Apr 23

Jackie Chan’s First Strike Movie Review

Jackie Chan’s First Strike is the 1996 Hong Kong action film starring Jackie Chan, Jackson Lou, Wu Chen-chun and Bill Tung and written and directed by Stanley Tong. Jackie (Jackie Chan) is a Hong Kong cop who works for the CIA to take down an international arms dealer. The assignment takes him from Hong Kong, to Ukraine, to Russia and finally to Australia.

Jackie Chan’s First Strike opens with Jackie (Jackie Chan), a Hong Kong cop, working on a case for the CIA. After he reports on his findings, he is given the job of following a girl named Natasha (Grishajeva Nonna) to the Ukraine. Shortly after landing, Jackie watches as Natasha is taken away by several armed men in Army uniforms. Jackie follows the group in a taxi. He watches an exchange take place in which a new and mysterious player is introduced. At the end of the meeting, he gets in the strangers van. The next time the van stops is at a ski resort in the mountains. There Jackie calls for help and is told to pursue the man who happens to be Tsui (Jackson Lou), a Chinese American with CIA links. He chases the Tsui on snowmobile into a restricted area to a cabin in the woods. Help in the form of Ukrainian troops arrives, but run into a trap. Jackie and Tsui escape the area together and are chased by the would be buyers of the contents of Tsui’s briefcase. Tsui gets away while Jackie ends up nearly dead after falling into a partially frozen lake. The bad guys get away with the briefcase.

Jackie wakes up in a Russian hospital after being rescued. When he wakes up, he meets Colonel Gregor Yegorov (Jouri Petrov) who tells him what happened and what the current situation is. They go to Moscow and meet with the FSB where he is assigned to work with Gregor as they happen to be working on the same case involving smuggled nuclear weapons. They are put on a Russian submarine headed for Brisbane, Australia. Jackie seeks out Tsui’s sister, Annie (Wu Chen-chun) posing as a friend of Tsui’s. Because of this, he gets in to meet Uncle 7 (Terry Woo) who is Tsui’s father and the local Triad boss. Jackie sees him in the hospital as Uncle 7 is seriously ill. Jackie suspects that Tsui will show up to see his ill father. Jackie follows Annie back to the aquarium where she works. At the aquarium, Jackie runs into Tsui who tells him that he is working for Gregor and that Gregor is watching all of Jackie’s movements.

After this, Jackie decides to return home, but Gregor frames him for Uncle 7’s murder which he committed. In trying to clear his name, Jackie goes to the memorial hall, where Uncle 7’s funeral will be held, to apologize to Annie. Tsui has to recue Jackie from the family’s bodyguards. There Tsui tells Jackie that he was caught by Gregor on a CIA assignment three years ago. Gregor forced him to work for him and his criminal organization. Tsui, Annie and Jackie decide to work together to bring Gregor down. At Uncle 7’s large and elaborate Chinatown funeral, a large gun battle erupts as Gregor and his men try to take out Tsui and get their stolen nuclear warhead back.

Annie and Jackie got to the aquarium to retrieve the warhead that Tsui had earlier sent Annie disguised as an air tank. At the aquarium, Annie and Jackie are met by Gregor and his men. In all of the confusion that Gregor and his men create, they take the warhead and kidnap Annie. They escape into a boat as Jackie follows after them. Jackie hops into a car and drives it off a ramp and into the boat. This traps Gregor and allows Jackie to retrieve the warhead and save Annie. The movie ends with Gregor and his men being arrested by Australian police and then handed over to the Russians. Jackie and his commander “Uncle” Bill Wong (Bill Tung) are congratulated by the FSB on the Russian submarine before it returns home.

Jackie Chan’s First Strike is a very entertaining action film. It is hard to go wrong with a Jackie Chan film. The movie has numerous great fight and action sequences. It also has some great locations and scenery including Brisbane, Australia. If you are looking for a good action film and then Jackie Chan’s First Strike is worth a watch. If you are a big Jackie Chan fan, Jackie Chan’s First Strike is worthy addition to your movie collection.

Apr 21

Unfair Advantage: The Power of Financial Education Book Review

Unfair Advantage: The Power of Financial Education by Robert T. Kiyosaki takes a look at how important it is to be financially educated and what that education can do for you in life.

The book begins by talking about how many people are still clinging to job security, possessions and money as the Industrial Age is ending and the Information Age is beginning. Many people are having a hard time transitioning from the Industrial Age to the Information Age. Kiyosaki talks about how inflation is on the rise and how the gap between the haves and have nots will continue to increase if things do not change. The author also talks about Industrial Education of Academic and Professional and Information Education made up of Academic, Professional and Financial. The importance of instructors and mentors is also discussed in the introduction.

Unfair Advantage #1 Knowledge

Five Components of Financial Education
1. History
2. Definitions
3. Taxes
4. Debt
5. Two sides to every coin

Knowledge makes you rich, not money

3 Lessons of Monopoly

1. Four green houses, and red hotel (Start small, dream big)
2. One house – $10, two houses – $20, three houses – $30 (Cash flow)
3. Send me your money

Create yearly goals

Unfair Advantage #2 Taxes

E stands for employee
S stands for small business or self-employed
B stands for big business (500 employees)
I stands for investor
E&S taxed heavily

Unfair Advantage #3 Debt

Debt makes the world go round
Learn to sell
Learn to invest via market trends
Learn to invest in real estate
Debt is leverage

Unfair Advantage #4 Risk

7 oxymorons in the world of money

1. Job security
2. Saving money
3. Safe investments
4. Fair share
5. Mutual fund
6. Diversified fund
7. Debt free

Diversification equals business, real estate, paper assets, and commodities

Unfair Advantage #5 Compensation

Governments reward producers and punish consumers

Have assets buy liabilities

3 variations on the Law of Compensation

1. Law of Compensation #1 (Reciprocity: Give and you shall receive)
2. Law of Compensation #2 (Learn to give more)
3. Law of Compensation #3 (Leverage the power of compounding financial education)

The conclusion of the eBook is entitled A Case For Capitalism.

Capitalism is not the root of all evils

5 things that happen to people who do not invest or who invest poorly

1. They work hard all their lives
2. They worry about money all their lives
3. They depend on others, such as family, a company pension, or the government to take care of them
4. The boundaries of their lives are defined by money
5. They will not know what true freedom is. “You will never know true freedom until you achieve financial freedom.”

Five Levels of Investors

1. The Zero Financial Intelligence Level
2. The Savers Are Losers Level
3. The I’m Too Busy Level
4. The I’m A Professional Level
5. The Capitalist Level

Unfair Advantage: The Power of Financial Education is another great and easy to understand financial book by Robert T. Kiyosaki. Kiyosaki offers a great deal of good and easy to understand financial advice that will improve your personal finances if you follow it. I highly recommend going to RichDad.com to download and read Unfair Advantage: The Power of Financial Education by Robert T. Kiyosaki.

Apr 18

Vehicles of The Blues Brothers

1974 Dodge Monaco
This is the famous Blues Mobile. It is a truly classic movie car. The Monaco is first seen when Elwood picks up Jake after he gets out of prison. Jake is not too happy that he gets picked up in an ex Mount Prospect police car. This car is seen throughout the entirety of The Blues Brothers. It is involved in several great car chases.

1974 Dodge Monaco

1974 Dodge Monaco2

 

1974 Dodge Monaco3

1974 Dodge Monaco4

1974 Dodge Monaco5

1974 Dodge Monaco6

1974 Dodge Monaco7

1974 Dodge Monaco8

1974 Dodge Monaco9

1974 Dodge Monaco10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1967 Cadillac Flower Car McClain
This car is driven by Curtis (Cab Calloway) in the movie when he takes the kids out to hand out flyers for the Blues Brother’s concert. This car is an interesting conversion.

1967 Cadillac Flower Car McClain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1967 Cadillac Sedan DeVille
This Cadillac is first seen when Jake and Elwood Blues go to a Holiday Inn where some of their former band mates are playing. It is parked out front as a sign board and has Murph and the Magic Tones on the sides. After Murph and the Magic Tones rejoin The Blues Brothers Band, Murph spray paints Blues Brothers Band on the sides of the car. The car is seen numerous times throughout the movie carrying the band.

1967 Cadillac Sedan DeVille

1967 Cadillac Sedan DeVille2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1974 Chevrolet Bel Air
This car was used by the Chicago Police department in the movie. They are seen at the end of The Blues Brothers in the big chase scene when Jake and Elwood are on the way to the Cook County Assessor’s office.

1974 Chevrolet Bel Air

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1975 Chevrolet Bel Air
This is another car used by the Chicago Police Department in The Blues Brothers. It is also seen mainly in the big car chase at the end of the movie.

1975 Chevrolet Bel Air

1975 Chevrolet Bel Air2

1975 Chevrolet Bel Air3

1975 Chevrolet Bel Air4

1975 Chevrolet Bel Air5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dodge M-37
This was one of the many National Guard vehicles seen at the Cook County Assessor’s office after the Blues Brothers arrive.

Dodge M-37

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1975 Dodge Monaco
This is another police car seen in the movie. It is seen several times in the movie.

1975 Dodge Monaco

1975 Dodge Monaco2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1973 Dodge Polara
The Dodge Polara was driven by Burton Mercer (John Candy), Jake’s parole officer. It is seen arriving at Elwood’s apartment building.

1973 Dodge Polara

1973 Dodge Polara2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1977 Dodge Royal Monaco
This car was used mainly by the Illinois State Police in The Blues Brothers. It is also seen in a couple other police department liveries. This car is first seen when one pulls over Jake and Elwood when Elwood runs a red light. This type of car is seen numerous other times throughout the movie and is involved in all of the car chases in the movie.

1977 Dodge Royal Monaco

1977 Dodge Royal Monaco2

1977 Dodge Royal Monaco3

1977 Dodge Royal Monaco4

1977 Dodge Royal Monaco5

1977 Dodge Royal Monaco6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1976 Dodge Southwind
This is The Good Ole Boys’ RV driven by lead singer Tucker McElroy (Charles Napier). It is first seen when The Good Ole Boys arrive at Bob’s Country Bunker just as The Blues Brothers are leaving. It is next seen at The Blues Brother’s concert at the Palace Hotel Ballroom. It is also involved in the big chase at the movie and ends up in the water due to sabotaged brakes.

1976 Dodge Southwind

1976 Dodge Southwind2

1976 Dodge Southwind3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1973 Ford F-250
This is Bob’s (Jeff Morris), owner of Bob’s Country Bunker, truck. It is used by him and The Good Ole Boys to chase after Jake and Elwood after they leave Bob’s Country Bunker.

1973 Ford F-250

1973 Ford F-2502

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1975 Ford LTD Wagon
This is the second Illinois Nazi car. It is seen several times in the movie. It is involved in the big car chase at the end of the movie.

1975 Ford LTD Wagon

1975 Ford LTD Wagon2

1975 Ford LTD Wagon3

1975 Ford LTD Wagon4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ford M20 Greyhound [T26]
A National Guard armored scout car seen at the end of the movie in the square next to the Cook County Assessor’s office.

Ford M20 Greyhound [T26]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ford M4 A3 ‘Sherman’
This is an Illinois National Guard tank seen at the end of the movie in the square next to the Cook County Assessor’s office.

Ford M4 A3 'Sherman'

Ford M4 A3 'Sherman'2

Ford M4 A3 'Sherman'3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1977 Ford Pinto Wagon
This is the main Illinois Nazi car. It is first seen when Elwood drives the Blues Mobile through the Illinois Nazi rally. It is involved in the big car chase at the end. The Illinois Nazis end up driving it off an unfinished section of interstate and crashing through a Chicago street.

1977 Ford Pinto Wagon

1977 Ford Pinto Wagon2

1977 Ford Pinto Wagon3

1977 Ford Pinto Wagon4

1977 Ford Pinto Wagon5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1951 GMC M135
These are Illinois National Guard trucks seen in the square outside of the Cook County Assessor’s office.

1951 GMC M135

1951 GMC M1352

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1943 International Harvester M9 Halftrack
This is an Illinois National Guard halftrack seen in the square outside of the Cook County Assessor’s office.

1943 International Harvester M9 Halftrack

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1974 Jaguar XK-E Series III
This car is driven by Twiggy in the movie. It is seen at the gas station where Jake and Elwood push their car after running out of gas. It is also seen when Jake and Elwood pass a motel on their way from the concert to the Cook County Assessor’s office.

1974 Jaguar XK-E Series III

1974 Jaguar XK-E Series III2

1974 Jaguar XK-E Series III3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1977 Pontiac Grand Prix
This beat up car was driven by the mystery woman (Carrie Fisher) that keeps trying to kill Jake and Elwood. It is first seen when Jake and Elwood go to Elwood’s apartment. This car is seen numerous times throughout The Blues Brothers.

1977 Pontiac Grand Prix

1977 Pontiac Grand Prix2

1977 Pontiac Grand Prix3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1951 Willys Jeep M38-A1
Several jeeps were seen in the square outside the Cook County Assessor’s office at the end of the movie.

1951 Willys Jeep M38-A1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resources:
IMCDB

Apr 16

Stock Market Cash Flow Book Review

The Stock Market Cash Flow: Four Pillars of Investing for Thriving in Today’s Markets (Rich Dad Advisors) by Andy Tanner is about positioning yourself to make money no matter what the market does. It is also about continuing your financial education and showing you ways to have cash flow in any kind of market.

Here are some of the many takeaways from the book:

1. Don’t’ leave your financial success to others.
2. Buy income producing assets
3. Find a strategy that works for you
4. Stocks give the capability to scale
5. 4 Pillars of Investing
6. Fundamental Analysis tells us the strength of an entity
7. Technical Analysis examines the supply and demand (trends) of a trend
8. Cash Flow is about your position in the market: up, down or sideways and is a solution to the problem of expenses
9. Risk management is using what you can control to deal with what you can’t
10. There is no good or bad news, only position
11. 3 important parts of an option contract
12. An option is an agreement with another trader that gives you the right to buy (call option) or sell (put option) a certain stock at a pre-determined price.
13. One sign of a true investor is having the ability to maintain or even increase cash flow even when markets or the economy are falling
14. Educated investors position themselves in such a way that they can be happy regardless of what direction the market goes
15. Non-systemic risks are the things that can happen to affect the price of an individual stock without impacting the overall market
16. Systemic risk affects the whole system
17. Diversification does not protect against systemic risk
18. Hope = no control
19. A hedge is insurance on an investment
20. Having an exit strategy (a plan to get out of a stock when it hits a certain level) is a powerful risk management tool
21. Easier for stocks to drop quickly than to rise
22. Use non-correlating assets to manage risk
23. Build an investment team
24. Failure is not an option
25. Never stop learning
26. Limit the amount you can lose

The Stock Market Cash Flow by Andy Tanner is a great book as the author says for beginners or people who see themselves as students with room to grow. The book has seven information filled chapters in which Andy Tanner does a great job of explaining some difficult investing material in an easily understood manner. The Stock Market Cash Flow by Andy Tanner is a must read and addition to their personal library for those wanting to get a financial education and to expand their financial education.

Apr 14

The Warren Buffett Way Book Review

The Warren Buffett Way by Robert G. Hagstrom is an in depth look at how Warren Buffett has become so successful and what his winning formula is. The author walks readers through Buffett’s beginning to current and along the way provides a great deal of investing information.

Here are some of the many investing takeaways from The Warren Buffett Way:

1. Stick with what you know
2. Create your own investing philosophy
3. Be contrarian and counter cyclical
4. Be unafraid to bet big on best ideas
5. Be willing to be inactive
6. Find intrinsic value of a business and pay a fair or bargain price
7. Always be yourself
8. Have mentors or people who you are able to learn from that have different views
9. 12 Immutable Tenets when looking at buying a business
10. Stay away from commodity businesses
11. Don’t imitate others
12. Know the industries and businesses you invest in
13. Focus on a few outstanding companies
14. Stay away from margin investing
15. Don’t start a focus portfolio unless you are willing to invest a minimum of 5-10 years
16. Be prepared to diligently study the businesses you own
17. Don’t approach the market unless you are willing to think about stocks as part-ownership interests in businesses
18. Never leverage your focus portfolio
19. Keep emotions in appropriate perspective
20. “Be greedy when others are fearful and fearful when others are greedy” Warren Buffett
21. In the short run, investor sentiment has a more pronounced impact on stock prices than a company’s fundamentals
22. Try to mineralize loss aversion
23. Be rational not emotional
24. Think of stock as a business and not a stock price
25. Buy a business that has the opportunity to profit regardless of the economy

Robert G. Hagstrom does a great job in The Warren Buffett Way of discussing how Warren Buffett became so successful and known as the best investor ever. This is a must read and addition to your personal library if you are looking to expand your investor and business knowledge and to learn from perhaps the greatest investor ever, Warren Buffett.

Apr 11

Aircraft and Vehicles of The Bridge At Remagen

The Bridge At Remagen has quite a few good American and German World War Two military vehicles. These vehicles see action throughout the entire movie.

1944 Cadillac M24 Chaffee
These tanks are used by the American Army as they fight their way towards the Remagen Bridge. They were also used as artillery when attacking the bridge.

1944 Cadillac M24 Chaffee

1944 Cadillac M24 Chaffee2

1944 Cadillac M24 Chaffee3

1944 Cadillac M24 Chaffee4

1944 Cadillac M24 Chaffee5

1944 Cadillac M24 Chaffee6

1944 Cadillac M24 Chaffee7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1940 Caterpillar D7
This bulldozer was used by the Americans to fill in the hole in front of the Remagen Bridge so that they could get vehicles across.

1940 Caterpillar D7

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ford M8 Greyhound Light Armored Car
American Army light armored car used by the lead column headed to Remagen.

Ford M8 Greyhound Light Armored Car

Ford M8 Greyhound Light Armored Car2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1940 Horch 901 Kfz.15
The Americans used this captured German car in their assault on the farmhouse towards the start of the movie. It is used in the lead American column headed towards Remagen.

1940 Horch 901 Kfz.15

1940 Horch 901 Kfz.152

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1937 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet B [W142]
This is the staff car for Major Paul Krüger (Robert Vaughn). It is seen when he is driven to the bridge at Remagen as well as several other times during the movie.

1937 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet B [W142]

1937 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet B [W142]2

1937 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet B [W142]3

1937 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet B [W142]4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1942 White M3 A1 Halftrack
This half track was used by lead American Army column headed toward Remagen. It is used in the assault of the farmhouse near the beginning of the movie.

1942 White M3 A1 Halftrack

 

 

 

 

 

 

Willys MB ‘Jeep’
Jeeps are seen and used throughout the entire movie.

Willys MB 'Jeep'

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aircraft
B-25 Mitchell and P-51 Mustangs are used in the movie by the United States Army Air Force to bomb the bridge at Remagen.

Resources:
IMCDB
The Bridge at Remagen

Apr 07

Warren Buffett And The Interpretation Of Financial Statements Book Review

Warren Buffett and the Interpretation of Financial Statements: The Search for the Company with a Durable Competitive Advantage by Mary Buffett and David Clark takes a look at how Warren Buffett looks at potential companies to invest in. It takes you from what kind of potential companies to invest in to the financial metrics Warren Buffett looks at.

The book is broken down into 57 mini chapters that each have a very specific point. Here are some of the key takeaways from the book:

1. “You have to understand accounting and you have to understand the nuances of accounting. It’s the language of business and it’s an imperfect language, but unless you are willing to put in the effort to learn accounting – how to read and interpret financial statements – you really shouldn’t select stocks yourself.” Warren Buffett
2. Look for companies with a competitive advantage that create monopoly like economics
3. Look for companies that have a unique product or service, are a low cost buyer, or sell a product or service that the public consistently needs
4. Stay away from companies that have 20% or below gross profit margin
5. Companies with a durable competitive advantage have lower depreciation costs (10% or lower is good)
6. Be wary of companies with lots of debt (10% or lower interest expense)
7. Look for consistency and upward trend for net earnings (20 % or more is very good, under 10% is bad)
8. Look at 10 plus year trend of earnings per share
9. If company is consistently showing a lower percentage of net receivables to gross sales than competitors, it usually has a competitive advantage
10. Want companies that don’t have to keep reinvesting in plant and equipment
11. Look for assets valued on books below market value
12. Return on assets ratio = net earnings/total assets
13. Look for companies that are in markets with high cost of entry
14. Look at companies short and long term debt
15. Be wary of companies with debt
16. “I look for businesses in which I think I can predict what they’re going to look like in ten to fifteen years’ time. Take Wrigley’s chewing gum. I don’t think the internet is going to change how people chew gum.” Warren Buffett
17. Look for bear market bargains
18. Look for when a company screws up and problem is solvable
19. Don’t buy at height of bull markets
20. Time to sell is never if you have done things right (some exceptions do apply)

Warren Buffett and the Interpretation of Financial Statements is a quick and easy read that has a great deal of helpful information for investors. This is a must read and addition to your personal library if you are an investor looking for solid investment knowledge, especially investment knowledge that the great investor Warren Buffett uses himself.

Apr 04

401(k)aos Book Review

401(k)aos by Andy Tanner is about how 401(k)s make people dependent and leave them with a lack of financial understanding. It is also about how the 401k system is more about the financial institutions making money and not people’s retirements.

Here are some key take aways from 401(k)aos:

1. April 2011 Financial Times reported that the fund management industry was destroying $1.3 trillion in value a year
2. A 401(k) builds net worth and not cash flow
3. Mutual funds don’t protect against system wide crash
4. 401(k)s provide large sums of cash for institutions
5. Investing needs to be a life skill
6. Most investors today are dependent on others
7. A 401(k) creates artificial demand in stock market
8. A 401(k) doesn’t have money in it, only shares
9. Financial education more important than college education
10. Too many people relying on government for their retirement

Andy Tanner does a great job informing people about the downfalls of the 401(k). He lays out the history of the 401(k), the problems of the 401(k) and what investors can do to make sure they live comfortably in retirement. If you are a new investor, have a 401(k) or are interested in learning more about different types of investments, then 401(k)aos is a must read and addition to your personal library.

Apr 02

Meatballs Movie Review

Meatballs is the 1979 Canadian comedy film starring Bill Murray, Chris Makepeace, Kate Lynch and Harvey Atkin and directed by Ivan Reitman. Meatballs is about the hijinks of head counselor Tripper Harrison and the counselors-in-training (CITs) at the cut rate summer camp, Camp North Star, as they take on ritzy Camp Mohawk across the lake.

Meatballs opens with Morty Melnick (Harvey Atkin) having a meeting with his counselors and counselors in training. The movie then goes to when all of the kids are getting picked up by the Camp North Star buses. Across the parking lot are the opulent Camp Mohawk buses. After all the buses arrive back at Camp North Star, Tripper (Bill Murray) takes his CITs for a tour of the camp. One of the boys, Rudy Gerner (Chris Makepeace), runs away from camp shortly after arriving at camp as he doesn’t feel that he fits in. Tripper tracks him down at a local diner and gets him to come back to camp. Tripper and Rudy hit it off and begin hanging out together including jogging together in the morning. As the summer goes on, new friendships are formed and old ones rekindled. Tripper and his CITs also begin pulling pranks, especially on Morty.

The rivalry between Camp Mohawk heats up when the two camps play basketball on Camp Mohawk’s court. Things don’t go so well for Camp North Star so Tripper improvises. He has his players pull down the other team’s shorts and then everyone from Camp North Star run to their bus and hastily leave Camp Mohawk. This sets the stage for the annual Olympiad between the two camps where Camp Mohawk is 12-0.

As the summer is coming to an end, the annual Olympiad begins. The first day of the competition goes poorly for Camp North Star. Bobby Crockett (Russ Banham) fails miserably in the high jump, Hardware Renzetti (Matt Craven) gets beat up in boxing and Jackie (Margot Pinvidic) gets a broken leg in field hockey. Part of the reason for Camp North Star’s poor showing was that Camp Mohawk was cheating. At the end of the day, Tripper gives everyone a big pep talk. The second day turns out to be a good day for Camp North Star in the Olympiad. Wheels (Todd Hoffman) wins in wrestling, Spaz (Jack Blum) takes the win in the stacking contest, and Larry ‘Fink’ Finkelstein wins the hot dog eating contest. It all comes down to the 4 mile cross country race to win the Olympiad. Rudy is elected by Tripper to fill in for Jackie in the 4 mile race. After a hard race, Rudy narrowly beats out Horse (Jim McLarty) from Camp Mohawk and gives Camp North Star their first victory in the Olympiad. That evening the counselors and CITs sit around the campfire and celebrate and say their goodbyes as the camp prepares to close for the summer. The movie ends with Tripper and Roxanne (Kate Lynch) leading the camp buses out of camp and Morty in a bed on a raft in the lake.

Meatballs is a good Bill Murray and comedy movie. The movie is chock full of comedic scenes. Bill Murray, Chris Makepeace, Kate Lynch, Harvey Atkin and the rest of the cast do a good job in their respective roles. The running gag of the movie is where Morty is going to end up next in his bed. The setting of Camp North Star is exactly how you would picture a laid back summer camp. If you are a Bill Murray fan or like comedies, then Meatballs is definitely worth a watch and perhaps even an addition to your movie collection.

Mar 28

Who’s Harry Crumb Movie Review

Who’s Harry Crumb? is the 1989 comedy film starring John Candy, Jeffrey Jones, Annie Potts and Tim Thomerson. Fashion Model Jennifer Downing is kidnapped and the sometimes incompetent, sometimes genius private investigator Harry Crumb is put on the case.

Who’s Harry Crumb? opens with fashion model Jennifer Downing (Renee Coleman), the daughter of millionaire P.J. Downing (Barry Corbin), being kidnapped from a Beverly Hills spa. Mr. Downing asks his good friend Eliot Draisen (Jeffrey Jones) to investigate the case. Eliot is the president of Crumb and Crumb, a well known detective agency. Eliot puts Harry Crumb (John Candy) on the case. Harry is known as a very incompetent investigator and this is what Eliot wants as he was involved in the kidnapping. Eliot tells P.J. how great Harry is and gets P.J. to allow Harry to work on the case.

Harry Crumb returns to Los Angeles by bus from the backwater Tulsa branch office where he is known to mess up a case or two. Crumb immediately gets into the investigation by going to Mr. Downing’s house and talking to the family. Jennifer’s younger sister, Nikki (Shawnee Smith), asks if she can help Harry on his investigation and he agrees. As the investigation goes on, Harry suspects that Helen Downing (Annie Potts) is the kidnapper. Harry knows that she is having an affair with her tennis coach, Vince Barnes (Tim Thomerson) and has noticed other incidents that make him suspicious. Helen also happens to have the affection of Eliot Draisen. Helen is only interested in money and doesn’t care about Eliot. She and Vince try several times to kill her husband to get his money and then try to get the ransom themselves.

The day of the money drop comes and Harry gives the money to Eliot to take to the drop, not thinking anything about it. Draisen seemingly had outwitted Harry Crumb and the police and made it to the airport to make his getaway to Buenos Aires. He made the big mistake of telling Helen about his plans so she and Barnes show up at the airport. They take his money, airplane tickets and tie him up and gag him and leave him a utility room. Harry and Nikki luckily had followed Helen and Barnes, thinking they were the kidnappers. Harry and Nikki manage to chase down the plane their on and stop it. Once back at the terminal after Jennifer is freed, Crumb finds Draisen in the utility room. Draisen cannot believe that Crumb has lucked into finding him. Draisen, in a fit, confesses that he was Jennifer’s kidnapper and is arrested. The movie ends with Crumb taking over the role of president of his family’s business.

Who’s Harry Crumb? is a decent John Candy comedy movie. The movie keeps you guessing as to what Harry Crumb is going to get himself into next. The movie has some good comedic moments but if it weren’t for John Candy this film would be a failure. The characters of Harry Crumb and Nikki Downing are a good pairing and offset each other. The main downside of this movie is the ridiculous costumes that Harry Crumb wears throughout the movie to go in disguise. If you are a big John Candy fan, Who’s Harry Crumb? is worth a watch otherwise take a pass.

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