Tagged: Winter

Boardwalk Empire: Al Capone’s 1920s Leather Car Coat

Stephen Graham as Al Capone on Boardwalk Empire

Stephen Graham as Al Capone on Boardwalk Empire (Episode 1.01: “Boardwalk Empire”)

Vitals

Stephen Graham as Al Capone, ambitious but volatile mob enforcer

Chicago, Winter 1920

Series: Boardwalk Empire
Episodes:
– “Boardwalk Empire” (Episode 1.01, dir. Martin Scorsese, aired 9/19/2010)
– “Anastasia” (Episode 1.04, dir. Jeremy Podeswa, aired 10/10/2010)
Creator: Terence Winter
Costume Designer: John A. Dunn

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

On the 75th anniversary of Al Capone’s death, I wanted to take this blog’s first overdue look at Stephen Graham’s explosive performance as the infamous gangster on Boardwalk Empire. Capone features as an influential if tertiary character to the main drama in Atlantic City, introduced as a smart-talking enforcer to the old-fashioned—and ill-fated—”Big Jim” Colosimo during the series premiere, set in January 1920 when Prohibition became the unpopular law of the land.

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Mad Men: Lane Pryce’s Business Suit and Tweed Waistcoat on New Year’s Day

Jared Harris as Lane Pryce on Mad Men (Episode 4.03: "The Good News")

Jared Harris as Lane Pryce on Mad Men (Episode 4.03: “The Good News”)

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Jared Harris as Lane Pryce, advertising agency financial chief

New York City, New Year’s Day 1965

Series: Mad Men
Episode: “The Good News” (Episode 4.03)
Air Date: August 8, 2010
Director:
Jennifer Getzinger
Creator: Matthew Weiner
Costume Designer: Janie Bryant

Background

Even with the increasing adoption of hybrid and remote workplaces, there are still many returning to offices and cubicles for the first day of the new year, a specific occupational dread that provides a “welcome distraction” for at least one lonely Brit during the final act of “The Good News”, the third episode of Mad Men‘s fourth season. Continue reading

When Harry Met Sally: A Nomex Flight Jacket on New Year’s Eve

Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally (1989)

Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan assure their old acquaintance won’t be forgot among fellow New Year revelers as the eponymous leads in When Harry Met Sally… (1989)

Vitals

Billy Crystal as Harry Burns, sarcastic political consultant

New York City, New Year’s Eve 1988

Film: When Harry Met Sally…
Release Date: July 14, 1989
Director: Rob Reiner
Costume Designer: Gloria Gresham

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Happy New Year’s Eve!

One of my favorite romantic comedies, When Harry Met Sally… follows its two eponymous leads over twelve years of off-and-on friendship from their contentious meeting during a ride home from the University of Chicago up through a climactic New Year’s Eve party. Continue reading

Boogie Nights: Don Cheadle’s White ’80s Suit

Don Cheadle as Buck Swope in Boogie Nights (1997)

Don Cheadle as Buck Swope in Boogie Nights (1997)

Vitals

Don Cheadle as Buck Swope, adult film star-turned-stereo entrepreneur

Los Angeles, Winter 1983

Film: Boogie Nights
Release Date: October 10, 1997
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Costume Designer: Mark Bridges

WARNING! Spoilers and gore ahead!

Background

Approaching the new year and the prospect of fresh starts, I wanted to revisit the modern masterpiece Boogie Nights and in particular one of its ensemble cast that I have always found most compelling: Don Cheadle’s performance as the well-meaning but oft-hindered Buck Swope, a former porn actor looking to build a new life with his wife and fellow ex-porn star Jessie (Melora Walters).

After his employment history interferes with his prospects to fund his entrepreneurial endeavor to open his own stereo shop, Buck encounters a reversal of fortune just two weeks before Christmas. Continue reading

White Christmas: Bing’s Fireside Flannel and Festive Socks

Bing Crosby as Bob Wallace in White Christmas (1954)

Bing Crosby as Bob Wallace in White Christmas (1954)

Vitals

Bing Crosby as Bob Wallace, Broadway crooner and World War II veteran

Pine Tree, Vermont, December 1954

Film: White Christmas
Release Date: October 14, 1954
Director: Michael Curtiz
Costume Designer: Edith Head

Background

Merry Christmas Eve! One of my family’s favorite perennial movies to watch during the holiday season is White Christmas, the VistaVision that opened and closed with the iconic eponymous tune that Bing Crosby had introduced over a decade earlier in Holiday Inn.

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Jingle All the Way: Schwarzenegger in Cashmere and Corduroy

Arnold Schwarzenegger in Jingle All the Way (1996)

Arnold Schwarzenegger in Jingle All the Way (1996)

Vitals

Arnold Schwarzenegger as Howard Langston, massive Austrian bodybuilder midwestern mattress sales executive and family man

Minneapolis, Christmas Eve 1996

Film: Jingle All the Way
Release Date: November 22, 1996
Director: Brian Levant
Costume Designer: Jay Hurley

Background

With only a few more shopping days left until Christmas, some may still be scrambling for that perfect gift to put under the tree. This family-friendly ’90s comedy satirized the lengths to which people had to go in the blessed pre-Amazon days, represented by Minneapolis mattress king Howard Langston’s increasingly desperate attempts to track down a prized Turbo-Man action figure for his son… on Christmas Eve!

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The Office: Season 2’s Christmas Party – Ranking Holiday Looks

Christmas is awesome. First of all, you get to spend time with people you love. Secondly, you can get drunk and no one can say anything. Third, you give presents. What’s better than giving presents? And fourth, getting presents. So, four things. Not bad for one day. It’s really the greatest day of all time.

With some offices reinstating the traditional holiday parties this year, I also want to return to my own December tradition of reviewing how the off-the-peg office drones of Dunder Mifflin Scranton dress for their annual Christmas extravaganza.

The Office first approached the festive season with the simply titled “Christmas Party”, midway through the series’ masterful second season. This has always been one of my favorite episodes of The Office, and “Christmas Party” was actually the first-ever iTunes Store purchase I had made after Christmas 2005 found a video iPod in my stocking… appropriately enough, as fans of the episode would realize.

At this point, The Office was still a more restrained satire of American workplaces—rather than the zanier character-driven comedy it would become—and the first Christmas party reflects that mundanity, with cheap decorations, cheap vodka, and cheap grab bag gifts, and seemingly none of the staff happy to be part of this forced corporate fun, save for the oblivious manager Michael Scott (Steve Carell).

Rainn Wilson, Jenna Fischer, Steve Carell, B.J. Novak, and John Krasinski on The Office

The main cast of The Office—Rainn Wilson, Jenna Fischer, Steve Carell, B.J. Novak, and John Krasinski—in a promotional photo for the second season’s “Christmas Party”.

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The Silent Partner: Elliott Gould’s Holiday Tweed

Elliott Gould as Miles Cullen in The Silent Partner (1978)

Elliott Gould as Miles Cullen in The Silent Partner (1978)

Vitals

Elliott Gould as Miles Cullen, mild-mannered bank teller

Toronto, Christmas 1977

Film: The Silent Partner
Release Date: September 7, 1978
Director: Daryl Duke
Wardrobe Credit: Debi Weldon

Background

One of the most fun yet under-celebrated of Christmas-adjacent thrillers, The Silent Partner should sell most new viewers on the simple elevator pitch of Christopher Plummer as a gun-toting robber in a Santa Claus suit who increasingly torments Elliott Gould as a scheming teller.

The action begins on Tuesday, December 14—set exactly 44 years ago today—as the meek Miles Cullen (Gould) wraps up his daily duties at a First Bank of Toronto branch when his flirtatious sketches on a deposit slip wise him to a potential robbery plot. Continue reading

For Your Eyes Only: Bond’s Sheepskin Jacket and New Lotus

Roger Moore as James Bond in For Your Eyes Only (1981)

Roger Moore as a Lotus-driving James Bond in For Your Eyes Only (1981)

Vitals

Roger Moore as James Bond, British government agent

Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, Spring 1981

Film: For Your Eyes Only
Release Date: June 24, 1981
Director: John Glen
Costume Designer: Elizabeth Waller

Background

Today’s post extends #CarWeek to close out this year’s 40th anniversary celebration of my favorite of Roger Moore’s Bond movies, For Your Eyes Only, with a wintry look apropos the 00-7th of December as Mr. Bond drives into the ski resort town of Cortina d’Ampezzo behind the wheel of his latest Q-issued Lotus, dressed for warmth in shearling and cashmere.

Following a tip from the Italian secret service, Bond has arrived to interface with MI6’s “man in northern Italy”—Luigi Ferrara (John Moreno)—as he surveils Locque, the mysterious man he had observed paying off Hector Gonzales. Continue reading

Wild Card: Jason Statham’s Corduroy Car Coat and Ford Torino

Jason Statham as Nick Wild in Wild Card (2015)

Jason Statham as the Ford Torino-driving Nick Wild in Wild Card (2015)

Vitals

Jason Statham as Nick Wild, tough security consultant and bodyguard-for-hire

Las Vegas, Christmas 2013

Film: Wild Card
Release Date: January 14, 2015
Director: Simon West
Costume Designer: Lizz Wolf

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Car Week continues into December with a little-discussed action movie that—like The Bourne Identity and Three Days of the Condor—is set during against a Christmas backdrop complete with carols on the soundtrack, though the holiday timing has little impact on the plot. (I don’t include Die Hard in this category because, as many have argued, Christmas is the reason for the whole plot!)

Reviving a role originated by Burt Reynolds in William Goldman’s 1986 movie Heat, Jason Statham plays Nick Wild, a “security consultant” for Las Vegas lawyer Pinchus “Pinky” Zion (Jason Alexander), who makes his daily commute from a seedy motel in a snazzy ’69 Ford Torino. Continue reading