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Lance Mannion
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Editor's Note: My review of Guardians of the Galaxy, “Everybody’s got dead people,” is below. Today’s new post is in the hopper and should be up my lunchtime. I hope you can put up with a few more days of fundraising. As you know, things are tight here and those surprise bills have us scrambling. So, if you like what’s been going on around here for the last ten years or so and you can swing it, please consider making a donation. It’d be a big, big help. Thank you to everyone who’s donated so far and helped to meet... Continue reading
Posted 1 hour ago at Lance Mannion
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“I’m going to die surrounded by the biggest idiots in the galaxy!”: From left, Famous outlaw, at least in his own mind, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), vengeance-obsessed rage-aholic Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), bounty hunter and maniac Rocket Raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper), warrior and assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana), and sidekick, muscle, and walking houseplant Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), in their first act as a team of heroes-in-the-making, escape from a high-security space prison in a scene full of thrills, chills, spills, and laughter typical of the new Marvel comic book movie, Guardians of the Galaxy. Guardians of the... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Lance Mannion
To be precise, the tenth anniversary of LanceMannion.com is September 14. I plan to do something special for you that week that doesn’t include asking for money. But I do need to do some fundraising, I’m afraid. Things as usual are tight. Tighter than ever, actually. Mrs M is still on the job hunt. Both Mannion guys are in college now. Can’t believe school starts next week. I don’t get paid until the beginning of next month. Savings are running low. And we just got hit with a couple of unexpected bills. So once again, I’m asking for your help... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Don't know about the last two. We ate outside and didn't get to meet either. The Lobster Shanty. Salem, Massachusetts. This afternoon around one. Monday. August 18, 2014. Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Lance Mannion
Not the beach we were at today and where I read this. Southampton, England. I say it isn’t much of a beach, but that doesn’t do it justice, since it has a beauty all its own---more so for being seldom visited out of season except by dog-walkers and anglers. It is set at the end of a shallow bay that marks the south-eastern limits of the city. To reach it, I ride [my bike] along a waterfront set with desultory concrete shelters and backed by common land to which are chained half a dozen horses. Behind stands a post-war housing... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Lance Mannion
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No George Smiley: Philip Seymour Hoffman as Gunther Backmann, a German spymaster on the hunt for terrorists, contemplates his next move while wondering if he’s acting on principle or out of ruthless ambition in one of Hoffman’s last movies, Anton Corbijn’s adaptation of John le Carre’s novel, A Most Wanted Man. In the novels of John le Carre, the spy game is a tawdry, debasing, corrupting, soul-curdling, heartbreaking, while you still have a heart---over time it shrivels the heart inside you when it’s not taking it right out of you---conscience-deadening business. No one who gets into and no one whose... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Lance Mannion
Steve, Back to reading Updike. As if I need the heartbreak. Picking up in 1961. Updike’s 29. He’s finishing up The Centaur and has just finished a summer teaching creative writing at Harvard. He was a pretty good teacher. He liked it. Liked his students. At the end of the gig he vowed to never do it again. Twenty years later he told an interviewer why. “Teaching takes a lot of energy. It uses somehow the very brain cells that you should be writing with.” This would have been about the time I was changing my headings from playwriting to... Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2014 at Lance Mannion
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Just dawned on me. I may have seen more movies starring Robin Williams than movies starring any other contemporary actor. Since I reposted my review of Moscow on the Hudson, The Terrible Loneliness of Being Free, when director Paul Mazursky died last month, in honor of Williams, here’s my review from 2007 of a lesser known film of his but one I really like, The Big White. ____________________________________ The Big White, starring Robin Williams, Holly Hunter, and Giovanni Ribisi, is set in a post-Northern Exposure movie and tv show dreamland where quirky characters living in quaint and eccentric small towns... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2014 at Lance Mannion
Updated below. Wednesday, August 13, 2014. Hillary Clinton knows that when she’s running for President she’s going to have to deal with accusations of “softness” on matters of national security from the Republicans and “doubts” from the National Political Press Corps that she’s tough enough to to defend the United States from the violent hordes, within and without, that want to destroy us because of our freedoms. This is the given any Democrat has to deal with, even war hero ones running against draft dodgers. But a woman will have an even harder time of it. So it’s probably smart... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2014 at Lance Mannion
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This has been parked at the corner of our lot for a week now. A water main burst around the corner from us and the town’s been working on replacing it. The contractors have been coming and going but this skid steer has stayed put. I guess they’ve decided it’s best to just leave it where it is till they need it. Thing is, I’m wondering if they’ve forgotten about it. I’ve always wanted one. Almost as much as I want a tractor and a power shovel. My question is: how much longer do I have to wait before I... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2014 at Lance Mannion
There are still Christians who are actually Christian. Like the parishoners at Sacred Heart Church in McAllen, Texas. And unlike Republican House Whip Steven Palazzo, these Catholics listen to the bishops and, more importantly, also to that itinerant preacher who started the whole business: McALLEN, Texas—They come in pairs, worn-out migrants carrying—or, in some cases being led by—children who range in age from infants to teenagers. Many of the adults weep openly when the doors to the parish hall of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in McAllen swing open and nuns, Jesuit priests and a host of local volunteers rise... Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2014 at Lance Mannion
iowa jim, Yes, some more Flynn in him would be good. I'd like to see him bat-swinging around Gotham instead of bat-hang-gliding. Interesting note, Bill Finger, the original writer, used to give Bob Kane pictures of Douglas Fairbanks as models to draw from when depicting Finger's action scenes. Pzmeyers, Marvel has Jon Favreau to thank for Downey. The studio powers that be wanted a star and at the time Downey was a former star. Favreau fought for him and the rest is history. So in addition to needing a Downey, DC needs a Favreau. Kaleberg, I wouldn't mind if the World's Greatest Detective made a reappearance. But who'd you want as his Watson? Robin, Alfred, or Jim Gordon? Jonathan, Very interesting thoughts on Nolan's Batman. Makes me want to go back and rewatch them back to back to back, which I've never done. I like all three movies (although the third one not as much as the first two) and was fine with Bale's Batman and his real Bruce Wayne. Wish he'd been given more to do as the millionaire playboy is all. Gary, I didn't know that about the deaths of Bruce's parents. I probably should go back and revise the post or add an update. But whenever it became part of the continuity---and it's been there for at least since the 50s---Zorro is an acknowledged influence now and I'd like to see that influence played up. wwolfe, They seek him here. They seek him there Those Frenchies seek him everywhere. Is he in heaven? Or is he in (pause;smile)? That damned elusive Pimpernell! Terrific!
The people who asked for our help. The people we’re helping. I hope that’s what we’re doing is doing, helping. From National Geographic: For their beliefs, they have been the target of hatred for centuries. Considered heretical devil worshippers by many Muslims—including the advancing militants overrunning Iraq—the Yazidis have faced the possibility of genocide many times over. Now, with the capture of Sinjar and northward thrust of extremists calling themselves the Islamic State of the Levant, or ISIL (also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS), Iraq’s estimated 500,000 Yazidis fear the end of their people... Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2014 at Lance Mannion
JD, Nixon was what you say but he was also haunted by some very powerful and interesting demons and then he was surrounded by a rogue's gallery worthy of Dick Tracy. Sherri, I take your point. But the Manhattan Project was FDR's accomplishment and the bomb was all but loaded on the plane when he died. The question is would he have dropped it? I think so. He wouldn't have wanted to invade Japan any more than Truman did. And he was actually considering dropping it on Germany. But would he have dropped the second one? No way to know. But I think that puts Nagasaki all on Truman. And then there's Korea. Also what Linkmeister said about integrating the military. So I have to admit I'm wrong saying he was simply FDR redux. Tom, you're right about what it'd have been like if we'd been blogging in 1940, but we'd also have been fighting with the Sirotas of the time who'd have been saying he was worse than Hoover and been busy smearing Eleanor. And then there'd have been the Greenwalds arguing that we shouldn't have done the spying and codebreaking that let us get Yamamoto.
Toggle Commented Aug 10, 2014 on The Best President at Lance Mannion
4:36 AM. 56 degrees outside. Thinking of closing the windows. Air off. Fans off. Sweatshirt on. Coffee on. Day underway. Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2014 at Lance Mannion
Tom, All very good things, and I'd Kosovo. But are they grand by the measure Medicare's grand? I'd forgotten about the parks and would consider ranking that as a grad accomplishment, but it depends on what your definition of grand is. :)
Toggle Commented Aug 9, 2014 on The Best President at Lance Mannion
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You’ve probably forgotten that Quinnipiac poll from early July that found that “Americans” think Barack Obama is the worst President we’ve had since World War II and if you have I’m sorry for reminding you of it. It’s not worth remembering. The poll was quickly dismissed for what it was, a grab for headlines, and most of the serious attention it got was devoted to showing it how worthless it was. There’s no point in my rehashing that. I just want to highlight something. The poll didn’t find that Americans think President Obama’s the worst. It found that 33 percent... Continue reading
Posted Aug 9, 2014 at Lance Mannion
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Self-doubting and self-effacing singer-songwriter Gretta (Keira Knightley standing at the mic center) leads her makeshift band in a guerrilla recording session on a Manhattan rooftop while her self-appointed and previously self-destructive manager and producer Dan Mulligan (Mark Ruffalo on bass second from right) joins in in John Carney’s romantic comedy Begin Again. The first shot of Mark Ruffalo in Begin Again is one of the most frightening images of a movie star I’ve ever seen. It’s horrifying and repulsive but irresistible and riveting in the way human wreckage often is. We’re in a bar. New York City. Somewhere in the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2014 at Lance Mannion
Here at McDonalds, sitting outside under a tree with my Diet Coke, just now, around five. Guy about twenty-one, twenty-two, in a black muscle shirt that hangs loose on him and baggy black shorts, with a black plastic rope choker, mouse brown hair cut down to fuzz, large nose that looks like it’s been broken a couple of times, stands in the parking lot, making a call on his cell while a friend waits behind the wheel of his car. “Hi Mom? Do you know if we have a tap for a keg at home? We don’t? Do you want... Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2014 at Lance Mannion
Out in Arizona, Christine Jones, a candidate for the Republican nomination for governor and a proud and happy gun nut has boasted that she routinely practices shooting with her eyes closed, just in case… “Because chances are, if somebody attacks you, it’s going to be in the night.” Wonderful. A supposed grownup basically admitting she likes to play cops and robbers in her head. Look. I’m hardly a gun control zealot. If you’re a hunter, I’m with you, although if you need more than a one shot from a good deer rifle with a scope to bring down your buck... Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2014 at Lance Mannion
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Decisions, decisions…Movie Theater Marquee. New Paltz, New York. Right about now. 8:45 PM. Wednesday. August 6, 2014. Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2014 at Lance Mannion
CJ, I tried but I couldn't find a good clip from The Gay Blade. I was going to post it with the heading: The happiest Zorro!
Toggle Commented Aug 5, 2014 on Three Happy Zorros at Lance Mannion
Oh, and Dave? Dominus Vobiscum?
Dave, I know. But my dream is that some impressionable young aide will read one of my notes and think, Hey, this Mannion guy's right. My boss is a sanctimonious, hypocritical creep always talking up what a great Christian he is and then voting to punish the poor and the unfortunate. I'm quitting and going to work for Catholic Charities!
When I heard about this I just assumed the yahoo Congressman passing out the bibles to his colleagues so they could consult the holy word for “guidance” on how to vote was a Right Wing Evangelical Christian. I wondered about his Italian last name but he’s a Tea Party type from Mississippi so I figured it was simply evidence of an ancestor who’d passed along his name but not his religion. Happens. So I thought, what effrontery! What nerve! What arrogance! What ignorance! He gave a Christian bible to Keith Ellison? He handed one to Chuck Schumer and Steve Israel?... Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2014 at Lance Mannion