Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Robert Redford on Paul Newman

REDFORD: There were a lot of times we played these gags on each other and they were great fun. And one of them was that he used to -- when he went into racing, he just drove me crazy talking about racing, because he was obsessed with it, and, obviously, great at it -- by the way, great at it.

And I said, "Geez, can't we talk about something else?" He said, "Well, I want to take you up to the track and we'll do this and we'll do that." So for his 50th birthday, I happened [to be], in Connecticut, to find a trashed Porsche and it was just totally demolished and I had them wrap it up and leave it on his kitchen back step, wrapped in paper with a ribbon around it, that said "Happy 50th."

And so a couple weeks went by and I didn't hear anything, and then I went up to my house a couple weeks later and walked in the living room and there was this gigantic box in the living room, and it was so heavy you couldn't lift it.

In fact, it was so heavy, it had created an imprint on the floor, and this was a rented house. Well, by the time I crobarred it out, there was just this block of metal that had been taken down.

The [towing service] came and took it away ,and they said, "This is great." I said, "OK, look, hang on." And I called a friend of mine who was a sculptor in Westport.

I said, "If I give you some material, can you create a sculpture." He said, "That's great, absolutely." So these guys come take the thing over to her, and she did a sculpture. I said, "Make it a garden sculpture."

So she did. Had the towing guys take it to Newman's garden and just plump it there. Now, to this day, neither of us had ever spoken about that, never even -- that was -- there were many other situations like that, but that was ...

QUESTION: No one ever says "gotcha?"

REDFORD: No, no. That would diminish it. No. The idea was you just never acknowledged it.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

So Long Paul Newman

He was peerless, the best man in any crowd. It was my aunt who loved him and taught me to love him, taking me to matinees in my childhood to watch one great film after another: Cool Hand Luke, The Sting, The Verdict, Nobody's Fool, The Color of Money, and so many others. He was more than a talented actor: in philanthropy, he was generous to a fault; as entrepeneur, he gave us the gift of great sauces, popcorn and chocolate; and to the end he was a brave, outstanding individual with a heart like no other. The Paul Newman moment that lives forever for me is his "Plastic Jesus":

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Tuesdays at 9 on Fox: FRINGE, besides the "cool word" factor, is a fantastic show in every respect. Excellent writing and direction is compounded by talented actors and coherent intrigue. Check it out.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Har Har

Book of the Week

My good friend Jeffrey Overstreet is getting warmed up with his latest novel, the second in a four-part series. Cyndere's Midnight, which hit booksellers this week, is a darker work than its predecessor, managing to be more satisfying and more confounding at the same stroke. Rich characterizations abound, and nothing unfolds quite as you would expect; yet there are so many questions by the end of the book, I wondered if my copy had been truncated. A minor complaint, considering the author has done his job and left me wanting more and not merely wanting.

The overall impression is that he is getting warmed up for his masterpiece. Whether that book will be in this series is yet to be seen. The quality of writing is superb, especially in scenes of dialogue. Some of my favorite passages are characters simply talking to each other. When it comes to plotting, my impression is of coy reserve. Hints of greater things abound, and when you think a key point will be revealed the author adds another layer of mystery. Consequently the book feels incomplete and overly dependent on others to come. This bodes well for the time we can read the entire series and appreciate its full breadth.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Penny Arcade Expo 08

The intrepid Daniel, pondering his fate in the game arena, takes a moment to look at the camera when rightfully his attention should be on the dreadful and profound arrival of...

-the Penny Arcade mascot, the Fruit****er!

The Fruit****er descends

Like the airport, but fun!

The Fruit****er lurks and nearly encounters...

-the Rockstar mascot! If you can't tell, he's obnoxious

Castle Crasher celebrates another pyramid of dead pink bunnies