If you’re a tik tok addict as yours truly is, then you’ll have noticed the more entertaining memes of adult Latina women introducing their daughters (or younger female friends or family) to “Selena.” It’s a bittersweet series of memes that inspire big laughs and big frowns all around. Like everyone in the nineties, the young women quickly fall head over heels in love with Selena Quintanilla. And like every person in the nineties, the rug is pulled right under them when shockingly she dies a pointless, tragic death. The series is interesting as it serves only to illustrate how much of a spell Selena put on people around the world.
If there’s anything that Paramount loves to do is unleash “Grease” at any given opportunity. They consistently re-release it on physical media, and in theaters. And while it sounds like I’m complaining (I kind of am), the re-release of “Grease” was only inevitable since Paramount is now streaming “Rise of the Pink Ladies,” the prequel series to “Grease.” With “Grease” being a bonafide childhood favorite, and set to be put in to theaters once again on May 14th and 17th for its 45th Anniversary, I ran down my five favorite numbers from the classic film. I never could figure out why Danny drives away with Kenickie’s hot rod in the end. I love the movie. Honest.
It’s that time of year yet again, the time where we’re officially halfway to Halloween! Not one to ignore the pre-festivities, Shudder celebrates the occasion with their runaway hit, “The Boulet Brothers.” This time around the Boulet Brothers and their wicked horror loving personas pull out all the stops celebrating Halloween the best way they know how: with a classic variety show filled to the brim with blood, dark comedy, and myriad horror heavyweights.
Like it or not, “Grease” is now a universe, and it has its own extended timeline that begins with “Rise of the Pink Ladies” and ends with “Grease 2.” That’s not particularly bad thing, especially if you loved “Grease” as much as I do–even though I’ll never budge on “Grease 2.” I still consider that movie to be immensely awful. As for “Rise of the Pink Ladies,” it’s a very good prequel series. It’s flawed, sure, but at the end of the day, it might achieve its goal of bringing in a new generation of fans. The majority of “Grease” was spent mainly following around the T Birds and focusing on their struggles with rival gangs. Although the Pink Ladies are there a lot of the time, there isn’t real emphases on their whole group dynamic.
“Rise of the Pink Ladies” ventures to explore the origins of the female gang and why their members take the name so seriously.
How do you take one of the most twisted, yet perfect dark comedies from the 1980’s and make it even better? You turn it in to a musical, apparently. I didn’t know there was even a “Heathers” musical up until about two years ago when snippets of the music appeared on social media. Although I loved the original 1989 Dan Waters dark comedy (it’s a childhood favorite), I was more than open to seeing what the musical had in store. In fact, I was quite optimistic, when all was said and done.
This is one of the reasons why I normally detest music bio pics, is that they always present a skewed version of the actual story behind so many of these musicians. “Elvis” is by no means one of the worst biopics I’ve seen, but it once again presents Elvis as someone who spent his life being exploited. “Elvis” depicts the titular rock musician as someone who was hopelessly a victim to his manager Colonel Parker who managed to find ways to control the musician and his life. At every turn the movie frames Colonel Parker as this slimy mastermind who turned Elvis in to his own circus sideshow for his entire life.
Reginald Hudlin’s “House Party” is a film that studios have had a hard time duplicating over the years. It’s developed in to awful sequels because the 1990 original was such a simple bit of lightning in the bottle. What worked with the original movie is that it was quite simply, a party movie. It was small in scope, had a minimalist narrative but garnered a ton of life and charisma. Watching the movie is still like going in to a party, with its great highs and sweet lows. Hudlin’s movie is still a classic after thirty years.
With Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” he manages to offer up a brilliant, dazzling, and engrossing epic retelling of the original musical. It’s stunning how much Spielberg is able to suck us in using the elements of dance as important and crucial moments of exposition in lieu of endless dialogue. To say that “West Side Story” is a surprise, is an understatement. While Spielberg is a wonderful director, there’s never been any indication he could deliver on a musical. But with his version of “West Side Story” is gives us the classic tale of star crossed lovers, and a race war amidst the back drop of New York. Except what Spielberg does is beautifully recontextualizes the entire tale of the Jets and the Sharks for Modern audiences.