Tag Archives: magic

In 7 days…

During this fortnight that is Wimbledon, I can’t get enough tennis.

7DaysInHell-720x1066But that’s not why I loved and fervently recommend 7 Days in Hell, the hilarious mockumentary scheduled to air this Saturday night on HBO.

(I saw it early OnDemand. Gotta love OnDemand.)

Andy Samberg (SNL, Brooklyn 99) is Aaron Williams, a washed up former tennis star long removed from the game who returns for one last epic match against his bitter rival, young tennis phenom Charles Poole, played by Kit Harington (the late — or is he? — Jon Snow of Game of Thrones).

The match goes the full five sets and, since it is played at Wimbledon, does not have a tie break in the final set. So the play goes on and on — for a variety of bizarre reasons — for seven long days.

John Isner and Nicolas Mahut will be a tad jealous when they see why.  (They hold the real record for the longest match at Wimbledon, iffin you didn’t know — 11 hours, 5 minutes of play over three days.)

There are tons of cameos by celebrities from television, film, tennis, even the world of magic. The story is outrageous, but the documentary format is honored, so it looks right…

Even though it is gloriously wrong.

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Read my lips

Jimmy Fallon’s epic “Lip Sync Battle” has left its home at The Tonight Show and now occupies prime time Thursdays on Spike TV.

lip sync batle

The earlier time slot means the segment gets 30 whole minutes, costumes, backup ‘singers’ and dancers and racier trash talk (since it’s on cable). And the celebs are lovin’ every minute. The only thing that suffers?

The actual lip sync.

The celebs have a lot more bells and whistles to contend with, and limited rehearsal time, I would guess. So everything is messier…but who cares?

They’re making fools of themselves to music — just like on Dancing with the Stars — and it is magical.

Keep calm and don’t carry on

I’m watching the Tony Awards, hosted by the phenomenal Neil Patrick Harris, and as always I am blown away by his ability to do it all. Sing. Dance. Tell a joke. Perform magic. And, most importantly…

Have a sense of humor about it all.

But once the Tony winners start taking the stage, that goes right out the window.

judith lightTake the lovely Judith Light, who won the Tony for Best Featured Actress in a Play.

She graciously thanked everyone in the American Theatre Wing, the voters, her cast and crew, the box office workers, her family, her manager and agent, etc, etc.

And then she started talking to the theatre community.  Got all hyper-earnest and intense.  You could see sweat start to glisten on her upper lip, and veins pop out on her forehead.

And I just wanted to say, “Judith, chill.  Let’s get some perspective here.”

I mean, I had a letter to Sports Illustrated published in the mailbag of the June 10th issue, and you don’t see me standing on a street corner making speeches about it.

(Maybe tomorrow.)

Ruiners

eBay hates Harry Potter.

Or, at the very least, has it in for the Weasley twins.                                                                                                                                                                                                        In their 2012 Fall Sellers Update, the Internet auction site banned “wizardly enchantments, magic spells and potions.”

Divination Professor Sybill Trelawne would also be out-of-luck, because psychic readings have been nixed as well.

What are they thinking?

Hogwarts would be a shade of its former self without Snape sneering in potions class.  And with no deadly spells or enchantments to cast, Harry’s ultimate showdown with Voldemort would be no more.  The whole legend up in smoke.

It’s just a book series, you say?  Well, of course it is….

Now that eBay’s banned all the fun stuff.

Change is good

Sometimes a change in scenery is good, sometimes time runs out in a certain spot. — Phil Nevin

Leaving New York City is very good for Woody Allen.

I loved Match Point, set in London, which Allen completed in 2005. Oscar voters loved Vicky Cristina Barcelona, giving Penelope Cruz the Best Supporting Oscar nod.

And Allen’s newest endeavor, Midnight in Paris, may be the biggest charmer of them all.

Allen is not in the film.  That is a good thing. Owen Wilson plays the Woody role, but he plays it as an optimist. I swore I saw the sun shining in his eyes a few times, he is so upbeat (even when he is sad).

His counterpoint is Rachel McAdams, his fiancee and generally unlikable person.  Her parents are even less so.  There is a big “THUD” when they appear on screen because there is no nuance to their characters, but perhaps they are supposed to be the dose of reality.

Because the rest of the film is magic.  Owen’s love affair with the city of Paris.  The people he meets…and he meets some pretty fantastic people.  The unexpected cameos and brilliant performances by actors not mentioned in any promotion for the film.  (I was surprised; I want you to be, too.)

I enjoyed Midnight in Paris so muchIt was, quite simply, a delight.

Guess where I’m jonesin’ to go now?

Magic chef

When I think about the amazing world J.K. Rowling created in her series of “Harry Potter” novels, there are so many things I wish really existed.

The magic, first and foremost.  Wielding a wand for good — and a tiny bit of evil — would be quite a rush.  Next, the people. I especially love Snape.  I stood behind him even during the darkest days. And Hogwarts, of course.  It makes school actually look like fun.

But I never pictured the dining hall and thought, “I’ll have what she’s having.”

I don’t even recall what they eat at Hogwarts.  (They drink butter beer — I do know that.)

And yet, an enterprising editor has compiled an unauthorized collection of recipes featured in the “Harry Potter” books and films.  Some are specific to the series — like Cauldron Cakes and Petunia’s Pudding.  Knickerbocker Glory and Harry’s favorite dessert, Treacle Tart.

Nope, still don’t know when the heck any of these dishes appeared.  I mean, the names are kinda familiar, but they didn’t figure prominently enough in any of the story lines — at least, for me — to make me think, “Wow, I wanna make that for Sunday dinner.”

And, let’s be honest — most of the recipes in this rather lengthy collection are just standards from English country cooking.  Kippers, steak and kidney pudding and English muffins — foods that have been around long before Harry and He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named were duking it out.

Where’s the magic in that?  Nowhere, that’s where.  Except in this crafty editor’s pockets.  She used Harry’s name to make money appear out of thin air.

Maybe she’s the real witch in this story.

Box-ing office?

If you were on Twitter at all on Halloween, you may have noticed that one of the trending topics was #potterday.

It seems the fans of the Harry Potter books and films were chatting them up, and why not?  On a holiday where ghosts and goblins walk the earth, talk of wizards and death eaters seems apropos.

But when I read the potterday tweets — and added one of my own (heck, I like Harry as much as the next muggle) — I noticed a few felt it necessary to slam “Twilight” in the process:

“Who needs vampires?  We have magic.”

Why do you have to dislike “Twilight” to like Harry Potter?  Are the two mutually exclusive?  Why is life always a competition?

It reminds me a bit of my youth.  (Yes, I can remember back that far.)  When “Star Wars” came out, many “Star Trek” fans — and I am pointing the finger straight back at myself  — were insulted by the very presence of this new saga and boycotted it.  Years passed before I saw “Star Wars” in its entirety, and that was mainly because of Harrison Ford.  He was big time by then, and I wanted to see his take on Hans Solo.

In retrospect, it was a ridiculous reaction.

I think the same thing about the Mac/PC wars.  I own a PC, and always have — mainly because an overwhelming majority of the business world operates on PCs.  I have worked on a Mac in the past, and I personally didn’t find the transition from PC to Mac to be difficult.  I think both platforms have their pros and cons, and I am entertained by the vehement love/hate that people display for the different platforms.

I just don’t see it.

But, that’s me.  I like PCs.  I like Mac’s.  I like “Star Trek.”  I like “Star Wars.”  (Okay, I’ll always like “Star Trek” a bit more…it was my first sci-fi.)

And I love Harry Potter and “Twilight.”  To me, they are very different and are not competing or attempting to muscle one another out at the box office.

Can’t we all just get along?