Political Correctness Truly Defined (Part 2)

I want to make something perfectly clear here. I do not feel that one’s political views should have any bearing on whether or not they are accepted as artists, writers, singers, etc…The trend in Hollywood has been for decades to embrace the far left and shut out anyone with any views that deviate from that view, even if the person trying to make a living is middle of the road.

There is a view among many in society that a comic should only entertain according to the point(s) of view that are personally acceptable to them. Artists in all camps do not accept this notion as it is a form of dictating their material, or in easier terms to understand, societal censorship.  Politicians have been subject to ridicule from both sides of the spectrum but it is only when someone who is in power on the left that the specter of censorship rears its ugly head.

There were proposed rule changes to the FCC about writers and reporters that did not get put into place because those rules interfere with the first amendment and since the media is largely “owned” anyhow, it was a waste of taxpayer funds to make such rules. If the people of the United States wanted government controlled media, they’d start moving elsewhere.

Reporters, if they have any sense of ethics, should be reporting the story truthfully, without interjecting what they think should happen as a result of the evolving stories coming into place. The people do not need a journalist to help them make up their minds. They have a sense of what they feel is right and what they feel is wrong.  In fact, if anything, viewers should find any reporter that takes it upon himself/herself to try to change their views on any issue to be insulting. That is not their job. If they want to get preached at by anyone, they will turn off the television and go to church. The audience, for the most part, wants the story–without how  the person reporting “feels” about it.

Both the media and Hollywood have worked very hard to be the self-appointed moral compass of this nation and that is the last thing they should be. Individuals can decide the course of their own destinies without their advice. For the most part if they are not paid to entertain, they are paid to inform. Personally, unless I’m watching the news or PBS, I do not want to hear about political topics. I go to movies to escape these things. I go to concerts to escape these things. When those in these fields try to tell me I should have point of view A rather , point of view B, I tend to get rather angry.

I do realize that some acts in general ARE politically motivated and write their music accordingly. If the fans want that, that is their decision. Those acts are doing what they think is their “mission” in life which is to bring awareness. There is nothing wrong with that.  The same holds true for writers who make it known what the purpose is for script A or script B. However if it’s not on a topic that has my interest, I won’t go or watch the show.  However that is NOT the job of the journalist and they need to get back to reporting the news and stop giving 3 minutes of story and 30 minutes of editorializing.

When writers insert politics into a script with what otherwise would be a very good drama that isn’t pushing their views, I change the channel. I do not want to watch a TV sitcom and hear about how good Obamacare is. That is not why I watch TV. Thank God the Brits aren’t doing that crap. However getting money from grants to do so is an incentive. I’m sure if the GOP had done that, the left would be screaming bloody murder about taxpayer funds going toward that. Well I would also, but it is because taxpayer funds shouldn’t be going to pay for advertising government programs and campaigning on mainstream TV shows on MY DIME.

We have a 17 trillion-dollar deficit and that is the last thing government money should be going to…Common sense should dictate as much.

As for Hollywood, they should have followed Clint Eastwood’s example when he hired both Tim Robbins and Sean Penn to be in “Mystic River”. He hired objectively and their political views didn’t make a bit of difference. He hired them on the merits of their talent.  Remember Matt McConaughey’s Oscar acceptance speech and how Hollywood cringed? I hate to burst their bubble that speech was indicative of a more “new age” view than anything, which many there embrace.  Hollywood, by exhibiting such bias, is alienating  the movie going audience. As they continue to lose more at the box office due to this and the rising prices of tickets, they should bear in mind that if they cannot be open to viewers of all factions, this trend will continue.

That being said, if anyone is open to the idea of opening up an Independent movie studio in TX, I know of a place that is for sale in a desert location that would make an excellent spot due to it’s historical significance alone–for a cool $2.9 million bucks and you’d better snatch it up before a certain studio in California decides to do so (if they get the idea)! I just had to throw that in, but have a great day!

This Will Be an Interesting July 4th Week! “Monumental”, I’m Sure!

Once in a while a film comes along that makes one think about life before it is even released.  One such film being made is ‘Monumental’ which stars Gary Cairns II, Luke Albright, Agnes Olech, and Bill Oberst Jr.   It is being directed by Scott Hansen.

In this story, which is written by Gary Cairns and Luke Albright, two men embark on a cross-country journey to spread the ashes of Clayne’s mother (played by Gary) at various historical monuments she had dreams of visiting, but never got a chance to go to. Along the way, they encounter dangerous situations that lead them down an unexpected path.  This trip will be ANYTHING but normal.

Coming face to face with the possibility of losing my mother someday, this is one film that I am waiting to see. I am going to put two links here so that readers can check this out.  The first is to the Facebook page for the movie.  The 2nd will be to the indiegogo.com page.  The fund-raising part is over, but you can still see the interview clips there.  This movie is going to be good. It is going to be an open road journey where each character has to come face-to-face whatever they are dealing with inside.

I feel that it also falls in line with the spirit of July 4th being that Clayne’s mother had a passion for those monuments to which the cast and crew are traveling during the filming of this adventure.

Aside from that it is turning into a real adventure for these guys. They make videos and take photos of almost every place they visit and pay thanks to those who’ve been a part of their journey along the way.  In the process of filming, not only are these guys filming a fictional adventure of great value, but they are discovering that the American Spirit is alive and well in every place they visit–and have videos on the Facebook page of those places along the way! Be on the lookout for these guys! They may come to your town next! I’m surprised the Today Show or Ellen DeGeneres hasn’t caught up with them yet! This is a story worth sharing! Here is a pic of these guys for you so you all can watch for them!

Gary and Luke

Left: Gary Cairns II         Right: Luke Albright

 

In the meantime here is link 1 and if on FB, please click like and share:

https://www.facebook.com/monumentalmoviepage?fref=ts

And for the interview clips, go here:

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/monumental

 

The World of Indie Films…And Why They WORK~!

This is a matter of opinion so I am really not concerned with who agrees with me since I am simply an audience member who is NOT part of the academy that LOVES  independent films.  Indie films do work and are gaining a wider audience. Has anyone ever asked why this is? I have.  The reason they are gaining status and are respected–even if low-budget–is that they are perceived to not be part of the Hollywood produced, high-budget, politically correct celluloid productions that seem to be irritating the hell out of everyone at this point.  They hype around such productions is irritating audiences as well when they get into a theater to see a much-anticipated film only to be highly disappointed.

There is a trend in major Hollywood productions as of late to keep putting out sequels upon sequels (E.G.–Pirates of the Caribbean) and such.  Now there is “Footloose” and “The Thing” which are remakes–and a “Dirty Dancing” remake is in the works from what I hear.  If Hollywood cannot come up with original ideas, they need new blood running the place and that’s all I have to say on that.  While some of these films do well, and are actually good, they only draw into the theaters for short terms due to VOD and rapid DVD releases.  This is not good for the studios or the actors/actresses so I don’t know why the hell they engage in this type of marketing.

They should not make these available for satellite for at least 90 days after release–and no vinyl productions for as long.  This is, to me, a form of “suicide marketing”.  Films can do better at the box office if they simply held off on making them available to the redistribution markets for at least 90 days.  I am not an actor either, but this damned form of marketing has done more damage to the acting profession and the studios than any type of thing I’ve noticed…That is, unless the name “Depp” is attached to it.

In either case, unless it’s a good Indie film, I wait for the bloody dvd.   The only movies I will buy a ticket for are those that are recommended by certain people I keep an eye on.  I saw “The Conspirator” and it is Oscar material.  I saw “The Help”. It is also.  I expect several to come from the latter.  However, when I notice how actors bring a role to life–that is what keeps me buying tickets to see their movies.  I loved “Red” and I loved the 2009 “Star Trek”.  The roles in those were played in a way that were believable enough to enjoy–and there weren’t a lot of eye candy models/actors/actresses  pretending they knew how to act.   I was pretty well burned  out on theaters in the late 70’s because of all the bullshit movies that were coming out–with a FEW exceptions.

IN THE 70’s–the Billy Jack movies got my attention.    The movie had real points to be made.  Now Mark Wahlberg has the rights to the story.  IF he is smart, he will not pull a Johnny Depp and take the lead part himself.  When an actor buys the rights to something so they can star in it and put their own spin on it–a lot of everyday people out here call it “Drew Berrymore Syndrome”.  Buy the rights and you’re the star of it–and it is not always for the best, either.  Believe me if people were more in touch with the audiences and less concerned with the thoughts of the academy, they would knock this crap off too.

If I were Wahlberg, I would take a strong look at Alex O’Loughlin (Hawaii 5-0)…He has just the cool to pull that role off…If you saw the episode at the end where Patti Duke and Peter Fonda co-starred, then you KNOW what I’m talking about. Purists will say, well  he’s an Aussie…Well you know what? WHO gives a rat’s ass where he was born and/or raised?  That guy can act and he can give that part justice!  I don’t see critics in an uproar when Rick Springfield plays and American so what the hell is wrong with this guy playing a man who is part Indian? I have no problem with that and I am part Comanche Indian.

Now if Wahlberg ditches the cheesy music and the football yoga references and such, fine.  The story can still work anyway–but whoever he has to play Billy Jack is going to have to have the same “cool” that Tom Laughlin has and he’s going to have to NOT pick some well-known beautiful older actress to play Jean. No offense but 90% of the eye candy actresses could never bring  justice to her character either.  If I were going to pick anyone for Jean, I’d narrow it down to Jessica Chastain OR Bryce Dallas Howard.

Right now, the only guy I can see playing Billy is O’Loughlin.  AND I would strongly consider a lesser known actor for Bernard too.  Gary Cairns does come to mind here.  The problem is, they need to make Bernard evil as hell and have him be a bit more intelligent–period!  He was portrayed as an aloof dunce in the original and I think the story line would be better served if he were made to look evil or at least FULL of angst.  He also needs to be articulate, intelligent and crazy like a damned fox!

Now for Bernard’s dad, the sheriff and the governor–I’d say just be careful…Pick actors known for playing some pretty mean bastards there…For Bernard’s dad, I’d see about getting Christopher Pennock.  If it were up to me, I’d pick Ben Cross to play the prosecutor or the leader of the military operation–if they put the trial in.  That scene where one of the military men lays down the rifle and joins on the side of the Freedom School spoke volumes to me.  I’d re-write it to where whoever Cross plays if in the military aspect of it, is the first one to lay the rifle down and move toward the students to join them. I have not forgotten Kent State yet, but if they do put this in rather than do a sequel, then this would rock–totally. I am all about the symbolic gesture when it comes to what SHOULD have been.

Part of the appeal for the Billy Jack movies was that there were people who were of Native American descent in the cast as well.  I would strongly urge Wahlberg to reach out to those communities and get Dennis Quaid involved with this somehow.  The man has a vast knowledge about Native American culture and can help steer Wahlberg in the right direction with this.  This movie also pointed out a lot of social injustices that were taking place.  Some of those still are–such as the slaughtering of horses by the government. These social issues that are still ever-present are things that Wahlberg, if he can get Quaid to help, can truly capitalize on by bringing attention to the fact that these issues are not fixed–not by a long shot.

I want to finish here on a lighter note by saying that there is an Independent Film out that is going to make some serious money for Sean Penn.  It is called “This Must Be the Place”.  Check it out here:  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1440345/   This film has already snagged an award at Cannes, if I’m not mistaken!  This looks like it is one of Penn’s best roles in a while now!

I am telling you these independent film makers and the actors who choose to work for them will be better off in the long run for it!  The creative potential and the freedom within that industry is tremendous in that market!  I don’t even have to be in the field to see that the indie film is only going to grow–much to the dismay of its competition in Hollywood!

Indie films work because many are in touch with their audiences–which is something a lot of the major studios in Hollywood tend to ignore.  The indie market is on the rise.  I can assure you all of that!  I hope you enjoyed my runaway thought train on this as well.  I just feel that as a viewing member of a discriminating audience the loves intelligent story-lines, that I needed to play around with this a bit!

A Film About Bullying and What It Can Lead To…

To Start with here is a link to the movie trailer for “Mad World“:  http://www.imdb.com/video/wab/vi618071577/

In the beginning, one is not sure what to make of this film but it touched on several issues that need to be addressed–and most of it came through the verbiage of Will (Dylan Vigus) and Cory (Gary Cairns). While Will is the one telling the story, it is Cory that best expresses what is going on in the mind of a tortured young man in a school where, as it often occurs, faculty completely ignores the issues of bullying and doesn’t even see (or chooses not to see) the signs of a child who is abused at home.
The character of Jevon (James Lee Martinec) is symbolic of the abused child who fell through the cracks of a failed system that is supposedly designed to protect our children–and often does not. I can relate to this character, but not for what is depicted in the film. I had a step mother who loved pointing a pistol at my head and tearing me down psychologically. At other times, she tossed me into walls, cabinets or whatever struck her fancy. Any other abuse I endured was not at the hands of my parents. That is all I will say there, but as I said earlier, if someone who has lived in a situation where they are abused in both environments (home and school) it might be a bit much to watch, so one might want to keep this in mind prior to viewing it.

I grew up in a time where it was one thing to wish the bullies were dead but it was taboo to act on it…The characters in this film were not consumed by video games and such as the far right would like to think. They were consumed by a society that threw them to the gutter and didn’t care–and that is how many bullied children perceive the school environment in this day and age–especially when they are going through crap at home.

This writer merely put all the thoughts, the pain and the horrible things that run through the minds of broken souls and put it on celluloid and for that he is to be commended. Cory Cataldo did a great job of that. Now was that sex scene a bit much? Yes. You will know which one when you watch it. There was more than one scene.

Each character was a piece of a puzzle that fit into a whole. You had Cory–who was actually a very intelligent young man and articulate. You had Jevon who was a resident genius and (like myself) viewed school as a refuge–even though he didn’t quite fit in…Because he made the school “look good” they took an interest in HIM but then threw him to the wolves when he didn’t measure up to what the school’s standard of perfection was. This DOES happen a lot.

Then there is Will. His father is an all around jerk and abuses him daily. Will is also articulate, intelligent and fell through the cracks. He also brings some of the humor to the film (along with Cory). Then you have John (Matthew Thompson) which brings another dimension to the film. He is an African-American student raised by white, adoptive parents. This character suffered the effects of racism and violence in such a way that he felt he had no other options open to him. His monologue after the worst assault he endures will leave you in tears. It is riveting.

The ones playing teachers and administrators were a joke (and there are people like this in life who dismiss the bullying as ‘kids being kids’). These are the types that will sweep what the athletes and such do under a carpet but if a student sneezes in the wrong direction that is not part of that social circle, like vultures, they will all kick that student to the curb–which is what these characters did. Fortunately, my teachers and administrators were NOT like this. They cared and I knew it. Times have drastically changed because many do not seem to care about much more than their paychecks now. Sorry but that is true and this movie seems to touch on it.

This may be a low-budget indie film, but Gary Cairns and the other cast members made it believable–especially to a viewer who lived in a similar situation. I agree with the viewer that felt that the O’Reilly picture was a bit much. There are plenty of bone-headed school administrators in both major parties. Note: Not all people in the south are conservative and not all support the death penalty. This movie could have driven a huge point home to an audience had the political ideology been left completely out.

I really do not consider this to be a dark comedy as much as an art film. It is beautiful when put in that perspective because it attempts to bring new light to old issues. Cory is the greatest voice of teen angst, Jevon of the pain of having to remain silent and to conform to standards and expectations that no boy should have to endure, Will is a voice of reason in the film even though his reasoning seems flawed in some respects and then there is John. The quiet kid who marches to his own drum, until forced to toss it aside and become a different creature altogether. Then again, they all 4 became different creatures–just as any child who is repeatedly bullied and abused can.

For those reasons alone–the touching on the issues and the acting itself,  it is definitely worth watching–but if  the movie “Precious” pissed you off thoroughly, this one might too–and you’ll find out why.  It is incredibly thought-provoking–and serves to remind that bullying is an issue that MUST be addressed at all levels–home, school and in society. Warning: If “Precious” pissed you off, this one might. Trust me.