A FRANK MOVIE REVIEW: “WHITE BOY RICK” – 7

WHITE BOY RICK – 7

 

In a word:  Depressing.

     If you are adverse to a barrage of bad language, plus graphic violence, do not see this movie.

     Set in Detroit around 1984, this is a deep, dark film giving us a vivid peek into the underworld of drugs and dealers, depression, dysfunction and misery.

     Mathew McConaughey deftly plays the role of a struggling single father of two teens, one a female junkie who lives in the streets and the other, Rick Wershe Jr., age 15, who spends most of his miserable life interacting with dopers and thieves in the hood, often the only white person in the mix. This was during the crack epidemic of the 1980s.

     Wershe Sr. sells guns illegally to make ends meet but soon attracts attention from the FBI. Federal agents convince his son, Rick Jr., to become an undercover drug informant in exchange for keeping his father out of prison. When young Rick gets in too deep, he finds himself seduced by the lure of easy money and becomes a drug dealer himself.

     This is based on a true story which comes together at the end, which I will omit for this article.

     McConaughey is

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VIVIEN: A SHORT STORY.

Vivien Marie Peterson was born September 13, 1910, Chicago, Illinois. Died: June 3, 1966, North Miami, Florida.

By age seventeen, she was an honor student in high school, played classical piano, winning a number of music competitions, accomplished dancer studying ballet and tap, loyal daughter to Anna Peterson, and sister, Frances Peterson.

At age 19, she moved to New York City and married vaudeville star, known as “Old Man Whoopee,” performing as straight woman for him in hundreds of performances around the nation. She shared stages with Burns and Allen, Ginger Rogers, Rudy Vallee, Ray Bolger, Edward G. Robinson, Ruby Dee, The Three Stooges, Marx Brothers, Sophie Tucker, the Dorsey Brothers and many more entertainers of note.

“Old Man Whoopee” died (natural causes) in 1941, after which she remarried to Queens mobster, Willie Strauss. She had already birthed two baby boys, the eldest of whom died by drowning in Flushing Bay, New York, when he was age 7.

Four years after moving to Miami Beach in 1945, her second husband died. (natural causes) Times were tough in Miami Beach, a single mom raising one child as she work playing piano at dance classes for $20 a week. Eventually, in 1955,

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NIKE WILL PAY FOR SUPPORTING KAEPERNICK

(This Op-Ed appears in the 9/11/18 issue of Florida Today)

 

Nike, the sports equipment giant, dropped 3 points in the stock market following that company’s new alliance with former NFLer, Colin Kaepernick. Considering Nike is worth $36.4 billion in the global market, that translates to a huge loss. I suspect it’s only just begun.

I first learned of the rising movement to burn Nike shoes in protest of the protester from my 55-year-old firefighter son who says he will no longer buy Nike products. He claims most of his civil service compatriots are doing the same.

My issue with ex-player, multi-millionaire Kaepernick is not about his entitlements to protest. It’s about abusing his constitutional rights by wrongfully denigrating the very nation that has given him those freedoms by being American.

Much of this ballyhoo would not have happened without the knowledge and consent of NFL owners and coaches who haven’t the guts to do what’s right. When a coach or league commissioner tells players (employees) they are there to play football and entertain fans, they should not be making on-duty political or social protests. If they violate orders, they should lose their jobs. That’s Employment 101.

This has

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A FRANK MOVIE REVIEW: OPERATION FINALE – 8

“Operation Finale”  –  8

 

In a word:  Chilling

     This is a well-done biopic film about the background and capture of Adolf Eichmann in 1960 by Israeli commandos, one of the highest level Jew killers from WWII.

     This takes place fifteen years after the end of World War II, Israel’s intelligence agency Mossad and security agency Shin Bet – led by heroic agent Peter Malkin (Isaac) – launched a daring top-secret raid to capture the notorious Eichmann (Ben Kingsley), who had been reported dead in the chaos following Nazi Germany’s collapse but was, in fact, living and working in a suburb of Buenos Aires, Argentina under an assumed identity. Malkin and his operatives plot and execute the abduction under the cover of darkness just a few feet from Eichmann’s home. Determined to sneak him out of Argentina to stand trial in Israel, Malkin and Eichmann engage in an intense and gripping game of cat-and-mouse in which they are barely able to get the plan off the ground in time.

     What seemed unrealistic, was the clumsy way the Mossad Israelis people went about the actual capture.

     I well remember this headline story in 1960, as people of the free world still

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SOLUTION TO ABORTION DEBATE: COMPROMISE

(This Op-Ed by yours truly appears in Florida Today newspaper, 8/22/18)

There is an old saying about a half loaf being better than none. Perhaps we should educate our politicians. That’s the same as saying some progress is better than no progress.

It seems no one in the current political spectrum is amenable to such a practice. If politicians who claim to be bipartisan would apply “bipartisanship” to legislative bottlenecks, we might see more progress coming from lawmakers across many issues. The key is compromise, that strange, outdated phenomenon. It was practiced by Republicans and Democrats during the Clinton years, which led to enormous legislative progress, not to mention a balanced budget.

The problem is particularly clear in regards to legalization or criminalization of abortion. There is no middle ground; pro-lifers and pro-choicers are virtually polarized with no room for compromise in either direction.

The impending hearings for nominee Brett Kavanaugh for filling a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court rests not on his voluminous array of legal qualifications or any other matters pertaining to government. Rather, it’s all about Roe v. Wade and how he might lean one direction or another as though this country has no other problems.

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COMPARING IMMIGRATION: MARIEL AND MEXICO

If people really want to understand the risks of accepting unbridled swarms of refugees from another country, they should look no further than Cuba 90 miles from our shores.

     The original flow of Cuban refugees began in 1960 bringing hundreds of thousands of desperate new residents into our country, the majority of whom settled in South Florida. Until then, Miami was considered a moderate tourist town; Winter Wonderland. 

     I well remember that crisis. I was a rookie cop assigned to the airport when the first waves of Cuban people began arriving on boats and planes. Interesting enough, Castro allowed these folks access to the U.S., but required everyone to leave personal belongings behind, including homes and bank accounts. Most of the early 1960s refugees were well-educated, middle to upper class, skilled and an asset to the population. They were also proud people asking very few entitlements from our country other than asylum and emergency health benefits. Many Cubans thought Castro would not last and they could return to their homes. Never happened.

     Some moved into apartments, three families at a time. I remember Cuban men selling bananas at busy intersections. Some had been bankers, civil servants and business owners in

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A FRANK MOVIE REVIEW: MISSION IMPOSSIBLE-FALLOUT 8.5

MISSION IMOSSIBLE – FALLOUT  –  8.5

 

In a word: breathtaking

     You gotta like pure action-thriller movies to enjoy this flick. In doing so, do not expect much in the way of reality, it’s all about edge-of-your-seat implausible scenes, that – in this case – don’t really matter very much. What matters is the pace, the non-stop action, death defying stunts and THE man who drives every scene: Tom Cruise. 

     Here’s a brief plot,  (admittedly) partially plagiarized from an on-line notation: 

Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and the IMF team join forces with CIA assassin August Walker (played by Henry Cavill) to prevent a disaster of epic proportions. Arms dealer John Lark and a group of terrorists known as the Apostles plan to use three plutonium cores for a simultaneous nuclear attack on the Vatican, Jerusalem and Mecca, Saudi Arabia. When the weapons go missing, Ethan and his crew find themselves in a desperate race against time to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands”

     Some of the dialogue is stilted, almost as if they’re resting before leaping into the next action scene. Alec Baldwin, playing a former CIA chief, wasn’t bad, but he was Alec Baldwin, too well known off

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