Filming location for spaghetti westerns in Almería, Spain

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© 1987-2018
Scott R. Larson

Building façade in Cannes, France

Archive of Commentaries


April 2018
  • 5 April: No job, no responsibilities, no worries—what could possibly be missing from Roger’s totally carefree life? [Growing up with an angelic assist]

    March 2018
  • 19 March: Words of wisdom from an energetic actor/writer/producer: ‘Acting is supposed to look easy, but it take a lot of work to make something look easy’ [Meeting the brewer of Joe]
  • 5 March: Somebody, please, go out and buy a nice, expensive pair of Gucci sunglasses for Meryl Streep [Going out for Chinese]

    February 2018
  • 27 February: If you need a bit of laughter and romance in your life, then maybe you could use a taste of Joe [Love in the age of baristas]
  • 15 February: As it does not say in the Book of Matthew, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a roster of Oscar® nominees to meet everyone’s moral approval [Test of character]

    January 2018
  • 9 January: Serious question: which high-powered producer being fawned over at this year’s Golden Globes will be cast as the unspeakable villain at next year’s ceremony? [Golden Globules]


    December 2017
  • 14 December: Farewell to the king of character actors, a courageous young Irish filmmaker, a football veteran who was everywhere on our screens, a sensitive tough guy, a shoulda-been Don Quixote, a quintessential screen dad, the Channel Islands’ gift to TV and movies and the long-reigning queen of French cinema [Rushed Farewells]

    November 2017
  • 9 November: What is the right way to respond when your favorite producer/director/actor turns out to be a sex offender? (Spoiler: I don’t have a clue) [An open non-secret]

    October 2017
  • 29 October: Of all the film acting talent out there, which ones would be your choice to star in a romance between a dissolute twentysomething American man and a beautiful thirtysomething French woman? [Role play]

    September 2017
  • 25 September: For once (or maybe thrice), I am going to suggest that you stop spending so much time watching movies and, instead, enjoy reading a good book (which may include film references) [Revenge of the sequel]

    August 2017
  • 25 August: Farewell to a Centauri civil servant, a famously absent-minded dad, godfather to the zombies, a man of many faces, the mistress of l’amour fou, and the ultimate voice maven [Adieu encore]

    July 2017
  • 24 July: A French wunderkind graciously indulges my questions about his impressive short film, Deauville, Eva Green and even that old gothic soap opera I’m always on about [Mon entretien avec Keyvan]
  • 18 July: Sometimes at a film festival it is easier to see the winner of an election than the prospective winner of a best-film award [What’s the plural of Fleadh?]

    June 2017
  • 16 June: It served thousands looking a better life in America—and a film cast and crew making a nostalgic visit home [All aboard for Ireland’s and film’s history]
  • 3 June: A woman’s body pulled from the water, a town full of suspects and, no, I’m not talking about what you think I’m talking about [Murder and mystery in Mystic]

    May 2017
  • 20 May: Sometimes the closest you can get to a good documentary film is listening to the radio [Dying to watch films]

    March 2017
  • 31 March: Even in my own mental world of the imagination, I somehow still cannot manage to get to the Cannes film festival [Film fest of the mind]

    February 2017
  • 27 February: Once they were young and in love and they killed people; now they are old and confused and they dash Oscar® dreams [Oscars® so whacked]
  • 10 February: One was the best FBI forensic agent to hit the Tri-State area, one was the consummate thespian with plenty of franchise/fanboy cred, and one was, well, she [Adieu]

    January 2017
  • 17 January: An idea born on a subway train greminates and blooms into the appealing debut feature April’s Flowers [Bringing love’s mystery to life]
  • 10 January: Finally, feature-length cartoons are exposed as the gut-wrenching, trauma-inducing childhood experiences we always knew they really were [Golden globals]


    December 2016
  • 20 December: One brought mayhem to a dodgy Torquay hotel, one brought creepiness to a Maine sanitarium, and one brought us the whole universe using a desktop computer [Farewells]

    November 2016
  • 16 November: One brought extraterrestrials vividly to life, one was from Mexico, and one both played an extraterrestrial and saved a village of Mexicans [Adiós]

    September 2016
  • 16 September: A nervous accountant, an eccentric chocolate factory owner, a washed-up gunslinger, the grandson of a mad scientist—you know who I’m talking about [Leo Bloom, Willy Wonka, the Waco Kid and Dr. Frederick Frankenshteen (1933-2016)]

    August 2016
  • 16 August: Who’d you rather? Jennifer Lawrence or Emilia Clarke? (No, it’s not what you think) [Casting asperions]
  • 3 August: Somewhere out there beyond the rim, the security chief of the last of the Babylon stations is in the universe’s face and making it pay attention [Mr. Garibaldi (1956-2016)]

    July 2016
  • 22 July: This man did so many things that I didn’t even find time to mention the sitcom The Odd Couple (twice) [Pretty Happy Days Diaries (1934-2016)]
  • 11 July: If you wanted to be immersed in the uniqueness of Belfast, Dublin, Drogheda and Cork, the place to be last week was Galway [Fleadh me to the moon]

    June 2016
  • 10 June: Do not bother reading this unless you are a filmmaker with a CGI budget—or Emma Thompson [What? Another one?]

    May 2016
  • 5 May: If you think that all the really good ideas for interesting gangster movies have all been used, think again [Indie gangster golden age]

    April 2016
  • 6 April: Attention frustrated filmmakers: someone is actually trying out a new way to get your movie out there [Matching new art with eyeballs]

    March 2016
  • 1 March: If you didn’t watch the Oscars on Sunday night, then at least you don’t have to try to get the image of George Clooney ‘with a lime green tux on and a swan coming out his ass’ out of your mind [Rock and a hard place]

    February 2016
  • 17 February: For me personally, the word ‘finlandization’ has its own particular meaning [War without end]
  • 4 February: With a comet going to crash into the earth in 34 days, what’s not to laugh about? [Extinction-level laughs]

    January 2016
  • 28 January: Time to bid adieu to a Campania-born filmmaker, a late-in-life scene stealer, the bachelor’s niece and an unfortunate silver craftsman [Farewells]
  • 12 January: Talk about value! How else can you get six really cool stories by watching only two movies? [Omnibuses on a schedule]


    December 2015
  • 10 December: When it comes to the future of film, my advice is to definitely not sell it short [The long and the short of it]
  • 1 December: A new short film poses an interesting question: where exactly is the line between playing a role and just simply living? [Out performing]

    November 2015
  • 26 November: One of our most human desires is to want to change the past—but would it really be a good idea? [Desperate for a do-over]
  • 11 November: Fatih’s day starts out pleasantly enough, but it’s about to get a whole lot more complicated [Quite the clean-up job]

    October 2015
  • 20 October: More pieces of my childhood—specifically a Gothic serial helmer, an adventuring boy and an Irishman in space—fade away [Farewells]

    September 2015
  • 10 September: Reviewing movies would be a whole lot easier if I had a time machine so I could find out how I am going to feel about them in the future [Donnie + 14]

    August 2015
  • 22 August: Things are getting steamy at the office, but it’s not what you think—it’s just the humor of Audrey Noone [Hot stuff]
  • 14 August: Scottie has it all—luck, success, money and everything else (poor guy) [All things unfair]

    July 2015
  • 28 July: In another fine film from Azerbaijan, does someone or something want to be found in the woods? [Wanting to be found]
  • 13 July: Unlike a good martini, a film festival does not necessarily have to be dry—although maybe the Cinemobile should actually be a boat [Raining movies]

    May 2015
  • 25 May: There’s Halloween decorating to be done, but there’s something strange going on in and around the house [The pamphlet left at the door]

    March 2015
  • 31 March: The music of a Canadian Lovecraft finds its match in the expressionist images of a very eclectic filmmaker [Living louche with a beat]
  • 10 March: ‘Your mother is waiting’: a prodigal son takes the long way home [Long journey home]
  • 2 March: In a darkly funny film from Cyprus, a badgered husband ineptly plans the ultimate escape [The not-so-bitter end]

    February 2015
  • 25 February: In a short film, a brother and sister struggle under the weight of sorrow [Life and death in the aftermath]
  • 24 February: As much as I enjoyed Doogie Howser’s antics, I wouldn’t have minded a few minutes of Clint Eastwood talking to a chair [Oscar® to the barricades]
  • 11 February: There’s no use worrying about double or triple points in Scrabble if you’re playing against your wife and your marriage is a dead letter [Fatal tiles]
  • 3 February: A tale of a womanizing golfer becomes the little movie that could [Success story]

    January 2015
  • 8 January: I don’t have time to remember everyone who passed away last year, but maybe I can mention just one or two—or three for four or… [The Departed]


    November 2014
  • 26 November: Here’s where I offer a great Christmas gift idea and send you to someone else’s blog to read about me [Joining the cult]
  • 3 November: From the simmering green fields of Ireland to the smoky interiors of a couple’s relationship, two new short films could not be more different [Fire and smoke]

    October 2014
  • 10 October: Where’s a great place for author interviews, book excerpts, short story competitions and drabbles? The Cult of Me! [Come and join me at The Cult of Me]

    September 2014
  • 11 September: It’s an online film festival that you can watch on your computer—and see a quality film you heard about here first [Pablo’s premiere]
  • 10 September: I set out to write a page-turner, and now you can actually turn the pages with your fingers more literally [Rock, paper, epub]
  • 5 September: Who would ever have thought that the earnest young man in a suit chasing a mermaid on the northern coast of Scotland would eventually become the master of the TARDIS? [Tartan Time Lord]

    August 2014
  • 7 August: Hey, all you young aspiring actors, here’s the chance for that big break you’ve been waiting for—and all you need to do is to bring along your trust fund [Adaptation]

    July 2014
  • 15 July: Even in a small dose, the Galway Film Fleadh continues to satisfy, provoke thought and build on decades of great memories [Fleadh and away]

    June 2014
  • 16 June: It wasn’t an easy interview to snag—okay, actually it was—but you won’t get a better insight into the creative mind all week [Interview with the author]
  • 9 June: It can finally now be revealed what I was working on during all those hours when I wasn’t posting on this blog [An open book]

    May 2014
  • 21 May: A rather stunning new short film asks the musical question, is the meat market now becoming the meat grinder? [Love in the age of apps]

    April 2014
  • 10 April: ‘Those experiences only made me stronger leading to a happiness and success that I never even imagined’: filmmaker Eric Casaccio is back with another moving short film [Holding a mirror to Narcissus]
  • 3 April: ‘There is a transgressive nature to writing—or any interpretable art’: filmmaker Pablo D’Stair tells all about his feature film debut [Probing Pablo]

    March 2014
  • 4 March: What’s the fun of an Oscar telecast that you can’t ridicule? (Thank goodness for John Travolta) [Oscars letting it go]

    February 2014
  • 4 February: He was never going to be a leading man, but he had the talent to be absolutely any character that a movie could possibly need [Plutarch Heavensbee (1967-2014)]

    January 2014
  • 22 January: First he introduced us to an endearing freak, and now he’s delivering us into the clutches of a cold narcissist [Vampire’s kiss]
  • 14 January: Here is my winner for Most Meaningless Awards Program on a Sunday or Tuesday evening [Globe trotters]
  • 7 January: If I had my own time machine, the first thing I would do is go into the future and watch Jordan’s new film [Let’s kick start this new year]


    December 2013
  • 16 December: He wasn’t just T.E. Lawrence; he was Lord Jim, Henry II, Mr. Chips, Don Quixote, Jim Larkin, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Pope Paul III, kings, colonels, earls and, most memorably, Eli Cross and Alan Swann [Lawrence of Arabia (1932-2013)]

    November 2013
  • 26 November: Maybe it couldn’t live up to the hype, but it will definitely outlive the hype [Who hooley: holy cow!]
  • 22 November: The world of Doctor Who: it’s bigger (and better) on the inside [The Doctor: pure gold]
  • 13 November: It might raise Ireland’s profile among those who like intense television, but it won’t do much for Dublin’s tourism industry [Love it or hate it…]

    September 2013
  • 25 September: Hours of filming may yield only 90 seconds of viable footage, but half an hour is plenty of time to get goose bumps [Paranoia in a convenient dose]
  • 9 September: In my youth, my heroes were Iron Man and the mighty Thor, but now my hero is my best pal [My best friend (1952-2013)]

    August 2013
  • 14 August: Where is the Moses who will one day part the sea of movie memories and lead us back into the Egyptian? [Lights out]

    July 2013
  • 23 July: The next time you’re sitting through a three-hour summer blockbuster, think about what a skilled filmmaker can fit into just 13 minutes [Something for your short list]
  • 15 July: Last week everyone in his right mind here was outdoors, but thankfully I am not in my right mind [So Fleadh, so good]

    June 2013
  • 14 June: In February the movie world said goodbye to a Russian director, a Scottish screenwriter, a couple of hard-working English character actors and the men who made possible a famous chariot race, the Daleks and Yoda [Passings: February 2013]

    May 2013
  • 30 May: Last January we lost a great Italian actor who was hot in most senses of the word, the last of a celebrated singing trio, Arnold and Willis’s dad and the American-born starlet queen of eurohorror [Passings: January 2013]
  • 21 May: Time again for my annual lament that I am not in Cannes—and a bunch of other stuff [May flies]
  • 14 May: In December we lost Oscar Madison and Quincy the coroner, the sexiest Macbeth, the puppeteer who gave flight to the Thunderbirds and the man who brought Dr. Kimble together with the one-armed man [Passings: December 2012]
  • 7 May: In a single month we lost some familiar voices, a pair of notable Brits, the creator of Merchant/Ivory soundtracks and the Canadian who made pickin’ and grinnin’ a phenomenon [Passings: November 2012]

    April 2013
  • 30 April: Among the talents we lost last October was a gifted cinematographer in his prime and a septet of diverse actors [Passings: October 2012]
  • 23 April: During the month of September last year, we said goodbye to a Centauri emperor, a supernaturally endowed death row convict, the man who stood in for Elvis, the man driven insane by Clouseau and a lyricist who wanted to know the way to San Jose [Passings: September 2012]
  • 16 April: Among the departed last August were the real drug store cowboy, the man who gave us the real Willy Wonka, Dobie Gillis’s posh foil, Superman’s mother and a man who played both Malcolm X and Elijah Muhammad [Passings: August 2012]
  • 10 April: One left us with priceless memories, while the other left us volumes of opinions about movies [Losses]

    March 2013
  • 21 March: In July of last year, we lost the man who made the best time travel movie ever as well as the best Time Lady ever—as well as an uncommonly large number of fine actors [Passings: July 2012]
  • 5 March: June of last year was not only a tough month for My Three Sons but also for fans of film criticism and actors who graced Doctor Who and Beatles movies [Passings: June 2012]

    February 2013
  • 25 February: It kind of makes you wonder why Shatner doesn’t just use time travel to try to rig it to make himself the unlikeliest Oscar winner of all time [Beam them all up]
  • 19 February: In a single month last year we lost not only the voices of Gumby, Speedy and Trigger and of the disco soundtrack of the 1980s but also the man who let us hear the voice of our favorite vampire [Passings: May 2012]
  • 11 February: Last April we were mourning, among several others, a great musician who was also the coal miner’s daughter’s father [Passings: April 2012]
  • 6 February: Last March we lost the man who gave words to Antonioni and various others, two Star Trek commanders and half the team that added music to the magic [Passings: March 2012]

    January 2013
  • 29 January: In February of last year we lost several extraterrestrials and clergymen—and that’s just one of the several actors who passed on [Passings: February 2012]
  • 23 January: Last January we lost—among others—a Sweathog, a Gaztak mercernary, the wielder of Darth Vader’s lightsaber and a robot’s voice [Passings: January 2012]
  • 16 January: It is never too late to remember four actors, a cartoonist and a rather expressive New York judge [Passings]
  • 15 January: My two big Globes moments: a Swiftian look and a refusal to make Hollywood’s wildest televised bash a coming-out party [Spun again by the Globes]


    December 2012
  • 17 December: The film question of the season: can a movie made from a book that we know so well actually hold any surprises? [Back and there again]

    November 2012
  • 27 November: You may remember him mainly as a corrupt Texas oil baron or Jeannie’s master, but let us not forget that he had a movie career that included imaginative portraits of both Nixon and Clinton—and an evil blob! [J.R. Ewing (1931-2012)]
  • 13 November: After fifty years of serving her majesty, surprisingly this old dinosaur still does not seem ready for retirement [Happy anniversary, 007]

    October 2012
  • 1 October: It is sad when we lose a favorite actor from a favorite TV series, but what is really important is that world has lost a really nice guy [Commander Sinclair (1952-2012)]

    September 2012
  • 12 September: Let’s travel back in time and remember some TV shows about, well, traveling back in time [Time and again]
  • 5 September: If somehow you have managed to go through life without ever seeing a movie that involved time travel, have I got a list for you [Timeless essentials]

    August 2012
  • 31 August: Ebenezer Scrooge, George Bailey, James T. Kirk, Austin Powers and Bill & Ted are just a few of the many who have done it [Who’s who in time travel]
  • 11 August: Steven Tylor O’Connor is back and he is welcoming us to New York [Romancing the Big Apple]

    July 2012
  • 17 July: The Galway Film Fleadh has always brought to Ireland films from all over the world , but it’s getting to the point where Ireland itself is nearly world enough [Erin go Fleadh]
  • 9 July: Baby-boomer TV heaven has gotten two new lovable archangels [TV icons]

    June 2012
  • 27 June: With her writing and her filmmaking, she left us sleepless in Seattle, introduced Harry to Sally and gave us heartburn [Sleepless in Seattle (1941-2012)]
  • 14 June: During the past fortnight we have lost a science fiction legend, three grand character actors and a former cook at my favorite restaurant in the whole world [Tribute time]

    May 2012
  • 29 May: Can I someday go to Cannes or would I be better off back in Baku or just enjoying the air in Eire? [May it be again]
  • 16 May: With apologies to Thomas Wolfe, even a vampire can go home again, but that doesn’t mean his home will not have gone through major changes [Welcome home, Barnabas Collins]
  • 14 May: It’s only May, and already it’s been a great summer for kids who were comic book and television fans in the 1960s [Adapt or die?]

    April 2012
  • 24 April: Celine Dion’s heart may go on and on (and on), but so does the movie that launched the hit song [A movie to remember]
  • 19 April: His character defeated death because of a witch’s curse, but he will beat it by having created a character for the ages [Barnabas Collins (1924-2012)]
  • 18 April: Here’s a book that confirms what many have long believed about Tinseltown: that Sodom and Gomorrah were nothing compared to the corner of Van Ness and Hollywood [Kiss and tail]

    March 2012
  • 27 March: And when I saw Pee-wee’s Big Adventure in 1985, how could I possibly have known that the same filmmaker would one day make Barnabas’s big adventure? [Risen from the grave]

    February 2012
  • 28 February: So who was that guy in the powder blue suit in the front row and whatever happened to Jack Nicholson anyway? [Crystal clear]
  • 14 February: She had the voice of an angel but was beset by personal devils; he did nothing but delight us for more than half a century [Sad passings]
  • 3 February: Dear people who are in charge of the Academy Award telecast: please don’t force me to start watching football instead of movies [All alone in the night]

    January 2012
  • 18 January: Here’s how I got out of writing about the Golden Globes this year [The write stuff]
  • 12 January: Among the actors we lost in 2011 were two of Tom Jones’s women, Superman’s editor, Batman’s butler, Sherlock’s Watson, the Squire of Gothos and the hillbilly who made Ned Beatty squeal like a pig [Gone but not forgotten XXVI]
  • 5 January: Among the many who left us during 2011 were the father of cryonics, the inventor of the teleprompter and a number of people who worked with Bob Hope, including his wife [Gone but not forgotten XXV]


    December 2011
  • 29 December: A dreary Christmas office party, a familiar voice on a telephone and a boy hanging from a large clock were among my favorite movie moments of 2011 [Magic moments]
  • 22 December: With apologies to Shakespeare: 3D or not 3D, that is the question [The depth of the matter]
  • 15 December: You could spend a whole day trying to add up all the cowboys, henchmen, military men, policemen and husbands he played in the course of 57 years [Col. Potter (1915-2011)]
  • 8 December: Advice from filmmaker Eric Casaccio: Surround yourself around the ones that truly have your back and believe in you as much as you believe in them [Interview with the filmmaker]
  • 1 December: Were his movies inspired by devils, crimes of passion or merely the results of altered states? [Savage Messiah (1927-2011)]

    November 2011
  • 24 November: Whether dealing with the intrigues of Charles II and James II or confronting the King of the Moon, he always brought us on a journey worth taking [Baron Munchausen (1925-2011)]
  • 17 November: Given all the times the Doctor has had to reboot the universe, I suppose it’s only appropriate that his new movie be a reboot [Woo Who!]
  • 10 November: Did you hear the one about the Kerryman who went to a film festival in Cork that was sponsored by a Mexican beer? [Floating Cork]
  • 3 November: Hint to U.S. presidential candidates: you’ll have a better chance of getting my vote if I see you at a film festival [Comhghairdeas le Michael D.]

    October 2011
  • 27 October: Movies don’t have to be filled with violence or expletives to be good, but sometimes that’s hard to prove based on the evidence [The full Monte]
  • 20 October: If a filmmaker can begin a movie with the destruction of the earth and still make a well-reviewed film, is there any spoiler that can undermine a truly good movie? [Spoilage]
  • 13 October: I have no way of knowing this, but he may possibly have been thanked more often in the end credits of movies than anyone else [Toy story (1955-2011)]
  • 6 October: If Doctor Who could come back to weekly television after 16 years and Arrested Development could come back after 5 years, what else might be possible? [Doctor wow]

    September 2011
  • 29 September: Funny how fast the literature of tomorrow becomes the fond memories of the past [Mostly harmless]
  • 22 September: If you simply sat on your sofa and turned on the television and watched the Emmys on Sunday night, then your life is way too easy [Gimme Emmy]
  • 15 September: He played everything from a future president to a chemically created genius to a superhero’s uncle, but for me his greatest role was the one he played in real life [Charly (1923-2011)]
  • 8 September: I knew I lived close to the home place of the Quiet Man, but I had no idea I was also so near to Braveheart [A family far and away]
  • 1 September: Hey, it turns out that Barack Obama isn’t the only Yank to recently find he has Irish roots [The call of the past]

    August 2011
  • 25 August: One made more than a hundred films that were strange and intricate; the other made a handful of films that were merely strange [R.I.P.]
  • 18 August: According to an old television series, there are eight million stories in the naked city, but there are more than a few interesting ones in small towns as well [Two degrees of Jane Russell]
  • 11 August: How long will it be before not only will we be asked to turn off our cell phones during the movie but also to buckle our seatbelts? [Thrill rides]
  • 4 August: Sometimes the perfect antidote to Hollywood summer blockbusters is a smaller double dose of smart and/or heartfelt filmmaking [Festival minceur]

    July 2011
  • 28 July: Kudos to J.K. Rowling for one of the most amazing personal stories as well as one of the most commercially successful published stories—but allow me my quibbles [Fairy tale ending]
  • 21 July: Now I know why déjà vu is a French term [To catch a film setting II]
  • 14 July: Have you ever had the feeling that a place you’ve never been before is familiar, like from a dream or movie? [To catch a film setting I]
  • 7 July: There is never ‘nuff said about the man responsible for the greatness of Marvel comics [Write or wrong]

    June 2011
  • 30 June: He played mobsters and husbands and, memorably, a father-in-law, but we will remember him most fondly for being the detective who always caught the killer and a former angel [Columbo (1927-2011)]
  • 23 June: With the millions to be spent and made on superhero movies, you can hardly call it kid stuff [Pow! Bam!]
  • 16 June: Were we brainwashed in the 1950s or, for that matter, how about now? [All in the family]
  • 9 June: Life for our favorite Time Lord has gotten very interesting indeed [Who’s your daddy?]
  • 2 June: You may remember him getting bad girl Rizzo in trouble or driving a cab in New York, but for some of us he will always be the last man to speak to John Sheridan [Zack Allan (1950-2011)]

    May 2011
  • 26 May: It never fails: the most powerful want to come to Ireland, but I just want to go to the south of France [May it be]
  • 19 May: Will next year be the one when I finally have to crash the Festival de Cannes? [Shadows on the Riviera?]
  • 12 May: Say what you want about the brothers known as Jedward (and people do), at least they are not turkeys [Catch as catch Cannes]
  • 5 May: Some movie and TV villains never seem to go away, but fortunately sometimes the real ones do [Moment of Silence]

    April 2011
  • 28 April: How great it is that every once in a while we actually get a movie that really makes you think [Mind games]
  • 21 April: She gave us the gift of making us feel we were really exploring time and the stars and also the human heart [Sarah Jane (1948-2011)]
  • 14 April: The number of angry men in his movies ranged from one (who was as mad as hell) to twelve, but he found making films a lovely way to spend his life [Prince of the City (1924-2011)]
  • 7 April: How long before major newspapers like The New York Times start running pledge drives or looking for government funding? [Strange Times]

    March 2011
  • 31 March: In ages past, did ghost stories around the campfire purge people’s fears anywhere as effectively as a good scary movie does today? [Trembling]
  • 24 March: This is the hoariest of clichés, but this time it may actually be true: we will not see her like again [Velvet (1932-2011)]
  • 17 March: When a TV series goes on for too many years, is the real problem that the writers get too creative or is it that they just get lazy? [Inside jobs]
  • 10 March: Did Tom Cruise in a jet fighter nearly shoot down Leonard DiCaprio in a dream? [From Maverick to marketers?]
  • 3 March: It’s getting so bad that the evening is now as predictable as a sequel or a remake [Kodak moments]

    February 2011
  • 24 February: Who needs sunshine or Irish politicians or Libyan demonstrators when you can go indoors and watch a movie? [Film for the masses?]
  • 17 February: With apologies to Will Rogers, I have to say that I never meta-awards show I didn’t like [Emerald v. British aisles]
  • 10 February: My self-defense mechanisms to protect myself from disappointment cannot keep up any longer and I now must embrace reality: this movie is really going to happen [Looming Shadows]
  • 3 February: It was a great, if short-lived, series, but why did it put me in mind of 1980s Miami nearly as much as the Wild West? [Oater space]

    January 2011
  • 27 January: Was it real or were we conned? With the Golden Globes, the question answers itself [Hosting, roasting or toasting?]
  • 20 January: Among the acting talent lost in 2010 was everyone from the j.d. who drag raced James Dean to Cinderella and including the Dynasty brothers and several key players from Capt. Picard’s first year [Gone but not forgotten XXIV]
  • 13 January: Among those who passed on in 2010 were a number of creators of comedia all’Italiana, a couple of giants of mid-20th century British cinema and the man who took our breath away with death-defying stunts in the 007 movies [Gone but not forgotten XXIII]
  • 6 January: They both had faces you couldn’t forget, each for entirely different reasons [Giuseppe Conlon (1946-2011)]


    December 2010
  • 30 December: From rural Cork to icy New Mexico to the world of dreams and lots of other times and places, they were moments that stuck with me [Moment to moment]
  • 23 December: Sure, he made us laugh, but he also made us think about the human condition and savor the art of conversation [The Pink Panther (1922-2010)]
  • 16 December: Has it been the best of years, the worst of years or merely the average of years? [By the numbers]
  • 9 December: The coffee and pie were really good, but is it really worth going back? [Miss Twin Peaks]
  • 2 December: One went from drama to comedy, the other went from real-life horror to make-believe horror [Count and countess]

    November 2010
  • 25 November: One actor’s life touched many people during a difficult time for New York’s artistic community [Big Lou’s book]
  • 18 November: The question is not whether an American remake can ever be as good as a European original, but rather how will we ever know? [Let the right film in]
  • 11 November: Her screen persona may have been an independent woman, but lots of gals surely envied her onscreen romances with James Brolin, Alan Bates, Burt Reynolds and Michael Douglas [An unmarried woman (1944-2010)]
  • 4 November: Can you imagine Ted Baxter as a news anchor at a public radio network? [P.c. or not p.c.]

    October 2010
  • 28 October: Band of Brothers meets Buried: I like it! [Reality check]
  • 21 October: In the space of four days, we lost one of the all-time great moms and one of the all-time great dads [June (1915-2010) and Mr. C (1927-2010)]
  • 14 October: Sometimes even the Swedish Academy gets it right, so now let’s just hope that Hollywood notices [The time of the writer]
  • 7 October: The actor was part of the hold Hollywood star system, the director was in the vanguard of a new socio-political sensibility in American movies [More passings]

    September 2010
  • 30 September: Coincidentally, a mere year after Ann-Margret starred in this spoof about Elvis Presley, she was co-starring with him in Love in Las Vegas [Bye bye childhood]
  • 23 September: The real irony in all this is that, according to people who have seen the movie, no one actually spits on anyone’s grave [Censor and sensibility]
  • 16 September: One director and two actors, their combined careers totaled more than 170 years [More passings]
  • 9 September: In an illustrious acting career, he was everything from a horse seller in ancient times to a master illuminator in medieval Ireland to a policeman in the Gaeltacht and a couple of priests and, most memorably, a Wicklow farmer [Miley (1945-2010)]
  • 2 September: One thing is always for sure: if the good guy has a torn shirt or no shirt, then the bad guy will have a well-pressed suit [Tinseltown testosterone]

    August 2010
  • 26 August: No matter how many hours I might have lain in the sun tanning myself, I don’t think it would have helped me live the fabulous life of Mr. Hamilton [Don’t mind if he does]
  • 19 August: Incredible beauty, echoes of tragedy and a Hollywood legend all make one corner of Ireland an amazing place [Sheep’s Head and redhead]
  • 12 August: A winner of an Oscar and three Emmys, her personal life was full of more drama than any of her movies [Alma the housekeeper and Cookie Orcutt (1926-2010)]
  • 5 August: We can only wonder how things might have been different if James Dean had turned on his headlights or if Spalding Gray had been wearing his seatbelt [Swimming to collision]

    July 2010
  • 29 July: So in a battle between Barnabas Collins and Abraham Lincoln, who would actually win? [Nerdism reigns in Southern California]
  • 22 July: Rest assured, I know how annoying those brightly lit phone screens are when you are trying to watch a movie, and I always turn mine off promptly before the movie starts [In and out of touch]
  • 15 July: For the record, French forests mean sibling conflict, whereas Irish woods mean all kinds of supernatural mayhem [Wedded to film]
  • 8 July: Sometimes I come out of a film fleadh screening dripping with passion and excitement—and sometimes I go into a screening merely dripping [All quiet on the western fleadh]
  • 1 July: One wonders, if the general had one of those wrist time travel thingies, would he go back and tell his aides to be more discreet? [Runaway casting call]

    June 2010
  • 24 June: Wouldn’t it be grand to have one’s own TARDIS so that one didn’t have to wait so long for the next episode of the adventures of our favorite son of Gallifrey [Script Doctor]
  • 17 June: Unlike Prince Dastan, I did not insist on divulging my knowledge of what was to come [Spoilers of war]
  • 10 June: Of all the decades of the 20th century, one in particular keeps insisting on casting a shadow over our movies [Trippin’]
  • 3 June: Appearing in a huge number of movies in the course of six decades, he may have been to movie villains what David Bowie was to musical personas [Easy Rider (1936-2010)]

    May 2010
  • 27 May: If anything is stranger than spending gazillions celebrating people celebrating the poor, maybe it’s the notion of Nazi secret police and drugged-out rockers having lived in the same house [Exile from Cannes stars]
  • 20 May: Wallace Beery, Ian Hunter, Anthony Hopkins, Peter Ustinov, Richard Harris, Sean Connery, Patrick Stewart, Iaian Glenn and Danny Huston are among those who have given English voice to the Coeur de Lion [The King’s English?]
  • 13 May: Both Brooklyn natives, one made beauty with her voice and the other made beauty on paper and canvas [More sad passings]
  • 6 May: Two families that have been around forever—one famous for thespians, the other fictional—were again bereaved this week [Sad passings]

    April 2010
  • 29 April: I think I have found that most perfect of film critics: a reliable counter-indicator of what movies I will like [For a few movies more]
  • 22 April: Who would you rather have taking on a fiery mountain, Tom Hanks or a couple of plucky Hobbits? [What an ash hole]
  • 15 April: Somewhere on public access cable someone has probably already thought of this idea, but how about a show with two guys criticizing film review shows? [Thumb down]
  • 6 April: Now if only Mr. Ross would have J. Michael Straczynski on to talk about Babylon 5 [Doctor Doctor]
  • 1 April: I was all set to write about this weekend’s ‘Doctor Who’ debut when I realized that I had to deal with this instead [The future of film]

    March 2010
  • 25 March: These days it seems as though every other book, movie and TV show is about vampires; is the time right for one more? [Foreshadowing]
  • 18 March: If only young Corey Haim could have been straightened out by living on the Broken Wheel Ranch with a solid role model like Jim Newton [Sad passings]
  • 11 March: If the producers of the Academy Award telecast want to consider Silence of the Lambs a horror movie, that’s fine, but then don’t have the clueless young actors introducing the segment say that no horror movie has won the Best Picture Oscar since 1973 [Na’vi knockdown]
  • 4 March: If only the places where major disasters occurred were limited to the movies [Terremoto]

    February 2010
  • 25 February: The unbelievable truth is that there was no accident and everybody’s fine [A shot of Jameson]
  • 18 February: It looks like the man who advised the Godfather and enjoyed the smell of napalm in the morning may soon be tilting at windmills [Lost in la-la land]
  • 11 February: Maybe some inventive video editor will put together for us a face-off between Jeremy Renner’s Sgt. James and Sam Worthington’s big blue avatar [Mr. and ex-Mrs. Oscar®]
  • 4 February: One elevated cinematic chatter to a true art form, the other was a Hollywood screen legend who was a match for everyone from Sky Masterson to Elmer Gantry to Jean-Luc Picard to Barnabas Collins [Catching up]

    January 2010
  • 28 January: The villain who terrorized the Enterprise, the man who married Molly Brown, the woman stalked by a cat woman, the voice of T.C. and the man who could have been 007 all left us in 2009 [Gone but not forgotten XXII]
  • 21 January: Among those who left us in 2009: Ironside’s sidekick, the singing king of Nashville, Batman’s commissioner, Buddy’s uncle, a French saint and the woman who never heard the horse talk [Gone but not forgotten XXI]
  • 14 January: Strangely, the films of Mel Brooks and David Cronenberg and the old TV series Burke’s Law link a number of the entertainment people who left us last year [Gone but not forgotten XX]
  • 7 January: Even if a Time Lord lives to be more than nine centuries old, some of us still cannot get enough of him [Who’s next]


    December 2009
  • 31 December: Like everyone else, I have been compiling my ‘best of’ list for the first 9/10 of the decade [Noughties were nice]
  • 24 December: Among my many Christmas memories are those of movies I have seen and have almost seen [Ghosts of movies past]
  • 17 December: Is there any chance at all that Roland Emmerich will adapt a movie from Michael Crichton’s novel State of Fear? [Disaster warmed over]
  • 10 December: There’s a reason that the Bible doesn’t talk about the Four Horsemen of the Disaster [The apocalypse after tomorrow]
  • 3 December: One thing is certain: no matter how much the technology of exhibiting movies changes, you will always be able to count on the popcorn being overpriced [Strung out]

    November 2009
  • 26 November: Joining Tom on the worst accent list, by the way, have been Richard Gere, Brad Pitt, Val Kilmer and Tommy Lee Jones [Near and away]
  • 19 November: I’m having a great time fantasizing about a vengeful Robert McCall taking his gun and delivering justice to the pagans who killed Sgt. Howie [Breaker Morant (1930-2009)]
  • 12 November: Somehow the Rebel County had to get by without me this year [Missing in action]
  • 5 November: When you were watching the petite June Allyson on the movie screen, you probably didn’t suspect that the sounds she was making were actually coming from a 250-pound man [Sound information]

    October 2009
  • 29 October: Scary movies can be hard to get out of your head, but what is the best way to put them there in the first place? [Boo!]
  • 22 October: Or maybe they just thought that the ‘leg chair’ was not suitable for 8 o’clock in the morning in my time zone [Seeing Red (Eye)]
  • 15 October: The old adage ‘the show must go on’ can become problematic when a star leaves us unexpectedly [The empty actor’s chair]
  • 8 October: I think I speak for all film buffs when I want to put my hand on his shoulder and say with film noir weariness: forget it, Roman, it’s Zurich [Roman’s non-holiday]
  • 1 October: I suppose Dark Shadows won’t be diminished by new technology, as its technical flaws were always evident [Brave new world]

    September 2009
  • 24 September: Life has never been better for book worms and news junkies [High Calibre]
  • 17 September: One put words in the mouths of wisecracking medics in the midst of war, the other was a light-on-his-feet man’s man who made women’s hearts flutter [Sad passings]
  • 10 September: We can all be grateful that, at the end of the movie, Rick did not say, ‘Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful franchise’ [Ever after?]
  • 3 September: Another question that may come up: should we watch Superman III and IV or should we skip them and watch Superman Returns instead? [Getting ahead of ourselves]

    August 2009
  • 27 August: From Barnabas Collins to Dick Cavett to Irish Oscar winners to crazy gamers: you can find them all there [From boob to You(Tube)]
  • 20 August: Among the lessons we can learn from Hollywood history: don’t let your wife near Pakistani royalty and be careful driving on French roads [Who needs Kevin Bacon?]
  • 13 August: One wrote the line, ‘I coulda been a contender’; the other wrote, ‘Bueller?… Bueller?… Bueller?’ [Too young at 59 and 95]
  • 6 August: He might be small of stature, but he must be one of the bravest, or most foolhardy, writers in any galaxy [A con long, long ago]

    July 2009
  • 30 July: Why wouldn’t you go to an event where you can connect with Babylon 5, Doctor Who and Dark Shadows all at once? [Con games]
  • 23 July: He was our tour guide through the most tumultuous, devastating and inspiring events of the 20th century—and he still had time to meet Ted Baxter [Uncle Walter (1916-2009)]
  • 16 July: Apologies for the well-worn path across the pitch, but it was a mistake to locate it between the Omniplex and the Town Hall Theatre [Two Fleadhs in one?]
  • 9 July: I have to wonder what the locals though when they first saw Alfred’s hordes of soldiers come tramping over the hills [Fleadh away home]
  • 2 July: Fifty, 97, 62, 86 and 72 all seemed too soon for them to go [Fallen idols]

    June 2009
  • 25 June: Its unofficial subtitle on the internet is ‘Delicious Journeys Through America for the Purpose of Making Heterosexual Males Visibly Uncomfortable in the Presence of a Gay Foreigner in a Mesh T-Shirt’ [Borat’s altered ego]
  • 18 June: Maybe ten years from now, they will move Jay Leno to a nice afternoon time slot [A tale of two chat shows]
  • 11 June: Another fun game might be to imagine how a guy named George Hanson, who hung out with Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper in the sixties, wound up as a boring old guy named Warren Schmidt in the early 21st century [Two for the good year]
  • 4 June: Shakespeare wrote that ‘what’s past is prologue,’ but four centuries later movies are showing that the future can be prologue too [Before and after]

    May 2009
  • 28 May: So, if Scotty were a woman, would that mean that Kirk would try to… okay, let’s not go there [All in my head]
  • 21 May: I have it better than the directors and the stars; they have to wear tuxedos and gowns and I can show up in my underwear [Looking for Cannes]
  • 14 May: So if I had a better quality of plastic in my wallet and went on a big buying spree, I could be hanging out with the likes of Terry Gilliam, Sam Raimi, Ang Lee, Pedro Almodóvar, Ken Loach, Lars von Trier, Quentin Tarantino and Park Chan-wook [No Cannes do]
  • 7 May: Does the best movie of 2008 have something to say to Americans about their own country? [Yankee goes home]

    April 2009
  • 30 April: She was mother to Michael Brandon, Adrienne Barbeau, David Paymer and Larry David but many, if not most, of her fans will remember her as roommate to Rose, Blanche and Sophia [Maude (1922-2009)]
  • 23 April: When he wasn’t directing his own films, he was creating visual magic for the likes of Michael Powell, Alfred Hitchcock, John Huston, King Vidor, Richard Fleischer, Joshua Logan and Mike Newell [Master of color and light (1914-2009)]
  • 9 April: What does it say about the art of film that whether or not you can enjoy a movie depends on whether you listened to pirate radio in the 1960s or read comic books in the 1980s? [Rocks actually]
  • 2 April: His majestic melodies accompanied the likes of Orson Welles, Peter O’Toole, Omar Sharif, Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford, River Phoenix, Paul Newman, Sean Connery, Michael Caine, Robert De Niro and about fifty French and American stars in just one World War II epic [Somewhere his music (1924-2009)]

    March 2009
  • 26 March: It could have been worse; after all, he could have given him a loud tie and a bottle of over-powering aftershave [Regional conflict]
  • 19 March: One was an activist as well as an actor, the other was a scion of acting royalty and both left us far too young [Sad passings]
  • 12 March: Let’s just say that, when I saw Slumdog Millionaire, I could really sympathize with young Jamal’s plight of having someone wanting to douse his eyes with acid [Hue and cry]
  • 5 March: If seeing is believing, I was becoming more and more incredulous [Visuals]

    February 2009
  • 26 February: After Robert Downey Jr. finishes his remake of Shaft, maybe he can play President Obama in a movie—but only if he is elegant enough [Slumming millionaires]
  • 19 February: You won’t see major acting awards for Mamma Mia! and Iron Man at the American Oscars, but there is a place across the Atlantic where you can [Paging Meryl and Robert]
  • 12 February: When it comes to British film awards, the Yanks are overdressed, overrepresented and over here [Bits from Brits]
  • 5 February: I can only wonder how many film awards will be given out how quickly in the year 2260 [Kosh, not Tuvok]

    January 2009
  • 29 January: Also among the many who have been missing since last year are various people connected with the Star Trek whale movie plus the man who directed the Tribbles and the interior decorator at Collinwood [Gone but not forgotten XIX]
  • 22 January: The more we reflect on the people we lost in 2008, the more we realize how hard the ranks of theme composers and Batman villains were hit [Gone but not forgotten XVIII]
  • 15 January: Promoters of horror, cigars, snobby fashion, young talent and, of course, the craft of acting all left us in 2008 [Gone but not forgotten XVII]
  • 8 January: If Sean Thornton and Mary Kate Danaher came back today, they would hardly know the place [Inishfree revisited]
  • 1 January: She frequently had bad news for the crew of the Enterprise, but in other incarnations she healed them, scandalized them and drew them closer to another classic sci-fi universe [The voice of the computer (1932-2008)]


    December 2008
  • 25 December: And a Happy New Year! [Merry Christmas!]
  • 18 December: Nineteen-fifty-one was a classic year for helpful extraterrestrials to visit earth and for ghosts to visit bitter misers late at night [Klaatu Obama nikto?]
  • 11 December: The best way I can describe him to an American who never met him is: Darby O’Gill without the leprechauns [Granda]
  • 4 December: In the 1994 German film Maybe… Maybe Not, three street toughs walk into a screening of Death in Venice thinking it is a Sylvester Stallone movie, and I wonder how that accident changed their cinematic tastes [No accounting for…]

    November 2008
  • 27 November: We’ve come a long way since the early 20th century when people had to fiddle with the old wireless to pick up a radio station to get the latest news [Geek time]
  • 20 November: If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so is the realistic appearance of futuristic spacecraft [All in your head]
  • 13 November: Is it any wonder that the man who speculated that dinosaurs could be brought back in a laboratory wasn’t too worried about the near-term extinction of the human race? [The Andromeda scribe (1942-2008)]
  • 6 November: Given the similarity in his name and that of Bruce Willis’s character, I wonder if film buff McCain has ever watched the Die Hard movies [Viva Obama!]

    October 2008
  • 30 October: Should we be nervous about the fact that President Obama has suggested he would sit down for talks with the Romulans and the Klingons without preconditions? [Electile dysfunction?]
  • 16 October: So, I wonder if any film festivals in Mexico are sponsored by Guinness [¡Greetings from Corcho, Baja Irlanda!]
  • 9 October: Here’s a suggestion for Disney: keep the next sequel down to just seventeen syllables and call it Haiku Musical [Cramp rock]
  • 2 October: He starred opposite the likes of Joanne Woodward, Elizabeth Taylor, Geraldine Page, Lauren Bacall, Julie Andrews and Charlotte Rampling, but was there ever as much chemistry as when he played opposite Robert Redford? [Butch Cassidy and the Sun Dried Tomato Dressing (1925-2008)]

    September 2008
  • 25 September: Another surreal moment I am waiting to see: when the leaders of Congress are asked what they will do next after solving the financial crisis, they say, we’re going to Disneyland! [Moral hazards]
  • 18 September: Sometimes the character we remember best is the one we never saw [I’m not there]
  • 11 September: While the politicians argue over whether you can, or would want to, put lipstick on a pit bull or a pig, the comics and pundits are already way ahead of them [Baked Alaska]
  • 4 September: As interesting as Governor Palin’s personal life is, it’s probably worth remembering that, with the shift of just a few thousand votes in Ohio four years ago, the other side would have just re-nominated John Edwards [All that fits]

    August 2008
  • 28 August: He started out working with Glenn Ford, Doris Day, Sinatra and Elvis, but he eventually wound up getting strange stares from my brother-in-law [Shiloh west of the Shannon]
  • 21 August: I was not the first, nor the last, alien to invade the west of Ireland—but did earlier alien invaders come from even further away? [Aliens in the old west]
  • 14 August: Where can I find room in my brain for new movies and TV shows when I haven’t properly achieved resolution with the ones I have already seen? [Loose ends]
  • 7 August: Since Fred MacMurray is no longer with us, perhaps Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie could take over the roles played by him and Polly Bergen if they ever decide to do a remake [Barack to the future]

    July 2008
  • 31 July: Happily, my computer problems are all behind me and now things are completely back to normal completely back to normal completely back to normal dfsiaoufdwx [As I was saying…]
  • 10 July: Here it is! Finally! The column I never thought you would get to read! [A Scór of Fleadhs]
  • 3 July: Whether a movie is set in the far-flung future or in mythical ancient times or in the 1970s, it is really telling us about the time in which it was made [From Cimmeria to Eire]

    June 2008
  • 26 June: Maybe in some parallel universe in an alternative timeline, brand new episodes of Doctor Who are on every day of the year [The last temptation of Doctor Who]
  • 19 June: Give me a journalist any day who drags his facts out of someone else’s mind rather than plucking them from his own [Bereft screens]
  • 12 June: If only the Doctor could bring us new episodes immediately from the distant future or go back into time and warn everybody about the missing WMDs [Tube tales]
  • 5 June: Maybe someday I will get to the point that I am dreaming about looking for the most comfortable place to take a nap [Nightmare on East Roy Street]

    May 2008
  • 29 May: He taught and practiced acting, but we remember him as the man who directed Sidney Poitier, Anne Bancroft, Burt Lancaster, Jane Fonda, Barbra Streisand, Robert Mitchum, Al Pacino, Paul Newman, Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Streep, Tom Cruise, Harrison Ford, Nicole Kidman… and himself [They shoot Tootsie, don’t they? (1934-2008)]
  • 22 May: Before I click my ruby red slippers together, I will tell JMS that I will miss him most of all [Positively un-Cannes-y]
  • 15 May: I thought my arrogance only dated back to the 1980s, but it turns out that it goes back at least as far as the 1960s [Don’t cry for me, Finland]
  • 8 May: I never got the chance to see Brian De Palma’s Redacted, but I think I would have liked it better when it was about Vietnam and called Casualties of War [Soldiering on]
  • 1 May: When Jeff Bridges was 13 years old, did he read Tales of Suspense comic books and did he ever dream that 45 years later he would star in the movie adaptation? [Man of iron]

    April 2008
  • 24 April: I would much rather be whining about not going to the Democrat and Republican conventions than about not going to Cannes [Change we (Cannes) believe in]
  • 17 April: When you think of Los Angeles and/or Hollywood, you may think of palm trees, but I am increasingly thinking of them all the time [Easter hols, finally]
  • 10 April: In his personal life he stood with both Martin Luther King and Ronald Reagan, and in his movie roles he led his people to the promised land and audiences to the darkest of futures [Moses and Ben-Hur (1923-2008)]
  • 3 April: Name any rank in the military and he will have played at least one movie character who held it—but mostly we know him for playing the creepy psychopath [Tommy Udo (1914-2008)]

    March 2008
  • 28 March: I think my biggest question is why, when somebody has to defuse the time bomb, they always manage to stop it with just one second remaining? [Seeing is believing]
  • 20 March: Two Englishmen, born 37 years apart, made major impressions on the history of cinema—and then they were both gone in the space of two days [The talented Mr. Minghella (1954-2008)]
  • 13 March: Quick! Pop quiz: Which Academy Award did Le Mozart des pickpockets win? [Eat my shorts]
  • 6 March: For my money, the last of the time lords is the best of them [The Doctor is in]

    February 2008
  • 28 February: Never mind the writers’ strike, what would happen to the Oscars® if the nativist politicians ever managed to seal the country’s borders? [Many countries for old Oscar]
  • 21 February: One County Wicklow resident has certainly come a long way since he was grilled by Capitol Hill denizens in Seattle’s Egyptian Theater 22 years ago [In a Wilde pre-party mood]
  • 14 February: He may have played cops and presidents and a womanizing movie director and even the captain of a futuristic submarine, but to us he will always be the guy who killed the fish [Chief Brody (1932-2008)]
  • 7 February: If William Butler Yeats was right, it could be good news for senators Obama and Clinton and bad news for Senator McCain [Sailing to nihilism]

    January 2008
  • 31 January: Call me a scab, but even if the writers strike derails the Oscars®, I’ll amuse myself with my own awards ceremony [Envelope please…]
  • 24 January: The year 2008 has barely started, and already those we mourn include three men who were too young to die and a woman who finally married a man more than 40 years after they first met [Sad passings]
  • 17 January: Last year, heaven gained a full celebrity game show panel, but can any of them answer the question of who was the first 007? [Gone but not forgotten XVI]
  • 10 January: Former child actors, wonderfully shlocky directors, veteran character actors and a beautiful French girl on a trapeze all left our world in 2007 [Gone but not forgotten XV]
  • 3 January: Sometimes life is like a bad movie, and sometimes it is like a novel by Franz Kafka [F.X., phone home]


    December 2007
  • 27 December: Next year I will do a better job of barring all the windows and doors on Christmas Eve [Spirited away]
  • 20 December: If the title creatures from Alien and Predator could eventually face off in the same movie, maybe the same could happen someday with the protagonists of The Chronicles of Narnia and The Golden Compass [Yule Tied]
  • 13 December: Increasingly, it is a question of which women have not played Mrs. Robinson—or which ones were not meant to [Southfork cum Irish silverware]
  • 6 December: Now that Don Imus is back on the radio, can any of us comfortably say ‘ho ho ho’ anymore? [Listless in December]

    November 2007
  • 29 November: We were meant to dislike Mrs. Robinson, but I don’t think that I was the only young man who, deep down, wouldn’t have minded being seduced by her [Post Graduate]
  • 22 November: Would Grant Wood’s iconic painting have been as notable if it had been called, simply, Gothic? [All American, all the time]
  • 15 November: He could tell stories about everything from Ava Gardner’s kidney stones to the Paris bar where Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald hung out, and it helped to make a nice little writing career for him [A Man with Dangerous Friends (1920-2007)]
  • 8 November: I suppose the really scary thing to contemplate is, what would happen if Bono were to spend a lot of time hanging out with George W. Bush? [Accent the positive]
  • 1 November: She played her share of nuns and governesses, but after all is said in done it is her love affairs we remember [Anna on the beach (1921-2007)]

    October 2007
  • 25 October: Just because a movie is really, really good doesn’t mean that it’s going to make you feel really, really good [Feelings]
  • 18 October: Watching global warming movies in a coastal city, prone to flooding, makes me want to have another cerveza [¡Saludos de Cork!]
  • 11 October: When those doctors tried to blow up the Glasgow airport in June, I had to wonder if it all began with a long, soul-searching motorcycle journey [Don’t cry for me Che Guevara]
  • 4 October: If Lord Voldemort were American, instead of English, would he be the director of the CIA? [The bad guys]

    September 2007
  • 27 September: And I won’t even get into the friend who once casually mentioned to me in passing that typing the name Valeria Golino more than 20 times into a popular search engine invariably caused it to crash [Search me]
  • 20 September: After waiting 5 years, 6 months and 121 days to see it (but who’s counting?), what’s another 768 hours? [Lost and found]
  • 13 September: Perhaps no other actor has inspired, in us the audience, so much sympathy in some roles and so much contempt in others [Belinda McDonald & Angela Channing (1914-2007)]
  • 6 September: Thanks to a recent book, it is now official: if you want really huge storms, go to the coast of Ireland; if you want sunshine, go to South Africa [Give an Inch…]

    August 2007
  • 30 August: More than a half-century later, the Irish pub that the Duke drank and fought in is not only still standing but is getting ready to serve pints again (for the first time off the movie screen)—but the ancestral cottage, to which he brought Maureen O’Hara as his bride, has fared less well [Location location location]
  • 23 August: Years from now, will graying men have the same kind of fond adolescent memories of Ashley Tisdale that I have always had about Annette Funicello? [Walt’s grandchildren]
  • 16 August: Soon you will no longer have to hear those annoying brogues in your local cinema multiplex [Irish-American remake]
  • 9 August: Can a quarter-century really have passed since this movie was released—especially since it seems to speak to today’s headlines [Counting electric sheep]
  • 2 August: One man obsessed about a God he didn’t have faith in, another claimed to not think about God at all, and the third simply made us laugh to high heaven [Through a lens darkly (1918-2007)]

    July 2007
  • 26 July: What I’m really waiting to see is a fine dramatic movie about the pain and heartbreak of waiting eleven weeks to get a telephone line [Old sod, new sod]
  • 19 July: One difference, of course, is that in Seattle you can actually drink the water, while in the cinema in Galway you can actually drink a beer [Film thirst quenched]
  • 12 July: I just watched a Dutch movie where a guy got a drink of water by putting his mouth under the kitchen sink tap, and I am so jealous [Thirsting for film]
  • 5 July: Perhaps it’s time for yet another new film category at the annual Academy Awards [Uncritical praise]

    June 2007
  • 28 June: For most people, New York City is merely the cultural capital of the U.S., but for me it has always been a place where you are liable to get blasted by cosmic rays, bitten by a radioactive spider or be transformed into a Norse god [Marvel-ing at movies]
  • 21 June: On film—and in real life—it has been the scene of literary triumphs, armed insurrection, hard-working families, petty losers, heartless criminals and street musicians following their hearts [Streets broad and narrow]
  • 14 June: By the time the Missus had been required to disclose every detail about her life, take an AIDS test and swear that she had never been a Nazi or a Communist, she finally decided that maybe she would just go back to Ireland [Huddled masses II]
  • 7 June: Interestingly, I suspect that if you asked people which movie actor they would like to have as their trial lawyer, many would want Gregory Peck—even though he lost his really big case [Trials and tribulations]

    May 2007
  • 31 May: Every spring I long to be where the weather is beautiful and the movies depressing—especially when they seem to be about facets of my own life [Palme dour]
  • 24 May: Directors from Sydney Pollak to Alan J. Pakula to John Badham to Bob Rafelson to Curtis Hanson to Bernardo Bertolucci to David Lynch have filmed there, but did they manage to stay dry? [Hollywood Northwest?]
  • 17 May: Fortunately, I never tested my suspicion that, if placed in the driver’s seat of a running car, our family dog might actually be able to drive it [Make believe]
  • 10 May: There are deep-rooted reasons why some of us will almost never go to see movies about cuddly dogs and the boys or girls who love them [Sob story]
  • 3 May: If he were alive today, would the screenwriter, who imagined 30 years ago a world where TV networks colluded with terrorists for the sake of ratings, be surprised or just mad as hell? [Game over]

    April 2007
  • 26 April: I am starting to become concerned that certain kinds of movies could have a negative effect on people with weak minds, you know, like journalists [Mr. Vengeance]
  • 19 April: Among all the reasons to feel heartsick this week is the awful feeling of having seen it before [Senseless]
  • 12 April: When Pirates of the Caribbean came out, I went to see it because of the theme park ride; now I go on the theme park ride because I enjoyed the movies [Fantasy land]
  • 5 April: Only in my dreams will a movie villain ever be named after me [Critical mass]

    March 2007
  • 29 March: I think our local postman was relieved when he finally did not have to stop at our house every single day of the week [Paper trail]
  • 22 March: Actually, the past couple of days the weather in France (and the rest of Europe) seems to have been even worse than in Ireland, but I’d be happy to go have that drink anyway [Critics pass Wind]
  • 15 March: Is Al Gore destined to always be a man who people keep thinking has won something when he actually hasn’t? [When you’re hot…]
  • 8 March: I don’t honestly know whether it is a good idea to let children write movie reviews, but it could be an excellent idea to let them vote for the Oscars® [Animated debate]
  • 1 March: Clearly, all husbands are cads but, on Oscar® night at least, a woman should be a queen (and God save her!) [An inconvenient time zone]

    February 2007
  • 22 February: It’s a busy weekend in Dublin but, as for me, I think I will see my few movies and then get the heck out of Dodge [Having a fifth]
  • 15 February: Forget the troop surge in Iraq; will Congress have the courage to cut off CIA funding of British card-sharking in Montenegro? [The Bonds of time]
  • 8 February: If they ever decide to give Oscars® for movie web sites, I don’t expect to get one, but maybe I can hope to someday get a lifetime achievement award [For a fistful of Oscars]
  • 1 February: Now, I finally have a different excuse for not going to Sundance: I’d rather go to a film fest where I haven’t already seen any of the movies [Is Once enough?]

    January 2007
  • 25 January: Not only would it have to be very hard on her feet, but it would be certain to scare the cattle [On Salma, Hillary and Drew]
  • 18 January: Make a difference: join the millions of internet surfers who are not reading my column this week! [Round and round with the Globes (again)]
  • 11 January: Sadly, as is too often the case, some of the people who have entertained over the years have died way too young [Gone but not forgotten XIV]
  • 4 January: It was a sad year for veterans of the casts of Odds Against Tomorrow, Trading Places and The Jeffersons [Gone but not forgotten XIII]


    December 2006
  • 28 December: New Year’s Eve may be a good evening to spend with that special someone, but it can also be harrowing night to spend in on ocean liner or in a boxing ring or just remembering the past year [Auld lang syne]
  • 21 December: Albert Finney, Michael Caine, George C. Scott and Henry Winkler have all played the role—and it was even played on television by Mr. Magoo [More humbug]
  • 14 December: My body’s at home, but my mind is still traveling… [Lost in transition]
  • 7 December: Neither wind nor rain nor snow nor sleet nor dark of night nor Bruce Willis will stop us from getting home [Fly hard]

    November 2006
  • 30 November: You couldn’t always follow all of the conversations or keep track of all of the characters or even count all the sacred cows that got skewered, but a Robert Altman film was always worth watching, and sometimes it was a real classic [The demythologizer (1925-2006)]
  • 23 November: More than two decades after her death, I still cannot forget a woman who sparred with Richard Burton in Mexico, nearly seduced Dustin Hoffman and played sidekick to a lovelorn vampire [Being Julia]
  • 16 November: He wasn’t a robot from outer space or a Klingon general, but he was any number of maniacal killers or criminals and, of course, the trail boss for a bunch of wimpy city slickers [Jack Wilson & Curly (1919-2006)]
  • 9 November: Talk about downsizing! Two years ago I was luxuriating in Millions; now I’m down to just Sixty Six [Grate expectations]
  • 2 November: It is easy to say that loyalty to the truth should rise above all other loyalties, but which truth rises above all other truths? [The truth is out there?]

    October 2006
  • 26 October: In her long career she was mother to Leonard Nimoy, Sissy Spacek, Blythe Danner, Patty Duke and, of course, Elinor Donahue, Billy Gray and Lauren Chapin [Betty, Bud, Kathy & Spock’s mom (1910-2006)]
  • 19 October: Come to think of it, the family dynamics of The Hamster Cage might tell us more about current American politics than does Death of a President [Re-Corked]
  • 12 October: I did it! I finally did it! I finally wrote a whole column about Cork without mentioning Roy Keane! Oops… [Pulling another Cork]
  • 5 October: Or maybe what he was actually thinking of was The Devil’s Rejects, a gore-fest about Texas lawmen going after a family of barbarous murderers? Nah… [Bill & Hugo, Noam & Hitch]

    September 2006
  • 28 September: He cast his unique glow on dark Swedish landscapes and warm Swedish households, as well as on stories set everywhere from New Orleans to Seattle and even on the faces Robert Downey Jr. and Johnny Depp [The master of light (1922-2006)]
  • 21 September: Now I’m going crazy thinking about what other words I may have been using and understanding incorrectly for years [The malentendu of September]
  • 14 September: I think that Bill was mainly worried that, when Hillary’s TV movie gets made, it will get higher ratings than his [The beaten Path?]
  • 7 September: I can’t say unequivocally whether Richard Harris was a better actor than Michael Gambon, but I can certainly say that I preferred Harris as Professor Dumbledore [Guilt trip]

    August 2006
  • 31 August: He shared the silver screen with the likes of Penny Singleton, Rita Hayworth, Gloria Grahame, Rhonda Fleming, Nina Foch, Bette Davis, Lee Remick, Shirley Jones, Elke Sommer and kinda-sorta-but-not-really Eva Marie Saint [Dave the Dude (1918-2006)]
  • 24 August: If you ever see a big-budget Hollywood movie called Knife House!, it could simply be a remake of House of Flying Daggers [(Re)made in America]
  • 17 August: At least I’m smart enough not to ask opinions about American movies, because for sure I would get an earful about all the things Americans do that annoy the Irish [The first atrocity]
  • 10 August: We knew from three Mad Max movies that Mel was someone to beware of on the highway, but we really had no idea [The road warrior]
  • 3 August: Okay, I have to ask: how long until we see a big-screen version of Hill Street Blues? [My Miami vice]

    July 2006
  • 27 July: I just feel sorry for Davis Guggenheim because, even though he directed it, everyone insists on calling it ‘Al Gore’s movie’ [Feeling the heat]
  • 20 July: When you see a poor soul, huddling on the street with over-caffeination and sensitivity to light, please do what you can to help [In-fested with film]
  • 13 July: I’m really enjoying the films from Italy, and I’m not just saying that to kiss up to them for winning the World Cup [McBlogging at the fleadh]
  • 6 July: The Irish civil war went on for a long time, almost nearly as long as an Irish wedding [Wind that shakes the reality]

    June 2006
  • 29 June: Forget Superman and Lois Lane, I’m excited to see Eva Marie Saint and Marlon Brando in the same movie for the first and only time since On the Waterfront [Canon fire]
  • 22 June: With the price of gasoline, the only ones getting any kind of mileage out of giant caravans seem to be Hollywood filmmakers [On the road again]
  • 15 June: Ireland may not have qualified for the World Cup, but at least it did win the top prize at Cannes—depending on how you define ‘Ireland’ [The win that shook the balmy]
  • 8 June: In my opinion, Tom Cruise should have been denied entry into the country, if for no other reason, strictly because of his unconvincing Irish accent [Huddled masses]
  • 1 June: How could I have missed the passing of the man who made the difference between my walking home from school and my running home from school? [The Shadow Master (1927-2006)]

    May 2006
  • 25 May: If I ever make my own movie for real, I fervently hope that someone, somewhere tries to boycott it [Embargo on boycotts]
  • 18 May: If all my readers would chip in enough money, they could send me to Cannes and I could write about a movie I had actually seen [The X files?]
  • 11 May: If we could get Doctor Who to help us with our oil problem, maybe he could also use the Tardis to go into the future and borrow a bunch of money from our grandchildren so we can bail out Social Security [Another gusher]
  • 4 May: I suppose the real question is: would anyone at all be upset if someone wanted to make a movie called T.J. Hooker: The Early Years? [Role playing games]

    April 2006
  • 27 April: I don’t mind what Paramount does with the next Star Trek movie, as long as we don’t have to see Kirk and Spock as cute tykes on racing pods [Boldly going backward?]
  • 20 April: The Irish managed to kick the British military out of 26 of their counties, but will they be as successful at getting rid of Bart Simpson? [Easter parade of thoughts]
  • 15 April: After having more than my share of Bordeaux wine, it was time to try some Breton crêpes and Normandy calvados [La démocratie et la guerre]
  • 6 April: I can deal with just about anything, as long as the vineyards don’t go on strike [Emporter les poissons]

    March 2006
  • 28 March: Does the Ocean’s Eleven remake mean that looting Vegas casinos is also a neocon tenet? [Neo-Clooney]
  • 23 March: Here’s a question that absolutely nobody is asking: when will the neo-cons make their own movie about the Middle East? [Iraqiana]
  • 16 March: It’s time for the wearing of the green, and Ireland’s film industry is looking forward to a bit of green as well [From Emerald Isle to Emma Goldman (1925-2006)]
  • 9 March: With an audience spanning from Munich to Brokeback Mountain and beyond, even the imagination of a Capote could not foresee that it would be good night and luck to so many, as the evening headed unexpectedly toward a crash [Hard out here for pundit]
  • 2 March: I suppose it could have been worse; Dublin could have been hosting a World Trade Organization meeting [In Dublin’s fair city]

    February 2006
  • 23 February: He killed Dr. Richard Kimble’s wife and he matched wits with Capt. Jean-Luc Picard, but in our hearts he will always be the hope and soul of the Narn people [Citizen G’Kar (1946-2006)]
  • 16 February: What is a gender-equality-minded father to do when he is five-year-old daughter is more interested in hearing about Roy Rogers than Dale Evans? [Back in the saddle]
  • 9 February: How can a movie set in Wyoming and Texas tell us so darned much about certain people in New York? [Brokeback backwash]
  • 2 February: Forget the horse race for the Oscars; which political group is in the lead for identifying the highest number of movies that offend it? [Talking points (and stars)]

    January 2006
  • 26 January: Pssst, want a hot tip on who’s going to win the Oscars? I just got one from a little boy, tugging on my trouser leg, who said I inspired him to want to grow up and have his own movie web site [Neigh sayers]
  • 19 January: Probably no actor has had as many screen deaths as her and, in fact, she could well have been a poster girl for water safety [Lolita’s mom (1920-2006)]
  • 12 January: 2005 was also a tough year for husbands of Marilyn Monroe, voices of Pooh’s friends and female stars of The Best Days of Our Lives [Gone but not forgotten XII]
  • 5 January: 2005 was a tough year for major 1960s sitcom stars, producers of horror movies and actors who appeared in the movie Arthur [Gone but not forgotten XI]


    December 2005
  • 29 December: Did any of my predictions come true? Was my movie as profound as all that? Will anything make more sense in 2006? [Presage and post-sage]
  • 22 December: I think I may have stumbled onto the reason that Christmas’s colors are red and green and not blue [Ho ho ho]
  • 15 December: He was a piano man, a baseball player, a hustler, an auto worker and many other things, but mostly he was the wiz who could always make us laugh [The Wiz (1940-2005)]
  • 8 December: Just because President Bush likes the Austin Powers movies, does that mean that I can’t enjoy them too? (Sorry bad example) [On the march]
  • 1 December: If you thought it used to be bad having to sit through an evening of your friends’ slides from their last vacation, it could have been worse; your friends could have been cool and hip filmmakers [Wish you were here]

    November 2005
  • 24 November: I had a rendezvous with the Old West in present-day Europe, but would it turn out to be good or bad or ugly? [High plains drifters]
  • 17 November: Every movie you have ever seen that has been set in Arizona or Texas or Mexico or Arabia or North Africa or ancient Cimmeria could well have been filmed here [Once upon a time in Almería]
  • 10 November: I was more than ready for a sun holiday, but would it turn out to be surreal, haunting, kinky or would it just come on gangbusters? [The rain not in Spain]
  • 3 November: When it isn’t giving nonstop coverage to the latest celebrity trial or missing blonde, a certain cable news channel actually has some chat that is, surprisingly, worth listening to [Fox in the media hen house?]

    October 2005
  • 27 October: When it comes to getting our news, are we better off with a giant like Ed Murrow or with the Lilliputians who currently give us our updates? [The ghost of Ed Murrow]
  • 20 October: If Hollywood were to ever make a movie about the life of Roy Keane, would they decide to make him a Dubliner? [Sex, drugs and rollicking flicks]
  • 13 October: If Cork were a movie, then it would have to be subtitled, even for English-speaking foreign markets [Cork’s a-poppin’]
  • 6 October: Quick! Turn off your computer right now! Before something terrible happens! [Prometheus rebound]

    September 2005
  • 29 September: With a new Supreme Court Chief Justice about to be confirmed, movie buffs have to ask the question: for whom is John Roberts covering up? [Judging the movies]
  • 22 September: Forget about the chicken and the egg; try to figure out which of these came first: the reality or the movie? [Gone with the wind?]
  • 15 September: He gave us Romeo and Juliet in New York City, a singing nun in the Austrian Alps and, most memorably of all, a spaceman with an urgent message for planet Earth [The day the movies stood still (1914-2005)]
  • 8 September: While politicians and scientists try to decide whether global warming is actually a weapon of mass destruction, let us wrap our examination of terrorism in the movies [Terror in the cinema III]
  • 1 September: Not unlike their respective governments, while American movies are interested in fighting terrorists, European films are preoccupied with understanding them [Terror in the cinema II]

    August 2005
  • 25 August: Long before the Department of Homeland Security was created, Hollywood heroes were spending much of their time fighting the war on terror [Terror in the cinema I]
  • 18 August: She starred opposite Henry Fonda, Robert Mitchum, James Mason, Richard Widmark, Jimmy Stewart and Danny Kaye, but we will always remember her for being Bobby and J.R.’s mama [Miss Ellie (1922-2005)]
  • 11 August: For 20 years, devotees of British cinema have been getting glimpses of one man’s personal view of multicultural England [Buddha of Britannia]
  • 4 August: These are the latter days of summer, and that means it is time to hear everyone’s explanations for why people do or do not go to movies [Invasion of the Hollywood bashers]

    July 2005
  • 28 July: In my fantasy world, there is a man’s head stuck on a pike, with a crushed mobile phone dangling below it, at the entrance to Castlebar [Lend me your ears]
  • 21 July: Forget the home-based medical testing kits, I just need to get the image of Janet Reno out of my poor, overburdened head [We (do) get letters…]
  • 14 July: I am sorry to report that Mayo lost the hurling, I mean, the football (not to be confused with real football or soccer) match [Another matchless fleadh]
  • 7 July: I wonder if Matt Dillon has to queue up for his bag or whether his personal assistant does that for him… [The fleadh is really my bag]

    June 2005
  • 30 June: From Jerusalem to Gotham, from the 12th century to the 21st, why do armies big and small travel across the world in the name of justice and revenge? [Crusaders, caped and otherwise]
  • 23 June: If Sergio Leone’s films were ‘spaghetti westerns,’ does Batman Begins qualify as a ‘crumpet superhero movie’? [Tally ho, Caped Crusader!]
  • 16 June: Maybe, just maybe, a certain former television anchor will turn out to do what Anakin Skywalker could not [Clearing Deep Throat]
  • 9 June: You were a miracle worker as a teacher, an aging star ballerina, a cigarette-puffing mother superior and several people’s mothers—but to us you will always be the original desperate housewife, who seduced her daughter’s boyfriend [Mrs. Robinson (1931-2005)]
  • 2 June: I hate to spoil all the fun, but I have to ask: Is Anakin Skywalker really bad, or he just having a bad hair day? [Deep Throat, shallow Sith]

    May 2005
  • 26 May: If you had to choose, would you interview a wily Druse leader in his tent or would you see the new Jarmusch movie or would you make a deal to let someone escape from repressive Yugoslavia? [My life and Times in Cannes]
  • 19 May: It’s a corner of the world that has worked its magic on Helena Bonham Carter, Helen Mirren, Liv Tyler and Hannibal Lecter [Enchanted Tuscany]
  • 12 May: While I was looking at David, I suddenly heard Ennio and was transported to the world of Sergio [Ciao Italia!]
  • 5 May: Is Hollywood in love with communism? Only if it can make a buck off it [Red scare]

    April 2005
  • 28 April: A spin-off, a prequel, a remake and something that’s just trashy fun: no, these aren’t movies, they’re TV shows [TV or not TV]
  • 21 April: It turns out that it is not enough to decide whether I am a blogger; I have to figure out where I fit into the blogger class structure [Getting blogged down]
  • 14 April: From Bing Crosby to Ken Russell, the Catholic Church has run the gamut over the years on our movie screens [Catholic tastes]
  • 7 April: It’s strange to think about but Prince Rainier, Bono, Oscar Wilde and Woody Allen (and more) have all been in my neighborhood [Castle capers]

    March 2005
  • 31 March: So, what’s next? Billion Dollar Baby? The Passion of the Christ 2: Resurrection? [Sequels: part 2]
  • 24 March: Pop quiz: Give me a nine-letter name that explains why Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was a better movie than Jaws 2 [Serials, series & sequels]
  • 17 March: Not only is poor Gerry having trouble finding people to meet with on St. Patrick’s Day, but he has one less Irish film and video festival to attend [Dark screens for green themes?]
  • 10 March: Bloggers may have brought down Dan Rather, but so far I have not made even a dent in the armor of the Lifetime channel [A case of the blogs]
  • 3 March: Now that Hilary Swank has won a second Oscar, maybe she can get more acting work and eventually afford to buy a back for her dress [Gracias, Oscar®]

    February 2005
  • 24 February: Will this be the year that Stepin Fetchit presents the big award to Dr. Kervorkian? Only if you pay too much attention to pundits… [Between Rock and a hard place II]
  • 17 February: Funny, but Rush and Michael didn’t seem to mind it too much back in the old days when Dirty Harry was putting (unconvicted) criminals out of their misery… [Between Rock and a hard place]
  • 10 February: Maybe Maureen’s columns would make a little more sense if her fact-checker wasn’t so busy with her active romantic life [Separate but equal?]
  • 3 February: Due to unforeseen circumstances, I am making my annual Oscar predictions again this year anyway [Million dollar baby vs. billion dollar nutcase]

    January 2005
  • 27 January: What more can you say about the cultural power and influence of a man who could make an entire nation watch Tiny Tim and Miss Vicky get married? [Johnny (1925-2005)]
  • 20 January: Long before she annoyed me by watching women-in-jeopardy movies on cable TV, she instilled in me a love for all things cinematic [Mom (1920-2005)]
  • 13 January: The farewells continue, with good-byes to Madge, Oscar, Superfly, Briscoe, Eldin, the Ajax man and others [Gone but not forgotten X]
  • 6 January: Let’s say good-by to Moogie, Judas, John Jr., the Schlockmeister, the voice of the devil and the other actors, songwriters, etc. who left us in 2004 [Gone but not forgotten IX]


    December 2004
  • 30 December: Were you paying attention during all the movies you watched during the year? Here’s a chance to test your memory! [Pop quiz]
  • 23 December: How’s this for an idea for a new TV series: a vampire and his doctor friend travel through time into the future and wind up on a space station near the rim of the galaxy [Still lurking in the Shadows]
  • 16 December: How does this sound for a roll call of honor: Kiki, Yola, Noemia… Scott? [’Tis the season]
  • 9 December: Here’s a serious question: is it safe for a filmmaker in Europe, or anywhere else for that matter, to tackle any subject whatsoever? [Dying for a film]
  • 2 December: He worked with directors like Chabrol, Truffaut and Godard and, as a director himself, with actors like Belmondo, Montand, Deneuve, Noiret, Cardinale, Bates and even Margot Kidder and Catherine Zeta Jones [Le roi de coeur (1933-2004)]

    November 2004
  • 25 November: I can’t be sure, but I think it might have been the ghost of Ernest Hemingway who was drinking me under the table [C’est la guerre]
  • 18 November: To all the Americans who are packing their bags and moving to Europe: I have bad news for you; your dollars will buy precious few euros these days [Let’s get lost]
  • 11 November: One sang and danced and tangled with J.R. Ewing; the other bit and got bitten and tangled with Barnabas Collins [One Pontabee brother (1919-2004) and at least two Jennings brothers (1940-2004)]
  • 4 November: It’s rare enough for me to give a movie absolutely no stars, and it’s rarer still for me to recommend, as I do with this one, that everyone should see it [Cinéma mensonge]

    October 2004
  • 28 October: President Bush may not have performed particularly well in the first presidential debate with John Kerry, but he sure did a heck of a lot better than Capt. Queeg did under cross-examination [Maryk vs. Queeg?]
  • 21 October: And if you really want to mess up your mind, just try watching a Bush-Kerry debate on television with runny, blurry eyes in the middle of the night, just after having watched a documentary about the Ramones [Captive in Cork]
  • 14 October: It’s year No. 49 for the Cork Film Festival, but the festival organizers couldn’t have known that they were arranging a tribute to a major movie figure who will be remembered as much or more for his humanity as for his films [A super festival and a Superman (1952-2004)]
  • 7 October: She earned only $25,000 for her best-known movie role and she had to spend seven days filming one scene in a shower, but she was grateful that the director made sure that the water was warm [Marion Crane (1927-2004)]

    September 2004
  • 30 September: One played a character who existed in the bowels of Epsilon 3; the other built an oeuvre that placed him in the bosom of feminine largesse [King Leer (1922-2004) and Zathras (1954-2004)]
  • 23 September: Silly question of the week: would any of the Star Wars or Indiana Jones movies have anywhere near the same impact if the sound were turned off? [Can’t stop the music]
  • 16 September: Okay, so when I signed off last week with ‘End of rant,’ it wasn’t exactly the end of the rant [Let if flow II]
  • 9 September: If you are among the apparent 21% of those who view this web site outside of the United States, then you will probably find this commentary even less interesting than usual [Let it flow]
  • 2 September: So, if you were a candidate for president of the United States, would you want a bunch of 527 organization ads against your opponent being aired on television, or would you want one good Hollywood movie in the cinemas that made you look good? [Conventional wisdom II]

    August 2004
  • 26 August: Did the same man actually compose the film scores for Birdman of Alcatraz, Love with the Proper Stranger, I Love You, Alice B. Toklas!, True Grit, Honky Tonk Freeway, Ghost Busters and The Grifters? [The man with the golden music (1922-2004)]
  • 19 August: From HAL to Bill, computers have been in our lives and in our movies for ages [Does not compute]
  • 12 August: It may have been beauty that killed the beast, but it was the beauty’s scream that lingered in our ears and our heads for seven decades [The screaming lady (1907-2004)]
  • 5 August: If my sister-in-law is Lucy, then I guess that would make me Ethel—although I would definitely not make a fine-looking woman [Dress for success?]

    July 2004
  • 29 July: Is real-life politics getting more scripted? Are scripts for movies about politics getting less real? [Conventional wisdom]
  • 22 July: A lot of people complain that Michael Moore is not fair in his films, but it is a reasonable question to ask whether people like me are being fair in criticizing him [Still Moore]
  • 15 July: It turns out that Thomas Wolfe was wrong; you can actually go home again [Babylon on Puget Sound]
  • 8 July: In addition to the roles mentioned herein, he also played such immortal characters as Emiliano Zapata, Marc Antony, Sky Masterson and Fletcher Christian [The Godfather (1924-2004)]
  • 1 July: Seven thousand miles is not too far to travel to attend a 228th birthday party [Independence Day]

    June 2004
  • 24 June: Never the let the facts, goes the old cliché, get in the way of a good story, but should they get in the way of a good film? [What’s up doc?]
  • 17 June: Will we see Dark Shadows again? Will we see Babylon 5 again? Will Molly Bloom? Who knows, but let’s have a nice ramble anyway [Ramble]
  • 10 June: His movie career may have been largely confined to B pictures, but he was definitely an A-list politician [The Gipper (1911-2004)]
  • 3 June: If you just have a little patience, you can eventually see all those cool foreign films without having to bother reading subtitles [American remake]

    May 2004
  • 27 May: In TV character heaven, God has acquired a fastidious new roommate as well as a highly principled space station surgeon [Felix Unger (1920-2004) and Dr. Franklin (1961-2004)]
  • 20 May: Seattle may not be as warm as Cannes, but in the end it is really a better place for film audiences, despite all the heat being generated in the south of France [Cannes’d heat]
  • 13 May: With references to Seattle, coffee, Star Trek as well as a comedic sensibility borrowed from the great Jack Benny, how could I not love to watch Frasier? [A tale of two sitcoms II]
  • 6 May: So, were they really our “friends,” or were they more like our family, or maybe they were actually us? [A tale of two sitcoms I]

    April 2004
  • 29 April: Trick question: the French are giving out about America’s war and and its Republican president; what year is it? [Plus ça change]
  • 22 April: In the years before the rise of Starbucks other purveyors of espresso drinks in the U.S., life was tough for returning foreign exchange students [Ma vie en France]
  • 15 April: After three years of dissension and controversy, it can (pronounced like “Cannes”) finally be revealed that I pulled a con (not pronounced like “Cannes”) job on my readers [Cannes Cannes]
  • 8 April: You will be glad to know that I finally did get over my fear of aliens and, in fact, wound up marrying one [Martians and rock aliens]
  • 1 April: I couldn’t think of anything to write about this week, so I am just reprinting a news article that I thought you might find interesting [This just in]

    March 2004
  • 25 March: I suppose John Kerry can’t do anything about his hair, but he would be really wise not to start wearing black horn-rimmed glasses [Mystery men]
  • 18 March: One will be remembered for playing a loving sharecropper and a beloved civil rights leader, the other will be remembered for just being himself [Two lamented actors (1941-2004)]
  • 11 March: Two-thousand years after Jesus spilled his blood, a heck of a lot of ink has been spilled over a movie about his last twelve hours [Passion play]
  • 4 March: I know that it is tempting to just sit around and groove on the fact that Return of the King got all those awards, but there’s no time for that! You should get to the Irish Reels right away! [One ring to rule them all]

    February 2004
  • 26 February: Despite a dizzying trend for things to happen early and be sped up, as far as I know, Lent still began on Ash Wednesday and will last for forty days and forty nights [Time warped]
  • 19 February: As I was huffing and puffing down O’Connell Street, I could almost imagine that the big huge spire that they erected in the middle of the street was the Eiffel Tower [What’s afoot in Dublin]
  • 12 February: And another question: if John Edwards somehow managed to get elected president, would he have to stop doing that Crossing Over show? [Second coming of shadows?]
  • 5 February: If you thought Dennis was a menace as a kid, it appears that things only got worse when he grew up [Bad Ship Lollipop]

    January 2004
  • 29 January: It’s too bad that the Golden Globes weren’t held on Groundhog Day because then we could hear Bill Murray’s speech over and over and over [Lost in prediction]
  • 22 January: The only thing harder than growing up in a relentless spotlight may be dying young and completely alone [Childhood lost?]
  • 15 January: I continue my 2003 farewells, with good-byes and thanks to (among others) some actors beloved by children, a whole bunch of major writers, and one whale of a movie star [Gone but not forgotten VIII]
  • 8 January: TV and movie faces we have known for years, former child stars, a legendary cinematographer, and the designer of a starship all left us in 2003 [Gone but not forgotten VII]
  • 1 January: Is it just me or are most of these the same predictions I made last year… and the year before? [The year to come]


    December 2003
  • 25 December: So, do you think that J.R.R. Tolkien, being a Catholic, would have preferred The Return of the King to have premiered during Easter instead? [Gimli takes on Aragorn]
  • 18 December: It’s the Christmas season, and what is Christmas about, if not… love actually? [Fun actually]
  • 11 December: Which is the best digital video recorder? Whichever one you can actually get your hands on! [The Sky+ is the limit]
  • 4 December: October was one month when I would have dearly loved to be able to do live fast-forward on reality [Back to the future]

    November 2003
  • 27 November: Dinosaurs, bears, muppets and smiling Scottish people: coming from a theater near you! [What’s the story]
  • 20 November: So, do Tom, Peter and Dan get together every morning to decide what they are going to report on in the evening? [Child’s play]
  • 13 November: For more than half a century, an underground sanitation engineer has never ceased to keep laughter flowing somewhere in the world [Norton et al. (1918-2003)]
  • 6 November: It would have been a great night to be at the Burlington, but it was definitely more time-efficient to be watching at home [What IFTA]

    October 2003
  • 30 October: Perhaps a true cult film would be one which required you to sell all your worldly possessions and go live in a commune in South America with other people who liked watching Tim Curry in drag [Personality of cult]
  • 23 October: You can learn quite a bit about love, while sitting in a dark movie theater by yourself—especially in October in Cork [All you need is…]
  • 16 October: This year’s Cork Film Festival is a Hurtful experience—and that’s a great and glorious thing [Love and Hurt in Cork]
  • 9 October: Life may not always imitate art, but in California it does frequently imitate Hollywood movies [The running man]
  • 2 October: One talked to right-wing inquisitors, the other talked to a mule [A director and a hoofer]

    September 2003
  • 25 September: As Arnold will have noted, last summer’s expensive movies had a shelf life even briefer than a California governor’s stint [The cold summer]
  • 18 September: So, my wife didn’t call all my friends and have them show up with lots of money, but hey it’s an okay life anyway [A wonderful life]
  • 11 September: Among the job titles that don’t look good on your résumé (e.g. ‘Nixon’s ethics adviser,’ ‘Ken Lay’s accountant’) would have to be ‘Hitler’s filmmaker’ [Triumph of the will (1902-2003)]
  • 4 September: Six of his 80+ movies had the word “death” in the title and five had the word “wish” in the title, but I can think of only one where he played the harmonica [The ultimate avenger (1921-2003)]

    August 2003
  • 28 August: Here is a story handed me by one of my farmer in-laws and, strangely enough, it turns out to be no bull [Moore surprises]
  • 21 August: This was one series of movies that you definitely didn’t want to fall asleep while watching! [Freddy’s dead—not]
  • 14 August: You probably saw him dance and you probably saw him act, but you probably haven’t seen the one big-screen movie he directed [Hines, 57]
  • 7 August: The earth has moved, the universe has shifted, and this web page will never again be the same [Falling stars]

    July 2003
  • 31 July: Two men, born in England, both made their mark on America and the world [Hope and glory]
  • 24 July: According to its movies, Ireland is a great place for lovers, but not necessarily for journalists, idealistic young seminarians, or tourists far from the city [Ireland through its own lens]
  • 17 July: What is a ghost from the loo at Hogwarts doing riding a bus in Dublin? Must be the magic of the film fleadh [All in the fleadh family]
  • 10 July: John Wayne wasn’t the only movie cowboy to come to the west of Ireland, and he wasn’t the only famous face either [Come fleadh with me]
  • 3 July: Her repertoire included the odd socialite, queen, athlete, and missionary, but she was never the captain of a starship [On Golden Pond with a lioness in winter (1907-2003)]

    June 2003
  • 26 June: An open question to women everywhere: how can you possibly not love a movie where a Buddhist monk gets a wedgie? [Y oh Y a chromosome]
  • 19 June: He and his wife were the best-known theatrical couple after Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, but most of us will remember him for a late-in-life encounter with space aliens [An actor’s character actor (1911-2003)]
  • 12 June: My idea of a well-lived life would definitely include wooing the likes of Ava Gardner, Ingrid Bergman, Susan Hayward and Audrey Hepburn [Twelve o’clock high for Atticus and Ahab (1916-2003)]
  • 5 June: Just to be clear: when you read about the Lord of the Rings movies, that’s not hype; those are public service announcements [Getting with the program]

    May 2003
  • 29 May: This isn’t the reason I had to leave Seattle, but it does explain why the Missus now always holds my hand(s) during a movie [That film fest feeling]
  • 25 May: Here’s bad news for people who hate televised talent shows: there seems to be no escape anywhere in the world [American idyll]
  • 15 May: As a gravelly-voiced, stony-faced tough guy, he was definitely untouchable [R.I.P. Robert and Wendy]
  • 8 May: I’ll have fries with that action figure, please, and hopefully the movie wasn’t left under the warming lights too long [Reloaded]
  • 1 May: If being a pioneering aviator doesn’t make you always right on issues of war, what about being an actor or a country western singer? [Looting kings and Dixie Chicks]

    April 2003
  • 24 April: So, do you think W. ever said, ‘Tony, I think this could be the start of a beautiful friendship’? [Play it again]
  • 17 April: Is there a chance that Donald Sutherland could still show up to play Phoebe’s father? [The absurdity of it all]
  • 10 April: Now that we have apparently found a liberal Rush Limbaugh, will we have to also find a liberal Bill O’Reilly? [Backlash]
  • 3 April: When you get tired of watching CNN, Fox News or Al-Jazeera, here is a list of videos you can rent [Going to war… movies]

    March 2003
  • 27 March: When it comes to using the Academy Awards as a bully pulpit, Moore is definitely less [Shock and awe at the Oscars®]
  • 20 March: In retrospect, the war had to begin this week; otherwise, there would have been too many negative comments at the Academy Awards ceremony [And so it begins…]
  • 13 March: The heavens opened up, the thunder roared and the lightning fried our telephones, but at least it was great weather for going to a film festival [So, what’s the DIFF?]
  • 6 March: If only I could click together the heels of my ruby red slippers and be transported back to the Emerald City—for three days [Wishing I was there]

    February 2003
  • 27 February: You always thought that Al Gore was from the planet Vulcan, but maybe he was actually a Vorlon [On angels, elves and Vorlons]
  • 20 February: Interestingly, the politically correct policies aboard Capt. Kirk’s Enterprise apparently did not seem to extend to sexual harassment in the workplace [Saddam = Shinzon?]
  • 13 February: I think a really good idea for an award show musical number would be Eminem, Bono and Michael Moore performing a song together [Oscar® the grouch]
  • 6 February: In Sauron’s telling of the war, the Orcs and the Balrog would have been innocent victims of Fellowship aggression [Life imitates art? Or vice-versa?]

    January 2003
  • 30 January: Could George W. Bush possibly be Aragorn? And, if so, would that make Don Rumsfeld Gimli and Colin Powell Legolas? [Saddam = Sauron?]
  • 23 January: It’s not enough that Frodo has to contend with Sauron, Gollum, Orcs and corrupt men; watch out for the Hollywood foreign press [Another spin of the Globes]
  • 16 January: A mogul, a cricket, and a very deep throat are among the remaining subjects of my mini-tributes to 2002’s fallen [Gone but not forgotten VI]
  • 9 January: Many years’ worth of musicals, westerns, cartoons, rock operas, domestic dramas and even trashy comedies would have been much poorer without the crowd that entered immortality last year [Gone but not forgotten V]
  • 2 January: Maybe by next week I will have sobered up; meanwhile here are my 2003 predictions [Portents]


    December 2002
  • 26 December: For my next trick, I will slip a magic ring onto my finger and disappear out of the shire [Mal de demi-siècle]
  • 19 December: People may joke about the place, but over the years it has been visited by Tom Joad, Fred C. Dobbs, Fox Mulder, Erin Brockovich, a few dinosaurs, and a certain motel-operating mama’s boy [Hollywood North?]
  • 12 December: Question for any Democrats pondering a run for the White House in 2004: what is your favorite science fiction TV series? [Beyond the rim]
  • 5 December: Yogi Berra said it best: it ain’t over ‘til it’s over [The bitter end]

    November 2002
  • 28 November: So, the bottom line is that the Irish soccer team had miserable facilities; hope they don’t expect the Irish government to pay for better ones [Updates]
  • 21 November: If there is a shopkeepers heaven, I know three people who may be having a great conversation up there right now—not to mention smoking more than a few cigarettes [Name droppings V]
  • 14 November: What are the odds that we might see a moose walking down the main street of a village in Wicklow? [BallyK ballyhoo]
  • 7 November: So, who put the “angel” in Ballykissangel? [BallyK kudos]

    October 2002
  • 31 October: We can only imagine the stories the two Richards (Burton and Harris) are swapping in thespians heaven right now [A Man Called Horse—and Bull (1930-2002)]
  • 24 October: Okay, I wasn’t so laid back when the telephone company told me that it would take 12 weeks to get a phone line [Emerald acres]
  • 17 October: In 1912, people in Cork would have been much better off waiting 43 more years for the first Cork Film Festival than getting on an ocean liner for America [Popping my Cork]
  • 10 October: Drinking Murphy’s, instead of Guinness, is a small price to pay to see a week of great films in October [Having a Keane time in Cork]
  • 3 October: As much as buying a house may be a pain in real life, it seems to be even worse in the movies [Home sweet home]

    September 2002
  • 26 September: It may be a miserable place to watch a movie, but where else can you put words in Denzel Washington’s and Jennifer Lopez’s mouths? [Up in the air]
  • 19 September: In America, you can choose to live a lifetime moment by tedious moment, or you can become a hero by upsetting the apple cart [Heartland]
  • 11 September: Anniversary
  • 5 September: If life was harrowing for the Collins clan on the small screen, it got even worse for them when they landed on the big screen [Shadows on the big screen]

    August 2002
  • 29 August: Since I have had no angry email from them, I can only assume that the French don’t read my web site [Xenophobia]
  • 22 August: Forget about smoking in the movies, I was put off smoking cigars forever because of that little episode in the Oval Office [Smoke gets in my eyes II]
  • 15 August: American politicians may not be particularly effective, but at least they are frequently entertaining [The art of the possibly funny]
  • 8 August: Are you really being entertained? Or do you just think you are being entertained? [The Grand Illusion]
  • 1 August: Quick! Name a television series that featured characters played by Kate Jackson, John Karlen, Harvey Keitel, Marsha Mason, and Abe Vigoda! [Back in the Shadows]

    July 2002
  • 25 July: How’s this for the title of a country-western song: How can I mourn you if you won’t stay buried in the ground? [He’s dead, Jim]
  • 18 July: If I could have made it there, I could have made it anywhere… [New York, New York]
  • 11 July: Between them, these two Hollywood giants worked more than a century in Hollywood but, strangely, they never worked together [Farewell, John & Rod]
  • 4 July: With the demise of one idiosyncratic, ego-driven late-night chat show, the wasteland has become a bit vaster [Incorrect but not forgotten]

    June 2002
  • 27 June: Is Minority Report a “liberal” film or a “conservative” film or does it even matter? [The politics of Minority Report]
  • 20 June: Say what you want about Barnabas Collins, you never ever saw his chest glistening with sweat [Mild Passions vs. serious Shadows]
  • 13 June: Sci-Fi giveth, and Sci-Fi taketh away [The coming (and going) of Shadows]
  • 6 June: Losing a soccer player is nothing compared to losing a great writer [A tale of two Keanes]

    May 2002
  • 30 May: What would really ruin things is if Obi-Wan decided to have a Jedi-cave and a a Jedi-mobile [Jedi knights and boy wonders]
  • 23 May: At least George Lucas still hasn’t done a prequel for American Graffiti [Send in the clones]
  • 16 May: Here is a rundown on everything I haven’t been doing [Status report]
  • 9 May: For three weeks in Ireland, it’s not safe to open your door or drive your car or for a politician to speak with meaningful candor [Ireland’s big chill]
  • 2 May: Has it occurred to you that, if George Lucas had filmed his Star Wars movies in chronological order, the same actor could have played Anakin in all of them? [Attack of the sequels]

    April 2002
  • 25 April: On film, the Gaeltacht has certainly changed since the days when Rosy Ryan was fooling around with that British soldier [Gaeltacht grand guignol]
  • 18 April: Any similarities between Dr. Evil and Osama bin Laden are, well, in the U.S. government view not entirely coincidental after all [A new way to think of Austin power]
  • 11 April: Hard as it is to believe, there was once a time when I would have been in favor of revoking the American revolution [Noblesse oblige]
  • 4 April: Maybe somewhere in heaven, Billy is directing Dudley in The Lost Weekend II [Dudley, Milton & Billy]

    March 2002
  • 28 March: What this awards show needed was for Henry Winkler to show up in an outrageous strapless gown and try to give a 10-minute acceptance speech [The nice Oscars®]
  • 21 March: Calling all lawyers who are interested in working an important lawsuit, pro bono of course [All-night ceremonies]
  • 14 March: For the record, he was talking about Cillian Murphy and, yes, he is indeed a fine looking lad [Reels V: From priests to rockers]
  • 7 March: Maybe the problem at Enron was that the executives had seen too many movies [Greed is good (for the box office)]

    February 2002
  • 28 February: Maybe what Dublin needs is a Seattle film festival…? [Let’s get Reels]
  • 21 February: Oh Lord (of the Rings)! Will the Academy Award voters want us for our Beautiful Mind? Or will they just want to get us In the Bedroom? [Handicapping the Oscars®]
  • 14 February: No matter where I try to put my mind, it wants to stay In the Bedroom [Of lobsters and men]
  • 7 February: What can we say about contemporary Hollywood war movies, aside from the fact that they always seem to star Josh Hartnett? [State of war movies]

    January 2002
  • 31 January: It’s not as bad as it sounds; he would have been called Barney, for short [Me and my Shadows]
  • 24 January: Did Charlie Sheen win a Globe the same way George W. Bush won the presidency? [Toasting and roasting the Globes]
  • 17 January: In case you don’t get my Ann Sothern reference, it’s because she had the title (voice) role in My Mother the Car [Gone but not forgotten IV]
  • 10 January: So how come no one from the old TV newsroom ever went to visit Lou Grant at his new newspaper job? [Gone but not forgotten III]
  • 3 January: I pray that in The Two Towers there will be nothing that looks like anything remotely resembling a purple dinosaur [When Hobbits and Vorlons collide]


    December 2001
  • 27 December: None of the lotto numbers I picked were winners either [So predictable]
  • 20 December: Should those ghosts have visited Scrooge or should they have lent a hand to Bob Cratchit? [Scrooge vs. Potter]
  • 13 December: What would really be ironic is if he was forever remembered mainly for playing Magneto in X-Men [Wizards’ work]
  • 6 December: He wasn’t just a great guitar player and songwriter, but also something of a dark horse in the film business [Something]

    November 2001
  • 29 November: When the end of the world comes, will Afghanistan even notice? [Post-apocalyptic déjà vu]
  • 22 November: I think we can all be thankful that William Shatner wasn’t somehow cast as Aragorn… [Counting the days to Middle-earth]
  • 15 November: Which are the movies that have taken us where no cult leader has ever gone before? [Holy Vulcan!]
  • 8 November: Some movie villains we love to hate, but what about one that we hate to love? [Hannibal Lecher]
  • 1 November: Media pundits are still sinking their teeth into the issues of the day with biting movie references [Something fishy]

    October 2001
  • 25 October: Maybe testosterone-laden movies aren’t so bad after all [A Lifetime of agony]
  • 18 October: Frodo, this may be the beginning of beautiful friendship [Pearl Harbor: the sequels]
  • 11 October: Where are you, now that we need you, James Bond? [Shaken and stirred]
  • 4 October: Why you shouldn’t trust anything that I write [Disclosure]

    September 2001
  • 27 September: Who but a lawyer would want to take all the excitement out of going to the movies? [Filmgoer beware?]
  • 20 September: Finally, there came one horrifying day when we couldn’t comfort ourselves by saying, ‘It’s only a movie…’ [Horror]
  • 13 September: Infamy
  • 6 September: The man who swore that The Gong Show Movie was the best film he had ever seen [Stu]

    August 2001
  • 30 August: At least the cab drivers seem to keep their eyes on the road, but maybe that’s because they get good tips [Only in the movies]
  • 23 August: Maybe Marky Mark read about the babel fish in his Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy [When apes speak]
  • 16 August: If you’re wondering why the queue is so long at Blarney Castle, it’s because of all those actors [Eire’s allure]
  • 9 August: EXCLUSIVE: How I (nearly almost) crashed Pierce Brosnan’s wedding! [The (News of the) World Is Not Enough]
  • 2 August: How about Cillian Murphy and Elaine Cassidy to star in a new version of Far and Away? [On a role]

    July 2001
  • 26 July: What exactly qualifies a film to be ‘Irish’ (as opposed to ‘Oirish)’? [Will the real Ireland please stand up?]
  • 19 July: Why going from the Star Trek crew to being a leprechaun may not be a good career move [More blah-blah about the fleadh]
  • 12 July: Why holding a bag of popcorn just doesn’t cut it after you’ve been to a film festival in Ireland [Here’s to Irish film fests]
  • 5 July: You want thrilling cinema? The AFI recommends Norman Bates, a great white shark and Satan [Thrillers]

    June 2001
  • 28 June: June was a really bad month for connoisseurs of acting talent [Tony, Carroll & Jack]
  • 21 June: They say you should avoid discussing politics and religion, so in this commentary I will wisely avoid politics [Putting words in Jesus’s mouth]
  • 14 June: So, Quentin, how about making a movie about visionary Catholic lovers who fight with each other and then get shot? [Making (non)sense of it all]
  • 7 June: Well, at least the lady who kept changing seats and walking into walls wasn’t talking on a cell phone [Magic moments]

    May 2001
  • 31 May: So what wonderful, obscure flick will I be missing when Moulin Rouge opens in Seattle? [Bombing out of the festival]
  • 24 May: It is unseasonably warm in Seattle, perhaps making up for the fact that I am once again not on the French Riviera [Cannes do]
  • 17 May: The Missus never reads my commentaries, and I hope she doesn’t start with this one [Liv Tyler: everywoman?]
  • 10 May: Thanks to those wimpy Hollywood writers, here are some movies and TV shows you won’t be seeing [Ideas that have struck me…]
  • 3 May: An interest group tries to set public opinion aflame, as a burning issue smolders in the movie business [Smoke gets in my eyes]

    April 2001
  • 26 April: Michael Douglas’s daughter might have been better off if she had met Johnny Depp [O.D.]
  • 19 April: Would the treat be as delicious without the bitter as well as the sweet? [The aftertaste of Chocolat]
  • 12 April: Maybe TiVo is blocking all those Pearl Harbor trailers from appearing on my TV… [Was George Orwell right?]
  • 5 April: Or what about this: what if Spielberg remade Kubrick’s version of The Lord of the Rings? [Robot boys, bombs and magic rings]

    March 2001
  • 29 March: A great time was had by all at this year’s Oscars® ceremony, at least that’s what it says in the script [Beam me up, Ridley]
  • 22 March: Neither Australian media moguls nor New England Nor’easters will keep me from realizing my goal this year [My annual rite of spring]
  • 15 March: Forget about the Celtic Tiger, it’s really a Celtic Chameleon [Irish films have me reelin’]
  • 8 March: Not much shakin’ where you are? Then this is an excellent week to be in Seattle! [A rock solid film & video festival]
  • 1 March: How many other people could manage to link The Sopranos, Gladiator and Petticoat Junction all in the same commentary? [When acting virtually transcends death]

    February 2001
  • 22 February: Whether at high noon or on the beach, he helped us to understand this mad, mad, mad, mad world [The other Stanley K. (1913-2001)]
  • 15 February: Is it the video game action sequences or Crowe’s underwear that make this flick so irresistible to nominators? [The lions have no chance against this Gladiator]
  • 8 February: Let the magic of movies revive the love in your relationship [Time for a shot from Cupid]
  • 1 February: The former president’s final day was even more Craven than anyone suspected [A Nightmare on Pennsylvania Avenue?]

    January 2001
  • 25 January: Portent or merely party time? Just how significant are these awards anyway? [Globes set my head spinning]
  • 18 January: Another dozen who entered celluloid immortality in the past year [Gone but not forgotten II]
  • 11 January: You could make one heck of a movie with all the talent that disappeared last year [Gone but not forgotten I]
  • 4 January: Read this and you won’t have to read the entertainment section of your newspaper for the rest of the year [2001: a spaced odyssey]


    December 2000
  • 28 December: Farewell to Murray Burns, James Tyrone Jr. and Cheyenne [A thousand clowns’ journey into night (1922-2000)]
  • 21 December: Five twisted cinematic views of Christmas in America [The Christmas not-quite-classics]
  • 14 December: Have yourself a merry little quintet of tearjerkers [The Christmas classics]
  • 7 December: Movies to look forward to while you’re waiting for that sequel to Snow Falling on Cedars [Coming soon]

    November 2000
  • 30 November: Sometimes the most entertaining part is before the movie even begins [And now for a word…]
  • 23 November: Memo to Sly: that ‘carving up the turkey’ movie sounds like a good idea [Happy Turkey Day]
  • 16 November: What next? Bush and Cheney going to see I’m Gonna Git You Sucka? [When presidents go to the movies]
  • 9 November: When the Cold War turned hot in Hollywood [And then there were none]
  • 2 November: He isn’t really the president, but he plays one on TV—and will tell you who should be the next one [Election season in Tinseltown]

    October 2000
  • 26 October: A fan’s dream come true: meeting the commander of Babylon 5 [Name droppings IV]
  • 19 October: Finally, no reason to miss anything on the tube—except the commercials [The future of television?]
  • 12 October: A half-century of fine performances, from miniscule to big, is the legacy he’s left us [The Grey Fox (1920-2000)]
  • 5 October: Say it ain’t so, Joe: have a little faith in the American public [The devil’s playground?]

    September 2000
  • 28 September: When filth is outlawed in movies, only filthy people will get to see movies [Is there too much Gore (or Bush) in movies?]
  • 21 September: Star Trek vs. Babylon 5—which tells the grander tale? [The glory of Babylon II]
  • 14 September: Here’s a reason to skip the movies and stay home to watch television [The glory of Babylon I]
  • 7 September: I know you didn’t send it in, but your email message may be here anyway [We (don’t) get letters…]

    August 2000
  • 31 August: Think finding the source of the Nile is hard? Try zeroing in on an actor at a huge Irish party [Name droppings III]
  • 24 August: When Irish actors and American film buffs collide [Name droppings II]
  • 17 August: If Gore is Clint Eastwood, then is Bush Brad Pitt or Edward Norton? [Unconventional analysis]
  • 10 August: When it came to frothy film roles, nothing ever tasted as good as a Guinness [Thank you, Sir Alec]
  • 3 August: Uh, Norman, does your mother know that you’re here at the film festival? [Name droppings I]

    July 2000
  • 27 July: Watch a movie amid wailing, wetting and walking? That’s kid stuff! [For crying out loud]
  • 20 July: We can look forward to seeing more of Tom Hanks, Winona Ryder and the Blair Witch [Reading Hollywood’s mind]
  • 13 July: Look a hine ya at that huge wave, George-a Clooney!! [Rashomon had it right]
  • 6 July: Every picture tells a story, and lately they all aspire to be true ones [For the record]

    June 2000
  • 29 June: Now what would be really funny is John Cleese going into the wrong movie theater with a sheep [What’s so funny?]
  • 22 June: Maybe it’s the wood chipper scene that makes them chuckle [It is to laugh]
  • 15 June: Would a movie about the Reagan Administration technically be considered a sequel? [Acting Presidents]
  • 8 June: From the home office in Seattle, Washington… [Excuses, excuses]
  • 1 June: Why it’s okay if Frasier and Niles want to go the film festival [Can SIFF survive being cool?]

    May 2000
  • 25 May: My 15-year springtime love affair with sitting in the dark [The best fest]
  • 18 May: Why very bad movies sometimes make for very good trailers [More trailer trash]
  • 11 May: Did Julia Roberts blow her line by accident or by design? [Unbecoming attractions]
  • 4 May: The answer for when someone asserts ‘they don’t make movies like they used to!’ [Déjà view]

    April 2000
  • 27 April: Yo! Adrian! Who turned out the lights? [Cinema interruptus]
  • 20 April: Will the movie biography of Bill Gates be called ‘Pulp Software’? [Citizen Gates?]
  • 13 April: Planning a reunion? Allow me to suggest where to put it, I mean, have it [Right and wrong ways to see a movie]
  • 6 April: What Marty McFly and T.E. Lawrence have in common [How compulsiveness winds up seeming random]

    March 2000
  • 30 March: Kevin Spacey and Vladimir Putin—separated at birth? [Post-Oscar® musings]