Never Again

Watched the Oppenheimer  movie the other night with New Wife.  I of course was familiar with the whole Trinity/Manhattan Project/Oppenheimer story, so I was able to follow the plot reasonably well.

New Wife knew very little about the topic, and as a result she fell asleep about a third of the way through;  she couldn’t make head or tail of the thing because the dialogue was indistinct and often obscured by the ambient noise of the movie set, so boredom set in and off into dreamland she went, the lucky girl..

The fault is mine because I should have paid more attention to the opening credits.

Director:  Christopher Nolan.

FFS, when is this pretentious asshole going to be tossed onto the garbage heap of cinematic history?

I have complained — often — about the current moviemaking trend of mumbled dialogue and over-loud soundtracks.  Nolan doesn’t just fall into the trap of this trendy nonsense:  he positively revels in it, and is proud of the fact that his movies are profoundly indistinct, both in terms of his characters’ dialogue and in the lack of lighting.

Oppenheimer  was a fine example of all his nonsense.  And it was a shit movie.

I’m never going to watch another of Nolan’s movies, ever again.  Fuck him, the arrogant swine.


At the DM, Brian Viner lists his 100 Greatest Movies ever made.  Rather than come up with my own, let me go down his selection and simply list those with which I agree, and those I don’t (just follow along his article for the synopses).  If I think he’s missed one, I’ll put it at the end.  YMMV.

The Godfather.  No argument, although I think I and II  should be treated as a single movie, because they actually are.
The Wizard of Oz.  Agree.
Psycho.  Agree.
Jaws.  Agree.
Some Like It HotDisagree, but only mildly.  Top 200, maybe.
Casablanca.  Agree.
One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.  Agree.
Lawrence Of Arabia.  Agree.
The Graduate.  Agree.
Citizen Kane.  I have a problem with this one because I don’t like it.  But as a groundbreaking movie for its time, I guess it’s worth inclusion.
Bonnie and Clyde.  Agree.
Apocalypse NowStrongly disagree.  It’s a weak movie — and to prove my point, the unforgettable scene with Robert Duvall is the best part of the movie even though it’s completely irrelevant to the plot.
Singin’ In The RainDisagree.  Another candidate for top 200, but An American In Paris would have been a better choice.
The Apartment.  Agree.
Shoah.  Is it important?  Yes.  Is it a great movie?  No.  Few documentaries are.
Modern Times.  Agree.
Brief Encounter.  Agree.
Double Indemnity.  Agree.
The Banshees Of InisherinDisagree.  I’ve tried to watch this movie on three separate occasions, and have still never managed it all the way through.
Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs.  Agree.  (Although as animated Disney movies go, I prefer The Lady And The Tramp.)
The Sound Of MusicMehMy Fair Lady  was better.
Kind Hearts And CoronetsDisagree, but only mildly.  Top 200, maybe.
The Silence Of The Lambs.  Agree.
The Maltese FalconDisagree.  Flimsy plot, bad acting.  Double Indemnity was far better, as was Farewell My Lovely (both versions).
The French Connection.  Agree.
Alien.  Agree, because it transcends science fiction (which I’m not a fan of).  I agree with the inclusion of
Star Wars for the same reason.
Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid.  Agree.
Annie Hall.  Sorta-agree.  I don’t think Woody Allen is a good director, although his Midnight In Paris  was superb — less introspective, less gauche, much better than Annie Hall, but still not in the top 100.
Raging Bull.  Agree.  Easily the greatest biopic ever made.
Pulp Fiction.  Agree.  The only one of Tarantino’s movies I’ve ever watched more than once.
It’s A Wonderful Life.  Agree.
The Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp.  Never seen it.  Maybe I should.
The General.  Agree.
The Bridge On The River Kwai.  Agree.
There Will Be Blood.  Agree.
Taxi Driver.  Agree.
The Deer Hunter.  Agree.
2001: A Space OdysseyDisagree.  Boring, pretentious and long-winded.
Seven Samurai.  Agree, and I also like The Magnificent Seven.
VertigoDisagree.  It’s Hitchcock, but it’s not what I’d consider a great movie.
All About Eve.  Agree.
Top HatDisagree.   I love me some Fred ‘n Ginger as much or more than anyone else, but they’re not Great Movies.
Bicycle Thieves.  Agree.
On The Waterfront.  Agree.
Nashville.  Agree.
Rome, Open CityNever saw it.
Duck Soup. Agree, but prefer Monkey Business.
The Searchers.  Agree.
The Conversation.  Agree.
Dr. Strangelove.  Agree.
BoyhoodHaven’t seen it.
Schindler’s List.  Agree.
The Producers.  Sorta-agree, although I can’t stand Mel Brooks.
No Country For Old Men.  Agree.
Monty Python’s Life Of Brian.  Agree.
Tokyo StoryNever saw it.
The Elephant Man.  Agree.
Deliverance.  Agree.
Apollo 11.  See my rap on Shoah, above.
What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?  Agree.
Spartacus.  Agree.  Grudgingly.
Toy Story.  Agree.
The Lives Of Others.  Agree.
The Good, the Bad and the UglyDisagree.  Fun movie, but definitely not “great”.
West Side StoryDisagree.  High-class camp.
The Third Man.  Agree.
Shakespeare In Love.  Agree.
His Girl Friday.  Agree.
Henry V.  Agree.
The ShiningDisagree.  Run-of-the-mill horror flick.  Ask yourself:  if it had been any actor other than Jack, would this movie make any list?
Chinatown.  Agree.
Zulu.  Agree.
Sunset Boulevard.  Agree.
City Lights.  Agree.
Gone With The Wind.  Agree.
The Best Years Of Our Lives.  Agree.
Ben Hur.  Maybe, but better than Spartacus, anyway.
Get OutHaven’t seen it, doubt that I will because I’ve already seen Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner?
Night Of The Hunter.  Agree.
Rear Window.  Agree.  In truth, only Hitchcock’s Psycho and Rear Window  belong on this list.
Star Wars.  Agree.  But only the very first (third?) one.
Parasite.  Agree.
All The President’s MenDisagree.  As history, it sucks.  As a thriller, it’s boring.
High Noon.  Agree.
The ExorcistDisagree.  Compelling, frightening, but not great.  (Ditto The Omen, for the same reason.)
Shane.  Agree.
Chariots of Fire.  Agree.
It Happened One Night.  Agree.
12 Angry Men.  Agree.
When We Were KingsNever saw it.
The Vanishing.  Agree.
The Sting.  Agree.
To Kill A Mockingbird.  Agree.
This Is Spinal TapDisagree.  Loved the movie, but “great” it ain’t.
In The Heat Of The Night.  Agree.
GoldfingerDisagree.  None of the Bond movies is “great”.  Fun, yes… but not great.
Raiders Of The Lost Ark.  Agree.  But none of the sequels (see:  Star Wars).
Thelma And Louise.  Agree.
Oliver!  Disagree!  despite outstanding performances from Ron Moody and Oliver Reed.

Notable omissions:

The Lady Eve.  Preston Sturges, Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda.  Brilliant comedy.
The Postman Always Rings Twice.  Inexplicable omission.  The original with John Garfield or the Jack Nicholson remake would make my list.
Scenes From A Marriage.  Ingmar Bergman, ’nuff said.
Rocky.  No-hoper nearly makes it.  An American story.
Full Metal Jacket.  Another American story.
Badlands.  And a third, only this one about real people, sorta.
The Lion In Winter.  Quite easily one of the best historical dramas ever filmed.  If not this, then
A Man For All Seasons.  I’m not sure that anyone could argue against this one being on a top 20 list, let alone a top 100.  Inexplicable omission.
Notorious.  Possibly the best Hitchcock movie, and could replace either Psycho or Rear Window in the above list.
The Long Riders.  Inexplicable omission.  It and the next one could tie for “best Western ever made”, with all due respect to The Searchers.
Unforgiven.  Best Clint Eastwood movie ever made.  And let’s not forget
In Bruges.  I’d put this on the list way ahead of The Banshees Of Inisherin.  Same principal actors, even.
Pandora’s Box.  Did someone forget the early German movies?  I didn’t.
Fargo.  The Coen Brothers at their wicked best.
The Matrix.  One of the better concepts in any sci-fi / dystopia movie.  As was
Blade Runner.  Omitted?  I’m not even a fan of the genre, but it was a brilliant movie.
A Clockwork Orange.  The best Kubrick movie.
Brazil.  Leaving out this movie and the previous three makes me think that Viner either doesn’t like or doesn’t understand the dystopia genre.
Being There.  Are you kidding me?  One of the greatest satirical movies ever, not to mention Peter Sellers being brilliant.
Rescuers Down Under.  Best animated cartoon movie ever made.
Zeffirelli’s Romeo And Juliet.  Beats out West Side Story, by ten lengths.
From Here To Eternity.  Better than any three other war movies combined, excluding
Aces High.  One of the grittiest war movies ever.  And speaking of which, there’s also
All Quiet On The Western Front — the first b&w version.
Grapes of Wrath.  I guess Okies don’t play well in Britishland.
Bound For Glory.  Even though Guthrie was a Commie rat.  It’s Hal Ashby, FFS.  Also
The Last Picture Show for the same reason.
Nosferatu.  Horror horror horror.
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.  Brilliant sci-fi.  As is
The 400 Blows.  François Truffaut’s debut movie.  Good grief.
Fahrenheit 451.  Eerily prophetic, but not as bad as the present day.  Also notable as having been directed by Truffaut in English, when he could barely speak a word of it — and by the way, Viner seems to have forgotten or ignored all French directors, not one of whose works made his list.  So much for being a movie critic.

So I’ve disagreed with fifteen or so of Viner’s century, and suggested three dozen or so alternatives.

Finally, my total ringer:  September Affair.  And not just for its theme song.

Feel free to add your own, or to disagree with any of the above.

Search String

Here’s an interesting thing.  The other day I was asked by an old friend from Seffrica where she could find one of my novels on Amazon, so I just told her to do a search for “Kim du Toit Prime Target” on their website.  Here was the search result:

Errrr what?

Puzzled, I tried one of the other novels:

No problem there… and likewise for all the other works I’ve published at Amazon.

Then I tried again, using just “Kim du Toit” as the search string, and lo and behold, they all showed up, including Prime Target:

Of course, trying to reach anyone at Amazon who could look at the problem is like trying to decipher the U.S. tax code at opaque,  impossible and misleading.  Amazon must be the least-friendly organization on the planet when it comes to this kind of thing.

Anyway, here’s the link to Prime Target, in case anyone is still interested in a story about a government agency spying on U.S. citizens’ private data.

Feelin’ The Noize

I was never a huge fan of loud Brit rockers Slade — I didn’t mind the loud, but it was really simple music, while I was getting into Yes, Emerson Lake & Palmer and Genesis (to name but some).

Still, in those pre-metal days, there were times when you just needed to kick out and jump around, and few were better at kicking-out-and-jumping-around music than the Boys From The Black Country.

“What’s that, honky?  How could they be White boys in Black Country?”

Shuddup and watch this (very) sympathetic treatment of Slade in their heyday, back when they were huge.

And yes, in retrospect, their songs were excellent.

Sadly, it seems as though Noddy has throat cancer, and hasn’t that long to go.  Raw suckage, that is.

No Shock There

As any fule kno, I have little time for “awards” shows for anything show business, but the headlines are pretty much unavoidable, e.g.

The first part (about Barbie):  yeah, whatever.  But the second part?

As I see it, any time the brilliant Paul Giamatti wins an award, it cannot be called a “shock”.  Simply put, he’s one of the greatest character actors ever, and the only reason he’s not won every acting award is because he is a character actor and not a leading man.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, just watch Sideways (on Amazon Prime) — itself an absolute gem of a movie, and for which Giamatti was robbed blind of an Oscar, although that year he did win several non-Oscar awards for his role.

A movie for grownups, an actor likewise.  And absolutely no “shock” winner.