Showing posts from September, 2018

Cruisin’ It : Meeting Tom Cruise

Updated 6/22/2017 Originally published 9/8/16  I've just read an excerpt from actor Curtis Armstrong's new autobiography. Armstrong is probably best remembered for his work on Moonlighting but he also worked with Tom Cruise on Risky Business. The chapter "My Summer with Tom Cruise" is fun reading if you like reading about stars before they were stars. It reminded me I have a Tom Cruise story to tell, albeit a tiny one, but since it's #ThrowbackThursday, I'm indulging myself.   Call me crazy but I'm a Tom Cruise fan. I'm not cuckoo about him, I don't have a fan page or anything so extreme but I tend to like his movies. He's got charisma, a ton of onscreen charm; I loved the first Jack Reacher adaptation and I'm actually excited about the next one coming out at the end of October. I gave his movie The Edge of Tomorrow a glowing review on my book-to-movie site.  He is after all, despite—or some might say, because of — his association

Dreaming of France: Finding My Faux French Fix

Image via One of the perks of working as a tour guide at Universal Studios was being able to tool around the backlot, getting up close and personal with the facades, mostly mere  painted pieces of plywood, nothing more than shells supported from behind by some 2 by 4’s. Sometimes the buildings were decorated with slabs of foam molded in the shape of bricks. On camera it works. Up close, the faux brick is slightly spongy to the touch. Just a bit of fakery.  While New York Street probably got the most use as a filming location, it was Little Europe that fired my imagination. Walking along the cobblestone road, passing the charming shopfronts, it’s easy to imagine French cafes and patisseries come to life.  The last time I saw Paris—and the Universal backlot—was in the mid to late eighties. These days I can conjure the same feeling of being transported to another time and place on my daily walks around my own neighborhood.  Built in 1931 in this  ‘Chateau