Hollywood

Dan Rather Plots Comeback, With Assist From Robert Redford

Featured image I read this story three times to make sure it wasn’t a practical joke. But no: Robert Redford to Play Dan Rather in ‘Truth’. Robert Redford has signed on to play Dan Rather in Truth, a film based on the 2005 memoir Truth and Duty: The Press, The President, and The Privilege of Power. The book, written by Rather’s producer Mary Mapes, centers on the firestorm that erupted after Rather »

The improbable lives of Louis Zamperini

Featured image I am saddened to learn of the death yesterday of the remarkable Louis Zamperini. What a man; what a great American. The New York Times obituary by Ira Berkow is here. I wrote about Mr. Zamperini on Power Line after I finished reading Laura Hillenbrand’s best-selling biography of him (linked below). The following comments are adapted from what I wrote then. In November 2010 the Wall Street Journal’s Saturday Review »

Paul Mazursky, RIP

Featured image Writer/director/actor Paul Mazursky died in Los Angeles on Monday at the age of 84. The Los Angeles Times recounts his incredibly long and productive career in its obituary. The Times also picks five of Mazursky’s best films. Movies you may have forgotten, or forgotten to associate with Mazursky, include I Love You, Alice B. Toklas (which he co-wrote with Larry Tucker), starring Peter Sellers. Mazursky provided an early (1967) take »

Helton! Thou shouldst be living at this hour

Featured image IRS Commissioner John Koskinen turned in a memorable performance before the House Ways and Means Committee on Friday morning. I wrote about it here. Koskinen looks like he was sent by central casting to front for the Democrats in the IRS scandals. Indeed, he reminds me of the character actor Percy Helton, whom you would have seen in dozens of movies and television shows if you are anywhere near my »

The Best Years of Our Lives

Featured image When I walked into Spaulding Auditorium to see The Best Years of Our Lives as an undergrad, I had never even heard of the film. When I walked out three hours later, I couldn’t believe I had never heard of it. It is a great film with a lot of truth and a big heart in it. Tonight TCM is carrying the film as part of its Memorial Day lineup. »

James O’Keefe Punks Hollywood Greens

Featured image There are advantages to being a video guy rather than an ink-stained wretch. James O’Keefe is currently in Cannes, where he is premiering his latest video prank. O’Keefe’s targets are Josh and Rebecca Tickell, producers of environmental documentaries including “Fuel.” Ed Begley Jr. and (former?) actress Mariel Hemingway appear, but are mostly along for the ride. And there isn’t actually much video; it’s mostly recorded conversations. But the content is »

When Turner was right

Featured image Celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the Turner Classic Movies cable channel earlier this week, I noted that I was a little vague on how Ted Turner came to own the rights to nearly every worthwhile movie ever made. A reader wrote to offer a look back at the ancient history that provides the answer: Back in 1985 I was working as a senior consultant for the entertainment division of a »

TCM at 20

Featured image The TCM (Turner Classic Movies) cable channel celebrated its twentieth anniversary yesterday. It did so in grand style, rebroadcasting movies from its first day on the air (Gone With the Wind and It Happened One Night). After GWTW, TCM broadcast an interesting interview with host-for-life Robert Osborne conducted by Alec Baldwin. I have been a high volume consumer of TCF roughly since day one. I am a little vague on »

Al Gore: The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Featured image No sooner does Bill McKibben come up with a great idea (climate scientists should go on strike) than I hear even better news: Al Gore is thinking about making a sequel to An Inconvenient Truth.  From the Hollywood Reporter: Al Gore might need to dust off his projector. The creative forces behind the Oscar-winning environmental documentary An Inconvenient Truth are hatching plans for a sequel to the film that raised »

Remembering Budd Schulberg

Featured image Budd Schulberg — writer, novelist, playwright, screenwriter — was born 100 years ago this coming March 27. Mark Steyn takes the occasion of the Schulberg centenary to look back in the column “What made Buddy run?” Please check it out. Schulberg died in August 2009 ago at the age of 95. His life cut through an almost unbelievable slice of American history, more than enough for two memoirs. In Moving »

Triumph of the Phil

Featured image Not having done our homework, we went to the film Philomena over the weekend. We made a mistake. We shouldn’t have gone. It’s not just one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen, it’s also one of the most detestable. From beginning to end, it is an attack on the Catholic Church for crimes fabricated out of “true events” involving Philomena (Phil) Lee, played by Judi Dench. The Washington Post’s »

More Proof That Liberals Are Humorless Losers

Featured image Some years back I contributed a short squib to National Review’s roster of the 100 best conservative films out of Hollywood on behalf of Ghostbusters, not merely for making the bad guy a buffoon from the EPA, but for noting that the private sector, unlike government or universities, “expects results.” Lo and behold, along comes Thomas Frank, the lefty author of What’s The Matter With Kansas for Not Voting Like »

A Star Wars Interlude

Featured image It was inevitable that someone would offer up a Facebook “Look Back” video for Darth Vader (below), but the real news is the insider revelation that the destruction of the Death Star in Episode IV was clearly an inside job.  I expect Rosie O’Donnell will be all over this story any moment now.  Excerpt: THE KID WHO TOOK THE SHOT JUST HAPPENED TO BE NAMED ‘SKYWALKER.’  Yep, same as our »

Liberals Still Aren’t Funny: Seinfeld Feeds Buzzfeed to the Buzzsaw

Featured image No sooner than SNL’s Lorne Michaels ratifies the common sense perception that most liberals are humorless scolds, than Jerry Seinfeld shows up on Buzzfeed and remarks that complaints about the lack of gender and racial diversity in his comedy web series “really pisses me off.” “I have no interest in gender or race or anything like that. But everyone else is kind of, with their little calculating – is this »

SNL’s Lorne Michaels: Liberals Lack a Sense of Humor

Featured image It isn’t news to any conservative that most liberals have a deficient sense of humor, which is what makes the light bulb joke about feminists so accurate. (How many feminists does it take to change a light bulb? “That’s not funny!”)  But it ought to be worth something when Lorne Michaels, the long time producer of Saturday Night Live, ratifies this, in this month’s New York magazine interview (note especially what »

The Next Action Hero Candidate?

Featured image One of my favorite moments from the Reagan years was the time Reagan was asked during a press conference for his thoughts about Clint Eastwood’s election as mayor of Carmel.  Reagan said he never thought anyone who had acted with a chimp in a movie could ever make it in politics.  Heh. What about movie action heroes?  I always thought it remarkable that Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jesse Ventura were both »

A wonderful life

Featured image In Dancing In the Dark: A Cultural History of the Great Depression — a book I enjoyed and learned from despite Mark Steyn’s (accurately) devastating review in Commentary upon its publication — Morris Dickstein speaks up on behalf of Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life. He writes that the movie has “a large cult following that finds it a heartwarming work, the epitome of the Christmas spirit, while others see »