Someone is remaking “Red Dawn.” I know, I know: why? It’s perfect the way it is. What could ever top this mid-’80s Cold War paranoid fantasy? What’s the new story, now that the Evil Empire has been defanged and we still have the memory of those indelible performances — Patrick Swayze, at 32, playing a high-school boy; Ron O’Neal as an alternate-reality Che Guevara; and who can forget Harry Dean Stanton behind the wire at the drive-in/re-education camp, hollering “Avenge me, son!”
I can’t answer those questions. All I can say is, thank God Michigan is giving out these fat tax incentives, so the “Red Dawn” crew can come to Detroit and blow shit up:
(If you’re impatient, drag the playhead to the 40-second mark.) I don’t know what other American city would let you get away with that. Fortunately, we have a lot of empty buildings to spare.
On the downside, sometimes a post-apocalyptic wasteland behaves like one.
A little Googling tells me the updated story involves a military invasion of the U.S. by the Chinese. There’s a blog, too, with some great deets. A military convoy was photographed rolling down one of the downtown freeway legs on Sunday, something you likely haven’t seen in Fort Wayne lately.
I’d like to see the Chinese try to take this city. Of course, first they’d have to want to. I envision a scene like Tiananmen Square, only in reverse.
OK, enough small talk. Count me among one of the 1 million subscribers who will miss Gourmet magazine. It hurts even more because I’m a latecomer; I only started subscribing it a year ago. Before then, I thought it wasn’t my cup of expensive tea, but I was stupid not to trust that anything Ruth Reichl put her hands on would be worth my time. Far from being a snooty festival of luxury, it’s a well-written tribute to food and food culture, and the recipes are wonderful.
Kim Severson, another food writer I’d follow anywhere, takes a look at the death of Gourmet in the NYT today, and I think she gets to the heart of it right here:
Although it was easy to paint Gourmet as the food magazine for the elite, it was a chronicler of a nation’s food history, from its early fascination with the French culinary canon to its discovery of Mediterranean and Asian flavors to its recent focus on the source of food and the politics surrounding it.
In the decade since Ruth Reichl took over as editor, she underlined everything from the exploitation of tomato pickers in Florida to dishes like chicken and dumplings that could be on the stove, simmering, in 15 minutes.
That’s what I’ll miss about it, anyway. It really chaps my ass that Gourmet had to fold so that Vogue and Anna Wintour could live to fight another day.
Finally, I took Kate to see “Whip It” over the weekend, another shot-in-Detroit movie that seemed worth our time, and it was, although I’ve now come to see the PG-13 rating as the enemy of parents everywhere. It’s funny — after we came home and Kate went to bed, Alan and I watched the R-rated “Adventureland” on cable, and the latter, while more explicit in its F-bombs and so on, took much of the same material (young-adult sexuality, in part) and treated it with more respect and less snickering than the PG-13 “Whip It.” It’s not that one was exploitive and the other one not, it’s just that “Whip It” had several scenes and dialogue exchanges that seemed tacked on to avoid a straight PG and make the film edgier, somehow. All I know is, I feel more protected by lead actresses who refuse to take their bras off on camera than the MPAA ratings board.
Other than that, however, it was a pretty good little movie, exploring female empowerment through roller derby. I know Jeff Borden’s a big fan, and I had a twinge, remembering our departed Ashley Morris, whose wife Hana was a New Orleans roller girl. (Ashley chose her stage name, and crowned his wife, a native of the Czech Republic, “Soviet Bloc.”) Ellen Page, Drew Barrymore and Kristen Wiig do most of their own skating, and those girls certainly tear it up. I almost — not quite, but almost — forgave the cheesy product placement Barrymore snuck in there. Did you know a roller girl can never wear too much Lash Blast? Now you know.
After two nights, I think I’m finally caught up on my rest for the next few days. Sorry to be getting here late again, but ah well. Now to the giant pile of copy I’ve been putting off editing. Next time you see me, I’ll be cross-eyed and ink-stained. Have a good rest of the day.