Category Archives: Commentary

Whadda I have to do

I love the sitcom About a Boy on NBC.

AboutABoyIt has the pedigree of the great Hugh Grant movie of the same name. The cast is quirky and funny, the writing fresh.

And last night they used the Violent Femmes’ ‘Prove to You’ as the soundtrack for a montage of Marcus and his crush.

Any sitcom that uses the Femmes deserves an automatic renewal.

I’m pretty sure that’s a rule of broadcasting.

Fortunate

wpid-20141117_140437.jpgOver the years, I have collected fortunes from Chinese takeout that spoke to me and placed them in a pocket of my Franklin Planner.

(Yes, I still have a Franklin Planner….and a Google calendar, too.  Just covering my bases.)

I don’t know why these crumbling, yellowed fortunes caught my eye today, but they did. And you can probably see why I kept them around.

It’s a very feel-good collection.

On my trip to Tokyo in July, I received the very aptly named ‘Best Fortune’ in return for a dollar and a prayer at the Senso-ji temple in Asakusa.

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How’s that for positive thinking?

This fortune has earned a place of honor on the bulletin board above my desk, a very cheerful reminder of all the good things I have in my life.

And possibly more to come?

 

A true story

The movie Foxcatcher, starring Steve Carrell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo, is based on a true story. That’s about all I knew — well, that and Carrell wears a prosthetic nose.

And we all know a fake schnoz can land you an Oscar. Just ask Nicole Kidman.

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After seeing the film, I’m glad I was so uninformed.  This telling of Olympic wrestler Mike Schultz’s relationship with his sponsor, millionaire John du Pont, is so slow and deliberate that I might have lost patience if I had known how it was going to end.

But the performances — not the plot — are the reason to see this film.  All three actors disappear into these characters who, with the exception of Ruffalo, struggle with varying shades of mental illness and mommy issues.

And when actors who usually take pratfalls raise their game to this level, you simply have to see it.

Fair warning — you may never look at Michael Scott the same way again.

 

Who’s the kid?

So, I’m watching the ATP World Tour Finals on Tennis Channel whenever time zones and my time allows.

And they’re doing those creepy child escorts again for the players as they enter the indoor stadium.

atp tour child escortsI know this is a cultural difference, so I am trying not to judge.

But I think the players look uncomfortable — the kids look uncomfortable, too.

(This child looks a bit like a tween Chucky doll, which is also a bit unnerving.)

Once the players reach their chairs courtside, what are they supposed to do?

Hug the child? Pat them on the head? Ignore them and go about their prep?

All choices look creepy…from my point of view.

Servin’ up a selfie

This pic from the ATP World Tour Finals in London is proof positive –

ATP

Everyone should suit up for their selfies.

Hot!

Cuts like a knife

Remember when television shows used to suggest violence instead of shoving it in our faces?

A shadowy suggestion or quick camera cut would leave the evil deads to our imagination.

I still prefer it.

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Some of my favorite cable programs have been stabbing their victims repeatedly of late…and showing the murders up close in graphic detail, the horrible sound of knife piercing flesh as disturbing as the imagery.

I am still bothered by the bar scene in the season finale of The Divide, and the scary clown in American Horror Story: Freak Show isn’t the only character to brandish a knife.

Avoiding gore is one thing.  Forgetting it is almost impossible.

By the book

Remember the relationship manual Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus?

Yeah, I didn’t read it either.

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But I did read today that Venus is 24 million miles from Earth, the closest planet in our solar system.

In comparison, Mars is 34 million miles away.

Based on this fact alone,  I surmise that women are infinitely more knowable.

So, there.