A FRANK MOVIE REVIEW: “OCEAN’S 8” – 7

“OCEAN’S 8” –   7

 

In a word:  Entertaining

     Good (not great) action movie involving eight beautiful ladies. Can’t lose with that formula.

    Sandra Bullock is the spearhead actress, playing the role of the now deceased, Danny Ocean’s sister. She has pulled over five years in prison for a major theft, then – to secure her parole – promises to go straight forever more. Naturally, she’s lying. Not only is she a cocky kleptomaniac, she has formulated what would become the greatest jewelry heist in world history. The target; a fabulous diamond necklace worth over $150 million currently stored under heavy guard in an underground vault,  scheduled to be worn by a major celeb at New York City’s star-studded annual Met Gala.

     Bullock’s character, Debbie Ocean, knows such a robbery must be coordinated and executed with perfect timing, so she secures, one by one, the skills of seven other lady crooks with varied offerings of expertise, including Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Sarah Paulson, Mindy Kaling, Awkwafina, Rihanna, and Laura Dern.  One is a digital security systems expert, another a jewelry maker, a fashion designer, art dealer, actress and so on. Cate Blanchett plays Bullocks’s best friend. Hathaway is the beautiful

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WE’VE TAKEN EQUALITY TOO FAR

(This Op-Ed by yours truly appeared in the June 9 issue of Florida Today)

 

Some folks might call me a bigot, or some other neo-expletive, but I feel we’ve carried this “equality” thing a little too far.

Most of us ascribe to the question, “Why fix something if it’s not broken?” Yet the loudest voices within minority groups have managed to create fixes that were not needed to begin with, all in the name of “diversity” and the pandering for bloc votes.

The Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America, consisting of 2.3 million and 1.8 million members respectively, are wonderful organizations that have thrived for over 100 years. They teach harmony, unity, survival skills and more. Now, the “diversity police” have altered a fully successful program by merging girls into the Boy Scouts.

Perhaps gender-neutral scouts should all be issued bras and jock straps, equally, so as not to discriminate against one sex or the other. Yes, that’s dumb. So is breaking down organizations that work well.

Then there is the discussion about public restrooms. According to a study issued by Pew Research, 3.8 percent of Americans identify as gay, lesbian or bi-sexual. Of that, 0.6 percent identify

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COPS ARE CONSTANT TARGETS OF VIOLENCE

(This Op-Ed by yours truly, appeared in the May 26 issue of Florida Today)

 

Date: April 1, 1976.  April Fool’s Day.

Three detectives, all friends, all under age 32, spotted a stolen car in a motel parking lot in Miami Beach. They asked the desk clerk about the car owner who was occupying a street-level room. Before the cops had a chance to knock on the suspect’s door, the clerk alerted the car thief by phone. One by one, these fine young men, with families, were ambushed as the shooter fired his 12 gauge through the window.

Funerals were drenched with tears. To this day, I know fellow cops who never got over it.

That year, over 200 police officers died in the line of duty in America. Sure, it’s a risk built into the job, but there’s something horribly sinister about cops dying in ambush, for no other reason than being a police officer.

Since records have been kept, starting in 1791, (according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial) 21,541 officers have been killed in the line of duty. That doesn’t include the multi thousands more seriously injured and/or crippled while serving as our protectorates. The majority

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SUICIDES KILL MORE THAN HOMICIDES

(This Op-Ed by yours truly was published in Florida Today, Monday, May 14, 2018.)

Most folks do not realize that homicide detectives spend more than half their time on the job investigating suicides, accidental deaths and even unexplained natural deaths, not just murder cases. That’s because any of those could be a homicide in disguise.

Sometimes, it hits home. As a Miami-Dade County homicide supervisor in the 1970s, I was routinely reviewing a stack of reports when I came across a suicide case where a 65-year-old man shot himself in the head and left a note: “I don’t want to suffer the cancer.” His name was Joe Strauss. My stepfather’s brother, he was “Uncle” Joe to me.

On another occasion, I visited the morgue to consult with the medical examiner, a frequent occurrence. As I passed by the array of bodies wearing nothing but toe-tags, I noticed a small person lying with a bullet hole in her temple. I gasped. I knew this girl, my wife’s niece, age 11. Alone in the house, she found her dad’s pistol, lay on the bed and elected to die.

Nationally, suicides comprise more than double the number of homicides, 44,965 compared to

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A FRANK MOVIE REVIEW: “TULLY” – 8

“TULLY”  – 8

 

In a word: Deep

     This movie is pure drama, no guns, no car chases, no rampant sex, no heroes, no monsters. It’s all about domestic misery and stress and pure unadulterated unhappiness that many of us may have experienced, one time or another.

     Playing the role of Marlo, Charlize Theron gives an Oscar-worthy performance as a frazzled 40-year-old housewife and mother of two kids, with a baby in the oven ready to birth. Her husband is a decent provider, often traveling, but contributes little to allay her despair while he plays video games in most of his spare time. Meanwhile, she must give special attention to a special-needs (perhaps autistic), six-year-old boy who is being expelled from his school because of constant class disruptions.

     Along comes her wealthy brother who provides the money for a temporary rescue in the person of “Tully” a 26 year-old self-described nanny whose takes over night time care duties for the new baby thus giving Theron’s character a chance to gather herself from going insane. Deftly played by Mackenzie Davis, Tully proves out to be a personable and caring figure who appears to have intelligence and compassion far beyond her years.

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WHY ARMING TEACHERS IS A BAD IDEA

(This Op-Ed, by yours truly, appears in today’s issue of Florida Today newspaper, 4/30/2018)

 

I’m a supporter of Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey. We are lucky to have such a capable and dedicated law enforcement leader in our midst. That doesn’t mean I agree with everything he proposes.

I oppose the arming of staff within our public classrooms. It’s a bad idea. There are other solutions. If educators are armed statewide, it would increase the incidents of deadly encounters particularly with violence-prone students in volatile venues. Increasing the presence of firearms, en masse, inside school walls increases risks and could cause more problems than it solves.       

This is not only my opinion and that of many others. A recent Gallup Poll showed:

  • 73 percent of teachers oppose teachers and staff carrying guns in schools
  • 58 percent feel that carrying guns would make schools less safe
  • Only 18 percent claim they would be willing to carry guns in schools.

In Brevard, classroom teacher could not be armed because their union-negotiated contract doesn’t allow them to carry firearms. 

My opinion is based on experience as a 30-year law enforcement veteran in Miami-Dade, as well as an involved citizen, father, and grandfather

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A FRANK MOVIE REVIEW: “CHAPPAQUIDDICK” – 8.5

“Chappaquiddick”  –  8.5

 

In a word:  CYA

     I know that’s not really one word, but it’s all in the definition, because that’s what the movie was all about: Covering Your Ass.

     What’s good about this docudrama is the authenticity injected by writers and the director. There were many opportunities to suggest or infer sensationalism, sexual activity, or even corruption at the highest levels of government, but the movie makers stuck to the facts as they were known without adding sugar and spice for effect.

     This is a true story about a car accident, the death of a young woman, and a powerful senator who, with the help of his top aides, did all they could to cover the truth. What came across stronger than any other emotion for the viewer, was then reality that the only thing that the self-absorbed senator cared about was himself and his political future.

     Most of us older folks will remember the tragic accident on July 18 of 1969 in which young Mary Jo Kopechne, age 28, died by drowning in a car driven by Senator Ted Kennedy around 11:30 p.m.  Kennedy got out, and swam to shore. Mary Jo perished. In the script,

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