Empty Balcony: A Fistful of Dollars

I’ve been picking on Italian movies of late over in the Shitty Movie Sundays department. I can’t help it. I discovered Enzo G. Castellari recently and that opened the floodgates. Just about every week I find myself searching streaming services for another glorious train wreck from that most interesting of old world countries. It’s cinema devoid of shame, unapologetically opportunistic, and, to borrow a phrase from Tom Wolfe, gloriously low rent. Today’s film is not a cheap Italian knockoff designed to trick audiences into buying a ticket, though. Today’s film is a classic, even though its producers did find themselves on the wrong end of a plagiarism lawsuit. Continue reading “Empty Balcony: A Fistful of Dollars”

Trumpland Day 35: The Old Ways Are Dead

A Gallup poll released on Tuesday shows 21% of Americans have a favorable view of President Vladimir Putin of Russia. That’s up 8 points from a similar poll conducted in 2015. Most of that gain comes from Republican respondents. Among Republicans, Putin holds a 32% favorability rating, up from 12% in 2015, while among self-styled independents, 23% hold a favorable view, up from 12% in 2015. As would be expected, Putin’s favorability among Democrats has taken a hit since the 2015 survey, dropping from 15% to 10%. Continue reading “Trumpland Day 35: The Old Ways Are Dead”

Shitty Movie Sundays: The Last Shark, aka Great White

Oh, Enzo G. Castellari, I’m so glad I found you. Shitty Movie Sundays has been further enlightened by your presence. Master of schlock, minister of exploitation, employer of flamethrowers, you can be counted among the progenitors of the mockbuster, those sad, cash grab excuses for films. It seems your only purpose as a filmmaker was to piggyback on the accomplishments of others, and prey upon an audience that didn’t realize what your producers were selling. Who would have thought that so many decades after your heyday, there would be people like me seeking out your films — not only to mock and deride, but to enjoy? Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: The Last Shark, aka Great White”

Trumpland Day 28: It’s Time for President Pence

Four weeks. That’s how long we’ve been living under the Turdpol Kakistocracy. During that time, President Trump and his administration have proven that they are every bit as incompetent as many feared during the campaign. That’s actually good news. Owing to their collective embrace of tyrannical ideas, it’s encouraging to find out that the administration is incapable of implementing its most outrageous ideas without running foul of reality. But while their most evil tendencies are being tempered, that incompetency, and a possible malignant embrace of foreign influences, means that it’s time for Congress to end this farce. Continue reading “Trumpland Day 28: It’s Time for President Pence”

Empty Balcony: Seven Days in May

This may have been the wrong film for me to watch while there’s a lunatic in the White House. Seven Days in May, the classic political thriller from 1964, tells the story of a Marine Colonel who stumbles upon a military plot to overthrow the president. It’s a gripping story, full of the opposing ideologies of the Atomic Age, and of deterministic governance. Its ideas are grand, and yet simple. The nuance of true politics is lacking, as are the skeletons in every president’s closet that make declarations about fairness and the will of the people awkward to hear, but that doesn’t matter. The story is amazing. Continue reading “Empty Balcony: Seven Days in May”

Trumpland Day 20: Rambling About the Turdpol

Let’s take some time to insult the President of the United States, for two reasons. One, this is the United States, and despite our many troubles as a nation, we have among the most robust free speech rights in the world. Two, Donald Trump has very thin skin. I don’t believe for a second that this little website will ever be read by Trump, but that won’t stop me from adding to the miasma of ridicule that Trump and his administration have earned. Continue reading “Trumpland Day 20: Rambling About the Turdpol”

Empty Balcony: Kill Command

Will it be good? Will it be bad? I didn’t know when I decided to give Kill Command a shot. I had never heard of this film before searching around for something to watch. While a small, almost nonexistent, theater run is a bad sign for a movie, there have been plenty of good movies that didn’t have much of an audience. Maybe I would get lucky. Continue reading “Empty Balcony: Kill Command”

Cocksuckers Ball: The Stolen Pick

President Trump has nominated Neil Gorsuch to be the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. This event is unique and unprecedented in American history, but one can say that about most anything that comes out of the Oval Office these days. However, that has barely anything to do with Trump. Rather, it was the Republican Party, specifically those in the Senate, that brought this travesty of American government to fruition. Continue reading “Cocksuckers Ball: The Stolen Pick”