Screening

I see that Amazon Prime has added a movie category:

…etc.

Of course, putting a “Black” identifier also allows Eeeevil Raycissss to put their own filter on the thing (“I’m not gonna watch any of that shit” ), which is kinda sad.  What it does do is help identify which “Black” movies are decent movies in their own right (Flight, Out of Time  etc.) in that the movies are watchable and the appearance of Black lead actors is incidental and not an essential part of the movie.  It also helps identify which movies are just BLM-style agitprop (e.g. Hurricane , which is to actuality as Braveheart  was to Scottish history or Inglourious Basterds  was to WWII — a wild approximation).

Speaking of wild approximations and Nazis, last week I watched the first episode of Amazon’s The Hunters  (about hunting down old Nazis in the 1970s), and won’t be watching any more of them. (The episode synopses alone in that link should justify hanging for whoever wrote such shit.)  Fucking hell, what a load of bullshit.  Never mind casting Al Pacino (!) as an old Jew — his thick Noo Yawk accent covers a multitude of sins — but the plot seems to have been written by a teenager, full of holes, glaring historical inaccuracies — inspired by true events my ass — and improbable situations.  (Quentin Tarentino has a lot to answer for.)  Worst of all, it’s positioned as comedy — which it is, a little — but frankly, it is to its subject matter as Blazing Saddles  was to the settling of the West.

I read a meme a couple weeks back which stated despairingly:  “I finished Netflix” and I’m starting to get there myself.  The problem with movie streaming is that the demand for fresh content is insatiable, which means that a lot of shit is being made that should never have got past the first read-through — good grief, the stand-up comedy show offerings alone need about a 70% culling, what a load of unfunny people — and just because Amazon and Netflix have more money than the Vatican doesn’t mean that they should be turning out all this dreck.  I can just see the executive meetings:

“We need ten new movies by next month.  Any new scripts?”
“Yeah, there are two which talk about rednecks fighting Blacks and Jews.”
“Documentaries?”
Could be, if we need docs instead of features.”
“Okay, greenlight both.  We’ll decide where to put them later.”

I’m not even going to mention the outright propaganda movies which talk about eeevil banksters and Global MegaCorp, to name but two favorite topics of AmaFlix’s offerings.

The nice thing about modern technology is that we’re given lots of choice when it comes to entertainment.  Unfortunately, the choice is often between a plate of dogshit and a bowl of cold puke.

Swapping Lives

It’s an old party game:  “If you could live the life of another person and not your own, whose life would you choose?”

I know, I know:  most people would turn down the choice and want to live their own lives, thank you very much.

And even if they did decide to play, first choices are generally not so good after a little reflection, e.g. “Jesus Christ” (crucified at age 32, after an admittedly-virtuous life), “Errol Flynn” (died of cirrhosis at age 50, after an anything-but-virtuous life), and so on.  Most lives are either noteworthy but short, or else pretty much unremarkable and not worth the substitution.

However, allow me to suggest just one alternative:  Flavio Briatore

Who he, you ask?  Well, under “Bad Boy” in the dictionary you will find this photo:

Allow me to present the salient facts (as I see them) of this man’s extraordinary life.

  • failed high school repeatedly;
  • started off life as a ski instructor, then a restaurant owner;  and when the latter failed, changed to selling insurance;
  • escaped multiple prison terms and bans stemming from “questionable” activities such as fraud, race-fixing and so on;
  • during exile from Italy, started a successful string of clothing-store franchises, ending up as CEO of Benetton USA and, by the way, stinking rich as a result;
  • was engaged to supermodel Naomi Campbell, then left her for Heidi Klum;
  • fathered a child with Heidi, left her and then got her next husband (Seal) to adopt it (ergo  no child support);
  • co-owned a British Premier League football team (Queen’s Park Rangers);
  • ran two successful Formula 1 racing teams (Benetton and Renault, with all the perks therefrom), and along the way:
  • discovered not one but two Formula 1 champion drivers (Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso, FFS);
  • is married to Wonderbra model Elisabetta Gregoraci, who is (duh) thirty years his junior;
  • lives in Monaco (see details below).

Former Bandmate Knob’s little palais  is near Briatore’s in Monaco, and he contributes these two factoids:

Tell me this isn’t at least a somewhat decent alternative to your life… and now you can scurry off to Wikipedia to get all the details.

Feel free to offer your alternatives in Comments, but they’re better be good to beat this guy.

Must-Have Movies — Part 1

Earlier this week I talked about the benefits and/or wisdom of having all your favorite movies on DVD, against the possibility that they could be “canceled” (i.e. censored or maybe worse, bowdlerized) by The Usual Suspects.

So here’s the first part of a list of movies I think one should have in one’s video library, or the stars / directors thereof, just on case they appear on some lefty’s Enemy Of The People list.

Actors:

Clint Eastwood — pretty much any or all his movies (even Bridges Of Madison County , but not Paint Your Wagon )  because a) Clinty and b) the Left hates him for being a conservative.

John Wayne — ditto, except for the appalling The Conqueror  (Genghis Wayne?  No.)

Lee Marvin — ditto, except for Paint Your Wagon  as noted above, and especially The Dirty Dozen.

Steve McQueen — yeah, he was a wife-beater.  So he’ll be on someone’s list sooner or later.

Paul Newman — as an Eastern liberal, he’s probably not going to be “canceled” anytime soon, but everyone should have The Sting, Butch Cassidy, Hud and The Hustler  on their shelf anyway.

 

Directors:

John Frankenheimer — just about all his movies, but especially The Manchurian CandidateBirdman Of Alcatraz, Grand Prix  and Ronin.  Quite possibly the best action-movie director ever.

John Milius — we all know him from Red Dawn, of course, but there’s also Conan  and Flight  Of The Intruder.

Clint Eastwood — he’s already up as an actor, but his solo (non-acting) directing shouldn’t be ignored, either.  Think of Bird, Sully and American Sniper.

We’ll talk about specific must-have movies in the next part of the series.

Feel free to add your favorite “bodies of work” in Comments.  Leave specific movies till next time.

 

 

Hard Media

Seen at Insty:

I’ve never been a fan of “Cloud”-based entertainment, whether literature or movies, because it’s always seemed too easy for the “Cloud” to remove stuff that you’ve paid for — Kindle books, Amazon movies, etc. — at their own discretion / whim.  I don’t care that my well-filled bookcases take up a great deal of space in my apartment, or that they’d be a pain in the ass to move should I decide to live elsewhere;  I bought them, they’re my property forever, and nobody can take them from me.  Ditto movies.  I have a large number of DVDs of the movies I love and can watch over and over again — not too many modern ones, because today’s movies largely suck — and like my bookcases, my DVDs are eternal.  (I have a brand-new-in-the-box multi-format DVD player sitting in a closet in case the existing Philips gives up the ghost at some time in the future, and ALL my computers come with DVD players, just to be on the safe side.)

So when one of the great classic movies Gone With the Wind  risks being taken offline because it supposedly supports Teh EEEEEVIL Confederacy, I just shrug and move on, because GWTW  is very much part of my DVD movie collection.   And if it’s discovered that John Wayne or Humphrey Bogart once called someone a spic or nigger, and their works are therefore doomed to be consigned to the 1984 memory hole, my copies of Stagecoach  and Casablanca  are perfectly safe.

Just to prove that I’m comfortable living with apparent contradiction, though, I will admit to owning a copy of child-rapist Roman Polanski’s Macbeth, because it’s fucking brilliant even though the little dwarf Polack himself is reprehensible.  And even though I detest most of Woody Allen’s movies, I still have a copy of Midnight In Paris  because it too is a lovely movie, and it’s safe from the baying mob who have declared the mild-mannered director persona non grata  because he bonked someone he shouldn’t have, or something (I’m not familiar with the casus belli  against Allen, nor am I sufficiently interested in looking it up).

That’s the whole point.  The essence of all of this is choice — personal choice, not choice dictated by some foul censorship committee — and by going with the “physical media”, as Insty calls it, one is sheltered from the screaming assholes of political correctness.

And they’ll have to take my well-thumbed copy of Huckleberry Finn  from my cold dead hand (the other hand will be clutching an empty 1911).

Friday Night Movies

Everyone, and I mean everyone should watch Nicholas & Alexandra  on Amazon Prime tonight.  While the movie takes a few historical liberties, it nevertheless provides a chilling, and very timely warning of the consequences of revolution.

Most poignant is towards the end of the movie, where an accurate portrayal is given of the transfer of power from police to party functionaries, who do not need the law to function:  just an order from the local soviet.