THE FOSTER FILES — Documentaries for me are a double-edged sword. Depending on who directed them, they can be either a love-letter or a ripped-to-shreds downer.
Producer David Foster is one strange-bird. Sure, he’s had unparalleled success in the music world: working with the likes of Whitney Houston; Celine Dion and Michael Bubble, but he also comes off as somewhat of a smart-alec, know-it-all – which I can tell you for sure, many record producers are. There’s a right way, a wrong way or … Foster’s way.
The first third of the doc is Foster gingerly recounting his progress to the top of the heap. From Canada with three sisters, he heads to London, where he had his loneliest time ever. Then back to Canada and then to LA, where he finally felt at home (he hates NYC, too claustrophobic … and, I often know that feeling!). He worked … really worked at becoming one of LA’s tops session players. He also basically skips over a hit he had with a group called Skylark (“Wildflower”) and two albums with George Harrison’s Dark Horse Records, under the name of Attitudes. He does reference Keltner as a source of some major help (he was in Attitudes too, along with guitarist Danny Kortchmar), but really doesn’t discuss Harrison at all, which I felt was kind of odd.
The middle third is his amazing success with the names mentioned above. Clive Davis, is of course there, discussing what importance he had (as well as his big part in the movie Bodyguard with Kevin Costner) but the real curiosity piece here is when manager Irving Azoff brought him into work with the group Chicago.
He professes to have been huge fan, but when the group played him their next set of songs, he immediately dismissed them all and proceeded to write some new songs … without horns! The songs went onto becoming the group’s biggest hits ever … but, still no horns.
Chicago’s principals are interviewed and appear still quite frosty about this whole episode, but Foster’s adds that they’re still touring … and, playing those hits. Foster was quoted last week he was surprised he didn’t come off worse in that interview with them.
Hey, I told you it was a crazy business.
The last third is about Foster’s five marriages and how he runs when things gets too tight, and the major carnage with his daughters. It’s sad. With an estimated 80 million dollar worth … no money can’t fix problems like these.
A maniacal, ego-centric, narcissist? That’s just who he is. Is it a good film? Not really, but it does present an honest portrait of the man. Essential viewing for anyone is show biz!
England Concerts in August 2020 — Indoor concerts will be allowed to take place in England beginning August 2020 – the first time since COVID-19 hit – as the country enters Phase 4 of its five-stage reopening plan for live events.
Announced by U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport will first be holding test runs with socially-distanced audiences to create the final and formal guidelines for August 2020.
The announcement also revealed that venues will not be allowed to open at full capacity and tickets will be sold online in order to reduce person-to-person contact. Additionally, social distancing markers will be placed for the audience, while venues will have to undergo deep cleaning measures and operate with staggered performance schedules. “Audiences, performers and venues will be expected to maintain social distancing at all times,” the notice said.
What will happen domestically remains to be seen.
RACING ENZO — I saw a movie over the weekend that literally moved me to tears. The movie of the book (by racing car driver Garth Stein), The Art Of Racing In The Rain. It concerns a new dog, Enzo, brought home by racing car driver Denny (Milo Ventimiglia).
The hook is that we hear Enzo’s thoughts throughout the movie – voiced brilliantly by Kevin Costner – of all people. I know at first it sounds somewhat cheesy, but it’s handled beautifully. Who knew that dogs just might have such serious thoughts?
The movie opens when Enzo is in his declining days and then quickly flashes back to when he is first adopted; and the rhythm that he and Denny develop. The dog’s thought are simply amazing – seriously delivered and strike just the right amount of emotion. What he really aspires to do is to ride in a car with Denny.
Denny meets Evie, who at first Enzo is suspicious of, but then comes to embrace. They marry, with Enzo being the ring bearer. Soon she is pregnant, which brings even more awe to Enzo.
A daughter is born, who is soon marveled at and loved, by Enzo as well.
A serious illness happens and everything adapts accordingly from there.
I guess if you are, or were, a dog owner, you can relate much differently to the movie. One review -from a major trade paper no less- reviewed this movie as if he didn’t even see it. The postings on his review were hilarious … and, true.
It’s a tearjerker for sure. Ventimiglia is sensational and Amanda Seyfried, as Eve, is astonishingly good, but the real secret weapon is Costner. As believable as ever, he was a sensational choice.
This is a good one!
SHORT TAKES — Actor, singer, director, producer, writer, radio DJ, inventor, all-around performer extraordinaire—and frequent Wizard World guest—Micky Dolenz will make his first virtual appearance on Sunday, August 2, at 1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT, at Wizard World Virtual Experiences (http://www.wizardworldvirtual.com). Best known as vocalist and drummer of The Monkees, the superstar who has been entertaining crowds for more than a half century will take part in a FREE live moderated video Q&A, followed by one-on-one video chats, recorded videos and autographs. Sessions are accessible to virtual attendees on their computer and mobile devices via Twitch, Facebook and YouTube …
Best Vintage Track of the Week goes to Paul McCartney’s “Back In The Sunshine Again,” from his album 2001 Driving Rain album. Just a superb track: take a listen:
RIP Mary Noto; wife of Lore Noto (The Fantasticks) and mother of Anthony … Happy Bday Alicia Spiegel.
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Danny Kortchmar; Attitudes; Billy Amendola; Barry Fisch; Vic Kastel; Jane Blunkell; Randy Alexander; Carol Weber; Kreskin; Tony King; Joel Diamond; Fabian; and, BELLA!