My saved links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Movies I've watched recently:

  • Medicinen (2014) - IMDb 1/10

    2016-12-12 19:00

    A car crash where your newborn child dies would be a less hurtful experience than watching this film. I'm kidding, but there is some truth lodged in that statement. This film is very "inspired" by "The Devil Wears Prada". By this I mean Nutley and his writer cohorts have concocted a story about an abhorrent person - played by Bergström, despite many doubts on my site as to what "playing" could be, according to herself - who starts ingesting a medicine that seems to change her life. Naturally, this medicine is a sugar pill. The medicine is also the only thing which is sweet about this film. The script is so poorly written that any, and I repeat, _any_ breathing thing - or dead - could easily excrete something which would improve and best this depressing piece of scatological experience, which all should avoid at all costs. Actually, I could go on forever about how bad everything from the direction to casting, acting, the soundtrack and segues are, but I will not. I refuse to. This is on par with Nutley-Bergström's "Angel", which also marked a new milestone in the string of eulogies to Swedish cinema that seems to be their goal. I'm angry to know the couple seem to use films as an excuse to a) go abroad and senselessly film scenes that have none or very little function for a film and b) have Bergström cry and copulate. Don't see this, even for "fun", which was why I saw it. I will never, ever see this film again, and I hope Bergström-Nutley never, ever make another film, write one nor act in one for the sake of humanity.

  • Yakuza Apocalypse (2015) - IMDb 4/10

    2016-11-26 17:10
    * * * *

    This film stretches beyond a regular action film and even really dips into the true meaning of the word apocalypse, but that's the most positive thing about it. Miike has been taking some major leads from Shakespeare, considering he lived a few hundred years ago, this film is truly not very original. Having said that, it's missing in atmosphere. It doesn't pace well and lost me a bit after 30 minutes and did not win the loss back. Having been Shakespearian before that, this film segues into being laughable and filled with fight (as most films by Miike are). Not recommendable to anyone who doesn't want to dabble in martial arts action-cum-half-assed weird dreaming, having fallen asleep with "Macbeth" on your face.

  • Bridget Jones's Baby (2016) - IMDb 1/10

    2016-11-20 21:22

    David Foster Wallace once used the term "hellaciously unfunny" about something, which is a term clearly applicable for this clownboat. Not only is this a film that overflows with prejudice and crap, be it sexistic, nationalistic or racistic, but it's completely barren where jokes should be. I liked the first film. I didn't like the second film, but this one I really loathe. It shouldn't have been made.

  • I Am Not a Serial Killer (2016) - IMDb 4/10

    2016-08-29 09:24
    * * * *

    This film is succinctly different from most others that are about serial killers in the sense that it's using silence and music well. Apart from that, this is a b-movie in several ways: apart from the two main actors, there's not much to use. The plot is quite simple, but at times I - a serial killer fan, so to speak - drifted away because the film didn't entice me more; the flow of the film feels contrived, making me feeling something that's very different to what often comes naturally when seeing works of directors such as Terrence Malick, Woody Allen and Richard Linklater. Also, the name-dropping of serial killers and such is more effect-seeking than anything else, more about trying to spook the viewer than create solid characters. Still, as a low-budget film, it works in creating a kind of solemn street-life atmosphere, the kind that came natural to director John Cassavetes, that very few high-budget films have. All in all this is not a particularly well-made film, but it's memorable.

  • Leap Year (2010) - IMDb 1/10

    2016-07-31 21:32

    Complete. Waste. Of. Life.


1 Year: Bowie lives

Today marks the 1-year spot since David Bowie’s death.

There is a new documentary out, named “The Last Five Years” which was excellent. Here are a few of my pics on the subject, all from the documentary.

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The Daily Show vs Jim Cramer (with videos): calling out a liar

I’m reading “The Daily Show (The Book): An Oral History as Told by Jon Stewart, the Correspondents, Staff and Guests“. From it, this is a serene example of when The Daily Show not only called out some capitalistic bitch for destroying humanity for its own good, but also on further exposing their crap for what it was, as they seemingly thought they were free from impunity:

JOSH LIEB: Do you want to hear the backstory? We’d done a piece the week before about these CNBC talking heads giving people financial advice, and then shitting on those people for taking their advice. There were a lot of people who’d lost a lot of their fucking money, and a lot of the value of their homes, and these CNBC guys hadn’t lost anything. It was outrageous.

JON STEWART: Rick Santelli had gone on a rant about how homeowners who had taken these bad loans shouldn’t get bailed out. It was interesting to see that on a network that has been traditionally soft on the people who designed that system and knew it would fail.

Jon Stewart: [at anchor desk] Wall Street is mad as hell and they’re not going to take it anymore! Unless by “it,” you mean the two trillion in their own bailouts. That, they’ll take. Rick Santelli believes in personal responsibility! Not rewarding the losers for missing all the warning signs. I mean, for God’s sake, the guy works at CNBC! They’re the best of the best! They’re the only business network that has the information and experience that we need! So to all you dumb-ass homeowners out there who let your optimism and bad judgment blind you into accepting money that was offered to you from banks… get cable and educate yourselves!

[Video montage begins]
Jim Cramer: “Bear Stearns is fine! Do not take your money out! Bear Stearns is not in trouble!”
Financial Times Reporter: [in CNBC interview] “I would concur with Charlie. Lehman Brothers is no Bear Stearns. You can’t compare Bear management with Lehman management.”

RORY ALBANESE: Santelli was supposed to come on our show, then he canceled.

JASON ROSS: I was almost as outraged as Jon about what was going on, and I could actually answer in a brief way what a credit default swap is. Tim was amazing in the research on those pieces. But it wasn’t exactly difficult to find people with supposedly good reputations saying things on CNBC that only a few months later looked utterly ridiculous. We just happened to exist in a world where nobody was playing the clips from six months ago. And so we started doing it.

Jon Stewart: [at anchor desk] Well, we went back to the tape to listen.
Jim Cramer: [in video clip] “Bear Stearns is not in trouble!”
Jon Stewart: Jim Cramer, I apologize. That was out of context. Technically, you were correct. You weren’t suggesting to buy Bear Stearns. That was something that you did five days earlier in your “buy or sell” segment.
Jim Cramer: “I believe in the Bear franchise. At 69 bucks I’m not giving up on the thing.”
Jon Stewart: Of course, while Cramer wasn’t giving up on Bear at 69, eleven days later, the stock market was more comfortable with it at… [pauses, checks notes]… 2! But it’s all sort of equivocal. He’s not saying literally, “I’m asking you to buy Bear Stearns.” For that, you’d have to go back a full seven weeks before the stock completely collapsed.
Jim Cramer: “I’m asking people who are watching this video to buy Bear Stearns.”

ELLIOTT KALAN: Jim Cramer’s work we found genuinely disgusting, especially that online interview where he was talking about fooling people and inflating companies. So we booked him on the show. We all thought Jim Cramer was going to try to defend himself.

JOSH LIEB: Cramer walked on and he immediately went into possum mode, or even like puppy mode. He laid down and exposed his belly and was like, “I’m sorry, I’m wrong, you got me.”

JOSH LIEB: I was sitting at the producers’ desk on the studio floor with Rory Albanese, and I remember I was watching Jon. The normal human reaction when somebody goes, “I’m sorry,” and exposes their belly is to go, “It’s all right. Let’s talk friendly stuff.” Jon just sharpened his claws and went the fuck in on this guy. And I nearly hid under my desk.

JON STEWART: Oh, the video with Cramer talking about what appeared to be stock manipulation? Yeah. I was stunned. It’s like watching a guy talking about, “So this is how we cheat.” People outside of that system don’t recognize how to an ordinary observer it really looks like gambling and cheating. It looks rigged. And generally there is a dismissive and arrogant attitude from the financial guys: “You don’t understand, this is the fuel that makes the market go… clearly we’re doing God’s work.” And I think ultimately it boils down to, actually, no, pretty much a lot of this is a shell game.

ADAM LOWITT: So afterward we go into the edit. Jon wasn’t always in the edit, but he was for this. I think we all wanted to cut something, probably the moment that made Josh hide under his desk and me cover my face with my script. It was the dressing-down of another human being that you rarely see on TV. It was not, “You’re an asshole.” It was, “You’re guilty of this thing.” So we’re like, “Maybe we should cut that,” and Jon is standing up and going, “No, fuck him, fuck him.” You realized, there is no shading of what happened out there, and it was awesome.

JON STEWART: We’d spent a lot of time releasing steam over the CNNs of the world and the Foxes of the world, but very little over the financial analysts. So I think the level of missed opportunity that we felt, and their complicity in all that, was enormous. That’s what gave the interview its foundational power. There was so much emotion around it at that time, not just because of the failing economy, but because of what we thought was the culpability of financial networks.

JASON ROSS: If there’s anything The Daily Show was an antidote to, it was the culture of just talking on TV without any accountability.

JON STEWART: I didn’t want the passion of it to overwhelm what I thought was most interesting about it. Because I thought there was something true and absolutely crucial about the conversation. It continues to persist to this day, a strange arrogance that they really didn’t do anything wrong. It’s just all, “Hey, man, this just kind of got away from us on this one.” There’s no other business that can do that with such impunity. It feels like there were two games being played and continue to be played, and one of them is being financed by the other one, that our larger investments of pensions and things like that are in some way financing this much riskier game, where even if they lose, they don’t lose.

ELLIOTT KALAN: Not too long after that, Cramer just went back to doing what he’d been doing. It felt similar to election night 2004—there was a sense of, “Maybe we’re helping the country change,” and then it didn’t change. A sense of, the best that we can do is point out stuff that is wrong. We can’t expect to shame these people into getting better.

The fireworks with Cramer were one sign that the show was expanding its reach, looking beyond the standard targets of campaigns and the media to engage issues where politicians and policy were having an impact on ordinary lives.

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My saved links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

The Daily Show – “Drink Responsibly” (+ video)

I’m reading “The Daily Show (The Book): An Oral History as Told by Jon Stewart, the Correspondents, Staff and Guests“. From it:

STEVE CARELL: The piece where Stephen and I go out drinking—God. That was actually my idea.

STEPHEN COLBERT: His idea was, “Let’s both go out and get as drunk as you possibly can and record while we do it.” I said, “I’ve got an idea—how about you do and I don’t.” He goes, “All right.” I said, “We’ll turn it into a report.”

STEVE CARELL: I was watching, every year, these local stations that have the intrepid reporter who decides to test the effects of alcohol on the human systems to show that one should not drink and drive during the holidays. And they take the sobriety test. I always thought that was so corny and kind of dumb. So I decided I wanted to do that, but actually do it and not act it and really drink all that stuff.

NANCY WALLS CARELL: It should be said you do not drink very often.

STEVE CARELL: I’m not a big drinker. So I really didn’t know what I was getting into. Stephen did, but he didn’t say anything. First we went to Times Square and played some video games, and then we ended up at a bar. I started with, I don’t know, white wine and I ended up with Jägermeister, with a lot of gin and beer and vodka and all sorts of things in between. But that was all real. And I had my shirt off, and I was getting him to punch me in the chest. I was just yelling at him to punch me in the chest. The next morning I woke up and I thought, “Why does my chest hurt so much?” Later I thought, “Oh, he could have stopped my heart so easily.” What the camera didn’t catch, because they ran out of tape before all hell broke loose and I was… There was a lot of vomiting that evening.

NANCY WALLS CARELL: In Stephen’s car. STEVE CARELL Stephen drove me home and he said, “Whatever you do, there’s a bag here on the floor if you need to vomit. Please don’t try to vomit out the window.” And I said, “I’m fine. Don’t worry.” And the first chance I had I tried to vomit out the window, but the window was not rolled down and it was his wife’s car. It was Evie’s car. The vomit went inside the window mechanism. It was bad. It was bad. I still haven’t lived that one down.

STEPHEN COLBERT: The vomit went into the door. So no, we never got it out of the car. And I’ll never get it out of my mind, I’ll tell you that.

NANCY WALLS CARELL: I was home and I was really pregnant at the time, too. Stephen delivered Steve back to our condo and Steve just went straight to bed.

STEVE CARELL: I could hear them downstairs laughing at me. Colbert and my lovely wife were downstairs just laughing.

STEPHEN COLBERT: Well, we eventually laughed. Nancy was pretty mad, and I think at me, because I had done this to him. You know, no one wants their husband brought home stinking drunk.

The result:

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