Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC in VOA Special English.
I'm Mario Ritter. This week we play
music by blues great Koko Taylor, who died last week at the age of eighty.
first, we take a look at cars that walk and talk … visit a land down under where
dinosaurs roam … watch a madman seize a subway train … and fear for the family of
a very frightening little girl. Welcome
to summer in American movie theaters!
Summertime is big business in the movie theaters. And
so far this summer, Hollywood is doing well, even in a recession. Last week, we talked about the movie "Star
Trek." It is still the top moneymaker so far this season. As of last weekend, the movie had earned more
than three hundred thirty-four million dollars in ticket sales.
But there are still lots more movies to come. Movie lovers have adventure, comedy, animated
and horror films to look forward to this summer.
today is a remake of an exciting movie from the nineteen seventies about a
hijacking of a New York City underground train. It stars John Travolta as the leader of the hijackers and Denzel
Washington as the transportation employee who negotiates with him.
"Now you tell me. What is the going rate for a New York
City hostage today? What do you think, a million a piece is too high?"
"Maybe I'm not the guy you should be talking to. I'm a civil service employee."
time do you got on your watch?"
fifty-nine minutes I'm gonna' start killing passengers."
don't want innocent people dying, do you?"
"You tell me."
"The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3" was based on a book by John
Godey. The latest version is getting
mixed reviews. One movie critic noted
that the earlier film was darkly funny to the very end. She writes that she misses that humor in the
most recent version.
Later this month, older children are expected to flood
the theaters for "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen." It opens June twenty-fourth. Shia LeBoeuf again plays Sam Witwicky in this
second "Transformers" film. Like the
toys, Transformers are robots that can change into vehicles such as cars and
earth-moving equipment. Some
Transformers are good, like the autobot Optimus Prime. Some are bad, like the decepticon Megatron. The two sides battle to control Earth. Sam,
his friends and the United States Army are caught in the middle.
"Most babies are accidents. Not me. I was engineered. Born to save my sister's life."
drama is another subject of movies this summer. "My Sister's Keeper" stars Cameron Diaz and Jason Patric as parents of a
little girl who has cancer. Her only
hope is a baby sister who was genetically engineered to help save the older
girl's life. Abigail Breslin plays Anna, the younger sister. She experiences
years of operations to treat her sister's cancer. Anna decides to take legal action against her
parents so she can start making medical decisions herself. Alec Baldwin plays her lawyer.
sister has been in renal failure for months now."
supposed to give her a kidney?"
want to sue my parents for the rights to my own body."
you repeat that please?"
Picoult wrote the book, "My Sister's Keeper." She says the movie ends
differently from the novel. But she says book fans will like the film version,
Now, Bob Doughty tells us about
some other movies opening this summer.
move a muscle ..."
July may be hot but another cool hit may be
coming with the movie "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs." This is the third in the "Ice Age" animated
series. Ray Romano, John Leguizamo and Dennis Leary return as the voices of the
three main animal characters. Manny is a
wooly mammoth, Sid is a ground sloth and Diego is a smilodon or saber-toothed
Manny and his love, Ellie, voiced by Queen Latifah, are
waiting for their first baby mammoth to arrive. And if that is not exciting enough, the friends discover an underground
land of dinosaurs.
For children and adults, another Harry Potter movie
opens later in July. "Harry Potter and
the Half-Blood Prince" will be shown in normal theaters as well as on the huge
screens of IMAX theaters. The young
wizard is in his sixth year at Hogwarts School. He and Professor Dumbledore
must visit the past because of the dangers now facing them and the world.
you are looking at are memories. In this
case, pertaining to one individual. This
is perhaps the most important memory I've collected. I'd like you to see it."
fans of horror movies, "Orphan" opens July twenty-fourth. After the loss of a baby, a husband and wife
adopt an older child. The parents are played by Peter Sarsgaard and Vera
Farmiga. They already have a little boy
and girl when they bring home Esther, played by Isabelle Fuhrman. Her behavior seems only a little strange at
first. Then it becomes dark, dangerous and decidedly evil.
name is Dr. Varava. I'm calling from the Sarn Institute."
don't understand. How can they have no
record of her being there."
has to be some explanation."
orphanage has never heard of her."
don't think Mommy likes me very much."
Oscar winner Meryl Streep can be seen in August playing the famous cook and
cookbook writer Julia Child. The movie
"Julie and Julia" also stars Amy Adams as Julie. She is a young woman struggling in her career
until she gets an idea. She decides to make
every recipe in Child's best known cookbook in one year and write her own book
about the experience. The movie is based
on Julie Powell's book, although Nora Ephron wrote the screenplay.
"I'm Julia Child. Bon appetit.
she changed the world, Julia Child was just an American living in France …"
I find something to do?"
is it that you really like to do?"
we are so good at it."
am good at it!"
at you! Now, how good you are!"
in front of you!"
And, finally, movie director Quentin Tarantino has a
new film to be released in August. "Inglorious Basterds" stars Brad Pitt and Eli Roth. They play Jewish American soldiers during
World War Two. Their military operation is to seek and kill Nazi Germans. The especially vicious nature of the killings
is supposed to spread fear among the Nazis. The special soldiers are called the Basterds.
Today we celebrate
the life and music of famous blues singer Koko Taylor. The award winning singer died last week. She
was eighty years old. Shirley Griffith has
was Koko Taylor with her nineteen sixty-three song "Honky Tonk." It was her first official recording. Koko Taylor was born Cora Walton in nineteen
twenty-eight. Her love for chocolate
earned her the name Koko. Years later
her love for the blues would earn her the title "Queen of the Blues." Koko Taylor began singing gospel and blues
music as a child in Memphis, Tennessee.
the early nineteen fifties she moved to Chicago, Illinois. Soon she began singing with some of the
city's top blues musicians. They included Muddy Waters, Junior Wells and Little
Walter. She quickly gained widespread
recognition. In nineteen sixty-five she released "Wang Dang Doodle."
Dang Doodle" was a huge success. It sold
more than one million copies and reached the top five on the music charts. Over the years Koko Taylor won many awards.
They included two Grammy Awards, a Lifetime Achievement Award and the National
Heritage Fellowship Award. In the weeks
before her death she won her twenty-ninth Blues Music Award, the most for any
artist ever. We leave you with Koko
Taylor's "I'm A Woman."
I'm Mario Ritter. I hope you enjoyed our program today.
It was written by June Simms and Caty Weaver, who was also
the producer. Please join us again next
week for AMERICAN MOSAIC, VOA's radio magazine in Special English.