Philip Seymour Hoffman Passes Away

Philip_Seymour_Hoffman_2011When asked to name my all time favorite actors, Philip Seymour Hoffman always made the list. He mastered every genre, and he had a subtle sex appeal that shined through in nearly every role. As for his standout performances, there’s simply too many to name, but Magnolia is a personal favorite.

While I didn’t know Hoffman personally, I once saw him at The Standard hotel on Sunset boulevard waiting for his car. My friend whispered, “There’s your guy,” and we instantly made eye contact. I gasped, put my hand on my heart and said, “I love him,” in a voice presumably loud enough for Hoffman to hear. He stared at me with a sweet expression, giving me a look that seemed to imply his consent to my approach. But I was frozen. We stared at each other for one more moment, and then Hoffman drove off into the distance.

It’s important to remember how Hoffman lived and not how he died. And if we do talk about how he died, I can only hope that addiction will become a part of that dialogue, and those in need of help will seek it out. There are many free resources for addicts, so please CLICK HERE if you’re looking for a meeting. Goodbye Philip Seymour Hoffman. May you rest in peace.

Movie Review: ‘The Ides of March’

George Clooney is a good director. But he’s not great. The first two acts of ‘The Ides of March’ lacked the movie magic necessary to keep me entertained. Translation? — It was boring.

This is the third Clooney-directed film I’ve seen, and I’ve noticed it’s a common issue. Where’s Jack Nicholson screaming, “you can’t handle the truth!” Where’s the fist fight? Where’s the heavy-hitting music to create suspense? When actors turn to directing, they leave behind these essential elements in favor of an understated approach (remember Robert De Niro’s ‘The Good Shepherd,’ for example?). I think they feel above it. I think they resent having spent so much time executing cheesy dialogue while running from a burning vehicle that they feel they can accomplish the same task without it. But like it or not — those things are often necessary to make a movie enjoyable. Otherwise, it’s as if I’m watching a documentary.

The movie stars Ryan Gosling as Stephen Meyers, the Junior Campaign Manager for Mike Morris (George Clooney), the Pennsylvania Governor who is trying to win the Democratic Primary to later run for President. Philip Seymour Hoffman plays Paul Zara, his Senior Campaign Manager. The campaign can be cutthroat at times, and by the end of it, it really doesn’t matter what anyone’s political belief is as long as Morris wins. The plot is relatively expected, with the exception of an interesting twist in act three. Unfortunately, by the time act three hit I had already mentally checked out of the film.