All You Need to Know in Four Easy Steps

With the possible exception of beer, there is no more populist potable than wine. In France, Italy, and Spain, it’s on every dinner table, as common an accoutrement as the salt and pepper shakers. Europeans imbibe wine for lunch, dinner, and dessert. They use it to wash down an afternoon snack of goat cheese and crusty bread in places where both wine and goats are plentiful. Grandmothers rub it on the gums of teething babies. Wine isn’t a delicacy, it isn’t an occasion, it just is.

But many Americans fear the…

Kevin Costner may not have foreseen his film’s failure at the box office, but he eerily forecast the state of the union in the Age of Trump.

Matt Bors, the editor and publisher of The Nib, had an interesting observation on Twitter:

In The Postman (1997) the US has collapsed after waves of hate crimes by armed militias and a massive plague. People seek to reestablish the post office, a symbol of an interconnected functioning society. Thinking about this for no reason.

Now as it happens, my film school education included a minor in “Would-Be Post-Apocalyptic Epics by Actor-Director Kevin…

Joel Schumacher looked at the Sixties Batman series and said “You call that camp? Hold my beer…”

Batman & Robin (1997)
Directed by Joel Schumacher
Written by Akiva Goldsman

Our movie begins with rapid cuts of polyurethane codpieces and bun-hugging rubber bondage pants with built-in butt cracks. This sequence represents our heroes suiting up as they prepare for a grueling night spent righting wrongs, combating evil, and doing a bunch of amyl nitrate poppers in the parking lot behind the Pleasure Chest. …

It’s time to bring back the movies’ deadliest and fakest martial art.

The Skill of Gymnastics! The Kill of Karate!

The 1980s were a manly time for motion pictures; an age when movies about muscular men with speech impediments signaled an end to the agonizing introspection of the Post-Vietnam era. In the oeuvre of Stallone and Schwarzenegger, we saw the birth of a new breed of hero, a brawny man untroubled by malaise or moral relativism; a modern legend, with the physical strength and spiritual purity of a Hercules, and the accent of a shoemaking dwarf from the Black Forest.

And yet, for every Stallone or Schwarzenegger, there…

The California Governor Who Wrote Trump’s Pandemic Playbook

President Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic may seem like the most tone deaf, myopic public health policy since Prince Prospero locked himself and a thousand of his richest friends in his abbey and tried to party through the plague. But only until you remember California’s own Henry Tifft Gage, and his “Business First! Bodies Second!” approach to the San Francisco plague of 1900.

Henry T. Gage was a lawyer from East Saginaw, Michigan who followed the advice of Horace Greeley and went west to seek his fortune. He managed to marry…

Let us meditate upon these truths at the fifth level.

Dignity. Always dignity.

Zardoz (1974)
Directed by John Boorman
Written by John Boorman

Now that we know who to blame, let’s start the movie. Our story opens with the disembodied head of a fey Englishman, who’s sporting facial hair scribbled on with an eyebrow pencil and an Egyptian-style head-dress made from a periwinkle dishcloth. This is “Zardoz”, and he’s here to make sure things don’t get weird.

Like Criswell, he informs us that what we are about to see are future events, that will affect us all in the future, while his towel-draped…

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Rather than getting drunk, the traditional American method of honoring the founder of Christianity in Ireland, let’s put down the bottle, pick up the remote, and watch a crappy movie. At least then you’ll have a reason to get drunk.

Young, Friendless Jennifer Aniston

Leprechaun (1993)
Written and Directed by Mark Jones

A limousine pulls up to a rustic cottage and an Irishman climbs out. At least, we assume he’s Irish, because he’s stinking drunk and speaks in a brogue so thick it can’t be natural, and was probably produced in post-production by a team of Foley artists who soaked…

Two young Mexican brothers walked into his gym and refused to leave until he made them champions. So he did.

Boxing trainer and FOX Sports commentator Joe Goossen watches one of his fighters spar.

Many sports (outside of such whispered-commentary spectacles as golf or snooker) have a frankly atavistic appeal, and the potential to reduce their spectators to hooting mobs held in check solely by the weight of the 32 oz cups of concession stand Budweiser in their laps. But of all contact sports, boxing is perhaps the most primal. …

Scott Clevenger

Screenwriter, blogger, mal vivant. Co-author of “Better Living Through Bad Movies.” Co-host of The Slumgullion podcast. On Twitter @Scottclevenger

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