Dog Days of Fall

Just watched 1948 musical oddity On an Island With You, about an aquatic movie star (Esther Williams) making a film on location in Hawaii. A young Navy lieutenant (Peter Lawford) has a crush on her, and hopes to pry her loose from her matinee-idol boyfriend (Ricardo Montalban). The picture requires that blonde Williams appear in [...]

V for Vicar

I’m not embarrassed by what I watch, listen to or read, but if I had a covert comedy shame lately, it would be The Vicar of Dibley. It’s like a secret virgin treasure. It’s so damn cute and just the lamest sitcom ever. (And it’s easily available on DVD.)
The series follows the inhabitants of Dibley, [...]

Gekko Echo

Contrary to the lesson some people took away from Oliver Stone‘s prescient 1987 Wall Street, greed is not good, and Michael Douglas’ Gordon Gekko was always the bad guy (although his speech actually does contain some useful finger pointing at corporate malfeasance). That should be clear now, amid the smoking wreckage of the financial system. [...]

Ancient Seinfeld reference uncovered

Lindsay Anderson and Larry David—Separated at Birth? 

My theory that everything in real life occurred in the fictional universe of Seinfeld first took a strange turn the other night as I watched Lindsay Anderson’s 1968 youthful-rebellion classic If … with Malcolm McDowell.

After the [...]

Ophuls in Motion

Pleasure Dome

Max Ophuls’ camera never had time to stand still in 1952’s ‘Le Plaisir’

In his 1952 French feature, Le Plaisir, director Max Ophuls stitches together three stories by Guy de Maupassant to form an elegiac secular altarpiece dedicated to a kind of Heraclitan notion of life as always in flux and ever changing—as [...]

Look for it on DVD!

Having waded through a lot of bad DVDs lately (Lionsgate has some serious karma to deal with; and when I’m fully recovered we will discuss the magnificent low-budgetness of Bram Stoker’s Dracula’s Guest), I have settled on my favorite new euphemim: “Look for it on DVD!” Roughly translated, that means: “…’cause you’ll never, ever find [...]

Capra or Sturges in VP Race

Before I go into deep hibernation in my “Palin-News-Free” hyperbaric chamber, I can’t help but acknowledging this sinking feeling that the upcoming election will be utterly devoid of any actual substantive discussion of issues and policies while we all delight in our varying ideas of how “hot” Sarah Palin is. The whole thing is starting [...]


It’s been magic, hasn’t it? Some are saying that this blatant RNC attempt to get someone younger and more vital than Turncoat Joe Lieberman on the ticket will be over by Friday. And here’s the latest, culled from (that website that was the first in the Lower 48 to even really hear about Caribou [...]

The last panel of For Better or For Worse…

Here’s another take on the supposed “last” For Better or Worse Strip. Nothing like a really mean parody of a really sweet strip… 

Merry Pranksters—The Daily Show at the Conventions

Week in and week out, the writers and cast of The Daily Show lay bare the stream of inanity that is modern cable news coverage. If you haven’t checked it out in a while, do. They’ve really hit their stride unraveling the ridiculous narratives being shat out by the 24-hour news beast. But as edgy [...]