Does HE’s menu icon (three dots, three dashes) resemble a hamburger? I don’t see it but that’s the slang term used by code dweebs. I’m mentioning this because today HE consultant Dominic Eardley added three options to HE’s menu bar — Twitter, Facebook and Search. Just saying.
Opening graph of today’s N.Y. Times story about President Trump shit-canning former FBI director James Comey: “President Trump has fired the director of the F.B.I., James B. Comey, over his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails, the White House said on Tuesday.”
I seriously doubt that the reason for Trump’s action was about Comey’s handing of the Clinton email inquiry. I don’t think Trump gives one infinitesimal shit about that. I think the firing is an attempt to restrict or otherwise control the FBI’s investigation into whether members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to influence the ’16 election.
Comey was guiding or overseeing that investigation. I’m presuming that Comey’s replacement will be chosen based on his or her skepticism about the Russia/Trump thing, and/or a less-then-ardent interest in pursuing the matter.
In short I think it’s a Nixon-firing-Cox episode all over again. Thoughts?
“While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the bureau,” Mr. Trump said in a letter to Mr. Comey dated Tuesday. “It is essential that we find new leadership for the F.B.I. that restores public trust and confidence in its vital law enforcement mission,” Mr. Trump wrote.
I wrote for two or three hours this morning (i.e., the Sgt. Pepper piece, half the action flick piece), did my interview with Long Strange Trip director Amir Bar Lev at the Smyth Hotel (Church and Chambers). I lunched with Jett in eastern Chinatown, and then roamed around a bit, looking for the right cafe or a Starbucks to settle into. I went to Will Leather Goods on Prince Street and asked them to repair my black leather computer bag. (They never charge for repairs — always stand by their stuff.) I eventually parked it at a Starbucks on Spring and Crosby. This evening I’ll be seeing Obit at the Film Forum.
To most people “action film” means violent, whoop-ass shit with lots of leaping around, automatic rifle fire, squealing tires and non-stop adrenalin. But when it comes to deciding on the best action films, most viewers aren’t that demanding. They love their jizz-whiz and don’t care about the shadings and subtleties. But I am demanding, you see. To really love an action film I have to believe that (a) what I’m watching bears at least some relation to human behavior as most of us have come to know it and is therefore delivering a semi-believable, well-motivated thing, and (b) what I’m watching could actually happen in the real-deal world of physics (i.e., no idiotic swan dives off 50-story office buildings).
I don’t care, by the way, if the action content in a film takes up the first 10 minutes or the last half-hour or the whole damn running time. All I care about is whether or not I believe what I’m seeing, or…you know, whether I’m distracted or dazzled enough so that I don’t pay attention to logic or realism factors. Whatever works. As long as action defines character and vice versa.
If I’m enjoying an action flick it’s because I fucking believe it, and I never believe anything that doesn’t respect some grown-up concept of reality. Fantasy flicks can blow me for the most part. I want an action movie that will plant its feet, look me in the eye and tell the fucking truth.
Very few 21st Century action films live up to HE’s rules and standards, or even give a damn about doing so. The Fast and Furious franchise is notorious for spitting in the face of reality. Almost all superhero comic-book movies revel in the fact that their realm allows them to ignore logic and believability. Once in a great while and in a very blue moon, a first-rate action flick will come along that defies HE rules but gets away with it. One of these was Ang Lee‘s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (’00), but that’s a very rare occurence. On the other hand Crouching Tiger led to the stars of Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle flying around on wires, and that was an awful thing to behold.
Here are Hollywood Elsewhere’s choices for the 11 craftiest, best-made, most believable action films of the 21st Century, and in this order:
The selling point will be a a newly remastered stereo mix by Giles Martin and Sam Okell (a friend says it “sounds a bit more mono-ish” than previous editions). $117 and change. You can’t blame the keepers of the flame for trying to exploit the occasion, but no thanks. I’ve been all Pepper-ed out for longer than I’d care to acknowledge.
Expect a fresh torrent of looking-back assessments and tributes starting later this month. All will remind that Sgt. Pepper exerted a massive influence upon its time and realm, not just upon musicians and the music industry but the culture at large. I strongly suspect that a good portion and perhaps even a majority of these will ignore the psychedelic drug explosion that the album brought about. Those who do so will of course be ignoring the entire cultural earthquake that Sgt. Pepper incited, but that would be standard procedure for the corporate sector of 21st Century journalism.
Here’s an HE piece, posted in June ’07, about this very topic:
“Astonishingly and rather suddenly, beginning in June 1967 and continuing long after that, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band persuaded a significant portion of America’s middle-class youths to throw out the basic rock ‘n’ roll rebel handbook and embark upon chemically-fortified, radiant-vision journeys of the mind and soul. This in turn led to a mass injection of satori/Godhead consciousness that literally upended liberal American society.