A Movie A Day #253: Year of the Scab (2017, directed by John Dorsey)


In 1987, two weeks into the season, the National Football League Player’s Association went on strike.  In the past, player strikes had led to cancelled games and shortened seasons.  But in 1987, the owners fought back.  Instead of cancelling games, they brought in replacements.  Some of the replacements were former college players.  Some were players that were recruited from the Canadian leagues or the recently folded USFL.  Some of them were just locals who could throw a ball or kick a field goal.  They were called scabs and, at first, they were hated by the fans.  But for three weeks, they were the NFL.

Year of the Scab, the latest entry in ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary series, is about the players who (briefly) played for the 1987 Washington Redskins, the only team to be 100% made up of replacements.  To the shock of everyone, while the team’s stars were walking the picket line, the replacement players won all three of their games, including one against the Dallas Cowboys.  For three weeks, the scabs were stars but, when the strike ended, the replacements were cut and ultimately forgotten.  When the Redskins won the super bowl, the replacements got to join the team at the White House but they did not receive rings.  As one of the replacement players puts it, “Even the girl who answered the telephones in the front office got a ring.”

The most interesting part about Year of the Scab are the interviews with the former replacements today.  Some are still involved in football, coaching high school teams.  One works in a warehouse.  Tony Robinson was paroled from prison so that he could play for the Redskins and then returned to prison as soon as the season was over.  All of them are still emotional about their time in the NFL and, to varying degrees, all of them are aware that, because of their status as scabs, they will never receive the recognition that their gameplay deserved.  Some of them still struggle with their decision to cross the picket line while others just wish they had gotten a ring.  (One player even had a duplicate super bowl ring made but he laments that it’s still not the same as having the real thing.)  Year of the Scab is an interesting and thought-provoking documentary about opportunities received and lost.

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Stone Cold: Charles Bronson in THE MECHANIC (United Artists 1972)


cracked rear viewer

Stone-faced Charles Bronson is perfect as an ice-cold, classical music loving hit man who mentors young Jan-Michael Vincent in 1972’s THE MECHANIC. I’d say this is one of Charlie’s best 70’s actioners, but let’s be serious – they’re ALL damn entertaining!

Arthur Bishop (Bronson) takes his work seriously, meticulously planning every assignment he receives from his Mafia boss (Frank De Kova ). Given a job to kill family friend Big Harry McKenna (Keenan Wynn), Bishop does the deed with chilling precision. McKenna’s son Steve (Vincent) is a stone-cold sociopath himself, and soon worms his way into becoming Bishop’s apprentice. Their first caper together goes sour, bringing Bishop’s boss much displeasure. Bishop’s next hit takes the two overseas to Naples, where they’re set up to be killed themselves, resulting in a violent conclusion and a deliciously deadly twist ending.

Bronson, after over twenty years and 50 plus movie roles, became…

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Here’s What Won At The Emmys Last Night!


Last night, Lisa Marie did not watch the Emmys because she says that, “I’m just not feeling TV this year.”  If Twin Peaks had been eligible to be nominated, I bet it would have been a different story!

Instead, she asked me to watch the ceremony and let everyone know what I thought.  It needed less politics and more cats.

Here’s the list of winners:

COMEDY

BEST COMEDY SERIES
“Atlanta”
“Black-ish”
“Masters of None”
“Modern Family”
“Silicon Valley”
“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
X — “Veep”

BEST COMEDY ACTRESS
Pamela Adlon, “Better Things”
Jane Fonda, “Grace and Frankie”
Allison Janney, “Mom”
Ellie Kemper, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
X — Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”
Tracee Ellis Ross, “Black-ish”
Lily Tomlin, “Grace and Frankie”

BEST COMEDY ACTOR
Anthony Anderson, “Black-ish”
Aziz Ansari, “Master of None”
Zach Galifianaks, “Baskets”
X — Donald Glover, “Atlanta”
William H. Macy, “Shameless”
Jeffrey Tambor, “Transparent”

BEST COMEDY SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Vanessa Bayer, “Saturday Night Live”
Anna Chlumsky, “Veep”
Kathryn Hahn, “Transparent”
Leslie Jones, “Saturday Night Live”
Judith Light, “Transparent”
X — Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live”

BEST COMEDY SUPPORTING ACTOR
Louie Anderson, “Baskets”
X — Alec Baldwin, “Saturday Night Live”
Tituss Burgess, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
Ty Burrell, “Modern Family”
Tony Hale, “Veep”
Matt Walsh, “Veep”

BEST COMEDY DIRECTING
X — “Atlanta” (“B.A.N.”)
“Silicon Valley” (“Intellectual Property”)
“Silicon Valley” (“Server Error”)
“Veep” (“Justice”)
“Veep” (“Blurb”)
“Veep” (“Groundbreaking”)

BEST COMEDY WRITING
“Atlanta” (“B.A.N.”)
“Atlanta” (“Streets on Lock”)
X — “Master of None” (“Thanksgiving”)
“Silicon Valley” (“Success Failure”)
“Veep” (“Groundbreaking”)
“Veep” (“Georgia”)

DRAMA

BEST DRAMA SERIES
“Better Call Saul”
“The Crown”
X — “The Handmaid’s Tale”
“House of Cards”
“Stranger Things”
“This is Us”
“Westworld”

BEST DRAMA ACTRESS
Viola Davis, “How to Get Away with Murder”
Claire Foy, “The Crown”
X — Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Keri Russell, “The Americans”
Evan Rachel Wood, “Westworld”
Robin Wright, “House of Cards”

BEST DRAMA ACTOR
X — Sterling K. Brown, “This is Us”
Anthony Hopkins, “Westworld”
Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”
Matthew Rhys, “The Americans”
Liev Schreiber, “Ray Donovan”
Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards”
Milo Ventimiglia, “This is Us”

BEST DRAMA SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Uzo Aduba, “Orange is the New Black”
Millie Bobby Brown, “Stranger Things”
X — Ann Dowd, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Chrissy Metz, “This is Us”
Thandie Newton, “Westworld”
Samira Wiley, “The Handmaid’s Tale”

BEST DRAMA SUPPORTING ACTOR
Jonathan Banks, “Better Call Saul”
David Harbour, “Stranger Things”
Ron Cephas Jones, “This is Us”
Michael Kelly, “House of Cards”
X — John Lithgow, “The Crown”
Mandy Patinkin, “Homeland”
Jeffrey Wright, “Westworld”

BEST DRAMA DIRECTING
“Better Call Saul” (“Witness”)
“The Crown” (“Hyde Park Corner”)
“The Handmaid’s Tale” (“The Bridge”)
X — “The Handmaid’s Tale” (“Offred”)
“Homeland” (“America First”)
“Stranger Things” (“Chapter One: The Vanishing of Will Byers”)
“Westworld” (“The Bicameral Mind”)

BEST DRAMA WRITING
“The Americans” (“The Soviet Division”)
“Better Call Saul” (“Chicanery”)
“The Crown” (“Assassins”)
X — “The Handmaid’s Tale” (“Offred”)
“Stranger Things” (“Chapter One: The Vanishing of Will Byers”)
“Westworld” (“The Bicameral Mind”)

MOVIE/LIMITED SERIES

BEST LIMITED SERIES
X — “Big Little Lies”
“Fargo”
“Feud: Bette and Joan”
“Genius”
“The Night Of”

BEST TV MOVIE
X — “Black Mirror: San Junipero”
“Christmas of Many Colors”
“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”
“Sherlock: The Lying Detective”
“The Wizard of Lies”

BEST MOVIE/MINI ACTRESS
Carrie Coon, “Fargo”
Felicity Huffman, “American Crime”
X — Nicole Kidman, “Big Little Lies”
Jessica Lange, “Feud: Bette and Joan”
Susan Sarandon, “Feud: Bette and Joan”
Reese Witherspoon, “Big Little Lies”

BEST MOVIE/MINI ACTOR
X — Riz Ahmed, “The Night Of”
Benedict Cumberbatch, “Sherlock: The Lying Detective”
Robert De Niro, “The Wizard of Lies”
Ewan McGregor, “Fargo”
Geoffrey Rush, “Genius”
John Turturro, “The Night Of”

BEST MOVIE/MINI SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Judy Davis, “Feud: Bette and Joan”
X — Laura Dern, “Big Little Lies”
Jackie Hoffman, “Feud: Bette and Joan”
Regina King, “American Crime”
Michelle Pfeiffer, “The Wizard of Lies”
Shailene Woodley, “Big Little Lies”

BEST MOVIE/MINI SUPPORTING ACTOR
Bill Camp, “The Night Of”
Alfred Molina, “Feud: Bette and Joan”
X — Alexander Skarsgard, “Big Little Lies”
David Thewlis, “Fargo”
Stanley Tucci, “Feud: Bette and Joan”
Michael Kenneth Williams, “The Night Of”

BEST MOVIE/MINI DIRECTING
X — “Big Little Lies”
“Fargo” (“The Law of Vacant Places”)
“Feud: Bette and Joan” (“And the Winner Is”)
“Genius” (“Einstein: Chapter One”)
“The Night Of” (“The Art of War”)
“The Night Of” (“The Beach”)

BEST MOVIE/MINI WRITING
“Big Little Lies”
X — “Black Mirror: San Junipero”
“Fargo” (“The Law of Vacant Places”)
“Feud: Bette and Joan” (“And the Winner Is”)
“Feud: Bette and Joan” (“Pilot”)
“The Night Of” (“Call of the Wild”)

VARIETY/REALITY

BEST REALITY COMPETITION PROGRAM
“The Amazing Race”
“Amercan Ninja Warrior”
“Project Runway”
“RuPaul’s Drag Race”
“Top Chef”
X — “The Voice”

BEST VARIETY TALK SERIES
“Full Frontal with Samantha Bee”
“Jimmy Kimmel Live”
X — “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver”
“Late Late Show with James Corden”
“Late Show with Stephen Colbert”
“Real Time with Bill Maher”

BEST VARIETY SKETCH SERIES
“Billy on the Street”
“Documentary Now”
“Drunk History”
“Portlandia”
X — “Saturday Night Live”
“Tracey Ullman’s Show”

BEST VARIETY SERIES DIRECTING
“Drunk History”
“Jimmy Kimmel Live”
“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver”
“Late Show with Stephen Colbert”
X — “Saturday Night Live”

BEST VARIETY SERIES WRITING
“Full Frontal with Samantha Bee”
X — “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver”
“Late Night with Seth Meyers”
“Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Music Video of the Day: Nothing To Believe In by Cracker (1996, dir. Samuel Bayer)


Today’s Harry Dean Stanton video is doubly-sad. That’s because we not only have the recently departed Stanton.

We also have Justin Pierce four years before his suicide. You would know him from Kids (1995).

Talia Shire shows up in the video as well.

I don’t know anyone else in the video other than lead-singer David Lowry. Thank goodness for Wikipedia. I knew of Cracker because of the song Low. I knew of Camper Van Beethoven because of the song Take The Skinheads Bowling. But I would have never noticed that Lowry fronted both bands even though it’s obvious to me now listening to this song and Take The Skinheads Bowling.

I wish I could at least find out who this lady is…

that is doing her best Rob Halford.

Heading Out To The Highway by Judas Priest (1981)

She is prominently featured, but all I could find is that Harry Dean Stanton did two more music videos than I originally thought. It never fails. I’ll do them as well.

The video was directed by Samuel Bayer of…

Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana fame. Did Lowry ask for the Cobain treatment? In addition, I know Bayer directed Bullet With Butterfly Wings one year prior to this one. Still, was Goth-Stanton something people were clamoring for?

I mean he looks like Lars Ulrich in Until It Sleeps.

Until It Sleeps by Metallica (1996)

Yes, that one was also directed by Bayer. And if you are thinking he probably directed some videos for Garbage and Hole based on the woman I couldn’t identify, then you’d be right.

The casting director on this one was Crystal Lujan. Her music video credits alone are close to 100. She has done some acting too. I guess she was one of the cult members in that unfortunate Clive Barker movie with Scott Bakula, Lord Of Illusions (1995).

Enjoy!

Harry Dean Stanton Retrospective:

  1. Heart Of Stone by Dwight Yoakam (1996, dir. Dwight Yoakam)
  2. Sorry You Asked? by Dwight Yoakam (1996, dir. Dwight Yoakam)