New Book of Movie & TV Reviews

 “A compendium of enormous balderdash and overwrought and underthought insights!”

Mal Tempo, Long Time Ago book consultant

                                                    kindleredcarpet

If you enjoy Ossurworld’s movie and television reviews, with their unique and odd insights into what’s really happening in your favorite movies, then you are in luck! 

Red Carpet Tickets: Movie & TV Reviews collects the best of the blog reports in one place for easy access and reading.

The books is available for smarter readers, both in e-book and print formats, from Amazon.

If you want the perfect time-killer, Red Carpet Tickets is your ticket to ride. 

Ossurworld’s blogs on movies (& TV streams) select only films that you can and should devote time to watching. Bad films are rarely considered for examination. Bloated budgets, ridiculous acting, and skimpy budgets, will not hurt a film’s chances if something intelligent is presented. Ossurworld will let you know.

You can find Ossurworld’s new book online by simply clicking on this blue highlight!

Red Carpet Tickets: Movie & TV Reviews.  (This blog is a self-serving, commercial, and otherwise blatant attempt to win your appreciation of our mini-labors of Hercules.)

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CGI Removes Kevin Spacey from Upcoming Movie

DATELINE:  All the $ in the World

 oops, not so fast     (Remove the name please.)

Ridley Scott has announced he will replace Kevin Spacey as J. Paul Getty in his already filmed movie, All the Money in the World.  Its trailers already released with Spacey will be revised.

This is a new wrinkle: replacing an actor in a film without bringing in the rest of the cast, re-shooting dozens of set scenes, or otherwise delaying the project much.

Through the miracle of computer generated effects, the face of Christopher Plummer will be overlaid atop Kevin Spacey, creating an entirely new character’s image in scenes the rest of the cast never filmed. Their reactions in the script will be to the original actor, now erased.

The notion that actors and their roles are now subject to recasting at any point may change the direction that films take. Imagine: you can take an older film and remove a bad performance with another actor’s impersonation.

Spacey has been deleted because of his detriment to box office, no other motive can be found. To insure the movie will not be judged on the foibles of Spacey, someone else—namely older and safer Plummer will suffice.

We doubt that Spacey will replace himself with another face in his TV movie Gore, now shelved.

No matter that this bit of casting likely improves the entire film because Plummer will play the grandfatherly Getty, a billionaire cheapskate who didn’t want to pay the ransom for his kidnapped grandson.

Through the magic of computer effects, we can see a plethora of bad actors taken out of the role after working and being paid. If the director finds his original choice was not so good, he may re-cast with impunity.

Directors may now take advantage of some hot young star and replace the original with a new face for reasons of finance, politics, or just box office.

We expect to see the resurrection of James Dean or Marilyn Monroe in a new move when their heads are placed onto other bodies. It’s around the corner, movie fans.

Kevin Spacey’s World Revisited

spacey

DATELINE:  Recanting Our Blog

Additional charges against Kevin Spacey have now come out of the closet, increasing the validity of the original accusation.

What is tragic here is that he has just finished a movie called Gore about Gore Vidal that now will never be released by Netflix, and is considered “shelved.”  That is a fancy way to bury the film. Few decent films are shelved. Of the dozen or so shelved movies that were starring famous actors, most were deplorable messes. The Spacey film could have been interesting and high quality.

The movie had a juicy subplot concerning Leonard Bernstein and Rudy Nureyev. It might have rivaled the Liberace biopic, Behind the Candelabra for sheer tabloid appeal. It may be in limbo for the foreseeable future.

In a blog this week we offered a mild defense for Kevin Spacey against sexual harassment allegations, implying one charge was not enough for a generalization. Now we have heard there are multiple incidents.

During the course of the week, these additional charges have cropped up and caused Spacey’s talent agency to drop him entirely. The crew of his series House of Cards called the studio situation “toxic,” owing to Spacey’s behavior.

Various people who worked on the show felt Spacey was running amok. The specific details of Spacey’s alleged behavior are sordid. As a result, Netflix is totally canceled the sixth season of the House of Cards—and have withdrawn from the film project.

What remains distressing to us is that a film in post-production, namely Gore, about the life of writer Gore Vidal, produced and starring Kevin Spacey, may never be aired. What a miscarriage of creativity. Post-production means the film was in editing for final review.

What a shame and catastrophe for all of those who work so hard on the production. We think of actor Douglas Booth, a wonderful new star, whose performance may be lost.

This perhaps it is the biggest tragic result of the charges against Kevin Spacey. But we can will lose the opportunity to see another documentarian approach to Vidal. We doubt he would have approved of the movie in any case, when it is produced by a man with some reprehensible charges against him.

Kevin Spacey Pilloried: Trial by Social Media

DATELINE:  Accusations

Darrow Spacey

We must be in a new era of McCarthyism, Toto.

We are not fans of the Kevin Spacey Netflix series House of Cards, believing from the beginning that the British version was superior.

However, we are a little distressed at the latest trend. Netflix has suspended the Spacey series because of one young man’s allegation that Spacey accosted him over a decade ago. It seems like punishing everyone associated with the well-known actor.

Not even Clarence Darrow could likely spin Spacey out of this mess.

Corey Feldman seems to be doing something similar, collecting money based on his alleged victimization. Feldman is raising a public hue and cry about sexual predators—and asking for $10 million to fund his docudrama and personal life.

Who knows what the truth is? Is Feldman shaking down the goodwill of fans? Is Spacey’s accuser looking for free publicity?

We used to think we were in a country where you were innocent until proven guilty.  Court rooms and evidence are no longer required. Perhaps the US of A was never that country of ideals.

If a charge is made against you, you are immediately guilty, and castigated in social media. You can muster no defense; you can bring no supporting evidence. And in a situation where it’s your word against accuser, you’re dead dead dead.

Even if the accusation is recanted or disapproved, the taint will remain. There is no deodorant for being labelled a child molester.

We have no idea of whether Kevin Spacey committed an attack or seduction on a 14-year-old boy long ago. It seems strange to wait 14 years to complain about it. Perhaps it’s true Spacey cannot recall such an event—especially if it never happened, or is lost in an alcoholic haze.

However, there are benefits for the victim. Now the recipient receives great sympathy from a community looking for victims to support; he probably will be offered a bunch of roles and recognition in his acting field for bravery.

On the other hand, Kevin Spacey’s career may be in shambles. Having his hit series canceled or suspended is not a good sign of the future.

But times have changed. You will be judged today on yesterday’s actions by today’s standards. It doesn’t matter whether you’re Kevin Spacey charged with pedophilia or Robert E. Lee on a charger on a pedestal.

Movie Gold or Fool’s Gold?

DATELINE:  Free e-Book

kindlemoviegold

How often is there a free lunch in America?

This weekend may feed your movie-fan soul with a variety of film commentaries from the blogs of Ossurworld.  The latest book is called Movie Gold or Fool’s Gold? We suspect you may find both present in the digital pages.

Yes, the collected reviews are now together like the Musketeers: all in one convenient place for your perusal.  And, for the next few days, the cost is NOTHING!

Ossurworld likes Hollywood history, and this time he has put together recent reviews of classic movies he re-watched in 2017.

Amazon has a special feature for those who like something for nothing and believe you may actually receive more than you might bargain for.

If you want to know how to pick up Movie Gold or Fool’s Gold, just follow this highlight to the book-page to download. The offer is limited to a few short days–and dusk falls earlier as your Trick or Treat experience comes down the pike.

 

 

 

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What Would Marilyn Tell Harvey Weinstein?

DATELINE: Hollywood Sexual Harassment

MM Grand Marilyn

Despite all of the complaints by actresses about Harvey Weinstein, we keep wondering what legendary star of the 1950s, Marilyn Monroe would have to say about the Hollywood scandal.

Miss Monroe spent her entire life trying to find respect as an actress in an industry where she was treated like a cheap platter of hors d’oeuvres.

She might tell us she is not surprised by what’s going on today. She might tell us nothing has changed. She could tell us that some of the most important people of the 20th century sexually harassed her and abused her.  And, it was all in a day’s work.

That was the price you had to pay to become a superstar while trying to find roles that served her talent. She was the plaything of athletes and president. On that score, not much is changed.

Our superstar athletes and our President are known sexual abusers.  Or at least use locker room talk regularly when they grab women unceremoniously.

Miss Monroe had to leave Hollywood to go to New York stage in order to find dignity as an actress. But she didn’t realize this condition of sexual cruelty was the norm of her career choice.

Hollywood derived from sexual innuendo, sexual hijinks, and serial sexual users.

Harvey Weinstein and a plethora of male stars and producers have victimized men, women, and children, since Hollywood’s earliest days.

We think Miss Monroe would tell us, if you choose this life as an actress and you are beautiful, you better be ready for what’s going to be thrown at you.  It’s no big deal to be the victim of injustice.

 

High Cost of Men Accosting Women

DATELINE:  Naked Oscar in Gilt

oscar

In Hollywood, it is growing abundantly obvious that the only men who haven’t groped women are gay. That lets out repulsive men like Harvey Weinstein. What women would have gone with him willingly? He’s a toad—and clearly heterosexual.

We hesitate to ask if gay Hollywood icons have groped other men. We’ll have to ask Tab next time we see him. So far, we haven’t heard any charges—but since Hollywood is a place where copycats rule, you can expect the gay rapists to be fingered before Xmas.

You may expect a new sense of revisionist history: condemnation of formerly critically successful movies will be on the agenda because the participants and producers were sexist swine. Cue the recall of Oscar—a naked man in gold gilt.

In the meantime, we are hearing that Oliver Stone, Ben Affleck (but not Matt Damon), and sundry other men have proven their heterosexuality by accosting actresses. It must be a rite of spring.

Men, not accused of molesting women, will now be outed as disinterested parties (clubs where men dance only with other men).

Of course, at the time, usually in the distant 1990s, actresses expected to remain silent in the face of these kind of onslaughts. So, it is only 20 years later that a spate of rape charges is coming forth. We aren’t sure whether the statute of limitations has passed on some of these cold cases. We also wonder if an accusation is deadlier than actually finding someone is guilty.

Women are now boycotting Twitter because it is part of the male-dominated system. Apparently, these same women have missed the boat that Twitter also has favored the Russians over Hilary Clinton.

Since women are nowadays the primary readers in our society, writers like Hemingway are likely to be dunned more than ever. Expect a cadre of writers to come charging out of the closet soon.

If we start making judgments based on the thrilling days of yesteryear, no one will be safe. Twenty or thirty years ago was a different world, even if it pretended to be the Golden Age of Enlightenment.

If women are prepared to press the issue of male malfeasance, you can bet your bottom dollar and top drawer that these guys will go into rehab, aka “therapy,” which is certainly a way out of the dark and deep woods of the groped past.

As for us, we have always viewed light in the loafers as a standard defense.

 

Twin Peaks: Revised and Unresolved

DATELINE: Confounded Yet Again

dead but not gone

If you walk with David Lynch, you play with fire.

Despite our wishes, David Lynch did not put the entire cast in a bus and drive it off a cliff at Twin Peaks. Perhaps he should have.

If you thought everything would be wrapped up as the story seems to end (as if ever possible), you’re looking for a Christmas present under the wrong Douglas fir tree.

Everything comes full circle, and Twin Peaks brings us right back to the first episode 25 years ago. There, you will find a rewrite, revisions galore, to the original story, as agent D.B. Cooper returns to meet Laura Palmer before her fate. His mission seems to be to prevent the murder that started the entire 25-year odd odyssey.

Thank heavens Kyle MacLachlan and Sheryl Lee have not changed one whit. They play themselves 25 years ago, no mean feat. And they don’t look too bad in the process.

Lynch does assemble the entire cast in the Twin Peaks police station, and there seems to be some kind of paranormal activity with spirits, smoke, and bad lighting.

However, unless you own some kind of Ouija board or crystal ball, you will not understand what on earth is going on. As a Greek chorus, the mobster  Jim Belushi standing there for no good reason also asks the question, “What the hell is going on?”

The actors themselves look befuddled as they perform the scene. Well, as long as the paycheck doesn’t bounce, actors will perform in any tripe being of any stripe.

This episode ends with the late Jack Nance being fondly remembered at the end of the credits this time, “in memory of.”  Yes, he starts the original series once again by not finding the dead Laura Palmer wrapped in cellophane on the shore.

Alas, the more things change, the more they remain the same.

Twin Peaks 3: Episode 14 Update

DATELINE:  We See Dead People

bowie

Late David Bowie With Early MacLachlan

If we have learned any lesson this season, it is there is no such thing as a spoiler in Twin Peaks 3.  David Lynch’s surreal series is moving toward its conclusion, and the old characters, however dead they may be, are still viable plot movers.

Old time fans will be glad they have hung on to the lunacy by this time. Lynch now has begun to weave clips of the original show, 25 years ago, into the new plot.

This episode featured old Lynch as FBI Director Cole recounting a dream to Miguel Ferrer as his assistant Albert. In it, we see dark-haired young Lynch in conversation with young, still-dark haired Kyle MacLachlan as Agent Cooper. Director Cole’s old partner and friend shows up from 25 years ago, and it is none other than the late David Bowie.

He is in a scene with the late Miguel Ferrer.

Dana Ashbrook is now on the Twin Peaks Police Force, and James Marshall is now a night watchman in the infamous Twin Peaks Hotel. There, he works with a British boy who looks like his son—and has been directed to Twin Peaks by cosmic forces to find his “destiny.”

Lynch continues to be a grand proponent of directing actors to stare blankly at each other. It is both insightful and hilarious. He does it best with Ferrer who notes the absurdity of the universe.

We now learn too the connection between missing agent Dale Cooper, his assistant Diane, and the weird counter-point of Naomi Watts as Mrs. Dougie Jones.

The episode is dedicated to the memory of David Bowie who probably wished he could return to reprise his role in this grandiose season.

The Stunt Man: Rush Job

DATELINE:  Mad Director Meets Madder Stunt Man

otoole

If you ever wondered what it might’ve been like to walk onto the set of legendary superstar Peter O’Toole during filming, your chance came in 1980 with the movie The Stunt Man, directed by Richard Rush.

The title is two words because Burt Reynolds sued director Rush over the title, wanting it for his movie tribute to stuntmen. They split the difference.

It’s a comedy action thriller drama Hollywood insider movie about the making of an out-of-control World War I epic anti-war movie with more explosions and killings than supports its so-called plot of the movie-within-a-movie.

It also costars Steve Railsback, in a rare heroic role as a Vietnam vet with post-traumatic stress syndrome. Fleeing from police, he wanders onto the set of O’Toole’s Eli Cross production and is immediately sucked into the ruse of taking up the role of a stunt man who was killed accidentally that day.

O’Toole knows he has a fugitive on his hands, but needs to prevent an investigation into his botched movie stunt.

Railsback was fresh off playing Charles Manson in Helter-Skelter for a movie mini-series. Peter O’Toole based his wacky director on his work with David Lean during the making of Lawrence of Arabia.

Flying around the set on a crane, O’Toole’s ego-maniacal director will risk anything to get his movie on film, including the accidental death of crew-members. Yes, this is a comedy, but not quite like you expect.

This movie probably would never be made today, even with rogue directors and winking cable studios financing the project.  Then, again, we admit that Twin Peaks was given a green-light.

When Railsback asks O’Toole why he is protecting the fugitive, O’Toole answers: “Because I’m in love with your dark side.” It makes perfect sense.

Railsback was never so handsome, and O’Toole was never quite so cuckoo.  It makes for a delicious movie, though it is about a half-hour too long.

In its earlier incarnation, it was given little publicity in its release. O’Toole commented the film was not released, “It escaped.”

 

Why Him? Why This Movie?

DATELINE: More Francophobia

why him?

James Franco stars here. As we know, Franco alternates between serious, literary movies, and mindless, nuthouse comedies. This falls into the latter.

Here he plays an exasperating, offensive, foul-mouthed extreme version of his most irritating persona. Opposite him is Bryan Cranston playing a curdmudgeon father of a beautiful Stanford co-ed who is cohabitating with this lout.

He wants to marry her, though she is so conservative we can never figure out why they are together to begin with. Franco is so appalling that we wonder why anyone wants to be in the same movie.

Of course, the fly in the ointment is that Franco’s Laird Mayhew is a video-games entrepreneur billionaire who cavorts with the likes of Elon Musk. Yes, he appears.

In a twisted way, Cranston’s befuddled father is perfect and the air-headed script flies by with tasteless scene following even more tasteless scene. We have been watching too many high quality, artistic movies, and have been brought down to earth in a crash with this picture.

Franco must win over Cranston to win over Zoey Deutch. Megan Mullaly, Cedric the Entertainer, and Griffin Gluck are around for the ride. Keegan-Michael Key steals the picture largely as the overgrown “houseboy” (via the Inspector Clouseau movies, proudly plagiarizing Pink Panther).

In its own way, this is a perverse Xmas movie, complete with references to Macauley Culkin being home alone to make the entire concept completely incongruous.

You may laugh as the Millennials truly make the Baby Boomers take one on the chin.

In case you wonder, the hideous art hanging in Laird’s house all were done by James Franco, who else?

Stuffed shirts always loosen up in face of a James Franco onslaught. The film defies you not to laugh.

 

 

 

 

Deep Impact: 20 Years Later

 DATELINE:  Stars Die to Save Humanity

deep impact

We heard that the premise of this old disaster movie was actually based on a government plan of what would happen in an Extinction Level Event. The first 20 minutes of this film are marvelous, intelligent, and suddenly undone.

Its special effects are not bad, even by today’s hyped-up computer special-effects level of distinction. Yet, there is something sadly wasteful about the movie. And, some of the scenes are way off:  World Trade Center meets a horrible fictional end.

Oh, this disaster had a woman director, Mimi Leder and was produced by Stephen Spielberg and Richard Zanuck. The film throws some great performers into the mix in small, unimportant roles: Vanessa Redgrave and Maximilian Schell are not given much to do as Tea Leoni’s parents. Why are they there, except for a paycheck?

Morgan Freeman plays an Obama-style president ten years before Obama actually became the first black president. You can throw in James Cromwell for a few minutes, and Elijah Wood looks downright adolescent as the kid who first discovers the deadly impact is coming on his small telescope.

Oh, you will see Jon Favreau and Blair Underwood as Robert Duvall’s astronaut crew—and Leelee Sobleski hangs around too.

All these wonderful performers were faced with a deplorable situation: and it wasn’t the plot. It was a bad music score that often drowns out their most dramatic moments and lines. Who decided to Mickey Mouse the film like it was a Road Runner cartoon?

Most fans of disaster will hang around to see the world crumble. It’s 1997, folks, so the World Trade Center is standing until a tidal wave hits. The Statue of Liberty loses her head, and the Brooklyn Bridge is awash.

It’s the big pay-off, but the film is not so awful as to kill everyone. Hope spring eternal when stars sacrifice their lives (and careers) to save humanity. If this is a spoiler, we plead guilty.

What a disappointing movie.

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.

Night Must Fall, or at Least Trip Lightly

wacky mcavoy

DATELINE:  Shyamalan’s Latest

Producers continue to give M. Night Shyamalan money to make movies of his choice, despite commercial and critical disparaging words.

The latest is called Split, about a man (if you can call him that in a supernatural thriller) with 24 personalities.  That’s a personality disorder with capital letters. It is about as overwrought as hyperbole can make it.

Shyamalan wrote this as well as directed. In terms of his writing, this film obviously came together after he saw William Wyler’s The Collector from 1965. That film is about a disturbed young man who kidnaps a beautiful girl and keeps her prisoner in hopes of making her fall in love with him.

This time, the man with the identity disorder kidnaps three women and keeps them prisoner in an elaborate underground prison. At least the John Fowler story of The Collector explained how he won the lottery which financed his mad caprices.

That’s not enough here. Shyamalan adds a touch of Hannibal Lecter and Psycho to the mix. That should pile-on adequately.

Don’t misjudge: this film has a rather wild performance by James McAvoy who limns about six personalities. He is highly watchable. Betty Buckley plays his therapist who is a classic enabler.

Shyamalan has all his usual Hitchcockian pretenses at hand: he makes a cameo again, sets all his films in Philadelphia, and loves to hear echoes of other movies. If you think this is his best since Sixth Sense, he will agree with you—as the sequel is already on the books, Mr. Glass.

Indeed, Bruce Willis makes a cameo at the end to promote the sequel. Nothing like trying to microwave your stew to guarantee an audience smells the aroma.

The film reaches the outer limits by the end credits, trying to sell us that psychosis is actually a means to reach the supernatural. Our grandmother used to say, “Balderdash,” and it still fits.

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.