'Tis the Season—It's the giving time of year, and what better to give your favorite Hollywood star than an award nomination? Yes, it's that pre-Oscar time of year, when every organization in America starts handing out awards in hopes of getting some good press coverage and maybe a visit from Naomi Watts in an evening dress.
In Good Company
Subtle office comedy makes for great business
Although he got rich and famous as one half of the brotherly duo that created the American Pie series, Paul Weitz has apparently decided it's time to grow up. He proved it quite handily in 2002 when he (and his brother Chris) directed About a Boy. That adaptation of Nick Hornby's popular novel proved that the Weitz boys had more going for them than an endless supply of wiener jokes.
Beyond the Sea
Biography captures early-Hollywood cinematic glamour
Walden Robert Cassotto's relentless drive, arrogance and charisma were a perfect recipe for superstardom. As an entertainer, he was absolutely remarkable. He had the moves, the humor, he was personable with his audience. He was Bobby Darin in all his egocentric, pseudo-confident glory. As his brother-in-law put it, the man we know as the singer of famous songs like "Mack the Knife" and "Beyond the Sea" was both Walden Robert Cassotto and Bobby Darin. He was still a child who was struggling to stay alive, and he was the entertainer everyone expected him to be.
Dropping the Ball
“New Year's Eve” around the dial
Television is a crucial part of any New Year's Eve celebration. How else are you gonna know when midnight has officially struck? Nobody's watch ever agrees, and you're usually too busy boozing it up to notice anyway. Turning the TV on and watching as the big, lit-up ball drops into Times Square is pretty much the most accurate measuring device mankind has.
The Week in Sloth
The Ninth Configuration (WGN 6 p.m.) Not a lot of people know about this weird little thriller. Written and directed by William Peter Blatty of Exorcist fame, this 1980 cult flick stars Stacy Keach as Col. Kane, a new commanding officer who arrives at a remote military prison for insane soldiers. The only problem is Kane seems a hundred times wackier than any one under lock and key. It's a philosophical black comedy that hovers between One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Dr. Strangelove.