New Jack City: (Motion) Picture Perfect Holidays

unknownWelcome to Hollywood’s annual Bye-Week…

It’s the week after Thanksgiving when the major studios pretty well release—NOTHING.

It’s also the weekend before the first of the major Christmas releases hit local screens on December 9th.

So it’s a good time to get caught up on movies missed.

Here are my five Best Bets right now at the box office:

* “Hacksaw Ridge”

* “The Edge of Seventeen”

* “Moana”

* “Arrival”

* “Fantastic Beasts”

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Now a look ahead!

The 14 varied films set to open here for the 2016 holiday movie season.

Friday, Dec. 9:

* “Nocturnal Animals”  (Jake Gyllenhaal)

* “Miss Sloan” –  (Jessica Chastain)

* “Office Christmas Party”– (Jason Bateman)

* “Manchester By The Sea”– (Casey Affleck) Continue reading

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Glazer: Trendy Jimmie Walker @ Stanford’s in the Legends Starting Tonight

screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-10-16-13-pmTalk about opportune timing…

Jimmie “JJ” Walker has been coming to Kansas City and  Stanford’s for nearly 25 years. During which time the man has stayed in the news and remained relevant.

In just the past couple months Walker made the cover of Rolling Stone and was interviewed on CNN just before the third presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Why would CNN interview Jimmie?

Walker has had his own talk show on radio for years and has been focused on politics. Plus he leans Republican.

It’s also well known that he was dating Republican bomb thrower Ann Coulter. Two years ago People Magazine did an entire spread on the top 100 pop culture stars that mattered the past 100 years and Jimmy came in No. 25, not bad.

Walker was discovered in New York by long time talk show host and comic David Brenner. As Walker’s career exploded in the 1970’s Brenner, David Letterman and Jay Leno wrote for JJ. He was a regular at the Comedy Store in LA but was also part owner of the then new Improv on Melrose.

Jimmie’s career soared to the top in the 1970w with his smash hit, “Good Times.” Today it’s considered one of the all time classic sitcoms and is on daily all over the world.  Continue reading

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Hearne: Saying Something Nice About The Kansas City Star

i_love_you_star_by_little_mess-d3yy82jTis the season….

What better way to harness the holiday spirit than critique my former home-away-from-home, the Kansas City Star.

You may recall I let my subscription lapse last year before hopping back aboard last summer. The break allowed me to take a fresh look at the Star.

Not surprisingly, my first reaction was negative.

Tons of white space in the newspaper’s redesign but it just really work. By comparison to USA Today, for example, it looked amateurish and small town.

Maybe it was the editor’s failure to make good on the pledge of ramping up news coverage with more cutting edge investigative pieces. No small feat given that most of the investigative reporters had been axed or flew the coup.

Instead, readers continued to be fed a diet of day-old, filler national news and alongside boring local columnists like Mary Sanchez.

All of that said, things are looking up at 18th & Grand.

For starters, the lion’s share of the newspaper’s long-in-the-tooth Baby Boomer writers have bit the dust and are being replaced by younger reporters infusing the Star with fresh blood and ideas. Unfortunately, they’re still under the thumbs of old school editors, but at least things are starting to look up.

One positive improvement; they’re putting far sexier, more compelling headlines on the news shorts. Continue reading

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Glazer: Scribe Vows Never Again to Bash Alex Smith

scribeNo Super Bowl had the drama of last night’s OT, come from behind monster victory by our Kansas City Chiefs

Alex Smith, I want to apologize to you sir.

THIS IS YOUR TEAM NOW, WIN LOSE OR DRAW.

Smith who has been under fire by everyone, including me, was heroic last night. He never gave up when he had to do it and drive for scores. o

This is now and for this season Smith’s team.

The Chiefs now more than ever buy into the soul of Alex Smith. Yes, he can do it. Even if they don’t win the AFC, last night was one for the books. The hardest hitting game of our time.

In Mile High, where its hard to breath, the Chiefs outlasted, out defended and finally outscored the World Champs. This win puts them into the playoffs, a loss likely would have ended their season. They refused to lose.

I was simply delighted.

Now about Tyreek Hill…

Not since Gale Sayers in 1965 – over 50 years ago – has a player scored three touchdowns, a punt return, running and receiving TD.

Hill is now arguably the most dangerous weapon in the NFL. Continue reading

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Glazer: Scribe bashes Chiefs for QB Drafts & Makes This Week’s Picks

imagesSunday’s Denver game may decide the post season questions for both Denver and KC…

The two teams are fairly equal.

However the game being at Denver gives the Broncos an edge. More importantly is the poor play of Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith. As I’ve said,  mentioned he has played with some issues that are not his fault. Things like no Jeremy Maclin and an offensive line that is average at best.

And without a running game – which has slowed down – Smith is not the same. With his age and injuries he’s on the trending downside of his career.

The Chiefs need defensive help as well. Marcus Peters and Dee Ford are badly needed back on the field, Justin Houston needs to show up and be of value the rest of the season.

A loss to Denver dropping KC to  7-4 would likely knock out any chance to win the division. Oakland is 8-2 now. A win keeps them in the hunt.

Right now the Chiefs are playing simply for a wild card.

Their remaining games are all going to be tough – the Raiders, Chargers there, Broncos here, Titans, Falcons – we could lose many of those the way our offense has played all season.

And remember, our defense has been bend don’t break; we rank near the bottom in every defensive category, except turnovers. Without our defense stealing the football, we’d have another three losses now. Continue reading

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Jack Goes Confidential: Espionage Thriller ‘Behind Enemy Lines’

screen-shot-2016-11-24-at-6-03-45-amMR. AND MRS. SMITH it’s not

That said,  did ALLIED spell the end for BranJelina?

Was French siren Marion Cotillard the final straw?

Guess we’ll never know.

ALLIED is another World War II entry for Brad Pitt playing a Canadian intelligence officer who is assigned to a mission in Nazi-occupied French Morocco.

There he is teamed with French resistance fighter Cotillard posing as his wife.

Their mission is a success.

But their role playing soon gets overtaken by their own emotions and they, in fact, become real husband and wife.

Brad continues his undercover duties while Marion takes on motherhood.

But then the S*** hits the fan! Continue reading

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Jack Goes Confidential: Howard Hughes: Warren Beatty Style

rules-dont-apply-warren-beattyWarren Beatty

He’s still doing what he likes best—making movies.

And give the guy credit, for his latest project called RULES DON’T APPLY, he takes on an extra load by not only starring in the film but directing, producing and writing it.

It’s also quite obvious that Beatty was—and continues to be—fascinated by the bizarre world and lifestyle of Howard Hughes.

The story picks up in 1958 with Hughes still dealing with the business of TWA.

But his real love had turned to movie production at his very own RKO Studios.

Casting a forthcoming project Hughes picks an aspiring, church going actress from the Midwest who had never tasted Hollywood before.

She is played by Lily Collins, the daughter of Phil Collins. Continue reading

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Glazer: Scribe Dons Fat Pants, Braces for Chiefs Loss

5454nvy-w800h800z1-34999-fat-pants__02514_zoomI can’t believe that Thanksgiving is here already…

A preliminary to Xmas, we eat the same meal – turkey, gravy, stuffing, pumpkin pie – just add eggnog.

And we have three NFL games, day and night.

The Colts lost QB Andrew Luck, so a Steelers win is all but a sure thing.  However they are the road team and are a 9 point favorite. Sounds like a tease game with Dallas. The Cowboys are the best team in the NFL at 9-1 and play at home against a good Washington Redskins team.

But if we tease those two games it’s Dallas -1 instead of -7 and Steelers – 3 instead of the 9.

The early game today is Detroit at home vs. the Vikings at -2 – tough call, but I like the Lions.

The Chiefs don’t play until Sunday night against the Denver Broncos, last year’s Super Bowl Champs minus Peyton Manning.

The Broncos are a three loss team and in second place behind  Oakland. The Chiefs fell to 7-3 with an upset loss last week to the Buc’s. So this game may be a make it or break it for KC and Alex Smith.

Smith stunk last week and has not played well all year. Our defense makes plays, but without Dee Ford and Marcus Peters, a win is unlikely. My guess is Peters plays, and Dee Ford is a question mark.

The offense needs injured wide out Jeremy Maclin back. He’s Smith’s safety valve receiver. Without him Smith seems lost.

Continue reading

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Hearne: Memo to Star: Gusewelle Was No Hemingway

screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-3-39-54-pmLet’s talk about Kansas City’s inferiority complex…

We all know KC’S a great placed to live with the amenities and comforts of a major metropolitan area sans the big city headaches of traffic and crime.

Still everybody who’s anybody – from politicians to business bigwigs to members of the local media – insist on blowing things out of proportion to convince people we’re not just a bunch of flyover losers.

You know the drill.

We claim we draw 300,000 people were at the Plaza Lighting Ceremony when only 20,000 or so showed up. That the Kansas City Royals’ World Series celebration drew 800,000 as opposed to the approximately 150,000 who were actually there.

The latest bit of bombast: Star editor Mike Fannin’s over-the-top eulogy to former columnist Charles Gusewelle.

“Kansas City journalism has lost one of its greatest voices,” Fannin wrote. “We lived vicariously through his columns and travels. He was our Hemingway, and his work is there to be discovered by generations of new fans. We will never forget him or his beautiful words.”

Hold it right there…

Likening schmaltz meister Gusewelle to Nobel Prize winning novelist Ernest Hemingway?

Talk about over the top.

I mean they both did work at the Star – Hemingway for however many months and Gueswelle forever…

Seriously though, Gusewelle was an eccentric octogenarian who had a way with words when it came to the craft of writing. What he didn’t have was much of interest or significance to say about anything much outside of pets and about the simple or cranky things in life in and around Kansas City.

Check it.

“That’s ridiculous hyperbole,” quips local businessman and KCC columnist Dwight Sutherland. “ Ernest Hemingway is Kansas City’s Ernest Hemingway. Ernest Hemingway put Kansas City on the map as far as literature is concerned.

“Gusewelle was a good writer but he was very politically correct and preachy and he got more and more strident as time went on. On a scale of one to ten compared to Hemingway, Gusewelle was a two at best. And that’s being generous.” Continue reading

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Lefsetz: Are the NFL’s Glory Days Behind It?

xoxoThe story is that the Presidential election is hurting NFL ratings…

However the “Walking Dead” won Sunday night. Turns out zombies trump overdeveloped men when they go head to head.

This has been a long time coming.

That’s the story of the 21st Century, the decimation of old paradigms. What once was, no longer will be.

In an era of experiences, where everyone wants to participate, be up close and personal, football is a bad fit.

You can’t get a good seat and even if you do the game is better at home.

A game that those who play it say the public can’t truly understand. One with very little action where so many men get hurt that nobody wants their kids to play anymore.

This is a recipe for success?

But we kept hearing that live television was everything, sports ruled and football was king.

Until cord-cutting began… Continue reading

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Glazer: Can’t We All Just Get Along, Scribe Wonders

Craig (far left), Nicci (far right)

Craig (far left), Nicci (far right)

Seriously, this is some crazy shit…

Donald Trump is  not my president, say millions of people. Well, guess what? He’s totally your president. You know, like he won. Duh.

I was among the first in our local media to predict that Trump would get the nomination and possibly win it all. Yes, I was upset with some of his comments, but always said  that in real life perms, he had no real baggage. No Benghazi, no File Gate, no actual political scandals or skeletons in his closet like Hillary Clinton.

I did think it was an uphill battle towards the end and likely a Hillary win, but I always said that Trump had a slugger’s chance. And he of course pulled it off. Remember all the comments here saying he had zero shot! Remember how smug Harley was?

OMG, now many of my best friends who knew I was for Trump are all so pissed at me.

One of my very best pals was telling me Trump was not my president the other day and when I said, le’ts see what he does before we start hating on him, he HUNG UP ON ME!

Wow.

The feelings are that strong.

Even my stripper ex girlfriend, Nicci, who works now as a hair stylist at the Legends and wanted to go out with me again, texted me on election night that we no longer can be friends after I texted her the Donald had won. WTF?.

Being a Trump fan isn’t easy, huh?

Few writers here on any of the blogs I look at or the KC Star were behind Trump. Yet he won pretty easily as it turned out.

So somebody apparently liked him. Continue reading

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Glazer: Scribe Sickened by Chiefs QB Alex Smith, Coach Andy Reid

777When your offense is last in the NFL in picking up 3rd downs, your defense is near last in defending the pass and run, guess what?

You’re no Super Bowl contender – not at all.

Bring on TONY ROMO, PLEASE!

Chiefs’ QB Alex Smith is a nice guy.

He’s managed the team on a B level at best and now that has fallen. He can no longer throw deep. His kinda bomb to Tyreek Hill in the second quarter should have been a touchdown. Hill had his guy beat by 5 plus yards, but the 40 yard semi bomb was short and Hill had to come back to it.

Result: No touchdown, just a catch.

The Andy Reid call at the close of second half with the Chiefs at the Tampa 4 yard line and goal to go…let’s see we just had Travis Kelce out with a leg injury – he just returned to the game – hey, let’s do a jet sweep with Travis.

Really.

The play lost 7 yards and no touchdown. Now the Chiefs had to settle for a field goal. Good call, Andy.

And how about that smart punt? Down 12-10, Reid decided to punt instead of trying a go ahead field goal that was makeable at 54 yards. Our kicker has been outstanding of late. Nope, we punt and then Tampa moves the ball at will, as they did all day. Continue reading

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New Jack City: (Hold) The Envelope. Please…….

jjjIt’s that time again. The movie awards season has arrived…

* The Golden Globe nominations will be announced on December 12.

* Golden Globe awards night is January 8.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

* Oscar nominations will be announced on January 24.

* Oscar awards night is February 26.

So how do the races stack up right now?

Let’s just stick with ‘Best Picture’ potentials at this point.

While many of the possible main contenders may not open here until mid to late December (or January) they will have qualified via early L.A. and New York runs.

Besides that the studios have set up advance critics screenings.

The way it stacks up to me right now, here are the 10 motion pictures that could make up this year’s BEST PICTURE category in the 89th annual Academy Awards. Continue reading

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Glazer: Scribe Saddles Back Up, Comments & All

cccKU Football finally made some noise…

Kansas upset the mighty Texas 24-21 in overtime. It wasn’t pretty, but a major college upset is a major college upset. I understand its been like 80 – 1938 – years since KU beat the Longhorns!

Kansas State rolled over Baylor 42-21 to insure a decent post season bowl, but no, not a final four. That likely goes to the Big 12 Champ Oklahoma in a couple weeks. The Sooners are on fire.

Mizzou got spanked as usual. In the end it’s like I said on Day One:

Nobody really matters among area college football teams, but K-State will get a mid level bowl game. Continue reading

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Stomper: Voice of Reason in a Sea of Post Trump Hyperbole

screen-shot-2016-11-18-at-8-02-41-pmFor all the abuse that Harley dumped on Dwight, writing the below piece had to feel good…

For those like myself who have a bit of a KCC addiction, the inability to comment for the past two weeks has been tortuous.  I typed up a long comment to post on Paul’s piece written prior to the election but was unable to.  I did call Paul to discuss and he put Harley on a short list of those he thinks hacked the site.

Whatever…

I hope Hearne can get this resolved as there are a lot of us regulars would like to continue to opine on the reasons for the election outcome.

I appreciate Dwight not dragging me over the coals like he did Harley even though I deserved it and would readily admit it (if I was able to comment).

For the past few months a few of the more liberal members of my high school class have shared articles and individual musings on the pre-election situation and now post election.

Depression reigns among the four of us.  I may even be the most accepting of the four.

The Donald will soon be our president and I wish him success.  Continue reading

Posted in Stomper | 14 Comments

Sutherland: How Wrong Can You Get, Harley?

FYI Craig and Stomper: This is NOT Harley

FYI Craig and Stomper: This is NOT Harley

I have never claimed to be omniscient in political matters…

Although politics is my spectator sport, which I follow the way many people do football, basketball, or baseball. There are just too many wild cards, too many variables that can upset even the most predictable of election outcomes.

So imagine my delight last week when our resident political genius at KC Confidential fell flat on his keister. I’m referring, of course, to the one and only Harley the Great, Harley the Magnificent, Harley of The Midas Touch.

It never seems to have occurred to the H-man that “Pride Goeth Before A Fall” or that it is best to gloat about the outcome of a contested event (e.g. an election, an athletic contest, a lawsuit) after it’s over. No matter how confident you are going in.

I could not have written a better script for an after-school television special on the dangers of bragging aimed at young viewers than what the Harlinator has offered up.

Consider the Following classic quotes:

“It’s Hillary all the way! The start of many consecutive Democratic presidents.” 12-2-15

“Hillary in a landslide!” 12-5-15

“That connotates (sic) into a huge landslide.” 6-18-16

“No Southy!… The campaign is going great just sitting back, enjoying the fun election, knowing Hillary wins.” 7-30-16

“WORD: GET USED TO MADAME PRESIDENT.” 9-8-16

“You come back on and see how Harley was right!” 9-27-16 Continue reading

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Glazer: Scribe Waxes Nostalgic for 2016 Holiday Season

It's a Wonderful Life (1946) Directed by Frank Capra Shown: (top l to r): Thomas Mitchell, Donna Reed, James Stewart, Karolyn Grimes (ZuZu), Sarah Edwards (Mrs. Hatch), Beulah Bondi - (bottom l to r) Carol Coombs (Janie), Jimmy Hawkins (Tommy), Larry Simms (Peter)

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

Once again, Thanksgiving and Christmas are back by popular demand…

Some of the folks that read this site have seen more go by than might lie ahead.

That’s life.

When you’re young it seems like growing up, having a car, making money, being in love, were all forever away. Then you awake one day and so much of life has already been lived. You worry about today, the bills, health issues, making a living, families past and present, were we’re going. It’s a time to reflect on where we are and where we have been – the long traveled road.

It’s a much different world today than the one we grew up in back in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s even.

For me it’s about all those sweet yesterdays and the pain and joy of living life.

Like so many of us, I think of wow, what might have been with some better decisions back in the days gone by. Why did I choose so many different roads? Maybe we all think that way.

Man, if I’d bought that stock or that small property, married a different girl, chosen a different profession, on and on. However, I think it’s better to reflect on what we did that worked, the life we’ve lived. Because it’s not coming background again.

Man, had someone told me when I was 13, “Hey Craig, you’re gonna go to school in Arizona, will live an early life as an outlaw, later a special agent with a badge, then you’ll own nightclubs, move to Hollywood, produce some movies, work with Muhammed Ali, meet and know hundreds of film and tv stars, date tons of smoking hot women, own a major comedy club in Kansas City, live a wild life… and oh, by the way, you will also go to prison, and not complete all your dreams – I’d have thought, wow, that sounds amazing.

Sure I’ve had been many tough years, scary times, unrest in my family, a failed marriage, made a number of wrong choices, but that’s life. We all have somewhat the same types of memories in different ways.

I guess in my darker moments I look back on the ones that were shinning and full of joy.

The wins not the loses. Continue reading

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Jack Goes Confidential: ‘The Edge Of Seventeen’— New Coming-of-Age Classic!

the-edge-of-seventeenBet you wish Hollywood still produced those great coming-of-age dramedies John Hughes served up in the late 1980’s…

Who can forget the likes of SIXTEEN CANDLES and THE BREAKFAST CLUB.

Well, there’s good news and bad news.

The bad news is growing up hasn’t gotten any easier.

Despite that the good news is a NEW dramedy, THE EDGE OF SEVENTEEN, ranks right up there with Hughes’ best and could very well qualify as a future classic in the genre.

What we’ve got here is an honest, candid, often hilarious look at what it’s really like to grow up as a young woman today.

And let me just tell you that Hailee Steinfeld, who so impressed in the 2010 remake of TRUE GRIT, truly shines in this well written, acted and directed film that asks the question: “You’re only young once—Is it over yet?”

Steinfeld plays 17 year old Nadine Byrd, a beyond miserable, awkward high schooler who fits in with no one, hates everyone, hates everything—hates life.

Making matters worse, her one friend Krista catches Nadine’s brother’s eye which now leaves her completely in the dust.

If there is one bright spot in her life it’s her history teacher and adopted counselor Mr. Bruner played brilliantly by Woody Harrelson who almost steals the movie.

But it’s Steinfeld who nails it! Continue reading

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Paul Wilson: Sorry Harley, Box Sales Dude Rules!

landslidecxylatbumaeqvijIn the wide world of Internet bugaboos, Paul Wilson’s insightful pre election predictions went unheralded…until now:

Here’s my final prediction for tomorrow’s election outcome.

The IBD/TIPP poll has always been my favorite and most reliable poll. It scored the Obama election to the exact number. Today they have Trump up by 2 points. The USC/LA Times poll  shows Trump up by 5.

If Trump takes Ohio, NC and Florida, he wins. And Trump is winning or within 1 point in all three.

Mitt Romney and his magic underwear lost in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico. Trump is within spitting distance in each of those states and could win all of them.

I’ll stick with my forecast of eight weeks ago; Trump will win the popular vote by a landslide. But I’ll now add the he will eek out the Electoral College by 2-5 points max.

Where is the delta between the poll results and what will be the election results? How will he go from how it looks tonight and turn it into a win tomorrow? Continue reading

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Jack Goes Confidential: Disingenuous ‘ARRIVAL’ a Complex Inter-Species Encounter

maxresdefaultI’ve seen the television commercials for ARRIVAL…

Complete with quickly edited hints of an alien invasion and the world in a state of panic.

The end of the world as we know it?

I was ready for another CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND. Or SIGNS. Or WAR OF THE WORLDS.

That was before last week’s screening.

What I got instead was a CONTACT-like mind bender.

Not much blowing up or aliens trying to do us in. Definitely not your typical, popcorn invasion thriller.

Nope.

ARRIVAL is a complex and compelling approach to the old “Them-Against-Us” concept.

It stars Amy Adams as a linguistics professor who had to deal with the loss of her daughter.

And when a dozen strangely shaped alien spacecraft suddenly dock in locations around the globe, Army colonel Forest Whitaker seeks her out to help decipher any messages these strangers may want us to consume.

The nearest space vehicle has touched down in Montana…

Imagine that.

That’s where Adams along with physicist Jeremy Renner try to decipher the ins and outs of this rather peaceful invasion.

What they find inside the spaceship and how they communicate with its inhabitants is most unusual to say the least—not to mention thought-provoking. Continue reading

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