Friday, August 9, 2013

Pick O' the Week - August 9

Kalimera, from Greece!

I am out exploring the world on a Mediterranean cruise and have prepared some titles to help make you feel like you are enjoying the lush scenery of Italy, Greece and Turkey with me.

As soon as I am pack from my European adventure I will try my damnedest to get my reviews back on track. I am much more eager after Cate Blanchett set the screen ablaze in Woody Allen's San Francisco-inspired Blue Jasmine.

What are your thoughts on Ellen DeGeneres hosting the Academy Awards for the second time? Ellen left a foul taste in my mouth a few years ago when, during an interview with Kathy Griffin, she made a few comments I found too Oprah-esque.

But there was exciting news this past week! There is a brief, 26-second teaser trailer for the third series of BBC's Sherlock! You can watch it over and over again until the show premieres in the UK in late 2013... at the earliest!

In Theatures: Oh, how I would love to peddle Blue Jasmine, but it has no European connection! I must opt for Richard Linklater's Before Midnight, which is set entirely in the Greek region of Messenia . Read my review, I L.O.V.E.D. this film (and the trilogy!).

At Home: Not only do I get to discover the beauty of Greece, I will get to visit Istanbul - the only city built on two continents. Gary Oldman was wonderfully rewarded with an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of George Smiley in Tinker, Tailor, Solder, Spy, which is briefly set in Turkey's largest city. Check out my review of the 2011 film.

On TV: Alias was filmed almost entirely in southern California, but its production crew routinely designed elaborate sets to create international locations. Sydney Bristow (Jennifer Garner) and Michael Vaughn (Michaele Vartan) traveled to Athens in season 3; Istanbul was featured in the show's cold open in season 5; and in season 4 the spy couple interrupted Anna Espinosa's (Gina Torres) attempt to buy a bomb.

Retro Re-watch: Although I was unable to find a way to slide Blue Jasmine into this week's picks, I am going to offer his 1996 musical Everyone Says I Love You. I had a conversation with Siobhan about the merits of this film, which I once ranked #2 on my list of his films. I have a soft spot for the beauty of New York, Paris and Venice.

Hope you are all having a great weekend!

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