Thursday, March 26, 2009


The mighty mighty Tri-Town Drive in up in Lunenberg is firing up this weekend with a killer combo of Paul Blart Mall Cop and Grand Torino....knockabout comedy and Clint Eastwood, the very essence of the drrive in experience!

Things can't be all bad if the Drive In's still endure, patronize them frequently this summer!!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Frost/Nixon (2008)

Ron Howard is fundamentally a director of hope. Maybe it's all the apple pie he ate at the craft table on the set of "The Andy Griffith Show"...who know?
But he has an Obama-esque sunny-side up artistic disposition that is for sure.
So credit him for some irony when he can a former Dracula of the stage and screen, Frank Langella as disgraced US President Richard Milhous Nixon in a film detailing his fateful duel with TV interviewer David Frost in 1977.
Both men are strivers you see, Frost (played by chipper chirpy Michael Sheen) wants to use the legitimacy of a Nixon interview to burnish his record and improve his negotiating position with the tv networks.
Nixon is bored and humiliated in retirement, he longs for vindication even if it is nothing more than artfully avoiding any admission of criminal wrongdoing on the air.
Langella's heavy awkward performance anchors the film he makes even Nixon's undeniable cunning seems somehow maladroit....Tricky Dick can out-manuever but he can't really ever convince anyone and so he goes stumbling on and on never a pratfall nor can stand upright either.
Frost of course, initially can't get a handle on Nixon until one night Tricky Dick calls up in a serious drunken funk railing against the elites and the liberals who looked down on him, all his life.
And in a moment, Frost gets it, Nixon the middle class striver derives nothing but pain from all his striving, he hates cajoling people, he has no time for frivolity....he is a misanthrope in short.
Frost on the other hand, glories in his striving, the whole Nixon interview is another rung on the ladder to loves it, the other loathes it.
Left alone, he'd be fine, pushing himnself into the public arena yields up only Watergate....
And so armed, Frost at last gives Nixon the great confrontation with the phantom liberal elite he so vocally loathes and forces the old man to something akin to guilt.
For this, Nixon thanks him later on, and dubs Frost a "worthy adversary"...indeed what some men will do to avoid playing cribbage on the porch once retired.
Can't say that Frost/Nixon is Howard's best film, indeed I'm not sure he is truly touched with greatness but here at least he got outside his favored genre and delivered up something different.

Sighted on the Red Line this morning...

a hugely pregnant blonde calmly & expertly knitting a pair of blue socks...guess she knows the gender thass all I can say.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

On a second reading of the Adventures of Tom Sawyer and the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

At some point in your life, you need to re-read Twain. Melville can survive on one reading if you know what to highlight...but Twain is a great misleader of youth and must needs a perusal in middle age to see if he holds up.
After all, he rules the high schools of this great Republic....Huck Finn in particular is assigned reading all over the nation.
tom Sawyer is still a god-damned funny book, you really do get the impression of Tom at loose ends in what amounts to a barbarian camp in pre-civil war Missouri. Riddled with superstition, poisoned by slavery, debased by revealed religion the mythical town of Saint Petersburg is the last stop before the wasteland.
And there in the middle of the street, stands Tom Sawyer that boyish American Sigfried, bound and determined to wring all the diversion he can out of a deadbeat hayseed village.
Mostly he succeeds in between the inevitable beatings from his school-master, his aunt, the local clergy etc etc.
Tom like Clark Kent and the aforementioned Sigfried is an orphan, instead of being raised by woodland elves and dwarves, he has to put up with his Aunt Polly's lackluster supervision, mostly he pays it lip service and goes on his merry way as much as possible.
Still and all that, you get the impression for all his adventures real and imagined, nothing much will come of Tom. Defiant though he is, in the end, time adulthood, revealed religion and superstition will combine to make a dreary clod of him. He has peaked in boyhood.
Huck Finn on the other hand shows growth potential thru-out the nominal sequel. Originally he is a somewhat cowardly sidekick for Tom, by the time though Huck escapes his tyrannical drunken father and takes to the river with Jim the runaway slave he is a veritable American Ulysses in fine fettle and ready for any deed.
Tom is a pretty interesting kid, but he'll grow up to be a fairly nondescript man, Huck on the other hand comes from the American frontier wasteland and is one his way to being a adult and even a hero.
What unites the books is the paucity of worthwhile adults, in Tom Sawyer they are all scolds and fools in Huck Finn they are all crooks and even killers.
No wonder Huck flees down the river, he is shedding off civilization...he even gives up any pretense that Jim might be inferior to him and openly conspires to deliver the negro to freedom...purely out of friendship and a heroic devotion to a higher duty.
The books are both wonderful in short....they survive a middle aged re-reading nicely. To Mark Twain western literature in the 19th century owes a lot, he broke the hold of ponderous empire worshipping English Prose with it's doorstop dimensions and gaseous rhetoric of sheer nullity. Twain's dialogue crackles and his characters burst thru the page, everyone else at the time was writing by the yard, Twain wrote for the ages.

In Defense of Eliza....

IF you can believe it, Nancy Frankin in the March 2nd issue of the New Yorker, dismissed Eliza Dushku (star of "The Doll House" on Fox Friday nights) as an honors graduate of "The Royal Academy of Cleavage".
Stuff and nonsense!
Why the young lady has a long honorable legacy in Hollywood devolving from the first action heroines of the movies, Pearl White and her sistas in the silent serials. Those women had gumption, they drove trains, crashed airplanes and got their backsides out of danger all by themselves for the most part.
Those were the empire days of the serials, all the heroes were women and a muli-talented self reliant lot they were too.
Those serials made millions and the Nancy Franklins of the era dismissed them all as decorous trash....not realizing genres were being created, walls were coming down.
Yup there is a touch of Linda Stirling and even Cynthia Rothrock in her DNA, all ballsy dames whose first and best instinct was to bust heads sans demure.
I do not know if "The Doll House" will be any more successful than "Tru Calling" her other lamentably unsuccessful series...but I do know that in a well run republic we ought to have have Eliza Dushku gunning a Harley Davidson thru a boardroom filled with thugs and brutes, blazing away with pearl handled revolvers and howling like Slim Pickens atop the H-Bomb all on a weekly basis.
Couldn't care less about the set up, just wanna watch Eliza D. bash thugs and brutes over the head with a candelabra.
Is THAT so much to ask??????

Monday, March 02, 2009

Whoever was driving the 84 bus inbound today...

deserves a freakin' service medal of some type. Damn bus pulled up at the corner of Park and Wachusett in deep in the hills-n-hollers of Arlington Heights, picked up all comers and relentlessly trudged down the Route 2 access road to there safe and sound and in a reasonably timely fashion...I mean who knew?!!!!
When things go wrong on the T, you wanna smack Dan Grabauskas upside the head, when things go right, you wanna kiss the driver....all things considered I recommend neither impulse to my readership.
Now if only I can avoid the dreaded "snow route" outbound tonight...if I can I need face only the two hours needed to dig out my house.
Fun times indeed...ghod I wanna move to the Baja!!!!