The Arroyo

Critics are people who get paid to spout off their opinions. Often they have college degrees. So you can’t really call me a critic since I don’t get paid to blog here. That distinction might help make sense of my next statement.

If critics hate a movie, I’m often tempted to watch it on the hunch that Hollywood sometimes hides the good ones under a pile of horrible reviews. Looks like critics hate this movie, so you might not have even learned it exists yet.

Let’s start with the “tangible” aspects:

Yes, it is low-budget, and indie. No multi-million-dollar special effects or big name actors. But no cheesey effects, either. The cinematography, sound work and editing were all competent.

The acting is a mixed bag. The major players were good…which is not to say photogenic. None of them will likely ever appear in People Magazine by virtue of their aesthetic appeal. Furthermore, the actor in the starring role has an unfortunate facial disposition which keeps his mouth in the shape of a smile even when he is clearly not smiling; yet his performance was solid.

The supporting actors performed at a level you would expect from friends, relatives and neighbors of an indie filmmaker. The screenwriter compensated for their inadequacies by not asking much of them. So they came off wooden, which is not as bad as grandiose. Underacting is preferable to overacting, I believe. So the supporting players weren’t good, but neither was it painful to watch them.

I saw real potential in the writing and directing. This was a movie with a message, and frankly, more was accomplished in the dialog than what many establishment directors can manage with an elite cast. I found a few clips on Youtube that, for all I know, report the story this film is based on.

The main character is a rancher in a border state. Every day illegal aliens swarm across the border through his property, leaving piles of garbage, vandalizing his fences, stealing from him and, far too often, leaving dead bodies.

The federal government refuses to do its job, and the local government (in the form of the sheriff) turns a blind eye as well. Gunmen for the drug cartels routinely trespass on the rancher’s property and occupy his deer stand. They are using illegals as “mules” to haul controlled substances into the country, and are also raping (or at least coercing sex from) the female illegals, then tying their panties to a “trophy tree.”

When the rancher and a friend decide to chase the cartel off his property, that’s when “shit gets real” in modern hood parlance. The cartel brings in a hit man  before long, and he’s about as slimy as they come. Yet he has the best lines in the film.

There is some action, some drama, and plenty of thought provocation Hollywood would never allow. I suspect that last item is the true reason critics hate the movie.

Loose Lips: Pink Slips

70 years ago this June…



Just kidding. Even FDR couldn’t have gotten away with this kind of crap. Not in 1944 and not even by 1991.

Some soldiers who served in the unit Bergdahl deserted from have spoken up, and the regime in Washington doesn’t like it. Doubleplus-ungood is the fact that they’re trying to sell a book about it.

savingprivatebergdahlIt is hardly news that the media and entertainment industry carefully craft their propaganda to reflect positively on the current administration, nor that they conspire to censor what doesn’t. What is surprising is that the cultural thought cops are so impudent about their chokehold on the flow of information that some of them hang their true colors right out on the clothesline for all to see:

“I thought about this all weekend, and basically, I’m not sure we can publish this book without the Right using it to their ends,” Sarah Durand, a senior editor at Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, wrote in an email to one of the soldiers’ agents.

“[T]he Conservatives are all over Bergdahl and using it against Obama,” Durand wrote, “and my concern is that this book will have to become a kind of ‘Swift Boat Veterans for Truth’” — a reference to the group behind a controversial book that raised questions about John Kerry’s Vietnam War record in the midst of his 2004 presidential campaign. (Durand did not respond to requests for comment. “We do not comment about our editorial process,” said Paul Olsewski, vice president and director of publicity at Atria.)

Evidently, Durand’s masters don’t believe she should be so transparent about their agenda-enforcement-by-censorship. She was let go quickly after word got out.

Castigo Cay by Matt Bracken

Matt Bracken is a former SEAL with what seems to me an obsession about sailing. You’d think, when someone like this becomes a novelist, he’d try his hand at writing high seas thrillers after the manner of Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt.

That’s not quite what he does.

Like a lot of us, Bracken is bothered by a government that views as it’s primary enemy the very citizens whose rights it was established to protect. Up until Castigo Cay the backdrop of his stories was almost entirely comprised of the efforts of renegade public servants hell-bent on violating a specific article of the Bill of Rights they swore to uphold. I’ve read and reviewed the first novel in his Enemies series.

Castigo Cay is a bit of an adjustment from his previous work–more of a straight-up adventure–with a point of view decidedly unorthodox, as you might imagine.

Dan Kilmer is a USMC veteran of the Iraq deployment who escaped the near-future dystopia in a 60-foot schooner, making a living as a sort of modern day privateer. His gorgeous, sexy girlfriend leaves him in the first act to chase her ambitions inside the economically ruined USA; specifically in the de facto fiefdom of Miami. Dan is sorry to see her go, but prepared to move on with his life, when another expatriate sailor brings him news about the shady billionaire who enticed Cori (the ex-girlfriend) away.

The billionaire is one of the amoral corporatists who has profited from the dismantling of the republic. He’s a real sicko, and has hired a crew of fellow sickos. On his private island in the Carribbean (ostensibly a “game preserve”) he brings young attractive women to be raped, tortured, then hunted and killed as if big game.

Dan spends a lot of his private savings (in the form of gold krugerands–the universal barter currency in the wake of the US Dollar’s obliterated facade of worth) and spends most of the novel on a sort of goose chase, but meets some helpful friends along the way.

Bracken really hooked me at the beginning with the strong characterizations. The story did bog down a bit, however, during the second act in the Miami area. The third act poured on the juice, though, with a return to the eponymous locale and a showdown between Dan and the sickos.

As apparently is SOP with Bracken’s novels, this one is packed with a lot of information, most of it about sailing. I didn’t always know what the names of different equipment referred to, but it was never so thick that I got lost, either. It reminded me a bit of The Sand Pebbles in that regard. I got the gist of it enough to follow the flow of the story weaved through this maritime universe.

Regardless of how right or wrong the worldview behind an adventure story is, or the technical details, what makes it sink or swim are the characters. Bracken batted it out of the park in that regard. Dan Kilmer is flawed to be sure, but he kind of knows it, can admit when he’s wrong, and when given the chance to redeem himself he charges straight for it at flank speed.

The Blue Max


About a gazillion books have been written, and movies made, about the Second World War. Only a fraction of that have dealt with the FIrst. Of them, this is one of the best.

The protagonist is the antihero Bruno Stachel, who leaves the living hell of the infantry to join the burgeoning German Air Service and make a name for himself. This isn’t just a chance to escape the misery of the trenches, but also the lower caste he was born into (remember Napoleon Bonaparte was a Corsican peasant who managed to get a commission in the artillery because that was a young branch at the time, too).

But Stachel is a little too eager to distinguish himself. He sets his sights on winning the Blue Max, which requires 20 confirmed kills. His cold, dogged pursuit of this goal is, frankly, similar to that of a hardcorps gamer trying to get the high score/next level on a videogame–only dealing out death to real live human beings, of course, instead of A.I. generated digital targets.

I have both watched the movie and read the book, and both are well-crafted.

In the movie, the cinematography is pretty and the aerial combat scenes are kick-ass, especially considering they were filmed WAAAAAAAAAAAY before CGI, and most of the Hollywood magic that preceded it.

In the book, Stachel is even more ruthless. Translate that “less sympathetic.” He commits murder at one point to eliminate competition in the form of a fellow pilot who considered him a friend. And he’s an alcoholic on top of everything else.

The ending is strikingly different between the film and the novel, but I’m not going to give either one away. I at least recommend watching the movie. Solid performances are put in by George Peppard (playing well under his age) and Ursula Andress. Personally I appreciated the visual comparisons of trench warfare to air combat. I found all the visuals striking, even before I became attentive to such things in film.

Remembering the Great War

This month is the 100 year anniversary of the “war to end all wars,” retroactively labeled World War One. Nine million died before it was over, and its conclusion almost guaranteed there would be a sequel.

Many, many factors led to the crisis that was sparked by the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand, A major catalyst was Tsarist Russia’s desire for Constantinople (and warm water ports), owned by their traditional enemy, the Ottoman Empire. Bismark’s intricate cobweb of fragile alliances began to break down once he was no longer around to maintain it. And when the Second Reich’s navy grew close to 2/3rds the size of the Royal Navy, Great Britain became hostile toward Germany and formed an alliance with her traditional enemies, France and Russia. The polyglot empire of Austria-Hungary had very pigheaded, hamfisted leadership in handling the aftermath of the assassination, and unfortunately Kaiser Wilhelm gave them carte blanch to resolve the crisis.

When the Great War began, Field Marshal Helmuth Von Moltke (the Younger–nowhere near the caliber of commander his uncle had been) tampered with the Von Schlieffen Plan at the last minute, weakening the German right wing. Spirited resistance from the Belgians slowed that weakened right wing down, buying the British and French valuable time to deploy their forces. Then tactical Blunders by German commanders, and decisive action by their French counterparts, stalled the German advance short of Paris.

Both sides raced to the sea in an effort to outflank each other, and soon a stalemate ensued that would last for most of the war. Trenches were dug and, though outnumbered, the Germans proved a match for their combined enemies on the Western Front.

Gas warfare was introduced in the trench war, by the Germans…as well as flamethrowers for breaching bunkers. Tanks were introduced by the British. Their invention was mothered by the need for an “armor plated trench-crosser” and the name for the armored monstrosities (“tanks”) came from a disinformation ploy in order to keep the weapon secret.

During the Great War, battle spread even into the sky. Aircraft transitioned from infancy to toddler-hood. What were flimsy, unreliable contraptions in 1914, used primarily for observation, by war’s end had evolved into fighters and bombers.

The reason German strategists violated Belgium’s neutrality had to do with timing, and concern over the alleged heavy hitter in the Triple Entente: Russia. Then, as later, Russia’s manpower gave her a tremendous numerical advantage over any other army in Europe. The German High Command decided they had to deliver a quick, decisive knockout blow in the West so they could turn to meet the “Great Steamroller From the East.” So they banked on the same Von Schlieffen Plan the Prussians used to capture Paris and force France’s surrender in 1871, which meant sweeping through Belgium. As noted above, however, reshuffling of divisions weakened the most crucial component of the Plan in 1914.

Ironically, the knockout blow came in the East. With comparatively small German forces, Hindenburg and Ludendorff humiliated the Russian juggernaut.  Austria-Hungary, which touched off this epic powderkeg to begin with, proved worthless militarily.  They were barely competent enough to handle Serbia and turncoat Italy (originally part of the Triple Alliance), much less Russia. So the Germans were stuck fighting on both fronts.

Enter globalist puppet Woodrow Wilson, who saw this epic crisis as an opportunity to bring about a League of Nations–the first overt attempt in modern history to establish world government. After campaigning in 1916 on the slogan “He kept us out of war!” (as if there were any reason to entangle the USA in that European conflict) he stepped up his efforts to get us into war.

Armchair historians will be quick to cite the sinking of the Lusitania. The Wilson administration was giving weapons and war material to the British, who were at war with Germany. One shipment was being smuggled over the Atlantic on the famous passenger liner (this has been confirmed repeatedly during the following century, though coincidence theorists still deny it). The Germans posted a warning in American newspapers that nobody should book passage on a ship flying the flag of a warring nation sailing into a war zone.


Were the powers-that-were incredibly foolish, or were they much like the Hamas cowards in Gaza, hiding behind women and children as they fire rockets at Israeli civilians, knowing that any meaningful reprisal will make their enemy look villainous to the world?

Question: would the US Navy have hesitated to sink any vessel from a “neutral” country shipping war material to the Japanese from 1942-45? Absolutely not–that’s back when we fought wars to win.

The Germans did suspend submarine attacks against Wilson’s “neutral” arms trafficking precisely because of the public relations trap. They resumed unrestricted submarine warfare out of national desperation, partly because their population was starving due to the British Navy’s blockade, and they clutched at any straw which might cause the Anglo-French to sue for peace.

After mass desertions in the Russian army and the subsequent Bolshevik Revolution, Russia (the primary instigator of 1914, next to Austria-Hungary) bowed out of the war. This freed up German divisions from the Eastern Front, which shipped West and began to push the French and British back.

But it was too late. By now the USA was overtly involved and fresh American troops were moving up to the lines. Doughboys forced the pendulum to swing the other way.

The Second Reich now realized victory was no longer possible and agreed to an armistice.

The United States Congress was gullible enough to get suckered into World War I, but they weren’t gullible enough to get suckered into the League of Nations.

Wilson, the globalist stooge,  had failed.

But the failure was only temporary. The terms of the Versailles Treaty ensured there would be another world war, even worse than the first.

In the aftermath of that war the renewed effort at world government would result in the United Nations. This time Congress would not only entangle America, but arrange so that most of its funding came from the wallets of American taxpayers; most of the cannon fodder for its “police actions” would come from American families; yet the leadership of the world body would always be Communist or Socialist.

Since the formation of the UN–ostensibly created to usher in world peace–there have been more wars around the globe than ever before.

A common fallacy concerning the world wars purports that American “isolationism” made the planet a more dangerous place. Quite the opposite is true. Interventionism paved the way for a sevenfold increase of the horror unleashed on the planet from 1914-18. Had our politicians done what they are hired to do, and genuinely kept us out of that insanity, the Great Powers would have had to sort it out from a more equitable standpoint and it is highly unlikely there would have been a travesty like the Versailles system to turn Germany into a breeding ground for Hitler, or someone like him.

America and Slavery

Back in the Golden Age of videogames there was a weapon gamers were familiar with called a “smart bomb.” When enemy spacecraft began to overwhelm you and your lasers had become an ineffectual asset against the intensity of the attack, you could use the smart bomb you’d been saving, and all the ships on the screen would be simultaneously destroyed.

For the last few decades, in the realm of public debate of a political nature, one side has been resorting to its own smart bomb. When a left-wing collectivist (called “liberal” for PR purposes) finds him or herself being destroyed by the preponderance of evidence and facts presented during debate, they simply accuse racism. All the arguments threatening to overwhelm them are then magically destroyed and they can declare themselves the victor.

racecardSince 2008 the leftists have been using the race card smart bomb at the beginning of debate to preempt any argument the other side may use. Their opponent hasn’t said or done anything racist, but the accusation is enough to invalidate their arguments in the mind of the average boob tube junkie. Unlike videogames, though, the left has an unlimited supply of these political smart bombs. They’ve used them so frequently and indiscriminantly, however, that the race card smart bomb is not as effective as it used to be.

The smart bomb is most often used to assassinate the character of individuals.

Of course the left and the mainstream media (forgive my redundancy) employ the race card selectively. If you’re a Democrat, even a history that includes KKK membership won’t hinder a career in the Senate; and the media won’t bother to scrutinize your true colors until the Clintons and Obamas of the world jump on the bandwagon to make excuses for you.



But the race card smart bomb is also used to condemn the United States of America as a whole by those who see the USA as unexceptional, at best.

And it’s no wonder that anti-Americans are so desperate: the truth of history is overwhelming.

There has never been a nation in recorded history to offer such opportunity, where prosperity is so taken for granted that the poor here have more than the upper-income in other countries. Of course that’s changing as the free market is strangled, but there are still a whole lot more people trying to get in than get out. In fact, they are using any and every means conceivable to get in, and at a rate that has exceeded the birth rate of US citizens in the border states.

(You would probably do the same if it meant a life-long free welfare ride for you, free education and medical care for your kids, and all you had to do to earn it is vote Democrat once you are anchored inside unexceptional ol’ America.)

But America is not only unexceptional, it’s evil, they say.

Why? Slavery.

If you find yourself in a conversation that goes down this path, there are some implications you’ll pick up on in the anti-American person’s attitude, if you’re astute. They won’t voice these assumptions out loud, of course, but they’re whispering in the subconscious:

  • The USA is the only (or at least the worst) nation to allow enslavement of Africans.
  • Slavery of non-Africans throughout history is of no consequence.
  • Slavery of Africans is the single-most (if not the only) important phenomenon in world history (at least for the duration of this conversation).

With this stuff going on between the ears, all the facts will be ignored if they can’t be, or haven’t already been, twisted.

America was the most prosperous nation in history? Only because the unexceptional Americans had slaves to do their work for them, you see.

That prosperity hit its peak a century after slavery was abolished? Only because we exploited other downtrodden minorities somewhere or other. The Vietnamese–yeah, that’s it.

Obama swore to uphold the Constitution, then immediately went about destroying inewfaceofcommunismt? Well the agenda justifies the treachery because  the Constitution was written by white devils who tolerated slavery, you ignorant flag-waver.

And so on.

Here is some truth about America, Africa, slavery and racism that you rarely ever hear (but might want to remind the next smart-bomber you converse with):

  • Slavery is as old as human government. You could call that a longstanding tradition, by the time the colonists in America got around to forming a better union.
  • The United States of America did not exist until the late 1700s, though most anti-Americans try to assign the slavery statistics for the centuries before the Revolution to our national guilt. By sheer coincidence I’m sure, they also habitually omit statistics from 1865 to the present.
  • Slavery lasted about 80 years in some of the states. How long did slavery last in Britain? In Spain? Portugal? Rome? Egypt?…
  • More Africans have emigrated to the USA of their own free will than ever came to this nation on slave ships.
  • The grass roots founders wanted to abolish slavery at the very start, but a compromise was made with the slave states of the South because we were at war with the British.
  • Another compromise was made in the 1940s to arm, feed, and equip the empire of the worst slavemaster and mass-murderer in the world at that time, because we were at war with the Germans and Japanese. Nobody seems to have a problem with that, though.
  • Americans fought, died, killed brothers, cousins and friends to free the slaves in the bloodiest war of our history. This fact is conveniently ignored.
  • Slavery is alive and well in the world outside unexceptional ol’ America today, though you probably missed that while being convinced of how awful America is and how much we need to be transformed into the image of other countries.
  • Chances are extremely high that you patronize modern slavery without even batting an eye, every time you swipe your debit card  at Wal-Mart (and pretty much everywhere else people shop now). Because you want cheap products, and because you vote for policy makers who hate mean ol’ unexceptional America but love her enemies, you buy the exports of the most brutal slave plantation in the world.

Check your hypocrisy.


Marvel Comics Gives Thor a Sex-Change Operation

Maybe you heard the same rumors I did about Marvel replacing the god of thunder with a chick. I decided to check this out, and now that I’m done puking I can report to you that, yes, it’s true.

Some of you who have paid attention to the encroaching agenda by the pied pipers of pop culture are not surprised in the least by this groan-worthy development. Others are wondering just what in the blazes is going on. I’m going to list some possibilities.

1. Marvel editor Wil Moss and the writers in the bullpen have an overpowering compulsion to foist yet another amazon superninja on their readership, but simply lack the imagination to create an original character.

There’s a lot of evidence  of this epidemic throughout the leftist-dominated entertainment industry. Hollywood, for instance, is so bankrupt of creative ideas that they can dream up nothing to make movies about besides old TV shows, video games or toys. (Oh yeah, I forgot other movies).

2. Nobody at Marvel is educated enough to realize that the pantheons of mythology are brimming with goddesses they could build another super-character out of.

Back in the early 1960s Stan Lee plucked Thor from the Norse pantheon to style him as a superhero. As natural an overlap (superheroes and gods of myth) as that is, it was an original idea at the time. But then I established the status of original ideas in # 1 above.

3. The white knights at Marvel know a new superheroine on the comic shelves would go over pretty much like Elektra went over at the box office, so they have to hijack a well-established character to make their ubiquitous feminist tropes even more inescapable.

This is the likliest reason for this knee-jerk “evolution.” Deep down they realize their fantasy femme won’t be able to pull her own weight.

4. Series writer Jason Aaron has trouble getting women to pay him any attention and thinks being able to point to this female-empowering achievement will earn him some dates.

This is assuming he is heterosexual, which might very well not be the case. But homosexuals and feminists share a lot, ideologically, so this could still be part of a desperate ploy to amp up his romantic portfolio.

5. Forced feminization of a strapping Nordic stud is a private fantasy of Aaron, or Moss, or the mistress who has their balls secured in her purse. Giving Thor tits is their encoded fantasy for public consumption, but enlightened agents dwelling among the unwashed masses will decode the message and understand that their utopia draweth nigh.

Again, my wording assumes they are heterosexual. But I’d rather not transpose this scenario since I’ve puked enough for one day.

6. Speaking of private fantasies, this development grew out of a masturbatory fetish involving a butch blonde dominatrix in a valkerie costume.

Judging by the obligatory amazon superninjas infecting action adventure across every medium, I suspect this fetish is common among beta and gamma male manginas. And please don’t ask me to speculate on what she does with the hammer.

So what’s next for the social programmers? Marvel also uses Greek hero Hercules occasionally. How does “Herculisa” sound?

Don’t be surprised if they use a heart attack to finally kill off Tony Stark, leaving Pepper Potts to become “Iron Maiden,” and Captain America is sodomized into “Captain Rainbow” or something. (No, actually it would be worse if they left his name the same and just did to him what Brokeback Mountain did to the cowboy icon. ) I understand there’s already a “Spider-Girl.”

Of course this latest gender-bending is nothing new. White Knights all over comicdom got tingles up their legs when Frank Miller introduced a female Robin in the mid ’80s. And Marvel’s Captain Marvel (not to be confused with the original, who got his powers from a wizard named Shazam) had a counterpart called Miss Marvel. Eventually Miss became Captain and who knows whatever happened to that guy once the gamma suits in the bullpen stripped him of his mask and tights.

I watched some Justice League cartoons with my son recently. Couldn’t help noticing a couple items there, like how Hawkman has been replaced by Hawkwoman, and how she (though she has no super powers unless they’ve changed that, too) is depicted in a way that makes even Superman look ordinary, if not an inept wimp, in comparison.

No, this “evolution” is nothing new. It’s just more in-your-face than ever.

No-Frills Japanese Mythology?

Is it mythology or embellished history? I’m not sure.

This film had great potential. The visual component was breathtaking, the acting solid, some of the plot ingredients tantalizing. For the first half hour it was shaping up to be a top-notch epic.

One of the main characters (played by Keanu Reeves) is a “half breed” who is also a boy partially raised by “demons.” For both those reasons he is an outcast among the clan he is imbedded with.

During a visit of the Shogun, the master of the clan is framed for a dishonorable crime by a witch working for a rival clan. The Master (Asano) commits seppuku, leaving his samurais without a master (the textbook definition of ronin).

This was all a plot by the rival master, Kira, and the witch Mizuki to have their clan take over the province, which they do. You can probably guess where the story goes from there–which is not a criticism, necessarily.

What is worthy of criticism is the gaps in character development; outright neglect in character building in some cases, and a choppy, rushed execution of the narrative.

Some probably would complain that the film is too long already, but I believe some more screen time was necessary to make it flow. There were some cultural insights and other expository requirements left out which could have saved it for a western audience. With a big budget historical epic there’s just no excuse for cutting corners in the screenplay.

The story concept was much more interesting than Dances With Japanese Wolves The Last Samurai. However (and it hurts me to say this) ruthless adherence to formula, as in the Tom Cruise vehicle, might have been an improvement.

I don’t remember any nudity or sexual content, so this aesthetic adventure might be a candidate for Amazon Instant Theater with the kids. Despite being a one-time fan of Akira Kurosawa, I haven’t seen many samurai films by other directors, and know nothing about other versions of this movie. Nevertheless,  I’m including a couple links below.

Pirates Be Advised: Yer A$$ is Mine!

Thanks yet again to David in Sausalito, California for a nice review of the Tier Zero audio book. This is the sequel to Hell & Gone and an unabashed throwback to the glory days of men’s fiction–as the cover suggests.

Here’s what David said:

Great sequel! The badass band of homicidal misfits are back together for another testosterone-feuled adventure through the pirate infested oceans, cities and jungles of Indonesia. In this sequel to “Hell and Gone” Henry Brown really sharpens his writing with a much improved “flow” and a much improved story arc. “Tier Zero” is much more character driven (and developed) than its predecessor, focusing a little more on the people rather than the action but don’t worry, this is a Henry Brown book–there’s still enough blood, bullets and guts to keep even the most hardcore action junkies drooling – just look at the cover art. These books have a kinda old-school “pulpy’ feel to them that I really like but don’t see (or hear) that much of anymore. The narrator did another outstanding job with the characters both male and female. Don’t worry if you haven’t read “Hell and Gone”, this book can easily be read as a stand alone. Awesome book overall!

Recorded books are a godsend for me, as my time to sit and actually read anything is pretty scarce. But there’s still a lot of times I can listen to something without breaking stride. And Audible downloads to your listening device are painless.



This action sci-fi thriller is set in a dystopian future in which emotions have been made illegal.

You read that right. More on that below.

I don’t know what (if anything) the film makers have said about their stylistic vision for this film, but visually it is identical to the Matrix trilogy. The plot, however, is built on a different platform of fears.

In the future, emotions are controlled by a mandatory drug citizens are required to take periodically. Anyone suspected to be foregoing their dose is turned in to the authorities and executed.

The Christian Bale character is a model cop (called “cleric”), as upon finding his partner with a book of poetry (all stimulus which might induce an emotional response, or “sense offense,” are illegal), he takes him down with all the poignancy of the Orkin Man stepping on a cockroach. We also get flashbacks which show his own wife was terminated for sense offense as well.

The main catalyst for the plot is when the cleric begins to experience emotions of his own.

I would say the acting is good, but then with the wooden personas of law-abiding citizens in this flick, that’s hard to argue. And of the few emotions displayed throughout the film, most were displayed by the last person it made any sense to have show them: Bale’s even colder new partner, played by Taye Diggs.

Either Diggs was auditioning for a toothpaste commercial, or the director had a huge blind spot. All his mugging actually annoyed me with its anomaly. We’re supposed to believe that Bale is in danger because Diggs suspects he’s “sense offending” when it’s Diggs who is the obvious sense offender from where the audience sits and Bale hides his emotions fairly well.

There were some suspenseful scenes and plot twists, so if you can suspend disbelief, it truly will be a “thriller” for you.

The “gun katas” practiced by the clerics look kind of neat, but are rather silly as a combat technique.

That’s not far from descriptive of the movie as a whole: looks neat, but rather silly.

I recently saw Pleasantville, so I’m becoming aware of a new apparent phobia spreading among the Hollywood elite: that fascistic bullies are plotting to take over the world and suppress their feelings.

The symbol dominating this police state is intentionally reminiscent of the Swastika (I guess the film makers never watched film footage of the Nazis,  because it’s kinda hard to miss how emotional/passionate Hitler and his followers were.)

The movie gets really heavy-handed when the Clerics find an illegal kennel and decide to kill off a bunch of puppies.

I’m stopping here. I’ve already spent too much time on this flick.

Red-Blooded American Men Examine Pop-Culture and the World