Monday, August 31, 2009

My worlds collide this weekend

Saturday began in OKC at the State School Board Convention, an important time for our firm to show other schools what we have to offer. It was a good and fruitful event. Time will tell, but I believe that we laid the groundwork to "expand our boundaries".

In the afternoon Carol and I went to Tulsa for the 40th reunion of Garnett Church of Christ. It was a bittersweet event. We were members there from 1977 to 1991 and highly involved. I was the designer of their 3,500 seat auditorium. At its high point the church had a regular attendance of 1,200 and the place was full for big events about twice a year. It was a super charged church! Today, it has a membership of 400! They worship in the fellowship hall and have decreased the seating in the auditorium by several hundred seats! It is a text book study of what happens when great leadership is replaced by timid and frightened leadership. When the dream is lost it is a long road down. Saturday night, though, for about 3 hours 1980 existed again and about 700 people had a rocking good time of celebration. About 2 hours in, we left.
It was getting to me. It is hard to look back and see unfinished dreams.

Sunday, we went to the movies, then hug out with the grandsons (The triple A's). We then joined about eight good friends at the Paul Thorn Concert at the Cain's. For me - it was a very personal show. I stood about 8 feet from the stage and soaked it in. As you know I go to a lot of concerts. This one was for me was special. I am a big fan. Even though I am involved with the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, I have never been big on Autographs and photos with the stars (even though I could have many times). This night for some reason it was important to shake his hand and get his autograph and talk to him. (I did all three!)

You see I am a huge fan of Brad Paisley, Jimmy Buffett, James Taylor, and Todd Snider and more recently Zac Brown Band. I like their music, but I identify with Paul Thorn! His songs speak to me and my life. His songs show a guy who has accomplished a lot through adversity without leaving his roots and his faith behind in the process which is what I aspire to do. His road and my road are not the same but they run parallel a lot.

His gig in Tulsa was well attended and he will be back. AND SO WILL I!

Taking Stock of Woodstock

I was in college in 1969 when Woodstock happened. The "three" networks showed clips on the news and everyone talked about it, but the whole world was shocked that something like that could happen without much advance advertisement around the nation. The Hippie movement was underway in a big way, but in Oklahoma and at Oklahoma State, we just had to put up with the "posers". I can tell you that I don't miss the bell-bottoms, head bands and mini-skirts, etc. (check that, actually the mini skirts were fairly cool at the time!). Yes, I had bell bottoms and denim shirts and Carol had mini-skirts! Speaking of posers!

We went to see "Taking Woodstock" the true story at the movies. It was like a flashback (and I didn't do drugs!). The movie is fun especially for boomers. And it is very accurate. There is no nudity, but there are plenty of naked people in this movie. The story is really amazing, but oddly it is not about the concert! It is about how it happened.

The photo of the couple wrapped in the blanket was the cover of the Woodstock album in my possession.

I give it ***stars.

2009 movie #57

Friday, August 28, 2009

Paul Thorn Concert

Sunday Night is the Paul Thorn Band concert at the Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa. I blogged about him last year. Paul Thorn is from Tupelo, Mississippi. He is the son of a Pentecostal preacher and could not go to movies, concerts, or anything growing up. He did perform at tent meetings from 5 years old. The first concert that he ever went to, he was the opening act for STING at the Hollywood Bowl in LA! He was also a professional boxer for a while and lasted 8 rounds with Roberto Duran, the world champ. He sings blues rock country gospel ballads. In other words he is unique. He tells stories between songs in his southern drawl and his songs range from thoughtful ballads about everyday people and the human condition like "800 Pound Jesus" to funny songs like, "Jonie, the Jehovah's Witness Stripper" or "Mission Temple Fireworks Stand". His song, "Everybody Looks Good at The Starting Line" is a favorite.

I am not going out on a limb to say, "If you like good music from a good guy, Take the time to go Sunday Night."

FYI: I have two tickets left that I will give to anyone who came get them from me Sunday. Free

Conventions but NOT Conventional!

Our firm went to the State School Board Convention this week. We had a booth. Last year our booth was 10' x 10' and was crowded. So this year we ponied up $900,00 for a 10' X 20' booth.

The brochure said that we had full access in the convention hall from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm.
We get there at 3:00 pm and they say you can't take the the truck in because too much is going on!
Right. After a lot of "discussion" we get the truck in and within 100 feet of the booth!

We set up. And the next morning get to the booth early to hook up our computers. As we are getting ready, a lady shows up and asks, "Are you going to use electricity?" We yes. "You will have to order it form me! I'll be back at the table in an hour." $900.00 did not buy electricity! They charged us $66 for every item that needed to be hooked up! 4 items.

I was half way expecting them to say, "Are you going to stand in your booth? That's extra!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

500 Days of Summer, a Movie not a Season

We are in OKC for the State School Board Convention. SO-o-o- after we set up the exhibit booth we went to Bricktown, that vibrant entertainment district, and went to a movie! Hey, its Thursday night! "500 Days of Summer" was playing and it was one of those indy movies that I wanted to see. The narrator at the beginning stated that this was a boy meets girl story, but not a love story. Very accurate! FYI: The girl's name is Summer. The story is about a guy that graduates "Architecture school" and can't get a job so goes to work at a greeting card company. Summer comes to work there and the story is about their 500 days together. You might say this is another "Chick Flick". You would be wrong! This is a very well crafted movie where Day 1 may be followed by day 405 and back again. It is humorous and thought provoking. There are few, if any, cliches' here. This is original material. Great soundtrack too and a surprising but cool musical bit in the middle of the story.

I liked it a lot. ****stars

2009 movie #56

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Less Time Traveled Roads

I am dealing with time travel in my life. I am reading the "Outlander" series of novels by Diana Gabaldo. I am reading the second book at present. The book deals with a woman who was a Field Nurse during WWII who time travels back to the 1700s and meets her husband's ancestors in Scotland. I have read about her in 1945, 1735, and 1967 so far. The books are so completely compelling that they are similar to Harry Potter. There are 7 of these books and there were 7 HP books!

Tonight we went to see "Time Traveler's Wife". It is also a very compelling story and very well crafted. It is also very sad. It does deal with knowing when you will die and other not fun things.
I liked it but it was spooky. In this story the time traveler does not travel with clothes! Bummer!

I give it **1/2 stars

2009 movie #55

Incidentally I time travel all the time. As I have stated before: My dad was 30 years older than me. I am 30 years older than my son, Nate. Nate is 30 years older than his son, Addison. When I look at Nate, I see what my dad was dealing with when he was my age!, etc. It is also spooky sometime. Example: Nate started work with our firm on Monday. 30 years ago, I was just starting a firm that was in its first year and I also had a 6 year old child starting first grade.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

That was the week that was!

I have just finished one of the most emotional weeks of my life.

Sunday: Our third grandson was born. Asher made us wait most of the day,but it was worth the weight. He looked just like me with not much hair and wrinkles.
Sunday Night: We found out that Asher went to intensive care over breathing problems,etc.
Monday: My heart was not in it, but I had to make an important presentation at the State Capitol as part of the push to build a permanent home for the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame (something I have been dreaming about for 15 years!)
Monday Night: Back to the hospital. I am not good at watching a baby with tubes, needles and all. My stomach churned even more.
Tuesday: Day of client meetings and travel. Not time well spent by myself. It was amazing the things my mind could conger up about the future. I was getting low about every facet of my life!
Wednesday: Started just like Tuesday, but mid-morning I turned everything over to the LORD and the day became a lot better. Asher was improving as well but still in ICU.
Thursday: More encouraging news about Asher, work and everything. Went to the Hospital and returned home with Addison for the night! Yea!
Friday: Back to Tulsa, Asher improving, and we traded Addison for Avery for the night. Yea!
Saturday: Our daughter, Lindsey and hubby, Jeremy arrive from south of the Red River and formally announce to the world that we will be having another grandchild next March. Super Cool!
Sunday: Asher got to go home!

I started last week as low as I have been in many years. I ended the week on a mountain top. The only difference was remembering to be led by God instead of carrying a load too big for me!

The coming week will be as large: Our son, Nate, comes to work at SDA (a dream come true), Asher is taking his place in the family, Lindsey and Jeremy are starting a great journey, and our company has the opportunity to gain some good projects as we make presentations in OKC at the State School Board Association meetings (where I am giving a Talk!).

I just need to remember to stay out of God's way!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Yippee! A Movie Weekend again!

Yes, Tonight was a movie night! And not just any movie, We saw Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds". As a rule I am not a Tarantino fan. I skipped the "Kill Bill movies and the double feature last year. I had pegged him as one in the PG50 category. Tonight though was a home run for me. Brad Pitt is classic Pitt. The movie has humor, good story, and great lines. Yes it is violent, but not overly. It's war! Even if it is one of those "what if?" stories. Christoph Waltz steals the movie as the ruthless Nazi SS officer that is hard to dislike (sort of like Hannibal Lecter). He is witty, fun and mean. Of course same goes for Pitt's character. This will be one of the top movies of 2009.

I liked this movie a lot! I give it ****stars.

2009 movie #54

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Old Guy Movies are going away!

At the movies while waiting for "District 9" to start we set through the coming attractions. And I thought District 9 was different! Let's see "SAW 6" is coming (I haven't seen 1 thru 5, yet). Then there is a comedy Zombie movie (ZombieLand). Then a High school movie where they cool girl is a vampire! Then there was a delightful flick named "Legion" where "angels" come to earth the basically kill every one. Then a revenge movie with some big time actors that looks way brutal. After these previews, District 9 seemed like a musical!

I might have the see fewer movies in the future.

Now for Something completely different!

I needed something weird to take my mind off of real life! So we went to see "District 9"! If you haven't heard about it, it is a VERY different sci-fi movie. Seems that Peter Cook (Director of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy) was visited by a guy (Neill Blomkamp) that had an idea for a video game about aliens that were marooned on earth. Cook listened and in the end told the guy to make a movie instead. Peter Cook became the Producer (put up the money) and the movie costs $30,000,000 to make. That is a low budget movie by today's standards

"District 9" is about a giant alien ship that hovers over Johannesburg, South Africa. Eventually the aliens are removed from the ship and put in a shanty town slum at the edge of town. The movie begins with the movie version of the UN deciding to move them farther into the country to a tent city. The whole movie is done documentary style and with No name actors, it is starkly realistic. the aliens are sort of a combination insect/crab like thing.

You need to go online and see the trailer to better understand. It isn't an easy movie. It is probably the first movie this side of Star Wars/Star Trek where the aliens are the ones whom you feel sorry. It is a dark story and relates directly to South Africa's history a apartheid.

It is a messy, yucky, slimy movie and when people get shot, they explode. In other words: Guys will like it. It is not for everyone, but I liked it.

Note: It is rated R, The aliens even use the F word! go figure!

I give it *** stars. A movie with "GUTS" Lots of them.

2009 movie #53

Monday, August 17, 2009

From the Mouths of Babes

WARNING, WARNING: The second story in this post is rated R sort of. My family thought I should post it. It is funny, but I hope it doesn't offend (too much). I am just writing what I heard!

Story 1: As I remember it. When our new grandson arrived, we got to go in when things were ready. We went in with Avery and Addison (the big brothers). Lori was telling us about the unusual nature of the birth. She was in labor and ready, but before the doctor got in the room she started "throwing up". The nurse came in because of this and checked things out and found the baby already out except for the legs! Lori was telling us this about the throwing up and the baby arriving. Avery, trying to process all this, wanted to know if Asher came out her mouth!

Story 2: Addison was with us on Friday and of course wanted to help me mow the yard. Earlier in the day we bought him a new toy leaf blower. (He has gone through about three!) They look like little Black and Decker model and make all the sounds and everything. We finished mowing (He rides with me on the tractor!) and I started blowing cuttings off the drive. Addison took every step that I did. When we finished he surveyed the work and said, "PaPa, now that I have a blower, I can go get blow jobs!"

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Roller Coasters of life

We have been on a roller coaster ride this weekend. Nate and Lori was to (and did) have a baby today. We kept the two grandsons Friday, Saturday, and Today. We could see instantly that their emotions were on their sleeve and they were already tired. Tired to a 4 and 6 year old is vastly different from that of someone like me. Addison wanted to mow the yard Friday afternoon. Then they swam for the second time. Saturday we went to the Aquarium at Jenks and then came home and swam. Through all of this, they asked constant questions. Avery showed his concern based on things he had heard. He asked about Mother's who die at child birth. He talked about the story he heard about a guy drinking 2 gallons of water and then died. Later we caught him explaining to Addison that he (Avery) would die before him but that their parents would die first. Addison said, "That's not right. You are going to be a Monster Truck driver!" We stopped this talk, also, but it is sad to see stress coming to small children.

They were emotional about everything and naturally were glad to see their parent this morning. Lori started the procedures at 7:30am and we got there about 9:30am. About 3:15pm Asher arrived and all were happy! Photos, taking turns holding the baby and the move to a regular room. All was well. All happy. Everyone needing rest!

We headed home about 5;00pm and were half way home when Nate called. Asher had a bad turn and they moved him to ICU because they were concerned about his breathing. WoW!
Xrays are showing under-developed lungs and fluid on them!

It has been a weird weekend. One of constant prayer, smiles, and emotion.

Life is a roller coaster and sometimes the lows take our breath.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Carrie Nation

As some of my fellow campers know, I have been involved in the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame for a while. The year Carrie Underwood went on American Idol, her last civilian show was as a member of Northeastern State University's "Downtown Country" at the Roxy Theater in Muskogee for the Hall of Fame. She was so, so far ahead of everyone else that you could see stardom right then! After the show I found out that she was not only going on Idol, but she had already made it to Hollywood! (This was four months before the show aired). I took my Roxy tickets to her and had her to autograph them. I'm so wise!

Well the rest, they say, is History! About 3 years ago the Hall made her a "Rising Star". September 17 we will induct her into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.

Some say, "Hey she's too young! She hasn't paid her dues! Blah, Blah, Blah. On one level I understand such thoughts. But I ask, "How much higher can she go? She is on top NOW! She can just continue and set more records, sell more CDs, etc. But she can't go any higher.

This will sell out. If you think you might want to see her in Concert-- Well, here it is. If you snooze you loose!

Later I will blog about the others being inducted, but I can say they will surprise you in a very good way!

Oh, I forgot to say: Those tickets that she autographed. I gave them to someone at the Hall of Fame for the archives. They are GONE! Not wise!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra (toys and action figures)

Tonight, we decided to go to the movies and we watched every action movie in the last 20 years.
Boy it was long! I will say this movie is enjoyable under the following circumstances: 1. Think the Batman TV show. 2. Have the thought processes of Sean Hannity. 3. Keep saying its only a movie! With those ideas in mind I enjoyed all of these Movies tonight. "G.I. Joe" is part Star Wars, Ironman, every Ninja Movie, Batman, James Bond, Terminator, X men, etc. etc. etc.

The plot is a new one. An evil group (Cobras) builds a 100 zillion dollar lair under the North Pole without anyone noticing. Then the "Joes", who also have a secret base under the Sahara Desert, that no one knows about is called into action. The Cobras take out a World Landmark, the Eiffel Tower in Paris while killing thousands. The camera zooms in on the White House where the aide says to the President (not Obama) is saying, "The French are very unhappy, sir!"

The Joes swing into action with every possible action figure, I mean soldier, that they can think of. Killings, fires under water, explosions, and a last minute escape from the under sea bad guy place just before it explodes.

The bad guys get caught but are in a prison that I bet they escape from by next year. The President of the USA has also been replaced by a bad Guy (No wait that was Fox News!)

Well sorry if I gave away something, but I left out about 20 more movies that were also going on. Imagine the toys that they will make!

I give it **stars for comedy! Actually they even had a token black comedian for that purpose!

2009 Movie #52 (or 102 depending on how you look at it)

Obama wants to kill me! Details at 10:00 PM News

I mean I don't know how I have been so stupid or how Obama has been the craftiest person in history. I was warned though. People did tell me that he was SATAN and I missed it!

My mind just doesn't stretch far enough to imagine Obama, Biden, and company setting around grinning and saying, "Now that it is still safe to kill babies, lets kill all the old people Too!
(Who does Biden think he is? A teenager!) After all we control Congress and Sotomayor will control the court we can kill people and destroy the nation's economy at the same time!"

At least that's the story I have been hearing on FOX, Palin's facebook, etc.

We all know that Bush 2 was not a MENSA member, and you may have stretched yourself to the point that you think Obama is a socialist (Aren't all democrats?), but who knew that he was HITLER! Yes, I have heard and watched him called that!

I go to a lot of movies and see a lot of plots where you leave "reality" at the door, but come on guys. This stuff goes way, way way, over the line. I mean it is one thing to believe that Obama is really an African Spy trained from birth to be president. (No wait, that was Denzil Washington in "Manchurian Candidate!") Or that he wants to take over the world (No that's G.I. Joe!).

Comparing Obama's Health Plans to Hitler killing 9,000,000 Jews is low, even for Palin and Hannity.

If any of my friends out there in cyberspace really believe that it is Obama's goal to kill old people, contact me and take me through your thought process. I don't mean Rush's thoughts and Hannity's thoughts. I have heard them!

Yes, I actually found the above symbol on Google!

I still believe that "everything is going to be alright, Don't Worry. be Happy.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Porno for the Food Network Fan

We went to see "Julie & Julia" (the two true stories of Julia Child and Julie Roberts) starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. This movie by Nora Ephron is for me a welcome summer "feel good" movie. It is a fun tale about not only how Julia Child became the famous cook, but about Julie Roberts who writes a blog about making all 524 of Child's recipes in one year. Like most movies about cooking, I want to get home and make something fun and good. AND I'm not a cook!
If you have seen the previews and said that may be fun, IT IS. It is why movies are good for the mind. Nora Ephron is a master at this type of movie. Meryl Streep is of course fun and perfect. It is amazing how different a person she is in this movie than say the Nun in "Doubt". Here is the funny thing, Amy Adams also played a Nun in "Doubt". Comparing their roles in the two movies, you see the debt of these great actors.

I give it ***1/2 stars

FYI: My recent blogs have mentioned profanity at the movies. This movie is also rated PG13 because they had Stanley Tucci (who plays Mr. Child) t0 say the F word once at the end of a scene for NO apparent reason! Actually, it is apparent. One F word qualifies the movie as PG13 so that people will be more enticed to go?

2009 movie #51 (almost a movie a week!)

Friday, August 7, 2009

You Too! 2

The other day we stopped in at Staples to pick up some for the office. We were at the checkout and as Carol looked in her purse she said, "Oh, here are the Aerosmith tickets!" (I collect our concert tickets.) The young guy at the check out kids, "Oh, I'll take them." I said that they were for last week's concert. "That's ok," he said, "I'd rather rather go see U2, anyhow!" I could have let it go, but seeing a slight put down by his manner, I said, "We have those too."


Mark one up for the OLD guy.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

HAL is here!

Remember the movie "2001, a Space Odyssey" where the computer, HAL, takes over the space station and has a mind of his own. I recently read in the NY Times where a conference was recently held by some in the computer field about the possibility of this very thing. The idea of Artificial Intelligence they say is possible.

They could have figured that out by buying an IPhone! I was setting here trying to make a note on my phone about something I need to take to the planning commission in Tulsa. The commission is know as INCOG (Indian Nation Council of Governments). Every time I tried to type that in, the phone changed the spelling.

SO-o-o-o, I have a meeting tomorrow that is INCOGNITO!

FYI: HAL got his name by being one letter ahead of IBM!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Personality Types

I'm taking one those quizzes/tests to determine what kind of person I am. It is for a Networking program at church. You have probably taken those. Over the years I have taken personality type testing. I'm a "TYPE A"! I know. It surprised me too. I have taken a FIERO B test. That one freaked me out. The summary striped me bare and said things about me that I didn't think anyone knew. It almost spooked me.

This new test is to uncover my gifts and to find my personal style. I gave 4 choices possible: Task unstructured, Task structured, People unstructured, People structured. I graded Task Unstructured! So leave me alone and let me do something with no rules! I want a cheeseburger!

As to what are my gifts? I won't know until they decipher the numbers, but I have figured it out. My gift is to watch things happen while eating popcorn and then telling people what I think! without structure, of course!

I am always challenged by these tests that ask you the same question 20 different ways, so that by # 18, I change my mind! Yikes!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Mike's Theory of Profanity and Cursing

I have mentioned profanity in some of my blogs concerning the movies I see. This week trying to watch "Funny People" and watching "The Hurt Locker" made me think about my past and current.

First, fellow travelers, let's get on the same page. Dear Webster says:

Cursing: to use profanely insolent language against; Blaspheme, to execrate(?) in fervent and often profane terms.

Profane: not concerned with religion or religious purposes, secular.

Profanity: the quality or state of being profane

or Hollywood's term for profanity in movies, pervasive language:

Pervade: to become diffused throughout every part of
Pervasive: tend to prevade.

Now class let us begin:

When I was a kid and learned about 4 letter words, I knew 1. don't do it and 2 don't do it.

I later learned that if you through in a couple around some of the boys, they would think you were cool. These 3 rules carried me through school. I did not curse as a rule, but occasionally felt it necessary to throw one in for emphasis. After all every one knew I went to church and some guys were concerned that without any vice, I may get them in trouble with their parents. I knew the drill! A lot of my friends drunk beer and cussed. I remained popular with them by basically taking care of their sick selves(designated driver) and cussing once a night "to fit in".

I out grew that in College and then came Vietnam and a 6 year stint in the National Guard. I learned that in the Army, cursing was a sign of manhood! If you did not curse, you were looked at like (not exaggeration) you were gay! (don't ask don't tell) I mean, I already had a strike against me because I did not smoke! In the 70's if you did not smoke, you sometimes did not get to take a break from work, while the Drill Sergeants and smokers did? I learned to turn on the language and turn it off in the civilian world.

In the work world I came to believe that people around me who cursed where 1: mental midgets; 2. trying to portray studly, manly men; 3. people who don't don't care about me.

In conversations, phone calls, and meetings, if you try to impress me with curses, the discussion is over. I have hung up on bosses and clients. I have been toe to toe with a Church client who in the "Church" used the F-bomb and GD this and that! (Remember Jason!)

All this leads me back to the movies. Movies like "Funny People" where the F-word is Noun, verb and adjective in the same sentence, I just leave. It was my fault for going and it is my privilege to leave. I don't find funny things that revolt me. just like I will not watch rape and child abuse for enjoyment. The movie portrays mental midgets and profane people that I would not hang with for five minutes.

The comes "The Hurt Locker". Yes the F-word was used (much, much less). But it portrayed such a serious, tense time that each word showed the raw emotion of military men (who were trained to curse) and they cursed far less than the so called comedians. Do I agree with their language? No but I understand the context.

Its like when I helped my Dad (who never cursed) as a kid and he hit his thumb with a hammer and said, "Shit!" I learned NOT to laugh! and that it was a circumstance that(dare I say it?) no other word comes to mind! I learned that much later as I demonstrated to my own family.

Some people still don't care what they say. I care what they say!

I'm sure Hank did it this way!

My friend (and friend of many who read this) Jim Paul Blair has launched a grand adventure that is sure to pay off. For me it already has. Jim and the band, City Moon, are very good. They can play everything from bluegrass to rock. They have now created the show, "Lost Highway", a tribute to Hank Williams. Jim plays Hank. Jim becomes Hank. He looks, acts and sings just like Hank. If you have heard Hank recordings, he is not easy to copy. Hank had sort of a yodel like voice inflection and Jim has it down.

Last Night we went to the Hard Rock in Tulsa to see him perform. I was amazed at the transformation. Jim even went to Nashville last winter and had Emanuel to make suits identical to Hank's suits. These are "Nudie" suits that all stars of hanks time wore and Emanuel made most of them.

Jim is also playing Hank Williams in a play at the Little Theater this month. You deserve a break. Take the family and show them the guy who was the forerunner to both Country and Rock. Hank is in both the Rock and Roll hall of fame and the Country Music Hall of Fame.

See Jim when he plays anytime, because he WILL put a smile on your face.

A Good Movie!

I went to see my second R rated movie in two days. This one, however, was R because the Iraq War is rated R. The movie is "The Hurt Locker" (which refers to the locker the store the dead soldier's personal effects to ship home.). It is a tense movie because it portrays a squad of men who disarm Road side bombs and IUD's. It is action because it is filmed so that you feel like you are there. It is Great because it grabs you from the start and you count the days along with the squad until they can come home. It is the best portrayal yet of the war, but it just shows it like the soldier sees it and makes no political statements at all. The main character is a hot shot new guy who has done tours in both Afghanistan and Iraq and is not afraid of anything while the other guys are just trying to stay alive for 30 days and rotate home. There are name actors in small roles but the main actors are not household names and that is what makes it real. This movie did not disappoint and is the best I have seen this year.

****1/2 stars

2009 Movie #50