Sunday, December 7, 2008

What We Did This Weekend.

Hey, Bloggy Friends!

I hope you're having a lovely afternoon. It's gorgeous in Philadelphia today. The sun is shining bright. This is a stark comparison to yesterday's weather, when we had a ton of snowflakes falling from the sky. It looked like it would have stuck, but there must not have enough of it to make a difference. Am I a Scrooge for saying I'm not a big fan of the snow? I just don't like to be cold, ya'll.

This has been a nice low-key weekend. Friday I had to work, so we didn't do much that evening besides snuggle up at home in front of a movie. We were pretty busy Saturday. We started the day running a few errands in Center City. On our trip we decided to stop over at City Hall, where they have Christmas village set up between now and Christmas. It was neat. There are tons of booths which sell a variety of goods, like blown glass decorations, Christmas tree ornaments and various textiles. There are also booths set up selling hot drinks and food. It felt very...Christmas-y. I purchased one of my gifts there. I haven't decided who it's for yet, but I'm sure whoever gets it will love it. Buying one gift sort of put me in the mood to do some more shopping, so we hit the streets looking for some other gift ideas. I ended up getting three other presents out of the way. It feels good! I don't have too much to buy this year, but I'm glad to get somewhat of a start on it.

Later in the evening we went to University City to see Cadillac Records, starring Adrian Brody, Jeffrey Wright and Beyonce Knowles. Alan was the only white person in the theater, but he's used to that. Most of you know how much I love jazz, and the blues, so you can imagine how excited I was to see this. Brody gives a typically stellar performance as the founder of Chess Records. I was a little surprised to see him in this. He usually does loftier films, but I guess he has to pay the bills everyone else! The colorful cast of characters also include notable Chess artists like Muddy Waters (Wright), Little Walter (Columbus Short), Chuck Berry (Mos Def) and the one and only Etta James (Knowles). I thought Wright did a particularly great job as Muddy Waters. He portrayed him as a very understanding, likable character, despite his womanizing ways. I was a little nervous about how Beyonce would portray Etta James. Etta is one of my favorites. I think she did a pretty decent job. I just have a hard time looking past the fact that she's Beyonce, and I'm kind of tired of seeing her everywhere. I mean, she played "Diana Ross" in Dreamgirls, and now Etta James. Does she have to play every female music legend that ever existed? Did I also mention she was listed as Executive Producer? She did seem fully committed to the character, however. She "let go" a little more in this performance than I remember seeing her do before. She doesn't come in until the second half of the movie, which was also the time the film seemed to usher in bit of unwelcome camp. I don't think it was her fault necessarily, it just started to get a little less good at that point.

The music was my favorite part. To my knowledge, the entire cast performed the songs on their own. Columbus Short, as the hard-drinking Little Walter, did a fantastic version of "My Baby." Mos Def, one of my favorite hip-hop stars, did a great job as Chuck Berry. He was very comical, as he strutted around the stage like a rooster! Beyonce sang the hell out of her numbers, but I don't think she hit Etta's groove spot on. There was a certain grit that was missed. She did growl, and groan through some of them, though! My favorite Beyonce moment was when she sang, "I'd Rather Go Blind." I love that song. Overall, I really enjoyed the film. I appreciate the fact that films such as these are made to shine a spotlight on how the music I love came to be. If you liked "Ray" or "Dreamgirls," I definitely think you will enjoy this.

Today, Sunday, we got up early to complete the rest of our weekend chores. It's very sunny outside, but the wind is about as chilly as it could possibly be. We're about to start getting ready for my big birthday, karaoke bash tonight. I'm really excited for it. I hope you can make it! I hate to keep going on and on about my birthday, but I received a very special gift this morning that I want to share. Bloggy Friend Bill created a video to celebrate my passage into the 30's. It is so sweet, creative and glamorous. I love it. Thank you so much, Bill. Check it out below!

Have a great night. I will chat with you soon.

Love, Josh


Anonymous said...

Nice review. I saw Dreamgirls but remember little. What I liked better was "Camp." Do you know what I'm talking about? The girl with the metal braces/retainer sings that powerful song. Oh! Don't make me go to imdb to look it up. (I better go to imdb ...)

OK yeah the actress is Tiffany Taylor. Loved that performance.

Anonymous said...

P.S. Thanks for plugging me! I love that video. I want to experiment more with moving images around like that. FUN!

Anonymous said...

OK, and now I'm realizing how stupid it is to compare "Camp" to "Dreamgirls" or "Cadillac Records."

I look forward to seeing this one on dvd.