Lucy & Desi: Together Again

Home Movie

DATELINE: Being the Ricardos 

  With the recent controversy over the casting of a new biographical movie about Lucy and Desi, it seemed like a good time to reconsider daughter Lucie Arnaz’s 1993 documentary about her parents, Lucy & Desi: A Home Movie.

Lucie Arnaz is defending the casting of Nicole Kidman as Lucy and Javier Bardem as Desi. Indeed, we think it is most interesting to see them play the real people during one dramatic week that the couple played the Ricardos.

They are not remaking I Love Lucy.

Back in 1993, Lucie Arnaz directed and produced, interviewed people, collected film clips, and put together a fairly honest and direct look at her famous parents, warts and all. She never received the full commendation she deserved. As she said, her mother was a “pack-rat” and kept all kinds of home movies that Lucie never saw. They were from the decade before the TV show and before the kids arrived.

What can you say about two people who were always “on.” They were the epitome of show biz, but alas, when home, their love story didn’t have a script they could embrace.

Lucy was the Queen of Comedy and pratfall on screen, and she loved being a performer and working. Off-screen she might have given Mommie Dearest, Joan Crawford,  a run for the roses.

 Desi was a talented man of show biz, and even more talented with business acumen, but never came out of the shadows. He loved Lucy too much. Their cultural differences, cute and remarkable, were also their downfall.

Desi’s Latino view of philandering infuriated Lucille Ball, but he was the love of her life. When two titans fall in love and clash, you have a big production called DesiLu, and you have shambles that make for great theater.

The home movies their daughter puts together are stunning and insightful. We suspect the movie docudrama of their lives by Aaron Sorkin will be even more stunning with brilliant actors playing the first great TV stars. We are, of course, most interested in who will play Fred and Ethel in Being the Ricardos. No word yet.

 

 

 

 

Geopolitical Prejudice of COVID

Not for You, Buddy!

 DATELINE:  Wrong State of Being

When your doctor’s office tries to tell you to register for the coronavirus vaccine and realizes they made a mistake, you may be generous enough to overlook it.

In matters of life and death, however, overlooking an attempt to kill you makes you a candidate for the Congress. Every state in New England has a different way to deal with administering the COVID vaccine to senior citizens.

If you live on the border of a state, like New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and your doctor is in the other state, you are likely about to be victimized by ludicrous geopolitical medicine.

Hospitals have put profit over patients. Several doctors at the nearby clinic have quit in disgust over political football with patient lives.

Yes, in New Hampshire Senior Citizens can now register to receive the vaccine. If you live one mile from the border in Massachusetts, you may not be vaccinated until this summer at earliest.

If you are 65 in Massachusetts, you are a dead man walking, but you can walk to the clinic in New Hampshire for your shot. In some states, you can go for an injection and find out they don’t have any vaccine.

And, in incompetent Mass., you may notice that one hospital unplugged the freezer this week, spoiling almost 2000 doses of the vaccine. If your name was on the vial, you are a dead man walking.

If your doctor’s office thinks you are in New Hampshire, you are given a green light to receive the vaccine—until they realize you live in the wrong neighborhood. Talk about a new version of red-lining.

So, a nation divided along lines of COVID treatment is not a unified country. When your neighbor may be protected and you are not, despite being old and having a pre-existing condition, there may not be enough vaccine for you in any respect. Good luck, pal.

 Well, they say it’s only temporary. You will eventually be a recipient of the vaccine. The race unfortunately is between you and infection.  You are now Seabiscuit.

Alas, you may be a dead horse when the injection arrives.

 Out, Out, Damned Spot! Trump Cut!

Trump Cut Out of Movie

DATELINE: Fans Direct Home Alone Cut

You know Donald Trump’s legacy is in trouble when his innocuous scene in Home Alone 2 is now under editorial attack. You can yell, “Cut” or “Hang Mike Pence,” but Trump is about to be given the digital age’s equivalent of Marie Antoinette’s fate.

Called Lost in New York, the sequel to the beloved movie that launched Macauley Culkin now will cast fate to the wind and Trump to the dust bin.

Off with his head is now a movie production shot heard round the world. Donald Trump is being digitally removed from a scene of several seconds as he gives Macauley Culkin direction to the hotel lobby.

Culkin has given his imprimatur to the action.

Not since Kevin Spacey was edited out of a finished and unreleased movie two years ago have we seen such a use of movie-making techniques. Spacey was sliced and diced out of the movie for his sexual peccadilloes. Trump now shares an infamy with sex abusers (though that is another story).

Not safe for children may be the new mantra when parents want to show Home Alone 2 to their kids: you better make sure that liars, provocateurs, and sedition-guilty insurgents are out of the picture.

An adult Culkin not only supports the move, but is prepared to replace Trump as the man in the lobby. So, an adult version of himself addresses the child, which is fairly funny and poetic justice. It’s also a little creepy.

Trump may suffer more inglorious fates in the years ahead, but like Benedict Arnold and Aaron Burr, he has reached a new low in American movie history.

 

Deeply Boring on Oak Island

1st Appearance of Dr. Christa This Season

DATELINE: Boring Deeper

One friend who tunes into Curse of Oak Island  on a now-and-then basis claims that she never knows it’s a new episode. It seems every week they find an old coin and are boring into the ground looking for a new entrance to the Money Pit.

We’re glad she didn’t tune in to this show tonight. It’s more déjà vu than we can handle.

The eighth show of the eighth season is notable for who’s not there. Marty Lagina is on Zoom and not even on the island, and his son Alex doesn’t show up until he fills an empty seat in the final sequence. Peter Fornetti is nowhere. You won’t find Dr. Erin Helton either.

However, a couple of notable faces do come on board. First, making his initial island appearance is Mr. Moneybags, Craig Tester. He is the bank of Oak Island, and then at the end of the show, we have our first appearance of one of our perennial favorites, Dr. Christa Brousseau. We add Drs. Spooner and Aaron Taylor to the mix.

She has the most intriguing info of all:  she notes that two rose-head nails from different locations, one in the newly discovered serpent mound and another from a tunnel are the same, made at the same time. That connects the dots.

Once again, Gary Drayton is also on site as they uncover some kind of road out of the swamp, leading up to the pit areas. He finds another coin, likely from the late 1600s.

There are no additional confirmations of Templar work at the serpent mound from 1400, which is the most exciting part of this season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, Mummy! Daddy Shatner Tells All

Missing Booth Mummy, 1920s

DATELINE:  UnXplained Makes Dead Speak Again

 

After several dull weeks, the series UnXplained  now gives Shatner some outrageous narration—and he delivers as only he can. From his opening warning that the show will depict mummification and viewers are advised to be ready for the horror.

Mr. Shatner is never more amusing than when he must play archly ironic. Discussing bringing the dead back to life seems to energize him.

This wild episode casts a wide net. It begins with the most famous ancient mummy, King Tut, found in 1922 by Howard Carter, recapping that legend. It shifts to the self-mummification practice in Japan several hundred years ago when living Buddhist monks slowly poisoned themselves, in a drying out process, to become mummies.

Shatner’s onerous tones warn us several times about “disturbing imagery,” but it is likely the enhanced, colorized photos of the alleged mummy of John Wilkes Booth that might be rather startling.

Recounting the tale of how Booth escaped, and how he was mummified by arsenic by a local undertaker, his body was taken by Finis L. Bates, now called a carnival barker, who showed the body at the St. Louis World’s Fair. After that, it was displayed for twenty years before disappearing.

Other notable mummies are not to be outdone. Take Bernadette, born in 1844, who saw the Virgin Mary 18 times before she died. Once dug up, she was perfectly preserved to become a saint. However, they had to coat her body with wax and put her in a hermetically sealed glass coffin.

The same for Lenin is explored. He is systematically “recharged” every few years by scientists who make him look younger for public display.

Shatner takes some pleasure in explaining about cryogenics, or freezing dead remains for later reanimation. He also notes that an Egyptian mummy recently had its voice box enhanced to create his “voice” 3000 years after the fact.

All in all, this remains one of the most death-defying of all shows in the UnXplained series.

 

 

 

By Any Other Name, President-Elect

Club Elect

 DATELINE: Un-Elected Dis-Elected 

Now that the Electoral College has voted, let’s call a spade a spade.  Joe Biden is President-Elect.

If our logic is correct, that makes the present occupant of the Oval Office the President-Unelect. It seems we have too many presidents buzzing around. If you count all those deadbeats who gather together in a little club, you have five or six others too.

They have been unelected for years, but show up for historic photos now and then, all smiling and friendly. Well, that’s about to end. One new member of the Un-elected President Club will surely be black-balled from the White House.

Trump has already been disinvited from funerals and other functions that, like Groucho Marx, he won’t attend with other presidents that will have him as a member.

Trump has not invited the latest President-Elect to the White House, and the other President-Unelecteds have also stopped coming around for photo oops.

Sen.-Diselect Lindsay Graham has now claimed he will not call the President-Elect by that title, but will refer to him as Just Joe. It seems a bit unjust, Joe.

By Jan. 20th, Graham will be called Mudd when President Un-Elect Trump will be in Florida, helping Ivanka prepare to run for the next President-Elect job.

None of this should confuse you when it comes to the role of Attorney General, which is now Dis-Barred.

  Tom Brady Hates New England Weather

 DATELINE:  Snowy Brady

Once upon a time weather in New England was one of those rare subjects you could talk about safely, no controversy to ensue, no political opinions offered and offended.

Tom Brady, Grifter Emeritus of the Trump Administration, has changed that.

This week in a presser, Brady gave the unsolicited opinion that he would never “be caught dead in the Northeast again.”

He loves Florida weather. He has not put on a hoodie this year, and he can play outdoors to his heart’s content. He did not use the term New England, but Northeast. But we know what he meant. He spent 25 yars in hell. Now it’s Death in Miami Beach, or Tampa Bay.

He plans to build a mansion on Indian Creek Island where there are 30 residents, including Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner. He will be right at home with his political allies.

Brady gave that number, 25 years, to indicate how long he suffered in the Northeast. Of course, four of those years were in Michigan. Forgive him:  he’s a general studies major, not too up on things like geography. He can’t tell whether Michigan is part of Vermont.

Come to think of it, his math skills seem a little off too. He was in New England 20 years, and 6 Super Bowl titles, 3 flopperoos. So, half his time in cold unpleasant New England weather were his best professional years. And, New England thought he was a natural for cold weather playing.

Of course, Mark Twain once said he counted 70 different kinds of weather in New England in five minute. Tom cannot reach those heights.

He hated that his son Benjamin played hockey, and that’s now over. If you don’t play warm weather football, you are skating on thin ice with Tom.

He recently sold his Manhattan condo for $30 million and will never return to New York either. Too cold, especially when it comes to cold cash. The grifter knows his bucks. He took one million from Small Business Admin to infuse his copper-infused TB12 pajama game.

That gave him the down-payment on a hot yacht, and the rest came out of the cold weather profits from selling his overheated condo.

Tom Brady, not exactly a Native Son of New England, though we do feel comfortable in calling him a snow bird.

 

 

 

Roswell UFO Conspiracy Unlocked

Philip Mantle

DATELINE:  Not again?

Good heavens, not another Roswell saucer crash history? This has just been released as an hour-long documentary of 2020. Can there be anything new here? We were held in place because this looked like a high-quality and stylish film, well-produced.

It became somewhat worse after the first half that went over fairly worn ground. It used some interviews with notable people from the case, Dr. Jesse Marcel, Jr. and Frankie Rowe, two young people in 1947 who have since died.

Their participation is noted by main narrator Philip Mantle, a British UFO expert and investigator for 40 years or more. He is straight-forward and pleasant enough. His perspective is the mainstay of the movie.

The worse part becomes the second half that is a new, kind of apology for the alien autopsy movie that has long been debunked as fake.

Ray Santilli, its producer, is an associate of Mantle who seems to think he is Mickey ready to hit a home run for revealing some new info on the 1993 phony and grotesque autopsy on some hideous little person who looks pregnant.

Mantle comes across as a dedicated and sincere researcher who has dedicated his life to solving a mystery and feels that one theory is that there was an original autopsy film from the 1947 era, whether faked by the CIA or real that resembled the fictional recreation done in a style that would never have passed muster in a World War II military.

Something may still be out there that has confused witnesses of the original and the fake that seems like new footage from the original.

This odd film does enough to raise again the ugly specter of the alien autopsy being real, just not the one you’ve seen on TV and Internet.

 

 

 

 

 

Second Monolith Bites Dust

Criminal Intent

DATELINE:  Monkeys Win.

After a heist of art critics of the Utah monolith, there has now been a second brazen attack in Romania. The bad copy of the first monolith has now disappeared into the night.

Apparent vandals who moonlight as art critics came to the national park with a wheelbarrow and a brazen attitude, telling people to take their pictures now because the monolith would soon be gone.

Reports are now circulating that these were Trump supporters who believe they can make a monolith disappear at will—and they plan to make the recent U.S. presidential election disappear too.

The culprits include a man who has boasted of his crime against crime, setting himself up as a vigilante to remove “trash” from pristine desert areas. It turns out this cretin was banned from the national parks for his own abusive behavior.

Self-styled art critics, trash collectors, and Trump conspiracy theorists, now have combined to steal whatever is not nailed down. Ballots are next.

Whether the same crew flew into Transylvania, or whether it was a local group of crypto-Nazis we have not yet determined.

 

In any respect, the people above the law are now making the law the rest of society. So it usually is before a Hitler take-over.

 

From dust to dust, so goes the short lifecycle of a monolith.

 

 

 

 

 

Oxen Free on Oak Island

Chinese Coin

 DATELINE: SEASON 8, E3

A couple of mysteries seem to be reluctantly and obliquely revealed on the Curse of Oak Island by the Lagina brothers.

The one most people have asked about is whatever has happened to Dave Blankenship, the unfunny curmudgeon son of Dan who died a few seasons ago.

Dave has gone MIA, and no one at History is telling anything directly. However, in the first episode, there was mention that researchers suddenly had complete access to Dan Blankenship’s fifty years of archival material.

This week the throwaway line mentions that the Lagina Brothers have purchased all of Dan Blankenship’s island property and materials. Oh, that? 

It means they also bought Dave lock, stock, and barrel. Whether he has moved off island with the loot is unclear so far, but his father’s house had been occupied by a daughter last season. No mention this year.

If Dave has taken the Lagina money and is on the run, you won’t see him again. We doubt that his name will pass the lips of any Lagina.

Once again, too, we note that Alex Lagina, son of millionaire Marty, has again taken the cushy duty. He is the one to deal with educated researchers and stays away from mud and digs.

So, he meets with another expert to show the Chinese coin Gary Drayton located. It is never explained how or why a coin from China happens to be on Oak Island. Who knows?

Gary and Jack Begley are the new dig team with results. And, this time they find a pathway strewn with oxen shoes. It was an industrial moving site from swamp to money pit.

Alex goes to Carmen Legge, their blacksmithy expert who reveals the oxen shoes are from different seasons and likely are 100 years before the money pit discovery. He also tells Alex that the oxen shoes are British military issue.

In other news, we are going to have more draining of the swamp over the next few weeks. This time it will be big time with metal dams installed.

 

 

Kubrick Monolith Inspires Monkeys Everywhere!

DATELINE:  Ape Uses Bonehead?

With the news that the late Stanley Kubrick has sent a monolith to Utah, we have had flashbacks about the meaning for humankind.

In Kubrick’s movie, this led to rediscoveries on the Moon and on an orb going around Jupiter.

The heavy footed plodding of officials have muffed all chance of finding footprints or other characteristics of a forensic nature. We have some reports that the metal object is made with screws: no word on whether they are Phillips head.

It is interesting that the item is in a remote and difficult to reach place, presumably dropped there by chopper or UFO. We would have been much more impressed if the item had been found at the White House Rose Garden, or even in Joe Biden’s basement.

There is no word if this indicates we will have a cure for coronavirus soon, or whether it means the Dow will hit 30,000 for the first time.

We feel that it supersedes having Xmas decorations needed during a national crisis. The government should send everyone in the United States, who is eligible, a postcard photo of the monolith. It will replace stimulus checks.

The strange object is illegal, of course, but the meter maids have yet to stick a parking ticket on the shiny silver object.

We think someone has usurped the season’s findings at Oak Island. This monolith was supposed to be found by Gary Drayton’s metal detector next to Captain Kidd’s treasure.

The real impact of the monolith has been dulled because we do not hear the Gregorian chants emanating from its radio dial.

 

Hunting Hitler the Final Chapters

Oswald Keeper & Nazi Agent

DATELINE: Fourth Reich & Other Conspiracies

After giving up on the Bob Baer series several years ago, it’s suddenly back on History for the “Final Chapter.”

And it takes a big bomb to restart a big bomb. According to Bob Baer’s new research, the Nazis planned to send a bomb on a V-3 rocket to Manhattan as early as 1945.

The show now theorizes Hitler was building an atom bomb to drop on Manhattan to win the war.

 Yikes.  Okay, you have caught your audience with their pants down and their defenses even further down. Bob Baer has gone low budget: he shows clips from three to five years ago of his excellent researchers. But, now, he sits alone in his home office, on tele-conference with an occasional writer.

He really needs no one else when he has a dump of documents from the CIA that he can go through by himself. He lets us know there were 46 rogue U-boats that were shuffling around the world for months after the war was over.

 He seems oblivious that his theory (based on reports from the CIA trash bag_ that Hitler would drop an A-bomb on Manhattan conflicts with the full Madison Square Garden of Nazi American sympathizers. He needs his enablers.

Reports now surface of 20,000 Nazi accounts at Swiss banks (revealed in 2020!) and that the Nazis may have exploded a primitive nuclear bomb in early 1945 under test conditions.

He also begins to lay the groundwork that a Fourth Reich was started in the United States and South America, starting with a nuclear physicist from Germany who hoodwinked J. Edgar Hoover.

If Bob Baer has a breakthrough here, it is that he is able to tie together his Hitler series and his Oswald series. It seems that one Fourth Reich agent in America was George de Mohrenshildt who was Oswald’s caretaker. Yes, it would seem the Fourth Reich hoped the Kennedy assassination would open the door for the U.S. to become Nazi.

 Since today we have a bunch of crypto-Nazis parading under the MAGA caps, the Fourth Reich seems well ready to take over. Baer’s new series may be leading us in that direction.

 

 

Fairies Outlandish

Another Grand Performance

 

DATELINE: Unusual Paranormal Movie

In 1997 two films appeared about the same topic: Dr. Doyle’s belief in fairies through the medium of photography.

Two notable actors took on the role of Conan Doyle. In a small, but pivotal role in the first of the films came Edward Hardwicke, the ersatz latest Dr. Watson of the popular TV series with Jeremy Brett, and this time he played the same way as he did in his role as Watson.

The second film was on the tail end of one of the biggest movie stars, Peter O’Toole, a man who had played some greats in history (Henry II (in 2 movies Becket and Lion in Winter), as well as Lawrence of Arabia.

The era in which Photographing Fairies and Fairyland: A True Story is a world in which Houdini, Peter Pan, and Sherlock Holmes all exist simultaneously as the Zeitgeists of their age.

O’Toole met a match in performance when Harvey Keitel took on the role of Doyle’s friendly nemesis, Houdini. One of the interesting ironies is that this version of Conan Doyle looks more like Sherlock Holmes.

The producers of the film dropped the golden chance to play Arthur and Harry against each other with top-drawer actors.

To see O’Toole do this movie, it makes us wonder what kind of Holmes he could have given us were that role offered to him earlier in his career.

Both films actively produce fairies in flight about the countryside without any fear that they are mythic or exist only in the minds of children. A theory emerges from this film that creative people, like Conan Doyle, are receptive to the spirit and paranormal world unlike most pragmatic people.

Both films use Dr. Doyle in a small role as a believer in fairies and the occult, putting much focus on the children or younger character demographics aimed at the audience.  According to the Doyle Encyclopedia,O’Toole lost out on two chances to star as Holmes (one in Billy Wilder’s comic version, the other playing off Laurence Olivier as Watson). O’Toole’s prickly personality may have done in these chances.

As for the plot of the movie at hand set in 1917, Fairyland: A True Story concerns two little girls who take pictures of fairies out in their wooded backyard. The photos may look fake to us, but there are believers—even among the rich, powerful, and famous.

Our personal concern was for the girls treated by early 20thcentury men—and by late 20thcentury filmmakers. Charles Sturridge directs, and he has deft ability that is most known to audiences who favor PBS and Masterpiece Theatre.

Already in contact with his dead son through a medium, and having a madman father who saw fairies, Conan Doyle is on the bandwagon when the pictures come to his attention.

Fairytale is an intriguing, fascinating fantasy movie that gives Peter O’Toole a chance to provide us with one last grand late career performance.

REAL VAMPIRES?

Unfortunate Victim Exhumed

DATELINE: Monsterquest Tries Too Hard

The Gold Standard of monster investigations is, of course, the series Monsterquest. So, when they chose to coincide Halloween with an examination of vampires, we were ready to dig in.

As the show is always attempting to find a fresh angle, the episode does not mention Dracula for almost fifteen minutes.

They do tell us about a strange burial or re-burial in one of the leading spots of vampires in America: New England. That surprised us, but to learn that the bones of a suspected vampire are now kept in government archives was even more interesting.

 

A couple of aficionados of the vampire lore want to see what was going on in Willington, CT, 200 years ago that led to a spate of vampire reports. They also note that Bram Stoker too had a clipping of vampire story out of the New England archives to help him with writing his Dracula tale.

Since it will take longer than the show can wait, we never find out if the bodies they suspect will be exhumed or if family will allow this. Another dead end.

Monsterquest contends that vampires are a love-hate fascination with immortality.

 

A great deal of effort is put into finding “unmarked graves” that could harbor people who died of consumption (TB) and were thought to be vampiric. There may be many reasons why family members are buried without markers, but the theory here is vampirism.

 

While claiming to attempt to prove vampires exist, the show examines several murderers who believed their vampire character allowed them to live outside law. There is almost a kind of sympathy for these creatures, according to witnesses.

 

There is also an emphasis on “psychic vampires” who simply take electro-magnetic energy from others to gain strength.

 

What we have here is another example of a bad episode more than any serious insight. Monsterquest keeps its track record of having every other episode be a doozy.

 

 

 

 

 

Boston Sinks in the Fenway Miasma

Gone with the Victories

 

DATELINE: Run Out of Town, Fast

Flush twice, Boston. It’s a long way to the bottom of the septic tank.

It would appear only two people recognized how bad Boston’s sports teams would be this year: the two stars who bailed on the town they never liked. We speak of Mookie Betts (World Series victor) and Tom Brady (another Super Bowl in Tompa Bay).

Every sports pundit and media expert in Boston failed to see the writing on the wall. Maybe they just can’t read Sanskrit or profanity.

Some are now casting blame on the genius Bill Belichick. Those people have clearly thought genius and hubris were synonyms. Belichck systematically disarmed Tom Brady over the years until the man ran off with Antonia Brown, deserting his Julie in the process. 

The Red Sox threw a boatload of money at Mookie and he gave them the finger, not the thumbs up. Some claim these Trump supporters hated Boston’s political climate—as does Belichick. And owners who poured cash into winning, now are extracting cash faster than you can say Trump Tower bankruptcy.

Only Robert Kraft who likes to kiss his players’ butt has been caught with his pants down. John Henry has become the Claude Rains of Boston We used to see him at Symphony Hall now and then with a beautiful young man in tow, but the pandemic seems to have put the kibosh on those tunes.

Now we have a Bean Town full of beans and no counters to the problem of no beanie balls.

We are headed back to the 1960s when Patsies played at Fenway to empty seats and the Sox played to the same group in the other season.

No one believes us when we tell them about the good old days  when you could go to Fenway on game day and find a box seat two rows back from the field. Maybe those days are coming baaaack.