January Positivity: Coach (dir by John Taylor)


Despite the fact that I’ve regularly been watching and reviewing Hang Time, I have to admit that I really don’t know much about basketball.  In fact, I’d have to say that every time that I watch a movie or a television show about basketball, I learn something new.

For instance, when I watched Space Jam 2, I discovered that basketball is the only thing holding the multiverse together.

When I watched Hoosiers, I discovered that basketball is also the only thing holding Indiana together.

From watching the basketball episode of Saved By The Bell, I discovered that Zack Morris was apparently the best basketball player in California, despite having never been seen playing or even talking about the game in the past.  I always thought you had to be extremely tall to play basketball but I guess I was wrong.

From watching Hang Time, I’ve discovered that you only need one good player to repeatedly win the state championship.

And from 1983’s Coach, I discovered that high school basketball coaches can quit whenever they want to.  Apparently, they can just voluntarily leave the court and refuse to coach the team and it’s not a violation of a contract or anything else that you might expect it to be.  Of course, the team in Coach is so bad that they’ve only won two games in three years!  The players are all seniors and they’re all about to graduate without knowing the thrill of winning the state championship.  Every coach that they’ve had has walked off the court.  Not even the principal of their school cares whether or not they win.  In fact, he seems to prefer that they keep losing, though it’s never explained why.

Their newest coach is Philip (played by Colin Earls) and he is determined to turn them into a good team.  It’s not just that he thinks it would be good for the players to actually win a game or two before becoming adults.  It’s also that the team represents the only Christian school in the league and he feels that they owe it to God to actually try to win a game or two.  It doesn’t help that the other teams are making fun of them for being from a Christian school.  What type of Christian school doesn’t have a good basketball team!?

Uhmmm …. maybe the type of school that puts more importance on academics than athletics?  I mean, that always seems like a possibility.

Anyway, he gets the team into shape by encouraging them to read the Bible and to play for the team instead of playing for their own personal glory.  The best member of the team feels guilty for putting his own personal glory above the team so Philip takes him to a lecture that’s delivered by a guy who is so tall and so awkward that I can only assume that he was a real-life basketball player.  Does the team start winning?  Well, it would be a pretty depressing move if they didn’t.

Coach is an extremely low-budget film and the majority cast appears to have been amateurs.  It’s only 78 minutes long and none of the players is really allowed to develop much of an individual personality.  One player is really good.  One player has a temper that he has to control.  That’s about all we learn about them.  The team gets some help from a nerdy guy who uses a big bulky computer to scout the other teams.  For me, the computer stuff was the highlight of this film, just because everyone in Coach is so amazed by the fact that a computer has a practical use.  This film was made in 1983 and it shows!

I also found it amusing that, during the game, the computer and the guy was always hidden away in what appeared to be a boiler room.  I guess this was to keep the other teams from figuring out that computers could be used to store and analyze information.  I felt kind of bad for the guy who operated the computer, though.  While the rest of the team was playing and getting all the credit, he was essentially locked away in a secret room.

Coach is undoubtedly sincere but, aside from all the excitement over the big bulky computer, it’s a bit forgettable.  In the end, the team will always remember their friends at Hang Time and I guess that’s the important thing.

Here’s The Trailer For Plane!


Here’s the trailer for Plane, starring Gerard Butler!

Sadly, this is not a sequel to the 30th best film of 2020, Money Plane.

Still, it’s always nice to see Gerard Butler doing stuff.

The film will be in theaters on January 13th!  That’s actually Friday the 13th so make sure that you don’t end up sitting next to the Voorhees kid.  He likes a windows seat, from what I hear.

Here’s The Frightening Trailer For Evil Dead Rise!


The Deadites are back!

Here’s the trailer for Evil Dead Rise!  Word of advice: don’t even think about watching the trailer with all the lights turned off.  Agck!

Apparently, Evil Dead Rise is a sequel to the Evil Dead reboot but not necessarily the original Evil Dead films.  Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell are credited as being executive producers, which might mean something or it might not.  As far as I can tell, Campbell will not be appearing in this film.  (If he does appear, they’ve done a great job keeping it a secret and Campbell’s done a great job telling everyone that he’s not in the movie.)  The Evil Dead reboot itself was certainly not bad, though, being the horror snob that I am, I’ll always prefer the original films.  It’s hard to beat the combination of Lovecraft-style horror and Campbell/Raimi goofiness that set the original trilogy apart from so many other horror franchises.

Evil Dead Rise will be released to theaters on April 23rd!

Here Are The 2022 Nominees of the San Diego Film Critics Society


The winners will be announced on January 6th!

Best Picture
THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN
ELVIS
EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE
THE FABELMANS
TÁR

Best Director
Edward Berger, ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT
Todd Field, TÁR
Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert, EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE
Martin McDonagh, THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN
Steven Spielberg, THE FABELMANS

Best Actor
Austin Butler, ELVIS
Colin Farrell, THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN
Ralph Fiennes, THE MENU
Brendan Fraser, THE WHALE
Gabriel LaBelle, THE FABELMANS

Best Actress
Cate Blanchett, TÁR
Danielle Deadwyler, TILL
Regina Hall, HONK FOR JESUS. SAVE YOUR SOUL.
Michelle Williams, THE FABELMANS
Michelle Yeoh, EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE

Best Supporting Actor
Brendan Gleeson, THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN
Brian Tyree Henry, CAUSEWAY
Barry Keoghan, THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN
Ke Huy Quan, EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE
Mark Rylance, BONES AND ALL

Best Supporting Actress
Kerry Condon, THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN
Jamie Lee Curtis, EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE
Nina Hoss, TÁR
Stephanie Hsu, EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE
Lashana Lynch, THE WOMAN KING

Best Comedic Performance
Nicolas Cage, THE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENT
Daniel Craig, GLASS ONION: A KNIVES OUT MYSTERY
Brian Tyree Henry, BULLET TRAIN
Brad Pitt, BULLET TRAIN
Daniel Radcliffe, WEIRD: THE AL YANKOVIC STORY

Best Youth Performance (For a performer under the age of 16)
Jalyn Hall, TILL
Madeleine McGraw, THE BLACK PHONE
Banks Repeta, ARMAGEDDON TIME
Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja, AFTER YANG
Jaylin Webb, ARMAGEDDON TIME

Best Original Screenplay
Keith Beauchamp, Chinonye Chukwu, Michael Reilly, TILL
Todd Field, TÁR
Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert, EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE
Martin McDonagh, THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN
Seth Reiss, Will Tracy, THE MENU

Best Adapted Screenplay
Edward Berger, Lesley Paterson, Ian Stokell, ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT
Guillermo del Toro, Patrick McHale, Gris Grimly, Matthew Robbins, GUILLERMO DEL TORO’S PINOCCHIO
Samuel D. Hunter, THE WHALE
David Kajganich, BONES AND ALL
Sarah Polley, Miriam Toes, WOMEN TALKING

Best Documentary
ALL THE BEAUTY AND THE BLOODSHED
FIRE OF LOVE
GOOD NIGHT OPPY
NAVALNY
WILDCAT

Best Animated Film
GUILLERMO DEL TORO’S PINOCCHIO
MARCEL THE SHELL WITH SHOES ON
PUSS IN BOOTS: THE LAST WISH
TURNING RED
WENDELL & WILD

Best Foreign Language Film
ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT
CLOSE
DECISION TO LEAVE
HAPPENING
RRR

Best Editing
David Brenner, James Cameron, John Refoua, Stephen E. Rivkin, Ian Silverstein, AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER
Sarah Broshar, Michael Kahn, THE FABELMANS
Mikkel E. G. Nielsen, THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN
Jonathan Redmond, Matt Villa, ELVIS
Paul Rogers, EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE

Best Cinematography
Russell Carpenter, AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER
Ben Davis, THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN
Janus Kaminski, THE FABELMANS
Sayombhu Mukdeeprom, THIRTEEN LIVES
Linus Sandgren, BABYLON

Best Production Design
Katie Byron, DON’T WORRY DARLING
Rick Carter, THE FABELMANS
Rick Heinrichs, GLASS ONION: A KNIVES OUT MYSTERY
Jason Kisvarday, EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE
Florencia Martin, BABYLON

Best Visual Effects
AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER
DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS
EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE
GUILLERMO DEL TORO’S PINOCCHIO
TOP GUN: MAVERICK

Best Costume Design
Jenny Beavan, MRS. HARRIS GOES TO PARIS
Ruth E. Carter, BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER
Catherine Martin, Rachelle Mejia, ELVIS
Marci Rodgers, TILL
Mary Zophres, BABYLON

Best Sound Design
AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER
BULLET TRAIN
ELVIS
TÁR
TOP GUN: MAVERICK

Best Use of Music
THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN
ELVIS
THE FABELMANS
TÁR
WEIRD: THE AL YANKOVIC STORY

Breakthrough Artist
Jessie Buckley, WOMEN TALKING
Austin Butler, ELVIS
Danielle Deadwyler, TILL
Anna Diop, NANNY
Taylor Russell, BONES AND ALL

Best Ensemble
THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN
EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE
GLASS ONION: A KNIVES OUT MYSTERY
THE MENU
WOMEN TALKING

Here Are The 2022 Winners Of The DiscussingFilm Critic Awards!


Earlier today, the winners of the DiscussingFilm Critic Awards were announced!

And here they are:

BEST PICTURE
Aftersun (RUNNER UP)
The Banshees Of Inisherin
Bones and All
Decision To Leave
Everything Everywhere All At Once (WINNER)
The Fabelmans
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
TÁR
Top Gun: Maverick
Women Talking

BEST DIRECTOR
Charlotte Wells – Aftersun
Park Chan-wook – Decision To Leave (RUNNER UP)
Dan Kwan & Daniel Scheinert – Everything Everywhere All At Once (WINNER)
Steven Speilberg – The Fabelmans
Todd Field – TÁR

BEST ACTRESS
Taylor Russell – Bones and All
Michelle Yeoh – Everything Everywhere All At Once (WINNER)
Cate Blanchett – TÁR (RUNNER UP)
Danielle Deadwyler – Till
Mia Goth – Pearl

BEST ACTOR
Paul Mescal – Aftersun
Colin Farrell – The Banshees Of Inisherin (RUNNER UP)
Park Hae il – Decision To Leave
Austin Butler – Elvis
Brendan Fraser – The Whale (WINNER)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Kerry Condon – The Banshees Of Inisherin (RUNNER UP)
Stephanie Hsu – Everything Everywhere All At Once (WINNER)
Dolly De Leon – Triangle Of Sadness
Hong Chau – The Whale
Claire Foy – Women Talking

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Ke Huy Quan – Everything Everywhere All At Once (WINNER)
Brendan Gleeson – The Banshees Of Inisherin
Barry Keoghan – The Banshees Of Inisherin (RUNNER UP)
Mark Rylance – Bones and All
Ben Whishaw – Women Talking

BEST ENSEMBLE
Everything Everywhere All At Once
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (RUNNER UP)
Triangle Of Sadness
The Woman King
Women Talking (WINNER)

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
David Kajganich – Bones and All
Rian Johnson – Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
Guillermo del Toro & Patrick McHale – Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (WINNER)
Samuel D. Hunter – The Whale
Sarah Polley & Miriam Toews – Women Talking (RUNNER UP)

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Martin McDonagh – The Banshees Of Inisherin (WINNER)
Park Chan-wook & Jeong Seo-kyeong – Decision To Leave
Dan Kwan & Daniel Scheinert – Everything Everywhere All At Once (RUNNER UP)
Todd Field – TÁR
Ruben Östlund – Triangle Of Sadness

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (WINNER)
Marcel The Shell With Shoes On (RUNNER UP)
Puss In Boots: The Last Wish
Turning Red
Wendell & Wild

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
All The Beauty And The Bloodshed (RUNNER UP)
Descendant
Fire Of Love (WINNER)
Moonage Daydream
Navalny

BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE
All Quiet On The Western Front
Bardo
Broker
Close
Corsage
Decision To Leave (WINNER)
EO
Holy Spider
RRR (RUNNER UP)
Saint Omer

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Linus Sandgren – Babylon
Greig Fraser – The Batman
Ji-yong Kim – Decision To Leave (RUNNER UP)
Hoyte van Hoytema – Nope (WINNER)
Claudio Miranda – Top Gun: Maverick

BEST FILM EDITING
Babylon
Decision To Leave (RUNNER UP)
Elvis
Everything Everywhere All At Once (WINNER)
Top Gun: Maverick

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Babylon (RUNNER UP)
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (WINNER)
Elvis
Everything Everywhere All At Once
The Woman King

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
The Batman (WINNER)
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Elvis (RUNNER UP)
Everything Everywhere All At Once
The Whale

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Babylon (WINNER)
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Elvis
Everything Everywhere All At Once (RUNNER UP)
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

BEST SOUND
The Batman
Elvis
Everything Everywhere All At Once
Nope (WINNER)
Top Gun: Maverick (RUNNER UP)

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Avatar: The Way Of The Water (WINNER)
The Batman
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Everything Everywhere All At Once (RUNNER UP)
Top Gun: Maverick

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Babylon (RUNNER UP)
The Batman
Bones and All
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (WINNER)
Women Talking

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
“Lift Me Up” – Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
“Vegas” – Elvis (RUNNER UP)
“Ciao Papa” – Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
“Naatu Naatu” – RRR (WINNER)
“Hold My Hand” – Top Gun: Maverick

BEST FIRST FEATURE
Aftersun (WINNER)
Fresh
The Inspection
Nanny
Turning Red (RUNNER UP)

BEST BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE
Frankie Corio – Aftersun
Diego Calva – Babylon
Stephanie Hsu – Everything Everywhere All At Once (WINNER)
Gabriel LaBelle – The Fabelmans (RUNNER UP)
Dolly de Leon – Triangle Of Sadness

BEST HORROR FILM
Barbarian
Bones and All (RUNNER UP)
Nope (WINNER)
Pearl
X

Everything Wins In Oklahoma


The Oklahoma Film Critics Circle has announced its picks for the best of 2022!

And here they are:

Best Picture
“Everything Everywhere All At Once“

Best Director
Winner: Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert – “Everything Everywhere All At Once“
Runner-Up: Steven Spielberg – “The Fabelmans“

Best Actress
Winner: Cate Blanchett – TÁR
​Runner-Up: Michelle Yeoh – “Everything Everywhere All At Once“

Best Actor
Winner: Brendan Fraser – “The Whale“
​Runner-Up: Colin Farrell – “The Banshees Of Inisherin“

Best Supporting Actress
Winner: Jamie Lee Curtis – “Everything Everywhere All At Once“
​Runner-Up: Hong Chau – “The Whale“

Best Supporting Actor
Winner: Ke Huy Quan – “Everything Everywhere All At Once”
Runner-Up:Paul Dano – “The Fabelmans“

Best Documentary
Winner: “All The Beauty And The Bloodshed“
​Runner-Up: “Fire Of Love”

Best Foreign Language Film
Winner: “Decision To Leave“
​Runner-Up: “RRR“

Best Animated Film
Winner: “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio“
​Runner-Up: “Marcel The Shell With Shoes On”

Best Score
Winner: “Babylon” – Justin Hurwitz
​Runner-Up: “The Batman” – Michael Giacchino

Best Cinematography
Winner: “Top Gun: Maverick” – Claudio Miranda
​Runner-Up: “Babylon” – Linus Sandgren

Best Adapted Screenplay
Winner: “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” – Rian Johnson
​Runner-Up: “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio” – Guillermo del Toro & Patrick McHale

Best Original Screenplay
Winner: “Everything Everywhere All At Once” – Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert
​Runner-Up: “TÁR” – Todd Field

Best Ensemble
Winner: “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery“
​Runners-Up: “Babylon“

Best Body of Work
Winner: Colin Farrell (“After Yang,” “The Banshees Of Inisherin,” “The Batman” & “Thirteen Lives“)
​Runner-Up: Paul Dano (“The Fabelmans” & “The Batman“)

Best First Feature
Winner: “Aftersun” – Charlotte Wells
​Runner-Up: “Emily The Criminal” – John Patron Ford

Most Disappointing Film
Winner: “Don’t Worry Darling”
​Runner-Up: “Babylon”

Lost Heroes: The Untold Story of Canadian Super Heroes (2014, directed by Will Pascoe)


Lost Heroes is an engrossing look at the history of Canadian super heroes.

Starting in the 1930s, Lost Heroes details how Canada’s entry into World War II also led to the first Golden Age of Canadian comic book heroes.  After the passage of the War Exchange Cultivation Act of 1940, many American products, including the comic books that were just as popular with children in Canada as they were in America, could no longer be imported to Canada.  Looking to fill the hole, Canadian publishers put out their own comic books, all featuring uniquely Canadian heroes who fought the Nazis.  Because these books were published in black-and-white, they became known as the Canadian Whites.

The first half of the documentary is about the Canadian Whites and the companies that published them.  Maple Leaf was the home to a hero who dwelled under the sea and who was known as Iron Man.  Cosmo Grant was a Batman-style scientist while Brok Windsor traveled in a canoe.  Anglo-American published the adventures of Commander Steel and Freelance, two international adventurers who aided in the Canadian war effort.  Educational Projects introduced readers to Canada Jack, an ordinary Canadian who fought crime but also taught valuable life lessons.  Most popular of all was Bell Features, which was home to Nelvana of the North (who drew her powers from the Northern Lights), Crash Carson, and Johnny Canuck.  Johnny Canuck’s super power was “being Canadian.”

The stuff about the Canadian Whites is genuinely interesting.  Jack Tremblay, one of the artists of the Golden Age, is interviewed and talks about the experience of being a 16 year-old comic book artist.  (Because of the war effort, many of the Golden Age comic books were written and illustrated by teenagers who weren’t old enough to enlist.)  Along with re-introducing some forgotten World War II super heroes, the documentary also looks at how those super heroes represented Canadian culture and how they helped readers take pride in being Canadian.

The end of World War II also brought about the end of the Golden Age of Canadian comics.  With the war over, the War Exchange Cultivation Act also came to an end and, once again, American comics could be sold in Canada.  The black-and-white Canadian comic books could not compete with the color comic books coming from the States and most of the Canadian publishers closed up shop.  The rest of the documentary deals with the periodic attempts to revive the Canadian comic book industry throughout the years.  Though Captain Canuck it found some brief success in the 70s, it ultimately could not compete with the Marvel and D.C. titles coming across the border.

Much of the second half of the documentary deals with Wolverine and Alpha Flight, both of which were created for Marvel by John Byrne.  Along with being one of the world’s most recognizable and popular super heroes, Wolverine is also Canadian and several people interviewed in the film take pride in pointing out all of the things about Wolverine that identify him as being from Canada, everything from his love of beer to his flannel shirts.  Alpha Flight is less warmly received, with many criticizing it for being more about how Americans view Canada than Canada itself.

Lost Heroes is an interesting and informative documentary.  It examines both the history of Canadian comics and also what those comic book heroes said about Canada’s national identity and its efforts to distinguish itself from its neighbor down south.  The documentary ends with the suggestion that the Canadian super heroes will rise again.  I hope they do.

Retro Television Reviews: The Love Boat 1.19 “A Very Special Girl / Until the Last Goodbye / The Inspector”


Welcome to Retro Television Reviews, a feature where we review some of our favorite and least favorite shows of the past!  On Wednesdays, I will be reviewing the original Love Boat, which aired on ABC from 1977 to 1986!  The series can be streamed on Paramount Plus!

Beware the Inspector!  Read on and find out more about this week’s cruise of the Pacific Princess….

Episode 1.19 “A Very Special Girl / Until the Last Goodbye / The Inspector”

(Dir by Roger Duchovny, originally aired on February 11th, 1978)

Captain Stubing starts the cruise by giving the crew some potentially frightening news.  The company has sent an inspector to take the cruise and observe how everyone is doing their job.  The catch is that the inspector is disguised as a passenger and the crew now has to figure out who it could be!

Marvin Waterman (Jim Backus) seems like a good suspect.  He’s stuffy.  He always wears a suit.  He carries around a notepad.  He’s always asking questions about the ship.  It must be Marvin!  Nope, sorry.  It turns out that Marvin is just a children’s book author and he’s doing research.

Could it be eccentric Mrs. Corwin (played by Gavin MacLeod’s wife, Patti MacLeod)?  She acts like she’s spacey and not always sure where she is but maybe that’s just a cover!  She does make a lot of calls back to the mainland!  Nope, it’s not Mrs. Corwin.  It turns out that she’s just an eccentric widow who likes to call her daughter and let her know what’s going on in her life.  Fortunately, Mrs. Corwin meets and inspires Marvin and they fall in love.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t bring the crew any closer to finding the inspector.

Surprise!  The inspector wasn’t actually on the ship.  He arrived late and wasn’t able to board.  However, his father (Jack Bernardi) did get on board and he spend the entire cruise wandering about and asking people questions in Russian.  As far as I could tell, none of the crew made much of an effort to help the confused old man out so I’m guessing they’re all out of a job now.  I wonder what next week’s episode will be like….

While the crew was looking for the inspector, Mike Andrews (Bob Seagren) was looking for Melanie Taylor (Laurette Sprang).  Mike arranged for his goofy sidekick, Doug (Sal Viscuso), to spend all of his time with Melanie’s best friend, Jane (Debralee Scott).  Fortunately, Doug and Jane fell in love.  Meanwhile, Mike abandoned Melanie as soon as the cruise ended.  Booooooo!

Finally, the crew was fascinated by an older man (Paul Burke) who was traveling with a younger woman (Susan Blanchard).  For the majority of the episode, everyone assumed the man and the woman were lovers.  But then the man collapsed and it turned out that he was the woman’s father and he also terminally ill.  This cruise was their long goodbye.  This was a sweet story, even if it was kind of icky that everyone assumed that the father was carrying on an affair with his daughter.  But, really, that mistaken assumption is the fault of the crew.  I’m surprised they didn’t mistake the older man for being the Inspector.

Anyway, this was a fairly typical episode of The Love Boat.  It got the job done with a minimum of complications and, if nothing else, it looked like a fun vacation.  The Love Boat always works best as wish-fulfillment.  It’s the type of show you watch and think, “What would I do if I was on that cruise?”  I enjoyed this episode.  The whole thing with the inspector was silly but the other two stories were well-handled.  I hope things worked out for Doug and Jane!