Monday, August 21, 2017

Auteur Watch - Haile Gerima

Well, I tell ya... this guy looks like the real deal!  What we in America think of as 'auteurs.'  Writer-directors of independent films, good critical reception... he kind of reminds me of John Sayles that way.  And they seem to have most of his films on DVD at my local last living video store ever.

Heather Heyer

Greetings from the Deep State.  And what exactly is the Deep State, you might ask?  Well... good question.  Urban Dictionary says... actually, you should probably skip that site.  I'm not entirely sure myself, but from what I can gather on the TV news, it's a vast, probably left-wing, conspiracy that wants to see President Donald Trump fail.  And when I heard that, I couldn't help but think to myself... hell, sign me up!  Besides, he got someone onto the Supreme Court!  That's... that's kind of a victory, right?  Well, the Right Wing need all the help they can get.  They want the government to stay out of peoples' lives... but they'll never miss a chance to promote their universal message of hate and intolerance from whatever podium they can get their hands on, be it sectors public or private.
...oh, right.  The box office.  Well, let's see, Ryan Reynolds' latest was #1, director Steven Soderbergh's latest was #3, and Jeremy Renner's latest non-Marvel-based movie, Winter's Bone... I mean, Wind River, enters the Top 10 at #10 after being on the charts at three weeks.  (Jennifer Lawrence, why won't you return Debra's calls???)  Okay, got that out of the way; back to Trump.  I know, I should just mind my own business.  I mean, this is a movie blog, after all.  I mean, Drumpf's movie work is already pretty well confirmed as being beyond reproach, right?  If only he tried a little bit harder to get points off of Home Alone 2, the good one.
But it's been a bad week for Drumpf.  Drumpf companies are losing money... Steve Bannon's out of the White House, which Robert Mercer's probably not happy about.  I mean, sure, they say that Steve Bannon's returning to Breitbart "News" the conquering hero and all that, but... if you had to pick between Brietbart "News" and THE WHITE HOUSE... that's a pretty easy choice, right?  Yes, we've all made Steve Bannon angry... we won't like Steve Bannon when he's angry.
But the slight change this week in the usual barrage of bad Drumpf-based news is a slight glimmer of hope out of the violence and deaths at Charlottesville, Virginia.  I'm not a big-time celebrity or anything, of course, and I don't have to send out press releases anytime something tragic happens, like about how our hearts and prayers go out to the victims... but my heart does go out to the victims of the violence at Charlottesville.  Oh, White Supremacists and Neo-Nazis... it was so simple.  All you had to do was keep a low profile for four to eight years, and you'd get practically everything you could have wanted from Vladimir Putin's pick for United States President!  I was a little confused because, well... Trump won't condemn anything Putin does because of two reasons: 1) the pee-pee tape, and two, if Putin gets what he wants, then he'll have another Russian oligarch buy a Trump property at an over-inflated price or something.  Perfect way to launder money.  Now, Trump didn't condemn White Supremacists and Neo-Nazis... do they have a pee-pee tape on Trump?  I'd be very surprised if they had money to give to Trump.  I mean, enough to make Trump sit up and take notice.  I'm told that Trump gets money because of his "genius."  Nice work if you can get it, of course.
But it looks like it's time once again to deal with Neo-Nazis and White Supremacists.  Kind of like how we have to deal with abortion over and over again in this country.  Almost makes me wish I lived somewhere in the European union; France maybe.  But girls with hairy armpits?  Oh well, probably shouldn't be a problem for me.  I think France has probably come to terms with the abortion issue a long time ago, but what do I know.  Anyway, all the comedy show hosts have already dealt with this issue better than I alone possibly could, but I do have a question.  I saw those rather professionally-shot videos of the White Supremacist marchers.  Wonder what kind of a camera they used?  Was it one of those cool new 'Red' cameras?  Or maybe just a Canon EOS of some stripe.  Maybe it was someone's iPhone 7; if it was, they're probably not going to use it in a commercial any time soon.  But I noticed they were all carrying those torches called 'Tiki' torches... umm, those are Polynesian, right?  Hypocrite much, guys?  Where's those White People torches or Nazi torches you should be using?
As for White Supremacy itself, well... I'm looking for any advantage I can get in life, but somehow I don't see it amongst the White Supremacists.  Any time I see White Supremacists on TV, it's usually at their isolated compounds someplace in the middle of nowhere.  Okay, so they're real-estate savvy, that's one thing.  But other than that, what makes them so supreme?  I mean, can they fly?  Can they shoot lasers out of their eyes?  Anything remotely resembling the X-Men?  No, because if they did, they'd be on TV the next day bragging all about it, showing off their ability to fly.  So that's out, but how about beauty?  We don't know how many of these neo-Nazis or White Supremacists / Nationalists / Alt-Right whatevers are out there... maybe the stats guy knows.  Nate Silver.  They must be breeding in sufficient numbers to be enough of a force, but do you find any of them exceptionally photogenic?  I mean, in some circles, even Rush Limbaugh is probably a Midwest standard of beauty.  A lot of people probably look like him out there in cheese country, but I gotta say the last time I saw a group of a dozen White Supremacists huddled around a TV news camera... man.  Somebody whooped a few of those folks with a serious uggo stick.  But I guess it's nice that they stick together.  But more generally, have you ever seen a person with white skin and just said to yourself, man!  That's some beautiful white skin they have!  First of all, Michael Jackson eventually turned out whiter than most white people!  And I think I've risked saying this before, maybe on this blog, and since the issue's come up, every once in a while I'll see someone from Africa with really dark skin and it'll be striking.  One can't help but do a double take.  I'm a very visual person, hence my love of movies I suppose.  I can't remember the last time I did that with a white person.  And if you're white with a lot of red freckles... sheesh.  Not my thing.  More of a Mormon thing, I suppose.
So neo-Nazis and White Supremacists aren't particularly photogenic beyond the average, and they have no superpowers to speak of.  So how about intelligence?  Seems to me that if someone commits an act of great intelligence... kind of hard to remember the last big one, maybe the time when Fermat's Last Theorem was solved.  Ooh!  How about the discovery of hot-carrier solar cells?  How about Elon MUSK, for God's sake?  I guess they're coming to me now.  Now, with those examples, I don't remember anyone claiming that they were able to achieve these great things because of their particular ethnicity, or how "pure" their whiteness is.  Are any of these neo-Nazis and White Supremacists aware how complicated a single strand of DNA is?  Hundreds of thousands of ... excuse me, 3 billion base pairs of DNA in 46 chromosomes.  If you want to sift through all that to find pure whiteness, have at it.  I'm not going to bother.  No, the only thing that neo-Nazis and White Supremacists seem to be really good at is committing acts of violence.  Also, they apparently are allowed to carry semi-automatic weapons with them when they go on their little frog marches into small- to medium-sized towns.  A few of the really exemplary ones seem to be good at getting their asses thrown in jail for murder.  Maybe it's part of some larger game plan to try and reform the prison system from within.  Maybe they don't publicly want to say anything about the disproportionate number of black people in our prison system, but at the same time they feel like our prisons just aren't white enough, and so they have to kill a few protestors every now and then to try and even out the scales a little bit, get a few more "pure" white people in prison.  I think my favourite joke this week was the one Colin Jost said about how, say, just theoretically, if Warren Buffett or Channing Tatum started advocating for white supremacy... okay, sure, we'd hear them out.  But when it's Dougie Two-Teeth running out of the woods, on his way to his second shift at the hot dog stand... we're like, dude!  What's your secret?  Please, I want in on the ground floor of that!  ...okay, a shout out to Michael Che as well.  Probably the part where he says "...I don't want to do this!"  Oh, and where he says, what will make a comeback next?  Polio?  Roy Wood Jr. on "The Daily Show" tonight was awesome, as usual.  He said what I was thinking.  Neo-Nazis and White Supremacists... you guys just gotta chill, man!  You've got your president, you don't want to lose him over this!  Of course it may already be too late.  If this isn't the straw that breaks Drumpf's back, well... I know his ego won't let him quit.  And the pee-pee tape.
One last thought.  I'm part Jewish myself, so naturally I've got my bias.  But when I heard and saw all those white faces, holding the Polynesian torches, chanting "Jews will not replace us," I couldn't help but think to my partly Jewish self, I don't replace garbage.  I throw it out.  I don't put it on the table and call it caviar.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Auteur Watch - Geretta Geretta

I don't know why, but for some reason I wasn't looking forward to profiling this person.  I'm probably just afraid of a strong, confident woman, as most men are, heterosexual or otherwise.  Also, I don't have a sister, which probably explains a lot, misinforms my thinking in innumerable ways.  Or maybe I'm just jealous of members of the Cosa Nostra... or is it Conde Nast?  I always mix those two up.  But I have seen their magazines in the waiting areas of my local HMO lately... probably the Conde Nast.  I'd love to go to exotic places and eat exotic, probably non-kosher foods, I really would... but I have to wait another month for me gutty-whats to properly heal.  Kinda tough when you have to get up every hour or two to hit the head.
...sorry, got distracted again.  But really, I'm so not the proper person to tell the story of Geretta (Giancarlo) Geretta.  They say that this was written by A. Nonymous... but really, I think it's just a clever alias for G. G. herself.  But like a few of the lucky people who are told all their young lives that they're good looking and ought to be in movies, Geretta actually did something about it.  When things weren't panning out for her too well in the states, it was off to Italy, where she worked her way up to something called Demons (1985).  You'll find what I'm assuming is a compilation of her scenes in that movie right here on YouTube... I guess I wasn't in the mood for it just now.  Maybe I'm just more squeamish now that I'm older, but I will say that a lesser film would have showed a woman's brains when the top of her head gets partially ripped off.  In Demons (1985), you only see a pool of blood.  Thank GOD chivalry prevailed.
Anyway, having conquered the field of cinema acting in the 1980's, and working a lot harder than she ever thought she would, Geretta x 2 decided it was time for a break.  The beginning of a new American decade is as good a time as any to try a career change.  Alas, the ten year gap on her IMDb résumé doesn't tell the whole story... and the average 9 to 5 job, guarded ferociously by top notch job interviewers, had a lot of trouble with that large gap as well.  Which is why we must return to the bio page of Geretta squared for the answer.  You know, a lesser talent would have put the short films "When Fish Fly" and "Love to Share" on their IMDb résumé, but not GG.  No way, know how.  Well, maybe one of them is on YouTube... boo!  Wild Kratts?  What's that?  I don't care about Wild Kratts!  I don't care about the "When Fish Fly" episode of Wild Kratts!  I typed in the search field Geretta GERETTA's When Fish Fly episode!  I mean, short film!  Sadly, the internet just can't do everything yet, sorry to say.
Anyway, life gets in the way, and Geretta's ambition to move from in front of the movie camera to behind it took a little longer than it should have... but it eventually DID happen, haters and losers.  Take THAT.  Put THAT in your bong and make it bubble and boil.  We got 2001's Sweetiecakes.  I do love the "poster" for the film, even though it throws out the window most of the regular rules of what constitutes a movie poster in the first place.  While we may never know what this film actually looks like... Scarecrow Video in Seattle, Washington sure doesn't seem to have it... I should probably take this brief moment to amend something I said earlier in an Auteur Watch segment.  For those of you keeping score, it was the Reggie Gaskins profile.  Clearly I spoke too soon, as I and other bloggers tend to do.  NOW when you're out with your film geek friends, and that inevitable conversation about best all-time screenwriter comes up... and, of course, all the good ones get snapped up right away.  You know the drill: Francis Ford Coppola, Billy Wilder and I. A. L. Diamond, Paddy Chayefsky... Kevin Williamson, Tyler Perry, and so on.  Well, you, as a film noobie, what are YOU supposed to say?  Well, being the omega member of this group, the proverbial Clyde of the Pac-Man ghosts, you're free to do as you please, while the other three are constantly on ol' Pac's tail.  Just right damn straight on it.  Or Ms. Pac, depending on which you prefer.  So, when all the A-listers get snapped up, and it's your rare turn to speak, you say G-squared... then you explain that it's your shorthand for Geretta Geretta, complete filmmaker extraordinaire.  You should probably open with that she's two or three steps removed from Asia Argento; film geeks live and breathe on those kind of tenuous connections.  Anyway, as for WHY she's the world's best screenwriter?  Because in her directorial debut Sweetiecakes, she plays a character named... now, mind you, this is Geretta Geretta we're talking about here... she plays a character named ... let me double check the spelling on this... Attereg-Attereg!  And yes, she did insist that cast and crew on that show refer to her as Attereg-Attereg all through that film's troubled production... but can't argue with results, right?  Only the truly great writers can come up with a character name by reversing their own name AND add the dash in between the two words... well, those film geeks weren't really your friends anyway.  Good riddance to bad rubbish.
...hmm!  I just noticed in the cast list of Sweeticakes that someone named Attereg Attereg plays a character named "Topless Girl in Club."  Well, that's just gluttony, frankly.  Geretta further played casting director Overrider in Chief by casting herself as "The Dancer" in her fourth directorial effort called Sweets and Teats.  Well, when you happen upon a directorial theme like sweets, it's hard to give it up.  Kinda like people who play Candy Crush all the time.  While we may never know what this film actually looks like... Scarecrow Video in Seattle, Washington sure doesn't seem to have it... either... I can't help but notice that the list of the film's full cast and crew is, um... kinda short.  Even shorter than Sweetiecakes even!
Alas, all great epic stories must come to an end sometime, and Geretta G.'s IMDb bio page runs out.  Too bad; I really would've liked to have heard the one about how, having conquered the world behind the movie camera, how and why she felt compelled to go back in front of it.  Can't play those dancer roles forever!  Gotta upgrade to dancing mom sometime!  But I think I understand being bitten by the acting bug.  I mean, it's damn near a once in a lifetime opportunity when a role like Satanica comes up.  Hey, she gets to collaborate with Italians again!  A toast to Geretta Geretta, people.

For more information, go to the following YouTube links:

Geretta Geretta explains why dubbing in Italian cinema
Joe Zaso's Cafe Himbo with Geretta Geretta
Geretta Geretta interview
Rugerro Deodato & Geretta Geretta Housecore 2013 Interview Pt. 2

...or just type Geretta Geretta in the U-Tube search engine yourself!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Another Boring August

It used to be that August was the slowest month of the year in almost all ways.  No federal holidays, no news... but now it's all extreme weather events and Donald Drumpf on the news.  Thank GOD we get the occasional boring Hollywood weekend to look forward to.  And this one's particularly bad.  While we all await the release of Logan Lucky... you've seen a web ad or two for it, I'm thinking... we've got three debuts this week.
Up first, the latest PG-13 rated horror film... oops!  This one's actually an R!  This one's actually another sequel that's ashamed of the Roman numerals, and it's called Annabelle: Creation.  They say that it's actually a part of the "universe" of The Conjuring, even though Annabelle's IMDb Connections page doesn't reflect that (currently).  Must be a Protestant thing... I just don't get it.  But whatever; it's #1, and we get to look forward to learning the rest of this story, as decreed by the market rules.
Up next, it's the latest off-off Pixar movie, and it's a sequel that's only half-ashamed of the Roman numeral sequel system.  It's called The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature.  A nice place to drop off the young kids while you go and watch Annabelle with the teenagers.  Now, Nut Job 2 is only half-ashamed of the Roman numeral sequel system in Hollywood... but look at the poster for Nut Job 1.  LOOK UPON IT!!!!!!  Does that font look different to you?  This is why it's not Pixar.  I mean, take the poster for Finding Nemo and its sequel Finding Dory.  You'll notice that they BOTH use the same hyper-inflated Gill font for the lettering of both.  People do notice and do care about such (attention to) details, guys!  But whatever.  This is the weekend to celebrate the triumph of Hollywood's Next John Lasseter, and his name is Peter Lepeniotis.  Dreams can and do come true, people.  It just shows to go you that, with a little elbow grease and a whole lot of stick-to-it-iveness, you too can grow up to watch Over the Hedge, come up with your own unique take on it, and boom.  Eight years later, you're the toast of Hollywood.  And then, three years after that, boom.  The sequel to end all sequels.
And finally, our last debut this week is The Glass House... no, wait, that was from 2001 when Leelee Sobieski was the new "it-girl."  It's actually 2017's The Glass Castle, and Brie Larson's the new "it-girl."  It also co-stars the nerdy girl from Tank Girl, Naomi Watts, and also features Woody Harrelson.  In this film he plays a drunk father... now, maybe I'm a little short-sighted, but is Woody Harrelson getting typecast here?  He definitely played a drunk father in... what's it called... The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio.  He also played the boozy, father-figure-ish type in The Hunger Games, of course.  Phooey.  I guess that's not enough evidence to consider this a case of typecasting.  Oh well; can't win 'em all.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Auteur Watch - George Bowers

...boy!  A lot going on on this résumé.  Well, clearly George's first love was editing.  But just like Stuart Baird and Raja Gosnell after him, George found himself sitting there at the Moviola, the stale fumes of film glue everywhere, the director bossing him around for the umpteenth time that day... and he couldn't help but think to himself, you know, there's just GOTS to be a better way.  Yeah!  The director!  That's the thing to be!  The big boss.  When's it George's turn, huh?  When does GEORGE get to give some orders for a change round here, huh?
And so, the thought lingered, the right project fortunately happened to come along, and ... boom!  "Vegetable Soup" was born.  Well, the dude must've been busy, because the editing work seems to have dropped off at this point.  Maybe like Raja Gosnell, this will take!  The editor has now become the director!  The only problem is George just can't stop telling the actors about how the scene will be edited later.  They need tips!  Motivation!  A gentle kick in the ass, knowhutimean?  But George grew tired of the stale TV scene.  It was time to tackle that big silver screen, man!  The place of prestige!  And so we got... The Hearse.  I guess someone got the idea after reading Christine or something... ooh!  I have a question, teach.  How did that work out contractually, anyway, the film title of Christine.  I mean, we have two titans of industry at a potential loggerheads here.  Stephen King, and John Carpenter.  Did they finally agree to disagree and call it John Carpenter's Stephen King's Christine in deference to the film director?  Or do we call it Stephen King's John Carpenter's Christine in deference to the film's author?  ...oh, right!  The Hearse!  Well, while other debates rage on, I guess everyone agreed on The Hearse that it was just kinda... Bleich.
However, there's a ray of light and hope.  I guess you could call it a silver lining to a cloud... but we've had, like, fifty days of no rain up here.  And it's the Northwest!  Rain is what we're famous for!  That could change.  Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that George Bowers had some breathing room to find his voice.  Not a lot of that these days.  A different era.  It was enough to just get the thing done on time and under budget back then.  And apparently he did!  But in between two episodes of "The Dukes of Hazzard," George certainly found some slight notoriety for the 1980s with two titles: My Tutor and Private Resort, starring a young Johnny Depp for the first time.  Yup.  But you know, Johnny is a sweetheart, at least to most people who aren't Richard Greico.  And some sixteen years after Private Resort, George was back at the Moviola, but he got to edit Johnny Depp the international movie star on a little something called From Hell.  Now, if you don't get a teardrop to your eye over that, well... you're just a cold bastard and or bastardina, that's all there is to it.  And you probably wouldn't like working in Hollywood much, because the town's got thicket upon thicket of tenuous relationships like that.

The Hollywood Reporter - obituary of George Bowers

King of the Word

First, the good news... acclaimed author and one-man publishing industry Stephen King scores his latest triumph at the box office with The Dark Knight... I mean, The Dark Tower.  I'm told it's based on a whole series of books, naturally.  Why would one expect Stephen King to not create a series of books?  It's the story of a gunslinger named Andy Dufresne... I mean, Roland Deschain.  And... well, I've probably already spoiled the plot enough as it is at this point.
So, that's the good news.  Stephen King's latest is #1, and all good things flow from that.  The BAD news is... I mean, look at these numbers!  LOOK UPON THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!  You've got Obama's crowd in 2012, or 2008 and... sorry, wrong numbers.  I mean, the weekend haul.  19.5 million?  Why, Dunkirk in second place hauled in 17.6!  That's a difference of... 1.9!  The bad news is that things are down.  Down, down and terribly down.  Why, look at the other debut this weekend.  Halle Berry's latest film called Kidnap.  It made only 10 million and change and... actually, you know, that's not that bad!  At least she's not having the indignity of releasing it directly to Netflix or something like that.  Not like Travolta's I Am Wrath, I believe it's called.  Whelp, as Saul from "Homeland" once told someone, you're in for the fight of your lives here!  Don't you see/get that?
..OOH!  Almost forgot.  Speaking of filmmakers, Fox News employee and part-time experimental filmmaker Eric Bolling is in a little bit of hot water right now because he sent pictures of his genitals... forgive me, I mean junk, to some of his co-workers.  I try to keep this a family blog, but you know... the news these days.  Now they say that some of those junk pictures that Eric Bolling sent to his Fox News co-workers were unsolicited, but I've heard there were a couple solicited ones!  I try to look on the bright side of things.  Sure, they were to Roger Ailes, but still... and by the way, it's not a gay thing.  It's more of a competition-type deal.  Also, Roger had a hard time looking at his junk, what with his stomach being in the way.  He got tired of using a system of mirrors to look at his own genitals.  And who wouldn't, frankly?

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Auteur Watch - Georg Stanford Brown

Damn.  Another long-ass TV résumé.  Well, if I ever did see this guy's name as director, I'm sure I would've thought to myself, now that's a director's name!  Three names, one of them a college... lot of gravitas there.  Baddest director in the whole damn town, you know... Keeps a .32 gun in his pocket for fun and what not.
Yes, at some point, Georg Stanford Brown left his native Cuba to seek his fortune in big evil America.  His method of travel?  Why, he just walked across the ocean, of course!... um, the ocean was lower back then.  Or legs were longer, I don't know.  Now, the average Cuban ends up in Florida when making that journey, but bad, bad Georg Stanford Brown took the long way and ended up in Mexico, skipped across the border and ended up in Hollywood.  He snuck past the guard into Universal Studios just like Spielberg, and boom.  Into the business he was.
Clearly directing is his second love, giving it up for good in 2005... I dunno.  Well, the biz was changing, and I guess it always helps as an actor to have a track record as a director when any young upstarts try to give you crap.  "You know......."

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Short Reviews - August 2017

"A-Lister" - With Kimberly Kehoe as Jack's Mom

"A. U. S. A." - With James Edson as Jack Tremaine

Aa Ab Laut Chalen - With Paresh Rawal as PC Jack Patel

"ABC Afterschool Specials" "The Gymnast" - With Patrick Gorman as Jack Peters

"ABC Afterschool Specials" "The Late Great Me! Story of a Teenage Alcoholic" - With Al Corley as Jack Peters

"ABC Afterschool Specials" "The Less Than Perfect Daughter" - With Ernie Lively as Jack Harmon... oh, but Blake turned out okay, didn't she though?

"ABC Afterschool Specials" "Stoned" - With Scott Baio as Jack Melon

"ABC Afterschool Specials" "Supermom's Daughter" - With Rick Lohman as Jack Bard

"ABC Weekend Specials" "The Magic Flute" - With Jim Cummings as Grumble the Crow... and Jack the Donkey

"ABC's 50th Anniversary Celebration" - With Victor Garber as Jack Bristow ('Alias' skit)

ABCs of Death 2 - With Josh Ethier as Jack the Muscle (segment "A")

Abducted II: The Reunion - With Nicholas Buchart as Jack Webster

"The Abduction of Saint Anne" - With Tony Young as Vanjack

The Abductors - With George Macready as Jack Langley

Abhimanyu - With Jagdeep as Pyarelal / Jack

Abilene Trail - With Marshall Reed as Jack Slavens

Ablaze - With John Bradley as Jack Thomas

"Abortion, Corruption and Cops: The Bertram Wainer Story" - With Paul Dawber as Jack Matthews

About a Dog - With Dominic Coleman as Jack Cravan... and with Madeleine Bowyer as Jack's Wife

"Above Average Presents" "Star Wars: The Force of Abrams" - WAY better than run of the mill presents, that's for sure... I mean, with Max Brand as Captain Jack Sparrow

Above the Law - With Pam Grier as Delores 'Jacks' Jackson

"Above the Law" "Backlash" - With Jason Paull Hayes as Jack Glover

Absolute Debauchery - With David Mapother as Hardcore Jack

Absolution - With Peter Kennedy as Jack Egan

"Academy" - With Tony Bonner as Jack Steele

"Acapulco H. E. A. T." "Code Name: Strange Bedfellow" - With Ron Barker as Jack Ballentine

"Acceptable Risks" - With Peter Jurasik as Jack Morris

Accepted - With Mark Derwin as Jack Gaines

"Accident" - With Davyd Harries as Jack Dutton

"Accidental Meeting" - With Kent McCord as Jack Parris

Accidental Muse - With Justin Molina as Jack Morris

"Accidental Obsession" - With Marc Menard as Jack Riley

"The Accidental President" - With Michael LaCour as Jack Hays

"According to Bex" - With Clive Russell as Jack Atwell

The Accused - With Mickey Knox as Jack Hunter

"Accused" - With Nicholas R. Bailey as Jack Vincent

'Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War' - With Unshô Ishizuka and Steve Blum as Jack Bartlett (Heartbreak One)

"Ace Discovery" - With Rocky Rodriguez Jr. as Jack (voice)

Ace of Clubs - With Al Hoxie as Jack Horton

Ace of Clubs - With Shannon Williams as The Jack

"Ace of Wands" - "Joker: Parts 1, 2 and 3" - With Roy Holder as The Jack

The Acid Eaters - With John McCloud as Big Jack

The Acid Test - With Thomas R. Mills as Jack Hurston

"Ackley Bridge" - With Jamie Dorrington as Jack (Murgatroyd)

"Acropolis Now" - With Wade Beed as Jack

"Across the Lake" - With John Rowe as Jack Stanley

Act of Kindness - With Phillip Lomax as Jack Haley

Act of Piracy - With Ray Sharkey as Jack Wilcox

"Act of Will" - With Joseph Wright as Jack Crowther

"Action Dad" - "Doublr [sic] Agent, Double Date" - With Cole Howard as Jack Poundpenny (voice)

"Active Stealth" - With Andrew Stevens as Capt. Jack Stevens

An Actor Prepares - With Larry Pine as Jack Dorner

"Adam" - With Alex Harvey as Det. Jack Hoffman

Adam Had Four Sons - With Richard Denning as Jack Stoddard (older)... and with Billy Ray as Jack Stoddard (younger)

"Adam Ruins Everything" - "Adam Ruins Forensic Science" - With Carloz Alazraqui as Jack Nash

"Adam Smith" - With Andrew Ray as Jack Wilson

"Adam-12" "Camp: Part 1" - With Ronnie Schell as Jack Hofstead

"Adam-12" "Christmas" - With William Bronder as Jack Conway

"Adam-12" "Citizens Arrest - 484" - With Doug Johnson as Jack Gaynor

"Adam-12" "Excessive Force" - With Sandy Kenyon as Jack Tennison

"Adam-12" "Log 26: LEMRAS" - With Ken Lynch as Jack Stokes

"Adam-12" "Log 73: I'm Still a Cop" - With John C. Johnson as Jack Carlton

"Adam-12" "Log 134: Child Stealer" - With Tony Giorgio as 1st Hijacker... and with Raymond Mayo as 2nd Hijacker

"Adam-12" "Log 165: Once a Cop" - With Leo Gordon as Jack Donohoe

ADDicted - With Troy Shaw as Uncle Jack... and with John Hawks as Uncle Jack's Nephew

Address Unknown - With Scott Wilkinson as Jack Raines... the Post Man

"Adrenalina" - Con Jaime Azócar como Jack Marshall

"Adulting" - With Jimmy Kieffer as Jacko

"Adventurer" - With Oliver Tobias as Jack Vincent (12 episodes)

"Adventures in Odyssey: The Journal of John Avery Whittaker" - With Garrett McQuaid as Jack Allen

"Adventures in Rainbow Country"  "The Skydiver" - With John Sullivan as Jack Sheldon

"Adventures in Speed Dating" "Opa!" - With Michael Barbee as Jack... but also with Jeffrey Fritz as Jack... the BARTENDER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Adventures in the Mind of Jack Quimby - With Nicolas Leyon as Jack Gumby

Adventures of a Pizza Guy - With Louis Mandylor as Jack Puncher

"The Adventures of Black Beauty" "The Hostage" - With John Thaw as Jack Desmond

"The Adventures of Brisco County Jr." "Socrates' Sister" - With Merle Draggett William Russ as Jack Randolph

The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin - With Bryan Russell as Jack Flagg

"The Adventures of Chadwick Periwinkle" - With Marty(n G.) Krouse as Captain Jack Manly

"The Adventures of Jamie Watson: and Sherlock Holmes" "The Adventure of Abbey Granger" - With Marc Klein as Jack Croker

"The Adventures of Jim Bowie" "Deaf Smith" - With Edgar Buchanan as Ringtail Jack

"The Adventures of Jim Bowie" "Choctaw Honor" - With Stewart Bradley as Whiskey Jack

"The Adventures of Kit Carson" "California Outlaws" - With William Haade as 3-Finger Jack

"The Adventures of Kit Carson" "The Hermit of Indian Ridge" - With Dennis Moore as Old Jack / Sam Mask

"The Adventures of Kit Carson" "The Hero of Hermosa" (...and a few others, uncredited) - With Hank Patterson as Old Timer Sierra Jack

"The Adventures of Rick O'Shay" - With Whitey Hughes as Buffalo Jack (uncredited)

"The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin" "The General's Daughter" - With Morris Ankrum as Brig. General Jack Lawrence

"The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin" "Rusty's Opportunity" - With Larry Chance as Apache Jack

"The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin" "Boone's Wedding Day" - With Rod Williams as Jack Batt

"The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin" "Rin Tin Tin and the Printer's Devil" - With Mitchell Kowall as Jack Dillard

"The Adventures of Robin Hood" "Knight Errant" - With William Lucas as Sir Jack of Southwark

The Adventures of Smilin' Jack - With Tom Brown as Jack Martin

"Adventures of Superman" "Double Trouble" - With Selmer Jackson as Col. Jack Redding

"The Adventures of the Fatbat, Episode I: The Redemption of the Bat" - With Jason Devries as The Joker slash Jack Daniels

Adventures of the Flying Cadets - With Addison Richards as A. J. 'Jack' Hill [Ch. 1]... and with Philip Van Zandt as Herman Klott... alias Jack Hargrove [Chs. 5-8]

The Adventures of the West Brothers - With Sam Carpenter as Jack West

The Adventures of Thomasina Sawyer - With James Edwards as Deputy Jack

Adventures of Toby: Crunch Time - With Murray Todd as Kernal Jack (voice)

"Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok" "Blake's Kid" - With Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams as Tulsa Jack

"Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok" "Cry Wolf" - With Edward Norris as Jack Slade

"Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok" "The Outlaw's Son" - With Steve Darrell as Big Jack Fallon

"The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Daredevils of the Desert" - With Cameron Daddo as Jack Anders

Affliction - With Jim True-Frost as Jack Hewitt

Africadalli Sheela - With Suresh as Search Team #4: Jack

After Dark - With Joel Erickson as Jack Weaver

"After Julius" "Friday" - With Daniel Moynihan as Jack Lewis

After Romeo & Juliet - With Paul Hansell as Jack Booth

After the Ball - With Basil Rathbone as Jack Harrowby

"After the Boom was Over" - With Tim Wylton as Jack Tatham

After the Rain - With Robert Taylor as Jack Behring

After the Titanic - With Randy Gamerstein as Jack Henry Jr. .... Age 16

"After the War" "Partners" - With John Humphry as Jack Morgan

Afterglow - With Alan Fawcett as Count Falco / JACK Dana

"AfterLife" - With Ted Johnson as Jack Foster

Aftermath - With Richard Lockwood as Jack West

"Against Her Will: An Incident in Baltimore" - With Brian Kerwin as Jack Adkins

"Against Their Will: Women in Prison" - With Stacy Keach as Jack Devlin

"The Agatha Christie Hour" "The Mystery of the Blue Jar" - With Robin Kermode as Jack Hartington

"The Agatha Christie Hour" "The Red Signal" - With Christopher Cazenove as Jack Trent

"Agatha Christie's Poirot" "Evil Under the Sun" - With Grant Gillespie as Jack Lovett

"Agatha Christie's Poirot" "Murder on the Links" - With Ben Pullen as Jack Renauld

"Agatha Christie's Poirot" "The Mystery of Hunter's Lodge" - With Roy Boyd as Jack Stoddard

"Agatha Raisin" "The Vicious Vet" - With Richard Mylan as Jack the Lad Pomfret

"Age of Ice" - With Barton Bund as Jack Jones

"An Age of Kings" "Henry VI Part 3: The Rabble from Kent" - With Esmond Knight as Jack Cade... a Rebel

Agency - With Barry Simpson as Jack Campbell

"The Agency" "Doublecrossover" - With Craig T. Nelson as Chief Jack Mannion

"The Agency: Survival of the Fittest" - With Jason Gorze as Jack Steadman

"Agent Carter" - With Chad Michael Murray as Jack Thompson

Agent Frank Skuddler of Project Blue Book - With Tom Sizemore as Sgt. Jack Russell

Agent Kelly - With Chris Sanders as Jack Knife Twins... and with Sam North as Jack Knife Sidekick

Agent Red - With Tony Becker as Lt. Jack Colson

"Aggie" "Cock and Bull" - With Kevin Miles as Jack Reynolds

Agressive [sic] Standing - With Drew Freed as Jack Chase

"A. I. Assault" - With Josh Coxx as Jack McKenna

"Aimé Malgré Lui" - Avec Ray Reboul son Lenoir Jack

Air - With Vince Valentine as Jack Donello

Air America - With Art La Fleur as Jack Neely

Air Cadet - With Stephen McNally as Major Jack Page

"Air Emergency" "Cockpit Chaos" - With Christopher Sawchyn as Jack Drake

"Air Emergency" "Grand Canyon Collision" - With Michael Copeman as Jack Parshall

"Air Emergency" "Head-on Collision" - With Steve Coombes as Jack Hudson

"Air Emergency" "Speed Trap" - With Neil Girvan as Lt. Col. Jack Zyth

Air Force - With William Forrest as Group Commander Jack Harper (uncredited)

Air Force One - With Tom Everett as NSA Advisor Jack Doherty

Air Head - With Robert William Ford as Jack Merrymon

Air Patrol - With Stacey Winters as Mrs. Hortense Jackter

Aircheck - With Michael Dentico as Jack Partridge

"Airline" - With Roy Marsden as Jack Ruskin

"Airplane Repo" "Two if by Air, One if by Sea" - With Roy Lewis Garton as Jack 2015

Airport - With William Boyett as Jack Ingram (uncredited) ... and with James Bradley as Jack Stone... Passenger (uncredited) ... and with John Eloff as Jack Elliott... Passenger (uncredited) ... and with Robert Knapp as Jack Dunlap... Passenger (uncredited)  WHEW!  Lotta Jacks!

"Airship Daedalus Radio Adventures" - With Matt Shimkus as 'Captain Stratosphere' Jack McGraw

"Airwolf" "Storm Warning" - With Vince Germann as Jack Paley

Akeli Mat Jaiyo - With Professor Y. K. Padhye as Jack Doll Crazy (voice)

"Akon Feat. Eminem: Smack That" - With Eric Roberts as Jack Gates

Alabama Dirt - With Lawrence Turner as Jack Hargrove

"The Alamut Ambush" - With Paul McDowell as Jack Soutar

"Alan Carr's New Year Specstacular [sic] " - With Jack the Lad Swing as Themselves

Alaska Passage - With Gregg Martell as Jack McCormick

"The Alaskans" "Big Deal" - With Tol Avery as Diamond Jack Collins

"The Alaskans" "The Bride Wore Black" - With Lee Bergere as Jack Hawley

"The Alaskans" "Starvation Stampede" - With John Qualen as Jack Despain

"Alcatraz Express" - With Steve London as Jack Rossman (archive footage)

"Alcoa Theatre" "The Glorious Fourth" - With Ray Daley as Jack Reardon

"Alcoa Theatre" "High Class Type of Mongrel" - With Phil Tead as Jack MacRoberts

Aldrig med min Kofot Eller... Drömtjuven - Mitt Åke Söderblom als Jack Anderson Jr. ... and mitt Eric Gustafson als Jack Anderson Sr.

Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker - With Alicia Silverstone as Jack Starbright... seriously?

"Alexa & Katie" - With Finn Carr as Jack Cooper

"ALF" "I've Got a New Attitude" - With Stephen Siegel as Jack Rabbit Courier

"The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" "Captive Audience" - With Don Matheson as Jack Pierson

"The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" "To Catch a Butterfly" - With Ed(ward) Asner as Jack Stander

"The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" "What Really Happened" - With Stephen Dunne as Jack Wentworth

"Alfred Hitchcock Presents" "The Blessington Method" - With Vaughn Meadows as Jack Treadwell

"Alfred Hitchcock Presents" "The Crocodile Case" - With Denholm Elliott as Jack Lyons

"Alfred Hitchcock Presents" "Insomnia" - With John S. Ragin as Jack Fletcher

"Alfred Hitchcock Presents" "Lamb to the Slaughter" - With Harold J. Stone as Lieutenant Jack Noonan

"Alfred Hitchcock Presents" "Full Disclosure" - With Gerry Mendicino as Lt. Jack Snyder

"Alfred Hitchcock Presents" "Houdini on Channel 4" - With Nick Lewin as Jack Barton (Barclay)

"Alfred Hitchcock Presents" "Murder Party" - With Christoper Bondy as Jack McCarthy

"Alfred Hitchcock Presents" "Pilot" - With Lyman Ward as Uncle Jack (segment "Bang!  You're Dead!")

"Alias" - With Victor Garber as Jack Bristow

Alias Billy the Kid - With James Linn as Henchman Jack

"Alibi Boys" - With Sean Carmichael as Jack Lord

Alibi Ike - With Eddie Shubert as Jack Mack

Alibi Inn - With Frederick Bradshaw as Jack Lawton

"The Alice" - With Erik Thomson as Jack Jaffers

"Alice" "Love is Sweeping the Counter" and "Sweet Charity" - With Clifford A. Pellow as Bobby Jack 'Whizzer' Wallace

"Alice" "Alice Gets a Pass" - With Denny Miller as Jack Newhouse

"Alice in Wonderland" - With Jason Flemyng as Sir Jack... the Knave of Hearts

"Alice to Nowhere" - With Martin Vaughan as Jack 'The Dogger' Harris

Alice's Misadventures in Wonderland - With Hunter Lawley as Jack Heart

Alien Anthropologists - With Clark Moore as Jack Wilson

"Alien Avengers II" - With Todd C. Mooney as Jack Baranca

Alien Dawn - With Trevor T. Trujillo as Wild Jack Jones

"Alien Force" - With Michael Wayne as FBI Agent Jack Vincent

Alien from L. A. - With Albert Maritz as Mago / Maintenance Worker / Evangelist... and Pack Slag Jack!!!

"Alien Fury: Countdown to Invasion" - With Kelly Perine as Jack the Realitor [sic? ... must be an alien thing]

"Alien Nation" "Spirit of '95" - With Clarence Felder as Jack Mahoney

Alkali, Iowa - With J. D. Cerna as Jack Gudmanson

"All Aboard" - With Julian Somers as Sir Jack Gilbert (5 episodes)

"All Creatures Great and Small" "Ace, King, Queen, Jack" and "The Playing Field" - With Philip Martin Brown as Jack Scott

"All Creatures Great and Small" "A Cat in Hull's Chance" - With Danny Davies as Jack Hucknall

"All Creatures Great and Small" "The Female of the Species" - With James Warrior as Jack Sanders

"All Creatures Great and Small" "The Jackpot" - With Robert Falconer as Jack Tansy

"All Creatures Great and Small" "The New World" - With Jack as Dog (uncredited)

"All Gas and Gaiters" "The Bishop Has a Flutter" - With Ronnie Brody as Jack Cobb

"All My Children" "Episode dated 14 July 1983" - With Leon Russom as Jack Darling

All of a Sudden Peggy - With A. Edward Sutherland as Jack Menzies

All Our Sins Remembered... - With Nicholas Monu as Jack Whitehawk

All Saints - With Todd Truley as Jack Harlowe

"All Saints" - With Wil Traval as Jack Quade (135 episodes)

"All Saints" "Family Feud" - With Nick Hardcastle as Jack Petrakis... again, actor's name less ethnic than character name.  Unusual.

"All Saints" "Rush to Judgement" - With Jackson Arico as Jack Jamieson

"All Saints" "Rush to Judgement" - With Nicholas Arico as Jack Jamieson... whuh?

"All Saints" "A Hard Day's Night" - With Geoff Milton as Jack Carnegie

"All Star Comedy Carnival" - With Bob Grant as Jack Harper

"All That" "Substitute Jack" - With Eric Edelstein as Substitute Jack

All That You Can't Leave Behind - With Pete(r) Marzilli as Jack McCabe

All the Fun of the Fair - With Sylvester McCoy as Scotch Jack... and with Lill Roughley as Jack's Wife

All the King's Men - With John Ireland as Jack Burden

All the King's Men (2006) - With Jude Law as Jack Burden... and with Luke Morris as Jack at Age 10... AND with Joshua Davis as Jack... Age 4.

All the Precious Things - With Lorenzo Soleri as Jack Levis 'Winning Jack'

"All the Rivers Run" "Zwiebelomelett 4-10-1983 - 48 M." - With Lloyd Cunnington as Jack Wallace

All Together - With Edward Burns as Jack Kelly

The All-American - With Ralph Brooks as Jack... Football Player

Allegiant - With Daniel Dae Kim as Jack Kang

"Allmen und die Libellen" "Allmen und die Libellen" - Mitt Gustav-Peter Wöhler als Jack Tanner

"Ally McBeal" "Pilot" and "The Kiss" - With Richard Riehle as Jack Billings

"Ally McBeal" "Just Looking" - With Eric Scott Woods as Jack Clooney

Almost - With Staffan Edenholm as Jack Cantrell

"Almost Partners" - With Paul Sorvino as Detective Jack Welder

"Almost Perfect" - "K. I. S. S." and "This is What Happens When You Don't Watch PBS" - With Jeffrey Nordling as Jack Chenault

Sunday, July 30, 2017

A Bridge Too Far, or Scaramucci, Scaramucci, Will You Do the Fandango?


I kinda figured that Dunkirk would be #1 for a second week.  A third?  Probably not.  I mean, The Dark Tower is out next week!  Can't go wrong with Stephen King... Atomic Blonde did better than I expected.  I thought it would only take in, like, 10 million dollars or something.  But stopping by "The Daily Show" to flog your wares is still a good thing.  Who's got time to read so many books?  I mean, besides Terry Gross.  Hmm!  Wonder if Bill O'Reilly is still obsessed with her.  Or is it just because she's on NPR, which receives a sliver of government funding.  You know... A BAD THING.  He wants value for his hard-earned tax dollar!
But the latest sign of technological narcissism debuted at #2 this week, and it's called The Emoji Movie.  Oh sure, it's a personal and professional triumph for Disney-DreamWorks veteran Tony Leondis and all that, don't get me wrong... but maybe there's some hope for society after all.  And did you have to turn your phone off while the movie was playing, incidentally?  See, if they were real good, they'd try to do a William Castle-type deal and have buzzers under the seats... I mean, make the movie some kind of interactive experience.  When, say, the eggplant emoji comes on and has his or her big Oscar(TM) speech, POP!  You get one on your SmartPhone screen!  Shi... Stuff like that.  And I gotta say... they really cleaned up the Poop Emoji, so to speak... okay, bad choice of words.  It looks more like a dollop of Costco(TM) frozen yogurt than what it's supposed to be.

Monday, July 24, 2017

The Gas Cooker Movie

You know... when stuff blows up in a Monty Python sketch or movie, it's usually a funny thing, a comedic affair.  Quite the opposite in Terry Gilliam's masterpiece 1984 1/2... I mean, Brazil.  It's not currently in his IMDb Top 4, but Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is pretty good too.  In Brazil, as you probably know, after a brief introductory jaunt in the clouds, we end up upon a group of TVs in a shop window.  After the Central Services' spokesman's message is complete, KABOOM.  Up the shop goes in flames.  After the neon title, and the arguably obnoxious musical introduction courtesy of Michael Kamen (more genius, BTW), we go back to the TV: burning, but still able to show a picture.  The TV is on its side, so the camera swivels the picture so that the TV appears to be right-side up.
This is but one of the many small bits of genius of what's in store.  I recently re-watched my new Blu-Ray copy of the film.  Now, it's just the middle cut of the film, mind you.  It's not the butchered "Love Conquers All" edition, and it's not the version with all the extra scenes.  (Saw that once at a college screening!  It may have been the one featured briefly in Cameron Crowe's Singles, in fact...)  I hate to say it, but what little bit of extra narrative is lost without the extra scenes probably wasn't necessary.  This is the go-go Internet Era, after all.  On to the next cute cat video!
Really, my opinion's probably not the most interesting one.  I hear what Berardinelli's saying when it comes to Time Bandits vs. BrazilTime Bandits is a childhood favourite of mine, and feels like the more accomplished of the two films... and of course, both feature the floating cages and probably other similarities.  But Brazil is clearly for the adults among us who've often fantasized about blowing up the Ministry of Information building that looms over our town.  And as my trusted viewing companion said, after we saw the film in theatres a mere 32 odd years ago, "Man!  You feel like killing yourself after seeing that!"  Today, he wasn't as interested... okay, it's my dad... now it's on to the chores in between the highlights, but he did quip "Oh... so this is his (Terry Gilliam's) big movie to show he just doesn't work with cut outs?"  DAMN RIGHT IT IS!  Of course, you don't actually say that to your dad.
But Gilliam is a visual artist, and most of the joys of the film are like an early episode of "The Simpsons" when they were young and hungry and were about to change the comedy landscape for good, packing the screen with little asides and some big ones as well.  One of my favorite posters is one that says "Suspicion Breeds Confidence" and "Don't Trust a Friend... REPORT HIM!"  (...I'm going to, in a completely dignified way, of course... skip over the tape over the dog's butt, thank you very much)  While Brazil is probably not as packed with symbolism and irony as, say, Kubrick's The Shining... yes, I saw Room 237 recently.  See, I've been too busy watching sh... stuff to find any time to write!... I think Brazil is nevertheless, like The Shining, one of those films that gets in your brain and breaks out every once in a while like mental herpes and you think to yourself "...damn!  I need to get me some Valtrex!... I mean, that Brazil film's got something!  I gotta watch it again."  In my case, that means getting it on Blu-Ray.  Even though I'm a "film critic," I don't get studio freebees.  Poor me : (  For a pretty close, new friend of mine, it's Repo Man.
...oh, right!  The plot.  Well, just as the film kind of has the look of a noir from the '40s, so too does the plot have a bit of a Chandler-James M. Cain-Hammett feel to it.  It's a little bit bigger than a love triangle, however.  There seems to be more of a dodecahedron connecting the main character to the various other characters that move in and out of his life: there's the meddling yet aloof upper class mother of the main character, there's a "terrorist" that comes into his life, there's the embodiment of his dream girl, there's the powerful yet blissfully ignorant boss of the agency he may or may not join... okay, just those four characters, but still.  It's a little unfair to compare Brazil to Time Bandits because the central character of Time Bandits is the kid, who's basically along for the ride (in his own dream?), whereas the central character of Brazil is in charge of his own destiny... at least, until love makes a mockery of that.  You know, some movie titles say that love laughs at locksmiths... and also at the occasional pencil pusher. I tend not to look at a lot of other reviews, but I'd be very surprised indeed if someone tried comparing Brazil to Baron Munchausen, which is kind of a bloated mess to me.  It's just one of those Sisyphean movies that feels like a chore to watch.  But maybe a free Blu-Ray of it will change my mind?... nothing?  Fine.
Which brings me to some brain farts about Jonathan Pryce, another one of those guys that Hollywood knows is talented and all that, but Hollywood just doesn't know what to do with.  For me, it was Something Wicked This Way Comes that was his big American introduction... even though I wasn't aware of it at the time.  I guess it was the tarantulas, mostly.  Or maybe Jason Robards, one of the two.  You know, the tarantulas were riding high after Raiders of the Lost Ark and all that, but just kept getting typecast to appear in one scene, and in a big group.  How's a tarantula supposed to break out and become an individual star?  Hah!  Phat chance.  Anyway, Pryce in such a plum role?  The cojones on this Gilliam character!  But on reflection, all these years later, a theatre guy like Pryce is what the doctor ordered, as the character is a complex one: steadfast for the cause of defending his dream girl, and downright complicit most other times.
Arguably,... and I came to this conclusion after reading a Gilliam interview... the character of Sam Lowry's not a terribly relatable and/or likable character.  He's a low-level government pencil pusher, living in a tiny, crappy city apartment just to be far away from his mother, who presumably comes from old money.  We never see the exterior of his mother's house or apartment, just the winding, oval staircase that leads to it... probably a fancy apartment then.  Mother is trying to pull some strings to get her son a more prestigious job at Information Retrieval, which apparently is a combination of the FBI, the CIA and Homeland Security.  Sam, however, prefers being Kurtzmann's go-to guy in the lowly Department of Records under the wide Ministry of Information umbrella.  At one point, when he's having a conversation about terrorism with his dream girl, he says "It's my first day!"  Sure, as an Information Retrieval agent, but what about all the time spent in the Dept. of Records?  And when he actually meets the "terrorist" that MOI's been hunting for... well, he's torn, because the guy, Archibald ("Harry") Tuttle, has come to fix Sam's heating problem.
Then, of course, there's the whole matter of Sam's botched courtship of his dream girl Jill.  I'll leave the Kim Greist vs. Ellen Barkin discussions to better blogs than mine.  Because Kim's the underdog in this story, even and especially getting thrown under the bus by Gilliam in poison, I'll take her side, because apparently Hollywood didn't know what to do with her, either.  The much put-upon mom in Houseguest was hardly one for the ages; but hey!  On the bright side, she wasn't hit by a train!  Anyway, thinking his dream girl's in league with the terrorist, if not the mastermind proper herself, Sam gets a little reckless himself.  For example, she's got a small house on the back of her truck.  Sam's in the cab with her.  They slow down at a checkpoint.  Thinking they won't get past it, Sam puts his foot down on the gas.  A thrilling chase ensues, but it's a little hard to enjoy, knowing he's the cause of it all.  But that's how love goes, most times.  The girl has to put up with the doofish nature of the boy who's doing all the wrong things to try and impress her.  She's not impressed with Sam at first, but she softens a little bit after she thinks she's run him over with the truck.  My trusted viewing companion, incidentally, likes to play a game with me whenever we watch a movie.  I guess you could call it, "What Does That Scene Remind You Of?"  In the case I just outlined, not one or two sentences ago, it was the big truck sequence in Raiders of the Lost Ark... which we also just saw on Blu-Ray, all incidental like!  But as Maxim Magazine might quip, and to a lesser extent, FHM and Bizarre... Indiana Jones owned his truck sequence, whereas Sam barely wussed his way through it.  On a side note, I also thought of the truck sequence in Lethal Weapon 2 where Riggs appears to roll off the front of the tow truck that the bad South African is driving... a little too over the top, even I have to admit.
But I should probably talk about some of the other actors.  I haven't seen all of The Long Good Friday, but it's probably Bob Hoskins' best starring role.  Who knows what his favourite was... probably Darky in The Raggedy Rawney, of course.  But it's almost worth it just for his recurring role here in Brazil.  Gilliam always tries to give a shout out to his homies in unionized labor: recall, if you can, the scene with Oliver Reed in Baron Munchausen where he's negotiating percentages with an angry mob.  "You had that scab Tuttle here?" barks Hoskins (Spoor) at Sam at one point.  But I should probably mention Michael Palin as a fella named Jack Lint.  He's apparently close friends with Sam; at least, that's what they say up top.  But Sam doesn't even know that Jack has triplets, and there's a terrifically awkward scene where Sam says to Jack about his wife... who's STANDING RIGHT THERE, by the way... "I always wondered if they were real!"  Sam beats himself up about it afterward.  Maybe that's the highlight of the movie.  We the audience find out incidentally that Jack isn't quite the character he seems.  Sam goes to the 50th floor to see Jack, and Jack emerges from his workroom floor into his nice office, wearing a blood-stained white coat.  Jack is furiously massaging his temples with his hands, and his hands have vibrating metal devices on them to make the skull massage go a little faster.  All the Pythons are terribly silly, of course, but I think Palin is probably the best actor of the lot.  Idle and Cleese fancy themselves to be the matinee idols of the bunch, while Terry Jones is the compulsive nudist... but sometimes I wonder if he just does that for either the cameras or the attention.  And even though Palin seemed to have a predilection for the smarmy game show host on many a Python TV sketch, well... consider his turn as the stuttering bank robber in A Fish Called Wanda.  The way Kevin Kline tortures him throughout the movie is probably the only reason for going back.  I probably shouldn't go so far as to say his performance in Brazil was chilling, but damn close!
...damn.  I don't take notes while watching a movie, to my detriment.  I forget what other brilliant insights I had.  But I think I started to appreciate Brazil anew when I finally realized the ridiculousness of Sam Lowry's phone.  Its ring is rude, and apparently not the kind you want to use if you get woken up by it.  It's like a little miniature switchboard, and you have several jacks, and you have to make sure to plug in the right one to get the phone to work.  It's these kinds of things that make a film like Brazil one that you may never stop going back to.  I'll probably have to get it on Ultra Blu-Ray at some point.  Gilliam's made interesting films after Brazil, of course, but I don't think he's been able to do better.

****
Okay, just thought of the last brilliant thought.  SPOILER ALERT: in Sam's dream as the flying metal warrior, he finally defeats his nemesis: the giant masked warrior with the big metal and electric suit.  He goes to take off the dude's mask and... yup.  You guessed it.  Same thing happened to Billy Crystal in Throw Momma from the Train (also with Kim Greist... it was a good couple years for her!) and in one of the later Death Wishes... the fourth one, I think.  Well, it was a couple years after the other two films, and even Bronson occasionally dreams of electric Oscars(TM).

-so sayeth the Movie Hooligan