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.
Fans 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.
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.
There’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.
I’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