Monthly Archives: November 2012

Steve Irwin Getting Killed by a Stingray Was a Bigger Scandal Than Watergate, Because No One Died in Watergate

Paul Waldman tears apart the idiotic, McCain-favored argument that Benghazi was “worse than Watergate”:

It is true, as my conservative friends point out, that no one actually died in Watergate, while there were four deaths in Benghazi. Those deaths were a terrible tragedy. But unless some evidence emerges that President Obama or somebody else in his administration, through some act of corruption or misconduct, actually caused those deaths, the deaths don’t raise the magnitude of the “scandal” past that of other scandals that weren’t related to any deaths. For instance, 241 service members Ronald Reagan sent to Beirut were killed in the bombing of Marine barracks in October 1983, but I’ll bet that not one of my angry Twitter correspondents considers that a “Reagan administration scandal” (nor, by the way, did almost any Democrats at the time, rightly or wrongly)… let’s be honest: Republicans aren’t worked into a lather about this because of their long-standing passionate commitment to security at our embassies and consulates. They’re hoping that if we keep digging, some kind of nefarious behavior will be discovered, and they’ll be able to use it to embarrass the administration. That’s politics, of course, so it isn’t all that surprising. But that’s all it is.

Also, try not to be so damn gleeful about Benghazi news.

The Tolstoy-Quoting Stops Now!

Preparing to write my review of “Anna Karenina,” I looked up a few other reviews. These were the ledes, literally, of the first three I opened:

David Edelstein, New York: “Every unhappy movie is unhappy in its own way, and Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina is as boldly original a miscalculation as any you’re likely to see.”

A.O. Scott, New York Times: “Bad literary adaptations are all alike, but every successful literary adaptation succeeds in its own way.”

Dave White, Movies.com: “All happy moviegoing experiences are like one another. All unhappy etcetera-blah-blah. You know.”

I was going to begin with a “War, What Is It Good For?” joke. 

Silver on ‘Silver Linings’

Here’s my review of “The Silver Linings Playbook,” at EntertainmentTell:

the movie is plagued by a butt-ugly visual style, complete with frequent extreme closeups and handheld shaky-cam. The first shot of the camera circling around Cooper’s head is inventive; the third and fourth, not so much. I expected better from a craftsman of Russell’s caliber. And the final half hour is a abomination, making a mockery of the film before it. What starts off as a serious examination of mental illness turns into an entirely different movie, one with nearly the exact same third act as “High School Musical.”

I seem to be in the minority on this one, so make of that what you will. In the meantime, here’s, uh, another take on the material.