retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Assuming that everything is going on schedule, as you read this I'm under anesthesia, getting a combination colonoscopy/endoscopy. (If I were awake, I'd probably feel like a goat on a spit...)

I just hope MNB makes sense this morning, since I've been working on it while simultaneously going through colonoscopy prep. It is hard to get any writing momentum going when there is all sorts of other momentum taking place. If you get my meaning.



A couple of movies to mention this week...

Allied is an interesting, romantic thriller of a World War II movie, directed by Robert Zemeckis, about a pair of spies who first find themselves fighting Nazis in Casablanca, fall in love, and then move back to England, where the wife is suspected of actually being a Nazi spy.

The movie has classic ambitions; why else would it start out in "Casablanca"? And Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard bring some old fashioned movie star glamour to their roles. And I have to say that I liked much of the movie, if only because it appealed to my yearning for adult movies without superheroes or comic book characters.

It isn't great, though. I kept thinking that if Alfred Hitchcock had directed Allied, it would've starred Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman, and probably would've been about 20 minutes shorter and a helluva lot sharper. I can't recommend it, but there are worse ways to spend a couple of hours.




I also saw Moana, the new Disney animated movie the other day, and while I enjoyed it in the moment, I also found it to be unmemorable. It's no The Lion King. I have absolutely no memory of any other songs from Moana, and I can still warble "Hakuna Matata" from time to time in the shower. (Which is sort of amazing, since some of the songs are by Lin-Manuel Miranda of "Hamilton" fame.)

There are two very good things about Moana, though. First, it features a female lead character who is Polynesian ... which is a positive cultural step forward. And second, it demonstrates that Dwayne Johnson, who voices (including the singing) the character of the demigod Maui, can pretty much do anything.




If you have not watched "Westworld" on HBO the past nine Sundays, I urge you to catch up in time for this Sunday's season finale. "Westworld" is a sophisticated meditation on the old Michael Crichton movie about a theme park where robot hosts entertain human customers, by way of the old Patrick McGoohan "The Prisoner" TV series. It asks relevant questions about the nature of humanity, and is consistently and provocatively entertaining. And, it features some wonderful performances - Thandie Newton is a revelation, Evan Rachel Wood and Jeffrey Wright are terrific, and Anthony Hopkins is ... well, he's got yet another indelible character to add to his resume.

I can't wait for Sunday night. And I'm already looking forward to Season Two.




That's it for this week. Have a great weekend, and I'll see you Monday. (Assuming I survive the colonoscopy...)

Slàinte!
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