Sunday, August 12, 2007

Even if all the Guns Disappeared Today...

...here is why people would still need them tomorrow, and why we should look to arming the citizens of the United States of America: Police: Man Attacks Grannies With Hammer (found at FoxNew.com). I don't have to do a lengthy rant about this one, the title of the article alone should make it clear why we law abiding citizens of the USA should be allowed to keep and bear arms, but then again so too should the 2nd amendment, and the reasoning of our founding fathers.

One final thing I will say is that you should pay special attention to what the prosecutor has to say about: "...the most vulnerable of victims.". I wonder, when he used that phrase, did he mean 'grannies', did he mean people who follow the advice of most police departments 'not to resist', or did he mean unarmed Americans, to be the most vulnerable of victims. Had one or two of these women been armed, and ready to defend themselves and the others, chances are things would have turned out much differently indeed. Had I been there and not been struck first and by surprise by the bad guy, you can bet your hard earned money things would have turned out differently, and someone other than the grannies would have had metal in his body or head; albeit metal softer than a steel hammer head, but 124 grains of copper jacketed lead traveling at about 1,150 fps does the job just as well or better than any steel hammer wielded by a lowlife dirtbag.


All the best,
Glenn B

Do You Want to Watch A Good Movie...

...with good casting, great acting, and a good plot, so do I. Yet I rarely get out to the movies since there usually does not seem to be enough time, or my wife doesn't want to go (and I don't care to go alone, or we just don't have the money at the time. Of course that leaves television movies on broadcast, cable, FIOS, or satellite television, and it leaves movies on video and DVD. Now I will be the first to admit, I am not a fan of many of the contemporary hit movies, or even flops, that are out there; although I will admit there have been some good ones, even a handful of excellent ones.

The problem with movies available on television though is that, in my opinion, unless you pay extra for them as in pay per view movies, they for the most part stink. Besides that they are repeated again and again and again over months long periods first on one channel, then on another, sometimes on two channels at once. I get FLIX, HBO, Showtime, STARZ, The Movie Channel as premium channels. I have to wonder just how many times in a three month period that these channels, or at least some of them can show the following movies over and over again: The Pink Panther (the latest and poorly casted piss poor version), My Cousin Vinny (yes a funny movie but not 20 or 30 times in a month), Fried Green Tomatoes (again maybe a good movie but how many times do they need to show it to us), The Astronaut's Wife (a dismal failure shown repeatedly), Dark Water (another flop in my opinion, but shown over and over again). Ali G Indahouse (they have got to be kidding), Monster-In-Law (played again and again and could make one seek a divorce), Mystery-Men (it is still a mystery as to how they were called men and how this became a movie though I'll admit it was a little amusing but to play it again and again), The Professional (ruining a great movie by making people sick of seeing it) and the same goes for Pulp Fiction and from Dusk Till Dawn.

Of course, not only the premium channels do this, channels such as Sci-Fi continuously repeat shows and movies. The Western Channel replays a movie so many times you could probably watch it a few times a day. I seem to remember there was a song years ago: "Whatever Became Of Randolph Scott" - he was reincarnated on The Western Channel, that is what happened to him. I used to like his movies as a kid, not anymore, these constant repeats have made then lose their appeal to a large degree.

Now don't get me wrong. I don't mind seeing flops on television, I don't mind seeing movies that others liked but I disliked, I don't mind seeing hit movies that I like or dislike, but what I do mind is paying extra for a service that promises great television only to be shown the same thing again and again when there is a huge amount of film out there that they are not touching, or that they only offer as pay per view movies. Hell I already pay enough for cable TV, plus the premium channels, not to need to pay them more to get to see something different now and then. What to do. Well I guess I have done what many others have done, I have bought video and DVD players; and not too long ago I joined a DVD club. The reason I did so is pretty much explained above, but let me add just a little to the reasoning behind it. Now whenever there is nothing worth watching on television, or if it is worth watching but I have seen it recently, I can delve into my own video library and pick out something I like to watch, something I know is good, something I know has excellent acting, and great casting, and a wonderful plot. Now not to give the wrong impression about my DVD purchases, let me say, I do not always buy movies I have seen previously. I just ordered '300'. Sure it will be on television soon, but this way I get to watch it when I want, where I want, and it goes into the library for when they stop showing it 100 times a month (which is about how often I figure it will play once on pay television). I also do likewise with movies that are not current day films, I buy ones I have already seen as well as ones I have not yet seen.

If you are sick of the crap they show over and over again on television, then this is the way to go. But I wonder do you, especially the younger folks out there have any idea of which films to purchase? Do you really want to see some movies with great casting, excellent acting, wonderful plots, movies that are timeless in there nature, movies that help define the values you should hold dearly, or should shun, in your lives? If so they are out there. Of course, maybe you have already noticed that I have not made any mention of special effects. I find the overuse of special effects in movies to be a crutch for actors who don't know how to act, and directors who don't know how to direct - so I do not pay much attention to them in most cases. I am not saying I do not like them, I just much prefer acting over special effects. No actor has ever, or ever will, play a vampire better than did Bela Lugosi. There will never be a better version of King Kong than the original even if it looks fake as all heck by today's special effects standards. There are few drama/action/suspense/mystery movies as good as those starring the likes of William Powell, Humphrey Bogart, James Stewart, Fred MacMurray, William Holden, Barbara Stanwyck, Gene Hackman, Sean Connery. There are few comedies better than those of Bob Hope, Claudette Colbert, Peter Sellers, Mae West. Almost no westerns that can stand up to those of John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Tom Selleck, Gary Cooper, Robert Duval. There are not many better all around actors than James Cagney, Jean Arthur, Geogre C. Scott, David Niven, Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, Lauren Bacall, Fred MacMurray, Edward G. Robinson, Charlton Heston, Maureen O'Hara, Bruce Willis. This is not an all inclusive list of great actors and actresses, heck not even an all inclusive list of the ones I like. What it is, is a good example of folks who have a real talent for acting. They get it right over and over again in most of the movies in which they have a part; and they know how to act without depending solely on special effects. There are plenty more of them out there, these actors and actresses who know how to act. Some are well know, some not so well know; yet, they have parts in thousands of movies that have been made from the 1920s through today - so why are these movies, for the most part, not being shown on pay television! I can guess why, because those in charge are pin headed twits who live for the moment, and while claiming to be all knowing experts, truly know very little about good entertainment, and only think of how to generate a buck. Well fact is, if they showed a greater variety of entertainment they would generate more buck for their channel, then again, the big entertainment companies would lose money because you would not buy as much pay per view movies as you do. Me - I'll by the DVDs, pay them once for them, and watch them whenever it pleases me - not when they want to shove it down my throat.

I guess after saying all of that, maybe I should offer some selection as to what I think are movies that are worthwhile to watch, one with a good plot, fine acting, excellent directing and so forth (with special effects usualy, but not always, coming in a distant last, if at all, to those other qualities). Note that info on all these movies can be found at the links I supplied to the Internet Movie Data Base.


Sci-Fi/Horror:

The Day The Earth Stood Still, 1951(for more info see see: http://imdb.com/title/tt0043456/)

Them, 1954 (for more info see: http://imdb.com/title/tt0047573/)

Invasion of the Body Snatchers, 1956 (for more info see: http://imdb.com/title/tt0049366/)

The Thing From Another World (for more info see: http://imdb.com/title/tt0044121/) *

Dracula, 1931 (for more info see: http://imdb.com/title/tt0021814/) *



Suspense/Mystery:

Dial M For Murder, 1954 (for more info see: http://imdb.com/title/tt0046912/)

Detective Story, 1951 (for more info see: http://imdb.com/title/tt0043465/)

Double Indemnity, 1944 (for more info see: http://imdb.com/title/tt0036775/)

The Caine Mutiny, 1954 (for more info see: http://imdb.com/title/tt0046816/) *

The Thin Man, 1934 (for more info see: http://imdb.com/title/tt0025878/) note this one is a suspense, mystery, comedy *

Comedy/Satire:

The Paleface, 1948 (for more info see: http://imdb.com/title/tt0040679/) *

Go West Young Man, 1936 (for more info see: http://imdb.com/title/tt0027684/)

Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein, 1948 (for more info see: http://imdb.com/title/tt0040068/) *

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, 1964 (for more info see: http://imdb.com/title/tt0057012/) (note this is black comedy/satire)

Arsenic and Old Lace, 1944 (for more info see: http://imdb.com/title/tt0036613/)

War:

Paths of Glory, 1956 (for more info see: http://imdb.com/title/tt0050825/

The Dawn Patrol, 1938 (for more info see: http://imdb.com/title/tt0030044/)

Sahara, 1943 (for more info see: http://imdb.com/title/tt0036323/)

Run Silent - Run Deep, 1958 (for mor einfo see: http://imdb.com/title/tt0052151/)

Gunga Din, 1939 (for more info see: http://imdb.com/title/tt0031398/) *

Adventure:

The Flame and The Arrow, 1950 (for more info see: http://imdb.com/title/tt0042464/)

The Thief of Bagdad, 1940 (for more info see: http://imdb.com/title/tt0033152/)

The Treasure of The Sierra Madre, 1948 (for more info see: http://imdb.com/title/tt0040897/) *

The Man Who Would Be King, 1975 (for more info see: http://imdb.com/title/tt0073341/)

The Four Feathers, 1939 (for more info see: http://imdb.com/title/tt0031334/, and please do not mistake this for the poor remake of recent years)

Westerns:

The Searchers, 1956 (for more info see: http://imdb.com/title/tt0049730/)

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, 1962 (for more info see: http://imdb.com/title/tt0056217/)

Pale Rider, 1985 (for more info see: http://imdb.com/title/tt0089767/)

The Plainsman, 1936 (for more info see: http://imdb.com/title/tt0028108/)

The Naked Spur, 1953 (for more info see: http://imdb.com/title/tt0044953/)

There are categories I left out; heck there are thousands of good movies and hundreds of excellent ones that I left out. Yet, I can assure you, that if you want to see a movie with a good plot, great acting, good direction, and one that is enjoyable to watch - you can certainly find at least one among my selections in each category above. Some other things they all have in common (that is the ones in the above categories, not those above that in my commentary)is that they all show examples of what makes for people and deeds, and what defines bad people and deeds, and all of them, yes all of them, have violence in them, but nothing to gory, and tey have sex to some extent, but absolutely nothing slutty, and some are scary, but nothing horrifying by todays movie standards; they (again those I listed under the above categories and not from my commentary above that) are all, in my opinion, probably suitable for children from about 9 years old and up but this is my personal opinion - so check them out first before you show em to your kids if you want. If you have not seen them yet, why not pick some at random, maybe one from each category above, and see what you think. They are mostly well dated, but they may give you an idea of what good acting is all about; and you may begin to wonder why these movies are ot shown on television today. When it comes right down to it, I guess because if you strip the spectacular scene stealing special effects from many of the movies of today you have little left; but if you strip the spectacular scene stealing special effects from most of these old movies, what you are left with is one hell of a good movie thanks to a good plot, fine acting, and great direction.

All that said, I think I'll have to pop a good one into the DVD this evening.

All the best,

Glenn B
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