Burnt Offerings: MOD DVD

Darn that Facebook.

I’ve gotten a hoot out of it – have loved reconnecting with high school friends and long lost family and have discovered as well that there are people in the world with pages dedicated to interests close to my heart, such as those kept by my favorite authors, pictures of the New York I loved in the 70s and 80s and tributes to great character actors such as Timothy Carey.  [Read on here...]

Wednesday, 29 October 2014 12:00

Burnt Offerings for October 29, 2014

Over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed an alarming increase in the number of MOD titles that are simply re-releases of out-of-print discs and a decrease in the number of never-before-released movies. We’re probably going to be seeing a lot more of that, unfortunately. But at least this week, there are a few brand new Most Wanted picks making their overdue DVD debuts. Let’s take a gander at them and at a special all-scary-movie edition of Wide Awake In Streamland for your Halloween viewing pleasure. [Read on here...]

Wednesday, 13 August 2014 11:09

More Tales of Oklahoma Location Scouting

Here are a couple of other stories from the salt mines of Oklahoma location scouting. There’s many, many more. But I can only bore so much..

Both tales involve the terrific writer, film critic and Pulitzer Prize winner Stephen Hunter. In his 1993 novel Point of Impact, Hunter created the character Bob Lee “The Nailer” Swagger, which has now been featured, along with his father, Earl, in some 12 novels, the most recent of which is Sniper’s Honor.  [Read on here...]

Tuesday, 08 July 2014 12:00

The Alamo Under Siege

Anybody know a good screenwriter? Here’s true scenario that would offer a perfect studio pitch.

And it’s a thriller, in a way, with a determined adventurer racing against time to seek justice for a hero from a past generation – one who sacrificed finances, reputation and goodwill to slay a dragon that was, in the long run, perhaps beyond even his reach.

This story is about John Wayne. This story is about Robert Harris. This story is about America and the importance of its cultural maintenance. And, ok, it’s also about personal obsession. Duke Wayne did what he said. No backing out. No cutting corners. No half assed. [Read on here...]

For a long time, I had the honor of serving the people of Oklahoma as their state film commissioner. I took the job only because we hadn’t created yet the position of “Lord High Minister of Culture.” To know the movie business was but a small component of the being the liaison with Hollywood – the job was for the most part about locations, locations, locations and I knew every bright golden haze on every Sooner state meadow and every field of corn as high as an elephant’s eye. [Read on here...]

Thursday, 01 May 2014 11:55

In Memory of Mickey Rooney

Even with all the plaudits and platitudes, not enough was written upon the passing of Mickey Rooney. I don’t know, actually, if there could ever be enough.

Lord Laurence Olivier once called Mickey Rooney “the greatest actor of them all,” and Marlon Brando said he was “the best actor in films.” [Read on here…]

Friday, 14 March 2014 12:05

The Sundance Kid Rides into Town

I can probably state as fact that many of you reading this are not familiar at all with the general manager of your local cable company – I guess most are bean counters, flesh pressers and empty suits. Oklahoma City, from whence I hail, has been very fortunate with Cox Communications – their company is very community driven and its management staff very public and outgoing.  [Read on here…]

What follows is a completely thought through and double checked top ten list for the year 2013 and, and, like those who write for Film Comment magazine, I usually don’t create this puppy until I have seen just about every movie which might, in fact, be good.  

Here are the top ten, in no particular order:  [Read on here…] 

Tuesday, 24 December 2013 10:00

My Favorite Non-Christmas Christmas Films

Most film columnists start writing their Christmas pieces around August, churning out their memories of It’s a Wonderful Life (which is a story in itself – this generation has no idea that the film was considered an oddity and a flop until Jimmy Stewart mentioned it on The Tonight Show and, as it was in the public domain and available for cheap airings, it has since been considered a “classic”) and other routine movies that just happen to tell a Christmas like story.  Movies like Miracle on 34th Street and Christmas in Connecticut still hold up and there are others I’m sure that do as well, but few movies that are singularly about Christmas float my boat.  I’ve seen them a million times and most are creaky.  Here are my favorite Christmas movies, a list my successful and thoughtful brother calls Christmas Movies for People Who Aren’t Enamored with Christmas Movies[Read on here…]

This was all we needed to hear: The DUKE was coming to Oklahoma City.

It was the year of our Lord, 1972 and The National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center in Oklahoma City (now called the National Cowboy Museum and Western Heritage Center) hosted every year a grand event called the Western Heritage Awards, where they gave a trophy called “The Wrangler” to outstanding theatrical and television Westerns and the winner this particular year was a film called “The Cowboys,” starring, well, you know who.  [Read on here...]

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