Wednesday, July 30, 2008

New Interview From The Entertainment Critic: Teresa Summers

NEW INTERVIEW FROM THE ENTERTAINMENT CRITIC: TERESA SUMMERS, PROSPECTIVE AUTHOR LOOKING FOR HELP TO WRITE HER BOOK

A new interview by James Myers, The Entertainment Critic, of prospective Author, Teresa Summers

In Teresa’s own words: I have lupus, I’m in stage 1 remission and I take it day by day because of pain and swelling from the lupus. One day i hope to publish a book I have started on. My book will be about my life story and the foster care system and how bad it is and how it can fail you not once but twice. I am looking for someone who would be willing to take over and help me to finish my story and publish my book. I have a hard time with my lupus and it gets hard to write for very long. I am also looking for someone who would be willing to possibly produce a film based on my book. In my book I am going to detail about the abuse I went through and the abuse the other foster children went through. My book will also have a section about being adopted as an older child and what it is like and what you go through with the courts. I will also write about how abusive my adoptive father was and how my adoptive mother allowed it to happen. My book will be very hard for some to read. But I think it will encourage others to come forward. So please if there is anyone who is willing to take over with my book, please contact me and let me know. I'm not worried about a price I will be happy for my story to just be out there to help others and educate about the foster care system.

This interview is available exclusively on The Entertainment Critic website, found at http://www.theentertainmentcritic.com.

To listen to the interview: To access the interview, look under the Interview section, and then click on the MP3 player in the lower left corner. You'll see the interview listed, click on Julia Reed’s name in the player, the interview will take a moment to download and then will begin playing Enjoy the interview, and please drop us a line at james@theentertainmentcriticmagazine.com and let us know how you liked the interview and if there is anything we can do to improve our process.

New Interview From The Entertainment Critic: Julia Reed

NEW INTERVIEW FROM THE ENTERTAINMENT CRITIC: JULIA REED, AUTHOR OF THE HOUSE ON FIRST STREET: MY NEW ORLEANS STORY

A new interview by James Myers, The Entertainment Critic, of Author, Julia Reed and her New NY Times Selling Book about New Orleans, The House on First Street.

From The Publisher: “Julia Reed went to New Orleans in 1991 to cover the reelection of former (and currently incarcerated) governor Edwin Edwards. Seduced by the city's sauntering pace, its rich flavors and exotic atmosphere, she was never entirely able to leave again. After almost fifteen years of living like a vagabond on her reporter's schedule, she got married and bought a house in the historic Garden District. Four weeks after she moved in, Hurricane Katrina struck.

With her house as the center of her own personal storm as well as the ever-evolving stage set for her new life as an upstanding citizen, Reed traces the fates of all who enter to wine, dine (at her table for twenty-four), tear down walls, install fixtures, throw fits and generally leave their mark on the house on First Street. There's Antoine, Reed's beloved homeless handyman with an unfortunate habit of landing in jail; JoAnn Clevenger, the Auntie Mame—like restaurateur who got her start mixing drinks for Dizzy Gillespie and selling flowers from a cart; Eddie, the supremely laid-back contractor with Hollywood ambitions; and, with the arrival of Katrina, the boys from the Oklahoma National Guard, fleets of door-kicking animal rescuers and the self-appointed (and occasionally naked) neighborhood watchman. Finally, there's the literally clueless detective who investigates the robbery in which the first draft of this book was stolen. Through it all, Reed discovers there really is no place like home.

Rich with sumptuous details and with the author's trademark humor well in the fore, The House on First Street is the chronicle of a remarkable and often hilarious homecoming, as well as a thoroughly original tribute to our country's most original city.”

This interview is available exclusively on The Entertainment Critic Magazine, found at http://www.theentertainmentcriticmagazine.com.

To listen to the interview: To access the interview, look under the Interview section, and then click on the MP3 player in the lower left corner. You'll see the interview listed, click on Julia Reed’s name in the player, the interview will take a moment to download and then will begin playing Enjoy the interview, and please drop us a line at james@theentertainmentcriticmagazine.com and let us know how you liked the interview and if there is anything we can do to improve our process.

You Tube Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9WIZRGl24c

Website: http://www.wowowow.com/users/julia


New Interview From James Myers, The Entertainment Critic: Tana French on her book, The Likeness


NEW INTERVIEW FROM THE ENTERTAINMENT CRITIC: EDGAR AWARD WINNING AUTHOR TANA FRENCH ON HER NEW BOOK, THE LIKENESS

Please check out a brand new interview by James Myers, The Entertainment Critic, of an Edgar Award Winning (Best New Book)Author, Tana French on her brand new best seller, The Likeness.

Tana French has lived in Ireland, Italy, the United States, and Malawi. She trained as a professional actress at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland.

About The Likeness: The eagerly anticipated follow-up to the New York Times bestselling psychological thriller In the Woods.

“Six months after the events of In the Woods, Detective Cassie Maddox is still trying to recover. She's transferred out of the murder squad and started a relationship with Detective Sam O'Neill, but she's too badly shaken to make a commitment to him or to her career. Then Sam calls her to the scene of his new case: a young woman found stabbed to death in a small town outside Dublin. The dead girl's ID says her name is Lexie Madison—the identity Cassie used years ago as an undercover detective—and she looks exactly like Cassie.

With no leads, no suspects, and no clue to Lexie's real identity, Cassie's old undercover boss, Frank Mackey, spots the opportunity of a lifetime. They can say that the stab wound wasn't fatal and send Cassie undercover in her place to find out information that the police never would and to tempt the killer out of hiding. At first Cassie thinks the idea is crazy, but she is seduced by the prospect of working on a murder investigation again and by the idea of assuming the victim's identity as a graduate student with a cozy group of friends.

As she is drawn into Lexie's world, Cassie realizes that the girl's secrets run deeper than anyone imagined. Her friends are becoming suspicious, Sam has discovered a generations-old feud involving the old house the students live in, and Frank is starting to suspect that Cassie's growing emotional involvement could put the whole investigation at risk. Another gripping psychological thriller featuring the headstrong protagonist we've come to love, from an author who has proven that she can deliver.”

Kirkus Reviews

This interview is available exclusively on The Entertainment Critic Magazine, found at http://www.theentertainmentcriticmagazine.com.

To listen to the interview: To access the interview, look under the Interview section, and then click on the MP3 player in the lower left corner. You'll see the interview listed, click on Tana French’s name in the player, the interview will take a moment to download and then will begin playing Enjoy the interview, and please drop us a line at james@theentertainmentcriticmagazine.com and let us know how you liked the interview and if there is anything we can do to improve our process.

You Tube Videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXxbM_h2Xws

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFkov3zgRf0

Website: http://www.tanafrench.com/pagesus/books.htm

Monday, July 28, 2008

New Political Post From The Entertainment Critic: Why John McCain Has Missed the Point

Why John McCain Has Missed The Point

By James Myers

The Entertainment Critic

Over and over and over again, Mr. McCain has driven home the same ridiculous point: the surge is succeeding. McCain claims not only is the surge the succeeding, but that our troop levels are down to pre-surge amounts, there is peace in Iraq, and America’s troops are coming home victorious. Most if not all of the above statements are inaccurate. But my favorite daily dose of McBush rhetoric is the now famous statement that Barack Obama will not admit he was wrong about the surge, that Obama is wrong not to admit the surge has succeeded and further the should credit McCain with good judgment in voting for the surge when Obama did not. Mr. McCain, you miss the point sir.

The point is sir we should not be in Iraq in the first place. The point, sir, is that over 4,100 men and women had died serving our country where the American people were misled about weapons of mass destruction. The point, Mr. McCain is that you voted to have us enter a war that was based on totally trumped up public relations and put all of these fine men and women in harms way. The point Mr. McCain is that you did not exercise good judgment entering us into that war. The point Mr. McCain is that you were wrong 5 years now after the start of this illegal and immoral war when ‘mission accomplished’ was being declared, when you said, our adventure in Iraq would be fast, produce little American “bloodletting” and “be paid for by the Iraqis.” The point Mr. McCain is that your bad judgment on that issue has not led to the capture and trial of the criminals that perpetrated 9/11, as Bin Laden roams free in Afghanistan. The real point is Mr. McCain that your surge may have never been necessary if you had been more or the maverick you’re reputed to be and voted against that war in the first place. Never mind that the war in Iraq is a $10 million a month drain on our economy. Never mind that the war has driven friend and foe alike away from us. Never mind that the price of oil has skyrocketed. Never mind that your daily gaffs and misstatements belie your frightening ignorance on what is really going on in the world. Never mind that you are essentially a candidate whose record is pro-war and anti-vets. Never mind that your voting records for the veterans who fight your illegal war is atrocious. Never mind that you are a one issue candidate, whose own party seems by the actions of our current President to be drifting closer and closer to taking actions that have been espoused by your Democratic opponent. All of this seems to just slide off of Teflon John.

Let’s face some facts Mr. McCain. You blew it. From the start of this fiasco, you blew it big time. You quibble on Obama’s stance to withdraw troops and argue about time lines and horizons. You rhapsodize about appeasement, inexperience, and Obama’s youth, but your judgment with all of your experience when we need you most was poor. Very, very poor and now all of America is paying for your poor judgment. Yet you persist everyday in requesting that Obama acknowledge that the surge is working, as if somehow that gives you a leg up in this debate. The truth is Obama was against the war in Iraq from the start. The truth is that he recognized that we should be pursuing our real enemy in Afghanistan. The truth is that Mr. Obama realizes that the days of ‘going it alone’ without the support of other nations in matters of world wide interest, like wars, are gone for good. The truth is, sir, that if anyone should acknowledge that they made a misjudgment, it is you Mr. McCain. The surge would have been completely unnecessary if we had not invaded Iraq. The complete truth Mr. McCain is that in that misjudgment alone you have shown yourself to be something other than presidential. And for that gaff Mr. McCain, you owe the entire country not just an acknowledgment, but an apology. That is why Mr. McCain your point about the surge working in meaningless. That is why you have missed the boat. The boat, the train and the plane. The point is sir, on what may have been the most important vote of the 21st Century, you were wrong. That is why Mr McCain, it is not Barack Obama who missed the point; it is you.



video

Saturday, July 19, 2008

New Interview By James Myers, The Entertainment Critic of Deborah Crombie on Where Memories Lie



NEW INTERVIEW FROM THE ENTERTAINMENT CRITIC: DEBORAH CROMBIE, AUTHOR OF WHERE MEMORIES LIE

Please check out the new interview by James Myers, The Entertainment Critic, of Author Deborah Crombie, About Her New Top Selling Book, Where Memories Lie.

From The Publisher: “Erika Rosenthal has always been secretive with her friend and neighbor, Detective Inspector Gemma James, about her past, except for one telling detail: She and her long-dead husband, David, came to London as refugees from Nazi Germany. But now the elderly woman needs Gemma's help. A unique piece of jewelry stolen from her years ago has mysteriously turned up at a prestigious London auction house. Erika believes the theft may be tied to her husband's death, which had always been assumed a suicide.

Gemma has a tough challenge. She must navigate the shadowy and secretive world of London's monied society to discover the jewelry's connection to David's murderer. However, the cold case needs to be put back on the books and possibly into the hands of her partner, Duncan Kincaid. When a second, present-day murder kicks the investigation into high gear, Gemma becomes more determined to exact justice for Erika—in a case that will have lasting repercussions.”

This interview is available exclusively on The Entertainment Critic Magazine, found at http://www.theentertainmentcriticmagazine.com.

To listen to the interview: To access the interview, look under the Interview section, and then click on the MP3 player in the lower left corner. You'll see the interview listed, click on Deborah’s name in the player, the interview will take a moment to download and then will begin playing Enjoy the interview, and please drop us a line at james@theentertainmentcriticmagazine.com and let us know how you liked the interview and if there is anything we can do to improve our process.

New Interview From James Myers, The Entertainment Critic: Iris and Roy Johansen on Silent Thunder

NEW INTERVIEW FROM THE ENTERTAINMENT CRITIC: ROY AND IRIS JOHANSEN, CO- AUTHORS OF SILENT THUNDER

Please check out the new interview by James Myers, The Entertainment Critic, of Co-Authors, Roy and Iris Johansen, about their New NY Times Selling Book, Silent Thunder.

From The Publisher: “Bestseller Johansen (Quicksand) and her Edgar-winning son, Roy (Deadly Visions), collaborate on their first thriller with entertaining results. Hannah Bryson, a top-notch submarine designer, and her brother, Conner, must make sure that a Russian nuclear submarine, the Silent Thunder, recently purchased by the U.S. government for use as a maritime museum, is safe for visitors. Working alone on the sub in a Maine harbor, the two make a strange discovery that's swiftly followed by a deadly attack. Others, both Russian and American, want what the Brysons have uncovered and will stop at nothing to obtain it. One Russian, Nicolas Kirov, has a special interest in the submarine as well as a growing interest in the feisty, beautiful Hannah. The constantly bickering Hannah and Kirov are forced to work together for a common goal as they fight various enemies and, of course, fall in love. The romantic subplot threatens to take over the action, but is thankfully reined in at the exciting finale. 12-city author tour. (July)”

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

This interview is available exclusively on The Entertainment Critic Magazine, found at http://www.theentertainmentcriticmagazine.com.

To listen to the interview: To access the interview, look under the Interview section, and then click on the MP3 player in the lower left corner. You'll see the interview listed, click on Roy and Iris Johansen name in the player, the interview will take a moment to download and then will begin playing Enjoy the interview, and please drop us a line at james@theentertainmentcriticmagazine.com and let us know how you liked the interview and if there is anything we can do to improve our process.

You Tube Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0x0ifFX0hzc

Iris’s Official Website: http://www.irisjohansen.com/



New Movie Review From James Myers, The Entertainment Critic: The Dark Knight


Movie Review: The Dark Knight

The Entertainment Critic Movie Review

www.theentertainmentcritic.com

www.theentertainmentcritic.net

www.theentertainmentcriticmagazine.com

In Theatres Now Review

Opened July 18, 2008

By James Myers

Rating: 9 of 10

Director: Christopher Nolan

Writers (WGA): Jonathan Nolan (screenplay) and

Christopher Nolan (screenplay)

Release Date: 18 July 2008 (USA)

Genre: Action | Crime | Drama | Mystery | Thriller more

Tagline: Why So Serious?

Plot:

Batman and James Gordon join forces with Gotham's new District Attorney, Harvey Dent, to take on a psychotic bank robber known as The Joker.

Plot Keywords:

One Man Army | Scarred Face | Based On Comic | Evil Clown | Ice Cream Parlor

Numbers Show 'Dark Knight' Will Smash Several Box-Office Records (From Rope Of Silicon. 19 July 2008, 2:40 AM, PDT)

Cast:

Christian Bale ... Bruce Wayne / Batman

Heath Ledger ... The Joker

Aaron Eckhart ... Harvey Dent / Two-Face

Michael Caine ... Alfred Pennyworth

Maggie Gyllenhaal ... Rachel Dawes

Gary Oldman ... Lt. James Gordon

Morgan Freeman ... Lucius Fox

Monique Curnen ... Det. Ramirez

Ron Dean ... Detective Wuertz

Cillian Murphy ... Dr. Jonathan Crane / The Scarecrow

Chin Han ... Lau

Nestor Carbonell ... Mayor

Eric Roberts ... Salvatore Maroni

Ritchie Coster ... The Chechen

Anthony Michael Hall ... Mike Engel

MPAA: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and some menace.

Runtime: 152 min

Country: USA

Language: English

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS | DTS | Sonics-DDP (IMAX version)

Certification:

Norway:15 | New Zealand:M | Finland:K-13 | Singapore:PG | Canada:14+ | USA:PG-13 | Australia:M | UK:12A | South Korea:15 | Ireland:15A

Filming Locations:

Battersea Power Station, Battersea, London, England, UK more

Company: Warner Bros. Pictures

Every summer there is that one blockbuster that is the marquee event of the summer, the ‘Jaws’ type blockbuster that film buffs are willing to stand in line to see. The Dark Knight is 2008’s top blockbuster, and by the time its run ends, it may be the most pervasive blockbuster ever. Dark, mysterious, and foreboding, this is an edgy, gripping thriller. The performance by the late Heath Ledger more than meets the hype, and it alone is worth the price of admission. The Dark Knight is a 2008 American superhero film co-written and directed by Christopher Nolan. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, the film is a sequel to Batman Begins (2005). Christian Bale reprises the lead role. Batman's primary conflicts in the film include his fight against the Joker (Heath Ledger) and his strained friendship with district attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart).

For his conception of the film, Nolan was inspired by the Joker's first two appearances in the comics and Batman: The Long Halloween. The Dark Knight was filmed primarily in Chicago (as was Batman Begins), as well as in several other locations in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Hong Kong. The director used an IMAX camera to film six major action sequences, including the Joker's first appearance in the film. The Batsuit was redesigned, with a cowl allowing Bale to move his head. The film also introduces a recreation of the Batcycle, known as the Batpod.

The film begins with the Joker robbing a mob-owned bank, and double crossing his accomplices so he can have all the money. That night, multiple Batman impersonators interrupt a meeting between mobsters and the Scarecrow. The real Batman shows up and subdues everyone, but injuries suffered during the confrontation force him to acquire a new, more functional suit of armor. Batman and Lieutenant James Gordon (Gary Oldman), contemplate bringing new district attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) in on their plan to eradicate the mob, and the possibility that Dent will become the hero to the people that Batman cannot be. At the same time, Bruce and Harvey are both competing for the love of Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal). The mob bosses meet to discuss how to handle Batman, Gordon, and Dent, while a Chinese mobster accountant, Lau (Chin Han), lets the gang leaders know he has taken their money to Hong Kong to prevent the police and the district attorney from seizing it in an imminent bank raid. The Joker arrives and proposes to kill Batman for them, and also tries to convince them that Lau will give them all up to the police if he is caught.

After Batman successfully abducts Lau in Hong Kong and delivers him to the Gotham City police, the mobsters agree to pay the Joker half of their money in return for killing Batman. The Joker tells all of Gotham that if the Batman does not unmask himself and turn himself in to the police, then he will kill innocent people every day. When the Joker begins killing off public officials despite the best efforts of the police and Batman to thwart him, Wayne decides to give in and turn himself in to the police. However, before he can do so, Dent publically admits to being "the Batman" to draw the Joker out of hiding. The Joker attempts to kill Dent during transport, but Gordon and Batman arrive in time to stop and arrest him. With the Joker in custody, Batman interrogates the Joker, physically beating him until he reveals that Rachel and Dent have been taken to opposite sides of the city, far-enough apart that Batman does not have time to save both of them. Batman speeds off to save Rachel, while Gordon and the police head after Dent. Unknown to them, the Joker has switched the locations of both, sending Batman after Dent and Gordon after Rachel. With the help of a pre-planted phone bomb, the Joker escapes with Lau in tow.

Dent and Rachel awaken to find themselves tied to chairs with barrels of explosive material surrounding them. Dent attempts to free himself, but accidentally immerses the left side of his face in turpentine when he falls on the floor. Batman arrives and rescues Dent just as both buildings explode; the left side of Dent's face is burned during the explosion. Gordon does not reach Rachel in time and she dies in the explosion. In the hospital, Dent is driven to madness over the loss of Rachel, which he blames on Batman, Gordon and the Joker. The Joker sets up another elaborate plan; first he convinces Harvey to exact revenge on those responsible for Rachel's death.

While "Harvey Two-Face"(Aaron Eckhart) confronts the corrupt cops and the mobsters one by one, flipping a coin to decide their fates, the Joker burns Lau at the top of the clown's share of mob money, stacked into a tower. The Joker then declares that he will rule the streets and that anyone left in Gotham at nightfall will be subject to his rule, but also suggests the outbound bridges and tunnels are booby trapped which makes the ferries the preferred method out of the city. Knowing the large ships would be filled to capacity, the Joker plants explosives on two ferries and gives the passengers on board the chance to destroy the opposing vessel, one full of prison convicts and another with civilians, in order to save their own lives. Batman tracks the Joker to an uncompleted skyscraper—turning all the cell phones in Gotham into a giant sonar system—and prevents him from blowing up two ferries when both vessels' occupants decide they would rather die than kill innocents.

Dangling from a wire, the Joker acknowledges that Batman really is incorruptible, but that Dent was not and he has unleashed Harvey's madness upon the city. Batman finds Gordon and his family with Dent at the building where Rachel died. Harvey proceeds to judge Batman, himself, and Gordon's son through the chance of coin flip, which he sees as the only fairness left in the world. Harvey shoots Batman in the stomach but before he can determine the boy's fate, Batman tackles him over the side of the building, saving Gordon's son. As Dent lies motionless on the ground, Batman and Gordon decide that the Joker would win if anyone found out about Dent's corruption and madness. In order to uphold Dent's vision, Batman convinces Gordon to blame all of Dent's murders on him to preserve Dent's image as Gotham's hero and give the city hope. As Gordon destroys the Bat-Signal, a manhunt is issued for Batman.

The competing themes in the movie make the dark, sinister backdrop even more persuasive. Does the vigilante have to abandon his code of helping law enforcement within some set of rules to rid the world of uncontrollable evil? Bruce Wayne as Batman longs for ‘a normal life’ with Rachel, who he has lost to the larger that life DA Harvey Dent. As long as he remains the Batman, he cannot have a normal life; he cannot have Rachel. The Joker, a "psychopathic, mass murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy," played expertly by Heath Ledger (“I believe whatever doesn't kill you simply makes you... stranger.”), is reminiscent of Alex (Malcolm McDowell) in a Clockwork Orange. He seems to want only anarchy and chaos, existential disaster to prove his paradigm of life: all goodness is corruptible and men are innately evil, contemptible beings. (“Introduce a little anarchy... Upset the established order... Well then everyone loses their minds!”) If you have ever read Mark Twain’s ‘The Man Who Corrupted Hadlyburg’ you get the idea. Man is cable of only good or evil; the Joker’s real mission is to prove man is capable of only ‘ultraviolent’ evil, particularly the Batman. His mission is to put his adversaries in impossible ethical and moral dilemmas that have no real solution and where the problem solvers do not know the truth behind their choices until it is too late. And once they choose, the inadvertently commit acts of evil violence. Humiliation, exposure, and dominance motivate the Joker. Micheal Caine as ‘Alfred’ says it best: “Some men aren't looking for anything logical. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.”

Unknowingly, it is his desire to exposure Batman as evil by performing acts of incredible violence that keeps Bruce Wayne from achieving his goal of acceptance and ‘a normal life.’ This tension is incredible throughout the movie, buttresses by living and vivid action sequences that simply have to be seen to be believed.

The writing and direction in this film is first-rate. The background and sets are incredibly gritty and urban. Chicago provides much of the locale in the film. The acting for a comic book movie is truly surprising, and the special effects are memorizing. The score and the music for the film make the dark sets seem even darker. But the glue that truly holds this film together is Health Ledger’s amazing performance. His obsessive performance of a complex and inexplicable criminal make this story more than just a comic book crime thriller, but a study of the intricacies of a serial killer that rivals Charles Manson. This is a performance that may well rate an Oscar nomination. Emotionally, you may leave the theatre feeling drained. This is an involving film that requires your attention. Don’t be surprised if your neighbors tell you to see it twice.

Complex, dark and disturbing, this is an intense film that has moments when you are startled right out of your chair, and may be too intense for young viewers. The Dark Knight is clearly this summer’s best film so far and maybe the best grossing summer film ever. The Dark Knight opened on July 16, 2008 in Australia and July 18, 2008 with midnight screenings in 3,040 theaters. From the first midnight screenings, the film has earned $18.5 million and has set a new midnight debut record beating Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith which earned $16.9 million. The Dark Knight set a single-day box office record of $66.4 million, breaking a record of $59.8 million previously held by Spider-Man 3. This weekend as I write this, it has been widely reported that all 4000 theatres nationwide are sold out. An ambitious film, this one is this summer’s must see. Almost perfect, I give this one an enthusiastic recommendation.

Movie Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8M_dzsvEfyM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2efmHXjCwc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vWRDs-jEto

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Reo19mW5p7w

Obama in Afghanistan

Obama in Afghanistan

Obama meets troops in Afghanistan

Discussion of Barack in Afghanistan

Friday, July 18, 2008

5 Top Stories From EW

EW.com Top 25

NEWS MOVIES TV MUSIC DVD BOOKS MORE VIDEO
Jul 18, 2008
1. Get a first look at what pop-culture fans are flocking to San Diego next week to see -- what's up presenters' sleeves for buzz projects including ''Star Trek,'' ''Dollhouse,'' ''Fringe,'' ''Punisher: War Zone,'' and more
2. Continuing our effort to send a little love to the actors and shows that most unforgivably got the cold shoulder at Emmy time — from ''Buffy'' and ''America's Next Top Model'' to Ron Howard and Courteney Cox
3. Sneak a peek at Daniel Radcliffe and Jim Broadbent in the November release. Plus: First looks at the Michael Bay-produced ''Friday the 13th,'' Al Pacino and Robert De Niro's next team-up, and other exclusive behind-the-scenes photos
4. comedian_sm Go inside the making of the riskiest superhero movie ever -- and see exclusive photos!
5.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Don't Mess With the Steelers

War Crimes at Gitmo

A Gramm Slam for Demos

Phil Gramm: our economic woes are a figure of our imaginations and we are whiners?

McMishaps

Errors for the week by McCain: Steelers, Whiners, Viagra remark, Social Security is a total disgrace, Iran cigarettes, call to withdrawal from Iraq, battle with the Vets, balance the budget?

Life's Worth: Down a Milliion

From Packers to Pander

John McCain seems to be confused between the Packers and the Steelers

Obama's vote on FISA and campaign contributions

I wrote this blog today in response to some comments that I read about people who are upset with the FISA vote and will not give money to the Obama campaign, but will vote for him in November:

Like all of you I wish the Democratic Congress would behave as if they were Democrats. I am not a fan of arming the populous nor am I a fan of permitting unreasonable government intrusion into my personal communications under the false guise of protecting me for my own good from terrorists. What I know is this, plain and simple: I am unhappy with the way things are now. I do not like an American that tortures it's political prisoners, wastes it's natural resources, pollutes our air and runs a government based on scaring us opposed to representing our genuine interests. I'm tired of hearing men that shape our politics and our economics call us 'whiners' and tell us that our problems with the economy are all in our heads. These men represented by Bush and McCain want to preserve their way of life; which seems to include the eradication of the middle class at our expense. This trickle down economics, "the rich get rich and the poor get children" doesn't work and for the last 8 years has failed. And failed miserably. We are involved in wars that most Americans don't want, we have a mortgage crisis that effects us all, we have an energy crisis that threatens the planet, we have an economic crisis that threatens our existence. They line their pockets at our expense and they just do not care about the average person. There is really only one question that you have to ask yourself: Are you better off now than you were 8 years ago? Are you happy with the way things are? Is the future that McCain-Bush offers one that you want for your children, your grandchildren, your loved ones? Do they speak to you in way that gives you any positive hope for our collective futures or do you get a business as usual feeling.

Barack Obama has presented us with a unique opportunity to change that vision of the future. He has presented us with a vision of hope. A couple of debatable missteps do not change that.
He deserves our support. Understand exactly where we are at in this moment in history: This is a fight, we are backed into a corner; we are fighting a bully; there is not way out; we must fight our way out of this corner. We cannot just rely on others this time and hope it comes out ok. We have to be involved. We have to contribute. It will take all of our effort to win this fight. It is not a fight we have chosen; it is a desperate fight. A fight we cannot afford to lose. Our champion has chosen to run our fight on public funding. Part of the reason he has been hit on all sides is they are afraid of him; afraid of you; and afraid of me. If we don't contribute to his campaign, give generously, give our time and effort, get involved in this fight, then we will deserve what we get. Envision a Democratic Congress with a Democratic President and all they could accomplish for the people of our country. Then envision 8 more years of same old fill your pockets/self-interest politics we have now. Image expanding our war into Iran. Image being homeless. Image gas at $20/gal. Image an ever increasing class of poor people. Image the continued disrespect from other foreign countries. Image any war that last 100 years. Is there any part of what is going on now that can foreseeable occur in the future that you want to be a part of? It's time for a change. Fight back now while we still have a 1st Amendment. Give your money, your time, your support to our candidate of hope. He's not God. He's not Jesus. He's imperfect. But he is offering us a sincere and reasonable opportunity to change. A true 'pursuit of happiness.' Let's not lose this opportunity. Please contribute to Sen Obama's campaign. Please give your time. Please talk and write about your feelings. Persuade others to examine their views. Engage in dialog. The Audacity of Hope is a powerful thing. If we don't contribute now, we leave him open to the 528s; the Republican attack machine; the Swift Boaters. Give generously now. Fight back. Knock that bully on his ass. Ask yourself: Are you better off today then you were 8 years ago? Obama '08

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Obama on Iran, Campaign

Ramsey Family Exonerated

McCain Clashes With Vietnam Vet

McCain Clashes With Vietnam Vet over his voting record on vetrans benefits

Rev Jackson Sorry For Crude Remarks

Feingold: Senate should not have passed FISA

Discussion with Feingold why the Senate should not have passed FISA, and his hopes for future action

Iran no laughing matter

Discussion about reactions to to Iran missle test

McCain on Iraq asking us to leave

McCain on Iraq asking us to leave

McCain the Flip Flopper

Who's a flip flopper?

The Obamas on the Record

An interview with the whole family

A librarian John?

A librarian was ticketed and removed from a McCain Speech, when outside of the building she was carrying a McCain=Bush sign.

Senate takes on FISA bill

FISA bill to be decided tomorrow. What's up with the Democratic lay down?

Iraq the Vote

Discussion about the withdraw issue in Iraq. McCain statements 4 years ago may come back to haunt him; he said if Iraq asked us to leave, we'd have to leave. Iraq has requested withdrawl dates. Now what John? BTW, George Bush said the same thing, didn't he? We'd leave if we were asked to? When do we get to leave guys?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I'm Proud to be a liberal too

If by a “Liberal” they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people — their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights and their civil liberties ... if that is what they mean by a “Liberal,” then I’m proud to say I’m a “Liberal.” – Senator John F.Kennedy 9/14/1960 New York Liberal Party Nomination Acceptance Speech

Huff Post: Surge is not Working

Surge Amnesia: The Media's Newest Afflictionstumble digg reddit del.ico.us news trust Posted July 7, 2008 04:25 PM (EST)
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John McCain, aided and abetted by his loving protectors in the media, is running a victory lap on Iraq. To hear them tell it, the surge has "worked" -- indeed, it has been a huge success -- and this, like a last second Hail Mary pass, has vindicated the entire disastrous Iraq misadventure.
Buoyed by a reduction in violence in Iraq, war supporters are crawling out from the shadows and beating their chests.
"I am proud of the decision of this administration to overthrow Saddam Hussein," Condi Rice told Judy Woodruff last week. This echoed the comments of her boss, who crowed at a GOP awards dinner at the end of June: "The decision to remove Saddam Hussein was the right decision at the time, and it is the right decision today." Bush even felt emboldened to dust off blast from the past and claim: "Democracy is taking root where a tyrant once ruled."
And the media -- and even a number of Democrats -- are swallowing this triumphalist nonsense whole, and washing it down with a pitcher of revisionist Kool-Aid. The result: a collective case of political amnesia. Everyone seems more than happy to forget what the president's own stated goal for the surge was: to create "the breathing space [the Iraqi government] needs to make progress in other critical areas."
But here we are, 18 months later, and McCain and the GOP are being allowed to change the goal. And, surprise, surprise, the retroactive goal they've chosen is remarkably similar to the current situation in Iraq: violence is down while the "progress in other critical areas" is sorely lagging.
So, even though Bush originally claimed that "a successful strategy for Iraq goes beyond military operations," the surge is now being judged exclusively on the success of "military operations." And since that's what the surge is all about, the surge is working. And since the surge is working, maybe we need to rethink this whole idea of ending the war, right?
Using Bush-McCain logic, since the surge has succeeded in reducing violence, there is no need for us to leave. Indeed, we can stay forever.
But here's the thing: while McCain and the Republicans may have been able to win the PR war among the American media, there is still that nagging problem of the lack of reconciliation among the warring factions in Iraq.
Last month's GAO report offered chapter and verse on all the ways the Iraqis have failed to reach the benchmarks that were the actual goals of the surge (see HuffPoster Mitchell Bard's comprehensive breakdown of the report).
And a ceremony held in Baghdad this weekend spoke volumes about the actual state of affairs in Iraq. The event, organized by an expert in conflict resolution, was held to announce the signing of a non-binding agreement reached by representatives from a wide range of Iraq's sectarian and ethnic factions, and hammered out during a series of secret meetings in Helsinki over the last year.
Although Iraq's Minister of Reconciliation said the agreement "has the potential to bring Iraqi political parties together in common cause in a way no endeavor has," coverage of the event leaves a distinctly different impression.
According to the New York Times, there were complaints that representatives of the Maliki government "seemed more intent on declaring the talks a success than in continuing to discuss significant disagreements." "When we came here," said a secular Sunni politician quoted in the Times," Maliki refused to talk about anything, just to have a meeting and a celebration."
"They can hug each other, and kiss each other, but they still don't agree," Joost Hiltermann of the International Crisis Group told the Boston Globe.
"You still have a dominant Shiite power structure that doesn't want to cede any power," said Kenneth Katzman, a Middle East specialist at the Congressional Research Service. "Then you have Sunnis who are committed to overturn their humiliations. The fundamental dynamics have not changed."
The Globe suggested the most important aspect of the agreement was the fact that it was "announced at the Al Rashid Hotel in Baghdad, marking the first time that participants in the effort have felt safe enough to gather inside their own country," then pointed out that the level of security required to attend the ceremony -- "including walls around segregated neighborhoods and eight checkpoints to enter the Green Zone" -- serves as "a grim reminder of how far Iraq has to go."
No surprise then that, according to the Times, experts think real reconciliation in Iraq could take decades.
And this is the good news out of Iraq.
As we continue on the long, hard slog until Election Day, John McCain and his supporters are going to claim again and again that the surge has worked. And it looks like the media are going to let that patently false assertion go unchecked. Which is pretty much how the war got started in the first place. So it is up to Obama, the Democrats, and all of us, to insist on holding the advocates of the surge to its original goal.
And while we are at it, we should also hold them to the original justification for the war itself.
Despite the revisionist re-writes, we didn't go to war because we were committed to demonstrating that America could unleash violence in Iraq and then, five years later, curb it through the use of reinforcements. We went to war because we were told Iraq posed a grave and imminent threat to our national security and, secondarily, as a means of fomenting democracy throughout the Middle East.
Of course, the "imminent threat" turned out to be non-existent, and our presence in Iraq has strengthened the hand of every bad actor in the region: al Qaeda is safe and adding recruits, Hamas has come to power in Palestine, Hezbollah has reasserted itself in Lebanon, and Iran has become the strongest player in Iraq. Meanwhile, the reduction in casualties in Iraq is starting to be offset by increased casualties in Afghanistan -- once again showing the fatal ignorance of stealing from Peter to stop-loss Paul and keep him in Iraq.
So, tell me again: how is the surge working?

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Slime Machine

Discussion of the 528 groups that the Repubs sponsor, 3rd groups that are doing the dirty work for John McCain. 2 new attack ads. Barack NEVER said no to nuclear. Similiar to McCain's prior ads and his call phrases.

Barack Obama Acceptance Speech to be Given at Invesco Field

Discussion of Barack Obama's Acceptance Speech moved to Invesco Field, where the Broncos play. It hold apporximatley 80,000 people.

Obama statements on Iraq: Shift or Media Spin

Discussion of Barack Obama's comments on the Iraq war with sound bites and videos that prove he has been consistent on his position

Analysis: McCain Campaign Stradegy

I don't understand the economy; let's stay in Iraq for 100 yrs, and same old Bush energy policy let's drill and keep those greenhouse gases coming

Todd on the Presidential Campaign

It's the economy vs Iraq

Obama pushes economic plan

Discussion of Mr. Obama's Economic Policies

Obama is consistent on Iraq

Discussion about Barack Obama's consistency on his position in Iraq

McCain Conservatives Problem

Discussion of McCain's problems with Conservatives

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Obama: 'I have not equivicated

Discussion of the attack by the McCain group about the Iraq War; There is no equivication here; just a promise to keep an open mind. More Republican nonsense

Obama Campaigns in GOP Territory

Discussion of Barack Obama out west in Republican Montana. Is he making in roads out west?

Smart Move to the Middle

Discussion about the appearent move to the middle by Barack Obama as he campaigns out west in Republican Red States. Is this a no loose proposition? Is there really a move to middle at all?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

New Interview From The Entertainment Critic: Jeffery Deaver on The Broken



NEW INTERVIEW FROM THE ENTERTAINMENT CRITIC: JEFFERY DEAVER, AUTHOR OF THE BROKEN WINDOW

Please check out the new interview by James Myers, The Entertainment Critic, of Author Jeffery Deaver, about his new Lincoln Rhymes book, the new best seller, The Broken Window.

From The Publisher: “Lincoln Rhyme and partner/paramour Amelia Sachs return to face a criminal whose ingenious staging of crimes is enabled by a terrifying access to information....

When Lincoln's estranged cousin Arthur Rhyme is arrested on murder charges, the case is perfect -- too perfect. Forensic evidence from Arthur's home is found all over the scene of the crime, and it looks like the fate of Lincoln's relative is sealed.

At the behest of Arthur's wife, Judy, Lincoln grudgingly agrees to investigate the case. Soon Lincoln and Amelia uncover a string of similar murders and rapes with perpetrators claiming innocence and ignorance -- despite ironclad evidence at the scenes of the crime. Rhyme's team realizes this "perfect" evidence may actually be the result of masterful identity theft and manipulation.

An information service company -- the huge data miner Strategic Systems Datacorp -- seems to have all the answers but is reluctant to help the police. Still, Rhyme and Sachs and their assembled team begin uncovering a chilling pattern of vicious crimes and coverups, and their investigation points to one master criminal, whom they dub "522."

When "522" learns the identities of the crime-fighting team, the hunters become the hunted. Full of Deaver's trademark plot twists, The Broken Window will put the partnership of Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs to the ultimate test.”

This interview is available exclusively on The Entertainment Critic Magazine, found at http://www.theentertainmentcriticmagazine.com/.
To listen to the interview: To access the interview, look under the Interview section. Click on the wavy lines in the top right hand corner to stop the music, and then click on the MP3 player in the lower left corner. You'll see the interview listed, click on Jeff’s name in the player, the interview will take a moment to download and then will begin playing Enjoy the interview, and please drop us a line at james@theentertainmentcriticmagazine.com and let us know how you liked the interview and if there is anything we can do to improve our process.

Jeff’s Website: http://www.jefferydeaver.com/

You Tube Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JfQopn4uMY


New Movie Review From The Entertainment Critic: Hancock


Movie Review: Hancock

The Entertainment Critic Movie Review
http://www.theentertainmentcritic.com/
http://www.theentertainmentcritic.net/
www.theentertainmentcriticmagazine.com

In Theatres Now Review
Opened July 2nd, 2008
By James Myers

Rating: 8 of 10

Director: Peter Berg

Writers (WGA):Vincent Ngo (written by) &
Vince Gilligan (written by)

Release Date: 2 July 2008 (USA)
Genre: Action Comedy Drama Fantasy more
Tagline: There are heroes. There are superheroes. And then there's... more
Plot: A hard-living superhero who has fallen out of favor with the public enters into a questionable relationship with the wife of the public relations professional who's trying to repair his image.
Plot Keywords: Train Wreck Superhero Interracial Relationship Character Name In Title
Awards: 1 nomination more

Cast (Cast overview, first billed only)

Will Smith ... John Hancock

Charlize Theron ... Mary Embrey

Jason Bateman ... Ray Embrey

Jae Head ... Aaron Embrey

Eddie Marsan ... Red

David Mattey ... Man Mountain

Maetrix Fitten ... Matrix

Thomas Lennon ... Mike

Johnny Galecki ... Jeremy

Hayley Marie Norman ... Hottie
Dorothy Cecchi ... Woman in Dive Bar
Michelle Lemon ... Girl at Bus Bench
Akiva Goldsman ... Executive #1

Michael Mann ... Executive #2
Brad Leland ... Executive #3

MPAA: Rated PG-13 for some intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, and language.
Runtime: 92 min
Country: USA
Language: English
Color: Color
Aspect Ratio: 2.35: 1
Sound Mix: DTS SDDS Dolby Digital
Certification: South Korea:12 USA:PG-13 Ireland:12A Singapore: PG UK:12A Australia:M Malaysia: U
Filming Locations: 105 Freeway, Los Angeles, California, USA


The King of July 4th is back with a most unusual film about super heroes and public relations. Will Smith is Hancock, an alcoholic superhero who is despised by the public, down on his luck, and an irresponsible bum. Hancock saves the day while demolishing pavement, cars, hurting the people he intends to save, and in general racking up costs by the millions in damages as a result of his handiwork. Surly and unlovable, he opens the film drunk on a park bench. He then flies off to run down a trio of robbers on the freeway who is driving an O.J. looking van. To stop them, he places them atop the needle on the Capital Records building after smashing up several cars on the freeway. His public is not amused.

His next feat brings Ray Embrey, (Justin Bateman) into the picture as an unsuccessful public relations executive that Hancock saves from a train. Typical of Hancock, he flips Bateman in his car upside down and demolishes the train. Despite the difficulty, Ray offers to take Hancock under this PR wing to make him over as a more public friendly superhero. Hancock is an automatic hit with Ray’s son, Aaron (Jae Head), particularly after he scares the bejeesus out of the neighborhood bully. Ray’s wife, Mary (Charlize Theron) does not seen taken with her husband’s new client. Ray points out to Hancock that his exploits on You Tube that include him flipping a whale off of a beach and landing him on the only boat in the ocean, and knocking children down for an ice cream while scantly dressed have not helped his image. Then after a Nancy Grace tirade on television, Ray comes up with a brainstorm to restore Hancock’s image; Hancock must make amends publicly and report to jail.

Hancock makes his speech and reports to the pokey. His first encounter with the inmates is one of the funniest scenes in the movie, and maybe the most memorable. Ray is right; crime goes up and eventually, the authorities clamor for Hancock to be let out and to help them with a bank hold up. The new and improved Hancock wears a leather uniform, tells the cops they are doing “a good job,” and asks women if he has permission to touch them, even when they are under bullet fire. His handling of the head robber is another funny moment in the film.

The texture of the film changes from comedy to romantic drama when Hancock is attracted to Ray’s wife, Mary. I won’t spoil the plot here, but there is a major, major twist that comes out of no where; but in effect makes the film much more interesting than just the comedic ‘let’s fix the super guy’s manners.’ In the final, climatic scene, Hancock overcomes the 2 cons he disciplined in the joint, plus their new leader, the head bank robber. All ends well.

The film is carried by the trio of Smith, Bateman, and Theron. The script seemed to me that that film could not make up its mind to be a comedy or a romantic drama, but Smith’s star power keeps everything together. Peter Berg as the director seems to have kept a difficult project together. Considering that story was originally written by Vincent Ngo in 1996 and had languished in Hollywood for some time, and that the project had various directors attached, including Tony Scott, Michael Mann, Jonathan Mostow, and Gabriele Muccino, the film came out remarkably well. Hancock was originally intended to be filmed before I Am Legend, also starring Will Smith. Special effects were outstanding and underrated in this film.

The film was at its very best when it was trying to reform the crestfallen superhero and there are unresolved issues of origin and his strange ties to Theron that arise in the course of the picture. You also get the feeling at the end when Hancock takes his act to New York that there could be a sequel. All in all, Hancock is a good time. Smith somehow manages to pull the hodge-podge script together and in the end a more likeable Hancock is loved by the movie audience. There was open and loud applause by the audience in the early screening that I attended, largely made up of some members of the public and other movie critics. The King of the 4th of July has delivered once again for his public. Long live the king. This one is an entertaining summer effort, held together by superstar, Will Smith.



Movie Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqrktGTZAdw





Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Babbin Wants Olbermann off of NBC

Babbin wants Keith off of MSNBC? Bad career advice Keith!

Kristol Forgets own Sexist Comments

Keith catches issues involving oil spills off shore; Obama lifted the campaign slogan? No really Barack used it first; Winner is William Kristol who himself made sexist statement "white women are a problem"

Bush Credits wrong McCain for GI Bill

Discussion of Pres Bush's statement that McCain helped to support the GI Bill when McCain did not vote for the bill

A Question of Patriotism

Discussion about Barack Obama's speech on Patriotism and the pitfalls of attacks on his patriotism in this campaign for President

Patriotism and 2008 race

Olbermann Special Comment *To Barack Obama on F.I.S.A.!

Discussion of the FISA admendment, and Barack Obama's 2 chances to have a positive effect by voting against it or criminally prosecuting the violaters of it.