Sunday, April 15, 2018

Ready Player One

It's not so much that all these movies start to look alike after a while, but it's also a challenge to sift through, say, a Michael Bay picture to find one particular image.  Say you're trying to find that big hotel explosion in 2005's The Island... you know, with the big red letters?  I mean, where is it?  Good luck with that, my friend!  Lotsa luck, pal!
Anyway, you just know a movie's going to be a hit when one of your customers tells you that their kid is going to see it, which is what happened to me this weekend in regards to the latest Dwayne Johnson vehicle called Rampage.  Sadly, they didn't realize that it's based on an '80s video game, but they did helpfully explain that last season's Jumanji reboot is!  Oh well.  See, people around here ski topless while smoking dope, so irony's not really a high priority.  We haven't had irony here since about '83, and seeing as how I was the only practitioner of it I stopped because I was tired of being stared at.  But when you're in the Dwayne Johnson business like director Brad Peyton is, you kinda don't want to not be.  Sometimes you just gotta put that dream on hold about making the $100 million epic about the train wreck in the coal mine... incidentally, did that actually ever really happen?  Seems like no engineer with any sense of what works and what doesn't would ever try to do that.
The only other debut this week is a 1080p, 4K restoration re-release of that classic Madonna pic Truth or Dare... I'm sorry, it's actually a new pic of the same name, starring Lucy Hale.  You might remember her from the show "Pretty Little Liars" where she starred as one of the liars.  Wow!  They seem to have all seasons of it at my local library!  I'm tempted.  She caught my eye because she kinda looks like Barbara Kean of "Gotham" fame.  And if you look at the pic I was looking at, in the upper left hand corner we have an Estelle Warren-type.  It seems to be Sasha Pieterse, who plays a character named Dino de Laurentiis... I'm sorry, that's Alison DiLaurentis.  I always get those two mixed up.
Meanwhile, back at the lab, in political news, Michael Cohen is currently in the hot seat, the proverbial eye of Sauron fixed upon him this week.  And I hate to use an overused cliché, but SNL did indeed hella crush it yesterday with the Meet the Parents reunion of Robert De Niro as Robert Mueller, and Ben Stiller as Michael Cohen.  I don't know off the top to what percentage point their dialogue was exactly the same as the same scene in said Meet the Parents, but it was probably pretty close to 100.  And for any of you in the lamestream media who come across this, do me a personal favor, will ya?  Would you please start referring to Michael Cohen as "Mickey"?  It would make him personally feel better, for one.  Sure, not as good as that "60 Minutes" story about Harvard's influence on comedy writing, but pretty better.  Allow me to take this time to recap... see, there's a comedy magazine that everyone who wants to be someone in modern day comedy writing tries to get into.  The Harvard Lampoon, I believe it is.  Many graduates in places of high esteem who remember the secret handshake, many people currently in the program who have guaranteed employment and high fees on the lecture circuit in their guaranteed futures.  No Horatio Algers from Brown or Dartmouth here anymore, folks.  You wanna get into that national spotlight these days, you gotta have one foot in showbiz already.  They say they want diversity, and they say they want points of view from all corners of the globe... but at the end of the day, it's all about who's already got theirs.  They're writers!  They can approximate what one of the unwashed masses is thinking.  Close enough.  Anyway, back to the instant case.  One of the traditions of this Harvard comedy magazine, and seeing as how it's Harvard, it's rife with traditions... one of the traditions is pranks.  And the "60 Minutes" story informed us that a recent prank just might be the prank to end all pranks, or at least set the bar impossibly high.  They pranked Donald Trump into thinking that he was doing a legitimate story, and not for a comedy magazine, and they dragged the Harvard wooden chair to Trump Tower for a photo-op and all that.  After the dust settled, and Trump found out that he was the butt of a rather elaborate joke, he had Mickey Cohen on the phone that afternoon reading the Cohen/Trump Riot Act to one of the members of the Harvard comedy magazine.  The usual stuff, you know: Cohen saying that what he was going to do to this 20 year old kid in court was going to be "disgusting," what have you.  Then Cohen tells the kid to send him his Harvard I.D.  "60 Minutes" interviewed the scared kid, and the kid said that he actually did it!  In this era of Adobe Photoshop, he actually did it!  Nothing came of any of Cohen's, and by association, Trump's, bluster and or vague threats of litigation, but when Cohen did see the story, and heard of how scared the kid was, he said to himself "...oh, thank God!  Still got it."  That was last Sunday.  The next day, the shoe kinda dropped on Cohen.  Bigly.  The moral of this Aesop's fable?  I think it's that you don't pick on Harvard.  You can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but don't pick on Harvard.  Just don't do it.  Especially if you're Mickey Cohen.  No.  Don't do it.
So what else is going on?  Well, this came across my virtual desk, so to speak.  In case you don't want to click the link, the headline is that New England's biggest GOP donor is funding a Democrat.  Which would certainly be strange in most other times in history, but I think I see where this GOP donor is coming from.  He or she would just like to fund a candidate that stands for traditional family values... not whatever the hell is coming out of the White House these days.  I mean, Trump's got a secret other family too?  I mean, with Schwarzenegger, sure... I could see that.  But Trump?  Hmm.  I wonder if it was the best sex he ever had a second time or not.  I could see why he wouldn't want to brag, though.  I mean, when you're going for the highest elected office in the known universe, "Having Secret Other Family" is not exactly in the Constitution, know what I mean?  "Over 35" is, but not that other one.  Ick.  I gotta go try to wash off the (orange) grime now.

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