Knives In and Out of Fashion

DATELINE: Old-Fashioned Murder Comedy

Massachusetts mansion.

The comedy murder mystery of the year, of perhaps the decade, is a Charlie Chan rip-off that is as trendy as it is traditional. Knives Out  raises the question of why would anyone have a display of hundreds of knives in his parlor.

We think the set designer deserved an Oscar, or a strait-jacket.

An all-star cast of suspects seem to have as much fun making, perhaps more than those of us watching it. Director Rian Johnson moves his cast to the real star of the movie: a gothic house most suitable for his plot outside of Boston.

The lunacy of the house furnishings is like a Victorian nightmare, hardly something anyone would design, even an Agatha Christie murder mystery writer (Christopher Plummer) who hates movie versions of his books.

The family gathers for his 85thbirthday—including his mother who must be 100 at least. And, the family members and staff are equally troublesome.

The cast even gathers for the reading of the will, which entails just about everyone—except the murder victim.

The best line delivered by Chris Evans is about cornpone Daniel Craig, playng super sleuth Benoit Blanc as “CSI- KFC,”   in shades of Sherlock with Hercole thrown in. But, we keep seeing James Bond slumming.

Director Johnson is utterly cruel with his camera. We have never seen these old stars looking so old. Every crevice, crease, and open pore, is ready for your perusal. Even Daniel Craig looks surprisingly aged in the wood.

The red herrings fly by at an alarming rate, so quickly it’s hard to keep track of the lies and false statements. We suppose Plummer’s nurse may be from Ecuador, Brazil, Peru, Uruguay, or Paraguay, as everyone cites a different locale.

The few scenes around Boston are amusing for those of us who are homebodies—and we snickered when Gary Tanguay, a Boston sports reporter, showed up as a newsguy at another station.

It’s a silly romp and more like what old movies used to be, and those Sherlock/Chan/Poirot stories were more succinct. We suppose there could be a new series for James Bond here if he so chooses.

A Day to Reap, to Sow, and to Honor Manny Ramirez

Godzilla Mr. Fatstuff

DATELINE: Return of the Native


Manny Ramirez has returned to the Red Sox with a bushel of apologies to all parties. He has found God and loves the game of baseball. He is humbled and he is attempting to be gracious.

MacArthur returned. Good heavens, Godzilla has returned. So Manny is starring in a new version of It’s a Wonderful Life, playing James Stewart, not acting out the Lionel Barrymore bad guy role.

So why shouldn’t Manny Ramirez be back in the dugout at Fenway?

Fans have always been fickle, or at least filled with the milk of human kindness. The overall reaction to the “feel good” story is that people feel good.

Whether it is a crock of crocodile refuse, we cannot say. A reptile only changes colors when he is a chameleon.

Manny did the obligatory round of bum kissing on the day that the Red Sox chose to honor the 2004 World Series champ team. How amusing that the present Red Sox ended their losing streak in time for this event.

With the weather in Boston in late May like a cold Opening Day, we found it odder still that this is the date to have a tenth anniversary party. Perhaps it was the only date available when the guests could attend.

In any respect, Manny returned, taking time off from his new job with Theo Epstein’s Cubs as a minor league player/coach. As we like the recycle old axioms, we found it endearing that the more things change, the more likely the Red Sox will have a day for it.

Friday the Thirteenth had upteen sequels, but never Saturday the Fourteenth.

There have been a bunch of Nightmares on Elm Street, and Jason has donned the hockey mask more times than Aaron Hernandez.

So, how could we expect anything less from Manny Being Manny?