Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Thanks La La Land for the Charlie Parker nod

In La La Land, dedicated jazz musician Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) wants his dream jazz club to serve chicken in honor of Charlie Parker. While I didn't hear any Parker in the movie, I did appreciate the film's love for jazz and the nods to Parker. Charlie Parker is the greatest musician of the twentieth century. And fear not La La Land fans. The movie might have lost Best Picture but will probably live on as a Broadway musical or at least as a fine example of the movie musical. To all jazz musicians and fans everywhere, here's to the "fools who dream." God love you.

How about some Charlie Parker in honor of the movie and Black History Month? Here's Parker with his masterpiece, "Confirmation."

Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Great Wall review

The Great Wall is a movie about Donald Trump's plan to build a great wall to keep Mexicans out of America and make the country white again. Sorry, that's not right. Okay, The Great Wall is a historical movie about the struggle of the ancient Chinese to build a wall to keep nomadic barbarians from invading the country. Nah, too factual. It is a Hollywood and Chinese movie designed to make big bucks. How about this? The Great Wall is a movie in which the wall was built to keep out giant man eating lizards. And as goofy as the premise is, the giant lizard thing does have some basis in Chinese mythology.

The Great Wall starts out with two Europeans, William (Matt Damon) and Tovar (Pedro Pascal) fleeing from raiders as they journey into China in the search for gunpowder. They come across the Great Wall where Commander Lin (Jing Tian) leads a special force called The Nameless Order to fight giant lizards called the Tao Tei who come down from the mountains every sixty years to kill and eat the people. William and Tovar are taken prisoner but are released when Lin discovers that Williams has slain one of the beasts. Hey, maybe these white guys can help us.

Okay, I've criticized this movie about whitewashing before it came out. I blasted both Hollywood and the Chinese who seem to love white movie stars. Let me disclose this. I am a Chinese American. The film does not allay my fears. It is about a white guy who saves the Chinese or at plays a huge part in their salvation. That being said, I did go into this movie with an open mind.

Unfortunately, the problem with The Great Wall is the shoehorning of Matt Damon into this movie. The acting in the movie is fine. It is the plot line about William and Tovar seeking gunpowder that takes precious time away from the struggle of the Chinese to fight Tao Tie. You see Tovar is a mercenary and William is having trouble with his conscience. Fight with the Chinese or steal gunpowder and go home. What happens is the movie does nothing with its Chinese characters. I didn't know enough about them to care about the Chinese. Also, exposition is badly handled. Yes, the white guys could be the exposition but again the plot line about their greed takes away from it. I mean are the Tao Tei from outer space or did a meteor strike a mountain to release them? Director Zhang Yimou and his American screenwriters were too busy setting up large action set pieces to include any depth to this movie. You know you have a problem when you have to figure out the heroes plans after they initiate it.

If you're looking for campy fun, forget it. The Great Wall is well made but is not silly enough to laugh at. Though launching female warriors with ropes off the wall to fight the lizards was ridiculous. I mean they were dangling like human shish kabobs. The movie is mildly entertaining but not worth spending money at the theater. Wait for this one to come out on cable. The grade is B minus.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day

How about Redbone performing "Come and Get Your Love." Happy Valentine's Day sweetheart wherever you are.

Monday, February 13, 2017

SNL Cold Open: The White House Press briefing with Press Secretary Sean Spicer

After the success of Saturday Night Live's parody of a Trump White House Press briefing with Press Secreetary Sean Spicer, you knew they would open a show with another skit lampooning the Spicer. Well, they just did it. And it's hilarious. Remember, that the Donald hated it when women play men in his administration. So SNL trolled him. Melissa McCarthy returns as Spicer and now Kate McKinnon plays Jeff Sessions, Trump's new Attorney General. Enjoy.

SNL skit: Donald Trump at the People's Court

Here's a funny Saturday Night Live skit where President Donald Trump appeals his Muslim ban to the People's Court. Check out Trump's (Alec Baldwin) flag pin. It's a Russian flag!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Saturday Night Live's parody of a Sean Spicer White House briefing

Here's the riotous Saturday Night Live skit of a White House news briefing with Press Secretary Sean Spicer. He's played by Melissa McCarthy in drag and deserves an Emmy nomination. You can tell the writers took many phrases from the Trump administration. And we hear the Donald hated it.

Saturday Night Live Open: Donald Trump calls world leaders

Here's February 4th's Saturday Night Live Open with Alec Baldwin as President Donald Trump. Enjoy.

Friday, February 3, 2017

SNL Cold Open with Putin

Here's a hilarious video from Saturday Night Live where Russian President Vladimir Putin reassures America about Donald Trump. Enjoy.

Why racists love Donald Trump

There are reasons why racists and fascists love conservative Republican President Donald Trump. And I'm not talking about him being sued for housing discrimination against African Americans by the Justice Department in 1973. But it's for all his racist views in the last five years that pleases white supremacists. Let's go over some of them.

1. He was a big time birther. His support for the view that former President Barack Obama was not born in the United States added legitimacy to the racist lie. It was done to delegitimize the country's first African American president.

2. His campaign speech announcing his run for the presidency. He called Mexican immigrants criminals and rapists. And for good measure he used the same paint brush to include those from South America and the Middle East. Real Clear Politics. You have to notice that Trump is talking about countries whose people are not white. He isn't talking about white Europeans, is he? And yes, there are immigrants from predominantly white countries.

3. His initial failure to disavow David Duke. In February of 2016, CNN's Jake Tapper asked Trump whether he would disavow former KKK leader David Duke. His answer was this:

"Well, just so you understand, I don't know anything about David Duke. OK? I don't know anything about what you're even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists." CNN report.

But Donald, you do know who he is. In 2000, you called him a racist. But if you want all the racist white vote, and angry right-wing white male vote, you probably are going to not say anything bad about white supremacists.

4. Stephen Bannon. Last August, Stephen Bannon was asked by Trump to lead his campaign. He is now Trump's chief strategist. Bannon is not your normal political operative. He was chairman of Breitbart media and Breitbart news. They're a far right-wing conservative news and opinion outlet. But it was under Bannon that Breitbart went from conservative to the fringe of conservative movement. He proudly announced,

"We're the platform for the Alt-Right." Mother Jones interview.

You may ask "What is the Alt-Right?" They are a group within the conservative movement that rejects mainstream conservatism. Richard Spencer coined the term in 2010. And who is this guy? He's a white nationalist or if hear him speak he's a white supremacist. (Wikipedia)

But Spencer is more than that. He is a Nazi. If you don't believe me, check out this video courtesy of The Atlantic and PBS. It's so vile, I refuse to embed it. Anyway, Spencer is in Washington, D.C. and is seen giving a speech at annual conference for the National Policy institute, a white nationalist think tank.

Spencer attacks the press as "lugenpresse" which is German for "lying press." Then he ends his speech by yelling, "Hail Trump! Hail Our People! Hail Victory!" Some members of the audience salute with the straight arm and flat palm down. Hmmm. Where have we heard and seen this before? Yes. It's from Nazi Germany. You need to merely substitute Hitler for Trump in Spencer's chant. And you will get a Nazi salute. Remember "Seig Heil" is the Nazi German chant and its english translation is "Hail Victory."

5. Trump's attacks on China. Look, I don't like the communist government in China. But if you listen to Trump, the Chinese are one of the major villains for our economic ills. No such criticism for our Cold War adversaries in Russia. And no such complaints with our very large trading partner, Canada. Oh, but he does have problems with Mexico. Hmmm. Russia and Canada are predominantly white. Mexico and China are not.

6. The Muslim Ban. In December 2015, Trump called for a ban of Muslims entering the United States. Just recently he banned people from seven Muslim countries from entering the United States. CNN. Note Trump carves out an exception for Christians. Real Clear Politics. So yes, it's a ban on Muslims.

I think it's clear based on the evidence, that conservative President Trump doesn't like non-white people. And that's not good when America is a nation of multiple races. We're the melting pot. That diversity is what makes us great.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog, at Trump's Inauguration with outtakes

Okay here's Triumph the Insult Comic Dog at conservative President Trump's Inauguration. It's going to be four crazy years with Trump, the fascist. And comedians are going to have a lot of material to use.

Check the outtakes. They're just as funny as the main video.

Sally Yates: A Profile in Courage

Sally Yates, acting Attorney General, had to know that taking a principled stand against conservative President Trump's unconstitutional ban on Muslims entering the United States would end her career at the Justice Department. You see she ordered her attorneys not to defend the ban. So, on Monday, Trump the fascist, fired her.

But what was her motivation? It was fidelity to the Constitution. She wrote in her order that the Department was to "stand for what is right" and to "seek justice." She was motivated by what is just. Unlike Trump who is motivated by fear and hatred. That is why I agree she should be nominated for a Profile in Courage award.