What is this strange urgent compulsion that some people have to keep Kristen Stewart in contention for the Best Actress Oscar, at least in their own minds? Whatever the root of it, Variety Oscar handicapper Clayton Davis seems to be singing from the same hymn book as Variety film critic Owen Gleiberman (i.e., “she might pull through because now she’s an underdog…go, Kristen…we’re rooting for you!”).
Two days ago I mentioned that my very first viewing of The Godfather, Part II happened on 12.20.74 (opening day outside of NYC). It was a matinee showing inside an unheated theatre “somewhere north of downtown Stamford,” I wrote. A few hours later director Rod Lurie explained that the venue was probably the Ridgeway Theatre (52 6th Street, Stamford, CT 06905). It was part of the Ridgeway Mall. It turns out that the Greenwich-residing Lurie went to see Francis Coppola‘s Oscar-winning sequel to The Godfather later that very same day. He was 12 at the time**. The Ridgeway had opened in 1951, and closed its doors in 2001. An LA Fitness spa now occupies the same turf.
It came out wrong, but what Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell meant to say was “African-American voters are voting in just as high a percentage as Kentucky white-ass rural yokel bumblefucks.”
In case you missed it, Mitch McConnell said the quiet part out loud last night: “African-American voters are voting in just as high a percentage as Americans.”
Make sure everyone sees this.pic.twitter.com/ReOvHGJcnI
— MeidasTouch.com (@MeidasTouch) January 20, 2022
What kind of driver hits a well-lighted news reporter who’s standing on the street in full view of everyone? Who does that? I’ll tell you who does that. An idiot does that. A bad driver does that. A ditzy driver who’s checking her device does that.
Wow, this reporter gets hit by a car, and rebounds to finish the live shot! 😂 pic.twitter.com/dbwKt5N1xc
— Lee K. Howard (@HowardWKYT) January 20, 2022
Each day I put certain HE posts behind the Patreon wall. I usually wait until a few people have commented to do so. Yesterday’s “Sex Is Between The Legs” post, for example, had nine comments when I paywalled it. And it says that (“9 comments“) if you’re reading HE on a laptop. (Or at least on my 15” Macbook Pro.) But if you glance at the same post on an iPhone, it says “0 comments.” Which indicates it was a nothing post, which obviously diminishes interest.
This problem only arose last weekend. For two days I’ve been trying to fix it with no luck. My latest move has been to hire an individual tech guy from India — he’s on the case as we speak. But it’s infuriating.
The running time of Matt Reeves‘ The Batman is 175 minutes. I for one am disappointed. I want a Reeves-Batman flick that will run no less than 200 minutes (3 hrs., 20 mins.). I also want an overture, intermission, entr’acte and exit music. Seriously — if you’re gonna go big and weighty, shoot for the moon.
Jordan Ruimy: “Supposedly heavily inspired by Fincher’s Zodiac.”
I was part of a Facebook discussion this morning about Sydney Pollack‘s The Way We Were (’73), a romantic tragedy set in New York and Hollywood of the ’40s and ’50s. I’ve never been a huge fan, largely due to the oddly obstinate nature of Barbra Streisand‘s Katie Morosky vs. the vagueness and lack of substance inside Robert Redford‘s Hubbell Gardiner character. She’s too hardball and he’s too half-hearted. Doomed from the start.
The discussion, however, launched three topics or questions.
Topic #1: Pauline Kael once described Pollack’s film as “a fluke — a torpedoed ship full of gaping holes that comes snugly into port.” What she actually meant, I said, was that it’s “a torpedoed ship full of gaping holes that is saved by the Hubbell-reconnects-with-Katie scene outside the Plaza hotel at the very end.” Which led me to wonder which other films are admired in this particular way — okay or mildly effective and sometimes frustrating in an in-and-out way, but they save themselves at the last minute with a killer ending. Please submit candidates.
Topic #2: According to commenter Andrew Williams, Kael also wrote that Redford is the object of desire in this movie, relatively passive, and Streisand is the active one. This relatively unassertive, quietly handsome quality, Kael went on, is why Redford didn’t work in The Great Gatsby because nobody bought him as the pursuer rather than the desired object. What actors in today’s realm (if any) qualify in this regard — devastatingly handsome and effortlessly sexy but unconvincing in a role requiring any degree of romantic aggression?
Topic #3: “Redford’s Hubbell Gardiner is very appealing, very magnetic,” I wrote, “but many have overlooked one very troubling aspect of his character. Not so much his lack of depth and conviction, or his brief affair with Lois Chiles or his bizarre decision to leave Streisand’s Katie just after she gives birth to their daughter (who DOES THAT?). I’m referring, rather, to Redford’s inexplicable, years-long friendship with Bradford Dillman’s character, J.J. — one of the most repulsively glib and shallow lightweights ever created in the history of American cinema.
“I ran into my share of these entitled guys in my suburban middle-class youth in New Jersey (Union County) and Connecticut (Fairfield County). Dillman’s fraternity buddy character is the proverbial country-club dickhead — a born Republican who likes his martinis at sundown and wears checked pants and plays a helluva game of golf.
“What a repulsive, heartless, value-less, quarter-of-an-inch-deep scumbag! And out of all the life forms crawling and slithering around on the planet earth in the 1940s and ‘50s, Hubbell Gardiner chose this TRULY REPELLENT HUMANOID as his best bruh, his pally, his affable drinking buddy. For the J.J. factor alone, Gardiner is a deeply flawed fellow in the eyes of God, Jesus, Krishna, Siddhartha, Buddha and the rest of the heavenly choir.”
A one-hour video of a director’s discussion, hosted by The Hollywood Reporter‘s Rebecca Keegan, popped this morning. Three of the films made by this group are damn near perfect — King Richard, Parallel Mothers and A Hero. I don’t admire these three films — I love them.
In no particular order the participants are (1) Belfast‘s Kenneth Branaugh (who should “do something” about the eyebags and maybe touch up the neck wattle — a very simple Prague procedure — and also grow his hair out a little bit), (2) King Richard‘s Reinaldo Marcus Green (brilliant fellow, smooth patter, good looking), (3) Parallel Mothers’ Pedro Almodovar, (4) A Hero‘s Asghar Farhadi, (5) The Power of the Dog‘s Jane Campion, and (6) Nightmare Alley‘s Guillermo del Toro.
I’ve gone bowling maybe 10 times in my entire life, 15 at the outside. Not that I mind throwing a few. I enjoy failing at bowling as much as the next guy. I never scratch but I rarely throw strikes, and after a while this pisses me off. There are always one or two pins left after my second throw. What am I doing wrong?
I realize, of course, that bowling is more of a laid-back pastime than a “sport.” Hang out, get buzzed on Budwiesers, make fun of someone’s technique or frequent gutter balls, flirt with the women in the next lane. But those relatively shitty scores that I always end up with are bothersome. This is one of the many, many reasons why I’ve never liked Kingpin (’96).
The basic thing is that I’ve never felt especially at ease with the people who frequent bowling alleys. They’ve alway struck me as low-rent animals who don’t read much or appreciate fine cinema — vaguely schlubby proletariats, Lebowski-cult stoners, beer-heads, horrible dressers, fatties, guys in dad jeans, loud families. Not my kind of people.
I began feeling vaguely alienated from bowling relatively early in life. I remember going bowling with my cub-scout troupe when I was nine or ten. There was this kid named Howard Schoffler whose mother had orchestrated the excursion. We quickly learned that she had been teaching Howard how to bowl for some time, and that he’d become pretty good at it. So right away I was seething about what a set-up this was. Howard’s mother wanted us to “have fun” and we did, but the visit to the bowling alley was mainly about everyone taking note of Howard’s bowling skills.
I was also irritated by Howard having mastered the hook or spin-ball technique — he would throw the ball down the right side of the lane with a leftward spin on the ball, and them five or six feet before impact the spin would kick in and the ball would crash into the center of the pins for a perfect strike. My reaction wasn’t a hearty “wow…good throw, Howard!” My reaction was a silent “fuck you, showoff.”
Ever since that day I’ve been generally against the idea of hooking the ball. Because I don’t ever want to be like Howard Schoffler. I use the arrows as guides, and I throw straight and true and hard. I love it when one of my “fastballs” slides down the lane without rolling, or halfway at least.