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January 08, 2009

We thought we'd never see this after the huge cow pie actor Mickey Rourke turned his acting career into over the past fifteen years. Once a Hollywood glamour boy on the way up, up and up, Rourke took a huge fall due to his pride, big-shot attitude, loud mouth, disrespect for elders (translation: producers and directors) and his penchant for not showing up on the set to work once he was hired to do a gig.

For many years Rourke has been hard pressed to find a decent SAG scale acting gig in Hollywood. The insurance companies even refused to bond him for movie for a while (and if you cant get bonded, then you don't work as an actor in a major film).

But it is amazing what a great performance in a solid movie will do for a guy who's been down but not completely out for a very long time. Rourke is back.

By most accounts Rourke delivers a sizzlingly great, multi-faceted performance in the new film "The Wrestler" by produce/director Darren Aronofsky who is handling producer duties only in this film. The film opened in wide release a few weeks ago.

Rourke, now 56, plays Randy "The Ram" Robinson, a professional wrestler who is long past his glory days and is now reduced to performing in third-rate towns on fourth rate wrestling cards in order to make a living.

The Ram is way past his prime, lives in a trailer park, is behind in the rent, is emotionally shut down, has a paid stripper for a girl friend and has a broken relationship with his daughter. And if that ain't enough heartbreak for one man, he then gets to have a heart attack that for a while derails the only way he knows to make a living.

But through all this hard luck mud Rourke is said to give one of the most dazzling if not thee most dazzling, masterful performances of his career.

Reviewer Colin Covert of the Star Tribune calls The Wrestler, "a heartfelt underdog story that hits you like an elbow smash in the ribs" and Rourke's performance "reminds you why he once was mentioned in the same breath with Brando."

A few months ago the movie won the Golden Lion at the Venice International Film Festival, the event's top honor. Click READ MORE to being up the video icon and watch a clip from the film.


January 08, 2009

FAIR WARNING. This is disturbing video. This is a KTVU-TV news report on the New Year’s Day execution-style shooting of an unarmed 22-year old man at the Fruitvaile BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) station in Oakland, CA by a BART police officer.

According to witnesses police had removed a few young men from the train for reportedly fighting and Oscar Grant, one of the young men pulled from the train, was taken by three police officers from a seated position against a wall where they had previously placed him (where Grant was seen with his hands up at one point and was not seen resisting according to witnesses) and was placed prone on the ground on his stomach by the officers with his hands behind his back.

Here is where it gets strange. Inexplicably say witnesses - and this seems to be corroborated by what is on the video - one of the officers who had his knee placed in Grant’s back or neck area as Grant was on the ground face down, all of a sudden and without warning as to what he was about to do, rose up to a near upright standing position, pulled his service issue pistol from his right side holster and shot Grant once in the back.

This part of the killing, the officer rising, drawing his gun and shooting, is visible on the video. It takes no more than four seconds or so for the officer to stand, pull his gun, point it and fire. The officer is seen on the video quickly firing one round from the service pistol, once that he has the weapon out, in his hand and pointed down at the man’s back. It is shocking and scary, no two ways about it.


Here is where it gets even stranger. The officer who did this shooting - the killing, execution style of a unarmed man on the ground laid out prone on his belly - remains free and has not been charged with a crime.

No rational individual of average intelligence could ever buy into the fantasy that had that situation been reversed – had a 22-year old black man in Oakland, California been caught on video standing up and shooting point blank into the back of an unarmed white police officer (while the officer was face down on the ground and no threat) resulting in the death of the officer – that young black man would be out walking around free eight days later with no charges filed.

This whole thing boggles the mind. Among many unanswered questions is this one: why did not his fellow officers who were right there when it happened - inches away in one case - not arrest the shooter on the spot?

The killing of Grant, and no charges being filed against the shooter, led to riots in the street last night in Oakland as a group of protesters broke away from a larger protest march and began pelting police with rocks, smashing car windows and setting a few vehicles on fire before police moved in with tear gas to disperse the crowd.

The video itself raises more questions than it answers. Watch it closely and you will see things that make no sense at all, beyond the shooting itself which makes no sense. Watch closely and you'll notice the officer who did the shooting tug on his gun three times - three times mind you! - to get it out of his holster to fire that fatal shot when clearly the man lying face down on the ground was no threat to him. Grant had already been subdued.

Why in the world was this officer so intent on pulling the weapon and firing? Why, when he was tugging three times on the holster did the other officer, at Grant's head, not grab his arm and stop him from pulling the weapon out or at least stop him from firing?

Many, many unanswered questions to this incident.

Click READ MORE to bring up the video icon.


December 11, 2008

The neighbor's dog RALPH singing Jingle Bells. Sure he's off tune a bit but what da ya expect? He's dog for cryin' out loud! CLICK READ MORE to bring up video icon.


December 10, 2008

From an MTV unplugged show Ricky Martin does "Tu Recuerdo." Can't understand all the words (our Spanish is a bit rusty) but it's one of those great feel good Latin tunes. It is also one of those songs you have to be in the mood for but if you're there…you’ll like it.CLICK READ MORE to bring the video icon up.


December 08, 2008

So ya say ya had a bad day at work? Lost yer job Spunky? Came home to find the house flooded by the mighty Skykomish River and every stick of furniture and all the electronic stuff you ever owned is ruined? Then you find a note from your wife on the fridge saying she’s divorcing you because you’re a loser? Well this video will perk ya right up Spunky. It’s a dog that loves stealing sled from kids. This will make you smile. Really. Click READ MORE to bring up the video icon.

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