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Pretty used to being with Gwyneth

Regrets that her mother did not smoke

Frank in all directions

Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais

Simply cannot go back to them

Roll your eyes at Samuel Beckett

John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion

Metaphors with eyes

Life of Mary MacLane

Circle what it is you want

Not really talking about women, just Diane

Felicity's disguise

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Entries in dick cheney (87)

Monday
Oct272014

In Which Most People Enjoy A Convincing Eskimo Kiss

Spoilers for Gone Girl follow in this review.

Fresh Melons

by DICK CHENEY

Gone Girl
dir. David Fincher


Neil Patrick Harris' inclusion as the titular Gone Girl in this movie was entirely a tactic to encourage reviewers to begin their essais with those familiar words, "Susan Sontag, in her essay 'Notes on Camp'...

The series of shirts that Ben Affleck wears in this movie to cover the actual shape of his body was impressive; he looked like Mr. Fantastic. Affleck's character, Nick Dunne, is a creative writing professor who slept with his hottest student. There was no mention of the quality of her writing, but there was a high likelihood she penned the sentence, "His eyes were the window to his soul."

just another reason that sarah silverman's song about protecting your neck is more relevant than ever

I have rewatched the scene in which Amy (Rosamund Pike) slits Neil Patrick Harris' throat with a box cutter a number of times. It looks like the end of a College Humor sketch, and I would like the name of Ms. Pike's ass double.

You know what society really needed right now? A movie about a woman who lies, more than once, about being raped.

A strange time for a St .Louis movie about wp, but Tyler was there to liven things up. Hi Tyler.

Nick Dunne's mistress had it all. She didn't have to wash his clothes or his dishes or care for his tawny cat. He didn't even cheat on her. He taught her things, like the intricacies of the work of Andre Dubus III and how T.S. Eliot had a borderline inappropriate relationship with his mother. She lived in a nice dorm on a beautiful college campus; in contrast Nick Dunne's sister lived in pig shit, serving slop to basics at The Bar.

You know it's the past because books sold enough to have stores back then.

Death during sex is a timeless way to go; it is how I assume George Stephanopoulus will perish. He suddenly, in the throes of something or other, wilts like a leaf. If these people had gone to church I kind of get the feeling this never would have happened.

I always sob after my brother has sex with one of his students. Always.

Pike's character should have been on The Bold and the Beautiful. She wasn't much fun except when she was winning at miniature golf. Whether or not a man likes a woman with her own mind is really the point here.

Ben Affleck's recent meltdown aside, he is used to Jennifer Garner screaming, "These melons aren't fresh Beeeen." Shit like that gets a bit maddening when all you want to do is settle down with a glass of cabarnet and Marguerite Yourcenar novel.

Is he wearing a girdle?

The music here is the absolute worst. I mean they should have scrapped the entire soundtrack that's how bad it was. When Tyler Perry finally made his appearance and they took all of twenty seconds to set up the character, you knew there were problems.

This book would have been a lot better as a TV series, I don't know why they couldn't have milked it like a fresh canteloupe. Affleck and his incestuous sister could have exchanged eskimo kisses and adopted a dog together.

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording. You can visit our mobile site at thisrecording.wordpress.com

miss u casey

"Keep On Lying" - Jessie Ware (mp3)

"Champagne Kisses" - Jessie Ware (mp3)


Tuesday
Sep302014

In Which We Believe That God Has Spoken Directly To Ron Perlman

His Left Hand

by DICK CHENEY

Ron Perlman's goatee looks like a hand covering his mouth. He is left handed, so it is his left hand that he raises in a public fountain where the police find him, speaking in tongues. In the opening scene of Hand of God, his pert body receives enlightenment from his God, a traditional beginning to many Bible stories. Executive producer Marc Forster's Amazon pilot purports to make fun of this tale. Hand of God is a roundly pessimistic take on this inspiring yarn.

You see, Perlman's character is from Texas, which means he is probably a bad person. Ron's wrinkles portray a judge named Pernell who used to give everyone maximum sentences - before God spoke to him. 

I was recently told by someone that Barack Obama is an atheist, which I have to admit surprised me. If someone made me president, I'd be sure think God wanted good things for me, and was probably planning for me to enter into a long term relationship with a woman completely different from my wife in every way, say, a prime minister of another country.

Dana Delany plays Ron's wife. They are rarely in the same frame together, because it is really hard to believe the two are a couple. Ron has sex with an African-American prostitute in his judge's chambers, but then he thinks better of this act. He's been enlightened, and having sex with a woman for money is wrong. The woman has to hear her client say, "I think we should just talk from now on." Ron seems sad to do it, but he can't cheat on his wife anymore.

European artists like Forster are obsessed with Westerns, which was kind of a sideways version of the south. Now they've turned their back on people like Pernell. Unfortunately, I can think of no redeeming quality of such a person, either. Perlman's character degrades everything around him in pursuit of God's wishes, which does not seem so terrible in theory, but is in practice devastating.

Pernell's daughter marries a Jewish woman who wants to take him off life support after he tries to kill himself, after watching his wife raped by a police officer. (This is what Forster thinks law-abiding citizens of America do with their time.) Pernell disobeys her wishes and keeps his son alive, believing the young man can communicate with him, using the power of the Lord, who the rapist is.

Pernell's fellow churchgoers include men and women of color. Pernell finds he relates to them better than the other people in his life, who have only a cursory connection to the Lord. 

That people who believe in God go against his principles is not a contradiction in terms. Ron turns ugliness into its own farcial weaponry on those who understimate him. Whatever gruff charm he has left is kind of like the final snarl of a working hound. 

Austin, TX makes for a flaccid setting, probably because the show is not shot there and because Forster knows nothing of whatever charm might be had in the city. Hand of God does not know whether to condemn belief or consider it a cause roughly on the same level as justice. It is as mixed up as its protagonist.

As bad as the Amazon-funded Hand of God is, it should have been a lot campier, with Perlman in gothic robes and a subplot about Dana Delany's addiction to drugs. Camp really needs to come back; where is Wayne Koestenbaum when we actually need him for once?

This past week was saved by a female performance that will echo through the eons. Kristin Connelly's performance as the wife of Harry Houdini had to be seen to be believed. I invited a lot of my friends over to watch this woman. She was incandescent:

This is what she wore right when the doctor tells her Houdini isn't going to make it. I mean the costume design on this thing was the most moving part of the magician's journey. There's also a moment where she screams at Houdini, why did I marry a Jew? The entire story is quite dramatic. It's weird that Kristen Connolly and Ellie Kemper are two different people, and not twins.

There's a really odd scene in Houdini where Houdini kisses his mother on the lips. It turns out to be the smooch of death, because I guess she died when he went on tour in Europe. The History Channel really brought it this time. I wonder if there was actually a newspaper that said this:

The paper would probably looks authentic, were it not for the motto, "All the News That's Fit To Print." I guess the inaccuracy would be forgivable, I mean William Randolph Hearst was not that big of a dick, and Aladdin was actually a wonderfully effective thief.

Kristen Connolly's effortless line readings were the highlight of this ten-cent production, but Adrien Brody was not terrible himself. His hair was electric, and he made Houdini seem very condescending and obsessive. The actors who played Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his wife were also excellent:

Campy biopics haven't been this impressive since the Celine Dion biopic with Joe Pantaliano. If you have a chance, treat yourself to that gem. I think the TV Guide network airs it every Kwanzaa.

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording. Visit our mobile site at thisrecording.wordpress.com.

"Holloway (Hey Love)" - Wildcat! Wildcat! (mp3)

"Garden Greys" - Wildcat! Wildcat! (mp3)

Tuesday
Sep232014

In Which Every Morning When We Wake Up Robert Rodriguez

Mexican Goddess

by DICK CHENEY

From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series
creator Robert Rodriguez


I still think the casting in Pulp Fiction was all wrong. Bruce Willis was too old to play a prize-fighter. Uma Thurman looked pretty good but she didn't seem like some crime lord's wife, and I still don't understand what the point of flirting with a gay hitman was. Also giving someone a long speech before killing them, especially if they are Phil LaMarr? Pulp Fiction had a lot of plot holes, and it was also missing something very crucial: Wilmer Valderrama in a key role.

From Dusk Till Dawn
, the 1996 version, had George Clooney. It was before he met Steven Soderbergh and contracted the airborne virus of self-righteousness; it was before he turned an engagement with a semi-pretty lawyer into a public makeover emphasizing what a great guy he is. He was still doing that annoying thing where he lowered his head and looked up through his brow to talk to other actors.

I am ashamed to admit I thought the accent from That 70s Show was how he really talked.

The new George Clooney (D.J. Cotrana) looks like a miniature version of his hunky predecessor. Everything about the series version is a little smaller, a little less depraved, but it turns out that is just what the concept needed. The new From Dusk Till Dawn fixes almost everything that was wrong with the first one, including killing off one of the Gecko brothers far, far too soon. Recently released on Netflix in its entirety, the show has already been renewed for a second season.

Stacy Keibler is salivating for the third time today.

Seth and Richard Gecko's journey from Los Angeles to a strip club in Mexico that traps them inside deserved a lot better. It was one of Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino's first projects, and if George Clooney wanted in their movie, they had to take him, even if he was kind of bad and mealy-mouthed in the role.

The casting of Seth Gecko is no better here, but the casting of Zane Holtz as Richard Gecko is entirely improved, since Tarantino wasn't much of a performer either. Even after only a few minutes of From Dusk Till Dawn, you get how much of television has entirely the wrong tone for its content - Rodriguez's control over that aspect allows you to relax and enjoy the litany of stupid cultural references we have come to expect from Quentin Tarantino-inspired diegesis.

MIght be best not to take your wardrobe cues from Frank Miller there Bob

The original surprise of From Dusk Till Dawn is that you could be surprised by it, assuming you did not know it was a supernatural movie to begin with. In 1996, the twist came so out of nowhere it is hard to imagine the drama without it, but now that the mystery is gone, the concept has to rise or fall on its own momentum. In 1996, we were surprised by a lot of things, I mean, who even knew why a man would put a cigar tube in a woman's vagina in those innocent days?

Valderrama himself is a revelation as a powerful vampire masterminding the crime spree of the two disturbed brothers. Opposite Mexican pop star Eiza Gonzalez as Santanico Pandemonium, the pair deepen the flimsy role popularized by Salma Hayek. The extensive background on the vampires is not really necessary, but the tone is so much fun that it obscures all the flaws in the concept.

She should take her pep talk to the UN

The Gecko brothers meet up with a former reverend (Robert Patrick) taking his kids to Mexico as he flees a vehicle manslaughter charge, it was kind of hard to imagine Harvey Keitel as a man of the cloth. Robert Patrick makes a much better Jacob Fuller, and Juliette Lewis was a bit old to be the virginal sacrifice/ preacher's daughter. Replacing her in our hearts is Noah's Madison Davenport, who kind of looks like an off-brand Emma Watson.

She's eighteen and you're disgusting.

Davenport's star turn here is perfect. She is just tantalizing enough to be impossible; the character is deeper than any female in the entirety of Rodriguez's oeuvre to this point. Instead of being simply a survivor, we understand and appreciate what it means to be a woman torn apart by the men around her. Turning Kate into a real heroine rectifies nearly all my complaints about the original.

How I learned I want to marry Robert Patrick.

Rodriguez's talents are rare in the industry: he gets nuanced, emotional performances out of young actors that other directors can't, and his control over when violence happens and how people react to it stands out too. Where he is not so unusual is his love for the stems of his leading ladies. Fortunately the women of From Dusk Till Dawn are overall too young for him, and judging from the excessive screen time and gratuitous nudity Eva Green had on display in the latest Sin City, he had other priorities.

On some level worshipping women as gods or beacons of purity is as destructive as positioning them as prostitutes, but at least in From Dusk Till Dawn, they get a chance to select their fate for themselves.

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording. You can find an archive of his writing on This Recording here.

"I Keep Running" - Ryan Adams (mp3)

"Jacksonville" - Ryan Adams (mp3)