Archives for posts with tag: George Burns

George Strait has a reputation of being a fine, upstanding gentleman and representative of old-school country music values. It’s so earnestly trumpeted that you wonder if it’s not a big come-on. (After all, George Burns once said if you can fake sincerity, you’ve got it made.) In 1992 he (Strait, not Burns) donned a fake ponytail and fake stubble to do “Pure Country,” about a burned-out Nashville star who rebels against the smoke and laser shows of modern, arena-style concerts. Earnest hijinks ensue. By the way, 1992 was the same year “Achy Breaky Heart” was the No. 1 country song.

I’m old enough to have seen the original “Going in Style” in the early 1980s, back when Hollywood movies would show up on network TV a year later. The original old-men-rob-a-bank flick, with George Burns, Art Carney and Lee Strasberg, was more poignant. The 2017 remake, with Alan Arkin, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman, is more polished for a modern audience. They’re both good. As usual, Arkin inhabits his grumpy-old-man character like none other. I wanted someone to explain to me why Caine, with his English accent, worked in a Queens (New York, not THE queen) steel mill for 30 years.