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International Press & Outfits

GrahamCher was on the BBC Graham Norton Show on December 17. I love this hilarious show. She laughed a lot but she also looked unsure and a bit uncomfortable with Norton's antics. She sat with Norton and comedienne Dawn French (of French and Saunders).

After watching a Burlesque clip, Dawn calls Cher a camera magnet.

Thankfully the covered all Cher's recent wardrobe snafus so we don’t have to here (Oh the Spain premiere pics where she exposes the girls got the Cher Freaks into a frazzle!)

She talks also about Zookeeper: she was originally cast as a giraffe but got moved to the Lion wife of Sylvester Stallone.

I’m a quarter Cornish by the way and there were two unrelated mentions of Cornwall in the show.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcB8ecObsPw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_3z-lpm3Rs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSeEbkxRWOA

The Paris Premiere

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The Madrid Spain Premiere

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(I had to learn how to use the eraser tool in Photoshop.)

Madrid Panel Interview: http://www.cherworld.com/news/?p=1536

  • Cher says Diva is such a bullshit word.
  • Kristen Bell calls Cher an "effervescent human being...people just have soap operas in their mind."
  • Cher "Sonny would say there is hard time and easy time and I would say that this was easy time."

Spain Lifetime Achievement Award: http://www.cherworld.com/news/?p=1549 (video clip)

Ricky Martin presented CHER with a lifetime achievement award at the Los 40 Principales awards.

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The London Premiere

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In London, signing for fans: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKXeWcoLH4Y

The Berlin Premiere

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Footprints in Grauman's Chinese Theater, Hollywood

Full-view

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All pics: http://www.life.com/search/?type=images&q0=Cher
 


Burlesque: How're We Doing?

This Burlesque shit is off the charts.

First, a year of fun pre-premiering with lots of kewl appearances, interviews and products…then all the scandals and intrigue.

The Murder:

Although one person of interest just committed suicide, the Ronnie Chasen murder still not solved to anyone’s satisfaction:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/8191882/Murder-of-Hollywood-publicist-Ronnie-Chasen-solved.html

Her killing baffled investigators, who indicated it may have been targeted but could find no apparent motive. Her purse had not been stolen, adding weight to suspicions that she was not a random victim.

Last week Harold Smith, an unemployed 43-year-old with a string of past convictions, shot himself as he was approached by officers investigating a tip-off given to a Crimewatch-style television programme.

An anonymous caller gave the name of Smith, who was about to be evicted from his flat, and said he had bragged to neighbours that he was paid $10,000 to kill Miss Chasen.

But officers said Smith was merely "of interest" to them and was not a suspect. They said initially the gun and bullets he used to kill himself did not appear to match those used on Miss Chasen.
Further doubts that Smith was capable of the apparently sophisticated roadside murder were raised when it emerged that his only form of transport had been a bicycle.

However, at a news conference late on Wednesday, Dave Snowden, the chief of Beverly Hills police, said that it now seemed almost certain that Smith had indeed carried out the killing.
He said tests had found Smith's gun and bullets did match those used on Miss Chasen after all. "We believe that Mr Smith acted alone," Mr Snowden said.

"We don't believe it was a professional hit." Det Sgt Michael Publicker added that Smith "was at a desperate point and was reaching out and doing desperate measures". He added: "Most likely it was a robbery gone bad".

Smith had several convictions, including robbery and drugs offences, and was released from his second spell in prison in 2007.

The Box Office:

After spending its first week at #4, Burlesque moved up to #3 behind Tangled and Harry Potter for its second week, then went down to #7 for the third week, (the theater count went down as well) and this week has fallen to #11 in box office. I saw it again with my husband on Sunday (yes, he went twice!! And still insists he enjoyed it) and the tiny theater it had been relegated to was stuffed with 30 people for a Sunday 2pm showing. They all seemed into it. The average age of the audience was elderly. I enjoyed listening to the gay guy next to us comment throughout the movie. He was there with his mom. We all three, husband, me and gay guy (unbeknownst to us), all tried to see how much money Tess turns over to her ex-husband with that check dramatic check close-up…none of us could locate a dollar amount. We all vowed to freeze frame the DVD someday. 

To date the movie has earned $35,537,765. To make up its cost, it has to beat $55 million which internationally it should do.

http://boxofficemojo.com/weekend/chart/

The Golden Globe Nominations:

Cher’s song "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me" has moved up to #14 on he dance chart and has been nominated for a Golden Globe award, as has Christina's "Bound to You."

Other competition: Gwyneth Paltrow's "Coming Home" (from Country Strong), Mandy Moore & Zachery Levi's "I See The Light" (from Tangled) and Carried Underwood's "There's a Place for Us" (from Chronicles of Narnia). Christina said of the nomination:"I want to thank the HFPA for recognizing our song 'Bound to You'. It is a ballad Sia and I wrote from the heart and one that I am extremely proud of."

Me love me some Sia.

And...The 68th Annual Golden Globe nominations also includes the movie Burlesque in the category of Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical and it was quite the controversial pick.

From: http://www.popeater.com/2010/12/20/burlesque-bribe-golden-globes-cher/

When the poorly-reviewed film 'Burlesque' earned a Best Picture (Musical or Comedy) Golden Globe nomination last week, many observers and everyday movie fans were left with stunned looks on their faces. A fun musical romp? Sure. But one of the best of the year? C'mon! Well, thanks to Patrick Goldstein of the the Los Angeles Times, we may now have an idea at just how Sony was able to swing such an honor from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

Goldstein opened a can of worms when he wrote last week that HFPA members "took a Sony-sponsored trip to Las Vegas to see Cher in concert, then gave her film a stunning best picture nod."

This shocking little nugget leaves us to wonder: Did the makers of 'Burlesque,' which currently sports a 39 percent rating from film critics over at Rotten Tomatoes, grease the palms of the 81-member foreign press voting bloc in order to secure a nomination? Well, it's been done before, as The Independent notes:

"In 1981, the unknown Pia Zadora won a Best Newcomer award for her role in 'Butterfly,' a film which had been universally derided. It later emerged that the movie's producer, who was also her husband, had flown the entire HFPA to Las Vegas for a weekend holiday immediately before they voted."

All this scandal has angered one of the stars of 'Burlesque,' Cher, who I'm told had no idea Sony was flying the voters to Vegas to see her perform.

"Cher is furious that this happened," an insider tells me. "She meets hundreds of people backstage every week and never asks what they do for a living. She just assumed this group was another group of fans for her to meet and greet."

My source tells me that if it's somehow confirmed that voters gave the film the nomination because they got a free trip to Vegas, "Cher would rather they keep the darn thing."

That doesn’t sound like a real Cher quote, honestly. I can't see her using the phrase "darn thing." The phrase "insider tells me" also makes me wonder about that bit of news.

From: http://www.hotmommagossip.com/2010/12/20/golden-globes-nod-for-burlesque-uncovers-judging-corruption/

For years the Golden Globes were regarded as a signpost to the Oscars; If it won a Globe it was sure to get a gold man as well. Today, few in Hollywood respect them, and since Cher and Christina Aguilera got picked for ‘Burlesque’ this disdain has grown.

Released on November 24, Burlesque’s $55-million budget and withering reception rightly made it one of the most expensive Thanksgiving turkeys in history. So when it received a nomination for ‘Best Picture’ at last week’s Globes preview, even those whose medication prompts them to consider the awards vaguely relevant were confused.

But the cause of this error may have been found – Just before they cast their votes, the obscure collection of 81 foreign journalists who are the Globes’ voting panel received a lavish, free trip to Las Vegas to see Cher in concert.

I thought this was all very outrageous and scandalous and told my husband so shortly after he got home from work. He seemed to think it was non-news and said people are naïve if they think buying nominations isn’t how the dirty business works. I said this potentially taints Cher and the Globes. He said bolderdash and then I called him a Cherpologist, mostly because I just wanted to try out that word (yell it the way my niece Sarah once accused him very loudly at a family dinner of being a FISH AND TURKEY STEALER!) but also because I am finding it hard to get a Cher criticism out of him lately. 

He said he hoped my blog headline would read "Man Who Sets Cher Traps Becomes a Cherpologist"

 


Cher Interviews! Can You Get Enough?

The great thing about Burlesque press is seeing how friendly Cher has become again. In TV interviews over the past years Cher has seemed tense and stern. It's fun to see her smiling again. 

A good online Cher interview:

  • When asked her beauty secret: “There's a team of five dozen people and it takes them two hours."
  • Asked about making friends on the road vs on the set: “You develop a real shorthand as to who you like…”
  • “I’m never going to do a lot of films”
  • Her secret to longevity: “I haven’t got a clue. I think it’s luck. I really do think it’s luck.”

The Movie Phone interview between Cher and Christina was fun:

  • When asked about her favorite gift from a fan she talks about a painting, I think she's talking about that Ward Lamb picture again.

An essay on Cher's appeal as a gay icon:

  • “Every gay icon possesses qualities through which we live vicariously…and with Cher you get more bang for your buck. It’s wish fulfillment on a grand scale.”
  • "She’s 'a woman like no other.' That’s basically the front of the line for gay men.”

The New York Times Interview:

  • She talks about needing foot surgery, and having aches and pains everywhere.
  • The Times describes her as having “a magnitude of celebrity for which the word fame is pathetically insufficient...Cher has come to seem the Sherman tank of divas, sometimes under fire but seldom in retreat.”
  • The author expresses discomfort with treating her like a mortal.
  • The big news:  Cher will soon host and introduce old favorite movies to be shown after midnight on the TCM channel.  Can’t wait to watch old movies with Cher!!
  • On her movie role choices: “Look, I have a very narrow range.” Me, I think think Cher should choose to a bad guy character next. Bad guys are fun to play. And she can exercize her bitchy look.
  • She tells a funny story about Barbra Streisand: When she flashed back to her favorite exercise class in Beverly Hills decades ago, the fellow crunchers and squatters were Raquel Welch, and Ali McGraw…and Streisand, who “would go over, do two little things, and then walk around and talk,” Cher said.

Regis-philbin-cher-kelly-ripa-2010-11-19-14-20-23 Regis and Kelly

This was one of my favorite interviews, maybe because I could relate to Kelly's giddiness or because they asked really fun questions and got Cher talking about life at home.

  • Regis said "You can't get bigger than this next guest."
  • Kelly said: "This is the greatest moment of my life."
  • Regis made me laugh when he joked with Cher: "Have you missed me at all?"
  • Cher admitted she's a great cook (Sonny taught me) but she only cooks on special occasions. Her specialty is sauces (Sonny’s sauce). Don't you think Christy Bono, Chaz and Cher ought to get together to commemorate Sonny with book of his recipes?
  • At Chez Cher, they do a traditional thanksgiving: turkey, mashed potatoes, spinach, sweet potatoes "with the bad marshmallows" and for Thanksgiving she dresses like a bum.
  • Cher and Regis have known each other since The Joey Bishop Show.
  • Cher says "We are all artists in our own life, all the star of our own life."
  • Kelly called Cher the original performance artist.
  • Cher said Lady Gaga's Meat purse “didn’t feel very nice.”
  • Cher insists she's not threatening or menacing and that younger men are attracted to her because "younger men were being rasied by women like me."
  • Cher claims she never sang in any of her movies? But she sang in Good Times, and for bits of Jimmy Dean, Mask (an entire song that got cut) and Tea with Mussolini.

Letterman David Letterman:

  • Letterman reminded Cher it was 23 years ago that she was on the NBC show with Sonny. (That makes me feel old.)
  • On signing autographs Cher says: "It takes as much time to say no as to say yes." (Can Cher do an intervention between autograph-hater Val Kilmer and the town of Pecos, NM?)
  • On expensive Vegas show tickets “My fans have a hard time with it.”
  • She has appreciated the Vegas show but likes arenas better. She jokes husbands must say: “I'll take you to see the naked old bitch and then I’m gambling.”
  • When Letterman reads out a list of men, Cher smiles the biggest for Gene Simmons. The name Michael Bolton elicits a “nooooo!”  Letterman askes "how many? and Cher says "we're not talking Cleopatra numbers."
  • November 13, 1987 was the airdate for the reunion with Sonny. On May 22, 1986 Cher called Letterman an asshole. For historians, Letterman said. Indeed, for historians. 
  • Discussions of Cher's gargantuan fortune seem to embarrass her.
  • Chaz thought about his gender change for 10-12 years. Letterman grapples with the difference between transgender and being gay. To my way of thinking: a gay man, for instance, likes men but also likes being a man. A man who wishes to become transgendered likes men too, but hates being a man.
  • Cher says she approves of Chaz's decision although throughout the process was not always calm about it. People have told Cher that Chaz is very brave (this got applause). 
  • They talked about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Paul Shaffer doesn’t know anybody “over there” and Cher says “there’s a cool factor…if they don’t think you are…” Letterman said it's all about timing (in a self-knowing way, almost like he would take care of it.)

Good Morning America-Nightline-20/20: Abc_cher_cynthia_101115_mn

The annoying Cynthia McFadden interviews. Yes, she annoys me…maybe through no fault of her own. She reminds me of an annoying woman I work with. But on some level I also think she reminds me of an annoying archetype, not quite smug, but smuggy. And I really do hate the big interview chopped up over three shows. Cheap, cheap, cheap. And you had to watch all three...because none of them aired the same soundbites.

Good Morning America called their segment “Cher Unplugged”

  • The intro claimed incorrectly that Cher has had a #1 hit in the last five decades.
  • There are still no clips available of the Vegas show…they always show Farewell Tour clips when talking about the Vegas show. Will we see a Vegas special soon??  Bette Milder's The Showgirl Must Go On special is airing New Year's Even on HBO. I wish I had HBO.
  • On Motherhood: Cher said maybe she should have had children when she was older.

Nightline called their segment “Pure Cher”

  • The intro compared her to the Statue of Liberty and claimed she has had a "hit record in last 5 decades."
  • When asked about toughness, Cher says "No one’s tough all the time."
  • She hates being called ma’am and "no Miss Cher."
  • When asked about her movie roles, she said, “This is my fault, I’m sure. I haven’t stretched myself. I've done comfortable things." (I'm telling you, play a villain!)
  • Cher likes Lady Gaga’s "balls to the wall" outfits. (I still think all her costume changes for the VMAs were a bit too much)
  • Regarding the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: "Everything’s about being cool. Very little is about reality.”
  • She feels she's been a good mother "in fits and starts."

20/20:

  • The introduction traces her transformations from barefoot hippie (didn’t she always love shoes too much to ever go barefoot?) to sizzling singer to Oscar maven
  • This is Cher and Cynthia McFadden's 4th interview in 10 years.
  • Now the intro claims Cher has had "top 10 hits in five decades."
  • Cher says she was freightened for Chaz in the, beginning of her transgendering, feeling her doctor's  didn’t do due diligence on account of her celebrity. But that Chaz is "the same person. It made him happy."
  • When McFadden commented that now Cher has two sons, Cher said "I have 2 sons. Never thought that would be. You get what you get. You get what belongs to you.” That would have to be my favorite quote of all these interviews: you get what belongs to you.

ImagesCAHIZIN9 Jay Leno:

  • Leno and Cher talk about the specialness of getting her footprints at the Grauman’s Theater and her outfit snafu, the missing slip and the peek-a-boo turquoise g-string, Cher blanking on the spelling of her name. Where is the E? Jay said about adding Cher to the footprints: "You would've thought they’d have done it 20 years ago." Amen.
  • They talked about Cher dating Leno's friend Ron Zimmerman and Cher called their relationship "hillbilly cousins" and talked about meeting him on Facebook.

Parade Magazine:

  • They called her Malibu house "ponderously self-important."
  • Cher talked about having 4 miscarriages and about Sonny’s womanizing ("five women weren’t enough") and how she later asked him how he juggled all those women logistically?
  • She talked about Elijah's art shows and said he has been asked to design a Louis Vuitton label – considering the content of his last two shows, wouldn't it seem odd if he did that?

Vanity Fair:

  • Cher talks about Elijah's art show and says he has sold everything.
  • Cher says her kids both had the addictions of their fathers: heroin for Elijah, pain meds for Chaz but that Georgeanne and Cher didn’t get the addictions of their fathers. Georgeanne's Dad was alcoholic and Cher’s was addicted to heroin. Cher says she has "the constitution of a fruit fly."
  • Her Grandma recently died at age 96 and that she "was a mean bitch most of the time."
  • Interestingly, Cher's mom Georgia talks about her mother in the interview below: “my mother left when I was about 5…got custody of me at 12 and then she decided she didn’t want me. She told me to go back to my father." That sounds really awful.  How can that not affect you and your ability to mother? Affect your self esteem?
  • Cher speculated that "if sonny had agreed to disband Cher Enterprises and start all over again, I never would have left." She said he had such a tight grip.
  • She told a longer form of the old Johnny Carson story, where he kicks her out of the room.
  • Robert Camilletti still comes over to Christmas dinner.
  • Jen has been her personal assistant for 17 years; Deb has been with her for 34 years.
  • They called Bob Mackie "the sultan of sequins."

Whew! A lot of tidbits to slog through, no?

  


Georgia Holt and The Larger Cher Story

BettercherandmomI was reminded of Georgia Holt recently. I've been working on a novel about my Grandparents' old adobe house in a little town called Roy, New Mexico. Researching the town, one of their claims to fame is Bob Wills of Bob Wills & The Texas Playboys. From the Roy website:

"Bob Wills wrote the song "San Antonio Rose" while a resident here in 1927. Bob worked as a barber during the day in Roy and played with a dance band at night. He wrote a song called "Spanish Two-Step" which fit the style of dancing most popular here, and this song later became the famous "San Antonio Rose"."

Bob Wills, Bob Wills. Where have I heard of Bob Wills and The Playboys? Oh yeah, Cher's mom played with them!

So I found this good interview Georgia gave to The Chicago Tribune in 1988: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1988-07-24/features/8801170052_1_singing-daddy-murder-attempt

I started singing with Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys when I was about 10. He`s the one that told my Dad to take me to Hollywood because, he said, "She`s got the greatest voice; you`re just wasting it back here." 

There's a lot to Georgia's story, as I've said before. And I had never even heard the tale about her father trying to kill her.

It reminds me that most Cher biographers have missed the larger Cher story that is her family history, both sides – Armenian genocide on her Father's branch of the family tree and the Arkansas mother's family on the other side, not only the large hard-scrabble dramas that happened before Cher was even born, but growing up in that intersection of families. I think a real worthwhile Cher biography needs to be something like Katharine Hepburn by Barbara Leming. She spent half the book tracing the lives of Hepburn’s parents and grandparents to show what a force of nature was building to create Katharine the Great, not just the real heroes in her family (of which there were a few, including her own mother) but the tragic figures and suicides as well. It’s just the full arc of someone’s life story. Life coaching tells us, like it or not, we are the product of our early childhood, which was itself created by our family legacy. Even the bad shit makes us who we uniquely are. Aside from Randy Taborelli’s attempts, most biographies have treated Cher like a singular vortex of fame, starting with when she met Sonny and sketchy information before that. Watching old episodes of Merv Griffin with Georgeanne and Georgia interacting with her tells us much more about who Cher is: being teased as a sister, kavetching as a daughter and looking back as a granddaughter.

Honestly, the sister angle alone could probably fill a book.

  


The Burlesque Movie Review

Cherburlesque There's a lot of Cher stuff to talk about and I'd love to cover all the press appearances she's done, print and TV, for this movie. But that will have to wait until next week. The pressing question now is: how was Burlesque, which  opened the day before Thanksgiving competing against Harry Potter (saw it: loved it), the new Disney movie Tangled and the superhero movie Meagamind. Burlesque earned a respectable #4 spot, earning $17 million in its opening holiday weekend.

But the reviews have been vicious. I slogged through about 15 to 20 of them before seeing the movie. I was disheartened. You can read all the reviews aggregated here: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/burlesque/.  There are over 100 if you're masochistic enough to read them all, go for it. I think I read enough to get the gist of their arguments. The average aggregate review was 4 out of 10.

Myself, I didn't think it was all that bad. I kind of enjoyed it and plan to see it again, something I didn't do with Stuck on You or Faithful. I mean  I have come to accept it for what it is: a star-vehicle movie with music for Christina Aquilera. I think if they hadn't opened the movie on Thanksgiving (like it was an Oscar contender), if it was released say in the summer and not billed as "a musical", it may have been accepted as a kind of fluffy, feel-good movie.

It's not a musical. It's just not. It's a movie with music. Musicals are more integrated with their music. Musicals have choruses, overtures, they speak directly to you through musical asides. This movie just doesn't fit right into that genre. Yeah, there's singing in it...

But let's talk about the bad reviews. Amazingly, they most entirely spare Cher of any criticism. They roast Steve Antin mostly, his direction and his script and occasionally jab at Aquilera's acting. The reviews are so angry, you get the feeling they're particularly out to bash Antin's big-budget first film for grievances that exist behind the content of the movie, to cut down the ambitions created from all the pre-publicity. Who knows? But here is the gist of it:

  • "Going to See Burlesque? Snap Out of It (Rex Reed): "a cliche-riddled pastiche of old Betty Grable movies"
  • AP Review: "a shameless vehicle for Christina Aqilera", "plays like an extended version of the "Lady Marmalade video"
  • The Hollywood Reporter: "The worst served is Alan Cumming. Did his role wind up on the cutting-room floor?"
  • Variety: "an overwrought, underwritten hootchy-kootchy turner that desperately wants to be Cabaret but lacks the edge and historical context to pull it off"..."the acting-challenged pop star Christina Aquilera...the least developed of all these characters...a shortcoming, considering how much Tucci and Cher are able to do with their minor roles."
  • USA Today: "Scanty story line hobbles Aquilera, Cher..."
  • NJ.com: "Fifty-odd years ago, Tallulah Bankhead starred in a revival of "A Streetcar Named Desire"--a production so crammed full of camp that it was said straight men were struck gay simply passing the theater. Burlesque may have the reverse effect." (bitchy!) "The whole thing's so safe, so straight, so completely anti-fabulous it could put Elton John in gray flannel."
  • The New York Times: "the old bump and grind receives a squeaky-clean workout...", "Steven Antin hasn't a clue what real life looks like..." "sexless"
  • The Arizona Republic: "not interesting enough to be a disaster."
  • The Washington Post: "the film's chief flaw, which is Antin's penchant for a constantly moving camera and whipsaw editing. There must be good dancing in Burlesque but too much of it gets lost in a Cuisinarted welter of swish pans and jump cuts....Alan Cumming is shamefully underused."
  • Entertainment Weekly: "hokum dialogue", "a crockpot-stew of leftovers...eroticism is safely off the table...synthetic spectacle operated with a newbie's licence by first-time feature writer-director Antin."
  • The Detroit News: "Every Thanksgiving needs a turkey...the groaner of a musical that's part Glitter, part Cabaret, part Showgirls and all fowl....the movie is a dull slog...no pizzazz...never lets Burlesque become the bawdy romp it deserves to be."
  • Village Voice: "montages of body parts...no sense of how the dancers are moving through space."
  • New York Post: "curiously unsexy musical."
  • Yahoo!: "It's entertaining enough, like watching a celebrity workout film with a plot."
  • Time: "It's frivolous fun...a middle-of-the-road musical...the numbers are lively but produced no urge to sing in the shower."
  • Chicago Sun Times: "the story is dumb. The dialogue is intended to be sassy; it's also dumb."
  • MSN Movies: "While it will be impossible to determine which picture wins the title of Most Aggressively Insubstantial Holiday Entertainment of 2010 until Yogi Bear gets its day in court...the original songs are serviceable, nothing more."
  • Chicago Tribune: "corn syrup diguised as dialogue."

My responses to this: I will agree the movie is more like a long music video (a sign of the times) and I completely agree that Alan Cumming should have been entirely cut or used. I agree the movie was sexless (even when it was supposed to be about sex) and is a far cry from an art piece. However, the dialogue wasn't as laughable as I was lead to believe and Christina did a fine job. She did fine.

And although they hated the movie, Cher gets some sweet shout outs as follows:

Continue reading "The Burlesque Movie Review" »


The Burlesque CD Review

Cher-You-Havent-Seen-Th-last-Of-Me Let me start by saying the soundtrack Burlesque made its Billboard debut at #18 this week. Not too shabby. Not at all. But I have to admit, I was more excited over the clip Cher scholar "Dishy" sent me last week of Cher singing a Christmas version of "One Tin Soldier" from the early 70s.

That's because this is primarily a Christina Aquilera CD. With the exception of Cher's two tracks, this is Aquilera's Yentl. More a star-vehicle than a musical.

Musicals have choruses, duets, themes, overtures. 

Entertainment Weekly liked Christina's tracks on this CD better than her earlier "misfire" Bionic. But they accuse Cher's of warbling and never again mention her tracks at all.

I had heard an early bootleg of Aquilera's track #9 "Show Me How You Burlesque" but it was titled "Spotlight" when I heard it. I thought it was a decent track but kind of emotionless and I was curious to see what kind of range the soundtrack would have.

The CD does have a bit of variety, comprised of a few Etta James inspired performances that Christina Aqulera yells through, alternating with camp, groove, and the musical pillars of the movie--dance tracks about burlesque ("Express", "Show Me How You Burlesque" and "The Beautiful People"), which are catchy but all kind of sound alike after awhile.

I think Aquilera has a powerful voice and I have always liked her song choices and overall articstic message. But I don't feel like these songs are the best of her best. I played the CD about three times in the first few days before seeing the movie and my husband John popped his head in to ask what all the yelling was about.

There's a lot of yelling.

But the truly stand out track is Aquilera's torch ballad "Bound To You" (the song to download according to Entertainment Weekly). In a way it's the only emotive moment in the soundtrack.

Then there are two Cher songs, which is the only reason I now own this CD.

"Welcome to Burlesque" - the lyrics to the chorus (according to Cher on David Letterman) were written by Moonstruck screenwriter John Patrick Shanley who did a polish on the Burlesque script. I like the sort of gypsy-sounding violin parts that wind around in the song, but the rest of the instrumentals behind Cher are plodding and mushy and it never quite takes off for some reason. Like the music drags it down and makes it sleepier than it should be. Cher might have been better served singing a copella.

"You Haven't Seen the Last of Me" -- I was initially highly disappointed to hear Diane Warren was penning this. Her contributions to the Cher canon are not favorites as you may know. And her style is so bombastically unique that her song stands out like a toe among the Aquilera songs.

Which brings us to the point of mentioning how uneven the music to this "musical" is, how seemingly  haphazardly the songs were slapped together. Even though I'm not a Warren-fan, it would have been much better if either she or Aquilera had written an actual full score to the movie for musical consistency. 

All that said, this Warren song has gotten into my head like an earworm and stayed there. So maybe I like it more than I want to admit. Again, the music behind Cher on this track sounds murky and plodding, too. Which is why the bootleg remixes have been such infectious fun: http://www.youtube.com/user/InfoVectra#p/u/2/sri9f90JwS4

 


Husband Plots Against Cher Scholar

Tree It's been a very crazy month and I've been lagging with my blogging. But Cher Scholar is exhausted. We got back from Cancun early in the month and then went right into Thanksgiving prep. My mother-in-law Donna came for the long weekend (and I love it that she was so  enthusiastic about seeing Burlesque Thanksgiving-eve with me and John. See our collective review for more about that.) Unfortunately, in between launching the big dinner with new recipes and juggling a huge work ramp-up to a Cartagena Colombia meeting, I've been wiped out, in pain and feeling a bit deflated from all the work.

One pre-Thanksgiving task I looked forward to was putting up  Christmas decorations, which (like cooking Thanksgiving dinner instead of grabbing take-out at Dinahs) I hadn't done for two years. And this means hoisting up the Cher Christmas tree!

However, I was initially thwarted in this most pleasant task because two mice had been living in our garage. John freaked out and spent $50 on every kind of imaginable mouse trap to place on every conceivable mouse path in our garage, leaving the leftover un-opened traps sitting right on my boxes of Cher crap.

Sure I could have moved them out of the way. As if that were that easy! I was afraid of them! What if Pinkfluff one accidentally fired off or had a dead mouse decaying in its clutches. I couldn't even look at them. Before our trip to Cancun I had asked John to move the traps and he, thinking I was being a big baby (guilty as charged), was in no hurry to do it. I kept expressing how important it was for me to get to my Cher junk so I could assemble the glorious Cher tree. On a layover from our fight back from Cancun I started again to worry about the traps and having to lose a finger trying to get to my Cher dolls.

This was around the time I was overspending on Burlesque memorabilia and it sort of seemed like he had set Cher traps as an intervention! So I confronted him right there in the airport  Space (after finishing the Vanity Fair magazine article)...why you gotta be puttin out Cher traps on me?

He mocked some outrage and said it was all untrue and ridiculous that I would accuse him of such a thing. Then he said it was a moot point because he already picked up the Cher traps!

Ah HA! He admitted it! They were Cher traps!!

Can you believe it?

Anyway, the Cher traps were indeed gone when we got home and I was able to assemble the Cher tree. Indian Thank God for tender mercies! A few new things about the Cher tree:

  • There are now 10 Cher dolls and some new outfits, including my favorite Foxy Lady outfit.
  • I acquired the white tux outfit for the Sonny topper. I think this makes him look both elegant and angelic.
  • I decided to assemble all of Cher's boyfriends and lovers as the nativity scene at the bottom of the tree. This proved challenging because only Gene Simmons and Richie Sambora have dolls (or "action figures" as they like to be called). Val Kilmer as Batman didn't count because you couldn't tell it was him and besides, the doll was too expensive. My Foxylady friend Coolia suggested I make paper dolls. At first I didn't want to do this because I hated paper dolls as a child. Really found them excruciatingly boring. But the Cher tree project changed my mind. I found a tatted-up Paul Bunion paper doll for Gregg, a nerdy paper doll for David Geffen and a somewhat dapper doll for Val. Note: I am still working on the Robert Camiletti doll. I haven't found the right body yet.
  • Click to enlarge any of the pics.

   Nativity

Dragon Polkareddoll Reddoll Pinkdoll.1jpg Gold Blue

 

 

 

Sonny