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

The Legend Of Tarzan – The Best Tarzan Movie Ever – Just not the Best Movie of 2016

If there really was a “Tarzan and Jane” we would like them to be what we saw yesterday in “The Legend of Tarzan” (Tarzan). This is by far the best Tarzan movie we have ever seen – really first class!

Marty and Larry give it a solid B+. Marty gives it an A and has already asked when we are going again. Larry gave it a B for the few times in the film that it was a little slow. We both enjoyed the film and as Marty says we plan to see it again to be able to pick up more of the dialogue and enjoy the majesty of the scenery and the interplay between the real human actors and the animals – they seemed so very real its hard to believe they were not. If you are old enough to remember Tarzan forget about everything that follows and see this film on the big screen.

This movie is for mature adults! No, there was no sex, no bad words and only enough violence and killing to clearly define the rolls between the “Good Guys” and the “Bad Guys.” A ten year old could see this film but he would not enjoy it as much as an adult who can relate to the characters, human emotion, loss and understand the lengths that men will go to in order to get what they want. A classic battle between good and evil.

As you might expect the “Best Actor” in this film is not the “Leading Actor.” Christoph Waltz (Awards for Inglorious Bastards, Django Unchained, Spectre) brings Leon Rom, an evil schemer, slave trader and all around bad guy to life with deceit, guile, violence and does it all with a smile and a witty sense of humor. He was so good at being bad I liked his character and almost hated to see him die. Speaking of supporting actors Samuel L. Jackson does his usual Samuel L. Jackson and its good enough to have plenty of work.

If you are female it really doesn’t matter who portrayed Tarzan (Alexander Scarsgord) – all you need to do is look at him. Marty mumbled just loud enough for me to hear that I look like that in her mind when the lights go out:) We saw a season of True Blood on HBO but became uncomfortable with the dark spiritual underpinnings so we had not seen much of Mr. Scarsgord’s work. One thing I can tell you for sure: he spent at least a year with professional trainers and body shapers to get in this kind of shape. Very impressive. In addition he was likable, athletic and did a good job interpreting Tarzan.

Margot Robbie is by the widest possible margin the best Jane ever. She played a strong, funny, intelligent and beautiful Jane – fully dressed at all times for the PG-13 rating.

Final Tip: Don’t be late or rush in at the last minute. The film starts right out from the get go so be in your seat to enjoy the development of all the characters!


The Four Seasons Resort – Orlando

When I was nineteen (1964 Pre-Vietnam for me) I went to work for Bob VanKampen and Tony Wauterlek in Chicago. They were throwing nickels around like they were man hole covers and I lived in the Oak Park YMCA for months before I could afford an “efficiency” at 5450 North Winthrop. More on that story later. I met Romanians there and I had never heard of Romania. Nobody cares about that story. Bob and Tony were great guys to work for and I say this sincerely – Bob was a Genius. His mind never stopped working. He “created” several types of bond financing and so much more this e-mail will have to stop there. Sadly Bob died in 1999 but gladly our long relationship with his lovely wife Judy and her Daughter Karla and Husband Scott have continued.

This past weekend Bob and Judy’s Grand Daughter/Karla and Scott’s Daughter Jacqueline was Married to a handsome young Jew who was born and lived until recently in Israel and served in combat twice as a Captain in the IDF. Marvelously Amir has accepted Christ as Messiah and Lord. More on that story later. The wedding was like nothing we have ever seen. I mean literally nothing like you have ever seen! More on that story later.

Karla and Scott chose the Four Seasons Resort in Lake Bueno Vista for the wedding and secured a block of rooms for family and old friends at a great rate! If your travels take you to Orlando, Disney and or it’s other theme Parks if you can find a good rate or if you win the Lottery don’t miss the chance to stay at The Four Seasons Resort Orlando.

Here’s my review which is also on Trip Advisor. Larry

The Four Seasons Resort (FSR) Orlando has the appearance, substance and the reality of Florida Style Luxury. In Florida, especially in the warmer seasons, Luxury doesn’t mean jackets, ties and long pants. It’s a difficult balancing act to be a Luxury Resort in Florida – yet maintain a casual ambience – including clothing – with a helpful and friendly staff that are well trained and provide the high level of service one expects at a Four Seasons Property. My wife and I feel FSR Orlando had it all together during our recent three day stay for a wedding of friends in the Grand Ball Room. The wedding by the way and staff service was over the top great!

The Property has a European influence and sits among a developing Disney project with many beautiful homes. Their Common Areas are anything but common. We enjoyed walking around the public areas every day. Yes, there are children there but with the separate Adult Pool and Cabanas – Children’s Pool (plural) and play areas it didn’t feel like we were in the Disney neighborhood. Throw in a Tom Fazio golf course that is featured on the PGA Tour, the quiet full service spa and the roof top bar and dining and it’s hard to feature anyone not enjoying FSR Orlando.

We have seldom met a staff that seems so genuinely happy to serve you and always without any pretense. Though our stay was brief it was intensely relaxing and if our schedules call for a visit to Orlando and or the Theme Parts we will definitely stay at FSR Orlando again!

Disney – The Jungle Book: Unless you are taking Children or Grand Children WAIT for Home Viewing

On the one hand “The Jungle Book” is a technological marvel that demonstrates how computer science can deliver us into a world of entertainment that doesn’t exist.

On the other hand for a “seventy something” going to the theater to see this film is akin to getting up super early on Christmas Morning when there are no kids home to open gifts.

My advice: Sleep in on Christmas Day and visit your Family at a more reasonable hour and wait for “The Jungle Book” to come out on home viewing. It is definitely worth seeing so that if nothing else you can be amazed at how far the entertainment industry has advanced. It is virtual reality. You see a child that really exists interacting verbally and physically in a world with animals that don’t.

Perhaps for a child or an open minded and creative adult “The Jungle Book” will capture your imagination and you will become emotionally involved with the child and his jungle friends. Uncle Larry, however, didn’t meet those requirements. Once I got used to the “technology” I lost interest in the characters and would have left but I lived in hope that I would warm up to it. On a positive note, Bill Murray was a terrific bear, it had a happy ending and the child should be nominated for some award for being able to appear to be interacting with animal friends that don’t exist.

Maybe that’s the point of the whole exercise!

Bridge of Spies – An Excellent Home Rental!

Bridge of Spies is a film in the classic style of cinema. What could Steven Spielberg do to make this movie interesting when everyone already knows the plot and the ending? Being the genius he is he went for the sure thing: Great Dialogue/Screenplay and Excellent acting by Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance.

Bridge of Spies was nominated for a “Best Picture” Oscar and has a 92 Rotten Tomatoes rating. Mark Rylance was splendid as the Russian Spy and as you know won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. I can not believe Tom Hanks was not even nominated as Best Actor. He carried the film on his shoulders and seemed to be in most every scene.

With all these platitudes why did we not see it in the theater? It’s 134 minutes plus the credits and given the lack of “suspense” the film seemed seemed to plod along like a work horse at times – which is the beauty of Home Rental – go to the bathroom, make a drink or have a second dessert.

All in all Marty, Tony and I highly recommend Bridge of Spies to any and all age groups who enjoy a classic film. I can’t remember any foul language and not a hint of sexuality. I think you will enjoy it very much if you have realistic expectations about the pacing and just relax and enjoy the dialogue and acting.

Who is Winning? Trump or “Cruzio?”

There’s nothing the Media likes more than a controversy so we all sit by our TVs and Internet waiting for the next key insight into when Donald will be crowned King of the Blue Team! The Media’s motives aside who is winning today – Sunday 3/6? The latest Delegate vote I saw this morning has it this way:

Trump 385
Cruz 298
Rubio 126
“Cruzio” 424
Kasich 36

My absentee ballot on my desk here tells me Florida and Ohio are coming up on 3/15 and they are winner take all States with Florida having 99 and Ohio 66. If Rubio wins Florida and Kasich takes his home State Ohio – excluding the other states we have:

Trump 385
Cruz 298
Rubio 225
“Cruzio” 523
Kasich 102

It seems to me the Blue Team race is far from over and who knows if Trump will stumble and or the others will play let’s make a deal. As the wise and ancient TV Kung Fu Fighter David Carradine once said “Patience Little Grasshopper.”

Let me be clear about one thing. I will never, ever vote for a Democrat again. I did that once eight years ago and look what happened! That said, I just can’t bring myself to trust Trump. He just doesn’t strike me as the “Solid Rock” the wise man or woman builds their house on. As a “Christian” of the remaining candidates Cruz appeals to me the most so I should be voting for Cruz later in the day when we fill out our ballots. However, since this is just the playoffs do I vote for Rubio to help Cruzio and then hope to get the chance to vote for Cruz against The Wicked Witch from New York? No matter if it’s Trump – Cruzio or the Grasshopper I will be voting for the Blue Team candidate.