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Before getting my degree in computer science and becoming a programmer on unix systems, I worked in many union and non union hard physical labor jobs. They include brick mason laborer, frame carpenter, tractor trailer driving nationwide and lumber jack. I Got my 2nd degree in geography in 2005.
I have always loved fast driving in muscle cars and have owned several. I Also like big chrome cars of the 50s and some cars from the 40s and 30s. I have done almost every kind of shade tree mechanic work on them.
I have done acting and improv with a group of players. Also done studio lighting and sound and some script writing. Acting is a lot harder than it looks. I write short stories and poetry when an inspiring idea comes to me.
I have traveled to 49 US states. I have resided and worked in 8 that include Alabama, South Carolina, Indiana, Arizona, Maryland and Florida. I have been to 20 other countries as a tourist and would like to continue.
I had six uncles drafted into WWII, one killed 03/05/1945 in Germany and one wounded. My paternal grand father was not killed when his plane was shot down in WWI, my great uncle trembled from breathing gas in the trenches. I have heard plenty of war stories from them and other WWII vets I have known in my life. I served in the US army but was not sent into combat.
At the end of the week I am just a human and my opinions are based on personal experience and taste. For the most part, I like a story that is not loaded with too many back and forth in time scenes. Having a sound track with songs that fit the scene and actors who can fit into the character's time period instead of looking like themselves with their modern hair style and face.
I rarely give a 10 rating because seems like there is always something I could do without, not simply because a good character died at the end. A few I have rated 1 point higher because of the emotional impact even when a story was not that good. I do have a few TV mini series or long term sitcom rated as well. Some documentaries and live concerts are usually rated higher because there is no fictional plot. Animation may be rated higher because of the art work, not necessarily the story line.
Ratings of 8 or 9 means watchable more than twice and would be chosen over 7 and 6 rated films unless I am not in the mood for its genre. Films rated 5 or 4 are not watchable a 2nd time by choice. They are better than a 4 rating for some reason like good scenery at the film location or a song played in the soundtrack.
I do not rate below 4 because I figure if someone has a script written, got it financed and on film and to the market it is worth 3 points just for that. The 4th point is given if I managed to watch all of its boring drivel without fast forwarding. If I can't finish, I don't rate it. I do have a few lower exceptions in my putrid dogs list.
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Some died young (less than age 40) And some died premature (age 40-59) so their credits are less. A few are still living as of this compilation in September 2021.
See producer Jules White page for many episodes: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0925028/
See actor Vernon Dent page for his many episodes: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0219783/
See actress Christine McIntyre page for her many episodes: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0570731/
See actor Bud Jamison page for his many episodes: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0417168
Some died young (less than age 40) And some died premature (age 40-59) so their credits are less.
The 1st generation ends in 1909 and contains those from the 1890s. The 2nd generation begins in 1910 and ends in 1919. The list is sorted by date of birth (manually) and grouped with ladies first then men.
These actors are celebrities I have seen over the years in various TCM movies as well as in TV series. No way to say who were the biggest box office stars because of the vast time line or popularity of a given film. I may have missed a few names.
Disturbicon Not Comicon
Two stories happening simultaneously. Relatively nothing to do with each other except that they mostly happen in the same 1959 suburb. And the two boys from each story do talk to each other via tin can telephones and a couple of times in person.
The main story is about an insurance fraud scheme that is not obvious until late in the film. At first it is disguised as a home invasion similar to The Desperate Hours (1955). Then with the suspense of any number of Hitchcock films but as intense as Shadow of a Doubt (1943). The jaw drop is what Matt Damon, as the boys dad character says to him as he calmly eats the poison sandwich and drinks the poison milk. Both were prepared earlier for the frightened boy by his now murdered aunt, played by Julianne Moore.
The second story which was woven in and out of the main story was either designed to be a distraction to keep the viewer from guessing the fraud plot of the main story or using artistic leeway as a reminder that there used to be serious racism in America. There are many better films on this subject: Mississippi Burning (1988); Freedom Song (2000); The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1974) to name three.
I was disappointed that it is listed as a comedy as its primary genre, ahead of crime and drama. I do understand the definition of black comedy but rarely find any of it worth a laugh, especially here. I think IMDB and other organizations should list films as such, "black comedy" as opposed to the laughable type that is based on stupidity, buffoonery and idiocracy. Fairly certain I won't be getting my wish for that genre separation.
Overall the film was better than the 5.7 rating it had when I saw it in August of 2020. I rated this film a 7 of 10.
Excellent Nostalgic Nashville
Across the street on Hillsboro Pike from The Bluebird Cafe, there was a full service Exxon gas station. I was a college student in my early twenties during the day and pump jockey nights and weekends, that was 1984-85. This documentary talks about The Bluebird Cafe originally being more of a mixed venue for up and coming new wave rock music artists but also some jazz and country entertainers. Because of the location, I was fortunate to meet and get autographs from those already well known. Back then, The Bluebird was not as overcrowded as shown in current modern times. It was easier to get in and one evening I got to see Don Everly play many of the hits he and his brother Phil were know for from the 50s and 60s.
What I liked the most in this documentary was how The Bluebird Cafe evolved into a place for singer song writers. All of the staff becoming like a family who were dedicated to the initiative of helping unknown artists an opportunity to realize their dreams. Besides seeing the artists who have gone on to be famous, there are many others. From a musicians point of view, I liked the fact that the performers were always part of the audience.
You will get to hear tons of clean acoustic guitar with a deep, warm and rich tones. The vocals with artistic emotional bends, highs and lows, that will make you feel the passion as it flows from their soul. Rated 9/10.
The Oath (2018)
Better Than Expected
I actually laughed 4 or 5 times at least during this so called comedy. The first 1/3 is almost enough politically correctness to make me want to turn it off. After that, the action ramps up in an unexpected way. It is parallel to a lot of the real stupidity of today's world. By that I mean social media cancel culture and the go along folks just to keep from being outcasts or misfits. The swearing and frank talk was fine with me. If you are over sensitive, then you should pass over it. Although I did think Ike's character was pretty much a wuss. Overall, I found it to be entertaining and worth the watch. My rating is 7/10.
Rock the Kasbah (2015)
Comedy, Music, War, Hope and Dreams
I found this movie to be entertaining as well as inspirational. Bill Murray is good at his usual tongue in cheek dialog as a lying bull shirting motivational con man agent. Zooey Deschanel is gorgeous even when air sick and pill faced, and Kate Hudson is luscious many times over. Bruce Willis is good as a grizzled mercenary talking his memoirs during some of the road trips.
Then there is Leem Lubany as Salima. It is difficult to imagine how hard it would be to live in a country or religious society where women are oppressed, not even allowed to pursue a dream under threat of death. It was inspiring to see her get to do it.
It was great when Murray confessed all of his lies and Willis went along to help save the day. Was the story believable? Not really unless the stars are aligned perfectly or it is the hand of fate taking control in mysterious ways. But, that is why we have movies and books, they are better than real life. I rate it an 8/10 for the above reasons.
The Last Face (2016)
I rented this DVD because of the quality actors and director involved with it. I was not expecting lighthearted entertainment and you should not either. The first hour and a half is slow paced and feels like wading through molasses at times. The pace picks up in the last 40 minutes. If you are squeamish toward graphic realism in viewing or hearing about brutality and gore, you may want to pass this one by. The actors and director did a good job in the portrayal of it.
It is mainly a documentary with a bewildering love story woven throughout. If it were a bookend type story of now-then-now, it would be fine for me. I get their point that the doctors and aid staff are humans too and need love in their lives besides their work. That comes from the dialog where they say, "what about in the name of you and me". The back and forth of that story interrupts the flow and obfuscates the point they are trying to make.
Besides the physical love between Wren and Miguel, there is the love of their careers. Wren fell for him and his passion for healing when she arrived in Africa to get a first hand look at the reality her fundraising efforts supported. That was why their relationship failed, they both loved what they did as careers and Wren simply got to the point where she could no longer stomach the repetitious and never ending suffering. She wanted to go back to a safer world where raising money would be valid help for both victims and boots on the ground staff.
The sudden interjection about Miguel's affair with a staffer who contracted AIDS came out of the blue. Basically saying, "women always get duped by unfaithful men". Couples are supposed to be together. Can we actually say, "absence makes the heart grow fonder" in this case?
This is not a political movie unless you want to blame the country in question's government for not protecting its citizens. If they were doing a good job, there would be no need for the rebels doing the raping and pillaging. You may want to blame wealth hoarders who do not offer any or enough toward the plight. That could include politicians as well as celebrities and Wall St. moguls all over the globe. They do not say or imply it is an exclusive problem for the USA to fix.
The ending is similar to Out Of Africa and Blood Diamond, the latter being a better film than this. It is similar in story to Machine Gun Preacher which is an inferior film by the acting. I rate The Last Face a 7.4 out of 10 as opposed to the 4.7 it is showing as of 06-02-2018.
Other movies I have seen on this topic concerning government corruption, the brutality of border crossings and refugee crisis are: Hotel Rwanda, The Good Lie, and The Last King Of Scotland.
Black Panther (2018)
The way a comic book story should be. Some of the dialog sounds short and cliched but there is ample action and some good one liners to make you smile. I noticed that this film had similarities to several other movies. Not saying this one copied them because it is part of the Marvel Universe franchise. A mix of Superman, Star Wars, Narnia, James Bond and Wonder Woman to name a few parallel themes. I wonder if Wakanda is anywhere near Zamunda and how does vibranium prevent over population? I rated it an 8/10.
Destined To Be A Classic
What a wonderful well told story. It covers every emotion and circumstance that a human could face and survive. Starting with the loss of Hugo's father we feel his sense of abandonment, his fear of the orphanage and confusion as to why that had to happen. As the story progresses we see a glimmer of hope as he is forced into his calling of being mechanically inclined by his uncle. But also from a young lady Isabelle who helps him in several ways, with access to books and a real mystery solving adventure.
The back and forth between close calls in the train station melded with dreams and nightmares to actually being captured by the chief make us root for Hugo and feel the goodness in his heart. Love that blooms between supporting actors including dogs adds to the magic, the power that it has, does make changes for the better in everyone.
I won't spoil the ending because it is too good and must be seen. I will mention the home from the great war scene that took its toll on millions of everyday people. The cinematography is superb along with the set designs. I finished watching it for a 2nd time on DVD after seeing it back when it was originally released. Hugo is a masterpiece and destined to become legendary like The Wizard of Oz. I rated it a solid 10/10 stars.
Atomic Blonde (2017)
Atomic Blonde is an action packed film along the lines of the earlier Bourne movies. Part of the story line is muddy in places as to who is a bad guy and who is not. It didn't quite capture the cold war "chill" feeling as well as Bridge Of Spies did. It may get an Oscar nod because of the girl on girl love scenes. I liked the sound track, it really enhanced the mood and the underground mystery, a lot like Quentin Tarantino does with his productions. It should be rated about 7.5 out of 10.
What an excellent movie. Way ahead of its time since 1976 was pre cable and pre VCR. Too many scenes to talk about but my favorite was the Ned Beatty (Arthur Jensen) scene where he "explainified" the reality of real world billionaires to Peter Finch (Howard Beale).
I was surfing for movies with ratings 7.0 or better and found this on one of the IMDb top 250 lists. I had never seen it until August 31 2017 and got to watch it without commercial interruption or paying for over priced cable.
TV news has gotten far worse since 1976, with 24 x 7 opinion programs and wishful hate speech of the many so called broadcasters and twits.
From a trivial point of view, Ned Beatty (senator Charles F. Meachum) gives a similar reality speech to Mark Wahlberg (Bob Lee Swagger) in the 2007 film Shooter.
Thank goodness for public libraries that have such quality titles on DVD and allow them to be checked out for free. I rate Network 9/10.
Hidden Figures (2016)
In the opening scene a turquoise 57 Chevy 4 door is driving down a highway and a caption appears on the screen showing "Hampton, Virginia 1961". Next scene shows the car broke down and Dorothy slides out and says, "just as I figured, the starter is bad". They hear a siren and a cop car pulls up. It is a state trooper driving a 1964 Ford. I am sure lots of people don't know car years and models apart but that cop car was strike one.
He asks them if they need help and Dorothy says I think we have it under control. So she reaches backhand and without looking under the hood with a screw driver and sparks fly. The engine comes to life with the sound of a perfect V8 muscle car. The 57 Chevy has a visible 6 cylinder motor.
The entire premise is wrong because a running car does not stop running because of a bad starter. You can short the solenoid and starter screws to crank the engine from under the hood if the starter is not bad, but must lean and reach low because the starter is attached to bottom of the engine block and bell housing of transmission.
The story of this film is important as far as the telling of how bad segregation was. It may have tried to tell how hard it was for women in general to find technical or management work. Even though affirmative action had barely began in 1961, Dorothy could threaten to strike with 30 women because she was not promoted/titled supervisor. But look how long it took her to get the bathroom situation changed. I believe the women were good at math but just a bit too much super heroics.
There are other places in the movie as well with wrong cars. The movie ends with John Glenn's first US orbit around the earth in Feb. 1962. In another scene Kathrine and Levi are going on a date. Levi is driving a turquoise 1964 Mercury Comet convertible.
This film was a big financial success from the $25 million budget to the almost $170 million as of June 2017 from its release date of Dec. 2016. It seems to me that if you want to tell a story about smart women (or anyone) who had to overcome hardships and that are supposed to be based on true events, the technical director should do better research. The writer of the book may have gotten the starter part wrong because of hand me down stories. I rated it a 7/10 for the multiple technical errors.
Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)
This film made me feel the physical cold; the snow, wind, rain along with the gray skies. The atmosphere magnified the way of the world. It reminds me that we are all on a journey through life. Better choices may glean us better rewards and less suffering, but in the end we all die some how and some place.
Llewyn's music was good as far as ability and performance but I tend to agree with the character played by F. Murray Abraham. He said he did not see a lot of money being generated from it. Although music with a lugubrious nature has done so, part of the problem was Llewyn's look. The hippie movement had not yet arrived in 1961. A clean cut look was still needed to succeed. Think of real life folk acts like; Peter, Paul and Mary, The Smothers Brothers or The Kingston Trio, any male singers with a neatly trimmed goatee, even a young Bob Dylan.
The other message in this film was lack of responsibility. Llewyn was more compassionate towards the cat than his two known lady friends. It seemed to be that having an abortion was a standard solution to a heat of the moment careless pregnancy. But it does take two to tango.
The movie went full circle from nowhere to nowhere. The Coen's did a good job of showing the struggle to become famous and the hardships it can cause for oneself and others directly and indirectly involved. At least he was not a heroin user (yet). Hopefully, Llewyn decides to go electric in 1963 at Newport. Rated 7.3/10, slightly better than some 7.0 films.
What A Shocker
I can identify with this movie from a musicians point of view. Open mike nights, discovering different people to be in bands. Age and gender does not really matter as far as the love of the music is concerned. Although there are players too old to be in a band with people so much younger from a career and touring point of view. The hunting for rehearsal space because of neighbor's complaints. The weeding through original songs that are sometimes awful and hard to hurt the writers feelings about their art. I liked the Rudderless band's punk rock cover of the kids song Wheels Of The Bus better than anything Josh wrote. His originals were of the whiny contemporary variety. I don't understand why his ex-girlfriend felt entitled to continue her destruction and try to ruin it for everyone.
I almost turned this movie off at track 2 on the DVD because of the bad music and the lack of interesting character names, Sam/Josh. Glad I stayed for the emotional slam given on track 11. I did not see that coming. I have not seen any movies about mass shootings; victims, parents, perpetrators or anyone else involved. I have seen a couple of documentaries about medicated children (given because parents lacked discipline and guidance skills) where that is presented as a cause for the flip out.
I couldn't understand the grief of the parents partially because they were affluent. Shame on me, grief doesn't know the difference between wealth and poverty. I now have a greater understanding and humility of both sides because of this film. It is many times better than Rikki And The Flash as far a fake band movies and their story lines go but Rikki's music was better. I rated it 8/10. Better music (to me) would have garnered it a 10/10.
Boardwalk Empire (2010)
Eye For An Eye - Brave New World
I really enjoyed this series. Blending fiction with true life history makes it feel realistic. The in-your-face and cold blooded violence is part of the reason but mainly because of the well written characters with meaningful names and use of wisdomic phrases throughout. Multiple story lines that takes us beyond bootlegging and pointing out insider trading and market fixing on Wall Street as well as corruption at every level, including congressmen.
My favorites were Stephen Graham's portrayal of Al Capone and Jack Huston as Richard Harrow. Both made me feel like they would be a loyal friend but never to be crossed. Nucky sorta felt that way as well but he could be reasoned with. Too many others to mention but I liked the singer Daughter Maitland and Chalky White.
Characters that seemed like the worst of humans ever allowed on the planet to me were Valentin Narcisse and Gyp Rosetti. Narcisse was the ultimate false prophet while Gyp was a perverted psychopath. Since a majority of the characters were some kind of criminal or a victim of the seemingly horrible time period and circumstance, no way to cover all of them. They evoke emotions that make you laugh, cry and shudder in disbelief.
I do agree with others on the chat boards who stated that season 5 and some of the ending story lines seemed rushed. The multiple flashbacks repeated a lot we already knew and muddied the time lines in places. I would have like to have seen a different and better ending for Chalky and Nucky, leaving Tommy Darmody as a surviving innocent. The writers thought that a combination of "like father, like son" and "vengeance is mine" was better.
For some reason, I felt like Eli's son Will deserved to be killed and not allowed a career where he could assist corruption if he saw fit. Gillian should have been executed after her conviction instead of the crazy house allowance of surgically extracted reproductive organs for "Brave New World" research. The novel written in 1931 by Aldous Huxley and published in 1932 made those sanitarium scenes jump out at me. So I have to credit the writers for that ending choice.
The writers also did a good job with their continuing eye for an eye and other biblical themes. All of the folks who got shot an inch below the eye, including Richard Harrow. His "harrowing" story of how he killed the sniper and the scar you could see at the left edge of his mask looked like the exit path of a bullet. I rated it 9.5 of 10 and rounded up.