Quote of the Day postsSunday April 12, 2015
Famous Last Words
“Mr. Selznick was two years deciding on his Scarlett, and out of million of American women couldn't find one to suit him. ... Scarlett O'Hara is southern, old southern, with traditions and inborn instincts of the South. How in the name of common sense can an English actress possibly understand Scarlett, her times or the characterization is beyond a thinking American. ... I’m sure millions of Americans will stay away from the picture in a gesture of protest.”
--Hollywood gossip columnist Hedda Hopper on the casting of Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara. It's a quote I came across last week while visiting the Margaret Mitchell House in midtown Atlanta.
The picture did OK box office, despite Hopper's prediction.
Quote of the Day
“Gleeful Action Porn Provides Glimpse Into Hell”
-- Headline for Jeffrey Wells' scathing piece on the new action blockbuster, “Furious 7,” which opens Friday.
Other quotes from the review:
Furious 7 is odious, obnoxious corporate napalm on a scale that is better left undescribed. It is fast, flashy, thrompy crap that dispenses so much poison it feels like a kind of plague. Wan’s film is certainly a metaphor for a kind of plague that has been afflicting action films for a good 20-plus years.
I hated the first 65 minutes of Furious 7 so much that I was literally twitching and flinching in my seat and making little squeaky moaning sounds. I was checking my watch every five minutes, wondering how much more of this crap I could take. I was firing psychic hate grenades at the screen.
Haven't seen “Furious 7,” the sequel to “Fast & Furious 6,” which was the sequel to “Fast Five,” which began in 2001 as the reboot of “The Fast and the Furious” (definite articles long dropped), but I certainly know where Wells is coming from. I've felt that way about many films, including this, that and that. And this. And any of these. Adn there's no end in sight.
Furious 7, looking more bored than furious.
A Nightmare of a Vacuum Cleaner Salesman
“The only thing that would've satisfied most people is if I jumped up and hit Rumsfeld with a cinder block. Barring that, there's very little I could've done. But it'd be very easy to make a documentary where you throw questions at him and he'd walk off stage or fail to answer. There's stuff that leaked out in that movie — a kind of narcissism, arrogance — that's very powerful in the movie. It scared me, actually. It still does. That this man could have so much power. I remember reading a New York Times article on him and people will forever remember how brilliant he is or how convincing he is, but I didn't find him to be either. To me he was like the kind of person who shows up at your front door selling aluminum siding or a new vacuum cleaner. He's like a nightmare.”
-- documentarian Errol Morris on his film “The Unknown Known,” in a very good conversation with Christopher Bell on “The Playlist,” a site which has way too many ads. My review here, in which I wrote, “Keeping Morris’ questions at bay doesn’t hide [Rumsfeld's] nature but reveals it. He wins the arguments but loses the war.”
Donald Rumsfeld wants to sell you something. Whoops, he already did.
Happy Anniversary, Mr. President
The President at the presser, joking and not.
Technically it was yesterday—five years for Obamacare. Here was my friend and colleague, freelance writer extraordinaire Candice Dyer, yesterday on Facebook:
Happy birthday to the Affordable Care Act. Without it, I still would be very sick and also mired deep in debt for the rest of my life in my efforts to get basic medical care. To those of you who want to take away the health insurance of me and millions of others, a pox—and I mean an unsightly, incurable, venereal one—upon your houses! (That's about as polite as I care to be on this subject.)
Here was Time Magazine:
Obama took the opportunity to take a few shots at Republican critics of the law, joking that “death panels, doom, [and] a serious alternative from Republicans in Congress” have all failed to materialize and challenging candidates campaigning for repeal to explain how “kicking millions of families off their insurance” will strengthen the country.
He also took the opportunity (video here) to say that before it was his plan it was a GOP plan—a Heritage Foundation idea supported by Republicans in Congress in the 1990s—which is why they've had a tough time coming up with an alternative. While trumpeting its success, he added, “If they want to take credit for this law, they can; I'm happy to share it.” Love that. Love him.
Oh, and Ted Cruz, who once shut down the federal government over Obamacare, will now be going on it. The hypocrisy boggles the mind.
Quote of the Day
“The Baseball Hall of Fame celebrates the survivors, the bulletproof, the fortunate ones who found themselves in the right place at the right time. Al Rosen is not in the Hall of Fame. He never got to be a young player. He never got to be an old player. The war, the team, the role of being a pioneer, the body shortened everything. But for five years, Al Rosen was about as good as anybody who ever played third base in the Major Leagues.”
-- Joe Posnanski, “R.I.P. Al Rosen”