Monthly Archives: July 2016

HBO’s Vice Principals – psychopaths we always thought they were

HBO’s new series Vice Principals  proves that what we all believed as kids is true. Vice Principals are actually petty psychotic losers who use their meager power to bully and terrorize kids.

We were not expecting HBO’s Vice Principals to be any good.  The coming attractions looked stupid and Bill Murray was only in it for a short cameo. However, it turns out to be a really funny dark comedy. It goes way beyond the silly situation comedy we were expecting.

Danny McBride and Walton Goggins

Danny McBride and Walton Goggins

Neal Gamby (played by Danny McBride) and Lee Russel (Walton Goggins) feel cheated when neither is chosen to be the new school principal. They then team up to sabotage the new principal, Dr. Belinda Brown (Kimberly Hebert Gregory).

This is where HBO decides not to go the usual “safe” sitcom route. Instead of little stupid antics, Neal and Lee go into full  Terminator mode and actually burn down Dr. Brown’s house. They even steal jewelry from her home first.

Danny McBride, Kimberly Hebert Gregory and Walton Goggins

Danny McBride, Kimberly Hebert Gregory and Walton Goggins

Neal Gamby is the poster boy for bad Vice Principals. He has no interest in the students. He punishes kids for no reason. He searches their lockers,  and generally gets them to hate school. He is also the drivers-ed teacher, and just uses the kids to chauffeur him around to do all his errands. He is loud  and tough and threatening all the time.

Lee Russell is even worse since he is the passive-aggressive type of psychopath. On the outside he is  sweet and polite to everyone, while secretly working against anyone he perceives  as an enemy. He is the one who starts the fire in Dr. Brown’s home.

Somehow, however, you end up routing for these two horrible people. It is hard to explain why . It is sort of like  how you were on the side of Dexter even though he was a serial killer.

So give Vice Principals a look. If you ever hated a Vice Principal when you were in school this will show you you how lucky you were. You could have had one of these guys.

 

 

 

How to Keep “Roadies” From Getting Cancelled – 5 Suggestions

Most viewers have been very disappointed in Cameron Crowe’s show Roadies. The number of viewers has dropped by 16% from the first episode. People were hoping for better from the director of Almost Famous. Some viewers have said that Roadies should be renamed Almost Good. We at East Coast Stories believe that Roadies does have a huge amount of unfulfilled potential. Here are 5  recommended changes to keep Roadies from being cancelled.

  • Get rid of the Reg Whitehead (Rafe Spall) character completely. He is  is not a roadie. He has no interest in music, and his plot line is dull. Yet, he takes up a large percentage of the show. We are supposed to be intrigued by whether or not Reg and Kelly Ann (Imogen Poots) will ever hook up. The problem is that these two characters have no chemistry and no passion whatsoever. Reg is a cold British stick in the mud. For real passion, turn the channel and take a look at some of the soap operas on the Spanish stations. There is a reason why you never see the words, “British” and “steamy hot lover” in the same sentence.
Rafe Spell as Reg Whitehead in Roadies

Rafe Spell as Reg Whitehead in Roadies

  • Admit that the 1970’s over.Roadies pretends that a 2016 music tour still consists of “sex,  drugs and Rock & roll”. Those days ended long ago. The world now has AIDS, Lawsuits and Terrorism. Bands and roadies having  indiscriminate sex with underage groupies went out when AIDS, Herpes and drug-resistant Gonorrhea came in. There is also the ever-present threat of paternity lawsuits and statutory rape charges being filed.
Injured man from the eagles Of Death Metal concert in Paris. Others were not so lucky where 89 people died

Injured man from the Eagles Of Death Metal concert in Paris. Others were not so lucky where 89 people died

  • Show the real threats facing a rock tour in 2016 that were never even imagined by the 1970s’ bands. Roadies is wasting the potential of the terrific  actor Branscombe Richmond, who plays the security man Puna.  So far he has just walked around saying mysterious things and trying to thwart a gorgeous “stalker”/groupie named Natalie (played by Jacqueline Byers).  In 2016 there are a lot more dangerous threats than a girl trying to sleep with a band member. On Friday November  13th, 2016 at the Eagles Of Death Metal concert in Paris,  ISIS militants killed 89 people while coordinated terror attacks were taking place in other parts of Paris killing another 41. That is what the real life Punas are up against in 2016. It would make a great episode to show Puna save the concert from a deadly attack, all while the band members and concert goers remain blissfully unaware of how close they came to death.
Branscomne Richmond as security chief Puna on Roadies

Branscombe Richmond as security chief Puna on Roadies

Jacqueline Byers as stalker/groupie "Natalie".

Jacqueline Byers as stalker/groupie “Natalie”.

  • Have an episode where everything does NOT turn out OK in the end. Roadies is getting somewhat repetitive in that whatever goes wrong before the show, it ends up getting fixed and the concert goes great. In real life this doesn’t always happen.  Stages collapse.  Fans get into fights during shows. Audiences hate the songs and boo the acts off stage.  Who gets blamed for those incidents? In real life, shit rolls downhill and the roadies take the heat even if it was in no way their fault.
Luke Wilson as road manager Bill.

Luke Wilson as road manager Bill. Have him go berserk for once

  • Have Bill go berserk. Luke Wilson as Bill is just  way too laid back to be a credible road manager. Real road managers have to deal with union rules, unrealistic deadlines, damaged equipment, corrupt local officials,  and arrogant performers. Sometimes the laid back approach just doesn’t work and they totally “lose their shit” with obscenity laced screams and threats. Sometimes that is the only way to get the Teamster’s respect. We were on a flight once with the road manager of AC/DC. He showed us the  huge wad of cash he carries at all times in case he has to “grease the wheels” by bribing a local fire official, building inspector or union boss just before a show.   There needs to be an episode where Luke Wilson brings out the “dark side”  of Bill and scares the hell out of the other characters. The fact that it is so unexpected would make it great. At the end of the show, he could go back to being the same old super relaxed Bill. But people would never look at him quite the same way again.

We hope the writers don’t waste the opportunity on what could be a great and long running show. Roadies has an excellent ensemble  of experienced actors and an interesting concept. Now it just needs some better plot lines to reach its full potential.

Was Turkey’s Coup A Fake? 4 Reasons it looks like a fake.

Was there ever really a coup in Turkey, or was it a Wag The Dog scenario, in which President Tayyip Erdogan staged a fake coup for his own political purposes.  Here are 4 reasons it looks like a fake:

  • The Coup did not capture President Tayyip Erdogan. In fact, Erdogan he was on vacation in the seaside Turkish resort of Marmaris at the time of the coup.  Throughout the world, rule number 1 in any coup is to capture or kill the leader you are trying to dispose.  Security at Erdogan would have been lower than in Ankara, yet the coup was unable to get Erdogan.
Seaside villa in Marmaris Turkey where President Erdogan was during the coup

Seaside villa in Marmaris Turkey where President Erdogan was during the coup

  • Erdogan claims that Fethulla Gulen somehow orchestrated the coup from rural Pennsylvania. This is a ridiculous claim which no one believes. Although Fetulla Gulen is living a private life in the United States, there is no doubt that his communications are being monitored by the FBI and the NSA. There is no way he would have been able to coordinate with the Turkish military without the United States finding out abut it. Erdogan is using the failed coup as an attempt to extradite Fetulla Gulen to Turkey, where he no doubt would be imprisoned and possibly executed.
Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen is pictured at his residence in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania September 24, 2013. Born in Erzurum, eastern Turkey, Gulen built up his reputation as a Muslim preacher with intense sermons that often moved him to tears. From his base in Izmir, he toured Turkey stressing the need to embrace scientific progress, shun radicalism and build bridges to the West and other faiths. The first Gulen school opened in 1982. In the following decades, the movement became a spectacular success, setting up hundreds of schools that turned out generations of capable graduates, who gravitated to influential jobs in the judiciary, police, media, state bureaucracy and private business. Picture taken September 24, 2013. To match Insight TURKEY-ERDOGAN/GULEN REUTERS/Selahattin Sevi/Zaman Daily via Cihan News Agency (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS RELIGION) ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. TURKEY OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN TURKEY - RTX188UQ

Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen is pictured at his residence in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania

  • Only “Pawns” died in the coup. Brave civilians and some soldiers died in the coup, but there were no mass killings of top government officials. Rule number 2 of any coup is to capture or kill all the top officials who are loyal to the leader you are trying to dispose.
Turkish soldiers accused of participating in coup

Turkish soldiers accused of participating in coup

  • Erdogan immediately used the coup to make himself a dictator. The speed with which he rounded up and imprisoned 60,000 “supporters” of the coup made many in Turkey believe that these lists were already prepared.

 

Turkish soldier being beaten by civilians

Turkish soldier being beaten by civilians

So was the coup real or did Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan plan it all? Maybe he is just a strongman taking advantage of the coup to consolidate his power.  On the other hand, maybe Erdogan is a chess-master who sacrificed Turkish civilians and military conscripts to make the ultimate power grab.

Whatever the truth, the people in Turkey deserve better. They want real democracy and for a brief time they thought that is what they had from President Erdogan. Unfortunately he had other plans.

Lights Out – old time scary horror with a great new cast

There is nothing new in the plot of the horror movie Lights Out, but it is still scary as Hell. The cast is certainly one of the best  in this genre a long time. The star of the movie is Teresa Palmer. Not only is she beautiful, but she is perfect as Rebecca  – a modern, young,  strong woman torn between the conflicting demands of her life.

She is trying to save her brother and help her insane mother while at the same time  have some semblance of a romantic life with her boyfriend (Alexander DiPersia). We seldom see such complex characters in horror movies. Rebeca is an independent young woman who years before, set out on her own to escape her crazy mother Sophie (played by Maria Bello).

Teresa Palmer in "Lights Out"

Teresa Palmer in “Lights Out”

Sophie has been clinically depressed most of her life, and only got worse after her husband was murdered. She constantly scares her kids by taking in the dark to an imaginary friend named “Diana”.  Rebeca is glad to be away but feels guilty that she has left her young brother behind to have to live in this horrible environment.

Alexader DiPersia and Teresa are the best looking couple in a horror movie this year

Alexader DiPersia and Teresa are the best looking couple in a horror movie this year

Of course, since this is a horror movie, it comes as no great surprise that Diana is real and only appears at night when she comes back from the dead to terrorize and kill people. Also,  there is a power failure at a critical moment and flashlight batteries run out.

Alexander DiPersia in "Lights Out"

Alexander DiPersia in “Lights Out”

Have you ever wondered what would happen in a horror movie if a house was equipped with its own generator?

Gabriel Bateman and Teresa Palmer hide from the monster

Gabriel Bateman and Teresa Palmer hide from the monster

Despite the run of the mill horror plot the actors all do a great job with the material they were given. Young Gabriel Bateman is particularly good in his role as Martin, the terrified younger brother.

Veteran actor Maria Bello is also great as the mother Sophie. Despite the fact that the creature “Diana” is real, Sophie is still crazy. Maria Bello gives a wonderful performance as a woman struggling to protect her children while at the same time fighting through her own crushing mental illness.

Maria Bello at a premier. (And what is wrong with the guy with the cigarette in the upper right of the photo?)

Maria Bello at a premier. (And what is wrong with the guy with the cigarette in the upper right of the photo?)

Maria Bello is a little too young to be Teresa Palmer’s mother, but her acting is so good we will let the age difference slide.  By the way, we just had to show you this picture of Maria Bello at a premier. What the hell is going on with the guy with the cigarette in the upper right of the photograph?

We look forward to seeing more from all these great actors in the future.

Was HBO’s farce “The Brink” too close to reality?

HBO decided not to renew its terrific comedy The Brink for a second season.  Perhaps it scared viewers by being just a little too close to the truth. We wish that The Brink was still on the air.  The acting was superb and the writing was fantastic. With World events as crazy as they are now. if we don’t laugh at things the only alternative is to cry.

In The Brink the direction of U.S. foreign policy is a continual power struggle between sex-crazed politicians, religious zealots and war-happy military commanders. The other countries are no better. Many are run by insane dictators, violent religious groups, or just plain incompetent idiots.

Jack Black and Aasif Mandui in "The Brink"

Jack Black and Aasif Mandvi in “The Brink”

Jack Black plays a likable, but  not too, bright CIA operative in the Middle East. He knows none of the local languages or customs and his only real interest is in chasing women. Aasif Mandvi is his driver and assistant, who uses his real local knowledge to try to get the CIA to make some correct decisions

Tim Robbins as Secretary of State Walter Larson

Tim Robbins as Secretary of State Walter Larson

Tim Robbins is Secretary of State Walter Larson who fights a constant battle to keep the United States from starting a war for no reason. (Does anyone remember the phrase “weapons of mass destruction”?)

Pablo Schreibea and Eric Landin as Zeke and Jammer in The Brink

Pablo Schreiber and Eric Ladin as “Zeke” and “Jammer “in The Brink

Pable Schreiber and Eric Ladin are a Navy pilot and his weapons officer, whose lives are constantly being put a risk by idiotic decisions in Washington D.C.

Each week on The Brink , the world was saved from nuclear war by  sheer luck at the last minute. While funny to watch as a T.V. show, you can’t help but wonder how many of these  events actually happen in the real world. For example, the book Red Star Rogue by Kenneth Sewell, documents that in March 1968, a Soviet Submarine controlled by communist fanatics  tried to launch a nuclear missile strike on the West Coast of the United States. No one in America even found out about this for 20 years. How many other close calls happen ever day of which the general public is blissfully unaware?

 

The Night Of – the best new series on T.V.

HBO’s The Night Of is the best new series on T.V. It is a riveting drama about a young Pakistani man from Queens accused of a brutally murdering a rich White girl from Manhattan. Far better than the average crime drama, The Night Of gives a stark look at the violence, multi-level racial tensions and general anger than is pervasive in the American justice system.

Riz Ahmed who plays Nasir "Naz" Kahn

Riz Ahmed who plays Nasir “Naz” Kahn

Riz Ahmed is Nasir (“Naz”) Kahn,  a naive and shy  college student from a Pakistani family in Queens.  In Manhattan he meets a beautiful but somewhat crazy young woman (Andrea). Sofia Black-D’elia  gives a brilliant performance as Andrea. She is amused that Naz is so innocent, and leads him on a night of drugs and sex.  However, in the morning, Andrea is dead and Naz can’t remember what happened. (By the way, Sofia Black D’elia is a local girl, having grown up in Clifton New Jersey).

Sofia Black-D'Elia as murder victim Andrea Cornish

Sofia Black D’elia as murder victim Andrea Cornish

Every actor in the series is superb.  Bill Camp is Detective Dennis Box, who has perfected the art of speaking so kindly and gently to suspects that they are fooled into thinking he is actually a friend.

Bill Camp as Detective Dennis Box

Bill Camp as Detective Dennis Box

John Turturro is Naz’s lawyer Jack Stone, who is not fooled by Detective Box’s act. He tells his clients that Box is actually “a subtle beast.”

John Tutorro as lawyer Jack Stone in HBO's "The Night Of"

John Tutorro as lawyer Jack Stone in HBO’s “The Night Of”

The direction and cinematography in The Night Of is fantastic. You truly feel as if you are in a police station or a prison holding cell.

So far only the first 2 episodes have aired.  The Night Of is so good we wished we could binge watch the whole series right now. Like the rest of the world however, we will just have to wait to see what happens.

 

 

Freedom Dies in Turkey

The Turkish civilians have shown themselves to be among the bravest people on Earth. Unfortunately, the Turkish Parliament is full f cowards.  Unarmed civilians stood in front of tanks to guard their freedom from a military coup. Now the Turkish Parliament has voted that freedom away by giving President Erdogan almost unlimited dictatorial power.

Turkish civilian blocks tank.

Turkish civilian blocks tank.

President Erdogan has quickly used his new powers to imprison journalists, teachers, judges and government officials.  He is cracking down with a paranoid ruthlessness that would have made Joseph Stalin proud. No wonder Edrogan and Putin are getting along so well lately.

Erdogan and Putin. Is there really any difference between them?

Erdogan and Putin. Is there really any difference between them?

The United States and the European Union have expressed their concern. However, we all know that the U.S. and the E.U. will not actually do anything about it.

It is sad that the spark of freedom in Turkey was extinguished so quickly. It may be generations before it can be re-lit.

Roadies disrespects those who died at The Who concert in Cincinnati

On December 3, 1979,  The Who Played a concert at  Cincinnati with unassigned seating. Only 2 doors were opened and  18,348 people tried to rush inside to get good seats. Eleven people were trampled to death. In one episode, Roadies used the deaths of these 11 people as a cheap plot device.  In the show, someone utters the word “Cincinnati” and the roadies are worried about a curse.

To remove the “Cincinnati curse” the tour bus has to drive 100 miles and find 11 eggs and 11 balloons. The curse would be removed once the eggs were smashed and the balloons released.  The focus of the show was on the antics of the roadies as they searched for the eggs and balloons. This is extremely disrespectful to the families of the 11 people who died just trying to watch a concert.  Smashing 11 eggs and releasing balloons does not remove the hurt from these tragic and completely avoidable deaths.

Police remove bodies of the 11 people crushed in Cincinnati on Dec. 3, 1079

EMT workers remove bodies of the 11 people crushed in Cincinnati on Dec. 3, 1979

We at East Coast Stories would like to remind the writers of Roadies of the names of the people who died at The Who concert in Cincinnati on December 3, 1979.  They were crushed people, not eggs. Here is the list of names:

  • Teva Ladd
  • Walter Adams
  • James Warmoth
  • Phillip Snyder
  • David Heck
  • Stephen Preston
  • Peter Bowes
  • Connie Burns
  • Bryan Wagner
  • Karen Morrison
  • Jacqueline Eckerle
Police cover dead body at The Who Cincinnati concert

Police cover dead body at The Who Cincinnati concert

After this tragedy the Cincinnati town council outlawed open seating concerts to prevent another stampede from ever happening. However, after a few decades had passed and people began to forget, the law in Cincinnati was changed. Open seating at major concerts and events is once again legal in Cincinnati.

The Who Cincinnati concert pictures of the dead

The Who Cincinnati concert pictures of the dead

The city was afraid the law would reduce the number of concerts and therefore lower tax revenue.  Stadium owners say that “things have changed” and a deadly stampede at an open seating event could never happen again. Don’t believe it. It is just a matter of time until the tragedy is repeated.

Newspaper headline the day after The Who Cincinnati concert

Newspaper headline the day after The Who Cincinnati concert

Roadies on Showtime was  directed by Cameron Crowe, who made the wonderful film Almost Famous. Unfortunately,  Roadies just did not have the magic that made Almost Famous great.  The plots seemed forced and the characters came across as caricatures rather than  than real people.

Roadies smash eggs to get rid of the Cincinnati Curse

Roadies smash eggs to get rid of the Cincinnati Curse

Roadies, of course, is the nickname for all the laborers and technicians that work behind the scenes to make a rock tour happen. A good show about them could be very interesting, and we were looking forward to Roadies. However, it has so many problems we actually need to list them:

  • The band is not interesting – It even has a boring name. (The “Staton-House Band”). The term “house band” is usually a derogatory term used for the third rate  bands that play background music  in bars. Sort of like the “house wine” that you should avoid drinking.  We know that Roadies is supposed to be about the back-up people, but for the audience to care about them they have to also care about the band they are working for.  We can’t imagine anyone wanting to go see a show by the Station House Band. (Note to  to the hyper-“Roadies” fans who continue to to berserk about our post; yes we do know that the band name is supposed to be a combination of the last names of the key members of the bank. That does not make the bank any less dull.)
The WKRP In Cincinnati show tastefully discussed The Who Concert tragedy

The WKRP In Cincinnati show tastefully discussed The Who Concert tragedy

  • The Roadies are all pretentious jerks acting like they are cooler than anyone else. In Almost Famous the plot line was that  the the boy following the band was not cool and he knew it . He felt intoxicated just by being in the presence of the performers who were totally cool without even trying. The Roadies have the opposite problem. They think they are cool but are not even close to being so. Being someone who makes coffee for a musician does not make you cool. You are still just a high school drop-out who makes coffee.
  • The show can’t decide on a character to follow – In going for multiple plot lines, Roadies has not given us enough backstory on any one of the characters for the audience to care about them.  Imogen Poots plays Kelly Ann, who has the opportunity to move on to better educational and job opportunities but decides instead to remain as a low level back stage worker. What the show never answers satisfactorily is “why”?
  • Very little music is played. We hear a few snippets of famous songs and nothing of what the Staton-House Band plays. Characters talk a lot about how much they love the music. And talk and talk and talk. It would be much better if Roadies actually let us hear the music and watch their expressions.
The Who

The Who

At least after this one episode,  Roadies  did not resort to any more offensive tricks like trying to get ratings by bringing up the memory of the 11 people crushed at The Who concert. We were afraid they might stoop even lower by , having the tour bus cursed since someone mentions 9/11 or the World Trade Center.

Eyewitness account of the stampede at the Who Concert in Cincinnati

Eyewitness account of the stampede at the Who Concert in Cincinnati

The Roadies writers were never able to step up their game.  When the show was on the air, we wrote a number of posts with suggestions of plots that might have made Roadies a success. However, the show continued on its long dull trip and finally just fizzled out.

Luis Guzman as Gooch on Roadies, explains the Cincinnati Curse

Luis Guzman as Gooch on Roadies, explains the Cincinnati Curse

  • Editor’s Note –  Roadies was cancelled at the end of Season 1 after lackluster ratings. However, people continue to be interested in reading about The Who concert tragedy in Cincinnati.  This continues to be one of our most read most read posts. We get messages from people from  all over the world who  never knew about the tragedy and who feel for those killed and injured in the event. Thank you for your good wishes. Unfortunately, we also continue to get hate emails from fans who liked the show Roadies, and blame our series of posts in East Coast Stories for having gotten it cancelled. To those people we can only say, remember that Roadies was after all just a T.V. show, while the people who died at The Who concert in Cincinnati were real.
A security guard and an unidentified man look at an area where several people were killed

A security guard and an unidentified man look at an area where several people were killed as they were caught in a surging crowd entering Cincinnati’s Riverfront Coliseum for a Who concert on Monday. Shoes and clothes were strewn around the area where the people were killed and injured, shown Dec. 4, 1979. (AP Photo/Brian Horton)

Unlike Roadies, WKRP treated The Who Concert tragedy with respect

Unlike Roadies, WKRP treated The Who Concert tragedy with respect

Tijen Karas

Tijen Karas is the brave and beautiful Turkish anchorwoman of TRT who was forced at gunpoint to read the demands of the coup leaders.

Turkish news anchor who was forced at gunpoint to read the statement from the leaders of the coup

Tijen Karas is the Turkish news anchor who was forced at gunpoint to read the statement from the leaders of the coup

Outside the studio there was a running gun-battle and a fire raged in front of the building.  Still Tijen Karas maintained her composure throughout.

Tijen Karas at home

Tijen Karas at home

Later civilians and police stormed the TRT studio and took control back from the rebels. Tijen Karas could have then fled for home, but instead stayed on the air and reported the chaos as it took place around her.

Tijen Karas earlyon Turkish TV TRT

Tijen Karas onTurkish TV TRT

Tijen Karas proved herself to be more than “just a pretty face” as she interviewed the civilians who had risked their lives to fight the coup.

Tijen Karas

Tijen Karas

This was the last thing she had expected that morning. Being on the air at 2am means there is usually not much to report but the weather.

Tijen Karas

Tijen Karas

Most American news stations are so caught up in the Republican convention preparations that they have spent very little time on the failed Turkish Coup and have not even mentioned Tijen Karas. Even Euronews identified her only as “the blonde anchorwoman”.

Tijen Karas - news professional

Tijen Karas – news professional

Tijen Karas is a credit to news reporters everywhere. She reminds us that even in the most trying circumstances, some people can maintain their composure and professionalism.

 

 

 

 

By the end

Would Americans Be As Brave As The Turks?

Would American civilians stand up for democracy the way the Turks did? Hundreds of thousands of Turkish civilians blocked soldiers and tanks to prevent a military coup of the elected government. At least 265 people died fighting  the coup attempt.

The Turkish flag is now a symbol of freedom

The Turkish flag is now a symbol of freedom

Of course, as Americans, we like to think we would do the same. But would we really ? In the  last Presidential election only 58% of Americans eligible to vote even bothered  to show up to flip a lever. How many would go out and stand in front of a tank?

Turkish civilians blocking tank

Turkish civilians blocking tank

We Americans love to talk about how brave we are and how much we love freedom. But as they say,  “Talk is cheap”.

Turkish news anchor who was forced at gunpoint to read the statement from the leaders of the coup

Turkish news anchor Tijen Karas who was forced at gunpoint to read the statement from the leaders of the coup

At 2am, armed soldiers took over the television station TRT and the Turkish anchorwoman Tijen Karas was forced at gunpoint to read a statement given to her by the coup leaders. Later civilians and regular police took back the station and drove out the coup soldiers. Instead of fleeing for home, the young anchorwoman continued on the air and reported the events as they happened. Frightened and drenched in sweat, Tijen Karas stayed in crowded studio conducting live interviews with the civilians who had freed her.  So far, American most  news has not even mentioned the name of Tijen Karas..

Definitely Turkey deserves to call itself “the home of the brave”.  If it will ever  be the “land of the free” still remains to be seen. Unfortunately  President Erdogan is using  this opportunity to crack down and restrict freedom for all, instead of just going after those seeking violence.  Thousands have now been thrown in prison or forced out of their jobs as Erdogan “purges” the country of opposition.

What we do know for certain is that the average Turkish civilian loves freedom and democracy and is willing to fight for it at a moment’s notice. We have always thought of these as “American” values. Apparently they are Turkish ones as well.

Will the Turkish civilians ever  get the democracy and freedom they risked their lives for? So far it looks like they may just end up with a dictatorship disguised  as a democracy. These brave Turks deserve better than that.

 

The Tattered Princess and Her Walk of Shame

Kirsten knew that the moment she stepped out onto the sidewalk in an evening dress, she would be labeled a slut. There were always paparazzi in front of this hotel. There was no way she could even make it to a taxi without at least 20 pictures being taken.

Kirsten lay naked in bed and looked at the clock. God, it was already 10:30am! Soon housekeeping would be knocking on the door. And where the hell was Richard? Then she vaguely remembered that he had left late last night to go home to his wife. At least he had booked the room in a fake name, and no one had seen her come in last nght.

For the hundredth time Kirsten wondered how stupid she could be to have an affair with a married man.  And how stupid was Richard’s wife? How many late night “production meeting” did she believe he really had?

Of course, if Kirsten was a different type of actress, none of this would have mattered. If she played the sexy tramp in movies, her off-screen affairs would have actually boosted her career.

Walk 1

But Kirsten’s persona was the “Good Girl”. In comedies she was the High School sweetheart. In horror films she was the virgin who stayed alive while the killer butchered the sluts. Of course, the biggest money makes were when she played magical princesses.  Kirsten’s slim features, small stature and sweet looks meant  that she constantly played characters 10 or 15 years younger than her real age of 28.

Kirsten got out of bed, put on her bra and panties, and considered her options. There was nothing in the room to wear except her floor length, black evening dress and  high heals. She could call the studio then decided against it. They had been looking for a reason to break her contract and bring in a younger less expensive actress. Kirsten was pretty sure there was a “morals clause” busied somewhere in her contract.

There was no way  Kirsten was going to break her contract. She loved the money, and there was no way she was going back to being poor.

Out of habit, Kirsten  picked up the remote and clicked on the T.V.  The channel that came on was the internal one showing all of the day’s events at the hotel. Kirsten sat on the bed and vaguely watched while she tried to think of a way out of her situation. Then as she read through the events, she had a Epiphany. She searched thought the closet and drawers of the hotel room until she found  what she was looking for. The hotel sewing kit was small and the scissors were tiny, but they would work.

“If they want me to be a princess, then I’ll be a goddamned princess!” Kirsten said to herself.

Later than evening Kirsten was alone in her apartment, feeling tired, but satisfied. She has made it through another day with her “good girl” image intact.  She sipped a glass of white  wine and turned on the local  news. She had to sit through 15 minutes of stories about fires and car wrecks until the program got to the “feel good” portion of the news.

The anchor woman read the story,

“Today children at the Excelsior Hotel got a thrill when Kirsten O’Reilly showed up at the annual fundraising event for underprivileged youth.  Kirsten was dressed as her famous character ‘The Tattered Princess’ complete with the magic cape and ripped beggar girl dress. Lovers of that movie will remember that the barefoot beggar girl in the ripped dress turns into a princess when she finds a magic cape.”

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Kirsten gulped down more wine as the news program continued. It showed Kirsten smiling to the kids and shaking hands while the fund raisers thanked her profusely for coming. The tattered dress was a $5,000 Versache gown she had cut to ribbons with the hotel scissors. The “magic cape” was the comforter from the hotel bed.

Kirsten shook her head when she realized how close her career had come to ending today. She vowed she would never have another affair. But the fundraiser had been hosted by a very handsome man named John Reynolds. He had invited Kirsten to go swimming at his place in The Hamptons that weekend.   John had also mentioned that his wife would be out of town for a few weeks. When no one else was looking he slipped Kirsten his cell phone number.

Kirsten reached for more wine and on the table saw the piece of paper with John’s cell phone number on it.  “I would have to be crazy to call him,” she said out loud.

Kirsten drank some more wine and then spoke to herself again. “Of course, the weather is going to be very hot this weekend, and The Hamptons are beautiful.” Then she sighed, and reached over for the slip of paper.

 

 

 

Is Alicia von Rittberg Pregnant?

Is Alicia von Rittberg pregnant? Alicia von Rittberg is best known to U.S. audiences as Emma in the movie Fury, and Natasha in Our Kind of Traitor. How did these rumors start, and who is the suspected father?

Oct 5, 2015 Twitter post reading "sorry I didn't tell you any earlier!"

Oct 5, 2015 Twitter post reading “sorry I didn’t tell you any earlier!”

Well, the rumors began soon after the U.S. release of Our Kind of Traitor. In that film, Alicia von Rittberg plays Natasha, the daughter of a Russian crime boss. Natasha is secretly pregnant, and is petrified of telling her violent father. That is why Natasha wears baggy clothing instead of the form fitting outfits a beautiful young woman would normally wear.

Alicia and friends squinting in the Sun

Alicia and friends squinting in the Sun. Is one of these handsome guys the baby’s father?

After the release of the film rumors started that this was not in the original script and that the writers had to put it in because Alicia von Rittberg was pregnant.  Of course, anyone who read the book Our Kind of Traitor, knows this is nonsense.  Natasha’s pregnancy is a major sub-plot in the book.

However, once the rumors of Alicia’s pregnancy began, fans began searching for pictures of her on the internet. They soon found a Twitter picture of Alicia von Rittnerg 7 months pregnant. Once that picture began to circulate fans were convinced that Alicia von Rittberg is about to have a baby.

What people failed to notice is that the pregnant picture originated from a Twitter picture Alicia von Rittberg posted in October 2015. In it she said, “Sorry I didn’t tell you any earlier!” If you look closely at the picture, you will see that she is clearly on a movie set and  that this is part of a costume! Alicia was joking to the fans, but some of them just did not get it!

Fans in the United States Really want to see Alicia von Rittberg in more American films. She is doing a lot of work in Germany, but we want her here. Come on Germany! Stop keeping Alicia von Rittnerg all to yourself.

Begin Again – Keira Knightly’s debut singing career

Begin Again is a wonderful film that is sort of a cross between Once, and Lost In Translation. It stars Keira Knightly as Greta, a shy singer/songwriter. And guess what? Keira Knightly has a soft beautiful singing voice that is wonderful to hear. It is hard to believe that no one ever had her sing in a movie before. We give Begin Again one of our very rare Five Stars!  The Song Coming Up Roses is fantastic.

Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightly on a New York subway

Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightly on a New York subway

Mark Ruffalo is Dan,  a semi-alcoholic music producer whose personal life is a disaster. He sees Greta give a terrible performance at a New York bar, but immediately recognizes how great she could be with the right band and arrangements.

Keira Knightly, Hailee Steinfield and Mark Ruffalo in Begin Again

Keira Knightly, Hailee Steinfield and Mark Ruffalo in Begin Again

Greta and Dan begin a relationship similar to that of Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray in Lost  in  Translation. They are at different stages in the lives and each desperately needs a true friend  to talk to.

Dan and Greta love the City of New York, and decide to make an “outdoor album”, staging unauthorized quick mini-concerts throughout New York and filming them.

Hailee Steinfield who plays Violet in Begin Again

Hailee Steinfield who plays Violet in Begin Again

Hailee Steinfield is  fantastic as  Violet, Dan’s beautiful teenage daughter, who  is going though complications in her own life. ( Most people only recognize Hailee Steinfield as being part of Taylor Swift’s Girl Squad.)  Greta is able to show Dan how to reconnect with his daughter.  Cathleen Keener is Dan’s estranged wife Miriam. There relationship can only be described as “complicated”.

Cathleen Keener who plays Miriam in Begin Again

Cathleen Keener who plays Miriam in Begin Again

We highly recommend this film and want to download the soundtrack.

 

The Killer’s Wife – a novel of the “other victim”

Can you have sex with a man night after night and not suspect that he is a murderer? Why didn’t you notice the scratches on his body and the faint smell of still-fresh blood?  Was there anything you could have done to stop his killing spree? These are the questions that haunt Leigh, the heroine of The Killer’s Wife by Bill Floyd.

Can you really have sex with a killer and never suspect?

Can you really have sex with a killer and never suspect?

Six years after her husband was sent to death row for a series of brutal ritualistic murders, Leigh has tried to rebuild her life.  She got a divorce, legally changed her name, moved to a new State. But there is no escaping the past.

The father of one of the murder victims tracks Leigh down and exposes her to the community. Leigh is no longer the friendly co-worker and neighbor. Overnight she becomes the feared and despised wife of a sadistic deranged killer. Many people believe that Leigh is not really an innocent victim at all, but actually joined her husband on his killing rampages.

The Killer's Wife

The Killer’s Wife

When Leigh feels things could not get any worse, the nightmare begins again with a series of murders using the same horrible techniques. With her ex-husband in a maximum security prison who is the killer?

Author Bill Floyd

Author Bill Floyd

The Killer’s Wife is an extraordinarily well written debut novel of Bill Floyd. It is exciting throughout and would make an excellent movie. If you enjoyed The Girl On The Train, you will love The Killer’s Wife.

 

 

Pawn Stars – lessons on how to cheat customers

Pawn Stars on The History Channel is an annoying show to watch for the simple reason that the “stars” of the show continually cheat their own customers. They are not nice guys to be admired.  They are con men using some of the oldest tricks in the book to take advantage of people who trust them to get a good price for the merchandise . Let’s take a look at how we know these guys are really crooks.

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  • Asking customers “how much do you want?” – Most people bringing an object into  the store to be sold, have done absolutely no research ahead of time as to how much it is worth. Reputable buyers never start by asking someone “how much do your want?” This is a trick question designed to see if the seller even has any idea of the price range that type of object sells for.  A potential seller should never answer that question.  Otherwise you risk saying you want $200 when the first offer from the purchaser would have been $3,500.
  • The Pawn Stars team brings in their own “independent” experts . If you are trying to sell something, it is idiotic to let the person you are trying to sell it to pick an “expert” to tell you how much it is worth. Yet this happens on Pawn Stars almost every episode. The so-called independent appraisers are friends of and have an ongoing business relationship with the owners of the pawn shop. They are not going to jeopardize that for  a customer they just met and will only deal with once. The experts are always going to low-ball the price.

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  • They gang up on the customer – It is a normal psychological trait that the more people telling you something, the more you tend to believe it.  The Pawn Stars take advantage of this fact  by “just happening” to wander over when a customer starts getting stubborn  about a price.  By the end of a negotiation, Chumlee, Rick Harrison, Richard Benjamin Harrison and Craig Gottlieb will all be standing there with serious faces telling a customer that the price they are offering is the highest they will get anywhere. The customer is usually alone so it is 4 against 1. Usually 1 person has a hard time arguing against 4 other people, and the customer almost always takes the low price being offered.
  • Pawn Stars never shows the objects being re-sold –Notice that the show only focuses on the Pawn Stars buying objects from people. The show never shows these objects being re-sold. That is because it would quickly demonstrate what thieves these “stars” are if it showed them turning around and re-selling the objects for 3 or 4 times what they just paid for them. It would be obvious that they had lied with a straight face about what the objects were worth. Notice that there are always hundreds of people in the store buying things, but that the cameras never focus on any of them.

The best moments on Pawn Stars are when a potential seller refuses to take the ridiculously low price being offered and simply walks out of the store.  Sadly, this very seldom happens.

Despite its flaws, Pawn Stars does provide very valuable lessons for anyone looking to sell anything.  Here are a few tips for all would-be sellers.

  • Do your homework. Use the internet to research what your object is worth.
  • Never use a buyer’s independent appraiser.  If you have a specialty items that needs to be appraised, spend a few dollars and pay for your own appraisal.
  • Never go to a pawn shop to sell anything.  Of all the establishments buying things, pawns shops pay absolutely the lowest prices.  Go instead to a store that specializes in the type of item you have, whether it is an antique plate, a comic book or a firearm.
  • Walk away the second you get the slightest feeling you are being cheated. In other words, pay attention to that “sixth sense”. If you get even the slightest little tingle that  you are being cheated, then you probably are.

We hope these hints will help keep future sellers from being cheated. For most of the customers of The World Famous Gold & Silver Shop, it is already too late.

 

 

Cool Cat and Bunny On A Hot day

There is an old Arab expression that, “The heat of the day can be told by the length of the cat.”  In Winter, cats curl up into tight heat-saving balls. However, now that sweltering Summer is here, cats stretch to their full Length.

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This is Lubby, a 14 year-old Ragdoll stretched out on the couch. In the background you can make out his bunny friend, Sunshine, also stretched out.

On a hot day Sunshine relaxes on the cool slate by the fireplace.

On a hot day Sunshine relaxes on the cool slate by the fireplace.

About two years ago Sunshine the Bunny was tossed out of a car window at a busy intersection in New Jersey.  He was rescued and now lives happily with the Gentle Woman.  Like his friend the cat, he has learned to stretch out on a hot day.

Lubby the ragdoll cat relaxes on a warm day

Lubby the ragdoll cat relaxes on a warm day

Sunshine who was found abandoned, has been in his new how now for 2 years

Sunshine who was found abandoned, has been in his new how now for 2 years

Animals – a masterpiece by David Dastmalchian

The 2014 independent film Animals is an extraordinarily well done study of the lives of two young heroin addicts. Although they are the stars of the movie, we did not really like them. In fact, we found these two addicts to be disgusting creatures that preyed on everyone around them.

David Dastmalchian & Kim Shaw in Animals

David Dastmalchian & Kim Shaw in Animals

David Dastmalchian (Jude) and Kim Shaw (Bobbie) are able to get away with their crimes and deceptions because they do not fit the stereotypes that society has of drug addicts. They are White, young, and good looking. They are well spoken and sometimes well dressed. They have a car.

Jude & Bonnie stroll romantically, while actually looking for things to steal

Jude & Bonnie stroll romantically, while actually looking for things to steal

Because of their appearance they can walk into a store or a party without attracting  the attention that they would get if they were African American.  In one scene they stroll romantically down the Chicago beachfront and Jude quickly snatches the wallet some swimmer has left on a towel.

The cute lunch box is actually filled with drugs and needles

The cute lunch box is actually filled with drugs and needles

But despite their preppie appearances, they are hard core heroin addicts, willing to do anything for a fix. In one disturbing scene, Bobbie spills her heroin on the filthy  floor of a disgusting roach infested  bathroom. Without even a moment’s hesitation, she still scoops up the drug and injects it into her arm.

You know it is going to end badly. Bonnie and Jude look worse and worse as the film goes on, and they are willing to do ever more dangerous things to get drug money. But they don’t consider themselves to have a problem. They just think of themselves as so much cooler and smarter than everyone else. They are even willing to take the chance of having Bonnie pretend to be a prostitute, and then robbing the John.

We highly recommend this film. It was written by David Dastmalchian, who is an excellent writer as well as actor. The characters all come across as real people, even if they are not the type of people you would ever want to associate with.

The only problem with the film is the title. Unfortunately a huge number of movies, T.V. shows and even cartoons have the title “Animal” or “Animals.” This makes the film difficult to find when you want to look for it.  So make sure you specify that you want the  film Animals. It is well worth the search.

 

Those That Wake – a novel of struggle for the human spirit

In the novel Those That Wake by Jesse Karp, a small group of people from different walks of life suddenly begin to notice things  they never saw before. Strange doors appear where there should be none. There is building in the center of New York that everyone else just walks by without even seeing it.

Those That Wake by Jesse Karp

Those That Wake by Jesse Karp

Those That Wake takes place in the not so distant future in New York City. Although the city is teeming with people, they have become completely isolated from each other with their heads always looking down  into their cell phones instead of up  at each other.

The main characters of the novel are two teenagers, Mal and Laura. They are among “those that wake”. However, there is a price to be paid for seeing things as they really are. As soon as they begin to notice what is going on, bad things happen in their lives. Friends and relatives no longer remember who they are. People tray to kill them.

Mal states that , “I think there’s a secret machinery that makes the world work that we’re not supposed to see, and we saw it. And now we’re paying the price.”

Jesse Karp

Jesse Karp

Bookstores place Those That Wake under the category of “Teen Fiction” or “Young Adult”. There is a special alienation that one feels as a teenager. Teenagers often feel that adults are trying to hide from them the true nature of the world and that adults have comfortably settled into a mind-numbing apathy. All too often, teenagers are completely correct in these assumptions.

Those That Wake is an excellently written novel and is a fascinating read for people of all ages, not just teenagers.  The point that we should never allow depression, apathy and hopelessness to rule our lives is a message people need to remember throughout their lives. We recommend this book even if your “young adult” days are many years behind you.

 

The Shallows – Ernest Hemingway would have loved it

Ernest Hemingway would have loved The Shallows. Like his Old Man and The Sea it is about the struggle of one individual in the ocean who refuses to yield to more powerful forces of nature and beast. Of course, Blake Lively is no old man. Her character (Nancy)  is an extraordinarily beautiful young woman just trying to have a day of relaxing surfing on a secluded  Mexican beach.

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At the end of the day, when the beach is deserted, Nancy decides to stay and ride one last wave before the sun goes down. That is when she spots a dead whale floating offshore.

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The body of the whale has attracted a huge shark which quickly turns its attention to the fresher meat of a surfer. Nancy gets a deep bite from the shark but is able to climb onto a small rock a few hundred yards offshore. Her only hope for survival is to be able to get to the beach before the tide comes in and the rock disappears under the waves.

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The Shallows is fast-paced and exciting. Nancy’s struggle against the shark is completely realistic. She does not do anything super human. The Shallows shows just how weak human beings really are compared to a creature like a shark.

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We do not want to give anything more away, other than to say that the suspense and excitement lasts throughout the movie.

Our Kind Of Traitor – movie review

Our Kind Of Traitor is a mediocre adaptation of a wonderful John LeCarre novel. It is about a high ranking Vory (Russian mob) member who has decided to reveal the details of how illegal money is being laundered through London banks. He is willing to risk his life to bring this crucial information to the authorities.

Ewin McGregor & Naomie Harris

Ewin McGregor & Naomie Harris

Ewin McGregor and Naomie Harris are a married British couple (Perry & Gail) who are  on holiday. They are befriended by the Russian mobster Dima (played by Stellan Skarsgard) and his large family. He comes to trust them and asks Perry to tell MI6 in London about his offer to exchange information in return for asylum  for his whole family.

Damian Lewis and Stellan Skarsgard in Our Kind of Triator

Damian Lewis and Stellan Skarsgard in Our Kind of Traitor

Perry and Gail are just ordinary people, but they realize that the lives of the entire family are at risk, so they agree to help.

Damian Lewis

Damian Lewis

Damian Lewis is the Mi6 agent Hector, who sets up an off the books plan for the family to get to London.

Our Kind Of Traitor has lots of good points and action scenes, but it just does not hold up to the book.  The issue is that it has been “dumbed  down” too much for the movie audience. Much of the complexity of the characters has been left out.

Alicia von Rittberg ( far right) as Natasha in Our Kind of Traitor

Alicia von Rittberg ( far right) as Natasha in Our Kind of Traitor

The biggest disappointment in Our Kind Of Traitor is the way the movie failed to properly use the talents if Alicia von Rittberg in her role as Natasha. In the book,  Natasha is a major character with a complex and moving subplot of her own. She and Gail become close friends and she tells Gail the secrets she dare not mention to her own parents.  That’s why we were looking forward so much to seeing  Alicia von Rittberg playing this role.

Alicia von Rittberg

Alicia von Rittberg

However, in the movie version, Alicia von Rittberg’s Natasha hardly has any lines at all, and no meaningful interaction with Gail.  When Natasha does finally reveal one secret the audience does not care, since we don’t know anything else about her as a character. It is disappointing that the director chose to just leave out a major part of the book, when Alicia von Rittberg was the perfect actress to play Natasha as John Le Carre had intended.

The talents of the great actor Damian Lewis were also not used to their full capacity. He was much better in the American T.V. show Homeland, in which we were never sure if he was a hero or a villein.  In the movie Our Kind of Traitor, the director chose to have him play the classic action hero we have seen in countless other films.

Despite being a British film Our Kind Of Traitor chose to insert a “Hollywood ending”  that was not in John Le Carre’s novel. Lovers of John Le Carre’s novels know that he always has the lines between good and evil, right and wrong to be very blurry.  Not a single John LeCarre novel was ever meant to have a Hollywood Ending.

 

 

Where The Truth Lies – movie review

Where The Truth Lies is an erotic thriller about the strange death of a beautiful young woman found naked in the hotel suite of a popular comedy team. Colin Firth and Kevin Bacon star as” Vince & Lanny”,  who are big night club and television stars in the 1950s. Though known as “nice guys” to the public, off-stage they are sleazy womanizers and drug users.

Colin Firth & Kevin Bacon as the sleazy comedy team Vince & Lanny

Colin Firth & Kevin Bacon as the sleazy comedy team Vince & Lanny

The duo abruptly splits apart in 1957 after a naked woman is found in the bathtub of their hotel suite in New Jersey.

Alison Lohman

Alison Lohman

It is now 15 years later and Karen O’Connor (beautifully played by Alison Lohman) is an investigative writer digging to find our exactly what really happened in New Jersey in 1957.  The more she digs, the more complicated and more upsetting the situation becomes.

Rachel Blanchard, as Maureen, who later is found dead in a bathtub under mysterious circumstances

Rachel Blanchard, as Maureen, who later is found dead in a bathtub under mysterious circumstances

The dead girl was no stranger to Lanny and Vince. Maureen (perfectly played by Rachel Blanchard) was young and beautiful but certainly not innocent. Was she a lover, a drug addict, or a blackmailer?

Alison Lohman & David Hayman

Alison Lohman & David Hayman

The key to the mystery appears to be Vince’s valet Reuben (David Hayman). Though quiet and subservient he has stayed loyal to the team for decades and knows all.

Alison Lohman & Kevin Bacon

Alison Lohman & Kevin Bacon

Karen wants to solve the mystery, but she also desperately wants to believe that underneath all the sleaze Vince & Lanny really are the wonderful guys they appeared to be on T.V.

Where The Truth Lies is a classic mystery where the plot has many unexpected twists and the full truth is not revealed until the very end.   Like any good mystery, the clues were throughout the film, but we had not guessed the ending. It is well worth watching.

 

The Imitation Game movie review

Nazi Germany was winning the war and the British people were literally starving to death as U-Boats sank convoys trying to carry  food to the United Kingdom. The greatest hope for victory was that the British would be able to crack the Nazi secret code and intercept their military messages.  The Imitation Game is the true account of the odd group of mathematicians and misfits brought in by British Intelligence to try to break the German code.

Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing with the computer he designed to decode Nazi messages

Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing with the computer he designed to decode Nazi messages

The leader and oddest of all is is Alan Turing (perfectly played by Benedict Cumberbatch). He realized that traditional code breaking techniques would never work. The Germans used an Enigma Machine which has 159 million possibilities for code setting. In addition, the settings were changed every 24 hours. Turing decides that no human can compete  with this, and that he will need to develop his own machine to decode the messages. Today we would call this a computer, but in 1940 the concept seemed like something out of science fiction.

Kira Knightly as Joan Clarke in The Imitation Game

Kira Knightly as Joan Clarke in The Imitation Game

Keira Knightly plays Joan Clarke, who is even better at solving puzzles and math equations than Turing. At that time in history, however, women were not accepted as mathematicians and the military people want her to be in the secretary pool. But Turing does not think like most people, and he immediately finds a kindred spirit in Joan and has her join his team.

The title The Imitation Game is a double or even triple entente. Turing was one of the first people to theorize that in the future machines would be able to think and become self-aware. He developed the Turing Test to determine if a machine was actually thinking, or just imitating someone thinking.

Kira Knightly, Mark Strong and Benedict Cumberbatch

Kira Knightly, Mark Strong and Benedict Cumberbatch

The second imitation has to do with the fact that Alan Turning himself was imitating being a “normal” person. He was a homosexual, which was illegal at that time and could even get a person sent to prison.  In fact, the movie begins after the war when Alan Turning has been arrested for allegedly consorting with a male prostitute.

The third imitation has to do with what happens if the group is successful at breaking the German code. They realize that to keep the Germans from changing the code, they would have to imitate that the information was coming from somewhere else.

During World War II there were secrets withing secrets withing secrets. Puzzles were not games for fun. They were crucial weapons of war needed to keep thousands of people from dying.

The Imitation Game is an excellent movie, and the characters come across as real people in times of unimaginable stress.