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 »

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, »