Friday, September 14, 2012

Weekly Buffet: Double Duty

Books or movies, singers or actors, comedy or drama; who could ever choose just one? In art there is always room for selection.

Numerous things high on my radar this week are just that; people and stories that happen to be fantastic in multiple different forms. Without further ado, let's check it out:

High Fidelity - By Nick Hornby

Never one of those folks who pitches a fit when Hollywood makes movies out of books, I tend to enjoy many of those adaptations tremendously (See: Jane Eyre, Gone With The Wind, Bridget Jones' Diary). 

Though, I can't say that I have ever watched a movie and then insisted on reading the book. That normally works in reverse.

I couldn't say that until last week, but I can now.

High Fidelity in movie form is a treasure and an all time favorite of mine. It brings together Cusack and Jack Black, knocking around Top 5 Lists, with a show stopping performance of "Lets Get It On" as the final scene. All lovely things, but I didn't know just how lovely the story really was until  completing the novel a couple days ago.

All the charismatic characters and witty banter comes straight from the book! People who cry foul over movie interpretations of books will be impressed with how accurately this story was translated for the big screen. There is the one large change being the move of the London setting to that of Cusack's homeland, Chicago, but we forgive because no one was made for playing Rob, the record store owner dressed in terrible sweaters, other than that good old American, Mr. Cusack.

Always enjoyable to watch, and I now know that it is just as satisfying to flip through the pages.

Davy - Coconut Records

When I was 15, Jason Schwartzman broke my heart. He did it unknowingly, but sometimes when I look back it still hurts a little.

If he had known just how many people showed up to the Phantom Planet show at El Corizon, located adjacent to a noisy five lane section of I-5, just to see him, he would have changed his mind and not left the band. Probably not, but lets just imagine that's true. I think a girl who drove to Seattle from Oregon cried.

All is forgiven of course, as Schwartzman justly jumped the bandwagon of his band at the height of their fame to be a full fledged actor. Though, I still badly want to see him jam on the drums.

Which brings us full circle, because all of Schwartzman's musician/song writing talent can be shown off once again on his solo project, Coconut Records. Their release from 2010, Davy, was brought back into rotation and has been a staple in my car for the last couple months, especially since it is the perfect vibe for a summer day.

30 Rock - Always Ingenious Guest Stars

The extreme enthusiasm I have for all things Breaking Bad is being heavily supported by Bryan Cranston swooping in to take a special title away from John C. Reilly; Cranston is now officially the guy who is capable of being in everything.

Already noted for being a jack of all trades in television, for going from the zany Malcom in The Middle to the intense Breaking Bad, the movies are also demonstrating his serious versatility.

From 2011 and 2012 alone his filmography stacks up like this: Potential Oscar contender Argo, Total Recall, Rock of Ages, Magagascar: 3, John Carter, Contagion, Larry Crowne, Drive, The Lincoln Lawyer, and Love Ranch (!).

When you've tackled outbreak dramas, 80's musicals, Space related blockbusters, bombs, hitman indies set to a bitchin' soundtrack, and tales of Helen Mirren at a brothel in the desert, then you can be cool like Cranston too.

His next obvious move giving him extra cool points, and my favorite news story of the week, is to get back to his comedy television roots and guest star on the final season of 30 Rock!

Cranston is set to play Ron, the "friend" of Kenneth Ellen Parcell's mother (to be played by the equally exciting, Catherine O'Hara). What we already know about Ron is he likes to help Ms. Parcell sort paperwork, and some sad story involving a cookie jar, so once they hit 30 Rockefeller Plaza I am only predicting for all out Southern style hilarity to break loose. So something probably involving a pig and donkey spells.

This show can't end-nothing else brings all of my favorite people together! Must start a Streep petition now, so she could play the role of a lifetime; a rival Jenna Impersonator. The only opportunity Streep will have to play a man, who dresses as a woman, could be on 30 Rock. We need to work fast people.

No word on when Cranston's episode will air, but look for 30 Rock's final season to begin Thursday October 4th. It will be sad to see it go, but it seems like the show is gearing up to go out being great.

What we learned today is you can be a book and a movie, or a singer and actor, or even the guy who can slip into any character!

Listing versatile performers, or even stories, could go on for ages, and these just happen to be my favorites. What about yours?

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