DEATH ON THE NILE is supposed to come out in October. I can't wait. The trailer looks great. I also happened to have loved MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS.
I saw the 70s version of both films. But Kenneth Branagh's version of MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS improved upon the 70s film in major ways. (Including better lighting. The key scene of stabbing was in far too much darkness in the original.)
Now the 70s MURDER was a good movie and there were some great performances in it -- including Lauren Bacall, Vanessa Redgrave, Albert Finney and Anthony Perkins -- and Sidney Lumet did a great job directing.
1978's DEATH ON THE NILE? It won't be hard to improve upon that film. It was a disaster. It was directed by a hack -- John Guillermin. He previously directed such 'great' films as TARZAN GOES TO INDIA. He has no body of work to be proud of. And it shows in the erratic DEATH. Bette Davis and Maggie Smith walk off with the film because they appear to have ignored all direction.
The rest of the cast is an embarrassment. Angela Lansbury is too fat and looks ridiculous. Her acting doesn't support the character she's trying to create. Lois Chiles is Lois Chiles -- the same as she is in anything -- her bit part in THE WAY WE WERE, her female lead in James Bond's MOONRAKER. She's never good. She's always wooden.
But that's better than the embarrassment that Mia Farrow is.
She couldn't act. Roman Polanksi controlled her performance in ROSEMARY'S BABY and protected her bad choices by using clever angles. That was her only good performance for years and it wasn't that good. She followed that with one embarrassment after another. But her two worst performances of all time are DEATH ON THE NILE and Robert Altman's A WEDDING. In both films, she's irritating and grating and just makes you want to turn the movie off.
She got very lucky to work with Woody Allen. Those are her only good movies. Without Woody, she would still be the embarrassment of the 70s.
So Kenneth's DEATH doesn't have a lot to top. But the trailer looks like it's going to be another great one. I love Agatha Christie's mysteries and I hope DEATH is a hit just because I want to see more theatrical films and more with Kenneth as Poirot.
Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Wednesday, August 19, 2020. Night two of the infomercial being passed off as a convention goes no better than the first night.
The embarrassment that is the Democratic Party's national convention continued last night. Key takeaway? Vote Republican.
Some corporate whores are telling you a propaganda film narrated by Cindy McCain -- wife or c**t of the late War Hawk John McCain (that's what he called her, take it up with them -- and with the DNC for celebrating a sexist like John to begin with) -- told you how great a friend Joe was with the thankfully dead John McCain. He worked with John.
Yes, he did. Joe worked repeatedly with John to destroy the world. Murder allies, that's what they were, complicit in the murders of millions but let's put a happy face on it and call it 'bipartisanship.'
Question: Do Democrats want control of both houses of Congress? Do they want control of even one house of Congress?
The DNC's nonsense does not draw a line between the two parties. Yes, the DNC exists every four years to promote the presidential ticket. It also exists to expand the party. That's why you choose someone you think will be a rising star to deliver the keynote address. (We'll get back to Michelle Obama in a little while.) You also use the convention to promote your candidates for Congress and to put out the party line that argues why you should vote Democratic.
But they're not doing that. This obsession with Donald Trump has defeated them.
Donald Trump may win a second term. If he does, he does. The United States will go on. Life will continue. B-b-b-but his policies! Congress could fight back on any policy. They didn't the last four years. They were too busy with nutty conspiracy theories and Nancy Pelosi's empty gestures and attempts at bad political theater.
Grasp that in the midst of a pandemic, the party is offering nothing. There is no monthly stipend -- despite most Democrats in office -- and most of the American people -- feeling that there should be. Nancy and her lazy ass can't even protect unemployment benefits. They're promising America nothing.
To garner votes, they are promising nothing.
And, on top of that, they're spending a week promoting Republicans who argue for slashing school funding, who are anti-choice and don't even believe in abortion if the girl or woman is raped or the victim of incest. They are telling you these people are the 'good guys.
They aren't the good guys.
But watching this garbage, why in the world would you feel the need to vote Democrat?
Let's get to the supposed postal crisis. I don't believe it. It feels like more theater drummed up by a desperate party that will not meet the needs of the people.
But what I do know is mail-in ballots are not 'the answer.' I'm all for mail-in voting. But the notion that this makes it easier?
I'm sorry, is it 2020 or 1950?
How stupid are we? How stupid are leaders of the Democratic Party? They're pretty damn stupid.
Mail-in ballots? If I vote absentee -- and I have -- I don't just fill out a ballot, put it in an envelope (my own or one that comes with the ballot) and drop it in the mail.
I have to put something on it.
In 2020, how many people do you know who have a damn stamp?
Oh, just buy one!!!!
At the grocery store? Most customer service booths/desks are going to tell you that you need to buy a book. I think that's a little under ten dollars right now.
So it's the Monday before the election and you're feeling like maybe you should vote, so you fill out your ballot and you put it in the envelope and then . . . A stamp. You need a stamp. Are you driving to a grocery store? If so, when you're told you need to spend $10 dollars -- talk about a poll tax! -- are you going to do it.?
These are issues that should have been addressed and talked about.
Unemployment is huge. I mean, I guess the Democrats don't want that vote. That would explain why unemployment benefits were cut weeks ago and Nancy Pelosi still can't come up with a package to restore them. If I'm unemployed, I'm not wasting ten dollars for a book of stamps.
'You can go to the post office!' Post offices aren't always nearby. And, if it's after hours, is it going to take change and are you going to have change? Or is voting now going to be just for those with a credit card? Also, you want someone to drive cross town? Better choice would be a FED EX pick up location which would probably sell stamps. And that's something the convention could have educated on since, clearly, the elected Democrats are not bothering to.
Elected Dems have quickly become the biggest idiots in the world. Most haven't mailed anything themselves in years. (Having an assistant drop something in the plastic box where someone picks up office mail is not using the post office yourself.) They are so out of touch, they are beyond George H.W. Bush's apparent shock over the fact that groceries are scanned at check out. They are out of touch.
And on the post office, they're out of touch at at time when many voters don't use the post office to mail letters or bills. Grasp that this is the first presidential election in which people born in this century, the 21st century, will be voting. Grasp that people born in the 90s aren't postal senders either. E-mail, text, social media, that's largely taken the place of pen pals and letters.
Good luck with mail-in ballots when you've not bothered to factor in how many people do not use the mail that way (for sending) and how many have not ever used the mail that way.
Out of touch and stupid, today's Democratic Party.
And that's what the convention conveys.
It's an infomercial that forgot about the need to be live. No one wants canned speeches.
And why do we need Bill Clinton? The 90s were forever ago. His abuse with regards to Monica Lewinsky is not something we need to be reminded of. He was a married man, fifty-years-old and occupying the most powerful job in the US -- some would say in the country. He began an affair with a 22-year-old. And he was a selfish pig, let's be honest. Calling it an affair is being kind. He got off and wasn't too concerned whether she did or not. He abused the office, he abused the position. She was working for the government which made him her boss. It was wrong in every way possible including his attempts to get her to lie.
But there he was blustering his way through like we don't all know that he was visiting Jeffrey Epstein's pedophile island and like we don't all know that he lied about it. Like we don't all know that Juanita Broaddrick's charges of rape are highly credible. There he was acting like he was on the stage at MTV and they were all giggling over his answer to boxers or briefs.
Bill is as outdated as that question. He didn't belong on stage and shouldn't be again.
He has a lot to answer for.
John Kerry spoke. Why? To make Bill look better? John doesn't belong on stage. Hillary Clinton will speak this week and she doesn't belong on the stage either. John lost in 2004, Hillary lost in 2016. Why are they on the stage?
In 1988, Michael Dukakis lost to George H.W. Bush. Anyone remember the 1992 convention?
For those who don't, Michael Ross, LOS ANGELES TIMES, July 15, 1992:
[. . .]
Not this year. This year they promote the saggy mashed potatoes -- wait, the dried mashed potatoes, that's how old and moldy these speakers are -- while doing their best to undercut politicians who are actually popular with the people. Perfect example? US House Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Name a politician who's gotten more heat and more support in the last four years. You can't. And so the party responds by letting her speak for . . . sixty . . . seconds.
She should have been the keynote speaker.
But instead, we get Republicans. Apparently, the Democratic Party can't celebrate it's own but it can celebrate any nut job from 'across the aisle.' War Criminal Colin Powell will speak later this week, we'll note it then and we'll note how his War Crimes didn't start with the speech to the UN -- that speech filled with lies about Iraq. [ADDED: I got lucky, Colin spoke last night, I got lucky and missed it. Patrick Martin covers it at WSWS.]
So stars like AOC are sidelined or ignored -- the Squad deserved 15 minutes on stage together, at the very least -- and tired fixtures from the last century are brought on.
It's not your party, 21st century Americans. It's a party of the past.
There has never been a worse convention.
Let's go to Michelle Obama finally.
We called her out yesterday morning. We were right to.
Corporate whores and partisan hacks lined up to tell you she was amazing. She wasn't. She wasn't even adequate.
How are you going to speak to the electorate when you don't even understand them?
You lie and whore and that's supposed to be repeated often enough to confuse the American people and make them vote for you?
The American people ditched Michelle. Check the ratings. They didn't get many viewers to begin with (especially compared to 2016) but notice the drop off the minute Michelle starts speaking. It's there in the ratings Americans who bothered to watch decided to stop watching when she started speaking.
That's not a surprise.
She's not an elected politicians. She's accomplished nothing with her life.
She's a professional spouse. That's all she is. A First Lady is popular when she's not political. That's reality. Michelle got political. It's not a role anyone wants to see her in. The ratings proved that.
AOC should have been the keynote speaker, not some tired fixture from a few years back who has make-work projects to busy herself with. She doesn't speak to the American people. The press loves her -- they're paid to love her. There's no reason for the rest of us too and it's way past time that a hard hitting biography was published on her and it addressed how she harmed healthcare in Chicago.
Let's move! -- away from that topic? Michelle would like us to.
Best Tweet this morning? Yashar Ali:
Apparently, that's what it will take for her to get a real slot of time at the convention.
The following sites updated: