I'm not so sure.
I saw it last Saturday. Love Hugh Jackman and wanted to love the movie but it left me lukewarm. It was poorly paced and so much never paid off. Thandie Newton was wasted. She was good and had a number of scenes. But her character really had no purpose and certainly had no arc. I have no idea why Thandie wasn't the love interest, by the way. Would have made more sense than Rebecca Ferguson.
Ferguson's being trumpeted as some sort of rising star. She's not. She's Julia Ormond before the studios caught on to what the audiences already knew: She's not a leading lady.
Thandie would have been a better choice. She and Hugh have an easy chemistry in the film.
The film also suffers from a lack of action. The actions scenes are brief and poorly staged. They add up to nothing when they should have meaning. The plot twists and turns? Not really there until the end when we find out how Rebecca got roped in.
It wants to be OUT OF THE PAST or it's remake AGAINST ALL ODDS but it lacks the tension and the steam.
The film did not make for scenes you could pull from for an exciting trailer and the storyline is too difficult to summarize in a trailer -- unless you give away the final twist.
That's what I feel anyway.
I also feel that the film does have layers and that repeat viewings will enrich it. I wouldn't be surprised if 20 years from now it was considered a minor classic.
But it did not connect with today's audience and that's too bad.
Hugh is one of my favorite actors.
Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Tuesday, August 24, 2021. So many 'helpers' so eager to 'help' but with so little damn knowledge.
Let's start with two videos worth streaming.
Two videos to reflect on.
Diving in . . .
Peter Baker. He was a reporter once. Was. Life at THE NEW YORK TIMES has been one long embarrassment for him. Who would have thought he could bottom himself? Somehow he's found a way to sink even lower? He Tweeted this garbage:
The Taliban being a big boost to al Qaeda? ("Al Qaeda"? Guess he just loves to flaunt ignorance of other languages.) That's laughable and a conflation but that's not what I'm talking about.
I'm talking about the old whore Rita Katz.
Did his editors sign off on that promotion?
We don't note Rita who lied to the press years ago, gave a fake name, pretended to be someone else, etc.
Along with that issue, there's also the issue that Rita feeds into Islamaphobia.
It's disappointing, very disappointing. But Peter's used to disappointing. After all, he's woken up next to Susan Glasser for over two decades now -- Susan Glasser, the only one who, by contrast, could make Senator Amy Klobuchar look gamine.
Speaking of marriages, he wanted to be president and, anticipating an easy path to the 2020 nomination, he married to cover what was a non-existent sex drive. Having failed to get the 2020 presidential nomination so spectacularly that he should never try again, will he divorce her? Guess who, don't sue. (Yes, he is jabbering away in the news lately.)
Let's move over to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED where Mary Louise Kelly struggled with journalism yesterday. Context. Disclosure. Two key fundamentals of journalism. Her guest? Bilal Wahab of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. She failed to provide context or disclosures for either her guest or his organization. When you're a Middle East 'think tank,' your audience needs to know what that means. So, for example, you could say, "Whose work has been brought to you by the generosity of AIPAC." That would be one way.
We told you forever ago that Iraq was the prize and that the great fear was that the realities in Kabul would make a US withdrawal in Iraq more likely. (The realities? 20 years down the drain -- no progress, progress can't be imposed. Nor can an authoritarian system -- the US military -- bring about democracy.) So you'd see a lot of lying.
Bilal was first out of the gate with an article entitled "After Afghanistan, Iraqis Fear They Could Be Next" and we'll assume that ALL THINGS CONSIDERED is familiar with that report from last week since they used the same title for yesterday's segment.
It's cute the way Bilal claimed briefly to have spoken to Iraqis in the interview since he failed to do so last week in his long article. But he insisted he had, faceless, unknown people:
That is the perception, and that is the fear of many of the Iraqi leaders and family members and journalists and civil society activists that I spoke to.
Someone forgot to program Mary Louise yesterday which is why she didn't immediately ask the obvious to everyone follow up: If this is the fear of many, as you put it, how do you account for the fact that the majority of Iraqis want US troops out of their country and that this has been a consistent opinion for years and years?
No, Mary Louise didn't want to do journalism. She's tired, you understand. She gets paid a lot of money, yes. But it was a Monday. And she was having a bad hair day and her eyes looked puffy and she just wanted to get home, kick off her shoes and curl up with her cat.
People don't understand, Mary Louise feels, just how hard her life is and they really can't understand how hard her life is, especially now that the CATHY comic strip has been discontinued. For years and years, that comic strip provided people with a semblance of insight into the life of Mary Louise Kelly.
Insight into Cyrus S? I'm not traipsing through that soggy mind, you have at it if you want. But Cyrus seems determined to prove -- as he advocates for the destruction of Iran -- that he doesn't understand much at all:
Is that what ISIS did?
Goodness, speak to Iraqi Christians and the Yazidis and others and you'd get a different picture. Maybe next time Cyrus wants to draw analogies, he'll do so with something that he truly understands?
In the meantime, could someone advise him that ISIS also attacked Sunnis? If he needs remedial help -- and he clearly does -- refer him to this 2014 report from Martin Chulov (GUARDIAN):
Over at THE SPECTATOR, Andrew Bacevich offers:
Like the Vietnam war, the Afghanistan war stands as a judgment of the American national security elite and of the military profession. The essence of that judgment is this: given an accommodating adversary — Iraq’s Saddam Hussein is a perfect example — the armed forces of the United States are capable of delivering an impressive performance. If the punching bag stands still, we can deliver a helluva wallop.
But against an adversary that refuses to cooperate, that demonstrates even a modicum of resilience, US forces fare less well. As wars drag on, US military effectiveness diminishes, duration exposing our inability to adjust — put simply, to learn.
An enemy that refuses to fight on our terms baffles us. Yes, the bombs continue to fall and the barrels of shit keep burning, but to little avail. Our side appears to adapt but actually stands still. Eventually, advantage accrues to the enemy.
At that point, defeat is just a matter of time. This is what happened in Vietnam and what is happening again in Afghanistan today. But don’t expect the leaders of the Big Green Machine to learn any more from this failure than they did from the one we suffered a half-century ago.
Hey, Mary Louise, is there a reason ALL THINGS CONSIDERED didn't invite Bacevich on? A colonel in the US Army, a historian, so much experience. What was the one thing he was lacking? Oh, right, didn't receive funds from AIPAC. Gotcha.
Over at COUNTERPUNCH, Patty Cock Burn is pissing his panties again. What will happen to Afghanistan???? What have "the US and its western allies" done????? Oh, Patty panty pad, what can we say, except hold your own accountable and get back to the UK pronto. We don't need any more of your trashy family in this country. Not a one. Go back to the UK and start writing about what the UK did regarding Afghanistan. You're truly pathetic.
Let's wind down with this from RUDAW:
A nasty smell is spreading through eastern Kirkuk and residents are
worried about the effect on their health from nearby industries,
including oil facilities.
“We don’t smell the nasty scent all the time, but sometimes we do. It smells like burnt crude. Our air conditioners pull the smell into our houses. We breathe it in while we sleep,” said Mohammed Najjar who lives in Kirkuk’s Panja Ali neighbourhood.
An oil refinery is located less than a kilometer away.
“Just try to stay here for one night, especially in the summertime. We don’t even dare to turn on our air conditioners, despite the nuisance of mosquitoes,” said Mohammed Hadi, a neighbor.
The environment directorate in the oil-rich province said they have carried out inspections and industries in the area are meeting regulations.
“We checked the area. According to our rules and regulations, however, the existence of the factories in the area is allowed,” said Mohammed Fatih, head of the Kirkuk environment department.
But the pollution has doctors worried.
“We live in an oil-rich city. The gasses that exist in the air of our city carry most of the heavy [pollutants], resulting in breathing problems and poisoning and asthma, as well as blood and lung cancers,” said microbiologist Dr Pakiza Fuad.
The following sites updated: