Goodell & The Most Dangerous Game


DATELINE: Big Game Player

 Featured imageGoodell & Most Dangerous Game

He looks like a juiced former athlete. In some circles, his bland good looks might be considered attractive, but he lost his chance to be an athlete before college, allegedly to injuries.

Instead, he went into public relations with the NFL—and even worked for the Jets for a time, Patriot fans.

You can find work like this when your father is a congressman and even once was appointed a United States senator from New York.

So he is out of four brothers and a successful father, a rather nonentity who finds his ego enhanced by taking on young athletes and meting out sado-masochistic punishments.

When you cannot be the best, you attack the best. It is the culture of mediocrity’s heart. Like the dentists who could not become real medical doctors and go on safari hunts to compensate for their inadequate lives.

Roger Goodell is big game hunting for the biggest star he can bag as his trophy.

That means you, Tom Brady. Anyone who makes a career out of nothing based on his own talents and sheer will soon becomes the target of the big game hunters like Goodell.

Amadeus had his Salieri, a second-rate composer who loathed Mozart’s talent. And, now, in modern America we have a counterpart in the NFL.

Playwrights like the brilliant Peter Morgan has delineated these celebrity encounters in The Queen, Frost/Nixon, and Rush.

He may have fresh material in the Brady/Goodell relationship.

The Thinning of Henry VIII



Eric Bana, Better Looking than Six Wives in a Plot

We have seen King Henry lose weight like Jenny Craig was among his six wives.

The Other Boleyn Girl proves to be an opulent tragic romance, penned by that brilliant master of historical and royal people, Peter Morgan who gave us Frost/Nixon, The Queen, and others.

This early effort put his talents upon the old chestnut of Anne Boleyn and her ill-fated marriage to a king who made ‘off with her head’ one of his calling cards.

Henry has been losing weight in recent years and becoming more of a media darling—jacked and athletic, looking less like Prince Fielder than his portraits suggest. He has gone from the piggy style of Charles Laughton to the debonair Jonathan Rhys Meyers, nearly a waif, and now through Eric Bana, Henry is a king in and out of bed. His adultery comes across as fun only a king could have in those days.

The camera lingers on his abs during one heady bedtime with Anne’s sister Mary. Yes, Henry kept it in the family. Mary won his heart and kept her head. As a sidelight she marries William Carey, played by Benedict Cumberbatch in another curio role. 

Even as the quisling, weakling husband of Mary Boleyn, he manages to make a mark in a limited role.

Tracking familiar territory, the tale of the intrigue in Henry’s court finds another offshoot to make it watchable with Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johanssen as the Boleyn sisters.

We also enjoyed Kristin Scott Thomas as their mother whose common sense was simply ignored as the temper of the times demanded.

You’d almost think this was a BBC/PBS special cable movie, but you’d be wrong. This movie is strictly the big time, big budget, and big pomp.

How Special, Another Tony Blair Movie


 ImageDid the GOP National Committee cast Hope Davis as Hillary Clinton? As Mrs. Tony Blair, Helen McCrory does it again.

Michael Sheen has made a cottage industry out of playing Tony Blair on the screen. The man who puts words in his mouth is Peter Morgan, the brilliant playwright and scriptwriter.

As long ago as 2003 in The Deal, he traced novice Blair as a youthful ruthless politician. Then, Sheen/Blair faced The Queen with an intimidating Helen Mirren buckling under his charms. And, at last that brings us to The Special Relationship in which Sheen plays opposite his American counterpart, Bill Clinton in the personality of Dennis Quaid.

Helen McCrory is around again as Mrs. Blair, caustic and perfect, but her counterpart is Hope Davis, playing Hillary Clinton as if the GOP National Committee had produced the movie.

Dennis Quaid is utterly delightful in his mimicry, downright charming in his downhome honeysuckle. As the Clintons, the Republican Party must be happy to have the Clintoons writ big.

If Mrs. Clinton reaches the White House, perhaps Mrs. Blair can return to Downing Street, and Morgan can give us another movie.

All the imitations are brilliant, but we maintain a soft spot for Sheen’s affable Blair impersonation. We don’t know that there will be another, with Morgan having covered all the ground without a sinkhole.

Sheen took time off from playing Blair to play David Frost in mortal friendship with Richard Nixon in the delightful Frost/Nixon. So, we know what we’re getting in these Morgan historical epics. It’s Beckett without the Murder in the Cathedral.

The idea that important and powerful people are just like us is comforting, though a bit unbelievable. As Scott Fitzgerald often said, the only thing different about the rich is their money.

Not quite, but Peter Morgan certainly goes as far as the man who created Gatsby.

If you like movies, try the reviews and previews of MOVIE MASHUP and MOVIES TO SEE OR NOT TO SEE. Both volumes are available in softcover and ebook from