Song of the Day: Endless Love (by Lionel Richie and Diana Ross)

Lisa Marie’s latest post about the film Love Story and her reaction to it got me thinking that I haven’t put up an R&B ballad as “Song of the Day” for quite awhile now. Well, just as the day is close to coming to an end to start a new one I’ve chosen to continue the theme began by the previous post and picked the R&B ballad, “Endless Love”.

“Endless Love” is a ballad duet sung by Lionel Richie and Diana Ross. These two of the biggest R&B stars of the 70’s and early 80’s. Their star and singing power truly shines in this duet of the love theme for the very maudlin, cheesy and almost-grindhouse romantic film of the same name starring Brooke Shields, Martin Hewitt and a young James Spader. The film itself is quite forgettable if one was looking for something in the same vein as Love Story, but for those looking for a very twisted look at true love then Endless Love is the flick for you.

The film might not have been popular with critics, but the theme definitely resonated with the public and critics. It has been voted by Billboard as the greatest song duet of all-time. It’s become a staple with wedding planners since it came out to be played during wedding receptions. It got a modern cover duet by Luther Vandross and Mariah Carey in 1994.

There’s not much to say about this song other than watch the video and just listen to the song and it’s lyrics. Even the most coldhearted bastard out there may just melt a bit as they listen to this song.

Endless Love

My love,
There’s only you in my life.
The only thing that’s right.

My first love,
You’re every breath that I take.
You’re every step I make.

And I
I want to share,
All my love with you.
No one else will do.

And your eyes,
Your eyes, your eyes,
They tell me how much you care.
Ooh yes, you will always be,
My endless love

Two hearts,
Two hearts that beat as one.
Our lives have just begun.

I’ll hold you close in my arms.
I can’t resist your charms.

And love,
Oh, love,
I’ll be a fool, for you.
I’m sure,
You know I don’t mind.
Oh, you know I don’t mind.

‘Cause you,
You mean the world to me.
Oh, I know,
I know,
I’ve found in you,
My endless love.

Oooh, love,
Oh, love,
I’ll be that fool, for you.
I’m sure,
You know I don’t mind.
Oh you know,
I don’t mind.

And, YES!
You’ll be the only one.
‘Cause no one can deny,
This love I have inside,
And I’ll give it all to you.
My love,
My love, my love,
My Endless Love!

Lisa Marie Laughs and Cries Over Love Story (dir. Arthur Hiller)

They are so freaking pretty!

I’ve discovered something as I’ve pursued my mission to see every single film ever nominated for best picture.  Quite a few of the nominees (perhaps the majority of them) are no longer impressive because they’ve simply become dated by the passage of time.  We can still watch these films and understand (and believe) that they were probably quite groundbreaking and impressive when initially released.

And then there’s the films like the 1970 best picture nominee, Love Story.  These are the nominees that you quickly realize were never good.  These are the films that were nominated because they either dominated the box office or perhaps they just lucked out and were released in a bad year for cinema in general.  At least that’s what we tell ourselves.  In all honesty, the circumstances of how they came to be nominated are often enigmatic and shrouded in mystery.  I have yet to read a single critic — from either 1970 or the present day — who has had a single kind thing to say about Love Story and, after sitting through it last night, I can say that for once, me and the critical establishment are in agreement.

The plot of Love Story is pretty simple and I’m going to go ahead and include the entire story here because quite frankly, it’s impossible to spoil something this predictable.  Oliver (Ryan O’Neal) meets Jenny (Ali MacGraw).  Oliver is a rich jock who is attending Harvard.  Jenny is a poor music student.  Upon first meeting her, Oliver calls Jenny a “bitch.”  Jenny calls Oliver “a dumb jock.”  Oliver falls in love with Jenny.  Jenny calls Oliver “a dumb jock.”  Oliver and Jenny get married.  Oliver’s father (Ray Milland) disapproves.  Jenny’s father (John Marley) is just kind of confused.  Cut off from the family fortune, Oliver struggles to provide for Jenny.  (Apparently, the 70s were a tough time to be a graduate of Harvard Law School.)  Jenny and Oliver have a fight.  Oliver cries.  Jenny says, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry,” which seems to be an underhanded way of admitting that most guys aren’t ever going to say that anyways.  Oliver is happy.  Jenny comes down with a never-named terminal illness and dies.  The end.

I know that I’m supposed to watch a movie like Love Story and just shrug my shoulders and go, “Oh well, it’s not very good but I’m a girl so I’ll love it unconditionally.”  And God knows, I tried my best,  I tried so very hard to just shut down my mind and give control over to my heart.  Because, believe it or not, I’m just a dorky, asthmatic romantic.  I’m the type of girl who gets all giggly and excited when she gets flowers, despite all of my allergies.  I can remember every sunset I’ve ever watched.  The rare times we actually do have a winter down here in Texas, I’m all about the snowball fights that end with a long, passionate kiss.  I love Valentine’s Day and I remember anniversaries.  I still have every gift that I’ve ever been given, even the really cheap and ugly things that I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing in public.  Every trinket, every stuffed animal, every card, every piece of jewelery, every note, every article of lingerie, every movie ticket — if it’s an artifact of a past or current relationship, I have it all safely stored in a place of honor. 

Yes, I adore everything that Love Story was selling and yet, as I watched Love Story, I felt myself growing more and more cynical with each passing moment.  Fortunately, the movie only last 99 minutes because if it had gone on for a few 120, I probably would have ended up “an old maid…closing up the library!” like Donna Reed in It’s a Wonderful Life.  The problem with Love Story isn’t that it’s not romantic; it’s that it takes the standard clichés of romance and embraces them to such an extent that I didn’t feel as if I was being manipulated by the film as much as I felt like I was being brutally violated by it.

Seriously, the entire time I was watching, I felt like the film was screaming at me, “Look at how beautiful they are!  Look at that sunset!  Listen to that music!  Cry, damn you, cry!”  Never mind the fact that MacGraw and O’Neal — pretty as they are to look at — generate close to zero chemistry.  Never mind that  MacGraw responds to being terminally ill by laying in bed with her hair artfully spread on the pillow behind her while director Arthur Hiller practically bathes her in a warm, saintly glow.  Never mind that “Love means never having to say you’re sorry,” doesn’t make any freaking sense at all.  Trust me, if you love me and yet you still insist on acting like an asshole, you sure as Hell have to apologize to me. 

On the plus side, the film’s got one of those overdone, lush soundtracks; the type that can make you cry as long as you don’t pay attention to what’s happening on-screen.  (That said, Taylor Swift is nowhere to be found.)  Ryan O’Neal is surprisingly likable as Oliver but Ali MacGraw — oh my God, where do I begin?  Actually, I don’t think I will because there’s simply no way I can explain just how bad of a performance she gives here.  Instead, I’ll just point out that Love Story also features the film debut of Tommy Lee Jones.  He’s credited as Tom Lee Jones here and he plays Oliver’s roommate.  He’s an on-screen for about 12 seconds and he delivers exactly one line. 

Needless to say, he pretty much steals the entire film.

Supernatural: The Anime Series to be Released on DVD/Blu-Ray

Ever since it was announced in around Fall of 2010 that an anime series was going to be made based on the first two seasons of the popular CW drama series, Supernatural, I knew I had to get the DVD and/or Blu-Ray release of this series.

Like most Japanese anime series they rarely got shown in the US unless it was part of a video set. It’s rare to find newly shown episodes in Japan shown in the US at the same time. Lately, a new practice of streaming new episodes on-line through official anime streaming sites has given American anime fans the same access to new episodes as their Japanese counterparts. A fine example of this recent practice was the simultaneous airing of each new episode for the horror-ecchi series, Highschool of the Dead. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case for the Supernatural anime series.

So, it was a relief to read the news release earlier this week about the anime series being released in the US through DVD and Blu-Ray sets of Supernatural the Animation season 1.

The DVD and Blu-Ray Season 1 sets will be released by Warner Home Video on July 26, 2011.

If there was ever a series that belongs to be redone in anime fashion it was, and is, Eric Kripke’s Supernatural. As I joked with people about this news once it was confirmed, the Supernatural slashfic community will now have to deal with an equally rabid yaoi community which has already sprouted since Supernatural the Animation premiered on Japanese TV earlier this year.

One thing that should please both subbed and dubbed warring camps is that the DVD and Blu-Ray release should have both original Japanese voice cast (which includes the very Japanese voice actors who dub the Dean and Sam Winchester characters in the live-action showing of the series in Japan) and the stars of the series itself, Jensen Ackles and Jared Padelecki dubbing the anime series in English (though it would seem Padelecki will be voicing all 22-episodes while Ackles only select episodes).

People I know who have seen the series while it aired in Japan have spoken nothing but positive things about the first season. So, far the announcement hasn’t been followed up with the items being put up for pre-orders on or any of the online video retailers. I’m sure that will change once more details about the DVD and Blu-Ray release come down in the coming weeks.

Source: Anime News Network