Will Success Spoil Tom Brady?

 best buds

DATELINE:  Tony Robbins Extravaganza on Wealth

While former FBI Director James Comey was sticking a knife in the back of Donald Trump, Tom Brady was on stage in Boston giving a peptalk to those willing to pay $3000 to hear his words of wisdom. He did not walk on hot coals as Tony Robbins usually requires.

Based on the notes of Tom’s short speech, he had nothing to say about Donald Trump. Nor did he say a great deal about how he married Big and Beautiful $$$ himself.

That’s one sure way to accumulate wealth fast. In case you are living in a cave, or not a real Patriot fan, Tom’s wife is Giselle Bundchen, the highly successful but retired supermodel.

Tom basically gave his rags-to-riches story in terms of his making every football team where he ever tried out.

In case you didn’t know, he was he was Drew Bledsoe’s back up for a short time. He generously said he learned much from Bledsoe, but we recall that when Bledsoe returned from injury he started acting like Brady.

Someone learned from Tom’s peptalk and he didn’t have to pay an entrance fee. There were plenty of people willing to fork out big bucks to hear this drivel.

Brady admitted he didn’t know how to put on football pads when he first started playing. Fortunately, now he can’t afford to find someone someone to dress him.  They are called personal assistants. To be Tom’s assistant maybe as close as some of these rich folks in the audience will come to success.

We suspect that the audience of millennial’s, as young as they are, are already too old to follow and Tom’s footsteps. That is unless you want to marry money.

Julian Edelman was there as Brady’s personal sidekick and gadfly.  Edelman worships the ground Tom walks on, and apparently sells the sod to those who want to touch greatness.

Julie E has a chip on his shoulder as he told the audience. He had to work for everything he has. It takes a great deal of work to keep everyone away from his good friend Tom Brady. That’s how you remain the best friend (by taking the role of Richard III).

If you missed the Tom Brady/Julian Edelman talk on success, you didn’t miss much. You would’ve learned a great deal more by listening to former FBI Director Comey as he detailed how Tom’s good friend tells lies, plain and simple. And we don’t mean Tony Robbins.

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Twin Peaks, Trump Plains, & Celtics Lows

DATELINE:  LeBron James as Laura Palmer, Trump as D.B. Cooper

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Chicken or egg? We can’t figure out if the Trump Administration has prepared us for the new series Twin Peaks, or whether Twin Peaks has prepared us for the continuing weirdness of the Trump presidency.

When we see President Trump putting his hands on a glowing orb, we know there is a conspiracy of billionaires to control the world. Of course, it is merely a futuristic ribbon-cutting scene from the most recent Star Wars movie. Either that, or it is opening a gateway to an alternate universe, like the plots of Twin Peaks.

By the same token, we feel as if watching the Cleveland Cavaliers with the Boston Celtics is like knitting by Madame Defarge while royalty is having their heads chopped off.

On Twin Peaks, agent DB Cooper has returned to the northwest after disappearing for 25 years. That David Lynch has such a sense of humor.  So far, McLachlan has not rubbed any glowing orbs, but has kissed dead Laura Palmer (Cheryl Lee).

On the Celtics, little Cousin IT (Isaiah Thomas) and AB (Avery Bradley) are from the same neck of the woods in Washington state which happens to be the setting for Twin Peaks. It could explain a lot about how the Celtics are playing like Laura Palmer’s body wrapped in plastic.

Even stranger, we were amazed to see Kyle McLachlan and Sheryl Lee looking just like they stepped out of a 1990s TV show.  It becomes even more amazing when David Lynch has to inject a phrase at the end of every episode of the show that the episode is dedicated to the memory of one of the cast members who is now dead. We mean really really dead dead, like the log lady Catherine Coulson and the FBI agent played by Miguel Ferrer.

As for the dead Celtics, they are merely playing in an alternate universe, sort of like Twin Peaks 25 years later. If there is a glowing orb in the NBA, they better start rubbing it now. Lebron is no Laura Palmer.

Long Forgotten Executive Action

DATELINE:  Believe It or Don’t

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One of the most unusual of the early theoretical movies on the Kennedy Assassination was called Executive Action from 1973, a mere ten years after the event.

Already big questions had sparked big movie stars like Burt Lancaster, Robert Ryan, and Will Geer, as well as John Anderson (often chosen to play Abe Lincoln in movies and TV) as billionaire conspirators who want the President dead.

They select a patsy who is some kind of covert double agent. His name is Oswald.

Though the film claims to be somewhat fictional, it quotes Lydon Johnson at the movie start as saying he believed that John Kennedy was killed by an unknown group. This movie, made with the participation of early assassination doubter Mark Lane, is fairly courageous and breath-taking, even after five decades.

We must also express surprise at the stars who chose to play the men who want President Kennedy dead.

The film is no cheap, low-budget affair. It is well produced and directed by David Miller who made some interesting movies in the 1950s and was written by Dalton Trumbo, the famous blacklisted writer.

This returned Grandpa Walton to the bad guy roles that made him famous early in his roles, and Will Geer is notably sinister. This was also Robert Ryan’s final film.

The angles, once thought to be outrageous, have become more acceptable in recent research. The film may not be a genuine biopic or docudrama in the sense of trying to achieve 100% truth, but this may be closer than anyone thought back in the 1970s.

More than a curio, this film is downright compelling to watch.

Early Mohican Epic: The Last Shall Be First

DATELINE:  Bad Indians

Bruce Cabot   Bruce Cabot

Fenimore Cooper’s Romantic epic of the West takes place in upstate New York, of course, in 1757. It’s where and when the wild west begins in The Last of the Mohicans.

The 1936 version of the classic is extremely well-done, but has what you might expect from a studio version in the black & white age. The American Indians (before becoming Native Americans) are played by actors with fair skin and blue eyes. This is particularly noticeable for the most noble of all American Savages, Chingachgook.

The last of the bad Indians, Magua, is played terrifically by underrated Bruce Cabot, fresh off fighting as a stalwart hero against King Kong. This time he is barely recognizable with his Mohawk haircut and bare midriff. He is sullen, dangerous, and quite impressive.

The King Kong hangover continues for him. The musical score for the film is a rip-off of the overwrought music for the giant ape. In several sequences, Cabot seems to be re-enacting his other role on Skull Island in native garb.

His foil is Randolph Scott as the first true rifleman, Hawkeye. And, no one could be better in the role, as the actor shows early on his subtle humor in the part.

One of the truly odd changes is the reversal of Alice and Cora, the two daughters of the regiment. In the original story, Cora is dark-haired and tempestuous. She is called Alice here, and her blonde sister becomes Magua’s obsession. In Cooper’s book he appreciates her dark looks, not her blonde locks.

The story is further muddled by putting the key scenes with the last Mohican somewhere earlier in the plot—and ending with some kind of court-martial of Hawkeye. It doesn’t matter too much, as this turns out to be a pleasing version overall, hitting on the key moments of the story and casting truly fine actors.

Cronenberg Monograph on Violence

DATELINE:  A History of Violence

history of violence

When you live in a farmhouse modeled after Grant Wood’s “American Gothic,” you know there is something secretive afoot.  A History of Violence weaves into a simple emblem of the macabre in American society.

Tom Stall and his average American family seem obsequious to the point of dull in a violent world. Around them in society are mad dog sociopathic killers. When two show up at Tom’s diner in middle American Indiana, they are about to do mindless mayhem when Tom (Viggo Mortensen) emerges from his milquetoast personality into something of a visceral killer. Out of nowhere, or so it seems.

Media attention is the last recognition Tom wants, but he is a hero for saving his townfolk. Alas, bigwig mobsters from Philadelphia (Ed Harris) arrive to check him out.

The sheriff is alarmed. The question at hand is:  can Tom be a mystery man in Witness Protection?

What starts as a wave of brutal violence, a pointless societal attitude, soon transforms into something more akin to DNA at work.

Tom’s pantywaist son, Ashton Holmes, transforms into a chip off the old block. Wife, played by Maria Bello, becomes a vixen of rough sex—and Tom transforms into Joey, a Philadelphia hit man, trying to go straight.

When your name is Stall, you know you’ve been looking for a resting spot. Why call himself Stall, his wife asks, and the answer is ominous: it was available.

Muted music and waves of explosive responses hallmark this brilliant Cronenberg film of 2005. It takes Tom back to his roots to meet his mobster brother (William Hurt) in an ultimate confrontation.

Blood is not running thicker than water in the movie, but it clots into crime families, becoming a mesmerizing movie experience.

Obligation for Tom Brady to Pass Along a Reward

DATELINE:  Super Bowl Hero Revealed

dylan wagnerWho’d guess that Tom Brady’s most important fan lived in Seattle, home of the Seahawks?

It just goes to show that Patriots Nation is indeed a national group. The biggest hero of two Patriot Super Bowls is 19, fresh-faced, and deserving of some true Patriot appreciation.

Dylan Wagner is a lifelong fan of the Pats and a collector of memorabilia in his young life, as he is accomplished as a teenager.

He belongs to a collector network that often shares its prizes with each other online. Indeed, a Mexican journalist named Ortega proudly sent Dylan photos of his Super Bowl 49 Brady jersey.

At the time Dylan thought nothing of it because Tom Brady never went public with the theft of his Seattle Super Bowl jersey.

Ortega never explained to the young man how he came by the shirt.  In fact, only when the SB LI jersey went missing and was valued at $500,000, did the info come out that the other blouse was also stolen.

As Dylan counts an ATF agent as one of his friends in Boston, who also collects, he shared the story about Brady’s jersey, providing authorities with a big lead.

The ATF agent contacted the FBI—and the rest is Super Bowl trivia history. So, you can discount the Texas Rangers riding to the rescue. You can laugh off the idea that the NFL security forces did their job.

No, it came down to a vigilant and personable Patriots fan on the other coast who solved the riddle.

We strongly urge that someone whisper in Tom’s ear that he needs to send an autographed jersey to Dylan Wagner post-haste. Bob Kraft ought to be sending a couple of tickets to the opening game of the season to this honorary Patriot.

 

Predictions of Billy Mitchell at His Court Martial

DATELINE: Court of Public Opinioncoop-as-mitch

If you have a fondness for court room drama, you may have overlooked an Otto Preminger film, starring Gary Cooper. It’s out there if you look: The Court Martial of Billy Mitchell.

It was not well-received back in 1955, though it was fascinating even then to look back on Col. Billy Mitchell, an aviation pioneer in the U.S. Army who was court-martialed for decrying the incompetence and negligence of the 1920s military authorities.

Cooper always brought a built-in sympathy to his biographical roles—and Col. Mitchell was, above all else, a patriot—even when his peers, a who’s who of military heroes, came together to demote and to suspend him. History vindicated him and the short-sightedness of the Army.

An all-star cast, by later standards, filled out the ranks: before they were really big, Darren McGavin, Peter Graves, and Jack Lord, played Col. Mitchell’s friends. And, the cast even featured a Douglas MacArthur lookalike as one of the judges. Well, MacArthur was among the real life judges.

Charles Bickford is his usual tough-guy general—and usually comic Fred Clark is the prosecutor who is relieved of duty to bring in the big gun: Rod Steiger, to shred Col. Mitchell in the climactic testimony scene. James Daly and Ralph Bellamy are his defenders.

It’s all rather pedestrian in its film style, but Billy did predict an Air Force Academy, jets that could fly 1000 miles an hour, and the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese in 1923.  We don’t hear the name Billy Mitchell on Donald Trump’s list of military heroes—but he should be. The film is color, but feels like it’s black and white.

Mitchell went after government and tried to change it abruptly with a turn toward the future. He failed, but hindsight recognition is better than none at all.

We thoroughly enjoyed this historical episode, brought to life by a generation of top-drawer professionals.

A Word Whispered to Donald Trump

DATELINE: Pass It Along to The Donald

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Two weeks ago, we noted the parallels between Mr. Donald Trump and General George Patton.

This week, in an interview, Trump mentioned his admiration for the great World War II leader.

So, undaunted, we think The Donald ought to take a page out of the movie script written by Francis Ford Coppola back in the 1960s.

The George C. Scott movie began with Patton coming up to a podium before a gigantic American flag—and he delivered a homily with pizzazz.

How natural would it be for Donald J. Trump to rise from below to stand before an American flag backdrop and deliver a message about veterans?

We are not on Mr. Trump’s payroll. That ship has sailed along with the gravy train chock full of hangers on. We are charmed enough by the beguiling frankness of Trump to make an occasional suggestion to fit in with his message and attitude.

We do not advocate that he go around slapping silly his Republican opponents. He has already mastered that dope slap approach and has applied it judiciously.

We do think it would not hurt to be seen at the local park in Hamilton, Massachusetts, where General Patton’s tank sits in the middle the town green. We love a good photo op—and know Mr. Trump does too.

 

 

 

Trump Wins a Big Endorsement

DATELINE: Birds of a Feather

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To no one’s surprise, the man with a Trump cap with the logo “Make America Great Again” in his locker has thrown his support behind presidential candidate Donald Trump. “It would be great,” said one icon about another becoming America’s next president.

Tom Brady was directly asked if he supported The Donald—one of his better golf buddies, and Brady’s answer was unequivocal. There was no suspense when it came to Tom’s loyalty.

Brady is of the mind that Trump will put a putting green on the White House lawn if he wins the election as president.

With a major debate of all Republican candidates pending on this evening, Trump will have to throw more touchdowns than Brady managed on Sunday in order to neutralize his opponents.

Brady probably feels some sympathy for the man who gave his total support during the lingering effects of the Deflategate court case this summer. As of now, Trump is about as beleaguered as a man with the media on his back, disrespect emanating from a large segment of the political spectrum, and a self-made man mantra.

Trump and Brady share many characteristics, which is probably why Trump wanted the QB to wine, dine, and marry his daughter a decade ago.

Brady continued his “aw, shucks,” demeanor by simply gushing about the memorabilia that Trump had sent him. It was something of a keepsake no matter how the political winds blow.

Brady may also be keeping an eye on Trump’s gameplan—and it may become the blueprint for Tom’s own run in the political arena sometime down the road.

The Trumping of Patton

DATELINE: REINCARNATION OF AMERICAN HEROES

 Featured imageTrump or Patton?

As cultural phenomenon go, Donald Trump seems singular.

Yet, he is in the great tradition of American iconoclasts. He is a populist with appeal to shock the staid liberals and New Puritans. In case you forgot, there was a hero of World War II with much of the same bravado. He was an entertainer who wore ivory handled six shooters on his hips and rode a tank.

We refer to the pattern-breaker, General George S. Patton.

Donald Trump may have seen him played by George C. Scott in the Oscar-winning movie of 1970. Tough guy Scott played tough guy Patton now being channeled by tough guy Trump.

Patton appalled genteel America, but boy did the soldiers love him—even if he spilled their blood with his guts.

Patton was removed from command for his waggish tongue that embarrassed politicians. He hated politicians. He even dope-slapped a soldier who seemed shell shocked and unable to go out to the front lines. The media kept looking for a soft spot to do him in. They did eventually.

It may sound like a familiar refrain as the media looks to do in Donald Trump. In the meantime, Patton who believed in reincarnation may be the new Donald.

Patton was a breath of fresh air; the Donald has yet to drive a tank. We hope he won’t as we recall how the image ruined Michael Dukakis when he ran for president. Yet, Trump would look quite natural bulldozing his way across America in a tank.