Category: entertainment

Taking carriage horses off Chicago's streets is an idea whose time has come

If you’re like me, your heart has ached witnessing horses hauling carriages down congested Mag Mile area streets in the brutal cold of a Chicago winter night, or the scorching heat of summer, and you’ve felt helpless to do anything for these creatures. On Wednesday, September 12, at 11 a.m., the Chicago City Council Committee... Read more »

Loss of Tom Wolfe, Philip Roth leaves big literary shoes to fill

In the space of less than two weeks, we lost two giants in modern American literature. Both of the same generation, each groundbreaking and provocative in his own way, but at the same time very different in style and substance. Tom Wolfe, of course, was the dapper, eccentric Southern-gentleman author of such classics as The... Read more »

Tarantino's Manson movie invites more apprehension than anticipation

When I first read that director Quentin Tarantino was shooting a film centered around the 1969 Charles Manson murder rampage, I rolled my eyes. Why, Quentin, why? Tarantino, the former video store clerk turned directing genius, is one of my favorite filmmakers. But not only has this particular story been done to death (no pun... Read more »
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Oscar of Yesteryear: Who Won and Who Should Have Won

<b>1998 Best Picture Winner: SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE.
Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein (enough said about him) basically bought the Oscar for this Miramax production. Does anybody even remember this mediocre comedy starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Joseph Fiennes? If they do it’s most likely for Judi Dench’s Oscar-winning but too-brief appearance as Queen Elizabeth I.  Or for Paltrow in drag as a boy. </b>
Every time the Academy Awards roll around, I can’t help thinking about all the films, actors, and actresses who were more deserving of taking home the Oscar–in my humble opinion–than the ones who actually did. It seems the winners are often not chosen on merit, but on popularity and trendiness. A lot like the cool... Read more »

This time, an American divorcee gets her prince and her royal title too

Monday’s announcement that Britain’s Prince Harry is engaged to American actress Meghan Markle was remarkable for a reason that seemed to receive relatively little attention. It’s not because the 36-year-old future Duchess of Sussex is American, three years older than Harry, or even because she’s biracial. (The reaction on the British tabloid comment boards Monday... Read more »

Freaks, Aliens & Things: Ten Must-See Classic Horror Films

“One of us, one of us…” 

This 1932 film about traveling circus “freaks” is just a little over 60 minutes long, but it’s one of the most profoundly disturbing films ever made. The ending alone makes the movie. The revenge exacted on the cruel and scheming female trapeze artist by the freaks will have you going, “But that can’t be right.”
It’s almost Halloween, my favorite holiday, which means horror movies, my favorite film genre. For years I’ve been reading other people’s top-horror-films-of-all-time lists, and been like, “How could they leave that movie out???” and “Poltergeist, really?” So back by popular demand (well not really, but it’s fun to say that), here are my Top Ten scarefests,... Read more »
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What new Fox Sports analyst Michael Vick really did

Fox Sports announced August 27 that it has hired former NFL quarterback Michael Vick as a studio analyst for its NFL Kickoff program that immediately precedes NFL Sunday on the Fox network. The news release announcing the hire was hilarious in the way it avoided the elephant in the room; namely, Vick’s 2007 felony conviction... Read more »

Gone With the Wind, banned in Memphis, actually indicts the Confederacy

The Orpheum Theater in Memphis has cancelled its traditional annual screening of “Gone With the Wind,” apparently in response to the anti-all-things-Confederate sentiment that’s seizing the nation. As a longtime fan of both the film and the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel on which it is based, this saddened me. Having read the book something like five... Read more »

Steve Bartman's grace and class sets an example for us all

On Monday the Chicago Cubs announced they were giving the long-suffering Steve Bartman a 2016 World Series ring, as a gesture of forgiveness and “closure” for the infamous 2003 playoff game incident. Bartman’s statement of response was characteristically gracious and conciliatory. Bartman has consistently shown himself to be a class guy who eschews bitterness and... Read more »
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News Media Wallows in Wrong-Headed Nostalgia for Ringling Bros.

I wasn’t planning on writing another post about the demise of Ringling Bros., which had its final circus performance over the weekend. Let them go quietly, was my way of thinking. Unfortunately, but predictably, it wasn’t the news media’s way of thinking. In journalism school, one of the first things you’re taught is the importance... Read more »