All posts tagged: Frank Sinatra

crossroads

You’re Dead to Us…Movies Starring Pop Stars

In which we look at once common curiosities of pop culture that don’t exist anymore, be it because of changing tastes, the fragmentation of culture, or merely the fickle nature of fads.  Teen idols come and go, but the concept never leaves us, because there will always be hormonally crazed young people with questionable taste in music. Sometimes the pop star breaks free of their teen idol years and becomes a legitimate artist (Frank Sinatra, Ricky Nelson, Justin Timberlake); the rest are temporary, ephemeral, and cheesy: Fabian, Andy Gibb, the DeFranco Family, Rick Astley, Philip Glass, etc. Right now, we’ve got quite a few, and a solid 25 percent of social networks would appear to be teenagers just saying that they enjoy the music and/or appearance of, variously, One Direction, the Wanted, Justin Bieber, Cody Simpson, three more that have become popular between when I wrote this article yesterday and it published this morning. And these pop stars, up until the moment in which they choke under the pressure of fame and their souls, minds, …

human-highway

10 Movies…Directed By Rock and Pop Stars (To Prepare You for Rob Zombie’s ‘The Lords of Salem’)

Lots of musicians decide they are famous and attractive enough to act, but it takes a special kind of hubris to take a break from making music to direct a movie. Sometimes it works out, as with the fruitful horror filmmaking career of Rob Zombie, whose The Lords of Salem comes out this week. Here are some others who gave it a shot. The Education of Charlie Banks The guy who got an Oscar nomination for The Social Network was once directed by Fred Durst, the guy who wrote the line “gimme somethin’ to break / how ‘bout your fuckin’ face.” But he does know what it’s like to be a violent thug, so there’s that. Yentl Streisand has one of the greatest voices ever, and she’s a good actress, too. And then there’s this literal vanity project, in which the 41-year-old Streisand directs her own performance as a teenager, who disguises herself as a boy to attend a yeshiva. Falling From Grace Ol’ John Cougar made himself up a movie-film real good like, with …

Mix Six: This Time We’re Stringin’, or How I Learned to Dabba-Dabba-Dabb

… because Ted didn’t want to. DOWNLOAD THE FULL MIX HERE When Nabokov concluded back in the 1950s that some of his American students’ ears were merely ornamental, I’m sure many adults believed that he was referring to the kids’ musical taste. It’s no wonder. These people grew up in a world where Frankie Laine was considered progressive. The refined and mannered style of swing era vocalists was gradually being replaced by the raw emotion and indecent body language of young belters inspired by the dark forces of the blues. As rock ’n’ roll took over the airwaves, the concept of ‘easy listening’ was introduced when some radio stations continued playing traditional pop music aimed at mature audiences. The Billboard Easy Listening chart debuted in July 1961, paving the way, at least for a while, for old-timers like Perry Como and Frank Sinatra who were no longer able to crack the pop charts, and at the same time creating a market for new acts like Herb Alpert, Bert Kaempfert and the Baja Marimba Band. Follow …

Blu-ray Review: Ocean’s 11 (50th Anniversary Edition)

Ocean’s 11 (Warner Bros., 1960) They’re a pop culture institution — hell, they’re heroes to some people — but the Rat Pack really  didn’t make that many movies as a unit. Only two, to be exact, and of the pair, only 1960’s Ocean’s 11 has retained any lasting value. (Sergeants 3, released two years later, is a Gunga Din remake that’s as wretched as it sounds.) The kind of movie that’s considered a classic for reasons having little to do with the movie itself, the original Ocean’s may not be an objectively great film, but it’s turning 50 in style, with this new Blu-ray transfer. Synopsis: New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas. Roulette wheels spin, cards snap, slots chime, champagne fizzes, the shows go on…and the lights go out. It’s the perfect time to steal a kiss or a $25 chip. But for Danny Ocean (Frank Sinatra) and his 10 partners in crime, it’s the perfect moment to steal millions. Sinatra and off-screen pals Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Lawford, Joey Bishop and more …