Happy Friday, everybody!

Please send prayers for the people of Galveston Island and other areas near the East Texas coastline as Hurricane Ike prepares to bear down. It's a frightening graphic being shown in those weather reports; Ike's circumference seems to be as wide as entire the Gulf of Mexico. Here in Wisconsin they are already writing off the fall tourism season, because all that rain is going to get up here eventually. (We're gettng the remnants of Gustav right now.)

If you're in an area of the country that allows for more frivilous activity, you might want to consider going to the movies this weekend. A couple of good ones are opening today: The Family That Preys, Tyler Perry's newest; Righteous Kill, featuring acting giants Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino (I'm betting DeNiro gets top billing, but I can be wrong); and the one I'm most excited about, the long-awaited remake of the 1939 classic The Women, based on the play by Clare Boothe Luce.

The original play itself (no, I wasn't around for the original production in 1936, but I saw a filmed version of a revival on PBS a few years back; I'm old but not that old) was much racier than the film version, and this new version brings the story into the present day. I'm curious to see what they did with it. The cast sounds wonderful - you can always count on Bette Midler to liven things up - and includes a couple of sistahs (Jada Pinkett Smith and the too-seldom-seen-these-days Lynn Whitfield).

I'm also eager to see the cleverly titled The Family That Preys as well. All of the Tyler Perry movies I've seen (and I haven't seen them all) haven't thrilled me, but he's clearly getting better budgets and bigger stars (both Kathy Bates, of this film, and Angela Bassett, who starred in his previous outing, have "Academy Award" attached to their names as winner and nominee, respectively) and is moving away from the all-rich-white-collar-men-are-evil theme. As for the Madea character, the best thing I can say about her (?) is that a little bit goes a long way. Tyler Perry is like Fort Knox on legs, but the black media is urging people to go see his new film this weekend, because in this business it apparently isn't good enough to create movie after movie that all make money, both in ticket sales and in video rentals and sales, both domestically and internationally, without a single bomb in the bunch . . . you've got to be #1 (sounds a lot like the book business, but that's a column for another day). So go see the movie if you can.

Unfortunately, I'm doubting I'll be able to get to the theater this weekend. We're entertaining tomorrow (I thought I'd be done with my manuscript by now, which is why I approved this date). The rest of my weekend will go toward my overdue manuscript. I will say I'm pleased with my progress of the last one-third of the story. My goal is to get it at least a few days earlier than the date I've been given. My editor's been so nice about this; I don't think there's anything fun about rearranging a set production schedule (twice).

I'll conclude this column by addressing Michael Jackson's dirty drawers - complete with skid marks, it's been said - being auctioned off on E-Bay with an opening bid of $1 and also those rumors that Paul McCartney, fresh off a nasty divorce from Heather Mills, is about to marry for a third time. To the ultimate purchaser of Michael's underwear and to Sir Paul (if the rumors are true) I'd like to say this: There's no fool like an rich fool, or an old fool, or a rich old fool.

I'm outta here!


PBW said...

Good luck with your deadline.

Ugh, on the Michael Jackson news.

Hmmm...I'll bet Paul isn't marrying a woman his own age.

shelia said...


It was sad to see the devastation that Ike brought. My heart goes out to those people who has to face the aftermath.

On another note, I did get a chance to go see The Family that Preys before the storm got up my way. I thought it was one of Tyler Perry's best movies. I didn't chance waiting to see The Women (although I do plan on seeing it) because I wanted to get home before the rain started. Why Did I Get Married is still my favorite Perry film. The Family that Preys gives him crossover appeal and should take him to the next level. I would like to see more movies at that level by him.

bettye griffin said...

Thanks for commenting, Phyllis and Shelia!