By Lynn Venhaus

DVD: “Thor: Love and Thunder” released today.

The third “Thor” superhero stand-alone movie combined comedy and romance with the cosmic action-adventure, earning $746.670 million worldwide. After losing his home planet and close family members during the events of “Avengers: Endgame” and “Thor: Ragnarok,” Thor embarks on a journey to find his way in the universe.

Director Taika Waititi also played a supporting role in a cast that included Chris Hemsworth as the Nordic god, Natalie Portman as his one true love Jane Foster, Christian Bale as Gorr the God Butcher, with , Karen Gillan, Chris Pratt, Matt Damon, Vin Diesel, Tessa Thompson, Bradley Cooper, Russell Crowe, Pom Klementieff, Jaimie Alexander, Melissa McCarthy, Sam Neill, Dave Bautista, Simon Russell Beale, Luke Hemsworth, and Sean Gunn. Rated PG-13, its runtime is 118 min.

Formats: DVD, Blu-ray + Digital Code, 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo + Digital Code, VOD, Digital. Extras: Gag reel; commentary; “Hammer-worthy: Thor and The Mighty Thor” featurette; “Shaping a Villain” featurette; “Another Classic Taika Adventure” featurette; deleted scenes

Here’s my review (“Fresh” on the Tomato-meter): https://www.poplifestl.com/fast-furious-and-funny-thor-love-and-thunder-is-a-rip-roaring-good-time/

Reese Witherspoon, Josh Lucas

Movie: “Sweet Home Alabama,” 20th Anniversary

On Sept. 27, 2002, a romantic comedy starring Reese Witherspoon as fashion designer Melanie Carmichael, who has reinvented herself as a socialite, opened. In the screenplay by C. Jay Cox, she becomes engaged to NYC’s most eligible bachelor, a JFK Jr.-like Drew Hennings, played by Patrick Dempsey. But her past holds many secrets, including Jake (Josh Lucas), the down-home husband she married in high school, who refuses to divorce her. She sneaks back home to Alabama to legally end the relationship after seven years of separation, but confronting her past isn’t as smooth as she had hoped.

I fell in love with this movie, not ashamed to admit it, and own the DVD – and still watch it every so often if I find it on cable. I don’t care what other critics say or what it’s ratings/scores are. What matters is that I like it, and so do many of my girlfriends. When it came out on DVD, we had a group viewing and listened to the commentary by director Andy Tennant. We still talk about how fond we are of it

I find the love triangle chemistry palpable and the supporting cast endearing. What’s not to love about Mary Kay Place and Fred Ward as her parents Pearl and Earl Smooter? And Jean Smart as Jack’s Mom Stella Kay Perry and Candice Bergen as Drew’s Mom, mayor of NYC? And the wondrous Melanie Lynsky as Lurlynn, the friend with a ‘baby in a bar’? Dakota Fanning as a young Melanie? Ethan Embry (“Grace and Frankie”) as Bobby Ray, and Earl Bridgers “The Truth About Pam”) as Eldon.

It is on the Freeform Channel today and Wednesday. There are several streaming platforms where you can watch it, as long as you have a subscription, and you can rent it on multiple platforms.

From JustWatch.com: Currently you can watch “Sweet Home Alabama” streaming on Hoopla, DIRECTV, Freeform or for free with ads on The Roku Channel. It is also possible to rent “Sweet Home Alabama” on Apple iTunes, Amazon Video, Google Play Movies, YouTube, Vudu, Microsoft Store, Redbox, DIRECTV, AMC on Demand, Spectrum On Demand online and to download it on Apple iTunes, Amazon Video, Google Play Movies, YouTube, Vudu, Microsoft Store, Redbox, DIRECTV, AMC on Demand.

Nathan Lee Graham, Reese Witherspoon, Rhona Mitra

Fun Fact: Nathan Lee Graham, who plays one of Melanie’s assistants (Frederick Montana, graduated from the Webster University Conservatory of Theatre Arts. He is currently playing Hermes in the national tour of the Tony-winning “Hadestown,” which will be at the Fabulous Fox Theatre Oct. 11-23.

Bio: https://www.broadwayworld.com/people/Nathan-Lee-Graham/

TV: David Letterman will be a guest on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” tonight at 10:35 p.m.

This week, Jimmy returned to his hometown, Brooklyn. Growing up, he idolized Letterman. The other guest is SNL alum Tracy Morgan.

Here’s Jimmy’s favorite Letterman moments, Part II:
https://youtu.be/xhn8vHg5E-o

Part I: https://youtu.be/3BI8v8_4ZVA

Fun Fact: Today, in 1954, “The Tonight Show” debuted nationwide on NBC hosted by Steve Allen.

Music: The Dave Matthews Band

On this day in 1994, The Dave Matthews Band released their first album, “Under the Table and Dreaming,” which included the tracks “What Would You Say” and “Ants Marching” that received wide airplay. The album went on to sell over 6 million copies. They had been gaining fans on the road, especially in the Virginia area, where they played live starting in 1991.

On This Day: Cautionary Tale

In 1962, marine biologist and writer Rachel Carson published ‘Silent Spring’ about the deleterious impacts of pesticide use on the environment.

Redford, Streisand

Playlist: “The Way We Were”

Barbra Streisand sang “The Way We Were” on her 15th studio album of the same name, which was released as the album’s lead single on Sept. 27, 1973. The song, written by Alan and Marilyn Bergman, and Marvin Hamlisch. It won the Academy Award for Best Original Song.

All together now: “Memories..misty-watercolored memories…” Watch this special Oprah moment when Babs sang the song on her show

Cardinals Nation: If you can’t get enough of Albert Pujols’ 700 home runs

All 700 home runs from MLB:

Albert Jr. on his dad:

Go, Cards!


By Lynn Venhaus
What’s Poppin’ this Saturday? Here are our Popster Picks for the Bi-State Area (and beyond):

Live Theater: “Winds of Change” in Bevo Mill, presented by St. Louis Shakespeare Festival. Free. LAST NIGHT.

One of my favorite things to do every September, Shake in the Streets this year is in my old stomping grounds. This year’s show is a delightful mix of music and comedy, performed with humor and heart.
It starts at 8 p.m. and will end about 9:20 p.m., without an intermission. There is local food and drink around the area, and it’s recommended that you come early. This is the last night, for it was performed Sept. 22 and 23 too.
The play, written by Deanna Jent, uses The Bard’s “The Comedy of Errors” as a foundation for a story on Bosnian immigrants’ contributions to St. Louis, is part of the “Shakespeare in the Streets” annual program. Come to the intersection of Gravois and Morganford, bring a lawn chair, and enjoy the spirited neighbors who love the transformed south city enclave. Lots of laughs and whoops from appreciative crowd (300 on opening night Thursday!)
Directed by Adam Flores, it features Ashwini Arora, Milly Burris, Hannah Geisz, Noah Later, Hady Matta, Youssef Matta, Colin McLaughlin, Brenda Morrison, Christina Rios, Rosario Rios-Kelley, Carly Uding and local denizens Father Mitch (Doyen, pastor of St. John the Baptist and Mark and Joani Akers of Oasis International. Edo Maajka plays the accordion and Nadja Kapetanovich performs a lullaby, “Nini Sine, Spavaj Sine.”
KTK Productions humorously explains the history of the Bevo Mill — Bill Bush, Aileen Kidwell, Chris Kidwell, Matthew Lewis, Jake Singer and Mike Singer III.
It took an army of folks to make the outdoor presentation happen. Kudos to producing artistic director Tom Ridgely, music direction and composition by Colin McLaughlin, music composition by Noah Laster, stage manager Kathryn Ballard, KTK Productions chair Joe McKenna, assistant director Miranda Jagels Felix, producer Colin O’Brien, set designer Dunsi Dai, costume designer Michele Friedman Siler, and lighting designer M. Bryant Powell.

Natalie Wood and James Dean in “Rebel Without a Cause”

TV: “Rebel Without a Cause” on PBS Ch. 9, 9 p.m.
James Dean, Sal Mineo and Natalie Wood gained stature for their roles as conflicted suburban middle-class teenagers in this 1955 American coming-of-age drama directed by Nicholas Ray, shot in the recently introduced CinemaScope format. It opened on Oct. 27, almost a month after top-billed Dean’s tragic death in a car accident on Sept. 30. It’s his most celebrated role, and followed his Oscar nominated performance in “East of Eden.”

Offering social commentary, it was considered groundbreaking for depiction of moral decay, delinquents, parenting and generational gaps. After all, it was adapted from Robert M. Lindner’s 1944 book, “Rebel Without a Cause: The Hypnoanalysis of a Criminal Psychopath.”

Mineo, Wood and Ray all received Oscar nominations. In 1998, it was ranked #59 on AFI’s Hundred Years…Hundred Movies.

Fun Fact: The most famous line: “You’re tearing me apart” was lifted by writer-director-actor Tommy Wiseau for his 2003 cult film “The Room” (the worst movie I have ever seen, and also one of the most unintentionally funny movies).

Movie: “Sidney” streaming on Apple TV Plus.
The 2022 documentary “Sidney” on the great Sidney Poitier, directed by East St. Louis native Reginald Hudlin and produced by Oprah Winfrey. You’ll hear from Sidney, his family, friends, filmmakers and fans for an indelible portrait of the artist — as a movie star, mentor and activist.
I reviewed the film on KTRS (“Mueller Furniture Presents Lynn Venhaus Goes to the Movies”) Thursday with St. Louis In the Know host Ray Hartmann. Here’s the audio: https://soundcloud.com/550ktrs/itk-lynn-venhaus-gttm-9-22-22?in=550ktrs/sets/rayhartmann

Stay tuned for an interview with Reginald Hudlin, coming soon in Belleville News-Democrat. I talked to the filmmaker Friday via Zoom.

Fun Fact: “In the Heat of the Night” was partially filmed in Sparta, Ill., which subbed for Sparta, Miss., and both Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger stayed in Belleville during the film of the 1967 film, which went on to win the Oscar for Best Picture (and Best Actor Steiger) in 1968.

Happening: Taste of St. Louis, Sept. 23-25, Ballpark Village, Free and open to the public.
Want to try Boardwalk Ice Cream and Waffles, Chicken Out, Hi-Pointe Drive-In, Kimchi Guys, Mission Taco Joint, Salt + Smoke, Steve’s Hot Dogs and Under the Sun SnoCones? Locally based brick and mortar food establishments can participate in Sauce Magazine’s Restaurant Row. There’s live music and other vendors that are part of the festivities. More info: https://tastestl.com

Fun Fact: On this day in 1952, Kentucky Fried Chicken opened its first franchise in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The Machine, El Hombre, Uncle Albert.

ICYMI Cardinals Nation: No. 5

Can’t get enough of Albert Pujols‘ magical night Sept. 23? Check out coverage on the St. Louis Cardinals MLB site: https://www.mlb.com/cardinals (and a wrap-up article on this website).

Fun Fact: On this day in 1922, St Louis Cardinals future Baseball Hall of Fame infielder Rogers Hornsby set the National League Home Run mark at 42. That season, he also had 52 RBI’s, a .401 average and 450 total bases.

Millie Bobby Brown

Latest Trailer to Watch: “Enola Holmes 2”
Millie Bobby Brown is back in another adventure as Sherlock Holmes’ teenager sister in the sequel dropping on Netflix Nov. 4. Enola takes on her first case as a detective, but to unravel the mystery of a missing girl, she’ll need some help from friends — and her brother.

Also starring Henry Cavill, Helena Bonham Carter, Louis Partridge, Adeel Akhtar, David Thewlis, Susan Wokoma and Sharon Duncan-Brewster.


https://youtu.be/KKXNmYoPkx0

Playlist: Nirvana, “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”
Listen on Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/album/smells-like-teen-spirit/1440783617?i=1440783625
On this day in 1991, Nirvana released its second album, “Nevermind.”
A critical and commercial success, by January 1992, it had reached no. 1 on the US Billboard 200 chart and this lead single has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. The album garnered three Grammy Awards nominations and has sold more than 30 million copies, considered one of the best albums of all-time.
Frontman Kurt Cobain was dubbed “voice of his generation,” and the album brought grunge and alternative rock to the mainstream.