Movies: One must-see and one don’t bother

30 Jan

The "Feed the Fish" movie poster, courtesy of

Katie Aselton and Ross Partridge are taking a Polar Plunge. Photo courtesy of "Feed the Fish."

Barry Corbin plays the part of a Door County outdoorsman. Photo courtesy of "Feed the Fish."

Door County, Wis., is a beautiful place, even in the winter. Photo courtesy of "Feed the Fish."

Katie Aselton at her waitress job in the movie. Photo courtesy of "Feed the Fish."

Tony Shalhoub, left, is the film's sheriff. Photo courtesy of "Feed the Fish."

I normally don’t do movie reviews in this column, but I’m making an exception this time. I’ve got one flick to tell you about that I think deserves a thumbs up, and another to which I’m awarding a thumbs down.

I really enjoyed “Feed the Fish,” an independent film which, sadly, was in town only two weeks at the Nova 6 Theater in Moline.

If you want to see it, you’ll probably have to rent it or buy it. The movie’s website,, lists where it’s available.

Written and directed by Michael Matzdorf, “Feed the Fish” is a romantic comedy about the adventures of a burned out city-slicker writer of children’s books whose relationship is in a shambles. He leaves California for the winter wilderness of Door County, Wis., in search of inspiration and to join his body in a Polar Bear Plunge in Lake Michigan. And he finds more than he bargained for.

The motion picture stars Ross Partridge as the writer, Tony Shalhoub as the crusty county sheriff, Barry Corbin as a rugged outdoorsman and Katie Aselton as a waitress and the love interest.

Shalhoub and Corbin should be familiar to you.

Shalhoub played Italian cabdriver Antonio Scarpacci in the sitcom “Wings.” He also was the Emmy-winning actor who played obsessive-compulsive detective Adrian Monk in “Monk.”

Corbin starred as Maurice J. Minnifield, the patriotic former astronaut who owned a radio station and newspaper in TV’s “Northern Exposure.”

“Feed the Fish” has a definite Midwestern flavor to it. Shalhoub was raised in Green Bay, Wis. And the movie’s writer-director, Matzdorf, who is Shalhoub’s real-life nephew and was the editor of “Monk,” left Hollywood in 2009 to return to his family’s Door County farm to direct the movie.

The film, which producers are self-releasing in theaters, has won two best feature awards at film festivals. It wasn’t initially rated but is comparable to PG13 films.

If you’ve thought about seeing “Gulliver’s Travels” with Jack Black, on the other hand, I’d advise you to save your money. For my wife Sherry and me, it was a disappointment.

As we walked out of the theater, I apologized to her for suggesting we see it.

“That was the only comedy I ever remember seeing,” she noted wryly, “where I didn’t laugh once.”

“I did smile at one place in it,” I recalled.

“Well, at least the popcorn was good,” she added.


This is a true story: I was in a doctor’s exam room recently waiting for the doctor to come in. His nurse, who is about my age and does not wear glasses, was with me, looking at my chart.

She exclaimed, “You’re 61 years old? You look like you’re in your 40s!”

Of course, I was flattered.

I smiled and jokingly replied, “Thank you, but I think you need glasses.”

She then paused and said, “Now that you mention it, I am scheduled to have cataract surgery in a couple of weeks.”


There’s still time. But so far this winter, I haven’t taken my annual tumble on the ice.

Last year I fell on top of an empty plastic garbage can I was carrying from the curb to the back yard, and it broke my fall.

I survived without injury, but the garbage can didn’t. It was brittle because of the cold weather and shattered into several pieces.

I can’t count on a garbage can to save me this year. My community went to automated refuse pickup, and we now have one of those huge garbage totes on wheels.

Copyright 2011 by Phil Roberts, Creative Enterprises. This piece was submitted as an “Everyday People” column at The North Scott Press, Eldridge, Iowa.

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Posted by on January 30, 2011 in Uncategorized


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