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The New ‘Monkey Movies’ Are Even Dumber Than The Folks That Review Them

nairobi-trio-140When I was a young sports writer for the Tampa Tribune many years ago a colleague and good friend was the theatre and movie critic who I used to tease about being paid to watch films and stage plays.

He fired back saying I was a hypocrite since I picked up a weekly paycheck to attend sporting events, a job that had no usefulness whatsoever as the competitions I reported on had no lasting value.

He had a point, but over the years as I’ve read reviews, of movies in particular, I’ve become convinced that film critics surely must be on the studio’s payroll because their slobbering, over-the-top evaluations of dreadful films and interviews with insipid actors and actresses read like fawning studio press releases and People Magazine pap.

John Podhoretz, the movie critic for the conservative Weekly Standard is an exception. If he’s ever done and interview with an actress or actor, I’ve never seen it, and his critiques of films are a delight to read as he takes no prisoners, with his commentary “Monkey Business” in the July 28 issue on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes being one of my favorites.

I saw the 2011 Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and suggested to my wife, Linda, less than halfway through it, that I go to the box office and request our money back, but she nixed that thought. I don’t go to many films, but the reviews of that one were so overwhelmingly positive and the creativity of the 1960s original Planet of the Apes staring Charlton Heston were still vivid in my memory, so I sucked it up and sat through what I now call “that stupid monkey movie.”

Podhortez wasn’t impressed with that film either and his opinion calls this new cinematic disaster “…..the comedy highlight of the summer — even though that’s the last thing it wants to be.” For example Podhoretz questions the film’s logic when he reports that an ape who is supposed to be verging on genius points to San Francisco and says, “Human. Home” then says, pointing to the suburbs; “Ape. Home.” If they’re so smart asks Podhortez: “Why can’t they speak in complete sentences?”

But my favorite part of his review is when he compares the stupid ape geniuses to the late comedian Ernie Kovacs’ 1950s Nairobi Trio, a threesome of apes that wore bowler hats and long coats, with one conducting with a banana and sucking on a cigar, while the other two played the piano and a drum and they all moved around like they were wind-up dolls

Disregarding King Kong, the Tarzan films costarring Cheeta, and Ronald Reagan’s Bedtime for Bonzo, one of the few entertaining monkey movies I’ve ever seen was one evening while watching TV I stumbled across Clint Eastwood’s 1978 Any Which Way But Loose that featured an orangutan named Clyde, motorcycle gangs, an 82-year-old Ruth Gordon as “Ma Boggs,” and a country music sound track that included songs by Mel Tillis and Charlie Rich, among others. It was supposed to be funny and it was.

I won’t attend the new ape movie or any other monkey movie, but I sure would like to see some of those hilarious Nairobi Trio segments again.

***

 Men Vs. Women: A friend in England sent me the following that was part of a humorous tutorial on the differences between men and women: “A woman knows all about her children. She knows about dentist appointments and romances, best friends, favorite foods, secret fears and hopes and dreams. A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.”

 ***

Florida’s Safest Cities: Parkland is named  Florida’s safest city based on data analyzed by Movoto, a popular real estate Web site. Rounding out the top 10 are (2) Weston, (3) Marco Island, (4) Sanibel, (5) Punta Gorda, (6) Longboat Key, (7) Bay Harbor Islands, (8) Niceville, (9) Valparaiso, (10) Groveland. The worst says the report are Opa Locka and Florida City, saying that those two are “downright unsafe.” The site say it gets its facts from the FBI.

***

Pete Van Wieren: When I heard that retired Atlanta Braves baseball announcer PeteVan Wieren died last week memories of the personable broadcaster I first met at old Johnson Field when I covered the Binghamton Triplets, NY Yankee AA farm club in Binghamton, NY came rushing back. Pete and I shared the press box in the decrepit stadium that was built in 1913 where Pete was doing the play-by-play for local WINR radio station and I was writing for the Gannett’s Binghamton Evening & Sunday Press. Pete would stop by the paper on game days to pick up statistics for his personal log book that he used so skillfully he became known as “The Professor.” He was a personable guy, a gentleman and a wonderful broadcaster for the Braves. He will be missed.

 ***

This PR Ship Is Sinking: The Norwegian Cruise Line is publically sinking in a sea of bad publicity because of a callous, boneheaded move of refusing to let a New York couple rebook a vacation after their five-year-old son was diagnosed with cancer, and the cruise line deserves every bit of negative ink it is currently awash in. Nicolas Colucci and his parents were scheduled to take the family-friendly cruise starting on June 1, but on May 19 Nicolas was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in his liver. He had surgery a few days later and is still undergoing chemotherapy. The parents of the young Nicolas said that Norwegian Cruise Line refused to accommodate them, citing its cancellation policy according to Fox News. Norwegian says any cancellation within 14 days or less of the sail date is subject to a 100 percent cancellation fee. Now, the boy’s family is out $4,000. The cruise line issued a statement to “Fox & Friends” saying, “Our hearts, thoughts and prayers are with the Colucci family and we wish Nicolas a speedy recover…After reviewing the request of the Colucci family, the cruise line, according to Fox, explained that “while we couldn’t make an exception to our policy, we would assist them when they were ready to re-book their cruise.” Good grief, the last time we went on a cruise it was with Norwegian and I now know for a fact now that will certainly be the LAST time we’ll ever step foot on one of their ships again.

***

Things I Would Like To Say But Aren’t Supposed To: “To be anything else but a Republican in this country as a black person – you must be out of your mind. It has been the Democrats who have stood in the way of progress. I do know this: Al Sharpton takes any opportunity he can, like a buzzard, flying over the body of yet another dead kid for whatever reason…whenever there is a carcass of a kid, like the Treyvon Martin case, these types of vultures, these types of buzzards, do find their way out, trying to make themselves relevant…” — Former NAACP leader Rev. C. L. Bryant on converting to conservatism and on the Ferguson, MO, rioting situation.

***

Speaking Of Protestors: The media apparently have a different interpretation than mine of the word “protest” as I’ve only seen indiscriminate and mindless rioting, looting, burning, and other acts of violence inflicted on innocent citizens in Ferguson, MO following the fatal police shooting of a young black man there. It is termed “protesting” by the media but I’d call it indiscriminate and mindless rioting, looting, burning and other acts of violence inflicted on innocent victims. Or do I need my eyes examined?

***

Whipper-Snapper Defined: Former IBM colleague, good friend, now retired, Perry Eli of North Carolina reminds me of a term I haven’t heard in years — “‘whipper-snapper.” Perry tells me the phrase originally referred to a young man with no apparent ambition in the horse and buggy days who would just hang out and snap his horse whip. It eventually came to mean the opposite and was applied to a youngster with an excess of both ambition and impudence. “It’s a term you don’t hear much anymore.” Perry says. “My grandfather used to call me that when we used to  hang out on the corner by Fogelson’s Pharmacy or sit the park bench across the way and see if we could name all the cars that came by.” Perry turned out to be one of the best members of IBM’s public relations staff I was ever associated with so his gramps was right in the later day usage of the phrase, particularly the ambition part.

***

Que? Taxi drivers in Sacramento, CA are upset because they may have to pass an English test in order to keep their licenses, a requirement that is being proposed due to customer complaints that drivers can’t understand them. Imagine if a non-French speaker or non-Spanish speaker tried to tote passengers around Paris or Mexico City? Our melting pot needs more simmering and speaking English as a requirement to get a driver’s license, job, citizenship, welfare, food stamps, etc. is a good start.

***

Pass The Asafetida Please: I enjoy reading The Wall Street Journal Weekend edition because, like the Sunday newspapers of years ago it contains sections that can be savored all week long, including its extensive book reviews, political analysis, arts, style and fashion and more. However, call me a picky eater, because when the publication prints recipes in its “Eating & Drinking” section, I can only assume they appeal to a very select audience as our house and most others I’ve been in, don’t stock their pantries with split urad dal, fengugreek seeds, roasted chana dal, asafetida and Sona Masuri and Idli rice. In fact I would presume that in order to obtain these foods it would require a trip to parts of the globe that are as unpronounceable as the ingredients. The only items some of these concoctions call for that I do have on hand are water and salt.

 ***

 It’s What They Didn’t Say That’s Important: This past Tuesday, Lt. Dustin Dooley, Operations Officer for the King’s Bay submarine base and the site’s Public Information Officer Scott Bassett spoke to the European American Business Club about the base and its operations but to me the most interesting portion of their presentation was what the duo couldn’t say about the base and what they wouldn’t say about what happens in the places that you’re not allowed to visit and the things you’re not allowed to see and do and why armed US Marines and Coast Guard crews are always on duty making you feel that whatever they’re doing over there is ensuring that their fellow Americans are very secure. I like that.

 ***

Commission Curmudgeon: I don’t follow much of what Fernandina Beach City Commissioner Charlie Corbett does outside of the commission chambers for the same reason I have never volunteered to be the fellow with the broom and dustpan who follows the elephants in a circus parade. But when I happen to be in the same public setting as this clueless commissioner he  provides me ample justification for my interpretation of his performance, particularly when I’m in public settings with family and friends and he shouts out “Hey Cheap Shot Scott, Bozo the clown,” or some other childish comment in restaurants, community events, etc., an obvious indication to all present that my previous observations about this loutish commissioner are probably understated. His immature public behavior demonstrates that I successfully get under the skin of this commission’s cantankerous, cranky, curmudgeon as my criticism of Mr. Corbett’s performance suggests that his lack of tact and facts are exceeded only by his exceedingly bad manners and his deficiency in understanding how to conduct himself in a deliberative assembly. His rudeness to constituents at commission meetings, lack of understanding of issues critical to the community, as well as his boorish public demeanor, further justify my comments many months ago in my Fernandina Beach News-Leader “Dave’s World” column when I suggested that Mr. Corbett might be better suited for a job that requires wearing a paper hat. I’m reconsidering that comment as even that may be a task far too difficult for a person of Commissioner Corbett’s obvious limitations and an insult to paper hat wearers everywhere. Folks, this guy is a disaster as a city commissioner and as a local political junkie friend points out, Corbett’s not only at a loss when he tries to articulate himself, but his numerical skills appear to be extremely limited as well as it appears he has never seen fit to adjust his schedule to attend all budget meetings or workshops and since they occur at the same time each year it would appear it would be a relatively simple task to schedule, particularly if he cared about cutting spending and taxes as he so often claims. When it comes time to cast a ballot for commissioner this November, selecting the affable businessman, parliamentarian, gentleman, and former commissioner Tim Poynter over the oafish Corbett should be a no-brainer.

***

Speaking Of The City Commission: Ms. Robin Lentz, a local educator, volunteer and parent of two, who is running for the Group 3 seat on the Fernandina City Commission, will host a rally in downtown’s Central Park in front of the baseball fields Saturday, August 23 beginning at 10 am. Light refreshments will be served and Ms. Lentz will answer any questions voters have about her platform as well as listen to any suggestions about how she may be able to  improve the city’s operations if elected. Running is something that Ms. Lentz does exceedingly well as just last month she completed her 29th full marathon in Massachusetts, leaving her 21 more to go in pursuit of her goal of running a marathon in each of the 50 states. So if folks don’t want to talk politics and the condition of the city government, Ms. Lentz can probably provide some tips on staying in good physical condition. This informed and inexhaustible young lady would be a welcome and refreshing addition to our city commission and if you want to help you can contact her by calling (770) 655-0865 or email her at robinforfernandina@gmail.com.

 ***

Follow The Money:Local citizen Lynn Williams spoke during a city commission budget workshop this past Wednesday suggesting methods to generate revenue and proposed that the commission set up a committee of four or five citizens to develop a list of ways for the city to generate that revenue. One way Mr. Williams could help personally is to give back whatever is left of the $8,000 he walked away with for his ill-conceived Rube Goldberg dredging project that is now considered under water.

The New ‘Monkey Movies’ Are Even Dumber Than The Folks That Review Them

nairobi-trio-140When I was a young sports writer for the Tampa Tribune many years ago a colleague and good friend was the theatre and movie critic who I used to tease about being paid to watch films and stage plays.

He fired back saying I was a hypocrite since I picked up a weekly paycheck to attend sporting events, a job that had no usefulness whatsoever as the competitions I reported on had no lasting value.

He had a point, but over the years as I’ve read reviews, of movies in particular, I’ve become convinced that film critics surely must be on the studio’s payroll because their slobbering, over-the-top evaluations of dreadful films and interviews with insipid actors and actresses read like fawning studio press releases and People Magazine pap.

John Podhoretz, the movie critic for the conservative Weekly Standard is an exception. If he’s ever done and interview with an actress or actor, I’ve never seen it, and his critiques of films are a delight to read as he takes no prisoners, with his commentary “Monkey Business” in the July 28 issue on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes being one of my favorites.

I saw the 2011 Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and suggested to my wife, Linda, less than halfway through it, that I go to the box office and request our money back, but she nixed that thought. I don’t go to many films, but the reviews of that one were so overwhelmingly positive and the creativity of the 1960s original Planet of the Apes staring Charlton Heston were still vivid in my memory, so I sucked it up and sat through what I now call “that stupid monkey movie.”

Podhortez wasn’t impressed with that film either and his opinion calls this new cinematic disaster “…..the comedy highlight of the summer — even though that’s the last thing it wants to be.” For example Podhoretz questions the film’s logic when he reports that an ape who is supposed to be verging on genius points to San Francisco and says, “Human. Home” then says, pointing to the suburbs; “Ape. Home.” If they’re so smart asks Podhortez: “Why can’t they speak in complete sentences?”

But my favorite part of his review is when he compares the stupid ape geniuses to the late comedian Ernie Kovacs’ 1950s Nairobi Trio, a threesome of apes that wore bowler hats and long coats, with one conducting with a banana and sucking on a cigar, while the other two played the piano and a drum and they all moved around like they were wind-up dolls

Disregarding King Kong, the Tarzan films costarring Cheeta, and Ronald Reagan’s Bedtime for Bonzo, one of the few entertaining monkey movies I’ve ever seen was one evening while watching TV I stumbled across Clint Eastwood’s 1978 Any Which Way But Loose that featured an orangutan named Clyde, motorcycle gangs, an 82-year-old Ruth Gordon as “Ma Boggs,” and a country music sound track that included songs by Mel Tillis and Charlie Rich, among others. It was supposed to be funny and it was.

I won’t attend the new ape movie or any other monkey movie, but I sure would like to see some of those hilarious Nairobi Trio segments again.

***

 Men Vs. Women: A friend in England sent me the following that was part of a humorous tutorial on the differences between men and women: “A woman knows all about her children. She knows about dentist appointments and romances, best friends, favorite foods, secret fears and hopes and dreams. A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.”

 ***

Florida’s Safest Cities: Parkland is named  Florida’s safest city based on data analyzed by Movoto, a popular real estate Web site. Rounding out the top 10 are (2) Weston, (3) Marco Island, (4) Sanibel, (5) Punta Gorda, (6) Longboat Key, (7) Bay Harbor Islands, (8) Niceville, (9) Valparaiso, (10) Groveland. The worst says the report are Opa Locka and Florida City, saying that those two are “downright unsafe.” The site say it gets its facts from the FBI.

***

Pete Van Wieren: When I heard that retired Atlanta Braves baseball announcer PeteVan Wieren died last week memories of the personable broadcaster I first met at old Johnson Field when I covered the Binghamton Triplets, NY Yankee AA farm club in Binghamton, NY came rushing back. Pete and I shared the press box in the decrepit stadium that was built in 1913 where Pete was doing the play-by-play for local WINR radio station and I was writing for the Gannett’s Binghamton Evening & Sunday Press. Pete would stop by the paper on game days to pick up statistics for his personal log book that he used so skillfully he became known as “The Professor.” He was a personable guy, a gentleman and a wonderful broadcaster for the Braves. He will be missed.

 ***

This PR Ship Is Sinking: The Norwegian Cruise Line is publically sinking in a sea of bad publicity because of a callous, boneheaded move of refusing to let a New York couple rebook a vacation after their five-year-old son was diagnosed with cancer, and the cruise line deserves every bit of negative ink it is currently awash in. Nicolas Colucci and his parents were scheduled to take the family-friendly cruise starting on June 1, but on May 19 Nicolas was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in his liver. He had surgery a few days later and is still undergoing chemotherapy. The parents of the young Nicolas said that Norwegian Cruise Line refused to accommodate them, citing its cancellation policy according to Fox News. Norwegian says any cancellation within 14 days or less of the sail date is subject to a 100 percent cancellation fee. Now, the boy’s family is out $4,000. The cruise line issued a statement to “Fox & Friends” saying, “Our hearts, thoughts and prayers are with the Colucci family and we wish Nicolas a speedy recover…After reviewing the request of the Colucci family, the cruise line, according to Fox, explained that “while we couldn’t make an exception to our policy, we would assist them when they were ready to re-book their cruise.” Good grief, the last time we went on a cruise it was with Norwegian and I now know for a fact now that will certainly be the LAST time we’ll ever step foot on one of their ships again.

***

Things I Would Like To Say But Aren’t Supposed To: “To be anything else but a Republican in this country as a black person – you must be out of your mind. It has been the Democrats who have stood in the way of progress. I do know this: Al Sharpton takes any opportunity he can, like a buzzard, flying over the body of yet another dead kid for whatever reason…whenever there is a carcass of a kid, like the Treyvon Martin case, these types of vultures, these types of buzzards, do find their way out, trying to make themselves relevant…” — Former NAACP leader Rev. C. L. Bryant on converting to conservatism and on the Ferguson, MO, rioting situation.

***

Speaking Of Protestors: The media apparently have a different interpretation than mine of the word “protest” as I’ve only seen indiscriminate and mindless rioting, looting, burning, and other acts of violence inflicted on innocent citizens in Ferguson, MO following the fatal police shooting of a young black man there. It is termed “protesting” by the media but I’d call it indiscriminate and mindless rioting, looting, burning and other acts of violence inflicted on innocent victims. Or do I need my eyes examined?

***

Whipper-Snapper Defined: Former IBM colleague, good friend, now retired, Perry Eli of North Carolina reminds me of a term I haven’t heard in years — “‘whipper-snapper.” Perry tells me the phrase originally referred to a young man with no apparent ambition in the horse and buggy days who would just hang out and snap his horse whip. It eventually came to mean the opposite and was applied to a youngster with an excess of both ambition and impudence. “It’s a term you don’t hear much anymore.” Perry says. “My grandfather used to call me that when we used to  hang out on the corner by Fogelson’s Pharmacy or sit the park bench across the way and see if we could name all the cars that came by.” Perry turned out to be one of the best members of IBM’s public relations staff I was ever associated with so his gramps was right in the later day usage of the phrase, particularly the ambition part.

***

Que? Taxi drivers in Sacramento, CA are upset because they may have to pass an English test in order to keep their licenses, a requirement that is being proposed due to customer complaints that drivers can’t understand them. Imagine if a non-French speaker or non-Spanish speaker tried to tote passengers around Paris or Mexico City? Our melting pot needs more simmering and speaking English as a requirement to get a driver’s license, job, citizenship, welfare, food stamps, etc. is a good start.

***

Pass The Asafetida Please: I enjoy reading The Wall Street Journal Weekend edition because, like the Sunday newspapers of years ago it contains sections that can be savored all week long, including its extensive book reviews, political analysis, arts, style and fashion and more. However, call me a picky eater, because when the publication prints recipes in its “Eating & Drinking” section, I can only assume they appeal to a very select audience as our house and most others I’ve been in, don’t stock their pantries with split urad dal, fengugreek seeds, roasted chana dal, asafetida and Sona Masuri and Idli rice. In fact I would presume that in order to obtain these foods it would require a trip to parts of the globe that are as unpronounceable as the ingredients. The only items some of these concoctions call for that I do have on hand are water and salt.

 ***

 It’s What They Didn’t Say That’s Important: This past Tuesday, Lt. Dustin Dooley, Operations Officer for the King’s Bay submarine base and the site’s Public Information Officer Scott Bassett spoke to the European American Business Club about the base and its operations but to me the most interesting portion of their presentation was what the duo couldn’t say about the base and what they wouldn’t say about what happens in the places that you’re not allowed to visit and the things you’re not allowed to see and do and why armed US Marines and Coast Guard crews are always on duty making you feel that whatever they’re doing over there is ensuring that their fellow Americans are very secure. I like that.

 ***

Commission Curmudgeon: I don’t follow much of what Fernandina Beach City Commissioner Charlie Corbett does outside of the commission chambers for the same reason I have never volunteered to be the fellow with the broom and dustpan who follows the elephants in a circus parade. But when I happen to be in the same public setting as this clueless commissioner he  provides me ample justification for my interpretation of his performance, particularly when I’m in public settings with family and friends and he shouts out “Hey Cheap Shot Scott, Bozo the clown,” or some other childish comment in restaurants, community events, etc., an obvious indication to all present that my previous observations about this loutish commissioner are probably understated. His immature public behavior demonstrates that I successfully get under the skin of this commission’s cantankerous, cranky, curmudgeon as my criticism of Mr. Corbett’s performance suggests that his lack of tact and facts are exceeded only by his exceedingly bad manners and his deficiency in understanding how to conduct himself in a deliberative assembly. His rudeness to constituents at commission meetings, lack of understanding of issues critical to the community, as well as his boorish public demeanor, further justify my comments many months ago in my Fernandina Beach News-Leader “Dave’s World” column when I suggested that Mr. Corbett might be better suited for a job that requires wearing a paper hat. I’m reconsidering that comment as even that may be a task far too difficult for a person of Commissioner Corbett’s obvious limitations and an insult to paper hat wearers everywhere. Folks, this guy is a disaster as a city commissioner and as a local political junkie friend points out, Corbett’s not only at a loss when he tries to articulate himself, but his numerical skills appear to be extremely limited as well as it appears he has never seen fit to adjust his schedule to attend all budget meetings or workshops and since they occur at the same time each year it would appear it would be a relatively simple task to schedule, particularly if he cared about cutting spending and taxes as he so often claims. When it comes time to cast a ballot for commissioner this November, selecting the affable businessman, parliamentarian, gentleman, and former commissioner Tim Poynter over the oafish Corbett should be a no-brainer.

***

Speaking Of The City Commission: Ms. Robin Lentz, a local educator, volunteer and parent of two, who is running for the Group 3 seat on the Fernandina City Commission, will host a rally in downtown’s Central Park in front of the baseball fields Saturday, August 23 beginning at 10 am. Light refreshments will be served and Ms. Lentz will answer any questions voters have about her platform as well as listen to any suggestions about how she may be able to  improve the city’s operations if elected. Running is something that Ms. Lentz does exceedingly well as just last month she completed her 29th full marathon in Massachusetts, leaving her 21 more to go in pursuit of her goal of running a marathon in each of the 50 states. So if folks don’t want to talk politics and the condition of the city government, Ms. Lentz can probably provide some tips on staying in good physical condition. This informed and inexhaustible young lady would be a welcome and refreshing addition to our city commission and if you want to help you can contact her by calling (770) 655-0865 or email her at robinforfernandina@gmail.com.

 ***

Follow The Money:Local citizen Lynn Williams spoke during a city commission budget workshop this past Wednesday suggesting methods to generate revenue and proposed that the commission set up a committee of four or five citizens to develop a list of ways for the city to generate that revenue. One way Mr. Williams could help personally is to give back whatever is left of the $8,000 he walked away with for his ill-conceived Rube Goldberg dredging project that is now considered under water.

3 Comments

Commissioner Johnny Miller

20 August , 2014 at 12:09 am

Don't sugar coat it Dave, tell us what you really think!

russell norris

16 August , 2014 at 11:36 am

We see what we want to see.

John Harris

16 August , 2014 at 10:16 am

You go Dave. Keep it up

Comments Are Closed