Daily Archives: January 15, 2011

New Year = New Poops




The Arizona Shooter:   For once, the guy in the mug shot really does look crazy.  Generally, these guys look like, and are described as, “the guy next door.”  The media needs to do its part in creating this legend by continuing to mention Jared Loughner’s middle name, Lee, so that he might join the likes of Lee Harvey Oswald, John Wayne Gacy, and Billy Ray Cyrus on our list of notorious Americans.




Media types describe the Arizona tragedy as “unimaginable.” Oh, really?  We must be lacking in imagination, because this kind of thing happens every few years.  Wolf Blitzer just told me that the whole “nation is in mourning” over the Arizona events — more bullcrap, more journalistic hyperbole. Most people are more interested in the fact that their daily horoscopes have changed.






Previews for Piers Morgan’s new show on CNN do not look promising.  Oprah Winfrey telling Morgan, “You are good!” is not the sign of a hard-hitting interview program.




Pope1      Pope2


One pope is claiming that his predecessor pope deserves to be a saint because the old pope brought about a “miracle.”  The real miracle will come when any of these popes stops covering up for pedophiles.





Kelsey Grammer’s ex implies that the Frasier star likes to dress in women’s clothing.  Judging from Camille Grammer’s days as a soft-core movie star, I guess she doesn’t need her clothing, so why not lend some panties to Kelsey?


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The best movies don’t end well.  By that, I mean that their fadeouts are bittersweet, ambiguous, or flat-out depressing.  Citizen Kane dies, alone and friendless.  Rick and Ilsa are separated, apparently for good.  Old Yeller gets shot.

Blue Valentine is that kind of movie, and that’s a good thing.  Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams play (superbly) a married couple that would seem to have it all.  Young, bright, and white in America – if these two can’t attain the American Dream, what hope is there for anyone?

Director Derek Cianfrance films his romantic tragedy in a documentary style, which is both a strength and a weakness.  The sense of eavesdropping on private moments lends credibility and depth to the proceedings, and yet ….

Movies similar to Blue Valentine in the past – I am thinking specifically of Days of Wine and Roses and Two for the Road – relied heavily on melodrama.  Alcohol was a major culprit in Roses; infidelity reared its ugly head in Road.  There are no such obvious trappings in Cianfrance’s movie.  Two nice people run up against something much more mundane:  dashed expectations about married life.

I’m sure that mirrors reality for many people, and it suits the realistic tone of the film.  But I wanted something more.  I was watching, after all, a product of the Hollywood Dream Factory.  Where was the stirring soundtrack, emphasizing dramatic highs and lows?  Why were there no villains – human or otherwise – for me to hiss?  Instead of emotional catharsis, I left the cinema with this feeling:  shit happens.     Grade:  B+




Director:  Derek Cianfrance  Cast:  Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams, Faith Wladyka, John Doman, Mike Vogel, Marshall Johnson, Jen Jones, Maryann Plunkett, James Benatti  Release:  2010


Valentine3            Valentine4


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