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.

 

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Grant, Kerr, & Nesbitt in Charming Weeper

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DATELINE: Nearest Thing to Heaven

You cannot judge An Affair to Remember by any normal standard of film-making. Since its 1957 debut, Leo McCarey’s dinosaur storyline and archaic approach passes for classic movie-making.

The film has anachronisms abounding, but cast that aside. It is the cast he assembled and has given them reins of control. Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr are at the peak of their careers, slightly past the middle-age that would soon have them by-passed by a new Hollywood.

The film’s plot is a trifle, yet elegant, charming, sophisticated, and sentimental. Your stars are clearly not typical American celebrities, and they play social climbers way ahead of their social standing, ready to plunge into high society by means of deceptive façade. Any fault in this movie does not lie in the stars.

On a ship voyage to the United States, Cary and Deborah have a frothy, light comedy of interplay, under the watchful eye of paparazzi and gossip. It’s a pink champagne tale. Engaged to money, they both eschew this for true love before it’s too late.

Interspersed here is a small role by Cathleen Nesbitt as Cary’s grandmother. She’s closer to the age of his real mother, but no matter. The trio of actors know something about loss: Nesbitt in her youth was engaged to marry the beautiful poet Rupert Brooke when he was killed in World War I. Grant went through multiple marriages and gave up Randy Scott.

Add a melody that remains an emotional stake in the heart, replayed constantly to put tragedy next to love. It isn’t a mid-life Tristan and Isolde, but it will do.

The film may cause you to weep through a box of Kleenex. If not, you are a victim of Medusa’s stony glare. You cannot watch the final 15 minutes of the film and not find two actors in better form anywhere.

TB12’s A-M DB 11

DATELINE: Tom Brady to Carpool to Work?

TB12's A-M DB 11

Just when you thought it was safe to drive to work during the early morning commute, you learn that Tom Brady is having a custom-made Aston-Martin fitted to his own design specifications.

This sort of transportation transcends the Mini-Cooper and even our own BMW.  Aston Martin will pay Brady some unspecified amount to endorse their low-budget $212,000 cars (options extra).

This certainly makes Peyton Manning’s pizza deal of a lifetime of pepperoni look like anchovies under glass.

In a world of have nots and Trump-level billionaires, Tom Brady is casting his lot with the X-press Way of La Dolce Vita. He will not be allowed to commute to Foxboro from Brookline in the express lane unless he carpools with Julie E.

We don’t see that happening. Julian Edelman lives in Foxboro, not toney Brookline.

A friend of ours met Tom some years ago when he was not far removed from being a sixth round draft pick.

He and my friend met at one of those Cape Cod charity events when Tom watched as our friend had his red MB SLK 320 roof slide into the back seat.

Tom was agog, and said: “I need to get one of those.”

How times have changed.

He can now afford three of those Mercedes to one Aston Martin DB 11.  When Tom pushes a button on his new A-M, the entire car folds into the back seat.

And we were going to tell him to buy Aaron Hernandez’s used assassin 4-Runner Deathmobile SUV for sentimental reasons. He’s outdone us again.

 

 

 

 

Case of Bird House Ghost Town

DATELINE:  Excerpt from CASEBOOK FOR OLD MILL CIRCLE

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Paterson: Busman’s Holiday

 DATELINE:  Nouveau Jersey

 Paterson

Jim Jarmusch has put together a film without a white-haired protagonist. Paterson is both the city in New Jersey and the name of an understated, amiable bus driver.

Jarmusch may be trying to illustrate that lives of quiet desperation are infinitely improved when there is a dose of quiet creativity. Though lives are falling apart all around him, Paterson relies on his poetic works to maintain balance. His wife is flaky and more prone to artistic pretension than art. He accepts all with Zen mastery.

His days may be more pedestrian as he takes the same route daily, and ends each day with a walk of the dog and a single beer at the local pub. Yet, there is magic everywhere, as evinced by the twins he always encounters after his wife makes an off-hand observation.

Indeed, Paterson’s dog Marvin, an English bull, makes yet another dog companion in recent movies that proves a boon companion. He steals the show and the movie is dedicated to the memory of Nellie who portrays Marvin.

Paterson does not solve the problems of those around him, but seems to suffer their pain in sympathy. Like Emily Dickinson, mentioned in passing in one scene, he lives without fame or acknowledgment of his art.

One lesson is simple. There are no chance encounters, and every meeting has meaning.

The poetry in the film resembles that of William Carlos Williams, but its mundane nature suits the goal of Jarmusch and of Paterson, poet and place. This could be the only film to give poet Williams recognition in the credits.

Many viewers will complain that seven days in Paterson offers no escape from ennui, but Jarmusch has woven together images and ideas that display deep meaning in detail. Paterson has a rich history that may surprise you.

The main performance by Adam Driver is sublime. He is sensitive and sad, kindly and a man who rises above his bus stop.

A rather special film, you must discover this one for yourself.

Disrespected and Played for a Fool: Streep’s Latest

 DATELINE: Florence Foster Jenkins

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Florence Foster Jenkins (interpreted by Meryl Streep as a pixilated and dotty old lady) was actually a wealthy philanthropist with a love for music. In her youth Mrs. Jenkins sang at the White House, but in the 1940s she was humored and taken advantage of by famous and infamous friends, like Toscanini.

Alas, this film’s audience will likely see her the same way. The film’s marketing strategy plays the woman of limited singing ability as a comic figure of mockery. Streep plays her as an obtuse woman, blindly thinking she was as talented an opera singer as Lily Pons.

There is something disheartening when no one will treat her with dignity for fear they might lose her generosity. Her husband (Hugh Grant) was, in fact, an arranged companion whose job it was to shield her from the truth. His protection is her undoing.

You could say people killed her with kindness rather than confront her delusions. Florence, once puffed up, buys time at Carnegie Hall for her misguided solo performance. Out of her humanity, she gives thousands of tickets to wounded US soldiers to try to brighten their lives with her gift of music. In her grandeur she seemed confused to learn her singing off-key was considered a joke that she was never allowed to enjoy.

Sincere second-rate artists are easy targets for ridicule and contempt, but Streep’s depiction of a good heart takes the comedy out of the burlesque Florence’s audiences sneered at. There is too little kindness for those who try to live creative lives, but fall short of greatness.

Using opera for the masses as the vehicle, this movie surprises in its microcosmic tale about the integrity and hard work one untalented woman put into an art she loved. Florence Foster Jenkins had a tragic, but happy life.

Audiences who ridicule Florence Foster Jenkins do so at their own peril.

Bieber & the Mayan Connection

Mayan Woes for the Latest Generation

 

It’s almost as bad as having Justin Bieber climbing among the Mayan ruins and destroying them with his vandal rich attitude. The pop star was at Tulum, Mexico, on holiday and went scampering where ruins are not fully excavated.

They threw the book at him. If the Mayans were still around, they’d have cut out his heart.

In true adventurous spirit, Bieber came to Boston this week and wandered on the Boston Common barefoot. His bravery was thought foolhardy.

Speaking of which, in a semi-related matter, a teenager examining satellite photos of the Yucatan noted square and rectangular shapes under the vegetation. Voila, he found a lost Mayan city.

Now, the slug Ph.D.s did not take kindly to this. Here is someone with no degrees usurping the insights of the so-called experts. As one with a Ph.D., we are the first to tell you the intelligence of such doctors is rather limited. In fact, you have to be a dullard to muddle through doctoral programs. We should know.

Jealousy in the professions wastes much gray matter.

No one has yet to go into the jungle to thin out the bushes and see if a pyramid or city square may be under the centuries of rain forest.

However, smug doctors of ancient antiquities can say “junk science” is responsible for creative thinking and accidental discovery. We suspect that every innovator was guilty of junk science to his contemporaries.

So, we take our hats off to the Bieber generation. Their treasure is the junk of scholars.

Hillary Clinton’s Running Mate?

DATELINE:  Hot Tickets

 

Our dear friend and Home Health Aide is not an American citizen, but rather has been granted asylum and is legally living in the United States.

He has a strong belief in the American Dream—and, like many, wants America to be strong and to succeed. He follows politics in the U.S. with the keen eye of someone who loves the country.

He cannot vote until he achieves citizenship, but he takes a great interest in learning from debates and primaries. He disagrees with our choice to make America great again. He thinks Mr. Trump is “too fresh” to be POTUS, and we don’t think he is referring to vegetables in the fridge.

His choice is Hillary Clinton, which makes us smile in disagreement.

Today he came up with an idea he wishes he could tell Hillary about. He thinks she needs an equally “fresh” running mate to counter Donald Trump.

To that end, he has suggested something surprising and without historical precedent. Garry Matador, lately of the United States, but a homegrown product of Haiti, wants Secretary Clinton to choose Joe Biden to be her vice president.

In some ways, it makes sense and is downright brilliant. We have heard Hillary bark (indeed Trump is using it in his latest commercials). She needs a hound of the Baskervilles. There is no one more qualified than Joe Biden to be vice president. He has learned on the job during two administrations.

Fresh ideas often come from people new the country—and we promised him to pass this along to others who may find it equally compelling.

What a hot ticket my friend is.

A Bridge Too Far to Play

DATELINE:  Gamblers Anonymous

Our Bridge Team Under Fire!

As an avid bridge player, you have to worry about the latest crackdown. The card game is now bridge over troubled waters.

Senior citizens in Thailand were arrested for being dummies.

The actual suspected crime is gambling, but the oldsters were arrested for having illegal playing cards. Perhaps it was the deck with pictures of Playboy bunnies—or some other sexual deviance well known to Thailand.

Bridge is best played nowadays with a computer that holds all three hands—and surrenders to you when it is your partner as dummy. We suspect Roger Clemens, A-Rod, and Barry Bonds all play bridge.

We have found that computers cheat at bridge. And, everyone knows that computers are programmed by cheating human beings. Machines come naturally into the world as innocents (sort of like playing cards). It is the environment that corrupts games and cards.

Just ask the skilled experts who guess winners of the NFL each week on  FanDuel or DraftKings. The corruption quotient is creeping in from the coasts. Hawaii is now joining New York in banning these games of corrupt chance.

We never thought you could make millions playing bridge.  Now that the word is out, we expect more young people under age forty will buy a deck of cards and build their empire.

We have decided to cancel any notion of a trip to Thailand. It joins Hawaii and New York as places that are kill-joys when it comes to get rich quick schemes.

Was Bernie Madoff a bridge player? We wouldn’t be surprised.

Greasing the Skids, or Billionaire Acres

DATELINE: Money Talks

Once again we have received anonymous emails disparaging us for not showing enough respect to billionaires. We have to genuflect apparently when the names of Bill Gates or the Koch Brothers are mentioned.

We have had our conservative Goldwater roots questioned for not appreciating the men who have a cadre of lawyers to prevent them from paying too much tax.

Among those we have bitten in our rattlesnake mode, we list many sports billionaires—the new playboys of the Western world. How could we not like Patriots owner Robert ‘Don’t call me Krafty’ Kraft. Here is a man who kisses his players upon greeting, yes, literally, and they must kiss his cheek. No, the other one.

We have too often mocked John Henry as King John Henry VIII with his penchant for playing the Red Queen and offing the heads of those who speak evil.  We have been banned from Red Sox sites across the globe, lest he learn the snake in the Fenway grass, is slithering around.

We have dunned Mark Cuban, an arrogant public figure who pretends he is just like you or me. He isn’t. On this you can trust us.

We have castigated the footmen and under-butlers of the wealthy, like Roger Goodell. It is not some green-eyed monster that motivates us, but simply we cannot deny ourselves a big target that uses its privilege to be a mob variation of an under-boss.

You’d think we supported Bernie Sanders who also has made a stump speech out of singling out the super-rich. No, we think more of Donald Trump who blatantly throws his money in your face in every speech.

Billionaires, you gotta love’em. We can’t avoid avoid them.

Bills Plan on a Victory Lap, if not Parade

DATELINE: More Media, Less Taste

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Rex Ryan Torments the Patriot Cheerleaders

If you are puzzled by the hype for the Monday Night game between the Pats and Bills, so are we.

Every media razzle-dazzler is trying to up the ratings for his own benefit. There is no other explanation for making this game bigger than the first landing of man on the Moon.

This is apparently the Super Bowl for the Buffalo Bills—and they are spouting off that they intend to get to Brady and Gronk. They must be expecting the NFL to give them special rights to have 15 men on the field for every play.

Beyond that, we begin to wonder if we are losing more brain cells to the endlessly overblown ego of media shills. They keep telling us that the Patriots are in trouble until we begin to question it ourselves.

Yeah, the Pats will be without Jamie Collins, Dion Lewis, and Julian Edelman as well as Nate Solder. Is it the end of the world for playoff hopes? For possible victory? For human decency?

We suspect not.

The Patriots have brought in Vereen and Fauria for the game. It sounds like the Ghosts of Xmas Past.

Yes, those names of the past are baaaack like your favorite poltergeist.

Of course, it is Christian Fauria’s nephew and Shane Vareen’s little brother on the new roster.  It does not matter because it means Belichick is going to history to teach T-Rex Ryan that those who do not learn the hard lessons of historical inevitability are about to suffer detention and demerits.

Beware the Ides of November!

DATELINE: Patriots on Road Not Taken

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Danger, Danger, Will Robinson—and you too Bill Belichick! All too often when the Patriots visit MetLife Stadium, they find themselves lost in space, knocked off by some Bloop.  Giants killer Jason Pierre-Paul is making the sound of one hand clapping for all you Zen masters.

With winning teams gathering losses like rosebuds while they may, the Patriots have come to the fork in the road. Will they take it?

If they do, you can stick a fork in the Patriots.

Heretofore this season, only Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning have taken the road not taken. When you have a perfect record, you have to be suspicious of your GPS. You may be driving toward a bridge too far.

Robert Frost surely could tell you that playing the Giants has made all the difference on the journey of life. The road not taken is never the primrose path.

Many undefeated teams are guilty of driving off that far bridge before their chickens have hatched.

The Ides of the month often screw up the best laid plans of mice and caesars. You expect to pick up your victory laurels—and find yourself at the wrong end of a hilt or two.

We don’t want to hear Bill Belichick crying, “Great Caesar’s Ghost!” when the Giants do it again. However, Tom Coughlin looks like he is ready to haunt the house of the Patriots. The last thing we need is a bunch of Gronk-busters.

Will someone please put a stake in the heart of Tom Coughlin before he rises again?

Fee, Fie, Foe Fumble: Patriots Face Off Giants

 DATELINE: Tom Brady’s Odyssey

Featured imageHe Smells the O-Line

The New England Patriots will play a game this week that resembles a trip to the dentist’s office. Is it that time again already? The old magazines in the waiting room all date back to various lost Super Bowls.

Several times over the past decade Tom Brady has gone to the Giant dentist to have his teeth polished—and discovered his gold fillings stolen.

There aren’t many teams that have put up a barber’s pole outside the stadium and cleaned, pressed, and wiped out the New England Patriots. These Giants are doing it with a pizza delivery boy’s younger brother.

Brady is first to acknowledge that he seems to come down with a bad case of cramps whenever the Giants smell his blood. It is always worse when you are locked in Tom Coughlin’s man-cave. Brady opens his mouth and develops flat feats.

You’d think by now that Tom would have read up on Odysseus and how he handled the one-eyed giant called Cyclops, clearly a distant relative of Peyton Manning. Cyclops’d eat up the O-line of Odysseus every time.

This week Tom may have noticed that his offensive linemen already chewed up and predigested. Fate has taken a bite out of his protection and left him looking like chopped liver.

If we seem nervous while awaiting this week’s trip to the dentist, you can understand fully that this situation and losing Dion Lewis, is like renting an apartment from your dentist. Not only is he counting your teeth, your lease is up at the end of the month and the moving truck has deflated tires.

Cam Doublechecks Aaron and Doesn’t Give a Fig Newton

DATELINE: Yes, We Have No Banners

 

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Sharing Sweet Nothings

Cam Newton, pinup boy and would-be Abercrombie & Fitch model, ripped down an opposing team banner at his home stadium this Sunday.

Don’t get Cam wrong. He loves some Green Bay Cheese Packers. (To wit, his long-standing bromance with Aaron Rodgers).

In a tough guy stance, the Newton who doesn’t give a fig for fans, chose to defang a local resident who happened to prefer the Cheeseheads of Wisconsin. Newton tore down and shredded a banner that expressed hubris and preferred another QB to him.

Newton has nothing against his opponents. He was seen yucking it up before the game with fellow commercial boytoy Aaron Rodgers.  For years we watched Rodgers try evasive maneuvers with his cheesy stalker (an androgynous double-checker). So, athletic supporters, beware your athlete’s diva moments.

Whenever QBs meet, their fraternity has more secrets than the freemasons. As for the key Cheesehead, QB Aaron Rodgers has no problems with Cam’s preferences.

Cam and Aaron always share an intimate moment, even if it is before 50,000 prying eyes and world wide internet coverage.

So Cam probably received some kind of imprimatur from his fellow endorser of products. At least that’s what they call club bonding off the field.

The NFL hates deflated footballs, but has no problem with players who attempt murder or those who deface banners belonging to paying fans. There will be no fine or punishment for vandalism, as long as the fan’s balls were not tampered with.

The owner of the banner claimed it cost him $500 to expose himself to ridicule. That explains the disrespect Cam showed. He drops $500 on tips for yogurt deliveries to his home nearly every day.

Next time you root against Cam Newton, he may yank your fig leaf to shreds and put holes in your head of cheese.

Time for This Year’s Tofu Turkey Nominees!

DATELINE: Tofu Turkey Nominees

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We have reached that benighted time of the season when our annual Tofu Turkey Awards must be given. Boston has spread its usual list of losers nationwide this year. We are proud to say that many of our nominees have reputations that precede them like Pepe LePew.

It takes a particular mix of hubris, idiocy, and power, to combine into a combustible formula for disaster. This year the sports world has been cursed with more than enough to pass around. We could have multiple winners this season when real turkeys are not as appalling as fake ones.

Our list of nominees in no particular order of odor.

ROGER GOODELL.  The Commissioner of the NFL has gone out of his way to be an egregious Grinch this year. He has single-handedly tried to destroy the career of one of his league’s greatest stars, Tom Brady. By inventing and holding on to Deflategate as if it were the Hope Diamond, Goodell has proven his ability to be blind when it comes to justice to no one’s good.

BEN CHERINGTON.  The former Red Sox general manager has already lost his job over ineptness. But, we have no compunctions about kicking a man when he’s down for the count. Cherington recently parlayed his bad management skills into a visiting graduate professor at Columbia University recently, showing those who can’t do, can always teach.

AARON HERNANDEZ. You’d think this stiff would be in the Tofu Hall of Shame by now, but he still has a double murder trial coming up in January—though his Ninja attorneys continue to attempt to have the previous jury decision of guilty thrown out by impugning jurors. The next trial may double our fun.

NESN. New England’s own Cable Sports Network, not to be confused with its sister news station NECN managed to do the impossible. They fired Don Orsillo, long time beloved voice of the Red Sox for no apparent reason. The true recipient of the Tofu Turkey likely belongs to media mogul Tom Werner, part-time owner of the Sox, who fancies himself as an expert in entertainment. Yes, he hired Cosby, folks, and has capped his career by firing Orsillo. Clearly this man is full of Tofu.

ESPN.  Going hand in glove with the NFL, the backpocket media arm of Roger Goodell manages to fire people who defend the New England Patriots, cancel any show that shows intelligence, and keeps liars like Chris Mortensen aboard their sinking ship. Losing credibility seems to help their ratings. We believe a Tofu Turkey is deserved, but only you the voters can decide.

So, that is the slate. If it resembles a Republican primary ballot, we apologize. We couldn’t add Bernie Sanders to the group because he hates emails—which warms the Tofu Turkey heart.

We have asked Donald Trump to bestow this year’s honor, but he is too busy doing standup comedy on NBC, a previous Tofu Turkey winner.