There Is No Gender Equity in “Equity,” With Anna Gunn

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There is no gender equity in “Equity.”

The workaholic investment banker played by Anna Gunn is deeply invested in her job. But the odds are stacked against her like the Jenga tower on the desk of her male boss. She is judged by what she wears and whether she smiles.

Her albatross is a bungled account that finds her passed over and pissed off. And when things really go sideways, her story spreads its tentacles like the diagram of a scandal.

There is the suave boyfriend suspected of illegal trading; the smarmy new tech client whose IPO she is managing; the up and coming assistant, torn between her life and her job, to whom she is mentor and competitor; and an old friend who is now working for a federal agency that oversees financial transactions she conducts.

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‘Southside With You’: When Barack Met Michelle

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“Southside With You” is the no drama Obama first date movie.

They met in 1989 in Chicago where Barack was a Harvard law school intern at the firm where Michelle worked.

He was a laid back chain smoker and neighborhood organizer with a charismatic speaking style, she was a nose to the grindstone black woman who worked twice as hard as her white male colleagues.

“It’s not date,” she insists throughout as they drive around, walk around, eat lunch, attend a community meeting, have a beer and end up at a screening of Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing.”

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Packers Ratings Beat Olympics. Also, Sky Is Blue

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Milwaukee area TV households like their sports to be green and gold if Friday nights ratings are any indication. Also there is gambling in Casablanca.

The meaningless Green Bay Packer  pre-season victory against the Cleveland Browns on WMLW-TV beat NBC’s coverage of the Summer Olympics by a full 4 rating points or about 35,200 TV homes.

Weigel-owned WMLW won the night – the first time I’ve ever written that – with a 16.3 rating, or about 143,800 viewers.

NBC affiliate WTMJ earned a 12.2 or about 107,000 TV homes. A local rating point is the equivalent of about 8,822 TV homes.

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Desperate “Suicide Squad” All Shock, No Awe

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“Suicide Squad” has no clothes. And I’m not talking about scantily clad Harley Quinn.

This violent and chaotic placeholder between “Batman V. Superman” and “Justice League” is a desperate and derivative exercise in catchup by a DC Comics tired of eating the dust of the relatively stable and comparatively benevolent Marvel Comics universe.

Like “BvS” Suicide Squad is a journey into shadows where good and bad look and act alike. This false equivalency is dramatically exaggerated simply for effect and the result is shock but no awe.

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“Bourne” Again? Sure, Why Not

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Bourne again? Sure, why not.

This fifth dip into the well-worn well of super-soldier “Jason Bourne” has nothing going for it if not brand identity. Like Bond and Marvel and “Star Trek,” you go into a “Bourne” film knowing just what you will get – a predictable exercise in adrenaline.

“Jason Bourne” marks the return of Matt Damon in the role he originated in a trilogy of films, the last two directed by Paul Greengrass, who brought the visual immediacy of his documentary background to the screen.

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Convention TV Audience Tilts DNC Nationally, GOP Locally

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If national TV viewership for the political conventions foreshadow November’s presidential election results, it will be a tight race with a Democratic win within the margin of error.

But local viewership ratings suggest more of a horse race.

Final ratings for Thursday night’s speech by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton are yet to be figured in the mix, so ratings for this week’s Democratic National Convention are not final.

These numbers reflect the audience on ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, MSNBC and CNN. Ratings for FOX were predictably higher during the RNC. MSNBC ratings were higher during the DNC.

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The 1983 Democratic Telethon Was Bad Television

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On June 1, 1983 Democrats reeling from the popularity of first term Republican president Ronald Reagan, decided to hold a fundraising telethon.

Had the 1984 presidential election hung on the “humorless and chintzy 17-hour” affair Reagan would have been guaranteed the second term that he ended up winnings anyway, I wrote in the Milwaukee Sentinel at the time.

If hosts Mary Tyler Moore, Paul Newman and Jack Lemmon made a movie together with profits going to the Democratic National Committee “that would have been worth watching,” I wrote.

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“Ghostbusters” Reboot A Likable Mess

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Visually, dramatically, structurally and comically the “Ghostbusters” reboot is a likable mess.

It moves in fits and starts while recycling the premise of the 1984 film and its only original idea is to reverse the gender of the characters. This gives it an opportunity to explore the comic concept and interactions from the other end of the telescope, but which it does not do often enough to sustain it.

The result leaves the characters – a brainy Kristin Wiig, feisty Leslie Jones, straight man Melissa McCarthy and twitchy Kate McKinnon – stranded and armed with nothing but their proton packs. Chris Hemsworth’s dumb beefcake receptionist – whose glasses have no lenses – is as deep as this role reversal gets.

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Second Annual DVD Blowout, Friday and Saturday!!

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The Dudek Abides will hold its second annual DVD blowout Friday and Saturday – July 15 and 16 – from 8 until 4 p.m.

It’s like a rummage sale for movies.

Categories include Hollywood, indie, documentaries, foreign language and Asian, family, TV, box sets, stand up comedy, concert films, and others that defy genre.

Many are priced as low as $1, most of them are unopened.

This year featuring a huge selection of movie books, some rare. Also, CDs, comics, vinyl and collectibles. Free items with purchase.

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“B.F.G.,” “Swiss Army Man” And The Economy of Scale

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When Steven Spielberg releases a new film attendance is mandatory. It’s not always a great experience but it’s always an interesting demonstration of the strengths and flaws of  one of the great directors of our time.

Sometimes his films are facile, sentimental and narratively broken in ways he cannot fix. But occasionally he creates something extraordinary like “E.T. The Extra Terrestrial.”

He dabbles in textures and technologies but always with an eye to the marketplace. At 69 he might consider the Biblical advise to “put away childish things.” Because the awe of childhood has deserted him.

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