Recently in Video Category

From the terrific HBO miniseries John Adams, the scene wherein the Continental Congress approves the Declaration of Independence and the document is read aloud on the steps of Independence Hall. The filmmakers intercut that with John Adams' daughter reading it from her sickbed at home which adds a touch of sweetness to the event.

You really cannot "get" the Declaration of Independence until you've heard it read aloud. After all, it isn't called the Statement of Independence, right?

Swing Vote

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OK, I admit it: this one could be really bad. But then again it could be really good too. Anyway, it's about politics so I sat up and paid attention. Watch the trailer and tell me what you think:

The on-screen talent is pretty good, but I think it's a first-time director so there's that. And then there's all the cameos from people playing themselves: Bill Maher, Larry King, Willie Nelson, Campbell Brown, Chris Matthews, Mary Hart Arianna Huffington, Richard Petty, Lawrence O'Donnell, Tucker Carlson, Aaron Brown, Tony Blankley, and god-knows-who-else.

Like I said, it could be really good ... or really bad.

Iron Man

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THIS is why they call them "movies."

It's terrific stuff: funny, smart, LOTS of action, great to look at, great music, charismatic star, and a political point of view to boot. It's been out for a while but I only just caught it last week -- but I intend to go again.

When I caught the trailer way back when, I was shocked to discover that Robert Downey Jr. was the star -- not exactly your average action hero. But he is absolutely fantastic in the role. It wouldn't have worked without him, I think.

If you haven't seen it already and still intend to go, stick around through the end credits -- there's an additional scene with a surprise cameo.

P.S. In a brilliant cross-promotional move, Marvel sticks a Robert Downey cameo into The Incredible Hulk. Now THERE'S a movie I'd go see: The Incredible Hulk AND Iron Man.

Burn After Reading

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Is there anything better than a Coen Brothers movie? I think not. Coming on the heels of their huge success with No Country for Old Men is the kind of screwball comedy that they do so well: Burn After Reading, starring George Clooney (O Brother, Where Art Thou), Francis McDormand (Fargo), John Malkovich, Tilda Swinton, and Brad Pitt. I caught the trailer for it the other night and I cannot wait for it to hit the theaters. See what you think:

Favorite Coen Brothers movie? The Big Lebowski of course. But Miller's Crossing is up there, as is The Hudsucker Proxy and Raising Arizona ("Son, you got a panty on your head.")

How about you?

Get Smart

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I'll be away from any computers for the next few days. In the meantime, I thought I'd entertain you with a few of my favorite video clips -- short, sweet and mostly funny.

This first one is the opening title sequence from the original Get Smart series back in the mid-60s. They've copped it for the Steve Carrell version (caught it last night while movie shopping, waiting to see The Incredible Hulk which was only so-so).

Mel Brooks and Buck Henry -- does it get any better than that?

By the way, I found a Japanese streaming video site that has dozens of full-length Get Smart episodes, including the pilot (which was so long ago it was in black & white).

George Carlin, 1937-2008

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Pro life conservatives are obsessed with the fetus from conception to nine months. After that, they don't want to know about you. They don't want to hear from you. No nothing. No neonatal care, no day care, no Headstart, no school lunch, no food stamps, no welfare, no nothing. If you're pre-born -- you're fine. If you're pre-school, you're fucked. Conservatives don't give a shit about you until ... you reach military age...Conservatives want live babies so they can raise them to be dead soldiers. Pro-life. These people are killing doctors. What kind of pro-life is that? They'll do anything to save a fetus, but if it grows up to be a doctor they must just have to kill it? They're not pro-life. You know what they are? They're anti-woman.

Bonus material:
"I'm a Modern Man"

George Carlin, November 5th, 2005
Beacon Theater, NYC
Watch the video

Transcript on the flip side...

(HT to Kevin)

KO's Special Comments are not, often, easy to watch. He dials it up to 11 every time and then, after that, there's nowhere else left for him to go.

But you know what? In the end, he's the only guy who says what needs to be said. In the context of cable and network news, only one person -- Keith Olbermann -- delivers the unvarnished truth.

And speaking of context, KO thrashes McCain for complaining that his "not that important" comment was taken out of context:

You have attested to: a fairly easy success; an overwhelming victory in a very short period of time; in which we would be welcomed as liberators; which you assured us would not require our troops stay for decades but merely for years; from which we could bring them all home, since you noted many Iraqis resent American military presence; in which all those troops coming home will also stay there, not being injured, for a hundred years; but most will be back by 2013; and the timing of their return, is "not that important."

That, Sen. McCain, is context.

And that, Sen. McCain, is madness.

The Government Accountability Office just released a study Tuesday that concludes that one out of every ten soldiers sent to Iraq, takes with them medical problems "severe enough to significantly limit their ability to fight."

In five years, we have now sent 43-thousand of them to war even though, they were already wounded.

And when they come home, is "not that important."

Jalal al Din al Sagir, a member of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, and Ali al Adeeb, of the rival Dawa Political Party, gave a series of interviews last week about the particulars of this country’s demand for a "Status of Forces," agreement with Iraq, a treaty which Mr. Bush does not intend to show Congress before he signs it.

The Iraqi politicians say the treaty demands Iraq’s consent to the establishment of nearly double the number of U.S. military bases in Iraq, from about 30, to 58, and from temporary, to permanent.

Those will be American men and women who must, of necessity, staff these bases - staff them, in Mr. McCain’s M.C. Escher dream-world in which our people can all come home while they stay there for a hundred years but they’ll be back by 2013.

And when they come home, is "not that important."

Make you a deal: if watching Keith Olbermann is too exhausting for you, read the transcript. But if you want the full multi-media experience -- something at which KO and MSNBC excel -- let's go to the tape:

Friday Cat Blogging

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Does it get any better than this? Shmuley and his shadow chill out.

I'm Voting Republican

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R.W. Thorne II, general counsel: I'm voting Republican because corporations should not have to pay to clean up environmental damage. The EPA is an outmoded idea. If people want clean water, buy it in a bottle.

Veronica Oakes, student: I'm voting Republican because I don't want to know if the food I'm eating has been gentically modified or exposed to radiation. I don't want to have to live with that fear, you know? So, if the label says it's food, that's good enough for me.

KO's Countdown put together a pretty funny look back at the Republican and Democratic primaries (10 min):



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