Archive for May, 2012

Don't neglect the wee ones in Rainbow Filmfest

May 31st, 2012

Some of the best things are wee, in the 23rd annual Rainbow Film Festival, opening today at the Doris Duke Theatre at the Honolulu Museum of Art.
That is, a number shorts are see-worthy and shouldn’t be missed, and might be otherwise snubbed in an array of diverse features exploring the nuances and shadings of gay, lesbian and alternative lifestyle documentary entries.
A short list of notes on the titles on the agenda:
Best local entry, or good things come in small packages: “Lunchtime,” a 7-minute short by Islander Keo Woolford, who expands his growing credentials with a simple but stunning commentary on bullying, sharing and caring. Henry (Christopher Perez), a fifth grader, lunches with Mr. Loh (James Wong), and the two munch and reflect on a common plane that magnifies the elements of acceptance, trust and confidence. The kid finds solace lunchtime with Loh, and tells his teacher, “Do you and your roommate think you guys are weird?,” knowing the instructor has a roommate. “Some people think it’s weird (to be sing), not married,” Loh responds. A lot of meaningful give-and-take. At 8:30 p.m. May 31; Woolford will be present. Precedes “Cloudburst,” the opening night main feature.
• Best ladies road movie since “Thelma and Louise.”: Stella (Olympia Dukakis) and Brenda Fricker (Dottie) are lesbian partners who share a three-decades-long life together, but the hit the road in a pickup when Dottie’s conniving granddaugher wants granny ousted from her home and relocated in a care facility. Stella has a lion’s roar, bulldog’s bite, and a salty sailor’s mouth; when she finds out that her partner, who is blind, has been taken to a care home, she abducts her friend and they head for Canada to marry. Along the way, they meet the Brad Pitt figure, Prentice (Ryan Doolittle), who becomes a necessary and helpful third wheel in their quest for happiness. “Cloudburst” is a sunny film with a stormy theme; if you liked “The Kids Are Alright,” you’ll burst with tears, and laughter. At 8:30 p.m. May 31, following “Lunchtime.”
• Best school crush short: “I Don’t Want to Go Back Alone,” a 17-minute Brazilian short, is the winner of nearly a dozen international awards, including the Iris, and deals with Leonardo (Ghilherme Lobo), a blind 15-year-old teen, who has the helpful arm of his female friend Giovana (Texx Amorim), who guides him safely home after school. When a newbie classmate, Gabriel (Fabio Audi), arrives in class, there’s a test of chemistry, jealously and loyalty and love. Teen feelings and urges begin to spark, and a kiss brings a smile and a likely feel-good finish. At 2:15 p.m. May 31
• Best coming-of-age yarn with a gay twist: “North Sea Texas,” a Belgium feature (“Nordzee, Texas”), focuses on an adolescent cutie, Pim (Jelle Florizoone), who dresses as a little princess in the privacy of his bedroom. His mom Yvette (Eva Van Der Gucht), is a dubious celebrity who plays accordion and goes on periodic treks away from home, leaving Pim to fend for himself alone. At 15, Pim discovers his sexuality and moons for and sketches Gino (Mathias Vergels), the older buddy from next door, with whom he has a sexual encounter he must keep private. While its pace is plodding, the brooding atmosphere is real. And it’s easy to empathize with the confusion and the want of the teen hero in search of happiness. At 5 p.m. June 1.
• Worst attempt at parody: “Birds of a Feather,” which is parody of Anton Chekhov’s “The Seagull” and a take-off of a Flock of Seagulls tune, is a pastiche of good ambition, confused storytelling, musical comedy-dramady, and a desperate attempt to link Lady Gaga and “The Phatom of the Opera” for a gaggle of pop kitch. This is no “La Cage Aux Folles,” which often used the “Birds of a Feather’ title translated. There are cameos (Olympia Dukakis, Bruce Vilanch, Trevor Donovan), with embarrassing results. The seagull metaphor — a search for hope and possibility — is an underlying theme, but when all is said and done, it’s a bad idea executed with bad acting. A World Premiere at noon June 2. Writer-director Anthony Meindl presents and actor’s workshop following the screening. Maybe he can provide a clue or two of why and how come.

* * *

Opening May 31, continuing through June 3
Doris Duke Theatre, Honolulu Museum of Art
Single tickets, $10 adults, $9 students; $15 for opening and close night progams; film passes ($80, $130) also available

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Rest assured, Emme will have her ‘Moment’

May 30th, 2012

Emme Tomimbang will have have her own special “Emme’s Island Moment” when she watches her latest TV special, from a hospital bed.
Tomimbang, the iconic host and producer of “Emme’s Island Moments,” will view her “Hawaii Five-0 Revisited” show from her hospital room Thursday (7 p.m. May 31, KGMB, repeating at 9 p.m. June 2), after suffering an aneurism. Her condition stabilized, but she remains ensconced in a hospital bed for observation. Visitors have been prohibited, so she can continue to recuperate.
The health issues paradoxically have placed the TV host and hometown celebrity into an uncustomary role, of subject and newsmaker, instead of TV figure and interrogator. The other side of the coin, so to speak.
Her fans and the media have been displayed concern about her status; she's fine, so no worries. The role reversal — she’s normally the one clamoring for news, sound bytes and interviews — has been an unexpected switcheroo.
In a voicemail left on my iPhone, Tomimbang assured me that she is getting the prescribed rest and the privacy, though not in a tony resort with room service.
Her temporary departure from the whirlpool of details of shooting and editing a TV special necessitated a work ethic turnaround. Simply, she said, “I just had to let go.”
Also, Tomimbang had been a caregiver for her husband, former judge James Burns, who has had his own medical challenges the past year, necessitating her to withdraw from active TV production work for a year.
“I was totally out of it,” she admitted. “But I’m fine now; I’m OK.”
She sounded a tad tired but relaxed, with her health situation in the hands of her doctors who mandated a much-needed time-out.
“Now I’m the other side of caregiving,” she said. “I’m now realizing how very, very – what’s the word – precious life is. I’m worried about Jim; but again, I’ll just have to let go for awhile.”
Until she’s back to her old normal, of course.
The “Five-0” installment — a mix of CBS' original Jack Lord series with the Alex O’Loughlin reboot – marked her return to familiar turf. She dusted off file footage of the late James MacArthur, the original Danno, and Rose Freeman, the widow of the series’ original producer and creator, Leonard Freeman, and went full circle with a more recent chat with Peter Lenkov, the producer of the current version.
Her own health situation has helped her refocus her rhythm.
“I will be watching from the hospital room, with my nursing staff; they’ve all been super.”
It's the first show she's ever produced where she hasn't put her fingerprints on the final product. She'll see a special — along with her audience — that was in final edit, when she entered the hospital.
“I not allowed to say where I am,” she said.
OK, as I earlier reported, she’s been in Queen’s, but the medical center has been pretty good about denying her presence there. So: don’t go, don’t try to intrude, don't call; just offer your own prayers for her healthy recovery.
In time, she’ll go public and will back in the saddle. Rest is what Tomimbang needs most now.

Kapena to launch 2012 'Wildest Show in Town'

May 29th, 2012

Get out your datebook and begin logging dates for the annual “Wildest Show in Town,” a nine-week series of summertime fun beginning June 13 at Honolulu Zoo. Kapena will kick off the hearty party.
Organizer Roy Sakuma, proprietor of Roy Sakuma Productions and Roy Sakuma Ukulele Studios, will again emcee. It’s the 24th anniversary of the family-friendly event.
Sakuma has assembled a weekly humpday treat — that’s Wednesday, of course — with a weekly headliner and a weekly ukulele give-away. In addition, there will be a weekly keiki soprano ukulele give-away, courtesy Kala Ukulele.
Admission is $3. The program starts at 6 p.m. and the early gate opening (4:35 p.m.) enables concert-goers to have a picnic supper and do a quick visit to the zoo population.

The schedule:

June 13 — Kapena; Kanilea Ukulele give-away.
June 20 — Leha Kalima and Shawn Pimental; Kala Ukulele give-away.
June 27 — Roy Sakuma’s Super Keiki; KoAloha Ukulele and Kala Ukulele give-away.
July 4 — Frank DeLima; Pono Ukulele give-away.
July 11 — Manoa DNA; KoAloha Ukulele give-away.
July 18 — Ohta-san and Nando Suan; KoAloha Ukulele give-away; guest strummers from around the world perform from 5 p.m.
July 25 — Daniel and Nelly Baduria; Pono Ukulele give-away.
Aug. 1 — Jimmy Borges & His Jazz All Stars; Kala Ukulele give-away.
Aug. 8 — Sean Na’auao; Islander Ukulele give-away.

Another zoo concert, not related to the "Wildest Show in Town" but appropriate for the summertime crowd, will be staged at 6 p.m. Aug. 11 (a Saturday) at the Zoo. Performers will be Chris Kamaka, Horace Dudoit and Glen Smith of Ho’okena. Tickets are $10 advance, $15 at the door. Check with the zoo for other details.

6 p.m. Wednesdays, June 13 through Aug. 8; gates open at 4:35 p.m.
Honolulu Zoo
$3 at the door

Emme hospitalized, as her new TV special airs

May 22nd, 2012

Emme Tomimbang, the iconic “Emme’s Island Moments” host and producer, has been hospitalized at Queen’s Medical Center since Friday.
She suffered an aneurism and her condition has since improved, said a close friend. But she will remain in the hospital for another week for observation.
A call to Tomimbang’s office was not returned. The family asks for privacy for now; visitors are prohibited till further notice.
However, colleagues have rallied to help Tomimbang edit and complete her latest TV special, “Emme’s Island Moments: ‘Hawaii Five-0’ Revisited,” which airs at 7 p.m. May 31 on KGMB9 (Hawaii News Now) and rebroadcast at 9 p.m. June 2.
Tomimbang earlier said that this new special, which combines a look at the classic “Hawaii Five-0” and the current reboot, will be her first of 2012, after she took a necessary break in 2011 to care-give her husband, retired judge James S. Burns, who had some medical issues. He continues his recovery.
The “Five-0” show had been on Tomimbang’s agenda for some time. As she said in a recent email, “It was to air last October — but I got blindsided. Again in January — but had to shelve it.”
After some new shoots and some writing, she completed the endeavor and confirmed an airdate. The show still was in final edit when she had to be hospitalized, so her production team is rallying to get it aired.
Emme said in an earlier email before her unexpected hospitalization: “Don’t ask me how I did it — partly it was balance in early morning and late evening hours. It definitely comes with Jim slowly progressing; I had a chance to find an open window to finally get this done.” .
The show will include a tribute to yesteryear’s “Five-0” and focus on Rose Freeman, the late widow of Leonard Freeman, the visionary and creator-executive producer of the Jack Lord original. Rose Freeman died March 4. Also, James MacArthur, the original Danno and the last suriviving member of the original “Five-0” team, will be saluted; he died Oct. 28, 2010.
Actors who frequently appeared in the Lord era, who also have had roles in the Alex O’Loughlin reboot, are interviewed: Al Harrington, Dennis Chun (son of the original Chin Ho Kelly, Kam Fong Chun), Jimmy Borges and Kimo Kahoano.
Two “new” principals — one off-air, one co-starring — also are interviewed: executive producer Peter Lenkov, who brought the CBS series to a new generation of fans, and Mark Dacascos, the veteran action film actor also known for his role as the Chairman of the Food Network’s “Iron Chef America,” who now portrays the Wo Fat villain.
“The alums are charmingly honest about the new show,” said Tomimbang. And Lenkov “was awesome and sets the tone for why he did the show and how he hopes to accomplish (his mission).”

'H50' finale wins hour, sets up third season

May 15th, 2012

The finale of “Hawaii Five-0” won its 9 p.m. hour Monday (May 14), leading the pack with a 2.7 rating in the coveted 18 to 49 demographics and a viewership of 11.3 million.
The CBS show, themed “Ua Hala (Death in the Family)," was the lone in the slot drama this week, because its chief contender , ABC’s “Castle,” ended its season a week ago and the network filled the time with “Bachelorette,” a 90-minute reality show starting at 8:30 p.m., which pulled a 2.5 adult demo. NBC’s “Smash” followed with a 1.8 adult demo.
So Steve McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin, looking and playing tough like in season one) and crew owe a debt of gratitude to “Castle,” which was not on the Nielsen radar Monday. Good timing!
But yes, "Five-0" was a solid drama-rama, admittedly action-packed, with
on-the-edge-of-your-seat intensity.
Like, the watery fate of Kono (Grace Park), with duct tape on mouth and limbs and dumped into the ocean in the final minutes; and Malia (Reiko Aylesworth, as the medic-bride of Chin Ho), injured and bleeding; and Capt. Vincent Fryer (Tom Sizemore), gunned down in an alley; and Max Bergman (Maki Oka, the coroner), taking a bullet but providing a valuable clue about the shooter — a woman.
So there was frustration to spare: Danno (Scott Caan), about to face a custody court battle with his ex next season regarding the custody of daughter Grace (Teiler Grubs); the heavy load on Chin Ho’s (Daniel Dae Kim) shoulder, about who to save (Kono, at sea, or Malia, fighting for her life), the result of the bad deeds of Toothpick (Karl Herlinger), who provided more menace than Wo Fat (Mark Dacascos, not in the finale)... with challenging logistics and a reboot of the dirty-cop charge at the height of Chin Ho’s personal crisis.
Oh yeah, and the surprising but unseen identity of Shelburne, the source of agony and angst for Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) all season, finally revealed in a single-word utterance by Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) as he opened a door in Japan ... as the show closed its doors till fall.
A lot of goofy complications and trauma, for sure, involving shootings, chases, explosions and suspicions, but all the disruptions and painsolidified the core of the “Five-0” credo: family, caring, sharing.
Bring on season three!
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