Cooperstown Crier - Your Source for Hometown News - Cooperstown, Baseball Hall of Fame

Book Notes

January 31, 2013

Two thumbs up for the film 'Arbitrage"

Arbitrage is a word that 99.99 percent of us probably never heard of until the movie with that title appeared. I looked it up on Wikipedia and discovered why nobody had heard of it. It refers to Wall Street financiers and has a meaning so convoluted that I couldn’t figure it out. Thank goodness the website clarified its definition as “the possibility of risk-free profit at zero cost.” That might be a nice way of saying that the Wall Street fat cats can make irresponsible investments and then have the U.S. taxpayers bail them out.

I actually didn’t bring up the word to talk about banks that are too big to fail. That story has been told umpteen times. I actually wanted to talk about the movie that brought celebrity to that word. If you haven’t seen “Arbitrage” you might want to take a chance on it. It’s certainly different than your run-of-the-mill, high-finance suspense thriller.

Richard Gere and Susan Sarandon star in this superb movie about a man who seems to have everything. Gere seems perfect for the role since you immediately peg him as the same kind of successful billionaire he portrayed in “Pretty Woman.” In that movie he was a cut-throat businessman who deep down was a decent human being. He appears to be the same basic character in this film. Gere is portrayed at the outset as a highly successful Wall Street trader and devoted family man.

Digressing for a moment, I can understand why good actors hate to be stereotyped. I remember when the mini-series “Roots” was on back in the 1970s and seeing Lorne Greene portraying the slave owner who purchases Kunta Kinte. My instinctive reaction was that at least the poor kid was bought by Ben Cartwright, the “Bonzana” patriarch. It was a little off-putting to discover that “Ben Cartwright” could be as brutal and cold-blooded as any other slave owner.

Text Only
Book Notes
  • Film examines Lance Armstrong's fall There's nothing more heartwarming than someone overcoming impossible odds and achieving the pinnacle of success. The last thing you want is for that story to fall apart. When it happens to an icon like Lance Armstrong it's even more difficult to accept. He is someone you'd want to admire since he was both a champion and a do-gooder. How does the public react when it all comes crashing down?

    April 24, 2014

  • Libraries provide vital services Some people think that libraries are becoming obsolete due to the Internet and the growing popularity of e-books. Nothing could be further from the truth. Libraries are a repository for more than just the written word and reference materials. They provide a basic need for every community and will for the foreseeable future.

    April 17, 2014

  • WWII collection grows with 'Those Angry Days' The main lesson history teaches us is to learn from our mistakes and not repeat them. There’s also an old saying that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Perhaps the two notions have something in common because we continually prove that history does indeed repeat itself.

    April 10, 2014

  • 'Blue Jasmine' shows talent of troubled Allen It's a shame that Woody Allen is caught up in controversy in his personal life because it deflects from his talent as a filmmaker. You can see the brilliance in his most recent release, "Blue Jasmine" now available for rental at the Cooperstown Library.

    April 3, 2014

  • 'Nebraska' helps give Dern his due Bruce Dern has been a character actor for over half a century yet hadn't really gotten the acclaim he deserves.

    March 27, 2014

  • Book captures both sides of 'Splended Splinter' Ted Williams is an American icon. As the mainstay of the Boston Red Sox from 1939-1960 he was one of baseball’s all-time greats, a first ballot Hall-of-Famer, and perhaps the greatest hitter the sport has ever known. He was admired for his devotion to the game, his service to his country, and his support for children with cancer. But there was an ugly side to him too. Williams’ life was a set of contradictions where his talent and humanity were offset by fits of rage and cold-heartedness.

    March 20, 2014

  • Wouk has amazing body of epic work One of the problems with eulogies is that they only seem to occur posthumously. I often wonder why people who have produced something noteworthy aren't honored until after they die and don't get to hear the acclaim they deserve. In that vein I want to recognize an aging classic novelist while he is still with us.

    March 13, 2014

  • 'Miracle' shows when Olympics were pure The Winter Olympics ended recently and somehow they seemed to have lost their luster. It wasn’t so much that they were in Sochi where most of the events were on tape delay. It was more due to the new events (many we have never heard of) that have diluted the games. The Winter Olympics have gone from an intimate edition of their summer counterpart to one where it appears medal counts and commercialism is all that matters.

    March 6, 2014

  • Sometimes bad films, books called 'Classic' About 40 years ago a movie was made that set the standard for overhyped and underwhelming films. It was "The Great Gatsby" starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow. Redford was the hottest thing in Hollywood at the time and Time Magazine ran a cover story on the film. When it was finally released it completely bombed.

    February 27, 2014

  • British films that will warm your heart With all the snow and sub-zero temperatures this winter there are enough nights where the easiest thing to do is hunker down and enjoy a good movie. I thought I’d offer a few suggestions with a British twist. These are films with Americans that are filmed in England. The one thing they all have in common is that they’ll warm your heart in the end.

    February 20, 2014

AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide