There’s something about Mary

Featured image When Notre Dame Magazine came calling to ask George Spencer what he was reading, he had a good answer. He was reading Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted (2013), a history of the Mary Tyler Moore Show of blessed memory (1970-1977). Readers like me who remember the show with special fondness will find Spencer’s discussion of the book of interest, probably of more interest than the »

How Low Can Hollywood Sink?

Featured image I think it is Glenn Reynolds who came up with the observation that the demand for racism exceeds the supply, which explains the proliferation of Jussie Smollett-style racism hoaxes. And Hollywood is happy to do its part to reinforce this narrative. The Daily Wire reports that the CW network has greenlit a series based on Jane Austen novels that will: update a number of Jane Austen classics for the “modern” »

Ratings for Academy Awards crater

Featured image I can’t say in what year I last watched the Academy Awards ceremony on television, but I’m pretty sure that Bob Hope was the host. He last hosted the event in 1978. It took America more than 40 years to catch up with me on this one, but last night, according to Kyle Smith, the Academy Awards viewership cratered. Only 9.85 million Americans tuned in. This number represented a 58 »

Who Will Be the Next Neoconservatives?

Featured image As the country going through a cycle of leftist madness last seen in the 1960s, we can recall that a number of liberals woke up to the defects of their creed, and became the founding generation of “neoconservatives,” that is, liberals who had been “mugged by reality.” That original generation were mostly academic social scientists of one stripe or another. Will we see a new generation of “neoconservatives” arising out »

Happy Birthday Captain Kirk

Featured image I really can’t let the day pass without celebrating the 90th birthday of the greatest Canadian export of all time, actor William Shatner. Sure, he’s an overacting, scenery-chewing ham, but c’mon, he’s awesome. He rescued Star Trek from being a total liberal preach fest by his shameless womanizing and wanton violation of the culturally relativist Federation prime directive, unlike that UN General Assembly wimp Piccard who succeeded him in the »

Trump in Full

Featured image Today President Trump resigned from SAG/AFTRA, the unions for the entertainment industry, who have been exaggerating and deploring the supposed “McCarthy blacklist” for almost 70 years (even though the supposed “blacklist” had no connection to McCarthy, but whatever), but now wants to start a new Blacklist of One: Donald Trump. Already it is said the owners of Home Alone 2 will edit out the famous Plaza Hotel cameo appearance, but »

The hilarity of Hilaria

Featured image My wife Sally was born in Peru and came to the United States to attend the University of Minnesota at the age of 19. She writes English perfectly, but she speaks with a noticeable Spanish accent — an accent almost exactly like Hilaria Baldwin’s. The difference between Sally and Hilaria, however, is that Sally came by her accent honestly. The New York Post’s Maureen Callahan tells some of the rest »

10 more favorite films

Featured image I’m following up on “10 favorite films” with numbers 11-20. I make no claim for them other than that they are movies I love. My emphasis is on lesser known and offbeat movies rather than classics like Citizen Kane or The Searchers or The Godfather or The French Connection. With the long holiday weekend coming up next week, I thought some readers might find the list of interest or perhaps »

Hillbilly Elegy, the movie

Featured image Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance is one the most worthwhile books I’ve read in recent years. It’s a riveting account of Vance’s family as it moved from the hills of Kentucky to an Ohio steel town — Middletown — where it struggled to fulfill some semblance of the American Dream. Hillbilly Elegy is also a sociological study of Middletown and its “hill” population. The story had special resonance for me »

10 favorite films

Featured image I’ve been trying to catch up on reading I skipped in my favorite college courses and revisiting favorite films from years past. I thought just for the fun of it I would serve up my list of 10 favorite films as they occur to me today. When I ran it by a close friend this past Saturday, his only comment was: “How old are you?” Good question! I serve it »

Amanda Milius speaks

Featured image I wrote about the film The Plot Against the President here on Power Line this past weekend. Every time I attempt to post my review — most recently, this morning — I receive this notice: I have written twice to Amazon seeking an explanation. Despite the invitation extended to me in the notice, Amazon has rested on its right to remain silent. I am mystified. I can freely post reviews »

Buster Keaton at 125

Featured image Turner Classic Movies observed the 125th anniversary of the birth of Buster Keaton yesterday by replaying the terrific 2018 Peter Bogdanovich documentary The Great Buster: A Celebration (trailer below), followed by Sherlock, Jr. (1924), The General (1927), Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928), and the lesser known Seven Chances (1928). Coincidentally, I think, one of the automobile companies broadcast an advertisement yesterday afternoon incorporating classic silent film stunts, including one or two »

Democrats Embrace Citizens United!

Featured image When the Citizens United decision that said the federal government can’t censor political speech came down back in 2010, many Democrats said it was literally the worst decision since Dred Scott, because it would allow for “big money” to sway an election. Remember that the issue presented in the case was a documentary film, “Hillary: The Movie,” produced by the non-profit Citizens United group. Well, Democrats must feel differently now, »

El Presidente speaks

Featured image In the adjacent post, I observe that Governor Walz has delivered us to the Central American people’s republic of San Marcos, as depicted in Woody Allen’s Bananas. Partly taking off from, and paying homage to, Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times, Bananas is a brilliant comedy. The San Marcos thing is funny in the film. Everything is funny in the film. It’s not so funny in Minnesota. Could a movie like this »

The McDermott monologue

Featured image In the Wall Street Journal’s weekend Mansion section, Marc Myers interviewed the actor Dylan McDermott to construct the first-person narrative published under the headline “Sitcoms Taught Dylan McDermott Everything He Knew About Family.” McDermott had a stunted childhood. His father was an alcoholic; his mother was murdered when he was five. McDermott’s narrative account opens: My parents married young. My mom was 15 and my dad was 18 when I »

Ben Mankiewicz’s heroes

Featured image Let’s try a thought experiment. Although the claim that Trump colluded with Russia during the 2016 election campaign has no basis, it seems likely that Russia tried to interfere in the election via posts on social media. Suppose Congress undertook to investigate this matter. Suppose that, in conducting its investigation, a committee called as witnesses people who participated in social media and who had past ties with Russia. Finally, suppose »

The Mankiewicz mangle

Featured image And now for something completely different, we turn to TCM host Ben Mankiewicz’s citation of his favorite books about movies, published in this weekend’s Wall Street Journal Review section and available online here. The Journal subhead touts Mankiewicz and two other “showbiz pros on the nonfiction works that taught them volumes about Hollywood, past and present.” These are Mankiewicz’s selections: “Easy Riders, Raging Bulls” captures a time in moviemaking I »