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A FRANK MOVIE REVIEW: “KIDNAP” – 8.5

“KIDNAP”  – 8 ½

In a word:  Intense.

     This is a good movie, because it entertains, raises heart rates, captures dire emotions between mother and child, while the 1 hour and 34 minutes fly by like it was half that time. It is packed with “intensity” from beginning to end.

     Halle Berry’s character, a restaurant waitress, is a single mom of a six-year-old boy, in the throes of a custody battle with an ex-husband.  She brings her boy to a local carnival when she takes a brief phone call about the impending court battle and tells her boy to “wait right here.” Moments later, she realizes the child is gone which triggers maternal panic, especially when she spots, at a distance, the child being loaded into a vehicle by a strange bedraggled woman. Berry goes ballistic, racing after the car on foot, to no avail. From there she boards her own vehicle which begins the hour-long, plus, nerve-wracking chase through highways and by-ways, causing too many crashes along the way. But…this is a movie.

     It exudes the same emotions as the movie “Taken” only in this film all the events take place during a single afternoon of a harrowing

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U.S. VOTING SYSTEM SHOULD BE UNIFORM

(This Op-Ed appears in the July 14 edition of Florida Today.) 

     “U.S. voting system should be uniform for all”

     Marshall Frank, Community columnist

 

Apart from state laws that vary across state lines, federal laws are a national standard. Criminal and civil matters, federal law enforcement, income taxes, military and international issues are guided by laws under one umbrella in the United States. Federal laws are no different in California than in South Carolina, Alaska or Maine … with one exception: voting.

It’s no wonder federal elections and states administering them are in such a quagmire about voter identification. Consider this:

  • There is no uniform system across America for establishing identification of prospective voters. The state in which people live determines how voting is administered. Five independent systems currently exist that may or may not require identification, with and/or without photo.
  • Eighteen states, including New York, California and Pennsylvania, plus Washington, D.C., require no ID at all. Anyone can walk into a voting station and assume any name, be a convicted felon or an illegal immigrant, yet be provided the opportunity to vote — illegally. Without ID, there is no way to establish their eligibility.
  • The U.S. Constitution requires voters
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A FRANK MOVIE REVIEW: “THE BEGUILED” – 6.5

“The Beguiled.”  –  6 ½

     In a word:  Slow.

This is the antithesis of an action film. Directed by Sofia Coppola, (daughter of Francis Ford Coppola) it is a remake of a 1971 movie of the same title, which starred Clint Eastwood.

     Set in rural Virginia, 1864, as the Civil War blazed in the distance outside the frames of the camera, the entire setting for the story is in and around a mansion in the woods – nothing else — that has been converted into a girl’s school of some four students who are sheltered from the war. The property is owned by Martha, a stoic, discipline-minded woman deftly played by Nicole Kidman.

     While alone in the woods collecting mushrooms, one of the young girls stumbles upon a wounded union soldier lying under a tree. Though this is a staunch Confederate region, the girl assists the soldier (Colin Farrell) to the mansion where Kidman takes charge and reluctantly treats the soldier’s wounds, with the objective of releasing him back to the field once he is ambulatory.

     The soldier’s presence ultimately creates a wave of interesting relationships and curiosities among the four students, one adult teacher and Kidman, of which Farrell’s

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TEN VALID REASONS TO ABOLISH DEATH PENALTY

(The following Op-Ed appears in the June 23, 2017 edition of Florida Today.)

 

     “It’s time to put death penalty to rest in U.S.”

By Marshall Frank, Community columnist  

     One innocent executed is one too many — and that’s just one reason to abolish capital punishment. 

Now that the Florida Supreme Court has ruled that juries must vote unanimously for the death penalty in order to validate a sentence, we can anticipate many new appeals and/or commutations of sentences for over 200 death row inmates to whom this will apply. Such appeals, or new trials, would be an extreme cost to the taxpayer.

Thus, we re-examine the death penalty once more. As a 30-year career cop and former Miami-Dade homicide detective, I’ve seen the worst of criminal behavior. I’m no bleeding heart.

I propose 10 valid reasons why capital punishment should be abolished, not only in Florida, but throughout the entire nation.

Too many risks of executing the innocent: In Brevard County, we’ve been witness to at least three life terms in which human beings have wrongfully served 27 years, 22 years and four years as innocent men. Had they been given a death sentence, two would probably be dead

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REMEMBERING A FATHER ON FATHER’S DAY

This story is for those people who don’t always have the best relationships in families, especially fathers.

    Marshall Strauss was ten years of age when the man he called “Dad” passed away after a long illness. His mother came home from the hospital, sobbing, telling of what a good man William Strauss had been. Later that afternoon, she composed herself and called her son over to have a serious talk.

     “What’s the matter, Mom?”

     “I have something to tell you. The man who died this morning loved you and wanted the best for you. But…he wasn’t really your father.”

     Marshall was stunned. “Wha…what do you mean?”

     “He adopted you when you were two years old, that’s why your name is Strauss. Your real father’s name was Arthur Frank.”

     Many thoughts swirled through the boy’s mind, most of all, why he was never told the truth before. “Do you mean my name is really Marshall Frank?”

     “Yes, honey. We wanted for you to not have any confusion, so that we all had the same name. We didn’t think it was necessary to tell you.”

     “But I want to know. I want to know more.  Who was my real father? Where is

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SHARIA LAW: WILL IT PREVAIL

We’ve been hearing more and more about the creeping intrusion of Sharia (Islamic) Law around Europe and North America. The Muslim Brotherhood’s doctrines, as laid out in many of their secret documents, sets out specific goals to conquer western civilization from within and establish Sharia Law, ultimately to replace the Constitution in future decades.

     England has been so overrun and intimidated by Islamists, that they capitulated in allowing “Sharia Zones” in various sectors of the country. This means, when you see a sign on a wall or post in Birmingham or Manchester, which states “You Are Now Entering a Sharia Zone” it is a warning that different laws exist in that neighborhood/region which are strictly enforced…and are separate and apart from British law. In essence, it’s like being inside a foreign country, while in a country. France has evolved similarly, as well as other sectors in Germany, Belgium, Sweden, and other places. The target is western civilization in general.

     So what do we need to know about Sharia Law. Here’s one definition found in Wikipedia:

     “Sharia Law, or Islamic Law, is the religious law forming part of the Islamic tradition. It is derived from the religious precepts of Islam, particularly

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A FRANK MOVIE REVIEW: MEGAN LEAVEY = 8

“Megan Leavey”  – 8 out of 10

 

In a word:  Emotional

If you’re prone to jerking tears, bring a tissue box.

     The only thing wrong with this movie was that it was mostly predictable. Young woman from a dysfunctional family looks for a place to be worth something. She joins the Marines and ends up drawn to working with explosive sniffing dogs and develops a strong attachment to “Rex,” a beautiful German shepherd with whom she develops a loving relationship. So, the plot is set, the outcome is expected to be heartbreaking. 

     The setting is Iraq’s war in 2007. The IEDs explode and the young female Marine is injured along with “Rex.”  She is devastated when the Corps orders a separation of the two.

     Megan then spends all her energy, love, money and resources to recover “Rex” so she can adopt him for the remainder of his years.

     Based on a true story, the audience knows they’re being set up for a tear jerk, but it’s all okay because it’s about unconditional love and all the right reasons.

    Acting is good, particularly from the main character, “Megan” played by Kate Mara.  Rex also plays a magnificent role. (Woof Woof)

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