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Friday - January 22, 2021
Quad Cities USA - Guide to Davenport & Bettendorf Iowa and Rock Island & Moline Illinois
 

Return of the Sad Action Guy

May 9th, 2020

Extraction is streaming on Netflix now. Not all action movies are created equally. You know that, and you know there’s a wide world of difference between an honest-to-God classic like Die Hard and a disappointment sandwich like A Good Day to Die Hard. Like me, you’re likely stuck in coronavirus lockdown, and you’re likely looking for entertainment to take the edge off. The question is, what flavor of action movie are you after? If you break it down, there are really three kinds of action protagonists. The first is Happy Action Guy. Bruce Willis has played quite a few of them, and despite... Read More

The Expanse of Dreams

May 6th, 2020

The Room is currently streaming on Shudder. Some people love home renovation projects. Can’t get enough of them. I am not one of those people, due to a comical lack of handyman skills. An example? My involvement in a house painting project with my wife ended with an irritated lesson in proper brush techniques and the hissed admonition to “Go get pizza. Just go.” Needless to say, I got the pizza. Your experience might have been different. Many years ago, my friends Stacy and Dave bought a home located in a small town in New England. Having been built in the late 1700s, their house passed through... Read More

Language!

April 21st, 2020

Coffee & Kareem is streaming on Netflix. We can’t help what we find funny. Who knows where it comes from in the first place? We all have those particular peccadillos that crack us up and make little to no sense. That’s just it—our sense of humor is simply that, a sense. There’s no logic, no rhyme or reason to explain it. Years ago, I worked with a guy and got a very close look at his sense of humor. He was responsible, well-liked, and good at his job. Yet no matter what he was doing, if he saw someone fall, he would immediately die of laughter. You’d hear this loud, almost Joker-style... Read More

The Grind

March 19th, 2020

We’re all scared. Can you blame us? There’s a pandemic cutting through every corner of the world. The guy who’s supposed to be in charge doesn’t appear to know what he’s doing. People are hoarding toilet paper, for God’s sake. As a species, as a country, and as individuals, we’re living in a time of great uncertainty, and it might feel like we’re going to hit bottom any minute. What are we supposed to do? You know who knows a little something about that? Ben Affleck. It wasn’t easy for him, growing up with a father who was an alcoholic and the eventual split that took place between... Read More

Objects in Motion

February 17th, 2020

Who can say how we’ll react during a crisis? We all want to believe that, when the moment comes, we’ll step up. We’ll perform admirably and be a credit to our friends, family, and ourselves. Some people dream of a situation* where they’re the only one who knows what to do and saves the day. More often, things just happen. For example, back in January of 2014, Lauren Prezioso and her family took a day to relax at their local beach in Coffs Harbour, Australia. She heard screams. A mother was panicking and yelling for help as her two boys were being swept out by the tide. Lauren was among... Read More

The Endless Trench

January 14th, 2020

We never really reckoned with World War I, not in any meaningful sense. For a while there it was called The War to End All Wars, despite the fact that its aftermath both caused and led into World War II. Like all wars, its horror recedes in memory. A little over a century later, most of us barely understand why the war happened in the first place. That continues to be shocking, as the casualties of World War I were so high that battles frequently resembled a meat grinder in terms of the staggering numbers of men both sides threw at each other. When you put the numbers into context, it’s literally... Read More

Is The New ‘Pet Sematary’ The Cat’s Meow, Or Ghostly Dog Doo?

October 30th, 2019

As big names in horror go, you can’t get much bigger than Stephen King, and this year saw the release of a new film version of his classic “Pet Sematary,” which is now available on video and streaming for your viewing pleasure as Halloween quickly approaches. So what’s the verdict on the new flick? I reviewed it earlier this year, and here’s my take. In the 1989 original  film“Pet Sematary” pets buried in a spooky backwoods cemetery come back to life. When a tragedy befalls a child of Louis and Rachel Creed (Jason Clarke and Amy Seimetz), the lure of having... Read More

The 35 Greatest U.S. Political Films of All Time

April 30th, 2017

In preparing a list of “the greatest” of anything, you are limited by your own exposure to the films (i.e., ‘Did you see these movies?”)  If you did see them, do you remember all of them? Fortunately for those of you longing for a political fix that isn’t nauseating (but actually entertaining), I have personally seen every single movie on this list—some of them more than once. I concentrated on the American political experience, not that of another country. For that reason, films like “Z” by Costa-Gravas, or his equally impressive “Missing” (Chile) or Helen Mirren’s“The... Read More

Gory Gibson’s ‘Hacksaw’ Is A Bloody Bio But No Oscar Bait

November 11th, 2016

“Hacksaw Ridge” Genre: War drama/biography Director:  Mel Gibson 132 minutes Stars:  Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington, Teresa Palmer, Vince Vaughn, Hugo Weaving, Rachel Griffiths Mel Gibson’s first directorial effort in 10 years (since 2006’s “Apocalypto”) is “Hacksaw Ridge,” the true story of conscientious objector Desmond T. Doss, a 7th Day Adventist who served as a medic in WWII in Okinawa and elsewhere in the Pacific Theater. As Gibson said, “He was an ordinary man doing extraordinary things under the most difficult of circumstances.” Gibson went on to explain that, in... Read More