Monday, March 31, 2014

Ronan Farrow "sort of stinks on TV", says MSNBC source

 Ronan Farrow. He does look like Frank Sinatra!

That's what the New York Daily News is reporting.

His show stinks, he's failing miserably and may soon be canned.

It may be especially traumatic for him since this is his very first paying job. They keep saying he was a "diplomat" and is a lawyer. Where has he worked? Has he had any clients?

"Diplomat" doesn't mean anything. When a CIA agent murdered two men in the street in Pakistan then was arrested taking pictures of their bodies, Obama claimed he was a "diplomat" and had diplomatic immunity. A "diplomat" is like a "clerk". If you don't have a real job title, you're a "clerk".

But one thing----they did point out that he got the job in large part because of his following on Twitter, meaning that, like Justin Bieber before him, he's managed to parlay internet success into a paying job. Except Justin Bieber was a poor boy from Canada and actually did pretty well for himself.

It's not known how much MSNBC paid Farrow except that it was way too much.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Rich Allen's Side by Each (2008)

Side by Each is a first feature by short filmmaker Rich Allen. A comedy set in Rhode Island. Larry Bryggman plays aging news photographer Saul, called "Salty". Reduced to part-time, his girlfriend kicks him out and he lives in his boat which he's trying to make seaworthy. He's told he's going to have to retire sometime. He says he has almost enough to live on if he lives on his boat and doesn't buy anything.

Rhode Island is full of mafia, but in this movie it's a Portuguese mobster and his French partner who've bought the boatyard, using it to dump toxic waste.They drive around in an old Chrysler-Maserati coupe. I know where I could buy one. Someday, I'll kick myself for not doing it.

Salty falls in love with Blythe Danner not realizing she's a triplet with two identical sisters who have very different personalities which causes him some confusion.

With Paul Benedict (Mr Bentley from The Jeffersons) as the corrupt police chief.

A pleasant movie. Pretty wholesome. No obscene language or nakedness. Some potential violence what with the mobsters. And Salty goes to the bathroom outside. There are things that were a bit weird. Like the periscope.

It hit a bit close to home, about an underemployed single man unprepared for retirement.

Available for instant viewing on Netflix.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Roman Polanki's The Ninth Gate

Watched a film by Mia Farrow's good friend, Roman Polanski, The Ninth Gate, starring Johnny Depp as a rare books guy.

I thought it was pretty good, a low key thriller with supernatural overtones.

It reminded me of Orson Welles' Mr Arkadin, aka Confidential Report. A guy who collects extremely valuable rare books about the devil has a copy of a 17th century book allegedly co-authored by Satan himself. Only three copies are known to exist. He thinks that only one is authentic and the other two are fakes and he hires Johnny Depp to go to the owners of the other two copies and confirm this.

I wasn't sure if it would be more like Rosemary's Baby or more like The DaVinci Code. A little of each, really.

It was pretty good. Had a lot of cigarette smoking in it which seemed strange, people smoking around extremely valuable rare books. Like the episode of The Andy Griffith Show where the dry cleaner was always smoking at work. Seems like it would stink everything up.

Filmed in France, Portugal and Spain. Some scenes were set in New York but had to be filmed elsewhere, obviously.

It was interesting. I liked the supporting cast, the book owners Depp encounters. There are several murders. The ending wasn't as revelatory as it might have been.

Has a Rolls Royce, a Land Rover and a Dodge Viper, a karate fight, a couple of sex scenes. 

Mia Farrow on twitter

Elderly Connecticut millionaire "humanitarian" Mia Farrow after
eye lift, cheek implants, a few face lifts, botox, fillers, 
lip augmentation and hair dye.You don't see many 
70-year-old woman with pigtails.

I looked at Mia Farrow's twitter feed. I don't know what kind of "activist" she is exactly. Her main thing is calling for United States to start bombing. She wants to launch wars against Syria, the Central African Republic, Sudan; she hates Russia but can't say why. Is there really no place in the world that a "humanitarian" like Farrow wants the United States to butt out? Is.U.S. bombing Farrow's answer to every humanitarian crisis?

She posted approvingly about Taliban being killed while staging an attack in Kabul. Does it occur to her that the U.S. will soon be pulling out and the Taliban is still attacking at will? The U.S. fought off the attack, but was it a victory or a sign of total defeat?

She was enthusing about Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the United Nations, stomping around the Security Council with her panties in a wad. She tried to physically intimidate the Russian ambassador nearly attacking him. She was in enraged that Russia voted against the anti-Russian resolution she introduced. Imagine that. The Russian ambassador told her to keep her hands off him and to stop foaming at the mouth.

Can you imagine the reaction of the roles were reversed? If any Russian ambassador acted like this?

Obama, by the way, dismissed Russia as a "regional power". Even if this were true, look at the region. Russia is enormous. It's "region" includes Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, the Middle East, Central Asia and Northeast Asia. They're ready to sign a trillion dollar natural gas deal with China and will be exporting natural gas to Korea and Japan.

It's basically illegal to export natural gas from the United States. That's why it's so cheap here. And it's why the U.S. doesn't have the facilities to export natural gas to Europe. US energy companies want Europeans to boycott Russian gas so they can start exporting it and raise prices in the United States.

Europe is dependent on Russia and will remain so. They pay for Russian gas in Euros which Russia uses for European imports. Look at a picture of a Russian city street and count the German cars. Russia is now classified as a high income country. How much do you think German auto workers care whether Crimea is part of Russia or part of Ukraine?

Crimea voted to join Russia. Obama whines that all Ukraine should have voted on it, but is really just outraged that (according to assistant secretary of state Victoria Nuland) the US spent five billion dollars orchestrating a neo-Nazi putsch in the Ukraine but Russia is the only country that benefited. Russia was selling natural gas to Ukraine at a deep discount, less than half the market rate. The discount will end now, and the European Union will be stuck with the bill. The one billion dollars the US just loaned to Ukraine will all go to pay what Ukraine already owes Russia.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Ronan Farrow's kind of a jerk

Above is a tweet by Ronan Farrow. The resolution isn't very good, but you can see Ronan's smiling visage as he enthuses over his "exclusive" footage of the girlfriend of Philip Wood, a passenger on the missing Malaysian airliner, learning that all the passengers were killed.

Farrow deleted it after outraged reaction and tweeted:
the latest on how loved ones received the news - and yes, we will respect their dignity and privacy in what we show.
A week earlier, Mia Farrow tweeted "Has TV 'news' gone completely crazy" with a picture of CNN reporter Tom Foreman in a holograpgic studio with a 3-D Boeing 777.

CNN's Sally Kohn responded: "Does hiring your son support or refute that assertion?"

Looking at Mia Farrow's Twitter feed, that seems to be her life now. About twenty-five "tweets" so far today, including retweets.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

How did they get those things into distribution?

Plan Nine From Outer Space must have been a tremendous inspiration to filmmakers. When those words appear on screen, Distributors Corporation of America Release, and then you saw what followed, people must have thought you could get pretty much anything into theaters. Ed Wood's widow has said that he never made any money from his movies, but he did get them all into distribution except for the one the lab kept because he couldn't pay the bill.

I've also seen people who never had any thought of ever making a movie watch Plan 9 and say that, if they had made it, they would probably be proud of it. They say that as they laugh at it, noting the danger of filmmaking---that you could be blind to how incredibly bad your movie is.

But you also had people like Doris Wishman. She made sex movies which she kept insisting weren't sex movies. I hear that she even directed some porno films, but she would leave the room when they were filming the sex scenes. She either never figured out how to record live sound or she never bothered doing it, and she also didn't bother post-synching her films properly, so she would film all the dialog scenes so we would never see the actors as they were actually speaking.

Yet Wishman did pretty well. She had worked for a distribution company before she started making her own movies, so she knew who to go to to get the things released.

I told a film student I knew to go to work in video distribution for that reason. Making the movie is fairly easy now. He needed to focus his attention on distribution if he wanted to get anywhere.

Like everyone else, he ignored my sensible advice.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Something the Danes think is cute

I'm watching a Danish TV show called Rita about an "outspoken teacher" who is for some reason popular with students. I never heard of it. Thought it would be a cross between Lucas Tanner and Jean Brodie.

But she tells a kid in class that a poem he reads about migrating birds is a poem about "fuck buddies", she ridicules her teenage son when she finds evidence that he masturbates and she tells other teachers about it, she asks her son and his girlfriend how often they sleep together while they're having dinner with the girl's parents. She tells her son that she thinks he's gay. She calls a girl a "Nazi" for being studious and tells her she's "fucking annoying".

What a colorful character. I'm hoping, for the series finale, she'll be hideously disfigured, but I won't be watching. Oddly, there was a sex scene with Rita and the school's principal in his office. The theme song is in English. Available for instant viewing on Netflix.
I hear that European TV writers often don't get paid. Europe is very roughly the size of the U.S. I don't know what the population is. In the U.S., people in Florida will watch shows about people in New York and vice versa, but in Europe, Italians won't watch Danish shows and the Danes won't watch French shows. They're all in the European Union, they're all multi-lingual and they're all perfectly fine with dubbing. But they refuse to watch each other's TV shows, although, weirdly, they will watch stuff from the U.S. I watched an old episode of Bewitched on French TV. It had Napoleon on it. The French have no self-respect.

It would be as if each state in the US had to produce its own TV shows.

I watched a made-for-Israeli-TV movie once, a children's movie. Two Jewish children steal candy and run off. They built a campfire. Then two Palestinian children come and join them. Being an American, I assumed they would distrust each other at first and then become friends. But this was Israeli. The two Jewish children whisper to each other about how "creepy" the Palestinian children are. Then a Palestinian man comes along, sees that the Palestinian kids just want the Jews' (stolen) candy and tells them to leave. Can you imagine the mind that would make something like that?

Why we should hate Fred Phelps

It's a paradox. I generally have nothing against them, but I've heard criminal defense lawyers defend their profession by pointing out the sacrifice they're making, associating themselves with criminals, being despised themselves for defending certain people while doing a job without which the legal system couldn't function. We should respect them for that. But----if we respect them for being despised, then they aren't despised, they're respected, in which case we have nothing to respect them for.

It's like that with Fred Phelps. He's the now-dead guy who would picket funerals with signs that say "God hates fags". There are some people, including a gay activist I wrote about in another entry, who say not to hate Phelps, don't celebrate his death, because he ultimately benefited the cause of gay rights by being so vile that people felt only sympathy for his victims. But----he only benefited gays by being universally hated, so if we don't hate him, that would negate the one thing there is to not hate him for.

I say don't try to be clever. If someone's a horrible person, feel free to hate him. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Ronan Farrow interviews Nicholas Kristof

Something about Ronan Farrow on a much better website:

Roger Friedman writes:
...Ronan Farrow is just about to interview Nicholas Kristof on his high school call in show on MSNBC. It was Kristof who gave a forum to Farrow’s sister Dylan when she wrote her “open letter” about Woody Allen allegedly  abusing her in 1992. Kristof is also best pals with Ronan and Dylan’s mom Mia Farrow, traveling with her on various world mission adventures. Kristof is talking to Ronan today about Michele Obama visiting China. Of course, only shut ins and coma patients are watching “Ronan Daily” right now, but yikes! Is anyone in charge at MSNBC??? Are they kidding? Kristof is in the studio with Farrow, who doesn’t introduce him by saying “This is the guy we used to try and destroy my father.”

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Fred Phelps dead now

Fred Phelps finally had the good taste to die. A gay activist has written in The Washington Post a call for people not to celebrate his death. He quotes Matthew Shepard's mother as saying of Phelps: “Oh, we love Freddy. If it wasn’t for him there would be no Matthew Shepard.” Meaning they made him a "national symbol of the fight against hate."

It should be noted though that Phelps also made Jerry Falwell and his ilk seem respectable.

Good riddance to him. No reason to be polite about it. I'm glad he's dead.

Years ago, social psychologists joined a UFO cult that was predicting the end of the world. The students studied them and wrote what happened in the book When Prophesy Fails. I wish a few would infiltrate the Westboro Baptist Church. I'd like to know what these horrible people will do now.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

NPR has gotten so bad

Years ago I was working with a guy who didn't trust anything he heard on the news, unless it was on NPR. I told him I didn't see any real difference between NPR and the garbage on Fox News.

Yesterday I was listening to NPR. They were talking to a Boston Globe reporter in the Ukraine. The guy spoke in this sort of patronizing way, and was lying through his teeth.

He falsely claimed that the USSR denied Nazi war crimes happened. The Soviet Union was the one country that evacuated Jews as the Nazis advanced into their country. The reporter proclaimed Stepen Bandera a "Ukrainian nationalist hero" and denied he was a Nazi collaborator---he just happened to fight on the side of the Nazis and receive aid and support from them. And take orders from them. No mention of the massacres of Jews and ethnic Poles Bandera carried out.

Then he claimed that the neo-Nazis who led the coup in Kiev might have given some anti-Semitic speeches a year or two ago, and you can watch them on You Tube. But he said that he talked to some Jews, and they said that they were fine with them. They may have wanted to wipe out the Jews a year ago, but they were sure they had changed and were now just fine.

The woman interviewing this idiot wasn't arguing.

I don't know how listeners react to this. It's hard to imagine anyone sitting around talking about the Ukraine saying, "I heard that they USED to want to kill the Jews, but they don't anymore and the Jews are fine with them now."

I think I gave up on NPR when I heard coverage of events in Libya. After the government had been overthrown, they told about how much better things were, and that they had repealed all the terrible laws Gaddafi enacted protecting the rights of Libyan workers.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Is Fred Phelps dead yet?

Fred Phelps is on his deathbed. He's the founder of the Westboro Baptist Church, the gay-hating "church" that pickets funerals. 

Phelps has a couple of offspring who are not members of the church and are being shunned. They say that their father has little or no religious belief. The reason he's doing all this is that he has a paraphilia. He's sexually excited by hate.

It's the only explanation that makes any sense.

It'll be interesting to see what happens to the rest of them once the guy croaks.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Stop being polite to Woody Allen-haters

Did Woody Allen molest Dylan? I don't know. I wasn't there. But there's very good reason to not believe it. The only people who think he did are either ignorant or claim that they don't need facts because they "believe the victim", even when they have no idea whether she's a victim or not.

I had this conversation with a fundamentalist Christian long ago. How do you know the Bible is the word of God? Because it says so, right there in the Bible! How do you know it's telling the truth when it says that? Because the Bible is the Word of God!

How do you know Dylan is a victim? Because she says she is. How do you know she's telling the (objective) truth? Because you should always believe the victim.

And what exactly is Woody Allen accused of? People are carrying on about how "detailed" Dylan's new account was. But all she said was "he sexually assaulted me" which covers a broad range.

In the case of Mia Farrow's friend, Roman Polanski, we know specifically what he did. We also know what Mia Farrow's convicted pedophile brother did to his victims. But no one knows what they're claiming Woody Allen did.

They're claiming it's something so hideously shocking and soul-destroying that, twenty years later, Dylan was lying on her bed in a fetal position at the mere thought of Woody Allen getting a Golden Globe. Yet they claim that he took her upstairs in a house full of people, committed this monstrous crime, then came back downstairs with her, both of them acting as if nothing had happened and no one noticing anything out of the ordinary.

One clever commenter claimed that this was proof he was guilty, that Woody chose that moment to suddenly become a child molester---in a house full of people including nannies whose only job was to watch Dylan like a hawk---because it was so illogical and implausible that no one would ever suspect.

Witnesses who were there, including Moses Farrow, say it didn't happen. They never wandered off together. There were staff who say it never happened. One said that Dylan was never out of her sight for more than a few minutes.

Moses, now a family therapist, believes that Dylan either had false memories drummed into her by Mia Farrow, or is intentionally lying to please their domineering mother.

From Wikipedia:
In that same [People Magazine] interview, he described his mother Mia Farrow as "vengeful" and his childhood being raised by her as "horrifying", saying he was physically abused by his mother.[15] He has said that he and his siblings were often used by their mother as "pawns" and that he "cannot trust anything that is said or written from anyone in the family.”[16]
It's time to stop being mealy-mouthed about it. Mia Farrow is a liar using her children to both get even with Woody Allen for marrying Soon-Yi and to get publicity for herself, launching her new career as a celebrity "activist" which seems to consist mostly of posting things on Twitter. All her talk about how devoted she is as a mother, speaking out for "all victims of abuse" is belied by her active support for Roman Polanski and her silence about her brother. She doesn't care that her brother is a proven child molester who had access to her children. At least one of the nannies has confirmed that Mia was abusive to Moses, in one case slapping him in the face because he couldn't find the leash for the dog.

She either lied in court when she named Woody Allen as Ronan's father, or she lied when she told Vanity Fair that Ronan's father might have been Frank Sinatra because she had been sleeping with him all those years. If she'll lie about that, she'll lie about anything.

Mia claims that Soon-Yi is a victim, yet she physically attacked her, pummeling and punching her. She didn't act like a mother protecting her child----she acted like a skank who thought somebody stole her boyfriend.

Soon-Yi is now 40-years-old, she's a millionaire and has a masters degree from Columbia. If she was victimized by Woody Allen she would have figured it out and left him a long time ago. The fact that they've been happily married far longer than both of Mia's failed marriages put together shows that Soon-Yi and Woody getting together was a good move for both of them.

If Mia Farrow had stayed married to Andre Previn for as long as Woody and Soon-Yi have been together, it would have cast her actions in that case in a better light. She broke up Andre Previn's marriage to Dory Previn. Dory Previn suffered a nervous breakdown because of it and was hospitalized for a time. Mia destroyed their marriage then decided after nine years that she didn't want Andre after all.

Woody Allen has two teenage daughters who now have to listen to the lies and attacks on their father. I have yet to hear a single person attack Woody Allen without misstating one fact after another. The objective facts are not difficult to understand. They get them wrong because they use dogma as a substitute for truth and think that their ideology entitles them to lie.

It's time to stop being polite with these people. It's useless to be even-handed when you're up against lies and stupidity.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Woody Allen

I don't know if Woody Allen has made any great movies. His best, I thought, were Sleeper, Love & Death, Annie Hall, Manhattan, and Stardust Memories. I liked Match Point. I should watch Husbands and Wives again---I've heard it mentioned as one of his best movies, and I saw it in the theater when it came out, but the handheld camera was making me seasick and I had to close my eyes a few times watching it.

There are quite a few of his movies I haven't seen----Zelig being the most notable.

I thought his worst ones were Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sex *But Were Afraid to Ask and Shadows and Fog. Hollywood Ending should have been better. I thought it was marred by his filming long scenes in a single take. Allen thought The Curse of the Jade Scorpion may have been his worst.

Allen himself has said that he never made any great movies compared to Kurosawa or Ingmar Bergman. He's no Luis Bunuel or Werner Herzog. But who is?

There was Alfred Hitchcock's theory of "pure cinema", the idea that the narrative has to be presented in purely cinematic, generally visual, terms. But I think Allen's work is "pure cinema" in that what he's doing couldn't be translated into any other medium.

People have said that his early comedies didn't have strong plots and were simply disjointed collection of gags. I never thought that. They did have a definite structure. But it was almost impossible to write a coherent, detailed synopsis of the early comedies. In fact, look at Radio Days. Give me an outline.

His later movies were almost all verbal, often with voice over narration in addition to dialog. But those movies had a similar structure to the early comedies. The scenes could be regarded as disconnected. They add up to a coherent, structured movie---in fact, they make the movie seem richer---but it would be difficult to write a synopsis.

Think of the scene in Manhattan where Diane Keaton is working on a typewriter, explaining that she's doing a novelization. Try to imagine a novelization of Manhattan. The movie was almost entirely verbal, but anyone trying to turn it into a novel would be lost. 

Compare him to Italian director Nanni Moretti.

John Baxter in his biography of Allen was critical of some of his movies in ways I wouldn't have thought of. I took Shadows and Fog as an intellectual exercise, a movie about a Jewish community in Central Europe in the 1930s trying to organize in the face of a growing evil threatening them. It didn't occur to me to think of it as a straight horror movie, that anyone should actually be scared watching it. But it couldn't have been any worse if it had had some actual horror.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Die, Sister, Die; Jean Harlow; Arnold

Watching a public domain 1972 thriller called Die, Sister, Die, about a guy who hires a nurse to help care for his horrible sister. She has all the money, so he wants to conspire with the nurse to kill her.

The trailer:

It's not very interesting, but I did learn that there are people who don't know that a "made-for-TV movie" is a movie that was literally made to be shown on TV.  

Die, Sister, Die was a theatrical film, it has an MPAA rating. Movies that were made for TV are listed as such on But comments on the site keep calling it a made-for-TV movie. I can see how they would suspect that, but it simply wasn't.

Arnold, Jean Harlow

I saw a movie at a drive-in when I was about ten. A horror-comedy called Arnold. Arnold is a rich guy who's died. Because he's dead, he's no longer married to his wife, and he's able to marry his mistress. They explain that dead people can marry because, in the past, soldiers at war were able to legally marry through the mail, and the marriages had been deemed legally valid even if the soldier had been killed by the time the letter arrived.

 The trailer:

It turns out that Arnold left a lot of booby traps and kills all the people he was mad at in ways that aren't plausible, creative, interesting or funny. At least, that's what I thought when I was ten.

The trailer makes it look a lot more cinematic than I remembered. I haven't seen it in 40 years. At the time, I thought the movie had an odd sort of video look to it, it was full of (sort of) English actors I didn't recognize when I was ten, it was kind of plodding and I started to think that it must have been a made-for-British-TV movie, shot on videotape and transferred to film for release in the US. I was wrong.

But these things did happen. There was a big budget biopic of Jean Harlow in 1965. To cash in, the producers of a made-for-TV shot-on-videotape Jean Harlow biography transferred the video to film (called "Electronovision" back then) and released it theatrically.

Here's the trailer:

Monday, March 10, 2014

Victor Sen Yung, She Demons

She Demons. 1958 black and white. With Irish McCalla, a pin-up model turned actress who also played Sheena.

One of the stars is Victor Sen Yung who had played Charlie Chan's number two son. Perhaps best known as Hop Sing on Bonanaza.

In 1972, during a spate of airline hijackings for profit, Yung was shot in the back when the FBI stormed a plane being hijacked by a couple of Bulgarian immigrants who demanded $800,000 and to be taken to the USSR. They should have just given them the money and flown them to the USSR. The Soviets would have arrested them and everything would have been fine. One passenger and the two hijackers were killed and one other passenger was shot and wounded.

And if Victor Sen Yung hadn't stopped the bullet, it would have killed the child sitting next to him.

I learned about this when I saw Victor Sen Yung appear on To Tell The Truth. He and two other Asian guys stood there while they read an account of the hijacking and the fact that Yung was an actor who appeared on Bonanza among other things. A panel of celebrities then asked them questions so they could guess which of the three was the real Victor Sen Yung.

Which was a little weird. Victor and the others won money on the show according to how many panelists guessed the wrong person, but it must have been a bit painful for an actor working since the '30s that none of them recognized him.

TV was horrible in those days. There were only a few channels. I don't know how I should feel now about suffering through episodes of What's My Line and To Tell The Truth. Because of that, I could understand the joke in Woody Allen's Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sex *But Were Afraid to Ask, where they had a game show called "What's My Perversion", but that was a high price to pay for a gag that wasn't that good in a movie that wasn't very good.

I didn't really think about it before, but it's sort of surprising that Woody Allen was familiar enough with What's My Line that he was able to do a spoof of it in a movie.

Sunday, March 9, 2014


I'm sitting here watching Clerks. It's not bad. Filmed mostly static camera medium shot. Black and white. I wonder how digital video would have affected the end results. Would the filmmakers have taken advantage of electronic image stabilization and filmed it all handheld? Would they have gotten carried away with the magic of nonlinear digital editing?

I heard the original ending had the clerk getting killed in a robbery. I wish they'd kill that other guy. I say that only because he's a fictional character. I don't want real people killed just for being obnoxious.

I finally watched Slacker but can't remember what I thought about it.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Mia Farrow retweets John McCain

Reported during Jon McCain's presidential bid:
"I hate the gooks," McCain said yesterday in response to a question from reporters aboard his campaign bus. "I will hate them as long as I live."

About how long will that be, John?

John McCain hates at least a few of Mia Farrow's adopted children, including two who've died, who came from Vietnam or Korea.

But that didn't stop elderly Connecticut millionaire Farrow from retweeting McCain's message calling Vladimir Putin another Hitler. He was agreeing with Hillary Clinton's moronic comment comparing Putin with Hitler even as the US backs the putsch in the Ukraine in which neo-Nazis played a central role. It's being called the "Brown Revolution". Brown, as in "brownshirt".

Thursday, March 6, 2014

In & Out

I saw Steve Martin on a talk show. He was asked if others in his family had their hair go grey at a young age. He said he couldn't answer because some had grey hair, but didn't have grey hair.

Contrast that with the guy I saw on a daytime talk show hosted by a doctor. The show discussed medical issues. A guy in the audience stood up. He asked if hemorrhoids were hereditary because his father had really bad hemorrhoids and he hoped he didn't get them, too.

You've just got to use your head about these things. Don't blurt out things on national TV about friends and family that they may not want the general public to know about.

Now I'm sitting here with In & Out on TV, the comedy starring Kevin Kline, inspired by Tom Hanks' Oscar acceptance speech for Philadelphia. Hanks thanked his old teacher-----who is gay.

Kevin Kline plays a high school teacher whose former student wins an Oscar for playing a gay character and makes a similar acceptance speech. He thanks his old drama teacher and adds, "And he's gay." Except that Kevin Kline is about to get married----to a woman.

That's the set up.

The movie was sort of big at the time, but it faded fast.

It seemed like a mainstream comedy, but it's under "Gay & Lesbian Movies" on Netflix.

With Bob Newhart, Joan Cusack, Tom Selleck. Debbie Reynolds. Wilford Brimley.

I don't know if any of the people involved in the production were gay---some must have been just by random chance---but all the gay jokes, all the gay stereotypes, started to annoy me. I've heard that kind of thing from hetrosexuals who don't know any gays and have never been interested in gay issues. Now that gay rights are big, they want to show how hip they are to the gays. They start claiming they can spot gays, like Michelle Bachmann's husband. I heard one ostensibly pro-gay liberal point out Mitt Romney's mincing gait. I've heard Democrats, in the name of Russian gay rights, declare that Vladimir Putin must be gay because he hung around his dacha in the summer without a shirt. They think denouncing a man by calling him gay is funny when they do it.

I don't know if they think this sort of thing is a boon to gay youth. One of the guys behind the "It Gets Better" thing, telling gay teenagers that even if things are bad in high school, things will be better once they're out of that hellhole, was one of the people calling Marcus Bachmann gay for dancing with his wife.

Of all the things you can attack Bachmann for, why would you attack him for that?

Dead in the Water

I didn't recognize Henry Thomas, the kid from ET.

I watched him in Dead in the Water (2001), a thriller, most of it with only three or four characters. A lot of people in absolutely hated it, I think because the characters were so vile---some rich, successful, shallow, materialistic, attractive athletic relatively young Americans in Brazil. They go out on a boat. They swim in the ocean.

From here on, this is either spoilers or teasers, I'm not sure which.

They throw a rich Brazilian guy overboard after he tries making out with the other guy's girlfriend. He can't swim. They throw him a life preserver and leave him. They plan to go back for him after scaring him to teach him a lesson, but when they finally get back they can't find him. They eventually find the life ring floating there.

Even rich shallow materialistic Americans are going to be upset when they realize they'll likely be charged with murder. They work to get their stories straight. Henry Thomas decides to kill the guy who murdered the Brazilian but has trouble finding something to bludgeon him with. He tries to attack him in his sleep with a fire extinguisher but he wakes up and stabs him. The girl starts to treat the stab wound then tries to smother Henry with a pillow. She thinks she's killed him but he comes to and tells the other guy what she just did.

Wouldn't have made a bad comedy. But that's true of a lot of movies. For years I thought Murder on the Orient Express was a comedy. And I've always been horrified by romantic comedies, women stalked by men they barely know who demand that they marry them.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Fading Gigolo

Woody Allen acts as actor-director John Tuturro's pimp in Fading Gigolo, a rare instance of his acting in someone else's movie.

Allen said that the reason he's appearing less in his own films is that he essentially plays the same character in every movie and it's not that easy building a movie around that character. I don't know if he's playing that same character in Tuturro's movie.

Allen tried to play a different role in Curse of the Jade Scorpion, and felt he failed. He thought it may be his worse movie. It did fairly well in Europe.

I've seen Allen in a few movies made by people other than himself. In the '70s, he was in The Front about the Hollywood blacklist. It started as a serious drama but became more comedic with his presence which angered some of the people involved. There was Scenes From a Mall which I hear wasn't very good, a Jean-Luc Godard movie. He played a character named Tex Cowly in Picking Up the Pieces. (Tex dismembered his wife in the movie.) I didn't watch very much of it.

I saw him in Jean-Luc Godard's King Lear. As I recall, his role consisted of him sitting and reading something. He was in a made for TV version of The Sunshine Boys.

They wanted him to play Alan Dershowitz in that Klaus Von Bulow movie. He turned it down and Dershowitz represented Mia Farrow against him later.

Allen wrote the play but didn't direct Play It Again, Sam. He had already directed a couple of movies at the time, but he said he had never directed a movie with a beginning, a middle and an end and wasn't sure he could do it.

He made an uncredited appearance a comedy called The Imposters.

And there was the animated movie about ants.

No more stuff about Ronan Farrow.

Okay. Since the beginning of the year I've posted 21 items related to Mia Farrow, her son Satchel/Seamus/Ronan, her daughter, Dylan/Malone, and Woody Allen/Allan Konigsberg.

Mostly I've just said the same thing over and over.

I'll try to stop now unless something actually happens.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Journey to the Seventh Planet (1962)

Sort of a poor man's Solaris, starring John Agar (Shirley Temple's first husband). They land on Uranus and an alien "brain being" uses their thoughts and memories and makes them appear as reality. Made ten years before the movie Solaris, but one year after the novel was published.

The alien brain creates all these things from the astronauts' memories, but there's little that upsets or disturbs them. One keeps seeing his old girlfriends. They have no emotional reaction to anything.

Could have been far better. The Soviets and East Germans were light years ahead of the west in science fiction.

Did Ronan Farrow screw himself?

I once heard a comedian on the radio talk about the time he performed in a prison. The inmates weren't appreciative. There were several comics who performed and each was heckled and shouted down. Finally the guy they interviewed went on last. He violated all the rules the prison officials gave them. He took money out of his pocket, he talked about sex and he mocked them being in prison while he could go free, and they were amused by this.

By coincidence, I heard another story on another radio show (these were in NPR.) They talked about Bob Hope performing in Vietnam. There was at least one time that he had to flee, that the troops didn't respond well. And someone reporting on this noted that the soldiers reacted much the way people in prison might react.

Someone else went on talking about Bob Hope. He got hate mail from people who were anti-war, and he was bewildered by it.

But the journalist noted that Hope had tied himself to this, associated himself with war. He has to take the bad with the good and it's easy to see how it could turn on him.

Which made me think of Ronan Farrow. He can talk about having been a "diplomat" (what diplomacy did he ever engage in?) and working with the warmongering Secretary of State Hilary Clinton (whose idea of diplomacy was making military threats). But nobody ever heard of him until his started attacking his father on Twitter.

Was this really a good idea? He looks like a jerk to anyone who doesn't share his hatred of his father. Even if you hate Woody Allen, doesn't it seem a little weird that Ronan would feel so strongly about events that allegedly took place when he was four years old? I'm sure he has vaguely unpleasant memories of his parents' break up, but he has no personal knowledge of anything that happened. Whatever his feelings are, they were drummed into him by his mother with whom he is abnormally close. He and his mother were working hand in hand demonizing Woody Allen.

Will people be comfortable with the idea that a person can be publicly attacked and smeared by a wealthy pretty boy who knows only what his nutjob mother tells him?
Ronan may have screwed himself. We'll see how it goes.

Chris Elliott, Cabin Boy

I'll tell you something strange.

Chris Elliott's movie Cabin Boy was a terrible disappointment to his fans. It wasn't shown in theaters here, so I had to see it on videotape.

First time I saw it, it wasn't funny at all.

But the SECOND time----

Something possessed me to watch it again and the second time I saw it, it was great. Every joke worked. Funniest movie I'd seen in years.

I made some other people watch it again, too, and they had the same experience. It was very funny but only after you had seen it once.

It wasn't a case of lowered expectations. It may have been slightly different expectations. But I can't explain it. It was a brilliant movie and think of how Chris Elliott's career would have changed if you could see that the first time you watched it.

Chris Elliott said in an interview that it takes people time to start liking stuff he does, so maybe this observation about Cabin Boy isn't new or interesting. I would have blogged it in 1994, but I didn't have a computer then. Or maybe I did. I don't remember.

But it's still strange that even his fans didn't like it at first.

It should be very disturbing to any aspiring filmmaker, that you can make a brilliant, funny, well-made movie, do everything more or less right, and people will just sit there staring blankly at it, and you'll have no idea why.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Ronan Farrow tweets about the Oscars

Ronan Farrow's wit apparently isn't terribly quick. It reportedly took him 45 minutes to come up with one "witticism" on Oscar night.

Read about it here:

He and his heavily botoxed mother didn't comment on Cate Blanchett's Oscar.

The comments posted on the article were more interesting and amusing than anything Ronan tweeted:

Quit trying to make Ronan happen. Epic fail. 
Comment by Kyoko Yashamoto — Sunday March 2, 2014 @ 7:07pm PST  Reply to this post 
Because he’s hanging out waiting to Tweet in the event that Cate Blanchett wins.
Comment by Mark K. — Sunday March 2, 2014 @ 7:10pm PST  Reply to this post

    Nothing yet, but I’m waiting on pins and needles. Maybe he will take the disingenuous high road and just congratulate Cate Blanchett, but I’m not holding my breath. Can’t wait to see if Mama Farrow chimes in.
    Comment by Joe-Boo — Sunday March 2, 2014 @ 9:22pm PST  Reply to this post

Does anyone care about this publicity hog? I mean really. He’s quite the loser.
Comment by Addie DeWitt — Sunday March 2, 2014 @ 7:40pm PST  Reply to this post

I’d like to punch Ronan because he’s such a little bitch!!! If he had any talent maybe he could actually say something worth listening to.
Comment by John standers — Sunday March 2, 2014 @ 7:46pm PST  Reply to this post

Ronan Farrow has zero likability.
Comment by Ryan in L.A. — Sunday March 2, 2014 @ 7:50pm PST  Reply to this post

    Less than zero. Like the movie title.
    Comment by Clark — Sunday March 2, 2014 @ 11:21pm PST  Reply to this post

I’m sure liberals will find this knee-slapping funny and deeply insightful coming from Farrow — and thus worthy of pimping out another award to this wannabe clown. Hey, it took a whole LIFETIME for Walter Cronkite to earn his stripes, but magically only 3 DAYS on the air for Farrow to (snicker) “earn” the Cronkite Award for (insert finger in mouth and hurl) “journalistic excellence.”
Comment by Screenwriter Guy — Sunday March 2, 2014 @ 7:51pm PST  Reply to this post

    Screenwriter Guy, no one knows what the hell you’re talking about, including you.
    Comment by Hollywoodland — Sunday March 2, 2014 @ 8:02pm PST  Reply to this post

        Oh….hell yes…we understand what he’s saying.
        Comment by RedStormRising — Sunday March 2, 2014 @ 8:54pm PST  Reply to this post

        He does, too, know what he’s talking about, and so do I. Do some research and you will, too.
        Comment by griz — Sunday March 2, 2014 @ 10:26pm PST  Reply to this post

        You’re kidding, right? If you don’t get the point that he’s making (which he’s correct about) then clearly you haven’t been following the ridiculously laughable love fest that the usual biased leftist media has been showering upon newbie Farrow’s feet and little tootsies.
        Comment by Chewbacca — Sunday March 2, 2014 @ 10:30pm PST  Reply to this post

    What has liberal got to do with it? He’s an idiot. And I suspect you and he have a lot more in common than you realize.
    Comment by BeachBumMiami — Sunday March 2, 2014 @ 9:39pm PST  Reply to this post

    no, we liberals don’t like him.
    Comment by Anonymous — Sunday March 2, 2014 @ 11:17pm PST  Reply to this post

    I know EXACTLY what he is talking about.
    Comment by June — Sunday March 2, 2014 @ 11:22pm PST  Reply to this post

    Every time there are intelligent people giving their opinions about a subject or an article, here comes that one idiot who HAS to inflict a stuck on stupid complaint by using words that has nothing to do with the article or other comments, like LIBERAL or CONSERVATIVE! What in the hell does that have to do with this article? If all of your opinions in life is based on being conservative then find an article that matches your brain! He was giving his take on these award shows, not politicizing it.
    Comment by Yanni — Monday March 3, 2014 @ 9:04am PST  Reply to this post


And if they do care about him they can find him on their own.

They don’t need to read about him on Deadline Hollywood. Thank you.
Comment by Frank Sinatra — Sunday March 2, 2014 @ 8:22pm PST  Reply to this post

@ScreenwriterGuy – I score about 115% on the liberal meter and I want to beat Ronan Farrow with a 2 x 4 every time I see him. Leave your conservative agenda at home.
Comment by Victor — Sunday March 2, 2014 @ 8:30pm PST  Reply to this post

He just proved that even smart people say dumb things.
Comment by whatever — Sunday March 2, 2014 @ 8:35pm PST  Reply to this post

You people are awesome. I thought I was alone hating this guy, but I see that there are many others who feel the same. Now, I feel like I’m part of a brotherhood!
Comment by Joe-Boo — Sunday March 2, 2014 @ 9:16pm PST  Reply to this post

    Welcome to the club, brother!
    Comment by Chewbacca — Sunday March 2, 2014 @ 10:49pm PST  Reply to this post

    Me Too! I thought my sisters and I were the only nonRonans around. The absolute limit is the bestowing on him the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism. Oh my God. What an insult to all working journalists–I think there area a few left.
    Comment by Denise — Monday March 3, 2014 @ 4:38pm PST  Reply to this post

He’s obviously Sinatra’s kid. If he was Woody’s maybe his Tweets would be funny.
Comment by Whatchoo'Talkin' 'bout? — Sunday March 2, 2014 @ 9:26pm PST  Reply to this post

Give this Ronan guy a break. His father was doing his adopted sister(s?), and his mother was (probably) doing her 70something ex-husband while being in a relationship with that aforementioned father, no wonder he turns out this way.
Comment by Vighorois — Sunday March 2, 2014 @ 9:26pm PST  Reply to this post

What is up with this kid? It’s good to be loyal to your family but it seems to be disorienting him in a very strange and self destructive way. It’s like he must honor the Woody abuser narrative above all things and if he lets it go his whole identity will crumble. This sad story is so murky and and impenetrable. I can’t help think that the more it is dragged out the more damage it does.
Comment by skit — Sunday March 2, 2014 @ 9:30pm PST  Reply to this post

Stop making fun of Ronan. Someday soon he will help me win a hot game of “Fame is Fleeting!”
Comment by Nan C. Sinatra — Sunday March 2, 2014 @ 9:30pm PST  Reply to this post

If Ronan Farrow can make someone like me, who genuinely liked him, now very much dislike him he must be pretty dumb. And so he is.

His starstruck interview with Miley Cyrus this past week basically killed any remaining hope or respect I had left. After all the hoopla, that’s his idea of quality news programming.

What a turd. What a tool.
Comment by Mar — Sunday March 2, 2014 @ 9:33pm PST  Reply to this post

I won’t tolerate whining when my four year old tries it–needless to say, it’s very disheartening (and irritating) when a grown man does it. I guess Mr. Farrow has a case of the sads because he’s not as important as he thought he was. That’s what happens when you view yourself as a legend in your own mind. Grow the Hell up Ronan, even your Tweets can’t garner interest.
Comment by Brian Masters — Sunday March 2, 2014 @ 9:52pm PST  Reply to this post

If this guy is lucky, he may be remembered in six months. I’m actually starting to sympathize with Woody. This dude’s a putz.
Comment by Snowden White — Sunday March 2, 2014 @ 10:08pm PST  Reply to this post

Tweet all you want, Ronan. Nobody cares, and your ratings show that. Start updating that resume.
Comment by Dane — Sunday March 2, 2014 @ 10:37pm PST  Reply to this post

I’m a liberal and I agree
Comment by Anonymous — Monday March 3, 2014 @ 2:23am PST  Reply to this post

No new show for you… have fun on Twitter, dude. New York City can always use another cab driver.
Comment by Daniel Delago — Monday March 3, 2014 @ 2:45am PST  Reply to this post

Ronan is dead to me after what he said about Ellen. Every 5th or 6th Woody movie is pretty darn good. Ronan should be proud of his Dad, and think himself lucky that Mia only ever bashed the Asian kids.
Comment by ronan'seviltwinbrother — Monday March 3, 2014 @ 4:35am PST  Reply to this post

When I first saw that Ronan was going to premiere his show right before Joy’s I said ‘Oh they couldn’t just give this wonderful woman her own show finally – they’re trying to give her a hard act to follow’…all this talk of ‘footage I shot in Africa’ and ‘Miley Cyrus’…BOY was I wrong, ha…He’s a pale little wad of self-important nothingness that I plan to avoid…I so enjoy looking forward each day to warm, spirited, brilliant Joy.
Comment by Poster — Monday March 3, 2014 @ 5:26am PST  Reply to this post

He is such a jerk. He is not witty and looks can only get you so far. And his show is terrible. I don’t think Woody or Frank is his Dad. Maybe Mia was seeing the mailman on the side.
Comment by Beth — Monday March 3, 2014 @ 6:02am PST  Reply to this post

Ronan is neither funny, charming, or smart. He seems to be disgusted by everything in the media and trashes on whatever he feels will make him popular. Sadly, it only makes him look as psychotic as his mother. What a disgrace of a family.
Comment by AVR — Monday March 3, 2014 @ 6:56am PST  Reply to this post

    @AVR — my sentiments exactly.

    His incessant snarky tweeting only serves to make him look
    even more juvenile than he already is.

    I predict his so-called show will be canceled by the end of this month.
    Comment by A — Monday March 3, 2014 @ 11:06am PST  Reply to this post

Sunday, March 2, 2014


I don't think I've seen a thing. I was going to go to Blue Jasmine. I'm rooting for Woody Allen just because of all the morons attacking him. So far, I haven't seen one attack on him that didn't misstate one fact after another. It's not that difficult. But you have the rubes out there who think that Mia Farrow and Woody Allen were married, or that they lived together. People who don't know what a common law marriage is think they had a common law marriage.

For it to be a common law marriage, you have to live as husband and wife for seven years. That doesn't mean living together. It means you have to tell people you're married, you have to file joint tax returns, you have to check the "married" box when filling out official documents such as loan applications. That wouldn't apply to Allen and Farrow anyway because New York state doesn't recognize common law marriage.

But they think that Woody was Soon-Yi's father, or her step-father, or that he adopted her or was a father figure to her.

Soon-Yi is now a 40-year-old millionaire happily married to Woody Allen. She has a degree in psychology from Columbia University, and these half-wits on the internet are telling her that she's a victim?

Her mother didn't think she was a victim. Mia physically attacked her. Soon-Yi hid in her room and finally escaped and never went back. Mia didn't act like Soon-Yi was a victim----she acted like Soon-Yi stole her boyfriend.

Mia's brother is now in prison for child molesting. There are two reported victims so far. Police think there were more. He had been in contact with Mia and her children, so it seems likely that he would have molested some of them, too. But Mia hasn't said a word about it. And she's been actively defending Roman Polanski, testifying on his behalf in court and appearing in documentaries with a fixed smile on her heavily botoxed face dismissing the charges against him.

I don't have any other feelings about it. I hope Woody Allen wins just because he made a serious grown-up movie for a modest $18 million. And I want the halfwits attacking him to be left bewildered that The Academy didn't listen to them.

We'll see what happens.

Sorry. Don't have much to say about the Oscars. Never understood Ellen DeGeneres. Someone did question why the Oscars needed to be hosted by a comedian in the first place. 

Cate Blanchett won. She thanked Woody Allen---there were people who thought she wouldn't. Obviously she would. She already had.

The speeches are going on really long this year. Did they change the rules?