Movie Critique: “88 Minutes”

Seeing as I’ve been an avid movie fan and lover of music since my crawling days in the crib, I thought I’d add a lighter side to my blog site. I’d be happy to hear what readers have to say.

If it weren’t for the presence of mega star and fine actor, Al Pacino, 88 Minutes would probably make most of it’s money being sold at Wal-mart in one of the $1 bins.

Good movies are tough to find these days, as the motion picture market caters mainly to children and young adults which feature gore, extreme violence, terror, plethora of smashed cars and buildings, million-bullet shoot-em-ups, raw sex, garbage humor and animated stories. Such is where the money is. Once in a while, a fine drama emerges, wins an Academy Award, then flops at the box office.

The problem with 88 Minutes is not action, drama or suspense. It has plenty of that. It’s the sheer absence of plausibility to the point of being absurd.

In a nutshell: Al Pacino is a Forensic psychiatrist whose testimony helped put a sadistic killer on Death Row nine years earlier. Naturally, the killer professes his innocence as his date with death nears. …

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JUDGING JC: JIMMY CARTER OR JESUS CHRIST

I bristled watching the news clip of former president Jimmy Carter as he lay a wreath at the grave site of Yasser Arafat. When I learned that the former president had traveled to the mid-east — illegally – to meet with Hamas leaders, and then give a hug to senior Hamas leader, Nasser Shaer, the hair rose on my arm.

In essence, an American statesman took it upon himself to pay homage to one of the most notorious terrorists in modern history, and then embrace a man who endorses hate, murder and genocide. Are we supposed to feel warm and fuzzy about that?

Now he is about to meet the leader of Hamas in a so-called “peace mission.” The terror group must be laughing their butts off.

In fact, by disregarding the wishes of the State Department and commiserating with a terrorist organization, Mr. Carter has violated the law.

I always considered Jimmy Carter a well-meaning, peace-loving man who would have never been president had it not been for the Nixon scandals. Moral as he may be, his presidency was considered incompetent by many, rife with blunder after blunder, not to mention an economy in the dumps. The Shah of …

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Calling 9-1-1: Staying Calm Can Be Hazardous

Sometimes it pays to lose your cool.

Take the case of Lenona Suggs, age thirteen. Lenona was raised as a single child by a single parent who worked by day and mothered by night. She dreamt one day of becoming a lawyer and prayed that she would makes grades that would earn a scholarship. She was an attractive child, wire thin, with smooth chocolate skin and slanted eyes which suggested a hint of Asia somewhere in her bloodline.

Mama had been married once but her man vanished one day after a night out with the boys when Lenona was only a year old. Mama worked the next twelve years cleaning white people’s homes in upscale neighborhoods. A devoted mother, indeed, Mama would make sure her daughter would never suffer the same foolish fate, marrying a loser, then having no other skills than scrubbing toilets and floors on bended knees. She read stories to Lenona at night, helped her with homework and spoke openly about sex, drugs and violence and the rigors of life.

She often left Lenona home alone during late afternoons while she worked beyond rush hour. She covered those bases also. “If you’re ever real sick or you’re …

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WHY OBAMA MUST NOT BE ELECTED

Like most cops, I spent the majority of my career discerning truth from fiction. After a while, you get pretty good at it. Folks who work in the field of criminal justice deal with liars every day and develop a strong scent for deceit. It’s part of the job.

Such provides, in my opinion, an advantage in deciding who to vote for in a major election. Those of us in career law enforcement and other justice jobs, tend to weigh evidence, and not be guided by impressions and eloquent oratory. What’s most important is the sum of evidence, not one or two items by themselves, but the whole.

We live in a time of hype and idolatry spawned by media sensationalism. It trumps common sense. Evidence meant nothing in the O.J. Simpson trial. The jury was swayed by the aura of celebrity and charisma, not by an amalgamation of facts which pointed toward his guilt. Five months of listening to testimony took a back seat to sound bytes, like, “If the glove don’t fit, you gotta acquit.” Blinded by awe, the jury disregarded solid evidence and voted in favor of the killer.

Mind boggling.

The mayor of Washington D.C. was …

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Never Too Late To Say Thanks

You never know.

Small gestures of the past may resurface one day and bring gratitude when you least expect it.

Library booktalks have brought me through five states, from Knoxville, Tennessee to Key West, Florida, and hundreds of meeting rooms and auditoriums. As they say in show biz — it’s my schtick, a fun gig that has paid off in more ways than one.

On occasion, I will spot a face in the audience from an early era of my life, an old police crony, a high school chum, an old girl friend, a former adversary, or some obscure soul upon whom I made a mark and never knew it. Last year, a long lost relative showed up at an Asheville library, one who I had never met.

Clearwater, Florida. 2004. The crowd was disappointingly small. As folks ambled in, they were surprised to see an older curly-haired fellow playing gypsy songs on a violin as he wandered around the room. “Are we in the wrong place?” a woman asked of the host.

“Oh, no. That’s the author. Have a seat,” replied the librarian.

The audience was attentive and lively as I embarked on my dissertation. One fellow sitting in …

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DUTCH MOVIE IGNITES THE WRATH OF ISLAM

For those who have any confusion about the path of radical Islam, please read, watch and learn. This is not happening on Planet Mars. It’s not a fairy tale. It’s real. It’s here. Comatose America better start paying attention.

A Dutch member of parliament by the name of Geert Wilders has produced a 16-minute movie titled, Fitna. Unless he hides in a cave somewhere, it is likely Mr. Wilders will go the way of Theo Van Gogh, another Dutch film maker who was brutally murdered in the streets of Amsterdam by a proud Jihadist shouting “Allah Akbar.” Van Gogh had produced a short film titled Submission, which depicted the plight of women in Muslim societies. No doubt, as I write this, agents of the peaceful religion are seeking Wilder’s head.

So much for freedom of speech.

Fitna is a chilling documentary that intersperses Koranic verse with scenes of Islamic atrocities, including the 9/11 attacks, the beheading of Nick Berg, honor killings of women and hateful rhetoric being spewed from clerics and leaders inside mosques all around the globe. One scene has a three-year old girl telling us that, according to the Koran, Jews are apes and pigs.

I …

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OBAMA’S VIDEO MESSAGE TELLS ALL

Senator Barack Obama has been accused of speaking in ethereal terms, promoting hope and justice, rarely engaging in specifics about his proposed policies. That’s not exactly true.

There is a 52 second video floating around the Internet circuit in which the senator looks directly in the eye of the camera and announces his intentions about global weaponry and war systems, and what the United States would do if he were in the top position. 

Click here: YouTube

This is good. Now we know. Americans should listen closely to those 52 seconds because — in a few words — it tells us much about what to expect if this man ascends to the Oval Office.

Evaluate for yourself:

* He will end the war and immediately start pulling troops out. He’s already told us this. Ending the war is a good thing. We all want to see an end to the war. The questions remain, however: In what manner, how rapidly, will there be chaos, mass murders and destruction in the path, what will happen to the 100,000 civilian workers in Iraq, how will this affect the current government in place, and how will our image play out to the world …

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