Sunday, February 25, 2018

Pop Song of the Week: "Look What You Made Me Do"

Taylor Swift speaks out on behalf of Ophidian-Americans ... and other people.

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Movie Song of the Week: "Nuvogue"

Just in time to miss Presidents' Day, I present a short novelty tune by Thomas Dolby which was originally created for the 1994 short film The Gate to the Mind's Eye. I hope you all enjoy it.

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Movie Quote of the Week

Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!
--Paul Scofield, A Man for All Seasons (1966)

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TV Quote of the Week

What a model parent you've been! You loved your creature so long as it was pretty but when it lost its looks, Hah! That was another matter! So much for your dainty conscience.
--James Mason, Frankenstein: The True Story (1973)

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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Trailer of the Week: Dear Dictator

Seriously? Michael Caine as a Castro-like dictator? Granted, the whole idea of a comedy based on a dictator like Castro seems a bit dubious but the casting of an actor as obviously English as Michael Caine in that role doesn't exactly convince me that this movie is a good idea.

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The Good Boyfriend: Adam



Author Stephen King once wrote a short story about a person who had the power to know exactly what his potential love interest wanted -- a power which hypothetically should have made him the ideal boyfriend. However, it did not make him a good person. And eventually his would-be girlfriend caught on to that.

That said...

I was surprised to admit I liked the 2009 movie Adam. After seeing the rather cartoonish way Asperger's syndrome was depicted on Boston Legal -- the show initially showed its sufferer in a sympathetic light and then gradually began more and more to play his affliction for laughs -- I found this movie and its more realistic approach to be a bit of fresh air.

There was a scene in it where it threatened to turn into a bad Lifetime movie -- or worse yet, a bad remake of Happy-Go-Lucky. The ending was disappointing but at least it was more believable than a more audience-pleasing finale would have been.

I must confess that for the longest time I could not help seeing this movie as just one long variation on the old joke about how all women pick up on things instinctively and all men have to have stuff explained to them. After all, we've all seen bad sitcoms in which that same joke is repeated over and over again. And the movie was at its best when it stayed away from that territory.

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The Longest Ride Not Quite That Long -- Nor That Bad


Surprise! Surprise!

Actor Alan Alda of M*A*S*H fame is still making movies!

It would be nice if they were great movies but then even in his prime, most of Mr. Alda's movies tended to be acquired tastes as far as I'm concerned. That said, I could not help finding it a bit sad that Mr. Alda is now too old to be playing romantic leads and is now reduced to elderly supporting characters. Granted, the two lead cast members in his latest movie The Longest Ride -- namely, actress Britt Robertson and actor Scott Eastwood -- aren't bad to look at but neither one for all their efforts was as memorable as Mr. Alda was in his prime.

Then again my mother enjoyed this movie and I suspect women of her generation would appreciate this movie far more than me. Nor does it hurt if you like cowboys. The movie does try to have it both ways when it comes to art: on one hand, bashing modern art at every opportunity while at the same time praising the Britt Robertson character for her insight into -- well -- art. Yet more proof that it takes all kinds to make a world -- and a movie. (Did I mention that my mother liked this movie?)

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Sunday, February 18, 2018

Quote of the Week

Yet it makes me cringe to read, for the millionth time, the words black and Hispanic as synonyms for victim. How many times does one have to read that linguistic link before the brain fuses ethnicity with wretchedness? How does this link affect people who come in contact with blacks and Hispanics? How does it affect blacks and Hispanics themselves?
--Enrique Fernandez, “Label Warning,” The Village Voice, November 5, 1991, vol. 36, no. 45

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Movie Quote of the Week

Racism is over in America. The only people who are thinking about it are, I dunno, Mexicans probably.
--Peter Syvertsen, Dear White People (2014)

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TV Quote of the Week

Big Brother may be watching, but he certainly knows how to make good TV.
--Stephen Fry, Bones, “The Final Chapter: The Steel in the Wheels”

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

¡Feliz Día del Amor y la Amistad!


Mary Shelley would like to take this opportunity to wish all my readers a happy St. Valentine's Day and I wish to echo her sentiment.

May you and your loved ones find some happiness on this day, even in the midst of these often depressing times.

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Libros de San Valentín (Valentine Books)







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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Pop Song of the Week: "Gangsta's Paradise"

Talk about your old school music.

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Movie Song of the Week: "Gym Mambo"

Integration, 1961 New York style.

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I Grow Cold ... I Grow Cold ... I Shall Not Wear the Bottoms of My Trousers Rolled

Apparently, T.S. Eliot was wrong. February was the cruelest month. The way the temperature keeps going up and down, it's a wonder more people aren't sick.

On the plus side, spring is a lot closer than it was before. Still walking to one's car in twenty-degree temperatures like I did this past Saturday night is not fun. Even if you're a Northerner.

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Sunday, February 11, 2018

Quote of the Week

Since I began to publish in 1962, I have often been asked, by people of all colors, what my experience of racial prejudice in the science fiction field has been. Has it been nonexistent? By no means: It was definitely there. A child of the political protests of the '50s and '60s, I've frequently said to people who asked that question: As long as there are only one, two, or a handful of us, however, I presume in a field such as science fiction, where many of its writers come out of the liberal-Jewish tradition, prejudice will most likely remain a slight force —- until, say, black writers start to number thirteen, fifteen, twenty percent of the total. At that point, where the competition might be perceived as having some economic heft, chances are we will have as much racism and prejudice here as in any other field.

We are still a long way away from such statistics.

But we are certainly moving closer.
--Samuel R. Delany, "Racism and Science Fiction"

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Sunday, February 04, 2018

Trailer of the Week: Creature from the Black Lagoon

This week I post the trailer for the movie that so obviously inspired Guillermo del Toro's latest project.

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Fantasy Quote of the Week

The word "monster" is monstrously misused and misunderstood. In the popular imagination it conjures up lurid penny dreadful fantasies of mass murderers, slasher movies, bug-eyed aliens from distant galaxies. But these horrors have little to do with genuine monstrosity. Things from outer space are not monsters. King Kong was not a monster. Neither was Dracula. The Creature from the Black Lagoon might just possibly been a monster, but the creature in Frankenstein most definitely was not. Quasimodo, on the other hand, almost certainly was.
--Geoff Nicholson, "Making Monsters"

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Science Fiction Quote of the Week

I know you’ve all laughed at the comic-book idea of some Martian monster lusting after beautiful white women. But has it ever occurred to you that a creature from outside might simply and honestly fall in love with you?
--Helen in Fritz Leiber's “The Ship Sails at Midnight”

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Thursday, February 01, 2018

Movie Quote of the Week

If that's what the Justice Department calls "evidence" these days, that's the scariest part of this whole conversation.
--Leo Rossi, Black Widow (1987)

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TV Quote of the Week

One is liable to hear almost anything on television these days, Lieutenant, none of it necessarily true.
--William Shatner, Columbo, “Butterfly in Shades of Grey”

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