Movie Gold = Blue Gold

DATELINE: Blue Denim without Brandon De Wilde

 blue gold

Though we expected this documentary to be frivolous, it turned out to be entertaining and smart.

Blue Gold: American Jeans tells the story of how the fashion-plate pants of the Old West have become a big business and an art form. Yes, you will regret having tossed out those moth-eaten old pair of blue jeans. They are worth thousands of dollars today.

Oh, the film traces the historical process of how jeans are made with indigo dye and rivets by Levi Strauss, or Lee, or Wrangler. You will surely learn how the business of fashionable jeans in America has gone to the Far East.

This little film compiles everything you want to know about blue jeans—from Calvins to Brooke Shields with nothing next to her. Every morsel of trivia about blue jeans is here. And, you can’t be much closer to a subject than how it fits and shapes your scrotum and ass.

Authentic blue jeans are indeed valuable, especially in Japan nowadays. Collectors travel the Midwest and Nevada to find old trunks with old trunks. You will not find many documentaries that will combine Bob Dylan, Bruce Lee, with Iggy Pop and James Dean.

It struck us that those looking for authentic jeans, worn by real workers years ago, are actually big phonies. They never worked for their jeans, but they paid thousands of dollars for the privilege of looking like blue collar types in their pantaloons.

With a main host who looks a great deal like John Goodman on a lark, the film will not make your butt look fat.

Directed with holes in the right places by Christian D. Bruun, the film is sheer delight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Julian Edelman’s Hairless Chipmunk

 JULIAN Julie after

BEFORE & AFTER SHAVE

While Tom Brady went on a world tour without his teammate Julian Edelman, the slot receiver created his own buzz.

Together with his own follower, Danny Amendola, the two close friends went to Mexico to learn how to wrestle. And, upon returning, won the notoriety that comes with being a nude inlay spread for ESPN’s naked athlete edition.

Posing in capes and masks may seem like child’s play, but ever since growing that mangy beard, Julie needed to compensate for something.

Now, our crack investigative skills have solved the mystery. We examined “before and after pix” of the twelve-packed short receiver in a variety of poses. We are now ready to deliver the fake news of the week.

It seems likely that Julie E and his constant donut companion Danny A have taken up the painful hobby of full body waxing.

It has paid off with an in tandem photo shoot with another Boston pipsqueak: Isaiah Thomas who bares all his tattoos in the upcoming ESPN Body Issue 2017.

Julie has spared himself the pain and agony, not of defeat, but of ink blots. Thomas, on the other shoulder and arm, has not. Both men have kept the Inkster away from their keester. Thank you, ESPN, for this salient bit of real news.

For months, Julian Edelman dropped hints that he had dropped his pantaloons for ESPN’s notorious nude issue. This year, following Gronk in 2012, five years earlier, Julie E flaunted and teased, his modus operandi in many spheres of life.

This time, he took with him another Boston superstar and admirer of Tom Brady: the chipmunk of the NBA, the effervescent Isaiah Thomas, a diminutive scoring machine of the Boston Celtics.

Both men are small for their sport, but normal in all matters not requiring mental agility and physical freakishness. Now they share the glow of healthy skin in a nude magazine spread.

It’s that glow of skin that has amused us: it was not always that way. We never forget a follicle, even if Tom Brady has had them transplanted from below his head. And now, hirsute Julie E.

 

Is Aaron Hernandez Mansion Haunted?

DATELINE:  Ghosts at Home

armlessinattleboro  Police Remove Hernandez from N. Attleboro Home in 2013.

Realtors hate to answer this question because it puts a damper on buying possibilities.

Shortly after he was taken away on murder charges, his common law wife moved out. The house owned by the convicted killer of Odin Lloyd has basically been empty and on the market since then. This week the house listing price was dropped over $200,000 to the price Hernandez originally paid:  $1.3 million.

The North Attleboro house may indeed be haunted, not only by Hernandez, but by one of his victims who spent time there: Mr. Lloyd, the murder victim.

Having lived in a haunted house, we know something about the likelihood. Unlike the Hernandez case, our realtors did not know that our home was part of the estate of two victims who died on the Titanic. We quickly learned the house was not exactly empty—and investigation showed who might be here exactly.

Our spirits are friendly, probably loved the street they lived on—but true ghosts are bound to a location from their lives. They are likely trapped on Earth, refusing to move on to another astral plane.

Apart from prospective buyers, the only people who have spent time at the Hernandez house in North Attleboro were jurors, judge, and lawyers from the first murder trial. No one wants to give the house an overnight stay. We wonder what could be there to prevent visitors from making a permanent home in the mansion.

Even in our house, there was initial resistance from the spirits who knocked down hanging pictures and made bizarre noises. They still take umbrage at unexpected company. We have had overnight guests who heard footsteps coming to their bed—checking them out before moving away to another part of the house.

Is Aaron Hernandez still stalking the rooms of his North Attleboro manse?  We wait for the brave souls who choose to live there to give us the answer.

 

Author William Russo has written two books on the subject:  The Strange Case of Aaron Hernandez and Haunting Near Virtuous Spring, about ghosts from the Titanic at his own home.

Sumo Like It Hot for Tom Brady

DATELINE: Great Wall of China Meets Great Brady

sumo like it hot

When Under Armor sends Tom Brady around the world in eight days, you can expect some great moments.

Phileas Finn had his sidekick, and Tom Brady had his young son along for the ride.

So, the Greatest of All Time in football quarterbacking met the Greatest of All Time in Walls. It was enough to make President Trump jealous. Or, perhaps Tom was there to give Trump a report on how well walls work in the world.

Great Wall Meets Great Brady

Sublime met the ridiculous again when Brady decided to doff his shirt (not stolen by agents of North Korea) and do a tag team wrestling match against some heavyweight Sumo guys.

Tom is not quite the Pillsbury Doughboy when it comes to muscle, but he is not Arnold either. He posed, rather ill-advisedly with Sumo wrestlers in their diaper wraps. Tom had the good taste to wear his patented sleepwear pantaloons.

Some Brady groupies are agog at the fleshpot photos of Brady among the Sumos.  We are less impressed that Sumo like it hot.

Pictures like these generally come back to haunt. In this case, it may never go away long enough to be missed. We may take a long time to try to expunge the image from our memory banks.

We can’t imagine that Tom will sell his sleepware to many wrestlers who seem to revel in having their hot flesh bare in bed.

We aren’t sure who is advising Tom on this latest cavort. At least he managed to escape the clutches of his own Passepartout, Julian Edelman, for a few days.

A Good Mechanic is Hard to Find

DATELINE:  Off-duty Killers

 Mechanics off duty

Charles Bronson teamed with Jan-Michael Vincent in 1972 for their fascinating mob hitman movie called The Mechanic, which was changed to Killer of Killers when a bad remake of the original was made recently.

In contrast to the recently viewed The Assignment, this has more stops pulled out, but the gender-issues came across in full force. Bronson, in fact, demanded that a scene with his wife Jill Ireland be gratuitously added to the movie so the main character, Mr. Bishop, could be seen having sex with a woman. It was pointless. He only has eyes for the son of the mob boss.

When Bronson meets the beautiful blond Jan-Michael, all is lost.

Their courtship as partners in the assassination business tells all. When they go to a strip joint, they have eyes only for each other—and ignore the cavorting girls who are nude on stage. Vincent seems to have moved into a luxurious art-laced house with Bishop, “Nice to see what inside your mind looks like,” opines the seductive Jan-Michael.

However, their murderous relationship runs afoul of the mob that disapproves—of something that dares not speak its name. It is 1972, after all, when Boys in the Band was nascent.

Bronson’s need for a companion is his undoing when he starts to suspect his young friend has a hidden agenda. Mr. Bishop needs a companion, and his young protégé notes, “That’s your weakness.”

“See Naples and die,” becomes more than a throwaway slogan amid the explosions and gunfights as the film moves swiftly to a surprise ending.

Beautiful settings and beautiful sets make the sordid story fly by. If you want a lost gem, The Mechanic still shines 45 years later.

 

 

 

 

Are You a Boy or Are You a Girl: The Assignment

 DATELINE:  Singular Revenge Tale

michelle rodriguez  Ultimate Tomboy?

You won’t find many gender-bending mob hitman movies out there, but Walter Hill has directed and written the best one: The Assignment.

Literate, clever, and intelligent, as well as violent, this film manages to answer the question raised by the old Barbarians song.

This is a revenge tale with a twist of lemon. Frank Kitchen is one of those androgynous, bearded killers who looks like Ralph Macchio in most scenes and a bit like Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront in a few others. Even as an attractive woman, Rodriguez still looks like Ralph Macchio.

The actor playing Frank is Michelle Rodriguez who in a clever bit of computer effects has a full-frontal nudity scene as a young man. She has the posturing and macho attitude to play the killer who meets the wrong doctor.

Also gender-bending is Sigourney Weaver, as a tough masculine female plastic surgeon who decides, beyond experimentation, to have revenge on the mob killer who murdered her brother. She drugs him and turns him into a woman. Yes, castration and breast implants do not make the girl quite.

Since Weaver’s doctor loves Edgar Allan Poe, she leaves the calling card “Nevermore” next to the gender-bent Frank, left with nasty instructions in a cheap hotel room.

Tony Shaloub is around as a psychiatrist investigator who has to hear the story from Weaver in a strait-jacket while in a mental hospital. She cannot convince anyone that she did the sex operation on Frank and he really exists now as a woman.

Weaver and Rodriguez have a few good scenes together, especially when she admires her plastic surgery by commenting that Rodriguez is attractive in a “shop girl/waitress” way. Tony Shaloub compliments Weaver for her “cheap theatrics” in her confession.

Good performances and a good script make this action revenge flick way above the pack of gender-bending tomboy movies.

John Wick Chapter 2 Comedy of Year

DATELINE:  Androgynous Villains Ruby Rose & Riccardo Scamarcio

Ruby Rose & Riccardo Scamarcio

Keanu Reeves is hilarious as the hitman in John Wick 2.  If you don’t believe this movie is a comedy, you have no sense of the ridiculous.

We lost track of how many people Wick kills at the Caracalla Baths, among other notable settings. It becomes utterly preposterous amid the stunning scenery. We also enjoyed a shootout in the subway with silencers so that the bustling crowds have no idea the hitmen are trying to do each other in.

Of course, one of the great set pieces is the homage, or parody, of Orson Welles’s mirror shootout in Lady from Shanghai, done here in super-exaggeration.

We are also bemused by the various androgynous killers after Keanu, especially the so-called woman (Ruby Rose) posing as a boyish killer. We laughed at Reeves buying guns at a secret shoppe like he was ordering bottles of wine for a big party.

The film is a flamboyant hoot, populated by a bunch of cameo star roles, from John Leguizamo to Laurence Fishburne and Ian McShane.

When Keanu walks down those streets of New York City, he discovers nearly every other person on the street is a professional hitman. It defies anything but laughter.

Wick is a sentimental guy who goes bananas when his dog is killed, or his car is stolen with a birthday card in the glovebox from his deceased girlfriend.

This is a big, glossy picture, filled with set pieces set around the globe with Keanu as some kind of mobster version of Jason Bourne.

We generally don’t like killings, car chases, and explosions. Yes, the film does seem to go too far with a nightclub massacre, reminiscent of the Pulse club down in Florida last year.

Other than that, the violence becomes so mindless that you figure it is like watching the latest news reports about mass shootings in (you name the location). No one blames these kind of movies nowadays for glorifying violence, or inspiring a view that life is cheap and easy to throw away.

John Wick Chapter 2 is merely a symptom of the world we live in today. Laugh it off.

Is It Real??? or Just Another Movie!*

realkindlecover cover pictures include real and fake!

DATELINE:  New Book of Movie Reviews

Ossurworld wants to announce that a collection of reviews and commentaries on documentaries, docudramas, and biopics, is now available on Amazon.com for discerning movie fans and smart readers.

If Pontius Pilate asked, “What is truth?” he’d be accused today of being a fake news critic…We have mixed up the real documentaries with those based on a true story in this compendium. You likely can guess when you have a real documentary on your hands, but not always. Sometimes it’s a biopic, or a docudrama, or just speculative facts and opinion. Sometimes the film is a masterpiece, and sometimes it’s just another movie.

We are sure that Ossurworld will start giving these away with a set of dishes sometime in the future. We think these reviews are swell, sometimes even funny. We hope you will too.

*Includes a few TV reviews.

 

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.

Becket’s Unspeakable Love Story

Becket Cavorting Adults

DATELINE: Burton & O’Toole in Epical Struggle

In 1964 came the extraordinary event of a literate play turned into an epic movie. This was the Hollywood version of Murder in the Cathedral.  The more mundane play version by Jean Anhouilh was called simply Becket.  Its Broadway incarnation was a legend with Laurence Olivier and Anthony Quinn playing the leads, and exchanging roles every other night.

So, the movie version had big shoes to fill. Director Peter Glenville went out and arranged for the two biggest stars of the decade to go head-to-head:  Welsh Richard Burton, fresh off Cleopatra’s couch, and Irish Peter O’Toole, fresh off an Arabian oasis.

Everyone expected fireworks, but the two stars actually liked each other.

The movie shows it. O’Toole’s Henry II is utterly hysterical, and funny too. Burton’s Thomas Beckett is somber and sly. You will first be shocked at how young they are: the dissipation would set in, like dry rot, over the next decade.

They enjoyed their roles because, as O’Toole said at the time, in two blockbuster movies he was allowed a love interest of camels (Lawrence of Arabia) and Burton (Becket). And Burton was allowed only Elizabeth Taylor as his love interest. So, it was a natural affair between the actors.

Love interest indeed!

The docudrama goes grandiose in damp castles and Sherwood Forest, as Henry and Becket are like smitten boyfriends. That was the historical take—as no one could really figure how the Norman king and the Saxon aide-de-camp could be so entwined.

In a series of long capes, O’Toole is flashy and a hoot—and Burton’s character becomes more ethical and somber. Henry made Becket the recipient of many gifts: deaconship, chancellor, and Archbishop of Canterbury, to win his affection. Alas, it never worked the way Henry wanted, as Becket began to oppose his schemes.

Henry threw a fit in which he basically said he was surrounded by idiots, and the smartest man in the kingdom was opposed to him.

Well, the Knights took that to mean they had to relieve their king of a strange affection. As normal heterosexuals, they figured, you kill the one he loves. It’s a British tradition.

Of course, it all backfires. Henry II did penance with flagellation—and made Becket a saint, literally, by church canon. It makes for a rousing adventure and fascinating intellectual thriller.

 

 

Grant, Kerr, & Nesbitt in Charming Weeper

Memorable Affair.jpg

DATELINE: Nearest Thing to Heaven

You cannot judge An Affair to Remember by any normal standard of film-making. Since its 1957 debut, Leo McCarey’s dinosaur storyline and archaic approach passes for classic movie-making.

The film has anachronisms abounding, but cast that aside. It is the cast he assembled and has given them reins of control. Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr are at the peak of their careers, slightly past the middle-age that would soon have them by-passed by a new Hollywood.

The film’s plot is a trifle, yet elegant, charming, sophisticated, and sentimental. Your stars are clearly not typical American celebrities, and they play social climbers way ahead of their social standing, ready to plunge into high society by means of deceptive façade. Any fault in this movie does not lie in the stars.

On a ship voyage to the United States, Cary and Deborah have a frothy, light comedy of interplay, under the watchful eye of paparazzi and gossip. It’s a pink champagne tale. Engaged to money, they both eschew this for true love before it’s too late.

Interspersed here is a small role by Cathleen Nesbitt as Cary’s grandmother. She’s closer to the age of his real mother, but no matter. The trio of actors know something about loss: Nesbitt in her youth was engaged to marry the beautiful poet Rupert Brooke when he was killed in World War I. Grant went through multiple marriages and gave up Randy Scott.

Add a melody that remains an emotional stake in the heart, replayed constantly to put tragedy next to love. It isn’t a mid-life Tristan and Isolde, but it will do.

The film may cause you to weep through a box of Kleenex. If not, you are a victim of Medusa’s stony glare. You cannot watch the final 15 minutes of the film and not find two actors in better form anywhere.

Sherlock Meets Hornblower

DATELINE: Amazing Grace: The True Story

Sherlock meets Hornblower

Director Michael Apted put together a film called Amazing Grace in 2008 in which Sherlock Holmes would meet Horatio Hornblower. Well, not exactly, but Benedict Cumberbatch costarred with Ioan Gruffudd in the true story of young Wilberforce and young Pitt, British abolitionists.

 

The film was never embraced by the African American audience because it is plainly Masterpiece Theatre level Brit drama. It depicts the 20 year struggle of these English Members of Parliament to ban the slave trade in the British Empire around 1800.

Gloriously cast with actors with great faces, you can add Toby Jones, Ciaran Hinds, Michael Gambon, Albert Finney, and Rufus Sewell, into the mix. You have a masterpiece of English actors.

Though not exactly action packed, it creates moments of powerful emotion as these intellectuals, Wilberforce and Pitt, boyhood chums, take on the powerful economic force that enslaved people.

It is well produced, has the flair of the era and aristocratic settings to tell the tale.

When the story of the timeless spiritual, “Amazing Grace,” is a secondary subplot, you have intriguing history alive. Albert Finney plays Gruffuld’s boyhood pastor, a former slave ship captain who wrote the song. Indeed, in one compelling scene, Cumberbatch presents Gruffud’s impressive rendition of the tune.

The film fell through the cracks initially because it did not go through television as its main channel. If one of the cable stations had picked it up, it would have become a biopic miniseries about ten hours long.

Instead, we have a throwback to the great historical movies that came out of England in the 1960s.

Who Was Heath Ledger?

DATELINE:  No Answers in I am Heath Ledger

 heath

Derik Murray has put together a series of “I am..” documentaries. They are intimate, unflinching, and hypnotic films about subjects with charisma and cult interest. Something went wrong along the way on this one called I am Heath Ledger.

So it is not surprising to find Heath Ledger being given the mythic figure treatment. He is no James Dean because he was filled with joie d’vivre and was a man with a cause and a mission.

Ledger said openly that he was on a mission to push his artistic feelings to the limit. He surrounded himself with his Australian friends from boyhood as an entourage for the most part, but there were no naysayers in the bunch. There was also no one to help him discipline himself. He was brilliant, a chess prodigy and potential major film director.

Going without sleep and pushing his physical limits, Heath Ledger was a whirling dervish of inspired talents. He was into music and film in particular, but showed unlimited artistic abilities. He took endless videos of himself, almost each snippet a movie in miniature. He was observing and teaching himself what reactions worked in a role.

He managed to improve with each role, but seemingly his happy demeanor hinted at a less satisfying deeper sense. His marriage fell apart, and he increasingly covered his beautiful body with tattoos. He used himself as a laboratory for life.

He spoke that he had limited time, like so many music and movie legends who went beyond before age 30. Was he prescient, or just a workaholic?

Heath left several stunning performances in Brokeback Mountain and The Dark Knight, but his colleagues do not line up to appear in this film tribute—only family and close friends are anguished and full of love.  Naomi Watts and Ang Lee speak about him, but the film turns on the achievements of his friends, rather than on Heath finally.

The spin of final repeated clips at the end of the documentary without words may be more telling as the film seems to spin away too.

 

 

Franco & Quinto Canoodling

DATELINE:  Another Gay Role for Franco

canoodle

James Franco has played more gay characters than any other star this side of Franklin Pangborn, the 1930s character pantywaist for all occasions.

Franco surely has never admitted to being gay, but he has done every conceivable role from Allen Ginsburg to Hart Crane to King Cobra. Now he is taking another shot at docudrama playing a gay magazine editor married to Zachary Quinto (who is openly gay in real life).

This time Franco becomes so irritated with living in the wilds of Canada with his lover that he decides to go straight.

What? Yes, on the heels of the Matthew Shepherd murder, Franco’s real life editor decides it’s time for a change.

This movie will irritate both gay people and Christian fundamentalists. Gay life is played as lascivious, libertine, and drug addled, with Franco and Quinto in hot kisses. But, the dull Christian is even worse when Franco washes the henna rinse out of his hair and goes au naturel.

Will this film finally cure Franco out of playing gay roles on screen? Or will it scare him straight into the arms of another man in real life? Or at least admit it.

The answers are likely not in this picture of gay life from 1998 to 2008, and Michael the former gay man is not a role model for anyone. His transformation from firebrand of queer politics to turning his cheeks for God, is truly bizarre.

We think gay life is not stereotypical of the world of dance, drugs, and endless sex, but the world is easily turned from black to white in this movie.

The audience for I Am Michael may be limited to critical viewers who are gluttons for punishment.

 

 

Twin Peaks, Trump Plains, & Celtics Lows

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

glowing orb

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.