Sunday, August 13, 2017
Im not sure what I expected out of Kathryn Bigelow's latest film, Detroit, but what I got was another classic edge of the seat thriller. Bigelow, who specializes in films like The Hurt Locker, which was the tensest movie I'd seen in many years and Zero Dark Thirty, another film of controversy that featured hair raising magnitude, tackles another controversial subject, the 1967 Detroit riots.
The Detroit riots began after years of a burning fuse that finally ran out of space and the bomb went off in July of 1967. The first 45 minutes of the movie involve cops killing people and the people looting the stores and the chaos in the streets. Quite frankly its rather slow and cliche' and I began to wonder when something was going to happen.
And then BOOM!. The next 45 minutes will have you shaking your damn head and cringing as the police home invade the Algiers Hotel, kill a man for running away, and round up the remaining people partying for a long road of torture and brutality. Facing the wall with their hands in the air, the people caught up in this craziness are subjected to beatings and mock executions as the standard police psycho attempts to either get the name of a "shooter" or just be a dick. Then something goes terribly wrong and the "game" becomes real.
Three people were murdered at that hotel on that night and the cops were indicted.
The remaining 45 minutes change from the scariness of what the hell will happen to these people at the hotel to what will happen to the cops who murdered the 3 people. The trial.
Defended by a sleazy lawyer, Jim Halpert, the witnesses are again subjected to another type of brutality. The unfair court system which favors white authority because it's run by white authority. No spoilers here on what happens but you'd have to be a Charlottesville White Supremacist to be dumb enough to not know.
This film, like most Bigelow films, has its detractors, those sticklers who get pissed because the movie isnt 6 hours long and tell a story that the critics feel is more important. The torture in Zero Dark Thirty, the Peoples Tribunal in this one. But Bigelow is a filmmaker, one of the best working today. This movies isnt Zero Dark Thirty or even The Hurt Locker, but its the 2nd best movie of the year behind Dunkirk.
If you want to see a movie, not a history lesson, that may make you want to learn more about the Algiers Hotel murders, by all means see this movie. It'll piss you off and it'll make you despair when you realize nothing has changed in 50 years. But the most important reason to see this movie is to give it money, and then they then may make more movies like this. Something that will whet your appetite to learn more about neglected American history and neglected American heroes.
Saturday, August 12, 2017
Yeah. Hate and violence on "many" sides.
Donald Trump is a fucking disgrace to this nation for emboldening these belly crawling snakes to crawl from the swamps and declare that they have small dicks.
I am so tired that I cannot keep up right now. I am watching a man so blinded by his own ego and controlled by a Nazi and a Russian that he actually attempts to blame all sides for a white nationalist riot? A group of khaki wearing punks carrying tiki torches and chanting obscene racist chants attack a group of protesters and come back the next day dressed as riot police with their Star Wars shields and selfie sticks and home made pepper gas I assume they made with their wrung out underwear and attack again? And the President of the United States blames "many sides"?
Fuck Donald Trump. Period. How much longer can this go on?
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
I was an idealistic teenager in 1973 when the Watergate hearings dominated the summer. I hated Nixon, absolutely hated the man. He was a paranoid liar who made me crazy. And then he was gone in 1974 and was I happy. My hatred went away and I realized that Nixon was a sad figure with really bad people fueling his paranoia. The real assholes were the Haldemans, the Ehrlichmans, the Mitchells, the Segrettis, the Liddys and the Agnews. And with the benefit of hindsight, Nixon was a fucking progressive compared to these backwards thinking brain deads who dominate the Republican Congress nowadays.
The last 48 hours have seen the meltdown of a fucking lunatic who is putting this nation into grave danger. How much longer can this orange pile of goop be allowed to continue?
Monday morning started with the Pervert in Chief posing for pictures with the White House interns, many of whom Im sure he was scoping out for future dating privileges. There were two black guys, the rest were white boys and girls, over a hundred of these dimbulbs standing there next to the Statutory Rapist in Chief. When a female reporter hollered at the Traitor In Chief a question about the Attorney General, Trump began making faces and hilarity ensued. The cute lil interns all laughed (they better, Im sure the tape was watched) and Trump told yet another female to "be quiet".
Monday afternoon featured the Swine in Chief speaking in front of a group of "victims" of Obamacare. More like zombies as they stood behind the Imbecile In Chief as he implored the Congress to repeal Obamacare because after all it was championed by that black guy he wants to erase from the history books. The black guy who joked about his stupid show and made him run. The zombies in back, with their unblinking eyes and the goofy stares, had no idea they were being used by a man perfectly willing to fuck them over also. I am really not sure why anyone would stand there and listen to soulless vessel of Satan tell them yeah you losers will be out in the cold with no health care plan also. Losers!\
Monday evening the The Evil Doer in Chief went to the annual Boy Scout Jamboree, a place where a bunch of scarf wearing homophobic adults try and entertain a group of young boys by building fires and handing out badges ad nauseum. The Cult Leader in Chief began his speech by stating who wants to listen to politics and then began to talk of nothing but how great he was, how much he won by, how repealing Obamacare was essential, how much he won by, how everybody hates him, fake news blah blah blah. And then the Lout in Chief gizzed up the puberty battered boys by implying his buddy bought a yacht and had a lot of orgies on it, Very interesting times, Yeah get it , Trump's buddy screwed a lot of babes on that boat and yep Trump probably did to. Wink wink! But getting a group of young children to actually boo a former Presidents name and a former Secretary of State's name may have been the lowest of the lows and there are literally hundreds of low moments in this Creep in Chief's reign. Great example for your future Trump Youth.
Tuesday evening The Hustler in Chief flew on our dime off to blue collar heaven. Youngstown,Ohio for yet another rally in front of his cultists who did not disappoint. As the Con Artist in Chief rolled his eyes and swiveled his bloated head and claimed he was "presidential" and joked about putting his blimpish head on Mount Rushmore (though from the reaction not sure the dopes who went got it) and claimed he won every precinct in Youngstown. Well no, Liar in Chief you in fact lost every precinct in Youngstown but who gives a shit about facts anymore? Huh? The massive handjob that the Degenerate in Chief got from these inarticulate losers was enough to make him tweet about "records" being broken in attendance. Hey Hallucinogenic in Chief, the arena only holds 7.000 idiots at a time so the only "record" you may have broken is the Lowest Collective IQ in an arena at one time.
But Wednesday morning was an even lower moment than getting a bunch of glorified nerds to boo a former President. The Bigot in Chief blindsided everybody by declaring that transgendered human beings will not be allowed to service in the military. In an attempt to cater to his stupid base and to his stupid Tea Party assholes in Congress, the Fiend in Chief attempted to turn back time by tweeting a discriminatory policy so backwards that even a one celled Senator like Joni Ernst (Cackler-Ia) went huh what? This cruel desperate attempt to get funding for his fucking border wall had turned this Maniac in Chief into more than a Dickens villain, he is a danger to this country and its people.
While the Draft Dodger in Chief was avoiding STD's (I'm beginning to think unsuccessfully since untreated syphilis seems to be eating his sick mind) transgender soldiers have been defending this pig's right to be the pig he is. The transgender soldier has every bit as much right to serve their country as anyone else, something the Trump family has no idea about.
So I long for 1973. Maybe the one time when the "Good Old Days" weren't so bad after all.
Monday, July 24, 2017
British soldiers are bombarded with leaflets urging surrender courtesy of the advancing enemy in a small town in France in 1940. The gunfire begins and they run like hell. All are cut down except one who with the help of French defenders backed up to what turns to be the English Channel. This is the beginning of Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk and it only gets increasingly tense from there.
Now most people know the ending of this historic event of World War 2 but nonetheless this movie is breathtakingly tense. Combined with Hans Zimmer's musical score and the triangle of out of sequence stories this film will have you saying I have seen the best movie of 2017 and I'm not sure anything will overtake it.
The dialogue is almost non existent and when someone does speak the words are often overshadowed by the noise of dive bombers and explosions and the chaos of warfare. But I tell you that you will feel it and know exactly what is going on.
300,000 British and French soldiers are trapped on the beach of Dunkirk as the advancing Germans threaten to wipe the entire British Army out of the war. The British naval vessels are too large to pick anyone up, the Germans are picking them off from the air and their only hope is to have civilians sail over from Britain in their pleasure crafts to evacuate the trapped soldiers.
Mark Rylance plays an older man who takes his sons and heads for France to so his part. This is one story. Picking up a shell shocked Brit along the way only contributes to the difficulty of this mission.
Tom Hardy flies his Spitfire into action to take on the German bombers and fighter planes that are sinking ships and killing men on the beach. Hardy has only a limited amount of fuel and one mate to take on the Germans. The ticking clock in the soundtrack that hits you whenever the Spitfire is onscreen only adds to the edge of your seat tenseness.
And will newcomer Fionn Whitehead and his mates, including Harry Styles, survive sinking ships and increasing paranoia to get home?
This is great moviemaking. Nolan has done this kind of time warp stuff before with Inception and Interstellar but this time it seems so real because it was. I could be persuaded this is Nolan's best effort and I idolize Inception.
Look, there a few directors that hit a home run everytime. Fincher, Bigelow, and Nolan seem to do that. Dunkirk is a fantastic movie pure and simple.
I can imagine this film winning an Oscar without one acting nomination. The film itself is the star. Kudos to Nolan for that.
Paul McCartney hit the stage about 20 minutes late which is a hell of an improvement from the other two times Ive seen him. The show is basically the same but who gives a damn. The guy is THE legend. He's a Beatle for chrissakes and that is all that matters. To see Paul McCartney is to see history. The man, fairly or not, started it all. See him while you can cuz lets face it, people are leaving us everyday and it sucks. I missed Chris Cornell 3 days before the demons got him and I'll never get that chance back.
Paul hit the stage and that famous note from the beginning of Hard Days Night rang out and it was on. Almost 3 hours of hits, near hits, new songs, speed bumps, Wings stuff, Beatles stuff, Quarrymen stuff, a short rendition of Foxy Lady, exploding fireworks during Live and Let Die, acoustic versions of Blackbird, And I Love Her, Yesterday, oh my god it was wonderful, again.
Paul McCartney and Bob Dylan are the only two individuals I will see every single time I get a chance. McCartney satisfies my longing for my youth because he plays songs I know from the time I was 7 until now. He plays them the same way each time and sometimes thats what I want. Dylan is just Dylan. He may honky tonk his way through Tangled Up In Blue and thats fine with me cuz he's Dylan and he's earned that right. But Paul is Paul. A pleasant man with a longing to please. His voice is 75 years old and it shows on rare occasions. It cracks every now and then and it does not matter because he is who he is. Oh yes you can argue if you wish that it aint the same as 1964 or 1968 or 1972 or 1976 and its old and tired. Yeah if you are old and tired. I dont care if its not 1973 any longer and Band on the Run is being played for the millionth time, I still feel like a kid again. I dont care if its not 1967 any longer and Paul attempts a rendition of Being for the Benefit of Mister Kite that doesnt even make sense. It here and now and its Paul McCartney and I will like being alive and seeing and hearing it.
As stated before, I have seen him 3 times now. Being from flyover country we dont get to see him that often. So when we get a chance, its a must.
Max's Mom had never seen him before. She loved every second of it and knowing someone else is experiencing what I experienced the first time I was in the presence of greatness is mind boggling good. I mean when I saw Paul do A Day In The Life in Kansas City a few years back I honestly felt this right here is THE best moment of my musical life. I was almost in tears. Knowing John was gone but Paul was still here was just about too much. Im sure Max's Mom had that same feeling at some point.
Highlights for me
1) The last 10 minutes when Golden Slumbers, Carry That Weight and The End are playing. Thats the pinnacle. Period
2) Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five..yes you have to put up with that snoozer Valentine but its worth it. Its my favorite Wings song
3) Being for The Benefit of Mister Kite...yeah it was weird and awkward but dammit he took that chance and it worked in my head
4) The piano songs......Maybe Im Amazed, The Fool on the Hill, Lady Madonna, Let it Be, Live and Let Die and Hey Jude
5) Love Me Do...I never ever listen to that song, but when its live I love it
6) Band on the Run...McCartneys ultimate voice challenge and he did it well
7) the entire rest of it....
NONE cuz he's Paul McCartney
Sunday, July 23, 2017
1) Sean Spicer is out. I mean out. He aint dead, he just finally had enough proving even a lapdog like Spicer has his limits. The appointment of an anti-Trump hedge fund creep to run the White House communications department because the moron in chief likes him on TV sent Spicer into a tizzy. Out he goes, apparently with a mini-fridge used by low level staffers without meal privileges under his arm. So stop with the praise for this liar finally standing up. The weasel lied for 6 months, got skewered by Melissa McCarthy, lied some more, and lied some more before the hillbilly Sarah Huckleberry took over for good. Spicer isnt a stand up guy, he's a thin skinned little man just like his boss. So fuck Sean Spicer. Good riddance.
2) Trump apologists are a funny lot. Not haha funny, none of them could ad lib a fart as Groucho used to say, but funny as in self delusion. The time line of this whole Russia meeting involving Junior and a bunch of collaborators like Jared and Manafort is fascinating. To Trumpers it goes a little like this.
a) there was no meeting with Russians
b) yeah there was a meeting with Russians but it was about adoption and the Traitor in Chief was in Florida
c) there were only 4 people at this meeting
d) no 5
e) no 6
f) no 7
g) no 8
h) Why didnt the Secret Service stop the Russians implying the Bitch in Chief was there in the building
i) yeah there was a meeting with Russians and Junior said via email he loved it cuz of the potential Hillary dirt
j) yeah so what if there was a meeting with Russians
k) ok so we met about dirt on the opposition, everybody does it
l) big deal, collusion isnt illegal anyway
k) it was Obama's fault
l) alls fair in love and treason
Yeah, a real "funny" lot
3) This whole health care deal is a fucking disgrace. The Republicans in the Senate are so content on winning they dont give a rats ass about throwing 32 million of their fellow citizens into the streets of poverty regarding health care. Dont forget they made goddamned sure they exempted themselves from this debacle. These immoral miscreants are so beholden to their donors and getting them more tax breaks that they have lost complete perspective on life. Oh I know none of them care because they know with every fiber of their devilish being that the red state Republicans who live in the dying towns and long for the 1950s will vote for them anyway no matter what they do to them. Take away my health care and give tax breaks to your donors? At least you are not a Demoncrat. Take away Medicaid so granny gets booted from the nursing home or the nursing home shuts down? Well at least you aint one of the libtards. This is rural madness. As usual. We have one of those here running in 2018. Her name is Deb Fischer and she is a as worthless as using logic on Trump. In other words, a shoo in.
4) The police shooting in Minneapolis of an Australian woman who had actually called 911 is another example of inept people being given a gun and told to enforce the law. Many in white America make judgement solely on the color of the cop and the color of the shootee. Philando Castile was shot because he reached for his ID and was a licensed gun owner. NO it was cuz he was black. Eric Garner was choked to death for selling smokes. Terence Crutcher was shot and killed by an Oklahoma police firing squad. The list is endless of cop shootings of unarmed black men and women and the subsequent acquittals of white cops. There is hope, however, since two cops who shot and killed a 6 year old boy in Louisiana were convicted of manslaughter. Oh wait. What was the difference there? The cops were black and the kid was white. Very different. I wonder what will happen to the black cop in Minneapolis who shot the white Australian woman? We shall see.
Monday, July 10, 2017
Ive never seen Iron Maiden live, Until last night in Lincoln. Now Bruce Dickinson's screeching vocals are something you either appreciate or you dont and I do but I went in wondering if his vocal talent had diminished over the years. It hasnt. At 58 years old Dickinson can still holler with anybody on earth and win and his sprinting around the stage made me jealous with me recovering from a busted leg and all.
Iron Maiden rocks. Period. The guitar interaction alone is worth the price of admission and the drumming of Niko McBrain on the largest drum set Ive ever seen keeps it all going. But Dickinson's vocals, even with the crappiest sound mix ever in the Vault, were amazing. Relying heavily on the latest album Book of Souls, the classics were generally ignored. We did get Dickinson in a military uniform waving the Union Jack during The Trooper and we did get Fear of The Dark and Iron Maiden before the encore of The Number of the Beast with a crowd chanting 6 6 6 at the appropriate times. The Book of Souls Tour is short on classics, damn I wanted No Prayer For the Dying or Run To The Hills, but it was long on musicianship. Screw those keyboards and horns, this was pure British metal and it was jolly good.
Swedish weirdos Ghost opened the show with a 45 minute set of Iron Maiden inspired lyrics and surprisingly melodic metal. Fronted by a masked skeleton pope hatted "Pope Emeritus II" and driven by masked demons on guitars, a keyboardist you could barely hear and a hard working drummer banging his skins like a 19th century blacksmith, Ghost won over the crowd quickly with Square Hammer, a I hate to say it, catchy little tune that had my foot tapping. This continued virtually the entire set until a growling song put an end to it. I hate growling songs, they are so uhhhhh American. Stop growling. It sucks.
I once had a coworker who loved Ghost, saw them numerous times, paid for VIP tickets, showed me videos and pictures ad nauseum. I dismissed her as a 20 year old chick with bad taste. Uhh I was wrong.
Now about the crowd. Never have I been around a nicer group of white trash, and I include myself in that description. Maybe because we are all now old and lack the energy to be an asshole. Oh there were some stereotypes living up to the moment, like the guy who was manhandled by the cops when he started a fight on the floor or the couple wearing t shirts for some shit band called Cradle of Filth that proclaimed "Jesus is a Cunt" and "Fuck Off" but all in all it was decent crowd of 8,000 or so.
Hey go big or go home? Both bands went big. And loud. My ears are still ringing.