Anger – Like Kudzu in Georgia it’s everywhere!


Anger, it’s like Kudzu in Georgia – it grows everywhere and getting rid of it requires digging out the roots and burning them – or throwing them in your neighbors yard if you are angry with him about something.
For me I think of anger sort of like temptation. It’s always around and it just jumps up on me like flies on honey. I don’t have to seek it out, it always seems to know where I am.

Saint Paul told us in I Corinthians 10:13 that “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

Is this where temptation and anger differ? Is God going to provide me a way out of temptation if I am willing to take it – but this latent, deep seated anger that I’ve been carrying around for fifty years or so – is there Biblical support that God wants to help me with that?

Our friends at GotQuestions.org put out a good piece this week on anger – from a Biblical perspective – addressing: 1. Is anger BAD and 2. How we can deal with it. I read the piece and I know I need to work on some of these principles. OK, you got me, I need to work on all of them!

If you are interested in what they are just open this site. It takes about five minutes to read and a lifetime to apply.

https://gotquestions.org/QOTW.htm

The Crown – Netflix – Royally Entertaining


If you have a smart TV and want to see some of the best entertainment on “television” you really do need to subscribe to Netflix. I think we are paying $9 a month and not only is “Wi-fi” the future of entertainment it is the present of some of the most creative and entertaining programs available today. Also, as I’m sure you know it’s commercial free and when a program is released the entire season is available for viewing. If you really get into a program you can just keep watching it episode after episode.

The Crown is nothing short of outstanding. Marty has always followed all things “Royal” and she thinks this is the best entertainment she has seen – movies and TV – in a long time.

We watched Episodes One and Two last night and I felt like I had just seen a full feature film that I would give an A rating for entertainment, history, human interest, politics, cinematography and grand sets. Perhaps its the “American” in me but when I see one of these well done pieces about the Royal Family the full range of human emotions – both good and bad – seem to be in full view.

Neither Marty or I know any of the British actors but they are great at being “British.” Claire Foy – who ever she is – did a wonderful job in Episodes One and Two of showing us the transition of a young girl to a wife and mother and is just starting to come into her own as Her Royal Majesty.

As the only American actor in the cast John Lithgow does an excellent job portraying an aging Winston Churchill in the final act of his political career. The costume and make up artists should win an award for transforming him visually into the Father of England.

If you have Netflix jump in on “The Crown.” Marty and I believe you will really enjoy it.

The Accountant – It All Adds Up


Marty, Tony and I all give Ben Affleck and “The Accountant” a solid A for Action, Dialogue, Subtle Humor, Supporting Cast, Surprising Plot Twists, Realistic and Justified Violence and especially The Film’s theme and message.

Ben Affleck was fully in “character” as Christian Wolff – an adult living the story of a child who was born with Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of high functioning Autism. This developmental disorder is characterized in people who are high functioning, driven, exhibit a strong personal moral code, are mathematically inclined, become anxious when a task is not completed, avoid social interaction, struggle with non-verbal communication – yet they desire to be in relationships but often lack the skills to do so. Ben never broke character – even when I really wanted him to.

At this point you may be thinking of “Rain Man” and what a wonderful and liberal movie of redemption this might be. Guess again theater goer! This film uses a technique that I usually don’t care for – Flashbacks – to effectively piece together the story of how an odd kid wound up being a Forensic Accountant dealing with some of the world’s most dangerous characters – with exceptionally high compensation. In part because of his disorder – but primarily because of the extreme methods his Father used to help Chris learn to deal with the real world – Chris became a super efficient instrument of violence and death when his moral code was violated.

The film moves back and forth between the story of a US Treasury Agent (J.K. Simmons) and his dedicated and emotionally complicated Assistant (Cynthia Robinson) hunting down The Accountant – Chris’s work for a corporation whose Junior Accountant (Anna Kendrick) uncovered some discrepancies – and a significant amount of bad guys who violated Chris’s moral code and or threatened his almost new friend Anna having their bodies beaten, broken and quite often their lives very realistically terminated. Arnold would have been proud! But some of you will find the violence too much. Tony and I enjoyed seeing the bad guys get what they deserved and often accompanied by some subtle and clever one liner – executed with good timing by Affleck.

Throw in a small but well acted part as a mentor by Jeffrey Tambor – non stop action and at least two plot twists I never saw coming we strongly recommend you see The Accountant. We are looking forward to buying it when it comes out on DVR so we can listen more carefully to the dialogue and cynical humor during much of the violence. That said will you miss a lot if you wait for home viewing? No – just delayed enjoyment – but there are very few special effects, if any, that must be seen on the big screen.

Lethal Weapon – The Best American Buddy Cop TV Show Since Miami Vice


How lucky can one couple get? Marty and I saw Denzel bring down the bad guys in The Magnificent Seven and in the very same week we are treated to the best American Buddy Cop TV Show since Tubbs and Crocket in Miami Vice! This is the most fun Marty has had since our honeymoon! OK – maybe I had you up to there but you know I crossed the line with that weak reference.

Fox’s rip off of Mel and Danny’s Lethal Weapon movies does not disappoint. I will state unequivocally this is the best Buddy Cop Procedural on TV. My ex-news anchor friend Kurt Fonger taught me that a Procedural is a TV production that begins and ends the plot each show. Unlike “24” and so many of today’s TV shows that leave you on the edge of frustration – Fox’s Lethal Weapon does not leave you “hangin bro.”

This show is a fast paced hour of entertainment combining Black and White – action and violence – definitely good and bad guys – great one liners – stirred with four cups of Sarcastic Humor – Partners – Family and deep rooted heart ache.

Daman Wayans (Murtaugh) is probably the only “face” you will know but in this role he plays the straight guy to Clane Crawford (Riggs) and Riggs steals the show. If possible I strongly encourage you to use your Xfinity On Demand or what ever TV provider you use and watch the premier episode first. The show builds on Murtaugh’s family dynamic and Riggs PTSD and other deep seated emotional issues from the tragic loss of his pregnant wife. As a sub plot the writers do an excellent job of dealing with the subject of suicide.

Well enough of me droning on – by the way did I mention Murtaugh’s successful and hot Defense Attorney wife played by Kesha Sharp – the ever present and necessary authority figure Captain Brooks (Kevin Rahm) and the beautiful and charming Police Psychologist Maureen (Jordana Brewster)?

The Magnificent Seven – A worthy compliment to its predecessors and a very entertaining Western to watch.


The Cinematographers presented the landscapes as a pallet upon which the writers and actors paint a gritty, rich and colorful film that will some day be known as a classic Western.

A rag tag bunch of misfit Cowboys, Indians and Confederates are led by a Black Gunman with an unknown motivation for justice and a burning hatred for The Bad Guy! The Town Folk are led by a spunky young widow whose husband was killed in cold blood in the local Church.

Marty, Tony and I really liked this film. Certainly not because of its originality but because it was BIG – full of action packed scenes that never left me bored – the odd mix of characters bonded – it had interesting dialogue and the big showdown of the Magnificent Seven against an army of bad guys was well planned, chocked full of close up and personal killing of many bad guys – which led to a good ending with a couple of surprises.

Not only are we recommending this film to you but we encourage you to see it on the Big Screen. It was filmed in New Mexico and Louisiana and the scenery is as important as any character. The Costume staff did an excellent job of dressing the actors in what we romanticize as Cowboy attire with vests, boots, shiny Colts and Peacemakers riding magnificent horses.

When the credits rolled we sat in our seats for a couple of minutes reflecting on how well we had been entertained – which I believe is the point of going to a movie.

 

Hell or Highwater – The Modern Cowboy Reincarnation of The Big Lebowski A+ by Tony, Marty and Uncle Larry


The Directors of Hell or Highwater give Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine and a strong supporting cast the TIME needed to allow you to get to know each of the five central characters as so few movies do any more. This film defies categorization. It’s not a comedy but it’s sometimes not so subtle dialogue had us laughing out loud. Jeff Bridges role as a Texas Ranger defies Political Correctness.  It’s not a violent film but people get killed as sometimes happens in life. It’s not a tale of suspense but all along the way little bread crumbs lead you slowly to the ending – which was a comforting surprise to me.

For you ladies you who saw Chris Pine in the recent Startrek release be prepared to see this generations Brad Pitt! Chris pulls his weight, is ruggedly handsome and quietly sexy with his tan and three day beard. Did I really just say that?

All in all we really like this film. That said – will you miss anything if you wait for Home Rental? Absolutely Not – except you won’t get to enjoy it until then. Like the Big Lebowski and many other “Character Development” classics the hundreds of millions of dollars Hell or Highwater will make will be from home viewers. Tony and I can’t wait to have a short one and see this film at home where we can rewind and listen to the lines we really enjoyed and some we probably missed.

Those of you who read movie reviews may wonder how a film that got a 99% rating from “Rotten Tomatoes” and a 90% review by audiences could have opened with a low first weekend “gross.” As I said earlier this movie defies categorization and may not appeal to the Action-Adventure and Computer Generated wizardry crowd. Yet, I believe it will have long legs from word of mouth and years from now people who enjoy getting to know the characters and feel plot development will still be renting Hell or Highwater.

 

 

 

 

I made my first Political Contribution today for Brian Mast – Combat Wounded Vet who is running for Congress


I made my first political contribution today for Brian Mast – also a Combat Wounded Veteran who is running for Congress here where we live in District 18. You are probably too young to appreciate this but sometimes I forget things. My phone rang today and it was Brian, saying he got my number from his wife Brianna and asked if he could talk for a minute about his run for Congress.

While he was talking I had a flashback to one of our favorite servers for years at Palm Beach Grill – his wife – Brianna Mast. Brianna asked Marty and I several times back then to pray for “my husband” when he was shipped to the Middle East and in 2011 she implored us to pray for him as he had both his legs blown off by an IED. Of course we did and then we heard her reports of his long but remarkable healing and then the battle to adjust to his new artificial below the knee legs.

I saw the ads recently they are running on local TV and it dawned on me finally – that is Brianna from The Grill’s husband. Today I got an e mail from some good friends who are seasonal and they asked me if I knew him and told me about Brian being a strong Christian and Family Man – two boys 4 and 6 and a one year old girl – and that Marty and I and our friends at CF should get behind him.

Then just an hour or so ago Brian calls.

I have not met Brian personally but will do that soon when we get together for a local meet and greet. If you are interested in coming let me know. Brian is running against four other Republicans in the Primary later this month. Based on his record of serving our Nation – His remarkable recovery and re-entry into civilian life as a Christian leader of his family – and from what I can read on his website – Mastforcongress.com – he merits my support and I hope yours as well if you live here in District 18.

If you check his website don’t miss the “Meet the Masts” section. It brought tears to my eyes as I remember Marty and I meeting and getting married right before I shipped out to Vietnam. Our proposals were equally “un-romantic” and we had to make do on my $68 a month and her $80 a week. Who knew I married Marty for her money?

Thanks for taking the time to read this. Uncle Larry

Jason Bourne – When the Title of a Film is the Name of the Lead Actor That My Friends is a Hint


If you are a big fan of the Jason Bourne action series then you will want to see this film now.

Otherwise you can wait for Pay Per View or maybe even free rental on cable a year from now.

Am I saying this is a bad movie? No, not at all. As a home rental Tony, Marty and I give this a solid B. However, when a Film is named after the actor that ought to give you a clue as to what the film is all about – Jason Bourne. It kind of takes some of the suspense out of the plot – hold that thought – knowing that Jason is not going to be killed no matter how many life threatening situations he is in because Jason is the Franchise.

On the plus side if your kids are immune to violence and blood and fight scenes – but you do not want them to see anything sexual they can see this movie. It’s all about the action and the violence.

I saw a review in the paper that said “this plot was ripped from today’s headlines.” That reviewer must have broken into the business working on The National Enquirer because he damn sure did not get a Journalism Degree from Northwestern University in Chicago. This plot was one implausible vinette layed on the top of another.

Tommy Lee Jones play the “Bad Guy” – super wrinkled skin and all – as the Head of the CIA. He portrays this role as someone who planned out the evil plots and is/was actively involved in the details of day to day CIA operations in the field. The last time I checked George H Bush was the Director of the CIA once upon a time and I don’t see George and Barbara getting involved beyond the Political Level of putting on a show for Congress who provides the funding.

OK – enough of this rambling. If you are a Jason Bourne Trilogy fan get out there and see this flick SAP. Otherwise wait for home viewing.

When, oh when I ask you is there going to be a movie I really like – can give a “AAA” review to and tell you to spend your hard earned money is the theater now?

Superman v Batman – If you waited for Home Rental your Patience has Been Rewarded


If like Marty and I you were suspicious of a plot based on Superman fighting Batman and decided to wait for home viewing your patience has been rewarded. We rented Superman versus Batman (SvB) last night and really enjoyed it. SvB is an excellent home rental – especially if you have a good big screen TV.

Short version of why you should rent it:

1. The first 30 minutes was really good.
2. The final 30 minutes was really good.
3. You are at home and can get a drink or take a potty break when it gets slow in the middle or just hit the pause button.
4. In context of the script the showdown between Superman and Batman actually makes sense.
5. Ben Affleck was excellent as an aging, cynical, really buff and moody Batman.

Other reasons to spend five bucks for SvB:

6. Spoiler Alert! Amy Adams is so cute in a tub and even modestly dressed she brought Superman’s Lover to life.
7. Jeremy Irons is excellent as Alfred. Very proper those Brits!
8. Spoiler Alert! Wonder Woman makes a surprise appearance – setting her up for her own movie series.
9. Superman’s special effects are excellent but Henry Cavill shows about as much passion as my cat.
10. Diane Lane as Superman’s earthly Mother is timelessly beautiful even in stringy gray hair.

Uncle Larry