Daily Archives: October 17, 2011

Clooney and Gosling make a great movie. Another senseless death in auto racing. And Betty White raps

Fully expected to love “The Ides of March,” the new political thriller starring Ryan Gosling and directed by Mr. George Clooney.
And when I saw it Saturday night, I did love it. It was just a really, really good movie.
Not as good a political thriller as the vastly underrated “Primary Colors,” but “The Ides of March” was still quite solid.
Ryan Gosling, who I had never seen in a movie before, was excellent as Stephen, a political operative working for Clooney’s presidential candidate, Governor Mike Morris.
Phillip Seymour Hoffman was, as always, awesome as Gosling’s boss, and Paul Giamatti was terrific, too, as a rival campaign manager.
And Clooney just keeps making better and better movies. It’s funny; I never liked the guy as an actor for most of his career; I thought he played everything too smug and cool. But since he’s started directing, and taking so much better roles (he was fabulous in “Up in the Air”), I’ve really liked him a whole lot more.
It’s like he’s grown on me.
Now, the movie wasn’t perfect; Marisa Tomei was wasted as N.Y. Times reporter Ida Horowicz, and there were some pretty big gaps in reality in the movie (here’s one, without giving away the plot: You’re going to tell me that not only was Evan Rachel Wood’s character an intern, but she was in all those high-level meetings, and Clooney and Gosling didn’t know who she was, and who she was related to, when they hired her? Impossible to believe).

But if you love politics like I do, and a good morality tale with some interesting twists and great acting, I’d definitely go see this flick.

**Who didn’t watch “Golden Girls” in the 1980s and wonder what it would be like if Betty White rocked the mic and tried rapping?
Oh yeah, nobody.  And yet, here she is.
Take it away, Grand Master Rose Nylund…

** It happens just about every year, or every other year.
Men and women in race cars going more than 130 miles per hour, round and round a track, for a few hours every weekend, and once in a while there’s a huge wreck and someone dies.
And what’s most amazing? We just chalk it up as part of the sport. This insane, ridiculously dangerous “sport” of auto racing is sanctioned and approved by the millions who promote it, watch it, and take part in it.
It’s disgusting and despicable and I’m amazed that boxing and MMA fighting get so much abuse for being so barbaric, yet car racing is cheered.

A man named Dan Wheldon, a champion on the Indy Car circuit and a former winner of the Indy 500 (there he is, above, after winning the 500 a few years ago) was killed in a crash during a race in Las Vegas Sunday.
It was awful and terrible and involved 15 cars.  (If you want to see the crash that killed Dan Wheldon, you can watch it here. Don’t worry, there’s nothing graphic in the video.)
This happens again and again, and yet racing is allowed to continue.
I just don’t get it.