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Greatest Comedians Of All Time

Always loved a good comic.

Maybe I’m just an old fogey who, like most old fogies, think the old timers were better than what the modern day produces. When I surf cable channels, like the Comedy station, I try to find good humor without a litany of four-letter words, crotch-grabs, sexual denigration, and constant references to body parts, but it’s futile. What is it that the audience finds so funny? Comics today think the funniest word on the planet is the oft repeated, “MF.” Alas, I sit laughless.

In today’s world, viewers of sit-coms are manipulated by canned laughter. Class B television actors recite lines and suddenly we hear an uproarious response to an inane comment that’s about as funny as a sore throat.

Whatever happened to the variety show before a live audience? Jackie Gleason and all his characters? Same with Flip Wilson, Carol Burnett, and Sonny and Cher. And for those of us who can remember, the age-old “Colgate Comedy Hour.”

Having come from a show-biz family, I am always looking for a good comedy, on television, stand -up, and in movies to rival such classics as “Some Like It Hot,” and “What’s Up Doc,” both of which …

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The Twenty Greatest Movies Of All Time

On lighter side…again.

There are some movies that I can watch over, and over again…though I’ve seen them ten times before. Most pictures that I’ve seen once, have no interest in a second time round. But there are a few that simply captivate, whether it be the acting, the plot, the settings or the story line. I have probably watched The Godfather a dozen times, same with the sequel. When I’m surfing my remote and I see Titanic on the channel, the surf comes to a halt. Love that movie.


Coming up with my ten greatest all-time movies was simply too daunting a task, so many eras, so many genres, comedy, action, drama, musical…it was impossible to narrow to ten. But I can offer an opinion on the twenty greatest movies of all time. (Within my scope of reference) These are the pictures I will watch again, and again, like a brain-dead couch potato.  (Which can feel pretty good sometimes)

Here’s my top twenty:


The Godfather

The Godfather II

Schindler’s List

One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest

The Shawshank Redemption



Some Like It Hot

Raging Bull

The Deer Hunter

Sophie’s Choice

Million Dollar Baby


Scent of A …

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Last week, I posted my top ten greatest movie actors of today, and it generated forty responses many of whom presented their own suggestions. Now it’s time for the female side.


Coming up with the greatest living actresses was a tough one, because I tried to focus mainly on pure acting skills, body of work, power in performance and versatility, though I’ll be the first to admit…as a red-blooded male animal…the influence of beauty was hard to overlook.

In the case of Halle Berry, who I consider among the most gorgeous creatures in the film business, one only has to look at her numerous and varied roles in which her dedication and skills shine through, far and above many in the field today. And, just like Charlize Theron, Berry has plunged herself into several roles where her character was far less than beautiful.

Here’s my list. Remember, these actresses are still living, and active in the world of movies. There are many more…it was tough to confine to ten names only:


Meryl Streep


Jody Foster


Glenn Close


Renee Zellweger


Hillary Swank


Halle Berry


Shirley McClain


Sigourney Weaver


Mary McDonnell


Judi Dench



Your vote?Next week, the ten greatest movies.


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Ten Greatest Movie Actors

On a lighter note, having been a buff for life, I have always admired motion pictures as being one of the greatest art forms of modern times which, in my view, is not appreciated enough. The sheer complexity that goes into the making of a movie is mind boggling: script writing, acting, costumes, sound, music, photography, props and settings, make-up, wardrobe, research and so much more. I’ve engaged in writing novels, which is a tough road to tackle in itself. I couldn’t imagine being a director and handling the entire production.

Naturally, we in the audience pay most attention to the actors, and we form our opinions on who we consider the best in the business. Often, we will go to a movie knowing little about it in advance, other than the names of the players. Star power is everything. I plead guilty. When I know that Robert DeNiro or Meryl Streep is starring in a new release, it’s a sure thing we’ll be buying tickets to that movie.

I’ll be putting out some of my “Ten Greatest” lists (my opinions). I hope some of you movie buffs will share your opinions as well.

Starting with the Ten Greatest actors… …

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“Traitor,” is a must see movie for anyone interested in delving deep into the bowels of the jihad netherworld where Islamic revolution is at the core of international terror. It was recommended to me by a close friend whose opinions and judgement I respect. He was right on.

This is not just another suspense/thriller replete with chases, Karate fights, crashing cars and bombed buildings, though there is plenty of that. The movie is also a learning experience for us who wish to know more about the internal mind-set of jihadists and methodologies used by terrorists in executing their mission all over the world.

Don Cheadle plays a Sudanese-born, American citizen educated and trained in the art of making bombs who finds himself caught up in the complex world of counter-terrorism, CIA, FBI and the radical Islamic underworld, while used as a tool by the plotters of terror. Without unveiling too much of the story, suffice to say Cheadle tackles a complex role inextricably caught in a vice between conscience, faith and duty, and he does it well.

To me, the most profound scene of all is one that is relatively obscure in any of the trailers and/or commentary. But …

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Movie Reviews 2


Vicky Cristina Barcelona
It’s a comedy. It’s a drama. It’s a romance story. Actually, it’s all three.

Remember Javier Bardem, who won the Oscar for his portrayal of the psychotic killer in “No Country For Old Men?” Imagine him with a haircut, walking up to two beautiful American women in a Barcelona restaurant who he never met before, and politely asking — with his Spanish accent — if they’d like to join him for a weekend where they could have fun and make love.

That sets the stage for one hour and 36 minutes of a fabulous movie about damaged relationships, unpretentious love and people daring to take chances. I generally don’t care for empty-headed “chick flicks,” but trust me, this one doesn’t fit that category. It’s sure to flop at the box office, which means it’s of no interest to the youth audiences. But it is of interest to serious movie goers who still seek that rarely made attention-grabber, rife with great acting and interesting twists in a story that passes the time quickly because you stay so engrossed.

For the guys, it’s about Scarlett Johansson, Patricia Clarkson and Penelope Cruz, each playing crisply different characters, each beautiful, …

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If you enjoy musicals and pure entertainment without a heavy plot, be sure to see “Mama Mia,” the movie version of the hit Broadway play. Twas refreshing, for once, to sit through a picture with seeing cars smashing, bullets flying, buildings destroyed, blood gushing and sex oozing.

The story line is simple enough. Raised on a Greek island by a formerly rebellious mom who never disclosed the identity of her father, a bride-to-be locates three men who might be her father and invites them to her wedding.

The draw, of course, is the versatile talents of singing, dancing, acting Meryl Streep who seemingly is incapable of a poor performance. I wouldn’t be surprised to see her with another Golden Globe, or even an Oscar for this one.

Twenty-two year-old Amanda Seyfried is delightful as the young bride-to-be, full of life, fun, energy and a voice to go with it. She’s bound to go far in the movie world.

Next best, were the lady buddies of Streep’s character (Mama), played by Julie Walters and Christine Baranski…you’ll recognize them when you see them.

Two of the three possible dads were funny, believable and engaging in their roles, though they are …

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