Hollywood

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 »

Wayne Rogers, RIP

Featured image Sad news last night of the passing of actor Wayne Rogers, best known to readers of a certain age as Trapper John on MASH in the 1970s. Rogers left the hit show after just three seasons, and in later life became a highly successful investor. Among other things, he’s the impresario behind “Say ‘Yes’ to the Dress” on TLC. During these years he became a conservative, often appearing on the »

The Big Snort

Featured image Scott rightly scores The Big Short for its, um, shortcomings. John Goodman lays out ten lessons that ought to be understood about the whole story, including these two key lessons completely omitted from the film: Lesson 5: It is also a movie about a massive failure of government. As the movie makes clear, government regulators had no interest prosecuting fraud, even when the protagonists put the evidence right in front »

Worst movies of 2015

Featured image I didn’t see enough movies in 2015 to make a ten-worst list, but I saw enough to make a five-worst list. My moviegoing is limited mostly to serious films aimed at an adult audience. Scouts Guide to the Apocalypse was therefore not in the running. Neither was Zombeavers nor a host of others you either never heard of or don’t need to be warned away from. I avoided several films »

Crime Wave? No, Just Big Wave Silliness

Featured image In my never-ending quest to research the highest camp in trashy C-movies, years ago I rented Surf Nazis Must Die. It was not a success, even as schlocky camp. Just check out the few viewer comments at IMDB if you’re a glutton. Stick with Army of Darkness instead. (Or really anything with Groovy Bruce Campbell, the Olivier of B-movies, who can do no wrong on screen.) I hadn’t given Surf »

Samuel Jackson, one rant away from a MSNBC anchor gig

Featured image Ian Tuttle at NRO calls attention to the deep thoughts of actor Samuel Jackson. Here’s Jackson’s take on terrorism: We’ve been kind of shielded from what the rest of the world’s been dealing with. I remember the first time I left the country — in 1980 I went to London — I knew a little bit about the Irish and the English and what was happening, and then something blew »

The Mapes miasma [Updated With Schadenfreude]

Featured image Variety has opened its pages to former CBS News producer Mary Mapes for an intransigent declaration of her righteousness in the Rathergate affair as portrayed in the film Truth (based on her memoir Truth and Duty). She writes: “Truth” is an uncannily accurate film about what happened when Dan Rather and our team reported an absolutely true story about then-President George W. Bush’s hit-and-miss Vietnam-era military service. We aired an »

And Now for Something Completely Different. . .

Featured image I gather there’s some kind of science fiction moving coming out Friday that a few people may wish to see. Okay, kidding. But after all this hype and the ridiculous TV commercials, how can The Force Awakens possibly live up to expectations? Meanwhile, the geniuses at BadLipReading have done these brilliant treatments of the first two Star Wars films (I say “first two” because I refuse to acknowledge that the »

Star Wars and the Left: The Farce Awakens

Featured image Perhaps you’ve heard this week’s absurdity—MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry (who I am told was somewhere cited as a leading intellectual of our time, but we’ve already explained here how that could be possible) complains that Star Wars is racist because Darth Vader is black. As Glenn Reynolds asks, how is it that Hollywood is such a den of racism? Anyway, our pals at Reason TV have come up with an MSNBC-friendly »

A Libertarian Star Wars Holiday

Featured image Our friends at Reason TV have produced this three minute trailer for how a libertarian version of Star Wars would look. It is a pretty good representation of the glory and the wackiness of libertarianism: »

Gilson’s gallimaufry

Featured image In today’s letters to the editor the Star Tribune publishes Gary Gilson’s apology for his sideswipe of John Hinderaker while swiping me head-on. Here is how it is published it today’s paper: DEBATE OVER THE MOVIE ‘TRUTH’ I apologize for a statement made about the Power Line blog In a Nov. 8 letter to the editor, I wrote that John Hinderaker, a founder of the conservative blog Power Line, had »

From “Truth” to “Trumbo”

Featured image Hollywood provides a steady left-wing pressure on our politics, our culture, and our collective memory. This year the Rathergate film Truth gave an almost unbelievable example, turning the perpetrators of the greatest journalistic scandal of our times into heroes. John and I tried to set the record straight in the Weekly Standard article “Rather shameful” and the Star Tribune column “Lies upon lies.” As the institutional voice of the left, »

The Trouble With the Truth

Featured image There are several problems with the movie Truth. The first is that, notwithstanding its title, it is a pack of lies. The second is that a large segment of the public knows that Truth is a lie, and has no desire to see it for that reason. The third is that apparently–I haven’t seen the film, and won’t–Truth is a crashing bore. So it’s no surprise that Truth is a »

(No) Good Mockin’ Tonight [updated]

Featured image Five stand-up comedians performing at Hollywood’s Laugh Factory subjected Madam Hillary to rude mockery. Who do these people think they are? What country do they think they’re living in? Madam Hillary holds no office, but she wields the royal prerogative. No court jesters allowed. That’s no lady, that’s my queen! Judicial Watch concisely summarizes the story: A video of the short performance, which is less than three minutes, is posted »

Gilson grapples, Campenni pins

Featured image William Campenni served in the the same Texas Air National Guard unit as President Bush in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Bill has served as an authoritative source of information on matters related to Rathergate since 2004. Last night he wrote to comment on Gary Gilson’s letter to the editor attacking me and my Star Tribune column “Lies upon lies.” I noted but declined to engage the substance of »

Gilson grapples with truth

Featured image The Star Tribune has published two letters responding to my column about the Rathergate film Truth. The lead letter is by Gary Gilson, former executive director of the Minnesota News Council. This seems to be the best of what Star Tribune readers who responded had to say: Scott W. Johnson (“Lies upon lies: The sad state of ‘Truth,’ ” Nov. 1) condemns the movie “Truth” for making heroes out of the »

“Truth” hurts [corrected]

Featured image The Rathergate film Truth opened in wide release this past Friday. I took a look at the weekend box-office estimates posted by Box Office Mojo in “Truth doesn’t pay.” The film did not appear to be doing well even by comparison with Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse. Hollywood Reporter observes that the film flopped on its opening this past weekend. Nevertheless, we may have underestimated the magnitude of the »