Tuesday, August 07, 2007

IF YOU WANT TO WALK OUT OF A BUILDING FEELING GOOD, GO SEE "HAIRSPRAY"!

"Hairspray" is not a film that's been on my "must watch" list. The fact that John Travolta would be wearing a dress, Michelle Pfeiffer would be appearing in her first film in several years and the always good in unpredictable ways Christopher Walken is also in this film and playing Travolta's husband, wasn't enough of a reason for me to not wait for it to come to cable. Until...
I noticed that Brittany Snow was in "Hairspray". I became a Brittany Snow fan when I saw every episode of NBC's "American Dreams".

When I mentioned this to a couple of friends of mine, they both said they had seen "Hairspray" and liked it. A lot!

Brittany Snow plays Michelle Pfeiffer's daughter in "Hairspray", a movie that immediately gets your attention when an actress I had never heard of comes on the screen and begins singing. Not only was/is she a good singer, Nikki Blonsky flat lights up the screen!

And "Hairspray", to me, does nothing but get better after Blonsky finishes singing that first song.

There is a lot of singing and dancing in "Hairspray" and it's all good. With the possible exception of a duet sung by Travolta and Walken, but because it is Travolta and Walken, you tend to give them a "pass".

No one else in "Hairspray" needs that kind of consideration. The stick thin Pfeiffer plays a ruthless television boss during a time of segregation in America and the Pfeiffer character wants her daughter (Brittany Snow) to win a big contest on an "American Bandstand" kind of show.

The film takes a Civil Rights twist (story wise), but the singing and dancing never stops. Amanda Bynes is terrific as Blonsky's best friend and Allison Janney, playing Bynes' mother, chews up scenery while playing a racist, the way one might expect Walken would.

But Janney isn't the number one scene stealer in "Hairspray". James Marsden, Zac Efron and Elijah Kelley have very good scene chewing moments, but to me, the person who does the real scene stealing in "Hairspray" is Queen Latifah in what I think is her best performance ever.

"Hairspray" is centered around the Nikki Blonsky character, the film moves along crisply because of the fine singing, dancing and acting of the other actors, but it is Queen Latifah who "brings it home".

If you're looking for a way to brighten your day, I wholeheartedly recommend "Hairspray".

MORE GOOD NEWS ABOUT MATT DAMON:

Yesterday, we told you about how much we liked Matt Damon's new film, "The Bourne Ultimatum". According to a survey published by Forbes magazine yesterday, Matt Damon is the actor that producers know they can make the most money with.

For every dollar Matt Damon was paid for his last three performances, the films made $29. Jennifer Aniston was at the top of the female list. A $17 return for every dollar she was paid.

Brad Pitt does okay. A $24 return for every dollar he was paid. Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise and Will Smith? $12 for Hanks, $11 for Cruise and $10 for Smith.

Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell and Jim Carrey? $9 for Sandler, $8 for Ferrell and Carrey.

At the bottom of this list? Oscar-winner Russell Crowe. His last three films have brought in only $5 for every dollar that Crowe was paid.

IS NEWT GINGRICH ABOUT TO ANNOUNCE THAT HE'S A PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE?

No doubt about Newt Gingrich's conservative bonafides. And that's what makes a couple of things that Gingrich has said recently, so exasperating for conservative voters. You know. The kind of voter you would tend to think would support what this conservative White House has been doing and trying to do.

While speaking to 300 or so college students last Thursday, Gingrich (among other things) said, "None of you should believe we are winning this war. There is no evidence that we are winning this war. We've been engaged in a phony war. The only people who have been taking this seriously are the combat military. We used to be a serious country. When we got attacked at Pearl Harbor, we took on Imperial Japan, Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. We beat all three in less than four years. We're about to enter the seventh year of this phony war against (expletives), and we're losing."

In front of a different group of people, Newt Gingrich made some points about illegal immigration. Points designed to show how that "the powers that be" don't seem to seriously want to adhere to what most legal citizens in America want. Which is (in essence) to say that
new "lawbreakers" aren't welcome here, because we already have too many home grown lawbreakers.

To show that our government isn't serious about the illegal immigrant situation, one of the points made by Gingrich was to show how Federal Express and UPS send 7 million packages a day and are able to track a package in minutes. But our officials in Washington apparently can't find illegal immigrants who are very visible. Gingrich suggests that we have Federal Express or UPS ship packages to illegal immigrants.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Don't forget! You can HEAR this blog! The links to the stations broadcasting today's blog can be found at the bottom of my links section which is to the right of what you're reading now. It's the last links.

A new blog is written every morning, Monday through Friday and is posted between 7 and 7:15, Pacific Time. Sometimes earlier. Questions and comments can be sent to scottstjames@sbcglobal.net. I do write back.

TOMORROW: I'll tell you about the "hook" that has been given to "John from Cincinnati" and anything else that makes me say, "Whaaaat?!?"

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