Mamma Mia The Movie

The real star of this movie is Greece–especially the island of Skopelos.

skopelos-church.gifHelaine and I spent Saturday afternoon seeing Mamma Mia. It was cute, but I was mainly unimpressed. We saw the play on Broadway, which is more forgiving of a thin script/plotline.

I’ve read a bunch of complaints about Pierce Brosnan sounding like he was singing karaoke. Yeah, that’s true. However, midway through the movie I realized he also sounded a lot like Eric Clapton.

The real star of this movie is Greece–especially the island of Skopelos. Helaine has talked for years about going to Greece. As of now, me too.

Blogger’s note: I have corrected the spelling of Mamma Mia. It seems I am an idiot.

The Olympics

I have found myself watching very little of the Olympics. I know it’s the greatest achievement in sports – but they’re mostly rather esoteric contests with people I don’t know.

The men in the Olympics look just like the guys I didn’t get along with while growing up: tall, muscular, good looking. As a rule, my friends could not throw a ball.

In the few events I’ve seen, the stands were empty. That’s sad. Considering what Greece has paid, and will continue to pay, empty seats give a bad impression. There’s also the implication their peripheral businesses are not doing well on anticipated Olympic revenue. Restaurants and hotels which put up with the massive construction until now face no payoff.

I read this evening that the International Olympic Committee is encouraging the Greek Olympic Committee to paper the house. That’s sad.

ATHENS (AFP) – IOC (news – web sites) officials, worried by the television images being flashed around the world of athletes competing in near empty stadiums, have told the Athens Games organisers to give tickets away for free if necessary.

For years I’ve heard a story about ABC’s Wide World of Sports in the 60s and 70s. When they would cover swimming, track and field, or other events that weren’t well attended, they’d make everyone sit together opposite the cameras. In this age of handheld shots, that wouldn’t work.

I’ve seen Olympic coverage on NBC, MSNBC and CNBC. I think there’s some on Bravo too, though I’m not totally sure.

I wonder how the ratings will be? Will the lack of fans in the stands along with the poor showing of the USA basketball team and dashed hopes for a record number of records in swimming turn people off? What about the ability to watch events on multiple channels? Will the affiliates get hurt?