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Monthly Archives: September 2014

Upcoming Shows Based on Classic Movies

September 29, 2014, 10:59 am

Have the studios spent millions to establish brands only to let the brands languish? With a few exceptions – The Godfather video game, The Indiana Jones Chronicles – the answer is yes. After the prodigious successes of the TV series Fargo and Bates Motel, based loosely on the classic films Fargo and Psycho, studios have been looking to redeploy other similarly prestigious titles onto the small screen. A quick look at what’s coming in Fall 2015: Casablanca: Rick Rolls In […]

Bill and Circuses

September 26, 2014, 11:20 am

I’m tickled that there’s a company called Sports Authority, because in our world, sports are the only authority there is. We trust the people who manage sports in a way we don’t trust politicians, economists, scientists, clergy, celebrities, or other public figures. That’s why it feels like an important moment when X sports authority suspends Y sports authority for criticizing Z sports authority. ESPN has suspended Bill Simmons – the best writer of his generation – for calling NFL Commissioner […]

class action lawsuit against my school district?

September 24, 2014, 11:35 am

In my little corner of the world, there have been a few interesting emails lately. I’ll change the names (except for Robin Miller). In case you’ve never heard of DREDF…I’ve been to their seminars. They’re the ones looking out for parents and kids like me and mine. Our Berkeley special-needs parent listserve got this email yesterday: DREDF has been looking at a number Berkeley parent concerns /frustration/ complaint about inadequate educational support for our children with disabilities, eg  504 or […]

Why Hollywood’s Summer 2014 Wasn’t As Bad As You’ve Heard

September 22, 2014, 11:15 am

In case you hadn’t noticed, in the last few weeks, Hollywood has been getting more Monday-morning quarterbacking than the Dallas Cowboys. Specifically, summer 2014 supposedly stunk, and now everyone in the press are wagging their fingers at the studios and warning them that their business model is untenable. (If you have any doubt that Hollywood reads its national press, you obviously weren’t paying attention to the Shonda Rhimes/Alessandra Stanley debacle this last weekend.) What do you reckon the studios think […]

Populists Triumph in Britain and California!

September 19, 2014, 12:26 pm

Populism means policies by and for a majority, somewhat like utilitarianism. The most common objection to populism is that it will trample on minority rights; that the 51%, once in power, will take everything away from the 49%. Of course, that objection has nothing to do with the real world, and we’ve just seen two prominent examples of what I mean in two places where I’ve lived most of my life – California and Britain. Before talking about the Scottish […]

Starting Kindergarten

September 17, 2014, 11:32 am

Dar started Kindergarten. That happened. THANK YOU to everyone who “liked” his first-day picture on facebook…that was wonderful support. As you may recall, public-school kindergarten for Dar was the result of several meetings and several more consultations and mucho mucho soul-searcho from wifey and me. The bottom line was that the district offered a 1-on-1 aide. Even the biggest skeptics of public school and/or mainstreaming were like, “Oh, they’re giving you a 1-on-1 aide? Uh, you might want to take […]

“Worst”-great scenarios

September 15, 2014, 10:22 am

The critics have been kind to You’re the Worst, but I’m not sure they’ve been kind enough. You’re the Worst is not only terrific but also something brazenly new, and maybe they haven’t noticed because, like a gift stolen from your friend’s wedding, it’s wrapped up in such a way as to seem more familiar than it is. I’m talking about a headline like this: “You’re the Worst Quickly Becomes TV’s Best Romantic Comedy.” You’d think there were other romantic comedies on TV, […]

Republic of Public

September 12, 2014, 12:13 pm

God bless us, everyone, and God bless Tiny Tim. Not the one from A Christmas Carol, but Timothy Egan, who writes for The New York Times. Today’s column is called “Video Nation,” and his thesis is that Americans don’t bother to care unless there’s a video that we can all get outraged about. ISIS was committing any number of animalistic atrocities before they beheaded two American journalists…but only after millions saw those videos did Obama double down on Iraq War […]

Stairway to Heaven with Nixon

September 10, 2014, 11:45 am

Ever see a film without any reviews on Rotten Tomatoes? I have. It’s called Dad’s in Heaven With Nixon (2010), and since RT hasn’t stepped up, I’ll do it. I liked it, but it had issues. This documentary film markets itself as a movie about autism, but this turns out to be a slight bait-and-switch (now us autism families know how fundamentalist Christian moviegoers feel about “family” films!) because the film is really about the Murray family. I regret to […]

Beautiful, Beautiful Boyhood

September 8, 2014, 11:07 am

Writer-director Richard Linklater’s latest and unique cinematic achievement is less about a 12-year production and more because of his almost seamless blend of the melodramatic and the quotidian. One doesn’t need a context to appreciate Boyhood, but the film does need a little defense against some younger twitterers whose reactions can be summarized as “What’s the big deal?” When Gravity came out a year ago, a thousand science-fiction-loving bloggers leapt to their keyboards to explain why the film was a “game […]