Saturday, February 26, 2011

Saturday at the Movies #33 -- Blackpool weekend, pt2

Though I first saw this under the title Viva Blackpool, when broadcast on BBC America, the original title is Blackpool, and Viva Blackpool was the title of the one-off sequel (that I have no desire to see, no matter how much I love the original, but more on that later) so I'll be referring to Blackpool here. Gotta love the title confusion.

Some movies (or in this case, miniseries or serials) belong in the no remakes, no sequels category, and for my money (pun intended) Blackpool is one of them. From the very first previews, I knew this was going to be something different. While characters breaking into elaborate song and dance numbers seemingly at random is a staple of Bollywood (a genre I have yet to explore, outside of Bride and Predjudice,) we don't see it much in western media, so the promise of a musical detective story, with a strong focus on an engaging central character made me sit up and take notice.

David Morrissey playes Ripley Holden, a charismatic, optimistic arcade owner, determined to turn his piece of Blackpool's entertainment community into a Las Vegas style casino. Since Ripley generally gets what he wants by some means or another, there's only one thing standing in his way - money. Well, okay, two. Money and the body of a young man found in the arcade, and signs point to Ripley as the murderer, though Ripley denies it.

Enter Detective Inspector Peter Carlisle, played by Dr. Who's David Tennant, determined to ferret out the root of the crime...and win the heart of Ripley's wife, Natalie. Natalie finds herself torn between duty and desire, and Ripley's life, both personal and professional, goes into freefall.

Besides scheming to secure the funds he needs to keep his business afloat, Ripley struggles to keep his family together. Not only does he fear losing Natalie to the charming but manipulative Carlisle, but he must deal with daughter Shyanne's determination to wed a man of Ripley's own age. Put-upon son Danny may be closer to the crime than anyone thinks, and though he and Ripley have never had the easiest relationship, he finds they are more alike than he ever thought. All of these threads get the song and dance treatment, actors singing along to the original recordings.

Even with all the various threads woven throughout, this is very strongly Ripley's story, and the revelations of how Ripley came from where he started to where we find him, and where he ends up (which ranks in my best movie endings ever) is utterly fascinating to watch. I agonized over the romantic triangle, able to see things from all three sides, and wanted desperately for Ripley to achieve his goals, and he does, after a fashion, but at great cost. I love all the surprises in this serial, and how though things don't always turn out the way we want, there's usually a way to make things work out so we can live with them.

I decided not to see the sequel because the ending of the original is so flat out perfect for Ripley, who finds his own way to win at last, the any future other than him riding off into that particular sunset would be, for me, unbearably wrong. There was an American adaptation, Viva Laughlin, set in Laughlin, Nevada, which was cancelled after two episodes. The translation did not fare well. Stick with the original on this one.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Happy Dance Friday #38 - Blackpool Weekend pt 1

Our first themed weekend (that I actually intended) and I have only myself to blame. After last week's inclusion of a clip from Blackpool, I've had "The Boy With the Thorn in His Side" stuck in my head all week long, and now have a burning desire to rewatch Blackpool. Preferably all in one big glob, so may have to hunt down the DVD.

In the meantime, dancing today and talking tomorrow.

We'll start with some time honored words of inspiration

This song often plays in the back of my mind when waiting for my turn at a pitch session:

An appropriate anthem for when the words are flowing and pages filling, likely a good addition to my "go to work" playlist

And because the heroine of my time travel would come straight out of the book and kick me while wearing stompy boots if I had a blog post about Blackpool (I tried to tell her I'm talking about the TV serial, not the town, but she insists) that did not include the ballroom championships, here we go:

She is now insisting I get back to work on her edits, so Happy Friday to all, and we'll be back to Blackpool tomorrow.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Happy Dance Friday #37 -Who's Dancing?

Another Friday, another post closer to the fortieth happy dance post. A number that high strikes me as surreal this morning, and so the theme was born. I'm not a Dr. Who fan myself, but the DH is and I see another one on a daily basis, and yes, I do know what "dance" means in-universe on certain occasions. Make of that what one will.

I loved "The Dance" ever since I first heard Garth Brooks' version, Westlife does it proud, I wholeheartedly second the sentiment...and okay, Ten leaving Rose with Ten-clone ripped a piece of my heart out.

Not from Dr. Who itself, but David Tennant was in Viva Blackpool, a brilliant bit of a musical/detective/character study. Expect to see more of that some Saturday.

Knowing what "dance" is a euphemism for in-universe, I question the song choice, but the clips are fun:

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Saturday at the Movies #32 - I Will Go Down With These Ships

The prhase "I will go down with this ship" has an appropriate meaning for those who champion certain couples in thier tv or movie viewing. In honor of Valentine's Day, I refuse to accept anything but a true happily ever after for my favorites and if the canon version doesn't provide, I can and will make my own in my head and count that as the real one. Also possibly lead a torch bearing mob on the powers that be.

First, up, Temperance Brennan and Seely Booth from Bones. This show is steeped in romance: Angela and Hodgens are finally happily married and expecting what has got to be one unique but wonderful baby who will never have to work a day in his/her life; Sweets and Daisy are reuniting, and Cam and her (adopted daughter's former) gynecolegist show fine promise as well, but Booth and Bones, well, auuuuugh, such a delicious tease. I have every faith the HEA will come, but in the finale. In the meantime, what a ride.

There's a reason the opposites attract trope gets a lot of play in romanceland, and who doesn't love a good fairytale? I was always fond of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, so I immediately recognized the dynamic in The Big Bang Theory. Except there's four of them and they're nerds, and aspiring actress Penny has her own kind of smarts that don't come from books. If I were still writing fanfiction, I'd have Penny land an audition for the reboot of a beloved SF tv franchise as well as finally making things work with Leonard. Sheldon, however, would still be Sheldon.

Rough patch, smough patch. When Barney and Robin from How I Met Your Mother get their second chance, these crazy kids are going to have a life together that is legen...wait for it...dary.

Moonlight only got one perfect season (and hey, good Regency title there, hm?)but watching a goodhearted vampire and his inquisitive ladylove work through those early stages to get to one of the best declarations of love I've seen on the small screen prove that sometimes, one is all you need.

My all time favorite TV couple would have to be Duncan and Tessa from Highlander. Even after Tessa died, we got fake Tessa, and the series finale gave us AlternateTessa, in a reality where she'd never met Duncan. If I were going to fanfic this, AlternateTessa's husband would end up in a tragic fatal accident on his way to that meeting, thereby freeing Tessa for Duncan, who finds a way to stay in the AU and they all live happily ever after.

Which TV couples are your favorites? If the powers that be didn't (or haven't yet) given them a romance novel worthy HEA, how would you have the story end?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Happy Dance Friday #36 - Happy Dance Driveby

It's one of those days when the day got away from me, but for writing stuff, so that counts as good. Maybe not as good as the gal in this clip -okay, it's not dancing, but we could all use a dose of her enthusiasm:

I think I'm going to have to keep this clip around for the next manuscript I finish...or the next request...or the next sale. Because really, who doesn't need a Rockette's kickline to celebrate the good stuff?

And since the northeaset is still under the frozen stuff, some ice dancing:

(I would say I'll retire this song from future clips, but I can't make that promise; The Gaga is everywhere.)

Friday, February 04, 2011

Happy Dance Friday #35 Happy Dance Friday Goes Bang

Funny Pictures - Lizard Has Feets
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

These days, mine are usually encased in heavy socks and heavy boots to go out in heavy snow. I do not want to think about the mire the ground will turn into when spring arrives. No idea if lizards will be pleased about the extra mud or not, but I couldn't resist lizard feet. Reminds me, I have a tub of shea butter I haven't opened yet.

If last night's Big Bang Theory didn't provide a perfect candidate for Happy Dance Friday, I have taken too much cold medicine.

Though I didn't spot Amy Farrah Fowler in the above number (am I wrong and I missed her?) we can't have a Big Bang dance without Mayim Bialik, so the opening credits from Blossom:

Since those of us under the white stuff could use a lesson in perserverence, a musical montage of the never-say-die attitude that is Howard Wolowitz:

A good happy dance gets the blood circulating, which means extra warmth, so clear some floor space and get a groove on.