Once they arrive in paradise, Linda’s ultra-conscious, over protective nature clashes with Emily’s live-in-the-moment mentality, and their mother-daughter bonding gets derailed. Needing a break from the smothering, Emily heads to the hotel bar where she meets the very handsome James (Tom Bateman) who convinces the pair to come with him on a road trip to explore the local culture. Hypnotized by his charm, she ignores her mother’s warnings and they soon fall into a trap orchestrated by the treacherous Morgado (Oscar Jaenada). They escape due to a lucky accident, but when they call the US State Department, Morgan (Bashir Salahuddin) is hilariously unsympathetic to their situation.
They make one last call to Ruth (Wanda Sykes) and Barb (Joan Cusack), who they met at the resort. Barb is retired special ops who is always ready to return to action and Ruth is Barb’s hype man, since Barb can’t talk.They later meet Roger (Christopher Meloni), a guide who exhibits questionable abilities as an outdoorsman, but promises he will get them safely to Bogota.
When Amy Schumer did the press tour for this movie, she told Howard Stern that she resented the endless questions about gender. If the press would simply stop asking the same questions, perhaps the sexism would go away faster. As for Hawn, she received the inevitable, offensive questions about ageism and where she’s been for the last 14 years. Though she’s been actively pursuing charitable endeavors, I can only imagine her exit from the spotlight also has to do with the limited roles in Hollywood. Hawn is a star, and she’s not going to take that small supporting role simply to remain in play. She has a rich personal life, and that is enough. Schumer has said time and time again that the studio did not want Hawn for the lead, and she fought for her. If that’s true, she should have kept it to herself, but that’s neither here nor there.
Despite all the proper elements for a hit film, this simply is not funny enough. Schumer and Hawn hit their lines out of the park, but they’re few and far between. Also, there’s little to no story here. Sure they get kidnapped and held for ransom, but . . . that’s it?! I began this review with a long plot, but in truth, the film can be summed up rather simply by saying, “A mother and daughter get kidnapped in a foreign country while on vacation and make a desperate attempt to escape.” That’s literally the entire movie. It’s a high-concept, unoriginal story that therefore lives and dies by the filler jokes. And if there are not enough filler jokes, it doesn’t work. Look at Hangover, for example. It’s just about a bachelor party, but the hilarity is in the details. Bachelor parties have been done a million times, but they offered a unique spin. That did not happen here, which is a shame, because I sure do love Goldie Hawn.
The world-music quartet originates from Kiev, Ukraine and they refer to their sound as “ethno-chaos.” They began as a live theater music crew in 2004 with the help of avant-garde theater director and now producer, Vladyslav Troitskyi, and their unforgettable, unexpected sound is the result of incorporating the surrounding world into their music, with Indian, Arabic, African, and Russian influence. The quartet includes, Marko Halanevych (Vocals, darbuka, tabla, didjeridoo, accordion, trombone), Iryna Kovalenko (Vocals, djembe, bass drums, accordion, percussion, bugay, zgaleyka, piano), Olena Tsybulska (Vocals, bass drums, percussion, garmoshka), and Nina Garenetska (Vocals, cello, bass drum).
With a fusion of the then and now, we get contemporary melodies couple with high-level instrumentation, and those riffs are rife with non-traditional elements, such as animal noises, bird whistles, and sounds of the wind. Eccentric yet accessible, their heavy percussion and on-point harmonies on top of their foot-high conical fur hats, make this the most memorable show I’ve seen in years. Dakhabrakha’s most recent success can be seen on the third season of Fargo, having had their song, “Sho z-pod duba” (From Under The Oak), play during the second episode called “Unfathomable Pinhead-ery.” That mesmerizing song can be heard below.
To see Dakhabrakha on tour, visit their website. They are a force.
Kelly Ripa chose Ryan Seacrest as her new co-host, in a move that can only be described as lazy, boring, and entitled. For one solid year the producers of Live With Kelly snowed us into believing they were actually executing a legitimate, above board search for the new seat. Instead, they were negotiating Ryan Seacrest’s contract and no one else stood a chance. That “no one else” specifically refers to Jerry O’Connell who seemed a shoe-in for the coveted gig.
According to Kelly Ripa, Ryan Seacrest is “a seamless, seamless broadcaster. There is nobody better. There is nobody that understands what 30 seconds of conversation actually means in in real time like Ryan does, and so he makes everything easy — it’s like a vacation with him.” That quote perfectly captures why this is a lazy decision. First, had Ripa took a chance on a newbie, she’d have to carry the load during the learning curve, and perhaps she’s grown out of that task. Michael Strahan was a left-of-center pick, and it required Ripa to do work. With Seacrest, she can sit back, relax, and trust his broadcasting prowess. Is that a good thing? It’s clear she can carry the show on her own, so why not give someone else a real shot at the seat?
From a creative perspective, this is also the wrong decision. Live With Kelly demands that its co-hosts discuss their personal lives at the top of the show. As a self-admitted workaholic, Seacrest doesn’t really have a personal life. He’s secretive about who he dates, and doesn’t have a wife and children. This show is supposed to relate to the masses, and who can relate to Ryan Seacrest? Jerry O’Connell, though also a Los Angeles guy, does in fact have a family and kids, and he’s extremely funny when describing their antics. We can call Seacrest many things, but funny is not one of them.
So why would Ryan Seacrest, who has a million jobs, even accept this offer, which requires that he move to New York. Well, why not? Without his American Idol salary, it goes without saying he wanted a new influx of cash, and this is it.
It’s also worth noting that choosing a white, rich male as a host rubs me the wrong way, especially given today’s climate. She could have chosen a woman, or any minority for the role, and she instead went with the guy who’s got everything. And if you’re going to go that route, then pick the teacher who guest-hosted and garnered positive reviews. What a disappointing, terrible decision, and the quote below says it best.
— GKR (@GKRgus1) May 1, 2017
It might be unfair to call the new Diane Sawyer sit-down with Caitlyn Jenner an “interview,” given that it was more an informational voice-over than a Q&A. I’ve long insisted Caitlyn Jenner is not compelling without the Kardashians at her side, and I have also long insisted that Diane Sawyer is not a good interviewer. Gone are the days of Barbara Walters, where the purpose of her question was to actually gather information. Walters’ disarming nature allowed her to ask the hard-hitting, invasive questions that everyone wanted to know. In the interview below, Caitlyn Jenner likely talked for about ten minutes of the hour, and we did not learn much.
So what SHOULD she have asked? First, I want to know about Caitlyn’s feud with Kris Jenner and the current status of the relationship. I want to know why there is such a disconnect between what Kris says she knew about Caitlyn’s transition. I also want to know about Caitlyn’s sexual orientation and whether she was attracted to her ex-wives. In fact, Kim Kardashian asked Caitlyn this very question, as she also wanted to know. Additionally, does Caitlyn empathize with her family’s struggle to accept her transition? Can she understand the incredible shock of being married to a man for 23 years that then confesses this gender-identity struggle? And why did she abandon four children but then have the wherewithal to have two more and raise four step-children as her own? If it’s true that her gender struggle negatively impacted her ability to parent, then why was she able to effectively parent six children?
Caitlyn Jenner took the wrong path to her transitional process. Instead of getting to know the trans community which she conveniently was never interested in at all, she should have provided a stark lens into her physical transformation. I realize being a woman is more than one’s physical being, but never before has anyone of that magnitude provided such insight. She should have also discussed her sexual preference more heavily. But those are all the things she is vehemently opposed to exposing. Instead, she introduced herself to the world post-transition, as if we’re all just interested in Caitlyn’s boring personality. If the Kardashians can’t stand on their own with individual shows, Caitlyn Jenner certainly cannot.
David Crosby doesn’t need any promotion from The Dishmaster. The man is a legend, and even without Graham Nash, Stephen Stills, and Neil Young, he can carry a concert. Crosby graced the stage of The Wiltern for an intimate evening with his most devoted fans, and he delivered the goods. The iconic singer/songwriter hit the road to promote his new solo album, Sky Trails, which is a follow-up to the recently released Lighthouse. Before Lighthouse, Crosby released Croz, which was his first solo album in decades. Given the close proximity of his solo records since the release of Croz, I can only guess he got the bug and he’s on a roll. He now performs with session guitarist Jeff Pevar, and his pianist son James Raymond (“CPR”). He attributes his creative re-awakening to the demise of Crosby, Still, Nash, and Young, insisting that quitting the group “unleashed a tidal wave of new music,” because the band became solely about playing their greatest hits. They had, “No new songs, no growth, and [they] didn’t like each other. There was no reason to be there other than the money, and that’s not enough.”
So what exactly happened to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, and why don’t they like each other? It’s unclear, but the culprit seems to be Crosby himself, which isn’t surprising given that Crosby hilariously admitted during the show to being kicked out of The Byrds because “he was an asshole.” Here’s an elusive quote from Graham Nash about the matter:
I don’t like David Crosby right now. He’s been awful for me the last two years, just fucking awful. I’ve been there and saved his fucking ass for 45 years, and he treated me like shit. You can’t do that to me. You can do it for a day or so, until I think you’re going to come around. When it goes on longer, and I keep getting nasty emails from him, I’m done. Fuck you. David has ripped the heart out of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.
Crosby apparently bad-mouthed Neil Young’s girlfriend, Daryl Hannah, calling her a “purely poisonous predator,” and though he later apologized, Young was not quick to accept, telling Howard Stern that a CSNY reunion is out of the question.
The irony here is that their mutual dislike likely propelled their creativity. Bands often enjoy songwriting with people that they like, but sometimes we are at our best in moments of discomfort. Though Crosby’s new venture, CPR, gives the audience those much-loved harmonies, his original music is missing the unforgettable melodies we’re so used to hearing from CSNY. But I appreciate an effort to produce original music throughout one’s life, and I agree with Crosby that playing a band’s greatest hits in perpetuity is painful. One thing is for sure — seeing David Crosby, in person, on stage, singing beautiful harmonies, is a true privilege.