Monthly Archives: December 2018

by Charles Krauthammer

 

I used to watch Charles Krauthammer spar with Bill O’Reilly on Fox News and be reminded of Dr. Strangelove, the wheelchair-bound, hawkish lunatic from Stanley Kubrick’s movie. I thought of Krauthammer as a conservative villain. Problem is, that’s about as much as I thought of the psychiatrist turned political pundit; I certainly didn’t listen to what he had to say. That was my mistake.

I still don’t agree with everything he has to say in Things That Matter, a collection of his essays from the 1980s until 2014. But I respect his opinions, whether about domestic policy, international issues or, well, his love of chess. Krauthammer’s essays are sprinkled with wit and, yes, wisdom. The man did his homework.

As might be expected from a conservative columnist, there is much criticism of Obama in the book. My guess is that, were this book more current (Krauthammer died in June), he would also deploy his rapier wit against our current president.

I wish he was still around to appear on cable news. If nothing else, his calm demeanor would be a welcome respite from all of the shrieking hysterics.

 

© 2010-2018 grouchyeditor.com (text only)

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Twitter Twaddle

 

 

Third Grade Revisited, Part 1:

 

 

Third Grade Revisited, Part 2:

 

 

Van Dinkle admits he has no idea who Poliquin is, but no matter. Trolling Stephen King is too much fun.

 

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Heather Nauert Storms the UN

 

 

The Bad News:

Looks like the mean girls from high school are taking over the world.

 

The Good News:

They do look good in a miniskirt.

 

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This is not from the National Enquirer main page. This is from the Fox News main page:

 

 

 

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I guess we shouldn’t be surprised by this. When everything else in the world has gone bonkers, why not war between Canada and China?

 

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I’ve always felt that the most underutilized weapon in the horror-filmmaker’s arsenal is the soundtrack. By that I do not mean the startling din that accompanies “jump scares” in too many fright flicks. In the typical horror movie, ample care is devoted to atmospheric visuals and special effects. But the soundtrack is usually relegated to secondary status.

When filmmakers do give sound its due, the results can be chilling: the ticking clock and howling wind in Black Christmas, the pitter-patter of alien footsteps on a ceiling in Signs.

So kudos to director John Krasinski and company for understanding the value of sound – or in this movie, the lack of it – to building suspense.

Krasinski co-stars with real-life wife Emily Blunt as the parents in a family of five struggling to survive an alien invasion. The aliens are blind, but they have super-sensitive hearing. The scattered humans who still exist do so only because they’ve mastered the art of absolute silence. This is no easy feat when there are young kids in the family, and when every snapped twig can mean instant annihilation.

 

 

Early on we learn that mom is pregnant. This instills a sense of foreboding because at some point there will be a baby. When every stifled sneeze is a potential death sentence, what will happen when the infant begins to cry?

A Quiet Place gets a high grade because it has several prolonged, agonizingly tense scenes, and that’s a special thing. My grade would be higher but the script is marred by inconsistencies. Sometimes the monsters come at the drop of a pin. Other times a loud bang doesn’t seem to interest them.  Also, once a family member discovers an effective alien repellent, why not use it more often?     Grade: B+

 

 

Director:  John Krasinski  Cast:  Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe, Cade Woodward, Leon Russom  Release:  2018

 

 

Watch the Trailer:

 

© 2010-2018 grouchyeditor.com (text only)

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by Jefferson Farjeon

 

A gathering of upper-crust Brits and their servants fall under suspicion when foul play interrupts a weekend retreat. This 1936 whodunit is pretty much what you’d expect, if what you expect is an English country-house murder mystery with Agatha Christie DNA in its bones. Farjeon is no Dame Agatha, but a few of his characters – in particular an acerbic journalist named Bultin – are amusing.

 

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Dirty Old Men!

 

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If I was the parent of a six-year-old boy, no way I’d let him anywhere near a Catholic priest.

 

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There is one segment of the population that is no doubt relieved at the passing of George Bush: the derrieres of every comely young female in his orbit, which will now go unmolested.

 

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It must be hard on liberal swamp networks like CNN and MSNBC whenever a conservative swamp politician dies and the networks are then forced, for 24 hours or so, to say nice things about the guy.

 

Of course, Fox News will have the same problem when Jimmy Carter finally kicks the bucket.

 

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It would be easier to take Sean Hannity seriously if he would stop, literally, butchering the English language.

 

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