- What does James Cameron think of conservative critics who dissed his $2.2 billion (and counting) movie? “Let me put it this way: I'm happy to piss those guys off. I don't agree with their world view.” Keep reading. It's fun.
- Via Hollywood Elsewhere: Great story from Quentin Tarantino on how Brian DePalma, in 1980, in the midst of shooting “Blow Out” (one of QT's favorite films), and feeling pretty good about himself and the movie, went to see Martin Scorsese's “Raging Bull.”
- Speaking of “Raging Bull”: Richard Schickel has a good piece on its making in the March “Vanity Fair.” I'd link to it but it's not online. To which I say: Good for them! Someone's got to pay for this shit. Here's an excerpt. Buy the mag:
There are a lot of words in Raging Bull, but there are only four that really count—“I'm not an animal”—muttered in that jail cell in a tone so choked that you can barely hear them. Until that moment, Jake is, as the title implies, jus an animal, without any real consciousness, any sense of morality or mortality. It's not a blinding revelation; sainthood is not suddenly on offer for him. But he is, as Scorsese says, “more accepting of himself. He's more gentle to himself and to the people around him. ... It's the old line from The Diary of a Country Priest: 'God is not a torturer. He wants us to be merciful with ourselves.' And Jake kind of gets there.”
- Matt Zoiller Seitz's video of some of the great kissing scenes in movies is late for Valentine's Day but not for its declared purpose: getting you laid. It's also a good beginning if I ever decide to do a follow-up to my kissing article. Or am I already late for that party? Words words words. Show us pictures! By the way: Good work, Matt. The first half in particular (before “Sid and Nancy”) is particularly, squirmingly sensual.
- Finally, a baseball question as pitchers and catchers report. Which players do we know took steroids? And which might we guess didn't? Joe Posnanski creates his Fair Play list, puts Griffey, Maddux and Moyer on it, along with “Every Royals hitter since 1985,” then includes Frank Thomas, and makes a deeper argument in favor of Frank Thomas as a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer. He begins with the stat that seven players, whose careers are complete, have a lifetime .300 average and 500 homeruns, then goes through them one-by-one:
Ruth, Foxx and Ott all played before integration. Williams might be the greatest hitter in baseball history. Mays might be the greatest all-around player in baseball history. Aaron might be the most consistent player in baseball history. And Frank Thomas — well, he was perhaps the most vocal non-steroid user of the Selig Era.