Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Truest statement of the week

There is no end to the Russiagate fraud. All major charges have been disproved. No one was convicted of the dreaded “collusion” that was reported endlessly for the last four years. Damning information is now declassified and casts doubt on the veracity of the whole story. CrowdStrike, the Democratic National Committee cyber security firm, admitted under oath they had no proof of hacking by Russia or anyone else. Robert Mueller ended his two-year long, multi-million dollar investigation with nothing except convictions for process crimes.
Why then did the New York Times print a story with an unnamed intelligence agency  source claiming that the Russian government paid the Taliban to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan? The charge is ludicrous on its face but the story is quite useful to people who want to hide their own criminality while simultaneously keeping Trump hamstrung in an election year.

Russia is the nation least likely to do business with jihadists. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, jihadists nearly tore Russia apart. Separatists from the Chechnya region terrorized the entire country which was weakened and divided after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Because of that experience Russia eagerly assisted the United States after the September 11 attacks. Far from impeding the U.S. presence, Russia and other former Soviet republics were steadfast participants in the Northern Distribution Network  (NDN). NDN was a supply line carrying materiel from Russia, through central Asian nations and finally to Afghanistan. Russia allowed the use of its air space in troop transit flights. Far from being an enemy, Russia assisted the U.S. and its coalition in their fight against the Taliban. 

-- Margaret Kimberley, "Freedom Rider: Russia, Afghanistan, and the Big Lie" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).





Truest statement of the week II

I’m well aware of big Western “conservation” organizations who want to get rid of the people in the name of the wildlife. Once they’ve done that, some set up lodges for wealthy people who want to go on safari. Some even propose that having spent so much money, these tourists should be allowed to shoot “big game,” including endangered species that a native African would be arrested for “poaching.” However, my piece was not meant as a critique of the conservation industrial complex.  
Second, I wrote “DRC’s Virunga: Park, Gorillas, and Rangers All Under Attack” in response to reports that unidentified militiamen had attacked a civilian convoy guarded by park rangers, killing 4 civilians and 13 rangers in DRC’s Virunga National Park. I attempted to describe the park as it is, not as I think it should be. That’s why I wrote, “The park authority, Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN) , is a partner of the Congolese government, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the European Union, and international NGOs and foundations, so there are, no doubt, multiple political pressures and degrees of awareness involved.”
Perhaps I should have said “multiple neocolonial pressures and motivations in play.” I might also have added that Emmanuel de Merode, the Belgian prince and Virunga Park Director, has made his case for the park at the World Economic Forum in Davos , an imperial organization if there ever was one. 
I wrote that “the gorillas help build an international conservation constituency of NGOs, foundations, government agencies, and nature lovers who are committed to the park’s survival. And that if the gorillas were gone, that constituency would be greatly weakened.” That is true but it does not mean that I applaud the park’s dependence.

-- Ann Garrison, "Neocolonial African Conservation Inspired by 'Tarzan'" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).






A note to our readers

Hey --

Wednesday.

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?

 

Peace,


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












Editorial: Poor Joe

Oh, War Hawk Joe Biden's not having a good time of it -- even with the press whoring for him.  The man who destroyed Iraq -- as a US senator and as vice president -- wants to be in the White House and feels he's murdered enough people to get there.


BBC NEWS notes:



US Democrat Joe Biden has said he will not hold presidential campaign rallies during the coronavirus pandemic.
"This is the most unusual campaign, I think, in modern history," Mr Biden said at a press conference in Delaware.


He reached that decision after the poor turnout for him in Pennsylvania and after the weekend campaign polling that saw Joe slip just a little.

See Joe's a victim of The Hillary Effect.  The less you see him, the more you like him.  Which also means, the more you see him, the less you like him.


No one's turning out to see Joe and reports of Joe being out and about depress his polling.

Of course, they're going to hide him away.  Who wouldn't when he says things like the following in public?





And when Joe's not babbling about his leg hairs, he's attacking people for asking questions.



He's too old, he's too angry, he's too senile and he's too much of a War Hawk.















TV: The day TCM died

"It had to happen."  That's what one friend said Friday.  Another wondered if Edward Margulies and Stephen Rebello were now running TCM?

TCM, for any who might be unaware, stands for TURNER CLASSIC MOVIES.  Ted Turner created the cable channel.  In 1994, the channel started airing with the intent of celebrating classic films by showing them, by discussing them, by honoring them. It was similar to AMC at the time.  AMC, when it first started airing in 1984, focused on classic films.  It's since gone on to who knows what, but that's how it started out.

Now it's really just TCM.  And, after decades of celebration, a problem emerges.

3 JESS

We love SOME LIKE IT HOT -- we think it's the best comedy of the 20th century.  But it's become an overplayed staple.  If that was the only film, it would be fine.  Instead, a set group of films emerged that were played month after month.  When it's SOME LIKE IT HOT, that's one thing.  When it's BULLITT, that's another.  We only need to see that chase scene once a year, thank you -- if even that.

One reason for that is the selection is based on something other than quality.  BOMBSHELL is a classic film and one of Jean Harlow's finest.  It's rarely aired on TCM.  In fact, if Harlow's not teamed up with some other name actor, her films don't seem to exist on TCM.  You could watch TCM for a full year and never know that Jean Harlow was someone important to films -- let alone that she was the original blonde bombshell -- someone Marilyn Monroe would pattern herself after (even using Agnes Flanagan for her hair -- Flanagan had also been responsible for Jean Harlow's platinum blond locks).

There are so many actors that TCM viewers might not realize had any impact on film.  Loretta Young, for example, was a major movie star and one who was able to transfer from the silent films to the 'talking pictures.'  Does anyone other than Marlo Thomas make a point to regularly note Loretta Young's contributions?  (Loretta was Marlo's godmother -- Marlo was the host of the 2014 TCM tribute to Loretta.)  Loretta won an Academy Award for best actress, she worked with Orson Welles, Cary Grant, Jean Harlow, Frank Capra, Mervin LeRoy, Charles Boyer, Janet Gaynor, Cecil B. DeMille,  Tyrone Power, Walter Lang, David Niven, John Ford, Robert Preston, Fredric March, Alan Ladd, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Gary Cooper, Edward G. Robinson, Ethel Barrymore, Joseph Cotten, William Holden, Robert Mitchum, Celeste Holm, Van Johnson, Clark Gable (who raped her in real life), Tay Garnett and Jeff Chandler -- among others.  She was part of film noir -- though that doesn't seem to register on the airtime TCM devotes to film noir.

Speaking of film noir -- Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake were a popular couple in that genre -- they made four films together but only the first, THE GLASS KEY, airs on TCM with any real regularity. 
Film stars like WC Fields and Mae West are also largely absent from TCM.  There's far too little Barbara Stanwyck as well.  And Bob Hope largely exists -- when he exists on TCM -- as the comedic partner of Bing Crosby.  Yes, the two made seven films together but Bob was hugely successful without Bing as a co-star.  MY FAVORITE BRUNETTE, MY FAVORITE BLONDE, MY FAVORITE SPY, MONSIEUR BEAUCAIRE, THE LEMON DROP KID, THE PRINCESS AND THE PIRATE . . . There are a string of classic films that TCM has largely ignored.  Jerry Lewis -- with and without Dean Martin -- is similarly ignored by TCM.

So one problem has been their selection which has narrowed and narrowed over the years.  Another problem was what happened when they moved fully into the 80s and 90s and beyond?

TCM is a basic cable channel.  Would they be able to show certain films -- R-rated ones, for example -- without offending sensibilities?  That's a serious question.

Or, rather, it was.

That question is no more.

Partly because Thursday, June 2, 2020 was the day TCM died.

Oh, it's still airing.  Even as we write this, it's still broadcasting.

But is it TCM?  Can you call yourself "classic movies" after Thursday?

That's when TCM aired THE BLUE LAGOON -- the 1980s film.  They can't seem to find Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake's THE BLUE DAHLIA, understand, but they can air Randal Kleiser's 1980 atrocity.

That's what prompted comments from friends -- including the ones we detailed at the top of the piece.  Let's deal with have Edward Margulies and Stephen Rebello taken over TCM, by the way.  No, they haven't.  And let's note that the two never hailed THE BLUE LAGOON as a "bad movie we love."  No, THE BLUE LAGOON is just a bad movie.


Sidebar, read Stephen's new book DOLLS! DOLLS! DEEP INSIDE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS -- THE MOST BELOVED BAD BOOK AND MOVIE OF ALL TIME -- it's wonderful.

But the Brooke Shields film is not wonderful.  That's not really Brooke's fault.  Her mother should have taught her to talk, that's true.  Brooke has that helium voice in the film (when she returned to success as an adult -- starting with her guest spot on FRIENDS -- Brooke would have an adult voice).  That's not what makes it an awful film.  Christopher Atkins is beyond wooden -- no, that's not a joke about his jerk-off scene in the film -- and that's not what makes it an awful film.

It's a piece of crap that works either as kiddie porn or as an instructional video for sex education classes.

As a film? It's ROTTEN TOMATOES score is 9%.  Does that give you an idea of how bad the film is?  Hailing it as "the dumbest movie of the year," back in 1980, Roger Ebert also wondered, "Why was this movie made?"

A better question today would be: Why did TURNER CLASSIC MOVIES air it?

Grasp that, in addition to the earlier complaints about specific actors the channel ignores, they don't air a ton of films that they should.

PLAY IT AS IT LAYS springs to mind.  In fact, any Tuesday Weld starrer springs to mind.  Not airing Tuesday's starring films is a lot like ignoring SEANCE ON A WET AFTERNOON.  Forget the heavy films, how do you ignore fun, escapist fair like 1968's WHAT'S SO BAD ABOUT FEELING SO GOOD?  Or Susan Saint James and George Hamilton's hilarious LOVE AT FIRST BITE?

Films that are not staples but should be would include: IF HE HOLLERS (Barbara McNair is especially moving), THE THIEF WHO CAME TO DINNER, WHO IS KILLING THE GREAT CHEFS OF EUROPE?, ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW, Richard Lester's CUBA, NEAR DARK, THE BLACK BIRD, Robert Altman's SHORT CUTS (actually, pretty much everything of Robert Altman's should be on the channel), SCENES FROM THE CLASS STRUGGLE IN BEVERLY HILLS, 1979's THE HITTER, AN UNMARRIED WOMAN, ENEMIES A LOVE STORY, PRIZZI's HONOR, THE GRIFTERS, PRESSURE POINT, THE ROYAL TENEBAUMS, Elaine May's A NEW LEAF and Elaine May's THE HEARTBREAK KID, the Marlo Thomas and Elaine may comedy IN THE SPIRIT, SHEILA LEVINE IS DEAD AND LIVING IN NEW YORK, the original POINT BREAK, BLUE THUNDER, BUCK AND THE PREACHER, YENTL, Darnell Martin's I LIKE IT LIKE THAT, ALL THAT JAZZ, SWEET LIBERTY, THE LOST MAN, INTO THE NIGHT, THE MACK, LOOKING FOR MR. GOODBAR, DANGEROUS LIASONS, Albert Brooks' MOTHER and THE MUSE, SHOOT THE MOON, 1955's THE GIRL IN THE RED VELVET SWING, WAG THE DOG, PRICK UP YOUR EARS, JUST TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT, GRACE OF MY HEART, WHY DO FOOLS FALL IN LOVE, SLUMS OF BEVERLY HILLS, ROUND MIDNIGHT, DEAD MEN DON'T WEAR PLAID, HOUSE SITTER, THREE THE HARD WAY, LITTLE MURDERS, THE LAST OF SHEILA, AMERICAN HOT WAX, GOODBYE, COLUMBUS, 1991's RUSH, DIARY OF A MAD HOUSEWIFE, PARTY GIRL starring Parker Posey, THE KING OF MARVIN GARDENS, 1976's SPARKLE, RESURRECTION, Gene Hackman's ALL NIGHT LONG, HE GOT GAME,  SIESTA, UNDER FIRE, THE ORGANIZATION, RUMBLE FISH, DRUGSTORE COWBOY, FOUL PLAY (which AMC used to air constantly), Carl Reiner's ENTER LAUGHING, THE BINGO LONG TRAVELING ALL-STARS & MOTOR KINGS,  BOYS ON THE SIDE, FLIRTING WITH DISASTER, TEA WITH MUSSOLINI, SILKWOOD, THE MIRROR HAS TWO FACES, MURDER BY DEATH, IN GOD WE TRU$T, Lee Grant's STAYING TOGETHER, I WANNA HOLD YOUR HAND,  DINER, and THE WORLD, THE FLESH AND THE DEVIL -- to name just a few.

We're sure that you could come up with a list even longer.

And we'd argue that TCM has time to air everything on your list and on our list if they've got time to air THE BLUE LAGOON.  It's not SHOWGIRLS -- where it has camp value.  It's just an exploitation film that exploits teenagers to sell kiddie porn.

There were two shows we wanted to review this week but when TCM -- a channel for classic films -- decides to air THE BLUE LAGOON, we feel that's news -- appalling news, but news none the less. And though it's all we've heard about friends -- from dismayed friends, it's a story that the media hasn't even noticed.


100 best film thrillers

Who doesn't love a good scare?  The jump in your seat when a hands shoves up through the dirt or someone's hiding behind a door?  Here are our picks for the 100 best film thrillers.


thenet3

100) THE NET

99) THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER

98) THE TWO JAKES

97) BLUE VELVET

96) JOY RIDE

95) BREAKDOWN (19970

94) BLUE STEEL

93) THE PASSENGER

92) ALIENS

d11

91) DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER

90) DEAD CALM

89) REAR WINDOW

88) RUNAWAY TRAIN

87) DEVIL WITH A BLUE DRESS

86) IN THE CUT

85) THE SPIRAL STAIRCASE (1946)

84) SUSPENSE (1913)

83) STRANGE BY THE LAKE

82) FLIGHT PLAN

81) DEAD RINGER

80) FIGHT CLUB

79) HIDDEN

78) THE FRENCH CONNECTION

77) DANGEROUS CROSSING

76) A SIMPLE FAVOR

75) THE FILE ON THELMA JORDAN

74) 3 DAYS OF THE CONDOR

73) THE LONG GOODBYE

72) THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT

71) THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI

70) THE HITCHER (1986)

69) THROW MAMA FROM THE TRAIN

68) M

67) LE BOUCHER

66) THE PELICAN BRIEF

65) OLD BOY (2013)

64) THE LAST SEDUCTION

63) THE MORNING AFTER

62) OUT OF SIGHT

61) CAUSE FOR ALARM

60) BUNNY LAKE IS MISSING

59) THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE

58) KNIFE IN THE WATER

57) SORRY WRONG NUMBER

56) EXISTENCE

55) PANIC ROOM

54) NIAGRA


fp15

53) FAMILY PLOT

52) BLOOD SIMPLE

51) MISSION IMPOSSIBLE

50) STRANGERS ON A TRAIN

49) CAPE FEAR (1991)

48) THE HITCH-HIKER (1953)

47) THE BIRDS

46) CRIME OF PASSION (1957)

45) DECEIVED

44) MALICE

43) THE NICE GUYS


Shoot to kill.jpg
By Source, Fair use, Link

42) SHOOT TO KILL

41) DON'T LOOK NOW

40) THE STRANGER

39) THIEF

38) NOTORIUS

37) WITNESS TO MURDER

36) BLOW UP

35) MANHATTAN MURDER MYSTERY

34) A TOUCH OF EVIL

33) WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE?

32) SICARIO

31) 39 STEPS

foulplay10


30) FOUL PLAY

29) CHARADE

28) THE GRIFTERS

27) JAWS

26) LA CONFIDENTIAL

25) NO WAY OUT (1987)

24) TERMINATOR

23) SWORDFISH

22) BODY DOUBLE

21) THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE

20) THE THIRD MAN

19) SUDDEN FEAR

18) THE PARALLAX VIEW

17) GET OUT

16) DARK PASSAGE

15) TERMINATOR II

14) NO WAY OUT (1950)

13) DRESSED TO KILL

12) MATCH POINT

11) INSIDE MAN

10) THE CONVERSATION

9) KLUTE


jt3

8) BLOW OUT

7) BOUND

6) PSYCHO

5) DOUBLE INDEMNITY

4) DIABOLIQUE

3) CHINATOWN

2) NORTH BY NORTHWEST

1) VERTIGO




Readers list of scariest movies

Last week, we offered our picks for 100 scariest movies.  In your e-mails, you made your picks known.


The Initiation of Sarah.jpg


THE INITATION OF SARAH

LOOK WHAT'S HAPPENED TO ROSEMARY'S BABY

WHEN MICHAEL CALLS

IT (mini-series)

CHRISTINE

THE PURGE

SATAN'S SCHOOL FOR GIRLS (2000)

Salemslotthemovie.jpg


SALEM'S LOT (1979)

KISS OF THE VAMPIRE

APT PUPIL

THE STAND (1994)

ONE MISSED CALL

FLATLINERS

JAWS THE REVENGE

FRIDAY THE 13TH PART IV

THE WICKERMAN (2006)

COUNTESS DRACULA

FATAL ATTRACTION

MISERY

The-Brides-of-Dracula-poster.jpg


THE BRIDES OF DRACULA

MARY SHELLEY'S FRANKENSTEIN (1994)

THE VAMPIRE LOVERS

CASH ON DEMAND

STIGMATA

DRACULA A.D. 1972

SCREAM BLACKULA SCREAM

THE WEREWOLF OF WASHINGTON

BLOOD SHACK

THE HILLS HAVE EYES

HALLOWEEN III

Bride of Chucky DVD Cover.jpg


BRIDE OF CHUCKY

I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER

SCREAM 2

SCREAM 3

FROM DUSK TILL DAWN

SLEEPAWAY CAMP

CUJO

THE LAWNMOWER MAN

CAT PEOPLE (1942)

SCARS OF DRACULA

THE TEMP

STEPHEN KING'S CAT'S EYE

MOTEL HELL

CREEPSHOW

NIGHT OF THE COMET

TREMORS

The seventh sign.jpg


THE SEVENTH SIGN

THE SIXTH SENSE

EXORCIST II

GREMLINS

IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS






Mail bag

mailcall

Ronald e-mails asking, "Am I the first to tell you that the Batwoman cover in last week's mailbag is too large?"


You were the first. We count 142 who e-mailed after you did that also pointed it out. We've fixed it. Thank you to everyone who caught that.

Lloyd D e-mails that no TESR Test Kitchen has ever noted bottled water and wonders why that is? Due to the environment, we try to limit our footprint as much as possible. Most of us drink tap or filtered water and we reuse a metal container -- like the one Matt Damon promoted. Now Ty and C.I. are diabetic. If they need water -- or more water than they planned -- the will buy a bottle of water. They'll buy whatever is available at that moment. Ty notes that given a choice, he prefers Dasani.

Mike Mayo e-mails to say he enjoyed the 100 scariest movies last edition

http://thirdestatesundayreview.blogspot.com/2020/06/100-scariest-movies.html

"and I was especially thrilled that you included three classics that were TV movies. If I could, I would add three more. THE INITIATION OF SARAH is so scary and has a wicked performance by Morgan Fairchild. LOOK WHAT'S HAPPENED TO ROSEMARY'S BABY which stars Patty Duke as Rosemary and she's much more convincing than Farrow was. And Donna Mills is out right evil in the movie. This is a great one. Lastly, WHEN MICHAEL CALLS starring Elizabeth Ashley and Michael Douglas."

Sounds great and we are compiling a list of your choices for scary films and we've put your three on it. Time permitting, it will run this edition.

Walter also e-mails about the 100 scariest movie list: "Who do you think you are? What makes you an expert? I don't agree with anything on your list!"

Walter, as Kat has noted at her site, lists like these are all personal opinion and the fun is in looking to see if you agree or disagree. You disagreed. That's fine. If you had disagreed and offered even one horror movie you liked, we'd be including it on the list.

Becky wonders why are we late so often? And if it has anything to do with C.I.'s health?

In answer to the second one, no. Ava and C.I. finished their TV piece at 10:00 am Sunday morning. We didn't publish on Sunday. It had nothing to do with C.I.'s health. Why are we so late? Some days, it's just hard. Hard to focus, hard to whatever. You'd think it would get easier as time went by; however, it just gets tougher for us.

Cheryl Sartan writes, "Dear THIRD, My friend Jennifer Espinoza is really grating on my nerves. She's the type of woman who plays dumb because she thinks it means that men will like her more. I'm not sure what to do about this. Any suggestions?"

Is there anything you can do? Honestly, is there? Cheryl, we're sure you'll agree with us that it can be hard enough running your own life without trying to run someone else's also. If Jennifer wants to change, she will. But at this point, it sounds like it's just you. And if you try to change someone who doesn't want to change you are going to (a) most likely fail and (b) be very frustrated.

Keenan e-mails, "THIRD, I'm not voting for Biden. This fall, I'll be in my third year in college. I am not a fan of Trump but my not liking him doesn't mean I vote for Biden. He's disgusting and I'm outraged that the Democratic Party refused to do better. I'll either vote Green or not vote for president. I cannot believe how badly the DNC, Obama and the media screwed this up. I am not a purist. I would've voted for Booker, for Harris, for Gabbard, for Sanders, for Gillibrand, for anyone but Biden. He voted for the Iraq War. He's not worthy of my vote. He's also not fit mentally and, yes, I believe Tara Reade. I blame them and if Trump gets a second term, that's on them."

Keenan, we hear you.
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