Jack Goes Confidential: Matt Damon Same Old (Same Old) in ‘JASON BOURNE’

Jason-Bourne-2Was I too stoked about Matt Damon’s return to the Bourne franchise?

Could be.

So it was that Jason Bourne certainly ranked high on my Must-See list of summer movie fare.

So if I come across negatively here, I sure don’t mean to. However my anticipation level was in overdrive—and THAT the picture did not deliver.

From a story standpoint we were transported from Athens, London and Berlin to Washington, D.C. and Las Vegas.

And yes, Matt Damon as iconic JASON BOURNE does finally uncover some major elements of his past—and IS hitting back.

However with the world facing unprecedented instability why is he now resurfacing into deadly situations while facing a new hunt on his life?

That’s what a major portion of the amnesia-based screenplay is all about. Continue reading

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Sutherland: The Intellectual Roots of Trumpism

UnknownThere has been next to no explanation of where the Trump Phenomenon has come from as far as its ideological provenance goes…

We have seen some commentators dismiss it as a classic anti-intellectual right-wing populist movement, akin to the George Wallace and Pat Buchanan campaigns. However, Trump’s actual political antecedents are more complex and interesting, if no less disturbing, than the aforementioned rabble rousers.

I’m thinking of another colorful billionaire with an unconventional personal life, who retired from the business world to take on elites pushing political and economic globalization.

Twenty years before Brexit, Anglo-French tycoon sir James (“Jimmy”) Goldsmith founded a one issue political movement. The purpose of his “Referendum Party” was to force the British government to allow a referendum on whether to cede power over their economy to the European Union, in particular to replace the pound with the euro. Even though Goldsmith and his party were not successful in that election, they crystalized the whole “Euro-skeptic” movement, which culminated in the vote to leave the EU this summer.

Goldsmith at the time wrote a book that reflected his thinking on a variety of issues, “The Trap.”

In it, he particularly focuses on free trade and the costs it imposes on the developed world. He begins the book by explaining how the fall of the Soviet Union and the shift of China to a form of state capitalism meant that four billion people entered the world economy for the first time.

With the ability to shift capital (and the jobs it creates) around the world instantaneously, business will shift production of goods and services to places where wages are lowest. When 47 Vietnamese or Filipinos can be employed for the cost of one person in a developed country like France or the U.S., how could it be otherwise? Continue reading

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Hearne: Yeehaw! Country Radio Losing It’s Kick

music_AGAny guesses yet on what was missing from KC’s June radio rankings?

Here’s a hint: Florida Georgia Line.

That’s right, country music radio. Because all three of the Cowtown’s vaunted country music stations whiffed at making it into KC’s Top 10, settling for second tier status.

Q104 FM came landed in the 11th slot  with a 4.3 share and a cume of 332,900 listers; followed by KFKF FM with a 3.9 share and cume of 295,700 and WDAF FM (The Wolf) with a 3.8 share and cume of 307,300.

Put simply, that’s quite a fall for a trio of radio stations that used to vie for the top honors… for decades. Which is something of a head scratcher since we, uh, do live in the Midwest.

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Lefsetz: Could Hillary & The Dems Be More Out of Touch?

hillary-clinton-out-of-touch-candy-hearts-facebook-sizeDo you feel left out?

I most certainly do.

I’m a rank and file Democrat who feels that so far this Philadelphia party has been a circle jerk wherein the usual suspects want to feel good about themselves. Reminds me of the cool people in high school, who wanted nothing to do with me.

Does anybody there understand the real problems America faces?

And if I hear one more commentator, get one more e-mail about Michelle Obama‘s speech, I’m gonna explode.

Do these people live in such a small bubble that they don’t realize those who will decide this election don’t care a whit what the First Lady has to say?

As for taking the high road, that didn’t work for Donald Trump.

Trump rode the low road all the way to the nomination and it appears he’s gonna take it to the Presidency too.

Just wait until he lights into Hillary in the debates.

If you think he’s gonna leave out Bill’s peccadilloes and the speech money and the emails…you live in a land of decorum where the women still wear garter belts and the men wear bow ties. Continue reading

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Hearne: Life @ The Top in June Radio Ratings

Kelly Urich, The Point

Kelly Urich, The Point

The Top 10 radio stations in Kansas City?

Think the usual suspects with one glaring exception (let’s see if you can catch it):

  1. KCFX FM, classic rock, with a 7.4 share and a cume of 496,000 listeners.
  2. KPRS FM, urban contemporary, with a 5.9 share and a cume of 342,000 listeners.
  3. KZPT FM (The Point), Hot Adult Contemporary, with a 5.7 share and a cume of 513,500 listeners.
  4. KMXV FM (Mix), Contemporary Hits, with a 5.5 share and 534,900 listeners.
  5. KRBZ FM (The Buzz), Modern Rock, 5.4 share with a cume of 302,000 listeners.
  6. KCMO-FM (Oldies), Classic Hits, 5.3 share with a cume of 469,600 listeners.
  7. KCSP AM (610 Sports), Sports Talk 4.7 share with a cume of 381,000 listeners.
  8. KQRC FM (The Rock), Rock,  4.7 share with a cume of 355,100 listeners.
  9. KMJK FM (Magic), Urban Adult Contemporary, 4.6 share with a cume of 217,500 listeners.
  10. KMBZ FM, News Talk, 4.5 share with a cume of 205,300 listeners.
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Hearne: 610 Sports Continues to Punish WHB Despite Royals Slide

920x920Speaking of sports…

It may not be over tis it’s over, but it’s sure looking like Kansas City’s reign atop  the world of Major League Baseball is coming to an end. It was nice while it lasted but given this area’s deep appreciation of sports and talk radio, one has to wonder will the Royals brief flirtation with excellence have any lasting effects?

Take the dramatic ratings shift of the past two years where longtime sports radio powerhouse WHB AM got dethroned by former weak sister competitor 610 Sports.

For years 610 Sports could do no right.

At its peak, local hero and former 610 stalwart Nick Wright spent practically an entire career struggling to compete with and vowing to defeat WHB kingpin Kevin Kietzman.

Never really happened.

Wright eventually threw in the towel and bailed for a morning radio show in Houston before latching onto a nondescript gig with Fox Sports in LA this past spring.

Meanwhile back at the radio ranch, a funny thing happened.

As the flagship station of the Kansas City Royals, 610 Sports rode the team’s coattails sweeping past WHB’s aging air staff with a cast of young unknowns, bantering about their dating lives, kids and the kind of cultural schtick that appeals to younger listeners.

The latest?

Even with the Royals’ demise this year, 610 continues to clean WHB’s clock. Continue reading

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Glazer: Somebody Call the Fat Lady, Royals Are Toast

Famous Last Words

Famous Last Words

Two months to go in the 2016 MLB season…

Unfortunately our Kansas City Royals have fallen on tough times. For the first time in three years this late in the season they’re under .500 and it’s going to be a tough run.

For starters there are nine teams with better records than KC’s.

More to the point, KC needs to have at least be the 5th best record to make the playoffs.

There are three teams in second place or third have records over or at 10 games over .500. Boston, the Blue Jays and the Astros are all well ahead of KC right now. The Royals would first have to jump over teams like the Tigers, Seattle and even the Yankees. And the clock is ticking.

Right now we can talk about injuries to Moose, Lorenzo Cain, and losing guys like Wade Davis and Alex Gordon earlier in the season. However other than Cain, it’s really not about the injuries, is it?

Right now the best hitter on this team is Moose replacement, Cheslor Cuthbert with a .297 batting average and nine home runs. So you can’t make that argument, plus his fielding is outstanding. In fact, he may well replace Moose next year. Who knows?

The rest of team, save Paulo Orlando is just not hitting at all. Even Eric Hosmer has fallen to .291 and has but one home run in going on two months. And he looked like a guy who would easily hit 25 maybe 30 homers at the end of May but he’s stuck at 13.

Kendrys Morales has 16 and leads the team but has been up and down with a .257 average. As of late he has been our second best weapon. Even  Sal Perez has slowed down with both homers and timely hits. Timing is everything and both Perez and Hosmer have been cold when it counts. And Alex Gordon looks more and more like a big mistake in the big money signing. Great guy, good hitter and was a tremendous arm  but injuries have slowed him down and he may not ever be the same.

Our pitching staff has been off and on, but other than Danny Duffy, our ace at 6-1, every other starter is north of a 4.00 ERA. The bullpen has also been shaky other than Wade Davis, who we can’t use much because we have trailed in most games the last couple months.

This home stand after the All Star break was supposed to be a make it or break it before the trade deadline, but so far we are 2-4 losing both series to Texas and Cleveland.

Is there hope? Who do we trade? Do we go after a name starter, another bat? Who? Continue reading

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Glazer: Trump Train Explodes

Trump-TrainDonald Trump has accepted the Republican Parties presidential nomination…

And despite some of the so-called media pundits, his speech was a SMASH HIT.

FINALLY, TRUMP IS AND CAN BE PRESIDENTIAL.

Trump redefined the Republican Party; it’s now his party. He is a nationalist; he’s the Billionaire Blue Collar Man. Trump spoke for over an hour and had a national audience spellbound. It was the longest and maybe best speech at a Republican Convention in decades, so said almost everyone.

And Trump made it clear he is working FOR US.

He ended his speech by saying “I Love You America,” you the people. Not I’m with HER, “I’M WITH YOU.”

Wow, Trump did it all calmly. He broke everything down clearly and looked great. And he defended gays and lesbians, saying THEY ARE AMERICANS FIRST. Continue reading

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Glazer: Battle of the Political Losers

Obama-s-Puppet-Hillary-Clinton-42948Hillary Clinton‘s been backed into a corner with the FBI’s Computergate‘ report and her many scandals…

It’s really overwhelming and that will make it difficult for her to build much excitement over the next few months. She just isn’t very trustworthy and her past more than illustrates that.

On the other hand, Donald Trump continues to be all over the road. He did choose an excellent vice presidential partner in Indiana governor Mike Pence. Pence is the conservative many thought Trump needed to mend the fences with the right wing of the Republican party.

However in typical Trump fashion the announcement and his handling of it was shaky. Plus it appears that he had second thoughts on his pick up until the last day and hardly let the guy talk when they were interviewed all day. Trump continues to say many of the same things with little in the way of specifics to back up his plan to make America Great.

So while the Clinton’s have tried to hand this race over to Trump, he just can’t calm down enough to make people feel at ease with him. You really don’t see much of Clinton in the media compared to Trump. And with all the civil unrest and terror attacks everywhere, Trump sounds the tough guy candidate.

However no one knows exactly what the hell Trump would do to fix anything.

Trump continues to talk about Trump and not much else.

Yes, the polls have them in nearly a dead heat right now.

And if Cleveland isn’t a disaster Trump should pull ahead of Clinton in the polls following the convention. Clinton will then pull even or up after her convention. Way it works.

Thus America is left with a tough choice. Continue reading

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Chuck Lowe: Obama & Black Lives Matter Help Propel Violence Against Police

 Unknown-1In a Huff Post piece, Christopher Lamb took Republicans and Ben Carson to task for criticizing Obamacare at a National Prayer Breakfast…

I won’t go into the specifics, accuracy or prescient premonitions of the coming ACA disaster, but, suffice it to say, umbrage was taken, feathers ruffled. So offended by Carson’s contumacious conniptions in the presence of the presidential demiurge, Lamb penned the following:

“Rudeness is the raison d’etre of the far right, where bluster is preferable to rational discourse, hyperbole beats knowledge, and what one feels in one’s gut is more important than the facts.

Rudeness is a form of currency that provides those with shrill voices and cynical minds their own talk-radio programs or Fox News appearances, or maybe a future in politics, where they can scream their way to fame and fortune like carnival barkers and snake oil salesmen by appealing to the vilest of our instincts.”

In other words, Lamb found Carson’s comments at the National Prayer Breakfast “rude”. Continue reading

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New Jack City: Discouraged by Current Filmfare? There’s Hope!

FlorenceNot into spandex sporting superheroes, animated fowl or fighters of paranormal nostalgia?

Cheer up, Hollywood’s not forgotten you.

Here are four movies set to open during the next month with adult tastes in mind.

Upfront: ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS: THE MOVIE featuring the big screen debut of (BBC) TV’s Edina and Patsy fleeing penniless to the glamorous playground of the super-rich (the French Riviera) with a plan to make the resort their permanent residence and live the high life forever more.

ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS opens this weekend.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

One week later—on July 29—Woody Allen teams Jesse Eisenberg with Steve CarellKristen StewartJeannine Berlin and Blake Lively in his 1930’s-set romantic-comedy CAFE SOCIETY.

Woody writes, directs and narrates but does not appear in the period piece.
Continue reading

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Jack Goes Confidential: Bryan Cranston At His Best As ‘THE INFILTRATOR’

TI_D032_NW_00334 (l to r) Simón Andreu stars as Gonzalo Mora Sr., Bryan Cranston as undercover U.S. Customs agent Robert Mazur and Juliet Aubrey as his wife Evelyn in THE INFILTRATOR, a Broad Green Pictures release. Credit: Nick Wall / Broad Green Pictures

What genius decided to release THE INFILTRATOR during Hollywood’s popcorn summer?

It’s one of Bryan Cranston’s best screen roles yet and a true story to boot.

Set in the mid-80’s THE INFILTRATOR tells the intriguing story of undercover U.S. Customs agent Robert Mazur who became a pivotal player for drug lords laundering their dirty cash.

Mazur laid his life on the line to bring down the largest cartels not to mention the Bank of Credit and Commerce as he shook the underground economy to its core.

The film ends with an incredible sting that none of the bad guys EVER saw coming—and did them ALL in! Continue reading

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Jack Goes Confidential: ‘Ghostbusters’—The Action-Comedy Classic That DIDN’T Need A Reboot

empiregbcoverWhere’s the laugh track when you need it?

At the GHOSTBUSTERS screening earlier this week mine was two rows behind me where a couple of older gals shrieked at just about every line coming off the screen.

The rest of the audience not so much.

To suggest that this re-imagined version of GHOSTBUSTERS has its share of haters is a giant understatement.

The badmouthing began when the project was first announced and went into overdrive after the film’s first trailer hit the internet.

Director Paul (Bridesmaids/Spy/The Heat) Feig’s new version is basically the same story Ivan Reitman told three decades ago.

Here researcher Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig team with nuclear engineer Kate McKinnon and streetwise subway worker Leslie Jones—not to mention their goofy new office receptionist/hunk Chris Hemsworth.

All that talent set to battle an evil and powerful paranormal invasion.

It must have looked good on paper. But I can’t say the same for the end-product. Continue reading

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Glazer: Scribe Gets to Have Sex on the Silver Screen

IMG_0947Well, sometimes we get lucky in life…

I was asked a few weeks back to do an opening scene in Order 86, a small budget movie. The film’s director, Richard Buswell and production lady, Tara Knighton, explained it was important because it opens the picture and it’s the only sex scene in the PG rated movie.

The movie is an action piece ala 007 meets Our Man Flint. In it, the bad guys – me playing a bad guy, hard to believe, right? – have created a computer chip that will shut down all of the world’s computers ability to operate. And they’re about to blackmail the free world.

Think spy work, murder, espionage and good guys vs. bad all through the picture.

So here’s how my sex scene goes down:

I’m in bed, shirt off, waiting for my female partner – a very nice looking woman – to celebrate our invention that will make us millions. The actor, Jackie Cain, gets into a naughty looking outfit (see photo).

And hey, it was wild. Continue reading

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Jack Goes Confidential: ‘Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates’—And A Better Screenplay

MIKE AND DAVE NEED WEDDING DATESRemember WEDDING CRASHERS with Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn  in 2005?

THAT was a funny movie!

Now fast-forward some 11 years to this week’s MIKE AND DAVE NEED WEDDING DATES—or as I like to think of it: ‘Wedding Crashers—Light’

Here loser brothers Adam DeVine and Zac Efron are screw-ups who frequently seem to ruin family events with their stupid antics.

So now with their baby sister’s wedding just around the corner dad’s insisting the brothers bring dates to the nuptials—specifically NICE girls.

Easier said than done, since it’s a destination wedding in Hawaii!

Somehow these two goofs get themselves on the Wendy Williams Show to share their dilemma.

And sure enough they catch the attention of broke bad girls Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza who are smart enough to play good and trick the boys into two free tickets to Hawaii.

THAT’s where they show their true colors with their civilized and respectable behavior turning to raunch, booze and whatever else could possibly unhinge the guys—AND the festivities.

To suggest that the boys were out hustled by the uncontrollable female duo would be the ultimate understatement as some funny and often crude antics go down big time. Continue reading

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Lefsetz: Crooked Hillary or Bust?

8f4b96ae25530668b5e43cb30b915c4eShe didn’t obey the rules…

That’s another thing the working class believes in strongly – right and wrong – respecting the law. And the funny thing is, most of us consider ourselves working class, or middle class. Be sure to read the New York Times story on Wigan, a burg that always goes Labour that voted for Brexit. Despite only 25% of UK inhabitants being working class, 60% BELIEVE they are working class.

You never forget your roots. You might have an SUV and a sports car in the driveway (probably leased) but you remember when you struggled, and retain those underlying values…unless you WIN!

For far too long the emphasis in America has been on the winners.

And that means money. Hell, the media wouldn’t even publicize the MacArthur genius grants if they didn’t come with $125k a year attached. Is it hard to believe we’ve got a culture where the best and the brightest, the elite, bend the rules in their favor in order to succeed?

Bill Clinton comes from nothing, he’s arguably a hillbilly.

Hillary comes from something more. But after his Presidency Bill and Hillary blurred the edges, worked for anybody with the cash, barely different from a nitwit entertainer doing their act for a third world dictator.

Couldn’t they say no?

And they’ve got that bogus foundation wherein the money goes in and transparency disappears.

And now even their daughter Chelsea is a millionaire…really. Continue reading

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Lefsetz: The Independence Day Blues

circa 1985:  American president Ronald Reagan makes an announcement from his desk at the White House, Washington DC.  (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

I blame Ronald Reagan

And then Bill Clinton put a stake in the heart of the Middle cClass, all in an effort to save his job.

The right wing intelligentsia has lauded Reagan’s “accomplishments” to the point where they cannot be challenged.

In a disinformation campaign they slapped Reagan’s name on highways and buildings, as if that would cement their hold on the public consciousness. And the left wing intelligentsia has pointed to the economic run-up during Clinton’s reign as evidence of his “accomplishments.”

In the process our country became bifurcated, the land of haves and have-nots.

And this has all come home to roost with the ascension of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.

Sanders faded because Hillary was reasonable, whereas the Donald’s competitors were all paying fealty to an elite that had lost touch with the rank and file.

However, Hillary’s beliefs are in question, which means that…

Trump could win in the end.

Because he’s preaching revolution, whereas Clinton wants more of the same. And that same is not working for so many inhabitants of this great country of ours.

It’s not about immigration.

It’s about jobs.  Continue reading

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Sutherland: Two Different Commencements, Two Different Countries.

Screen-Shot-2016-05-26-at-3.59.48-PMRecently, one of the speakers at Harvard University’s commencement exercises caused a nationwide sensation…  

A young African-American man from North Carolina named Donovan Livingston, who was receiving his masters degree from the School of Education, recited a “word poem” known as “Lift Off!”

In this address, Livingston spoke of the liberating potential of education.  The reaction online, where both a live clip of his remarks, as well as its text,were posted on numerous websites, was overwhelming.

CNN called it, “one of the most moving and meaningful graduation moments of all times.”  Harvard’s own website described it as, “One of the most powerful heartfelt speeches you will ever hear.”

The story went viral with hundreds of thousands of hits.  The comments on the various sites where the video of his speech was posted were overwhelmingly favorable.  Many said Livingston was destined to be president, so forceful was his rhetoric.

I read his speech with great interest and watched the video.

And to me, the content seemed commonplace for the genre;

“We were born to be comets!” – “I belong among the stars.  And so do you.” – “ I teach of turning content into rocket ships – tribulations into telescopes” – “Together we can inspire galaxies of greatness for generations to come.” – “No, sky is not the limit.  It is only the beginning.  Lift off.”

I was puzzled by the rapturous response to this collection of platitudes of the “Follow that Dream!” variety, which are standard issue for graduation speeches.  Even the usual fawning attitude by white liberals towards blacks couldn’t account for the enthusiasm it was met with.

I studied the remarks more closely and the reason became obvious. Continue reading

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Glazer: No Need to Worry About Royals Making Playoffs

hi-res-3551287b6bba779e0f799fa2a39501ca_crop_northOK, we all know that the Cleveland Indians are on fire…

The team won 14 in a row. Not only that they are 19 games over .500 and have a 7 game lead over the Royals. However, the Royals still have more overall talent and they match up well with Cleveland. They’re just a superior ball club at the plate, on defense and yes, overall in pitching.

That means the Royals can catch the Indians. 

If not a wild card berth is likely.

The Royals have faced most of the top teams in the American League and nobody looks better than the Royals.

Baltimore looks just above average, Boston not so hot and the Blue Jays have struggled. Only the Texas Rangers might be a killer squad. But don’t forget about the Houston Astros who had a strong last month and are in position to compete at least for a wild card with KC.

Nobody in baseball has a middle lineup like the Royals.

Eric Hosmer is batting .305 with 12 homers and 48 RBI’s; Lorenzo Cain is hitting .290 with 8 homers; Sal Perez has 12 homers and a .286 batting average; then comes Kendrys Morales who is on fire on fire.

Want more? Continue reading

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Jack Goes Confidential: Wildly Weird ‘Swiss Army Man’–And Then Some

Swiss1Get ready to take a walk on the wild side—of cinema that is.

SWISS ARMY MAN is the strangest movie experience I’ve had in years.

And while there is hardly any way to properly describe the film I’ll confess that I found it quite  endearing in a bizarre sort of way.

Can it be classified as a buddy comedy? Maybe. But only in an absurd way of thinking.

And about the story line? Lets see now…..

The movie begins with Paul Dano about to commit suicide by hanging himself on a far away deserted beach. But just then a body washes up on shore. He’s dead as a door nail Daniel Radcliffe.

But is he really dead?

His ongoing farting  adds to the existential audacity; his body eventually spewing water from his mouth in EXORCIST fashion puts another surreal wrinkle into the equation.

So far, so good, I guess.

However the real weirdness here has just begun as Radcliffe’s body comes back to life. Continue reading

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