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.
Wrinkles **** Directed by Ignacio Ferreras. Set in a nursing home, this animated feature chronicles the friendship between new arrival Emilio (Tacho González), a retired bank manager afflicted with Alzheimer’s, and his chatty Argentine roommate, Miguel (Álvaro Guevara). Unfolding in simple yet wonderfully expressive hand-drawn frames, the film’s unsparingly observant plot depicts the slide into senility with empathy and imagination.
Under the Skin **** Directed by Jonathan Glazer. A seductive alien (Scarlett Johansson) prowls the streets of Glasgow, Scotland, in search of prey. A totally wacky head-trip with midnight movie sensibilities and a daring avant garde spirit, Glazer’s movie is ultimately too aimlessly weird to make its trippy narrative fully satisfying, but owes much to Johansson’s intense commitment to a strangely erotic and unnerving performance unlike anything she has done before.
The Face of Love **½ Directed by Arie Posin. A widow (Annette Bening) falls for a guy (Ed Harris) who bears a striking resemblance to her late husband. A maudlin, superficial exercise in obsession masquerading as a heartfelt romance and study of grief, and character development is sorely lacking. Although well-acted, particularly by Bening, the story feels contrived. With Robin Williams, Amy Brennerman.
Rio 2 **½ Directed by Carlos Saldanha. Blu (Jesse Eisenberg), Jewel (Anne Hathaway) and their three youngsters visit the Amazon, where they find the rain forest in peril and contend with their old nemesis, Nigel the cockatoo (Jemaine Clement). It’s a bright and fun movie, but also repetitive and overloaded with plot. A nice enough diversion, but not a necessary one.
A Night in Old Mexico ** Directed by Emilio Aragón. After losing his longtime home to property developers, rancher Red Bovie (Robert Duvall) decides to take a road trip to Mexico, accompanied by his grandson. But their adventure turns dangerous after the pair unwittingly drives off with a drug dealer’s money. Formulaic and often hard to swallow, the picture offers little beyond the familiar pleasures of Duvall’s old-coot mode.