Gronk in Wolf’s Clothing

DATELINE: Movie Star in Making

 while tom sleeps

We feel like the boy who cried “Wolf” about Rob Gronkowski.

For months, since long into last season, we have said he is a prime candidate to turn to a movie star career and leave the dangers and concussions and broken bones of the NFL.

Sports media types who know nothing about movies dismissed the idea, or leaned toward the acting of professional wrestling as more to Gronk’s low-level talents.

Suddenly this week however, it’s becoming apparent how likely it is that Gronk is the next big movie star of action movies and cartoon superheroes. As far as acting goes, he has a face that shows emotion—and with a careful director and judicious cutting room talent, a director can make an Oscar winner.

The worst luck of Tom Brady’s smashed mirror is to lose Gronk to movie stardom.

Gronk may not be Larry Olivier, but he is more than Larry Csonka. He can hit his marks with the best of them, and is a quick study: you learn that from the Belichick system.

So, now, horrors upon horrors, the notion that Gronk had considered retirement even before the past season started proves that he is likely to quit.

As for the Patriot fan in us, we will miss him in a local football uniform, we think his good health and mental stability far outweigh catching a few footballs thrown by Tom Brady next season.

He can always play a football star on screen. There are too few young action heroes (most are 40 or more in age), and Gronk is a spry 27. He may seem older because he has been a fixture for a decade.

Gronk is movie star material, not for Broadway drama, but for glamorous red carpets.

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Penultimate Digging, Season 5 on Oak Island

DATELINE:  Coming Down to the Finish

 fake ruby  fake ruby?

A twelve-facet ruby that could be half-a-millenium old? Is it part of the long-lost jewels of Marie Antoinette, decapitated queen of old France? Robert Clothworthy’s voice remains so memorable from Curse of Oak Island as narrator.

Under poor conditions with no historical value, it might render only a pittance of $20,000, but with the allure of Oak Island and a queen’s ransom, the sky is the limit.

However, carbon dating of wood objects now seems to eliminate the Templars as the originators of the building process.  No one wanted to go there among the show’s hunters.

Well, that would be enough to satisfy a season of tedium. Thanks again to Gary Drayton, the Australian metal detective, with his uncanny ability to look in unlikely places for unlikely treasures, the series Curse of Oak Island rendered up more mystery as the fifth season draw to a close.

Other events include finding wood structures buried near the beach that 94-year old Dan Blankenship excavated forty years ago to no avail. Is it part of a French or Spanish galleon? Again, we are left holding our collective breaths.

The series may be reaping its rewards at long last with the arrival of a diver to find out what kind of metal plate is covering what kind of chamber nearly 80 feet below the surface in the area of mysterious vaults.

We don’t seem anywhere near losing another treasure hunter in the process of excavation, which may mean we are facing a long winter of the waiting game yet again.

Marty Lagina has been notoriously absent for many important moments this season, and now it becomes clear that he has moved on to another treasure hunt—and a new series to start on the heels of this season’s cliff-hanger. Yes, we will be lured into the trap of hunting for Civil War gold under Lake Michigan and won’t have time to think about what’s still missing on Oak Island.

 

 

 

 

 

Not Springtime for Hitler

 DATELINE:  Ultimately Superb

 hitler & edward

Unlike other History Channel series, the Hunting Hitler: Final Evidence show has gone by quickly and been chock full of suspense and intrigue on a cold-case 70 years old.

The cast of detectives are perfectly off-kilter types that find witnesses too that might be casting gems, if they were not real. We came to appreciate the various duos when they cross-teamed to do their specialty.

We bid adieu to the third season with this episode, presuming it will return to dig up bones where and when necessary.

You know it’s the end of this segment of shows when Bob Baer, host and orchestra leader, leaves his high-rise Los Angeles comfy office to take credit on the big picture. He wants to go to the FBI with his team’s findings.

We would have thought INTER-POL a more apt choice, but former CIA operative Baer goes where the ratings lead him. And he goes alone, because he is the only ‘I” in team. To top it off, he goes to a retired FBI agent. Hunh?

The findings of the show were distressing: uncovering Hitler’s microfilm will in Chile, a concentration-style camp under Pinochet run by escaped Nazis, and remote fortifications in Paraguay.

Baer thinks they were planning a Fourth Reich, but more likely they were hiding, like cowards, from execution in empty luxury at mountainous hideaways.

Next season, if it comes, will hunt for Hitler’s bones.

 

 

 

Last Great Elizabeth Taylor Movie?

DATELINE:  Grand Taylor Horror!

 night watch Liz @ Her Best

By the time Elizabeth Taylor reached the end of her prime, she ditched Richard Burton. Her first theatrical movie without him, after 11 extraordinary teammate movies, including the notorious TV film Divorce His, Hers, was something called Night Watch from 1973.

Now streaming for the first time ever.

This is vintage Taylor:  extraordinary wardrobe, great hair, jewels to die for, and a svelte damsel Liz in distress.

Night Watch is a paranoid’s nightmare.

As the rich and disdainful Ellen with a swish of silver in her hair, she does jigsaw puzzles and entertains her girlhood friend (Billie Whitelaw) in indolent luxury. Her palacial home, unfortunately, is next to some abandoned, ramshackle mansion that seems haunted.

As she does a jigsaw of Bosch’s painting of Hell, she thinks she has seen a murder in a thunderstorm across the garden. Alas, police think she is bonkers, and her husband (Laurence Harvey) isn’t more helpful, trying to find an old psychiatrist to commit her.

Before you can say Gaslight, the old classic about a mad wife, you may have Hitchcock’s Suspicion on your hands. Perhaps too the director and writer saw Barbara Stanwyk’s chestnut called Night Walker.

It’s all in the horror/mystery family, though this one is definitely high-end in its hoots & laughs quotient.

All while she suffers, Taylor’s insanity is a joy to behold. The suspects line up from every direction: former dead husband, his lover, a smarmy neighbor, a hostile housekeeper, and even cavalier police.

Who wants to drive her crazy? Or is she actually seeing dead people?

As the drama grows more overwrought, the pay-off is way beyond anything Taylor fans could ever desire. We loved every cliché moment. The ending was considered a surprise shock by most fans. Marvelous.

 

 

LeCarre’s Deadly Affair

DATELINE:  Cold War Spies

Serpentine dinner

When Sydney Lumet could not use the original name of George Smiley for his spy from the famous book, he came up with Dobbs. However, the man playing Dobbs was the always-brilliant James Mason. He was Smiley in any other name in The Deadly Affair.

As a spy mystery, this movie is the epitome of sophisticated and intelligent drama in the 1960s, down to the Astrid Gilberto theme song.

Few movies would feature a background scene of Macbeth as put on by the Royal Shakespeare Theatre as part of the plot. There you’d find a quite young Georgy Girl, Lynn Redgrave, before she teamed up with Mason again in her breakthrough role.

Harry Andrews and Kenneth Haigh provide solid support as allies to Mason’s disgruntled, cold spy who learns a man he interviewed pleasantly as a routine security check was not happy and committed suicide shortly thereafter. He is suspicious, rightfully.

Simone Signoret is right off the boat of Ship of Fools, and Maximilian Schell out of Judgment at Nuremberg. You have here something special in the litany of suspects.

John Dimech, one of the young stars of Lawrence of Arabia, made a small appearance here as a waiter at the Serpentine Restaurant. It was a swan song to a promising movie career.

Back then, this was the antidote to James Bond special effects and glamour. It is full of sound and fury signifying ennui.

The script has a couple of glorious hoots among the angst of the characters. It is, after all, vintage John LeCarre and a dandy spy mystery.

 

 

 

Trump’s New Idiot Cards

DATELINE: How to Influence People!

idiot list

To humanize President Trump, his aides now give him a crib sheet.

Yes, to help him remember how to be sensitive and how to conduct himself as a decent member of society, he is now given a sheet of instructions to carry with him in large block print.

All the easier to read for this self-professed “stable genius.”

Poor social skills are often the sign of genius, but in this case the lack of social skills may be more a sign of his lack of humanity. Trump is a human slug.

What do these cheat-sheet comments tell Trump?

He is to say, “I hear you.”

He should ask people, “What can I do to help?” We are not talking complex, hard-to-conceive commentaries. We are talking every-day, mundane, off-the-cuff throwaways.

Of course, there is no way to know if Trump will hear the answers to his comments, or even care what it is said. He may be on to the next point on his “top ten humanity points” list.

We may well ask who compiled a list of comments for him to make to those people who are not billionaires or millionaires, as he has often indicated he doesn’t think much of people who haven’t made a lot of money in their lives.

The humorist finds all these qualities or lack of qualities in President Trump to be fodder for jokes, but we also shake our proverbial noggin at the notion that we have a leader who knows nothing about how to talk to the people he purports to lead.

Trump doesn’t care, and neither do his apologists.

Oh, yes, Trump no longer has supporters. He must constantly be surrounded with people ready to apologize for his foibles, idiot character, and basic lack of humanity.

 

 

#TylerPerry @TylerPerry & Whatever Else like @TylerPerryNews

Attention: All dedicated Tyler Perry fans!

madea sings like ma

Once in a blue moon, a great story comes out just made for the right star. We have found it: a science fiction murder mystery with just the right dose of laughs.

An exciting and new science-fiction murder-mystery has a great role for everybody’s favorite Madea, impresario and master of movies, Tyler Perry.

Featuring some interesting comic situations, the character of Ma Hattie, rhythm and blues singer, takes on time-traveling space aliens and assassination conspiracy buffs as she helps her niece, an FBI agent, crack the case.

Second Shadow War is a story made for Tyler Perry’s unique talents.

Long-time fan and author Ralph T. O’Neal III, co-founder of the Black Union Conservative Caucus and Booksnbars an educational program for federal inmates, has created a role made in heaven for Tyler Perry’s unique style as director and actor.

Now if only someone can get the idea to Tyler, we’d be cooking.

You can find a website on Facebook, and Instagram for the story @shadowwarseries.

God’s Own Country: Forsaken and for Rent

DATELINE: Intelligent Human Drama

 god's grubby country

If you want a movie that combines Brokeback Mountain with Far from the Madding Crowd, you have fallen into the sheep dip of God’s Own Country.

In case you’re wondering, God’s country is in the Northumberland section of Scotland where sheep are sheep, and men are men.

Johnny (Josh O’Connor) is an uptight, hard-drinking, unhappy young man living with his handicapped father and aging mother on a remote sheep farm in cold, desolate, and in a kind of run-down in the dumps setting.  He spends time at the local pub and local urban area and meets a fair share of attractive men, but he is miserable.

He falls down on his homestead duties—and his father brings in a Romanian gypsy-type (but don’t call him that). It’s hate at first sight, until one of those cold, desolate outings to the outback where outing becomes all the rage.

This is actually a fascinating little film, way beyond the ground-breaking of Brokeback and unlikely to be made in America where sheepskin is only for college diplomas.

Actor Josh O’Connor has a rough-hewn attractiveness, and Alec Secareanu is smoldering. They really carry the movie, as the cast is tiny and the lack of population doesn’t make for much company.

When the affair consummates, it enflames, but the drama is far more subdued and intelligent. At least we don’t have to listen to disco dolly music and fashionistas with witty repartee.

This movie is by director and writer Francis Lee and comes from a world of whence he knows. Though the characters seem to think they are in God’s beautiful country, they clearly need to take a trip to the tropics.

In terms of gay films for a gay audience, this slice of life with calves being yanked out of a mother cow, and lambs being yanked out of ewes may be too much for city slickers. It’s nature’s way, apparently, when out in the country.  It will be too much muck for some viewers.

The Haunting of Patriot Place

DATELINE: Your Worst Nightmare

haunted

The ghost of Malcolm Butler now walks the halls of Patriot Place. Forget the Overlook Hotel and its shining denizens. Foxboro will be a worthy subject for Stephen King.

Like unfriendly spirits, this Patriot specter may hang around for decades, frightening children and bringing back the horrors of Super Bowl LII.

Bad karma often is behind the haunting appearances of ghosts.  We recall in Boston that the ghost of Babe Ruth put a curse on the Red Sox for 80 years. We now wonder if the ghost of Malcolm Butler might do the same for the Patriots.

If you wonder why the Patriots never win another Super Bowl in the 21st century, you will be wise to remember that the Butler did it.

Like some benighted head of the Inquisition, Bill Belichick made his decisions to burn the defense at the stake during the Super Bowl. Heretics be damned, and leading the charge was the ingrate (in Swami Belichick’s eyes), the man who tried to jump ship before the season began: Malcolm Butler.

It was an unforgivable sin—and now Malcolm Butler has paid for it with his reputation. Oh, someone will give him a big payday—and perhaps he will fade into oblivion in some other football venue.

However, in Foxboro, his curse will be laid upon Tom Brady worse than broken mirrors and contempt for sports superstition.

The howls in the night and the bumps and bangs you hear are the restless spirits of players done dirt by Bill Belichick.

Though he may go into retirement, he will leave a haunted Patriot Place for Josh McDaniels, forcing him to call in ghostbusters and hold séances for the betterment of the Kraft legacy.

Move over, Shirley Jackson, Gillette Stadium is the new house on Haunted Hill.

Steely Resolve on Oak Island

DATELINE:  Not Rock Bottom

oak-island

As we finish up one of the longest seasons of the five in the can on Curse of Oak Island, there is a sense again that we’re going nowhere fast.

However, more flooding in shafts and tunnels shows the doom of history repeating itself. Once again, a search effort has been thwarted by the lesson of the past: booby trap is thy name. This time the discovery seems to transcend all previous searches.

The Oak Island Lagina Brothers have found a steel plate 70-feet below the surface, preventing their dig.

Who put an iron cap over whatever is below, and why?

We suspect that the Knights Templar were indeed time travelers if they were able to create such engineering marvels on an obscure little island off the coast of Nova Scotia 800 years ago.

There can only be one more dive into the murky silt of the latest hole to find out what kind of steel plating is making a ceiling or a floor over history.

The latest episode also put forth the theory that the Templar gang was smuggling gold out of Europe under the disguise of a lead coating. If that holds true too, then metallurgy was alive and well in the time of Medieval knights. Gary Drayton, Oak Island’s resident metal detective, has his work cut out.

We can likely predict that any treasure or notable discovery of earth-shattering quality will require steel-shattering resolve. Another episode will follow, but we suspect we are going to be back here next season, probably in November, to hear the results of another summer of searching.

Truman’s Coldest Blood: Infamous & Capote

DATELINE:  Capote’s Clutter Story

Oscar Capote (Hoffman)

With a dozen years passing since Bennett Miller’s brilliant movie called Capote, we chose to look at it again. There were two Truman movies that year: competing for attention.

We felt at the time that Infamous with Toby Jones as Capote writing his non-fictive novel was the better. Phillip Seymour Hoffman won the Oscar.

We wished that the two films had mixed casts. It seems each had good points. We remain impressed with Hoffman’s work as Capote. A big man, he managed to convey a sense of the elfin Truman.  Jones was already the right size, being tiny.

Clifton Collins, Jr., remains so impressive in his work as Perry Smith, the sensitive killer with whom Capote seems to have fallen in love. Casting Daniel Craig in the other movie seems an odd choice. He was all wrong.

As in each movie, there is nothing more cold-blooded than a writer and his greatest work of literature. Don’t ever get between them.

Hoffman’s fey Capote has a ruthless, cold, hypocritical soul. He lies repeatedly to the killers of the Clutter family to gain their trust. Perhaps the two brutal murderers did not deserve much more than a lying hypocrite to befriend them.

Capote and his friend Harper Lee (also so well done by Catherine Keener) spend hours in Kansas doing research. Without her, Capote might not have a book—and he was less than supportive of her work, To Kill a Mockingbird, that she wrote even as she gave Truman her assistance.

We preferred Jeff Daniels as the detective on the case, though Chris Cooper is soberly affecting.

In the end, Capote did not want to discuss much with the killers until they gave him his ending and confessed how they did their murders. He also could not publish his book until they were executed. So, he simply stopped helping them find lawyers—and truly wanted them dead.

The flamboyant joke that Truman ultimately became likely came from his work on that book and his self-disgust. He never finished another book during the 20 years he lived after the execution of Perry Smith.

We still prefer the other Capote movie, Infamous, as a total movie experience, we must again give kudos to Capote as a film with impact and lasting emotional pain.

Ring-a-Ding-Ding for Tom Brady

DATELINE:  Bearing the Ring Bearer

scream up close Silent Screamer

It’s only been a year since Super Bowl LI. But for some Tom Brady palsy-walsy connection, the investment has been worth it in spades. No waiting for friendly profit when Tom Brady bankrolls you.

There are few things in life that return itself tenfold in value within one season.

Tom Brady’s authorized replica Super Bowl ring is one of them.

Like all Patriots, the players are allowed to have the team make slightly smaller, replica versions of the players’ ostentatious, tacky Super Bowl rings. That means it wasn’t quite as jewel-encrusted as you might expect if you played the game.

As a result, to hone this bejeweled ring took 10% off the original value. So, if you bought one of these items, or had it as a gift from Brady, it would only cost you (or him) about $30,000. We know from Tom’s video biography, that he gave one special ring to his mother.

We also know the ring-at-auction had Brady’s name etched into it: a dead giveaway of its giveaway.

We don’t know who, what, when, and where, other ring(s) may have gone.

We doubt that Tom’s mother’s the one who sold the ring for $350,000 this week.

We’ve been trying to rack our brains as to what Tom Brady connection or semi-close friend may have received a ring and sold it for 10 times its value. Parting is such sweet sorrow unless you make a quarter of a million bucks on it.

We keep coming back to the godfather of Brady’s child, Guru Alex Guerrero, Tom’s personal massage therapist and dietitian, not to mention Svengali And Mephistopheles.

If anyone has suggestions on which one of Tom’s friends sold his matching replica Super Bowl ring gift, please let us know.

We just don’t think members of the family would sell such an important memento. But, then again, Tom is out of the country. And those confounded mice will play while the Tomcat is away.

To make a quarter of $1 million profitability, we know we would sell it. But we are mercenary, cold-hearted, and ruthless. Can’t you tell from our blog?

The Second Shadow War!

DATELINE:  Sci-fi, murder mystery, and romantic fantasy combined!

 

2ndShadowWarkindlecover RECOMMENDED! A True Sequel to Rider Haggard’s She!

Now available on Amazon in both paper and e-book

Author Ralph T. O’Neal III is co-founder of BooksnBars for federal prisoners and knows something about the political and shadow government operating in the United States!

 Following the characters and situations raised by the first Shadow War about the conflict between MJ-12 and the Vatican, the Second Shadow War takes on the motives and conspirators behind the Kennedy assassination. It’s a concoction of alchemy, merging three genres into something totally unusual.

Ralph T. O’Neal III has done it again, throwing the JFK’s assassination into the mix of MJ-12 conspiracies.

An evolving series, the characters repeat their roles and become enhanced with familiarity. Central character is a mysterious teenage boy who is half-human and half-space alien, the work of black ops in the federal government.

According to reviewer Mal Tempo: “If Agatha Christie and Arthur C. Clarke collaborated with H. Rider Haggard, this book would be the result.”

It is not a graphic novel, but something like it –but special, using Foto-Footnotes or illos to annotate the text.

A stunning story and a shocking conclusion! Conspiracy buffs and feminists will come alive reading this tale about She Who Must Be Obeyed, never gone from Earth and back for more.

 

DeHavilland Renews Legal Fight

DATELINE:  ‘Feud’ Subject & Creator Continues in Court

Real Feud Feud

Just when producer/director/writer Ryan Murphy thought he had beaten the clock on the lawsuit filed by Olivia DeHavilland, the 101 year-old movie star legend, she has risen up again.

It’s back on, set for a March trial.

She, as you may recall, took umbrage with her portrayal and use of name in the infamously entertaining series Feud, about the relationship of Bette Davis and Joan Crawford.

Miss DeHavilland insists that no one asked her permission to use her image and give words to her actress voice.

That’s probably because Ryan Murphy figured she was already deader than a doornail, like the rest of the characters in his hilarious series about Hollywood’s most rotten segment of the Golden Age.

Instead, Olivia rose up like Marley’s Ghost, warning Ryan Murphy. Now she is demanding the trial be held at a university where students may attend to see the shenanigans play out. Talk about a sense of drama.

Whether Miss DeHavilland will make the flight from her home in Paris is unknown, as she is elderly and frail. However, her spirit is not about to be buried by the likes of Hollywood upstarts like Ryan Murphy.

Murphy’s lawyers insist that if DeHavilland has her way, it will have a chilling effect on making docudramas where old historical figures come in and out of scenes uttering misquotes.

His money is on Miss Olivia DeHavilland croaking before the case, and his inevitable loss to a living legend, occurs. Our money is on Gone with the Wind‘s Melanie Wilkes, the survivor of The Snake Pit, the vindictive Heiress, and the Lady in a Cage.

Nutcase Shooter in Trump’s Camp

DATELINE: Trump Rallies the Troops

Cruz Trump Supporter

President Trump promised more federal aid for mentally ill people after the Florida shooter was revealed to be a troubled youth named Nikolas Cruz.

In his inimitable half-baked style, President Trump failed to mention the word ‘gun’ in his speech to the nation, but he did mention crazy people. He must have crazy on the mind.

This apparently was before he had learned that the shooter posted a picture on Instagram wearing one of Trump’s campaign hats, the notorious ‘Make America Great Again’ chapeaux.

Yes, you guessed it, Nikolas Cruz tried to make America great again by killing 17 people. Trump would not want you to know that he was a member of a white supremacist group,as well as a Trump supporter. That makes both Trump and Cruz two-time losers. Too bad we can’t deport those people.

Alas, Trump supporters are the salt of the earth and are genuine American citizens. Because the 19-year-old couldn’t buy a gun in Florida he went for an assault rifle. It’s much easier to shoot, buy, and use. He was partial to merchandise with American logos. Hence, he posted a photo wearing a bandana over his face with stripes on it.

As for more money for mentally ill Americans, already cut out of the health plan proposed by Trump, we think it is a good idea to have more money for the crazy people who voted for Mr. Trump. We can’t think of a group that needs more mental health than Trump supporters.

We can hardly wait for Sarah Shuckabee Slanders to rationalize this one.