Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pushed To The Edge In Boston

Tom Craven is a Boston detective and single father to daughter,Emma, who works at some nuclear research facility where suspected shenanigans are going on.
I've never seen Conspiracy Theory, but I've heard this one is a lot like that one.
And this one is typical Mel Gibson style action.

But I have seen Braveheart, and the parallels are common: some stubborn warrior-type dude gets an angry hair up his ass when his One Love is murdered at the hands of some powerful higher-ups...
... spurring him on a quest for justice,truth and vengeance, where his Love appears to him in periodic visitations.
(Come to think of it, this is a common theme that appears in many of Gibson's roles)

Edge Of Darkness contains a few plot twists that inevitably lead to where you think they will, making this not at all that great of a thriller, and an average one at best. And despite the heavily-aired trailer that is punctuated with some really cool violence and all that, the real mayhem, the stuff you came to see, doesn't really begin until an hour into the film, but it's good stuff. Not much gunslinging til near the end, and mostly strong arming and fist throwing. Nothing particularly over-the-top that would require a suspension of belief.

What I think inspired the writers to create this one was an over abundance of cool 'Dirty Harry' type lines, and they needed a screenplay to work them into.
Stuff like :
"But they're armed and dangerous!"
Whadya think I am.
or...
You need to decide whether you're hangin on the cross of bangin in the nails.
or...
Make my day. (ok, that's not really in the there, but it could be.)

Yeah, stuff like that. But it all works.
The wrap: it's a good film that provides effective bang for your buck.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

BCS

The Obama administration is considering several steps that would review the legality of the controversial Bowl Championship Series, the Justice Department said in a letter Friday to a senator who had asked for an antitrust review


My first instinct says this is not something we really need the federal government getting involved in. It's just not their place, ya know?

But then I got to thinking... (I occasionally do that)... with only twenty-fours hours in a day, time spent messing with the BCS is time not spent doing something else that might be their business that they would likely fuck up anyway.

So... all I can say is that I don't know enough about that BCS system to have an informed opinion as to whether there is some federal level of injustice going on or not, but still I say "Have at it guys. Take all the time you want."

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Tim Tebow: The New Black

When I was growing up some advocacy group, or several of them (I don't know if it was government funded or not, and frankly, at that time in my life I wouldn't have known the difference)used to run these ads or messages or whatever you call them.

Typical plot line: group of white kids are playing, and off to the side is some lonely and forsaken Black kid (we didn't have African-Americans back then), they stop and one of the white kids invites him to join in... and they all play happily ever after in racially tolerant bliss.

There was a moral message. That was the whole point. That there was always room for one more who was 'different' or inconvenient or whatever. And if more kids would heed the message, the whole world could be a more inclusive place.
What could be wrong with that?

Sure, the ads were preaching a morality point, one deemed morally superior to their creators. It was all good.
After all, nobody was forcing me to be nice to Black kids.
And few could argue against the point that just maybe it might do the world some good if I felt morally compelled to be nice to a Black kid, even if only for the hell of it.

Something similar is happening again. You've probably heard about it by now. Though I haven't seen the ad myself, supposedly it is going to run during the Super Bowl.
It features Tim Tebow's mother recalling her struggles with a difficult and life threatening pregnancy, how she chose to take the risks and bring her child to term, and how we now have the gifted Tim Tebow as a result.

Seems this ad is controversial.
But I see nothing here that is any different than the ads I grew up with: a message of inclusiveness, acceptance and love. An appeal to the greater moral good that, we hope, dwells within every ordinarily common person.

What is wrong with that?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Grinding It Out At Starbucks

A 20-year-old Orange County woman is suing Starbucks, her former employer, over a sexual relationship she had with a supervisor when she was 16 years old.
So this stupid girl spends six months banging her supervisor all over town, and somehow it's Starbucks fault to the tune of $16 million.
Between the ages of 14 and 16, Moore had "sexual encounters" with seven men, according to the records. She had encounters with another five during the time she knew the supervisor.

"They are trying to defend themselves by calling me a slut," Moore told the program.


What else do you call it after you've treated your vagina like a drive through window?

The funny part is the claim for $200,000 in lost wages. That's over $50,000 per year in salary, to pour coffee and maybe warm up a bagel?
Damn. I guess I'm in the wrong line of work.

Monday, January 25, 2010

How LBJ and W Became Presidents...

You see, 160 years ago, the people made a pact with the devil. True story. They said, you help free us from Mexico, and we will do your will...
Construction crews moved dirt to shore up a group of houses precariously perched on a crumbling hill in San Antonio on Monday as engineers tried to determine why the land below was shifting, causing dozens of homes to evacuate.

Hmmm

Amid the mass of aid agencies piling in to help Haiti quake victims is a batch of Church of Scientology "volunteer ministers", claiming to use the power of touch to reconnect nervous systems.
"We're trained as volunteer ministers, we use a process called 'assist' to follow the nervous system to reconnect the main points, to bring back communication," she said.



I wonder what they can do for a paralyzed larynx?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Air America: What Went Wrong

I was a little surprised to hear that Air America was going off-air this week. I didn't even realize they were still around.
It shouldn't come as a shock to anybody,really.
From the inception, this was a big FAIL.
What the creators of Air America failed to understand is that broadcasting, be it radio or otherwise, is a business first, entertainment second, and a source information/opinion placing somewhere even further down than that.
('Third' would be too high in importance, but i don't know what the hell would come before it).

This network was designed all backward. They wanted to be the left-wing response to right-wing talk radio. This was Priority One for them. FAIL is the natural result of any economic endeavor when profits are not Priority One.

Next, they lined up some meatheads they thought were funny; a few comedians and the like that may have made a living elsewhere, but these were not broadcast trained talent.
Broadcasting is a skill set. Not all have it. Not all can be taught to have it.
Air America ended up casting a talentless flock of dunderheads with little sense of timing who seemed not to know how to use a microphone.

Lastly, they offered no argument or rebuttal. Lot's of name calling and charges of 'they just don't get it', but no reason or clue of what it was 'they' didn't get. Maybe a coherent explanation of any issue would have helped? I tried to listen to several of Air America's hosts, and got nowhere.
Pity the loyal liberal who was trying to arm himself with debating points only to be left with little more than "Yeah, well Bush is Hitler".
About the only new insight to be gleamed was that liberals were not only mistaken in their ideas, but seriously off their meds.

Air America's creators were not wise enough to know how talk radio got to be tilted to the right, didn't know how to make a profit, and thought that agenda topped product when the product should have been the agenda.

It's Official: I'm An 'Old Guy'

Saw the Angry Samoans (a very old, early 80's band) tonight, along with my cousin's punk band, The Maxies.
(Sorry, sound quality isn't that good, but The Maxies do sound better in person.)

At an 'All Age' club, which is the same as saying nobody over 21 would bother showing up.
Between acts, I step out for a breather, and some dude looks right at me:
"An old guy!"
He's 'bout my age.
Yeah, I say.
"You from the 80's?"
South Bay.
"Cool! The Church..."
and The Barn...
"What you doin here?"
Samoan Pride.
"Samoan Pride! Party on..."

Friday, January 22, 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Immigrant Pride

A fellow co-worker is a Colombian waiting to take his oath of American citizenship. This morning he's waving a piece of paper in my face:
"This makes me proud to be an American"
He's laughing.
"I'm going to be on the smartest team in the world"

What you got,M---?

"I just printed off the computer, I read for you"

It's in Spanish, from a Colombian news site. In short, Hugo Chavez is blaming the United States for the earthquake in Haiti. According to the article, Hugo says we have a secret weapon we experimented with and that Haiti was the practice site.

Still laughing: "Hugo better shut his mouth. We might do Venezuela next".

I thought it was funny. Thought I'd share.

Monday, January 18, 2010

This would have never happened if she'd had cats, instead.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

This Is Our Business

The reports of the devastation in Haiti are troubling. Though I oppose the United States intervening in the affairs of other nations, something about this one begs for as big and rapid a response as we can muster.

For sure, there will be no saving Haiti. That place is a shit stain of a nation to begin with, and nothing, no amount of foreign aide is going to change the place. Some places are just better off not being, and Haiti is one of them.

But I am aware, regardless of the ills of the political entity, geography, culture and demographics, it is still a population of something like 10 million individuals and their suffering is real.

It really bothers me personally, makes me sick inside really, the thought of all those people dying by the minute, and knowing that the situation is so fucked up it really is too late to save the lives of those who were/are trapped in the rubble.
The manpower needed to save lives was needed then, not now, four days later, which is how long it takes to get anything packed up and shipped.

I guess all that's left is to do is ease the suffering of the survivors, so that we should do.
For now, we should be air dropping food and sending in some troops and equipment to help the immediate situation. But let us not linger and allow this tragedy to become an even bigger albatross around our collective necks.

But be wary of getting too involved and keep in mind that any investment made in rebuilding is going to be wasted. Any monetary relief will end up stolen. And the mistake that is Haiti will continue long after we have passed from this life.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Another View From The Apocalypse

It's a post-apocalyptic world inhabited by small, desperate settlements of (wherever one could find them)crazy, fucked up humans.
Books are rare, having all been burned in the apocalyptic aftermath where few people could read anyway, and those that can are survivors of the older generation, before the war.

Into this setting we find The Walker, played by Denzel Washington, set on a direction 'west' with a prize possession in his pack: a Bible.
A possession much desired by a bad guy (Gary Oldman), who wants it for it's reputed power to inspire a population, although nobody seems to really understand what that power is beyond a few noble phrases since any real sense of any kind of religion, let alone Christianity, has been long lost.

So yeah, this has nothing at all to do with Christianity, in any way,shape or form. It's not a Christian film, nor is it based on a Christian theme.
(Just replace the Bible with "The Audacity Of Hope" or "Going Rogue" and you'd have the same damn movie.)

Not even The Walker is fully aware of what he has, only that he has been gifted with some really cool ninja skills, and led by a voice, reminding himself to 'stay on the path' and deliver his cargo to someplace he doesn't know and for what reason he doesn't understand.

The Book Of Eli kinda reminds of The Road Warrior in some respects, with elements of A Boy And His Dog thrown in. Probably purely accidental, as post-apocalypse movies all seem to share a background set and supporting casts: desert wasteland, ugly nomadic people who wear shades, violence...

Throw in thugs that dress like Nine Inch Nails, a Mila Kunis (sorry, no nudity here, either) and Denzel, who plays the only type of role he knows how (and does it very well) and you have something reasonably enjoyable and filled with graphic violence in exchange for your ten dollars.

Not good or great, but an average movie that slows down in a few spots but not so much that you lose track of what is going on.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Sorry Brian, no more sex in the park for you.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Now you know why.
If only we can get the whole nation to recite the Sinner's Prayer, everything will be OK.

*

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Because All The Foxes Are On Fox

Something is being left unsaid, besides the usual comments I'm currently hearing, now that Sarah Palin has joined Fox News as a political/policy commentator/analyst.

It looks to me that she is taking a page from Ronald Reagan playbook. Reagan built his bonafides as a bonafide through a series of speeches and commentaries, saying the right things, in the right ways, before he ran for his first office (Governor of CA).

It was hard to write him off as 'just an actor', though the left tried, after everybody had heard what he had to say.

Sarah just may end up becoming a serious, and knowledgeable, political commentator.
I'm not so sure how she's going to pull this off sticking to the neo-con ideology, but she seems to have a knack for touching the populist nerve in a certain segment of the electorate.
I still don't think her 'time' is near, but clearly, it's not midnight yet either, so she's gonna be a around a while.

I just hope she doesn't destroy my fantasies by going all "Malkin" on us.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Michelle Malkin would be a lot cuter if she'd shut the hell up.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Heads Talk Too Much

It's pretty plain to see that 300 Americans got lucky on Christmas day. If that dude's ass had blown off as intended, real tragedy on the order of Pan Am 103 would have been the headlines of the months.

So, instead of folks reacting in a grown-up fashion, this whole event has instead turned into partisan gotcha name calling.
Obama don't care.
Cheney cared less than Obama.
Bush sucked first.
Obama sucks harder.

Grow the fuck up already.

First off, I don't doubt for one second that Obama wants to do everything he can to prevent another attack. And in a few respects, he's amped some of the terror war stuff that was left in his lap. For instance, expanding the number of Al Qaida thugs vaporized by drone aircraft.
Believe when I say it: Obama may be a self-obsessed pussy, but he ain't shy about ordering that others be snuffed out.
And even if he didn't care about us, the people, (and I doubt he really does anyway) he's in enough love with himself to not allow some terror attack to hurt him politically.
He ain't none too bright, but he's plenty smart in that regard.

But, like what is not uncommon with new presidents, this dude dove into the deep end when he really should have began in the kiddie pool. I'm not giving him a pass, personally speaking, because he did campaign hard for this job.

But the voters should have known what they were getting.
And it's wrong to be jumping up and down because he doesn't handle this stuff like a pro.
We haven't had a true professional in the White House since Bush, Sr.
George H. W. Bush was the most qualified/experienced guy to take the office in probably 100yrs, having been 'in' at every level of politics and government.
And even he managed to screw the pooch a few times.

What helped Bush, Jr was that he had been surrounded all his life with his dad's career. He had a sense that he needed to have a sense about things. Kinda like, if you hang around a ballpark long enough, you'll have some kind of an idea of how the game is played even if you've never actually played it yourself.
Not exactly 'experience', but about on par with the average president. And we know where that got us.

In contrast, Obama had been hanging around the likes of Bill Ayers, MoveOn.Org, and that angry nigger who has a big church in Chicago. Not exactly a statesman like bunch of company from which one would learn how to manage an administration at the higher levels. Or a foreign policy, for that matter.
But that is who we got. The voters have spoken, and nobody can change that.
Barrack Obama is president.
Dick Cheney no longer is.
And mistakes will happen, no matter who is The House. And some things can't even be logically planned for. (Seriously, was there even a plan in the event of a Panty Bomber? Think Bush had one?)

Both sides need to stop making exaggerated claims of competence, or equally exaggerated accusations of failure.

They need to work together, because somewhere out there at this very minute, there is a raghead stuffing little bags of Semtex up his asshole hoping to bring a Dreamliner down over Chicago.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

This Year's Football Movie

In 2009, Michael Oher was drafted in the first round by the Baltimore Ravens, and starts for them at Left Tackle.
Prior to this monumental life event, he was living quite an eventful life as it was, and is chronicled in Blindside.

A familiar enough fairy-tale: poor black orphan is adopted into a rich, white family and given a shot at an education and a decent life. Somewhere in there, football becomes part of the equation, and the rest is NFL draft history.

Starring some familiar faces, including Sandra Bullock (this means no titty shots, sorry guys), who, of course, looks very alluring scene after scene, and those legs, my God... she keeps showing off those legs... Tim McGraw and Kathy Bates... and features appearances by several SEC and NCAA coaches.
But it's Bullock's character who runs away with the whole show.

Expecting another turkey, I was really surprised. It's a great movie. Heartwarming and sweet, without being over saccharinated and mushy. Lot's of comedy mixed in among the drama that never gets too dramatic. It's balanced well.

There's no academy award winners here, but if you want to see a 'feelgood', this will do. And some of the scenes, as well as the story, are memorable to say the least.

I recommend it, and may even buy the DVD when it comes out.

I Guess It's A New Year

Generally, I ignore the whole concept of New Years Day. To me, it's just another day that other people use as an excuse to intentionally do stupid stuff, and I'm a little beyond that stage in life.

No, not the 'stupid stuff'. I'm just beyond the 'doing it intentionally' part. Stupidity just comes along on it's own, and I don't feel the urge to aid it along any more than it need be.
A quiet evening at home works for me.

But one of my peeves from 2009 would have to the lack of decent movie offerings from the creative class. I just don't get it. Everything out there was either stupid, already done, based upon a cartoon character of some sort.
A theatrical wasteland.
So sad.

And I hear there are more remakes on the way for 2010. Red Dawn, being one. Although that might be a remake I'd be interested in, as the original, that I loved at the time, was a cool idea that was not done as well as it could have been.

Anyway, the new year is already looking to be an improvement over the previous. I've seen previews of three or four releases due this month that look to be entertaining, if not good. And entertainment is all I really ask for.

Watch this page in the coming days/weeks. There are a few imports I've found that I got to go and try to find where they are playing at.

I plan on hitting the theater more often this year. So, if there is anything you think you want me to see and comment on, just drop me a line. I'm open to suggestions.