Vietnam – A Television History (1985) review and comparison to the 2017 PBS documentary

Rated: 3.5 / 5

Introduction

So this documentary series was recommended by a reviewer or two after watching the Ken Burns and Lynn Novack PBS documentary from 2017 (which left me wanting, and feeling cheated, by the end). When I found out that this documentary series was censored via its 2004 DVD release (compared to it’s 1987 VHS release), that sealed the deal. I would watch this, but not before tracking down the original VHS set, which I acquired on eBay for about as much as I payed for the Blu-Ray Ken Burns documentary. Watched it in its original VHS glory, then burned them onto my computer, and later compared and contrasted the VHS versions with the DVD version (the latter of which are currently available on youtube; only a couple of the VHS episode versions are on youtube as of this writing). And unfortunate to say, I’m seeing a pattern here with documentaries of old compared to documentaries of new, and revised versions of documentaries of old. But either way, I can definitively say this, Vietnam – A Television History is a far better documentary on Vietnam than the 2017 PBS version is. While the PBS version spent a respectable 18 hours on the subject spanning over 10 episodes, the VHS version spends 13 hours over a span of 13 episodes (while the DVD version only has 11 episodes, thus only 11 hours), and still manages to provide a better understanding of it all.

I’ll be referencing the uncut VHS edition from here on (at least up until the end). If you want to see how badly the DVD version fucked things up, I uploaded several youtube videos (and 1 bitchute video, because fuck youtube and its censorship bullshit) highlighting the differences between the VHS and DVD versions, mainly showing what was left out (not in any stylish way, I decided to keep it simple and therebye subtly encourage those who are interested to track down the VHS editions to get the full experience if they’re interested). You can see them here (though the last episode is missing simply because the DVD version left out the last episode entirely):

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Naoki Urasawa’s Monster (2004) review

Rated: 3 / 5 (might improve sometime in the future when I decide to rewatch this show)

And slowly, you come to realize, it’s all as it should be.
You can only do so much.
If you’re game enough, you can place your trust in me.
For the love of life, there’s a trade-off.
We could lose it all, but we’ll go down fighting.

So I’ve been aware of this anime’s reputation for a while now.  Some say it’s “the best anime no one has ever seen,” and by no one they mean Americans.  Not sure how true that is (personally, I think that reputation should fall upon Legend of the Galactic Heroes, something I have completely downloaded, but have only seen a few episodes so far; didn’t stop because it sucked, just have the mindset, “Let me finish this, and this, and this first, before getting sucked into this.”), as I believe it has gotten the attention it’s deserved since its release, but viewers have to jump through a few hoops to get the whole thing.  From what I understand, this only aired on the Sci-Fi channel (was it that far back, or was it SyFy at this point?) for a duration, and the last 15 or so episodes never aired, so most didn’t get to see how the anime would wrap up.  Well, I’ve seen the whole damn thing.  I won’t say how, but you could probably think of a few ways.

So, how was it?  Not too shabby, despite a couple minor caveats here and there; up until the last 5-6 episodes or so when it does this stupid bullshit that a lot of animes do that irritate me to no end.  I’ll get to what those are later, but for now I’ll just say they don’t fuck up the show to the point where I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.  Despite its faults, it’s one of the better anime series out there, and it doesn’t run so long to the point where it overstays it’s welcome (I mean, Inuyasha, Bleach, One Piece, holy fuck do those go on forever).

Oh, and there will be spoilers.  Just sayin’.

So the show starts out with this master surgeon, Dr. Tenma, who is considered to be the best doctor in the country (the show primarily takes place in Germany, but the lead doctor protagonist is Japanese), conflicted with his choices of whether he should continue to do what his bosses want, healing the patients they demand and thus prioritizing the more wealthy/famous/political over the commoners, or not.  The guilt of continuing this trend weighs heavy on him until he decides to disobey orders and do surgery on a young boy named Johan who was shot in the head, choosing to help him over the other more “important” individual.  Because of his actions he becomes de-promoted, and his twat fiance (who is the daughter of the hospital president) shows her true colors in that she was only in the relationship for the finances and high position, so she ditches him for another.  But the act has unforeseeable repercussions that extend beyond this.  Soon after healing the boy, several of the hospital higher ups are killed via poison, leaving nothing in the way of Tenma moving back up in the ranks.  And the boy patient Johan, along with his sister (who was admitted due to trauma/shock) disappear.

Years later, Tenma is successful, and glad to be rid of his fiance, who tried to come back to him (bitch, please).  However, a patient of his raves and rants about a monster coming for him, and he runs out of the hospital with Tenma in pursuit, only for both of them to become confronted by the monster.  The monster, as it turns out predictably, is Johan, the boy patient from nearly a decade ago.  Johan kills the patient, spares Tenma, and leaves.  Tenma also finds out that Johan is a serial killer, who has been killing many people over the years, which makes Tenma second-guess his philosophy that every life is sacred, and equal, and worth saving.  Are there some lives that shouldn’t be held as high as others?  Are there some lives that must be ended for the good of others?  Well, Tenma decides to change his life, leave his job, and begin tracking down Johan across the country, trying to find him and eventually kill him.

That’s more or less how the opening 10 episodes go.  And this is a series comprised of 74 episodes.  I began to wonder, “The premise is interesting, but how in the hell can they keep this show engaging for that long of a duration?  I’m seeing the setup for intrigue and deeper layers indicating that there’s more going on than what we’re currently seeing, but for another 60+ episodes?”

And the next several episodes began to worry me in this regard.  Because despite how the first few episodes seem, this isn’t one of those shows that tells its story in a straightforward manner where we continually follow the lead protagonist most of the time.  No.  For several episode stretches and different intervals, we are introduced to other characters, and follow their stories, like Tenma’s arc during the first act was just one story amidst a bunch of other stories that encompass a giant conspiracy.  In hindsight, this technique worked, but it demands patience from the viewer.  There were times where I went, “Ok, this is nice and all, but what the hell is happening with Tenma!?”  There are times when we leave him and then get introduced to some girl attending a college for a few episodes; or later on are introduced to some child of a rich man trying to become re-aquainted with his father; or follow a cop who’s a recovering drunk.  But after a certain point, they all start to link together.

By the time the series was halfway over, I was down with this style of pacing.  It accomplishes something that I desire in a lot of television shows.  That the main protagonist is not the center of the universe.  There are other pieces in the game that move independent of his actions/activities, who accomplish things that the protagonist is incapable of accomplishing, whether it’s because he’s not in the right place at the right time, or he doesn’t have the skill-set to do this sort of thing (ex: Tenma can’t really fight, and he’s just so-so with a gun, and most importantly he doesn’t know everyone anymore than he has all the answers).  Plus virtually all of these other characters are interesting in their own way, thus I didn’t mind so much that I was spending time with them.

By favorite of these side-characters is easily the detective Heinrich Lunge, who pretty much chooses to have no life outside of his detective work, and can become obsessive with solving cases.  And he has a technique for doing so.  He is able to recall conversations and details with eerie accuracy, like he’s a computer who can record information at will.  Yet his method does have a fault.  Despite being able to recall conversations word-for-word, another character (who is a criminal psychiatrist) points out that Lunge utilizes this technique in a biased manner.  If he has already predetermined a potential outcome, he will emphasize a tone/aura around his recall-ability, such as believing an individual said a line in a certain way (serious, lighthearted, grim, casual, a lie, a truth) when said-individual actually said the line in a different way.  Because as objectively-minded as some people try to be, there will always be an amount of subjectivity to how they perceive things.  Plus he does all his work at the expense of alienating his family; and there were times where I began to sympathize with this guy and begged for him to go to his daughter, a sign of good writing.

And speaking of multi-dimensional characters, to my surprise, Tenma’s bitch-tits fiance ends up showing a sympathetic side to her, though you do have to get pretty far in the show to see it.  And, of course, even the main villain Johan is shown to be multidimensional.  There are no perfect characters in this show, no heroes that aren’t infallible, no villains that are pure evil (even if they do their best to convince themselves and others that’s how they are).

Getting into the character of Johan here, he does become a fascinating character.  First one begins to wonder just how it is he’s able to brainwash/manipulate others into doing his deeds.  Because as we soon find out, he usually prefers not to get his own hands bloody (though he certainly has no qualms about doing so), but rather getting other people to do things for him.  Why?  What is his end goal?  Why is he doing this?  Well, honestly, despite the hopes others have for him (there are organizations who have an interest in Johan, partly because they’ve put some investment into him in the past), he seems more interested in causing destruction simply because he likes manipulating others to see how they will all interact with each other, like interfering with the paths a line of ants would take, forcing them to follow different trails and seeing how they will adapt to new obstacles.  And he is determined to show that no one really deserves to live, that there isn’t really any value in life.  Which is why he became a bit fascinated with Tenma, intentionally bringing him into the game, wanting to see Tenma’s early philosophy on life proven wrong by having Tenma turn that very belief 180 degrees.

He also has an obsession with identity, or more accurately, lack of identity.  Because he feels he himself has none.  Because he is a monster; because his beliefs were built on the foundation of an obscure kid’s book titled, “The Monster With No Name,” something he was read to during his younger years.  On top of that, he was also the subject to multiple experiments done on children, experiments designed to create a new Hitler, ala The Boys From Brazil, but more extreme.  The experiments were designed to make the children intelligent, incredibly disciplined, and very acute.  The main thing they were taught was on observing their surroundings, and learning how to read people, to anticipate how an individual with a certain type of personality would react to various general situations.  Thus the children could grow up to become master manipulators.  And lastly, and this is something implied more than anything else (though there are enough heavy hints dropped to convince me), that Johan wasn’t always a male.  As a very young child, before he was separated from his sister, he used to be a boy, but due to surgery from the organization, he was turned into a boy (and thus to my shock, this series somehow pulled off an LGBT twist that didn’t come off as forced at all, and it was rather brilliant).  It’s at this point that a lot of his questioning of identity and his madness begins to make a lot of sense, ultimately making him one of the more intriguing villains in anime history, with a very tragic backstory.  His innocence was lost early on, thus he believed early on that innocence doesn’t exist.

Though to be fair, it is quite easy for children to lose their innocence.

And since he was trained to be a manipulator (though some in the organization admit that he was a prodigy compared to the other children, which is something that was bound to happen), he finds ways to easily manipulate others.  Because if you observe one for long enough, you find faults in their character, regrets over sins of the past, or having no regrets and thus being prime candidates for doing evil deeds simply because they enjoy it.  There are many faults to be exploited in humanity, and exploit them he does, not for riches, not for fame, but to send a message.

Fascinating stuff, and there are other complexities I haven’t covered yet, but I’ll leave those for readers who wish to seek out the show.  And this would be as good a time as any before reading the rest of this, because now I’m going to spoil the ending (moving from spoilers to uber-spoilers).  Because the ending is why I currently don’t rate the show higher than 3/5.

It’s not that the final outcome in of itself was bad, it’s just some of the bullshit that was done to get there, bullshit that was easily avoidable.  So first off, about halfway through the show, there’s this big muscleman who gets shot and flies down the story of a building and into the smoke below where a fire had broken out.  The way they framed this, the way it was shown, an alarm bell rang in the back of my mind, “He’s going to show up again.  We didn’t see the life go out of his eyes, so he’s coming back.”  That’s anime 101 logic (and most film logic for that matter, but animes pull this shit all the time, and it annoys the fuck out of me because it comes off as insulting my intelligence, what little I have).  So I was (not) shocked to see him show up about a dozen or so episodes later.

“That’s right motherfuckers, you can’t kill me!”

But that’s just the warmup.  During the finale, this bodyguard and Lunge get in a scuffle, and Lunge continues to do this stupid shit that keeps getting bodybuilder to regain the upper hand.  One of these actions was so fucking stupid, the anime didn’t want to shame itself by showing it, so it happens off-screen and is mentioned later (you know what, fuck you, seriously).  “Oh, I let him live and didn’t bother to handcuff him or anything, which allowed him to tackle me while I was walking down this stairs with my back turned to him.  Yeah, it makes me sound like a fucking idiot doesn’t it?  Good thing you didn’t see me being a fucking idiot, considering I’m supposed to be the intelligent one.”

And then, of course, there’s the tip of the finale.  Where the main protagonist and others are face-to-face with Johan, guns pointed, people wounded, emotions running high.  Johan is asking Tenma to end his life, by shooting him in the head.  A part of Tenma doesn’t want to do this, because it’s not in self-defense, and he knows that he will be forever changed if he takes a life as opposed to saving one.  And no one else really wants him to do this other than Johan himself, though many do want Johan to die because of all the lives he has taken.  Long story short, some other semi-random schmuck ends up shooting Johan in the head, which was a lucky shot not only because he had never fired a gun before, but also because he was in a bit of a drunken state.  It’s a pure lazy fucking cop-out, and it results in the show trying to give the happiest ending possible, despite everything that happened prior to this, from episode 1 and onward.  It would’ve been interesting to see how Tenma would’ve handled himself after doing that, but nope, we’re not going to have any of that.

Plus the whole thing just seems naive to me.  And I get what they were going for.  Once you kill, you lose an element of innocence that you will never get back.  I get it.  But the fact remains that if someone had killed this psychopath far earlier on, a shitload of lives would’ve been spared his wrath, and many more would’ve lived.  You can talk about losing innocence all you want, but that is why people exist who are willing to lose that innocence to protect others so that way others won’t lose their own innocence, much less their own lives from others who have no innocence left.  But fuck that, the anime wants you to feel sympathy for this guy and demands that the viewer hopes for a redemption arc for Mr. kills-a-lot.

Seriously, this line is fucking said.  Fuck you lady, what about all the other people he’s killed, you wanna see if they forgive this cocksucker?

So yeah, all that stuff irritated me, and marred what had been a fairly excellent show, making it go from having minor annoyances to major annoyances.  But despite that, the show it still good, has some fascinated scenarios and some thought-provoking concepts and philosophies (up until it fucking simplifies them in the last 2 episodes).  And it is worth a watch.  The things that cause me major irritations may only be minor or insignificant to you.  So, there it is.

Regarding Letterboxd.com, and my downward spiral.

LetterBoxD.  I’ve been a member of that site since March 2013 (for over 5 years now), thanks to recommendations from the podcast Slaughterfilm.  What kept me invested in this website was how one could log the films they’ve watched, optionally rate the film from 1/2 a star to 5 stars (so it’s more like a scale from 1-10), and optionally leave a review of any length, whether it be a word, a sentence, a paragraph, or an essay.  The reviews started simple, as I didn’t want to put as much effort into them as I did on a college essay of such subjects.  But as time went on, I became inspired by other reviewers, some of which who are no longer there.  Reviewers who go the extra mile, make detailed analysis of films, and make one learn something more about the film, gain extra insight into it.  The type of reviews that make me envious, making me think, “I wish I was as talented as these guys.”  They inspired a lowlife like me to make an effort like that from time to time, though they make this stuff look easy.

Reviewers such as Adam Cook, CinemaClown, Aaron, and Dragonknight were all inspiring reviewers to me, as well as to others (more recently Kevin Jones).  Then there were those who demonstrated just how interactive and fun of a community letterboxd could actually be.  Cinemonster and his annual Hoop-Tober challenge, where he challenges himself and other users to watch 31 horror-themed films following certain guidelines (ex: there must be 1 film directed by Tobe Hooper).  David Topper and his Noir-November challenge.  All these users on this unique social-media site broadened my horizons, got me to seek out films I would likely never have seen without their encouragement.  And the occasional smartass reviewer who didn’t hold back on some foul language in his earlier reviews, such as Todd Gaines (a name taken from the film Go, which has nothing to do with the board game, though there is a Korean film that can indulge people on that).  And how we would comment on each others reviews.  Sometimes I would go deep and discuss the heavy themes of the film, critique another review, challenging its stance on a film, which resulted in some nice debates that continued to produce more insight into the film and the conversations it can produce.  Other times we would just lightheartedly bust each others’ balls.  It was fun times.

Then the years passed, and I sought others to follow, who’s reviews I thought would also provide interesting insight.  Naturally, I sought those who were the most popular, who had the most followers.  Because surely the more followers they have, the more there must be a good reason for it, right?

Cue 2016.  Yeah, that was a rough year, the year where mainstream media went full-tilt in making everything so politically heated to the point where friends became enemies on social media, where family members (in real life, not on the web) became torn asunder.  Where some of our ugliest natures were brought into the light.  It’s the year where everything began to slowly but surely fall apart.  It began innocently enough.  One user who I followed at the time was Sally Jane Black, one of the most popular users on the site at the time.  She (or he, not sure which, the profile states the individual is trans) wrote a review on that 2004 ice hockey film Miracle, which starred Kurt Russel.  Here’s a portion of the review (which is most of it):

I wish the United States were worthy of the dreams portrayed here, of the pride, of the glory given it in the chants and the uniforms and the flags. Of course, it isn’t and never will be, and never has been either, but for over two hours this movie does a good enough job of helping you like that these kids believe it anyway. You never lose sight of the fact that we live in a vile hellhole of country that has systematically and intentionally marginalized people in the name of venomous self-interest, but you just kinda don’t mind that these kids and Kurt Russell are sacrificing everything actually good in their lives for the glory of a nation that would eat them alive if they weren’t all white cishets.

I looked at the comments, some of which got ugly, and made a comment of my own.  I didn’t use any foul language, and I don’t remember what I said exactly, but it was something along the lines of, “Chill out, America isn’t that bad, especially compared to the other countries out there.”  In the past, I would usually get a reply, and engage in a back-and-forth discussion.  Sometimes they wouldn’t want a discussion, to which I would think, “Fair enough, I’ll end it here.”  Not so this time.  This was the first case where I discovered that users could be “blocked,” which results in you not only being unable to make anymore comments on any of their reviews, but also be unable to “Like” one of their reviews.  On top of that, any comments you have made on their reviews becomes invisible to everyone (hence why I’m unable to retrieve my exact comment on the review).  This was off-putting, and my first experience encountering the intolerant, the anti-patriot, and the anti-patriot LGBT.  Little did I know that 2016 would be the start of a breeding ground for people like this, who multiply quickly, and begin to have numbers that can’t be ignored.

It was petty, but I couldn’t fully get over it.  Like most social media sites, it becomes easy to turn a small thing into a big thing.  It’s the manner in how closeted someone like that is, despite claiming to have come out of the closet.  How closed off and isolated they make their beliefs/politics, unwilling to be challenged.  Taking the fun out of back-and-forth constructive (or ball-busting) debates.  And debates are one of my passions, especially when it goes hand-in-hand with all other passions, including film and games.  In hindsight, it was less the individual and more of what the individual stood for (SJW) that made me slowly transform my feelings towards them from semi-respect for a fellow reviewer with different opinions albeit interesting ones, to shock at seeing that their opinions and personality become less interesting and more ignorant and filled with loathing, to disliking them altogether when looking upon their other reviews that came soon after this one.

I thought that would be an isolated incident.  I thought wrong.  As the months/years went on I began to realize I had been blocked by others.  At some point, I decided this should be something I should be a bit proud of, making reviews that unintentionally offend (well, with some exceptions; there are reviews I make that I hope do offend others, making them outraged, encouraging them to comment, seeing if that will lead to some more debate).  So I made a list of those who have blocked me; a list composed of films that are linked one way or another to the individuals who have blocked me (each film representing an individual, mainly because it’s either a review that I wanted to “Like” but couldn’t, or because of some comment).  There was one exception where some guy was trolling/spamming me, so I blocked that little cocksucker, but that’s the one exception.  More on this later.

Come 2017, when I watched and reviewed a documentary called The Red Pill.  Since Sally Jane Black (whose initials SJB made it irresistible for me to use the term Social Justice Bitch) was still on my mind, I mentioned her name in the review, stating that the review was partly for her.  I even made a unique intro and outro paragraph taking a jab at her.  A few months later when I made a comment about something that led me to take another look at my review, I found that it wasn’t there.  It was gone.  Wiped from history, wiped from the records (not to mention all the “Likes” were gone).  It was at this point I became infuriated, but was glad I saved the review on this blog site so that it was easy to put it back up on Letterboxd.  And I did mail the moderators about this, and they basically stated something about not using a user’s actual name in the review in a negative light.  “So shouldn’t I have been given at least a warning to edit the review before it gets taken down?” I thought.  Apparently not.  But losing the review was one thing, losing all the comments in the review thread made it hurt even more.  One of those I got into a heavy back-and-forth debate with was user Cameron M Johnson.  And much to my delight and everlasting thanks, he had kept screenshots of most of the comments, so I was able to repost them.

It was at that point when I realized that Letterboxd isn’t all that reliable, that they’re capable of deleting content quite easily at the behest of winy little bitches.  So I held my blog site with much more importance when it comes to storing records of note-worthy reviews/topics than I do a social media site.  Bottom line, no matter how much you may trust it, no social media site is safe from censorship.

But anyway, I blamed Sally Jane Black for the whole ordeal.  I had doubts that she was the one who flagged the review, but if it wasn’t her, it was definitely one of her followers.  In any case, attacking her would end up being an attack on them, so I placed the blame on her.  Not fair, not ethical, but at that point it was no longer something petty to me (hey, I’m just telling it like it is; I’m aware that this makes me come off as an asshole, and I won’t deny that I kind of am one; at least I admit it).

But after I had a month or so to cool off, I did my best to brush it off.  Didn’t want to pursue the matter any further.  I made an effort to try to let bygones be bygones.  Because I knew deep down that I shouldn’t hold grudges like this.  It’s not healthy, and there are more important battles to fight.  Did maintain a growing number of people on the Bridges Burned list however (the list of those who have blocked me).  Meanwhile more users became more radical/emotional with their reviews, still fanning the flames started up in 2016, and exploded near the end of 2016 when Trump got elected president, which spurred a lot of users to make reviews on films that weren’t about the films at all and ran on tangents that went like, “Trump is evil, America is fucked, conservatives and cop-lovers and patriots all deserve to choke in hell, boo-fuckity-hoo, fuck my life and fuck you.”  The back-and-forths I’ve had resulted in a few more people blocking me (intolerant bunch of fuckers), and there became less of them overall.  Less reviews that invite discussion, less people willing to comment, including those of the past I have followed.  Guess it’s the inevitable result of years going by, people are bound to move on.  Though I still stuck with reviews.  Plus I found other users I personally believed to be worth following, particularly Arielrocks5, another LGBT, but one who is cooler than SJB.  She seemed like the female equivalent to Todd Gaines, a smartass, a ball-buster, and had fun energetic reviews (though she was also one of those who did one of those tangent reviews recently mentioned).  Have to admit though, my interest began to wane on the site, to the point where I didn’t put forth an annual monetary donation to make me a pro member.  Just wasn’t feeling it this time around.  Was hoping something would ignite that spark in me as has happened in the past.  So far, it hasn’t happened.

Cut to recent times.  Something eventually happened with me.  A result of slow degradation, slow buildup of frustration.  A realization that there weren’t enough like-minded people like me that I could find on that site.  Don’t get me wrong, alternative opinions are nice and all, but they get tiring after a while, especially when I can’t find a way to agree with them.  4-5 star reviews for films I thought sucked, 1 star reviews for films that I thought were good (or at least decent).  Too many of those, making me wonder why the hell these are the most popular reviews on that site, with those viewpoints.  Especially for praise for The Last Jedi (seriously, where the hell is the review equivalent to MauLer and E;R and The Dishonoured Wolf for that movie on letterboxd?).  So I finally snapped after watching the film The Book of Henry, a film that got largely negative reviews from just about everyone.  And I posted a review which contains these excerpts:

My thoughts are I no longer trust any of you hypocritical assholes that I follow. I no longer trust your ratings, or your reviews. I thought this movie was fun, albeit a bit far-fetched (but compared to the shit you people give high ratings too, it’s firmly grounded in reality by comparison). The unbridled praise you give for some films that I think are shit (ie Star Wars: The Last Jedi), and the unbridled hate for some that I enjoyed in the past (ie Warcraft). Then again, why should I be surprised? It’s my firm belief that every film critic, no matter who they are, where they’re from, or however long they’ve been reviewing films is a fucking hypocrite (and I’m no exception to this).

[…]

It is also said that one shouldn’t spread hatred, or express disapproval over stuff like this, about what others think about a movie, or something like that. To that I said bullshit. Fuck that, and fuck you people for scoring this film so low, and double fuck you for making me trust in your opinions a long while back. That’s over now. Might just change my ways over this shit. Up until now I’ve been trying to only “Like” reviews that seemed well-thought-out analyses of movies, whether it’s a paragraph, or an essay in length (very rarely does a one-sentence review cut it). Difficult to do that now. So I’m just simply going to “Like” reviews that I find entertaining. And that entertainment comes in-part with confirmation bias. Everyone seems to be doing it, so why not me? The difference is, I have better tastes than most of you bottom-feeders. That is harsh, but it’s a harsh world, and I’ve accepted that hardly any of you give a damn about me or my opinions anymore than I usually give a damn about yours when it doesn’t match up with mine.

There are some reviews with a different opinion (and thus love/hate) regarding a film that I actually appreciate. Those who love/hate the movie Mother!, I see merit in the arguments for and against the film. Warcraft, I can understand some of the flack that film gets, considering it’s stripped down version of what it should’ve been. Blade Runner 2049, despite its faults, I can understand and agree with those who have a greater liking for that movie than I do.

But there are some films where the praise/hatred for it I just don’t get. Some of it I fault for ignorance, people intentionally shutting off a large enough amount of their brains to where they become the retarded masses a movie, with plot holes up the ass and condemnation for everyone else, was made for. Some of it I fault for them being raised wrong. Some of it I fault for the type of people letterboxd attracts a high enough amount of, the type that start off small and don’t seem like a big deal, until there’s so many they put a stain on just about everything. Some of it I fault herd mentality (and not just your friends, but what sources of influence you listen to that tell you whether or not to like something, and you do so without much thinking, like the sheep you are, letting them sheer your wool as easily as you give your time and money). Some of it I fault on the number of decent reviewers who used to be on this site who have left for good, and are never coming back.

Either way, I trust none of you. I despise a lot of your opinions. And I’m done trying to play nice on this site. This isn’t about a popularity contest, about trying to get the most followers. This is about me giving my own opinions and analysis on films that I can have on record for myself. If anyone else is entertained by these reviews, good for you, suck on a lolipop. Everyone else can suck a boil-covered dick. Your opinions are ass, and you wouldn’t know how to defend them on any form of objective grounds.

“But being entertained by movies is a subjective thing! I don’t have to defend my opinions on why I cherish/revile this thing to someone like you!”
If films can be cherished or reviled, then so can the reviews, if you can call them that.

A few days after making this review, I see another review from ArielRocks5 that I wanted to “like,” but couldn’t.  She had me blocked.  And I know this had to have happened recently, because she had “liked” my review for Cinema Paradiso, which I had made on June 4 (compared to the Henry review made June 15).  I figured I would lose some followers over that review, but I honestly wasn’t expecting her to be one of them.  I think back on the previous year or two where we had some fun times and fun reviews.  I liked some of hers, she liked some of mine.  Exchanged comments.  Laughter at some of the things we said, even in spite of us have extreme disagreements over a few things, such as the 2016 Ghostbusters film which she loved, and I hated.  On the other hand, I guess I shouldn’t have been too surprised, considering she follows a few people who have blocked me, including SJB.  This one managed to hit me a bit.  So I proceed to add her to the Burned Bridges list…

…only to find that the list had disappeared, like that Red Pill review once did.  Guess I should’ve known, moderators don’t like people making reviews where user names are mentioned, why should it be any different for lists?  Yet I should’ve seen this coming, as SJB actually commented on a thread I had participated in regarding the Vietnam War, mentioning I had a list of haters.  Funny how news of that spreads to someone who has blocked me and shouldn’t have any interest in me after doing that.  I did leave a warning on my Red Pill review that should some deletion without warning of that sort ever happen again, I take the gloves off.  Yet, I’m too tired.  Too tired to have this anger continue to drive me; that only works in short spurts for films that pissed me off.  Too tired to have a hate-filled tirade about how pissed I am about all this.  Because ultimately, it’s nowhere near as big of a deal as losing the review and the comments (which got replaced).  But I couldn’t let this go without saying something about it either.

So it comes down to this.  How much of this is on me?  Did I go too far past the line too often?  Am I as filled with self-loathing and loathing for others as those who also have self-loathing and loathing for someone like me?  Why is it that my tastes in film are so different from the average letterboxd user?  Why are so many so filled with hate for people and things that don’t deserve their misguided hatred?  Why am I so affected by something that should be so petty?  Why is it that they would rather block me than unfollow me when I’m not even spamming the comments (let alone hardly commenting at all)?

But then I think, “You know, I’m not the one blocking them, they’re the ones blocking me.  I put up with their reviews which I think are shit-taste most of the time, but they don’t put up with mine.  I get in debates with them some of the time, but a portion of them would rather block me to end the debate rather than state they no longer wish to debate with me (I never stick around when I’m asked to leave).”

Conclusion: some of the fault is mine, I share some of the responsibility for my downward spiral on letterboxd.  But so do they.  They have grown more intolerant and more political since 2016.  And I blame the mainstream media and cocksucking Hollywood for subliminally messaging people into becoming this intolerant/political/divisive, to the point where they don’t even want to have a debate, to where they don’t want their views challenged, to where broadening one’s horizons is now discouraged.  They follow a herd mentality, and like a movie because someone/something else tells them to.  I debate to break them from this trend, or else see what arguments they have to convince me to fall into the trend, or vice-versa, but little to no users will have it anymore.  So I say thank God (though I’m not religious) I’m not like them.  As vicious and dickish as I am now, I’ve got nothing on many of these people.  But I still hold out hope that the trend will break; that fun can be had again; that everyone’s tolerance levels are built back up.  While it does pain me to not be around others who have a similar mindset, who have similar tastes, I would rather take the pain than live a lie.

The only thing I regret is that I wasn’t born a more patient and nicer individual.  But I will not regret the things I’ve said when I have spoken honestly, even if it’s blunt to the point of pain.  Blunt remarks are the ones most prone to a response.  And it’s not that there aren’t other reviewers who don’t share my point of view, it’s just that they’re not on letterboxd, which is crazy considering how many users are on that site.

33-Disney-go-fook-yourself-gif

Well, here’s to hoping things will improve down the line, and happy 5 year anniversary.

 

PS: Yeah, I inserted a bunch of random gifs just in case you didn’t give a shit about anything that was written.

Entertainment Industry Nostalgia: February 1990

Ok, finally finished up February 1990.  Going lighter on the “Cultural Etc.” stuff because, well, I was too lazy to methodically track down ads and clothing styles and stuff from that month.  So here it is, the noteworthy music, movies, and shows from February 1990.

 

Music

Last month was just a warm-up compared to what was unleashed this month in the music industry.

MC Hammer: Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em

Everyone knows U Can’t Touch This, even if it is a rip-off of Super Freak by Rick James (bitch) .

KLF: Chill Out

Relaxation music.

Primus: Frizzle Fry

Too Many Puppies, and John the Fisherman were the big album hits.  I can only listen to this album in small bursts, like 2 songs at a time tops before I’ve had enough.

Damn Yankees: Damn Yankees

High Enough, Coming of Age, and Come Again were among the big hits, and this album was known for reviving the career of Ted Nugent.  Despite what they say the big hits were, my personal favorite song from this song is “Tell Me How You Want It.”

The Cramps: Stay Sick

Garage Band with several songs that take a big nod to other songs (God Damn Rock & Roll is a heavy nod to Old Time Rock & Roll by Bob Seger).  UK band.

Riot: The Privilege of Power

Decent rock n’ roll album, though I find the intermissions between songs questionable.  Upon a listen, didn’t find any notable standouts, but I didn’t hear any weak songs either, so it’s an all around solid album.

Peter Wolf: Up to No Good

Not bad.  The best song is a toss-up between Up to No Good, and Shades of Red-Shades of Blue.

Gamma Ray: Heading for Tomorrow

Would’ve been my favorite of the month if only it didn’t have several weak songs stacked atop the few excellent songs (the standouts are Lust for Life, Free Time, and Heading for Tomorrow).  First studio album of the German metal band.  I strongly recommend the original version as opposed to the remastered version.  Best song on the album is the one the album is named after, which runs at a vast 14 minutes (though there are various versions of this song, one of which is the live version which runs at an insane 20+ minutes).

Oingo Boingo: Dark at the End of the Tunnel

Arguably their last good album.

 

Eric Johnson: Ah Via Musicom

The way he plays that guitar, especially in Cliffs of Dover.

Movies

While the music album selection improved this month, it’s debate-able as to whether or not the film quality improved or worsened or stayed the same compared to January 1990.  None of the films were as good as Tremors (in my opinion), but some of the others sure gave last month’s top films a run for their money.

Mountains of the Moon

Think of this as The Lost City of Z, except better.  While the locations may not involve tropical rainforests, it’s still an adventure film where two men form a common bond over exploring the unknown (to England) locations, yet become torn apart due to semi-political conflicts at home.  Sure doesn’t hold back on the violent moments (as brief as they are), nor the harshness of the environments confronted during exploration.

 

Hard to Kill

Not one of the better Steven Seagal films in my opinion, yet for some reason a lot of Seagal fans hold this film in high regard.  I’m only including it here for that reason, otherwise it’s forgettable to me.

 

Nightbreed

Fun film.  Great practical effects work, an adrenaline-filled finale, music that sounds like a Batman-rip-off (understandable considering both films were conducted by Danny Elfman), and David Cronenberg playing the villain.  Be sure you see the director’s cut.

 

Cinema Paradiso

I reviewed this movie.  TL;DR: a fun drama film that’s all about nostalgia and love for films and how they can shape one’s life and one’s community.  Likely the film of the month (while last month, in my opinion, it was Tremors).

 

 

Video Games

More or less about as decent as last month’s selections, except that this month would get a game release on the NES that would go down as an all-time classic.
Rollerball (NES)

Fun little pinball game, which weren’t all that common on the NES, or in general as far as I know for back then.

 

Super Spike V’Ball (NES)

Well, I guess the NES just wouldn’t let Sega get away with being the only console to release a beach volleyball game, so they had to take their shot at it, even if they had to port it from the arcade to do it!  And they did a decent job from what I’ve seen.

 

Golf (Game Boy)

Gotta give the Game Boy something just out of pity, like the last episode.  Don’t get me wrong, this game has its fans back in the day, and it’s decent, but it’s not anything I would ever want to play today.

 

Batman (NES)

One of the big NES classics in the same vane as Ninja Gaiden (and probably just as difficult; hard as hell).  Need I say more other than the 90s knew how to make a solid film-to-game adaptation?  Sega would follow suit in the months to come.  And as great as this game is, while it should have by all right been the best game of the month, something else came out that would top it, and practically every other NES game ever made.  And I’m not so sure I have the willpower today to get good enough to beat this thing.  But it is fun, so long as I don’t get pissed enough to throw the controller and the console out the fucking window.

 

Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES)

Well, it’s Super Mario Bros. 3.  Nothing else is going to top this for game of the month.  Was definitely a contender (if not winner) for Game of the Year.  A game so hyped up (and lived up to it), that there was an entire movie created for the sole purpose of being a glorified advertisement for it.

To bad this was in 1989, kinda hoped to dig into it a bit for the 90s nostalgia, especially since I watched it in the 90s.

Television Shows

I could only find 3 shows that were halfway decent, though none of them lasted the year, let alone half the year.  These are mostly sympathy picks, key word being “mostly.”

Rodeo Drive (February 5, 1990 – May 4, 1990; Lifetime Television)

A so-so game show that was never going to be popular, but the host made it entertaining.

 

Elvis (February 6 – May 19, 1990; ABC)

Show didn’t gain enough ratings, so it was cancelled, and re-released along with the unaired episodes as a 4 hour miniseries.  Honestly, the show seemed ok to me.  Maybe audiences got Elvis fatigue during this time period, or the show wasn’t advertised enough.  Then again, a lot of great shows got cancelled before their prime from the late 80s to about 2010 (seriously, fuck you people for cancelling Firefly, Surface and Deadwood).  It is what it is.

Nasty Boys (February 19 – July 20, 1990; NBC)

“Is this College Boy?”

“No, this is Donald Trump.”

Ok, now this show was so fucking fun in the way only the 90s could be (well ok, late 80s too).  What the early 90s crowd thought awesome cops were like (more gangster than cop, but in all the right ways).  Entertaining for the cheese and the awesomeness.  Seriously, fuck you people for cancelling Nasty Boys!

 

 

Other Cultural Stuff

Cinema Paradiso (1988) review

 

Rated: 3.5 / 5

“Life isn’t like in movies.  It’s much harder.”

It’s films like these that make me glad to be an avid film-watcher.  Films that show how powerful film can be, the emotions they carry, the memories they hold, and how they cause one to reflect upon life.  That doesn’t mean I consider this to be a perfect film, or even one of my favorites, but it is never-the-less a solid film that evoked an emotional response within me.

The film is a coming of age story, and how film has affected the coming of age process not just for the main protagonist, but for just about everyone he has known as a child.  The important role watching films at his local cinema played for him in his life, the lessons that can be gained from film and from outside of film.  And also trying to live life away from the hobby he had cherished for most of his youth.

It takes place in this little Italian town where Toto (that’s more of a nickname, but that’s what I’ll go with) spends most of his time in a theater, watching this Catholic priest (who pretty much runs the town on a cultural level) forcing the edits of various films, cutting out footage that shows people kissing on screen (that fucking asshole).  Toto not only sees this (and therebye gets to see the uncut footage before it is cut), but also learns how projectors work thanks to hanging out in the projection booth with the projectionist Alfredo.  Alfredo often quotes words of wisdom that he gained from the films he’s watched, some words that Toto takes to heart (or at least tries).

It’s not all fun and games though.  While Toto and most of the village do show up to the movies to watch them and enjoy themselves (making it more of an experience, an opportunity for practically the entire town to get together and have a romp in the theater, not just to see the film itself), there are times where the dangers and fears of making film-watching possible are shown.  The fear of the lion where the projected film comes out of, the easily flammable film reels which must not be taken lightly, and how one mustn’t let film cause them to become irresponsible with life’s other duties and experiences.

As Toto gets older and more mature, so do the films.  While he was a youth the Catholic priest’s concern for kissing scenes and anything that becomes too tantalizing for viewers causes him to prevent such footage from being shown to protect the youth, so is the case for many adults who don’t want their children to become exposed to such stuff.  But when they get older, when they become young adults, the youth have a desire to seek out those they want a relationship with, to find love.  And so eventually the Catholics lose their ability to control what shouldn’t be seen in a movie, and those scenes are left intact for everyone to see (much to everyone’s delight, as many complained about the edited versions in the past, and rightly so).  So the viewers are able to see the actors/actresses kiss on screen, so does Tito finally find his first love and get his first kiss.

Where the film becomes somewhat off-putting is when Tito joins the military.  It’s brief, and granted I guess it’s meant to show that he has to spend time away from movies, away from his hometown more than anything else.  It just threw the pacing off a bit for me.  And to be honest, it’s the only real issue I had with the entire film.  And on that note, eventually Alfredo convinces Tito that he must leave the town, leave this place, forget about everything and live his own life, create his own memories outside of this town, outside of this film.  Basically, Alfredo wants Tito to have the life he never could.  So that’s what Tito eventually does.

It isn’t until much later in life that Tito returns, after learning that Alfredo had died.  Yet Alfredo never wanted Tito to return, and expressed this wish to his mother, yet Tito’s mother calls Tito back regardless.  So at the end, I was wondering if it would end up being a good thing or a bad thing for Tito to come back to the town.  But seeing everyone else from his childhood gather for Alfredo’s funeral, and for the demolishing of the Cinema Paradiso (things have changed, theaters have become less significant with the VHS technology; a bit foreboding for today I must say), and coming across a film reel Aldredo left behind for Tito, just in case.  And Tito watches the film reel through a projector, and sees that it’s all the cut footage from all those films of the past, of all these actors and actresses giving each other passionate kisses.  Tito becomes emotionally floored.

It’s these romantic moments that become important for Tito in the past.  Because he also shares a love for cinema just as these characters in film share a love for each other.  And how could he not have a love for cinema?  Cinema provided a way for him to learn many of life’s valuable lessons.  How to find love, making friends with others, working projectors to put these sounds and images on a screen to make everyone else laugh and cry; and ultimately a way for everyone to find moments of happiness.  How can one forget the past when it has brought them so much?  How can one turn their back on film when it holds so many moments, so many memories, so many emotions?

Highly recommended film.

 

PS: Well, apparently there’s a couple other versions of the movie.  There’s the version when it was first released in Italy, clocking in at roughly 155 minutes, then the International cut which runs about 124 minutes (the version I saw), and then there’s the more recent “Director’s Cut” (which is a bit misleading from what I understand, it’s more of an extended cut, the initial Italy version is more to the Director’s vision I think) which clocks in at a whopping 170 minutes.  Strangely enough, there’s some debate as to which version many would consider superior.  Despite the cuts, many believe the 124 International Version is the superior film because of how it ends up portraying the relationship between Tito, Alfredo, and Elena (Tito’s first love) by the end.  See here for more:

http://www.edmundyeo.com/2007/05/cinema-paradiso-original-vs-new-version.html

“Spygate” Living Blog Post

Note made after writing everything below the Introduction:

Fuck me sideways to Atlantis, this is overwhelmingly ridiculous.  I started out typing this post just wanting my own personal page to continually update with information regarding Trump/Russia/Spygate/etc.  Mainly the names of people and organizations, so I can keep track of who to definitely not trust, who to remember when elections happen and when stories break, etc.  I expected to have a finished copy after a couple days, and then update it off and on when a relevant story breaks.

And I can’t do it.  At least not like that.  There are so many goddamn news articles with so many goddamn names and goddamn organizations, it would take a group of people to try and organize everything in the amount of time I’m trying to do it.  And for someone like me who has a bit of attention deficit disorder, that’s asking for too much.  So I’m going to change tactics.  I’m just going to post what I’ve written as is, which is basically a jumbled mess of stuff.  And I’ll just update it off and on when new stories come out from here on.  I’m sick of digging into older posts from various websites of the past, and I’d rather be doing something else, like continuing to play Knights of the Old Republic 1 (yep, got sidetracked from Witcher 3 again, and from Mass Effect 2; I’m not very good at sticking to just one thing for very long), continuing to analyze the censorship done with a certain Vietnam War documentary (not the Ken Burns one per-se), and continue to binge-watch the original Star Trek series while I have access to Netflix for the brief time I’m able to do so (don’t see many other opportunities to finally check that off my bucket list).  Plus I hate having to wait so long before making a blog post, and I’d hate to see the effort I put into this go to waste.

So here it is, unfinished, unpolished, plenty of information left out, not that well organized, and will be initially be posted this way because I’m sick of working on it.  I’ll update it every now and then, hopefully; but don’t hold your breath.  I’m doing this one more for me than for anything else.

 

Introduction

So there is a lot of controversy surrounding Donald J. Trump, whether it’s the man himself, the people he associates with, the people associated with him, or his enemies, the DNC (Democratic National Committee), the RNC (Republic National Committee), the CIA, FBI, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, the Russians, the British, George Soros, the MSN (mainstream media), just to name a few.  You could take your pick as to which controversial topic to latch on to whether you’re for or against him.  Personally, I’m for him (let my bias be known now), but I’m also aware of several of his faults, including his stance against Net Neutrality, and how he may wind up supporting corporations to a fault (but I’ve learned many can be against corporations to a fault as well, so it’s a bit of a balancing act, when it shouldn’t be).  But when many seem to be setting him up for something bad that as far as I can tell he didn’t do, that irritates me, frustrates me, and at times scares me.  I’d rather bash a man in power for legit grievances than for made up stories.  More importantly, I don’t think he should be on the priority list for people to go after who are ruining the country, much less threatening my way of life (a way I would like to see improved I might add).

So I’m going to be making this post about all the news articles I can find regarding Trump, his potential collusion with the Russians, and those who are framing that story and who the actual perpetrators are more likely to be, plus updates on the story of one or more spies within the Trump campaign which were planted prior to him being sworn into office as president.  This will be continually updated, assuming I can maintain the willpower to do so.  In essence, this will be my first full-on post that is 100% political.  It was bound to happen.

 

Timeline of Events

* April 2014: Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn is relieved of duty as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

* June 16, 2015: Trump announces his run for president, seeking the Republican nomination.

** December 2015: Strzok-Page Texts (which would become declassified and made public in June 2018) are made indicating that the FBI were using sources (ie “lures”) to lure unnamed U.S. citizens (likely those in the Trump administration) to the UK, indicating that the FBI wanted to run a baited Sting Op using foreign agents against Trump.  (Source)

* February 28 2016: Jeff Sessions formally joined the Trump campaign. (Source)

* March 3, 2016: Trump names Sessions as chairman of his campaign’s national security advisory committee. (Source)

* April 13, 2016: “President Barack Obama appointed Steven Chabinsky, the general counsel and chief risk officer for CrowdStrike, to the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity.”Source

** May 5, 2016: The FBI had Crowdstrike monitor the DNC servers (Source), in response to news that the DNC servers had been hacked prior to the 2016 presidential election; they were reportedly payed $168,000 by the DNC (Source).

** June 15, 2016: CrowdStrike claims that the Russians were behind the hacking of the DNC servers (claimed to be done by Guccifer 2.0), and John Podesta’s e-mails.  (Source)

* July 2016: Jeff Sessions spoke with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. (Source)

* July 19, 2016: Trump is formally nominated for Republican party’s choice as president of the United States.  “Trump earned the 1,237 bound delegates necessary to secure the party’s nomination in early June. The chairs of each state delegation expressed their vote totals and support for Trump in a roll call vote during the second day of the Republican National Convention. Despite having won the primary outright, many of the party’s leading figures have refused to endorse Trump. All four of the GOP’s most recent presidents and presidential nominees are absent from the convention, as are scores of the party’s senators (Source).”

* July 22, 2016: On the Friday before the Democratic National Convention begins, WikiLeaks releases emails that are thought to have been stolen from the Democratic National Committee by Russian state actors. (Source)

** Aug. 21, 2015: Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) makes an unexpected appearance at a Donald Trump campaign rally in Mobile, Ala. While he doesn’t endorse Trump, he dons a “Make America Great Again” cap to loud applause. Sessions is one of the first elected officials to tacitly embrace Trump’s upstart candidacy. (Source)

* September 8, 2016: Jeff Sessions met with Sergey Kislyak, in Session’s office.  Sessions stated the meeting was in his capacity as a member of the armed services panel rather than in his capacity as a Trump campaign surrogate.  He stated the meeting was regarding, “a trip he made to Russia in 1991, terrorism and Ukraine — a major policy issue, given Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the imposition of U.S. and European Union sanctions on Russia for its actions.” (Source)  Also worth noting:

Sessions last year had more than 25 conversations with foreign ambassadors as a senior member of the Armed Services Committee, including the British, Korean, Japanese, Polish, Indian, Chinese, Canadian, Australian and German ambassadors, in addition to Kislyak.

(Source)

* October 7, 2016: WikiLeaks begins publishing emails that the U.S. government thinks were stolen by Russia from the account of Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. (Source)

* November 8, 2016: Trump is elected president.

* Nov. 17, 2016: President-elect Trump names Flynn his intended national security adviser. The position does not require Senate approval. (Source)

* November 18, 2016: Trump nominates Jeff Sessions as attorney general.

* January 5-6, 2017: [CNN released this story on January 10, 2017] Classified documents presented last week to President Obama and President-elect Trump included allegations that Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump, multiple US officials with direct knowledge of the briefings tell CNN. The allegations were presented in a two-page synopsis that was appended to a report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. The allegations came, in part, from memos compiled by a former British intelligence operative, whose past work US intelligence officials consider credible. The FBI is investigating the credibility and accuracy of these allegations, which are based primarily on information from Russian sources, but has not confirmed many essential details in the memos about Mr. Trump. The classified briefings last week were presented by four of the senior-most US intelligence chiefs — Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, FBI Director James Comey, CIA Director John Brennan, and NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers. Source  [James Clapper supposedly discussed the story with CNN prior to its airing (Source)]

** January 6, 2017: “Background to “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections”: The Analytic Process and Cyber Incident Attribution” is made publicly available. Source

** January 10, 2017: Buzzfeed.com publicly published a dossier alleging that Russia has compromising information on Trump (Source).  This is now known as either the Russian Dossier, or the Steele Dossier (the individual who compiled the dossier was at the time known to be a former British intelligence official, and his actual name would be revealed later on as Christopher Steele), a Dossier which is said to show that the Russians have “dirt” on Trump doing sexual misdeeds, and are thus able to blackmail him into doing stuff for them.

* January 10 2017: Jeff Sessions confirmation hearing, where he is questioned regarding any potential contacts he had in the past with the Russians. (Source)

* January 20, 2017: Trump is inaugurated as president.

** January 25, 2017: Investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign begins.

** February 8, 2017: Sessions is confirmed as attorney general in a 52-47 vote. Franken and Leahy — and every other Democrat save Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) — vote no. (Source)

** February 13, 2017: General Flynn was fired (forced out) as NatSec Advisor. (Source)

* March 2, 2017: Jeff Sessions publicly stated that he will recuse himself from investigations related to the 2016 presidential election campaign, which includes the supposed Russian interference. (Source)

** May 17, 1017: Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein of the Justice Department appointed Robert S. Mueller III, a former F.B.I. director, as special counsel to oversee the investigation into ties between President Trump’s campaign and Russian officials (Source).

** April 25, 2018: The Daily Caller News Foundation and Judicial Watch are teaming up to sue the Department of State for documents related to Christopher Steele, the former British spy who authored the unverified anti-Trump dossier. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, seeks the fulfillment of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests filed by both TheDCNF and Judicial Watch. Source

** April 26, 2017: “an unsealed FISA Court Ruling unveiled a number of criminal activities that Barack Obama’s FBI, NSA and DOJ participated in during his time in office. […] the FISA Court Ruling shows widespread abuse of the FISA mandate. According to the report, Obama’s FBI, NSA and DOJ performed searches on Americans that were against their 4th Amendment rights. This went on for years. One paragraph in the report states that 85% of the Section 704 and 705(b) FISA searches made during the time of the audit (a few months in 2015) were non-compliant with applicable laws and therefore criminal.  In addition, Obama’s DOJ and FBI were illegally searching Americans against their rights.  Unbeknownst to most Americans, Obama’s FBI was providing this information to outside contractors who had no business or legal cause or claim the information. A further review of the report by Jeff Carlson shows on page 19 that the Court stated that James Clapper’s NSA had an institutional “lack of candor”.”Source

** October 24, 2017:

** April 26, 2018: Chuck Ross of TheDailyCaller reports: Former FBI Director James Comey repeated one of the more pervasive false claims about the infamous Steele dossier on Thursday, telling Fox News’ Bret Baier Republicans first financed the salacious document. Instead, the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee funded the dossier project. “I knew it was first funded by Republicans,” Comey told Baier during an exchange about his knowledge of the dossier, which former British spy Christopher Steele wrote. “That’s not true, that the dossier that Christopher Steele worked on was funded by Republicans?” Baier replied.  “My understanding is his work started funded as oppo research funded by Republicans,” Comey insisted. Baier corrected Comey, saying The Washington Free Beacon, a conservative website, claimed they hired Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm commissioned the dossier, on a retainer, “but they did not fund the Christopher Steele memo or the dossier.” “That was initiated by Democrats,” Baier said. “My understanding was the activity was begun, that Steele was hired to look into was first funded by Republicans then picked up — important thing was picked up by Democrats opposed to Donald Trump,” Baier added. Comey’s false claim is not without precedent, though it is surprising given the FBI relied on the dossier as part of its investigation into possible collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian government. Fusion GPS hired Steele to investigate Trump in June 2016. The opposition research firm was working at that time for Perkins Coie, the law firm that represented the Clinton campaign and DNC. The Washington Free Beacon, which billionaire Republican donor Paul Singer funds, hired Fusion GPS in September 2015 to conduct standard opposition research on Trump. But the website ended its Trump work in May 2016, after Trump appeared poised to win the GOP nomination. The Free Beacon employed Fusion through January 2017 but cut ties after BuzzFeed News published the Steele report. Comey signed off on three surveillance warrants obtained against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, which relied heavily on the dossier.  Source

** April 27, 2018: “The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Friday released a heavily-redacted 253-page report laying out the findings of its 14-month investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.  The report, which was authored by committee Republicans and approved for release on a party-line vote, asserts that the investigation “found no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded, coordinated, or conspired with the Russian government.”Source

** May 31, 2018: Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, in an interview with Vox relating to his memoir Facts and Fears: Hard Truths from a Life in Intelligence, states that he believes the Russians did interfere with the election, but expresses doubts as to whether Trump colluded with them or not, or whether their interference affected the outcome of the election. (Source)

** June 3, 2018: Republican California Representative Devin Nunes reports that Aussie Ambassador Alexander Downer lied about the launch of the Spygate scandal, lied about giving George Papadopoulos information to the Australian Ambassador in the US to launch the spying on the Trump campaign. Source

 

Noteworthy Individuals/Corporations/Organizations

** Alexander Downer: former Australian ambassador, high commissioner in London.

* Alphabet: “an American multinational conglomerate headquartered in Mountain View, California. It was created through a corporate restructuring of Google on October 2, 2015 and became the parent company of Google and several former Google subsidiaries. The two founders of Google assumed executive roles in the new company, with Larry Page serving as CEO and Sergey Brin as President. Alphabet’s portfolio encompasses several industries, including technology, life sciences, investment capital, and research. Some of its subsidiaries include Google, Calico, Chronicle, GV, CapitalG, Verily, Waymo, X, and Google Fiber.” Source

* Andrew McCabe: FBI Deputy Director; worked on the Clinton e-mail investigation.  “His wife, Jill, lost an election for Virginia state senator after receiving $500,000 from long-time Clinton friend Terry McAuliffe and another $200,000 from the state Democratic Party – incredible donations for a state senate race. [Source]

* Atlantic Council: “an American think tank in the field of international affairs. Founded in 1961, it provides a forum for international political, business, and intellectual leaders. It manages ten regional centers and functional programs related to international security and global economic prosperity. It is headquartered in Washington, D.C.” Source.  The Atlantic Council is known to be very “hawkish” on Russia (Source).  It’s also funded in-part by NATO, United Arab Emirates, and Open Society Initiative for Europe (the latter of which is a program of the Open Society Foundation,  (Source).

* Barack Obama:

** Chuck Schumer: Democrat Senate Minority Leader New York.

* Christopher Steele: former British intelligence official.  Authored the infamous Russian/Steele Dossier used as evidence showing that Russia has “dirt” on Trump and is thus able to influence him.

* Crowdstrike: Cybersecurity company, who’s co-founder and CTO is Dmitri Alperovitch (also nonresident senior fellow on the Atlantic Council). that received $100 million from Google Capital (aka CapitalG) in 2015 (Source).  The company is owned by Alphabet (who’s chairman, Eric Schmidt, supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election).  Steven Chabinsky is the general counsel and chief risk officer for Crowdstrike.

* Dmitri Alperovitch: Nonresident Senior Fellow, Cyber Statecraft Initiative of the Atlantic Council.

* Donald J. Trump: Nominated for president of the United States July 19, 2016.  Won presidential election November 8, 2016.  Sworn into office January 10, 2017.

* Eric Schmidt: Chairman of Alphabet, which owns CapitalG (aka Google Capital).

** Fusion GPS: a Washington firm.

** George Soros:  “a Hungarian-American investor, business magnate, philanthropist, political activist and author. Soros is one of the world’s most successful investors.  He is a well-known supporter of American progressive and American liberal political causes and dispenses his donations through his foundation, the Open Society Foundations. Between 1979 and 2011, Soros donated more than $11 billion to various philanthropic causes; by 2017, his donations “on civil initiatives to reduce poverty and increase transparency, and on scholarships and universities around the world” totaled $12 billion. He influenced the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and provided one of Europe’s largest higher education endowments to the Central European University in his Hungarian hometown.” Source

* George Papadopoulos:

* Harry Reid: former Senate Democrat leader

* Hillary Clinton:

* James Clapper: served as the director of national intelligence from 2010 to January 20, 2017, and before that worked as a career intelligence officer under both Republican and Democratic administrations.

* James Comey: Director of the FBI from September 4, 2013, until May 9, 2017 when he was fired by Trump.  Initially nominated to the position by Barack Obama on March 3, 2013, to replace outgoing FBI director Robert Mueller.  Was against wiretapping utilized by the Bush administration in 2004 (Source).

* Jeff Sessions:

* John Brennan: CIA Director from

* John Podesta:

* Joeseph Mifsud:

* Kellyanne Conway: senior Trump advisor

** Lisa Page: FBI agent involved with the sending of 10,000 anti-Trump text messages between herself and Peter Stzrok (who she was involved with an extramarital affair).

** Loretta Lynch:

** Michael Cohen:

* Michael Flynn:

* Mike Pence:

** Michael S. Rogers: former US navy admiral, now director of the NSA.

** Nellie Ohr: formerly worked for the CIA (Source) and is the wife of senior DOJ official Bruce Ohr (who would be demoted for not reporting his meeting with Christopher Steele and Fusion GPS [Source]).  Hired by Fusion GPS to find dirt on Trump (Source).

** Open Society Foundation: aka Open Society Institute.  Founded by George Soros.   “The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant societies whose governments are accountable and open to the participation of all people.  We seek to strengthen the rule of law; respect for human rights, minorities, and a diversity of opinions; democratically elected governments; and a civil society that helps keep government power in check.  We help to shape public policies that assure greater fairness in political, legal, and economic systems and safeguard fundamental rights.  We implement initiatives to advance justice, education, public health, and independent media.  We build alliances across borders and continents on issues such as corruption and freedom of information.  Working in every part of the world, the Open Society Foundations place a high priority on protecting and improving the lives of people in marginalized communities.”Source

** Open Society Initiative for Europe:

** Peter Stzrok: FBI agent, who was on the Mueller team until found to be involved with the sending of 10,000 anti-Trump text messages between himself and Lisa Page (who he was involved with an extramarital affair).  He was also involved with the investigation into the Clinton e-mail scandal in 2016.  “Stzrok not only allowed Hillary’s aides to be present during her questioning, but he also failed to put the former secretary of state under oath. Such sloppiness was irrational – unless Stzrok knew Hillary’s answers were immaterial because the investigation’s outcome was pre-determined. [Source]”  (Source 2)

* Robert Swan Mueller III: nominated as director of the FBI by then-president George W. Bush on July 5, 2001, and officially took the position on September 4, 2001, and remained director of FBI until September 4, 2013 (replaced by James Comey).  “He had been working at WilmerHale [prior to being appointed on the special council team investigating Trump], which represents former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner — people who might be witnesses, or more, in the course of Mueller’s high-profile investigation [Source].”

* Rod J. Rosenstein: Deputy Attorney General at the Justice Department.  Appointed Mueller as special counselor into the Trump-Russia-Collusion investigation in May 2017.

* Roger Stone:

* Sergey Kislyak: Russian Ambassador.

** Seth Rich: murdered in Washington DC July 2016.  Officially considered a mugging despite valuables left on him, some suggest he was murdered because he was the Wikileaks source for the DNC e-mail leaks (Source).

** Steven Chabinsky: the general counsel and chief risk officer for CrowdStrike; appointed to the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity by Obama in April 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

News Stuff that I don’t have organized yet

June 25, 2017: Justin Caruso of TheDailyWire reports:

The analysis that alleged that Russia was behind the DNC server breach was carried out not by the U.S. government, but by the private security group CrowdStrike.

CrowdStrike is the sole source of this claim, with their June 2016 report, “Bears in the Midst: Intrusion into the Democratic National Committee” being the basis of the DNC’s Russian hacking allegations.

Here are five key points about CrowdStrike that the mainstream media is ignoring:

1. Obama Appoints CrowdStrike Officer To Admin Post Two Months Before June 2016 Report On Russia Hacking DNC

2. The FBI Never Looked At The DNC’s Servers — Only CrowdStrike Did

3. Comey Contradicted The DNC’s Story On The FBI Asking To See The Server

4. CrowdStrike Co-Founder Is Fellow On Russia Hawk Group, Has Connections To George Soros, Ukrainian Billionaire

5. CrowdStrike Is Funded By Clinton-Loving Google $$

Source

 

 

May 19, 2017: Gregg Jarrett of Fox News reports: “[Mueller] and James Comey are good friends and former colleagues who worked hand-in-hand for years at the FBI. Agents will tell you they were joined at the hip. They stood together in solidarity, both threatening to resign over the warrantless wiretapping fiasco involving then-Attorney General John Ashcroft in 2004.” Source

 

 

December 13, 2017: Tyler Durden of ZeroHedge reports: Over 10,000 text messages sent between two top FBI investigators – one of whom led both the Clinton email investigation and the early Trump-Russia probe, have been turned over to Congress Tuesday evening and promptly leaked to the press. The profanity-laced messages reveal a deep hatred for Trump between veteran agent Peter Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page, who were having an extramarital affair while working together on the Clinton email investigation when the texts were exchanged. Strzok and Page were fired from Robert Mueller’s special counsel in mid-August over the messages, yet the reason was not revealed until last month. Strzok notably changed the wording of then-FBI Director James Comey’s statement on Clinton’s mishandling of classified information from “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless.”Source

 

 

April 16, 2018: Chuck Ross of TheDailyWire reports: Comey told interviewer George Stephanopoulos that the FBI was unaware of the salacious and unverified dossier until after the bureau formally opened its counterintelligence investigation of President Donald Trump’s campaign. The investigation was opened on July 31, 2016. Comey is contradicted by extensive reporting that dossier author Christopher Steele provided the FBI with information from his dossier on July 5, 2016. There has also been reporting that the information was almost immediately passed to the FBI’s counterintelligence division, which would later oversee the Trump probe.  Source

 

April 22, 2018: Joe Hoft of TheGatewayPundit reports: “It is looking more and more like Obama’s Former FBI Director James Comey, former CIA Director John Brennan and Former NSA Director James Clapper may have lied when they put together a report released in January 2017 about Russian influence in the 2016 election. This report was used to push the entire Russia narrative. […]  The DNC has not allowed investigators to review its IT systems and servers to determine how its emails landed in the hands of Wikileaks. To date the Mueller team has not reportedly even asked for this information. An inspection would provide evidence as to whether its servers were hacked by outsiders or if the emails were simply copied by an insider and provided to external parties.  […]  the Russia Report was based on judgements from the CIA led by John Brennan, the DNI led by James Clapper, and the FBI led by James Comey.”Source

 

March 26, 2018: Chuck Ross of TheDailyCaller reports: Two months before the 2016 election, George Papadopoulos received a strange request for a meeting in London, one of several the young Trump adviser would be offered — and he would accept — during the presidential campaign. The meeting request, which has not been reported until now, came from Stefan Halper, a foreign policy expert and Cambridge professor with connections to the CIA and its British counterpart, MI6. Source

 

May 14, 2018: John Solomon of The Hill reports: In 2009, when Mueller ran the FBI, the bureau asked Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska to spend millions of his own dollars funding an FBI-supervised operation to rescue a retired FBI agent, Robert Levinson, captured in Iran while working for the CIA in 2007.  Yes, that’s the same Deripaska who has surfaced in Mueller’s current investigation and who was recently sanctioned by the Trump administration.Source

 

May 31, 2018, Jim Hoft of TheGatewayPundit posted an article regarding Jeff Session’s incompetence, and indicating how it provides for logical reasoning to determine that Jeff Sessions is involved with the Deep State, and wants to bring Trump down (despite some beliefs by others that Jeff Sessions is on Trump’s side and just playing a waiting game for when to go after the real enemies; the counter-argument to that is that he’s taking too long to act).  Source

 

May 31, 2018: Hannity on Fox news interviews John Solomon of The Hill, stating Documents Reveal Obama White House Attempted to Take Over Spygate Investigation (Source)

 

 

June 1, 2018, Cassandra Fairbanks of TheGatewayPundit posted an article stating she interviewed 3 former intelligence officers (who are anonymous as of the date of the posting), who she claims stated:

* The U.K.’s Joint Intelligence Committee was the venue used by the CIA and the DNI to share and receive “intelligence” allegedly linking Trump to Russia.

* The sources believe that John Brennan and James Clapper used highly classified intelligence channels to create a trail of fake evidence linking Trump to Russia.

* George Papadopoulos was targeted deliberately by U.K. intel operatives in a plot to trick him.

* It was Joseph Mifsud, not Papadopoulos, who raised the prospect of meeting with the Russians and introduced the claim that Russia had damaging information about Hillary Clinton.

* Joeseph Mifsud was a British operative, not a Russian asset.

* The only entity that could have coordinated the entire operation was the Obama White House.

The former intelligence officers agreed that the U.K.’s Joint Intelligence Committee was the venue used by the CIA and the DNI to share and receive “intelligence” allegedly linking Trump to Russia.

The Gateway Pundit spoke to the two former intelligence officers on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. We additionally spoke to Bill Binney, a former high level National Security Agency official-turned-whistleblower, who confirmed that he agrees with their conclusions.

What Ray McGovern and I were thinking is that the whole conspiracy about the Russian narrative was concocted by Brennan and then most likely approved by Obama. This is what I told Pompeo when I was in with him. It requires the NSA, CIA, FBI, DNI, DNC and the DOJ to be coordinating — especially for things like the Steele dossier. The only one place they all come together and can be ordered to coordinate and cooperate is the president — which was Obama. The DOJ doesn’t fall under the DNI or anybody else — only the president,” Binney told The Gateway Pundit.

Source

 

June 1, 2018, John Solomon of The Hill reports, “new documents reveal the Obama deep state figures contacted Trump campaign officials in Great Britain prior to the launch of any FBI investigation. This spying on Trump campaign officials show the Comey FBI broke their own rules governing informants.” Source

 

June 1, 2018, Jim Hoft of TheGatewayPundit reports, “Former Senator and current Attorney General Jeff Sessions oversaw the small team of five foreign policy experts for the Trump campaign.  Included in this small group were Carter Page and George Papadopoulos.  According to the House Intel report, the future President was under pressure to put together a foreign policy team in March of 2016.  A number of seasoned Republican foreign policy experts were unwilling to jump on the Trump train.  Because of this pressure from the press to show he had experts on his team, candidate Trump named then Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions as the chairman of his National Security Advisory Committee (NSAC).  A few weeks later, candidate Trump released the names of five people on his team.  The list included Carter Page and George Papadopoulos.Source

http://dailycaller.com/2018/04/27/donors-50-million-steele-fusion-gps/

 

June 3, 2018: Joe Hoft of TheGatewayPundit reports, “[…] former FBI Director James Comey stated that the investigation started in July of 2016, but evidence found in the public domain proves that the investigation started much earlier.” — Source

Fahrenheit 451 (2018) review and comparison to the novel

Rated: 2 / 5
So they did it, they made a modern adaptation of the novel (itself I have reviewed). How is it compared to the novel? As in most novel-to-film adaptations, not as good. And it suffers from some of the problems that I geared it would. Yet does have some balls with some of the subject matter contained, which is something that is much needed today. Unfortunately, it doesn’t go as far with it as it should have, which is something the book did.

Oh, by the way, I will be spoiling both the book and the movie here.  But I’ll be doing this review under the assumption that you’ve read the novel.  Because if you haven’t, you should.  Plus it’s a short book anyway.

Anyway, so the film is in a more modern, somewhat futuristic (by our present day standards) setting, with the only real technological advances being that video is shown along the entire outside of a building.  So sort of like modern day New York, but more extreme than that.  And it just doesn’t seem practical.  You know how fucking difficult it is to keep something like that cleaned?  What if it breaks?  What if there are pixels that need to be repaired?  Plus the film doesn’t do the one thing I was expecting it to do from a technological standpoint, and that’s having a living room with all the walls made out as television screens.  Considering that was something not only in the main protagonist’s home in the novel, but also that it was considered common, and considering the film has entire skyscrapers that act as one big-ass tv screen, you would think the movie would’ve had that in it.

But I digress, it does have some nice modern touches to it, such as having an Alexa-like unit in most places, responding to questions, offering advice, and spying on you (even when you think you’ve shut it off).  And it does have the whole “brainwashing kids in school” thing, though the film is being a bit devious about this by having law enforcement figures be shown doing the brainwashing (thus metaphorically saying, “Cops are bad, m’kay?”).  And it does a bit of satire on social media, by having all the news stuff showing little facebook-like icons floating all around live feed bits, sshowing people’s reactions to them (in a far too simplistic manner in my opinion; The Orville did that better in one of its episodes, and I thought that show was mediocre).

But other than that, the film is just a typical by-the-numbers movie, rather boring at times, and not all that interesting.  It doesn’t get across the important bits of wisdom as effectively as the novel did.  Probably because it dumbs it down, which is rather ironic considering what the novel’s message is.  The acting is decent, but none of the actors seem to have any real chemistry, and the relationships all come off as forced.

It also doesn’t help that our protagonist Montag, played by Michael B. Jordan (who’s casting has been met with some reservation by die-hard fans of the book, for reasons I’ll get into later), doesn’t have a wife in this adaptation, like he did in the novel.  Instead, it opts to let him have a more close relationship with the captain of the fire team, a sort of father-son relationship (even though they’re not actually father and son), or sort of bromance, a comradery thing.  This causes the film to suffer in a great way compared to the novel.  For starters, the relationship in the novel demonstrates how isolated the husband and wife are from one another, how they don’t really love each other, how the wife is more into television shows and chatting with her friends about said-shows.  The media creating a kind of isolation, something I pointed out as a danger to society in that film Suicide Club.  And it shows just how far gone she really is, how much the way society is, the instant gratification mindset, the materialistic mindset, has led her to not care about Montag at all.  It’s a symptom most in this society have (at least in the novel version), which showcases the overall problem on a smaller scale.  We don’t get that in this film.  Rather, it just does the typical totalitarian society ala 1984.  Look, if you wanted to do a modern adaptation of 1984, then just do a modern fucking adaptation of 1984.  Fahrenheit 451 isn’t supposed to be like that.  It’s about how society has become its own worst enemy, rather than those in charge being the ones as the primary cause of the harm.

The other issue with the film is that these firemen (and I assume many in the society) take drugs via eyedrops, which I guess is supposed to suppress emotions and/or emotional memories.  You know, like the drugs in the film Equilibrium.  And none of that shit was in the novel either.  So why did they do it?  As I indicated in the last paragraph, it dumbs down the ideas in the novel.  In the movie, they take drugs to make their job easier, to function in society with less emotion and less remorse.  In the film, members of society drifted into this direction without drugs because of the instant gratification mindset, because of the simplistic tv shows (doubtful they have full-length movies, considering the attention span).  Sure, people took drugs in the book, but not for the same reason they do in the movie.  It was mainly anti-depressants, a side-effect of becoming so isolated via technology and the lifestyle.  Montag (in the novel) also has this mindset; he smiles and acts happy even though he isn’t.  And he has been doing this for so long he has forgotten what true happiness is, and just assumes he really is happy even though he isn’t.  This is not something the film contains within it, for anyone.  Makes the film shallow and more uninteresting.

Yeah, this is a more entertaining movie, as ridiculous as it gets.

In fact, the manner in which Montag gets an awakening from this mindset is also far different than in the novel.  In the novel, he meets, by random chance, some little girl who acts carefree and different from everyone else.  This is to highlight what the children are actually like, what they’re expected to be, and highlighting an important quality that all humans should have, lest they lose semblance of meaning and happiness.  Now, this little girl isn’t in the movie per-se, but there is an older substitute (otherwise I guess some would mistakenly assume Montag is a pedophile or something, because we can’t have adults having and innocent conversation with a child, in the middle of the night, alone on the street, with no one else around; guess I’m not helping my case out very much when detailing the context; the 50s were a more innocent time period).  An older substitute that he eventually makes out with (well now that would just make the novel version awkward).  The thing is though, she doesn’t awaken Montag to this way of thinking so much as she brings him in to the revolution.  Yep, it all comes back to challenging the totalitarian pricks in power, as opposed to pointing out how society is flawed because of its own self-inflicted wounds.  Again, why the fuck do this and call it Fahrenheit 451 as opposed to 1984?

This ain’t a loli hentai sweetie, so stop pretending these are teenage boobs under this non-teenage bra under this non-teenage see-through clothing!

Oh, and also, there’s no killer robot dog in this.  Ah, whatever.

Missed opportunity!

There’s also this interesting yet strange plot development halfway through the film.  How the revolutionists, somehow someway, have utilized digitized versions of old novels and created an artificial DNA molecule that can be implanted into DNA.  It’s not explained too well, but I guess the implication is that, once this spreads into more humans, it will eventually infect everyone with this DNA strand, and they will naturally know about all these books on an instinctual level.  The more I think about it, the more dumb it seems compared to the ending plan in the novel, which was also far-fetched but at least seemed more achievable compared to this.  Besides, this plan never made it to the human stage, it only got into a single bird species.  How the fuck is it supposed to spread to humans?  DNA spreading doesn’t cross species like that!  And even if it did, it would take so fucking long it wouldn’t even matter by the time it kicked in!  The bird species might have died off by that point!  Honestly, this would be one of those contexts where that speech Yoda makes in The Last Jedi would actually work (sure as shit didn’t work in that movie).  Plus it all ignores the other plot element in the novel about the other danger to society being the way it is.  Lack of compassion leads to not caring about impending doom to the point where no action is taken when a fucking missile blows up an entire city!  I don’t know, maybe it was a budget thing.

Lastly, the main actor himself.  He’s black.  Some have an issue with this, and they’re not KKK members or neo-nazis.  They take issue with this the same way they take issue with having the human torch from Fantastic Four being black in that one incarnation no one liked.  Not accurate to the novel/comic.  Now, personally, in this film’s case, I didn’t have a problem with it in terms of being faithful to the novel.  But it is worth bringing up an element of the novel that I just knew this film wasn’t going to have the balls to do.  The novel mentions that minorities are one of the potential faults in society.  Not necessarily because minorities in of themselves are bad people so much as it’s easy to put the blame on them for when something goes wrong, like the stock market crash of 2008 or some shit like that (indicated in the film The Big Short).  However, while they can be used as scapegoats for something they didn’t do, there are some bad things they are responsible for, and it’s addressed in a very brief manner that gives something for the reader to think about.  And when this book was written, blacks were considered minorities.  Today, many would still attribute that label to them.  And considering the manner in which the captain has a conversation at certain points with Montag (in the novel), he addresses him as a white man, telling him how black men are (grouping them with other minorities).  It’s not done bluntly, it’s on the more subtle side, but it’s there.

With that being said, I didn’t really give much of a shit about them changing the main protagonists race, he could be played by anyone (don’t push it with the sex change though, we’re already getting enough of that shit with Ghostbusters: Answer the Call and Ocean’s 8).  But I do take issue with the intention behind it, and this is a thinking outside the box sort of thing that is inconsequential to the events that happen within the movie itself.  It’s the same reason why all the villains are white, and why the leader of the revolution is a black lady.  The whole subliminal thing of making blacks out to be the good guys, and whites out to be the bad guys (excluding Black Panther, where Michael B. Jordan played the villain, but that film is an exception).  Another one of those films which we’re going to see much more of that take little jabs at the white guilt complex.  It’s really petty stuff honestly.  Did find it a bit strange that Montag was pretty much the only black guy on the fireteam though.

But anyway, at the end of the day, the film is dull, a poor adaptation of the novel, and dumbs down if not altogether eliminates the important points made in the original source material.  Plus I don’t think they had the budget to pull it off.  It’s just not that interesting of a film, which is frustrating when it has such interesting subject matter.  The potential is there, which makes it all the more tragic and infuriating that it has been wasted.  The irony.