Happy birthday, Lt. Castillo!

Now, and forever, The Man.

Edward James Olmos, who turns 74 today, has enjoyed a distinguished career.

From Stand and Deliver to Blade Runner and Battlestar Galactica, he is rock-solid, all day.

But one role, for me at least, towers above the rest.

Miami Vice is part of my personal TV Hall of Fame, and right there in the midst of the glitz and glamour, the sleek fashion and the thumping music, was Martin Castillo, the heart of the show.

Crockett and Tubbs were the stars, but the man with the mustache gave everything gravitas.

Happy birthday, Lieutenant, my Lieutenant!

 

Happy birthday, Mr. Miyazaki

He’s a gift to the world.

Filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki, the face of foreign animation to most Americans, turns 80 today, having given us some of the best films of the past century.

The Tokyo-born master began as an animator, moving into the role of director with The Castle of Cagliostro.

From there, he and Studio Ghibli delivered one stunner after another, from My Neighbor Totoro to Porco Rosso to my personal favorite, Spirited Away, which won a well-deserved Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film.

His films are funny, they are filled with sweeping emotion, and they delight.

Thank you, Mr. Miyazaki.

 

Happy Death Day

What a great surprise.

Coming from nowhere, this inventive horror comedy riff on Groundhog Day scored big, reportedly earning $125 million on a $4.8 million budget.

You love to see it.

Sorority girl Tree, madly scrambling to ID her killer, keeps bouncing back from one bloody finale after another, reborn each time with a scream, and rapidly-increasing body damage.

Starting off spoiled and catty, she rediscovers the tough, smart young woman she always was, but has chosen to bury in her grief over her mother’s death.

A splendid mystery, wickedly funny, and anchored by an emotional, and unexpected, reunion.

Quite the present.