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My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
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.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Thursday, July 6

Hotdogs & Baby Driver

In an age when almost a third of the world’s population is considered obese and another third within normal parameters, we must consider that the other third is undernourished, many bordering on starvation. And on the Fourth of July we showed the world what we think of that starving third by sponsoring food eating contests. Joey Chestnut, in the Nathan’s hotdog eating contest in Atlantic City, won his tenth title by consuming 72 hotdogs and buns in ten minutes. What an impressive athletic endeavor, Joey, 72 in ten minutes. That’s enough to gag a maggot as we used to say in my youth. Next year he can strive for a new record of 73 or 74. And the world looks on in astonishment as a long line of contestants eat enough hotdogs in ten minutes to feed three or four hundred starving children for a month.

For most of us old movie fans (I mean old fans, not old movies.), the greatest car chase was in The French Connection when “Popeye” Doyle (Gene Hackman) and his partner Buddy Russo (Roy Scheider) chase some French drug smugglers in and out and around New York underpasses. Or maybe it was Bullitt as Frank Bullitt (Steve McQueen) pursued the bad guys, both doing those iconic auto high-flights on the San Francisco hills. There have been many cinematic extended car chases in the past, but I think they may all have to move aside to let Baby (Ansel Elgort) do his thing in Baby Driver. The driving was excellent, the car chases exciting, with avoidance tricks that seemed plausible instead of the usual special effects smash-‘em-ups we see too often in the Fast and Furious and Jason Bourne franchises. The driving was set to the music that Baby hears in his IPod inner ear. Baby is working off an obligation to Doc (Kevin Spacey), who caught him trying to steal his Mercedes. Doc won’t turn him in to the police if baby will be the driver in a number of bank heists that Doc orchestrates. Baby becomes Doc’s good luck charm, and he uses him on each of the jobs they do. But then, Baby is also the best getaway driver Doc could find. He works with three others on the first job we see—Buddy (Jon Hamm), Buddy’s psychotic partner Darling (Eiza Gonzalez) and Griff (Jon Bernthal), then later with a replacement for Griff, Bats (Jamie Foxx), who truly is batty. Baby meets and falls in love with Debora (Lily James), a waitress at Baby’s favorite diner. He wants to do this last, this final, job for Doc so that he and Debora can hit the road into the Western sunset. No such luck. Doc wants more. Bats doesn’t trust Baby. And the blood flies and bodies pile up. That piling may have been where director/writer Edgar Wright got off on the un-Wright foot. We didn’t need all that blood to make a convincing love story, just a lot of manic driving and a really great musical score, the music that Baby uses to make his way successfully through a chaotic world.

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Any comments? Write me at jertrav33@aol.com