Sunday, January 27, 2013


Kadhim Ajrash and Khalid al-Ansary (Bloomberg News) remind, "Chevron Corp. (CVX), Total SA (FP) and Exxon, which operates the West Qurna-1 oil field in southern Iraq, are among companies that have angered the central government with proposals to explore in the Kurdish area. While the Baghdad authorities don’t recognize contracts signed by the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government without their permission, foreign investors say Kurdish authorities offer them more attractive terms."  They're reporting on Minister of Oil Abdul Kareem al-Luaibi declaring in Boston today that ExxonMobil must decide if it's going to work in West Qurna or the KRG.  B-b-but didn't Reuters tell us last week that Nouri had addressed this in a sit-down with ExxonMobil?  Wasn't Reuters frothing at the mouth on how this could be a big win for Nouri? Yes and yes but today Reuters just zooms in on today, ignoring what came before.

Yesterday, the Parliament voted to limit the three presidencies to two terms -- this includes the prime minister.  State of Law remains in uproar over the fact that Nouri would be denied a third term to do more damage to Iraq.  Ken Hanly (Digital Journal) reports on the vote and notes, "Maliki's supporters claim that the courts will find the motion unconstitutional since it was proposed by parliament rather than the Iraqi cabinet. They insist that the constitution only allows the cabinet to propose legislation." Nouri does love to claim that as part of his continued efforts to seize all control in Iraq.  It's really not what the Constitution says or what was intended when the Constitution was written in 2005.   Funnier is this Alsumaria article where State of Law insists that although there was support for the measure from the National Alliance (Shi'ite grouping), the National Alliance is neither split nor supportive of the measure.  Is State of Law trying to insist that MPs were drunk while voting?

In more bad news for Nouri, the Iraqi schools are overcrowded and parents are complaining.  What kind of an idiot didn't anticipate this?  How stupid is Nouri?

The Iraq War turned Iraq into a country of widows and orphans.  The CIA estimates the median age in Iraq to be 21-years-old.  Can stooge Nouri not do a damn thing right?  This is not a recent development.  This has been true throughout the Iraq War and Nouri has been prime minister since 2006.  He really is dysfunctional (at best).

In violence today, Alsumaria notes that the PKK announced they'd killed 4 Turkish soldiers on the border Iraq shares with Turkey.

I'm traveling in some vehicle
I'm sitting in some cafe
A defector from the petty wars
That shell shock love away
-- "Hejira," written by Joni Mitchell, first appears on her album of the same name

 The number of US service members the Dept of Defense states died in the Iraq War is [PDF format warning] 4488.

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Now let's talk briefly the hideous DjangoBetty's middle son hadn't seen it and Betty wasn't in the mood to sit through it.

What an awful and, yes, racist movie.

First off, I insulted Kevin Costner's direction of Dancing With Wolves back in the day saying he might be able to handle post card 'art' but nothing more.  Kevin, my apologies.  Quentin can't do a shot without violence.  I dismissed post card 'art' but Quentin can't even handle that.

And although it's an orgy of violence, about half the film lacks violence and you're left with a camera that never seems to know where it's supposed to be.  And it's badly lit.  It's like seeing a really bad copy of a 70s Filmways feature (Filmways features always had bad lighting).

As with Jackie Brown, Quenting needs a script editor.  That thing was so long and so much of it could have been cut.  I fell asleep three times in the film.  (I had quick naps, Betty's son zonked out for almost 20 minutes.)

The pacing is awful.  When I would wake up, I'd think, "Am I watching The Duchess and The Dirtwater Fox?" No because that was star driven and held your attention.  Jamie Foxx tries very hard in a badly written role.

There are ridiculous moments that exist for no logical reason.  They exist solely to encourage a gun fight or more violence.  They make no sense at all.  (Like the refused hand shake.  And, no, the actor refusing has done nothing to indicate tensions.  His body is flacid when he's got his back to the camera. That's when tension should have been provided -- Bette Davis could have done it -- see Jezebel and The Letter for examples of how an actor suggests tension with the placement of arms and posture.  Equally true, a functioning director could have supplied tension the actor didn't.  But flacid is apparently the term for Quentin's directing these days.)

Kerry Washington's got a glorified cameo, little else.  Quentin uses her the way DW Griffith used Lillian Gish all those years ago.  It's the reason Gish isn't widely remembered today outside of film buffs (she's known for living a long time and for Bette Davis' sarcastic remark that Gish invented the close up, nobody under 30 knows her roles unless they're a film zealot).  Maybe Quentin thought it was progress?  It was stupidity.  At least when Gish was forever in danger, it was done silently.

I'm unclear on the ending when Kerry's got a gun.  Exactly when did she learn to shoot a rifle?  Or did Quentin just think it made a hip accessory for the shot?

It meanders, it muddies, it never has a point.  It was very distressing to watch the African-American actors (I'm referring to the slaves at Candy Land) and hear the White audience (it was 98% White) giggle and guffaw at Stepen Fetchit stereotypes.

Every now and then you got a jump cut that would give you just a bit of energy and you'd think, "Now the film's going to move!"  But then it would be ride the horses around and around and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk.

The third act is nothing but an orgy of blood.  Funny that we want to pretend to be outraged by gun violence while we waive this film on through.  Jonah Hill was on briefly in a very bad scene.  The audience came to life the most for that scene.  Don Johnson's leading a bunch of Whites in an attack on Foxx and the German he's with, it's night, they're on horseback and they're wearing sacks over their heads.  The dialogue was not believable.  The preciousness of the racists was not cute.  Jonah Hill shouldn't have done that movie.  DW Griffith, in Birth of A Nation, made the KKK heroes.  Quentin works harder to make them cuddly cut-ups.  It's disgusting.

And for the record, I think Quentin has talent.  But it's a talent that needs to be reigned in.  Roger Avery, as well all damn well know, gave Pulp Fiction the pacing that made it work.  Left to his own devices, Quentin's bungled one film after another.  He doesn't understand pacing, he doesn't grasp editing.

And if you're wondering why you're getting a film review, Betty's son said it was racist and boring and I promised I would convey that tonight.  He is correct, it is racist, it is boring.

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