Film Review: Bombshell – The Hedy Lamarr Story

Will the Real Hedy (NOT Hedley!) Please Stand Up? Writer/director Alexandra Dean’s nonfiction Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story is a 90 minute slice of cinema history - and much more - about an enigmatic screen star who was also a behind-the-scenes inventor. Like 2015’s documentary Listen to Me Marlon, Dean uses tapes featuring the thespian’s own voice to tell the inside story of the iconic, exotic actress who dazzled and delighted audiences Continue Reading...

Film Review: Afterimage

Lust for Art: Artists Versus Apparatchiks Filmmaker Andrzej Wajda was to Poland what Sergei Eisenstein was to the USSR - and, arguably, what Carl Yastrzemski was to the Boston Red Sox.  Along with Roman Polanski’s early work, Wajda’s famed 1950s World War II-era trilogy about Polish partisans battling the Nazis - A Generation, Kanal, Ashes and Diamonds - put Poland on the world cinema map.  He won an Honorary Oscar in 2000 and died last Continue Reading...

Dead Pestilence: A Word or Two on Roger Ailes

I hope Roger Ailes died screaming.  I hope he felt every sensation of pain from the subdural hematoma he suffered; I hope that the shocks wracked his worn-out sack of a body.  I hope that, in the throes of that pain, he realized he was dying and he cried out that he wanted to come back, that he didn’t want his last act on earth to have been his dismissal as a lecher and a rapist.  I hope he died screaming. Continue Reading...

Film Review: The Constitution

SEEFest 2017: Cross-Dressing, Cruelty to Critters and Constitutional Rights in Croatia The 12th annual South East European Film Festival kicked off with a gala screening at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills of writer/director Rajko Grlić’s The Constitution, a stellar must-see movie full of humor and humanity that set the tone for this filmfest.  I say that because sometimes cinefiles “suffer” through specialty cinema (especially those Continue Reading...

Judge Neil Gorsuch Is a Dick

The confirmation hearings for any presidential nominee are just pantomimes of democracy, with everyone going through the motions and nothing really being learned.  It's even worse for Supreme Court justice hearings, where the party of the president who did the nominating pretty much just finger fucks the nominee while the opposing party tries to get the nominee to express an opinion on any goddamned issue and the nominee repeatedly says, "No, go Continue Reading...

Film Review: The Great Wall

Not So Great: Oh! How the Mighty Have Fallen Aside from some stunning cinematography, special effects and scenery, this U.S.-China co-production lensed, according to IMDB.com, on location in Qinqdao and New Zealand (!) is more about cashing in on the growing international audience of the PRC and USA.  The use of Real 3D and IMAX 3D is what The Great Wall is really all about - not a story or, heavens’ forbid, character development - although to Continue Reading...

Selling Purim to Progressives in the Era of Trump

It has been my custom to reproduce this “Selling Purim to Progressives” post occasionally on Purim.  The last time was in 2015, when we were in the midst of the Iran negotiations. Well, since then the world made a deal with Iran.  Trump may say that it's a lousy deal, but he doesn't plan on changing it soon, certainly not to Bibi's liking.  And as for the guy who's running Trump, forget about it; Putin is telling Bibi to move on. That's the Continue Reading...

Random Observations on Trump’s Speech to Congress Last Night

1. Let's get this out of the way up top: President Donald Trump's exploitation of Carryn Owens, the widow of Ryan Owens, a Navy SEAL who died in a fuck-up of a raid in Yemen, induced the kind of nausea you usually feel when you accidentally catch a glimpse of a pus-draining video.  While anonymous "senior officials" (who could be Trump - really) argue over whether or not any decent intelligence was gotten from the raid (spoiler: they didn't), Continue Reading...

Film Review: Do Not Resist

The Post-9/11 Iron Heel of the State The chillingly named Do Not Resist, which won the Tribecca Film Festival’s Best Documentary Feature award, opens with a tense demonstration shot at Ferguson, Missouri in 2014 only 10 days after the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown, an African American youth not carrying any weapons.  The footage shows heavily armed, helmeted officers with body armor, shields and Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Continue Reading...