Friday, September 30, 2022

Music Reviews: It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday

The  song "It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday" was specifically written for the Motown movie Cooley High and presumably for the funeral scene in which it was used.

Although the world does not look kindly upon men crying I have always felt/joked that any man who bawls upon hearing this song gets a pass. 

The husband-wife songwriting duo of Freddie Perren and Christine Yarian Perren wrote this song. Plenty of people have recorded the song, most famously Boyz II Men, but I still think the film version, sung by G.C. Cameron, is the absolute definitive version, bar none. 

As a man of a certain age I am at the point where many of my older relatives have passed on. To me this song expresses the loss of loved ones while acknowledging that no matter what, life continues. 

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Movie Reviews: This Woman Is Dangerous

This Woman Is Dangerous
directed by Felix Feist

This Warners Bros. film wasn't that good. But it wasn't designed to be. It was the last film that Joan Crawford owed the studio under her contract. Supposedly the studio offered Crawford this role hoping that if she took it the film would hurt her box office appeal and if she didn't take it (the studio's preference) then the studio executives could suspend her, further damage her reputation, and prevent her from moving on to different film productions. 

Well nobody ever accused Crawford of being dumb or not being keenly attuned to her own best interests. Surprising the studio, Crawford accepted the film's lead role and gave it the old college try. Crawford would later claim that this was among her worst films, if not the absolute worst.

Crawford was miscast. Although Crawford was something of a babe in her youth, by this point in her career, the only reminder of fading beauty was her large (almost oversized) expressive eyes. Crawford's face and persona had become very hard, almost masculine. It's this version of Crawford that was later (cruelly??) parodied by Faye Dunaway in Mommie Dearest and which is likely best known by movie fans. 

Detroit Police Officer Suspended For OnlyFans Account--Resigns From Force

There are some jobs, schoolteacher immediately comes to mind, where the person so employed is responsible not just for doing his or her job for the agreed upon time and salary but also must avoid conflicts of interest and appearances of less than classy or responsible behavior off the clock. The Detroit Police Department suspended one of its rookie officers for having an OnlyFans account. The officer resigned.

DETROIT (FOX 2) - A Detroit police officer is off the force after a racy OnlyFans page she was running was found by the department. "One of our officers through her Instagram account had a paywall set up and was posting pornographic videos on the other side of the paywall," said Chris Graveline, the director of the Detroit Police Department's Professional Standards section.

Chief James White learned about the page with porn Tuesday morning, launched an investigation, and suspended Janelle Zielinski, only to find out she resigned a day earlier. She graduated from the police academy and started her career with DPD in March. Her resignation letter was effective Sept. 23, but since she was suspended, she will no longer be working.

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Movie Reviews: Killer's Kiss

Killer's Kiss
directed by Stanley Kubrick

Killer's Kiss
was Kubrick's second film. 
A taxi dancer was an entertainer-usually female-who would dance in clubs with a customer-usually male-for a set time which depended on the ticket(s) that the customer purchased. Taxi dancing wasn't prostitution, but it wasn't necessarily NOT prostitution either. 

In both professions a woman would provide a man some paid physical and emotional intimacy. The dancer received a commission from the customer's tickets. Dancers could get/solicit tips from satisfied customers. In both taxi dancing and prostitution providers and clients could sometimes cross the lines of appropriate "business" behavior. 

Taxi dancers were exploited or harassed by dance hall owners, police, or moral busybodies who were convinced that dancing led to more sinful behavior. 

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Book Reviews: 24/7 Demon Mart: The Graveyard Shift

24/7 Demon Mart: The Graveyard Shift
by D.M. Guay
This book is the first in a series. It's similar to books like Monster or Monster Hunter International

Imagine yourself thrown into a world where things go bump in the night, the supernatural is real, and what's surreal for anyone else is just a normal day at the office for those in the know. 

The story includes absurdist and gross out humor for which YMMV. The book reminded me of 80s era straight to video B horror movies that are best watched late night or on Saturday afternoons. 

This is an acquired taste. I liked it but I won't claim that this was deep reading. It's not. I never thought that the author was aiming for that. The story is written in first person from the viewpoint of a young male slacker/loser. 

The author is a female (Denise Marie Guay) non-loser who also writes young adult paranormal romance books. It was interesting to see how well the author wrote men. With some notable exceptions the male characters' motivations and emotions were believable.

Saturday, September 3, 2022

Movie Reviews: They Live By Night

They Live By Night
directed by Nicholas Ray

Countless movies feature lovers on the run, two against the world, a man and woman who as the song goes "have been up and down this highway and haven't seen a goddamn thing." These stories often conclude with one or both of the lovers dying, usually going out in a blaze of glory. The archetype predates film. My earliest exposure to it was in the poem, "The Highwayman". But this stuff is older than dirt.

The star crossed lovers die because fictional or not, the establishment wants to demonstrate the dangers of actual outlawry or socially transgressive actions. I think this story's best modern example is Arthur Penn's Bonnie and Clyde

Although the titular outlaws weren't as intelligent or decent as the film portrayal, they really did die together in a hail of bullets. Oliver Stone (with an assist from Quentin Tarantino) took the opposite tack in Natural Born Killers, in which the killers are shown to be awful--but somehow cool--people who survive.