Home » Entertainment » Movies

Small Towns and Such

Small Town, USA

I’ve had to rewrite my article for this month a couple of times. Some months, these articles are easier to write than others.

After sitting in my living room watching Americans attack the Capitol on January 6, 2021—and reruns of The Day countless times since then—I thought that people, important people, would be arrested. So, I waited with anticipation. Six months. A year. Two years. Two-and-a-half years. Well, that day has finally come. Trump has been indicted and formally arraigned. More on Trump later.

I know. I thought it was going to be a fluff movie. It kinda was, but it was also much more. It turns out to be a female anthem. The movie is really good. It will cause you to think a bit. It is worth your time.

Small Towns
In 1985, John Cougar Mellencamp released his classic song, “Small Town.” I guess you could call it an ode to small towns. He discusses the fact that he was educated in a small town. He was taught to love Jesus in a small town. He met a beautiful woman and brought her back to the small town. Now she loves small towns just as much as he does. He even states that he has nothing against the big city—just that he is able to breathe in a small town. It’s a very nice tune.

Now, contrast Mellencamp to Jason Aldean, who just released a tune called, “Try That in a Small Town.” The song starts off violently. Sucker punch somebody on the sidewalk, carjack an old lady at a red light. The song goes on like this for several lines, then the chorus—Well, try that in a small town, see how far you make it down the road, around here, we take care of our own. This is not John Cougar Mellencamp’s small town.

It is hard to know where to go with Jason Aldean’s tune. It is combative. The imagery in the video is violent. It could even be called racist. The video seems to confuse nonviolent protests with lawlessness. The two actions are not the same. In the small town painted by Jason Aldean, there is no room for dissent. Step out of line or challenge the status quo, and you get a violent beat down. I really don’t want to have anything to do with Jason Aldean’s small town.

And, in fact, Mike Males, a writer for The Daily Kos, wrote on Aug. 8, “The odds of good-old White folks dying by gunfire are a whopping 1.7 times higher in an overwhelmingly White, small town or rural area … than in a big city full of people of color…

“The dirty rural secret shown in the latest Centers for Disease Control death tabulations for 2022-23: White people in small towns are 1.3 times more likely to be murdered, 1.3 times more likely to commit suicide, and 1.2 times more likely to die by violent causes than White people living in a big metro like Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, New York, or Houston.”

By |2023-11-12T14:45:37-04:00November 12th, 2023|Domestic Issues, Movies, Music, Party Politics|Comments Off on Small Towns and Such

Black Adam – Almost Good

I really wanted to like Black Adam but…

It really wasn’t that good.

There were good parts to this movie but…

So if you combined the movies Sahara, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and National Treasure, you have the opening 15 – 20 minutes of this movie. Then you transition to the A-team portion of the movie (or League of Extraordinary Gentlemen if you prefer) when the “superheroes” come together.

Then we get into the good guys battling the bad guys. Of course, we don’t know who is really good and who is really bad for some time.

The Justice League or Justice Gang or Justice Society (stupid name) are kinda a weak group of Superheroes. (I’m not sure exactly what DC comics were thinking.) Hawkman? Way too self-righteous. Cyclone, although beautiful, she is a really, really weak Storm from Marvel Comics. Finally, there is Atom Smasher whose name is better than his Ant-Man powers of growing big. What the heck? It is like all of the DC real superheroes were busy so let’s bring in the 3rd string. Pierce Brosnan and his acting talents are somewhat wasted as Dr. Fate. By the way, there is a 30 second cameo by Henley Winkler. That was fun. I have no idea why he is in the movie but we can go with it.

There are some funny parts and there was some outstanding action sequences.

Back to the meat of the story. There really is no story. There is this magic crown which smart lady, Adrianna (Sarah Shahi), translates the ancient language into something that makes absolutely no sense. Yet, in an awful plot twist, she was reading the ancient language upside down. This change the meaning of the message completely. I’m sorry, this makes no sense. It is like some awful game of pig-latin that we played as a child. Yet, as in many of the superhero movies, they asked us to suspend reality and our brains.

Oh and there is this substance that is powerful and indestructible – Eternium. (Every comic movie seems to have their own super substance. The Mandalorian has beskar. Wolverine has adamantium. Of course, the Black Panther and Wakanda have vibranium.) (Somehow you can mold it into anything that you want, even an airplane which gets destroyed later in the movie.) Yep, it doesn’t make any sense. That this super substance can be molded into anything you want but it is indestructible.

Dwayne Johnson continues to be an engaging movie star. He is simply fun to watch. He is massive. He is funny. He is serious, and, in parts, he is actually touching and emotional. Anyway, Black Adam is a fun movie. You do have to suspend reality. You have to overlook several major flaws in the script. If you are able to do all of that then you should enjoy this movie. Good Luck and tell them the Man in Black sent you. (too much?)

By |2022-12-29T19:14:43-04:00November 22nd, 2022|Movies|Comments Off on Black Adam – Almost Good

Why WW84 was so bad

Wonder Woman 1984 Poster

First, let’s look at Wonder Woman the movie (2017). This movie came out of nowhere. I don’t think that anybody thought that the movie was gonna be good. I remember going to the movie theater and having little or no expectations. The casting was magnificent. From Gal Gadot to Christopher Pine, to Robin Wright to Denny Huston, the casting was just perfect. As the movie unfolds, you have this wonderful landscape of the Amazon island of Themyscira. Connie Nielsen plays the Amazon Queen and the mother of Diana. As with most of the superhero movies, the initial 15 to 30 minutes is sucked up by telling the back story. Here, we see Diana grow up. We see her become more and more competitive. We see her become stronger.

Let’s fast-forward to the trenches of World War I. There is a scene where Diana understands what she must do. She takes control of the merry band (Charlie, Samir, the Chief and Steve). Later on in the scene where Diana runs out of the trench into no man’s land – is one of the best scenes that I’ve seen in the past 10 or 15 years. It’s about grit and determination. It’s about understanding who you are and what you can do. It’s also about trying to do the most for your fellow man. Besides that, it was visually stunning. Next, we see Diana almost single-handedly taking out a German garrison that is nestled into a village. After the fighting settles down, he returned to the humanity. Charlie, for all of his bluster, really cannot shoot. Or at least, he can’t shoot anymore. Diane is a warrior. She could’ve trashed Charlie. Yet she did not. This movie was about friendships. It was about humanity. It was about a superhero being more human than the rest of us.

I’m not sure what WW 84 was about. I don’t have any idea why they decided to make a movie in 1984? Why didn’t they make a movie in World War II? Why did they make a movie about the Cold War? Instead, they pick an obscure year that seems to have no particular meaning.

Do you remember the old short story the Monkey’s Paw? Remember you to get three wishes from the monkey’s paw but there would be something odd or tragic with the wish. Like you would wish for million dollars and you find out that your wife, who you love dearly, died and her insurance policy was worth $1 million. So, only something awful to accompany your wish. Basically, that’s what this movie was about. There was some ancient artifact which could grant you one wish. Diana wishes for her beloved Steve to return. Diana’s officemate, Barbara, wishes that she could be Diana. Soon, Barbara begins to develop Diana’s strength that her speed. Unfortunately, Barbara begins to lose her humanity. She becomes cruel and mean. For Diana, we find out throughout the movie is that she begins to lose her powers. The exact reason is unclear. It is only towards the end of the movie we figure out that she is losing her powers because she wanted Steve to return. For some time, in the middle of the movie, I thought she was losing her powers because Barbara was gaining her powers. I was wrong.

There are lots of things in this movie that makes absolutely no sense. Let’s fast-forward to the final scene in which Maxwell Lord, the bad guy, played by Pedro Pascal, is using some sort of fancy satellite contraption to touch the TVs of millions upon millions of people around the world. He is granting their wishes. I have no idea why this type of incantation causes a windstorm so powerful that Diana, Wonder Woman, is stopped in her tracks. She is unable to make any headway. She tries to throw her magic lasso and that doesn’t make any headway either against the fierce winds. What?

There are several of these head scratching moments throughout the movie. Diana and Steve Trevor steal or borrow a jet from the Smithsonian. Remember that Steve Trevor was a pilot in World War I. These were single-engine prop planes basically. Yet, he is able to jump into the cockpit of a jet and with no instruction, he figures everything out. He is able to fly it without a problem. What? To make matters worse, he is flying from the United States to Cairo, Egypt.. He knows nothing about radar. He knows nothing about advanced navigation. Prof he is there. What? (He does fly back from Cairo without a problem.)

This movie did not have any of the great camaraderie that we saw in the first movie. It did not have the humanity that we saw on the first movie. It just simply doesn’t hold together as well as the first movie. I would give the first movie 9/10 stars. WW 84 gets 4/10 stars.

By |2020-12-31T22:50:59-04:00December 31st, 2020|Movies|Comments Off on Why WW84 was so bad
Go to Top