M*A*S*H
Kyle Smith
(”M*A*S*H” is briefly mentioned in this.)
The film is a portrait of a country where people make all sorts of sounds but nobody is hearing anything.
(Review Source)
PJ Media Staff
(”M*A*S*H” is briefly mentioned in this.)
Ed Driscoll To commemorate Pearl Harbor Day, Rick McGinnis looks back at the 1970 20th Century Fox production of Tora! Tora! Tora! and writes:It was made barely thirty years after the attack on Pearl Harbor, but everyone involved - many of whom probably fought in the war - thought it a fine idea to ask the Japanese to get involved, and even direct the scenes showing their part of the attack themselves, in a way that gives them actual dignity and human culpability. Next to the Marshall Plan, it might just have been one of the most magnanimous gestures a victor has shown the defeated.After praising the film, 1/72nd scale Airfix airplane and ship models and all, McGinnis writes:It was made barely thirty years after the attack on Pearl Harbor, but everyone involved - many of whom probably fought in the war - thought it a fine idea to ask the Japanese to get involved, and even direct the scenes showing their part of the attack themselves, in a way that gives them actual dignity and human culpability. Next to the Marshall Plan, it might just have been one of the most magnanimous gestures a victor has shown the defeated.Along with Patton and The World At War, Tora! Tora! Tora! taught me nearly everything I knew about the war my father and his brothers fought in, at least until I was allowed into the adult half of the library. We knew how it was going to end, but we still watched it with the hope that, maybe, someone would pick up the phone or get the telegram in time or figure out what that big signature on the radar screen was, but every time it ended with So Yamamura as Admiral Yamamoto intoning his grave fear that maybe they'd bit off more than they could chew, while the camera dissolved to the Pacific Fleet in flames (in miniature.)I know I'm not the only person who's complained that popular culture - and movies in particular - have gotten much worse in the course of my lifetime, but when you're asked to give an example, it's almost as if there are too many.McGinnis asks, "There's a part of me that wonders, as I try to figure out why the movies - and the culture - have gotten so much worse, whether it's just the people who make the culture who are to blame. Maybe, just maybe, it's also the people who watch them."As I said earlier this week, it's a combined Red Queen's Race.Even as 20th Century Fox was producing Tora3, the new left's conquest of Hollywood was well under way, as Peter Biskind memorably plotted in his 1999 book, Easy Riders, Raging Bulls. In 1970, 20th Century Fox made three war movies that year: Tora3, Patton, and Robert Altman's M*A*S*H. Guess which one, particularly thanks to the TV series it inspired, which ran throughout the entire 1970s, permanently changed how Hollywood looked at war? McGinnis compares the summer of 2001 Michael Bay production of Pearl Harbor to Tora3.In the years since Patton and Tora3 was made, George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Martin Balsam, Joseph Cotten, and Jason Robards would leave the building -- along the way, leaving their A-list movie status, and Alan Alda's sensitive and solipsistic Hawkeye Pierce would become the standard for the Hollywood leading man. Which helps to explain why, when the Imperial Japan attacked in 1941 2001, there was only one man left who could bring the fight to them...Update: Oh, and speaking about Pearl Harbor and solipsism. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2012/12/7/tora-tora-mash/ ]]>
(Review Source)
PJ Media Staff
(”M*A*S*H” is briefly mentioned in this.)
Ed Driscoll Is it possible for a veteran actor to star in a motion picture that makes him a legend, assures his cinematic immortality, and ensures that while he’s still alive, he’ll always find work, and yet be completely miscast? Actually, it’s happened at least twice. In the late 1970s, Stanley Kubrick cast Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance in The Shining. The film made Nicholson a legend, but in a way, he’s very badly miscast -- Nicholson’s character seems pretty darn bonkers right from the start of the film, long before his encounters with the demons lurking within the bowels of the Overlook Hotel.But arguably, a far worse case of miscasting is Charles Bronson in Michael Winner’s 1974 film Death Wish. When novelist Brian Garfield wrote the 1972 book that inspired the movie, he was hoping that if Hollywood ever adapted his novel to the big screen, a milquetoast actor such as Jack Lemmon would star. And Lemmon would actually have been perfect, since his character’s transformation from bleeding heart liberal white collar professional to crazed vigilante would have been all the more shocking. Instead, we all know it’s only a matter of time before Charles Bronson reveals his legendary tough guy persona on the screen. Back around 2000, I remember reading Garfield’s notes on his book’s Amazon page, which was something along the lines of, “Would you want to mess with Charles Bronson?”Currently the cinematic adaptation of Death Wish is available for home viewing in standard definition on DVD, and in high definition, via Amazon’s Instant Video format. And while the latter version is in sharp 1080p HD, the film could use a restoration from Paramount before it’s issued onto a Blu-Ray disc. The Amazon version has its share of scratches and dust on its print, though it’s certainly cleaner than the Manhattan it depicts on screen. I watched the Amazon HD version the other night, and I was reminded that Bronson’s casting dispenses with the film’s credibility almost as explosively as Bronson himself dispatches assailants onscreen. There are eight million stories in the naked city, and apparently, in 1974, almost as many muggers stupid enough to go up against Charles Bronson.But otherwise, the timing of the film was absolutely perfect. As Power Line’s Steve Hayward noted in The Age of Reagan: The Fall of the Old Liberal Order: 1964-1980, film critic Richard Grenier dubbed Clint Eastwood’s 1971 film Dirty Harry, “the first popular film to talk back to liberalism,” a movie made during the period that then-Governor Ronald Reagan  “liked to joke that a liberal’s idea of being tough on crime was to give longer suspended sentences,” Hayward added.Which helped set the stage not just for Death Wish, but for the era of moral collapse in which it was filmed, and in which it too became a hit by talking back to liberalism.Peter Biskind’s 1998 book Easy Riders, Raging Bulls documented Hollywood’s near-complete takeover by the left beginning in the late 1960s, but there were a few holdouts during that era: John Wayne was still making movies, Eastwood’s long career was beginning its ascendency, and British director Michael Winner was also a conservative himself.But on the East Coast, in the early 1970s, New York had essentially collapsed. Saul Bellow was one of the first novelists to document the moral and increasingly physical carnage. As Myron Magnet of City Journal wrote in the spring of 2008, “Fear was a New Yorker’s constant companion in the 1970s and ’80s. … So to read Saul Bellow’s Mr. Sammler’s Planet when it came out in 1970 was like a jolt of electricity":The book was true, prophetically so. And now that we live in New York’s second golden age -- the age of reborn neighborhoods in every borough, of safe streets bustling with tourists, of $40 million apartments, of filled-to-overflowing private schools and colleges, of urban glamour; the age when the New York Times runs stories that explain how once upon a time there was the age of the mugger and that ask, is New York losing its street smarts? -- it’s important to recall that today’s peace and prosperity mustn’t be taken for granted. Hip young residents of the revived Lower East Side or Williamsburg need to know that it’s possible to kill a city, that the streets they walk daily were once no-go zones, that within living memory residents and companies were fleeing Gotham, that newsweeklies heralded the rotting of the Big Apple and movies like Taxi Driver and Midnight Cowboy plausibly depicted New York as a nightmare peopled by freaks. That’s why it’s worth looking back at Mr. Sammler to understand why that decline occurred: we need to make sure it doesn’t happen again.That was the milieu in which Bronson’s Paul Kersey character resided at the start of Death Wish. Flying back to New York after a relaxing Hawaiian vacation with his wife (played by veteran actress Hope Lange), Kersey’s wife is murdered and his daughter raped by home invaders led by a young Jeff Goldblum at the start of his acting career. (Near the end of the film, a pre-Spinal Tap Christopher Guest plays a nervous rookie NYPD cop). On a business trip out to Tucson, both to take his mind off the horrors that had befallen his family, and to get a real estate development project back on track, Bronson’s Kersey discovers that it’s possible to defend yourself against crime.The businessman that Kersey meets during the film’s Tucson scenes, played by character actor Stuart Margolin, is a staunch Second Amendment supporter who invites Kersey to a gun range, and asks him,“Paul, which war was yours?” That was a common question among middle-aged men during the latter half of the 20th century. Kersey admits he was a “C.O. in a M*A*S*H unit” in Korea.“Oh, Commanding Officer, eh?” Margolin’s Good Ol’ Businessman approvingly asks.“Conscientious Objector,” Bronson’s Kersey drolly replies as Margolin rolls his eyes in disgust.Kersey explains that he became one as a teenager, after his father was shot and killed in a hunting accident, quickly fleshing out his character’s backstory. Evidently, Kersey’s own skills as a hunter haven’t degraded much over the years, since he then aims and fires the pistol that Margolin’s character had handed him, splitting the paper target at the gun range dead center.And away we go. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2013/7/26/death-wish-5/ previous Page 1 of 3 next   ]]>
(Review Source)
PJ Media Staff
(”M*A*S*H” is briefly mentioned in this.)
Ed Driscoll In 1970, the movie industry was in big trouble. The moguls who built the industry and guided it through its golden era of the 1930s through the 1950s were dying off; older audiences were feeling alienated by the industry's current product, and the industry's fortunes suffered dramatically. There was a group of young Turks who were working their way through the industry, but it would be a few years before they fully established themselves -- and their most lasting contribution, via George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, would be to return Hollywood to its tradition of big budget family friendly entertainment, ironically enough.But in the late ‘60s, outside the walls of the studio, the country was in turmoil. LBJ had declined a second term, Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King were dead. Vietnam was in the headlines constantly -- and frequently being misreported.Add to it all the industry's schizophrenia regarding Richard Nixon -- the old guard generally liked him; the young Turks hated him with the white hot force of a thousand exploding suns -- and you had an industry that was deeply confused.We remember films from that period such as hippie favorite Easy Rider, and 20th Century Fox's bipolar trilogy of war films -- Patton, Tora, Tora, Tora, and Robert Altman's countercultural anti-Vietnam parable M*A*S*H -- but most of Hollywood's product from 1970 dated very quickly.Which is why I felt more than a little like the crew of the "Satellite of Love" on Mystery Science Theater 3000 this past weekend, as I watched a pair of cinematic bombs from 1970 that summed up the year perfectly. These were two films that I had read about years ago in Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide, but never caught on the late show, or purchased on laser disc in the late 1980s, during my obsessive NYU film days, so I felt obligated to see what I had missed. Don’t everyone thank me for taking one -- actually two -- for the team, all at once.Workin’ in a CoalmineMy first trip back to 1970 was via the Molly Maguires, which had recently gone up on Netflix and Amazon Prime. Starring Sean Connery and Richard Harris, and directed by Martin Ritt, the film was about the group of Luddite-ish 1870s-era coal miners, who fought back against the poor working conditions and low wages of their employers by sabotaging equipment and blowing up mines and trains.Paramount sunk ten million dollars into the film -- which was a very big budget for the era; about equal to the final bill Stanley Kubrick handed MGM for his epic 2001 two years earlier. Given the production values and stars, Paramount was convinced they were about to mine box office gold. Connery was just coming off his initial retirement from the James Bond series, and Harris from 1967’s smash Camelot. The film's director, Martin Ritt, had overcome '50s-era blacklisting to score a big hit in 1965 with another British superstar, Richard Burton, in another morally ambiguous film, The Spy Who Came In From the Cold. But the first half of the Molly Maguires is largely set in a coal mine in 1870s Pennsylvania, and the oppressive blackness of the mine creates a remarkably claustrophobic atmosphere. It's both a testament to the film's production designer and its cinematographer, the great James Wong Howe, that the filmmakers were able to create such a realistic atmosphere. Particularly given that while the exteriors were filmed in the coal mining town of Eckley, Pennsylvania, the subterranean coal was filmed on a set in Hollywood, both for lighting and particularly for safety reasons. Obviously, “CONNERY DIES IN MINE COLLAPSE WHILE SHOOTING PARAMOUNT PRODUCTION” was not a headline the studio wanted to see on the front page of Daily Variety that year. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2013/10/17/mystery-seventies-theater-3000/ previous Page 1 of 4 next   ]]>
(Review Source)
PJ Media Staff
Lifestyle var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': '', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); The best thing about classic comedies: when you haven’t seen them for a while, you forget some of the jokes and get to laugh all over. Here’s one critic's rundown of the top ten funniest pre-1990 comedies available on Netflix’s streaming service.10. Seems Like Old Times (1980)Chevy Chase and Goldie Hawn’s followup to their hit Foul Play wasn’t as well received, but Neil Simon’s screwball comedy about an accidental bank robber (Chase) trying to win back his ex (Hawn) from her D.A. husband (Charles Grodin) is as funny as it is charming. Chase, who was well on his way to perfecting his Fletch wiseguy persona, proves in one scene that a gifted comic can be funny using just his hands (in a scene in which, hidden under a bed, his character gets his fingers stepped on but can’t make a sound). class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2014/8/1/the-10-funniest-classic-comedies-on-netflix-streaming/ previous Page 1 of 10 next   ]]>
(Review Source)
PJ Media Staff
(”M*A*S*H” is briefly mentioned in this.)
Lifestyle var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'plan 9 from outer space (trailer)', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); Sometimes Hollywood serves up some pretty indigestible fare. Some films, such as Howard the Duck (1986), are impossible to swallow—so terrible they become synonymous with “bad cinema.” (Who can forget Gary Larson’s The Far Side cartoon depicting "Hell's Video Store," its shelves stocked solely with copies of Ishtar (1987)?)But not every bomb reaches such heights of notoriety.  Here’s a list of movies that are every bit as bad—and leave “real men” with extra heartburn. They degrade the genres that “real men” love best.10. Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959)All right, this utterly dreadful sci-fi schlock is, admittedly, no stranger to lists of worst movies ever. And justifiably so. Written, directed and produced by the world's least talented filmmaker, Edward D. Wood, it’s a bijou of awfulness. What twists the knife in this celluloid sacrilege is the sight of Bela Lugosi, one of Hollywood's greatest horror stars, shambling through what was to be his last appearance on the silver screen. Rather than try to sit through this sad excuse for a film, better to watch Tim Burton's engaging biopic Ed Wood (1994), which tells the story behind the movie. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2014/11/27/10-tinseltown-turkeys-that-make-real-men-choke/ previous Page 1 of 10 next   ]]>
(Review Source)
PJ Media Staff
(”M*A*S*H” is briefly mentioned in this.)
Ed Driscoll THE FRANK BURNS/JOHN KERRY CONNECTION, as discovered by Hugh Hewitt. I can certainly see it--Kerry's "I don't fall down, the son of a b*itch knocked me over" line does sounds very Burns-like, doesn't it?On the other hand, Hewitt writes, "We lack the information to make any comparisons between Theresa and Major Margaret "Hotlips" Houlihan, but both at least share a tendency toward outspokenness". Hot Lips, whatever her faults, was a career Army nurse and patriot. Can't see her ever doing this to Harry Truman or Ike.While we're on the subject of M*A*S*H, not too long ago, I thought Dean bore some similarities to the worst aspects of "Hawkeye" Pierce. But at least Hawkeye was cool in M*A*S*H's early days as a TV series, and as portrayed by Donald Sutherland in the original film. With his snowboarding shtick and trying to sound hip by defending rap music, Kerry's trying way too hard, to come across as cool. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2004/4/1/the-frank-burnsjohn-kerry-connection/ ]]>
(Review Source)
PJ Media Staff
PJ Media Half Hee-Haw and half Dr. Strangelove, Oliver Stone’s would-be comedy W., opening tomorrow, is not quite what I expected. It’s worse.Stone, who has been wearing out his vocal cords informing interviewers of his vast empathy for his onetime Yale classmate (the two never met on campus), plays the invasion of Iraq against “Yellow Rose of Texas,” devotes nearly half the movie to scene after scene showing Bush stumbling around with a beer bottle or a tumbler of Jack Daniels, and imagines that, behind the scenes, the tightly controlled Yankee-hardened Bush clan of stoics carries on like a bunch of overwrought Project Runway contestants.Among the film’s most literally incredible moments are those that show President George H.W. Bush (Bush 41), played by James Cromwell without the slightest effort to resemble the man, being decisive, authoritative, forceful, and even manly, qualities he managed to keep under wraps during three decades in the public eye. Playing the title role, Josh Brolin misreads the president’s stiff, just got-off-a-horse body language as a reason to stay in motion at all times, notably during his initial encounter with Laura (Elizabeth Banks, who gives the only restrained performance) at a barbecue. Here and elsewhere W.’s body flits around as if he’s undergoing shock therapy; here and elsewhere, W. speaks, disgustingly, with his mouth open as if he just blew in from the trailer park instead of Skull and Bones.One speech Bush delivers while seated on the toilet (where, at a mention of the presidency of another filial success, John Quincy Adams, he says, “That was, like, 300 years ago, wuddn’t it?"). On his inauguration day, he stumbles to greet his father with his pants around his ankles. This isn’t cutting-edge political satire or even wounding invective; it’s just vaudeville.Stone jumps around in time, combining remarks made years apart for alleged comic effect (during a campaign for governor of Texas, many famous malapropisms come out, but consecutively, as though nothing Bush says ever makes sense) as Bush evolves from frat-boy to frat-boy businessman to frat-boy governor to frat-boy president. The president’s arms fly up as though signaling a field goal during the centerpiece moment, in which the president and his cabinet discuss the Iraq invasion. (Jeffrey Wright, speaking in some sort of Redd Foxx rumble, is Colin Powell; a twittering Thandie Newton is Condi Rice; Scott Glenn is Rumsfeld and a well-made-up Richard Dreyfuss, hunched over as though tying his shoelaces, is Cheney, though Dreyfuss’ high-pitched nasal whine is more or less the opposite of Cheney’s low rasp.) That scene, featuring unlikely moments of sorority-girl sarcasm such as Colin Powell telling Cheney, “Don’t patronize me, Mr. Five Deferments,” is pitched at a JFK level of paranoia, with Cheney insisting that the U.S. must control the entire Middle East, forever. While standing literally in the shadows he barks, “Control Iran, control Eurasia, control the world. Empire. Real empire. No one will f — k with us again.” class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/blog/w-is-an-insult-to-62-million-voters/ previous Page 1 of 2 next   ]]>
(Review Source)
PJ Media Staff
(”M*A*S*H” is briefly mentioned in this.)
Ed Driscoll Newsbusters' Brad Slager reads Newsweek so you don't have to:There is absolutely no shock in stating much of the Hollywood media tend to lean slightly more to the left than a fuel gauge pointing to empty. This week I read the upcoming Oscar season seems to focus on movies trending towards morose and dark subjects, and therefore it was with little surprise, and a great deal of mirth, that I learned from an entertainment writer that the reason behind this somber subject matter was not the film makers themselves but a rather well-aimed target for the Hollywood left.These are the sage words from Newsweek writer, Ramin Setoodeh:  “You can blame Hollywood's gloom and doom on the Oscars, but I'm not going to. Instead, I think it's George W. Bush's fault. Most liberal directors felt restless under his presidency, and they pushed the envelope with over-the-top, operatic tragedies”.To be fair, these things happen whenever a Republican president is in office. In the 1950s, Hollywood lashed out at Ike's brutal regime by releasing such heavy-handed polemics as:Singing In The RainTo Catch A Thief Funny FaceNorth By Northwest High SocietyWhen Richard Nixon took office, Hollywood showed their displeasure via such deliberately bad movies as:PattonThe Wild BunchButch Cassidy & The Sundance KidM*A*S*HThe GodfatherThe StingChinatown And then in the 1980s, Hollywood really doubled down under President Reagan:Top GunStar Trek IIBlade RunnerE.T.The Color of MoneyFerris Bueller's Day OffHannah And Her SistersOf course, under Bill Clinton, Hollywood felt free enough to indulge themselves with such fare as Independence Day and Air Force One, the latter of which in particular depicted Hollywood's ideal president as a tough on terrorists Vietnam-era vet who knew his way around the cockpit of a jet aircraft, and via George Clooney's Three Kings, would finally do something about Saddam Hussein's brutal dictatorship.Sure, like that sort of man might actually exist in real life. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2009/12/16/newsweek-blame-george-bush-for-depressing-hollywood-movies/ ]]>
(Review Source)
PJ Media Staff
(”M*A*S*H” is briefly mentioned in this.)
Lifestyle  "My idea of perfection is Roger Livesey (my favorite actor) in The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (my favorite film) about to fight Anton Walbrook (my other favorite actor)."-- David Mamet, 2003“Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.”-- T.S. Eliot, “The Waste Land” (1922)For a bunch supposedly dedicated to “peace,” the cadre of anti-war anarchists who met once a week in my first apartment fought furiously about everything. The one thing we all agreed on was that meetings were to conclude (with a chorus of “shhhh!”) just before the latest episode of Twin Peaks (1990-91) began.Now, I experienced two profound (for me) revelations while watching TV in that old apartment. I wrote about one of them here.The other happened during one of the earliest Twin Peaks episodes, when characters were still being introduced.Bad boy Bobby Briggs, his mom, and his father Major Garland Briggs (an Air Force office) are gathered for a meal. In heightened, formal language that sounds almost like the ponderous narration of a “mental hygiene” short like Reefer Madness, the major -- a stocky, balding, pasty fellow, looking particularly stiff in his uniform (at the dinner table?) -- tells Bobby he wants to have a serious talk with him.Conditioned by M*A*S*H and Dr. Strangelove to view U.S. military officers as stupid, pompous, lunatic hypocrites, my friends and I dutifully snickered while the major spoke. Bobby rolled his eyes, and so did we.Until we stopped. var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': '', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); One by one, it dawned on us that, come to think of it, the major was kind of sort of being reasonable and sensible. And Bobby (the young “rebel” we’d normally sympathize with) was being a brat and a creep.My anarchist pals and I found ourselves seduced into obsessing over a TV show in which the heroes (a sheriff, an FBI agent, and an Air Force officer) were the very people we hated in real life. Major Briggs in particular turned out to be an intelligent, sensitive, and noble character, who just happened to look like a human cartoon.Twin Peaks prepared me to stick with, and appreciate, the 1943 Powell & Pressburger film The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, which I only discovered a few years ago. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2011/12/8/movies-for-grown-ups-the-life-and-death-of-colonel-blimp/ previous Page 1 of 4 next   ]]>
(Review Source)
PJ Media Staff
(”M*A*S*H” is briefly mentioned in this.)
Lifestyle  The death on Monday of Bert Schneider, the man who, along with his business partner Bob Rafelson, brought you both the Monkees and Easy Rider, brings to a close one chapter in the life and death of New Hollywood. As Mark Steyn wrote on Wednesday:Bert Schneider was an obscure figure by the time of his death, but back in "New Hollywood" - that interlude between the end of the studio system and the dawn of the Jaws/Star Wars era - he was briefly a significant figure. He started in TV in the mid-Sixties, helped create "The Monkees" and then took them to the big screen in the feature film Head. That flopped, but the next film he produced, Easy Rider, cost less than 400 grand and within three years had made $60 million. There followed Five Easy Pieces and The Last Picture Show.But, as much as I like the latter, I prefer to remember the late Mr Schneider for his contribution to the gaiety of 1970s Oscar nights. Truly, that was the golden age of Academy Awards ceremonies. On April 8th 1975, Bert Schneider's film Hearts And Minds won the Oscar for Best Documentary. Instead of an acceptance speech, he read out a telegram conveying fraternal greetings to the American people from Dinh Ba Thi of the Vietnamese Provisional Revolutionary Government. Offstage, Bob Hope was mad, and scribbled some lines for his co-host Frank Sinatra. So Frank came out and said that the Academy wished to disassociate itself from the preceding. Then a furious Shirley MacLaine yelled at Frank that she was a member of the Academy and no one had asked her if she wanted to disassociate herself from the Vietnamese Provisional Revolutionary Government. Then John Wayne said aw, the Schneider guy was a pain in the ass.The rise of New Hollywood is a story that’s been told countless times, but one of the very best tellings is Peter Biskind’s Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, originally published in 1998, but finally released in a Kindle version this week -- entirely coincidentally, the day after Bert Schneider died. Biskind managed to interview many of the original players, and wrote a compelling narrative of the collapse of postwar Hollywood and the retirement of the last of the great moguls who built the industry, and the rise of the young turks who would be, for a time, their successors. And then their own usurpation, both through drug and alcohol-induced dissipation, and because Hollywood executives, with a little help from Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, rediscovered how to connect with mass audiences.By the late 1960s, the Hollywood studio system was in ruins. There were multiple reasons -- Michael Medved has blamed the demise of Hollywood's self-enforced production code and its replacement with the G/PG/R/X rating system as alienating a big chunk of traditional moviegoers in the late 1960s. Concurrently, the urban “youth” market of the 1960s felt alienated by an industry still churning out formula clones of the last big film by “Old Hollywood,” The Sound of Music. The failure of so many of those films that came in its wake, including Dr. Doolittle, Hello Dolly, Star and other expensive, out of control musicals and family-oriented movies, nearly drove 20th Century Fox to financial ruin, and ultimately caused the once-mighty MGM to effectively close up shop as a functioning studio. var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': '', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); During the late 1960s, age had caught up with the industry as well. In an era whose slogan amongst the left was “Don’t trust anyone over 30,” most Hollywood crews were manned by people double that age, who had broken in around the time of World War II or immediately afterwards, and weren’t planning to leave anytime soon. As Steven Spielberg told Biskind:"It was not like the older generation volunteered the baton,” says Spielberg. “The younger generation had to wrest it away from them. There was a great deal of prejudice if you were a kid and ambitious. When I made my first professional TV show, Night Gallery, I had everybody on the set against me. The average age of the crew was sixty years old. When they saw me walk on the stage, looking younger than I really was, like a baby, everybody turned their backs on me, just walked away. I got the sense that I represented this threat to everyone’s job.”Ultimately he was -- including many of the young turks in Biskind's book, ironically enough. But prior to Spielberg's rise as an industry unto himself, as Biskind tells it in Easy Riders, there were two milestones in the birth of New Hollywood in the late 1960s. The first was Bonnie & Clyde, the second was Easy Rider. As leftwing author Rick Perstein told Reason magazine in 2008 while promoting his then-recent book Nixonland:My theory is that Bonnie and Clyde was the most important text of the New Left, much more important than anything written by Paul Goodman or C. Wright Mills or Regis Debray. It made an argument about vitality and virtue vs. staidness and morality that was completely new, that resonated with young people in a way that made no sense to old people. Just the idea that the outlaws were the good guys and the bourgeois householders were the bad guys—you cannot underestimate how strange and fresh that was.But along with Bonnie & Clyde's subversive script (written by Robert Benton and David Newman, who got their start at Esquire magazine, then at the peak of its journalistic style and influence), at least the film had a known-star in Warren Beatty, a ravishing looking Faye Dunaway, whose career was still in its ascendency, and a veteran director in Arthur Penn. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2011/12/15/easy-riders-raging-bulls/ previous Page 1 of 3 next   ]]>
(Review Source)
John Nolte
Malcolm X (1992) That’s too much power for one man to have. Writer/director Spike Lee’s masterpiece, and one of the best films of the 90’s, is told in three magnificent, perfectly captured epochs in the life of a man of great historical consequence.  Denzel Washington plays the charismatic title character to perfection as he moves from street hustler, to a leader in the Nation of Islam, to a man who fearlessly embraces truth and conscience, even though he knows it will almost certainly result in a premature death. After more than an hour of witnessing only the title character’s anger, defiance, and resentment, Washington’s performance when he meets Elijah Muhammad for the very first time is a moment of unforgettable power. The picture, the director, and the star, were all robbed on Oscar night. See also: Do the Right Thing, Clockers, Jungle Fever, Summer of Sam.   M*A*S*H (1970) Goddamnit, Hot Lips, resign your goddamn comission! The tagline on the poster reads, “M*A*S*H is what the new freedom of the screen is all about.” That freedom is now long gone, not just on the screen but in our society, and the freedom I am talking about is the freedom to
(Review Source)
Christian Toto
american-sniper

I was attending a Christmas party over the holidays and, in the course of conversation, made the following statement:

“I can’t watch very many war movies anymore.”

My sister in-law,

The post Decorated Soldier Picks the Best, and Worst, War Movies appeared first on Hollywood in Toto.

(Review Source)
Kyle Smith
(”M*A*S*H” is briefly mentioned in this.)
In the Seventies, films were often gritty and downbeat—and still popular with the masses. In the closing minutes of Saturday Night Fever, the following events occur: A racist injustice, an attempted date rape, a gang rape, a horrific accidental death with an element of suicide, and (not least) a nighttime ride on the disco-era New York City subway. The film concludes with the hero getting rejected by his lady. Naturally it was one of the biggest hits of 1977. Baby Boomers jammed theaters to see Saturday Night Fever (which earned the equivalent of over $350 million in today’s dollars) and Gen-Xers (like me) either sneaked in to see its forbidden R-rated depravities or watched it later on HBO, where it popped up frequently in the early 1980s. Today, with the film available on the Hulu streaming service and Paramount having just issued a 40th anniversary Blu-Ray director’s cut, it stands as an unusually vivid portrait of an era, one of the most singular and gripping dramas of the late Seventies. At the time, kids yearned to be adults, and movies reflected that. Today, adults yearn to be kids, and movies reflect that too. In 2016, each of the top 13 films at the box office was either a superhero fantasy or a cartoon, seven of them released by Disney. Saturday Night Fever reminds us that even blockbuster movies used to carry young people the news that life was fraught with error, anguish, and disappointment. Today if a major studio decided to bank on a film like it, the climactic dance contest would have to be a path to, at least, a transcendent moment of fame on a TV show, and romantic fulfillment would be a given. SNF, though, is a rags-to-rags story: John Travolta’s Tony Manero is no better off at the end than he was at the beginning. When he and his partner Stephanie (Karen Lynn Gorney) win a disco contest, he knows the victory is undeserved and attributable to the judging panel being composed of his peers from an Italian-American Brooklyn neighborhood. Tony thinks a Puerto Rican couple should have won, and he’s absolutely correct: They’re dazzling. So he gives them the trophy and tries to rape Stephanie in a car. Later, a despairing buddy, who believes his life is ruined because he got his girlfriend pregnant, clowns around on the Verrazano Bridge between Brooklyn and Staten Island until he falls to his death. “There’s ways of killing yourself without killing yourself,” Tony tells the police. Later the same night, with the sun about to come up, Tony takes the subway to Stephanie’s apartment, where she forgives him for attacking her but reiterates that she isn’t interested in him romantically. The end. Those who haven’t seen the film sometimes assume it’s campy and silly, a pageant of bad taste. But if the bouncy Bee Gees songs typified a musical era, the crushing story typified a cinematic one. Films were generally muted, earthy, gritty, and downbeat in the 1970s, when even blockbusters frequently concluded with the defeat, compromise, or death of the hero, and any triumphs achieved were seldom unalloyed. Today such stories tend to be fenced off in independently financed films, usually with small budgets, that emerge during Oscar season and attract small audiences.    (function($){ var swapArticleBodyPullAd = function() { if ($('body').hasClass('node-type-articles')) { var $pullAd = $('.story-container .pullad').addClass('mobile-position'); if (window.matchMedia("(min-width: 640px)").matches) { if ($pullAd.hasClass('mobile-position')) { $pullAd .addClass('desktop-position') .insertBefore('.article-ad-desktop-position'); } } else { if ($pullAd.hasClass('mobile-position')) { $pullAd .addClass('mobile-position') .insertBefore('.article-ad-mobile-position'); } } } }; $(window).on('resize', function(){ swapArticleBodyPullAd(); }).resize(); })(jQuery); It’s a commonplace to say that Seventies filmmakers were simply drinking the cultural water, which was infected with a sour tang left by Vietnam and Watergate. That isn’t what happened, though. Movies were reflecting the natural disposition of artists — gloomy and cynical — because 1970s Hollywood was being led by artists for the first time. Starting around 1967, 1930s-era Hollywood moguls, such as Jack Warner at Warner Bros and Daryl F. Zanuck at Fox, discovered to their chagrin that their long-cherished idea of what constituted dazzling, can’t-miss entertainment (Camelot; Hello, Dolly!) was poised to bankrupt them. Cheap movies made for hippies, like Easy Rider and M*A*S*H, were the new blockbusters. The Hollywood suits were scared that they no longer understood the audience, so for the first time ever they let the artists off-leash. The creative types went too far, though, and as the 1980s began, artist-driven disasters such as Michael Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate and Francis Ford Coppola’s One from the Heart made the executives realize that auteurist films could lose money as surely as glitzy family spectacles. The executives reasserted control and restored the happy-endings policy. Instructing young adults that they couldn’t always get what they wanted wasn’t the main purpose of 1970s filmmaking, but it was a side benefit. Instructing young adults that they couldn’t always get what they wanted wasn’t the main purpose of 1970s filmmaking, but it was a side benefit. The movies amounted to a generational warning about the perils and setbacks of adult life. We learned that the system was hopelessly stacked against us, that dreams rarely come true, that people are flawed and life will wear you down. Movies today, though, are calibrated to reach an audience raised with the certain knowledge that self-esteem is the most important trait, that young people will lead the way, and that you can have anything you can imagine, as soon as you can imagine it. Kids identify with childish superheroes who rule their environments. Deadpool, Iron Man, and Harley Quinn kick butt and crack jokes. Harry Potter can come up with a spell for any occasion. Katniss Everdeen is fierce and unbeatable. Even when today’s movie heroes are in extreme danger, such as Matt Damon’s stranded-on-Mars Mark Watney in The Martian, they’re so cool and confident that quips never stop flowing out of their mouths. Successful movies reflect their audiences, but they help shape them as well. Kids imagine themselves getting lost in space a million miles from home and they think: That’s me in any situation — I got this. We’ve raised a generation of little superheroes. Small wonder that the intern in your office seems surprised that she’s assigned boring tasks, or expects a promotion after three months, or offers you advice on how best to reorganize the company. READ MORE:In the Heat of the Night: The Birth of Hollywood Virtue-SignalingGender-Neutral Awards: Hollywood’s Next ObsessionHollywood is Addicted to Politics — Kyle Smith is National Review’s critic-at-large. ]]>
(Review Source)
Hugh Hewitt
(”M*A*S*H” is briefly mentioned in this.)
HH: Robert Duvall, welcome to the Hugh Hewitt Show. RD: Thank you, Hugh. Where are you calling from? HH: Southern California. RD: Oh, California. Good. Right. Southern Cal, great, great. HH: Robert Duvall, you won the Oscar in 1983 for portraying this alcoholic country singer, Max Sledge in Tender Mercies. RD: Right. HH: And now, Jeff Bridges is nominated for best actor for playing Bad Blake in Crazy Heart, who’s another alcoholic country singer. Did you guys compare notes on these two characters, and how to get smart about an addicted drinker? RD: No, didn’t compare notes at all. No, but he’s going to win, he’ll win the Oscar. HH: I think he should. It’s a magnificent role. Do those two characters have much in common? RD: The two best performances this year are him in this, and the kid, the young guy in Hurt Locker. You see Hurt Locker? HH: Yeah, magnificent movie, yeah. But… RD: What a movie. But we won’t talk about that one. My movie of the decade, but we won’t talk about it. HH: Okay. What about Bad Blake and Max Sledge? Are they the same guy? Or are they different people? RD: Oh, no, no. They’re different. They’re different. Different music, different guys, different actors, you know, different guys. Similar background…I mean, it’s like saying is Merle Haggard the same as Waylon Jennings, or Waylon Jennings the same as Johnny Cash. They sing the same kind of music, but they’re different guys, different individuals, but somewhat similar journeys in life. You know what I’m saying? HH: Yup. RD: Especially from a negative aspect, you know, negative journey. But they’re different characters. HH: How did you, how did you come by your knowledge of alcoholics? I mean, what, how do you train up to play that, or to play Wayne in this movie? RD: To play what? HH: To play Wayne, the friend who’s his sponsor or his buddy? RD: I just, he said action and cut, I say my lines. I just filled in. I was a producer. They said take this part. I’ll take it. I mean, I didn’t even think about it. I just did it, you know? HH: How interesting. RD: I mean, alcoholics, I mean, you know, way back when I was a student at the neighborhood playhouse, I played a drunk, and that’s where I got my first part in To Kill A Mockingbird, because the director was there, and I didn’t like it. I went down and observed drunks on, down on the bowery, but I don’t really drink at all, so you know, it has to come through, you know, it’s like somebody said try acting. So you do acting and try to do it as truthfully as you can by observing these guys. You know what I’m saying? HH: Yup. RD: I mean, I’m not a drunk myself. I don’t have to be a killer to play a killer. HH: No. You…it’s also a movie about aging and eclipse. I like the Colin Farrell story here. Back when you were playing, you know, Frank Burns in M*A*S*H*, or Tom Hagen in Godfather, did you have a mentor? Did you have anyone like Bad Blake is to Colin Farrell’s character here? RD: How do you mean? Did I have what? Like an idol, you say? HH: No, a mentor, someone who kind of brought you up in the business. RD: Not really. Our mentor was kind of from a distance. We used to meet, Dustin Hoffman, me and Gene Hackman, would meet at Cromwell’s Drug Store three or four times a week on 6th Avenue in New York, and if we mentioned Brando’s name once, we mentioned it 25 times in one afternoon. He was kind of like a distant mentor to all of us, Marlon Brando. HH: And so… RD: But as far as hands-on mentor, nobody that I know, no. HH: When you went to work with him on Godfather, was it intimidating? RD: No, and I worked with him on The Chase. It was nice, you know. I thought I’m going to get along with this guy, then he didn’t speak to me for eight weeks. HH: (laughing) RD: (laughing) I mean, strange guy, he was, but you know, everybody wanted to speak to him. No, we weren’t intimidated, we just had a good sense of reverence, you know, Jimmy Caan, myself, Al Pacino. And you know, he was like the Godfather in the movie, and the Godfather in life, really. So we weren’t intimidated, it was, you know, when I had a scene where I had to tell him that Sonny had been assassinated, you know, I wasn’t intimidated. I knew I had to come up with something, and he had to come up with something. And so we both had to come up with something, you know. It wasn’t really intimidation. It was like, it became like equal when they said action and cut, you know. HH: Okay, are you writing a memoir? RD: No. HH: Why not? RD: Somebody wrote a book on me once. I never read it, but maybe I’ll write something. Maybe I’ll write a book someday called The Rushes Are Great. You know, when they show the dailies, the rushes, nobody ever say they stink, you know? They’re always great. (laughing) So maybe I’ll write a book someday. HH: You’ve got all these great roles. You’ve got, you know, Bull Meechum in The Great Santini, Kilgore in Apocalypse Now, Sonny Dewey in The Apostle. Have any of these had an impact on you? I don’t mean career-wise, professionally, getting you a good salary or anything like that. I mean, just individually, do they stick with you? RD: I guess. My favorite part, you didn’t mention, though, is…I like doing, I don’t mind doing television. Some people don’t do it, but Lonesome Dove was my favorite part ever. HH: I’m coming to Gus McCrae in a moment. But did he influence, did that character influence you personally? Or was it just fun? RD: Pardon? HH: Did it influence you personally? Or was it just fun? RD: No, it was fun. You know, it was fun. My ex-wife said don’t let them, they were trying to talk me into playing the other part, and I wanted this part, you know, because it was more like certain aspects of me that people didn’t know. But it was just fun to play, and when I look back on it, it makes me feel good. It gives me a sense of accomplishment. You know, it’s like let the English play Hamlet and King Lear. I’ll play Augustus McCrae. HH: Was it the most physically demanding role you had? RD: No, no. Stalin was. HH: Oh. RD: I played Josef Stalin in Russia, in the Kremlin. HH: And so why was that harder than Gus McCrae or any of these other cowboy movies? RD: Much harder, much harder, because you go over there into a different culture, you know, the remnants of the Communist regime were left over, where they’re anti-American. It was just very difficult to do. Working for HBO was not easy. The guy who’s the head of it, you know, it was a difficult thing. But strangely rewarding, strangely rewarding. HH: Why? RD: Nikita Mikhalkov’s father, who knew Stalin, eight times he worked with him, said I’d touched the soul of Stalin. So I don’t, that’s the best review I ever got in my life by anybody. So I don’t have to read reviews, because I got it from the guy who was Stalin’s close associate. HH: How evil, how evil was Stalin. When you done playing that and studying up, do the American people… RD: Pretty evil. Pretty evil. Pretty evil. But you know, you had to find the other side, you have to find a human side to the guy as well, that he loved his wife, that he loved some of his children. You know, you have to, you can’t, you have to find the contradictions. You can’t play all one thing. HH: Wow. RD: He didn’t think of himself as evil. HH: That’s interesting. What’s the most beautiful place in which you’ve worked? You mentioned the Kremlin, but I would assume it’s someplace out West. RD: The most beautiful place I’ve worked? HH: Yeah. RD: Wow. The most fun is working, is in Argentina. HH: Oh. RD: I love working down there, but beautiful places, you know, well, when we did, I don’t know if you saw the other mini-series that was really well done, I thought, called Broken Trail? HH: Absolutely. Loved it. RD: Well, there’s no more beautiful country in the world than those Canadian Rockies. HH: Okay. I want to talk to you about the westerns. RD: I traveled with a guy who is retired, I met a guy on a boat, an old guy. I said what’s the most beautiful place in the world? He’d been all over the world. He said the Canadian Rockies first, the fjords of Norway second. So where we worked in the Canadian Rockies, they were really, really beautiful. But also, you know, in South America, the Andes are quite beautiful, although I haven’t worked in them. But as far as a place I’ve worked, I would have to say the Canadian Rockies near Calgary is the prettiest, most beautiful spot I’ve worked. HH: Up near Bamff and up near Lake Louise. RD: Santa Fe, around there’s very nice, too. HH: I want to talk to you about the western for a moment. I heard a lecture by a Naval Academy professor named David Allen White once, and I know your dad was an admiral, so maybe that’ll get you some purchase. RD: Yeah. HH: But he argued that America will never get an epic like the Iliad or the Odyssey, except the westerns of John Ford, and that the westerns are what… RD: Well, I’m not a big John Ford fan. HH: And why not? RD: Well, I don’t know, I saw five minutes of, what was that one, who is it, the Navy captain, maybe that’s why he was in the Navy, you know, (laughing), you know, John Ford had a big reputation, and he did some good stuff. But The Searchers, I saw five minutes of The Searchers and turned it off, it was so corny. HH: (laughing) Well, what about working… RD: I know Scorsese(?) is a big thing, but Scorsese(?) doesn’t know what goes on beyond the South Jersey shore, so no. HH: (laughing) Talk about corny, though, True Grit, you were working with John Wayne. You’re Ned Pepper. Isn’t that corny? RD: Is that what? HH: Was that corny, too? Because I love the movie. RD: No, that was okay. They’re doing it again, you know. HH: Oh, I didn’t know that. RD: Jeff Bridges is going to play John Wayne’s part. HH: Oh, I didn’t know that. Are you going to be in that one, too? RD: Yeah, they’re going to…why they’re doing a remake, I’ll never know. But the Cohen Brothers, maybe they ran out of ideas. HH: Is, what I was getting to, is there anyone who’s coming along who loves the western in the way that John Wayne and John Ford and Robert Duvall has? I mean, you’ve done Lonesome Dove, Open Range, Broken Trail, all these other, True Grit. Anyone else out there? RD: Oh, and we’ve got some more we’re going to do. But you know, if we can ever get the money, we’re going to do some more of them. But you know, when you look at John Wayne in True Grit, but when you see what he did in The Shootist, his final performance, he was brilliant. He was brilliant, you know. HH: Yup. RD: People tend to write him off sometimes, but just, those who write John Wayne off, go see The Shootist. HH: You’ve played a lot of these historical people, including Joseph Pulitzer, Josef Stalin, people like that. You’re a judge of historical character then. RD: Yeah. HH: What do you make of George W. Bush? RD: George W? HH: Yup. RD: The ex-president? HH: Yup. RD: Why, why, what… HH: Well, he gave you the American Medal of Freedom, he’s much criticized. I’m just curious what your assessment of his character is. RD: I voted for him, but he knew nothing about the border. HH: Oh. RD: The border sheriffs are totally down on him, because he wouldn’t meet with them. But you know, in other aspects, he did, you know, I mean, everybody criticized him for the war, but I noticed all the Democrats and everybody supported him to go into the war, and now they say oh, we didn’t do this, we didn’t do that. But you know, he’d take a stand for right and wrong. But I don’t think he understood the border, or does understand the border. HH: What do you make of his successor, President Obama? RD: Well, we’ll see. We’ll see. HH: Jury’s still out? RD: We’ll see. Yeah. HH: When you were on Charlie Rose a few years ago, you got to talking about Cuba and about the need for Americans to understand that. Was that because of the work on Stalin? RD: Say that again now? HH: When you were on with Charlie Rose, you were talking about Cuba… RD: Yeah. HH: …and how, you know, Fidel Castro was a pretty bad guy, and that Hollywood didn’t get that. Were you sensitive to that because of the work on Stalin? RD: Well no. The whole thing with Charlie Rose, they deleted what the guy said, but they wouldn’t delete what I said. They hung me out to dry. HH: Oh, how so? RD: Well, they just did. You know, there was a misunderstanding in the words and a combination of things back and forth. So you know, it was a misunderstanding with Spielberg. He’s a wonderful, top filmmaker and so forth. And it was a misunderstanding. HH: Now I want to conclude by talking to you about The Apostle, which may be my favorite…my wife, who’s a Marine Corps brat, loves The Great Santini and cries every time she sees it… RD: Right. HH: …but I like The Apostle. Gosh, you got that. You nailed him. But The Apostle, do you think Hollywood ever got that, what you were trying to do? Or… RD: No, no. I could never get the money. If they’d have paid me to play a part like that, I could have made a lot of money. And if they’d have done it themselves, they would have patronized these people between the two coasts. They would have never gotten it. To me, Elmore Gantry was a big patronization of what I saw. But they would have never gotten it. But by doing it myself, I had to finance it. When I sold it, I made six cents. HH: Wow. RD: A dime is all I made. I mean, I got my money back, but you know, so, but I did it the way I wanted to do it. If I had done it out here, as I say, I would have made a lot of money, and it would have been done incorrectly anyway. HH: And was it worth the effort and the time? RD: Totally. HH: Why? RD: I got a wonderful letter from Marlon Brando, liked what I did in it, and I heard that Billy Graham like it, so I got it from the secular and the religious. HH: Yeah. RD: Both sides. HH: Is there any role you haven’t been able to play that you still want to play, Robert Duvall? RD: Well, you never know. Sometimes, things jump at you from around the corner. I’m supposed to play, Terry Gilliam approached me to play Don Quixote de la Mancha. HH: Oh. RD: Which I will do when he gets the money. He saw me play the part of a small Cuban barber in a movie I did with Richard Harris. I don’t know if you saw it, I played a Cuban barber. HH: No. RD: And it was one of the best parts, I really, really did my homework on it. Had he never seen that, he would have never offered me the part of Don Quixote. We’re supposed to do that in the fall, or thereabouts. HH: I look forward to that. Now really last question… RD: And I would like to play Devil Anse in the Hatfields and the McCoys, too, because that’s like American Shakespeare, that feuding between those two clans at the end of the other century. HH: Is that getting made yet? RD: Well, they’ve got a great script by Eric Roth, a brilliant script. We’ll see what happens. HH: All right, last question. When you were making… RD: And there are also parts that come at you from around the corner that surprise you that are great, like the thing with Terry Gilliam. That wasn’t planned by my company. That wasn’t done by any research of people that work with me. It just came out of the blue. So you never know what comes from around the corner that surprise you. HH: Did Crazy Heart come from around the corner? RD: Well, Scott Cooper, you’ve got to give him a lot of credit. He did a wonderful job directing. He never even directed a high school play. This guy made the adaptation from the novel, and got it. Together, we went out and helped raise the money, and he did it. So it was a nice surprise. Yeah, it was. It really was. HH: Were you aware when it was being made that Jeff Bridges was hitting just every ball out of the park? RD: Yeah, no…well yeah, I didn’t watch the dailies, but yeah, you could sense that, definitely. Definitely, yeah. HH: Robert Duvall, in terms of people still working right now with you out there, Brando’s gone, of course, is there anyone who you just stand back and say that person defines the art of making movies? RD: You mean acting or directing or what? HH: Acting. RD: Oh, there are a lot of good young actors now, a lot of good, young actors. People disagree with me, but there are a lot of good, young actors worldwide, better than ever. The blacks get a chance to act now, the Latins, I mean, there’s wonderful young actors worldwide now, more than ever. The bar has been raised. HH: On that note, I thank you for your time. I want to respect it, and thanks for joining us. RD: Thank you, sir. Thank you very much. Bye bye. End of interview. ]]>
(Review Source)
Hugh Hewitt
(”M*A*S*H” is briefly mentioned in this.)
HH: We just had an election. It’s the third presidential election since America invaded Afghanistan in 2001. And that election probably made no real difference to the day to day lives of the soldiers on the ground at this moment, but this is a good moment on which to consider what they have been doing and what has not been done, and how they have fought and sacrificed. And now comes a book that brings it down to the level of privates and sergeants and platoon leaders, as well as generals and presidents. And that book is The Outpost: An Untold Story Of American Valor by Jake Tapper, who is of course ABC News senior White House correspondent. He joins me now. Jake, welcome, it’s good to have you back. JT: Yeah, it’s been a long time, Hugh. Thanks for having me on. HH: Well, this is a pretty amazing book, a very, very moving and deeply informative book. And I’ve got to ask, since I didn’t know anything about this battle or Kunar Province, when did you come to find out about this? And how did this book come to be? JT: It was, I was in the recovery room of the hospital in Washington, D.C. My son had just been born. And I was holding him, he was a day old, and I looked up and out of the corner of my eye on the news was a story of this outpost that had been overrun, and eight other sons had been taken from the world while I sat there holding mine. And it was combat outpost Keating, this obscure outpost at the bottom of three steep mountains, 14 miles from the Pakistan border. And the media coverage was along the lines of why would anybody put a base there. It’s a horrible place for a base, which is true. It’s a horrible place for a base at the bottom of three steep mountains. And I kind of, just as a news consumer and American who followed the war effort, both as a reporter and just as a citizen, kind of just waited patiently for the answers to those questions, but they never came. The military did an investigation and concluded that the base had no strategic or tactical value. And that was, some people were disciplined, and that was really the end of it. But for me, it was not. It just kind of gnawed at me, and I started making calls, because that’s one of the great things about being a reporter is if you’re curious and nobody’s answering your questions, you can just call people and start asking questions. And I reached a few of the people, a few of the troops who had served there, a couple of, Sergeant First class John Hill and Sergeant Eric Harder, and I started talking to them. Eventually, it became a mystery I wanted to solve. It also became a story of heroism that I wanted to tell about these troops who served at this outpost, because eight Americans died, and that’s tragic and horrible, but 45 survived. 53 U.S. troops were there total, facing about 400 Taliban. And their stories of heroism, and the stories of the heroism of those who fell, were just unbelievable. HH: And I want to promise y listeners that they will be repaid if they sit down with this and take a pen and follow it and chart it out. You will be amazingly moved. Jake, I don’t, I know a lot of military history. I don’t know of a battle with 53 people that received ten Silver Stars, a Medal of Honor nomination, and a Distinguished Service Cross nomination. I don’t, there might be other ones, I just don’t know of them. JT: Yeah, I mean, it was remarkable, and I suspect that those Medal of Honor nominations, we’ll hear more about in the coming months and years, because some of the behavior was just unbelievable. And you know, I was interviewing, we’re going a piece on Nightline tonight about The Outpost, which you know, comes out today, and which is not a coincidence that we’re doing it Veterans Day week. And I was interviewing one of the soldiers, a guy names Zach Koppes, you might remember him from the book, Hugh. HH: Yes. JT: He’s was a good friend with one of the soldiers who fell, Stephan Mace, and he’s a Mennonite and had an interesting background, an interesting path to the Army, as did a lot of these guys. HH: Many of them, yeah. JT: Yeah, and Zach was talking about the heroics of the people who were running ammunition to him, and running into battle, and as if he had been cowering under, you know, the dining room table or something. He had been standing post in a Humvee for 12 or 13 hours firing back at the Taliban while his Humbee and the Kevlar tarp were shredded. Unbelievable bravery, but to him, it was nothing, because these other guys were running into bullets, in the light, delivering ammunition and returning fire. So it was just a, the bravery was unparalleled. I’ve never heard anything like it. HH: I want to emphasize to the listener, we will be back to the particulars of October 3rd, 2009, in the third hour of our conversation. But I want to tell you, to get to there requires an incredible story, and that’s why it is such a moving account, because there are many other incidents of courage and heroism and dumbness throughout this thing. But I also want to, Jake, I appreciate greatly that you covered the home front throughout the book, but that of course means you were brought into contact with great reservoirs of sorrow and courage. Did that change you? JT: Yeah, it did. It did. First of all, as anybody who knows members of the military knows first hand, these are some of the most remarkable people you’ll ever meet. They’re just, I mean, a lot of them are just people you would want to hire to run your business or run anything, any enterprise. But they’re also just, there’s just this tradition of giving and selflessness that is just imbued in them. It’s, you know, one of the reasons I wrote the book is because I am apart from that. I did not serve. And I was just not raised in a generation or a socioeconomic group where that was expected, where that happened. I regret it. But these people give so much, and then so much is often taken away. And as you point out, the book is more than just the October 3rd battle, and the reason for that, Hugh, is that once I got a little bit of publicity for the fact that I had signed a book contract to write the story of The Outpost, of the attack, and the original working title of the book was Enemy On The Wire, because it was just going to be about the attack, and who these troops were, who were there October 3rd, 2009, is that other soldiers, other officers got in touch with me, because they wanted their stories told, too, because…not their own stories, but they wanted the stories of their squadrons, their troops, their fallen comrades, they wanted those stories told, too. And so because of people like Captain Ross Berkoff, who’s an intelligence officer now retired, and because of people like First Lieutenant Dave Roller, who’s now in law school, the book became broader, because they wanted the stories of their beloved commanders and their beloved comrades told as well. And so it ended up being a whole history of this one outpost. And in a way, it’s a good way just to see how the American experiment of war works and doesn’t work in a corner of the world, because it’s not all bad news as you know. There is some outreach that does work. HH: Oh, and it’s a story of the war in miniature in one province. I’ve spent a lot of time with Joby Warrick about the CIA’s war, and I’ve talked to Rajiv Chandrasekaran about the Marines’ war in Helmand. But this is the Army’s war. In many respects, I think that the Army is going to be applauding that finally someone has told their story in detail, whether it’s…but preliminary question. Barbarians, bulldogs, bastards, Black Knights, this dizzying array of armaments and acronyms – how did you learn all this? JT: It was very difficult. It was not easy. You know, I speak English. I don’t speak Army. And so it took a while for me to figure it all out, and become expert enough that I could, I mean some of the footnotes were, like, two years in the making in terms of my brain wrapping my head around the fact that well, if you’re a cavalry unit, you call a company a troop, but if you’re in infantry, you call a troop a company. HH: Right. JT: And that sort of…and the fact that they all changed their names during deployments, and it got a little complicated. But I tried to write it for a non-military person to understand. HH: Better than even chance I’ll mispronounce this, but we go from the 3-71 to the 1-91 to the 6-4, and then the 3-61. Different divisions are involved, but that’s going to be my shorthand. Is that how it’s referred to? I always get email from military when I mispronounce things. Is that how you refer to them? JT: Well, they say 3-71. They don’t combine them. 3-71, 1-91, 6-4, 3-61. HH: Perfect. JT: They just, yeah. HH: Perfect. Those are the three cycles, the four units that cover Camp Keating as people understand, and they involve different divisions. And when you started this, Jake Tapper, the 10th Mountain Division begins, and it ends with the 3rd Infantry Division. Did you find any part of the Army more or less willing to work with you on this? JT: That’s a good question. I mean, obviously the intelligence officers and the Special Forces are the most concerned about what they do. And you know, but generally speaking, once it became clear to skeptics in the Pentagon, and skeptics among the troops that this was really a very heartfelt project where I was really just trying to tell the story and understand what happened, and understand why certain decisions were made, people came to cooperate. And some were more cooperative than others. One of the things… HH: Stay with me for a break, Jake. JT: Okay. – – – – HH: That’s Back In Black by AC/DC, America. I’m Hugh Hewitt. My guest is Jake Tapper. His new book, The Outpost: An Untold Story Of American Valor is the story of three plus years of America’s effort to make something of a base in Kunar Province in Afghanistan, the far northern and western corner of the land. Music is throughout this, Jake. I’ll be using my bump music today from references that you have, but it’s amazing how much the music impacts the ordinary GI. JT: Yeah, you know, it’s funny. I saw Chris Jones is a soldier in the book who brought a guitar with him, and he would right funny songs about his colleagues, his comrades. HH: Yup. JT: And one of the, to me, one of the most vivid scenes in the book is after the attack when Captain Stoney Portis, the commander of the camp is walking around and the whole camp has been burned down except for one or two buildings, and people are sleeping on the ground. And he hears Private Jones playing Johnny Cash. And I saw, we had a book launch on Saturday night in Washington, and a lot of the troops and their moms and dads and wives and so on came to the book launch. And the mom, Chris Jones’ mom was there. Chris, he wasn’t able to come. And she was so happy about it, because you know, he’s this musician, so she was happy that was in there. And I told her, you know, I had to pay money out of my pocket to put in all these lyrics from Folsom Prison Blues, but it was worth it. HH: Oh, it communicates the exhaustion of those men at the end of this battle. You mentioned Steven Pressfield in passing. He’s a friend of mine. He’s been in the studio off and on over the years talking about his books. And I was thinking of the Afghan Campaign before I first came across it. It’s in The Outpost twice. Have you read it? JT: I’ve skimmed it. I’ve skimmed it. I liked it a lot. It was, you know, when I was writing the book, it was, my mind was focused on writing, not so much… HH: Yes. JT: So when I read, I tended to read more escapist things, because I was spending so much time in the blood and guts of Afghanistan that Pressfield’s book, what I read of it, was brilliant. But I couldn’t get too deep into it. HH: But the troops read it, because it’s about the forlorn campaign of Alexander, and he gave up and he went away. And you have a picture at the end of this book of the camp as it is now, and I don’t want to tell people what it looks…it’s abandoned. I’ll tell them that. Everyone should know that. And it looks like as though it could have been an Alexander outpost high in the mountains of Kunar Province. JT: There’s a lot of references to Alexander in the book, not from me, but from troops, and from soldiers who were, who served there. HH: Yeah. JT: First Lieutenant Ben Keating, who is the namesake of the camp, he was, he had Pressfield’s book with him, and he was reading it, and it was a lesson to him. And he was becoming disillusioned with the possibility of what he thought. And this is a conservative Republican who was a big believer in the war effort, and a big believer in the power of America. And he just became disillusioned with the idea of what can we do in this part of the land. And you know, right outside the camp that ultimately bore his name was the hollowed out shells of former Soviet personnel carriers from the Soviet invasion. And that was a depressing part of the war for Ben Keating. And that book was, I had to figure out what book it was, because a journalist named Matthew Cole, who’s a friend of mine who was there embedded with 3-71 Cav, told me that Ben Keating was waving around this book, and I had to investigate with his dad, and with Matt Cole and others. HH: Oh. JT: Finally, I figured out it was Pressfield’s book, and that became more poignant. HH: Now I also have to say the inside flaps of the book, I don’t think I’ve ever referred back and forth to inside flaps, but it took me only a few dozen pages to realize that whenever you’re looking at a forward operating base Bostick, or Combat Outpost Lybert, or, and tell me how to pronounce Observation Post, is it Fritsche? JT: Yeah, Fritsche. HH: Or Combat Outpost Lowell, and of course, Combat Outpost Keating…you’re talking about a hero. They don’t name these for people who are not in their hearts, and who have not given their all in these efforts. JT: Yeah, and as they push north into this area of operation, into Kunar and Nuristan Provinces, the landscape becomes spotted with these outposts, these tiny outposts named after these heroes. And the goal of the book is for you to know some of the stories behind these heroes so that they’re not just names, because ultimately, you know, Combat Outpost Keating doesn’t exist anymore. A lot of the ones, a lot of them don’t exist anymore. HH: Is Bostick still up and operating? JT: As of right now. As far as I know. HH: Now I called my friend in Hollywood who helped bring Act of Valor to the screen. I told him to listen today and tell all his friends, because I think this has got to be an HBO series so that non-readers understand what went on here. Is that under discussion? Have you optioned this so that someone will make a Band of Brothers for Afghanistan? JT: Danny Strong, who is the screenwriter behind Recount and Game Change, I’m sure not two of your favorite HBO movies, but he also wrote this new butler movie coming out about the White House butler, a very talented guy. He has expressed interest, and he and I are talking. There aren’t any options as of now, though. But I agree, but I mean, the thing is, Hugh, and so many of the scenes in this book ring cinematic, but I mean, the ones…they’re so extraordinary, they almost feel like they’re not, that they’re fiction. They feel like they’re fiction, but they’re not. You know, the scene that comes, that is the most like that for me is after Lt. Col. Joe Fenty dies in a helicopter crash, and this is one of the big lessons of the book, and of this war, is that the land is just as dangerous as the enemy. HH: Yeah, yeah. JT: But after he dies, his wife, Kristen Fenty, is the head of the Family Readiness Group, and that’s the group ready to deal with all the wives or husbands if there is a death or a serious injury, a serious wound. And he gets permission, a guy named Major Timmons gets permission to call his wife from the mountain to tell his wife, Gretchen, to run back to Fort Drum to be there for Kristen. And so Gretchen gets in the car, she’s with her parents in Pennsylvania, she gets in the car, packs up with her kids, her mother-in-law zooms back to Fort Drum, runs up to Kristen Fenty’s door, and Kristen doesn’t know yet. HH: Right. And for a day, she doesn’t know. JT: For a day, she’s, and Gretchen spends the day with Kristen Fenty waiting for that knock at the door to come so she can help Kristen. Kristen has just had their first child, who’s Lauren, who’s about three or four weeks old, and the knock at the door never comes. And it’s just a surreal experience for Gretchen. And eventually, obviously, Kristen is told the next day. But it’s scenes like that made me say God, I have to make this into a much bigger project than I thought this was going to be, because that story is so incredible and moving and horrible and horrifying and inspiring, that this needs to be about more than just that one battle. HH: Well, I hope someone is listening and doing that, because there are story after stories. I was going to say we’ll come back to it. For me, the loss of Captain Bostick in that moment is, I don’t know how you keep going with this book. And were there times, a minute to the break, Jake Tapper, that you were tempted to say I just can’t do this? JT: It was emotional. I mean, it was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done, professionally emotionally. Without question, it was just wrenching. And you talk to these really tough, super, brave soldiers, and they cry to you telling their stories. And it’s so humbling, and it just gnaws at your soul. HH: It is also deeply inspiring, and not just for people inclined to military history, but to the ordinary reader. – – – – HH: When you’re done with The Outpost, you will know what Mortaritaville is, and I will perhaps come to that in our conversation. But Jake Tapper is my guest, senior White House correspondent for ABC. He’s not here talking about the news tonight. He’s talking about his new book, The Outpost: An Untold Story Of American Valor, linked at Hughhewitt.com, in bookstores everywhere. Jakes, before we go on, I made early in my notes for the outline of this, I want to talk a little bit about PTSD. My friends at the Semper Fi Fund have educated me over the years. I’ve had a lot of veterans on the show talking about how they’re recovering. But the story of Ed Faulkner is deeply arresting and sobering. And when you put the numbers down on Page 606, two million have served in these two wars, 20% estimated to have PTSD. Only half have been treated, and even some of those who were treated like Ed Faulkner don’t make it. And I hope people read The Outpost for a lot of reasons, but one is to let them know about PTSD. JT: Yeah, and that was the story, that was the reason I told the story of Ed Faulkner, even though his parents obviously were very resistant for understandable reasons, just because it’s a very private matter. But Ed Faulkner was a survivor. He’d won two purple hearts, one for being wounded in Iraq, and then he was a survivor at COP Keating. He fought in COP Keating and survived again. But he developed an addiction to drugs after his first wound before he deployed to Afghanistan. And then when he came back home, the Army discharged him. They thought they were doing him a favor, because they thought that he was back on drugs, and it would be better to discharge him honorably than have him ultimately end up discharged dishonorably. That’s now how Ed or his father saw it. Ed came back to North Carolina where he’s from and his PTSD acted up in him in an incredibly dramatic way. And it was just, his mom would find him in the middle of the night aiming an imaginary rifle at imaginary enemy soldiers. It was around that time that the Taliban released the video of the attack on COP Keating, and Ed would spend his nights watching it. Eventually, he met up with a woman who had a drug problem, and he ultimately overdosed. And the story of how the Army and the VA failed Ed Faulkner, Jr. is an important one, because we, and I don’t only want to blame the Army and the VA. And my mom used to work for the VA, so I have a lot of respect for people who work at the VA. But we need to do more as a country. We need to make sure that we are protecting these people. You know, when these troops all came to the book launch on Saturday, you know, for a lot of them, and my mom noticed, and my mom was there, and she’s a former VA nurse, and she noticed that anytime she brought up Afghanistan with most of them, their faces would tighten up, or they would twitch. And a lot of them still have PTSD. And these are not, these are not even the guys who are, who have serious PTSD. HH: Right. JT: We as a country need to do more for these people. We cannot stigmatize this problem, and we need to make sure that these people are cared for, and receive the help they need. And it’s a commitment. These people have this because of us. HH: And when people experience the stress of COP Keating or the other COPs, they might understand it better, because it’s told in the detail. You understand that daily stress, attack after attack after attack. I also want to point out that though you deal with the Special Forces in the book, and I’ve got a lot of Special Forces friends who are listening and in the community. I know they’re very respectful, but you’re ambivalent almost of the amount of attention that’s been paid to them vis-à-vis the ordinary Joe as you call them, as they’ve been called through history, that the folks from Task Force Blue, and Captain Snyder, not his real name, they’re here and they’re active, and indeed they come to the relief of COP Keating at the end, in part, with others. But they’re not, this war isn’t about just Special Forces. JT: Yeah. You know, Special Forces get a lot of attention, and rightly so, whether it’s a Team SEAL Six, or Army Green Berets. And Captain Snyder, not his real name, was at the…he snuck into the book launch. HH: Oh, did he? JT: He was there, and a couple of the other guys who…there were at least three or four Special Forces guys there. But they tend to, I mean, this book is more about the Joes. It’s more about the guys there day in and day out, the ones who get ambushed, not the ones who are necessarily looking for a fight. That’s not to say that Special Forces are looking for a fight, but they might be a little bit better prepared for military action when it happens. These are the guys who are doing outreach to the village. You know, the counterinsurgency doctrine of the U.S. going to parts of the country, parts of Afghanistan, and trying to connect these remote hamlets and villages to the Afghan government, provide them with economic development, and provide them with micro, hydro, electric plants. HH: The theory of why we went to Kunar is the subject of the next segment. Don’t go anywhere. – – – – HH: Quite certain that’s the first Lil’ Wayne that’s ever been a bump on the Hugh Hewitt Show, but there’s an anecdote in The Outpost, Jake Tapper’s new book, that is very amusing, that…the debate over Lil’ Wayne among the lieutenants of COP Keating is well worth the time. Jake, I want to set this… JT: These bumps are great, I have to say. I mean, they’re really well done. HH: There’s a lot of music in the book. I’ve got to ask you to outline the mission. Why did we go there, and about…especially the original sin, the original err of putting COP Keating, Combat Operating Base Keating, where it was put, which goes back to 2006, a debate that you somehow got to the bottom of, and then Colonel Fenty’s tragic mission, if you could sort of set us up. Why did we go there? JT: We pushed into Eastern Afghanistan, Kunar and Nuristan Provinces, because the thinking was, the feeling was that insurgents were pouring across the border from Pakistan and killing Americans or attacking Americans in other parts of the country using this route. So they put American outposts all over Kunar and Nuristan, including Combat Outpost Keating, to try to stop the enemy from doing that. In addition, there was these PRTs, provincial reconstruction teams, economic development going on, which were very trendy at the time, part of the counterinsurgency doctrine of empowering the Afghan government by having them being seen as helping to develop parts of Afghanistan that were not developed. Now they put Combat Outpost Keating at the bottom of the mountains next to the road for a few reasons. One, most of the helicopters were in Iraq, so to resupply the camp, they needed it near a road. Two, it needed to be near the road so they could monitor the road. And three, part of it was to be near some of the people in the region. Of course, up the mountain was a little bit more populous, but they didn’t know that at the time, because they didn’t know much about this area at all. Now what happens is within a year, well, within a couple of months, it’s obvious that it’s way too dangerous to set up a provincial reconstruction team there, so the PRT is cancelled and just moved somewhere else. They keep the combat outpost there, but within a year, the road is so dangerous, both because of the enemy and because of the fragility of the infrastructure, Ben Keating has died, others have come close, that they stopped using the roads. And so this is one of the issues I explore kind of at the end of the book about military thinking, which is instead of then moving the camp, because the reason for having it right there is no longer there, they’re not using the road, they’re only using helicopters, they keep it there. And but to touch on Lt. Col. Joe Fenty’s death, which is one of the most horrific moments in the book, because it wasn’t even combat. It was just the perilousness of flying a helicopter at night. HH: Right. JT: These mountains are so jagged that they’re finishing up a mission, and Col. Fenty is the kind of guy, Lt. Col. Fenty’s the kind of guy who wants to be right there doing command and control. And he is in this helicopter, and the crew is not experienced in the area, and ultimately the winds are so strong that it crashes. And ten Americans die in this helicopter crash. And it’s horrific, and it’s not the last time in that deployment when the terrain grabbed a victim. It’s just the first time. HH: And in fact, Combat Operating Outpost Keating becomes, COP Keating becomes named for another lieutenant who, like Lt. Col. Fenty, dies as a result of the terrain. When you covered these things, did you have a sense of these peaks and these distances until you actually went and looked in the area? And by the way, I’ve been saying Kunar. It’s actually Nuristan is where the base is. JT: Right. HH: And…but did you have a sense of how immense these things were? JT: I saw photographs and videos, but it wasn’t until a year ago when I went to the area, and I was embedded with the 2-27 Infantry Wolfhounds, and I was embedded with a medevac unit that I saw how unbelievable these mountains are. And the idea of, you know, we have the machinery we have – the immense Blackhawk and Chinook helicopters, and the light, medium tactical vehicle trucks. And this is big, American, muscular machinery. And these…it’s not conducive to use these things in this remote area of the world with these incredibly high peaks. The mountain pass might be eight or nine thousand feet above sea level. And then, I mean, it’s just the land is so dangerous that it’s the kind of thing that actually doesn’t get a lot of coverage in the U.S., because it’s so difficult to understand. HH: We’ll talk in the second hour. I am simply in awe of the medical corps, and what they will do to operate in these climbs, and how they will rescue people, details which are throughout The Outpost, but they have, they’re just bred, they eat heroism for breakfast when they go after victims of crashes and ambushes in these regions. It’s just amazing. JT: And these medevacs don’t have guns. HH: Right. It really is. I’ve seen M*A*S*H* a million times, as almost anyone listening has. It’s very different when you’re driving that. In fact, have anyone spoken to you yet as to whether or not they identify the Korean War with some of these incidents that you describe, Jake Tapper? JT: They reached farther back than that. This is, you know, they were reaching back to Alexander, and they were reaching back to the Soviet War more. Where the Korean War came in, I think, had a lot more to do with some of the black comedy of being in a place like that that makes no sense, that there were references to Catch-22 and M*A*S*H*, the movie more than the TV show, just because so many things just seemed crazy. There’s a period in the book when the helicopters, because it’s so dangerous to fly there, now they’re not driving up to COP Keating anymore, so they’re flying. But they don’t want to fly, because no pilot wants to fly up there, because it’s so dangerous. And so there are all these contractors that start being hired to drop off not men or weapons, but just basic supplies. And a lot of them are, you know, seem drunk, they’re Eastern European, literally from Eastern Europe, not American Eastern European. And they swoop their helicopters in and they seem drunk, and they run off to the river and relieve themselves and then come back. And soldiers are just standing there like what world are we living in now where this is how we get resupplied? HH: And convoys of jingle trucks, that’s another thing if there was a video, no one would believe it. – – – – HH: We’ll continue with a long segment on the other side of this break, Jake, but I wanted to ask you there are a lot of smells in The Outpost, a lot of hooches that you just don’t want to go into, and your nose crinkles, and a lot of people are wearing the same clothes again and again. Where did you get those details? JT: Well, I interviewed more than 225 people for the book, most of them over and over and over again. And you know, it was important to try to bring people into the picture as much as possible since it’s…what I wanted to have happen was for people to feel like they were there, like they were sitting alongside of these soldiers as they experienced the outreach to locals. And smell, to me, is the most vivid sense. And so when a female intelligence officer goes and meets with a number of female Afghans, or Nuristanis, really, because they’re their own distinct ethnic group, it becomes, it became important not only to describe what these women and girls looked like, but what it smelled like, just so people would have a better understanding of what it was like to be there, not just look at pictures. HH: It’s throughout the entire book, and it’s a very well done important detail right down to the smell of jingle trucks blown up and burned, containing chicken and steaks. – – – – HH: In the first hour, I tried to just give you a sense of how it got established. Jake Tapper, now let’s pick up with Lt. Col. Howard, who’s a very riveting figure. And he brings the news of Lt. Col. Fenty’s death to his wife, and then he takes command of COP Keating and the area. And it’s hard on him. This book is hard on Col. Howard. Tell us about him. JT: Well, he was put in an impossible situation, and I tried to convey that. He, you know, it’s difficult to take over command for somebody as beloved as Lt. Col. Fenty was. But Mike Howard is a different breed of cat. He’s a tough officer, much more quick temper, much more no nonsense. And I don’t want to really, I hope I don’t take issue with him, but certainly people under him took issue with some of his command decisions. And the most significant one being the one to send a light, medium tactical vehicle truck, an LMTV truck, from the forward operating base, which is a much bigger base, to COP Keating. He wanted to do it, and people did not understand why he wanted to do it, people under his command. It seemed to be because he wanted to demonstrate American force and might, what’s called a show of force. He wanted to, because they could not resupply with helicopters, he wanted to show that it could be resupplied with this truck. And people underneath him in the command structure disagreed with the decision. Ultimately, it’s a decision that was dangerous, because getting the LMTV on that road, which is a very dangerous road even for a Humvee to drive on, much less a bigger truck, was a harrowing experience for the men who had led the platoon, and were wounded, seriously wounded, as they felt like sitting ducks driving very slowly in this truck, and the convoy with it. But then also, ultimately, the LMTV sat at the base, and Ben Keating is the one who drove it back, and that’s when he was in the rollover and was killed. Now it’s interesting, why did Ben Keating do that? Because in the military, the commander of a convoy, which Ben Keating was, Lt. Keating was, would never drive. HH: Right. JT: And this is why his history as a Christian was very significant. He’s the son of ministers in Maine, and from a very early age was very spiritual. He read the Picture Bible, really identified with Jesus washing the feet of his disciples, felt like he learned more in how to command from Christian youth camp than he ever learned in ROTC. And his method of leadership was to lead, as odd as it might seem, but to lead a platoon the way he thought Jesus might, which is you serve your men. And therefore, when it came time to make this decision to drive this LMTV at night on this unstable road, Ben Keating felt the need to drive it himself. He didn’t want anybody else to have to go through the pain or suffering of what might happen. It would need to be him. That’s how he lived. And that’s how he died. HH: He, on November 25th, you quote him as saying, 2006, it’s stupid and it’s dangerous, so I’m going to drive. And the road gives out underneath him, because these roads are just not built for LMTV’s. It’s not the insurgency that kills him, although driving at night doesn’t make it any easier. Then, there’s the incredible story…he’s a very inspiring figure, and I’m glad his parents gave you his emails. I think a lot of people will identify with those emails, a lot of young soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines out there. But the recovery of his body and the saving of Sgt. Tiller is a testament again to the relentlessness of the band of brothers. I mean, they just, he’s…I don’t know how many feet that truck fell, but they did not give up until they had him and Sgt. Tiller, in his case, his body, but Sgt. Tiller rescued. And it’s amazing, actually. JT: Yeah, I mean, and this was a difficult part of the book to research, because I had to ask these men, many for whom this was the worst night of their lives. They lost a dear friend and commander, or I guess he wasn’t a commander, but he was a leader. And yeah, the LMTV spills over, and people run, you know, it’s nighttime, and people run down this cliff to get Ben and to get Vernon Tiller, one of the chief mechanics. And Tiller’s ultimately okay, but Ben is in horrible shape, and barely hanging onto life. HH: Staff Sgt. Heathe Craig of the 159th Medical Company rides something called a jungle penetrator. And I don’t know how they would ever put this on film. It’s just unbelievable what they do. And so people should read that, because Ben Keating deserves to have that read, but there are lots of other stories, including 2610, Hill 2610, where again, almost crazy happenstance ends up killing Americans. In this case, the delay of a day in the expedition strands a group on a hill and they need a speed ball, a drop of supplies, Jake Tapper. Tell people what happens next. JT: Well, there was a kill team and some scouts led by Cricket Cunningham and Jared Monti. These are two working class guys from New England who had wanted to do a mission together for a long time. They were put there on Hill 2610 to look over this village called Gawardesh, which is kind of like the wild west. It was a border town right next to Pakistan, and a local timber gangster named Haji Yunus, I think his name was, was there. And before the 10th Mountain pushed in, before 3-71 Cav pushed into meet with the villagers, they wanted to do overwatch. They wanted to look out and make sure that they knew who was there, who the bad guys were. So they were there, and then there’s an incident with an IED in which a sergeant named Adonis Flores is wounded, and because of that, they have to delay the operation to push into Gawardesh by a day. As you say, they drop a speed ball, because Cricket and Jared Monti, and their men, they have a dozen men, are running out of water and food. They need that, so they drop it. And that alerts enemy fighters that they’re there. And they’re ambushed. They’re attacked. And ultimately, four Americans die on Hill 2610 – two in the attack, and two in a horrible incident afterwards. But Jared Monti was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, which is the highest medal you can get… HH: Yeah. JT: …because his act of bravery was so unbelievable. One of his men was wounded, and Cricket says I’ll go get him, and Jared says no, no, he’s my man, because he was a scout. He wasn’t a sniper. I’ll get him. And he runs out into danger, and this isn’t danger like one bad guy with a gun. This is dozens of insurgents firing RPG’s and machine guns. And Jared Monti is killed. It was a very difficult thing to write. I went over it a couple of times with Jared’s dad, Paul, who had some requests in terms of some details not being shared, and some of the other guys on the mission made that request as well. Generally speaking, as a matter of policy when it came to writing this book, I had to decide, Hugh, how graphic to be. And one of the things that was motivating me was I don’t know how bad this war is and how much…not bad in terms of whether or not it’s a just war, but how difficult it is to fight this war. I don’t know that, and I cover this thing. I need to share these details so that people know what sacrifices are being made. That said, there were some details that I withheld upon request of family members or just common sense. HH: Jake, how often, a minute to the break, how often did this just stop you in your tracks and reduce you to tears? JT: A lot. I mean, I didn’t have an abacus there for my weeping, but it was more just the kind of sorrow you feel in the pit of your soul. And also combined, to be quite candid, with a sense of worthlessness, just because these people do so much for us, and yeah, it’s nice that I took the time to write their stories, but I mean, what they do is so powerful and so meaningful and so selfless. And we are…we…all I could do was just be humble. And you know, honestly, it makes me a little bit mad. These guys thanked me for writing their story, and I’m like shut up. Don’t thank me. I don’t deserve your thanks. HH: I get that. – – – – HH: Deep religiosity in the music one of the wives plays to her husband who ultimately doesn’t make it, is part of the story of The Outpost, following soldiers wounded in the war in their evacuation all the way back to Walter Reed and beyond, is part of Jake Tapper’s art in The Outpost. Before we go there, though, Jake, I want to ask you about…the angriest I was in the book is at the end when I read the report from Major General Guy Swan III, condemning people at COP Keating. I’m curious what your reaction was when you read that report. JT: Well, I read it a few times. The first time I read it, I read it without knowing much about the COP, and knowing that it was disputed, but that…and these people were reprimanded – a colonel, lieutenant colonel and two captains, one who had served there, and one who had been serving there for a couple of weeks. After doing the research for the book, it made me very angry. All three of the four disciplinary actions, one of them I think was merited, and that was the captain who had already left, Melvin Porter… HH: Sure. JT: …who had not supported efforts by the men to… HH: Increase defenses, yeah. JT: …fortify the base. Though to be frank, and you know, probably it would not have made a difference anyway. The biggest problem with that base is it was at the bottom of three steep mountains. HH: Yeah. JT: But I have now become friends with many of, well, I’ve become friends with Lt. Col. Brad Brown, who’s now a colonel, and Stoney Portis, Captain Stoney Portis who’s now a major. And these are guys, I mean, the most important thing is that Colonel Randy George and Lt. Col. Brown were trying to close this base. HH: Yeah. JT: They had been trying for months to shut it down, because it was, in their view, not worth anything and too dangerous. And for many reasons having to do with all sorts of politics, both Afghan politics and American politics, and also because of limited resources, and this is in 2009, so President Obama was the president, and General McChrystal was the head of ISAF at the time, McChrystal did not approve the closure of the COP until it was too late, until October, and then the camp was… HH: That is one of the maddening things that is the story. The Outpost does do generals. Mostly, it does privates and sergeants and lieutenants and captains, but it does do generals. And one of the things I think everyone in the Army is going to thank you for, or the military. I married into a military family, so I learned, I’m shocked that I didn’t already know this. When I hear about a four month addition to their time and place, I didn’t really quite get what that meant, but you describe that when the 3-71 is extended for four months. It’s devastating to people, Jake Tapper. JT: I’m exactly the same as you. To me, it didn’t mean anything. Oh, they got extended. Well, they’re Army guys. HH: Yeah, you’re going to be at the White House for four months, Jake, and then we’ll move you around or something. JT: Yeah, I mean, what’s the big deal? But then you see these guys who have been in hell for a year, and then all of a sudden, all the rotations are extended. For four months for several of the guys who had wedding planned, that means that their weddings now have to be cancelled or rescheduled. But also, it’s oh my God, I thought I was going to get out of here alive, I’ve been counting down the days. And now I have four more months at this place. And it’s a horrible, horrible thing. HH: Yeah. You also leave me with foreboding. On this very day, there’s a story in the New York Times about the tipping of Afghanistan back towards civil war. And the Afghan army and the Afghan police, I’m just filled with foreboding at the end of this that you know, they just utterly ran away. And throughout the book there, there are some good ones, and you talk about them. And our men treat them with great respect, and they sacrifice for them, and some of them sacrificed for our guys. But in the end, Jake Tapper, do you have any sense that they’re a reliable force at all? JT: This was also something that I learned while writing this book, because you’re right. I mean, some of the Afghan troops and Afghan border patrol and Afghan police are great. Some of them are absolutely stupendous and the Americans were really happy about them and rally upbeat. But then towards the end, this, a kandak is a battalion with the ANA, with the Afghan National Army. And this last kandak in 2009 was a bad one, for whatever reason. And you see them with questionable behavior in an attack at this Afghan oupost, Bari Alai in Kunar Province in early 2009. And then you see it with the fact that these Afghan soldiers at COP Keating were awful when they were attacked. Many of them fled, some of them handed over their guns to the enemy as they were being attacked. Many of them hid, many of them pillaged the Americans’ rooms. It was, they were just worthless in battle, and it was horrific. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I can tell you that when I was at Forward Operating Base Bostick a year ago, and I talked to the people with whom I was embedded, Major Edwards and Captain Schachman and others, Schachman actually came to the book launch on Saturday, I asked them what they thought. They felt good about the Afghan soldiers, they felt decent about the Afghan police, they were very concerned about the logistical backup for ANA and ANP. HH: Sure. JT: They were very worried about that. And as we know, and this is one of the lessons in the book, the logistical backup can be everything. HH: And how in the world will they resupply people? I want to, before we lose this segment, get people into the most optimistic time of the book when the 1-91 arrives. You’ve got some amazing people – Captain Bostick, ten years as an enlisted man, very charismatic captain, Lieutenant Newsom, who’s nickname is Captain America. You’ve got Lt. Col. Chris Kolenda, the big brain from Nebraska, you’ve got great Staff Sgt. Fritsche, and all these other people. They made progress. It was working for a period of time, Jake Tapper. JT: That’s right, and that’s kind of part of the narrative arc of the book, is that they actually succeed. They, Col. Kolenda, who recently left the Army but is still working at the Pentagon, Col. Kolenda is a big believer in counterinsurgency, and a big believer in empowering locals. And it works. And they have a saying, the locals, form a group called the hundred-man shura. And the hundred-man shura convinces townspeople who have insurgents in their family to get them to lay down their arms, to get them to stop fighting. There is, when the U.S. pulls into Afghanistan, this part of Afghanistan in 2006, the bad guy is not the Taliban. The bad guy is what’s called the HIG, a local nationalist group. And under Col. Kolenda, and then subsequently, the HIG actually lays down its arms and works with the Afghan government. The problem is that there are still enough gangsters and insurgents and zealots so that when the Taliban then comes in, there is an army waiting for them to join up. And so ultimately, the enemy changes. There’s really no Taliban presence in Nuristan in 2006. But by 2009, it’s a strong one. HH: And by the time we get to the battle for Forward Operating Base Keating, there are 300 Taliban surrounding 55 Americans. – – – – HH: Rascal Flatts, another of the selections played by one of the home front women who are so amazing in the book, The Outpost: An Untold Story Of American Valor by Jake Tapper, ABC News senior White House correspondent. The book is out now. Jake, one of the things that comes through in this book, again, I think we’ve seen so many pictures of big bases like Bagram, and I’ve read so many accounts of Special Forces, and the bases from which they operate in ordinary times when they’re not deployed. People don’t really understand the conditions under which the troops are living in these bases. You’ve got on Page 241 the 1-91 flying from Germany to Kyrgyzstan to Bagram to Jalalabad to Naray, to Bulldog Troop moving into Camp Keating. It got worse and worse. At one point, though, one of the soldiers is eating ice cream, and Bostick, the key captain says are you going to eat that, and the staff sergeant says no. And he says you should, because at Keating, there’s not going to be any blankety-blank ice cream. In fact, sometimes, there wasn’t any food except the MRE’s. JT: Yeah, it got pretty tough at times, because resupplying was so difficult. And yeah, I mean, it certainly got better from 2006 to 2009. In 2006, it was flea infested hovels that they lived in, and mostly, they slept on the ground, maybe under their trucks just to be safe. But they built up the base, but it was still rather Spartan, and with no showers whatsoever, with no plumbing whatsoever, with very little to eat, very little to drink. HH: And cold. JT: And troops would get skinnier and skinnier, and folks back home would get worried, because they’d see these pictures of their loved ones wasting away. HH: Now I want to talk about the day that Sgt. Fritsche and Captain Bostick were lost. Would you tell people about, that was a mission, and it was an assassination in essence. JT: Yeah, this is what happens. So they’re there to do this outreach to local villages. Saret Koleh is this little hamlet on the road that in a few instances, when U.S. convoys have been gone the road, it seems like there is fire coming from that general area of Saret Koleh. And Lt. Col. Chris Kolenda, who’s stationed at the local forward operating base, decides that they’re going to do outreach to this little town, to this little hamlet. So first of all, 1st Lt. Dave Roller sets up overwatch. And this is one of the, a comic moment in the book. Keep in mind they haven’t seem women in months, because anytime they go into an Afghan village, the women are hidden from them. I would say they hide, but it’s probably more accurate to say they’re hidden. And so Roller is there doing overwatch with his 1st platoon trying to figure out if they, the people of Saret Koleh have any idea that the Americans are coming. He looks down at the river and sees about two dozen naked Afghan women between the ages of like 20 and 30 or so, you know, splashing each other and having a fight, a fun fight. And he calls back into Bostick. He’s like you’re not going to believe this, but you know, I’ve got about two dozen Afghan women splashing each other here. It looks like a sorority pool party. It makes him feel confident that they don’t know that the Americans are there. But then ultimately, it ends up being the worst day of their lives. They go into the village the next day, Captain Bostick leading the way, with Staff Sgt. Ryan Fritsche is very new, very green. He’s been in the Army for five years, but never been in a part of the country, never been fighting. And they’re ambushed, and it’s a very intense, intricate, powerful ambush. And the troops from 1-91 are not ready for it. Ultimately, Ryan Fritsche is shot while trying to do overwatch with a group, and Tom Bostick is hit with an RPG, a rocket-propelled grenade. And they don’t make it. And so here you have the commander of this troop, this company, is dead. There are three lieutenants there, but they do not have a commander, and they are still in the middle of battle. So the people at headquarters start to panic a little, what are we going to do? Ultimately, they get out, but they leave Ryan Fritsche behind, and that becomes a whole other operation. Then they have to go back and rescue Ryan Fritsche. HH: Oh, that is an agonizing decision. And at the end of it, on Page 286, you write Dave Roller, the lieutenant, was distraught at the loss of Bostick. Everyone in Bulldog Troop was. But for Roller, the hardest thing of all was the belief that even as he and his fellow soldiers were out there fighting for their lives, no one back home cared. 90% of the American people would rather hear about what Paris Hilton did on Saturday night than be bothered by reports on that silly war in Afghanistan. Of this, Roller was convinced that the people they’d been fighting for would never know their names. And that made the deaths of soldiers such as Tom Bostick and Ryan Fritsche all the more tragic. When I come back, I want to ask you a first question, Jake Tapper, if that is a widely held belief among the veterans of Combat Outpost Keating. – – – – HH: When we went to break, Jake, I had asked you do many soldiers share the view of Lt. Roller than nobody knows and nobody cares? JT: I think they’re disappointed, a lot of them, most of the ones I’ve talked to. And not just the troops, but their moms and their wives about how little the nation seems to want to hear about what they’re going through, and how little the nation seems to want to know their names or respect what they did, or have any understanding of what they did. The…a woman who has become my friend, her son, Stephan Mace, was killed in that final battle, Vanessa Adelson, recently posted on Facebook that she was happy that this book was written. Maybe now people would know what happened at COP Keating. And she noted that at the time, October, 2009 and thereabouts, the media was more focused on Balloon Boy and the David Letterman sex scandal than they were on COP Keating. And just looking back on it as a member of the media, and you know, I don’t always agree with every decision made by my media outlet or any other media outlet. But it’s inescapable to conclude anything but the fact that I mean, that was a huge story, the Letterman sex scandal, and it wasn’t even really a scandal. I mean, it was two consenting adults. HH: Yeah. Well, I was amazed. I read this after the election in the last week, and I’m amazed that the election did not deal with these issues. And I’m partly responsible. I talked to Romney a lot, and I just, I know what his policy is on Afghanistan, and I know what the President’s policy is on Afghanistan. But I wonder if either of them really get a sense of what is described here in The Outpost? And I don’t think the media writ large did much of a job of asking them to articulate what the plan is. JT: No, I agree. I mean, I think there is a moment…I agree with you, and that’s certainly a failure of mine as well. I mean, I’ve asked the President about Afghanistan, but you know, the last question… HH: But you brought their questions to him. I like that. I had forgotten that until I read it, but you might tell people. You brought questions to the President from these men. JT: Yeah, the President had a press conference earlier this year in which it was at the NATO summit in Chicago, in which they were trying to, you know, they were going to lay out what the plan was for the next couple of years. And I solicited questions from, you know, I’ve become friends and acquaintances with a lot of these people now, and I solicited questions on Facebook and on email, and I picked two. Now to the White House’s credit, I told them I have questions from soldiers. I didn’t tell them what the questions were, obviously, but I said I have questions from soldiers. And so the President, he went to me. And that, I think, is probably testament to a guy who works at the National Security Council named Ben Rhodes, who has been, like me, somebody who never served, but has been moved and touched by meeting people who have and the sacrifices they made. And so I think Ben probably had something to do with making sure President Obama called on me. And the two questions I asked were from Lt. Stephen Cady and Sgt. Eric Harder. Cady wanted to know what happens if we withdraw and everything goes downhill. And the President gave his answer about you know, there’s a time to leave, and at a certain point, U.S. presence in some countries might end up doing more harm than good. And then Eric Harder, I mean, obviously you should read the book for the more comprehensive answer. I’m paraphrasing probably not entirely accurately. But Eric Harder, who was at the time, he’s back now, thank God, but he at the time was in Afghanistan having been redeployed there. He wanted to know if the President thought he was getting the straight story, if people were telling him the truth. HH: Yeah. JT: And the President said, he alluded to having ways and methods of hearing from not just the generals and the colonels, but also from the NCO’s and the privates and specialists. I don’t know exactly what he meant by that, but Harder at the time was in Afghanistan thinking that you know, I don’t think the President is getting the full story about all this. HH: Now I encourage people to read that, and to read the interplay between generals, colonels and majors and captains all the way up and down the chain of command, and they can conclude the answer to that. Before this break comes up, Jake Tapper, I want to turn to the 6-4, and Robert, help me with the name, is it… JT: Yllescas. HH: Yllescas. Robert Yllescas is lost. He’s severely injured, he gets back to Walter Reed. There’s one of the most moving pictures in the book is of his little girl, Eva, visiting his graveside. And Dena’s music is the music I’ve played this hour. JT: Yeah. HH: I am curious if she thinks, and the spouses think, their husbands got the best medical care available. JT: I think the ones, you know, speaking broadly, I think the ones whose husbands made it back to hospitals feel good about the care they got at the hospitals. But I think, I mean, one of the things that’s tough about a place like Combat Outpost Keating is they can’t rely on refrigeration, so they don’t have blood there. And there were triage decisions made during the battle of Kamdesh, the October 3rd, 2009 fight, that upset people when they found out that, for instance, Josh Kirk, Sgt. Kirk, one of the bravest guys in Black Knight troop… HH: That’s the last troop. That’s the troop in the battle, the big battle. JT: Yeah, they were the first guys to suit up whenever there was a bullet fired. They’d be the first ones to run into the line of fire. And Josh Kirk died incredibly bravely. But when he was brought into the aid station, he was not yet dead. He was on his way. He was doing agonal breaths, dying breaths, and he had lost so much blood. And the decision was made that they could have tried to keep him alive for another hour, but that ultimately, they didn’t think he was going to make it, or they knew he was not going to make it, and there were, the aid station was filling up with people, and they couldn’t devote two medics or a physician assistant and a medic to keeping Josh Kirk alive when he wasn’t going to make it. Ultimately, a triage decision was made that is a heartbreaking one, that they just needed to move on. And so in some cases, yes, but in some cases, no. I don’t think that the medical care was always what it needed to be, but that’s also what happens when you have these outposts on the front lines in obscure and remote corners of the world. – – – – HH: And Jake, let’s set it up. The 3-61 arrives, the 6-4 loses its captain, Robert Yllescas, to basically an assassination attempt, and a new unit arrives, the 3-61. But their colonels, Col. George and Lt. Col. Brown, they really don’t want this base. Tell people what happens next. JT: Well, they had been, they had visited the base on the day of Rob Yllescas’ funeral. They went there ahead of time to survey the land and the area of operations. They get off the helicopter and COP Keating, and George turns to Brown and says what the hell are they doing here, because it’s this incredibly vulnerable camp. HH: Doesn’t that, that reaction again and again through the book, people get off the helicopter or they look up the mountain and they say what in the hell are we doing here. JT: Yeah. HH: Did anyone say hey, good idea? JT: Well, Brown and George then try to close it. HH: Yeah. JT: And the reason that McChrystal does not give approval is the following. One, McChrystal, who was then the commander of ISAF having replaced General McKiernan, who Bob Gates and Admiral Mullen, the Joint Chiefs Chairman at the time wanted, didn’t think was, well, they found his leadership lacking, so they fired him and replaced him with McChrystal, who is one of the new age leader-warrior poets, along with Petraeus. And interestingly enough, both Petraeus and McChrystal have not tragically fallen. Maybe they believed their own press clippings too much or something. But in any case, apologize for the editorial comment. HH: No, that’s fine. JT: But in any case, McChrystal is under pressure from Karzai not to shut the base, or any bases, before the August, 2009 elections, because it would be seen as weakness. In addition, there is a town called Barg-e-Matel, where Karzai is counting on receiving a lot of votes. And in fact, more votes come from Barg-e-Matel than there exist voters. HH: Lots more votes, yeah. JT: Thousands more. And in addition, then there’s fighting in Barg-e-Matel, and so they don’t have the helicopters to, that they would need to close a camp, because again, they still don’t have helicopters, even though President Obama ultimately did surge troops significantly. At that point, he had not, and so they were still lacking the basic supplies they needed, just as they did in 2006 when we talked about that Hill 2610 mission. And then in addition, McChrystal and the White House had gotten into a, you know, I don’t want, I’m not sure what, a urinating match. HH: Yeah. JT: I don’t want to use any impolite words. HH: No FCC fines, you’re right. JT: Exactly, but they were embroiled in a back and forth, McChrystal and the White House. The White House thought McChrystal was trying to roll them, McChrystal thought the White House was, he didn’t understand what President Obama wanted in terms of his war. This was all while President Obama was forming his Af-Pak strategy, and there was a lot of back and forth. And ultimately, at this point in his dynamic with President Obama, McChrystal says to Col. George, I don’t want to get ahead of the President, meaning he doesn’t want to make these decisions that could be interpreted as him getting too big for his britches again. All of which is to say, plus also, Bowe Bergdahl, who is now a prisoner of war, had recently walked off his base and assets and air drones and such were being used to look for him. All of which means the decision to close Combat Outpost Lowell and Keating and some others was postponed. And ultimately, that decision meant that men died. HH: Do you think that this book and the attention it pays to postponing decisions may in fact change Army doctrine about the rapidity with which such decision has to be made? JT: I can’t say that the book will, but I certainly hope that there are lessons drawn from COP Keating, both in terms of having bases so far away from support, when a medevac would take an hour and a half to get there, 40 minutes at least for an Apache to come and help the camp if it was under attack. And then just in terms of Army thinking of well, you know this doesn’t make sense, let’s change it as opposed to well, this doesn’t make sense, so let’s fortify it more or double down on it. I don’t know that it will change anybody’s way of thinking, but I hope it does. HH: Let me ask you about the one theme in the book which is the continuing critique that President Bush and Secretary Rumsfeld undersourced the war from the beginning. And there’s a long argument there about which was the right war and which wasn’t, that we had won in Iraq where you could win, but you can never win in Afghanistan, so you don’t over supply it. But whatever that is, do you have a sense that either Rumsfeld or Bush regret their staffing decisions here? Or do they say, as I’ve heard it said, they did what the Pentagon told them to do? JT: Well, Bush has said that he regretted not sending more troops into the country. He said that in his autobiography, Decision Points. I have not, I don’t think Secretary Rumsfeld has. But you know, it’s very clear that the troops, and I mean the soldiers there who worked hard, some of them died, complained all the time that they couldn’t do their job, not because they needed 300,000 soldiers there, but because they didn’t have the helicopters they needed, or they couldn’t be resupplied. It wasn’t just about what we really need to invade this country, and have a U.S. platoon on every hillside. HH: Right, but here’s my…I walk away very sympathetic to that, but then I’m asking the same question. We don’t want Johnson picking bombing targets, right? You don’t want the president of the United States running a war. JT: Right. HH: And Secretary of Defense has invaded Iraq, and he’s got, he’s running a war in Iraq, and he’s got things all over the world. Who is responsible for decisions like this where men are stuck out in a cavalry outpost waiting for Sitting Bull? JT: Well, that’s a great question, because you’re right. And I say that in the book. HH: Yeah, you do. JT: Ultimately, you can’t expect Bush or Obama to be like making decisions about which combat outposts to occupy. That needs to be delegated to people beneath him. The question is does the information flow the other way? Does somebody say President Bush, President Obama, we need 20 helicopters there now? And if we don’t get them, people are going to die. I don’t know. I mean, I remember, obviously, how General Shinseki, the then-Chief of Staff of the Army, was marginalized. He was not fired. But he was marginalized after he testified before Congress that at least a couple hundred thousand troops will be needed in Iraq after the invasion. And he was marginalized for saying that, because there were people who did not think that that was the case, and he was not supposed to say that, and nobody really spoke out against command decisions like that since. HH: And bipartisan failure as well. This is in The Outpost. The ISI, Pakistan, is behind this rat line. And it’s clear that the rat line got bigger and stronger as COP became weaker and more exposed. And it comes together on October 3rd, 2009, which we’ll talk about after the break. But I still hear bipartisan denial of the Pakistan problem, Jake Tapper. JT: Oh, and I say this at the end of the book. Bin Laden is barely mentioned in this book. Al Qaeda is not a player in this book. It’s local groups, Taliban and HIG, and it’s Pakistan. And in fact, one Afghan border patrol commander, colonel that I interviewed, tells me that the ISI are the ones who basically sent in the fighters to attack the COP. HH: Wow. Now is there concern on your part that if the United States withdraws as expected in the summer of next year, 2014, that the Taliban will welcome back al Qaeda into the regions that they will dominate? And they will dominate in some regions, correct? JT: Yeah, I mean, I think we’re going to have, I know we’re going to have, and you know this as well, Hugh, that we will have a Special Forces component in Afghanistan for the foreseeable future. I mean, I can’t imagine we’re not going to have Navy SEALs and Green Berets and the like, and CIA probably as well, in Afghanistan ready to take out any threat of that nature. But my concern is, and obviously I’m concerned about that, but I think what we might not be prepared for is what, are we going to have Special Forces there to go after forces that are threats to Afghans? And what if two tribes, or two different ethnic groups are fighting, and committing barbaric, horrific acts against one another? Do we get involved then? Or do our Special Forces let them fight it out as it becomes a very… HH: That seems almost, from the very beginning as I learned about Nuristan and the outpost, I thought to myself the Hatfields and the McCoys are like cub scout groups compared to these people. And it will be something to behold when we are gone and that thin veneer of civilization is withdrawn after the ten years of bribes back and forth, and the money that poured in. I haven’t even touched on that. Three more segments with Jake Tapper, to the battle, to the battle itself when we come back, the one which launched Jake Tapper on The Outpost. – – – – HH: I play True Grit, well, you tell them why I played True Grit, Jake Tapper. JT: Well, the last commander at COP Keating is a guy named Stoney Portis, a very, an excellent officer and a good man. And his father’s cousin, Charles Portis, wrote the book, True Grit. And Stoney, who’s from Texas, could be a character in the movie, True Grit. He may be one of the Texas Rangers, I don’t know. HH: He stands out, and everyone at Forward Operating Base Keating on October 3rd, 2009, is etched in eternity here, and as long as books are around. But Portis’ wedding band has Isaiah 6:8 inscribed on it – Who will go for us, whom shall I send. And I said send me. The religiosity of many of these men, not all of them, Jake Tapper, is something I took away from this book. JT: Yeah, there’s a lot of religion in this book. And as you know, Hugh, I’m a man of faith myself, and have nothing but respect for people of faith. And I respect agnostics and atheists as well, but it’s an important motivating force for a lot of these people, even when in their darkest hour, I mean, you talked about Rob Yllescas, who was assassinated and lingered in a coma for about a month before he passed away. And his wife and her mother and mother-in-law were very, very religious people. They were convinced when his bilirubin count went up it was because they had been praying for it. Ultimately, God had other plans for Rob Yllescas, and she prays and prays and prays, and I include those prayers in the book, because they’re part of who she was, and part of the powerful story of her saying goodbye to her husband. HH: It is powerful. And the faith element of this book is throughout. People should read it aware that the whole story is told. Now let’s set the day up, because Stoney Portis, this charismatic captain who’s in charge of COP Keating, one of the accidents of war, he’s not there on the fateful day. Tell people why not. JT: It’s incredible. I mean, finally, COP Keating, after having a commander killed, Tom Bostick in 2007, a commander assassinated, Rob Yllescas in 2008, a commander later described by the Army investigators as weak, Captain Mel Porter, who leaves, they finally get this guy, Stoney Portis, True Grit, who is ready to fortify the camp and be there for his men. And he, they’re about to close the base. They’re about to close COP Keating. So he wants to go up to the observation post to take inventory because of Army bureaucracy. It’s about a four hour hike up the mountain, so they have a helicopter there. So he and some of the other guys just get in the helicopter to go up to the observation post in a matter of 20 seconds as opposed to a four hour walk. And a sniper takes a shot at it. And luckily for Stoney and the others, nobody is hurt, but it damages the helicopter so much that it just speeds out of the valley and heads back to the forward operating base. And thus, again, the Taliban, the local insurgents, remove a captain, a commander, from COP Keating. And when they attack, although this is probably just good luck by them, not planned, but when they attack, the commander is not there. And it falls to one of the lieutenants, Andrew Bundermann, to take command and take charge. HH: Bundermann does a hell of a job. I mean, this is riveting in the command post. He just is, his pulse doesn’t rise. JT: No, he’s an incredible guy, and totally at ease and totally calm. And the helicopter pilots who later, the Apache pilots who later help save the COP credit Bundermann for being so calm and cool, and for passionlessly telling them what to do and sharing the grids. And ultimately, you know, the COP is saved. Eight men die, it’s horrible die, but 45 men survive. And it’s incredible, but Andrew Bundermann, he left the Army. I mean, incidents like these, what it means, ultimately, is that they, we lose a lot of good soldiers just because it’s such a horrifying and challenging thing. HH: I want people to understand in the three months prior to the 3-61 arriving at Camp Keating, forward operating base Keating, 35 attacks on it had occurred. One person station there saying being at Camp Keating is like deer hunting, but we aren’t the ones in the deer…the deer, because of these mountains around. JT: Right. HH: But there’s a base up on top, and would you explain the geography of the observation post up on COP Fritsche? JT: Observation Post Fritsche has no direct line of sight Combat Outpost Keating it is the observation post for. It cannot observe. It is an observation post that cannot observe. And from Combat Outpost Keating, you cannot see Observation Post Fritsche. But Fritsche is in a safe and secure location, and nobody in the three and a half years of that camp, nobody dies up there. Nobody is killed up there. HH: Now you know, I know my friend, for example, Col. Breslow is listening. He’s retired now, served in Iraq. His son is in Afghanistan as we speak. I’m sure he’s not believing, unless he knows the story of this, the idea that we would put people here. Do you get that reaction, Jake Tapper, from people who are professionals, but nevertheless read these details and look at you and say that can’t be true? JT: Most of the people who I have talked with about this know the story. And you know, it hasn’t gotten widespread notice for a lot of reasons, some of which is, you know, one reason is because there was this horrific attack that was kind of like the attack at COP Keating. It was about a year before in the same province, Nuristan, at Wanat. And nine guys died there, but that was a combat outpost that was only like a day or two old. It had not really been able to form yet. It had not built up yet. And I tell the story of Wanat in the book to a smaller degree. HH: Yeah. JT: But Combat Outpost Keating, the idea that this place could be there for three and a half years in such a vulnerable position, a lot of Americans don’t understand it, and a lot of troops don’t understand it. The people who served the previous years, they were able to fend off big attacks from the insurgents. Well, the 1-91, the second company there, they had all that success with winning over the locals. The next group, the 6-4, they had a couple of near misses, but they were there and they were on top of things, and lucky in a couple of instances. It was bound to happen sooner or later that the Taliban would succeed. HH: And they, the Taliban put more than 300 of their fighters in the hills surrounding COP Keating. They also had enough to attack the observation post simultaneously. And their weapons, it’s a surprise to me, that their weapons are as sophisticated as they turn out to be in the attack on the outpost. JT: Yeah, no look, I mean, this is Captain Chris Cordova, who was the chief medical officer at COP Keating, and I just saw him the other day, and I interviewed him for the piece that’s going to air on Nightline tonight. He said I hate to say it, but it was a brilliant attack. And it was. These are not cavemen. These are smart fighters, and ruthless, which is what you want in a fighter. They went after the observation post and pinned it down. They went after, they knew exactly where everybody was going to go. The first person killed was a private Kevin Thompson, a mortarman, who was there, ran out to his gun to shoot back at the enemy, and got killed. And then they pinned down the mortarmen. The mortarmen could not go out to the big guns. And the big guns are the only way to really respond when you’re in the bottom of a valley. So it was a brilliant attack. – – – – HH: How long does the attack last, Jake Tapper, total? And this is a six minute segment. Can you give people a sense of…they have to read the book. There’s no way to communicate 150 pages of combat, but what happened that day? JT: It starts at 5:58 in the morning, and I actually have information about the attackers, because I was able to interview two of them, two of the insurgents. And there were videos as well of their attack. It starts at 5:58 in the morning, and it’s just an unrelenting hailstorm of machine gun fire, RPG’s and mortars at this very vulnerable outpost. They pinned down the mortarmen, so they can’t respond. They pinned down the observation post. They set up positions so that any helicopters that come there are also made, are also vulnerable and fired upon. And as the U.S. soldiers run out to return fire, or to bring ammunition to those at the guard posts, the snipers and insurgents know exactly where they’re going and exactly what doors they’re coming out of, and they just pick them off one by one. It’s a devastating battle. Ultimately, the words that nobody wants to hear, enemy in the wire, meaning there are insurgents, there are terrorists inside the camp, are shouted out. And there are insurgents inside the camp. Eventually, there are some incredible acts of heroism, not just in returning fire, but in taking the camp back. In the words of Sgt. Clint Romesha, who’s one of the Medal of Honor nominees. People who go right into fire, right into places where people were just killed moments before and run right into it. And there are some very inspiring stories of courage. Eventually, ultimately, the U.S. beats back the Taliban. A lot of the troops who were, Captain Portis and some of the others lead a quick reaction force down the hill, down the mountainside. They had their own adventure there. And they come across the camp, and the whole thing lasts more than 12 hours. I think it’s around 8:00, so roughly 14 hours before they can get a medevac helicopter safely onto the ground. HH: And the Taliban don’t give up, either. They take A-10s, B-1s, Apache helicopters who are flying, I’m sure the helicopter service has never really received as much attention as they’re going to receive in this chapter, because they were relentless and fearless. JT: And Stoney Portis describes coming down the mountain from O.P. Fritsche, which had been taken back by the U.S. with a quick reaction force looking into the valley from this thousands of feet up and seeing almost every kind of U.S. flying machine in the air trying to kill Taliban, trying to kill these insurgents, and just how other-worldly it was. And then as if all that weren’t enough, Hugh, the camp sets on fire. HH: Right. JT: It catches on fire, and they have to start evacuating buildings, because the camp’s on fire. It is just one of these surreal experiences for these men that they can’t even believe they’re going through it. HH: I wonder if it was like this in World War II, I think it’s Private Rasmussen asked, or is it Sgt. Rasmussen. And is there any doubt, Jake, looking back, that this was as intense as any combat during the war? JT: It sounds to me, I mean, I’ve heard of other firefights that were as intense, but I have not heard of anything quite like this in terms of a 12 hour firefight with eight casualties in this very vulnerable place where the U.S. is playing defense for the most part. And the helicopters, I mean the pilots, I have a chapter devoted to them as well, because what they do is incredibly brave. They are fired upon in this valley, and their helicopters get hit over and over. But they need to return fire, or else the camp will, you know, the camp is overrun, but it will be completely overrun, and every American will be killed. And the other thing that’s going on at the same time is that there’s a group pinned down in a Humvee, they’re the mortarmen pinned down in Mortaritaville. They start losing communications. They think they’re the only ones left alive in the camp, the five guys in the Humvee, or the three guys in the mortar pit. They don’t know what’s going on in the rest of the camp. HH: And there’s one translator trapped in the toilet for it seems like 13 hours when he comes back. – – – – HH: I made a note, Jake, that I wanted to make sure that we included a conversation about Captain Cordova and the battlefield transfusion, and just the amazing effort they made to save so many people, many of whom did make it. Specialist Mace did not. That’s one of the most touching things in here. But I mean, these are amazing men. JT: Yeah, it’s, you just played the theme music from Band Of Brothers, which I admit I did watch while I was writing this book. Chris Cordova was the senior medical presence, senior medical officer at the COP, and he kept as many people alive as he could during this horrible, horrible day, the kind of day that no doctor, no…and he’s not a doctor, he’s a physician assistant, ever faces on average. And I’m reminded of Saturday night and one of the reasons why it was so meaningful to me. They did everything they could to keep this one guy, Stephan Mace, alive. Stephan Mace is just this incredible, funny, muscular, mischievous guy from Virginia who joined the Army, and was just everybody loved him. And he was shredded. He was one of the five guys in the Humvee. And when they finally made a break for it, he was severely wounded. One guy, Justin Gallegos, was killed trying to save Stephan. Finally, Ty Carter, who was one of the other Medal of Honor nominees, ran into fire to try to rescue Stephan. He and another soldier grabbed him and took him to the aid station. And he was in horrible shape. But Cordova, they don’t have blood, you know? So they tried to put in Hextend, which is, you know, provides nutrients and volume to those who have lost blood, but it wasn’t enough. They start doing person to person transfusions, which Cordova has never done before. But they do one, and it helps them, and then they do another, and it helps him. And finally, they keep him alive until the medevac arrives at about 8:00 that night after the U.S. has basically beaten back the Taliban, although there are still pot shots being taken. Stephan Mace is taken back to Forward Operating Base Bostick where there is a physician, Brad Zagol, who also came to the book launch on Saturday night, where he met for the first time Stephan Mace’s mom. He told Stephan Mace I’m going to get you home, I’m going to get you home. But ultimately, Stephan’s wounds were, they were too much. His body, with all the blood loss, had already started to shut down several times. And when that happens, what happens to the body is the blood goes to the heart and to the brain to keep you alive, and it starts depriving other organs of blood, so other organs in your body start dying, and that’s what happened to Stephan Mace. So by the time he got to the operating table, really, there wasn’t anything Brad Zagol could do. And it hit everybody hard, because they thought well at least we lost seven guys, but at least we got Stephan out of here, and Stephan’s going to make it. And ultimately, he didn’t. Saturday night, Brad Zagol was there, Chris Cordova was there, and Stephan Mace’s mom, Vanessa Adelson was there. Brad said to met that he thought Vanessa had made peace with Stephan’s death in a way that he hadn’t, yet. It’s just, you know, these people are touched and scarred forever because of this battle. And it’s just, these are just wonderful, wonderful people. HH: Have you heard from Sgt. Gallegos’ family? He’s a pretty epic figure in this thing as well. JT: He is. He’s large, and they call him Taco Truck, because he’s this huge Mexican-American. Gallegos’ widow, Amanda, was at the book launch. And in fact, just to give a little shout out to Congressman Barber, Amanda took her son and Gallegos’ son, Mac, to Tucson just last month, October, to visit his dad’s grave. And I just put out on Twitter does anybody know anybody, any leaders in Tucson could make a war veteran, a son who lost a father in Afghanistan, make his day for it. And Congressman Barber, who I believe is a Democrat but I’m not 100%. HH: Yeah, and he won a very narrow race, yeah. JT: Yeah, I think, and I didn’t say this before the election, but I feel like I can say it now. His office was unbelievable, and took such good care of Macaidan… HH: That’s good. JT: …and had him visit sports teams and the fire engines. And I mean, anyway… HH: That’s terrific. JT: Vanessa’s remarried, and she’s doing okay, and she was there Saturday night as well. But he is an unbelievable figure the way he runs into battle to save Stephan. HH: Now last question, Jake. You cheer, I’m not sure it’s right to cheer, but it is that these sergeants Hill and Francis, they’re fundamentals. They target the sniper. And are these guys still in the Army? JT: They are. HH: Good. JT: Francis is in, he’s in Afghanistan right now, I think. Sgt. Hill, I believe, is in Louisiana. The sniper is the one who kills Michael Scusa. He’s the third guy killed that day. And Scusa’s mom, Cynthia, who was at the book launch on Saturday, she told me she loved the section. This is the section where Sgt. Hill and Francis spot the sniper, the sniper who killed Scusa. And Hill is trying to shoot at him, shoot at the sniper, and he keeps missing. Now Sgt. Hill used to be a drill sergeant, and Francis jokingly says come on, Sergeant, remember the fundamentals. HH: Fundamentals, yeah. JT: And he gets the sniper. HH: Jake Tapper, thanks for spending so much time. It’s a very amazing book, and I salute you for doing it, and I think people in and around the military all over the world will thank you for doing it. And continued energy on your book tour. I know this has got to be hard to tell these stories again and again and again. JT: Well, Hugh, you, this was a great interview. I mean, I say this as somebody who does this professionally, and not like a radio interview for three hours like you do, but wow, you read the book, you took notes. I mean, I just, journalistically, my hat’s off to you. That was a really good… HH: Don’t we owe it to these men? I mean, that if you’re going to write their story, people tell their story? And I hope some screenwriter is listening and calls you up and says let’s go make this, because it deserves also to be seen. Jake Tapper of ABC News, thank you so much. End of interview. ]]>
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Ma
Armond White
In this revenge satire, Octavia Spencer gives Hollywood the cliché it deserves.
(Review Source)
Macbeth
Christian Toto
(”Macbeth” is briefly mentioned in this.)

What is it about Don Coscarelli’s “The Beastmaster” that makes it such a durable cult classic? How is it that a movie that initially cowered in the shadow of a similar release (hint: its stars a former Governor of California) emerged the more beloved, oft-discussed and eternally watchable fan favorite? I’m getting ahead of myself. …

The post Why We Can’t Stop Loving ‘The Beastmaster’ appeared first on Hollywood in Toto.

(Review Source)
VJ Morton
(”Macbeth” is briefly mentioned in this.)
(Review Source)
Vox Day
(”Macbeth” is briefly mentioned in this.)
A longtime Marvel fan is very unhappy with the new Marvel blockbuster. Warning, SEVERE spoilers after the fold. Do NOT read this if you do not want to know what happens in the movie. It will ruin it for you, to the extent that is actually possible.

Loved the Marvel Universe, loved Guardians of the Galaxy and the Avengers, some of the best Sci Fi made IMHO.  Didn’t really like the last Thor movie, thought they mocked and attempted to de empower him, but hey, allowed Thor to exercise his comedy chops, no harm.

Then came Infinity War.  And I realized the blogs I have been reading are right.  They HATE us.  There is no other explanation for this. 



You take the Marvel Universe, gather all the heroes together, let the Evil win and kill off half of the galaxy.  Half!  Including half of your hero characters.  Think about a guest director on an episode of any of the Star Trek TV shows; just kill off half of the universe and half of the crew.  Then hand it back to the regular team “ there!  Fixed it for you, all those pesky heroes are gone, no need to thank me”

I understand sacrificing key characters in support of the story and the narrative; Spock, Groot, Han.  I mourned but I didn’t whinge, in the story line it made sense.  But this movie made no sense and there is no recovering from this unless they do a loopy this-was-just-a-dream/time-warp-fooled-you deus ex machina crap.

We go to movies for enjoyment, for fun, for escape, and yes, for a little bit of hope.  I have that quote from Second Hand Lions on my wall

“Sometimes the things that may or may not be true are the things that a man needs to believe in the most: that people are basically good; that honor, courage, and virtue mean everything; that power and money, money and power mean nothing; that good always triumphs over evil; that love, true love, never dies... No matter if they're true or not, a man should believe in those things because those are the things worth believing in.”

Where was any of this in Infinity War?  Nothing our heroes did made a damn bit of difference.  And whenever they tried to do a noble sacrifice? Magical Bubbles appeared (and more than once). The Hulk?  For no reason every made clear in the previous cannon the Hulk is de empowered and made a figure of fun.  True love?  Let em watch each other die with no gain or reason other than Reasons!  Thor?  Beaten to a pulp and all his people killed including Loki, but Natasha (a human grrl) can beat them back to a standstill?  Iron Man and Dr. Strange?  Let’s have them at each other’s throats.  I am sorry, but it seemed very clear to me all that was happening was the folks at Disney et al were just trying to s**t all over a beloved universe and its fans.  And oh guess what?  The Evil was doing it for Climate Change Reasons???  Kill half the galaxy to save the galaxy because humans are a pestilence?  Seriously?

This wasn’t just a bad movie, this was a deliberate attempt to attack and hurt the fans and their love for this  universe.  I get sacrifice and I get losing characters, I do.  But yah know, I don’t watch Macbeth because of the Everyone Dies routine.  When you take that cheap out way of attempting drama, you end up with no one left to carry the story.  Ah, they can just fill out with more a not a white male remakes and attempt to sell it to an new and different audience.  One that doesn’t love sci fi or superheroes, that will not be paying to watch.  But that appears to be the whole idea, isn’t it?  Take it over and destroy it.  If I stop watching these movies, they win.  If I keep watching these movies, they win.

Any hope for a Dread Ilk Movie project?

Actually, it sounds as if George Martin would have benefited heavily from such an approach. And yes, there very likely will be a movie project down the road. But first things first....

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PJ Media Staff
Spengler Reason Dreams of MonstersFrancisco Goya's 1799 etching "El sueño de la razón produce monstruos" usually is mistranslated as "the sleep of reason produces monsters." The word sueño typically (and clearly in this context) means "dream." The mistranslation implies that monsters emerge when reason ceases to be vigilant; what Goya meant, rather, is that "monsters are what reason dreams about." Now that we have extirpated religion from politics, we have entered a new age of monsters. Liberal politics, as Joseph Bottum observes, has become spiritualized, with its own Inquisitions and witch-hunts. And our popular culture is populated by monsters as never before (roughly one in eight feature films features supernatural monsters of one sort or another).  Our foreign policy proceeded as if Montesquieu were a universal salve to heal the wounds of distressed societies, and has merely succeeded in launching monsters upon the world on the grand scale. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/spengler/2014/12/8/monsters-are-what-reason-dreams-about-goya-on-political-rationalism/ ]]>
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PJ Media Staff
Ed Driscoll In the middle of Megan McArdle's article on "Tech Moguls and the TNR Meltdown," she has a great excerpt from Jack Shafer, formerly of Slate and Reuters on the 21st century rinse-and-repeat cycle of brand-name media:As Jack Shafer pointed out, there's a lifecycle to rich people who buy magazines thinking they can make money on them:Stage 1: The vanity mogul announces that he'll return the publication to its former glory but says he doesn't need to make money right away. Quality, he says, will attract readers. (That's you, today.)Stage 2: He replaces the editor with a journalistic star, redesigns the publication, expands editorial and art budgets, moves it to better quarters, and muses about parlaying his single title into a publication empire. (You're writing that memo now.)Stage 3: As fresh red ink flows, the mogul hires "name" writers to compose columns that will be talked-about and to get invited onto television to build buzz. (I see it in my crystal ball.)Stage 4: Still losing money, the mogul grumbles, "I'm not running a charity here!" He eliminates employee perks, increases the price of the product, and reduces frequency of publication.Stage 5: The losses make the mogul want to bail, but can he abandon the rise in social standing that the publication has given him? He wonders how much budget cutting he can do without being compared to Mort Zuckerman, who has amputated and bled U.S. News & World Report to the point of homicide. He sacks the troublesome "star" editor and hires a pushover.Stage 6: Panic. The mogul does everything that Zuckerman did to U.S. News. Cuts medical benefits. Skips issues during the summer and the holidays. Closes the cafeteria. Reduces the staff to bare bones. Shutters the bureaus. Makes staffers give plasma and confiscates the proceeds. Fires the pushover editor for a paper shuffler.Stage 7: He finds a new sucker to buy the publication. And we return to Stage 1.I've worked at one magazine that defied this cycle, The Atlantic, and one that didn't, Newsweek. And unlike most journalists, I've also worked at a bunch of firms that are not media companies, including ones that failed. Both journalists and non-journalists usually fail to understand just how weirdly different media companies are from other sorts of firms, which means they don't understand that experience with one side gives you virtually zero insight into how the other kind works. Without unduly sucking up to current and former executives, let me note that David Bradley succeeded at The Atlantic by hiring people who understood the business -- including Justin Smith, who now works for Bloomberg -- and giving them room to do what needed to be done.I'm not at all sure I agree with McArdle's take on the current state of The Atlantic. As with whatever ultimately becomes of TNR, as with Time magazine -- and even Newsweek -- there is indeed still a publication called The Atlantic. Other than its masthead, it bears very little resemblance in tone and substance to its previous form.And while the New York Times is still owned by the Sulzberger family, just compare Gay Talese's The Kingdom and the Power, published in 1969, and Bill McGowan's similarly-themed 2010 book Gray Lady Down to see that today's Times has little similarity to its previous form other than the masthead and slogan.Incidentally, earlier in her article, Megan writes, "But even by my profession's cinematic standards, [Chris Hughes' TNR debacle] is going to be one for the Criterion Classics collection." Heh. If a decent comedy screenwriter could be found, it would certainly make for a great made-for-TV movie along the lines of HBO's The Late Shift or its likely inspiration, Larry Gelbart's satiric 1993 adaptation of Barbarians at the Gate.In the meantime, a riveting documentary about a magazine with an eccentric plutocratic socialist leader and aggrieved staff exists already: The September Issue, on Vogue magazine in 2007. It really does have a Last Days of Pompeii feel to it, seeing as it was filmed a year before the housing bubble blew up the economy, followed by Barack Obama getting to work at fundamentally transforming America to a standard that TNR could finally give its blessing to.Related: "Is Opinion Journalism Dead or Dying?" class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2014/12/8/media-reincarnation/ ]]>
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PJ Media Staff
Lifestyle Which characters' origins do you want to see explored next?Plane Dippy (1.4.36) by CarlStallingEnthusiast******Who would you like to see added to the collection next? See the previous PJ Lifestyle Cartoon at Noon selections from this year:Disney in SpringAll 75 of the Silly Symphonies, the Gold Standard of the Era:Walt Disney’s First Silly Symphony: ‘The Skeleton Dance’PETA Would Hate This 1929 Disney Cartoon…Nature Animated to LifeA Disney Cartoon Set In Hell!Getting Drunk With Disney’s Merry DwarfsSummer: The Sixth Silly Symphony, A Sequel to SpringCorn on the Cob as Musical InstrumentA Cannibal-Version of Carmen With Clicking Human Skulls… Made By Walt DisneyFrolicking Fish Almost 60 Years Before The Little MermaidMickey Mouse As a Polar BearToy Story‘s Great Grandfather?A Bug Flying Too Close to the Fire In the DarknessInnocence Incarnate: These Smooching Monkeys Will Make You SmileGoodbye Winter! Disney’s Playful Pan Emerges to Call In Spring (two cartoons)Birds of a Feather Flock TogetherA Cartoon First Released April 17, 1931: Disney’s Mother Goose MelodiesDora the Explorer’s Politically Incorrect Cameo in a 1931 Disney CartoonApparently Beavers Invented the Wheelbarrow Before ManA Sweet & Spooky Silly Symphony for Cat LoversEgyptian Melodies Vs. Father Noah’s ArkGeppetto’s Original Workshop And Cogsworth’s Great-grandparents?When A Cavalry of Horseflies Goes To War Against the SpiderDrinking Tea Before the Fox HuntHow Much Can an Ugly Duckling Grow Up Over a Decade?The Marx Brothers As Cartoon BirdsA Primordial Winnie the PoohA Dog Jail Break at the Pound!The First Technicolor Cartoon: Disney’s Still-Amazing ‘Flowers and Trees’It’s Amazing What Kinds of Cartoons Were Considered Family Friendly in 1932…Bugs In Love Battle a Blackbird in Black and White‘Babes In the Woods’ Vs. The Witch In The Candy CottageWhat Secrets Do You See Inside Santa’s Workshop?The Snake Hypnotizes His PreyThe Disney Version of Noah’s ArkAn Oscar-Winning Cartoon That Defined the Depression EraWho’s Ready to Open Pandora’s Box?Enter Sandman? Where We Go When We SleepIf You Don’t Pay the Piper He’ll Just Take Your Children Instead…When Walt Disney Imagined Santa Claus In Alliance With The Robot ToysThe ‘Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil’ Monkeys In Cartoon Form‘Oh, the World Owes Us a Livin’…’Among the Easter Bunny’s Secrets: Scotch-Colored Paint!Practical Pig Saved Little Red Riding Hood From the Big Bad WolfDonald Duck’s First AppearanceThe Lesson of the Flying Mouse: Sometimes A Blessing Is Actually A Curse…Chill Out Today With These ‘Peculiar Penguins’Compare and Contrast: The Goddess of Spring With Snow White…Slow and Steady Wins the Race?What Would You Do If Everything You Touched Turned to Gold?A Cartoon To Teach Kids About the Danger of Celebrating CrimeDreaming of an Innocent Unity With NatureA Fantasy Land Where Everything Is Made of Candy…How Did Disney’s Mae West Bird Caricature Compare With Real Life?VIDEO: If Romeo and Juliet Were A Saxophone and CelloAnother 1930s Disney Cartoon with Creepy Racial Stereotypes…What Does It Take to Be the C**k o’ The Walk?What Is the Fate of Broken Toys?Elmer Elephant: Is This the Most Adorable Cartoon in the Whole Series?How Kids Can Learn To Defeat Bullies ‘I Like a Man That Takes His Time…’The 3 Blind Mouseketeers Vs A Room of TrapsA Country Mouse Discovers the Joys of Drinking in the Big City…This Very Cute Video of ‘Mother Pluto’ Parenting Chicks Will Make You Smile3 Troublemaker Kittens Make a Mess in the GardenThe Dark Secrets Hidden in the Woodland Cafe…What Is Animism?One of The Classic Breakthroughs In Animation HistoryWhen Moths Fly Too Close to The Flame…3 Babies Fishing For Stars In DreamlandWalt Disney Introduces The Farmyard Symphony on the DisneyLand TV ShowLong Before Spongebob: The Underwater Circus of the MerbabiesKatharine Hepburn As Little Bo Peep in BlackfacePractical Pig Delivers a ‘Harsh Interrogation’ To the Big Bad WolfThis Ugly Duckling Abandoned By His Family Will Melt Your HeartMickey Mouse:‘Plane Crazy’: Mickey Mouse at the End of the Silent EraDonald Duck's first appearances:"The Wise Little Hen": Donald Duck’s First Appearance"Orphan's Benefit": Which Character Do You Prefer: Donald Duck Vs Popeye?"The Dognapper:" Mickey Mouse & Donald Duck Vs The DognapperDonald Duck’s 4th Appearance Is One of the 1930s’ Greatest CartoonsDonald Duck’s 5th Appearance: "Mickey's Service Station"A World War II Donald Duck Cartoon for Veterans DayHow to Fish With Chewing Tobacco and a ClubDonald Duck and Mickey Mouse Take the Orphans for a PicnicDonald’s Final Appearance in His Original Duckish DesignPluto:Pluto Wants Some Turkey TooFleischer Studios in Summer12 Early Betty Boop CartoonsBetty Boop’s First AppearanceBefore Betty Boop Was Beautiful…Betty Boop as Snow White In A Cartoon For Jazz LoversYour Initiation Into Betty Boop’s Secret Society‘No, He Couldn’t Take My Boop-Oop-a-Doop Away!’ (2 cartoons featured)Why You Shouldn’t Try Robbing Betty BoopThe Betty Boop Approach to Dealing With ‘Silly Scandals’Moving Day for Betty Boop!A Plus-Size Betty Boop As Kitty From Kansas CityPlaying Chess with Betty Boop & Taking a Mean Shot at Mickey MouseBetty Boop’s Crazy InventionsCab Calloway as ‘The Old Man Of the Mountain’ Chases after Betty BoopPopeyePopeye The Sailor’s First Animated AppearanceWhich Character Do You Prefer: Donald Duck Vs Popeye?22 Color Classics, a competitor to the Silly Symphonies:A Redheaded Betty Boop As Cinderella Debuted a New Series‘Joy Like This Cannot Be Bought!’ A Cartoon Variation of Hansel and GretelAn Elephant Never ForgetsBack When Cartoons Taught the Miraculous Power of Prayer…‘Momma Don’t Allow No Music Playin In Here’Animal Newlyweds Take Their Honeymoon In Outer Space!Seduced By the Black SwanAn Old Couple Reminisces On Falling In Love…Somewhere in Dreamland TonightWhen a Chick Tries to Be a DuckNewlywed Flies Pick The Wrong Hotel For Their HoneymoonGreedy Humpty Dumpty Enslaves Nursery Rhyme Creatures To Build His Gold Wall to the SunTwo Lovebirds Take a Hawaiian HoneymoonDreaming of a Big TrainAn Eccentric Inventor Saves The Orphans’ ChristmasThe Wedding of Jack and Jill RabbitThe Rooster and His Harem…Animal Symphony Chaos: ‘The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men Often Go Astray…’VIDEO: A Family of Peeping Penguins Finds a New HomeA Little Fish Has to Learn His Lesson The Hard WayCute: Little Lamby Eats His Grass With SugarThe Vegetable Children Don’t Want to Play With the Little Onion KidThe Films of Ub Iwerks, co-creator of Mickey Mouse, during his years apart from Disney, studied in the Fall:Flip the FrogFlip the Frog: The First Sound Color CartoonFlip the Frog Hallucinating in the Opium DenFlip the Frog Befriends the Ghost Family With Their Skeleton DogFlip The Frog Vs The MouseThe Village Barber‘Techno-Cracked’: When Flip the Frog Built a RobotWhy Were so Many 1930s Cartoons Set in a Sultan’s Harem?Willie WhopperAn Angel Flashing the Middle Finger In a 1930s Cartoon?Willie Whopper’s Mexican Gun FightWillie Whopper Steals Neptune’s CrownComicolor CartoonsA Very Angry Sun Vs. Old Man WinterA Nutty Knight Escapes from the Insane AsylumSinbad the Sailor and His Parrot Enjoy CigarsThe Tailor Vs The Giant and Everyone Vs The MouseBaby Bear Has to Learn From Jack Frost the Hard Way…Simple Simon in the Lion’s DenThe First Cartoon Version of AladdinWelcome to Balloon Land! Beware of the Pincushion Man!Humpty Dumpty Jr. Rescues His Sweetheart from a Bad EggColumbia Pictures' Color Rhapsodies seriesLittle Nell With a Heart As Big as TexasThe Frog Pond: The Primary Theme of 1930s Cartoons? How to Beat BulliesSkeleton Frolics: An Undead Orchestra RehearsesTerrytoons By Paul TerryHow Farmer Al Falfa Survived the DroughtA June Bride: Farmer Al Falfa’s Kitty Elopes With an Alley CatThe Dancing Mice Make War on Farmer Al Falfa and His Cat‘Scotch Highball’: a 1930 Terrytoon of Animals Racing Warner Bros in WinterPorky Pig’s First Appearanceclass="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2014/12/8/which-are-your-favorite-warner-bros-cartoon-characters/ ]]>
(Review Source)
PJ Media Staff
Lifestyle "Porky's Duck Hunt" featured the first appearance of Daffy Duck and the first time Porky Pig was voiced by Mel Blanc.Porky's Duck Hunt (1937) by voiceman91Who would you like to see added to the collection next? See the previous PJ Lifestyle Cartoon at Noon selections from this year:Disney in SpringAll 75 of the Silly Symphonies, the Gold Standard of the Era:Walt Disney’s First Silly Symphony: ‘The Skeleton Dance’PETA Would Hate This 1929 Disney Cartoon…Nature Animated to LifeA Disney Cartoon Set In Hell!Getting Drunk With Disney’s Merry DwarfsSummer: The Sixth Silly Symphony, A Sequel to SpringCorn on the Cob as Musical InstrumentA Cannibal-Version of Carmen With Clicking Human Skulls… Made By Walt DisneyFrolicking Fish Almost 60 Years Before The Little MermaidMickey Mouse As a Polar BearToy Story‘s Great Grandfather?A Bug Flying Too Close to the Fire In the DarknessInnocence Incarnate: These Smooching Monkeys Will Make You SmileGoodbye Winter! Disney’s Playful Pan Emerges to Call In Spring (two cartoons)Birds of a Feather Flock TogetherA Cartoon First Released April 17, 1931: Disney’s Mother Goose MelodiesDora the Explorer’s Politically Incorrect Cameo in a 1931 Disney CartoonApparently Beavers Invented the Wheelbarrow Before ManA Sweet & Spooky Silly Symphony for Cat LoversEgyptian Melodies Vs. Father Noah’s ArkGeppetto’s Original Workshop And Cogsworth’s Great-grandparents?When A Cavalry of Horseflies Goes To War Against the SpiderDrinking Tea Before the Fox HuntHow Much Can an Ugly Duckling Grow Up Over a Decade?The Marx Brothers As Cartoon BirdsA Primordial Winnie the PoohA Dog Jail Break at the Pound!The First Technicolor Cartoon: Disney’s Still-Amazing ‘Flowers and Trees’It’s Amazing What Kinds of Cartoons Were Considered Family Friendly in 1932…Bugs In Love Battle a Blackbird in Black and White‘Babes In the Woods’ Vs. The Witch In The Candy CottageWhat Secrets Do You See Inside Santa’s Workshop?The Snake Hypnotizes His PreyThe Disney Version of Noah’s ArkAn Oscar-Winning Cartoon That Defined the Depression EraWho’s Ready to Open Pandora’s Box?Enter Sandman? Where We Go When We SleepIf You Don’t Pay the Piper He’ll Just Take Your Children Instead…When Walt Disney Imagined Santa Claus In Alliance With The Robot ToysThe ‘Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil’ Monkeys In Cartoon Form‘Oh, the World Owes Us a Livin’…’Among the Easter Bunny’s Secrets: Scotch-Colored Paint!Practical Pig Saved Little Red Riding Hood From the Big Bad WolfDonald Duck’s First AppearanceThe Lesson of the Flying Mouse: Sometimes A Blessing Is Actually A Curse…Chill Out Today With These ‘Peculiar Penguins’Compare and Contrast: The Goddess of Spring With Snow White…Slow and Steady Wins the Race?What Would You Do If Everything You Touched Turned to Gold?A Cartoon To Teach Kids About the Danger of Celebrating CrimeDreaming of an Innocent Unity With NatureA Fantasy Land Where Everything Is Made of Candy…How Did Disney’s Mae West Bird Caricature Compare With Real Life?VIDEO: If Romeo and Juliet Were A Saxophone and CelloAnother 1930s Disney Cartoon with Creepy Racial Stereotypes…What Does It Take to Be the C**k o’ The Walk?What Is the Fate of Broken Toys?Elmer Elephant: Is This the Most Adorable Cartoon in the Whole Series?How Kids Can Learn To Defeat Bullies ‘I Like a Man That Takes His Time…’The 3 Blind Mouseketeers Vs A Room of TrapsA Country Mouse Discovers the Joys of Drinking in the Big City…This Very Cute Video of ‘Mother Pluto’ Parenting Chicks Will Make You Smile3 Troublemaker Kittens Make a Mess in the GardenThe Dark Secrets Hidden in the Woodland Cafe…What Is Animism?One of The Classic Breakthroughs In Animation HistoryWhen Moths Fly Too Close to The Flame…3 Babies Fishing For Stars In DreamlandWalt Disney Introduces The Farmyard Symphony on the DisneyLand TV ShowLong Before Spongebob: The Underwater Circus of the MerbabiesKatharine Hepburn As Little Bo Peep in BlackfacePractical Pig Delivers a ‘Harsh Interrogation’ To the Big Bad WolfThis Ugly Duckling Abandoned By His Family Will Melt Your HeartMickey Mouse:‘Plane Crazy’: Mickey Mouse at the End of the Silent EraDonald Duck's first appearances:"The Wise Little Hen": Donald Duck’s First Appearance"Orphan's Benefit": Which Character Do You Prefer: Donald Duck Vs Popeye?"The Dognapper:" Mickey Mouse & Donald Duck Vs The DognapperDonald Duck’s 4th Appearance Is One of the 1930s’ Greatest CartoonsDonald Duck’s 5th Appearance: "Mickey's Service Station"A World War II Donald Duck Cartoon for Veterans DayHow to Fish With Chewing Tobacco and a ClubDonald Duck and Mickey Mouse Take the Orphans for a PicnicDonald’s Final Appearance in His Original Duckish DesignPluto:Pluto Wants Some Turkey TooFleischer Studios in Summer12 Early Betty Boop CartoonsBetty Boop’s First AppearanceBefore Betty Boop Was Beautiful…Betty Boop as Snow White In A Cartoon For Jazz LoversYour Initiation Into Betty Boop’s Secret Society‘No, He Couldn’t Take My Boop-Oop-a-Doop Away!’ (2 cartoons featured)Why You Shouldn’t Try Robbing Betty BoopThe Betty Boop Approach to Dealing With ‘Silly Scandals’Moving Day for Betty Boop!A Plus-Size Betty Boop As Kitty From Kansas CityPlaying Chess with Betty Boop & Taking a Mean Shot at Mickey MouseBetty Boop’s Crazy InventionsCab Calloway as ‘The Old Man Of the Mountain’ Chases after Betty BoopPopeyePopeye The Sailor’s First Animated AppearanceWhich Character Do You Prefer: Donald Duck Vs Popeye?22 Color Classics, a competitor to the Silly Symphonies:A Redheaded Betty Boop As Cinderella Debuted a New Series‘Joy Like This Cannot Be Bought!’ A Cartoon Variation of Hansel and GretelAn Elephant Never ForgetsBack When Cartoons Taught the Miraculous Power of Prayer…‘Momma Don’t Allow No Music Playin In Here’Animal Newlyweds Take Their Honeymoon In Outer Space!Seduced By the Black SwanAn Old Couple Reminisces On Falling In Love…Somewhere in Dreamland TonightWhen a Chick Tries to Be a DuckNewlywed Flies Pick The Wrong Hotel For Their HoneymoonGreedy Humpty Dumpty Enslaves Nursery Rhyme Creatures To Build His Gold Wall to the SunTwo Lovebirds Take a Hawaiian HoneymoonDreaming of a Big TrainAn Eccentric Inventor Saves The Orphans’ ChristmasThe Wedding of Jack and Jill RabbitThe Rooster and His Harem…Animal Symphony Chaos: ‘The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men Often Go Astray…’VIDEO: A Family of Peeping Penguins Finds a New HomeA Little Fish Has to Learn His Lesson The Hard WayCute: Little Lamby Eats His Grass With SugarThe Vegetable Children Don’t Want to Play With the Little Onion KidThe Films of Ub Iwerks, co-creator of Mickey Mouse, during his years apart from Disney, studied in the Fall:Flip the FrogFlip the Frog: The First Sound Color CartoonFlip the Frog Hallucinating in the Opium DenFlip the Frog Befriends the Ghost Family With Their Skeleton DogFlip The Frog Vs The MouseThe Village Barber‘Techno-Cracked’: When Flip the Frog Built a RobotWhy Were so Many 1930s Cartoons Set in a Sultan’s Harem?Willie WhopperAn Angel Flashing the Middle Finger In a 1930s Cartoon?Willie Whopper’s Mexican Gun FightWillie Whopper Steals Neptune’s CrownComicolor CartoonsA Very Angry Sun Vs. Old Man WinterA Nutty Knight Escapes from the Insane AsylumSinbad the Sailor and His Parrot Enjoy CigarsThe Tailor Vs The Giant and Everyone Vs The MouseBaby Bear Has to Learn From Jack Frost the Hard Way…Simple Simon in the Lion’s DenThe First Cartoon Version of AladdinWelcome to Balloon Land! Beware of the Pincushion Man!Humpty Dumpty Jr. Rescues His Sweetheart from a Bad EggColumbia Pictures' Color Rhapsodies seriesLittle Nell With a Heart As Big as TexasThe Frog Pond: The Primary Theme of 1930s Cartoons? How to Beat BulliesSkeleton Frolics: An Undead Orchestra RehearsesTerrytoons By Paul TerryHow Farmer Al Falfa Survived the DroughtA June Bride: Farmer Al Falfa’s Kitty Elopes With an Alley CatThe Dancing Mice Make War on Farmer Al Falfa and His Cat‘Scotch Highball’: a 1930 Terrytoon of Animals Racing Warner Bros in WinterPorky Pig’s First Appearance"Plane Dippy"class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2014/12/9/daffy-ducks-first-appearance/ ]]>
(Review Source)
PJ Media Staff
Lifestyle var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'The Osbournes Returning to MTV, Sharon Osbourne Reveals', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); Editor’s Note: We’re launching some new discussions and debates this winter in dialogue with the new fiction publishing company Liberty Island. See the previous installments: David S. Bernstein on November 19: “5 Leaders of the New Conservative Counter-Culture,” and Dave Swindle on November 25: “7 Reasons Why Thanksgiving Will Be My Last Day on Facebook,” and December 2: "My Growing List of 65 Read-ALL-Their-Books Authors." Learn more about Liberty Island contributor Mark Ellis in an interview with him and read an excerpt from his short story "Temblor" here. If there is an inherent bipolarity between hard rock and heavy metal and the dissemination of the conservative message, social issues--in particular substance abuse--are at the bottom of that dissonance.It’s a question about how art and politics intersect, and it becomes a question about how readily conservatives will embrace transgressive and even regressive artists in their quest to more integrally impact popular culture.Whatever our politics, it is human nature to make special exceptions in the name of art. If conservatives want to impact the entire culture, we’re going to need some bad boys, antiheros, lost souls, dark heralds, and musical provocateurs.I nominate Ozzy Osbourne for inclusion in the conservative counterculture-- although I would never want to do anything to hurt his career or jeopardize his sobriety. I contend that if you peel back all the layers of substance abuse, all the layers it takes to survive being a superstar, you’ll find that rock’s Prince of Darkness is essentially a man with core conservative values.VH-1 recently announced that The Osbournes reality show will be returning in January for a slate of episodes. The scuttlebutt is that unlike last time, Ozzy wants the show and Sharon does not.Ozzy claims (and who would doubt) that he was both stoned and inebriated throughout the filming of the show’s original iteration. He’s down with the new episodes because he wants to show the world how he functions without the drugs and alcohol.And I recommend that conservatives watch the show, which premieres in January, with an eye to claiming rock’s Prince of Darkness for the center-right. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2014/12/9/ozzy-osbourne-and-the-conservative-tent-is-he-in/ previous Page 1 of 4 next   ]]>
(Review Source)
PJ Media Staff
Lifestyle "Gold Diggers of '49" appeared in 1935 and it was Porky's second appearance. Like some of Disney's Silly Symphonies it utilizes racial humor of period, at around 3:00 featuring a blackface joke similar to the one in "Mother Goose Goes Hollywood" in addition to Asian caricatures too throughout the cartoon:Beans the Cat Porky Pig - Gold Diggers of '49... by andythebeagleWho would you like to see added to the collection next? See the previous PJ Lifestyle Cartoon at Noon selections from this year:Disney in SpringAll 75 of the Silly Symphonies, the Gold Standard of the Era:Walt Disney’s First Silly Symphony: ‘The Skeleton Dance’PETA Would Hate This 1929 Disney Cartoon…Nature Animated to LifeA Disney Cartoon Set In Hell!Getting Drunk With Disney’s Merry DwarfsSummer: The Sixth Silly Symphony, A Sequel to SpringCorn on the Cob as Musical InstrumentA Cannibal-Version of Carmen With Clicking Human Skulls… Made By Walt DisneyFrolicking Fish Almost 60 Years Before The Little MermaidMickey Mouse As a Polar BearToy Story‘s Great Grandfather?A Bug Flying Too Close to the Fire In the DarknessInnocence Incarnate: These Smooching Monkeys Will Make You SmileGoodbye Winter! Disney’s Playful Pan Emerges to Call In Spring (two cartoons)Birds of a Feather Flock TogetherA Cartoon First Released April 17, 1931: Disney’s Mother Goose MelodiesDora the Explorer’s Politically Incorrect Cameo in a 1931 Disney CartoonApparently Beavers Invented the Wheelbarrow Before ManA Sweet & Spooky Silly Symphony for Cat LoversEgyptian Melodies Vs. Father Noah’s ArkGeppetto’s Original Workshop And Cogsworth’s Great-grandparents?When A Cavalry of Horseflies Goes To War Against the SpiderDrinking Tea Before the Fox HuntHow Much Can an Ugly Duckling Grow Up Over a Decade?The Marx Brothers As Cartoon BirdsA Primordial Winnie the PoohA Dog Jail Break at the Pound!The First Technicolor Cartoon: Disney’s Still-Amazing ‘Flowers and Trees’It’s Amazing What Kinds of Cartoons Were Considered Family Friendly in 1932…Bugs In Love Battle a Blackbird in Black and White‘Babes In the Woods’ Vs. The Witch In The Candy CottageWhat Secrets Do You See Inside Santa’s Workshop?The Snake Hypnotizes His PreyThe Disney Version of Noah’s ArkAn Oscar-Winning Cartoon That Defined the Depression EraWho’s Ready to Open Pandora’s Box?Enter Sandman? Where We Go When We SleepIf You Don’t Pay the Piper He’ll Just Take Your Children Instead…When Walt Disney Imagined Santa Claus In Alliance With The Robot ToysThe ‘Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil’ Monkeys In Cartoon Form‘Oh, the World Owes Us a Livin’…’Among the Easter Bunny’s Secrets: Scotch-Colored Paint!Practical Pig Saved Little Red Riding Hood From the Big Bad WolfDonald Duck’s First AppearanceThe Lesson of the Flying Mouse: Sometimes A Blessing Is Actually A Curse…Chill Out Today With These ‘Peculiar Penguins’Compare and Contrast: The Goddess of Spring With Snow White…Slow and Steady Wins the Race?What Would You Do If Everything You Touched Turned to Gold?A Cartoon To Teach Kids About the Danger of Celebrating CrimeDreaming of an Innocent Unity With NatureA Fantasy Land Where Everything Is Made of Candy…How Did Disney’s Mae West Bird Caricature Compare With Real Life?VIDEO: If Romeo and Juliet Were A Saxophone and CelloAnother 1930s Disney Cartoon with Creepy Racial Stereotypes…What Does It Take to Be the C**k o’ The Walk?What Is the Fate of Broken Toys?Elmer Elephant: Is This the Most Adorable Cartoon in the Whole Series?How Kids Can Learn To Defeat Bullies ‘I Like a Man That Takes His Time…’The 3 Blind Mouseketeers Vs A Room of TrapsA Country Mouse Discovers the Joys of Drinking in the Big City…This Very Cute Video of ‘Mother Pluto’ Parenting Chicks Will Make You Smile3 Troublemaker Kittens Make a Mess in the GardenThe Dark Secrets Hidden in the Woodland Cafe…What Is Animism?One of The Classic Breakthroughs In Animation HistoryWhen Moths Fly Too Close to The Flame…3 Babies Fishing For Stars In DreamlandWalt Disney Introduces The Farmyard Symphony on the DisneyLand TV ShowLong Before Spongebob: The Underwater Circus of the MerbabiesKatharine Hepburn As Little Bo Peep in BlackfacePractical Pig Delivers a ‘Harsh Interrogation’ To the Big Bad WolfThis Ugly Duckling Abandoned By His Family Will Melt Your HeartMickey Mouse:‘Plane Crazy’: Mickey Mouse at the End of the Silent EraDonald Duck's first appearances:"The Wise Little Hen": Donald Duck’s First Appearance"Orphan's Benefit": Which Character Do You Prefer: Donald Duck Vs Popeye?"The Dognapper:" Mickey Mouse & Donald Duck Vs The DognapperDonald Duck’s 4th Appearance Is One of the 1930s’ Greatest CartoonsDonald Duck’s 5th Appearance: "Mickey's Service Station"A World War II Donald Duck Cartoon for Veterans DayHow to Fish With Chewing Tobacco and a ClubDonald Duck and Mickey Mouse Take the Orphans for a PicnicDonald’s Final Appearance in His Original Duckish DesignPluto:Pluto Wants Some Turkey TooFleischer Studios in Summer12 Early Betty Boop CartoonsBetty Boop’s First AppearanceBefore Betty Boop Was Beautiful…Betty Boop as Snow White In A Cartoon For Jazz LoversYour Initiation Into Betty Boop’s Secret Society‘No, He Couldn’t Take My Boop-Oop-a-Doop Away!’ (2 cartoons featured)Why You Shouldn’t Try Robbing Betty BoopThe Betty Boop Approach to Dealing With ‘Silly Scandals’Moving Day for Betty Boop!A Plus-Size Betty Boop As Kitty From Kansas CityPlaying Chess with Betty Boop & Taking a Mean Shot at Mickey MouseBetty Boop’s Crazy InventionsCab Calloway as ‘The Old Man Of the Mountain’ Chases after Betty BoopPopeyePopeye The Sailor’s First Animated AppearanceWhich Character Do You Prefer: Donald Duck Vs Popeye?22 Color Classics, a competitor to the Silly Symphonies:A Redheaded Betty Boop As Cinderella Debuted a New Series‘Joy Like This Cannot Be Bought!’ A Cartoon Variation of Hansel and GretelAn Elephant Never ForgetsBack When Cartoons Taught the Miraculous Power of Prayer…‘Momma Don’t Allow No Music Playin In Here’Animal Newlyweds Take Their Honeymoon In Outer Space!Seduced By the Black SwanAn Old Couple Reminisces On Falling In Love…Somewhere in Dreamland TonightWhen a Chick Tries to Be a DuckNewlywed Flies Pick The Wrong Hotel For Their HoneymoonGreedy Humpty Dumpty Enslaves Nursery Rhyme Creatures To Build His Gold Wall to the SunTwo Lovebirds Take a Hawaiian HoneymoonDreaming of a Big TrainAn Eccentric Inventor Saves The Orphans’ ChristmasThe Wedding of Jack and Jill RabbitThe Rooster and His Harem…Animal Symphony Chaos: ‘The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men Often Go Astray…’VIDEO: A Family of Peeping Penguins Finds a New HomeA Little Fish Has to Learn His Lesson The Hard WayCute: Little Lamby Eats His Grass With SugarThe Vegetable Children Don’t Want to Play With the Little Onion KidThe Films of Ub Iwerks, co-creator of Mickey Mouse, during his years apart from Disney, studied in the Fall:Flip the FrogFlip the Frog: The First Sound Color CartoonFlip the Frog Hallucinating in the Opium DenFlip the Frog Befriends the Ghost Family With Their Skeleton DogFlip The Frog Vs The MouseThe Village Barber‘Techno-Cracked’: When Flip the Frog Built a RobotWhy Were so Many 1930s Cartoons Set in a Sultan’s Harem?Willie WhopperAn Angel Flashing the Middle Finger In a 1930s Cartoon?Willie Whopper’s Mexican Gun FightWillie Whopper Steals Neptune’s CrownComicolor CartoonsA Very Angry Sun Vs. Old Man WinterA Nutty Knight Escapes from the Insane AsylumSinbad the Sailor and His Parrot Enjoy CigarsThe Tailor Vs The Giant and Everyone Vs The MouseBaby Bear Has to Learn From Jack Frost the Hard Way…Simple Simon in the Lion’s DenThe First Cartoon Version of AladdinWelcome to Balloon Land! Beware of the Pincushion Man!Humpty Dumpty Jr. Rescues His Sweetheart from a Bad EggColumbia Pictures' Color Rhapsodies seriesLittle Nell With a Heart As Big as TexasThe Frog Pond: The Primary Theme of 1930s Cartoons? How to Beat BulliesSkeleton Frolics: An Undead Orchestra RehearsesTerrytoons By Paul TerryHow Farmer Al Falfa Survived the DroughtA June Bride: Farmer Al Falfa’s Kitty Elopes With an Alley CatThe Dancing Mice Make War on Farmer Al Falfa and His Cat‘Scotch Highball’: a 1930 Terrytoon of Animals Racing Warner Bros in WinterPorky Pig’s First Appearance"Plane Dippy"Daffy Duck’s First Appearanceclass="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2014/12/10/meet-beans-the-cat-porky-pigs-predecessor/ ]]>
(Review Source)
PJ Media Staff
Belmont Club I'd like to apologize to readers for failing to realize that a link in the previous article was to a satire piece. It's getting harder to spot them, but just as an aging man has to try to walk each day or never walk again, the effort must be made, even though you'll lose in the end. I'll try harder next time.While we're on the subject of knowledge gaps, Micah Zenko of the Council of Foreign Relations notes that the CIA never measured the effectiveness of their covert programs.  Take interrogation. A memorandum by the CIA dated June 27, 2013 -- but only released today -- responds to "the SSCI’s conclusion that the 'CIA never conducted its own comprehensive analysis of the effectiveness of the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques'”. (emphasis mine)We agree with Conclusion 10 in full. It underpins the most important lesson that we have drawn from The Study: CIA needs to develop the structure, expertise, and methodologies required to more objectively and systematically evaluate the effectiveness of our covert actions.We draw this lesson going forward fully aware of how difficult it can be to measure the impact of a particular action or set of actions on an outcome in a real-world setting.Zenko concludes that "therefore, the CIA admitted that — as late as June 2013 — it was simply incapable of evaluating the effectiveness of its covert activities."  They just kept doing the same old covert things without knowing how well, or even if they were accomplishing their goals. Zenko's main point comes next:this also directly implies that the CIA lacks the ability to adequately evaluate its much larger, more lethal, and more consequential covert program: its role as the lead executive agency for drone strikes in Pakistan, and many of those in Yemen. ... Based upon the best publicly available information, the CIA has killed an estimated 3,500 people in non-battlefield drone strikes since the program began on November 3, 2002 ...I have spoken with former and current National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) officials and analysts, who have always been uneasy with having CIA analysts evaluate CIA covert programs.Specifically, they claim that — compared to the NCTC’s own analysis—CIA analysts are more likely to discount claims of collateral damage and the thesis that drone strikes creates blowback in the form of enhancing terrorist recruitment. ...If the 119 detainees who entered the rendition and interrogation program — 26 of whom were wrongly detained — deserve a public accounting, then don’t the 3,500 who have been killed deserve this as well? Or, is the United States simply more comfortable with torturing suspected terrorists than killing thirty times more of them?Former Clandestine Service head Jose Rodriguez basically says 'yes the administration is more comfortable killing'. In an interview with Lesley Stahl of CBS News Rodriguez said, "we don't capture anyone anymore Lesley...the default option of this administration has been to kill all prisoners. Take no prisoners. The drones."Zenko's main beef is that the CIA doesn't know how effective drone killings are either.  And so because we have done no evaluations the apparent bureaucratic argument is, Father, do not forgive the CIA for they know not what they do.  If only they had done a study and realized enhanced interrogation was effective then they would have ... fill in the blanks please.But maybe we really don't want to know. It's always better to be negligent than guilty. About the only guy who really knew what he was doing was William Tecumseh Sherman.  "Many a boy here today who looks on war as all glory, but, boys, it is all Hell.""How could it be more ethical to kill people rather than capture them?" asks Rodriguez. But ethics isn't the point. The new way of war is part of the long campaign to de-legitimize the old way of war. US military intervention and prisoner taking is now permanently politically constrained.  The administration is determined the Bush era will never be repeated. And it looks like they've succeeded.  But the  price of success has been to replace it with the Obama system for the foreseeable future.No matter who is elected in 2016, there will probably never be another operation similar to Iraq and Afghanistan. There will never be another facility like Guantanamo Bay. But before the peace lobby breaks out the organic champagne in celebration this preclusion comes at a price. Peace looks like the situation the administration has left us.If Iraq and Afghanistan are the past, then Libya, Yemen, Syria and the 'new Afghanistan' and the 'new Iraq' are the future. That future will by characterized by more civil wars, more drone and proxy warfare, more and frequent battalion sized temporary deployments, more covert arms shipments and training not just in the Middle East, but in Eastern Europe and Africa and all over the world.There will also be more wiretapping, cyberware and surveillance in this new world. As old time war fades away and 'lawfare' takes its place the distinction between citizen-civilian and enemy combatant will disappear. 'Western Jihadis' will become a major component of Islamic forces.  Already, from Peshawar to Paris, from Mosul to Motown, a thousand little distributed battlefields are replacing the old ones. Conflict has not been abolished just given new form.Those who prefer it will be glad.  But one really has no choice because those new forms are already here.  The drones, the surveillance, the Islamic recruitment videos. Time Magazine notes that the latest ISIS beheading videos are being produced to professional standards. "The Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria’s (ISIS) video of the beheading of 22 Syrian soldiers took between four and six hours to film and used equipment that cost around $200,000, a new analysis has shown."Veryan Khan, a researcher with TRAC has been analysing the video frame-by-frame. She says the video would have had a director, producer and editor who may even have used storyboards like conventional film-makers. The video was likely produced using Avid Technology, a state-of-the-art program which costs at least $200,000.Khan says the executioners were chosen for their cinematic qualities, their appearance and their martial ability. She points out that the men represent a certain kind of aesthetic; they are rather good-looking, clean and look as if they’ve done this before. The fact that they come from across the world is intended to convey the broad reach of ISIS’s self-proclaimed caliphate, Khan adds. ...The analysts also say the executioners cleaned themselves up between the filming of execution and post-execution scenes, another indication of the work involved in producing the film.The State Department has warned that the audience of these videos will soon rise in righteous outrage at the release of the enhanced interrogation report. Now, six hours is a long time to shoot a video. The cast, including the doomed, must have taken breaks at least while waiting for the final take. You can hear the dialog now on the beheading set. "That's enough for now. Cut!"Recently purchased by readers:A Cat Among the PigeonsOdds Against Tomorrow, a mathematician works as a catastrophe consultant and finds his worst case scenario coming trueBerlin Embassy, the last days of the US embassy in Germany in the lead-up to World War 2The Black Echo, Michael ConnellyEmpires of the Sea, The Siege of Malta, the Battle of Lepanto, and the Contest for the Center of the WorldThe Runaway BunnyAmerican Sniper, The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military HistoryRecommended:Lost to the West, The Forgotten Byzantine Empire That Rescued Western CivilizationA Man Called Trent, Louis L'AmourThe Thirty Years War, Europe's TragedyOakley Flight Deck Ski GogglesDid you know that you can purchase some of these books and pamphlets by Richard Fernandez and share them with you friends? They will receive a link in their email and it will automatically give them access to a Kindle reader on their smartphone, computer or even as a web-readable document.The War of the Words for $3.99, Understanding the crisis of the early 21st century in terms of information corruption in the financial, security and political spheresRebranding Christianity for $3.99, or why the truth shall make you freeThe Three Conjectures at Amazon Kindle for $1.99, reflections on terrorism and the nuclear ageStorming the Castle at Amazon Kindle for $3.99, why government should get smallNo Way In at Amazon Kindle $8.95, print $9.99. Fiction. A flight into peril, flashbacks to underground action.Storm Over the South China Sea $0.99, how China is restarting history in the PacificTip Jar or Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the Belmont Club class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/richardfernandez/2014/12/10/for-we-know-not-what-we-do/ ]]>
(Review Source)
PJ Media Staff
Ed Driscoll Certainly as a director, Lou Lumenick writes in the New York Post:Robert Wise, the editor of “Kane” and “Ambersons,” says in an archival interview in “Magician” that RKO fruitlessly pleaded with Welles to come back and make changes after a disastrous test screening of “Ambersons.”“Welles might have been spoiled by the total control he had in both radio and theater,” says the documentary’s director, Chuck Workman. “He went to Hollywood at a time where directors were not necessarily the final arbiter of their films, and what he wanted was not in sync with what the money men wanted.”While Welles was still in demand in Hollywood as an actor for films like “Jane Eyre,” no one trusted him to direct another film until the independently produced thriller “The Stranger” (1946) — Welles’ one and only box-office hit as a filmmaker.Welles managed to blow whatever goodwill he had in Tinseltown after Columbia Pictures’ Harry Cohn took a chance on him to direct “The Lady From Shanghai” the following year.Not only was this beautifully filmed (but narratively inscrutable) noir the first flop starring the studio’s top star, Rita Hayworth — but Welles perversely turned Hollywood’s most famous redhead (also his ex) into a blonde for the role, further enraging Cohn.Except for a Poverty Row production of “Macbeth” (that Republic Pictures had to redub because Welles insisted on thick Scottish accents), Welles didn’t work again in Hollywood a decade.That take certainly jibes with earlier Welles biographer, the late Charles Higham. In the conclusion of his 1985 tome on Welles, published just weeks before its subject's death at age 70, the veteran biographer offered a simple and concise summation of why Welles' services as a director went unwanted in Hollywood after RKO rescinded his license to kill in the early 1940. In an era before VCRs, DVDs, 500-channel cable and satellite TV and Netflix, there was no ancillary market for movies -- they had to make their money at the box office, and a director who flopped as spectacularly as Welles was not a welcome man. And Welles' films, visually stunning as they were at their best, simply didn't make money. Hitchcock, John Ford, Michael Curtiz and Frank Capra were bankable directors; Welles was not. (Apologies for any errors in the following passage introduced while transcribing it):It is axiom in the commercial cinema that the central figure of any work must be a human being with whom the mass audience can identify. He or she has to be likable, attractive, desirable, even when capable of villainy; he or she must speak the language of the people. Scriptwriters of proven commercial worth have deliberately tailored their scripts to the specific needs of stars so as not to extend their range too far, and the stars themselves more often than not make further alterations to suit their personalities. Yet so relentlessly has Welles worked against the commercial grain that he has even dared to make the central figures of his films unsympathetic.In Citizen Kane, Welles created a selfish heartless tycoon who is destroyed spiritually by his own greed and ambition. Americans could have comfortably accepted a rogue or a pirate of this sort, but someone who was haunted by agonizing visions of lost innocence alienated and confused the mass audience for decades. In The Magnificent Ambersons, Welles portrayed an impudent, bad-tempered puppy of a man, George Minafer, who disrupted the life of a small town; this charmless creature proved impossible to identify with in an age of heroes of the caliber of Tyrone Power and Errol Flynn. The other protagonist of the story, Aunt Fanny, was the sort of figure usually made fun of in American films: the tortured virgin spinster who hopelessly sets her cap for a man she cannot have. Contemporary audiences laughed at Aunt Fanny, whose misery failed to touch a chord in the American heart.Citizen Kane lost well over $100,000. The Magnificent Ambersons lost more than half a million. Following his failure to finish It’s All True, Welles attempted a comeback with The Stranger, a movie in which the protagonist was a Nazi war criminal hiding in a small American town. Again it was impossible for the audience to identify with such a person; the war was only just over, and there were few families that had not been affected by it. The Lady From Shanghai had as its hero a liberal sailor who had supported the loyalist cause in the Spanish Civil War -- and many Americans knew that people like that were Communist sympathizers. The making of Rita Hayworth, reigning sex goddess of the American screen, into a murderess further alienated the public.Shakespeare has never been box office in America, so Welles’s Shakespearean trilogy sank without a trace. Ironically, while the films he directed were failing, Welles himself was highly bankable as an actor and public personality, much as he is today. In Europe, Welles’s discipline disintegrated, and he lost control of his career. As his waistline grew, his career shriveled; it was almost as though eating and drinking were substitutes for creativity.Sadly, Welles could have been transformed himself into a sort of father figure to the easy riders and raging bulls of the 1970s New Hollywood era, but he was far too dissipated by that stage to serve as a workaday mainstream director. Or as George Orwell once wrote, “A man may take to drink because he feels himself a failure, but then fail all the more completely because he drinks.” Lumenick notes that of Welles' six abandoned '70s-era films, The Other Side of the Wind, which starred John Huston, another larger-than-life director-actor-raconteur, as Welles' onscreen stand-in is being readied for Cannes next year in honor of the centennial of Welles' birth.  Having seen clips of it, I'm not sure if anyone should get their hopes up that this will be Welles' long-lost masterpiece, but I'd love to be proven wrong. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2014/12/13/orson-welles-narcissism/ ]]>
(Review Source)
PJ Media Staff
Lifestyle It’s a cold, windy, rainy, crappy weather day outside here. I don’t know about you, but at the moment I could use something to listen to, a reminder of summer. (Stepping into that pothole full of icy water earlier didn’t help matters much.) It’s a long haul until then, but winter makes us appreciate summer, doesn’t it?If anyone could make you want to give it all up, move to Brazil, and spend your days walking barefoot on the beach, it would be Bebel.1. Bebel Gilberto – So Nice (Summer Samba) var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Bebel Gilberto. So Nice.', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2014/12/12/10-songs-that-remind-me-of-summer/ previous Page 1 of 10 next   ]]>
(Review Source)
PJ Media Staff
Lifestyle The Origins of Daffy Duck by MojoSupreme"Porky's Duck Hunt" featured the first appearance of Daffy Duck and the first time Porky Pig was voiced by Mel Blanc.Porky's Duck Hunt (1937) by voiceman91Who would you like to see added to the collection next? See the previous PJ Lifestyle Cartoon at Noon selections from this year:Disney in SpringAll 75 of the Silly Symphonies, the Gold Standard of the Era:Walt Disney’s First Silly Symphony: ‘The Skeleton Dance’PETA Would Hate This 1929 Disney Cartoon…Nature Animated to LifeA Disney Cartoon Set In Hell!Getting Drunk With Disney’s Merry DwarfsSummer: The Sixth Silly Symphony, A Sequel to SpringCorn on the Cob as Musical InstrumentA Cannibal-Version of Carmen With Clicking Human Skulls… Made By Walt DisneyFrolicking Fish Almost 60 Years Before The Little MermaidMickey Mouse As a Polar BearToy Story‘s Great Grandfather?A Bug Flying Too Close to the Fire In the DarknessInnocence Incarnate: These Smooching Monkeys Will Make You SmileGoodbye Winter! Disney’s Playful Pan Emerges to Call In Spring (two cartoons)Birds of a Feather Flock TogetherA Cartoon First Released April 17, 1931: Disney’s Mother Goose MelodiesDora the Explorer’s Politically Incorrect Cameo in a 1931 Disney CartoonApparently Beavers Invented the Wheelbarrow Before ManA Sweet & Spooky Silly Symphony for Cat LoversEgyptian Melodies Vs. Father Noah’s ArkGeppetto’s Original Workshop And Cogsworth’s Great-grandparents?When A Cavalry of Horseflies Goes To War Against the SpiderDrinking Tea Before the Fox HuntHow Much Can an Ugly Duckling Grow Up Over a Decade?The Marx Brothers As Cartoon BirdsA Primordial Winnie the PoohA Dog Jail Break at the Pound!The First Technicolor Cartoon: Disney’s Still-Amazing ‘Flowers and Trees’It’s Amazing What Kinds of Cartoons Were Considered Family Friendly in 1932…Bugs In Love Battle a Blackbird in Black and White‘Babes In the Woods’ Vs. The Witch In The Candy CottageWhat Secrets Do You See Inside Santa’s Workshop?The Snake Hypnotizes His PreyThe Disney Version of Noah’s ArkAn Oscar-Winning Cartoon That Defined the Depression EraWho’s Ready to Open Pandora’s Box?Enter Sandman? Where We Go When We SleepIf You Don’t Pay the Piper He’ll Just Take Your Children Instead…When Walt Disney Imagined Santa Claus In Alliance With The Robot ToysThe ‘Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil’ Monkeys In Cartoon Form‘Oh, the World Owes Us a Livin’…’Among the Easter Bunny’s Secrets: Scotch-Colored Paint!Practical Pig Saved Little Red Riding Hood From the Big Bad WolfDonald Duck’s First AppearanceThe Lesson of the Flying Mouse: Sometimes A Blessing Is Actually A Curse…Chill Out Today With These ‘Peculiar Penguins’Compare and Contrast: The Goddess of Spring With Snow White…Slow and Steady Wins the Race?What Would You Do If Everything You Touched Turned to Gold?A Cartoon To Teach Kids About the Danger of Celebrating CrimeDreaming of an Innocent Unity With NatureA Fantasy Land Where Everything Is Made of Candy…How Did Disney’s Mae West Bird Caricature Compare With Real Life?VIDEO: If Romeo and Juliet Were A Saxophone and CelloAnother 1930s Disney Cartoon with Creepy Racial Stereotypes…What Does It Take to Be the C**k o’ The Walk?What Is the Fate of Broken Toys?Elmer Elephant: Is This the Most Adorable Cartoon in the Whole Series?How Kids Can Learn To Defeat Bullies ‘I Like a Man That Takes His Time…’The 3 Blind Mouseketeers Vs A Room of TrapsA Country Mouse Discovers the Joys of Drinking in the Big City…This Very Cute Video of ‘Mother Pluto’ Parenting Chicks Will Make You Smile3 Troublemaker Kittens Make a Mess in the GardenThe Dark Secrets Hidden in the Woodland Cafe…What Is Animism?One of The Classic Breakthroughs In Animation HistoryWhen Moths Fly Too Close to The Flame…3 Babies Fishing For Stars In DreamlandWalt Disney Introduces The Farmyard Symphony on the DisneyLand TV ShowLong Before Spongebob: The Underwater Circus of the MerbabiesKatharine Hepburn As Little Bo Peep in BlackfacePractical Pig Delivers a ‘Harsh Interrogation’ To the Big Bad WolfThis Ugly Duckling Abandoned By His Family Will Melt Your HeartMickey Mouse:‘Plane Crazy’: Mickey Mouse at the End of the Silent EraDonald Duck's first appearances:"The Wise Little Hen": Donald Duck’s First Appearance"Orphan's Benefit": Which Character Do You Prefer: Donald Duck Vs Popeye?"The Dognapper:" Mickey Mouse & Donald Duck Vs The DognapperDonald Duck’s 4th Appearance Is One of the 1930s’ Greatest CartoonsDonald Duck’s 5th Appearance: "Mickey's Service Station"A World War II Donald Duck Cartoon for Veterans DayHow to Fish With Chewing Tobacco and a ClubDonald Duck and Mickey Mouse Take the Orphans for a PicnicDonald’s Final Appearance in His Original Duckish DesignPluto:Pluto Wants Some Turkey TooFleischer Studios in Summer12 Early Betty Boop CartoonsBetty Boop’s First AppearanceBefore Betty Boop Was Beautiful…Betty Boop as Snow White In A Cartoon For Jazz LoversYour Initiation Into Betty Boop’s Secret Society‘No, He Couldn’t Take My Boop-Oop-a-Doop Away!’ (2 cartoons featured)Why You Shouldn’t Try Robbing Betty BoopThe Betty Boop Approach to Dealing With ‘Silly Scandals’Moving Day for Betty Boop!A Plus-Size Betty Boop As Kitty From Kansas CityPlaying Chess with Betty Boop & Taking a Mean Shot at Mickey MouseBetty Boop’s Crazy InventionsCab Calloway as ‘The Old Man Of the Mountain’ Chases after Betty BoopPopeyePopeye The Sailor’s First Animated AppearanceWhich Character Do You Prefer: Donald Duck Vs Popeye?22 Color Classics, a competitor to the Silly Symphonies:A Redheaded Betty Boop As Cinderella Debuted a New Series‘Joy Like This Cannot Be Bought!’ A Cartoon Variation of Hansel and GretelAn Elephant Never ForgetsBack When Cartoons Taught the Miraculous Power of Prayer…‘Momma Don’t Allow No Music Playin In Here’Animal Newlyweds Take Their Honeymoon In Outer Space!Seduced By the Black SwanAn Old Couple Reminisces On Falling In Love…Somewhere in Dreamland TonightWhen a Chick Tries to Be a DuckNewlywed Flies Pick The Wrong Hotel For Their HoneymoonGreedy Humpty Dumpty Enslaves Nursery Rhyme Creatures To Build His Gold Wall to the SunTwo Lovebirds Take a Hawaiian HoneymoonDreaming of a Big TrainAn Eccentric Inventor Saves The Orphans’ ChristmasThe Wedding of Jack and Jill RabbitThe Rooster and His Harem…Animal Symphony Chaos: ‘The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men Often Go Astray…’VIDEO: A Family of Peeping Penguins Finds a New HomeA Little Fish Has to Learn His Lesson The Hard WayCute: Little Lamby Eats His Grass With SugarThe Vegetable Children Don’t Want to Play With the Little Onion KidThe Films of Ub Iwerks, co-creator of Mickey Mouse, during his years apart from Disney, studied in the Fall:Flip the FrogFlip the Frog: The First Sound Color CartoonFlip the Frog Hallucinating in the Opium DenFlip the Frog Befriends the Ghost Family With Their Skeleton DogFlip The Frog Vs The MouseThe Village Barber‘Techno-Cracked’: When Flip the Frog Built a RobotWhy Were so Many 1930s Cartoons Set in a Sultan’s Harem?Willie WhopperAn Angel Flashing the Middle Finger In a 1930s Cartoon?Willie Whopper’s Mexican Gun FightWillie Whopper Steals Neptune’s CrownComicolor CartoonsA Very Angry Sun Vs. Old Man WinterA Nutty Knight Escapes from the Insane AsylumSinbad the Sailor and His Parrot Enjoy CigarsThe Tailor Vs The Giant and Everyone Vs The MouseBaby Bear Has to Learn From Jack Frost the Hard Way…Simple Simon in the Lion’s DenThe First Cartoon Version of AladdinWelcome to Balloon Land! Beware of the Pincushion Man!Humpty Dumpty Jr. Rescues His Sweetheart from a Bad EggColumbia Pictures' Color Rhapsodies seriesLittle Nell With a Heart As Big as TexasThe Frog Pond: The Primary Theme of 1930s Cartoons? How to Beat BulliesSkeleton Frolics: An Undead Orchestra RehearsesTerrytoons By Paul TerryHow Farmer Al Falfa Survived the DroughtA June Bride: Farmer Al Falfa’s Kitty Elopes With an Alley CatThe Dancing Mice Make War on Farmer Al Falfa and His Cat‘Scotch Highball’: a 1930 Terrytoon of Animals Racing Warner Bros in WinterPorky Pig’s First Appearance"Plane Dippy"class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2014/12/12/what-are-the-origins-of-daffy-duck/ ]]>
(Review Source)
Crosswalk
Movies DVD Release Date: March 8, 2016Theatrical Release Date: December 4, 2015 (limited)Rating: R (for strong violence and brief sexuality)Genre: Drama, WarRun Time: 113 minutesDirector: Justin KurzelCast: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Paddy Considine, David Thewlis, Sean Harris, Elizabeth Debicki, Jack Reynor Macbeth, or "The Scottish play," as superstitious theater people call it, is one of Shakespeare's tragedies so it’s a given that the body count will be high. It was surprising—but revealing—to open on the body a child. A small Macbeth, implied but not named in the original play, is laid to rest by his grieving parents. It sets the tone for the rest of the story, a dark tale of ambition, pride, and madness. These are dark days in medieval Scotland; war is raging. We see the decisive battle between the king's loyal general Macbeth (Michael Fassbender, X-Men: First Class) and the traitor Macdonwald in all its violent glory. It's a ballet of destruction, alternating between real-time sound and fury and silent slow motion before ending in hard-won victory for Macbeth. Next up: witches. Shakespeare called for three but director Justin Kurzel (The Snowtown Murders) added a fourth, a mute child. They loom appropriately through the fog to deliver prophecies: that Macbeth shall be king and his buddy Banquo (Paddy Considine, The World's End) will be the father of kings. That gives both men something to think about as they head home from the war. With peace restored, it’s time to celebrate. The current king, Duncan (David Thewlis, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban), invites himself to Macbeth's home to do just that. Bad move, your majesty: Macbeth's wife (Marion Cotillard, Inception) heard all about her husband's prophesied promotion and can't wait to move into the castle. She persuades the hubs to hurry things along by murdering the king who stands in their way. Cotillard is marvelous; she exudes a dark aura of grief and anger that brooks no argument to her deadly plan. In an odd scene that suggests plotting an assassination is better than Viagra, the couple manages to multitask, planning treason even while otherwise engaged. Despite the number of violent acts this is not an action movie. The story moves on in inexorable, bloody fashion with a deliberate pace that is not quite slow but doesn't exactly get the audience's pulses racing, either (in fact, I distinctly heard snoring from the row behind me). “If it were done when 'tis done,” Macbeth muses, “then 'twere well it were done quickly.” It seems director Kurzel chose to ignore his main character's advice.SEE ALSO: Shakespeare & Whedon's Worlds Mix Well in Much Ado About Nothing googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-1'); }); It’s a moody piece and the design reflects that, full of fog and damp and the wild, barren beauty of Scotland in winter. The entire film was shot on location, most of it outside, which adds a certain realistic grubbiness to the piece. It feels cold, and harsh, and the people are dwarfed by their surroundings, adding to the loneliness of it all. The final battle is all in shades of red as though we’re seeing it through blood-soaked eyes.   Back at Macbeth’s homestead the foul deed is done (finally) by Macbeth, covered up by his Lady, and the prophecy fulfilled. Sadly for the now-royal couple they’re not able to enjoy their new status for long. Macbeth rapidly slides into madness, murdering people—including his friends and their families—any time he feels the least bit threatened. He blabs incriminating details at one of the most awkward dinner parties ever, wanders outside in his nightie to consort with the witches, and generally falls apart. Lady Macbeth hangs on to her own sanity with grim determination, but eventually she, too, gives up the fight. Her famous “mad scene” is chilling, all the more because it’s delivered with such quiet despair. I found Fassbender’s performance more uneven. Sometimes he’s fantastic; his hard, weather-beaten and war-torn exterior not quite hiding the damaged soul inside. Other times he’s just kind of odd. Much of that oddness I place at the director’s door; surely Kurzel was the one who decided  Macbeth’s “tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow” speech would be whispered over his dead wife’s body. Speaking of whispering, much of Macbeth’s dialogue is muttered in a monotone that can make him hard to follow, while his final lines are delivered so slowly I found myself mentally urging him to “just shut up and die already.” When he’s good, he’s very good, but when he’s not you’ll be glad the movie clocks in under two hours.  Look, it’s interesting in its way and it’s (mostly) Shakespeare so it has a certain cultural value. I wouldn’t say not to see it... you just need to know what you’re in for if you do.SEE ALSO: Romantic Spark Missing from Otherwise Handsome Romeo and Juliet CAUTIONS (may contain spoilers): googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-2'); }); if (gptClientWidth >= 992 && gptClientWidth <= 1000000) googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-3'); }); Drugs/Alcohol: Macbeth and others drink from goblets that presumably contain alcohol. Macbeth occasionally acts drunk but could just be crazy. He drinks something nasty given to him by the witches. Language/Profanity: A couple of exclamations along the lines of Lady Macbeth’s famous “Out, da**ed spot” but they go by almost unnoticed in the flow of Shakespearean prose. Sex/Nudity: The Macbeths have a sexually charged relationship and apparently find plotting a murder to be a turn on. Nothing is explicitly shown but it’s obvious what they’re up to and it’s not just planning and assassination. Violent/Frightening/Intense: There are numerous battle scenes that include things such as stabbing, death by arrows, slashed throats, and blood spatter. Animal scavengers come to feed on the bodies. Duncan’s murder is violent and gory (“Yet who would have thought,” Lady Macbeth ponders, with good reason, “the old man to have had so much blood in him?”) A woman and her children are hunted down like animals and later burnt at the stake (mostly off-stage). Macbeth is forever embracing dead companions, whether they are actually present in the flesh or as ghosts. Spiritual: At one point Macbeth cries out to Satan. Publication date: December 9, 2015 SEE ALSO: Coriolanus Could Make New Fans for the Bard ]]>
(Review Source)
Armond White
The Revenant, Macbeth, and Don Verdean show civilization’s decline. The Revenant, the new Leonardo DiCaprio western, bids to be also the last western. That once-quintessential Hollywood genre has lost its popularity to sci-fi and comic-book flicks that trendily dramatize social tensions — along with offering escape into perpetual adolescence. The Revenant reworks the older westerns’ exploration of American history, and of the issues arising from the clash between civilization and perceived wilderness, into a spectacle replete with contemporary social distress. That makes it an Obama western. DiCaprio’s Hugh Glass, a guide and hunter for a fur-trading expedition in the 1820s, humbly embodies the country’s humane, multicultural hopes, yet he’s stuck amid venal, weak-principled countrymen. Burdened with the racist legacy of European settlers, Glass is haunted by the killing of his Pawnee wife and guards his biracial son. Glass’s ambivalence and fortitude are tested by his trouble with John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy), a low-life among the government-sanctioned trappers. The unhinged, Bible-quoting carnivore Fitzgerald is a lying, killing incarnation of America’s evils. The epic, overlong murderous opposition between Glass and Fitzgerald reveals perfidious man in nature, and nature as alienating as it is “red in tooth and claw.” Their conflict symbolizes the war between civility and savagery, though it is not the classic sheriff-vs.-outlaw antagonism. In this End of the West western, the greed, selfishness, and brutal cynicism come straight out of our contemporary paranoid atmosphere. The Revenant portrays the U.S. as a ghost of its once idealized, rough-hewn self, a nation troubled by its treacherous past while slogging through an onerous, deadly present — thus, an Obama allegory. Oscar-winning Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu doesn’t apologize for American history; he even avoids the Mexican–American War and the policies of European colonization that might specifically explain Manifest Destiny. Yet, by playing a Clooney–Damon–Pitt game, Iñárritu uses the western genre for a simplified critique of American temperament: Glass always physically conflicts with threatening forces, including bedrock, redneck conservatism. In this End of the West western, the greed, selfishness, and brutal cynicism come straight out of our contemporary paranoid atmosphere. (function($){ var swapArticleBodyPullAd = function() { if ($('body').hasClass('node-type-articles')) { var $pullAd = $('.story-container .pullad').addClass('mobile-position'); if (window.matchMedia("(min-width: 640px)").matches) { if ($pullAd.hasClass('mobile-position')) { $pullAd .addClass('desktop-position') .insertBefore('.article-ad-desktop-position'); } } else { if ($pullAd.hasClass('mobile-position')) { $pullAd .addClass('mobile-position') .insertBefore('.article-ad-mobile-position'); } } } }; $(window).on('resize', function(){ swapArticleBodyPullAd(); }).resize(); })(jQuery); His virtue is lamely represented by romantic memories and race-conscious fatherhood. (“They don’t hear your voice, they only see your skin,” he warns his teenage son.) His struggle is epitomized in a showpiece battle with a grizzly bear. It’s like a superhero origin myth via computer-generated F/X. Glass is left nearly dead, prey to Fitzgerald’s ruthlessness. Fisheye close-ups of DiCaprio in agony recall A Clockwork Orange’s cynicism, and his snowy travails repeat that Quaalude crawl in The Wolf of Wall Street. After relentless melodramatic setbacks, phenomenal resilience wins him revenge. Remember how Vietnam-era westerns (Little Big Man, Soldier Blue, Bite the Bullet, High Plains Drifter) expressed liberal American guilt? Well, the trendy ISIS-era politics of Iñárritu’s western fantasy prohibit cathartic heroism. This frustration and reticence add to The Revenant’s Obama aspect. DiCaprio and the prodigious Tom Hardy sink into their characters’ obstinacy to show white American moral descent (while the knowing Native Americans bide their time stereotypically — a millennial flip of their passivity in Dances with Wolves). After ear-chewing combat with Fitzgerald, similar to Laurence Olivier and Gregory Peck’s mauling each other in The Boys from Brazil, Glass stares at the audience with a look of “This is not who we are” hopelessness. The Revenant is an accusatory western. Iñárritu forces the audience to judge imperialism, starting with Emmanuel Lubezki’s preening, relentless camera (just as in last year’s dreadful Birdman) weaving among the corrupt characters. Lubezki’s photography is pellucid, as always, but whereas he achieved a newly discovered, paradisiacal look for Terrence Malick’s The New World, the American wild here seems inhospitable, dangerous. Before the mano a mano brawl, a Bierstadt-worthy sun ray moves through a mountain pass. The fleeting, stunning sight suggests a dying of light, a nation’s coming eclipse. Share article on Facebookshare Tweet articletweet The cinematic surprise of 2015 is Macbeth, directed by Justin Kurzel. Shakespeare’s intimate political intrigue is filmed as a global visionary tragedy. Kurzel depicts Scotland’s eleventh-century history while alluding to our millennial disillusionment (“I feel now the future in the instant”). Kurzel’s harsh, violent images link to 300: Rise of an Empire, transforming pop myth through breathtaking poetry. Both Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard look archetypal: His ruddy skin, facial scruff, scared eyes, and a smile not to be trusted complement her deep-set stare with blue eyeshadow beneath a pearl corona. Their scheming and anguish derive from deep suffering, sufficient to explain their moral fall. By literalizing “Screw your courage to the sticking post, and we’ll not fail,” Kurzel makes the play as sexual as 300, and the tragedy becomes, all the more, a human and affecting tale of ambition vs. conscience. (The mob hailing Macbeth ironically resembles the people wall-mugging in the background of today’s politicians.) More Movies Mark Ruffalo vs. White ‘Conservative’ Women The Mummy Unwrapped: American Guilt and Masochism There’s Still Life in The Mummy At this moment of political division and partisan suspicion, Macbeth is a perfect vehicle to wake the biased, dehumanizing conscience, to show the worst of others in ourselves. That’s what makes Fassbender and Cotillard’s unorthodox performances so beautiful. His talent for decadent menace and her gift for wounding sorrow deliver a poetic effect even when they use contemporary cadence on the blank verse. Jed Kurzel’s shrieking, moaning strings and booming percussion — this is the year’s best music score — add tactile effect to already expressive images: The forest killings of Macduff’s family and Banquo are worthy of The Conformist, and Paddy Considine as Banquo’s ghost is unforgettable. Justin Kurzel’s intense understanding of the play’s essence is apparent in the welts on the witches’ faces, Macbeth’s catching embers in his hand, the revelatory edit during Lady Macbeth’s monologue, and the close-up that makes Macbeth’s “Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow” despair immersive. This is the most imaginative Shakespeare film in years, as we await Julie Taymor’s wonderful unreleased A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Don Verdean is the darkest film yet by Jared Hess, director of Napoleon Dynamite, Nacho Libre, and Gentlemen Broncos. It’s not “dark” in the trendy sense that endorses nihilism but in a bright, comical sense that looks through nihilism to the other side. The title character (played by Sam Rockwell) is a religious huckster (author of Relics of God and star of the God’s Errand DVD), whose livelihood exploits seekers. He sells archaeological artifacts (Lot’s wife’s pillar of salt and the skull of Goliath) found in Holy Land expeditions. He proves the truth of Biblical miracles while plundering the modern natural world. This film about godlessness is a perfect companion piece to the profundity of Macbeth and an antidote to the pessimism of The Revenant. By showing the Christian ability to laugh at oneself (Danny McBride’s born-again evangelist strikes the perfect note; Will Forte’s former Satanist does not), Hess keeps the faith despite skepticism. Don Verdean’s character isn’t fully conceived. His Israeli partner-in-crime Boaz (Jemaine Clement) is a livelier conceit (“Your Lord and me have a lot in common”), while his research assistant (Amy Ryan) remains a sweet idea unfulfilled. But how many movies, even failed ones, can still be called idiosyncratic and delightful? — Armond White, a film critic who writes about movies for National Review Online, received the American Book Awards’ Anti-Censorship Award. He is the author of The Resistance: Ten Years of Pop Culture That Shook the World and the forthcoming What We Don’t Talk about When We Talk about the Movies. ]]>
(Review Source)
Armond White
(”Macbeth” is briefly mentioned in this.)
The year’s best films verses the overrated worst In 2015 more movies were released than ever (an average of a dozen a week). And while many of them offended one’s sense of truth, beauty, and politics, mainstream media (both conservative and liberal) promoted them nonetheless — as if only newness mattered, and not quality. Commerce smothered art in 2015, disguised as movie love. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t still excellent, satisfying films — the best, Queen and Country, released in early January by British master filmmaker John Boorman, remained unsurpassed. You could still have a good time going to movies in 2015, but it required discernment, personal taste, and political rigor. Thus, this year’s Better-Than List reminds filmgoers that in cinema as in politics, quality and integrity are more important than popularity. It’s never too late to vote for the better movies. Queen and Country > The Force Awakens The visionary Boorman’s memoir/swan song recalls the roots of family, citizenship, and morality, all conveyed in cinematic mythology. The Disneyfied Star Wars replaced pop mythology with fascist marketing, deceiving viewers who are ignorant of the difference. (function($){ var swapArticleBodyPullAd = function() { if ($('body').hasClass('node-type-articles')) { var $pullAd = $('.story-container .pullad').addClass('mobile-position'); if (window.matchMedia("(min-width: 640px)").matches) { if ($pullAd.hasClass('mobile-position')) { $pullAd .addClass('desktop-position') .insertBefore('.article-ad-desktop-position'); } } else { if ($pullAd.hasClass('mobile-position')) { $pullAd .addClass('mobile-position') .insertBefore('.article-ad-mobile-position'); } } } }; $(window).on('resize', function(){ swapArticleBodyPullAd(); }).resize(); })(jQuery); Güeros > The Hateful Eight Alonso Ruizpalacios’s mixed-race Mexico City college students search for their ethnic and cultural roots in the style of Sixties New Wave cinema, superior to Quentin Tarantino’s pointless mashup of spaghetti westerns and blaxploitation movies. By exploiting American racism, QT promotes it. The Young and Prodigious T. S. Spivet > The Revenant Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s coming-of-age fable expresses an outsider’s affection for 20th-century Americana, while Alejandro González Iñárritu reduces the history of the American West to savagery — and Obama-era self-deprecation. Love at First Fight > The Martian France’s Thomas Cailley updates the service comedy — social experiment in the military viewed as Millennial screwball romance — but ultrahack Ridley Scott minimizes NASA space exploration as Matt Damon’s solipsism in outer space. Creed > Straight Outta Compton Ryan Coogler reenergizes pop ethnography and Sylvester Stallone’s bootstrap boxing franchise, reasserting that All Lives Matter because all are connected. But F. Gary Gray’s bio-pic about the hip-hop group N.W.A. panders to current social cynicism and valorizes hip-hop culture’s most noxious historical episode. The Green Inferno and Knock Knock > Mad Max: Fury Road Eli Roth’s two-fer made him the year’s wittiest political filmmaker, reviving low-grade genres as social satire — the opposite of George Miller’s craven, violent, utterly mindless spectacular. The Stanford Prison Experiment > The Big Short and Spotlight Kyle Patrick Alvarez experiments with the power dynamics of masculinity, while Adam McKay and Tom McCarthy both ignore race and gender components in films that celebrate white professional-class privilege (via stock-market arrogance and anti-Catholic journalism). Alvarez’s compelling, watchable actors contrast with McKay & McCarthy’s miserably dull all-celeb casts. Black Souls > Black Mass An authentic Mafia critique from Italy’s Francesco Munzi surpasses Scott Cooper and Johnny Depp’s mob-monster Whitey Bulger film. The crime movie Scorsese cannot make vs. the movie Scorsese has made ad nauseam. Macbeth > The Force Awakens* Justin Kurzel uses Shakespeare to envision a metaphor for modern political nihilism, a moving, classical reminder of what has been lost to Star Wars infantilism. * Yes, Star Wars again. Its menace is no phantom. In the Name of My Daughter > Carol André Téchiné’s family saga goes beyond modish sexual transgression through deep insight into class ambition. Todd Haynes’s dull lesbian melodrama endorses the cliché of 1950s repression (while still favoring the dominant bourgeoisie) to make today’s political correctness seem “smart.” Sicario > Bridge of Spies Denis Villeneuve explores the moral parameters of the U.S. drug wars while Steven Spielberg plays moral-equivalency games with Cold War history. Visionary boldness vs. visionary smugness. Horse Money > Timbuktu and Arabian Nights Portugal’s Pedro Costa owns up to colonial debt in an emotional, visually arresting art film. He humanizes the personal cost of Europe’s immigrant debacle, while Mauritania’s Abderrahmane Sissako, in Timbuktu, panders to jihadist clichés and liberal guilt. Meanwhile, Miguel Gomes’s trilogy, Arabian Nights, reveals Portugal’s (Europe’s) capitulation to G8 and ISIL narratives. La Sapienza > Ex Machina Expat American Eugène Green’s Western-heritage drama, delighting in the ethics of classical architecture, perfectly contrasts with Alex Garland’s juvenile rehash of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001. Adult sophistication vs. teenage sci-fi misogyny. Appropriate Behavior > Trainwreck Desiree Akhaven’s bisexual-identity farce (the year’s most original comedy) was ignored by mainstream-media acclaim for Judd Apatow and Amy Schumer’s hetero-skank privilege. The New Girlfriend > The Danish Girl François Ozon spiritually redeems sexual dysfunction, but Tom Hooper settles for a ghoulish, politically correct tearjerker. Compassion vs. freakdom. Joy > Steve Jobs David O. Russell puts a human face on capitalism in a bio-pic that’s really an American social comedy — the opposite of Danny Boyle’s babbly hagiography, which deifies and sentimentalizes corporate fascism. A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence > Anomalisa In several powerful tableaux, Sweden’s Roy Andersson connects personal anxiety to historical anxiety, while Charlie Kaufman pampers faux existentialism with zombie puppets. Furious 7 > It Follows James Wan’s populist sequel in the Fast & Furious franchise celebrates E Pluribus Unum brotherhood, but David Robert Mitchell’s Detroit-set ruin porn and scaredy-pants narcissism result in the year’s crummiest thriller. — Armond White, a film critic who writes about movies for National Review Online, received the American Book Awards’ Anti-Censorship Award. He is the author of The Resistance: Ten Years of Pop Culture That Shook the World and the forthcoming What We Don’t Talk about When We Talk about the Movies.   ]]>
(Review Source)
Michael Medved
http://www.michaelmedved.com/wp-content/uploads/macbeth.mp3
(Review Source)
MacGruber
Crosswalk
Movies DVD Release Date:  September 7, 2010Theatrical Release Date:  May 21, 2010Rating:  R (for strong sexual content, extremely crude humor, violence, profanity, and some nudity)Genre:  Action Comedy/SpoofRun Time:  99 minutesDirector:  Stan FosterActors:  Will Forte, Kristen Wiig, Ryan Phillippe, Val Kilmer, Powers Boothe, Maya Rudolph I was a fan of the original MacGyver series, starring Richard Dean Anderson (Stargate: SG-1), as the resourceful, carefree, and unstoppable American secret agent. I was both fascinated and entertained by the complex devices/weapons that this hero of heroes would fashion in life-or-death situations using only the crudest of raw materials (e.g., household cleaning supplies, pins/needles, shoe laces). Although the series ended in 1992, MacGyver and his unusual prowess at constructing complicated military/spy items became part of American pop culture—a comical example, if you will, of extreme individualism, beating impossible odds, fantasy solutions to life's challenges, and the ultimate hero figure. Not surprisingly, Saturday Night Live picked up on the MacGyver obsession and responded with a series of parody skits—MacGruber, featuring Will Forte (Saturday Night Live) as our hero and Kristen Wiig (Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs) as his blonde-bombshell sidekick, Vicki St. Elmo. They brilliantly reprise their SNL roles in this full-length movie that follows the newest mission of the MacGyver/MacGruber character. It's a tried and true saga—i.e., the ex-military hero who has given up his killing ways to pursue a path of peace. But his desire for a new life is interrupted by one last mission that he must take in order to clear his conscience by righting a past wrong, or atoning for a tragedy that was his fault. The movie is full of classic Saturday Night Live spoof material, blended with the kind of parody jabs seen in such films as Airplane and The Naked Gun. MacGruber, however, is far better than any other parody I've seen to date. It's truly funny, especially where the movie uses camera angles, action, lighting, and assorted cinema techniques that perfectly reflect the look/feel of the TV show.What also makes this film work so well is how the script is read with no hint of comedy. Lines flow as if it were a real action/adventure piece. The serious-sounding dialogue (which in reality, is comprised of absurd lines), the interaction between the actors, and the scenarios make it terribly amusing. This is particularly true when it comes to the line delivery of veteran actors Val Kilmer (Top Gun, Batman Forever), as the arch-nemesis of MacGruber, and Powers Boothe (Sin City, Nixon, Men of Honor), as MacGruber's commanding officer. These characters read their lines as dramatically as if they were actually in a far more serious film such as Three Kings, Rambo, or Die Hard. It's nothing short of hysterical. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-1'); }); if (gptClientWidth >= 992 && gptClientWidth <= 1000000) googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-2'); }); Some of the most outrageously funny moments involve actors dressing up as other characters, a coffee shop scene where one of MacGruber's "team" is trying to lure out the villain, and MacGruber's emotional breakdown when it appears he might be relieved of duty because of a terrific mistake he makes even before the mission begins. Forte shines as MacGruber and is perfectly complimented by Wiig. Their comedic chemistry is spot on.Having noted how expertly this movie is produced, filmed, and acted, I'd be remiss to not mention that there are many places where the humor and dialogue is simply too sharp, not only for younger audiences, but also for any adult with sensitivities to crude humor, heavy sexual innuendo, graphic displays of sexual activities, and profanity. From the standpoint of secular humor, it must be admitted that some of this material can bring an unbidden grin to the face, accompanied by a blush. But from a Judeo-Christian standpoint, much of it is just too over the top to be appreciated or enjoyed. It will most definitely be offensive to most conservative viewers.CAUTIONS: Language/Profanity:  Lord's name ("Jesus" and "God") taken in vain several times; various characters use several forms of the "f" word liberally throughout the film, almost to excess; additional uses of foul language and vulgarities, including slang profanity, are sprinkled heavily throughout the movie.Smoking/Drinking/Drugs:  None.Sex/Nudity:  Partial nudity of MacGuber's buttocks in one scene and full rear nudity of MacGruber in another scene that is a sexually graphic situation (see following section). There is also a scene wherein an elderly woman's full breasts are shown as she is posing for a painting.Sexual situations: This movie has intense, graphic, and crude sexual situations and jokes, including:  the villain has a notably vulgar name, which whenever spoken, invariably sounds like the crude slang word for a woman's genitals; sexual intercourse being graphically acted out (no nudity); dialogue that contains explicit references to specific homosexual acts, and humorous references to sexual body parts.Violence:  Violence is on par with any action/adventure film—men shot in the torso/head, throats being literally ripped out (complete with spurts of blood), a man being crushed by a car, assorted fight scenes that end in death.SEE ALSO: Creativity of Ice Age Series Close to Extinction ]]>
(Review Source)
Kyle Smith
Universal wouldn’t let the hacks see “MacGruber” until 7:30 the night before opening, but that didn’t stop us from getting a review in the morning Post. One of the saddest aspects of this mess is that it demands of Kristen Wiig that she (and everyone else) be the straight man to Will Forte, who isn’t fit to brush her Farrah Fawcett hair. My review of this massively unfunny flop is up. Checking out Rotten Tomatoes, I see that Universal’s strategy managed to defeat the other professional critics — there are only six “top critics” reviews on Rotten Tomatoes (five of them negative, the other one from Peter Travers). But the fanboy reviews from obscure websites are overwhelmingly positive.]]>
(Review Source)
Kyle Smith
(”MacGruber” is briefly mentioned in this.)
May might have been the worst one for movies in many years. “Iron Man 2” was about it, and “Robin Hood” (so bad that indefatigable commenter Hunter Tremayne apparently didn’t even like–he has been uncharacteristically silent on it ever since it came out), “Letters to Juliet,” “MacGruber,” “Shrek Forever After” and “Sex and the City 2” were all abysmal. I didn’t see “Prince of Persia” but no one has encouraged me to get to it. Now June is looking . . . much like May. Warner Brothers, which is the one studio that is least likely to hide its films (one reason it’s my favorite studio is that it almost always offers its product to critics on Monday afternoon of the week of opening) is delaying showing “Jonah Hex” until Wednesday afternoon. I don’t know anything about this picture but that spells all but certain disaster. Nor am I enthusiastic about this week’s dueling party-like-it’s-1985 remakes of “The A-Team” (which I haven’t seen) or “The Karate Kid.” At the end of the month, we can look forward to Adam Sandler’s “Grown Ups,” the Tom Cruise-Cameron Diaz actioner “Knight and Day” (don’t you hate aggressively dumb titles like that one?) and the third “Twilight” movie, whatever that’s called. Ugh. The worst May ever, followed by the worst June ever? Strong possibility. I do hugely recommend the Jonah Hill-John C. O’Reilly comedy “Cyrus,” however, a wicked little indie comedy coming June 18, and I have no reason not to be optimistic about “Toy Story 3.”]]>
(Review Source)
Machete
PJ Media Staff
(”Machete” is briefly mentioned in this.)
Lifestyle 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.To replace those three? class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2012/8/28/my-3-replacements-for-the-10-macho-movies-list/ previous Page 1 of 2 next   ]]>
(Review Source)
PJ Media Staff
(”Machete” is briefly mentioned in this.)
Klavan On The Culture var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'THE ARROYO: Official Trailer', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); In "Crisis in the Arts," my new essay for the David Horowitz Freedom Center (now available at the link), I give an overview of the problems confronting conservatives who want to break the virtual monopoly the left holds on America's culture. Among my observations are these:For those conservatives with artistic talent and ambition, this is a spectacular moment to take to the barricades.  Big Media is tottering under the assault of new technologies.  With electronic publishing and social media, books can be self-published and self-promoted.  With the new video cameras, professional-looking films can be produced on the cheap and distributed online.  YouTube, iTunes, smart phones, tablets, blogs — all provide opportunities for new kinds of work and new ways for that work to be dispensed.But to take advantage of this moment, conservatives have to come to grips with a situation that they naturally find uncomfortable:  to wit, we are now the counter-culture.  When it comes to the arts, Radical Leftists are The Man. We need to act like the rebels we now are and stop trying to win the favor of the big studios and publishers and mainstream reviewers.  We need to make stuff.  Good stuff.  And get it out to the audience any way we can.This is easier said than done, but one genuinely inspiring example has been set by my friend Jeremy Boreing. Jeremy's movie The Arroyo has had theatrical showings in Los Angeles and Texas and is now available on DVD. The good people at Newsmax will help with distribution and the film is scheduled for release on iTunes as well. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/andrewklavan/2014/2/11/the-arroyo-breaking-the-lefts-monopoly-on-the-arts/ previous Page 1 of 2 next   ]]>
(Review Source)
PJ Media Staff
PJ Media President Barack Obama visits Texas later this week. As will also be the case when he visits Colorado this week, local Democrats will run from being photographed with him. Wendy Davis avoided being seen with the president the last time he visited the state.The president is taking some heat for his decision not to visit the Texas-Mexico border while he is in Texas. That border is in chaos, thanks in no small part to Obama's lax policies. A leaked DHS memo makes it clear that the Obama administration has slowed down deportations, and that policy is driving much of the surge in illegal crossings. More than 50,000 unaccompanied children have reportedly crossed into Texas over the past few months, and are currently being held in camps around the state and increasingly around the country. One Border Patrol agent has reportedly come down with scabies as a direct result of the illegal influx.Rather than visit the border, the president is attending fundraisers with his wealthy backers, and one of those who will attend is raising eyebrows. The president is set to raise money for the Democratic Party with film director Robert Rodriguez.Rodriguez is probably best known for the Spy Kids film series, but he has also directed a number of hyper-violent "grindhouse" exploitation films. President Obama routinely uses mass shootings to criticize Americans' Second Amendment rights, but does not take on Hollywood for its violent movies that show guns and, in Rodriguez's case, showcase violence as a means to exact revenge.Robert Rodriguez directed one of 2010's most controversial films, Machete. Here's IMDB's synopsis of its plot.After being set-up and betrayed by the man who hired him to assassinate a Texas Senator, an ex-Federale launches a brutal rampage of revenge against his former boss.The cartoonish Texas senator, played by Robert DeNiro, was targeted because he delivered speeches calling for more border security. In the same film, a Border Patrol agent played by Jessica Alba switches sides and becomes a violent immigration radical who screams "We didn't cross the border! The border crossed us!"Sure, if you lived in the American southwest and you've been alive for about 150 years, you could make the case that the border crossed you. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/blog/obama-skips-border-visit-to-fundraise-with-violent-revenge-fantasy-film-director/ previous Page 1 of 2 next   ]]>
(Review Source)
PJ Media Staff
PJ Media President Obama visits Austin, Texas today for a Democratic Party fundraiser with some of entertainment's top names.The president will not visit the Texas-Mexico border, despite the fact that it is currently in a state of crisis. An estimated 57,000 unaccompanied children have been caught at the border since October 1, 2013, a number that has overwhelmed the Border Patrol's ability to process and care for them. That number could reach 100,000 by the end of the fiscal year.The children are being shipped to camps at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, which is just a little over an hour's drive from Austin, and to many other camps around the country.Obama's fundraiser stop has brought Austin's already tight traffic to a grinding halt. Interstate 35, the main north-south artery through Austin, was shut down as the president's motorcade made its way from Bergstrom International Airport into Austin proper. Residents couldn't get to work or anywhere else.Texas Democratic candidates and officials have elected not to allow themselves to be photographed with the unpopular president, even in deep blue Austin.Movie director Robert Rodriguez hosts the president's Austin fundraiser.Rodriguez stirred massive controversy in 2010 when he directed the hyper-violent pro-illegal immigration movie, Machete.Machete depicts the grindhouse tale of a Mexican Federale who gets caught up in a plot to assassinate a cartoonish, pro-border security Texas senator. Danny Trejo plays the role of the Federale. Robert DeNiro portrays the hick senator. Jessica Alba also stars as a US Border Patrol agent who switches sides and becomes a violent pro-illegal immigration advocate. Machete features a glittering cast of stars, including Don Johnson, Steven Seagal, Michelle Rodriguez, Cheech Marin and Lindsay Lohan. Machete calls illegal aliens "illegal Americans" and sends an unmistakable pro-illegal immigration message.Rodriguez originally used incentives from the Texas Film Commission to fund the production of Machete, but once its contents became widely known, the Commission rescinded those credits and incentives. He proceeded to produce the film in Texas anyway. It cost over $10,500,000 to make, and grossed $26,593,646 according to Box Office Mojo. Its sequel, 2013's Machete Kills, did even worse, despite its amazing cast that includes Trejo, Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, Charlie Sheen, Mel Gibson, Sofia Vergara (who wears a metal bra machine gun), Lady Gaga, Antonio Banderas, Cuba Gooding Jr., Amber Heard, Bruce Campbell and other Hollywood stars.Since the president refuses to visit the border, and clearly leans on the side of encouraging rather than stopping illegal immigration, and he enjoys his entertainment to the point of bragging that he gets advanced episodes Game of Thrones before they even air on HBO, perhaps Rodriguez will screen the film for him at today's fundraiser. There's nothing like watching a film when you have the director right there next to you to add his background commentary. var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Machete Trailer (2010)', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); Maybe they'll make it a double feature. var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Machete Kills Official Trailer #2 (2013) - Jessica Alba, Charlie Sheen Movie HD', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); Machete don't tweet, but Barack Obama does, so maybe he'll live tweet the film fantastic for us. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/blog/will-obama-watch-a-screening-of-pro-illegal-immigration-exploitation-movie-while-he-visits-austin/ ]]>
(Review Source)
PJ Media Staff
PJ Media Writer/director Robert Rodriguez squeezes in every ugly stereotype he can regarding illegal immigration opponents in his new Mexploitation romp Machete.And there’s plenty of room left over for splattered body parts, crooked politicians, and extreme stunt casting. You don’t make Lindsay Lohan show up in a nun’s habit if you’re not gunning for some cheap thrills.Conservatives shouldn’t be surprised that Machete takes a strong pro-illegal immigration stance. Rodriguez assembled a trailer for the film a few months back trashing Arizona for daring to enforce its borders.That was just the beginning. Machete features more political speeches than the Democratic National Convention, and the content overlap is considerable.But the bigger sin for audiences is that Machete isn’t much fun. There’s nothing quite as joyous as a good, old-fashioned B-movie, something the recent film Piranha 3D reminded us in spades. Machete, by comparison, strains to be funny but rarely makes us smile, and its action sequences border on the monotonous.How many times can you watch someone get disemboweled by a sharp instrument?Veteran actor Danny Trejo is Machete, a character created for one of the faux trailers attached to the Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino 2007 film Grindhouse. The film opens with a Mexican crime lord named Torrez (Steven Seagal, hamming it up nicely) killing Machete’s wife and leaving him for dead.Flash forward three years, and Machete is just another day laborer looking for gigs near the border between Texas and Mexico. He’s summoned by a political wrangler (Jeff Fahey) to assassinate Sen. McLaughlin (Robert De Niro), an incumbent whose anti-immigration rhetoric compares Mexicans to leeches -- and worse.But it’s all a setup, a faux hit meant to boost the senator’s electoral hopes. Now, Machete wants revenge, and the brooding vigilante isn’t shy about getting the job done.Along the way Machete runs into a soft-hearted immigration official (Jessica Alba), an immigrants’ rights leader (Michelle Rodriguez) nicknamed “Shé” as in Ché, and a whole lot of thugs to impale.Trejo’s deeply lined face and hulking presence seem the perfect match for a character like Machete, but the actor’s dry line readings rob some of the fun from the performance.It doesn’t help that he rarely has anything interesting to say. His comic highlight comes down to three words, “Machete don’t text,” and it’s all downhill from there.Subplots all but drown out the main story, from an “underground railroad” style immigration system dubbed the “network” helping illegals make it in America to a vile Minuteman-type vigilante (Don Johnson) who delights in shooting pregnant Mexicans to avoid the whole “anchor baby” mess.“They call us vigilantes, but it’s really vigilance,” the character snarls after putting a poor woman down. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/blog/machete-the-b-movie-as-bloated-illegal-immigration-agitprop/ previous Page 1 of 2 next   ]]>
(Review Source)
Kyle Smith
Christian Toto wonders. I’ve seen the movie and I say: No. No more than “Reservoir Dogs” affected the gun-control debate. “Machete” is very political and very impassioned — but it isn’t very serious. It’s simply a kill-em-all fiesta, with the targeted being politicians who oppose illegal immigration and the good guys being undocumented badass landscapers with weed-whackers, pruning shears and the titular weapon. It’ll inspire lots of thumb-sucking op-eds but it won’t change anyone’s mind. Among common moviegoers, the chatter will be all about Lindsay Lohan’s topless scenes. Yeah, she still looks good.]]>
(Review Source)
Kyle Smith
Robert Rodriguez’s gory salute to illegal immigrants fighting back against Minuteman types, “Machete,” is party clever and partly stupid. My review is up.]]>
(Review Source)