The Two Jakes is the much-delayed and rather convoluted sequel to the 1975 classic Chinatown. Released in 1990 after an abortive stab at shooting that began in the mid-'80s, the film was the subject of a creative feud between its principals, star Jack Nicholson, producer Robert Evans, and screenwriter Robert Towne. Private eye Jake Gittes (Jack Nicholson) is a middle-aged war hero, paunchy, snobbish about his golf game, and about to marry a lovely and much younger woman. Then a fleeting reference to a woman he once loved that he heard on a wire recording plunges him into a past he has tried to escape. It comes while he was spying on a philandering wife (Meg Tilly) and her paramour in her motel room for her husband, Jake Berman (Harvey Keitel). Then Berman shocks Gittes when he shoots his wife's lover.
What would life amongst the Muppets have been without their unofficial leader Kermit the Frog? That's the question posed by this made-for-TV confection, which not only spoofs the Yuletide classic It's a Wonderful Life, but also takes satirical aim at such pop cultural phenomena as Moulin Rouge and Fear Factor. The plot is set in motion when typically evil banker Rachel Bitterman (Joan Cusack) forecloses on the Muppets' famous variety theater, with the intention of building a gaudy nightclub. But Bitterman's machinations take a back seat when apprentice guardian angel, Daniel (David Arquette), shows Kermit (voiced by Steve Whitmire) what conditions would have been had Kermit never existed. Without going into full detail, suffice to say that a Kermit-less world would have found Miss Piggy (voiced by Frank Oz) running a fraudulent psychic hot line, Fozzie Bear as a homeless derelict, and Sam the Eagle as a caged dancer at a rave.
This screen adaptation of the Maurice Maeterlinck’s tale was the first Soviet-American co-production. The Blue Bird is an embodiment of happiness, both immediate and distant, that every person is sure to find if he recognizes it. The children of a woodcutter, Tiltil and Mitil, found themselves, while sleeping, in an amazing country, shown to them by Fairy Light. All domestic animals and foodstuffs come alive there and turn into real people. They helped the children fulfil the Fairy’s request – find the Blue Bird, although the bird proved to look different from what the brother and sister had seen in their dreams.
Ten years ago Angela Hewitt recorded a version of The Well-Tempered Clavier Book I which dazzled the critical world and record-buying public. It was followed shortly afterwards by Book II which was similarly received. Now, fresh from her Bach World Tour—in which she performed the complete Well-Tempered Clavier from August 2007 until the end of October 2008 in 58 cities in 21 countries on six continents—Angela has made an entirely new recording of this most iconic of keyboard works.