“One time Jack said he had done his back in and needed a few days off. That’s a lot of time when you’re shooting a big film, but Stanley said okay. The next day we were in the sparks room watching Wimbledon when Stanley walks in. He asks what we’re up to and as he turns to look at the telly, there he is: Jack Nicholson sat in the crowd with a girl on either side. Stanley went mad.”
Six years ago Marshall Fine’s Robert Klein Still Can’t Stop His Leg, an altogether fascinating and highly engaging doc about one of the greatest anguished Jewish comedians of all time, disappeared into the maw of the Weinstein Co. bankruptcy of 2017.
Lo and behold, Fine’s Robert Klein doc is now available to stream on multiple platforms for the first time ever.
“It serves as not just a personal look at Klein, but as something larger,” Showbiz 411‘s Roger Friedman wrote on 4.20. “It’s a real piece of history. What Fine and Klein have done here is make an excellent companion piece to the very good Joan Rivers doc of a few years ago, A Piece of Work. Since Alan King died rather young and abruptly, and nothing’s been done on Stiller and Meara, there is very little documentary record of the great Jewish comics who launched from the Ed Sullivan Show era.
“The doc is also very funny. Klein is incredibly endearing and corny, while at the same time maintaining an edge. That’s why he made 40 appearances on Letterman. I hope The Weinstein Company can give Still Can’t Stop His Leg a good release in major markets before VOD or Netflix. Like a Robert Klein show, the film is intimate and hilarious.”
In the late ’70s a smart Jewish friend and fellow cineaste told me I had more Jewish guilt than he. That was the beginning of my honorary Jewhood, which thrives to this day.
From 4.22 review by THR‘s Frank Scheck: Mr. Church “is a touching coming-of-age tale and an even more touching account of an unlikely friendship marked by love and respect. Director Bruce Beresford, working with material that inevitably recalls his Oscar-winning Driving Miss Daisy, never lets the overt sentimentality become too schmaltzy, even if he’s a bit hampered by the sometimes melodramatic plotting and schematic characterizations.
“The film is emotionally manipulative, to be sure, but it’s ultimately hard to resist, especially given the quality of the lead performances.
“Eddie Murphy is a revelation. He doesn’t seem quite right for the role at first, his blazing charisma ostensibly at odds with his character’s unassuming, dignified demeanor. But he tamps it down just enough to be fully plausible, and he adds quiet grace notes, both comic and dramatic, that make his Mr. Church just as captivating for us as he is for the people around him. And as the character ages a couple of decades, his performance becomes all the more effective, subtly revealing the vulnerability underneath the smooth facade.
I’ve said the following two or three times, but here goes again. One, if the Titanic had turned around and sailed back to the fatal iceberg before stopping engines a couple of hundred passengers could have been ferried from the sinking ship to the iceberg to wait it out until the Carpathia arrived. Yes, it would have been cold sitting on the iceberg but they would’ve survived. And two, if the crew had thrown the large banquet tables from the first-class dining room into the sea they could have been used as life rafts for those who couldn’t fit into the lifeboats. The first-class area of the Titanic was full of wooden furniture that would’ve floated. Armoires, bureaus, etc.
Do they serve hot dogs in Citi Field’s left-field section, or do you have to bring your own?
Watch any baseball film (i.e., The Stratton Story, Angels in the Outfield, The Natural, Fear Strikes Out) and the main characters are always sitting near the first- or third-base lines…always. In Spotlight‘s Fenway Park scene the Boston Globe guys are sitting a few rows back from the first-base line — that‘s where you always want to be.
Jett was good enough to take the time yesterday to book our Stubhub seats for $192 (three seats at $60 each plus tax), but I had a heart attack when I realized that they’re in Section 134 — way the hell out in left field. Yes, they’re close enough to the grass so you can smell it (that’s essential to me — if you can’t inhale that damp-grass aroma what’s the point?) but I’ve never watched a game from left field in my entire life. Would the Boston Globe guys ever consider sitting in left field when they watch the Red Sox? Yes, it’s near the field and it’s just a baseball game but it’s still the pits.
Jett insisted that the above photo is misleading, that everything is smaller-scaled when you actually get there, that you can see everything from left field, and that I’m being a diva for complaining. I grumbled a bit more but okay, fine…left-field Siberia, here I come.
Once a month I sleep in on Sundays. Last night it was around midnight, which is early for me, until just after 6 am. Nothing unusual, always up early. I read for 100 minutes and then returned to the cave for three and a half. It feels kind of wonderful to get nine. I wouldn’t want to make a habit of it, although I expect Arianna Huffington would approve.
The early wakeup may have…no, probably was due to having had a dream that included Joel Edgerton. He only appeared in a fragment, but he was definitely wearing that same awful three-piece blue suit he wore in Black Mass. The dream happened back east somewhere, in the cold. No leaves. It was a sign, I suspect, that I’m fretting too much about Edgerton’s performance in Jeff Nichols‘ Loving, which will screen during next month’s Cannes Film Festival.