Hollywood

How Bad Was the Reagan Movie Script?

Featured image Hollywood is fighting back over Will Ferrell’s abandonment of the Reagan-with-Alzheimer’s “comedy.” Two Hollywood tabloids have offered additional details about the plot and nature of the film. How bad was the script? This bad: here’s the Hollywood Reporter: It turns out Reagan is actually a good-natured and well-researched comedy that offers an “alternate take” on seismic events in American history — a direct descendent of 1999’s Dick, in which Kirsten »

Anchorman Sinks to the Bottom [Updated]

Featured image Any honest assessment of Will Ferrell comedies would have to say they are uneven. The first Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby are classics; Get Hard, Step Brothers, and Blades of Glory, not so much. The best you can say about the next Ferrell vehicle announced yesterday, in which he will portray an Alzheimer-impaired President Reagan being manipulated by his staff, is »

Epstein’s Law applied to “Confirmation”

Featured image Edward Jay Epstein is in my opinion our greatest living journalist. Given his three books on the Kennedy assassination, I don’t think there is anyone who knows more about the subject than he does. As I saw what Hollywood did with Rathergate in the film Truth this past fall, and how credulous reviewers took it at face value, it occurred to me to ask Ed what he made of Hollywood’s »

Confirmation Bias, Part Two

Featured image In a post called “Confirmation Bias,” I discussed “Confirmation,” an HBO film about the 1991 hearings on Clarence Thomas’ nomination to the Supreme Court, and Anita Hill’s sexual harassment allegations against him. When I wrote the post two months ago, Senators John Danforth and Alan Simpson, two moderate Republicans who supported the Thomas nomination, had complained about the script they saw. Simpson called it a “seriously distorted” version of the »

Hollywood Schemes to Drive America to the Left

Featured image We have written a number of times about the Democracy Alliance, the Left’s largest “dark money” group, starting with this post. Now Politico reports that the agenda for the Alliance’s latest meeting, in Santa Monica, has come to light: An agenda obtained by POLITICO shows that the four-day gathering, which is closed to the press, features at least two sessions focused partly on harnessing the power of Hollywood and the »

Not Gonna Call These Gals

Featured image I’ve long argued that Ghostbusters was a conservative movie, because the bad guy was an arrogant bureaucrat from the EPA, and moreover, there’s snappy dialogue that reinforces entrepreneurialism and the private sector: Dr Ray Stantz: Personally, I liked the university. They gave us money and facilities, we didn’t have to produce anything! You’ve never been out of college! You don’t know what it’s like out there! I’ve *worked* in the »

The Great Gasbag: Sequel Coming Soon

Featured image A few weeks back in “The Great Gasbag” I took special aim at Leo do Caprio for his stereotypical Hollywood elitism and hypocrisy. And so this news made my day: Leonardo DiCaprio to Produce Post-Apocalyptic Climate Change Film Leonardo DiCaprio and his partner at Appian Way Productions, Jennifer Davisson, bought the movie rights for an eco-themed, post-apocalyptic young adult novel, The Sandcastle Empire. The book, written by Kayla Olson, has not yet been published, but attracted »

Thinkin’ about “Lincoln”

Featured image As we celebrate the anniversary of Lincoln’s birth today, I want to take a look back at the 2012 film Lincoln. Until reading David Brooks’s obtuse column about the film, I was unsure that I knew enough to comment intelligently about it. Brooks persuaded me that I know at least as much as he does, however, and accordingly prompted me to offer the following in the way of notes for »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll explains: WHY I AM BOYCOTTING THE OSCARS. She writes: Oh, mercy me! I realize that by now this is not breaking news but, evidently, black people have not garnered any nominations this go-round in the Oscars. Disaster! Black Awards Matter! It certainly could not possibly be that no individual black actor was outstanding enough in a good enough film to merit such acclaim in 2015. Oh, no. It’s »

British star pushes back against Oscar racism charge [Updated]

Featured image I’ve been a fan of Charlotte Rampling ever since I saw “Georgie Girl” nearly 50 years ago. So I was delighted to see that she is criticizing claims that this year’s Oscar nominations are unfair to African-Americans. Rampling, who was nominated for best actress for her performance in “45 Years,” says the charge is unfair to the white actors nominated. Indeed, the charge is “racist to whites,” in her opinion. »

Reliving “13 Hours”

Featured image Daniel Henninger devotes his weekly Wall Street Journal column to 13 Hours. The column is “’13 Hours': It’s political” (accessible here via Google, I hope). Henninger’s column marks an important contribution to the discussion. Among other things, Henninger writes: The movie “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” opened last week, and the cold-water machines have been hosing it. No one cares about Benghazi anymore, the conventional sniffing goes, because »

The Great Gasbag

Featured image Yesterday I was booked on Fox Business News with the plan of offering some comment on Leo di Caprio’s remarks at the World Economic Forum about how corporate “greed” is preventing global warming from being solved. (Then he hopped back on his private jet and flew away to one of his many mansions that have the carbon footprint of a small African nation.) But the market crash of the morning »

“13 Hours” revisited

Featured image We went to see the film 13 Hours at the Grandview Theater in St. Paul this past Saturday evening. Paul Mirengoff gave a good account of the film here. Paul’s post states what I have to say in greater detail and more articulately than I will. I only want to urge readers to see the film in a theater while you still can and to add these comments. The movie »

From Pen to Penn to Pen?

Featured image I just don’t have it in me to read Sean Penn’s Rolling Stone article about Mexican druglord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán. It’s Rolling Stone, after all; the home of accurate, quality reporting. And Sean Penn. I’ll just go with Ian Tuttle’s assessment over at National Review, and Monica Showalter at IBD. But if it is true that Penn inadvertently led authorities to capture Guzman and send him back to the Pen, »

Lies of “Trumbo”

Featured image The film Trumbo was released on November 6. Starring Bryan Cranston as the celebrated screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, the film purports to revisit Hollywood’s blacklist. The film follows the party line, so to speak, and was generally well received. It was in any event mostly taken at face value as history even by those who found it wanting. The film came in third on my short list of worst films of »

Lies of “Truth”

Featured image This past October 16 the Rathergate film Truth opened in more than a thousand theaters around the country. John and I warned viewers not to take the film at face value in the Weekly Standard article “Rather shameful.” On the film’s opening weekend the Star Tribune also carried my column reminding readers of the film’s factual background. The column was published as “Lies upon lies: The sad state of the »

The Times stumbles onto…

Featured image The New York Times made itself a fool for the Rathergate film Truth. The Times not only published Stephen Holden’s breathless review of the film, the Times celebrated the film in a TimesTalks event featuring Robert Redford, Cate Blanchett, Dan Rather, and Mary Mapes, hosted by Times Magazine staff writer Susan Dominus. Holden also included Truth in his year-end best-of-2015 list (it’s number 7!). The Times went all in for »