I have scratched together a living, in one way or another, as a writer for more than 50 years now. I was a free-lance writer during the early stages of the Vietnam War. I was the Southwest Division Overnight News Editor for United Press International back when UPI was a legitimate news gathering organization. Following that, I went to the Dallas Morning News where I became the first person to write about rock 'n' roll on a daily basis for a Texas metropolitan newspaper. I later became the News' entertainment editor. Following some stints with a couple of prominent PR firms, I had the extraordinary good fortune to team with two communications legends, Ken Fairchild and Lisa LeMaster, as part of one kick-ass media consulting/crisis communications team. That was followed by short stays with the City of Dallas, as its public information officer; the Dallas Northeast Chamber of Commerce where I had the good fortune to meet and work alongside some of this city's business and political titans; and editorial director for QuestCorp Media until that company went out of business. Now officially retired, concentrating on this blog.
The Canyons **½ Lindsay Lohan, James Deen. Directed by Paul Schrader. While a calculating young movie producer makes films to keep his trust fund intact, his actress girlfriend hides an affair. But following a chance meeting, he spirals out of control, and his cruel mind games escalate into an act of bloody violence. This is a sleazy soap opera that fails primarily because it gives us no one to care about and no reason why we should be interested that we don’t care.
Getaway ½* Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez. Directed by Courtney Solomon. A former race-car driver is pitted against the clock when his wife is kidnapped by a mysterious villain. This movie seems built for non-English speaking territories in which dialogue is as disposable as Bulgarian police cars. If only those audiences were as dumb as the action itself.
Jobs **½ Ashton Kutcher, Dermot Mulroney, Lukas Haas, J.K. Simmons, Lesley Ann Warren, John Getz, James Woods, Matthew Modine. Directed by Joshua Michael Stern. The story of Steve Jobs’ ascension from college dropout into one of the most revered creative entrepreneurs of the 20th century. This is far from the bomb some would have envisaged, but neither is it the character illumination one would wish for. Jobs appears so consumed by his work here that little else mattered in his life. That may be true, but we’re left none the wiser as to what made the man tick, beyond what we already know.
Red 2 **½ Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Byung Hun Lee, Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren. Directed by Dean Parisot. Retired C.I.A. agent Frank Moses reunites his unlikely team of elite operatives for a global quest to track down a missing portable nuclear device. No movie with this much ass-kicking should feel so lifeless. Nothing in Red 2 is actively offensive, but for the most part, it’s hard to really care for anything that’s happening to these characters.