Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun

Flick-Pix

Something Wonderful: Cause summer's here and the time is right for slip-sliding on the grass!
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Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 26, 2011 9:24 AM |  Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Pet of the Month

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Enjoying your nap, petal? Even a photo shoot doesn't wake Dreamy the dormouse

Nestled in the heart of a rose, his slumber cushioned by soft petals and his bushy tail, Dreamy the dormouse looks snoozily content.

But life hasn't always been so blissful.

His seven-month hibernation was rudely interrupted when his mossy nest was dug up by an inquisitive dog.


Next up, Awwww.com, a web page devoted to pictures of hamsters sleeping on top of kittens sleeping on top of puppies. A blissful antidote to the horror that is Fuck You Penguin.


Posted by Vanderleun at Feb 12, 2009 6:38 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Beyond the Valley of the Care-Bears

by JEREMIAH LEWIS, American Digest Film Editor

The Pacifier 3.5 stars out of 5

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Actually, it doesn't stink.

WHAT WORKED ONCE for Schwarzenegger in 1990 seems to be an effective vehicle for similarly styled action and sci-fi star Vin Diesel, whose considerable frame is now harnessed to a family friendly improbably-but-enjoyable plot involving a top-secret weapons program, terrorists, and...babysitting.

In a move such as this, Diesel might be warned by his agent to steer clear of both action and comedy for a while. Give audiences some time to accept him as a tough, but warmhearted hero whose thick skin never gets in the way of his good intentions. It shouldn't take long, as The Pacifier contains enough kid-friendly material to make parents happy, without keeping them bored in the theatre in the process. Ultimately, however, the question of how well kids can take a burly, deep-voiced tough guy as the star rest on the strength of the script.

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Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 5, 2005 1:38 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Lewis' Oscars

[Morning After Score: Nine out of 18 for Lewis-- Ed]

by JEREMIAH LEWIS, American Digest Film Editor

TWO WEEKS AGO I COULDN'T STOP THINKING ABOUT what I was going to wear to the Oscars. At first I was thinking I could go with the casual chic that has so marked Michael Moore's career: trucker hat emblazoned with a Gothic 'B', large button-up number, brown, extra-wide pockets, XXXXL blue jeans (slightly worn at the thighs), tennis shoes from Payless, and a trademark leather airman's jacket.

But since he and his lamentable Fahrenheit 9/11 got burned by the Academy, Hollywood, all of Flint Michigan, and Clint Eastwood, Moore has shaved, got himself a ocean liner sized tuxedo, and even styled his hair. My counterculture hero has gone mainstream. I mourn the loss.

Then it came to me. A large, white, linen robe, a sash, sandals (made with real camel leather), and the coup de grace, a wooden cross around my neck, signifying my allegiance to Mel Gibson. I could call it "Fashion of the Christ". But then I remembered that The Passion only got three technical nods, barely worth tuning to, much less attending in person. What kind of Jesus movie can't at least get a Best Picture nomination? Especially in this golden age of tolerance.

So I decided to watch from home (actually a friend's home, since I don't get cable). In lieu hearing Hilary Swank give yet another Oscar acceptance speech wherein she forgets her husband, that she's a woman, and even an actress, I've decided to provide you, the non-homogenized milk of Oscar prognostication.

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Posted by Vanderleun at Feb 27, 2005 11:55 PM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
A Very Long Engagement

by JEREMIAH LEWIS, American Digest Film Editor

FRENCH DIRECTOR Jean-Pierre Jeunet infuses his latest picture, A Very Long Engagement, with the same fairy-tale sentimentality of 2001's Amelie, though with slightly more plodding and a little less success. Even if his vision and cinematic realization of the story of love and war, based on the novel of the same name by Sébastien Japrisot, are perfect, the whole of the film is somehow less than its parts, and the ending is, quite frankly, a dirty trick to play on an audience whose expectations have been dragged along for two hours and fourteen minutes.

Told through a series of flashbacks, the tale encompasses the indomitable love between Mathilde (Audrey Tautou) and Manech (Gaspard Ulliel), whose childhood friendship blossoms and becomes an engagement broken by the onset of World War I. Manech is sent to the Somme trenches, but Mathilde knows in her heart that Manech will return alive.

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Posted by Vanderleun at Feb 27, 2005 10:01 AM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Devil or Angel? I Can't Make Up My Mind.

by JEREMIAH LEWIS, American Digest Film Editor

DESPERATELY SEEKING TWO HOURS OF AMUSEMENT, I watched Constantine over the weekend. A gravelly, chainsmoking anti-hero epic, Constantine is a reworked American version of the original British Vendetta/DC Comics' Hellblazer series by Alan Moore, whose previous beloved works, From Hell and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen have received less than extraordinary screen translations. Constantine has a few things going for it.

1). Keanu Reeves. Say what you want about the Lebanese actor's onscreen chops, he's a fun guy to watch. This one's no exception, as he plays the supernatural detective with a "What the hell is your problem?" attitude that seems so very endearing for some reason.

2). A decent script. It isn't perfect, but it shares a similar love for the material as the Spiderman scripts, whilst not needing to get hung up on every single detail from the original comics. It's dark and witty, but plays the basic plot straight.

3). Director Francis Lawrence. Constantine is Lawrence's feature debut, and he's got some sequences that are pretty interesting. Overall, the look of the film is comicbookish, with the right amount of fun to give it a face.

The story is a bit convoluted, and sometimes sacrifices depth for skin-deep plot tanglings. Los

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Posted by Vanderleun at Feb 21, 2005 11:55 PM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Scariest Thing About The Boogeyman Is That It Got Made

by JEREMIAH LEWIS, American Digest Film Editor

Boogeyman -- 0 out of 5 stars

I'VE NEVER HAD A HIGH COLONIC, but I hear they're quite good for clearing out your system. The experience, I'm told, is not entirely pleasant, involving an invasion of your nether regions and a spreading sensation not unlike a street sewer overflow. That said, I'd still rather undergo multiple, massive high colonics than sit through another screening of The Boogeyman.

Peeping out of every plot hole in existence, the Boogeyman terrorizes troubled Tim "Timmy" Jensen (Barry Watson), a twenty-something with a history of mental illness and the ability to look like a has-been from the WB; his first encounter with the Boogeyman occurred when he was seven, in which his father was sucked into his bedroom closet and taken to...well, know one really knows for sure.

Flash forward fifteen years to a going away party for one of Tim's colleagues, where we meet his girlfriend Jessica (Tory Mussett), whose acting made me wish the Boogeyman would break his cover just to take her away from poor Timmy. Alas, it was not to be.

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Posted by Vanderleun at Feb 13, 2005 12:20 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
All House, No Furniture

by JEREMIAH LEWIS, American Digest Film Editor

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House of Flying Daggers:2 stars out of 5

The colour spectrum should put out a cease and desist order against Director Yimou Zhang. While his abilities to produce amazingly varied colour shots seem endless, his artlessness in storytelling is beginning to show. What Hero did at least with panache, House of Flying Daggers does with the barest hint of competence, trading wire-fu sweetness with a droll, uninteresting love story and a war story that falls off the map halfway through. Even the colour scheme, so celebrated by Zhang as a means to conveying emotions and plot development, is gimmicky here, with unintended comedic effect. You know the film's in trouble when you snicker, despite your best attempts not to, during a crucial death scene.

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Posted by Vanderleun at Feb 10, 2005 8:42 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
The Toughest Love: Million Dollar Baby

by JEREMIAH LEWIS, American Digest Film Editor

5 stars out of 5

I almost wish I could say the critics are wrong about this one. Every so often, a film come along that is so well-received by everyone and their mothers, it almost becomes annoying to have to write one more hymn of praise for it. Yet when the gold is weighed and measured, what really does count at the end is how pure it is.

What has come out of the dross of the Hollywood studio system is a film crafted in subtlety, grace, and style. Clint Eastwood, who helmed, produced, stars in, and even composed music for Million Dollar Baby, is to be credited (as he is by other critics) for the rich pacing, the muted palette of blues and greens that bathe each shot, and tweaking mesmerizing performances out of Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman. Paul Haggis' script, based on a collection of short boxing stories entitled "Rope Burns" by F.X. Toole, is a marvelous creation in its own right, weaving characters who live and die a reality few films ever achieve. Eastwood himself turns in a performance of grizzled perfection, providing the film's moral and conflicted center.

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Posted by Vanderleun at Feb 7, 2005 8:40 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Assault on Precinct 13: Same Film, Bigger Guns

BY JEREMIAH LEWIS, American Digest Film Editor

(2005) Rated R -- 3 stars out of 5

When you stand in line for a ticket to Assault on Precinct 13, hand your money over with a smile, and gleefully stroll down that long dark hallway to Theatre 7, odds are you aren't there for

  • David Mametesque dialogue
  • Scintillating drama
  • The pathos of a humanity-laden, emotionally charged period piece
  • A high-caliber comedy in the style of Some Like It Hot or His Girl Friday. (After all, Brian Dennehy never came close to convincing me he was worth his weight in anything other than, well, his weight.)

Nevertheless, should you find yourself in that line, paying that money, and wearing that smile of contented brainlessness, you can do worse than to watch the remake of John Carpenter's 1976 Assault on Precinct 13. This modern day retelling has been updated with a few twists, a different cast of characters, and a John Carpenter-less score, but otherwise it is the same picture.

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Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 26, 2005 12:53 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Give an Oscar to Michael Moore, Take a Big B.O. Bath

There's a lot of talk and a little bit of surprise snapping about the blogs today over the fact that Michael Moore's 911 failed to be nominated for an Oscar. No mystery to me. I just "follow the money."

Hollywood dodged an big Internet bullet by passing on 911. It had occurred to me months ago, and I am willing to bet that it occurred to others as well, that if 911 got an Oscar, the response from the net and the Blogosphere would have been, "Let's make April the Nobody-Goes-To-The-Movies Month."

And we could have made it happen. And it would have hurt. Big time.

Again, consciously or unconsciously, twisted ideals are fine but in the end Hollywood always votes its pocketbook.


Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 25, 2005 4:37 PM |  Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Vera Drake: The Abortionist Downstairs

by JEREMIAH LEWIS, American Digest Film Editor

Caught between two worlds, Vera Drake floats along an ephemeral plane of the unconscious. It is both a tale of good intentions (and you know where those lead), and a veiled (and vague) social drama that plays out like yesterday's politics.

Writer/director Mike Leigh doesn't put a whole lot of spin on what could have been a tightly wound spool of leftist rhetoric. And he places the story at a comfortable distance--England in the 1950's--so that its controversial subject can be digested with as little burping as possible. Leigh barely engages these issues to the audience though, settling for a dark cinematic expression of objectivity.

Instead of a pro- or anti-abortion film, Vera Drake is an intimate portrait of lower class life in the 1950's Britain. Character performances overcome the limitations inherent in the stereotypes, though not enough to make Vera Drake the highlight of Leigh's career.

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Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 24, 2005 8:51 AM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Transplendent Ray

by JEREMIAH LEWIS, American Digest Film Editor

 

One of the reasons I avoided Ray when it opened was the trailer that limited itself to only showcasing Jamie Foxx's impersonation of Ray Charles. Not being particularly interested in Ray Charles as a film subject, I just wasn't pulled in.

Between Ray's first and second run, I had time to let the trailer dissolve from my brain and began to think about the film objectively. Given the critical praise, I grew intrigued, paid my four dollars and waited with no expectations.

What I saw transcended normal biopic limitations. Ray is not a film about a legend sailing smoothly through life and career. It concerns a man who pursued his passion for music brilliantly, and yet struggled with the most personal aspects of his life. Ray is not a self-congratulating film about a pop-culture icon, but a work of art by a consummate filmmaker.

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Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 18, 2005 9:12 AM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Life Aquatic: A Beached Whale of a Movie **

by JEREMIAH LEWIS, American Digest Film Editor
2 stars out of 5

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"Hold on, we're going down, way down."

When Bill Murray looks and acts more depressed than he did in Lost in Translation, you know there's trouble on the wind. In this case, he's signed on as Steve Zissou, low-rent Cousteau type deep sea documentarian (the Michael Moore, if you will, of oceanography), and leader of Team Zissou, which is basically a "home away at sea" for loners, drifters, and losers--the sort that populate all of Wes Anderson's films and in a way, make up his stock in trade.

What writer/director Anderson did for the Father Figure Makes Up For Years of Bad Parenting genre in Rushmore and The Royal Tennebaums has all but been washed away in this virtually soulless entry. Where once was at least the substance of character has become cliche and caricature; the merest hint of story peeks out behind a curtain so overstitched and sewn with the quirky and the absurd, one questions whether Anderson is even aware of what's lacking.

Clearly, Anderson has a gift. Not everyone can write 36 unrelated items on a whiteboard and then stitch them together into a screenplay that has, at the very least an entirely unique voice. But that's the problem. Anderson is so intent on the selling of each new strange addition to the story that he forgets

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Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 12, 2005 8:52 AM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Sideways: Not Just a Good Vintage, A Great Vintage

by JEREMIAH LEWIS, American Digest Film Editor
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Jack and Stephanie and Miles and Maya

The Romans had a saying: In Vino est veritas, which means "In Wine is truth." Perfection is hard to come by, but Sideways comes very close to achieving it, unwrapping a prized bottle of veritas and allowing us to revel in its aroma. Jim Taylor and co-writer/director Alexander Payne have popped the cork off one of the last unopened bottles of unique film material and poured a perfect glass for us to savour and taste in all its exquisite nuance.

It is too tempting to forego the metaphors Sideways provides; like a thick cluster of the finest Pinot grapes, it relishes each comparative note and sensation, and sheds a full-bodied warmth on the lightly cultivated corner of relationships known as heterosexual male friendship. It is no less insightful in addressing issues like self-esteem (not the namby-pamby PC stuff, but the true essence of evaluative self-worth), commitment, and honesty.

Working from Rex Pickett's unpublished novel, Payne and Taylor invoke a male bonding experience that exposes, for better and worse, the insecurities of middle-age men. In exploring the common

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Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 8, 2005 4:57 PM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Aviator: Into the Air Billionaire Birdman!

by JEREMIAH LEWIS, American Digest Film Editor

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Howard Hughes : You feel like a little adventure?
Katharine Hepburn : Do your worst, Mr. Hughes.

The Aviator is one of those rare films that is almost spectacularly good, yet seems to carry with it the inevitability of a short life. Despite Aviator being everything Gangs of New York wasn't (ie. good), it is likely that Martin Scorsese is destined for another near-miss at the Oscars. He'll lose because he isn't good enough to beat the best (this year it's Alexander Payne with Sideways, there's no doubt in my mind).

There, I've said it, and I know I'm likely to cause waves of anger and panicked reactions; don't worry, I'll watch my back.

Martin Scorsese isn't a bad director. In fact, he's a great director, who has made a career of showcasing the self-destruction of icons of

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Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 5, 2005 10:17 AM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
A Bittersweet Neverland

by JEREMIAH LEWIS, American Digest Film Editor

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How do you criticize a film as family friendly and gosh-darned sentimental as Finding Neverland? It's feel-good enough to feel good about it and yourself when you walk out of the theatre, yet there's enough conflict and sadness that it makes you water up while watching. It's got Johnny Depp with a charming Scottish brogue, and Kate Winslet in a suprising low-key role that makes ample use of her wayfarer good looks and British smile to convince us she's a harried but loving mother with fantasy on the brain and tuberculosis on the lungs. And the kids--oh, the kids! They're all lovable runts and swags and adventurers themselves, except for Peter of course, whose oh-so-serious demeanor instantly endears us to him. He's taken his father's death quite seriously, and it seems there's no room for make-believe in his world now.

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Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 4, 2005 2:42 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
"A Decent Little Flick"

by JEREMIAH LEWIS, American Digest Film Editor

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"You know, we're likely to be stuck in this desert for years..."

Flight of the Phoenix
PG-13
3.5 out of 5 stars

Perhaps it was my initial skepticism of yet another Hollywood remake that made me wary of Flight of the Phoenix, or perhaps it was my discontent with the last few films Dennis Quaid has aligned himself with; whatever the matter, I found myself surprised walking out of the theatre. Flight of the Phoenix is quite a decent little flick.

Yes, it is a remake of a 1965 film by the same name, starring Jimmy Stewart, Richard Attenborough, and Peter Finch. As remakes usually go, it has the usual updates for current events — Dennis Quaid and his copilot A.J. (Tyrese) exchange some repartee about Bill Clinton, wandering nomads turn out to be gun smugglers, and the passengers are all oil riggers. Though dialogue is less intelligent here, there's definitely more action than the original offers, and

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Posted by Vanderleun at Dec 31, 2004 9:33 AM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Cold Snickets Still Satisfies

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This is the story of the three Baudelaire children. Violet loved to invent; her brother, Klaus, loved to read; and their sister, Sunny... she loved to bite.

by JEREMIAH LEWIS, American Digest Film Editor

PG 2.5 stars out of 5

Lemony Snickets' A Series of Unfortunate Events is (besides the world's most complicated title for a kid's movie,) a weird, unwieldy trip into the fantastic. And strange as the movie is, it is actually quite tame compared to the antics of Jim Carrey, playing three characters in very convincing makeup.

Carrey has returned to his roots as a physical comic, yet the roles are darkthink Cable Guy meets The Grinch, with a twist of Dickinsean wicked spirit for added punch. His work gives the movie some firmness, but not enough to save the disconnected and directionless plot.

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Posted by Vanderleun at Dec 29, 2004 6:48 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Dan & Anna & Larry & Alice Get Closer

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Pretty people have problems too.

by JEREMIAH LEWIS, American Digest Film Editor

Closer (2004) Rated R, 98 minutes 4 stars out of 5

When the Beatles sing "Baby, You're a Rich Man", the first line asks "How does it feel to be one of the beautiful people?". That reminds me of Closer, the new Mike Nichols film about love and relationships between four people. Every single character in this film, down to strangers and hobos on the street, is bee-yutiful. Even their physical flaws are more attractive than the most beautiful non-movie-person's most beautiful feature.

So why is it their lives are a total disaster compared to mine? I don't have a girlfriend or a wife, I don't sleep around (I sleep straight), and I don't look like Jude Law or Clive Owen (or Julia Roberts or Natalie Portman, for that matter). Yet somehow, we're asked to

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Posted by Vanderleun at Dec 21, 2004 9:47 AM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
12 Oceans Short of A Dozen: Jeremiah Lewis Sits Through the Oafishly Bungled Caper, Oceans 12, So You Don't Have To

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We steal your admission price and then we get away to do it again!

Ocean's Twelve (2004) Rated PG-13 120 minutes | 2.5 stars out of 5

In the words of a long-dead Frenchman, "Deliver me first from the pain of subjugation and oppression, second from the fear of death, and third from the waste of potential."

Okay, so I lied. I made that quote up. But the third part of it applies most ably to the poor and underwhelming Ocean's Twelve, with a cast so star-studded it makes Tiffany's look like a chocolate shop selling candy rings to school children.

What 2001's Ocean Eleven did nearly flawlessly, Ocean's Twelve stumbles and bungles through painfully, even somewhat dangerously, as plot-thin sequences devolve into silliness (Julia Roberts as the returning character Tess, who is forced to act as Julia Roberts), and characters suffer crushingly weak development (Matt Damon as the son of two thieves, who must learn not just the art and craft, but the professionalism of thievery). While it's a stretch to say that Ocean's Twelve is bad per se, it really is too much to give it any props.

Even the spunky playfulness of director Steven Soderbergh seems stale and uninspired, utilizing weak fresh-out-of-film-school techniques that would make Darren Aranofsky blush, covering for a hopelessly meandering, slow-paced steamship wreck of a script by George Nolfi, whose sole previous credit is the abominable Timeline.

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Posted by Vanderleun at Dec 12, 2004 11:29 AM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Stander [Reviewed by Jeremiah Lewis]

(NOTE: The first item from American Digest's new and vastly improved film critic, Jeremiah Lewis of Fringe. He will call them as he sees them when he sees them. Lewis can be reached directly at jeremiah.lewis@gmail.com )
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Stander (2003) Rated R, 111 minutes 3.5 stars out of 5

Andre Stander was a man on the edge, disgusted with the political and racial practices of his time and country and violently aware that the policies under which he served (and which he subsequently enforced) were wrong. His response is one of the more interesting stories to come out of the South African 'apartheid' era, a time notable for its share of lawbreakers, violence, and humanity at its most ignoble.

Andre Stander, a fine police captain whose work in the all-white force was recognized as responsive and exemplary, put his career away and became the most wanted man in South Africa. He was a kind of Robin Hood anti-hero to the working class, who saw his incredible bank robbing spree as a fist in the face of a government and society that had long abandoned any semblance of equity and human rights.

Thomas Jane is remarkable as the enigmatic Stander. His attitude throughout the film is as vigilante and happy-go-lucky as it is reactive. His actions defy categorization, precisely because the reasons behind them are unprecedented.

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Posted by Vanderleun at Dec 10, 2004 1:40 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
My Personal Treasure Reviews National Treasure

What's this, a film review? Indeed it is. I'd once hoped to have a regular film reviewer for this page, but that person hasn't happened along as yet. Instead, I'll go with this insightful review of National Treasure by the one person I know who's not only quick to sum up a film correctly, but quicker still to find out what's really of value, my wife:

If you've read the reviews, which are pretty snarky for the most part, you might think Nicholas Cage's new quasi action-adventure movie would be a pass. But you'd be wrong.

Because I was there, at the end of the movie, when a surprisingly healthy round of applause erupted. Gerard looked at me like, "What?" and I said, well, you know there's something to be said for a movie with no sex, barely any violence, and a body count of one (and that was accidental).

She's right. It is suprising how surprising a decent movie can be these days. Perhaps because there are so few of them. Maybe, given the success of National Treasure, there will be more. Read the rest at :

            Cheaper Than Therapy: "National Treasure" on a National Holiday


Posted by Vanderleun at Nov 28, 2004 2:49 PM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
DISASTER! The Simpsons to End -- in 2009

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Simpson, faced with cancellation, starts endorsement career

The bad news for its millions of fans around the world is that it looks like the end is in sight. The overall impression from a day spent with some of the sprawling team of producers, writers, animators and voice talent that make the show is that the goal is to reach 20 seasons, which would take it to 2009 in the States. The series would then overtake Gunsmoke as the longest running entertainment show on US television with its place in history assured.
-- Matt Groening tells Owen Gibson why he still cares about them


Posted by Vanderleun at Oct 4, 2004 9:26 PM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Why I Love the Internet

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OKAY, OKAY, Okay, so call me an old softy, but I have to think that Smoove the Worm , starring Natalie "Gnat" Lileks, is simply the best movie you can see in the next two minutes.


Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 10, 2004 10:21 AM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Deep, Dark, Delicious Noir

SIN CITY 4.5 stars
by JEREMIAH LEWIS,of Fringe, American Digest Film Editor

SIN CITY IS A DARK, DARK FILM that makes words like "gritty" and "hardboiled" seem like names for French perfumes. Whilst the film certainly deserves props for its heavily styled look and hinging storyline, what really drives it is the underlying noir-ish morality, a stark black on white narrative that interweaves three tales, originally culled from Frank Miller's best-selling graphic novels "Sin City", "The Big Fat Kill", and "That Yellow Bastard", each featuring a protagonist whose mission is to right the wrongs of a particular crime or achieve a moral center. It's a tough film to watch at times, featuring a level of violence, however stylized, that may give pause to even the most jaded and desensitized filmgoer. Yet like its famous noir forebears, Sin City depicts the genre's specifications with acute freshness and force.

The first tale is of big, ugly Marv (Mickey Rourke), a pill-popping palooka with the looks of a beat up truck and a brain below the waist. Marv's one night with a high-class prostitute named Goldie ends with her dead and him being framed for it. He promises to deal out justice to her killer, saying "And when his eyes go dead, the hell I send him to will seem like heaven after what I've done to him." --->

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Posted by Vanderleun at Apr 6, 2004 4:29 PM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Such a Deal! Three Movies in One!

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"Okay, I give up. I have no idea which movie I'm in."

by JEREMIAH LEWIS, American Digest Film Editor from Fringe

HOSTAGE OPENS with the kind of credit sequence that makes you think that maybe, just maybe it could be something different from the average "Bruce Willis Action" genre movie. And for a pristine forty minutes or so, it is. Helmed by video game director Florent Emilio Siri (yes, video games have directors too), Hostage is violent in much the same way as the remake of Assault on Precinct 13 --brutal, swift, and gory, but without the strong backing of a story that makes much sense in the long run.

Paying for a ticket to Hostage is a fantastic deal because you're actually getting three movies in one.

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Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 31, 2004 11:30 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Not Cool

by JEREMIAH LEWIS, American Digest Film Editor

Be Cool:2 out of 5 stars

Get Shorty was hip. It had an edgy, off-the-cuff, yet leisurely feel about it, like it had nothing to prove but was proving it anyway, just to show you who was boss.

Be Cool on the other hand, is anything but. With derivative and sub-par jokes, a cast that feels as strained as the story, and muddled direction, it's as if this movie was made to push the line for sequel tolerance. Elmore Leonard, who wrote the original novel Get Shorty, ought to be ashamed of himself for writing such an obvious, yet serially unimaginative novel sequel, in which the shylock hero Chili Palmer (John Travolta) quits the movie biz for the less bureaucratic music industry. Is Chili daft, or just ignorant?

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Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 24, 2004 7:54 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
I Fell In to a Burning Ring of Mire

by JEREMIAH LEWIS, American Digest Film Editor

THE RING TWO IS, if nothing else, a referendum on water. If boredom could be measured, there'd be about one thousand gallons of it just pouring from each tepid frame of this lackluster, wholly uninspired sequel to The Ring, itself a mercenary remake of the Japanese horror thriller Ringu.

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Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 22, 2004 7:31 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
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SIDELINES

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By Mail: Gerard Van der Leun | 6616-D Clark Road #176 | Paradise, CA 95969

Your Shower Is Lame, Your Dishwasher Doesn’t Work, and Your Clothes are Dirty

It’s not just about the showerhead.
The water pressure in our homes and apartments has been gradually getting worse for two decades, thanks to EPA mandates on state and local governments. This has meant that even with a good showerhead, the shower is not as good as it might be. It also means that less water is running through our pipes, causing lines to clog and homes to stink just slightly like the sewer. This problem is much more difficult to fix, especially because plumbers are forbidden by law from hacking your water pressure. | Foundation for Economic Education [HT: Never Yet Melted]


In 2016 the Western political system had a stroke.

The American political system is operating in the curious condition of being an impaired state.
It's not really thinking -- about China, Russia, Syria, Kurdistan. It's not really thinking about anything except half remembered slogans from 1968. Like a person afflicted by a stroke, it can't take a consistent view of external reality because it's regressing into atavisms by a loss of brain function. Impaired


Fake News. At the same time of the political putsch, the mainstream media outlets,

in particular the Washington Post, the New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, and the major networks, via broadcasts and social media, began an orchestrated campaign of defamation and delegitimization.
The crazier and more diverse the media mythologies, the better. Melania Trump was a former call girl and illegal alien. Ivanka Trump was peddling her business wares from the West Wing. Jared Kushner was a profiteering collusionist. Steve Bannon was a racist, Sebastian Gorka an unrepentant Nazi. Baron Trump was a spoiled, autistic child. The late elder Trump had run a racist campaign for mayor. And on and on. Resistance & Regime Change: Any Means Necessary – Lies, Leaks, Violence | National Review


Crime simply does not pay as well as politics or banking.

That may be the way to look at something like the Clinton Foundation and, coming soon, the Obama Foundation.
These are not explicitly criminal organizations, but they certainly play outside the spirit of the laws. Obama is out of office and prohibited from running again, but he still controls the Democratic party. The Clintons would be in charge, if not for the fact that the voters took their under boss out in the Tuesday Night Massacre, otherwise known as the presidential election. Even so, the Clinton Family is still a player. Late Phase Capitalism | The Z Blog


Bodymore, Murderville”

Most whites have become habituated to the reality of life in this part of the world.
Everyone, white and black, knows the reality on the street. The blacks with anything on the ball do exactly like the whites and that’s put distance between themselves and the black ghetto. That does not stop the Progressive maniacs from ranting about racism, but they do it from high up in the towers of their whites-only neighborhoods. As a result, no one hears them and so they can be ignored. The Killing Season | The Z Blog


New Blog Arriving Soon

Some have asked, "Gee whiz, Unca Gerard, where is that thar new blog you keeps a promisin'?"

I am hoping for sometime tonight. Hoping. We've been having some issues getting this winged dinosaur landed.


Drink Tea

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Drink tea, together with your friends; pay attention to the tea, and to your friends, and pay attention to your friends paying attention to the tea. Therein lies the meaning of life. The Essence of Peopling

We would love to cut a deal with the noble indigenous peoples across the Earth—

you can have your Navajo panties and aboriginal dot paintings and every last freaking burrito on the planet so long as you give us back our computers and cell phones and cars and indoor plumbing and electricity and air conditioners. Deal?

If people go their separate ways such a divorce would be an astonishing defeat for the Left.

As late as 2016 it was possible to imagine an America led to a "progressive" future by Hillary Clinton;
an EU guiding all of Europe to a similar destiny and the G20 taking the whole world to the same destination. Indeed everyone told they were fated to follow an Arc of History. Yet after Brexit, Trump and G-Zero it is no longer possible to visualize this outcome. A blue-red division would confirm the failure to create a "progressive" world. No conceivable rollback will ever put Humpty Dumpty together again. Opportunity


Trump, Julius Caesar, and killing tyrants

The Roman lower classes, with whom Caesar was popular, became enraged that a small group of aristocrats had sacrificed Caesar. -- neoneocon

Execute Trump? Nah, You First.

Draining the swamp means not only ejecting Trump from the presidency,
but also bringing himself and everyone assisting in his agenda up on charges of treason. They must be convicted (there is little room to doubt their guilt). And then — upon receiving guilty verdicts — they must all be executed under the law. Impeachment Is No Longer Enough; Donald Trump Must Face Justice | HuffPost [Retreived from GoogleCache after it was expunged from the Huffington Post]


A bee in her bonnet

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Thousands of bees took over a car in the UK and beekeepers are struggling to make them leave -
At first it wasn't clear why the bees chose the blue Nissan car and he and a colleague were trying to determine whether this was just a temporary stop or a new nesting site. But as the bees moved to the inside of the bonnet, filling every nook and cranny, things got more serious. "They're building a lot of wax in there now, and of course once they start doing that, they're reluctant to leave it, because it's the start of building a house. They put a lot of effort into producing the wax," Coulson told Hull Daily Mail. "I've got a feeling this might be their chosen permanent home."


[Bumped] "They send one of ours to the hospital, we send two of theirs to the morgue."

Baseball Shooter a Big Wake-Up Call for the Left | Roger L. SimonRobespierre is alive and well in 2017 USA.

This pathetic character in Alexandria is, now was, the left's ungoverned id. By any means necessary -- that's for sure. They will undoubtedly try to shove him under the rug as quickly as possible, just one more aberrant individual to be forgotten, just one obscure Bernie volunteer gone bad. Sanders did his best to separate himself within minutes of the revelation. Yes, it's undoubtedly true that this was just one rotten apple, but it's also true that only five years ago Bernie was recommending Venezuela -- now ground zero for starvation, kidnapping and murder -- as a path for us to emulate.



Greatest antitheft device when the thieves are millenials:

Man leads Jeffco deputies on low-speed chase in stolen flatbed truck after unable to get out of 1st gear The driver - later identified as 29-year-old Randy Dewayne Vert - refused to stop and continued driving south on Center Point Parkway, Christian said. Vert was apparently unfamiliar with the complexities of a modern manual transmission.

The natural impulse of a political system in institutional crisis is to dig in.

Too many institutions in the West remain decades after their birth, frozen in the moment of their creation.
NASA, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the university system and the United Nations rule us from the past. Public life has become a museum of memes from which nothing can escape without a mummy hand dragging the fugitive back into the darkened interior. It is perhaps no coincidence the two most popular leaders of the Western left, Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders, might credibly impersonate Boris Karloff. They are here to lead us back to 1968. Stuck


The Japanese. Nuked Too Much... or Trying to Get Their Mouths Around Fujiyama Volcano Plate

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We put Japan's most phallic-looking roast beef meal into our mouth at VolcanoKitchen | SoraNews24
Since we’d already become somewhat desensitized to the initially unsettling sensation of peeling strips of meat off the top of the shaft, we mercilessly crushed the egg, sending viscous, gooey liquid running down to the base of the meat rod.
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The power of the press is a figment of the imagination -- humbug --

Oscar Diggs behind the curtain projecting the image of Oz the Great and Powerful!
The Internet did not kill the power of the newspapers. It was suicide. And not just because most of them had Marxist editorials, editors, and reporters. Newspapers lost their sense of community -- and their credibility -- when the heirs to hometown publishers didn't want the paper, sold it to a chain for $1,000 per subscriber to a chain -- Gannett, Knight-Ridder, Thomson -- and moved on. Don Surber: Craigslist killed newspapers


When terrorists enter your children’s school and begin to execute them...

will the gun ban (you favored) in school that prevented abiding staff and teachers from saving your child, come to mind as a good idea?
If the answer to any or all of these and many more reasonable questions, is 'yes,' then you may be a delusional liberal, and likely a coward, and almost as big a threat to our nation as the terrorists who are at war with us." - Morgan K. Freeberg


"Happy birthday, Mr. President...."

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First truth which has been grounded into dust, must spring forth from the earth again.

At the present time . . .he who practices loving-kindness is esteemed and sought after, while he who champions the truth in word and in deed is persecuted and shunned. 
For men desire to base their affairs on everything except the one incorruptible truth which has been set down before us by God , and therefore these affairs have no permanent value . . . only when love and truth meet together, only when men come to understand that the highest act of loving-kindness is to bring men to know and practice the truth, only then will the marriage of love and truth produce that condition on earth in which everyone and everything will occupy the place which has been assigned to it by the will of God. Truth and Peace - Men Of The West


What happened to Nuclear Winter?

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As the media glare faded, its robust scenario appeared less persuasive;
John Maddox, editor of Nature, repeatedly criticized its claims; within a year, Stephen Schneider, one of the leading figures in the climate model, began to speak of "nuclear autumn." It just didn't have the same ring. A final media embarrassment came in 1991, when Carl Sagan predicted on Nightline that Kuwaiti oil fires would produce a nuclear winter effect, causing a "year without a summer," and endangering crops around the world. Sagan stressed this outcome was so likely that "it should affect the war plans." None of it happened. Raconteur Report: Aliens Cause Global Warming by Michael Crichton


If it's consensus, it isn't science. If it's science, it isn't consensus.

I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks.
Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus. - - Woodpile Report


Joe Biden’s niece dodges jail after $100K credit card scam

She walks on a major felony? Of course she did. And who believes she'll keep her end of the deal? In her defense, we're assured she's "a very complicated girl who has a lot of feelings and a lot of issues." Oh ... okay. That explains everything. Hugs from all the little people. Woodpile Report

Why is English so weirdly different from other languages?

There is exactly one language on Earth whose present tense requires a special ending only in the third‑person singular.
I’m writing in it. I talk, you talk, he/she talk-s – why just that? The present‑tense verbs of a normal language have either no endings or a bunch of different ones (Spanish: hablo, hablas, habla). And try naming another language where you have to slip do into sentences to negate or question something. Do you find that difficult? | Aeon Essays



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