Friday, November 30

A Slight Cowboy

It wasn't too long after I got my driver's license that I was embarking on my longest trip alone... from my home in West Los Angeles, down Wilshire Blvd., speeding out Pacific Coast Highway and looking forward to Trancas Beach, a considerable distance.  I got sidetracked as I was passing Paradise Cove when I noticed a movie company.  I always found it a hoot watching folks making a movie. 

Saturday, November 24

REVIEW: Silver Linings Playbook

Directed by David O. Russell
2012 Comedy Drama
2 hours 2 minutes
From the Weinstein Company

Bradley Cooper
Jennifer Lawrence
Robert DeNiro
Jacki Weaver
Chris Tucker
Anupam Kher
John Ortiz
Julia Stiles

Friday, November 23

By Her Own Hand

I was thinking of suicide the other day... God, don't call anyone... I didn't say I was thinking of committing it.  I've been focusing a bit on the dark side of Hollywood lately and it was only natural that sooner or later I would think of Tinseltown's suicides.  We might get to actors one day but right now we are concentrating on four actresses and four sad stories.

Wednesday, November 21

REVIEW: Life of Pi

Directed by Ang Lee
2012 Adventure Drama
2 hours 7 minutes
From 20th Century Fox

Suraj Sharma
Irrfan Khan
Ayush Tandon
Adil Hussain
Rafe Spall

Tuesday, November 20

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: Favorite Movie #21

1997 Crime Drama
From Warner Bros
Directed by Clint Eastwood

Kevin Spacey
John Cusack
Jack Thompson
Allison Eastwood
Lady Chablis
Irma P. Hall
Jude Law
Kim Hunter
Geoffrey Lewis
Paul Hipp

Friday, November 16

REVIEW: Lincoln

Directed by Steven Spielberg
Historical Drama
2 hours 29 minutes
From Dreamworks, 20th Century Fox
and Reliance Entertainment

Daniel Day-Lewis
Sally Field
David Strathairn
Tommy Lee Jones
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
James Spader
Hal Holbrook
John Hawkes
Jackie Earle Haley
Tim Blake Nelson
Walton Goggins
Joseph Cross
Lee Pace
Peter McRobbie


Tuesday, November 13

A Sad Hollywood Story

If on one of my quizzes you were asked to come up with an actress whose last name was Russell, you might very well say Rosalind or Jane.  That would be on the mark but what if I asked you to name a third?  For a short time in the 1940s and 1950s there was Gail Russell.  She is virtually forgotten today... only the most hard core among us know that name.  All through her brief acting career she was crippling shy.  If she were alive today and still largely forgotten, she would be quite happy about that.  On that note, we shall begin our sad Hollywood story.

Saturday, November 10

REVIEW: Skyfall

Directed by Sam Mendes
2012 Action Drama
2 hours 23 minutes
From MGM and Paramount

Daniel Craig
Judi Dench
Javier Bardem
Ralph Fiennes
Albert Finney
Naomie Harris
Ben Whishaw
Rory Kinnear
Helen McCrory

Friday, November 9

Ordinary People: Favorite Movie #22

1980 Drama
From Paramount Studios
Directed by Robert Redford

Donald Sutherland
Mary Tyler Moore
Timothy Hutton
Judd Hirsch
Elizabeth McGovern
Dinah Manoff
M. Emmet Walsh
Fredric Lehne

Tuesday, November 6

The 8 Best Films John Wayne Ever Made

How can I mention Jane Fonda in a posting about John Wayne?  Well here's how.  When Fonda started getting some bad press, my mother asked me how I could possibly go see her movies.  I countered with I would stop seeing John Wayne movies if I bought into her philosophy.  I've said before that I simply tune in to the acting; it's generally all I care about.  I always thought both Fonda and Wayne were wonderful actors.  He, in fact, still stands today as one of the greatest movie stars of all time (and she is one of the best actors of all time).  Sorry if any of that makes the hair on the back of your pretty head stand up.  Many of his films were formulaic and little more than fun entertainment pieces but some stood out.  I began thinking about his body of work and have come up with eight films I think are worthy of calling his best work.  We won't all agree.

Saturday, November 3

REVIEW: Flight

Directed by Robert Zemeckis
2012 Drama
2 hours 18 minutes
From Paramount

Denzel Washington
Don Cheadle
Kerry Reilly
Bruce Greenwood
John Goodman
Tamara Tunie
Melissa Leo

Friday, November 2

Cleo at the Palace

Picture it.  Peoria, Illinois, circa 1956.  Peoria was the town of my birth and had been so for a dozen years. In those days it was the second largest city in Illinois and it made itself out to be pretty important.  It puffed itself up, stretched along the banks of the Illinois River and looked down on the little cities that bordered it.  My grandmother always assured me I was quite the lucky boy to live in Peoria and not some of those other little mere villages, as she was given to calling them in her imperious manner.