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« Reply #5565 on: November 14, 2016, 03:24:26 PM »

RIP Gwen Ifill. 61 years old!

Months long battle with cancer. Not all cancer stories have a happy ending.
Jesus!

2016, still sucking, after all this year!
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« Reply #5566 on: November 15, 2016, 11:47:09 AM »

Also for "Music" PBS has a new series called Soundscape that looks at the process of making rock music, starting with Sam Phillips and then George Martin and Phil Specter and on from there.

Ep two was about the effect of the recording studio and how it went from essentially Sun to laptops today.

Worth your time if music interests you.
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« Reply #5567 on: November 15, 2016, 12:09:55 PM »

Yes, sorry to see Gwen Ifill go, much too soon.

Soundscape -- I thought the part with Rubin, and how he would get musicians into a comfortable space where they could unwind and show themselves was interesting.  Part producer, part therapist.  Many good anecdotes....Paul McC waking up and hearing Yesterday in a dream and worrying he'd subconsciously filched it from someone else, George M reassuring him it was quite original.  The guy looked like a banker, but he got on with the lads of Liverpool just fine.



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I felt like putting a bullet between the eyes of every panda that wouldn't screw to save its species. I wanted to open the dump valves on oil tankers and smother all the French beaches I'd never see.
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« Reply #5568 on: November 15, 2016, 12:40:24 PM »

The SFX for Tommorrow Never Knows and the strings for A day In The Life as well as the strings for Eleanor Rigby.

Those stories are both mind blowing and otherwise. Sort of like. "We're making art here!" in a "But it's a pile of dirt!" age. It wouldn't work if you knew what the hell it was. Just like the Art "doesn't work" because you don't see past your perception. (Dia Beacon is pretty awesome!)

Likewise the seemingly random notes accelerated to make the beginning of On The Run A little depressing to know it was sort of noodling with knobs. But what noodling! 
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« Reply #5569 on: November 17, 2016, 11:34:24 AM »

Lethal Weapon tossed up a bit of a hairball this time out. How can #1 complain about them spending an episode on character development? I know that I can't. And I do care about the characters, but I don't feel like I want the show to go that way. Riggs becoming the object of every woman's desire. I like it as a buddy cop show. This one had more than its fair share of people being shot in the head. And the plot devices, I find myself having to say "yeah.... noooo....whatever." That will wear out.

Graves: So we know the daughter is a recovering party girl, and we know that her love interest is **** Spoiler alert***(self censured) and we know that she's now knows it. But we are supposed to believe that the operation was put on hold as this guy went to the Graves' ranch to hide from the Feds? Makes no sense. But whatevs (again, that'll wear off, so they have to do better!) And we know that it is going to be an issue that Mrs. Graves is going to have to bury. And we know, sure as Vince Foster, she will.

Likewise the son.

Likewise the husband.

There's a reason the show is called Graves, we just assumed it was the family name.


Ash v. Evil Dead. Fun episode, with Ash's sister showing up as, you know, evil, and dead (ish) the original actress "revived" her role.
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« Reply #5570 on: November 19, 2016, 03:06:50 AM »

So I watched more of that Black Mirror.

I'm not sure what was up with my Netflix and choosing the season and what not. I think I wound up in season 3. I saw and episode about a girl chasing a girl through some sort of afterlife.

I saw one about a boy being blackmailed and how you felt sorry for him until you found out something in the end. But we're never sure who is pulling the strings.

And I saw one where the mother is calling but the son won't answer, and then he has to travel through a program that tracks his fears.

Not in that order, in fact in reverse that order.

And now I'm awake! Thanks for that.

The thought it engenders is. Netflix achieved what You tube said was it's goal.

High quality talent is making programming. Expensive, well crafted programming. And they're making money off of it, on the internet.

You tube, doesn't. But the expectation (and it has worked to some extent) was that YOU Tube was to democratize content. And don't get me wrong, there is some fine stuff on You Tube. There are people doing great work. But not at the caliber of House Of Cards, for example.
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« Reply #5571 on: December 08, 2016, 04:23:35 PM »

Here is a ten minute video that my favorite acting teacher, Madonna, did with her husband, Ken, just before he died.

Link...

"The Itinerary"

https://vimeo.com/139433518

And her recent work on "Criminal Minds" will be aired on Wednesday, the first week of 2017.

Salute,

Tony V.
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« Reply #5572 on: January 02, 2017, 12:20:58 PM »

The new "Sherlock" last night was great, but sad to lose a cast member.  The plot was preposterous but somehow quite absorbing all the same.  The dialog is so good.   
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I felt like putting a bullet between the eyes of every panda that wouldn't screw to save its species. I wanted to open the dump valves on oil tankers and smother all the French beaches I'd never see.
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« Reply #5573 on: January 23, 2017, 01:35:50 PM »

Watch Ing and Ed...

The Good Place came back and has left again. The twist was not the one I was expecting. I would have been happy if they had a dopey TV tie up at the season end (which I still expect could be a series end. I just don't know which it is. It'll work either way. But I am glad that I saw it anyway, either way.)

The Young Pope. The opening Homily (which... Spoiler alert... is a dream ) had the missus and I saying to each other, "This sounds like Trump's inauguration speech." It's as if he watched the Episode on Sunday and then "got to work" writing his speech. Spoiler Alert... the real First homily is also like the feeling we got from the DJT IS. (BTW, in the dream sequence there was a trump "miracle of the rain stopping. and in the "real" homily there was a Trump Thunder and lightning storm at the end of the homily. Just funny that Trump seems to think that he is the Young Pope. Funny that he would think he is the young anything!)

The program is semi enjoyable, but mostly because it seems that this mess is going to be wrapped up in 10 eps. Jude Law's character (The Young Pope) is a dislikable Papi! And the functionary looks like he's going to be the antihero's heretical Anti. I'm left to wonder if I am "routing for" the bureaucracy over the change. Meanwhile, you're teased with the admission of the Pope that he is A theist. And you have Cardinals scoffing at the very idea of a "Holy Spirit" having been the cause of the miracle which was that this kid got the job. You know, all that stuff they tell the rubes they should believe.

Problems with the story include the father confessor of the Vatican. That the Pope would encourage him to tell what is told to him in the confessional. And that this guy isn't bombarded with requests to join a conspiracy 24/7. So why does he find it odd that the Pope ask? and why does he decide THIS(?) time to enter into the conspiracy?

It's only 10 Eps, two per week.

This leads me to this next observation:

Taboo.

Oh my brothers and sister in TV, this one is loaded with folks that you have seen elsewhere. If you are one who plays "Where Do I Know This Guy From?" you'll appreciate this program. This is on FX, so it doesn't follow the HBO paradigm of naughty naked nudes in the first few episodes to get you coming back for more (Jude Law did two butt scenes for the beginning of TYP, and there was a dream sequence that left the show open to lots of pedophile comments. I'll leave them to others to make.)

Let me say; thus far, Spoiler alert... The title is not what this program is about. Don't believe them when they warn you of nudity (thus far). This is a story about the East India Company and 18th century English law and politics and business.

There is a dose of voodoo tossed in here and there to keep you on your toes vis-a-vis suspension of disbelief. The main character, James Delehany(?) comes off initially as bad news. Yet he manages to redeem himself with the viewer if not his fellow characters. He and his half sister (Oona Chaplin) have Taboo history. But thus far it is but a minor subplot. Let's hope it stays that way.

What I was getting at, however, is that this is a bad time not to want to want to watch TV. Watching these programs is more akin to great story telling than, it seems to me, anything that is happening in the cinema. Certainly the popular cinema. There has been a flip flop from the TV being the medium of the below average, and the movie houses the museums of high art.

It's as if the premise for Gilligan's Island were "They all died and are now in a purgatory on this island. Written and directed by Ingmar Bergman." Or if Bonanza were directed by Akira Kurosawa. Or if Get Smart were written and directed by Mel Brooks.

I did see Sherlock, I found it interesting albeit not compelling. I have other work that I want to focus on and so I am very reluctant to allow myself to get absorbed into a series (to the dismay of missus who is like a coke dealer, getting me to take a free sample of this one and that one, trying to get me hooked.)

Speaking of which. Ciao.
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Seriously. Have we ever seen an actor with a set of eyebrows like this guy had?
Have you ever met someone with half the eyebrows Nicholson had?
And yeah, I know that's not the line, here.
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« Reply #5574 on: January 24, 2017, 12:02:50 PM »

Oh, look. Uno is back. Multiplied himself by 10 and got a Roman Numeral.

Cute.
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RMLevine: Are you telling me that 200 of our men against your boy is a no-win situation for us?
Monty Clare: You send that many, don't forget one thing.
RMLevine: What?
Monty Clare: A good supply of body bags.
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« Reply #5575 on: January 30, 2017, 11:14:53 AM »

In the spirit of guessing the twist I'm guessing the twist of twist of The Young Pope.

Lenny is trying to destroy the church in order for God to show his hand (so to speak). If God comes in to save His church, then Lenny can ask Him what happened to his parents. Meanwhile, it could be that Vioello  and Boy Jello are the vessels of God's miracles (by which I mean they find Lenny's parents and drag them to Vatican city for Lenny to find them. Meanwhile maybe the wheelchair bound human pet of Voiello is "Cured" by Lenny the Miracle worker.

It is quite possible that the miracle of the dying woman is just there to emphasize the "Don't try this at home!" nature of Lenny's resurrection of Catholicism.

We're at ep 5 which puts us past the half way point, given that the story comes to a confrontation in chapter 7, war in chapter 8 and peace in chapter 9 with chapter 10 being the reprise of chapter 1. The Pope (now "prematurely" gray and bent before the Lord) in chapter 10 creates the church he dreams of in the dream homily he gives.

Now if they want to make it really fun, God "comes on down" and just wipes clear the entire episode of Lenny's lenapz! the dream sequence is the new time line (for sake of the imagery let's say it's like Incident At Ox Bow Creek, like,) except that all the stuff that is going on is going on, but God just eliminates the memory and resets reality at the point of the dream. (One might notice the contrast between the First homily and the words he says to the girl trying to seduce him. I can't think there isn't significance in the mind of the writer.)

In either case, the writers then extrapolate what the world will be like after the new church is formed along the lines of the first homily. Point being, that's ep 10. So there are 4 more along the story arc they're taking us.

Interesting that they altered the beginning twice now. They started with something I forget now, then (I think) the 2nd ep had TYP walking along a wall of pictures as a star comets across, within and effecting them. The music is a stutter start of "All Along the Watchtower" The Pope breaks the fourth wall and winks at the audience and then at the end, the comet star (don't know if it is David's star or Jesus') knocks over a statue of (what looks like) John Paul II. (interesting that one of the pictures is reminiscent of the cover of Axis Bold As Love)

In ep 5 the music is markedly different and the old pope statue is gone. Maybe it'll make sense in the end. But is sure as hell doesn't, to me, right now.

Meanwhile, it seems to me that God is going to show up in the conclave the elects Lenny. But in such a way that people are left with only their renewed faith, and nothing to base it upon, other than faith itself.

Last thing (I guess) is that Voiello is representative of Judas. More the Harvey Keitel Judas of The Last Temptation of the Christ (Forgot how to do that.) In that for all the grief Judas gave Jesus, in the end, he was the one who actually believed. I'm always suspicious when they make a bad guy look good or a good guy start off bad, it seems to be a literary device more than an integral pert of the story. I feel that I'm put on guard against the worst king of hackery. It's abuse of the suspension of disbelief the writer asks me give him.
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Seriously. Have we ever seen an actor with a set of eyebrows like this guy had?
Have you ever met someone with half the eyebrows Nicholson had?
And yeah, I know that's not the line, here.
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« Reply #5576 on: January 31, 2017, 07:43:59 AM »

In the spirit of Uno's last post...

Ralph Malph: Did you see "Psycho"? Tony Perkins is his own mother!

Richie Cunningham: Thanks, Ralph.
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RMLevine: Are you telling me that 200 of our men against your boy is a no-win situation for us?
Monty Clare: You send that many, don't forget one thing.
RMLevine: What?
Monty Clare: A good supply of body bags.
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« Reply #5577 on: February 01, 2017, 01:17:08 PM »

Still enjoying Taboo. The cast is among the best I have ever seen on a television show. It does seem to borrow heavily from Pirates Of The Caribbean, but that might be just because of how strong Jonathan Pryce whom I think I first fell for in Something Wicked This Way Comes and have enjoyed seeing him ever since.

But the role he plays here, as the head of the East India Company is deeply satisfying. If this is the last thing he ever does he will have missed nothing in his career.

The thing is that this program is endlessly (so far as we haven't reached an end) amusing. I'm not certain, but I think that James put his finger on it when he said that everyone that he is in league with deserves what's coming to them (assuming an awful comeuppance). The story presents a cast of characters without a "Good Guy".

It reminds me of the movie Ruthless People (except that the bad guys in that were the least ruthless). The program gives me a new definition of the term "Guilty pleasure" in that I'm freed from my morality. I needn't try to identify with the hero or the victim. Contrast this to the "Anti Hero" programs like Sopranos where we were supposed to root for Tony despite the fact that he was a killer. Or Mad Men where Mr. Chase wanted our desire for nostalgia and our knowledge that "Hey, we turned out alright" cover over the multitude of sins. I'm not trying to be a moralist, it comes naturally to me.

So, yeah, I'm pulling for the "least" bad guy. But the show doesn't ask me to accept his moral code.

They have a clever device in that James is truly in love with his half sister. They are soul mates and she is trying to distance herself rom that "reality." He has the entry way into her entryway through her dream state... Um OK, whatever gets you through the night. But the device is that a young, attractive actress had married James' father and now lives within James' orbit. There is sexual tension on her part as she is controlled by his indifference to her sexually. She is important to James, however in that she has a trunk that James is counting on there being a deed in. Whether she knows this is the extent of her value or not has yet to be seen. She was given an ultimatum, and she is smart enough to find a way to avoid it being her ultimate ultimatum. I would suspect she will find the deed and keep it in reserve. Although that might be precarious.

And the audience is attracted to Mrs. Delaney.  The audience is reminded by that attraction that James Delaney holds the moral high ground over them.

Apparently there are 8 episodes. I don't know if it comes again for another season. At this point I certainly hope so.

I am particularly enjoying Stephen Graham who played a very convivial and convincing Al Capone on Boardwalk Empire. He gets good lines and he delivers then with a chuckle hiding the menace.

Thomas Hollander as Cholmondeley is fun as well.

The ads that run during this one include the next two. One is flawed by its being a Marvel contrivance, and but it stars Dan Stevens who, when you go to the link will then instantly recognize as Matthew from Downton Abbey. When I see the ads I don't connect the images, I don't know why.
and Feud about the friendly relationship between Joan Crawford and Bette Davis during the filming of Whatever Happened To Baby Jane. The film was one of the Missus' favorites when we were just young newlyweds. But she doesn't seem particularly interested.

I find it more interesting that this seems to be a thing these days with various media presentations regarding that era of actresses. Interesting I say.
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Seriously. Have we ever seen an actor with a set of eyebrows like this guy had?
Have you ever met someone with half the eyebrows Nicholson had?
And yeah, I know that's not the line, here.
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« Reply #5578 on: February 06, 2017, 12:07:16 PM »

OK first of all, WOW! I have a lot of disparate things to say and I really don't want to take a lot time to say them. But what I'm talking about is the Superb Owl.

First is the last thing (and the part I don't want to delve too deep into.) The story lines tend to repeat themselves. Those who don't know their history are surprised by it. Those who do know their history get to sit there and watch helplessly as it happens again! Watching the Superb Owl was like sitting through election night again! "WTF!" More than half of Americans wanted to see The Pats get beat even tho' we sort of went into the night expecting them to win.

And it was a political thing, too. We wanted the Pats to lose because we're sick of Brady and because they were all in for Trump and and and. And yet how could we north easters find ourselves routing for Atlanta GEORGIA? It was a choice between two outcomes we weren't comfortable with!

And then we were winning! We were going to beat the Pats! And then it didn't happen! If I was a heart attack havin' man, that would have given me that sweet release!

OK...

Two was the half time show. That girl gotz some balls hanging offen her! Fear is not a factor for that one! Brava!

But what struck me was that all of those "fans that came streaming on to the field" were paid "dancers" When the Rolling Stones were on the field, there were reel people rushing the stage (or at least I thought so) the entire field was covered with Gaga's staging. And that structure they set up and broke down. That was impressive. That was a BIG show, worthy of an Olympics closing night ceremony! In China! And when she jumped off the top step... Half Time Shows have a new HIGH bar.

But the weirdest thing, to me (and this is where I'm not going to go get the ads to put up, thus not spending too much time on this.) They social engineering content of the ads was WAY off the chart! First of all, whatever happened to 30 seconds? But the Oil industry thing was (ironically) Electrifying! I don't even know who was doing the diversity pictures thing, but I was heartened by it. Then the Soap Box Derby thing from Audi. and several (it seemed) others directed at societal messaging. I found it very future. It's like the AAPL ad (which I seem to have been running into having just watched the Jobs biopic with the daughter. and "Greatest ads" stuff) except in reverse. It's as if Big Brother is letting his presence be felt.

We enjoyed the Verizon ads the most. The 50 Shades motif being in the mind's eye given the premier this weekend. They were laugh out loud funny.

Also seemed to me that the advertisers narrow casted to the stoners in the crowd.

Oh and Spuds Mackenzie saying to all the brush out there that they should drink with friends every day, not just Su Perbowl party days. More Societal engineering.

Which does remind me that the nostalgia craze seems to be hitting across the media landscape. Spuds brings back the dead guy and Pirates of the Caribbean brings back all the dead guys and Blacklist is spinning off a nostalgia tour with Tom and the other losers who got their Burn Notices.

I didn't see them all and I'm probably forgetting a lot. I told you "disparate"  I don't think Football will exist in 50 years. I think it will be replaced by something akin to John Madden Football where the best of the best players play fantasy football against each other.

And I'm not sure why I'm supposed to not think that the games are scripted. Yeah, you can't plan some of those catches and so on and so forth... But this game did feel like a "You can't write this stuff" script.
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Seriously. Have we ever seen an actor with a set of eyebrows like this guy had?
Have you ever met someone with half the eyebrows Nicholson had?
And yeah, I know that's not the line, here.
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« Reply #5579 on: February 07, 2017, 12:07:18 PM »

It's very possible that I am missing something when it comes to**** Spoilers abound**** The Young Pope. Or it's possible that the series stinks. And these are not mutually exclusive.

I am no hero when it comes to keeping characters straight. But this show seems to bring characters in out of left field. For no good apparent reason the "brother" from the orphanage is shown in a MMF ménage  and we're left to assume that it is based upon his preferences. So OK, the guy wants to go home anyway, he doesn't like living at the Vatican... A boy shows up at the restaurant. he wanted to be a priest, but he has been told that he cannot because he is not yet able to deal with the fact that he is gay. So the boy kills himself. Then from seemingly nowhere, the Cardinal (And that two boys from the same orphanage should grow up to be powerhouses in the Church doesn't seem to be worthy of note.) is abducted by the husband of the woman apparently from the ménage. He is happy to kill a Cardinal and leave his body by the side of the road. 

Uhhh... huh? Even God's mysterious ways makes more sense.

Speaking of God, TYP is allatime complaining that there is no God and God doesn't listen and God won't tell TYP that He is listening. So they're on a plane to Africa. A reporter shouts out the question that apparently the ending of the series is hinging on (That TYP buried an investigation into an American Archbishop or something because the American is blackmailing him)

TYP is in 1st class on his knees praying to God and everyone hears the question, the plane hits turbulence and W1o7 is shat! Are we supposed to think that that's just co incidence?

They get to the village in Africa and the is reminded that there are no pictures of TYP and that if she doesn't calm herself down, TYP will ex the entirety of her charity (which was the same thing he said to the monks who protested TYP) also, she was to eat not one but two breath mints because she is infamous for bad breath (and the monks needed to clean their feet because they stunk too).

Well, it turns out her breath is so bad because she smooches coochie? She's an evil lesbian! She controls the water and makes people do bad things to get it. Meanwhile she makes the mistake of getting a cold drink of water from her personal stash while TYP (who had the good fortune this time to have pilots who could tell that there was turbulence over Roma so they were going to land in Naples. So we are told that the earlier episode was Divine, without being told.) is kneeling in a parking lot of a gas station and having a "face to Face" with God about Sister Antonia(?). Bad time for cold water, she has a heart attack, because God is now TYP's Hitman/god.

Sooo... NOW do you believe in God? How can't you? You made the infertile girl pregnant, you made loaves appear in everybody's underwear and you offed the nun with the breath that smelled like fishes (Gotta say, I really don't like the way the writers did that. Really unnecessary. As if they had to go out of their way to make it "OK" for TYP to pray her to death. As if being lesbian translates into evil.)

Here we are now. two episode from the end and the whole "Blackmail" thing pops up as the narrative device.

So what's it going to be? TYP is Gay and that's why he's so hard on the homosexuals. How original, as if we haven't seen that with Republican "Family Values!" politicians and any number of Evangelical Christian Preachers.

They went back to the second opening sequence (All Along the Watchtower and the old priest statue).

Well at least they had nipples in this last episode as half naked women appeared in the night time hedge maze with the letters (one each) B A S T A R D scrawled in red on their torsos. He didn't seem impressed. But even if he is gay, the apparition ought to give him pause anyway. One would think.

It's possible they'll turn it around. It's almost a case of "Too Big To Fail" and the production department at HBO is smart enough to know a good story isn't a good story if it doesn't go anywhere except through plot devices.

But then they did Green light Vinyl and that was Gawd Awful!
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Seriously. Have we ever seen an actor with a set of eyebrows like this guy had?
Have you ever met someone with half the eyebrows Nicholson had?
And yeah, I know that's not the line, here.
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