The realism trap

I suppose dumb libs may choose Donald Trump as a lesser evil because he’s not, to use a dreadful metaphor with some truth, “owned” by lobbyists. Nonsense. “The only reason that this idea of Trump-as-realist is even being entertained at all,” Daniel Larison writes, “is that every other presidential candidate is arguably even more irresponsible… More The realism trap

‘I think you should have the law changed by the legislature’

Forty-eight hours after a debate performance that forced Beltway hacks to consider whether his handlers had inserted the correct 5 1/4 floppy disk into the Rubiotron 4000, this advanced cybernetic system registered another leaden moment in New Hampshire: Man: “I’m a gay man, already married. I’m already married, have been for a long time. And… More ‘I think you should have the law changed by the legislature’

Screenings #15

“I’ll admit that sending you to a sanitarium wasn’t a nice thing to do,” the eponymous heroine says to her husband in Harriet Craig, a 1950 Joan Crawford picture in which biography and fiction fuse. Playing a housewife with an obsession for order and cleanliness, Crawford is so focused that the picture trembles on its… More Screenings #15

The Rubio meltdown

Half sober in an Uber vehicle last night, I opened my phone and saw several dozen updates on the junior senator from Florida’s evaporation at the GOP “debate” — he opened his mouth, let the recording in his larynx module speak words that approximated English, and repeated words under stress: “Let’s dispel with this fiction… More The Rubio meltdown

How Clinton is a better campaigner

Hillary Clinton didn’t “win” the foreign policy of Feb. 4’s Democratic debate. Unlike Bernie Sanders, she accepted the premise of Chuck Todd and Rachel Maddow’s boneheaded questions about Syria and Afghanistan. Not one question, for example, on whether an American president has the constitutional authority to target an American citizen for assassination in a foreign… More How Clinton is a better campaigner

Singles 2/5

Unanimous acclaim went KING’s way, and deservedly. This shimmering track eschews most of the rules of R&B vocalizing: stoke the starmaking machinery by promoting one over the other two or three. I’ll say more after I file a long review of We Are KING. Jeremih, however, did stand out with another release from his fine… More Singles 2/5

‘Rubio is not, however, moderate, or even close to it’

I’d say, “Well, who cares, The New Yorker‘s on my side,” but Margaret Talbot writes a curt summary of The Brown-Skinned Hope’s appeal anyway: At times, Rubio can project a soothing, authoritative calm not unlike Ben Carson’s but without the mooniness. He has a legitimately stirring family story: he’s the Spanish-speaking, Cuban-American son of two… More ‘Rubio is not, however, moderate, or even close to it’

Gutting Florida’s open records law, bit by bit

And of course this bipartisan bill is under consideration in Florida, the state with the prettiest name, because why keep something as singular as our sunshine law intact? In a debate that could reshape how the state handles its Sunshine laws, Florida lawmakers are swiftly advancing a bill that proponents say will crack down on… More Gutting Florida’s open records law, bit by bit

Coens return to pointless pastiche with ‘Hail, Caesar!’

If you’ve spent twenty-five years waiting for a sequel to the Michael Lerner sequence in Barton Fink, then Hail, Caesar! is your movie. The Coen brothers’ spoof of fifties Hollywood movie culture shuffles through a half dozen threads with ease, and a couple of them are bulls eyes. The rest, however, returns to the cryogenic… More Coens return to pointless pastiche with ‘Hail, Caesar!’

Best films of 2015 – complete list

Here’s the full list with links. Goodbye, 2015. Girlhood, dir. Céline Sciamma. em>Mistress America, dir. Noah Baumbach. 45 Years, dir. Andrew Haigh. Magic Mike XXL, dir. Gregory Jacobs. Creed, dir. Ryan Coogler. Heart of a Dog, dir. Laurie Anderson. The New Girlfriend, dir. François Ozon. Appropriate Behavior, dir. Desiree Akhavan. Results, dir. Andrew Bujalski. In… More Best films of 2015 – complete list