The son of a German General becomes part of a mysterious conspiracy to gain hidden Nazi funds.
Directed by John Frankenheimer. With Michael Caine, Anthony Andrews, Victoria Tennant, Lilli Palmer.
I expected far better than this from Frankenheimer and Caine. I didn’t realize until after watching it that it was made in the mid 1980’s. It plays far more like a 70’s plot including the music and the cinematography. I’ve not read the Robert Ludlum novel, though I suspect as is the case for others in his canon that the book was far better than the film version, particularly for late 70’s/early 80’s material.
I watched this as a poorly cropped and overly letterboxed version on Amazon Prime, so the quality was certainly lacking from that perspective.
While there was a reasonable amount of suspense throughout, it’s not the directing that creates the ride, but really the liberally applied music which, while not great, was probably the best part of the experience. Those interested in what sound can do for a plot should study this piece.
In all, the plot was a muddy and convoluted and didn’t play itself out well at all. Tom Cruise’s first Mission Impossible was clearer. Frankenheimer had a few nice films, but it’s middling fare like this that squarely peg him as passable journeyman for most of his career.
Caine had one or two nice quips in the picture and was serviceable, but didn’t have quite the personality that shines through in many other pictures. The overall cast was great, they just weren’t given much in terms of plot or dialogue.
Some of the highlight quotes for me:
[Spotting a car tailing them]
Noel Holcroft: Probably just another Sunday driver. But on the other hand, as it is Tuesday, why don’t you put your foot on the gas and see what happens.
Noel Holcroft: May I suggest, that it is extremely difficult for a man, in a gray flannel suit, to behave naturally, while riding on a horse in the middle of the night, waiting for someone to shoot at you!
Leighton: Oh, dear, oh, dear. Assumption, Mr. Holcroft, is, as they say in my profession, the mother of fuck-up.
Leighton: Naughty, naughty, Mr. Holcroft. You mustn’t speak to strangers. Could be harmful to the health.
Leighton: There’s a lot of villainous characters lurking about. I’m glad to say that most of them are mine.
Noel Holcroft: I have a friend who lives in the country, and it’s supposed to be an hour from 42nd Street. A lie! The only thing that’s an hour from 42nd Street is 43rd Street!
The former World Heavyweight Champion Rocky Balboa serves as a trainer and mentor to Adonis Johnson, the son of his late friend and former rival Apollo Creed.
Directed by Ryan Coogler. With Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad.
An interesting picture, but not nearly as good as I was led to believe it would be. There was some reasonably well created drama, but I far preferred the first in the series as having more heart. This was better than some of the cheeseball sequels in the middle of the series however and was well written, directed and acted.
Watched on Amazon Prime streaming over Kindle Fire.
An endless world map: Viewing the world through "Authagraph"
"Mr. Narukawa is the inventor of Authagraph, a world map designed to fit the world into a rectangle while almost perfectly maintaining the continents' relative size. It is mathematically impossible to precisely project the earth's sphere onto a rectangle. As such, previous methods would succeed in either taking on a rectangular shape or being true to the size ratio and shape of each continent, but never in both. Authagraph is groundbreaking in that it takes on both of those qualities, making it applicable to various themes such as sea routes, geology, meteorology and world history in ways never thought possible.
Instead of abstracting the globe into a cylinder, then a plane, as the more common Mercator projection map does, the AuthaGraph turns the Earth into a tetrahedron, which then unfolds in any number of ways. The map can then be tessellated similar to the way that we can traverse the planet–without ever coming to an end.
Rather than having just one focal point—the North Atlantic in Mercator’s case—nearly any place around the Earth can be at the center. The effect also means that the relative sizes of countries and their locations are much more representative than prior maps.
Directed by Chris Renaud, Yarrow Cheney. With Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart, Lake Bell. The quiet life of a terrier named Max is upended when his owner takes in Duke, a stray whom Max instantly dislikes.
Highly entertaining first act with some great comedey, but then not quite as funny or interesting through the “search” portion of the movie. The ending was just okay and sadly all-too-predictable.
Duke’s revealed backstory didn’t seem to fit with his attitude at the beginning of the movie. Why wasn’t he sad then about the loss of his owner as he tried to fit into his new surroundings? Louis CK was brilliant casting for this.
Streamed to television in high def from Google Play as a rental for $0.99.
I made this video when I worked in south of France a few years ago.
I now work at "The Artisan Bakery" in London, where the croissant we make are even better, but I'm really a bread baker and our bread is the best.
Jeremy Cherfas is right, I think the majority of the secret is the tools. I am quite jealous of that massive dough roller, but I don’t think that a typical little home pasta machine would be quite as easy to use as Jeremy might hope.
My other favorite was the magic croissant cutter. I’ll have to look for one of those the next time I’m at a restaurant supply house. I imagine they’re pretty rare. It reminded me a little bit of the old school hand push lawn mowers.
The quick camera pan down at 5:34 with the CCR musical overlay was a lovely touch, but is a painful reminder of the fact that this type of mass manufacture is overkill for the home chef who may want as many as a dozen at a time (remember, pastries start their inevitable death the minute they’re done cooking). Though I do have to say watching this makes me want to open up a bakery, but which days is that not a thought I have?
The nice part about having this much dough was seeing some of the myriad of creative things one could do other than just croissants. Now, off to find a nice oranais.
Rebroadcast — Monday 02/20/2017
Donald Trump talks about his recent "comeback" after flirting with bankruptcy, his support of Mike Tyson after his imprisonment for rape, his divorce from Ivana Trump, and the rumors that he would run for president.
It’s amazing watching this interview from over 23 years ago. Charlie Rose takes it possibly too easy on Trump because of his entertainer status. There’s a lot of hemming and hawing on Trump’s side and he still shows these same verbal tics as he dodges questions in a somewhat charming manner. There’s no adherence to facts, yet everything is “just great”, “the best”, “this”, “that”, and so on.
It’s amazing to see some of the things Rose brings up then are still issues now. Questions about his manner and vanity still linger all these years later. The difference is that he at least acknowledged them to some extent back then.
Wednesday on the NewsHour, hundreds flee amid flooding in Northern California. Also: A major change on school bathrooms and transgender youth, newspaper editors explain readers' views on the political climate, Syrian refugees who would prefer not to move to the U.S., hope for alien life in a newly discovered solar system and an industrial towns puts its faith in revitalized manufacturing.
Based on the interview of the Mayor of San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo it sounds like Norther California is handling the heavy rains better than I would have expected.
The segment with newspaper editors around the country was alright, but seemed oddly stilted. Several of the interviewees obviously didn’t have a lot of on-camera experience. It wasn’t obvious that some of their thoughts were so much that of their constituencies as they were of themselves based on their answers.
After a contentious week for the White House, "Face the Nation" breaks down the problems the Trump administration has faced in its first month. White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-California, and Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, and others join the show.
Reince Priebus is far preferable as a White House spokesperson to either Conway or Miller, but he still doesn’t have the ability to listen and push a particular agenda. While I get the message that they’ve done a lot of work, they still need to deal with the political realities of potential scandals in a more even-handed manner. All of the other Republican appearances on today’s show were far more sober about the realities of what seems to be going on. In my mind, the only reason not to admit there’s a problem is that you have no plan for dealing with it or moving forward. It’s the administration’s appearance that they don’t seem to have any kind of overall plan that concerns me most.
It seems like the administration had the 10 word answers down pat during the campaign, but that’s all they had and sadly they don’t seem to have the paragraphs or even the books worth of information and plans to follow up on any of their ideas.
Again, I’ll note that I think it’s a continuing mistake for the Sunday morning shows to allow administration spokespeople to appear remotely via camera than to appear in person.
The best part of the episode, to me, was the re-appearance of Michael Morell, who I don’t think I’ve seen on television since before the inauguration. His depth of knowledge and analysis, even now that he’s on the journalistic side of the game, is just always superb. I don’t think anyone else in the game has the ability to lay out facts in a simple and straightforward manner without a pointed agenda. I’ll note that he even had an aside in the conversation here underlining the agenda portion.
I really like the sober voices of Bob Woodward and Jeffrey Goldberg at the end. It would be nice to see more of them in shows like these.
On a technical production note, I will mention that Face the Nation seems to have a set problem with John at the head of the table and guests on one side. The camera angles (particularly with just two guests on the same side of the table) seem to diminish the roll of the guest seated furthest from John. This doesn’t seem to be a problem with 4 or more guests, but is highlighted when there are only two. Perhaps the production could take a page from Charlie Rose’s blocking around his table with multiple guests? There was also a small chyron issue that leaked into Graham’s segment which identified him incorrectly as Nunes.
Friday on the NewsHour, President Trump touts his economic plans at a Boeing plant, while the Senate approves Scott Pruitt, a climate change skeptic, to head the EPA. Also: An update on the fate of an Iraqi translator, two Texas cities offer a microcosm of the nation's deep political divide, Mark Shields and David Brooks analyze the week's news and a new film about a controversial love story.
PBS NewsHour’s reporting on the political divide is really interesting. The fact that they’re going into middle America and bringing stories that others aren’t covering is laudable. It helps explain the divide, though I still see a tremendous disconnect between these people’s lives, their desires, their education and how the political theater is playing out with the current administration’s lack of ability and any semblance of logic.
National Security Adviser Michael Flynn resigns and Republicans don't know how to handle questions about it, and Laverne Cox discusses the TV show "Doubt."
“That guy gets so much poutine.” -Trevor Noah on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s good looks.
The Mike Flynn “cartoon” was an interesting method of storytelling.
There was a nice portion just before the interview in which Noah shows several examples of the ways in which the Trump administration tries to have things both ways, and then denies that they’re not telling the truth. Why must they waffle? Why can’t they just stand up and say “this is who we are.” We couldn’t do anything but respect them for that, but lying just ruins it all.
A map of Russia on the episode makes me wonder why I haven’t seen any pundits or comedians take the map and turn Russia’s highlight into Trump’s hair and then superimpose his face over South Asia. This image may help others with the idea: