Liz Smith: “The Help” Slays Barbarians and Vampires

Viola Davis

And more from our Liz: the hypocrisy on Obama and the gossip-rag  ”take” on Jennifer Aniston

“I LIVE, I love, I slay. I am content.”

So says Jason Momoa in the new “Conan the Barbarian.” This line would probably work in bars for the denizens of “Jersey Shore.” Even—perhaps especially!—for Snooki.

I had no idea that Hawaiian-born Jason appeared as the brutal Khal Drogo in one of my favorite HBO series, “Game of Thrones” until I saw him in action in “Conan.” The movie is one of the bloodiest I have ever seen. And in 3-D, no less!

Can’t tell if Jason can really act, based on his rather guttural performances in “Conan” and “Thrones” but I suppose he is a fine specimen of the male species.

Although, I’m always a bit distracted when the guys look far bustier than the women. In this case, his co-star is the strange and lovely Rose McGowan. In musing on pectoral over-development, I was reminded of some ribald jokes around the time of Cecil B. DeMille’s “Samson and Delilah” back in 1949. Victor Mature, who was no longer in the firm bloom of youth, sported a far more voluptuous physique than Hedy Lamarr. Mr. Momoa is young and perky. Still, when his role is described as the “titular” one, they ain’t kidding.

* * *

SPEAKING OF movies, how does one slay a vampire? A stake through the heart? A silver bullet to the brain? Leaving the vamp out in the sun?

All correct answers. But this weekend the great vampire slayer was a group of maids in the 1960’s era Deep South. “The Help” grossed a whopping $20 million at the box-office and not only killed Colin Farrell’s (very good) vampire film “Fright Night” but also the above-mentioned “Conan.”

Although my remarks last week about “The Help” were not entirely laudatory, I did predict that it was one of those films that was going to continue strong, via word-of-mouth. Also, the 90% positive reviews couldn’t hurt. I was right. And along with everybody else, I’m sure I was correct also in predicting Oscar nods for the entire cast.

Now, let’s get the magnificent—and beautiful!– Viola Davis, a Tony Award winning Broadway actress, who also appears as the tough-talking lawyer Donna Emmett on TV’s “Law & Order: SVU” some important big screen roles that don’t require an apron.

Dear Hollywood: It is 2011, you know.

* * *

JENNIFER ANISTON’S good friends at In Touch magazine have really worked themselves into a frenzy over the star’s romance with actor Justin Theroux. They don’t want dear Jen to date him—he’s another “Mr. Wrong.” Among other flaws the magazine cites his “criminal past”–arrested for vandalism at age 12. Wow, he’s ready for a profile on “48 Hours.” The truth is, the gossip glossies have a vested interest in trashing Miss Aniston’s relationships and in seeing them end. She is their lovely, lonely “victim” unable to find happiness. That’s the “take” on Jen, written in stone, since the day she and whatshisname broke up.

* * *

RICK PERRY becomes the Republican front-runner. Of course they’re letting him run in front. He’s the one with the gun!”

So goes the brilliant Colbert Report.

* * *

CONAN O. Brien made a wisecrack I enjoyed, saying, “President Obama has been on a big bus tour the last couple days…It came out today that the bus he’s riding was made in Canada. So unpatriotic! If he was a real American, that bus would’ve been made in China.”

Speaking of the bus, some GOP types did really criticize the President over the cost of the bus. I guess they didn’t know the President had no say-so over what the FBI and the Secret Service do to protect him. They ordered two such buses. One for the President who will run for re-election, another for whoever the Republican candidate will be for 2012.

So it’s pretty hypocritical for conservatives to criticize the President over a bus. It’s like Mitt Romney making fun of the President for vacationing in Martha’s Vineyard. Mr. Romney will be on the Vineyard himself for a fund-raiser.

Then there are those carping about how often the President takes a break but actually his vacation days are small and nothing when compared to past presidents – Eisenhower, Reagan, both Bushes. They racked up much more time off.

And Congress manages to take two weeks off for every week served in Washington.

This is the same hypocrisy that afflicts Sarah Palin who dares critique the President’s “work ethic.” She is the one who quit her job as elected Governor of Alaska half way through her term.

All this said, do I think President Obama is perfect and doing a good job? I do not.

17 comments so far.

  1. avatar Count Snarkula says:

    Rose McGowan is strange.  Agreed.  Lovely?  No.  Not so much.  I am so sick and tired of the press trying to make the very lovely and talented Jennifer Anniston into a “lonely cat lady”.  Really?  How about a very pretty and talented actress being very picky about who she sees?  That is the real story.  Damn.  I am worried about how our nation is treating women.  <Segway to Rick Perry>.  That fuc**r pushed a bill through the legislature that severely limits women’s right on choice.  He is deplorable.  While some other people are trying to manufacture a sex scandal (that does not exist…hate myself for sticking up for him, but he is a great and loyal husband), why are we not asking if he has a pact with the Devil?  No way he should have won the last 10 elections.  Gotta be Satan.  Just sayin’

    • avatar Baby Snooks says:

      The reality of the governor of Texas is that his or her only real power is in the pen. To sign, veto, or let pass without signature what the legislature has put on his or her desk. Well, the pen and the “goody box” as it’s called. Everyone wants the “goody box.”  What is the “goody box?” Well, thems that gets the appointments by the governor to the boards and commissions gets the goodys. And one assumes the governor gets his share once he or she leaves office. All of our governors have seemed to have done very well after leaving office. Including Ann Richards. No doubt everyone is going to be hearing about the “goody box” soon. And about those who get the goodys.  We may be asked to secede before it’s all over.

      The big boys in Texas don’t just buy politicans. They buy the parties. Oscar Wyatt used to send big checks to both parties. Hedging the bet so to speak. And he was not the only one.

      I doubt Rick Perry will go far. He made a major mistake with American Family Association. It will come back to bite him. It already is.  It is doubtful the “mainstream” Republicans will want to lose voter bases which they will with Perry. Because of American Family Association.  “Christians Only” really doesn’t cut it with a majority in this country.  And at least two of his major Texas supporters also support the “Christians Only” platform.

      And then there’s his temper. And his refusal to debate. And then there’s…

    • avatar Obediah Fults says:

      I wouldn’t walk, crawl, skip, or ride a Segway across a street to spit on the ground where Rick Perry has stood! Oh, you meant segue. Never mind.

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        The only person who would have done a better job than Rick Perry is Kinky Friedman who after the 1,000th veto would have suggestd to the people that perhaps the problem was the legislature. Which is what the problem is. And maybe the people would have wised up finally and we would have ended up with a new legislature. That met each year. Which would have limited the time the legislators have to “wheel and deal” the legislation for the next session. They have their own “good box” as well. And all have done quite well with it.  The “best little whorehouse in Texas” was not in La Grange. It is in Austin.

  2. avatar Laura says:

    Oh well, if (God forbide) Rick Perry becomes president at least he will not be govener any more!

    • avatar Chris Glass` says:

      Do we really want an inept governor kicked upstairs?

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        Inept is not a word most associate with Rick Perry. Fast on his feet. And quick with his tongue. And not dumb. Far from it.  And slick.  And above all else, is his own man. Which is why the Bushes don’t like him. They like their men, well, to be their men so to speak.
        His only real fault so far is his “Revival” which has become his political “Rapture” although he is headed for hell, not heaven. It left quite a few speechless. He and his wife both really are nice people. Texas is not an easy state to govern. He has been a good governor. Probably the best we have ever had.  Past tense, unfortunately.

        A lot of criticism centers on education.  Well, the legislature writes the budgets. They do the slashing.  And this time sent a message to the school districts. Get back to education of children instead of enrichment of the administrators. The waste in many school districts is really fraud.  That has gone unchecked. The legislature finally checked it.

        There are lots of things wrong with Texas. But they are things that the legislature is repsonsible for. Not the governor. Any governor. Although several governors including Rick Perry could have used the pen to at least make a statement. But the same could be said of Barack Obama.  Some think of a veto as a personal thing on the part of a governor or president. I think of it as a public thing on the part of a governor or a president. A statement. “This does not serve the people.”  Some of the things that are wrong with Texas were things the legislature did. And which Ann Richards signed. She wasn’t “all that” as some believe.

    • avatar TheTexasMom says:

      Laura – those are the exact words I uttered about Bush, seriously.  Need I say more?

      • avatar lakers says:

        I am trying to think of something positive and really that was all I could come up with.  Sigh…BTW I do know how to spell governor.  I can type faster than I can think, apparently.

  3. avatar Belinda Joy says:

    Oh Liz, so sad to see you are doing what far too many are doing these days when it comes to our president. No one can defend the man against the right wing attacks by pointing out the blatant hypocrisy without adding the ever present “however…..I don’t think he is doing a great job….”

    That always smacks of “Dear I love the dress. Too bad you couldn’t find one more flattering to your figure.”   No one is able to pay a compliment these days when it comes to President Obama without take a parting shot.

    • avatar Baby Snooks says:

      Well he is NOT doing a great job. He is a disaster. His administration has seemed at times to be merely a continuation of the previous administration. Same old, same old. Including the same old, same old excuses. So what do you do? Ignore it all in order to avoid giving fodder to fools? Reality is if he were a great job and had managed to turn the economy around and found a way to get Congress to truly “balance the budget” by balancing the revenue and ensuring that “entitlement” programs were not cut to the extent that most expect they will be, some would still find the fodder. Because they are racist. They simply do not believe an African-American has a place in the White House.  Or anywhere else.  They want to put him, and all minorities, in their place. Including women. Which makes the women who support them and carry their banner in their campaigns for office all the more mystifying. They will still ruin the economy if need be in order to cost him a second term. Although they may end up ensuring him a second term. I among others will end up voting for him in order to vote against them. They, not him, are the ones who need to be put in their place. Not the best reason to vote for someone. But the best reason not to vote for someone else.

      They keep talking about taking back “their” America. The rest of us don’t want them in ours. It took almost 200 years to make it ours. And we are not giving it back to them.  They need to find another Mayflower and have at it somewhere else. 

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        I should add that had they been on the original Mayflower they probably would have irritated the hell out of everyone and been throw overboard. And they are all irritating.  Cheap white trailer park trash. Each and every one of them.  

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        And I’m sorry if I insulted people who live in trailer parks. They probably would be thrown out of trailer parks. Especially the ones who talk about how they love the smell of motorcycle exhaust fumes.  That anyone would consider Sarah Palin “presidential material” after a comment like that deserves her.  The rest of us, however, do not.

      • avatar Aline says:

        Whoa Baby Snooks. Obama, the community organizer, oops I mean President, is doing a terrible job for our country. That does not make me a racist. In fact, I want Herman Cain to get the GOP nomination so I can vote for him. Oh, in case you don’t know, Herman Cain is an “African-American” and I am an “European-American”. Sounds like you might want to do some soul searching before you go spouting off and calling other good, kind and intelligent people “racists”.

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        Well you be sure to let me knwo when the Tea Party endorses Herman Cain as their candidate for the nomination, okay? 

        And now Kinky Friedman has endorsed Rick Perry. We get old, we get senile I suppose…

      • avatar Aline says:

        There is no “we” about it.
        Tea Party people simply want the government out of their wallets. They want smaller government and less taxes. No racism is involved.
        Another person who I wish would run for President is Allen West, who is “African American”. He makes a lot of sense and would be a great leader.

  4. avatar Nylter says:

    Jason Momoa can actually act, but you’ll have to go back to Stargate Atlantis to find his better examples. Yes, he played the barbarian there, too, which is not exactly a nuanced role, but he still managed to show he could find some subtlety in such a blunt character. But he is definitely fine eye candy, no matter what role he plays.