Pick of the week: “The Master“ — My full review is here. My favorite movie of 2012 was Paul Thomas Anderson’s masterpiece that puts the lie to the American ideal of the “free-thinking, self-made man.” Anderson’s two men — a physically and emotionally damaged veteran (Joaquin Phoenix) and a charismatic cult leader (Philip Seymour Hoffman) are deeply flawed, but find their flaws fit together in a charged, fascinating way.
“The Battered Bastards of Baseball” is now streaming on Netflix. R, 79 minutes, three stars out of four.
Bing Russell was never the guy at the center of the frame. A “plumber actor,” as his more famous son Kurt called him (not unkindly), Russell worked hard in the ’50s and ’60s in small parts in countless Hollywood Westerns, perhaps best known for playing Deputy Clem on 13 seasons of “Bonanza.” I didn’t know “Bonanza” had a “Deputy Clem” either.