- - Monday, March 7, 2011

Money talks

“Apparently the prosecutors’ idea is that if [John] Edwards used money from ‘Bunny’ Mellon and others to keep his mistress stashed away and quiet, this was really a campaign expense and should have been paid for out of campaign funds. But suppose Edwards had paid for it with campaign funds. Don’t you think prosecutors would now be thinking of indicting him for an improper use of campaign funds? (You can’t pay for most meals using campaign funds. You can’t buy mittens with campaign funds. Are mistresses going to be OK?)

“P.S.: That’s one of the problems with campaign finance laws: the categories are inherently slippery. Everything John Edwards did — every breath he took — for four years was designed to get him elected president, after all. His antipoverty work was designed to make him look good. The payoffs to Rielle Hunter were designed to make him look good (by preventing him from looking bad). If the latter is a campaign expense, and has to be paid for with funds subject to individual limits, why not the former?”

Mickey Kaus, writing on “Here is the problem I have with indicting John Edwards,” on March 4 at his Daily Caller blog Kaus Files

Arnold reboots

“Speaking at the Arnold Seminar over the weekend, Schwarzenegger finally let us in on some of the scripts he’s being offered. … When asked what he was working on, Arnold told fans ‘Well, first of all it’s more [like] 15 films, obvious ones from “The Terminator” to remakes of “Predator” and “The Running Man” and all of those things. Then also a lot of original stuff, too. But I am also packaging a comic book character right now.’ …

“Unfortunately there’s no word on which comic book character he’s working on, whether it’s an existing one from the Marvel or DC universe, or a lesser-known character. We do find it interesting that he’s being offered remakes for ‘Predator’ and ‘The Running Man,’ especially since he’s a bit too old to star in either film as the character he once portrayed.”

Erik Davis, writing on “Arnold Schwarzenegger Working on Comic Book Movie, Offered ‘Predator,’ ‘Running Man’ Remakes” on March 7 at the Moviefone blog Cinematical

One-take wonder

“In ‘Which Lie Did I Tell?,’ screenwriter William Goldman, recounting his experience adapting ‘Absolute Power,’ mentions in passing that [Clint] Eastwood was nine days ahead of schedule at one point, and then adds, without a hint of disapproval, ‘partially because what he wants more than anything on Earth is to finish and get out to the golf course.’ I disapproved, though.

“Others had noted the unusual speed with which Eastwood works — he’s known for moving right along after the first take — but the suggestion that he’s simply in a rush to go do something he actually enjoys rankled. Lesser Eastwood films began to seem to me not just shoddy but lazy. When screenwriter Peter Morgan expressed amazement last year that The Man With No Patience had shot his first draft of ‘Hereafter’ exactly as written, without so much as a note or a question, much less a script conference, I was just nodding my head: Figures.”

Mike D’Angelo, writing on “Scenic Routes: Dirty Harry” on March 7 at the AV Club