Tagged Movies

Movie Review: “The Death of Stalin”

I suppose it is worth stating anew the observation and fact that few–if any–movies actually tell a historical tale in what can be called a faithful manner. Such is the case with The Death of Stalin, which, while unfaithful to historical facts, shows laudable fidelity to stating and underlining a higher truth: The so-called “leaders” of authoritarian and totalitarian societies are as comical, ridiculous and pathetic as they are monstrous, evil and depraved, and to defeat them, it is imperative that we identify them as the buffoons that they are, and mock them accordingly–even as we gape in horror at…

Immigration Policy Blunders

For those who wonder why it is that I hate, abhor and utterly detest our current immigration policies, be sure to read this. Read it in full. Read it twice. Read it three times. Heck, read it five times; it’s that important. Why is it that important? Because no nation, no matter how great, can continue to be great if it kicks out, rejects and punishes extraordinary talented people with laudable work ethics who want to weave themselves into the fabric of that great nation’s life, and who are willing to contribute to that nation’s continued greatness as long as…

Wimps

Apparently, we have decided to double down on cowardice. Somehow, I am not even surprised anymore.

An Appalling Act of Cowardice

Unbelievable: With theater chains defecting en masse, Sony Pictures Entertainment has pulled the planned Christmas Day release of “The Interview.” U.S. officials have reportedly linked a massive cyber attack against Sony to North Korea, which is at the center of the Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy. “We are deeply saddened at this brazen effort to suppress the distribution of a movie, and in the process do damage to our company, our employees, and the American public,” Sony said in a statement. “We stand by our filmmakers and their right to free expression and are extremely disappointed by this outcome.” [. .…

I Am with Daniel Drezner

Please, please, please let’s not have politics in the next Star Wars movie. Nothing about trade negotiations. Nothing about how the Sith are supposedly like Republicans. Nothing–please, God Almighty, nothing–about democracy dying to thunderous applause. We’ve all had quite enough of this nonsense, thank you very much. Let’s explore a fantastic tale, with witty dialogue (which we have not had since The Empire Strikes Back), a lack of plot holes (which we have not had since The Empire Strikes Back), an excellent pacing of the story (which we have not had since The Empire Strikes Back), a story filled with soulful and spiritual elements…

Of Joseph Stiglitz and Double Standards

Just out of curiosity, why hasn’t this story generated more of a fuss? Columbia University economics professor Joseph Stiglitz, the liberal economist and scourge of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has a long list of accomplishments. His curriculum vitae runs 56 pages, to be exact. It nonetheless omits a number of his speaking and consulting engagements and puts the Nobel laureate in violation of Columbia Business School’s basic academic transparency and disclosure policies. That’s a particularly sensitive matter for Columbia, which drastically tightened those policies in 2011, when an Academy Award–nominated documentary brought embarrassing and unwanted attention to some of the university’s most…

Quote of the Day

Presently before the court is the motion of the defendant, Sony Pictures Classics, Inc. (“Sony”), seeking dismissal pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). The plaintiff, Faulkner Literary Rights, LLC (“Faulkner”) has responded in opposition. The court has viewed Woody Allen’s movie, Midnight in Paris, read the book, Requiem for a Nun, and is thankful that the parties did not ask the court to compare The Sound and the Fury with Sharknado. Further, the court has thoroughly considered the filings and relevant law. The motion is due to be granted. At issue in this case is whether a single line…

Paging Claude Rains*

I read stories like this one, discussing European Union outrage that the National Security Agency might have been spying on EU offices, and naturally, I think of this:   Honestly, the notion that EU members didn’t think that friendly governments might be spying on them, or that spying never goes on between friends, is more than a little laughable. If EU members are actually just learning about this phenomenon . . . well . . . I guess I now understand why the EU might be in a lot of trouble; naïveté is just killing it. Of course, I am sure…

Nothing Is Written

I enjoyed reading this book review of the great and good Paul Johnson’s Darwin: Portrait of a Genius. The following passage was particularly arresting: . . . Darwin was born into a highly literate and distinguished family, some members of which are the focus of biographical studies in their own right. He was the grandson of Erasmus Darwin on his father’s side, and of Josiah Wedgwood on his mother’s. It was a splendid inheritance. A successful medical doctor, Erasmus corresponded with Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Benjamin Franklin, and hobnobbed with Matthew Boulton, James Watt, Joseph Priestly, and other members of the Lunar Society. His Zoonomia was…