Dying of the Light (Theatrical Action Film, 2014, 1 hours 34 minutes). This middling Nicholas Cage vehicle is a spy versus terrorist action flick. The twist, to the extent there is one, is that the principle antagonists are both terminally ill. Cage does a very respectable job playing “Evan Lake,” a veteran CIA agent who never […]Read more "FILM REVIEW: Dying of the Light (2014)"
Deadpool (Theatrical Super Hero Movie, 2016). Some Super Heroes and their movies take themselves entirely too seriously. That’s certainly not the case with Deadpool, the movie franchise or the character. Ryan Reynolds shines here (and in the more recent, equally uproarious sequel) as the smart-mouthed center of attention. The film’s joyously snarky animated opening credits leave […]Read more "FILM REVIEW: Deadpool (2016, 108 Minutes)"
Arrival (Theatrical Science Fiction Movie, 2016). This film, based on a story by Ted Chang, one of the very best of the younger generation of SF authors, earned a fistful of Academy Award nominations. It won in one technical category (sound) and could’ve easily earned more. If it wasn’t that year’s actual Best Picture, it was […]Read more "FILM REVIEW: Arrival"
Already 14 years since this came out? Wow. Anyway, even if you never saw this one you probably know about the real-life behind-the-scenes drama of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt beginning their relationship as an on-set affair. But let’s not focus on that, okay? Here and now, the movie is the thing. And what an odd, somewhat […]Read more "FILM REVIEW: Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005)"
The owner/operator of the Grand Midway, Blair Murphy, had business that kept him from being on hand for much of this Thursday’s coffeehouse. Accordingly, he asked yours truly to pinch-hit for him. I agreed, of course–I mean, why not? Being paid a bit to attend my favorite place, where I’d be spending the evening regardless! […]Read more "Windber Coffeehouse Nights: September 6, 2018"
Yesterday was still humid, although air temps eased back to only slightly above ‘normal.’ I attended the latest meeting of Friends of the Windber Library at 5 PM, the most interesting part of which was all the rest of us trying to convince our dedicated Library Director that, visibly ill as she was, she really […]Read more "Windber Coffeehouse Nights, August 30, 2018"
Hank & Jim by Scott Eyman (Film History/Bio, 2017). Henry Fonda and Jimmy Stewart were, without question, two of the most gifted and popular actors of their era. While they had wildly different politics, in other ways they had a lot in common and they were close friends to the end. In this capably written and […]Read more "REVIEWED: Hank & Jim"
Unqualified by Anna Faris, with Chris Pratt and Rachel Bertsche (Humorous Memoir/Advice Book, 2017). This lighthearted, yet sincere book is a blend of good-natured humor, personal memoir and relationship-focused advice from actress Anna Faris. The title (and the book itself) is a spinoff from one of her current projects, a call-in podcast she co-hosts entitled Anna Faris […]Read more "REVIEWED: Unqualified"
Are You Anybody? by Jeffrey Tambor. (Memoir, 2017). Jeffrey Tambor has built an enviable record of success as an actor. He’s won Emmy and Golden Globe Awards, despite the deep-seated insecurities that he details in this revealing and personal memoir. Of course insecure actors are anything but a rarity. That he attributes his insecurity largely to […]Read more "REVIEWED: Are You Anybody?: A Memoir"