Stuff

Gwyneth Paltrow is Definitely Not on Drugs

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Sebastian Stan is one of those actors who should be very well known to other actors, but Gwyneth Paltrow keeps forgetting who he is for some odd reason:

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It could very well be that Paltrow has no idea what she’s working on at any given time, being either confused or disorganized. In the last century, we would surmise that she was on drugs or that she was just flaky and ridiculous (kinda the same thing).

No one assumes someone is on drugs anymore, so that’s the point of all of this. We have gotten to a point when a reasonably intelligent person who can’t remember working with Sebastian Stan is not automatically accused of being heavily into drugs or completely wasted all of the time. I call that progress.

Batman Got On My Nerves

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Anyone who argues that Batman (1989) was anything other than a steaming turd is trying to rewrite history. It was actually a pretty shitty movie, and it was largely acknowledged to be trashy and campy on purpose:

Hollywood's obsession with Batman began thirty years ago on June 23, 1989 when Tim Burton, Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson showed doubters that The Dark Knight was worthy of the big screen. Batmanearned a massive $411.5 million globally, but faced a tough battle to the big screen that involved rejection from nearly every studio in Hollywood and its leading lady being re-cast at the last minute.

Batman has an origin story that begins in the most unassuming of places — with a twenty-something comic book geek attending college at Indiana University in Bloomington. In 1972, Michael Uslan landed on the radar of Sol Harrison, the vice president of DC Comics in New York, because the junior in college was teaching the world’s first-ever college accredited course on comic books.

“Sol said that what I was doing at Indiana was very innovative and good for the whole comic book industry," Uslan tells The Hollywood Reporter. “Sol and DC’s then President Carmine Infantino, flew me to New York and they offered me a job.” Uslan worked in New York in summers, and he was put on retainer while he was at Indiana.

At the time, DC Comics had been acquired by Warners Communications, a division of Warner Publishing. “The Warner Publishing brass, generally speaking, were not a bunch of happy campers that they owned a comic book company,” Uslan says. “They only saw value in Superman.”

In the following years, Uslan graduated from law school and cut his teeth in the film industry at United Artists. His time there prepared Uslan to make his dream of producing a dark and serious Batman movie a reality. His first stop: getting the film rights.

“The day came when I went back to Sol Harrison and said, 'Sol, I want to buy the rights to Batman,’” Uslan recalls.  “Sol was genuinely apoplectic. He was very fond of me, which I greatly appreciated. He said 'Michael, Michael for God’s sake don't do this. I don't want to see you lose all your money. Don’t you understand that after Batman went off the air on TV the brand became as dead as a dodo? Nobody’s interested in Batman anymore’ I countered with, ‘But Sol, nobody’s ever done a dark, serious Batman feature film. This is almost going to be like almost a new form of entertainment!’”

There was nothing dark or serious about Batman because, for all intents and purposes, Tim Burton was and still is a terrible filmmaker. I mean, go back and watch this, and then watch the one with poor Danny DeVito as a human penguin, and then get back to me about how these films should have been taken seriously. You could have put Adam West in these films and no one would have said a word.

Michael Keaton is a great actor, but he was largely wasted in these films. They were not “serious” in any sense of the word. They were expensive, exploitative, and copied elements from other films, such as Die Hard. If anything, send Bruce Willis fifty bucks. And, come on. If Jack Nicholson’s obituary mentions his role as the Joker, then you know something’s wrong.

Give me a break.

Lori Loughlin

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America’s beloved TV sweetheart is not going to go down without a fight:

 Actress Lori Loughlin has lost acting gigs and been the subject of public wrath after being charged in the college admissions scandal.

But beyond the court of public opinion, how strong is the legal case against Loughlin and her fashion designer husband?

That is the question her legal team is now trying to answer.

Loughlin and her husband have refused to plead out to federal charges, and it appears they aren’t in any hurry to do so as their legal team hunts for errors in the prosecution’s case.

“Her attorneys have made it clear that they are not going to be rushing into any deal with the prosecution,” said Louis Shapiro, an experienced federal litigator. “They want to perform a thorough analysis of the evidence and then help their client make an informed decision about what is in her best interest to do.”

The couple feel they were genuinely duped by William “Rick” Singer, the admitted mastermind of the scheme, into paying $500,000 to help get their daughters into the University of Southern California, according to a source familiar with the negotiations.

Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, had no sense they were engaging in any kind of crime, hence their not guilty pleas and continued reluctance to plead out, said the source, who spoke to the Los Angeles Times on the condition of anonymity.

The real threat here is not to Loughlin’s acting career but the future of her daughters on social media. All of that has collapsed. What looked to be an extremely lucrative future as an influencer has ended up being a nightmare run through the back alleys of fraud and money laundering. The actions of the parents have tainted the future of their children. Instead of owning up to a mistake, they’re going to weasel their way out of this by exploiting technicalities.

I can guarantee you—the case against Loughlin probably has some holes in it. But what’s missing here is at least a tacit admission that rich kids get into colleges and college admissions officials don’t seem to dig very hard when it comes to figuring out who should or shouldn’t get it.

America is not a meritocracy. America is rapidly becoming a kleptocracy separated by the same kinds of class barriers found in old European nations. We have always known that there were universities like Yale and Harvard that would crank out mediocre human beings that would be gifted with outlandish expectations and achievement goals upon graduation. This has given us our current political situation—a stumbling, incompetent trio of generations that failed to stop Trumpism, fascism, and nationalism.

You can hardly fault a TV actress for trying to set her indifferent kids up for a lifetime of skating by on their rather thin accomplishments. Perhaps Americans would have seen some benefit from experiencing the leveling grace of the guillotine. Who knows?

Meghan McCain Isn’t Worth the Aggravation

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I get what Seth Meyers is trying to do here, but Meghan McCain is a howling mess:

Meghan McCain, the daughter of the late Senator John McCain, struggled through an awkward interview with NBC host Seth Meyers on Tuesday, with much of the conversation focused on McCain’s past comments about Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.

McCain drew criticism after appearing on the This Week program with George Stephanopoulos just one day after the April 27 Chabad of Poway synagogue shooting in San Diego. She brought up Omar’s criticism of the pro-Israel lobby in the U.S. when discussing the synagogue attack.

"When we’re having conversations about anti-Semitism, we should be looking at the most extreme on both sides," McCain said on This Week. "I would bring up Congresswoman Ilhan Omar and some of her comments that got so much attention, and in my opinion Nancy Pelosi wasn't harsh enough on her for trafficking in anti-Semitic language, talking about ‘All about the Benjamins’ and how Jewish people had ‘hypnotized’ the world.”

On Tuesday, Meyers put it to McCain that linking criticism of the pro-Israel lobby in America to anti-Semitic violence was irresponsible, Mediaite reported. “I do think it’s fairly dangerous, and you brought it up after Congresswoman Omar had also had some death threats against her,” he said.

McCain’s public persona really does suggest that she could be the Princess of Arizona, and nothing has been more apt as far as describing why she needs to join her husband at The Federalist and write unhinged rants all day long about Democrats who live their lives like everyone else.

The Senator’s daughter illustrates perfectly why there are laws against nepotism and why using a dead man’s reputation to stake out the high ground when it comes to moral superiority is a bad business strategy. I don’t see where she has any experience, ability, or talent, but she does explode right on cue while on television.

It was a fantastic trick that John McCain pulled on the American media complex. Universally dismissed as a Senator, he ingratiated himself with media personalities who were gullible and could be manipulated and they, in turn, created a nonsensical place for him as America’s Maverick Truth Teller. Nothing could be further from the truth. McCain whored himself out to every conservative special interest that would pay him. He was a reliable cog in the GOP’s Senate machine, casting one admirable vote out of thousands.

I think it’s safe to say that we ignore Meghan.