Evidently Newt's huge surge in SC was a bit too much for the usual suspects, and as such the last few days have seen a pile-on of negativity tossed in his general direction. Can't challenge the Anointed One, nope. It got to the point that even Drudge was in the tank for the RINO establishment.
The best rebuttal I've seen or heard comes from Mark Levin.
posted by Mr. Lion @ 11:56 EST | comments (0)
THAT is how you make a film.
I'll be honest, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was a film barely on my radar. Trailers suggested it was yet another yawn inducing heroine flick in a long line of, as Lileks once put it, that which hath Ellen Ripley wrought. I'm happy to say though, that Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a massive breath of fresh air, and contains every bit of what made Sigourney Weaver work in Aliens, and Uma Thurman work in.. well, everything.
Since Aliens and many films of the like, the heroine concept has become a farce, lending itself to so many Secret Agent Killer Chick films that are so overblown, so over the top so as to be an outright parody of the whole Girl Power movement that latched on to them. Aliens gave us stuff like Le Femme Nikita in that regard, which was all well and good. Though it wasn't long before we found ourselves at garbage like Salt and its spawn, featuring stick figure "actresses" who couldn't find a clue with a map.
In a nutshell, you can give some random twinkletits actress a prop gun and a stationary motorcycle on a film truck, but that's all you're going to have. I can suspend a lot of disbelief, but I'm sorry, I'm not buying in to the canned 120 pound girl with pipecleaners for arms beating the crap out of men trained to kill people, simply because the nonsensual feminist garbage drizzled over such film says I should.
And that is what makes Girl with the Dragon Tattoo amazing. Rooney Mara portrays one of the most deep, interesting and honest heroine characters I've ever seen. She's gritty, hard, and direct. There are no catch lines or bits to camera. In fact, she puts such realism into one of the more disturbing scenes in the film that I honestly had a hard time watching it, and I'm pretty much fine with just about every form of violence and blood and guts ever portrayed on screen.
Mara's character Lisbeth is not an amped up amazon chick. She's a slight, frail looking thing that you would feel sorry for if you didn't suspect she'd kick your ass if you did. And not physical asskickery, either-- the methodical sort. She sets the trap and lets the bad guy fall into it, at which point it's eye for an eye time, with more than a little flavor.
What makes the character Lisbeth believable, and interesting, is that she isn't screaming "I am Woman, hear me roar". No, when she screams, she doesn't actually say anything, but you know the depth of her emotion. It comes across as honest, and in many cases brutal. I don't doubt that Lisbeth knows how to ride a motorcycle, because it is very effectively portrayed as a part of her life. I don't doubt that she knows how to use a gun, because it is superbly implied. Every single thing about her character is an amazing tour de force of emotion and pain and reaction to both.
Lisbeth doesn't always kick the crap out of the bad guy. She doesn't always win the battle. She's made to endure some pretty horrible crap, and that is what makes the character amazing, and her revenge all the sweeter. That's why she works. That's why she's real.
Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is just amazing. The story is great, the acting superb, and the technical details, for which I am a stickler, are very well addressed. Super-hackers do not use MovieOS. They use Macs. Infiltrating a network is not done with stupid panning shots over cable runs or by jumping through windows into server rooms. It is done realistically, and well. Information is gathered from a database, with SQL, not via "zoom in and enhance" nonsense. Hell, half the movie, and much of the suspense comes of a character sitting in a library archive flipping through reference material. But that's why it's good. That's why it's great.
Easily the best film I've seen in a very long time.
Oh, and the best part? No happy ending in the way sentimentalists would have it.
UPDATE: Shouldn't surprise me that Coop has great photos of the film bike.
posted by Mr. Lion @ 15:10 EST | comments (1)
What's wrong with this picture?
In a word: Everything.
On Nov. 1, Waddell, a 25-year-old executive officer with 3rd Battallion, 7th Marine Corps Regiment, was monitoring a surveillance camera in Sangin, Afghanistan, when he spotted a man who had been identified as a bomb maker working with area insurgents. Two days earlier, a sergeant from India Company had lost both legs and a hand when a bomb detonated in their area of operation. The man spotted on the camera was believed to be responsible.
After receiving permission from his battalion commanders, Waddell ordered Marine snipers to open fire on the man, and he was hit. A group of Afghans rushed to the man, put him on a tractor and attempted to flee. Waddell ordered the snipers to hit the engine block of the tractor, disabling it so the man believed to be a bomb maker would not escape. The tractor was hit but no civilians were injured.
Then, about three weeks later, the civilians who helped remove the wounded man from the area were found to be teenagers.
As a result, Waddell was demoted from executive officer, and the battalion commander, Lt. Col. Seth Folsom, determined he had violated rules of engagement that governed when Marines could fire, and at whom. Folsom said Wadell "is not recommended for promotion" and "in violation of [combat rules] during an engagement." The report stated that "noncombatant local nationals" were in the area of direct fire and that "the engagement resulted in a damaged local national vehicle."
Cars for Interesting People
Okay, Mr. Lion, so what car should I buy that won't offend your delicate sensibilities?
Well, I'm glad you asked. The sort of vehicle you drive says a lot about you as a person. It can also help you become a better person through cultivating an interest in driving, and the skills related to it. Some people, understandably, were not brought up to be gearheads. So, they bought a Volkswagen, because it wasn't a Camry. Or a Honda, because it was reliable. Fortunately, there is still hope, even if you have fallen into these unfortunate straits. So, here are ten cars you can buy for just about any situation you may need one for, that will identify you as an Interesting Person and quite possibly save you from yourself.
Whenever I suggest to a non-car-person that they buy a particular car, I get a lot of feedback. It isn't reliable enough. It's too expensive. It gets crap gas mileage. It'll break down and cost me a bajillion dollars to fix as I can't do it myself. Well, enough of that. Here are five new cars that come with a warranty and are dead reliable, cheap (for what they are) and economical (again, for what they are), as well as five used cars that can maximize grins per dollar.
1) Fiat 500
Cars for tards.
Here's a pretty good list of cars you should sell if you own for some odd reason.
The only changes I would make are to replace the Chevy Volt, that sell in fewer numbers than platinum-and-diamond tiaras, with the Lexus RX350-- a car that is universally driven badly by northeastern bluehairs desperate to reach the scene of their upcoming accident.
Exception also needs be made for BMW M-cars, which are generally driven by sane individuals who just like to drive fast. You may, of course, feel that 70 mph is a perfectly reasonable speed to travel in the left hand lane on an interstate. Your average M-pilot, though, will not.
A few additions of my own:
1) Any Hyundai, especially a SUV.
There's nothing wrong with a cheap, reliable car. However, there is something wrong with buying what amounts to the ugliest slice of plain cheese "car" you can possibly buy without importing something made in India. Purchase of a Hyundai suggests a total lack of interest in driving and/or cars, which means you will invariably suck at it. While there are exceptions, they're as rare as those who bought a Prius because they just wanted a small, economical car.
2) Any Mercedes SUV.
A Range Rover wasn't your thing. A BMW was just too common. So, you had your husband buy you a Mercedes, because you're just better than all the other wives. Which is why you alternate between veering between lanes at 90+ mph, doing 62 in the left lane, and shooting across gore points to exits at the last possible second. You're an important person! Much more so than anyone else on the road.
3) Toyota Camry.
Safety is important! Which is why you'll pull up beside a truck on the right, block it there, and pass it at a speed differential never to exceed 0.0005 mph. Because safety is important.
4) Honda Element.
You've got a family to move around, and that's just fine. But for whatever reason, you've decided to do it with one of the ugliest half-plastics around, designed specifically to attract the Pontiac Aztec owner. Sure, it's reliable, and economical. Why, it'll probably run for a thousand years without an oil change. It is also slower than a molasses waterboarding in January, has a propensity to find itself blocking up the fast lane, and, judging by the number I see wandering around lanes as though they're stuck in a pinball machine, completely unstable over 42 mph.
posted by Mr. Lion @ 12:35 EST | comments (0)
On engineered outrage.
A few things strike me about pissgate-- first, unsurprisingly, and quite deplorably, is the media running it up the flagpole with just about as much manufactured indignation as they can muster.
Even though the bodies in question were previously an un-uniformed illegal enemy of our country. Even though said enemy were prone to beheading journalists on video, using houses of worship to stockpile ammunition and in many cases do outright battle from them while using non-combatants as cover. Even though they harbored, trained and aided those who carried out the most horrific attack on civilians in our nation's history. And even though they regularly blew up and maimed thousands of our troops using illegal methods of warfare. Pissing on their corpses? Well, that's just out of line.
All that is fairly unsurprising-- after all, most all members of the mainstream media want nothing more than for our enemies to win.
What is surprising, though, is the hand-wringing bullshit that immediately started dribbling out of the military powers that be, the very second the media started manufacturing outcry. This just won't stand! Why, after we shoot someone who's trying to kill all of us, we need to offer the dead the utmost respect. Just like they do for us. Right? ... right?
I'm well aware when the average joe on the street became a complete pussy. Likewise, there's little doubt when the media stopped wanting us to win wars. What I'm unsure of, though, is when exactly our freakin' military leaders became a collection of whiny little bitches.
UPDATE: At least we have a few sane people left in government.
“I have sat back and assessed the incident with the video of our Marines urinating on Taliban corpses. I do not recall any self-righteous indignation when our Delta snipers Shugart and Gordon had their bodies dragged through Mogadishu. Neither do I recall media outrage and condemnation of our Blackwater security contractors being killed, their bodies burned, and hung from a bridge in Fallujah.
“All these over-emotional pundits and armchair quarterbacks need to chill. Does anyone remember the two Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division who were beheaded and gutted in Iraq?
“The Marines were wrong. Give them a maximum punishment under field grade level Article 15 (non-judicial punishment), place a General Officer level letter of reprimand in their personnel file, and have them in full dress uniform stand before their Battalion, each personally apologize to God, Country, and Corps videotaped and conclude by singing the full US Marine Corps Hymn without a teleprompter.
“As for everyone else, unless you have been shot at by the Taliban, shut your mouth, war is hell.”
posted by Mr. Lion @ 15:59 EST | comments (0)