For one thing this Ninotchka-like adventure drama allegedly smells. You have to presume that any film that took seven and a half years between the start of principal photography and the release date has to be problematic.
Jet Pilot allegedly began filming in ’49, finished sometime in ’53 and didn’t open until 10.4.57.
Born on 5.26.07, John Wayne was 42 when shooting began, around 46 when it ended, and 50 when Hughes opened it. Costar Janet Leigh began the process at age 22, and was pushing 30 when it premiered.
HE nonetheless respects Team Kino for including two versions — the original boxy (1.37:1) and a widescreener (1.85:1). Then again why would anyone want to watch anything but the boxy?
SPOILER: With the exception of Raymond Ablack‘s “Nate”, the smiling, tender-hearted single dad whom Margaret Qualley refuses to sleep with, the male characters in Molly Smith Metzler and Stephanie Lamb‘s Maid (Netflix, now streaming) are bad eggs — abusers, drunks, emotionally brusque, etc.
And yet the series encouraged me to think that perhaps Billy Burke‘s “Hank”, Alex’s shaggy-bearded dad who was mean and boozy when she was small, might prove an exception.
Alex loathes Hank and rebuffs his offers of assistance all through the series, and yet he’s now a staunch AA devotee, and a sponsor of Nick Robinson‘s “Sean”, the wobbly ex-boyfriend and father of Rylea Nevaeh Whittet‘s “Maddy”, whom Alex is raising as a single mom.
In the final episode Alex mans up and asks Hank for help. She needs him to submit custody–hearing testimony about Sean’s abusive treatment of her, Hank having observed an ugly episode first-hand.
This is Hank’s redemption moment, you’re thinking. He knows all about Sean’s drinking problem, and what mean drunks can be like (having been one himself and presumably having counselled other abusers under the AA aegis)…it all fits. Hank will become a stand-up fellow, he’ll save Alex from Sean’s hair-trigger temperament and so on.
And then the moment finally comes and she asks him to protect her, and Hank shrugs and says “I can’t do that.”
Worse, at the very end Alex and Sean’s legal dispute miraculously evaporates when Sean decides not to contest. Because he’s suddenly realized that his alcohol problem will be harmful to Maddy.
He basically flips, in other words, like Meryl Streep‘s “Joanna” character in Kramer vs. Kramer, when she decided at the very last second that she didn’t want to interfere with the loving relationship between Dustin Hoffman and little Justin Henry.
We’re happy, of course, that Alex and Maddy have survived the Sean threat and escaped to Missoula, Montana. And it’s great that Alex wins a scholarship to attend college there. But the way the series throws Hank under the bus is curious and disappointing.
From CNN.com op-ed, dated 10.10.21, by Noah Berlatsky: “When Jonathan Kent, the new Superman, comes out as bisexual in next month’s issue of ‘Superman: Son of Kal-El,’ he won’t be the first queer superhero. But he’ll be one of the most visible.
“As such, Jonathan defies stereotypes about sexuality and masculinity that have shaped the character and the superhero genre for generations.
“In the new storyline — prompted by an aging Clark Kent passing the super-baton to his son — Superman shares a kiss with his friend and ally Jay Nakamura, a computer hacker and activist who admires Superman’s mom, journalist Lois Lane.
“A bisexual Superman is an important step for LGBTQ representation. It’s also a sign of how recognizing that there are options other than heterosexuality can change superhero preconceptions about goodness, masculinity and empowerment.”
Dean Cain on Fox & Friends this morning: “They said it’s a bold new direction, I say they’re bandwagoning. Robin just came out as bi — who’s really shocked about that one? The new Captain America is gay. My daughter in [The CW series] Supergirl, where I played the father, was gay. So I don’t think it’s bold or brave or some crazy new direction. If they had done this 20 years ago, perhaps that would be bold or brave.
“Brave would be having him fighting for the rights of gay people in Iran where they’ll throw you off a building for the offense of being gay,. They’re talking about having him fight climate change and the deportation of refugees, and he’s dating a hacktivist — whatever a hactivist is. Why don’t they have him fight the injustices that created the refugees whose deportation he’s protesting? That would be brave, I’d read that. Or fighting for the rights of women to attend school and have the ability to work and live and boys not to be raped by men under the new warm and fuzzy Taliban — that would be brave.
“There’s real evil in this world today, real corruption and government overreach, plenty of things to fight against. Human trafficking — real and actual slavery going on. It’d be great to tackle those issues.”
One of my favorite scenes in Olivier Assayas‘ Personal Shopper (’16) is when Kristen Stewart, aboard the Paris-to-London chunnel train, begins to receive vaguely creepy text messages from an unknown party. We’re allowed to consider the possibility that Stewart may be texting with her dead brother — a wonderful thought while it lasts.
The only thing I disliked about this first-rate ghost story, in fact, was Assayas insisting near the end that the mysterious texter was an actual person…no! Personal Shopper was 10 or 15 times more haunting with the brother.
I haven’t seen Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett‘s Scream, but obviously it’s a shameless button-pusher. I can smell it. Sight unseen this 1.14.22 Paramount release isn’t fit to scrape the mud off Stewart’s boots.
We all understand that Ridley Scott‘s The Last Duel (20th Century, 10.15) is a medieval #MeToo yarn about conflicting recollections of a brutal rape.
Two depictions are shown, one from the perspective of the victim, Jodie Comer‘s Marguerite de Carrouges, and a second from the perspective of the rogue perpetrator, Adam Driver‘s Jacques Le Gris. A third perspective from Marguerite’s husband, Matt Damon‘s Jean de Carrouges, is recited but not visualized.
A pair of 20th Century films offered likely inspiration with similar tales of violation. First and foremost was Akira Kurosawa‘s Rashomon (’50), which focused on four differing versions of the rape of a wife and the murder of her samurai husband. Decidedly inferior was Martin Ritt‘s The Outrage (’64), a Rashomon remake that costarred Paul Newman, Laurence Harvey, Claire Bloom, Edward G. Robinson and William Shatner.
Nobody wants to think about The Outrage now because (a) it has a mediocre reputation (I haven’t seen it in decades, and even that viewing was one too many), (b) it briefly tarnished Rashomon and (c) Newman played a heavily made-up Mexican with a broad Pancho Villa accent…a racist felony that probably requires posthumous cancellation for Ritt and Newman both and a permanent ghost status from the Academy Museum.
Still these films were forerunners of The Last Duel and perhaps warrant a looksee, etc.
“Cancel culture” is as real as the nose on your face, and speaking of noses mine is bruised and swollen after being slugged repeatedly by the woke terror brigade (“We need safe spaces”) over the last two or three years. I’m saying this not as a grotesque rightie but a sensible left-center moderate and a respectful, longtime fan of John Ladarola‘s “Damage Report” with The Young Turks. Ladarola needs to (a) bite his tongue and (b) apologize to all concerned.