Wednesday, March 14, 2007

March 14, 2007
Went up to Bashas and got groceries last night after work ($46.44 house account), came home and made tacos for Mark Boardman and I. We then watched The Shooting, which is an "offbeat" Western I have heard about for decades. It was directed by Monte Hellman, who also did Two Lane Blacktop, one of my favorite all-time films. Shooting stars Will Hutchins (Sugarfoot), Warren Oates, Jack Nicholson and Millie Perkins (who must have been sleeping with someone high up on this film, see producers below, because she is awful). The film isn't much better. Obtuse, erratic and ultimately boring, but of course Warren Oates is always interesting to watch. Nicholson is surprisingly droll (he's also listed as co-producer, along with Hellman). Not really worth seeing, but I can finally check this "must see" off my list.

Evidently, the Iranians are going nuclear about 300 and the history it purports to show. Of course the Persians are the villains in the hit movie and they are portrayed as "demons, without culture, feeling or humanity, who think nothing except attacking other nations and killing people." That is a quote in Ayende-No, an independent Iranian newspaper. I totally agree with them, but that's why the movie is so satisfying. Clear cut villains with no sympathy.

And since this is basically the same story as The Alamo, the people who made that film could have learned a thing or two from 300. As Paul Hutton puts it regarding the box-office disaster that was The Alamo, "Unless you portray Santa Anna as Osama Bin Ladin, it doesn't work." And unfortunately, the filmmakers chose a "balanced" look at Texas history, pointing out that Jim Bowie had slaves and that both sides were made up of noble people, who had justification for their beliefs. And while we're at it, why can't we all get along? Great sentiment and one I support, but it doesn't make for a very good movie. And to be fair to the producers of The Alamo, there is no way they could have made that movie. It's too politically incorrect. That and the fact that the Mexicans I know would have burned down every movie house in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

Speaking of Mexicans I know, I got a call from Jeanne Sedello (real name Sedillo) yesterday, asking me if I saw the report that comedian Richard Jeni had commited suicide. She reminded me that he appeared on our radio show several times and had made a pass at our beautiful producer Katherine. Of course I remembered him and thought of him as a true Zane Master. Very funny guy. But like most funny guys, the humor evidently masked a sad clown.

"I think that's how Chicago got started. A bunch of people in New York said, 'Gee, I'm enjoying the crime and the poverty, but it just isn't cold enough, let's go west.'"
- Richard Jeni

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