Sunday, October 30, 2016

Auteur Watch - Eugene Ashe

Some come to filmmaking from another career.  It's usually how it goes.  You know, people get tired of installing solar panels on rooftops.  I mean, why do something useful for society when you can get involved in the creation of the next great Mass Communication Distraction?  It's a hobby!
Take the example of Eugene Ashe, for example.  As the name suggests, yes... he is indeed a distant relative of tennis great Arthur Ashe.  But even he wanted to move to the director's-type folding chair that the game's referee uses up there in the crow's nest overlooking the playing field, surely?  I wonder if the IMDb ever lists anyone's cause of death as breathing smoggy New York City air.  Surely, many have succumbed to it time to time?
Wonder if he's at all related to Internet great Danni... never mind.  Anyway, Eugene started off as an award-worthy recording artist... I'm sorry, major label recording artist.  Now, I'm no music expert... and anyone who's read this blog knows that I am a) a bad writer, and b) I love love LOVE Richard Donner, no matter what Mel Gibson implies about him... but if you really are a major label recording artist, you're probably not going to point to the Free Willy soundtrack as a career highlight.  Just saying.  The other being 1994's Blankman.  Now... like a lot of you, I'm also facebook friends with Mike Binder... I think I am, anyway.  But again, all due respect... probably not a soundtrack you'd want to take credit for, let alone the movie.  I'll be the first to admit that I don't truly appreciate the historical significance that Blankman will have when the final piece of dust is settled, the box office Rosetta Stone chiseled, the last Mann's Chinese Theatre franchise shuttered, what have you, but when I think movie soundtrack... well, Dirty Dancing is the first one to come to mind.  Different era.  Ooh!  How about Pirate Radio?  Because sometimes you just gotta stretch the bounds of historical accuracy when it comes to classic rock.
So, with street cred in the music biz firmly established, it was time to pivot.  Because, after all, even the funkiest of poets dream about realizing that screenplay they've got in their head, even if it's just the big, autobiographical one about that time you got kicked out of the public library for exposing yourself... oh, wait, Eugene did some acting first.  Well, every little bit helps.  You want to see the filmmaking process from all aspects before taking a managerial role in it.  Doesn't hurt.  And so, after an aborted chance with Spike Lee, it was time for a documentary: 2009's Home Again.  Apparently, it's a documentary about Americans who emigrated to Canada to avoid the Vietnam War.  No one reviewed it yet, but 50,000 plus people lived it.  That's... that's a demographic, right?  After all, people were doing that in 1776 as well, or so I've been informed.  The best and brightest step up to the nation's call and say "Sorry, I'm going next door.  My life's far too important to sacrifice this way."
Sticking with the theme of home, we get 2012's Homecoming.  From the plot description, it sounds a bit like The Big Chill, only blacker.  And not just the music, mind you.  Judging from the poster, however... looks like they couldn't afford a Grade-A movie poster.  More like C or D.  I mean, that one Madea movie where (s)he pretends to be in The Godfather and other Hollywood classics... that's an A-/B+ movie poster in terms of graphic company production quality.  Where's the quality, people?  Where's the professional pride and grade? 
Anyway, there's one review from the esteemed "Common Sense Media."  Surprisingly, they give a positive, ethnic-friendly review.  If Mr. Ashe wants to proceed to the next project, hopefully something away from home if only for my sake... I think he's got the green light!  As long as it's cheap and under budget.  And by under budget, I mean no budget, and shot with a Canon Rebel EOS.  Get ready to max your credit card(s), dude.  As for me, well... I went to the University of Washington for two years, and you couldn't pay me enough to go to a reunion with the puds that I roomed with that first year.  The middle school and high school hadn't rubbed off quite yet, lemme tell ya.  Second year was okay, but they probably want nothing to do with me anyway.

Code breaker, Challenge Taker...

...don't you mess around with me.  Yes, despite their stoutest efforts, Tom Hanks and company come in at a distant second place with the latest installment of the Da Vinci Code... I mean, the Professor Robert Langdon series, and it's called Inferno.  Alas, Tyler Perry's latest was slightly more towering at the box office.  As for me, well... I just don't feel Catholic enough or Gospel enough for either entry, Frank Lee.
Now, I'm no computer expert, but why does everything not load anymore?  Why do I have to go to a website and hit refresh to get something to load?  And speaking of computer problems, more Hillary emails have apparently surfaced... oh right, from Anthony Weiner's wife's computer... something like that.  They also found a lot of... let's just say stuff belonging to "Carlos Danger."  All I know is, when even They Might Be Giants is against you... the band, not the 1971 movie from whence they take their name... see, the tweet says "Applications for Comey's job can be submitted starting Nov. 9".  Okay, found the way to copy the link.  If the news can do it, damn it, so should I.  Also, does anyone remember a little movie called Fair Game (2010) and the incident that it's based upon?  Anyone at all?  I know, I know... it's just pre-9/11 thinking again.  Something like that.  And really, wasn't that "Crooked Hillary"'s fault too?
The only other debut this week is something called Ae Dil Hai Mushkil... better post the link to that.  Boy, that Aishwarya Rai (Bachchan) can put da butts in da seats!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Auteur Watch - Alexander Etseyatse

Well, if the short film business doesn't pan out... it is always good to take a break from it... there's always working on the big Hollywood films, even in a smaller, less heroic capacity!  Such is the life of one Alexander Etseyatse, caught between two worlds while trying to raise a young boy by themselves, looking for new love in the meantime.  And there's always a third fallback position, I'm assuming.

Boo! A Box Office Halloween

...oh, I thought Doctor Strange was coming out this week.  That's next week.  And if it doesn't make more than $100 million its first weekend, well... the new Marvel Studios will be very disappointed.  They might question the wisdom of doing a worldwide junket.  You know, really get the word out in Hong Kong and the Philippines.
But once again, Tyler Perry's Madea proves that (s)he can take charge of the box office in a down week.  This time, because it's near Halloween and all, (s)he offers us Boo! A Madea Halloween.  I guess writing three or four shows for TV just isn't prestigious enough at times.  But just like the VeggieTales, Madea knows that taking a break for a song and a prayer helps to pad things out a lot.  I checked Boo!'s cast list to see if Perry scored any major casting coups.  You know, like Kim Kardashian in 2013's Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor or Kathy Bates and Alfre Woodard in 2008's The Family That Preys. (what better way to close out the Dubya administration, am I right?)  And who can forget BOTH Stephanie Ferret and Stephanie Ferrett in Madea Gets a Job?
Anyway, on to the next.  While Madea's latest isn't exactly a sequel, seems like everything else is.  Tom Cruise is still ashamed of the now dreaded Roman numeral with Jack Reacher: Never Go Back.  Um... isn't this guy some kind of a detective?  Isn't going back kind of a big part of the detective's JOB?!!!!  Taking over directorial duties from The Usual Suspects maven Christopher McQuarrie is Cruise's pal from The Last Samurai director Edward Zwick.  I hate to say it, but no wonder this debuted only at #2.  People don't want too much sentimentality from their Jack Reacher movies.  Sure, Zwick takes on the tough subjects, but with kind of a light touch... to be fair, the brutha's not afraid to get thrown into his own police van!  That was him, right?
Our third debut (in third place, no less) is the sequel to 2014's Ouija and it's called Ouija: Origin of Evil.  I guess the dreaded Roman numeral is more scary than Ouija boards themselves... damn Gypsies.  A brief scanning of the cast and crew reveals that, well... as with Atlas Shrugged Parts 1 and 2, the casts of the two Ouija sequels seem to have no common threads.  The first one takes place apparently in photogenic present day, the sequel in 1965, just south of that new golden age of nostalgia that we all seem to be pining collectively for, the 1970s.  There's a reason that Itchy used his time machine to go to a '70s disco, you know!  No, the only common thread seems to be Michael Bay as producer.  So it's true, he really is going through the whole Hasbro product catalog... they own the Ouija board, right?  I guess 1965 is when the Ouija board first made contact with the underworld, thereby setting off the controversy that lives to this day... dayamn!  Got the Hasbro part right!
And finally, America's stoner uncle Zach Galifianakis makes another bomb, this time with Jon Hamm, who just can't get a non-"Mad Men" break in the biz.  It's tough, it's rough, I tell ya!  It's called Keeping Up with the Joneses... it's a little bit like Mr. and Mrs. Smith, but the filmmakers promise it won't be spawning a new Brangelina-type thing for the tabloids!  No sir.  Actually, it might be more like The Whole Nine Yards, but really... who wants to look back that far, am I right?

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Auteur Watch - Est(h)er Anderson

Now here's an interesting career for those of you who are fans of the '70s and late '60s... you know, when people say the Sixties, they actually mean 1966-1969... oops!  Even less than even that, apparently.  Shows you what I know.  Figures.
Okay, so they can't all be Pam Grier.  For that matter, even being Thalmus Rasulala and Persis Khambatta is fraught with challenges and fierce competition... let's see if anyone's paying attention.  And what about Tamara Dobson?  What about f... frickin' Cleopatra Jones?  Does she deserve to gather dust in obscurity?  Someone described her as "statuesque"!  Probably!
But from studying the data in Ester Anderson's acting résumé, it took about ten years for her to build up the courage to take the old proverbial stab at the director's chair.  After working with all the hack directors that she did, she couldn't help but think to herself, well, hell!  I could do that!  Well, it happens in high school, you know.  First you get bitten by the acting bug.  Then you get bitten by the directing bug, because they get to... hang around after the scene's done?  Something like that.  But really, who doesn't want to be in charge?
And so, when you're on a successful show like "Amazon Squad"... I mean, "The Rookies," it's time to make your move and walk in to that dusty DGA office and apply for whatever... a permit, a membership card.  There's probably paperwork to fill out, like if you want to make a copyright official and all.  You'll want that if you ever go to court to collect royalty payments.  Also, you need the right property if you want to be a director and stay a director.  Spielberg learned that the hard way after The Sugarland Express.
Alas, we may never know what went wrong after Short Ends.  It's not even on YouTube or anything!  How ... how unfair is that?  So many unanswered questions.  Was it a hit?  Now that she's got one in the can, did she a-hole her way out of the business, as Chris Rock once said?  Will Mount Zion Productions ever rise again?  Or did they fall into a crevass, and was forced to gnaw their own foot off to survive?  Okay, so the main characters were called Frankie and Johnny.  The plot summary should make you smile a little bit... even if the punchline's a dramatic one, and strangely prescient.
And so, like most of us, this "Promising New Actor of 1973" either a) got tired of showbiz and vowed to leave it forever, or b) showed Terrence Malick how it's done.  You're supposed to take 35 years between projects, not a mere 20!
Okay, sure, it doesn't seem like much of a stretch for her to pick Bob Marley as a documentary subject, but still.  When in Rome or Jamaica, right?  And so we get Bob Marley: The Making of a Legend.  And, of course, when you do a documentary about a legend, you secretly always hope that a little bit of that legend will rub off on you, thereby giving your own career a boost or a nudge.  I don't see any evidence of that yet, but whatever.  Also... no love for Ziggy Marley?  Really?  What is he, chopped liver?
Anyway, a toast to Ester Anderson, and may it not take another 35 years for your next project... oh, I totally forgot!  I wanted to briefly mention The Touchables from 1968 and... I know, I know, you're thinking 1968, a film called The Touchables and no, it's only half a porno.  But for those of you who think 9 to 5 is the greatest, most original film idea ever, well... anyway, there are a lot of obscure names in the cast and crew, I noticed... except one.  Ian La Frenais, for once working without... what's his name... Dick Clement, that's the one.  I guess what I'm trying to get at is, in this Facebook age of ours, where it's probably more like three degrees of separation instead of six, well... for your next project, Est(h)er, don't be too proud!  Make the call to Ian, get something rolling.  Make him executive producer if you have to.

A Cruel Basis of Accounting that joke.  Well, as the TV ad campaign predicted, Ben Affleck's latest, The Accountant, opens at #1... didn't Clooney make this movie in 2010?  Anyway, Ben's made 24.7 million dollars its first weekend... but it cost 30 million to promote on the TV!  I guess the average moviegoer decided to go with either a) H&R Block or b) QuickBooks.  You know how it is these days.  No one wants to leave the comfort of their cheap gin and the telescreen... HD telescreen, to be fair.
The only other debut this week is the latest Kevin Hart concert film, so let's just take a look back at the week that was.  Emily Blunt apparently did so-so on SNL last night... which, in a way, is consistent with her career.  Her movie slips from 1 to 3, the new Magnificent Seven is actually at #7, and a movie called Middle School: The Worst Years of my Life is having a terrible time at the box office as well.  Besides, wasn't it Bart Simpson who said "This is the worst day of my life," to which Homer replied, "The worst day of your life SO FAR!"  And even though The Birth of a Nation (2016) is at #10 and about to leave, and the director slash star has some Trump-type sexual allegations in his past, well... what do you think?  An Oscar sweep?  Of course, it'll either have to sweep the actor awards like The Piano, or the technical awards like Schindler's List.  Can't have both, or so it would seem.
And finally, at #2 is Kevin Hart: What Now?  ...what now, he asks?  I'll tell you what now.  Stay on the path!  Don't repeat Eddie Murphy's mistakes!  Wake up every day and thank God you're alive!  Play the romantic lead for as long as you can, man!  Of course, it's different than in Cary Grant's day. Playing the lead at 55 in North by Northwest ain't too shabby.  But according to Mel Brooks, he would eat a hard boiled egg for lunch.  Maybe that's the fountain of youth after all!

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Auteur Watch - Hawa Essuman

Oh good, another short one.  Whelp, I never ask a lady how old she is, and neither does Hollywood... but they have ways of figuring that out.  A lot.  Also, they do everything they can to try and stave off the inevitable: getting old and out of touch.  But that's the way life goes here on planet Earth.  One minute, you're cock of the walk, and the next, you're an old kangaroo getting killed in Aussie rush hour traffic... I swear I saw that on telly!  I just didn't have the foresight to get its name.  That's right... he had a name and everything. 
But when you're dealing with a potential talent supernova like Hawa Essuman, you don't ask questions.  You just hitch your wagons to the star, and get on your pogo stick and wail.  And when you're directed by someone like Riccardo Milani, you can't help but think to yourself, aw, hell, I can do that!  Sit in a stupid-looking folding chair and tell people what to do?  That's the life for me!  You're the past, Milani, and I'm the future, said Hawa.  You don't understand us, so don't reprimand us.  We're taking the future.  We don't need no teacher... something like that.  It wasn't said as elegantly, but no one's perfect.

The Guy on the Bus

So we got three new debuts and all that, yada yada yada... okay, they're called The Girl on the Train.  Lotta people disappointed she has no kick-ass tattoo.  Then there's the new The Birth of a Nation, and the latest Diary of a Wimpy Kid wannabe.
So!  What a crazy 72 hours or so it's been.  I'll be glad when this election's over and Hillary's finally won.  I know, I know, nothing is certain, but even the most drooling Trump supporter's gotta be a little happy, no?  Sure, we won't have our first Orange American president, but the secret Muslim will finally be gone, and Trump will get back to doing what he does best... RAPING 13 YEAR OLDS.
As for SNL, well... Alec Baldwin must be pretty happy right now.  I sure am!  He proves once again that he's the alpha Baldwin.  Meanwhile, when's Stephen going to be on with Fox and Friends again?  Or "The Five"?  Also, I can't remember an opening sketch with such an elaborate structure: SPOILER ALERT - the Vice Presidential debate is interrupted by the big "Breaking News." ...see, they compressed the timeline a little bit.
Personally, I think Tim Kaine said it best: that Trump's comments should shock him, but they don't.  Also, Lawrence O'Donnell and Bill Maher both agree that no celebrities act the way that Drumpf said they do.  Not a few, not Charlie Sheen, but none!  Well, the ones like Charlie Sheen... it's just plain bad luck even mentioning them, frankly.  Makes me wonder what VDs "The Donald" has.
And speaking of VDs... Billy Bush is part of the Bush family?  Seriously?  Wow.  Figures.  Boy, it's hard for a peripheral figure in an established political family to get ahead these days.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Auteur Watch - ... Fring?

In looking at Giancarlo Esposito's IMDb Top 4, you might not realize who he is, because before "Breaking Bad," he did lots of stuff.  Everything from "The Electric Company" to the chief hell raiser in Do the Right Thing... forgive me, Spike LEE's Do the Right Thing.  A Spike Lee joint which, if memory serves, takes place mostly on the set of "Sesame Street."  See?  It's all related!  But judging from one interview I read with him, I don't think he wants to be known for any of that.  Personally, I also liked him as the liberal... I'm sorry, actual reporter in Bob Roberts who ends up getting thrown in Gitmo or something, or framed for assassination.  I confess, I don't like to play too close to the fire personally.  I deserve neither comfort nor security, as that phrase goes.
And so, while we all eagerly await his inevitable yet triumphant return to "Better Call Saul," this second Giancarlo... Giannini being the other one... tried his hand at directing.  Because he took a couple looks at Spike Lee, sitting there in the director's chair, and eventually found himself thinking "...what a shmuck."  To his chagrin, sure, but sometimes you just gotta desert a sinking ship, folks!  And so, right out of the gate, we get 2008's Gospel Hill.  I'm guessing it didn't play in the middle part of the country between the coasts, for one... Now, I hate to lump this into the same genre as Sugar Hill and Federal Hill, but... oh, right, I read it's more like City of Hope.  Might as well emulate the best, right?  And, why, look!  Some of the same cast!  Okay, just Angela Bassett... but still.  And what's the deal with these stupid Hollywood posters, as the VeggieTales might ask!  I mean, look at this!  Danny Glover is under Angela Bassett's name, Angela Bassett is under Giancarlo Esposito's name, Julia Stiles is under Danny Glover's name, and Giancarlo Esposito is under Julia Stiles' name!  Need I go on?... oh, that's the last one.  No wonder the critics savaged this!
And so, time marches on, wounds are licked clean, careers are elevated by such lightning strikes as "Breaking Bad" and what not... and occasionally you get some down time to do your next feature.  In Fring's case, something called This is Your Death came across his desk.  It's a script about a "disturbing hit game show" has contestants ending their lives for "the public's enjoyment" and, well... I guess it's been a while since The Running Man.  Or The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner.  Or Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone or... well, you get the idea.  Just go to this IMDb list here to get the idea.  But who knows?  Maybe there's some new spin to put on it, and the title's certainly provocative enough.  Ought to entice the well-dressed neo-Swing dancer hipsters out there, and certainly the narcissists; you know, the ones who want to know what they're in for... but don't want to be too surprised.  Ohhhhhh yeah.

Comedy as Catharsis

Whelp, after so many weeks of staring at that same inhuman-looking pic of Eva Green on (the) IMDb, Tim Burton's latest is at #1.  It's based on a novel by a man named Riggs... Ransom Riggs.  No, seriously, what's his real name?  And will his bitter rivalry with Daniel Handler ever lose the interest of the press?
Now, to help boost publicity for his latest, Tim Burton gave a weird answer to someone's question... let's move on.  At #2 is something called Deepwater Horizon.  On the one hand, it's a gripping dramatization of the worst oil spill in human history which happened in April 2010.  On the other, it stars Mark Wahlberg and was directed by Peter Berg, so you can bet that it's going to go pretty easy on the oil companies.
At #6, it's the 1976 Zero Mostel classic Mastermind... I'm sorry, it's the 1997 Patrick Stewart masterpiece, Masterminds... I'm sorry, it's the 2003 TV series "Masterminds"... Forgive me, I must be distracted.  It's the 2016 theatrical release, Richard Lowry's Masterminds... Jared Hess's Masterminds and... dayamn!  No wonder everyone was upset by the new Ghostbusters.  The cast of the new Ghostbusters is all practically in this thing!  How committed could they be to the remake of the beloved 1984 classic if they're too busy galavanting about in some other cinematic masterpiece of the same year?  I was going to point out that, on top of all that, it's just a remake of the 1949 Bowery Boys classic Master Minds but I'm just too flustered to go on like this.  Far far too flustered.  What a long week it's been.
And finally, giant megacorporation sucking the last bit of life left from the landscape, Disney, engages in a little cultural diversity, if only for tax purposes.  It's called Queen of Katwe starring Madina Nalwanga as the titular queen who learns how to play chess, and I'm assuming becomes a prodigy over the course of the film.  You know, it wasn't so long ago that Disney was considering making King of Mancala starring Josh Duhamel in the lead.  But time is finite, and there are only so many projects one person can do... wonder if Miles Teller's too busy to do it instead.

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Short Reviews - October 2016

Above the Law 2 - I almost hate to say it, but a) Andrew Davis probably isn't directing, and b) therefore, by the Transitive Property of the Director Involved... it's a'gonna suck.

Addicted - Steals the poster of Body Double

Big Fish - NOT BIGLY FISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Doctor Strange -  I mean, is Marvel Studios really taking on Inception?  Whoa dude... the main character is a neurosurgeon who becomes a superhero.  If Ben Carson's not the villain he goes up against, well... I'll be very disappointed... and so might Ben!

Double Jeopardy - I hate to keep bringing things around to Trump, and I promise I'll probably stop in November, but I can't stop thinking about how grotesque that second "debate" was.  Specifically, that Trump went to all the trouble to round up that old gang of Clinton accusers.  I guess Monica Lewinsky herself didn't want to participate; go figure.  She apparently couldn't bring herself to parrot Trump's line about... something about America, and making it into something else.  And as usual, Trump gives his brand of apology... incidentally, for all the parents out there, if you have a child who apologizes by blaming their bad behaviour on someone else... correct that behaviour, immediately immediately immediately.  "I apologize for taking the last cookies out of the jar, but let's be frank, folks.  My older brothers?  Much worse when it comes to the jar of cookies, much worse."  Anyway, this John Grisham knock-off has an interesting legal principle featured in it, even in the title if memory serves.  Something about how a person can't be charged twice for the same crime.  Okay, okay, that's just in the courts, but in the public eye, Bill Clinton will apparently be viewed by some as a reprehensible individual forever and ever for his various youthful indiscretions, real and imagined alike.  But is this the new normal now?  The next time David Vitter goes into a debate, is his opponent going to bring all the brothel workers he's been with up on the debate stage?  Will Mark Cuban invite Ivana Trump and Marla Maples to the third debate?  Will we just have to go to campaign websites to find out about policy positions at this point?  As for the four women that Trump has apparently hired to work on his campaign, well... I shouldn't demean them any more than both Trump and the Clintons already have, but try to get paid in cash when working for Trump, because I hear his checks have a tendency to bounce.  A lot.

A Face in the Crowd - I believe we have our current moment!!! (open mic)

Hacksaw Ridge - On the one hand, it's sprawling epic time, gorgeous cinematography, possibly an Oscar sweep; of course, if it wins Best Picture, how many producers would get statues?  Ten?  24? On the other hand, it's directed by... Crazy Mel Gibson.  Yeesh.  I know, I know, he's better now.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939) - It's not in the quotes section, but  ... dayamn!  Those are some very very romantic quotes!  Heloise and Abelard-type sh... stuff.  Anyway, here's some good advice for Donald Trump in case any more of "Trump's women" come forward with serious allegations of sexual assault.  I believe it was Frollo who placed the blame for his infatuation on Esmerelda squarely where it belongs... on Esmerelda.  Class act all the way.  And why not?  God didn't have a problem with Frollo's logic!

Inception - The older I get, the more I think to myself... boy, but dreams are stupid.  First of all, you can't build anything on the beach.  The skyscrapers all crumble, for one thing... what's that all about.  Anyway, I remembered a little bit more of my dream today!  First, I dreamed I was in the movie Assassins, and Antonio Banderas was going to kill a guy with a knife.  Instead, he just threw a knife at the wall behind the guy.  The wall fell over and crushed the guy instead.  Looks better in court, anyway, I suppose.  VERY NEXT SCENE... I'm playing frisbee in a field with a bunch of people... and that's another thing.  You can't walk or run in a dream because your legs turn into bubble gum.  Same thing with a frisbee... well, actually, I throw a frisbee in dreams about as well as I throw one in real life.  Anyway, the guy I'm throwing the frisbee to... I got some sunlight in my eye, and I look, and the guy instantly disappears.  I say to the other people in the dream field playing frisbee, "Um... he just instantly disappeared, right?"  No response.  Boy!  I guess it's like Fleetwood Mac once said, players only love you when they're playing.  So I shrugged and kept on chucking the frisbee.  And yes, I blew the opportunity for a lucid dream.  What can me say?  Me gullible as hell.

Indecent Proposal - Well, every presidential campaign seems to impart one lesson or another, often about economics.  In the current instance, 1993's Indecent Proposal is probably well within the going rate of the ruling aristocracy.  One million dollars is probably still the going rate for one night with the wife of a married couple... ten thousand dollars for an afternoon tryst?  If I were Jessica Drake, I'd ask to see some blood tests first......................... sorry, I'm just not that good of a writer, I confess

Inferno - Well, Ron Howard could always use a hit.  Arguably, it's been a while!

Intolerable Cruelty - I'm apparently the only one I know who likes this movie at all, but see if this example of logic seems familiar to you... specifically when it comes to Donald Trump and or one of his surrogates.  Sorry, one more month to go, maybe.  Anyway, it's the opening scene, and Donovan Donnelly... Donaly returns home early because the production meeting was cancelled.  He discovers his wife's having an affair.  She clocks him on the head and stabs him in the ass with one of his more dangerous awards, long story short, and she goes to see Miles Massey, Super Attorney.  Another long story short, and Miles outlines her case for her, then reaches a little bit when he says "Wasn't it in fact HE who was sleeping with the pool man?"

"Playboy Video Centerfold: Playmate 2000 Bernaola Twins" - Thank GOD Donald kept his clothes on!

SCTV - Season 2, Episode 4: "Indecent Exposure" - We just saw this one recently... the whole thing, not just the Jackie Rogers Mother Nature special.  And I couldn't help but think of Trump's limp, bronze-plated debate performance, because Guy Caballero has a similar moment when he tells the SCTV Board of Directors about his Billy Barty Theory, that merely saying Billy Barty's name always gets a laugh.  Unfortunately, his theory doesn't hold up the third time at that particular board meeting, once Caballero's fiduciary inproprieties come more fully into light.  But don't worry, folks, because Trump's going to keep bringing up Rosie O'Donnell as often as he has already.  More so now, in fact!  Just like he refers to Elizabeth Warren as... well, you know. (and if you don't, even better)  As for a Republican nominee for president calling on the American people to look at an alleged "sex tape," well... first of all, sure, it's more of a Libertarian move, really, and second, that's what most computer people do at work these days anyway.  (And of course, third, he never said that [2nd debate])  But I'd still like to see the whites of Rudy Giuliani's eyes as he's forced to go on TV and defend this rather original political tactic.  Who's next on the proverbial Uggo chopping block?  Ashley Graham?

Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor - an homage to the Showgirls poster... and this, of course

Think Big - Arguably, Jon Turteltaub's best movie, and IT'S NOT CALLED THINK BIGLY!!!!!!!!!!!!

"Walker, Texas Ranger - Season 1, Episode 1: One Riot, One Ranger" - Wow!  They were just showing this on a channel called "Grit."  I had no idea it was the first, but I should've guessed from the opening credits, treating it like an actual movie.  But I saw what's his face in it... yeah, him!  Elya Baskin, that dirty ol' bastard.  The one semi-serious role he ever had was as Russian Kevin Costner in Thirteen Days... love that movie.

"Westworld" (2016) - I hate to coin a phrase like "massacre porn," but... man, but we've come a long way from the simple joy of Yul Brynner doing battle with Richard Benjamin.  The catering of Hollywood screenplays to the smug brains of computer programmers continues unabated... and I should know!  I'm an amateur one!  Now, I'm no genius, and I guess I won't try to spoil it, but in the first episode, the hot cougar lady... I mean, Theresa Cullen, played by the loverly Sidse Babett Knudsen, alluded to an "end game" to all of this.  Yes, there's something deeper going on here than a giant chunk of what looks like the Grand Canyon now devoted to a theme park that seems to not be making a profit... bigly.  Damn it!  Apparently, it's an actual word, like "hugely" and "largely."  Anyway, let's leave aside the economics of the park for a second, and get back to the "end game."  I think I know what it is; I'm just not sure how J. J. Abrams and Jonathan Nolan feel about it.  Could go either way at this point.  If they got beat up a lot in school, well... we're probably all screwed.  Let's leave it at that.