Trick or Treat, Belichick Style

 DATELINE:  Yes, We Have No Bananas

Did Bill Belichick just put a razor blade in Patriot fans’ apple?  Or like the serpent in the Garden of Eden, did he simply offer the Apple to the Sodom and Gomorrah team of America?

Shock waves continue to reverberate around New England as the man in the Grim Reaper costume goes door to door, locker to locker, looking for another trick to pull.

Tom Brady, youthful optimist, wished another of his long-term second-bananas the best of luck. Poor Jimmy G will need it with the band of merry losers out by the Golden Gate.

The revolving door of quarterbacks likely means that Belichick has another sleight of hand at the ready before the end of trade deadline. We are not privy to the inner machinations of the Machiavelli of football.

We would suggest that Drew Bledsoe will not come out of retirement for the Patriots. Their last-ditch quarterback replacement always was Julian Edelman who is now wearing his costume for the big Day of the Dead festival in Foxboro.

We already let the black cat out of the bag before tossing him into the Charles River by mentioning the name of Brian Hoyer, long-time Shemp to the stooges who wait in vain for Brady to grow old.

Brady is smiling like Alfred E. Neumann because he knows that he will never age and will never lose a step.

Does Robert Kraft have Colin Kaepernick’s smartphone number on speed dial? We await the special prosecutor investigation of the Jimmy G deal.

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Jimmy G By-Gone with the Wind

DATELINE:  Cable Cars Come and Go

As coach Swami Bill Belichick said to Scarlett O’Hara, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”  With those words, the quarterback of the Patriots future went West, Young Man.

With NFL QBs at a premium, and with their quarterback of the future under contract for two more years, the Patriots felt strongly they could send Jimmy G packing before the Curse of the Broken Brady Mirror caused untolled grief in New England.

Though thought to be set as the next Franchise Player, arrested and held in house for next season, it appears that another Tom Brady acolyte will be running his own team sooner than later.

The San Francisco 49ers will not re-sign Colin Kaepernick now that Jimmy will be high-stepping and standing up for Country.

As for the Patriots, the Patriots are left with only one young, handsome immortal:  the ever-perennial blooming Jack Benny of the Gridiron. Tom plans to stick around.

Who then shall take a seat behind Brady for the rest of the season? Surely, Trump-loving Belichick will not stand for Colin Kaepernick. No, he won’t have to. It appears the 49ers will release Brian Hoyer, Tom’s past backup QB. Tom’s other backups are all hard at work with other teams:  Jacoby, Matts 1 & 2,  and now again Brian–but hold on to your past backup.

Everything comes full circle. The one-time Brady backup Hoyer who flopped in San Francisco and left his heart on the field will return to New England where the splinters in his pants are awaiting a reunion with his former championship team.

Well, now, you don’t need a rear-view mirror after all, Tom.  Take Maxwell’s Silver Hammer to another one.

Dark Legacy: CIA & Bush Take Their Lumps

DATELINE:  Who Dunnit?

Bush:Kennedy

In the week that Donald Trump released the long-hidden Kennedy Assassination documents from the National Archives, we decided that revelations never quite meet the theories spawned. The hidden truth was never put into a government memo.

So, we took in one of the most outlandish and yet frightening of all Kennedy murder conspiracy films: Dark Legacy.  This is a three-Hankey movie: John Hankey wrote, directed, and produced this disturbing documentary and conspiracy theory.

This time it is CIA-centered George Bush, the 1st one to be president, who in the 1960s worked for and led (as J. Edgar Hoover called it) ‘some misguided anti-Castro people.’ Bush later was director of the CIA, but his family had dark ties to CIA director Allen Dulles (fired by John Kennedy months before the assassination). Dulles was the fox in the chicken coop when he was appointed to the Warren Commission.

The coincidences pile up about who knew whom. We waited breathlessly to find out that Oswald took in a monthly allotment from the FBI, and that Jack Ruby was on Richard Nixon’s congressional staff in 1947.

The film borders on accusing the CIA of trying to embarrass J. Edgar by putting one of his operatives into the center of the conspiracy to kill Kennedy.

We think it unlikely the recent papers released under Trump’s order will embarrass the Bush family—or even Ted Cruz’s father (allegedly an associate of Oswald). However, the dots connecting so many famous names will rattle you.

This little conspiracy documentary borders on overkill, but however improbable the conclusions, the facts hint at possibility.

Tale of Two QBs: Old Man Rivers & Tom Terrific

DATELINE:  Maxed Out Chargers

 Old Man Rivers

When you were not looking, the San Diego Chargers moved from Andrew Cunananland to Los Angeles Charlie Mansonland. They are now the Los Angeles Chargers, but look generally like they need new batteries. They seem unable to hold a charge.

The great stability is, needless-to-say, Philip Rivers, the perennial quarterback who like the little choo-choo tried the way Tom Brady does it, but never made it over the hump.

Tom is refined with his billion-dollar friends like Kraft and Trump, whereas Phil Rivers is surrounded by an uncountable number of undisciplined players and lives a noisy life. You could see it in his complaining ways at Gillette as his team mismanaged every aspect of the game.

Yes, Philip Rivers is the anti-Tom Brady.

Rivers is playing into old age, but you’ll never catch him using Botox. He plans to sag all the way into the middle years. He has no fancy sleepwear. He does not drive an Aston Martin (worth $360,000). he does not seem to exercise or diet in any particular way.  He has not written a bestseller giving away all his secrets.

What’s worse, Philip Rivers has a bad case of crow’s feet—around his eyes. Botox would have taken care of that and given him a smooth face, like Tom.

However, unlike Brady he is still playing out of shape and in dubious physical condition, but at a high-level.

This certainly qualifies him as an Every Man. There’s no doubt Pilgrim’s Progress would be his book. That’s the old Christian allegory by Paul Bunyon.

We suspect Tom Brady‘s favorite book would be by Norman Vincent Peale, no not the banana peel, the power of positive thinking peel.

So these aging quarterbacks from the opposite ends of the quantum spectrum, are meeting in a Clash of the Titans  under the rainy skies are Foxboro.

Alas, Rivers is a midget Titan, never having won a Super Bowl.

At the end of the game we saw that high tech living with a guru and Fountain of Youth is comparable to cover the middle-age spread of the bettors, or the betters of Philip Rivers.

Five Fingers: James Mason Chooses the Right One

DATELINE: Classic Spy Drama

crossed Mason

What a joy to re-discover one of Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s forgotten masterpieces!

Five Fingers came in-between so many other, better remembered films like The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, All About Eve, and the Barefoot Contessa. In 1952, Mank went to Turkey to film the true story of World War II’s notorious spy who sold info to the Nazis. The Germans called him Cicero and were forced to pay him an exorbitant sum for his services, but distrusted him.

Bernard Herrmann supplied the music score.

Once again, Mank assembled the best actors: James Mason, Michael Rennie, and Danielle Darrieux. He had an ear and eye for top-quality British actors.

The Nazis think Mason is one of those arrogant members of the aristocracy. They know the type. In fact, Cicero is the valet to the British ambassador, a brilliant man who states: “The only thing that disgusts me is poverty.” When the head of British intelligence calls him the worst piece of trash, Mason shrugs: “I rather thought I looked like a gentleman.”

Only Mason can deliver lines with aplomb—and Mank gives him plenty of hilarious, cynical throwaways. Mason chews up great dialogue with a voracious appetite for screen fame. His inflections cannot be repeated by anyone.

Mason’s spy is not James Bond, but he makes mincemeat of Nazis and British authorities as he ultimately outsmarts them—his poverty-stricken countess partner and himself.

As a poor cabin boy, Mason’s Cicero once saw a man in a white dinner jacket, high up on his villa’s balcony overlooking the ocean. He was laughing hilariously. It is only at the end of the film, when Mason becomes the embodiment of his boyhood dream, do we find the biting irony of it.

What a movie!

 

Movie Gold or Fool’s Gold?

DATELINE:  Free e-Book

kindlemoviegold

How often is there a free lunch in America?

This weekend may feed your movie-fan soul with a variety of film commentaries from the blogs of Ossurworld.  The latest book is called Movie Gold or Fool’s Gold? We suspect you may find both present in the digital pages.

Yes, the collected reviews are now together like the Musketeers: all in one convenient place for your perusal.  And, for the next few days, the cost is NOTHING!

Ossurworld likes Hollywood history, and this time he has put together recent reviews of classic movies he re-watched in 2017.

Amazon has a special feature for those who like something for nothing and believe you may actually receive more than you might bargain for.

If you want to know how to pick up Movie Gold or Fool’s Gold, just follow this highlight to the book-page to download. The offer is limited to a few short days–and dusk falls earlier as your Trick or Treat experience comes down the pike.

 

 

 

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Tom Brady Picking Up Pieces

DATELINE:  Busted Mirror Antics

 off off-season Read All About It! Most Off Off-Season Ever!

Not since Agatha Christie’s the Mirror Cracked from Side to Side, has there been as much ugliness in a looking glass. We would never accuse Tom Brady of being Snow White’s Nasty Queen, but if you ask Alice, Tom has fallen through the mirror to the other side.

Yep, Tom Brady is looking into that mirror every day now and asking: “Why am I only fair? I don’t want to be the fairest of them all. I want to be champeen of the world.”

Since Tom took a hammer to his vanity mirror just a few short months ago, he has been walking like a man without a care in the world. In some circles, it’s called whistling past the graveyard.

That’s despite the fact that he keeps getting hit in the head every week multiple times, thanks to his porous offensive line. Blame the shattered mirror of his own making.

The main victims of his smashed mirror are his supporting players, dropping like flies.

Yes, #12 has cursed his entire team, even though he seems to be Teflon Tom.

The latest victim of the busted mirror: Dont’a Hightower will be out the rest of the season after surgery on his pectoral muscle.  The man with an accent mark immersed in his first name is a staple of the defense. Replacing him will not be easy. Next man up will be a poor photocopy.

On top of that, Tom’s substitute Wes Welker/Julian Edelman/Danny Woodhead/type of player is the notable nutcase Danny Almondola Amendola. Now he too is hurting badly, barely able to practice. Ditto for Chris Hogan who has even lost a few teeth this past game with smash-mouth football.

How many more Patriots will bite the dust before Tom’s Magic mirror is glued back together?

We searched the Internet for a means to stop the curse. The news is not good:  you must  bury all the shards and pieces of the broken mirror in a midnight ceremony. Yikes.

Light some candles for Tom.

 

The way things are going, and the pace at which he is losing his best players, we feel the Patriots’ goose will be cooked by Xmas.

Movies Never Hid Ugly Face of Child Predators

DATELINE:  Feldman Whistleblower

two coreys  Feldman & late Haim

Corey Feldman, one-time child movie star and actor, has put out the idea that he will produce a documentary on pedophile rings in Hollywood.

Together with his friend, Cory Haim, now deceased, he was a tandem victim of six top executives who abused him and Haim as kids. Now Feldman is collecting funds to make a film about this—and to pay for his bodyguards. He believes there will be powerful people making attempts on his life.

In the recent spate of revelations of sexual abuse and harassment, Feldman is raising the child predators in Hollywood.

He is not alone: recently authorities of the FBI hinted that Adam Lanza, the deranged shooter of first-grade children in Connecticut, was obsessed with child pornography—and now we hear that the Las Vegas shooter’s brother has been arrested for having images of children in sex acts.

This wave is not new by any means. Movies have always been in the vanguard of the topic. You have only to go back to the 1930s in German film to find M, the quintessential horror about a child abuser and killer, played by Peter Lorre. A creepy American version came in 1950 with David Wayne.

In the 1920s, Leopold and Loeb were guilty of child murder and abuse, filmed many times in various levels of euphemism, including Hitchcock’s Rope in 1949. Orson Welles played the killers’ lawyer in Compulsion in the late 1950s. TV versions abound.

We have tales going back to Ancient Roman emperors, like Tiberius and Caligula, sexually abusing small children, not pubescent teens.

Adding the crime of pedophilia to the horrors of Nazi Dr. Josef Mengele hardly increases his rotten evil. Public discussion of the once-unspoken subject has lost its taboo and become fodder for new interests.

We aren’t sure how graphic details, revelations and confessions, serve victims, yet we are braced for the latest in tabloid headlines, whether we are ready or not for salacious detail.

35% of Americans: What a Fox News Poll Never Told Us!

 DATELINE:  When 35% is a Majority 

According to Foxy News, 35% of viewers know their bastion of fair and balanced news is fake most of the time.

“Oh, let’s call a spade a spade,” is the motto of 35% of Foxy Americans when it comes down to racial epithets.

35% of Americans seem to think nuclear obliteration is a viable option.

35% of Americans agree that they learned nothing in school and don’t believe their teachers knew much anyhow.

35% of Americans think experts are overrated.

35% of Americans believe anything they read on the Internet.

35% of Americans think hurricanes are God’s punishment for opposing Donald Trump.

35% of Americans want to have another Civil War with East and West Coast against the Middle to have better balance.

35% of Americans think the US Constitution sank during the War of 1812—and it just doesn’t hold up in the 21st century court system.

35% of Americans think satire is evil.

35% of Americans believe Donald Trump is as sane as they are.

35% of Americans, more or less, believe rational behavior is not normal.

Around 35% of Americans believe “white supremacist” is a kind of Cool Whip topping.

35% of Americans think the word “immigration” means birds fly south for the winter because of global warming.

35% of Americans believe “lethal injection” is covered under pre-existing conditions in Obamacare.

35% of Americans think black flies matter during the summer when you go camping.

35% of Americans believe sexual harassment is as American as apple pie and baseball.

35% of Americans firmly believe “morons” should have unlimited access to the Oval Office.

35% of Americans believe the President has the right to shoot people in the street, regardless of national origin or race, but mostly because of national origin and race.

35% of Americans believe you can kneel during the National Anthem while in church.

35% of your fellow citizens believe shutting off TV news is the only way to deal with fake news.

35% of Americans think missppelling and ‘grammer misstakes are covered, under freedom of speech:

35% of Americans think polls are polarizing and should be banned from media reports.

The preceding blog is often called satire, but is usually misunderstood by readers who believe 35% of smartphones know too much.

Stallone is Hit Man, but Movie is No Hit

DATELINE:  No Name on the Bullet

Cast: Stallone, Shahi, Kang, Hill, Momoabullet

Bullet to the Head (2012) used to be what we called a “crime meller,” in the old days, but it’s been updated to meet the standards of today’s violence. It’s more of a romp than an art piece.

Sylvester Stallone is about as jacked as a 65-year-old can be, almost looking obscenely fit as he punches out men half his age. He plays a New Orleans hit man, world weary and cynical. One of his first movies was with Robert Mitchum (Farewell, My Lovely) and now Stallone has turned into old Bob Mitchum, which isn’t bad.

The film does play off his age: the attractive woman he seems to be romantic with turns out to be his daughter (Sarah Shahi, the only survivor from Person of Interest).

The film is built on the concept that Stallone teams up with a DC cop (Sung Kang) to find the men who killed their partners. Hmmm, not gay lovers, not wives, the film means their business associates. Jon Seda only seems like Stallone’s love interest.

The villains are a hoot—Christian Slater and Adewale Akinnouye-Agbaje (Oz star). But, their henchman with a grudge is even better: it’s Aquaman, Jason Momoa.

Since everyone else in the film is younger than Stallone, he seems to be babysitting rather than acting. He can still deliver an entertaining action adventure film. However, not all was paradise on the production, as Stallone wanted a less dark crime picture which resulted in loss of Thomas Jane as his DC cop buddy. Instead, the producers went for political correctness with a Korean-American cop.

Stallone did uncredited writing—and some of that shines through, as he has always been underrated on that level. He also took final cut away from Walter Hill and made the film truly his own. We wonder why he simply did not direct it.

No matter, the film lost money big-time. Yet, it is an amusing time-passer. We never lost interest.

 

 

 

 

Making of a Shower Scene: 78/52

DATELINE:  Psycho Freshly Showered

78:52

A documentary about one of the most influential films of the 20th century may be simple and surprising. After all, how much can you say about about 2 minutes of a shower scene in Psycho? There were 78 set ups and 52 cuts, making for the title.

The title numbers refer to the numbers Alfred Hitchcock needed to create the horror of a notorious film murder.

You will be definitely surprised at what you learn here. Out of the entire movie, the impact can be boiled down to Hitchcock’s brilliant construction of this scene that brought a culture to a turning point, created a slasher genre, and has become endemic to horror and fate.

The film gathers together a group of interested parties who seem to be at some seedy hotel, their comments filmed in black and white, appropriately enough.

Oh, there are enough clips of Hitchcock speaking for himself: but the film also finds the body double of Janet Leigh, now an old lady, who for seven days, endured the shower scene’s filming. Marli Renfro also was a Playboy bunny cover girl.

Also gathered are various film editors, sound editors, and directors to comment on the script, storyboard, and constraints offered by Hitch.

The film also interviews Osgood Perkins, son of Anthony Perkins, and Jamie Leigh Curtis, daughter of Janet Leigh. As a bonus, there is a montage of the many satiric and homage film clips to the most infamous shower scene in movie history.

You will be impressed by the details that the Master of Suspense considered while making this sequence, down to the selection of the painting over the Peeping Tom hole made by Norman Bates to watch Marion Crane.

For those interested in history and art, this film is quintessential Hitchcock to be added to your knowledge and collection.

 

Be sure to read ebook Hitchcock Freshly Showered for a study of the complete oeuvre of Hitch. For smart readers on Amazon.

Scarecrow Festival for Halloween

 DATELINE:  Jaffrey, NH, the Real Grovers’ Cornersscarecrow2

Around this time each year, small-town Americana in the location of Jaffrey, New Hampshire, holds its Halloween Scarecrow contest.

For one month, residents line up a series of ghoulish scarecrows along the intersection at the center of town, not far from the bandstand and the old White’s Mill that was owned by the famous Massachusetts family that once lived on Old Mill Circle across the state line.

The homemade scarecrows of Jaffrey are judged by a committee during the fall festival, but while they hang on their crosses, it is vaguely reminiscent of Stanley Kubrick’s horror scene at the end of Spartacus when the road to Rome is lined with crucified slaves.

This mishmash of creatures resembles all kinds of people and are equally distracting and disturbing, but within the fun of the Halloween season.

In our opinion, Jaffrey is the real inspiration for Thornton Wilder’s classic play Our

Town. He called his little NH town on the Massachusetts border, Grovers’ Corners.

Some think it is north of Jaffrey in Peterborough, where Wilder lived his summers. Indeed, arty Peterborough even has a plaque to honor itself, but the more modest Jaffrey better fills the bill.

Wilder makes up some coordinates, longitudes and latitudes are off deliberately as the author tried to obscure his inspiration for the setting of Our Town. And, besides, the railroad of 1910 ran over the border in local Winchendon, not far from Jaffrey, and is featured in the play.

You won’t convince us that the place where the scarecrows roost is not Grovers’ Corners where a gothic cemetery scene highlights the 1938 play. The scarecrows are a recent tradition, but make Jaffrey the best bet as Grovers’ Corners.

 scarecrow4

 

 

A Froggy Night in Foxboro Town

DATELINE:  Foggy Bottoms Up

Michigan J. Frog foggy bottom

Cock-eyed optimists were dancing in the street over the return of the Super Bowl Patriots. Down-in-the-dumps pessimists were sent packing by the stalwart Patriot defense. Tom Brady emerged from the mist. If you can see through the fog, you may have X-ray vision.

The replay of the Super Bowl was exactly as billed. These were not the teams that had played just a few months ago. The Patriots were dominant, and the Falcons were pathetic. The Falcons clearly have post-traumatic stress from the Super Bowl.

If you thought you would be able to see the forest from the trees, you would’ve been blinded by what they call in London an old fashioned “pea-souper.”

Yes, the fog was on the pumpkin, not the frost. It came down from the heavens like something to cover up the antics of Jack the Ripper. Indeed, Belichick’s minions acted like razor-sharp purveyors of the slice-and-dice school of football. The Falcons looked like Tweety-Bird.

The fog was thicker than anything Heathcliff ever saw on the Moors.

How quickly professional sports shift. It’s like someone set off a seismic charge underneath the fan base. Resulting in a nebulous ceiling, a cloud of uncertainty not raised quite yet.

Have the Patriots been restored to their place of distinction? Or did we merely see another example of this team putting on the Ritz? Tell me in five weeks that the Pats are on top of the world.

Tune in next week when the announcers will not be surprised and misidentify natural phenomena as the smoke of fireworks that lingered for four quarters.

So much for expert analysis.

 

 

We Won’t Stand For It Much Longer

DATELINE: Anthem Anathema

 4th at great barn

Call us a legal novice, but we think that suing all 32 NFL team owners for collusion will not help Colin Kaepernick find employment in the NFL.

This is despite some high-profile openings in the position. For example, Aaron Rodgers is out with a broken collarbone. Would the Green Bay Packers be interested in a QB who won a Super Bowl as a stand-in who promised to stand up for the National Anthem? or any team that lost a quarterback to broken bones lately?

Not really. Green Bay, Wisconsin, is next to Frostbite Falls when it comes to political tolerance. You might find yourself a target of moose hunting, as Bullwinkle often noted.

The former 49er probably can blame President Trump as much as anyone for the damnation that Kaepernick is experiencing with sports fans and extremist flag-wavers who think John Phillip Sousa wrote the “Star Spangled Banner.”

If we recall, it was Philip Nolan who cursed the United States in 1812, and was made the Man Without a Country for the rest of his life by the United States, not the USFL or NFL.

Nolan couldn’t play football, and he was mostly fictional from the mind of Edward Everett Hale, whose uncle was named Nathan Hale, and was hanged for his patriotism by our long-time friends, the former British Red Coats.

All is forgiven now, after 250 years when Brits shot Americans at the Lexington-Concord Green.  We fear that Kaepernick’s career will be on the downslide after a wait of 250 years for national forgiveness.

We believe in non-violent protest. Call us an old-fashioned Goldwater Republican because we don’t recognize the people who have hijacked the GOP and the Presidency.

Don’t dun us: our military DD214 allows us to enjoy malpractice at a VA hospital and we can be buried under a flag in a VA cemetery of our choice.

We don’t even like Colin Kaepernick or his wild hair. However, we believe in his right to protest the fear of being shot down in the street by some rogue police officer.

 

 

 

Song & Dance Men of New England Patriots

 DATELINE: Puttin’ on the Ritz

Michigan J. Frog

Call those fans in Boston media a bunch of cock-eyed optimists.

Yes, the folks who gave us the pre-season prediction of 19-0 and the best team ever assembled by Belichick are at it again.

We feel like jumping up, putting on a top hat and doing a high step to “Puttin’ on the Ritz” like the talented, stiff Frankenstein monster from Mel Brooks.

The experts are not putting on the Ritz. They are putting you on. You need a princess to kiss the Pat toads to give us a charming, winning team.

Brady/Belichick experts are telling you now that the Patriot defense has improved and is expected to be better with each passing game. Well, if the team passes, they will score more points than their opponent. That would give them a passing grade.

We are also being told that the Patriots will win their rematch against the Atlanta Falcons, despite the fact that every two-bit QB in the NFL looks like a Super Bowl victor against the Matt Patricia all-defense boneheads. It’s hard to teach defense to frogs on a lilly pad. The defense is a floating mat, as in Patricia’s Matt.

If you think the complacent Pats are more motivated than the humiliated Falcons, you know little about human psychology—or worse, subhuman psychology when it comes to primal revenge.

Despite having “Twinkle-Toes” Gronkowsky (as Belichick dubbed him this week) for his prance into the end zone on a touchdown catch, there is little in the world of Brady protection on that offensive line. They are putting us on.

We are reminded of the dancing toad from the classic Warner Brothers cartoon. He performed best when you least expected it. His name was Michigan J. Frog, but we will now call him “Gronk.”

Cue the high-step Super Bowl victors.