Posts Tagged ‘Lisa Fischer

02
Mar
14

If GRAVITY wins Oscar for Best Picture, my eyeballs will roll in outer space.

This year there were numerous brilliant films. Gravity was not one of them. Sure the visual effects were incredible and groundbreaking, and it is certainly worthy of an Oscar for them. However, was it a “Best Picture?” Hell no. Was Sandra Bullock great in it? Hell yes. But the dialogue, and the far-fetched back story, mother losing child in space thing, well…I was bored out of my mind, and felt robbed of my $13.50 when I left the theatre…so this little thief snuck into The Book Thief afterwards, and that was a better film, and story.

In my humble opinion, a Best Picture should be about the story. Yeah, yeah, we all got to experience imagining being alone in outer space…but they dropped the ball with character development and story line, and dialogue. The ball just floated around without gravity.

This year it is extremely difficult to pick a Best Picture. Between Dallas Buyers Club, American Hustle, Nebraska, 12 Years a Slave, and Captain Phillips, how can you choose? What do 4 out of 5 of them have in common? They are all based on true stories. I prefer reading non-fiction as well. When it really happens, I just think it’s cooler. (And I didn’t manage to see Philomena, also based on a true story, but I hear it is wonderful. But guessing it is not a contender for political reasons.)

And although Wolf of Wall Street was also based on a true story, it belongs in Best Picture as much as Gravity…and Her for that matter. Her was very creative, Joaquin was amazing. and it made me think, for sure, about relationships. But I believe The Butler, should have been in there. And I don’t understand why it was omitted. It was epic. I cried my eyes out. The cast was strong. Forest Whitaker was snubbed for Best Actor. And I could watch it again.

A Best Picture, for me, is one you can watch once a year and just go, “Wow!” every time.  Like Forrest Gump.

So, let’s start with front runner, 12 Years A Slave. The film was hard to watch. I actually had to cover my eyes at times. (as much as I did seeing the high wasted pants in Her.) Brutal.  It was gripping. The cinematography was gorgeous. The story was mind-wrenching.  I left angry and sad. I cried in the parking lot. It was a story in history that needed to be told, in form of a film. (Since most Americans don’t read enough…including me.) It needed to be graphic to be effective. Most of the acting was superb. But not all. And once was enough for me. So, although I think it may get Best Picture, because Brad Pitt produced it, and has many relationships for votes…it didn’t get mine.

Dallas Buyers Club is certainly worthy of a Best Picture. Mathew McConaughey will most likely win Best Actor. It was his role of a lifetime. Jared Leto should win Best Supporting Actor. And as Best Screenplay it is a contender. And if Captain Phillips and American Hustle were not in the running, it would get my vote.

Yes, I am torn between Captain Phillips and American Hustle. To me, I left the theatre with that Wow Factor. I could buy these films, and watch every year.  I’m actually surprised that Tom Hanks was not nominated for Best Actor. And although Barkhad Abdi was superb, I don’t think he will win for Best Supporting Actor.

Superstar Cast. No weak links. Clever, fun movie.

The Superstar Cast. No weak links. Clever, fun movie.

So let’s move on to Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Every single nomination is worthy on that list. But for me, Jared Leto stands above the rest.

Yikes

Yikes

But who lost more weight?!

Double Yikes

Double Yikes

Best Supporting Actress Role. Very tough category.

Forget Julia, the film sucked. Sally Hawkins was good…Jennifer Lawrence is on fire on the screen, and in Hollywood right now. She has an amazing long term future, and will rack up several Oscars in her lifetime. But I have to say, June Squibb and Lupita Nyong’o get a tie with me. But only one can win. So, I think Lupita or Jennifer will get it. (And she deserves it, too.)

Best Actor? They all deserve to win…with the exception of Leonardo DiCaprio. Yeah, I know he’s been robbed before, but that’s no reason to nominated him for a way over the top film that could have been much better, without the cheap, gratuitous approach.

Christian Bale was fucking brilliant. Bruce Dern was superb. I wouldn’t mind seeing him win. Chiwetel was powerful, and Matthew McConaughey went above and beyond for his role.  He’s going to win, but Christian Bale gets my vote. (And Tom Hanks would have taken it, if he was even nominated.)

Best Actress?

Meryl and Sandra, I love you…but the films? Eh Shmeh. Emma Thompson got robbed. Judi Dench, didn’t see it yet, but you have a shitload of nominations, and one Oscar win, and you are probably not popular enough this year. Amy was great. And although Blue Jasmine was an okay film…Cate Blanchett was the film. A film that could have been much better, based on the scenario. Thus, forget screenplay win. But Cate has my vote, and I think she will win. If Sandra wins, it will be strictly political, not that there was anything wrong with her performance. If Amy wins, I won’t be surprised.

And now for Best Screenplay. Another toughy. To be able to translate a long book into a tiny movie with only 90-120 minutes to effectively relay a story…that takes skill! (I know. I am working on the screenplay for my book, Who the F**K is Linda Chorney, besides being a wanna be movie critic?)

Best Screenplay:

Another toughy, although Blue Jasmine is out in my book. disappointed in Woody on the dialogue. Thought it was forced and contrived. Her, pretty weird, pretty good, but American Hustle, Nebraska, and Dallas Buyers Club are all top-notch. Who will win? American Hustle. Who would I pick? I don’t know. Have the Oscars ever had ties?

Best Director?

Another toughy. Forget Wall St and Gravity. Although American Hustle would get my vote, I think 12 Years a Slave will win.

Best Editing?

Toughy….but definetely not Gravity. That editor should be fired…or maybe commended for doing his best with tons of footage without content. I would pick Captain Phillips. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. But maybe American Hustle will win.

Best Documentary?

I ony saw 20 Feet from Stardom, which was very good, and near and dear to my heart and career, (lead cast member, Lisa Fischer is my friend), but I’ve seen documentaries that stop me in my tracks…so although I am rooting for 20 Feet, I am sure one of the other four is stronger. But 20 Feet might just win, because of the relationships in the music world. But I could be off base. But I predict The Square, just from seeing a few brief clips! I must see that film.

Star of 20 Feet From Stardom, and me, 20 thousand light years from Stardom

Star of 20 Feet From Stardom, Lisa Fischer –  and me, 20 thousand light years from Stardom

Best Foreign Film. I’m embarrassed to say that I have not seen any of them, yet, and they are always superb. Usually anything about the Holocaust wins. So since it doesn’t look like any of them are about that, I’ll go with whatever Palestine did…Omar.

Best Costume Design?

I’ll go with 12 Years A Slave, but I loved the costumes in American Hustle!

Best Original Score?  Whatever it is…it’s fixed by the labels. I’m guessing John Williams has enough…Gravity will win. Nebraska should have been nominated..and win.

Best Special Effects?

GRAVITY. Totally worthy of this award. But if it wins best picture…refer to the title of my blog. And it should also win any sound stuff.

In summary, I have to admit that I always get excited about watching the Oscars! Really. Excited. And I never get excited about watching the Grammys. The Grammy Telecast seems like an ametuer act compared to the Oscars, which are always a class act. And I LOVE the fashion! Nominees in the Oscars are usually very worthy. Grammys? Not so much. But both are politically driven. Let’s hope some of my picks win!

IN SUMMARY: (And remember, it is a huge honor just to be nominated..(tee hee)…it was almost impossible for me to choose the very best ones this year.

LINDA’S PICK                                                                              LINDA’S PREDICTIONS

Best Picture: Captain Phillips & American Hustle       12 Years A Slave

Best Actor: Christian Bale…okay..and Matthew           Matthew McConaughey

Best Actress: Cate Blanchett                                                 Cate Blanchett

Best Supporting Actress:  Lupita & Squibb                    Jennifer Lawrence

Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto                                     Jared Leto

Best Director: American Hustle                                           12 Years A Slave

Best Editing: Captain Phillips                                               Captain Phillips

Best Screenplay: American Hustle                                      American Hustle

Best Original Score, whatever

Best Costume: American Hustle                                        12 Years A Slave..or maybe American Hustle (I’m not betting, so I can pick 2)

Best Documentary: 20 Feet From Stardom                  The Square

Best Foreign Film: Omar                                                        Omar

Best Visual Effects/Sound: Gravity                                   Gravity

What are your picks?!!!

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19
Aug
11

MAX WEINBERG JOINING THE OPERA?

Put great artists from Rock, Jazz, and Classical Music together, and you can wing anything and get a one of a kind performance!  Witnessing this is a pure privilege.

Last night, I was a bad girl.  I whipped out my little iPhone and hit record during Chris Botti’s show at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ.  I just had to capture this moment.

Not only is Chris an amazing trumpet player, but he is very engaging with the audience.  Tons of personality. And not hard on the eyes.  He’s the Ken Doll Version of Miles Davis.  (That is a compliment…he’s got the looks and the soul.)

Botti’s tour presently includes the Musical Goddess, Lisa Fischer.  Chris respectfully introduces her in the show as Grammy Award winner for “Best Female Vocalist”.    And continues, that when she won it at the start of her career, afterwards, she received a phone call from some dude that wanted her to join his band.  Mick Jagger.  She’s been with The Stones for 16 years now.  I am in awe of her talent.  And she is beautiful inside and out!

Linda Chorney and Lisa Fischer

Me and Lisa Fischer

I was fortunate enough to have her sing several tracks of two of my albums, including my latest, “Emotional Jukebox”.  She fucking rocks!  Her range is astounding.  Her tone is pure.  Her presence is ballsy and gracious.  In the studio, my jaw stayed wide open in disbelief as she belted out wild child soulful cries, creative melodies, and contrasting controlled sexy subtleties, track after track.  Wish I had gotten that on my shitty iPhone recorder!

Listen to “Mother’s Little Helper”

(Funny little story – when I asked Lisa to sing on “Mother’s Little Helper”, she asked in her sweet, calm voice, “Oh.  What song is that?”  I thought it was so cute!  I guess she and the Stones had never done that song on tour.  So I taught her!  Yay!  Maybe they will next tour! She slams on it!)

Listen to “Broken Promise Land”

 (My less optimistic answer to Springsteen’s Promise Land)

The Neighborhood of the Basie hosts a bunch of talent, like Bruce Springsteen, Jon Stewart, Max Weinberg, and of course, the token frustrated, not quite as famous, me.  (Who was drooling to get up there and share this magical moment.)  (I was just there 2 weeks ago performing with Pat Benatar.)

Max Weinberg and Linda Chorney

Max Weinberg and Linda Chorney @ Count Basie Theater

Uh, oh.  Sorry Max, I only got that one shot, and it looks like your eyes are kinda closed.

My bad.

(Maybe your impression of Forrest Gump?…”and then I met Linda… again.”)

But at least one of us was lucky enough to be a part of the performance you are about to see, recorded on the finest piece of shit camera.  (So please excuse the quality.)

It is my favorite piece (that I can’t even pronounce), from my favorite Opera, (which I can pronounce!) “Turandot!”

With the okay from Chris….

Here to perform “Nessun Dorma“, Chris Botti and his band, with special guests Lisa Fischer, Carolyn Cambell on violin; and invited to the stage, from da hood, Max Weinberg!

When you see performers having a blast, and a moment, you get to have it, too!  You can’t tell from the crap footage, but there was so much joy on Max’s face.  It was awesome.

And although that was the finale of the show, the highlight for me was when Lisa came out and sang one of  my all time favorite writers, Burt Bacharach’s “The Look of Love”.  She began acapella with a soaring, goose bump making, completely original playing with the melody intro. Lisa and Botti blew me away.

So I gots this crazy idea!  My little dream team.  Chris, Lisa, Max, and Moi to do a Best of Bacharach Album.  No one since Dionne Warwick has been able to nail the vocals.  I’m not expecting Lisa to fill her shoes.  Ms. Fischer can strap on her rock and roll boots and do her own thang.  And if that album ever comes out, maybe we can all get some Grammys!   Or we could do an Opera?  Nah.

Lisa Fischer~ Chris Botti ~Linda Chorney

Lisa Fischer~ Chris Botti ~Linda Chorney. (I look totally yucky in that picture. But I only got one shot of that, too. That's show biz!)




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