Thursday, November 27, 2008


How can we not be most thankful for the people we love, who influence us, whose business it is to help us along our way and enrich our lives? Without the following people in my world, I would have damned little to be thankful for.


My wife Patty and my two daughters, E. and N. You three give me reason to get out of bed every day as well as renewed hope for a happy future and constant joy during even the toughest and most tiring of days. I love you all.

Bruce Lundy, my best friend. How lucky I have been to have known you for 31 years and counting. Your unfailing support and your honesty mean so much to me—I’ll always be grateful to you for all the late-night laughter ever since we were kids, and the way you defined what being a true friend can mean. I love you too.

My parents, both sets: Reggie & Neoma Cozzalio, and Yoneo & Kimiko Yokoe. To know your love is there is the greatest assurance.


And to Brian Conboy, Carrie & Evan Cossey, Liz DeKam, Pattie Elder-Lundy, Chris & Teresa Lundy, Don Mancini, Beverly Pura, Paul Reilly, Angie & Tom Schneider, Jonas Sjogren, Haruka Sometani, Andy Torres, Mark Wagers, Katie Warrener, Angie Yokoe, Debbie Yokoe & Cameron Ashbaugh: Each of you made my life enjoyable and happier in your own way through your friendship, respect and support, and I’m thankful for each moment I got to spend with each one of you; I only wish that time could have been multiplied a hundred times over.

To my teachers, Dorothea Soghomonian and Virginia Karanfilian: All the thanks in the world for your wisdom, patience and good humor; you are making my life richer with each day I spend learning from you.


Larry Aydlette: You, sir, are the best. I know that’s just, like, my opinion, man, but it’s a good one. Give my best to Aydlettes one and all! (And where did you get that great picture on your header?)

Peet Gelderblom: for Directorama, sure, but more for just being a good friend. Here’s to you and yours, all the way to Holland.

Jim Emerson: Rest in peace, Frances, a friend well loved. All my best to you for the coming year, Jim.

And to David Edelstein, James Wolcott, Kim Morgan, Brian Darr, Campaspe (Thank you especially, C., for that special shout-out earlier this year!), Bill R., Sal Gomez, Glenn Kenny, Ray Young, Paul Matwychuk, Kimberly Lindbergs, Rick Olson, Paul Clark, Mr. Peel, Andrew Grant, Ali Arikan, Brian Doan, Matthew Kiernan, Ed Howard, Robert Fiore, Chris Stangl, Tom Sutpen, Ross Ruediger, Adam Ross, Andrew Bemis, Girish Shambu, Jonathan Lapper, Peter Nellhaus, Aaron W. Graham, Michael Torgan, Phil Blankenship, Brian Quinn, Nick Schager, Stacie Ponder, Joe Dante, Steven Carlson, Schuyler Chapman, Marilyn Ferdinand and Heidi Sackerson: You have all enriched the experience of reading this blog with your smart commentary and invaluable presence over the past year. I only hope I can continue to give you all reason to keep reading and making your voices part of the community I cherish on this site, and I thank you for the work you do in your own arenas as well. Some of you I’ve been honored to meet in person; for the time we were able to spend together in 2008, I am once again beyond grateful.


This week alone I am thankful to Jim Emerson for republishing his wonderful essay on Nashville’s Lady Pearl and also for his moving pictorial tribute to his good friend.


And it may seem odd, but Stephanie Zacharek’s completely sincere appreciation for Transporter 3 may be the single most purely enjoyable piece of film criticism of any stripe that I’ve read all year. When most other reviewers signal their preconceived notions of a movie like this by the level of the dismissive, above-it-all snark that characterizes their approach, Zacharek’s open delight seems even more refreshing and disarming. I liked the first Transporter, the second not so much, and after reading her keen prose on 3 I am more than ready to give it a whirl. And whether I end up liking the movie or not, I’m sure I’ll always enjoy reading her thoughts on it.


On this Thanksgiving Day, when Frank and Jamie McCourt are sending out the mixiest of mixed signals regarding their intent to resign Manny Ramirez, or any other free agents for that matter, I am exceedingly grateful for the intelligence Jon Weisman brings to that most intellectually and emotionally dodgy of pursuits, being a Dodger fan.


This is going to sound strange, but I’m actually grateful for being diagnosed with type-2 diabetes this past April. I’m not glad I have the disease, but I’m extremely grateful for the level of awareness of my own health that it has precipitated. Since that diagnosis my blood sugar and blood pressure levels are better than they’ve been in years—all normal, finally—and I’ve been able to dialogue with lots of smart, level-headed people who communicated to me in no uncertain terms how easy it is to control the symptoms and to realize that having diabetes, while serious and inconvenient, is no death sentence. Thanks especially to Bill R., who really helped me understand this way back in April, when the option to start looking at life through mud-colored glasses was definitely on the table.


I’m really thankful for the Trek 520.


I’m thankful for the 2008 election results (and to Alonso Moseley for highlighting an aspect of Obama the candidate in the second link that struck me as really valuable and unique among modern-day politicians). And of course I’m thankful to Sarah Palin, a onetime slick move turned high-fashion albatross, for helping to make it all happen. (Thanks, Jim, for the clip.)


And finally, even though there’s still plenty of exciting film to come in 2008, I’m grateful for this bit of late-breaking, hard-hitting news from the world of cinema breathlessly posted on IMDb yesterday, November 26, dateline Hollywood: Guttenberg, Selleck And Danson Reteam For Another Three Men Sequel

"Actor Steve Guttenberg will reunite with Tom Selleck and Ted Danson for a new sequel to 1987 hit movie Three Men And A Baby. The acting trio scored huge box office success with their comedic turn as bachelors forced to look after a girlfriend's kids after they are left holding the baby. They made a sequel in 1990, titled Three Men and a Little Lady, and now, 18 years later, Guttenberg, Selleck and Danson are set to reprise their roles for a new installment. Guttenberg, 50, says, ‘Tom Selleck, Ted Danson and I are looking to make another Three Men And A Baby movie. It's called Three Men and A Bride. The script is pretty much written and we are really keen to get that made. We're very hopeful.’ Guttenberg is also in the process of reviving the Police Academy franchise, which shot him to fame in the early 1980s.”

Yes, but just like that proposed Plant-less Led Zep reunion, this will only be a true reunion if Leonard Nimoy directs.

But really, why stop with Three Men and Police Academy? Surely the time is right for sequels to A Fine Mess, High Road to China and, of course, The Chicken Chronicles while we're at it.


Finally, because you know it's coming, because it just wouldn’t be the holiday without it…

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, everyone. (And just what is that guy doing to that bird right at the end there?)


Anonymous said...

It's not often that I'm first to post in this comment section but twice in one week makes me feel lucky in more ways than one.

Having said that, I know I speak for many other who have come know know the great Cozzalio when I say that I find myself equally as enriched and grateful that we became friends nearly 5 years ago.

To you and yours on this kick-off day to the winter holiday season, I wish you peace and kindness blessing unmeasured.

Uncle Gustav said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Dennis!

Ali Arikan said...

And thank you, Dennis; that was very sweet. I wish you all the best, my friend.

Anonymous said...

Happy Turkey! (The kind you eat, not the kind too often on screen,)

bill r. said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Dennis! I'm really glad to hear you're doing well. Diabetes is a bitch, but, as you say, if you're smart about it, you'll be just fine. And, it's true, in some ways I'm healthier now. Funny how that works.

Anyway, keep taking care of yourself!

Greg said...

Take care of yourself and have a great Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

Dennis, I laughed, I cried...but not in that order!

You've been such an inspiration to me. Your teaching, caring for your family, caring for yourself, working, writing...You are indeed the Great Cozzalio!

Thanksgiving will never be the same for me, though, now that I've watched that trailer. Think I'll watch it again while I cook up some awesome vegan gravy.

AND...nice bike, man!

Hugs to your ladies.

WelcometoLA said...

Dennis: I am so thankful for you! Give my best to Patty, those beautiful kids and all your family. And thanks as always for your kind words and support. Happy Thanksgiving!

Headquarters 10 said...

No, thank YOU, Dennis. Your site not only give us thoughtful, intelligent, funny, sometimes heartwarming essays on film, baseball and life itself, but your 4 years + of archives give me hours upon hours of fine reading to peruse when I should otherwise be working. That's something I'm especially thankful for.

TRANSPORTER 3 rocks, by the way. Happy Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Dennis. I hope you had a wonderful day.

TAS said...

Belated (but not by much) Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, Dennis. In my book, you are the best of all possible film bloggers . . . and a great guy, to boot.

Robert Fiore said...

I had my traditional Thanksgiving movie marathon, which this year was the extended Lord of the Rings, which held my attention from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. Friday (with time out for picking up my traditional Thanksgiving catfish and afternoon nap). It's amazing how watchable these pictures are when you consider the serious things that are wrong with them -- the cardboard characters (the only one with any kind of human dimension is Gollum), the turgid pseudo-archaic dialog, a surfeit of pallid English Roses in the female parts. What rescues them from the airy-fairy is Peter Jackson's horror movie sensibility and the savagery of the battle scenes. A note on how Netflix-centric one can become: At first I thought I'd have to give up on the Rings marathon because I was too late to increase the quota on my Netflix rentals -- until I remembered there were stores where you could rent movies.

P.S.: Though Thanksgiving is past, you should not miss the tremendous photo essay on old time Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons on Mr. Sutpen's If Charlie Parker Was a Gunslinger blog.

Aaron W. Graham said...

I'm late on the Thanksgiving wishes (after all, I'm in Canada, we had ours last month) - but I hope you and yours had a wonderful day. It really warms my heart to be included, so thanks, Dennis, for your continued friendship.

Take it easy,

Lester said...

Hey Cousin, just dropped by to tell you and your family Happy Thanksgiving. Though miles seperate us, I am still blessed to call you cuz or bro. We are all awed at your accomplishments over the past year. Many thanks to your wonderful wife and beautiful kids for thier love and support of you during your journey.

With love from the Salem clan!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much, Dennis! We don't have a tradition of Thanksgiving in Holland, and judging from this post and comment section alone, that's our loss.

I thank you back a hundredfold, and I admire you, my friend! In a perfect world, all people would be Dennis Cozzalio... Only half of you would shave and grow boobies, I suppose.

A long-distance hug from your crazy Dutch pal Peet.

Anonymous said...

Happy Thanks giving, Dennis! I hope you and your lovely family are enjoying the holiday.

Last but not least, I hope you'll write up your thoughts on Transporter 3 after you see it. I want to see the movie this weekend myself if time permits. I can't get enough of Jason Statham.

Take care!

Anonymous said...

What a nice post for Thanksgiving, my friend--and I just read it two days later! I'm so thankful to have you for a best friend, too, and for all the late night laughs, endless movie marathons, long talks, etc., etc. And I love that Grindhouse trailer--awesome! love ya-Bruce

Mr. Peel aka Peter Avellino said...

For the record, I thoroughly enjoyed TRANSPORTER 3 and I don't feel the slightest bit guilty about it. I liked the second one, too. And the first? I've actually never seen it. I have no explanation.

For me, it's always KING KONG and SON OF KONG on Thanksgiving. They're essential. Happy Thanksgiving!

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Wow, a fella takes a couple days off and comes back to this kind of abuse? Why, I oughta…

I certainly hope everyone’s holiday weekend has been excellent so far. I spent today writing up lesson plans (not a recommended activity for inclusion on anyone’s fun list), but Thursday was as lovely and relaxed as it could have been. My wife even excused me from all cooking duties, outside of an experimental bean salad which, given the low body count, has to be deemed a success. My daughters foiled my attempt to screen Meet Me in St. Louis for the family by smuggling a copy of Return of the Jedi in one of their backpacks, so I negotiated a compromise and we rented A Christmas Story, which went over well. My own Thanksgiving holidays past have been spent with a double bill of The Godfather and The Godfather Part II, but I’ve got a long way to go in fine-tuning my persuasive capabilities before I ever convince my family to sit still for that one! I like Mr. Peel’s double bill—I only wish I’d thought of it.

Well, I just wanted to check in and let you all know again how much I appreciate your friendship and support. It undoubtedly comes off as slightly opportunistic, this gathering of names under the Thanksgiving umbrella, as if one is fishing for the kinds of comments you all have generously offered here. But just know that I offer my best wishes in genuine sincerity and with only the hope that each of you will continue to thrive and find the finest life has to offer, wherever you may be. Thanks so much for making me feel like a part of a wonderful extended community of very smart, caring people.

As for Transporter 3, I can now authoritatively echo the enthusiasm put forth by Stephanie and Matthew and Mr. Peel. I scampered off to see it Thursday night, and despite the odds the movie easily trampled the tryptophan coursing through my system with its pizzazz and general good humor and kept me buzzing for the entire show. I will always favor Shu Qi (episode #1 vixen), but the freckled Ukranian package featured here gives Jason Statham a good contest. And Statham himself has really come into his own as someone I look forward to seeing no matter the vehicle. (That said, I have yet to see Revolver.) I will try to come up with a few words in an actual post that amount to more than “Yee-hah!” but that will do for now. What a nice surprise!