Last night in Paris a 22 year-old hero, an immigrant from Mali, scaled a Montmartre apartment building to save a child dangling from a balcony railing. But look at the guy from the apartment next door, right next to the kid and reaching out with his wife or girlfriend standing by. All the neighbor had to do was step around the plastic barrier that separates the balconies and pull the kid up. But he just stood there, holding the kid but not really doing anything, as the Mali guy climbed four stories like an Olympic athlete. Cheers to the rescuer but the neighbor is worthless. And where were the kid’s parents? Or his caregiver?
John McCain did a great thing when he cast the deciding vote against the repeal of Obamacare, and I confess I felt a smidgen of compassion for the poor guy when Ed Harris portrayed him in Game Change. And he did the right thing when he said “no, ma’am” to that blithering idiot who said to McCain that “I can’t trust Obama because he’s an Arab.” And he’s maintained friendly relations with Warren Beatty and other okay people. And he’s behaving with courage as he faces death, just as he behaved with courage while a prisoner in Hanoi. But McCain did a truly reckless, bordering-on-evil thing in choosing Sarah Palin as his vice-presidential running mate in ’08, and he’s supported cruelty and selfishness time and again. I don’t think he deserves to be regarded with any kind of halo over his head.
Anya, our one-year-old Siamese female, knocked my iPhone 6Plus off a bedroom bureau last night and cracked the screen all to hell. Image Wireless (1006 Broxton in Westwood) seem to be the only reputable repair guys open on Sunday — $99 plus $25 labor. Update: I went with puls, per a recommendation by TheRealBadHatHarry, and it only set me back $71.
By the way: I’ve had all kinds of duplicates in my photo library for years. As of three days ago I had 12,750 photos, give or take. Then I downloaded the Gemini II app and scanned for dupes, and it found over 3000 of them. It got rid of them all. My photo count is now down to 9500.
Not my actual iPhone 6Plus with the screen cracked, but a close relation.
This morning Variety critic Guy Lodge tweeted that “Alden Ehrenreich‘s best performances top anything Harrison Ford has done.” “Performances”? I was under the impression that Ehrenreich’s only big score was his performance as Hobie Doyle in Joel and Ethan Coen‘s Hail, Caesar! Lodge is probably also alluding to Ehrenreich’s argument-in-the-rain scene in Beautiful Creatures (’13), which nobody saw or cared about.
Ehrenreich is a reedy-voiced, square-faced, pain-in-the-ass type who performs as best he can for the part he’s been hired to play, but he hasn’t a clue about delivering big-screen, laid-back presence and manly charisma, which is Ford’s metier. Ford delivers like a movie star, and that kind of delivery is worth its weight in gold.
Ford may be less emotionally agile or intense than Ehrenreich, but he was mythic during the carbon-freeze scene in The Empire Strikes Back and completely steady and sufficient in Blade Runner, Witness (perhaps his career-best performance), The Mosquito Coast, Working Girl, Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger and — I’m being serious here — Hollywood Homicide. If Ehrenreich had somehow starred in any of these films, I would’ve hated them and probably walked out.
Is it now permissible to use the term “Solo collapse”? Over the last two days it’s gone from being an “uh-oh, not doing as well as expected” to an “aagghh, I’m melting, I’m melting!…oh, what a world, what a world!”
Posted Sunday morning by Deadline‘s Anthony D’Allessandro: Solo: A Star Wars Story is now sinking well below its $130M projection with Disney now reporting the pic’s three-day at $83.3M and four-day at $101M. Industry estimates are in sync with what Disney is seeing.
“As we already detailed in the previous update, Solo‘s weekend prospects were dragged down by a maelstrom of fan negativity toward the concept and/or behind-the-scenes problems” — — i.e., the absurdity of casting the short, small-shouldered, beady-eyed Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo — “as well as summer tentpole and Star Wars movie over-saturation (we just had Last Jedi in December).
“The under-performance of Solo is a high-class problem for Disney, and they’re the victims of their own success especially when you consider that their first three Star Wars movies grossed $4.45 billion worldwide. Solo reps a barometer of how well [forthcoming] classic character spinoffs” — i.e. James Mangold‘s Boba Fett project — “can do.”
Sometimes columnists have to stray afield to find something to write about, so I’m not condemning Variety‘s Kris Tapley for delving into Darth Maul’s cameo in Solo: A Star Wars Story. Tapley isn’t an out-and-out fanboy but now and then he’s conveyed fanboy yearnings, and discussing the character path and backstory of one-dimensional asshats like Darth Maul is what turns these guys on.
It takes all sorts to make a world. I understand and accept this. But on the other hand…really?
To millions upon millions of Star Wars fans, Darth Maul is one thing and one thing only — the scowling, acrobatic, horn-headed, black and red tattoo-faced shithead with the double-headed lightsaber. As a “character” he’s nothing, nothing…less than nothing. He also reminds everyone of the deeply despised prequels and particularly The Phantom Menace (’99), in which DM appeared and then was sliced in half by Ewan McGregor‘s Obi-Wan Kenobi. (Which Monsieur Maul “survived”, by the way, because the makers of the animated Clone Wars series wanted to use him again in 2011.)
But if you’re a semi-fanboy like Tapley, Darth Maul is like “oohh, cool…let’s talk more about this guy!”
Tapley is all but fascinated by the Darth Maul saga, so much so that he describes a 10-year unaccounted for period in his story as “juicy.” From this point on, any further usage of the term “juicy” by Tapley will be regarded askance if not with skepticism. Rules of the game.