Rude, crude…insulting people on Twitter
Sees everything as transactional
Has no loyalty but to himself and family
Seems pathological in his desire to undo what Obama did
Doesn’t speak about many people with respect
Obama called him a “bullshitter”…check
Sees everything in terms of the deal
Uses the phony schtick of a salesperson, a tendency to exaggerate and lie
Antagonizes almost everyone
Only seems to care about his base
He really hasn’t accomplished anything
A monkey could have passed tax cuts with a Republican congress
Doesn’t read, isn’t wise, speaks like a child
Antagonizes allies; denigrates international organizations
Doesn’t think things through
Unpresidential in use of Twitter and many other ways
Goes back on his word, can’t be trusted
Constantly revolving door among staffers
I dislike the divisions he has caused or hasn’t helped
Steve Martin, Jon Stewart, Martin Scorsese, Anderson Cooper, Ted Danson, Larry David, Patrick Stewart, Drew Pinsky, Sam Elliott, Mark Harmon, David Byrne, Tim Robbins, Baz Lurhmann, Jay Leno, Richard Gere, John Slattery, Michael Douglas, Barry Bostwick, James Brolin, Mike Myers, Wolf Blitzer, Harvey Keitel, Jim Jarmusch…who else?
The basic, boiled down thrust of Owen Gleiberman‘s latest Variety think piece is that while the Big Disney Colossus now owns the two biggest mythologies (Marvel + Star Wars), their franchise value has already been tapped and exploited to near exhaustion. Meanwhile Disney is gorging on their reanimated CG synthetic remakes but where will they go when the well is dry and they’ll have no alternative but to (aagghh, please…not that!) come up with some original 21st Century creations of their own?
The forthcoming Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is “the last film whose narrative DNA will be tied, in a fundamental way, to the revolutionary film that George Lucas released in 1977,” Gleiberman notes. “For some of us (and, I believe, for many fans), this series has already dragged on too long, feeding on fumes of nostalgia. The audience response to Solo: A Star Wars Story was not encouraging [and] didn’t bode well for the spinoffs, the divergent byways, the new sagas to come.
“As for Marvel, the end of the Avengers saga is no small thing. Black Panther and Captain Marvel are off to fantastic starts, pointing to a comic-book movie future of triumphant diversity. But if there’s an eternal truth in the film industry, it’s that all genres fade. I’m sure Disney is already planning out their reboots (who will be the new Magneto?), but the magic of the MCU, rooted in multiple overlapping generations of collective comic-book memory, has gone on for a quite a while, and it’s my feeling that it will be a challenge for Disney to sustain it on that level.
“And the [CG] animated remakes? Disney is going through them like chocolate-covered peanuts.”
This is now a five-person race…period. If and when Bernie Sanders withdraws (which he will definitely, absolutely do sooner or later), where will his supporters go? Some to Harris and Buttigieg, I’m guessing, but mostly to Warren. Where else? Typewriter Joe…what a drag, so deflating, zero excitement, big droop.
Scarlet Johansson doesn’t make perfect career decisions (who does?) and sometimes wavers a bit (like all of us), but for my money she has a pair of cast-iron cojones. Because she’s stood up to the wokester thugs by going her own way on Woody Allen and by recently repeating her view that political correctness can get (and in fact has gotten) in the way of creative freedom.
“I recognize that in reality, there is a widespread discrepancy amongst my industry that favors Caucasian, cisgendered actors and that not every actor has been given the same opportunities that I have been privileged to,” Johnasson said in a statement after her views were misrepresented, she claimed, in an interview with As If magazine.
In the As If piece, Johansson said that she continues “to support, and always have, diversity in every industry and will continue to fight for projects where everyone is included. [But] as an actor I should be allowed to play any person, or any tree, or any animal because that is my job and the requirements of my job. I feel like it’s a trend in my business and it needs to happen for various social reasons, yet there are times it does get uncomfortable when it affects the art because I feel art should be free of restrictions.”
In a 7.3 HE piece called “Ciswashing” I assessed the criticism that Johansson was getting at the time for wanting to play real-life trans massage parlor owner Dante “Tex” Gill in Rub & Tug, a crime drama that would have been directed by Ghost in the Shell helmer Rupert Sanders.
“The trans-twitter community apparently feels that only a real-deal trans actor should play Gill (who transitioned from being a woman to a man),” I wrote. “They presumably regard Johansson’s casting in the same light that Native Americans probably saw the casting of Henry Brandon as ‘Scar’, the Comanche villian in John Ford‘s The Searchers (’56).
“Let’s back up and consider how this could have been avoided. Actors in top-tier Hollywood films are typically cast by producers and directors with two goals in mind — (a) find the most gifted actor to play a given role for the benefit of the film, and (b) preferably an actor with name recognition among the hoi polloi, in order to help boost ticket sales. So in a perfect world Johansson would have declined and Sanders would’ve found a gifted trans actor instead…fine. But who would that be?
Posted last year by HE commenter “Adam”: “This is just the latest outrage from ScarJo. She played an alien in Under the Skin for crying out loud when every single person knows full well she’s from Earth. And then there was The Other Boleyn Girl nonsense in which we were expected to believe she was British royalty! I mean, you can’t make this stuff up! And don’t get me started on her Black Widow character…I’ve seen her try martial arts in real life and it’s all totally fake — she can’t fight for shit. So I’m glad someone finally called her out for the fraud she is.”
Here‘s what Deadline‘s Mike Fleming and Peter Bart had to say about p.c. Stalinists a la Donald Sutherland in the final shot of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
…when the power goes out. People reach out, everyone comes together. I’m not hearing about uncivil behavior but the opposite. Not much of a blackout because it’s still dusky outside. Okay, it’s getting darker now. 40 years to the day after the ’77 blackout. The outage of ’65 happened on 11.9.65.
I guess this is what they call a New York moment. After being trapped on the F for an hour because of the power outage I emerged to see dark restaurants & traffic lights, civilians directing traffic, & an evacuated Carnegie Hall concert happening in the street. #nyc #Blackout pic.twitter.com/3p9UWtRrel
— Briallen Hopper (@briallenhopper) July 14, 2019
— wilkssc (@wilkssc) July 13, 2019
In a 7.12 opinion piece, USA Today contributor Chris Truax urges Democrats to be wary of choosing a candidate who primarily appeals to urban wokesters and focus instead on which candidate will seem like a decent alternative to voters in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Joe Biden, he seems to be saying, and not Kamala Harris, whom he seems to feel might be too left for middle-aged Erie residents by virtue of being a POC from Oakland. Truax might even be saying that Elizabeth Warren is too left, although that notion seems silly. Warren is entirely sensible, practical, level-headed and no lefty loony. So is Harris, if you ask me, but I’m talking about shorthand perceptions.
Truax believes that Erie voters understand that Trump is bad news and are ready to cast their vote for a Democratic candidate who seems modest, well-mannered and reasonable. And yet he doesn’t address the fact that Biden is an Obama nostalgia candidate — a guy who’s much more about the mindset of the ’80s and ’90s than the 21st Century.
You know who really fits the “modest, well-mannered and reasonable” bill? Mayor Pete. Because he’s brilliant and Christian and relatively conservative within the liberal Democratic realm, and not necessarily beholden to the woke fruitcake cabal.
Truax: “The people you really have to motivate aren’t the Democratic base, they’re the people in the middle who have been unsettled by Trump’s presidency. They can see what Trump is and will happily vote for a reasonable alternative. But if Democrats offer what appears to them as a choice between death by hanging and death by firing squad, a lot of them will just give up and not vote at all.
“There are four states that matter in 2020: Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Florida. Win three out of four of those states and Trump is a one-term president. No matter how popular something might be with activists in Los Angeles or donors in Manhattan, it’s dead weight or worse if it isn’t a winner with Rotary Club members in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
“Want to put Minnesota, Colorado, Nevada and New Hampshire in play? Easy. Just run on policies like eliminating private health insurance, reparations for slavery, legalizing drugs and decriminalizing prostitution.
…I don’t want to be right.
A friend insists that yesterday’s post about Little Women and other fall hotties (“Gerwig’s Little Women Avoiding Festival Circuit?”) is “hogwash.” If he’s referring to the Little Women part, he needs to complain to Indiewire‘s Eric Kohn and Anne Thompson and not me.
“I know several titles locked for Telluride,” he says, “and I don’t think you mention any of them, not even the right Netflix one. Actually there may be two.”
“Wait a minute, wait a minute,” I said. “You’re telling me that none of the hotties I listed are going to Telluride as far as you know?”
I don’t care what this guy is saying — at least two or three of the films I mentioned (Ed Norton‘s Motherless Brooklyn, Jay Roach‘s Fair and Balanced, Kasi Lemmons‘ Harriet, Dee Rees‘ The Last Thing He Wanted, Steven Soderbergh‘s The Laundromat, Gavin O’Connor‘s Torrance, Roger Michell‘s Blackbird, Rupert Goold‘s Judy, Tom Harper‘s The Aeronauts) have to be Telluride-bound…c’mon.
He also commented about Jeff Sneider‘s prediction tweet about Melina Matsoukas‘ Queen & Slim and Destin Daniel Cretton‘s Just Mercy being possible Best Picture favorites, along with my inference that admirers of these films will represent “an anti-Green Book, authentic-black-experience pushback vote.”
“The Academy is not looking to ‘make up’ for Green Book,” he says. “They strongly endorsed it and still do. Queen & Slim sounds interesting but it’s about a black couple (played by Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith) killing a white policeman and going on the lam. Universal plans to [try to] cover that up largely by selling it as a love story.”
“Warner Bros. is considering Just Mercy for an awards run but it is aimed more directly at MLK weekend. WB has so many possibilities, most notably Joker, so we’ll see. Like Green Book it’s an inspiring true story.”
Just Mercy is a variation on Call Northside 777** — a “get a convict out of jail because he’s innocent” drama. The director is Destin Daniel Cretton; the costars are Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx and Eva Ansley.
** Yeah, I know — Call Northside 777 who? It’s a 1948 James Stewart docudrama, based on a true story about a Chicago reporter who got an innocent guy out of jail.
I’ve been hearing about Benh Zetlin‘s Wendy for quite a while now. I asked about the situation 16 months ago, and the general impression is that it was going through a difficult journey. I heard today that the Fox Searchlight release will be test-screening soon, and that it might (I say “might”) be ready for the fall festivals. It’s been eight and a half years since Zeitlin’s debut film, Beasts of the Southern Wild, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Here’s hoping.