Cal Worthington the father of Sam Worthington?

Essay question: Is Sam Worthington the son of Cal Worthington? Arguments for: 1. unwarranted career that suggests being related to insiders in the business of show (c.f., Gyllenhaals, Deschanels, Clash/Titans director Louis Leterrier, son of director Francois).

2. Sam Worthington’s perhaps genetically-inherited capability for beastmastering (as per Cal W.’s various dogs “Spot,” actually killer zoo animals);

3. [...]

Bigger Than Life—DVD Review

A review of the new Criterion Collection DVD release of Nicholas Ray’s 1956 medical drama “Bigger Than Life” with James [...]

Wrathful Grapes

Corked by Kathryn Borel (Grand Central, $23.79. 272pp)

The grape never falls far from the vine. To her surprise, the memoirist Kathryn Borel learns that she has more in common with her exasperating father Phillipe than she thought. The 26 year old Quebec journalist accepts her dad’s invitation to go on a wine-tasting safari from Alsace [...]

Super Toy, Comic and Collectible Show, SJ 3/20/09

“There’s more people here then there are at the gun show,” a passerby complained seeing the crowd coming out of the Super Toy, Comic and Collectible show at the San Jose County Fairgrounds Sunday. It could be a prob for Quakers, deciding whether it’s less morally compromising to buy a vintage GI Joe Cobra rifle [...]

Like You Know It All --Camera Cinemas tonight (Mar 20, 7:45)


There was one feature that’s a real standout at today’s two-day seance by the 28th Annual SF International Asian American Film Festival at the Camera Cinemas in San Jose. And what a subject: The angst of someone surviving a film festival, cast away on the Island of Misfit Movies…it’s about time someone addressed this all-important [...]

Charmed, I'm sure

Obscure Jack Kirby villainness Granny Goodness…

…meet attack-ad fomenting gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman.

Playland Documentary

Remembering Playland at the Beach

(Unrated) Laffing Sal’s place in local pop-culture history is assured, even if the mechanical harridan did traumatize at least some of the young visitors to San Francisco’s long-gone and much-missed amusement park Playland at the Beach. Several of the subjects interviewed in Tom Wyrsch’s wonderful documentary recall how terrifying her banshee [...]

We have all the time in the world

(above: the coat of arms of the Bleauchamps; like Richard III, Blofeld has a swine on his shield.)

Charles Helftenstein of just did a book (with some trace amounts of source material from me) about the 007 movie, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969); remembered by the public as the one with that Australian git [...]

Gun Crazy Redux

Anthony Lane of The New Yorker isn’t the only one to have rewatched Gun Crazy recently. As Lane commented appropos 3-D movies in the March 8 issue, Joseph H. Lewis’ “bad-couple thriller” “felt considerably more dangerous and less dated than most of the new releases.” He was lucky enough to see a new print on [...]

Important Showgirls Update

I’m always glad to be on the receiving end of breaking-news press releases from forgotten movie actresses. Hence my extreme pleasure in learning that Rena Riffel, who played Penny Hope in the one-and-only Showgirls has stepped forward to set the record straight on the various long-hoped-for sequels to the Joe Eszterhas/Paul Verhoeven ecdysiastic classic.

Riffel warns [...]