Sunday, February 26, 2012

Slapdash Reviews

Deadhead Miles. Hilarious Alan Arkin performance, with his ersatz southern Robert Duvallian voice. Of course the big difference is Duvall's always convinced he's giving a serious performance. Very similar in tone to Terrence Malick's other screenplay, Pocket Money. It just tickled me.

Watch Bobs DeNiro and Duvall try to out-method each other in True Confessions. Count how many times they look off-screen, like Jack Barrymore searching for a cue card. Takes place in 1946, when everything was fuzzy.

Botany Bay. Alan Ladd is unjustly confined on a prison ship to Austrailia, but manages to keep his eyebrows beautifully landscaped. James Mason is a wonderful villain, with moderately butch acting by Jonathan Harris.

Bill Holden is racked with guilt in Submarine Command. Bill Bendix is there to give him the stinkeye.

Threepenny Opera. Germans talking and singing German in Soho. Strains credulity.

Across 110th Street. Dark, lots of swearing and lots of hand-held stuff. Pretty good, pehaps Barry Shear's best movie, but not as compelling as Swingin' at the Summit. Would have been even better with Mitchum or Marvin. Or Lancaster. Or Widmark. Or Holden. or....

The Countess.  How could there be a dull movie about a gal bathing in the blood of hundreds of virgins? Godawful.

In Martin and Lewis' last Colgate Comedy Hour, Dino plays a character named "Mr. Crocetti".  Jerry does his hilarious Jap portrayal. Hard to believe he's still doing it 20 years later.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Dear Diary

Dear Diary,
It was such a beautiful day today. So inspiring. The warm southerly wind felt like sweet puppy's breath across my cheek. And yet, spring is so far away. Perhaps I'd better not think of it. It fills me with dread to do so.

I saw her again today. She looked so lovely, it filled me with a sense of longing. And hope. And so many other feelings. It felt as though I were bursting with a bountiful cornucopia of delicious emotions. We were so close, yet so far away. She was only across the street, but she walked in the opposite direction, and I felt not at my best, since my eyelid was closed shut because I mistook the super glue for the saline solution.

Today the store was filled with a special display of gardening tools and a vast, neverending supply of seeds: hearty and healthful fruits and vegetables, etheral and fragrant flowering annuals and perennials of every shape, size and color. It filled me with such a feeling of anticipation. Then I realized I was in the wrong store.

Just awakened from a fitful sleep. I am filled with such a feeling of indescribable misconfernation. Or something. The night is so dark, much like the recesses of my soul, a beautiful onyx stone dropped in a deep well on a cloudy night of the winter solstice with no moon or snow to reflect the hope of the manifestation of the coming day. Will the morn never arrive?

Good Advice?

The reaction to my blog has been not overwhelming, not underwhelming, just whelming. One fellow Tim (if that is your real name) suggested, "Don't quit your day job." Shows how much you know, funny man. I don't have a day job.


It's impossible for me to ever pick a favorite. That's why I never had children. That, and the fear of reproducing because of my mutant hillbilly family. But these days, there's no blog I'd rather read than  Self-Styled Siren. As Criswell once said, "It pleasures me!" Some time ago, I reluctantly placed William Wellman's Buffalo Bill in my queue. You hep cats on the internets know what I mean by "queue". But the Siren makes me eager to see it, right after I catch up on my Nazi documentaries and my Rhonda Fleming opuses. Opii?

In a perfect world, 1967's How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying would have been adapted and directed by Frank Tashlin and would have starred Jerry Lewis. Seems to me that Tashlin's satire in Rock Hunter was funnier and sharper than David Swift's in Success, and Robert Morse's mugging seemed to be channelling Jerry Lewis, so why not get Lewis himself? Lewis had little charm and credibility as a romantic lead, but Robert Morse had even less. Even though I like Morse, there's something of a homunculus about him.

And while we're at it, throw in Moe Howard as Wally Womper.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

My first blog.

Finally, I have something important to say. The other day I told a friend that I went to Costco and bought a year's supply of toilet paper. But did I really? I became troubled by this statement, because honesty and accuracy are very important to me. Will thirty rolls of biggie toilet paper, which the good folks at Proctor and Gamble assure me is the square footage equivalent of 83 rolls, actually last an entire year? Only one way to find out. Well, probably more than one, but here's what I'm gonna do -- record the number of days it takes to use a roll of toilet paper, multiply that number by 30, and see if that number is greater than 365. I'm no numbers whiz, but if there are any mathematicians out there who can confirm this method, I'd love to hear from you. Of course, to insure veracity, I'll continue using the paper for other than the obvious: cleaning little spills, blowing my nose, and helping with the cleanup of occasional manual activities. Stay tuned for the results.