Shirley, you jest

Marking the 35th anniversary of the movie Airplane! David Mermelstein argues it was the best that Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker made. I say it was Top Secret, a cross between Casablanca and an Elvis movie. That aside, it’s interesting to learn the inspiration for...

Debunking the Reagan/AIDS lie

We watched the fine movie, Philomena, over the weekend. It’s nicely done all around, except for one thing: it repeated the same story that President Reagan hated gays and thwarted efforts to nip the epidemic in the bud, thus condemning millions of gays to death....

The Great Beauty Indeed

This film arrived from Netflix and sat on the shelf for two weeks because neither of us remembered anything about it, and it was 2 hours 22 minutes long. When we finally watched it Saturday night, we were astonished at how good this was. Silly me, I just discovered it...

Before Obama, there was Chauncey Gardner

If you never saw Being There check it out. The gist is a sweet, but moronic gardener played by Peter Sellers is mistaken for a wise political sage. Chance understands gardening, but little else. Yet his simplistic pronouncements get taken as wisdom by the president...

Skip the movie, watch this instead

The James Brown biopic might be a confused, overlong mess. Try this instead, Brown at his over-the-top, histrionic best some 50 years ago. New Yorker editor David Remnick has a lot to say about this performance, including its roots in the Pentecostal...