Hollywood

Testamentary incapacity

Featured image Vera Brittain was the English writer whose memoir Testament of Youth (the first of three such memoirs by her) became an immediate best-seller upon its publication in Great Britain in 1933. Brittain wrote of her experience working as a nurse tending to the wounded in World War I and the tragic deaths of of her brother as well as her fiancee and friends in the conflict. The book has remained »

The Dems’ Missing Linc

Featured image Lincoln Chafee—who I liked to call the “Missing Linc” during his brief tenure as a U.S. Senator—has made moving to the metric system a key plank of his presidential campaign. What—is he trying to allow Jon Stewart’s writers to get the day off? Trying to make Bernie Sanders look sensible by comparison? But the Missing Linc has missed his real opening if he really wants to get the approval of »

Chris Pratt’s Pre-Emptive Apology

Featured image I haven’t really followed the acting career of Chris Pratt very closely, though I did enjoy him as the lead in the surprisingly effective Guardians of the Galaxy last year. He’s in the upcoming Jurassic World, and he’s posted on Facebook a “pre-emptive” apology that suggests he might be a Common Sense Fellow Traveler. This is a work of considerable literary skill: I want to make a heartfelt apology for »

The Binks Awakens!

Featured image Are any of you other geeks out there looking forward to the new Star Wars films as much as I am?  I regard it as a good sign that J.J. Abrams took on the franchise, despite having gotten hopelessly lost with Lost. His reboot of Star Trek turned out rather well I thought (please spare me any more Jean Luc Piccard and his UN General Assembly sensibilities).  Besides, George Lucas »

How Long Can Noah Tread Water?

Featured image The Daily Show has announced little known South African comic Trevor Noah as Jon Stewart’s replacement, and going with an unknown talent is an understandable move for such an iconic show. (Some initial media reports predictably referred to this South African as “African-American” because they’re afraid to say “black,” because PC.) But speaking of PC and compromised comics, the furor that has erupted over some of Noah’s old un-PC tweets »

Missing Paddy Chayefsky

Featured image We already noted yesterday the tendentiousness of the “gender pay gap” theme that made an appearance at the Academy Awards Sunday night—an entertainment moment that seems to be reverberating like like Cady Stanton at Seneca Falls or something.  (In his typically provocative way, Glenn Reynolds suggests Republicans pass a bill mandating equal salaries for men and women lead actors of equivalent billing in all Hollywood productions, and watch hilarity ensue. »

Introducing the Mnemosyne index

Featured image I have for the longest time employed two simple criteria to screen out movies for viewing. First, I want to know whether a film is aimed at an intelligent adult audience. I can’t believe how many films are aimed at teenage boys and teenage girls. Second, I want to know if the resolution of a film’s plot employs some gratuitous attack on the United States or a politically correct variant »

Thinkin’ about “Lincoln” again

Featured image We’ll be celebrating the anniversary of Lincoln’s birth tomorrow in the usual way, but I wanted to warm up with this 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 »

Michael Moore Film Festival! (Not)

Featured image If you’re on Twitter, dial up the thread under #MichaelMooreMovies.  If you’re not on Twitter, you’re missing some great suggested movie titles for Michael Moore (and some good photos. a few of which I’ve excerpted below).  For example: Journey to the Center of the Girth Around the Waist in 80 Days Lord of the Onion Rings Diet Another Day Fahrenheit 7/11 The Ten Condiments The Hunt for Red Lobster Live »

The Best Star Wars News Yet

Featured image I’m not sure I’m completely sold on the genius of J.J. Abrams—look, his TV show “Lost” was appropriately named—but I am glad he’s made the right call about dumping George Lucas into Hollywood’s celluloid ash heap, as reported deliciously by TMZ: Disney thinks the Force is no longer strong with George Lucas … because the legendary filmmaker says all his ideas for the new “Star Wars” film were tossed out the nearest »

There’s something about Louie: Billy Graham and after

Featured image Gary Schneeberger of Grace Hill Media (a marketing firm established to reach “religious America”) has sent us the message and accompanying video below. Although it is a form message, it follows up where I left off in “There’s something about Louie.” Here is the message: By now you may have heard that UNBROKEN, the inspirational true-life story of war hero Louis Zamperini, blew away all industry estimates at the box »

There’s something about Louie

Featured image We went to see the film Unbroken on Christmas day at a suburban St. Paul multiplex. We arrived punctually for the first afternoon showing only to find that it had long since sold out, as had each subsequent showing until 10:30 p.m. They had a few tickets left for that one, but we bought two tickets for a mid-afternoon showing yesterday. It also sold out. Indeed, although we arrived 40 »

Dr. Evil Versus the Norks

Featured image I suppose it shouldn’t surprise us that Saturday Night Live had a better response to North Korea than President Obama did, starring Mike Myers as “Dr. Evil.”  I especially like the predictable “There’s already a GOP,” because—what took so long? »

Hollywood Got the Hillary Memo

Featured image Hollywood is already caving in to liberal guilt over its capitulation to North Korean intimidation, apparently agreeing with Hillary Clinton that we need to empathize with our enemies. In an article out this afternoon in the LA Weekly that ostensibly laments giving in to threats, it isn’t long before the article goes full tilt boogie for liberal guilt: The movie about a talk TV crew’s CIA-initiated plot to assassinate a »

Profiles in Hollywood Courage: Sony Caves

Featured image No sooner than I suggest that Hollywood order up a whole slate of movies mocking North Korea than the news comes that Sony is pulling theatrical release of “The Interview,” about which the hackers have threatened terrorist violence.  Call me a cynic, but I wonder if this isn’t a brilliant marketing play on behalf of a movie that was heading for total bomb status at the box office.  Sony will »

How To Deter the Norks

Featured image So far most news reports about the massive Sony hack are expressing “uncertainty” about whether North Korea is behind the cyberattack. Today Variety reports that the hackers are threatening 9/11-style terrorist attacks on theaters that screen “The Interview,” the Seth Rogan/James Franco vehicle making fun of the latest Little Kim to tyrannize the unfortunate northern half of Korea. Frankly this threat makes me skeptical that the Norks are behind this. »

Think Hollywood Is Unpatriotic? You’re Right

Featured image As you probably know, Sony Pictures was hacked, allegedly by someone in North Korea, and a lot of data has leaked into the public domain, at least some of it via Gawker. Among the documents that have become public are Sony marketing materials in Power Point form that show how the studio intended to promote various movies. This one is for “Captain Phillips,” a relatively rare hit for the studio. »