Sameness (2005 Jun 18)

It's a well-known truth that there are no new stories to be told. But I wish Hollywood would do a better job of dressing up the old ones so it doesn't seem like every movie is a carbon-copy. As if it isn't bad enough that seemingly 1/3 of the high-...

It Ain't Cool News (2005 Jun 17)

You have to hand it to publicists (the smart ones, anyway): give them an opportunity, and they'll slurp it up... Recently, I was watching TV and an ad for a movie (I think it was Unleashed, but I'm not 100% sure) came on screen. Included among the ...

TV Nostalgia (2005 Jun 16)

These days, it seems that almost every TV show known to man is available on Region 1 DVD. Even some of the most abysmal excuses for entertainment are showing up. ("T.J. Hooker," anyone?) Oddly, however, four of my favorite TV shows from the mid-to-...

CRASH Course Change (2005 Jun 15)

One question I am asked often enough that it should probably be entered into my FAQ goes something like this: Do you ever change a rating after going back and seeing a movie for a second time? The answer is "yes," but only rarely. The truth is that...

The Missing (2005 Jun 13)

It has come to the attention of several of my readers that I am skipping a few of the "high profile" summer releases. These are not accidental misses, but calculated ones. It's true that if I was a paid reviewer, I would have to force myself to ...

The Gossip Pages (2005 Jun 11)

I have often wondered why people care so much about the private lives of actors and actresses. This is not a recent phenomenon - in fact, it predates movies - but the increasingly intrusive antics of the paparazzi have elevated it to new levels. ...

Ending the TV Season (2005 Jun 10)

Jet-lag is an annoyance, and my recent penchant for taking evening naps cuts into my writing time. I saw two 7:30 movies this week, and, without coffee, never would have stayed awake through either. That's the explanation for this week's slowdown ...

Introductory Notes: THE PRICE OF THE CROWN (2005 Jun 07)

Just a few random thoughts about the book. If you're not interested, you can skip to tomorrow, when I'll provide my thoughts about the final episodes of a few TV series.The Price of the Crown was written in late 1990 and early 1991, approximately a ...

The Character Assassination of Max Baer? (2005 Jun 05)

"Never let the facts get in the way of a good story" - that's a good motto for narrative film makers to follow. While it's always nice to re-create history, sometimes a better story results from some improvisation. However, there are certain lines ...

IN THE COMPANY OF LIARS (2005 Jun 04)

During the course of my recent trip to Manila, I read two books. The first, read from cover to cover during the trip over, was Sue Grafton's R is for Richocet, the latest (and 18th) in the "Alphabet Murder" series. There's not too much to be said ...

Pirates of the Orient (2005 May 30)

After spending some time wandering through the malls and markets of Manila, I have come to the conclusion that the MPAA faces a huge battle in curtailing piracy in Asia (the portion of the world where it is most prevalent). With a challenge so great...

Plane Fare (2005 May 26)

I think this is May 26th. After spending 26 hours on planes and sitting in airports, and crossing the International Date Line going in the wrong (or is that right) direction, it's tough to be sure. So I'm writing this at about 8:00 at night which ...

Vacation Notes (2005 May 24)

I'm not a "vacation person." My idea of a perfect vacation is sitting at home for a week - watching movies, lounging around my pool, and puttering around in the yard. Maybe a day trip or two to the shore. That's about it. Boring but restful. No ...

Overrated Standouts (2005 May 23)

As there are "guilty pleasures," so too are there "overrated standouts." (I was going to refer to these as "overrated masterpieces" but that description narrowed the field too much.) These are movies that, despite being generally recognized as great...

Stealing Sith (2005 May 21)

Sorry if some of this sounds redudant, but it's on my mind today...Two days after I wrote a piece on illegal downloads, the story got life in the mainstream media when it was revealed that a work copy of Revenge of the Sith appeared on-line for ...

Guilty Pleasures (2005 May 20)

Some critics will argue that there is no such thing as a "guilty pleasure." Either you like a film or you don't like it. If you like it, there shouldn't be any "guilt" involved. While I understand that position, I think the term "guilty pleasure" ...

Return of the Pirates (2005 May 19)

Please note that the following applies only to those who download movies and TV shows from the Net for fun, not profit. It doesn't apply to those who make money from the copyright infringement of others. Those people should be pursued and punished ...