Bill Murray

Surprise! Cameron Crowe’s ‘Aloha’ Isn’t a Catastrophe

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Public service announcement: Cameron Crowe’s new film Aloha features a party scene where Emma Stone and Bill Murray dance to Hall & Oates’ “I Can’t Go For That,” and if you (like me) are the kind of person who finds the promise of such a scene utterly delightful, let me assure you that it lives up to that promise. It’s a scene of sheer movie-star pleasure that pretty much stops the film for about three minutes; it doesn’t really move the plot (or even, in retrospect, make much narrative sense), but it feels like something Crowe had to put in, for the simple reason that he couldn’t not put it in. Maybe a more disciplined filmmaker would’ve resisted that temptation, but if we’ve learned anything about Cameron Crowe, it’s that he’s not terribly disciplined, which can be both a blessing and a curse. It seems your correspondent likes Aloha more than much of the critical community (to say nothing of the studio releasing it), but your enjoyment will hinge greatly on your level of tolerance for Mr. Crowe’s indulgences.
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No Collar Victory: David Letterman’s Goodbye to Late Night

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The lead-in to David Letterman’s goodbye to television was a mercilessly long Survivor special that concluded a season of experimental class warfare. Pitched as a battle between “white collar,” “no collar,” and “blue collar” contestants, the show canceled itself out predictably in the middle. While watching dutifully, I couldn’t help but wonder if this new Survivor, with its “no collar” victory, was nothing but a pale simulation of David Letterman’s 33-year-long “no collar victory” — his everyman’s war of attrition against all competitors in late night television.
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