On the Offence with Sean Connery

 DATELINE: Endeavour Predecessor!

Back in 1972, Sean Connery did not want to play James Bond: to arrange for him to do another film on 007 romp, Connery insisted he be allowed to play a disturbed police detective based on a dark and depressing play called The Offence.

The movie showed off Connery as a powerful actor, but was a box-office fizzle. Audiences were not ready to see James Bond in a dubious psychologically damaged role. The film remains topical and fascinating: it deals with a police sergeant detective in London who cracks up while investigating another hideous child molester case (shades of Jeffrey Epstein).

With its disturbing lead character finally at wit’s end, his response is police brutality and murder that is ripped out of the headlines of 2020 without the racial angle. It’s directed by Sydney Lumet, no less.

The film mirrors Endeavour, the PBS series, set at the same time of early 1970s, now dealing with police like Fred Thursday at the end of their rope, having to face brutality and violence day-after-day. Endeavouris accurate for the feeling and style of police work in those days.

One may have sympathy for these benighted knights of crime, but they have lost the ability to make good decisions.

Trevor Howard shows up to match Connery in an interrogation scene as the chief constable of Scotland Yard. Their acting in tandem is remarkable, but the film is depressing and unpleasant as it details the reasons why the police sergeant kills a child molester while he is in police custody.

If this is to be recommended for its relevance, it is to be watched with a barf bag handy. You will likely be unhappy to see Connery’s license to kill, in this role, is not for espionage fun. This is a dark, stark, cruel movie.

 

 

Trump on Child Molester Again!

DATELINE: Defending the Indefensible? 

 Birdbrains of a Feather?

When Trump believes your crime is fake, you are golden.

Some people are dumb as rocks and never learn a thing about their bad behavior. Donald Trump is a twilight zone case in point. He has doubled-down on his defense of Ghislaine Maxwell, crony and accomplice of Jeffrey Epstein.

Trump has pulled out all the stops this time, giving her the shield of his own regular defenses against crimes and misdemeanors:  it’s a hoax of the fake news media.

Talking to an Axios reporter one-on-one, Trump went beyond his usual good wishes for criminals in jail—and questioned the charges (convicted in Epstein’s case takes away the ‘alleged’ term).

Trump has always been vocabulary-challenged and never sees the subtle difference between conviction and accusation. It’s all part of the same smear to him.

When the reporter raised sex trafficking among the charges, Trump was quick to pull the trigger: “Well, first of all,” Trump said, “I don’t know that.” The reporter tried to speak:“She has. She’s been arrested for that.”

Trump “implied that his well-wishes for Maxwell are due to the suspicion surrounding Epstein’s death, and the fact that she now finds herself in a similar situation.”

Trump then went beyond the pale: he questioned the suicide of Jeffrey Epstein, wondering who might be responsible for his murder. Well, Mr. President, fool that you are, YOU SIR are in charge of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. It happened on YOUR watch during YOUR ADMINISTRATION.

Then came more horrific verbiage by the Commander in Chief of Idiots:  “Her friend, or boyfriend, was either killed or committed suicide in jail. She’s now in jail,” Trump said. “Yeah, I wish her well. I’d wish you well. I’d wish a lot of people well. Good luck. Let them prove somebody was guilty.”

If you support statuatory rape, then Trump is your man. He went on to the shock of sex crime victims everywhere:  “…such a big deal,” Trump continued. “But all it is, is her boyfriend died. He died in jail. Was he killed? Was it suicide? I do. I wish her well.”

He has a hard time saying the name, “Epstein.”

Here is your moral, silent majority: your president on sex crime, apparently nothing to punish. After all, Trump’s AG, William Barr, is son of one of Jeffrey Epstein’s friends and enablers, and one of Trump’s former cabinet members let Epstein serve a dormitory sentence for rape (let out during the daytime).

Yes, folks, vote for child molesting under the Trump umbrella. He likely will pardon Ghislaine if she isn’t murdered by one of his minions.

Inner Circle of Jeffrey Epstein

DATELINE: Friends in High Places

Ghislaine Maxwell and friends.

The second part of the Who Killed Jeffrey Epstein  series delves into his close associates, while hinting that his accumulation of wealth may have been by fraud.

Epstein skates away from every investigation by dint of his personality, or bank account. His true rise to superpower came from a woman named Ghislaine Maxwell, a daughter of media mogul Robert Maxwell. She came to Epstein at a low point: her father died in a strange boating accident, some suggesting he was a spy for Israel and was assassinated.

Ghislaine moved into the New York residence, becoming his partner in sex crimes—procuring young girls. She was also a bon vivant and knew everyone from royals to movie stars, to celebrities of all stripes.

She and Epstein had pinhole cameras in every residence and amused themselves with video scenes of the rich and famous at parties, in bedrooms, on the private jet, and wherever Epstein set them up.

A few girls tried to escape—but they found his long reach of checkbooks would thwart any FBI or prosecution. In fact, he had a future Trump cabinet official in his hip pocket when he was a mere Palm Beach prosecutor.

Girls were plucked out of Trump’s Winter White House, the notorious Mar-a-lago. One 14-year old named Virginia Roberts began a nightmare relationship with Epstein, only escaping to Thailand when he ordered her to bring back a 12-year old girl.

By the new century, Epstein had broadened his social world to Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Prince Andrew, Bill Clinton, and scores of the richest men in the world. He redefined himself as a philanthropist despite a conviction as a pedophile. He was tied to MIT, Stanford, and Harvard, as a big donor to research. Many fell prey to his clever manipulations.

Once ensnared, many famous men were likely unable to break out unless there was payment of some sort.

Who Killed Jeffrey Epstein?

DATELINE: Trumpeting Epstein’s Death

 the Buddy System?

The short cable series in three parts went to tackle this thorny question, and you would be amazed at how many people became angered by the question. The series has received many low grades and bad reviews. Yet, it uses actual police video, interviews, and even Epstein’s own voice.

Who Killed Jeffrey Epsteinis a good question and a puzzling mystery, and an interesting documentary.

Just how and why may be of interest: a billionaire predator for years managed to buy whatever he wanted in girls as young as 14 years, and art as old as valuable. He had many residences—and even more powerful friends like Bill Gates, Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew, and Donald Trump.

Some speculation is that he made his money because he had dirt on the famous rich people who attended his parties. No one is quite sure how many girls were molested, or how he made his money.

The series opens with all the blunders and peculiarities of his death in a high-tech New York City federal prison. Cameras malfunctioned; his bunkmate was released suddenly and not replaced; guards fell asleep or surfed the web instead of making rounds.

It was a perfect storm for a perfect crime. With life nowadays considered cheap, it would not take much powerful moneymen to wipe out Epstein. Yet, others bristle at the idea it was not suicide. You may wonder why “conspiracy” is such a dirty word. It certainly makes an outrageous murder all the easier to cover up.

Epstein’s latest criminal lawyer said he was upbeat and ready to fight again. His other lawyers said his plea agreement of 14 years earlier was airtight. He likely would have walked again.

Interestingly, and not noted in the first episode, the prosecutor of Epstein in New York, by the name of Geoffrey Berman, was recently fired by Donald Trump, one of Epstein’s friends. It almost requires a new episode of investigation.

The lawyer of O.J. Simpson, Klaus von Bulow, and Donald Trump, is Allan Dershowitz—and he intimidated all the girls who accused Epstein.

The man who gave Epstein his first foray into rich society by hiring him as a teacher and liaison at the Dalton School in New York was the father of AG William Barr. Epstein had no experience and no degrees.

We have here a horror story of money’s power.

Anatomy of a Male Ballet Dancer

DATELINE: Not in the Movie!

  Gomes has an ‘S”for scandal.

Despite the salacious title, you will see the male ballet dancer, but not much of his on-stage anatomy. And, you will not hear about the sex charges made against him.

Marcelo Gomes is one of the foremost contemporary dancers, and he does allow an inside look at his life, but you will not be going into his most private life.

His name is pronounced or mispronounced all too often: he is Marshelo Gomess, not like the Marchello Gomez.

He professes a hope to fall in love one day (on the backside of his career as a dancer in his 30s, we may think time is running out.

By all accounts he is the most proficient, modest, technically correct dancer of the age. Ballerinas love that he only performs to make them look better.

Marcelo has all the problems you might expect: he was an oddity, the only boy in ballet school growing up. He was clearly talented from the get-go. He is a genius in his work, and in his personality. He grew up in Brazil and never spoke English until he was 17. He sounds like he was born in Poughkeepsie.

His father and he are alienated, though they meet pleasantly in the film. However, the elder will not attend any performances, and the reason is not explored.

He studied in Paris and picked up French instantly. His great problem nowadays is injury. When he dances at St. Petersburg, he is overwhelmed to see Nijinsky’s rose petal costume from Spectre de la Rose,but he hears a bone crack when he dances Giselle.

He knows that his career is on its last legs, and he is already preparing to become a choreographer in his post-dance days.

As a personable and most untemperamental man, he came out on magazine covers, still shocking to many even today. He has a pet dachshund, and there is no boyfriend to be seen in this film. If you think you have a chance with him, this is your time for a pas de deux.

Apart from the creepy title, we thoroughly enjoyed this marvel of the modern dance world—and the film too. Alas, shortly after the film’s release, Gomes was accused of sexual harassment and resigned from the ABT. Nothing in the film indicates this issue.

The Jinx: Rich Killer Robert Durst

DATELINE: Another Trump Croney

 Mr. Bob!

When we decided to binge watch the entire six-part documentary called The Jinxfrom HBO back in 2015 about the shenanigans and crimes of Robert Durst, we thought we had tuned into Monsterquest.

How can it be that another super-rich privileged fool can be, like Jeffrey Epstein, guilty of numerous murders? We think that the term socio-path is not quite correct: socio-privileged would be more accurate.

How many people did this arrogant twit kill? His wife went missing in 1982, and her friends knew he did it (she told them to follow up if something happened to her).

The New York police detectives make Lestrade look like Sherlock Holmes. Are they paid off? And, the Texas detectives were just bemused by their own cynicism. Durst was so confident that he could escape justice ($2M for one trial lawyers who helped him escape the death penalty), that he called a film director whom he thought sympathetic to give an interview.

All is Good was Andrew Jadecki’s fictionalized version of Durst—and charmed the killer enough to cooperate with a six-part doc for TV, directed by Jadecki. If you haven’t found it to be worthy of “Believe it or Not,” you don’t know Ripley.

Did he kill his wife Kathie? His old friend Susan Berman? A blackmailing roomer in Galveston named Morris Black?  How many others? He jokes about it.

His rotten with bucks family ignored it all and protected their personal reputations. Douglas Durst even won awards for family values.

Director Andrew Jadecki ultimately turns the screw on a most unpleasant crew.

In Durst’s hideous world, he is a Jonah or Jinx to everyone around him, and that’s how he explains what happened. But you cannot excuse a jury in Texas that blames a man for causing his own murder and dismembering his own body to be put in garbage bags.

Perhaps you should not try to binge this nauseating brew.

 

 

 

Butt-Slapping Reaches New Bottom

DATELINE: Hard Knocks?

 Culprit caught red-handed.

You know society has hit rock bottom when pro athletes now are being tossed out of games—and arrested—for going for the formerly acceptable cheeky assault.

We cannot recall when butt-touching went public in our sports arenas. It must be a carry-over from hauling ass around the gym. Once upon a time, it was considered a means of expressing male “affection.”

We are unsure if we have ever seen this activity in a gay bar, but we believe that it will now be forbidden even in the inner sanctums. Queer as Folk avoided such behaviors. But, Downton Abbey’syoung butler may be guilty.

A pinch on the cheek used to be quite continental, but continence has reached a new plateau when it comes to below the belt buckles with knuckles.

OBJ recently slapped the butt of a mall cop, or pardon us, arena security after a college game. It was the locker room and one can almost explain how these things become viral.

The alleged hard-ass cop took umbrage and wanted to sock OBJ, but held his piece instead. New Orleans used to be a place when Fat Tuesday meant any buttock passing was slugged. No more!

Now, former Celtic Jae Crowder was innocently standing at the free throw line, ready to cut loose when Tristan Thompson, apparently without Iseulte by his side, added insult to injury by shocking Crowder with a tap on the buttocks.

You’d think he’d been given an injection of penetrating flu vaccine. Crowdah jumped like he fell into a bowl of hot chowdah.

Tristan Thompson claimed it was a means of bonding between former teammates. Heavens, high fives and man hugs, all now chaste and robotic, are the new currency. No one is paying for their erogenous zone to be invaded, and short of a porno film, we don’t expect to see this impact on our cable television when we are not on the LOGO network.

We remember when a crime was committed if your fist hit the tip of another’s nose. Now, the blow is lower than the standard for congressional oversight.

We believe the five-second rule should be enforced. If your food falls on the floor, you can still eat it within five seconds of being retrieved from any dirty crevice.

We hold that a slap on the butt that does not linger or return for second helpings should be excused with heart-feltmea culpa.

Slapping a bun of steel of your pro athlete of choice may be injurious to your digits. And spare us a fist pump.

Chasing but not Chaste Michael Jackson!

DATELINE: Defensive Defense

 No More, Please!!!

A documentary to defend Michael Jackson against child molestation charges proves to be highly defensive in itself.

Chasing Michael Jackson is an odd bird, and not because the dead subject is a dodo bird who cannot defend himself, but because we can’t really figure out what the real motive is. Yes, there are some extremely close friends and relatives of Jackson who participate to discredit his accusers.

It is hard to know where the “journalist” behind this film comes from: he insists in his on-camera and extensive interviews that he is digging for the truth. He also takes great pains to discredit one “victim” for claiming he was molested in a part of the Jackson estate that was not built until three years after. Pictures prove that point, but never explain the other possible reasons for the discrepancy. We do hear charges that the victim is a perjurer who swore Jackson never touched him a decade earlier at trial.

One of the other key personalities is Mark Lester, the former child star (from Oliver!) and friend of Jackson as a contemporary. He too claims the victim and family were greedy and vindictive. Lester never mentions that he has since claimed to be the sperm donor for one, or more, of Jackson’s children.

The documentary takes aim at the “Me Too” movement, walking a tightrope about victim rights while trampling on selected victims.

One thing is right: this is all about money. Everyone is on the gravy train, cashing in on Jackson long after his premature death.

 

 

 

Is Antonio Brown’s IQ Lower than Trump?

DATELINE: Sex Charged and Sex Charges

 Move over, Stable Genius!

Just how dumb is Antonio Brown? Let’s count the ways.

We have read that he is returning to college classes (online, of course)—and we wish him well in learning because this guy is dumb as a rock.

When you bite the hand that feeds you, it could be considered stupid.

When Brown attacks owner Robert Kraft, ridiculing in a tweet about Kraft’s still-pending misdemeanor investigation and prosecution, we have to figure this guy knows nothing about the law.

You cannot equate consensual sex with a prostitute (if it happened) with violent sex (rape) with a non-consensual victim—and you certainly cannot equate compounding the crime with threats of violence against another woman accuser, or the media messenger. Brown would shoot the messenger.

Brown cites the rape charges or allegations against Big Ben of the Steelers and dull Sharpe (formerly of the Broncos & NBC), for whom nothing was even proven in nearly a decade.

Brown’s case is as fresh as today’s garbage out in the smelly rubbish bin. Yes, he stinketh.

The Patriots may now recoil at paying $9million to Brown as a signing bonus because he withheld damaging information—and created new problems even while in the New England uniform. He played one game and practiced for nearly two weeks. For that he earned more than most people earn in a year or two (over $150,000).

He wants millions he claims he is owed.

If Kraft refuses to sign a check and uses his vast legal counsellor network to fight this for years to come, Brown may receive the money as part of his Social Security income. That’s a wait of about 30 years.

We suspect he will never make it that far. People like Brown never go the distance and come to unpleasant ends, blown up metaphorically in the ultimate act of self-destruction. It happens to terrorists, and it happens to idiots.