The Killing of a Sacred Hour

In Uncategorized on December 17, 2017 at 20:29

The film goes wrong when the main character,
like the director, can’t decide how to end it.

“The Killing of a Sacred Deer” is from the director of  “The Lobster.” Like “The Lobster”, the film had a promising premise that failed in the end. Perhaps director and writer Yorgos Lanthimos needs to bring in some other writers and directors to poster killing of a sacred deergive him a reality check on his next film ending. And he isn’t the first auteur who needed help. Lynch and Trier come to mind with some of their incomprehensible films. I don’t mind the incomprehensible, it’s stupidity I can’t abide. 

The film is too drawn out and too predictable for all its length. Once the main premise was revealed, there were few surprises left in the film. What was a surprise was just how predictable the ending was. There were several ways the film could have gone that would have been more interesting, compelling and surprising. However, the film chose the easy ending by not deciding and leaving the ending to chance. Literally. 

The motivations of the father in the film, surgeon Steven Murphy, played dully by Colin Farrell, were unclear. Moreover, his ability to make simple decisions had been long damaged by an apparent, unproven mistake, made in his past. And it is that mistake, one that is pivotal to the plot, that moves the story. If you are going to use an event as a driver of action, it better make sense within the narrative. And it better be clearly true. We needed more detail on that event, but why make it easy for your audience to understand your film?

Steven is haunted by Martin, the teenage son of a former patient. It makes no sense that Steven would keep him around and allow Martin to harass him. The script lacks the clues to Steven’s motivations, perhaps empathy, perhaps guilt, and even if it did, I don’t think Farrell could have pulled it off.  

The film plays like an episode of Black Mirror, minus a focus on technology that is a hallmark of the television series. The problem was that it wasn’t as good as a Black Mirror episode and it was much more predicable. That’s too bad, because the first act of ‘Sacred Deer’ was compelling. 

Things happen in ‘Sacred Deer’ without a reason. There is no underlying motive for too many of the key actions in the story. We are supposed to take it on faith the way the characters act. Only Martin’s motivations are clear within the film. 

As long as critics tout films that have incomplete scripts full of cracks, characters with unclear motivations and endings that certainly fit with the narrative but offer no surprises, films such as “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” will be touted as great cinema. And we can expect more mediocrity.  

Certainly, with a slew of mindless block busters on screens, superhero films, robots, Star Wars and horrors film, critics clamor for more art films. But that doesn’t mean we have to cheer mediocre ones.

Rating: Rent it. 

We shouldn’t reward lazy story telling. See ‘Lady Bird’ again instead or for a laugh you want to avert your eyes from, see ‘The Disaster Artist.’ If you want a good creep fest, I recommend “Borgman”, the Japanese film “Creepy” or last years “Split.”

Tex Shelters 


Prophets of Rage debut is more than the sum of their parts

In Uncategorized on September 29, 2017 at 16:04

Prophets of Rage (PoR) self titled album is a masterclass in collaborative musicianship. And unlike so many rap and rock albums, Prophets of Rage does not slow down. The album rages from track one to track twelve.

The album maximizes the talents of each member: Tom Morello, Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk, RATM; DJ Lord and Chuck D, Public Enemy and B-Real, Cypress Hill. I thought B-Real would be the odd-man out. I was wrong: his combination of high pitched and aggressive vocals is a great counter point to the straight forward, lower toned attack of Chuck D.

They each found their own unique voice here. Sure, that’s Chuck D and B-Real sharing the vocals, but it’s not Public Enemy or Cypress Hill. PoR meets and at times surpasses the quality of the bands they came from. And unlike other supergroups, they are in no way trying to outdo or imitate their progenerators. Unlike PoR early tracks and covers of RATM songs, Chuck and Real are in no way trying to replace the irreplaceable Zack de la Rocha. They have become their own group now. And this fan can’t be happier.

Tom Morello is let loose. Freed to play around, he makes some of the best noise of his career. Perhaps his guitar lines aren’t as melodic as some RATM tracks, but that is in his past. It is as if he channeled some Andy Gill and Hendrix and put on the noise with some modern effects. It sure doesn’t hurt that Morello has his Rage band mates, Commerford and Wilk, on bass and drums respectively. They hold their own and keep things moving.

Chuck D at times seemed to hold back to allow his Public Enemy co-vocalists to keep up. There is no need to hold back with B-Real, another lead vocalist, to do the counterpoint and also take the lead.

Rating: Pay full Price, 11/12.

Tex Shelters

Thank You for Supporting Billionaires More than Ever in 2016

In Uncategorized on June 8, 2016 at 23:16


trump-hillary-billTo America:

America, you are the greatest! I am writing today to thank the people of California, New Jersey and states all over the union for the recent historic vote. Never before has plutocracy been so secure in the nation than today. Thanks to all the voters, members of the establishment DNC and RNC, registrars of voters who kept pesky independents from voting and people running polling places all over this nation who kept the rabble from accessing ballots. And a shout to the reporters in our corporate media for reporting only the important facts that we allowed you to report.

Not since the days before citizens voted directly for Senators has there been such a guarantee of corporate largess coming our way. Back in the halcyon days of pure laissez faire economics, the government stayed out of our way when we merged into massive monopolies and trusts. Today, the government assists us in our endeavor to make profit; the government even pays us to stay in business in a way JP Morgan and Vanderbilt never dreamt of.

We currently receive some $93 billion dollars in corporate welfare a year. Then there are the government contracts making us billions more. And we are shielded from taxes in a way that was inconceivable before the 1970s.

There is a tax chart that the government publishes, and Americans are convinced that the rate in the book is what we pay. Isn’t that cute? And yes, our lackeys say, “We have the highest corporate taxes in the world!” And gratefully, people believe it. Our spokesmen hide our effective tax rates. After tax loopholes, write offs and other tax incentives, many of us pay zero or near zero in corporate taxes.

Tex Shelters, Industries LLC (TSI) paid $100 in taxes in 2015. We could have paid zero, but we wanted to be fair. It didn’t hurt that we declared losses in our fracking investments and offshore oil platforms to offset the hundreds of millions we made in prison contracts in California alone. And the government letting me overcharge them to use my fiber optic cables in Texas was real nice as was their paying us $43 dollars a day for military rations that cost us $5 to produce. Thank you, President Obama and Congress!

But today is not a day to gloat; it’s a day to celebrate. Gone is the specter of democracy from our nation, especially lukewarm, scary, forbidden social democracy. No, dear friends, we won’t have to cut our bottom line or CEO salaries or tighten our belts. Leave budget cuts to the poor people who have little to lose. We have too much to lose to lose it. Billionaires are too big to fail.

As for this victory, I have paid myself a $37 million dollar fiscal year-end bonus. I only had to lay off 433 people in the U.S. to earn it and help buy the election. Now it’s a win-win, Trump-Clinton race. We are sitting in tall cotton, that’s for darn sure.

The hard work of getting my bonus was not buying the candidates, but it was getting the Indonesian factory owners to give TSI timely delivery on our patented “Corkscrew Ammunition” for 9 mm, 45 and 22 caliber with the new 50 cal, to be released for Christmas. These bullets don’t explode on contact or “rip.” Nope. The corkscrew rounds hit a perpetrator and “corkscrews” around, tearing up a perpetrators insides, whether he be a home invader or a Muslim born in the wrong country.

So, thanks to all the people who have protected the strength and wealth of billionaires in this nation. Long live the plutocracy. And for all you in Congress, the DNC and others that helped with this election: we have six to seven figure jobs ready and waiting for you in our corporate offices.

Tex Shelters
CEO of Billionaires of America, 501(c)