Broken Horses—and Late Star Lost

DATELINE:  Young Promise Snuffed Out

 anton-yelchin  Yelchin in Star Trek

The senseless, accidental death of young actor Anton Yelchin becomes more tragic with the examination of his films far beyond the Star Trek series.

Yelchin was on his way to making a serious mark in intelligent, compelling independent drama.

One of these named Broken Horses gives Yelchin a role he seemed likely to patent:  sensitive young man thrown into insensitive situations. His rising star is reminiscent of young Montgomery Clift.

The story entails two brothers: one autistic and one artistic. Yelchin is the violinist who escapes the border town where his cop father has been murdered to make a life in New York as a symphony musician.

He suffers guilt over having left his mildly retarded brother in the care of a ruthless drug lord (Vincent D’Onofrio).  He returns to learn the horror of how his brother is a brainwashed trigger man for the gang.

D’Onofrio stands like a giant among pygmies, literally. It seems everyone in the cast is a pipsqueak next to his actual heavy villain. Also, of interest is that Thomas Jane takes on a small role as the father of the two boys that D’Onofrio takes in.  Thomas and Vincent jump-started their careers in Velocity of Gary 25 years earlier.

The film is the first American movie by Indian director Vidhu Vinod Chopra. His vision of a white stallion charging out of a futuristic house in the desert likely was the inspiration for the rest of the film he also co-wrote.

Chris Marquette plays Yelchin’s older brother with enough dull-wit to make D’Onofrio’s evil manipulation particularly heinous.

Yelchin’s acting promise provides a big flash here.

broken-horses 

 

 

Steelers Meet the Massholes

DATELINE: Brady’s Bunch as Historical Inevitabilities

 mad-dog-hogan Mad Dog Hogan

The Pittsburgh Steelers may have learned today that being a Masshole is a point of pride for those living in Massachusetts, supporting the Patriots.

After he built a fortress in Brookline that must be called San Simeon, Xanadu, or Sloppy Joe’s, Tom Brady is a primary Masshole resident.

Unlike predictions, there was absolutely no suspense in this game.

Belichick’s plan was nothing out of the Hitchcock playbook.  Unlike the Master of Suspense, Belichick gave the crowd of Massholes a standard victory plan.

If there was a mystery, it was where were the yellow flags. We thought Goodell’s goons would be on the offensive against Brady, but they seemed to have lost their yellow mettle.

The referees were simply not throwing them. It was one of the most stingy games we have seen in terms of penalizing Patriots.

When the turnovers came, the Steelers were in meltdown mode.

The Killer Bs (Brown, Ben, Bell) seemed to be missing from the hive or turned into the honeybees. The other Steeler killers did try to kill always irksome Julian Edelman. His gadfly attitude just drove them crazy.

The real murder victim in the game was the Steelers. And they were dead when LeGarrette Blount bluntly carried seven or eight of them to the 1 yard line. He was unstoppable. It crushed the Steelers and drove home the point that the better team was winning.

Mild mannered, wild-eyed lacrosse player, Chris Hogan number 15, turned out to be the Norman Bates of the Patriots. He slayed the Steelers, sending them to the showers.

So, the Brady Revenge Tour is going to its ultimate destination in Houston, where every pass will be a needle in the Roger Goodell voodoo doll.

 

 

Will Patriots Cast a Pall on Roger Goodell?

DATELINE:  Game’s Afoot

bradys-friend

Friends in High Places

We are not sure whether the Patriots have been locked in the Steelers’ Cage, or whether the Steelers have been lit up in the Patriots’ North Church Steeple.

The proof is in the pudding, as we are wont to say to reach the masses.

Cliches abound in the championship game where the Killer Bs are allegedly in Pittsburgh, though Boston sees them as Betts, Bogaerts, and Bradley on the Red Sox.

Will the Patriots continue their turnover ways from last week? Or shall they turn over a new leaf?

We shall not compare the Patriots juggernaut to the infamous Women’s Marches across the globe on Saturday. It would be like putting the Trump supporters before the old gray mares.

Suffice it to say: the Trump Patriots are as polarizing as the new President’s administration. We would merely point out that numbers need not be indicative of victory. You need to know what state to put your money, not your mouth.

In the case of the NFL, you have to know when to put your locker room on Live Facebook, or when to tweet your “FaceChat with your InstaBook,” in the immortal words of Bill Belichick.

We are not sure how to interpret Roger Goodell’s absence at the game. He will not have to hand a trophy over to the Patriots as AFC champs, but nor will he have the satisfaction of gloating in public over a Pittsburgh victory.

For months we have heard of the Brady Vendetta—a slaughter of NFL pretensions week after week. Now we have the Steeler Bird Flu, an air borne virus sent by the gods to curse any who dare to oppose Tom Brady.

In the words of Sherlock Holmes, “The Game’s Afoot.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black White + Gray: Mapplethorpe Returns

DATELINE:  Portrait of a Photographer

 scavullo-portrait-1974 Scavullo portrait 1974

Photographer Robert Mapplethorpe remains controversial 25 years after his death, an early victim of AIDS in 1989. He died a millionaire, through pluck, luck, and Sam Wagstaff.

As a flashpoint, Black White + Gray is also compelling and repelling.

Ardent, if not passionate Mapplethorpe followers often refuse to hear about how the photographer managed to amass fame and fortune like a street hustler.

If gay marriage had been available back then, we’d say he married into the right circles like a character out of a Dominick Dunne novel. Indeed, Dunne knew them well.

In the 1970s, shortly after the Stonewall inception of gay liberation, Mapplethorpe met millionaire art collector, curator, classically handsome, advertising kingpin Sam Wagstaff. Through the connections and money of Wagstaff, Mapplethorpe gained a foothold with his luscious photos of flowers—and later shocking pictures of the bondage-leather scene of the 1980s.

Wagstaff made a mark in Manhattan, coexisting with Warhol and Capote in the closeted 1950s and early 1960s.  He became unbuttoned and undone when he found his matchmate in the erotic boytoy Mapplethorpe who opened doors for his new partner.

They were comparable to Taylor and Burton in the gay scene.

Different in every polarizing way, they were hopelessly attracted to each other. Some thought the photographer used the older man, but it was definitely consenting and symbiotic.

The documentary about them focuses more on Wagstaff, now largely forgotten. He seemed to become infected with the attraction of Mapplethorpe and the extreme sexual scene that led to his death from AIDS in 1987. He left his collection and entire estate to his friend, also sick and dying in 1989. Mapplethorpe increased his fortune by selling Wagstaff’s silver collection in the months before he died in March of ’89.

James Crump’s film provides historical reference, fascinating gossip, and avant-garde orientation of art of the 20th century, for those looking to understand the impact of gay innovators on American culture.

What Becomes a Tarzan Legend Least?

Movie reviews have expanded.

DAY 4 NIGHT  features the original review and its counterpoint on a new blog. Not everyone agrees with Ossurworld–and his opposing viewpoint has free reign.

Eventually all Ossurworld’s movie reviews (unless sports related) will be showing up over on DAY 4 NIGHT!

sans-loincloth

You may well ask why there is a need for a new Tarzan movie.

Of course, if you are under 16 years of age, mentally or emotionally, you must have a new version. It’s called The Legend of Tarzan.

We loved Tarzan Finds a Son in 1939, in black and white, with Johnny Weissmuller and Bomba as his son. We also loved Mike Scott in Tarzan’s Greatest Adventure: the darkest franchise version ever conceived in which the famous Weissmuller yell occurs at the end of the movie when Tarzan has brutally killed the villain. Curtain, demise.

Now the star of True Blood plays Lord Greystoke in London, reluctant to return to the “African Congo,” as the movie calls it. Hmm. We always confused it with the South American Congo.

Alexander Sarsgaard has already proven his mettle by playing a naked vampire on TV. Tarzan in full cargo pants is a mere piece of beefcake.

Anachronisms abound in the film script. Jane is now American and speaks like California surfer girl Annette from A-I’s Beach Party films. And, Tarzan’s helpful nemesis is a black American, played by Samuel L. Jackson, with 21st century lingo. We kept waiting for him to ask Tarzan: ‘What’s in your wallet?’ Yes, Tarzan has pockets.

The story takes place in 1890 when slavery is illegal in Europe and the United States, but Tarzan must stop European and American slavers among his friendly African tribal mates. Hunh?

All this rigamarole seems to have been done already in two dozen other Tarzan franchise movies. Yes, we have been there in countless films and sequels, most done better than this drivel with endless special ineffectiveness.

The director wanted Tarzan to have a lean look that had never been done before. How wrong he was: Jock Mahoney’s Tarzan was in this style in the 1960s.

If historical inaccuracy and odd changes to the original story do not hamper your movie enjoyment, you may be up for a nostalgic trip back to his ape roots for Lord Greystoke. We missed Cheetah.

DAY’s TIME

Tarzan, Lord of the Nutlicks 

The evil Belgian King must procure diamonds to pay the mercenary armies needed to fully exploit the resources of the Congo.

The key is the delivery of Lord Greystoke/Tarzan to his sworn enemy, the African Congo chief of Blood Diamond fame whose son was killed by Tarzan for killing Tarzan’s ape step-mother in a tribal rite of manhood.

Add Samuel L. Jackson to the mix as a post US civil war era anti-slavery undercover spy tasked with stopping the slave trade in Congo who offers to lick ape nuts….all saved in the end by an endless mix and charge of CGI lions, wildebeests and crocs working together at the behest of T-zan, and you have a movie who can’t miss…who green lighted this one?

This movie insults the Rice-Burroughs classic stories and begs…where is Weissmuller when you need him?

The Hollywood casting formula should have worked. Skaarsgard and his female lead (Margot Robbie) are perfect specimens, the evil Congo chief is frightful, and the evil Belgian is animal husbandry’s enemy (Christoph Waltz).

CGI apes vine tree to tree to train swinging, politically correct anti-slavery pro monkey message, but it all fails miserably bad story, bad direction, just bad.

Tony Manero: Saturday Night Fever Turns Deadly

DATELINE:  Hollywood Obsessions

 tony-manero

Pablo Larrain is a name we are likely to encounter again– and often.

The director from Chile has several powerful new movies in debut to great accolades, including Neruda and Jackie. So, we returned to an early effort from Chile in 2008—but American in many ways and a precursor to the later movies.

Tony Manero is an uncomfortable film, throwing viewers off the easy treat they may have signed on to see. Manero is a character from a famous movie with John Travolta: Saturday Night Fever.

In Santiago, a fifty-year old obsesses over re-enacting the role on an auditions TV program as a Manero impersonator. He will dance his disco ass off to the famous BeeGee classic.

Though this premise of Hollywood’s power over fans seems harmless, there is a sudden dark shift in the story. Raul will do anything to win his contest for the Manero prize.

Creating a banal and pathetic lounge act in the slums of Chile, he and his dance partners dance for live audiences. However, without a job or money, Raul must release his sociopathic and dangerous self to achieve his ultimate goal.

This is not a movie about a movie collector, but a horrifying and desperate version of Richard III.  He will murder anyone who stands in his way of winning a cheap competition on small-time television.

What might have been cute or distracting, centering on the spectacular dance Travolta did in Saturday Night Fever, becomes a nightmare of brutality and ugliness.

Nearly catatonic, Raul only comes to life when he dons the white suit and dances his tail off in spectacular mimicry.

The result of how a desire for small-time fame turns into banal violence is movie lover’s hypnotic and surreal event, but suddenly evolves into a disturbing and horrific nightmare.

Yes, Larrain promises something wicked and delivers. It is almost unbearable.

Trump Takes Call from Tom Brady

 DATELINE: Inaugural & Super Bowl LI

Trumped

At the pre-Inauguration Dinner for billionaire friends of the new President of the United States, there sat a man who should be in the Cabinet with 9 other billionaires.

We refer to Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots.

He was not overlooked by the new Prez who heaped praise on the Patriots during his post-dinner speech.

He wished luck to the man with the great quarterback, great coach, and fairly much claimed it was a lock to go to the Super Bowl. It’s the kind of stuff that makes American great again, if you agree with Mr. Trump.

President Trump was not done by any means. He singled out Coach Swami Belichick for his work ethic—and pointed out that it was that style of work that led to the victory for Trump.

In days of yore, if the President took time out of his busy schedule to talk to you on the phone, it was a big deal. Today, if Tom Brady takes time to pick up that smartphone and call, the President-Elect is thrilled.

He also noted to the agreeable crowd that Tom Brady had called him earlier in the day—apparently after practice where his game face has made him a grumbling meanie.

Tom told the new President that he was good to go. Alas, Tom cannot attend the Inauguration—but we will not be surprised if the President attends Super Bowl LI and sits in the celebrity apprentice box to root on his friends on the Patriots.

 

 

 

 

Goodell at Patriots Game on Sunday!

DATELINE: Fake Missing Person Solved

tom-teddy

Tom Gives Roger a Squeeze

Roger Goodell has upset New England fans by boycotting Gillette Stadium.

Who can blame him? He made his bed—and the air mattress is letting him down. He can’t go back to the Patriots home turf without something ugly and angry thrown his way.

Fans that banned him are now demanding he show up and take the proverbial medicine for his clownish behavior in punishing Tom Brady with a four-game suspension for alleged arrogance.

We are here to tell you that Roger Goodell will indeed be at the championship game on Sunday evening in quaint Foxboro.

Oh, you might say he is there through his hired executive idiot stand-in, name of Troy Vincent. Here’s a man who once played for the Jets and holds it against the Patriots.

You could say Goodell will be there through his referees. Like good soldiers, they will be obedient to the cause—likely finding as many penalties as possible to stop the Patriots dead, and Tom Brady dead a hundred times.

Goodell won’t be happy until Brady is physically assaulted and knocked out of the game—roughing the passer as a missed call.

Goodell will indeed be there to see this. You will sense his presence. He permeates the air. He permeates the air waves. Every commercial, money-making moment of the game belongs to him.

Goodell won’t be Marley’s ghost because Marley had a sense of altruism and fair play.  He won’t be there in the form of a ghost, but his spirit will dominate like a dank, dreary spectre.

Oh, you can count on it. Roger Goodell will be in Foxboro for the game.

You will feel him in every wind chill, in every odiferous and hackneyed penalty.  He will be there to deny the Patriots three times in Biblical tradition.

Bright Lights Darkened

DATELINE:  Debbie & Carrie Together

 debbie-carrie

With the tandem deaths of Debbie Reynolds one day after her daughter Carrie Fisher, we have the ultimate show busy world gone amuck.

In the months previous to their demise, HBO had been preparing a documentary that was scheduled for airing sometime later in the year. Events overtook scheduling. Bright Lights is the result, now available.

We now have a bittersweet look at the home and home life of Debbie and Carrie, living next door to each other, adjoining Hollywood museums. If there is anything truly historic about them, it is their extraordinary love for Hollywood.

They never shy away from Eddie Fisher, Elizabeth Taylor, and the scandals that defined the business of being a family.

Mother Debbie for years collected memorabilia, including Marilyn’s dress from Seven Year Itch. She wanted to create a museum of great movie collectibles. Yet, she never could find backing. Her money was spent on the items, but no one wanted to give the museum a home.

Carrie was the caretaker of her mother and their tight bond. If their charming banter and interplay means anything, it displays true chemistry. What a shame their only movie together is this posthumous documentary.

When movie eras cross and end simultaneously, you have a shock to the movie fan. This delightful little collection of home movies and personal insights is a special collectible that Debbie and Carrie have left their fans.

Movie lovers should prepare for many laughs and an ultimate tragedy. The references to death and mortality permeate Debbie and Carrie’s conversations. It seems to have been fate.

Final Problems with the Series: Unhappy Ending

DATELINE:  Solution’s End

holmes-boys

Holmes boys—minus girl

There has always been a tendency to go overboard on flashbacks within hallucinations for the BBC update of Sherlock. And, trying to bring back Moriarty (wonderful over the top Andrew Scott), turned the final episode of Season 4 into a logistical pretzel.

The notion that Mycroft has locked up the homicidal sister of the Holmes boys is daring and ridiculous—and making her a girl with an interest in Jim Moriarty certainly allows for license. We fell into more plot holes during this episode than in the entire Holmes canon.

Alas, how the Holmes girl managed to escape her prisoner asylum island out in the middle of the nowhere ocean pushed the envelope and “note” clue from the Culverton Smith episode into a conflagration highlight of the last show.

Yes, she blows up 221b Baker Street and nearly kills all the stars. The residence will be rebuilt in a coda at episode’s end. However, overkill seems to have taken over, killing subtlety.

We really don’t want Sherlock to turn into the dreadful movie franchise with Robert Downey and Jude Law, utterly miscast lunacy. And, we are not amused to find the dreadful American TV series showing more intellect than this British counterpart.

Eurus is sister’s name.  It’s Greek for East Wind. Oh, we get it. Clever works, but pyrotechnics seem ready made for American TV ratings, not civilized British drama.

Mark Gatsiss finally has a big problem, not a solution.

The series likely will not return for two to three years, if ever. And it makes the “if ever” clause more attractive than anytime in the past four seasons.

The fourth season ends with conclusion that might suffice if production and stars never do another. It also sets a clean slate for future episodes with Holmes and Watson in Conan Doyle style again. Quien sabe?

More Fake News about Patriots

 DATELINE:  Media Muck, No Raking Involved

Dumb America

When will it end?

Roger Goodell will not show up in Foxboro this weekend to watch his handiwork continue to succeed despite his best efforts to fix the games. The media is blowing it out of proportion. Of course, Goodell is avoiding any place unsafe, like Foxboro.

Yes, Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and the Patriots are about to take on the foul-mouthed, overconfident Steelers for the AFC Championship—and the Commissioner has taken his loathsome carcass to Atlanta.

In other fake news, Antonio Brown—berated for filming his coach foaming at the mouth and calling the Patriots “a-holes” has issued an apology three days later. It is not in his twisted, uneducated rhetoric.

The statement clearly is written by someone else:  likely team lawyers for the Steelers.

A dodo bird writer for some sports news network printed out an unconfirmed story that Brady has filmed in his own locker room and released it on social media. Of course, that has never happened, but don’t let the facts stand in the way. The writer is suspected of voting for Clinton in the recent election.

As the week of fake news continues, one sports broadcaster (or whatever you call those radio hacks) has now stated that Tom Brady is playing for his job this weekend. If he loses, he will likely be told that he is done with the Patriots.

This is so fake that it is laughable. We suspect that Tom will respond that he plays for his job, for his life, every game. However, the nonsense that Brady will be traded, benched, or thrown under the bus if he loses, is ridiculous.

Yet, it continues in a vein only recently made legitimate by the recent presidential election. American news is changing, citizens. Don’t lend your ears too freely. The media has come to bury you.

Numbering the Players: From Edelman to Rifleman

DATELINE:  Numbers

 rifleman-11

 Chuck Connors as the Celtics Rifleman

Word is now circulating that spectacular new superstar number 4, also known as Isaiah Thomas, wants to change his number to 11. It’s worn by Julian Edelman on the Patriots.  Number 4 was worn by Bobby Orr of the Bruins.

This almost sounds like heresy. In the middle of one of the great streaks of all time in Celtics history, the man wants to change his number 4, which exemplifies his fourth quarter histrionics, to a more metaphoric 11.

We suppose being a double number one supersedes being a simple number 4.

There have been equal numbers of players wearing 4 and 11 while playing as Celtics. Past number 11’s include Big Baby Davis. We doubt the Celtics will retire his 11.

We are most distressed that the first number 11 in Celtics history happens to be The Rifleman of TV lore.

Our favorite hero and villain (for he played both) was actor Chuck Connors. Before he started his acting career on Superman with George Reeves, he wore number 11 for the Celtics.

We have often wondered why Chuck Connors’ number was not retired.

However, it is clear to us, that Isaiah Thomas (a.k.a. cousin IT), if he continues playing at a Superman level, will be up there in the rafters with Bird and other high-flyers.

Whether it is as a number 4 or as a double 1, only the tea leaves shall tell. Right now our crystal ball is a bit murky. We do advise Julie E, #11, to stand clear. Here comes the new #11.

 

Sherlock: Fair to Middle Episode

DATELINE:  Lying Down on the Job

toby-jones-as-culverton

The middle episode movie for Sherlock 4 features Toby Jones, our favorite diminutive character actor, in rare form as evil. Moriarty receives a particularly snide stand-in named Culverton Smith in a ditty called “The Lying Detective.”

After the death of Mary, Watson’s wife, Holmes seemed crushed with guilt over failing to save her—and Watson seemed overwhelmed with mourning. Doyle skipped dealing with such issues for good reason.

Into this vulnerable mode, Sherlock has come face to face with a billionaire businessman/humanitarian who happens to be a serial killer.  It’s a year when billionaires do not fare well in film and television.

Having fallen back into his worst scenario of addiction, Holmes finds little sympathy from the man who writes the blog on their cases.

If there is a departure from the original stories, among so many departures, it is the importance of the women in the lives of Holmes and Watson. Irene Adler and Mary Marston Watson have become revisionist feminists. And Mrs. Hudson is the widow of a drug dealer.

If creative force Mark Gatsiss has his way, there may be other powerful women lurking between the lines of the original stories. Oh, no, not a Holmes sister??

Matching wits with a billionaire with unlimited resources may be a risky business for Holmes, but he has his reasons to leave himself so likely to be a murder victim.

Prodigious displays of his logical insights continue to be thrown away by Holmes, even in his most despondent, hallucinatory situations, induced by drug abuse.

Of course, the mainstay of the Gatsiss version of Holmes is that it always returns to canon, no worse for wear. We understand the need to avoid looking like Holmes picks his deerstalker wardrobe off the rack, but there’s no reason to put the stories on the rack.

 

Celtics & Patriots Team Up

DATELINE: Homers

cousin-it

Boston sports teams love each other, but we’ve known that for a decade.

Most players are not hometown fans of the team for which they play. Neither Celtics, nor Patriots, are year-long Boston residents, but the mutual respect is really a result of the “everyone loves a winner” mentality.

The Patriots are perennial winners.  The Celtics seem to be also-rans. However, in good years, and in playoffs, you can find Patriots in attendance at the game. This season it is LaGarrette Blount in the front row on the parquet.

The Patriot who has set records on rushing TDs has been a big fan of Isaiah Thomas, the speedy fourth quarter scoring machine on the Celtics.

Blount was overwhelmed with a recent performance, cheering on the diminutive (think Welker, Edelman size) Celtics superstar. Isaiah is a Seattle resident and lifelong Seahawks fan—but when in Rome, you support Boston teams.

It moved Cousin IT to give Blount the jersey off his back at game’s end.

IN a fairplay move, IT went to the Patriots playoff game and was on the sidelines against the Houston team. He wore a Tom Brady jersey, #12, not Blount’s number. But, he was cheering the Patriots onward.

Coach Brad Stevens was also at Foxboro for the big game. Schedules are always part of the chance of attending another team’s game—and it will be interesting to see if Celtics can attend Sunday’s game.

Mike Tomlin: Not a Cl-ASS Act

DATELINE:  Return of the Dodo Bird

Tom's Briefs

What a horse’s tail!  Pittsburgh Steeler Coach Mike Tomlin told his players after their victory not to go on social media and make a scene. At which time he called the Patriots team a bunch of “a—holes.”

Nicely done, Coach. The offending live Facebook feed from one of his moronic players was almost immediately taken down. That means only a million or so viewers saw the unpleasant message.

In the words of Patriot star Dont’e Hightower: Is he trying “to hurt our feelings?”

Macho pride being what it is nowadays, we suspect that fighting words usually hinge on making aspersions about one’s family heritage or one’s sexual orientation.  Ask Dak Prescott what happens when you downplay relations with women and insist you are in love with your team.

We admit going through the rhyming dictionary, looking for words we might use with “class” or “hole.”

Swami Bill Belichick might disparage us from this task. Unlike Tomlin, the Belichick coached teams actually do have discipline. To wit: he chewed out Eric Rowe on national coverage for his unsportsmanlike penalty.

We doubt Tomlin would ever do anything but support the inanities of his players, not knowing the difference in his own mind.

What used to be bulletin board material is now sent faster than a speeding bullet by means of Internet smartphone connections.

The holes in the ozone have nothing on the holes on the Internet. To our vast amusement, there are more holes in Pittsburgh than in Calcutta.