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Friday, March 27, 2015

The "Fiddler" Battle-Axes.

"Fiddler on the Roof" certainly had it's share of battle-axes.
At least three per performance.
Tevye's wife Golde, and Yente the Matchmaker are two of them.
Maria Karnilova, the original Golde, certainly seemed like a battle-axe.
My father was Zero Mostel''s limo driver during his entire run in "Fiddler".
According to Zero, Karnilova was THE battle-axe.
Yente was played by Bea Arthur, certainly no less formidable in the battle-axe world.
Word was, that as "Fiddler" was previewing, on it's way to Broadway, Bea's part got more and more cut down.
And she never stopped complaining about it.
I'm guessing that cutting down Bea's part was probably a good thing.
A little of her always went a long way.
Witness "Maude", where she had w-a-a-a-y too much to do, and "The Golden Girls", where she was only needed to slam home the punch-lines, which she did with aplomb.
In the Dream Sequence, there is the character of Frumah-Sarah, Lazar Wolf's late wife.
One song, which she bellows, Ethel Merman style.
Three battle-axes, in one show. My God, Jewish men were hen-pecked.
An entire entry will be devoted to Ethel Merman, who brought the battle-axe to new heights, or depths, according to your attitude on the subject.
And, once again, as Golde, we had Andrea Martin.
'Nuff said.
And, as Golde, we had Rosie O'Donnell.
Once again, 'nuff said.
As far as battle-axes go, "Fiddler on the Roof" was replete.
We are far from done, but I think the rest of them are not featured specifically in any Broadway show.
What they are, are some of my all-time favorites.
And a few are why I decided to go on this trek to begin with.
'Til next time.....

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way syou can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is that you can't sign one.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.



*****





Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The "Oklahoma" Battle-Axes.

The 1943 Broadway musical "Oklahoma!" begins with the curtain going up revealing an old woman sitting on a stool, churning butter.
In 1943, this was considered revolutionary.
Before "Oklahoma!", virtually every Broadway musical began with the curtain going up revealing a group of singing and dancing chorus girls.
Not "Oklahoma!".
An old woman, sitting on a stool, churning butter.
Then a young cowboy ambles onstage and sings "Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin'"
To the old woman, sitting on the stool, churning butter.
The simplicity of this overwhelmed it's 1943 audience.
The old woman was named Aunt Eller.
She was "Oklahoma!"'s battle-axe.
The first Aunt Eller was an actress named Betty Garde.
Betty Garde was a formidable figure.
She was nobody to be messed with.
I was way too young to see Betty Garde as Aunt Eller.
But I know that she was nobody to be messed with.
Because I remember her in a memorable episode of "The Honeymooners", in which the Kramdens hired a maid, because Ralph got laid off from the bus company, and Alice got a job, leaving Ralph unable to handle the housework.
That maid was played by Betty Garde.
Ralph Kramden decided to mess with her by requiring her to respond to any of his requests with "Very good,sir".
He never got his "Very good sir".
All he got from Betty was "O-kay", which made Ralph fume.
It was priceless.
The battle-axe who played Aunt Eller in the movie of 'Oklahoma!" was Charlotte Greenwood, who was quite charming in "Oklahoma!"
She was noted as a singer and dancer.
Particularly for her high kicks.
Where she was really a great battle-axe was in the 1943 movie "The Gang's All Here", where she played the hen-pecking wife of Edward Everett Horton, who was not at all resistant to the wiles of Carmen Miranda.
The scenes the three of them had were a major hoot.
She was also a great battle-axe in the Broadway musical "Out of This World", where all the characters were Greek Gods and Goddesses.
This made her the only battle-axe Goddess on record.
Andrea Martin played the same role in the City Center revival.
The 1979 Broadway revival of "Oklahoma! had Mary Wickes play Aunt Eller.
Mary Wickes.
Tons of battle-axe credits.
Nurse Preen in the play and movie of "The Man Who Came To Dinner".
Miss Cathcart on the "Dennis the Menace" TV series.
Liz, Danny Thomas's press agent on "Make Room For Daddy".
Tons of credits.
All battle-axes.
She kind of phoned it in with "Oklahoma!"
At least the night I saw it.
She was also the "Meet Me In St. Louis" battle-axe.
Not the movie or the stage show.
In life.
Years ago, I was changing planes at the St.Louis airport, on my way to Los Angeles.
I get to my gate,and immediately spot Mary Wickes sitting across from me, also waiting to get on the plane.
I immediately approach her and introduce myself, knowing her name, and using it, complimenting her on her career profusely.
She looked up at me and literally, derisively, replied "Hhmmpphh!!!!
I didn't brandish myself for invading her privacy.
I simply regarded her as a major battle-axe, and actually far worse.

Andrea Martin also played Aunt Eller on Broadway.
I told you that you haven't heard the last of her.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is that you can't sign one.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.



*****

Friday, March 20, 2015

The "Pippin" Battle-Axes.

The Broadway musical "Pippin" has had several major productions.
It is primarily a show geared for young people.
But, pretty much for demographics sake, the creative team added one old crone, a character named Berthe, to fill out the cast.
You might call her a battle-axe.
She has the best song in the show.
An upbeat sing-along called "Oh, it's time to start livin'".
It regularly brings down the house.
The first house-bringer-downer was in the original production, Irene Ryan, better known as the noted battle-axe "Granny" on
"The Beverly Hillbillies".
I saw a TV production, taped from a stage production, in which Martha Raye played Berthe.
Although Martha Raye was a great comedienne and singer, she had certainly earned her battle-axe credentials.
There was this movie that regularly aired on Million Dollar Movie in New York City called "Navy Blues", made in 1941.
In it, Jack Oakie played the hen-pecked boyfriend of Martha Raye. She was hilarious, with her enormous mouth very much in place.
Her performance probably did much to delay our entry into World War 2.
This, was ostensibly what we were fighting for.
Around the same time, she co-starred opposite Bob Hope in several movies, in which she lusted after him, while he was out chasing somebody like Dorothy Lamour.
No "Thanks For The Memory" there.
As Berthe, she sang her number probably better than anyone else ever did.
In a much more recent production, Andrea Martin played Berthe.
Andrea Martin was probably best know for her long stint as a regular on SCTV, where she played many hilarious characters, and actually invented the first satire of a battle-axe, with the creation of Edith Prickley, the eternally leopard-skin outfitted
shrew who was the station manager.
As she got older, she grew into almost exclusive Broadway-type battle-axe roles.
We have not heard the last of Andrea Martin.
More will be heard about Ms. Martin as we continue.
'Til next time.....

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is that you can't sign one.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.



*****

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The "ShowBoat" Battle-Axes.

There are a handful of Broadway Musicals that require the producer to go out and hire a battle-axe.
She can have a husband, in which case her function is to be the hen that pecks him.
Such is the case with Parthy Hawks, wife of Cap'n Andy Hawks, in "Showboat".
The tradition started back in 1927, with the original Broadway cast.
Parthy was played by Edna May Oliver.
She was a wonderful character actress who resembled Margaret Hamilton, but was not as nice looking.
She had a hatchet-face.
She was a child-frightener.
Someone once asked her if she had ever sung.
She replied "With a face like mine, who's going to ask me to sing??!!"
Thus, Parthy had no songs in "ShowBoat"
The thing about battle-axes is that they almost always know why they were hired.
Edna May was asked to re-hone her face for the mid-1930s Broadway revival of "Showboat".
The first movie version in 1936 had someone playing Parthy who I can't remember, and was never famous.
But in the remake, in 1951, Parthy was Agnes Moorhead.
This was a role that was right in her wheelhouse.
From her very first appearance in film, in "Citizen Kane", as young Charles Foster Kane's mother, who gives her son away to tycoons who raise him, over the very meek objections of her husband (the beginning of her hen-pecking career), she was a battle-axe, but she very shrewdly underplayed it, to devastating effect.
It wasn't until later on that she became the first campy battle-axe as Endora in the "Bewitched" TV series.
Not that long ago, in a Broadway production that I saw, Harold Prince hired Elaine Stritch to play Parthy.
For the first and perhaps only time, Parthy was given a song.
They put a little baby in her lap, and had her sing "Why Do I Love You?" to it.
I don't know whose idea it was, but it was very effective.
Stritch, a well-known battle-axe in real-life, perhaps had to be coaxed into playing the role, lest the Broadway crowd start saying "Well, there's Elaine in real life".
So maybe the conversation went something like:
Stritch: Hal, I ain't playin' no friggin' battle-axe.
Prince: But Elaine, everyone thinks you are one anyway!
Stritch: So let 'em! I ain't playin' her!
Prince: Well...how about this? We give you a friggin' baby. And you sing to it. And they'll love you for it.
At least they won't think you're SUCH a battle-axe!
Stritch:....I'm in.

Then, as she grew more and more comfortable wearing the mink stole of battle-axedom, she enlisted to play Alec Baldwin's total battle-axe mother on "30 Rock".
I'm given to understand that even Baldwin was afraid of her.

Next time, more Battle-Axes of Broadway.

-------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is that you can't sign one.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

******

Friday, March 13, 2015

Back To Battle-Axes.

We will center on two battle-axes today.
Their careers barely overlapped, as one was much older than the other, and died much sooner.
But the parts they played were so similar in nature that it has been confusing to determine who played which part in which movie.
One in particular was "Tugboat Annie".
I had a devil of a time trying to determine whether it was Marie Dressler or Marjorie Main.
And I felt ashamed having to look it up.
But, shame or not, I did.
It was Marie Dressler.
It was made the year before she died.
If it was a year later, they could have slipped Marjorie Main right in there, and very few people would have noticed the difference.
That's how similar they were.
Marie Dressler was best known for appearing opposite Wallace Beery in films where she'd clop him over the head with a rolling pin.
According to Wallace Beery's personal reputation, I'm sure that this was a role that she relished.
Marjorie Main was never as big a star as Marie Dressler.
Her biggest claim to fame, after playing a series of housekeepers and schoolteachers, was as Ma Kettle in the "Ma and Pa Kettle" series of movies turned out by Universal Studios.
Hatched by a movie called "The Egg and I", Ma and Pa were big moneymakers for Universal.
These were movies with a rural background.
Ma and Pa Kettle were farmers, and were such big hits in "The Egg and I", that they were spun off.
In the late fifties, there was a TV version of "Tugboat Annie".
The title role was played by an actress named Minerva Urecal.
Here's the irony: Minerva Urecal was a dead ringer for Marjorie Main, who, as recently noted, did NOT play "Tugboat Annie".
That was Marie Dressler.
We have not heard the last of Minerva Urecal, who was a battle-axe unto herself.
Her name will re-appear in at least one more subsequent article.
But they were all major additions to the comedy landscape, and we are lucky that they all graced our presence.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is that you can't sign one.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Doctor Rothman, The Play Doctor.

I'm aware that many of you were expecting more battle-axes today, and perhaps there will be disappointment that there won't be.
I'm sure that THEY will be miffed, considering that they are battle-axes and all.
We will most-likely return to them on our next outing.
That oughta' shut 'em up.
But something more pressing time-wise has come up, and I need to address it.
Chicago has become somewhat of a Broadway tryout town.
As they charge full Broadway prices, I feel like I have every right to review "The First Wives Club---The Musical", which I saw last Saturday.
This is for the creative forces in charge of this incoming musical, who still have time to do something about it.
I am going to try to approach this surgically.
So I get to take out the scalpel.
This is generally a very entertaining show, along the lines of "9 to 5---the Musical", and Menopause--the Musical".
The second act "The First Wives Club" is very clever, funny, zips along, and has very good songs.
The whole show should be that way.
The problem is the first act.
It is leaden, predictable, and doesn't set up the premise quickly enough.
These are virtually two separate shows.
We all know, based on having seen the movie on which it was based on, that a First Wives Club will be established, to exact revenge on the husbands who divorced them.
Yet the establishment of the First Wives Club is the revelation of the first act, and how it ends it.
Everybody knows it's coming.
It's got to come sooner, with perhaps one of the three wives not being faced with getting divorced yet.
The other two women consider her a vital cog in getting the plan to work, and perhaps their misgivings about her marital status can be played to comic effect.
Then, when her husband serves her with papers, you have a legitimate act break, as she climbs on board.
The first act is way too top-heavy.
It's a two-hour and forty minute show, and all the length is in the first act.
Specifically the three soliloquies that each of the women have after being dumped.
They are all of the "Woe is me, my man dumped me" variety.
And they are all dreary.
They should have been more on the lines of comic songs like "Just you wait, 'Enry 'Iggins, Just You Wait".
This is a musical comedy, and should never stray from that.
But they were just dirge-like, and commented after the fact on something we had just seen.
That's where the time should come out.
Eliminate those three songs.
One for each of the principals.
It's very democratic.
There are plenty of songs left over.
Keep it light.
And move up the Act Break.
Let the first successful, funny "sting" happen.
Formulate that as the Act Break.
This show has every chance of being successful, whether my advice is taken or not.
Hell, the New York Times critic just moronically took a crap on Larry David's new play, so what the hell do they know?
I know that they don't know how to make an incoming show any better than it is.
That's why I've hung up my shingle.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****



Friday, March 6, 2015

I Miss The Battle-Axes. Part One.

According to the Wikipedia Dictionary:

A "battle-axe" is a term, generally considered pejorative, for an aggressive, domineering and forceful woman.
The prime example was the militant temperance activist Carrie Nation, who wielded a hatchet and made it her symbol, living in Hatchet Hall and publishing a magazine called The Hatchet.
She became involved in the suffragette campaign for votes for women and this campaign further established the archetype.

Synonyms, according to the Thesaurus: Hag, Harridan, Old Bag, Biddy, Fishwife, Harpy, Shrew, Crone, Beldam....
That pretty much covers it.

The "Battle-Axe" has pretty much been a staple of movies and television since the beginning of talkies.
They have been exclusively female.
I can't, for the life of me, think of a male battle-axe.
Battle-axes have become a dying breed.
Almost extinct.
Perhaps they have become politically incorrect.
God, I hope not.
They have been God's gift to comedy.
When Carol Ann Susi, who provided the unseen voice of Mrs. Wolowitz on "The Big Bang Theory", recently passed away, and Chuck Lorre killed off the character, it may have marked the death-knell of the battle-axe as we know it.
I loved Mrs. Wolowitz.
Just as I loved every battle-axe who preceded her.
This series of articles will be an extended traipsing down Battle-Axe Memory Lane.
I'd like to ask you to please refrain from posting suggestions of anyone I've left out until I announce that the series of articles has ended.
Thank you for your cooperation in advance.

Where to begin? Chronologically, I guess.
The earliest notable example of a battle-axe in the movies that I can recall is Mae Busch.
Mae Busch was probably most popularized as the punch-line for Jackie Gleason's character, Stanley R. Sogg, the pitchman for the Late, Late, Late, Late Late, Late, Late Show.
As it went to "commercial break, Gleason would say something like "We'll return to our film, the classic "Hello,Annapolis",
starring Dick Foran, Larry Parks, Thurston Hall, El Brendel, and the ever-popular Mae Busch".
"The ever-popular Mae Busch" always got a huge laugh.
Then Gleason would go into a litany of pitches for various products, invariably ending with "For each order you place, you will receive, at no extra charge, a three pound wedge of Fatchamarra's Matzaroni Cheese".
If any of this sounds familiar, it's because Johnny Carson directly stole this routine, almost verbatim, when he did Art Fern, the host of the "Tea-Time Movie".
Gleason even had the equivalent of the Matinee Lady.
Except I think he had like three or four of them at once.
Mae Busch specialized in being the battle-axe wife of Oliver Hardy, her hen-pecked husband, in the Laurel and Hardy movies.
Most notably "Sons of the Desert".
She was the hen who did the pecking.
After being particularly miffed at him, for good reason, she would hurl crockery at him that smashed all around him.
She'd hit him over the head with a rolling pin.
Hardy was never injured by any of this, which is what made it palatable.
And hilarious.
There was absolutely nothing soft or sensitive about Mae Busch.
That's what made it work. Big time.

Even before she was the Wicked Witch of the West, Margaret Hamilton played hatched-faced, battle-axe schoolteachers, housekeepers, telephone operators, and secretaries, playing the foil to W.C.Fields on a couple of occasions.
Her battle-axe status was so ingrained that, in the late seventies, when I saw the L.A. company of Sondheim's "A Little Night Music", and Hamilton appeared in the role created by Hermione Gingold, it was an utter travesty.
Hermione Gingold may have been many things, but she was never a battle-axe
Could you imagine Hamilton and Maurice Chevalier singing the duet "I Remember It Well" from "Gigi"?
Neither could I.
And that was the equivalent of what I saw when she was in "A Little Night Music".
But boy, when she played the hatchet-faced battle-axe everywhere else, she was in a class by herself.
She was virtually untouched.
And she did it in scores and scores of movies.
We have many more battle-axes to discuss as we proceed.
Again, please no suggestions until I finish the entire series.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****



Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Report Card---"A Most Violent Year"

The first sign of spring: This is the last Report Card of the winter season.
'A Most Violent Year" was the last DVD that I watched from the slew that were sent me.
It came out too late to be considered for this past season's awards.
If anything, they're aiming for next season's.
The Year in question is 1981.
Everyone had big cars.
It is similar in tone to the great Scorcese and Coppola gangster films: Goodfellows, The Sopranos, On The Waterfront, the Godfather...
It is an intelligently made and played story about big-time corruption in the oil heating business in the 1980's.

On to the scoring:

Is it interesting?

Very.
A.

Compelling even?

Occasionally.
A.

Is it controversial?

It's a morality play, with the lead character having to make controversial decisions.
B.

Is it a story worth telling?

Very much so.
A.

Is it good storytelling?

Very.
A.

Is it well written?

Very.
A.

Is it well cast? Well played?

Yes on all counts. Albert Brooks, looking considerably older, is very good in a supporting part.
A.

Well shot?

Extremely.
A+.

Is it too long? Too short?

Just right.
A.

Is it believable? Do you care about the characters?

Yes, and very much.
A.

Is it predictable? Does it surprise you?

There are surprises at the end.
A.

Do you think about it after you've seen it?

There are haunting images.
A.

Is it funny?

Not really. Albert Brooks being there and not getting laughs underscores that.
C.

Would it have been worth the thirteen bucks it would have cost to see it in the movies?

I wouldn't feel the need, but then, I'm cheap.
B-.

Is it impressive?

Very.
A.

Overall grade: A.

Movies like this should definitely keep being made.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****

Friday, February 27, 2015

Report Card---Love Is Strange"

I stated, before I began my Oscar picks, that I still had a couple of Report Cards to attend to.
This is one of them.
It went under everyone's radar.
It wasn't nominated for anything.
Nor did it deserve to be.
Frankly, I'm surprised that anyone involved in it's production would have enough confidence and pride in it to even send out DVD screeners for it.

John Lithgow and Alfred Molina are two homosexuals who are married to each other.
Their marriage has caused legal problems that has cost one of them his job.
This is all established in the first fifteen minutes.
You'd think that the rest of the movie would be devoted to them attempting to fighting the system, to getting the job back.
It isn't.
The rest of the movie is about nothing.
Just mutual consolation.
This is what is known in movies as a "character study".
It can also be referred to as "contemplating one's navel".

On to the scoring:

Is it interesting?

Only in the first fifteen minutes.
C-.

Compelling even?

Never.
F.

Is it controversial?

It has the potential to be, but it isn't.
F.

Is it a story worth telling?

There really wasn't one.
F.

Is it good storytelling?

A "character study" means that there were characters worth studying. They weren't.
F.

Is it well written?

The dialogue was fair.
B.

Is it well cast? Well played?

Lithgow and Molina are wonderful actors. This one really tested their craft.
Within the limitations of the script, they were fine.
B+.

Well shot?

Nothing fancy.
B.

Is it too long? Too short?

The time didn't just fly by.
D.

Is it believable? Do you care about the characters?

Yes, and not a lot.
C.

Is it predictable? Does it surprise you?

I really kind of thought that something was going to happen. I was surprised when nothing did.
D.

Do you think about it after you've seen it?

Very little thinking was involved at all.
F.

Is it funny?

No. A little light relief might have helped.
F.

Would it have been worth the thirteen bucks it would have cost to see it in the movies?

No bucks.
F.

Is it impressive?

No impressiveness.
F.

Overall grade: C-.

It was a shame to see talent like this wasted like that.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****



Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Why "Birdman" Didn't Deserve It's Oscars---Spoiler Alert!!

When I did my Report Card on "Birdman", I did not reveal the story hole at the end of the film, because of a potential "spoiler alert".
Now, everybody and their mothers are doing spoiler alerts.
After all the spoiler alerts on the Oscar telecast, my feeling is that the gloves are off.
But at least I'm telling you about it up front.
So if you don't want to know what the spoiler alert is, stop reading now.
Otherwise, continue.
I think it's worth it.

------------------------------

A film, as fantasy oriented as it is, must adhere to it's own reality.

Keaton wants his play to succeed.

You can't do a one-eighty and have him not care whether his play succeeds or not.

That would be a violation of it's own reality, no matter how much he flies around as a version of Superman.

That can be dismissed as a figment of Keaton's imagination.

The audience is led to believe that, out of despair, Keaton is going to kill himself onstage on Opening Night.

But he has other plans to save the show.

The play that Keaton is starring in gets great reviews, and is going to have a sustaining run for only one reason:

Keaton actually daringly shoots his nose off. Intentionally.

That's the happy ending.

Everyone, including Keaton, is thrilled that they have a hit play.

My question is "What do they do from the second night on?"

It's never addressed.

How is it going to have a sustainable run?

Keep sending Keaton out there on stage to have him keep shooting his nose off?

It's already gone.

He has no nose.

Do you have his understudy go on and shoot HIS own nose off? If he's willing?

Okay. Then what do you do the third night?

Do you just keep rounding up actors to take over the role for one night each?

Including two matinees?

That would be my solution.

Have the question addressed, have someone else remark that "We're getting calls from agents from both coasts, representing actors who would LOVE to step in for one night to shoot their own noses off. That's how desperate actors are for the work. And for the attention."

This may seem pretty far-fetched, but at least it addresses the problem.

And it would have made me laugh.

Getting the award for Best Screenplay was an abomination.
But it was otherwise a pretty good movie.
At least it didn't get nosed out by "Boyhood"
And Michael Keaton got robbed.
"The Imitation Game" was a perfect movie.
Or 'Whiplash".
They had no holes of any kind.
They were about something meaningful.
Either should have won.
A Best Picture should not have such a major story hole.
I don't think there ever was one before this that did.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is that you can't sign one.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Rothman's Picks For The Oscars. Part Four.

Okay.
Best Picture.

· “American Sniper”---A warmed over version of "The Hurt Locker". Didn't like that either.

· “Birdman”--Wonderful moments, but wildly inconsistent.

· “Boyhood”---I am the little boy who sees that the King is naked. Horrendous.

· “The Imitation Game”---I knew nothing about this story, and I think it helped me enjoy it tremendously.

· “The Grand Budapest Hotel”---Masterfully artful, but perhaps lacking in substance.

· “Selma"---Didn't see it, but I have a feeling that I'd react to it the way I reacted to "Lee Daniels' "The Butler", or or "Twelve Years a Slave", or whatever else Oprah turns out, striving for nobility, and perhaps futzing with the truth about LBJ.

· “The Theory of Everything”---Didn't care about Hocking's personal life. Wasn't overwhelmed by Redmayne's performance.

· “Whiplash”---I loved everything about this movie, Particularly J.K. Simmons.

To me it's a three horse race. I would vote for "The Imitation Game". There's what to be said for substance.
"The Grand Budapest Hotel" is a very close second, mainly because of it's technique. But there is really no substance.
"Whiplash"---I just really enjoyed the hell out of it.
If any of these win, I'd be very happy.
If any of the others win, I'd be very sad.

Enjoy the show!!


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is that you can't sign one.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****





Thursday, February 19, 2015

Rothman's Picks For The Oscars. Part Three.

Best Director:

In general, one never knows what the director's true contribution is to a film, unless he also wrote it.
Bearing that in mind---

Morten Tyldum - The Imitation Game- Seems well-directed. He didn't write it. God knows what to make of it.

Alejandro G. Inarritu - Birdman- DID write it. Gets the credit and the blame.

Richard Linklater - Boyhood- Wrote it, if there was in fact, writing. Gets all the blame.

Wes Anderson - The Grand Budapest Hotel- Doesn't matter whether or not he wrote it (he did). The directorial mastery is all over the screen.

Bennett Miller - Foxcatcher- Didn't write it. Didn't seem worth writing. The direction added nothing to it.

My choice (Surprise!): Wes Anderson.

Next time, Best Picture.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****



Rothman's Picks For the Oscars. Part Two.

Continuing:


Best Actor

Steve Carell - Foxcatcher---A prosthetic nose and whispering does not a performance make.

Bradley Cooper - American Sniper---Yes. The acting doesn't show. Neither does the interesting.

Benedict Cumberbatch - The Imitation Game---Really good, but anyone could have played this part just as well.

Michael Keaton - Birdman---A force of nature who supercharged this inconsistent film. It's a lot harder to be great in a not-so-great movie.

Eddie Redmayne - The Theory of Everything---This year's Daniel Day Lewis from My Left Foot. I wouldn't have voted for him either.

My choice---Michael Keaton. By far.


Best Actress

Marion Cotillard - Two Days, One Night---Didn't see it. Don't know who the hell she is.

Felicity Jones - The Theory of Everything---Okay, I suppose.

Julianne Moore - Still Alice---Tremendously soul-baring, touching, and effective.

Rosamund Pike - Gone Girl---Nothing special.

Reese Witherspoon - Wild---Very impressive. Maybe her best work.

My choice---Julianne Moore. No contest.

Next time, Best Director.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****




Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Rothman's Picks For The 2015 Oscars. Part One.

Once again, this is not a reflection of who I think will win.
It reflects who I would vote for, having Seen most of the nominated films and performances, except "Selma", and "Two Days, One Night", which were never sent to me. Most Academy voters have seen far fewer of the films than I have, so I feel that my opinion is no less worthy than anybody else's.

We'll begin with:

Best Supporting Actor.

There are really no bad nominations here.
But some are better than others.


Robert Duvall - The Judge---Your typical first-class wonderful performance from Duvall. I think he raised the level of the film by his mere presence.

Ethan Hawke - Boyhood---Very effective in a thankless part. And he certainly convinced me that he was aging.

Edward Norton- Birdman---Pretty much along for the ride.

Mark Ruffalo - Foxcatcher---See Edward Norton.

JK Simmons - Whiplash---Easily unsurpassed in this category.

My choice--J.K. Simmons


Best Supporting Actress

Patricia Arquette - Boyhood--Rather effective. Interesting watching her age, but not an acting asset.

Laura Dern - Wild---always affecting. In a weaker field, I'd vote for her.

Keira Knightley - The Imitation Game---Didn't add all that much.

Emma Stone - Birdman--I found most of her scenes tedious.

Meryl Streep - Into the Woods---Absolutely incredible. Still the best we have.

My choice---Streep, running away.

Next time---Best Actor and Best Actress.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****



Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Report Card---"Inherent Vice"

This will only be half-a-Report Card, as my wife and I were only able to make it through the first hour of this movie.
At the precise moment, we turned to each other and said "Have you had enough? Yup."
And we turned it off.
I understand that Martin Short was in this movie.
We love Martin Short.
We didn't even make it to his scene or scenes.
This was Paul Thomas Anderson's foray into 70s film noir.
I don't think the 70s lends itself easily to film noir.
He was better off with 70s comedy, Boogie Nights"
This wasn't that.

On to the scoring:

Everything pertains to the first hour.

Is it interesting?

Never.
F.

Compelling even?

A yawner.
F.

Is it controversial?

It wasn't anything.
F.

Is it a story worth telling?

If it was, it became one in the second hour.
F.

Is it good storytelling?

It is only boring.
F.

Is it well written?

It is stultifyingly bad.
F.

Is it well cast? Well played?

It once again brings up the question "Was Joaquin Phoenix ever good in anything?"
F.

Well shot?

Everything is shot in the dark.
F.

Is it too long? Too short?

I'll never know.
F.

Is it believable? Do you care about the characters?

I didn't believe or care about anything.
F.

Is it predictable? Does it surprise you?

I'll never know.
F.

Do you think about it after you've seen it?

Only about how Anderson got a Best Screenplay nomination.
F.

Is it funny?

It's not anything.
F.

Would it have been worth the thirteen bucks it would have cost to see it in the movies?

Someone would have to co-sign a loan to get me to see it in the movies.
F.

Is it impressive?

I won't dignify that one.
F.

Overall grade: F.

A lot of people were fooled by this one.
This was the last Report Card before Oscar Night.
Last was certainly least.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****



Monday, February 16, 2015

Report Card---"Nightcrawler"

"Nightcrawler" is an extremely riveting, thoroughly entertaining movie.
It is about "newsgatherers": the guys who follow crime with their cameras and mikes to get the most gruesome stories for the local TV news shows.
It depicts them as at least one step below paparazzi.
It seems accurate.

On to the scoring:

Is it interesting?

Constantly.
A+.

Compelling even?

Thoroughly.
A+.

Is it controversial?

Moral lines are constantly crossed.
It raises many issues.
A.

Is it a story worth telling?

Absolutely.
A+.

Is it good storytelling?

Great storytelling, all the way through.
A+.

Is it well written?

The dialogue is exceptional. Reminiscent of Aaron Sorkin's.
A-.

Is it well cast? Well played?

Jake Gyllenhall, buttressed by the great dialogue handed him, deserved an Oscar nomination.
A+.

Well shot?

Very.
A.

Is it too long? Too short?

Right on the money.
A+.

Is it believable? Do you care about the characters?

Considering the contempt I have for Local News, it was totally believable.
I cared about the characters whenever it was appropriate. .
A.

Is it predictable? Does it surprise you?

Not predictable, and surprising.
A.

Do you think about it after you've seen it?

There are many haunting images.
A.

Is it funny?

More clever than funny, again, like Aaron Sorkin.
A.

Would it have been worth the thirteen bucks it would have cost to see it in the movies?

If that's the only way to see it, then yes.
A.

Is it impressive?

Extremely.
A.

Overall grade: A.

It definitely deserved its nomination for Best Original Screenplay.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****



Report Card---"Gone Girl"

I am barreling through the rest of the Oscar related films this week, because Oscar night is next Sunday, and I want to leave time to do "Rothman's Picks For The Oscars" later in the week.
There will be a post up every day until Oscar Night.
And after the Oscars, I'll still have a couple of Report Cards to put up.
I found myself enjoying "Gone Girl" immensely, until they got to one of the most disappointing endings I'd ever seen.
Much like "Birdman".
Storytelling rules were violated, beyond redemption.

On to the scoring:

Is it interesting?

Very.
A.

Compelling even?

Often.
A.

Is it controversial?

Only the ending, and not in a good way.
D.

Is it a story worth telling?

It certainly could be.
B.

Is it good storytelling?

Very good, until the ending.
C-.

Is it well written?

Very. It supported what was good about the picture
A-.

Is it well cast? Well played?

Ben Affleck was very good, but that's where it broke down. You cast Ben Affleck, you buy his persona. At the end, they left his persona in the dust. The actress who was nominated opposite him didn't bring a persona with her, so she was easier to take.
C-.

Well shot?

Nothing special.
B.

Is it too long? Too short?

The pace was fine.
A.

Is it believable? Do you care about the characters?

It was rather far-fetched, and the ending made me not care.
C-.

Is it predictable? Does it surprise you?

The ending was not predictable, and totally surprising. Not in a good way.
F.

Do you think about it after you've seen it?

Mainly about how they botched it.
F.

Is it funny?

No.
D.

Would it have been worth the thirteen bucks it would have cost to see it in the movies?

Not any bucks.
F.

Is it impressive?

It's a good roller-coaster ride, until the end.
A.

Overall grade: B-.

If you cast Cary Grant, he must be heroic. Affleck could have been, and the movie would have been much better.
Sometimes, you just have to give the audience what they expect.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****



Report Card---"Wild"

"Wild" reminded me a little of a very interesting film from the late 60s, "The Swimmer", which starred Burt Lancaster.
He spent the whole movie swimming in all the pools in his neighborhood in Connecticut, leaving the audience trying to figure out why.
In "Wild", the sport is hiking, rather than swimming. But it had the same dynamic.

On to the scoring:

Is it interesting?

Sometimes.
B.

Compelling even?

Not really. And you had the feeling it should have been.
C-.

Is it controversial?

No. And you had the feeling it should have been.
C-.

Is it a story worth telling?

I suppose.
B.

Is it good storytelling?

It was okay.
B.

Is it well written?

Nothing special.
B.

Is it well cast? Well played?

Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, love them both. And they were both very affecting.
A.

Well shot?

Extremely.
A+.

Is it too long? Too short?

Very long.
C+.

Is it believable? Do you care about the characters?

It was true, and I cared.
A.

Is it predictable? Does it surprise you?

It was all new to me, so not at all predictable.
A.

Do you think about it after you've seen it?

Not really.
C-.

Is it funny?

No.
D.

Would it have been worth the thirteen bucks it would have cost to see it in the movies?

Not my thirteen bucks.
F.

Is it impressive?

On many levels.
A.

Overall grade: B-.

I would have rather seen Burt swimming again.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****


Friday, February 13, 2015

Report Card---"Foxcatcher"

"Foxcatcher" is based on the true, creepy story of one of the Dupont heirs killing a member of his wrestling team.
It made all the papers when it happened.
They managed to turn it into a true, creepy movie.

On to the scoring:

Is it interesting?

It depends on whether you know what happened going in or not.
I did, so it wasn't.
C-.

Compelling even?

No. Just creepy.
C-.

Is it controversial?

No.
F.

Is it a story worth telling?

I really don't see why.
D.

Is it good storytelling?

It was okay, if you didn't know the facts.
B-.

Is it well written?

Nothing special.
B.

Is it well cast? Well played?

So Steve Carell wore a prosthetic nose, and he didn't go for laughs . And they nominated him for an Oscar for this.
Mark Ruffalo was sort of good, I suppose.
B.

Well shot?

Nothing special
B-.

Is it too long? Too short?

Too long if you know what's ooming. Otherwise, no.
B-.

Is it believable? Do you care about the characters?

It was true, and I didn't care.
F.

Is it predictable? Does it surprise you?

Never surprising.
F.

Do you think about it after you've seen it?

Only about why they thought that this was a movie worth making.
F.

Is it funny?

No.
F.

Would it have been worth the thirteen bucks it would have cost to see it in the movies?

It's not worth anybody's time, anywhere.
F

Is it impressive?

It is dreary.
F.

Overall grade: D.

PLEASE stop making historical pictures for no reason!!


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Report Card---"Boyhood"

"Boyhood"'s gimmick of taking a dozen years to shoot it, with the same actors, all aging a dozen years, is just that: a gimmick.
The three hours I spent watching it felt like a dozen years.
There was no story of note being told.
It seemed totally aimless.
As if the director shot twelve years of film, perhaps without a script, and then tried to figure out how to make a movie out of it.
I don't think he succeeded.
The young boy, who was the lead actor, was a complete cipher.
Totally uninteresting.

On to the scoring:

Is it interesting?

Almost never, except for seeing Patricia Arquette age a dozen years. There was one character, who appeared for about a half-
hour in the middle, and then vanished, who was VERY interesting. I kept rooting for him to come back, but he never did.
C-.

Compelling even?

Only for the above mentioned half-hour.
B-.

Is it controversial?

No.
F.

Is it a story worth telling?

There WAS no story.
F.

Is it good storytelling?

It is NO storytelling.
F.

Is it well written?

It doesn't appear to have BEEN written.
F.

Is it well cast? Well played?

Patricia Arquette was very good. And she convinced me that she was getting older. Same with Ethan Hawke.
Otherwise, the casting was mostly uninspired.
B.

Well shot?

Nothing special
B-.

Is it too long? Too short?

About two-and-a-half hours too long.
D+.

Is it believable? Do you care about the characters?

I can certainly believe that many lives are boring. I don't need to see it.
I didn't care about these folks.
F.

Is it predictable? Does it surprise you?

I was starting to predict that it would never end. I was surprised when it DID end so unimaginatively.
F.

Do you think about it after you've seen it?

I wasn't thinking about it WHILE I saw it.
F.

Is it funny?

Not at all.
F.

Would it have been worth the thirteen bucks it would have cost to see it in the movies?

I could make some snotty joke like "Maybe if you paid a dollar a year", but it wouldn't be worth that much.
F

Is it impressive?

Only in how much the director has fooled the public with this one.
F.

Overall grade: D.

That this can win for Best Picture truly scares the hell out of me.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****


Monday, February 9, 2015

Report Card---"Into The Woods"

I saw the stage version of "Into The Woods" twice.
Once in New York, where Bernadette Peters starred as the Witch.
And, in Los Angeles, where Cleo Laine was the Witch.
Peters was great.
Laine was fantastic.
Meryl Streep was better than both of them.
I'm a huge fan of Sondheim, and of this show.
The film does justice to all concerned.
I was certainly one who was concerned.
It is wonderful.

On to the scoring:

Is it interesting?

The intricate interweaving of the different fairy tales is fascinating.
A+.

Compelling even?

Often.
A+.

Is it controversial?

No, nor is it an issue.
No Grade.

Is it a story worth telling?

Absolutely.
A+.

Is it good storytelling?

Great storytelling.
A+.

Is it well written?

On all levels. And it is Sondheim at his most inventive.
The music is dazzling and haunting.
One quibble: In the stage play, there was a narrator, who turns out to be the Baker's father.
They retained the father, but eliminated him as the narrator.
There was no narrator.
Somehow, this caused them to eliminate what was, for my money, the best song in the show---a duet between the Baker and his father, called "No More".
It was sorely missed, by me.
And the spot for the song was still right there.
It could have been included. Sadly, it wasn't.
A.


Is it well cast? Well played?

Uniformly, and Streep was inspired, and an inspired choice.
A+.

Well shot?

Exquisitely.
A+.

Is it too long? Too short?

Too short, because they didn't include "No More".
A-.

Is it believable? Do you care about the characters?

Extremely, and extremely, considering it is a dozen fairy tales.
A+.

Is it predictable? Does it surprise you?

If you haven't seen the play, it is a total surprise.
A.

Do you think about it after you've seen it?

Mainly about that song that was cut. I've been humming it over and over since I saw the movie.
B-.

Is it funny?

More ironic than funny, but effectively so.
A.

Would it have been worth the thirteen bucks it would have cost to see it in the movies?

Yes. The larger the screen, the better it is.
A+

Is it impressive?

God, yes.
A+.

Overall grade: A.

There is something about close-ups and a large screen that make Sondheim's intricate lyrics much easier to comprehend than if you're watching the stage musical.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Report Card---"Still Alice"

"Still Alice" is about a woman facing the onset of early Alzheimer's disease.
This is not light fare.
But it is absorbing, sensitively portrayed, and wonderfully acted.
It helps to be in the mood for this.

On to the scoring:

Is it interesting?

Very.
A.

Compelling even?

Often.
A+.

Is it controversial?

Issues of family responsibility could have been more controversial.
C-.

Is it a story worth telling?

Absolutely.
A+.

Is it good storytelling?

Yes.
B+.

Is it well written?

Yes.
B+.


Is it well cast? Well played?

Julianne Moore gives a career performance.
Alec Baldwin is really good in a role that is not like what he usually plays.
A+.

Well shot?

Well enough.
B+.

Is it too long? Too short?

Not at all long.
A.

Is it believable? Do you care about the characters?

Extremely, and extremely.
A+.

Is it predictable? Does it surprise you?

You pretty much know where it's going.
C.

Do you think about it after you've seen it?

Yes. Particularly when I have senior moments.
A.

Is it funny?

No. I suppose they could have found some humor.
C.

Would it have been worth the thirteen bucks it would have cost to see it in the movies?

No.
D.

Is it impressive?

Yes. Particularly the acting.
A.

Overall grade: A.

Julianne Moore should be in the hunt on Oscar Night.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Report Card---"Whiplash"

"Whiplash" depicts the passion to make wonderful music.
In this case, jazz, on the highest level.
"Whiplash" displays the passion to make a wonderful movie, on the highest level.
And it succeeds, triumphantly.

On to the scoring:

Is it interesting?

Constantly.
A+.

Compelling even?

Often.
A+.

Is it controversial?

To some extent. When does firm teaching cross over the line to badgering?
A+.

Is it a story worth telling?

Absolutely.
A+.

Is it good storytelling?

Great storytelling. It never lets up.
A+.

Is it well written?

Very.
A+.

Is it well cast? Well played?

J.K. Simmons has the pivotal role. I only knew him as Dr. Skoda, the go-to shrink on "Law and Order", when they didn't have that cutie, Dr. Olivet available. He wasn't nearly as cute, nor did he make that much of an impression.
Then, I noticed him in the "Farmer's Insurance" commercials, which, apparently, he still does.
In those parts, he was and is amusingly benign.
As the music professor in "Whiplash", he displays a side of himself that I had no idea he had.
It's a side that most actors don't have.
He is magnificent.
And he brings everyone else up to his level.
Love the Simmons.
A+.

Well shot?

Extremely, and extremely well edited.
It was edited to the pace of the music, in fine fashion.
A+.

Is it too long? Too short?

Perfect length.
A+.

Is it believable? Do you care about the characters?

Extremely, and extremely.
A+.

Is it predictable? Does it surprise you?

I was surprised at every turn.
A+.

Do you think about it after you've seen it?

I was blown away by it. This necessitates continual thought.
A+.

Is it funny?

When it wants to be, and that's often enough.
A.

Would it have been worth the thirteen bucks it would have cost to see it in the movies?

You would have been even more overwhelmed by it.
A+.

Is it impressive?

On every level.
A+.

Overall grade: A+.

It and Simmons certainly deserve their nominations.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****

Friday, January 30, 2015

Why I Can't Stand Chris Matthews Any More, Part 3, And Why I Can't Stand Dick Cavett Any More, Part 2

Dick Cavett appeared on Chris Matthews' show last night on MSNBC.
You know.
Chris Matthews.
The idiot.
Cavett was there to plug 'Brief Encounters', his "new book"
"Brief Encounters" is a collection of essays.
Nowhere during the interview was it mentioned that these essays were already printed in his column for the New York Times over the last few years.
Did Cavett not want to tell this to Matthews?
Did Matthews not do his homework?
All he seemed to want to do was fawn over Cavett at every opportunity.
This is not the first time Cavett has tried to put one over on his readers and viewers.
He had another "book", 'Talk Show', that was assembled the same way.
I am going to reprint what I experienced when I ordered THAT book from Amazon, with some slight updating.
At least I'm telling you that this is a reprinted article:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I should warn you up front that in todays post, the rant level will be ramped up significantly.
I will be capitalizing words for loud emphasis.
That's the kind of mood I'm in.

A few weeks ago, I received an e-mail from Amazon.com, inviting me to pre-order Dick Cavett's new book, "Talk Show".
Whenever you order a book from Amazon, they e-mail you to inform you that there are books that you might like based on previous books you've ordered from them.
I like when they do this.
I CAN'T EMPHASIZE THIS ENOUGH.
I LIKE WHEN THEY DO THIS.

I have read Dick Cavett's blog on the New York Times website since it began.
He writes very well, even though a lot of what he writes there are things he has written in his other books.

Amazon was offering a very good discount on "Talk Show".
So good that it required me to order something else to get the order over $25 to qualify for free shipping.
There was another book that also offered a good discount that sent the order over $25.
So I took a flyer and placed the order, hoping that Cavett wouldn't be repeating himself too often.

The blurb for Cavett's book was:
"Talk Show: Confrontations, Pointed Commentary, and Off-Screen Secrets."

Now I like confrontations as well as the next guy.
More, even.
And who doesn't like pointed commentary?
Off-Screen Secrets?
I live for them.

I received the e-mail informing me that the order was on its way.
In the interim, I read Cavett's current entry on his N.Y. Times blog.
It's an entire blog devoted to bellyaching about having to go out to the hinterlands to promote this book.
As someone has worked on turning my blog into several books, I would kill for the opportunity to go wherever necessary to hawk the shit out of my books.
If I wouldn't, I simply wouldn't make the effort to turn them into books.
In this current column he mentions, in passing, that this book is a compilation of his blog articles.
You know.
The ones that I have already read.
And I'm now paying more than twenty bucks to have in my possession.
A word to Cavett: an off-screen secret can not still be a secret IF IT HAS ALREADY BEEN PUBLISHED!!

So he's complaining about having to promote a book he didn't even have to WRITE.
Only COMPILE.
From the Motion Picture "Boy, He's Got It Tough".

There was no indication on the Amazon page about the book being a compilation of the blog articles.
Nor is there one now.
For Brief Encounters, you have to hunt down the One-Star reviews to find this information.
Now I must make it clear that I don't blame Amazon for any of this.
For two simple reasons: I have since published four Kindle books there, and I don't want to piss them off.
And I don't want any problems with my customer account.

No, I place the blame purely on the little shoulders of Dick Cavett.
I don't care if I piss him off like crazy.
It behooved him early in the process to place the information on the Amazon Page prominently that THIS IS A COMPILATION OF ARTICLES HAVE BEEN READ ALREADY BY MANY!
That MANY people have read these articles already!
ALREADY!

I can't believe that I am alone in this dilemma.
I imagine that many of his potential pre-order readers were culled from the people who read his blog regularly.
His blog appears on the N.Y. Times website, where there are many, many readers.

I have now had to deal with Amazon to try to get a refund.
Finally after several jousts, where conflicting information was offered, I was able to return the package.
And of course, I couldn't open the package to retrieve the other book that was in the same box, so I had to return that too, and have to re-order it.
Somewhat of an inconvenience.
But, again, I' M NOT BLAMING AMAZON!
I DON'T WANT TO PISS OFF AMAZON!
THIS IS PURELY DICK CAVETT'S FAULT!

I undersand that my complaining about what Cavett did might seem as insignificant as Cavett complaining about having to hawk his book in the hinterlands.
At least to him.
The difference being that if I don't get my refund from Amazon, Dick Cavett owes me twenty four bucks.

----------------
So I didn't make the same mistake twice.
I advise you regular Cavett blog-readers to not make the same mistake once.


*****

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Report Card----"American Sniper"

"American Sniper" is another version of "The Hurt Locker", which, if you might recall, I hated.
I didn't hate "American Sniper" quite as much.
Probably because I had the low expectations of it being another "Hurt Locker"
It's point of view seemed to be all over the place.
It condemned war.
It glorified war.
Apparently, it also futzed around with the truth.
This is something that has become something of a hallmark of Clint Eastwood.
That, and talking to empty chairs.

On to the scoring:

Is it interesting?

Only occasionally.
C.

Compelling even?

Never.
F.

Is it controversial?

The incompleteness of the details and the ending is somewhat controversial.
That it made 90 million on opening weekend is controversial.
D.

Is it a story worth telling?

Not to me.
C-.

Is it good storytelling?

It consistently rambles.
C-.

Is it well written?

No.
C-.

Is it well cast? Well played?

I've never gotten what all the shouting is about Bradley Cooper.
James Lipton had him on "Inside The Actors Studio, and spent the whole hour practically blowing him.
Cooper added nothing to this.
C-.

Well shot?

Eastwood basically photographed a shoot-em-up, and did nothing to advance the form.
C.

Is it too long? Too short?

Way too long.
C-.

Is it believable? Do you care about the characters?

I don't know what to believe. I don't know what to care about.
C-.

Is it predictable? Does it surprise you?

I didn't know what to expect. The ending seemed to be left deliberately unclear.
C-.

Do you think about it after you've seen it?

Only with dismay.
C-.

Is it funny?

Never.
F.

Would it have been worth the thirteen bucks it would have cost to see it in the movies?

I can't imagine that it would, knowing that I'm in the vast minority.
F.

Is it impressive?

No.

Overall grade: C-.

It was just another empty chair for Eastwood to talk to.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Underinflated.

Okay.
Here's an opportunity for Roger Goodell to redeem himself.
Bill Belichick obviously cheated the Indianapolis Colts by deflating his team's footballs.
To me, this is far more egregious than Pete Rose betting on the Reds, thus being banned from baseball.
I'm not suggesting that Belichick be banned for life from coaching, although I'd consider it, because he has an extensive track record for doing this kind of thing.
He is a cheat, and always has been.
But it's not fair to take it out on the Patriots.
It's also not fair to take it out on the Colts.
My first reaction was that the Patriots should forfeit the game to the Colts, but perhaps that's too severe.
So I'd stop short of that.
But if I were Goodell, here's what I'd suggest.
Not suggest. Demand.
Reschedule the Colts-Pats game this Sunday.
There would still be a week to go before the Super Bowl.
Hold the game in Indianapolis.
Foxboro had it's chance.
Make sure the balls aren't underinflated.
Don't let anyone on the Patriots touch them.
Let the Colts do whatever they want to THEY'RE balls, so to speak.
And the winner of THAT game goes to the Super Bowl.
Think of the ratings!
If Belichick doesn't accept these conditions, the Patriots will forfeit the game, and the Colts then waltz their way into the Super Bowl.
If I was Roger Goodell, that's what I'd do.
But then, I have balls.
Roger Goodell most-likely doesn't.
He's never shown any in the past.
And MY balls are not underinflated.

-----
P.S.---I just watched Keith Olbermann, and he echoed virtually all of my sentiments.
He elaborated by quoting the NFL Rule Book, which gives Goodell the authority to do ALL of this.

------
Thursday---Things are going predictably.
Not a word from Goodell, except that it's all "under investigation".
The clock is ticking.
What's there to investigate?
Who actually deflated the footballs?
Isn't it enough to know that they WERE and that it's CHEATING?
We know it wasn't anyone on the Colts.
So today, we were treated by the media to a medley by Belichick and Brady of "There Ain't No Flies On Me"
It all happened under Belichick's watch, so there ARE flies on him.
So it looks like Goodell's just running out the clock.
I know that he's in the pocket of Robert Kraft, the Patriots owner, but don't both of them realize that the integrity of the Super Bowl is more important to all concerned than whether or not the Patriots get into it?
Goodell is worth over $44 million.
Is he really worried about losing his job and having to stand on a breadline?
To quote a line from the film "On The Beach", "There is still time, brother!"

-------
Friday---The media discussion on this subject has now degenerated into extended double entendre "balls" jokes.
Nobody is taking the Cheating issue seriously.
I believe that I was the first person to deliver a "balls" joke.
But it was part of a more serious discussion.
And now, it's just descended into "balls" overkill.
The media is no better than Roger Goodell.
Particularly NBC media.
Because they're hosting the game.
Bob Costas and Lawrence O'Donnell were particularly disgraceful about "balls" last night.
We're all screwed.

---------
Saturday---Belichick addresses reporters and blames the whole thing on the weather.
Weren't the Colts and their balls on the same field, playing in the same weather?
Belichick then took some questions, and none of the esteemed members of the press asked him that one.
Sheeesh!!!


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Report Card---"The Grand Hotel Budapest"

"The Grand Hotel Budapest" is, in fact, grand.
It is, to quote Forrest Gump, a box of chocolates.
A box of Godiva Chocolates.
This isn't Hershey's, or Nestles.
This is a very fancy movie.
It is a lovely gift for the audience.
It is simply this delightful chunk of whimsy.
If you're looking for more than that, go someplace else.
Accept it on it's own terms, and fall in love with it.

On to the scoring:

Is it interesting?

Always. Mainly because you are dazzled by the look of it.
A+.

Compelling even?

It's really not designed to be taken that seriously.
No Grade.

Is it controversial?

It is a glorious soufflé. No room for controversy.
No Grade.

Is it a story worth telling?

Absolutely.
A+.

Is it good storytelling?

Superb.
A+.

Is it well written?

Extremely.
A.

Is it well cast? Well played?

There are a lot of big names doing virtual cameos. That only adds to the fun. And WILLEM DAFOE is in this one too!
A+.

Well shot?

That's where this really shines. Wes Anderson is an utter master of using the camera to tell visual jokes, much like John Hughes used to. And even better, to paint stunning pictures with it.
A+.

Is it too long? Too short?

Just right.
A+.

Is it believable? Do you care about the characters?

Believable enough. And I cared totally.
A.

Is it predictable? Does it surprise you?

Slightly predictable, but it never mattered.
A-.

Do you think about it after you've seen it?

Only about how so many inferior directors are given so much more credit than Wes Anderson, who is, unlike the others, a true visionary.
A+.

Is it funny?

Hilarious.
A+.

Would it have been worth the thirteen bucks it would have cost to see it in the movies?

Yes. And don't watch it on a little screen.
A+.

Is it impressive?

Visually, unsurpassed.
A+.

Overall grade: A+.

I'm glad to see that there is at least some room at the Oscars for a soufflé.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****

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About Me

Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at macchus999@aol.com. Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."