Daily Archives: September 17, 2011



Anderson Cooper is officially … everywhere:  CNN, 60 Minutes, talk shows, New Year’s Eve specials.  Try as I might, I haven’t really been able to ferret out anything truly despicable about the guy, but that does not mean that I want to see so damn much of him.  Get out of my living room, Cooper, and take your girlish giggle with you.






On the other hand, it seems obvious that the Salahis need some company, so I am pulling out my hide-a-bed, just for them.  But tell that creep from Journey to buzz off.




I watched a TV interview with a representative of Ducks Unlimited.  Yes, my life really is that sad and pathetic.  The rep was asked what attracted him to Ducks Unlimited (silly question) and he replied:  “Something just snapped, and I became a water fowler.”

I could not let this kind of comment pass without some good-natured ribbing, so I Web-searched Ducks Unlimited, found it, and sent off an e-mail.  I got this reply:


Hi [Grouch]

Welcome back to Minnesota.  I appreciate your comment and wish I could have taken the remark back.  To be clear, “you guys” is me.  I was the dude that made the comment.  Unfortunately, at that moment I didn’t represent the best of Ducks Unlimited or the great volunteers of Minnesota.

Thank you for the feedback,

Dave Flink/Minnesota State Chair/SCSU 1980


There are so many things wrong with this.  Welcome back to Minnesota?  What does that mean?  And the guy apparently went to my college (SCSU).  And he graduated the same year that I did.  Do I somehow know him? Worse, does he know me?  The lesson:  Be very careful before you mess with Ducks Unlimited.




Knight    Pelley


CBS anchorman Scott Pelley has an unfortunate Ted Baxter thing going on.  Like Ted, Pelley looks and sounds like he’s seated in front of a mirror, practicing his anchor voice.






And you thought that Jay Leno has a gigantic chin?






I’m not sure why the nude pictures of Scarlett Johansson are considered big news.  She’s an attractive actress showing off her bare ass — like that’s never happened before.



There must be a God:






This is the kind of thing that happens to you when you live next door to a writer:




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These are a few things that Drive has going for it:  1) the hottest actor of the year, Ryan Gosling; 2) arguably the most promising actress of 2010, Carey Mulligan; 3) a director, Nicolas Winding Refn, who brings a distinctive European flavor to the project; 4) handsome production design and striking visuals.

None of that matters, because Drive goes nowhere thanks to a lackluster story and characters who are thinner than windshield-wiper fluid.  It’s all very frustrating, because the film would seem to have so much potential.  Yet once again, Hollywood puts polish and shine on a movie and neglects the most important element, good storytelling.

Gosling plays “the driver,” an enigmatic Steve McQueen type, a soft-spoken loner who is on the wrong side of the law but who harbors — you guessed it — a kinder, gentler side.  Just in case we overlook this aspect of his personality, we are treated to scenes of Gosling watching cartoons with a kid.  Somehow, I can’t picture McQueen taking time out in The Getaway to watch an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants.




The driver decides to bless a girl next door with his niceness, which leads to big problems.  Mulligan, so good in An Education and in Never Let Me Go, has the thankless role of “the girl” in another example of lousy parts for women in Hollywood “A” movies.  Mulligan plays a single mother (dad is in prison) whose main purpose in Drive is to cast sad looks at the men in her life:  expressions of longing for Gosling, and looks of despair for her no-good husband, an ex-con called “Standard.”  (I checked, but I could find no character in the film named “Automatic.”)

The supporting cast is also wasted.  Bryan Cranston is the foolish sidekick whom any graduate of Movies 101 will tell you is expendable in a movie like this.  Christina Hendricks looks fetching but comes and goes in no time at all.  Albert Brooks, as a foul-tempered money man, is one of the film’s few bright spots.  The undernourished plot is a heist-gone-wrong story that you’ve seen many times before.

Refn, who inexplicably took home a Best Director award from the Cannes Film Festival for this mediocrity, wants his film to be like Shane with car chases.  Shane was cool and had lots of soul.  Drive looks cool, but has no soul.      Grade:  C+


Drive3 Drive4


Director:  Nicolas Winding Refn  Cast:  Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks, Oscar Isaac, Christina Hendricks, Ron Perlman, Kaden Leos, Jeff Wolfe, James Biberi, Russ Tamblyn  Release:  2011


Drive5 Drive6




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