Movie reviews, commentary

I recommend these two movies. They are filmed in the South; nothing looks like a Hollywood set. Burt Reynolds, an ex-con, is out of prison so long as he helps Revenuers (IRS, State Taxes). Both stories involve moonshine, but Gator also includes gambling, protection, prostitution and drugs.

Each movie is a hardcore look at the facts and circumstances of happening and living in those worlds. Filming on location in the South lends a gritty authentication. Good characters die. It seems real, including car chases in White Lightning, and a spin around a lake in a boat to evade law enforcement in Gator.

At the end of Gator, Lauren Hutton, local TV news reporter, has a chance to leave and go to CBS in New York. Reynold’s character development in the film, watching women being slammed by southern culture, relents. Their newly minted relationship is at an end. He admits she would love New York work. He drives off into his world of the South.

This last point in movies today, leaving to fulfill professional aspirations is a throw-away point usually canned to become a politically correct: Go to New York. In Gator Reynolds has a nine year old daughter, who does not get much screen time. Yet at the end, the audience knows Reynolds will be sure his girl will grow into womanhood better prepared to face the world her father currently lives in.

I attribute the appearance of each movie to a low budget and to Burt Reynolds. Reynolds is a son of the South; he used the sets he had; he wasn’t making amendments to pretty things up for the camera. In the end he presented the South for what it was during the 1970s.


Young and inexperienced, I once started stories and quickly put down 5-10,000 words (17-35 pages). I would next wonder where to go and how to get there.

Starting a story now might take a month or more to produce 5,000 words. The difference?
Production and enthusiasm depend upon the story, whether the setting, story or character may be emphasized, and how the writer (I) feel about any of it. But the primary difference is in the author’s (my) outlook. Enthusiasm and impulse remain the same today as it was, but I am more deliberate: I know it will be a slog, write every damn word about every perceived point covering each conceivable concept. The first draft is the one time the author has the opportunity to take this overall view: think freely and make every expression idiotic, moronic or nonsensical as well as completely, profound and experimental.
All later work pares the manuscript by rewriting within the parameters of the givens of the story; next comes editing and proofreading.
The slower launch today may mean energy is not marshaled; doubts linger about the quality of the plot and confidence might be fleeting. But confidence will build throughout a writing, doing 1,000 or 2,000 words a day, and feeling content having produced 20,000 words, 50,000 words, a first draft, and the next draft. It is that build of confidence, a building of ego, which allows a writer to finish a writing.


A billion, or a half-billion

Don Trump refuses to release his tax returns because he is being audited by the Internal Revenue Service for the last five (5) years. Indeed, Trump says he has been audited for the last 12 years.

Trump claims he is super-rich and is a man of vast means. He claims his net worth exceeds ten billion dollars. With financial planning outside municipal bonds, Trump should have a return on capital of 15 percent, or $1,500,000,000 per year. Trump’s annual income may be higher because Trump claims he is a businessman extraordinaire, a deal maker par excellence, a money-maker nonpareil. He makes the best business deals ever. Last week he bragged his company had hundreds of deals negotiated last year.. Let’s put Trump’s ordinary income for the last five years at a 20 percent return on capital per year, or two billion, $2,000,000,000.00 a year.

Pursuant to the tax audit, suppose the amount in dispute is ten percent (10%) of two billion in income, or $200,000,000. The Internal Revenue is auditing Trump for these five years, and the total amount at issue appears to be one billion dollars, $1,000,000,000.00. OR, pursuant to the tax audit, suppose the amount in dispute is five percent of two billion, or $100,000,000.00 in income a year. At five percent the amount in dispute for five years involves a half billion dollars $500,000,000.

Should Americans give Don Trump a pass because he does not want to pay his taxes “let the little, uneducated people” pay the taxes? NO. Should Americans allow Don Trump to fleece the American people to the tune of one billion dollars, or even half that amount? NO.

The American people should be sure that Don Trump pays taxes before he is elected for any public office. If he refuses, Cheatin’ Don should be tossed into prison like other tax evaders.