Ghostbusters

Episode 77 – Ghostbusters

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We strap on our proton packs and review one of the most controversial films of the summer: Paul Feig’s all-female reboot of Ghostbusters. Even with an all-star cast of Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon, there were many trashing the film before it had been released. What did we think? Was the criticism (aka thinly veiled sexism) warranted? Are we witnessing a rebirth of the Ghostbusters franchise, or a delayed and unnecessary ghostly whisper from the 1980s? We answer of of theses questions and chat about the gong show that was the Republican Convention, in episode 77 of The Smoking Screen Podcast. Come and join the circle!

Swiss Army Man

Episode 76 – Swiss Army Man

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We could write up some fancy pants sentences, but this one really come down to one question. Do you want to see Daniel Radcliffe playing a corpse for 85 minutes? If you answered in the affirmative, journey with us into one of the more unique and creative films we have seen in awhile, Swiss Army Man. It is co-directed by Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, and stars Daniel Radcliffe and Paul Dano (that is pretty weird). We have never seen a film quite like this before. Disgusting and beautiful, all at the same time! Join us for episode 76 of The Smoking Screen Podcast. Come and join the circle!

Bernie Fist

Our Conscience Will Not Allow It: An Open Letter to Senator Bernie Sanders

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Our Conscience Will Not Allow It:
An Open Letter to Senator Bernie Sanders

Dear Bernie:

We are both in a tight spot.

In our shared quest to keep Donald Drumpf from winning the presidency, we understand that you may be considering endorsing Secretary Clinton in New Hampshire this Tuesday or in the near future.

We understand that the pressure to endorse Clinton from both the Democratic Establishment and the media must be overwhelming. We can only imagine the heavy weight of personal responsibility that you feel in making sure that your actions do not empower the Drumpf campaign.

We understand your most recent and successful strategy was to leverage our delegates to bring about the most progressive Democratic Party platform ever. Those efforts should be applauded. Our impact has been significant, however, it is far from perfect. We are still missing the pillars of healthcare for all, expanded social security, a ban on fracking, a carbon tax and stopping the TPP.

We understand that there are certain political advantages gained through diplomacy with the Clinton campaign. Taking an adversarial position to the majority of elected Democrats, and ultimately Secretary Clinton, could greatly reduce your ability to help bring about meaningful change in the coming years.

We think we understand the path you are following.

However, there is a fundamental issue that cannot be ignored. Hillary Clinton has shown, time and time again, to have great difficulty in telling the truth and keeping her promises. In an NBC-Wall Street Journal poll in late June, 69 percent of respondents said they were concerned that Clinton has a record or reputation as untrustworthy. A CBS News poll in June found 62 percent saying Clinton is not honest and trustworthy.

Why do so many of us feel this way?

Last week, despite finding 110 emails on her unauthorized server that contained classified information at the time they were sent or received, the FBI chose not to recommend indictment. This was shocking, given that Director Comey described her actions as “extremely careless.” Her response to receiving this free pass from the FBI? She astonishingly continues to assert that she did not receive or send classified information (when not blaming the State Department).

This past February, at Secretary Clinton’s request, you agreed to an additional debate in New Hampshire, in exchange for later debates. This included a California debate in May. When the time came and with the race still yet to be determined, she chose to break her commitment. How are we to understand the reneging of that promise? She still doesn’t have enough pledged delegates.

As a candidate in 2008 she said, “I just believe that this is the most important job in the world, it’s the toughest job in the world. You should be willing to campaign for every vote. You should be willing to debate anytime, anywhere.”

Do we believe what she said then, or her reclusive actions now?

And what about the TPP? At first she referred to it as “the gold standard.” Then during the primaries, campaigned against the agreement. Now, during the past couple of weeks, we have seen her surrogates and delegates vote against anti-TPP language in the party platform. Does that mean she is suddenly (though not surprisingly given her track record) pro-TPP again? Which is it?

We won’t even get into the fact she has not held one press conference this year, possible election fraud, her manufactured Bosnia sniper fire story or how she claimed she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary. The list goes on and on.

During the debates we watched her refuse to release the transcripts of her speeches to large financial institutions. She was paid more per speech, than most of us will make in a year (or 3 or 4). We watched her shamefully accuse you of not supporting the auto bailout in Detroit. She stuck to the lie even long after many mainstream outlets proved her wrong.

We won’t even get into the fact she has not held one press conference this year, possible election fraud, her manufactured Bosnia sniper fire story or how she claimed she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary. The list goes on and on.

All of this from someone who refers to themselves as the “most transparent public official in modern times.” The irony is almost too rich.

As the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior, we find ourselves in a tough spot. If you endorse her after getting concessions and creating a more progressive platform, do we really believe that she can be trusted to see them through?

The evidence says “no.” She will do what is convenient for her. Not us.

We will understand if you make the choice to endorse Secretary Clinton for political purposes. But please, make no mistake, we will not follow your lead. Our conscience will not allow it. The time of corrupt, self-serving politicians must come to an end. We will not help empower one of the worst of the bunch.

While we don’t want Drumpf, supporting someone with such an obscure relationship with truthfulness and honesty, is not much better. If you do not run as a 3rd party candidate (please do), we will vote for someone who is (while many others will write you in). The revolution must continue!

In solidarity,

Jay & Cybill
On Behalf of Millions

The Purge: Election Year

Episode 74 – The Purge: Election Year

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SPOILER-FREE! There are few franchises that get under our skin quite like James DeMonaco’s, The Purge. The combination of sadistic violence and mortal terror is once again on full display in the third installment, The Purge: Election Year. Well-timed, don’t you think? Can a film be more terrifying than Hillary and Trump? Does the franchise have enough votes for a fourth film? How much does Jay like Elizabeth Mitchell (lots) and is she channeling Bernie Sanders? We answer all of these questions and more in episode 75 of The Smoking Screen Podcast. Come and join the circle!

Independence Day: Resurgence

Episode 74: Independence Day – Resurgence

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We’re back…and so are those damned aliens! Twenty years after getting their asses kicked by a scrappy (and witty) group of human survivors, the aliens have returned with a really big and nasty ship. They ain’t looking for a cup of sugar. Can another group of even more disadvantaged scrappy survivors, rise up and save the Earth again? Did it really take director, Roland Emmerich, and his team 20 years to come up this storyline? Does the return of Goldblum, Pullman and Spiner, make up for the loss of William (Will) Smith? Was Independence Day: Resurgence a disaster film or a film disaster? We answer all of theses questions and more in episode 74 of The Smoking Screen Podcast. Come and join the circle!