Hanes & Charles Moniz, engineers; Tom Coyne, mastering engineer (Bruno Mars)

Producer of the Year, Non-Classical – Greg Kurstin

Remixed Recording – “You Move (Latroit Remix)” — Dennis White, remixer (Depeche Mode)

Surround Sound Album – “Early Americans” — Jim Anderson, surround mix engineer; Darcy Proper, surround mastering engineer; Jim Anderson & Jane Ira Bloom, surround producers (Jane Ira Bloom)

Engineered Album, Classical – “Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5; Barber: Adagio” – Mark Donahue, engineer (Manfred Honeck & Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra)

Producer of the Year, Classical – David Frost

Orchestral Performance – “Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5; Barber: Adagio” — Manfred Honeck, conductor (Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra)

Opera Recording – “Berg: Wozzeck” — Hans Graf, conductor; Anne Schwanewilms & Roman Trekel; Hans Graf, producer (Houston Symphony; Chorus of Students and Alumni, Shepherd School of Music, Rice University & Houston Grand Opera Children’s Chorus)

Choral Performance – “Bryars: The Fifth Century” — Donald Nally, conductor (PRISM Quartet; The Crossing)

Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance – “Death & the Maiden” — Patricia Kopatchinskaja & The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra

Classical Instrumental Solo – “Transcendental “— Daniil Trifonov

Classical Solo Vocal Album – “Crazy Girl Crazy” – Music By Gershwin, Berg & Berio — Barbara Hannigan (Orchestra Ludwig)

Classical Compendium – “Higdon: All Things Majestic, Viola Concerto & Oboe Concerto” – Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor; Tim Handley, producer

Contemporary Classical Composition – “Higdon: Viola Concerto” — Jennifer Higdon, composer (Roberto Díaz, Giancarlo Guerrero & Nashville Symphony)

Music Video – “Humble.” — Kendrick Lamar

Music Film – “The Defiant Ones” — (Various Artists)

2018 Music Educator Award – Melissa Salguero – PS 48 Joseph R. Drake in the Bronx, NY

photo credit – https://cnet4.cbsistatic.com

2018 Academy Awards – Nominees

size0

As announced this morning, here are the 2018 Oscar nominees:

Supporting Actress:

Mary J. Blige – “Mudbound”

Allison Janney – “I, Tonya”

Lesley Manville – “Phantom Thread”

Laurie Metcalf – “Lady Bird”

Octavia Spencer – “Shape of Water”

Actor in Supporting Role:

Willem Dafoe – “The Florida Project”

Woody Harrelson – “Three Bilboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Richard Jenkins – “Shape of Water”

Christopher Plummer – “All the Money in the World”

Sam Rockwell – “Three Bilboards…”

Foreign Language Film:

“A Fantastic Woman” – Chile

“The Insult” – Lebannon

“Loveless” – Russia

“On Body and Soul” – Hungary

“The Square” – Sweden

Documentary Short Subject:

“Edith & Eddie”

“Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405”

“Heroine”

“Knife Skills”

“Traffic Stop”

Documentary Feature:

“Abacus: Small Enough to Jail”

“Faces Places”

“Icarus”

“Last Men in Aleppo”

“Strong Island”

Original Song:

“Mighty River” – “Mudbound”

“Mystery of Love” – “Call Me by Your Name”

“Remember Me” – “Coco”

“Stand Up for Something” – “Marshall”

“This is Me” – “Greatest Showman”

Animated Feature:

“Boss Baby”

“Breadwinner”

“Coco”

“Ferdinand”

“Loving Vincent”

Adaptation Screenplay:

“Call me by Your Name” – James Ivory

“Disaster Artist” – Scott Newstander & Michael H. Weber

“Logan” – Scott Frank, James Mangold, and Michael Green

“Molly’s Game” – Aaron Sorkin

“Mudbound” – Virgil Williams and Dee Rees

Original Screenplay:

“The Big Sick” – Emily Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani

“Get Out” – Jordan Peele

“Lady Bird” – Greta Gerwig

“Shape of Water” – Guillermo del Toro

“Three Billboards. . .” – Martin McDonaugh

Actor in a Leading Role:

Timothee Chalamet – “Call me by Your Name”

Daniel Day-Lewis – “Phantom Thread”

Daniel Kaluuya – “Get Out”

Gary Oldman – “Darkest Hour”

Denzel Washington – “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”

Actress in a Leading Role:

Sally Hawkins – “Shape of Water”

Frances McDormand – “Three Billboards.,.”

Margot Robbie – “I, Tonya”

Saoirse Ronan – “Lady Bird”

Meryl Streep – “The Post”

Achievement in Directing:

“Dunkirk” – Christopher Nolan

“Get Out” – Jordan Peele

“Lady Bird” – Greta Gerwig

“Phantom Thread” – Paul Thomas Anderson

“Shape of Water” – Guillermo del Toro

and finally,

Best Picture:

“Call Me By Your Name”

“Darkest Hour”

“Dunkirk”

“Get Out”

“Lady Bird”

“Phantom Thread”

“The Post”

“The Shape of Water”

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Congratulations to all of the nominees.  The Oscars will air on Sunday, March 4, 2018, at 8:00 p.m. EST/ 7:00 p.m. Central, with Jimmy Kimmel as host on ABC. Care to make your predictions? Feel free to comment below. – BMT

 

Honoring his Memory – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

5803aa10f233395ea187bc9b2268ae69In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., here’s my review of “Selma.” Several theaters are showing this movie today, such as Alamo Drafthouse Cinema here in San Antonio. A must see, if you haven’t, and a good one to see again if you have!

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in a letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963.- BMT

Link to Original Facebook Post

https://www.facebook.com/ReviewsoftheArtsSA/posts/804739179591776

Or Read it Right Here

Review – Selma Movie – directed by Ava DuVernay

In one word – Powerful!

Fantastic performances by David Oyelowo, Oprah Winfrey Cuba Gooding, Jr.and the entire cast. The cast is a diverse group of actors that were carefully selected. Most of the actors look like the actual key players from the movement. The cinematographic use of lighting was fantastic.

Speaking for myself, a Generation Xer, I didn’t fully understand the magnitude of the oppression and the brutality that African Americans and their supporters faced during the early 60s and the “peaceful” marches lead by Dr. King. I only heard about the freedom marches in school history books, reprinted news articles, and short clips of old news footage. “Selma” gives insight into the “back stories” of the marchers and brings the characters from the history books to life. Their faith in the Lord, in Dr. King’s vision, and their passion to fully obtain their God-given rights kept them strong and fearless. After seeing this movie and understanding the lengths they went to, to be able to vote, every person who is of age to vote should exercise that right every time!

These civil rights activists can be considered modern-day martyrs – heroes. They all marched knowing the dangers they would face. Just as our Lord gave himself up, knowing he would be put on the cross and like so many others that died for their causes. I believe this is why Dr. King called for members of the clergy throughout the U.S. to march with him. As an Orthodox Christian, I heard that His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos supported Dr. King, but I didn’t realize he actually marched with him across the bridge in Selma.

The movie starts out very dark and progressively gets brighter signifying the accomplishment of their mission at the Birmingham courthouse. It was impressive to see the direct impact that Martin Luther King, Jr. and all his followers’ (black and white) march from Selma to Birmingham had on President Johnson’s effecting laws ensuring the voting rights of African Americans. Proof that violence isn’t necessary to effectuate change.

You may find these articles interesting.

http://www.toledoblade.com/…/Unitarian-minister-recalls-nig…

http://usa.greekreporter.com/…/black-history-month-and-the…/

When you see the movie, look at this photo. It’s amazing how much the movie characters look just like the people in the photo!

archbishop-iakovos-and-martin-luther-king-at-selmaSelma Movie is definately Oscar worthy! It opens Friday, January 9 – see it! – BMT

Comments, Please

What do you think? Please post your comments, memories, or favorite quotes.

“Wonder Wheel” – Movie Review

1024px-island_coney_28359873791729

Took my Mom with me to the Amazon screening of “Wonder Wheel” on Wednesday night at the Santikos Bijou Theater.  It was an unusual screening experience in that there were very few people in attendance and neither any official reviewing press nor any studio representative(s) were present.  The movie itself was a bit of a disappointment.  

The wonder wheel is the Ferris wheel at Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York. “Wonder Wheel” the movie is set in 1950s Coney Island and is about a dysfunctional (to say the least) family that lives above the amusement park.  It is obvious that director, Woody Allen, intentionally used the imagery of the Wonder Wheel because the story goes completely full circle and leaves you wondering.  Not much changes in the lives of the characters from the beginning to the end.

If you are from Brooklyn or have roots from there you may want to see the movie for the nostalgic memories that either you, your parents, and/or your grandparents shared from the early 50s. It should be noted that what the movie lacks in storyline, it makes up for with the brilliant performances of the actors, who are in roles like you’ve never seen them before. Kate Winslet is superb in her role as a frustrated Brooklyn housewife.  If you didn’t know it, you would really believe she is from Brooklyn. Jim Belushi gives an intense demonstration of his acting skills as a man struggling with alcholism. Justin Timberlake also rocks the Brooklyn accent.  JT also looks cute in the one-piece lifeguard suit!

670228241_1280x960

My mom, a Brooklyn native, was impressed by the authenticity of the music, costumes, props, locales, cars and the all-around atmosphere of the Coney Island boardwalk and amusement park. We both agreed that the movie didn’t necessarily leave the audience hanging, it was just a metaphor for life.  The lesson being relayed is that life is like a Ferris wheel ride; it continuously turns and if we don’t get off, we wind up right back at the beginning.

wonderwheelnewyork

As we exited the theater, one of the patrons yelled out loudly, “I’m upset there is no studio rep here is because I can’t tell them that that movie sucked.”   I wouldn’t go that far as to say it “sucked,” but I would recommend waiting until it’s out on video. Perhaps Amazon isn’t quite ready for the big screen? – BMT

Happy Thanksgiving

IMG_3824To all my followers of Reviews of the Arts SA, I’m thankful for your support. Wishing you and your families a Happy Thanksgiving. – BMT

Planning to see “Wonder?” It opens tonight. Check out my review and tell me what you think

via Movie Review – “Wonder” is Extraordinary!