Sometime in early ’18 I bought a 64G 4K Apple TV device. It’s a great little all-in-one platform. All the basic apps plus Apple TV, iTunes movies and music, YouTube…all of it. Sorry but I liked it so much that very soon after I stopped paying for Roku usage.
Two or three days ago the Apple player stopped working. It basically froze — no home page, no nothing. My TV guy said “try pressing the home button for about 10 seconds, and if that doesn’t work, unplug it for 30 seconds and then plug it back in.” I did both…nothing. Second time, zip. I repeated these steps again last night…flatline.
I had begun to resign myself to buying a new 4K device (around $200), which struck me as deficient on the part of Apple. Today I unplugged it one more time, removing both the power cord and the HDMI cable. A minute later I plugged them back in, and for whatever fickle-ass reason the little black box was suddenly working again.
I’m relieved, of course, but the shutdown phase really pissed me off.
HE will finally see Kornel Mundruczo‘s Pieces of a Woman (Netflix, 12.30) at 5 pm today. Followed by an AFI q & a with Mundruczó, screenwriter Kata Weber and costars Vanessa Kirby and Ellen Burstyn. Pic currently has an 81% RT rating; the Metacritic rating is 69.
Face it — 46 is kind of a nothing birthday. When you tell people “hey, I’m turning 46”, they give you a blank look and say “so?” I feel the same way about turning 48, which I happen to be doing today. I don’t know which age is more boring, 48 or 46. All I know is that the idea of turning 50 in two years scares the crap out of me.
Here it is: Leo will be 50 before you know it because time flies when you can’t jump off the treadmill. I chatted with Leo a few days ago at a San Vicente Bungalows after-party, and between the lines I was thinking ‘wow, the train is moving faster and faster.’
DiCaprio has been a power-hitter and marquee headliner for 23 years now, or since Titanic. 27 years if you count The Boy’s Life. Nobody can ever diminish or take away the killer performances he’s given in Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, The Departed, Inception, Revolutionary Road and especially The Wolf of Wall Street…a lot to be proud of. And I can’t wait for what happens with Killers of the Flower Moon.
But when I think of vintage DiCaprio I rewind back to that dynamic six-year period in the ’90s (’93 to ’98) when he was all about becoming and jumping off higher and higher cliffs — aflame, intense and panther-like in every performance he gave. I was reminded of this electric period this morning that I watched the below YouTube clip of DiCaprio and David Letterman in April ’95, when he was 20 and promoting The Basketball Diaries.
I respected Leo’s performance in This Boy’s Life but I didn’t love it, and I felt the same kind of admiring distance with Arnie, his mentally handicpped younger brother role in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, partly because he was kind of a whiny, nasally-voiced kid in both and…you know, good work but later. Excellent actor, didn’t care for the feisty-kid vibes.
But a few months before Gilbert Grape opened I met DiCaprio for a Movieline interview at The Grill in Beverly Hills, and by that time he was taller and rail-thin and just shy of 20. I was sitting in that booth and listening to him free-associate with that irreverent, lightning-quick mind, and saying to myself, “This guy’s got it…I can feel the current.”
Then came a torrent: a crazy gunslinger in Sam Raimi‘s The Quick and the Dead (’95), as the delicate Paul Verlaine in Total Eclipse (’95), as himself in the semi-improvised, black-and-white homey film that only me and a few others saw called Don’s Plum (’95), as the druggy Jim Carroll in The Basketball Diaries (’95), as a wild, angry kid in Jerry Zak‘s Marvin’s Room, opposite Claire Danes in Baz Luhrmann‘s Romeo + Juliet, as Jack Dawson in Titanic and finally as a parody of himself in Woody’s Celebrity. Eight performances, and every one a kind of sparkler-firecracker thing.
Kelly Reichardt‘s First Cow has been nominated for four Gotham Awards, but I somehow can’t imagine it winning Best Feature. My 7.17.20 review explains why, for the most part. I know nothing, but here are some half-assed guesses about some of the likeliest winners:
BEST FEATURE: The Assistant, First Cow, Never Rarely Sometimes Always, Nomadland, Relic. Likeliest Winner: Nomadland.
BEST DOCUMENTARY: 76 Days, City Hall, Our Time Machine, A Thousand Cuts, Time. Likeliest Winner: Possibly 76 Days (Covid in Wuhan) but I’ve really no clue…not the first hint.
BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE: Bacurau (no!), Beanpole (maybe), Cuties, Identifying Features, Martin Eden, Wolfwalkers. Likeliest Winner: Not a damn clue. Martin Eden?
BINGHAM RAY BREAKTHROUGH DIRECTOR AWARD: Radha Blank, The Forty-Year-Old Version; Channing Godfrey Peoples, Miss Juneteenth; Alex Thompson, Saint Frances; Carlo Mirabella-Davis, Swallow; Andrew Patterson, The Vast of Night. Likeliest Winner: Not the first clue…nothing.
BEST SCREENPLAY: Bad Education, Mike Makowsky; First Cow, Jon Raymond, Kelly Reichardt; The Forty-Year-Old Version, Radha Blank; Fourteen, Dan Sallitt; The Vast of Night, James Montague, Craig Sanger. Likeliest Winner: Bad Education.
BEST ACTOR: Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal; Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom; Jude Law, In The Nest; John Magaro, First Cow; Jesse Plemons, I’m Thinking of Ending Things. Likeliest Winner: Chadwick Boseman.
BEST ACTRESS: Nicole Beharie, Miss Juneteenth; Jessie Buckley, I’m Thinking of Ending Things; Yuh-Jung Youn, Minari; Carrie Coon, The Nest; Frances McDormand, Nomadland. Likeliest Winners: Frances McDormand or Jessie Buckley.
BREAKTHROUGH ACTOR: Jasmine Batchelor, The Surrogate; Kingsley Ben-Adir, One Night in Miami; Sidney Flanigan, Never Rarely Sometimes Always; Orion Lee, First Cow; Kelly O’Sullivan, Saint Frances. Likeliest Winner: Kingsley Ben-Adir.
“The highlight of the political memoir is [always] the gossipy bit, the small detail that surprises or upends what we imagine we know. That rousing rallying cry of the Obama campaign, ‘Yes We Can’? It was David Axelrod’s idea, which Obama thought corny, until Michelle said it wasn’t corny at all.
“Think of the iconic image of Jesse Jackson crying on the night Obama won the presidency. Here, we learn that Jackson’s support for Obama’s presidential campaign was ‘more grudging’ than the enthusiastic support of his son Jesse Jackson, Jr.
“And how odd that the first family pays out of pocket for food and toilet paper. Who would have thought that it would be generals rather than civilians who counseled Obama for more restraint in the use of force throughout the eight years of his presidency? Or that he is actually a slow walker, with what Michelle called a Hawaiian walk, after so many images of him nimbly bounding up plane steps, striding across the White House lawn?
“Or, given his image of tireless discipline, that he is ‘messy’ in that childlike absent-minded way that only men manage to be, knowing that someone will see to the mess. Someone usually a woman.”
When it comes to knowing and trusting other guys, messiness, for me, is kind of a bonding thing. I love super-clean, but I trust messy guys. Messiness is not being an animal but at the same time not being ultra-anal fastidious. Guys who wash the dishes well enough but perhaps don’t wash them to the satisfaction of a kitchen Nazi…that kind of thing. Guys who forget to put the strawberries away until they turn moldy. Guys who sweep up but don’t get down on their knees and scrub. I know what “messy” is, and in this regard Barack and I probably park in the same garage.