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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 (90)


In Which Red Oaks Takes Us Back To A Certain Time And Place

Something Better


Red Oaks
creators Gregory Jacobs and Joe Gangemi

It was truly disturbing listening to BBC coverage of the referendum on Scottish independence. Pundits trying to pretend to be neutral resulted in more ehhhhs than when Mel Gibson made his speech to the Anti-Defamation League. (The amount of Braveheart memes that spawned from this event was also intolerable.) The British were acting like, "Hey, Scotland has something really great, why would they even think of looking elsewhere?" Scotland responded, "OK fine."

David Myers (the pimply Craig Roberts) has roughly the same situation on his hands. He is in a long term relationship with a wonderful looking blonde Karen (Gage Golightly). She is the yoga instructor at a Jewish country club in New Jersey, and he is the junior tennis pro. On the surface, things seem great:

What was life even like before AppleWatch?

There is always a very good reason that a man is more interested in a brunette than a blonde. Some of these reasons include

1) colorblindness

2) recently saw an episode of Chelsea Lately and was like, "I'm out"

3) Listened to Nina Simone's "Black Is The Color Of My True Love's Hair" during transcendental meditation

4) common sense

5) "the grass is always greener"

6) Neil Strauss' The Game

7) Jane Austen's Mansfield Park

8) Any movie starring Reese Witherspoon's obsequious chin.

Actually, what am I saying, who would pass up a yoga instructor for a human sized mouse?

When David spots a Molly Ringwald-type watching him play tennis against the country club's president Mr. Getty (Paul Reiser), he loses his focus and concentration. Her mystery spans the eons; there is no way she would ever let him take her on the greens of the club's single golf course, so of course she must be more desirable than his current girlfriend.

someone kissing your face while mosquitoes bite your bare thighs is a most unpleasant sensation

Karen wants to move in with David after high school. She thinks they should get a cute dog together and take the little pup for walks. She will pursue her modeling career quietly, and only when David strictly approves of what she is doing. (Unfortunately Terry Richardson was still alive in the 80s, but such danger comes with the territory.) David is not as thrilled by the life Karen has set up for him.

David closely observes the relationship of his parents, portrayed by Richard Kind and Jennifer Grey with the kind of aplomb that the Anti-Defamation League should probably look into when they complete their Mel Gibson investigation. David's father has recently suffered a heart attack, but this incident has resulted in only more bickering and stress.

Jennifer Grey, we hardly knew ye

Watching Grey without her signature schnozz is still very difficult for me, whereas my wife Lynne wondered aloud, "She couldn't throw on a little make up? She's on television" while doing her Joan Rivers impression. David's parents are not in love with each other. There is no passion there: his mother may be a closeted lesbian, and his father has a predilection for Asian women, both of which are so noxious a stereotype that you might notice it if you weren't too busy observing the glory of Karen in her natural habitat:

Getting menopausal women to wear blue eyeshadow should have been the focus
of Michelle Obama's wellness initiative

Sure, Red Oaks does start to feel a bit cobbled together after awhile, but David Gordon Green excels at giving us something that is completely familiar and filling it with new surprises. It makes a dark sense that people stay in unhappy relationships while they continue to pursue new ones. Could Scotland maybe find a better God? They'd rather have England on the hook if they need them. I'll get my coat.

Where was I? New surprises. The senior pro at the club is Nash (Ennis Esmer). After David lets Paul Reiser, the club president, take a few sets off him, David's job is in jeopardy if he can't beat the older man after losing a set. He wins while the brunette watches him from the cheap seats.

life was so good before popped collars

It turns out that the lingering brunette is Paul Reiser's daughter. I think they eventually had a kid on Mad About You, didn't they? That relationship sure took its sweet time. Paul and Helen had the most amazing kitchen. It was like an enclosed room with counter space everywhere. It was super-cozy, and Helen Hunt's forehead wasn't super-massive yet. Paul Reiser really had it all. Now he just looks tired, cranky and sick of starring in pilots that don't get picked up:

"I was with a blonde woman for two decades, David. Pass."

The best part about Dirty Dancing was the class struggle, and how Patrick Swayze was trailer trash that no one wanted around their daughter. The second P. Swayze saw that schnozz, he sang the Jewel song, "You Were Meant For Me" and they danced together. (It's been awhile since I've seen Dirty Dancing.) Jennifer Grey was radiant in her role as a Jewish man's daughter,  of that much I can assure you.

Skye (Alexandra Socha) is a lot less charming. Her name isn't really funny, but her resemblance to a brunette Molly Ringwald is intense. Red Oaks will probably never make it to series, since it seems to run out of steam on its own concept about twenty minutes in to its first episode. There's something interesting here, but not enough to commit to. I'm going to go ask Lynne if she wants to pull my pants down to my ankles and scratch my mosquito bites. Talk to you later.

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording.

If you watch Animal House today, all those guys would have life sentences in jail.
"Not a Second More" - The Lees of Memory (mp3)

"(I Want You To) Let It Flow" - The Lees of Memory (mp3)


In Which This Was Made Largely For China And To Hurt Megan Fox's Feelings



Transformers: Age of Extinction
dir. Michael Bay
165 minutes

I don't throw the word genius around a lot, unless someone is washing my feet or my car. We have long needed an American director who was absolutely fearless, and now we have found him. Michael Bay is willing to destroy his actors to get what he wants onscreen. What exactly is Michael Bay's heart's desire? He wanted to make a movie about a love triangle between a father, his daughter and her Australian boyfriend.

In this he succeeded with Transformers: Age of Extinction. Mark Wahlberg's daughter informs us that she has been "taking care" of Marky Mark since his wife passed. (A robot winks meaningfully after that.) It is a poor choice of words at best, a mild and innocuous felony at worst. Unfortunately, Tessa Yeager (Nicola Peltz) had to die:

This is actually how Natalie Wood died IMO

The lifespan of women in Transformers is limited in the extreme. They get tired and fatigued from running and screaming for help, and heart disease claims them in the end. Megan Fox has actually been dead for over a decade. In the last Transformers movie, which I believe was subtitled Transformers: My Pea Is Your Pod, Megan Fox and Shia LaBeouf perished in the warmth of Optimus Prime's nasal cavity, requiring this reboot.

Not a single person from any of those previous Transformers movies is even peripherally involved in Age of Extinction, but all of the characters still talk the exact same.

Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) owns a fledgling robotics company that has not produced a single working robot. When he meets Optimus Prime (Christian Bale), he immediately begins planning to steal the alien technology and use it for his own nefarious means. His household is "under control", because after his wife died, he prohibited both himself and his daughter from ever dating, which I believe is both illegal and extremely creepy unless you're Indian.

She couldn't even get a flirtatious moment with Mark Wahlberg? Racist.

Because Transformers is way more successful outside of America, Bay has included a variety of token ethnicities. After the blowback from his ghetto Transformers incident from the NAACP (they later honored him with a lifetime achievement award) Mr. Bay has steered clear of including any black characters in the entire movie. There is not even an African-American dinosaur robot

Instead, Bay really appreciates Asian audiences. That's why he has included a female executive (Li Bingbing) in Age of Extinction, who Stanley Tucci regards as "extremely impressive." Naturally, even though she is his subordinate, he hits on her throughout the film and eventually she seems open to his disgusting advances. (How do you think Michael Bay obtained children?)

There is also a Samurai transformer who appears to be attired like the cover of a Midwestern edition of The Art of War. His accent is so unbelievably sinister and racist that it makes Aunt Jemima look progressive, (Unfortunately, I learned this is Ken Watanabe's actual accent. Sorry Ken.)

I can't feel sympathy for the pricks who tow cars. I really can't this time you guys.

Inside of every Transformer is the life force known as the spark; "we cah that a soul" Wahlberg bleats. In a massive alien ship he finds special transformer killing guns and turns into Rambo.  Cade sends his daughter away but she comes back to fight on the side of the good robots. Kelsey Grammar tries to have the daughter gunned down for no real reason by the evil island spirit on Lost and Mark Wahlberg is like, "Ya tried to kull my dawghter." I miss Dr. Frasier Crane.

The dinosaur part of the story goes something like this: the transformers killed the dinosaurs. The only reason they offered is because they have a less than respectful view of the artistic aspects of The Land Before Time. Mark Wahlberg acts like he would rather be anywhere, showcasing an intense contempt for the man he is portraying. Incidentally "Cade" is a very difficult word for a robot to say, and Optimus Prime goes out of his way not to utter Cade's name so as not to confuse his ethnic Autobots.

Mr. Bay, remember that time you gave that extra brain damage as you screaming, "Autobots Assemble" at her while dressed like Nick Fury?

Even though Cade's daughter Tessa is only 17, she has developed an intense emotional connection with a race car driver. God knows what they have in common or where they met, but it's up to this fellow to prove his worthiness to the girl's father. This disturbing wooing of permission is not only deeply retrograde and sexist, it occurs during a car chase.

The action culminates in nothing very exciting. The last film ended with a set piece that destroyed the city of Chicago, which was at least therapeutic. Age of Extinction concludes suddenly after one of the robots is destroyed; I believe the robot's name was Gastroenteritistron. He wanted to bring Optimus back to his "creator," which is probably Morgan Freeman in a suit if the last ten years of cinema is any indication.

There was no one with brown eyes in this entire movie, it was like a 21st century 'Triumph of the Will'

In the end, Optimus decides he is really very sick of humanity, and would do anything he could to get away from them. He watched his Autobot friends hacked and divested of their Happy Meals and metal belongings, and in doing so he witnessed the destruction of his entire way of life. Age of Extinction had the largest ever opening in China. Every invading culture is quietly subsumed and irrevocably altered by the victims it claims.

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording. He is a writer living in an undisclosed location who misses Hot Pie.

"If The Morning Comes" - Transfer (mp3)

"We Don't Have To Be Nice Anymore" - Transfer (mp3)


In Which We Imagine All The People Left Behind

I'm Going Back In The Hatch


The Leftovers
creators Damon Lindelof & Tom Perrotta

Imagine a world in which Justin Theroux woke up and the older woman he was romancing was simply no longer there.

Jennifer Aniston went to heaven on a jet plane. In heaven she no longer has to play a stripper or prostitute in every movie, she just portrays a mature woman in her fifties who knows what she wants from life. She has been absorbed, along with 2 percent of the world's population, into an afterlife while the rest of the proleteriats go on with their earthy travails.

We never see it, but we can assume Heaven is fantastic in HBO's The Leftovers. You would think being with only virtuous people would get annoying over time, but that is not the case, because God let some assholes into heaven as well, The Leftovers informs us at length. They serve hors d'oeuvres.

Most assumed that the guys responsible for Lost would never get jobs in the industry again, but when that pitch meeting comes around, Damon Lindelof tells a compelling anecdote about how their original idea for what was in the hatch was Demi Lovato nude and tied up, but Jamie Tarses nixed it.

Given that Carlton Cuse created the masterful Bates Motel, I have forgiven the fact that he looks and sounds like a cowardly lion and I now direct all my venom towards Damon Lindelof. The Leftovers proves he was by far the weakest link in Lost besides Desmond's lackluster gf.

David Carradine is sitting up alertly in his grave

It is hard to imagine who The Leftovers could possibly appeal to. It makes religious people look like zany cretins who smoke cigarettes constantly, it makes kids look like sex and drug crazed infidels, it makes minorities look like ineffectual pawns and victims in a whitewashed future and it has over three dream sequences just in the first episode. No one could possibly enjoy this.

At one point Theroux's daughter (Margaret Qualley) is choking some guy while he jerks off at a party. Afterwards she discovers a dead dog in the trunk of her dad's car, which she buries with her friends. At the conclusion of this disturbing set of moments, Lynne openly wondered to me, "At least stag films have the added aspect of turning you on or making you afraid."

Can you blame her for wanting a hard think after she chokes some bro while he comes for over an hour?

In the book version of The Leftovers, Theroux is very depressed that his wife (Amy Brenneman) has gone off to join the local silent cult Guilty Remnant, even though he was cheating on her with another white woman. Are you guys as tired of ww as I am? Not everyone has a white wife, I mean I do, but do I need to see my own life on television all the time? The answer is yes, but not every single time.

I identified just as well with Stringer Bell until I found out he was really British and pretending to be kewl.

Guys, our sheriff is 5'3" and he left his girlfriend of fifteen years for Jennifer Aniston. Crime may be a problem.

The Leftovers only has one clever trick up its sleeve. In order to make the rest of the cast look like a bunch of Julliard-trained professionals, Lindelof has chosen to employ the casual acting ministrations of Liv Tyler.

Tyler portrays a woman in an unhappy engagement. She is in the car with her fiance when he starts singing. At first she laughs good naturedly, but then he goes on singing and she decides to join the religious order of fanatics who devote themselves to reminding everyone else that they were not chosen by God to serve Jennifer Aniston pain au chocolat. In the cult she meets Theroux's wife, and her real romance begins. She sounds like Arwen throughout and never changes her facial expression, even when she's taking a huge shit.

God is the Marlboro Man confirmed

In order to assuage his feelings of loneliness and abandonment - even though no one in his family was actually even absorbed by the rapture - Theroux starts a relationship with his high school aged daughter's best friend. Fucking American Beauty. The devastating toll of boredom and cliche spawned by Sam Mendes' lack of directing talent continues to destroy lives even decades after its release.

Theroux actually overdelivers in this thankless role, but the fact that he is physically more suited to play a munchkin in the Michael Bay-directed resurrection of The Wizard of Oz hampers his credibility. Every single person in the show is taller than him, requiring more workarounds and odd angles than Tom Cruise looking up at Emily Blunt's chin. I really hope seeing this pilot is why Aniston postponed the wedding.

American Beauty was utter trash, and leaving Kate Winslet was even stupider

We all know that at the end of The Leftovers it is going to turn out that this was heaven all along, or some light at the back of the cave will be the answer to everything. Somewhere in there, Matthew Fox will be arrested for drunk driving. He could play the Devil, or alternately, he could be God. Come to think of it, this show could really use Matthew Fox: his best case scenario is portraying Jennifer Aniston's boyfriend in heaven. She deserves a good-looking guy.

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording. He will not be recapping further episodes of The Leftovers, or even watching it all, until Liv Tyler retires from the acting profession.

"Big Girls Cry" - Sia (mp3)

"Eye of the Needle" - Sia (mp3)