Netflix Movie Recommendations: Triple Frontier (2019) and The Dirt (2019)

While the subject matter for these two movies couldn’t have been on opposite sides of the spectrum, I consider these movies average.  They are average in the sense that from my viewpoint, many movies released either from Hollywood or streaming companies like Netflix and Hulu although I’ve seen more movies made by Netflix, falter when it comes to pushing the story to the edge.  I find this particularly with dramas within the last decade where the surface is merely scratched.  I’m not sure what exactly would make good stories great, but I recognize more emotional/human content sorely missing.  I feel this element is being skipped for the sake of producers, directors, and maybe even writers who feel the viewers want simplistic beginnings, middles, and ends.  I know it’s ultimately up to the writer to produce the final version of a script and that it can change along the way once filming starts.  Yet, getting the right actors and actresses can make all the difference too between pushing the movie from good to great.  With movies being around for over a century, pretty much everything has been done before and we’ve seen it all.  Those untapped areas may not even exist anymore, but what keeps coming back to me is the story.  These two Netflix productions aren’t lackluster, but they are just movies for the sake of being movies.  There is nothing wrong with this, but I had already figured out who died in Triple Frontier within the first twenty minutes (because even writers drop clues they may or may not realize).  Because I was less knowledgeable about The Dirt, the life of Mötley Crüe before and during their fame, it was new material for me, but again the movie told a story in a pretty straightforward direction and manner.  Maybe, I gave too much credit to Bohemian Rhapsody as I gave it 100% when it came out in the theaters, but I also think Freddie Mercury’s talent as a singer is beyond any of the members of Mötley Crüe.  I also thought Rami Malek did an excellent job despite it seeming half the viewers thought he was great and other half not so much.  I knew going into these movies, neither one would be categorized as eye-popping cinema, but counting them out as good entertainment would be a shame.

*******

Quote from Triple Frontier by Santiago ‘Pope’ Garcia: “You’ve been shot 5 times for your country and you can’t even afford to send your kids to college.”

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Executive Producers: Mark Boal, Anna Gerb, and Thomas Hayslip

Director: J.C. Chandor

Writers: Mark Boal and J.C. Chandor

Major Cast: Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlund, Pedro Pascal,, and Adria Arjona

MPAA Rating: R for violence and language throughout

 

Running Time: 2 hours and 5 minutes

*******

Triple Frontier is a movie about five former operatives coming together for monetary reward they feel they are due for serving their country.  The mastermind behind this plan is Pope (Oscar Isaac), a private military advisor in Colombia.  With help from his informant, Yovanna, Pope gets the necessary information and supplies.  With his team in place in including Redfly (Ben Affleck), Ironhead (Charlie Hunnam), Benny (Garrett Hedlund), and Catfish (Pedro Pascal), they get down to ironing out the details.  Their target is a drug lord, Lorea, and his money rumored to be held in his safe house somewhere in the jungle.  Their plan is officially under way when they scope out the safehouse and later to find the money.  As the search continues, problems arise within the safehouse and outside of it.  This is where the blame game starts.  With tempers flaring and glaring differences of opinion about their next move, the realization of them in a country on a mission no one knows about because it’s illegal grips them tighter.  They have no choice, but continue whether it has a good or bad result.  They push on because staying in one place for too long will ensure they all get killed.  The ending was decent, but again a little predictable.  Therefore, I give it the rating below.

I rate Triple Frontier GOOD at 80%

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Quote from The Dirt by Don McGhee: “I have managed the Scorpions, Bon Jovi, Skid Row, KISS.  I had been dragged through the deepest shit with all kinds of mentally ill people.  But I have never been through what Mötley Crüe put me through.”

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Executive Producers: Steve Kline, Michelle Manning, Chris Nilsson, Ben Ormand, and Rick Yorn

Director: Jeff Tremaine

Writers: Tommy Lee, Mick Mars, Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx, Neil Strauss (book) and Amanda Adelson and Rich Wilkes (screenplay)

Major Cast: Machine Gun Kelly, Douglas Booth, Daniel Webber, Iwan Rheon, David Costabile, Pete Davidson, Levin Rambin, Jordan Lane Price, and Rebekah Graf

TV Rating: TV-MA

Running Time: 1 hour and 47  minutes

*******

The Dirt is a movie about four misfits living in Los Angeles during the early 1980s, and their journey to becoming a staple in the Glam rock/mental music scene.  The creator of Mötley Crüe, Frank Feranna Jr., would later change his name to Nikki Sixx and the rest is history as they say.  Sixx along with Tommy Lee, Vince Neil, and Mick Mars would get used playing in front of an audience.  They soon were playing in countless jam-packed night clubs and signed with Elektra Records.  With cash flowing in faster than they knew what to do with, relationships got serious as well as the partying.  Insert more drinking and drug use especially with Nikki Sixx and Vince Neil, and the end result is never good.  The high life eventually leads to tragedy as it did in this case.  As the band tries to regroup and heal from the destruction and fall out, things are still rocky as they tour.  The band eventually breaks apart from each other.  The end of Mötley Crüe had arrived and was officially disbanded in early 2000s.  But, like any good band does, the members make amends and come back together for one last show or one more album.  They played more shows with their last concert being in Los Angeles in December 2015 until this movie came out.  Mötley Crüe, as of 2018, is recording new songs and continue to maintain support from old fans and probably gaining new fans as well.  They’ve been around for almost 40 years.  Longevity in the music scene is not a constant so good for them.

I rate The Dirt GOOD at 80%

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2019

 

Seven Random Pictures

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Poem: Gone is the Tail

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Your long, flowing hair.

I know you’re thinking about it.

It’s not what should have been.

Hundreds of years you’ve had it that way.

I know you think it wrong.

Hair grows back.

I pray that it does.

It must fit the mold.

You realize that.

Don’t have any fear.

It’s been put to use.

The return is good.

Even if the tail is gone.

2019

 

Six April Quotes

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2019

Netflix TV Series Recommendation: Hitler’s Circle of Evil (2018)

Quote from Hitler’s Circle of Evil: “If you wish the sympathy of the broad masses, you must tell them the crudest and most stupid things.”

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Executive Producers: Compton Ross and David McNab

Directors: Simon Deeley, Matthew Hinchcliffe, Vicky Matthews, Guy Smith, Ashley Morris, and Chris Roberts

Writers:  Simon Deeley, Matthew Hinchcliffe, Vicky Matthews, Ashley Morris, Chris Roberts, and Guy Smith

Major Cast: Jonathan Michaels as Martin Bormann, Mairead Armstrong as Magda Goebbels, Alex Dee as Hermann Göring, Henrick Jørgensen as Adolf Hitler, James Lowe as Rudolf Hess, Blake Scott as Joseph Goebbels, Peter Turnbull as Heinrich Himmler, and Jo Wheatley as Ilse Hess

Rating: NA

Episodes: 10

Running Time: 52 minutes per episode

*******

If you look on any list of influential political leaders, evil political leaders, or deadly dictators, Adolf Hitler will more than likely be somewhere in the top ten.  He is probably one of the most studied political leaders to date.  While he had a great interest in music and art, he would be remembered for his vicious belief system, which he justified by invading mainly other European countries during WWII.  Scapegoating against everyone who wasn’t his ideal would also lead to massive extermination of people.  This docudrama starts with the key figures who would be by Hitler’s side from the start. They include Rudolf Hess, Martin Bormann, Hermann Göring, Joseph Goebbels, and Heinrich Himmler although others would appear too, all in the goal of improving their lives and getting Hitler’s approval.  It was interesting to see how those closest to him sought his attention every chance they had, especially when he hosted parties and meetings at the Berghof.  The recorded footage from that time is interesting to watch.  You get to see how the political and social climate changed after becoming Chancellor of Germany.  His influence catapulted his power to a new level when the stock market crashed in 1929.  It was a perfect opportunity for Hitler to spread his belief in a superior Aryan race and exterminate those he viewed as inferior.  He was no longer the novice public speaker who failed to convince the German people they needed him to an engaging orator who used his pulpit to assert his dominance across Europe.  With every country invasion, his Nazi regime was a step closer to the end game.  The last few episodes covers his time in the bunker with Eva Braun and Goebbels, which I found interesting.  The weaving of re-interpretation of key moments, actual footage of Nazi members, and narration lent a great portrayal of the rise and fall of the Nazi Party.  The only major complaint I have is some of the information and footage were repeated in a few episodes.  I read another viewer’s complaint that it was one-sided, meaning England was portrayed exclusively in a positive light, where Germany was demonized (paraphrasing).  I really don’t think that was the intent, but the fact Hitler blamed the German people for losing WWII points only in one direction.  For all his political influence, his mental hysteria was his biggest downfall in the end, and of course, the Russian forces.

I rate Hitler’s Circle of Evil GREAT at 90%

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2019

Journal Entry Type #7

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Let’s Talk About Anxiety

I recently asked someone if I’m more obsessive compulsive or anxious.  Why?  Because I tend not to think of myself as anxious.  I’ve gone through most of my life having other emotions, the run of the mill along with some that stems from what happened to me a long time ago, but this isn’t the point of this blog entry.  The point is I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve, which is why I catch myself dialing it back once in a while.  Sometimes, I think I share too much but then I wouldn’t be me.  This was the answer I received.  You’re more obsessive about getting things done, which makes you think about it too much, and this creates your anxiety.  I never would’ve said this.  I prided myself in being on an even keel as much as I can.  I like a platform that doesn’t sway all over place.  But now I do see anxiety does flare up inside when it comes to goals and the timing involved.

Let’s Talk About Flying

I’ve been on enough plane rides to know when the pilot flying the plane has put in many miles in the skies versus one who hasn’t.   I was only on one plane ride where the pilot was new.  The landing was the bumpiest I’d ever been on and mind you this was on a clear day.  The sun was shining.  The clouds were fluffy.  Not a drop of bad weather.  I would say it might have been his first flight.  I can deal with this to an extent.  Just don’t crash the plane, okay.  The annoyance I can’t get rid of is my plugged up ears.  No matter what I do, they plug up so bad I can hardly hear anything.  Even gum doesn’t work sometimes.  This when I have to relieve the pressure myself.  I’m sure I look stupid, but it has to be done.  No doubt I’ll be doing this when I fly back to Los Angeles for work.  I’m looking forward to it because I feel this is a transition period for me.  It sounds corny, but I have affinity for the places I used to live.  It will be good to be in the city that opened and closed its doors to me.

Let’s Talk About Jury Duty

I got back from exercising the other day to find out when I checked the mail, I was summoned for jury duty.  I’m not the first or last person to be called to this ever important duty as they claim.  I half take the stance of “who cares” and half “what is this shit.”  No use postponing it.  I’d rather do this when it’s not 110 degrees.  The week after I get back from Los Angeles, the following Monday I have to report to jury.  The last time I did this was in Los Angeles, and ended up going to a much smaller place than downtown but still busy. The chance of getting picked is remote when you’re in the second pool.  I got out after serving a day’s worth of my time.  I’m hoping they don’t need me.  The statistics are in my favor.

Let’s Talk About Wellness

This brings me to the point of trying to improve two areas of my life.  If you haven’t realized it yet, health and writing, continues to be the focal point of my existence.  It will until the day I die.  I’ve been trying to find the time including the motivation to make the time to do both.  My deadlines are still written on more than one piece of paper.  I’m definitely learning to go with the flow more.  I’ve been jotting down a few things I want to do every day instead of five to ten.  I ended up playing a game where strategy is the key.  It’s not as complex as chess and a lot more fun.  I was told I played dirty, but I can’t when I didn’t even realize what I had done until halfway into it.  Nevertheless, I won.  My overarching goal is to have variety in my life and try new things.  I’m sort of doing this.

Let’s Talk About Survival

With certain age comes wisdom and for me that is focusing on myself is the best thing to do, all the while disengaging, at times, from the negative and chaotic chatter and issues going on around you whether it be work, family, politics, or general public.  This doesn’t mean you have to be cold to others, but it does mean your basic necessities and emotional well-being should and must come first.  It’s about remaining strong in areas you already are and gaining strength in the ones you lack.  I’m talking mental and emotional strength.  Taking a good look at weak areas is always beneficial.  I’ve recognize patterns I hadn’t seen before.  Saying no and standing up to people is part of this.  We say sorry too much as a whole although some could stand to say it a little more.  For all the mail that comes in from organizations asking for donations, I’d be a whole lot richer if I could find a way to use all the wasted paper for a monetary benefit.

Let’s Talk About Future

I’m currently reading four books.  One is about mental health and the current person sitting in the Oval Office.  I’m only 50 some pages deep, and already offers good insight and information.  While it covers Donald Trump, it is much more than that.  This is a type of book where you find yourself comparing yourself and others to what they are saying.  I’m interested to see what else it says.  I’m curious where my life goes too.  I have my ideal timeline of what events I want to happen in what year.  This is the planner and plotter in me.  I also have a realistic timeline that isn’t so adhered to any year.  It’s taken me a while to not think in black and white or the glass is half empty or half full.  There really is an in between.

Let’s Talk About Reality

Looking back, I had lofty dreams and it even included kids at one point (must have been at a time when I was delusional).  I no longer want to live in a ten room house with four kids (what the hell was I thinking).  I no longer want to live on a hobby farm when I retire.  It’s nice not having to take care of a dog, cat, or rabbit anymore.  I no longer want to smoke cigarettes and write all night long when everyone is asleep.  I no longer want to live the life of a starving artist or writer.  Now, I have dreams but of another kind.  It’s called reality.  I want to be able to retire at a decent age, pay off my loan, and enjoy the little things in life have to offer. And of course, get to a weight I can stand and write my seven novels.  Then if I get that done, write my eight other book ideas.  I’ve broken them up into two parts.  The same goes for blogging.  I’m more than likely giving up something tonight so I have time to blog.  See, I have improved and can bend a little bit.

Onward,

Pisaries Creator

2019

 

Journal Entry Type #6

25When I write in my actual journal, I usually start it with something along the lines of “Well, another week has passed and dealing with the same shit.” or “Today is Wednesday, and I haven’t written in a while.”  I’m writing as if my journal actually understands what the hell I’m talking about when it has no clue.  I write about all the things usually bothering me that day or did bother me in the week so it doesn’t build up.  I write about the messed up dreams I’ve recently had I neglected to write about the day it happened.  Or, I write about the things I don’t have and wish I had.  I write about not having those feelings and emotions that don’t serve me well.  I also write about those things going well in my life, but realize saying “just think positive” doesn’t solve all my problems.  As much as I want life to be that easy and actually am ready for it mentally now, it usually never happens.

50I used to justify the amount of time or lack of time I spent on my blog for one reason or another.  It wasn’t fun anymore and saw it as a chore about a year after I signed up.  It felt I was saying the same thing over and over.  I mean how many times can I write different poem with similar words and moods?  How many months pass where I don’t write a short story because frankly I can’t churn them out like some writers nor do I feel like writing at the moment?  A writer who doesn’t want to write.  Imagine that!  I’m not willing to burn the midnight oil as much anymore, but realize I need to refocus on my rewrite.

75As April is upon me now, I have three months left to finish my rewrite.  My goal is to have it done by the end of June.  The good thing is I took some days off coming up to dedicate myself solely to it.  I want it to be 400+ pages, but I’ll be lucky if I make it to 350.  Quality versus quantity is what I’ve been trying to do instead of mindless quantity concerning my blog.  The same goes for my novel ideas.  In other areas of my life, I was supposed to have lost 15 pounds by now, but only lost 10.  My knees aren’t so strong as they used to be, but will take them while they are still in their 40s.  Do I have a choice?  I just found out my vision has changed again so I need new lenses.  The fun never stops. 

So where is the 100% icon?  I’m not there yet.  I’m not the best blogger out there when it comes to new content every day and sometimes I let it lapse for a whole week, but I appreciate everyone who has followed my blog at one point or another.  With this in mind, I hope to do a little more browsing and reading of other people’s entries this month because it seems only fair.

Onward,

Pisaries Creator

2019

Commercials Do Serve a Purpose

I’ve seen some weird and crazy commercials over the years.  I didn’t need to look far as YouTube has a treasure trove of compilations and single ones that continue to entertain me for one reason or another.  I start with a compilation of scary and creepy commercials by HelloImAPizza.

Here’s some Japanese commercials with Hollywood actors compiled by Jim Chocha.

Here’s a compilation of some of the worst commercials by DoubleDeanArt.

Time for some single commercials.  The first is with Ronald Reagan Jr. talking about atheism by Freedom From Religion.  The second is about Trumpy Bear with three toes.  The third is the anti-drug campaign advocating A Drug Free America.

I’m ending it with a compilation of funny sports commercials by FCC/Funniest Commercials Compilation.

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Flash Fiction: When the Teeth Grit

prisonwireBeggars can’t be choosy when you are left with nothing to do, but daydream of maybe getting out.  I came here when I was fifteen and while that might seem young, it wasn’t to me.  I had lived a life that people twice my age will never have lived.  The bad thing is I experienced those things that puts wrinkles on your face for all the wrong reasons. I made bad decisions outside of this place and inside too.  I’m not sure if I can ever be let out again, not where I could function properly.  I’ve become what they call “institutionalized.”  The sad thing is many of these people in here do belong.  Why?  Because they have no issues killing and we all know killing is bad.  If they got out, they’d kill again without losing any sleep.  I wasn’t one of them who killed, but I did enough things for me never to walk the streets of any city again or at least, I thought.

In the beginning it was easier because naivety takes hold of you.  You think you will stay clean on the inside and your hopes are high you will change.  The reality of the situation comes raining down on you when you find your life in jeopardy.  You realize how much people like to make you pay for your sins on both sides of the fence.  When I was told to get off the bench and go somewhere else, I had to do that without delay.  Those who questioned the authority got unnecessary punishment, if not at that time, then later when they least expected it.  After a fair amount of rebellion because I was ready for the challenge, the point came when my sturdy legs weren’t willing to subject themselves to the next level.  Everyone breaks eventually in this place, in some way, and I did that.  My inner resolve to survive became part of me.

I learned there are those who aren’t satisfied, and they are the ones who like to leave marks on your flesh.  They want you to suffer, and hate to lose power.  You grit your teeth every time their fists connect to your ribs.  You reach deep inside to not scream and think about how strong you were when you first entered.  You convince yourself you’re still a good person. You are as strong as them is what you keep telling yourself.  I lost pride along the way, but I was better for it.  I learned to grab the rope when it was offered.  It’s been almost 30 years since I came here, and now I’m leaving today.  I’m not sure how long it will last, but long enough to walk the streets one last time.

2019

Book Writing Exercise

Begin writing with the following sentence: “That was the time he stopped believing ———-.”

That was the time he stopped believing all was going as planned.  It wasn’t his fault although others close to him would later say it was only his fault.  He had grown up in such unusual circumstances, but was it really all that unusual.  He had a mother and a father who loved him dearly.  He had siblings who looked out for him as his name was etched deeper and deeper on the sports plaques and awards and once out of high school, his father’s Alma mater opened its arms even wider.  He was captain of every team he took part of and was what you’d call a success by the time he graduated.  He worked his way up the ranks of his father’s company.  He was everything a parent desired and everything he received after that was earned although some thought otherwise  Jealousy is found within those you least expect.  They come out of the woodwork stating how much they despise the golden spoon.

His scrunched up face, combined with his open mouth, meant the news was startling.  At first he thought one of his brothers or parents had gotten into a car accident, but then he recognized the voice.  It belonged to a woman he had dated not too long ago.  She deserved a man who could make her happy, as much as he deserved another suitable woman.  He thought that chapter in his life had closed as their parting had been mutual.  It had not as he asked, “what are you going to do?”  The question every man asks when he finds out the woman he once had a relationship with is pregnant.  She didn’t answer him right away, but when she did her voice was full of raw emotion. 

“What do you mean?  What am I going to do?  I’m going to have this baby and raise it like any good person would!”

“I didn’t mean it like that.”

“It sounded that way.”

“Don’t get upset.  I’m just surprised, that’s all.  I haven’t talked to you in over a month, and now you tell me I’m going to be a father.”

“It wasn’t what I was expecting either.  I’m not even sure you’re father material.”

“Have you thought about other options?”

“Like what?”

“There’s many parents who can’t have children of their own.”

“I’m not letting someone else raise my baby.  Who knows how he will end up?”

“We’re having a son?”

“I didn’t say that.”

“You said how he will end up.”

“I meant it generically.  I’m hoping for a girl.”

“So, adoption is out?”

“Yes.” There was a long pause before she spoke again.  “I don’t know.  I can’t think about that right now.  I basically called to tell you the news.”

“We need to talk about this more.”

“I know, but not right now.”

“When?”

“Maybe, next week.”

“What day?”

“I’m not sure.”

“Okay, I’ll wait for your call.  Do you want me to stop by later?”

“No.  Just wait ’til my call.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.”

“You sound stressed out right now.”

“Wouldn’t you be?”

“If I come over, we can discuss this more.”

“Not now.”

She hung up, leaving him wishing the call had been about a car accident.  In this situation, he knew what to do.  Being the youngest in his family, he was the one who convinced his older brother to give his marriage another shot.  He was the one who made the calls for his parents’ 50th anniversary.  He was the one who kept his composure during tense situations, but not on this day.  There was no rushing to the hospital to talk to the best doctors money could afford.  Surgery wasn’t required, and there was nothing to take away what he was feeling.  The anxiety and loss of independence he knew would still be there no matter how many pills he swallowed.  He had to convince her it was too early for him to be a father.  If that did not work, he looked down, almost in shame for what he thought.  It didn’t stay with him long, but long enough to remind him his life came first.

2019

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