Tag Archive: Christina Aqueilera


Oh, Say Can You Sing?

I have been trying to keep my mouth shut about Christina Aquilera’s Star Spangled performance at the “Big Game.” 

Picture by Kakisky

Friends on Facebook are complaining. They don’t like her added notes, she skipped an entire verse, a professional would know all of the words all of the time.

Here is the real problem.

When Aquilera blew it, she didn’t run. We need her to be a coward to truly vilify her, to run off when things don’t go exactly as planned.

But she didn’t. Even in her apology she stated that she hoped people would feel the patriotic spirit that she felt as she performed. With true American spirit, she kept going despite her mistakes. Isn’t that part of what makes America great?

Yes, Aquilera messed up. Lots of performers mess up that un-singable song. You need to have at least two octaves of singing range to get it right. Perhaps you need to be like Freddie Mercury who had a reported four-octave voice to truly do it justice. I hear bad versions of the National Anthem on The Boers and Bernstein Show on WSCR in Chicago all of the time. Her screw up was minimal at best.

Instead of running off, as we have seen other performers do, Aquilera kept going with gusto. She hit the final notes just as the flyover happened. And she did it ‘a capella,’ meaning there was no accompaniment. That was all her, right there, in front of  a huge crowd and an bigger TV audience. She didn’t  have a taped version backing her up as other singers (Whitney) have in the past.

When she sang “What so proudly we watched” instead of “O’er the ramparts we watched” it was a goof. But a goof that she almost instantly corrected and powered through.

I hear people saying she shortened the song and still made it to the alloted 1 minute, 54 seconds. I read the lyrics  of the Star Spangled Banner as she sang the song. From what I can see, she started the second line again and quickly got back on track to the fourth line.  Her syllable  count was the same, there was no shortening of the song to make room for the runs she added.

I loved her version but perhaps it was that I was caught up in the moment. After Michele Lea’s nice but staid version of God Bless America, I was ready for something more.  Considering  it was the “Big Game” staged in Dallas, Texas where bigger is better and that stage is meant  for BIG stars with vocal power, what did people think was going to happen when Aquilera was announced for this role?

I enjoyed Aquilera in Burlesque. While I am not always interested in her skanky persona, I do love her voice and how her talent has grown over the years.

So am I going to give Xtina grief for her goof? Nope, because I am not sure I would not have made the same mistake and came back as strong as she did. Do you sing this song every day? I don’t. But it might be fun to see people take videos of themself singing the anthem in one shot without accompaniment.

Wonder if that is going to happen on YouTube any time soon?

What Did You Like Best?

I keep reading stories about the last year in movies and how it was lackluster. But I find critics say that every year. As a former critic, I know how easy it is to get jaded.

Every year there are bad sequels and bad re-makes and bad old-TV series-made-into-movies. What? You thought The A-Team and Hot Tub Time Machine were going to be good movies?

While some movies were disappointing, there were a few that I really loved.

Toy Story 3

What a great ending to a great series. Pixar, the makers of Toy Story, always seemed to get that toys are very real to kids. Each toy has its own personality, its own quirk and that is why we love various toys. But more importantly they never doubted the capabilities of their audience to understand that those qualities may be different from what we perceive.

Andy gazing at his old toys, Picture from IMDb.com

 

There are so many elements, so many details that goes into this last movie. It is a coming-of-age movie, an ending but also action-adventure with a heist element. We mourn who is gone and celebrate with who is left. We cry with relief and sadness and happiness. It may be one of the best movies of the entire year.

Burlesque

Christina Aquilera wants to be so much more than a fine singer, she wants to be an actress as well. This is a first good step in that direction. Starring with the ultimate singer-turned-actress in Cher, Aquilera is a small town girl from Iowa who wants something more from her life. A one-way ticket to L.A. is the first step. A waitressing  job at the best burlesque house is the next.

Cher and Christina Aquilera in Burlesque, Picture from IMDb.com

 

That is where she meets Cher who mentors her along in the way of make-up and performing. And when Aquilera lets loose on the pipes, all bets are off to discovering how successful she will be. Forget reality while watching this movie because you know some of what will happen. Stay for Cher’s solo, Kristen Bell’s anger and Stanley Tucci’s every scene.

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 1

I know that everything in the book did not make it into the movie. I was looking forward to some things that did not make it. But this movie did what it had to do. It gave us the fill towards the end. It lead us from school life to real life for Harry, Hermione and Ron.

Daniel, Rupert and Emma in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," Picture from IMDb.com.

 

We are now set up for the final movie, the final episode. We are ready for the huge battle we know must come. And if it all goes the way I hope, David Yates will be praised forever as one of the best directors of one of the best movie series ever.

Sherlock Holmes

Robert Downey Jr. has seen a renaissance that has been remarkable for the roles he is getting and what he is doing with them. In this movie, Downey had to contend with the specter of Basil Rathbone and made his own mark. I wondered if he was giving Sherlock a bit of an Asperberger’s twist with his incredible focus on a single subject and lack of social niceties.

Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr. in "Sherlock Holmes," Picture from IMDb.com

 

Jude Law also has some hurdles to cross as he makes Dr. Watson different from the Nigel Bruce charactization. We follow the story of a woman from Holmes’ past whom needs Holmes to do some investigating. Plus, the two men are dealing with an estrangement as Watson finds a woman he wants to marry. I was entranced and loved how Guy Richie envisioned the story.

There are so many other movies I need to see. I am looking forward to Rabbit Hole, Country Strong and True Grit, among others.

 What movies did you love in the past year?