business news in context, analysis with attitude

First of all, my heartfelt thanks to the folks at Marzetti for all the hospitality this week in Hilton Head, where I had the privilege of speaking to the company's sales meeting. Terrific company, and we had, I think, a provocative and plainspoken exchange of ideas during the Q&A. And that's one of my favorite things. We also gave away and signed some books, which is another of my favorite things.

Just a few reviews to offer this week...

Forget the spectacular weather that autumn brings. I'm just happy that after a generally dreadful summer movie season, some decent films are going to start finding their way into theaters.
First up: Prisoners, the Hugh Jackman-Jake Gyllenhaal drama, which is a bleak and suspenseful piece of work about how parents react when their children are kidnapped one Thanksgiving afternoon. The parents are played by Jackman, Terrence Howard, Maria Bello and Viola Davis; all are strong, but if I had one complaint it would be that except for Jackman's survivalist/devout Christian/recovering alcoholic, the rest of the characters are merely sketched out. Jackman is great - he's used to playing angry, but here he finds a kind of seething, reality-based intensity that goes way beyond much of what he's done before onscreen.

But the best performance in the film is Gyllenhaal's as the police detective charged with finding the girls and dealing with distraught parents. Not an easy job - Jackman's character, fed up with what he sees as police inefficiency, decides to kidnap and torture the man who he feels sure is guilty of the kidnapping, and Gyllenhaal is all internalized conflict as he fears that justice is slipping away.

Prisoners is not a perfect movie, but it is very good - directed by Denis Villeneuve and written by Aaron Guzikowski, a couple of relative movie biz newcomers from whom I expect we'll see very good work down the road.

I have two wines to suggest this week.

First off, the 2010 Jovino Pinot Noir from Oregon, which I enjoyed last night with a spectacular blackened redfish at a little Savannah restaurant called Garibaldi. It worked really well with the seafood, and I heartily recommend it.

Second, I can enthusiastically recommend Evolution White, a blend of nine different varietals from Oregon that is absolutely delicious, and great with spicy seafood.

That's it for this week. Have a great weekend, and I'll see you Monday.

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