Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Barney Frank: Obama Rejected Bush Administration Concession to Write Down Mortgages | naked capitalism:
"I tried to get them to use the TARP to put some leverage on the banks to do more about mortgages, and Paulson at first resisted that, he just wanted to get the money out. And after he got the first chunk of money out, he would have had to ask for a second chunk, he said, all right, I’ll tell you what, I’ll ask for that second chunk and I’ll use some of that as leverage on mortgages, but I’m not going to do that unless Obama asks for it. This is now December, so we tried to get the Obama people to ask him and they wouldn’t do it."

Let's face it: Obama just does not give a shit about you.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Suddenly (1954)**
Cheap looking melodrama has a hackneyed script and a quite good performance by Sinatra as an assassin for hire.
A Bridge Too Far (1977)**
By the numbers direction hampers what could have been a terrific WWII flick. All star cast turns in fine, restrained performances. Needed about 45 minutes cut.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Lifeguard (1976)****
Terrific character study that resists cliches and sticks to realism. Exceptional, appealing actors, spare, truthful script, nicely restrained direction. Fascinating glimpse at 70's culture.
Spellbound (1945)**
At the time of its release perhaps not, but nowadays a pretty laughable blend of murder mystery and psycho-babble. It has some interesting moments, particularly the goofy Dali designed dream sequence, but not enough of them. I also don't believe there was a frame of film without music in it. Overbearing.
The Self Illusion: An Interview With Bruce Hood |
"LEHRER: If the self is an illusion, then why does it exist? Why do we bother telling a story about ourselves?

"HOOD: For the same reason that our brains create a highly abstracted version of the world around us. It is bad enough that our brain is metabolically hogging most of our energy requirements, but it does this to reduce the workload to act. That’s the original reason why the brain evolved in the first place – to plan and control movements and keep track of the environment. It’s why living creatures that do not act or navigate around their environments do not have brains. So the brain generates maps and models on which to base current and future behaviors. Now the value of a map or a model is the extent to which it provides the most relevant useful information without overburdening you with too much detail."

Monday, May 21, 2012

Dark Shadows (2012)**
Tim Burton lite. VERY lite. Actually quite shocking that such a script was actually produced and he put his name on it. 2 stars for Michelle Pfeiffer and Helena Bonham Carter, the only reasons to see this.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tom Brokaw Doubles Down On WHCD: 'If You Go, It'll Steal Your Soul' (HUFFPO):
"'I do feel strongly that it's gone way too far,' he said. He added that the dinner, which has drawn more and more Hollywood celebrities ever year, gives off a 'let them eat cake' air to the rest of the country, and seemed to say that 'we're more interested in celebrities than we are in the concerns of real folks who are out there.'"

Oh please. Saint Tom is in a tizzy because there are too many celebrities spoiling his little soiree with politicos. Yeah I guess that could be an issue. But Tom fails to realize that the REAL problem with the WHCD is the schmoozing and inter-mingling of the "journalists" with the very people they are supposed to be having an adversarial relationship with. Yukking it up with the people they are supposed to be keeping a critical eye on concerns "real folks" much more than celebrities. Tell you what. Ditch the politicians and keep the celebs and we'll call it even.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Even Dwarfs Started Small (1970)*
Bad, even for Herzog. It's interesting to note how much he likes to film driver-less autos going around in a circle. And chickens. Oh there is also a pig, and then [spoiler alert!] at the end a camel shows up.