Friday, December 3, 2021

The Power of the Dog (2021)

Rotten Tomatoes
The Power of the Dog (2021): Set on a remote ranch in 1925 Montana owned by two brothers, one a bully, the other with a new wife and a bookish son. Like a kettle on a hot stove, the tension slowly builds to a climactic boil. The mystery at heart is what drives the characters. B+

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Ethics Reform is Coming to City Council*

* Dallas City Council.

Regular readers will know how I've been recommending that Richardson's Code of Ethics get strengthened since the embarrassment of the tenure of Mayor Laura Maczka, convicted of bribery and tax fraud and awaiting sentencing. OK, I've been screaming for it, although the City Council, in its infinite wisdom, has taken a status quo ante attitude that there's no trouble here in River City.

I was pleased to see that the City of Dallas, with even greater problems than Richardson, is taking an important step to combatting public corruption. D Magazine has the details.

House of Gucci (2021)

Rotten Tomatoes
House of Gucci (2021): More or less true story of business troubles of Gucci brand brought on by family infighting (and some tax evasion). Part satire, part camp. More than a little over-the-top acting. Jared Leto goes too far. Adam Driver not far enough. Lady Gaga is perfect. B+

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Random Thoughts: Every Strategy All At Once

Tweets from November, 2021:
  • 2021-11-01: I expected this under Trump. I didn't expect his influence to last this long. "U.S. is now running an uncontrolled experiment with every strategy all at once. COVID-19 policies differ wildly by state, county, university, workplace, and school district."
  • 2021-11-01: Greg Abbott's dance. Move far to the right to compete with DeSantis nationally and to fend off primary challenges in Texas. But don't move so batshit crazy right that moderate Texans shift to Beto. It's a careful dance. And he's doing it all from a wheel chair.
  • 2021-11-01: "What we're teaching our kids to do is quit." — Coach Gary Patterson of TCU in 2018, not in 2021, when he ...well...quit.

After the jump, more random thoughts.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Passing (2021)

Rotten Tomatoes
Passing (2021): Adaptation of 1929 novel. Two light-skinned black women, one passing as white, explore who is happier or more free. Neither? Has look of an old B&W movie, but don't be fooled. The undercurrents of tension, jealously, and suppressed emotion are forever modern. B+

Monday, November 29, 2021

The Beatles: Get Back (TV 2021)

Rotten Tomatoes
The Beatles: Get Back (TV 2021): 8 hours watching like a fly on the wall as the Beatles laugh, bicker, compose, and rehearse for 3 weeks, then give a live performance (their last). No narration, no context, just in the moment with genius, getting to see creativity at work. A-

Friday, November 26, 2021

Review: Twilight of Democracy

From Twilight of Democracy, by Anne Applebaum:

Open quote That moment has passed. Nearly two decades later, I would now cross the street to avoid some of the people who were at my New Year’s Eve party. They, in turn, would not only refuse to enter my house, they would be embarrassed to admit they had ever been there. In fact, about half the people who were at that party would no longer speak to the other half. The estrangements are political, not personal. Poland is now one of the most polarized societies in Europe, and we have found ourselves on opposite sides of a profound divide, one that runs through not only what used to be the Polish right but also the old Hungarian right, the Spanish right, the French right, the Italian right, and, with some differences, the British right and the American right, too." Twilight of Democracy

This is Anne Applebaum's personal account of the decline of Western liberal democracy and the rise of authoritarianism.