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 »

A note on Peter Bogdanovich

Featured image The death of the director Peter Bogdanovich caught me by surprise and saddened me yesterday. The New York Times obituary by Margalit Fox captures something of the vagaries of his life and career. In my memory he will always be the boy wonder who arrived seemingly out of nowhere with the brilliant black and white throwbacks The Last Picture Show (with the unforgettable performances of Ben Johnson and Cloris Leachman) »

Stephen Hunter: The Shooting

Featured image Our friend Stephen Hunter describes the column below as “one more Alec Baldwin piece, this from a film critic and acknowledged firearms expert.” Steve is the Pulitzer Prize-winning former film critic of the Washington Post and author of the Bob Lee Swagger novels. His new novel is TARGETED, which will be published in January by Atria/Emily Bestler Books and is available for pre-order now. Steve writes: What did Alec Baldwin »

Al Franken: The movie

Featured image I have written a lot about Al Franken on Power Line over the years. When Franken returned to Minneapolis to test the waters for a career in politics before a paying DFL audience in June 2005, I was invited to attend as a member of the press. I wrote up my account of the evening in “Saturday night live with Al Franken” and foresaw his political viability in Minnesota. In »

Climate Funnies!

Featured image Did you know that this week is Climate Week? I didn’t either. It gets better—tonight is Climate Night! And late night comics are on the job! So you know we’re saved. Late-night comedians team up to tackle the climate crisis Climate change, which is responsible for magnifying this summer’s deadly heat waves, hurricanes, wildfires and floods, is typically no laughing matter. But for one night, seven popular late-night comedy shows »

Life imitates “Clueless”

Featured image Over the weekend the Biden administration leaked the story that it was commencing deportations of Haitians under the bridge in Del Rio. This may be true as to individual adult men and women. However, as they say in the fact-checking business, it is mostly untrue. As I note in the adjacent post, the lead story in the AP’s Morning Wire email news roundup is this one, datelined Del Rio: “Officials: »

“Jeopardy” in Jeopardy

Featured image Contestant: “I’ll take ‘Cancel Culture’ for $1,000, Alex.” Alex: “The foolproof trigger mechanism for career-ending events.” Contestant: “What is, ‘What happens when the Twitter mob scours your past history?'” Sure enough, the news is breaking that Jeopardy’s newly named host, Mike Richards, is stepping down because of unspecified “offensive jokes” he made some time in the past: The new host of “Jeopardy!” stepped down from the job Friday about a week »

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 »