Ted Danson as Michael on The Good Place. (Episode 1.13: “Michael’s Gambit”)
Ted Danson as Michael, afterlife “architect”
The Good Place, present day
Series: The Good Place
– “Jason Mendoza” (Episode 1.04), dir. Payman Benz, aired 9/29/2016
– “What’s My Motivation” (Episode 1.11), dir. Lynn Shelton, aired 1/12/2017
– “Mindy St. Claire” (Episode 1.12), dir. Dean Holland, aired 1/19/2017
– “Michael’s Gambit” (Episode 1.13), dir. Michael Schur, aired 1/19/2017
Creator: Michael Schur
Costume Designer: Kirston Mann
WARNING! Possible spoilers ahead…
NBC’s The Good Place is one of my favorite recent network TV shows, blending an infectiously funny ensemble cast with razor-sharp writing that makes moral philosophy not only interesting but accessible and entertaining.
Robert Mitchum as Philip Marlowe in The Big Sleep (1978)
Robert Mitchum as Philip Marlowe, American private investigator
London, September 1977
Film: The Big Sleep
Release Date: March 13, 1978
Director: Michael Winner
Costume Designer: Ron Beck
Philip Marlowe is a bold dresser. We learn that from the opening paragraph of Raymond Chandler’s inaugural novel, The Big Sleep, with the description of the detective’s powder blue suit, dark blue underpinnings, and socks with clocks. The rest of the United States may have adopted a somber approach to dressing during the years of the Depression, but Marlowe is an L.A. private eye. He’s gotta turn heads.
Decades after the novel’s publication and Bogie and Bacall sizzled in its first cinematic adaptation, the story was once again slated for the silver screen. Continue reading
Timothy Olyphant as Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens on Justified (Episode 6.02: “Cash Game”, 2015)
Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens, old-fashioned Deputy U.S. Marshal
Harlan County, Kentucky, Fall 2014
Episode: “Cash Game” (Episode 6.02)
Air Date: January 27, 2015
Director: Dean Parisot
Creator: Graham Yost
Costume Designer: Patia Prouty
The second episode of Justified‘s sixth and final season introduced a few new characters that would be help drive the series toward its action-packed endgame, including a shockingly mustache-less Sam Elliott as ruthless yet refined gangster Avery Markham.
Clifton Webb as Richard Ward Sturges in Titanic (1953)
Clifton Webb as Richard Ward Sturges, millionaire and estranged family man
RMS Titanic, April 1912
Release Date: April 16, 1953
Director: Jean Negulesco
Costume Designer: Dorothy Jeakins
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Before there was Kate and Leo, there was Barbara and Clifton.
To know me is to know my obsession with the Titanic and other maritime disasters of the early 20th century. SS Valencia, Empress of Ireland, Lusitania, Princess Sophia, Titanic‘s hospital sister ship Britannic… chances are that if it sank in the first few decades of last century, I know a thing or two about it.
It was today in 1912 that the RMS Titanic actually struck the iceberg that sank her. The collision happened around 11:40 p.m., North Atlantic time, on the night of Sunday, April 14. Compared to most of the other disasters in the previous paragraph, it took considerable time to sink, finally settling under the waves at 2:20 a.m. on the morning of Monday, April 15, 1912, ending more than 1,500 lives of the roughly 2,200 that had been aboard.
Brad Pitt as Tom Bishop in Spy Game (2001)
Brad Pitt as Tom Bishop, experienced CIA operative and U.S. Marine
Beirut, Summer 1985
Film: Spy Game
Release Date: November 21, 2001
Director: Tony Scott
Costume Designer: Louise Frogley
Halfway through Tony Scott’s espionage thriller Spy Game, we get to the operation that led to the expository situation of rogue CIA agent Tom Bishop (Brad Pitt) landing himself in Chinese captivity in the midst of secret trade negotiations.
As his one-time mentor Nathan Muir (Robert Redford) explains to agency top brass, Bishop arrived in Beirut in 1985 under the cover of a photojournalist (“he was good, he was talented, he had a good eye… probably had a photography merit badge stuffed in the drawer at home”) to try to get close to the family doctor of their target, Sheik Salameh. Along the way, Bishop breaks the rules and falls for one of his assets, a mysterious Brit named Elizabeth Hadley (Catherine McCormack), and is eventually forced to choose between his assignment and his amour. Continue reading
Daniel Craig as James Bond in Casino Royale (2006)
Daniel Craig as James Bond, British secret agent
Lake Como, Italy, August 2006
Film: Casino Royale
Release Date: November 14, 2006
Director: Martin Campbell
Costume Designer: Lindy Hemming
The name is Bond… James Bond.
After more than two hours of anticipation, Daniel Craig finally delivered the words that 007 fans were waiting to hear. 007 had embarked on an adventure with more ups and downs – both emotional and physical – than we’re used to seeing with our sophisticated hero, and Casino Royale reintroduced audiences to a character with an impact similar to the initial book’s release 65 years ago this month. I know that the moment I left the theater that Thanksgiving weekend in 2006, I had to resist the impulse to buy another ticket and head back in for a second viewing.
For the 00-7th of April, let’s celebrate not only a stylish and classic springtime business look but also the 65th anniversary of the publication of Casino Royale, Ian Fleming’s first novel and the spark that so ferociously lit the James Bond franchise when it shelves on April 13, 1953. Continue reading
Robert Redford as Roy Hobbs in The Natural (1984)
Robert Redford as Roy Hobbs, baseball prodigy and “middle-aged rookie”
New York, June 1939
Film: The Natural
Release Date: May 11, 1984
Director: Barry Levinson
Costume Design: Gloria Gresham & Bernie Pollack
Baseball season is back and in full swing (forgive the pun), and I’m feeling much better about it this year after my hometown Pirates won their home opener against the Twins yesterday, making us 4-0 for the season… after last year, I’ll take all the hope I can get! In the spirit of America’s pastime, today’s post explores one of the great baseball movies ever made.
Based on Bernard Malamud’s 1952 debut novel – and considered by many to be an improvement on it – The Natural stars Robert Redford as Roy Hobbs, an earnest, homespun, and sincere baseball player whose sole ambition is glory on the diamond. As he himself wonders, “What else is there?”
Of course, when we first meet Roy Hobbs in media res, you’d never know it to look at him that he was about to embark on his last shot at big-league stardom.