John Hayward

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'Hannibal': the year's most pleasant unpleasant surprise

It's about time for everyone to start putting together best-of and worst-of lists for 2013, so I'd like to jump in early with a recommendation for NBC's "Hannibal" as one of the best new TV shows.  I couldn't imagine how this thing could be any good when I first heard it announced.  Another prequel about the overexposed, nearly cliched Hannibal Lecter?  On television?  Without Anthony Hopkins?  Were these people mad? Dec 7, 2013 11:20 AM PT

How not to launch a movie franchise

I took a chance on home-theater entertainment and rented the DVD of "The Mortal Instruments" tonight, and it's a good thing you can only lose a buck fifty at Redbox Roulette.  What a stinker!  I don't know what anyone involved with this thing was thinking, but it's almost like a graduate course in how not to launch a franchise. Dec 6, 2013 10:37 PM PT

Income inequality, minimum wages, and inflation

The latest distraction from ObamaCare failure is a renewed emphasis on "income inequality," which is one of those endless, highly subjective crusades the Left views as a bottomless well of power.  It's like global warming in many ways: its definition is fluid, there's no way to "disprove" it because it will always exist, and it's a problem that can never be "solved."  There will always be a relatively small group of people who make considerably more money than the average. Dec 6, 2013 1:56 PM PT

HealthCareDotGov protects ObamaCare from the shopping threat

Remember how ObamaCare was premised on the superior intelligence, compassion, and organizational skills of Big Government?  Pretty funny in retrospect, right?  (Of course, anyone with a lick of common sense knew it was funny at the time, but the American electorate can be persuaded to abandon common sense and believe such things.) Dec 5, 2013 7:13 AM PT

The trickle-down economics of Barack Obama

I see that President Obama is going off on "trickle-down" economics and "income inequality" again.  Of course, it's an obvious desperation ploy, a frantic effort to change the subject by a nervous politician who thinks he can't lose by playing the class warfare card.  Never mind the failure of ObamaCare - somebody out there has a dollar more than you, and Barack the Avenger is going to make them pay! Dec 4, 2013 1:59 PM PT

Movie review: 'The Book Thief'

The new "Hunger Games" movie isn't the only adaptation of a monster young-adult bestseller in theaters at the moment.  Buried deep in its box-office shadow is "The Book Thief," whose source novel by Markus Zusak is enormously popular.  The film version is beautifully shot, slow-paced without succumbing to boredom, and features some fine acting, particularly from the absolutely hypnotic Geoffrey Rush.  But I couldn't escape the feeling I had already seen this movie before, because it's a Frankenstein monster stitched together from both horrifying and heart-warming cliches. Nov 30, 2013 6:00 PM PT

'60 Minutes' and the curious case of the Benghazi expose

Eliana Johnson at National Review has written a thorough post-mortem on the bungled "60 Minutes" Benghazi piece, a high-profile special report that unfortunately spotlighted the dramatic stylings of B.S. artist Dylan Davies.  Davies sold CBS News reporter Lara Logan a bill of goods about his thrilling exploits on the night of the Benghazi attack, which directly contradicted the account he gave the FBI.  When government sources leaked the discrepancies to other media, Logan and her producer, Max McClellan, ended up with egg on their faces, and CBS News gave them a few weeks of leave to wipe it off. Nov 30, 2013 5:19 PM PT

Banana republic update: cancer patient who complained about ObamaCare gets an IRS audit

While the Administration frantically looks for ways to spin the ongoing disaster of HealthCareDotGov as some sort of success - even though the system went down for a good 11 hours on the day we were promised it would be completely, totally fixed - it's worth remembering that some government machinery works very well indeed, especially the parts that cause bad things to happen to Obama critics. Nov 30, 2013 4:39 PM PT

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