Tag Archives: Darlene Love

The new Chris Rock movie is not as good as the hype (but it’s decent). Darlene Love belts it out for Letterman one more time. And South Dakota’s hilarious accidentally dirty billboard

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I took my 3-month-old to the movies the other day, which some of my family and friends have called crazy and others have applauded (Hey, the kid’s got to get out in the world, it was a rainy afternoon, and it was a fun adventure. He behaved beautifully in the theater, didn’t cry a peep while sleeping through the whole flick, and except for some difficulty on the bus, it was a successful trip.)

Was very excited to see “Top Five,” the Chris Rock movie being hyped as an actual “good” Chris Rock movie, and really funny and smart and sharp. Best movie of his career, the critics I trust said.

And maybe it was. But it sure wasn’t as stellar as I had hoped.

First, the good: There were some genuinely laugh-out-loud funny scenes, the two best being when Rock’s stand-up comedian-turned-actor, Andre Allen, goes back to his old neighborhood and meets up with Tracy Morgan and others, and a hilarious strip-club scene with cameos by Jerry Seinfeld and Adam Sandler (Seinfeld works blue here and it’s awesome; he says a word in this flick that I’m 100 percent certain he’s never said on stage before).

The story itself is not bad: Andre is getting married in a few days to a reality-TV star played by Gabrielle Union, but before that he’s spending a day with a New York Times reporter played by Rosario Dawson, to help promote a new “serious” movie he’s in.

But so much of the movie just felt forced to me; Dawson’s “journalist” was the most unprofessional and ridiculous portrayal of a newspaper reporter since Drew Barrymore played a copy editor with a secretary in “Never Been Kissed,” Rock’s not that good of an actor so his attempts at seriousness fall flat, and the ending didn’t really do it for me.

Still, it did have some laughs, and probably is the best movie Rock has done. Honestly, it’s worth seeing just for the Seinfeld and Sandler scene, truly side-splittingly awesome.

**Next up, it’s Christmas Eve, and I’d like to wish all my readers who celebrate a Merry Christmas. May your stocking be filled with everything you want, and make Christmas dinner make you stuffed and happy.

There are a lot of great Christmas traditions out there, and I’m not about to say one is better than the other. But one I’ve come to love, along with millions of others, is the fantastic female singer Darlene Love coming to the David Letterman show a few days before Dec. 25 every year, and belting out a beautiful rendition of “(Christmas) Baby Please Come Home.”

Love has an incredible voice, she’s been wowing Letterman for more than 20 years, and with his show ending in May, this was the last performance for him.

Just fantastic stuff, gives me chills to hear how beautiful her voice is.

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**And finally, this made me laugh pretty hard, because there’s still a 12-year-old boy inside of all of us.

The state of South Dakota gets a lot of snow and ice in the winter, and is trying to spread the word to drivers not to jerk their steering wheels to avoid accidents, thereby causing accidents.

So they came up with a public service campaign, putting up billboards and commercials, with the slogan: “Don’t Jerk and Drive.”

Somewhere, Bart Simpson is laughing his ass off.

In praise of Howard Stern, master interviewer. A great Harry Caray/Lumineers mash-up. And “20 Feet from Stardom” a must-see

MrMet**So this has nothing to do with anything except I feel I must share it: Last week, the wife and I were at Shakespeare in the Park in Central Park (we only got to see about 25 minutes before a thunderstorm washed it out) and before the show we were getting a bite to eat in the park when, totally out of nowhere, Mr. Met, the Mets mascot, walked five feet from us.

Startled, I of course called out “Hi Mr. Met!” and he waved. But what the hell was Mr. Met doing in full costume at 7 p.m. on a Thursday, nowhere near a baseball game?
I’ve been wondering ever since. On a related note, can you imagine sitting behind Mr. Met at a theater? No way you’re going to see anything.

OK, on with the show…

I have zero love for Howard Stern. In fact, I pretty much loathe him.
This has led to heated arguments with two of my best friends, who both worship him and listen to him all the time.
I admire his success, but always found his brand of filth just pretty unfunny.
However, I have to give the man props for this: He’s really an excellent interviewer. He gets celebrities to open up and be totally revealing, and he lets them talk about their worlds in a way you don’t get anywhere else on TV or radio.

Last week he had Jerry Seinfeld on, and I was alerted by several websites I look at that this was one of his best. I checked it out and it was indeed fantastic. It’s 90 minutes of Seinfeld letting loose on his iconic show, comedian’s insecurity, his childhood, and a host of other topics.

I know you probably don’t have 90 minutes right now to listen to it, but if you listen 15-20 minutes a time like I did, it’s worth your time.

**Next up, something I found hilarious. Someone on the Internet took the time to mash-up The Lumineers’ big hit “Ho, Hey” with Will Ferrell’s brilliant Harry Caray impression from “Saturday Night Live.”

I watched it three times and laughed harder each time.

**Finally, a quick plug for a great documentary I saw the other night. It’s called “20 Feet from Stardom,” and it’s about the history of backup singers in rock and roll. And it was really, really fascinating.

So man of these great women (and they were mostly women), like Darlene Love and Merry Clayton, have been forgotten by history, or at least marginalized. In the movie we get to hear their stories (Clayton’s tale of being the incredible voice on the Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter” is worth the price of admission alone), hear their voices, and learn what their lives have been like.

Some of the lucky ones got to make it as a solo artist; but most of them had to be content standing in the shadows, making the “talent” sound good and getting very little credit.

It’s a moving film about a group of people who we never hear from, and you’ll walk out of the theater feeling good.
It’s in limited release but check out this site to see if it’s playing hear you.