Friday, July 29, 2011

Movie Review - Freeway

Freeway (1996), by director Matthew Bright ponders the philosophical question: What if Little Red Riding Hood was a semi-literate, teenage prostitute with a "problem with anger"? What would happen then? I'll tell you what would happen, the Big Bad Wolf would take an ass kickin', that's what. And we get to watch it all unfold in this warped, modern day fairy tale.Reese Witherspoon stars as "Red" (Vanessa Lutz) a young girl who is not having a good day when both her Mom and step Dad get busted and sent back off to jail. Instead of going back into foster care she decides to go and live with her Grandma. Unfortunately, she doesn't get very far before she is stranded on the freeway without any help and nowhere to go. It is there that she is offered a ride by the "Big Bad Wolf," Bob Wolverton (played by Kiefer Sutherland). Unknown to Vanessa, Bob is actually the I-5 killer, a notorious serial killer working the highways of southern California looking for young girls to mutilate. But unknown to Bob is that Vanessa is not his usual victim, and maybe this time he has bitten off more than he can chew. And you don't even want to know what happens when they get to Grandma's house.While the language and violence in this movie was obviously inspired by movies like Pulp Fiction it really takes off in its own direction and is not just another copy. Reese Witherspoon as "Red" is in one of the best roles of her career (if not the best), this is a role she was born to play. Vanessa Lutz's life is really screwed up, she is really pissed off about it and takes out her anger on anyone and everyone that messes with her, the Big Bad Wolf doesn't know who he's messing with. Kiefer Sutherland as "Bob" is perfectly cast as the slimy, creepy killer. This would have to be the polar opposite of his virtuous agent character on the series 24 and he is perfectly cast as well, I can think of no one who could have done better with this part. The supporting cast is also very good and helps add to the entertainment value of the film. Wolfgang Bodison and the always entertaining Dan Hedaya as the two detectives investigating the case, Amanda Plummer as Vanessa's Mom, Michael T. Weiss as her scummy step Dad and Brooke Shields as "Bob's" clueless wife all really add to the story. The movie is also helped out by the strange but interesting sound track by Danny Elfman that only seems to add to the strangeness of the situation that we find ourselves.

Originally posted 5/27/2005

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Blue Steel & Gunleather

Besides being a classic gun book, Blue Steel & Gunleather is also an apt description of my taste in firearms. I've been around guns since before I could walk, been shooting since I was in grade school. In those formative years of my youth there were few choices regarding your gun's finish. Yes, there were oddities like chrome or stainless steel that you might occasionally see at the sporting goods or hardware store. But in those days realistically you had three options. There were military type guns that had a parkerized finish. There was nickel if you liked bright guns, and it usually cost more too. And then there was blued steel. That's what I was brought up with. That's what I liked.

Of all the finishes you can put on a gun it is the least durable, while blue barely protects it is beautiful to behold. That's why I liked it. Probably allowed to touch my Dad's old guns too much, they were almost all blue. Maybe I watched too many old movies as a kid, those cinematic tough guys that I loved watching, they all carried blued steel.

I had a few guns before but didn't really start amassing my collection until 1991. And when I did start buying what did I buy? Those guns I admired from my youth. There were exceptions of course, I did purchase some modern guns, but mostly what I spent my hard earned money on was old and blue. Old Smith & Wesson revolvers, Colt automatics and Winchesters, that's what I loved. Not only were they tools that you could use but they were art too. They are art. If you can look at the fine polished finish of an old S&W hand ejector, Colt Government Model or Winchester Model 12 and not see the beauty in them, well, I'm at a loss for words.

So that's what I bought and enjoyed for the most part, blued steel. But occasionally I did buy a gun strictly as a "tool" and nothing else. I remember my first Glock, a first generation G21. I bought it just before the "assault weapon" ban of 1994. I figured I should purchase a "high capacity" handgun if for no other reason than "they" said I didn't need one. The Glock was accurate. It was also plastic and looked cheap. It would do everything my Colt Government models would do and held more rounds too. But it was ugly. It was unbreakable, it never failed once the entire time I owned it. It had no soul. My old Colts had a soul and you could feel it when you held them. The men, the artisans, who worked their magic into them made more than just a tool, they were something special and they put a little bit of themselves into each one.

Over the years my collection grew and most of my purchases continued to be old and blue. They did everything I needed and were nice to look at as well. But blue takes special care. Blue is much less forgiving than any other finish.

Also, like many collectors, I sought out the best most pristine examples I could find. I didn't shoot many of them though because they were too "nice." After several years I had a safe full of guns, at least a third of them never got shot. Would have been a lot cheaper to collect paperweights, as that was all they were good for.

Starting in '09 I made a conscious effort to rebuild my gun collection. To reduce the number of calibers I had and to move away from collectables and more towards guns that were more practical and fit a particular need. Finally, last November I sold my last "Safe Queen" and I had by that time also thinned out the calibers I owned. I had 20 different calibers at various times but now I have only 10 to worry about. I could probably get the number down to eight if I wanted but there are a couple of antiques in my collection with sentimental value. I am keeping them so the ammo is staying too.

I still have many fine old guns in my collection. Always will. I still have that love for old blue steel but now I can also appreciate the newer stuff. Although they're not much to look at there much more practical, more useable. When I want something special out comes the blue. But with the mundane day to day work something more modern and sensible usually gets used. They're not as pretty but they do get the job done.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Movie Review - The Hard Road

Combining equal parts soap opera, daring drug expose' and high school VD flick, director Gary Graver's The Hard Road (1970) is a disturbing, unflinching tour de force in sleaze that will leave the viewer dumbstruck as well as feeling dirty and in need of a long bath.At seventeen Pam (Connie Nelson) finds herself alone and in trouble. Much to the chagrin of her parents (Ray Merritt and Liz Renay) she's in a family way and the daddy is nowhere to be found. But that's okay, because after they send her away to have the baby in secret and then put the kid up for adoption everything can get back to normal, or so they hope. But after Pam's loss of innocence, things just aren't the same anymore and there's no going home again. Pam needs to start over new, a change of pace to get her out of the doldrums, so dad calls in a favor and gets her a job with a slimy rock promoter friend of his named Leo (Gary Kent). Sure, Leo is a middle-aged scumbag pervert who likes to ogle his new receptionist through a two-way mirror, but that's only one of many fringe benefits that Pam gets with her new job. Another one is that she gets to meet and party with not quite famous, good-for-nothing degenerate rock stars that introduce her to many new and interesting concepts, concepts like recreational drug use and cheap one night stands. While Pam loved the marijuana and the wild trip it sent her on she didn't really like being used like a doormat. But after a new friend that Pam met at a party, Jeannie (Catherine Howard), makes her aware of even better drugs than "Mary Jane" and a little something that every girl should know about called "The Pill" ALL BETS ARE OFF! From then on Pam's life becomes an ever-increasing blur of cheap sex and bottled thrills.At this point Pam is still living at home and everything is going fine until her snoopy mother finds out that she's got a venereal disease, and then out the door she goes! Pam lands at best friend Jeannie's apartment, which she shares with her smackhead boyfriend Jimmy (John Alderman). Sure Jimmy is a full-fledged, $40 dollar a day heroin-shooting addict, but he is awfully cute. So cute in fact that Jeannie doesn't even mind pimping herself to support his addiction, now that's love. Unfortunately Jeannie quickly discovers that love stinks when she comes home one night and finds her junkie boyfriend snuggling up with new roomie Pam. That's it for her, Jeannie is out of there faster than you can say "pill popping prostitute ex-girlfriend" and Pam gets herself a new beau.Regrettably all is not sunshine and rainbows for Pam and her new boyfriend, he does have his shortcomings too. Like the time that Pam made the mistake of using the rent money to pay the rent, boy did he go off on her. But after he smacked her around some and put her out on the street to make him some dope money everything was great with them again. Well not really, you see while Pam truly likes cheap sex with strangers she's just not cut out to be a pro. So Jimmy, now getting kind of antsy because he hasn't had a fix in a while has to take his favorite TV set and sell it for dope. But Jimmy isn't really that smart and he's starting to go through withdraw so it's not long before he's got himself caught and sitting in county lock-up, Jimmy is going to get to spend the night in jail. By now he's in full-blown withdraw and it's going to be an interesting night for him, and we get to watch every bit of it. Meanwhile back at their apartment, lonely, bored and not known for making the best life choices, Pam suddenly comes up with a brilliant plan to break up the monotony of the day. Why not drop a big hit of acid and make like an airplane, wheeeeeeeeeeee!Wow! This could be one of the best worst movies ever, if not the best certainly a top contender. This is a movie that has a little something for everyone, teen pregnancy, drug use and addiction, blood-soaked drug crazed hippies, alienated youth as well as their unsympathetic parents, and a story so big it had to have two narrators! Yes, the ideas in this picture were so grand that it required two narrators to keep the story straight for the audience! One narrator to cover the more mundane details of Pam's pregnancy and a second narrator (who looks like some pervert that should be sitting in the dark at a peepshow somewhere) who gets to tell the audience all about the illicit drugs and their wonderful uses as well as all about the joys of venereal disease. And what a great idea having two narrators (although one coherent narrator might have been an idea they could have tried), because every time this story gets rolling one (or both) of these guys can come in and bring it to a screeching halt just to show us some informative (and stomach turning) high school scare film footage! Take all of these wondrous things and bundle them up in a high-minded, heavy-handed package and you could only get The High Road, and no it is not a pretty picture!This film is available from Something Weird Video or Movies Unlimited as a download or on DVD. The DVD is offered with another film, Damaged Goods, and includes many special features (short films, movie trailers, etc) all with a similar theme and make for a very interesting compilation.

Originally posted 7/7/2007

Summer reruns

This summer, besides the normal stuff I will also be reposting some of my favorite articles and reviews from my original website and blog - jwilsonsworld (9/2002 - 3/2010). Hope you enjoy.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Women got no sense of humor

On the way home earlier today I stopped at an intersection. As I was waiting a guy pulls up next to me at the light in a like new looking Hummer H2. He's talking on his cell phone AND driving. He just looks like a jerk and the jerk waves are radiating off of him like the blazing summer sun is glaring off my hood. I look down and my suspicion is confirmed, across the entire driver side in black spray paint it read "CHEATER." I hope she was worth it fella.

New look

To commemorate the oppressive heat wave that has currently swallowed up most of the nation (including me), I've decided to change my banner. This is the new summer of 2011 limited edition wilsonblog banner. Hope you like it.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Do the guy a favor

Larry Correia, author of Monster Hunter International (and a whole bunch of other great stuff!) is asking a favor, and after all the entertainment his books and blog have given us I would say he's earned it! One week from today his newest, Monster Hunter Alpha will be released and Larry really wants to be on the top sellers list. To do that he has to sell a boatload of copies the week it's released (7/26). So go out and buy (or order) a copy, you'll be doing this great author a favor and yourself one too!

Monday, July 18, 2011


Chapter Twelve has finally been posted, better late than never! This is the longest chapter to date and most likely the longest in the book. Please remember while Joshua has its own website now the previous address has been left up for those that wish to leave comments. Finally, one last reminder that new chapters will be posted on the third Monday of the month, 8/15 for August. Thanks!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

People with guns collection # 38

"AMERICA"S POLICE CHAMPION - R.J. Nowka, of Los Angeles, Calif. by winning the national police individual pistol match at the national matches at Camp Perry, Ohio, became America's foremost police pistol shot." Sep 10 1931

Friday, July 15, 2011

Idiots and their guns

Some people idiots shouldn't be allowed to own guns, this guy is one of them. Right now this is a big local story, you can read more here. Let me give a short summary for you - 56-year-old man was having a problem with kids in the neighborhood (ringing doorbells, banging on windows, etc.). One night while "scared and confused" he shoots a 12-year-old boy in the back with a shotgun, and all over a child's prank.

This sad story all began with some boys getting together, and as unsupervised boys are bound to do they found some trouble to get into. They decided it would be fun to ring some doorbells and run. Kids have played "Ring and Run" a lot longer than I've been alive, I have done it myself although it's been a few decades. I'm not going to defend these boys. They were old enough to know better and the phrase "play stupid games, win stupid prizes" came to my mind when I initially heard about this. But although it's true that they shouldn't have been on this man's property in the first place I'm also thinking that having two collapsed lungs and a 100 shotgun pellets dug out of you might be excessive punishment for an infantile trick.

The authorities say it was a crime; the shooter says it was an accident. I say at best it was 100% pure essence of stupidity. For this post I'm not going to worry about the disputed facts in this case, the whole truth will come out soon enough. Today I'm solely commenting on the statements this man has already made. He has managed to make it 56 years without having any major run in with the law so I will give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he is telling the truth, for now.

He said - That he thought there were burglars outside his home and only wanted to scare them. I say - Idiot, you don't point a gun to "scare" people, to intimidate trouble away. If you are aiming a gun at someone you better be completely convinced that they are about to take your (or some innocent persons) life, which with rare exception is the only valid reason in a justified civilian shooting. If you want to "teach" someone become a schoolteacher.

He said - "I had no idea who it was or how old they were" I say - Listen up moron this is important, I doubt you have ever heard any of this before so I'll tell you now. There are 4 crucially important rules for gun owners, learn them all. The one most applicable here, Know your target and what is beyond. You were prepared to shoot and kill someone and had absolutely no idea who they were and you didn't know that other kids were nearby either. This was a wide-open invitation for tragedy and it was only your stupid luck, and the grace of God, that this didn't end with some child dead.

He said - "The gun went off… but it was an accident" and he was "shocked and upset at myself for leaving a shell" (in the gun). I say - Einstein, this is no "accident," you had a loaded gun, you had your finger on the trigger. That's not an accident, just you being stupid. Starting to see a trend here? Did you even look at that link in the previous paragraph? And speaking of stupid, how much is required to confront a burglar with what you thought to be an unloaded gun?

If this man somehow manages to dodge a conviction and keep himself out of jail I hope he never owns another gun. Sell them, give them to the police, have them cut in half with a torch, have someone crush them. Just don't own another. People like this make it hard for the rest of us gun owners that take the enormous responsibility of firearms ownership and self-defense seriously. Guys like this are the ones gun haters think of as they try to destroy all of our rights, they think we're all like this. Every easily avoidable incident like this one only solidifies their misguided beliefs that no one but police and military are "smart" or "good" enough to have weapons. Having guys like this on "our" side only makes the fight for our freedoms a hundred times harder. They are the worst enemies that the average concerned, thinking gun owner has.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

The summer doldrums

I have several gun related projects I need to do but haven't. I keep putting them off for one reason or another, some good reasons, but mostly though I just seem to be in a funk lately. The hot and muggy summer weather doesn't help either. I wanted to put some back-up sights on my MSAR and zero them in for a while now. Haven't got around to it yet. I have a M1A Bush model that I bought last year, still sits untested in my safe. Recently bought a second M1A too, it's sitting next to the first. I also purchased a new .45 pistol a few weeks ago. Would be nice to try it out some time. All would make great blog fodder if I ever get around to it. I guess I'll just have to make myself or I'm going to wake up and find the whole summer wasted.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Happy 4th!

A happy 4th of July to all my fellow Americans! Have a great holiday, I know I will!

Saturday, July 02, 2011

For readers of Joshua

For those of you reading my end of the world novel Joshua please take note of the new web address. Since I started posting my book I have had several readers asking if I could change the page on my blog and make it easier to read. I tried to do just that numerous times when I first built the page, without success. I must admit I'm not a web design genius so I never did resolve the problem, I couldn't fix the Joshua page without ruining the rest of my blog. Finally I've decided the best thing to do is give Joshua its own separate site. The old address will remain and will be used as a separate comment page. If you have any commentary please leave it there. Also, a reminder that from now on future chapters will be posted at the new address on the third Monday of the month, 7/18 for July.

Friday, July 01, 2011


Apologies to all my readers. There wasn't as much free ice cream for the month of June as usual. I've had a family member with major health problems and was quite occupied with that for the last couple of weeks. I just didn't have the time or energy for much blogging or writing. For those of you following along with my post apocalypse novel Joshua, you probably already know that I normally post a new chapter on the first Monday of the month. Starting now new chapters will be posted on the third Monday (7/18 for July). Again, sorry...