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Office Christmas Party

Another reminder that allowing your cast to madly improvise instead of actually providing a coherent script with a scintilla of inherent logic often leads to…

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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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E-mail from a publicist

This e-mail pitch has been going around (with all the identifying information that I've stripped out), and I'm just not sure what to make of it. A "celebrity film critic" is "representing [yellow tail] Reserve wine" and wants to talk about movie-and-wine pairings... and the Oscars:

As you prepare your content for the Oscars, I'm wondering if you're available for an interview with celebrity film critic Ben Lyons? Ben is available for interviews... for either phone or Skype interviews. If you prefer Skype, we can record it and provide back to you as a YouTube video. During the interview, Ben can discuss his Oscar picks, as well as Oscar party planning tips. He is representing [yellow tail] Reserve wine and can also discuss suggested movie and wine pairings. Appreciate your feedback. We only have a few slots left for the day, so I appreciate it if you could get back to me as soon as possible.

Who has accepted this remarkable interview opportunity? I googled "ben lyons" and "movie and wine" and learned that WPIX, former employer of Ben Lyons and Lyons Sr. (Jeffrey), did -- just last September, which is either seven months after the Oscars or five before, depending on how you're counting.

"Something tells me that if I wasn't here you guys would be drinking [yellow tail] Reserve anyway," said Ben Lyons at the top of the segment.

He's "teamed up" with reserveyournight.com and, while you might prefer to ponder which [yellow tail] Reserve Petite Syrah offers a tannic finish to accompany Sean Penn's 1995 "The Crossing Guard," young Lyons offers the following recommendation for a Date Night Movie Pick on the wpix.com web site, pairing (trio-ing?) Chesapeake Bay Pasta Chicken with the vintage 1993 Ivan Reitman comedy "Dave" and another select [yellow tail] fermented grape beverage:

Looking for a lighter movie/date night idea? Try picking up a bottle of [yellow tail] Reserve Pinot Grigio and popping in one of my favorite Netflix rentals: "Dave." The light, fruity wine and romantic comedy makes a perfect pairing for a perfect night.

In "Dave," Kevin Kline plays two rolls.

Stop right there. Sounds delicious!

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