Saturday, November 24, 2012

Unsung TV: Frank's Place


It wasn't until recently that I came to appreciate the understated humor that is Tim Reid.

In watching old reruns of WKRP in Cincinnati, I realized that his humor was far more valuable (and under-appreciated) than what Steve Urkel or JJ Evans would ever offer.

So when this show was in its first run, I heard that it was good and boy, were people mad when it went off the air.

I'll continue this segment as I learn about more shows that hardly saw the light of day.

A Marvelous Movie?

For years, I've heard rumors about a Marvin Gaye biopic.  Just like when Gen-Xers like me first heard Jimi, there were strong (pre-internet) rumors about Larry Fishburne buying the rights to his book.  He had just finished playing the hell out of Ike Turner so this seemed natural.  Of course, life happens and so does business and one can tell married life has been good to him (he did nothing to me so let's be tactful).

So now Andre (3000) Benjamin is slated to play the guitar great although without using his music, I don't know how this will work out in terms of box office sales (bka asses in the seats and not making the "video guy/bootleg man/DVD hookup" rich).  Personally, I liked the Wood Harris Showtime biopic from about 10 yrs. ago.  He did an awesome job even though he bears no resemblance.

And this week, Jacky Jasper reported that Lenny Kravitz has been picked to star in a biopic about the legendary Marvin Gaye.  Love Marvin (especially the I Want You album) and Lenny can do no wrong but .. IDK.  Why?  For one, the films ' focus in on the Motown artists' downward spiral (IRS, 2nd failed marriage, drugs) instead of what influenced him to write (and fight Mr. Gordy to have released) the What's Goin' On album.  Even his transition from gospel to secular music is worth 2+ hours.  The duets.  Anything but that period in his life.

So should actors take on such roles?  Personally, I'd rather have Mr. Kravitz than Usher (as it was once rumored) play him.  And I always hoped Prince could build up enough acting chops (or Warner Bros clout) to pull off Hendrix, since he has some timing but like Larry Fish, a little too long in the tooth for this to become reality.

What do you think?  Below is a track from one of my favorite albums, period.  He does channel Marvin pretty well if I must say so.

A Man Called Adam Review

This will be on Bounce TV for maybe a week or two before they take it out of circulation (just looked at the Dec. 2012 schedule and I saw a lot of Sidney Poitier and Eddie Griffin movies on the roster).

Anyway, the great Sammy Davis Jr. plays
an alcoholic musician looking to get right in his life.  Nothing unfamiliar today but what got my attention was the ladies that were after him.  Cicely Tyson (she goes from being super-resistant to his biggest cheerleader is less than 1/2 hour), Lola Falana and a really young Ja'Net DuBois (bka Willona).  Dude (RIP) was no bigger than a minute but I was shocked as to why Harry Belafonte wasn't cast.  I guess Mr. Day-O didn't play ball like that.
In the video above, "Bookman" plays a blind musician who puts Sammy in check about his ways. 

I won't give away any more but this movie is worth a bag of microwave popcorn.