Quote of the Day postsThursday February 12, 2015
Review of the Day
“Much of the novel's fixation with style, or with the barrage of stuff that a sense of style can buy, is carried onto the screen. Where the money shots should be, we get shots of what money can provide. ... The only viewer, in fact, who may feel shortchanged by 'Fifty Shades of Grey' is Liam Helmer, who is listed in the credits as 'BDSM Technical Consultant.' Check out the Red Room: rack upon rack of cutting-edge bullwhips, a variety of high-end ass paddles, and more restraining cuffs than you can shake a stick at. And how much of this kit gets used? A mere fraction, and even then Christian, supposedly the maestro of pain, can do little more than brush his cat-o’-nine-tails over Ana’s flesh with a feathery backhand. He looks like Roger Federer, practicing gentle cross-court lobs at the net.
”And there you have the problem with this film. It is gray with good taste—shade upon shade of muted naughtiness, daubed within the limits of the R rating. Think of it as the 'Downton Abbey' of bondage, designed neither to menace nor to offend but purely to cosset the fatigued imagination. You get dirtier talk in most action movies, and more genitalia in a TED talk on Renaissance sculpture.“
-- Anthony Lane, in ”No Pain, No Gain,“ his review of ”Fifty Shades of Grey," released tomorrow.
Quote of the Day
“One of the key elements of 'The Daily Show'’s perspective has been this emphasis on deriding politicians’ decisiveness, hastiness, and machismo, as well as the voters who admire them for it. In doing so, it defends empathy and complex thinking. Because people who value such things often get crushed under the boots of people who value power, much of 'The Daily Show'’s humor is a form of relief. That relief restores us, and becomes a form of strength. Stewart’s work on the show has been so central, so essential, that it’s hard to imagine American political and comedic culture without it.”
-- Sarah Larson, “Jon Stewart's Big Announcement,” The New Yorker. I tend to think, as with his jokes, Stewart's timing here is perfect. You could tell he was getting increasingly frustrated at the continued idiocy of the far-right in this country and FOX-News in particular. But God I will miss him. He was our voice of sanity. Just watch the first 10 minutes of last night's episode.
Quote of the Day
“For some this latest Birdman win has already prompted wailing and gnashing of teeth. The people who dislike this film really dislike it. I still scratch my head wondering why so many respectable critics who normally value inventive, risky and technically complex work hate it so much. Even if you dislike the film it's bad form to pretend that it's a blight on the cinemascape. It's the opposite of safe conventional hack-work and frankly we need more movies as insane and odd as it is.”
Nathaniel Rogers, “DGA Chooses Birdman. But Who Wins BAFTA?” Amen.
Well-Regulated? Security? Free?
Gail Collins had a good piece on “American Sniper” and gun culture in The New York Times a few days ago. The headshaking takeaways:
- In recent years, [U.S. Congress has] not only refused to pass an extremely modest bill on background checks, they’ve failed to ban the sale of guns to people on the terrorism watch list.
- Mike Huckabee, a big “American Sniper” fan, recently published a book called “God, Guts, Grits and Gravy,” which is so wildly opposed to any weapon regulation that Huckabee opens his chapter on modern education by complaining that public schools are anti-gun.
- ... visitors can bring concealed handguns into the [Texas] State Capitol. Some people definitely do not think this goes far enough, and, on opening day of the Legislature last month, they demanded new laws making it legal to carry handguns in the open, preferably without a license.
- One particularly bouncy group, Open Carry Tarrant County, flooded the office of Representative Poncho Nevárez, a non-supportive Democrat. ... The leader of Open Carry Tarrant County, Kory Watkins, then posted another video in which he claimed that the resistant lawmakers were forgetting their duty was “to protect the Constitution. And let me remind you: Going against the Constitution is treason. And treason is punishable by death.”
The apes are winning.
Quote of the Day
“Each year, contaminated food sickens forty-eight million Americans, of whom a hundred and twenty-eight thousand are hospitalized, and three thousand die. Many of the deadliest pathogens, such as E. coli and listeria, are comparatively rare; many of the most widespread, such as norovirus, are mercifully mild. Salmonella is both common and potentially lethal. It infects more than a million Americans each year, sending nineteen thousand victims to the hospital, and killing more people than any other food-borne pathogen. A recent U.S.D.A study found that twenty-four per cent of all cut-up chicken parts are contaminated by some form of salmonella. Another study, by Consumer Reports, found that more than a third of chicken breasts tainted with salmonella carried a drug-resistant strain.”
-- Wil S. Hylton, in the Feb. 2 New Yorker piece, “A Bug in the System: Why last night's chicken made you sick.” The article is also a profile of Seattle food-safety attorney Bill Marler, whose blog can be found here. Related: Pres. Obama has proposed a new government agency to focus on food safety, rather than dividing it between many different government agencies, to increase efficiency and accountability. Many Republicans are already opposed. Freshman Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) counters that the feds shouldn't even require restaurant employees to wash their hands.