Errol Flynn & First Bounty Movie

DATELINE: Mr. Christian Goes to Pitcairn

 Errol in 1932

Though most film adventure fans know the story of The Mutiny on the Bounty as a great sea saga starring Clark Gable, Marlon Brando, or Mel Gibson, the first movie version of the historic event came out of New Zealand in 1933. The short film brought Errol Flynn, living legend, to the attention of Hollywood.

The rest as they say is history.

In the Wake of the Bounty is an intriguing docudrama and investigative documentary combined. The first half hour details the offenses of “Lt. Bligh” and the low-minded first officer played by Flynn.

The film hardly makes Flynn heroic or dashing like Captain Blood. That would come later. Here, the movie takes the position that the mutineers were part and parcel of a ragtag drunken group which they call “dark pagans and white fools.”

Flynn’s role, only a few intriguing scenes, shows a man overwhelmed by guilt—taking his wanton crew and their women to some godforsaken island where they will never be discovered.

A silly context of story-telling reveals the first half: the documentary kicks in during 1932 when the director and his crew go looking for the descendants of the actual Bounty and where the wreck may be located.

That part of the movie is by far the most interesting for history buffs.

If you want to see the first motion pictures ever taken of Pitcairn Island, here they are: even in black and white, the rocky island is beautiful, yet intimidating. Christian chose it well as an impossible landing site.

The mutineers died by their own hands, in feuds and rivalries, and Fletcher Christian was killed by the last survivor of the original ship. Yet, we will see the living great grandson of Christian at work, living in the communal society.

The filmmakers fret about in-breeding of the 50 odd families that lived there in 1932. Bounty Bay was visited rarely by ships that brought supplies distributed equally among the residents who know they must band together against adversity.

This is a strange, fascinating documentary and docudrama, notable for more than the discovery of Errol Flynn: it even features underwater photos of the wreckage of Bounty.

 

 

Storming of Area 51 Non-event!

DATELINE: Ancient Aliens Self-Congratulations!

 He’s Back!

Ripping an episode of Ancient Aliens from the headlines of this past summer, the series went for Storming of Area 51, the media and Internet viral event of 2019.

As an alleged joke, Matty Roberts posted a call to arms on Facebook, demanding a generation of Millenials gather together and demand to see the whites of the alien eyes.

What was supposed to reach a few friends quickly became a sensation that caught up a million people in its vent. They would come to Rachel, Nevada and prepare to put a mob on the grounds of Area 51.

As you might expect, Ancient Aliens wants to take credit for the new generation of protest, but it also wants to be careful not to upset authorities too. It makes for an interesting tightrope walk.

With a deranged government threatening to bomb a large mob of Americans demanding to see their tax dollars at work, it became clear that secrecy is not dead—and something big must be hidden at Area 51 for the military to threaten to kill protestors as terrorists.

As its wont, Ancient Aliens gave us a history of the Groom Lake site. It was selected by the original researcher who brought us Lockheed and Skunk Works: Kelly Johnson in 1955 scouted the place and oversaw the operations. For 20 years there was no acknowledgement of what was there.

Word seeped out that there was an official top-secret weapons site and an unofficial aliens and reverse engineering location.

From. here it was a short jump to bolster the credibility of whistleblower Bob Lazar—and they come up with corroboration of his veracity.  There is also a paranoid leap to indicate the government is out of control, lying to us for 100 years, and up to no good with mistrust.

Lazar’s rehab by the Aliens show poetic justice.

On the one hand, they want to expose the truth. And on the other hand, they do not want to kill their viewers. The Area 51 storm subsided with restraint in the summer of 2019.

But a sea level change may have occurred: a new generation may not tolerate the coverup much longer.

 

 

 

 

Quinto Falls into Bermuda Triangle

DATELINE: Moving Monster Triangle

 Slightly Rhomboid

  When In Search of…series takes on the Bermuda Triangle, you can have high expectations. The show has proven to be among the sharpest and smartest that have come to us from the History Channel. A look at the Bermuda Triangle once again proves the point.

Here you have a tired, repetitive topic that has been examined by dozens of dull-witted documentaries. But, Zachary Quinto’s episode looks at it with a scientist’s explanatory eye. You may well be mesmerized.

No, Quinto does not wear Bermuda shorts, Hawaiian shirts, or pedal pushers, but gives us information that comes across with authority. He is no empty-headed narrator.

As with the Loch Ness shows, this episode turns out to be the best documentary on the subject that we can recall.

The devilish triangle is an area about the size of Alaska, large but not in terms of world-wide. And, the first theory espoused is a red-algae called Sargassum, hence Sargasso Sea. This thick mat of red growth also gives off a noxious gas. When you couple this with 100’ tall rogue waves, you may have people turning to the supernatural.

Quinto’s show hints that the problem is bigger than that: as it also encompasses air travel over the Bermuda area. Once again, he stays studio-bound as the show takes on the dangers.

The air issue brings in an expert who has flown the Triangle since he was 17 years old, and he takes a 70-year old plane with only a compass into the realm. It is risky, as the big problem seems to be something called “magnetic fog.” It clouds equipment, plane, and people. Many believe this condition that arises mysteriously has caused most airplane disappearances, like the notorious Flight 19 from 1946.

Someone labeled a deep-sea prospector proposed that tons of magnetite, a strange mix found only in lava deposits in Bermuda, causes compasses and other electrical equipment to go haywire,

In fact, a scientist is now proposing that the polar shifts in magnetic north mean that the Bermuda Triangle is shifting its location far from Bermuda:  look out, World!

 

 

Fire Mountain of Martinique

DATELINE: Trouble in Paradise

Rubble and bodies, after pyroclastic flow!

In May of 1902 was, perhaps, the most devastating and bizarre volcanic explosion ever known in world history. On a paradise of pleasure in the Caribbean, the entire town of Saint-Pierre was wiped out in 3 minutes.

Only one man survived, and he was in a prison cell with walls over a meter thick. He was found 4 days later with terrible burns. There had been a shock wave first that raced through the town before pyroclastic gas choked victims.

People died of burns, with their clothes fully intact. It was bizarre.

Thirty thousand people died hideously in place:  no lava, no ash buried them: they died from gas flows of 1000 degrees that rushed down the volcano. Some people burned up and fell down on Sunday morning, attending church on a holy day to end Carnaval season.

Some people blew apart from inside their bodies: it was a pyroclastic flow, relatively unknown back then. This was not your classic volcano out of Hollywood special effects. It was more like Dante’s Inferno.

For weeks there had been cannon-fire explosions, lightning storms, and the officials of the town refused to order an evacuation.

Back then, Mont Pelee was considered the “debonair” volcano: placid, sleeping, and seldom doing much damage apart from the horrid smell of rotten eggs that permeated the area.

When Mont Pelee awoke, it killed everything in eight square miles. It must be a haunted area.

This documentary even features actual photos and movie newsreel from that May of 1902. It was considered divine punishment for the revels and immorality of the week before when Mardi Gras outrages included lifting up the skirt of a statue of the Blessed Virgin.

If you want to see a disaster that has been little documented, listen to expert volcanologist Mark Davis as he relates the devastation. A fascinating and horrific hour depicting three minutes of hell.

 

 

 

NFL Lets Black Cat Suffer Indignity

NFL Lets Black Cat Suffer Indignity

Black cats have a long tradition of being associated with bad luck—and worse, curses from supernatural purveyors of magic.

So, when a black cat mysteriously started darting across the NFL game field in New Jersey when the Cowboys played the Giants, it became a focal point of attention. The game was secondary—and stopped.

Security guards, state police, and stadium staff would be hard-pressed to catch a cat, especially a black one just a few days after the Day of the Dead in Mexico.

You may well think this was an emissary from across the border to lay a comment on Trump’s immigration policy. Commentators at the game thought it was meant to put ill-fortune on the steps of the Cowboys.

The bewildered feline did not simply arrive like a UFO on the playing field. In one of the cruelest jokes of animal abuse, someone let the animal loose during the game.

This cat clearly had been smuggled into the game to create a moment of chaos on national television.

The unfortunate animal stopped running in one direction—and went in the other, looking for an escape while tens of thousands of fans made deafening noise.

You had a sense of why the public conducted the Salem Witch Trials in this microcosm of public fervor. You had a sense as to why sadistic practices involving black cats is commonplace even today.

The cat finally ran to a runway, as no one dared to pick him up or cart him off the field.

This was all thought to be in good fun, but we were in our satirical mode, less than charmed by the action and reaction.

No one has been charged with a crime, and no one may ever be held accountable. Someone’s pet cat was stolen, brought to a venue unfamiliar and released. It is another example of a mentality that is not funny and not kind.

Disaster on the Bay: 1906 Quake

DATELINE: California Nightmare

 All $ Burned UP!

Not another documentary on the San Fran earthquake that features “never before seen” footage? The San Francisco Earthquake and Firestays clear of re-enactors, and for that we are grateful in an age of stand-ins who are emoting history with guesses of human reaction.

If Trump had been president back then, he would have refused to send military assistance and accused the state of mismanagement. Actually, the worst mistakes were made by the US Army.

We suspect ancient footage you have never seen is never before seen by a few. Perhaps you are one of them. The still -pictures are spectacular and assembled with effectiveness.

As for this little documentary, it is distinctive and rather clever in its use of old photos. It seems to us that we have seen better, longer, film footage, but the still pictures here are stunningly collected.

We have a gripe, as usual, because many early film clips could easily be from 1920 or 1925, not 1906. There is no identification placed on where and when the pictures show old trains, old buildings, streets, etc. It could be the city on the bay, but it could be somewhere else.

The timeframe of four days is played out, starting first with marvelous pictures of the night before the quake, featuring Enrico Caruso and the opera company that was a social and artistic event of note. Caruso survived the quake, but the company’s set and costumes were totally destroyed.

Caruso vowed never to return to the stronghold of faults. He never did.

Since everything burned in a misguided and incompetent attempt to handle fire without water, the biggest info loss occurred with money, insurance papers, stocks, and other tangible assets lost in flames. You not only lost an identity of birth certificates, but your financial evidence of wealth.

Much time is spent on the horrible conditions for Chinatown and the Chinese who were victims of Nativists with their Exclusion Acts.

The quake montage of one full minute, with an overlay from a seismograph is nicely done, original, and gives a real-time experience as the pictures shake more and fly by at breakneck pace.

It is a director’s tour de force, but the rest of the documentary does not hold up to the bravura moments of the actual quake depiction.

Narration is almost purple in its prose and prosaic in its tenor, not exactly Hearst journalism. Yet, for novices to the historical tragedy, this film is a worthy entry in the pantheon.

Food of the Gods: Yum-Yum, Eatum Up!

DATELINE:  Blood to Let?

  Platter splatter?

Whether you consider the menu of godly appetizers to be forbidden fruit, Ancient Aliens offered us a repast of great delectable items.

Yes, our favorite show about those ancient space creatures who fiddled with our DNA has turned our stomachs upside down with the apple of knowledge.

Forget Jennie Craig, dieters. “The Food of the Gods” is what you need on your shopping list.

Forget salt. Aliens apparently have an aversion to salt, and when one contactee provided the CIA and Project Blue Book with a cracker a generous alien provided, it was salt-free.

Can you make manna on your Cuisinart? Or do the crackers of aliens fall from heaven? When the episode begins to suggest that blood-drained animal mutilation is tied into immortality, you begin to see ET as a new variation on Dracula. Swallow hard, Adam’s apple.

Yes, ambrosia is some kind of fluid or food that helps you travel for centuries on space craft. Eating it on earth helped Adam, Moses, and Noah, live to be about 1000 years old. So, Ancient Aliens is hot on the trail of the magic elixir.

Yes, aliens farm blood out of Homo sapiens. Yes, we have no bananas.

It isn’t long to jump to trans-substantiation or making the blood of Jesus out of wine. It would appear that ancient aliens need this stuff—and it is what will sustain humankind when they venture out into space

The problem with the series is that it often forgets its previous findings. Yes, there is a supply of blood to be let by abducted people, but the aliens originally came to Earth for its gold deposits.

There is your ambrosia, manna, wine of gods, soma, and all the rest on Gilligan’s Planet.

 

Quinto Searching for the Ark of the Covenant

DATELINE: In Search of Bible Treasure!

Sheba wows Solomon with Gold!

 

Zachary Quinto stays back in a safe studio while the treasure hunters seek out the real Bible treasures that are all part and parcel of a connect-the-dots secret plan.

Yes, Solomon was wise—and rich. In Israel he found the most valuable early metal: copper. It’s still increasing in value, and Solomon had enough smelted copper to plate his new temple. And, he was involved with a Queen from Sheba who brought him his weight in gold. He ended up with more tons than the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

It seems it was Sheba who was the true gold digger, having a mine in Ethiopia, her home. The Ark of the Convenant was, however, the real treasure, which required a great deal of gold plating.

It was sent in hiding, according to Ethiopian scholars, to a vault guarded by a sacred monk 100 feet underground, but there are replica Arks in every church of Ethiopian churches. And, only true believers are satisfied with this theory.

Instead, the show follows a copper scroll at Qumran that is a treasure map: they think the scroll describes a golden loot of tons of gold. An American researcher has used these maps to target both the Ark and the cache of gold.

He feels that his map tells where the hills near Qumran are where these bible treasures are buried in location that the copper map notes.

Solomon and Sheba might have been a hot couple, but their son buried the valuables were in a deep cave where metal detectors indicate that the prize of tons of gold are hidden where Israel’s greatest treasures are protected by the country’s government. If it’s there, it may remain hidden and unexcavated.

Solomon was wise enough to become the first billionaire but money and power, even owning the Ark of the Covenant, did not bring him ultimate happiness. Only historical immortality, which is seldom satisfying when you’re dead.

Trump’s Latest Antic

DATELINE: Pond Scum Unites!

 Who are these people?

Only 7 black students were allowed to attend a speech given by President T.rump at their college. Only the most out-of-touch semi-Republicans were allowed to attend. The rest were told to stay in their dorms, like good nephews of Uncle Tom.

You see, according to President Trump, those Republicans who support impeachment are “human scum.” Well, we have now learned where our place is in the food chain. We aren’t sure if we are at the top of the pond scum or at the bottom.

In any respect, two-hundred hand-picked toadies greeted the presidential nitwit’s big speech to the black community by the biggest fraud since Rudi Giuliani decided to steal assets out of the Ukraine.

You may find it ironic, or perhaps merely poetical justice, that Rep. Elijah Cummings was laid to rest at the Capitol, in repose in state under the rotunda, while several former presidents paid respect.

From the White House where the biggest idiot in history now resides, there came only deafening silence. He hated Cummings and likely celebrated his passing. You may well wonder what kind of human scum now floats on the puddles of the White House.

As the crown prince of emoluments now sees it, the Constitution he swore to uphold is “phony.” He arranges his storm trooping congressional toadies to raid hearings he does not like, violating protocol and good manners.

When baseball umpires plan to buy automatic weapons to shoot Americans who support impeachment, you know that Trump will resort to civil war to keep his job. It was once known as sedition, and Aaron Burr was the chief proponent.

History has dubbed a new Burr under our American saddle: his name is T.rump.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tom Brady Assaults Media Twice in One Week

 DATELINE: APB FOR A&B (NOT ANTONIO)

Brady mask, life-size! 

Tom Brady just lambasted the media for making up stories about his desire to leave New England. It’s just “hype,” according to TB12. It’s a bunch of horse pucky from people trying to make money off the Brady name and legacy.

You mean people like Robert Kraft? The NFL? ESPN? CBS? MNF? TNF? SNF? You mean corporate types like Under Armor?

Yes, we would concur that all of the above named are trying to make money off the TB12 brand—not to mention his trainer, his real estate agent, and sundry souvenir marketing gnomes.

It was the second assault and battery on the media by TB12 in a weak moment. Maybe his patience is wearing thin, but we aren’t sure why.

Deflategate never bugged him like rumors of leaving Bean-town half-baked if you want a dozen Super Bowl parades.

As for making money off Tom, we wish we could hook up to that choo-choo train, but the milk train doesn’t stop here anymore. Flora Tom Goforth is about to go forth. Just call us the Witch of Capri. Our name has once again been crossed off the guest list.

Of course, Tom—the man who hides the truth under a thickening layer of Botox—never directly responded to the notions counter item that he is selling his home and his contract is up after the season.

He did not give an answer that re-assured, like he wants to play in New England until the end of the line, or that he even hopesto be back in the area next year.

That hope was hung out to dry with his TV appearance that mocked his owner, beloved Kraft of massage fame. As Tom complained testily, you dastardly media are reading metaphors into fiction where similes will do.

Oh, Tom, you coy boy.

Lost Newsreel Film of Titanic

DATELINE: But Never Really Lost!

  Titanic Survivor Millvina in 1998.

A little, literally only 30 minutes, film from 1998, we found it interesting and intriguing on several levels that might pique your attention.

It is really about a little old lady of 90 years living in England whose husband was a silent film projectionist in 1913. One of his favorite Pathe news reels was the limited footage of Titanic and the rescue of passengers. He kept a copy in a rusty old canister.

After his passing, his wife sent her son out to the garden shed to retrieve it, but he told her it was not there—and the old man likely tossed it away years ago. His wife simply disbelieved that.

Early in the morning on a Sunday, she was awakened by his deceased husband telling her that the film was in their shed under a bench behind some junk. First thing she did was go out there on Sunday at 6am on her hands and knees to find it.

The footage itself is not new: yet this copy was pristine. Most of the copies available were old and grainy. It featured a stand-in that the media often employed: film of Olympic was usually substituted for Titanic in news photos and reels.

The building of Olympic proves historical, but it is merely a stand-in for the more famous ship. Yet, many think it was Olympic that was conspiratorially used to replace the real Titanic for insurance fraud.

There are moving pictures of survivors, crew members, and of rescue people from Carpathia that picked up over 700 shivering survivors. There are also photos, grisly, of newly hewn coffins going out to retrieve bodies on the Mackay-Bennett.

One of the highlights is a chat with Millvina Dean, who in 1998, was the only survivor still living. She died in 2009, and she offers a few poignant memories of the ordeal—as related to her by her mother. She was only 2-months old when rescued from Titanic.

Only available apparently on videotape from Amazon, it is a collector’s treasure—and with only a few minutes of actual Titanic footage, it may be meant only for true devotees of the topic.

 

Yes, Tom Brady Wants Out of New England

DATELINE: Better to Receive than Deceive 

 Unimpeachable Source?

If you listen to the experts in Boston sports, apart from us, you have learned this week that Tom Brady is greasing the skids to slide out of town at season’s end.

Tom knows which way the wind blows:  and it is blowing westward toward the San Andreas fault, where Tom can shake the earth on his own terms.

We must agree with the details that Tom Brady is done in Boston, though the bigger picture may be smaller.

It seems that Tom has two reasons to leave: and they are Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft, both of whom have left him stranded without a receiving corps in an annual denuding of first-rate players. Whenever Tom finds someone to his liking, that player is sent packing for reasons usually salary-related.

And Tom remains among the lowest paid superstars at QB position. Taking a hit for the team has grown tiresome for Tom.

It may be that Tom wants to prove, finally, in his golden years, that it is he, not Belichick, who won six Super Bowls.  If New England wants a seventh, he may provide it on the way out. The door may slam on someone’s ass—but it won’t be Tom. Bill Belichick will stay on. Perhaps Josh McDaniel, beloved Babe, will follow out west.

Tom can win two or three more Super Bowls playing for the Raiders in his hometown. Fifty may be the new retirement goal.

Then again, Tommy—and Belichick too—want to show they never needed the other to win the next SB. Unfortunately, they both do need each other—and only will a final separation prove it to them and to the world. Belichick will hold on until his son can become the new King of the Patriots coaching corps.

For New England fans it will be too late and a bitter pill. Tom doesn’t love you anymore.

In the meantime, Tom snipes at the Boston press—whom he has grown to dislike more than ever—and he and his best friend-trainer, the Svengali of TB12 methodology—have put their Massachusetts homes up for sale in prep for the next season in Oakland.

Yes, you can go home, Tom. And Boston was never home, even after 20 years of suffering through fame and fortune, bad weather and a hundred-fold of receivers.

Diana: New Evidence

DATELINE: Who Wanted to Off the People’s Princess?

When news of Lady Di’s death was delivered to our door with the morning newspaper, we told the paperboy, remember the day for a history lesson.

It seems over twenty-years later, the truth may still not be out, nor is murder out of the question. Once again, we hear Diana worry that her bodyguard had been done in to keep him quiet and ruminating that she would be next.

We also hear those who knew her stating that she was not prone to hyperbole.

A short documentary called Diana: the New Evidencedelivers the goods and the bad news. She was a beautiful woman, inclined to public display—even if it infuriated Buckingham Palace where she felt ill-treated.

Her stay at the Ritz in Paris in a suite once used by Winston Churchill and Herman Goering (not together) was typical of her derring-do. What she could not suspect was that her driver Henri Paul was a spy for MI-6, paid informant. He was also slipped some nerve gas to explode in his pocket hours before the car crash.

Whether Paul was really drunk has been covered up—and independent investigators either arrested or simply stone-walled. In video Paul does not appear drunk—and a photographer, also under pay of secret service agencies, bragged he was there and took pictures. He later was a suicide, though some speculated it was murder. It too was covered over.

Who on earth wanted her gone? Members of the royal family? the British military guards? MI-6? The list of suspects rivals any modern political assassination bureau.

Over twenty-years later, there are still official groups avoiding the truth.

Pasolini Undone

DATELINE:  Last Days of Sodom? 

Dafoe as Paso

Willem Dafoe tackles the infamous Italian director of the 1960s. Next to Fellini and Antonioni, Pier Paolo Pasolini is the darling of avant-garde cinema. His highly-charged political movies seemed to blame scandal and scandalizing on media and right-wingers. 

The movie is Pasolini,about a man who was the ultimate socialist on film. His movies from 120 Days of Sodom to Teorema were puzzling allegories that combined sordid sex and overblown intelligentsia. He wanted to offend audiences with pictures likeThe Gospel According to Matthew and succeeded wildly.

So it is with Abel Ferrara’s version of the film-maker’s life. With multiple languages, and layers of story-telling, this is Cinema with a capital C.

Dafoe seems to be nearly as outrageous as Pasolini as he was as Nosferatu.

The film is blatant in its crossovers, using a fictional version of Pasolini in a “novel” he visualizes with his actual life. This technique spares your major star from doing embarrassing sex scenes.

Dead at a premature age, it seems even Dafoe might be a bit long in the tooth for the role, but Terence Stamp, another good choice who worked with Pasolini, was definitely too far along.

The film tries to extract the genius of a director out of the chaos of politics, anarchy, and religion, that made up post-war Italy. It remains chaos theory.

Pasolini was the victim of senseless gay bashing murder in Rome in 1975, though the movie is far less graphic than the real killing.

Roanoke: Where Did All the Flowers Go?

DATELINE: Closer than an Old Map

Zachary Quinto tackles the lost settlement of Virginia in Colonial times.  It’s like Plymouth decided to pull up stakes and not have Thanksgiving. Roanoke was the first real town in the new world of English outgrowth:  and they bailed.

In Search of….turns it high sonar spotlight on an entire community in the middle of a hostile wilderness that disappeared because there was no mass communication, no way of keeping in touch.

It’s not the biggest mystery in the pantheon, nor the most important, but it holds tight to a small corner of the “lost” market. Once again, owing to production timetables and in an effort to afford Quinto, he is absent from the episode, short of standing before a screen image.

His compelling narration remains the key to the show. He delineates theories about how the problem of 1587 started and grew into a catastrophe in the making: colonists were stranded in a location that never intended to settle, and they were not sufficiently supplied. Hostile natives also seemed a problem. Over 100 people simply vanished, but coastal erosion may have erased their original fort home.

Three years later, a supply mission found them all gone, their settlement dismantled, and one cryptic message carved into a tree: letters CRO hinted at another location, as if they left a roadmap to their move.

It appears the inhabitants for unknown reasons may have moved to an earlier sieged fortress called Site X, or southward to more friendly natives at Cape Hattaras. As real historical research is depicted, we continue to have one of the brightest of all TV documentaries in this series.

The oldest missing persons cold case turns ultimately to DNA technology to discover there are descendants of English and native bloodlines who still live in that area. Case almost closed?