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“10 THOUGHTS FOR A TUESDAY…” 9/28/21 EDITION

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1.THE MANY SAINTS OF NEWARK(2021) official trailer #2

The second and presumably final trailer before the October 1st official release ups the ante from the excellent first effort. It’s even more suspenseful, and a rewarding tease to aficionados of the original show. It’s like a hologram of a jigsaw puzzle with all the pieces suspended in the air, near their final positions. Or not. 

2.LICORICE PIZZA(2021) film trailer

Is it a Paul Thomas Anderson release–or a Wes Anderson concoction? Have the two blurred together for some dubious vanilla swirl of nostalgia and whimsy? Stay tuned.


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3.THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH(2021)film trailer

I no longer worship at the shrine of the Coen brothers unequivicably, Frances McDormand has become yet another Hollywood liberal shrew, insufferable and self-appointed; I have never been as obsessed with Denzel Washington as so many others have and I much more prefer Shakespeare’s sonnets to his actual plays, but damn if this tease of a trailer isn’t actually intriguing. Not enough to sign up for Apple TV, but…

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4.HALLOWEEN KILLS(2021)film trailer

Along with Aliens, Halloween is a franchise that will not die. Literally. I haven’t seen a Halloween movie since at least Halloween II or maybe III, and have dutifully and enjoyably ignored all subsequent installments. As with its horror porn rival, Nightmare on Elm Street, I was content to see the original, one or two sequels and that was that. Anything beyond that struck me as redundant. The first run of Halloween movies did scare me, and though I haven’t seen any of them in nearly 40 years, I don’t have any reason to regard them as anything less than terrific popcorn entertainment. And if some people regard them as even more than that delegation I would not raise an objection. How the other installments compare to movies of their era I of course have no clue, but # sure looks like its’ been inspired by The Purge franchise.

 

5.THE MATRIX RESURRECTIONS(2021)film trailer

Blue pill. Red pill. I hate pills of any kind and largely won’t swallow any of them. I never was obsessed with The Matrix phenomenon in any way and still ain’t. I saw the first one but for the life of me I can’t remember how many of the sequels I’ve seen, and certainly not in their entirety. The latest incarnation certainly looks…trippy. And predictably Illuminati.

 

6.THE SMURFS(2021)

The recently unveiled reboot of the The Smurfs cartoon franchise is yet another reminder of the moribund status of Hollywood, the latest example of a collective laziness, lack of imagination and creativity. It’s startling to flip between channels some late nights and see the two versions airing occasionally at the same time. Nickelodeon’ is currently airing episodes before they become the proprietary of streaming services. Cartoon Network shows the originals. Guess which one is instantly watchable, unmarried by lacquered on crassness and inept storytelling. Guess which one feels satisfied with its own universe of ideas, its own purpose and centered itself on the idea it existed to entertain children first and foremost, even though it featured the usual cartoon violence. And guess which one seems to be put together by committees, intent on denigrating childhood innocence at all costs. 

7.R. KELLY’S CONVICTIONS ON RACKETEERING AND SEX TRAFFICKING

The convictions were just from a federal court in Brooklyn and he is still to be tried in a few more states, including facing federal charges on child pornography.

Kelly has been in prison since 2019 and it is very reasonable to expect him to be incarcerated for decades to come.

While I feel relief for his alleged victims known and unknown–one of the few times in American history when Black female victims may have received actual legal justice–I am otherwise numb if not coolly indifferent. 

Kelly will probably be receiving his just punishments for being a sexual predator, a deviant sociopath preying upon underage Black girls, for whom societal sympathy towards has been historically conspicuously absent. 

He’s not a victim, yet his story is one of tragedy, especially with other similar celebrity cases. Bill Cosby was recently released from prison. Harvey Weinstein is still inside. But Roman Polanski has eluded “justice” for decades and Jeffrey Epstein “allegedly” committed suicide in his prison cell.

R, Kelly’s story is not more tragic than that of his victims, yet his fall is a tragedy. One of his own devices, but a tragedy nevertheless.

 

8.NICOLE KIDMAN, AMC PROMO

For years I have greatly resented ESPN yapper Mike Greenberg for taking pot shots at Nicole Kidman every time her name was mentioned, commenting upon her alleged Botox usage. I was obsessed with Kidman, considered her to be one of the great beauties in the world. There was no need to write a high falutin’ yet creepy-as-fuck book like Nicole Kidman by legendary film critic and theorist David Thomson. No need for any shame. Falling in love with movie stars is as essential as falling in love with the movies, to paraphrase Pauline Kael. It’s a visual, aesthetic and subjective an artform and medium. To pretend that we don’t respond sexually to people chosen for their attractiveness as much or in consideration of their actual acting talents is sorely naïve. 

I believed that Mike Greenberg was defiling a goddess. My eyes were shut, shut, shut.

It’s not Nicole Kidman circa 2021 shilling for AMC movie theaters which disturbs me(nowadays the Hollywood actor who doesn’t might as well be a unicorn). It’s the Madame Tussands Wax Museum animatronic figurine in her creepy HBO mode shilling for AMC during this pandemic age which is its own horror story.

9.RIP PEE WEE ELLIS(1941-2021), SAXOPHONIST AND BAND LEADER

James Brown, Van Morrison AND Ginger Baker. You know he had stories for days. And a helluva tone and talents. He’s on so many essential JB tracks and his tenure with Morrison truly helped re-amplify the Scot-Irishman’s statement that he was making “Caledonia Soul Music,” where Yeats could mingle on equal terms with Ray Charles and vice versa. “Cold Sweat” will always be superbad just as “Summertime in England” is transcendent. Rest in peace, you lion.

10.THE SOPRANOS HBO marathon

I was shocked at how impatient I’ve become(just like everyone else). With every episode I watched I couldn’t wait for it to arrive at one of the “good parts.” With storylines and characters I didn’t care about I would just channel surf until said good parts arrived. And I used to think I was so unlike the hoi polloi. As Aretha Franklin once sang, who’s zoomin’ who. Still, those “good parts” are among the best ever offered in the entertainment history of American television.

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