I don’t know about you, but that sound, that iconic roar, gets my blood pumping and the chills running through my body! And well, it just CAN’T be as bad as Roland Emmerich’s 1998 abomination or Godzilla 1985: The Legend Is Reborn which is still one of only about 20 films I have ever walked out of/ejected from my (then) VCR.
Great cast: Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olson, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins, Ken Watanabe and the actor-most-deserving-of-endless-praise-because-he’s-genius, David Strathairn.
Screenplay by, among others, Frank Darabont and a story from David S. Goyer (The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, etc., etc.!)
What do you think? I’m genuinely excited and like I said, the bar is LOW!
Peter Gabriel points out something that very few of the stories about Nelson Mandela’s passing are focusing on: reconciliation. In a world where there’s so much recrimination, so much anger, so much partisan fighting, bickering and warfare, we have just lost a man who reconciled with those who not only put him in prison but who ran a system of government that systematically brutalized and murdered thousands and thousands of black South Africans.
Think about what that took. What strength of character he must have had to endure decades of brutal imprisonment only to emerge, lead his people to freedom, become the president of a new South Africa and lead a process of reconciliation. Truly an amazing man.
I know it was only a day ago, but in today’s short news cycle, maybe I should remind you…remember when I reflected a little bit about the racist language and stunning inability of some on the far right to understand historical context and to know when certain things are inappropriate?
Well, guess who’s putting their foot in their mouth, again. Yep, it’s the far right GOP’s #2 moron (Sarah Palin is always #1, IMHO) Rick Santorum. Speaking on The O’Reilly Factor (and following another incredibly stupid comment by Bill O), Santorum decided that directly after lauding the (very) recently deceased Nelson Mandela, it was the right time to draw a parallel between Mandela’s struggle against Apartheid and the GOP’s “struggle” against Obamacare and “the ever increasing size of government.”
So that’s it, I guess. The US is drawn into what’s pretty much universally being called the 2014 Group of Death ( a case could be made for Group D, but the presence of Costa Rica pretty much erases that idea). For the uninitiated, ‘Group of Death’ is a phrase coined in 1970 for Group 3 of the World Cup which featured defending champions England, eventual 1970 champs Brazil, Czechoslovakia, and Romania. Thanks to the genius of Eddie Izzard, some have taken to referring to the easiest group in a given tournament as the Group of Cake. Why? Well, watch this and then read on.
Yes, well… So according to FIFAs world rankings (generally derided as bullshit, but not so much that it really matters in this instance) Germany is the 2nd best team in the world and Portugal is #5. While the US is 14th and Ghana 10 places lower, that’s really not much of a difference and the US have been dumped out of the last two World Cups by the Black Stars.
Of course that’s all sports’ equivalent of ancient history. To advance past the group stage in 2014, the US needs to fare better than both Germany and Portugal. Stat guru Nate Silver has Portugal’s chances of advancing as being quite close to those of the US and I guess he figures that both will lose to Germany and both will have a tough match against Ghana. That’s as may be and anything can happen in the next 7 months (maybe Ronaldo decides he would rather paint. What? It could happen!) But still…Ugh.
As for the aforementioned easier group? Well, look no further than Group E, where France is, appropriately, in the Group of (Let Them Eat) Cake.
The groups, courtesy of FIFA.com
As if I needed a reason to re-watch Veronica Mars….
EW has an exclusive clip from the film, set to be released on March 14th, 2014, here.
Just for shits n’ giggles, here’s some more recent VM clips, including footage from the film and their SDCC 2013 presentation. Enjoy, Marshmallows!
Wow. I know that home video windows are shrinking, but I am not sure that I have ever seen a 17-day window, before. I mean, except for day-and-date releases, of course. At any rate, this would make a perfect Christmas gift for your favorite Whovian. I have to say, I loved the special and am sure to watch it over and over again, as I am wont to do with Dr. Who episodes (and The West Wing, Babylon 5, Buffy….but that’s for another post).
The disc has quite a few extras but not, alas, the wonderful and hysterical The Five(ish) Doctors, which you can see here. Either way, this was a fantastic entry to the Doctor Who franchise and a must have for any Whovian on your holiday gift list (including me…hint hint!) Buy it here!
• Doctor Who Explained – The entire 50-year history in one 50-minute special
• Two mini-episodes – “The Night of The Doctor” and “The Last Day”
• Behind-the-scenes featurette – Go behind the scenes at the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special – on set and on location – featuring interviews with Matt Smith, Jenna Coleman, David Tennant, Billie Piper and John Hurt.
• San Diego Comic-Con trailer of Doctor Who: The Day of The Doctor
• Doctor Who 50th Anniversary tribute teaser trailer
Matt Smith, David Tennant and John Hurt as The Doctor, The Doctor and….The Doctor. Photo Credit: ADRIAN ROGERS, © BBC
And here’s why…
I submit to you that what Martin Bashir says in the clip below absolutely pales in comparison to many of the things Sarah Palin and her ilk have said, repeatedly. Indeed, the very thing that sparked Bashir’s outrage, that the US national debt to China would be like being a slave, is worse than anything Bashir said by an order of magnitude. Hell, she even knows she’s going to get shit for it. She prefaced her remarks by stating that they weren’t racist! Methinks thou dost protest too much….
Let me explain my reasoning.
By equating being in debt to being a slave, by pretending that the two experiences are even remotely similar, Palin demeans millions of human beings and shows that her understanding of human experience is lacking to an extreme.
On the other hand, the worst that can be reasonably said about what Bashir said is that it was unprofessional. Perhaps it was even against some sort of MSNBC code of conduct and as such, a public apology, a suspension (without pay) may have been in order. But for the man to lose his job because he expressed his opinion in the way he did, is shortsighted and unjust. It’s also hypocritical. Fox News personalities routinely spew the most hateful, racist bile and are never disciplined by that massive misnomer of a media organization.
This is also emblematic of the lack of critical thinking and subtlety that permeates American culture, these days. Bashir was not saying that someone should literally shit in Sarah Palin’s mouth. I am sure that if you asked him, he would agree that such behavior is barbaric and not acceptable, even as a punishment for those we revile. It was hyperbole. Bashir was outraged by Palin’s remarks and reacted in an emotional, colorful, and ultimately effective way. Is the right wing so thin-skinned that they can’t let it go? If I screamed for their head every time Bill O’Reilly or Sean Hannity said something offensive, I’d be permanently apoplectic and hoarse.
Here’s how this exchange would have worked in a reasonable world (and I am paraphrasing, of course):
Palin: “When we’re in debt to the Chinese, it will be like slavery!”
Bashir: “You’re an idiot, Sarah! Someone should shit in your mouth.”
Palin & Bashir, simultaneously: “I apologize. I used insensitive analogies and simplistic and hyperbolic imagery to express my anger at a situation. I apologize unreservedly to (Sarah Palin/Slaves).”
Bashir: “But you’re still a moron, Sarah.”
Palin: “Bite me, Martin.”
See? That way we keep our healthy left-right antagonism, yet realize that this particular brand of partisanship is all just a bunch of bullshit.
Well, we all knew this was coming, but that doesn’t make it any less gut-wrenching. He had been in and out of the hospital for months with numerous infections, but after the life he led and all of the adversities he overcame, I bet I’m not the only one who had a little secret part of his brain where the idea of an immortal Nelson Mandela took root.
The 1986 Anti-Apartheid march in New York City was the first real political event that my father and I attended together and it was a galvanizing moment not just for myself, but for tens of thousands of others. I had just graduated high school, bound for a liberal arts school in Massachusetts and in the mid-late 1980′s, you were hard-pressed to find a campus without a home-made shanty, without divestment protests and without Nelson Mandela’s face adoring dorm rooms across campus.
Also in the 80s, Ska was making one of its regular comebacks dubbed (pun intended) the 2 Tone sound, it was rife with political and integrationist feelings, hence the black and white imagery. One of the songs that helped raise the profile of Mandela and the Anti-Apartheid movement was “Free Nelson Mandela,” by The Special AKA:
Mandela was one for the ages. An inspiration for countless millions, even billions and someone who achieved the rarest of heights: Worldwide recognition for all the right reasons. We will never see the likes of him again.
The Silly Season continues, with today’s Sundance announcement of more films, including the Spotlight section, ‘Park City at Midnight,’ and a new ‘Sundance Kids’ section. Spotlight is a collection of films that Sundance programmers have seen at other fests around the world, while the Midnight films are, well, you know what they are!
I’m super psyched for a few of the films announced today, including Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement’s What We Do in the Shadows (A mocumentary about a group of New Zealand vampires struggling to adapt to the modern world? Yes, please!), Locke, Blue Ruin, and Jim Jarmusch’s latest, Only Lovers Left Alive.
And the madness begins!
More on this throughout the rest of the day and beyond, but here’s the Sundance release!