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.
Don Jon ***½ Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore. Directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. A New Jersey guy dedicated to his family, friends, and church, develops unrealistic expectations from watching porn and works to find happiness and intimacy with his potential true love. A deceptively sincere movie about masculinity and its discontents that Gordon-Levitt, making a fine feature directing debut, shapes into a story about a young man's moral education.
Hell Baby **½ Rob Corddry, Leslie Bibb, Keegan Michael Key. Directed by Robert Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon. An expectant couple who moves into the most haunted house in New Orleans call upon the services of the Vatican's elite exorcism team to save them from a demonic baby. Given Garant and Lennon’s background on The State and Reno 911, their scattershot approach as filmmakers isn’t especially surprising; for every oddly specific Shakespeare reference or detour to the local po-boy joint, there’s an ongoing parade of puke and an awful rubber suit with which to contend.
Last Love * Michael Caine, Clemence Poesy. Directed by Sandra Nettelbeck. A look at the life-changing connection between a retired and widowed American philosophy professor and a young Parisian woman. Scene after scene is defined by blunt exposition and gooey maxims, not to mention cornball visual metaphors.
CBGB ½* Alan Rickman. Directed by Randall Miller. A look at the New York City punk-rock scene and the venerable titular nightclub. The movie’s biggest problem is that it's taken such electrifying source material and done absolutely zilch with it.