October 29th, 2006

Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

The sadistic "Saw" trilogy...

You have to give Jigsaw his due.

The "Saw" trilogy are low budget independent movies that have become Halloween blockbusters hit since 2004. The original film costarred Monica Potter, Carey Elwes and Danny Glover and these actors did return in "Saw II" and "Saw III." Draw your own conclusions. Dina Meyer (http://www.dinameyer.com/) and Tobin Bell http://www.officialtobinbell.com/ do manage to star in the complete trilogy.

The modus operandi of Jigsaw provides the classic moral dilemma of a good fairy tale. Jigsaw is a terminal patient and he does not like it that people take life for granted. Therefore he tries to keep these people a lesson by torturing them. Jigsaw frequently makes his victim chose between a rock and a hard place, much like Howie Mandel's game show on the NBC network.

While the ideas create good drama, the cinematic presentation is messy and suffers from too many flashcuts. "Saw III" runs out of story ideas and merely repeats scenes from the original "Saw." Six hours of S & M drama just numbs the viewer.

Sadly, "Saw III" has made more money in 72 hours than Clint Eastwood's excellent "Flags of our Fathers." It is interesting how ticket buyers can accept the fake, but sadistic, violence of a "Saw" movie - but are unwilling to face the sacrifices of the "Flags of our Fathers." Perhaps this marketing sampling is the ultimate horror that we face this Halloween.
Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

Tip's Tips: All Politics Is Local

It has been twenty years since Thomas “Tip” O'Neill was Speaker of the House. O'Neill was an old school Democrat who thought that big government policies of FDR were still timely during the 1980s. If O'Neill's policies were still in place, one must wonder how high our income taxes would be and how big the government debt would be today.

In the Bully Pulpit, Tip O'Neill once referred to Ronald Reagan as a "demagogue”and bemoaned “Reaganomics.” On a personal level, President Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill were two Irish salesmen who enjoyed swapping stories and jokes. Both wrote about this behavior in their biographies with a hint of sentiment.

In 1994, O'Neill published his primer, “All Politics Is Local. and Other Rules of the Game..” This was the year that the Republicans were voted into the majority party of Congress. Upon reflection, it is easy to see that the Republican Party read Tip O'Neill's book that year. The political tips are as relevant today as Aristotle's politics.

As we approach the 2006 Election, it is easy to see that whatever political party gains control of congress, the winners will reflect the wisdom of Tip O'Neill's primer. Co written with Gary Hymel, “All Politics Is Local and Other Rules of the Game” is a must read for political scientists. O'Neill and Hymel's book may be the best predictor for the outcome of Election 2006.