Jim Nantz is still boring, but at least he sacked up and admitted he was wrong in trashing the addition of four Missouri Valley Conference teams to the NCAA tournament.
Billy Packer: still an asshole.
This week marked the release of Chuck Norris' first major film in a decade. THE CUTTER was filmed in Spokane, Washington with director William Tannen (who helmed Chuck's HERO AND THE TERROR for Cannon) and an interesting cast of B-level performers. I suspect Nu Image is chasing Norris' middle-aged target audience with this one, 'cause I think Dean Cochran in a short bit as a comic-relief lawyer might be the only cast member under 40.
Chuck is John Shepherd, a private detective hired by Elizabeth Teller (Joanna Pacula) to find her elderly uncle Isaac (Bernie Kopell from THE LOVE BOAT and GET SMART!). The expert diamond cutter has been kidnapped to work on a pair of spectacular gems swiped from an archeological dig in the Sinai by Dirk (martial arts star Daniel Bernhardt), an assassin and master of disguise in the employ of Nazi war criminal Steerman (Curt Lowens, essaying his 93rd Nazi role), who murdered Isaac's family in Auschwitz. Also in the cast are Nu Image regular Todd Jensen, Marshall Teague (who played the heavy in both the first and last episodes of WALKER, TEXAS RANGER), Tracy Scoggins (looking good in her 50s) and executive producer Aaron Norris as a hitman.
Norris was 65 when he shot THE CUTTER, but was working hard to fool the audience into believing he's younger. Sporting an ill-colored hairpiece and what appears to be a face that's seen a knife or two, Norris is as stiff as ever as a performer and a martial artist. It's pretty obvious that he isn't much of a fighter anymore, even with brother Aaron and son Eric, the stunt coordinator, looking out for his best interests. Outside of the cast (I mean, really, who would have thought to cast the LOVE BOAT doctor as an elderly concentration camp survivor), THE CUTTER is pretty routine, about on the same level as a late-season WALKER episode. Tannen's hackneyed direction does the movie no favors, because the ingredients for a better picture are there. It's okay, but strictly for Chuck's fans.
Last night, I finally caught GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK. (yes, the title has both a comma and a period). It's a very good movie that perhaps portrays legendary CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow (an excellent David Strathairn) as too much of a saint, but director/co-star (as Murrow's executive producer Fred Friendly) George Clooney plays fair with the facts if you pay enough attention. Any movie that portrays the downfall of Senator McCarthy is okay in my book anyway, but Clooney sharply and succinctly captures the smoky, hectic atmosphere of high-stress broadcast journalism and the righteous stance Murrow and Friendly (and, at least somewhat, CBS president William Paley) took against McCarthy's cruel bullying. Make no mistake: Joe McCarthy was a major-league prick. Murrow did not play as great a role in McCarthy's downfall as some critics have inferred from GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK, but, really, McCarthy's biggest enemy was himself, and as soon as the sweaty, paranoid baboon was exposed as a naked emperor, his days of power were numbered.
"The Meanest Guy That Ever Lived"--Jack Palance!!
"Mary's House"--4 Non Blondes
"It's OK"--Beach Boys
"The Disco Kid"--First Class
Theme from THE RAT PATROL--Dominic Frontiere
"Big Town Boy"--Shirley Matthews
"Electric Sox and All"--Mason
"Bamboo Birdcage"--Lalo Schifrin from ENTER THE DRAGON
"The Kilaaks' Essence"--Akira Ifukube from DESTROY ALL MONSTERS
"Der Zinker"--Peter Thomas
"You've Got Me Dangling on a String"--Chairmen of the Board
"Dont' Lose Your Mind"--Galaxies IV
"Homeward Bound"--Space Farm
"Carrie Anne"--The Hollies