hell and high water

 

Like movies about submarines? Check out my review of Sam Fuller’s “HELL AND HIGH WATER” with Richard Widmark today over on Cinema Retro. Widmark commands a sub taking scientists to an island where secret atomic tests are being conducted. A cold war thriller. Click here to read the review.

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Age and changing times are the main themes in Sam Peckinpah’s JUNIOR BONNER. It may not be his greatest movie but it’s one of his most honest. Steve McQueen gives a strong, but understated, performance as the modern-day cowboy who knows he’s been riding the circuit a little too long. But he’s still up to the challenge. You can read my review over on Cinema Retro.

 

Came home yesterday from an unsuccessful attempt to see HOSTILES in one of the local theaters. Sold out. It’s a small theater in a multiplex of 12 theaters. Trouble is they just don’t have that many seats. They’ve got recliner chairs and built in trays that take up so much space with lots of room between seat rows. It’s comfortable but sometimes on a busy weekend if you don’t get tickets in advance or get there early you won’t get a seat. I should have reserved seats.

Anyway, when we got back home (I was with my son and my buddy Fred.) we came up the stone walkway to my front door and Fred says: “What’s that?”

I looked and saw a squirrel lying spread eagle on the walkway leading up to the front door. He looked dead. His tail was all wet and flattened on the stones he was laying on. Then I saw him move a little. He was still alive but barely. Couldn’t tell what happened to him. My daughter in law said she saw the mangy-looking fox that’s prowled our neighborhood for several years close by. Couldn’t tell if the squirrel had been attacked or run over by a car and had crawled to the house, or had fallen out of a tree or had some kind of disease. He was weird-looking. Like he could have had rabies.

We called animal control. While we waited I saw the poor thing try to crawl on his belly. He made one or two painful inches and stopped. Then suddenly he raised his head up and I swear he reached up his arms to the grey sky overhead, flapping his tail furiously, as though it were either fighting for its life or had decided to give up the ghost. That was the last movement he made. A few minutes later animal control showed up, surprisingly quick. He took a look and guessed it must have fallen from one of the tall trees on our property. “It happens,” he said. He looked closely and discovered he was still breathing. He picked him up and put him in a cage and took him to the animal shelter. “Doesn’t look good,” he said.

So all in all it was a lousy day. No movie and a dead squirrel at my door. I went in the house and grabbed a beer. I can still see his head rising up from the stone walkway, his tail beating furiously, and those furry arms reaching to the grey sky.

i’VE GOT ANOTHER NEW MOVIE REVIEW UP TODAY ON CINEMA RETRO. THE MAN WHO DIED TWICE, STARRING ROD CAMERON AND VERA RALSTON. A MISSING STASH OF HEROIN HAS COPS AND GANGSTERS TAKING SHOTS AT EACH OTHER, WHILE A “DEAD MAN’S” BROTHER TRIES TO FIGURE OUT WHAT’S REALLY GOING ON. REPUBLIC STUDIOS FILMED THIS ONE IN NATURAMA, IT’S VERSION OF CINEMASCOPE. CLICK HERE TO READ THE REVIEW.

 

Read my review of Walter Hill’s “Wild Bill” (1995) and learn why it’s not a good idea to touch another man’s hat. Today on Cinema Retro. 

 

 
Hard to believe, but Stirling Silliphant, Oscar winning writer, creator of the greatest TV series ever, “Route 66,” is having a birthday today. His 100th birthday. He passed away in Thailand in 1996, but his memory and his great writing live on, still inspiring paltry beggars like me.
Some quotes from his writing:

“It’s the curse of the writing man to wonder if his fingers are as true when they touch paper, as they are when they touch his daughter’s tears.” Route 66, “a lonely bunch of pagliaccis.”

“Around here they think I’m one-third Apache. In Korea, believe it or not, they thought I was one third Korean. I’m one third of wherever I am. Not because I want to be. I blend in like one of those lizards.. . .With you, Diane I could be three-thirds of myself.”– Route 66, “…he shall forfeit his dog and 10 shillings to the king.”

“I was arrested in New York for having a pet unicorn.”
“Everyone knows unicorns are just creatures of somebody’s imagination.”
“Aren’t we all?” –Route 66, ‘how much a pound is albatross?”

Am I  smelling the beginning of the end of the Trump Administration? Steve Bannon’s book has rocked the White House. It’s release came just after the Supermoon on January 2. The Supermoon occurred in Trump’s 11th house of friends. Full Moons are about endings. And so ends a beautiful friendship. Trump used to say Bannon was a great guy. Now he’s nothing and “he’s lost his mind.”

Wait until the Super Blue Blood Moon lunar eclipse coming January 31 in Trump’s House of Secret Enemies and Self-undoing. The administration will be hit by a tsunami of scandal, as Saturn squares Neptune in Trump’s chart during the first two weeks of February. There will be chaos and it will very difficult to tell exactly what’s going on behind the scenes.

But Steve Bannon claims it’s all about money laundering. I predicted such would be the case last year. The question is what damage will all this do to our country?

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Mordecai Slate, Jack Brand, Frank Carson, and me wish all our friends out there a Happy New Year. Thanks for your support. We couldn’t do it without you. Look for more exciting adventures in 2018. You haven’t seen anything yet.

 

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Today over on  Cinema Retro I review “Lust in the Dust,” er, rather “Duel in the Sun” with Jennifer Jones, Gregory Peck and Joseph Cotton. It’s a western that thinks it’s “Gone with the Wind.” Something between a Eugene O’Neill tragedy and a Carol Burnett sketch.

 

In honor of the season, here is a re-post of an excerpt from “Hunting Monsters Is My Business.”  Happy Holidays.

* * * * *

Mordecai Slate, Doc Washburn, and the Reverend Powell rode on through the snow, the memory of what had occurred in Rio Muerto still blazing in their minds. The thick New Mexican snowflakes stung Slate’s cheek as he kept Dutch, his buckskin horse, set on course due north on the Camino Real. The doctor and the reverend followed in the wagon.

An hour later — the snow heavier, visibility almost zero — a dark shape loomed up ahead. As they approached, Slate saw it was a small lean-to built on the side of the road–a dilapidated relay station. There was someone inside. Two small figures huddled together, hidden in the dark interior of the lean to. They were behind a feed trough filled with straw. Two homeless Mexicans caught in the storm. Slate saw a baby wrapped in a blanket, lying in the straw.

He dismounted and the other two men climbed down from the wagon. Slate saw that the Mexicans, a man and a woman, were very young, and the baby was newborn.

Slate and his companions stared down at them in silence. As poor and desperate as they were, there was something about them. Some kind of peaceful feeling seemed to surround the lean-to. After all that they, Slate and the others, had experienced in Rio Muerto, it was like a soothing balm that healed.

Slate took some of the gold coins Don Pedro had given him for hunting down Kord Manion and dropped them in the woman’s lap. Doc Washburn opened his bag and examined the child. He gave the woman some medicine for colic.

Reverend Powell stood over them, making a sign of the cross. The wind and snow howled mercilessly outside all around them.