Jean Seberg vs. The Government 

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I got some unhappy letters for taking a big dump on Clint Eastwood's Jersey Boys last week. Seems there are quite a few Broadway fans out there and although my personal proclivities lie in other genres (is "Angelina" a genre yet?) there is no doubt the musical film has a long and storied history in Hollywood. And Clint himself even starred in one.

Paint your Wagon is a 1969 Musical-Western about gold-rush era California that also stars Lee Marvin (Dirty Dozen, Cat Ballou) and Jean Seberg (Breathless). Marvin stole the show with his song I was born under a wandering star but Clint sings like a champ on a little ditty called I Talk to the Trees. Paint Your Wagon is the Download of the Week and if you're into singing cowboys be sure to check out Howard Hawk's Rio Bravo in which Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson throw down to classic songs whilst holed up in a jail surrounded by antagonizing ranch bullies and the lullaby song in The Three Amigos. Songs and singing used to be pretty standard in the old cowboy movies and I suppose there isn't a lot of things a bunch of dudes can do sitting around a campfire on the open range besides eat beans, fart and sing songs.

On a side note, Paint Your Wagon's Jean Seberg was considered one of the best actresses of her generation, but she was effectively "blacklisted" by the FBI COINTELPRO program because she supported and gave money to numerous 1960s civil rights organizations. Apparently in 1970 the Feds even went so far as to fabricate tabloid news stories linking Seberg to the Black Panthers and claiming she did not know who the father of her unborn child was.

Unable to work and under constant surveillance by the FBI, Seberg actually lost her baby due to complications of a premature labour and eventually took her own life on the anniversary of that dark day by overdosing on pills in the back seat of car. Her husband at the time claimed the constant government harassment played a huge role in Seberg's ongoing depression and mental health issues. Public records show that FBI honcho J. Edgar Hoover routinely kept President Nixon informed on details of Seberg's "case," and the moral of the story is those guys were assholes and no one should ever trust the government.

And according to Transformers: Age of Extinction the government will come after you even harder if you happen to find and dig up an old Transformer in dusty field and nurse it back to life. At least, that's what happens to Mark Wahlberg in this fourth installment of a film based on toys from the 1980s. I've only seen the trailer and it's hard to really tell what this one is actually about, but there are real Transformers fighting government-made knock-off Transformers, there are Dinobots, a hot chick in peril, and what looks like a whole lotta carnage.

Director Michael Bay is many things (some even claim he's a CIA propaganda machine who's films push the Industrial Military agenda), but one thing he rules at is putting really awesome deep, throbbing hum sound effects into his films. This alone makes Transformers 4 worth checking out on the big screen (in 2D or 3D) but other than that, there's 165 minutes of Transforming carnage and Marky Mark playing the father of the hot young starlet rather than the love interest (which means we're all getting old.)

Transformers: Age of Extinction opens Friday at the Whistler Village 8 Theatres and is expected to make way more money in China than it does over here.


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