Belichick’s Holiday TV Special Again This Year!

DATELINE:  God Bless Those Steelers Too

merry

Back like the Macy Parade or Peewee Herman for another holiday special, Bill Belichick will host the grandest Xmas party on the streaming web, as in previous jolly seasons.

Unfortunately, only those with access to the DarkNet will be able to download this journey to the dark-side of Christmas in Pittsburgh.

Past holiday specials have been about as much fun as watching Marley’s Ghost drag his chains.

However, Belichick’s Army of Zombie Fans cannot get enough of the best coach in the history of football singing his favorite Xmas carols, including “God Rest Ye Merry Steelers,”  and “Juggled Balls” with Gronk and Cooks.

This year will be even more special than his many past holiday treats.

Tom Brady will be on board for a stocking-stuffer not to be missed. He is expected to reveal that, as he grows younger every day, he has a portrait of Belichick in his attic that grows more sour-looking and ugly with age. You will enjoy it when he presents Belichick with a gift of a “Sock Slider,” for oldsters who need help putting on their shoes.

And you thought that was happening every game on the sidelines!

Another highlight of this year’s holiday show will be when Gronk puts Coach Belichick on his back and they run around the endzone, doing a turkey trot to celebrate the winning touchdown.

It has been a long hard audition this season to find whether the elves, Amendola and Edelman, will double as Tiny Tim. Giving them a hard run for the job is Matthew Slater who has been practicing his “God bless us everyone” ad nauseum.

Another annual moment of levity shall be when owner Mr. Robert Kraft opens his gifts to discover a lifetime supply of dress shirts with different color collars to go with his only white blouse. Some think Roger Goodell will re-gift Kraft with a draft pick.

Guest appearances by Roger Goodell and Jerry Jones are expected as players will try to dunk them into a big watertank by tossing footballs at them from a kneeling position.

President Trump will lie about producing the show and tweet that he was going to be extra special guest of the year, but turned them down. He will then fire Tom Brady.

Marshawn Lynch is expected to spoil the big holiday eggnog when he does a Mexican hat-dance with Belichick, and it brings a thunderstorm over Mexico City.

NFL Network, Roku, Apple TV, and Brit Box are clamoring for exclusive rights to show this annual extravaganza of joy and end-zone celebrations.

Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime, annual tradition (again).

 

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Say It Ain’t So, Gronk!

DATELINE: Rematch With the Pats & Bills Coming Soon!

say it ain't so

The good-natured bon vivant Gronk has transformed suddenly from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde.

Beloved by children, and deemed safe for children, he has now taken on the mantle of being dangerous and locked away from those supporters. He may find himself the object of parental controls on the cable remote.

On top of all this, he may lose $2 million in bonus payments under his Patriot contract.

Whether coffee chain, Drunken Dognuts will keep him as a spokesperson may be a bigger issue now on the breakfast table and a test of Gronk’s viability and survivability.

We do not believe he has reached the Kevin Spacey level where he will be CGI removed from future Patriot games, but Belichick may give him more distance in the off-season.

Gronk’s new sudden unpopularity may win him an endorsement from President Trump, a man who likes crypto-Nazis who go against the grain. He has now membership in the ICE-colored storm troopers of Trump.

In an age of racially charged tension, Gronk has gone from the great white hope to a man with a black hearted soul. He has become another white man assaulting a black man. He goes to the top of the Most Wanted List by Black Lives Matter with one pile driving splash.

Gronk has always had carte blanche from the Patriots, and they like to paint themselves as the victims of every scandal.

Like his best friend and teammate Tom Brady, Gronk is challenging the legal determination. Unlike his friend Brady, Gronk has already and quickly admitted his guilt.

Confession maybe good for the soul, but it may not help with followers on Twitter, Facebook, and other childish social media.

Gronk has always been perceived as a big dumb lout, but fun and likable. He has now crossed for thin red line in a year in which football fans are dropping like flies over trivia.

Like the NFL version of Scrooge, Gronk has given a concussion to another player during the season of giving. He’s liable to find himself the recipient of many unhappy returns.

 

George C. Scott as Scrooge

DATELINE: Holly Not in His Heart

scrooge

Each Christmas season we are inundated with a variety of the myriad movie versions of the Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol.

Each season we are invariably asked for our recommended choice for viewing. But, we must defer: our taste in Scrooge performance is sympathetic to the eternal curmudgeon that dwells in every movie critic.

Since we live in a haunted house where ghosts stay with us every day, not merely on holidays, we are less intimidated than most by spirits.

With that in mind, we must offer the best version of Ebenezer Scrooge was by the man who brought General Patton to life:  notable contrarian George C. Scott.

His miserly Scrooge seems unrepentant. He is some fearsome in his role that he never defers to the ghosts, but dares them to change him. In that, they barely succeed.

If you like your Scrooge undiluted, George C. Scott gives you a dose for the ages. The unremitting mood of the Dickens London in this movie is dank and unpleasant—and even when Scrooge tends to give quarter, he seems to be mindful of the world he lives in. Scrooge is only slightly moved by pathetic Tiny Tim.

It is the best Scrooge performance ever.

What you see is what you get: there is no fancy makeup on Scrooge, as the only American accent in the cast. Even that is perfect to show a man out of touch with his time and place.

The film remains faithful, almost in every detail, merely cutting away some plot points, though sticking to the original dialogue.

Made in 1984, this Carol is often lost in the Hollywood or Disney extravaganzas. But, we would put our miserly money on this version as the one to scare the holiday spirits out of your classically, mis-remembered moments from the original novella.  It’s a treat, and not a goose or turkey production.

Tom the Biscuit Eater, Thanks to Grandmama

DATELINE:  Doughboy

Brady the Biscuit Eater

Count’em

GOAT QB Tom Brady has a revolt on his flour-encrusted throwing hand.

Having bragged about his grandmother’s secret recipe for biscuits on the Internet, he has unleashed a problem as big as Russian election interference for Trump.

Tom posted a photo of him making dozens of these tasty morsels. Apparently, he promised Gronk that he would bring some into the office next day. However, Tom reportedly told Gronk they were so good that they were all eaten.

This did not sit well with the giant tight end who demanded that Tom make another batch and bring them in to his favored receiver.

If not, Gronk promised “serious trouble.”

This international incident may require the intercession of Giselle or some other neutral party.

Tom can’t catch a break, nor a biscuit.

We know that close associates of Brady over the years, like Troy Brown, and lately Julian Edelman, have also been denied the treat of catching a biscuit from Tom’s larder.

Gronk has come a long way from the tongue-tied rookie who was dumbfounded when Tom would speak to him. He is now demanding his share of the Brady secret recipe—and he is not willing to settle for avocado ice cream or any other item from the TB12 cookbook.

Baseball may have the hot-stove dealings of winter, but for the man who always comes to the Brady household dressed as Santa Claus, the price may be more than one biscuit.

Tom may have to trade off with Gronk, giving him three TDs instead of slaving over a hot stove this weekend making a fresh batch of doughboy biscuits.

Down with Men

 DATELINE:  All Men are Dogs

ALF

Just today we heard that Senator Al Franken and Sylvester Stallone have joined the sexual assault parade. There isn’t a man to be trusted.

In regard to Man, that generic sexist pig, for years we used to say, “Don’t shoot all the dogs just because one has fleas.”

We now admit that we were wrong. It’s time to shoot all the dogs. They cannot be trusted around women. They cannot be trusted in any kind of polite society. Straight men are Deplorables. Even Trump is one of them.

They should be isolated like some virulent pestilence. Clearly it is time for Amazon society. We don’t mean the buying Internet giant. We mean a society of women without men.

Why, heavens to Betsy, gay men cannot even be trusted around other men. The last month or two has proven the point. Men are dogs. They should be kept in kennels, if not euthanized.

It’s the only way to keep women safe. Even if we put them in prisons, we know they’ll go to their own kind. They are like cannibals. They have voracious sexual appetites.

So sorry to say, women will be better off with women in all leadership positions. Women should have all control over everything related to men. Then, only women will assault other women.

The grand experiment of male domination has now proven to be a complete and utter failure.

Why hang on to the old way? Out with the ganders and in with the geese. Out with the buck and in with the doe.

Castrate the dogs and let the mangy Curs keep to themselves in dog pounds.

Yes, Dr. No is Bananas

DATELINE:  First Bond

in Bond bed

Back in 1963, audiences were treated to a new kind of superhero in the person of Sean Connery:  Bond, James Bond.

The film called Dr. No was a departure on many levels from your usual spy/adventure stories. First, this was tongue-in-cheek (sort of) and came out of a series of Cold War novels by Ian Fleming.

As you might expect in this movie, the spies are decidedly low tech: old fashioned telephone banks are everywhere. There are no computers, and MI-5 or 6 communicates by short-wave radio with its agents.

The shocker: Bond has a license to kill and does so with the aplomb of your everyday cold-blooded sociopath. Of course, it’s all done in the name of the Queen and Country.

This movie deals with an independent terrorist organization that calls itself SPECTRE and is motivated mostly by evil and money, whichever is most handy.

The movie is lusciously filmed in Technicolor in Jamaica where Dr. No (Joseph Wiseman), a half-Chinese mad genius, has a nuclear power plant where his workers wear what we’d call Hazmat suits today. Yet, the whole bunch of bananas seems like parody, not far from Get Smart.

Along for the Bond ride in this first Fleming novel on the big screen is Ursula Andress in various states of undress and Jack Lord as the CIA agent (before he went Hawai 5-O on us). Wiseman’s half-Chinese villain has no hands (black prosthetics) and cream-color suits that would make Sydney Greenstreet envious.

Bond is nothing less than promiscuous and rather dangerous, and Connery is perfect as the pre-politically-correct man’s man. Don’t shake that martini. Audiences must have hooted every time that Bond music motif hit the screen. It still tingles.

We particularly like the tarantula put into Bond’s bed and crawling up Connery’s arm and back. Ah, those were the days!

35% of Americans: What a Fox News Poll Never Told Us!

 DATELINE:  When 35% is a Majority 

According to Foxy News, 35% of viewers know their bastion of fair and balanced news is fake most of the time.

“Oh, let’s call a spade a spade,” is the motto of 35% of Foxy Americans when it comes down to racial epithets.

35% of Americans seem to think nuclear obliteration is a viable option.

35% of Americans agree that they learned nothing in school and don’t believe their teachers knew much anyhow.

35% of Americans think experts are overrated.

35% of Americans believe anything they read on the Internet.

35% of Americans think hurricanes are God’s punishment for opposing Donald Trump.

35% of Americans want to have another Civil War with East and West Coast against the Middle to have better balance.

35% of Americans think the US Constitution sank during the War of 1812—and it just doesn’t hold up in the 21st century court system.

35% of Americans think satire is evil.

35% of Americans believe Donald Trump is as sane as they are.

35% of Americans, more or less, believe rational behavior is not normal.

Around 35% of Americans believe “white supremacist” is a kind of Cool Whip topping.

35% of Americans think the word “immigration” means birds fly south for the winter because of global warming.

35% of Americans believe “lethal injection” is covered under pre-existing conditions in Obamacare.

35% of Americans think black flies matter during the summer when you go camping.

35% of Americans believe sexual harassment is as American as apple pie and baseball.

35% of Americans firmly believe “morons” should have unlimited access to the Oval Office.

35% of Americans believe the President has the right to shoot people in the street, regardless of national origin or race, but mostly because of national origin and race.

35% of Americans believe you can kneel during the National Anthem while in church.

35% of your fellow citizens believe shutting off TV news is the only way to deal with fake news.

35% of Americans think missppelling and ‘grammer misstakes are covered, under freedom of speech:

35% of Americans think polls are polarizing and should be banned from media reports.

The preceding blog is often called satire, but is usually misunderstood by readers who believe 35% of smartphones know too much.

Scarecrow Festival for Halloween

 DATELINE:  Jaffrey, NH, the Real Grovers’ Cornersscarecrow2

Around this time each year, small-town Americana in the location of Jaffrey, New Hampshire, holds its Halloween Scarecrow contest.

For one month, residents line up a series of ghoulish scarecrows along the intersection at the center of town, not far from the bandstand and the old White’s Mill that was owned by the famous Massachusetts family that once lived on Old Mill Circle across the state line.

The homemade scarecrows of Jaffrey are judged by a committee during the fall festival, but while they hang on their crosses, it is vaguely reminiscent of Stanley Kubrick’s horror scene at the end of Spartacus when the road to Rome is lined with crucified slaves.

This mishmash of creatures resembles all kinds of people and are equally distracting and disturbing, but within the fun of the Halloween season.

In our opinion, Jaffrey is the real inspiration for Thornton Wilder’s classic play Our

Town. He called his little NH town on the Massachusetts border, Grovers’ Corners.

Some think it is north of Jaffrey in Peterborough, where Wilder lived his summers. Indeed, arty Peterborough even has a plaque to honor itself, but the more modest Jaffrey better fills the bill.

Wilder makes up some coordinates, longitudes and latitudes are off deliberately as the author tried to obscure his inspiration for the setting of Our Town. And, besides, the railroad of 1910 ran over the border in local Winchendon, not far from Jaffrey, and is featured in the play.

You won’t convince us that the place where the scarecrows roost is not Grovers’ Corners where a gothic cemetery scene highlights the 1938 play. The scarecrows are a recent tradition, but make Jaffrey the best bet as Grovers’ Corners.

 scarecrow4

 

 

Fenway Park Signage Up Ahead

DATELINE:  Trolls in the Park
imbeciles at work
Perhaps you belong to that quaint community that used to recall when signage at Fenway Park said things like: “No Smoking.” Or the ever useful “restroom” with the corresponding arrow.
Today if you go to Fenway Park, someone will unfurl a banner that reads: “Racism is as American as baseball.”
We would rush to advise the holders of the banner that they left out mom and apple pie.
Yes, indeed, baseball has a racist history. You probably can find racism and associated with any topic. Human nature being what it is.
The modern slogan is symptomatic of the new Puritans, following in the footsteps of their witch- hunting ancestors from Salem who always enjoyed finger-pointing on the way to kangaroo courts.
The new Puritans of today are likely wolves in sheepskin. They are college educated and know better than you whether you should wear a seat-belt or smoke a cigarette. And they are not shy to find any pulpit on which to share their slogan. In this case,  it happens to be Fenway Park on live television. Bingo, they have bingo.
When you are among the enlightened, you have carte blanche to do whatever you want whenever you want. Next you know, they may start crying fire in a crowded theater.
What the New Puritans are really against is being forgotten, or seen as unimportant, a mere cog in social media.  For them there is nothing worse than being a number in a computer program.
We don’t see much difference between those hapless fools who want to wave and cavort whenever television cameras turn on around them, and the new pure Puritan.
It’s a great American tradition to ask for liberty or death, or to live free or die.
We recall the days when a Fenway sign was something like, “Wade, we’re not wearing any underwear,” which always inspired Wade Boggs to get another hit.

Patriots’ Most Off Off-season Ever!

off off-season

New Book!

It is a hilarious romp that could make a highlight reel of its own!

From a championship ride through the streets of Boston before 1 million fans – to winning the ESPY award, you can follow every strange moment in Patriots history of 2017!

If you want to see what your New England Patriots have been on up to since the Super Bowl victory in January, and before they have begun the new campaign of 2017, you need to look at the new book that details every ridiculous adventure, scandal, and outrageous behavior, of the winning team.

From the twisted blogs of Ossurworld who was there for every minute!

now available on Amazon for smart readers and their tablets.

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.

 

 

 

 

Bob Hope Takes Sweden

DATELINE: Long in the Tooth?

long in the tooth?

In 1965 Bob Hope was still wise-cracking his way through movies, but he was mostly a TV star by then, or his popularity among young people was nearly at its nadir over his political stand on Vietnam, defending soldiers.

So, the film I’ll Take Sweden casts him as a smart aleck father of a California girl with eyes for a motorcycle driving, guitar-strumming, poverty-stricken young man.

The solution is to break them up by moving to Sweden.

The boy and girl could have been Elvis and Ann-Margaret, or Fabian and Annette, or some other early 1960s icons who were out of touch with the growing anti-war, hippie, Beatles-loving American baby boomers.

The film was also directed by Fred DeCordova of My Three Sons, Burns & Allen, and Johnny Carson TV fame. It looks like a TV movie with Tuesday Weld and Frankie Avalon playing the teenagers, when they both were already slightly past Dobie Gillis and Beach Party.

Yet, 50 years later, Hope is rather droll, wise-cracking and looks marvelous for a man in his 60s, even doing a few stunts.

This was not the vintage Hope of the 1950s when he was priceless and at his peak. Yet, he’s still risqué, bemused and cynical at the world, and you can’t beat that. He throws out those one-liners with aplomb.

He’d soon be replaced by the new generation with liberal Woody Allen who used the same jokes and attitude with a New York disdain.

If you put Woody Allen and Hope side by side, we still will take his Sweden movie with Hope’s smug and topical comments. He was a master.

 

 

Logo Wars: Michael Jordan v. Gronk

DATELINE:  Sports Deadlock

 logo warsIt takes balls.

 

Michael Jordan’s silhouette image on all the junk he markets, around since the 1980s, is called Jumpman. We never knew his dunkman had a nickname.

Now, because Gronk has filed an image for his brand of products that resembles a silhouette of an athlete in action, we have a conflict that will be settled in the biggest court/gridiron, that of the boardroom of highly paid corporate lawyers.

Jordan and Gronk are prepared to go head to head, or shadow to shadow for the title King of Greed.

The problem for the two athletes and their endless money making operations is that some dumb kid will confuse Jordan with Gronk. Yes, you may buy a basketball sneaker and think it’s for playing football.

We know our educational systems are dumbed down more than ever—but we thought the emergence of emoji and sign language has sent kids back to the level of cave dwellers with an eye for cave art.

So, you mean they cannot tell the difference between a football shape and a basketball shape?

We are talking apples and oranges here, or at least spheres of another world.

Two tall athletes, arms raised, legs akimbo, holding some totem object is sending legal minds into overdrive. You can never tell when someone may spike a basketball, or dunk a football.

We have seen idiot players score a touchdown and then dunk the football over the goal bar. You can easily forget what sport you are watching.

It’s all the same when it comes to millions of dollars and corporate greed. It’s all part of the modern gladiator combat of American sports. We think Gronk and Jordan ought be holding tridents and nets, versus short swords and shields.

Oh, wait, they already did that sports combat scene in Spartacus. It was Woody Strode versus Kirk Douglas, all for the edification of decadent Laurence Olivier.

We are always happy to assume the role of Olivier in a combat between Gronk and MJ.

Hurricane Clint Eastwood Downgraded to Breezy

DATELINE: Better to Stay Lost

breezy

In his third directorial effort, back in 1973, Clint Eastwood took up the challenge of a romantic comedy.  It probably sounded easier than he expected because he had William Holden, even aging and falling apart, as his charming, cynical leading man.

This atrocity is called Breezy, rhymes with easy, named after the hippie free spirit who haunts William Holden. It might have been more hilarious if Breezy was a teenage boy. But Clint doesn’t eat sweets.

However, the moribund script features one fantasy hippie girl who believed in free love of the era. Perhaps it was realistic back in the early 1970s in L.A., but Kay Lenz presents one of the most annoying, anachronistic versions of a promiscuous teenager we have seen in decades.

We cannot figure out why Holden’s well-to-do businessman didn’t toss this annoying and cloying girl out on her keester when she first appears to panhandle and try to con him. Are all men victims of their sex drive?

That Holden falls in love with her seems to stretch credulity for a character who never has fallen in love with any woman.

On top of all this, we are then faced with the embarrassments of May-December romance being denigrated by every other character Holden knows in the movie script. Really, Clint?

We almost hoped Holden would turn into Dirty Sex Harry and shoot the whole lot of slut hustlers. Of course, it’s not that kind of film, alas.

If the saccharine hippie girl isn’t enough to rot the script, you have an overlay of Michel Legrand music. Apparently, Clint gave himself plenty of challenges to overcome. You may drown in movie sweetness, not typical Eastwood.

Clint fans knew better than the novice director—and ran away from this clinkeroo. This was not even a good character-driven story, though you can see how Eastwood wants to develop it. The film wastes William Holden– and Eastwood too.

Many critics in hindsight think this was Clint’s most “personal” film. We doubt it. He was still learning his craft by directing in an unusual setting and genre.

Destroying the film negative might be a better challenge to undertake. Clint likely chose to ignore the movie as time passed as an experiment in directing. This movie is a freak of his oeuvre.