LISTEN: Male singer covers ‘Let It Go’

Screen shot 2014-02-07 at 9.54.49 AMCaleb Hyles, a 22-year-old thrash metal singer and student at Auburn University, also has a YouTube channel devoted to his cover songs, including some Disney ballads. In this one, he tackles the frontrunner for the best song Oscar, “Let It Go” from the movie Frozen. As a charter member of Theater Queens United, I am required by bylaws to love Idina Menzel, who sang the song in the film. But even I think she gets blown out of the water here. Listen (and watch), and be wowed.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

REVIEW: ‘Redemption’ on HBO

RedemptionWhen I saw Redemption earlier this year, when it was in the running for an Oscar for best documentary short, I thought it had a serious shot at winning (though the ultimate winner, Inocente, was very, very deserving). It’s not easy to see short films, especially docs, so it’s great that HBO does such a good job airing them, which it does with Redemption tonight at 7:40 p.m. (with rebroadcast through tomorrow).

The documentary on first glance seems to be about “canners,” mostly homeless folks who collect recyclable cans and plastic bottle for the deposit along New York’s Upper West Side. But it’s not so much about homeless people as it is a symbol for the toll the economic downturn has taken on all walks of life. Yes, there are alcoholic veterans and illegal aliens, but also a retired computer expert who can’t like off of Social Security, and families who do what the can to get by. It’s worth the half-hour it takes to watch.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Starvoice • 01-13.12

By Jack Fertigdolly-parton

CELEBRITY BIRTHDAY

Dolly Parton turns 66 on Thursday. The Queen of Country Music is just as busy as ever. In 2011, she recorded her 41st studio album Better Day and subsequently hit the road in support of it. She returns to the big screen and costars with Oscar nominee Queen Latifah in the comedy Joyful Noise as a choir director’s widow. The movie was released this month.

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THIS WEEK

Still in Capricorn, the sun squares Saturn, which can feel limiting; turn that “limit” into focusing on goals. Entering Aquarius on the 20th, the sun squares Jupiter in Taurus offering brilliant opportunities. Some are good, but be skeptical. If it looks too good to be true it is.
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CAPRICORN  Dec 21-Jan 19
It’s easy to feel beat down about where your hard work hasn’t gotten you. Focus on what you have accomplished. That can lead you to a more effective use of your resources.

AQUARIUS  Jan 20-Feb 18
Some down time will do you good. Starting or joining a provocative family discussion can be very educational; go ahead, stir it up. Bruised feelings will quickly heal.

PISCES  Feb 19-Mar 19
You could be a big hit at a dungeon party. Personal insights are better explored with a friend you can really trust. You may uncover inner resources you’d never dreamed of.

ARIES  Mar 20-Apr 19
New friends tempt you to do things you’d never expect. That could get expensive. Opening your mind to new possibilities can lead to financial opportunities. but watch your wallet.

TAURUS  Apr 20-May 20
Vanity leads to a fall. You’ve nothing to prove. Those who love you may seem demanding, but rise to the occasion. The challenge will make you stronger.

GEMINI  May 21-Jun 20
Some things are better left unsaid. Much as you prefer full frontal frankness, think a bit about what the best strategy really is. However apt, sexual analogies can be more disruptive than helpful.

CANCER  Jun 21-Jul 22
Re-affirm any New Year’s resolutions about quitting a habit or losing weight. To prioritize and simplify, make three lists: professional contacts; friends you care about; those you don’t.

LEO  Jul 23-Aug 22
Harsh words with colleagues come back to haunt you. Putting what needs to be said nicely can be a huge boost to your career. Accept an invitation to something you’d normally never do.

VIRGO  Aug 23-Sep 22
Your first ideas are likely to be extravagant and wasteful, but don’t let disillusionment stop you. Accept scarcity as a challenge to your creativity. At least you’ll never run out of ideas.

LIBRA  Sep 23-Oct 22
A beautifying regimen causes your baby to wonder who you’re prettying-up for. It also arouses envy among your single friends. Focus on your health and your natural beauty will shine.

SCORPIO  Oct 23-Nov 21
A break from your past seems liberating. You need to criticize and innovate, but build on your past. Even negative examples and painful lessons serve a purpose.

SAGITTARIUS  Nov 22-Dec 20
Do something nice for your darling — housework is always appreciated. Showing off will mess it up. Just do whatever’s needed. The less you draw attention, the more it will be appreciated.

Jack Fertig can be reached at 415-864-8302 or Starjack.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 13, 2012.

 

—  Kevin Thomas

Motion Picture Academy adds (gay) members

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences released its list of new members this weekend, and the gays seem to be making inroads.

Membership in the Academy is by invitation only, and it’s sometimes surprised me to learn who is not already a member — especially when you know who is. (Would it surprise you to know Dakota Fanning has been a member for several years, but David Duchovny was just invited?) It normally helps if you get a nomination, which accounts for invitations this year to actors John Hawkes and Jennifer Lawrence (both nominated last year for Winter’s Bone), Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) and Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom). But what I notice in this year’s list isn’t so much the actors, but the directors. (Members are invited as parts of “branches,” meaning they get to select the nominees in that category for the Oscars each year.)

Of the eight invited directors this season, three are openly gay … and not only gay, but out-and-proud in their filmmaking.

• Lisa Cholodenko was nominated for an Oscar last year for her screenplay to The Kids Are All Right, about a lesbian couple (including Oscar nominee Annette Bening, pictured) raising their children. She was invited by writers and directors branches. Her films virtually always address gay themes, including High Art and her work on the TV series The L Word.

• Gregg Araki, the Asian-American gay filmmakers whose indie production confront serious issues of gay life, such as HIV status in The Living End. His other films include Totally Fucked Up and Mysterious Skin, his most acclaimed mainstream effort.

• John Cameron Mitchell has made only three films; his latest, Rabbit Hole, had a Hollywood star (Nicole Kidman, pictured with Mitchell) and mainstream cred. But his first two films — the transsexual rock musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch and the near-pornographic sexually frank indie Shortbus — pushed the limits of what you’d think the Academy would endorse.

Other nominees of interest include actors Gerard Butler (300) and Russell Brown, Jennifer Garner, Mila Kunis and Beyonce Knowles; director Tom Hooper (who just won an Oscar for The King’s Speech); documentarians Ami Bar-Lev (My Kid Could Paint That) and Sebastian Junger; and writer Aaron Sorkin (Oscar winner for The Social Network).

—  Arnold Wayne Jones