Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Post Christmas Day

Dear Muse and Fans,

A day late but very much in earnest, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.  Christmas Eve night (when I usually post)  I was soaking in a warm tub at 3:30 in the morning to combat achy muscles from last minute shopping at the Beverly Center, cooking, cleaning house, wrapping gifts, getting out my Holiday notes to friends and entertaining family.  The blog was just not going to fit in to the schedule, much as I wished to do it.

Today, after cooking breakfast for my daughter and her boyfriend, I just wanted to sit back in my favorite chair, play my six "words with friends" ongoing games with D and catch up with my stack of unread newspapers.

My favorite chair.

This evening we will probably go to the movies and/or out to dinner.  We're feeling lazy and playing it by ear. It's been a beautiful (but too short) day and right now my body craves a short nap.

Yesterday we visited with my older sister and her husband (who has ALS) and family.  Then we stopped by to visit my sister A.  I took her a soft, cotton knit Ralph Lauren nightgown and took her caregiver leftovers from Christmas Eve at my house and some Harry and David pears.  Then it was on to my younger sister's house for Christmas Dinner with the rest of the family.

By the time we got home and unwound from the day's events, it was 4 a.m. before I literally crawled into my very inviting bed with a soothing cold, silk eye pillow over my eyes.

I hope you all made it through the holidays in similar fashion, spending time with family and/or good friends.

I noticed the Muse is in sunny California this year and hope he got to celebrate with family and/or loved ones too.  I also know he was recently in Liberia with the very charismatic Mr. MacFarlane-Barrow doing some good deeds and I admire Gerry for his good heart.  He/one could do worse than hang out a little with a man who runs rings around the more saintly with his intelligent simplicity and innate kind spirit.  Whether he knows it or not, it is there for all to see every time he speaks.  Those little children he feeds all over the world have a great champion in him.

In that same kind spirit,  I wish you and your families many blessings and much good health.

Now on to New Years.

With affection,


Songs out of tune, the words always a little wrong...Canzoni Stonate

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving...

...from Zoni and the Muse

Songs out of tune, the words always a little wrong...Canzoni Stonate

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

I've come out of hibernation today...

...  just to wish  you a Happy Birthday, dear Muse.

I see that you are finally signing on for some new roles after your travels and that must make you very happy.

I also notice that you are single again and I hope that is to your liking and not something forced on you.  Of course you say you like variety and perhaps that's so, so no use flogging a dead horse if that one is indeed dead.

I also see that you either finally got a stylist to help you dress since you have been looking quite the fashion plate for a while now, or you've finally gotten some fashion sense.  It makes me a little sad because I can no longer rib you about your lack of sartorial acumen.  Be a sweetheart and wear something totally mismatched just for me one of these days so that I can remember the good old days and have an honest to goodness smile knowing that still is part of who you are.

Little Boy Blue
As you enter middle age (sorry, I had to say that just to tease you) and you study how to be a better older version of yourself, I wish you much luck and good health.  I know you are always searching for meaning in everything you do and I'm glad to see that continuing classes with Mr. Speiser is part of the agenda.

I'm still watching from afar and hoping that one day I will see some of the sparks onscreen  that made me sit up and notice you in the first place.

I was reading an article about Tom Hiddleston this morning and he said that he loved that people remembered the characters he played on screen and not him the actor.  I wish that for you.   I think I've said it before and thought of you when I read that statement.   I think the problem that some of us have with you is that you are such a personality that those who watch you have problems losing themselves in your characters.   Being larger than life in person is difficult in the sense that people expect the characters you play to be as large and that doesn't often happen.

That wasn't the case when no one knew who you were.  You could be the stranger in Dear Frankie, The Phantom, King Leonidas or the guy in The Jury because you were still a new face to most.   Of course, I think the quality of the material you were working with in those instances was also there to support you and that helped.  I think the answer to this dilemma is not to tamp down your personality, because you are who you are, but to seek out roles that are maybe the opposite of what people expect or so interesting and well written that they will be memorable.

I still like to think that one day I will walk into one of your movies and see, not you, but a fully realized character with the power to move me.  There have been glimmers of it in a few good performances (Coriolanus and Machine Gun Preacher), but I'd  love to see more than a glimmer.  I do hope that once you get past your action hero phase (yes, I know you have to capitalize on that now) that you will find the right role (or it will find you) at the right time, with the right director, and that those of us who saw the early magic will see it blossom again, more seasoned, but there.

I wish you the best always, dear Gerry.  Some part of you still has a small hold on a tiny little corner of my heart because you made me care about something I'd forgotten about a long time ago and  because I had such fun watching you bluster through the scene like a small tornado with all the inherent debris left behind by its passing.

Be well, be happy and keep on being you...despite the fame and adulation.

Much affection,


Songs out of tune, the words always a little wrong...Canzoni Stonate

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Olympus Has Fallen Review

After enjoying a steak dinner at The Whisper Lounge and buying a small popcorn  at the theater for dessert, I settled into my usual aisle seat to watch Olympus Has Fallen on Friday night.  For a 10:00  p.m. showing, the movie was pretty full, with people still coming in during the opening credits.

I understand I just missed seeing Gerry.  I read somewhere he was at The Grove Friday with a bunch of the stunt players from the movie checking out crowds for OHF on opening day.  This will be the third (or is it the forth) time we have just missed each other by inches and/or minutes in the past three/four months, so it doesn't surprise me at all.  We are ships passing in the night, not destined to say hello (grinning here because I don't do autographs or photos with celebs, so a simple hello would have to do).

I'm happy to report that I think he has a hit on his hands and I congratulate him and all associated with the movie.  It will be the salvation/resurrection, not only for Gerry's career, but for Film District as well.   Mr. Fuqua was destined for another hit too and it's nice to see him get it with this one.

I found the movie to be very entertaining, escapist fare and think that all the critics on the left or the right seeing it as anything else are taking their jobs just a little too seriously.  Not every Hollywood movie has to send a political message.  I think the producers were looking for another "kick ass" vehicle that would bring in a core male audience for Gerry and this one fit the bill.  They already know he has a built in female fan base that will see him in anything but they needed to pull in that male audience who knows him as the 300 dude and they found it.  Fuqua was the right director to bring it to the screen.  Pure and simple.  Good for everyone, all around.

I found all the performances to be believable (even if the story took a lot of liberties) and Gerry again showed he can shine in a decent action flick, although I would still like to see him do something very different some day.  Again, like in all his movies, I see tinges of his potential to really shine as an actor in something more serious, despite some of the critiques calling him a two dimensional actor.  I sometimes get the feeling that some of the critics who love to trash him don't even see the movie (and borrow from other reviewers) or go in with preconceived notions about him (or this type of movie) that make them see what they want to see.  Some of them simply can't suspend disbelief and not judge the movie without dragging out their political baggage.  Sometimes a movie is just a movie, despite the very extreme partisan climate!

Having said that, I do have to say the movie scared the "sh__" out of me when it got me to thinking that if anything were to happen to our President and Vice President, we would be stuck with the likes of our present Speaker.  God save us!

I came out of the theater hoping and praying that we don't ever have to face that kind of scenario and also feeling content the Muse has a solid box office hit that will give him the time to dig deep and explore where he wants to take his career from here on in.  Having a hit expands his choices.

The "pause" that conveys...
Personally I'd like to see him spend a little of that time working with a good acting coach (maybe female for a change of pace) who will show him some tools to relate to female characters on screen in a very natural way.  I want to see him learn (or relearn) to use his his body language, his eyes and yes, even his ever present wrenching gut to make me feel what the character feels in a role just by watching him feel it.  A good director should fill a little of that role for an actor on a project but I'm wondering how many do.   I do realize it all has to start with the bones of a good script that will give the actor the room to breath a little of his own life experiences into a character, once he understands who the character is.  Let's hope he will find a script that will fill that bill for him and shock the hell out of his worst critics.  Revenge can be sweet, served up with your hard work.

Congratulations Muse!   I hope the rest of the weekend box office is as good as the first day and I hope the movie has legs to carry it for a good run.

You did good!  Celebrate!  See you around.


Songs out of tune, the words always a little wrong...Canzoni Stonate

Friday, March 22, 2013


Just bought my ticket for the 10:00 p.m. show at The Grove tonight.  Despite some mixed  reviews, I'm wishing Gerry much luck and success on this one.   I know it's a "make or break" one for him and I think if he has a box office hit, he will have the chance to go on and maybe do some good work.

He's become such a fashion plate, trim and well fitted in some lovely looking designer suits, I can't poke fun at his "style" too much anymore....although I was tempted to post the "Airport" photo to show he's still the same guy underneath the fashionable exterior.   I especially loved the photo of him being dried off before his appearance on Live with Kelly and Michael.  It is so much something my "very bright" late husband would have done.... accidentally turn on the wrong faucet and splashed himself before an important meeting.  He too would have shrugged it off and put a good face on it like Gerry.   Perhaps that's part of the reason I like the Muse and am still here caring about what happens to him.

Songs out of tune, the words always a little wrong...Canzoni Stonate

Friday, January 25, 2013

Happy Birthday Robert Burns

I just got an e-mail reminding me about Tartan Week 2013 in New York a few minutes ago and was reminded that today is Scottish Poet Robert Burns' birthday.

Happy Birthday Rabbie Burns
I wonder if the Muse is attending a Burns dinner tonight?   

He has been keeping a fairly low profile as of late, except for some business and personal commitments, one of which was attending the Movie 43 after party last night.   I am sure it was not high on his list of favorite things to do, but after the fate of his last few movies and the absence of a lot of projects on the horizon, perhaps he is making an attempt to be seen a little more in Hollywood.

I like it he has been working on his personal life lately and, as Murphy's law would have it, while his private life is probably making him happy at the moment, his professional life seems not to be going as well.
I was happy to see Olympus Has Fallen is coming out soon and fervently hope it will provide enough tension and entertainment to garner some decent box office numbers.   He needs that,  desperately!

I am feeling happy for him that he's found someone who seems to make him happy, but sad that he has been unable to choose some decent scripts that will bring him professional success and satisfaction.

Personal contentment brings the genuine smile out?
I saw both Playing for Keeps, attending the Soccer For Hope Benefit/Premier in L.A. and, before that, Chasing Mavericks on opening week.   As a matter of fact, I paid for two tickets to Chasing Mavericks, the first one for opening weekend, which I didn't attend due to other commitments, and the night I actually did attend a few days later.  However nothing seemed to help the movie stay in theaters very long.  It got lost in the crush of the competition and the election.

Of the two, I thought Chasing Mavericks was the more entertaining.  At least the cinematography and all the gorgeous waves and surfing provided some authenticity ....but Playing For Keeps was flat and didn't have much of a story.  While Gerry did a decent job acting, the other characters, other than Noah Lomax, were so poorly written and forgettable, that it was one of those movies you forget as soon as you leave the theater.   Sweetness, eye candy and flashy cars cannot substitute for a good screenplay and the movie had exactly one laugh line in it (Uma Thurman being in the neighbor's bed).

The competition was fierce at the time of year, so while a "not so good movie" might have done okay at another time, there were too many good ones to watch in lieu of these two.  Bad for the Muse, but perhaps he will have learned something from the experience.   He needs to go out on a limb and take on a character that will allow him to remember what it was like to really act his way through a movie instead of playing a variation of himself.  He did it brilliantly in Coriolanus and there were hints of it in his Machine Gun Preacher despite the unevenness of the story, so I know he can do it.

I have not written for a while for many reasons, but one of them being because I don't want to be harsh in my criticism or hit a guy when he's down.   I still care about this person and would like to see him continue to be successful.   But he needs to stop making cutesy movies and get someone with taste/discernment to read incoming scripts and spot the edgy ones.   He almost didn't make Dear Frankie but for someone who told him to take a second look at the script.  He needs someone to take a good FIRST look and advise him.   As a producer, as an actor,  he needs to seek better material.  Alan are you listening too? 

As usual, I  am still here, a little more silent, but still hoping he will find the roles he needs to cement his place in the Hollywood firmament as more than "hunky Scottish actor" Gerard Butler.   I still want to believe he has it in him...that role that will have people saying..."yeah, this guy can act after all.  He wasn't just a pretty face and nice body."  So many people want to be able to say it.  And this will only happen if the story is there to start with.  It may be a cliche, but if the story is there and the director is passionate about it, he can pull a good performance out of his actors.  Gerry needs both of those factors to coalesce for him.

In the meantime, I wish him much personal happiness.  Perhaps love/contentment will help him to find the passion in his acting again.


Songs out of tune, the words always a little wrong...Canzoni Stonate

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Celebrate the New Year...

...and live every day with great expectations!

Songs out of tune, the words always a little wrong...Canzoni Stonate