Hell or High Water

I did my laundry and sat in the library for a while before I went to the theatre to see “Hell or High Water.”  I wouldn’t have seen it if it hadn’t been for the good reviews.  Jeff Bridges and Chris Pine were two of the movie’s stars.  The Bridges character is a cop who is about to retire, and I thought he was reminiscent of Sam Elliott.  I thought Bridges was good in this role.  Watching him made me think of how many years it’s been since “The Last Picture Show.”  He has funny bits of dialogue in this movie.  One of the things I thought about was how he could be so accurate with the rifle at his age.  Chris Pine is the good brother who is involved in robberies targeting branches of the same bank, the one that is about to foreclose on their house.  I felt that there were touches of “Bonnie and Clyde” and “No Country for Old Men” in this film.  I wouldn’t think you could get away with robbing banks in an age where everyone has a phone in hand, ready to text a distress message.  The scheme involves going to a casino and having them write out checks to the bank.  This is a case where you’re rooting for the people committing the crimes, although it gets ugly.  The impulsive brother endangers the whole plan, but the other does something equally foolish in giving a huge tip to a waitress.  The suspense builds around the last heist because Bridges is on the trail.  I couldn’t see how these guys weren’t caught pretty quickly in an area where you have to drive miles to get to a bank.  It’s good that the movie has a sense of humor.  It wouldn’t have been as watchable otherwise.  The atmosphere is bleak and desperate.  If you’re living in poverty, what other way out is there but to move?  Chris Pine didn’t quite convince me that his character grew up in Texas, but I did like watching him as someone other than Captain Kirk.  At the end, I wondered if he was going to turn out like Sterling Hayden in “The Asphalt Jungle.”  Texas sure seemed like it was still part of the Wild West where everyone had a gun, and people could chase a bank robber, although in cars instead of on horseback.  A lot of reviewers have been calling this the best movie of the year.  It was one of the few that keep me interested from start to finish and was stimulating.  I thought it was a strong movie, and it stands above almost all the movies I’ve seen this year.  I think it’s an instant classic, and people will be seeing it and talking about it for years to come.  I wonder where everyone goes from here to the next movie, however.  I left the theatre feeling pretty good that I’d spent the afternoon seeing a movie that was worth my attention.  I stopped to get a hamburger.  I went to the record store before it closed and bought a vinyl copy of Joe Walsh’s “So What” for a couple of dollars.  I went to the other store on the other corner and bought CDs of the mono editions of The Beatles’ “Help!” and “Rubber Soul.”  This was so I could have copies in my backpack because I naturally already had the albums.  I also bought the Playstation 2 games Final Fantasy X and Gran Turismo 4, and a DVD of a Woody Allen documentary.  I watched the Andy Sidaris movies from the set I bought on Wednesday.  There were a lot of planes, helicopters, explosions, radio controlled models, and female impersonators to go along with the guns and Playboy Playmates.  The stars were on the level of Erik Estrada and Pat Morita.  People are killed off as villains in one movie and then return as good guys in the next movie.  The model is the James Bond movie, like “Live and Let Die.”  I watched the Partridge Family episode “All’s War in Love and Fairs.”  Harry Morgan was pretty amusing.  Laurie showed that she could bake bread.  The Native American stood stone still during the Partridge Family’s song, but they applauded at the end.  I also watched the NUMB3RS episode “Con Job.”  Somehow, the criminal mastermind didn’t seem so impressive, and I couldn’t understand why the F.B.I. made a deal with him.  Some of the people who died on August 27 include Titian (1576), Gracie Allen (1964) Brian Epstein (1967), Stevie Ray Vaughan (1990), and Greg Morris (1996).

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