Mrs. Brown, You Have a Lovely Horse

DATELINE: Early Dench Victoria

 Dench as Victoria Dench as younger Queen Victoria

Count on us to have it backwards. Judi Dench first played Queen Victoria over twenty years ago in Mrs. Brown. Her recent foray into the royal personage in Victoria and Abdul is a re-boot. We reviewed the later performance before the older.

Mrs. Brown is given a new title on your streaming list: it is inexplicably called Her Majesty, Mrs. Brown. The title of Mrs. Brown is what the detractors called the Queen, owing to her relationship to the horse whisperer from Scotland. No, she never married him, except in spirit.

Like Helen Mirren and her reprisals as Queen Elizabeth I and II, Judi Dench has made Queen Victoria Regina all her own.

The earlier depiction showed Victoria in the years after the death of Prince Albert, her beloved consort and time in which she was in deep mourning and totally inconsolable.

Enter a Scotsman who was Albert’s equestrian expert, a commoner with brutish manners by the common name of John Brown. Gerard Butler is nearly unrecognizable as the younger brother footman, Archie Brown.

Her royal society is scandalized as Brown consolidates power in her friendship. Billy Connolly is suitably kilt-worn and boor before the Boer War. He oversteps his bounds ultimately.

Whether the intimate twosome were romantically involved or whether Victoria was simply a lonely widow who needed companionship, the film coyly dances around.

The other characters clearly think her loose with her trappings.

One of the most amusing, and bemused, of the observers is Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli (Antony Sher) played with a perpetual smug as a canary-eating cat. Sher’s delightful performance gives the film a modern sensibility and balance.

Once again, we have a well-produced movie with Queen Victoria smarter than her subjects, the film’s subject, and even smarter than the script. This movie is Downton Abbey on a regal scale.

You will find another bio-film worth your time. Judi Dench is at the top of her game.

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Coast-to-Coast Empire: Men Who Built America

Nathan Stevens as Kit   Nathan Stevens as Kit Carson

DATELINE:  On the American Frontier

The final installment of the History Channel epic in four parts, The Men Who Built America: Frontiersmen, satisfied on all fronts.

With an opening focus on the death of Davy Crockett in Texas, we found his arch-enemy, Andrew Jackson, had no use for the frontier hero in life, but certainly discovered his use in death. The annexation of Texas was another piece in the Jackson destiny for America.

However, his term was up—and his handpicked successor in politics was James K. Polk. He would finish the job by appointing another politically savvy man with ambition, John C. Fremont, to find a way to the Pacific through Oregon. Fremont needed someone in the ilk of Boone and Crockett to achieve his end: he found another in a line of homicidal wild men in the person of the pipsqueak Kit Carson.

Standing a shade over 5 feet tall, he was a dangerous and brave overage juvenile delinquent. You couldn’t ask for a man better suited to open up the pristine empire of America for settlers, a family friend of Daniel Boone.

Given over to Carson’s astounding abilities and achievements, the show rests heavily on the shoulders of another young actor, Nathan Stevens, who acquits himself mostly with a face that speaks volumes.

If the series has any stirring quality, it is the discovery of two new faces—Robert I. Mesa as Tecumseh, and now in the final episode, of Nathan Stevens as Kit Carson. They make the stories of myth and courage compelling adventure tales.

Illiterate and monosyllabic, Kit Carson was a man made for opening an empire. Though Polk wanted Fremont to galvanize the Americans living in California to revolt against Mexico, he was a tad too early: nature would take its course within a few years with the Gold Rush.

Nothing better suits American destiny than the clamoring crowds looking for a get-rich scheme.

Whether its accuracy is total or not, the series provides an entertaining and unvarnished look at American pioneer spirit.

To Utah & Back: Episode 4

 DATELINE: Curse of Civil War Gold

If you keep wondering when representatives of philanthropist Charles Hackley will sue the producers of this series for defamation of character, we are with you.  We are up to Episode 4 of The Curse of Civil War Gold and the defaming of Mr. Hackley continues full force.

The only curse from this series we see so far is the one put on viewers.

Gold panner Kevin Dykstra continues his unfounded assault on a 19th century banker who invested in a Utah gold mine, built a railroad, and according to speculation, brought Confederate gold out west to launder it.

There’s no gold like fool’s gold.

Evidence is in short supply, but conspiracy theory abounds. If you are wondering if this series can sink any lower, you should tune in next week when it literally hits bottom of Lake Michigan.

As for this week, what can you say about a group of grown men who drive 1700 miles to Utah and back in one week? Their excursion in the desert lasts about three days, and not one is apparently spent in a motel. Nor is there money for flying.

What’s interesting is how totally unprepared they truly are.

Indeed, they go out to Utah without a plan or previous research. When they get there, they ask passers-by for information. They never heard of the Internet.

Without any discernible information of reliable and valid import, they head out to the desert looking for railroad tracks. There is no local guide, no one with experience or expertise in desert conditions.

They have a gun and three campers and all-terrain vehicles to go looking for a needle in a haystack (their description).

Yes, they traipse through the mountains looking for old mine openings, no matter how dangerous or condemned.

One intrepid younger brother of Kevin Dykstra has the temerity to tell him not to enter a dangerous cave where a mountain lion has made its lair. (There are three brothers on this series, outdoing the Laginas by one).

Can this series deteriorate any faster?

Marty Lagina better give these guys food money, though not one looks like he is starved.

At hour’s end, they have no evidence for their efforts in Utah. They must go to Marty Lagina with only a silver coin found by old friend Gary Drayton.

Lo and behold, as they enter the palace of Marty Lagina, intimidating in itself, they discover he is not impressed with their lack of evidence. However, someone told him about the show’s ratings.  There’s gold in the History Channel audience.

He will finance another few episodes. Whether we have the interest to pursue them may be the bigger question. So many words, so little hard evidence. Ho-hum.

Murphy Trumps Olivia DeHavilland

DATELINE: Lady in a Caged Lawsuit

 Miss De havilland to you

DeHavilland as vindictive Heiress (1949)

Perhaps the 101-year-old legendary star actress has outlived her own values.

According to a California court, Miss Olivia De Havilland has no right to stop an unflattering portrayal of herself in Ryan Murphy’s ripe black comedy called Feud. It’s the nasty tale of how Bette Davis and Joan Crawford spoiling for a fight over their careers and in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane.

Miss DeHavilland’s character called her own sister, actress Joan Fontaine, a “bitch” on screen, to which De Havilland objected. She called her many things, but never bitch.

She would have preferred “dragon lady,” but the producers of Feud and the courts felt that it was too archaic and not colorful enough to suit the story. Olivia De Havilland was kicked harder than Joan Crawford in Baby Jane, all in the name of artistic expression.

If the law is to be understood nowadays, you don’t have a right to stop the First Amendment, however disabused you may suffer at the hands of hack writers.

In all likelihood, Ryan Murphy, smug as ever, never realized Olivia DeHavilland, a two-time Oscar winner for 1940 and 1949, was still alive. He continued to call her “Olivia” this year, as if they were on a first-name basis, throughout the legal case.

So, Miss De Havilland stayed in seclusion in Paris while Hollywood glamour types and writers now have open season on living beings. A screenwriter can put whatever words he wants into your mouth, all in the name of artistic freedom, and therein rests the script.

Hollywood’s new bread-and-butter is the documentary bio-film with re-enactors and colorful revisions to history. Miss De Havilland did not stand a chance, and we wouldn’t blame her for calling Ryan Murphy “a son of a bitch.”

Trump: Not a Pretty Picture

DATELINE:  Overexposure of the President

AvenattiMickey Spillane Avenatti

We have not seen any hush money, and Trump’s lawyer has not threatened us with castration, so here goes:

Those who remember history know that the sex scandal element that brought down Michael Jackson and caused him to pay millions in punitive damage was a picture worth a few more dollars than words.

Michael Jackson, under court order and police escort, had to allow photos of his privates, which could be clearly identified by his accusers. Yes, the photos were spot on.

Now we hear from Stormy Daniels’ lawyer, the Mickey Spillane of crime, Mickey Avenatti, that his accuser can prove l’affair d’amour fou by describing the pigmentation of the pig.

If the thought of an obese president “perched” on the edge of his bed is not enough to make you think of snuff movies, the idea that we may hear that Trump’s best defense is to allow photos ‘where the sun don’t shine.’

Mr. Trump can take some consolation that the pictures of Michael Jackson have never been leaked, not even by Wikileaks, one of Trump’s favorites leaks. No, we don’t want to see Trump taking a leak in hand.

You may need more than Depends to hide the image from your mind’s eye.

If there never was a scene in which Mr. Trump was given thirty lashes with a wet newsmagazine on his Trump rump, we may need to have the pictures to disprove it.

At least now we know where the media can hurt Trump on his red rump, according to his Snapchat.

The question is not to be or not, but whether Stormy weather may sink the Trump brand.

A photo of Trump’s genitalia may not be a pretty picture, but Mickey Avenatti seems willing to pose the question for animal crackers. Infra-red pix may finally send the only woman who matters in Trump’s life, Melania, to give him a swift kick to his exposed  scrotum.

 

 

 

Creepy Nazi Creatures: Documentary

DATELINE: Animals as Pawns of Nazi Germany

 Nazi creatures

Nazi Creatures, a recent documentary, may seem like a stretch on a topic of Nazi history—reaching the most banal and silly lengths. However, you would be foolish to ignore this examination of the psychology of those who believed in a “Master Race.” Its first application was breeding animals.

From the earliest Nazi actions, which included Hitler’s laws to protect horses and dogs, the brilliant propaganda moves of the Nazis brought together horse lovers and dog lovers to their side.

The United States even gave plaudits for this first Nazi law in 1933 to protect dumb animals. It was, however, a clever and snide way to attack Jews and their treatment of animals for “kosher” meats. Nothing was pure about vegetarian Hitler.

Dog parades might seem ridiculous as a means to create national spirit, but the Nazis were prolific breeders of the “German” shepherd: a dog that was aggressive and became a symbol of ferocious police action.

Indeed, Hitler felt to breed a better version of Doberman and sheepdog would be perfect to herd members of concentration camps whom he regarded as sub-human.

Hitler kidnapped all the pure-breed horses of Europe to his own reservations where they could be turned into a master race of animals; it was a precursor to breeding humans to a pure level.

Twisting the science of Darwin, the Nazis were proponents of animal hypocrisy: their Berlin zoo was a place to laud “Germanic” animals and create preserves and reservations for restoring the extinct species of aggressive cows as big as elephants.

Ultimately, you have more questions than the documentary raises about the twisted logic of Nazis (that wanted to save their pure-bred horses from the Russians who would use them for horse-meat to feed starving people). The Americans were more sympathetic to  animals and fell for the propaganda.

This documentary raises issues about whether Hitler would ever leave his beloved dog, Blondi, if he were to escape the bunker. Instead, he experimented by killing the dog with cyanide. That’s the ultimate consideration of Nazi creatures.

Emperor Norton’s Bridge: TV in 1956!

DATELINE:  Writer Jan Merlin as Writer Bret Harte

norton1

Edgar Stehli as Emperor Norton with actor Jan Merlin.

Recently we heard from the “Emperor’s Bridge Campaign” in San Francisco and its president, John Lumea. They are a historical group that has amassed a collection of memorabilia about Emperor Norton, a 19th century citizen who was considered pixilated, but clairvoyant about the future.

It seems my old collaborator and dear friend, Jan Merlin, appeared on a TV show in 1956 that detailed Emperor Norton’s life. Jan played another writer by the name of Bret Harte.

After his acting career, Jan had a prolific writing career, even winning an Emmy for television writing. We always thought he was Bret Harte’s equal.

So, when we received a pristine copy of an old Telephone Time TV show, we were eager to view it. We had seen it 30-odd years ago. We know that Jan Merlin never really had a chance to watch his performances on television in those days.

Merlin was too busy each week, preparing for the next role, as he was active in dozens of TV shows and feature films in far-flung places like Kenya with Ann Sheridan. He saw many shows only a few years ago. Some he has never seen. This appearance was a rare sympathetic role. Usually he was a baddie in TV westerns—and plugged at the last minute of the show–and showdown.

Sixty years later, Jan still looks much the same, still youthful, but is now in his retirement, probably the only survivor of that long-ago show on Norton with the exception of a child actress, Cheryl Callaway, who had a scene.

Edgar Stelhi played Emperor Norton. We almost didn’t recognize him with his Trump-style wig. He also was quite active on television in the 1950s. His best role in movies was opposite Audie Murphy as the old judge in No Name on the Bullet. Jan also did a couple of movies with Audie—and his TV show too as a guest.

A 25-minute teleplay was chock full of intriguing moments, including a scene in which Norton is mocked in a saloon with a fake crown and seated among his detractors; it reminded one of those Renaissance paintings on the mocking of Christ by his captors.

Owing to the vigilance of Jan’s character, Norton’s past is revealed—and he wins accolades for his ideas.

Now a San Francisco group has taken up Norton’s cause, to the point of hoping to rename a section of the Bay Bridge after the old emperor.

Old TV shows never die. They end up in media museums, awaiting re-discovery. 

Among their books, Jan Merlin and William Russo have written a memoir about Frankie Thomas, child star of the 1930s to TV star of the 1950s on Tom Corbett: Space Cadet. The biography is available on Amazon in paper and e-book, for smart readers. As a team, they have written four other non-fiction works and one novel, plus several chapters in biographical anthologies.

 

 

Queen Has Case of Munshis

DATELINE:  Raj & Victoria

 Queeen has munshis

When Judi Dench plays the grande dame of Victoria Regina, Queen of England for fifty years in her dotage, you have a treat, directed by great Stephen Frears.

Though the film begins with a “mostly” true advisory about the screenplay, we later learn most records were destroyed, leaving us wondering where the truth ends.  A Muslim in the royal court in aftermath of Gordon of Khartoum may be more than scandalous, but never discussed in this film.

Victoria & Abdul is definitely fascinating to behold. The tale revolves around the accidental meeting and attraction between the old monarch and a visiting servant whose chance encounter becomes a powerful connection. Ali Fazal more than appropriately is the charming Abdul Karim who like Thomas Becket rises and rises in the royal estimation, to the consternation of those with racist and class snobbery in Victorian England.

Also in the cast, in his last major role, is Tim Piggott-Smith, no stranger to India, as the star of the great series, Jewel in the Crown, some thirty years ago. Here, he is the exasperated Sir Henry who must put up with Her Majesty’s whims.

From a sluggish old woman bored with her long reign, Victoria shows the flashes of her brilliance in later years—facing an onslaught from her royal staff and son Prince Bertie (Eddie Izzard in fine fettle), threatening her with an insanity hearing.

Yet, the story is more often in its start, a comedy of manners, slight and amusing before the more tragic consequences overwhelm the principals. Victoria urges Karim to leave England because she cannot protect him after she dies—and she knows too well the dark forces in the royal household.

Epic tales of the Raj and the British Empire are always perfect material for movies and miniseries. Fans of that genre will not be disappointed with this delightful and moving film.

Ossurworld’s persnickety movie reviews have been collected in several volumes. You can find them on Amazon in paperback and ebook formats for smart readers. Look for titles like:

Movie Mashup

Worth Your Time?

Is It Real…or Just Another Movie? 

or

Movie Gold or Fool’s Gold.

 

American Frontier Builders, Episode 3

 Andrew Jackson (w/Trump hair no less)!

 Andrew Jackson with Trump hair

DATELINE: Live Free or Die

If this documentary is to be believed, Andrew Jackson had less hair than Donald Trump. It simply is untrue.

In this episode, future president William Henry Harrison parlayed his racist hatred of American Indians into a political career. He capped off his military life, allegedly saving the American frontier in Michigan and Ohio during the War of 1812.

History Channel’s brilliant series Men Who built America: Frontiersmen continued to impress with another episode.

Though massacres by native Americans of women and children came as a result of massacres of Native American women and children, the winners write history. In the southern territory, another homicidal racist leads the charge: Andrew Jackson.

What comes out of a new generation of American frontier heroes is a defining moment of national character. You can look far beyond the Last of the Mohicans and Fenimore Cooper’s early stance that typifies Boone and Crockett. The real development at this point was a brand of American hero that still resonates.

Rugged individualists, tough guys, hard-drinking, smooth talking trackers and rough-necks were the start of the Sam Spade/Mickey Spillane macho men of America. You could find two more emerging here:  Andrew Jackson and Davy Crockett.

They met and worked on the military battle for New Orleans and Mississippi during the War of 1812.

Crockett became appalled at the genocidal racism of Jackson against Native Americans—and they became bitter opponents for the rest of their lives.

Using their brawling sense of Americanism to beat the British the latest subjects Jackson and Crockett become, like Lewis & Clark, men who had differing reactions to diverse populations that made up the burgeoning nation. Jackson wanted ethnic cleansing for his slave-owning friends in the cotton industry.

Jackson’s racism was far worse than that of Harrison, but they enabled that sort of destiny to thrive. Harrison wanted badly to eradicate Tecumseh as a step in his pure American road to the west coast. Pan-America meant there could be no Pan-Tribal Native world. Jackson wanted to remove all Indians.

Put aside your notion of Charlton Heston as Meriwether Clark and Andrew Jackson. Drop your memories of Fess Parker playing Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone in our mythical Hollywood history stories. This series has re-enactors who are not stars, nor even close to titan size, but the stories are big.

That’s the difference between the 1950s movies and TV and today’s cable channel history documentaries. This time Andrew Jackson is missing his Trump hair-do, but viewers may recognize the typecast.

Hitchcock’s Little Bang!

 DATELINE:  Short Suspense Subject by the Master!

Mumy boy

What a treat to find ourselves looking at the last half-hour episode of his TV series actually directed by Mr. Hitchcock himself.

Sandwiched between Psycho and The Birds, he gave us a gift of a timeless tale about dangerous weapons in the hands of children. “Bang! You’re Dead” is a minor gem.

Once again, he used a child star who would soon climb to more legendary fame. Back in 1954, he came up with Jerry Mathers as the little boy who discovers the dead Harry in Trouble with Harry. Mathers later went on to more trouble with Leave It To Beaver Cleaver.

In 1961, he picked out Billy Mumy, half-a-dozen years before he made a star burst on Lost in Space. Mumy was an extraordinary child actor, and his brilliant performance makes the episode all the more chilling. In one scene, while adults around him talk, he keeps an unblinking eye on his uncle, just returned from Africa and promising a special gift to the boy.

In an age when all the boys were pretending to be cowboys and had hats and guns, Mumy finds a gun and bullets in his uncle’s suitcase and presumes this is his gift. He puts one round in the chamber and switches his toy gun for the real one.

Spinning the chamber as if playing Russian Roulette, he begins a journey around the neighborhood, figuring to plug those people who give him a hard time: and there are plenty of candidates from the mailman to an annoying father and daughter at the supermarket.

Hitch zeroes in on the little fingers stuffing more bullets into the chamber and spinning away, making each shot more likely to hit a mark.

The excruciating suspense is nasty as each incident makes the growing menace more frightening. At the least, the episode ends with seven years of bad luck.

Extraordinary short film is from the seventh season of Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

 

Civil War Gold: In Plain Wrapper

DATELINE:  History Channel’s Lack of Glitter

Those amateur gold diggers are still trying to impress Marty Lagina, no easy mark when it comes to wheedling his money out of his winery, on Curse of the Civil War Gold. The hapless hunters of the new series insist that Jeff Davis’s stash of gold was stolen and dumped in Lake Michigan.

Now, if only someone would believe them!

The latest episode, number 3, is called “In Plain Sight,” but nothing is obvious, except the lack of logic in the entire gold hunt operation.

Leader Dykstra never really tells us where his ideas come from: just old research. So, it’s hard to know why he is so convinced that there is a tunnel under a street connecting two banks, or why he mistrusts a 19th century Michigan philanthropist, accusing him of money-laundering, receiving stolen goods, and deceiving everyone.

When Mr. Dykstra gathers his amateur crew to take down a foundation wall under the old bank where he contends the gold was hidden, it nearly falls on them. Talk about idiocy. Marty Lagina has a moral obligation to either give them money, or have them locked up.

Oh, there was no evidence in the bank vault—and it didn’t belong to Al Capone either. Those who don’t remember Geraldo Rivera are doomed to repeat history.

We enjoyed Marty Lagina saying that the new cast reminds him of his own Oak Island searches. The big difference is that they are broke, and he has a gold business in grapes. Yep, Marty already has his millions and seems unwilling to cough up the moolah for these alleged researchers.

Of course, the old standby comes into play: yes, it’s those pesky Masons who have taken the Confederate gold, and left all kinds of symbols in the town architecture for treasure hunters where they hid the gold. These guys find a giant X right in the center of town.

We are exasperated with blaming the Masons for everything from Oak Island to ancient aliens. If our great Uncle John was still with us, we’d put his 33rd degree Masonic feet to the fire to see what he knew about this stuff.

First Sci-Fi Western with Gene Autry

DATELINE: The Real Westworld

 autry

In 1935 came radio’s singing cowboy star Gene Autry, ready to make the transition to the silver screen. He wound up bigger than John Wayne (at least in the money department, and sang ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ to his ever-lasting fame).

His first movie was a serial from Mascot called The Phantom Empire in which he played, no one else but, Gene Autry, the singing cowboy. His costars were irksome Frankie Darro and Dorothy Christie. It also marked his first appearance with comic cowboy Smiley Burnett.

Phantom Empire is staggering in its uniqueness. The Scientific City of Murania is buried five miles under Gene’s dude ranch and is upset by all the activity going on above their kingdom. Ancient Aliens should do an episode on this legendary city that buried itself 100,000 years ago.

Queen Tika is an autocrat at the TV screen. She may be the first person to own a giant screen—and she watches more TV action than a movie critic in his home theatre.

The serial contains cell phones, nuclear torpedoes, death rays, resuscitation machines, more robotic workers than Westworld, and everyone wears capes, including the Thunder-Guard in gas masks who ride the range on horses.

Evil archaeologists want to unearth Murania for money, not fame. They are guests at Gene’s radio ranch and plot to eliminate the singing cowboy tout suite. Worse for Autry, Queen Tika (Dorothy Christie playing it like RuPaul) wants him dead too.

Autry is put into a Lightning Death Chamber and then revived in a hyperbaric convection oven that looks like a microwave out of The Day the Earth Stood Still. Indeed, the robots bear a resemblance to Gort.

This is big budget on a small budget for effects—and it astounds at every turn, including the single express elevator that shoots up and down from the surface.

Murania seems to be the lost continent of Atlantis out West. And, the music goes from Autry’s cornpone tunes to some futuristic serial orchestral suite to convey sheer insanity.

In twelve looney episodes.

 

 

 

 

 

Hernandez Doc Part 2, Revisionists’ Whitewash

DATELINE:  Innocent at Last Laugh!

 

scary

It only took 24 hours before participants began to regret their roles in the documentary Aaron Hernandez Uncovered. Several Boston media people expressed concern that their words were misused or taken out of context.

Former Patriot and one of the experts cited, Christian Fauria, disdained the “shady” nature of attorney Jose Baez’s production. Two conservative radio personalities also expressed the concern that the final product did not come out the way they expected.

So much for cogent experts and their insights, as Jose Baez faces the camera, in consulting producer’s hubris, to state he could have won the verdict in the first trial. He felt that Hernandez was one of three potential killers—and the prosecutors wanted to fry the big fish, Patriot star Hernandez.

We hate to tell consulting producer and blowhard Baez, but jurors can find someone guilty of murder without a weapon because they decide what “reasonable doubt” is.

Shayanna Hernandez certainly celebrates her obtuseness by expressing disappointment that Robert Kraft, owner of the Patriots, who was always so nice to Hernandez, had the temerity to tell the truth, even if it did not help the murderer. She never married the player, and did dirty work to protect his income, and lists herself as Mrs. Hernandez in the credits.

Re-enactments also showed all three stalking Odin Lloyd before Hernandez shot him. Of course, two of those present insisted that Lloyd and Hernandez went off into the dark together for whatever purposes Lloyd presumed.

Baez insists that there was no motive for Hernandez to shoot people, but that he was merely the victim of his concussed career. This ignores the ends Hernandez would pursue to keep his gay sex life from being revealed—and alienating his cadre of semi-macho fans and media sycophants like Kirk Minihane.

Baez managed to win an acquittal for the double homicide charge, which likely makes him accessory to something.

Some might call the Hernandez tale a Greek tragedy, but it more likely is in the sham tradition of a Fox News special.

 

 

Aaron Hernandez Uncovered and Covered Up

DATELINE:  Strange Case

strange

When hotshot celebrity attorney Jose Baez becomes the producer of a documentary on his dead client, you know he will make his retainer fees one way or another.

Aaron Hernandez Uncovered, Part 1 gathers together a unique and motley crew to assess the innocence of the former Patriot star who was an alleged serial killer.

You might also question the cast of interviewed experts and their lack of objectivity—from the moronic sports media who set themselves up as knowledgeable about all facets of gay life to psychological suffering. They might better serve us by admitting they know nothing.

We certainly can understand the position of Hernandez’s girlfriend and mother of his child. She has an unenviable and unavoidable role as his defender. Like Custer’s wife, she will be a formidable force for decades to come.

If anything, from his earliest years, Aaron was regarded as a meal-ticket—from his father who died too soon, to the series of pals and gangsters who saw him as a mark too easy.

We too are guilty of having written about Hernandez and exploited his troubles, with a sarcastic and mean-spirited approach day-by-day during his two trials. You’d be surprised at how unpopular our blog has become, accusing us of emotional sadism.

We noted what Jose Baez tells us as gospel truth and insight, is likely the opposite in reality.

Warning signs are never far away in hindsight. Hernandez had plenty. We could likely learn more from the people who have chosen NOT to participate in this documentary: many Patriot teammates who knew him best.

Where was Tom Brady who trained with Hernandez and even invited him to California for a pre-kill visit? Gronk never befriended him, keeping a distance, and Wes Welker’s run-in was a predictor of a dangerous character. It’s in our book.

Tebow, the Pouncey Twins, and other enablers at Florida never agree to speak in this film.

Kraft and Belichick have taken to revisionist history, which excludes anything Hernandez, having nearly been roped into his trials.

Part One is painfully and skillfully adept at skirting the gay issues that are likely at the heart of his troubles, starting with his endowment that gave him a free ride in the gay world. He was a big man on campus and in the locker room, and he was proud to publicize it.

Featuring the most flattering pix of Hernandez, the story slants away from psychopathia: according to Baez, spindly and epicene Carlos Ortiz was a bodyguard to Aaron. He tended to like slight men who compared to his bizarre ideal of tattoo macho mesomorph.

Groundwork is laid in Part One to note Hernandez was a ‘walking concussion’ poster child. Concussions made him do it, and you can blame the NFL and football violence for that.

 

 

Call It a Name Oscar Wilde Dares Not Speak

DATELINE:  Calling Your Name

Chalamet Timothee Chalamet, aka Lolita!

If you’re wondering about the title of the movie Call Me by Your Name, it is a sign of gay regression.  In an age when women keep their own name upon marriage, gay men are prepared to give up theirs.

 

This is the movie that its young teenage star (Timothee Chalamet) earned an Oscar nomination. It’s not so much for performance, but for the fact that he plays the most intelligent teenager on film in almost a decade or perhaps longer.

 

Like Sue Lyon 50 years ago, Chalamet epitomizes a male Lolita, also earning an Oscar nomination as a supporting actor and symbol of loincake. The only things missing from his acting are heart-shaped sunglasses and a lollipop.

 

Elio is a bilingual, bisexual child prodigy at the piano. His father is an important professor who spends the summer in Italy and needs a long-in-the-tooth graduate student assistant to do nothing in particular. The characters seem to be on an endless vacation. Elio mostly cavorts around in his bathing suit.

 

The story is adapted from a novella by James Ivory which caught our eye. He wrote all those great Ivory-Merchant movie screenplays 30 years ago. As he approaches 90-years of age, he has come up with another one: stunning ennui on display.

 

Armie Hammer played Leonardo’s boyfriend in Hoover, and was Depp’s boyfriend in the Lone Ranger, and now has his sights on a teenager who is more winsome and more often unclothed than Frankie Avalon in his prime Beach Party get-up.

 

Pardon us, but teenagers are lacking experience and maturity—and Humbert Humberts of the world never seem to learn this.

 

Chalamet and Hammer insist they are not gay, but only play gay (for pay) on screen.