March 21, 2022

Spring has sprung and thank goodness we can put Winter in the rear view mirror. I was away from this Toronto weather last week and didn’t watch any movies so nothing to post. This week I did manage to see a movie.

Alan Parker is a Director that passed away without a lot of fanfare in my knowledge back in 2020. I am realizing that he had a very good career, directing and writing some very good movies along the way. He died aged 76. Far too young. I have reviewed other films of his like Mississippi Burning on here recently. He had also done Midnight Express before that, as well as Pink Floyd The Wall, Fame, The Commitments and Madonna’s Evita. In 1987, just before Mississippi Burning, he had Robert DeNiro and the very hot actor Mickey Rourke to do Angel Heart. Also part of the cast was a very young Lisa Bonet, who had some scenes which she was more revealing than some were comfortable. She was 20yo but looked a lot younger. Charlotte Rampling was also part of this cast. The plot is set in the early 1950s. Rourke plays a private detective named Harry Angel, who is engaged by a man, played by DeNiro, who was looking for someone. His name is Johnny Favourite. A singing act who has a debt that needs to be repaid to DeNiro, but Favourite is suffering from amnesia and may in fact already be dead. Rourke is engaged to find out. He is engaged to track down Favourite and report back to DeNiro. Rourke begins his search and finds out information in and around NY, and then heads to New Orleans to follow up on leads. As Angel is investigating and using some aggressive questioning techniques, those involved seem to have issues which I won’t delve into further. Things continue to pile up, and DeNiro makes appearances along the way. The plot thickens for Harry Angel. This isn’t the strongest or best movie of Parker’s career. His movies have won an Oscar for Cinematography. He has a good eye and frames the action well. The memorable part for this movie would be the Bonet situation and her scene with Rourke and also the ending which will leave many scratching their heads. I had liked Rourke earlier in his career before he messed with his face and the ridiculous boxing choices outside of movies. I also have liked Robert DeNiro. Seems he kept his hair from The Mission with this movie. In the end, I look to write on movies that I have seen before Alison and I began talking about movies in the 90s.

Cyrano (2021): Those who know me are aware that I thoroughly enjoyed Game of Thrones. I liked the series (up until the last two seasons anyway) enough to read the books and fill in the holes not covered. I think that Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister was one of the best things about GOT. Peter previously for me had done Elf, as the famous children’s book writer Miles Finch, where he famously runs across a board room table to attack Buddy (Will Ferrell) who calls him an elf. Funny.

Dinklage signed up to do the classic tale of Cyrano, that Steve Martin did earlier with his version Roxanne, with Daryl Hannah. He plays the title character, no longer with a ridiculously long nose, but short of stature. This time the story is a musical. Haley Bennett plays Roxanne well. Cyrano is in love from afar with the woman Roxanne, who seeks “true love” rather than an arranged marriage that helps her station in life. She spies a young man in the audience at a performance where Cyrano shows his intelligence and wit, but she is attracted to his looks. She asks her friend Cyrano to help with an introduction. He does. The story continues in a predictable manner. For me, Dinklage like Russell Crowe in Les Mis or even more so Pierce Brosnan in Mamma Mia, should stick to acting and not singing. It can be painful. Dinklage is actually an improvement over the previous notables, but like Ringo Starr in the Beatles was given limited range to hit. The rest of the cast was all good. I think the story also benefitted from the recent success of the series Bridgerton where we have multiple ethnicities playing traditionally white roles. It makes sense. It reflects today’s society a lot more than in 1897 when Edmond Rostand penned the play. This was fun and satisfying despite the singing. Others sang well. There was real emotion with the final scenes with Roxanne. It is worth checking out, and seeing a different interpretation on a classic tale.

New York Times – Twitter Hack: On Crave they are showing investigative documentaries about current events. The one from yesterday investigated the story of the 17yo from Tampa who was at the heart of a hack on Twitter back in 2020. Celebrity users like Barrack Obama, Elon Musk, Joe Biden, and Bill Gates were offering money for Bitcoin transfers. It of course was a scam, and the investigation showed this young man was scamming people on Minecraft before he got into bigger issues. It was amazing to see how his phishing skills were used to gain entry into the Twitter servers and behind the firewall. It is a lesson in cybersecurity. As for this young man, he is in custody awaiting trial in Florida and they are looking for him to be tried as an adult. One man in Washington state is shown to have lost over $1M in Bitcoin to this guy and his accomplices. The young man then renegs on paying the illgotten booty to those accomplices and they then turn on him. Thieves are still thieves it seems. Character is something that you gain over time, and your reputation precedes you. It is odd seeing these hackers gathering in a bar and pouring champagne over their Rolex watches to show just how much money that they have. The good news for everyone is that this Twitter hacker only chose to run a modest scam for Bitcoin rather than take down the news feed and impact the fabric of the global economy for stocks like Apple, Amazon, Microsft and others. Worth checking out if you can find it.

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