Sunday, December 10, 2017

More Oldsploitation

Of course, some of the olds are doing the exploiting these days.  Just heard our current President on TV saying "I can think of no better Christmas gift for the American people than a massive tax cut."  First of all, when our current president says "the American people," he is of course referring to his own family, who stand to gain quite a bit from this latest tax cut.  It's like how John Boehner used to say "millions of Americans" when what he meant was "Americans with millions of dollars."  Like the Koch brothers.  Second, I can think of about a hundred better gifts than a slight tweak in the percentage of what I'm already making.  But at least our current president is being honest.  I believe him when he's basically saying that he's not really a creative guy.  It's just boom, and on to the next embarrassing situation.  Gob dless the Untied Shates, everyone!
But rather than complain about the performance of Firefox this week... no, actually, I can still do both.  Let's see what my avg. fps. is this week.  Whatever it is, I still say Firefox's performance is well within the realm of IT SUCKS.  Or as my good friend Bill Ryan would say... SUUUUUUUUUUUUUCKS... man!  Never go on vacation.  My family members are making me watch TV all the time.  Gotta do this tomorrow.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Auteur Watch - Whoopi Goldberg

No, seriously... EVERYONE wants to direct, but more especially if your debut was with a total hack like Steven Spielberg.  Sure, technically it was 1982's Citizen, but this is the kind of detail that doesn't seem to matter, even to biographers of one of the world's lucky few.  The ones that, with the help of exposure from television and the movies, that we decide collectively as a people and as a planet, that these people are the superstars of this life.  Celebrities.  Those couple hundred people or so in the public limelight that help us make sense of all the other 7 or so billion people in total on this planet.
So how did Whoopi come to directing in addition to acting?  Well, like most actors that do it for a living, right away she knew that being the director's the thing.  The thing to be and the thing to do.  Her big chance, of course, was during one of the first "Comic Relief"s.  But if you look at the cast list, you'll notice that it was kinduva group effort, li'l bit.  I mean, how hard is it to tell four or five video cameras what to point at?  A few on the stage, a few in the audience... floor managers and bellhops for that.  Still, it was a traumatic experience, even with four co-directors, so sticking to acting and hosting the Academy Awards it was.  UNTIL..... until the right project came along, and the stars and planets sort of lined up, like just before the psychedelic trip in 2001 gets up and running.  And Whoopi decided that what better subject to do a documentary about than someone in a similar predicament as she?  How about Moms Mabley?  Perfect... but somehow it doesn't seem right that the documentary about her is one of her IMDb Top 4.  Oh well.  'Twas a different era.

Shimmy Shimmy Coco Pop

To any and all Trump defenders on TV, let me just say this... PLEASE stop saying "Nothing Burger."  As the "Seinfeld" episode says, it's played.  It barely played when it first debuted oh those many weeks ago.  As you may know, Urban Dictionary dot com defines "Nothing Burger" as a Trump surrogate's answer to temporarily downplay an(other) impending (Trump-based) scandal... basically like Chip Diller screaming "ALL IS WELL!" before he's trampled to comedic death / flatness, for a cinematic example.  But I always like to teach the controversy, and I think if a Trump supporter were here right now, he or she would probably say that I'm the Nothing Burger, and I'll see them in court.  Good strategy, even I admit!  Well, banana republics work differently that way.
But hey!  Let's stick with the big news.  Pixar's latest, Coco, is still #1 at the Box Office!  It's still having fun, and it's still #1.  And of course the Adobe Flash party is still raging on at Coco's official IMDb page, as it does with all these new releases.  Let's see the tumbleweeds over at A Bug's Life... an inadvertent segue!  But I was thinking about this, because Kevin Spacey accuser Anthony Rapp finds himself in the position of the guy in The Dark Knight (2008) that everyone wants to kill in order to prevent the demolition of a hospital.  Boy, the state of health care even sucks in the movies!  He apparently said that he's now known as the guy who destroyed "House of Cards."  Well, first of all, shame on the people for not knowing the physics behind a house of cards... unless they're glued together, as with some magic tricks, even a powerful enough sigh can knock it down.  Second, even I have to admit that Season 5 of the show has headed into shark-infested waters.  As much as I love Melissa James Gibson, she nevertheless made that all-important claim that Season 5 happened very "organically;" the death of Thomas Yates, on the other hand, smacked a little bit of Dow fertilizer.  But the marketplace of sexual harassers continues to be flooded this week, distracting from the marketplace of American mass shootings.  We've got Russell Simmons' Def Harassment Jam, we got "clean-cut" Garrison Keillor in trouble, and of course Matt Lauer.  Personally, I thought that this was a troubling sign, but what do I know.  Too squeamish, I guess.
No debuts to report on this week, but the battle between Lady Bird and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri duking it out for indie cred in the bottom half of the Top 10 this week.  I'd be very surprised, however, if either Laurie Metcalf or Frances McDormand appear on "Saturday Night Live," even in cameo roles.  Too old to host, right?

Friday, December 01, 2017

Short Reviews - December 2017

":Dryvrs" "Bob's Direction Home" - With Jack Dishel as Jack

"3Some" "Halloween Special 2013" - With Jack Ayers as Jack

4 Men & Monica - With Jack Spring as Jack... hmm!  I'm sensing a theme here...

52nd Street - With Jack White as Jack

"7 Minutes in Heaven: An Interactive Journey" - With Jack Douglass as Jack

Adapt or Die - With Jack Turner as Jack

"Adulting" "When Trash Picking Becomes a Lifestyle..." - With Jack Ayers as Jack

Al's Troubles - With Jack Singleton as Jack

"Alexander: The Other Side of Dawn" - With Jack Rader as Jack

Alone Out There - With Jack Noble as Jack

"Always and Everyone" "A Greater Sense of Degradation" - With Jack Deam as Jack

Amber - With Jack Jagodka as Jack... also with Richard Carrow as Stunt Double: Jack.  Because even though Jagodka USED to be a stunt guy in his own right, he's moved up in the world!  And gets his OWN stunt double now!

Aram, Aram - With Jack Hakopyan as Jack

Artists & Models - With Jack Daley as Jack (voice, uncredited)

"Ashlynn's Drunk Facebook Album" - With Jack Dreesen as Jack

"Bad Singer" - With Jack Howard as Jack

Bear Cats - With Jack McHugh as Jack

"Bedtime Stories" "Truth or Dare" - With Jack Ketchmark as Jack

Beekeeper - With Jack DiFalco as Jack

Best Boy - With Jack Savige as Jack

The Betrayed Friend - With Jack Heabler as Jack

The Big One - With Jack Barley as Jack

"Blue Bloods" "Backstabbers" - With Jack (J.) Cambria as Jack

The Blue Diamond - With Jack Warner as Jack.  Also with Jack Warner as Jack.

"Blue Fin" - With Jock Owen as Jock

"The Body" - With Jack Gordon as Jack

"Boney" "Boney and the Strangler" - With Jack Thompson as Jack

Breaking Up and Down - With Jack Allum as Jack

Breezy Bill, Outcast - With Jack Richardson as Jack

Brooklyn Buckaroos - With Jack Kirkwood as Jack

"Brother's Keeper" "An Odd Couple of Days" - With Jack Klugman as Jack

Bruce's Fists of Vengeance - With Jack Lee as Jack

A Bullet For Your Thoughts - With Jack Allum as Jack

Par Cark Car Park - With Jack Finsterer as Jack

"Carpool" - With Jack Massee as Jack

Casting Central - With Jack Fulton as Jack

Cat's in the Bag - With Jack Allum as Jack

Ceremony - With Jack Rothert as Jack

Chance - With Jack Lucy as Jack

"Cheers" - With Jack Knight as Jack (7 episodes)

Childish Things AKA Tale of the Cock AKA Confessions of Tom Harris AKA Renaissance Man AKA By the Book - With Jack Griffin as Jack

Circuit Riders - With Jack Jozefson as Jack

Citizens - With Jack Dean as Jack.  Also with Jack Atlantis as Jack A.  Confusing.  Downright confusing.

City of the Dream Demons - With Jack Mulvanerty as Jack

The Coin - With Jack Ryan Shepherd as Jack

Come Find Me - With Jack Brett Anderson as Jack

"Coming Out" - With Jack Howard as Jack

"Comp'd" - With Jack Thurston Farrell as Jack

Confessions of a Call Girl - With Jack Shannon as Jack

Convoy - With Jack Ackroyd as Jack

Coral - With Jack Walsh as Jack

"Creative Crisis" - With Jack Howard as Jack

Creepers - With Jack Bishop as Jack... I should probably point out that... also with Douglas Tyler as Jock 1 and with Adam Verner as Jock 2.  Otherwise, they'll beat me up after school, right?

Crime and the Penalty - With Jack Lovatt as Jack

"Cuplicated" - With Jack Allison as Jack

Curry - With Jack Ide as Jack

Cyan Wars 2: Shroud of the Dark Side - With Jack Tillman as Jack

Bance Dand Dance Band - With Jack Holland as Jack

Dancers - With Jack Brodsky as Jack

The Dark Agent and the Passing of the Torch Chapter 7 - With Jack McGee as Jack

Dark Hours: Typee - With Jack O'Connor as Jack

Dark Red Roses - With Jack Clayton as Jack

"Dead Kevin" - With Jack Robichaud as Jack (9 episodes)

Dirty Dishes - With Jack Robichaud as Jack

"Do You Mind?" "Let Them Eat Cake" - With Jack Antoniou as Jack

The Doll Maker - With Jack Perrett as Jack

Don Daredevil Rides Again - With Michael Palin Jack Ingram as Jack (uncredited)

"Donna Ray" - With Jack M. Cohen as Jack

"Doritos: Doritos or my Sister" - With Jack van Landingham as Jack

"Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist" "Earring" - With Jack Gallagher as Jack

"Dragnet" "The Big Actor" - With Jack Mulhall as Jack

"Dream on the Run" - With Jack Lalonde as Jack

"Drink That In" - With Jack Jozefson as Jack

Ebola Zombies - With Jack Chan as Jack

Education of my Life - With Jay Jack as Jack

El Enmascarado de Plata - With Jack O'Brien as Jack

European Night - With Jack Finch as Jack

Exit - With Jack Scalia as Jack

(The) Final Act - With Jack Warfield as Jack

The Firefly Catcher - With Jack Kennedy as Jack

"Fit But You Love It" - With Jack Snelling as Jack

The Fixer - With Jack Mulhall as Jack... also with Marie Newton as Marie Hill... Jack's Sweet Heart

Flirting with Flamenco - With Jack Burns as Jack

For a Good Time - With Jack Bronis as Jack

From Rogues to Riches - With Jack Kirkwood as Jack

Game - With Jack Fulton as Jack

The Game - With Jack Coyle as Jack

"GhostFace" - With W. Jack as Jack (5 episodes)

"Ghostly Encounters" "Tempting Ghosts" - With Jack Everett as Jack

Giants vs. Yanks - With Jack Davis as Jack (as Hal Roach's Rascals)

Goat Getters - With Jack McHugh as Jack.  Also with Jack Lloyd

"Good vs Evil" - With Jack Esformes as Jack (3 episodes)

The Gospel of Jon - With Jack Fulghum as Jack

The Grave Bandits - With Jack Falcis / Jack Love Falsis as Jack

"Grounded for Life" - With Jack De Sena as Jack (2 episodes)

Hair-Trigger Casey - With Jack Hendricks as Jack (uncredited)

Haleyisms - With Jack Haley as Jack

"Half in the Bag" - With Jack Packard as Jack (4 episodes)

Halloween Avenue - With Jack Murphy as Jack

Handle with Care - With Jack Hobbs as Jack

The Harbinger - With Jack Watson as Jack

"Harbor Command" "Harbor Mission" - With Jack Hogan as Jack

The Hard Sell - With Jack McBride as Jack

He Found a Star - With Jack Kellaway as Jack

Heart Troubles - With Jack Kirkwood as Jack (2 episodes)

"Heat Vision and Jack" - With Jack Black as Jack

The Heat's On - With Jack Owens as Jack

Her Wonderful Day - With Jack Hopkins as Jack

Herd - With Jack Maguire as Jack

"Here's Lucy" "Lucy and the Used Car Dealer" - With Jack Berle as Jack

"The Holiday to Remember" - With Jack Hrdlicka as Jack

Home - With Jack O'Connell as Jack

Hope for Humanity - With Jack Johnston as Doug Jones Jack

A Horse for Summer - With Jack Matasek as Jack

How It Ends - With Jack Diamond as Jack

"Howling: New Moon Rising" - With Jack Holder as Jack

Human Error - With Jack Meakin as Jack

Hunger Pains - With Jack Robichaud as Jack

I Should Worry - With Jack Hopkins as Jack

I Think We Might Have to Do Something - With Jack Field as Jack

I Used to Be Darker - With Jack Carneal as Jack

Idaho - With Michael Palin Jack Ingram as Jack (uncredited)

Independence Day - With Jack Carone as Jack

Irma la Douce - With Jack Sahakian as Jack

"It's Me Gerald" "Love and Marriage" - With Jack McLaughlin as Jack

Jack - With Jack Freeney as Jack

Jack & Iris - With Jack Walsh as Jack

"Jack and Dean of All Trades" - With Jack Howard as Jack (12 episodes)

Jack and Jeremy's Police 4 - With Jack Dee as Jack

Jack and Julianna - With Jack Wallace as Jack

Jack and Lucas Go to a Wedding - With Jack Kyser as Jack

"The Jack and Triumph Show" - With Jack McBrayer as Jack (7 episodes)

Jack Goes to the Gym - With Jack Ide as Jack

Jack Off - With Jack Mannix as Jack

"Jack's FAQs" - With Jack Richards as Jack

Jacks or Better - With Jack Wallace as Jack

The Jar - With Jack Anderson as Jack

"Jeff Rosenstock: The Making of 'WORRY.'" - With Jack Shirley as Jack

Jockstrap Slaughterhouse - With Jack Patterson as Jack

"Journey to the End of the World" - With Jack Michel as Jack

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Auteur Watch - Goddey Asemota

Oh good!  Another short one.  Whelp, let's hope he gets started on that second feature real soon!  And maybe someone could review it even!

Trip to Fantasy Land

...see, because, turkey's got tryptophan in it and what-not... never mind.  Anyway, as the world drags on, and all the good TV shows are on hiatus, and tax cuts for the rich hangs on the worst of balances... I feel like complaining about Firefox again!  Unfortunately, I discovered that my blog password is not where I left it, at least not the updated one.  Also, my username is an email address I don't use anymore, of a long defunkt account... defunct?  Let's see if any managers at Blogger pick up on this, and do something about it.  But I'm learning more and more about Firefox now, as I struggle to keep working and negotiating with it.  Seems to be on a good streak now, but... and perhaps you've run into this yourself... it's kinda slow now.  Press Shift and F5 together to open up the "performance" window at the bottom of the screen.  They measure performance in terms of "fps," which is perfect for cinephiles like you and me.  As you may already know, "fps" stands for frames per second.  For a long time, it used to be 24 frames a second, while videotape was 30.  Who knows what it is these days.  Even Peter Jackson and James Cameron can't keep up on all the changes nowadays.  Anyway, Firefox is nothing if not cinematic, which is why its performance metric is fps.  As of this writing, in the year of our Lord 2017, Firefox's maximum fps is 60.  And what am I currently running at?  Well, my average is 46.31 right now, with a minimum of 0.61.  A few days ago, it was 0.10, but it got better, dropping to 0.05, and eventually right down to 0.01, if memory serves!  My brain memory, not RAM, that is.  But the older I get, the more I see both sides of the clouds, and the more I think to myself... is that a raccoon in the front yard?  'Scuse me for a second... okay, I'm back.
Anyway, so begins a long quest to find that password.  Meanwhile, the latest from Pixar is called Coco and it's #1 at the box office, in spite of the quiet new allegations that Pixar creator John Lasseter is another sex monster.  Lotta those going around lately!  So much for Pixar's next round of negotiations with Disney to break free and be their own studio.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Auteur Watch - Martin Glover

Danny's younger brother?  Man, he really must be getting too old for this sh.... !

Owning the Weekend

And I don't use that phrase lightly, because I heard it on the radio.  We only listen to one radio station where I work, but that's okay.  We only spend about an hour and a half in the office before hitting the streets, and it's a nice audio diversion, at least until the boss has us all gather around.  But the local radio guy is this old school broadcaster, being forced to keep an even keel when reading news about our current president.  But he did say something about the new film Justice League and that it was poised to "own the weekend."  I know, right?  Game-changing!  Epic!  Iconic!  ...yes, I changed the order of those to, you know, kinda freshen it up.  Keep it from getting too stale.  Sick, man!  It's a sick lineup.  And it's epic!  Iconic!  Chame-ganging!  Death to the Demoness Allegra Michelle Geller!  Death to Tyrants in General!  Long live the New Flesh LOOK UPON ME!!!!!  ... I think there was a phrase that was screamed over and over in something that took me much longer to find than I thought it would called The Last Big Thing.  Spoiler alert: there is no last big thing, but I tell you what.  You know what owned the weekend?  Jurassic Park 2 when it came out.  How about 2008's The Dark Knight?  That owned about five or six weekends pretty hard!  Guardians of the Galaxy 1 owned its first weekend pretty good, if memory serves.  To me, it depends on how much the second movie makes.  If the second makes 10 million or less, that's really owning the weekend.  Look how much Julia Roberts' movie Wonder made!  27 million!  But if nothing else, it still shows the importance of reading books, and that they still hold a little bit of sway in our damn near completely videocentric culture.  With a big emphasis on superhero movies.  The picture I post with these posts is usually vaguely related to the #1 movie, and this week is no different, because this might be a scene from the new Justice League movie.  Usually in these movies, a bad beacon is sent out at one juncture or another.
Our third and final debut this week is called The Star, which made exactly 10 million dollars in bank.  Now, being who I am, I at first thought to myself, why would, or rather how could, a re-release of an obscure Bette Davis movie do so well?  As usual, I never think of taking a second look at these things, so I looked again and found the appropriate link.  Here's the appropriate link.  It's another Pixar-type deal with a heavier-than-average roster of Hollywood heavyweights doing the voices.  Oprah?  And yet, it wasn't even one of her favorite things.  It didn't make the cover of her magazine, for God's sake!  Guess she's got bigger fish to fry.  But The Star couldn't have come at a better time, to help us think of the story of the First Christmas in a different way, as opposed to the Roy Moore defender who said the thing about how Mary and Joseph were underage too.  I'm also too fatigued to weigh in on Al Franken's incident... but I will say this!  I'm looking at the photo of Franken with his hands near the, um... chest area of Leeann Tweeden, and I dunno!  I don't think they were actually touching.  Just near.  That's right, I'm going to nitpick this horrific photograph now.  But I think Franken's hands were just comedically in a breast-grabbing position, and not actually crossing the line.  Also, there's all these other photos.  And if you Google some of the other photos of Leeann Tweeden, well... I won't post them here.  I try to keep this space family friendly, in spite of some of the thoughts conveyed.  No one wants to say that, I guess, that she posed in Playboy, but more importantly, she was an FHM girl.  But she's already accepted Franken's apology, so you'd think that'd be the end of it.  Also, I don't think there really needs to be a governmental investigation of Franken, but I guess it's nice to call for one.  And I sure as hell don't want to replace Franken with Roy Moore.  Too political?  Sorry... POLITICAL SPOILER ALERT.  But that's the theme this year, the first year of this current president.  I said once before the election that I kinda hope he wins.  Just to see what happens!  I didn't imagine it would be terribly beneficial for him or his family.  I guess they're getting some short term gains, though.  Ivanka's book, for one.  But the Republican party is so bankrupt of plausible candidates that they're already saying that someday Ivanka herself will be president.  Not that she wouldn't be lovely, but I think America needs to be taken a little more seriously in the world again.  Enough of "The Apprentice: Trump White House Edition" already.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Auteur Watch - Danny Glover

...I'm getting too old for this sh... stuff.

The Fall of the House of Priapus

The floodgates are still open, and more stories of Hollywood sexual harassment are coming out.  Fortunately, we live in the Internet Age, and Excel spreadsheets and SQL databases are finally being filled with useful information.  The latest anecdote comes courtesy of Rebel Wilson, who recently told her story of a guy in a position of power who's far, far too big a fan of that one scene from Last Tango in Paris.  I try to keep this a family-friendly blog... okay, maybe not that hard, arguably.  But the guy in a position of power put his own unique spin on it, by wanting Rebel to stick some fingers where the sun don't shine while his friends filmed it on their iPhones.  So far we don't know who this mystery guy is, but judging from what little I know of "Entourage" I'm thinking maybe it was Mark Wahlberg on the set of Pain & Gain... you know what this all means, right?  This means that Hollywood is losing its power!  Its allure as a business unlike any other, with rules that normal people don't have to live by.  I guess we have to look to the world of computer programming now as the place of hopes and dreams.  For one thing, there's apparently a sharp increase in these Silicon Valley types getting plastic surgery.  Can't get more showbiz than that!
As if that weren't bad enough, another Right-wing figurehead that seemed unstoppable looks like he's just about to topple.  There are early reports that Sean Hannity is going to lose a few advertisers over his softball interview of Alabama Senatorial candidate and heterosexual pedophile Roy Moore.  And if Bill O'Reilly is any indication, a complete loss of his show just might be imminent.  But who knows?  I'm not privy to the rumor mill, but Sean seems slightly more straight-laced than, say the aforementioned O'Reilly, who of course recently appeared on Hannity's Fox News show post-career implosion, and he seems slightly more under control than Eric Bolling who got into the sexting hobby while still gainfully employed by Rupert Murdoch.  These guys always have to learn the hard way: all penises aren't special.  No, Sean Hannity's thing is sending around pictures of his bowel movements.  Gonna be sad when that comes out, and all the news anchors have to tiptoe around that.  But one of my Facebook friends makes an interesting point: didn't the party of Lincoln once consider itself to have a monopoly on family values?  I guess they still do, but here's my idea for a Bill Maher-esque new rule: the GOP really has to cut it out with all this "Party of Lincoln" crap.  Um... you know which side of the Civil War he was on, right?  The non-Confederate one.  I don't know much about Lincoln, but something tells me he wouldn't be in favor of all these Confederate monuments erected in 1911.  You know, the Golden Jubilee of the Civil War.  I know Republicans are never hypocritical, but you can't like Lincoln AND the Confederacy at the same time.  You gotta pick.  And so far, they seem to be picking the traitors.  Russia, the Confederacy, what have you.
Oh, but I dwell.  Let's get back to the Top 10.  As expected, Thor: Norse Armageddon is #1 again.  And I couldn't help but notice that a recent TV spot for the film seemed to have a lot of clips of Jeff Goldblum in it.  Which is fine by me; he's probably the best thing in it.  May Act II of his career never end.  The only two debuts this week are the new Murder on the Orient Express and that new Will Ferrell movie called Daddy's Home 2.  Which brings me to a mini-Auteur Watch... Sean Anders.  I mean, look at this confident guy.  Doesn't even need a decent haircut!
...sorry, had to restart Firefox.  I know it's an efficient program and all, but... really?  4 GB?  Why does it need 4 gigabytes of RAM to run?  Maybe my hyperlinks will post a little quicker now.  It was taking me five seconds per link before.  Okay, back to Sean Anders.  Take note, all future writer-directors.  Mr. Anders is nothing if not a prolegomena.  This is what hard work looks like.  It takes 10 years just to get that first film made, and then another ten years to claw your way to a prominent place on the national storytelling stage.  But I can't help but wonder what it says about a guy's résumé when a title like Mr. Popper's Penguins might hurt all your street cred.  Also, you can't help but see that old Hollywood Boys' Club mentality at work with this guy.  I mean, one of his IMDb Top 4 is a film called Sex Drive.  Because, you know, a) even a phrase like "sex drive" can have a double meaning, and b) it's been 20 years, so why not remake The Sure Thing?  Why not, I say?  I'm not saying that Anders' stuff isn't great and all that, but recently he and Jon Lucas / Scott Moore went to each other's meetings in Hollywood by mistake... and no one could tell the difference!  Actually, that's not true... Anders hasn't had as big of a hit as The Hangover.
And finally, I want to give a brief shout-out to Lady Bird, which isn't a debut in the most technical sense because it's been out for two weeks, but it's the first time it's been in the Top 10.  I dunno... doesn't Saoirse Ronan deserve better?  Maybe she will later on when she plays Mary Queen of Scots.  But who knows?  Maybe a thinly-veiled autobiographical slice of Greta Gerwig's life will be just as important in the historical scheme of things when all is said and done.