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.
Posted in Celebrities, Commentary, Entertainment, Movies, Television
Tagged actors, Big movie, celebrities, character actors, Deceived movie, entertainment, filmography, Goldie Hawn, Home Alone, in memoriam, John Heard, Movies, Television, The Scarlet Letter
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.
But 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.
Posted in Commentary, documentaries, Entertainment, Religion, Television
Tagged Abbie Schaub, Archbishop Keough High School, Baltimore, Catholic Church, documentary, entertainment, Gemma Hoskins, Netflix, nuns, religion, review, Sister Cathy Cesnik, Television, The Keepers
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.
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.
Posted in Commentary, Entertainment, Life, Philosophy, Politics, Television
Tagged binge watching, books, commentary, dystopian, entertainment, Hulu, life, philosophy, politics, Television, The Handmaid's Tale, traditional values, Trump, women's rights
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.
Posted in Commentary, Entertainment, Humor, Television
Tagged 13 Reasons Why, bicycles, binge watching, Clay Jensen, entertainment, Humor, kickstands, mystery, Netflix, no spoilers, Television
I 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.
Posted in Academy Awards, Entertainment, Family, Humor, Movies
Tagged Academy Awards, beloved family, brave, cartoon character, Disney, entertainment, lion, Lion movie, movie trailer, Movies, Oscars
Posted in Entertainment, Humor, Movies, Television
Tagged animated film, celebrities, comedy skit, entertainment, Golden Globes, golden globes host, Kristen Wiig, Movies, Steve Carell, Television
If you’ve seen a trailer for Manchester by the Sea or read any reviews, you may be hesitant to see it.
Now. During the holidays. A time of good cheer.
Because this not a feel-good classic or a comedy about a drunken holiday party gone awry. It’s a family tragedy and how one family struggles to survive.
But I would argue that this is the perfect time to see it.
Not only will you appreciate a nuanced, Oscar-worthy performance by Casey Affleck and his supporting cast, but you will walk away feeling lucky…grateful for each day and every friend and family member in your life. Because they are a gift.
And this movie, while tragic, is a beautiful reminder of that.
Posted in Commentary, Entertainment, Family, Friends, Movies, Relationships
Tagged commentary, entertainment, family, friends, holidays, Manchester by the Sea, Movies, review, survival, tragedy
Met Life, say it isn’t so.
You’re dropping Peanuts as the spokes characters for your brand?
Snoopy and the gang can sell anything…plus, your timing couldn’t be worse.
The popular comic just released a new feature film, and a weekly cartoon series is coming to television at the end of the year. Not to mention a new book (that I wrote) which is being released November 1st.
If I saw the Met Life folks, I think I would probably say:
Posted in Advertising, Animals, Art, Books, Comics, Entertainment, Humor, Life, Movies, Television
Tagged advertising, books, Charlie Brown, comics, entertainment, Humor, Met Life, Movies, Peanuts
I’ve watched three episodes of This Is Us on NBC.
The pilot was so good, it could have been a stand-alone movie. The second episode matched it. And tonight’s made me realize I wasn’t keeping score any more —
I’m all in.
So, I am sorry I’m just now mentioning it. I’ve been distracted by really excellent TV.
I usually avoid movies about dogs because of the inevitable ending.
No matter how wonderful the story, the relationship, the plot — the dog is going to die, either of trauma or old age, and my heart simply can’t take it.
But I saw this trailer at the theater last night. And although it made me cry like a baby, I may have to see this one.
Posted in Animals, Entertainment, Humor, Life, Love, Movies, Relationships
Tagged animals, Dogs, entertainment, Humor, life, love, movie theater, movie trailers, Movies, Relationships