RIP Jan-Michael Vincent: A Pictorial Tribute

Jan-Michael Vincent has passed away at age 74. Though the actor suffered many trials and tribulations in his personal life, there’s no doubt his onscreen presence connected with audiences of the 70’s and 80’s. In his honor, we present ten shots from the film and TV career of Jan-Michael Vincent:

Tribes (TV-Movie 1970; D: Joseph Sargent)
Going Home (1971; D: Herbert B. Leonard)
The Mechanic (1972; D: Michael Winner)
The World’s Greatest Athlete (1973; D: Robert Scheerer)
White Line Fever (1975; D: Jonathan Kaplan)
Damnation Alley (1977; D: Jack Smight)
Big Wednesday (1978; D: John Milius)
Defiance (1980; D: John Flynn)
The Winds of War (TV-Miniseries 1983; D: Dan Curtis)
Airwolf (TV Series, 1984-87)

Rest in peace, Jan-Michael Vincent (1944-2019)

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Celebrate Mardi Gras with Louis Armstrong!

Happy Mardi Gras Day! If you can’t get down to Bourbon Street today, here’s the next best thing – jazz great Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong and his band  performing the classic “When The Saints Go Marching In”:

Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler, Mes Amies! 

 

CRV’s Random Thoughts On Last Night’s Oscars!

As Alfred Hitchcock (who never won an Oscar!) used to say, “Good ev-en-ing”. Since the Academy Awards ran a little late last night, and I had to get up early to work a twelve-hour shift, I had no time to prepare a post about last night’s ceremony. I know it’s kinda late news already, so I’ve assembled a list of some  Random Thoughts On Last Night’s Oscars for your amusement and edification! Hang on, here we go:

  • If the Academy wants to cut down on show length, I suggest they get rid of the vapid Red Carpet crap and start the ceremony at 7:00 EST. Hey, some of us poor schmucks have to get up in the morning!
  • Who needs a host when you’ve got Queen kicking things off?
  • That opening montage of 2018 movies was pretty stunning work. Thanks for including STAN & OLLIE , even though your silly rules prevented the film from Oscar consideration this year!
  • FREE SOLO beating RBG for Best Documentary was the night’s first upset. It’s just too bad neither WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR or THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD received a nomination, though.

The Rolex “To A Future Filmmaker” ads were good, but my favorite was this one from Google:

  • I can’t wait to not watch WHISKEY CAVALIER.
  • When ROMA won for Best Foreign Film, you knew its chances at Best Picture were zero. Alfonso Cuaron will have to console himself with his Oscars for Best Director, Cinematography, and Editing. A keen student of film (didn’t hear anyone else quoting Billy Wilder!), Cuaron will be back.
  • Oscar Watching Tip: If you crank up the sound on your TV, the Best Song performances make a great time to grab a quick snack or hit the bathroom!
  • The political rhetoric was kept to a minimum, always a good thing. Except for Spike Lee, but since this was his first Oscar win in a brilliant thirty year career, I’ll cut Mr. Knick a little slack. Congratulations, Spike!
  • Someday, I will visit the Academy Museum. Bank on it.
  • The bad news: Sam Elliot did not win. The good news: Spider-Man did!
  • I don’t know about you, but I really miss Wayne and Garth.
  • Line of the night: “I can’t believe a film about menstruation just won an Oscar!”
  • Lady Gaga gave the most heartfelt acceptance speech of the night. Runner up: Olivia Colman.
  • In Memoriam: Okay, it wasn’t too bad, but if they could make a last-minute change to add Albert Finney, why not Stanely Donen ? Or Dick Miller ? Gloria Katz gets a mention, but not Gary Kurtz ? And what about Classic Stars of the Golden Age like Gloria Jean , Mary Carslyle, Patricia Morison, Jerry Maren? Delores Taylor ? Sondra Locke ? I could go on, but you get the picture.
  • I will definitely go see ROCKETMAN!
  • Who’d thought that Freddie Mercury, who released his first album with Queen back in 1973, would have a hit biopic BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY 45 years later that won four Oscars, including Rami Malek’s Best Actor nod for playing him? Certainly not me!
  • Best Picture: GREEN BOOK. Didn’t see it, but congrats to Peter Farrelly from over the border in nearby Cumberland, Rhode Island, a mere forty miles away from your humble scribe!

See you at the movies!

My Favorite Super Bowl Commercial 2019

Well, there were slim pickings in this year’s Super Bowl commercial race. Mercedes Benz featured The Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote, Stella Artois gave us the return of The Dude, and that Bud Light/Game of Thrones mash-up was pretty cool. But the ad that had everyone at the Super Bowl I attended roaring with laughter was this one starring Craig Robinson:

Yeah I know, it’s sophomoric, but also funny as hell!!

OOPS, BRADY DID IT AGAIN! NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS WIN SUPER BOWL LIII!

It wasn’t pretty. Defense dominated the game, but a late scoring drive by Tom Brady led to a Sony Michel touchdown, and the New England Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams 13-3. It was the Pats’ sixth Super Bowl victory, tying them with the Pittsburgh Steelers for most championships in the Super Bowl era. Say what you want about it, but this native New Englander remembers when they flat-out sucked, making all this winning soooo much sweeter!

ATLANTA, GEORGIA – FEBRUARY 03: Sony Michel #26 of the New England Patriots scores a touchdown against the Los Angeles Rams in the fourth quarter during Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on February 03, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Neither team could get anything going on offense, as the Rams’ #2 ranked defense and the Pats’ #4 ranked defense hit hard. Stephen Gostkowski nailed a 42 yard field goal in the second quarter to put New England up 3-0 at halftime. Following a kinda crappy Maroon 5 halftime show (just my opinion!), Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein hit a 53 yarder to tie the game in the third. But the 41-year-young Brady showed us why he’s the GOAT (that’s Greatest Of All Time) by executing a ten minute scoring drive in the fourth quarter, capped by rookie running back Michel bulling his way into the end zone for the game’s only touchdown. A 29 yard field goal by Gostkowski put the icing on the cake, and New England’s crusty 66-year-old coach Bill Belichick got to savor another Super Bowl success.

Super Bowl LIII MVP Julian Edelman

Pint-sized powerhouse wide receiver Julian Edelman was named game MVP for his 141 yards on 10 catches – eight of which went for first downs. Comparer that to the Rams total 198 passing yards AS A TEAM, and you can see why Edelman’s MVP is a no-brainer! Congrats to the New England Patriots – now football season is officially over, which means only one thing. Pitchers and catchers begin reporting to Spring Training in just nine short days!

LET’S GO RED SOX!!

 

Some Thoughts On Today’s Oscar Nominations Announcement

I really don’t mean to sound like your cranky old Uncle Elmo, but….

Seriously, Academy, I understand you don’t give two shits about Hollywood history. You prove that year after year with your truncated ‘In Memoriam’ segment, omitting far too many who’ve contributed to your industry. Last year, it was (among others) Don Gordon, Skip Homeier, Tobe Hooper, and Anne Jeffreys; the year before Gloria DeHaven, Madeleine LeBeau, William Schallert, Robert Vaughn… I get it. You’ve got to save time for those great “comedy” bits that Bob Hope wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot ski pole and lame musical production numbers, not to mention giving time for everyone to make their obligatory political statements. That’s why I put so much time and effort into my own yearly ‘In Memoriam’ tributes, so those you give short shrift to won’t be forgotten.

Orson Welles’ “The Other Side of the Wind”

But to completely snub Orson Welles’ last movie, THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND ? I didn’t expect a film shot in the 70’s to cop a Best Picture nod, or any acting honors (though Peter Bogdanovich was more than worthy), but to ignore editor Bob Murawski’s painstaking putting together of all that mismatched footage and turning it into a cohesive film is UNFORGIVABLE! Murawski and his crew went through 96 HOURS of film in order to get a final cut, and the result was a dazzling piece of cinema that may not rank with CITIZEN KANE, but then again, what film does? A lot of hard work went into getting THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND right, and I really feel Murawski should have been rewarded for his efforts with AT LEAST a lousy nomination!

John C. Reilly & Steve Coogan in “Stan & Ollie”

While we’re on the subject of snubs, the biopic STAN & OLLIE received exactly zero, zip, nada nominations. Really? The film’s been released in New Yawk and El Lay, so it definitely qualifies for this year’s awards. John C. Reilly has picked up two Best Actor awards from the Boston and San Diego Film Critic Societies. What’s the matter, Academy, you don’t like Laurel & Hardy ? Not even enough to give a nomination for Best Makeup, or Production Design? I mean, come on!

Don’t get me wrong, I like superhero movies as much as the next guy, and was glad to see BLACK PANTHER get some recognition. And I’m happy Sam Elliott got tabbed with a Best Supporting Actor nod for A STAR IS BORN. But to totally disrespect THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND (and STAN & OLLIE, which I admit I haven’t seen yet – soon, though), shows me the Academy has turned it’s back on its history. It’s not only a damn good movie, it would’ve been a real kick to see Orson get a co-nomination along with Murawski.

Maybe I really have turned into your cranky old Uncle Elmo. But I’m passionate about film, and it seems to me the Academy has dropped the ball on this one. I’m not going to boycott, it’s not my style; I’ll watch the awards ceremony faithfully, as I always do. And you best believe I’ll be rooting for Sam Elliott, ya young whippersnappers!!

I’ll be rootin’ for ya, Sam!