October 15, 2007 - October 8, 2007
Saturday, November 18, 2006
The Passion of the Bobby
Opening in theaters everywhere,
Finally, in this Thanksgiving season, a movie that deals beautifully
with the sacred death of the most important person who ever lived.
Cynics who believe that Hollywood is no longer capable of truly
reverential productions will find themselves both weeping at the sheer
transcendant anguish of the subject and cheering for the fact that
someone at last had the courage to bring this story to the silver
It's no accident that the visionary director who pulled off such a
miraculous feat is Emilio Estevez, the son of former U.S. President
John F. Kennedy, who plays himself in the film. But that's only the
beginning of a cast so huge and talented that we haven't seen the like
of it since Cecil B. DeMille last assembled his "cast of thousands." Of
course, DeMille never attempted subject matter as substantial as this,
which is why we must be grateful indeed that Estevez managed to secure
the services of Harry Belafonte, Laurence Fishburne,
Heather Graham, Anthony Hopkins, Helen Hunt, Ashton Kutcher, Lindsay
Lohan, Demi Moore, William H. Macy, Demi Moore, Martin Sheen, Christian
Slater, Sharon Stone, Elijah Wood, and, yes, thousands of extras. As a
sidenote, it can't be the case that all these stars were paid their
usual rate; these days, only a Spielberg would be able to afford the
price tag of a screen legend like Harry Belafonte PLUS even one of the
others. Our guess is that these good people participated not for money,
but for the honor of helping to bring such tragic but inspiring events
alive on film.
That they have achieved their purpose magnificently well is beyond
dispute. Here's an excerpt from just one
of the glowing reviews that have already been published in advance of the premiere:
The film does not just attempt to tell
the story of his death – it brings forward some of the most impactful
things about his life. At the center of this story is a message of
hope, and it is visualized through the eyes of those people who were
present on that fateful night...
Adding some intrigue is the way the film’s setup has such relevance to
today’s politics. From hanging chads on ballots to an unpopular war
that has made the nation uneasy, the director does a great job of
pointing out how closely related that time in history was to our own.
The only difference is that in the film, during that time in America,
there was a great hero.
It's true that the movie is shockingly violent, and parents should
pre-screen it before deciding to take their children, but Estevez's
commitment to historical accuracy is so scrupulous that he is as
faithful in his depiction of death as he is in duplicating the period
speech, attire, and backgrounds of the hundreds of fictional characters
amongst whom the real events unfold. And no one will be able to find
fault with the performances on display here. Belafonte is powerfully
moving as Pedro, the disciple who adores his master but denies him
nonetheless. Anthony Hopkins is equally brilliant as Ponzio Pilates,
the corrupt bureaucrat whose decision
to decide has such fatal consequences. Quite unexpectedly,
Sharon Stone shows flashes of genius as the compulsively
exhibitionistic Mary Magpie, who overcomes her past to reveal a
heart-rending devotion to virtue. Almost as good is Demi Moore in the
role of Mary Magpie's jealous twin sister, who can't stop herself from
stripping to the buff at a hugely inauspicious moment -- just as the
saintly mother character played by Helen Hunt is acting up a storm.
Other performances consist largely of gemlike cameos -- Kutcher as the
treacherously dull-witted advance man Jude, Christian Slater as the security guard
who undergoes a miraculous, blood-spattered conversion, Linday Lohan as
a gum-chewing tart who's still johnny-on-the-spot with a drink of
water, and, of course, Martin Sheen as the incomprehesively wise lord
and creator of the universe.
"Ready when you are, Mr. Estevez."
Those who are looking forward to a star turn in the role of the
protagonist will be momentarily disappointed by the fact that he is
rendered in the style of the messiah character in Ben Hur
, shown only from behind
bathed in radiant light, but as the film progressively illuminates his
supernatural greatness, it becomes clear that no one yet born would
have been big enough to play him. In this decision, as in all others,
Estevez demonstrates an Oscar-worthy mastery.
It's rare for us to admit that words can't do justice to a movie, but
that's the fact of it with regard to The
Passion of the Bobby
. Millions will come out of the theater
sobbing and broken-hearted but filled with a deeply healing inner
light. It's our guess that people will be going to see this movie on
key anniversary dates year after year. We'll be there for sure.
Believe it or not.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
The Speaker Broad
Surprised (perpetually) but pleased
about her election.
YOU DON'T HAVE TO GO TO
. Before you get all ticked off about our sexism, take a
look at what we said about Denny Hastert back in the year 2000:
Speaker Guy. The second most powerful man in the United States
of Ameria, which means that we must be talking about, uh°, uh... Is
it Humbert? Hissifit? Uh, sorry, can't think of it just now. If you
find out, please let us know.
So she's the first female Speaker. Kewl. Even Ann Coulter
In the past week, there are 476
documents on Nexis heralding the
magnificent achievement of Nancy Pelosi becoming the FIRST WOMAN
speaker of the House.
I thought we had moved beyond such multicultural milestones.
The media yawned when Condoleezza Rice became the first black
female secretary of state (and when Lincoln Chafee became the first
developmentally disabled senator).
There were only 77 documents noting that Rice was the first black
woman to be the secretary of state, and half of them were issues of
Jet, Essence, Ebony or Black Entrepreneur magazine.
A New York Times profile of Rice at the time waited until the last
sentence to note in passing that Rice was "only the second woman, and
the first black woman, to hold the job." (In a separate column by me,
it was noted that Rice was the "first competent woman" to hold the
Well, sort of impressed, anyway. We're sort of impressed too. We even
did some (sort of) research
originally from Maryland, where her family made a living as
professional politicians. Her father was a U.S. congressman and a mayor
of Baltimore, which position he bequeathed to his son, Nancy's brother.
She deferred her own political career long enough to get a college
degree from Trinity Washington University, which sounds serious even if
we never never heard of it before now. She married a man named Paul
Pelosi whose real estate empire in California is currently worth $25
million, which is an indisensable criterion for Democrats who care
about 'working Americans.' There's no indication that Nancy ever had a
job of any sort until she ran for Congress at the age of 48. But we all
have to start our careers sometime, don't we?
Our favorite line from her Wikipedia
where we did our research, is this:
Pelosi means furry in Italian.
Without any direct personal knowledge, we're still prepared to
stipulate that Nancy Pelosi is the furriest Speaker of the House in
history (although we're waiting for the inevitable Playboy
pictorial to confirm our
The topic of superlatives is always relevant when someone becomes the
first to do something. So we did some brainstorming and came up with
the following superlatives about Nancy Pelosi:
1. She's the first Speaker of the House
to have had 67 plastic surgeries: breast augmentation (3), breast lift
(2), tummy tuck, chin implant, cheek implant (2), facelift (5), eye
lift (46), buttock lift (2), and liposuction (5).
2. She's the first Speaker of the House to have never worked for any
entity other than the federal government in her life.
3. She's the first Speaker of the House who doesn't know the rules of
4. She's the first Speaker of the House with breasts the size of
cantaloupes. (See No. 1 above.)
5. She's the first Speaker of the House who has never drunk a snifter
of cognac and smoked a cigar while receiving vigorous oral sex.
6. On the other hand, she's the first Speaker of the House for
whom election to the office made her nipples hard.
Well, we could go on, but you get the picture. I f you don't here's a
As we've said before, it's all gonna be great. Trust us on this. Or
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Peace in Our Time
Speaker-Elect Nancy al Pelosi
to be Muqtada al Murtha
A POSITION ARGUMENT
. Sometimes you just have to marvel at how
short-sighted the political analysis in this country is. Speaker-Elect
Pelosi is already drawing fire from both the right and the left for her
decision to back Representative Murtha for the position of House
Majority Leader. These three excerpts from today's Opinion-Journal
...several [Democratic] members are
privately aghast that Mr. Murtha, a pork-barreling opponent of most
House ethics reforms, could become the second most visible symbol of
the new Democratic rule. "We are supposed to change business as usual,
not put the fox in charge of the henhouse," one Democratic member told
me. "It's not just the Abscam scandal of the 1980s that he barely
dodged, he's a disaster waiting to happen because of his current
behavior," another told me...
Take the Abscam probe, in which Mr. Murtha was named an unindicted
co-conspirator in the late-1970s FBI sting operation in which agents
posed as Saudi sheiks and offered members of Congress bribes for help
in securing asylum in the U.S. and getting money out of Saudi Arabia...
The 54-minute Abscam tape shows Mr. Murtha functioning as a cynical
backroom operator, telling the FBI undercover agents: "You know, you
made an offer. It might be that I might change my mind someday." Later,
he explained how that might happen: "I want to deal with you guys
awhile before I make any transactions at all, period," he told the fake
sheiks. "After we've done some business, well, then I might change my
mind. I'm going to tell you this. If anybody can do it--I am not BSing
you fellows--I can get it done my way. There's no question about it."
...a recent book by George Crile, a producer for CBS's "60 Minutes,"
provides damning evidence that Mr. Murtha escaped severe punishment for
his role in the scandal only because then-Speaker Tip O'Neill arranged
for the House Ethics Committee to drop the charges, over the objections
of the committee's outside prosecutor. The prosecutor quickly resigned
Come on, people. Grow up. The mission of the new Congress is peace in
our time: getting the troops home quickly in some kind of plausible,
justifiable way that doesn't look like abject surrender. What kind of
skills does that take? Obviously, it takes the ability to Make a Deal.
And making a deal in the Arab world isn't accomplished by pollyanna-ish
negotiations consisting of feeble altruistic overtures muslim gangsters
can't even comprehend. If Maliki, the Iranians, the Syrians, and the
various Iraqi sectarian blocs are ever going to be brought to heel,
it's only going to be by playing hardball in the terms they understand:
cold-blooded tit for tat "arrangements" that compromise and ensnare
everybody to the point where they can't refuse. This is obviously
Where else are we going to find somebody who was getting down to brass
tacks with powerful (sort of) Arabs a full quarter-century ago? While
most public figures were still too terrified about the downfall of the
Shah to get involved in any middle-eastern shenanigans, Murtha alone
displayed the appropriate combination of boldness and caution to
explore opportunities without paying any significant political price.
Who among you is contrary enough, or dumb enough, to argue that this
isn't precisely the capability Congress is going to need in order to
extricate the U.S. from its tiresome obligations in Iraq?
Think about it. If somebody has to finally sit down at a summit with
the bastards in al Qaeda's leadership, who do you want it to be? A
nerdy ivory-tower type from the state department? Or a cagey old, no-BS
bargainer like John Murtha? It takes a tough man to tender terms in the
That Pelosi broad is a good deal shrewder than she looks. You heard it
You'll find a good deal more information about Murtha's outstanding
qualifications for congressional leadership at Michelle Malkin's
. Just disregard her peevish tone.