Monday 13 September 2021
We interrupt this football and Batman month to review the following movies brought to you by the letter "S":
105. (1964.) The Salzburg Connection (1972)
The big question for most if this slightly-better-than-pedestrian spy thriller is whether or not the protagonist is actually a spy. It's not a complete waste of time if you like the genre (and I guess I do), but it's not exactly destination viewing, either. Honestly, almost everything about it feels like a missed opportunity to do something better.
106. (1965.) I Found Stella Parish (1935)
A melodrama about a woman running away from her past and the reporter who feigns a romantic interest to get her story. I watched it in the wee hours of the morning on TCM, and I really can't explain why I enjoyed it (sleep deprivation?), but I did.
109. (1968.) The Suicide Squad (2021)
I do not like the DC Comics character Harley Quinn, and after finally seeing her on screen in this movie, I can say that I like her even less now. (Based on the advice of my friends, I have deliberately not watched any of the movies Harley has been in before this one. Based on her role here, let me say that I have good friends.) If Harley wasn't in this film, it would be an instant classic, but her incredibly violent, absolutely unnecessary subplot left such a bad taste in my mouth that I couldn't enjoy the movie's final act. Ugh.
Some things cannot be washed down with a Coke.
111. (1970.) Seven Keys to Baldpate (1947)
It's a murder mystery comedy of errors! I didn't know it while I was watching, but the play this movie is based on has apparently been filmed 6 other times! This is the only comedic interpretation, and I enjoyed it. (Did I enjoy it enough that I want to watch it 6 more times? Only time will tell.)
More to come.
Saturday 11 September 2021
UGA is playing their home opener today versus UAB. ESPN was late switching to the game, and by the time they did, UGA had already scored their first touchdown, essentially winning the game before any television audience was looking. Thus reinforcing why, if you really want to watch a football game, the best way to do it is be in the stadium.
Assuming it's not the middle of a pandemic.
Obviously, I'm not there. I told you why I wouldn't be going earlier this month. The statewide COVID-19 infection numbers haven't improved significantly in the past two weeks, and if you are wondering why, I suggest you take a look at the pregame pictures posted by the student newspaper, The Red And Black where the only people wearing masks*... are in the band. You know, the group of people who actually have to use their mouths.
*Ok, I admit it. I saw one person wearing a mask who was not in the band. So, yeah, technically I'm a liar, but I'm still not going to the game.
Friday 10 September 2021
Wednesday 8 September 2021
What a difference half a century makes!
Sunday 5 September 2021
In football, there's nothing like a good offense, and there was nothing like a good offense in yesterday's UGA opener vs Clemson. The only touchdown was an interception return. A win is a win, but it looks like another year for the Bulldogs without anyone who can catch a ball. I should be used to it by now.
Friday 3 September 2021
None of my teams are playing football just yet, so still some time for movies!
98. (1957.) Fat Albert (2004)
Hey, hey, hey! I enjoyed this in large part because I went in expecting it to be really terrible, and it was only slightly terrible. Keenan Thompson's affability and commitment to the bit shines even through the fat suit.
Maybe a nostalgic movie about a fat guy isn't the ideal place for sugar water product placement.
99. (1958.) Orchestra Wives (1942)
In this dour musical romance, Ann Rutherford loves that boogie woogie bugle boy so much that she runs away from home and marries him on a whim. Little did she know that all the titular Orchestra Wives are bitches. Drama ensues.
Hard to tell in this pic, but that's Officer Bill Gannon there playing soda jerk.
103. (1962.) The Devil's Disciple (1959)
Kirk Douglas goes waaaaay over the top as the titular Devil's Disciple, a Revolutionary War anti-hero who just seems to hate everyone... except the one person the script requires him to like. I guess he's just a contrarian. Burt Lancaster's best scene is a fist fight in a church in the middle of a war, but Laurence Olivier steals the show as murderous gentleman British General Burgoyne. It's a real mixed bag.
104. (1963.) The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990)
This movie is so badly cast that the film is sunk before the first frame, which is a real shame as the story comes straight out of the best of 1930s Capra and director Brian De Palma sure seems like he knows what he wanted to be doing with it. Bonfire, indeed.
More to come.
Wednesday 1 September 2021
Welcome to the 16th Annual Wriphe.com Batman and Football Month, now with 166% more disease!
A year ago, I looked upon the approaching college football season with trepidation and wrote
I get that the players want to play. As a fan, I want to watch. But just because we *want* football doesn't mean we're in a position to have it. If you're old enough and smart enough to go to college, you're old enough not to let your wants hurt you. If getting this pandemic under control, if ensuring that we break the chain of infections to protect ourselves, our families, and our neighbors means we have to stay in our homes (or dorms) and forego one football season, we should do that, even if we don't want to. Any other behavior is just irresponsible.
Oh, how naive I was in my youth. Let me show you how much things have changed in the state of Georgia in one year. This is August 2020:
And this is where we are in August 2021:
A year-to-year gain of +7,000 cases on a graph that is still climbing! To get numbers like that, you have to be actively trying!
Just like in 2020, I bought UGA football season tickets in the early spring under the assumption that this whole pandemic thing might be under control by fall. Fool me twice, shame on me.
Granted, some things have changed in a year. In theory, the players have all been vaccinated (right?), so they should be safe enough (from COVID if not brain damage). But can the same be said for the fans? There's a non-zero overlap between the group of people who love to watch live football and the group of people who would rather kill children than wear a strip of cloth over their faces.
I'm fully vaccinated and have been since May, but vaccination is no guarantee that I can't get the virus. (If you like to be depressed, Google "breakthrough cases" and "vaccine efficacy decline".) Since we have yet to see any sign that this latest pandemic surge is ready to turn any corners, it looks like I'll be missing out on another season.
I guess I should have spent that ticket money on a new, larger television. I may be in my bunker for a long time yet to come.
Tuesday 31 August 2021
I've been re-reading some of my posts from years past. While they can and do often entertain me, even I have to admit that sometimes I really can be an obnoxious blowhard. Sorry about that.
Monday 30 August 2021
Saturday 28 August 2021
My father was supposed to have surgery this past Tuesday to finally address complications resulting from his diverticulosis in October 2018. It didn't happen.
We've spent most of the past three years dealing with his heart issues, which made doctors uneasy about intestinal surgery. First an artificial valve, then a pacemaker, then another pacemaker.... Now that those are resolved, Dad was all set to finally put (most of ) his abdominal issues to rest. Unfortunately, things continue to work out not as planned. This time, the hospital had to cancel. It seems they ran out of room.
Late this week, Piedmont Hospital Newnan was forced to call in the National Guard for help against the latest surge against COVID-19. They didn't need that help back in January, so that tells you how bad this wave is. According to one report, they are booked to 125% of capacity, with the Emergency Room waiting room converted to temporary overflow COVID-patient holding.
(Side note: They say that most of those currently ill with the Delta variant weren't vaccinated. I wonder what the overlap is in Georgia between those who chose not to vaccinate and those who have no health insurance? I'd ask a high school student to draw that Venn diagram, but masks are optional in Coweta County schools, and I don't want to end up in the hospital myself.)
Both Dad and I like to think that one day he'll finally be fixed enough to avoid his current monthly visits to a urologist and surgeon. Maybe so. But the way things are going, it doesn't look like it's going to be any day soon.