Shatner in Space

ENTERTAINMENT – Have You Watched Captain Kirk, I Mean “Shatner in Space” on Prime?

This documentary is indescribably touching as it captures the Star Trek actor’s rocket voyage. Even if it is a Jeff Bezos ego trip

There are two competing schools of thought when it comes to William Shatner’s space mission. The first is characterized by a kind of awestruck wonder over the beautiful symmetry of it all: Shatner starred in Star Trek, Star Trek inspired a generation of engineers, the engineers built a rocket, the rocket flew Shatner into space. The second tends to think that letting a billionaire indulge an actor by flying him to the brink of the atmosphere in a spaceship shaped like a willy might not be the best use of our resources.

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Shatner in Space is firmly for the first crowd. A 45-minute documentary about his mission, it airs on Amazon Prime. Jeff Bezos owns Amazon Prime. He also owns the rocket that Shatner flew on. Anyone expecting even an iota of criticism would be better off looking elsewhere.

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If you watched the news coverage of William Shatner’s journey into space on Bezos’s Blue Origin spaceship, New Shepard, you’ll have a rough idea of what will happen here. A 90-year-old man, at the invitation of the world’s richest man, travels up to the edge of space and returns transformed. Upon leaving the capsule on its return to Earth, Shatner tries to grasp at the profundity of what he saw up there; wide-eyed and slack-jawed, he struggles to articulate the fragility of life on Earth. Meanwhile, Bezos cuts him off to spray some champagne around like a tinpot go-kart champion.

 

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The champagne moment, unsurprisingly, has been sliced out of Shatner in Space. What’s left walks a fragile line. The show is part monument to Bezos’s ego, because of course it is, but it is also an incredible document of a man at the end of his life witnessing the great beyond. If you can stomach the former, there’s a good chance that the latter will move you to tears.

Shatner in Space: Captain Kirk’s in a willy-shaped spaceship – and it’s poetry in motion

William Shatner inside a Jeff Bezos ego tri… sorry, rocket. Photograph: Amazon

Here, Shatner acts like a man who knows his time is coming. He speaks almost exclusively with a hushed sincerity that is frequently at odds with those around him. In a quiet moment with Bezos, for example, Shatner leans in and asks if he is scared of death. Coming from anyone else, it would be a stone-cold conversation killer. But Shatner’s age, and his yearning to know what’s next, can’t help but draw you in. You are forever on his side.

In the run-up to the launch, Shatner shares an incredible story. When Star Trek was cancelled in the 1960s, his affectations of celebrity cratered around him. His marriage ended. He couldn’t afford a home, so he bought a truck and lived in it. And it’s from the truck that Shatner watched the moon landing. A man who had played an iconic space adventurer, watching mankind’s greatest moment at his lowest ebb. Sure, it’s probably a story he has told countless times before, and over the years it is likely to have been sanded and smoothed for maximum impact, but it lends his space trip a lovely poetry.

When Star Trek was cancelled in the 1960s, his affectations of celebrity cratered around him.

Shatner’s willy-shaped spaceship. Photograph: LM Otero/AP

The voyage itself is equally revelatory. As the rocket reaches its highest point, and everyone is allowed to unclip themselves, most of the passengers start giggling at the sensation of weightlessness. Not Shatner, though. He clings on to the window, staring at the blackness of space, eyes wide with revelation. “That’s it,” he whispers to himself. “I’ve got it.”

William (centre) may finally get to go to space for real (Picture: Moviestore/Shutterstock)

Now, part of me thinks that, if Jeff Bezos got his way, then everything that ever airs on Amazon Prime would be a variation of Shatner in Space. We’d be beaten over the head with long, lush pro-Amazon infomercials that could never really be shown anywhere else because they border so shamelessly on propaganda. But in this instance, I’m inclined to cut it a break. Shatner in Space is a document of what space means to Shatner, and what Shatner means to everyone he has inspired. The sight of him immediately postflight, crying and wrestling with the magnitude of what he has just witnessed, is indescribably touching. What an unexpected treat.

Source: IMDB, The Guardian, Metro

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Shatner in Space

 

 

 

 

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ENTERTAINMENT – “Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry” Documentary Premiere on Apple TV

“And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts…” – William Shakespeare

From Apple TV: “Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry” offers an enlightening — and sometimes uncomfortable — look behind the scenes of a young star’s ascension.

“Billie Eilish: The World’s A Little Blurry” tells the true coming-of-age story of the singer-songwriter and her rise to global superstardom. From award-winning filmmaker R.J. Cutler, the documentary offers a deeply intimate look at this extraordinary teenager’s journey, at just 17 years old, navigating life on the road, on stage, and at home with her family, while writing, recording and releasing her debut album “WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?

Singer/songwriter Billie Eilish’s ethereal voice and penchant for ruminative, hip-hop-flavored alt-pop songs made her a chart-topping music artist with her debut album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? (2019), all while still in her teens.

 

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In this film, we indeed see the world through Eilish’s eyes. Cutler foregrounds the intimate footage that uncovers her one-of-a-kind creative processes of home recordings with her brother and producer Finneas, and heated family meetings with their homeschooling parents about her career and marketing decisions. In turn, this footage brings out the film’s recurrent inquiries into the disorienting effects of overnight fame on Eilish’s self-image in the digital age of streaming moguls and social media celebrity.

Finneas O’Connell (brother of) and Billie Eilish perform.

Born Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell on December 18, 2001 in Los Angeles, California, she and her older brother and frequent collaborator, Finneas O’Connell, were raised by their parents, actors Patrick O’Connell and Maggie Baird, in the city’s Highland Park neighborhood.

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Rise To Fame

The film proceeds to pick up its pace of editing in accordance with Eilish’s real-time ascension to the rank of global pop icon – switching back and forth between a series of adrenaline-infused, core-shaken live performances, and the fly-on-the-wall revelations of her sombre downtime to recover from injuries and heartbreaks. Here, Cutler shrewdly times her seemingly fleeting moments of angst and insecurities into the hazy layout of her all-consuming tour life.

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During these moments, it dawns upon us that Eilish is still a wide-eyed teenager prematurely bombarded by public attention and scrutinization. Though what keeps her grounded – and what echoes this film’s zeitgeist – is her innately immediate connection with her fans and peers. Together, they find solace in each other while stumbling along the path to adulthood in this increasingly unpredictable world.

What Makes Eilish

Singer/songwriter Billie Eilish’s ethereal voice and penchant for ruminative, hip-hop-flavored alt-pop songs made her a chart-topping music artist with her debut album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? (2019), all while still in her teens. Born Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell on December 18, 2001 in Los Angeles, California, she and her older brother and frequent collaborator, Finneas O’Connell, were raised by their parents, actors Patrick O’Connell and Maggie Baird, in the city’s Highland Park neighborhood. Both siblings were homeschooled by their mother, who taught them rudimentary songwriting as part of their curriculum.

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Dance was Eilish’s first outlet, by at the age of eight, she began singing with the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus. Finneas was the first of the pair to show musical aptitude by writing and producing his own original material at the age of 12. But in 2015, he recruited his sister, then 13, to provide vocals for a track he’d written titled “Ocean Eyes.” They then uploaded the song to SoundCloud with the intent of having Eilish’s dance teacher choreograph a dance routine for it. But the song began to make the rounds on the music streaming service, and with the help of word of mouth and some unofficial remixes, “Ocean Eyes” became an online sensation with 14 million streams. The popularity of the track led to a recording contract with Darkroom, a marketing company turned independent music label, in partnership with Interscope Records; the two companies reissued “Ocean Eyes” to overwhelming critical acclaim in 2016, and encouraged Eilish and her brother, who was now her permanent collaborator, to write more music.

An Icon Emerges

The incubator approach yielded impressive results: a new single, “Bellyache,” was released in 2017, and swiftly followed by “Bored,” which found its way to the soundtrack for the Netflix series “13 Reasons Why” (2017- ), and then “Watch” and “Copycat,” all of which would be featured on Eilish’s debut EP, Don’t Smile at Me in the summer of 2017. Momentum built slowly but steadily for the record, which rose from No. 185 on the Billboard 200 to the Top 100 a year later and finally peaking at No. 14 in the first quarter of 2019.

Regular media coverage of Eilish’s career and unique fashion, as well as some unsettling videos for the singles, which featured the singer in various states of surreal distress, helped to boost album sales and Eilish’s profile as an up-and-coming artist and tastemaker to watch. She also continued her breakneck pace of songwriting and recording, issuing a 7″ single featuring an acoustic take on her song “Party Favor” with a cover of Drake’s “Hotline Bling” for 2018’s Record Store Day releases.

All The World’s A Stage With Eilish

A subsequent collaboration with the singer Khalid called “Lovely” was featured in the second season of “13 Reasons Why,” and again, preceded a flurry of songs, including “When the Party’s Over,” “Bury a Friend” and “You Should See Me in a Crown.” All tracks were included on her debut LP, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, which solidified her status as ascending star by debut at No. 1 on the Billboard albums chart.

A subsequent collaboration with Billie Eilish and the singer Khalid called “Lovely” was featured in the second season of “13 Reasons Why.”

“The world’s a little blurry. Or maybe it’s my eyes.” This line from Billie Eilish’s record-breaking debut album When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? turns into the apt title of director R.J. Cutler’s well-rounded documentary, looking at how the Gen-Z pop sensation rose to superstardom. With a risky runtime of 140 minutes, the film never feels overlong, as it strikes a skilled balance between a fulfilling fan service and a verité epitome of the contemporary music industry as experienced by its prodigy in the spotlight.

Source:  HBO, One Room With a View & IMDB

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Pink All I Know on Amazon Prime Video

ENTERTAINMENT – “P!NK: All I Know Documentary on Amazon Prime Video

Amazon presents “P!nk: All I Know” documentary on Prime Video.

Join award-winning performer and musician P!NK as she embarks on her record-breaking 2019 “Beautiful Trauma” world tour and welcomes audiences to join her chosen family while trying to balance being a mom, a wife, a boss and a performer.

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“P!NK: All I Know”, concert tour, starring PINK.

Mixing footage from the road, behind-the-scenes interviews and personal material, director Michael Gracey (The Greatest Showman) gives audiences a glimpse behind the curtain of the circus that she calls life.

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Pink does incredible aerobatics during her concert shows.

This intimate documentary provides great insight into the life and person of the artist known as Pink — a modern feminist pop star whose relationship with her millions of fans is perhaps the most profound of its kind.

 

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PINK with family on concert tour.

Her aerial acrobatics and punishing stage routine are something to be seen.

Part tour diary, part biography, part portrait of a working mother, the film follows Pink, her husband and two young children on a European concert tour leading up to a pair of spectacular shows at London’s Wembley stadium. Her aerial acrobatics and punishing stage routine are something to be seen.

Released on May 21, 2021.

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Mary J. Blige My Life Documentary on Amazon Prime

ENTERTAINMENT – “Mary J. Blige’s My Life” Documentary Premieres on Amazon Prime

Mary J. Blige set the music world on fire with her trailblazing 1994 LP “My Life,”.

Mary J. Blige’s My Life” Documentary Premieres on Amazon Prime. In Vanessa Roth’s documentary Mary J. Blige’s My Life, the singer, rapper and actress reveals the demons and blessings that inspired the record and propelled her to international stardom. She celebrates the 25th anniversary of her most influential work by performing the album live for the first time.

Mary J. Blige, Queen of Hip-Hop and R&B.

Nine-time Grammy®-winning recording artist and Academy Award nominated singer and actress Mary J. Blige set the music world on fire with her trailblazing 1994 LP “My Life,” a collection of powerful confessionals about her battles with abuse, depression and addiction that forged a profound and enduring connection with millions of fans around the globe. In Oscar®-winning filmmaker Vanessa Roth’s documentary Mary J. Blige’s My Life, the singer, producer and actress reveals the demons and blessings that inspired the record and propelled her from the soul-crushing world of New York’s housing projects to international stardom. In the process, she celebrates the 25th anniversary of her most influential work by performing the album live for the first time.

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“My Life is probably my darkest album at one of the darkest times I’ve had,” she admitted in the trailer.

In 1994, Mary J. Blige gave us the ultimate vibe with her sophomore My Life LP, featuring classics such as “I’m Goin’ Down,” “You Gotta Believe” and “Be Happy.” Fast forward 25 years later, we get to take a peek into the icon’s life ourselves with her documentary Mary J. Blige’s My Life. As Blige’s second album gave a raw story of abuse, mental health, and addiction – and later earned triple platinum status, won the Billboard Music Award for Top R&B Album, and received a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Album.

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“My Life is probably my darkest album at one of the darkest times I’ve had,” she admitted in the trailer. “Most of the time I was just depressed and didn’t want to live. I had it all inside and I was able to sing it and write it, and I didn’t know that so many people felt the same way.”

 

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Directed by Oscar®-winning filmmaker Vanessa Roth, the Amazon Originals documentary dives deep into the life and times of multi-Grammy®-winning recording artist and Academy Award-nominated singer and actress Mary J. Blige.

The Power actress and producer and claimed Queen of Hip-Hop and R&B takes us on a journey through her road to superstardom from the beginning to her present-day successes. In the trailer, the “Just Fine” singer briefly touches on the rises, demises, demons, and blessings of her livelihood from her childhood neighborhood to the conception of My Life.

 

“Nobody sounds like her,” Sean “Diddy” Combs praised the Bad Boy Records alumna…”

“Nobody sounds like her,” Sean “Diddy” Combs praised the Bad Boy Records alumna, who is also serving as executive producer of the project. I Can Do Bad All By Myself co-star Taraji P. Henson chimed in to say that Blige “made it okay for people to say it’s alright to be me.”

I love Mary J. Blige’s voice. She is my pick as the talent to portray Aretha Franklin, if anybody asks me.

Rated R with a length of 82 minutes total, Mary J. Blige’s My Life is produced by Ashaunna K. Ayars and Q. Nicole Jackson and executive produced by Mary J. Blige, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Tara Long, Mark Ford, Kevin Lopez, Jeffrey Harleston and Jody Gerson. The documentary will be released via Amazon Prime.

Film releases on June 25, 2021.

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ENTERTAINMENT – Netflix Presents A Documentary On, “Betty White: First Lady of Television”

Betty White: First Lady of Television (2018) documentary on Netflix

I received an email from Netflix, asking me if I had viewed the documentary on, “Betty White: First Lady of Television.” I was surprised and simply could not, not watch! Everything about Betty White on Television has invoked fond, warm memories and in times of coronavirus lockdown, I needed to remember those times.

Everything about growing up happy involves a number of the shows she was in. Her sassy wit and characters that were almost whimsical yet she could always deliver a telling line and that is what defined her talent.

This documentary is one of favorite things!

Betty White is always entertaining!

The movie is just as inviting as she is on television. It is a caring look over the life and career of such a beloved television and film legend who celebrates 80 years in show business this year — officially the longest career in the history of TV. Lauded for her roles as the bawdy Sue Ann on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, (one of my favorite’s), the innocent Rose on The Golden Girls (another favorite), and her more recent role as the worldly Elka on Hot in Cleveland, Betty White is also an industry pioneer.

The Emmy’s 2018 | A Standing Ovation For The First Lady Of Television Betty White | FOX

The film is packed with hilarious clips from her long career and comments from friends and co-stars, including Valerie Bertinelli, Georgia Engel, and Tina Fey, Valerie Harper, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and Gavin MacLeod, Carl Reiner, Ryan Reynolds, Tom Sullivan, and Alex Trebek and many more.

Betty White stars as an animal lover in David E. Kelley’s Lake Placid film, available on Amazon Prime.

Other performances by Betty White that I dearly enjoyed were the saucy Catherine Piper on Boston Legal, and the 30-foot crocodile-feeding lover, Mrs. Delores Bickerman, in Lake Placid whose husband was eaten by the very same beast. These are two roles close to my heart as she’s staring in projects that are written by one of my favorite writer’s, David E. Kelley.

Betty White on Saturday Night Live with an all star cast!

As the producers were granted exclusive access to Betty and her team, they were able to capture the magic of her performances at various venues, along with more personal moments at home and interacting with close friends — one of whom is a 900-pound grizzly bear.

From the documentary, Betty White shares moving tribute for ‘Mary Tyler Moore’ co-star Georgia Engel with 900-pound grizzly bear.

Her characters are always original and I’m sure that’s because of how she delivers them to her loving watching audience. Of course, The Golden Girls will always be with us on television.

She was the first woman to produce a national TV show, the first woman to star in a sitcom, the first producer to hire a female director and the first woman to receive an Emmy nomination.

Betty White is a long-time lover of animals.

The documentary will put a lasting smile on your face. Betty White truly is the first lady of television!

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