Archive for the ‘Arts’ Category

Deeds in court

I re-watched Mr. Deeds Goes to Town a few days ago, Frank Capra’s 1936 fanciful tale of Longfellow Deeds, an everyman from rural Vermont who inherits a vast fortune. It contains many hallmark Capra elements: a good person forced to confront a whirlwind of greed and/or corruption, a sentimental and idealized view of small town life, a smart, savvy female lead, and snappy, intelligent dialogue. It is by all accounts very Capraesque.

The first time viewer may think the movie horribly dated, one that shows every wrinkle and crease of its 77 years. We no longer tolerate plot advancement through (more…)

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Rolling Stone magazine recently conducted an online poll to see what the music listening public felt are the best post-Beatle songs by ex-Beatles. Stu Sutcliffe and Pete Best, the two band members who came and went before the group got insanely popular, had no post-Beatle musical success. Stu left in 1962 to devote his energies to painting and Pete was jettisoned the same year by the group’s manager, Brian Epstein. So they are easily (more…)

Mistletoe and eggnog lead to strange things, like writing short reviews about a selection of Christmas movies both recent and old. As always “Shorts” reviews are limited to one sentence with a maximum of 20 words. If you wish to see the entire list (trust me, it’s a quick read) click here. Ho! Ho! Ho!

Miracle on 34th Street (1947) – The word “precocious” was probably coined after 8 year old Natalie Wood lit up the screen in this enduring favorite. (3) – 12/21/12

Love Actually (2003) – Christmas for the (more…)

A cool autumn evening is a perfect time to revisit movies, both good and otherwise. The complete list of reviewed films can be found on the Shorts page.

Safety Not Guaranteed (2012) – Quirky tale of accidental journalist pursuing a story of (more…)

So my sister, thinking she is the funny sort, posted a link on Zuckerface to a slideshow on the AARP website titled “16 Songs Everyone Over 50 Must Own.” Not sure why she sent it to me. Doesn’t she remember I figured out how to stop the aging process? You would think that kind of information would stick in a person’s mind, the proclamation, “I have discovered the secret which will allow people to stay their current age forever, never to grow old or infirmed.” But apparently (more…)

My current attention span leads to this latest installment of Shorts.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010) – Graphic novel sensation translates to quirky, extremely likeable film with Cera battling Winstead’s seven evil exes. (3½) – 7/8/12

Thrill of It All, The (1963) – Harmless sudsy comedy follows Day’s journey from (more…)

Any top ten proclamation is bound to elicit strong reactions from anyone who reads the choices. I suspect this list is no different. For example I’m sure lovers of South Park, Family Guy, Cheers and Gilligan’s Island will take exception to this list. And who’s to say they’re wrong? Oh right, me. So without further finessing and meaningless explanation as to why some shows didn’t make the list I give for your arguing pleasure my choices for the top ten American sitcoms of all time.

10) Community – Yes, I know it gets put on hiatus more often than Ms. Lohan violates her probation. Just because it doesn’t have a huge following doesn’t (more…)

It’s been a while since we dipped into the film archive, so the time has come to rectify that. For the complete list of reviews pop over to the Shorts page. Places everyone! And…Action!

One for the Money (2012) – After years of anticipation Janet Evanovich’s bounty hunter comes to the big screen and is not a plum worth picking. (2) – 5/23/12

Happy Feet (2006) – Box office animated smash left me (more…)

The Conduct of the Game – John Hough Jr.

If baseball movies had a batting average it would be about .250. Not enough juice to be an all-star, but good enough to stay in the game. To help baseball filmdom I scout around for stories which could hit a Hollywood home run. This is because I am the studio puppet master, the guy who green lights films the way NFL players herd baby mamas. One phone call, one meeting, one lunch with me and your movie is golden. (And once that first phone call/meeting/lunch happens I’ll prove it.) This novel would be a fine start. It does not possess the nail-biting tension of more conventional sports films. No last minute drama, no death or glory moments. Instead, we visit a more subdued world – minor league umpiring in the 1950’s where the people are the stars. The characters are so well drawn you know them once you meet them resulting in a story brimming with quiet dignity. (more…)

Sometimes I decide to craft a list which turns out to be an impossible task. Like this one. When I go through the R.E.M. catalog I am reminded how many great songs they recorded, songs which I had forgotten. Whittling them into a top ten list is like trying to pick up (more…)