Elvis is a cartoon! Meow!
Elvis is a cartoon! Meow!
Now that the awards for last year’s films have been given out and everyone has already started to forget who won, we can start to concentrate on the next batch of Oscar contenders….
Oh, stop yelling. It’s not that early!
Well, actually, it is way too early. I mean, we’re still not really sure what is even going to be released this year. Due to all the COVID delays, we went into 2021 knowing which films we could look forward to, mostly because all of those films were originally supposed to be released in 2020. Compared to 2021, we’re going into 2022 blind. The majority of the films that we do know about don’t really sound like Oscar contenders, either.
So, really, the only solution to how to predict the Oscar nominees when you know nothing is to guess. The films and actors listed below are not there because I have any inside information. Instead, they are there as a result of some wishful thinking and some educated guesses. Killers of the Flower Moon was directed by Martin Scorsese, so of course it’s there. The Fabelmans is there because a lot of people feel that the Academy didn’t show Spielberg and West Side Story enough love this year and I think the fact that the film is autobiographical will make it irresistible to same voters who nominated Belfast. Napoleon is there because there might be some lingering guilt over how both Ridley Scott and The Last Duel were utterly ignored this year. Rustin is there because it’s an Obama production and Hollywood loves the Obamas. Chris Rock is listed as a supporting actor nominee because it would be the perfect conclusion to the saga of the Oscar Slap. David Lynch is listed because …. well, I like David Lynch. Personally, it’s doubtful that Tom Hanks will be able to pull off two nominations in one year but if anyone could do it, it’s Tom!
In other words, don’t take any of these predictions too seriously. As of now, there are no definite contenders. These are just some guesses.
Be sure to check out my even more random predictions for February as well!
Killers of the Flower Moon
The Woman King
Damien Chazelle for Babylon
Chinonye Chukwu for Till
Martin Scorsese for Killers of the Flower Moon
Ridley Scott for Napoleon
Steven Spielberg for The Fabelmans
Colman Domingo in Rustin
Brendan Fraser in The Whale
Tom Hanks in A Man Called Otto
Joaquin Phoenix in The Whale
Brad Pitt in Babylon
Naomi Ackie for I Wanna Dance With Somebody
Cate Blanchett in TAR
Viola Davis in The Woman King
Danielle Deadwyler in Till
Michelle Williams in The Fabelmans
Best Supporting Actor
John Boyega in The Woman King
Leonardo DiCaprio in Killers of the Flower Moon
Tom Hanks in Elvis
David Lynch in The Fabelmans
Chris Rock in Rustin
Best Supporting Actress
Laura Dern in The Son
Sally Field in Spoiler Alert
Greta Gerwig in White Noise
Lily Gladstone in Killers of the Flower Moon
Li Jun Li in Babylon
The fourth episode of The Frank Sinatra Timex Show was officially called It’s Nice To Go Trav’ling but it’s unofficial name was Welcome Home Elvis. That’s because this special, which aired on May 12th, 1960, also marked Elvis Presley’s first appearance on television after his release from the U.S. Army.
It was a 30-minute special, sponsored by Timex. Elvis only appeared in 8 of those minutes. The rest of the show’s running time was made up of Frank Sinatra hanging out with his Rat Pack pals. Still, in those 8 minutes, Elvis performed with Sinatra and television history was made. (Elvis even wore a tuxedo for the occasion, so he would fit in with Frank and the pack.) This special was the highest rating program of the week and it proved that being away in Germany hadn’t diminished Elvis’s popularity one bit.
Elvis, who was born 87 years ago on this day, would later go on to star with Nancy Sinatra in 1968’s Speedway.
Previous Great Moments In Television History:
4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking.
Today is not just David Bowie’s birthday. It’s also Elvis’s! If he was still with us, Elvis Presley would be 85 years old today.
During his lifetime, Elvis was as well-known for his movies as his music. Elvis, who admired James Dean and Marlon Brando and wanted to be known as a serious actor, hated the majority of his films. After 1960’s G.I. Blues, almost all of Elvis’s films were musical comedies that provided him with little opportunity to show off his dramatic skills. Elvis preferred his first four films, Love Me Tender, Loving You, Jailhouse Rock, and King Creole, all of which gave him a chance to not just sing but to do some serious acting as well.
In honor Elvis’s birthday, here are 4 shots from those 4 films.
4 Shots From 4 Elvis Films
Thirty years ago, Canadian songstress Alannah Myles glided to #1 on the charts with her sultry hit single”Black Velvet”:
Alannah Myles was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, and before breaking through with “Black Velvet” she was fairly well known in her home country, even getting a guest shot as a single young mom on a 1984 episode of the popular Canadian TV show THE KIDS OF DEGRASSI STREET. When her hit tune stormed the charts, that smoky voice and those sexy good looks catapulted her to stardom, thanks in large part to constant airplay on MTV.
She won a Grammy for Best Female Rock Performance and three Juno Awards (the Canadian equivalent to the Grammies), but her subsequent LP’s and singles went nowhere in America, and just as meteorically as she rose, Alannah Myles tumbled off the radar here. She has retained a fan base in Europe and her…
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I was actually planning on featuring another Britney Spears video for today’s music video of the day but then I came across this cover of Suspicious Minds.
Let’s just start with the obvious. I absolutely love this video. According to video’s description on YouTube, this was shot on an iPhone. The video has this wonderful sort of dream-like feel. Some of that’s due to the song itself. Some of that’s due to the fact that the majority of the video takes place in Las Vegas, which is like the most surreal city in America. (There’s a reason why David Lynch set so much of Twin Peaks: The Return in Vegas.) It all comes together to create a wonderfully hypnotic video, one that is both inviting and ominous at the same time.
The song itself is best-known as an Elvis song but it was actually originally written and performed by a songwriter named Mark James. In 1969, after James’s version failed to chart, the song was handed over to Elvis and it quickly become on his signature hits. Of course, you really can’t do anything Vegas-related without including a reference to Elvis. I can’t remember if there were any Elvis impersonators on Twin Peaks but I do remember that you can spot a few in Saved By The Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas.
(And, of course, this bring us all back to Britney Spears, who will launching her second Vegas show on February 13th. Everyone ends up in Vegas, where they get to hang out with my friends Jennifer and Xander. Lucky them!)
On March 24th, 1958, 23 year-old Elvis Presley reported for his induction into the army. It was a day that the press and his fans dubbed as being Black Monday. Shortly after being inducted, Elvis and his fellow recruits were transported to Fort Chaffee, Arkansas. That’s where my grandfather, Raymond Ellis, took this picture.
Unfortunately, the copy above is not a great scan. (When my Dad got his first scanner in 1995, the Elvis picture was one of the first things he scanned. I just happened to come across it a few weeks ago while I was gong through some old 3.5 floppy disks.) Hopefully, I’ll be able to get my hands on the original and share a better scan in the future. As far as I know, this picture of Elvis has never been published anywhere else.
As for Elvis, he served in the army for two years, getting promoted to sergeant and receiving an honorable discharge in 1960. He spent most of his army career in West Germany, where he met the woman that he would eventually marry, Priscilla Beaulieu.
Let’s face it – with a handful of exceptions, most of Elvis Presley’s post-Army 1960’s movies are awful. They follow a tried-and-true formula that has The King in some colorful location torn between two (or more!) girls, some kind of vocational gimmick (race car driver, scuba diver), and a handful of forgettable songs. KID GALAHAD is one of those exceptions; although it does follow the formula, it’s redeemed by a stellar supporting cast, a fair plot lifted from an old Warner Brothers film, and a well choreographed and edited final boxing match.
The movie’s very loosely based on 1937’s KID GALAHAD, a boxing/gangster yarn that starred Edward G. Robinson, Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, and Wayne Morris in the role now played by and tailored for Presley. He’s a young man fresh out of the Army (how’s that for typecasting?) who returns to his upstate New York hometown of Cream Valley…
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(Lisa is currently in the process of cleaning out her DVR! How long is it going to take? Some would say forever but, here at the Shattered Lens, we’re hoping that she might have it all done by August. Anyway, she recorded the 1969 film Change of Habit off of Starz on March 20th!)
It’s Elvis vs. God for the heart of Mary Tyler Moore!
(Okay, so that may be a little bit glib on my part but, seriously, that pretty much sums up Change of Habit.)
Change of Habit opens with three nuns walking through New York City. There’s the forgettable nun, Sister Barbara (Jane Elliott). There’s the black, streetwise nun, Sister Irene (Barbara McNair). And then there’s the idealistic and wholesome nun, Sister Michelle (Mary Tyler Moore). Because they’re nuns, even notoriously rude New Yorkers are nice to them. They walk across a busy intersection and all of the cars stop for them. A cop sees them jaywalking and just smiles and nods at them. In case you were ever wondering why someone would become a nun, it’s because nuns always have the right-of-way and they don’t have to obey arbitrary laws. It’s a good life.
The sisters are shopping and, as the opening credits roll, the three of them duck into a dressing room and change into contemporary civilian clothing. Obsessively, the camera keeps zooming in on everyone’s bare legs. You can literally hear the film’s producers telling all the boys in the audience, “This may be a G-rated Elvis film but that’s not going to stop us from implying nun nudity!”
It’s Sister Michelle’s idea that the nuns should wear contemporary clothing, the better to relate to the Godless youth of the 1960s. Unfortunately, now that they’re dressed like everyone else, they have to actually obey traffic laws. When they attempt to cross the street for a second time, cars honk at them and the cop yells at them for jaywalking.
Michelle, Irene, and Barbara get jobs working at a free clinic. The clinic is run by John Carpenter (Elvis Presley). Carpenter is looking for aspiring actresses to appear in a movie about a babysitter being stalked by a masked murderer on Halloween and … oh sorry. Wrong John Carpenter. This John Carpenter is a no-nonsense doctor who will stop at nothing to bring peace and good health to the most poverty-stricken neighborhoods in New York!
That’s right. It’s an Elvis film with a social conscience!
And that probably sounds like a joke but Change of Habit‘s heart is in the right place. It’s intentions are good. At least a few of the people involved in the film were probably trying to make the world a better place. There’s a subplot involving an autistic child that, when you consider this film was made in 1969, is handled with unusual sensitivity. Of course, that doesn’t mean that the rest of Change of Habit doesn’t feel totally and completely out-of-touch. The entire film feels so dated that I imagine it probably even felt dated when it was initially released. This is one of those films where the local black militants give Sister Irene a hard time about being a sell-out, just to eventually admit, during a block party, that maybe white folks aren’t so bad after all. By the end of the movie, they’re even joking with the cops. All that was needed was for Elvis to sing a song or two. To be honest, there are times when Change of Habit feels like the 1969 version of Kendall Jenner’s Pepsi commercial.
Of course, the majority of the film deals with Elvis falling in love with Mary Tyler Moore. He doesn’t know that she’s a nun and, as she falls in love with him, she’s forced to make a difficult choice. Does she follow God or does she follow Elvis? Actually, the film ends before she officially makes that choice but there’s little doubt as to what she’s going to eventually do. In his final non-concert film appearance, Elvis is totally miscast as a serious-minded doctor and, it must be said, he looked miserable throughout the entire film. You get the feeling he’d rather be doing anything than starring in Change of Habit. (Maybe he was already thinking about how much he wanted a special FBI badge.) Mary Tyler Moore is a bit more believable as a nun. Fortunately, both Moore and Elvis were likable performers and their likability makes Change of Habit, as ludicrous as it often is, far more watchable than it has any right to be.
In the end, Elvis may not have saved society but he did get to sing a gospel song or two.
Elvis Aron Presley was born on this date in 1935. The King of Rock’N’Roll got the older generation “All Shook Up” when he burst on the national scene in 1956 with hits like “Heartbreak Hotel” and “Hound Dog”. He also made his first film that year, the Western LOVE ME TENDER, and was an immediate box office sensation. His following three films, LOVING YOU, JAILHOUSE ROCK , and KING CREOLE, were well done, but after his stint in the Army, and the success of 1961’s BLUE HAWAII, Presley’s 60’s movies followed a strict formula, thanks to manager Col. Tom Parker, with interchangeable titles like KISSIN’ COUSINS, HARUM SCARUM, and DOUBLE TROUBLE.
By the late 60’s, things had changed. The Beatles were top of the pops, the psychedelic revolution was in full effect, and Elvis hadn’t had a hit record in a few years. The movies were still profitable, but lacked energy. Presley’s 1968…
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