Feel good story of the day. Via LifeNews: The abortion industry did its best to pitch the movie Obvious Child as an “unapologetic” but “hilarious” romantic comedy about abortion, even as the director and star eschewed such a depiction. And therein lies the irony. Abortion proponents want desperately to remove the stigma surrounding abortion, and they desperately hoped Obvious Child would be […]
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Pro-Abortion “Romantic Comedy” Obvious Child Bombs At Box Office…
So last night, the family sits down to watch “Seabiscuit.” I decline, since I am extraordinarily finicky about watching movies and it didn’t sound great to me. So I — entirely coincidentally — sit down at the computer to read Burton Folsom’s book New Deal or Raw Deal?: How FDR’s Economic Legacy Has Damaged America . It’s a book that was recommended by Tom Woods in one of his Liberty Classroom lectures on the New Deal, and I’m about 1/3 of the way through. As I’m reading about the atrocities of FDR’s bungling, and all the damage it caused, I hear from the other room: They called it “relief,” but it was a lot more than that. It had dozens of names; N.R.A., W.P.A., the C.C.C. But it really came down to just one thing: For the first time in a long time, someone cared. For the first time in a long time, you were no longer alone. Oh, Good Lord. I went storming into the next room, asked for the movie to be paused, and told the kids that these programs made Americans miserable, raised the prices of the goods and food they needed, and put them out of work. I waited for the movie to be over to launch into the real lectures: millions of pigs slaughtered and discarded in graves , and millions of bushels of wheat destroyed, while the nation starved; fields of cotton plowed under while people were unable to buy new clothes; businessmen jailed for providing goods and services at low prices; and on and on and on. You cannot read Folsom’s account of the lying, incompetent clown FDR’s policies, and not fly into a rage — especially when Hollywood is trying to propagandize your children with patent nonsense. Better to let them watch it and provide the corrective lectures, though, than to prohibit it. They’ll be battling this propaganda all their lives.
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An Evening in the Patterico Household
Soon plays with heterosexuals will be offensive. Via Boston Globe When the movie starring Julie Andrews premiered in 1967, it was proclaimed “thoroughly delightful” by The New York Times and praised for its flapper costumes, dancing, humor, and singing. Forty-seven years later, a stage version of “Thoroughly Modern Millie” performed at Newton North High School […]
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Mass: Some Slam ‘Racist’ Stereotypes In Play At Newton North High…
Not one ray of light shines from The Counselor . The movie is a void of roughly 120 minutes, showcasing ugliness and misery. It meanders almost without plot from one inconsequential character to another as each pontificates about how life is “all shit.” It’s a huge departure for director Ridley Scott, who’s known for movies with intriguing messages or at least some kind of technical excellence. But in The Counselor, one gets the impression that Scott is very unhappy and wants his audience to leave the theater feeling the same way. Ridley Scott’s brother—Tony Scott, also a director—committed suicide early on during the production of The Counselor , and it’s hard to imagine that this didn’t have a big effect on him. There’s also the fact that the screenplay was written by Cormac McCarthy, that infamous nihilist who was the brains behind No Country For Old Men, directed by the Coen brothers. That movie was very similar to this one, centering on a failed drug deal and a sociopath killer—subject matter right up the Coen brothers’ alley. It is a shock, however, that Ridley Scott, director of Blade Runner, Alien, Gladiator, Black Hawk Down, Thelma and Louise, and Kingdom of Heaven should take on such a script. The Counselor is about an unnamed lawyer (Michael Fassbender) who decides to work for his drug-dealer friend Reiner (Javier Bardem, doing his best Robert Downey Jr. imitation). Reiner manages a $20 million drug trafficking scheme, but a deal goes sour thanks to conflicting players and back-and-forth struggles between couriers when a massive truck, carting a septic tank full of drugs from Mexico to Chicago, goes missing. Fassbender’s Counselor takes much of the blame. He then spends the rest of the movie crying, moaning, whimpering, simpering, and desperately trying to save his fiancée, Laura, from the nasty people who want to ruin their life. The Counselor’s relationship with Laura (Penelope Cruz) is a positive one, but it’s exhibited mostly through sordid scenes such as when he tells her how much he loves her during phone-sex. The only tender moment comes the Counselor proposes to her during dinner, presenting her with the ring he has very carefully picked out. Fassbender plays it perfectly—he’s nervous and awkward as he watches for a reaction, but viewers can also see anticipation and excitement. Cruz, meanwhile, seems to see her entire life flash before her eyes as she experiences conflicting disbelief and joy. The nastiest of characters is Malkina (Cameron Diaz), the resident sociopath. Whereas Bardem plays a comparatively jovial guy—a far cry from his role as Anton Chigurh in No Country For Old Men— Diaz’s Malkina is a veritable Whore of Babylon, heinously rich to the point that she has two pet cheetahs with diamond-studded collars. She’s even had cheetah spots tattoed on her back and eyes that look as if they’ve seen everything and laughed at it all. Most of the horrible schemes that dominate the film are of her engineering, and she delights in manipulation. “To see a quarry killed with elegance is just moving, to me,” she says. Her exploits include tormenting innocent and good-natured Laura, harassing a priest during confession, and dry-humping the windshield of a Ferrari. Brad Pitt appears in the movie as an overgenerous tipper and drug-lord, and Rosie Perez, rounding out the star-heavy cast, shows up as an incarcerated mother. But for some reason Scott chooses to give copious attention to incidental characters like waiters, waitresses, and an overly philosophical diamond salesman. The camera ambles, focusing on the nonessential and the irrelevant. There are numerous close-ups of innocuous inanimate objects, such as the bloody marys which the Counselor imbibes in mass quantities. There’s no surprise when the movie ends in an equally random and abrupt way. All this transpires near the Mexican-American border around Juarez and El Paso, which Scott paints as a bleak landfill, a world where “decapitations and mutilations are just business.” There’s no end to the amorality evidenced by its denizens: Immediately after a major character is killed in a gunfight, some children emerge from the shadows and loot his warm corpse of virtually everything on his person. When the drug truck has been shot to pieces and covered in viscera, it passes through a truck-stop, where a number of women clean the car with chilling efficiency, nonchalantly filling bullet holes and scrubbing blood off of seats no differently than if it were dirt. Scott obviously wants us to see this region as the North American version of the Heart of Darkness. One of my friends suggested that perhaps Scott doesn’t sanction the nihilism of Cormac McCarthy and instead intends to hold up a mirror, indicting the drug war and showcasing some of the monsters that it creates. As for me, I hope this is just a phase for him, a chance to release some of his demons. I’m just sorry that moviegoers have to be inflicted with them in the process.
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Ridley Scott’s The Counselor
Is it good to publish state secrets? What if you endanger lives in the process? Does dedication to truth require sacrifices? These questions propel the drama in The Fifth Estate, but this focus ensures that other moral dilemmas are taken for granted when they ought to be pondered with equal intensity. In the high-speed, high-stakes world of leaks and breaking-news journalism, there’s not much time to escape the groupthink and wonder about the efficacy and morality of the mission. The Fifth Estate begins with a montage reminding us about the evolution of media, culminating in the rapid creative destruction that characterizes modern news, where relevance must be fought for tooth-and-nail, and where a front-page story can be rendered obsolete in seconds. From this churning brew of ideas and experiments came the anomaly of WikiLeaks.org. WikiLeaks is a website that publishes sensitive and highly controversial documents, encouraging whistleblowers to leak because of that promise that the WikiLeaks platform will allow their identity to “remain concealed in clouds of code.”