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20 August 2013

The jalapeño jar is ajar once again

Jals275rIt was about this time two years ago that I put a lid on my jalapeño jar, meaning I took a break from reviewing current movies in favor of concentrating on the classics.

I found out, though, that Movie Memories, my presentation series that celebrates magic at the movies, need not be limited to just movies from the past.

That's a huge part of it, of course.  But members of audiences kind enough to listen to my celebration of the classics embellished with my war stories of spending over 30 years reviewing movies, going behind the scenes and interviewing every A-list movie star you can think of from Jack Lemmon to Lindsay Lohan (OK, not exactly A-list in some cases) often want to know what new films to go see.

And, there's another reason.  Hollywood filmmakers have finally taken notice of movie fans who skew a little older than teens desperately seeking only the latest comic book-inspired action flick or zombie rumble.  Filmmakers are actually lighting up screens with a scattering of movies that don't insult the intelligence of adults; films like Bernie and Quartet and Young at Heart

So that's why I'm dusting off the jalapeño rating system and settling back into cinematic aisle seats on a fairly regular basis.  I'll be primarily concentrating on movies that appeal to those of us 50 and over.  But don't be surprised to find a nod to some interesting films aimed at those a little younger that have crossover appeal.

It all begins today with my review of Lee Daniels' The Butler, the historical drama starring Forest Whitaker.  Click here to read the review.  I'd like to also urge you to once again visit my website's Movie Review page.  That's where you'll find my full-length movie reviews.  

And, if you sniff really deeply, you might just get a whiff of jalapeño juice.

September:  A month with class

Woody300If you enjoy movies and can spare an hour and a-half on Monday mornings (10-11:30 a.m.) from Sept. 9 through Sept. 30, join us for my "Big Screen Dysfunctional Families" non-credit Emeritus plus 50 movie class at Richland College in Dallas.

Only a few seats remain, so sign up ASAP (see below).

We'll get it rolling with "Talented Guys, Troubled Lives" on Sept. 9 by putting the spotlight on Woody Allen, the genius comedian, comedy writer, actor and director whose brilliance was tarnished in the eyes of many when he left girlfriend Mia Farrow for Soon-Yi, Farrow's adopted teenage daughter in 1992.

There's no denying Allen's cinematic genius, however.  Pick a clip -- any clip -- from Allen's early comedies, like "Take the Money and Run" (just below) and see if you disagree.



On Sept. 16 we'll take on "Movie Families on the Brink."  Expect for us to get into Kevin Spacey's character's mid-life crisis in "American Beauty" and Paul Newman -- in my favorite Newman performance -- driving his screen father (Melvyn Douglas) to the brink of physical breakdown as the ruthless skirt-chasing Hud in the classic Texas drama of the same name.

"Movie Families on the Brink, Take 2" takes center stage on Sept. 23.  We'll focus on Marlon Brando as the crime family patriarch in "The Godfather" and the tormented, but strong-willed young woman named "Precious."

We'll wrap this series up on Sept. 30 with "Dysfunction for Comic Fun," spotlighting the atrocious table manners of the Klumps (played by Eddie Murphy) in "The Nutty Professor" and those crazy Fockers of "Meet the Parents."

Seating is limited to an intimate 20 for "Big Screen Dysfunctional Families," so call Richland College at 972-238-6146 or 972-238-6147 to register for course number SRCZ 1000 81908 (registration number 854032) today.


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