by Jim McAllister
This week I am going to take a step backward to catch my breath. It has been a busy time! Last Tuesday THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC published the piece that I had originally done in April of 2005 about the ghost army of World War II. It was published in conjunction with D-Day, June 6, and was focused on a member of that group from Scottsdale, Dr. Harold Laynor. The REPUBLIC liked the article so much that they have asked me to write opinion pieces for them at a rate of three per month. These pieces will concern things that are going on in the northeast part of the Phoenix metro area (Scottsdale, Arcadia, Salt River Indian Community, Carefree, Cave Creek, Fountain Hills, Paradise Valley). I have also been keeping in touch with my old buddy from the INDEPENDENT of Scottsdale/Paradise Valley, Brendan Leonard, who is now with the ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS in Denver. I am posting a blog in that paper which has been receiving a nice bit of attention with a lot of responses and a 5 star rating out of a possible 5 stars by readers. Along with that, I am trying to keep up with this blog and possibly contribute something to my good friend, Emily Soccorsy, at the INDEPENDENT without whose help, along with Brendan, I may have never made it to the map. Thanks to all you readers and supporters, I appreciate you all!
BACK TO BUSINESS....Have you seen the recent British import flick, "Kinky Boots"? If you enjoyed "The Full Monty" or "Calendar Girls", you will love "Kinky Boots". Yes, this story has been done in the aforementioned, but it is still a funny and heartwarming film.
This time the action is in Northhampton, an industrial town of the UK. The local shoe factory, which has been around for generations, is about to go under. Their products are boring and sales are down. The 62 year old owner has just died and his son Charlie (Joel Edgerton), who is lost in space in the shoe business, has taken over. He contemplates selling off the company assets but reconsiders after realizing how that would affect the long time loyal employees. What to do, what to do...after stumbling into a gay bar full of female impersonators, he meets Lola (Chiwetel Ejiofor) who has a hell of a time trying to find a decent pair of women’s shoes to wear. The lightbulb goes off in Charlie’s head! Maybe there is a market in shoes for cross dressing men! He goes for it along with Lola’s help and the rest is predictable along with the ending at the big Italian fashion show. However, it is so well done, flashy and funny, it makes for great laughs and a feel good feeling. Ejiofor steals the film with his over the top portrayal of Lola, Edgerton is good playing Charlie in a low key, and cutie Sarah Jane Potts is good as Charlie’s factory worker girlfriend. There are some good musical numbers too. Nothing complicated here, just an enjoyable 107 minutes. Rated PG-13, limited distribution, check the art houses.