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It's Not About the Nail (2013)
Damaging to the image of women
Men have been posting about this little free video, trying to explain it in terms of gender. "Ain't that just like a woman," they say. "They're not like us. They don't want to solve their problems, they just want to complain about them. Don't try to understand it; just play along."
Never mind that the role of the victim could've just as easily been played by a man. (I wish it had been.)
Well, I'm a woman. Not a "manly" woman or anything like that. And I can see from the comments that men out there are all too eager to paint all women with the same brush, and that harms me.
If I had met the woman in this video, I think I'd have said, "You need to stop focusing on how the problem makes you feel and turn your attention to solving it. And if you don't want to do that, then I have nothing to offer you, so go away and find someone else's shoulder to cry on."
Actually, I doubt I'd be friends with a woman like that in the first place.
There are plenty of women out there who don't love buying shoes, who don't talk endlessly on the phone, and who try to solve or cope with their problems instead of demanding constant sympathy for them. Don't judge us all by the irrational idiot in this video, please.
The Visit (1964)
I'd call it a must-see, a drama full of the darkest of humor. Ingrid Bergman is steely cold as Karla; Anthony Quinn marvelous as the hapless, desperate Serge. The townspeople are wholly believable in their blind hypocrisy. Although changed from the original play, the ending is just as powerful, showing how easily one can abandon one's conscience, turn against others, and justify one's own worst deeds.
The Great White Hope (1970)
The shining gem in the film career of a great actor.
James Earl Jones has certainly done fine in his career; if he ever feels his talent has been overlooked, I'm sure that, after supplying the voice of Darth Vader and CNN, he's crying all the way to the bank.
Still, I regret that he hasn't left us a greater body of work on film that is worthy of his talent. Much of his best work has been performed on stage. (For instance, right now he's performing with Cicely Tyson on Broadway in a hit revival of *The Gin Game* -- go see it if you can!)
But in films? After *The Great White Hope*, you'd think Jones would have been deluged with offers for Oscar-caliber roles in Oscar-caliber films; instead, we saw him (performing admirably) in a series of mediocre films and a short-lived TV series. Like many actors, he was probably glad to be working at all -- a gig's a gig, as they say. But he deserved better. No wonder he seems to prefer the theater.
So I treasure *The Great White Hope*, not only because it's a great, great movie,but also because it is the single shining gem in the film career of a great actor -- who deserved more recognition from Hollywood than he got.
(And to be fair to this magnificent film, I must also acknowledge the other actors, all superb.)
One of the finest, thanks to the great Art Fleming.
The original Jeopardy was a warm, kindly show about knowledge, instead of cut-throat competition and money. The questions were every bit as difficult, but all the contestants came away looking smart if they got even one answer correct. I remember being impressed with my mom for knowing a few answers ... and my mom really was never that smart!
When Art Fleming informed a contestant that an answer was wrong with his "No ... sorry," you believed he was truly sorry. Art never pretended that he knew all the answers before his writers provided them to him. What a lovely guy. One thousand times better and nicer than that *current* host.
Even the theme music sounded friendlier back then. The whole show was a little less polished and a little more natural than today's version. But that's the way of the world, I guess.
Just watch the opening credits, then try to stop.
If there were an award for "best opening credits," this movie would be my pick to win, with its quirky fantasy scene accompanied by Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show's marvelous "Last Morning."
The mix of fantasy and flashback without explanation may turn off some viewers, as may the slow pace. It is not plot-driven, but is rather a character study. It also presents a picture of an period in America when modernity began to overtake traditional ways and values.
As a whole, I do not find the film to be one of Dustin Hoffman's best, but I would not have missed the haunting performance of Barbara Harris for the world. The rest of the supporting cast is also extraordinary, even including an unusual dramatic performance by Dom DeLuise, nicely done. Overall, worth seeing.