Otto Preminger’s The Man With the Golden Arm

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Finally, what I consider an “old” movie. The Man With the Golden Arm is about a man, Frankie Machine, played by Frank Sinatra, who is fresh out of rehab/jail for heroin addiction. While inside, Frankie learns to play the drums and joins the prison band. Once out he tries to find work as a session drummer but gets caught up in the same old stuff as before.

Released in 1955, the movie deals with drug addiction and depicts drug use so you can imagine that it caused a stir. I didn’t even know heroin was an issue in the 1950’s. But then again all I know of the 50’s comes from watching reruns on TV after school. The Beav never once thought about using heroin.

This was a great film, it had such a great noir-ish vibe with every character you met, you knew they were kind of shady and only wanted Frankie to help them, they didn’t care that it might cause him to relapse. Just an all around good movie, I recommend you watch it if you come across it.

The Man With The Golden Arm

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

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I read the book in probably the early 2000’s, it was a little while after the movie was released. I had heard the movie was based on a book and I always try to read the book first so I can critique the movie. The book has remained in my top 5 since then. It’s an amazingly weird and sometimes funny cautionary tale of Isolation, absent father figures, and habitual consumerism.

What you see at fight club is a generation of men raised by women

Relating to the quote above, my father was in the house but he was very much absent from my life, it was my mother who raised me. Maybe that’s why n some base level there is something incredibly appealing to be able to fight someone just to fight, maybe because those of us who had no real male influences have no idea what masculinity is and fighting like that is equal to being a warrior.

Fight Club

Chuck Palahniuk

Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore

Charlie Ahser, Minty Fresh, and the rest of the Death Merchant gang are back to fight a new darkness trying to mess with the status quo.

I will smack that bitch up and take her bag of quarters. I will not be fucked with.

That’s Sophie, she’s 6 and is basically Death incarnate. She’s pissed that the tooth fairy forgot to pay her for a tooth.

This is such and funny book and the humor is, as always, laugh out loud funny. I had to stop after reading the above line because I kept thinking about it and would start to laugh all over again.

The characters in this book are so real, if you forget about all the supernatural stuff, they really leave an impression on you. Even Theb the Wise.

Secondhand Souls

Christopher Moore

The Electric Church by Jeff Somers

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I came across this book a few years ago, I was drawn to it be the cover which depicts a cybernetic Monk holding a big ass pistol. The new edition is something different though, which is a shame, it was a badass cover.

The Electric Church mixes the noir detective genre with science fiction and it is amazing, except the lead character is not a detective, he’s pretty much a criminal. It’s the first in a series, pitting Avery Cates up against these cyborg monks who are going around “converting” people to the Electric Church.

The idea that people will give up anything, including their free will for a chance at eternal life (or after life) is pretty obvious. And the plot is sort of generic BUT that’s okay because it’s the details and the noir vibe that make this book a good read. It’s definitely one of my favorites.

The Electric Church

Jeff Somers

Avery Cates

The above image is of the first three novels.

The Black Crowes: Shake Your Money Maker

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As you’ve probably noticed, hardly any of the music I write about is new. I guess my tastes are stuck in the past, nothing new really appeals to me any more. I come across a band a band or song that was new when I was young and memories come flooding back. Some of those memories make me smile, some don’t. Some of them remind me of mistakes and some remind me of the right choices I’ve made, there are just a few of those.

Our lives are peppered decisions that will define us in the future, while I have a decent life, it’s not the best life I could have lived.

Anyway, Shake Your Money Maker came out during a transition in music, when popular music was transforming from Hair Metal to g of the few non-grunge albums to gain popularity. It was a bluesy southern rock soulful album that made you want to drink and get high or sit and cry depending on the track playing.

The Black Crowes released more than a few album during their time but unfortunately broke up. But they leave a decent musical legacy behind them.

Shake Your Money Maker

The Black Crowes

Coralie Fargeat’s Revenge

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I know the above description of this blog says Old Movies and I’ve been talking about newer movies lately, it’s just that there have been new movies that I actually think are interesting coming out lately. Revenge is the latest one, I first heard about this film last year and thought it seemed interesting enough, if not kind of redundant. There’s not a lot you can do in a revenge film that hasn’t already been done.

Revenge has a pretty basic plot, beautiful girl (played by Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz) is wronged, I use that word so not to spoil anything about the movie, and set out to get her revenge, hence the title. But don’t let my pessimistic attitude dissuade you from see this, it’s actually a good movie.

The 70’s/80’s exploitation vibe is what I liked most about it, the movie has the usual running themes of feminism but flips the script a little by not over sexualizing the heroine. I mean, she’s sexy and walking around in her underwear but it’s actually tasteful and it honestly fits the scene. There are some unbelievable points in the movie but it’s an exploitation revenge film so it doesn’t really matter.

I would recommend it to anyone who likes this genre of movies. If you have a Shudder subscription it’s streaming free now.

Revenge

Coralie Fargeat

The One Inside by Sam Shepard

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Admittedly I’m not all that familiar with Sam Shepard’s work. I have seen him in a few movies and TV shows but I have never read or seen any of his written work. The One Inside, if I’m not mistaken, is his first novel.

It reads like a long dream sequence with several tangents and flashback and I think flash forwards though I’m still not sure. It’s about a man who has returned to his father’s home after he dies and meets his father’s young girlfriend and they begin what I can only describe as a crappy relationship. Neither the man nor the girl seem to be well liked and often dislike each other. They are both looking for companionship and comfort but neither know how to give it and it tragically ends.

Patti Smith writes the forward and describes the character as

a loner who doesn’t want to be alone

I think that’s why the book resonated with me as much as it did. After a time of being alone you obviously don’t want to be alone, but at the same time you become comfortable in the quiet and become unsure of how not to be alone. You answer to no one and no one answers to you, the responsibility of having someone around can become too much of a weight after a while and you start to crave the solitude you had before.

The One Inside

Sam Shepard