Pocket Review, Title Diner, Studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Rating 4.5,
Diner immediately draws you into a group and a world as if you had always belonged there. After high school, a group of guys continue to meet regularly at their favorite Diner to shoot the shit. They are more comfortable in each other's company than they are with their girlfriends.
Pocket Review, Title Band Of Brothers, Studio HBO, Rating 5.0,
Band of Brothers is intimate, sobering, and gives some sense of the bonds formed in war by soldiers facing death together. It is an account of a cohort of U.S. airborne troops, beginning with their training through their World War II combat experiences in Normandy, Holland, the Ardennes Forest, Alsace and Bavaria, culminating in the post-war occupation of Bavaria and central Austria. This is the best war movie ever made.
Movie Review, Title Five Easy Pieces, Studio Columbia TriStar, Rating 3.0,
The movie Five Easy Pieces was all the rage when it was made, a tale of alienation in a time when many fancied themselves agents of great change, so I decided to finally watch the whole thing, having only seen the famous chicken sandwich scene. Jack Nicholson's performance was excellent. The film, alas, for me, was too psychologically brutal to enjoy, and left me wondering what the point was.
Book Briefly Noted, Title Spandau: The Secret Diaries, Author Albert Speer, Rating 4.0,
Spandau: The Secret Diaries
Albert Speer, Hitler's personal architect and Reich Armaments Minister, kept a diary while he was in Spandau prison following his conviction at the post-war Nuremburg trials. These diaries provide a fascinating, hooded glimpse of the 'smartest man' in the Nazi leadership. At least, smart enough to evade the death penalty at the Nuremberg Trials.
Book Book Review, Title A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories, Author Flannery O'Connor, Rating 3.0,
A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories
Within Flannery O'Conner's short story collection, A Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories, a good man is not just difficult to find, but impossibly so. Thank God I am not Flannery O'Connor. I would not trade her ability to tell a story, and she was uncommonly good in some ways, for her brutal and dismissive view of the world. Harshness, of circumstance and character, formed her viewpoint; what is also redeeming found little place in her stories. It appears in O'Connor one can only find redemption outside of humanity, and that is dispensed grudgingly, with the great violence of the Old Testament God.