The best of Dustin Hoffman

The most Methodic of Method actors, Dustin Hoffman has a small oeuvre compared to Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep, and Gene Hackman. “You have to be willing to be ugly,” he bragged in a promo interview for the release of Little Big Man (not listed below because I haven’t watched it since high school). TheContinue reading “The best of Dustin Hoffman”

Ranking #40 singles, U.S. edition: 1979-1989

. This was fun: a decade’s worth of famous and not-famous songs that never crossed beyond the chart’s most agonizing position. My top ranker had it particularly bad: because it peaked on the first week of January 1988 when the charts froze for the new year, Casey Kasem never said “The Cure” or “Friday I’mContinue reading “Ranking #40 singles, U.S. edition: 1979-1989”

The best of Meryl Streep

For twenty years she was RoboStreep, able to mimic accents and the colorings of humans stunning accuracy — a figure of fun, especially during her eighties run when except for Out of Africa a Meryl Streep Picture, like Gucci or Greer Garson, signified respectability: dinner before a movie, a kiss before a grope, that sortContinue reading “The best of Meryl Streep”

Ranking #1 albums, UK edition: 1984

In a way the comps beginning to top the UK charts tell the complete story. The double disc The Hits Album has minimal fat, and for all our jingoistic prattle about American soul and funk behold The S.O.S. Band’s “Just Be Good to Me, Miami Sound Machine’s “Dr. Beat,” and Sister Sledge’s “Lost in Music,”Continue reading “Ranking #1 albums, UK edition: 1984”

Ranking #1 albums, UK edition: 1983

A good year for albums, a great one for singles, the UK album chart of 1983 finds the former isolates of New Pop ascendant. Spandau Ballet, Culture Club, Duran Duran, Paul Young — here’s your Live Aid right here. The Final Cut: Roger Waters created a tangible sense of menace deeper than Sting’s exertions, theContinue reading “Ranking #1 albums, UK edition: 1983”

‘Don’t let political correctness get in the way of health choices’

On the same day conservative talk show hosts and the likes of Michael Flynn called Ron DeSantis a sellout for having the temerity to stress the importance of vaccinations, the Florida governor stuck with the script we have seen him perform since March 2020:

Ranking #1 albums, U.K. edition: 1982

A year of surprises. I did not expect Dire Straits to impress me more than The Jam. In The Number of the Beast, I discovered a metal album as fresh as Motörhead’s. None are great, to be clear, but I hear in even a pinched luddite like Mark Knopfler an attempt to accept that theContinue reading “Ranking #1 albums, U.K. edition: 1982”