Monday, July 20, 2009

John McTiernan Jailbird Update

The last time we checked in on John McTiernan, the director of Die Hard and Last Action Hero (as well as his 1986 debut Nomads, which has a special place in my heart as the first movie that ever put my date to sleep), he was waiting for the hammer to come down, again. As we recounted just the other day, in 2006 McTiernan pled guilty to the charge of lying to the FBI in the course of their investigation of rogue Hollywood P.I. Anthony Pellicano, only to subsequently withdraw his plea, explaining that at the time he entered it, "he didn't have adequate legal representation, was jet-lagged and under the influence of alcohol," all of which probably amounted to a replication of the condition he was in when he made Nomads. It took until two months ago for the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to rule definitively that he did have the right to withdraw his plea. Now, to the surprise of no one, McTiernan has been indicted on two counts of lying to the Feds and a shiny new charge of perjury, which is based on statements he made to a federal judge in the course of withdrawing his guilty plea to the FBI-related charges. McTiernan's lawyer complains that "The prosecutor has taken one count and tried to expand it into more charges in a new indictment. There seems to be retribution because John refused to play ball the way the prosecutors wanted and because we were successful on appeal." Either that or the prosecutor just saw Nomads. Hey, if you don't like hearing about it every two sentences, take up a collection and give me back my eight dollars.

As we also mentioned last week, McTiernan has set up a web site to showcase his charges that he is but one of several victims of Republican schemer Karl Rove, who, McTiernan alleges, had his minions hard at work on the Pellicano case trying to shake out dirt that could have been used against possible presidential contender Hillary Clinton last fall. McTiernan has made a documentary pressing his case, The Political Prosecutions of Karl Rove, which you're supposed to be able to watch at the website. I tried watching it myself, but when I hit the "Play" button, I got a pop-up ad in which a woman appeared on my screen and asked, "Hi! Are you a genius!?", which under the circumstances felt kind of like she was adding insult to injury. Then I found what appears to be the movie at YouTube, starting here, where I watched enough of it to feel confident that I'd gotten to the bottom of why McTiernan, who narrates the film, doesn't do voice-over work for Pixar. Personally, I'd recommend waiting to see if McTiernan tries to show it in court as part of his legal defense. If he does, and it gets him off, I will sell off my body one organ at a time in order to fund the making of Nomads 2.

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