Leonard Wechsler

Stop Fighting And Start Fixing Common Core

By at August 22, 2014 | 12:00 am | 0 Comment

Stop Fighting And Start Fixing Common Core

‘I’ ON CULTURE Common Core is one of those items that makes people in education crazy. Watching Fox News, you can get the impression that lesson plans are being written by either al-Qaeda or the Socialist Workers Party. On the other hand, the head of the New York United Federation of Teachers threatened to punch anyone in the nose who doubted the effectiveness of more...

Leonard Wechsler

‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’ Is A Sweet Film

By at August 15, 2014 | 12:00 am | 0 Comment

‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’ Is A Sweet Film

‘I’ ON CULTURE The recipe for The Hundred-Foot Journey is just a bit too sweet to be a great film, but, oh, does it make a nice dessert. This delicious concoction, directed by Lasse Hallström, breaks no new ground and its end point is pretty obvious from the start. Its plot could have (and has) been the center of a Hallmark TV romance movie; however, the whole more...

Leonard Wechsler

‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ A Fun Escape

By at August 8, 2014 | 12:00 am | 0 Comment

‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ A Fun Escape

‘I’ ON CULTURE Guardians of the Galaxy is a delightful midsummer treat. Marvel has given us some big superheroes: Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, the Hulk, Black Widow. Forget those! Right now, the hot new movie focuses on lesser characters, the not-so-super heroes. And that leads to both a really great roller coaster ride of an adventure film that also laughs at more...

Leonard Wechsler

Creaky Plot, Great Action In ‘Hercules’ Movie

By at August 1, 2014 | 12:00 am | 0 Comment

Creaky Plot, Great Action In ‘Hercules’ Movie

‘I’ ON CULTURE I was pleasantly surprised by Hercules. It is definitely a B-level picture, but it is an entertaining one that sets mythology on its ear. Hercules might be the son of Zeus (yes, that Zeus, as the narrator says in the movie’s first line) but then again, well, who knows? Director Brett Ratner provides enough action — not to mention gags — to last more...

Leonard Wechsler

Romantic Comedy ‘Sex Tape’ Disappointing

By at July 25, 2014 | 12:00 am | 0 Comment

Romantic Comedy ‘Sex Tape’ Disappointing

‘I’ ON CULTURE I was deeply disappointed with Sex Tape. I enjoy romantic comedies; happy endings are nice, and being able to relax knowing there’ll be such an ending usually improves my mood. But when a movie is simply so ill-conceived that even having Cameron Diaz at the center is boring, well, what can you really do? The problem is that the film promotes itself more...

Leonard Wechsler

‘Planet Of The Apes’ Sequel Worth Watching

By at July 18, 2014 | 12:00 am | 0 Comment

‘Planet Of The Apes’ Sequel Worth Watching

‘I’ ON CULTURE If you think that the new movie Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is simply a sequel, you are in for a surprise. Just as another superior sequel, The Empire Strikes Back, struck new ground in the Star Wars series by turning from a simple story of heroism into a darker family political drama, the new movie breaks new ground in the series. Unlike the more...

Leonard Wechsler

Schools Must Do A Better Job Educating Boys

By at July 11, 2014 | 12:00 am | 0 Comment

Schools Must Do A Better Job Educating Boys

‘I’ ON CULTURE At a time when media reports describe the downfall of public school systems, some of the real issues get at least somewhat overlooked. Time recently had an article from Christina Hoff Sommers pointing out that in most schools, boys are no more than targets. Her main theme is that boys are treated like defective girls. Unfortunately, that leads to far more...

Leonard Wechsler

How Bureaucrats Sap The Fourth Of July Spirit

By at July 4, 2014 | 12:00 am | 0 Comment

How Bureaucrats Sap The Fourth Of July Spirit

‘I’ ON CULTURE Nearly a century ago, writer Ring Lardner used the expression “‘Shut up,’ he explained” as a joke about a pushy guy. Today we have civil masters, who once were civil servants, in place to tell us we do not understand the world in front of us. Instead of quoting real authorities, too many people use the authority of position to avoid annoying more...

Leonard Wechsler

‘Jersey Boys’ Brings The Stage Show To Life

By at June 27, 2014 | 12:00 am | 1 Comments

‘Jersey Boys’ Brings The Stage Show To Life

‘I’ ON CULTURE I really liked Jersey Boys. Of course, I should point out that I am part of the generation that really liked Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, and, based on a quick review of what critics are writing, that is an important dividing line between really liking the film and not. Younger reviewers seem to want a lot of music video-type performances more...

Leonard Wechsler

‘22 Jump Street’ Keeps The Jokes Coming

By at June 20, 2014 | 12:00 am | 0 Comment

‘22 Jump Street’ Keeps The Jokes Coming

‘I’ ON CULTURE We are in a season of sequels, with new versions of Captain America, X-Men and Spider-Man out, and now there is a new superhero film, 22 Jump Street. What? You don’t think Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) are real superheroes? Well, of course, you could have them as “chubby man” and “dim bulb man.” But what we do have is a more...

Leonard Wechsler