About to watch Louis C.K.’s Fourth of July at the Beacon (B’way & 75th), and I’m feeling slightly burned by the shitty row X seat, which wasn’t cheap. Plus there’s no grade in the rear so if (I should say when) a large person sits in front of me, I’ll be in for a profoundly unpleasant experience. On top of which the show should’ve started 15 minutes ago.
Ben Affleck's currently rolling untitled Nike/Amazon film is about Sonny Vaccaro (Matt Damon), a shoe salesman at Nike, signing Michael Jordan to a deal to promote Nike shoes in the early 1980s.
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Out-of-the-blue proposition: Speaking as a sensible moderate center-lefty I’m not a huge fan of Virginia governor Glenn Youngkin, but a voice is telling me that the smart play for sensible, non-crazy, Trump-averse righties is to get behind Youngkin for President in ’24, as he strikes some as slightly more palatable or appealing than scrappy, moon-faced Florida governor Ron DeSantis. Just a thought. The question, of course, is “does Youngkin have the balls to go up against The Beast?”
This morning former Trump White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah Griffin said on CNN’s “New Day” that a Team Trump goon lawyer (or lawyers) had been advising Cassidy Hutchinson to keep certain observations on the down low in her initial Jan. 6th Committee testimony, and that Tuesday’s bombshell testimony came about when Hutchinson decided she was feeling hamstrung by the goon lawyers, so she changed attorneys and conferred with Cheney and testified in the wide-open way we’re all now familiar with.
The “goon lawyer” revelation is the basis for Rep. Liz Cheney‘s assertion that Trump forces have been practicing a form of witness intimidation.
WOW. BIG revelation from @Alyssafarah this morning on @newday: when Cassidy Hutchinson first privately testified, she was represented by a lawyer *paid for* by folks in Trump world. Then, she decided she wanted to share way more, so she changed lawyers and testified publicly. pic.twitter.com/hbShTmpsxW
— Nora Neus (@noraneus) June 30, 2022
I can't find the link, but a recently posted list of the greatest New York City films didn't include Woody Allen's Manhattan or Roman Polanski's Rosemary's Baby. Because, of course, Allen and Polanski are political heathens among wokester media types.
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Louis C.K. and Joe List‘s Fourth of July screens tonight (7:30 pm) at Manhattan’s Beacon theatre. Followed by a q & a. HE will be sitting somewhere in the orchestra section. The word so far is “good but a bit meh.”
Best line: “Going home sober is always tough…the folks will push your buttons….hell, they installed them.”
Second best line: “You’re comin’ up on what…two and a half years? You show up late, I haven’t heard from you…you’re teetering. Either lean forward, take the next step or lean back, fall down a flight of stairs.”
Review by THR‘s Frank Scheck: “Fourth of July turns out to be something we would have never expected from its director/co-writer — bland. [Pic focuses on the kind] of dysfunctional family gathering is the stuff of endless autobiographical dramas, saddling Fourth of July with a familiar feeling further exacerbated by its lack of incisive dialogue and well-drawn characterizations.
“It doesn’t take long for the numerous scenes featuring the family members behaving boorishly to feel repetitive. The intended dramatic moments, such as Jeff’s seemingly emotionally closed-off father (Robert Walsh) suddenly revealing surprising depths, don’t really land. And a pizza parlor encounter in which Jeff miraculously overcomes his doubts about fatherhood with the help of a brief pep talk isn’t remotely convincing.
“The film feels like it must have been personally therapeutic for its star and co-writer, but List never manages to make us relate to his character’s perpetual navel-gazing. And while he’s necessarily hampered by playing someone suffering from depression, his monochromatic deadpan performance proves more tedious than involving.
“C.K. has populated the film with a number of his fellow comedians, who occasionally garner some mild laughs with their raucous asides, but genuine humor is in short supply. If this undeniably talented multi-hyphenate really wanted to make an impact with his first film since the unreleased I Love You Daddy, perhaps he should have delved into his own psyche instead.”
I tried to explain yesterday why the notion of Cassidy Hutchinson lying to the Jan. 6th committee about that alleged altercation between Donald Trump and Secret Service guy Bobby Engel was highly unlikely. It turns out, in fact, that there are compelling reasons to doubt the alleged partial denial of this altercation by top Secret Service guy Tony Ornato.
Washington Post journalist and “Zero Fail” author Carol Leonnig speaking to Morning Joe‘s Joe Scarborough and Mika Breszinski: “Tony Ornato‘s situation is not so great. This is a person who worked as President Trump’s security detail leader…the #1 guy protecting the boss. Trump White House staffers and Secret Service agents have told me repeatedly [that Ornato] is a Trump acolyte, and [that he] will defend Trump to the end, and remains in contact with Trump world.
“Ornato has indicated that this story that Cassidy Hutchinson told didn’t happen. Well, Ornato has said a lot of things didn’t happen. As an additional remark, the Secret Service often tries to deny things that are unflattering. And then when the rubber hits the road, there’s a little bit more to it.
“[Trump] liked [Ornato] so much he installed him in a political White House job. That broke every Secret Service tradition in the book. [Ornato] stayed a Secret Service employee, but Trump had him directing the Secret Service…making sure that all of his campaign events, all of his photo ops…everything that he wanted to do to get re-elected went off without a hitch. That included campaign rallies that caused Covid surges [and] the forcible clearing of peaceful protestors from Lafayette Square. Tony Ornato was the secret hand behind all of that, and that’s what Trump wanted.”
HE hasn’t re-watched American Graffiti since…I forget but it’s been at least 20 or 25 years. And I don’t remember being that all blown away. I love Richard Dreyfuss‘s character and particularly his nocturnal adventure with The Pharoahs, but I was never in love with this film…sorry. It seemed to coast too much on ’50s pop tunes. I respect Graffiti but I’ve never been able to love it.
Posted on the New Beverly website:
“The sleeper success of American Graffiti kicked off the whole wave of ’50s nostalgia that threatened to overwhelm the entire decade, and yet Lucas’ film was set in ‘62. Even though on the outside the early ’60s just looked like The ’50s, Part 2, underneath changes were brewing. The big cities had all moved on. But small towns, like the one in American Graffiti, were able to exist in a bubble — at least until Kennedy was assassinated.
“While the movie has a great cast of girls, director Lucas makes it abundantly clear, when it comes to narrative, he’s only following the boys (Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Charles Martin Smith, Paul Le Mat).
“Best buddies Curt (Dreyfuss) and Steve (Howard) are leaving their small hometown of Modesto, California in the morning to fly to college back east. So the college that Curt and Steve are supposed to fly off to represents more than just a normal rite of passage for the two young men. The college represents the growing consciousness of the ’60s that exists beyond the Brigadoon-ish town they’re escaping.
“But Curt (who is Lucas’ stand-in — he wants to be a writer, and when he grows up he will write American Graffiti) is ambivalent about getting on the plane in the morning. He’s starting to think he might not even go.
“Of all the characters Curt is clearly the most intellectual, so then why is he hesitating going off to college? Usually the budding writer in these types of stories can’t leave their hometown fast enough. But Curt’s ambivalence suggests he’s a deeper sort than just a cocksure kid full of piss and gage who can’t wait to jump ship on his old hometown.
“Curt’s not really questioning going to college. He’s questioning the idea of leaving all the people he’s ever known. But even more than the humans he leaves behind, Curt’s questioning leaving the rituals of community that the young people of Modesto partake in.
“Like hanging out at Mel’s — the curb service diner that is the starting point of every youth in town’s weekend night. Mel’s where the burgers are juicy, the shakes are thick, the neon is pink and green, the music is rock and roll, and the fancy faced waitresses in colorful uniforms wiz back and forth on roller skates, balancing trays of burgers, fries, and milkshakes. Hanging out at high school dances, that even though he’s graduated, Curt could probably get away with for another year without looking creepy.
“What sets Dreyfuss’ Curt apart from his peers and the rest of the cast, is that he’s the only one who realizes how temporary these rituals are. Curt knows if he gets on that airplane tomorrow morning, everything that the film so nostalgically celebrates — he can kiss all that goodbye. The town and the life he leaves, won’t be the town and the life he returns to. If he even does return, which in all likelihood he won’t. Curt seems to know once he leaves he’s not coming back. Curt knows the boy who exists today will no longer exist even two years from now. That’s why he’s contemplating staying too long at the party.
“But Lucas balances Curt’s resistance with the cautionary example of Big John Milner (Paul LeMat). Milner is the guy who stayed too long at the sock hop. Milner acts and lives as if it’s 1958. He’s a few years older than the other boys. Big John chooses to hang out with kids who were probably freshmen in high school when he was the big-shot senior, instead of contemporaries from his old class. He continues to cruise the boulevard on cruise night and try to pick up high school girls. He continues to live off the reputation he created for himself in high school (the fastest drag racer in town).
“And Lucas gives him a dandy of a dilemma. A new guy in town, Harrison Ford’s Bob Falfa, who’s gunning to dethrone the king and take away the only thing Big John has left — his reputation. Milner’s situation is a neat twist on the high school football star who always planned on going pro but didn’t have the talent to go all the way, and lives in the glow of former gridiron glory.
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