Lancelot Links postsTuesday July 29, 2014
- It's worth reading every word of Tim Egan's post about the sheer legal and political idiocy of John Boehner's lawsuit against Pres. Obama. Make them pay, folks. Because right now it looks like they'll be rewarded instead.
- First we had a documentary on Jodorowsky's unmade “Dune.” Now a documentary on Tim Burton's unmade “Superman” movie from the 1990s starring Nicolas Cage? How many other documentaries from other unmade sci-fi/fantasy movies can we make? Maybe we should just not make sci-fi/fantasy movies so we can make the documentaries about the movies that were never made. Why not? The movie itself usually disappoints, while the unmade movie holds the chance at being glorious.
- Indiewire presents: The History of Sex on Film in Infographic Form. Not very graphic or informative, unfortunately. I.e., there's not much there I didn't know.
- My friend Jerry Grillo breaks down the actors who played Babe Ruth and asks “Who was the best?”
- This past week the Baseball Hall of Fame (in Cooperstown) changed its voting rules so that eligible players who don't make the 75% cut but do get at least 5% of the vote from the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) can only remain on the ballot for 10 years instead of 15 years. Why the change? Joe Posnanski ruminates over four theories. (Hint: It has less to do with the players than with the BBWAA.)
- No one has been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame with 100% of the vote—not Babe Ruth (95.13%), Ted Williams (93.38%), Willie Mays (94.68%) or Hank Aaron (97.83%)—but Tom Seaver, who has received the highest voting percentage ever (98.84%), thinks that the first unanimous Hall of Famer should be ... Derek Jeter. Right. Not Ken Griffey Jr. or Randy Johnson or Pedro Martinez; Derek Effin' Jeter. Because the poor guy just doesn't get enough attention. I barely knew he was at the All-Star Game earlier this month, for example.
- With all due respect to Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas, Roger Angell is my Hall of Famer.
According to Jerry Grillo (and most of us concur), here's the actor who played Babe Ruth best.
Luis Tiant with me and my brother, Chris, on Camera Day at Met Stadium, 1970. Should Tiant have gone into the Hall? Why didn't he? (Photo by Bob Lundegaard)
- The Hollywood Reporter writes about the domestic box office slump that I've been writing about for weeks. But, you know, with quotes from studio execs. So it's important.
- Some interesting criticism of “Boyhood,” some of which echoes mine—although I found the main character, Mason, too cool for school while others (Mark Judge anyway) think he's socially awkward. Judge's “Sideways” comparison, too, I think is B.S.: We identify with many aspects of Mason's upbringing not because we're critics but because we're human beings. As for Eve's three flaws of the film? Yes to 1, no to 2, and yes to 3. Again, my review here. And again: go see it. Because you'll enjoy it.
- Speaking of: John Hartl talks with “Boyhood”'s director Richard Linklater. The film is now playing in Seattle. At the Harvard Exit. At 12, 1, 3:30, 4:30, 7, 8 and 10:10.
- The Open Carry Texas folks held a rally last Saturday at Dealey Plaza—the site of the JFK assassination. No words.
- “Just a $3 increase will make a living wage ...” Kristen Bell as Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins in this Funny-or-Die viddy. Nice pipes. Good message.
- Via Hollywood Elsewhere and TCM, Clint Eastwood on James Garner.
- Why didn't Luis Tiant make the Hall of Fame? David Shoenfield thinks it was the timing.
- Read your Paul Krugman. Doctor's orders. Yesterday, he talked up California's comeback with some pointed words for the GOP. Not to mention Kansas.
- Your long read of the week: Rachel Aviv's excellent piece on cheating on standardized tests in Atlanta. The culprits? Teachers. And they're the heroes.
- Let's start with some good news for a change: Did you see Dustin Ackley's catch the other night?
- Less good news: ESPN.com has put together a list of the top 5 players to be named later (based upon lifetime WAR). Number one? David Ortiz. Who traded him as a giveaway? Your Seattle Mariners, of course.
- Joey P. on why the Royals suck offensively. He writes, acidically, “The Royals are not a singles-hitting, runner-stranding, offensively challenged team by mistake. They are one by design.”
- Of course, even the woeful Royals aren't last in the American League in team OPS. Who is? Your Seattle Mariners.
- My friend Jerry Grillo interviews astrobiologist Loren Williams, whose throwback website is the most-visited in the world ... for molecular interactions.
- Nathaniel over at Film Experience posts about the best red dresses in movie history. Which, of course, reminds me of one of my favorite stories ever.
- This spring I interviewed and wrote a profile on class action attorney Steve W. Berman for our publication in Washington state. It was a lot of fun. Check it out.
- Jeffrey Toobin on why partisan gerrymandering has been such a problem in the 21st century (thanks for nothing, SCOTUS), and what one Florida judge has done to stop it in his state.
- I know you know this, but Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX-OOPS) is a boob.
- You know the awful #RE2PECT/Derek Jeter ad? Funny or Die almost made me glad it exists with a parody ad focusing on A-Rod.
- Andrew Sullivan, in his post “Holding Corpses Hostage,” on the barbarism of the downing of MH17 over Ukraine, the Russian response (which he calls prickly, corrupt, foul and shameful, among other things), and the need to get Europe on board for sanctions.
- Meanwhile, Julia Ioffe of The New Republic reports on what the Russian people are hearing from state-run TV about the crash. It's not what the rest of us are hearing. Sort of like your friend's father with FOX-News.
Dustin Ackley's catch.
- Indiewire's writers lay out the most underrated and underseen movies of the year so far ... and of course I haven't seen almost any of them. Only one, in fact: “Noah.” And I don't really agree with that choice. Among the others? “Dom Hemingway,” “The Rover,” “Le Weekend,” “God's Pocket,” “The Internet's Own Boy” and “Borgman.” Anyone see them? Anyone like them? “Borgman” had good buzz at SIFF this year.
- Nice review of “Boyhood” by Anthony Lane.
- Even John Boehner's friends are tired of John Boehner's whining.
- Jeff Wells slams the latest poster for “Skeleton Twins,” the funny, emotional, Sundance film starring Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader, as “a poster that says ‘meh, no biggie’…a poster that screams Netflix and VOD when there’s nothing else to watch.” Can't disagree.
- But it still beats the official posters for “Philomena” and “Klumpfisken”: man, woman, bench, fake, ick.
- David Remnick was recently in Moscow interviewing officials who said Vladimir Putin needed to bring down the political temperature. And this was before Malaysian Airlines #17 was shot over Ukraine—supposedly by Russian-backed separatists.
- Post-MH17, Andrew Sullivan asks Charles Krauthammer and other chest-beating right-wingers, “How do you like your Vladimir Putin now?”
- Hey, Ukranian separatists: You've just shot down a passenger jet and pissed off the entire world. What do you do for an encore? You seize control of the bodies.
- James Garner, dead at the age of 86.
- Long read of the week: Jill LePore not only disrupts “disruptive innovation” in general and its advocate, Clayton M. Christensen, in particular, she lays waste to them. As recently as 2011, Forbes magazine called Christensen “one of the most influential business theorists of the last 50 years.” But LePore quietly eviscerates him: “In 2007,” she writes, “Christensen told Business Week that 'the prediction of the [disruptive] theory would be that Apple won’t succeed with the iPhone,' adding, 'History speaks pretty loudly on that.' In its first five years, the iPhone generated a hundred and fifty billion dollars of revenue.” Inevitably, there's been pushback against LePore. Who disrupts the disruptor of disruptive innovation theory? Forbes, of course. No mention of the iPhone in that one.
How I first came across James Garner: as the laid-back, perpetually put-upon private eye Jim Rockford.
- Drew Taylor and Jessica Kiang over at HitList rank all eight “Planet of the Apes” movies and get most of it right: from the awfulness of Tim Burton's 2001 attempt to how good the recent movies have been. But what makes the list worthwhile is less that than the fact that they've obviously rewatched the films. So often such rankings are just filler for a site, SEO crap, and it reads like crap. Even when it reads well, you can tell the writer just cobbled together a list from memory. Not here. Taylor and Kiang go deep. They know movie details and subtext. I love their reading of “Escape from ...” (No. 3), for example.
- Did you know Woody Allen wrote, directed and starred in a short mockumentary in 1971 called “Men of Crisis: The Harvey Wallinger Story”? I didn't, and I'm a huge Allen fan. It's a bit Philip Roth's “Our Gang,” isn't it, mixed with “Take the Money and Run.” Wallinger (Allen) is Pres. Nixon's right-hand man, which gives Allen an opportunity to send up the Nixon administration, Kissinger (the rumors of sexual prowess), the GOP, etc. It was supposed to air in Feb. 1972, but PBS got scared and pulled it at the last minute. Shame. Via Jeff Wells of Hollywood Elsewhere.
- My “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” of Batman '66? Get a load of the rest.
- Should you bat your worst hitter first? Apparently only when it's Derek Jeter.
- Ah, but you can't say that! Because it's Derek Jeter!
- And just so you know it's not me, here's Deadspin's post-All Star Game “Haters Guide to Derek Jeter.”
- BTW: Did Adam Wainwright groove the bottom-of-the-1st pitch that Jeter hit for a double? If so, there's a history of such grooved pitches to retiring legends.
- Goooooooooooal! The final one of the 2014 World Cup. It's a beaut.
- Finally, last Friday, Richard Linklater's “Boyhood” opened for a limited release but goes nationwide tomorrow, and it's getting the expected raves. Andrew Sullivan tallies them up. Jeff Wells says yeah, but. Here's my review. If you have the chance, go.
The 2014 movie to see.
Twitter: @ErikLundegaardTweets by @ErikLundegaard