3*; Closer (2004)

Particulars:
The cast has name recognition.
The film is discomforting.

My previous movie commentary (Yesterday) said, “The acting is good and the casting fantastic.” This film in no way compels that same statement. The cast did not fit; the directing did not impress.

Natalie Portman a stripper? It’s not the “height” of her skills, so to speak. Julia Roberts incessantly wavering? She is often great playing a focused character. Jude Law as the unhinged author? He triumphantly carried this style forward to portray Thomas Wolfe in Genius (2016), but here it was uneven. Clive Owen being a weird dermatologist? He got “under my skin” like the rest of them. Continue reading 3*; Closer (2004)

7*; Yesterday (2019)

Particulars:
The Beatles are scratched from memory
One man works to remember and perform

Creative storytelling! It’s rare that Hollywood would bring a tale to the screen without ridiculous embellishment of chase scenes, gratuitous sex, and off-topic distracting diversions. Oh! This isn’t a Hollywood flick?

Of course, it’s too good for that. Thank you Danny Boyle (Director). By the way, it isn’t epic. But it is original, quippy, and delightful.

There’s a twist near the end that one couldn’t see coming. There are two in the middle that are perfectly positioned. The acting is good and the casting fantastic. Continue reading 7*; Yesterday (2019)

March Sadness 2020

Today is the Ides of March, and this time
something bigger than Caesar has been killed.

Like a prior post about the 3pt shot, the topic is college basketball, but specifically  “March Madness,” the NCAA Tournament. Today should have featured the selection of 68 teams to compete for the championship.

The Sunday “Selection Show,” with its reveal of the tournament bracket, tips off three upcoming weekends of action, glory, surprises, reflection, deflections, perfection, and escape. For some (me) it is bigger than Olympics, World Cup, World Series, Kentucky Derby, Super Bowl, Christmas, birthdays, New Years’ Eve, you-name-it! Yes, even Hamilton Musical.

Maybe killing March Madness
isn’t “bigger than Caesar”
but today I lament…

the cancellation that brought March Sadness. Continue reading March Sadness 2020

“Leonardo …” -Zip Reads

Leonardo da Vinci -Summary of Isaacson

  • DougInNC book report
  • “More than a Review”

Full book title: Summary & Analysis of Leonardo da Vinci
– A Guide to the Book by Walter Isaacson

Let’s get this point straight: Leonardo da Vinci is “Leonardo.” I learned this important distinction, and took further interest, when traveling to Rome in 2019, arriving for a six-night stay on precisely the 500th anniversary of his May 2, 1519 passing.

I elicited a dark stare by telling a local guide that I was interested in learning about “da Vinci.” A sad, despondent, “Let me explain” shake of the head preceded the reply that I likely meant “Leonardo,” not “da Vinci.”

For why would I express a desire to hear of a small distant town? Surely I wanted to hear about a man, not a place, and his name is “Leonardo,” of (“da”) the place named “Vinci.” The inquiry continues:
Continue reading “Leonardo …” -Zip Reads

‘Leap’ into March, 3Pt Shot 2020

This is a free day; no charge for the extra 24 hours of Leap Year 2020.

I’m leaping off my usual topics of travel, books, and occasionally movies or stage shows to something that has been a passion since the 1970s: college basketball, particularly the “March Madness” of the NCAA Tournament.

Today I’m analyzing the 3-point shot. Here’s a history lesson for that shooting distance (feet and inches) during the existence of the three-point shot in the men’s game:

2007-08: thru that season, the 3pt line was 19', 9"
2008-09: the line was moved back to 20', 9"
2019-20: the line was moved back to 22', 1 3/4", the International distance

It seems there has been no drop-off with this season’s longer line. Things are not always as they seem, eh? Analysis makes those “things” clearer. I’ll get to the data in a moment. Continue reading ‘Leap’ into March, 3Pt Shot 2020

“Tenth-Floor Clinic”

Stories from the Tenth-Floor Clinic -by Marianna Crane

  • a DougInNC book review

If one wishes to explore a new world, let author Marianna Crane take you there. Hers is not a galaxy; not a fantasy; not the whereabouts of witches and warlocks. In Chicago exists a universe far, far away from your reality.

The reader will be mystified and startled to discover an assortment of genuine human beings in sub-standard housing clinging to life, unseen but in full view of the broadest shoulders in the American Midwest.
Continue reading “Tenth-Floor Clinic”

“Forgetfulness”

Forgetfulness -by Francis O’Gorman

  • a DougInNC book report
  • “More than a Review”

This reader’s summary, is definitely far “more than a review.” You’ll find far more length and far more analysis than even my usual missives on books. Please settle in for an extended ride.

For this book I endeavor to capture chapters 1 to 4. This could free another reader to delve directly into the concluding chapters 5 and 6. Those latter two units have greater philosophical focus and provide ingredients for critical thinking about the implications of Forgetfulness.

My decision to take this approach was an outgrowth of (1) gifting the book to a distant friend having only perused reviews, (2) feeling I should read it myself to be fair to the friend, (3) finding the writing at the outset to be a challenging compilation, (4) hoping to encourage my friend’s pursuit, and (5) seeking a better position to discuss the thoughts of O’Gorman when meeting my fellow reader.

This blog post will recount the essence of those first four chapters. It is therein that the author develops background and constructs his position.

Three parts follow:

Part I. A description of the book, in the author’s words.
Part II. A summary of key subject matter.
Part III. Review observations on selected topics from Parts I and II.

Continue reading “Forgetfulness”