Can UK Reverse Eurovision Humiliation With 2020 Entry “My Last Breath” By James Newman?

Eurovision 2020 James Newman My Last Breath

If you’re not a fan of Eurovision – well most people aren’t fans exactly as much as like it in a “so-bad-it’s-good” way – you know that the UK has not had much luck with its entries for the last 20+ years, ever since Katrina and the Waves (yes, the “Walking on Sunshine” group) won in 1997. They’ve tried many methods of choosing an entry, with BBC sometimes choosing it themselves or allowing the public to vote. The result, unfortunately, has been a run of terrible songs, not made better even when sung by familiar names like Engleburt Humperdink (2012) and Bonnie Tyler (2013). Last year’s entry, Michael Rice with “Bigger Than Us” came in dead last.

So, this year the BBC decided they would partner with BMG and again pick their own song and singer. Couldn’t do any worse, right?

The choice this year is James Newman (brother of John Newman who has scored some UK hits in the past) with “My Last Breath”. Sounds like a typical Eurovision song, which is an improvement over the past few years where the entries haven’t even reached that standard of terrible. But a winner?

We’ll see. The UK entry, no matter how horrid, is guaranteed a spot in the finale. Tune in May 16th to see if they can pull out a miracle.

Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum Return with “Making the Cut”!

Heidi and Tim Are Back

When Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum left “Project Runway”, it sounded like they had a good new venture in the offing and we eagerly awaited its arrival. And waited and waited. Meanwhile, we kept watching the retooled “Project Runway” but even with our fave Christian Siriano, it just wasn’t the same and we stopped watching altogether.

Now, luckily, Tim and Heidi have announced their return, platformed on Amazon Prime, debuting on March 27th!

“Making the Cut” is pretty much…”Project Runway” with smart enhancements. Instead of just throwing challenges at the contestants that were frankly puzzling and seemingly irrelevant to being real fashion designers (I mean, miserable team challenges with people you don’t know and would never work with in real life?), this is geared towards challenging the contestants in terms of both artistic and business success, incorporating the synergy with the platform by selling each week’s successful outfit on Amazon, and at the end, providing one winning designer with $1 million to invest in their business plus a chance to sell their entire line on Amazon, as well.

Sounds great to me! I’m glad Tim and Heidi are finally back.

AbFab! John Waters’ “Female Trouble” Funniest Movie Ever Made?

Edith Massey Female Trouble

Is “Female Trouble” the funniest movie ever made? I’d vote yes, but it’d probably be one of 10 or 20 I could swear was the all-time best and funniest. But that’s why the site is “Gush About” because while I am discerning and there is much I don’t like, there is so much that I do love to the point of needing to be restrained by order.

This 1974 film was John Waters’ fourth feature, his follow-up to “Pink Flamingos”, which may be more famous due to the dogshit-eating scene, but I feel “Female Trouble” is his “Gone With the Wind”, not because it’s an epic but because both have troubled, wobbly moral moorings. At least Waters’ film knew it. He dedicated the film to Charles “Tex” Watson, an incarcerated Manson family member. Apparently, Waters’ visits to Tex in prison inspired this film’s theme of “Crime Is Beauty”.

Divine embodies this theme as Dawn Davenport, from her glamorous beginnings demanding cha cha heels from her clueless parents to rampaging her way through the entire story living life on her own terms, a role model for us all. She’s my hero because she wants what she wants, she doesn’t give a flying f***, kills for art, and rocks a mohawk and scarred face as if she’s a supermodel. It’s Divine’s greatest role, I think, and this is equally true for Mink Stole and Edith Massey in this film, as well. Think Mink’s line “I wouldn’t suck your lousy dick if I was suffocating and there was oxygen in your balls!” And Edith Massey as The Egg Lady who wishes her nephew would turn nelly, saying “Queers are just better. I’d be so proud if you was a fag and had a nice beautician boyfriend” before throwing acid in Dawn’s face and ending up in a birdcage.

I could go on and on but you should just see it. Of course there’s a Criterion edition!

Shangela, Bob the Drag Queen and Eureka in New HBO Series “We’re Here”

We're Here Shangela Bob Eureka

This six-part reality series starring RuPaul’s Drag Race alums Shangela, Eureka and Bob The Drag Queen debuts on HBO on April 23rd.

In the series, our heroines recruit small-town residents across America to participate in a one-night-only drag show. They aim to inspire and teach their own “drag daughters” to step outside their comfort zone for a night of no-holds-barred, full-on drag.

I’m there!

“First Wives Club” Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn and Diane Keaton Re-Team in “Family Jewels”!

First Wives Club

Great News! The fabulous team of Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn, and Diane Keaton – the female actor equivalent of the Avengers – is getting back together for a new “multigeneration comedy” called “Family Jewels”. Their classic first appearance in “First Wives Club” is so completely rewatchable that it’s curious why there was never a sequel nor another teaming. I guess the thinking has been that female-led movies don’t make money and if they do, it’s a fluke. That continues to be disproven yet Hollywood is slow on the uptake.

The story is a bit of a reverse “Mamma Mia”. They play three women forced to spend the Christmas holidays together, along with their kids and grandkids, after the man they were all once married to drops dead in a New York City department store.

Filming will start later this year, so this will probably be a Christmas 2021 release. In the meanwhile, here’s a dance down memory lane:

“In Bruges” Martin McDonagh, Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson Re-Team for “The Banshees of Inisheer”!

In Bruges

Martin McDonagh is a superstar playwright who has ventured into the film world with some great results, as writer/director of “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” (starring Frances McDormand, nominated for Oscar’s Best Picture), and of “In Bruges”, a dead-on classic with Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson. See it now if you haven’t already!

Word is that he’s reteaming with Colin and Brendan on a new film titled “The Banshees of Inisheer”. Inisheer is the smallest of the three Aran Islands off the Irish coast, with the other two islands figuring in two other McDonagh plays, one called “The Lieutenant of Inishmore” and the other “The Cripple of Inishmaan” (saw it on Broadway with Daniel Radcliffe, loved it). A trilogy, it seems.

I hope there’s a part for Frances McDormand! Well, whatever the case, I’ll be in line to see it.

Taron Egerton is Suddenly Seymour in New “Little Shop of Horrors” Movie?

Little Shop with Jonathan Groff

Taron Egerton was a fabulous Elton John in “Rocketman” and got robbed of an Oscar nomination after winning the Golden Globe for Best Actor (Musical or Comedy). How can you win like that and then not even get nominated for an Oscar? Okay, it happened to Madonna. But well…

Well, all that’s really important is that we get to see Taron conquer more great roles. So luckily, there’s now an announcement that Taron is being sought to play Seymour in “Little House of Horrors”.

“Little Shop”, as with so many other movie projects I’ve covered over the past few weeks, has moved forth and back and forth between film and stage. It was birthed in 1960 as a Roger Corman production shot in two days to take advantage of some sets leftover from another production. It featured Jack Nicholson in an early role and his presence allowed the movie to stay alive on TV reruns which most likely led to the off-Broadway version in 1982 written by Alan Mencken and Howard Ashman, the pair that went on to revive Disney with “The Little Mermaid”, “Beauty and the Beast”, and “Aladdin”.

The musical became a movie in 1986 directed by Frank Oz (Yoda), with a controversial happy ending, then more stage revivals before finally hitting Broadway. Most recently, Jonathan Groff starred in an off-Broadway production that’s still running (although Groff isn’t still playing Seymour). Groff would have been excellent in the new film version but I’ll take Egerton.

As for Audrey, who sings “Suddenly Seymour”, that casting isn’t quite so exciting. The funniest thing I read today was an article on this subject from a site called Celebitchy that added “and unfortunately, Scarlett Johansson might be in it too.” Nuff said.

Whatever the origin of these musical movies, let’s just hope they’re good and justify being remade. And if they’re not, just wait 20-30 years and they’ll be remade again.