It's late All Hallows Eve, and here be Wall-E, two witches, and a rock star, all safely tucked in bed now.
My granddaughters are the two on the right, their friend in the middle, and the amazing Wall-E costume hand crafted by my youngest for his son out of cardboard, paper and aluminum foil. The arms move. The front opens and the loot bag emerges. He was quite a hit on this beautiful fall night.
But for the cold nights ahead, I give you a couple of recommendations and ask for yours in return. First a DVD. "Leaves of Grass" must have moved in and out of the theaters like a hummingbird. We snatched it up the day it came out. Enthusiastic thumbs up from both the Indian cowboy and me, and that's unusual with a comedy. After the movie we played the bonus features, and Clyde googled on the laptop. Discovered the move grossed $68,000 at the box office. Sad, especially when you think about some of the poor excuses for movies that are making money.
And the talent in this one--Edward Norton, Susan Sarandon, Richard Dreyfuss and Tim Blake Nelson--is top notch. The minute Clyde saw Nelson, who played his favorite character, Delmar, in "O Brother, Where Art Thou," he was hooked. Turns out Nelson wrote and directed "Leaves Of Grass." But it's Edward Norton who brings this one home with his portrayal of identical twins as you've never seen it done before. Watching him play off himself, you'll swear there's been some cloning. Bill is the Ivy League classics professor who has done everything he can to divorce himself from his rural Oklahoma roots. Brother Brady is a genius, too. He takes his grass growing very seriously.
But this is not a Cheech and Chong-type comedy. Nelson has worked on numerous Coen brothers projects, and this one has a bit of a "Fargo" flavor to it. Apparently Nelson wrote the screenplay with Norton in mine, and he says in the interview that "there was no second choice." Norton is a favorite of mine, and he's great in this flick, which is downright funny.
Next, for your reading pleasure, I recommend COWBOYS NEVER CRY by Tina Welling. I read this one in advance, and my endorsement is quoted on the back cover. A good contemporary Western romance is hard to find these days, especially in single title. This is the second book I've read and enjoyed by this relatively new author.
The young widow of a mountain climber, takes a summer job on a dude ranch near Jackson Hole, where she meets and locks horns with the owner's son, a disillusioned and erstwhile self-destructive movie star. He's cool and cocky, but he's just out of rehab and still rocky. She's no shrinking violet, but putting her life back together has been a struggle, both emotionally and financially. Welling is a skilled writer, and she knows how to bring characters to life and tug at the heart strings. Good stuff.
It's comin' on cocooning time. What's the best book you've read lately? How about the best movie? Give me some titles to put on my list.