Friday, September 28, 2012


Based upon a book that is based upon the real life adventures of a prohibition-era family of brothers in the rural Virginia mountainside, Lawless feels almost like an episode of The Waltons... gone rogue.

Yeah, so you all know the prohibition story. Booze was outlawed and all that. Crime was rampant, bootlegging everywhere... yadda, yadda...
In keeping with the times, this family decides to increase their standard of poverty by joining the rest of their county in the moonshine business.
All is well and good while the county prospers until bigger/meaner/more violent fish arrive and try to make some money by not making moonshine, and 'taxing' it's distribution instead.

One family kinda liked things the way they were before the new syndicate arrived, and decide they won't play within the new rules.

Things get ugly.
That is to be expected, of course.
I've seen in print (somewhere) alluding to the art house film of the year, or something like that...
Well...  I HATE it when art films promote themselves as art films. You let the critics do that.
It's like this: If a film has to make a point of telling me it is Art in order to get me to see it, it's artfulness is suspect. 
Just like the average man, I'm no connoisseur of film; I may not always know what art is; but I do have an idea of what it is not:
  • If I can do it, it ain't art.
  • And if I saw it before, (as in, every week... plus reruns) spanning two decades of network television 20-30 years ago, it is not art.
OK, it's not art, but what does it offer?
This story contains mountain folk, liquor, guns, large attitudes, poverty, swagger, cute girls, bad guys, and a naked Jessica Chastain... set against a beautiful Appalachian backdrop.
It has all the ingredients needed to produce one hell of a fine film if placed in the proper hands.
Woefully, that is not what happened.

First off, this is supposed to be a rural county, dirt roads and the like. Yet, everybody is wearing off-the-shelf clean clothes, no dust or wear ... just like The Waltons did.
Nice antique, brand new furnishings fill the homes and restaurants. I think they even hired the Walton's set designer. A certain sterile romanticism-of-the-period works well for television, but not in modern film making passing itself off as 'art'.

The trailers hinted at a string of gunfights through out. Forget that. Gun play is minimal. Even the final shoot out , as large and involved as it is, might leave you scratching yer head... what the hell was that I just saw???

The flow from scene to scene was choppy. There were times when I had to think back to what I had just seen 2 minutes previous in order to make sense of the scene before me.

(Yet, Jessica's Chastain's naked stroll stuck in my mind for several minutes following... can't imagine why...)

Character development is minimal. Sure, you know all about how badass the big brother is, but that's because the younger brother has already dialogued it. Such a technique works in a mainstream movie, not in one proclaiming itself as 'Art'.

Maybe I'm being a little unfair. Overall, it's not a bad flick for a mainstream theater crowd. Most will enjoy it.
As for me, I didn't dislike the film. I just disliked what it was passed off as being.

    Tuesday, September 25, 2012

    Two Cents

    What happened last night was fairly shocking, but should not have been if one bothered to notice the lousy officiating that took place for 59 minutes and 52 seconds prior to that.
    Because what had happened at 59:58 had largely already happened a few times prior...
    Bad, lousy, shitty officiating from the very first snap.

    Cheeseheads feel robbed. I get that.
    Seahawks fans (I doknow a few) feel vindicated in light of the flag throwing shananigans that delivered something like 28 minutes of the second half to Green Bay's Offensive squad.
    In the end, the Seahawks won, and their D earned it. (Lord knows... their O sucked as hard as Green Bay's)

    Let us not forget that the Refs are as much a part of the game as the field surface.

    Friday, September 21, 2012

    Because Islam Sucks, That's Why!

    America's food scold just won't quit
    As part of her anti-obesity Let's Move campaign, First Lady Michelle Obama is now presenting a brief online course: “Supermarket Shopping 101.”

    “Focus on the perimeter of the store first--that’s typically where you’ll find the produce, meat and dairy sections, which stock fresh, whole foods that should comprise the bulk of your shopping list.”
    Yeah, maybe for the people she knows. In this economy, the folks I know are too busy trying to make the most of what they got. This means ramen noodles, tortillas and processed foods. Pink Slime will be making a comeback soon...
    Here's a hint: that bargain rack, in the side hall. Great prices on dented canned goods. Fill yer pantry with this stuff, and the dollar goes a tad further.  All that 'damaged' produce makes a large pot of soup for under a buck, too.

    Fantasy Football. I'm in it for the first time. After two weeks, I'm dwelling in the bottom half of my league. We'll see how it goes. (Thanks, Robert!)

    I think it's time to give up on the notion that large swaths of the world will ever truly like us.  In a Shreds Administration, I would aim for 'tolerable', while we exploited their natural resources. They don't need to love us. Just sell us all their cool shit at real cheap prices, and our relationship will work out just fine.

    The Space Shuttle Endeavor made a grand flying tour of California today, mounted on the back of a 747 (must've been some killer-ass bunjies holding that thing down), flying low (something like >2,000 feet), escorted by a pair of F-18s (well,  I think they were F-18s. Two of them, anyway... this I know. )... on it's way to a permanent home at some museum in Los Angeles.
    This was all The Talk.
    History happening before our eyes.
    Oh, shut up!
    The Shuttle is NOT flying.
    It is dead, being transported to it's mausoleum on the back of a 747 hearse.
    "But it's history in the making!"
    NOT! It's a dead, hollowed-out shell of a former Space Shuttle. They took out all the cool stuff already.
    "How do you know? It's going to a museum and the museum might want that shit...."
    Because it passed through Los Angeles already. Somebody got all the copper...

    Still, it was cool hanging around the parking lot at work, 'watching history' for well over hour, waiting for it to pass by... and getting away with it... on over time!

    Thursday, September 20, 2012

    Maybe it's just me, but it looks to my eyes as if Sarah Palin has just become the 'white-face' version of Michelle Malkin: nothing new to say, but a whole lot of adjectives in saying it.

    I'm so tired of this shit, left and right.... may they all go to hell.
    And burn there...

    Saturday, September 15, 2012

    It WILL Happen

    OK, we got all these attacks and protests going on in the Muslim world: folks killed, embassies attacked, pundits punditting, partisans partisanning....
    It all kinda sucks.
    (Hey, can we all just agree that we will never really understand these people...)

    I doesn't much matter to me who made a video, or if the video was really an issue...
    Folks are going to point fingers no matter what the truth may be.

    What I'm seeing, and I may be wrong here, OK?, but what I'm seeing... is this:

    I have already stated that I believe Obama will be re-elected.
    I've also stated that I do not logically see how it could happen. But hey... Belief is Belief, Logic is Logic... and it's just the way it is.
    But right now, I see a situation where President Obama will be throwing around the drone action like there is no tomorrow.
    He'll be lighting up 'terrorists' left and right,...
    droning and droning...
    pockmarking the Muslim geography with craters and blood spills...
    (in a 'Kill 'em All, Let God sort them out' attitude.)

    the lapdog mainstream media will eat this shit up ...
    giddy with joy, they'll be reporting how tough, decisive, and manly the President is...
    truly, he is The One...
    keeping America safe...
    killing 'terrorists' for us.
    He will win re-election with press like this.

    If I were an Arab, I would stay inside til after election day.

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

    Letter To Bibi

    You are the ones who decided that you wanted to create your country in that neighborhood.
    You KNEW that you were pissing off the neighbors in doing so.
    Stop expecting the USA to kiss your ass and guarantee an existence that should be secured by yourselves.

    You've relied upon the USA for your subsistence and existence far longer than is justifiable.
    The time is long past to put on your Big Boy pants, do it yourself, and stop demanding shit from us... or get the fuck out of the region.

    That is all.

    Tuesday, September 11, 2012


    A nice start to the season for The Bears. It's been a long time (years) since I seen 41 points put up by the Offensive side of the ball.

    It's definitely better in Chicago than it has been in a while, where new boss Phil Emory did the right thing in negotiating a deal that brought in Brandon Marshall, signing Michael Bush and drafting a real Wide Receiver in Alshon Jeffrey.

    Next up, the yearly trip to Lambaugh.

    Things have rarely ended well for Chicago since Rogers took the reigns in Green Bay.
    I'm expecting a Rogers-led Packers will be ever determined to not finish two games down to the Bears. Also, I'm expecting that a Cutler-lead, Offensively-charged, and potentially capable Chicago would feel better with the opposite result.

    Expect a high scoring shootout. Jay Cutler has his swagger back, and after last Sunday, Rogers needs to show that he can swagger a bit, too...

    I'm thinking this game will be determined by Green Bay's Defense. It couldn't stop anything last year, or much of anything else just last Sunday.

    Sunday, September 9, 2012

    Beyond A Week...

    Forgive me, the damn, worthless, bag-o-shit blogger that I have become... letting you all down like that...

    So what's going on with me?
    Let me tell ya a little bit:
    With this election thing going on, my Facebook fed was all hammered and slathered with every partisan, nit picky, less-than-accurate, minimally truthful charge against the 'other side'.
    I was pretty bad, I tell ya.
    A couple of nights ago, I fixed it.
    For real, I really fixed it, with a single status update of my own...


    The partisan self-masterbatory bullshit is gone from my feed, and I only had to block ONE stupidly obnoxious moron person in the process, as opposed to the dozen or so who were causing all of the trouble.

    Maybe, just maybe, 99% of humanity are really pretty cool if given the option, and its just the 1% who are gonna be jerks anyway, no matter what.

    So, the latest tally of my life:
    It contains a dozen or so cooler people who weren't there last week, and one less jerk.

    Not bad.

    Saturday, September 1, 2012

    America's Most Wanted

    He might be a self-aggrandizing asshole with a few issues of his own, but Sheriff Joe is no fool either. If something was there, they would have found it in an election year.

    I'm not a fan of Sheriff Joe. Neither am I a detractor. I do like some of the things that he does, yet I am uneasy with some other things. Maybe if I lived in Maricopa County I would be able to muster an honest/informed opinion of America's most loved/hated sheriff. I do not, and will not.
    Someday though, his luck will run out.
    He's a wanted man, after all.
    It will take the right prosecutor hungry enough to earn some stripes, regardless of what it may take to do so...

    Such is the nature of federal law and federal prosecutorial power:
    If they want you badly enough, they will get you.