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SOUTH HAMPTON - During last year’s interview with executive producer Josh Mills about The Ernie Kovacs Collection, I asked if there was more great Kovacs moments in the vault. He said yes. Now with the release of The Ernie Kovacs Collection, Volume 2, there’s another 3 DVDs featuring the pioneer of TV weirdness and a bonus DVD if you order from Shout! Factory’s website. The previous collection gave an overview of Kovac’s TV career that started in the ’50s and ended with his death in 1962. Volume 2 focuses on his NBC morning show, the gameshow Take A Good Look and TV pilot with a legend of silent film.

The set’s executive producer Josh Mills is the son of Edie Adams. Edie is Ernie’s widow. She married photographer Martin Mills in 1964 and Josh was born a few years later. Josh has control over the vault of Ernie’s shows that Edie rescued from various networks. When we spoke on the phone, Josh was on Long Island dealing with the Hurricane Sandy damage to a relative’s house. But even the lack of power didn’t reduce the electricity of talking about the second helping of Kovacs.

Josh and curator Ben Model narrowed the material used on Volume 2. The big focus of the set was 8 episodes of Ernie’s mid-morning show that aired on NBC in 1956. Ernie was far from conventional even in such a normal time slot with a normal studio audience at 30 Rock. He didn’t have guests or cooking segments. He’d have an opening chat about a current event and then break into strange sketches. The closest TV has come to this level of weirdness was when NBC killed their gameshows to give David Letterman a 90 minute show in the summer of 1980. Coincidentally both shows had Bill Wendell serve as announcer. Letterman is a child of Kovacs.

“Letterman was great on the first set he gave us a great quote about Ernie and had my mom on his show,” Josh said. Merill Markoe, head writer for Dave’s morning show and Late Night, told John how vital Ernie was on Dave’s view of TV. “When they were first coming up with The Late Night show, they would go over to the Museum of Broadcasting and watch a lot of the stuff.” Merill appears in the American Cinematique Panel discussion featured on the boxset to testify about the impact Kovacs had on TV comedy.

The strange part of Ernie’s adventure in morning TV is the studio audience that seemed too normal for Ernie’s warped fun. How many were confused when Ernie broke out a puppet show? How many thought they were on Candid Camera?

“My mom said that Ernie never really liked having a (studio) audience,” Josh said. “It was not really meant for an audience. He did radio before television, but it wasn’t like he was transitioning a radio show into a television show. He was saying, let’s try something different. How did he realize that this was going to work? There was no precedent for it. He came up with a crazy idea and said, ‘Let’s try it and see if it happens.’ That’s what I like about the morning shows. If it doesn’t work he goes, ‘It didn’t’ happen. Let’s move on to the next thing.’”

Ernie wasn’t about entertaining a large audience in a room. At the height of Ernie’s popularity, he landed a gig with Edie at the Tropicana. Ernie loved to gamble. It seemed like a perfect place. Edie had a performance background as an actress and singer. “My mom would say to him, ‘You got to play bigger. You got to hit the back of the audience.’ He didn’t know how to do that. He wasn’t a stand up. He didn’t do vaudeville. He wasn’t someone comfortable on the state. He was happy in his own little world creating for the guy in his living room watching in his boxers and t-shirt.”
Watching the NBC shows, it’s easy to assume that network executives had to be completely confused by the show. Even though Ernie mentions in one episode that the ratings have gone up, but the show didn’t last the summer.

“He always had a problem with suits because he just wanted to be left alone,” Josh said. “He knew what he thought was funny. ‘You’re hiring me to do a job and I’m going to do it.’ He had no tolerance for anyone telling him anything different. As we got to the late ’50s and early ’60s he was finding his stride. He was really able to do the things he wanted thanks to a great sponsor in Dutch Masters. They basically said, ‘We’re buying the time. If you sell cigars, I don’t care what’s on.’ He was very lucky in that sense.”

In a strange twist, Dutch Masters sponsored a gameshow hosted by Kovacs. Take A Good Look is a variation of What’s My Line. A panel of three stars guess a secret about the mystery guest. The panel must guess this secret thanks via strange short video clues. The clues hint at the blackout sketches that dominated Ernie’s masterpiece ABC specials. Ernie drives his star pals nuts. Cesar Romero (Batman’s The Joker) loses it when Ernie claims he’s giving the rules of the game. “There are no rules!” the guest insists. Ernie smokes away and gives a sly smile. Edie Adams was also a fixture along with Tony Randall, Hans Conreid, Ben Alexander, Carl Reiner and Zsa Zsa Gabor.

“The great thing about the one with Zsa Zsa Gabor is she’s Hungarian and Ernie’s Hungarian,” Josh said. “All of her mishegas, he loves it cause he can throw it back at her and she can throw it back at him. And they have this weird Hungarian thing going.”

Ernie didn’t see himself as merely a host. He figured he could reuse elements of the gameshow for a later purpose. “My mom always maintained that the clips were Ernie’s way of banking content for creating a special that he didn’t have to show up for. Ernie worked two or three steps ahead of everyone,” Josh said.

How many of the 52 episodes still exist? “There are somewhere between 28 to 32 total,” Josh said. “We chose the ones we thought were the best. There’s more to see.” If you want to see more, ordering Volume 2 from Shout! Factory’s website will get you a bonus DVD with 7 episodes of Take A Good Look.

The show rates up with Groucho Marx’s You Bet Your Life as addictive shows where you don’t care who wins. It’s all about the comic mayhem. So I had to ask if he’s been shopping the episodes to the various nostalgia TV channels.

“We did talk to someone at the Game Show Network. They are more into original programming and doing color programming,” Josh said. “Antenna and the Me-TV are definitely the places to see this.” Universal’s upcoming COSI-TV will be airing You Bet Your Life so maybe they’ll make a deal to air Ernie and Groucho in tandem?

The big find on the boxset is Medicine Man. This was a pilot Ernie made with the legendary Buster Keaton. Ernie plays a snakeoil salesman with Buster as an old Indian sidekick. The show never became a series since Ernie died shortly after they shot the 30 minute sitcom. The transfer looks as stellar as the cast. Ben Model and Shout! Factory were able to strike a deal with Sony. Model accompanies silent films on the piano and organ at the Museum of Modern Art. He wouldn’t be denied a chance to bring Keaton into the boxset.

“The thought of Ernie Kovacs and Buster Keaton was mind blowing,” Josh said. “We had talked about it for the first set, but it became a money issue. A lot of the stuff I already owned. On the second set we had room to play a little bit which is why the CBC interview and Medicine Man show up. It’s one of the few times you see the Master of Silent Film and the Master of Television on the same show. I think they both loved the fact that they were working together, but at the same time they were both taking a paycheck.” Josh speculated that if the show had become a series, it’s hard not to think that Kovacs and Keaton would have taken control of the production to make it their kinda show.
Josh’s latest big project is a tribute to his mother. He’s in the process of gathering together her TV series Here’s Edie and The Edie Adam’s Show for a DVD boxset. The twenty episodes alternated with The Sid Cesar Show from 1962-64.

“The guy who ran Consolidated Cigars came to my mom after Ernie died and said we want you to promote Muriel Cigars. They bought the time on ABC and didn’t care about the ratings as long as they sold cigars. My mom could do whatever she wanted. She did a very high brow show.” The guests included Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Peter Falk, Jonathan Winters, Bob Hope and dozens more. “It’s like a variety show from another dimension. My mom really dug in and did some interesting stuff on her show. ”

Right now he’s dealing with clearing the various rights involved in bring his mom’s show to home video. It pained Josh to snip out a few of her mom’s musical moments from Ernie’s morning show episodes when he couldn’t come to terms with music publishers.

“My grandfather was a music publisher so I get why publishers charge what they do,” Josh said. Volume 2 would have been much more costly if they had met the demands. “We’d have to double or triple our budget to do the music clearance. We’re working around that and trying to see possibly if there’s a way to get it done on my mom’s set. Things that were excised from Ernie’s set we can include as bonuses on my mom’s set. I’m working the angles. I get the publisher side of it, but it really kills so many projects.”

Mills not only licenses out footage involving Ernie and his mom, but he oversees his father’s celebrity photos that his father took for TV Guide and other magazines. He also manages bands. He’s involved in both sides of licensing.

For those eager to see more of Edie’s acting, she’ll be on Shout! Factory’s upcoming Fantasy Island: The Complete Season Four boxset. Josh picked up a talent on another Aaron Spelling celebrity series. “I was on the set of her two part episode of The Love Boat (featured on the Season Two, Volume One boxset). I learned how to play backgammon on the set where they were shooting the Lido deck. There was an extra, this guy was in every episode walking past Isaac or Gopher. He was bored and said, ‘Do you want play backgammon.’ I said, ‘I don’t know how to play.’ We sat there for hours and I learned how to play.” This proves there was educational content to The Love Boat. Edie’s time on the Aaron Spelling shows sort of paid off when she was cast in Shooting Stars.

“He hired my mom to do a pilot with Billie Dee Williams and Parker Stevenson that was one of the very few that didn’t become a massive hit. My mom said, ‘Great, I don’t get cast in the one that doesn’t run for eight years so I could stay at home and earn some good money.’”

Will there be a third volume of Kovacs arriving in 2013? “We do have more material. I think after the Christmas we’ll take a look at what kind of sales we had. If it makes sense, they’ll probably want do it. If not, we’re happy that we got 30 plus hours out. That’s fairly gratifying in itself,” Josh said.

One thing people were hoping for in Volume 2 is the first three ABC specials that are controlled by Ernie’s daughter from his first marriage. Did she ever contact Mills about being part of the project? “She’s chosen to not be involved. I’m not sure what her thoughts are on it,” Josh said.

Mills thoughts about Kovacs are rather obvious. He was hoping to make it off of Long Island and drive down to Silver Springs, Maryland for AFI hosted panels about Ernie. He wants Ernie’s face in your mailbox on a stamp.

“My job is to insert Ernie back into the conversation about comedians and classic television,” Josh said. “For a long time he wasn’t. I think it’s about time and I’m looking forward to going to AFI since they do a lot of events with the Post Office when they announce a director being on a stamp. How can I move that process along with Ernie.”

He envisions Ernie being able to reach a new generation including a very young generation. “I’d like to be able to license the Kovacs name and likeness to a Baby Einstein project.”

I’d be the first person to buy Baby Kovacs. They’d have to go with a pacifier over the iconic cigar thanks to anti-smoking lobby.

The Ernie Kovacs Collection: Volume 2 is the perfect holiday gift for those who appreciated the original boxset set. As pointed out before, if you order from Shout! Factory’s website, you can get a worthwhile bonus disc.

PERFECT CHRISTMAS GIFT!

Skip Black Friday and just order all your relatives copies of my The Seven Secrets of Great Walmart Greeters. It’s the gift that says, “You might want to think your career running a hedgefund.

Also the book is perfect for that Secret Santa gift required at the Office Christmas Party. It’s a way of saying, “They need to fire you lazy ass!” without saying it.

BLOOD FEUD

Ever discover you’re a Twitter enemy with a major figure and you can’t explain why? This is what happened to me when former MSNBC savior Keith Olbermann blocked me from following his tweets. I thought he’d just given up on Twitter to focus on the next phase of his career. But nope. He’d just given up on me. We’d swapped emails about who controls the Montreal Expos name. I’d never attacked him. But now he’s put me on his enemies list like Rush, Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly. Does this mean I’m now stuck with a Victoria Jackson stigma? I shouldn’t be so shocked - it’s not like he was a real friend. Just a former TV friend who is no longer on the dial. He’s turned into Foster Brooks after they canceled the Dean Martin Roasts. That’s a slur worthy of blockage.

MISSED RANCH NOTES

I forgot to mention in the big coverage about how Joslyn James is working at the Moonlite Bunny Ranch in December. She was visiting the Ranch during Dennis Hof’s birthday party to get to know the other Bunnies. You would know Joslyn James from her time as one of Tiger Woods’ girlfriends before his wife went nuts on him a few years back. We didn’t really talk about Tiger although I mentioned that ever since his wife shipped him off to sex rehab, his golf game has gone to Hell. How could she have destroyed his winning routine? Perhaps Joslyn can work for your golf game? Forget spending a fortune on a swing coach, you might have a chance to capture the eye of Tiger Woods by hooking up with Joslyn during the holidays. If Tiger wants to win another major, he might as well use some of his runner-up winnings to book a party with his old mojo.

MUSICAL SIDE NOTES

Been listening to Holly Herndon’s Movement album. She reminds me a bit of Throbbing Gristle with her beats derived from electronic sounds, beats and beeps. “Dilato” gives off the vibe of entering the Monolith from 2001. The big difference is Holly isn’t quite as creepy as TG. It’s great music for an intimate night with you and your computer tablet.

MEL-PALOOZA

The Incredible Mel Brooks: An Irresistible Collection of Unhinged Comedy is the comedic genius’ life presented as one giant bonus feature spread over 60 pages, 5 DVDs and 1 CD. For those who bought his movies on Blu-ray who felt there should have been more extras, they’re all between these covers. There’s more Mel here than Anne Bancroft has experienced. First off is a five part series where Mel gives the details on all his movies from the legendary The Producers to the unfortunate Dracula: Dead and Loving It. Mel needs to make one more movie to just end on a high note. The program starts where it should, Mel doing “The Hitler Rap.” He slaps on the mustache and the goosestep. “Mel Brooks and Dick Cavett Together Again” is their HBO special from 2010 with bonus banter. They even give us their original together with clips from Mel visiting The Dick Cavett Show in 1970 & 1972. There’s a montage of his various visits with Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show. Johnny’s set is really cheesy back in the early ’70s with the shag carpet action. Mel plays Hitler another time on David Frost’s Peeping Times series. This time he’s part of lost Hitler home movies. inside Danny Baker is his first shot at writing a TV pilot. It didn’t make it onto the schedule. Get Smart was a hit when Mel teamed up with Buck Henry for the pilot that’s included here. “In the Beginning: The Casear Years” deals with the amazing talent that wrote for Your Show of Shows and Sid Casear. Mike Wallace’s 60 Minutes interview covers the opening of The Producers on Broadway. Mel was the toast of the town in 2001.

“The Critic” is a short based on Mel’s old man routines while he was still young. The cartoon won the Oscar. There’s also Mel’s hilarious trailer for the Italian sword and sandals epic My Son, The Hero. It’s so much better than the film. Mel and Carl Reiner’s “2000 Year Old Man” character gets explored with bonus routines of them from back in ’60s. “I Thought I Was Taller: A Short History of Mel Brooks aired as part of the BBC’s Arena series. The 45 minute piece covers what Mel was doing in 1981. Mel gets Sid Casear back on the small screen for an episode of When Things Were Rotten. Mel explains the show was canceled after half a season because ABC didn’t want any more single camera comedies. They include the joy of Mel receiving his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The CD includes several comedy bits and songs from Mel’s movies. You’ll be able to cruise around blasting “Springtime for Hitler.” At the end of the boxset, I’m tempted to call up his office since I feel like we’re pals. He has annexed the Sudetenland of my funnybone. If you own the Blu-rays of Mel’s movies, you are required to buy The Incredible Mel Brooks to truly appreciate the man who does his hardest to be a myth.

BLU-RAY HEAVEN

Astonishing X-Men mutates all the Joss Whedon and Jack Cassady issues with the Marvel Knights Animation. The duo had created four series involving the superheroes back in 2004. Each six issue series was turned into its own animated feature that have been put together on two Blu-rays in the boxset. “Gifted” focuses on members being offered a “mutant cure” by a scientist. Can they get rid of their powers so they can live a normal life? Elements of this storyline were used for the X-Men: The Last Stand Movie. This plot works much better here than in the Brett Ratner film. “Dangerous” turns the Danger room against the X-Men trapped inside. Emma Frost gets a tempting offer to rejoin the Hellfire Club that’s being run with new management. Can she leave the X-men? “Torn” gets freaky as the Hellfire members mess with the minds of certain X-Men. They need to unlock Cassandra Nova’s mind that’s trapped inside a slug. Emma makes her choice on which side has her loyalty. Before things can be completely sorted out, the X-Men get whisked off into outer space to battle in Breakworld. “Unstoppable” has the Earth threatened by a giant bullet. If they blow it, we’re all toast. Whedon proves he understands how to make comic books work which is why The Avengers is a much bigger hit than Daredevil. Things click properly on the screen with his words being spoken by the characters. Cassady’s artwork gets properly manipulated so it’s more than Clutch Cargo action. For those people eager for Whedon’s next superhero movie, it’s here. The 1080p image really makes the artwork pop on the HDTV.

DVD SHELF

Perry Mason Season 8, Volume 1 is a bit of a shock since we’re not waiting a full year for its release. His caseload has been sped up. The cases for the first half of the penultimate season have all the necessary twists to keep the legal thrillers enthralling. “The Case of the Paper Bullets” lands Richard Anderson (The Six Million Dollar Man’s Oscar Goldman) in hot water when his wife gets busted for killing the stepson of a political rival. Anderson would return for the ninth season as Lt. Steve Drumm. “The Case of the Scandalous Sculptor” makes sweet June Lockhart (Lost In Space) look homicidally guilty. Her sculptor husband’s main model turns up dead. Why shouldn’t she have put her curves in a body bag? “The Case of the Nautical Knot” ties up Barbara Bain (Mission: Impossible and Space: 1999). “The Case of the Bullied Bowler” has a shock at the start. Perry Mason has gone on vacation. Instead we’re treated to Mike Connors (Mannix) having to defend two brothers that run a bowling alley. “The Case of a Place Called Midnight” takes us to Switzerl and on Perry’s vacation. You know what doesn’t take a holiday? Homicide. Perry must investigate a foreign affair. Werner Klemperer (Col. Klink on Hogan’s Heroes) gets to work out his German accent. “The Case of the Latent Lover” gives us time with Harold Gould, the Dean of Thespians. “The Case of the Blonde Bonanza” contains no actual Cartwrights. Instead it’s Mary Ann Mobley (Girl HappyGirl Happy co-star Gary Crosby gets in trouble during “The Case of the Frustrated Folksinger.” He plays a star named Jazbo. That sounds like a great DJ name. Season 8, Volume 2 comes out Jan. 15 so save up your Christmas gift cards.

The Expendables 2 reunites Sly Stallone and his merry band of action heroes with a few new familiar faces eager to play bang-bang in Bulgaria. Who is kick butt this time around? The credits include Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chuck Norris, Randy Couture and Jean-Claude Van Damme. It’s like The Love Boat with bullets. They even have the “youngster” Liam Hemsworth from Hunger Games. The movie’s plot once more is tribute to the Cannon Films era. Sly’s forced to do an easy mission by Bruce to retrieve a top secret computer from a downed spy plane. But what Bruce forgets to tell him is that Jean-Claude Van Damme (the Muscles from Brussels) is also out to get the device. Why? Cause it’ll lead him to a major stash of plutonium. To make sure that the case gets personal, JCVD kills one of the Expendables. This leads to a fierce final battle between Sly and him. Chuck Norris looks like the new spokesman for a beard dying product. Luckily he wears a ballcap so there’s no distraction at his Shatner-esque rug. Unlike the previous film, Sly and Bruce do get to kick a little ass on screen this time. Dolph fills in for Mickey Rourke’s missing character. Long as you approach this film as big dumb action, you’re in for a bullet riddled rollercoaster ride. You can have a drinking game ready to get into the spirit. We took a shot every time Sly attempts to move his face into an expression. There’s been a lot of plastic surgery on those tough guy faces. The gang enjoys making jokes about their previous roles and catch phrases. It does take me back to that time when an action hero didn’t have to be a mutant in spandex to fight evil. Expendables 2 is a necessity.

Javier Bardem 3-Film Collection captures this year’s Bond villain with a trio of his major roles. No Country For Old Men made him an overnight superstar in America. The Coen brothers created him into the most fearless hitman with a dorky haircut. He’s going around Texas killing people with a pneumatic air gun. He also uses games of chance to determine if his potential victims live or die. He won the best supporting actor Oscar for the role, but he is the movie. Sure we’re supposed to relate to Tommy Lee Jones, but the meatiest moments on the screen are devoured by Bardem. Mondays in the Sun won Bardem the Goya for best acting in his native Spain. The film is about a group of unemployed guys from the shutdown shipyard. They do their best to stay optimistic as they struggle for fulltime jobs. Bardem plays a guy named Santa who considers going to another country. This film reflects the psyche of so many in Spain as their economy has tanked. Biutiful landed Bardem another Oscar nomination for Best Actor. He’s a bleak guy roaming around Barcelona. This is not the happy Spanish city as seen in Barcelona. He knows he is doomed and nothing can change it. But can he change others? The bonus feature is the director’s video diary to give us a taste of Bardem on the set. For those impressed by Bardem’s work in Skyfall, this collection will give you a sense of what other roles he’s capable of presenting on screen.

The Yummy Gummy Search for Santa uploads the Youtube sensation into his first movie. How big of a star is the Gummy Bear online? He’s collected 260 million hits for one of his videos. That’s enough of a following to justify expanding the character into a 50 minute holiday super spectacular in CGI. He’s a green giant gummy bear wearing a pair of yellow Y-front undershorts and sneakers. He loves to dance and shake his tail. But on Christmas eve, things get serious when Santa Claus goes missing. He has to save the holiday and sing a few songs. They smartly include his hit “I Am a Gummy Bear.” The bonus features includes music videos. The story might be too weird for really young kids, but medium sized ones should get a kick out of the unorthodox holiday humor.

Outlaw Brothers (Dragon Dynasty) is from the time in Hong Kong cinema when everyone was getting that Woo-ness mixed with Miami Vice coolness. Two brothers are doing well for themselves as car thieves. James (Frankie Chan Fan-Kei) and Bond (Max Mok Siu-Chung) are a formable brother tandem. But their talent hasn’t gone unnoticed. There’s a female police officer (Oshima Yukari) on their tailpipes. But she’s the least of their problems since they’ve ticked off various gangsters with their four-wheel snatches. The film avoids the bullet ballet of John Woo HK epics and sticks with good old fashioned martial arts actions. This brings together the world of fast cars and open hand battles. It’s a fast and slick film from 1990 that deserves to be appreciated by a larger audience. Jackie Chan helped out on one of the fights.

Hirokin: The Last Samurai lets Wes Bentley tone down his beard from The Hunger Games. He’s a warrior on a distant planet that’s a rather desolate place. It’s your classic warrior of the wasteland scenario. He’s got a rather good sword on him, but it’s not nearly as sharp as his past. This reminds me of the warrior in the wasteland flicks that Roger Corman distributed through New World. Making this film interesting to watch is the arrival of Julian Sands. He’s kind of the ’80s version of Wes so their interplay is effective. This is a fine way to spend the evening for those addicted to SyFy original movies.

Triad Wars brings more of the Sammo Hung big moves to our shores. The star of Martial Law is on the other side of the law this time. There’s a full fledge turf battle going on in Hong Kong with the various gangster outfits in battle mode. Sammo is the godfather who is losing internal control of his men. He needs to go to desperate measures to let everyone know who is in charge. He’s not going to be eaten by any of the young tigers. Simon Yam and Wu Jing work under Sammo . They quickly learn to not mess with the boss or he will put them down. It’s nearly two hours of mobster-related martial arts fighting. There’s a touch of torture to make this more than chop-socky action. Danny Lee (John Woo’s The Killer) plays the detective on the case.

The Queen of Versailles was a hot ticket at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham. David and Jackie Siegel are just an ordinary couple who are filthy rich. He runs the Wesgate Resorts that deals in time-shares. Readers of Party Favors understand that time-share wrestling is my favorite vacation activity. I’ve played against Siegel’s machine and won. Well the Siegels were rolling in dough when they broke ground on what was going to be the largest private house in America. They would live in a 90,000 square ft. mansion. The average family of 4 can live comfortably in a 2,000 sq. ft. house. Their place had 30 bedrooms, 10 kitchens, an ice rink and baseball field as part of the plan. The Siegels did have 8 kids so they could use the space. Thanks to the meltdown on 2008, the Siegels had to rethink their housing plans. They’re broke and the massive house is unfinished. They can’t unload the house cause they want $75 million for a shell. Director Lauren Greenfield and her crew catches the family at this sensitive moment. In a small way, there’s rooting for them to finish their dream house, but they make you feel glad that they can’t get what they want. There are moments I expect the camera operator to reach around and slap them during interviews. They go from private jets to shopping at Walmart. What’s frightening is how the elderly father is so unemotional to his family. His focus is completely on his company. The Siegels are suing the filmmakers claiming the movie makes them appear vulgar. Please remember that Mr. Siegel told his employees that if they didn’t vote for Mitt Romney, he’d have to fire them. The documentary works on so many levels as it explores the family and their incomplete housing dream that it deserves a Best Picture Oscar nomination.

2 Days in New York makes me fall in love with Julie Delpy one more time. She returns as her Marion character from 2 Days in Paris. She’s now living in New York City sharing custody of her child. She’s dating Chris Rock which seems like a normal thing. What isn’t normal her family flying over from Paris. To make matters worse, they’ve invited along Julie’s old French boyfriend. Chris Rock isn’t sure what to make of this entire situation. Does he need Pootie Tang to save him from the insanity? Delpy does her best to calm things down, but her family won’t cooperate. It’s my favorite Chris Rock film since Pootie Tang. Delpy co-wrote and directed the film so it’s not merely her acting. This is insanity from her mischievous soul.

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