After reading this and this, I’ve lost nearly all interest in reading or viewing anything even remotely political for a few days. The insertion of the Clinton machine into this election cycle has been like pouring raw sewage into what should have been the.best.punch.bowl.ever. I’m not naive, I knew it was going to get a little ugly, but I never imagined it would get this ugly this early. If Hillary wins the nomination, not only will I have a hard time pulling the lever for her in November, but I may switch to being an independent voter. Obama or Edwards could have saved this party. The Clintons are going to drown it in the bathtub.
MORE: Digby, who had to close down her comments because the bickering got so bad on her blog, seems to think this won’t hurt the party. I normally agree with her, but in this case she’s wrong.
FINALLY: This Daily Kos diary entry highlighting today’s editorial from Bob Hebert is worth a look, especially for the comments. If you don’t think a Clinton candidacy is going to dishearten and disengage a large chunk of the Democratic party (and reinvigorate the currently moribund Republicans), you are living in a—to quote Bill Clinton—“fairy tale.”
Which brings us to Rambo, the newest chapter in the saga of our tin soldier. The film hadn’t screened as of press time, although Internet chatter has divulged that John Rambo once again gets to unleash his blood-splattering fury on the cultural other, this time in Burma. Given the current nostalgia from the I-love-the-’80s generation and Stallone’s ongoing attempts at career resuscitation, it’s not that surprising that he’d bring back his second-most-popular creation. During a recent Q&A at online fanboy hangout Ain’t It Cool News, the star was asked why Rambo was “pussing out” on attacking Islamofascism; Stallone replied that it would be disrespectful to the soldiers who were actually dying fighting it.
The fact that it’s still ideologically disrespectful to present warfare as entertainment while men and women lose their lives isn’t mentioned, but if a fifth film gets greenlit, I’d like to propose a scenario. Send John Rambo to Iraq, where he’s given inadequate body armor and has his arms and legs blown off. The last shot finds the supersoldier once again ignored by his government at a decrepit Walter Reed hospital, left only to stare off into the distance. Only then will he have finally come full circle.
Brendan Gleeson, Martin McDonagh & Colin Farrell (l to r) on the set of In Bruges, the best damn film I’ve seen in a very long time.
I had the privilege last night of viewing an advance screening of Martin McDonagh’s In Bruges and was quite literally blown away by it. This buddy-crime dramedy is leagues better than any film I saw in 2007, including the overrated No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood, and, at the moment, I have a hard time believing it won’t be my favorite of 2008. McDonagh, who looks disturbingly like Sting, has written a screenplay jam-packed with dazzling dialogue and intriguing, well-placed plot twists. It’s also uproariously funny, providing bigger (and better) laughs than anything that’s spuzzed its way out of Judd Apatow’s Doo Doo Pee Pee Academy.
In addition, the casting is nothing short of brilliant. Previous to his turn in this film, the only thing that has impressed me about Colin Farrell is his ability to use the word “fuck” more than the word “the” in casual conversations. As Ray, he expertly weaves a thoroughly convincing amount of pathos into a newly-minted hired killer who, for the most part, lives on the edge a pin and laughs his ass off whenever he loses his balance. He’s the epicenter of some of the best gags in the film and he never disappoints. A career-making performance. The doughy and loveable Brendan Gleeson plays Ray’s mentor Ken, a seasoned and unlikely assassin, who serves as the voice of reason amidst a chaotic and ever-changing situation that was supposed to be anything but. Gleeson adds layers of soul to man who has killed several people without blinking an eye. The normally eloquent Ralph Fiennes surprises as their expletive-laced, don’t-fuck-with-me boss Harry, who’s performance has been compared to Ben Kingley’s Don Logan in Sexy Beast, but he slowly massages Harry into a more complex and nuanced character than Logan, just stopping short of the point where you don’t want to see him die in a really horrible way.* The rest of the cast is stellar as well, from “little person” Jordan Prentice, whose previous big role involved being stuffed into Howard the Duck’s costume, as the horse-tranquilizer-gobbling dwarf actor Jimmy, to Eric Godon, who plays Belgian antique and gun dealer Yuri, an odd man who turns the word “alcove” into one of the funniest utterances ever.
Hopefully this bloody and bombastic buddy film will find an audience, but the difficult title and the immensely clever but unconventional ending may hold it back. Too bad, because In Bruges is just as good as anything in Tarantino’s oeuvre, including Pulp Fiction, which it’s more inventive than in several ways, and McDonagh’s craft richly deserves to be generously spread across as many needy eyes and ears as possible. I’ll stop short of calling it a modern masterpiece, but there’s a little part of me that wants to pistol-whip myself into doing so. It’s just that good.
* Since this review is getting some steady traffic from sites saying I’m giving away a plot point, I should clarify that I’m not saying that Harry dies in “a really horrible way,” just that I wanted him to. Maybe he dies, maybe he doesn’t. As I indicated, it’s a surprise ending.
Taylor Marsh hugs herself after performing her kickass version of
“Love Is A Battlefield” at a Hillary Clinton karaoke benefit.
Good cripes, I’ve never paid much attention to C-list talk radio host* Taylor “Mushroom Top” Marsh, but if you want to witness full-blown Obama Derangement Syndrome, you’ve really got to check out her site. Rather than focus on why her gal Hillary deserves your vote, she chooses instead to dig deep into the scum bucket for anti-Obama oppo dreck and limits her praise for the Clintons to adoringly drooling about how skillfully they’re taking Obama “off his game.” I’ve never witnessed relentless, wild-eyed attacks on a Democratic candidate like this from a liberal/progressive/whatever blog before. If anyone can point me to a pro-Obama blog that’s unleashing anti-Hillary rants that are even remotely as unseemly or unrelenting, I’m all eyes. Until then, Mushy wins my award for Demohack of ‘08.
* Is there any evidence that Mushy is or has been a “radio show talk host” as her bio states? I can’t find any evidence of it. Or is she just a podcaster? There’s a difference, radio hosts can be heard on radios. Podcasters can’t. She allegedly “launched her radio show in Las Vegas” in 2002, but did she launch it on, ya know, a radio station? Was it syndicated and picked up by anyone? If not, sorry, she’s not a “radio show talk host,” she’s just a podcaster. And after listening to a some of Mushy’s recent podcasts, that’s a very good thing.
Then he leans in to listen to a question from a television reporter: “Mayor, you’ve had the state to yourself here in Florida for so long, for weeks,” she says. “Why is it that you seem to be losing support, not gaining support?”
The eyes of Rudolph W. Giuliani pop wide. He tosses back his head and cackles in a manner not even vaguely suggestive of humor. What a crazy idea!
“I think the reality is that we are gaining support,” he said. “Our campaign is now in high gear.”
Before another question can be asked, Mr. Giuliani says thank you, waves, pivots, kisses a startled baby and walks out a side door.
Here’s a sneak peek at Olafur Eliasson’s “New York City Waterfalls,” which will send water cascading from under the Brooklyn Bridge and from three free-standing scaffolds in New York Harbor — including this view of Governors Island off Red Hook — from July through October.
In the spirit of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s “The Gates” project, Eliasson’s $15 million art project will consist of four waterfalls, towering between 90 and 120 feet, that will gush between 7 am and 10 pm every day.
You can view all of the waterfall images here. You can check out more of Eliasson’s work here.
The Associated (With Terrorists) Press filed this story re: today’s event, and included 4 photos. 3 were of the Ron Paulians, 1 was of Rudy (with signs behind him) and 1 was of a DOG. The reporting on this is a scandal. Not 1 pic from inside the place—- PACKED TO THE GILLS with supporters.
The story she’s referring to is this one. As it turns out, the “Associated (With Terrorists) Press” did take a few photos inside of the restaurant. Want to see what “PACKED TO THE GILLS” looks like?
This is what it looks like:
That’s Molly and Matilda Gills on the left, waiting for their check.
FYI, I feel like a total sucker for defending Hillary in my much-trafficked “It’s Official: Chris Matthews is a Loathsome Douchebag” post after watching Clinton’s scum-drenched performance in last night’s debate (and Bill’s previous horseshit didn’t help). It’s official: the Clinton Machine can go fuck itself. Pundits, have at ‘em. I don’t like being played for a fool.
My internet connection is just barely functioning, so let me direct you to one of the best new voices in the poliblogosneer, Betty Cracker. She’s got quite a delectable edge on her and is very deserving of a large readership. Check out her whole blog, but first stop in to read her astute take on the Obama-Reagan flap (“The ‘R’ Word”—scroll down), which is the best I’ve yet to read.
During a stop at the Daytona International Speedway today, Rudy Giuliani got to take a lap around the track in his campaign bus. But riding around the track in a full size bus wasn’t quite enough for the former mayor. He pleaded with driver Rusty Wallace and multiple NASCAR officials on site to get a ride in one of the racecars but was continually rebuffed.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani trails Senator John McCain by 12 points among Republicans in the upcoming New York presidential primary and Senator Hillary Clinton continues to have a commanding lead over Senator Barack Obama in the Democratic primary, according to a new Siena (College) Research Institute poll of registered voters released today. [...]
“In a stunning turnaround, John McCain has turned a 33-point deficit with Republican voters in December into a 12-point lead over Rudy Giuliani today,” said Steven Greenberg, Siena New York Poll spokesman. “While America’s mayor still has strong support among New York City Republicans, he is getting beat by McCain in the suburbs and trounced upstate. Republican women give Rudy a small edge, however, Republican men are behind McCain nearly three-to-one.”
McCain has the support of 36 percent of Republicans, followed by Giuliani at 24 percent, former Governor Mitt Romney at 10 percent, Governor Mike Huckabee at 7 percent, and former Senator Fred Thompson at 6 percent. Seventeen percent of Republicans remain undecided. Giuliani led McCain 48-15 percent on December 10.
But don’t you worry about Rudy. This is all part of his excefuckallent super smart 50-state strategy!! And besides, today he got an endorsement from Johnny Damon, who many of you may remember as Yitzhak from Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Rudy’s got this bitch all sewed up!
John Prine & Iris DeMent - “In Spite of Ourselves”
CLOVERFIELD: My pal Mark and I went on a gay date to see Cloverfield yesterday because our wives would have none of it. This is his review. It didn’t have quite the same effect on me, but, good cripes, was the shaky camera gimmick annoying. Looking at Odette Yustman, not so much.
Yesterday I spent some time talking on the phone with someone who used to work at iVillage, and it led to a discussion of the types of content women search for online. My assumption was “recipes, healthcare, childcare and games”. He then told me that it was almost a legendary inside joke that the two biggest search terms on iVillage were perpetually “Chicken” and “Fellatio”.