Category Archives: Hollywood

Favorite Actor A … Welshman

Film, Hollywood

Matthew Rhys is magnificent in “The Americans,” which is the best series on TV. I wondered about him when he was no where to be seen prancing about on the Red Carpet with Hollywood phonies. The explanation: Rhys is Welsh. Last night we watched him in The Scapegoat, an adaptation of a Daphne du Maurier novel (I liked her moody mysteries a lot in my early teens).

Rhys does not disappoint.


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UPDATED: What’s Worse? Gynocentric America Or Fatherless America?

Family, Feminism, Hollywood, Homeland Security, Islam, Jihad, Sex, Terrorism

Only somewhat do I share flamethrower Debby Schlussel’s conviction, echoed by most conservatives, that in cases such Douglas McAuthur McCain’s, “Islam filled [the] void” felt “in most of Black America today,” where moms are unmarried and “there was no dad or father figure.”

Before elaborating, let Schlussel introduce Mr. McAuthur McCain, the American who died fighting for ISIS in Syria. For when it comes to not finessing her words, Schlussel is funny—a Jewish conservative version of my friend Karen de Coster (who’s a Catholic libertarian):

Another American ISIS member has embarked on his sex tourism to the 72 Helen Thomases. So sad, too bad. Oh, and by the way, while he was fighting with ISIS to extinguish Christianity, his friends from San Diego tell us that he “respected Christianity.” Uh-huh, and Jeffrey Dahmer respected humans outside of his dinner plate.

No, that’s not a typo in the headline. Douglas McAuthur McCain’s mama apparently thought McArthur was McAuthur. Or maybe that’s the male version of Shaquonda or Kanesha. Not sure. McArthur, McAuthur, what’s the difference? You White cracka-azzes and your spelling. Hey, at least they didn’t name him Abraham Linkin Park McCain. In any event, this genius son of geniuses converted to Islam and changed his name to Duale TheSlaveofAllah, and he traveled to the Middle East to fight for ISIS/ISIL/The Islamic State. Now, lucky for us, he ain’t comin’ back. Buh-bye. …

With reference to “Reflections On The Boston Bombers & Boyhood In America,” I think there is something more fundamental boys need and cannot get easily in “gynocentric” America:

Boys, especially, require strong, moral men in their lives—men who affirm their masculinity. American boys, however, are mired in an estrogen-infused, cloistered world where real men in authority are a threatened minority. The nation’s schools have been, for the most, drained of manliness. Almost to a man are they staffed by feminists (mostly bereft of the Y chromosome).
Newtown shooter Adam Lanza was a product of a freewheeling, fatherless household. The tele-experts have been mum about a mother who was weak and ineffectual. Nancy Lanza was filled with fear. She used a menacing gun collection to overcompensate for her parental inadequacies. A strong, caring male might have taught the troubled Lanza to handle firearms responsibly; might have helped diffuse the lad’s rage. A manifestly weak woman playing at make-believe manhood only added fuel to that fire.

Of course, “When he hears parents, pedagogues, politicians and media sycophants pound on about the country’s Founding Fathers as the archetypical pale, patriarchal oppressors—a young man quickly learns to reject his … country’s heritage and look elsewhere for roots.”

Ultimately, to be immersed in a culture in which women play at being men and men act-out the caricature of manhood women expect—this is more damaging to boys than boys growing up without a dad. A lot of single moms have raised good kids.

UPDATE: Ben Carson’s mother, clearly a remarkable woman, was divorced. She never lost her values.


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UPDATED: Had Robin Williams Been Hopelessly Boxed In? (My Bad)

Celebrity, Film, Hollywood, Human Accomplishment

To be sure, Robin Williams was an enormous talent. This is reflected in the myriad interviews and standup routines playing on TV since his suicide. Although I’ve always enjoyed these impromptu exchanges when I caught them—I’m familiar only with the handful of dramas and thrillers in which Williams starred. And superbly so. As someone who despises silly slapstick like “Mrs. Doubtfire” and “The Birdcage,” I have to wonder why a talent like Williams was typecast as the eternal clown. Perhaps this deadening dead-end made him so very sad.

The Williams of “One Hour Photo” was hypnotic in the depth of his portrayal of a lonely misfit’s unraveling. His role in “Insomnia” was less memorable, but nevertheless chilling, as it ought to have been. Roger Ebert panned “The World According to Garp,” but I loved Williams in it. I saw “The Night Listener,” too.

That’s as far as the Robin Williams oeuvre available to me goes. Sad that. Had Robin Williams of blessed memory been hopelessly boxed in? I suspect so.

Williams seemed a gentle soul. He had a sad, intelligent, twinkle in the eyes, and he always looked as if he was about to start bawling, for real.

UPDATE (8/16): My Bad. “Awakenings”: A doff of the hat to my young friend Kerry Crowel, who reminded me that “‘Awakenings’ starred Robin Williams and Robert DeNiro in a really heavy drama about a doctor caring for patients that have awoken from long comas, or something like that. I remember the critics loving it.” I loved it too. I saw it. Both actors were brilliant.


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The Paltrow Of Politics (Minus Looks & Ethics)

Capitalism, Elections, Foreign Policy, Free Markets, Healthcare, Hillary Clinton, Hollywood, Military, Uncategorized, War

“The Paltrow Of Politics (Minus Looks & Ethics)” is the current column, now on WND. An excerpt:

Hillary Rodham Clinton has done some “conscious uncoupling” from reality. The term was disgorged by a celebrity, Gwyneth Paltrow, to announce a separation from her spouse. In the same breath, the actress bemoaned her gilded, glamorous life, and offended America’s military sacred cow by comparing the cyber-attacks she endures to the experience of war.

As heir to a political dynasty founded by a powerful man, Hillary has received millions of dollars to write books. Over the years, she and husband Bill Clinton have made hundreds of millions from both book deals and speaking engagements. Yet in a recent ABC interview, the former “First Housewife” complained about emerging from the White House not only “dead broke, but in debt”: “We had no money when we got there and we struggled to … piece together the resources for mortgages, for houses, for Chelsea’s education. You know, it was not easy.” …

… But on CNN, love is in the air. Viewers have expressed a belief that Hillary would restore the country to the Clinton years of peace and prosperity. Bill Clinton bombed Iraq in 1998, as well as a Sudanese pharmaceutical company that turned out to be the main manufacturer of medicines and vaccinations in Sudan. And he strafed the Serbs in 1999. Stateside, Bill butchered 76 men, women and children in Texas. Alas, so long as Hillary steers clear of another Waco, and confines her murderous sprees to killing far-away people from high above—few boots on the ground—her countrymen will consider her a peace-maker.

While prosperity during the Clinton years was due less to Clinton-economics than to Reaganomics and a Republican Congress not yet completely comatose—in fairness, Bill does grasp something about prosperity. “This is good work,” he famously said about Mitt Romney’s much-maligned work at Bain Capital. Hillary, conversely, has no economic acumen. “There are rich people everywhere, and yet they do not contribute to the growth of their own countries,” she grumbled at the Clinton Global Initiative, in 2012. According to economist George Reisman’s cogent analysis—and contra Mrs. Clinton’s crushing ignorance—“a highly productive and provident one percent provides the standard of living of a largely ignorant and ungrateful ninety-nine percent.” As for Obama’s putsch for a North-Korean style health care: Instead of aborting it, Hillary will guarantee that Obamacare reaches full-term gestation.

Another wily fox called Bill (O’Reilly) has defended Mrs. Clinton’s riches as capitalism’s reward for hard work. Not quite. Hillary has accrued wealth by using the predatory political process to wield power over others. Although she has pudding for brains, Gwyneth Paltrow, on the other hand, has made a living in the honest, productive, non-predatory and salutary ways of the free-market. Paltrow’s affluence, unlike Hillary’s, is a reward for assets she peddles to people who choose to purchase them. …

Read the complete column. “The Paltrow Of Politics (Minus Looks & Ethics)” is now on WND.

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UPDATE IV: Latest Anti-Man Moaning From Menstruation Lobby (‘The Americans’)

Capitalism, Celebrity, Feminism, Film, Gender, Government, Hollywood, Political Correctness

Just for a change, the menstruation lobby is moaning about the movies and its members’ representation therein: “The latest study on women in front of the camera finds that female characters are still significantly under-represented on the big screen. … The numbers for minority females are even lower. African-American female representation on screen climbed to 14%, from 8% in 2011, but down from 15% in 2012.”

Despite the same lobby’s attempt to ban the word, we women are “bossy.”

I control the remote in the house. My husband, however, is happy to allow it, because we like viewing the same things—except that he is more patient and prone to watch foolish female heroes strut their stuff in stilettos and plunging cleavages while chasing the bad guys. He’s been softened. He believes the schtick.

Other than “Olivia” in “Law and Order”—she’s the only believable woman in a tough-cop routine—I can’t watch females as action heroes because it doesn’t make sense. I’m way too wedded to reality to find women believable in these roles.

As for the presence of minorities in movies: it usually signals a two-hour long, oppressive racial lecture. And “I’m no more inclined to turn to ’12 Years A Slave’ for entertainment, than I am to subject myself to Oprah Winfrey and her M.O.P.E. (Most Oppressed Person Ever) ‘Butler.'”

Maybe other viewers are on to this and agree, because it is quite clear that Hollywood is giving viewers what they want to see: men in lead roles. If film executives listened to loathsome Lena Dunham, instead of to the demands of consumers—the industry would go bankrupt.

In any event, Sean and I both like the Metal and Military Channels, “Investigation Discovery” for the gory real-life murder cases, “Law and Order” (Olivia’s awesome), “The Following,” “Criminal Minds” (the horror compensates for the hens), “Justified,” and, I know the category is wrong, but the Oscars belongs to ….

The Americans.

It is simply superb; TV at its best: no politics, surprisingly, no mega movie stars (who usually can’t act); real foreigners playing foreigners (no fake foreign accent, courtesy of Angelina Jolie), and a great script.

Enjoy tonight’s episode.

UPDATE I (3/13): The Following” is ad hoc, make-it-up-as-you-go garbage. But it’s done well-enough to entertain.

UPDATE II: “THE AMERICANS.” The script and story are so good in The Americans, that you don’t root for a political side—the story is remarkably apolitical, given how political is should be, the halmark of good storytelling—you simply get absorbed in the plot. It’s a great spook story. That’s the experience the movies should deliver. Good narrative, good acting, no wagging finger. However, it is pro-American in the subtle, good, non-rah-rah way, as it shows how the couple is living the life while going through the spook motions. It is wonderful TV.

UPDATE III: The script and story are so good in “The Americans,” that you don’t root for a political side—the story is remarkably apolitical, given how political is should be, the hallmark of good storytelling—you simply get absorbed in the plot. It’s a great spook story. That’s the experience the movies should deliver. Good narrative, good acting, no wagging finger. However, it is pro-American in the subtle, good, non rah-rah way, as it shows how the couple is living The Life while going through the spook motions. It is wonderful TV.

House of Cards: I do not like a lecture: not from the Right, the Left, or from the libertarians (my crowd). And I do not watch any program about politicians, CIA, FBI, NSA. I want to excise these cancers from my life.

UPDATE IV: Some seek an ideology in a story, I seek a good narrative. Not sure what it is about my explanation on Facebook that Friends have failed to get about excising all gov. from my life. CIA, FBI, NSA, D.C.: “Good” or bad, it’s all bad, because it should be abolished. I don’t watch it for “fun.” I write about it.


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UPDATED: Hollywood: The No-Good, The Bad & The Beastly

Celebrity, China, Film, Hollywood, Human Accomplishment, Intelligence, Sex, Technology

“Hollywood: The No-Good, The Bad & The Beastly” is the current column, now on WND. An excerpt:

“Glenn Close’s remarks, In Memoriam, at the 86th Academy Awards ceremony, captured the delusions of grandeur held by the “tarts and tards of Hollywood,” and helped by their fans.

The actress (or is it “actor”?) did not thank the dearly departed for merely entertaining the masses, which is all actors and directors are capable of doing. Oh no. Her deities were, instead, acknowledged for “mentoring us, challenging us, elevating us”; “they made us want to be better, and gave us a greater understanding of the human condition and the human heart,” language that should be reserved for the likes of Ayn Rand and Aristotle.

Where a motion picture has indeed transported anyone—it is because it cleaved to a decent script, usually a good book. “Gone With the Wind,” “Doctor Zhivago,” “Midnight Express,” and “Papillon,” are examples.

Still, Hollywood is quite capable of reducing great literature to schmaltzy jingles, belted out by shrill starlets. This was the fate of “Les Misérables,” last year. Lost in the din were a lot of lessons about “the human condition.” The Victor-Hugo masterpiece I read as a kid was about France’s unfathomably cruel and unjust penal system, and the prototypical obedient functionary who worked a lifetime to enforce the system’s depredations—a lot like the powers that hounded Aaron Swartz, the co-founder of Reddit.com, to death, in 2013, and are intent on doing the same to the heroic Edward Snowden.

The dead were deified, but what of the walking dead?

To the Chinese, who appreciate the value of experience, the greater the ratio in a team of “grey hairs and no-hairs” to “black hairs”—the faster and better a task will be completed. The opposite assumption obtains in the youth-obsessed U.S.

On the old, Hollywood performs professional geronticide.

Aging actors are put out to pasture, retired into buffoonish, badly scripted roles (“Nebraska”). The annual Oscar Awards will see at least one old actor trotted out (in 2011, the “distinction” went to Kirk Douglas) from retirement. From the sympathetic thunder clap received by Harrison Ford, 71, this year, I’d say he’s ready to be retired.

Yes, a silly society is a youth-obsessed society. Duly, a precocious kid actor will typically cameo. This year, viewers were spared the spectacle. Tykes did, however, twerk and twirl with the adults in a Pharrell Williams routine, conjuring the current crop of Walt Disney cartoon characters (“Rio 1″). Once-upon-a-time, our beloved cartoons were cute, innocent and mischievous. Think Disney’s Donald Duck, Warner Brothers’ Bugs-Bunny and Amblimation’s Fievel of “An American Tail” fame.

Alas, like The Kids, the animated characters that festoon film nowadays sound and act as if created by another Victor (Frankenstein), combining pixelated bits of the putrefying Bethenny Frankel, and some “Mob Wives,” “Real Housewives,” and “Dance Moms,” for good measure. …

Read on. The complete column is “Hollywood: The No-Good, The Bad & The Beastly”now on WND.

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* For his help, I thank my young friend, movie maven Kerry Crowel.

UPDATED (3/7): Anyone who praises the Titanic idiocy as a “classic” is lacking critical faculties (see Facebook thread). The scenes of the ship going down are fun and well done. But as to the “story”: It includes the use of “Freudian slip,” before the term was known, among other Americanized inaccuracies, and the upstairs-downstairs dynamic and proletarian insurrection: Whence does that rot come? But then, if you read the comments @ WND Comments (http://www.wnd.com/…/hollywood-the-no-good-the-bad-and…/), you get that our readers are more comfortable with Bill O’Reilly’s “output” or that of Maureen Dowd at the NYT.


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