Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Monday, February 12, 2007


I am currently tripping on (in no particular order):

Burger King’s Black Pepper Whopper – It’s the bomb! I love the spicy black pepper sauce; I order it without mayo so that I can really taste the sauce. Sans mayo doesn’t make the burger significantly healthier though. Back in the late 80s when I first started working and earning my own income, I used to subsist on Big Macs every day, lunch and dinner (they didn’t serve them for breakfast). Thus in a couple of months I became literally a Big McVie. I am like that with certain foods; I would fixate and could go on for months without getting tired of them. Before the Big Mac it was Shakey’s Garlic & Cheese pizza. Later on it was Chili’s Chicken Crispers. Now it’s this Whopper. Thank goodness I think the black pepper sauce version isn’t a permanent item on the menu. And add another damper to my appetite: my gym fees.

Madonna’s The Confession Tour DVD/CD – Dancers on roller skates onstage! Parkour all over the stage and the stadium! “Music” mashed up with The Trammps’ “Disco Inferno”! “Future Lovers” segueing into Donna Summers’ “I Feel Love”! “Erotica” re-imagined as a ballroom dance number! Lighted stage floors! (Okay, so the religious/“I-have-a-message” overtones in certain numbers are an eye-rolling nuisance, but they’re easily dismissed. Besides, the production values are distracting enough.)

The Curse of the Golden Flower – It’s not one of my top Zhang Yimou films (I like “House of Flying Daggers” and “Hero” better), but the production design is dazzling to watch on the big screen. Gong Li’s performance is dazzling to behold. Her character would have been a perfect candidate for a drag queen’s repertoire, except that the costumes are too intricate and expensive to replicate, and her gestures aren’t expansive, diva-esque. But oh how yummy her role is! The whole movie is gushingly melodramatic like a cheap paperback novel, which adds giddy fun to the whole proceedings. Plus I enjoyed staring at the three sons, never mind their mostly physical acting. Why those yummy boys had to be covered in all those layers of sumptuous textiles is a disappointment, but given that the costume design was nominated for an Oscar, who am I to complain?

The Police reunion at the Grammys – After The Beatles and Paul McCartney and Wings, The Police was the only other act outside the Fab Four (and their post-break-up incarnations) that I could proudly declare a personal favorite of mine. This was during the late 80s. U2 was great, but I wasn’t completely sold on them until “Achtung Baby” in 1991. I considered the Pet Shop Boys too fey and would put me one step closer to outing myself. And to date I personally know of only one other person who is an unabashed fan of Electric Light Orchestra; Adam Sandler doesn’t count because I don’t know him personally and I’m not sure if he’s just reliving music from his childhood when he used ELO in his movies’ soundtracks. To see and hear Sting, Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers rock it out at the 2006 Grammys is even better than The Beatles reunion via “Free As A Bird.” Hey, when your lead singer is dead from a deranged fan’s bullet, you can only do so much in terms of reunions without going through an séance.


Nelson said...

Joel, I'm just curious, how much is the Confessions Tour DVD/CD combo there in Manila?

I just got mine today for CAD$23 (that's roughly about Php950). Wondering if it's the same there.

Other than that, I was boogeying to Music Inferno. Nakakaloka!!!!

joelmcvie said...

NELZ: It's less than Php700 here. The one I bought was the local release, meaning manufactured by Warner Bros. Philippines. Even the packaging is smaller, because it is the size of a double-CD versus a regular DVD pack size. I guess that's how Warner Bros brought the costs down.

joelmcvie said...

NELZ: Oh yeah, aside from "Music Inferno" I love the mash-up/medley of "Lucky Star" and "Hung Up", and the "Future Love/I Feel Love" medley.

Nelson said...

Joel: I don't understand how it can be smaller -- doesn't it come in a multi-fold hard paper packaging? The one that I got didn't have a jewel case or the regular DVD case -- it's basically like a sleek hard paper construction that folds like a huge booklet, with the plastic CD holders pasted artfully inside. Is it the same packaging with the ones there?

Anyway I'd expect it to be less expensive in Pinas (marketing strategy, I guess).

When I bought the "I'm Gonna Tell You A Secret" documentary DVD, it was in a double CD jewel case (that also contained the audio CD). In HMV (I guess Canada's version of Tower), they only have it in the regular DVD case--and it's more expensive than the Confessions DVD (almost double)

Besides the medley you mentioned, I also grooved to "Erotica" and "La Isla Bonita."

Nelson said...

JOEL: Re: The Curse of the Golden Flower -- Oh my nakakaloka ang Gong Li!!!! She looked like a tragic drag queen. And yes, the costumes, the visuals and the colors are so lush they overpowered the yummy-ness of the boys--but I like Gong Li's son better -- machong-machoooh!

Gong Li (or Li Gong in the west) is also appearing in "Hannibal Rising," as the tragic Lady Murasaki (another drag queen role, I presume). Speaking of Hannibal, the title role is played by the yummy guy who played Audrey Tatou's fiance in "A Very Long Engagement," Gaspard Ulliel.