Tuesday, November 29, 2022

TV: Who needs NETFLIX

In its conversion from a DVD store to a streaming service, NETFLIX had many building blocks.  One of the most obvious was the stand up comedy special.  2013 saw NETFLIX's first comedy special with AZIZ ANSARI: BURIED ALIVE.  In 2015, he'd return with LIVE AT MADISON GARDEN -- which, despite being so much after his first special, was only NETFLIX's fourth stand up comedy special.

 

The streamer would quickly pick up the pace and 2017 would find over 50 stand up comedy specials from NETFLIX.  In later years, Nate Bargatze, Fortune Feimster, Dave Chappelle, Ali Wong, Nick Kroll, Gabriel Iglesias, Pete Davidson, John Mulaney, Whitney Cummings, Amy Schumer, Katt Williams, Norm Macdonald, Chris Rock,  Ricky Gervais, Mike Epps, Ronny Chieng, Nicole Byer, Michael Che, Jim Gaffigan, Marc Maron, Elle DeGeneres, Jerry Seinfeld, Eric Andre, George Lopez, Jack Whitehall, Park Na-rae, Iliza Shlesinger, Arsenio Hall, Michelle Wolf, Leslie Jones, Nikki Glaser, Bill Burr, Wanda Sykes, Ray Romano, Russell Brand, DL Hughley, Kevin James, Marlon Wayans, Sofia Nino de Rivera, Fred Armisen, Sarah Silverman and Cristela Alonzo are among the many who've had their own NETFLIX comedy special.


So many specials in fact, that FAMILY GUY spoofed the amount in November 4, 2018's "Regarding Carter" episode where Peter learns that he has his own NETFLIX special (I'M THINKIN' I MIGHT) as does Cleveland Brown (ARE YOU PICKIN' UP WHAT I'M PUTTIN' DOWN?), Consuela de la Morrela ("SQUEAKY DIRTY JOKES"), Seamus Levine (YES I WOOD), Kimi Quagmire (THE LEATHER GIMP SPECIAL), Herbert (I KID), Mort Goldman (ANOTHER JEWISH COMEDIAN) and Tricia Takanawa (COMIC-KAZE).


 NETFLIX is the way a comedy special gets seen.

 

 

Or one of the ways.  Last week, Matteo Lane released his comedy special (THE ADVICE SPECIAL).  It's not even been seven days yet but already his hilarious special has notched up close to 600,000 specials.


Matteo hands out advice -- to a woman who wants to divorce her husband, to a man who is sleeping with a guy in his building despite them not speaking the same language and despite the guy thinking he wants to focus more on his wife.  Or how about the guy who's neighbor leaves him a note telling him to buy some blinds?


It's Matteo shooting from the hip, it's improv and it's hilarious.


The aging queens at DATA LOUNGE didn't like it -- but what do they like anymore besides obsessing over Donald Trump?  We'd say "Get a room!" but they already have an entire lounge.


Matteo?  He has an impressive record at a time when all roads are supposed to lead to NETFLIX save for the increasingly few diverted to HBO.


There are other business models, there are other ways of reaching an audience.  Matteo's built a huge audience and done so with no help from NETFLIX.


Who needs NETFLIX?


That's a question reader Elyse asked in an e-mail earlier this month?


She pays for internet but there are just too many streamers and the cost keeps adding up.  She wondered if we -- if anyone -- could survive a week without using a paid streaming service?


From last Monday through Sunday, we did.


We streamed Matteo Lane's comedy special on YOUTUBE three times.  This is YOUTUBE, by the way, not YOUTUBE TV.  We pay for the latter so it didn't get used.


We watched movies on a number of outlets -- on CRACKLE, we watched Woody Allen's A RAINY DAY IN NEW YORK, on TUBI we watched the thriller THE MANNY starring Michael Evans Behling and Joanne Jansen and we watched all three of the John Wicks films, we streamed the ADULT SWIM FESTIVAL on ROKU.  Mainly though?


We kept coming back to PLUTO.  We watched THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW channel which shows nothing but episodes of Carol's variety series.  We saw episodes with Cher, Dionne Warwick, Cass Elliot, Betty White, the Pointer Sisters, Rock Hudson and, of course, Tim Conway.  Other programs we watched on PLUTO?  JUDGE JUDY (she has her own channel), TINY HOUSE NATION (again, it has its own channel), THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW,

 

So, yes, it can be done.  You can find plenty to watch on free streamers if you don't have the money (or don't wish to spend the money) on paid streaming services.  It may not be perfect, but you can be entertained. 

 

Cable cutting was a smart move once upon a time.  Now everyone's offering their own paid subscription and most aren't worth it.  APPLE+ is the biggest rip off of all time.  In one month, you could easily watch ever thing that they have to offer.  In one week, you could watch everything they have to offer that is worth watching.  What does HULU PLUS provide that you can't find everywhere else with the exception of the worthless programs from FX?  If you're a MARVEL freak, DISNEY+ is the service for you.  Otherwise?  The only ones of real value would appear to be NETFLIX and AMAZON PRIME.  If PEACOCK would truly work what they have in the UNIVERSAL vaults, it would make the list. They develop content and have plenty of it.  It's a better investment if you're needing to spend less money.

 

But, yes, you can survive without NETFLIX.  And, as time goes by, that may go for content developers as well.  Matteo's THE ADVICE SPECIAL could be the first step down that road.

 

 

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Truest statement of the week

The US State Department has granted immunity to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, shielding him from prosecution for the murder of Saudi political dissident and legal permanent US resident Jamal Khashoggi. The decision was disclosed last week and widely reported on Friday.

This action shows that the Biden administration’s claim to defend democracy and human rights—the supposed justification for its intervention in the Ukraine war and around the world—is a flat-out lie.

Biden said contemptuously during his visit to Saudi Arabia last May, when journalists questioned him about the murder and dismemberment of Khashoggi by a hit squad inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, “Why don’t you guys talk about something that matters? I’m happy to answer a question that matters.” That is the authentic, arrogant voice of US imperialism.

 

-- Patrick Martin, "Biden administration grants immunity to Saudi crown prince, murderer of Jamal Khashoggi" (WSWS).

 

 

A note to our readers

Hey -- 

Tuesday night.


Let's thank all who participated this edition which includes Dallas and the following:


The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess and Ava,
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,

Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
Trina of Trina's Kitchen, 
Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ,
Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends,
Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts,
and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub.



And what did we come up with? 

 

Patrick Martin gets another truest

Depressing but true.

Ava and C.I. cover a series and a documentary.

Ty does a roundtable with Ann, Stan and C.I.

It's the corruption.

It's the inaction.

Scooped by years!

 What we listened to while writing this edition.

 

 

Peace,


-- Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava and C.I.

 

 

 

 

Editorial: Nothing was learned

The Iraq War was supposed to be a huge lesson.  


If it was, most of the country failed.


Many in the US fell for the garbage nonsense of Russigate.  Some still can't admit that the press lied.


And then there's the money and weapons we're giving the Nazi regime in Ukraine right now.







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TV: NETFLIX giveth and NETFLIX taketh

NETFLIX has a ton of offerings which is one reason it retains as many subscribers as it does.  Last week, for example, we saw the best and we saw the worst of NETFLIX.
 
 
 
3 JESS
 

The best?

DEAD TO ME season three which was everything anyone could want and so much more.  We hope this is not Christina Applegate's farewell performance but, if it is, she truly accomplished something.  Pay attention, Kaley Cuoco, this is what a real actress does.  Christina's honed her craft and is one of the best actresses the country has.  She created another memorable character with this series.  

Her Jen and Linda Cardellini's Judy have real chemistry and come across as the best friends everyone seeks out in life.  The third season is the last season and based around concluding events.  It also moves much more swiftly than the previous two seasons.

We need to note Natalie Morales who has always been wonderful on the show and who, when she smiles, it just about the warmest person in film or TV.  

The journey of season three will probably produce some tears.  It will also produce a lot of laughs.  DEAD TO ME is the sort of series that broadcast networks just aren't interested in.  (Basic cable?  They're pretty much all switching to cheap garbage that they're calling 'reality TV.') And DEAD TO ME exists as a reason for people to subscribe to NETFLIX.

IS THAT BLACK ENOUGH FOR YOU? exists to run intelligent people away and to miseducate the rest.

We didn't know Elvis Mitchell had a hand in this until we started streaming.  Had we known that ahead of time, we would have skipped it.  Elvis has been fired many times -- including by MOVIELINE for lying in print. 

The topic is what pulled us in -- that and knowing people in front of the camera (such as Suzanne De Passe, Margaret Avery, Harry Belafonte and Billy Dee Williams) and behind it (Steven Soderbergh, Ciara Lacy and David Fincher).  

The film is examining the world of African-American film making between 1968 through 1978.

Or pretends that's the case.

BLAZING SADDLES exist for Elivs Mitchell as a Cleavon Little success.  He gets bitchy -- no surprise if you know his work -- over Gene Wilder.  BLAZING SADDLES was a huge hit.  And Cleavon was given no follow up, Elvis laments, while tossing shade at Gene.  

Gene had already starred in film classics like THE PRODUCERS, START THE WAR WITHOUT ME and WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY.  The year BLAZING SADDLES came out, Gene would show up with YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN -- which he both starred in and wrote.

Where did Cleavon go after BLAZING SADDLES?  Oh, right.  To Broadway.  That's not going to help your film career -- now or then.

And what film career?  

It was his only starring part in a film up to then.

There's another factor -- actually many other factors -- and that would be who Gene teams up with.  No, not Gilda Radner.  Gene made three films with her, yes.  But he made four with Richard Pryor.  They were a comedy team.

Cleavon worked with Richard as well.  In GREASED LIGHTENING, as Peewee, a role that Richard hoped would humiliate Cleavon.

Cleavon wasn't supposed to star in BLAZING SADDLES.  Richard was supposed to star.  The studio felt that Cleavon was more 'manageable.'  So Richard lost out on the part despite the fact that he'd written in when co-writing the script.

Yes, karma is a thing.  Equally true, so is competition.  And Richard was competitive.  More importantly, Richard had friends and the industry, believe it or not, does believe in fairness.  That's why Julie Andrews won a Best Actress Academy Award for MARY POPPINS, for example.

With many in the industry angry over Cleavon 'stealing' Richard's role, he didn't have a lot of support.  Diana Sands grew ill during this period and she handed her role in CLAUDINE over to Diahann Carroll -- and made it clear that she was doing so.  She made it clear so there would be no attacks on or grudges against Diahann.  (And Diahann would earn an Academy Award nomination for CLAUDINE.)  

Cleavon, right or wrong, was perceived as stealing Richard's role.  Cleavon then rushes off to Broadway.   The comedy he did was well received.  It didn't break box office records and would close after 233 performances.  He comes back to California and . . . does an episode of THE WALTONS.  Sorry but back then you were TV or film.  The barrier between the two was much stricter.

Cleavon also had personal rumors -- which Elvis Mitchell avoided so we will as well -- that made him much less desirable than he'd been when he was cast in BLAZING SADDLES.  In addition to the rumors his actions had caused, many White studio heads confused him with Clifton Davis at a time when Davis and Michael Jackson were supposed to be a pair -- the actual (false) rumor there was that Michael was going to have sex change surgery to marry Clifton. 

Was Cleavon talented?  

Absolutely.  But there are many talented people who are not working every year.  And if you lose your momentum -- doing Broadway and TV in the 70s would kill your film momentum -- you lose it.  Look at Joan Rivers.  She lost it repeatedly and she had a very powerful enemy who had a lot of friends.  In fact, if we're being honest, Mel Brooks stabbed Joan in the back.  (He knows what we're talking about.)  It ended his film career, he had no more hits after that embarrassment.  

Gene Wilder was an established film star when he made BLAZING SADDLES and he worked his ass off to maintain his film stardom.  Cleavon was the Richard Pryor replacement, the one those in the know watched in the film and thought, "Richard could have done that so much better."  Because Richard could have done it better.


Richard is given very short shift in the alleged documentary.   He appears in 23 films during the time period the film covers.  He is also a superstar.  It won't be until the 80s when another male emerges (Eddie Murphy) to make that claim.  Repeating, not a mere actor, he's a superstar.  During this time period, there are also several actresses (we'd love to say "many" but that's not accurate) but only one movie star: Diana Ross.  That figures in so remember those two basic facts.

Ruby Dee is mentioned.  Her film UPTIGHT is even noted.  But Elvis isn't very interested in women which must be why he doesn't even bother to note that Ruby co-wrote the script.  It's why he spends forever on ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST (to cover the soundtrack) while ignoring a western from the same year which actually starred an African-American --Lena Horne in DEATH OF A GUNFIGHTER.  Pam Grier gets a bit of attention.  We say a bit because there are men who get far more attention and made far less films during the time the documentary is supposed to cover.  SPARKLE gets very little attention from Elvis for being a female-led film and he further injures his own reputation by refusing to note, while playing the scene in the film where the girl group sings "Something He Can Feel," that the actresses were undercut by lack of faith.  They sing more than fine.  But they didn't sing on the album.  (Instead, Curtis Mayfield recorded the songs with Aretha Franklin.)  He wants you to know an African-American man was a villain in a James Bond film but somehow rushes to insist that never happened again -- except for the fact that Grace Jones is a villain in a James Bond film.  He also wrongly thinks Irene Cara is African-American.

During the time span the documentary is supposed to be interested in, Bill Cosby stars in six films during this time period but he's not really explored.  Is that due to the overturned conviction?  We don't know.  But he was a film star during this period and some commentary on that would have been helpful.

Elvis spends a lot of time on Sidney Poitier but never tells the audience that Poitier directed STIR CRAZY (1980) which was, in its day, the most successful film at the box office ever directed by an African-American.  

"But it falls out of his time frame.''

The time frame is artificial.  He wants to tell you that Blaxploitation was a good thing.  Some might disagree.  He wants to tell you it was a Black film revolution -- maybe in front of the camera but any real look at this era would need to note Hannah Weinstein.  And he wants to tell you it ended . . . because of one movie.


THE WIZ.  

The 1978 film was directed by Sidney Lumet.  But he doesn't get blamed.  Diana Ross gets blamed.  Elvis tells you she was too old for the part.

Some would disagree with that opinion but, more to the point, without Diana you don't have a feature film.  And, contrary to CRAPAPEDIA and other outlets, Diana did not go around Berry Gordy to get the role.  She called Berry saying she wanted to play the role.  He told her she was too old.  He then called Rob Cohen who told him what Diana meant: The film gets made and Diana gets one million for the film.  That was more than enough for Berry which left Rob worried, he'd just been speculating and now had to seal the deal.  (Which he did.)  

THE WIZ was a musical.  Too much money was spent on it.  A director who had never filmed a musical shouldn't have been put in charge.  

But Diana delivered.  So did Michael Jackson, Lena Horne, Richard Pryor, Nipsey Russell, Mable KIng and every other performer.  

Elvis wants you to believe -- as does CRAPAPEDIA -- that THE WIZ ended Black films.  That's incorrect.  Here are a few examples from the years immediately after 1978 -- and these are just a few examples.


1979, for example, saw the release of ROCKY II, DISCO GODFATHER, THE HITTER, FIREPOWER, BUTTERFLIES IN HEAT, RICHARD PRYOR: LIVE IN CONCERT, THE FISH THAT SAVED PITTSBURGH,  and PENITIARY -- the latter starring Leon Isaac Kennedy who also starred in the films' two sequels.

1980's STIR CRAZY, BABYLON and IT RAINED ALL NIGHT THE DAY I LEFT.

1981's BUSTIN LOOSE, RAGTIME, CARBON COPY, DEATH HUNT and FORT APACHE THE BRONX.


1981's BODY & SOUL, BUSTIN' LOOSE and THE DEVIL AND MAX DEVLIN.
 

1982's BLACK COMMANDO, THE TOY, 48 HOURS, SOME KIND OF HERO, RICHARD PRYOR LIVE ON THE SUNSET STRIP, DEADLY DRIFTER, ROCCKY III HARD FEELINGS, HANKY PANKY, ROCKY III, WHITE DOG, VIGILANTE, AN OFFICER & GENTLEMAN  and  ONE DOWN, TWO TO GO.
 

1983's THE LAST FIGHT, FLASHDANCE, TRADING PLACES,  SUPERMAN III, RICHARD PRYOR: HERE AND NOW, LONE WOLF MCQUADE, BILL COSBY: HIMSELF, DC CAB, DEAL OF THE CENTURY, THE BIG SCORE, THE LAST FIGHT, TOUGH ENOUGH, JAWS 3-D and STREAMERS.


1984's BEAT STREET, BLACK DEVIL DOLL FROM HELL, BREAKIN', THE BROTHER FROM ANOTHER PLANET, PURPLE RAIN, A SOLDIER'S STORY, BEST DEFENSE, BEVERLY HILLS COP, ICEMAN, HAMBONE AND HILLIE, PLACES IN THE HEART, A SOLDIER'S STORY, CONAN THE DESTROYER and THE COTTON CLUB.


1985's BREAKIN' 2,  KRUSH GROOVE, Berry Gordy's THE LAST DRAGON, THE BRIDE, THE COLOR PURPLE, BREWSTER'S MILLIONS, MAD MAX BEYOND THUNDERDOME, A VIEW TO A KILL, THE SERPENT WARRIORS, FAST FORWARD, WHITE KNIGHTS, ENEMY MINE, ROCKY IV and STAND ALONE.
 

1986's SHE'S GOTTA HAVE IT, UNDER THE CHERRY MOON, JUMPING JACK FLASH, WILDCATS,  CROSSROADS, THE GOLDEN CHILD, ON THE EDGE, BEVERLY HILLS COP II, EXTREMITIES, NATIVE SON, VAMP, RUNNING SCARED, CLUB PARADISE, IRON EAGLE, FIREWALKER, ROUND MIDNIGHT, KNIGHTS OF THE CITY,   and JO JO DANCER, YOUR LIFE IS CALLING.
 

1987's BLACK COBRA, TALES FROM THE QUADEAD ZONE, HOLLYWOOD SHUFFLE, BURGLAR, FATAL BEAUTY, PREDATOR, BEVERLY HILLS COP II, CRITICAL CONDITION, LETHAL WEAPON, THE WILD PAIR, CRY FREEDOM, DISORDERLIES, LEONARD PART VI, BIG SHOTS and THE PRINCIPAL.

 
1988 I'm GONNA GIT YOU SUCKA, TOUGHER THAN LEATHER, SCHOOL DAZE, BIRD, THE TELEPHONE, ABOVE THE LAW, UNDER THE GUN, ACTION JACKSON, CLARA'S HEART, COMING TO AMERICA, MOVING, FOR QUEEN AND COUNTRY, SHOOT TO KILL, LITTLE NIKITA, OFF LIMITS, DELTA FORCE COMMANDO and IRON EAGLE II.


1989's CRACK HOUSE, HARLEM NIGHTS, DO THE RIGHT THING, THE MIGHTY QUINN, HOMER AND EDDIE, GLORY, ERIK THE VIKING, RIVERBEND, JOHNNY HANDSOME, LETHAL WEAPON II, THE MIGHTY QUINN, TAP, A DRY WHITE SEASON, SIDEWALK STORIES, TAP, THE PUNISHER and SEE NO EVIL, HEAR NO EVIL.



THE WIZ opened October 24, 1978.


You've got a time lag so, no, THE WIZ's box office didn't destroy anything.

What did change things was that TV movies revolving around an African-American actor or actors became much more common.   And, of course, ROOTS changed everything in 1977.  Elvis misses all of that.


"Elvis likes to make s**t up,"  a friend at THE NEW YORK TIMES.


That certainly explains this bit of garbage:


When movies were first being built around, God help us, Elvis Presley or the Beatles whose first releases in the US were on a Black-owned record label why wasn't anyone seeking out these women rock pioneers for careers in the movies?

We see images of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, The Duchess and Betty Davis.

To answer Mitchell's idiotic question, Elvis Presley was 21-years-old when he made his first film in 1956.  With Richard Lester directing, the Beatles made 1964's A HARD DAYS NIGHT and 1965's HELP -- Paul McCartney  was 22 and 23.  How old was Rosetta Tharpe in 1956?  41 years old.  A Hollywood truism -- no woman becomes a film star over 40.  And Rosetta wasn't rock, nor was she rhythm & blues -- she was gospel.  As for The Duchess --- that would be Norma-Jean Wofford -- at the age of 30, Bo Diddley taught her to play rhythm guitar and she joined his band where she remained for four years (1962 to 1966) after which she retired from music to raise her children. She wasn't a rock pioneer nor did many people know who she was.  Lady Bo, the woman she replaced in Diddley's band, was a rock pioneer.  It's like the difference between Vanity (the real deal) and Apolonia (the copy).  As for why 'rocker' Betty Davis didn't become a film star from 1956 to 1966?  She wasn't really a musician.  She cut three singles that didn't sell and that didn't chart.  She was a model -- a successful one.  It's not until 1973 that she gets her first album released -- well past the time that the Beatles and Elvis stopped making films -- and well before Prince would start back  up the musician-film star genre.

"Why wasn't anyone seeking out these women rock pioneers for careers in the movie?"  We think we more than answered that question.

Here's another example of Elvis Mitchell just making things up:



. . . Director Alice Guy-Blache decided to do something else entirely.  In 1912, she directed A FOOL AND HIS MONEY -- what's said to be the first film with an all African-American cast.  Her artistry shows a playful clarity and did not diminish those actors.  She was successful enough in those days that studios sought her out and, given the care that she used to make her art, it was only logical that she turned down the first Tarzan movie.




As explained in THE MEMOIRS OF ALICE GUY-BLANCHE, she didn't turn down a Tarzan film, she couldn't come up with the money the studio was asking her to invest in it.  That was in 1920.  And it wasn't the first Tarzan film.  1918 saw FIRST NATIONAL release TARZAN OF THE APES.  1918 saw the release of the second Tarzan film: THE ROMANCE OF TARZAN -- she wasn't asked/invited to direct that either.  In 1920, she was offered the direction of THE ADVENTURES OF TARZAN.  She tried to raise the money required but couldn't.  It would have been the third Tarzan film -- not the first -- and she didn't turn down the offer.  And, let's note, that when Elvis lies that "she turned down the first Tarzan movie," the screen displays movie posters for 1918's TARZAN OF THE APES -- she was never offered the opportunity to direct that film.  P.S. Her A FOOL AND HIS MONEY is said to be among the first films with a narrative that has an all African-American cast.

Elvis Mitchell can't be counted on to get anything right.

After viewing IS THAT BLACK ENOUGH FOR YOU?, we have to agree with our NYT friend, Elvis Mitchell just makes s**t up.  And it's his 'documentary' that drags down NETFLIX's reputation.  There need to be some standards imposed.  You shouldn't have a documentary without a fact checker and you shouldn't be airing garbage that is one lie after another and calling that a documentary.
 
 

Box Office Report

Ty: We're doing the box office report.  New feature.  Stan suggested it and wanted to pull in Ann and C.I. for this feature.  2022 will be coming to a close shortly.  Not a lot of hits and not a lot of solid movies, let alone great ones.  Ann, you and Stan cover films at the end of each year, wondering what your general feelings are.

Ann: Disappointed.  A lot of releases, too many of them garbage.  Stan and I don't usually pick a worst film of the year but, if we did this year, I'd go with the most recent HALLOWEEN.  

Stan: That was awful.  Why do you make Jamie Lee Curtis an extra in a HALLOWEEN movie?

Ann: And Jason too.

Stan: Yes.  That was so disappointing.  It didn't live up to what people expected or to what was advertised.  That's why it cratered in week two.  It was awful.  In fact, I'd say HALLOWEEN ENDS is the worst of all the HALLOWEEN films.


Ty: What do you think was the best film of 2022 of the ones that made big money?

Ann: Nothing in the top ten moneymakers domestically impressed me.

Stan: I'd agree with that.  Right now, the films I enjoyed don't pop up until the numbers ten to 20 for the year -- UNCHARTED, THE LOST CITY.  And DOG's in the top 30.

Ann: And that was a good movie -- and it's barely in the top 30.  It'll probably shift to the top 40 in a few weeks.



Ty: C.I.?

C.I.: My pick for best film of the year is BROS.  Right now, it's number 59 on the domestic box office for the year.  It's hilarious and well made, an instant classic.  I'm hopeful that it will be remembered when nominations come out.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Ann: I laughed harder at BROS than at any movie this year.  And we bought it on streaming as well as seeing it in the theater.  I thought we had seen it the most and then Stan told me how many times he's seen it.

Stan: My girlfriend and I saw it at the movies four times.  Since we bought the streaming version, I've easily seen it over 20 times.  People will come over and if we talk movies and they haven't seen it, we'll start it up.  It's a great movie.  Like C.l., I think it's the best of 2022.

Ann: I'm not expecting anything coming out to beat it.

Ty: I loved it too.  Anyone reading who hasn't seen it, please make a point to watch it.  Now the reason we're doing this feature is SHE SAID.  Stan told me he mentioned it to C.I. who responded, "No one's going to see it."  And, turns out, no one did.  C.I.?

C.I.: It's not a movie.  If it was one, it was advertised poorly.  You can't just throw events up onscreen and claim, "It's real!"  You have to have a narrative.  You have to have twists.  You have to give people a reason to spend their time and money.  No one was asking for that movie and it never should have been made.  Good intentions do not necessarily translate into box office dollars. There has to be something more.  ERIN BROKAVICH was about a single mother fighting the system and also taking on a huge and evil corporation.  Julia Roberts was our entry way into that film.  They have no star power at all in SHE SAID and they have no likeable Erin-like figure for us to root for.  That film died in casting.  Ann's got another point to make.

Ann: I do.  As a survivor of rape, why do I want to see SHE SAID?  They give nothing for me to be interested in.  A bunch of reporters far removed from what happened?  At least in THE ACCUSED, the attorney played by Kelly McGillis was forced by Jodie Foster's character to address the rape. The trailers didn't highlight the women.  And made me wonder who the audience for what appeared to be a self-congratulatory film was intended for.

Stan: I also question the hiring of a German director.  This is an American story.  Don't know why we're farming it out -- and farming it out to a German who has not had any box office success.  This is her first English language film.  Who thought she could pull this off?  

C.I.: It's an American story and it's being told at a distance -- possibly with British reserve?  The screenwriter is also not American, she's British.

Ann: In the trailer, the film feels cold and lifeless.  It doesn't feel like, for example, a thriller from Alan J. Pakula.

Stan: Or like a thriller Jane Fonda would have produced -- like THE CHINA SYNDROME, for example.  In a film like that, her character starts of at point A and is awakened by events to move further along.  That wasn't this type of film.  SHE SAID isn't a film at all.  


Ann: I saw CALL JANE and wanted to love it but it was so disappointing and I just felt ripped off.  It should have been a lively and exciting film.  Instead, they seemed mired in "It's a true story."  Well it may have been true but it was also very dull and there was no excuse for that.

Ty: Nope.  And we'll wrap up on Ann's points.  This may be a regular feature, if you liked it, let us know.  Rush transcript, our best e-mail address is common_ills@yahoo.com


Hunter Biden

 



In the video above, Ryan Grim states that he hears from people, when the topic of Hunter Biden is raised,  ''What about Donald Trump Jr. Hunter Biden really? What about Donald Trump Jr.?"

What about them?

Did the media not already cover -- at length -- every scandal (real and imagined) involving the Trumps?

B-b-but Congress!!!!!  

They voted to impeach him twice.  If the Dems didn't do more, take it up with your Congress person.

But we're not talking about that.

We're talking about real corruption.

Public servants are supposed to behave in an ethical manner.  They are supposed to be above reproach.  They are supposed to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest.

Joe Biden's been a public servant his entire life.  


Biden’s starting salary in the Senate was $42,500 a year in 1979; when he left the Senate in 2009, he was making $169,300. As vice president, his salary shot up to $230,700; he’ll be earning $400,000 as president.


Yet the self-described "poorest man in Congress"  and "Middle Class Joe" is now a millionaire several times over.  How?


HUNTER Biden said he had to give half his salary to Joe and paid thousands for repairs at his father's home, according to leaked emails.

The claims were found on the laptop that Hunter, 51, allegedly abandoned at a Delaware computer shop, the contents of which were leaked last year.

The allegations about having to pay his father came in text messages between Hunter and his daughter, Naomi, 27, according to the New York Post.

"I hope you all can do what I did and pay for everything for this entire family for 30 years," a text Hunter reportedly wrote in 2019 said.

"It's really hard. But don't worry, unlike Pop [Joe Biden], I won't make you give me half your salary."

The outlet reported that there was no direct evidence of this type of wealth transfer found on the laptop.

Emails found on the laptop do, however, show evidence of Hunter being propositioned about the best way to pay thousands of dollars owed for repairs to his father's properties back in 2010.


 There was a time when people laughed at Joe's claims of Hunter's innocence, times when he was seen as a dupe or an excessively loyal (and enabling) father. But it appears more and more that Joe wasn't trying to protect his son -- or even his brother.  No, Joe lied because it all comes back to his doorstep.


The "big guy" appears to have  been involved and in the know.


If that is the case, this is a huge story because that means one of two things.  First possiblity, Joe knew all along and was doing this in the US Senate.  Second possibility, he only started participating after he became Vice President.  If it's the first, surely others are implacted -- other members of Congress and we need real oversight.  If it's the second, what made him do this?  He was vice president and he decides to start doing pay-to-play?  He begins a late-life crime spree?  Why?











Who do they serve?

 What do they do besides take money?


No, that's not a set up to a joke about spouses.  We're talking about Congress -- our elected officials who seem to think we are beneath them despite the fact that their job description literally is public servant.  


Public servant -- it's right in the title.  


Are our Congressional members not proficient in English?


Serving the people is not, for example, saying, "We'll do something if you give us X in the election."  In fact, you could interpret those type of statements as what they actually are: Blackmail.


They've used fear tactics for decades.  They do damn little besides maintain the status quo.


You go elsewhere and you're the problem.


That's true if your Ralph Nader, or anyone.


They scapegoat you, they blame you.  They shame you -- most infamously as Sam Seder did Ani Di Franco when she made the mistake of going on THE MAJORITY REPORT.  Sam, himself, was incapable of shame.  He pimped Simon Rosenberg for DNC chair, that tells you all you need to know.


And that brings up the reality.  As bad as the members of Congress are , the only thing worse is their fan-whores.    They aren't citizens, they're fan-whores.


They lie constantly and excuse and minimize their heroes and heroines.  


Most people -- most normal Americans, for example -- did not feel the need to demonize actress Susan Sarandon for how she voted or, for that matter, how the 2016 elections    That's due to the fact that most Americans grasp you can vote for whomever you want to in a democracy and grasp that Susan Sarandon is only one person and does not have the super power of mind control.  


The fnn-whores see it as their job to enforce and control.  They are the mob who want to bully everyone into  doing what they want them to do.  Barring that, they want to bully them into silence.  


Remember when 'progressive' Laura Flanders of the 'Communist' family -- worth millions -- was going to hold Barack Obama someday.  It didn't come during the primaries when Laura (a lesbian) refused to call Barack out for putting homophobes and conversion therapy advocates on the stage at his rallies.  It didn't come durin gthe general election.  It didn't come his first year in office . . . Or his second. . . . Or his third. . . Or his fourth . . . Or his fifth . . . or -- let's cut to the chase, or his eighth.  


She never called him out.  She never held him accountable.  She could waste everyone's time with nonsense -- remember her broadcast where Hurrican Katrina didn't destroy New Orleans?  She and her guests just knew it was bombs instead! -- she just didn't have time to move us forward.


And that is what this is about.


If maintaining the status quo is all you're after, keep doing what you're doing.  


Even there, though, grasp that if you don't put up a fight, the country moves to the right.


The right doesn't give up fighting.  And they would love a complacent left so that they could move the needle.


Fighting is not spending all of our time defending some politician.  Nothing was learned from the 90s.  People wasted so much time on Bill Clinton, on defending him.  And he was stabbing us in the back.  If it weren't for the affair with Monica coming out, he would have made his move to privatize Social Security.  As it was, he got away with far too much.  Politicians need to defend themselves.  We need to fight for issues.  We need to fight for advances.


They ran for office.  If they're not up to their job, that's their problem.  If we're not up to holding them accountable and making them serve us, that's our problem.

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