Continuing the "other movies by Oscar winners" theme, we viewed Booty Call starring a less-serious Jamie Foxx. Very raunchy, very funny.
Recently, Republican members of the Senate seem to be diligently trying to go back to minority status.
Senators John Thune (R-SD) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) say they will introduce a Constitutional amendment to allow Congress to outlaw flag desecration. This is necessary because, well, currently such a law would be unconstitutional, due to that darned inconvenient First Amendment.
No such constitutional quibbles bother Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) who wants to apply broadcast decency standards for subscription satellite and cable TV and radio.
The nicest thing you can say about this is that such legislation doesn't have a chance of enactment, that these measures are simply sops to keep religious conservatives happy. I'm not sure that makes me feel better, though.
Both the New York Times and the Washington Post offer longish articles on their front (web) pages today on the background of Wichita's alleged BTK serial killer, Dennis L. Rader. The similarities are plain: both newspapers sent a female reporter to interview neighbors and acquaintances.
This in the NYT article struck me as telling:
Most stunning for the Wichita area, where Mr. Rader has spent his life, is not just that he was viewed as an ordinary fellow, someone who blended in at the Taco Bell, but that he seemed to have stayed meticulously and constantly within the strictest mores of society - more so, at times, than many other residents.
One almost wishes Sgt. Joe Friday had been around at this point in the article:
"But he was different in one way, ma'am."
"What's that, Sergeant?"
"He killed people."
The NYT article, with all its blabber about "mores" seems to be struggling to prove a point that never quite gets explicitly stated, let alone supported.
On the other hand, the Post article seems more perceptive:
Rader, however, exhibited some classic antisocial traits -- superiority, narcissism and anger -- and was seen by some as a man imprisoned in a life he believed was beneath him, associating with people he believed were not up to his intellect.
The Post reporter also gets a neighbor to note: "He was mean-spirited and a coward ... He always picked on the single women on the street who he could bully." All except the first of the BTK murders were of women. The NYT reporter also interviewed this neighbor, but didn't get this detail.
Advantage, Washington Post.
Inspired by Hillary Swank's Oscar-winning performance in Million Dollar Baby, I rented The Core. Well, it's not quite as good. It's a by-the-numbers armageddon movie, but the acting is superb (it's Hillary Swank after all) and the script contains some above-average lines. (Or maybe not. In the commentary for the DVD's deleted scene section, the director mentions that the actors were improvising. Maybe that's what's going on with the good lines.)
I dragged my wife and daughter to see Million Dollar Baby this weekend. As you probably know, the movie has been showered with honors for Clint Eastwood, Hillary Swank, and Morgan Freeman. Amazing for me, though, were the performances from the relatively unknown actors in other roles. You could just about swear (for example) that Maggie's family weren't actors, but actual lowlifes imported from Trashville who (somehow) believed that Hillary Swank was related to them and didn't know they were in a movie.
But a half-star off because the movie is just so freakin depressing.