Sunday 18 October 2020
Life's been rough lately. So time for some of my favorite escapism: movies.
162. (1816.) Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
I actually enjoyed this sequel more than the original Ant-Man, though probably only because it hews a little closer to the silliness of the Silver Age comic books that inspired it.
163. (1817.) Holiday in Spain (1960)
This movie was originally called Scent of Mystery and was designed to be smelled as much as viewed. (In the original release, scented oil was pumped into the theater air to match what you were seeing on screen.) Like the worst 3D movies, the story is secondary to the gimmick and is probably worth viewing only as a novelty. ("See if you can guess what this scene is supposed to smell like!")
164. (1818.) This Land Is Mine (1943)
A poignant WWII tale made all the more pointed by its sympathetic portrayal of the fascists and those who would choose to support them. It does a great job of illustrating the corrupting evil of collaborationism with good intentions. I wish it wasn't relevant in today's world.
165. (1819.) The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years (1988)
A documentary (with some staged scenes) featuring the heavy metal bands in the Los Angeles music scene of the late 80s. It's like a real world version of This is Spinal Tap (a connection I'm sure was intended by the filmmakers). I loved it.
166. (1820.) Battle Circus (1953)
Humphrey Bogart is the chief surgeon falling for nurse June Allyson in a US Army MASH unit during the Korean War. Its strength isn't the romance but the many great scenes showcasing the difficulties facing the unit so near the front lines. If you like Altman's film or the television show, you should see this.
More to come.
Friday 16 October 2020
SAVANNAH GUTHERIE, NBC NEWS, Oct 15, 2010Just this week, you retweeted to your 87 million followers, a conspiracy theory that Joe Biden orchestrated to have SEAL Team Six, the Navy SEAL Team Six, killed to cover up the fake death of Bin Laden. Now, why would you send a lie like that to your followers?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATESI know nothing about it, can I-
GUTHERIEYou retweeted it.
TRUMPThat was a retweet. That was an opinion of somebody—
TRUMP—and that was a retweet. I’ll put it out there. People can decide for themselves. I don't take a position.
GUTHERIEI don't get that, you’re the President. You're not like, someone's crazy uncle who can just—
TRUMPNo, no. No, no.
TRUMPThat was a retweet. And I do a lot of retweets. And frankly, because the media is so fake, and so corrupt, if I didn't have social media.... I don’t call it Twitter, I call it social media. I wouldn't be able to get the word out. And the word is—
GUTHERIEWell, the word is false.
TRUMP—and you know what the word is? The word is very simple. We're building our country, stronger and better than it's ever been before.
TRUMPAnd that's what's happening. And everybody knows it.
There's no small irony in the fact that the party that openly promotes the philosophy of Constitutional Originalism has chosen as its leader a man the Founding Fathers could have never imagined.
Wednesday 14 October 2020
Has 2020 pushed you to the brink? Thankfully, there's a Superman for that!
Superman #361 (1981)
Saving 21st-century balcony leapers is the least bonkers thing in this story. It turns out that Superman III has 2 secret identities: computer-traffic controller Jon Hudson and tennis professional Lewis "Lew" Parker (and he's kind of bad at both jobs).
2020 is a strange year, even in the comics.
Monday 12 October 2020
As I type this, news is breaking that the Atlanta Falcons have fired head coach Dan Quinn. Now he'll have some time to watch some movies. May I make a few suggestions?
157. (1811.) King of the Roaring 20's: The Story of Arnold Rothstein (1961)
Arnold Rothstein was a notorious gambler who is widely believed to have played a significant role in the 1919 Black Sox scandal. This loose biopic barely touches on that, focusing instead on Rothstein's betrayal of his friends. It could only have been improved by casting someone other than emotionless David "The Futgitive" Janssen in the lead role and a much-too-old-for-the-part Mickey Rooney as his whiney best friend.
158. (1812.) The Lost World (1960)
Another misfire of a movie in which dull 1950s-style adventure (and outdated cultural attitude) meets zero-budget special effects. I actually feel bad for Jill St. John for having to be in this as one of two obligatory damsels in need of saving. (I also feel bad for her toy poodle, Frosty, who exists only for comic relief.)
159. (1813.) Loan Shark (1952)
George Raft goes undercover at great personal risk to take down the loan shark operation that killed his sister's husband. That sounds a little cliche, doesn't it? It is. But revenge flicks never have or need the most original plots. Everyone wants to see justice served.
160. (1814.) Wuthering Heights (1939)
Speaking of cliches, this is just a terribly sappy melodrama about a pair of star-crossed lovers. That sort of story never works! Seriously though, Laurence Olivier spends the entire film being a true asshat to literally everyone else on screen, *especially* the girl he supposedly adores. That's not love; that's domestic abuse. I cannot believe that anyone ever really enjoys watching this.
161. (1815.) Skyjacked (1972)
Thrillers in the 1970s always had very little plot and expected the audience to be entertained by constant threats to the life of their ensemble cast. I'd say the biggest name in this film (which, as its name suggests, is all about James Brolin's determination to hijack an airliner and escape to Soviet Russia) is arguably Walter Pidgeon, but Charlton Heston has the big role and faces the most danger (including the wife he is cheating on with a stewardess). For fans of the genre only.
Hang in there, Danny boy. There's more to come.
Saturday 10 October 2020
Wednesday 7 October 2020
Press Briefing by President William Henry Harrison, issued April 1, 1841:
MR. HARRISON: I just left Washington Infirmary, and it's really something very special. The doctors, the surgeons, the bloodletters, and I learned so much about pleurisy. And one thing that's for certain: don't let it dominate you. Don't be afraid of it. You're going to beat it. We have the best cupping equipment. We have the best opium, all developed recently, and you're going to beat it.
I went... I didn't feel so good. And two days ago, I could have left two days ago. Two days ago I felt great, like, better than I have in a long time. I said just recently, better than during the Battle of Tippecanoe. Don't let it dominate. Don't let it take over your lives. Don't let that happen.
We have the greatest country in the world. We're going back. We're going back to work. We're going to be out front. As your leader, I had to do that. I knew there's danger to it, but I had to do it. I stood out front. I led. Nobody that's a leader would not do what I did. And I know there's a risk. There's a danger, but that's okay. And now I'm better, and maybe I'm immune. I don’t know.
But don't let it dominate your lives. Get out there. Be careful. We have the best snake oil salesmen in the world, and they're all happened very shortly [sic], and they're all getting approved. And the boiled mixture of crude petroleum and Virginia snakeweed is coming momentarily.
Thank you very much. And Washington Infirmary, what a group of people. Thank you very much.
Comments (1)| Leave a Comment | Tags: covid19 great speeches in history history news politics trumps america