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.


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Posted by on August 23, 2014 in Home, Mind of U L


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!



Posted by on August 22, 2014 in Home, Mind of U L


There is sadness in the Stephens Family at the Passing of Robin Williams

Our son Tony and I played tennis late today after the sun set and the temps fell below 90. When we were done Tony checked his iPhone and we were taken back when he read that Robin Williams had died.

I was particularly sad because in my mind – my perception – therefore my reality – Robin Williams left this life without having personally accepted Christ as the One who died for our sins. As I sit here and type this note I truly, truly hope that my perception is wrong – that the Amazing Grace of God reached out and called one of His most talented yet troubled creations home.

Marty, Tony and I spent ten days in Hawaii in 1987 at the Kapalua Bay Club on the Big Island. It was perhaps the finest family vacation we ever took. It had been a great year for our firm and we went all out on an Ocean View Home which also bordered the golf course. Tony brought his Football and Wrestling friend George and as the two biggest kids on the block they made some interesting friends – one being Billy Crystal’s daughter – a young adventuresome teenager about his age – apparently in need of a friend and super sized body guard or two for the week.

Each morning I was up at 5:00am local time – 10:00am in Chicago – waiting on the first tee for the sun to rise just enough for us to see our tee shots rise into the golden light of a Big Island Dawn. While I was golfing Marty relaxed and later in the day we would take our rental jeep into places we hope Hertz never finds out about and had some great fun snorkeling in Horseshoe Bay.

It seems that no matter how much money you spend for accommodations and privacy there is always a “pool side buffet” where the rich and famous stand in line with the folks from Chicago. It was there that I met Billy Crystal, Gary Shandling (The Larry Sanders Show) and Robin Williams – standing in line waiting for waffles and eggs. Being the shy retiring type I introduced myself and began to banter with the real professionals. Billy, Gary and Robin were all extremely approachable and friendly. However, Robin was “on stage” even as he waited for brunch. He entertained us all with incredibly spontaneous humor and turned what could have been a long twenty minute wait into our personal Robin Williams Comedy 1/3 Hour.

Like strangers in the night we passed and nodded now and then and they asked for our permission for Tony to join them for the New Year’s Eve Party at The Club. Since I’d been up since before sunrise and Saint Marty was stuck with me for better or worse we had our NYE celebration around seven and were sound asleep by nine.

Maybe it was just being in the warm sunny breezes of Hawaii in December but somehow or another in our minds we “connected” with Billy, Gary and Robin and they made us feel like we really knew them.

For those of you who know us well you will remember that upon arriving home in Chicago we found our “home” totally burned to the ground. That is the subject of another day but even in the midst of that challenge we still enjoyed the memory of that time in both the short and long term.

Tonight we are saddened in our spirits that one of the great comedic genius’s of out time took his life so young. We pray for his soul and his family without judgement and with very, very fond memories.


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Posted by on August 11, 2014 in Mind of U L


Guardians of the Galaxy: Marty gives it “P” – for Pathetic

Have you ever been to a movie that started unbelievably slow and then as the characters were introduced you had hope that it was going to pick up and be entertaining if not good? There is NO HOPE for Guardians of the Galaxy.

My only regret is that it took me 35 minutes to figure out it was never going to pick up and another five to pull the trigger and hit the exit. I would like to write something cogent or clever that would reward you for opening the blog but I am so sorry to tell you I can not.

Like my dearly, beloved and departed Mom always said – Larry if you can’t say something good about someone then “run them down the country” and spare your other Red Neck friends from wasting their time going out with them.

Don’t do it! Don’t go to see it! Don’t pay for it on home delivery! Don’t even waste your time when it hits STARZ because surely HBO will have the good sense not to pick this “raccoon” – make that DOG up.


Posted by on August 8, 2014 in Movies


Lucy – A Cognitive Fantacy and a Feast for the Mind: B +

When a Woman controls the action, adventure and violence in a futuristic and evolutionary film it will be called Lucy.

When a human develops their cognitive powers and ability to process and think like no person that ever lived it will be a woman and her name will be Lucy.

If you are creative, adventuresome and the idea of elevating your ability to think and control your environment and those around you excites you then you will really like Lucy.

On the other hand if your World View controls your ability to enjoy an intellectual fantasy then you will not like Lucy.

Uncle Larry gave Lucy a strong B+ and worthy of sitting in a sticky seat where a nine year old sat yesterday and spilled butter from his popcorn to see Lucy on the big screen with the big surround sound. On the other hand Saint Marty gave Lucy a C- because she found it boring as she has no desire to be unrealistic and to delve into a world where one’s cognitive powers can reach levels never before dreamed of.

I thought Scarlett Johansson did a great job and Morgan Freeman was Morgan Freeman and who can complain about that?

Some of you will like Lucy and some of you will not. I suppose that’s why Studebaker with their futuristic and radical design went out of business and Buick survives with comfort and what the majority call style. Raise your hand if you are too young to remember Studebaker!

Uncle Larry

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Posted by on August 4, 2014 in Home, Movies


Hercules – C+

It takes a Herculean effort to sit patiently through the special effects loaded “Hercules” movie with The Rock – in a food, exercise and steroid enhanced body.

However, Marty and I felt the wait was worth it for the ending. It was a long time coming and no surprise but was good nonetheless. No one in this flick is going to be nominated for anything other than getting a big check.

If you aren’t a Dwayne Johnson fan or like to look at men with big pecs and arms wait for home rental.

Uncle Larry

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Posted by on July 26, 2014 in Movies


Jersey Boys – The Movie. Marty and I give it a luke warm B Minus.

Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons had some great songs. However, when I looked at the 672 downloads in my iTunes Library there is nothing there by him/them. I guess you could say we like his hits but we aren’t big fans.

If you’re a fan of the Four Seasons and you have NOT seen the live show on Broadway you will really enjoy this movie and I highly recommend you see it soon. I love Clint but it is so very difficult to take a huge stage hit like Jersey Boys and keep it fresh, personal and feeling live on FILM. It would help if you were a fan and you really cared about their life story.

Marty and I were fortunate enough to see Jersey Boys when we were in London for our 35th Anniversary. I can still remember now how pumped up we were at the close of the show. Speaking of the “close” – that is the very best part of the movie. Please don’t jump up and run out until the screen goes black. While they run the credits they bring all the cast together for a big song and dance number that reminds us so much of the stage show.

There really isn’t a lot more to be said. With the constant going back and forth between “the story” and the “singing” the film doesn’t present the Actors the opportunity to get deep into their character.

One thing is for certain – at 2 hours and 14 minutes if you aren’t a Four Season fan you can definitely wait for home viewing. As it was I took a bath room and walk outside break about two thirds of the way through the film. If I would have had a Margarita before the film I probably would have stayed in my seat and got a short nap.



Posted by on June 20, 2014 in Home, Movies


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