Currently Watching : Criterion Blu-Ray KISS ME DEADLY (1955) by Robert Aldrich

Cloris Leachman, Marian Carr, Maxine Cooper, Ralph Meeker, and Gaby Rodgers in Kiss Me Deadly (1955)

There are a lot of GREAT film Noirs. From John Huston’s anointed ground zero of Film noir, 1941’s MALTESE FALCON to the works of Billy Wilder (1944’s DoUBLE INDEMNITY),  Edward Dmytryk (1944’s MURDER MY SWEET). Howard Hawks (1946’s BIG SLEEP), Orson Welles (1947’s THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI), Anthony Mann/John Alton (1948’s RAW Deal), Joseph H. Lewis (1950’s GUN CRAZY),  Jules Dassin (1950’s NIGHT AND THE CITY), Richard Fleisher (1952’s THE NARROW MARGIN) to name just a few, There is perhaps no genre to in so brief a time, create such a wealth of iconic films, and galvanizing films.

Going on 80 years after some of these films were made, they are as crowd pleasing and watchable as ever. You can’t say the same for many of the A films, or serious films of the time, that tend to creak under the manners and etiquette and issues of the day—of a passed time. Whereas the genre films, particularly film noir, lived in this short-hand, heightened Americana of Extremes; of lust and betrayals and passions, that remain timeless and relatable and incendiary. Film Noirs, though of their time, lived in a world of light and shadows, that felt always ever present, and indeed almost prophetic… almost ahead of its time.

And perhaps no Film Noir highlights this as much, as Robert Aldrich’s 1955 masterpiece… KISS ME DEADLY. From the opening sequence, which remains one of the best opening sequences of any film, to the last scene of a world put on notice, Aldrich’s KISS ME DEADLY, in a genre that is style codified, stands out as the most stylish, and yet does so while also being one of the most substantive Film Noirs.

There is so much in this film, from how it is shot, to its location, to its soundtrack by the great Nat King Cole, to its performances led by the great Ralph Meeker, to its wealth of diversity, showcasing a city peopled with a diverse range of colors, and nationalities and ethnicity. People of color, with speaking parts, not shown as stereotypes but just as intriguing people, to the wealth of memorable female roles, to its brutality, to its depiction of its protagonist— that continues to make KISS ME DEADLY, unique.

Even in a genre of morally ambiguous anti-heroes that people Film Noir, Ralph Meeker’s Mike Hammer takes the cake. He is mercenary, brutal, sadistic, a user of women, he is a thug and a cad, but despite that, there is also something still magnetic about him, Ralph Meeker plays him in a way that I’m not sure any other actor could have quite pulled off, that makes you see him, as reflected nin the great performances of the four women that pine for his attention throughout the movie:  a cad yes, but a cad with something Quixote like somewhere beneath the smirk. That here at the end of the day, is a man who would if he could, fight dragons. This realization that despite MIke hammer’s failings, the things he fights against— are worse.

And something that is lost, even to ardent fans of this film, and because of just how much happens in every moment of this film, is everything that happens from the protagonist’s release from the hospital till the conclusion, happens in just four days. The amount of horror and blood and beatings and ultimately loss that happens, is a whirlwind, and becomes even more impressive when you take the time to realize this is a 96 hour period, from him getting out of the hospital till the end of the film.

Robert Aldrich made a lot of acclaimed films, this is without doubt my personal favorite of all his films. It is a masterpiece, full stop, owing its revolutionary plotline less to the source novel by Mickey Spillane, and by all reports (including the included 2011 alex Cox featurette) almost entirely to the groundbreaking changes and innovations introduced by screenwriter A.I. Bezzerides.

And Criterion has released this game changing film, in a definitive Blu-Ray presentation, from the mastering, to the extras, to the packaging and art design, it is a work of art, worthy of the film.

Yes you can purchase it on streaming. But for a few dollars more you can own it in a format, that does honor to your book shelf or media center, or living room.

Grade: A+. Highest Recommendation, for the movie and for the Blu-Ray.

And no, I won’t be upgrading this to 4K, or 8K, or 16K. I’ve got an up-scaling multi-region Blu-ray player, 20-20 vision, on a less than 65″ screen, this Blu-ray satisfies the needs of my TV, and of my eyesight. Beyond a certain point the search for more is a game of pixels and real estate, and moving the newest shiny model (to use car talk), and not quality.

Click the image below to get your copy, while still in stock.

Physical Media vs Streaming – Round 1: CLIMATES by Nuri Bilge Ceylan

 

I first had the chance to see the film CLIMATES on a DVD by the now very esteemed label Zeitgeist films. the visuals were revelatory. Zeitgeist films mastered DVDs that, then and now, were pushing the medium to its limits. If you get the chance to own any Zeitgeist film on DVD do so, because their dvd releases, then and now, blow away many poorly mastered Blu-Ray releases. Which unfortunately is a good number of Blu-ray releases.

I own a bunch of Blu-Rays, some of them look great, some of them look awful. Zeitgeist Film DVDs are always on the great part of that spectrum. Slap them into your upscaling Blu-ray player, and job done.

Re-watching CLIMATES Zeitgeist dvd today, over a decade after its release, it is visually still astonishing. Now compare that to the streaming version of CLIMATES that is on Amazon Prime, and it is like comparing night to day. The version on Amazon Streaming is a butchered faded print.

And it is a COMPLETELY different experience seeing this film in a visually arresting print, and a compromised print. If my first introduction to this film was the streaming version, I likely would never have finished the film, and definitely would not be a Ceylan fan. The power of that film IS the visuals, is the face as landscape. And all that beauty is lost in the streaming print.

Now of course Streaming CAN produce a great print to show, however that is the flaw of streaming, you never know what you are going to get. You are always at the mercy of multiple gatekeepers, and their economic or political whims of the moment. Whereas I direct someone to a well mastered DVD or Bluray, that presentation is locked, it is a certainty (barring scratching or breaking the physical media).

As I say, streaming is fine for sampling and discovering new things, but as far as revisiting something you love, and being able to revisit it periodically and be certain of what you get; in an age of studios editing content, licenses expiring, quality being throttled down due to too much traffic, or weather, or cost, there remains no substitute for a quality DVD or Bluray.

 

I would urge you if you have not seen Ceylan’s CLIMATES, do not see it via streaming. It literally is not the same movie. The images, the held stares, the light and water glistening on skin, this is the movie. And to not see those things, in rich detail, is to not see this movie.

Pick up the Zeitgeist Film DVD, while you can grab it for between $20 and $40. I was telling people to pick up this film when it was $10 on Amazon. The smart ones among you did. The past will always be future, and future will always be past. Meaning studios in the past destroyed films and tv shows, the masters, the original prints, because they were short sighted and could only see these things as product rather than art.

Product that is no longer cost effective, historically companies destroy. Much of the history of cinema and television, that studios are now happy to exploit on their various streaming services, exists only because of collectors, people like you and I, who preserved the physical media.

That said, companies remain ruled by a mercenary view, so even today, if it is more cost effective for them to alter or edit, or make unavailable some items— they will. So once again, in a different way, the consumers access to content is at risk. And then as now, the answer is physical media.

God blessing the child, that’s got his own.

That’s got his own. 🙂 [A snippet of a song for those of you who don’t catch the reference 🙂 ]

So yeah, click the link. And if there are any copies left, grab the Zeitgeist DVD of CLIMATES.

 

Iklimler (2006)

 

 

And for a look at all of Ceylan’s filmography go here!

 

Greatest of All Time MMA List! The Final Word???

You will see a lot of people reacting to Connor McGregor’s GOAT List.

Most people with axes to grind, including the original video itself. However, I think this video by Youtube channel Weasel really gives you a list of Greatest of All Time, with ego removed, and one that actually makes sense.

Really great list. I give it a thumbs up!

 

 

 

 

DEONTAY WILDER VS TYSON FURY II and III??? : The Final Word

So I recently watched this kinda hilarious back and forth video on the 2nd Deontay Wilder/Tyson Fury fight. It goes off the hinges in the last 15 minutes, with the guy outside the ring, who had good points up to then, trying to write off everything to Fury’s height, which is incorrect.

It’s a bit long, so you may want to read this post first than view the video.

So I thought I would chime in, on my (hopefully) very quick thoughts, as just a fan of the sport, on the fight.

First, those of you not giving respect to Deontay  Wilder, let me quickly ask you this.

  • How many times have you fought Tyson Fury?
  • How many times have you knocked down Tyson Fury?
  • How many times have you been in there fighting him round after round?
  • And beyond the fight, the really crushing thing is often all the draining bs circus that revolves around it, how many times have you and your family had to suffer the tirades of people who have never stepped foot in a boxing ring a day in their life?

If the answer to any of those questions is 0, then you lack the background to disrespect or to berate, and so you should learn.

If supremacy in Boxing is defined by how many  men can get in a boxing ring with Tyson Fury, and throw hands with him for multiple rounds, that’s a very short list, and top of that list is Deontay Wilder.

So keep your hate and disrespect in perspective. And say nothing through the keyboard or twitter or facebook or chat, whatever, that you would not say to that person’s face in private.

Ok— onto my thoughts on the fight —

I think the fight illustrates a few different issues with the Heavy Weight division. One that I have stressed for sometime.

From 200lbs to say 235lbs, to be generous, you are a heavy weight. That is the HT, completely arbitrary Heavy Weight range, but I’ll let you know why and where that comes from as we go on.

Beyond 235 you are a super heavy weight.  There is a reason fighters our penalized money and fights are called off, if you go over weight. Every pound, in a sport that is all about pounds, is seen as an advantage.

I am one of those who thought the first Wilder/Fury was a draw.

I think in this 2nd fight, they both came in with game plans, and Fury’s was the better, if not exactly legal, game-plan.

I think Tyson stacked the deck with a lot of advantages going into that fight, and part of that is on Wilder’s team for letting the date, and the venue, and so many other things– be to the advantage of Fury’s camp. On top of that, by my measure of the weight range– my definition of what makes a heavy weight, Wilder is a natural heavy weight. He can come in at 215 or 220, and be a wrecking house at that weight.

Wilder’s gameplan was he came into this fight at the heaviest he has ever been, to try and deal with the weight advantage of Tyson Fury, who at nearly 280 is a natural super heavyweight.

It is the gameplan that a lot of real heavyweights have had to do, to try be competitive against these Super-heavyweights;  and unfortunately it generally does not work. You blow yourself up, to a weight you are slower at, less resilient with your cardio,  all in the hopes having enough mass to stay in the fight. But what generally happens in that scenario, is talent being equal, the one more comfortable at that weight… wins.

Without doubt Fury used every dirty trick in the book, and a few not invented yet, in that fight; from illegal rabbit punches, to finding creative ways to extend his reach and nullify the padding on his glove. And without doubt he is an extremely talented boxer, but the deciding factor was the weight. All of this and Fury knows how to drape all of that 280lbs on you, so you are spent –just trying to stand up, much less evade punches and try to deliver your own. That 40lb difference, on top of everything else– on top of the fact that Wilder is not used to carrying his own beefed up weight, just decided the fight.

But Wilder has nothing to hang his head about. In a world of nearly 8 billion people, I don’t see too many others who were there that night, in a hostile venue, standing in front of a 280lb skilled Super-Heavy weight. And still after the fight,  there are not too many legitimate fights for talented Super heavyweights, which is doing a disservice to the heavy weight division.

There are a lot of fighters in the heavy weight division that can be the next Jack Johnson, or Marciano or Ali. But we won’t see them as long as we let Super Heavyweights fight in the heavyweight division. We are stagnating a whole generation of potential great heavyweights.

Limit Heavy Weight to 235. If you are over that weight, you fight in the super heavy weight division. That is the only sane option to make the heavyweight division the exciting, competitive, packed dream division that it once was. You negate Fury’s weight advantage (which he has had in both fights) and you are talking two very different fights.

That fight, between Wilder and Fury played out with both men at no more than  235lbs, I think while Fury is  the slicker Boxer, Wilder pound for pound is the stronger man, and at the 235 limit, against another 235er, I think Wilder puts Fury on his butt. Puts anyone on their butt.

 

I will also say, again just as a fan, I do not think Wilder’s corner did him any favors. I think Fury looked at their first fight and (beyond any of the questionable, potentially illegal hijinks done) adapted.

Whereas Wilder’s camp beyond putting on additional weight, I don’t really think they adapted a fight plan for Fury. Just based on their first fight, and watching previous Fury fights, I think the plan sensibly would have been… “what to do to negate Fury’s movement and reach and angles”.

And the answer that comes to me as just a fan (with no boxing  or coaching experience, so I think it would be 10 times as clear to someone who is a boxer or trainer) is you put the fight on Fury’s chest.  Realizing that if you headhunt a 6’9 lightning slick Fury, hoping to land a ‘hail mary’ punch, you are not going to win.

Rather you put the war on his body, attack the arms, attack the ribs, attack the gut, slow him down, get the arms to drop. A war of attrition to negate that motion, to control the pace and the ring, and get into the later rounds. I think that is the gameplan that gets you into the championship rounds.

Seemingly they did not come with that gameplan, or it was jettisoned in the ring. And instead we got the fight we got.

But regardless of my take, both men deserve and have earned respect.

The world is full of a few types of people. In sports, one of the best are those who aspire, and risk winning and losing.

WIlder and Fury are an example, both of them, of that best. Of those who aspire, and risk losing, in order to win. It is courage, anyway you stack it.

Then there are those, fans who , not as gifted, celebrate those who excel at a thing. Now your being a fan, may buy you an opinion to like or dislike a thing. but at no point, should you lose sight of the respect you need to hold, for someone who is better than you at something.

Whether a soldier or a cook or a boxer— at the thing they are better than you at, you respect the man or woman, who does their job well. To fail to do that, is just envy, and it is not a good look… it defines you— not them.

Would I like To see a Wilder Fury III? If Wilder comes with a real game plan, ok, sure.  But I’m tired of there only being 3 or 4 viable super-heavyweights, and therefore a shallow pool of options. So what I really want to see, is a Heavy Weight Division, for the good of the sport, institute a 235lb limit.

Till they do that, the Heavy Weight division will be a suppressed division.

 

 

Here endeth the Lesson.

 

Almost. 🙂

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WHY DO WEIGHT CLASSES MATTER?

 

And lest you think I am making too much, of a 5 or 10 or 40 lb advantage, here is a brief breakdown of weight divisions for those of you who do not know…

The reason we have weight divisions, is to make fights competitive.

Let me repeat that, the reason we have weight divisions, is to make fights competitive.

There is a reason that at every ten pounds you are generally in a new division. Being the best at a specific weight class is an art. To fight at that weight, against others who have trained to fight at that weight, and to be the best at it, is an art.

If you are a champion at the light weight division and knocking out people at 135lbs, it is a whole different level of power when you go ten pounds up to 147lb Welterweight division, and then go up ten more pounds to the 160lb Middleweight division ( historically where the most exciting fights have happened, often the perfect combination of speed, power, finesse, and just entertaining wars). These fights are competitive, and the division is competitive because you have a lot of great fighters  at that weight, with similar reach, etc, to make for competitive fights.

And that competitiveness continues as you go up in ten pound increments to the 175lb Light Heavyweight Division and 200lb Cruiserweight division.

Today that competitiveness stops when you hit the heavy weight division.

And the reason for that is that lack of a strict weight range that makes for disciplined, competitive fights and fighters.  And while the heavy weight division managed fine for most of the 20th century without doing weight limits, the reason was that even though you may have the anomaly of the extremely tall or extremely heavy  fighter, they were not really competitive against the standard, a 6ft/6ft 2″ 200lb to 220lb  world class boxer.

George Foreman in the 1970s was arguably the World’s first TRUE super heavy weight. He was big and he was strong he was fast, and he was a brilliant boxer, he was the unbeatable man, and dwarfed the heavyweights of the day. When you see Ivan Drago in Rocky IV, that was George Foreman in the 1970s. He was a frightening force of nature. One reason Ali is remembered as the greatest is he fought all these unbeatable men, and found a way to beat them. But the young, mean, “I will Break You” George Foreman was a glimpse of what was to come. 

After very competitive years in the heavyweight division with Ali, Holmes, Tyson, Holyfield, Bowe, and the return of an older, nicer George Foreman, the curtain began to descend on the division with the rise of the Super Heavyweights on the Heavyweight stage. These 6’6″+ and 250lb+ behemoths, the age of  Lennox Lewis, Wladimir Klitschko, Tyson Fury (while all great fighters) led to an extended period of stagnation and disinterest in the heavyweight division. Largely because you only had 2 or 3 competitive super-heavy weights at any one time, so you had a lot of legitimate heavy-weights, blowing themselves out, putting on weight to try and be competitive against someone who naturally outweighs them by 50lbs, or has a massive height/reach advantage.

Only recently, having 3 such exciting and flamboyant fighters in the division at the same time, Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder, and Tyson Fury; has the heavyweight division become prominent again. And really it was largely the rise of Deontay Wilder, as a flamboyant, and exciting prospect in the mix (and someone who legitimately, in my opinion,  is a heavy weight, rather than a super heavyweight), that really galvanized the division.

 

Okay history lesson over, that’s a little bit of why tightly defined weight ranges matter, and why the Heavy Weight division needs that instituted.

 

Feel free to like, comment, subscribe and spread the word! 🙂

 

Thanks!

 

Blu-Rays to own in the Age of STREAMING : Alex Ross’ UNIVERSAL MONSTERS Steelbooks!

Here are all the Universal Steel-book Blu-rays done with Alex Ross art, all listed in chronological order. Starting from 1931’s DRACULA to 1954’s CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON!!! Look at that art!!!

 

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I have loved the Universal Monster movies since i was a kid, watching the films on tv. Have owned them in various formats, HOWEVER These Alex Ross Blu-Ray Steel-book Versions are the ultimate way to own these essential titles.

I AM HOPING THEY COME OUT WITH A VOLUME TWO, THAT INCLUDES TITLES LIKE ISLAND OF LOST SOULS, THE BLACK CAT, MURDERS IN THE ZOO, ETC.

BUT AS FAR AS THESE EXISTING ONES, THEY ARE beginning to sell out. A month ago you could have picked them all up.  now? well i would say if you are interested pick them up today while they are still all in stock. get them here!

5 favorite audio books NOT available via streaming, spotify or Audible! Book #5 WOLFEN!

There are about two dozen truly great audio actors, whose work on audio books, is a MUST OWN. Among them are Orson Welles, David Birney, Harlan Ellison, Roddy McDowall, James Mason, Michael Boatman to name a few.

Some of these guys work, for various reasons such as rights etc, are not available via streaming or in some cases even on CD. But these are preeminent works, of the greatest voice actors of their respective era, giving their greatest deliveries. And they can still be picked up via LP or cassette, at affordable prices, and deserve to be.

Once bought on LP or cassette go ahead and digitize it so you have these must own works in a preserved format. Here then without further ado, is the first of our 5 must own audio books!

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41-EAZMm3fL._SX295_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg Roddy McDowall reads WOLFEN- I am a huge fan of the 1981 WOLFEN film, I think it is a flawed, but unjustly overlooked masterpeice. However, I love this audio book version as much, perhaps even more, and that iis down to Roddy McDowall.

Roddy McDowall, a prolific actor with over 250 credits to his name, who is likely only remembered by a younger generation for his turn in FRIGHT NIGHT (1985),  gave some of the great, humanistic performances of cinema in his abundant career. From Academy Award winning turn in HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY (1941)  to his immortal role as Caesar in PLANET OF THE APES (1968) to THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE (1973) to the aforementioned FRIGHT NIGHT (1985), and everything in between, Roddy McDowall, despite the quality of the film or script, never gave a bad performance. The consummate actor, he always carried his role, you always believed him; and he brings that veracity to this audio book, and paints with his voice the hallowed and harrowing world of WOLFEN.

Click on the link below to acquire this essential bit of audio book history.

 

The Wolfen Audio Cassette – June 1, 1990

Material Type: Fiction, Audio book, etc.
Document Type: Sound Recording
All Authors / Contributors: Whitley Strieber; Roddy McDowall

ISBN: 1558002227 9781558002227
OCLC Number: 21983678
Notes: Abridged from the author’s book of the same title.
Performer(s): Reader, Roddy McDowall.
Description: 2 audiocassettes (approximately 180 min.) : digital, Dolby processed, 1/8 in. tape
Responsibility: author, Whitley Strieben.

The Final Word : Netflix’s EXTRACTION contrary to the Naysayers is a stunning Directorial Debut!

EXTRACTION (2020) – EXTRACTION is the latest in direct to Netflix films, that seem to be pilloried as a matter of course, seemingly more for being on Netflix, than for the actual content of the movie. Joining films like 6 UNDERGROUND and TRIPLE FRONTIER, as top-notch action films, that are arguably under-appreciated on the streaming service.

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EXTRACTION while treading familiar ground, does it in a filmic and inventive and action drenched manner. And it does this while also managing to provide solid performances and the necessary emotional beats to the film. The only slight misstep being an exposition heavy scene between Hemsworth’s protagonist and his young charge, that comes off as forced and clumsy.

But it is a minor misstep into forced sentimentality and clumsy dialog. For the majority of its run-time the film is compelling and balances its themes; and showcases for viewers a riveting mission that is painted in hues of blood and sacrifice. For this viewer, the performers are strong and the characters striking (particularly the special forces bodyguard/antagonist, who visually is so interesting, his face unusual in a way that is both captivating and offputting) and coupled with the breakneck narrative, creates a film that checks all the boxes for satisfying and re-watchable viewing.

 

And, it is necessary to mention an extended multi-minute one shot-ish sequence that goes from car chase to interior, that is jaw dropping in its execution, and places this film on any list of most thrilling action sequences.

All in all a satisfying, straightforward film that while not on the level of say a MAN ON FIRE or JOHN WICK I or RAID, is still very good and is much better as a whole than theatrically released films such as JOHN WICK III and DREDD. Sam Hargrave, Actor/Stuntman turned fight coordinator turned Director, creates one heck of a debut film. Grade: B+.

 

 

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CASH ON DEMAND Blu-Ray Movie of the Day! US vs UK version!

CASH ON DEMANDPeter Cushing never gave a bad performance in his beloved career, and this is another standout great performance, by Hammer’s most bankable star. This Indicator Bluray boxset (click on the image) is the way to get this film (as well as three other great films). As the name implies it is about a bank robbery, more than that I will leave you to discover, except to say Andre Morell is brilliant, and there are two versions of this film. The shorter 68 minute UK theatrical cut, and the 12 minute longer 80 minute US Extended cut.

Typically, rightly or wrongly, the US cut is assumed to be the ‘censored’ or ‘edited down’ cut. In this case that thinking is 100% incorrect as the US version is VASTLY superior to the UK theatrical cut. When given the choice between the two, always go for the US Extended cut, it is just a stellar example of great writing, great direction, and great performances. Click on the image above to purchase.

Grade: One of the best and essential HAMMER crime films. I adore this film. B+/A-.

Spoilers: Read the following after viewing the film-US Extended Version

Comparison of the Two Versions

CASH ON DEMAND- UK 68 minutes, A tight, nail-biting, brilliant 68 minutes. Leading to a stitched up ending, that because of how well the protagonist is stitched up, seems a bit truncated unrealistic, even rushed ending.

The US cut adds 12 minutes, that now empowers that final scene in a way that was missing in the UK version. It adds three notable scenes. One, a scene prior to Cushing’s arrival, which I think is helpful for fleshing out the Bank workers, and this mentioned holiday party.

Two, some initial business about Peter Cushings character being tyrannical and dressing down his subordinates. Just heightens the irony, and the rough justice in Cushing’s character suffering what he does.

Third, a nice addition with a firetruck siren, and the fantastic Andre Mrrell discussing Cushing’s character over a drink, and his… absence of mercy.

All of these additions gives more weight and nuance to the movie as a whole, in that you are not firmly in Cushing’s corner the way you were in the UK version, which downplayed his abuse of his subordinates. The US version, there is more grey, and the viewer to an extent enjoy Cushing’s character getting back some of his own, and the teaching of a man without mercy,.. watching him learn the value… of mercy.

The US version makes the ending resonate more, because all of them, even the criminal(s), ultimately show more mercy than Cushing’s character does. The suave bank robber, knows and cares more about the people Cushing’s character works with than he does.The US version is the superior version. It is in certain ways the story of Scrooge, but told without ghosts and the clanking of chains, and tells us ultimately something canonical… about treating our fellow man, and the measure of mercy. The UK version is a good film, the US version is a great film.

Today’s Rant Brought to you by THE FEARMAKERS (1958)

“Millions of people being lied too. Taken for suckers.

You know it’s a funny thing. They have pure food and drug laws, to keep people from buying poison to put in their stomachs, and you’re pedaling poison to put in their minds!”

Dana Andrews in FEARMAKERS (1958)

A good film by the always impressive Jaques Tourneur. Currently available via Amazon Prime. But against the day when it becomes unavailable on streaming (which happens often), get your DVD (is not available in Bluray) here.

 

-Wow that quote could be directed at ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, FACEBOOK and FOX.

Okay I am about to rant here. So if you don’t want to hear one of my always outrageous and “witchhunt society incorrect” rants, then enjoy the above poster and quote, and come back next installment for more cuddly teddy bears. For those masochists and sadists among you who get off on my occasional tirades… enjoy the following.

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One thought on FOX… people tend to toss the ‘fake news’ appellation at FOX, when every other network is just as guilty of it. Do you think it is coincidence that when a major story breaks, NBC, CBS, and Disney owned ABC, are reporting the same news, at the same time, using nearly the same sound-bites?

Without a doubt FOX and Sinclair Broadcasting have agendas, and positions to pedal, but I appreciate the fact, that they are at least original when composing their coverage, rather than just a member of a ‘greek chorus’, that the other bought networks are a part of.

I hate slavery, and I hate programming, and I hate the stupidity of the mob, and network news relies on all three.

So yes FOX news, culpable and biassed, but do not fool yourself into thinking CBS or ABC or NBC or CNN is any less culpable and biased.

I wish Bill Cosby — back in the day, before he became the pariah for this witch-hunt generation, had bought CBS (he was always an excellent businessman), and this idea of a major network in the US, not part and parcel of the Industrial War Complex, would have at least given us some modicum of balance in our ‘news’; instead of what we have, which is… who we should deify and who we should demonize, being fed to us by multi-national corporate interests and the children of slavers.

 

The Truth is out there, to borrow an old slogan. But so are lies, and determining the one from the other, takes being informed as much about yourself, and your prejudices, and biases , and agendas, as it does being aware of other peoples.

We have to work harder at finding the news, and not trust that we will get it delivered to us. We have to some extent — be our own journalist, and for medical issues, don’t accept the regurgitation of middlemen be it newscasters or youtubers or personalities or bloggers. Go to the source for any rumor or ‘news’ you hear.

You want to know about the state of the Covid Virus, you don’t watch the effing news, you go to the World Health Organization and the Center For Disease Control. This is for everything, crime, movies, weather, employment, entertainment, you see a headline, you fact check it, and cross check it with multiple established and respected resources.

Yes it requires work.

And no, it is not as much fun, as joining the mob, and playing “who do we lynch today”, who do we pile on and castigate for their sins, so we do not have to look at our own.

Bill Cosby recently came up in the news, a letter from his representation, requesting release due to this Covid situation.

For those of you who do not know, America has one of the highest prison populations in the world, and one of the most corrupt and mismanaged. The endpoint of this being it is a hotbed for the current outbreak.

So Bill Cosby’s representation, naturally put in motions for release.

Any of you reading this blog for any length of time, know where I stand on Bill Cosby.

Namely a lot of people rushing to castigate Bill Cosby. And if none of them have done the accused evil of a Bill Cosby, I guarantee you, no ten of them have done the good.

But it is easier to pretend that a man’s falling down exists, and his standing up never did. His honors and accolades removable, his faults are all… they are to be weighed above and beyond all… they eradicate the good, so all we see is the bad.

Is that the measure by which we judge, and should be judged?

If guilty —  treatment is what he needed, not prison. But America continues to use the media for lynching, and the legal system for enslaving, and between the two… justice is a distant land, and the echoes of Jim Crow and slavery… alive.

Hopefully the new motions from his representation will get Mr. Cosby, who is not a violent criminal, released.

And to the rest of us, those who are quick to judge, and damn, and delight in a person’s fall.

Be hopeful you be not judged, as harshly as you judge.

Or none of us will escape crucifixion.

None of us will escape the fires.

 

Here endeth the Rant.

Amazon Item of the Day : Multi-region Bluray Player

 

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51%2ByjmI9JWL._AC_SX425_.jpg

LG BP175 Region Free Blu-ray Player – If you need an affordable multi-region Blu-Ray that also supports  3D discs, than this is a solid, well rated option.

 

Now regarding 4K.

I personally find very little need for 4K, as I do not have a 70″ or larger screen and I’m not sitting 2 feet away from it inspecting pixels. And the difference between 4K and 1080p, while substantial in pixels (ie inreal estate), in real world picture quality is minuscule. It is not the kind of quality jump that you got from DVD to Blu-Ray.

I have 20/20 vision, and see better than most people I know, ie I don’t need glasses or contacts, so at 1080p on a 60″ or less screen, from a recommended 8 feet or more viewing distance you are talking the threshold of what the human eye can differentiate in regards to pixel count/real estate.

That is where other considerations such as how well the source is mastered ( a huge consideration, I have some DVDs that provide a better picture than Blu-ray simply because they were well mastered and the Blu-rays were not) , and contrast and dynamic range and brightness, and frame rates all come in to play to provide you a superior picture.

But as far as chasing real estate, resolution, HD to 4K to 6K to 8K to 16K, that is a meaningless numbers game in a consumer setting. Unless you are projecting on a movie theater sized screen this chasing of resolution/real estate it just so manufacturers can continue to sell you the new hotness. The new player, the new tv, the new discs.

However if you are somone who has the disposable cash, and want the latest and greatest, so a 4K player to go with your 4K tv, well then the following is the one to get.

Sony X800 – UHD – 2D/3D – SACD – Wi-Fi – Dual HDMI – 2K/4K – Region Free Blu Ray Disc DVD Player – PAL/NTSC – USB – 100-240V 50/60Hz for World-Wide Use & 6 Feet Multi System 4K HDMI Cable

This one will do 4K (if you have a 4K tv as well), Bluray, Super Aucio CD, and 3D (If you have a 3D TV or Projector).

 

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Thanks and have a great day! See you next installment!