1. Movies…Rocky Seven…Philadelphia Takes Center Stage, Once Again!
Sharon Pinkenson is the head of the Philadelphia Film Office. Sharon and her staff of six have secured over 4 billion dollars of film revenue for Philadelphia since she started revamping the film office’s mission in 1992. Sharon has made Philadelphia the place where film and television companies want to come for their latest film and small screen creations.
If you wanted to talk movies at the dinner table, Sharon Pinkenson would be guest number one (#1). Yes, even before Pacino and DeNiro. She knows a great deal about “everything movies” and more…from the actors to film production to film financing to new idea generation. She will help you make connections for any project that features Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and our surrounding areas.
It was exciting at a Temple University Homecoming Festivities to hear Sharon announce that Rocky 7 will soon be in our favorite cinema-plexes.
The name of the new movie is Creed. Apollo Creed’s grandson, Adonis Creed, (Michael B. Jordan) wants to be a championship caliber fighter. It seemed like a natural fit to ask Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) to train him. Sharon says the movie is a tearjerker. We didn’t think there was any crying in boxing?
2. Music…Rock And Roll Is Dead? Or Far From It?
The scintillating discussion (often followed by major research) around the jukebox this week had two very big topics. Gene Simmons (Kiss) generated the first topic of debate.
He committed music blasphemy by saying “rock and roll is dead”. His statement was part of an article in Esquire Magazine. Maybe there isn’t any ‘rock and roll’ in the bubble that Gene Simmons inhabits.
The Foo Fighters quickly responded to this irreverence with three sold out (150,000) shows in a row at Wembley Stadium and a major appearance on the new season of Saturday Night Live (SNL). The Foo Fighters, also, reminded everyone in an interview that every year for the last sixty years someone has said that rock and roll is dead.
Here are our Rock and Roll Research Facts:
A). Seventy five percent (75%) of the Sirius stations that have musical venues play rock and roll
B). The Elvis Presley Channel is the most listened to channel on music radio
C). Seventy percent (70%) of the songs on the top 100 are rock and roll featuring the same percentage of groups and recording artists
D). The top five all time in record sales are rock and roll performing groups or singers
E). Joe DiMaggio said it isn’t so a number of times
So take that and Kiss-off Gene Simmons!
3. Music II…The Country Music Awards (CMA’s) November 5!
ABC’s Country Music Awards Are Must Watch Television!
Must See Performances And Outstanding Fashion!
The second topic this week had us trying to define country music before the CMA Awards on Wednesday. Half the songs sung by country groups that don’t talk about your dog, car, bar/drinking, guitar, or back porch could fit in a number of musical categories. Country stars like Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift, Faith Hill, and Kelly Clarkson sound like Stevie Nicks, Janis Joplin, Joan Jett, and Patti La Belle. Country ballads seem to fit across a wide spectrum of listeners. These listeners wouldn’t describe these ballads as country. Members of The Voice have it right when they don’t see who is singing…just the song and singer win out!
Here are the top songs that will be featured on this week’s CMA show. They are usually in one place on the CMA site. Not so this year! Maybe they are posted after the show. We had to search for them on Vevo and YouTube. The numbers next to each song show how many other listeners had to search for them as well. Listening to these five would be a nice precursor to viewing the show. Voting sheets for all the categories appear on line (americanprofile.com) and in newsletters inserts in your Sunday paper like Parade and American Profile.
Miranda Lambert…Automatic (5 million plays)
Dierks Bentley…Drunk On A Plane (13 million plays)
Blake Shelton… Mine Would Be You (8 million plays)
Tim McGraw/Faith Hill…Meanwhile Back At Mama’s (4 million plays)Eric Church…Give Me Back My Hometown (8 million plays)
The “best listen” winner this week is Tim McGraw’s violin accompanied My Little Girl. Fourteen million Vevo listeners agree. Great video, too, Tim!
The “best new performer” nod goes to Chuck Wicks for this issue. He and his music came out of nowhere, especially his song and memorable video Playing Cinderella. It is a song describing the little Cinderella he wants to marry.
4. Movies II…Bill Murray And Melissa McCarthy…St. Vincent!
If you saw the names Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy on a movie Playbill, you would think you would be laughing your ‘right brain’ off while watching their new movie St. Vincent. The movie has its light moments and superb acting from all its actors, but St. Vincent is not a comedy.
Melissa McCarthy (Maggie) is a struggling mother who just divorced and left her philandering husband to seek work in New York City. In tow is her ten-year old son Oliver (Jaeden Lieberher). The only baby sitter around is Bill Murray (Vincent). He is Maggie’s next-door neighbor. Murray has money troubles, a handful of vices, and a wife that is suffering from Alzheimer’s. His wife is in an expensive care facility. All this makes Murray the perfect babysitter for a ten year old. Not ours, Melissa’s!
Murray makes sure Oliver has his homework completed each night and teaches him how to defend himself (gasp)! Vincent uses a number of classrooms for babysitting, too. These classrooms include the local bar, fight club, Belmont Racetrack, and the local strip club. Naomi Watts (Daka) is Murray’s pregnant stripper friend and paid lover. Daka works at the local strip club, though her big stomach is hindering her best poll dancing moves.
Chris O’Dowd (Father Geraghty) teaches religion at Oliver’s school. He along with Murray and Melissa is trying to add direction to Oliver’s new and somewhat troubling “new kid” environment. Oliver’s speech in the last scene of the movie is one of the best delivered by a child actor in any movie.
Sneak in to the last five minutes of St. Vincent after seeing your movie. Sorry AMC!
If you have 60 spare minutes while you are working or driving, listen to the Bill Murray interview on the Howard Stern Sirius Radio Show. The link follows: www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjiKYHSOp5k. It is a nice discussion on Murray’s life work and those people that have made a difference in his life and career. Stern’s normal vulgarity isn’t found anywhere in this interview.
If radio listening isn’t possible, you can often see Murray outside Belmont Racetrack talking to family and friends.
5. Movies III…Brad Pitt’s Tank (Fury) And Crew Win World War II!
5. Movies III…Keanu Reeves Saves New York (John Wick)!
Brad Pitt and Keanu Reeves slaughtered a large number of people last week in their new movies (Fury/John Wick). The body count in both movies is mind numbing. Pitt, a tank commander, has to bring his crew of four through a few more months of war. His tank crew has (so far) survived the carnage of Africa, Italy, and the push into Germany. Pitt has just lost a crewmember. Shia LeBoeuf, a non gun toting desk accountant from a war office is the replacement. Pitt has to change this pacifist into an instant killer. If not, people around all of them will die. This movie is about real war not the pretty picture of war you see in most battle movies.
Keanu Reeves is the retired assassin John Wick. He has left The Agency for a calm but unexpectedly short homelife with his wife. After the death of his wife (Bridget Moynahan), Wick just wants to live the life he promised his wife he would lead. Everything that reminds John of this promise is around him. Unfortunately, a sibling Iosef (Alfie Allen) of a Russian crime boss Viggo (Michael Nyqvist) won’t let this happen.
Iosef brutally beats John Wick, steals his vintage car, and, unknowingly, destroys the last vestiges of Wick’s wife. He didn’t know of John Wick’s reputation for mayhem. We could see it in Wick’s eyes even while he held his wife.
Wick understands the New York families and payback protocol. New York even has a safe hotel that is a kill free zone where assassins are able to dance, wine, dine, and play cards without interference. There are rules! Wick just wants the crime boss’s son. Dad, however, puts fifty henchmen in front of Wick as his Russian Boris Spassky chess block. Fifty against one seems like a fair fight.
The girls in the office were offered a free pass to Sea World and a dinner to skip this violent two. They vehemently rejected this proposal. Seeing the buff and shirtless bodies of Pitt and Reeves erased all their visions of carnage and mayhem…likewise for dolphins and good food!
6. Food And Drink…Pennsylvania’s Wine Industry!
Third Place Is Getting Closer?!
The Benigna Creek Winery Speaks For A Great New Industry!
Pennsylvania has just ended a great summer of wine festivals as local wineries saluted one of the state’s fastest growing industries. If you haven’t been to a wine festival you are missing an enjoyable day of well-prepared food and alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink.
The attendance procedure is simple: select your designated driver, purchase your wine glass, and visit the booths of 20 local wineries as they show off at least ten of their best grapes. A half a shot glass of the wine you would like to try is shared with each participant. Participants are encouraged to buy bottles and mixed cases of those tastes they like. Picnic areas to enjoy purchases and food and wine craft vendors help support the festivities. The wine jello molds called “wigglers” were a hit throughout the festivals.
Pennsylvania is trying to pass New York into third place in total wineries and wine production. Your attendance and purchases at a fete will support this effort. Here is Benigna’s Creek’s letter to us about their passion and winery. It is a similar story throughout the state.
“It is the passion and desire of the entire Benigna’s Creek family to create the highest quality wine possible, at a price that is affordable. Great wines can be produced all over the world from the Champagne Province to the Napa Valley to the southern Australian Regions. As our international awards prove, great wines also can come from a small winery in the Mahantongo Valley. Our wines are very approachable and fun to drink. We have created styles of wine that complement food as well as social events. Our customer will be the ultimate judge of our efforts.”
“Our philosophy of wine is for everyday enjoyment, in moderation, not just for special occasions. With that in mind, producing a high quality and affordable wine will always be our goal. We will never rest on our laurels. We will always try to make our wines better. We realize that our success will be rooted in the excellence of our wines. We have started a life long journey of making great wine. If you have never tasted our wines, we invite you to start today.”
Lori Kuczala and Michael Masser.
Benigna’s Creek Vineyard and Winery
1585 Ridge Road
Klingerstown, PA 17941
7. Books…Housing…Going Small…The New Money Saving Revolution!
Sarah Susanka wrote a book series called The Not So Big House. It is part of a growing housing revolution in the United States surrounding thinking small. Her books have hints for every type of homeowner on how to make your existing house smaller or how to embrace a smaller place in which to live. In some cases a significantly small residence. She talks fuel, electricity, and space savings.
Houses on Wheels are one of our favorite ideas in this think small movement. The concept is very un-trailer home like. House on Wheels is actually a small, if not miniature house, you pull around before selecting its perfect (mountain, lake, seashore, big city) resting place…Enjoy your new home site.
We are looking to attend a party at a small house, so as to better understand this new concept and where we can join in with baby steps, of course. Susan Susanka’s website is www.notsobighouse.com. The site has great links to her ideas and to “small projects” throughout the world. Her books are featured there, too.
8. Travel…France’s Caves of Lascaux…The Caveman’s Art Museum!
The First Louvre! The Hall Of The Running Bulls!
Pink Lionne from France asked that we feature something about France in our column other than The Louvre, Paris, French wines, and the World Wars. The Caves Of Lascaux were our immediate choice. The town of Lascaux is located in southwest France. In 1940, a cave and its 17,000 year-old paintings depicting a variety of animals were discovered by an eighteen-year-old boy, Marcel Ravidat.
The caves have gone through many openings and closing because the human gases from 1,500 visitors a day were causing the paintings to erode. Many have been restored making the two distinct tours very informative and enjoyable.
A series of caves and large cave rooms have over 2,000 Paleolithic cave paintings in them. You can feel the past in each drawing and painting. Manny Kramer our history and archaeology professor at the University of the Arts was one of the first researchers to tour the caves. His pictures taken with a special camera were outstanding.
9. Business…Home Monitoring Help Needed…Try Ray Peacock!
Ten percent of our homes and apartments are now controlled by some type of external monitoring system. These systems can control and activate your security, lights, heating, air conditioning, animal feeding, and food preparation (coffee pot/microwave). All this can be now also be initiated and monitored from your phone or computer. Few of us know what this entails and what the dangers might be on the back end like an overzealous microwave.
Ray Peacock has a little web business called Temperatures.com, Inc. His information about these new systems is outstanding.(www.linkedin.com/in/raypeacock).
Peacock’s main website, About Temperature & Moisture Sensors (www.Temperatures.com) has been online since 1997. It started as an exercise in learning how to write web pages and providing a semi-expert views of what temperature and moisture sensors are, how they work, and how they can be refined.
Ray’s effort has morphed into a set of websites attempting to provide similar information about many other measurement devices, typified by http://www.MeasurementDevices.com. Contact Ray as he readily shares his know-how and understanding of many types of home devices and measurement devices, the technologies behind them, and related matters.
10. This Week’s Suggested Themes That Did Not Make The Cut!
Topics that weren’t developed this week are, often, just as interesting as the topics that were covered. In many cases, we just didn’t have all the information or our research results were spotty. Case in point is the stock market’s great up and down fluctuations the last two weeks. We list these “not covered” topics each week to encourage readers to do their own research and get back to us with their points of view or with the creative “know that” they, now, can contribute for this column.
- Nicholas Sparks’ New Movie And Book The Best Of Me!
- The Giants Third World Series Win In Five Years!
- Robert Wagner Starring In North Pole Hallmark, November 15!
- TNT’s New Transporter Series…Toronto Glows!
- A Sun Less Day Meteor Shower!
- Amelia Earhart’s Plane Remains Verified!
11. Your Creative Ideas Will Certainly Enhance This Column!
Do you have a topic that can be featured on this column or can you contribute two creative paragraphs on your favorite movies, books, comics, art, music, gaming, education, travel, or more for our column? Don’t be afraid to let your creative self fly into any area except politics and religion.
Our reading audience is insatiable for any new idea…even yours!
Your ideas, creative column contributions, and future column suggestions should be sent to Tom Palumbo at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please send a photo or two with your two-paragraph contribution. We’d love to display your art and photography in a personal section as well as throughout the Let’s Talk’s discussions, too. Thank you for adding your work and expertise to this column! Your varied ideas, experiences, products, and insights will surely bring a larger audience to the column and make the column’s content more interesting and far reaching.