Two dramas about gay teenagers subjected to the ravages of conversion therapy will open soon. The presumed award-season contender is Joel Edgerton‘s Boy Erased (Focus Features, 11.2), based on Garrard Conley‘s true-life memoir. It costars Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea) as the 19-year-old Conley, Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe as his rigidly conventional parents, and Edgerton as a gay conversion therapist. Opening three months earlier is The Miseducation of Cameron Post (Film Rise/Vertigo, 8.3), set in 1993 and based on Emily M. Danforth’s 2012 novel. It’s about the teenaged Cameron Post (Chloe Grace Moretz) being sent to a Christian gay-conversion camp in Montana. Costarring Sasha Lane, John Gallagher Jr., Forrest Goodluck and Jennifer Ehle. Post won a Grand Jury Prize at last January’s Sundance Film Festival.
I’ve spent half of today and half of yesterday looking to connect with a distinguished, non-marginal, leather-shoe-wearing, Jaguar-driving iPhone hacker who really knows his/her stuff. As I explained on 7.6, I’m grappling with a terrible iPhone 8 Plus problem. I just bought one last Friday evening after my iPhone 6 was lost and then stolen, but I can’t get past a double security measure that iOS software insists upon.
Every new iPhone owner has to submit to a two-step verification security process. They need to input their Apple ID and password (no prob), followed by a six-digit passcode that Apple would normally text them. However, the thief who stole my iPhone 6 Plus has given it a new SIM card, and has somehow convinced Apple that his/her phone # (which ends in 14) is a legitimate trusted number. Somehow this d-bag has convinced Apple that he’s me, and the bottom line is that Apple is so far refusing to accept the usual verifications that prove I am the legitimate party and not the “14” guy. There must be some kind of workaround that would allow me to sidestep the usual protocols and allow me to input a valid six-digit code.
Right now I’m frozen in my tracks. After five days of trying to get past or around this problem, an Apple senior-level support rep told me yesterday in so many words that “there’s no way we can give you the six-digit code,” and that I’m more or less screwed as far as being able to use the new iPhone 8 Plus with my current #. Moreover, last Friday a senior iPhone support person named Priscilla promised I’d be hearing soon from “a senior Apple engineer,” except (a) the engineer never got in touch and (b) I’ve called Priscilla and left messages four or five times and no response. I’m calling her again now.
There must be a way to hack around this issue, so I’m making a last-ditch public effort to find a reputable gentleman hacker who can help me out. If anyone out there can connect me with the right person or knows a surefire way to manage this, please get in touch. This is very serious. I’ve never before tried to connect with iPhone hackers, but I’ll tell you right now it’s not easy. It’s like trying to find an upscale drug dealer. They’re out there, but it’s hard to find the right number or e-mail address. I’ve also reached out to iPhone jailbreakers — not the same line of country but close.
If I can’t find a solution I guess I’ll return the iPhone 8 Plus and buy an Android and accept a whole new phone #, and then I’ll figure some way to import my contact info, photos, music and all the rest of it. I know nothing about Androids. What a nightmare. Every facet of my life has been intertwined with iPhone technology for 11 years and now, suddenly, the Apple folks have essentially told me to go to hell.
A February ’18 Forbes article by Thomas Fox-Brewster mentioned Corellium co-founder David Wang, a big name in the Apple jailbreaker community” who has “previously ported Android and Linux onto the iPhone.”
So Joaquin Phoenix is going to play the D.C. Comics Joker in an origin film directed and co-written by Todd Phillips. Honestly, who cares? How many more Joker flicks are U.S. audiences going to be asked to sit through? Jokers to the left and right…Caesar Romero, Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger, Jared Leto. There’s no end to it. Variety‘s Justin Kroll reports that Leto “will not only be back for the Suicide Squad sequel [but] is also developing his own standalone movie that will be separate from Phoenix’s Joker project.” All three are Warner Bros. projects. No one’s ever going to top Ledger’s version in The Dark Knight…never.
Posted earlier today on Facebook by Sarah Palin, referring to a prank interview that happened in Washington D.C. last November: “Yup — we were duped. Ya’ got me, Sacha. Feel better now?
“I join a long list of American public personalities who have fallen victim to the evil, exploitive, sick ‘humor’ of the British ‘comedian’ Sacha Baron Cohen, enabled and sponsored by CBS/Showtime.
“This ‘legit opportunity’ to honor American Vets and contribute to a “legit Showtime historical documentary” was requested of me via a speakers bureau.
“For my interview, my daughter and I were asked to travel across the country where Cohen (I presume) had heavily disguised himself as a disabled US Veteran, fake wheelchair and all. Out of respect for what I was led to believe would be a thoughtful discussion with someone who had served in uniform, I sat through a long ‘interview’ full of Hollywoodism’s disrespect and sarcasm — but finally had enough and literally, physically removed my mic and walked out, much to Cohen’s chagrin. The disrespect of our US military and middle-class Americans via Cohen’s foreign commentaries under the guise of interview questions was perverse.
“Here is my challenge, shallow Sacha boy: go ahead — air the footage. Experience tells us it will be heavily edited, not pretty, and intended to humiliate.
“The challenge is to Cohen, CBS and Showtime: donate all proceeds to a charitable group that actually respects and supports American Vets. Mock politicians and innocent public personalities all you want, if that lets you sleep at night, but HOW DARE YOU mock those who have fought and served our country!
By all means read the entirety of Jonathan Chait’s 7.8.18 New York article, “Will Trump Be Meeting With His Counterpart Or His Handler?: A plausible theory of mind-boggling collusion.” But consider the final six paragraphs:
“The logic of Russia’s role in helping Trump has not changed since the election. If Trump’s campaign hired hackers to penetrate his opponent’s communications or voting machines, they would risk arrest. But Putin can hire hackers with impunity. Mueller can indict Russians, and he has, but he can’t arrest them unless they decide to leave Russia. Outsourcing Trump’s hacking work to Putin made perfect sense for both men in 2016, and still does.
“And if you’re Putin, embarking upon a coveted summit with the most Russophilic president since World War II, who is taking a crowbar to the alliance of your enemies, why wouldn’t you help him in 2018 and 2020?
“Ever since the fall of 2016, when Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell privately turned down an Obama-administration proposal for a bipartisan warning to Russia not to interfere in the election, the underlying dynamic has been set: Most Republicans would rather win an election with Putin’s help than lose one without it. The Democrats, brimming with rage, threaten to investigate Russian activity if they win a chamber of Congress this November. For Putin to redouble his attack — by hacking into voting machines or some other method — would be both strategic and in keeping with his personality. Why stop now?
“Meanwhile, the White House has eliminated its top cybersecurity position. That might simply reflect a Republican bias against bureaucratic expertise. But it might also be just what it looks like: The cop on the beat is being fired because his boss is in cahoots with the crooks.
“Part Towering Inferno, part Die Hard and part test to see how much Hollywood baloney a physics-literate viewer can take before his or her head explodes, Rawson Marshall Thurber‘s Skyscraper is one of the most idiotic action movies to come down the pike in some time. Thurber’s sub-par script and the absence of a Hans Gruber-grade villain keeps this film well short of John McTiernan‘s enduring Bruce Willis crowd-pleaser, which celebrates its 30th birthday this very month. Nevertheless, multiplexes should welcome it with open arms.” — from John De Fore‘s Hollywood Reporter review.
“Ridiculous is the name of the game in Skyscraper, an eye-rolling (yet undeniably fun) action movie delivered with a straight face by Rawson Marshall Thurber, who recognizes that no one wants to watch a realistic rescue story (Cat Saved From Tree, say, or Backdraft) when they can have The Rock’s Wife and Kids Nearly Burned to a Crisp in Towering Inferno.
“On the scale that ranges from implausibly entertaining to entertainingly implausible, Skyscraper comfortably falls toward the compulsively over-the-top end, generating thrills by straining credibility at every turn, relying on Johnson’s invaluable ability to engage the audience while defying physics, common sense and the sheer limits of human stamina.” — from Peter Debruge‘s 7.10 Variety review.