I read Poland by James Michener a number of years ago and came to a startling conclusion after reading the chapters on the Nazi Occupation during World War II. I certainly know of the Holocaust and that Hitler wasn’t particularly fond of Poles in general. But I was not aware that his long term goal was to not only eradicate every single Polish person from that country but from the face of the earth. Wow. The question that then arose is how do you get an entire occupying force – especially professional soldiers and officers - to carry out such a definitive and horrific action? Well, if they think they are making the world a better place, it’s easy, and that’s what Nazi indoctrination made them think. In this, I determined that idealists can be the most dangerous among us, and that was what came to me as I watched the 1980 PBS adaptation of Ursula Le Guin’s, The Lathe of Heaven.
There is no power of prayer. Given the Holocaust, the Belgium Congo and Walmart, God obviously stands by to see whether you pass the entry test. On the other hand, I believe if the world reaches an unmanageable sea change, he reluctantly sends in an Einstein or an Oppenheimer. But according to The Adjustment Bureau, a 2011 adaptation of another Philip K. Dick novel, the course of world events is closely monitored and manipulated – leaving nothing to chance in the face of free will.
Mad Max returned in 2015 and got itself an Oscars 2015 Nomination for Best Picture. The film’s sheer presentation for Hollywood’s latest dystopian future definitely deserves its due. But once past the innovative visuals and high octane action, the lack of a story relegates Fury Road to nothing more than a high speed tractor pull to the end of the world
The most recent book of note on Mickey Mantle was The Last Boy by Jane Leavy, and it doesn’t pull punches about getting into the more salacious aspects of the slugger’s life. However, a real intimacy goes as far as the author’s access. “She spent one night with him,” says Italian American Author Tom Molito of Pound Ridge, NY. But the release of his new book doesn’t put “the Mick” at a distance for all those that adored him.
The 2008 economic crisis is long behind us. So why not go back and take a look at a number of people who saw it coming and made loads of money as a result? How about we stick them in the cell with Bernie Madoff instead and have them rig the market to reimburse the losses for the rest of us. Nah, that’s not the spirit of The Big Short, and you’ll have no problem juxtaposing what could be considered a bunch of misery merchants for farsighted heroes in this revealing Adam McKay film.
For the first time in the five Star Wars prequels and sequels that followed the original Trilogy, the franchise has not completely embarrassed itself. Unfortunately, Star Wars Rogue One still falls a little short, and the twelve dollars I shoveled over feels like yet another drop in a money pit that has no foreseeable bottom.