The Terminator is one of my favorite movies. When my Windy City pals Adam Kempenarr and Josh Larsen announced the other week that they would make writer-director James Cameron’s low-budget, high-concept sci-fi classic the subject of one of their “Sacred Cow” reviews, I knew that the likelihood that Josh—a critic who generally seems to dislike action films, with the bizarre exception of the Fast & the Furious franchise, which to me represents the genre at its most derivative and least inspired—would rain on it. He hates Predator, people! Predator! A film I saw last year at the Library of Congress!
So I took action. To paraphrase Al Capone, you can get farther with a kind word and a quote from The Terminator than you can with a kind word alone. And the threatening voice mail I left for Josh opened last week’s episode.
It’s a strange coincidence that Sir Roger Moore, 007 No. 003, died only about 48 hours after the premiere of the very funny Hulu documentary Becoming Bond, about one-and-done 007 George Lazenby — who, incredibly, landed the most sought-after role in showbiz (circa 1968) with double-oh-zero prior acting experience.
I’ll never get tired of this real-life story. And the Bond flick that resulted, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, is in my Bond Top Five, way above of any of the Moore entries. Anyway, I wrote about all this for the weekend crowd. And I fan-casted Matt Gourley, again.
I wrote this piece quickly, and it occurred to me only after I’d send it off to my editor, the great Linda Holmes, that I might’ve mentioned the passage of the documentary wherein Lazenby explains the discovery that turned him from a failing salesman into into a successful one. He might’ve been talking about acting.
My pal-for-life Glen Weldon is Down Under this week—like Quigley, like Jackman, like Michael J. “Crocodile” Dundee—but I was glad to be part of a reduced Pop Culture Happy Hour panel along with host Linda Holmes and regular Stephen Thompson to dissect the messy but fascinating prequel-sequel Alien: Covenant and to marvel at how the political satire Veep has stayed so strong for six seasons. At the end of the episode, I give a little love to little-loved—by me, anyway—replacement 007 Sir Roger Moore, who passed away this week at the age of 89. You can hear the full episode here or embedded below.
Posted in movies, podcasts
Tagged 007, ALIEN, Aliens, H.R. Giger, James Bond, Linda Holmes, NPR, Pop Culture Happy Hour, PROMETHEUS, Ridley Scott, Roger Moore, shameless self-promotion, Stephen Thompson, Veep
Sitting down to review the new Pirates of the Caribbean, I knew for a fact that I’d seen all four of the prior movies but I couldn’t remember a thing about any of them, except that one had Keith Richards in it for a minute. I expect I’ll forget this one, too, though I wouldn’t be averse to catching it on a double or triple-bill on a nice summer night at the Bengies Drive-In.
My fanboyish impulses mostly come out whenever there’s a new ALIEN. Mostly.
I tried not to splash too much corrosive blood on the deck in my dissection of Alien: Covenant.
Can a working actor get famous in one of Shakespeare’s least-famous plays? In this week’s Washington City Paper, available wherever finer alt-weeklies are given away gratis, I profile the hardworking and versatile titan of stage and stage Mr. Ian Merrill Peakes. He’s currently appearing in the Folger Theatre‘s Timon of Athens, the “Hey Bulldog” of the Shakespearean canon.
It’s a tradition! Here once again
I choose a dozen movies due in the next three months for which I’ve got medium-high hopes.
Robert Schenkkahn’s Building the Wall, a terrifyingly plausible future-history of the Trump Administration that Forum Theatre has scrambled to shoehorn into their season, is a cry of warning that requires little suspension of disbelief.
I saw the show at Arena Stage last week in the first part of its bifurcated, two-venue run. It’s at Forum’s Silver Spring performance space May 18-17. Go. My review is in this week’s Washington City Paper, along with one of The Shakespeare Theatre’s Company’s more-is-less Macbeth.
Posted in theatre
Tagged Chris Genebach, Eric Messner, Erica Chamblee, Forum Theatre, Logan Vaughn, Michael Dove, Mosaic Theatre, play reviews, President Trump, Robert Schenkkan, speculative fiction, Tracy Conyer Lee, Washington City Paper
Here’s my NPR review of Chuck, a biopic about Chuck Wepner, the self-sabotaging New Jersey boxer who inspired Sylvester Stallone to write Rocky. It ain’t bad, but I wanted to love it. Anyway, Rocky already has a wonderful latter-day lega-sequel.
Given that Aaron Posner’s 2009 production of Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia at the Folger Theatre, starring Holly Twyford and Erin Weaver (and Cody Nickell and Eric Hissom) remains one of my favorite theatrical experiences, it’s a cinch I’d be susceptible to Posner’s reteaming with Twyford and Weaver in Or, Liz Duffy Adams’ erudite farce about seminal British playwright Aphra Behn. Here’s my Washington City Paper review.