November 13, 2009
IS THERE any political body attuned to the epidemic of violent crime in this country? We seem to be enamored with the deaths of entertainment (MJ, Patrick Swayze) but mostly oblivious to the storekeepers or police officers. Even more appalling is the prevalence of repeat offenders who have a history of crime leading up to their climactic masterpiece that claims a life - or two. Defendants sit in court and snicker at the charges in the faces of victims' families. We don't have the right to take a life, so there is virtually no death penalty.
September 12, 1995 |
A month has passed, and there's still no clear answer to one of the summer's biggest mysteries: What accounts for "Dangerous Minds"' box-office success? It can't be because Michelle Pfeiffer "dresses down. " After all, 1991's "Frankie and Johnny" bombed. Is it the popularity of the soundtrack? And how big would it be if the original title, "My Posse Don't Do Homework," had been retained? And is Andy Garcia hacked off because his cameo appearance, as Pfeiffer's boyfriend, was hacked from the final print?
April 13, 1991 |
A new generation may think that the Righteous Brothers is a Muslim rap group. But those in the mostly middle-aged audience at Valley Forge Music Fair Thursday knew better. The brothers - Bobby Hatfield and Bill Medley - are among the few '60s pop stars who can make a silly love song sound like it came from a Broadway musical. With the assistance of the film industry, specifically the Patrick Swayze vehicles Dirty Dancing and Ghost, their music is enjoying a renewed popularity made evident by this sold-out show.
May 4, 1990 |
As rock icons pass, we'll probably be seeing a lot more gatherings like the star-studded "Roy Orbison Tribute Concert to Benefit the Homeless. " Boasting great moments by the likes of John Hiatt, Bonnie Raitt, k.d. lang and the reunited Byrds, the 90-minute concert premieres Sunday at 10:05 p.m. on Showtime. All basic cable customers can enjoy it since the program is being descrambled to boost contributions to the Roy Orbison Homeless Fund. Orbison's sultry ballads and juicy rockabilly set the stage for much of today's music.
December 31, 1987 |
Just as we're ringing down the curtain on '87, along comes Gary Hart to announce he'll be around for '88. It figures. Nineteen eighty-seven was a year of surprises - the stock market took a tailspin, Cher's acting career soared, and Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker fell from grace. Nineteen eighty-eight - with an election, an Olympics and a leap day, no less - should be another lulu. Our advice? In perilous times, stick to Old Values: hearty food, true love, tax-free bonds, and home, sweet home.
July 12, 1991 |
In the interest of critical credibility, allow me to make two disclosures before reviewing Point Break, a Feds-versus-surfers curiosity starring Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze. An avid kneeboarder during my youth, I attended surf movies religiously. In my pantheon of tubular experiences, Gidget, The Endless Summer, Big Wednesday and a cult classic called Salt Water Wine rank very high. Furthermore, I must disclose that Keanu Reeves has a profound effect on my hormone levels.
August 7, 1990 |
The summer of 1990 will be remembered as the season Hollywood discovered box-office life after death. First you had workaholic Bill Cosby dying in a car wreck, then coming back as the devoted father in Ghost Dad. (Sometimes it takes drastic measures to make a man accept his parental responsibilities.) Next you had the noncommital Patrick Swayze killed by a street punk in Ghost, but returning to solve his murder and - through the medium of Whoopi Goldberg - to tell girlfriend Demi Moore that he loves her. (Some guys would rather die than utter those three litle words.
May 14, 2004 |
Although the bean-counters and abacus-pushers at Warner Bros. won't cop to an exact figure, word is that Troy, Wolfgang Petersen's Iliad-inspired megaproduction, cost in the vicinity of $200 million. Whether Brad Pitt's bare backside will help to recoup said expense is a question for this opening weekend's box office to foretell, but just as Troy followed the Oscar-glomming sword-and-sandals saga Gladiator to the big screen, likewise more epic undertakings of a historical nature are in the works.
July 29, 1989 |
For anyone attuned to pop culture, it's clearly time for some new anniversaries. The year's barely half over, and we've already been besieged by commemorations of Woodstock, "The Wizard of Oz," Charlie Chaplin's birthday, the Beatles' arrival in the U.S. and the moon landing. And let's face it - they're all boring. Pop music in particular is ripe for additions. So, in keeping with the spirit of the times (such as they are), here are a few really important anniversaries everyone seems to have missed, with reasons why they should be celebrated with the same gusto bestowed upon the 20th anniversary of the Who's "Tommy.
December 7, 2010
RE " 'Cultural Understanding' Creates a No-Ticket Zone": Columnist Harry Gross, responding to a disgruntled motorist who received a parking ticket "about five minutes after the meter expired," verifies that despite its illegality, cars are routinely parked in the center lane on Broad Street from Oregon to as far as Erie Avenue. When Gross called the Philadelphia Parking Authority, he was referred to the Police Department. A spokesperson who declined to be identified stated: "This is a cultural understanding that was here long before I got here and will be here after I'm gone.