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Old Westerns never die. They're dug up and revived as street Westerns, flailing away with dead eyes and a fine drool of cliches. The latest example of this cinematic ghoulery is "True Blood" (selected theaters, MPAA-rated R), a grimly vacuous Lower East Side shoot-up, where bothers Ray and Donnie Trueblood--separated by fate for 10 years--find true love, brotherhood and blood, in no special order. This is male bonding with a vengeance: Younger brother Donnie, deserted by Ray in youth, has had his heart stolen away by the insidious Spider (Billy Drago)
May 29, 1989 | Jack Smith
My modest essay on the spider and the bee seems to have divided my readers between those who approve my allowing the bee to be devoured by the spider, and those who despise me for it. My wife had handed me a swatter to swat a bee that was buzzing in the kitchen window; before striking, though, I saw that the bee was caught in a web, and the spider was making swift little runs down the web to torment it. My dilemma was exquisitely complex....
September 13, 2009 | John Horn
Paul Weitz has been drawn to mentor stories throughout his filmmaking career. As inspired as the teacher-student relationships might have been in the writer-director's "About a Boy" and "In Good Company," they can't approach the perverse pedagogic plot of his latest, "Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant." In a derelict theater just outside the French Quarter last spring, Weitz was orchestrating the final showdown between two modern-day vampires. In a luxuriant lavender jacket, Larten Crepsley (John C. Reilly)
May 21, 1987
Mike Schmidt told Jayson Stark of the Philadelphia Inquirer: "If everyone pitched like Mike Scott, you'd make a lot of money being a .200 hitter." He's not worrying about Scott scuffing the ball, however. "Hey, I hit Gaylord Perry better than any man alive," he said. He added: "I'll tell you a story about one guy, now that he's out of the league. My 494th home run ball has got a slash right between the seams. It's got a scrape on it. Here, I'll show you."
August 30, 2004
Re "Shots Hit Kerry's Weak Spot," Commentary, Aug. 26: I have an alternative to Max Boot's theory as to why there is no media traction for the story about President Bush avoiding active service during the Vietnam War: because it is true. People instinctively respond to stories that are new or that challenge what they have known to be fact for years. What if a bite from a venomous spider turned you into a superhero instead of killing you? What if John Kerry fabricated the record of his service in Vietnam to win more medals?
November 6, 2010
Television viewers were probably exposed to more political ads last month than ever before. The Nielsen Co. said Friday that nearly 1.48 million political ads aired on local broadcast stations in October. That's more than any other month since Nielsen began collecting that data in 2000. Nielsen spokesman Aaron Lewis said the company is confident that there was no bigger number before that. The previous high was 1.41 million ads in October 2008, a presidential election year.
It's a shame. The audience is sitting in anticipation, the lights go down and a couple of excited kids clap--"It's starting!"--but when the lights come up, it appears that something's amiss. Two actors make hasty entrances and exits, calling for someone named Sam. One of their company, it seems, is missing.
January 29, 2011
At the Sundance Film Festival, celebrities may come and go by luxury SUV, but most folks make their way from theater to theater around Park City, Utah, via a more humble mode of transportation: the free shuttle bus. Which can lead to problems. Though festival organizers try hard, the vagaries of traffic and weather mean the buses are often later and fuller than they are supposed to be. Anxious filmgoers crowd the doors in a frantic attempt to get on and off as quickly as possible, and on the first full day of the festival, at the stop by the Yarrow Hotel, sparks ignited.
September 12, 1997 | PATT MORRISON
On what is likely the last lap of his California political career, Gov. Pete Wilson should be expecting the encomiums to begin any day now. The Napa Chamber of Commerce thinks that naming the state mental hospital after something other than Napa itself would be good for the local tourist trade . . . and the Pete Wilson Mental Hospital is one of the alternatives.
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