Monthly Archives: February 2024


According to Google’s A.I. feature, this is the father of our country:



There’s nothing “woke” about the world’s largest search engine, is there?

Can’t wait to see how Google handles our upcoming presidential election.





I keep harping on this subject, but to little avail.

To the average voter, the “economy” has nothing to do with job reports, or projections, or Wall Street. The economy has everything to do with skyrocketing costs for gas and groceries that cut into their disposable income. We’re talking about thousands of dollars, annually, for a middle-class family.

But to rich liberals like Bill Maher, inflation is nothing more than the cost of a Mars bar going up twenty-five cents.





I had to read the above Daily Mail headline three times before I got an inkling of what it was trying to say.





Whenever I begin to despair about the wokeness takeover in America, I remember that things could be worse. I could live in England (or Canada).




An Example of Fine Investigative Reporting:



There is a debate about whether the derriere on display in a scene from the slasher flick Thanksgiving belongs to actress Shailyn Griffin (above). We’re trying to get to, uh, the bottom of it.

AZ Nude seems to believe the butt belongs to a body double:





Mr. Skin also suspects the rear end does not belong to Ms. Griffin:



But on Reddit, there is a raging debate:



In pursuit of journalistic truth, we have examined the scene in question. Below is a video clip. If you watch it carefully, there is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it profile shot of the actress at the eight-second mark. Is that Ms. Griffin’s face?



Because we are so intrepid, we sent a query to Ms. Griffin on her Instagram page:



That was a week ago. We haven’t heard back.

We are not holding our collective breath for a reply.


© 2010-2024 (text only)



Movie Thoughts


I sat down to view Ghostwatch, Britain’s 1992 answer to The War of the Worlds, Orson Welles’s infamous 1938 radio prank on the American public.

The premise of Ghostwatch is clever. Using real talent from BBC’s presenter pool, the 90-minute production purports to be a live Halloween special documenting a poltergeist event in a West London household.

The coverage ping-pongs from man-on-the-street “interviews,” to sit-downs with supposed experts on the paranormal, to creepy incidents in the allegedly haunted house.

What the BBC did not anticipate:  Thousands of alarmed viewers inundated the station with phone calls, most of the callers taken in by the elaborate hoax. It was a repeat of the hysteria Welles created in 1938.


After I watched this controversial movie, I checked out Chris Stuckmann’s review of it, then read his comments section.

What’s interesting is the defensiveness expressed by many commenters. They begin with the caveat, “What you have to understand is –” or “The reason this show was so –.”



I think the commenters, many of whom were children when first exposed to the prank show, are defensive because at some level they realize that as a TV movie, Ghostwatch simply doesn’t hold up.

My 2024 perspective: Although the production is interesting as a sort of time-capsule, it hasn’t aged well as a drama. Too many incidents stretch credibility. The “news coverage” comes off as fake. “Pipes,” the ghost at the center of the story, isn’t particularly scary.


After its initial showing, BBC declined to air Ghostwatch again. Ever. Too controversial, I guess. For years it was difficult to find the movie.

No more. If you want to form your own opinion, you can now rent it or purchase it on Amazon.





I suppose that if I were inclined to do the research, I could find out how Rotten Tomatoes defines its “rotten” and “fresh” ratings. I am not inclined to do that.

But doesn’t it seem odd that a grade of D-minus warrants a “fresh” rating?





Wonder woman Taylor Swift keeps hooking up with losers like man-child Travis Kelce (above).

Isn’t it high time that Swift wrote fewer songs about these guys, and more songs about her personal failings? She is clearly doing something wrong.


© 2010-2024 (text only)


by Louise Penny


The Plot: 

Someone using a bow and arrow kills a beloved old lady in the woods. Was it an accident, or is someone in an arts-loving Canadian village responsible?


What I Liked:

Clues to the killer — and other village secrets — are hidden in a unique setting: the victim’s living-room walls. The walls are adorned with a giant mural depicting the residents of tiny Three Pines. Did the dead woman leave a clue to the identity of her eventual killer in her mural?

That’s a fun idea that I haven’t really seen done before. The detectives, the villagers, and readers alike are invited to ponder this maze-like puzzle.


What I Didn’t Care For:

The main characters are a collection of middle-class liberals who believe that, deep down, they are undiscovered great artists. They seem oblivious to the fact that history’s great artists were not often middle-class liberals.

Penny wants us to view lead detective Armand Gamache as an enigmatic, wise man of few words. I saw him as bland and forgettable. (Gamache is much like another low-key detective who leaves me cold, P.D. James’s Adam Dalgliesh.)

I prefer my protagonists to have a bit more color, a la Hercule Poirot or Sherlock Holmes.


© 2010-2024 (text only)



If it were up to me, Kansas City and San Francisco would both lose in the Super Bowl.

Alas, it is not up to me.

What tips the scale for me, in favor of San Francisco, is the nonstop hullaballoo over those two boneheaded lovebirds, Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce.

I cannot stomach more media coverage of them. San Francisco must win.





Speaking of stomach issues … lots of Internet jokes about Wolf Blitzer apparently stifling an upchuck while listening to a politician.

To be fair, there have been times when I struggled not to upchuck while listening to Wolf Blitzer.





Democrats are finally acknowledging what’s been obvious to anyone with a television set: Biden’s a doddering, senile coot.

The question is, do they consider this bad news? Or is it a good excuse to give Biden the boot and replace him with some other presidential contender?




Biggest red flag of the past few years for anyone who votes Republican:


This fist-bump between Lindsey Graham and Kamala Harris.



It was a clear sign that Republicans don’t care about their voters. They are sharing a cushy bed of power with their real friends, the Democrats.


© 2010-2024 (text only)



The Invisible Man


This is what you don’t need when casting the titular character in The Invisible Man — Cary Grant or Clark Gable. Movie-star looks, it should be apparent, are irrelevant when you can’t be seen.

This is what you do need — A Voice.

Director James Whale hit the jackpot when he cast Claude Rains as doomed chemist Jack Griffin in this 1933 classic. Rains, whom we don’t actually see until the last scene of the film, had The Voice.

In normal-guy mode, Rains’s delivery is sonorous, commanding, and oh-so-British. But when poor Jack literally loses his looks, and then his mind … talk about putting the “mad” in mad scientist.

I still wake up in the middle of the night hearing his gleeful, piercing cackles.

OK, so the special effects are what you might expect from a 90-year-old movie (crude — but amusing). But overall, The Invisible Man has a winning combination: Rains’s incomparable voice acting and Whale, the king of campy horror, delivering fast-paced, entertaining set pieces.

Release: 1933  Grade: A-


Would I watch it again? Happily.


Whale, left, on the set of “The Invisible Man”






Eli Roth has been accused of making mean-spirited, unpleasant, misogynistic movies. I’m talking about films like Hostel, or The Green Inferno. That might or might not explain why Roth pivots toward more mainstream with his latest directorial effort, Thanksgiving.

Love or hate Roth’s previous films, they were at least interesting. Thanksgiving, on the other hand, is just another teen slasher flick. A masked killer picks off vapid kids, one by one. Gory kills abound. Sound familiar?  Yeah, too familiar. Release: 2023 Grade: C


Would I watch it again? No.




Evil Dead Rise


What I liked:

Actress Alyssa Sutherland has the perfect face to play a mother who is possessed by a demon. That face was not lost on the film’s marketing team; it’s what we see in most of the posters (see above). Sutherland has an excellent evil grin.

I liked the setting. The filmmakers ditch the obligatory cabin in the woods for a creepy, decrepit high-rise apartment building. Reminded me a bit of the old building in Rec.

What I disliked:

There is one movie trope that irritates me more than the “it was only a dream” cliché, and that is the monster who refuses to die. There is little suspense to be had when you can predict, with 99 percent certainty, that the “killed” demon is only resting.

Gore and a deafening soundtrack are no substitutes for genuine suspense — even in a horror movie.

I enjoy the Evil Dead franchise, movies and the TV series. But most of them have one element that is lacking in Evil Dead Rise: humor. Release: 2023 Grade: B-


Would I watch it again? Probably not.


© 2010-2024 (text only)



Administration from Hell


War in the Middle East, invasion at our southern border, stratospheric inflation, and endless culture wars.

I can’t decide if Biden and pals are escalating all these nightmares to advance their “great reset,” or to ensure that there are so many monumental crises that future President Trump — or any future president — will never be able to fix them all.





Yeah, the actress pictured above misses the point of criticism of the latest season of Fargo — whether deliberately or through her ignorance, I couldn’t say.

No one is objecting to Fargo’s “strong, independent woman,” in this case the heroine portrayed by Juno Temple. The objections to this season are twofold: Temple’s character isn’t so much strong and independent as she is physically absurd. Small and frail, she routinely bests young, healthy males in physical confrontations. She isn’t human; she is a superhero.

But worse is the depiction of males in the show. Jon Hamm’s villain is so ridiculously heinous that he might as well have a mustache to twirl after his every despicable act. And then there is the heroine’s husband, who is whiny and more helpless than a two-year-old.

And so, we are presented with a god-like woman and utterly worthless males. It’s virtue signaling and political correctness run amok. I stopped watching after the fourth episode, which is a shame because I used to like this show.





Rewriting History


I watched this video and realized there is an attempt to rehabilitate the reputation of Christopher Columbus.

I saw the thumbnail below and realized someone is trying to find something good to say about Richard Nixon.



Could Benedict Arnold be next on the rehab list?



© 2010-2024 (text only)