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Two horror flicks that should never have been made

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Two horror flicks that should never have been made

When I was younger, I read Stephen King’s “It.” That book is a PTSD diagnosis in paperback. I have never forgotten certain lines in it, like “the baby farted” when King described a particularly evil teenage psychopath recalling suffocating his infant brother. The book is as dark and unrelenting as Pennywise.

My sister-in-law read it about the same time I did, and to this day, if I say to her “we all float down here,” she’ll slap me across the face and not speak to me for months. “It” is one of those books that the world could have done without, and Stephen King could have done without writing.

Michael O’Sullivan of the Washington Post called the movie “a waking nightmare, curated from a catalogue of horror-movie tropes.” He missed mentioning that most of the horror-movie tropes in the last 30 years were invented from the minds of people who read “It” in 1986.

Call it a symphony of orchestral meta-horror, an elaborate waking nightmare in which you, as the dreamer, are constantly reminded of what the film is trying to do, and yet are powerless to stop it.

“It” is a psychotically evil force or terror, and without regard to how technically well-done it is as a movie (versus the Tim Curry made-for-TV version), I think we could all have gone on with life if it had never been made.

The second film of the “shouldn’t have made” genre is Climate Change Pope Al’s “An Inconvenient Sequel.” This is a movie, which before it was released, garnered enough negative reviews from people who had never seen it, that if there were a poll done before it was made, no filmmaker in his right mind would attempt it. But they didn’t make this film to be commercially successful.

Like “It,” a nightmare on Gore Street was made as a catharsis of the soul, to rid it of evil once and for all. Once made, the existence of this religious talisman divided the audience like a knife.

Of the 2,645 IMDb users who rated the film as of August,2 over 38 percent gave the film a 1 out of 10. Of those same 2,645 IMDb users, just under 34 percent gave the film a 10 out of 10. In short: 72 percent of people who rated the movie gave it an extreme score, a 1 or a 10.

(FiveThirtyEight)

The reception to “An Inconvenient Sequel” lays on three major divides: (1) critics vs. audiences, (2) people who saw the movie vs. those who did not, and (3) men vs. women. It’s frankly impressive for a single film to stand astride so many fault lines. But if you’re a casual moviegoer quickly checking IMDb to see if “An Inconvenient Sequel” is worth checking out, you wouldn’t know any of that. You’d think it was just a dumpy movie — the “Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo” of climate documentaries.

The TL;DR version:

  • Critics (who tend to be liberal artsy journalists) loved it. Commonfolk not so much.
  • 62% of IMDB reviews were already done before the film was widely released on Aug. 4. “It’s hard to believe that each and every one of those pre-release reviews is bona fide, especially on a politicized film like this.”
  • Women liked it, men not so much

Yes, folks, “An Inconvenient Sequel” blew the curve for movie ratings, and some people think that’s unfair. But this wasn’t really a documentary as much as a it was a religious film. It would be like Mel Gibson making “The Passion of the Christ: Part 2”: Either you believe it or you don’t.

Nobody would make a movie showing 90 minutes of an empty tomb. To those who are not fully convinced that every global disaster, storm and the death of the bees is the result of cow flatulence and motorcycle exhaust, Gore’s sequel has all the attraction of a morgue.

“It” should not have been made for the same reason as “An Inconvenient Sequel.” Nobody who sees either movie could possibly leave the theater with a smile, and both movies should come with a warning: “May cause nightmares.”

No thanks.

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Entertainment and Sports

Stan Lee’s 10 greatest comics

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Stan Lees 10 greatest comics

Stan Lee has died. While modern audiences probably know much more about the Marvel movies and televisions shows that dominate our viewing pleasures, it was his genius in creating so many beloved comic book characters decades ago that fuels Hollywood today.

Looper put out a video with his greatest comics. These subjective lists are usually fodder for debate, but I was so pleasantly surprised by their choices I decided to post it here. It may be the first time I agree with nearly everything in a video top 10 list. Fitting that it surrounds an icon like Lee.

From his quirky cameos in every Marvel movie to his down-to-earth perspectives present in every interview, there’s plenty to love about Stan Lee. But it was his comic book creations that have made a permanent mark on American culture.

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Entertainment and Sports

2018 Browns look like the 1990 Cowboys

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2018 Browns look like the 1990 Cowboys

The Baker Mayfield era is officially starting off as a success. Even if the Cleveland Browns lose every game the rest of the season, it’s still better than they’ve done since 2015 when they also won three games.

They don’t intend to lose the rest of their games. The 3-6-1 Browns capped off a strong home win against the Atlanta Falcons on the back of their rookie quarterback. Mayfield finished the game 17-0f-20 with 216 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions. His near-flawless performance helped the Browns snap a four-game losing streak and sent them into the bye week with renewed vigor.

It’s plays like this one that have people excited in Cleveland:

Their chances of making the playoffs are practically non-existent, but hopes for a strong 2019 season are high. They are already further ahead than nearly anyone expected by matching their win totals from the previous three years combined. The team has had 11-consecutive seasons with a losing record, a streak that has them on their seventh head coach.

But Mayfield and fellow rookie Nick Chubb form an offensive core that could lead to winning seasons sooner rather than later. Chubb finished the game with 176 yards on 20 rushes and 33 yards on 3 receptions, scoring a touchdown each way. He showed off blistering speed with this 92-yard run, which broke the Browns’ record.

The 2018 Browns are reminiscent of the 1990 Dallas Cowboys. Rookie RB Emmitt Smith and 2nd-year QB Troy Aikman led a team that was 1-15 the year before to a 7-9 record. The next year, they were in the playoffs. The year after that, they won the Super Bowl.

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Entertainment and Sports

Don’t underestimate Alyssa Milano

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Small kudos to Alyssa Milano Debra Messing for stance against Womens March leaders

Debra Messing and Alyssa Milano have been at the center of Hollywood’s leftist political activism for years. Both escalated their rhetoric in the weeks leading up to the midterm elections. Now that the elections are (mostly) over, both have also done something good and long overdue by calling out Women’s March leaders Linda Sarsour, Tamika Mallory, and Carmen Perez.

In an interview by The Advocate, Milano declared she would not be speaking at the Women’s March in January as long as the leaders continued to refuse condemning Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

Why #MeToo Activist Alyssa Milano Will Not Speak at Next Women’s March

https://www.advocate.com/women/2018/10/30/metoo-activist-alyssa-milano-wont-be-stopped“Any time that there is any bigotry or anti-Semitism in that respect, it needs to be called out and addressed. I’m disappointed in the leadership of the Women’s March that they haven’t done it adequately,” Milano says now, referring to leaders of the Women’s March who’ve refused to denounce Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic, homophobic, and transphobic statements.

Messing followed up the story by Tweeting her support for Milano’s stance.

Messing is the stereotypical Hollywood leftist. She rants, often incoherently, and pushes an agenda based solely on what she feels in her heart. That’s fine and is fairly easy to counter, especially when do silly things like promote socialism. On the other hand…

Milano is different

I appreciate the sentiment from Milano because it resolves an inconsistency in her stance. The Women’s March has been a laughable contradiction by empowering women yet endorsing people like Farrakhan who stand against women. She also cited Farrakhan’s bigotry and antisemitism as grounds for demanding the Women’s March leaders disavow Farrakhan, which leads me to my new assessment of her.

Milano is a activism opportunist. That’s not necessarily a bad thing as many activists on both sides of the political aisle jump from cause to cause, following both the news cycle and helping to shape it simultaneously. For example, she shifted from #MeToo to “vote Democrat” in the days leading up to the election. Now, she’s shifting again to focus on defending illegal immigrants.

This is why her condemnation of the Women’s March leaders and Farrakhan is so important. She would lose credibility in her current fight against what she perceives as bigotry if she doesn’t call out her allies who support bigots like Farrakhan.

To be clear, I’m not suggesting Milano’s stance against the Women’s March leaders is in any way wrong. But as a necessary step for her to move on to her next cause, I don’t see it as a bold or unexpected move. It’s what any good leftist activism opportunist would do. She’s clearly much more politically savvy than many of her unhinged cronies in Hollywood.

The huge positive to all this is that she might be able to get enough high-profile women to echo her sentiment, forcing the Women’s March to either change leadership or finally rid themselves of the Farrakhan contradiction by denouncing him. If either of those two things happen, I’ll be very pleased with Milano’s actions and impressed by her clout.

Soon, we’ll see her transition her focus to the border once the California fires, which are hitting close to home (literally), have been contained.

Once the fire passes, expect more posts from the border.

I was wrong to dismiss Milano. Her leftism is driven by intelligent political calculations and fueled by a sincere belief in her ideology. She isn’t one of the many Hollywood snowflakes that are so easy to counter. MIlano is becoming a powerhouse.

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