Archives August 2020

A FRANK MOVIE REVIEW: “UNHINGED” – 9/10

“UNHINGED”  9/10

 

In a word:  Maniacal 

 

First Note: This was quite a treat watching a movie on the big screen after six months of cinematic withdrawals. The movie appeared at the now-open Oaks Theater in Melbourne, where we shared the cavernous room with three other unmasked strangers.

If you like hard core, powerful and terrifying movies, don’t miss this psycho thriller starring an overweight Russell Crowe who, for some unexplained reason, was angry at the entire planet. He meets up with a horn-honking mom stuck in traffic with while taking her ten-year old boy to school, who had no idea she had awakened the wrath of an out-of-control lunatic.  

The mom character is deftly played by South African Born actress, Caren Pistorius, who obviously shows her talent and ability to make terror scenes feel very real, particularly when trying desperately to protect her son.

In his quest to chase and destroy the mom and her boy, Crowe has us sitting on the edge of our seats while the frenetic victims are on screen doing everything possible to save their own lives.  With a few exceptions, this movie is fast-paced as almost everyone Crowe encounters meets a tragic end.

A few interspersed scenes slowed the pace a bit, but that was a good thing allowing audiences to catch their breath. And, if one looked hard enough, a few implausible errors could be seen, but it took nothing away from the movie.

It was a good wake-up call returning back to movie houses where they belong.

Probably no Oscars here, though Crowe was quite convincing in his role as a maniac.

I give this a 9 out of 10.

Unhinged (2020) – IMDb

COP LIVES MATTER

I served as a cop for thirty years in Miami. The greatest honor was to share the camaraderie and friendship with the finest, most caring and bravest human beings on planet earth. There are nearly 800,000 police officers in the United States. Their services are called for nearly 183 million times a year. That’s a lot of danger.

When applying for the job, most police officers not only sought pay and benefits, they also felt a calling, to be among the greatest of public servants. I loved being an officer, because I helped to save lives and rescued others. I fought criminals, put many dangerous people away, while I protected the innocent. I worked all corners of the urban arena in Miami. Voices from citizens often ring in my ears; “Thank you, Officer, so much.”

I personally knew fifteen police officers, black, Hispanic and white, male and female, who gave their lives in the line of duty and many more who were disabled, for life. They had families at home. I knew scores of cops who fought hand to hand with criminals, saving lives for you and for me. Other than war, there’s no other job as risky. I too was shot, suddenly blindsided by an insane woman. I have held dying people in my arms, swathed with blood, pleading with them to hold on. Every day, I had no idea what I’d have to face.

In my 30 years of the job, I never actually witnessed an officer using unnecessary/excessive force. I’m sure it happens now and then, but I was one of the lucky ones. It is not a common occurrence. Don’t believe people who tell you otherwise. With rare exception, there are no racial motives, not in these times. There is no such thing as “systemic” brutality. That’s what some media or cop haters want you to believe. In some cases, a cop will lose control, generally a reaction to fighting, or chasing, being assaulted, or because the power  of adrenaline takes control of the cop, instead of the other way around. 

Do I blindly cover for bad cops? Not if you check my record, which included my role as chief investigator of the notorious killing of Arthur McDuffie in 1979 when I arrested five officers for beating him to death. That was one example of an adrenaline rush.

I had a personal life as well, which suffered because of my devotion to the profession. That, also, not uncommon. The rate of broken marriages is higher than average for police than other careers. (Exact statistics unavailable)

We are now in a terrible state of chaos, much of which is systemic, because the latest violence in American cities are clearly planned, financed and engineered. Anarchists are flexing muscles by denigrating and reducing police officers through sheer humiliation leaving our constitution on the chopping block. Inept or hateful politicians are aiding and abetting the lawlessness. Anarchists are well trained and programmed on how to get people to hate police officers. It’s all about politics and power. 

Cops are told to take it or leave it. Respect for law enforcement from some political leaders has found its way down the drain. Anti-police sentiments, such as those taken by several mayors and governors, show contempt for cops who have no choice but to stand and take it when doused with water buckets, flammable fluids, smashes in the head with deadly objects, pelting stones and fireballs while their cars are immersed in flames. Imagine, being an officer standing at attention in tandem, while denizens of the neighborhood scream deafening expletives into the ear canals of officers doing their jobs, by forcing themselves to look straight ahead. They’re doing their best to remain sane.

Why? Because they ARE the first and only line of defense for decent citizens who are suffering enormously by the actions of hate organizations are given Carte Blanche to destroy what they wish while we all look on.

Cops are not robots. They are human. They get plenty of training. Sometimes, a cop will screw up. It’s the nature of the beast. Officers who commit crimes should pay a price like any other law breaker. Considering the volume of calls they answer, and the violent confrontations they face, it’s utterly remarkable they still report to duty.

In these times, thousands of cops suffer in their own personal lives. Families suffer. Mental health suffers. Kids suffer from broken marriages. According to the Addiction Center, police officers rank highest among professions for committing suicide. I knew several cops who took their own lives. Some were good friends.

Cops meet death on the job roughly once every two days.

Imagine being one of those 800,000 career cops watching police hatred fester while organized violence explodes against neighborhoods, monuments, businesses, government buildings, police officers and innocent people. Thanks to pathetic excuses by government politicians, many wish they never became a cop. Today we are witnessing the erosion of budgets meant to protect cops, and citizens. Some cities and states are virtually defunding police budgets. Mayor De Blasio, of New York City, is cutting a billion dollars from the police budget. All that can come of this: Cops will be powerless, our enemies will be emboldened.

Sound familiar?  Think: Marxism. Think Cuba, Venezuela, and China.

Police officers retire early these days. Others are withdrawing their applications. Some will look the other way when suspicious circumstances arise, unless they have no choice. Who’s the biggest loser in the “Hate-Cops” era? Americans. Citizens suffer, along with police. It is they who are afraid like anyone else. It is they who just want to be safe at home with their families and work at their jobs. Each day, cops hope and pray they can make it to the finish line: Retirement. 

Cop Lives Matter…as do all lives.

VICTOR BORGE – A GREAT COMIC REMEMBERED

This brief article is not about politics, cops, crime, drugs or sex. It’s about a great man who brought the lighter side of life into our hearts, who was equally as funny as he was musically brilliant. We old folks will remember him well. It’s too bad such a dear-hearted soul is not still around, to bring joy, love and laughter into our lives. Examples:

 Who said…

      Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.

      Santa Claus has the right idea – visit people only once a year.

      I only know two pieces; one is ‘Clair de Lune’ and the other one isn’t.   

      I wish to thank my parents for making it all possible… and I wish to thank my children for making it necessary.

      My father invented a cure for which there was no disease and unfortunately my mother caught it and died.

      When an opera star sings her head off, she usually improves her appearance.

      If I have caused just one person to wipe away a tear of laughter, that’s my reward.

Born Borge Rosenbaum in Denmark, 1909, Victor Borge was blessed to be the son of professional musicians, where he began studying piano at the age of two. He performed his first major piano concert in 1926. Soon after, the Nazi war machine was creeping into all of Europe, rounding up Jews by the millions. Young Borge, a Jew, was playing a concert in Sweden in April of 1939 where he managed to escape to Finland. He arrived in the U.S. in August of 1940, unable to speak a word of English.

America was fortunate to be graced by this man’s warmth and genius. His talent, not only in music but in humor as well, soon became recognized by some of the most famous performers in America (at the time), including Bing Crosby and Rudy Vallee who first featured Borge on his radio show.

The rest is history, most of which has been recorded for show biz addicts to enjoy, including modern times. He died in the year 2000.

What astounds me the most about Borge besides his obvious musical talent, is the effortless manner in which he cracked jokes or engaged in physical stunts while playing the most difficult of classical music. He was not a typical  “stand-up” comic. He never needed to rely on crude language, insults, politics or sex for his audiences. He was an all-around comedian in a genre that belonged to him alone.  No one has copied his style, before or since.

Now I’ll shut up and provide the link in which he was honored at the Kennedy Center Honors in 1999. Enjoy. 

Victor Borge – Honored by Kennedy Center, Lifetime Achievement 1999 – YouTube

And if you’ve never seen a Borge performance in which he uses “phonetic punctuation” to tell a story, you’ll be amazed.  Less than 3 minutes. Here’s a link:

Victor Borge – Phonetic Punctuation – YouTube

And…A typical Victor Borge performance at the Eisenhower White House, where people were stricken with powerful stomach aches…

 

 

BEWARE EROSION OF THE POLICE

I served as a cop for thirty years in Miami. The greatest honor was to share the camaraderie and friendship with the finest, most caring and bravest human beings on planet earth. There are about 800,000 police officers in the United States. Their services are called for nearly 183 million times a year. Not much down time, indeed.

When applying for the job, most police officers I’ve known not only seek pay and benefits, they also feel a calling, to be among the greatest of public servants. I loved being an officer, because I helped to save lives and rescued others, I fought criminals, put many dangerous people away, I protected innocent people. I worked within corners of the urban jungle. Voices from citizens often ring in my ears; “Thank you, Officer. Thank you, so much.”

We faced risks every day. That came with the job. I personally knew fifteen police officers, black and white, who gave their lives in the line of duty and many more were messed, for life, up from non-lethal combat. (that doesn’t include suicides) They had families at home. I knew scores of cops who fought hand to hand with criminals, saving lives for you and for me. Other than war, there’s no other job as risky. I too was shot, suddenly blindsided by an insane woman. I have held dying people in my arms, swathed with blood, pleading with them to hold on. Every day, I had no idea what I’d have to face.

I was never a personal witness to an officer using unnecessary/excessive force. That’s in 30 years of policing in Miami. I’m sure it happens now and then, but I was one of the lucky ones. It is not a common occurrence. Don’t believe people who tell you otherwise. With rare exception, it is not a racial motive, not in these times. And, to be emphatic, there is no such thing as “systemic” brutality. When officers lose their cool, it’s generally a reaction to fight, a chase, being assaulted, or because the power of adrenalin may take control of the cop, instead of the other way around.  

Do I blindly cover for bad cops? Not if you check my record, which includes my role as chief investigator of the notorious killing of Arthur McDuffie in 1979 when I arrested five officers for beating him to death. Now, there was an example of an adrenalin rush.

I had a personal life as well, which suffered because of my devotion to the profession. That’s not uncommon. The rate of broken marriages is certainly higher than average for police. (Exact statistics unavailable)

We are in a terrible state of chaos, much of which is systemic, because the latest violence from riots in American cities are clearly planned, financed and engineered. Far leftists are flexing muscles by denigrating and reducing police officers through sheer humiliation leaving our constitution on the chopping block. Some inept or hateful politicians are basically aiding and abetting the lawlessness. Anarchists are well trained and programmed on how to get people to hate police officers. It’s all about politics and power. 

Cops are told they have a job to do, to take it or leave it. Respect for law enforcement from some political leaders has found its way down the drain. Anti-police sentiments, such as those taken by several mayors and governors, show contempt for cops who have no choice but to stand and take it when doused with water buckets, flammable fluids, smashes in the head with deadly objects, pelting stones and fireballs while their cars are immersed in flames. Imagine, being an officer standing at attention in tandem, while denizens of the streets scream deafening expletives into the ear canals of officers doing their jobs, trying to remain sane while stones and other deadly missiles are hurled at them and their patrol cars are lying on the sides while fires blaze.  

Why? Because they ARE the first and only line of defense for decent citizens who are suffering enormously by the actions of hate organizations who are given Carte Blanche to destroy what they wish.

Cops are not robots. They are human. They get plenty of training. Now and then, a cop will screw up. It’s the nature of the beast because there are multi-millions of calls for police service annually. If one-tenth of one-percent of 800,000 officers commit an offense once a year, that’s 800 offenses. One, is too many, yes. But it’s also unrealistic to expect otherwise. Officers who commit crimes need to pay a price like any other law breaker. Considering the volume of calls they answer, and the violent confrontations they face, it’s utterly remarkable they still report to duty.

In these times, thousands of cops suffer in their own personal lives. Families suffer. Mental health suffers. Kids suffer from broken marriages. According to the Addiction Center, policer officers rank highest among professions for committing suicide. (Firefighters and other first responders are not included in that ranking)

Cops are killed on the job an average of 150 per year.      

Imagine being one of America’s 800,000 career cops watching the current (and systemic) status of police hatred, and the organized violence against neighborhoods, monuments, businesses, government buildings and police officers who, thanks to our pathetic excuse for government politicians. Today we are witnessing the erosion of funds to protect cops, and citizens. Some cities and states are virtually defunding police budgets. Mayor De Blasio, of New York City, is cutting a billion dollars from the police budget. Cops will be powerless, our enemies will be emboldened.

Sound familiar?  Think: Marxism.

Police officers are retiring early these days. Others are withdrawing their applications. Some will look the other way when suspicious circumstances arise, unless they have no choice. Who’s the biggest loser in the “Hate-Cops” era? Americans. It is Americans who suffer, along with police. It is they who are afraid like anyone else. It is they who just want to be safely at home with their families and work at their jobs. Each day, cops hope and pray they can make it to the finish line: Retirement. 

Cop Lives Matter…like all lives.