Boys from Brazil: Where the Nuts Are

DATELINE: Hitler Clones 

 Peck as Mengele!

Back in the day, Ira Levin was one hot writer. He was knocking out Broadway and movie hits with aplomb, and writing novels too. He was entertainment and controversy, wit and delight. Apart from Death Trap, he gave us Boys from Brazil.

One of his least favorite set-pieces was the novel and movie about Josef Mengele. How short-sighted they were back in those days. The main criticism centered on Atticus Finch, the hero of all things American, being done up as a pasty and hideous looking Mengele. Yes, sir, that’s Gregory Peck in the lead role, horrifying.

He is magnificent, but back then he was stung by severe criticism. His performance may be one side of over-the-top , but when you ae playing one of the evilest fiends in history, it’s hard to pull back.

The cast is utterly astounding

Playing the old Jewish Nazi hunter whose efforts have gone past relevance is Laurence Olivier. Even Peck’s Mengele has no respect for the old-timer who warns young and hunky Steve Guttenberg to get out of Paraguay before there is one less nice Jewish boy. In an early role, Guttenberg is a sacrifice to plot, replaced by his clone John Rubinstein.

James Mason, who always accounted for Nazis of varying stripes, plays a Prussian aristocratic Nazi. Every nuance of his performance, especially with Peck, is a subtext of delight. And, you have to stand back in sheer horror at a gala soiree of Nazis in Paraguay in the 1980s.

Throw in a passel of well-known character actors—from Anne Meara and Uta Hagen to John Dehner and Denholm Elliot—and you have a hoot of acting. What other movie features two 70ish stars in a dirty, knock-down fight to death at the climax?

Yes, Ira Levin knew how to entertain and write a film that was 40 years ahead of its time.

What brought the fiercest criticism was the crypto-science of the age: genetic research! The public could not accept Mengele’s theories that he could clone humans—and create a new Master Race leader. How silly they were back then! It would only take 30 years to make the story less crypto.

The boys back in Brazil were hardly your run of the mill Nazi party members: Mengele was after the big fish. He had enough DNA from Hitler to make a bunch of them from now until kingdom come!

Today, that is cutting edge. It’s quite a movie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kremlin Letter: Postage Due

DATELINE: IMF Gone Wrong

  George Sanders Goes Out in Flames! 

In 1970 if you wanted a thinking man’s spy thriller, you went to a film based on John LeCarre, and if you wanted a thriller with twists, you went to Mission: Impossible. If you wanted laughs, you turned to James Bond.

If Huston wanted to do Mission: Impossible,he needed the music. This movie version is rife with sex talk and use of sexual blackmail as part of the work habits of spies.

All these spies are retired and go by weird nicknames or coded identities. No matter.

So, it figures that John Huston would manage to straddle the fence and give us a spy thriller that has all these elements—and the imprimatur of one of the great directors: John Huston.

The Kremlin Letteris sheer, unadulterated  nonsense with twist of logic that defies explanation. Yet, it is glorious in its location settings—and startling cast of giants.

You will see in no particular order: Orson Welles, Max Von Sydow, Raf Vallone, Richard Boone, Dean Jagger, and Patrick O’Neal, and in a career killing performance—George Sanders in drag.

We don’t know if this movie led to Mr. Sanders’ untimely exit in Spain shortly after making this movie. He claimed he was bored. Well, we never saw him offer so much energy than as a piano-playing crossdresser in a gay club.

There is talk about two gay characters hooking up: Welles and Sanders. That would have been worth the price of admission, but the film really devolves into one of those sex-talk double-cross twisters.

What has any of this to do with retrieving a letter that seems worthless (but everyone will kill for it). That’s the old McGuffin of Hitchcock.

And Huston had turned to appearing on camera by then—and again gives himself a role in the picture. No spies come in from the cold, and everyone has a license to kill.

We knew this was going to be a treat from the opening credits. Huston still had the juice in those days—and could deliver a real movie in a world of nouveau auteurs.

 

 

 

Fox Investigates Hen House: Nunes Corruption !

DATELINE: Human Scum Devin Nunes!

With news that Republican House investigator Devin Nunes met with an indicted Ukrainian front man for Trump may not be all that shocking. This is the man who keeps complaining Democrats have been caught trying to locate nude photos of Trump in Moscow with prostitutes. Now, he has been caught with his fingers on the cookies in the jar.

This is the man who showed his true colors when he declined to give a war hero his due by using his title of Lt. Colonel during impeachment hearings last week.

Nunes apparently traveled to Vienna after Democrats won the elections last year for the House of Representatives. He was working on behest of Trump to call on Ukrainians to investigate Mr. Biden.

Now one of the indicted Ukrainians wants to testify that the fox is leading the investigation into the hen house.

You could say Fox News is leading the investigation into the House of Representatives. There may not be much difference.

To call indicted foreign nationals working for Trump and donating to his campaign—could cause Nunes a bit of discomfort. This alleged representative of the people also has hired a Trump aide to be his aide after they went on this fact-finding trip together.

Nunes refuses to discuss, admit, or confirm, any of this, though travel records show that he went to Europe on a secret mission. This man one led the Intelligence Committee which could be the greatest oxymoron of the Trump impeachment.

Trump’s lapdog has growled at every witness during the hearings—making outrageous statements in defense of Trump’s bribery phone call to the President of the Ukraine.

There is no recusal from snakes in the grass. There is no excuse to protect Devin Nunes from himself.

 

Failed Memory Blows Over Ancient Aliens

DATELINE: Fox News & Ancient Aliens Fail Us! 

 Fake Interview?

As the latest series arc comes to its covenant with space darlings, we return to the U.S. Navy and a government coverup. “Countdown to Disclosure” featured Fox News Tucker Carlson interviewing Trump who dismissed the idea, claiming he never heard about it.

Nick Pope did not do his homework, nor did Tucker Carlson: Donald Trump’s uncle was one of the driving forces behind government secrecy, having confiscated the Tesla papers after the great scientist died.

Tucker Carlson is a believer. Nick Pope interviews him about his Trump interview. It is peeling an onion. Carlson, one of Trump’s biggest defenders, claimed he did not think Trump was telling the truth on this!

According to the famous series, this line of questioning proves that the ridicule associated with the topic is fading.

The public wants serious answers.

Now we hear that the US government is prepping the public to ready the truth. This will undercut shock and panic.The new reality is that pilots can report unknown aircraft with impunity.

We hear again that the movie industry and TV has been exposing the viewers to extra-terrestrials and their reality. Again, Ancient Aliens contends there is a shadow government—and it seems to be coming undone. The counter-intelligence started years ago, creating a massive denial policy.

Continued discredit programs seemed to be developed to stop whistleblowers like Bob Lazar. This policy is traced back to a 1960 Brookings Institute report, which may be out of date, but still stands as the foundation of government policy.

So, what is the reason for secrecy? The government does not want to transform the economic systems of Earth if UFOs gve the world new technology. Billionaires would suffer, and owners of the planet would lose their fortunes.

Several nations, like Chile and Belgium, are moving toward disclosure—but they are under tremendous influence from the United States to withhold aid and permission. Ancient Aliens believes that privatization of the space explorers like Musk and Branson makes disclosure inevitable.

They seem to forget Trump’s uncle John of the CIA was one of the architects of keeping big secrets to protect money interests.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shooting on Fifth Ave?

DATELINE: Outrage Unleashed!

 Garrett Needs a Roy Cohn?

Forget your Easter bonnet for the big Thanksgiving parade. Donald Trump and Myles Garrett are leading the parade of felonious media freaks.

On a day when Donald J. Trump intimidated a witness at a Congressional hearing, we recall his comment that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and no one would give a fig.

Since then, the candy bar has come into Renaissance, and the New York mayor claimed that they would indeed arrest Mr. Trump. However, if you are a Republican in Congress, your job is to re-load the weapon, as if the POTUS were a shooter in your typical American high school. Trump likes to kick Sandy Hook in our collective faces.

Now, we have a case in parallel where Mason Rudolph, a QB of the NFL, has assumed that violence will be done unto him on the playing field. And now, Myles Garrett has taken that presumption and done a deed that is comparable to Trump’s boast. Lock and load that helmet, fans.

QB of the Steelers, Rudolph, did not die and was not seriously injured, though his vanity may be fatally overexposed. It is Myles Garrett who has achieved the ultimate notoriety: he is the Trump of football.

He can shoot a helmet to the head of an opponent and be guilty of felonious assault but get away with it. His action has been called “embarrassing” by some teammates and coaches. There will be no arrest and trial. This is not hockey, a sport of immigrants from Canada. Trump might threaten a wall to prevent those Canadians from bringing sticks to the game. 

Trump plans to continue to call for the ban of Colin Kaepernick but likely will call for amnesty and pardons for Myles Garrett.

Attempted murder on national television is more than embarrassing, and the Cleveland Browns are intimidating NFL fans with it’s “just a game,” mantra.

There is nothing just here. Justice died on Fifth Avenue, in Congress, and at pep rallies held by Trump.

Space Cowboys Ride Into the Sunset

DATELINE:  Elder Stars Shine

  Maverick and Rowdy Yates with Tommy Lee!

How did we miss this action comedy directed by Clint Eastwood with an assemblage of geriatric stars?

Space Cowboysfrom 2000 unites a few genuine TV and movie cowboys (Eastwood and James Garner), but there are ringers in the bunch:  Tommy Lee Jones and Donald Sutherland. It does not matter: it is pure golden agers.

They were old then, but it was almost twenty years ago. Yet, only one has passed away since–James Garner.

Starting with a black and white prologue, you have the distinctive voices of the stars superimposed on younger, lookalike actors, which is effective. In the pre-NASA days, they are washed out of the space program and replaced by a monkey (not a first for Clint).

Even a dated late-night show host (Jay Leno) makes an appearance.

What is ineffective is the screenplay, all rather formulaic. Clint also does the story by the numbers: there are some old feuds and fights. He must reunite the old team.

And then in a plot twist that is cruel and nasty, the NASA honchos try to wash out the oldsters by killing them with physical training. Meant to be funny, it is simply unpleasant to watch. The charm of the actors is sorely challenged by the script. But, Clint as director is, as always, pure no-nonsense.

The enemies include William Devane and James Cromwell, which is not exactly chopped liver. This is an actors’ delight. Yet, the actual space trip in the shuttle is almost anti-climactic, and also rekindles the old Cold War.

Old, broken down space shuttles never die.

 

 

 

Trump’s Latest Antic

DATELINE: Pond Scum Unites!

 Who are these people?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tom Brady Assaults Media Twice in One Week

 DATELINE: APB FOR A&B (NOT ANTONIO)

Brady mask, life-size! 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oh, Tom, you coy boy.

Tenth Victim: Futuristic and Dated

DATELINE: Murder in the 21st Century

 Andress in Undress?

The expiration date on using The Tenth Victim probably ended in the 20thcentury.

A social satire about murder in the future, this Italian film has all the earmarks of Fellini and Antonioni. It is excessive, flamboyant, and beautifully filmed. Its main conceit was that in the 21stcentury America, violence would be rampant and institutionalized as a game.

You would have hunters and the hunted. Alas, nothing racial or insulting to minorities occurs. In fact, there is not a minority to be seen in a colorful landscape meant to be the United States.

The male victim is a highly successful hunter with a dozen kills to his credit, but now the computer system has turned the tables and sent a stunningly beautiful woman out to get him. He does not know her identity, and that is part of the game. Everyone dresses in eye-popping fashion, and the future is squeaky clean, streets bright and cheery.

The cast is exemplary for the time: Marcello Mastroianni bleaches his hair blond (it was big that year as Terence Stamp did it too), and he is pursued by the American killer Ursula Andress. Hunh? You mean it’s not Anita Ekberg? Or Sophia Loren?

The sets are spectacular, and the music is jazz out of the classic Fifties mode, what you’d expect in a Euro-entertainment of the period.

As for the plot, it is neither violent enough, bloody enough, or shocking enough to make it controversial. It is played for light-hearted satire, and there is not a drop of blood to be seen.

Other touches indicate that comic books are great literature in America in the 21stcentury, collected like first-edition Francis Bacon.

In 1965, this flashy film grabbed them at the art house. Today it is more akin to a flash in the pan, though we are reluctant to pan something that is original, singular, and cute.

Yes, Tom Brady Wants Out of New England

DATELINE: Better to Receive than Deceive 

 Unimpeachable Source?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Air Force One is One Fat Half-Wit

DATELINE: Ford Trumps Lincoln

 Prez Ford Shoots from Hip

Can it be that Trump thinks he is Harrison Ford in the hilarious presidential/terrorist movie called Air Force One?

Delusion takes many forms: for a fat old man to see himself as an idealized President Harrison Ford may not be a stretch for Mr. Trump. Here’s a president who goes off script in public speeches, much to the shock of his aides.

Ford’s president is no Gerald and no Lincoln. He orders outrageous tactical attacks on the Ukraine in conjunction with the Russian president! In 1997’s now sentient movie about the future of the American presidency should give everyone a nightmare.

Gary Oldman shows up with a suspicious crew in Moscow who plan to board Air Force One and do mayhem. Back at the White House, Vice President Glenn Close and Secretary of Defense Dean Stockwell are at loggerheads. The U.S. government is run by buffoons. Most of the movie takes place in mid-air: They are on a jet flying around, but there is not even the hum of an engine in this aircraft.

Within a matter of moments, the terror team has fairly much wiped out the highly trained and highly touted Secret Service aboard the aircraft. Hmmm. This is not a high recommendation for American protection service. We suppose most people tell themselves that it’s only a movie meant to give Harrison Ford some heroic moments.

Since this film takes place in the years right before 9-11, there is something creepy about a stolen plane filled with hostages about to fly into some kind of explosive crash.

Of course, the POTUS here is a Medal of Honor winner who was a hero in Vietnam: no, it’s not John McCain, but it isn’t exactly Trump. However, the President is surrounded by a bunch of cowering bureaucrats or power-grabbing traitors.

In one ridiculous moment, the President must cross fuel line wires to dump fuel: we figure this is realistic because Trump crosses wires daily. As a stable genius, we presume Trump can also fly Air Force One.

It is a cynical view of entertainment.

 

 

Carded at CVS!

DATELINE: Old Dogs Jump Through Hoops

The last time I was carded for my age was about forty years ago. I wanted to buy a bottle of white wine for a friend, and the clerk was quite sheepish—saying, “Oh, am I out of line?”

I insisted on showing my driver’s license to prove that I was well over 21.

This time, we were not amused.

Going to CVS to buy cough syrup, a young girl became quite belligerent as I stood in line with people behind me. She insisted that she needed my exact birthday before she could sell me a bottle of NyQuil.

Snide as an old curmudgeon can be, I asked, “Do I look older than 18?”  She said it was store policy.

I told her it was “unnecessary and outrageous.” That did not deter her insistence that I could not purchase cough syrup without a license.

Who the hell do they think they are at CVS? I said make up a date. She refused. I told her I was born in 2000. Only that would satisfy her.

I was waiting for a request for my ID, as she then asked if I had a CVS card. I told her I had burned it in protest. She was not amused. Did I have a telephone number? We are tracked by so many different means now. You cannot avoid having a police record of every item you buy at CVS.

It is an outrage for sure, but you never know when those old folks at the old folks’ home are making meth.

 

 

 

 

 

Blowing the Whistle on Trump

DATELINE: New Trump Godfather Movie?

 New Don Trump!

In a new Godfather sequel, Don Vito Trump makes an offer that a whistleblower cannot refuse.  Yes, if the anonymous whistleblower reveals his identity, Russian mobsters will not only break his legs, he will be able to meet the man he accuses of criminal deals as he is fitted with cement overshoes.

If you ever wondered why whistleblowers are afraid, you have only to ask Fox journalists who liken them to “rotten snitches.” Yes, so much for the fair and balanced approach to someone reporting on corruption found in the Washington swamp.

Like calling his lawyer Michael Cohen, his mouthpiece of yore, a rat, Trump envisions the world in movie mob terms.

We now know that if you drain the swamp, you will find a slime-ball with orange hair lurking in the mud. The Creature from the Black Lagoon is now POTUS.

Don Trump does have a right to meet his accuser—in a court of impeachment in the United States Senate. And by then, it will be too late to have him executed—unless the Senate decides that Trump is really a king, not a president.

As of today, we have received another request from Trump to pay for his impeachment defense: his billions are not enough. Now the Don Trump is baking canolis filled with creamy poison for the American electorate.

We are not sure if the Don knows that this is not the Vatican where you can have the Pope replaced (as in Godfather 3). In this sequel, the mob plans to supply the voters with Ukrainian voting booths.

We have seen a preview of the film in which Don Trump’s grandchildren are dressed up like the Storm Troopers in the Star Wars series. In case you forgot, the Nazi Storm Troopers in white plastic suits were the bad guys who went against the forces of good.

In Trump’s world, life is like a box of chocolate movie sequels: all covered in Rambo Blood.

Another Canard Tossed at Tom Brady

DATELINE: Uncle Tom’s Cabin and White Rice

 Racist Tom at Kentucky Derby 

If being an old codger in the NFL isn’t enough to create mockery, now a humbug New England sex professor is accusing Brady of the canard of a can of worms: the racist card canard.

Every time we try to extricate our reputation of being a Tom Brady critic, the forces of New England sports pull us back into the maelstrom.

Our latest laugh riot opinion centers on a University of Rhode Island Gender Studies professor who has written that Brady’s appeal is to white nationalist-types and typos.

If you know academia, like we do as a former don of the academic mob, you know this sort of “professor” has used gender politics as his bread and butter with jam topping.

Brady, guilty of deflating footballs and playing when he should be in a rocking chair, has now incurred the wrath of some transplant transgender New Englander who hates sports and loves gender misidentification. This sensation-seeking pariah now has taken aim at Brady’s Trump-loving demeanor.

It seems back in 2015, Uncle Tom expressed support for Trump and kept a MAGA hat in plain view that incensed Chicagoans like Jussie Smollett.

Now Brady is accused of fostering racism on his Kentucky Derby trips with many friends (nearly all of whom are, uh-oh, white in a sport that has 66% black players). As a crypto-Nazi sort, Tom-boy is always kissing owner Robert Kraft (who is Jewish) and Julian Edelman (who is lesser Jewish).

You may want to overlook that Brady recently invited black icon Antonio Brown to live in his home where his young daughter and model wife also reside. We have to complain that this is surely a coverup of his racism, unless you want tenure at URI.

Prof. Kyle Kusz sounds like a mixed bag of a political windbag variety.

Throwing a log onto the racist Brady theory encourages racist supporters’ fire-down-below is a low-blow even for an academic in New England unless he already has tenure and loves death threats.

Alms for the Rich! Trump Begs for $$

DATELINE: White Wash at the White House

 Defending the Indefensible?

All past Republican donors are now being asked by the Trump Defense Team to donate money to prevent impeachment. Yes, I have received a request, having made the horrid mistake of donating to Trump’s election by buying Trump Coffee Mug.

Yes, he sees this as a political campaign. Are there election laws for this kind of slime-ball request? It may not fall under Election laws.

Trump is calling this a “WITCH HUNT,” and asking previous donors (like me) to give money to defend his indefensible behavior. He has no idea what he has done, and he is not interested in facing his corrupt behavior. His supporters are of the same mind: like Lindsay “blackmail victim” Graham who now says that it’s an inconsequential phone call to a foreign leader to interfere in an American election. It is not a problem for these “patriots” to ask a foreign government to smear a candidate for the office of President.

There is a moral blind spot here. It’s like color-blindness. They simply cannot see red.

There is something unseemly about a defense team collecting money to defend a man who says he has done nothing wrong. If you live in a moral vacuum, you likely do not think you ever can do wrong. Wrong is a moral concept, and if there is a spot where Trump cannot see, it is when it comes to morality.

We cannot figure out who will actually receive any funds donated: Guiliani? Ivanka? Trump Tower?

And he counts on a bunch of idiots who will soon part with their money in defense of a criminal and lawless man who will destroy the Constitution before he leaves office.

If you want to buy the Brooklyn Bridge, you may as well give to the Impeachment Defense Fund. Better to buy a condo in Trump Tower. At least you might have a tax write-off if you are audited.

Now if they throw in a collectible coffee mug that will be worth its weight in gold after he is tossed out of office, I may consider sending $5.