Monthly Archives: May 2018

Cargo

 

The last scene of Cargo is either a moving example of creative inspiration – or the most embarrassing thing an actor’s done since Nicolas Cage wore a bear suit in The Wicker Man. You be the judge.

Cargo, in which dad Martin Freeman strives to save his infant daughter in a zombie-infested world, starts well, and then there’s that wild ending, but everything in between is just standard zombie-movie fare. Release: 2017 Grade: C

 

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Norman

 

Norman is a fun, gentle, entertaining movie that bucks the superhero/comic book/special effects trend – and that might explain why you probably haven’t heard of it. Richard Gere is amusing as an elderly Jewish con man who somehow becomes “friends” with the prime minister of Israel, leading to global scandal for them and fond memories of similar fare like Being There for viewers. Release: 2016 Grade: B

 

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Damn you, Netflix, you’re doing what Blockbuster used to do. You’re changing the cover art on titles so that unsuspecting rubes (like me) watch a movie, forget its title and then, months later — and because the cover art is new — wind up watching the same damn movie. Or at least the first ten minutes of the same damn movie before recall kicks in.

New Black Mirror cover art above. Old Black Mirror cover art below:

 

 

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The Handmaid’s Tale — have you heard about The Handmaid’s Tale? If you surf the Internet, of course you’ve heard about The Handmaid’s Tale.

Hulu is showing The Handmaid’s Tale. The Handmaid’s Tale gets nominated for awards and gets lots of praise from critics.

But has anyone actually seen The Handmaid’s Tale?

 

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The good news: TBS might be forced to finally run something other than The Shawshank Redemption.

 

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This news that Tomi Lahren participated in a wet t-shirt contest annoys me. I live just minutes from the Minneapolis restaurant where she got doused with water, so I certainly would have been there if I’d known she was going to compete.

 

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It turns out that the ladies Down Under were curious about what Rip van Dinkle was hiding down under, so in 2013 he wrote this confessional for Australia’s Women’s Health & Fitness magazine. Click on any page (maybe twice, depending on your browser) for a magnified view.

 

 

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Using the pseudonym “J.D. Hawkens” (long story), Rip van Dinkle penned the following article for Maxim about the inaugural Smallest Penis in Brooklyn pageant in 2013:

 

 

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You have to laugh at these people getting sucked out of airplane windows. And why is that?

Because if it isn’t you getting sucked out of an airplane window, it’s actually pretty comical.

 

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I had a lot more faith in humanity before the invention of Twitter.

I didn’t always feel the way I do now. I used to believe that Twitter was great, because it gave voice to millions of regular people who previously had little or no voice.

But now I’ve heard that voice and … well.

 

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Apparently, some prematurely balding dude in England got married to this fanny on Saturday:

 

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That’s about the extent of my interest in the bride and groom. Unless, of course, the topless-on-the-beach photos (below) are not really fake, as the royals insist, but are indeed real.

 

 

Real or fake — how on Earth are we supposed to know?

 

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When people make fun of Fox News they must be thinking of things like the ridiculous piece of “journalism” on Martha MacCallum’s show Tuesday night, in which Martha discussed – at length – the “angel” some idiot discovered on security footage of his car in a driveway.

 

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Entertainment sites are revisiting 1980s American movies and not liking what they find. Apparently, movies like Revenge of the Nerds and Sixteen Candles are “problematic,” largely because of sexism.

I’m still enjoying Killing Eve, but man …. Just midway through the season, we’ve already witnessed an Asian dude having his balls … something … and another dude get castrated by a female assassin. These cringe-inducers are treated as sort of a running gag on the show.

From the Killing Eve recaps on Vulture:

“When Eve later finds his body, Frank has her dress on … and his dick cut off. (Gross.) The camera then zooms in on two sausages sizzling in a frying pan.”

“A Chinese businessman in Berlin decides to give himself a birthday treat at a BDSM brothel, but his usual nurse is unavailable. The businessman will settle for his usual ‘vigorous scrotal massage’ … and it’s a mercy when the mercenary doesn’t draw out his torture, but gases him relatively quickly. Villanelle can’t wait to get to her climax: watching her victim die.”

I have to wonder who would be laughing if the plot featured female genital mutilation. Just sayin’.

 

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CBS Evening News on Wednesday featured the tongue-twister of the week – “lower lava levels” – courtesy of Carter Evans in Hawaii.

Try saying that three times in a row – real fast.

 

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Trump fans don’t like it when they are accused of wanting to turn the clock back in America. But during Trump’s speech in Indiana, I couldn’t help noticing the kid in the background taking pictures with his camera and flashbulb (above).

They still make cameras with flashbulbs?

Or maybe that isn’t a flashbulb.

Never mind.

 

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Michelle Wolf at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner

 

The problem wasn’t that Wolf skewered Trump and other Republicans, because they’re all fair game. The problem wasn’t that her jokes weren’t funny; some were and some weren’t. No, the problem is that she only attacked one side.

Here are a few targets that escaped Wolf’s attention: Tom Brokaw, Joy Reid, and James Comey, all of whom were in the news and all of whom are eminently target-worthy.

 

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“The Swedish four-piece announced on Instagram that they had recorded two new songs for a project in which members of the band will perform as computer-generated avatars … the band had been digitally scanned and “de-aged” to look like they did in 1979, when they performed their third and final tour.”

 

Probably a good idea to come back as avatars – unless Agnetha’s butt still looks like this:

 

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I watched the first episode of Maigret, starring Mr. Bean himself as the famous French detective, and I wasn’t completely sold. Rowan Atkinson’s Maigret seemed too one-note, and that note was “glum.”

But now I’ve watched more episodes, and now I’m sold. If a British-produced cop show is even halfway decent, I’m the sort of Anglophile who almost always gets hooked.

 

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Cold War is a new romantic comedy with Madeline Walter about a young couple whose relationship is tested — to put it mildly — when a crippling flu bug confines them to close quarters for days on end. We talked to Walter about the movie. We also let Rip van Dinkle ask her a question. Just one question.

 

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GE:  Your movie reminded me of Hollywood “bickering couple” classics like War of the Roses, His Girl Friday, etc. Were you familiar with those movies, and was Cold War a conscious attempt to carry on that tradition?

 

MW:  I believe it was! I have a woefully limited knowledge of classic films, but [co-directors] Stirling and Wilder are both film buffs, and I know they were inspired by many of the classics. When I was preparing for the shoot, Wilder referred me to some movies that had inspired him, and the one that I actually drew from the most was the original Odd Couple with Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. I think that movie is brilliant, and just really beautifully captures the dynamic of two people with intensely different lifestyles and hangups trying to live together (and making it work because they ultimately deeply care about each other). Also, fun fact — in the scene in the movie where Jon notices that Maggie’s labeled their duplicate DVDs, the DVD that he pulls out is His Girl Friday.

 

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GE:  Which comic actresses inspire you?

 

MW:  A bunch! Kathryn Hahn, Issa Rae, Sharon Horgan come to mind — they all make such funny choices that really come out of such grounded, surprising emotional places. I’m also an improviser, and I learned pretty much everything I know about performing at the UCB theatre, so a lot of the women I perform with are really inspiring to me. So much of the time I’m just stealing what they do and trying to make it my own.

 

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GE:  The movie was basically a two-person show (I can see it as a stage play), and you and Michael Blaiklock are in most scenes together. Is that a good working situation for you, or do you prefer a larger cast?

 

MW:  This was my first feature film, so I really loved working with such a small cast. It really allowed me to focus on my character’s relationship to one person, and gave me the time to explore and examine that relationship and make clear choices about its evolution. Also, I have to say, doing a two-person movie with Michael specifically was awesome- everything he did was so present and surprising, and he made it really fun. I highly recommend doing a two-person movie with him if the opportunity comes up!

 

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GE:  I’d say one lesson of Cold War is that yes, you can spend too much time with a significant other. Assuming you were/are in a relationship with another person, what would you say is the ideal amount of time to spend together?

 

MW:  I think it’s nice to spend enough time apart so you both have interesting answers to “how was your day?”

 

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GE:  Between you and Michael, there was quite a bit of puking in the movie. Was that method acting, perhaps residual memories from college days?

 

MW:  I wish … but unfortunately my wildest college experience was a time I stayed up all night organizing a filing cabinet. I am very proud of our puking sounds though — the most fun was doing ADR. Something feels so wrong (yet so right) about standing in a super polished recording studio and gagging into a state-of-the-art microphone.

 

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Editor’s note: Rip van Dinkle was impressed by a scene in Cold War in which nurse Madeline shares screen time with a nude actor and his noodle. We let him ask Madeline one question.

 

 

Rip:  The scene in which you examine the naked patient was hilarious. I was in “The Smallest Penis in Brooklyn” pageant and I know that it can be like pulling teeth trying to find men who are willing to do something like that. Was that an awkward scene for you to film? Did the actor have any qualms about revealing his shortcomings to the world?

 

MW:  You know, it wasn’t as awkward as I thought it would be, because Kenneth [Yoder], who played the patient, is a total pro. And I really just super appreciated that Wilder and Stirling showed full frontal male nudity in the type of movie where female nudity is usually much more common. They really made an effort to flip rom-com tropes in a lot of ways, and that’s what made this movie so exciting to me.

 

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Editor’s note: In the interests of equal time — lest anyone think that the patient with the flaccid penis represents the only skin on display in Cold War — here are some revealing screen shots of Madeline in the film:

 

grouchyeditor.com Madeline Walter

grouchyeditor.com Madeline Walter

grouchyeditor.com Madeline Walter

grouchyeditor.com Madeline Walter

(Click on pictures for a larger, better view.)

 

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