Monthly Archives: January 2018

The Golden Globes is dominated by women, and by Queen Oprah’s amazing speech. And the Saints and Falcons look very dangerous in NFL playoffs

I can positively report that there were, in fact, men present at the Golden Globe awards Sunday night.

I’m not sure why they were there, but they were. I saw Dwayne Johnson and Jason Bateman and I think even a few male award winners. But by all means, this year’s Golden Globes were ALL about the women.

Which is totally fine, and even welcome. With all the Hollywood sexual misconduct we’ve learned about over the past several months, it was great to see women take center stage and, almost as a group, demand better treatment.

It was a very different feel to this year’s Globes (and am I crazy or was there no “death montage?” Isn’t there usually one?), and most of the show was pretty so-so.

But then, Queen Oprah came out and blew the doors off everything that came before, and after. I’d tell you about her speech, but I wouldn’t do it justice. If this was the kickoff to her 2020 Presidential campaign (and quite honestly, I might vote for her if she ran), it was sensational. Please watch this:

As for the rest of the show, a few rambling thoughts from my brain, and as always, fashion commentary and other thoughts helpfully provided by my beautiful wife:

— Seth Meyers as host was fine, though he disappeared the last half of the show. Two great monologue jokes I loved: “For the male nominees tonight will be the first time in three months it won’t be terrifying to hear your name read out loud.” Also I liked when he said “A string of three words that could not have been better designed to infuriate our president:Hollywood Foreign Press.”

— Winners I was super happy about: Rachel Brosnahan and “The Marvelous  Mrs. Maisel” both winning. Aziz Ansari for “Master of None,” maybe the best show I saw in 2017, was a shocking win, I thought. And of course, Sterling K. Brown for “This Is Us” thrilled me. His speech at the Globes wasn’t nearly as great as his awesome Emmys speech last year, but still, pretty great.

— The on-stage speeches all paled next to Queen Oprah’s, but I thought Laura Dern gave a heartfelt one, I loved Frances MacDormand’s fierce pride, and the sheer excitement of Greta Gerwig when “Lady Bird” won was very cool to see.

— Fashion do’s and don’ts: Jennifer Aniston, Halle Berry and Sharon Stone all looked amazing. Mariah Carey looked like a Playboy Bunny who wandered off from Hef’s place. And Allison Janney? I love her to death, she can’t win enough awards for me. But that dress was hideous.

— OK, so that weird dude who was called up on stage when James Franco one, the dude who directed the movie that “The Disaster Artist” was based on? His name is Tommy Wiseau but I swear my first thought when I saw him was “Holy crap, Michael Jackson is alive???)

— Finally, while many women spoke beautifully about the importance of the “Time is Up” movement and women’s equality, it was definitely disappointing to see so few men say a word about what’s gone on in Hollywood all these years. No reason only women have to be standing up for women. I’m just sayin.’

**And now for some football talk: We had two bad games and two good games this weekend in the NFL playoffs, which is usually what happens on Wild Card weekend.

— The Saints-Panthers game was stellar on Sunday, I really felt sure Carolina was going to pull it out in the fourth quarter after Saints coach Sean Payton crazily went for it on 4th and 2 from midfield, with a five-point lead and three minutes to go. But New Orleans won a 31-26 thriller and I think the “Aints” have an excellent shot to beat the Vikings next week.

— Atlanta is probably going to beat Philly, too, because the Iggles don’t have a quarterback.  Both the NFC games should be terrific next weekend, but in the AFC? Blech.

Buffalo and Jacksonville did their best to put America to sleep Sunday; you’re going to tell me Blake Bortles is winning a road playoff game in Pittsburgh next week?  I was really pulling for the Bills Sunday but Tyrod Taylor, that was a putrid performance.

And as shocking (not) as the Titans’ comeback over the El Foldo Chiefs was, Marcus Mariota and Co. are going into Foxboro to beat Brady and Belichick? I’ll dunk a basketball in the NBA before that happens. (But that was a great block (above) the QB threw on the game-clinching Titans run).

— Poor Chiefs fans. Every time they make the playoffs and get a home game, they lose. Six straight times, over more than 20 years! It’s an impressive streak. Andy Reid, you are an amazing regular season coach. Come January, you turn into Rich Kotite.

And that’s not a pretty picture.

 

Good News Friday: Buffalo Bills fans bombard Andy Dalton’s charity with kindness. A news anchor gets a marriage proposal live on TV. And “The Post” does a great job on the Pentagon Papers scandal

And a Happy Friday to all of you out there in Internet-land, which can’t be as frigid as it is here in New York. My word was Thursday a horrendous storm day; I usually love snow but this was too much. Happily, it’s over and now it’ll just be 46 below zero today.

Which is a perfect segue to talk about the awesomeness of the people of Buffalo. Yes, Buffalo, the place where even polar bears are like “Can someone turn on a space heater or something?” Buffalo-nians have endured a lot with their sports teams over the years (four straight losses in the Super Bowl by the Bills, the Sabres losing their one Stanley Cup Finals chance on a goal that probably shouldn’t have counted),  and lately they’ve suffered through 17 consecutive non-playoff seasons from the Bills.

But finally last Sunday, thanks to the Bills winning and a remarkable comeback by the Cincinnati Bengals to beat the Baltimore Ravens, the Bills are back in the playoffs.

It truly took a sensational play by Bengals QB Andy Dalton to win the game, and only by the Ravens losing to Cincy did the Bills finally qualify. And of all the ways Bills fans could’ve celebrated their team finally making the playoffs for the first time this century (seriously, 1999 was a LONG time ago), this way the fans responded was the coolest.

Buffalo fans have helped raise more than $400,000, in a week, for Dalton’s preferred charity and the charity favored by Bengals receiver Tyler Boyd, who scored the winning touchdown. Dalton and his wife Jordan’s personal foundation sponsors several community outreach programs, including the Pass It On Fund, which aims to provide medical equipment and financial relief to families with seriously ill or physically challenged children.

And more than $40,000 has been raised for the Western PA Youth Athletic Association, which Boyd played in as a child.

Hilariously, most of the donations have come in $17 increments, since it’s been 17 seasons since the Bills last made the playoffs.

Dalton was overwhelmed by the generosity.

“We are blown away by everybody that’s donating,” he said. “Thank you to all the Bills fans, thank you for anybody that’s just supporting our foundation. Let’s keep it going.”

Very, very cool. How could you not root for the Bills on Sunday against Jacksonville?

**Next up, this kind of thing always, always makes me smile. Evie Allen is a female news anchor at WSIL-TV in Carterville, Ill. She was on the air on New Year’s Day morning when suddenly the weather forecaster started talking about a surprise in the weather and that “ice is coming around the corner.”

Then, out of nowhere comes Evie’s boyfriend Matt, to propose to her live on television. (Please click through, it’s a really sweet, short video)

Such a sweet, sweet genuine moment. Live TV, man, you never know what’s going to happen.

**Finally today, I was 99.9 percent certain I was going to love the new Tom Hanks/Meryl Streep/Steven Spielberg movie “The Post,” because it has those three icons in it, and it’s about a newspaper. In this case, The Washington Post, in 1971, wrestling whether or not to publish The Pentagon Papers, the explosive documents ex-government employee Daniel Ellsberg released to the The New York Times that documented how deep the deception and lies went, over four administrations, to convince the American people that the war in Vietnam was being won.

(And by the way, a fabulous, hilarious touch by Spielberg to have Matthew Rhys, who of course is a Russian spy on “The Americans” play Ellsberg.)

The story follows the Post’s female publisher, Katherine Graham (Streep), and editor Ben Bradlee (Hanks) wrestling with the legal, political and moral implications of running the Papers.

Both leads are, of course, fabulous, and there are a ton of other great actors you’ll recognize here, including Bradley Whitford, Bruce Greenwood, and the fantastic Bob Odenkirk playing the reporter who brings the Post the actual papers.

The drama is presented realistically, as there’s no 100 percent clear right answer, and watching Streep balance friendship and journalistic responsiblility (something 99 percent of publishers never deal with) was fascinating.

“The Post” is too long, probably by about 20-30 minutes, but other than that, it’s fantastic. I believe it comes out nationwide in a few days, I highly recommend it.

Between “Spotlight” and “The Post,” we’re on a roll with great movies about newspapers!

 

Dave Barry’s Year in Review is, as always, a must-read. “The Greatest Showman” was pretty good for what it was. And the New York Knick who crashes bar mitzvahs

Hello and Happy New Year, everyone! I really meant to write a blog post for Monday but the day got away from me, we were doing family things and then I had some champagne on New Year’s Eve and, well, you know. Hope you had a great holiday, and that you saw some of that sensational Georgia-Oklahoma college football game Monday night (the great Tommy Tomlinson, a Georgia fan, penned this great, emotional column).

Lots to get to at the start of 2018, but as always I can’t fully put a bow around 2017 without reading the great Dave Barry’s Year in Review. For those of you somehow unaware of this true genius, Dave Barry is a wildly successful author and humorist who has been a longtime Miami Herald columnist. Honestly, I think he’s one of the five funniest people in America. As always, his 2017 Year in Review contains a ton of laughs, including…

In February, The entertainment highlight of the month comes during the Academy Awards, when PricewaterhouseCoopers (motto: “The Fidget Spinner of Consulting Firms”) comes up with a brilliant gambit to enliven the 14-hour broadcast by handing Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway the wrong envelope for Best Picture. Hilarity ensues, and PricewaterhouseCoopers is immediately hired by congressional Republican leadership to develop a strategy for repealing Obamacare.

In April, In aviation news, United Airlines (“The Fidget Spinner of Airlines”) breaks new customer-service ground when it decides that a 69-year-old passenger who has already boarded his flight must be “re-accommodated” via a technique similar to the one the Mexican army used to re-accommodate the Texans at the Alamo, leaving him with a concussion, broken teeth and a broken nose. At first United’s CEO defends the airline’s actions on the grounds that, quote, “We have the collective IQ of a starfish.” But after a firestorm of public outrage he apologizes and promises that in the future United will employ a “more humane” re-accommodation policy based on “respect for our customers and, when needed, tranquilizer darts.

Dave Barry’s the best. Read his whole, hilarious story here.

**Next up, as I think I mentioned a few weeks ago the wife and I were about to go on a movie-watching binge over the holidays, and I actually got to see three quality flicks in the past week. Not to going to review them all today because you and I don’t have that kind of time, but wanted to start by writing about “The Greatest Showman,” which I knew would be a musical but still had way more music than I was expecting.

Couple good things: 1, Hugh Jackman, who played P.T. Barnum, is a superstar. Guy is really, really good at everything he’s in, and he was really good here. 2, The cinematography and visuals of this movie were spectacular. It was gorgeous to look at, definitely a flick I’m glad I saw on the big screen. 3. Michelle Williams, who plays Barnum’s wife, is terrific with what little material she had to work with. Michelle Williams has turned out to be a sensational actor. Who ever would’ve thought that the “other” chick from “Dawson’s Creek” would be the best actor of all of them?

Couple bad things: 1, Zac Efron, one of the big stars of the movie, is no Al Pacino. He’s fine at singing but at acting? Meh. 2, A lot of the storyline presents Barnum was this wonderful, gregarious, big-hearted guy, giving opportunities to those who society has shunned, like a Bearded Lady and a midget. The reality is so, so, so different (though I was about to get mad at the movie for not including Barnum’s famous “There’s a sucker born every minute” quote until I got home and read he never actually said it.).

Would’ve been nice to see some of Barnum’s darker side. 3, And this bothered my wife way more than me: Barnum has two daughters in the film. The film takes place over a period of at least eight years. His daughters never age in the movie. What, they didn’t want to pay two sets of actors to play his kids? It’s just weird.

Anyway, overall I’d say liked “The Greatest Showman.” It’s not great, but if you like musicals and a feel-good story, check it out.

**Finally today, I’m stunned I missed this story from last December, but I’m glad I stumbled upon it over the weekend. Meet Kyle O’Quinn, a backup forward for the New York Knicks. Like most pro basketball players, he’s tall, he’s African-American, and he never had his own bar mitzvah.

But he’s been to a bunch of them now, because Kyle O’Quinn has been going to a ton of them. What started as an invite to his agent’s daughter’s party has turned into a regular side gig.

Says Mr. O’Quinn: “A lot of times, I go and I stay longer than I’m supposed to because it’s so much fun,” O’Quinn said. “The food’s always good. The only thing that gets a little overwhelming is the kids; sometimes they don’t listen to the structure of the party and it just gets loose.

“And the [parents] kind of leave it like, ‘Kyle, you deal with it.’ And it’s kids saying, ‘Selfie, selfie, selfie, snapchat, what’s your snapchat?’ But once you get that out of the way, it’s fun.”

I bet he does a mean hora dance, you know?