Three Barrymores Play It to the Hilt

 DATELINE:  Rah-Rah-Rah Rasputin



Hollywood has always loved Rasputin.

Way back in 1932, MGM made a poorly received classic version of the tale of the licentious mad monk and his hold on the Romanoffs in Rasputin and the Empress. It should have been better appreciated and would have worked on a twin-bill with King Kong. It’s a wonder indeed.

Rasputin & the Empress is gaudy from every angle. It uses actual footage of the pre-Revolution czarist Moscow. It does not flinch in its hints that Rasputin had a wink, nod, and grab at the young son of the Czar and his four daughters to boot.

And, for sheer and shimmering stardom, it cast the three Barrymores in their only film appearance together. There likely could not be a script that played to their special qualities better than this one.

Ethel is Alexandra, the Empress, in all her dignified and melancholy agony. From her hemophiliac son and weak-willed husband, to her final recognition that bullets would end her reign, Ethel has only to look gracious and grieved.

As the assassin prince, John Barrymore is dashing and looks like he is a tad overripe, but he is elegant and fills out those pompous military uniforms in grand style.

In the pip role of the film, Lionel Barrymore has a beard that serves as a serviette during meals and is allowed to emote with the best of Rasputin imitators.

Its accuracy is only slightly off-kilter. They could not use the Prince’s real name back then or he would have sued them. In the climactic assassination scene, where Rasputin seems to defy poison, John and Lionel are literally locked in a life and death scene to see who can look crazier.

We loved every overwrought minute.

SyFy Ghost Hunters DeMaterialize Ectoplasm

DATELINE:  Finally Rest in Peace


Now in its final season, according to SyFy network, Ghost Hunters is about to be ghost busted.

Once one of our favorite shows, it has become just about unwatchable in this final few weeks. Producer and Founder of TAPS, Jason Hawes has gone power hungry mad in his show’s success, firing good cast members—and populating the show with his completely uninsightful daughter and equally mundane pals. It is a ghostly shadow of its former self.

Even the cute schtick of Tango and Steve has now become routine like a Burns and Allen skit, without the wit.

Once they relied on silly technical devices to show off the “science” of ghost hunting, but that stuff has been sort of forgotten in recent seasons. Also long gone is the gossipy, backstage politics of catty cast. Now the politics is truly hidden—with egos and clashes about as rare as an actual ghost on this show.

They act rather blasé and more tepid than ever with no follow-up on anything paranormal. They call it a night just when they might ask a follow up question. It ain’t funny and it ain’t interesting, McGee.

SyFy seems to have seen the writing on the wall sooner than the rest of us. For a few seasons they seemed reluctant to schedule the series, always postponing the inevitable. Gone are the live Halloween specials, the interesting guest hosts, and anything remotely energetic.

On many of our favorite shows recently, as they ended abruptly, we felt a sorrow and indignation that network imbeciles in charge had canceled good stuff. This time we feel like they waited too long to pull the plug on the bleeping rem-pod.

Cheer up, Ghost Buster fans. You still have the Three Stooges on Ghost Adventures.

Go figure.


Tom Brady Strips Down for Spygate

 DATELINE:  Nude Pix Not Air-Brushed, Thanks to NY Post!nude-tom

La Dolce Vita continues in the last legs of Deflategate Tom. Now the Roman squad of paparazzi are playing spygate with Tom Brady’s torso.

New England’s suspended QB continued his vacation in Roma, Italy, this week, avoiding playbooks, football pads, and the accoutrements of his sport. In fact, he eschewed everything as a voyeuristic paparazzi named Burt Hubbach sunk to the lowest level and took nude photos of Tom Brady.

This is not a Draymond moment. It is not even a David by Da Vinci moment. This is not an Instagram photo on his Facebook page that will require Tom to destroy his phone—lest Roger wants a copy for his secret pinup book.

Not many 40-year old men are attractive enough to catch the eye of arty photographers. Tom shows why his health regimen is keeping him in shape for his half-a-billion-dollar wife.

We suspect that Tom’s plastic surgery did not need to extend to liposuction.

We have said all along that Tom ought to quit the NFL cold and let them hang out to air dry. Ratings are down this season—and NFL shenanigans are to blame.

We completely expect Odell Beckham, Jr., to run around naked for Sports Illustrated—and Gronk likes to cavort in the buff with kitty-cats. Tom, alas, is trying to escape the ugly pressures of the NFL in Rome to no avail.

We cannot remember if the axiom is “See Rome and die,” or “See Naples and die.” Tom has shown us both.

Tom obviously had better things to do this week than watch his friend Donald Trump debate Bill’s wife.

We can hardly wait for the next press conference where Swami Bill Belichick will be asked about Tom’s nude sunbathing abroad.


Batman/Trump Versus Superwoman/Clinton

DATELINE:   Clash of the Titans?


Having just watched the highly unpopular movie called BATMAN VERSUS SUPERMAN:THE DAWN OF JUSTICE, we came to the presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton—only to realize we were watching a bad remake of the movie.

Two dubious heroes permeated Batman and Superman’s depictions. Nobody likes a hero with a questionable temperament. And, indeed, so it was with Clinton and Trump, arguing over who was charitable and who was the result of bad experiences.

Wasn’t that the gist of the Batman/Superman movie? We don’t like too much philosophizing when it comes to comic book figures—and nothing quite describes the presidential candidates quite as well. Oh, you could throw in Wonder Woman into the movie—but she wasn’t in the debate. It looked like she was playing Trump’s wife.

Batman turns to Superman at one point and notes, “I thought she was with you.”

Superman appears before a US Senate hearing to answer what makes him think he is above the law. Gone are the days when Superman fought for truth, justice, and the American Way. Now, we aren’t sure what the American way is, let alone if we are great.

The two putative heroes are manipulated throughout by the smarmy villain, Lester Holt—oh, we mean Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. We keep confusing the debates between the two sets of American icons. We wish Clinton and Trump had worn capes to help us pick a candidate.

Unfortunately, unlike the movie, we cannot elect an alien from another planet to be our president. It’s against the Constitution. Who ever realized that Superman was an illegal alien? We doubt even Trump/Batman could build a wall to keep him out.

There were some marvelous performances in the movie. The debate, not so much.

Because of the poor reception for the movie, there will not be a sequel. Alas, the same cannot be said for the debates. We may have to suffer through two more before the franchise is permanently retired (or until a new cast chooses to remake it).

Mr. & Mrs. Tom Brady Storm the World

 DATELINE:  Air NFL, the Only Way to Fly


With the divorce of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie now pending like the retirement of David Ortiz, we in the gossip-celebrity groupie business are left with just one couple standing.

Some people cannot stand them, but Tom Brady and Giselle Bundchen are taking up where Brangelina fell off the celeb wagon. They are the last of the Taylor-Burton type marriages: dual careers and double the media punch.

Tom and Giselle are not the Battling Bogarts, like Bogie and Bacall, but their occasional dissatisfactions (over Deflated scandals) have come to light. It’s hard to find anything to debate when your marriage motto is the Latin expression, “Non tanget caput.”  For the hoi polloi, that means: “Never Touch the Capital.”

Yet, now that Tom is in the final week of his suspension for Deflategate and phone smashing of evidence, they are acting just like superstars on a bender.

Word has reached us that B&B (Brady and Bundchen) have jetted off to the Blue Grotto in Capri for dinner and drinks, Italian style. We have visions of Anita Ekberg and Marcello Mastroianni wading into a Roman fountain in La Dolce Vita.

Considering that Tom won’t eat anything remotely tasty, we can figure they are not looking for a restaurant with great canolis.

With half a billion in assets, you can go anywhere at any time. Cue the private jet.

Brady would be crazy to stay home and watch football while eating pizza, like his Neanderthalesque adoring fans.

No, it’s all in the ambiance and their F-U money. When you have it, you flaunt it. Perhaps they plan to drop in for a social call on their Parisienne plastic surgeon.

All we can say in our best Fellini accent is, “Buona Sera, Mr. & Mrs. Brady.” We give them an 8 and a Half.


Belichick is Football’s Napoleon

DATELINE:  Dropping a Dime on Bill


Bill Belichick has been compared to Napoleon, but his real diabolical nature when it comes to football scandals truly makes him the “Napoleon of Crime.”

His detractors would say he lives on the edge of honesty, likely to be seduced by the twisting of rules. Like the first Napoleon of Crime, he never sullies his own hands in accomplishing his goals.

Of course, the first Napoleon of Crime was Sherlock Holmes’s truly despicable opponent, Professor Moriarty. Any resemblance between Bill Belichick and an academic is more acutely like Professor Kingsfield, of Paper Chase lore. Kingsfield notably told off students. “Here is a dime. Call your mother and tell her you will never be a real sports journalist.”

There is not a strategy, tactic, or moral beyond Belichick Napoleon when it comes to manipulating his players. They are mere clay to be molded to his laser beam focus. And this week, the nemesis of the Napoleon of Crime will be the amateur sleuthing brothers of prepubescent lore—the Ryan Brothers, or as their match in literary terms—the Hardy Boys.

It hardly seems fair to pit the disingenuous Hardy Boys against the nefarious Napoleon of Crime, but it does seem apt. Rex and Rob Ryan have a refreshing innocence when it comes to facing up to intimidation from Swami Belichick.

Some astute observers might say those Ryan Brothers are little David going up against Goliath.

If Belichick used his talents to do crime, he probably would abscond with the Mona Lisa out of the Louvre museum unimpeded. As it is, he will likely score 30 points unimpeded against the Ryan Boys.

Even without a QB, Belichick’s team will be formidable. After all, he is showing the world that he does not need Tom Brady to flatten the landscape in the AFC East.

We Got It Wrong: Sorry, Jackie Bissette!

DATELINE:  Not Jacqui Brisette



Not Jacqui

What’s in a name indeed?

We have been dunned and re-dunned, and even out-dunned, for misspelling Jackie Bisette’s name. We must be a dunned dunce.

If we have the 1970s movie star on our mind, it’s because we have done too many Airport movie reviews. Jacoby Brissett should be known as Jackie among the fans. It is more sportswriter friendly. And, we should have remembered that Jackie spells it Jacqui.

It’s French, Tish.

We also added a French ‘e’ to Brisett to give him an international air of mystery. We apologize. The mysteries of football are known only to Swami Belichick, also misspelled for many years.

At least we didn’t have to resort to our nickname of choice if Jacoby were burned in his opening starter role. We had an entire blog devoted to Briquettes aflame in the summer grille. We don’t use a BBQ grill either for you lazy spellers.

You say either, and we say either. Either, or neither.  Jimmy G or Jacoby B,  Belichick won’t call the game off.

As for missing an ‘r’ in Bissette, we can only blame that on our true blue uniform New England accent. We never say ‘r’ in months ending in ‘r.’


So, we get it. It’s Jacoby Brissett, double your ‘s’ and take two ‘t’s in the morning, for Monday/Friday morning QBs who play the game in an armchair and fly without spell-checker.

Brissett Makes Belichick Smile

DATELINE: Jacoby B’s Line


The yellow-streaked rose of the Texans is shining in New England. The Houston Texans looked as bad as Governor Rick Perry on Dancing with the Stars in their Foxboro appearance.

It’s threaten the Patriots QB time. This week Texan J.J. Watt is promising to bury Jacoby Brissett. However, we couldn’t find Watt on the field, but we surely saw much of Jacoby B. He played with the pizzazz usually reserved for Jimmy G.

Gronk played in a game for the first time this season, but he looked like the gray ghost in blue.

The Patriots seemed alive with new names:  Hogan and Logan amused us, but not nearly as much as seeing former old Patriots all over the Houston team: Wilfork, Izzo, Vrable, Romeo, O’Brien, and on and on. It was deju woo woo.

NFL players know the league will let them dance on the graves of the Patriots with impunity. Thank you, Goddell. The referees seemed intent on giving the game to Houston on every close call—and Belichick seemed unmotivated to fight it (he won one challenge), but will accept the ugly fate of the NFL—only to still beat the enemy.

All of this was done with the bad luck blue-on-blue uniforms that we heard Bill Belichick loathes. Every time they wear these, the Pats lose. However, disgust over not having Tom on the team likely negated this superstition.

We were delighted when Chum maker Nate Ebner, rugby Olympian, caused a fumble. Among the Texan problems were several fumbles, an interception, pass interference in the end zone, and odd coaching.

If ever Tom Brady wanted to stick it to the NFL front office, he saw the third game without his star going supernova.





Miles Ahead Before You Sleep

 DATELINE:  Biopic with Panache


Actor Don Cheadle has tackled Miles Davis like an actor who deserves an Oscar. Those who accuse Cheadle of a vanity project are wrong; it is in fact a legitimate serious and well-done biographical movie.

In his best Orson Welles togs, Don Cheadle writes, directs, produces, and stars, in a version of playing Orson Welles as Don Cheadle as Miles Davis. Move over, Citizen Kane.

Obviously the subject of Miles Davis means a great deal to Mr. Cheadle. And, happily he manages to convey the depth of his feeling as well as giving us insights into Davis himself. As one character calls him, Miles is the Howard Hughes of jazz. Of course, Davis would hate the term jazz. He preferred to call his music “social music.”

Focusing on one incident, an interview with a Rolling Stone writer (Ewan McGregor), the film manages to open up through the drug-induced hallucinations of Davis. He walks from present scenes to past and back.


The film catches him at the moment when he has been inactive and reclusive for five years. As a slice of life and a microcosm of his entire creative development, the use of this in incident is a powerful way to open up insights into Davis.

The film is loaded with the sounds of Miles Davis. That alone is worth your attention. The music is palpable.  However, this is a film that will teach you a great deal about the temper and attitude of a great artist.


Miles Davis lived according to his own values and standards, whether the world appreciated it or not.

Cheadle has given us low mileage with high-octane, putting his movie miles ahead of competition. He deserves an Oscar for one of his roles in putting this movie to film.

QB: Alphabetical Soupcon for New England Pats

DATELINE: Doo B and Don’t B QB


It’s beginning to look like the Patriot quarterback situation is reversing itself alphabetically; we’ve gone from Jimmy G to Jacoby B with possibly Julie E in the middle of it, leaving us to wonder whatever happened to Baby J?

These are the success-sores to Tommy B, the original alphabetized quarterback. He replaced Drew B. who was not a Doo B.

The excitement among Patriots fans is almost palpable for the upcoming game. For Jacoby B, it appears that nobody anticipates his game, but everybody really wants to see Julie E. toss that old football to Danny A.


Why even Tommy B put on his Facebook page that he had no worries if Julie E. were the quarterback. He pointed out that Julie E frequently boasts about his 1.000 % perfection. That means he’s made one NFL pass successfully.

If we were Jacoby B, we would be starting to develop a complex, apart from the Patriots playbook. It’s almost as if nobody has any confidence in him, and everybody anticipates Julie E for replacement.


Some people have even suggested that HC Bill B should get off his high horse and get on his smart phone and make calls to people like Peyton and ask him to come in and fill in for a game or two, even if it is not a smart idea.

In our estimation, Julie E will probably never pass the football in terms of a passer rating this week. However, it is a great hype and will improve the ratings for the TNG on NFL Twitterverse. Wait n’ C.

Tom Brady Mask New Halloween Horror for Goodell!

DATELINE:  Mask of the Red Death?


Who is that masked man?

Yes, someone wearing a Tom Brady mask has been making the rounds. The extremely life-like mask is worn by a short man, but rumors persist that the mask itself was designed by Tom Brady’s plastic surgeon in Paris.

What’s more, there is a story circulating like a case of hives that Tom Brady Himself wears the mask at all press conferences.

The little man in the big Tom suit cavorted with fans outside Gillette Stadium, causing a ruckus. It turns out that culprit in question is none other than Wes Welkah, former Patriot.

It appears that one of Brady’s closest friends is wheedling his way back into the Brady Bunch. Move over, Julie E. Now that Wes is back in Boston, there may be a new world order among the coterie.

We have found more intrigue than among the Elvis posse at its peak.

Welker also attended the game on Sunday, sitting among the faithful fans of Gillette. We can’t say if he kept his dinner date with Tom after the game.

You can bet Tom Brady gave his stamp of approval to Welkah’s mask, which went over like the Edgar Allan Poe version of Red Death.

Welkah’s mask has a more lifelike tone than the Phantom of the Opera, but we can still hear the Music of the Night every time Welkah emerges from under the plasticity.

There is no truth to the rumor that Welkah leaves a deflated football wherever he goes as his calling card. And, we are unable to confirm that Brady will be wearing a Welkah mask at Gillette next week.


And, we thought David Ortiz at the game in a Brady jersey was a great impersonation!


Belichick Under Siege: Jaws versus Dr. Strangelove

DATELINE:  Media Attack on Belichick!



Bill Belichick may have come to the end of the line with the media.

Never one to share much information about his strategies or plans to replace injured players, he has gone completely ‘stonewall’ on the Jimmy G issue.

Even during Watergate, Nixon never had as much chutzpah as Belichick.

All the best attributes of Belichick have been put into the center of his universe after losing Jimmy G—and the wagons have been circled. If Custer had been as cognizant of the enemy, he would never have met his demise at Little Big Horn.

And, those press conferences with the Boston, New England, United States, world media, have now become an attack from 6 billion Indians who want his scalp.

General George Armstrong Belichick has lost his replacement QB—and media moguls are asking if he will bring back Tim Tebow (who once labored in Foxboro for few short weeks) to handle the one and a half games before the nuclear weapon of Tom Brady is released from its missile silo.

Someone should tell Belichick to stop worrying and learn how to love the bomb, or at least someone should have the courage to tell him to watch the hoary Kubrick movie, Dr. Strangelove. Belichick is starting to raise his arm too often in a habitual salute to his own sense of victory.

Like his pal Donald Trump, Belichick will never apologize for making the Patriots great. It’s easy to see that in Coach Belichick’s world, the loss of Jimmy G is tantamount to the Great White Shark in Jaws breaking one of his teeth.

Another new tooth will pop up from the row of teeth in waiting below the gum line.

Dark Day for Patriots: Jimmy G Whiz Kid Sidelined

DATELINE: Down but Not Outjimmy-g

By half-time, Patriots fans were needing the smelling salts used by Jimmy Garoppollo before the game.

When the QB was sent into the ground by the Miami Thug Squad, a kind of a hush befell the crowd at Gillette. Jimmy G left the game after looking like Tom Brady on steroids for nearly a half of play.

After making mincemeat pie of the Dolphins, Garoppollo was sent to the nearest X-ray machine. We had a vision of Jimmy G walking into the cornfield and disappearing forever, hand in glove with author W.P. Kinsella who left this astral plane during the weekend.

All this catastrophe just happened on the Sunday afternoon that David Ortiz put on his Tom Brady jersey to be honored on his forthcoming retirement. He is about the same age as Tom Brady, which may indicate that Ortiz should have played football. His career would still be ahead of him

Tom couldn’t be there to welcome Big Papi. In fact, Tom cannot be within 50 yards of Gillette. However, he did send his dinner companion, Wes Welkah who took a seat in the stands to watch his former team. Apparently he declined the seat next to Robert Kraft in the owner’s box where most celebs and former players eat their popcorn while watching the game.

We can’t honestly say that Jimmy G will be rested for the next game: it’s in four days on Thursday. Thank you, again, Roger Goodell, for trying to put an ignominous end to the Patriots before they can play Tom Brady again.

On the good side, the last rookie named Jacoby did rather well in Boston.

Dinner Suspended for Fast Breaking Wes Welkah

 DATELINE:  No Cream, No Sugar


pillsbury saltyBreakfast at Tiffany Brady’s

TB12 is calling in his IOUs.

With four weeks of non-practice facing him, Tom Brady may be worried about the caliber of non-NFL players he can find for his non-stop, non-plussed workouts.

One of the biggest and earliest of Tom’s groupies couldn’t keep his trap shut. Hot off the hot dog commercial for Heinz mustard, Wes Welker was now going to change his pace.

Instead of catching a dachshund coming at him from fifty yards like a bullet, he was preparing to catch Tom Brady’s pigskin.

Welker told a radio audience in hushed tones that he had called TB for a 12-course meal of healthy nuts and berries between two aged in the wood teammates. Alas, Brady had other plans. He said he wanted Welker for one of those breakfast meetings. The kind where Tom breaks fast and throws the ball at a running Welker with two minutes on the clock.

We can’t imagine Tom Brady, health food nut, admitting he ever ate a hot dog with mustard to the man who has made a big paycheck for dressing like a bottle of mustard.

A man on a nutty diet, Brady recently admitted he won’t eat strawberries and never sticks in his thumb to pull out a plum, and he will eat no food before he retires that actually tastes good.  So, we wondered what kind of breakfast Welkah had in mind. We know Tom refuses to eat crow or talk turkey.salty

If Jimmy G wins another game, the Patriots will send a message, telling Giselle to let Tom eat cake.

New England Patriot Space Cadets Blast Off!

DATELINE: Major Tom Gone for 4 Weeks in Space?


Pardon us if we start to sniff smelling salts. After watching Jimmy G, temporary star QB of the Patriots, achieve a nirvana of passing after smelling the salts, we feel justified in our 19th century damsel routine.

If Jimmy G is another Boston spaceshot, needing stimulants to achieve his pinnacle, we can only laud him for not falling down in a faint during the National Anthem.

Among the curios of the Patriots this season, we have found replacements to be better than a bad Keanu Reeves football movie.

Jimmy G has, of course, supplanted Tommy B in the hearts of those looking for lanterns in the belfry around Boston.

And, now, to prove spaceshots in Boston did not end with Spaceman Bill Lee, now running for governor of Vermont on the libertarian ticket—and soon to be equaled by Curt Schilling who will be running for senator from Massachusetts against Pocahontas Warren, we have discovered Martellus Bennett.

Yes, Gronk’s mirror image, the tight end to block till your heart bleeds, is a spaceshot on NASA’s guest list.

After wearing a NASA baseball cap during post-game interviews and expressing his interest in science and astronomy, NASA nerds sent him a twittering textual invitation. He readily has accepted, being in the mind to write a sci-fi novel.

Well, that trumps Gronk who barely can spell soufflé and seems to be one of the experiments of Ancient Aliens. At least Gronk didn’t go on Dancing with the Stars like Ryan Lochte circling Uranus. Talk about starry star power.