Wednesday, August 20, 2014

This Day in Pop Culture: August 20, 1974

Amy Adams was born on August 20, 1974.
Amy Adams is Born

The actress Amy Adams is full of surprises. First of all, she was born on this day in 1974…in Vicenza, Veneto Region, Italy…her father was a serviceman. Her first professional acting role was for the satirical comedy, Drop Dead Gorgeous in 1999. From there she landed guest roles on various TV series and pilots that never went anywhere. She did land a role that was worth some fame in Steven Spielberg’s Catch Me if You Can, but it was her role of Giselle in the Disney flick, Enchanted, that gave Adams the boost she needed. Some even likened the role to Julie Andrews playing Mary Poppins. Since then, she has dressed as a nun, worked with Muppets, portrayed a con artist and will soon reprise her role as Lois Lane.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

This Day in Pop Culture: August 19, 1934

The first soap box derby was held on August 19, 1934.
The First All American Soap Box Derby Race
The first All-American Soap Box Derby race was held on this day in Dayton, Ohio in 1934 and has continued to runeach year since except during World War II. The goals are the same today as they were in 1934: to teach “youngsters” some of the basic skills of workmanship, the spirit of competition and the perseverance to continue a project once it has begun. There are three racing divisions at derby: Stock (ages 7-13 compete in cars built from kits), Super Stock (ages 9-18) cars are still built from kits but are more advanced) and the Masters (ages 10-18 cars built from scratch or with a pre-built fiberglass body). 

Video of the Day: Amy Grant Mega Mix

Break out the leopard print sports coat – Amy Grant’s dance remix album has arrived today. Check out this remix of past videos and then check out my review.

75th Anniversary of Wizard of Oz: True or False

With relatively little fanfare, MGM’s iconic movie, “The Wizard of Oz” will be celebrating its 75th anniversary on August 25. The beloved movie’s themes, characters and music are so ingrained in our lives, that much of its history is known by many of its fans. Still, here are a handful of trivia facts that you may not know:

One member of the Lollypop Guild still lives.
TRUE: Jerry Maren who played a Munchkin, is alive and well at age 93 and living in a retirement home in Los Angeles. The last living female Munchkin was Ruth Robinson Duccini who passed away in January of this year. She was 95.

Dorothy wears ruby-colored slippers in both the novel and the 1939 movie.
FALSE: In L. Frank Baum’s 1900 “The Wonderful World of Oz,” Dorothy receives a set of silver shoes that had belonged to the wicked witch of the east and were used as her ticket back home to Kansas. Noel Langley, the movie’s screenwriter, changed the silver shoes to ruby slippers to take advantage of the film’s new Technicolor technology.

Judy Garland was always the first choice to play Dorothy Gayle

TRUE and FALSE: Director Victor Flemying originally wanted Shirley Temple to play the role of Miss Gayle, but Judy Garland was the first choice of producers Arthur Freed and Mervyn Leroy. However, studio big wigs were concerned that Garland was too old for the role who was 16 at the time.

Monday, August 18, 2014

A ‘Hundred Foot Journey’ to a Near Perfect Dish

Papa Kadam (Om Puri), Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal) and
Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren) in "The One Hundred Foot Journey"
It would be easy to excuse and skip The Hundred Foot Journey film as an artsy, fluffy movie that nobody wants to see. There’s no sex, violence, action or language. Nobody died while making the film and it isn’t surrounded by scandal. But Journey is one near perfect example of storytelling that would be a shame to miss

With the look and flavor of an indie film, “Journey” was funded by the big names of Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfey, who serve as producers of the film and was created by DreamWorks. It stars Helen Mirren and the story was written by Steven Knight, a name not well-known to American audiences, but is huge in England.

Video of the Day: Ancient Chinese Secret

Raise your hand if you remember this commercial for Calgon detergent.