Waldorf Astoria rooftop top chef: “Tomahawk steak should be $150 tops. We don’t want to push it.” Waldorf Astoria rooftop restaurant manager: “That’s why you’re the chef and I’m the manager.” Top chef: “What do you want to charge? $175? $200?” Manager: “No.” Top chef: “I know you want to charge $200. But that’s $50 more than the top steak houses.” Manager: “I’m going to charge $230.” Top chef: “Jesus.”
The WordPress guys killed me earlier today. Like “Nately’s whore” in Mike Nichols‘ Catch 22, they approached from behind me as I waiting for a crosswalk light, and stabbed me in the ribs. And like Alan Arkin I grasped my side and moaned like a gored matador as I slowly crumpled to the ground.
All I know is that I was suddenly unable to post anything because all the usual doodahs (including the “save” button) has suddenly disappeared. Thanks, WordPress!
I tried fiddling around but nothing changed. I asked trusted homey Sasha Stone for help, but she was tied up on a freelance project. Panting and panicking, I turned to WP Tech Support, a British site. They charge $65 to fix emergencies. I gratefully forked over, and then crashed on the couch in order to escape my problems.
Received at 4:25 pm: “Great news, Jeffrey! The issue is fixed and your site is working perfectly now with Classic Editor (latest version of WordPress 5.2.2 but no Gutenburg). Your pages and posts can be edited/saved as normal now.
“The issue was related to an upgrade you made to Revolution Slider, or the latest 6.X version [which] is not compatible with WordPress 5.2.2, and so we have made some code level changes as suggested by Revolution Slider to fix the compatibility issue.”
An upgrade to Revolution Slider? At first I couldn’t recall what Revolution Slider is. Then someone explained it.
I’m used to a certain “house”-style positivism when it comes to DVD Beaver Bluray reviews. A certain regulatory stamp-of-approval. Because no Bluray ever gets panned — not really. At worst you might occasionally detect a slight under-serving of enthusiasm, as evidenced by “fairly”, “slightly”, “decent” and “somewhat.”
Trust me — as someone who writes reviews a lot, I know what “decent” means.
Hence Colin Zavitz’s DVD Beaver review of Criterion’s Local Hero Bluray (out 9.24): “A fairly robust contrast helps the image during darker moments, though perhaps a 4K restoration could have been slightly more impressive. Colors seem to be faithfully represented, with a decent amount of clarity to the image, showing a somewhat detailed picture, though at times a little soft.”
On top of which Zavitz doesn’t even say if Criterion has adjusted the sound levels correctly so that Mark Knopfler‘s guitar doesn’t overwhelm that faint tinny sound of the jingling pay phone during the final shot — a concern that I mentioned a couple of months ago.
I really love how Mindhunter 2 focuses almost entirely upon the Atlanta Child Murders investigation over the last…what, five episodes? And on the eventual discovery of likely child-murderer Wayne Williams, and how the guy who plays Williams (still searching for his name) looks almost exactly like him. Ditto the actors who play Charles Manson (Damon Herriman) and David “Son of Sam” Berkowitz (Oliver Cooper).
In the below video Holt McAllany (who plays Bill Tench) explains how and why the resemblance is so precise.
I was completely riveted and I may even re-watch for good measure, but there are two things I wasn’t especially transported by.
One was the subplot about Tench’s malignant son, Brian, who says exactly four words (“Did the fish die?”) in the whole series and is clearly destined to become some kind of super-fiend when he grows up. Nothing happens, nothing develops…the kid is just a zombie from the get-go. Brian is adopted but what a nightmare regardless, and there’s no way out of it for poor Bill and his wife Nancy (Stacey Roca).
The other “what?” is the serious attention paid to the love affair between Anna Torv‘s Wendy Carr and Lauren Glazier‘s Kay Mason, a foxy divorced bartender. Their relationship is not without intrigue and the performances struck me as exactly right, but the whole subplot is just an aromatic sideshow. It has nothing whatsoever to do with serial killers, interviewing serial killers, finding Wayne Williams or the BTK killer, FBI politics or the BSU. Takeaway: Workaholics and obsessives aren’t that great at relationships, etc.
Until I watched this clip, I’d never seen color-and-sound footage of Marlene Dietrich being interviewed. All my life she was this sparkling, glistening black-and-white figure, acting lines and presenting the classic Dietrich persona. Born in ’01, she was 70 when she sat for this interview. Nice makeup, great hair, the shape of her mouth, etc. Judgment at Nuremberg was her last substantial role. Her Christine Helm in Witness For The Prosecution might have been her most glamorous and charismatic. I never cared for her dark-haired gypsy in Touch of Evil.
I respect and admire the six films Dietrich made with Josef von Sternberg more than I actually like watching them. She was a tiny bit chubby in those films; I prefer the older, sleeker Dietrich of the late 40s and ’50s….the Dietrich who had a hot and heavy affair with Yul Brynner in the ’50s, and who also did the raunchy with Errol Flynn, George Bernard Shaw (really?), John F. Kennedy, Joe Kennedy, Michael Todd, Michael Wilding, John Wayne, Kirk Douglas and Frank Sinatra.
“We used to wake up, read the paper, see all the terrible things in the world and say ‘at least my life is better than those poor slobs.’ But now it’s the opposite. Social media tells you everyone is having more fun — with more toys and more friends — than you. They’re always in St. Kitts having Mai Tais at sunset, while you’re in Canoga Park selling your plasma at dusk. Before Instagram, you could be a loser but not feel it. Because the winners weren’t always in your face. Even the most mundane posts, of avocado toast in a hipster coffee shop, sends the message ‘I’m having fun and you’re not…enjoy your cup of noodles, fatty.’
I’m not saying Where’d You Go, Bernadette is without issues, but it’s better than those Rotten Tomatoes or Metacritic ratings would indicate. I felt occasional stabs of annoyance, but not that often and they were more like pin pricks. Which is a longish way of saying that it feels good when others feel more or less the same as you do. Again, my 8.14 review (“Better Than Expected“). Bernadette presumably won’t make much this weekend, but that’s another matter. Respect for director Richard Linklater and Annapurna for at least giving it the old college try.
Before I bought my first serious bike (a yellow-jacket BMW), getting around Los Angeles was irksome, tiring, frustrating. I never angrily gestured at anyone and I certainly never road-raged, but once or twice guys tried to road-rage me. (Here’s an incident that happened in March 2013.)
But it wasn’t the psychotics who made driving around so trying. It was the slowboats — those fine folks who don’t signal, don’t nudge their way forward into a left-turn lane at a traffic-light intersection, and who will sometimes block a narrow neighborhood street as they look for street-meter parking.
Those daily feelings of entrapment are a thing of the past now. I drive the car only when forced to (weather, too far to travel, big load). Otherwise I’m a free man in Paris, and it’s glorious. No parking problems ever. Around six or seven dollars to fill the tank. The pokies are no longer an issue. And I always make excellent time.
I don’t have my own private parking spot in the outdoor Farmer’s Market lot, but you might as well call it that because nobody ever parks there. Ditto the Hollywood Arclight lot — a small area that’s too small for cars but more than enough for the Rumble Hog is always unoccupied, and even if a two-wheeled guy were to take it I could find an alternate spot immediately.
In short, as far as Los Angeles traffic is concerned I lead a stress-free life, and I doubt that I could feel more thankful and soothed about this than I already am.
Twice this week I noticed guys getting up and presumably attending to business only a minute or two after a film has started. Who does this? It happened near the beginning of Wednesday evening’s Mindhunter screening at the Hollywood Arclight, and at the start of last Monday’s Blinded By The Light all-media at the Grove. Both times the evacuees didn’t return for a good four or five minutes. This is little dog behavior. Can you imagine a Manhattan theatregoer standing up and side-shuffling towards the aisle two or three minutes after the first-act curtain has gone up? You can take a break at the half-hour or hour mark, although moviegoers with a semblance of self-control rarely do this. I sure as hell don’t, in part because I don’t slurp Diet Coke out of 32-ounce containers.