Matt writes: A true icon of the silver screen, Ray Liotta, died on May 26th at age 67, leaving behind an extraordinary legacy of richly textured performances in both film and television. Though he never received an Oscar nomination, his co-stars who did benefitted immensely from acting opposite him. That is certainly true of Joe Pesci, whose brilliant Oscar-winning turn in Martin Scorsese's "Goodfellas" was enhanced immeasurably by the expressions of Liotta during their infamous restaurant scene.
I have come to appreciate silence not as a sign of weakness or capitulation, but as a finely sharpened dagger that finds its way to the heart, every time.
An essay about "Goodfellas," as excerpted from the latest issue of the online magazine, Bright Wall/Dark Room.
Hugh Laurie as Dr. House. His mind is his temple, his body is his house.
"Two TV icons are demoted to the big screen." That's the headline over Christopher Orr's piece in The New Republic about the careers of Jennifer Aniston and Sarah Jessica Parker, who seem diminished in the multiplex. Not that their TV shows -- "Friends" and "Sex in the City," respectively -- were anything special. They made for mediocre television at best, and on the occasions I attempted to pay attention to them I likened the experience to visiting a distant planet populated by synthetic creatures who could not have been less interestingly humanoid if they tried. I did not enjoy my time spent in the company of these banal, studio-fashioned aliens, and I question their resemblance to any carbon-based life-forms on Earth.
But at least on their long-running series Aniston and Parker were big, pretty fish in their teeny-tiny sitcom puddles. In the movies ("Rumor Has It," "The Family Stone"), the comedy hasn't gotten any bigger or better, but they've seemed outscaled, like little floundering fish out of water. I'm not convinced either has the presence for the big screen, although Aniston was terrific in "The Good Girl" (a small movie) and Parker, who strikes me as more of a character actress than a leading lady, was suitably kooky and vivacious in Steve Martin's "L.A. Story" and hilarious as Johnny Depp's exasperated wife in Tim Burton's low-scale "Ed Wood." On the other hand, in the company of incandescent actresses such as Catherine Keener, Frances McDormand and Joan Cusack in "Friends With Money," Aniston -- ostensibly the biggest name in the cast -- faded out, becoming blurry and indistinct almost like that actor played by Robin Williams in Woody Allen's "Deconstructing Harry."