Category Archives: Commentary

My apologies

Mr. Colbert:

I am so sorry.


More than once in the months that predated your debut on The Late Show on CBS, I questioned you.

Not your talent.  Not your comedic prowess or interview chops. Not your deserving the chair.

Instead I wondered if you would add anything unique to the late night landscape.

Without the fake conservative persona that made you legendary,  I feared your real personality — so positive and genuine — would bring another version of Jimmy Fallon or James Coburn’s sincerely sunny shtick to late night.

How quickly I was proven wrong.

The educated weirdness that was so much a part of your previous alter ego lives on in your true self, so The Late Show is more complex and more rewarding.

Forgive me for ever doubting you.

I spy a fun film

I finally saw The Man from U.N.C.L.E. today.

I’m so glad I didn’t let the critics dissuade me.

Since the stylized spy thriller opened counter to Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, critics seemed hell-bent to compare the two.  I’ve seen both; there’s really no comparison.

MI:RN was a wonderful sequel in the Mission Impossible franchise, but the storytelling and action sequences are distinctly modern. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is a homage to the 1960’s television series, and the look, feel, pacing, soundtrack — you name it — are true to that era.

I also loved the very dry, British humor that director Guy Ritchie brought to the production. I’m not sure everyone in the theater today got it, but that simply made me feel smarter…and laugh all the louder.

As the trailers promised, everyone in this film is beautiful to gaze upon. Russian spy Armie Hammer is deadly gorgeous, especially in the close-ups, and American agent Henry Cavill is so chiseled, he doesn’t seem realistic. Hugh Grant has also never looked better. He should hire the hair and makeup people and keep them on staff.

I loved Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation and I loved The Man from U.N.C.L.E. 

I am so complex.

Monster mash

One of the first movies that kept me up at night was a version of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein that I saw during my grade school years on a late night ‘creature feature.’

I’ve searched to no avail, trying to locate the specific retelling. But I do have a memory of the final scenes — Dr. Frankenstein destroying himself and his monster. And the monster says, “Well done, master.”

No wonder I had nightmares.

There’s yet another remake of the classic story, starring James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe, coming out at Thanksgiving time .

This one looks like as much fun as fright. I’m in!

The coupon made me do it

I consider myself a bit of a risk taker…but not when it comes to pizza.

I like thin crust pepperoni. Period. To my taste buds, that is the perfect combination, and I don’t mess with it…or bother ordering much else.

But I had a coupon at Domino’s the other day, so I added one of their new specialty chicken dishes to my order, and wow — it was good.


I don’t want to sound like an ad, but the Crispy Bacon and Tomato Chicken was awesome.

So, if you usually wear blinders when it comes to pizza — perhaps you would never order from Domino’s even — consider giving them a shot. I love their thin crust pizza.

And now I even like chicken.

Go figure.

Something’s afoot

You know Sherlock Holmes from novels, television and film.


Mr. Holmes gives us the man behind the myth — the real detective that was fictionalized some 30 years after his last case.

This Holmes is 93 years old, frail and in the early stages of what appears to be Alzheimers. Aware that his memory is fading, he returns to his country home (and his bees) to attempt to piece together the forgotten details of his final case — a failure that made him leave sleuthing for good.

But why can’t he remember that mistake?

Ian McKellen is wonderful in the title role…more human and less ticky than his predecessors, although just as brutally honest. Laura Linney’s accent comes and goes as the dour housekeeper, but Milo Parker is winning as her son Roger, who helps Holmes care for his bees and ultimately find his past.

There’s even a little something for fans of Young Sherlock Holmes, which I am…so I left the theater happy.

Bad manners

You have to love Brits. So proper,  so polished, so personable.

Wimbledon has always been a prime example…until this year.


Novak Djokovic, the defending champion, beat Roger Federer in Sunday’s final.

And Wimbledon had the bad manners to telegraph their choice for the trophy. Both before and after the match, their social media feeds were full of Federer — waxing poetic on the possibility of his eighth title, and openly weeping at his eventual defeat.

In contrast, Serena Williams’ win in the ladies’ championship was celebrated without question or sadness for those she felled along the way.

I expect more from you, Wimbledon.  Remember — even Federer had to defeat favorites in his early years at the tourney.

Today’s top men’s seeds deserve the same respect.

5 reasons to take the subway

subwayFirst-time visitors to New York City may be hesitant to take the subway.

I was you once; I spent too much money on taxis and wore myself out walking dozens upon dozens of city blocks.

But trust me —

The subway is the best way to get around town.

Here are 5 reasons to give the MTA a chance the next time you are in town.

  1. Speed — The subway is usually the fastest way between Point A and Point B.  There’s no traffic to contend with, and you have express train options when you have longer trips or are traveling from borough to borough.
  2. Cost — Currently $2.75 a ride, the subway is cheaper than any taxi ride. And while walking is free, you have to think about the cost of your time, and the wear-and-tear on your body. Most of my friends leave NYC broken-down and exhausted from the unaccustomed amount of walking they do…and it was supposed to be vacation.
  3. Comfort  — Except at morning and evening rush, the subway has room to breathe and seats for most travelers. I have claustrophobia, and I use the subway without any problem.
  4. People Watching  — Everyone takes the subway in New York City, from celebrities to crazies on the street…so you will see everything. It is a slice of humanity like no other. You’ll return home with story upon story.
  5. Performances — Like this one:

I mean, come on — take a chance and take a ride!