by Hop posted Oct 18 2014 8:38PM

The new World War Two tank film, FURY, is not for the squeamish. Brad Pitt is very good (the whole cast is excellent for that matter), the mood is dark, and the battle sequences are thrilling. But the violence... mother of God, the violence.

The film takes place is the closing days of the war in Europe as Hitler is throwing whatever he can at the Allies advance into Germany, including old men, women, and children. Pitt leads his tank crew thru this hell where everything is drenched in desperation. And blood. War is never pretty, but the visuals in FURY go beyond mere metaphor. It's graphic and shocking, even by SAVING PRIVATE RYAN standards. Be prepared. I will say in its defense that the violence never feels like it's tacked on or done for shock value alone. It's a reality we don't like to think about. It has taken it's toll on the characters in FURY, who at first seem oddly cruel and aloof. But after an hour or so of watching their day to day struggle in the filth of war, we come to understand it, if not condone it.

A solid "B" rating from me. It could have been a little shorter and tighter, but a moving experience none the less.

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People : Brad PittGodHitler
by Hop posted Sep 30 2014 7:50PM

The second installment in the HUNGER GAMES franchise, HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE, is among some of the great titles being offered on Netflix in October.

Oct. 1

Annie (1982)

Annie: A Royal Adventure (1995)

Bad Johnson (2014)

Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003)

Chicken Run (2000)

Domestic Disturbance (2001)

Ernest Saves Christmas (1988)

Finding Forrester (2000)

Galaxy Quest (1999)

Gilmore Girls: The Complete Series

Hit! (1973)

Hostages: Season 1

Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius (2001)

Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)

My Father the Hero (1994)

Paths of Glory (1957)

Please Subscribe: A Documentary About YouTubers (2013)

Rescue Dawn (2006)

Romeo + Juliet (1996)

Shadow of the Vampire (2000)

Shane (1953)

Sleepless in Seattle (1993)

Shivers (1975)

The Phantom of the Opera (1989)

Team America: World Police (2004)

Three Fugitives (1989)

Tombstone (1993)

The Wedding Planner (2001)

Oct. 2

Carrie (2013)

Reign: Season 1

Under the Electric Sky: EDC 2013 (2014)

The Vampire Diaries: Season 5

Oct. 3

The Originals: Season 1

Oct. 4

The Boxcar Children (2013)

Oct. 6

Little Man (2006)

Oct. 7

Hart of Dixie: Season 3

In a World... (2013)

Raising Hope: Season 4

Supernatural: Season 9

The Following: Season 2

Oct. 8

Arrow: Season 2

Jay Mohr: Funny for a Girl

Oct. 9

A Long Way Down (2014)

The Tomorrow People: Season 1

Oct. 10

Chelsea Handler: Uganda Be Kidding Me (2014)

Oct. 11

Breathe In (2013)

Heatstroke (2013)

Swelter (2014)

Why Stop Now (2012)

Oct. 14

Witching and Bitching (2013)

Oct. 15

Stay (2013)

Tim Minchin and the Heritage Orchestra Live (2011)

Oct. 16

Cowgirls 'n Angels (2012)

Oct. 18:

Last Man Standing: Season 3

Liberal Arts (2012)

Oct. 21

Wyatt Cenac: Brooklyn

Oct. 22

E-Team (2014)

The 100: Season 1

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)

Oct. 23 

Freakshow: Season 2

Oct. 25 

The Carrie Diaries: Season 2

Django Unchained (2012)

Sons of Anarchy: Season 6

Oct. 28

Bound by Flesh (2012)

Oct. 31

Before I Go to Sleep (2014)

Rain Man (1988)

by Ralph Bailey posted Sep 5 2014 12:47PM
In all my zeal to point out to the Commission on Judicial Performance and to our local Superior Court Judges that their fair-haired boy, Judge Cory Woodward, did NOT cooperate with their investigation regarding his affair with his clerk, Jocelyn Dunnegan and, in fact, did everything he could to lie, mislead and maintain his decadent, philandering lifestyle, I neglected to turn up “Woody’s” most egregious crime: sexual harassment.

How could it slip my mind that Judge Woodward was Dunnegan’s  boss and flirting, canoodling and making love to a subordinate is the classic definition of sexual harassment, despite the “consensual” nature of the relationship.

Office hookups are a human resource manager’s nightmare and for the very reasons played out in Woodward’s own Greek tragedy. Late lunches, courtroom nicknames, preferential treatment were all complaints of Dunnegan’s colleagues and are all classic symptoms of an illicit inner office affair.

While I’m sure the couple thought they were being slick, sly and subtle, their affair become so blatant, (During work hours, the judge made a sexual gesture toward Dunnegan not knowing a public citizen was in the court room, according to the CJP.) no less than at least two employees of the court came forward to complain, including the clerk’s husband.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had good reason to focus on the fact that the CJP and Woodward’s fellow judges let this community down. Their insistence that “mitigating circumstances” such as Woodward’s “…full and forthright cooperation with the commission’s investigation…” is both a complete ignoring of the facts but it’s also the greatest hypocrisy since Woodward’s own reason for confessing.

Let’s understand the facts.

NOT ONCE, NOT TWICE BUT ON SEVERAL OCCASSIONS, Woodward, approached by fellow judges, investigators and a deputy court executive officer, chose not only to lie but appeal his Sancha’s reassignment. And it was only until under the fear of a security breach by the clerk’s HUSBAND, did Woodward finally end his series of lies, obfuscations and premeditated omissions. In other words, when Dunnegan’s husband started popping up at court and contacting court officials about the relationship … Woodward finally told the truth!

And a panel on Judicial Performance and local judges think this guy’s fit to sit on the bench. He’s as fit as Sydney Greenstreet!!! (Please see the motion picture “Casablanca” for the Greenstreet reference.)

See you on the radio!
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Topics : Law_Crime
Location : Casablanca
by Hop posted Sep 2 2014 12:29PM

Saw this article crop up on my Facebook feed, got excited, noticed it was from February 2014, got bummed out, read it anyway, and realized there's never a chance for this piece of magnificence to come back.

HBO ushered in the "second golden age of television" with the launch of THE SOPRANOS in 1999 (I personally mark the wrap-up of BREAKING BAD as the unofficial end of that era... though there are still some fine programs out there and television continues to eclipse movies in quality and standards... but I digress...). I still regard the saga of Tony and his two families as my favorite drama series of all time. But ROME runs a very close second.

ROME, seen by far too few, set a different standard for story telling. A standard that has been fully realized with GAME OF THRONES (thank you again, HBO...). But make no mistake, ROME raised the stakes in terms of viewer investment in a period/fantasy setting (ROME is a mix of historical drama with historical personalities and events, very much intertwined with fictional characters and altered events). It also boasts one of the finest "bro-mances" since BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID... long live Titus Pullo and Lucius Vorenus.

Bruno Heller, the shows creator and show-runner, has now moved on to other things. His new series GOTHAM is launching in a few weeks and I have very high hopes considering his track run.

But the brilliance of ROME will only shine, it seems, in DVDs and blu-rays... along with the rest of the Second Golden Age.

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by Hop posted Aug 28 2014 11:13AM
Some great stuff, especially television wise coming up on Netflix...

  • "A Price Above Rubies"
  • "A Simple Plan"
  • "Across the Universe"
  • "Addams Family Values"
  • "Alfie"
  • "An Officer and a Gentleman"
  • "Anaconda"
  • "Anastasia"
  • "Arachnophobia"
  • "Are We Done Yet"
  • "Audrey Rose"
  • "Babies"
  • "Becoming Jane"
  • "Blink"
  • "Blue Car"
  • "Bounce"
  • "Braveheart"
  • "Brian's Song"
  • "Chinatown"
  • "Cool Runnings"
  • "Coyote Ugly"
  • "Crocodile Dundee"
  • "Days of Thunder"
  • "Deep Blue"
  • "Defiance"
  • "Detention"
  • "Elizabethtown"
  • "Flubber"
  • "Girl Rising"
  • "Girlfight"
  • "Good Morning, Vietnam"
  • "Guess Who"
  • "Hoodwinked"
  • "Jay and Sielnt Bob's Super Groovy Cartoon Movie"
  • "Lords of Dogtown"
  • "Mirage Men"
  • "School of Rock"
  • "Small Apartments"
  • "Swiss Family Robinson"
  • "The Believers"
  • "The Blue Lagoon"
  • "The Unbelievers"
  • "All is Lost" (Sept. 5)
  • "Kid Cannibis" (Sept. 6)
  • "Le Week-End" (Sept. 6)
  • "Refuge" (Sept. 6)
  • "Your Sister's Sister" (Sept. 6)
  • "Who Is Dayani Cristal?" (Sept. 9)
  • "Deadly Code" (Sept. 10)
  • "A Single Man" (Sept. 11)
  • "Dennis Miller: America 180" (Sept. 11)
  • "Filth" (Sept. 11)
  • "The Moment" (Sept. 11)
  • "Grace Unplugged: (Sept. 11)
  • "Justin and the Knights of Valor" (Sept. 13)
  • "Beginners" (Sept. 16)
  • "One Day" (Sept. 16)
  • "Silver Linings Playbook" (Sept. 16)
  • "3 Days to Kill" (Sept. 17)
  • "The Double" (Sept. 25)
  • "Bad Grandpa" (Sept. 27)
  • "Lullaby" (Sept. 29)
  • "Killing Them Softly (Sept. 30)
TV shows:
  • "Californication"
  • "Chasing UFOs"
  • "Doomsday Preppers"
  • "Hinterland"
  • "Unsealed: Alien Files"
  • "Zero Hour"
  • "The Blacklist" Season 1 (Sept. 7)
  • "Crash & Bernstein" Season 2 (Sept. 10)
  • "Trailer Park Boys" Season 8 (Sept. 5)
  • "The League" Season 5 (Sept. 2)
  • "About a Boy" Season 1 (Sept. 14)
  • "Arrow" Season 2 (Sept. 14)
  • "Bones" Season 9 (Sept. 16)
  • "New Girl" Season 3 (Sept. 16)
  • "The Fosters" Season 2 (Sept. 17)
  • "Revolution" Season 2 (Sept. 22)
  • "How I Met Your Mother" (Sept. 26)
  • "Parks and Recreation" Season 5 (Sept. 26)
  • "Comic Book Men" Season 3 (Sept. 28)
  • "The Walking Dead" Season 4 (Sept. 29)
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by Ralph Bailey posted Aug 22 2014 12:56PM
I want to run the Golden Empire Transit.

I have absolutely no idea how many people ride the GET bus which keeps me right on par with current GET CEO Karen King.

As former Washington Post Editor Ben Bradley used to say, I don’t tell the truth. I just tell you what people tell me and Ken Weir said on “TRBS” King hasn’t a clue. Vice Mayor Weir described his recent and first confrontation with King as “unpleasant”. When he quite naturally inquired about her ridership she conceded she didn’t know!!!

Are you kidding? Please tell me you’re kidding.

Unfortunately, however, the joke is on us and all those who depend on those gray whales of the streets of Bakersfield. And that fact, tied with a labor force still questioning her leadership, merit pay raise (She now makes $213,000 while our city manager makes 228 thousand to run the city.) and overall competence, spells a case for a thorough investigation and assessment of her abilities.

Thankfully, voices in our city chorus continue to hold her feet and those of a few GET Bus board members to the fire calling for immediate improvements.
Terry Maxwell, perhaps the group’s most vocal member on the issue, says he believes a “timetable” should be established for marked improvements and if said progress is not made it’s time, as they say in most human resources department, “…to move in a different direction”.

Let’s hope that horse hasn’t already left the barn. No one, including yours truly, is hoping King fails. For me, I just want her to perhaps concede shortcomings and adhere to the suggestions of the council. But history tells us few leaders, completely ensconced in the proverbial Ivory Tower, get it before it is too late
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by Hop posted Aug 2 2014 5:48PM
Here’s the new Netflix releases for August:

August 1:
"Air Bud" (1997)
"Air Bud: Golden Receiver" (1998)
"D2: The Mighty Ducks" (1994)
"Ella Enchanted" (2004)
"Evita" (1996)
"Face/Off" (1997)
"Freaky Friday" (2003)
"Goodbye World" (2013)
"Harlock: Space Pirate" (2013)
"Kinky Boots" (2005)
"Mad Max" (1979)
"Mean Creek" (2004)
"Prefontaine" (1997)
"Red Dawn" (1984)
"Rocky," "Rocky II," "Rocky III," "Rocky IV," "Rocky V" (1976-90)
"Rounders" (1998)
"Sabrina" (1995)
"Saints and Soldiers" (2003)
"Shooter" (2007)
"Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow" (2004)
"Spark: A Burning Man Story" (2013)
"Spice World" (1998)
"Switchfoot: Fading West" (2012)
"The Birdcage" (1996)
"The Cable Guy" (1996)
"The Gabby Douglas Story "(2014)
"The Killing: Season 4" (2014)
"The Mighty Ducks" (1992)
"Turner and Hooch" (1989)
"Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" (1961)
August 6:
"Justin Bieber's Believe" (2014)
August 7:
"Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey" (2014)
"Nymphomaniac: Volume I" (2013)
"Nymphomaniac: Volume II" (2013)
"Stage Fright" (2014)
August 9:
"Kill Zombie" (2011)
August 12:
"Dancing in Jaffa" (2013)
"Haven: Season 4" (2013)
"Low Winter Sun: Season 1" (2013)
August 13:
"The Nut Job" (2014)
August 14:
"Bad Ass 2: Bad Asses" (2014)
August 15:
"Great Expectations" (2012)
"Mission Blue" (2014)
August 16:
"Dead Silence" (2007)
August 18:
"Thanks for Sharing" (2012)
August 19:
"From Dusk Till Dawn: Season 1" (2014)
August 20:
"Dhoom: 3" (2013)
August 22:
"BoJack Horseman: Season 1" (2014)
August 25:
"Parenthood: Season 5" (2013)
August 26:
"Barbershop 2: Back in Business" (2004)
"The Motel Life" (2012)
August 29:
"Once Upon a Time: Season 3" (2013)
"Revenge: Season 4" (2014)

Here’s What’s coming up on Amazon Prime:

August 1:
"Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" (2002)
"Night Watch" (2004)
"Day Watch" (2006)
"Beowulf" (2007)
"The Dogs of War" (1980)
"King Solomon's Mines" (1985)
"Mad Max" (1979)
"Enemy" (2013)
"House of Games" (1987)
"Red Dawn" (1984)
"Layer Cake" (2004)
"Brannigan" (1975)
"Rocky" (1976)
"Rocky II" (1979)
"Rocky III" (1982)
"Rocky IV" (1985)
"Rocky V" (1990)
"The Cider House Rules" (1999)
"Newton Boys" (1998)
"Rounders" (1998)
"The Greatest Story Ever Told" (1965)
"Waking Ned Devine" (1998)
"The Birdcage" (1996)
"Sabrina" (1995)
"Trees Lounge" (1996)
"The Prince & Me 2" (2007)
"Ella Enchanted" (2004)
"Orca: The Killer Whale" (1977)
"American Experience: The Poisoner's Handbook" (2014)
"Hawking" (2014)
"Spies of Mississippi" (2014)
"The Amish: Shunned" (2014)
"The State of Arizona" (2013)
August 5:
"Fireman Sam Season 3" (1990)
August 11:
"You're Next" (2011)
"The Great Debaters " (2007)
"Thanks for Sharing" (2012)
August 29:
"Tumble Leaf "(2014)
Filed Under :
Topics : Environment
Location : ArizonaMississippi
People : Justin BieberSolomon
by Ralph Bailey posted Jul 8 2014 3:00PM
Just when I thought the producers of “the View” had come to their senses by firing brainless Comedian Sherry Sheppard and equally dead above the neck Jenny McCarthy, they jump into the way, way back machine and resurrect a failed “View” cast member ... Rosie O’Donnell. The former actress and witty comic, who performed well in pictures like “A League Of their Own” and ‘The Flintstones” in which she lost significant weight to play the role and also nailed Betty Ruble’s silly little giggle, enjoyed more than her 15 minutes of fame. Her own show “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” was brief but mildly entertaining, as well.

However, O’Donnell’s own personality, which emerges from the bowels of an abusive childhood, an alcoholic , abusive father and a mother who succummbed to breast canacer when Rosie was 11, tends to be mean-spirited when angered and she tends NOT to be the most open-minded.

But such is the case with most liberals. They preach and moan and complain about others being free to new ideas and new ways of thinking and then turn around and in reality are the most stubborn, narrow-minded, myopic thinkers in the bunch.
Filed Under :
Topics : Human Interest
by Michael Hopper posted Jul 7 2014 1:45PM

Take MAD MAX, LOGAN'S RUN, THE HUNGER GAMES, A BOY AND HIS DOG... and even a good dose of THE WIZARD OF OZ... and you get SNOWPIERCER.

It's not a film for everyone. In the not-to-distant-future an environmental disaster causes the world to freeze over, and the last of humanity is stuck on a perpetual engine train that races around and around the world while a class warfare struggle ensues. Did I lose you already? LOL Yeah, I kind of had the same reaction when I got a whiff of the story.

But the writer/director, Joon-ho Boog, really made an impression on me with his 2006 monster movie, comedy THE HOST. So that, and the fact that it's getting pretty good reviews, put me in a theater seat.

Loved it. Weird, violent, funny... and some nice twists added up to me having a great time with this fairly original and surprising movie. Between this and THE EDGE OF TOMORROW, my supply of good sci-fi movies for the summer is getting full.

Solid "A" grade.

Currently playing at the Reading Cinema Valley Plaza 16

by Hop posted Jul 3 2014 1:22PM

Last Sunday was the premier of HBO's new series THE LEFTOVERS.

I really dig Tom Perrotta, the cat that wrote the book that this is based on. He's working on this series as well. Other books of his that have been made into movies include ELECTION and LITTLE CHILDREN, both of which I adore.

But THE LEFTOVERS? Holy cow, so far I am completely unimpressed. Slow, contrived, pointless and unbelievable characters, lots of photography and direction that is meant to dazzle but comes across as pretentious... it's a mess.

For those that may be scared off by the religious, "rapture" aspect of the series, that's the one thing you don't have to concern yourself with. No clear definition is given to what has happened in the story with many of the clues pointing to perhaps a un-theological explanation. But that doesn't matter because you'll be spending most of your time wondering what these people are thinking about as they walk around angry at everything and nothing and acting completely irrational while doing it.

I'm going to hang with a few more episodes because it's Tom-freaking-Perrotta... but it better show me something more than what it has so far.

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