Friday, June 24, 2016

Elrok Movie Review: "THE SHALLOWS"

When your Mom dies ,  and her 'angel-spirit' calls  you to a remote surfing break in an little known  exotic location...DON"T GO!!!
'There, there child.   My lost battle with cancer was all for this:  To show you how to persevere,  to suck it up ..and keep on fighting no matter what life throws at you.'

Enter :  Angry Hungry Vengeful Crazed Territorial Big- Ass CGI Shark!
  ' Don't worry,  sweet daughter.  This is just a test; .... a little character-building exercise ...thoughtfully sent  down to you from Heaven by your loving mother.  It  won't kill you,.... but it will make you STRONGER!   And,  prompt your lazy surfer-girl ass into finishing the med-school plan me and your dear father had mapped out for you!  Ingrate!   I skipped my last 3-months of chemo just so we were sure to leave enough doctor money in your college fund account!'

  'You   WILL finish med-school!'

'However,  I am not beyond summoning the shark-spirits up here to END YOU!  Should your day-dreaming  pot-laden surfer brain not  come to grips!   YOU CHOOSE!..., sweet daughter.  Tube ride,  or WIPE-OUT!  I will spiritually tempt your mind to surf  the deadly  waters of the shark capital of the WORLD!      New Smyrna Beach , Florida !!

The huge great whites of Australia may be bath-salts crazy,  but thirty small chunks chewed off your frail ( but hot) tanned body by Smyrna sharks ain't gonna be tournaquet friendly.  Unless Hollywood and your desperate future doctor mind can find a way to MacGyver your ear-rings, ...or bracelet,... or necklace,... or some other shiny shark-attracting jewelry like all experienced surfers wear, to cleverly self-cut through your breast-plate and tie-off your aorta.  Oh...but only for two- minute intervals,   so as not to lose consciousness or let gangrene set in,  of course.

This movie MAY have you asking the big  "WHY?". "WHY"?  oh, why!  ? ....did they replace the Jaws ride at Universal with effin'  Harry Potter?

But the movie was,  well, FUN!  Captivating enough to keep you interested throughout.,  and fun to make fun of!  I enjoyed the running commentary of a few movie-cynical patrons who sat nearby,  who would point out the hundreds of fallibilities  in the movie, lest we begin to believe such a tale was true!

Elrok recommend:  Go see it!!  ....,   even with the baggage of JAWS and SHARKNADO weighing on your mind.  It will awaken your cynical side,  and you WON'T  be afraid to go back in the ocean after you leave the theater.   Good suspenseful fun!    Would like to give it two-thumbs up....but  just can't do it.  Even with a cameo by Steven Seagull.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Lou's Precious Moment..


It is from these pages that I sometimes discover the link...between fantasy and reality. Who would dare to believe such oddities were true!  As we fondly reflect on our memories,  or as we haphazardly gaze into our future,  we embark on a journey... of fantasy.     Only the here and now is true, and that moment has since past with the last stroke of this pen..
     I know now that there is an invariable link...between fantasy, and reality. When I bring these memories to my mind's forefront,  the here and now,... the moment is true and cannot be disputed!  Who are we, take anything away from Lou's special moment, by counting it's luridness on measure of it's ludicrity?

     The nights were becoming colder as Lou drifted off to sleep in the drafty corridors of the 5th bedroom in our two bedroom house. The garage . It was Lou's time to inherit the garage bedroom, as the seventh of twelve children were rotated through various makeshift bedrooms in our  small house by the river.   As Ma clicked the washing machine to her last spin cycle, we all knew that we could exit the chaos for a while,  and perhaps drift off into painless sleep.
    The cold night wind whirred through the portholes of the unfinished eves of his inherited garage bedroom. It was rightfully was his turn.  Just as we all knew that our older brother's worn and fabricless underwear would surely be ours one day,  should they survive a year or two of spin cycles and Lou's treacherous dill pickle methane.
    We lay silently in the next room, together in our beds with our BB gun rifles firmly at our side under the blankets. We were a dedicated militia.  More than Pooh's with popguns! We lay anxiously in our bed waiting to take aim at our enemy before we drifted off to sleep.
     Enemies?  Perhaps.  Nonetheless,  we often invited our enemies in,  by chucking a vanilla wafer or two up into the attic. Who were these enemies?
River Rats!  Smaller than a grown opossum,  but larger than a frothing foaming guinea pig.  Darkened gray and slick oily fur,  beady intense wild eyes!  And yellow gnashing teeth that could surely gnaw through any kid's soft ear cartilage and into our exposed brains!
    This thought in mind,  we enticed our enemy into our barracks. The purpose was not to befriend,  ...but to concentrate the beasts.... who often scurried above us from rafter to rafter in squeaky chatter,  causing us to sleep with one eye open,....fighting the needful urge to sleep until we could be sure we we not looked down upon as food!
 And so,   as the hellsent beasts  scurried from rafter to rafter,  we often took aim with our .177 caliber Daisy BB guns,  and blasted away.  Nervously aiming,  but uncannily accurate.  We knew the choices.  It was us...or them....and we needed the sleep!
     Eventually, we would pop them with a BB or two, and most would scurry away in fear,  while some others stayed to eat their dead.   And when things calmed enough,  we could grab both ends of our plug-less electric blankets and form a sort of  'mummy-casket' around  our bodies,  meant to both  keep us warm,   and ward off any mid-morning surprise eat-tacks.   Every couple of hours or so,  we would be forced to emerge from the makeshift casket to let in a new supply of oxygen,  and then fade away again into peaceful sleep.   And every once in a while,  we could take some sanctity in the appearance of our wonderful brave pet cats.
     Unkempt,  and left to run wild,  they would join us from time to time when the nights were so cold that few neighbors ventured the chill to bring their garbage to the curb.  We relished their presence!  Sometimes....would would shove them unwillingly up into the attic,  in a sort of  tactical  'mine-sweeping'  maneuver meant to clear out the enemy.  And when they were done,  we could trap them in our blankets with us to help keep us warm and safe in the cold heatless room.                               The half-domesicated heroes  usually  fought the idea...and scratched and clawed to escape being enclosed in the mummy-casket with us.   But eventually, either from lack of oxygen or broken spirit, they stayed and provided us with a warm fuzzy purring sleep partner. ( Did you know that Abe Lincoln often had a male sleep partner to help  keep him warm on those cold Kentucky nights?)
         And so it was with Lou,  as he emerged one morning for a fresh supply of oxygen.  Groggy-eyed and frazzled from little or no R.E.M. sleep,  he found some peace in knowing that the cat has chosen HIM! curl up with this night!  A warm and fuzzy purring ball of warmth and friendship. Our faithful servant,...our cat,...curled up next to and wrapped his fuzzy tail around Lou's ankles.
     Lou yawned and smiled,  and pulled his sleep-partner up from his ankles and closer to his face, so that he could hear and feel the joyful contentment of the sleeping cat,  who had chosen HIM!...yes HIM!!!   to sleep with tonight!  He stroked the kitty's ears in a compassionate "thank-you" and waited,  as he knew the purrs would become more resounding as he stroked.  But the purr-coaxing scrumples had no effect on the kitty,  and Lou pulled him closer,.....close enough so that he could feel the tickle of whiskers against his lips.  "Sweet kitty....nice kitty"...,  he thought,  as he managed to muster a little pucker and give the kitty a small kiss. Then he began to fade away again into another two hours of newly contentful sleep.
      Just as that last hum of consciousness was leaving him,  he paused to capture and process that peaceful picture of his curled-up feline buddy slowly batting his eyes at him ,  so that he could take the image with him as he exited reality and could hopefully reach dreamstate.
Suddenly,  Lou stopped breathing!   His heart thumped hard...only once!...and then stopped completely! His spirit sank,  as his body rose.  As he bounded from the mattress, he feverishly reached for his BB gun.  Ta-choof!  Ta-choof! Ta-choof! Ta- choof!!!  In the matter of a minute,  Lou managed to pump off the remaining 100 shots in his lever-action air gun, taking aim where his imagined kitty once lay. He brushed the fur from his lips.  Then, he reached down and poked it,  to see if it was dead,  and then reared back and WHACKED be sure that it was!
     It seems that one of our mortally wounded river rat  enemies caught a BB or two in his gullet, but took a while to die.  We guessed that it limped painfully across a rafter with a belly full of BB's,  it died...and landed at Lou's ankles.

   Oh Lou!,  ....if only you hadn't found that link,  between fantasy and reality.  If only you hadn't stopped for that one last glimpse and changed that precious moment.....