Saturday, March 26, 2011

Musical Mac & Cheese

So surfing for a radio station this evening I swung my dial to cbc radio 2 where two guys were talking about those songs that we all love.... but are so incredibly cheesy that they called them Mac and Cheese songs. Which I think is brilliant. I mean we all have to songs that we love that are cheesy....

So, this is my Cheesy Top Ten Song list:

1. "Just the Way You Are" Billy Joel - 1977
How is this not cheesy.... first.... it’s from the 70's and a full 7 years before I was born, secondly..... the cheesy sax! Can't scream cheese without that sax playing... and lastly.... every time the song comes on my work iPod.... I can't help it.... I totally sing along! I can describe how it makes me feel... but cheesy is a good describer.

2. “No Diggity” Blackstreet featuring Dr. Dre and Queen Pen – 1996
For the life of me I have no clue what this song is really about, because I just sing the chorus lol. But I totally groove out to it in the car. It’s one of my favourite driving songs, and it reminds me of driving with my sisters, because I was only 12 when the song came out, so they were driving and this was the music they loved.

3. “Killing Me Softly” The Fugees – 1996
I mean, the original would be considered mac and cheese but doing a cover of a cheesy song.... totally makes it a three cheese macaroni! Don’t get me wrong. I love this cover! I think it’s awesome. This is not about songs not being good, but the fact that they have been reduced to cheesy levels!

4. “My Heart Will Go On” Celine Dion – 1997
The ultimate cheesy theme song! I mean, once again, when the movie first came out, this song was brilliant. It captured the feeling of the movie perfectly, but then.... everywhere you turned there it was, every radio station seemed to be playing it. Even talk radio! Its overexposure ultimately doomed it to its current cheesy status.

5. “It’s Not Unusual” Tom Jones – 1965
Tom Jones.... what more can I say. It was cheesy to begin with, but now.... every time I hear it, I think of the Carlton dance on “Fresh Prince of Bel Air”. I think I could even do the Carlton dance due to the many reruns I have watched lol!

6. “Barbie Girl” Aqua – 1997 and “All She Wants” Ace of Base – 1993
I put these two together, because of the fact they are two songs from bands that were both Danish/Norwegian and Swedish and that is sorta cheesy in itself. Not that there are no good bands from those countries, but there was this weird influx of these sort of groups in the 90s that all offered good dance songs that had really catchy hooks. But they are none the less.... Cheesy.

7. “Backstreet’s Back” Backstreet Boys – 1997 and “Wanna Be” Spice Girls - 1996
Well it certainly isn’t thriller, but the halloweeny video clinches it as a cheesy song. The Boy Bands of the 80s and 90s all have their share of cheesy songs, but good grief! This one tops the list.  As for Spice Girls.... need I say more really???? Despite that... both of these songs... get me all nostalgic for grade 8!

8. “You’re So Vain” Carly Simon – 1972
Another great song, but somehow it makes me think of cheesiness. I guess it’s the fact that it’s sort of a break up anthem. Conceitedness is cheesy as well. This song always gets me singing along especially in the car. This makes it qualify for a cheese factor.

9. “Safety Dance” Men Without Hats – 1982
Ah the 80s! I mean really we could put the whole decade in this countdown if we wanted, really. But this particular song sums up the 80s in many ways.... one hit wonder (check)...... band with weird name (check)...... danceable tune (check) and song about goodness knows what? (check!) Ah, cheesy!

10. “Hollaback Girl” Gwen Stefani – 2005
What the heck is a hollaback girl? And why did I know all the words to this song???? And what is with all the bananas anyways! Cheese on toast! I mean.... good tune, but this song is cheesy C-H-E-E-S-Y!

I could continue this list, and I'm sure I've missed really obvious options but this is a list that I stand by! Maybe in the future I'll add to it. Feel free to comment and tell me the songs I missed!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Secret Garden

directed by Agnieszka Holland (1993)
             This is one of my all time favourite films. Ever since I was a child the movie has enchanted me. It happened to be on tv the other night so I thought I would review it instead of a current movie.
            The movie is based upon the book by Frances Hodgson Burnett and it follows the plot pretty faithfully. It changes several things, but it does not detract from the original work much. The story centers itself on Mary Lennox, a sour, dispirited child, who was born and raised in India. She was mostly raised by her servants as her parents had little time or inclination towards her. Due to this she is unable to cry or really understand the concepts of love and friendship.
 Recently orphaned she is sent to live at her uncle’s home Misselthwaite Manor, where there too she is left mostly on her own. To amuse herself she is sent daily outside where she finds a locked garden and is able to get inside. Through the course of the movie she discovers another secret within her home, her bedridden cousin Colin who is similar in temperament to herself.
            The story is essentially about healing, family, and learning to love. The garden is a metaphor for the growth of the characters themselves as they progress in the narrative. The cast of this film is excellent and while oftentimes young actors can come off as stilted and unconvincing, child actors Kate Maberly, Heydon Prowse, and Andrew Knott are not only convincing but emotionally engaging in their respective roles. The supporting cast lead by Maggie Smith strengthens their portrayals by adding a depth and gravity into roles that otherwise could be very flat. Maggie Smith’s character is the most “villainous” in the film, but she brings sensitivity to the role that makes it impossible to completely hate her by the end of the film.
            To round off the excellent acting, the locations, buildings, and cinematography is all excellent.  Much care was given to each of these areas giving the film a life of its own; And as an adult watching this film, it’s hard to believe that so much effort went into a “children’s” film. This film is timeless and is one of the best movie adaptations I have ever seen. I know from experience the movie still captures young children (my nieces) and has the potential to become a children’s classic, much like the novel.
Best Random Parts of the Movie:
            The music is just fantastic that it has to be mentioned somewhere on here, Maggie Smith as the villainous Medlock, elephants as a motif for mothers, Time lapse photography for garden’s spring.
*****out of 5, a classic and a favourite that I couldn’t rate any less!
Here is a clip of the film I found on Youtube

Sunday, March 13, 2011

New Reviews Coming!

Sorry about the delays in my next review, life got a little busy, so I am promising to get another review up soon. It will be a review of a movie classic!