Sunday, October 26, 2014

It's All About Snakes & Drive-By's on Fergie's New Single "L.A. Love"

Fergie in her high school days

Hey, isn't that D.J. from "Full House." No, that's Cher Horowitz the Beverly Hills rich girl from Clueless. Uh-uh, it's Michelle Pfeiffer in her beauty pageant days. I'm gonna tell ya right now, that's Fergie the pop star, wearing a pearl choker and a plunging neckline. She's a California girl. And NOT the Katy Perry kind.

That pretty girl is Fergie in her high school days in Hacienda Heights, California. Her new song "L.A. Love" is all about California, despite the shout-outs to other places. Those groan synths are the things of nightmares. Really, the whole song sounds like she's creeping in a Chevy Impala to do a drive-by…while smoking a blunt. She's positively predatory when she sings "lay back, slow down" on that B-section, her voice vibrating on the word "lay" moving like a snake. My heart just dies for the weeping snake charmer flute on the chorus. That flute is drawing out the chola in her. (She does have Mexican in her blood).

Los Angeles-bred DJ Mustard produced "L.A. Love" and his signature "heys" make you feel like a thug not to be messed with. Maybe that's getting ratchet. It makes me think of Beyonce's lyric on "Grown Woman": "because I walk with a vengeance." It's that inner cool, bad-ass, whatever you wanna call it. It also makes you ready to party, ready to murder the dance floor. Fergie said on the radio yesterday that the one thing that's different now that she's a mom is she can't stay out as late. Fergie is a party girl from way back. She's also a cheerleader from way back and that's why she hosts those New Years Eve gigs on TV, full of energy.

Where are the big Fergie vocals? some may wonder, but she's a rapper on this song. What she lacks in clever lyrics she more than makes up for in flow. The way she says "Texas grill Cadillacs/threw me everything back" is like liquid. Press rewind. Oh, and Lun-dun!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Escape from Polygamy is Sexy, Stylish fun, who would have thought?!

Ryder and Julina in promo shot for film
Peasant shirts and prairie skirts. Floral-pattern Laura Ashley dresses. Blazers with Oxford shirts. Let's face it, a polygamist community is a more stylish version of the Amish. You'll see these things in the made-for-TV movie Escape from Polygamy BUT you'll also see sexy scenes that have no actual sex in them. You'll see exhilarating pop culture references and, you'll see a third act for the ages.

Polygamy is the story of two teens who fall in love and fight to escape a polygamist community ruled by an abusive leader. 

Jack Falahee. He with eyes like Jeremy Irons and a crooked smile that hints at darkness. He plays Ryder, the teenage son of a prophet in a polygamist community. He dresses in shirts unbuttoned to reveal his chest and kicks around in chukka boots. This is a 2013 movie, but I saw it after seeing his steamy turn in the new Shonda Rhimes hit "How to Get Away with Murder"; so watching him play the virginal Ryder feels like he's trying hard to repress the sex in his acting. On "Murder," Falahee speeds up heart beats as Connor Walsh, a gay and complex law student who's fully aware of his prettiness, letting his sex appeal vroom-vroom like a Ferrari. 

In peasant shirts and prairie skirts, comes Julina, a teenager who moves into the polygamist community with her mother. Yes, the same community where Ryder lives. Haley Lu Richardson plays Julina with a self-possession that quickly becomes the movie's independent core. She struts like the cool girl that she is, pairing prairie skirts with Chuck Taylor's. Her face gives me young Lauren Conrad minus the mean girl snake eyes. As pretty as she is, and as sassy as she is, Haley doesn't bring sex to her role. Ryder is very much the high school senior that dad doesn't want your freshman ass to date, but he's more stylish than jock-ish, with that trim and delicate body of his. There's a rebelliousness in his acting. At the end of the day, Ryder and Haley give me best friends, not Romeo & Juliet. 

The third act of Escape from Polygamy is the drop-a-house-on-you moment where a witch is killed by a house and a teenager arrives in a foreign land. In short, it's the Wizard of Oz moment of the movie, and Ryder plays Dorothy. Damon Hill's entertaining script never stalls, but it's in the third act that things explode with color. I won't say where Ryder goes to, but it feels like independence. A Katy Perry impersonator tries to dazzle Ryder with her bra made of whipped cream cans. In one shot, pink light illuminates Ryder's face.

 A young, pale and skinny man named Micah (Jake Weary), with a bouncy blond pompador, struts into the movie; Jake Weary manages to bring effortless sex to the role, but it's flashier than what Falahee gives to Ryder. He's wired and his eyes are crazy. It's also in those crazy eyes that you get to see that he's lost. Unexpectedly, he helps the film lead to a waterworks moment that will surprise you, but you didn't think you were that invested in the movie. You will get lost, and you'll feel like you had to escape from polygamy too. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Bugs and Blondes with Cookies N Cream

Rayna Hecht goes blond.

Alicia Florrick is a real bitch. But she's a magnificent bitch. In Season 6, Episode 5 of The Good Wife, it's a game of Before and After, like that plastic surgeon ad that Andy Warhol made into museum art.

Alicia is a skinny lawyer with even skinnier Carol Burnett legs. But she wears designer suits. Alicia meets her Before in the courtroom: it's Jill Hennessy who used to be the medical examiner on Crossing Jordan. Jill plays a power lawyer named Rayna Hecht, whom Alicia was trying to woo for her own firm. Rayna used to have dark, shoulder-length hair, but now she wears an orange tan and long blond hair. She's a new woman trying on a new look. She even wears a scarf tied in a bow--around her long neck--to show how new she is.

It's a game of Before and After.

She's so Versace-esque. She's the Versace vision, that Rayna. That appealingly orange tan and that blond-with-dark-roots hair contrast would make Donatella Versace salivate.

Alicia Florrick is a real bitch. But she's a magnificent bitch.

Alicia's brand of bitchiness is the kind I like to buy: juicy and sweet, like, pulled pork and apple pie. She bears her straight, white teeth like a wolf. Before she was a wolf, she was a humiliated politician's wife…the good wife. Rayna is the Before, unsure, without Alicia's connections: the governor husband and the most powerful lawyers in Chicago. She's power-hungry despite ALL the power she possesses.

It's a game of Before and After. Alicia and Rayna both speak in firm, smoky altos, tailor-made for the rich and powerful, but Alicia has an army. She's the Governor's wife for Pete's sake. Rayna doesn't have all that power. 

Diane in cookies N cream dress.

All hail Queen Diane who tries her hand at being scream queen when she squeals at the sight of a cockroach. How perfect that a cockroach comes when Diane's wearing that delicious black-specked white sheath dress (with black short cardigan sweater). The dress looks like cookies N' cream AKA crumbled Oreo's in a sea of white chocolate. Mmm-mmm.