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Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
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Monday, December 8

Jackie Brown

One of my favorite authors is Elmore “Dutch” Leonard. His stories are intricate and well-plotted, his characters are vivid, alive, and usually funny. The humor is often black, but still very funny. Thanks to Netflix we watched the 1997 Jackie Brown, adapted from Leonard’s Rum Punch. This was Quentin Tarantino at his usual iconoclastic best, maybe not up to his very best, but close. The story is simple: Jackie Brown (Pam Grier) is a down and out airline stewardess working for a down and out airline with flights to Mexico, making a few bucks by helping Ordell Robbie (Samuel L. Jackson) smuggle cash out of Mexico, money he’s made by selling illegal arms to a Mexican cartel. She’s arrested as she deplanes, DEA agents finding a small amount of heroin in her luggage, and is coerced into helping them get the goods on Robbie. Robbie arranges her bail with Max Cherry (Robert Forster), a bail bondsman. Jackie then, enlisting the help of Max Cherry, plans an intricate plot not only to get out of the charges but also to steal Robbie’s half million, the money he’s hoping will help him get out of the business and set him- up for a life of retirement. The language is deep blue, especially with all the m-f bombs from Robbie, but one gets numb to that after the two and a half hours of film run-time. Robert DeNiro plays Louis Gara, sidekick of Robbie’s. Melanie (Bridget Fonda) is Robbie’s young, blond stonehead who is an unwitting part of the plot, but DeNiro shoots her because she just wouldn’t shut up when they’re leaving the mall with what they think is the half million. Confusing, right? It all works out that Jackie’s scam is successful, with her leaving for Spain with the cash, asking Max if he wouldn’t like to join her. He declines, but takes his 10% of the money as his usual fee. Good movie version of Rum Punch, maybe longer than it needed to be, maybe with language that didn’t need to be quite that blue. Probably four stars out of five.
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