Saturday, September 15, 2007

Curmudgeon in the Wry 361

Saturday, September 15, 2007---674 Words---Average reading time: 2-minutes, 21 seconds (time frittered away) (a pointless waste of time)
Offending readers one issue at a time since 2001.
Almost completely free of original ideas.
Often wrong…never in doubt.
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Rave: Pied Pipers
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On the Victrola: “Martinis with Mancini”
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Reading: “The 47th Samurai” by Stephen Hunter
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Rave: What were the odds back in 1957 when Paul Anka hit the charts with “Diana” that he would still be performing today?
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Quote: “If there wasn’t cheating in sports there wouldn’t be referees.”---Bill Reynolds, Providence Journal.
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Quote II: “We do not ask our professional coaches to be role models. We do not ask them to be virtuous. We don’t ask them to do the right thing. We ask them to win games. Nothing else. To believe anything else is to believe in fairy tales.”--- Bill Reynolds, Providence Journal.
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Rant: Long pointy shoes as a fashion statement elude me. Then again, most fashion statements elude me.
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Quote: “It isn't fun to be forced to have fun.”---Matt Labash in The Weekly Standard.
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Rant: Remember when people used to close themselves up in a tiny little booth to make a private call in public? What happened?
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Hmmmm: How come Tarzan never has a beard?
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For what it’s worth: David Beckham is the Y2K of American sport. Truly much ado about nothing.
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Rant: Yes, Hollywood had a $4 billion summer, and what makes me feel better is that I did not spend one thin dime to see the junk that came out.
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Rave: The special on Tony Bennett that PBS ran in their American Masters series on 9/12 was extremely well done, most entertaining, a complete joy. Produced by Clint Eastwood.
Locally, in the shadow of Cameron Indoor Stadium, the PBS station ran a feature on the recording of The Tony Bennett Duets album. Enormously engrossing and I thought Diana Krall was the highlight, followed by Michael Buble and The Dixie Chicks.
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Didjaknow: Tony Bennett was one of the guests on the inaugural Johnny Carson Show in 1962. Also on the bill were Joan Crawford, Groucho Marx, Mel Brooks and Rudy Vallee.
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Rant: At the rate they are recalling toys from China, parents will have to give their kids books this Christmas.
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My two cents: The western is arguably the most American of genres. Therefore, I find it most ironic that the two leading actors in the remake of “3:10 to Yuma” are a Brit and an Aussie.
Christian Bale and Russell Crowe both turned in decent performances---but I thought Ben Foster as Charlie Prince, Peter Fonda as a grizzled bounty hunter and Logan Lerman as 14-year-old Will Evans stole the show.
In fact, the movie would have been better served had Fonda played either Ben Wade or Dan Evans.
It is more agreeable if one views it as a stand alone western and not a remake.
The original spent the majority of the film with farmer Dan Evans guarding outlaw Ben Wade in the hotel room in Contention waiting for the train.
The current flick chronicles the time from the final Wade gang robbery to his capture and the trip to Contention…almost a prequel.
On the journey Evans and crew, face efforts at escape, an Apache raid and a rogue posse.
There is much action; most of it superfluous …but that is today’s Hollywood pandering to the “at least one big bang every ten minutes” hypothesis.
The film is much longer and far less suspenseful than the original.
The finale requires a copious amount of suspension of disbelief.
Overall, it is okay entertainment, not great. Worth the matinee price.
I give it 3 curmudgeons (out of five).
“Open Range” (2003) and “Broken Trail” (2006) are both superior to “Yuma.”
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Must see TV: Only one more new episode of “Burn Notice”---this coming Thursday the 20th on the USA Network at 10PM.
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If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you are reading it in English thank a Veteran.
That is all.
As you were.

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