Tag: Clint Eastwood

Christmas Moon: America in Winter


In December 1972, on the day when Apollo 17, the final Moon mission, left lunar orbit to return to Earth, their wake-up call was an evocative, soaring, and strangely somber love song, a major hit that year, “The First Time Ever I saw Your Face”, sung by Roberta Flack. “I thought the sun rose in your eyes…”

It was a proud but bittersweet moment for NASA and for the country. JFK’s challenge had been met, and then some. Only four years earlier, Apollo 8’s reading of a Bible verse while orbiting the Moon on Christmas Eve was a beloved worldwide television spectacular. Now we were leaving.

Honor Clint Eastwood


The last of the stars, a veritable ancient at 90!, is also the most patriotic artist of our times. Yet he doesn’t have a Presidential Medal of Freedom. Bush didn’t want to do it. Trump’s not done it. We don’t even talk about it. Japan did it–France did it–even Obama awarded him a medal (along with Bob Dylan–they both chose to avoid attendance). I say it’s time we talked about it, spread word, got things going. We might find out that honor counts for something after all. Read my essay at Law & Liberty, and if you’re persuaded we should honor Clint, see whether there’s anyone you can tell about it. Read, share, and let’s talk Clint in the comments!

Money Talks, Bull-Schiff Walks: Viewing ‘Richard Jewell’


For the price of a movie ticket, you can stand up for truth, justice, and the American way! After Horowitz, we all knew how extensive the corruption and abuse of power was in the FBI, DOJ, and our national media. Two days later, Clint Eastwood released a movie exactly on topic, dramatically documenting earlier collusion between the same malevolent cast of characters. The response from Trump voters and supporters was telling.

The Democrats’ media wing told us that we should not support this movie. Now, with the Richard Jewell opening weekend box office counted, we know we let them win, again, just like we let them win 2018. Bank on the anti-Deplorable, anti-Trump selective hit job movie Bombshell to get plenty of support, reinforcing the left’s narrative. Trump voters can’t be bothered, and conservative media figures apparently are missing the significance, in the midst of the daily deluge of stories. So, Trump 2020 will not be Boris Johnson 2019. Change my mind this week: money talks, bull-Schiff walks.

Richard Jewell matters right now because it gives the lie to everyone who professes unwavering belief in the integrity of the FBI, minus a few sacrificial snakes in the J. Edgar Hoover Building. This especially matters with the Senate Republican leadership. This movie calls us back to the old wisdom that power corrupts all sorts of men and women in all places and times. We are reminded that ambition can lead us into moral peril, as we rationalize action and inaction, knowing better. Eastwood reminds us of all this without cartoon characters or sentimental plot lines, and without coming to a nihilistic or fatalistic conclusion. We need this message front and center before Lindsey Graham gets his hands on the Senate trial proceedings.

Thin-Skinned Media Can’t Abide Being the Bad Guys in ‘Richard Jewell’


“Clint Eastwood’s Richard Jewell — based on a true story — is a well-made, well-acted picture about a clear act of injustice against an innocent man,” Time magazine’s movie critic Stephanie Zacharek begins. “So why does it leave such a sour aftertaste?”

Criticism of the new film stems from the same source: thin-skinned journalists. Our brave firefighters are always eager to trash every group of Americans. Evil CEOs, corrupt politicians (at least those with an R after their name), and the troglodytes in flyover country have been bombarded with weak accusations and bad faith as long as the news media has existed. But when anyone points the finger at their misdeeds, the press cries foul.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America look forward to Clint Eastwood’s new film about how the FBI and media convinced America Richard Jewell was the Olympic Park bomber back in 1996, ruined the man’s life, and obviously learned very little from this debacle.  They’re hopeful the movie will tell the truth about an ugly chapter in American history.  They also unload on House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who was caught lying about his office having contact with the whistleblower before the complaint was filed.  And they react to President Trump not only doubling down on his urging of Ukraine to investigates Joe and Hunter Biden but for China to start investigating them as well.

ACF#38: Unforgiven


Happy Fourth, everyone! After the celebrations, I recommend Unforgiven, the last Western, and the movie that first won Clint Eastwood the Oscar–two awards, Best Picture and Best Director, as well as a nomination for Best Actor. This is a very dark movie, but it is a very good movie. It is beautifully shot, but also sober. It is violent, but dignified. It’s a movie about what it takes to establish the equal human rights of all human beings, the human dignity we all sense in the fine words of the Declaration. It deals with the origin of law as we now know it in a sacred law that requires violence to put an end to violence, at least the chaotic violence of the Old West. It is also a reminder of the difference between law and order, which we tend to think of as identical or at least necessarily connected. But the movie shows order is perfectly compatible with treating some people as property, i.e., slavery.

The 15:17 to Paris


Clint Eastwood is making a movie about the terrorist train attack that was thwarted by three Americans, two service members and all proficient in martial arts, when the terrorist’s AK-47 incredibly seized up giving them time to rush him and eventually subdue and hogtie him. According to news accounts, the three Americans will be played by themselves. Whoa! I can’t wait!

Here’s a video from Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioners the Gracie brothers explaining how the men were able to go from zero to 60 to respond to the terrorist effectively. Also how to tie up a bad guy:

ACF#3 Gran Torino


The movie podcast is back! @flaggtaylor and I are talking about the film Gran Torino, about Clint Eastwood’s last turn as actor-director, and his last great character, Walt Kowalski, an American with a legacy. We’ve got lots to say about who he is and how he deals with the world around him, what he says about America and what Americans are meant to learn from his story. It’s something we should have recorded during the election — it’s one of the few movies about making America great again that’s both serious, popular, and compelling.

This is the essay I mention in the podcast, over on National Review, about Clint Eastwood as a teacher Americans should learn from, about civic responsibility and manliness. And this is the book I mention on the podcast: Totalitarianism on Screen, about The Lives of Others, the great movie about East German communism. Flagg edited it and wrote it with our common friend Carl Eric Scott — who will also join me on the podcast as soon as I can get hold of him.

Save or Kill – Ricochet Edition


save or killThis past weekend, I did a pop-culture post based on a game Collider uses on its website called “Save or Kill.” The premise is that you are presented with two icons, both threatened with being wiped from existence forever, and must choose which of the two to save; you cannot save both. The game works best when you really love both icons, so it becomes a real Sophie’s Choice.

That first post didn’t get as many responses as I’d hoped — though my thanks to those who did participate, and there’s still time to jump in! — so I’m tailoring the game in this post with options better-suited to the interests of the Ricochetti.

So, read the list of the choices below and — in the comments — post which of the two icons you’d save for each of the ten choices. There’s no obligation to explain your reasoning, but I think it’ll be more fun with it. The criteria you use for judging is entirely up to you: you can do this based exclusively on personal preference, or on which option you feel is more important to society. Also, if you’re not familiar with both options in a scenario, feel free to abstain from that particular scenario.

Limits to Curmudgeonhood?


In a conversation last month, the subject of curmudgeonhood came up. There were some advocates of a minimum age restriction that would start somewhere around fifty. In short, their view was that curmudgeonhood was earned through experience.

My dictionary’s* definition of curmudgeon is: “A surly, ill-mannered, bad-tempered person; cantankerous fellow.”