Ratmeat in the rain, Alec Baldwin vs. Jack Donaghy, loudspeaker tweets

18May09

The offline world had us waylaid there and for that, as ever, we apologise. But there’s nothing as comforting as coming back online and knowing you’re all here waiting patiently like a flock of ducks in a park pond.

If you’ve been in Vietnam, or if you are here, you’ll know it’s been bucketing down and that my friends means one thing: thit chuot. That’s right it’s ratatouille for supper! But fear not thy lily-livered gastronomes  — these are nice plump, furry Cambodian rats. Yum.

“If you prepare them well and fry the meat with garlic and put some mint on it, they’re tastier than chickens,” said a Khmer rat catcher-slash-exporter. The question is sans garlic and sans mint do they taste like shit?

“Rat meat substitutes well for pork these days,” said another, adding that her family exported up to a tonne of live rats across the border on good days. 

Glengarry_Glen_RossYou’ve also possibly heard  the big story… the funniest American comic actor of the last couple of years — yes, that’s right, Alec Baldwin — is coming to town (with NYC’s Philharmonic). Well, in about 6 months. Now I’ll admit its possible we only find him so funny because for the best part of two decades he has looked like someone taking himself way too seriously while acting in some appallingly bad films (Try and name a good film with Alec Baldwin besides Glengarry Glen Ross…). So for him to suddenly reinvent himself as a comic actor certainly gave him the element of surprise (had he deliberately lulled us into a false sense of sureness with Machiavellian guile?). I also hazard to guess that he might not be that funny in real life. On April Fool’s Day he faked a heart attack in front of his daughter and his girlfriend which on a scale of one to 10, 10 being uproariously funny, scored minus 500,000. Nevertheless, I like Jack Donaghy — the cut of his gib and his line of patter in 30 Rock (Tina Fey and her cohort of scriptwriters can take a bow for that), e.g.: “I wish I was a horse — strong, free, my chestnut haunches glistening in the sun.”

And while we have youcould it really be the end for loudspeakers on the streets of Hanoi? I mean, like, hellooooo, can’t you guys start twittering?

Example tweets from the online Hanoi Loudspeaker:

“The Hanoi Loudspeaker: WTF! This pho stall has got WiFi 🙂

“The Hanoi Loudspeaker: LOL! I just went for pho and forgot I was still in my pyjamas! Don’t think anyone noticed…

“The Hanoi Loudspeaker: Calling all old men for coffee and chess appointments.

“The Hanoi Loudspeaker: Rise and shine everybody! Remember the early bird gets the first worm! Now go tai chi ladies! Fly my pretties! Fly!

The Hanoi Loudspeaker: Gooooooooood Morning Vietnam! (Sorry, couldn’t resist 😉  LOL’ing uncontrollably)

Bonus Spill Over

  • Alec Baldwin profiled in the Newyorker last year: “He is very conscious of what is lacking in his life—a spouse, for example, and a film career something like Jack Nicholson’s, and the governorship of New York…”
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5 Responses to “Ratmeat in the rain, Alec Baldwin vs. Jack Donaghy, loudspeaker tweets”

  1. Derek suggests the following for “good” Alec Baldwin films (after Googling him no doubt) — Beetlejuice, Talk radio, The Hunt for Red October, The Royal Tenenbaums (narrator), The Cooler, and of course, Team America

    Hmmm… now Bettlejuice was clearly a Michael Keaton Vehicle, so we can’t really credit Alec Baldwin with that one, even if you agreed it was good, which it wasn’t. I’ll admit I haven’t seen Talk Radio, but again he’s clearly not the main man, so can’t give him too much credit, even it were good, which it might be — was it? The Hunt For Red October rode on the Connery coattails, but I suppose Baldwin played his part. Derek should note that despite its commercial success Red October was panned by film critics who always know best. Royal Tennenbaums he was merely a narrator so I’m not allowing that to be labelled a “good Alec Baldwin film”. There’s no way his narration was the key ingredient. After viewing it did you hear anyway say “Alec Balwin’s narration was geeeeenius, wasn’t it?” or “Do you remember the bit where Alec Baldwin was narrating?” Everybody knows it was a Gene Hackman film (now THERE’s an actor). I haven’t seen The Cooler but I just googled it and it looks woeful. We think Derek is having a laugh with that one and may we remind you there’s nothing funny about Alec Baldwin (but Jack Donaghy is hilarious). And last but not least, I will not argue Team America’s satirical genius, but I’m afraid that Alec Baldiwn in puppet form was merely a pawn in that particular game, lampooned for his over-seriousness, misplaced sense of injustice and conviction that people actually care what a Hollywood actor thinks.

    We’ll give 0.5 for Red October. Jury’s out on Talk Radio.

    • 2 Derek

      About The Cooler:

      In Rolling Stone, Peter Travers rated the film 3½ out of a possible four stars and added, “Wayne Kramer, who co-wrote the scrappy script with Frank Hannah, makes a potent directing debut and strikes gold with the cast . . . Top of the line is Baldwin, whose revelatory portrayal of an old Vegas hard-liner in thrall to the town’s faded allure is the stuff Oscars are made of. From James Whitaker’s seductive camerawork to Mark Isham’s lush score, The Cooler places all the smart bets and hits the jackpot.

      Derek rests his case…..

  2. Even Bradshaw agrees: “His employer Shelly (a terrific performance from Alec Baldwin) is a tough guy from the old school who yearns for Vegas’s rat-pack golden age.”

    Your score is now 1.5 bringing Baldwin’s total of good films up to 2.5 which out of a career that started circa 1990 is still shabby enough.

  3. 4 Derek

    More on the Cooler:

    * Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor (Alec Baldwin, nominee)
    * Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture (Baldwin, nominee)
    * National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actor (Baldwin, winner)
    * Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture (Baldwin, nominee)
    * Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role – Motion Picture (Baldwin, nominee)
    * Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor (Baldwin, winner)
    * Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor (Baldwin, winner)

    The guy is class!

    And I haven’t even started on his brilliant cameo in The Departed….

  4. That’s one supporting role in one film in a sea of crapness and mediocrity.

    Class is supposedly permanent… check out the multitude of films he didn’t get awards for or nominations or accolades or even YOUR ATTENTION as you’ve never heard of them.


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