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Ancient Rome

Going to see To Rome with Love with the geriatric New York crowd is like going to an old age home where they laugh aloud at the corniest fucking two-bit Comedians who entertain their humdrum life. Sadly in this case the Comic in question is my dear Woody Allen (one of my personal heroes). Once long ago it was funny to watch the Woodman whine and complain, chalking it up to being just a neurotic New Yorker – where as now he just reminds me of my annoying Grandparents and every other condescending old fart who thinks by reading The Times and listening to NPR they are entitled some opinion on today’s modern society and pop culture trends. Combine those opiate of the masses with Woody’s latest inspiration, Giovanni Boccaccio’s The Decameron, and waste the price of a ticket at the dumpiest theater in New York City, The Angelika. (But what do you expect when most old fogey’s pay for HD TVs and Cable when they haven’t even a clue what the fuck an HDMI cable is?) I of course have never read the 14th-century medieval allegory and admit – never heard of it. Maybe it’s because I’m too busy analyzing and deconstructing Fifty Shades of Grey for a course I’m teaching together with Marshall McLuhan at Columbia called TV Media, and Culture.

Anyway, as usual the star studded cast waived their A-list fee to have a chance to work with Woody. But unfortunately their only consolation is kicking it in Rome for a few weeks on the company’s dime because their performances left for posterity are too painful to credit or watch. Specially the doomed fatal love story between architect student Jesse Eisenberg and name dropping freeloader Juno – whom is cast as a beguiling and intriguing tortured artist when all she’s really playing is her usual know-it-all skank-ass self. Still the most unbearable bit is Roberto Benigni who is reduced to being a symbol and commentary for Woody’s notion of the fickleness and vacuous of modern tabloid celebritydom, which is far from irreverent and instead just plain retarded.

The other unfunny story line is Woody’s – who, as a retired music agent, discovers a Mortician’s hidden talent to sing pitch perfect Opera in a shower!! Now isn’t that just a hoot? Well it was to the old fossils sitting behind me who were still laughing as Fabio Armiliato was sudsing it up well into the third act.

There are other vignettes to top off this shit show but if I told you the premise you wouldn’t believe me…like that Woman who gets lost in Rome looking for a hair salon…nevermind. As Woody makes a pathetic attempt to bookend the movie with a narrating Traffic Cop I only found myself wishing he’d be run over by a fucking Vespa! I know I should respect my elders but when in Rome these Geezers belong in the Catacombs.

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Honestabel Likes The Social Network.

Director David Fincher jokingly dubbed The Social Network, “the Citizen Kane of John Hughes movies.” Both about the the rise of a young controversial media tycoons that refused to participate in the movie about them, both incapable of friendship, and both have enemies that want to see him fall. But as for the John Hughes analogy, I hope Fincher don’drop dead on the mean streets of New York.

The movie begins with a scene in a bar near Harvard campus in 2003 with Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) on verge of being inspired in launching Facebook and getting dumped by his girlfriend, Erica (Rooney Mara). We immediately get a sense of what makes Zuckerberg tick, his insecurities, ambitions, and ego provided by the script from Aaron Sorkin that is a shoe in for an Oscar. The scene exemplifies the tempo and style of the movie with a barrage of dialogue of subtle insinuations, misinterpretations, miscommunications and accusations of speaking in code and ends with it’s thematic line “because you’re an asshole.” In Citizen Kane, his bestfriend says, “He never gave himself away. He never gave anything away, he just left you a tip.” And like Kane, Zuckerberg did just that – though he may have tipped his hand with obvious damage control with his timely $100 mill donation to the Lebowski Urban Achievers in Newark, NJ. I wonder what Zuckerberg will say on his deathbed….Row crew?
Zuckerburg may have stole Facebook but I don’t see him throwing a tantrum over Twitter, which I believe he invented with the Status Update/News Feed. What I’m still trying to figure out is how a guy with no friends or ads found 500 million of them when we can’t even get one lousy subscriber. Even with a Facebook page (LIKE IT), stickers, or buttons, and divided shares. But Zuckerberg is not even half the backstabbing asshole compared to what Jay Leno did to Conan who now resides in the bargain basement of networks TBS with a beard considering he only got 32.5 mill whereas Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield), co-creator of Facebook, is worth at the age of 26, 1.3 billion. And isn’t that what we ultimately find fascinating about these tech geeks? Money! Not friendship or loyalty, I mean who’s got time for that besides 500 million users?
(Another Harvard Alumni who got shafted.)

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