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Mixed Notes - July 18

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 18, 2012

I saw "The Dark Knight Rises" last night and pretty much loved it. At least, emotionally I did. Intellectually, I saw enormous flaws -- but the movie hit me in the gut so effectively that I forgave almost all of them. I'll post a link to my full review once it is online.

In the review I did not get into the issue of whether the movie is some kind of liberal anti-capitalism rant -- and the whole idea seems silly to me. Since I have been working on an essay about the Joker as Marxist, I was attuned to elements in "DKR" dealing with capitalism, and it's clear that the movie is far from opposed to it. Yes, there are bad businessmen. But there is also an endorsement of trickle-down benevolence -- that Bruce Wayne's financial success allows him to do good works, and a lack of such success will keep good works from happening. And Bane, like the Joker before him, recalls Stalin.

"Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt," the latest of the movies starring Tom Selleck as the character created by Robert B. Parker, comes to DVD on  Aug. 7. No word on extras.

I thought the movie was the weakest in the series, and around the time it aired Variety said it would be the last for CBS. Selleck told that "Bless (CBS), they've done eight of these and they always perform far above what's normally in the time slot, but they are constantly perplexed: 'We're not in the two-hour movie business.' That being said, that's not the end of Jesse, or at least I don't think so. There are a lot of other entities, whether cable or even feature films, but this is most likely the last one on CBS. I'm not done with the character, though."

Publicists pushing products have to find creative ways to get my attention. The following did, although it also made me think of the old "Saturday Night Live" sketch asking what Spartacus would have done if he had a Piper Cub. The release:

Personal video network manufacturer VueZone has created a list of the top five TV and movie plots that would have changed drastically if the characters had access to the kind of wireless motion detection cameras that make up its system. With cameras that can be accessed from virtually anywhere via the web or free mobile apps, VueZone knows what a difference it makes for someone to have an extra set of eyes.

And the list:

1. Dallas: Kristin Shepard would have immediately been discovered as the one who “shot J.R.” if they had the ability to simply view the day’s video footage.

2. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: Audiences loved watching Ferris get the upper hand on his teachers and family. But if his parents had a VueZone, they could have checked in on the house – and his antics – anytime throughout the day, whether at work or while sitting in a cab in traffic.

3. Friends: Perpetual sadsack Ross should’ve known that a note alone wouldn’t keep colleagues from eating his “Moist Maker” sandwich. But if Ross had a VueZone, he could have brought it to the office and scheduled a lunchtime recording to catch any potential food thieves.

4. How I Met Your Mother: The gang was in disbelief when Lily and Marshall insisted they’d seen a “cockamouse” in their Manhattan apartment. They would have been able to convince Ted, Robin and Barney of the mutant rodent’s existence much faster if they had a motion detection camera set up in the living room to capture its movements.

5. Risky Business: Joel Goodson was left with explicit instructions not to touch his dad’s Porsche or stereo. Although the “Old Time Rock and Roll” scene is one of the best-known in movie history, Joel’s parents could have put a stop to it by logging into their home VueZone camera remotely and catching him in the act.

So, what if Spartacus had this product?



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