Dallas officials concede that most travelers think of the city as a business destination rather than a place where one would willingly spend leisure time. While that may once have when it was the financial center for oil, Dallas now has plenty to keep tourists busy.
THE OSTERMAN WEEKEND
Forget whatever else you might have heard about THE OSTERMAN WEEKEND. When it came out no one really had it figured out. It did not fit neatly into the Peckinpah canon and it took a while after his death for a broadly philosophical-aesthetic of Peckinpah to be established to shoehorn various elements to make a coherent (but incorrect) analysis possible.
BLIZNA aka THE SCAR
BLIZNA (THE SCAR) Stephen Bednarz is a successful manager who is handed a plum assignment: to construct a huge synthetic fertilizer factory and a new town to go along with it. The magnitude of the project is stunning. It involves not only the preparation, design and construction of the plant but the social services of the town built for the plant’s workers.
SIGN OF THE TIMES – AUTUMN IN NEW YORK
An annual sporting ritual heralding Autumn is the US Tennis Open, where most folks were surprised to see Andy Roddick crash out in the first round this year. On his feet while he did were sneakers provided by his new apparel sponsor Babolat, a French athletics wear firm who had Roddick on hand to help them introduce their products in the US at a sumptuous luncheon at the Grand Hyatt Hotel on 42nd Street. Their manufacturing partner, the Gallic rubber giant Michelin, had a launch event of their own on November 2nd, when the long-anticipated Michelin Guide: New York City Restaurants & Hotels 2006 was presented at the Guggenheim Museum. 1000 First Edition numbered guides were made available to event attendees (I got # 759), and among them Wylie Dufresne told me he was “very pleased” with the one star awarded to his place WD~50. Less ecstatic was Daniel Bouloud, who opined that “they messed up the two stars, they messed up the one stars, but they got the three stars” – a comment on his ventures Daniel and Cafe Bouloud receiving one and two stars respectively. Assuming Le Bernardin’s three-star rating was satisfactory, I asked Eric Ripert how he liked the evening’s catering, supplied by Restaurant Associates; “I didn’t taste the food,” he tersely replied, which spoke for itself.
IN THE FACE OF EVIL: REAGAN’S WAR IN WORD & DEED
Disappointing biopic. Whatever your personal thoughts are about the 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan was a key participant in the dramatic shift of the geopolitic at the end of the 20th Century. This film is a mess, self-serving to the Religious Right who feel Reagan could do no wrong and should receive sainthood. As a Lincoln Republican and son of a Goldwater Democrat I was expecting a warts and all serious, balanced documentary about Reagan’s rise from affable Hollywood “B” actor to concerned citizen to “Leader of the Free World”.
SKIN DEEP MAGAZINE LAUNCH PARTY
I’ve always been a big fan of British band The Stranglers (in fact, I met frontman Hugh Cornwell and drummer Jet Black when I worked security for a show they did at Webster Hall years ago in support of their then current LP release “The Raven”), and so, when I had opportunity to attend the January 10th launch party for a magazine entitled “Skin Deep”, it was their hit tune of the same name from the “Aural Sculpture” album that buzzed through my head most of the evening.
If you have something to do you might not appreciate a friend’s suggestion that you accompany them on a road trip with no set destination just for the hell of a ride. Then again, if you have nothing better to do it might be just the thing. Likewise, if you don’t mind visiting planet non sequitur taking the BROKEN FLOWERS ride will be somewhat rewarding. If on the other hand you’ve got plenty on your plate and you demand a certain modicum of logic you might find BROKEN FLOWERS terminally aggravating.
Jam-packed with sexy actors, cheeky banter and explosive action, Christopher Nolan’s BATMAN BEGINS re-paints this classic anti-hero comic by tackling the character’s childhood fears. Opening the film with an 8-year-old Bruce Wayne falling down a well welcomes the audience to the birth of an iconic symbol. “Why do we fall down? So we can learn to pick ourselves up,” is a recurring theme in the film that follows this tortured hero along the path to becoming a better person. More than just another comic book movie, BATMAN BEGINS will touch your heart and bring a shining hero down to earth.
BLACKOUT aka CONTRABAND
What a delightful film this is. It’s true that this film is concocted out of the same ingredients of contemporary Hitchcock film – spy suspense and romance between standoffish lovers wrapped up in a crust of a comedy of manners but it’s interesting to see the results from a different chef.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN: PHOENIX
It does not seem so long ago that Arizona’s capital city was a sleepy burg which was best known for being mentioned in the title of Glen Campbell’s gigantic 1967 hit, “By The Time I Get To Phoenix.” According to civic officials Phoenix is now the sixth largest city in the United States. Despite its rapid growth Phoenix still retains a small town charm. Traffic jams are still infrequent outside of rush hour on I-10 and there is little pollution to be found. You can still clearly see the various constellations in the sky at night with the naked eye.