Category: Popular Culture

Jacob Tremblay, Child Actor

The Canadian child actor Jacob Tremblay delivers performance of such naturalness and transparency that we forget he’s a kid. His work made us weep in two current movies, “Wonder,” in which he plays a boy with a birth defect (Mom: Julia Roberts), and the extraordinary and moving “The Book of Henry” (Mom: Naomi Watts), in which...

Get a Job

“Get a job, sir!” That’s the advice given to Jeff “the Dude” Lebowski by another person named Lebowski, the Big Lebowski, a patently successful achiever who lives in a mansion filled with commendations and photos with important people like Nancy Reagan, when she was First Lady — of the United States, not California. The Dude...

Judah Friedlander’s “America is the Greatest Country in the United States”

Like their ancestor the King’s jester, modern comedians have implicit license to express out loud what many think but few are permitted to say. The best stand-up comics are truth-tellers. Their magic is to get you to laugh at the truth instead of cry. In his new special, “America is the Greatest Country in the...

The War on Christmas

The War on Christmas is not a fictional narrative promulgated by not-very-bright demagogues and lazy journalists. The War on Christmas is real. For several years now, we’ve witnessed an orchestrated, elaborately planned assault on one of our country’s top-four most important holidays. The malefactors behind this outrage remain unknown, though we suspect in our gut...

Drennon Davis

DJ Yeah is an alligator with a very limited vocabulary: he can say one word. Drennon Davis is the comedian, musician, potential genius with one hand up the gator’s butt and the other on a mixing/looping machine. Davis also performs as himself — and no matter the persona he embodies, he’s consistently funny, embracing the fine line...

Pizza Protest

Finally, what many of us long suspected has been categorically confirmed. No, not that the Democratic primary was rigged by the Clintons and their vassals at the DNC, rendering the millions of us who contributed to and volunteered for Bernie Sanders into suckers at a carnival midway trying to knock down milk bottles nailed to...

Grimy Ghost

Once-a-month, the “underground  comedy show” Comedy Sucks pops up in Hollywood at the Nerdist Showroom. The host, Scott Black, is funny and engaging, and the young and mostly unknown comedians he presents support the show’s title only about half the time. The element that keeps us attending every month are absurdly hilarious video montages created by the...

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

The National Theatre (UK) production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, now playing at the Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles, introduces two new stars to area theatergoers. The first is Adam Langdon, a recent Julliard graduate, who plays Christopher, a 15 year-old autistic boy conducting an investigation into the eponymous incident. He’s sensational, from the...

The Aversive Clause

Subscribers to literary journals and supports of indie presses know that the short story is enjoying a literary renaissance. The form is alive and well — thriving, actually. We could list dozens of writers currently creating masterful, indelible work. One of these bright young lights is B.C. Edwards, whose debut collection “The Aversive Clause” illustrates...

A Cure for Wellness

The modern horror movie typically involves copious amounts of spilled blood and tortured screaming. The old-fashioned scary movie, on the other hand, involves few on-screen glimpses of violence and loads of tension-producing psychology. Think Hitchcock. “A Cure for Wellness” belongs in this second category. Manned by Gore Verbinski, on vacation from overseeing the “Pirates of...