A Tribute to Betty White

Betty White died today, only 17 days short of her 100th birthday. In terms of comedic timing, rhythm and instinct, Betty White, along with Bea Arthur and Michael J Fox are arguably the best sitcom actors of all time. Betty White’s passing today, marks the end of the time on this earth for the entire cast of the Mary Tyler Moore show – in my opinion the best situation comedy of all time.

It is no accident that when Betty White joined the Mary Tyler Moore show it its 3rd season as Sue Ann Nivens, the happy homemaker that this show went from being good, to one of the best of all time. Her interactions with Lou, Mary, Ted and especially Murray were some of the funniest in the history of comedy. Betty went on to star in another all time great comedy show, “The Golden Girls”, along with another comedy icon Bea Arthur. In her 90’s Betty starred in a very good comedy show, “Hot in Cleveland”, still as sharp and brilliant as ever. Its both a shame and a sad part of life that the entire cast of the Mary Tyler Moore show are now gone, 4 of them leaving us this year.

Betty White was one of the all time greats in the history of comedy and never will be forgotten.

Movie Review: Licorice Pizza

“Licorice Pizza” has nothing to do with Licorice or Pizza or really anything. This movie is a disjoined series of scenes that are leap-frogged together to create a very strange, too weird to explain production that I have no idea is getting 92% ratings on Rotten Tomatoes.

This movie stars two unknowns Alana Haim as Alana and Cooper Hoffman as Gary – who is in the late 1960’s, in high school, and enter into what starts as a typical erratic high school relationship. What follows is a stage production for Gary, to a location that requires a plane flight – maybe NYC, to jealousy in the relationship, to both of them getting into water bed sales (I kid you not), to them selling a bed to John Peters, boyfriend of Barbara Streisand in the early 1970’s to find out that John Peters is insane and almost blows up a gas station. To a new pinball shop that Gary starts. To Alana getting involved with Politics. It’s one scene, to another, no continuity, no set-up, no logic, and no train of thought. This is movie-making on LSD, or after slamming your head against a wall for 30 minutes.

For some reason, both Bradley Cooper and Sean Penn are in this movie, perhaps as a favor to Paul Thomas Anderson who both wrote and directed this insane film – in an attempt to drive up the box office.

Once again, I have no idea why this movie is getting high review numbers because, for me, this is just one of the strangest waste of 2 hours I have ever sat through.

Clearly, I do not recommend this film under any circumstances.

Movie Review: American Underdog

If you are a very good high school football player in the United States, the odds of you getting to play in College are 5%. If you are a very good football player in College, your odds of being drafted into the NFL are only 1%. If you get to play in the NFL the average career is less than 3 years. During those 3 years, you hope you don’t have any long term pain or CTE – a brain injury that is caused by frequent blows to the head over a long period of time. The odds of longevity in the NFL are very long then add the unlikely odds of even getting to the NFL in the first place. All of this makes the incredible true story of Quarterback Kurt Warner in the new movie “American Underdog” that much more unbelievable.

It is highly unlikely that anyone who ever made it to the NFL, much less the NFL Hall of Fame, MVP of the league and the Super Bowl ever had a more unlikely and difficult road than Kurt Warner did – in any professional sport. the new movie “American Underdog” is all about the dues and injustice Warner faced when he left college, when nobody wanted him, nobody wanted to even give him a chance. Warner played 4 years in semi pro Football, followed by 4 years of Arena Football before a miracle happened and he was drafted by the Rams. After an injury to the starting quarterback, Warner got his shot and made the most of it – winning the Super Bowl and league MVP in his first year. There is no doubt about it, this is one amazing story.

This movie is also about the relationship between Kurt Warner and his wife Brenda, who was a divorced mother of two children, one of them brain damaged and blind due to an injury during infancy. Like all relationships they had their problems over the years, mostly due to money problems, where at one point Kurt was stacking cans at a local super market. The couple also had to move in with her parents for a time just to survive. This movie does a great job of making your root for Kurt Warner who is as likeable in real life as an MVP quarterback as he was during this film, so well played by Zachary Levi. Warner’s wife Brenda is very well played by Anna Paquin.

While watching this unbelievable sports story, I wondered why it took so long to come to the screen, considering that Warner retired from the NFL in 2009.

The Rotten Tomatoes ratings for this great sports film are a too low 77%. My rating is a high 95% with my highest recommendation.