Our Never-Ending Story

I love movies and the theatre. Always have. The story you can’t second-guess. Memorable characters. Unforeseen, angry, funny and generally snide and/or uncomfortable conflicts.

They tell me stories I can BELIEVE and somehow they have always informed me, metaphorically at least, about my life.

So why am I having so much trouble turning off cable news these days?

Because no play, film or even TV series can touch the Mueller vs. Trump countdown that is being broadcast 24/7 on your small, medium or perhaps even big screen in your home.

Me, watching Rachel Maddow, EVERYDAY

Don’t get me wrong – I’d be thrilled to not have this particular story. But now that it’s here, I can’t turn away.

People say:

You’ve got to do it – for your own sanity! Actually, they don’t say it – they admonish it – and me.

To which I say/admonish back:


I keep repeating to anyone who asks or who will listen:

These are insane times. Is the proper response to continue life as you have always known it???

Luckily, I don’t have children. Not so much because I wouldn’t be there for them. But more like —

What if one of them was a Trump supporter??????

I honestly don’t know how the Keatons did it.

Oh, don’t reassure yourself. I absolutely would NOT leave them alone. And if they pushed it too far I most certainly COULD leave them. Or at least stop talking to them. My mother stopped talking to me for four months after I relocated to Los Angeles for a job and temporarily moved in with my Dad and stepmom. And this was 10 years after they BOTH remarried!! And Jimmy Carter was president!!

So DO NOT say that I don’t have it in me.  I have a lot in me.

And more.

The Never-Ending Story is not a fantasy novel or an OLD movie from 1984.

A different white, hairy monster

(Note: Yeah – 1984 is 34 years ago so it now qualifies as OLD. And Note the year – 1984??? George Orwell? The David Bowie song? AND – yes, I AM seeing connections that make perfect sense that YOU. ARE. MISSING).

#THEREALDONALDTRUMP is the malevolent force in OUR NEVER-ENDING STORY and the only one who can stop IT from permeating the globe and destroying US is not a BULLIED CHILD – as it is in the book (Note: Ahem, ANOTHER magical connection you didn’t see or won’t acknowledge – bullies? Children?). It is the former head of the Globe’s chief law enforcement agency – ROBERT MUELLER.

And another SIDE NOTE: Just know that if this is over soon (though as Carrie Fisher once wrote: Wishful Drinking) it is NOT too late for Harrison Ford to play him in the movie. Mueller will be 74 next month and Mr. Ford just turned 76. So by Hollywood standards Mr. Ford is actually a bit young for the part. Nevertheless, I am SURE he would take it —

…If he got final script approval.

…And his choice of director.

… and if he can’t, we know De Niro is game #efftrump

Yeah, IF this is ever over (Note: A BIG if) AND we all survive, the movie industry will be back to business as usual.   Even I would like to dream that we’ll all be a lot more benevolent by then but if the post Drumpf years really do turn out to exist the one bromide we’ll all be well-advised to even more strenuously live by will be to watch our backs.

Even the Harrison Fords among us.

I had two favorite snippets this week from our ongoing, ad-infinitum, never-ending narrative. One occurred during the 10-hour testimony of my new fantasy boyfriend, FBI agent Peter Strzok, before the House of Representatives.

Hey Pete… DM me. <wink>

Mr. Strzok was called on the carpet by countless Republican congressmen for sending text messages criticizing Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign to his former mistress, Justice Department attorney Lisa Page, which were no more inflammatory than numerous public statements made by some of those very same sitting Republican Congressman at the time about the sheer guttural horror of allowing Trump anywhere near the Republican nomination for president, much less the White House.

Still, each elected official kept coming, trying to rattle, corner and otherwise grandstand Mr. Chair Strzok into admitting his political bias disqualified him from doing his job properly just as they simultaneously and continuously disproved this theory by showing their own extreme right leaning biases over and over again with each heated accusation they threw his way.

Disgusted that his grilling of Strzok was not even slightly cracking the trained-to-be-uncrackable veteran FBI man, Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Republican Christian conservative from Texas long referred to as…well…any number of pejorative terms for crazed by his House colleagues, at one point angrily stared at Strzok and sputtered:

I can’t help but wonder, when I see you looking there with a little smirk — How many times did you look so innocent in your wife’s eye and lie to her about Lisa Page!?….


To which Rep. Bonnie Watson-Coleman (D-NJ) finally shouted back at him:

….What is wrong with….You need your medication!!!

And you wonder why I can’t, okay won’t, turn away.

The other example was a soundless 30-second video snippet that encapsulates everything one needs to know about the ways in which Trump is able to insult everything not only within inches of his grasp but many millions of miles beyond.

After dodging 250,000 protestors in London demonstrating against him and his policies with various sizes of Baby Trump floats in diapers, our Electoral College president was scheduled the next day to meet 92 year old Queen Elizabeth for a brief tea at Windsor Castle.

It’s real.. and it’s spectacular

As the Monarch stood outside under a canopy, periodically glancing from side to side, dressed in her signature suit, gloves, hat and handbag, #Drumpf arrived a full 15 minutes late, not only leaving the nonagenarian waiting in an overly bright daytime sun but causing her to check her watch several times. Even after he finally arrived he couldn’t find a way to walk gentlemanly beside, near or behind her – only in front.

seems about right… #chompchomp

This is not only a grievous mistake in Royal protocol but, as everyone but him knows, a common courtesy when you find yourself beside 92 year olds of any station.

It is also one more reason I can’t turn off cable news. That daily reality check is the ONLY thing that is keeping my thoughts and me from TRULY going INSANE and not falling into some awful alternative universe of a dreaded NEW NORMAL.

That said, I guess I could cut down. A little.

Blondie – “One Way Or Another”

The Hype Awakens

Screen Shot 2015-12-20 at 11.35.55 AM

What exactly is contained in a can of Darth Vader Campbell’s soup? The label says it’s pasta with chicken in chicken broth but really – what evil concoction do you think is secretly hiding inside? Hint: It’s the same ingredient contained in the Yoda, C3PO and R2D2 Campbell’s soup – at least as advertised. Yes, they are ALL pasta with chicken in chicken broth! At least according to the label.

This is what you get when you go to your local market and buy STAR WARS CAMPBELL’S SOUP. And if you don’t believe there is such a thing – an authentic Star Wars version of Campbell’s Soup that you too can have for about a buck a can at your local food dispensary – check it out!!

How many nerds will never open this?

There are Cover Girl make up tie-ins (Black Avril Lavigne eyeliner anyone?). Subway tie-ins (well, now that Jared’s not a viable pitch person…) and even Duracell battery Star Wars (at least that makes some sense when you think about it – sort of).

Experts say over the next 12 months there will be $3-5 billion generated in merchandise sales alone tied to The Force Awakens – the first Star Wars film in 10 years. And $11-$20 billion in five years, according to a recent LA Times story.

Even if that’s a bit overinflated, it’s still in the billions. Yes, that’s a B. And we’re only talking merchandising tie-ins.

The force is strong in those.... grapes?

The force is strong in those…. grapes?

I’m as guilty as anyone when it comes to this sort of stuff. Watching the finale of one of my guiltiest TV pleasures in the world last week –The Voice – I see Missy Elliot and Pharrell do this bizarre and somewhat catchy song called WTF. (Note: They had me at the title). It’s a bit edgy and sexy and revels with a lyric about repeated TONGUE action. I thought, good for them – it’s primetime network TV and they got some tongue in. Then this weekend I hear it again – on a Verizon/Samsung Galaxy commercial. The same lyrics but somehow they’ve managed to de-sex it for a Saturday afternoon. Is nothing sacred?

Chairy... please

Chairy… please

I’ve been left behind. It used to be where I could sneak Playboy’s annualSex in the Cinema” issue and as a teenage gay guy manage to see naked pictures of men while pretending to look at naked women. I always felt so proud of myself for the forbidden, successful sneak.  But I mean, what’s really forbidden these days? Certainly not guns. I can buy enough firepower to shoot you in the head a Google times and still not one person could legally blame a corporate overlord.

It’s all about personal responsibility. Or is it?

Well I, for one, am responsible for my choices. Do you know that the night the new Star Wars opened I was at home watching a DVD screener of The Martian? Then, on that Friday night I actually went to the movie theatre to see the new Italian film Youth. Do you know there is a Star Wars: The Force Awakens screening at the WGA just about now with JJ Abrahams speaking afterwards that I was invited to and am NOT attending? (Note: Full admission – I tried to RSVP but it was a day after I received the email and it was sold out. So screw him/them). Still, there are three other screenings I can get into at 11, 2 and 8:30 today and I’m not going to any of them. Nor am I going to the theatre to wait on those damn lines. I’ll show them. I’m waiting until the next industry screening at the DGA on Dec 28th that I did manage to respond to in time. Take that corporate overlords!!!

Whattup Santa!

Whattup Santa!

I can remember seeing Star Wars when it came out in 1977 at the theatre during its first week. It was fun and original. Then I went to a Fox screening room three years later to see Empire Strikes Back. I liked that too, though not quite as much. Then it was Return of the Jedi – I liked it a little less but it was fine. Which was followed years later by the first prequel, The Phantom Menace. Oh, dear, I fear Jar Jar Binks did me in. Though in fairness, it wasn’t entirely his fault.  There came a moment where even I finally stopped going to Cher’s Farewell concert tours.

... but I will follow her on twitter forever.

… but I will follow her on twitter forever.

Yeah, I know Force Awakens recaptures the verve, fun, spirit and storytelling of the original. And I’m going to see it. Just as I’m going to see Creed – which reinvents and captures a lot of the energy of the first Rocky – which I adored at the time and still really like much to the chagrin of so many of my intellectually snobby film friends who can’t let go of the fact that it beat All the President’s Men, Taxi Driver and Network for the best picture Oscar that year. Come to think of it…oh, never mind.

Alright already! It's been 40 years!

Alright already! It’s been 40 years!

Still, there are limits to how excited I can get about revisiting the past. I do this enough with old friends. Which is wonderful. Though sometimes it makes me feel like a relic. An all-warm and fuzzy, much loved relic but old and pasteurized nevertheless.

The key to evolving as a person and a species is to keep active, not retire and, most importantly, NOT LIVE IN THE PAST. Nostalgia is good but even better is moving forward. When you stagnate in art you remain frozen in time or are perpetually looking back in time in real life. You become not only irrelevant but lazy. You’re not a leader but a follower. If you’re not out to pasture you might as well be. Certainly, you’re making room for some younger or more hard-working upstart to pass you by and take the reins of the evolutionary spiral.

Cough Cough

Cough Cough

There’s a lot of talk these days about America being the leader of the free world. How we are the best, the most exceptional, the top innovator, the #1 purveyors of moral authority and brilliance. But you can’t be brilliant or original or innovative – or really lead into new, uncharted territories – if you’re merely looking back and always nostalgic for the former, trying to recapture what you’ve already experienced.

The future is scary because it’s unknown. But nothing ventured, nothing gained. We used to know that.

Who Ya Gonna Call?

Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 12.50.22 PM

Women are often accused of being more emotional than men but certainly we guys can get just as hysterical – even more so – if given the right issue.   When forced to provide examples the more macho among us might cite topics as varied as the rampant terrorist attacks in the Middle East, the way the movie American Sniper portrays them or how to enforce the minimum weight requirement of a professional football without interfering with what MSNBC commentator Steve Kornacki explains away as the edge EVERY team tries to get in a game. (Note: Yes, he’s the only openly gay, New England Patriots fan that I ‘ve ever heard of).

Talk nerdy to me

Talk nerdy to me

As for me, I don’t know much about football but I do know a lot about men – having been one for all my life and, well, for a lot of other reasons. And I can testify that this week there was one more undeniable item added to the hysterical, emotional and just too damn bad list for many of them us. What is it? Well, the planned reboot of the 1984 classic film Ghostbusters with AN ALL FEMALE CAST – what else could it be?!!!

I mean – How dare they???

Oh, don’t get me wrong – I LOVE the idea. Not only because I find Melissa McCarthy, Kristin Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones all HILARIOUS but because I like anything that upsets the power of the patriarchy that I never felt a part of. Not to mention the other reason. I didn’t really love the original and um, well, never actually found it particularly all that funny.

Seriously Chairy??

Seriously Chairy??

Wait, wait. It isn’t that it’s NOT funny. It’s just that it wasn’t my cup of green tea. The same way I never liked mashed potatoes and find both whipped cream and Jell-O sort of revolting whether served separately or together. Don’t even get me started on ambrosia.

Call me a freak, and many have, but this is my truth. However, it is not the truth for several generations of guys who have somehow grabbed onto the Ghostbusters franchise as some sort of weird touchstone of their youth that is not to be tampered with under any circumstances. Sort of like women would feel about similar enduring female buddy film franchises such as — ummm — is there one?

Well you ain't getting a sequel from us

Well you ain’t getting a sequel from us

I suppose this is the overall point if one is to suppose anything about something so ludicrous as the Twitter and social media outcry against a male director like Paul Feig (Bridesmaids) daring to reimagine a 30 year-old movie.

And no, I don’t think the Alien movies count. Besides – what guy would dare to play Ripley anyway aside from James Franco? As for mainstream rom-com series franchises, they always have males in the co-starring roles. So don’t even think about that.

Here's Francooooo

Here’s Francooooo

(Note: And yes, I realize someone out there will be writing in with a male Sex in the City remake and I for one would be in full support. But only if Steve Kornacki could play Samantha instead of James Franco – who undoubtedly will be granted that part, too. Unless they go with another Hemsworth brother – are there any more or can we make do with the two we already have?

Why yes of course! Meet Luke Hemsworth... the short one.

Why yes of course! Meet Luke Hemsworth… the short one.

You know you’re in trouble on the stage of public debate when the only prominent person on your side of the argument is Donald Trump. Just this week he took to video and ranted out loud:

…Now they’re remaking Ghostbusters with only women – what’s going on???

This was right after he screamed at us that:

They’re remaking Indiana Jones without Harrison Ford!! You can’t do that!!!

And thanks to the power of photoshop we know exactly what that would look like.

And thanks to the power of photoshop we know exactly what that would look like.

Well, it could have been Charlize Theron if I were either George Lucas or Steven Spielberg, Donald, so perhaps you should be grateful. (Note: Don’t tell me there is even a one of you wouldn’t like to see her with a whip). Not to mention, how long does poor Harrison have to keep wearing that leather jacket in the 120-degree desert heat? Till he’s the same age as the temperature? That couldn’t be any worse than Charlize OR Chris Pratt, the actor who is rumored to be the new studio choice to step into his boots.   Which begs the question of whether Michael Keaton should still be playing Batman, Tobey Maguire could still get away with Spiderman or if you really want to see today’s Hayley Joel Osment in even a walk-on in any proposed Sixth Sense reboot. I mean, next to those images James Franco starts to look fresh.  Sort of.

Of course, we haven’t even addressed the real jumbo jet of the elephant in the room – how we’ll all feel when we actually do see Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Mr. Ford all grown up and then some in the newest and latest chapter of Star WarsThe Force Awakens – when it actually does arrive in theatres this December. No, there is no James Franco joke to insert here – unless any of you have one. Though I’d wager he’d have one.

I can literally be in anything!

I can literally be in anything!

My favorite male objection to this looming remake la femme worldwide web debacle came courtesy of a rant that was picked up by the fabulously la femme website Jezebel.com, which I often click to for information on this sort of thing or even when I need a laugh (evidence here). And the rant comes from the Twitter handle: halfcastpodcast, who if one is to believe his accompanying picture, is just some guy living in Brooklyn. It goes like this:

Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 12.20.07 PM

Half, do you ever plan to date a woman again? Or are you merely content with the 79 views the last video you posted on your YouTube channel received?  That’s even less than the number of people reading this hipster, feminist and, to make it a trifecta, very gay post. Though who am I kidding? Even if it weren’t, I have the sense that we’d still beat you in the key demographic of 18-54 year-old men AND women with disposable incomes, the ones who really count in the real world these days anyway – and they most certainly include more than a few hipsters, not to mention feminists. #GhostbustersLaFemme4EverSucka$$$$.

I don’t mean to be too harsh. After all, I was quite upset several weeks ago when I found out that one of my favorite Hitchcock movies, Strangers On A Train, is being reimagined at Warner Bros. by Gone Girl writer Gillian Flynn as a starring vehicle for Ben Affleck. To me this would be like the American people hiring Sarah Palin to reinterpret the Declaration of Independence for Indiana Congressman Aaron Schock (Note: Look him up. Or better yet —).

Is this crossing the (party) line? #CongressmanBeefcake

Is this crossing the (party) line? #CongressmanBeefcake

Still, it does feel like all of us men could loosen our grip on humanity just a little. It’s admirable to be a fighter for the issues you believe in but as you get older you begin to realize what’s even wiser is to pick and choose the right battles. Hopefully Mr. Trump, Mr. Half and all the rest of the aggrieved masters and misters of the universe out there will begin to realize this soon so #Hillary2016 doesn’t have to spend such a large chunk of her time educating them. There’ll be a lot more pressing matters she’ll have to attend to as the decade rolls on.

Harrison Ford is 70

“Age is a harsh mistress.”  I said this last year to a student at our annual holiday party when he spied a picture of me and my significant other taken 25 years ago.  A picture I don’t ever give a second thought to, I realized, until a young person happens to spy it and a look of disguised shock and awe came onto his face.  Shock that, I like to think, is because I was and still am so devastatingly attractive (“he was even better looking back then!”) but that probably has more to do with how someone so close to their age could’ve gotten so much, well, older-looking.  And awe, I suppose, at the fact that I am still alive and retain any sort of the youthful vigor or even mobility when I am in their presence.

I still have enough memory to know that I did indeed feel exactly that same way in my early twenties.  And that it is, indeed, okay.  What is not okay – by any measure – is that the movie business – which is almost 100 years old itself – feels exactly the same way.

It’s not news that anyone over 25, or to be kind, perhaps 35, is considered by most of the powers-that-be at movie studios as somewhere between dead or not worth pursuing.  But as myself and many other writer/director/producers/editors/designers and, yes, actors in the biz have been saying for years – it is not only rude and inconsiderate to think that way since the industry and many of the people who run it are older than that, but it’s an extremely poor business model.

You can bemoan this as a creative person.  You can shout it angrily as a movie fan who suddenly finds there is nothing exciting to go to as a lover of big screen entertainment.  But, much like any other changes in the world, none of that does any good until it’s proven on the balance sheet and by the risk of someone else that this way of thinking is, indeed – just plain wrong.

The N.Y. Times wrote quite a perceptive story this week about a movie featuring primarily sixty and seventy somethings that we like to call “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.”  A film that is now inching up to a worldwide box-office gross of – wait for it – close to $90 million dollars — on a production and marketing budget of a fraction of that cost.

Certified mariGOLD

I saw the film several weeks ago and thoroughly enjoyed it.  In fact, it’s surprisingly good for a movie about a bunch of British seniors who separately decide to retire to India.  Is it the best movie I’ve seen in 10 years?  Well, no, but it doesn’t have to be because that only happens once a decade.  Instead, it’s simply fun, heartfelt, touching, very profitable, well made and got an 83% positive audience response on the AMERICAN film website rottentomatoes.com.

Perhaps even more importantly, it didn’t cost $200 plus million to make and another $100 plus million to market.   And it doesn’t star Taylor Kitsch (sorry Taylor?).  In short —  it’s no “John Carter.”

In the sequel, let’s lose the chestplate

Here’s the way it works and why it shouldn’t work that way.  Hollywood movie studios want to make films that will not only make money but will become cottage industries.  Meaning, known quantities based on books or comic books or board games for teenagers  that can have sequels.  Or that can sell toys, soundtracks, dolls and fast-food tie-ins, among other things.  And perhaps can spawn TV series, cartoons, Broadway shows or, at the very least, an endless stream of theatrical re-releases to new generations or to unsuspecting moviegoers who studio heads believe will crave any kind of faux-repackaged DVD extra they can buy at their local Costco.   (Note: For those poor schnooks who don’t have Costco in their neighborhood, substitute your best local discount store – though I doubt it could possibly compete with the Big C).

Anyway, in the unending quest of franchise-mania (did I make up a new word?), these same studios are willing to risk large chunks of the farm in any effort to prove to their corporate bosses (who often see the movies as glam but not their primary bread and butter) that they are indeed worthy of keeping their jobs.  But because the mode of delivery is changing and we now can get entertainment literally everywhere (not to be gross, but isn’t it only a matter of time until the iPod video player toilet?), the movie business, like its compatriots in the recording industry, are panicked.

It exists.

Some sample movie studio dialogue:

“WTF is happening?  How are these kids continuing to download these movies illegally?” (Uh, yeah, in my unscientific survey I can testify that the majority of them do and will continue to do so no matter how much we preach about intellectual property, cause it’s a new world).

“Do they really want to watch a movie on a tiny phone?  Should we have a phone/mobile device division? Let’s get some interns to work on it  – we don’t have to pay them, they’ll do it for free – and maybe they’ll come up with something??  Hell, maybe they can make the films themselves and we can charge, what – $1 a pop – okay, maybe two if it’s full length. Great – so now – who’s got the nerve to run it upstairs to — Nabisco?” (Well, not Nabisco but substitute some nameless corporate entity – you know what I mean).

“Oh, and don’t forget to tell them ‘no, we’re not gonna pay these kids to make the films’… well, okay – we can create a new guild minimum for phone films but it’ll be negligible – but no profits!  You know what – don’t even mention paying them for now unless they ask!…”

(Yes, this is a fictional conversation.  Or is it?  I’ll never tell).

A much less stressful – and perhaps simpler and more inventive strategy – for said studio people might be this: to look at what one is selling and see who wants to buy it.  That is who else except the usual suspects being catered to.  As the NY Times so wisely points out, and what myself and, again, many of my friends have been saying for years – “baby boomers have literally carried on a life long love affair with the movies.”  And there is a good reason.  Those of us in or around that generation were raised in the golden age of films of the 1960s and 1970s.  A time when the creative output included – I mean, do I have to list them?  Go to oscars.org and look up Academy Award nominations.  Or type in any film festival of your choice and see what was competing at the time.  Then go watch “John Carter” or even more adult type films that won the top awards this year like “The Artist” and “Iron Lady “ and compare them to, oh – “The Godfather,” “Cabaret,” “Mean Streets,” “The Manchurian Candidate,” “The Parallax View” “The Bicycle Thief,” “The 400 Blows” and “Raging Bull” and see if you don’t see what I mean.

Show some respect

Interesting enough, “Marigold” managed to make money (fun alliteration?) not by being a throwback to those films but by unapologetically telling a story about older, though not ancient BRITISH people.  Yeah, they’re not even American but they are acclaimed actors and some Oscar winners who can act too – Dames like Judi Dench and Maggie Smith, among others – actors who are actually in their 70s – a generation beyond the boomers.

The Downton Bump?

Why is anyone going to see this film full of well – practically dead people? Is 70 the new 50 or 60?  Maybe.  But mainly they’re going because, uh, it’s good.  And  because there’s nothing else to see for anyone above a certain sensibility and age even though they have lots of money and are more than willing to spend it.

See – here is a list of movie stars today who are 70 and above —

Jack Nicholson; Warren Beatty; Al Pacino; Dustin Hoffman; Robert Redford; Barbra Streisand; Jane Fonda; Gene Hackman (he’s 80!) and Woody Allen.   And Harrison Ford turns 70 in – July.  (Don’t believe me – look it up)

Oh Indy…

Now — here is a list of American movies stars 62 and above –

Meryl Streep – still one of the most bankable female movie stars now out there. Just sayin’.  Robert DeNiro; Diane Keaton; Helen Mirren; Michael Douglas; Sylvester Stallone; Arnold Schwarzenegger; Goldie Hawn; and Sigourney Weaver.

Does anyone out there really think that the only way young audiences will go to see them in the movies is if they play foil, father, mother or grandmother to Taylor Kitsch, Shia LeBouf or Kristin Stewart?  I mean, give me a break.  I don’t want to even see them in those roles.   And neither do my 20-year-old students.  They want to see them in films that are — good.  As do the many masses of potential ticket buyers who are not young anymore.  (Note to moguls:  Some of the young people I know voluntarily went to “Marigold” not at my prodding and reported back to me that “they liked it, they really liked it” – a phrase that was admittedly coined by Oscar winner Sally Field, who also belongs on that list).

The Picture of Dorian Gray

If many more of these actors other than Magic Meryl got to star in their own movies (and, perish the thought, some of these movies were sometimes written and/or directed by people close to their age group) could they lose any more money than “John Carter?”  No way because we know that no studio would spend as much as they did on that debacle.  Or on some others this summer that I don’t need to mention but you know who you are. That’s not what we’re asking.  We only want some more choices, some different choices, some more vaguely intelligible choices that could possibly bear box-office fruit (and they don’t even have to reek of heaviosity) before our variety of films is no bigger than the images you can conjure on your local mobile toilet device.

P.S.: “Marigold” opened wide to 1233 theatres this weekend and will gross more than $10 million nationally this week, putting its box office gross over $100 million worldwide.  And it’s still playing.

Just sayin’.