Movie of the Year

A group of people in tuxedos in a theater watching a film.  “The Disaster Artist” (2017) chronicles the endeavors of Tommy Wiseau and is based on “The Disaster Artist:  My Life Inside the Room, the Greatest Bad Film Ever Made” by Greg Sestero.

The plot begins with Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero, who are attending an acting class.  Tommy wants to be the next Marlon Brando or James Dean.  The problem is his strangeness, his foreign accent and inability to get an agent.  Thru Tommy’s unlimited income, he produces his own film, titled “The Room”.

A black-and-white poster for the movie shows Tommy Wiseau's face looking directly at the viewer.  Some critics have called this one of the worst films ever made, but it isn’t.  Wiseau’s take on things, his script, his direction, create a surreal world of his own.  Like Ed Wood, he crosses the boundaries of what we expect.  You cannot say this is similar to other films.  Hollywood is a mass Xerox machine, printing out imitative product, one after another.  “The Room” is one of a kind and so is Tommy Wiseau.

Star/director James Franco does a remarkable impersonation of Tommy Wiseau, so much so, he’s already won a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Dramatic Film.

The book that it’s based on is a more detailed and a funnier look at Wiseau’s quest for artistic expression.  Ultimately, the message many might miss:  this is an anti-Hollywood story about a man forced to produce his own movie, against all odds.  While some may laugh at an outsider trying to be a moviemaker, it’s better than being somebody who never tried, stood on the sidelines and did nothing.

Text ©2018-ERN

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Was Tonya Harding Guilty?

Nancy Kerrigan, Tonya Harding

A biopic of former figure skater Tonya Harding was released recently:  “I, Tonya”.  Rumor is, the star Margot Robbie will probably receive a Best Actress Oscar nomination.  Grist for the mill.

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Margot Robbie (left), Tonya Harding (right)

This article is about what really happened in 1994.  Back then, Nancy Kerrigan was the darling of the figure skating world.  She was favored to win the gold medal at the Winter Olympics.

Tonya Harding achieved fame by being the only woman who could perform the triple axle.  On the flip side, her grace and form were no match against Kerrigan, who was sometimes referred to as “Audrey Hepburn on ice”.

Figure-Skater-Nancy-Kerrigan-performs

Thus, the plan to take Nancy out of the competition by any means necessary.  The question is:  Was Tonya Harding involved?

According to a CBS news program, the FBI had found notes in a dumpster, detailing plans to “get Kerrigan”.  Ms. Harding denies being part of the conspiracy; however, the FBI said her handwriting was found on the notes.

One idea was to kidnap her, then cut her Achilles’s tendon.  Another was to get rid of her altogether.  Eventually, Tonya’s team decided to go with a blow to her knee – fracturing her knee cap.

On January 6, 1994, the attack-man, Shane Stant was ready to go through the plan…

until he watched Nancy Kerrigan skate.  Stant said he didn’t want to go through with it and wished he could use his club (a retractable police baton) on the people who devised this scheme.  That’s why Stant hit Kerrigan, but couldn’t shatter her knee.  His conscience wouldn’t allow him.

Nancy K. recovered from her injury and went on to win the Silver Medal.  (Oksana Baiul won the gold.)

Tonya’s gang (husband Jeff Gillooly, Shawn Eckhardt, Derrick Smith and Shane Stant) were arrested and jailed.  Ms. Harding quickly pled to a lesser charge of knowing about the plan beforehand.  (Legal term “Conspiring to hinder prosecution”.)  She explained this away by saying she feared for her life.  Tonya’s punishment was community service, probation and a fine.  The FBI could no longer charge her for a more serious crime, because of her Constitution right “not being able to charge someone twice for the same crime.”

The Figure Skating Association attempted to bar Tonya Harding from performing at the Winter Olympics by replacing her with Nancy Kwan.  Instead, Tonya sued them and was allowed to skate.  She finished in eighth place.

Throughout all this, Nancy Kerrigan displayed strength, courage and beauty.

So, why does Hollywood celebrate a villain?

Text © 2018 – Eric Reports

Robin Williams Suicide – The Last Word

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Susan Schneider and Robin Williams

It’s been almost three and a half years since actor/comedian Robin Williams was found dead from an apparent suicide.  I’m not disputing the fact that he took his own life.  What it always comes back to is this:  who was with Williams the most in those final days?  Susan Schneider – his wife.

Ms. Schneider claims her husband was “losing his mind” from “Lewy Body Dementia”.  In an interview, she states that his suicide was “a way out”, i.e., a way to avoid “tests” and eventual hospitalization.

Q.  If Robin Williams was about to be institutionalized, whose idea was that in the first place?  His doctors or his wife?  Isn’t it credible that her insistence for him to be put away drove him to his death?  If Mr. Williams had been locked up in a madhouse, he would have lost control of all his rights.  He would’ve lost control of everything.  If that happened, who would be in control of his estate.  Susan Schneider.

Before Williams died, what must have been Schneider’s greatest fear?  Divorce?  And what if the only way to prevent a divorce would be to drive a man to suicide?  If the wife describes their marriage as a “nightmare”, what would the husband have to say about it?  And did R.W. threaten divorce?  According to their pre-nup, she would’ve received nothing, if this had occurred.

In those final days, we have by her own words, proof they were living separate lives in separate bedrooms.  Based on Robin’s expression, he is profoundly unhappy.

One of the last photos taken

My guess is that his sex life had become a virtual Siberia.  Why was he hermitting himself away in his bedroom, if they had a “happy marriage”?  Where was she on the day of his death?  Why didn’t she check on him?  How could he be left hanging dead for twelve hours unattended?  Why was his assistant the one left to discover his body?  Was there one last WWIII argument that pushed him over the edge?

When Ms. Schneider was told over the phone, she rushed back in her car screaming, “ROBIN, I FORGIVE YOU WITH ALL OF MY HEART!”    This is one of the most selfish statements of all time.  It’s all about her.

Following R.W.’s death, we have Ms. Schneider eager to play the “grieving widow” on “The View”,  ABC News and “Good Morning, America”.  In real life, Schneider sued Robin’s children for control of his estate.  There was a legal battle over “kick-knacks”, indicative of her petty meanness and a quest to acquire as much as she could from a three year marriage.  According to her lawyer, Robin wanted his wife cared for, for the rest of her life, in the house they lived in.  With $50,000,000, I’m sure she’ll do okay.  Ignored by the MSM, was Ms. Schneider’s past new age cult experience, where she was left suicidal and driven to divorce her first husband.  While her past troubles may have nothing to do with what happened to her second husband, the MSM is remiss not to mention it.

https://www.nationalenquirer.com/celebrity/legal-docs-robin-wifes-own-suicide-nightmare/

In conclusion, I end with the beginning.  Robin met Susan when he was set for open heart surgery.  It probably wasn’t difficult to get him to do what she wanted, when he was at his most vulnerable.  While he may have thought this marriage was a new beginning, what was on her mind?  The eventual outcome speaks for itself.

Text (C) 2018- ERN

New Top Ten Song List

Bless the Beasts and the Children – The Carpenters.  (ryanche33 on YouTube)

Hurt – Johnny Cash (DFTranslateBR on YouTube)

My Angel – Lina Morgana  (Intersouffle)

Woman in Chains – Tears for Fears  (TearsForFearsVEVO)

Barcelona – Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballe  (QueenHouse85 on YouTube)

No One – Aly & AJ  (disneymusic – YouTube)

Goodbye, Norma Jean – Candle in the Wind  (flymanhot on YouTube)

Apocalypse – Jackie Evancho  (YouTube)

God Give Me Strength – Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach  (deerfried on YouTube)

Miserere – Andrea Bocelli and Zucchero  (AndreaBocelliVEVO on YouTube)

Exorcist II – The Heretic (Maybe not the worst sequel ever made)

In 1977, Warner Bros. released the long anticipated sequel to the 1973 blockbuster “The Exorcist”.  Weekend box-office receipts were huge, but the reviews were terrible – so bad that the film was re-edited, then re-released.  The new cuts didn’t help much and the “Exorcist II” died a quick death.

Backstory.  “Exorcist II” was directed by John Boorman, known best for “Deliverance” (1972.)  Boorman hated the original film, said it “wasn’t uplifting”, which may account as to why this one is so different.

Jon Voight was originally cast as Father Lamont.  Voight asked for script changes to make it “more believable.”  After three screenplay revisions, Voight still unsatisfied, quit.  (Star Linda Blair said that with each rewrite, it only became worse.)  Richard Burton replaces him.

Ellen Burstyn (as Chris MacNeil, the possessed girl’s mother) refuses to take part.  Still on board are Linda Blair as Regan MacNeil, Kitty Wynn as Sharon and Max Van Sydow as Father Merrin.

PLOT:  The Catholic Church decides to investigate what killed Father Merrin in an exorcism, sending Father Lamont (Richard Burton.)  Regan MacNeil is now undergoing hypnotherapy with her psychiatrist Dr. Gene Tuskin (Louise Fletcher.)  Father Lamont participates in these sessions and finds that the demon “Pazuzu” still lurks within, prohibiting Regan from her true destiny.

Dr. Tuskin is skeptical.  Major plot point:  Science vs. religion.

Regan, besides being an artist, miraculously heals an autistic girl by briefly speaking with her.  She also has some psychic abilities and is “in synch” with the priest.

Thru flashbacks, it’s revealed that Father Merrin’s previous exorcism was of a boy named Kokumo – a healer in Africa who has the power to drive away locusts.  Lamont comes to the conclusion that it is “great goodness that attracts evil,” in an attempt to destroy it.

Lamont, against the church’s orders, travels to Africa.  He sees that his visions are correct.

Weirdest Scene.  As Regan dances onstage – Father Lamont is attacked by an angry mob.  They think he’s in league with Satan.  Regan feels his pain and goes into seizures.  Lamont barely escapes.

Lamont, with the help of “Ecumenical Edwards” (Ned Beatty) finds Kokumo (James Earl Jones), now a scientist who is breeding a new locust that will resist its destructive tendencies.

“The Good Locust.”

Returning to the states, Lamont meets Regan, they go into synch again, where the spirit of Father Merrin tells him to guard her against evil.  Instead, Lamont takes Regan back to Georgetown, back to where the original exorcism took place.  Dr. Tuskin and Sharon find out and while rushing there, they are met with a plague of locusts.  Their taxi crashes next to the house.

In that house, Lamont meets the second Regan – the evil one.  The demon-possessed twin urges Lamont to kill the good Regan, but he realizes that he must kill the evil one, by “tearing out her heart.”

A larger swarm of locusts descends, smashing into the house.  Lamont kills the evil Regan.  Good Regan begins twirling an instrument thru the air (the same used by Kokumo.) This calms down the locusts.  Lamont and Regan leave, the evil one vanquished.

First, the highpoints.  Camerawork (by William Fraker) is exceptional, some of the shots are starkly beautiful.  Louise Fletcher’s look when she realizes Regan’s drawing foretold the future… Father Lamont’s first meeting Kokumo and when Regan sleepwalks on top of the roof.

Music is by the legendary composer Ennio Morricone.

Some costly set decoration – Regan’s glassy penthouse apartment is remarkable.

Richard Burton’s performance.  By 1977, he was divorced from Liz Taylor and on the wagon, anxious to prove he could still act.  He gives it one hundred percent.

What Went Wrong?  The storyline goes off in too many directions.  The strobe-light hypnosis sessions go on for too long – the effect is irritating.  The idea that the Catholic Church would investigate a four year old exorcism is farfetched.  (Isn’t that a job for the police?)  The grand finale is so over the top, but where else are you going to see Richard Burton tear out Linda Blair’s heart?

The 70’s has been called Hollywood’s Silver Age and it would be fair to say that the “Exorcist II” could only happen in the 70’s.

Text © 2017 – ERN

Videos of the Week (MK Ultra, Hillary Clinton and ABBA reunites)

MK Ultra Glitches and Strange Behaviors – from knowledgeispower on YouTube

Report:  Hillary Clinton ‘spiraling into total madness’, getting worse by the day from Trump Mafia on YouTube

ABBA’s Future Revealed – Band Reunion by ChoppyAir on YouTube

(None of these video are affiliated with EricReportsNews.)

“Eyes Wide Shut” – Original 3 Hour Director’s Cut

Eyes_Wide_Shut_poster

In the special features section, on the “Eyes Wide Shut” DVD, there are three interviews, labeled under “Cast & Crew”.  Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman and Steven Spielberg.  (Why is Spielberg listed as a crew member?  Because he helped cut the missing 29 minutes.)

Contrary to what Warner Bros. execs said at the time, they were not “delighted” with the original version of “Eyes Wide Shut”.  They didn’t like it, didn’t understand it and wanted cuts.  Director Stanley Kubrick said “no,” (he had final authority), until he was found dead four days later from a heart attack.

Probably the most interesting sequence rumored to be cut is Alice Harford’s dream, which Nicole Kidman mentions indirectly.  The interviewer asks her why did she laugh while sleeping?  Kidman replies, “I was laughing at the imagery of the dream.”  Apparently, her character is a victim of a secret society (the Illuminati) and she’s remembering her MK-Ultra programming thru the dream.

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Warner Bros. were especially disturbed by whatever was in this scene.

Kidman said she’s seen the movie twice.  Is this a hint, i.e., once the original, twice, the cut version?

Of the three interviewed, she’s the only one who cries, saying Kubrick’s death “seemed wrong” and “that he had more to say.”

Tom Cruise describes his director as a “magical, wonderful guy.”

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Tom Cruise with director Stanley Kubrick.

“Eyes Wide Shut”, three years in the making, was wearing on Cruise, who both “dreaded and looked forward to ending” the Dr. Bill Harford character.  Kubrick said, “Every scene, every moment, has to be earned.”  Cruise asks, “Just tell me how long is this gonna take?  Two years?”  Kubrick laughed, saying, “Tom, if it took that long, then everything they say about us is true!”  When asked about his death, Cruise replies that he had great concern for the movie – another indication that he was telling us something happened to “Eyes Wide Shut” after the director died.

kubrick_vs_spielberg

Stanley Kubrick & Steven Spielberg

The Salieri of the piece is Steven Spielberg, who doesn’t talk about “Eyes Wide Shut” at all.  He mentions that he didn’t like “The Shining” at first, that Jack Nicholson’s performance was “Kabuki theater”; however, “Stanley’s films grow on you over time.”  For him, Kubrick’s best gifts were “his friendship” and “his impeccable craft, his compositions, and his films.”

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Sketches for Kubrick’s concept for “A.I.”

In another interview, not on this DVD, Spielberg claims that Kubrick wanted him to direct “A.I.” (Artificial Intelligence.)  Kubrick would produce it.  What most people aren’t aware of is that Spielberg completely rewrote the script Kubrick wrote.  “A.I” (based on the short story “Summer Toys Last All Summer Long” by Brian Aldiss.)  “A.I.” was headed for darker themes, something Steven Spielberg wanted no part of.  Thus, with “A.I.” we have a Disneyized version of an unrealized Stanley Kubrick film.

As for any hope for the missing “Eyes Wide Shut” footage reappearing, it ain’t gonna happen.  The cast, the crew and Kubrick’s family have been sworn to secrecy.  Warners denies there ever were any major cuts.

A positive note:  only Stanley Kubrick would’ve dared make this movie and there are still clues to what can be learned from it.

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Text ©2017-ERN