No on Ferrell, yes on Gould
Let me temporarily interrupt this diatribe about the way the mainstream media allows itself to be used as a pawn in political elections to say this: Patricia and I went to see the new Will Ferrell/John C. Reilly movie Step Brothers last night. Patricia loves these type of movies, and I think Ferrell is one of the funniest men around. I even liked Semi-Pro, which most critics did not. Well, both of us hated Step Brothers. We laughed — my hardest laughs were at the very end (the fight with the schoolkids) — but most of the movie is merely unpleasant and obvious. It’s not even worth the DVD rental.
A worthwhile read, in the meantime, is this New York Times piece on Elliot Gould, who is being honored with a retrospective of his films at BAMcinématek in Brooklyn. I remember about 15 years ago when “The Simpsons” did a flashback episode to when Homer and Marge meet in the early ‘70s, and one girl turns down, I believe, Barney, for a date, with the line, “Who do you think you are — Elliott Gould?” That cracked me up. Growing up, I didn’t think much about Gould one way or the other; he just seemed like a guy whose time had passed. But recently I was watching California Split for this MSNBC piece and I was stunned by just how charismatic he was. The retrospective gets its name from a 1970 Time magazine cover story called “Elliott Gould: Star for an Uptight Age,” but Alan Arkin, in the smartest line in the Times piece, says the emblem of uptightness is misleading. “I’ve always thought he had a looseness about him,” he says. Exactly. In California Split he’s so much fun to watch. He is the film's energy.