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Bruno Mars, the singer, vs. Mars, the chocolate candy bar

April 21st, 2014
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With Bruno Mars in town for three historic sell-out concerts (and not forgetting the ticket controversy involving re-salers buying most of the available seats), it might be a good moment to compare Mars, the singer, with another Mars, the candy bar.

 

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BRUNO  MARS             VS.            MARS BAR
$148, including Ticketmaster fees, for prime seats COST TO                INDULGE  Under $1.39, at Walmart or walmart.com, for small 2 oz. bar
Smooth moves, smart grooves, falsetto tones, the epitome of cool, commonly topped by a hat        IDENTIFYING         FACTORS  Sweet taste, with nougat, almond, soft caramel insides, and milk chocolate coating
Oozes charm, provokes squeals from young girls and women          SEX APPEAL Fits in pocket or purse,  easy to take home, but difficult to find
Headlined 2014 Super Bowl halftime show; a one-of-a-kind creation with homegrown Honolulu roots, earlier known as the world’s Littlest Elvis impersonator         CLAIM TO               FAME Has storied past, and  British roots, with a world version, a Canadian version, and an American version only sold at Walmart

What to expect at Bruno Mars' homecoming concerts...

April 19th, 2014
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Local boy Bruno Mars killed ‘em last night (Friday April 18) at the first of three Blaisdell Arena concerts. He sang, he danced, he kibitzed; it was a homecoming like no other, a native son who’s become the planet’s hottest popster, who still is local boy at heart.

What to expect, if you’re lucky enough to have scored tickets to tonight’s and Monday’s repeat concerts.?

Plenty.  The singer's "Moonlight Jungle"tour is afire!bruno

Timetable: Don’t rush to be in your seats by the 8 p.m. curtain. At Friday’s show, Bruno’s dad Peter Hernandez Jr. and his doo-wop buddies were an unannounced add-on to the bill, a nice touch. The formal opening act was The Green. By the time Bruno and crew hit the stage, to tumultuous cheers and screeches, it was about 9:45 p.m. (there were two intermissions for two set-ups). Not to worry; Mars provided a solid 90 minutes of spit and polish artistry you’ll not easily forget.

Number of songs: About 16, including the expected “Just the Way You Are,” “Treasure,” and “Grenade.” There will be a false exit, but Mars and his eight musicians will return for two encores, “Locked Out of Heaven: and “Gorilla.”

Watch for laser beams and flashes: The show is ablaze in well-choreographed light shows, with lasers aplenty and some backscreen closesups of onstage action, plus LED videos on two oversized overhead screes. So there’ll be plenty to see, even if mountains of spectators are immediately in front of you.

Prepare for pyrotechnics and boomblasts: On a handful of numbers, there are unexpected blasts (booms, actually) that will jar the ears but punctuate the numbers’  endings. And towards the grand finale, there will be sparklers and fire gushes to create heat and scents of, say, a New Year’s Eve spectacle.

Fashion plate: For Friday’s show, Mars chose not his blues band suits with thin ties; instead, he was splendidly casual first in a short-sleeved striped shirt, worn with a brown leather vest, with black trousers; he displayed tats on both arms, his head shielded by a straw hat, a ring on a finger, several gold necklaces, and bracelet on his left wrist.  Late in the show, when the band made a mass exit, he returned with the same hat but wore a printed/patterned casual shirt over the black pants.

Confessionals: He admitted, before singing “When I Was Your  Man,” that it was “the hardest to write” and “the hardest to sing,” surely harboring a personal story about heartache and heartbreak, details of which he didn’t dilvulge. And this was the most emotionally demanding of all his songs, because he was backed only by a pair of electronic keyboards, minus the pulsating drums, the bold brass flourishes, the twangs of bass and guitar. And hmmm, But there tears his eyes during the course of the performance?

Promotionals: He melded “Money, It’s What I Want,” the old Motown hit, with “Billionaire,” his composition about his dream about making it on the cover of Fortune magazine one day, with a local twist that earned hurrahs from the crowd. Instead of Fortune, he said MidWeek; and in a verse later on, he sang about going to Zippy’s.

The Big Jig: Throughout the set, Mars did his trademark jig with four or five of his bandsmen, doing up close and personal choreographic twirls, much to the delight of the crowd. And often, he demonstrated his swivel hits with frenetic movements.

Strumming and drumming: Depending on the song, Mars occasionally played electric or acoustic guitar. And for his “Gorilla” nightcap, he manned the drums with a fierce style of his own.

Reviving Hit No. 1: For this Hawaii visit, Mars inserted the first of his signature tunes, popularized by B.O.B., on which he did a cameo/video, “Nothing on You.” It was the song that jumpstarted his transition from composer-producer to front-and-center singer-composer.

Sharing and caring: He invited his fans to sing along, notably on “Just the Way You Are,” and his earnesty and accessibility shined; he didn’t mind sharing the spotlight with the folks who’ve watched him from his Little Elvis days to the superstar he’s become.

Bring extra money or plastic:  There are souvenir stuff you’re likely to bring home — two T-shirts from this “Moonlight Jungle” tour ($40 each), complete with the hometown playdates, plus posters, shorts, tank tops, a jacket, a bag and a souvenir program.

In summary: Likely will be the biggest and best concert event of this season — or any season. Mars is truly out of the world, and he makes it all seem so easy and effortless, but truly, there's a lot of method to his magic.

 

 

 

Alex O'Loughlin and Malia Jones tie the knot in Hawaii

April 18th, 2014
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John Sciulli/WireImage

 

“Hawaii Five-0” actor Alex O’Loughlin and his girlfriend Malia Jones quietly and privately got married in the Islands, People magazine reports.

The couple, who had a son named Lion last October, reside in the Diamond Head area. They are both 37, according to E! Online, and have sons from earlier relationships: O’Loughlin’s older son Saxon is a teenager now; Jones’ son Spike is now 4.

O’Loughlin is the Australian actor who earlier starred in two canceled TV series, “Moonlight” and “Three Rivers,” but found his path to stardom portraying Steve McGarrett, in CBS’ reboot of the original procedural  that ran 12 seasons. The current “Five-0” now is on hiatus, after finishing its fourth season in the islands, and is its first year of syndication with TNT.

Jones is a surfer and model.

They made their debut red carpet debut as a couple at the 9th Annual G’Day USA Los Angeles Black Tie Gala in 2012.

 

The hand grip says it all on 'Hawaii Five-0'

April 12th, 2014
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A firm hand grip — amid a concrete jungle of building rubble from a bomb blast — said it all on Friday’s (April 11) “Hawaii Five-0.”

Stunned, grey-with-ash and injured but still with a fighting spirit, Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) and Danno Williams (Scott Caan) were the epicenter of this non-traditional procedural entitled “Ku I Ka Pili Koko” (Blood Brothers).” Non-traditional, since the focus of attention was the two dudes isolated amid concrete rubble — another side of Hawaii.

There was blood — and lots of brotherhood — with some of the bromance carguments uttered in an environment of dust and cement blocks and grey gook everywhere. McG and Danno are trapped amid the rubble, with Danno a bit more seriously hurt than McG.

In what would traditionally be a typical cop’s day, trying to bust a weapons operation, this one turns into a search and rescue effort to locate and retrieve the duo buried amid the crumbled building.

So this was a personal storytelling outing. But  there were some bumps.

Overnight TV ratings have become a see-saw ride for the island-based “Hawaii Five-0.”

Up, down, up, down.

“Five-0” was the most-watched show in its 8 p.m. (9 p.m. Mainland) slot, with 9.09 million viewers. In the coveted 18 to 49 age demographics, “Five-0” slipped a tenth from last week, to a 1.3 rating, behind ABC’s “Shark Tank,” which had a 1.6 demo (down from a 2.0 a week ago) and  fewer viewers at 6.49 million..

These Nielsen figures are preliminary, subject to change.

The evening’s most-watched show was CBS’ “Blue Bloods” in the 9 p.m. slot (10 p.m. Mainland), with 10.97 million viewers and a 1.5 demo rating. And perhaps inspiration for the partnered two shows (at least at the network level) — there’s a bounty of brotherly love  on Tom Selleck’s hit show.

Back to “Five-0:”  Trapped workers amid the ruins of a bombed building are jewels for breaking news on TV, so the situation here should have included a media component —  and concerned reporters wondering about the fate of McG and Danno.

The pair’s isolation brings McG and Danno closer than ever. The handgrips, the handshakes were unspoken displays of trust and aloha — remember, there were multiple grasps — and McG’s SEALS training enables him to comfort and aid his partner in time of need. Amid the agony and the injury, this was a time for give-and-take, teasing and nagging, sharing and caring.

Overall, there was more see-sawing. CBS and ABC were tied in the 18 to 49 demos with a 1.3 rating, but CBS had more viewers than ABC — 9.24 million vs. 5.62 million.

So goes the Friday see-saw ride.

And it was frustrating for McG, when his cell phone had no reception amid the ruins. But Skype does? A real inconsistency.

The  bombing stirs the other “Five-0” team members into action and reaction. Chin (Daniel Dae Kim), Kono (Grace Park), Grover (Chi McBride) and Catherine (Michelle Borth) are all aboard. Ditto, Max (Masi Oka). Widespread community concern about the fate and wellness of McG and Danno.

There were secondary elements galore: Chin and Kono continuing their workplace bonding after her long absence from the roster.

And Danno bonding with his love interest Amber (Lili Simmons) but not with his daughter Gracie (Teilor Grubbs), who unexpectedly interrupts the couple’s private moments.

And screen time for outgoing character Catherine — McG asks her to make reservations for a sushi dinner — was a nice personal touch, but raises beacoup questions about her end-of-the-season departure: how tight is the relationship? Will she recur in the next season? Do they break up and go separate ways? Or, gulp, will she be killed, as many shows handle an elimination?

Stay tuned.

 

'Five-0' has a reunion, but attendance is slim

April 5th, 2014
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 Jorge Garcia as Jerry Ortega, Daniel Dae Kim as Chin Ho Kelly.

It was a fan-built episode for CBS’ “Hawaii Five-0”  Friday (April 4), with viewers deciding plot elements which script-writers used to play out the episode. While Chin Ho Kelly (Daniel Dae Kim) is attending his 25th anniversary high school reunion,  an alumna is murdered.

The show was entitled “Ho‘i Hou (Reunited),” challenged by elements suggested by fans in an earlier network promotion to determine story points: the setting would be Chin’s Kukui High School reunion; a macadamia nut heiress would be killed with a 5-inch stiletto (high heel shoes), a toy rocket will be one of the evidence pieces and a giant maze would be a factor in the pursuit of an alleged suspect.

But many fans weren’t watching, skipping the reunion, with “Five-0” amassing 9.52 million viewers in the 8 p.m. hour (9 p.m. Mainland), according to preliminary overnight Nielsen ratings. It was the most eyes tuned in, ahead of ABC’s “Shark Tank,” with 7.19 million, but “Shark” led the 18 to 49 demographics with a 1.9 rating, compared to the 1.3 rating shared by “Five-0” and NBC’s “Grimm” in a tie. The numbers reflected a glide and a slide — “Five-0” down 7 per cent in the 18 to 49 demo from a 1.4 from its last new episode, and “Shark” tanking 10 per cent from a 2.1 demo for its last fresh show.

The evening’s top drawers were CBS’ “Blue Bloods,” in the 9 p.m. hour (10 p.m. Mainland), with 11.40 million viewers, and its 1.5 demo was up 7  per cent from its last original episode; “Shark Tank” had the best demo score (1.9 rating).

Overall, CBS had the most viewers, 9.473 million; ABC had the best 18 to 49 demo, 1.5 rating. It's been this way for months.

Could have been a middling week for Friday viewership — any argument is possible — or the naysayers are right: Friday is where the action isn’t. Where, in the past, shows often go to, before cancellation.

No, “Five-0” and “Blue Bloods” are renewed for another season, so not to worry.

Worrisome, however, is the ongoing concern of Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) and that Shelburne mess involving his mother Doris McGarrett (Christine Lahti, not in this episode, just name-dropped). The quest for answers take McG and Danno Williams (Scott Caan) to Cambodia, and since there’s no car for commute, they have their cargument in cargo plane as they head home. This, after checking out an empty coffin in the jungles of Oahu, which is supposed to be Cambodia.

Roosevelt was cast as Kukui High this time. Wasn’t Iolani the stand-in, in season one?

And Jerry Ortega (Jorge Garcia) is Chin’s reunion buddy — a pair of dudes not very comfortable schmoozing with their high school crowd.

But that yearbook glimpse was cute and on target: one was deemed “most likely to be abducted by aliens,” the other “most dependable.”  Would you have known who had the description if you missed the show?