Category Archives: Entertainment

An apology

john heard

By now you’ve no doubt heard that John Heard died.

Yesterday my social media feed was full of articles about the actor, all attributing his success to Home Alone.

I know he’s not here to read this — and let’s face it, he wouldn’t if he could  — but I feel the need to apologize.

While the family comedy may have made the most money in his filmography, it certainly did not make the most of Heard.

If you’re interested and willing to do a bit more research than his obit writers, I encourage you to watch Heard in the gripping thriller Deceived, co-starring Goldie Hawn. He also played opposite Tom Hanks in the comedy Big (a great excuse to watch that again). And he was an excellent Arthur Dimmesdale in a TV miniseries version of The Scarlet Letter in 1979.

Let’s hear it for one of the great character actors. He will be missed.

 

 

 

 

 

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Cold case

We have had more than enough reasons of late to question our leaders and institutions. So, perhaps you’re not ready for yet another in your entertainment viewing.

netflix-the-keepersBut I still must recommend The Keepers on Netflix.

This seven-part documentary series examines the unsolved murder of Sister Cathy Cesnik, who was abducted and killed in Baltimore in 1969 at age 26.

The circumstances surrounding her death are just one element of the story. The apparent cover-up by the church and police is even bigger and more disturbing.

And the entire investigation of this ‘cold case’ was led by Gemma Hoskins and Abbie Schaub, retirees and former students of Sister Cathy at Archbishop Keough High School.

The information they bring to light is shocking and sad — even more so because it took this long.

Sister Cathy Cesnik — and all the students at Archbishop Keough — deserve justice.

 

Too close for comfort

Did you read The Handmaid’s Tale in high school as I did?

The dystopian work of fiction was horrifying to my teenage self but far-removed — nothing I could realistically see occurring in my lifetime.

handmaidstale

Then Trump happened.

Now every event portrayed in the television adaptation that dropped yesterday on Hulu — only three episodes, quite frustrating for binge watchers like me — seems like a warning of things to come if we are not vigilant.

Women universally stripped of their rights to work and own property, then treated as property and debased. The LGBTQ community hanged for simply being. It is terrifying and dressed up as a return to traditional values.

I signed up for a free trial to Hulu just to watch this series. I think everyone should.

It’s that important.

Kick this around

13-reasons-why

If you haven’t started watching Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why, or are in the midst of the series, don’t worry —

There are no spoilers here. Just one question (and kind of a tangential one at that).

Do bicycles not have kickstands anymore?

We see Clay Jensen ride around town as he tries to solve the show’s central mystery, and he throws his bike down on the ground like an unloved toy. He has bounced that thing off of cement, buildings, trees — you name it — and it’s been shoved into a lot of car trunks, too.

That bike gets no respect.

I have to think a kickstand would be a major improvement. But perhaps they just aren’t cool in 2017.

I don’t know….I may need 13 reasons way.

Bury the lead, please

SPOILER AHEAD — Do not read before viewing the March 22nd episode.

Okay, that’s done.

This season of The Americans has been grim, even by their standards. It has also been sadly sex-free due to its focus on Paige and our favorite spies’ campaign to recruit a Russian defector by befriending his son.

Sometimes it feels like an episode of Pretty Little Comrades.

So imagine my excitement at the halfway point when they gave us a glimpse of Martha shopping the sparse shelves of a grocery store in Russia!

And that was all of her — no other scene, mention or clue. 

Geez, guys, couldn’t you have ended the show with that scene? Everybody loves a cliffhanger. 

On being brave

lionI almost didn’t see Lion.

From the trailer, I could tell the movie had the dreaded Disney structure:

Child has a beloved family. 

Child is ripped from his beloved family within the first five minutes.

Child spends the rest of the movie looking for his beloved family.

Let’s face it — that story line is hard enough to watch when little cartoon characters are involved; I wasn’t sure I could stomach it with real people.

And I wasn’t altogether wrong.

But this true story — and the actors who portray it — are so compelling, I couldn’t have looked way if I had wanted to.  It is heartbreaking and life-affirming, all at the same time.

And I hope, in the course of my life, I can be one-tenth as brave as that little boy.

 

 

 

 

 

What the world needs now

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