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Friday, April 29, 2016

The Best to Worst Westerns of All Time

I will use this page in the future to document some of the Western films I have watched over the next year or so. A few years back in preparation for the teaching of Clint Eastwood’s film ‘Unforgiven’ and Shaeffer’s novel Shane, I watched in excess of 150 Western films. Now I will rate what I have seen from best to worst.

The Montana Kid (2010) is a Canadian film which was originally called ‘Gunless.’ It is a light-hearted spoof on American gun violence and traces the transformation to pacifism of the notorious gunman, Sean Rafferty (Paul Gross) who flees to Barclay’s Brush in British Columbia after his attempted hanging by ruthless bounty hunters.

After a brief confrontation with the huge local blacksmith, Jack Smith, the Montana Kid agrees to help a local, Miss Jane Taylor (Sienna Guillery), to build her windmill if she gives him a gun so he can have a duel with Jack.

This film is shot full of clichés and satirically but painfully parallels some of the scenes from the classic novel Shane, including the removal of the cumbersome tree stump.

The underlying message to throw away your guns is topical but naïve, particularly in view of the NRA’s cynical and uncompromising position on firearms. Redeeming features  of the film include the wonderful scenery from the Osoyoos in the interior of B.C. and the backing track from the top band Blue Rodeo.  

Rating: 6/10

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Featuring Howie Good

Dillinger Is Dead

While searching
for a word
to describe
the apple tree
in bloom,

he discovers
a baby
in a full diaper
sitting up
in the crib,

a handgun

that glows
after he
paints it

bright red
with white 
polka dots.

A Truncated Story of Infinity

Birds fly off the power line the moment someone turns on CNN. An apparition of the Virgin Mary has appeared in the window of an otherwise ordinary house somewhere in New Jersey. Everyone I know insists that I should pay attention, yapping and whining at me and dreaming the myth forward. I have never encountered such a scene before. We were once a bit of white fluff, a tandem bicycle, a bowlful of agriculture. Original poetry hung in the trees of the Township, snobs be damned! I lean my elbows on the window sill, let warm breath out. The sky is full of uneasy feelings, flickers of silver blue, as if angels dressed in tinsel were muttering about how time is a flat circle. And those not burned up by death rays become their slaves.

The Beginning of the End of the World

Someone dropped two baby birds from a great height, not realizing perhaps that the birds would die. I’ve been thinking a lot about what death is like, whether there are car horns and sirens and applause at the end. The phone rings day and night with solicitations from strangers who derive pleasure from the misfortune of others. In the mirror my face has the absolute pallor of a passenger on a hijacked flight. I know how to say “bomb” in French, although I don’t know how I know how.

Howie Good is the recipient of the 2015 Press Americana Prize for Poetry for his latest collection, Dangerous Acts Starring Unstable Elements.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Top 60 Posts on Bold Monkey

Yeah, I’m obsessed with data, who isn’t these days? Here's the latest stats of the most officially viewed material on BM. If you are interested in the content of the stuff, click on the relevant links. 

The list is not totally accurate because of dodgy Russian & American robotic malware, but it gives you a general idea of some of the best and most read shit on the blog. Unsurprisingly, some of the choicest cream hasn't yet surfaced to the top. Hits to date: 225,849.