Part III

May 9, 2016

On one of those HBO expansion channels I came across The Godfather Epic, which combines Part I and Part II in chronological order, plus deleted scenes. It’s interesting and informative (though it still does nothing to clear up the confusion over Frank Pentangeli and the attempted hit by the Rosato Brothers). It leaves out, however, the third installment from 1990—not that anyone was clamoring for it. Except, well, maybe Ted Cruz. While he was still campaigning, Cruz told CNN’s Anderson Cooper he was fond of all three Godfathers. Cooper asked if the Texas senator was sure he meant to include the last movie. Cruz stuck to his guns. Over at weeklystandard.com you can find an extended discourse on the subject of Part III, its merits and faults, and even whether it was meant to be made in the first place.

0 comments

All Hopped Up

March 9, 2016

-2Fans of Edward Hopper, one of the 20th century’s masters of realism, will be delighted to learn nine of his works can now be accessed at artsy.net, a free and educational source for art. Conveniently, the works are divided into categories like location (by institution or gallery), medium, and era. Come check them out and the 40,000 other artists on their site.

0 comments

Searching for Fahrvergnügen

February 26, 2016

Remember that marketing slogan for Volkswagen? Fahrvergnügen meant the enjoyment of driving. But that seems to be fading, as a recent study show fewer adults are getting driver’s licenses (why bother when you have Uber, Lyft, and, in due time, “autonomous” vehicles?). A friend’s husband recently told me he couldn’t wait for driverless cars for his daughters—it’s so dangerous out there! But it’s always been dangerous on the roads. In the latest issue of the Weekly Standard, I argue for common sense, although it’s clear I’m not winning the argument.

0 comments

Eating Oysters with Scalia

February 22, 2016

450px-Olympia_oysterThere’s nothing more annoying than an ostensible obituary that screams, “Hey, I knew him, too!” Actually there is something worse than that, which is the obit that’s more about the writer than the deceased. But when Justice Antonin Scalia died, I immediately thought back to the time he and I (and several others) judged a wine-and-oyster competition at the Old Ebbitt Grill. It was a night of Lucullan proportions. At a dinner later that evening, I remember thinking that across the table from me was one of the brightest minds in the country—and he may eat himself to death. Sadly, that sort of happened. In any event, you can find more at weeklystandard.com.

Photo by Feet wet.

0 comments

Coffee Brake

February 9, 2016

CarsGettingCoffee-229I’ve lately become a fan of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, the web series hosted by Jerry Seinfeld. The comedians we see are almost always understated. They spend the time talking about honing their craft. For instance, in the episode with Jay Leno, the former Tonight Show host tells Seinfeld he used to sharpen his material by being the followup act to Richard Pryor back in the day. “Did I bomb? Most of the time. It just made me a stronger comic.” (And while the abrasive types like Howard Stern and Don Rickles are seen here in a more mellow state, it’s funny to see Leno drop the f-bomb.) The latest segment features Will Ferrell, who, among other things, admits “I have to work out just to look fat.” Also, he took stand-up lessons at a community college. There’s more at weeklystandard.com.

Photo credit: Eric Charbonneau & Crackle

0 comments

McBride & Sinatra—Brand Ambassadors?

February 1, 2016

At weeklystandard.com I write of two interesting developments in the booze world: Brown-Forman is selling of Southern Comfort to Sazerac and the $379 bottles of Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Century have sold out. SoCo brought in Danny McBride to endorse the brand, but sales of this liqueur continue to sag. Will Sazerac keep on Kenny Powers? […]

Read the full post

When Taco Town Shuts Down

January 20, 2016

On February 8, Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants across the country will be closed for lunch. Employees will get a pep talk and learn about better food-handling procedures. Better late than never: Since last summer, more than 500 people have gotten sick eating at Chipotle locations on both coasts. The culprits have been e. coli, salmonella, […]

Read the full post

For AB InBev, It’s Miller Time

January 14, 2016

I discuss the AB InBev-SABMiller merger at weeklystandard.com. Two things I left out: What does SAB stand for? South African Breweries. This is significant as it conveys the global extent of this potential multibillion-dollar merger. So even if the new company sheds Miller (which could end up with Molson Coors), it’ll still have plenty of […]

Read the full post

Smirnoff Dance Party!

December 28, 2015

I have my doubts this gambit will pay off, but Smirnoff’s new strategy to reverse declining market share involves sponsoring electronic-dance festivals. I mean, maybe if they were selling glow sticks, too. (Okay, fine, I know I just dated myself with a 90s rave reference. But didn’t Go! just come out a couple years ago?) […]

Read the full post

Did He Just Call Me ‘Kim’?

December 22, 2015

A funny thing happened on the way to the theater. Or maybe not so funny. My dad and I were going to purchase tickets for Star Wars: The Force Awakens at the Marquee Cinemas Orchard 10 in Toms River, NJ. It’s 2 in the afternoon and no one’s around. In fact, the box office is […]

Read the full post