Monday, February 10, 2020

From The Vault: Filmy Residue

We're taking the day off, but still wanted to share this old post about our (ahem) "enthusiasm" for the Academy Awards...

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Please tell us you recognize Oscar Wilde...
Sunday sees the annual return of the biggest alleged event in entertainment: the Oscars, wherein the creme de la creme of Hollywood glitterati will be honored for their latest and greatest achievements in hastening the decline of Western civilization.

Along with the awarding of golden statuettes which probably won't be used as sex toys, viewers can look forward to being scolded about the sin of seeing women as sexual objects by women whose actual sexual objects are bursting out of their designer gowns.

There will also likely be more than a few stern words spoken (accompanied by tears after plucking out a nostril hair offscreen) condemning guns by thespians who make millions by pretending to shoot dozens of blood-geysering people onscreen, then retreat to their mansions surrounded by heavily armed guards.

Politics aside, we suppose there might be some recognition of actual artistic merit, but we don't actually care because we haven't seen any of the nominated pictures. Why? Because the whole experience of visiting movie theaters sucks these days.

The prices are insane, there are always going to be 2 or 3 trailers which attack conservative values, and audiences have no concept of how to put their smartphones away and - oh yeah! - shut the hell up while the movie is playing.

Seriously, people who annoy us in movie theaters bring out homicidal tendencies which we're usually pretty good at suppressing. Which is why we weren't entirely without sympathy when reading the recent story of a woman, Shameeka Latrice Lynch, who attended a showing of "Black Panther" and got into an argument with another patron about who had the right to an assigned seat.  When rhetoric failed to resolve the issue, Shameeka hauled a pistol out of her purse and fired a round into the theater's ceiling.

But here's what bothers us: in all of the news stories about this regrettable incident, no one has reported whether or not it was actually her damn seat. Frankly, if some dirtbag was squatting in her reserved seat and refused to move, we think she's got a case.

In any event, this is why we wait for films to reach streaming outlets where we can enjoy them in the peace and quiet of our own homes, except when gunplay erupts over who'll get the best seat. And very rarely, we've even been known to venture out to the local Dollar Cinema (we're a lot more receptive to most movies when we're not out $30 before the show even starts) for the earliest showing on a weekday. Not only are the theaters mostly empty, but the few attendees tend to be retired folks who have the courtesy to either stay silent or simply fall asleep while gumming their popcorn.

So good luck to Hollywood, and may they enjoy their big night and the drug-fueled, sex-crazed parties afterwards. Most of which would probably make for more entertaining viewing than the dreck which actually hits the silver screens.

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The Rhett Butler Memorial Dam.
2020 UPDATE: You know that dollar theater we mentioned above? It was "improved" by putting in stupid reclining seats that you have to reserve online, and we're now out of ways to see anything in a theater that Hollywood bothers to vomit in our direction for under $30. We're hoping that following the 2020 election, President Trump can Make Movies Cheap Again.


Objective Watchdog said...

So right.

In the past 10 years or so, I've been to all of 3 or 4 movies, and afterwards I ask myself "Was that really worth it?"

Except for Tom Hanks and maybe 2 or 3 other actors who I can't think of right now, I don't give a damn about ANY actor who's appearred in movies in the past 3 decades.

rickn8or said...

I've reached that golden moment where my KID pays for the admission and the goodies.

Luckily his kids show some culture when it comes to picking a movie.

But your rant today is just as apropos as it was two years ago; all you have to do is change a couple of numbers and add twenty percent to any dollar figures.

And I could still give a shit less about the Oscars.

Mike said...

Most of the actors I liked opened their mouth and showed their leftist stupidity so the Mrs and I watch old movies that most of the actors are long gone and only talk in the movies.

Rod said...

The other side of the story: We're fortunate to have a modest, clean, old-timey theater nearby (5 minutes tops door to door) which is billed as an Arts Theater but that's only partly correct. AND it's multi-screen; they run a few of the better mainstream films as well. It even has close-in & covered parking. Still, the only currently-celebrated film we saw this last year was "1917". They feature good, small market & foreign films. We usually skip the most progressive / race / activist stuff; but did see the movie about the female "Calculators" at NASA, and I was PO'd when it seemed a bit over the top. Follow-up research showed it was. That story-line was a condensation of many years and many separate instances of bias at NASA, but it was still interesting. Some time ago that's also where we saw "The Eagle Huntress" which has been mentioned here in the past. Tickets (Seniors) are ~ 6 to 8 dollars; patrons usually sparce & always well-behaved. It's a nice local resource; I hope they keep the place open. Considering what's on TV now we should go more often. But I've never tried it in house-shoes. As for the Oscars last night? I got nothing out of the first hour and went to bed early.

M. Mitchell Marmel said...

@Stilton: Same thing happened to our local $3 theater. You can now buy $10 beers in the lobby, too.

Needless to say, I don't patronize the place much anymore.

Fish Out of Water said...

Have read many good things about the winner movie and plan to see it when it runs at the reasonably priced theater nearby. Pity 1917 didn't come away with an award. It is worth the price of admission.

And like others. I have better things to do with my time than sit like other Orwellian sheeople through the broadcast..

Anonymous said...

The Oscars? They were last night?

Anonymous said...

@Stilton: President Trump will have more flexibility after the election.

Jim Irre said...

I thought all movies were on streaming services? My bad!

WDS said...

Egad man, thou hath kindled mirth within my spirit this very day.

Bobo the Hobo said...

By giving us the opinions of the uneducated, journalism keeps us in touch with the ignorance of the community.. Substitute “Hollywood” for “journalism” and I would say that by today’s standards Mr Wilde is correct

Jess said...

The last movie I saw at a theater was "Star Trek II-The Wrath of Khan". It was somewhere during the last century, and the patrons annoyed me to distraction. I can only imagine the smart phone disturbances now in the theater, since I don't plan on ever going to the theater again. Not only do I despise the theater patrons, I despise most of the reprobate exotic birds that flutter around Hollywood.

Anonymous said...

I only see movies available at RedBox because of the movie theater "experience" (which is, as noted, less fun than getting a root canal), so here's my little off-topic things of what I like to see:

It's been overcast here in the Pacific NorthWest, and this morning is the first time I've been able to see the "train" of Starlink satellites. You tax dollars NOT at work, y'know. Ain't technology wunnerful?

Alan McIntire said...

I skipped the Oscars, as usual.

The prohibition movement was strong in the late 1800s, with slogans such as
"Ban demon rum! Drink is the curse of the working classes!", to which Oscar Wilde responded,
"Work is the curse of the drinking classes", my favorite Oscar Wildeism,

George said...

@Fish Out Of Water
Actually, 1917 did come away with three Oscars last night. Not the 'major'ones per se, but Roger Deakins won for Cinematography for 1917.
It also won for Sound Mixing as well as Visual Effects. Only Parasite came away with more statues last night. Not too bad.

Rod said...

We wanted to see "1917" because of my grandfather's service in WW1. "1917" probably deserved the three Oscars it received; but we thought the overall story line was just too much... and even though it was filmed as one long take the continuity was just too much (never ending) and believable accuracy also suffered a bit. That film is set in early 1917 when Germans were deliberately withdrawing to the more defensible Hindenberg Line. Still glad we saw it.

I'm now looking for another WW1 movie said to be really excellent & unique: "They Shall Not Grow Old" It's made with film from that time but digitzed, restored, speed corrected, colorized, and the words spoken by THEM in WW1 have been restored. Gotta get it.

Pat Cummings said...

@rickn8or: I collect DVDs and BluRay versions of movies I think were OK (after watching them via streaming services, #MeToo Stilt!) Then if they prove to have foul language or off-color themes, I trek next door to the "Family Movie Night," and watch movies deemed appropriate for their four children in elementary and middle school... Sitting amongst squabbling kids to watch a sweet film from the 50s or 60s is preferable to paying to sit in an annoying crowd of inconsiderate adults and watch a disgusting leftist spew.

@Bobo the Hobo: Or you could substitute "The Oscars" for the opening tag of the quote "Fox hunting is the unspeakable in pursuit of the inedible." —Oscar Wilde

Just for me: I woke this morning to a message forwarded to my smart phone that clued me into the occurance of the award show last night. The headline was "Obamas Win Oscar for Best Documentary With 'American Factory'" —Variety

A better take was found online: "Karl Marx gets shoutout during Barack Obama-produced film’s 2020 Oscars speech" —Fox News. No need to share the link for either; the whole story is contained in the two headlines.

Instead, @Rod et al: Amazon has BluRay and DVD (and streaming) options for They Shall Not Grow Old at

Fred Ciampi said...

The last movie we went to in a theater was 'Matrix". And that dam looks exactly like the Bluestone Dam in Hinton, West (by God) Virginia. We used to live just a couple of miles from it. Damn.......

Colby, Jack said...

I figure that by watching the Oscar awards show I can get an idea which pix, if any, I'm willing to wait for(when I can watch them on my ridiculously inexpensive 65" wide-screen Technicolor tv in the comfort of my darkened Family Room(w/ homemade popcorn and non-short-poured cocktails)) AND which ones I can live w/out seeing at all. Those are generally the only 2 options for "Mrs. Colby" and I. We start watching our recording of the Big Broadcast about 45 minutes after it actually began and can zap through the most obnoxious speeches (and all the commercials).

My adult kids also like to come over and watch their smart-fone screens while the Big Broadcast is on and generally wander off before the really big awards are given at the end of the night. The smart-phone use is a lot less irritating in the comfort of my home than it is in public, I've discovered. Nevertheless, I was sitting there all by myself by the end of the festivities when "Parasite" hit the jackpot Best Picture Award at the end. "Parasite" is next up in my Netflix queue. I don't mean to sound like a shill for Netflix but I get anywhere from 3-7 really good foreign or classic or over-looked gems sent to me every month. I recommend it if you want to "get away" without having to "go away." "Where's Dad?" "Oh, he's watching one of his Japanese chop-sake epics of a French gangster film or something."

Anonymous said...

I always figured Oscar Wilde & Alistair Crowley to be the patron saints of Hollyweird.

M. Mitchell Marmel said...

Last flick I caught in the movies was a matinee of "Ford Vs. Ferrari". I enjoyed it. Brad Pitt wasn't particularly convincing as Carroll Shelby (a childhood hero), but Christian Bale was spot on as Ken Miles.

Being a matinee, it was essentially a private screening for me, as I think there was maybe one other person in the theater with me.

I recommend midweek matinees for this reason. :)

rickn8or said...

Colby, I lost any interest in NetFlix when they hired the Obamas who hired Susan Rice.

Fish Out of Water said...

A thought on why there is, at least in recent decades, the invariable, prog lecture/grandstanding during this and other like events.

I'd say we've been hard wired to expect this from our long religious history ( and I do not mock religion, only what humans continue to do on its name).

That we expect to be subjected to a sermon, a homily to remind us of how unworthy we are, even if it is a wholly secular event.

ringgo1 said...

The last time I went out to the movies was 1973. It was showing at a Drive-In, and I believe the movie was "The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat". I could easily be wrong, as I watched very little of the movie. I did, however, "get some". I had been off active duty less than a year and was newly married...

TrickyRicky said...

@MMM- we also saw Ford v. Ferrari and thought it was very good. As near as I can tell it stayed reasonably true to the facts, the racing scenes were fairly believable and the acting was decent. Unfortunate that Brad Pitt felt the need to embarrass himself at the Oscars, or so I have heard. I haven't watched or cared for the Oscars in years, which is sad because I used to love them.

I absolutely did recognize Oscar Wilde. I suppose my favorite Wilde-ism would be:

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”

Colby Muenster said...

Agreed, Stilton. The needle on my Give-a-shit-o-meter doesn't even quiver over The Oscars, The Emmys, The Grammys, the Tonys, or any other so called awards show put on by the libtards. It's always the same crap; hundreds of self important dumbasses trying to "out-woke" each other.

Mr. and Mrs. O'Liar are now "working" in Hollywood. Perfect fit, eh? Reminds me of that song, "Money for Nothin'." And they won an Oscar? Why not I guess. BO was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize during his first month as president for doing... nothing.

Anonymous said...

That was VERY stupid of that theatre to make that 'upgrade'. Dollar theatres are disappearing quickly and 'frugal minded' movie goers have the option of so many services, be dumb to discourage them from visiting a theatre now. My son works at one of the regular Bistro type of theatres (where you can eat / drink restaurant type of meals inside the threatre) and he had to come home early because of lack of movie goers.

My 'Giveuhcrapper' about actor / actresses lecturing me on my problems was broken a long time ago.

John the Econ said...

As humorist David Burge observed, an industry's value to society is inversely proportional to the number of awards that it give to itself.

Stilton's summation of the evening is pretty comprehensive. They'll stop prostituting and raping themselves and each other just long enough to lecture the rest of us about our treatment of women and children. They'll argue about how we need to be disarmed why they themselves enjoy well-armed 24/7 security. And of course, they'll lecture us about our profligate middle-class lifestyles as they continue with their conspicuous consumption the size of small countries unabated. Then they'll hop on their private jets for some much needed R&R at some place far away from the hoi polloi who stupidly buy their product.

Quite frankly, if "climate change" is the existential threat to our very existence that most of these people say that it is, I honestly cannot understand why we even have something as frivolous and profligate as an "entertainment" industry. How dare they!

John25mm said...

I just want to put it out there for the masses about a movie The Last Full Measure. I have to say that it was a very powerful movie that even though some of the actors would fall off the left side of a boat all of them put in a great performance. Yes even Peter Fonda did a very good job and there were at times very few dry eyes in the theater. It even got a two thumbs up from a gentleman that I know that has an award that consists of a very nice little blue ribbon with a nice star that rests at the end of it. Given that he was awarded this medal for actions in this same war I truly doubt he would say nice things if he didn't feel this way.
If you get the chance I would suggest that you hold your nose and go to a real theater and watch it just so maybe some knuckle head in hollywood realizes that this type of movie can make money and they might make more of them instead of trash.

Objective Watchdog said...

Oh, for me it's not just the cost and the rude patrons.

I have probably about 120 DVDs, and I would guess that no more than 5 or 6 are newer than 1990 (and only 1 from this century!)

I just have little or no interest in what passes for movies these days, and today's (I hesitate to call them) "stars" are both boorish and self- important. For example, I don't give a shit what their political views are, so they should just STFU.

Give me old-school any time. That goes for movies & actors, music & bands, and sports players too.

Objective Watchdog said...

Wow, now THAT'S committment! :)

Objective Watchdog said...

"...why we even have something as frivolous and profligate as an "entertainment" industry. "

Priceless! One of us should write to the Great MAGA and offer up our services as Secretary in Charge of Cleaning Up the West Coast Swamp.

No reason we can't take back Washington AND Hollywood.

Anonymous said...

Must be rough being Renée Zellweger, always looking like someone farted...probably Swalwell.

piraz34 said...

Ringgo1, You are a shameless braggert ! And I, am envious.

Anonymous said...

@Ringgo1, in the seventies I had an Oldsmobile Delta 88, with a backseat the size of a queen-sized bed. And it was rockin' (don't come anockin') in the parking lot after a Skynyrd/Climax Blue Band concert at Scope Auditorium in Norfolk. Good times.

Sortahwitte said...

The very last time I went to a theater was the movie "Les Miz" The venue was full, the picture and sound were great. Except for the 2 drunks that had a cuss fight and then a real fight. They actually stopped the movie and the cops drug them out. People were yelling at them and throwing drinks and popcorn on them both. (it was free re-fill night). Never again.

So..... My little town of 20,000 in Oklahoma has, in it's public library, a collection of over 1500 dvds from the 1920s to the present. Free, free, get it. Some of the flicks were back when the Oscars really meant something. Don't forget some of the movies before talking became a thing. We don't have to take that holly-wood crap. Enjoy yourself.
The popcorn is cheaper at home. And you know whose hands fixed it.

JustaJeepGuy said...

Regarding the Oscars, I never really watched the shows except for a short peek now and then until George C. Scott blew the lid off the whole award thing. I haven't had the slightest desire to even peek since 1971. Too bad George was such a horrible person in real life.

I recently watched "They Shall Not Grow Old" and was a little bit dissatisfied with it. As a technical achievement the film was fantastic but it was just a lot of British WWI veterans talking (from interviews recorded in the '60s and '70s), many about how they lied about their age to get into the army. I guess I expected something more about the conduct of the war, or how it felt to the men who were just so badly misused as cannon fodder by a whole range of really stupid generals. A good movie, but not what I hoped it would be. Oh well, too bad for me.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Objective Watchdog- After a long dry spell, I've got to a few movies in recent months. Even the good-ish ones weren't "worth it" for the hassle and expense.

@rickn8or- At this point, the Oscars are neither important nor interesting. Top that off with a big scoop of social justice lecturing and you've got a recipe for an unwatchable mess.

@Mike- I agree. Which is why the most important TV channel I get is Turner Classic Movies.

@Rod- I'm glad you have a good theater experience available. There are interesting films still being made, but most of them look fine on a bigscreen TV if one is willing to wait a bit.

@M. Mitchell Marmel- Yeah, our former dollar cinema now offers beer, wine, and other nonsense at stupid prices. Back when the admission tickets were cheap, I didn't mind springing for goodies at the concession stand. But now, the adding machine in my head is too big a distraction.

@Fish Out of Water- I, too, am anxious to see "Parasite." These days, you don't have to wait long for a film to hit the streaming services or come out on DVD.

@Anonymous- I actually tuned in for about one minute and saw a black man in an extravagant gown interviewing a flavor of the month celebrity (Billie Eilish, with dayglo spray-painted hair) on the red carpet. That was plenty for me. (In fairness, the same man's gown last year looked surprisingly good. It's the same gown he wore on a recent Sesame Street appearance - because that's the world now).

@Anonymous- I'm really hoping that he makes the most of that flexibility!

@Jim Irre- Between Netflix, Amazon Prime, the local library, and Redbox DVD rentals, there's very little chance of my missing a movie actually worth seeing.

@WDS- Then let us make merry over a mug of mead!

@Bobo the Hobo- I think Oscar himself would approve of that substitution!

@Jess- Has there been a bigger moment in cinema since Captain Kirk yelled "KHAAAAAAN!"? I think not.

@Anonymous- Hey, thanks for the I'm going to have to check out the parade of satellites! And it does seem like private enterprise is getting a lot more done on the space front than NASA is these days. Perhaps because under Obama, their primary job was "muslim outreach."

@Alan McIntire- Wilde gave us a lot of wonderful sayings, but none better than that one.

@George- Those sound like the right Oscars for "1917." The best features of the film were all technical.

@Rod- I recently got "They Shall Not Grow Old" but haven't watched it yet. I've seen some shorts about how Peter Jackson restored the footage, though, and it's an incredible use of technology and integrity in making it respectful and accurate.

@Pat Cummings- I may be talking out of my rear end here, but my impression is that the only thing the Obamas had to do with that film is that they bought it using money Netflix gave them for the purpose, thereby getting producer credits. But in reality, Barry & Michelle, "you didn't build that."

@Fred Ciampi- The first "Matrix" (and only the first) was a good film. Created by two brothers who are now two sisters. It's a funny old world, ain't it?

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Colby, Jack- Sounds like you've got the movie thing figured out. I don't currently have the Netflix DVD service, but I keep thinking about adding it to grab some hard to find films.

@Anonymous- That sounds about right!

@M. Mitchell Marmel- My across-the-street neighbor owns a valuable Carroll Shelby car. Every time he starts it, the whole neighborhood shakes. As far as private screenings go, I've got the Oculus Go VR goggles and you can stream movies from your computer to a 3D VR theater environment in which you're the only person in the auditorium. If you look behind you, you can see the light flickering from the projection booth. While watching the movie, the ambient light and colors from the screen reflect believably from the empty seats around you. It's not high resolution, but it really does get the "at the theater" vibe right.

@rickn8or- Yes, Netflix has tilted way too far to the left. I can't bring myself to hate them, though, because I bought some of their stock when it was dirt cheap. This has greatly decreased the odds of my living under a bridge during retirement.

@Fish Out of Water- I think you're right. Plus, I've been in the company of Hollyweird types professionally, and I can assure you that they quickly lose touch with reality and believe themselves to be special and superior to the rest of us. Which is why they actually believe that they're doing us a favor by sharing their idiotic "wisdom."

@ringgo1- As I recall (perhaps incorrectly), Ralph Bakshi's "Fritz the Cat" was x-rated at the time. A clever way for you to set the mood!

@TrickyRicky- I, too, was disappointed by Brad Pitt's remarks because he really is a fine actor. I wish these chuckleheads would shut the heck up.

@Colby Muenster- As I mentioned in another comment, I think the only thing the Obamas do in the film business is spend other people's money and take credit for other people's work. Which is nothing new for this spoiled pair.

@Anonymous- The other thing I loved about the dollar theater is that it would coax me out to see films which I was on the fence about seeing, or bring me out to see something on the big screen even though it was simultaneously coming out on DVD. Plus, by the time those movies got to the dollar theater, they were very inexpensive for the theaters to run - and the money from the concession stand rolled in thanks to having more customers. It wasn't a glamorous business model, but it worked.

@John the Econ- Excellent points. If all these celebs believe the Earth is toast in 12 years, shouldn't they be out on the battle lines instead of making millions for saying a few lines in a CGI-fest? Hypocrites.

@John25mm- Thanks for the recommendation. I'll check it out!

@Objective Watchdog- "Old School" is truly the only way to go. And I like the idea of creating a whole cabinet position just to clean up California/Hollywood.

@Anonymous- Zellweger is a very talented actress. That being said, even on her best days she looks kinda weird.

@piraz34- That seems fair.

@Anonymous- As a kid, I was always puzzled when going to the bathroom at the drive-in theater and seeing a vending machine on the wall selling mouthwash, combs, condoms, and "french ticklers." I guess the drive-in owners knew their target audience.

@Sortahwitte- I'll have you know that those "two drunks" were Jean Valjean and inspector Javert! And like you, I take advantage of our local library's extensive DVD collection and I enjoy silent movies (albeit with a musical score, please). Lon Chaney did some magnificently effed-up silent movies, and I mean that in an entirely complimentary way. And then there's Harold Lloyd and Buster Keaton and weirdo German expressionism masterpieces. It's sad that too many people don't give these films a chance.

@JustaJeepGuy- Interesting take on "They Shall Not Grow Old." I will adjust my expectations accordingly.

Pat Cummings said...

@Anonymous (with the Starlink): What a cool deal! I entered my address, and got a preview of the viewing possibility that guides the exact section of the sky to watch.. Clever!

FYI, so you don't have to scroll back, here's that link:

Anonymous said...

@Pat Cummings,
The total revenue outlay to get all 17,000 satellites (no, I didn't make a mistake on that number... and there's MUCH more planned!) is expected to be around 8 BILLION dollars, and take about 3 years. Or so. Expected (it's a SWAG, folks) revenue from subscribers is expected to be $30-$35 BILLION per year, IIRC.
The "modem" is expected to be about the size of a large pizza box, and I have seen quotes of $200 - $3,000 for it, but we'll see. Time and availability will drop the cost, for sure. Uplink/downlink is expected to be 2-5 GB/sec.
Look, Musk is probably exaggerating the infrastructure costs, and subscription may most likely be pretty steep at first, but I plan on getting one as soon as I can afford one - I'm retired now and on a fixed budget, but I'll find a way... Remember, people said it would be next to impossible to have recoverable 1st-stage boosters, and look where SpaceX is now!
Stay tuned. See a quick non-technical blurb at