Two months after it became available through Walmart online and Amazon.com, DVD Beaver has finally posted a review of MGM’s The Big Country Bluray, which I reviewed on 6.11. Gary W. Tooze writes that he “had a dickens of a time trying to get it.” Is there some reason why he couldn’t order it online like I did? What he means, I suspect, is that he had a dickens of a time getting his mitts on a freebie.
So I won’t be attending the Telluride or Venice film festivals (as usual) but I’ll be doing Toronto and New York. The latter will be mostly about catching Roman Polanski‘s Carnage, possibly Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, that 2.76 to 1 Ben-Hur screening at Alice Tully Hall, My Week With Marilyn and possibly Martin Scorsese‘s George Harrison: Living in the Material World. Wait…did I read something about Clint Eastwood‘s J. Edgar possibly preeming there?
And now it’s time to prune down the 2011 Toronto offerings to a manageable slate of 20 or 25, which is all I ever manage to see when I’m there. I’ve listed them in order of the most exciting and essential and on down. I’m ignoring a lot of well-made films, I’m sure. Please advise if I’ve tossed anything truly substantial:
1. The Descendants (d: Alexander Payne)
2. The Ides of March (d: George Clooney)
3. A Dangerous Method (d: David Cronenberg)
4. Moneyball (d: Bennett Miller)
5. Albert Nobbs (d: Rodrigo Garcia)
6. Shame (d: Steve McQueen)
7. Butter (d: Jim Field Smith)
8. The Oranges (d: Julian Farino)
9. Pearl Jam Twenty (d: Cameron Crowe);
10. Take this Waltz (d: Sarah Polley)
11. 50/50 (d: Jonathan Levine)
12. 360 (d: Fernando Meirelles)
13. Anonymous (d: Roland Emmerich)
14. Friends With Kids (d: Jennifer Westfeldt)
15. Machine Gun Preacher (d: Marc Forster);
16. Rampart (d: Oren Moverman)
17. Peace, Love & Misunderstanding (d: Bruce Beresford)
18. W.E. (d: Madonna)
19. The Hunter (d: Daniel Nettheim)
20. Jeff, Who Lives at Home (d: Jay & Mark Duplass)
21. Killer Joe (d: William Friedkin)
22. Trishna (d: Michael Winterbottom)
23. Woman in the Fifth (d: Pawel Pawlikowski)
24. Hick (d: Derick Martini)
25. Coriolanus (d: Ralph Fiennes)
26. Dark Horse (d: Todd Solondz)
Oh, God, I forgot the documentaries. Okay, here’s a list of preferences:
1. Wim Wenders‘ Pina
2. Jafar Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb‘s This Is Not A Film
3. Morgan Spurlock‘s Comic-Con: Episode IV — A Fan’s Hope
4. Rithy Panh‘s Duch, Master of the Forges of Hell
5. Jonathan Demme‘s I’m Carolyn Parker: The Good, the Mad, and the Beautiful.
6. Werner Herzog‘s Into The Abyss
7. Stephen Kessler‘s Paul Williams Still Alive
8. Nick Broomfield and Joan Churchill‘s Sarah Palin — You Betcha
9. Dan Lindsay and TJ Martin‘s Undefeated.
The subject was broached on Real Time with Bill Maher the night before last. Maher lamented that “the magic is gone” and asked if lefties were starting to have “buyer’s remorse” about President Obama. Liberals still like Obama, Maher said, but things have deteriorated to that point “after a giant fight” in a bad marriage in which “you’ve said so many nasty things that you know you’re never really going to get it back together.”
Yes, Obama and liberals will ultimately stay together because “who are you gonna date, Mitt Romney?,” he said. But Maher also believes that caving to the Republicans in the budget crisis has been a tipping point in Obama’s presidency, and he lost more liberal support by not fighting hard enough against the loonies. Then he asked whether Hillary Clinton would have made a better president than Obama because she’s tougher and scrappier than mild-mannered Barry. Maher quipped that Hillary has had experience “with difficult men,” etc.
I believe that Hillary probably would have played and occasionally won with the same cards that Obama has put on the table, but also that she would have stood up to the irrational right in a snarlier, less accommodating, eyeball-to-eyeball fashion. Yeah, that’s what I’m saying — I’d vote for her if I had it to do over again. I didn’t know then what I know now.
Many times I’ve riffed on a dark, delicious fantasy about rounding up Tea Bagger types and sentencing them to green re-education camps for minimum one-year terms. Not to punish per se but to expose these contemptible morons to facts, to truth, to the way things really are and how they’re being played by the rich, and the fact that Boomers have taken almost everything and that diminished lifestyles and economic security are being bequeathed to Genx and GenY for decades to come, and that the best is definitely over. The infra-structure that once provided decent, fair-minded quality of life to middle-class people in this country is disintegrating. The game is rigged. This is the fall of the Roman Empire.
All largely because of impediments to logical, intelligent governing put up by the knee-jerk, mule-like, corporate-kowtowing mentality of Tea-Bagger types and their 60 or so looney-tunes Congresspersons now in office. We’ve truly become a South American society of rightist oligarchs, angry lefties, disillusioned wage-earners, retirement-age fuddies and struggling, debt-smothered have-nots, and the rightist boobs will never understand that they’re primarily the problem. The deficit-reduction deal will almost certainly hurt growth and kill jobs, most analysts are saying. And the radical right will own this when it happens. This level of ideological denial is no longer appalling — it’s become lethal. Ignoramuses can no longer be tolerated. The right is killing this country, things have gotten really crazy, and Obama will never stand up to them.
A second Civil War would be an incredibly destructive thing, but it would feel so good.
This doesn’t naturally follow from the last three graphs, but it applies….
“The Boston Globe ran a chart last Sunday that I’d buy billboard space to reproduce in every decent-size city in America, if I were running the Democratic National Committee,” TheWrap‘s Michael Tomasky wrote on 8.5.
“The premise of it was very simple: It showed how many trillions each president since Ronald Reagan has added to the nation’s debt. The debt was about $1 trillion when Reagan took office, and then: Reagan, $1.9 trillion; George H.W. Bush, $1.5 trillion (in just four years); Bill Clinton, $1.4 trillion; Obama, $2.4 trillion.
“Oh, wait. I skipped someone. George W. Bush ran up $6.4 trillion. That’s nearly half — 44.7 percent — of the $14.3 trillion total. We all know what did it — two massive tax cuts geared toward the rich (along with other similar measures, like slashing the capital gains and inheritance taxes), the off-the-books wars, the unfunded Medicare expansion, and so on.
“But the number is staggering and worth dwelling on. In a history covering 30 years, nearly half the debt was run up in eight. Even the allegedly socialist Obama at his most allegedly wanton doesn’t compare to Dubya; and Obama’s debt numbers, if he’s reelected, will surely not double or even come close as we gambol down Austerity Lane.”
The estimated $54 million that Rise of the Planet of the Apes will earn by this evening obviously betters yesterday morning’s projection that Rupert Wyatt‘s film “might actually hit $50 million,” which itself was significantly higher than the $30 million projected by 20th Century Fox three or four days ago.
You might logically presume that the film enjoyed a Friday-to-Saturday uptick, and yet Boxoffice.com‘s Phil Contrino reports that Apes “did $19.7 on Friday and then went very slightly down on Saturday $19.4 on Saturday…which is pretty good nonetheless. It indicates a steady positive word-of-mouth. And it got an A-minus from CinemaScore, and that’s solid I could see this being a three-multiplier and hitting $150 million. August is always less competitive and this is going to propel right along.”
You also might presume that the CG-abundant Apes would skew towards a younger audience, but not entirely. “The weird thing that we’re finding is that 56% of the audience was 25 and up…so a nostalgia factor [among those who’d seen the 1968 original and/or the lower-budgeted sequels] kicked in.”
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