The Mansion

grouchyeditor.com Mansion

 

I have a real weakness for horror movies in which a group of people are trapped at some isolated location and then snuffed out, one by one. This kind of film can have amateurish acting, sloppy cinematography, and a plot as tired as grandma’s bunions, and I’ll likely still watch it. The Mansion, a mix of (mostly) comedy and horror from France, is no And Then There Were None, but if you share my weakness for this genre you’ll enjoy the creepy old house and the systematic offing of numerous knuckleheads — one by one. Release: 2017 Grade: C+

 

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Reporters!

 

 

“What an asshole!”

 

– Fox’s Dana Perino on live TV, decrying some knucklehead who brought an alligator into a convenience store.

 

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“We reached out to [CBS honcho Leslie] Moonves and CBS for comment, but did not hear back.”

 

 – CBS reporter Anna Werner, essentially saying: “I reached out to myself for comment, but did not hear back.”

 

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“They aren’t being nice to me, and I don’t like it!”

 

– CNN’s Jim Acosta whining about anti-CNN, pro-Trump crowds.

OK, he didn’t really say that — we think.

 

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Seems to Me …

 

 

Seems to me the best part of the Trump-Cohen secret tape recording is the fact that National Enquirer publisher David Pecker is referenced, and so media outlets are once again free to say or write “Pecker.”

If you are not sure who David Pecker is, Google his name. Go ahead, you know you want to.

 

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Lots of happy faces on Fox News about the economic-growth report.

But my wallet hasn’t gotten any bigger.

Seems to me that TV pundits ought to contain their glee until someone other than fat cats gets a fatter wallet.

 

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Russian “collision”? Seems to me if you’re constantly battling “dumb blonde” accusations, you ought to proofread your Tweets.

 

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“She is young.” – Marie Harf excusing media darling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (above right) embarrassing stumble over a question about Israel.

 

OK. Well.

 

If you’re going to excuse Ocasio-Cortez for her “youth and inexperience,” I think you’ve got to pardon Trump for his “senior moment” in Helsinki.

 

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Movies these days suck.

We forget that in Hollywood’s golden age, 1971-72, audiences were treated to gems like these:

 

 

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Baby blimps and bald spots: politics!

 

 

 

“Well, we’re a real network, too”

– CNN’s Jim Acosta, above, whining about Donald Trump at a British press conference and proving that Acosta, too, should have a giant baby balloon.

 

 

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Does Peter Strzok’s bald spot have a Twitter page? I think it should.

 

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If I didn’t know better, I’d suspect that the girls on Big Brother actually want us to see their titties.

Below, houseguest Kaitlyn Herman displays her modesty:

 

 

 

Below, houseguest Haleigh Broucher plays peek-a-boob with the CBS camera.

 

 

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I keep seeing commercials for an intriguing new series on FX called Snowfall.

Just one problem: It’s not an intriguing new series on FX. It’s in its second year.

There are just too damn many shows on TV. Who can keep up?

 

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Hmmm … why does that plot sound so familiar?

 

 

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Quote of the Week:

 

“Every single time, he has fought like a rock for conservative legal principles.” — Justin Walker, former Kennedy clerk, commenting on one of Donald Trump’s Supreme Court candidates.

Since when did rocks become known for their fighting prowess?

 

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The hamsters on Big Brother can’t seem to keep their clothes on.

Here is fitness model Angela Rummans demonstrating ladylike poses while sunbathing (top video), and how to full-frontally flash an audience without seeming to do so (bottom video):

 

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And finally, with a nod to the late, great Groucho Marx:

 

 

 

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Calibre

 

Two buddies go on a hunting expedition in the Scottish Highlands and experience the worst nightmare since Ned Beatty was forced to squeal like a pig in Deliverance.

Calibre isn’t in the same league as Deliverance, but it does deliver a palpable sense of pending disaster and, if you’re a city kid, it will lend credibility to your worst (albeit stereotypical) fears about backward country folk. Release: 2018 Grade: B+

 

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It

 

I wanted to like this movie, really I did. I enjoyed Stephen King’s novel years ago, and lord knows It was popular at the box office. But oh, man, where to begin? What we have here is 135 minutes of horror-movie rehash, with every predictable trope and cliché imaginable, about a group of pre-teens battling evil in small-town Derry, Maine. The kids’ parents are themselves either evil or missing in action, and the film’s so-called “horror” is simply a series of jump-scares, loud noises, and shopworn special effects.

You might ask if there was anything I did like about It. Sure: It has a nice look, and Bill Skarsgard’s creepy clown in the opening scene was pretty cool. Release: 2017 Grade: C-

 

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mother!

grouchyeditor.com mother!

 

All poor Jennifer Lawrence wants in this movie is a little peace and quiet for herself and poet-husband Javier Bardem. Good luck with that. I guess you should never invite strangers into your house.

I’m not sure why mother! is so polarizing. I suspect it might be because it’s a bit of a bait-and-switch. What begins as a slow-burn psychological thriller in the vein of Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby, or perhaps his Repulsion, takes a hard turn at the midpoint to an over-the-top religious allegory, and you know how people feel about religion. And babies. But I liked the film because, a) it’s very well-made, and b) it’s thought-provoking. And in this age of endless superhero and comic-book movies, that’s worth celebrating. Release: 2017 Grade: B+

 

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Uncivil Wars

 

 

Silly old man. He’s 72. Probably didn’t realize the Twitter mob would be out for his scalp.

 

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Big Brother is back, but CBS missed out on an opportunity for ratings gold. It should have stocked the house with half Trump supporters, half Trump haters.

Of course, had the network done that, someone would no doubt burn down the house.

 

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The “Old Man” of Pawn Stars fame died. I don’t watch that show anymore; not because I don’t like it, but because I burned out on it.

When I first discovered Pawn Stars, I couldn’t get enough, and I binge-watched episodes for weeks. Same thing with other “reality” shows like recently deceased Anthony Bourdain’s series.

I still like the stars and their shows but, at a certain point, I realized I’d seen enough.

 

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My upstairs neighbor has been blaring music today, loud enough to make my framed Frazetta (look it up) shimmy on the wall. But that’s OK.

If there is one time of day it should be socially acceptable to play deafening music, it’s Saturday afternoons.

 

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I stopped watching late-night talk shows when the hosts stopped making jokes in favor of childish temper tantrums. But James Corden’s 23-minute “carpool karaoke” with Paul McCartney was irresistible. Click here to watch.

 

 

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How to take down your political opponent:

 

Mike Huckabee gave a textbook example of how to insult a political opponent when he went after liberal pundit Donny Deutsch on Saturday.

First, you make it clear to viewers that you’re not even sure who your opponent is. You do this by mispronouncing his name.

Second, you mispronounce it like this:

 

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November 13: Attack on Paris is basically nothing more than a series of interviews with survivors of the 2015 terrorism massacre. But it proves that if you want to truly horrify an audience, sometimes all you have to do is place a camera on people and let them talk.

 

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Not sure what Rip was referring to, but if “when pigs fly” gets the attention of a Playboy model, you have to go with it.

 

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I guess I’m not much of a journalist. The major news story pictured above occurred just 15 miles from where I sat at work on Tuesday, yet I didn’t know about it until the following day.

 

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If they had channels like Science and shows like What on Earth? when I was a kid, I believe I might have pursued a career in science. Well … probably not.

These science shows affect me like the myriad true-crime shows on basic cable: I never deliberately seek them out, but once I land on one of them, I’m hooked.

 

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In the classic movie Laura, a detective played by Dana Andrews grows obsessed with the portrait of a woman he believes is dead.

Is it OK if I grow obsessed with the buttocks of an actress from 40 years ago?

Sadly, although this actress might still be living, I’m guessing her ass no longer looks quite this spectacular:

 

 

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“Do we know if there are still people who are Scotch-taping together the president’s torn-up documents?” – Rachel Maddow grilling a Politico reporter about the latest Donald Trump scandal.

 

I used to think Maddow was one of our top TV journalists, but it looks as if Trump Derangement Syndrome has claimed her.

 

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Question That Refuses To Go Away:

 

“Will this be the year that the United States finally embraces soccer?”

 

Answer That Never Changes:

 

“No.”

 

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A proposal for media writers: If you agree to stop using the term “toxic masculinity,” I’ll agree to stop using the word “feminazi.”

 

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This business of the U.S. government forcibly separating parents from their children is awful.

One can only imagine how psychologically damaged Paul Manafort’s daughters must be, seeing their father get locked up.

 

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Assuming Trump is as devious as some of his detractors believe, I wouldn’t be surprised if he secretly hired celebrity nutcases like Robert De Niro and Samantha Bee to ensure his re-election in 2020.

 

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