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How Spanier Spends His Holidays

graham_spanier_deacons_of_dixieland_washboardGraham Spanier posted an assortment of brief movie reviews this weekend on Penn State Live— 17 reviews in total.

Spanier says that he reviewed fewer movies this year because of the short amount of time between graduation ceremonies and Christmas.

Indeed, with graduation on the 20 and Christmas on the 25, Spanier had just five days to watch 16 movies. That means he saw an average of 3.2 movies per day. Wow. Maybe Spanier should sign up for COMM 150.

There’s some insightful commentary in there. Here are some of our favs.

Regarding Valkyrie, Spanier says,

Even though we know the outcome in advance, the plot is riveting. Tom Cruise redeems himself in his portrayal of the colonel who stages the coup.

Surprisingly, or maybe not, this isn’t the first time Spanier has mentioned Cruise. When Spanier received an honorary doctorate from the University of Iowa in 2006, he said in his speech,

But the truth of the matter is that the world doesn’t normally operate at the extremes; well, except for that Oprah show where Tom Cruise was jumping on the couch; now that was a little extreme.

(Isn’t seeing 3 movies a day a little extreme too?)

Regarding Doubt, Spanier says,

This is a gut-wrenching conflict full of … doubt.


Regarding Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Spanier says,

Listed here because it is still in some theaters, but also because it was my summer favorite, showcasing splendid acting performances and a lively assortment of relationships between two young American women, a Spanish painter, and his ex-wife. You can “hear” Woody Allen’s directing, and I loved Penelope Cruz.

I know I can really “hear” Spanier’s heart in these reviews. I’m game anytime Woody Allen teams up with someone much younger and prettier than him (like Diane Keaton, Scarlett Johannson, or Penelope Cruz).

Regarding Twilight, Spanier says,

I’ve never liked vampire movies, but this is the exception.

I’ve never liked movie reviews, but this is the exception.

Spanier didn’t write these reviews just for us though.

According to a column that appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Spanier also sends out his reviews to a list of about 600 people, including Dan Glickman (Chairman and CEO of the MPAA) and Mike Marcus (former President of MGM).

(Picture (C)2006 George Chriss, licensed under CC-BY v.2.5)

About the Author


Creator of @OnwardState. Big fan of sweaters.


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