Saturday, September 13, 2008

"Burn" is Good. Great? Well . . .

I saw Burn After Reading last night. I've been looking forward to this ever since I saw the first trailer. And while it was very funny I left a little unsatisfied. I know the Jordan simile has been used a ton, but it works so here goes. I've always viewed the Coen Bros. as the Michael Jordans of cinema. But even Jordan had an off night. Granted, an off night for him was the equivalent of a career high for many of his peers, but when you watched Jordan you expected magic every time his hands were on the ball.

This, I'm afraid, is the mindset I carried with me into the theater last night. I was expecting something on par with O' Brother Where Art Thou or The Big Lebowski. Instead I saw something that could have been called Intolerable Lebowski. Honestly, I think Intolerable Cruelty was funnier. To keep the Jordan analogy going here there were some telegraphed passes in this one. I began thinking, "I bet he accidentally shoots somebody in the face," after about the 3rd or 4th time Clooney's character mentioned he hadn't discharged his gun in 20 years. There were also a few bits that seemed more Farrely Bros. than Coen Bros. In particular Clooney's "secret project". I'll say no more.

Still, would I recommend you go see it? Absolutely. It's got some great performances (Malkovich's in particular) and despite being sub-par by Coen standards, is still way better than most everything else out there.

Sarah, Sarah, Sarah!

I've been reading and hearing A LOT about Sarah Palin. It's impossible not to these days. In fact, if you'd just woken up from a 4-year nap in front of your TV in the middle of her ABC interview you'd swear she was the front runner for the top spot in this year's election based on the journalistic rectal exam she was given by Charlie Gibson.

I'll confess I've yet to see the entire interview, but he really went after her. And while some pundits on the right have been criticizing him for a double standard, I for one was glad he did go after her even if he wasn't even handed. From what I saw and heard she did about as well as any other candidate--some good answers, some not-so-good answers and some good ole' fashioned election-year non-answers. I think there will be plenty of ammo for both sides to come out of this.

But one thing I really, truly do not understand is the vilification of this woman and I'm used to the liberal hate machine. I mean she's yet to have a confidant commit suicide under mysterious circumstances or had to disown her pastor of 20 years for his racism, yet we are being told she is some she devil that has emerged-no wait-crawled from a swirling cesspool of "Babies, Lies and Scandals" in Alaska to steal reproductive rights, shoot wolves into extinction, persecute rape victims and probably eat our young. OK, I haven't heard that last one yet but it's only a matter of time. In the last three days I've seen more big media stories examining her conduct as a governor and mayor than I have investigative reports of Obama's voting record in the entire year+ he's been a candidate for President. And he has admitted ties to a convicted felon.

I can only conclude one of two things from the furor she's generated. Sarah Palin is pure evil OR the media and Democrats have lost their minds again. I'm not alone in suspecting the later. Camille Paglia, an atheist feminist, who also happens to be one of the most brilliant minds God has put on this earth, would say as much herself. At least that's what I gather from her essay that appeared in Salon a couple of days ago. I strongly encourage you to give it a read, especially if you want Obama to win.

Fresh Blood for the Vampire