Saturday, May 06, 2006

You Will Believe A Movie Won't Suck



Something fun and pointless to do is to divide the world into opposing camps of fans.

You're either a fan of Ginger, or you're a fan of Maryanne. You're either a Lakers fan, or you're a Celtics fan (are there Celtics fans, still?). You're either a fan of Batman, or you're a fan of Superman.

Me? Superman. Always Superman.

It's not that Batman isn't cool. In fact I think most people, myself included, would argue that Batman is far "cooler." He's got the car, the women, the black formal wear, and the Bondian gadgets to prove it.

Superman? He's got...well...tights. No car, one woman (who's pretty, but maddeningly elusive and not at all like the slinky Playmates that Wayne gets to party with), no gadgets, and bright red underwear he wears on the outside of said-tights.

No contest.

But I never wanted to be Batman. Not as a youngster, running around in my underoos. Not as a teen, gorged on comic books and movies. Not as an adult, facing the world in all its ugly beauty.

For me, Batman represents humanity at it's worst. A man responding to tragedy by shutting off everything and everyone around him and throwing the law out the window in pursuit of vengeance. For me, Superman represents us at our best. Orphaned and alone - cut off from everything he knows and everyone like himself - yet still determined to do right. To do Good.

Because at the end of the day, I believe the world is a hopeful place. I believe in man's innate goodness. Despite much evidence to the contrary, I believe this to my core.

And that's the heart of Superman. That's why I still own a bright blue shirt with an enormous red S on it. That's why you'll find no bats in my wardrobe (though some may argue, plenty in my bellfry). That's why Superman (and, to a lesser extent, Capitan Americano) moves me. I want to make this world better than when I entered it. I don't want to spend my nights fighting an ever-rising, never-ebbing tide of villany, ala Bats. I want to spend my days trying my hardest to do the right thing, to set an example through word and action to all around me, and to never lose sight of the fact that what makes this country great will always outweigh what makes this country terrible, as long as the people can set aside what makes us different, respecting life and how we choose to live it. As long as we believe in Truth, Justice, and the American Way.

And now, the point of this post - AICN has posted an officially-verified review of Superman Returns. I haven't read it. I don't want to know about the plot beforehand, and the review is SPOILER INTENSIVE. But it's apparently a very positive review, and I'd like to give people an opportunity to read it if they're so inclined.

Up, Up, And Awaaaay.

Friday, May 05, 2006

New Cannes Award: Best Filmmaker Held By US Authorities

From Cinematical:

Apparently the State Department isn't convinced that director Richard Kelly (Donnie Darko) isn't a terrorist. According to Jeff Wells at Hollywood Elsewhere, Kelly's passport has been held "under review" in good old Washington, D.C., bastion of freedom, because some guy named James Kelly is on their terrorist watch list, and Kelly's full name is James Richard Kelly.

All this means that Kelly, whose film Southland Tales premieres at Cannes, which opens May 17 -- and is in competition for the top prize at the fest -- may not be able to be there to enjoy his moment in the spotlight. Now, I'm all for keeping terrorists from blowing up planes and committing other dastardly deeds, but really, doesn't it seem there ought to be some easier way for the State Department to differentiate between a (relatively) well-known film director and a potential terrorist than making his mom dig up his junior high yearbook?

In what is surely an unintentional case of irony -- if only because it's hard to imagine government bureaucrats being that clever -- Southland Tales is about the government (what -- our government?!?) imposing a police state in the wake of a second major terrorist attack. It all kinda makes me wonder how many other people with common names get caught in this kind of snafu -- and makes me ever so thankful I chose to stick with my uncommon maiden surname rather than changing to my husband's very common one.

Fortunately, I doubt there are a whole lot of James Rocchi's out there, at least on terrorist watch lists, so hopefully our esteemed Editor-in-Chief won't experience a similar hold-up getting himself to Cannes to give you all the French film festival coverage you can stomach.

Libertastic

Codemorse's favorite* conservative film site, Libertas, has a review up of Network - the seminal 70's cinema satire.

Beale has a lot more lucidity, humanity and pathos than what one tends to find on talk radio these days - and yet the comparisons to people like Rush or Ann Coulter or Michael Savage (who is a most Beale-like figure in terms of his manic, grandiloquent despair at the culture) are inevitable. Beale is no ‘conservative,’ of course. Beale is too despairing and recondite - and too inclined toward mysticism - to endorse any particular ideology or politician; his chief concern is that Americans are becoming dehumanized, soulless and brainwashed by the anodyne amusements offered by television. At issue for Beale is that Americans are beginning to confuse their own realities with the realities they see on TV. This, he raves eloquently, is the road to madness.


Well, Libertas would know all about the road to madness. It's paved with their readers.

The wonderful thing about Chayefsky and his films is not only how politically incorrect they are, or how wickedly funny they are - but that they appeal to a mature sensibility. Paddy Chayefsky was a New York Jewish intellectual who began in the world of the cultural Left, but who grew disenchanted and gradually drifted over to the other side - to the point that half of Network and The Hospital are spent satirizing Marxists. Chayefsky’s movies are funny, vulgar, urban, ethnic, and very sophisticated. They’re movies for adults - particularly those of us (and there are a lot of us) who live in the Blue States, but who don’t happen to be drinking Hollywood’s Hate-Bush Kool-Aid nowadays. There are no films for people like us right now.

So here is my advice to conservatives trying to figure out what they want to say in their films: just for once, do what Chayefsky did and get in the Left’s face. ‘Family values’ are fine, but they’re not always enough. Sometimes you need a sense of humor. Sometimes you need to stop worrying about who you might offend. Sometimes you need some balls. Sometimes you need to get mad as hell.


Yes, just for once, get in the Left's face. Stop being so goshdarn nice to the lefties and start offending. Lord knows, those conservatives have been so kid-glovish with us all.

Maybe it's the Hate-Bush Kool-Aid talking, but I'm bewildered by the reviewer's statement that there are 'no films for people like us right now.' As if there's this enormous influx of Leftist films being released into the gen. pop. like poison into the water supply. Last I'd checked, there were maybe four films from last year that could be thought of (reasonably or un) as promoting a progressive, "Leftist" agenda. Four. They were: Brokeback Mountain (because those lousy gays just won't be satisfied until they have their own stupid movies), Syriana (because a complicated cinematic discussion of global oil politics is obviously designed as a stealth-bomb of Bush-criticism), Good Night and Good Luck (because a fact-checked, historically-accurate depiction of the Murrow/McCarthy faceoff is obviously a thinly-veiled attack on Family Values), and....hmmm...did I say four? I meant three.

Libertas keeps pulling me back in, hungry for a fix of unfiltered 'conservative' rage. I want to stop. But I can't. I'm weak.

*favorite, of course, being used in a sarcastic manner - as in, Codemorse's favorite food is poop.

MADD As Hell

By now, you've all heard probably heard about Rep. Kennedy's driving accident.

According to a letter sent by Officer Greg Baird, acting chairman of the USCP FOP, the wreck took place at approximately 2:45 a.m. Thursday when Kennedy’s car, operating with its running lights turned off, narrowly missed colliding with a Capitol Police cruiser and smashed into a security barricade at First and C streets Southeast.

“The driver exited the vehicle and he was observed to be staggering,” Baird’s letter states. Officers approached the driver, who “declared to them he was a Congressman and was late to a vote. The House had adjourned nearly three hours before this incident....

....Baird wrote that Capitol Police Patrol Division units, who are trained in driving under the influence cases, were not allowed to perform basic field sobriety tests on the Congressman. Instead, two sergeants, who also responded to the accident, proceeded to confer with the Capitol Police watch commander on duty and then “ordered all of the Patrol Division Units to leave the scene and that they were taking over.”

Baird said he had been advised that after the officers departed, Capitol Police “House Division officials” gave Kennedy a ride home.


Let me repeat that, for full dramatic effect.

The officers at the scene were not allowed to administer 'basic field sobriety tests.'

Yes, our government is TOUGH on driving under the influence. Unless, of course, you are the government. In that case, you get driven home by police escort.

Democracy in action, folks.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

The Tick For President




Image taken from The Tick: Mighty Blue Justice, for the purposes of parody under copyright law.

Having heard the rumors on who'll be lining up to try for the Presidency come 2008, I've come to the conclusion that the Republican party could do worse than nominating The Tick, Ben Edlund's classic comic character. He's lovable, confused, and gives the impression of great strength, despite constant evidence to the contrary. Sound somewhat familiar?

Here's a handful of Tick quotes, interspersed with soundbites from our President. See if you can tell them apart!

And, isn't sanity really just a one-trick pony anyway? I mean all you get is one trick, rational thinking, but when you're good and crazy, oooh, oooh, oooh, the sky is the limit.

Too many good docs are getting out of the business. Too many OB-GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country.

Everybody was a baby once. Oh, sure, maybe not today, or even yesterday. But once. Babies, chum: tiny, dimpled, fleshy mirrors of our us-ness, that we parents hurl into the future, like leathery footballs of hope. And you've got to get a good spiral on that baby, or evil will make an interception.

Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we

I don't know the meaning of the word "surrender". I mean, I know it, I'm not dumb... just not in this context.

I think we agree, the past is over.

If you don't stand for anything, you don't stand for anything!

People say that I'm out of touch with reality. That I'm insane. Sometimes I forget things. Who I am. Where I am. Unimportant things. But I'm not insane.

Fun!

Justice Done


From the National Enquirer...err...I mean...the NY Post:

A divided jury voted yesterday to spare the life of convicted al Qaeda fiend Zacarias Moussaoui, despite his admitted role in the worst terror attack in American history.

In a dramatic conclusion to the only 9/11 case to come to a U.S. courtroom, a jury of nine men and three women failed to unanimously agree to give the 37- year-old terrorist the death penalty.

Judge Leonie Brinkema will formally sentence him today to life in prison without the possibility of release....

[Moussaoui] sat slouched in a chair and smiled and flashed a "V" for victory sign after hearing the verdict.

"America, you lost. I won!" Moussaoui shouted as federal marshals led him from the court- room.

Don't mistake the "victory" sign and the hyperbolic blather for real sentiments. Not for one minute. Being executed by America would have done far more for Moussaoui's cause than life in prison.

If anyone can be said to have "won" anything, it is us. We reaffirmed that the society we live in is not the vengeful, barbaric, by-any-means-necessary civilization that Moussaoui and his cohorts would like to believe it is.

Justice, not vengeance. No terrorist will ever fatally wound the heart of America, so long as it's justice we pursue.

And no Post article would be complete without a weigh-in from former-Mayor Rudy Giuliani:

Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who watched the verdict on TV from his law office, said he was "disappointed," but added it was a "symbol of American justice" that shows we're not what "some of these perverted people portray us as. "I certainly believe that he should have been executed, that the verdict should have been death,"

Try to make some sense out of that spin. We're not what "some of these perverted people portray us as," yet Giuliani believes he should have been executed...which means that we are what some of these perverted people portray us as.

We're just balanced out by people who believe in justice, not in spinning their words to assure that no one can get angry at you and damage your planned run at the Presidency in 2008.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

BOO Ya

Raise your hand if Lost kicked your ass tonight.

Plagiarizing The McFrey Incident

Plagiarism, our new American shame-industry:

A Harvard University student’s “chick lit” novel has been permanently withdrawn and her two-book deal canceled, publisher Little, Brown and Co. announced Tuesday, as allegations of literary borrowing proliferated against Kaavya Viswanathan’s “How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild and Got a Life.”

Viswanathan, who was 17 when she signed the deal, did not immediately return calls seeking comment Tuesday.

Meanwhile, The Record of Bergen County said Tuesday that it will review the news articles Visvanathan wrote for the 180,000-circulation daily paper in northern New Jersey while an intern in 2003 and 2004.

Editor Frank Scandale said The Record, which has written several of its own articles about the plagiarism allegations, will hire a service to vet the dozen or so light features she wrote while one of about 18 interns at the paper.

If the girl plagiarized, she shouldn't be published. But this is news...why?

Because we Americans need more shame. It just feels so good to wallow in the misfortune of others. Mmmm...It's so soft and warm.

Expect more of this shitake.

Chest-Beating

From our comments:

your blog is one of the calmest and most clearly articulated on all of these issues that matter so much. Thank you for that. Keep going.


Thank you. We'll keep writing, if you'll keep reading.

Net Neutrality Now

It's impossible to overstate the importance of Net Neutrality.

Having truly democratic access to the internet is not only a gift, but a necessity in the modern world.

How is the United States different from Communist China if we use economics to censor the web, rather than straight-out governmentally mandating it?

Answer: It isn't.

IF you use the internet at all - for anything, from reading the news to doing research to getting information on random subjects of interest - then you need to stop what you're doing.

Right now.

And go here.

Seriously. This isn't a joke.

Reporting Colbert

Apparently, Stephen Colbert ruffled some feathers with his closing speech at the White House Correspondent's Dinner.

That's always nice to see.

Americablog has Matt Drudge's Colbert-bashing headline up for all to see, along with a snarky-if-accurate assessment of the reaction. Here's the original Drudge headline:


Yes, that's for real. Basically, Drudge would like us all to know that Fox News' cock is bigger than Colbert's.

Even the Dems are getting into the act:

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) took on a rare role yesterday as a defender of President Bush.

Hoyer came to the defense of the commander in chief after Saturday's White House Correspondents' Association dinner, where the president took a drubbing from comedian Stephen Colbert.

"I thought some of it was funny, but I think it got a little rough," Hoyer said. "He is the president of the United States, and he deserves some respect."

"I'm certainly not a defender of the administration," Hoyer reassured stunned observers, but Colbert "crossed the line" with many jokes that were "in bad taste."
Which parts were in bad taste, exactly? The parts where he spoke truth to power? Or the part where he nailed the "liberal" media's slumbering, care-free approach to actual reporting over the past five years?

Take a look around, ladies and gentlemen. This is our America.

But Hullabaloo says it best (same link):
Colbert's routine is a satirical take on the bloviating wingnut (and covert wingnut) gasbags who support the Republicans no matter what they do. That's not in bad taste. It's a public service. He stood up there and mirrored what we see them do every day of the week. They didn't find it funny because it was a little too real.

Trailer Park

See the new Superman Returns trailer HERE. Bryan Singer is arguably one of the top five "genre" directors working today, and if X2 was any indication, Superman Returns is going to be the film to beat this summer.

Partial to Pirates? See the Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man's Chest trailer HERE.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Uncle Sam Drops By

Domain Name house.gov ? (United States Government)
ISP Information Systems, U.S. House of Representatives



Codemorse welcomes our recent visitors from the United States House of Representatives, and invites you good folk of the government to stick around and enjoy the place.

Laverne and Shirley, Here I Come!!!

Friends (and people who hate me):

I am off for about a week, and will return May 11th. That's right, I'm off to Milwaukee, the land of beer, and brats, and very large women (likely due to the beer and brats). And then to Tampa. And then to Orlando (technically Maitland).

To do what, you ask? Oh, sorry. I heard you wrong? You have no interest in what I'm doing? Fine, screw you! I wasn't going to tell you anyway.

A Note from Codemorse: We'll miss you, Jabs. Without your Red State musings, Codemorse's purple prose will fade to blue once more. Bring us cheese and beer.

A Hero For the Left

While getting mediocre reviews for the comedy of it, Steven Colbert has become somewhat of a cult hero for his cutting up of President Bush to his face. It is apparently a sentiment widely shared, not necessarily limited to the great Codemorse.

For my part, I read it and think that it's very funny. I laughed out loud in my office. It's obnoxious satire, told with the same smugness the South Park kids made so famous in their skewering of the hybrid driving San Fransisco crowd. But it's vital, and necessary. And I think it is what makes this country the best in the world. [Pardon the American exceptionalism.]

CodeDaVinci: Curing What Ails Ya?

From CNN.com:

With 46 million copies in print, "Da Vinci" has long been a headache for Christian scholars and historians, who are worried about the influence on the faith from a single source they regard as wrong-headed.

Now the controversy seems headed for a crescendo with the release of the movie version of "Da Vinci" May 17-19 around the world. Believers have released an extraordinary flood of material criticizing the story -- books, tracts, lectures and Internet sites among them.

If someone's faith in church can be truly shaken by the DaVinci Code then their faith was wafer-thin to begin with.

Brown's novel (for the one person out there who hasn't read it) is escapist literature defined - with three-page chapters, virtually no character development, and a connect-the-dots plot that's enlivened by the "controversial" nature of the subject. It's watered-down Indiana Jones.

That's not a criticism. Escapist literature is fun. And while many theologians are criticizing Brown's "fast n' loose" apprach to theology, his book is FICTION. That people are taking it as fact isn't Brown's fault. It's the fault of his critics, who've failed to teach their "version" effectively enough to convince these "misled" people they're so worried about.

But really, James Robinson says it best:

James M. Robinson of Claremont (California) Graduate School, a leading specialist, thinks the current popularity of Mary Magdalene "says more about the sex life (or lack of same) of those who participate in this fantasy than it does about Mary Magdalene or Jesus."

Where's All The Good News From Iran?

In honor of the tireless media-watchdogs, so fond of complaining about the lack of positive reportage from Iraq, here's a bit of bright news straight out of Iran:

Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has ordered authorities to allow women to enter sports stadiums and attend national football games.

RFE/RL: You and many other women in Iran have been fighting for the right to enter stadiums and attend football matches. Your leg was actually broken last year when you and a group of activists tried to push your way into Tehran stadium. How do you feel today, now that President Ahmadinejad has ordered that women be allowed into stadiums?

Mahboubeh Abbass-Gholizadeh: Our reaction -- the reaction of many of those who have been involved in this campaign, and we've been talking about it -- is first of all [happiness]. We are all happy that the women's movement could successfully reach [at least] one of its least important demands. We consider this a victory for the women's movement. But this is happening at a time when there are many pressures with regard to [restrictions on] women's clothing. This achievement is for us a result of the efforts of our women and girls, especially since last year. It was necessary, but [it is] not enough.


Especially since single women are still shit-outta-luck.

Still, any victory for women's rights is a victory. Right on,
Mahboubeh Abbass-Gholizadeh.


My Kryptonite

Why I'm still a fan of comic books.

(technically work-safe, but not recommended if there are ladies about)

(courtesy of oliverwillis.com)

Greatness

Stephen Colbert is a hero.

By the way, before I get started, if anybody needs anything else at their tables, just speak slowly and clearly into your table numbers. Somebody from the NSA will be right over with a cocktail. Mark Smith, ladies and gentlemen of the press corps, Madame First Lady, Mr. President, my name is Stephen Colbert and tonight it's my privilege to celebrate this president. We're not so different, he and I. We get it. We're not brainiacs on the nerd patrol. We're not members of the factinista. We go straight from the gut, right sir? That's where the truth lies, right down here in the gut. Do you know you have more nerve endings in your gut than you have in your head? You can look it up. I know some of you are going to say "I did look it up, and that's not true." That's 'cause you looked it up in a book.


More uncomfortable hilarity:

The greatest thing about this man is he's steady. You know where he stands. He believes the same thing Wednesday that he believed on Monday, no matter what happened Tuesday. Events can change; this man's beliefs never will. As excited as I am to be here with the president, I am appalled to be surrounded by the liberal media that is destroying America, with the exception of Fox News. Fox News gives you both sides of every story: the president's side, and the vice president's side.

But the rest of you, what are you thinking, reporting on NSA wiretapping or secret prisons in eastern Europe? Those things are secret for a very important reason: they're super-depressing. And if that's your goal, well, misery accomplished. Over the last five years you people were so good -- over tax cuts, WMD intelligence, the effect of global warming. We Americans didn't want to know, and you had the courtesy not to try to find out. Those were good times, as far as we knew.

But, listen, let's review the rules. Here's how it works: the president makes decisions. He's the decider. The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Just put 'em through a spell check and go home. Get to know your family again. Make love to your wife. Write that novel you got kicking around in your head. You know, the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration. You know - fiction!


Every time I think I've posted the funniest/most outrageous portion, there's more:

Jesse Jackson is here, the Reverend. Haven't heard from the Reverend in a little while. I had him on the show. Very interesting and challenging interview. You can ask him anything, but he's going to say what he wants, at the pace that he wants. It's like boxing a glacier. Enjoy that metaphor, by the way, because your grandchildren will have no idea what a glacier is.



Watch Colbert's address at the White House Correspondent's Dinner here, if you've haven't yet, already.

And read the whole thing here. It's ballsy as hell.

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Spoilers

Enjoyed Pirates of the Caribbean? Want to spoil yourself on the plot for the upcoming sequel, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest?


Go ahead. You've earned it.

Monday, May 01, 2006

"Never Again," Until the Next Time

Remember the "Never Again," line? It relates to the Holocaust. Never again, we told ourselves so often. We would never allow genocide to happen on "our" watch. Never again.

Frankly, who are we kidding? It's happening again. Today. In Darfur. And no one seems to mind that "never again" has just turned into another worthless cliche.

For all of George Clooney's self-congratulatory grandstanding, at least he's trying to do something about it.

Having spent a day in Dachau, the German concentration camp near Munich, one can't help but cry (on the inside) about how little we've seemingly learned.

Lefty Gathering

Sullivan summons some lefties "for bombing Iran."

I frankly don't like the form of argumentation (i.e., I'm a liberal, so I can't be accused of warmongering, or argument by status), but this Iran thing won't go away. We have to deal with them somehow.

Ideas, anyone?