Posts by markgpl

Participate now!

Don’t have an account yet? Register yourself now and be a part of our community!

    I still enjoy going out to the movies once in a while - big screen / big sound, but I'm pretty selective about the films I'll see.

    And I have to agree with alot of the other posters here about the prices at the stands. They are brutal - I usually get myself a big bag of popcorn - costs me about $5 or $6 - and probably consists of about $0.50 worth of popcorn kernels. I would love to have the concession stand there.

    Same story up in Toronto - you try to bring anything in and it's confiscated.

    Sporting events have to be the worst, though -I used to take in alot Toronto Blue Jays games and eventually stopped going - just couldn't take the $6.00 hot dogs and the $3 / $4 medium cokes.

    Let's face it- they have you by the "short hairs" once you're past the turnstiles.

    No argument on Field of Dreams - it definitely touches a nerve everytime I see it because so much of it I can relate to.

    Growing up in So. California, I used to play alot of baseball and I was a pretty good hitter - good enough, in fact, to be scouted and offered a minor league contract in the Cincinnati Reds organization.

    But my dad and I had a falling out over something so stupid and so petty that I can't even remember what it was about now, but we went through alot of years where we had very little to say to each other and when we did actually talk, it was usually an argument.

    And he never saw me play or came to any of my games and blah - blah - blah.

    My father is dead now and now that I'm a father, when I look back, I know so much of it was my fault when I was younger and alot stupider and all he ever did was to work hard to put a good roof over the heads of his family and do the best he could.

    And so in the final scene when Kevin Costner is having a game of catch with his dad, who also died many years earlier, it never fails to conjure up memories of my dad and all of the things I wish I had said to him when he was alive. Mainly "thanks for being such a great father to me"..!!

    I know it's an incredibly cynical point of view, but I've always had this opinion that the lowest form of life on the planet is a child molester - and a notch above them is either the politicians and/or the lawyers (my apologies to any lawyers on this forum).

    I've lived in Canada for quite a few years now and up here, the goverment consists of people referred to as Members of Parliament. And technically, they're referred to as the "Honorable Member of Parliament".

    I guess the thinking is that if the voter hears the word "Honorable" enough when talking about a Member of Parliament, they actually begin to believe it.

    i guess it's not dissimilar to a used car salesman referred to as "honest Joe Smith" in his advertisments.

    Boy, it's tough to narrow it down as there's been so many good ones over the years.

    But I'll throw a few of these out in no particular order:

    1. The Dirty Dozen - one of those movies that I've seen a hundred times and if I'm flipping channels and it's on TV, I'll watch it again.

    2. The Great Escape - same as above.

    3. Saving Private Ryan - the opening scene with the troops landing on the beaches of Normandy is as "realistic" as it must have actually been.

    4. The Blue Max - I was always fascinated by the fighter pilots and the planes of the 1st world war. They said the average age of a pilot was 19 years old and the average life span was 3 weeks. And still young guys lined up to join to get out of the trenches.

    5. From Here To Eternity - maybe not a pure war / action film, but a great story.

    6. Tora Tora Tora - I enjoyed the film as it presented both the American and Japanese perspective. And I especially liked Admiral Yamamoto's prophetic remarks at the end of the film when the Japanese are all patting themselves on the back for a successful mission and he comments that all they have done is to awaken a sleeping giant.

    7.Black Hawk Down

    8. A Bridge Too Far

    9. Patton - incredible performance by George C. Scott in the title role.

    10. Battle of Britain - an outnumbered RAF goes to-to-toe with superior Lufwafte (sp..?) and prevails - perhap's Britain's finest hour in WW2.

    11. Zulu - an incredible movie of bravery and heroism about a small group of British soldiers fending off superior numbers of Zulu's. Something like a half a dozen Victoria Crosses (the equiv. of the Medal of Honor) were handed out to the surviving soldiers.

    11. The Eagle Has Landed - based on a Jack Higgins book about a daring German plot to assassinate Churchill.

    12. The Bridge On The River Kwai - one of the best British war films ever made.

    13. Platoon - although I'm not a big fan of Oliver Stone, this was his finest film IMO.

    14. Windtalkers - perhaps not usually included in somebody's list of best films, but I enjoyed this movie about the Navaho's code during the war in the Pacific.

    15. Schindler's List - an incredible story by Steven Spielberg.

    Well, I'll cap it at these 15, but a dozen others quickly come to mind - i.e. The Desert Rats / Midway / The Desert Fox / etc. I can't name my FAVORITE - impossible for me to narrow it down to just one film.

    The above "Revolving Door" statement is true. I saw it happen time tens of thousands of times over a four year period. I worked at two Transfer Facilities (which are the most dangerous to work at) and one Trustee Camp-which is just a step above what I call, regular prisons.

    Ringo Kid:

    While the majority of us debate these types of questions as "bystanders", I enjoy and respect your views because you experienced it first hand. I only read about the types of people who commit these terrible crimes, but you saw them "up close and personal" so you bring a real-life perspective to the table.

    I have such a cynical perspective when I read about so many of these guys on "death row" who have found "Jesus" and easily so many people are conned by their "change" and their repentance. God, PT Barnum was right - there is one born every minute.

    When I read about these guys being executed, I can't help but think that the world is a slightly better place with them no longer in it..!

    A very good post, Ringo Kid - thanks for posting it.

    I remember spending a boring, rainy afternoon once just reading about the Medal of Honor winners of the past few wars. I think I just sat in front of my computer for the better part of an hour or two feeling absolutely overwhelmed by the the stories of courage and sacrifice I read about and wondering "where" does this type of courage come from. What would possess a man to jump on a live gernade to save his friends / brothers-in-arms where every instinct we know about would compel you to get the hell out of there?? How is it possible to display so much courage..???

    When I was younger and growing up in the United States, I drew a very high number in the "draft" lottery so the likelihood that I would ever spend time in south east Asia was very remote. But I remember thinking about how I would "perform" under fire if, in fact, I drew a low number and went overseas to serve.

    While I have nothing but respect and admiration for ALL of the fighting men and women who serve in the military, the Medal of Honor winners are incredibly inspirational people. To me, they redefine the word "courage"..!!

    I have to agree with the poster who thought that all of the hype re the Blair Witch Project was just that - alot of hype. I remember all of the hoopla at the time about it redefining terror and horror and I just left the theater thinking it was just plain silly. And nauseous after having to look at the jiggly screen for a couple of hours because it was filmed with a hand held cam to give it an authentic feel.

    I'm not a big fan of horror movies in general - but I remember going to see this with high expectations and it didn't even come close.

    I thought Pearl Harbour with Ben Affleck and Josh Harnett was a dog..!! An incredibly sappy love story with the bombing of Pearl Harbour almost a secondary thing in the background.

    Batman and Robin - George Clooney's batman movie - was just plain awful. I remember reading somewhere that the movie single handedly killed the careers of Chris O'Donnell, Alicia Silverstone and Arnold Schwartenegger. And if Uma Thurman wasn't such a looker, it probably would have done her in too.

    Thanks, Dukefan1, but if I'm such a good debater, how come I've never won an argument with my wife..???!!!:teeth_smile:

    I agree Jim,
    Like any artform, whether it be Movies, books, art or songs.
    Folk often look for underlying motives and meanings,
    when all the author is doing is compiling a piece of work,
    on a particular subject, that they're hopefully happy with,
    and it goes on to be a commercial success, and they make some money!!

    I'm in complete agreement with you on this one, ethanedwards. Occasionally, these types of things make for interesting reading and it will give you a moment to pause and consider the author's / songwriter's / director's opinion and point of view. But at the end of the day, it's oftentimes nothing more than just that - an opinion or point-of-view. Maybe there's some truth in what he / she is saying - maybe there isn't.

    But I guess if you're going to write a book or make a movie or write a song, you're going to try and inject something "new" and "fresh" into the equation and hopefully make some money by doing so..!

    Criminals are like Real Estate and Lawyers and Judges are the realtors. Evey 7 to 25 years the property usualy comes back on the market. Ready to put money in the pockets of the lawyers and judges.If you hanged these people you would be taking the food out of every criminal lawyer and judges families mouths...And Heavens know we couldn't let that happen...

    I agree with you, Saddle Tramp - the legal system is a hell of a business.

    I was chatting with somebody the other night about this issue and again heard that tired old "anti-death penalty" argument about how it's nothing more than the state "killing people to show that killing people is wrong".

    If I understand this argument, then it must follow and be equally true that a life sentence - or any prison sentence for that matter - teaches us that it's OK to hold somebody against their will..!! Or that a fine teaches us that it's permissible to "steal" (take money against the "victim's" will)..!!

    IMO, it's a fallacy to confuse the killing of an innocent with the punishment of the guilty.

    And if somebody can't make a very clear distinction between the legally-sanctioned execution of somebody like Ted Bundy, who murdered scores of young, innocent and defenceless women versus the brutal rape and "execution" of a young child, for example, by some depraved individual, there's no way I or anybody could ever possibly respond to that...

    I understand that any director and/or film will, to a certain extent, sometimes reflect the (political) views of the person primarily responsible for the making of the film.

    Dances With Wolves, for example, is a case in point - so many westerns have depicted indians / native americans as nothing more than godless and primitive people, whose sole pleasure in life was killing whites, Costner's film clearly was presenting a different perspective, where the white soldiers were depicted as the barbarians and the Sioux were portrayed as the "good guys".

    But to present an argument that basically states that all westerns can be labelled as falling into certain defined categories to me is a stretch and I have to go along with Stumpy on this one. I, too, think the author is reading too much into it.

    Sometimes a cigar is nothing more than a cigar and doesn't symbolize anything more.


    I love these posts of yours with a summary of the show and cast. Boy, they should trigger alot of very good memories of a different and better (!!) time.

    Cheyenne was one of my favorites as a kid growing up in the late 50's and very early sixties. I'm with Stumpy on this one too - Walker was definitely one of my favorites in another great film - The Dirty Dozen.

    I remember reading about Clint's near-brush with death many years ago when he was skiing, had some kind of a fall and ended up inpaling himself with the ski pole. If memory serves me, it was very close to his heart - he was very lucky and had a guardian angel looking out for him that day.

    Great work with these posts..!

    Since 1977, in Illinois, 13 men on Death Row have been exonerated for various reasons, including new DNA evidence and recanted testimony by prosecution witnesses.

    In 2007 the US ranked 4th in the world in executions, coming in behind China, Iran, Saudia Arabia and Pakistan and just ahead of Iraq, Not very good company to be in.

    Again, doesn't the fact that they were exonerated prior to the needle being put in their arm provide some credibility to the argument that the system is working. yes - people, unfortunately, have been wrongly imprisoned, but I don't think there's a single anti-death penalty group who can conclusively point to s a single individual in the United States, who has been executed by mistake and say "see - the system doesn't work".

    As for the list of countries you referred to, I wonder how many countries would have a death penalty IF the government of the country put it to a popular vote..??

    As I mentioned in a previous post here, when I emigrated to Canada, back in the late 70's, polls continually showed that a majority of Canadians were in favour of capital punishment for the worst criminals. But the government continually refused to re-open the issue and/or put it to a popular vote. I find this of interest:

    All of Canada's national political parties formally oppose the reintroduction of the death penalty, with the exception of the Reform Party which supports a binding national referendum on the issue.

    A motion to reintroduce capital punishment was debated in the House of Commons in 1987. On June 30, the motion was soundly defeated on a free vote (148-127), despite public opinion polls indicating majority support for the death penalty.
    A national poll conducted in June, 1995 found that 69% of Canadians moderately or strongly favoured the return of the death penalty, exactly the same level of support as 20 years ago. However, other surveys suggest that this abstract support is 'a mile wide and an inch deep'. In 1996, a cross-section of 1500 Canadians were asked to name the major concerns and issues facing the country; not one named reinstatement of the death penalty as a priority. (For comparison, a similar sample in the USA would be 15,000 individuals; polls of this size are considered to be accurate within 2.5 percentage points 95% of the time). When the motion to reintroduce capital punishment was announced in February of 1987, popular support for reintroduction stood at 73% . By June (when the parliamentary vote was taken), popular support had slipped to an all-time low of 61%, following widespread discussion of death penalty issues in the media.

    Even the "all-time low" of 61%, if my math is correct, still represents a majority.

    I have no idea how Canadians feel about it today, but it's clear to me that the wishes of the majority - at least as evidenced by the polls I saw and read about - were ignored.

    The finality of the death penalty, of course, is always the best argument put forth by the anti-death penalty voices. You execute the wrong person and there's no way to correct the error.

    I find it interesting, however, that those groups, who speak out most vocally about the death penalty can't present one factual example of an innocent, who was actually executed in the USA.

    I've read about people, who were on death row, who were later proven to be innocent of the crime and the anti-death penalty people will say "you see, the death penalty is wrong - this person could have been executed".

    But to me, it's just proof that the system does work. The fact is that the person who was on death row was found innocent and pardoned. Nobody was executed.

    The example yho gave is just another case in point.

    I think the length of time it takes to execute a person, coupled with the countless appeals processes and scientific advancements that are being made i.e. DNA make it less and less likely that an innocent person is going to be executed. it won't completely elimintae the possibility of a mistake, but it certainly minimizes the likelihood that it's going to happen.


    Shame they can't fast track the "Final" results for these murderers rather than having them with us for years if not decades. Highly unlikely that any European country will reintroduce death penalty so our best hopes would be life imprisonment on some desolate
    island preferably the one they did the chemical weapons testing on in the 1950s.



    I suspect that Europe might be like Canada in some ways.

    I remember when I moved here up many years ago - late 70's - there was, of course, no death penalty in Canada, However, i remember seeing a poll at the time that if they put it to a popular vote, something like about 68% of the people would have voted in favor of re-instating it again. And I remember thinking at the time that it was probably the purest example of how a democracy doesn't serve the will of the majority at times.

    That an elite group of left wing liberal types dictated the law and government at the time.

    Hey Smokey:

    Occasionally when I'm flipping channels here in Toronto, Canada, I'll come across a specialty sports channel we get here (comparable to ESPN in the USA) and Australian Rules Football or rugby and I'll immediately stop and watch it.

    Although I live and breathe the NFL game (can't watch Canadian football to save my life..!), I do enjoy the Aussie games (although cricket doesn't do too much for me..:teeth_smile:

    Although I grew up in Los Angeles, I've always been a Denver Broncos fan..!!

    I have seen those films markgpl and I agree with you 100% about Tom Selleck! He's my other favourite western star other than Duke.

    Hi Moonshine Sally:

    Have you ever seen any of Sam Elliot's films i.e. Conagher / The Quick and The Dead and a few others whose names escape me right now.

    He's another great western star - cut in the same mold as both the Duke and Tom Selleck..!!

    Saddle Tramp - I think the reasoning is that if someone is willing to kill a law enforcement officer, that person would NOT have any deterent in killing a civilian which would make them all that more dangerous!
    As for the executions with the needle, these criminals are getting off lightly since the cocktail they receive just puts them asleep. I agree - HANG THE BUMS!
    Cheers - Jay:beer:


    You know what really gets to me as well.??

    When you see these organizations like Amnesty International or so many of the well-intentioned groups doing everything in their power on behalf of the crimanls, you rarely hear word-one about the victims of the crime.

    I've seen and heard so many of these people in interviews and they prattle on and on about the terrible upbringing the killer had - or his lack of education - or a thousand other excuses and yet you never hear them talk about the terror and pain and anquish the poor victims and the families have suffered.

    If I was the Attorney-general of the United States, the very first thing I would do is change the term from the "criminal justice" system to the "victim justice" system becasue right now it seems like the deck is stacked so much in favour of the criminal...

    And I fully agree with your comment about lethal injection - right now courts are discussing several motions about it being a "cruel and unusual" punishment. Give me a break..!!

    Strangling somebody to death - or plunging a 10 inch knife into their chest - that's cruel..! Putting somebody to sleep is a joke in my opinion..!

    For those of you who enjoy westerns (other than the Duke's films), I would strongly recommend the Tom Selleck Western Collection, which includes Last Stand at Sabre River / Monte Walsh ( a remake of the classic film with Lee Marvin and Jack Palance) and Crossfire Trail, an adaptation of a great Louis L'Amour book.

    As much as I love(d) the Duke, I have to say that Tom Selleck makes a hell of a great western star. He's thoroughly believable as a cowboy right down to the big moustache that was so popular back in the late 19th century.

    As far as modern day western stars go, I used to think that a fellow named Sam Elliot was as good as they come in westerns.

    But Tom Selleck, IMO, gives him a run for his money.

    If Selleck did nothing but westerns for the rest of his career, he could probably carve himself out quite a fan base for people like me who still love films of this genre..!!

    Highly recommended box set - if you haven't seen any of these films, I would not hesitate to recommend them..!!