Commentary on films, books, television, politics, and a little fiction of my own, to boot.
Jul 22, 2013
"It's on random, ... "
Here are some links to some fab NYT articles I read over the weekend: This one suggests that perhaps the future is not broken, and that men are much more philanthropic and share better if they have infant daughters or sisters in their lives; and this one makes me very sad. Detroit might have to sell off many of its' art masterpieces to reconcile their debts, Detroit being the largest US city ever to file for bankruptcy, and all ... Saw a host of movies over the weekend, too: I Give It a Year; Waking Up Sleeping Beauty; Coffee Town; and Inventing David Geffen. The documentaries were much better than the comedies. Coffee Town was just plain bad. It was cheap, stupid, and a thorough waste of our time ... I Give It a Year was awful, too, but satisfying for a couple of reasons: One, I love Rafe Spall, and he is great in it (and now has climbed all the way to third billing, behind Rose Byrne and Anna Ferris); and two, for whatever unexplainable reason, it was just what the Wife and I needed at that particular moment on a Saturday evening. Rose Byrne was particularly bad in this movie, and I was disappointed, because she had been so good in Bridesmaids. Perhaps she has to have rock-solid material to be at her best. (One last note about Rafe Spall: He will be -- third billing again! -- starring in a production of Harold Pinter's Betrayal on Broadway this fall. Betrayal is one of my all-time fave plays, and I wish I could see it. It is a movie star production. Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz play the leads.) ... Waking Up Sleeping Beauty was quite good, and not nearly as self-congratulatory as I had been led to believe by some reviewers. Gosh, are those animators the biggest Comic-Con nerds you ever saw, or what? All those awful beards, and those silly themed parties. It was plain to me that the Disney Animated Feature Renaissance came about because Roy Disney was able to insulate the nerds from Jeffrey Katzenberg, and because they brought in a legitimate Broadway hit-making team, Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, to be in charge of the songs and the stories. It is a no-brainer, really. That is exactly what Arthur Freed did for M-G-M back in the day, to make all those fantastic musicals, bring some of the best Broadway talent to Hollywood to work for him. The finest moment of the film was seeing the black and white preview edition of Beauty and the Beast that Disney showed at the New York Film Festival. It is especially poignant due to the fact that Howard Ashman perished due to HIV right after the preview, and never saw the finished film ... Inventing David Geffen was interesting to watch, but did not make me love Mr Geffen any more than I already do (which, honestly is not very much.) He still comes across as a supreme jerk to me. And, what is up with this crazy fascination for Laura Nyro? I do not get a sense of nurture from this dude, no matter that he called his first record label Asylum. Geffen is a tone deaf predatory shark, a telephone screamer, that made himself and his stable of artists a great deal of money, and himself even more. In fact, according, to Glenn Frey of the Eagles, Geffen even said as much. He told him, "Glenn, you are going to make a lot of money signing with me. But not as much as me." Thus, this documentary becomes the story of how a man became rich, with a fantastic soundtrack for padding. We have already got the fantastic Eagles documentary, where is the great Joni Mitchell doc? Those are the stories I am interested in. Not animated transcripts of screaming telephone 'negotiations' with other record label heads ... I am working today, something I do not normally do, work on Mondays, but the payoff is that I get a long weekend with the Wife out of it. I am going to take the WSET Level Two Wine Test Thursday (It is like a Somm test, but v basic), and the Food Hole is doing this for all the Wine Specialists in the region. Very cool. Then, after that the Wife and I will spend one night in Calistoga, eat at JoLe, and have the whole weekend to ourselves back at home. Should be splendid ...