History

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.

The Scum of the Earth

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Are we accustomed to the idea that there is no meritocracy? And that celebrities who pay to put their underachieving influencer kids in colleges where they don’t belong are a normal thing we have to deal with now?

No, because these people committed felonies:

Actress Lori Loughlin appeared in Los Angeles federal court Wednesday afternoon, following her arrest for involvement in what authorities say is the largest college admission scam in the United States. The actress has been charged with allegedly funnelling $500,000 to rowing coaches at the University of Southern California in order to secure admission to the elite school for her two daughters, Isabella and Olivia, also known as the YouTube influencer Olivia Jade. 

According to court documents published by Buzzfeed News, Loughlin’s bribe allowed for both girls to be accepted as rowing recruits, despite the fact that neither teenager plays crew. Loughlin’s husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, also named among the 50 individuals charged in the indictment, appeared in court Tuesday.

If you want to bring back the guillotine, I would caution you that what follows probably isn’t that great. I like your enthusiasm and energy, and I think you have a lot of spunk, but you need to tone it down a bit. I do think that the end result of all of this should be a lot of mockery, jail time, and restitution:

Even Loughlin’s daughters are starting to feel the social hurt of the scandal. On Tuesday, TMZ reported that Loughlin’s influencer daughter, Olivia Jade, had spent the night before her mother’s arrest on a yacht in the Bahamas owned by Chairman of USC's Board of Trustees Rick Caruso. On Wednesday afternoon, just as  Loughlin prepared to leave federal court on bail, she had “decided it would be in her best interests to return home” and left Caruso’s yacht, he told TMZ. 

She may be facing more than just her mother's indictment, however. Late Wednesday, USC issued a statement announcing plans to “conduct a case-by-case review for current students and graduates that may be connected to the scheme alleged by the government.”

Yeah, that’s totally normal. I would be willing to bet you that she wasn’t the only privileged kid forced to leave a cruise on a yacht because one or both parents were arrested by the FBI on just any old day of the week.

It’s time to accept the fact that hard work and talent mean nothing in this country. We are no different than the British, the French, or the Germans. Who you are and where you are in this life are largely determined by what your parents do for a living. If you were born of the right stock, go ahead and get high on your own stash and pretend to be able to function in polite society. If not, get ready to pound sand. You can work hard your whole life and you’re never going to have anything remotely similar to what the chinless failson of a billionaire will be handed. The quicker we figure out that the only decent people in this country are the ones who are white, sexually deviant, and wealthy, the better. Everyone else is a perpetrator, a serf, or a basic poor.

Thank God we’re not in the middle of a real shooting war. I would hate to see what the cannon fodder would look like. Probably a lot of stressed out kids who could only get into State universities.

The Perils of Being Royal

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I have noticed that the British tabloid press has decided that it will be profitable (and fun!) to destroy Meghan Markle for the crime of being an interesting American woman who happens to be married to Prince Harry.

The press are being aided and abetted in this noble endeavor by those inside of the Royal family’s immense staff who wish to make trouble for the newlyweds. While the world burns down all around us, they have decided that this will be the seasonal fun of the English people. They will make humans miserable in order to have their old pecking order back the way it was when Harry was a single man.

Not sure if this is going to work out the way people expect it will. First, they could end up driving the couple out of the country. They could live anywhere, but I’m guessing they will move to California and have a non-traditional life, which is probably what they want to have happen in the first place. I mean, you could live in Malibu, or fucking London, and deal with wonderful weather and mildly amusing people or the hell of the British tabloid press and the shit sandwich that is the way of life they see right now. Grandma isn’t dying any time soon and who wants to live under the batty King Charles when it happens?

Second, they could end up accomplishing nothing because, at the end of the day, Princes William and Harry have a plan in place, and that plan will be to quietly turn the Royal family into something similar to what they have in Scandinavia when their Grandmother and Father are dead. They have no stomach for what was done to their mother which, to me, looks very similar to what’s being done to Meghan. Scores need to be settled, and these two young men have always looked ready to bury some knives in the backs of the people who carried out so many awful schemes against Princess Diana.

Third, this is all bullshit being done to sell “clicks” or papers in a country that is being torn into pieces by Russian trolls, right wing zealots, and actual fucking racist trash. You’d think the press would be more obsessed with what Brexit will do rather than an American princess, but how the hell does that sell anything to anyone?

I have always thought that William and Harry have a pact, and that they will unleash a hellish purge of the people who were behind the demonization of their mother. If those same people are trying to destroy the marriage of the youngest prince, God help them when the funerals are over.