I have to admit that Big Hollywood’sJohn Nolte is a friend of mine. Believe me, if I didn’t have to admit it, you couldn’t drag it out of me with hot pincers. But really, friendship aside, how great is this guy? His takedowns of the Mainstream Media throughout this political season have been brilliant, devastating — Breitbartian is the only word I can think of to describe them. If you’re not following him on Twitter (@NolteNC), start following him. He exposes and mocks the dishonesty and corruption of our supposed “information brokers” in real time, crushing the MSM with such immediacy it’s like watching Rosemary’s Baby killed in its cradle. That’s a good thing.
Nolte left his beloved North Carolina many years ago to come out to LA and try his hand at filmmaking. He actually made a film that won high praise at some festivals, but his Maker (Mattel, as it happens) soon guided John where He wanted him to go. Nolte began commenting on, then blogging for, one of the first conservative film websites, and finally became its editor. From there, he was hired by Andrew Breitbart to start Big Hollywood, the first of the Bigs. He now not only continues to edit BH, he contributes terrific material to all the other Big sites as well.
I cannot tell you the number of times Breitbart called me to sing Nolte’s praises to the skies. Hiring Nolte, Andrew said repeatedly and lavishly, was one of the best decisions he ever made. (more…)
“College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life.” So said Paul Ryan at the GOP convention.
Most of the time, I have no problem with MSNBC. Why shouldn’t Communist fatheads have something to watch on TV? Conversely, the well-dressed, well-spoken, sophisticated anchors who front the network news and lie by omission and distortion every night while pretending to report objectively — they seem corrupt and wicked to me. They need to be exposed, ridiculed, undermined, defeated and ultimately replaced by people who understand the importance of fair and balanced reporting in a free nation. But MSNBC leftists speaking as leftists — that seems honest enough, no matter what I may think of their philosophy… which is that it’s a recipe for disaster papered over with a facade of false virtue.
But during yesterday’s Republican convention coverage, The Daily Caller reports (h/t Instapundit), the MSNBC goofs cut away during every speech made by a minority. They didn’t want anyone to see that men and women of color were a cherished and honored part of the Republican party. That’s not their narrative so, by gum, they weren’t going to show it. Which raises — not a complaint — but a question: What good is a philosophy that can’t withstand even the sight of the simple facts? If, for instance, you are pro-abortion, why protest when pro-lifers show films of an abortion taking place? If you’re afraid reality will prejudice people against your point of view, shouldn’t you consider changing your point of view? Am I missing something?
Taking another, more honest tack on the issue of minorities speaking at the convention, David Horsey wrote at The Los Angeles Times that this put “a brown face on a white party.” Hey, fair enough. I would have said the GOP was using brown faces to show minorities they’re welcome and to overcome the ceaseless media portrayal of the party as racist. Black conservative speakers demonstrate that there’s another, better, prouder way to live than being dependent on the federal dime. But Horsey has the right to note the facts and speak his left-wing mind about them. Why not?
It’s the end of the summer, I’m about to leave on vacation, I’m under several deadlines at once, so I think I’ll spend these last few blogging days with briefer posts — though I will try to address the really important issues of the day.
For instance, the ten macho films every man must see. This is a Popular Mechanics list I found through the never-ending miracle of Instapundit. And not a bad list either. It actually does include several films that you must see if you’re a man and which, if you haven’t seen them, you’re probably not. Not that there’s anything wrong with not being a man, you understand. Unless, of course, you are one. Then you should be. But if you’re not, feel free to wear perfume and walk around in high heels. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. As long as you’re not a man. If you are, don’t.
Where was I? Oh yeah, the Pop Mech list isn’t bad. But it includes a couple that I really have to question. Possibly with a truncheon. I mean, The Wrath of Khan? Get a grip. Stone Cold? I don’t know, bro. And while I’ll accept Machete as macho despite its absurd politics, if you don’t want to watch it because of that, you definitely get a man pass.
Really sad to hear about the death of Tony Scott. I didn’t know him and have nothing personal to say, but I was a genuine admirer of his films. They were macho — manly — and that in itself made them a cut above much of what comes out of Hollywood.
Many people in the west use the word macho as a pejorative. This is because they are self-deceiving knuckleheads. They are kept so safe by (mostly) macho men with guns in the military and our various police forces that they can feel free to pretend they are somehow better and more civilized, doncha know, than their protectors. But the fact is if good boys aren’t taught to fight and win for what’s right, bad boys — from street gangs and Iran and Russia and China — will teach them how to fight and lose. And no, generalizing and excepting the exceptions, girls can’t cut it.
So it behooves an artist to pay tribute to tough guys now and then. Not nice guys who talk tough but the hard bastards who understand that, in certain circumstances, violence is not only an act of love, but the act of love that makes all other acts of love possible.
Man on Fire (2004) is one of the very few recent films that I consider truly tough. The great Denzel Washington (Scott’s most-oft-used star) plays a mercenary looking for redemption who discovers his salvation lies in a blood-soaked hunt for a kidnapped child. Filled with Christian imagery and ideas, the movie asks the question: What happens to a man when the single talent God gives him is a talent for killing? The answers are both tragic and triumphant, and the action, story, performances and most of all direction are all terrific.
Go take a look at the reaction to the film on Rotten Tomatoes. The critics give it a withering 39% approval. The human beings give it 89%, one short of 90%, which is almost unheard of. The critics whine prissily about the ugly violence. The people get it: this is a thoughtful, exciting and macho tribute to the sine qua non guys, the violent guys — and the violent instincts — that uphold the best of civilization. (See my earlier similar remarks about Act of Valor.)
Tony Scott was a wonderful director of macho action films. Hollywood is diminished by his death and I personally am sorry to see him go. RIP.
There’s nothing to write about this week as no one shot anyone for any politically motivated reason at the Washington, D.C., headquarters of the Family Research Council, a group that is obviously hateful for promoting traditional views of marriage and so couldn’t be the victim of a hate crime in the first place because they’re so hateful any hate would logically have to be coming from them and not from the person who shot them.
According to the Media Research Center, CBS News did not even bother to report the non-shooting at FRC that did not leave the building manager wounded when a man who was not carrying fifteen Chick-fil-A sandwiches in a backpack did not say “I don’t like your politics,” before not opening fire on the unarmed victim. Since the event never occurred, NBC’s Brian Williams was able to cover it in a mere 17 seconds. And one day after the shooting never happened, CNN anchor Zoraida Sambolin clarified the motivation of the non-existent event by proclaiming that FRC was “hate spewing hate,” so there was no question from which side of the gun barrel the hatred was emanating.
It’s clear therefore that the non-shooter, Floyd Corkins, was not motivated by any of the never overblown and thoroughly non-despicable non-overreactions to Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy‘s recent defense of traditional marriage. The gunman was only carrying those fifteen sandwiches because they are just. So. Unbelievably. Tasty!
Nor was the non-hate-crazed non-gunman inspired by the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center, which has included the Family Research Council on a list of hate groups along with neo-Nazis and the Klan.
It would, of course, have been impossible for a gunman to have been inspired by left-wing hatred because left-wing people are loving and don’t hate anyone except those people who disagree with them who are hateful because the left is so loving that to oppose them is hateful. If you get my drift.
My fellow ghost story addicts can feed their jones at this cool site called Bxx Haunted. It’s an interactive haunted house with cameras in every room. It’s created by Daniel Knauf, who also created the HBO cult hit Carnivale. Knauf is one of the Hollywood good guys and, entertainment value aside, giving him some eyeballs and support will help him get the funding he needs for more projects like this.
If you prefer, you can also watch Haunted in narrative fashion on YouTube in several segments. Here’s the first. The rest are easy to find, searching Bxx Haunted.
The whole thing is a major ghostly blast. Worth going here.
“When a good movie happens, which it might, on a roll of the dice, once in five years, it’s like this total aberration, a freak of nature like the Grand Canyon, they’re ashamed of it. They can’t wait to remake it in another ten years and f*** it up the way it’s supposed to be.”
That joke, from Lanford Wilson’s play Burn This, sometimes seems like a literal truth, as when 2002′s excellent Spider-Man was remade in mediocre fashion in 2012. But most filmmakers I know acknowledge an unwritten Remake Rule, though perhaps it’s breached as often as observed.
If the unwritten rule could be written, it would go something like this: A film may be remade when it represents a great idea that wasn’t fully realized the first time OR when its realization has become so dated as to have lost its appeal to a modern audience. Classics, no matter what the temptation, should not be remade. If you’re so shallow you can’t project yourself back in time to enjoy Casablanca or Gone With the Wind or All About Eve as is, just stay home and watch Jersey Shore because it turns out you’re an idiot. The classic rule can occasionally be negated by dated special effects, but it usually doesn’t work out. The 1933 King Kongdoes look a little stagy and dinky now, but it’s still a better movie than any version that followed.
All this comes to mind because I saw Total Recall the other day — I wanted to see Bourne but Recall fit perfectly between two meetings. In my opinion, despite what some critics say, this picture was a perfect candidate for remake. The 1990 version has an excellent script but is weighed down by Arnold Schwarzenegger — whom I like but who is asked here to play an ordinary guy, which is absurd. The muscles, enormous head and funny accent make the whole picture seem sort of outsized and cheesy. What could have been a brilliant Blade Runner style classic if it had starred Harrison Ford becomes instead a good-but-dated actioner. A perfect candidate for remake.
Anchor: Good evening, this is MSM News. The presidential candidate who murdered Joe Soptic’s wife has chosen for his running mate a man who pushes old ladies in wheelchairs off cliffs. It’s a ticket that some political observers say resembles an episode of Dexterwith two murderous psychopaths chasing each other around the room. Observers across the political spectrum from far left to left have condemned Mitt Romney’s choice of the budget-cutting Paul Ryan as a harrowing, blood-soaked event that will leave the bodies of women and the elderly strewn across the political landscape. To discuss this issue, we’ve assembled a team of our most objective journalists. We’ll begin with Candy Crowley from CNN. Candy, you met a Republican once, how is the GOP feeling about this selection?
Crowley: A lot of Republicans feel this could be some sort of political ticket death wish. I mean, we’ve already had this whole debate about trying to bring down the debt by cutting government spending and I believe we’ve reached a consensus that we’d prefer to do nothing while uselessly taxing the rich out of envy and bitterness. The American people have spoken and I just think it’s insane for Republicans to bring up the subject of the economy when the economy is so bad.
Anchor: Jonathan Alter is the former senior editor of Newsweek, an NBC political analyst and the trustee in charge of tinfoil for the audio-visual department at St. Mary’s Post-Modern Home for the Narratively Insistent. What do you think, Jonathan?
Alter: This just confirms my contention that a vote for Mitt Romney is a vote for death. This is not an exaggeration or some sort of insane blithering from a man who’s lost all sense of the moral and ethical obligations of the profession of journalism. This is simple fact. If Romney is elected, people will die. People who vote for Romney will die. They may die even in the act of voting. I wouldn’t be surprised to see people keeling over the moment they pull the lever. It’s going to be a bloodbath.