Jeremiah Johnson Was a Revenant

DATELINE:  Mountain Men Wantedrevenant

 

Forty years ago Robert Redford played the legendary Revenant. Of course, he was an “Indian killer.” Today, the violence is committed mindlessly by the soldiers—and the Native Americans are victims. So, the new Revenant movie takes a different tact.

The rest of the story is copied shamelessly. Death of wife and young son sets off a mountain man. This time it is Leonardo di Caprio bravely the cold, a bear attack, and other assorted injuries. Despite all he suffers, frostbite or hypothermia is not among them.

Like Redford’s character, this one is based on trapper legends. Instead of meeting Will Geer in his fur get-up, DiCaprio dresses like Will Geer, down to the jaunty fur cap. Many incidents between both films are shuffled like a deck of script pages (fishing by hand in the rapids, etc.)

You could probably match scenes for scenes between the films.

This time the bloody rage is more vivid, with splurting blood.  Yet, the majestic and sublime Nature remains the powerful backdrop to the survival of the fittest in both Jeremiah Johnson and The Revenant.

The picaresque adventure of revenge remains the centerpiece of both movies. In DiCaprio’s version, he must seek out the double-crossing varmit (Tom Hardy) who kills the Pawnee son of Revenant (Forrest Goodluck).

The callow Goodluck as Hawk is a scene-stealer, but we doubt he will transcend that stereotype of playing the “good Indian” as his career unfolds.

In keeping with modern stereotypes, the worst group in the new version is the French Canadian trappers. White men, all.

Well directed and produced, the film still falls short in its message. Jeremiah Johnson carried a satisfying wallop. The Revenant merely carries on.

Tom Brady’s Friends of the Court Deflate Goodell

DATELINE:  Amicus Panties in a Twist

Tom's Briefs

Amicus briefs are filling out the dirty laundry in jurisprudence.

The more obtuse football fans think Amicus briefs are what the Amish wear under their clothes.

You may think that Amicus Briefs are the latest in Italian sports cars, but you have deflated your own spare tires.

You could believe that Amicus Briefs are the latest fashion on Survivor Island, but reality shows much more.

“Amicus briefs” come from friends of the court. When it comes to the lawsuit of Tom Brady and his Deflategate appeal, however sexy Gronk sees it, the NFL seems to have no friends going to court on their behalf.

Tom Brady’s Supreme Court lawyers, known in legal circles as the Magnificent Seven, are gathering to embarrass Roger Goodell.

First, a gaggle (or is that bunch) of science professors from the best universities in the nation wrote a scathing attack on the NFL for ignoring science in terms of deflated footballs and their cause.

The nerdy professors have done their homework, but why would the NFL pay attention to hot air when they ignore brain concussions? To protect the integrity of the game, Goodell’s Goons sank their influence into the medical study for water on the brain.

Second, the New England Patriots have offered their amicus to Brady by sending the Circuit Court another pair of briefs that puts Goodell’s knickers in a twist.

Fellow owners may be grinding their teeth over the billionaire Patriots owner who is crying ‘foul.’  If there is a foul ball in football, you know the United States government may have to raise the RICO statutes.

Sayonara to Person of Interest

DATELINE:  Another Favorite Bites the Dust

 Interesting Persons

After keeping loyal viewers at bay for over a year, the jackals at CBS finally have released their prisoner, Person of Interest. One of the best shows on TV is now being burned alive on the airwaves (two episodes per week, and lately 3 new shows from the final season, two on one night).

 

Intelligent, brooding, ironic, the series has toyed with the notion that a giant conspiracy of AI controls the United States and an intrepid band of vigilantes fights back.

 

Now the gang faces the ultimate demographic statistic: TV history.

 

The short 13-episode season has been moving at glacial speed, but suddenly with five to go, it made an abrupt jump this week. It seems the Machine, our favorite anti-hero/heroine has come to grips with mortality.

 

In the latest episode, nearly every character has told off Harold, the Machine’s creator. Lionel, the cop, let him have it between his four eyes. And, the Mob leader lowered the 12 o’clock high boom on him by telling him he was the darkest of all of them.

 

Only CIA killing machine John Reese has stayed the course, but we wonder who will be left standing in a show that delighted in flashbacks to return the dead to importance every season.

 

We likely will not see Reese’s female counterpart Zoe in this short run. But, Shaw probably will reunite with her matchmate Root to ride off into the sunset.

 

We also miss Miss Control, the CIA head, who was carted off to oblivion last season.

 

The fates of so many fascinating characters will be forever unknown because CBS is greedy. They did not own Person of Interest and did not take enough money from it. They continue to give us cheap and cheesy reality shows, and grow rich from never underestimating the intelligence of its viewers.

 

In this show, they sank the boat they missed.

 

Brady Appeal: Money En Banc

DATELINE: Who do you Anti-Trust?

 

Brady beauty rest

It’s money in the bank for sure when the en banc Circuit Court of judges hears a case.

For Tom Brady, he may be inflating the stakes for the NFL. Raising them to the United States Supreme Court with the former Solicitor General soliciting a free pass for Tom is the stuff of anti-trust busting.

Having chosen a dangerous path, the fools supporting Roger Goodell (with billions behind them) may find themselves facing a court that wonders what kind of unleashed power these privileged owners have.

Whether or not Brady wins the en banc hearing on the Circuit Court level, he likely will head on down to Washington. He will have Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as his first hurdle.

She hates big business taking advantage of individuals. So, you can count on her stalling the suspension this season—and putting Tom and his high powered attorneys on the docket.

Goodell and his Billionaire Boys Club had plenty of opportunities to settle this mess quietly, but their hubris was inflated beyond any football in August.

Now they may face some tough questions about enslaving and concussing the players on their plantation. In a world of billionaires, even millionaire players look like slave labor.

Ted Olson has said on national TV, “The facts here are so drastic, and so apparent, the court should rehear it.”

Yikes, Roger. What have you wrought?

Apollo’s Creed

DATELINE: Rocky VII

Rocky VII

Sylvester Stallone won a nomination as a supporting actor for Creed, and it was certainly deserving.

The latest Rocky entry, number VII, if you want to count, may be the last—or maybe not. Rocky is still standing at the end and could re-appear once more with feeling.

You cannot judge this movie on any normal standard of sequels or fight pictures. It really stars the remarkable young Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Creed, son of Rocky Balboa’s great friend and greater opponent in the ring.

If you followed the Rocky series, this film is can’t miss. You will be enthralled and satisfied that Rock has become Paulie. And you surely cannot miss the final climbing of the stairs, as the old wizened boxer thinks a few more have been added to his famous view of Philadelphia.

Among those along for the ride are Phylicia Rashad as Apollo’s widow, and she makes the most of her scenes. Carl Weathers appears in flashes of the past.

The obligatory final match is what you have come to expect from a man against the odds, beaten to a pulp, but ready to spring into victory through inspirations.

In a parallel subplot, Rocky Balboa must fight cancer, through hair loss and weakness, to fight against a new opponent.

As we said, this film cannot be judged by normal standards—and cannot be considered anything but a personal picture for those who followed the Philly boxer for forty years.

Milestones come in many forms. Movies are an important one.

House Meets Loki, Thanks to LeCarre

DATELINE: The Nighty Night Manager

House Meets Loki

Tom Hiddleston is auditioning to be the next James Bond by starring as Pine/Birch, the mysterious agent in John LeCarre’s The Night Manager.

This brilliantly produced miniseries features Loki versus House, for movie fans. Yes, Hugh Laurie has joined Hiddleston to produce the series in a fanfare of luscious locations and political hotspots.

From Egypt to a Swiss hideaway to Mallorca, the tantalizing scenery masks a hot-and-cold cat-and-mouse game.

Hiddleston’s hotel manager, coolly efficient, is allegedly recruited by MI6 to spy on a sociopathic arms dealer posing as a humanitarian billionaire. Enter House Laurie in an especially vile role. He shares executive producer status with Hiddleston—and they have given themselves prime cut roles.

Master espionage writer John LeCarre even appears in a cameo in this film, as a restaurant patron subjected to Hiddleston’s agent having his crotch grabbed in a rather brazen dinner scene.

If you like cloak and dagger, LeCarre does it with a Smiley face. You can’t tell if or when Hiddleston’s hero has turned from good guy to bad. However, the scenes between Laurie and him grow increasingly entertaining with menace and charm.

In today’s cartoon superhero market, there is scant room for intelligent characters and complex plots, but those who want room service from Tom Hiddleston may be the recipient of super-service. This actor has grown from his Wallendar second-banana status to second banana Viking god to first-banana spy.

Be forewarned: the 5-part series ends with a comebacker that requires a promised second-season of episodes.

NBA Draft Lottery Pickings

DATELINE: Picking Your Know What

Butler Photobomb

With the Great Ping Pong Irrationality, the NBA doled out its version of the Olympic medals this week.

We watched to see how far the Celtics could fall in this lottery.

The grand finale had them take home the Bronze medal while in the background Jimmy Butler looked on envious. He was there to prove he was not on the Chicago trading block, and Isaiah Thomas was there to prove he was the team leader.

Butler may soon be playing with the Celtics via a trade and was the little birdie over the shoulder of Isaiah in true photobomb mode.

Neither man won much, though Thomas had a chance to shake the hand of the 76ers—the other Revolutionary War rival to Boston.

If photos don’t lie, you could say Thomas was trying to swallow his smile. Bronze is not as valuable as copper—and nothing comes close to Monatomic Gold, now highly prized as the Number One pick.

It could be that the Celtics will trade their third choice, but experts say after that the first two picks are made, the horserace is for horsemeat.

We never much trust these lotteries. Your top pick could drop dead of a drug overdose. You could pick someone who comes up lame. You never know how long it will take for some skinny kid to bulk up and remain youthful.

No, don’t put too much stock in these draft picks. Trade them for a known commodity. A bird in hand is worth two in the bush league.

Let Gronk Eat Cake from the NFL Bakery

let him eat cakeDATELINE: HAPPY RETURNS!

 

We love birthday cake!

It’s especially delicious after a couple of cleats have chopped up the delight into bite-size pieces.

Tom Brady wished his teammate and “my spirit animal” a happy 27th birthday on Facebook. Unlike some animals in the NFL, the Patriots spirit animal is a Flying Elvis—not some creature from the Black Lagoon or a Panther or Bronco.

There is no doubt whatsoever that Gronk has changed his aging quarterback with a dose of evergreen sprouts in his diet, or was that anatomic white gold?  Tom is turning the clock back to the thrilling days of yesteryear—when he too was 27.

Posting a picture of the action heroes on his website, TB12 is popping into the arms of the free spirit. His popover is a birthday cake, and unlike a stripper—he provides a fully uniformed QB at the top of his game. Alas, the cake is missing four tiers.

We are now watching the finely tuned machine that will come to a crashing halt for four games if the NFL has its way. Roger Goodell is the fly in the ointment, and he is the unknown ingredient in the birthday cake.

Eat it at your own risk.

You can blow out all the candles you want to wish Goodell would go away, but the lack of air in your lungs may be as deflated as the footballs the NFL is using to punish Tom Brady.

Gronk’s birthday cake is being made by the bakery of Roger Goodell where the ovens are either too cold or too hot—and every celebratory cake has a missing ingredient. Your official tasters are corrupt referees.

 

Gronk as Cover Boy Undercover

DATELINE: Gronk or Grog?

Gronk uncovered

Rob Gronkowski has been put on the cover of GQ Magazine for June, and the cover of Madden mad sports for 2017.

Cover boy is merely another sobriquet tossed before the Gigantica Pithicus of the Patriots. We can never become pithy when it comes to Gronk.

He is everything Tom Brady is not. Or worse, he is everything Tom Brady is in spades.

Gronk hardly seems the gentlemanly sort. He might drag a mate into a man cave or onto a Mal de Merry ship’s cruise. We do see him on the boxtop for an NFL computer game. He is Donkey Kong in the flesh.

On GQ he once again displays his version of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity: pecs and abs countering string-bean quantum physics or physiques.

Much to our disappointment, there is no nude centerfold of Gronk. He leaves everything to the imagination. It’s no mean trick he plays on his fans.

He always seems to have some girl in a bikini on his shoulders instead of the globe of Atlas. We suspect deep down he is a big Sisyphus, hauling those girls up the mountain during the day and having them tumble down every night.

We felt the notorious double entendre were so outrageous in this blog entry, we could short-sheet the readers.

Hernandez Accomplice Finds Life Easy

DATELINE: Odin Lloyd Not Resting in Peace

While we await the final act of the three ring circus known as Aaron Hernandez and his endless array of murders, we have received a lesser verdict in the case of his aide-de-camp Ernest Wallace.

A trial was largely ignored by the local media in Fall River where the prosecution ineptly went for the near-jugular of Wallace. They wanted him convicted of murder.

Once again, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has botched the value of human life. You’d almost think Ernest Wallace was using opioids, so lenient did the jury treat him.

What the prosecution ended up with is disheartening for lovers of justice, and just peachy for lovers of murder. Wallace was found guilty of merely be an accessory to murder.

He didn’t pull the trigger, but simply let a man die in an isolated field and went to Hernandez’s house where he “slept like a baby.”

Sociopaths are like that, and so are acolytes who believe they are serving the greater god, which is what Aaron Hernandez portrayed himself.

The most egregious part of the Wallace verdict is that he will be sentenced to about seven years. Time already served will lessen this to about 4 years. With good behavior and trustworthy actions in prison, he will likely be out on parole in a year or two.

Not a bad rap on the knuckles for killing a man.

Bieber & the Mayan Connection

Mayan Woes for the Latest Generation

 

It’s almost as bad as having Justin Bieber climbing among the Mayan ruins and destroying them with his vandal rich attitude. The pop star was at Tulum, Mexico, on holiday and went scampering where ruins are not fully excavated.

They threw the book at him. If the Mayans were still around, they’d have cut out his heart.

In true adventurous spirit, Bieber came to Boston this week and wandered on the Boston Common barefoot. His bravery was thought foolhardy.

Speaking of which, in a semi-related matter, a teenager examining satellite photos of the Yucatan noted square and rectangular shapes under the vegetation. Voila, he found a lost Mayan city.

Now, the slug Ph.D.s did not take kindly to this. Here is someone with no degrees usurping the insights of the so-called experts. As one with a Ph.D., we are the first to tell you the intelligence of such doctors is rather limited. In fact, you have to be a dullard to muddle through doctoral programs. We should know.

Jealousy in the professions wastes much gray matter.

No one has yet to go into the jungle to thin out the bushes and see if a pyramid or city square may be under the centuries of rain forest.

However, smug doctors of ancient antiquities can say “junk science” is responsible for creative thinking and accidental discovery. We suspect that every innovator was guilty of junk science to his contemporaries.

So, we take our hats off to the Bieber generation. Their treasure is the junk of scholars.

Actor/Icon James Dean’s Sex Life in Speculative Terms

dead deanDATELINE:  Don’t Hold the Hot Sauce

 

The latest salacious book from Darwin Porter and his partner in crime Danforth Prince is a kiss and tell sexography on James Dean.

Tomorrow Never Comes is 750 pages—a big one, a war and piece on James Dean. It seems epical to depict every sexual encounter of the long-ago star of Rebel Without a Cause and East of Eden. The authors turned over every rock, and every Rock Hudson, to find the sex life of a 1950s movie star.

We are sure they missed a few trysts.

We can’t recommend the book to anyone with moral values. Dean, in this tome, is a switch-hitting, all-purpose, never turn them down, kind of guy. No detail is off limits. If you want to know every sniff, leer, and last drop, this is your kind of book.

We tend to doubt many of the anecdotes. After all, everyone involved is dead—and many probably wish they could come back to refute the dirty deeds. With occasional anachronisms, the writers make odd errors—suggesting “gay” was a common word in  sex culture of the 1950s. It wasn’t.

Our admiration for the few people who seemed to turn down a chance to bed, or not bed Dean grew in the miasma of endless assignations. If he did all they attribute, he never had time for much else.

Names are dropped faster than trousers. The book does reveal some interesting tidbits of a nonsexual nature—but you will be covered in slime by the time you find them.

We presume this is the end-all of James Dean books—until someone discovers he was a monk who never had sex with anyone.

 

Attack of the Wikipedia Police

DATELINE: TMI (Too Much Info)

You can hear them baying and howling. They want to rip to pieces anyone who dares to engage in “self-promotion.”

Lest we pretend innocence, let’s say we have added a reference to one of our books on a list for “further reading.” It does not matter that we may have known the subject—or are a publisher of books on the topic.

It is shameless self-promotion to tell people to make up their own minds and other materials are available, done by someone with expertise.

Those yapping over this infraction of the law include several who seem to have never written much, but are loudly around the “talk” page. It seems their mission in life is to deny any information to be disseminated unless it is by an editor who may believe the information has any value whatsoever.

Never mind that people buy and read the books listed on Wikipedia.

In all likelihood these do-gooders and activists will be moved to delete any book they deem unworthy of Wikipedia mention. How this differs from book burners is a matter of a match or two.

So, we wait for the handcuffs to be locked in place and a ban from all use of Wikipedia to be determined without any consent of the governed.

Though many academic friends disparage Wikipedia, we think it deserves the same treatment as any tabloid. It is there for the taking by anyone who cares to read.

Tom Brady Sells Suave

DATELINE: Going to the Mattresses

Tom Brady may be preparing for a four-game suspension by rehearsing his next role—as the newest James Bond.

If a TV commercial can ever be an audition, it would appear that Tom Brady has raised the bar for Gronk, whose endless showy commercials now look like Three Stooges shorts.

In a product endorsement as elegant as Elizabeth Taylor’s perfume commercials, Brady appears as a black op for Beautyrest.  Whether on the gridiron, or on the mattress, Tom seems to belie his 40 years.

If anyone knows about beauty rest, it is Tom. He looks so elegant in black that Johnny Cash would be jealous.

When Tom Brady does a commercial, you can count on the fact that it will be more artful than Last Year at Marienbad, or even Antonioni’s Red Desert. There are Academy Award short films that do not meet the exacting standards of Brady’s pitch for Beautyrest Mattress.

All he needs in his room is a mattress—no other accoutrements. One presumes if you had Tom in your bedroom, you had the ultimate accoutrement.

The concierge actor does his best Peter Lorre imitation—and Tom out-acts wooden Daniel Craig as the blackest of ops.

Not since secret agent Maxwell Smart made his entrance have we seen such a lead-in. Sorry about that, Chief Belichick, indeed.

Now we are ready to see Roger Goodell as Blofeld or Blowheart, or Goldfinger in Tom’s Supreme Court adventure.

Battle of the Hateful Hatful of Hatfields

DATELINE: Meeting the Enemy Within

 

 

Not since the McCoys battled the Hatfields have we seen such a feud of related people. Somewhere in the past, the ghosts of the United States Civil War are moaning and groaning.

Yes, it’s not over till it’s over.

We have two sides of hate spewing forth with indelible nation-wrecking at its core. We can head for the hills because we think the cities are now shooting galleries with opioid apologists letting the drug-dealers and illegal immigrants free reign.

The liberals and the conservatives have nothing on the Yankees and the Rebs—except a half-million dead Americans.

The 19th century war between the States was about as insane as it can become, but those who’d rent the Republic to shreds will start will renting the Republican Party into splinters.

Americans have never been more intolerant of each other since the days of hanging the local black population took on a hobby-like social club. That’s back when social media twittered around in white robes with burning crosses. Now you burn hate with incendiary tweets.

From fascist evangelicals to left-leaning socialists, the Great Divide of the country has grown more pronounced between Trump and Hilary. You have only to recall the Lincoln-Douglas debates as a warmup to the great war between the states.

If you want liberty or death, you now have hate-mongers on both sides who will gladly provide it. You can expect equal dollops of despicable intolerance from all sides nowadays. We are the Pod People.