Friday, December 29, 2006

McNeil's Movie Korner: Special Guest Columnist, Jack Pendarvis

Hi, and welcome to McNeil's Movie Korner. Jeff McNeil is off this week, working on a short story about cremation, student filmmaking, and time travel (you can read another one of his stories by "clicking" on his name at this "link") and I'm honored to be filling in. Well, folks, I've made an auspicious purchase, I believe: a "six pack" of movies for around twenty bucks. It's called the "Drama Pack," and it's put out by a company called Geneon. Look, I can't vouch for the quality because I haven't seen any of the movies yet, but it certainly is a strange and titillating grab-bag. I mean, there's an Erskine Caldwell adaptation directed by Anthony Mann and featuring Buddy Hackett! Plus a murder mystery "set in the world of international stamp collecting." Not to mention a neat B-picture called THE BIG COMBO that I saw several years ago and enjoyed a lot. Maybe they're all oddball movies that somehow fell into the public domain, I don't know. But I'm going to give them a shot. Intriguing! In a second bit of movie news, Theresa and I got the car tuned up today and bided our time at a showing of THE GOOD SHEPHERD. What we saw was great. We had to leave early to pick up the car, but we plan to go back and see the whole thing. It was so good, we won't mind starting over from the beginning. I tell you, this Matt Damon kid is one to look out for. Between THE GOOD SHEPHERD and THE DEPARTED he's honestly the Dick Powell for today. I'm not cracking wise. I've thought about it a lot and may even try to incorporate it in my article, though I've already submitted a "finished" version. (The Powell comparison may or may not be bolstered by Damon's surprising musical turn in THE GOOD SHEPHERD, singing one of Theresa's favorite Gilbert & Sullivan numbers.) Okay, that's it for today's special edition of McNeil's Movie Korner. Jeff McNeil will return next week with who knows what kind of tidbits. (Pictured, Buddy Hackett and Heather Thomas.)