By: G.H. Harding

Christopher Nolan

INTERSTELLAR --- The first teaser clip from visionary-director Christopher Nolan, for his next movie Interstellar, was released Saturday … and, it’s utterly brilliant. Starring Matthew McConaughey –who’s on some kind of streak this year and certainly next- is driving a jeep dreamily re-counting Earth’s NASA success and then asking the question ... what happened? 

Apparently the movie, which will be released next November, posits a world without NASA. It’s dreamily shot and the music is particularly strong. Although the 90-second clip is somewhat cryptic, it doesn't show one scene from the movie other than McConaughey driving … which may not even be in the final movie. I predict the movie, which does deal with wormholes, time travel and alternate universes, will be moved up; maybe to the prime Labor Day period.

Nolan, who dazzled with his Memento, Inception and his Batman-trilogy, seems poised to do it one more time. Check it out HERE.

GOODBYE TO HOMELAND --- Last night was the season ender for this season’s (a long, slow haul if you ask me) of Showtime’s Homeland … and, yes, Brody (Damien Lewis) was seemingly dispatched once and for all and an even bigger surprise in a way, was the fact that Saul (Mandy Patinkin) was seemingly moved aside as well.

To me, the main problem with this show this season was the fact that Damien Lewis literally appeared in only a handful of episodes, yet those episodes were the biggest ones ratings wise and most certainly the best written.

Last night’s show, titled “The Star,” was slow, morose and seemingly reluctant to get the action going. Many critics this morning have already posited the fact that now the writers have to come up with a way to bring Brody back.

That would be some storyline, but stranger things in TV have happened. To me, this shows shelf life has already expired. 

Claire Danes is an exceptional actress, but her interplay with Lewis was nothing short of amazing and for me, was on the order of Mulder and Scully (remember them?). The show will bring back Brody’s character in some fashion … but, it will be too much too late. I think the show’s downward trajectory perhaps might have best been told when neither the show, nor the actors, nor any episodes, were awarded any Golden Globes nominations last week. Telling for sure.

A BUNCH OF RASCALS --- I finally watched this week a presentation of the recent Rascals: Once Upon A Dream show on Broadway. I have always been a huge fan of their music and was delighted when I heard that none-other-than Steve Van Zandt was producing this Broadway show; as thematically, he was the perfect choice to bring this reunion to fruition.

The multi-media presentation is wondrous with snippets of interviews with each of the four-Rascals book ended between the songs. Most telling were perhaps the ones with drummer Dino Danelli. I got to Dino know him several years back and found him most puzzling. Sitting there with his darks shades on, hair pulled back and wearing a bandanna … I always found his veneer a bit harder to penetrate. His interviews here are of the same manner: mysterious, dark, but totally revealing. Turns out he was a fan of fellow drummer Gene Krupa and had played with Lionel Hampton. Here on the DVD, his prowess is absolutely staggering. A brilliant and powerful drummer fort sure.

The interviews with guitarist Gene Cornish and Eddie Brigati and great too, and in one telling moment, Brigati says that he never gave Felix Cavaliere his proper due … and, thanks him on camera. After the group broke up, there were many messy lawsuits and nastiness … actually quite sad for a group that stood for so much peace, love and happiness.

Cavaliere was always an enigma, a great writer and human rights advocate; he really gets his story down here and is positively the standout performer. Face it, the group’s songs like “Groovin’,” “People Got To Be Free,” and “A Beautiful Morning” were anthems of a generation. Interestingly enough, all those hits were in the late-60’s and Danielli and Cornish say that the summer of Love, quickly grew into a time of discontent and the Rascals were firmly entrenched in developing awareness of social consciousness.

Vincent Pastore (The Sopranos) is present as the narrator of the show and does a great job. Co-producer Maureen Van Zandt appears briefly as a songwriter and the 4 actors who appear as the younger versions of the group are standout as well. It’s really a terrific mix of history, music, fun and eye-opening revelations. I loved it. A recent reprise of the show on Broadway was recently canceled; I hope it comes back soon.

CLOSING NOTES: Speaking of the X Files; wonder why they haven't tried to re-boot that show... Great fall-finale on CBS' The Good Wife. But, I want to make a prediction: Gardner and Lockhart will merge with Agos and Florrick, thus bringing all the key players back together again, on the same side. Remember, you heard it here first ...

How could James Spader receive a Golden Globe nominations for his performance on The Blacklist ... and, the series not get one? How could Blue Jasmine not get a nod, and director Woody Allen receive a Golden Glove legend award? And, no nomination for Oprah Winfrey who was so good in The Butler? High treason for sure. Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto were duly recognized for Dallas Buyers Club... but, not the film? And, nothing for the late James Gandolfini in Enough Said. How could Jasmine-actor Andrew Dice Clay not get a nomination? He was awesome. His career is back on track ... What a mess ...

Impossibly sad to witness the passing of screen-legend (55 year career) of the great Peter O’Toole. Lawrence of Arabia was terrifically dazzling, yet I think my favorite of his was My Favorite Year (1982); where he gleefully sent up his image in the form of his character Alan Swann. Just an awesome movie; if you've never seen it, treat yourself. He was in every way, a true movie star.