Daily Archives: April 15, 2019

Game of Thrones Recap – Season 8, Episode 1

Well, 3.5 readers, the final episodes are here.

I’ve been blogging about this show since this fine blog began.  Come to think of it, HBO probably owes all their success to me, since I sent my 3.5 readers their way.

So now, the end begins and we begin to watch the end.

Spoiler alert.

Jon Snow and Khaleesi are in Winterfell and the Northerners don’t like all the new people.  Jon learns that his bae is also his aunt so now he is an auntie fucker.

The dragons aren’t eating enough, the White Walkers are at the door, Cersei’s still a bitch.  I don’t know.  That’s about it.

My, how fast the past decade has flown.  This show has always been a welcome favorite, something riveting enough that I was always able to turn it on Sunday nights and for a brief hour, get lost in another world.

Six episodes doesn’t seem long enough to tie up the loose ends, but here’s hoping they will be.

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BQB’s Classic Movie Reviews – Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

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This is a stick-up, see?

BQB here with another classic movie review.

After watching The Highwaymen, Netflix recommended that I watch the 1967 “Bonnie and Clyde” and who am I to argue with a streaming service’s AI?

I’d heard rave reviews over the years but personally, I’m not sure it holds up to modern standards.  Then again, it’s interesting as a snapshot in time and most likely pushed every boundary in place in 1967.

Faye Dunaway is epically boner inducing as truck stop waitress Bonnie Parker.  An early scene where she is close to in the buff makes me wish I’d worked out more and gotten more money so I could have nabbed a dame even half as hot but oh well.  Que sera, sera.

And that near nudity was probably pushing the envelope in the 1960s.

Meanwhile, having hailed from Generation X, I’m used to an older version of Warren Beatty, so it was interesting to see him so young and full of life here.

The writing is a little lackluster.  It almost seems like there was a checklist of known info about the infamous, murderous bank robbing duo that they had to get through.  Sometimes some leaps are taken and we’re left to guess what happened in the interim.

Clyde, for some reason, is unwilling to schtup Bonnie and that’s a shame because she is so schtuppable.  I’m not sure what the implication is there.  Perhaps it is meant to say he’s gay, though he’s never seen chasing after men.  That would probably have been too much for the 1960s.

Then again, it may not have been to say that he’s gay, but he just had some intimacy issues.  He does seem to like women but maybe he’s afraid to get too close or something.  We just see several scenes where Bonnie throws herself at him, he refuses, says he’s not a loverboy and the meaning we are left to guess at.

Rounding out the gang are Clyde’s brother and sister in law, Buck and Blanche Barrow (Gene Hackman and to my surprise, a young Estelle Parsons who I had only known as Roseanne’s grumpy mother) and Michael Pollard as dopey mechanic CW Moss who comes along for the ride to service the multitude of cars stolen by the gang.

The gang dynamic is basically Bonnie and Clyde started a gang, felt they had to invite Buck along to join the family business, and Blanche just seems to get in the way as she doesn’t really want to be in a gang but followed her husband for the ride because long ago, women just did whatever their husbands told them to do.  Her constant screaming is annoying but that is the point.  She wasn’t down for that life.

On one level, the movie is not all that realistic.  Bonnie and Clyde are presented as just a couple of country kids who had it rough and made a living the only way the Depression Era would let them.  They’re portrayed as taking steps to avoid shooting cops and feel great remorse when a mistake in a robbery’s execution leads them to having to shoot an officer.  Most accounts differ though and it seems pretty clear that the gang had a grand old time shooting and robbing their way through life, that they racked up a pretty needlessly high body count and never lost sleep over it.

On another level, the movie’s main contribution to the cinematic world is realism.  In most movies, even today, deaths are throwaways.  Someone is shot and they’re down, off screen, never seen again.

Here, we see death in all its brutality.  Buck is shot and attended to as he dies slowly, wailing in pain.  Bonnie and Clyde’s car is riddled with bullets.  We see the look of fear in their eyes when they realize they’ve walked into an ambush, the grim realization taking hold of them that their jig is up.  We see the bullets tear holes in the car, tear holes through their bodies, their lifeless bodies torn apart.  This was definitely another line crossed in 1960s cinema and ironically, is a line that is even rarely crossed today.

Also noteworthy is these two were basically America’s first reality stars.  They took photos and wrote poems about themselves, sending their own media to the newspapers and with it being the Great Depression, robbed banks didn’t get a lot of sympathy.  However, I prefer “The Highwaymen” portraying the officers as the real heroes.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.  Every man should have their own Faye Dunaway.

Movie Review – The Best of Enemies (2019)

And they say the Klansman’s heart grew two sizes that day.

BQB here with a review of The Best of Enemies.

Making this movie was a gamble in this day and age.  It’s based on the true story of how, in 1971, African American community organizer and civil rights activist Ann Atwater (Taraji P. Henson) and Ku Klux Klan leader CP Ellis (Sam Rockwell) came together and became unlikely friends and allies while working together on a committee that would decide whether or not to integrate a school in Durham, South Carolina.

Understandably, in this day and age, there is no forgiveness for racism, even for a racist who claims to have seen the light and claims to be reformed.  Ergo, while movies such as this or “The Green Book” have stories about a racist jerk who abandons his racist ways after spending time and coming to care about black people, an ex-racist isn’t going to get a medal today.  Sorry, but we live in a time now where you know not to be racist from the beginning.

Despite all that, the story does have a message that is worth noting, especially in today’s toxic political environment.  In the past, school integration was such a divisive issue that you might recall the Army had to be called in to watch the backs of African American students regarding the case of Brown vs. Board of Education.

In 1971, the community of Durham took a different approach.  It was decided to hold a two week meeting in which community leaders, black and white, got together to discuss their differences on the topic of integrating the local school in the wake of a fire that made the school for African American students unsuitable.

CP Ellis, the local head klansman, naturally hates the idea.  Meanwhile, Ann Attwater, a tireless voice fighting for the rights of African Americans, argues the community can’t expect African American kids to learn in a burnt out husk of a ruined school building.

As the two weeks long discussion group progresses, both sides get to know each other and the underlying lesson is that if enemies would just sit down and break bread, they might realize the other is, despite all their flaws, human and compromise might be had.  True, asking for a compromise with a klansman is pretty unreasonable to say the least but the message seems to be that because both sides sat down and talked rather than meet on picket lines to hurl insults, progress was made.

There’s no redemption for Ellis in today’s woke America, and no one’s arguing there should be.  Still, as he sits with his arch nemesis Ann and gets to know her as a person, and then starts to get to know other African Americans, he starts to learn their plight and how wrong his actions as a klansman have been.  Meanwhile, though Ann is the underdog hero in the fight and doesn’t have anything to prove to Ellis, she does get to know him and when she learns of some of his personal problems that led him to become such a hardened bastard, she starts to pity him.

I don’t know.  The movie is a tough sell and the idea that a klansman could ever be welcomed back into polite society isn’t going to win much applause.  However, the message that political opponents should stop hurling insults and threats and start sitting down and actually talking and finding out just what it is that the other side fears, be those fears rational or irrational, a path toward a solution might be presented.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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