Fury – An Outstanding Film Depiction of the Perseverance and Commitment of The Men from “America’s Greatest Generation”

I would be a fool and a hypocrite if I sat here tonight in the comfort of my home and tried to rate a classic effort by Brad Pitt and many other men and women who set out to tell a story that reflects the heart and soul of the Sacrifice from the Men of the Greatest Generation who went in “for the duration” to defeat the most egregious villain the World had known in the deadliest military conflict in history.

What I can say is that Marty and I 100% recommend you experience this film in the theater. When it was over we sat while the credits rolled and said nothing – not reading them but reflecting on what we had just seen and thinking of the almost half a million Americans who paid the ultimate price in The Big One. What greater gift can a man give except to lay down his own life?

I said almost nothing on the ride home as I tried to parse my feelings to share with you. The closest thing that comes to mind compares to how I have felt on very few occasions at a Spirit filled Memorial Service that touched my heart and caused me to look inside myself and wonder if I could have been one of those men.

I’ll close with this. Words don’t capture the feeling of appreciation this film engenders for the Men of the Greatest Generation and their sacrifice. If I had my way viewing Fury would be mandatory for those of us Americans who have benefited so greatly from the resolve and commitment of the men and women who paid the ultimate price on the biggest stage the world has ever known.

Gone Girl – Like Elvis Marty and I are no longer in the building!

If you are a big reader and you read the book then don’t bother with this review. On the other hand if you are like Marty and I and you simply like to see entertaining movies this flick may not be for you and it was definitely not for us. For a moment forget about the gratuitous and graphic sex – after an hour and forty five minutes I was so worked up by the back and forth and to and fro and unsettled semi-conclusions that I experienced a combination of boredom and anxiety that I took a bathroom and walk around break. I came out of the bathroom to see Marty standing in the lobby waiting to go home. Let me help you understand this – not even Saint Marty could take what she described as exasperation with this film.

I can only describe this as a special interest film for a select audience with higher intelligence and far more understanding and patience than Marty and I possess. I seldom send along another site in our reviews of a film but if you want to know more open the site below about the ending from the Washington Post. Since I left with forty five minutes left I was curious how it ended. After reading this and other sites I am so glad that left when we did.



“Dracula” – I Wish it was “The Untold Story”

Have you ever had a friend call and say I would really like you to come over so that I could tell you something that has been “untold” until now. On arrival it seems to you that he/she has had at least one afternoon cocktail and at the end of what seems like forever you go home thinking to yourself – man, I wish I had not wasted my time hearing that “Untold Story!”

That’s pretty much our view of Dracula – The Untold Story. Marty and I give it a C and a D for theater viewing and maybe a joint C+ for home viewing when you can take some bathroom breaks to relieve yourself of the far too often slower than slow scenes.

Some of you will never want to see this movie because of the violence and blood. Some of you will never want to see this movie because your personal spiritual concerns about the whole Dracula/undead thing.

Personally I have seen almost every Dracula movie ever made – going back to the 1931 original with Bela Lugosi and Lon Chaney in Son of Dracula. Then the excellent portrayals by Christopher Lee beginning in 1958 – Frances Ford Copula’s Dracula with Gary Oldman in 1992 and the excellent Interview with a Vampire with Tom and Brad. Then who could forget Blackula and the ever enjoyable comedy of Mel Brooks and Leslie Nelson in Dead and Loving it and my personal favorite Love at First Bite with George Hamilton. Should I go on? Maybe not!

Here’s the bottom line. Don’t waste your time and money seeing “The Untold Story” in the theater. Maybe if you are a Dracula Buff you rent it at home or maybe even wait for the free showing on cable/DTV.

The Equalizer – Excellent – Except? We still give it an A

Denzel (Robert) is The Equalizer in more ways than one. This movie doesn’t get made without him and he does not disappoint. I have always felt it is a far more difficult acting job to play the “good guy” and to carry the mantle through the entire film and leave the viewer empathizing with him and really believing in the character.

An actor I never heard of – Marton Scokas plays Teddy – the really bad guy. He had all the earmarks: Russian, Sharp suits and slicked back hair, Paid Killer, Scars, Tattoos all over his body and right away he chokes a lovely young Russian woman to death – in spite of her telling him the truth. Needless to say when the movie really gets going its all about Robert versus Teddy and his gang of evil henchmen. The plot is not going to be too quick for you to keep up.

Speaking of the movie getting going I almost gave up on the film about 25 minutes in. I’ve seen grass grow faster than the opening of The Equalizer. Also, if I wanted to be critical I might make a comment about Denzel killing five or six bad guys at a time and only once did he bring a gun to the fight. However, Marty and I are Southerners and we always love to see the good guy kill lots of bad guys – no matter how gory or unrealistic it might be. We still hold onto those Southern feelings from the War Between the North and the South – and I assume there is no need for me to tell you who the bad guys were.

All that said if you like Denzel and violence and killing and the good guy winning and winning you will love this movie. You just won’t like the first twenty minutes or so but don’t give up on Denzel – he comes through for you.


Have you ever been “Sheep Dipped?”

Have you ever been “Sheep Dipped?” As it turns out I was “Sheep Dipped” in early April of 1970 in Vietnam and I didn’t even know it. Before I tell you the “rest of the story” take a moment and read this comment on recent events in Syria/Iraq and in particular the definition of “Sheep Dipping.”

“After 2 days of intense pressure from CNN reporters and analysts about the need for U.S. air strikes in support of Kurdish troops in contact with ISIS fighters near Gobani AKA Ain in northern Syria on the border with Turkey, yesterday, U.S. fighter bombers rolled in an hit the ISIS positions and vehicles. All of the commentators on CNN agreed that air strikes of this kind could not be carried out without the assistance of forward air controllers. They were not wrong. I would respectfully suggest to you that there were U.S. personnel across the fence in Syria. These may have been Special Operations Forces operating with orders that POTUS needed plausible deniability about their presence in Syria or they may have been U.S. military personnel who had gone through sheep dipping. Sheep dipping occurs when a military member enters a room where a military personnel officer and a civilian personnel officer are present. When the military member leaves the room , he or she is no longer on Active Duty in the U.S. Armed Forces and is an employee or contract employee of a civilian U. S. Government agency. The cover agency is often the U.S. Agency for International Development. The person who has gone through sheep dipping is then placed across the fence into an area where POTUS wishes to say that there are no U.S. boots on the ground. This was often done in Laos and Cambodia during the Vietnam War.”

In 1969 and 1970 Richard Nixon was President and friend or foe Hanoi Jane was shouting at the top of her lungs that we had soldiers in Cambodia – to which Mr. Nixon replied “We do not have troops in Cambodia.” I’d take Nixon a thousand times over Obama but he was not afraid of cursing or lying.

At the time I was in the Fourth Infantry Division in the Central Highlands of RVN – just East of Cambodia. I had been awarded a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star as a Staff Sergeant acting as an Infantry Platoon Leader ever since our Lieutenant had his head severed by a Huey blade in a hot CA months before.

One day in very early April of 1970 when the re-supply bird came out to bring us food and ammo an Officer got off and met me with orders to report to the Fourth Infantry Division’s Headquarter’s Band in Pleiku. You can imagine my surprise and delight at being taken out of the field doing S&D for an assignment in the “Band” – even though I did not play an instrument – a fact I kept to myself. The bird dropped me at HQ and I was assigned an air conditioned room with a shower, toilet and two bunks with a Corporal who was a communications specialist. We were given full privileges for the night in the Senior NCO mess hall and club – privileges the Corporal and I took full advantage of. We were allowed to sleep in and told to report to some Full Bird at eleven hundred hours the next day.

Imagine my shock when we met a Command Sergeant Major who told us we were being reassigned and going on a Top Secret LRP to Cambodia with monitoring equipment to gather information about troop and supply movements from NVN – through Cambodia on the Ho Chi Min Trail and then back into RVN. Of course we were armed – me with an M-16 and Colt 45 and the Corporal with a sight mounted M-14. However, our orders were not to engage anyone going down The Trail – just to record and report the activity we saw.

You’ve probably already heard me tell about how that worked out but it’s not the point of this e mail. After my brief stay in Cambodia I was transferred to the Americal Division, 27th Infantry – where I was on the first wave of the “official Cambodian Invasion” on April 30th, 1970 – which was publicly announced by President Nixon.

Months later when I DEROSED back to Seattle I was handed my official US Army records – which of course contained all my awards and medals – and the list of where I was assigned during my time in RVN. You guessed it – they read: US Army – Fourth Infantry Division; US Army Headquarters Band; US Army Americal Infantry Division. Not one word about the time in Cambodia.

From that day in 1970 until today – 9/29/2014 – I always wondered why my time in Cambodia never appeared in my record. Now I know – some time in early April of 1970 I was Sheep Dipped.

Barbara Streisand’s Newest Musical Release – Partners – We give it an A

If you are a fan of Barbara Streisand you will love her new release of generally well known songs with equally well known and talented partners. If you download your music from Apple we strongly recommend you buy the entire album for $7.99 rather than paying $1.29 per single. there isn’t a “barker” on the list. Some are more enjoyable than others but they are all good.

Marty likes Barbara better than Shrimp and Grits – which is saying something for a gal from SC. One of the highlights of her life was meeting me – NO – it was taking her Sister Nancy to see Barbara live! It was the best money I’ve spent. Naturally she loves the album.

As for me I would not say I am a fan of Barbara but no one can deny she has one of the best voices in musical history and tremendous range. I enjoy many genres of music and this album is a pleasure to listen to – good driving music. Time may have soured her politics but her voice and song selection is still really good. If you are interested in reading more I have put the album’s website below.



The more things change the more they stay the same!

I may be the last person to learn this but America’s much beloved President Thomas Jefferson, a man of peace, went to war against what he and Adams described as the Muslim Pirates off the Libyan (Barbary) Coast in the late 1700’s. These two well researched sites reveal that which you probably already suspicion – Muslim Terrorist, Jihadists, Pirates or what ever you want to call them have been kidnapping and killing hostages since at least the 1700’s. More over they use the Koran to justify these actions against the Infidels – see the research in the first site below “city journal.”

Now instead of Jefferson and Adams we have Obama and Kerry. Read that line again will you? Now instead of Jefferson and Adams we have Obama and Kerry. Doesn’t it just cause your heart to flutter with confidence or maybe what I’m feeling is more like stroke symptoms knowing that with Obama and Kerry we will be lied to – sided against and to use the common if not course vernacular – screwed.

I’m not encouraging you to pass this on to anyone because why would I want them to be as depressed about our leaders as I am. Just hit the delete button and pretend that feeling in the pit of your stomach is too many capers on your sauteed Wahoo and not the result of what you know to be true. We be screwed!




PS Marty and I had lunch at Three Doors Up and Krista sautéed us a great piece of Wahoo in butter, lemon, wine, olives and artichoke hearts. It was absolutely fantastic. The best lunch place anywhere near this place. She asked if we wanted capers but I told her my worries about Obama and Kerry and she made sure I knew where the bathrooms were.

November Man: Marty and I liked it and give it a “B-” but we urge you to wait for home viewing.

If you like Pierce Brosnan you will like November Man. We hadn’t seen him in some time and he still looks great and moves like a forty year old! What I wouldn’t give for his head of hair. We have no idea who any of the supporting cast are but they generally did a good job in their roles – especially the female lead – Olga Kurylenko as Alice/???

If you like espionage – action – adventure – surprising plot twists – a few good car chase scenes and several good sniper kills all capped off with a fast paced ending you will like November Man.

Then why didn’t we give this film a better review and why are we telling you it’s not worth the hassle of going to the theater to see? Because it’s not! It’s a good movie and about on par with some of HBO’s good cable TV shows. The November Man starts out fast and furious for about twenty minutes and we were excited about what was yet to come. Then as the writers and cast fleshed out the plot and details the film became laborious and felt like walking a soggy trail where every step was an effort.

The final twenty minutes, however, are great. There is one major plot twist and two character surprises and a good ending. Pierce, the first twenty minutes and the last twenty minutes will make this an “A+” home rental. It will be worth five bucks On Demand or how ever you get your home movies. Then when it slows down in the middle you can hit pause, get a snack, go the bathroom and if you remember I told you the middle was slow also remember not to hit the delete button because the ending is very good.

Larry and Marty

The Expendables 3 – A mixed vote in our family: Marty A, Larry C

Of the movie goers who choose to see “The Expendables 3″ my guess is 50% will be glad they saw it and half of that number or 25% max will really like the film.

Marty gave it an A because she “really liked seeing” the Male Actors she knows: Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Banderas, Gibson and Ford. She wasn’t the least bit put off by the totally unrealistic and often impossible action scenes. She liked the action and the men and one woman doing it and that made her happy so she left smiling and gave it an A.

Personally I too enjoyed seeing the old guys and felt their chemistry and male bonding came across naturally. It was hard to miss the fact that Arnold was the only male actor dressed in loose fitting clothing and most often wearing a jacket. My guess is Maria Shriver is in much better shape and doesn’t miss Arnold much these days. I was particularly impressed with newcomer Ronda Rassey, the reigning and dominant Female Mixed Martial Arts Champion. We are not MMA Fans and I’m sure she was in the make up trailer like all the actors but she not only looked good – her fighting scenes were the best of the lot. The next time she’s on cable in a MMA fight we’ll check it and her out.

What bothered me most about the film was the absolute total and complete ridiculousness of most of the battle scenes and in particular the big shoot out in the end. Ten good guys armed with only pistols and rifles hold off an Army – literally an Army of several hundred men – supported by tanks, helicopters and all manner of heavy firepower and explosives. Throw in the traditional twenty minute dead zone an hour into the film and I sadly have to say that I am in the 25% who are glad they saw The Expendables 3 but I wish I had waited for home viewing.

Unless you are a big fan of the Expendables Series I recommend you wait for home viewing. That way when the movie drags like a rusted out tail pipe in the middle you can hit the fridge or the bathroom.


The New Word of the Week: SCROOMED – Screwed and Doomed

While recently reviewing the statistics from various Federal Government Departments it seems that at present approximately forty percent (40%) of the population of the USA is on some form of Welfare Payments and this percentage grows substantially each year.

Taking this sobering reality into account and considering the Economy and our National Leadership, my friend Damon sent me a one word response that expressed his outlook for our future – SCROOMED. As you know from the title this is a reflection of two scenarios. You, as a member of the working class of America – those who contribute to those who don’t – we are Screwed and we may be Doomed. If it wasn’t so damned true it would be funny.

I communicate with a lot of my peers – retired or almost retired folks who feel like things are going to hell – BUT not so fast that life here in America will change dramatically for them in our life time. However, when they really open up they say their greatest fear in life is the death of the American Dream and what that means for their Children, Grand Children and Great Grand Children. What haunts them even more is that our generation is powerless to do much if anything about it. We are SCROOMED and it appears it may be worse for each successive Generation.

When I think think of America I am reminded of the Presidents we have had over the past fifty years or so and how I remember them. For your review they are:

President – – How I remember them

John F Kennedy – – Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country
Gerald Ford – – Perhaps the worst Presidential Golfer of all time
Richard Nixon – – I would not lie to you! We are not in Cambodia (actually I was there at the time)
Jimmy Carter – – Stagflation
Ronald Reagan – – Tear Down That Wall
George HW Bush – – One Thousand Points of Light
Bill Clinton – – Monica
George “W” Bush – – The War on Terror
Barack Obama – – SCROOMED

Well there it is friends. If you disagree – and I hope you do – please let know how I can look on the brighter side of life. For Marty and I our only real hope is the Coming of Messiah!