Today, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson made it official. He will not be running for President in 2024 and I hope he’s gotten the idea of running for political office out of his head. Dwayne Johnson can do more good as a nonpartisan movie star that everyone can rally around than he could ever do as a member of the Senate or even as President.
MAD Magazine on Top Gun
Thank You, James Earl Jones
A little Star Wars news:
James Earl Jones Has Retired from Voicing Darth Vader, Signed Over Rights to Recreate His Voice
This hit me a lot harder than I was expecting it would. Star Wars in general and Darth Vader in specific were a huge part of my childhood and much of that had to do with Jones’s voice. I think that anyone of a certain age can remember trying to imitate the way that Vader spoke.
(Originally, George Lucas pictured Orson Welles as the voice of Vader. It’s hard to imagine. Even with his great voice, I think Welles would not have been as intimidating or memorable as Jones.)
James Earl Jones is 91 and has a long history of great performances. If anyone’s earned the right to retire and take it easy, it’s him. I hope he enjoy his retirement and I hope he knows how much he sparked the imagination of an entire generation.
Happy Birthday, Elliot Gould!
Marilyn and Abe
The Slap Heard Around The World
Lisa and I watched the Oscars last night but somehow, I managed to be out of the room when Will Smith stormed the stage and slapped Chris Rock. I’ve since watched the incident on YouTube and I’m pretty sure I understand what happened.
Chris made a joke about Jada starring in GI Jane 2. A lot of people are making excuses for Chris, saying that he didn’t know that Jada suffers from alopecia. I don’t really buy that because I knew it and if a random person like me knew it, I find it hard to believe Chris didn’t know it. I think Chris was doing what he always do, which was roasting his audience.
Will laughed at the joke. Watching the footage, it’s obvious that Will laughed long and hard. Jada did not laugh and she gave Will a look that said he was going to be in big trouble after the ceremony.
Realizing he was now in trouble with his wife, Will tried to make up for it by overcompensating, which in this case meant walking up on stage and slapping Chris Rock. Will then went back to his seat and yelled at Chris not to say his wife’s name. What significant is that Will didn’t say that to Chris on stage. Instead, Will returned to his seat because Will knew that the Best Actor presentation was still coming up.
Chris started to say, “I could have said….” and he was probably going to mention something about all of the rumors that have surrounded Will and Jada’s marriage over the years. But Chris thought better of it and moved on to awarding best documentary.
According to the reporters who were at the ceremony, Will and Jada huddled with Denzel Washington, Tyler Perry, and their publicist during the commercial break. When the show returned to commercial, Will won his Oscar and then gave his weird speech where he seemed to put the blame on God for expecting too much of him. It was all pretty dumb.
As for the rest of the show, it was ok. I was happy Troy Kostur won and that Dune swept the technical awards. Otherwise, it was a boring show and we will all have forgotten about it by next week.
Zelenskyy and the Oscars
I really hope that Zelenskyy does not appear on the Oscars tonight. Right now, Zelenskyy is winning the hearts of people across the world. I think appearing on the Oscars, as is rumored might happen, would only serve to cheapen him and his struggle. It’ll make him look like just another celebrity, instead of being a man fighting to protect his country from a tyrant.
Despite all of the attention that Ukraine and Zelenskyy have received over the past month, I think some people still fail to understand that this is a serious struggle and a serious war and that, given the way Putin deals with his enemies, Zelenskyy is not only fighting to save Ukraine but also his own life. Appearing on the Oscars and doing a bit with Amy Schumer will only distract from the seriousness of what’s actually happening in Ukraine right now.
Sign of the Times
It was a difficult week for classic movie lovers.
This Has Been A Good Week
Lisa and I finally got to go up to Lake Texoma this week and it’s been great just to get away from it all. We’ve observed a no-TV rule with a few exceptions. Tonight, we’ll definitely be breaking the rule so that we can watch the Oscars. I haven’t seen many of the nominees but I’m still looking forward to seeing how the ceremony is going to handle giving out awards during the final days of a pandemic.
Plus, there’s always the competition to see who will give the worst acceptance speech. I’m going to guess Sacha Baron Cohen if he wins for Trial of the Chicago 7 or for writing the Borat movie.
Ramsey Clark, Send No Flowers
Ramsey Clark, who never met a dictator or an anti-Semite he wouldn’t defend, has died. He lived long enough to see his image whitewashed by The Trial of the Chicago 7. Will the American viewers of that film ever know that Michael Keaton was playing a man who went on to defend Nazi war criminals and the leaders of the Rwandan genocide? Undoubtedly, they will not.