Is It Real??? or Just Another Movie!*

realkindlecover cover pictures include real and fake!

DATELINE:  New Book of Movie Reviews

Ossurworld wants to announce that a collection of reviews and commentaries on documentaries, docudramas, and biopics, is now available on Amazon.com for discerning movie fans and smart readers.

If Pontius Pilate asked, “What is truth?” he’d be accused today of being a fake news critic…We have mixed up the real documentaries with those based on a true story in this compendium. You likely can guess when you have a real documentary on your hands, but not always. Sometimes it’s a biopic, or a docudrama, or just speculative facts and opinion. Sometimes the film is a masterpiece, and sometimes it’s just another movie.

We are sure that Ossurworld will start giving these away with a set of dishes sometime in the future. We think these reviews are swell, sometimes even funny. We hope you will too.

*Includes a few TV reviews.

 

Advertisements

Kroc Pot Founder

Kroc

DATELINE:  Your Inner Trump

Giving a tour de force performance, Michael Keaton almost wills the movie to be successful. Yet, there is the sound of Beetlejuice coming through when Ray Kroc makes his rapid-fire sales pitch. It is, at first, amusing—and then rather diabolical. It’s like watching Donald Trump’s “how to” video.

It was not the year for a movie about a Trump-style businessman in Hollywood. Just ask Meryl Streep. The Founder tells how McDonalds food chain grew to a billion-burgers-sold by hook and crook.

Other than that, the story reveals how Ray Kroc took the McDonald Brothers idea for fast food and ran with it.

Ray Kroc was not beyond taking credit for the ideas of the original McDonalds creators, but he also had to fight their small-minded integrity to quality. Kroc had traveled around the country selling milk shake mixers and recognized whatever quality McDonalds had was already ten times better than the competition in 1954.

He skimmed a little to expand the business. Shake well and stir.

When you hear Kroc’s explanation of how the Golden Arches fit in with the American flag and church crosses, you almost feel his fervor to eat a hamburger as an act of America becoming great.

What starts out as a visionary film depicting the wonderful ingenuity of the original McDonald brothers deteriorates rapidly into a tale of corporate greed, the side-effect of Ray Kroc’s vision. Beetlejuice in your head can do that.

The film has been ignored for probably glorifying crass commercialism in a Hollywood that thinks it is better than thou. This movie celebrates the Middle America out of fashion among those who hate fast food, environmental carelessness, and persistent ambition.

Dare we call them blue-nose Democrats?

You may not have to be a rugged individualist Republican to become a fan of this movie, but chances are you will be more inclined to see the virtues here among the dubious and ruthless business practices and Seven Deadly Sins.

As a movie depiction of an era and how to rake in a billion per year, this one will fascinate you– if you are willing to drive-thru.

Twin Peaks, Trump Plains, & Celtics Lows

DATELINE:  LeBron James as Laura Palmer, Trump as D.B. Cooper

glowing orb

Chicken or egg? We can’t figure out if the Trump Administration has prepared us for the new series Twin Peaks, or whether Twin Peaks has prepared us for the continuing weirdness of the Trump presidency.

When we see President Trump putting his hands on a glowing orb, we know there is a conspiracy of billionaires to control the world. Of course, it is merely a futuristic ribbon-cutting scene from the most recent Star Wars movie. Either that, or it is opening a gateway to an alternate universe, like the plots of Twin Peaks.

By the same token, we feel as if watching the Cleveland Cavaliers with the Boston Celtics is like knitting by Madame Defarge while royalty is having their heads chopped off.

On Twin Peaks, agent DB Cooper has returned to the northwest after disappearing for 25 years. That David Lynch has such a sense of humor.  So far, McLachlan has not rubbed any glowing orbs, but has kissed dead Laura Palmer (Cheryl Lee).

On the Celtics, little Cousin IT (Isaiah Thomas) and AB (Avery Bradley) are from the same neck of the woods in Washington state which happens to be the setting for Twin Peaks. It could explain a lot about how the Celtics are playing like Laura Palmer’s body wrapped in plastic.

Even stranger, we were amazed to see Kyle McLachlan and Sheryl Lee looking just like they stepped out of a 1990s TV show.  It becomes even more amazing when David Lynch has to inject a phrase at the end of every episode of the show that the episode is dedicated to the memory of one of the cast members who is now dead. We mean really really dead dead, like the log lady Catherine Coulson and the FBI agent played by Miguel Ferrer.

As for the dead Celtics, they are merely playing in an alternate universe, sort of like Twin Peaks 25 years later. If there is a glowing orb in the NBA, they better start rubbing it now. Lebron is no Laura Palmer.

Laurel & Hardy Tribute

Babe & Stan Return

A relatively unknown BBC radio drama is turned into a slight one-hour movie about comedy team Laurel and Hardy. It is set in 1957 when Stan makes a death-bed visit to his old teammate after being estranged for a year. It’s called Stan, but should be Stan & Ollie.

Since Laurel always wanted to be a stand-alone act, the title is Stan.

For fans who remember them from two-reelers, this short film is a joy forever. It explains in flashbacks how their rocky start together transformed each—and made them immortal Hollywood icons.

What makes this little film so special and why it works is all in the casting. Not only are the elderly men reminiscent of the duo, but so are their younger versions. As the old men, with Hardy suffering from a stroke are Jim Norton as Stan and Trevor Cooper as Oliver. The younger versions are extraordinary too, lending to the verisimilitude: Nik Howden (Laurel) and Mike Goodenough (Hardy).

Of course, the younger generation, used to SNL weened comedians, may have a tough time identifying with the Great Depression duo. Laurel and Hardy do analyze their importance, to make their lives feel worthy, at the end. They were ordinary, and made audiences see humor in the worst of times.

Stan recalls their initial teaming and how he opposed it. Though Laurel was actually the brains of the twosome, he basically came up with gags and directed their scenes. Yet, Oliver Hardy made contributions that Laurel recognized as highly valuable.

Stan re-lives his past by watching their old films and thinking of new bits—but time has passed them by. With bittersweet moments, this is a fitting tribute to Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy.

Available on Amazon Video.

Case of Bird House Ghost Town

DATELINE:  Excerpt from CASEBOOK FOR OLD MILL CIRCLE

BH1     BH 5

PROVIDED FOR READERS, here is a sample from Ossurworld’s book:

At one time, the plethora of various birdhouses must have been teeming with aviary lifestyles on Mill Circle.

BH2

Perhaps there was a baby boom of starlings, blue jays, hummingbirds and robins, but that time has passed. Nowadays, the stylishly hewn bird houses are vacant. You couldn’t let them if you banned cats from prowling the neighborhood. Only woodpeckers make homes in the trees, eschewing hand-made homes by humans. Their hollow tree holes are far more rustic.

BH 4      BH 6

What happened that the birds have chosen not to return here where berries, bugs, and flowers, hopelessly beckon. Was the address not as desirable as Capistrano?

Was there a murder in the neighborhood decades ago, as happened as the old Yellow Spring? After that, people avoided Mill Circle no matter how favorable the healing waters.

A catastrophe must have befallen the birds on the wing that there is no hospitality to be found among the few houses still remaining on the Circle. So, highly placed birdhouses remain empty, becoming shells of their former existence.

We have a ghost town of birdhouses on the street.

BH 3

Bird feeding has fallen out of fashion. If you are not overrun by the clever squirrels finding new ways to break into the bird feeders and adjoining houses, you have the larger, more frightening notion that black bears will enter the neighborhood.

Warnings about feeding the bears, even inadvertently, has reached an audience that now stops putting seeds out for the migratory visitors.  And, the denizens such as Canadian geese are not suitable for small houses. They need a large nest with three or four bedrooms for all their goslings.

And, so the birdhouse with the white picket fence nearby, and the house with the thatched roof, as well as the two-story replica of the Old Haunted Mansion, are ghostly reminders of a past when song birds would awaken the residents.

If ghost birds haunt the circle, they are keeping the human ghosts company and maintaining the charm of the old haunt.

Beetlejuice, Then and Now

DATELINE:  Still No Sequel

Beetlejuice

After nearly 30 years, we took another look at Beetlejuice. It had been a seminal film of its era, popular and launching careers. We expected to see Tim Burton and Michael Keaton in a series of sequels to the ghostly ghoul.

The film featured a bureaucratic hereafter with endless waiting rooms and hideous looking victims of death. It was a winning formula.

Instead, several times projects were announced and fell through. Keaton worked with Burton again, but never could they come together for another Beetlejuice extravaganza. The latest one was rumored for 2014, but no one put film in the cameras.

As with any 30-year old movie, you may be struck by how timeless it remains. It seems fairly fresh with reviewing, but most unsettling is how youthful the cast appears. They are all so fresh-faced. It was a long time ago.

Gena Davis plays the dead young wife and is delightful, and the man who plays her husband Alec Baldwin may be the one with the biggest career in the past decades, though Keaton has had flashier roles, he has been inconsistent.

Winona Ryder was a slip of a morbid girl in this one, dressed in black, mourning her life, the only one who can see the specters. We thought Glenn Shadix as the rotund villain would have had a greater career, but this was his highlight. When he died in 2010, he wanted the “Day-O” song played at his funeral.

Others in the cast were Robert Goulet, Catherine O’Hara, and Dick Cavett. Two out of three have survived. Goulet is now on the other side. Jeffrey Jones was once everywhere, but has been less visible since an unseemly brush with the law a few years back.

If a remake were to occur, Keaton in his heavy makeup could still play it in timeless fashion—but the others, as ghosts, would hardly be able to play.

Ryan Lochte Dances Up a Storm

DATELINE: Highway Robbery

duh

With word that Ryan Lochte may join Dancing with the Stars TV show, we have our tutus ready. The Brazilian police in Rio want Ryan to dance to a different drummer—and want him back in Rio.

There is no better way to wash that scandal right out of your hair than to appear on that feel good TV show that every oldster in America appreciates. So, we doubt he will return to the scene of the alleged crime.

We have no idea if Ryan Lochte can do the double step, the Texas two-step or the proverbial two-face but those dance moves can be learned. Dance time in a Brazilian prison for a year may be like a bad line dance.

Dancing with the Stars always likes to take a bold, controversial athlete and put him through his paces. He usually fits in right next to the aging movie star and the son or daughter of a secondary forgotten celebrity.

In that way Lochte is the perfect candidate to be voted out on the first week. We all know that the voting has nothing to do with talent or a ability to do the soft shoe. It has to do with popularity. It’s like running for king of the prom or president of the United States.

With a plethora of third rate crooked and otherwise dubious athletes available for a selection other than Lochte, we find the choice of Ryan to be rather a bad tango with infamy.

We understand that Aaron Hernandez has time on his hands to choreograph a dance routine.