Oscar Stolen

 

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I had the TV on without sound last night and I looked up just as the announcement was about to be made for the best picture. Two dinosaurs were in charge, Warren Beatty held the envelope and Faye Dunaway (Bonnie and Clyde) was at his shoulder. He opened the envelop and looked at it befuddled, then handed it to Dunaway. She looked right at the teleprompter without having even glanced at the card and announced La La Land. The crowd cheered, and actors were running to the stage. The usual mayhem followed. All seemed normal except for one thing, the real winner was Moonlight. A Producer on stage took the card from Beatty and showed it to the camera it clearly said in very large letters “Moonlight.” Even a very sight impaired person could have read it.

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What happened? I think Beatty and Dunaway were in cahoots in an effort to steal the best picture award. Except Beaty couldn’t bring himself to do it, so he handed the job off to Dunaway who declared the winner she wanted rather than to read the card.

If I were the the true winners from Moonlight, I’d be filing a huge lawsuit today to sue Dunaway and Beatty for a trillion dollars. They succeeded in stealing a million dollar moment from the people who were rightly selected as the best. It is interesting to hear all the lame excuses the Oscar company is spinning about how it happened. Each of them is a lie.

Here they are heralding the best of the best of their industry, and it turns into a fake news event, that’s Hollywood.

I could be wrong on this. Knowing the morality of Hollywood it could be that La La Land was the real winner, and the Producer stole it from them by slipping a false Moonlight card into Beatty’s hand.

Not Recommended Unless . . .

My system for picking movies at the library is much the same as picking books. Go in look at the DVD cover art, and titles and pick something that looks interesting based on the actors. This time Julie Christie , and Olympia Dukakis attracted me to pick up a film titled Away From Her. I promised Peg that this was a chick flick and that we would watch it together. I had the disc in the player and was fumbling with a remote to change from cable to the DVD when a town hall meeting with Donald Trump and Sean Hannity appeared. Peg fixated on Trump and that is what we watched.

After we put her to bed I watched the movie alone. I am so glad we didn’t see it together. I hated it. By far the most depressing film I have ever seen. Even the music was depressing. I should have known better because the film is about a husband and wife facing Alzheimer’s.  At age seventy-six Ms Christie is still a very attractive woman. Of course that is coming from a man who is older. Most guys my age view any  woman who is younger as ‘HOT,’ but she is still quite hot.Julie-Christie-011.jpg

Maybe the story depressed me because it is about the life Peg and I are living, and it was a look into the future. Although, Peg is much further along in the progression than the character Fiona was in this film. Some of the Alzheimer’s traits depicted Peg has never experienced yet. One scene in which Fiona wanders off and gets lost is not one of  Peg’s traits. Peg has never wandered, and is now so progressed that she is unable to walk by herself much less wander. Fiona had issues with her husband, and she seemed to use her disease against him, like quickly attaching herself to a man in the nursing home, and ignoring her faithful husband who visited  daily. I like to think it was her disease working against him and not her deviousness.

The film has a surprise ending which caught me off guard when one day Fiona has a brief instance of total recall when her husband visits, and they hug again as would a man and wife married for forty-two years. I’m still waiting  for that moment, but I cherish the times when I get a smile or a few words.

I recommend this film for anyone who wants to get a short glimpse of life with a dying brain. If you are already experiencing someone with the disease it will only make you more depressed.

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It Is Hard To Believe

Last night I watched a film called the Wolf of Wall Street. It was not what I had imagined it to be. It was much worse. I thought perhaps the story would expose some bad things going on like insider trading or such. Instead the story was about sex, drugs, and downright theft from thousands of unsuspecting investors. I came away from this three-hour debacle hoping it was not based on a true story. This morning I looked it up. My worst fears have been realized, it is true, in fact, the real Wolf of Wall Street claims he led a much worse life than what is depicted in the film.wolf-9.jpg

Leonardo Di Caprio did a very good job of depicting the main character, and it is obvious as to why there were five Academy Awards nominations for the film. I am glad, however, that it did not win a single Oscar. However, it did win many other awards. Giving it Oscars would have been condoning the activity of the lifestyle and the immoral trading conducted by the firm of Stratton Oakmont.

I found the story fascinating because of the ingenious way the Wolf founded his company, and titillating because of all the very explicit sex scenes. I didn’t appreciate having to spend three hours to see it.
I’m glad I watched it, now I can strike it off my list of movies to see, but I don’t think I am a better man for having seen it, it didn’t teach me anything about life. It did make me appreciate that my ethics are far more moral than a lot of other people’s.

I give this movie three icons. & & &

Food Czar

The Frankfort library has an extensive movie collection and I take advantage of it frequently. Two days ago I checked out three films none of which I have ever heard of before. All three are relatively recent: 2014. Magic in the Moonlight, They Came Together, and Chef. Of the three, I definitely liked Chef the best, it has all the elements of a story that I like. The cast was familiar but I must admit I did not know the main character John Favreau, but I recognized Dustin Hoffman, Robert Downey Jr., John Leguizamo, Sofia Vergaro, and Scarlett Johansonn.

The story revolves around Chef Carl Casper, his ex-wife Sofia Vergara, and their son Emjay Anthony. Chef Carl is preparing a special menu to serve a food critic that evening. His boss, restaurant owner Dustin Hoffman, tells him that he has a winning menu and he should stick with it. Chef Carl obeys his master. The food critic hates the food, and pans Chef Carl on his food blog. To make matters worse he Tweets a disparaging remark about the Chef. Everyone sees the article and the tweet except Chef Carl who is so into his food that he doesn’t have time for social media. His ten year old son helps him get started by signing him onto a Twitter account. He shows his dad how to send messages. Chef Carl sends his first tweet which is a return remark at the food critic, equally caustic. His message goes viral and he instantly picks up nearly two thousand followers. The two of them Tweet insults back and forth and the follows increase. Then, the story gets interesting.

Without a doubt this movie is hilarious and serious at the same time. The story about the relationship between a divorced father and his son is sometimes, happy, sad, and funny. The son becomes a hero by building his dad into a food czar on Twitter. I loved this story, I give it five stars.

Killing Russians As Revenge for Viet Nam

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Two weeks ago in a discussion with my Lion friends the subject of Charley Wilson’s War came up. I remembered seeing a movie by that name, but could not remember what it was about. Two days later my friend Rod dropped off a book with the same title. I finished reading the story today, and feel compelled to express myself about it. Before I do I have to say that the reason I couldn’t remember what the story was about from watching the movie is because the story is way too big to cover in a two hour movie. The producers chose to concentrate on Charley’s womanizing and his relationship with a specific CIA agent named Gust Avrakotos. Both Wilson’s womanizing and Gust’s CIA association are major parts of the story, but their involvement in driving the Soviet Union out of Afghanistan and the eventual downfall of the USSR was complicated and confusing in the film.

Here is my opinion. All presidents from George Bush the second and every president after him should read this piece of history. Had Bush absorbed the message of Jihad played out in the story he would have thought three times before declaring war on Afghanistan. In Obama’s case it is worse. He is a muslim sympathizer yet he fails to recognize the drive and fervor of jihad. His foreign policy regarding muslim nations would have to be different if he understood the message of this book.

The Russians spent billions under the guise of liberating Afghanistan, but they really wanted to own Afghanistan and to open a path to the Indian Ocean. They lost 28,000 young men, and their engagement is compared to our Viet Nam. They killed over a million muslim jihadists, and they might have won had the CIA not gotten involved.

What was the message I got? That muslims on a jihad are crazy zealots for revenge and for driving infidels from their countries. Almost as soon as the door hit the last Russian in the ass as he left Afghanistan, the mujahideen shifted to the USA as their new enemy. It hasn’t stopped since then, and we all know that things are not getting better.

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This book is an interesting and enjoyable read. The history covered is relatively obscure because the USA, namely the CIA kept it so covert that neither the Afghans or the Russians knew we were involved.

The second thing I got from the book is that a single Congressman with abilities similar to those of Charles Wilson who wanted revenge for the Russian involvement in Viet Nam against us could appropriate so much money for a program that was never approved by Congress, or the President. In my opinion Charley Wilson was a hero  for bringing down the Russians, but he should be in jail for how he went about doing it. The reason he never went to jail is that he had too many other Congressmen in his pocket.

In retrospect, what Charley Wilson did amounts to peanuts compared to what Obama does daily in the name of redistributing wealth.

True Story Based on Historical Facts

Whenever I have writer’s block I do a movie or book review. Last week, Peg and I went to the movie complex to see the Theory of Everything only to discover it was gone. We missed it, and now must wait until it comes out on DVD, or to On Demand. Instead we watched the Imitation Game. A thoroughly entertaining story about how the British broke the German message code during World War Two. The central character Alan Turing is a nerdy genius mathematician type who is gay. At the time Britain had very strict (and stupid I might add) laws on homosexuality. I’m convinced the British Secret Service knew of the Nerd’s sexual preference when they hired him, they chose to bury the fact and expunged his record of any reference to his gayety in the interest of National Security. To make a long story short, the nerdy genius mathematician solves the secret of the German Enigma codifier, and invents the computer in the process. Long after the war, a detective goes to look for evidence on the Nerd to say he is gay. He suspects the man is, but can’t prove it because Turing’s military file is empty.

The detective did as all good detectives do, he stayed with the case until he found the evidence he needed to arrest the Nerd. The sad end to this movie is that the man responsible for saving England from losing to the Germans and for saving an estimated fourteen million lives was convicted of being gay. Turing faced a long prison sentence or a long hormonal treatment. Which do you think he chose? Now, I am not a pro-gay person by any means, but I do believe that people have a right to choose how they want to live. It just seemed sad to me that the Nerd didn’t get any slack from the English system. Had he lived in the USA our President Obama would have hung the Medal of Honor around his neck, and directed Arnie Duncan to include gayness in social studies text books in grades K through 12. At the same time, he wold have directed Eric Holder to ignore all laws ever written, including the bible, about gayness.

Benedict Cumberbatch who played the Nerd did an excellent job of making me believe he was gay, a nerd, a mathematical genius, and weird person.  Kiera Knightly played an equally genius mathematician type, but was not in the least nerdy or weird. She played the role delightfully. The British Secret Service guys were excellent bad-good guys who keep the pressure on Turing throughout the story.

This is a good true story, based on historical facts. Go see it.

Writing Is Hard Work for An Amateur

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My blog posts have been few lately because of a project I began a few months ago. Last July I saw a documentary movie called America, Imagine the World Without Her? Written and directed by Dinesh D’Souza the movie is a very good chronicle of how Obama is changing America. I walked away from the film thinking D’Souza failed to answer the title question for me. I came home and wrote a movie review. I poled my readers and asked if they would like to hear my version of what the world would be like if America (USA) never existed. The results were overwhelmingly in favor of hearing my answer.

I began write a short story of what I thought might have happened if the Revolution of 1776 had failed. The intent was to make it a simple blog post. This story is not simple, there is too much history to consider. Instead of writing a bunch of boring historical facts and theorizing what would be different had they not happened is mind-boggling. My story has evolved into a novel and is absorbing me completely. I am not a novel writer, in fact, I have trouble writing short essays for this blog, but I will answer the question. The working title for my work is British American Colonies. At this point I am about forty percent complete and dreaming up plots and sub plots, with lots of characters. I have so many twists in the story, that I had to draw maps, keep character logs, and a chapter summary log to keep myself focused. I don’t know if any other writers do that kind of stuff, but I do. When you begin without an outline or any type of organized approach the story evolves as the words flow.

My goal is to complete the book by mid-year for publishing. The least I will do is self-publish on Kindle. One way or another this story is going to the public, that is, if I live long enough to make it happen. At my age anything can happen in a single heart beat.

Wish me luck.

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