Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

Oscars 2014 : Who dipped, who slipped, who tripped...

March 3rd, 2014

Ellen DeGeneres dipped, Jennifer Lawrence slipped, John Travolta tripped.

So last night’s Oscarcast is over and Monday morning quarterbacking —reactions and reflections — are de rigueur. ellen

Host DeGeneres had her moments, some good, some bad — but lacked sparkle over-all, spending far too much time schmoozing with the audience, filling time by cradling a guitar, and looked wide-eyed in wonderment if she was clicking with the viewers.

Um, not always.  She went overboard in put-down comments to Liza Minnelli (once) who had blue-streaked hair, and Jonah Hill (twice) for his exposure in “The Wolf  of Wall Street.”

Actress Lawrence, again radiant in red, had another fall at the ball, as she exited a limo, before her red carpet stroll. Remembering Lawrence’s trek and slip  when she went to pick up her Best Actress Oscar, DeGeneres said that perhaps if she won last night, the statuette should be delivered to her seat. Bad karma — Lawrence lost to Cate Blanchett.

Saying he loved musicals, John Travolta introduced Idina Menzel who performed what would become the Best Song winner, “Let It Go” from “Frozen.”  But he mangled her name, uttering something like “Adela Dazeem,” and she was a Tony winner who was a “Wicked-ly” Elphaba.”

Shameful. What was he smoking?

The evening lacked a spectacular opening number; after all, this was the crown jewel of the awards show, and aside from performances of the four  Best Song nominees, there wasn’t that “aha” moment with song and dance.

Paging Neil Patrick Harris, paging Neil Patrick Harris: He hosted the Tonys and will do so again this year; his brand of summarizing the slate of nominees and shows in tuneful reflection was first-rate; and at the end credits, he did a similar chore recapping the winners before sign-off, a task that required swift writing as the show was unveiling, and incredible delivery of raw material.

There were two guest singing spots: Pink’s Judy Garland/“Wizard of Oz” tribute and Bette Midler’s vocal of her hit “Wind Beneath My Wings” hit, with the former representing the now generation, the latter reflecting the past though the Hawaii-born Divine Miss M still has Magic. Pink sparkled like Dorothy’s glass slippers, in her red gown; Midler earned a standing ovation for her bit, which was a strange tack-on to the usual awards memorial to those who have passed on, which should have been integrated into the tributes. Midler’s performance brought tears to Julia Roberts’ eyes.


Some moments to love or hate:


Happy-ness: Pharrell Williams, complete with his trademark hat, made his Oscar-nominated “Happy” song a danceathon with A-list movements from Lupito Nuyong’o, Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. Probably spontaneous rather than staged — and precisely the kind of surprise the show needed.

Cute: DeGeneres ordering pizza, collecting bucks from the likes of Harrison Ford. Well, you do get hungry and the show ran 3 ½ hours and the grinds were waiting at the after-parties.

All right, all right, all right: Matthew  McConaughey’s spontaneity, speech and sizzle — he waited long but obviously believed his time was now.

Touching: Jared Leto’s savvy and sincere acceptance speech, saluting his mom who was an inspiration for his success.

Dreams come true: The “it” girl of the awards circuit, Lupita Nyong’o, said in her acceptance speech, dreams are valid; and she expressed gratitude to the real-life figure who inspired her and enabled her to snag the statuette.

American nightmare: It was 0-for-10 for “American Hustle,” with an A-list roster of nominees and a prolific director; it was a complete wipeout for the film.

bestpicSplit hits: The buzz before the Oscars was that this was a season of close races; not so. The anticipated winners won; the occasional split between Best Picture and Best Director was also predictable, as Academy Award voters spread the wealth around — “12 Years a Slave” copping the big prize, but “Gravity” director Alfonso Cuaron reeling in the director’s trophy.

The Gap: Did you notice the divisive and distant relationship between “12 Years” adapted screenplay winner John Ridley, and the film’s director Steve McQueen, who didn’t win?


Share your observations, if you have a moment you loved or hated.





Who’s got a secret? Many do on 'Hawaii Five-0'

March 1st, 2014




“Hawaii Five-0,” featuring Melanie Griffith as the mother of Scott Caan’s character Danny “Danno” Williams, still leads its 8 p.m. (9 p.m. Mainland) time slot on Friday, but the preliminary overnight Nielsen TV ratings number indicate that the island-filmed show dropped a skosh in the coveted 18 to 49 age demographics.griffth

That’s not to blame Griffith in the first of what looks like  recurring appearances; her introduction marks the show’s continuing reach into the past of its principal players. Mama (her name is Clara) Williams brought news that she’s leaving Papa Williams, stunning sonny boy. He didn’t take the news well.

‘Pale‘ia (Buried Secrets),” as the segment was entitled, played out this way in the numbers: the CBS show still draws the most viewers among competitors, luring 10.44 million on Friday (March 1). But its 18 to 49 demos had 1.4 rating (tied with NBC’s “Grimm,” with 5.19 million viewers), which marked a four-tenths drop from a month ago when the last new episode was aired before Friday’s. The demo winner in the 8 p.m. hour was ABC’s “Shark Tank,” with 2.1 (up four tenths from last week) and 7.83 million viewers.  The competish included Fox’s “Enlisted,” with 1.84 million viewers and a 0.6 demo and a repeat of CW’s “Star-Crossed,” with  0.55 million viewers and a 0.2 demo.

Overall, CBS had the most viewers Friday; ABC had the best 18 to 49 demo. Most-watched Friday show was CBS’ “Blue Bloods,” with 11.80 million viewers with a 1.4 demo.

*    *    *

Regarding the episode , there were several secrets — one personal, two buried between the walls of a home, another from the Chicago past that haunts a member of the “Five-0” force now — that played out quite nicely.

Mama Williams’ surprise pop was early and swift; as soon as she appeared from baggage claim, she told Danno that she and her dad are going separate ways.  After the opening credits, the first of two bodies are found in a home, the second late in the show; and Captain Grover’s unknown pilikia in Chicago was played out in black-and-white flashback.  Oh, I guess Teilor Grubbs as Danno’s daughter Gracie (and Mama Williams’ granddaughter) also had a hidden truth: playing hooky from school.

There was a little surprise — a fish out of water, so to speak — when Daryl Hannah, still remembered as a mermaid in “Splash,”  appeared as a realtor. Knew she had filmed an episode recently.

There also was a rare bond of trust and faith — and a hint of future cooperation — when Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) pledged his kokua and support of his till-now arch enemy on the same team, Captain Grover.

Peace in paradise — at last?  Or have they secretly been liking each other — but pretended not to?








New on 'Five-0:' Arrival of Danno’s mom, the return of Garcia...

February 28th, 2014



Let the family games begin.

With NBC’s Winter Olympics over, new programming returns to the other network’s dials.

And CBS’ “Hawaii Five-0,” which has been serving up beaucoup repeats, is no exception.

melanie jorge

For instance, on tonight’s (Feb. 28) new episode entitled “Pale'la  (Buried Secrets),” Melanie Griffith shows up as the mother of Scott Caan’s character, Danny “Danno” Williams. She surprises sonny boy with some unexpected news — he's not particularly charmed by her arrival — so we have yet another mom aboard with a suitcase of potential conflicts. Remember Christine Lahti, as Mama McGarrett, the mother of lead star Alex O’Loughlin’s Steve McGarrett? Boy, trouble has been her middle name: for son and for viewers. That was then; this is now.

As McG drives Danno and his mom home from the airport, the guys get involved in one of their famous exchanges: carguments. Will Mama Williams be  likeable — or loathed?

And next Friday’s (March 7) episode, “Hoku Welowelo (Fire in the Sky),” features another guest star — Jorge Garcia, the Hurley dude from “Lost” — recurring as the character Jerry Ortega.

On this one, a triple homicide will lead to a downed secret Chinese satellite.

And Captain Grover (Chi McBride) takes Danno’s mom on a ride. And you know him; never short on harsh words. With a new writing crew, viewers should expect a bit more substance in the scripts.

Auditions are stirring here, thanks to the Mouse House...

February 17th, 2014

disworld king

Above, luau performers at Walt Disney World in Orlando; below right, "Lion King" musical logo.



Disney is searching for Island talent on two fronts:

* Walt Disney Worl is seeking a male vocalist for its Aloha Dinner Show in Orlando.  The  male vocalist is for the role of Kimo; he must at least18, a familiar with Polynesian dance, for the on-site luau show. The candidate should have an athletic build, possess  a pop tenor voice to G#. His height should be 5-10 or taller and he sould be able to dance Polynesian numbers — Tahitian, Hawaiian, Samoan, etc. “A diverse look” is how the audition describes its desired performer.

The Disney World auditions will be held at 10 a.m. this Saturday (Feb. 22) at  NIX Performing Arts, 98-025 Hekaha St., Suite 221 A, in Aiea.  Those trying out should provide a current headshot and a resume and be prepared to sing 16 bars from a musical theater selection.  Bring sheet music in the proper key for an accompanist, which will be provided.


* Disney Theatrical Productions, producers of “The Lion King,” have been auditioning here for cast members for potential employment in the Broadway company and in North American touring productions like the one in residency at Blaisdell Concert Hall through March 9. Auditions for singers for the Nala and Simba roles, and spots for female dancers, are already completed, but  more tryouts are set for male dancers scheduled this week. And those who missed the live auditions can mail in applications, ASAP. See specifics below.

“Lion King” male dancers may try out as  at Ballet Hawaii studios  today (Feb. 18), at 777 S. Hotel St., Suite 101.  Requirements: applicants must be 18 to 30,  from all cultural backgrounds, with classical and modern training; some roles require acrobatic skills; sign-in at 9 a.m. today (Feb. 18), auditions begin at 10 a.m. Dancers should bring flat jazz shoes or may try out barefooted; dancers may be asked to sing, so bring sheet music and prepare a song that shows off voice and range; a piano accompanist will be provided. Also submit a recent photo and a resume with a list of performance experience.
For latecomers:  If you were unable to unable to attend the “Lion King” auditions, you  may submit a headshot and a resume with experience via mail to: Binder Casting, ATTN: “The Lion King,”  321 W. 44th St., Suite 606, New York, N.Y. 10036




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Bruno Mars' film debut in ‘Rio 2’ will include his songs

February 16th, 2014

EIF Women's Cancer Research Fund's 16th Annual "An Unforgettable Evening" Presented By Saks Fifth Avenue - InsideHawaii’s Bruno Mars has been signed to voice a character — his first — in the forthcoming  20th Century Fox Films “Rio 2” sequel, opening April 11.

Mars and singer Janelle Monae are the latest to join the cast, directed by Carlos Saidanha.

Though Mars’ voice (the end title song, "It Will Rain") was heard in the “Twilight: Breaking Dawn” movie, “Rio 2” will be his first voice-over endeavor. He got the part of Roberto, the ex-boyfriend and childhood friend of the bird character Jewell (voiced by Anne Hathaway) after director Saidanha saw him in his “Saturday Night Live” performance and tapped the singer-composer to also provide new songs. Mars’ bandmate Philip Lawrence, from the Smeezingtons group, also will be heard.

The flock includes Jesse Eisenberg, George Lopez, Jamie Foxx,, Tracy Morgan, Kristin Chenoweth, Andy Garcia and Rita Moreno in a  range of colorful characters ranging from birds to frogs, so Mars will be in good company.

The musical  soundtrack score, heavy on Brazilian samba rhythms, will be released by Atlantic Records with producers-composers Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown reprising their roles from the original film, joined by composer John Powell.