Monday, February 27, 2017

Oscar error explained and a simple solution

It's been explained. Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway were handed the wrong envelope, given the one for Best Actress not Best Picture. That's why Beatty stared at it for a few seconds wondering what the hell he was reading.

Reportedly, it happened to Sammy Davis, Jr, in the '60's---he was given the wrong envelope when announcing the winner for best music. Luckily, he announced a movie that hadn't been nominated in that category and they quickly corrected the mistake.

Well, I am glad La La Land didn't win and I'm disappointed that it won in other categories. It was from the director of that terrible drum-playing movie, Whiplash. Is playing the drums so alien that people believe nonsense like that? I know professional jazz drummers and they thought it was absurd.

Why do they broadcast the Oscars live in the first place? They're celebrating movies. Movies are fake. They shoot retakes. Think of how pleasant and stress-free it would be for everyone involved if they shot the whole thing on videotape a few days before, perhaps in front of a green screen with a laugh track.


Sunday, February 26, 2017

Oscars

The Oscars is/are on. Haven't seen a thing. Usually there are one or two I want to lose, but I don't even know what was nominated.

I don't know about this propaganda short about the "White Helmets".

I was probably out getting a hamburger when this happened, but J. Elvis Weinstein tweeted:
Samuel L. Jackson said "La La Land" like a teacher announcing his least favorite student got elected class president.
You can see it for yourself here: http://jezebel.com/here-is-samuel-l-jackson-being-forced-to-give-la-la-la-1792772529

Wish I knew what La La Land was. I could google it, but I'm not going to.

 It turns out that Isabelle Huppert's last name is pronounced "oo-PAIR". I'm glad I watched.

And...

...I'm glad I kept watching. It just ended. It had to happen sooner or later. Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced the wrong winner.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Victor Adamson


Watched another old B western from the '30s made by Victor Adamson. He was the father of low budget exploitation director Al Adamson.

I sort of like Victor Adamson's old westerns. They were crudely made, very primitive, more violent than other B westerns and they had no singing cowboys. The hero in the one I just saw did wear an absurdly large hat and a stupid-looking western shirt and the fight scenes were terrible.

Look at the fight in The Virgin Spring. Ingmar Bergman wasn't exactly an action director but he did a better knife fight than I've seen in any western.

You hear about B westerns, how cheap they were, but when you actually try watching them they're never cheap enough and most of them seem to have been aimed at children. But one of Adamson's movies included an adultery subplot which ends with the wife being battered and the two men murdering each other. Another had a child staggering to a neighbor's house where he collapses after a brutal beating from his father. The neighbor goes to confront the father and gets shot.

The only thing westerns had going for them is that characters can freely murder each other, usually without consequence.

When I watch any western, I always wonder why everyone isn't trying to make their way back to New York or anyplace where appendicitis wasn't a death sentence.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Soap



I hadn't seen it in since its original broadcast, but I was recently lent a set of DVDs of the full TV series, Soap. Makes me glad that we live in an era of one-camera sit-coms and that they've gotten rid of laugh tracks and live studio audiences.

Back in those days, they warned viewers that it was intended for mature audiences. It was offensive at times. One son breaks into a house and is confronted by a young woman who wants him to rape her and Billy Crystal plays a gay guy who tries to get a sex change and attempts suicide.

Knowing that one star went on to appear in Tony Danza's sit-com and that the butler, Benson, got his own family-friendly spin-off makes it harder to take the filth seriously.

I didn't like the narration by Rod Roddy.

Scott Baio's less successful cousin, Jimmy, plays the youngest son who speaks in a different regional accent than the rest of the family. His character played no role in the plot.

Poor Jimmy Baio.

 It was no Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman and the live audience/laugh track made it hard to binge watch. 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Anthony Weiner, Jared Fogle


If they prosecute him, maybe Anthony Weiner could get Jared Fogle as a cellmate. It may not be a good idea to put two hopeless sex addicts together, but they're both Zionists---Fogle had his Bar Mitzvah in Israel and Weiner denies that the West Bank is under Israeli occupation and was constantly trashing Palestinian people---and they both appeared in Sharknado movies. Fogle was in Sharknado 2 and he and Weiner both appeared in Sharknado 3, but Fogle's part was cut when he was arrested.

As his cellmate, Weiner could coax Fogle into the prison gym. Fogle had been enormously fat and lost a huge amount of weight, but he was still in terrible shape. As long as nobody murders him, he could come out of prison a new man, for all the good it would do him.

They're both washed up. They were third-rate to begin with, Weiner a pandering, race-bating politician and Fogle a porn addict who only came up with his "Subway diet" because there was a Subway on the first floor of his college dorm and he was too lazy to go anywhere else. They were incredibly lucky to have gotten as far as they did in life. They should have crashed and burned a long time ago.

Friday, February 17, 2017

James Franco, John Steinbeck, In Dubious Battle


Click here for a review on Counterpunch.org by Louis Proyect of James Franco's new movie based on a John Steinbeck novel. Points out the shortcomings of both James Franco and John Steinbeck.

About Franco:
...Everything I have heard from Franco in the past five years or so persuades me that outside of acting he overestimates his talents, whether it is writing poetry or teaching classes in the NYU film school. If he wants to become a renaissance man, it would probably be best for him to stick to projects he is qualified for, like being named the face of Gucci’s men’s fragrance line.
 About Steinbeck:
All in all, Steinbeck can barely suppress his disgust with working people that seems to be akin to Eugene O’Neill’s portrait of Yank, the steamship engine stoker in “The Hairy Ape”: barely human. One worker is a “ruminating cow”. Strike leader London has the eyes of a gorilla. Challenging the boss turns them into virtual werewolves. The “stiffs don’t know what’s happenin’, but when the big guy gets mad, they’ll all be there; and by Christ, I hate to think of it. They’ll be bitin’ out throats with their teeth, and clawin’ off lips. . . . That big guy’ll run like a mad dog, and bite anything that moves. He’s been hungry too long, and he’s been hurt too much”.
For Steinbeck, the solution to inequality was a paternalistic leader like FDR who set up beneficent camps like the one depicted in the end of “The Grapes of Wrath” as part of the Resettlement Administration. As the 1930s came to an end, Steinbeck’s views hewed close to that of the New Deal old guard that followed in FDR’s footsteps, including LBJ and Hubert Humphrey—prosecutors of the war in Vietnam that Steinbeck supported.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Maybe they'll prosecute Anthony Weiner after all

 
I thought they had forgotten all about Anthony Weiner, but prosecutors are reportedly thinking about charging him with manufacturing child pornography which would get him fifteen years. They're apparently trying to use the more serious charge to force him to plead guilty to receiving child pornography which would get him "only" five years. The sinewy New York Zionist had been molesting a 15-year-old shiksa over the internet when the cops raided his home. The girl had become jealous and blew the whistle on him after she saw on the news that he had also been sexting a grown woman.

I said before he should flee to Israel. He's 52. They might draft him into the Israeli Army reserves and he might be asked to murder Palestinians, but that's something he's always supported.

I think it would be a nice gesture if his former roommate John Stewart would contribute something to his defense. Weiner was reportedly too broke to finish sexting rehab.

Go Down Death (2013)

 

I was reminded of what Jerry Lewis said when he finally gave in and spoke openly about The Day the Clown Cried. He said it was bad...bad...bad. But, he added, it could have been wonderful.

Go Down Death was filmed in an abandoned paint factory in Brooklyn. It was set in a town somewhere maybe during World War One. We hear artillery in the background.

The director said in an interview that there WAS a plot---every scene made perfect sense to him---but he withheld information. There was a plot, but the audience didn't get to know what it was.

He also said that the actors didn't get paid, but one thing I've noticed with low budget movies made in New York is that the actors are often very good, and when you look them up on imdb.com, a lot of them have pretty good careers going even though they're working for free. I don't know how they get unpaid actors to do nude scenes.

Filmed in grainy black and white, something like a Guy Maddin movie although the cinematography was more conventional, which may not be a bad thing. It looked great.

According to the director, they had to Fed Ex the film to LA to get it processed. It took a week to get it back, so by the time they got their "dailies", the sets for those scenes had already been torn down. It's too bad they couldn't have left the sets up and filmed another movie on them. One where you could follow the plot.

Available on Fandor.Watch it and judge for yourself.


Monday, February 13, 2017

Trump supporter Mitch Albom


Elderly sports writer Mitch Albom lashed out at football players who don't want to go to the White House to meet Donald Trump.

Albom is also the author of Tuesdays with Morrie and some semi-religious stuff.

The aging millionaire wrote:
But these days, few people just go about their business. Not when a statement can be made. So even though a dated invitation has yet to be made, some Patriots felt compelled to tell their fans how repugnant the idea was to them
It is surely their right to do so as Americans
It is also rude.
No one is asking them to endorse a candidate. And taking a photo with your nation’s elected leader doesn’t mean you surrender your right to disagree with every single thing he does. That’s the beauty of America. In fact, the visit may give you a rare chance to express your views to the leader himself.
He writes in the short simple sentences favored by simple-minded rubes who go for that kind of crap.

Well, I for one am glad that he wrote this.

If an elderly relative ever tries to make ME watch Tuesdays with Morrie or The Five People You Meet in Heaven, I'll tell them the books were written by a dirty stinkin' Trump supporter.

Someone who looks like Hitler

Austrian police are looking for a suspect in the crime of looking like Hitler. He's been seen lurking about Braunau, Austria, where Hitler was born. They say he dressed like Hitler, but I'm not sure what that means. Glorifying Nazism is a crime in Austria.

After World War Two, it was suspected that Hitler was still alive. There were thousands of Hitler sightings reported to the FBI. There must be lots of people who look like Hitler. It would be terribly humiliating for the poor wretch in this case if he isn't doing it on purpose.

Michael Cera (left) looks like Hitler's mother.

There was the movie Sherman's March. The filmmaker hears that Burt Reynolds is in town filming a movie. He goes to the hotel where Burt is staying. Then he spots him! Burt Reynolds! He goes to talk to him. Burt Reynolds tries to hide in a phone booth. The filmmaker talks to him and discovers it's just a local who looks like Burt Reynolds who came down with a vague idea of being hired as a double. 

So, I really have nothing to say about it. I just hope they catch that son-of-a-H√ľndin.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Trompie

Trompie lying to his horrible South African father.

Watched a South African children's movie from the 1970s called Trompie. Based on a South African children's book series about a South African tween who's always into mischief and then lies through his teeth about it. I was uncharmed, but it was probably one of the less offensive Apartheid-era South African movies I've seen. It was almost all White which either let it avoid the issue of racism or made it even more racist, depending on how you look at it. It showed only care-free petit bourgeois youth, but it still made the place look like a hell hole.
 
There are other movies based on the same series on YouTube.

Afrikaans is an ugly language, but I hear it has extremely simple grammar. If you want to learn it, all you do is memorize a list of words and you're done.

The way South African cavalry were ordered to mount their horses was "Grappen on der beests!" If you can understand the Katzenjammer Kids, you're already halfway there.

Trompie (left) and friends lie to the minister of their
racist South African church after stealing his baboon.

Monday, February 6, 2017

The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne


An interesting documentary about then-80-year-old jewel thief Doris Payne on trial at the time for stealing a ring from Macy's. It goes over her long life of crime. I'm not sure what people think of when they hear "jewel thief'", but she was more shoplifter than cat burglar and had to overcome racism to succeed in this challenging field.

Payne cites racism as her reason for going into jewel theft. As a teenager, her mother took her to buy a watch. The jewelry store owner was very kind until a white customer came in and he wanted her out of there quick but forgot she was still wearing the watch she had tried on. Later, she says she wanted to be a ballerina but was told she couldn't because there were no Black ballerinas.

The second story seems less plausible since she didn't mention having ever studied ballet or having any interest in it.

She's been arrested a couple of times since the movie came out. She probably shouldn't have been involved in the documentary if she was going to continue with her career. It was noted in the movie that times have changed. They have better security than they used to. She kept escaping from jail when she was younger, but at this stage, all she's going to do is rot in prison.

It shows the importance of saving for retirement and paying into Social Security no matter what your job.

Available on Fandor.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Binge watching Arrested Development

 
Arrested Development gets old fast when you're binge watching. It's almost as if they intended viewers to see only one episode a week.

Each character has only one trait which wasn't that funny to begin with. The show went off the air for a few years until Netflix brought it back. Michael Cera didn't age well. It's always a problem with young actors--you never know what they're going to look like in a few years--but it came as a surprise to me in his case.

I don't entirely understand this thing where sitcoms are made to look like documentaries. On Modern Family, who's supposed to be interviewing the characters and why? Arrested Development was supposed to be in a documentary style, like a typical "reality" show about rich people who don't deserve to be rich. So how do they have an omniscient narrator who's able to show flashbacks to their childhoods?

But it's a lot better than the old three-camera sit-coms. Norman Lear said he thought of episodes of All in the Family as one-act plays.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Littlerock (2010)


The movie Littlerock (2010) took me back to my youth. I'd get in a car with some friends and soon discover that they were taking me to see some of their other friends who were scumbags I wanted nothing to do with. They took me to a guy's house without telling me that they intended to hang around there all day. This was their last chance to see him because he was running away from home, heading for Tennessee. He had slashed his neighbors' tires in anticipation of the trip and told about conversations he had with his probation officer.

I don't know why he wanted to go to Tennessee. Did he think juvenile prisons were nicer there? I can't imagine anyone thinking I'd want to hang around this moron's house for hours on end.

Littlerock was about a brother and sister from Japan visiting the United States. Their rental car breaks down and they're briefly stranded in the town of Littlerock, California. They start hanging around with local riffraff. The sister, who speaks no English, wants to stay there with her wonderful new friends. The brother leaves her to go to San Francisco.

She spends a couple days there. There's an aspiring actor/model being threatened by a local thug he owes money to. They ride around on bikes. They drink beer, smoke cigarettes and smoke something else, I'm not sure what. She eats her first TV dinner.

The movie was pretty good, but I sat there wondering what the girl saw in these people.

Available on Fandor

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Ronan Farrow's at it again

Ronan Farrow

Ronan Farrow is again hinting that Frank Sinatra was his father.

I've known people who've gone through life not knowing who their fathers were. They didn't joke about it. It's rather perverse that Ronan Farrow wants to keep rumors going about his mother's sex life.

When he was in his 70's, Frank Sinatra began forgetting the lyrics to songs he had been singing for decades. The guy wasn't known for brains to begin with and he was a functioning alcoholic.

Woody Allen, on the other hand, is still making a movie a year in his 80's. His father was still working at age 90 and was 100-years-old when he died. His mother was nearly 100 when she died.

I hope Sinatra was Ronan Farrow's father! He deserves early-onset senile dementia and a predisposition to alcoholism! Sinatra had terrible genes.

But we know Ronan Farrow's date of birth and we know where Mia Farrow and Frank Sinatra were nine months earlier. Farrow was filming the movie September in Connecticut and Sinatra was with his wife in Las Vegas where he was performing.

Poor Ronan Farrow. He's pushing 30. Nancy and Frank Sinatra, Jr, were far more successful at his age, so if he is Frank's spawn, he's the pitiful failure of the family. If he didn't launch attacks on Woody Allen every year and hint that his mother was a whore who secretly flew cross-country to sleep with an elderly married man, no one would know or care anything about him.