February 12, 2005

Review and TUNES - 15

This week I rented De-Lovely, which I have been curious to see since I heard it was in the works. Kevin Kline is always fun to watch, and Ashley Judd (as much of a dip as she may be) is ridiculously beautiful. The story of Cole Porter's life is one that lends itself to movie making.

Unfortunately, the story has never been well told. This telling was a bit too "All That Jazz" in it's presentation. I enjoyed the technique in that movie, don't get me wrong, but it's already been done - and much more effectively. I did enjoy Jonathan Pryce in the role of 'host', but he is no Ben Vereen (the host in All That Jazz).

I enjoyed De-Lovely, and I am glad I watched it, but it was not the movie it could have (or should have) been. The only two people in my life that I would recommend it to watched it with me, so on the Word of Mouth Scale it only rates two.

I think perhaps my disappointment may have been fueled by the songs, made over by contemporary artists. Singers who are not up to the task. Alanis Morrisette's version of "Let's Do It" is particularly painful. Sheryl Crow has nowhere near the vocal talent required for "Begin The Beguine". Whether it was the performers or the arrangers, the wink and a smile that Porter wrote into his songs is sadly absent on most of the film tracks. The interpretations feature affectations that would not have been heard in that era. So....

This weeks Radio.Blog features some older recordings of Cole Porters songs. There are two versions of Let's Fall In Love - Billie Holiday and Eartha Kitt - with two distinctly different feelings...but they both make the Morisette version look like a poor attempt at Karaoke. You'll find Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Fred Astaire (who many of these songs were written specifically for). I didn't go through and listen to all of these tracks yet, so one or two muzak versions may have made it in - if I find them in the next few days I'll delete 'em

~ Listen ~

Posted by Vox at February 12, 2005 02:27 PM | RadioBlog , movies , music

Have you ever heard the Cole Porter tribute album to benefit AIDS research... Red Hot + Blue? It's one of my favorites as far as modern interpretations of Cole Porter music (even if it's 15 years old now).

Posted by: Dave at February 12, 2005 03:32 PM

Oh my gosh ~ I think I have it. Why didn't any of those tunes come up in my playlist.....

I must go investigate and add them later. Unless I just wanted that album and never actually got it...? We'll see.

Posted by: Vox at February 12, 2005 03:38 PM

Isn't that a shame the movie wasn't better? I was so bored with it I didn't even finish watching it. That's pretty bad when I don't finish a flick.

Posted by: Lori at February 13, 2005 02:39 PM

Lori: I was determined to make it to the end, but I can see why you gave up on it.

Dave: I don't have that album :-( I was thinking of the Gershwin version, The Glory of Gershwin, which has modern performers taking on those old tunes. There are some pleasant surprises on that one, as well. Like; Cher's version of "It Ain't Necessarily So", Meatloaf doing "Somebody Loves Me", Jon Bon Jovi's "How Long Has This Been Going On?" is different - but interesting, Oleta Adams pulls "Embraceable You" out of it's era and makes it sound new....

Posted by: Vox at February 13, 2005 03:05 PM