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.

News Roundup

Short and messy, kinda like this.  And now a quick look at some relevant news:

just remember that it cuts both ways, assholes.

(no link because why waste Readers’ time?)
hey George:  stick to banging yer lawyer wife or making Oceans moviesAnd speaking of lawyers:

like anyone cares what this bunch of Commie shysters thinks.

Here’s one news item that doesn’t even need a comment from me, ol’ Tuck says it all:

Tucker Carlson Hauls Off On Asshole Republicans (my headline).

sounds okay to me, especially on seeing this:

so, Mr. Law-And-Order President:  when, exactly, will the 82nd Airborne be sent in with orders to shoot to kill?

and I agree.  Let’s start by eliminating no-knock raids, asset forfeiture and your fucking armored cars.

And finally, on a much lighter note:

that’s okay.  A lot of women can’t measure up to a good wank, either.

Life, Art, Imitation Thereof

One of my favorite-ever literary passages is in Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, when Yossarian walks into a bedroom to discover that his lunatic navigator Aarfy has just murdered a prostitute by throwing her out the window.  While he’s remonstrating with Aarfy, the military police burst into the room — and arrest Yossarian for being AWOL.

Thus, this:

Teenage girls who were raped while out for a walk during Russia’s lockdown are threatened with FINES for breaking coronavirus restrictions

I know that this was in Russia, where strange shit happens every day;  but I would suggest that the bureaucratic mindset behind this kind of thing is universal.

Quarantine Viewing

Both New Wife and I have a problem when it comes to movies:  we are not enthralled (to put it mildly) by anything that smacks of science fiction or fantasy — although I loved the brilliant About Time, that was more because of Bill Nighy’s performance, which dragged the movie out of the generic time-travel dreck  — and that dislike of fantasy extends to horror movies of the Chainsaw Massacre  type.

Thus, a compendium along the lines of These 10 Underappreciated Movies Make for the Perfect Quarantine Viewing Experience is of little use to me, mostly because of the list’s reliance on sci-fi / fantasy / horror formats.  (Of that list, I’d seen only a couple, and liked only Surveillance.  The rest… forget about it.  Didn’t see;  won’t either.)

So I thought of creating my own list of underappreciated movies, only with a principle theme of adult (in its original sense) entertainment.  Some are available on Netflix, Prime and the like, while others may have to be rented or purchased.  Here they are:

  1. Montana (Kyra Sedgwick, Stanley Tucci) — bleakly redefined the gangster-movie genre;  both Tucci and Sedgwick are great.
  2. Sideways (Thomas Haden Church, Paul Giamatti) — a “buddy” movie about a trip to the California wine country:  seriously?
  3. Elizabethtown (Orlando Bloom, Kirsten Dunst) — black comedy/romance, and the story’s occasional missteps can be safely ignored.  I even enjoyed Free Bird, which says something.
  4. The Matador (Pierce Brosnan) — absolutely one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen, and Brosnan is beyond words.
  5. A Good Year (Russell Crowe) — I’ve talked about this one often, and it’s nearly time for me to watch it again.
  6. Sliding Doors (Gwyneth Paltrow, ) — when a movie can make Goats ‘N Monkeys Paltrow look good, you have to know — and Scottish actor John Hannah is brilliant, as always.  And yes, it’s a time-shift piece, but like About Time, that’s just the background noise.
  7. O Lucky Man (Malcolm McDowell) — rent it at Amazon Prime, and it’ll be the best $2 you spent all week.  The best of Malcolm McDowell’s early-70s movies (alongside A Clockwork Orange and If… the latter being almost as good).  And while we’re on Malcolm McDowell…
  8. Aces High — best WWI movie ever made, better than All Quiet On The Western Front, even.
  9. Coldblooded (Jason Priestley) — Priestley sheds his pretty-boy image forever.
  10. Paper Man (Jeff Daniels) — Jeff Daniels has given us several fine performances, and this one is up there with the best.
  11. Red Road (Kate Dickie) — saddest movie of the lot, set in the bleak (and since-demolished) eponymous public housing complex in Glasgow.
  12. The Last Seduction (Linda Fiorentino) — another black comedy (anyone sense a theme, here?) but with wicked twists and turns in the plot.
  13. Criminal (John C. Reilly) — how do you con a conman?  And Reilly, as always, is amazing.

Of course there are others, but these are the ones which came to mind immediately.  Feel free, as always, to add your suggestions in Comments — just please, please  avoid the aforesaid sci-fi, horror and fantasy genres.