- - Thursday, March 3, 2011

Hiding Jane

“On Tuesday’s World News, ABC’s David Wright highlighted actress Jane Russell’s ‘botched back-alley abortion in high school,’ which led her to push ‘hard to expand adoption,’ but he failed to mention that she described herself as ‘vigorously pro-life,’ and that she was a conservative activist.

“Wright’s report aired at the end of the evening news program. The correspondent spent most of the segment on Russell’s movie career, specifically her roles in ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’ and ‘The Outlaw.’ Near the end, however, Wright noted that the actress was ‘also politically active,’ and continued with the abortion issue: ‘She wrote in her memoirs that a botched back-alley abortion in high school left her unable to have children. Throughout her life, she fought hard to expand adoption.’

“Michael Thurston of Agence France-Presse took a similar path in his Tuesday report on the movie star, but more explicitly noted that Russell was not only pro-life, but also a conservative … ‘In famously liberal Hollywood, and despite her sex symbol image, she was a rare defender of Christian and Republican values.’”

Matthew Balan, writing on “ABC Omits Jane Russell’s Pro-Life Views, Cites Her ‘Back Alley Abortion,’” on March 2 at Newsbusters

Pixar short

“We wanted to figure out a story that would include everybody, which is crazy because it is under six minutes. It takes place in Bonnie’s room — Woody, Buzz and Rex and everybody is in on it. Ken wants to take Barbie on a perfect vacation to Hawaii by stowing away in Bonnie’s backpack, but they get left behind in the middle of winter while she goes off without them. …

“All the toys see how devastated Ken is. As toys who get played with all the time they have a pretty good imagination. When it’s time for a little play-acting, they’re pretty good at it. And all the toys have different abilities and skills … It was fun to think of the things they could do to make the magic of Hawaii come alive in Bonnie’s room. …

“If you think about these toys, they get played with and it’s like putting on a show. Here they get to put on a show for their own purpose. They know they’re not in Hawaii, but Ken really wanted to take Barbie on this romantic trip to Hawaii because he was hoping they could have their first kiss. He’s got some pretty strong motivation. The other toys in the room are willing to play along.”

Gary Rydstrom, as interviewed by Anthony Breznican, for “‘Toy Story: Hawaiian Vacation’ clip reveals return of the toybox gang,” on March 1 at the Entertainment Weekly blog Inside Movies

‘Western’ in quotes

“At the end of the movie I wondered if there really is anything to ‘Rango’ other than a mash-up of these allusions and homages. And whether or not this is any worse than modern animated films that are too dependent on pop culture references.

“Something like ‘Rango’ will be viewed more respectfully because it shows a knowledge of film history, but in a way it’s still dependent on older pop culture references. There is a greater sense of timelessness in the alluding to old standards that most people are familiar with and will likely be familiar with in years to come, but there is a principle similarity in an animated movie directly quoting John Ford and Sergio Leone and an animated movie directly quoting from a Pussycat Dolls video or a current E! reality series.

“Most cinephiles will probably disagree, but that’s because they obviously prefer the cinematic pop culture references. The main issue at hand is, can a movie like ‘Rango’ exist on its own terms and become a classic work all its own, or is it too much of a broken record of greatest hits played at a faster speed for humorous effect?”

Christopher Campbell, writing on “‘Rango’ is the Funniest Western Since ‘Blazing Saddles’ — But is This a Good Thing?” on March 3 at Spout

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