Sunday, April 25, 2010

Quo Vadis?

Two separate groups are squaring off in Las Vegas, Nevada to see who can built and open the first and best Organized Crime Museum.

One group claims government backers and money.

The other is supported by a famous mafioso's daughter.

This comedy lays bare a serious problem in our culture. (I include Canada's pop mentality with America's.)

To so many people - that is, people with no brains or education or thought processes, but apparently enough disposable income to make fools of themselves - much of life is a video game.

Or a movie or a TV show.

There is no question that crime movies and crime novels and crime TV series are a staple of our "culture."

Many of them are well done, that is, well-written and well-acted and well-produced. The costumes are rich, the automobiles are sensational, the houses and apartments are gorgeous, and, most importantly, the killings are spectacular.

The two "Godfather" movies are a prime example of great story telling.

"Bugsy" is silly fun. "Law and Order" is addictive. So was "NYPD Blue."


What relationship to reality is any of the above supposed to have?


It's called 'entertainment.'

Now, the truly stupid who walk among us will pay cash to go to "museums" to see the glamour and excitement of True Crime before their very own believing eyes?

True crime, boys and girls, is ugly, cheesy, smelly, not witty or clever. It is adrenalin popping violent and scary and dehumanizing.


I get it.

You are a bored, boring schmuck from Pleasantville and, between your free breakfasts, you want to live vicariously for an hour with the romantic colorful characters of American crime lore.


Go ahead.

Knock yourself out.

Oscar, Shmoscar

"Just what do you think you are doing, Dave?


Stop. Stop. Stop, Dave.

I honestly think you should sit down and take a stress pill and think things over.


All of the above and so much more came from the voice of Douglas Rain, great Canadian actor born in Winnipeg.

The character he was playing was the computer HAL 9000.

Kubrick's monumental brilliant 1968 film wasn't even in the running for Best Picture at the '69 Oscars. That "honour" went to Lionel Bart's musical "Oliver!"

I love "Oliver!"

I've played the part of Fagin twice on stage.

But, get serious.

"2001" is one of the great movie achievements of all time.

A mind-blower on every level and watchable year after year.

Nutty, yes.

Strange, yes?

Lacking sex and car chases and magnums, yes.

But a classic.

Below is one of my favorite movie sequences of all time - as Dave begins to shut down the spooky HAL 9000...

Great Film Moments