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Another to promise to myself broken.

I told myself, I would  most definitely start going to the movies more often this year.  I did. Sorta, for like a month and a half.  Then I let work take over my spare time, again.  Now with the change of jobs…hoping against hope that I actually might be able to redeem my own goal.  September…will you be the month?  I certainly hope so.

Here’s Hoping for a Good Game….

After so many debacles paraded in the news this year about the NFL, from Ray Rice to Deflategate, it doesn’t tamp down my need for a good old fashioned brawl.  I am not particularly a fan of the Seahawks and I most certainly despise the Patriots.  However, after last year’s complete and utter thrashing of the Broncos, I’m hoping that we see more competition this go around.  I need for both defenses to bring their A game, granted I’m not all that impressed by the Patriot’s defense, but they do have some shining stars.  Offensively, both team has quite an arsenal, but so did the Broncos and that display was so utterly disappointing.  I am pretty sure that was the first time I’ve ever abandoned a Super Bowl, period.

I’m digging the Wilson v Brady aspect.  The fairly new kid on the block vs the seasoned veteran.  Unfortunately, if Brady does not perform, Deflategate will rear it’s ugly head again and more talk of cheating will abound (ok, I think we all know the Patriots have cheated on at least two occasions…. from deflating balls to “spying” on another team).  I hope, for the game’s sake, that Brady can rise above and prove that he still has the goods.  Meanwhile, I think Wilson just has to prove he’s not a flash in the pan and can pull off another strong showing in the big game.  Each has a solid receiving corps and as long as there is protection from the O-lines, I’m thinking we could see a nice little showdown.

I’m already disappointed by the half-time show.  Not that I dislike Katy Perry, but who exactly is she appealing to?  I’m female and a fan of the sport since I was a wee one.  I can admit I love a great defense (moreso than a showboat offense) and to see a solid tackle that makes you say, “yeah, that’ll leave a mark” is what I crave.  I do love Lenny Kravitz and between the two, it could work.  However, if they are appealing to the “female” demographic with the entertainment selection, Katy Perry’s “Roar” doesn’t say “football” to me.  Of course, if it were my choice, I’d rather see a band like Imagine Dragons to keep the momentum going (again, so praying for a wicked awesome first half) or build the hype if it’s kinda a blah game.

Now, what is as important as the game itself? COMMERCIALS.  I’m hoping the ad execs found more ways to entertain than bore or annoy me this year.  But of course the puppy and the Clydesdales were the heart string puller for last year.

I’m looking forward to it, as I do every year (even when I could care less about either team playing and find myself just rooting for good plays).  I’m hoping it will be the end to a pretty hectic weekend for me.  I want to scream at the tv.  I want to laugh or be awed by the commercials.  I want to not be bored out of my skull by any aspect of the game (game, halftime or commercials).  Here’s to a solid showing and much better Super Bowl than last year.

American Sniper Review

It took at week in the box office before I was able to make my way to the theater to watch Clint Eastwood’s newest production.  I’ll lead with this caveat… I am a HUGE SUPPORTER of our Armed Forces and their plight.  So, when I discovered that the great director, Clint Eastwood undertook this endeavor, I was psyched.  The only thing that tamped my excitement was Bradley Cooper playing Chris Kyle.  Now, to be fair, Mr. Cooper has been excellent in everything he has played, but unfortunately everything prior to this has had some level of douchebaggery that I just don’t equate with Chris Kyle.  I was happily proven to be a worry wart for no good reason.

For anyone who doesn’t know of the story of Chris Kyle, I suggest you pick up his book or if you want the down and dirty version, watch the film.  The movie starts simply enough with a sniper covering his patrol of Marines and is confronted by a decision, to kill the potential targets, thus neutralizing a threat to those who he is responsible to protect or let the culprits slide.  Faced with this decision, Mr. Eastwood takes us back to Mr. Kyle’s childhood and his role as protector of his younger brother, Jeff.  One of the best scenes, at least for me, and clearly explains alot about Mr. Kyle’s mentality, occurs after Jeff is assaulted by a bully, with Chris rushing in to finish the confrontation and their dad explains that there are three type of people in the world, “sheep, wolves and sheep dogs.”  Ultimately, the sheep are the average Joe citizen, minding their own business oblivious to the dangers in the world.  Then there are the wolves, those who clearly threaten the sheep and will cause as much harm as possible.  Finally, there are the sheep dogs, those who protect the sheep from the wolves.  While it is clearly an analogy that is expounded upon by their father, the question is, does the audience get it?  To me, it was clear, Chris Kyle was definitely a sheep dog and he was definitely doing his part to protect his herd (those he served with, the United States and more directly, his family).  For anyone who has known someone who served in Special Forces for any branch (I’ve dated Delta, friends with SEALS and run across Force Recon), you get the distinct feeling that this is best way to describe these folks. Then we are brought back to his present with is very real decision to be the sheep dog in the situation he was faced with.

Mr. Eastwood continues on to show us what has brought Mr. Kyle to the point of joining the Navy at a the ripe old age of 30 (yes, it’s old when you consider many people enlist right out of high school).  His experience in BUDs and the subsequent meeting of his spouse Kaya.  This too was a great scene and I had to chuckle because it rang true on her toughness and his ability to be charming in his own way.  We are guided through the budding relationship with his wife and through the marriage.  However, this is something that sticks in my craw when it comes to reality and illustrated in the film.  Mr. Kyle was already in the military when he met his wife, he was already a SEAL but going to school to become a sniper, so when it comes time for him to deploy and do his duty, I need for her to be worried, absolutely, but for his sake, be strong and let him go without grief.  I’m not saying it’s unreasonable to not want your spouse in harm’s way, and I’m not saying that there wouldn’t be conflicted feelings about the situation.  However, the whining at the spouse for what you already know is their way of life really irks me (not just military, any job where you are put into harms way, police, firemen, etc.). Again, I don’t agree with it, but I understand it.  It is a tough life, you are, in essence, a single parent for long stretches of time and it can be stressful, not only dealing with day to day situations, but also knowing your spouse is in harm’s way and may not make it home in one piece or alive can take a toll. As always, Mr. Eastwood is understated when it comes to love scenes, and sir, thank you for that.  Less is more, innuendo is so much MORE.

I appreciate that Mr. Kyle did not build his legend, but you are treated to how legends can be built and how to handle them in stride.  Mr. Kyle is definitely a man who was humble yet confident in his dealings and ultimately a simple man trying to do his job and do it well, but this built onto the legend even moreso.  However, even a legend can have problems, including PTSD.  How he chose to deal with his PTSD can be representative of many of our service members, “If I don’t think there’s a problem, there is no problem.”  Ultimately, his ability to draw himself up by his bootstraps with the help of his spouse, other encounters with service members and retiring from the Navy only accentuated what he was made of even moreso.

What resonated with me about this depiction of the SEAL is this, it is modus operandi that these men are dedicated to those around him.  However, there isn’t arrogance in this, there is a sense of pride in having each other’s back and being more than a unit, but it being a brotherhood.  I hope this came across to everyone who watched the movie.  There have been various movies that have depicted SEALs as reckless adrenaline junkies and in some cases, that can very well be true.  However, Mr. Eastwood cuts to the heart of the matter to show them as real human beings, with real problems and not always the complete aholes that Hollywood has built them up to be.

The elephant in the room….the doll stand in for the baby.  People, if that was what you were paying more attention to versus the conversation that the Kyles’ were having is a huge problem.  That scene was perfect in that you saw completely where she was coming from and what he was battling.  How it is difficult for some soldiers to dial it back once back in a safe environment, when they spent months to a year being in a war zone.  I felt his pain. I felt her pain, even though some of her demands were unreasonable, but that’s just my opinion.

All in all, I give this movie 4 stars.  Despite not teaching actors how to properly salute (a huge pet peeve of mine), despite the doll incident, there was nothing that was a detriment to this film.  I think it is also a testament that if Kaya Kyle can watch the movie and say they got it right, huge kudos.  I will be looking forward to the next Eastwood production, because as I said, his work is quality and I for one appreciate it.  It was a story that should be told and if Hollywood does not do the right thing and vote for best film and Bradley Cooper as best actor, I will be again annoyed, and further disillusioned by the idiot brigade there.

Addiction to Investigative Discovery Channel

Caveat:  This is more of a rant, that was elicited by “entertainment”.

Around this time last year, I discovered ID network.  Not really police procedural shows, but the most informative and morbidly entertaining network there is.  I would have to say that 48 Hours on ID, Deadly Women and Wicked Attraction are the best.  Of course as you listen to the accounts of what happened, you form an opinion, a very strong opinion, of what occurred, who’s at fault and what should have happened.

I watched a 48 Hours two hour episode regarding Timothy Masters.  The gist of the story is, a 36 year old woman was murdered near his home.  He was 15 years old at the time and accused of the brutal murder by an overzealous police detective who apparently missed some days at the academy.  How he thought a 15 year old boy could commit a crime that, by all accounts in forensics, was carried out with surgical precision, was committed by this young man.  There was no physical evidence that Mr. Masters had anything to do with the murder; however, the dogmatic investigator (I refuse to write his name because he pissed me off that much) beat this case to a pulp in about 12 years.  He finally arrests Masters on this shoddy foundation of a case (what f’ing idiot was in the DA’s office at the time…needs to be flogged in public) and then convicted.  Again, there was no forensic evidence against him…all they had were some disturbing pictures that a boy drew.  They got some quack psychologist to say these pictures depicted his actions toward the victim.  However, an FBI PROFILER, deemed the drawings as just doodles, not indicative of an admission of murderous activity, but this cop deemed the profiler to be wrong.  Masters spent 9 years in prison before his conviction was overturned.  The appeal brought to light that this hack of a detective withheld numerous items from the prosecutors, thus the info was not turned over to defense.  I’m sorry, you’re the cop, you don’t get to decide what you will and will not provide the prosecutor, that’s not your call.  Then you also maintain your own files.  These files are brought to the appeal and shows you as the red handed culprit of deliberately withholding information that exonerated Masters. I’m so glad the presiding judge demanded the materials be turned over. Then there was the issue of  forensic evidence…specifically DNA evidence.  Nevermind there were no prints from Masters at the scene, on the body, etc., but you also had no DNA evidence on him either.  What 15 year old (in 1987) is able to leave absolutely no fibers at the scene (no hair, skin, nothing), be completely free of any blood on his person or belongings, yet he was able commit this murder?  The motivation (being angry about his mother’s death four years prior- of natural causes) was shoddy and an inept attempt at grasping at straws.  Evidence also pointed toward the victim being carried by two people versus dragged by a solitary person…hmmm, let’s think on this a moment.  So, there should have been two suspects.  In addition, the victim’s ex-boyfriend’s DNA turned up on her clothing.  Oh, and to top it off, you have eye surgeon with certain proclivities that places him squarely in the category of a sexual predator that lives in the same neighborhood (again, surgical precision) who committed suicide and cannot answer the nagging question of…did you do it. 

So many things were wrong with this investigation, trial and subsequent incarceration, that my normal fascination rose to the level outrage and down right venom.  This was a clear case of tunnel vision harassment by a not so smart cop.  And then for a jury to be “scared” to the point of convicting on NOTHING;  what is in the water in this place? What’s mind boggling at this point is the idiot detective STILL HAS A JOB!!!  Masters won a $10 million lawsuit, and he deserves every penny of it.  The cop was charged with felony perjury.  Yet the Fort Collins, CO police department has spent over $400K in his defense.  Excuse me, they have spent $400K of taxpayer money (I don’t live in the area and am still pissed by that little fact) to defend a man that should have been fired, tried and thrown into jail as well.  In addition, he’s also on paid leave (his salary is $104K/year) while this is ongoing! What is going on in Ft. Collins?  Apparently it’s a vortex of stupid (I have a very strong dislike of stupid) that is stronger than any black hole in the universe.  I can say this for myself, if my employer ever decided to set up shop in Ft. Collins and requests my presence there, the answer will be a resounding HELL NO.  If you can be convicted with absolutely no evidence tying you to a crime, I want no parts of your neck of the woods. 

So, people beware… Ft. Collins may be a lovely place, but for the gaping lack of common sense, sense of right and wrong and fairness, but I wouldn’t trust my safety in such a place and wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.  Timothy Masters has truly turned the other cheek and harbors no ill will toward anyone involved in his torment.  While $10 mil is a great band aid, there is no remuneration satisfactory enough for being harassed for over a decade, tried, convicted and imprisoned for a crime you did not commit because of one asshole!  There, I said it, the detective is a raging asshole who has yet to apologize and refuses to accept responsibility for his abhorrent behavior for all these years.  Simply amazing.  This should have been enough to make me lay off the network for a few days, but here I am, typing this and listening to an episode of Disappeared.

If the story has peaked your interest, you can check out 48 Hours:  Drawn to Murder Parts 1 & 2 original air date was April 10, 2010.

Movies in 2012….

Well, January is off to an interesting start.  I’m not saying it’s a great start, but definitely interesting.

Contraband, another Mark Wahlberg film.  Look forward to watching it on dvd.  I’ve enjoyed some of his work in the past, including Shooter and Four Brothers.  However, nothing about this preview has peaked my interest and labeling him one of the “stars” of the Departed, is being generous.  His role was periphery at best, but he did an excellent job.

Red Tails, is also going to be interesting.  We’ve had plenty of big screen movies about various military incursions, but none that hails the efforts of an awesome force that helped win in Europe during WWII.  The Tuskeegee Airmen, for those who know of them, were pretty bad ass and thanks to my grandfather, I know quite a bit about them.  As a infantry man, he sang their praises many a time for their air support.  My only issue with this movie is Terence Howard.  You ever have an actor/actress that makes you not want to see a movie?  He would be the reason for me not to spend money at the theater.  Cuba Gooding, Jr. is alway an excellent edition.  But to hear Terence Howard drone on is grating on my nerves and all I heard was his soliloquy in the commercial.

Underworld: Awakening, well, who doesn’t love a good Vampire/Lycan flick?  I’m a fan of the series (minus that last one..thanks for filling in the gaps, but I prefer Selene to Sonja).  Look forward to seeing where they take us.

Haywire, seems interesting, if not a too often seen premise.  Like the female assassin aspect, even though I have no idea who the girl is.  Granted many of the other cast members are worth their salt, and hopefully will be able to add to the dynamic and movie plot.

The Grey, on one level, I like the premise…man vs beast in the beast’s realm.  On a completely different level, in speaking of my favorite animal (yes, I love wolves…what of it?) seeing their ruthless animal instincts take over makes me sad because, well, let’s face it…they do have to die so our protagonist can live.  They are fearsome and majestic creatures, and watching them being killed in self defense still hurts me feelings.  So, hopefully, I won’t be in the theater rooting for the wolves (much like rooting for Gerard Butler’s character in Law Abiding Citizen…I admit, it was wrong but I found myself saying “kill them all”), but I know me and that’s exactly what will happen.

One for the Money, yeah…Katherine Heigl, I could take or leave.  This will likely be a Netflix rental.  No need of wasting my hard earned cash.

Man on a Ledge, Sam Worthington and the great Ed Harris (the man is amazing and I don’t want to hear otherwise!) should be an interesting on screen combo.  I look forward to two of my favs on screen together.

We’ll leave it to January.  I hope that this year proves to be an excellent viewing year, to make up for some huge disappointments in 2011.

Breaking the cycle

I haven’t written a blog in some time and thought it time to start up again.  Sometimes it will be a tirade  and sometimes it will be just venting. 

To start the breaking the cycle of things that truly grate on my nerves.  We should look at our pasts to move forward in our futures.  This also means learning from our parents’ mistakes.  I don’t particularly care to go into detail, but being home has put some things into perspective.  For instance, I love their optimism.  I don’t love the lack of drive or ambition to achieve what they want.  When you aren’t in the population that has things falling into their laps, you must strive and I mean, work your ass off, to get what you want.  The lackadaisical attitude and relying on God to provide for all is insufficient.  God rewards those who work and rely on His good will.  I do believe the saying is, “you don’t work, you don’t eat.”  So, in recognizing the things I don’t like, introspection says, “get off your ass and work harder.” 

So let me tell you what is not in entertainment, resting on your laurels and getting famous off someone else’s hard work and merit. 

So, I start of the blog with a bit of a rant and let’s face it, it’s just a venting session where I’m holding back some of my harsher feelings.  Next blog will be truly about entertainment or lack there of. 

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