Good afternoon. Gigi the parti poodle here and this week has been wet. Wet and dark. The dreadful Maltese and I have been out on a couple of walks when my novelist has managed to get us out when it is dry. But I must say I do not like getting wet. The word Poodle comes from Pudelhund, which means to splash about. Rubbish! I detest puddles and precipitation falling on me from the sky. I have often told my novelist she should consider finding a warmer dryer place for us to live. But every time I do, she pats me on the head and tells me I am a good dog. I do enjoy owning a novelist, but their condescending sense of humor disturbs me at times. That said, here is my novelist.
This week the premise is You Can’t Outrun Your Past. And a movie that shows this beautifully is one called The Town. The movie is based on the book Prince of Thieves by Chuck Hogan which received the Hammet Award. Ben Affleck directs, stars and co-wrote the script.
The story is set in Charlestown in Boston where a group of four young men have made a career of robbing banks and armored cars. They work under a man named Fergus (Pete Postlethwaite) who worked with all their fathers setting up and carrying out bank robberies for years. Fergus is also rather fond of selling drugs and one of the four men, a psychopath named James (Jeremy Renner) has a sister named Krista (Blake Lively) who assists in that as well. Krista is also having an on-again off-again romance with one of the other four men, Doug (Ben Affleck) who is the brains of the group. When he was younger, Doug was drafted into professional hockey but his knack for getting into fights got him fired. Doug’s father Stephen (Chris Cooper) is serving time in prison. The other two young men are Desmond (Owen Burke) and Gloansy their driver (Slaine).
The story starts out with the four young men robbing a bank. They are all dressed in costumes and complete face covering masks. When they go to open the safe, they need the help of a bank manager named Claire (Rebecca Hall). When Claire is opening the safe, she panics and cannot turn the dial. Doug gently helps her calm down and tells her to take her time. She can now open the safe and the men are able to load their bags. On the way out the door James decides to take Claire as a hostage. They put Claire in their getaway van, blindfold her and leave her on a beach where terrified she does as they tell her and walks until her feet feel water.
After the robbery Doug finds he is attracted to Claire and follows her to a laundry mat where she serendipitously asks him for quarters. He asks her out on a date and becomes smitten. This is where he begins to consider starting a new life. But Claire is not part of his criminal world and to have a life with her he must find a way to outrun his past. This is not as simple as it seems. The FBI is on he and his gang’s tail, his best friend James is not on board with his choice to change careers and neither is Fergus. Not to mention Fergus, singlehandedly destroyed Stephen’s life when Stephen tried to leave his gang when Doug was a child.
One of the things that makes the movie so compelling is the more Doug tries to hide his past from Claire and forge a way out the more harrowing things become. The stakes continue to climb all the way to the satisfying conclusion of the story. It is not just that Doug can’t outrun his past it’s that his past is dangerous and grows more hazardous at every turn.
You can check out my books Chicane and the first book in my Musicology book series Musicology: Volume One, Baby! on Amazon both in Kindle and Paperback editions. You can also check out Musicology’s website at www.musicologyrocks.com The second book of the Musicology series, Musicology Volume Two, Kid! is coming in Fall 2020!
STREAM OF THE WEEK: L7: PRETEND WE’RE DEAD-(Amazon)
L7 was one of the prominent bands in the grunge and punk movement and this unflinching documentary is their story. Starting in 1985 and reformed in 2014 these four feminists were a force to be reckoned with. Traveling around the country and across seas they made a profound impact on music and culture as true pioneers in their field. These extremely funny and incredibly talented artists are shown though interviews and home video footage and their journeys are absolutely electrifying. They are real, direct, gleefully controversial, and fearless. And I do mean fearless. The movie does an excellent job showing the highs and lows of their careers and their lives. An absolute must see for rock, grunge and punk fans everywhere.
SMART MOVIES FOR SMART KIDS: THE SPEED CUBERS-Netflix
Kids like documentaries too and this one is quite good. It the story of Feliks Zemdegs and Max Park. Feliks is Australian and Max is American, and they are both fierce rivals and great friends in the world of competitive Rubik’s Cube speedsolving competitions. Feliks held eight different world records, the 3x3x3, 2x2x2, 4x4x4, 5x5x5, 6x6x6, 7x7x7, 3x3x3 one handed and 4x4x4 blindfolded. This is no easy feat. And whatever Feliks can do Max can do as well. Max has also held the world record in 4x4x4, 5x5x5, 6x6x6, 7x7x7 and 3x3x3 one handed. This is a wonderful story about competition and what it means to be a gracious winner and a gracious loser. The cubing in the movie is riveting and I think many kids will find it fascinating.