The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Bad Movies for Bad People

MINNEAPOLIS We’ve got a long layover before the next leg of our flight back home from Alaska, which gives me an opportunity to explain what was wrong with the lousy in-flight movie on the way here from Anchorage. What was wrong with Need for Speed (2014) can be summarized succinctly — everything. It stars Aaron […]

From the ‘Golden Age of Hollywood’ to the Bulls–t Age of Wokeness: A Brief History

You may not recognize that long-legged young bathing beauty, but she was one of Hollywood’s biggest stars back in the day when the movie business was run by men who knew how to make money by producing movies that people actually wanted to watch. Strangely enough, while many today would scoff at the old-fashioned capitalist […]

About the ‘Rings of Power’

There is nothing I despise more than journalistic bandwagons, where everybody is writing about the same thing. Nearly all the greatest pleasures of my career came from going out alone in pursuit of stories that nobody else was covering. Like, in early 2011, I was the only national reporter covering Herman Cain’s campaign, and I […]

Falling Down and Falling Apart

Last night, for the first time in a long time, I watched the 1993 movie Falling Down on YouTube, and was struck by the final line: “I’m the bad guy? How’d that happen? I did everything they told me to.” William Foster is a guy who believed in the system. He followed the rules, and […]

An R-Rated Time Capsule From 1982

There are basically two things everyone remembers from Fast Times at Ridgemont High — Sean Penn as the dopehead surfer Jeff Spicoli and the famous topless fantasy scene with Phoebe Cates. Along with The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, it was one of the classic teen movies of the 1980s, establishing a formula […]

‘Happy Trails, Hans’: What Is Everybody’s Favorite Christmas Movie Really About?

My brother and I celebrated Christmas Eve by watching Diehard together. The movie suffers from all the usual suspension-of-disbelief problems common to action films — e.g., automatic weapons that fire an impossibly large number of bullets without changing magazines — there is no doubt that Diehard is a Christmas movie. And this is not just […]

‘Bond. James Bond.’

The news Saturday of actor Sean Connery’s death marked the end of an era. For a generation of men, Connery’s portrayal of James Bond — Agent 007 in Her Majesty’s Secret Service — was the ultimate expression of cool. The espionage was just a plot device, really. What counted was the extraordinary character at the […]

New ‘Terminator’ Flops at Box Office

  Hasta la vista, “wokeness”: According to a new report, Skydance Media, Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox stand to lose around $120 million in total, given the long-term prospects of Terminator: Dark Fate bombing at the box office. The movie, directed by Tim Miller (Deadpool) and produced by franchise creator James Cameron, made just […]

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