Anecdotal but noteworthy plot wrinkle: The Equalizer works the aisles at Home Depot, or a store that looks an awful lot like one. Which I can roll with. But once you succumb to semi-banal employment situations, how far are you prepared to go? How would it be if The Equalizer worked at a Rite-Aid? What if he was a freelance massage therapist? What if he was a flight attendant? McDonalds? Studly, panther-like, ex-commando Creasy types aren’t supposed to work jobby-type jobs. They’re supposed to be operators who’ve figured out enough angles so they don’t have to punch a clock…right?
On our last day in Venice (Tuesday, 6.3) my son Dylan and I spotted one of those massively grotesque Love Boat tourist ships from a distance of a quarter-mile or so. It was gliding by the south side of the Dorsoduro district on its way out to the Adriatic. These ships are sickening. The people who travel around on them are the same fraidy cats who vacation in Las Vegas or Cancun or in Club Med spots. Pod people who are terrified of coping with any aspect of any environment that isn’t totally Americanized or exuding a plastic corporate vibe.
Here’s the release: “In celebration of the 6.17 Blu-ray and DVD release of
Wes Anderson‘s The Grand Budapest Hotel, on Saturday, 6.14 a version of the illustrious European hotel constructed entirely of Lego bricks wil be unveiled at the Grove. Ryan Ziegelbauer and his team of eight model builders — all die-hard Anderson fans — spent 575 hours building and designing the replica of the exquisite hotel. To construct the model, more than 50,000 certified Lego bricks from collectors and wholesalers were sourced from Lithuania, Poland, Latvia, Germany, Italy and 14 different states in the U.S. The final model will weigh approximately 150 pounds and stand 7 feet tall and 6.5 feet wide. The model will be on display for two days at The Grove — Saturday, 6.14 and Sunday, 6.15 — for fans to enjoy.
I felt profoundly moved and even close to choking up a couple of times while watching Rory Kennedy‘s Last Days in Vietnam yesterday at the Los Angeles Film Festival. The waging of the Vietnam War by U.S forces was one of the most tragic and devastating miscalculations of the 20th Century, but what happened in Saigon during the last few days and particularly the last few hours of the war on 4.30.75 wasn’t about policy. For some Saigon-based Americans it was simply about taking care of friends and saving as many lives as possible. It was about good people bravely risking the possibility of career suicide by acknowledging a basic duty to stand by their Vietnamese friends and loved ones (even if these natives were on the “wrong” or corrupted side of that conflict) and do the right moral thing.
Last Days in Vietnam director Rory Kennedy during post-screening q & a.
Kennedy’s incisive, well-sculpted (if not entirely comprehensive) 98-minute doc is basically about how a relative handful of Americans stationed in Saigon — among them former Army Captain Stuart Herrington, ex-State Department official Joseph McBride and former Pentagon official Richard Armitage — did the stand-up, compassionate thing in the face of non-decisive orders and guidelines from superiors (particularly U.S. Ambassador to South Vietnam Graham Martin) who wouldn’t face up to the fact that the North Vietnamese had taken most of South Vietnam by mid-April and would inevitably conquer Saigon. It was obvious as hell to almost anyone with eyes and ears, and yet Martin and other officials, afraid of triggering widespread panic, wouldn’t approve contingency plans for evacuation until it was way, way too late. So the above-named humanitarians and their brethren decided it was “easier to beg for forgiveness than to ask permission” and did what they could — covertly, surreptitiously, any which way — to save as many South Vietnamese as they could.
In this video review piece TheWrap‘s Lucas Shaw calls 22 Jump Street “one of the two best comedies of the summer along with Neighbors.” Whoa, wait…Neighbors was amiable and dopey but a bit tedious after the first hour. I didn’t laugh once…not actually, I mean. It’s cool but in a “no-laugh funny” way, as I’m fond of saying. (And there’s nothing wrong with that — it’s just a certain kind of comedy.) I won’t see 22 Jump Street until this afternoon (I missed two invitational screenings) but…well, I’ll just ask those who’ve already seen it. Without being generous, is it hah-hah funny or no-laugh funny? And I really don’t want to hear about any homoerotic undertones between Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum….please. Just leave it alone.