Common Sense Knives Out

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  1. In such cases, I pass the knife on to an experienced outdoorsperson and ask them to wring it out. (Check out Bob Patterson’s review of the Bark River Trakker Companion.). Several months ago, the Santa Fe went to my friend Phil Brummett, a fellow Boy Scout volunteer, former scoutmaster.
  2. Knives Out (2019) cast and crew credits, including actors, actresses, directors, writers and more.

The James Bond actor also seems to have found the cast of Knives Out to be a hugely thrilling part of the experience, finding that he appreciates it more now than he did when he was younger.

Actually I was surprised that it took so long. Ron Paul has become an existential threat to an establishment that has been living high by using government force to steal trillions from productive Americans. The list of those on the government gravy train is a long one that includes some very powerful groups such as the banking industry, the Military industry, the drug war industry, the green energy industry, and the big unions.

In this light it should surprise no one that this newsletter issue was recently re-publicized (after being examined by several publications back in 2007) not by any civil-rights group but by James Kirchick of National Review, an establishment neo-con publication that never met a war it didn’t like. It has not shown (until now) any particular interest in civil-rights or issues of importance for minorities. Like so many other bad actors, they and the rest of the establishment media are exploiting the blacks in order to advance their own agendas which have nothing to do with helping black people. Kirchick’s recent article is basically a re-hash of a story he wrote for The New Republic in 2008. He apparently got his information from a 1996 story in Texas Monthly. Paul was running for a second stint in Congress at the time. Despite the Texas Monthly story, he beat the incumbent Republican in the primary and went on to win the general election. He has been re-elected by wide margins ever since.

Common Sense Knives Out

Common Sense Knives Out

When I called in to the Mark Simone radio show Saturday morning one objection that I had was that Simone insisted on referring to them as “racist newsletters”. The newsletters in question were published in one form or another from 1976, when Paul retired from Congress* to concentrate on his medical practice, until 1996 when he decided to go back to Washington. There were thousands of pages written (by several different authors) over that 20 year period, mostly about finance, investment, and economics. The reason why the newsletter was able to be profitable for Paul is that investors are willing to pay good money for sound financial advice. Not many people would pay to read a journal based on promoting racism. Only someone who believes America is a racist country would believe that Paul could make a million dollars, as Gloria Borger of CNN claims, publishing a newsletter based on hating blacks, gays, and Jews.

Unfortunately for Paul, and perhaps tragically for America’s future, some inartful and somewhat offensive language did find it’s way into some issues published between 1990 and 1994. This was a period of hightened racial tension in the United States with the images of the Rodney King beating and the brutal Los Angeles riots that followed still fresh in everybody’s memory. Understand that nobody is claiming that Ron Paul wrote the passages in question. Even the New York Times, which did a writing style analysis on them, said the author was not Paul. So the question becomes: did Paul know about them?

He says he didn’t. Since he has a well-deserved reputation for being the most honest politician in Washington, his denial should carry a lot of weight. This is actually the first time I’ve ever heard anyone accuse him of lying. And if one examines his history as a congressman going back to 1976, in all the thousands of speeches, interviews, legislative proposals, and votes there is not the slightest hint that he holds views like the some of the disturbing ones ones gleaned from the newsletters. In fact he has complained continuously about the racial aspect of the drug war and wants to pardon all non-violent drug offenders, more than half of whom are black. He also places great emphasis on treating all people as individuals, one reason why he has more support from minorities, including blacks and gays, than any other Republican candidate. Even in his medical practice we find evidence that dispels the idea that Paul is some kind of racist. He refused to take Medicare or Medicaid and instead treated poor women and delivered their babies for free. Plenty of them were black and Hispanic. Would someone who hates minorities do that?

In his National Review piece, Kirchick states: “Another newsletter warned that “the AIDS patient” should not be allowed to eat in restaurants because “AIDS can be transmitted by saliva,” a strange claim for a physician to make.” Kirchick should realize that this is evidence that physician Paul not only didn’t write that, but never read it. So it’s not strange at all. In the 1995 interview below, Paul, who was announcing his intention to run again for congress, promotes his newsletters. He discuses them starting at about the 1:53 mark.

“It covered a lot about what was going on in Washington, and financial events, and especially some of the monetary events. Since I had been especially interested in monetary policy, had been on the banking committee, and still very interested in, in that subject, that this newsletter dealt with it. This had to do with the value of the dollar, the pros and cons of the gold standard, and of course the disadvantages of all the high taxes and spending that our government seems to continue to do.”

Does anyone think he would have brought them up and said what he said had he known about some of the unsavory things that appeared in some issues of the newsletter? It’s impossible to believe. And what doctor trying to build his practice up, especially one where all of his customers were women, would knowingly publish stuff like that under his name? I am convinced that Paul didn’t know about it until the Texas Monthly story came out the next year.

Should Paul have known about it? Sure. He has said repeatedly that he deserves criticism for neglecting to read everything that was published under his name. And certainly the Democrats will get a lot of mileage out of this controversy if Paul gets the Republican nomination. But like I said, the reason this firestorm was created has nothing to do with racism and nothing to do with Paul’s management skills. He has done a fantastic job managing his congressional office, returning part of his expense allotment back to the Treasury every year. And everyone says he is running the most professional and efficient campaign of any of the candidates this year.

No, this has everything to do with ending the Fed, ending the wars, ending the subsidies, ending the destruction of our civil liberties, and stopping the massive wholesale robbery of working Americans by the totally corrupt political establishment in this country. The people pushing this story have only darkness in their hearts and must not be allowed to succeed in their goal of derailing the campaign.Not for Ron Paul’s sake, but for America’s.

*Correction: Paul entered Congress in 1976 and retired from his seat in 1984. The early newsletters were published while Paul was still a congressman.

Knives Out Common Sense Media

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Common Sense Media Knives Out

  • Abandon Shipping: A very common reaction to Marta x Ransom, although it's still amassed a considerable Angel/Devil Shipping fanbase. Just to recap, he's a bigoted Jerk with a Heart of Jerk who attempts to frame an innocent immigrant's daughter for murder and tries to kill her when he's caught. Before The Reveal, however, it's easy to get caught up in the attractiveness of and the chemistry between Chris Evans and Ana de Armas.
    • Similarly, the beginning of the film lead some viewers to ship Marta with Meg, due to the obvious closeness between them and Meg seemingly being a White Sheep to her family, similarly to Harlan. Only for almost all potential shippers to completely drop it after Meg betrays Marta’s confidence and reveals her mother’s illegal immigrant status to her family— who Meg knows are racist and xenophobic, and currently working against Marta.
  • Acceptable Targets:
    • The 'masturbating Nazi' Jacob Thrombey.
    • Wealthy, elitist conservatives get a thrashing via the majority of the Thrombeys. Excluding Harlan and Nana, the family is arrogant, horrifically racist, and constantly boasts about their name despite only becoming wealthy thanks to Harlan's hard work, making them come off as highly snobbish. Their political bias against immigrants and a staunch support of the law is quick to be discarded when their position is threatened.
    • The Bourgeois Bohemian also gets zero love as seemingly progressive characters like Meg and Joni appear to be much more interested in their personal rebellions and struggles that don't threaten their wealth, becoming otherwise reactionary when their own privilege is questioned and are shown to be just as racist as the rest of them.
  • Accidental Aesop:
    • Fran the housekeeper mentions watching lots of Hallmark detective movies and bustles around in the background trying to be an Amateur Sleuth. It ultimately gets her killed, and lets the true culprit get close to destroying the last bit of evidence incriminating him, when she tries to call him out and confront him. In other words, don't assume that you're competent to do something just because you consume a lot of media about it. Even if you do manage to find useful information, you're probably not qualified to handle the consequences compared to a trained professional.
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    • If Harlan had listened when Marta told him they should call an ambulance after his alleged overdose, he'd still be alive. In other words: if you have a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional you trust, listen to them. You pay them for a reason.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Has its own page.
  • Angel/Devil Shipping: Perhaps unsurprisingly, Marta/Ransom is a popular ship. One's the All-Loving Heroine, the other is a greedy, murderous slimebag who tries to frame (and eventually kill) her.
  • Award Snub:
    • Rian Johnson's screenplay was nominated for an Oscar but the film itself was not nominated for Best Picture (despite considerable acclaim) and Ana de Armas was likewise overlooked for Best Actress.
    • Daniel Craig failing to get a nomination for either Best Actor or Best Supporting Actor is equally slighting.
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    • Best Costume Design is another category the film should have received consideration in.
  • Awesome Music: The entire score, but especially the main theme by Nathan Johnson, which Cinema Wins accurately describes as 'somehow a parody of a whodunnit score while still being a whodunnit score'.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Meg. Some fans feel that she's just as bad as her family, especially considering she outed Marta's mother as undocumented, and that all her talk about social justice is just lip service because she protected her money when the chips were down. Others feel that she does believe in what she was saying, and was just forced to tell Marta's secret because of family pressure.
  • Captain Obvious Reveal: From the moment Ransom is introduced onscreen, the character is so obviously guilty, down to having an ominous name and triggering the evil detecting dogs, it almost seems like the movie is setting up a Red Herring. Nope. Of course, given that the movie focuses so heavily on Marta's unwitting involvement in Harlan's Thanatos Gambit, the thought of someone actually being the murderer might not have crossed a lot of people's minds until Blanc brings it up in the end.
  • Catharsis Factor:
    • Seeing Marta puking all over Ransom's face is just SO satisfying to watch, not just because said character deserves it for what he's just revealed to have done, but also because of what it means: she just lied about Fran still being alive, and Ransom is going to go to jail for essentially confessing to her murder.
    • Ditto for watching Benoit absolutely rip into the Thrombeys for their treatment of Marta.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Ransom. If you look like Chris Evans and are one of the most entertaining characters in the movie, fans will forgive anything, including arson, murder, attempted murder, elitism, racism, and general jerkassery.
    • Meg also has a lot of defenders who will try to justify her selling out Marta's secret about her mother's immigration status so the family could blackmail her, even though it was an incredibly selfish and, given her previously voiced political opinions, hypocritical thing to do no matter what kind of pressure she was under.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Trooper Wagner for all his Adorkable fanboy-like interest in the case and his reactions to every new revelation.
  • Estrogen Brigade: Let's just say that there are a ton of folks interested in the film purely because they put Chris Evans in a cable-knit sweater.
  • Evil Is Sexy: It probably won't come as a surprise to anyone that people have this reaction to Ransom — he's played by Chris Evans! The official Twitter account even jokingly branded itself a thirst account for Ransom and his sweater.
  • Friendly Fandoms:
    • Fans of this film usually like Ready or Not and vice versa, what with their ripping takedowns of the wealthy, smart and scrappy leading ladies, and big fancy houses.
    • Fans of The Last Jedi (or those who disliked it but don't form their personality around hating it) took a liking to this, to see Rian Johnson direct a film not hampered by studio interference.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • Those with knowledge of the actual process of criminal investigation have an upper hand at guessing the twist because since the toxicology and autopsy reports are two of the first things done to a deceased individual whose cause of death is uncertain, the fact that the police are still operating on the presumption of suicide at the beginning of the film a whole week after the death gives away that the toxicology report came back normal.
    • A subtle Running Gag throughout the film is that the Thrombeys are very inconsistent in where they think she and her family came from. In several different scenes, they matter-of-factly claim she's from Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Brazil. It is noteworthy that the official language in Brazil is Portuguese, instead of the three countries mentioned, in which the official language is Spanish. This is yet another proof of the ignorance of the Thrombeys.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: Harlan makes a speech about how he's not afraid to die, but he wants to ensure that all of his loose ends are tied up, that he could fix his family and leaves a better future for Marta and them, 'to close the book with a fluorish'. In one of the greatest cases of irony, when Chris Plummer died, Chris Evans who played Ransom, Harlan's would-be killer, said, 'This is truly heartbreaking. What an unbelievable loss. Few careers have such longevity and impact. One of my favorite memories from Knives Out was playing piano together in the Thrombey house between set ups. He was a lovely man and a legendary talent.' It's nice to know there is one world where Harlan and Ransom remained loving towards another.
  • He's Just Hiding!: There are some fans who think Marta threw up on Ransom not because she'd lied that Fran was alive, but that she'd lied that Fran was dead. Or, to put it another way, that Fran did survive but Marta pretended otherwise to trick Ransom into attacking her.
  • Idiot Plot:
    • Harlan Thrombey really cut his throat after preparing a convoluted plan to give an alibi to Marta and hide the morphine overdose she accidentally gave him (since the overdose would kill him before an ambulance would reach the mansion and Harlan wanted to make sure Marta wouldn't be suspected). Except for Marta's vials of medicine had been switched beforehand by Ransom in order to murder Harlan and make it look like an accident. The 'overdose' was merely the result of Marta instinctively picking the right vial and not reading the switched label until after injecting his medicine as normal. So, since Harlan wasn't actually overdosing on morphine, not only would he still be alive if he'd allowed Marta to call an ambulance (because he wasn't injected with a lethal dose of morphine), but a quick investigation into the accident would quickly reveal Marta's medicine bag had been tampered with, turning the whole plot in a very different direction (an investigation for an obvious murder attempt, whose intended victim was still alive). Even if they had just stopped for a moment to take stock of his symptoms, they would have noticed he wasn't overdosing. A morphine overdose may kill you in ten minutes, but it'll leave you incoherent much sooner; if Harlan can still talk six minutes in, he's clearly fine.
    • Fran's sub-plot is just as bad. She spots Ransom going through Marta's medical bag and correctly guesses he had done something in an attempt to kill Harlan. Rather than telling the cops or Marta about this, she illegally acquires a copy of a report she doesn't understand, leading to the destruction of the crime lab. Fran then tries to blackmail Ransom, a man she suspects of murdering his grandfather, in a location where nobody can stop him from murdering her.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Linda is as rude, self-centered and xenophobic as the rest of her family, but it’s hard not to feel sorry for her as she is also shown to be in deep, genuine mourning over her father (whom she was legitimately close to) and finds out that her son orchestrated Harlan’s death and that her husband had been having an affair behind her back all in the same day.
    • Walt could be considered one. Though deleted scenes reveal he's thrown in with some very bad people and risks their wrath if he doesn't pay them back, his greatest sins early in the final film are riding his father's coattails and wanting to believe the best of his son. Of course, this goes out the window when he decides to use Marta's mother's immigration status as blackmail leverage midway through the film.
  • Love to Hate: Ransom may be a Jerkassand a psychopathic murderer, but it doesn't stop him from being entertaining, especially due to being played by Chris Evans.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • The clip of Chris Evans' foul-mouthed character Ransom Drysdale telling everyone to 'Eat shit' over and over has already spread with many variations, including Captain America's 'Language!', Nick Fury's 'You kiss your mother with that mouth?', and a Salòcrossover. Equally memetic is Walt's comeback 'I will not eat one iota of shit!'
    • Fans had a field day with Ransom's clear dislike of dogs considering Evans is a well-known dog lover.
    • Ransom's impressive sweater collection has become quite the topic of fascination on the Internet, inspiring (among other things) the Knives Out Challenge on Twitter (posting a photo of yourself wearing a sweater), and the film's official Twitter account even cheekily rebranded itself to Chris Evans' Sweater Stan Account for a day.
    • Fans of the American version of The Office were quick to point out similarities with the episode 'Murder,' particularly Michael's hilariously bad Southern accent.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Joni crosses it for embezzling from Harlan under the guise of needing extra money for Meg's tuition, and revealing to her daughter that she's broke after the will is read rather than create a college plan for her. She screwed over her own daughter out of greed.
    • If it wasn't crossed when he tried to kill Harlan and frame Marta, Ransom definitely crossed it when he murdered Fran and then tried to kill Marta after being exposed.
    • Although both Meg and Walt are given explanations for their actions against Marta (Walt in the Deleted Scenes), plenty of people think that their reasons still cannot justify crossing it by blackmailing an immigrant's daughter — whom they believe to be fully innocent anyway (and she is, after all) — with exposing her mother's undocumented status.
  • Narm Charm: The accent that Daniel Craig puts on for Benoit Blanc, oh so much. Even better is that everyone around him seems to realize how ridiculous his accent is, given that it really does sound like a non-American thinking of the most stereotypical southern accent possible, upping the comedy.
  • Nausea Fuel: Marta vomiting chunkily all over Ransom's face. Doubles as a Funny Moment.
  • Shipping: Marta is usually shipped with either Ransom or Blanc. The former is more popular, but the latter has plenty of fans. (There are also those who ship her with Meg, and those who make a point of retaining her Chaste Heroine status by not shipping her with anyone at all.)
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Privileged people who believe that they're Nice to the Waiter will quickly change their tune when their wealth is threatened.
  • Squick:
    • Richard says that Jacob was in the bathroom all night 'joylessly masturbating to pictures of dead deer.'
    • Marta puking in Ransom’s face when she reveals her lie about Fran’s death. Chunks and all.
  • Strawman Has a Point: While it doesn't excuse her behavior, given that Linda had never been singled out for a private talk with Harlan, she was presumably unaware of why Harlan was getting fed up with the family, and that he had been wishing they were more self-sufficient, which could make her angry reaction towards the will-reading a little less insincere and hypocritical than those of her husband, brother and sisters-in-law. Related, based upon the limited information that she has about the situation and her father's intentions, her questioning of whether Marta was sleeping with her father doesn't seem unreasonable. Harlan didn't even leave anything to Fran or his own mother (though in the latter case, she might have her own money in a trust, or Harlan could simply have assumed she would predecease him).
  • Unfortunate Implications: Marta's storyline, where her rich white employer bequeaths his considerable estate to her, his hardworking immigrant nurse, because she was a good person, has attracted criticismfor leaning into the 'good immigrant' myth — the notion that immigrants deserve rights and privileges because they are good and hardworking, not necessarily because they are human. It also been noted for leaning heavily into issues of deportation and immigration in a way that may be offensive to Hispanic immigrants, especially considering that creator Rian Johnson is a white man who was born in America.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Linda and Walt can become this to some viewers. While neither are exactly nice people, both are among the less awful of the Thrombeys, and are established, either in the film proper or in deleted scenes, to have some possible mitigating factors to their behavior:
    • Linda is shown to have genuinely loved her father and be grieved at his death, and so Harlan's decision to cut her out of the will can be seen as unnecessarily cruel (although it is worth noting that Linda is also clearly established to be independent of the Thrombey descendants, both financially and in lifestyle, and so arguably doesn't need his inheritance, to begin with), particularly as Harlan never appears to have had a chance to explain his reasoning to her.
    • Harlan's decision to cut Walt loose, meanwhile, can also be seen as unnecessarily harsh given that Walt appears to have been a decent employee of Harlan's, and Harlan never really goes into too much detail about his motives for doing so beyond giving Walt a chance to develop his own creative talents (although it's heavily implied in dialogue that Harlan is intending to explain further at a later date when Walt is less intoxicated, but never gets a chance to do so due to his death). A deleted scene fleshes him out a bit, indicating that Walt has gotten into debt with criminals who caused his leg injury and, it's implied, has been embezzling from the business in order to try and keep himself afloat; his actions, while still hardly justifiable, are consequently shown to be motivated in part by fear.
    • Meg can also become this to some viewers. Joni stole money from Harlan that was meant to go to Meg's education for herself, leading Harlan to stop paying for it entirely. However, Meg was completely unaware of her mother's actions. Meg turning on Marta is also supposed to make her come off as a self-serving hypocrite, but given how she was pressured into revealing it by the rest of the family, along with how she was initially supportive of Marta getting the inheritance, several viewers took it as her being forced into doing it against her will.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: It's very easy to read Harlan as a dick who decided to screw over his own family because they didn't turn out to be the people he wanted them to be. He punishes Meg by proxy when finding out that Joni was embezzling from him, even though Meg was attending college and had no incentive to screw over her grandfather. Likewise, he cuts off Linda and doesn't even leave a coded message or explanation why. What hammers it home is that Marta emphasizes she doesn't want the money, she wants to stay out of trouble, and he knew it would be hard for her when the family found out. The movie tries to make them all terrible people, but it falls a bit flat. Also, he refuses to let his own nurse do the job she's paid for and thus his death is entirely his own fault.
  • The Un-Twist: Ransom being the killer really shouldn't be surprising given all the early signs portraying him as a self-absorbed asshole. Genre-savvy viewers might suspect this to be an obvious Red Herring and be thrown for a loop by his apparent friendliness with Marta but it's all a ploy so he can more directly screw her over and he really is exactly as bad as he appeared.
  • The Woobie:
    • Marta Cabrera. She's the nicest, most altruistic character in the movie, but unfortunately, she suffers a Trauma Conga Line that leaves her emotionally distressed. She breaks down in guilt upon suspecting that she accidentally killed Harlan, witnesses Harlan commit suicide right in front of her, gets unfairly chastised by the other Thrombeys all the time, is manipulated into being threatened with deportation along with her sister and mother, and gets dragged down further by Ransom as he frames her for Harlan's death and baits her into helping him get away with it. And to top it all off, Ransom tries to killher when his plan doesn't work.
    • Nana comes in at a close second. Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren are so wrapped up themselves that none of them comforts her about the loss of her son. What makes it even more of a Tear Jerker is that Nana herself remains largely silent about it, like she's trying to cope with it alone, or she's struggling to come to terms with it. The cops at least don't make her leave the house when Benoit asks them to clear up the family, implying that Marta will look out for her.
    • Fran the housekeeper also deserves a mention. She is the one who first finds Harlan's body and is clearly unnerved by it, especially when it comes to light that she realized that Ransom was the guilty party the whole time. She tried to confront him about it, but he injected her with lethal amounts of morphine.
    • Meg is the only one who appears to be genuinely nice to Marta as a person, instead of the others that treat her more like a pet. She finds out after losing her grandfather that her mother is broke, has been embezzling from Harlan, and as a result, she will not be able to afford to continue going to school. When Marta is revealed to be the heir, she is pressured by her family to betray Marta, first by trying to convince her to give up the inheritance, and then by being pressured herself to give up the secret that Marta's mother is an illegal immigrant so they can use it to blackmail Marta. Fortunately, when she confesses to Marta, she is forgiven.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • Richard Drysdale, who, as seen during Ransom's arrest, seems to be under the impression that bribery involves waving a wad of cash at an arresting officer while yelling and hoping he takes it. The police officer does not. If anything, Richard is lucky none of the cops take him seriously as even attempting to bribe a police officer is a federal offense and he's doing this with plenty of witnesses.
    • Fran the housekeeper. Bless her heart, but she really should have known better than trying to blackmail Ransom after realizing that he attempted to kill Harlan and framed Marta for the act, then arranged to meet with him in a dark, secluded laundry alone to discuss their terms despite knowing that the man will go to any length to achieve his goal instead of doing the sensible thing and telling the police (or really, anyone else) about it. Unsurprisingly, it gets her killed, and if Marta wasn't kind enough to try to resuscitate her so that she could last long enough to arrive at a hospital, her premature death would play right into Ransom's plan to implicate Marta and he would've gotten away with it all, the very thing she was trying to prevent.
  • Win Back the Crowd: For some members of a certain franchise's crowd, Knives Out is seen as proof that Rian Johnson's work on The Last Jedi wasn't emblematic of his abilities as a director or writer. Knives Out in general is seen as much less divisive and aggravating, especially since he's writing his own characters rather than working in a pre-established franchise. That it's a completely different genre (and one where the subversion of tropes is more commonly accepted at that, if not expected) also helps.