Category Archives: Beyonce

Hollywood’s Big Night

Quote of the Day: You commie homo-loving sons of guns!” — Sean Penn, winning his second Best Actor Oscar

I really enjoyed the Oscars last night. I know one’s not supposed to say that. It’s not hip or fashionable to enjoy an Oscar telecast; one is supposed to be all sarcastic and nasty about it, commenting solely on the clothes and hairstyles to have any real impact in the general post-game conversation. Well, ha! to that, I say. The new production team (Bill Condon–who directed Dreamgirls–and Laurence Mark) kept their ideas a closely-guarded secret–and it worked. Setting up the show as a “lesson” in how movies get made, lining up the awards (for the most part) in the order of how the elements of a film production fall into place–a stroke of producerial genius, I say. Using groups of actors (or solo stars like Will Smith) to guide viewers on this tour–smashingly done, especially Sarah Jessica Parker/Daniel Craig and Natalie Portman/Ben Stiller (who’s Joaquim Phoenix impression was hi-larious)…Didn’t care so much for Jennifer Aniston and Jack Black–both of them seem to try to hard in general, and together it just seemed like a real sweat-fest. 

Loved Eddie Murphy in the center of things giving the Jean Hersholdt award to Jerry Lewis. Loved Hugh Jackman’s gay-straight man (straight-gay man?) shtick. Loved the “salute to musicals,” though it really could have been a “salute to Broadway” and still make the same points–and even though they had the good taste to use Beyonce, the greatest entertainer on the planet right now who can do no wrong in my book (well, until she does), there should have been more songs snippets from Oscar-winning musicals like My Fair Lady or The Sound of Music or the Gershwin-fest An American In Paris, but that’s just me, I guess… 
Really loved the “previous-winner’s roundtable” approach to handing out the acting awards. For the first time ever watching an Oscar ceremony, I felt like I was watching a community of artists celebrate each other’s great work rather than a grab-bag of diva egos vying for the gold. (I can watch the Men’s Ice Skating comps at the Winter Olympics for that!) As the evening moved forward the groups of five actors brought onstage to present awards got more glamourous, more famous, more legendary. Perfectly played–though I must give a special shout-out to Sophia Loren for bringing her curvaceous Italian gravitas to the evening. Even if the moments were scripted, I felt like each actor (give or take a couple) gave the performances of their lives by making each nominee feel special, as if, in some ways, they’d already won. (Memo to Cuba Gooding, Jr.: stay on book. You had your, well, moment when you won for Jerry Maguire. If you really had a problem with Downey in blackface you should have stayed home. Or made a smarter, more articulate point…)
(Oh yeh, loved the Best Picture montages, in which the nominees were linked to similarly-themed movies from the past, but worst montage moment, by far: putting a shot of Braveheart into the Best Picture salute to Milk…uh, old debate, but it still resonates…)
It would have been nice to see Viola Davis win (like her Broadway counterpart Adriane Lenox did for the stage version of Doubt), but I guess I can’t have everything. What I did have, though, was an entertaining evening. The Oscars will never be the free-for-all funfest that is the Golden Globes, but it did come pretty close last night, at least in terms of looseness, emotion, and ease. 
And can I just ask: How freakin’ fabulous are Brad and Angelina? Even smirking their way through Anniston’s brittly, unfunny moments, they just exuded glamor and sexiness and joie-de-vivre, didn’t they? I bet they each gave each other a real prize after they got home and made sure the kids were asleep. They truly are this generation’s Liz and Dick. I just wonder which one is the real shrew at home?
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Filed under Beyonce, flicks, Hugh Jackman, Sarah Jessica Parker, the Oscars

Notes and News…

Quote of the Day: “This is what it sounds like when doves cry…” Prince, “When Doves Cry”

Some news and notes for the day:

*  So, that nasty old NY Post cartoonist apparently wrote–get this!–a children’s book once upon a time, a King Midas-style tale about a rat or something. Seems appropriate right, considering his apparent love of animals. Seems some peeps on Amazon.com are letting him know that he ain’t right…Read the story here
*   Uhm, didn’t SCOTT TOPICS pretty much make this point about Beyonce a few months ago? Yeh, pretty much. But we certainly didn’t make THIS point about Sasha Fierce…oh well. I think I can go with it. Willi Ninja, RIP
* I have this friend, a new, very good one, named Ivan Anderson. He’s gonna be a rock star in a few years, take my word for it. This is about Ivan’s Mom, though. She’s actress Leslie Ayvazian, who, it turns, out guested on one of my VERY FAVORITE episodes of Law & Order. It was called “Homesick”. It was the one where a baby gets poisoned and the detectives think the British au pair did it, but the baby’s father had a bitter ex-wife and a son, and Patti LuPone played opposing counsel, and Kim Raver played the super-chic NEW wife (and the baby’s mother) who was more career-girl than good mother, and…well I won’t give it away if you haven’t seen it. But it’s a goodie.
I tell you all that to say that Leslie Ayvazian is a playwright, too, most famously known perhaps for Nine Armenians. And her new play is going up at the Atlantic Theater Company this year! It’s called Make Me, and it sounds hot. Read more about it here…Congrats, Ivan’s Mom!

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Filed under Beyonce, Delonas, TV

Is it Etta, or is it Memorex?

So is it really Etta James on that audio talking bout whoopin Beyonce’s ass? 

I love Etta. And I love Beyonce (anyone who reads SCOTT TOPICS on a regular basis knows that!) And I refuse to come between two divas–whether one is over the proverbial hill or in the flush of superstardom. 
But Etta sounds pissed. And seemingly over the cult of Beyonce (who played the living legend in Cadillac Records). Sounds over Obama, too, if you listen closely–does she say something about his, um, big ears? Etta, girl…
First Christian Bale and now Etta…Two rants in a week. Celebrities are coming undone…

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Whistle While You Work

Quote of the Day: “Whistle while you work…” –Snow White and the 7 Dwarves

Found this mash-up online. Blends two of my favorite things: Beyonce (aka Sasha Fierce) and the Andy Griffith Show
Check it out here. Love it. Live it.

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Beautiful! Bodacious! Brilliant! BEYONCE…

Quote of the Day: The Rhythm Of Life is a powerful beat/Puts a tingle in your fingers and a tingle in your feet/Rhythm in your bedroom/Rhythm in the street/Yes, The Rhythm Of Life is a powerful beat…” “Rhythm of Life” from Sweet Charity

No one on the music scene todayand I mean nobody, not Ciara, not Rhianna, not Britney, and sadly, most certainly not Madonna, anymore–has the style, showmanship, and savvy of the superstar named Beyonce. Two new singles out to promote her upcoming release; only one of them moved me, the ballad “If I Were a Boy.”  The other one, “Single Ladies”, just seemed like a retread to me, a nursery rhym-ish Destiny’s Child track remixed as “Get Me Bodied” from the B’Day CD. 
Then I saw the video (thanks for the early morn shout-out from Mr. Chase-Marshall–hyphenated brothas looking out, indeed!). And I got it…
This video is, simply put, magic: so amazingly on-target, so dazzingly inventive in its simplicity, so ferocious and potent, it reminds me of Prince’s “Kiss” video in a way, relying as it does solely on the sheer star power of the artist, the hotter-than-July cinematography, and some cool and breathtakingly gorgeous choreography. The choreography! Did someone resurrect Michael Kidd and play him some hardcore r&b beats? Did someone bring back Bob Fosse and ask him to teach some steps to the Ikettes? No other artist today steals so smartly and effortlessly from the best of the past to create the future of popular culture. 
When I interviewed Beyonce for the cover of Giant magazine back in 2006, on the eve of the release of B’Day and Dreamgirls, I told her about a show called Liza With a ‘Z’, a Bob Fosse-directed one-woman show that Liza Minnelli did for one night only on Broadway back in the 70s. I gave Beyonce a DVD of the show and told her that I thought she was the only artist who could pull off something as elegant and sophisticated and fun and wild. She demurred–as she should have, frankly–but I could tell she liked being compared to a show biz legend like Liza. Homegirl’s turn as Deena Jones in Dreamgirls may not have turned out to be the showcase for this showstopper that she (and others) wanted it to be, but then, Dreamgirls really isn’t Deena’s show to stop. It’s Effie’s, and frankly, as good as Beyonce was in the flick, no one was going to stop Jennifer Hudson, the same way no one was going to stop Jennifer Holiday 26 years ago in the original production. BUT…Beyonce has her videos, and years still to find the vehicle that will show off her stuff as vibrantly as possible.
This video is one step closer, I think, to Beyonce With a ‘B’
Okay, I’ll stop gushing now…Check it out, kids…

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Filed under Beyonce, music