Jones Crushed Melon Soda Review

I think of Jones as being the independent soda brand (the label even says “independent since 1996”) that everyone knows. I’ve tried plenty of regional sodas that I’d never so much as heard of beforehand, but just about any grocery store in the country has Jones. I remember having it now and then years and…

The Weekly Gravy #1

Back in 2015, I kept what I called “My Movie Journal” for a few weeks. The idea was to chronicle all the movies I watched and say as much—or, ideally, as little—as I needed to. I had trouble keeping up with it, and soon gave up on it, but kept on wanting to revive the…

THE EXORCIST III Review – **½

It may seem like damning with faint praise to say The Exorcist III is better than the abysmal Exorcist II, but it is, and to add that it’s still not as good as The Exorcist may seem like an obvious (if not universally shared) take, but it isn’t. In fact, on my 100-point scale, it…

Dr. Pepper & Cream Soda Review

Dr. Pepper has long been my favorite of the major American sodas. The singular tangy sweetness of it, not unlike cola, but also not much like anything else, has always appealed to me. And, of course, cream soda was once my favorite kind of soda—especially A&W’s—so the marriage of the two seemed entirely up my…

THE MIRACLE WORKER Review – ***

The Miracle Worker is built around two performances so good, and works so well when it focuses on those performances, that you can forget how shaky it is when it doesn’t. Maybe that’s why, despite winning Oscars for Anne Bancroft for Best Actress and Patty Duke for Supporting Actress, and getting nominated for Arthur Penn’s…

Greatest Films, Favorite Films, and Top Films

Is there much question that the concepts of “best/greatest” and “favorite” are not precisely the same? There certainly isn’t for me. I can list what I think the best films of all time are with some confidence (some), but when I try to determine my favorites, beyond a few films which have long since secured…

THE EXORCIST Review – ****

When I first saw The Exorcist, sometime in my teenage years, my reaction was disappointment—mainly at my not being more scared by it, but also at what seemed to be the gaps in the story and the sluggishness of the prologue, set in Iraq, which introduces us to Fr. Lankester Merrin (Max von Sydow), the…

Hostess Twinkies Cereal Review

Twinkies. Bloody Twinkies. For the record, to hell with Twinkies. I’ve never taken to Twinkies. I haven’t eaten that many of them, to be fair, because I don’t have a lot of time for snack cakes, especially those that aren’t chocolate. And yes, I know there are now chocolate Twinkies, and even chocolate Twinkies with…

EXORCIST II: THE HERETIC Review – *½

I’d recently been rewatching The Exorcist—a film I plan to review in full one of these days because I’ve come to appreciate it a lot more than I once did—but I had never seen its infamous sequel, and was not fully aware of its reputation as not being only inferior to the original, but a…

8 Films You Should Watch for the 4th of July

A quick list I put together this afternoon. Not comprehensive by any means but a good starting point for thought-provoking and/or entertaining cinema. America, America – Elia Kazan’s magnificent epic of his uncle’s struggle to emigrate to America. A tragically overlooked film, I’ve written a lengthy review of it here. Do the Right Thing –…