Archives for May 2016

The Best Part of The Godfather is Bullshit


I found myself watching Francis Ford Coppola’s undisputed all-time heavyweight champion of Serious Cinema, The Godfather, on HBO not long ago. Actually, it was the newfangled five-hour monstrosity The Godfather Saga, which combines The Godfather and The Godfather Part II, rearranges them into chronological order, so the De Niro-as-Young Don Corleone scenes are first, then the original movie, then all the Lake Tahoe and Havana material from Part II. This new cut also restored some scenes that were cut from the original movies, because five hours isn’t long enough.

This was not appointment viewing, I just happened upon it while flipping channels, so I came in partway through, toward the end of the De Niro scenes. Soon enough, I was just watching The Godfather with extra scenes, most of them between Al Pacino’s Michael Corleone and Diane Keaton’s Kay. The first thing I noticed was that Coppola’s editor made the right move cutting all these extra Michael-Kay scenes, because the chemistry between Pacino and Keaton is about as hot as a half-hour old piece of toast. Then again, Al Pacino has never really been able to generate convincing chemistry with any of his leading ladies, which is probably why he so seldom has them.

Anyway, I was only half paying attention to the movie until we came to the wedding scene — specifically, the part where Michael, who has been overseas fighting in World War II and has stayed out of the Family Business, explains to Kay, his new girlfriend (not wife — girlfriend) how Don Corleone helped Sinatraesque singer Johnny Fontaine get out of his contract with the Harry Jamesesque bandleader:

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Donald Trump’s Greatest Failure

What would you guess sentient Internet comment and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump would say is the most valuable piece of real estate in the world?

Real Estate is, of course, Trump’s primary business. It is the keystone of his fortune and his greatest claim to fame (which is, of course, his secondary business). His 1987 book The Art of the Deal, an apocryphon of his prowess in negotiating multimillion-dollar deals like the one to build the garishly appointed Trump Tower, climbed to the top of the New York Times bestseller list, knocking the formidable Dave Barry Is Still Definitely Not Making This Up and Garfield Gets Feline Diabetes down to #2 and #3 and stayed there for 14 weeks until it was knocked out by Losing Weight the Oprah Way. He is a self-professed expert in his field.

After squirming his way into the New York tabloids through his big Real Estate deals in the ’80s and his affinity for bejeweled bottle blondes, Trump was able to parlay that small bit of fame into bigger fame, and that bigger fame into a bigger brand. It’s often said that for all his triumphs in Real Estate, Trump’s true genius lies in Brand Marketing, having slapped his name on everything from steaks to bottled water to an online university.

So what is Trump’s dearest real estate asset? Is it Trump Tower? The Trump Taj Mahal? His Mar-A-Lago Florida estate? His winery? One of his many golf courses? The high-tech underground lair where his hairpiece is constructed anew each morning?

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Berning Out


This blog has not been reticent in its support for Bernie Sanders. The conscientious reader may recall our hearty endorsement a few months back.

TL;DR: Bernie Sanders has been on the right side of pretty much every issue where everyone else was wrong (and wrong at tremendous cost). His ideas about free college and fully socialized medicine, much as I may like them, do not seem likely to pass any Congress at all similar to the one we have now, but his judgment has been proven right time and again, and that’s good enough for me.

Likewise, this blog has not been effusive in its praise for Hillary Clinton. We do not have anything particularly against Mrs. Clinton personally, but she has failed to inspire in the way that Barack Obama did, the way Bernie Sanders has, the way even Donald Trump has. It is unclear to us what exactly Hillary Clinton wants to do as president, other than Be President.

This blog is not a fan of Mrs. Clinton’s email scandal, or her campaigning style, or her susceptibility to donoritis. She is not our first choice. But now that Donald Trump has sealed the Republican nomination and begun to train his attacks on her, it’s time for Bernie Sanders to drop out and let her have it.

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Live at Tuft Theater Denver, 4/15/2016

0:00 — Neat Freak
2:10 — Your Little Finger
4:54 — Life’s Too Long
8:33 — Rid Of Her
13:00 — The Extra Verse