The Kabuki People Want To See

With heat waves, and the inevitable extinction of humanity practically around the corner, why not talk about what’s happening in the cool, comfortable theaters that we’re told are also doomed? To help us keep things light and pleasant, we’ve recruited film critic Sonny Bunch to chat about the elegiac Top Gun: Maverick, the rockin’ biopic Elvis, and the not-so-buzzy Lightyear. 

The trio also get into the President’s positive Covid test – which isn’t a big deal all of a sudden. They discuss the calls for “executive beast mode,” and ponder one of the biggest existential questions of all: what’s up with a moose in the wild?

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There are 41 comments.

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  1. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    A sense of deja vu when James said chomping/champing. I thought he did that recently and wondered if the wrong file had been uploaded. Weird. 

    • #1
  2. OwnedByDogs Coolidge
    OwnedByDogs
    @JuliaBlaschke

    What’s with the “abortion justice” ads? I was disgusted!

    • #2
  3. Dotorimuk Coolidge
    Dotorimuk
    @Dotorimuk

    I think Peter Robinson has found his mustache. Bully!

    • #3
  4. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    OwnedByDogsWhat’s with the “abortion justice” ads? I was disgusted!

    We’ve been experimenting with automated ad insertion for a limited number of our shows. These ads are generated based on your IP address. (My opening ad was for Miller Beer.)

    • #4
  5. Samuel Block Support
    Samuel Block
    @SamuelBlock

    OwnedByDogs (View Comment):

    What’s with the “abortion justice” ads? I was disgusted!

    I didn’t get that ad, but I just contacted our hosting company about this!

    • #5
  6. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    Dotorimuk (View Comment):

    I think Peter Robinson has found his mustache. Bully!

    I had two thoughts when Peter mentioned the bull moose, did it bite his sister and Teddy Roosevelt. 

    • #6
  7. OwnedByDogs Coolidge
    OwnedByDogs
    @JuliaBlaschke

    EJHill (View Comment):

    OwnedByDogs: What’s with the “abortion justice” ads? I was disgusted!

    We’ve been experimenting with automated ad insertion for a limited number of our shows. These ads are generated based on your IP address. (My opening ad was for Miller Beer.)

    Weird, especially as I am in East Texas.

    • #7
  8. ToryWarWriter Reagan
    ToryWarWriter
    @ToryWarWriter

    I love Robs thinking Mike Pence is a dark horse in this race.  A man who is considered the traitor who stabbed Trump in the back by 40 percent of the base, is a loser.

    He will be the first one knocked out of the race, probably after the Iowa state fair when he is pelted by rotten fruit.

    Like Come on man!

    • #8
  9. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    Peter, besides the pepper spray, you’re supposed to wear bells.

    • #9
  10. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    EJHill (View Comment):

    OwnedByDogs: What’s with the “abortion justice” ads? I was disgusted!

    We’ve been experimenting with automated ad insertion for a limited number of our shows. These ads are generated based on your IP address. (My opening ad was for Miller Beer.)

    I don’t want you to do anything about this, but I really hate it when they put WCCO-type commercials on anything I’m listening to. National ads don’t bother me. Just providing one opinion from one customer. Carry on.

    • #10
  11. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    I didn’t seem to get any of those ads, maybe because my VPN (not Express) currently has me in Amsterdam.

    But I get some interesting ads when I download Three Martini Lunch!

    • #11
  12. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Lloyd Bentsen, Scoop Jackson, And Daniel Patrick Moynihan Are Dead And They Are Never Coming Back™

    Everything Moves Towards Communism All Of The Time™

     

    • #12
  13. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    RufusRJonesI don’t want you to do anything about this, but I really hate it when they put WCCO-type commercials on anything I’m listening to. National ads don’t bother me.

    Unfortunately, as the economy softens, so does the ad market. Advertising budgets are, for the most part, one of the first things businesses slash in a recession. We don’t like adding these ads but…

    • #13
  14. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    EJHill (View Comment):

    RufusRJones: I don’t want you to do anything about this, but I really hate it when they put WCCO-type commercials on anything I’m listening to. National ads don’t bother me.

    Unfortunately, as the economy softens, so does the ad market. Advertising budgets are, for the most part, one of the first things businesses slash in a recession. We don’t like adding these ads but…

    No problem. I understand. 

    Just to be clear, I’m talking about automatically generated national ads. I don’t mind those. 

    Anything related to the Caucasian Democrat Suburban Old Person Channel makes me want to kill myself.

    • #14
  15. Taras Coolidge
    Taras
    @Taras

    As a movie reviewer, Sonny Bunch doesn’t deserve more than a C minus for this appearance.

    Asked about current and forthcoming animation, he never mentions Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank, a clever parody of Blazing Saddles, with contributions to both screenplay and voice acting by 95-year-old Mel Brooks.  Instead of a black sheriff being appointed to a racist white town to make sure he will fail, in this version it’s a dog appointed the Samurai of a dog-hating village of cats.

    Bunch, and possibly the rest of the gang, treat the flight test beyond Mach 10 at the beginning of Top Gun: Maverick as far-fetched.  In fact, the manned X-15 reached Mach 6.7 in the Sixties, and an unmanned scramjet topped out at Mach 9.8 in 2004 before the money ran out.

    Bunch’s far-fetched hypothesis, that the story is sort of a wish fulfillment fantasy taking place in the mind of a dying Maverick, doesn’t explain the sailing sequence, in which the pilot is entirely at a loss, and his girlfriend is in charge.  While he may technically be in the Navy, he explains, all he does with ships is land on them!

    • #15
  16. Taras Coolidge
    Taras
    @Taras

    Bunch also failed to bring up the relationship between Avatar and 3-D movies.  The original film was supposed to be the opening salvo of the new age of 3-D movies, but that new age has stalled (possibly because of the incompetence of projectionists).

    And, given that Avatar was always intended to have a sequel, why did it take 13 years? Was James Cameron waiting, in vain, for 3-D technology to improve? Bunch never addresses the issue.

    • #16
  17. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge
    Gazpacho Grande'
    @ChrisCampion

    Taras (View Comment):

    As a movie reviewer, Sonny Bunch doesn’t deserve more than a C minus for this appearance.

    Asked about current and forthcoming animation, he never mentions Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank, a clever parody of Blazing Saddles, with contributions to both screenplay and voice acting by 95-year-old Mel Brooks. Instead of a black sheriff being appointed to a racist white town to make sure he will fail, in this version it’s a dog appointed the Samurai of a dog-hating village of cats.

    Bunch, and possibly the rest of the gang, treat the flight test beyond Mach 10 at the beginning of Top Gun: Maverick as far-fetched. In fact, the manned X-15 reached Mach 6.7 in the Sixties, and an unmanned scramjet topped out at Mach 9.8 in 2004 before the money ran out.

    Bunch’s far-fetched hypothesis, that the story is sort of a wish fulfillment fantasy taking place in the mind of a dying Maverick, doesn’t explain the sailing sequence, in which the pilot is entirely at a loss, and his girlfriend is in charge. While he may technically be in the Navy, he explains, all he does with ships is land on them!

    Thanks.  It’s an amusing thought, that he’s dead, but that’s not what the movie is about, as was discussed at length.  It’s a simple story, powerfully told, and shockingly sad in parts.

    Also – Sonny’s an expert on the X-planes and Mach achievement?  It’s close enough to reality for the movie, a movie which includes Mav resurrecting an ancient F14, sitting in a hanger, and not only flying it to safety but dogfighting “next gen” fighters sucessfully on the way to the carrier deck.

    One of my favorite phrases applies here:  Calm Down.

    • #17
  18. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Taras (View Comment):

    As a movie reviewer, Sonny Bunch doesn’t deserve more than a C minus for this appearance.

    Asked about current and forthcoming animation, he never mentions Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank, a clever parody of Blazing Saddles, with contributions to both screenplay and voice acting by 95-year-old Mel Brooks. Instead of a black sheriff being appointed to a racist white town to make sure he will fail, in this version it’s a dog appointed the Samurai of a dog-hating village of cats.

    Bunch, and possibly the rest of the gang, treat the flight test beyond Mach 10 at the beginning of Top Gun: Maverick as far-fetched. In fact, the manned X-15 reached Mach 6.7 in the Sixties, and an unmanned scramjet topped out at Mach 9.8 in 2004 before the money ran out.

    Bunch’s far-fetched hypothesis, that the story is sort of a wish fulfillment fantasy taking place in the mind of a dying Maverick, doesn’t explain the sailing sequence, in which the pilot is entirely at a loss, and his girlfriend is in charge. While he may technically be in the Navy, he explains, all he does with ships is land on them!

    I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I thought the idea wasn’t that Mach 10 was unlikely, but that surviving “punching out” at Mach 10 would be unlikely, to say the least.

    • #18
  19. Eustace C. Scrubb Member
    Eustace C. Scrubb
    @EustaceCScrubb

    No music to close? (Not even a punk or reggae version of “The Bear Went Over the Mountain”?) The most abrupt ending since the conclusion of The Sopranos.  

    • #19
  20. Quickz Member
    Quickz
    @Quickz

    Hello everyone! Been away.

    Had to post about the comment regarding a party fixated on the 2020 election. If you think this, you are reading sources that are elevating that opinion. Watch any rally in the past half-year, maybe about 5% of it is about 2020. Go through the Truth Social posts – nope, 2020 is not the dominant theme. It *is* the dominant theme on those who wish to attack all things Trump – article after article writing the “woah is us we keep relitigating the election!” Or the Pundits, “Oh, we must move on and focus on the future!”

    We are focused on the future. A future that includes election integrity and proper reform. Over the past year and a half there have been numerous actions taken that have tightened up voter rolls, limited insecure ballot return, rolled back unconstitutional laws passed in the fever of covid, led to court actions affirming laws, and – possibly most important of all – have motivated millions of (rightly) dejected voters to come out this year and vote for new representative, new governors, new judges – that WILL hopefully be a better bulwark (eew bad word) against the Elias Group Voting Juggernaut.

    I say rightly dejected voters because the shenanigans were rife and the reform was tantamount. I know the RNC was coming off a 30+ year consent decree that kept them on the bench and perhaps led to being flat-footed this last election, but I remember many voices bemoaning the massaging of voting laws in 2020 – don’t remember many lawsuits.

    And now we know why, Mollie Hemmingway’s recent piece (you can read here) names names, identifies the sclerotic old-guard behind much of this dismissive rhetoric, and gives a better picture of those who stand athwart election fraud yelling – “YES!”

    I highlight the section entitled “The Man Who Lost the Decades-Long Battle for Election Integrity” which will introduce you to Ben Ginsberg, his role in throwing support to Biden, undermining attempts to roll back illegal voting change, dismissing valid concerns, and most importantly NOT DOING HIS JOB.

    What was his job?

    For nearly four decades, it was Ginsberg’s job to fight [Democrat efforts to undermine election integrity]. As the Republican Party’s top election lawyer, Ginsberg was supposed to be the person responsible for pushing back against coordinated and well-funded Democrat efforts to expand unsupervised voting and to make it difficult to scrutinize the resulting ballots that were far more susceptible to fraud.

    Yes, it’s a big deal, yes it continues to poll in the top 5 concerns for Republican voters, and yes because of not shutting up things are better today than on election day and – no it’s not what is the main thing anyone is running on – the economy, schools, immigration, and the woke infestation of our corporate and bureaucratic institutions are what are the main platforms.

    And what will win the day.

    Remember: “move past the election” is assinine, ignorant, or purposefully divisive.

    • #20
  21. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Quickz (View Comment):

    What was his job?

    For nearly four decades, it was Ginsberg’s job to fight [Democrat efforts to undermine election integrity]. As the Republican Party’s top election lawyer, Ginsberg was supposed to be the person responsible for pushing back against coordinated and well-funded Democrat efforts to expand unsupervised voting and to make it difficult to scrutinize the resulting ballots that were far more susceptible to fraud.

    Hans von Spakofsky totally warned those guys and the state legislatures. They did jack. He’s on record.

    • #21
  22. ToryWarWriter Reagan
    ToryWarWriter
    @ToryWarWriter

    Frankly with the Maverick plot I kept expecting someone to say.  “2 meters?  I used to shoot womp rats that size in my T-16 back home.”

    • #22
  23. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Why settle for less Netflix?  Because we only paid for the right to watch what they, with their array of different contracts and copyright restrictions, are permitted by copyright holders to stream in our particular region.

    But are the rest of you guys actually able to watch Australia Netflix from the USA using Express VPN?

    When my VPN is activated, about 19 times out of 20 Netflix knows it’s on and only streams its own exclusive all-regions content.

    • #23
  24. Al Sparks Thatcher
    Al Sparks
    @AlSparks

    I thought Sonny Bunch and Rob Long, who have dedicated their professional lives to entertainment, showed how desperate they are to see a revived movie scene.

    The movies they talk about are juvenile crap.  I haven’t seen Top Gun: Maverick, but it seems to have over the top production values, but a mediocre plot.

    • #24
  25. Al Sparks Thatcher
    Al Sparks
    @AlSparks

    On the guys’ discussion on streaming sites, I found it interesting when they talked about Apple+, that Rob disagreed strongly with James about the interface.  I frankly didn’t see a problem with the interface.  It doesn’t stand out but I didn’t think it was crap.  Then Sonny mentioned there was a difference between the Android app and the Apple TV interface.  I access the Apple+ content through the app.

    I’ve heard similar discussions by that group about centralized access to the various streaming services, and I’ve yet to hear them talk about Amazon’s Fire TV Stick and the interface that comes with it.

    You can run other streaming providers apps on it, including Apple+, HBO Max, Hulu, and others.  When you select one of those apps without launching it, the fire stick interface provides content right below it that you can directly select, assuming you have a subscription to that service.

    When I’m traveling, I usually take the firestick with me, and if the hotel allows it, you can stick it in the back of their TV’s HDMI port and watch the content you have paid for.

    I’ve also brought it to my brother’s home when I was there for an extended visit, and we watched the content I paid for, which he hadn’t.

    I’m sure that Roku’s stick and Chromecast’s as well, have similar features that allow you to access content from other services easily.

    • #25
  26. OwnedByDogs Coolidge
    OwnedByDogs
    @JuliaBlaschke

    Al Sparks (View Comment):

    On the guys’ discussion on streaming sites, I found it interesting when they talked about Apple+, that Rob disagreed strongly with James about the interface. I frankly didn’t see a problem with the interface. It doesn’t stand out but I didn’t think it was crap. Then Sonny mentioned there was a difference between the Android app and the Apple TV interface. I access the Apple+ content through the app.

    I’ve heard similar discussions by that group about centralized access to the various streaming services, and I’ve yet to hear them talk about Amazon’s Fire TV Stick and the interface that comes with it.

    You can run other streaming providers apps on it, including Apple+, HBO Max, Hulu, and others. When you select one of those apps without launching it, the fire stick interface provides content right below it that you can directly select, assuming you have a subscription to that service.

    When I’m traveling, I usually take the firestick with me, and if the hotel allows it, you can stick it in the back of their TV’s HDMI port and watch the content you have paid for.

    I’ve also brought it to my brother’s home when I was there for an extended visit, and we watched the content I paid for, which he hadn’t.

    I’m sure that Roku’s stick and Chromecast’s as well, have similar features that allow you to access content from other services easily.

    I had issues with the Firestick after a while. Got a new Roku and it works well. I do understand Rob’s point though. You hear about a show that sounds interesting. Then you have to figure out which service it streams on, if you have that service and can remember the @#%$! password ;) For instance my husband wanted to watch the Track and Field on now. We hunted around trying to find the live feed. Finally figured out it was on Peacock. I must have subscribed at some point because once I went through all the rigmarole on Roku to reset the password and their “triple security”, he was finally able to watch. Sigh.

    • #26
  27. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Why settle for less Netflix? Because we only paid for the right to watch what they, with their array of different contracts and copyright restrictions, are permitted by copyright holders to stream in our particular region.

    But are the rest of you guys actually able to watch Australia Netflix from the USA using Express VPN?

    When my VPN is activated, about 19 times out of 20 Netflix knows it’s on and only streams its own exclusive all-regions content.

    I don’t get why people think that would work.  If you’re streaming content from some service that you’re a member of, if you’re signed in they know who and where you really are.

    • #27
  28. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    I don’t want you to do anything about this, but I really hate it when they put WCCO-type commercials on anything I’m listening to.

    Just here to assure RRJ that I know exactly what he means.

    • #28
  29. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    I don’t want you to do anything about this, but I really hate it when they put WCCO-type commercials on anything I’m listening to.

    Just here to assure RRJ that I know exactly what he means.

    That makes two of you.  :-)

    • #29
  30. ToryWarWriter Reagan
    ToryWarWriter
    @ToryWarWriter

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Taras (View Comment):

    As a movie reviewer, Sonny Bunch doesn’t deserve more than a C minus for this appearance.

    Asked about current and forthcoming animation, he never mentions Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank, a clever parody of Blazing Saddles, with contributions to both screenplay and voice acting by 95-year-old Mel Brooks. Instead of a black sheriff being appointed to a racist white town to make sure he will fail, in this version it’s a dog appointed the Samurai of a dog-hating village of cats.

    Bunch, and possibly the rest of the gang, treat the flight test beyond Mach 10 at the beginning of Top Gun: Maverick as far-fetched. In fact, the manned X-15 reached Mach 6.7 in the Sixties, and an unmanned scramjet topped out at Mach 9.8 in 2004 before the money ran out.

    Bunch’s far-fetched hypothesis, that the story is sort of a wish fulfillment fantasy taking place in the mind of a dying Maverick, doesn’t explain the sailing sequence, in which the pilot is entirely at a loss, and his girlfriend is in charge. While he may technically be in the Navy, he explains, all he does with ships is land on them!

    I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I thought the idea wasn’t that Mach 10 was unlikely, but that surviving “punching out” at Mach 10 would be unlikely, to say the least.

    The Russians have used Mach 10 missiles in Ukraine.  These missiles make the entire US carrier force obsolete.  Or as like to call them floating death traps.  

    • #30
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