Chanukah 2000 was a pivotal moment in my life. One of those fulcrums in the space-time continuum. I remember it vividly. My family was in Memphis, Tennessee visiting my cousin. The trip marked my first time in Memphis, which would spark an interest and appreciation for the blues and Elvis Presley that would stretch well into later years; motivating more trips to the heart of the mid-South and grizzly versions of “Heartbreak Hotel” at karaoke bars across the nation. In addition to those very cultural pillars established that Chanukah, I received two gifts that would mold my childhood and shape much of my adolescence and adulthood. We don’t really do gifts anymore on Chanukah, and I appreciate that, because that’s not what the holiday is … Read More… →
There is some sort of holiday this Friday, I’m told.
And in an attempt to get some views on my blog for writing something topical, I’m gonna weigh in on Hallmark’s most polarizing holiday. I could use this opportunity to whine about 23 years of lonely 14ths of February, but I don’t need to go all Anakin Skywalker on you, because that’s on me, not you.
What I can do for you, though, is make a suggestion on what to watch, for, no doubt, you are likely fiddling around right now trying to figure out what you’re going to do on Valentine’s Day with your spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend or that cutie that sits next to you in your Arts and Humanities class or, that bottle … Read More… →
This past Wednesday was Steven Spielberg’s birthday. I’m not gonna go on here and ramble about how this gentleman has affected my life, because I think that, for any aspiring filmmaker, that need not be explained. The guy turned 67. Sixty-seven! Yet, I stop myself from calling him old, because to have that kind of body of work at 67 is just ridiculous, even for Steven Spielberg; the kind of body of work that makes 67 continue to feel like 27. I guess a sizable bank account helps, too.
As a birthday gift to Mr. Spielberg, I thought I’d write a piece defending one of his most divisive of films: “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”. This is one of those films that the … Read More… →
It’s funny what passes for luxury when you’re a kid.
In 1973, we visited my Uncle Bob and his family in Winter Haven, Florida and I couldn’t believe they had a fountain in their backyard. Along with so many in-ground pools, lizards running all over the yards was added the magic of my grandma’s mobile home park three miles away where they actually had adult bikes with three wheels!
Moving into our new house that same summer, I was amazed to see that each of the kids’ rooms had its own color scheme of shag carpeting—pink, green, … Read More… →
It’s that time of year. Halloween is just around the cor—well, down the hall a bit. It’s time to connect with the true spirit of the holiday, which like all holidays, has been corrupted by outside influences…like Christmas was before people muddied it with a religious message. Halloween is not about costume parties and candy; it’s about turning off your lights, putting in a movie and having the wits scared out of you.
Horror movies as a genre can be frustrating. Edgar Allen Poe was able to combine the dark, nightmarish ideas of comic books with high art. This combination … Read More… →
As Kale Davidoff wrote yesterday of true perspective when looking at movies, I was reminded of the recent success of Argo, this year’s Best Picture, as it brought the paralysis of the Iran-Hostage crisis fully back to our collective frontal lobe. It was the story of a heroic rescue that Jimmy Carter couldn’t use in his re-election bid . Instead, the ill-fated rescue involving the helicopter-crash was also Carter’s.
The real magic of Argo (with its sci-fi movie pitch creating the smokescreen for the rescue) is its absurdity.
Somewhere between good dad and voyeur-geek you’ll find me. The 24th Motor City Comic Con was this weekend at the local expo center and my son was interested. No big surprise. The popularity of the new generation The Avengers, The Dark Knight coupled with my generation’s Star Wars fan-base and going back another generation to Star Trek and Dr. Who, there was something for everyone there. I’d never gone, not really liking crowds or costumed folks sneaking up on me. But I agreed.
The bigger surprise was that my daughter and her friend wanted to go.
It’s what kept my curtains closed each evening–even on the 2nd floor of a relatively safe suburban neighborhood, far from the Pacific Northwest the natural habitat of sasquatch and, most recently, teenage vampires.
On the eve of Leonard Nimoy’s return for another installment as the logical Mr. Spock in Star Trek Into Darkness, I am reminded of that cool, calculating, “It’s not logical, Jim” voice taking me through the late 1970’s show, In Search Of.
It’s like a family reunion, where the drunk uncle always shows up and upsets everyone’s big plans. You all look forward to the event, then drive home wondering what happened.
And somehow, you can’t imagine having a reunion without that drunk uncle. Here’s my list of favorite Oscar night annoyances.
1. Red Carpet Silly Questions: Beyond the usual “Who are you wearing?” this slow train-wreck involving screaming bleachers and limousines moving at 3 miles per week is spear-headed by pretty people who seem so over-the-top … Read More… →