Monthly Archives: November 2015

Uncle

 

 

“When did we become a nation of anti-uncle bigots?” – Andy Levy on Fox’s Red Eye

 

Levy has a point. Why is it that we want to avoid our “crazy uncle” at Thanksgiving dinner? Why are children warned to stay away from “creepy uncle”? Are there no crazed, opinionated aunts out there? No sinister grandparents?

 

 

Fester

Uncle Fester 

 

*****

 

Talking Turkey

 

When Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet, Fox’s Neil Cavuto turned to Lt. Gen. David Deptula for analysis:

 

Cavuto:  “I’m surprised this kind of thing didn’t happen sooner. Aren’t you?”

Deptula:  “Well, it’s not, it’s certainly a possibility, a probability, it happened, so, I don’t know if I’m surprised it hasn’t already happened, but the fact of the matter is, it did happen, and it’s very unfortunate.”

 

I don’t know about you, but I feel I have a much better grasp of the situation now.

 

*****

 

Jodi Arias defense attorney Kirk Nurmi has written a book in which he describes the heartfelt devotion he held for his client. An excerpt:

 

Nurmi

 

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(Click on any picture for a larger view)

 

We were curious about the backstage antics at Brooklyn’s annual small-penis pageant, and so we turned to two-time contestant Rip van Dinkle (above, at the 2015 contest) for some answers to our questions – and we had quite a few of them. Who, for example, is allowed in the contestants’ dressing room? Do participants suffer from pre-pageant jitters, or from the sudden realization that one’s penis will soon be on display for hundreds of boisterous women? Does Rip have bedroom fantasies about the women who saw (and judged) him in his birthday suit?

 

Grouchy Editor – Tell us about the scene in your dressing area before the pageants. Are women allowed in there?

Rip Van Dinkle – Oh, man, aside from the contestants, it’s all women backstage. Some of them are supposed to be there, like the pageant organizers and media people who are there for interviews. But there are some people who just wander in, with no real reason for being there except, I suppose, to ogle us. But there were also a few naked women backstage. In the first pageant, “Cherry Pitz” [Editor’s note: burlesque queen Cyndi Freeman] was in the show, and she stripped down to a black thong – and nothing up top – right in front of me.  I believe she was 49 at the time, and married, and looking hot. There was also a female musician parading around topless during the pageant this year.

One of the judges, Kate Hakala, kept walking into the room while we were dressing. She had no real reason to be down there, other than to check us out in the nude, I guess. I read the story she wrote about judging the pageant, and it seemed like she was very much on the prowl for small dicks. I guess she decided to see more of us than she was seeing on the stage.

GE – Tell us about the media.  It reminds us of female reporters in the men’s locker room at professional sporting events, which was quite controversial.

RVD – They say you have to be brassy to be a good reporter, and that was certainly true of the ballsy bunch I saw in the dressing area. A reporter from Gawker [Editor’s note: Victor Jeffreys II], one of the few male reporters, drew me aside to ask questions. At some point, I glanced down and saw that he was holding his cell-phone camera in front of my groin; he’d been taking close-up pictures during the interview. That kind of pissed me off, but he certainly got what he wanted. I checked out his story in Gawker and there were all these shots of my junk in huge close-up, including shots he took later when the judges were measuring our cocks on stage.

 

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Gawker published these intimate pictures of Rip submitting to penis-measurements by judges Cyndi Freeman, left, and Aimee Arciuolo, center.  At right, one of Jeffreys’ surreptitious crotch shots.

 

A female photographer at the first pageant spotted me sitting alone, drinking a Coke, and asked if she could take pictures. I said sure and brushed my hair a bit, but that was unnecessary because she wasn’t interested in my hair. She just kind of leaned over and stuck her camera between my thighs and began taking pictures. I should mention that I wasn’t completely naked; I was wearing one of those tuxedo thongs. But she and the Gawker guy were there to get pictures of our genitals and by God that’s what they got.

GE – You mentioned the foreign press …

RVD – Oh yes.  There was this gorgeous reporter from Brazil, Anna something [Editor’s note: Anna Gabriela Ribeiro], and she came up to ask me questions. One thing almost every interviewer asks me is, “How small is your penis?” She didn’t ask me that, which I thought was kind of odd until I realized what I was wearing. We didn’t have mirrors to look at ourselves backstage, and this was our first costume, which I thought covered us up. I was wrong. It was black underwear but with a see-thru patch right over the genitals, so this girl had a clear view of my twig and berries, dangling just inches below her notepad. She would have no trouble describing my shortcomings for her readers. It might also have explained the smile on her face while she was interviewing me. She also took pictures during the show. Several of them popped up on Spanish-language Web sites.

 

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Ribeiro and her view while interviewing Rip

 

GE – OK, enough about journalists. Who else was in the dressing room?

RVD – At both pageants, Aimee Arciuolo was there helping us adjust our costumes. She was the creator of the pageant and had a hand in designing the costumes.  She wanted us as exposed as possible, and told me before the first pageant that our underwear would be as transparent as plastic wrap. For the 2015 pageant, Bobbie Chaset pretty much took over managing duties, so she was always around. Legally, we weren’t supposed to get completely naked during the show, but I discussed flashing the audience with Bobbie beforehand and she encouraged me to do it. So I did.

GE – Anyone else backstage?

RVD – There were the “penis kittens,” of course. They had various duties, but mostly they just had to look cute. Some of them, I think, used Super Soakers to wet our crotches before the penis measuring.

   Stage8

“Penis Kittens” from left to right: Racheal, Audrey, Amanda

 

GE – We should come clean here. We really aren’t interested in hearing any more about your experiences at the pageant. What we really wanted to do was find an excuse to run pictures of some of the good-looking women associated with the contest. We wanted to turn the tables on some of the females who ogled you guys. We’d love your comments on these pictures.

RVD – Excellent. Let’s do it.

GE – We’d also like you to give us a favorite sex fantasy about each of them.

RVD – That sounds sexist. Count me in.

 

**

 

“Rip van Dinkle flew in from Minnesota to shake his shrimpy spigot before 100 onlookers.” Erin Calabrese and Kate Briquelet, New York Post

 

montage

 

 

The Leering Ladies

 

Pageant creator/manager/judge Aimee Arciuolo

 

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RVD – Aimee has a great rack and nice legs. I guess she could relate to us guys in the pageant since she’s a bit of an exhibitionist, herself. Until I saw these pictures, I had no idea she let her tits hang out in public. Great-looking tits, blue or any other color.

Aimee told Gothamist that she and her friends discussed ways to make us get erections during the pageant, I suppose so they could measure us limp-dicked and also with boners. Aimee really wanted to give the females in the bar a good show. She was upset that a city ordinance wouldn’t let us show cock, so she and her mother designed “penis tuxedoes” so that our balls hung out for all to see.

But I was game for anything at the pageant. If Aimee had said to me, “Rip, there are women with cameras out there who want their money’s worth. Will you ejaculate on stage so they can get souvenir pictures?” I would have said to her, “Yes, ma’am. If that’s what you want, no problem.” Humiliating, I suppose, but I’m sure she would have loved that.

 

“If Aimee had said to me, ‘Rip, there are women with cameras out there who want their money’s worth. Will you ejaculate on stage so they can get souvenir pictures?’ I would have said to her, ‘Yes, ma’am.’”

 

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Rip: “For a woman who claims to favor small dicks, Aimee looks pretty pleased to see Flo Rida’s big pecker.”

 

RVD – These screen caps and the video below are from the first pageant. A guy calling himself Flo Rida broke the rules and flashed his dick. I’m pretty sure this kind of rule-breaking pleased Aimee, even though she acts shocked in these pictures.

 

Rip’s Sex Fantasy:  She’s kind of a show-off, so I’d love to do her doggie-style on stage. At a biker bar. Hey – remember, this is the girl who put me through the indignity of measuring my penis on stage in front of a bar full of women. With cameras.

 

In the video above, Cyndi (big wig) and Aimee measure little manhoods on stage. Rip is the contestant in the middle.

 

*****

 

Bartender/manager Bobbie Chaset

 

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Rip is interviewed by Rolling Stone while Bobbie Chaset, right, looks on

 

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RVD – These pictures surprise me. They must be some years old. I thought Bobbie was too reserved to dress in such a sexy costume and in such “fuck me” poses. Also, are those panties see-thru? Looks to me like some pussy hair poking through, but that could be my wishful thinking.

Rip’s Sex Fantasy:  Those pictures remind me of bondage. It would be fun to tie her up, put a gag in her mouth, and do her on stage. At a biker bar.

 

*****

 

Journalist Anna Gabriela Ribeiro

 

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RVD – After she interviewed me, she took a bunch of pictures during the contest. They were published on South American Web sites, but I noticed my crotch was “black barred” in them.

Rip’s Sex Fantasy:  Probably we’d do a scene for a Brazilian porno flick. Does Brazil have porno flicks?

 

*****

 

“Penis Kittens” Amanda Hollenbeck, Audrey Selles-Czuk, Racheal Selles-Czuk

 

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Left to right: Racheal Selles-Czuk, Amanda Hollenbeck, Audrey Selles-Czuk

 

RVD – Honestly, I’m not sure what they did. I believe they were supposed to hose our crotches with Super Soakers, but it was too chaotic to notice who was squirting what. Cute girls, though. Look at Amanda – doesn’t she look like some glamorous 1940s film star?

Rip’s Sex Fantasy:  Racheal and Audrey are sisters, so of course we’d have a threesome. Amanda has kind of that classic, movie-star look, so I’d do her classic missionary-style. At a biker bar.

 

*****

 

Burlesque queen Cyndi Freeman

 

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RVD – Looks pretty good for 50, doesn’t she? I guess she has a very understanding husband, since she spends so much time parading around half-naked in front of other men. She struck me as one horny lady. During the second pageant, which I did not attend, she basically dry humped a contestant who, from the look of the pictures, was wearing only a shirt – no underwear. In other words, Cyndi in her thong grinding pussy against his genitals. [Editor’s note: See GIF at bottom] She also seems to enjoy eyeballing Flo Rida’s big prick in the pictures [above and below]. And she was one of the judges who measured my manhood on stage.

 

grouchyeditor.com Cyndi Freeman

 

Rip’s Sex Fantasy:  I think she’s kinky, so I’d have her down on her knees, giving me head while her husband watches. By the way, Cyndi once did a soft-core TV show for Showtime. It has Cyndi tits, Cyndi ass, Cyndi getting fucked by a sleazy dude – check it out.

 

 

*****

 

Gawker reporter Victor Jeffreys II

 

Stage35

 

RVD – Annoying dude, but he was there for dick pics and he got them – especially mine. [Editor’s note: That’s Jeffreys below the yellow arrow in the picture, watching Dinkle get measured.]

Rip’s Sex Fantasy:  Go fuck yourself. Although there is a scene in Deliverance that comes to mind.

 

*****

 

Judges Natalie Shure, Kate Hakala, Krystyna Hutchinson

 

.                   Stage36  grouchyeditor.com Kate Hakala  Stage38

Left to right, judges Shure, Hakala, Hutchinson

 

RVD – The brunette, Krystyna Hutchinson, was super hot. The other brunette in the glasses looks hot in her picture, but what you can’t tell from it is that she is a very big girl. Big everywhere. Not my cup of tea.  The last judge, Kate Hakala, wrote an article for Mic and bragged about having “evaluated cock constantly.” I guess now she can add mine to her checklist.

Rip’s Sex Fantasy:  Krystyna, anal sex. Natalie, boob sex. Kate, I’d have to see how she evaluated my cock on her list.

 

Stage39

 

The 2015 judges were unimpressed by Rip’s puny pecker, pictured above. After finishing in second place at the 2013 pageant, Rip and his (normally) 1.5-inch penis experienced shrinkage, demoted to fourth place by the prick-analyzing female judges.

 

*****

 

Gothamist photographer Melanie Rieders

 

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Rieders enjoys hanging with big dicks (far right) as well as wee ones

 

grouchyeditor.com Melanie Rieders

 

RVD – This girl Melanie probably captured the most explicit shot of my wiener (below). I was surprised to see it posted on Gothamist, which is a fairly mainstream Web site, because her photo doesn’t leave anything to the imagination. From the stage, I didn’t notice her, but she must have been in the front row and prepared for my flash, because I didn’t have my bathrobe open for more than a few seconds.

 

Rieders5

Photo by Melanie Rieders

 

grouchyeditor.com Melanie Rieders

 Rieders in the crowd, moments after capturing a shot of Rip’s dick

 

Rip’s Sex Fantasy:  I looked her up on the Web and discovered a bikini shot of her (below). My God, does she have a humpable, pumpable little ass, or what? I’m thinking I’d do her doggie-style, right there on that raft. Guys like me aren’t built for big-bottomed girls, because we have to make it past all that butt cheek, but Melanie’s perky bubble butt? I’m thinking I could squeeze into that.

 

Rieders4

 

 *****

 

Stage40

Cyndi Freeman, aka Cherry Pitz, dry humps a bare-bottomed contestant

 

To read more about Rip’s adventures at the Smallest Penis in Brooklyn pageant, click here or here.

 

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SNL1

SNL2

 

Saturday Night Live’s skit on “The Adventures of Young Ben Carson” was surprisingly funny. There is something very, very … off … about Carson. At least with Trump, you have a pretty good idea exactly what kind of crazy you’re dealing with.

 

*****

 

Apparently it’s a no-no to show female nipples on basic cable, but if Lady Gaga wants to get butt-fucked on American Horror Story … bottoms up!

 

AHS1

 

*****

 

“Radical Islamic terrorism.”

There. I said it. Hopefully, all of the conservative pundits on Fox News are happy now.

 

“Terrorist mastermind.”

There. I said it. Probably, MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell is apoplectic again.

 

But seriously … if the media stopped saying “terrorist mastermind” and Obama began saying “radical Islamic terrorism,” would all of our problems go away?

 

*****

 

Poll

 

*****

 

Rachel Maddow was in the middle of a report on the Mali terror attack when this picture flashed briefly on the screen:

 

Wedding

 

I’m sure it was meant as some kind of subliminal message, but for the life of me, I can’t figure it out.

 

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Nyhus Collin

 

 

Feedback

 

Sex sells. It can also ruffle feathers. On the rare occasions that The Grouch gets feedback from the subjects of his articles, the reaction runs the gamut from happy campers to not-so-happy campers. The following is selected feedback from a few sort-of, kind-of, semi-celebrities. (Click on any picture for a larger image.)

 

 

Happy Camper: Deborah Voorhees

 

Top

 

When The Grouch wrote about a brief encounter he had 25 years ago with sexy starlet Deborah Voorhees (aka Deborah Bradley, aka Debisue Voorhees), the star of Friday the 13th: A New Beginning could not have been more gracious. Grouch found Deborah on Facebook and told her that he had written a “guilty pleasure” post about his meeting with her in Texas, circa 1990, and said that he intended to mention her famous nude scene in Friday – an exposure that cost her a post-acting job as a teacher.

Her messages to Grouch, before and after reading the article:

 

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Below, screen captures from 1985’s Friday the 13th: A New Beginning.  These topless, bottomless views of Deborah cemented her standing as every red-blooded American male’s favorite victim of Jason.

 

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Unhappy Camper: She Who Must Not Be Named

 

Liz Sklar 1

 

When The Grouch published a review of Imbued that included shots of She Who Must Not Be Named in her birthday suit, the brunette hottie found out about it and, well, see her e-mail requests below.

In the picture above, She Who Must Not Be Named does not look particularly thrilled to be taking instructions from director Rob Nilsson, who might have been asking her to lose the dress for the nude scenes pictured below.

 

Sklar A

 

Sklar B

 

.              Liz Sklar a Liz Sklar b Liz Sklar c

.              Liz Sklar d Liz Sklar e Liz Sklar f

 

Oh, please. You took off your clothes for a movie that, presumably, you hoped as many people as possible would see. And then you object when screen captures of your booty pop up on the Internet?

 

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 Mostly Happy Camper: “Dutch”

 

Dutch

 

Grouch discovered a YouTube channel called “Horrible Reviews” and was so amused that he wrote about its creator, a funny fellow known to us as “Dutch” (above). Dutch liked the Grouch’s story:

 

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Unfortunately for The Grouch, Dutch has 95,000 extremely loyal followers, and some of them reacted to Grouch’s story the way Trump fans react when you attack Trump.

 

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Last But Certainly Least: Rip van Dinkle

 

Small-penis pageant contestant Rip van Dinkle, subject of two stories (here and here), responded by sending The Grouch two holiday cards featuring his bearded self with Minneapolis news personalities Liz Collin (the blonde) and Natalie Nyhus. The cards are at the top of this page and the third picture below this paragraph. It’s just a hunch, but we’re guessing that Photoshop might have been involved ….

 

.                        Natalie Nyhus      Liz Collin

Collin Nyhus

 

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Miss Meadows

Meadows

 

One odd duck of a movie, part quirky black comedy, part vigilante crime drama. There’s a fine line between lovably eccentric and flat-out annoying, and Katie Holmes can’t quite pull off the former as a troubled schoolteacher who divides her time between correcting strangers’ grammar and mowing down neighborhood thugs. Not sure who thought that mixing this tap-dancing, pistol-packing Mary Poppins with creepy sex offenders was a good idea, but I couldn’t wait for the end credits so I could say “toodle-oo.”   Release: 2014  Grade: D+

 

*****

 

John Wick

Wick

 

A retired hit man (Keanu Reeves) goes ballistic when gangsters snuff out his mutt and steal his car in this mindless shoot-‘em-up for people who are too lazy to play video games. Clunky dialogue and an impressive waste of acting talent (Willem Dafoe, Ian McShane, Michael Nyqvist) also distinguish this mind-numbing waste of time. Hey, I don’t like it when they kill the dog, either, but this is ridiculous.  Release: 2014  Grade: F

 

*****

 

Black Sea

Black Sea

 

Jude Law plays a recently fired salvage skipper who leads a band of miscreants on a risky mission to steal gold bars from a Nazi submarine resting on the bottom of the Black Sea.  It’s a decent little thriller, and proof that you don’t need a big budget to make an exciting action movie – just some good performances and a script that isn’t too far-fetched. Release: 2015  Grade: B

 

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Dutch1

 

Hi kids! See the picture of the man? He is a very funny man. He is from a country called the Netherlands.

The man watches movies. He watches movies that have lots of poop and pee and boobies and bad words. The man watches those naughty movies so that you don’t have to …

 

Actually, I don’t know the man’s name – let’s call him “Dutch.” Dutch is one amusing dude. He is the brains behind a YouTube channel called “Horrible Reviews,” which will never be confused with Siskel and Ebert. Unlike so many film critics, there is nothing superior or “know-it-all” about Dutch. With a shrug or a dazed expression, he often admits that he has no idea what the day’s movie is supposed to be about. Metaphors and symbolism? Who cares? The question for Dutch is: Is the movie disturbing – in a good way?

Dutch is much like the doofus who could be sitting next to you on the sofa, struggling for meaning after having just endured The Human Centipede 3 (Final Sequence). He is the college roommate who stops his constant movie-watching only to fetch more beer from the refrigerator. Dutch reviews nasty stuff like A Serbian Film from what appears to be a couch in his parents’ basement.

 

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Gap-toothed, stubble-chinned Dutch (I tried to unearth his real name, but he apparently guards it carefully) adheres to a standard format in his “disturbing films” series; each video there are at least 18 of them now is less than 15 minutes in length. Dutch sits on his sofa behind his coffee table, bottle of beer or vodka at hand, and watches five infamous movies, the kind of flicks that Ebert might call “vile” but that attract, often inexplicably, a rabid following (see partial list, above).

In a related video, Dutch explained his work routine: “Chunks of the reviews are often already more or less written in my head while taking showers. You know how that goes.”

Dutch is more intelligent than his beer-guzzling, sofa-hugging image implies. With his broken English and profanity-laced voiceovers, he might not be the most eloquent of film critics, but he knows an entertaining flick when he sees one. He knows, for example, the difference between a truly “disturbing” film and one that is merely “disgusting” (think bodily fluids). And if the day’s selection is a bore, he’ll tell you so.

Dutch is Joe Bob Briggs – remember him? – for the Internet age, but funnier. His channel has 95,000 subscribers and more than 16 million views. You might take a pass on his recommendations, but I’m guessing you’ll give Dutch himself a thumbs up.

 

Click here for “The Most Disturbing Movies Ever”

 

Dutch5

 

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Bunker Hillary

 

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4

 

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Hillary

 

World War III:  Seems obvious that the best man for the job is Hillary.

 

*****

 

Cheerlead

 

I’m so glad that my college years are a distant memory. Don’t think I could stomach going into permanent debt for the privilege of spending four long years in the midst of so many entitled brats.

 

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*****

 

Castro

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Who the fuck is this asshole Julian Castro? Apparently, the obnoxious little shit believes that he’s my daddy – yours, too, if you smoke.

 

*****

 

Something bad happened in Paris, but apparently the world doesn’t require The Grouchy Editor’s input. One or two other media outlets seem to be covering the story.

 

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Martian1

 

Normally, I’m a sucker for castaway movies, and I’m also a fan of space-travel adventures. That should land me squarely in the target audience for The Martian, especially since I loved the book it’s based on. But my reaction to Ridley Scott’s big-budget science-fiction thriller was … well, it was OK. I guess.

Matt Damon, presumably cast as an astronaut accidentally stranded on Mars because Tom Hanks was too old to play the part, gives an engaging performance. The scenery and special effects are suitably Mars-like. And the screenplay is certainly faithful to Andy Weir’s novel. But my overall impression of the film is lukewarm. Maybe director Scott (Alien, Blade Runner) has simply lost his outer-space mojo. Maybe the problem is the story itself, which is too futuristic to conjure the fact-based drama of Apollo 13, yet too “hard science” to deliver goofy good fun like, say, Robinson Crusoe on Mars. Instead, The Martian resides in a science-fiction no-man’s land:  too pokey and clinical to generate much suspense, too matter-of-fact to be much fun.

 

Martian2

 

Damon is fine as wise-cracking, marooned Mark Watney, but the mood of his isolation is undermined when the film keeps cutting back to NASA scientists on Earth, who are scrambling to find ways to rescue him. It would be akin to cutting away from Hanks’s lengthy sojourn on his deserted island in Cast Away to scenes of fretting FedEx executives back at mainland headquarters.

Pare back on those NASA scenes — including unnecessary business with big names Jeff Daniels and Kristen Wiig — and you’d have a tighter, more dramatic film.  At 2 hours and 15 minutes, the movie is often like Watney’s tenure on Mars: overlong and occasionally tedious.     Grade: B

 

Martian3

 

Director: Ridley Scott  Cast: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jeff Daniels, Kristen Wiig, Michael Pena, Sean Bean, Kate Mara, Sebastian Stan, Aksel Hennie  Release: 2015

 

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Watch Trailers and Clips (click here)

 

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Martian6

 

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Logo

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                     Ben Carson, Republican U.S. 2016 presidential candidate, speaks during The Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, U.S., on Saturday, July 18, 2015. The sponsor, The Family Leader, is a "pro-family, pro-marriage, pro-life organization which champions the principle that God is the ultimate leader of the family." Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg *** Local Caption *** Ben Carson     THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0196 -- Pictured: Journalist Brian Williams on January 16, 2015 -- (Photo by: Douglas Gorenstein/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank)

 

new

 

Wow. Maybe we should stop picking on these guys and start treating them like the true American heroes that they are. Right?

 

*****

 

Tarantino

 

Looking Good on TV:

Quentin Tarantino on MSNBC. I’m not a big fan of Tarantino’s movies. He annoys me on talk shows.  I think his films, although well-crafted, usually have dumb subject matter. But after watching him refuse to back down in the face of public pressure, primarily from police unions, I have more respect for him.

 

**

 

Will

 

Looking Bad on TV:

George Will on Fox News. “You’re a hack!” screamed Bill O’Reilly, angry about a column Will wrote that criticized O’Reilly’s book about Ronald Reagan. Will meekly took the verbal beatdown, looking like a little boy caught pissing in a cookie jar.

 

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by Andy Weir

Martian

 

What on Earth is there not to like about this book? It’s a first-time novel from an obscure software programmer who initially gave the thing away as a free e-book, and which is now a bestseller and the basis of a blockbuster movie starring Matt Damon. So kudos to Andy Weir, who transferred his love of all things NASA and Dr. Who into a rip-roaring adventure about an astronaut stranded on Mars.

Did I mention that I loved this book? There are two reasons for that: 1) Our hero, botanist/astronaut Mark Watney, is an engaging smart-ass whose predicament is both harrowing and entertaining; 2) The Martian is what they call a “hard science” novel, in that the events are (mostly) based on real science no little green men or flying saucers in this story. I confess that at times the extensive math and/or chemistry made my eyes glaze over, but more often Watney’s constant mechanical tinkering was both fascinating and (dare I say it?) educational. His predicament might have been dire, but as a reader, it was great fun to be stuck on the Red Planet with him.

Nitpicks: Apparently, the type of Martian sandstorm that precipitates Watney’s abandonment by fellow astronauts is pure fiction. Also, it’s a stretch to believe that Earthlings would so easily part with millions (billions?) of taxpayer dollars, not to mention risk the lives of five other astronauts, to rescue just one man – not even Matt Damon.

 

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