Hoffman’s last great role — maybe
If anything good comes out of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death, it might be an increased interest in one of his unreleased movies, “God’s Pocket.” Hoffman is Mickey Scarpato, a small-time crook trying to cover up the death of his psychotic stepson on a south Philadelphia construction site. Directed by John Slattery — that’s Roger on “Mad Men” — “God’s Pocket” could be the first movie to accurately capture the voice of National Book Award winner Pete Dexter. Other attempts to film his novels, most recently “The Paperboy,” were miscast and fell flat. Dexter also wrote the screenplay for “Mulholland Falls,” which everyone should see if they haven’t already.
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Most offensive Olympics venue ever?
The mountain where snowboarders and alpine skiers are hoping to win gold this week in Sochi, Russia, is a beautiful resort site known as “Red Meadow.” It also happens to be a mass grave, the site of an 1864 massacre that capped the ethnic cleansing of a people called the Circassians. Of course, perhaps it’s best not to point fingers: Atlanta’s 1996 Games had archers doing battle at Stone Mountain, where the Ku Klux Klan was reborn.
Better ratings than Leno, Morty!
Sometimes Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim programming breaks out into pop culture in a big way, like Seth Green’s “Robot Chicken.” It has also quietly become a magnet for advertisers, with a median viewer age of 22.9. “Rick and Morty,” which debuted Dec. 2, might be the next breakout hit. Created by Dan Harmon, the jerky genius behind “Community,” it’s racking up huge numbers with young males. Rick is an alcoholic scientist who brings his grandson Morty along for adventures through space, time and alternate realities, dispensing wisdom: “What about the reality where Hitler cured cancer, Morty? The answer is: Don’t think about it.”
Has a celebrity saved your life yet?
When Clint Eastwood, who’s now 83, saved a guy at a Pebble Beach charity event by performing the Heimlich maneuver last week, we forgot his weird speech with the chair. “I can’t believe I’m 202 pounds and he threw me up in the air three times,” said Steve John, who caught Eastwood’s eye while choking on a cheese appetizer. Eastwood’s heroism reminded us of Kate Winslet saving Richard Branson’s elderly mother from a burning house. Or the time Hall Oates disarmed a shotgun-wielding robber. Or the times Harrison Ford flew his helicopter to rescue those hikers in Yellowstone National Park.