Call It a Name Oscar Wilde Dares Not Speak

DATELINE:  Calling Your Name

Chalamet Timothee Chalamet, aka Lolita!

If you’re wondering about the title of the movie Call Me by Your Name, it is a sign of gay regression.  In an age when women keep their own name upon marriage, gay men are prepared to give up theirs.


This is the movie that its young teenage star (Timothee Chalamet) earned an Oscar nomination. It’s not so much for performance, but for the fact that he plays the most intelligent teenager on film in almost a decade or perhaps longer.


Like Sue Lyon 50 years ago, Chalamet epitomizes a male Lolita, also earning an Oscar nomination as a supporting actor and symbol of loincake. The only things missing from his acting are heart-shaped sunglasses and a lollipop.


Elio is a bilingual, bisexual child prodigy at the piano. His father is an important professor who spends the summer in Italy and needs a long-in-the-tooth graduate student assistant to do nothing in particular. The characters seem to be on an endless vacation. Elio mostly cavorts around in his bathing suit.


The story is adapted from a novella by James Ivory which caught our eye. He wrote all those great Ivory-Merchant movie screenplays 30 years ago. As he approaches 90-years of age, he has come up with another one: stunning ennui on display.


Armie Hammer played Leonardo’s boyfriend in Hoover, and was Depp’s boyfriend in the Lone Ranger, and now has his sights on a teenager who is more winsome and more often unclothed than Frankie Avalon in his prime Beach Party get-up.


Pardon us, but teenagers are lacking experience and maturity—and Humbert Humberts of the world never seem to learn this.


Chalamet and Hammer insist they are not gay, but only play gay (for pay) on screen.


Kingpin Whitey Bulger on History Channel

DATELINE:  King Whitey & Crown & Anchor Gay Bar!

Jimmy  Rough Trade Whitey Bulger

Leave to History Channel to insult women with their series called Kingpin during Women’s History Month. The good news for women is that the first episode, of Kingpin features no women.

Indeed, the episode glorifies the bloody thughood of young Jimmy Bulger who rose from boy prostitute to homicidal maniac. Oh, you mean they didn’t mention the fact that Whitey Bulger started out as a frequenter of gay bars in Boston in the 1950s. The moniker Whitey came from his alabaster skin and blond hair.

The producers also left out the salient fact that Whitey’s brother was one of the most powerful politicians in Boston for a generation, the founder of the St. Paddy’s Day roast, Billy Bulger of South Boston.

Apart from general inaccuracy and consulting a bunch of stiffs who are thrilled at Whitey’s shenanigans, the series is nothing short of appalling. Boston ought to sue History Channel for slander and libel.

We remember that Boston was not Chicago in the 1920s. Crime was localized, however violent.  People like Howie Carr, radio celeb and sometime author, know better, but jumped at the chance to be on screen.

Carr knows better than anyone how Whitey, known as Jimmy in his more refined circles, was a frequenter of Jacques, one of the more notorious gay bars of the the 1950s in Bay (aka Gay) Village, among his foibles and indiscretions.

Cutie-pie and rough trade Jimmy carried on in P-town too, at the Crown and Anchor Bar, where he stayed with its owner often. There, too, he canoodled his affair with movie star Sal Mineo. Oh, they left that out too?

sal Sal Mineo

You don’t want to alienate the audience for this kind of drivel. They wouldn’t cotton to affairs among the cognoscenti when a bloodbath would do.

You can check out most of this stuff in books (try Mafia & the Gays) on the Mafia and Whitey, including one by Howie Carr.


How Many Oscars to Put Up a Billboard?

DATELINE:  Ebbing Tide!


Two major Oscars went to the star actors of Three Billboards Near Hibbing, Minnesota, or was it Ebbing, Missouri?

We think the ridiculous title seemed laughable at first, but becomes seriously apt by the end.

Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell play borderline sociopathic and violent characters who are held in check by the small-town sheriff played by Woody Harrelson.

Audiences have been deeply bothered by a racist cop (who may be latently gay) and vindictive mother of a murdered girl who become, weirdly, sympathetic, owing to the brilliant performances of Oscar winners Rockwell and McDormand.

The audience faces a story wherein characters repent and try to mend their nasty ways. It’s not looked upon with much favor. It becomes far worse if they turn into outright vigilantes, leaving us with complete moral and ethical ambiguity. We seem to forget Bruce Willis has just released his remake of Death Wish, the ultimate film about taking the law into one’s hands, just to entertain us.

The Oscar winners are surrounded by other tour de force actors, playing small-town Missourians to the hilt. And, there were likely no other stars who could have played the leads: we doubt that Meryl Streep or Tom Cruise could have pulled it off with such aplomb or lack of glamour.

The story has absurdist elements that make for that most deplorable of all genres: dramedy or black comedy, with fewer and fewer laughs along the way.

Perhaps life is not so black and white as good guys and bad after all, but our movies usually refuse to reflect this. This film challenges its audience to live with moral ambiguity in their art, as well as in life.

This is the first movie in quite some time in which characters mention Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde in the same scene, among other quirks, making this the most intriguing film of the year.





Oscar Night Under Review

 DATELINE: Awards We Consider

 Itt    Uncle Oscar Unshaven!

Gone are the days when we would blindly follow Oscar to the bank. Oh, we think Oscar still points to True North, but usually its global directions system is busted.

We don’t go out to movies anymore. We watch on the smaller, but big screen in our home theatre. It’s comfy and cozy. Worse yet, we dismiss Golden Globes, Emmy, and only give Screen Actors Guild a cursory nod because our favorite uncle still belongs from his days as a movie star.

Nor do we review every film we see. Take this past season: we saw Get Out and chose not to review it, feeling it was not our cup of tea. It was nominated for Best Picture and the director won an Oscar for writing. Then again, so did Kobe Bryant for writing the animated short. So much for the Hollywood/Los Angeles voters.

Back in the day, we actually knew voters at the Academy. Most have gone on to a better world, or retirement.

Many of the films are ones we have not seen, nor had any plans to see. Oscar pushes us in a direction, but a blink or nod nod is the same to a blind horse. We use Oscars to decide if a movie not on our list should be included in one of our nasty reviews. We only review films we think you should see. We will not publish anything if the movie is unworthy, even under threat of having our remote taken away.

When The Darkest Hour won an Oscar for costume and makeup, we felt our favorite Gary Oldman was about to be snubbed and insulted: in a fat suit with shaved head, he plays Churchill. Yet, he actually won Best Actor. We want to see it more than ever.

We noted that James Ivory’s screenplay called Call Me By My Name won as homage to all his great movies a generation ago: thoughtful and intelligent.

On the other hand, we thought Dunkirk would fall into a long line of epic movies that win Best Picture. Instead, the award went to the remake of Creature from the Black Lagoon—or The Shape of Water as it is now called. We will review it.

When two actors win performing Oscars for the same picture, we know that it is well-written, a character drama, and well-acted. So, Frances Normand and Sam Rockwell have made the cut this year in a movie with an awful title: Three Billboards Some Place or something like it.

On the whole, we prefer movies that are off the radar screen. We prefer movies that do not have astronomical publicity budgets.

So, these are our thoughts after this latest Oscar night. We will take it to the bank and put it in a review. All on the small screen for our viewing.


**We hate it when the automatic spell checker changes our correct grammar and spelling to something incorrect, and it goes out to the world wrong.


Gronk in Wolf’s Clothing

DATELINE: Movie Star in Making

 while tom sleeps

We feel like the boy who cried “Wolf” about Rob Gronkowski.

For months, since long into last season, we have said he is a prime candidate to turn to a movie star career and leave the dangers and concussions and broken bones of the NFL.

Sports media types who know nothing about movies dismissed the idea, or leaned toward the acting of professional wrestling as more to Gronk’s low-level talents.

Suddenly this week however, it’s becoming apparent how likely it is that Gronk is the next big movie star of action movies and cartoon superheroes. As far as acting goes, he has a face that shows emotion—and with a careful director and judicious cutting room talent, a director can make an Oscar winner.

The worst luck of Tom Brady’s smashed mirror is to lose Gronk to movie stardom.

Gronk may not be Larry Olivier, but he is more than Larry Csonka. He can hit his marks with the best of them, and is a quick study: you learn that from the Belichick system.

So, now, horrors upon horrors, the notion that Gronk had considered retirement even before the past season started proves that he is likely to quit.

As for the Patriot fan in us, we will miss him in a local football uniform, we think his good health and mental stability far outweigh catching a few footballs thrown by Tom Brady next season.

He can always play a football star on screen. There are too few young action heroes (most are 40 or more in age), and Gronk is a spry 27. He may seem older because he has been a fixture for a decade.

Gronk is movie star material, not for Broadway drama, but for glamorous red carpets.


God’s Own Country: Forsaken and for Rent

DATELINE: Intelligent Human Drama

 god's grubby country

If you want a movie that combines Brokeback Mountain with Far from the Madding Crowd, you have fallen into the sheep dip of God’s Own Country.

In case you’re wondering, God’s country is in the Northumberland section of Scotland where sheep are sheep, and men are men.

Johnny (Josh O’Connor) is an uptight, hard-drinking, unhappy young man living with his handicapped father and aging mother on a remote sheep farm in cold, desolate, and in a kind of run-down in the dumps setting.  He spends time at the local pub and local urban area and meets a fair share of attractive men, but he is miserable.

He falls down on his homestead duties—and his father brings in a Romanian gypsy-type (but don’t call him that). It’s hate at first sight, until one of those cold, desolate outings to the outback where outing becomes all the rage.

This is actually a fascinating little film, way beyond the ground-breaking of Brokeback and unlikely to be made in America where sheepskin is only for college diplomas.

Actor Josh O’Connor has a rough-hewn attractiveness, and Alec Secareanu is smoldering. They really carry the movie, as the cast is tiny and the lack of population doesn’t make for much company.

When the affair consummates, it enflames, but the drama is far more subdued and intelligent. At least we don’t have to listen to disco dolly music and fashionistas with witty repartee.

This movie is by director and writer Francis Lee and comes from a world of whence he knows. Though the characters seem to think they are in God’s beautiful country, they clearly need to take a trip to the tropics.

In terms of gay films for a gay audience, this slice of life with calves being yanked out of a mother cow, and lambs being yanked out of ewes may be too much for city slickers. It’s nature’s way, apparently, when out in the country.  It will be too much muck for some viewers.


Truman’s Coldest Blood: Infamous & Capote

DATELINE:  Capote’s Clutter Story

Oscar Capote (Hoffman)

With a dozen years passing since Bennett Miller’s brilliant movie called Capote, we chose to look at it again. There were two Truman movies that year: competing for attention.

We felt at the time that Infamous with Toby Jones as Capote writing his non-fictive novel was the better. Phillip Seymour Hoffman won the Oscar.

We wished that the two films had mixed casts. It seems each had good points. We remain impressed with Hoffman’s work as Capote. A big man, he managed to convey a sense of the elfin Truman.  Jones was already the right size, being tiny.

Clifton Collins, Jr., remains so impressive in his work as Perry Smith, the sensitive killer with whom Capote seems to have fallen in love. Casting Daniel Craig in the other movie seems an odd choice. He was all wrong.

As in each movie, there is nothing more cold-blooded than a writer and his greatest work of literature. Don’t ever get between them.

Hoffman’s fey Capote has a ruthless, cold, hypocritical soul. He lies repeatedly to the killers of the Clutter family to gain their trust. Perhaps the two brutal murderers did not deserve much more than a lying hypocrite to befriend them.

Capote and his friend Harper Lee (also so well done by Catherine Keener) spend hours in Kansas doing research. Without her, Capote might not have a book—and he was less than supportive of her work, To Kill a Mockingbird, that she wrote even as she gave Truman her assistance.

We preferred Jeff Daniels as the detective on the case, though Chris Cooper is soberly affecting.

In the end, Capote did not want to discuss much with the killers until they gave him his ending and confessed how they did their murders. He also could not publish his book until they were executed. So, he simply stopped helping them find lawyers—and truly wanted them dead.

The flamboyant joke that Truman ultimately became likely came from his work on that book and his self-disgust. He never finished another book during the 20 years he lived after the execution of Perry Smith.

We still prefer the other Capote movie, Infamous, as a total movie experience, we must again give kudos to Capote as a film with impact and lasting emotional pain.


Celtics Fight Each Other!

DATELINE: ‘Former Celtic’ is Always a Dirty Term


Two of our favorite Celtics characters were sent packing to other teams some time ago. However, that does not mean they are not still Celtics.

Case in point, Rajon Rondo and Isaiah Thomas. They bleed Green.

Both men were lively point guards, fun to watch and delightful off-beat souls. Rondo had a temperament that helped win a banner over seven years. Thomas never won a banner but played like a wounded warrior through dark days and dark events in his personal life.

This weekend was supposed to be a video tribute to Thomas’s few years in Boston, but it was not meant to be.

It was Paul Pierce’s retirement ceremony. His 34 went to the rafters, and it was not a moment to be shared. The video tribute to Isaiah Thomas (then of the Cavaliers) was postponed indefinitely.

Before it happened, Rondo said Isaiah didn’t deserve a tribute because he never won a championship. Rondo insisted he knew Boston better than Thomas. That might’ve meant an interesting game, watching Rondo sitting right near the Cavaliers bench waiting for a turn to honor Paul Pierce.

Oh yes, though he plays for the Chicago Bulls, Rondo returned to Boston for Pierce’s retirement. That in itself was marvelous. He joined his former coach Doc Rivers and his best friend Kevin Garnett. Once a Celtic, always the Celtic.

Abruptly traded to the Lakers, Isaiah Thomas faced Rondo within the week as opposing players Laker versus Bull.

If you were surprised by the next part, you never watched a Celtics game. The two former Celtics went at each other in the first quarter several times, nasty words and physical pushes nearly turning into a brawl.  They both were ejected from the game.

Thomas insisted that Rondo was giving him a hard time for the tribute video that never happened and likely accused him of being a fake Celtic.

A true Celtic comes back to the Boston TD Garden even when he plays for another team for a ceremony because he has never shed the Celtic Green inside.

We love our former Celtics. They are never former.


Another Day of Infamy in American School and Media

DATELINE:  Your Regular Massacre

Michigan J. Frog

The United States is now run by a bunch of singing and dancing toads.

While the History channel chose to show a series of violent TV episodes on Al Capone and gangsters like Bonnie & Clyde to celebrate Valentine’s Day, in Florida a real Valentine’s Day Massacre was going on in a Florida school.

Good call, History Channel. Set the tone for all of America.

In the real world, 17 students were killed by a gunman who once was expelled at the school for bad behavior. He learned his lesson, didn’t he?

President Lamebrain Trump offered empty prayers on Twitter, but lost interest when he found out the shooter was not an illegal immigrant.

Congressman Seth Moulton called on the President to get off his “fat ass” and do something about guns.

Donald  Trump, Jr., attacked a gay Olympic athlete for wanting to postpone meeting Vice President Mike Pence who advocates killing all gay people.

In Boston at an alleged sports news radio station, whose call letters are WEEI, but should be WDUMB, plan to have a day of sensitivity training for their yahoo staff of idiots.

This is the alleged sports news station that advocates attacking Tom Brady’s five-year-old daughter with insults, and offers Charlie Chan racial imitations of Tom Brady’s Asian lawyer.

This loathsome band of semi-talented buffoons typifies Boston sports, which typifies American politics, which likely spurred the Red Sox this week to call for action against the radio station.

Sponsors and advertisers are leaving in droves. On-air personalities are claiming they will be fired if ratings lag and are forced to act like fools for money.

Welcome to America in 2018. Happy Valentine’s Day.




Tom of Finland: Not Everyone’s Cup

DATELINE: Movie with Message


To review a movie for a highly limited audience is risky business when you know the vast majority of readers will blanch at the subject.

So, we come to Tom of Finland, an extremely well-produced and well-acted movie in both English and Finnish (subtitles here) about the homoerotic artist who altered gay culture in the years after World War II.

He was a Finnish war hero suffering form post-traumatic stress from his experiences, but was attracted to muscle-bound men in provocative poses and uniforms. Pekka Strang plays Tom who is nothing physically like his fantasy models.

As hinted at in the movie, to blame Tom and Robert Mapplethorpe for the AIDS epidemic is almost as ridiculous as claiming they are in the league of Michelangelo.

However, all that aside, the movie is important as cultural history—and provides an interesting insight into repression and police brutality against gay men in the 1950s and 1960s.

Seumas Sargent is the American named Doug who brings Tom to the American scene where he finds his fantasies have come to life in California in the 1970s. Of course, the AIDS crisis victimizes most of these sexual pioneers. Gay clubs had long lines waiting to enter before 1980, and after 1985, the same clubs were shuttered.

Is this movie for you? Probably not even all gay men will find Tom’s work more than hyperbole of manliness. He seemed to have a big audience in the leather-clad gay lifestyle. Tom’s art is almost a satirical look at male sexuality, stylized and provocative, erotic and blatant.



DATELINE: Penknife Mightier than the Sword


Now read all your favorite blogs for the year in one handy location: your tablet, your smartphone, or your computer.


Now available, The Loser’s Edition.

Normally we compile a book of annual snide comments about the winner of the Super Bowl, but this year we change horses in the fourth quarter.

Now you can trace the sour grapes of Malcolm Butler up to the sacking by Coach Belichick in the final hours!

Now you can see the complete reviews and reactions to Tom Brady’s reality TV series and all its deadly fallout!

Now you can learn how Trump has poisoned the Patriot well of victory!

Now you can find the fake news about Gronk’s Hollywood career!

Now you cannot find much about Julian Edelman, but he still shows up on the pages now and then!

Now you can see how the Yalta Peace Talks between Kraft, Belichick, and Brady really came about and really went nowhere!

Now available on Amazon, cheap price, cheap words, cheap ideas!

Recommended for smart readers always!




Hollywood Beckons Gronk

 DATELINE: Retirement Among the Movie Legends

say it ain't so

Those who have read our Gronk commentaries over the past few years know that we have advocated a Hollywood trade for the big lug. He has a face and a personality and a body that won’t quit, which is enough to become a film star.

Now we hear that Rock Dwayne Johnson and Rocky Sylvester Stallone have told Gronk to go west to the land of swimming pools and movie stars. You can die hard on the screen. Gronk hits his marks and learned a complex playbook from Belichick. He can certainly memorize a few monosyllabic lines and hit the bad guy in the nose.

He can make $10m in one movie and a few commercials without breaking a sweat.

On the other hand, though we love watching him as a Patriots star, know that CTE and a concussion are the end of the line sooner than later. We want the best for Gronk, and we cringe every time we see him hit on the field.

We want to tell him that John Wayne played football too, but he made his mark in adventure movies. Gronk has a flexible face, and he could be in comedy, adventure, westerns, or sci-fi as the good guy, the comic relief, or the imposingly big villain.

We know that Foxboro is not exactly Beverly Hills where movie stars, swimming pools, and big bucks in the sunshine can be had, but we’d urge him to consider how well he’d do in movieland.

We’ve seen Gronk interact with Bieber, Kyrie Irving, David Ortiz, and myriad others on the screen. We’ve heard him read Chinese war lord Sun Tzu’s philosophy, and we know that James Bond could use him as the next opponent.

We love Gronk. Movies are his calling card—and small-screen series too. Maybe Westworld needs a new automaton.

Go west, young Gronk. Go west.



Gronk Wuz Robbed!

DATELINE: Baddies Natasha & Boris Suspected

 Gronk in Strait Jacket

While away in Frostbite Falls for the Super Bowl, Rob Gronkowski’s palatial home in Foxboro was the object of robbery. That makes Gronk a two-time loser in one week.

The police report that Gronk’s five-bedroom million-dollar house was left unattended, and he discovered the thieves were there on Monday afternoon.

Police won’t say what was taken. In all likelihood, the idiots who tried to rob Rob likely couldn’t recognize the Matisse paintings on his wall—and left them.

Some are shocked to learn that Gronk has anything worth stealing. Many are equally surprised that he does not live in cold-water flat, three-story walk-up.

Apart from heavy exercise equipment, there is not much to be carted away from his estate. His coin collection of Lincoln pennies could be a target.

We suspect the robbers were looking for one of Tom Brady’s jerseys, which have been valued by Texas Rangers as worth hundreds of thousands.

Knowing Gronk’s fan base, we suspect they were after one of his moldy jockstraps, as online bidding for the item may grow as fermented as the scent.

Since Gronk is threatening to retire this off-season, he will not be living in Foxboro much longer, moving to Beverly Hills where the old Clampitt estate will suit him and his extended family of brothers.

In the meantime, Gronk is hurting, having been violated in the sanctity of his bedroom. We recommend that Gronk spend the money on a cheap video security system while he waits for his Hollywood contract to be signed.


Strange Case of Aaron Hernandez

DATELINE: Dead Man’s Tales


Celebrity DNA

Flash!  Jose Baez, erstwhile lawyer for the late Aaron Hernandez, has found a way to recover his lost retainer:  like so many sycophants, he is writing a book that is allegedly going to shock everyone with its revelations about his client who it is now proven suffered from CTE, the concussion syndrome.

Baez (‘Don’t call me Joan”) plans for his tell-all to come out in August. So much for attorney-client privilege.

However, as readers of this blog know, we have been on top of the Hernandez case since 2013—and were the first to report early on about the sexual peccadilloes of Mr. Hernandez. We even had the shocking photos to prove it that shows what kind of weapon he was packing.

Our first in the nation expose of Hernandez is rightfully called The Strange Case of Aaron Hernandez and is comprised of all the on the spot blogs done, day by day, as the case unfolded.

In our shocker, you learn whether the Hernandez mansion is haunted, thereby negating any number of sales.

You will learn that Hernandez may have been involved with the in other murders in Florida where he attended college with his close friends, the Pouncey Twins, not to be confused with the Bobsey Twins.

We endeavored to find the stories behind the stories: how Hernandez killed flies and put them in his prison food to demand a second meal.

You will only hear the theories about why Hernandez had to stop 2 miles from his home in Attleboro at a deserted industrial park to take a bathroom break with one of the victims who never returned from his ablutions.

Only our book compares Hernandez to Lizzie Borden and wonders what Tom Brady knew and when did he know it.

And our book, however tasteless and unobjective, is available immediately on Amazon in both e-book and paper versions. It’s in the large book format for easy reading and heavy lugging.

Why wait till August when you can have your cake and murder it too right now?

Check it out here.







Dubious Bart Scott at it Again

DATELINE: Tales from a Loser

former jet loser Big Head & Little Mind

When you find a hater of the Patriots, he will be unrelenting in trying to spew forth his venom.

That case in point can be found in scurrilous Bart Scott, sometime player and now occasional analyst and guest commentator on the game. You may recall CBS dumped him from their pre-game show for being negative and subjective.

This week he tried to dispel any positive feelings for the Patriots by linking them again to Aaron Hernandez, the dead player who murdered a bunch of people and got away with it. Now he is trying to tie murderer Aaron Hernandez to a team he had not played for in years.

Former Jet perennial loser, Scott shared his memories that Hernandez was often taunted on the field by other players for two murders in Florida that he was never charged with. Those murders occurred while Hernandez was a student at the University of Florida with the notorious, now reformed Pouncey Twins. As Scott’s friends, he omitted them from the story.

According to Scott, players would try to unnerve Hernandez by asking him where he buried the Florida bodies, long before the killings in the Boston area.

Scott was not done with his Super Bowl week story. He insisted that the worst part of Hernandez’s career was being signed by a New England team: legendary winning Patriots.

In Scott’s mind, there was nothing worse than playing for a hometown team because Hernandez was too close to his gang roots in Connecticut, which led to his murder sprees.

Why is this coming out when the Pats go to the Super Bowl for media week?  Scott is trying to create the notorious distraction that Bill Belichick always warns his player are out there.

In this case, they are out in the fevered mind of Bart Scott.