Movies for Grownups Weekend Preview Sept. 27

Pornography and cannibalism are the subjects of two interesting new movies this week, but it may be time to see a true classic: The Wizard of Oz is in IMAX3-D theaters through this weekend; it was in the top ten moneymakers last weekend. Go see it for the popping poppies and flying monkeys. The New Stuff:  Don Jon This is a tour-de-force for actor, writer, director Joseph Gordon-Levitt, but see the story of Jon, a guy whose addiction to online porn …

At Last, a Lyrical Look at Latino Life

Miriam Colon isn’t just the star of Bless Me, Ultima, a gentle soul of a film set in a New Mexico Latino community during World War II. She’s also something of a prophet on its behalf, urging more films like this one that, quite literally, calls from the wilderness with a story of America’s rich Latino culture. While there’s no shortage of movies that examine the Latino experience in America, they tend to unfold as urban gangster films (Scarface), along …

Rocky the Squirrel’s Voice, Soaring at 95

You may not know the face of June Foray, nor even her name. But the voice sure is familiar. Foray, who’s about to turn 96, has been the voice of Rocky the Flying Squirrel (and his Russian nemesis Natasha Fatale), Hazel the Witch (Bugs Bunny’s broom-flying foil), Cindy Lou Who (The Grinch’s pint-sized conscience) and Granny (Tweety Bird’s protector), not to mention dozens of other characters, in hundreds of theatrical and TV cartoons since 1943. Last year, Foray won her …

TV’s Funniest Moments Minus the Laughs

That’s what I get for actually planning my weekend around a TV show. After reminding myself for two days not to miss it, I actually sat down in front of the tube to watch Sunday’s NBC special, TV’s Funniest of the Funniest: A Paley Center for Media Special. Who could resist that? The show purported to feature the 30 funniest moments in TV history, and it was curated by the nation’s most esteemed television archive. How could they screw that …

A Lost Fourth of July Classic: ‘This Is the Army’

The Fourth of July usually brings TV reruns of Yankee Doodle Dandy, with James Cagney hoofing up a storm as uberpatriot-composer George M. Cohan. It’s a great film directed by Michael Curtiz, but may I direct your attention to another red white and blue epic, directed by Curtiz the following year, 1943. It’s one of the great forgotten blockbuster movies. This is the Army is little more than a musical revue; one production number after another with a cast that includes …

The Day Sinatra Reimagined His Life

  My morning routine involves getting to my office around 7 a.m., sitting down with a cup of coffee and cranking up my record player. Today I slipped Frank Sinatra‘s post-retirement album, Ol’ Blue Eyes is Back, out of its sleeve and gave ‘er a spin. And that’s when serendipity took over. As I read the liner notes (record albums, you’ll recall, often had wonderful essays printed right on the sleeve, and you could read them without use of MIT’s …