Peter Bonerz

Peter Bonerz

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Serial Review


Extraordinary
Martin Mull is a little-remembered comedian of the '70s and '80s, best known for TV's Fernwood 2-Night and the HBO series The History of White People in America (with collaborator Fred Willard, since then a fixture in Christopher Guest movies). Mull achieved greatness only with Serial, an underrated mainstream comedy with moments of Albert Brooks-like social satire.

Based on a novel by Cyra McFadden about the wacky California hot-tub culture of the late '70s, Serial expanded on the novel's Marin County setting to skewer the entire decadent nation. Mull plays a working stiff whose wife (Tuesday Weld, in an excellent performance) leaves him to find herself. His teenage daughter joins a cult, and Mull tries to adapt to a single lifestyle while wanting his family back. The supporting characters include a psychologist (Peter Bonerz) who encourages Mull's best friend to drown himself in the Bay to achieve oneness with the universe, and Tom Smothers as a hippie priest who begins a wedding by apologizing for being part of a society that "kills whales."

Continue reading: Serial Review

Medium Cool Review


Extraordinary
Where is the line between fantasy and reality? Check out Medium Cool and you'll have trouble finding it. Pioneering cinematographer Haskell Wexler got the bright idea that the 1968 Democratic National Convention would be a hotbed of riots (with Vietnam in its worst years, MLK recently assassinated, and a growing movement fed up with the government) and he was right. Wexler decided to make a (fictional) movie set during all of this -- but rather than wait until it was over and done with, he took a group of actors to ground zero, tossed them in among the cops and the protesters, and had them "act."

The result is one of the most vibrant and eye-opening films ever made, a bit of fantasy that seems devastatingly real -- because, in large part, it is.

Continue reading: Medium Cool Review

Peter Bonerz

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