DATELINE: Hard Knocks?
Culprit caught red-handed.
Culprit caught red-handed.
DATELINE: The Empire Collapses
Many Patriot haters have waited 20 years for the moment. The parallel in history may be the Fall of the Roman Empire: the barbarians are at the gate, and Belichick and Brady are fleeing the chaos.
DATELINE: Back to the Future?
Tom Prepares for Saturday!
Tom Brady believes he’s found a way to send himself back to his glorious youthful past with a new fangled Time Machine!
Two UMass graduate students from the Giselle Bundchen Fountain of Youth Foundation have built the contraption.
A prototype device to send Tom back to his best days as a quarterback will be ready for Saturday’s game against the Titans. Gronk claims. “It’s like eating cumquat ice cream. There’s no spike of taste.”
Fans need to know the basics of Albert Einstein’s theory of special relativity, which states that time accelerates or decelerates depending on the speed at which an object is moving. Tom will be faster out of the pocket, claims Julian Edelman.
Essentially, the Tom Brady could zip around Josh McDaniels’ game plan, and when they returned to the bench, 21 points will have been scored. Fans may miss it if they go to the bathroom. Brady would seem to have traveled to the future.
But while the Boston sports media accept that skipping forward in time in that way is probably possible, time traveling to the past is a whole other issue — and one Belichick plans to use with laser beams and hidden cameras.
As NBCSports commentators explained to NASA, Tom’s idea for a time machine hinges upon another Einstein theory, the general theory of relativity. According to that theory, massive objects bend space-time — an effect we perceive as being the GOAT — and the stronger the GOAT is, the slower time passes.
“If you can bend space, there’s a possibility of you twisting space,” Tom Brady told teammates during practice this week. “In Einstein’s theory, what we call space also involves time — that’s why it’s called space time, whatever it is you do to space also happens to Tom and time.”
Brady believes it’s theoretically possible to twist time into a loop that would allow for time travel into his salad days. A few skeptics claim he will never return from such an adventure and may end up as QB for the Oakland Raiders.
Even Brady concedes that his idea is wholly theoretical at this point. And that even if his time machine does work, he admits, it would have a severe limitation that would prevent anyone from, say, coming back in time from beating the Titans.
“You can send information back,” he told CNN, “but you can only send it back to the point at which you turn the machine on.”
DATELINE:Roots of Career Destruction
If you want to trace the root of all the problems of the great director Orson Welles, you can go straight to Rio. After the fame and accolades of Citizen Kane, Welles took on two simultaneous projects –Magnificent Ambersons and Journey into Fear.
They filmed at adjoining sound stages at RKO, and he ran from one to the other in costume, trying to act and/or direct. Both are stunning films, but flawed. If only he had put full attention to each.
That’s when Nelson Rockefeller called and told him he had a duty to build bridges with South America to stop any Nazi foothold from developing. He went there on a good will trip to make a documentary—and the rest is catastrophe.
It’s All True is the name of this doc, and it was to be the name of three films made in Brazil. Alas, he went down there with no specific plan—but to research and film. He decided to make a film about the political and social conditions by showing the history of samba. Welles is quite a sympathetic figure here.
In the middle of trying to put together rushes and a plot, RKO underwent change of ownership—and shelved his project, leaving Welles in the lurch.
As he was about to film a voodoo ceremony, he could not pay the participants. One ringleader visited, quite upset, and put a spike with red ribbon through the script It was a curse of the moviedom and doom.
Welles knew it, and he spent the rest of his career trying to finish films when money ran out. He knew he should have simply moved on, but could not.
This film would have been fascinating if it had focused on the problems of making his movies—but most of the footage he made was found in 1985. It actually comprises (without soundtrack) more than half of this film.
Beautiful footage may well tell us masterpieces were lost. However, we don’t need more than one bite to prove the point. Overlong and overkill marks this 1993 attempt to show the master’s work, rather than the master at work.
DATELINE: Across Culture and Sexual Stereotypes
George pulls an Errol Flynn Moment on Star Trek!
You have known him as the original Sulu on Star Trek since 1966. George Takei is as familiar as an old shoe. His autobio- documentary is To Be Takei.
Yet, his life is both moving and horrifying. As a child he was sent to several Japanese camps in Arkansas because his family was deemed disloyal and dangerous. He was subjected to an American concentration camp—and though embittered, never let it ruin his life.
Howard Stern’s radio program gave him a voice outside his acting—and made him an activist in the gay rights scene. He was in the closet until 2005 when he charged out and married his 20-year companion Brad Altman.
The little bio is filled with clips of his performances—from Twilight Zone to Rodan (voice-over) to costarring with John Wayne in The Green Berets. His family supported his acting career, but felt he would be typecast and given limited roles. He appears to have transcended the Asian stereotype while becoming the new Franklin Pangborn.
There are surprises, of course: Leonard Nimoy genuinely liked and respected him—and the animosity between Takei and Shatner is beyond uncomfortable. We don’t know what put these two into feud mode, but there it is in this film at every turn.
If the life-story tends to focus considerably on his life partner, it is understandable—as they fought for gay marriage in California. They ran into hostile people like Schwarzenegger, but George also won over Ronald Reagan to win restitution for the Japanese Americans who suffered in camps during World War II.
His busy life continues with no end in sight. To be Takei is to be a show biz dynamo/dreidel. He continues to spin and provide everyone with a big charge.
DATELINE: Perfect Choice
Why watch a docudrama about the life of Neil Armstrong? You can see his home movies and watch him in newsreel footage. The extraordinary documentary called Armstrong presents a most intriguing man you never knew.
In fact, no one seemed to know him. He was quiet as a church-mouse, reclusive amid a social world of military and popular science. His friends (so labeled) said he was silent and to himself, meaning they did not know him. They knew only that he was a top-notch aviator, smart and talented.
His siblings could tease him about reading an aeronautics, and he’d smile in response. If anything will strike you about how handsome he was, it is that he was also so young-looking, even at 40 when he went to the Moon.
You will also know that Neil Armstrong would never participate in any fraud or coverup. He was mid-Western American honest, like Abe Lincoln. He went to the Moon—and you better believe it.
Harrison Ford, no less, speaks the words of Neil. It is a perfect choice, as we hear from Armstrong’s fellow astronauts. Of all, Frank Borman clearly is the one who likes him and admires him most. Even Neil’s youngest son notes his father was “not verbose.”
No, Buzz Aldrin declined to participate in this documentary.
He was a Korean War hero who saw death up close and remained shaken and stoic to the world. This was a remarkable man. He dismissed comparisons to Columbus with humor: he did not want to end up someplace other than his destrination, as happened to Columbjus.
In one home movie he gives a book by willy Ley to his young son for Christmas. How amusing, as Ley was a friend of Jan Merlin (my frequent coauthor) and cience advisor to the 1950s science fiction show, Tom Corbett. Ah, connections, third degree.
DATELINE: DDT & Radiation Conjoin
Carson Takes Them ON!
American Experience presented another brilliant and important biography a few years ago: on Rachel Louise Carson, who saw the horror and dangers of DDT in the years before World War II.
A reclusivse, scholarly woman years ahead of the curve, she started off by calling herself R.L. Carson because she thought a genderless male would be received better in a science field as writer.
She was unable to complete her Ph.D. in biology, owing to family responsibilities, and also suffered a set-back when Reader’s Digestrejected her warning about the poisonous chemical, DDT. After all, killing mosquitos and ticks was more important than any health issue.
Carson was horrified when the US government sprayed DDT down the pants of Italians after the war to kill lice. Some even sprayed it on their food to prove it could be digested.
She also began to see a parallel to radiation poisoning from fall-out after H-bomb testing. Yet, a better world through chemistry was America’s mantra. You even had Nixon and Kennedy eating tainted cranberries during the 1960 campaign to show how business owned government.
The lonely woman who lived mostly an internal life without close friends, loved the ocean, lived on the shores of Maine and worked at Woods Hole. She managed to place two best-sellers at the same time on theTimes best-seller list.
Silent Spring was not initially well-received: perhaps it was American hubris, or disdain for scholarly women, but Carson was dedicated and knew what she had to warn the world.
In one of the first corporate targets, every major chemical company went after her with one of the earliest attacks by media publicity. Their unfair and bizarre defense of pesticides is today horrifying.
Rachel Carson still is the patron saint of climate abuse—and still is hated by the political money-grubbers.
DATELINE: Don’t Fence Clint In!
A couple of song and dance men?
Back in 1969, Clint Eastwood had just returned from his stint on the spaghetti western circuit. He wanted to break molds—and went on Mr. Ed,then made a musical Western. It’s not easy to turn Clint into Tab.
Paint Your Wagonhad credentials to stagger into a gold-digging mode. Josh Logan directed another 1951 classical musical from Broadway. Paddy Cheyevsky (urban TV legend) wrote the screenplay—another unlikely figure out West.
The only true singer in the cast allegedly was Harve Presnell who stops the movie with his stunning rendition of “They Call the Wind Maria.” Even Logan in his inepti director style could not screw that up.
As far as Clint singing, we had forgotten that in 1962, on the heels of every TV and movie actor with heart-throb fan clubs made a musical album: as we recall, Sal Mineo, Richard Chamberlain, Tab Hunter, and even Clint Eastwood sang.
The big difference was that Clint’s album of country-western tunes was actually a hit. You need to hear his version of “Don’t Fence Me in.”
Lee Marvin also sings in the style of Rex Harrison—and he is witty and delightful. He also dances cheek-to-cheek with Ray Walston, which certainly puts Fred and Ginger to the test.
The film is an all-male homoerotic gold rush until Jean Seberg shows up: beautiful and damaged. We cannot imagine what off-screen between-takes conversations went on during this production.
There are enough offensive ethnic stereotypes to make this film about as incorrect as any Western of the 1960s. And, in a true 1960s mode, the film is nearly three hours long—really.
If you like surprises and changes of pace, you cannot go wrong with this Western that seems to be the exclamation point and end punctuation to the era of Hollywood westerns.
DATELINE: Dumb Media
Heroic Richard Jewell
As we await the viewing of Clint Eastwood’s new movie, Richard Jewell,we took in a short documentary from ESPN that was produced in 2014 for their award-winning series30 for 30. It had the ancillary attraction of being a story about the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.
Richard Jewell was a heavy-set Southern man in his 30s who wanted to be a police officer, posed with weapons, lived alone in a rustic cabin when not living with his mother. He was one-step away from being a mall cop: he hired on as part-time security at the Olympics. He spotted a suspicious backpack, cleared the area before it went off, saving hundreds of lives.
Then, one suspicious former employer called the FBI and said he was an egotistical nobody with hero wishes. Suddenly a modest, unattractive man became the epitome of a lone Bubba Bomber. The media hounded him, made him run gauntlets, peppered him with questions about his fake heroism.
Jay Leno and Tom Brokaw joined the chorus of FBI and Atlanta Journal Constitution media hacks. They never apologized when 88 days later the FBI cleared him. Several years after that another man, the notorious Eric Rudolph, pled guilty to the bombing and went to prison for life.
Jewell was there to see justice done, though it was elusive for him. The media sneered at him. And they still do.
Few apologies and retractions followed Richard. Centennial Park in Atlanta never acknowledged his heroic action. The slime-ball newspaper ACJ still attacks Jewell through the new Eastwood movie.
Jewell enjoyed Clint’s movies—and his mother is grateful for the new film. Alas, Jewell himself died in 2007, likely driven to death by stress and pain—despite being cleared.
The ESPN documentary at 22 minutes is a succinct overview of justice denied, justice perverted, and justice delayed.
DATELINE: Brady Boys Up a Tree
New England’s Patriots have done the near impossible: they have kicked themselves in the keester after a cramp nearly decapitated them of a head below the belt.
Bill Belichick has reached a stage of joking.
This week he thought about recalling Wes Welker out of retirement to be his emergency kicker. You know this idea did not emanate from Tom Brady—or it would have been seriously dead on arrival.
Welker is now coaching Jimmy G in San Fran where the Pats’ true heart is in little cable cars, halfway to the stars.
Brady himself pulled his foot out of the kicker sweepstakes by claiming his boot is in Denver. It may be where he ends up playing for the next five years.
With appendectomy, halitosis, and assorted ills, every kicker in the Patriot backfield has found himself unable to lift his leg to do more than pretend to be a Rockette at Radio City Music Hall for the holiday show.
Can a team go to the Super Bowl without a man with the kick-ass power to kick ass?
Julian Edelman may want to consider his role as slot receiver unfulfilled when word filters out that slot receiver and former Brady favorite Welker holds a record of sorts for kicking while catching.
So Julie may need to catch Welker while he can.
Practice makes perfect, but a full-blown rehearsal may be needed.
Can it be the Patriots are ready to lose every game for the remainder of the season? Can it be they will be out of the playoffs sooner than later?
Kick the Patriots in the scorecard and maybe they will wake up with their boots on.
DATELINE: Voice-over Satire?
…of a Big Paycheck!
Sometimes you see or hear celebrities in the least expected places—or exactly where you thought you would hear one.
While watching the Celtics play a game on the local sports channel, we thought we saw a commercial for the Quinto series In Search of…
Apparently we were ignorant of the fact that Zachary Quinto is a frequent endorser of products, often in voice-over. However, we think he has not done such an overt parody of his own TV host persona.
Yes, those dulcet tones were talking over the image of an asteroid heading to Earth. Quinto spoke with his deadpan authority about how the world likely was to end around 2023 with doomsday because of an asteroid. Only a week earlier he had hosted the final season episode about the subject.
However, as we watched an asteroid hurtling toward the planet, Quinto reveals that we can buy furniture –all interest free until 2023 or the rest of our lives!
Apparently you can watch sports events not only to see your favorites sitting in the stands, or courtside (Gronk was there enjoying the game, and not dancing with the Celtics cheerleaders).
Watch and listen carefully for what you may hear and see.
DATELINE: No Salad Eating Chick
Queen & Commoner
We may be catching this about ten years too late, but better late! Hundreds of views on Amazon Prime say how much they love this movie. Queen Latifah is perfect, not Just Wright.
As one of the few oversize women in starring roles, unabashed, she steals every scene with her genuine sweetness in the face of life’s adversities.
She plays a physical therapist who has a chance encounter with an NBA star (Common). From there, the breaks seem to go every which way. Phylicia Rashaad plays Common’s mother, and Pam Grier plays Latifah’s mother. We have something going on here.
We were mostly bowled over and amused to find another Boston icon in the movie: Latifah starred with Tom Brady’s wife in one picture, and here in all the basketball scenes is former Celtic, Rajon Rondo.
This romantic comedy with a basketball setting has all the wrong turns and twists of fate you might expect that throw the crossed paths of Latifah and Common back together repeatedly.
Because Queen Latifah is not your standard trophy wife of a pro athlete type, this film takes on more gravitas. Common is a tad short for the NBA but is likeable and good-looking. But Rondo is a better actor, but Dwight Howard has a bigger scene.
The inevitable twist of fate brings the physical therapist into physical contact with the superstar in contract negotiations, and the big pay-off must satisfy the audience.
This is sheer fantasy, as any fan can tell you. Players are never thrown into a big game full-time after a career injury, but spend weeks acclimating. But this is a movie romance.
Queen Latifah even hums a few bars from “The More I See You,” in one scene as a throwaway to her old musical career. She’s billed as musical consultant. Don’t be fooled: this is still a jazzy gem.