For a year or so IMDb has peen posting screenplay videos, showing the difference between a famous script and how the dialogue finally came out when the actors got their teeth into it. I could watch these all night. I love, love, love Tilda Swinton‘s conversation with Mr. Verne, particularly the in-person one when Mr. Verne suggests “the other way.”
Please don’t permit the selection of a Democratic presidential nominee who will stumble over and over with senior-moment errors and lapses and misrememberings. And please make sure that the person who wins the nomination is smoothly articulate and whipsmart and never misses a trick. Someone, you know, like Pete Buttigieg. I know it can’t actually be Buttigieg himself because of an army of mule-stubborn African-American voters, but a presidential campaign defined by senior-moment gaffes will be devastating. Make that horrific. It’ll just break my heart.
Last month Collider‘s Jeff Sneider tweeted a way-out-there prediction about either Melina Matsoukas‘ Queen and Slim or Destin Daniel Cretton‘s Just Mercy being fated to win the Best Picture Oscar in early 2020. I don’t know about Just Mercy but a couple of hours ago I heard from a guy who knows a guy who’s read Lena Waithe‘s Queen and Slim screenplay, and his assessment was that while this “black Thelma and Louise” reads like a relatively sturdy programmer it didn’t exactly leap off the page or feel like some kind of “holy moley!” Oscar contender. So due respect to Sneider and the Queen and Slim team but I’ve decided to remove it from my Gold Derby Best Picture roster. For now. Sorry.
…the conspiracy crowd always rushes in and sets up house. Earlier today a retweet by President Trump indicated that he, too, thinks something probably stinks in Denmark. Is it possible that the decision to take Jeffrey Epstein off suicide watch was a matter of simple stupidity and/or incompetence? Yes, I suppose. But highly unlikely.
No one in the left or right conspiracy camp will ever believe that Epstein wasn’t “allowed” in some bumbling bureaucratic way to take his life. Many super-wealthy types (including the Clintons) are breathing easy today, but the first order of business should be the prison cell video. If Epstein offed himself without assistance (as most believe), this was almost certainly captured on security cam. If it turns out the cell camera wasn’t working or had been turned off…c’mon!
N.Y. Times reporter Ali Watkins writes that after attempting suicide on 7.23, Epstein “was placed on suicide watch and received daily psychiatric evaluations, a person familiar with his detention said. But just six days later, on July 29, Mr. Epstein, 66, was taken off the watch for reasons that remained unclear on Saturday, the person said.”
The decision to yank The Hunt wasn’t unexpected. In the wake of last weekend’s mass murders and in view of the exacerbated cultural divide, public showings might have prompted volatile reactions…who knows?
Four days ago THR‘s Kim Masters reported that Universal was having second thoughts. Now it’ll leave the room and reappear on the streaming apps sometime next year, most likely. Craig Zobel, Jason Blum and Damon Lindelof‘s dark satire probably would’ve underperformed anyway — it didn’t look all that appealing. It’s just unfortunate that Universal made the call a day after President Trump complained about it (i.e., “Hollywood is really terrible…they’re treating conservatives very unfairly”).
Asked last night which Democratic candidate President Trump “should fear the most”, former Trump White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci (whom I understand because he’s from the tristate area and is basically a Martin Scorsese character) said the following:
“I would be going younger with somebody like Senator Harris or Mayor Pete Buttigieg. And I think that contrast…go out there and speak to the people Trump won last time, don’t call ’em deplorable or white nationalist…go out there and ask what’s wrong with their economic situation…and boy, that would be very powerful. The Democrats, in my opinion, always do better when they go with somebody below the age of 50…Barack Obama, John Kennedy, Bill Clinton.”
“This is the new trick in Democratic politics. Dig up something your opponent said decades ago that looks bad by today’s standards, and pretend that [this is] mike-drop evidence of your awesome moral superiority. [But] humans evolve, and people need to stop pretending that if they were alive back then, they wouldn’t have been the same asshole as everyone else. Yes, you would. You would’ve driven without seat belts and drank when you were pregnant and hit your kids and hit your neighbor’s kids….they did that shit!
“Because woke-sight is not 20/20, and you don’t have ESPCP — Extra Sensory Politically Correct Perception. And if you were around in the 1780s and were rich and white, you likely would have had slaves. The first abolitionist society in American was founded in 1775, and it had 24 members. 24 people in the whole country thought slavery was wrong in the year before we declared independence. Stop being surprised [that] we used to be dumber than we are now. The humans of tomorrow will be horrified by us. You’re not morally better than your grandparents — you just came later. You’re just the next upgrade. You’re the iPhone 11.”
On a personal evolutionary note: People who’ve at least tried to bring clarity and moderation into their lives (i.e., those not enslaved by drugs, booze, cigarettes or some other malicious addiction) tend to evolve in itty-bitty increments. Gentler or more tolerant attitudes tend to prevail as we get older, rough edges tend to get sanded off, wisdom accrues drop by drop. And if you become sober **, it’s fair and reasonable to infer that inch by inch things will slowly evolve in a slightly better direction.
Billionaire pedophile sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein killed himself last night inside NYC’s Metropolitan Correctional Center. He reportedly hanged himself. He had tried to do the same thing a couple of weeks ago, and this time he got it done.
Everyone, of course, is thinking variations of the same thought — fine, an apt conclusion, just desserts, ever thus to monsters who prey upon children.
Every act of suicide is, of course, a statement about where a person was at before committing the deed. There are two logical inferences that could be drawn from Epstein’s death — one semi-human and one slightly less so.
The semi-human statement that Epstein might have made last night was “I have been a vile serpent and I know it, and this is my way of saying to the world and my accusers and especially my victims that I agree with you, and that there’s nothing I can do or say to mitigate the ugly, and so I’m executing myself.” The slightly less human statement, if applicable, was “my life is over, and as much as the world believes that I deserve to endure penal degradation for the rest of my life and without offering comment about my obvious guilt, I’m simply not doing to do that…strangulation by bedsheet is better than 20 or 30 years in the slam.”
I suspect that Epstein’s motive was probably a combination of the two.
The conspiracy theorists seem to be saying that the guards charged with enforcing an Epstein suicide watch were paid to take a coffee break or otherwise look the other way. Maybe.