Archive for the ‘Joe Giambrone’ Category


It seemed another suburban sunrise, reading the next volume in theGhostly series while her mom scrambled to get ready for work.

But when Kaylee’s brother’s television set squeals out in a hypnotic pitch the events become fuzzy. Not just Kaylee’s home, but every home has received the signal, a wave that divides humanity, shreds the fabric of society, and ushers in total civil war. Kaylee Colton must survive the Apocalypse, practice what she’s learned from books, and solve what-the-hell’s going on and how the un-hypnotized people might be able to stop it.


“…a one-of-a-kind experience, I say you order now and buckle up.”
-Kimberly’s Book Spot

“It was action-packed, constantly moving, and definitely worth the read!”
-Reading My Reality

Transfixion is a window into a world gone insane and asks us how long we could fight against insanity before falling prey to it ourselves.”
-Anime Reporter


Hail, Caesar! – My Review

Posted: February 6, 2016 in -, Joe Giambrone

J. Giambrone


Lampooning old Hollywood, this is one of the more enoyable Coen Brothers films. They aren’t all so. I have a special affinity for this type of story, as I have done my own bit of Hollywood satire.

That said, I am noticing something about these guys. They have a tendency to turn everything into absurdism, nihilism, making fun of everything and everyone so that all are fools. What is it they actually believe in? This reminds me of those techno German nihilists in The Big Lebowski. “We believe in nothing!”


Hail Caesar doesn’t take itself too seriously. It does indict the old Hollywood studio system, a factory farm of entertainment product that no longer exists in that form. Back in the day the studio owned the talent, set up romances, marriages and interpersonal drama. They dictated content with an iron fist, and it legitimately inspired a backlash.


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Probably half a dozen die hard extremist, red-brained, seize the means of production, Soviet Union loving, big “C” Communists remain today. And Counterpunch has located one to review TRUMBO.

While cherry-picking the history of the 1930s and 40s, he manages to avoid any hint of any problem with one Joseph Stalin. Wikipedia cites death “estimates ranging from 3 to 60 million” Russians. The totalitarian Big Brother nature of the communist state is of no concern at all to Eric Mann, who’d rather point fingers at the capitalist menace than to provide any fairness or context around these questions.

Trumbo: Hollywood’s Anti-Communist Tribute to Itself


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Mann provides a script improvement for the film:

“Honey, if you want to share your sandwich, seize the means of production, and smash the capitalist state yes, that would make you a communist.”


Well, that helps clarify things.

The world moved on from seizing the means of production for many reasons, some good, some bad. But we are actually quite lucky it did, because centralized state monopoly on the economy is an unmitigated DISASTER!

These big-C lads always revise the history of their own beloved communism to edit out the horrors of the past. I don’t see the need to go too deeply into it, but here is my point:

Three sectors compete in society, the people and their rights; the businesses and their raw materials, transportation and markets; and the government, which may exercise power in any number of ways.

These three sectors are in balance in a well-run society. When that balance is tipped all hell breaks loose. The fascists merge the business sector and the government sector. Benito Mussolini’s vision of the corporate state is–frighteningly–coming to fruition across the western world today. When corporations and government merge, the people suffer. Ask the residents of Flint Michigan about that.


The other imbalance is when the people and the government merge to smash the business sector, that glorious Communist revolution that Eric Mann is peddling today by way of Hollywood screenwriter Dalton Trumbo. This imbalance leads to a government monopoly on the labor market, the food supply, the military, police, water, education–on everything!!! Without that third competing sphere of operations, the government becomes a behemoth that swiftly devours all and descends into an atrocious totalitarian configuration which, ironically, destroys the rights of its own people, tortures, murders and sends them off to prison work camps, and collapses from its own staggering incompetence and bureaucracy.

Thus, the only sane response to these two extremes, fascism and communism, is to keep the balance intact. Government must act as referee, not as monopoly. The people and the businesses must struggle for their interests with clear rights guaranteed by the referee. Everything else swiftly devolves into madness. Sorry, Mann, and sorry Trumbo.

We can do much better, but not what you’re selling.



Pawn Sacrifice – My Review

Posted: January 17, 2016 in -, Joe Giambrone

J. Giambrone


A surprisingly well-done exploration of mad genius, it reminded me of other artfully shot films in the genre, such as Amadeus.

We never do get the neatly wrapped pop psychology explanation for Bobby Fischer, but the film seems to posit a parallel: the pawn sacrificed in the Cold War chess game. This would relate to Fischer’s untreated descent into madness, but also to the government’s using him to score political points against the Soviets.

Obviously Fischer was mentally challenged, if one can call it that, prior to taking on the Soviet empire for the world chess championships. I didn’t know anything about him, or this story, but my early childhood was indeed affected by his saga. I had neighbors who lived upstairs–early 70s–who were deep into chess, studying books, magazines, and they needed fodder. So they taught me the game too. The name Bobby Fischer probably was mentioned, but…

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Clone Club Season 3 #orphanblack

Posted: January 16, 2016 in -, Joe Giambrone

J. Giambrone


I guess Tatiana is my favorite actress in the world, although I haven’t yet seen Joy, so it may flip back over to J-Law.

But anyone who is interested in acting, and/or sci-fi for that matter, should be studying Orphan Black. It’s the only show you need. She’s completely unimaginable, playing multiple versions in every scene. There are so many nuances and mannerisms that it’s difficult to remember they’re all her.


The Ukrainian assassin Helena turns out to be my favorite, because she’s so hilarious. Nearly everything she does is twisted, and this season she even plays with a talking pet scorpion. For real–the scorpion, not the talking.

Anyway, when last we left Clone Club there were factions in industry, in the military, and who-knows-where vying for control of the human genome research. The clones suffer from first-generation prototype problems that are life-threatening. Glitches have also altered some…

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With facile remembrances making the rounds today it may not be obvious to casual audience members what Alan Rickman has done yet has been edited out from the corporate media’s vulture feast.

One role that inevitably gets a nod is Hans Gruber, the Die Hard villain that put Rickman on the map. What isn’t mentioned is why. Gruber wasn’t a simple bad guy. He was a capitalist/terrorist, a pink elephant, something unthinkable in corporate consumer culture. His heist was a well-financed capitalist venture with clear goals and a distasteful externalized cost of blowing up all the hostages in order to get away. Sorry, you’re thirty years late for a “spoiler alert,” but that was Gruber’s diabolical plan.

He took on the persona of a leftist terrorist, a cliche of the 1970s and one that was manipulated and even faked by the powers that be across Europe in Operation Gladio. Die Hard turned this trope on its head, such that Gruber et al. assumed the external trappings of your Red Brigade cliche, but their actual motive was simple profit. For all intents and purposes they were indistinguishable from political terrorists, except that their cause was selfish instead. Corporate for-profit media doesn’t talk about things like that. In fact in the US corporate media spectrum the exposure of Operation Gladio has never been mentioned in history, as far as I can find.




Closet Land is the Alan Rickman role that will always stick in my mind as his most stunning work. Much like the fascist dictatorship of Pinochet–a torturing, mass-murdering, Chilean thug installed with US assistance–the fictional world in Closet Land pits an author against an all-powerful tyrannical state. Madeleine Stowe has been arrested for allegedly corrupting the minds of kids through her children’s books. Alan Rickman is her torturer. It is a harrowing, stylized play that lays bare the reality it reflected.

Rickman then stood up for murdered American activist Rachel Corrie, who was deliberately run over by an Israeli bulldozer when trying to stop the illegal razing of Palestinian homes in Gaza. In 2005 My Name is Rachel Corrie was met with censorship and political turmoil in New York City.




Rachel Corrie, by siding with Palestinians, met the same fate as many, including demonization in the western press for daring to oppose Israeli war crimes. Rickman not only stood up for her memory but immortalized it in the play based upon her words.

We haven’t heard much about Alan Rickman’s passionate political activism today. The perception pushed out is that he was simply another Harry Potter character. And so I needed to mention it. He was a great actor and a man of integrity, that rare ingredient you cannot buy at any price.





J. Giambrone


On a gloomy winter’s day… my final assessment is that it’s more tragic than magic. The worldview is dark and depressing. Human nature remains universally hideous, with no one to really root for.


I wanted to like this film, a modern reinvention of the Spaghetti Western, but while Sergio Leone toyed with darkness and light, he kept us on the side of the good. I don’t believe Tarantino thinks there is such a thing as goodness. He seems depressed, frustrated and nihilistic right down to his bones. To him it’s just a game, and he is the malevolent dungeon master.


I’ve often wondered this about Tarantino. His view of people skews ugly. Torture, murder, vengeance, these are the preoccupations of psychopaths. His characters strike me as mostly psychopathic. Even the less horrid ones include similar moral degradation, substituting codes and rules for true morality.

Maybe I’m reading more into it…

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