Hollywood

Bored of the Rings?

Featured image Back in the late 1960s when Lord of the Rings was rocketing into popularity, National Lampoon stepped up with a predictable parody, Bored of the Rings, in which Bilbo and Frodo became Dildo (naturally) and Frito, Gandalf became Goodgulf, etc. Hold this memory. Now Amazon has spent a billion dollars to produce a prequel to the Lord of the Rings (Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power) based on the material »

High and low

Featured image TCM is in the middle of its annual Summer Under the Stars festival featuring blocs of films with favorite actors and actresses. At the moment they are running films starring Randolph Scott that continue through tomorrow morning. You may want to set your DVR tonight for Ride the High Country (1962, directed by Sam Peckinpah). Regardless of the star, every film played this month demonstrates the superiority of the old »

Guest Post: Emina Melonic on “Charade”

Featured image Emina Melonic offers us a bonus piece with a look back at the glory days of Hollywood when Hepburn and Grant ruled the scene: Nothing says style and charm more than Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant. Hepburn is known for her beauty and kindness, and Grant for his humor and suave looks, which is why their pairing in Stanley Donen’s 1963 “Charade” is absolute perfection. It’s a film that exudes »

Guest Post: Emina Melonic on “No ‘Batgirl’ Power”

Featured image The news that “Batgirl” has been canceled by senior executives may be a significant sign that the rebellion against suffocating wokery is gaining steam, or maybe it is just a case of entertainment management finally figuring out sunk-cost fallacy. In any case, I asked Emina Melonic to bring her astute powers of cinematic perception to bear on the news: Variety reports that Warner Bros./Discovery CEO David Zaslav has decided to »

Guest Post: Emina Melonic with a Detour into Twilight Zone

Featured image Emina Melonic returns to our page this week with a detour for a look at Detour, a film I must confess I didn’t know about at all. Always a great comeuppance when someone from a younger cohort than me fills in my cultural deficiencies (and adds to my to-watch list): You wouldn’t think that one man can be plagued with a long and consecutive series of unfortunate events but it »

Woke Hollywood, Broke Hollywood (UPDATED)

Featured image Buzz Lightyear (voiced by the great Tim Allen, one of the few right-leaning stars in Hollywood) became an iconic character in the Toy Story series of films, but the new standalone Buzz Lightyear movie, with Buzz voiced by Chris Evans instead of Allen, has bombed at the box office, perhaps because it decided to go fully woke by prominently featuring a lesbian relationship. As Kyle Smith puts it, “today Hollywood’s »

Rambling Joes

Featured image A would-be assassin sought to take out Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in the early morning hours yesterday. That evening President Biden appeared on Jimmy Kimmel live to yuk it and ramble in the style to which we have grown accustomed. One might have thought this was a poor time to yuk it up on late-night television, but the show must go on. The Kimmel audience cheered wildly for Biden, »

Sports Desk: “Winning Time,” Losing Tone?

Featured image As someone who grew up in LA when the Lakers reached their first pinnacle with the great Jerry West/Wilt Chamberlain team that won a record 33 games in a row in the 1971-72 season (by an average margin of 17 points a game), and then to be around for the rise of the “Showtime” Lakers with the arrival of Magic Johnson in 1980, I have been looking forward to the »

Ricky Gervais Crosses the Line?

Featured image First it was Bill Maher, as noted here, thumbing his nose at the wokerati on the issue of transgenderism in his most recent HBO show. Now it is Ricky Gervais’s turn. He has a new comedy special coming out soon on Netflix, and move over Dave Chappelle! Take in this one-minute excerpt (STRONG language warning, but this has news value): Notice that the audience loves it. Interesting that the show »

White man’s problems: The sequel

Featured image New York Post columnist Miranda Devine and two Post reporters seem to have discovered the benefactor who has kept Hunter Biden rolling in the style to which he has become accustomed. He is a wealthy Hollywood figure named Kevin Morris. Morris has money to burn from sources other than the royalties on White Man’s Problems, his 2014 book of short stories. Here is the heart of the Post story: A »

VDH’s favorites

Featured image The daily Hoover Institution email alerted me to the Victor Davis Hanson show podcast on VDH’s favorites — favorite movies, favorite novels, favorite TV shows, favorite ancient Greek writer. Who could ask for anything more? The only problem with it is that it isn’t longer. Hoover linked to the podcast posted here at VDH’s Blade of Perseus (embedded above). I don’t think it’s much of a plot spoiler to disclose »

Did “Glee” Lead to Glum?

Featured image I had a long conversation once with one of the most important behind-the-scenes leaders of the long drive to legalize gay marriage—one of the most shrewd and sophisticated (and therefore realistic) leftists I’ve ever met. He was candid and direct in dismissing the efforts of the Human Rights Campaign Fund—actually he held HRCF in contempt—and other high-profile and self-congratulatory activist groups. He said the two most important things that made »

Putin Sings

Featured image In 2010, a number of celebrities were invited to St. Petersburg, Russia, to participate in a fundraiser for a children’s hospital there. As an added treat, Vladimir Putin took the stage and sang Fats Domino’s “Blueberry Hill.” He played the piano, too. Sort of. You pretty much have to see it to believe it. See how many American celebrities you can spot: It’s pretty surreal. Sharon Stone talks about her »

HE who gets slapped

Featured image Taking the occasion of last night’s Academy Awards ceremony I would like to recall that HE Who Gets Slapped (1924) is one of the great Hollywood films of the silent era. Starring Lon Chaney as HE, it was the first movie to be produced by the newly formed MGM. The trailer below replays last night’s big event in a form that might even illuminate it. Even if it doesn’t, it’s »

Oscar Who?

Featured image I gather there is some kind of show business awards show going on tonight. Maybe having something to do with film or something. This is my favorite chart of the day: With no one watching the Academy Awards or the other once popular awards shows, what does the New York Times do? Provide recipes for everyone holding Oscar Watch Parties. Seriously: Good morning. It’s Oscar Sunday, and my colleagues on »

In the Heat of the Night

Featured image TCM held a 24-hour Sidney Poitier movie marathon over the weekend. I’ve watched each one of the films included in the marathon more than once. I saw In the Heat of the Night in the theater when it was released in 1967 and several times since. However, I have never enjoyed it as much as I did this weekend. For those who may have missed it — are there any »

How Sidney Poitier learned to read

Featured image Sidney Poitier died at the age of 94 last week. I knew he was an immigrant from the Bahamas and loved many of the movies he starred in, but I didn’t know much of the life story that John Podhoretz briefly related in the New York Post column “Sidney Poitier’s life was a testament to the greatest of American stories.” John didn’t get around to the deeply touching story about »