Monthly Archives: March 2014

Paltrow3

 

Gwyneth Paltrow consciously uncoupled and then came unhinged, whining about the rigors of movie-star life.  Gwyneth, shown hard at work above, is an ass.  Good-looking ass, but an ass.

 

*****

 

I used to really dig the following shows, but lately … not so much:

American Horror Story.  What went wrong:  For its third season, creator Ryan Murphy decided to appeal more to teenage girls.  I am not a teenage girl – usually.

 

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The Walking Dead.  What went wrong:  The walking dead resemble drunken octogenarians, and drunken octogenarians do not frighten.  But the zombies are veritable Mensa members compared to the dullard humans on this show, who engage in boring, earnest heart-to-hearts and then make stupid decisions.

The Americans.  What went wrong:  I’m not sure.  I simply lost interest, although I might perk up if they resume featuring the fetching Annet Mahendru in nude scenes.    

 

Sherlock2

 

SherlockWhat went wrong:  I suspect that the writers began to believe their own good press and, rather than concentrate on great scripts, decided that Cumberbatch Fever could carry the day.  It cant.

 

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I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!  What went wrong:  Apparently the show went off the air in 2009.  No wonder I lost interest. 

 
Celeb2             Celeb3

 

*****

 

Quotes of the Week:

 
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I’m round, tired, grouchy, smelly and horny!” – Kendra Wilkinson (above) in her People magazine blog.  I had no idea we have so much in common.

 
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“You compared the reliance on these black boxes to using a VCR in the age of Netflix and streaming video.” – Wolf Blitzer discussing airplane “black boxes.”  Not a great analogy, Wolf.  I am forever enduring buffering issues with Netflix streaming video, a problem I never had with my good old VCR.

 

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by Louise Erdrich

Erdrich


Erdrich wins awards and is a critics’ darling, and there are aspects of her writing that I admire, but to me a lot of the prose in Round House – especially character motivations and behavior – does not ring true.

The protagonist is a 13-year-old Native American whose mother is raped, and so Erdrich is compelled to enter the boy’s head, but the result often reads like a middle-aged woman’s skewed idea of what teen boys think and do.  I also didn’t buy her characterization of some of the adults:  Episodes with a foul-mouthed, hunky Catholic priest are meant to be humorous but are just flat-out bizarre.  On the plus side, the climactic scenes are powerful, and the depiction of life on a North Dakota reservation is colorful.

Some critics predict that this book will be thought of as an American-Indian To Kill a Mockingbird.  I suppose this is because the story is told from a child’s point of view, the boy’s father is an Atticus Finch-like judge, and the plot includes rape, racial tensions, and social injustice.  But To Kill a Mockingbird?  Perhaps in theme, but certainly not in execution.

 

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Bums1

 

Beach Bums!

 

   Bums2

 

Like everyone else in America, I eagerly tuned in for the season premiere of Naked and Afraid.  But I get confused by this show.  

 

Bums3

 

At times, survivalist poopers are on full display (above).  At other times, editors blur out survivalist poopers (below).  Is there a pooper-display quota at Discovery Channel?  Someone must get to the bottoms of this.

 

Bums4

 

 

 

Bums5

 

Speaking of poopers, I’ve been concerned for the cameramen on CBS’ Survivor, keeping my fingers crossed that the boys would find an appropriate pooper on which to focus this season.  For awhile, it seemed that the guys were ogling Lindsey Ogle (top of the page and the pooper above right), but I believe that they have instead opted for survivor Alexis Maxwell, whose pooper is presented below.

 

Bums6             Bums7

 

 

*****

 

Green Acres Estate

 

Poor Anthony.  You know you’re getting up in years when they make a biblical movie and cast you as Methuselah.

 

 

*****

 

Quotes of the Week:

 

“Vikings … is a visual feast of sweaty women with the physiques of Playboy Playmates.  The scene of Princess Aslaug slowly undressing and lowering herself into the tub was a gift to us all.” – Entertainment Weekly

Just kidding.  Here is what Entertainment Weekly actually wrote:

“Vikings … is a visual feast of sweaty men with the physiques of CrossFit coaches.  The scene of Ragnar slowly undressing and lowering himself into the tub was a gift to us all.”

And so EW continues its crusade to eradicate one gender’s sexism in favor of … well, another gender’s sexism.  Thank goodness that we here at the Weekly Review never engage in that sort of behavior.

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“If this is true, this is a moment of understanding of nature of such a magnitude that it just overwhelms.” – Stanford University professor Andrei Linde discussing something about something.  Whenever scientists claim that a new discovery will overwhelm us, you can be sure that the public reaction will be … underwhelming.

 

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Bosch4

 

Other than some missing airplane near the Indian Ocean, there was no actual news this week.  Therefore, we dedicate the week’s review to the art of Hieronymus Bosch.

 

Bosch3

 

*****

 

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Miley Cyrus keeps getting relegated to the outer edge of Entertainment Gaily’s “Bullseye,” a graphic page that rates one’s cultural relevance/irrelevance/glory/disgrace by placing you either near the bullseye (good) or far away (bad).  If you are a sexy female who appeals to heterosexual males, like poor Miley, you spend many weeks on the outer edge.

 

Miley4                Miley5

 

 

*****

 

Not

 

Hot or Not

 

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Art2

 

OK, it’s a “coffee-table book,” but it’s one lavishly illustrated coffee-table book.  Art doesn’t go into much detail about individual painters or paintings – actually, it doesn’t go into much detail about anything – but as a guide to finding what you like so that you can find more of what you like, it’s a precious resource.   Now, about that title … judging from the book’s content, the only “art that changed the world,” at least until recent years, was art produced in Europe.  Oh, really?

 

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Bieber3
 

This headline is just nuts.

 

*****

 

Bonehead Quotes of the Week:


“Our next guest says Putin could care less about violating international law.” – CNN’s Brianna Keilar.  “Could care less”?  Just shoot me now, please. 

 

“Now they admit, Jon, they could be wrong about all of this.” – Fox’s John Roberts discussing the “experts” who link cancer to eating too much protein.

 

Pretty much everything that comes out of the mouth of Fox anchor Gretchen Carlson.  I wish this bubblebrain would stop reminding viewers that she’s from Minnesota, because it’s a source of shame and embarrassment for those of us who still live there.


“Oprah is disgusting.”Red Eye’s Andy Levy, speaking truth about Her Obesity and therefore not belonging on this list of boneheaded quotes.

 

*****

 

Zero

 

Speaking of Minnesota, we have had 50 days with subzero temperatures this winter. It will be a cold day in hell before you catch me watching this Nat Geo series.

 

***** 

 

Monitoring Twitter feeds during the Oscars would have been beyond depressing, were it not for the amusing banter of these two knuckleheads:

 

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Oh, and Rose McGowan was also entertaining:

 
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*****

 

The Huffington Post is still seeking a good proofreader:

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An hour later:

 

Martha4

 

*****

 

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Apparently, renowned practical joker Vladimir Putin once tested dog-phobic Angela Merkel’s self-control by producing a black Labrador during a meeting with the German chancellor.  I would suggest that the next time they meet, Merkel test Putin’s self-control by producing a bunch of shirtless little boys.

 

Putin2006

 

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                                       Excision

Excise1   Excise2

 

It might test your tolerance for gross-out visuals, and I thought the ending was lame, but the witty horror-comedy Excision is also an amusing battle of wills between teenage social outcast Pauline (AnnaLynne McCord) and her mother, the uber-controlling Phyllis (Traci Lords).  Marlee Matlin, Ray Wise, Malcolm McDowell and John Waters lend support.  Release:  2012  Grade:  B

 
*****

 

Page One

        Page2  Page3

 

A real treat for journalism junkies, but as a documentary about the New York Times, Page One crams an awful lot of material into a 90-minute slot.  We get: 1) the demise of print media, 2) the rise of new media, 3) highlights of the Times’s illustrious past, and 4) a mini-biography of colorful media reporter David Carr.  But if you are a journalism junkie, it’s all newsworthy stuff.  Release:  2011   Grade:  B+

 

*****

 
                                   A Hijacking

Hijack1   Hijack2

 

As I watched A Hijacking, a Danish thriller about Somali pirates who confiscate a cargo ship and its crew, I kept thinking, “That’s believable … yeah, I buy that.”  The hostage-taking and subsequent ransom negotiations with the head of the company that owns the ship were super-realistic – but that’s a problem for the movie:  Watching stone-faced businessmen conduct hostage talks as if they are mulling stock options does not make for gripping drama.  Release:  2012   Grade:  B-

 

*****

 

Nude Nuns with Big Guns

Nuns2  Nuns1

 

Sometimes movies like this can be campy good fun.  Other times, you should just read the title and run.  Nude Nuns with Big Guns – you decide.  As for me, I am obviously spending too much time on Netflix.   Release:  2010  Grade:  D

 

*****

 

                               Inequality for All

Inequal2   Inequal1

 

Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, all 4 feet 10 inches of him, makes the case that there is indeed class warfare in the United States, but it’s being waged on the middle class, not by it.  Skyrocketing income inequality is territory already covered in other films like 2012’s Park Avenue, but if you’re new to the issue, Reich is an engaging messenger – even if the message he bears is maddening.  Release:  2013  Grade:  B+

 

*****

 

                        The Wolf of Wall Street

Wolf5   Wolf6

 

Watching the misbehaving clods in The Wolf of Wall Street is a bit like being the only sober person surrounded by drunks at a bar:  Everyone but you is having a good time.  Martin Scorsese’s biography of con artist Jordan Belfort is voyeuristically entertaining, in a Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous kind of way, but it’s also too long and the lesson – crime doesn’t pay – isn’t exactly big news.  Less than an hour into this sex-and-drug-fueled marathon, I pretty much wanted everyone on screen to go to prison.  There is, however, one great scene in which Leonardo DiCaprio learns what happens when you ignore the instructions on a bottle of pills.  Release:  2013  Grade:  B-

 

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Smoke4

 

With anemic ratings, I suppose MSNBC can’t be blamed for diversifying its programming, but this new sitcom about three liberals trying to kick smoking habits in London seems in bad taste.

 

Fags2

 

*****

 

Mask

Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat - Game Two               James1

 

If I was that ugly, I’d wear a mask in public, too.

 

*****

 

RedRoad

 

The Red RoadJason Momoa (above) exudes charismatic menace; he’s an Arnold Schwarzenegger who can act.  But despite Momoa’s hulking presence and an atmosphere dripping with sweat and crickets, I’m thinking something more needs to actually happen on this show. 

 

*****

 

The smartest folks I know in just about every academic or policy field, don’t tweet, blog, or actively appear in the media.” – Micah Zenko of the Council on Foreign Relations

For those of us who regularly watch the blithering idiots on CNN, Fox, and MSNBC, this is the most heartening news of the week.  Thank God that America’s brightest minds are not the nattering nabobs of cable news.

 

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