Archives for the month of: January, 2013

Bill Malloy has gone missing! Did Victoria Winters and Caroline Stoddard really see his corpse being Read the rest of this entry »

For your consideration: Joe Keenan’s 1988 screwball comedic novel Blue Heaven for the screen. But how? When to set it? With whom?


After Mr. Lousy’s reading list was published, followed by the shocking (to Lousy) revelation that Doris W and I had dined with the book’s author Joe Keenan, I dug around the house for my own dog-eared paperback copy, which I found nestled between some film review compilations by Pauline Kael.

I re-read the novel (personally autographed – I had no idea that I’d brought it to dinner!) for the first time in 20 years, and perhaps as my copy spent at least a decade on a shelf fermenting with Pauline Kael, I have been Read the rest of this entry »


Alias is over. And I’m over it. It was a slog to get through to the end. Good – only three episodes left. Wait, there’s four? Nooooo!  So in what seems to be my theme for 2013, here are the bullets.

I don’t get it
– Why doesn’t Sydney make Sloane tell her what the Little Red Horizon beach ball does? Because it could Read the rest of this entry »

Twisted Nerve poster

Bin-hunter and general gleaner Mister Museum recently walked out of the thrift store with gold on his hands: promotional books for low-rent films that ran at his sleazy hometown’s sleazy theater, the Myers, which was Read the rest of this entry »


Season 4.

I like the opening sequence better. It’s a fast clip sequence of Sydney in disguise – I counted 50. So that’s fun. That’s also where the fun seems to stop. I’m on episode 6 now and in the words of Sydney during her first briefing with Sloane – I can’t believe this.

APO – Authorized Personnel Only – Lamest Name. Ever.
I can’t believe they are adding even more groups to this show.
I can’t believe this is the best name they could  come up with. At least with SD-6, The Covenant, The Alliance, and others Read the rest of this entry »

Another from the dawn of the series: July of ’66. Conrad Bain, the future Arthur from Maude  and Mr. Drummond from Diff’rent Strokes, works at the local inn. Here he confronts Sam Evans, Collinsport’s town drunk and town irascible artist, with some shocking news: Burke Devlin has returned to Collinsport!

Conrad Bain as Mr. Drummond on Diff'rent Stokes.

Conrad Bain as Mr. Drummond on Diff’rent Stokes.

Conrad Bain is the first performer on the show to attempt what I recognize as a Maine accent, somewhat reminiscent of Tom Bosley’s Sheriff Tucker in the that other terrifying Maine town, Murder, She Wrote‘s Cabot Cove.

Unlike Sheriff Tucker, the innkeeper seems to exist solely as an expository device. Conrad Bain excels in this function. In typical Dark Shadows fashion, the exposition is actually re-exposition, as the viewer already knows everything he tells Sam the drunk, but now we get to hear about it with a Maine accent along with scary orchestration for about five minutes. I always appreciate storyline reinforcement in soap operas.

If only the mustached, accented Conrad Bain knew how making an effort on Dark Shadows would pay off later down the road!


Conrad Bain, center top and scarved, on Maude.

Another from the first couple of weeks in July of 1966.

Caroline Stoddard (Nancy Barrett) tries with a lighthearted jest to reassure her mother, Collins matriarch Elizabeth Collins Stoddard (Joan Bennett), but unwittingly causes supernatural consternation.

I think the writers are sending us a message. You, like Caroline, may think we’re joking, but the wiser Mrs. Collins knows the truth: nothing is off the table. Not even goblins.

From the first week of the series in July of 1966.

No need for dialogue, just plodding piano followed by a silent breakdown which elicits no comfort, only fear.

I only wish that Joan Bennett had made her head go thud with her collapse.

Featuring Elizabeth Stoddard Collins (Joan Bennett) and Victoria Winters (Alexandra Moltke).


I’m using a bigger image because I want to write less. Season 3 of Alias. What can I say? Well whatever I’m going to say is going to be in bullet form. I’m really into bullets lately. I’m getting lazy.

I’m not buying it
– I’m really not buying how Sydney mind-fucked herself out of 2 years memory
– The Trust, The Covenant – how many fucking groups are there going to be on this show? J.J. Abrams – over complicated mythologies don’t make it a better story
– I have a problem with Vaughn getting over Sydney’s death and getting hitched so quickly. I do.
– The Rambaldi stuff – I can certainly understand the appeal of having government agencies going after something mythological and totally fake. It avoids getting mired in the details of a real enemy but I’m kind of over it.
– I think if I’d been watching the show real time, I may have been giving up around now just I like I gave up on Lost. But knowing there are only two seasons left – I’ll finish it out. My binge-watching habits are definitely more lenient than my real time criteria.

Guest stars!
However, Season 3 did bring a lot of fun guest stars – the best yet.
– Isabella Rosselini – as Sydney’s mom’s sister in uniform – brilliant!
– Djimon Hounsou
– Ricky Gervais – as the disgruntled bomber was a nice surprise. In addition to Richard Lewis’ straight delivery I’m just waiting for Larry David to play U.S. Senator.
– Vivica Fox
– Griffin Dunne
– Quentin Tarantino – you know he loved it
– Peggy Lipton!!!
– I was super disappointed that Sydney’s sister/the Passenger wasn’t a somebody. That seemed a part ripe for a guest star.

BUT…Melissa George. Oh how I hate Melissa George. I don’t even have a good reason. I first remember seeing her in 30 Days of Night which was disappointing on many levels but what I would have given for some vampire, some bad guy, anyone to shut her fucking over bite. I hate her mouth mostly because it is almost always open. Not lips parted coyly, not saying anything, not doing anything except daring me to smack it shut. Her overbite is so huge even her big floppy lips can’t cover it up. I know she is supposed to be hot and her body certainly is but her bucktoothed mouth negates anything her body is doing.

melissa george fishTake a good look at these photos and tell me – which one is Melissa George? Which one is a puffer fish? Can’t tell can you? Of course you can’t because Melissa George’s mouth is an abomination of lips and teeth. I defy anyone to tell them apart. Oh wait, the puffer fish is kind of cute.

And why the hell is a U.S. Senator’s daughter, an agent of the National Security Council British? This makes zero sense. Is it because J.J. Abrams thinks bad guys need to have an accent? It’s just dumb. Which I suspect will be my review of Season 4.

december 2012

So this is how it ends. I think my December is a fairly good reflection of all the movies I like – classics, documentaries, heavy dramas, smart comedies and those movies I just never got around to before. I thought about coming up with something insightful and clever about my movie habits. But I don’t feel like it. I’m feeling very optimistic for 2013 and dwelling on 2012 seems antithetical to that purpose.

I will say this – I’ve never kept track of how many or which movies I watch. I always knew I saw more than most but even I am surprised to find that I watched 134 movies. That’s 11.16 movies a month, 2.58 movies a week. I’m surprised I’ve managed to do anything else. Because I know I also watch an awful lot of television and I’d like to think I read a fair amount. As a holiday bonus, I’m listing the books I read this year too. So here it goes – the last list for 2012.

120 – Street Fight – politics + race = scariness
121 – Trespass – Schumacher must stop
122 – 50/50 – not too goofy
123 – Waltz with Bashir – harrowing, frightening, gobsmacked
124 – Mulan (Disney) – cute little dragon
125 – Hitchcock – fun, light, entertaining
126 – Looking for Richard – Pacino’s gross ponytail
127 – The Killers – Lancaster is foxy
128 – Shaun of the Dead – smart, funny z-story
129 – State and Main – so that happened
130 – Lincoln – DDL is god
131 – Skyfall – best Bond cinematography
132 – This is 40 – it kinda is
133 – Life of Pi – reading the book
134 – Central Park Five – depressing power abuse

My Books – 2012 – Don’t Judge, It’s Just a List

1 – My Lucky Star/Joe Keenan
2 – E-Myth/Michael E. Gerber
3 – James and the Giant Peach/Roald Dahl
4 – Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?/Mindy Kaling
5 – The Graveyard Book/Neil Gaiman
6 – Spain/Rick Steves
7 – Tale of Sand/Jim Henson
8 – Shenzhen/Guy Delisle
9 – The Hunger Games/Suzanne Collins
10 – Moneyball/Michael Lewis
11 – Neverwhere/Neil Gaiman
12 – Divergent/Veronica Roth
13 – The Book Thief/Marcus Zusak
14 – Matched/Ally Condie
15 – Insurgent/Veronica Roth
16 – Eat, Pray, Love/Elizabeth Gilbert
17 – American Gods/Neil Gaiman
18 – A Discovery of Witches/Deborah Harkness
19 – Act Like a Man, Think Like a Woman/Steve Harvey
20 – World War Z/Max Brooks
21 – Shadow of Night/Deborah Harkness
22 – Fifty Shades of Grey/EL James
23 – I Feel Bad About My Neck/Nora Ephron

So about 2 books a month. Again, I don’t really know how much other people read but I feel pretty good about that number.

Overall I think 2012 was a better year for movies than 2011 and I generally liked the books I read this year. There are always some stinkers but I finished them all and liked more than I disliked. You can’t really complain about that.

2013 – bring it.