I had the pleasure of interviewing Peter Atkins, the man who wrote Hellraiser II, Hellraiser III, Hellraiser: Bloodline, and Wishmaster. We talked about his work on the Hellraiser franchise, including the 30th anniversary of Hellraiser III, the upcoming Hulu movie, and the HBO TV series. We also talked about what it was like working with two masters of horror: Clive Barker and Wes Craven. Peter shared his thoughts with me on Doug Bradley, Nightbreed, his books, including his new release this fall, and much more. We spoke for three hours, so grab some popcorn, kick back, and enjoy our conversation. You can watch the full interview below.Continue reading
HBO recently released its two-part, four-hour George Carlin documentary, which is excellent, and it got me in the mood to listen to several audiobooks by and about George. The first I’m going to review is Seven Dirty Words: The Life and Crimes of George Carlin by James Sullivan. Read on for my thoughts on this book.Continue reading
George Carlin’s American Dream is a two-part, four-hour Judd Apatow HBO documentary about the greatest comedian that ever lived: George Carlin. Should you watch it? Read on for my thoughts.Continue reading
Over the weekend, I watched King Richard. Currently available for a limited time on HBO Max, this movie stars Will Smith as the father of Venus and Serena Williams. Is it any good? Read on for my thoughts.Continue reading
This September Jean Smart turns 70, and 2021 is one of the greatest years in her illustrious career. Not only did she play a phenomenal role as the mother of Kate Winslet’s character in HBO’s Marre of Easttown, an exquisitely crafted crime drama replete with dark humor unpredictable twists — but she’s also absolutely killing it as Deborah Vance in Hacks, an HBO Max Original. The last couple episodes of Hacks were released today, and two days ago the show got renewed for a second season. If you haven’t watched Hacks yet, please do. Read on for my thoughts on this tremendous new comedy.Continue reading
Tina Turner is the greatest female rock and roll singer of all time. At 81-years-old she has touched the lives of millions of people the world over with her music and life story. That wonderful music and inspirational tale are the centerpiece of the new documentary entitled Tina on HBO Max.Continue reading
Five years ago, today, the smartest man I ever met died: George Carlin. No one has made me laugh harder or think more critically. He was a comedic genius and a modern-day philosopher that left an indelible mark on my life. I’ll always smile – and laugh – when I think of George.
The first comedy special of his I saw was You Are All Diseased. Below is a terrific clip from that show about society’s fear of germs. Enjoy!Continue reading
Behind the Candelabra is the best film I’ve seen this year. Going into it I knew practically nothing about Liberace other than that he was a campy, closeted pianist from years gone by. The moment I saw one of my favorite actors – Scott Bakula – in the beginning of the movie, I knew I was in for something special. Behind the Candelabra is filled with shocking moments that I don’t want to spoil. But at its focal point is a love story between Liberace and Scott Thorson.
The music in the film was outstanding. While he may be remembered for his over-the-top outfits and larger-than-life personality, Liberace was a tremendous pianist. Michael Douglas, who should win an award for his role in this movie, did a fantastic job of portraying Liberace’s musicals talents and passion for the business. The songs that appear in the movie run the gamut, everything from “Begin the Beguine” to “The Impossible Dream.” It’s a musical feast for the ears.
Douglas was also phenomenal when it came to conveying how insecure and self-centered Liberace was. Matt Damon, who played Liberace’s love interest, Scott Thorson, was equally compelling. His emotional – and physical – transformation from the start of the film to the end was both shocking and heartbreaking.
The stellar supporting cast included Rob Lowe as a frightening doctor, Dan Aykroyd as Liberace’s manager and an unidentifiable Debbie Reynolds as Liberace’s mother, Frances. The chemistry between all of these actors and actresses helped bring this fascinating story to life in a way that kept me glued to the screen the entire time.
Visually, Behind the Candelabra was a gorgeous movie. Steven Soderbergh’s skillful direction resulted in a film filled with vibrancy. Not only did it do a wonderful job of highlighting the different years of the story through visuals and music, but having the chance to see Liberace’s opulent lifestyle was breathtaking.
I can’t say enough good things about this movie. It opened my eyes to Liberace’s musical talent, as well as his infatuation with young men and himself. But despite all his flaws, I wound up caring about his fate at the end of the film. The most moving interaction involved Michael Douglas and Matt Damon in the final 15 minutes of movie; it was so good that I watched the scene a second time before finishing the film. And what made it so good was the fact that the feelings these two individuals had for each other was palpable. In a cinematic world filled with superficial dialogue and paper-thin characters, this was no small feat.
Behind the Candelabra was an excellent movie about an extremely talented man. I recommend you stop what you’re doing and watch this film right away; it’s a riveting tale that you won’t soon forget.
Below is the trailer for Behind the Candelabra and a look at how the film was made.