Friday, October 26, 2018

In midst of bomb attempts, Trump must act like a President

It's been disappointing to see President Trump tweeting that some of the blame for the atmosphere that has led someone to send bombs to Trump's critics belongs to the media. Now's the time for Trump to do his job as President. He is not just President of the Republican Party, he's also President of all the American people and that includes Democrats, independents and others. It's in times like these that the President must comfort the people, condemn the violent acts even if they come from a supporter because we are a nation of laws.

So, this is to President Trump. Go before the nation. And from the Oval Office, give a speech on what I have just said. Here, I've written a couple of sentences for you.

"My fellow Americans. Do not let one deranged individual to terrorize you from living your lives, exercising your fundamental rights such as the right to speak and to vote. I am confident that our law enforcement will find this person or persons. To the individual or people behind these bombing attempts. You do not represent my campaign. I repudiate and reject your acts of terror. Stop these criminal actions."

See, President Trump. It's not so hard. I note that you have asked the "caravan" to turn back. You can do the same with this terrorist to stop these violent actions. He does follow you. He is attacking your critics. Please be the President of all the people.

Trump has indirectly encouraged the attempted bombing of his critics

Over the last few days, pipe bombs were sent to critics of President Donald Trump. One was sent to CNN, perhaps Trump's favorite news organization he hates. They all share one two things in common. One, they have spoken or published negative things about Trump. And this is most important. Trump has personally attacked them. Sometimes, he went after them in rallies. The targets make up an enemies list. See Huffington Post article.

Now the President can be critical of people. I don't have a problem with that. However, his words matter especially since he is the President of the United States. People may follow what he says as  a kind of a command an authority or think they are doing their patriotic duty by taking his hatred to criminal levels. So, when he says the "the press is the enemy of the people", somebody might act out violently thinking that this is somehow right.

Trump's dangerous attacks are numerous. But here are a couple. As i said, he says the news media is the "enemy of the people." Just this month, he praised the attack on a reporter. Axios video below. Trump is giddy that last year Cong. Gianforte (R-Mt) body slammed a journalist. Watch the video below. At the twenty second mark, Trump literally applauds the act. At the thirty second mark, Trump says "But I had heard he body slammed a reporter" and he points to the press in the back as to signal them out. His crowd goes wild. Later, he says, "I know Montana pretty well.  I think it (the assault) might help him. (Gianforte) And it did." (Parentheticals added. Fifty second mark.) By the way, Gianforte was charged with assault and pled guilty to it.

At an October 2, 2018 rally in Mississippi, Trump said this about Democrats, "These are really evil people." AP News.

I could go on about the attacks on the the bombers targets. But Trump has gone after all of them. Hillary Clinton. Former President Barack Obama. George Soros. Cong. Maxine Waters. Even the great actor Robert De Niro has been attacked by Trump. So what does this all mean? They form Trump's Enemies List. It's a roll call to some right wing conservative who listens to Trump, and is now trying to kill Trump's enemies and intimidate his critics with terror. Time to call this what it is. Anybody hurt on the Trump's Enemies List lies at the feet of this President.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The Predator review

Here's the thing about director-writer Shane Black. He likes to deconstruct genres with a subversive glee. Take a look at his films Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005) and The Nice Guys. These two movies were part comic takes on the private detective- film noir genre. It worked well for those two films because he respected the genre and the it could withstand the comedy without the films becoming camp. In 2013, Black co-wrote and directed the blasphemous Iron Man 3 and by blasphemous, I mean that Black took a serious comic book villain, The Mandarin, and turned him into a clown. He also showed no respect for the concept of a man donning the Iron Man suit and becoming a hero. The result of that movie was regrettable for the fans of Iron Man. Now, Black takes on the fourth movie in the Predator series, if you exclude the Alien vs Predator series, in The Predator. Quick trivia, Black acted in the first Predator (1987) film. The question is will Black's rebellious style work here?

The Predator opens up like the first one with an alien ship containing a Predator approaching earth. This time the ship crashes. It just happens to crash nearby a hostage rescue. On this mission, Army Ranger Quinn Mckenna (Boyd Holbrook) and his soldiers stumble on the ship. Quinn takes some of the armor off the alien. After fighting with the Predator, he wanders the countryside. Quinn later mails the armor to his young son Rory (Jacob Tremblay) who I think is about ten. Quinn gets captured by government agents led by Traeger (Sterling K. Brown) and is transported to a secret base where a captured Predator is being studied. Also arriving is Dr. Casey Bracket. (Olivia Munn) You can guess what happens. Said Predator escapes.

I can't complain about the cast. They're solid. A quick nod to Emmy Award winner Sterling K. Brown who's known for his sensitive Randall Pearson in the TV series This is Us. Here he's ruthless, ends justify the means government official. And before I forget, Quinn recruits a squad of misfits led by Trevante Rhodes, and Obama's Anger Translator, Keegan- Michael Peele. Okay, Peele is doesn't play Obama's Anger Translator but he teams up with an unrecognizable Thomas Jane or was that Aaron Eckhart? Sorry it's Jane, confused by male white actors with long faces and strong chins. Anyway, the misfits are the comic relief.

The Predator has many problems, the least of which is Black's subversive take on the franchise. First, is the screenplay by Fred Dekker and Black. I'll praise it for some good ideas as far as why the Predators are coming to earth. But it has logical flaws. I mean why would Quinn send Predator armor to his kid? I guess it's a contrivance to set up other plot threads. Then, there are way too many jokes for this type of thriller and too often they don't work.

Second, Black substitutes making a taut action movie with night scenes which are too dark, and fast cutting. The result? Confusion. And his subversive tone drowns out any drama. Is he making a sarcastic action comedy or a tale of life and death struggle?

The Predator is a mess of a movie. It can't decide whether it wants to be a thoughtful science fiction action picture or a sarcastic comedy on the genre. It fails both. The grade is C Plus.