Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Obama adviser Gruber admitted ObamaCare might not be affordable | Fox News

For the past year I have discussed and debated(the latter to a lesser extent to be sure) the true affordability of the Affordable Health care Act, aka "Obamacare". This law has had a polarizing effect on all working Americans, no doubt about it. But how affordable is health insurance with the ACA now existing law?

Before the ACA was passed into law I could have obtained very basic health insurance from Blue Cross-Blue Shield starting at $150 per month. Browsing the government website by which people can check out "Obamacare" health insurance plans and their accompanying monthly premiums, I found that the same basic plans start at $309 per month. I've talked with several people I know, all male, all over 50 years age(like me) and all non smokers. These guys came up with the same starting rate at the ACA's website, based on health insurance for a single, non smoking white male. Last I checked $309 per month is a good bit more cost than $150 per month. I have no doubt that the ACA law has helped many people. The thing is, I believe it's also screw a whoe hell of a lot more Americans over.

The ACA is a monstrosity borne from the minds of liberal Democrats and others whose share the idea that they know what's best for the American people and that working class Americans can't possibly know how to run their personal or professional lives, much less make day to day decisions that affect our health and finances in a positive way. It was difficult enough for me to afford basic health insurance before the ACA was passed into law. With "Obamacare" now law, I flat out cannot afford the lowest monthly health insurance premiums offered on ACA's government run website. My doctor tells me every year that more and more of his patients are also compelled to drop their insurance plans because of increased monthly premiums they can no longer afford to pay. The increases in these patient's premiums are the result of their insurance carriers coming into compliance with, you guessed it, the ACA and its veritable ocean of regulations and requirements.

For those who would argue that subsidies I could apply for and receive would help me pay my health insurance premiums, I say this: according to the ACA's health insurance website I'm not eligible for ANY subsidies. I don't make much money now but I still make too much for a subsidy or other financial assistance. My guess is that unless I'm on welfare I wouldn't get a subsidy, period. Liberal Democrats who helped our president pass the ACA into law are, I believe fully committed to making as many Americans poor(or poorer) and dependent on the federal government as much as possible. The more dependent Americans are on welfare and other entitlement programs, the more votes the Democrat Party gets come election time. One of my personal goals for 2015 is to obtain health insurance but at this point I'm not real confident I'll be able to afford it. For anyone else who has this problem(single or married), you can thank your liberal friends, business associates or other liberal acquaintances who voted Democrat in the 2008 and 2012 U.S. national presidential elections.

 Obama adviser Gruber admitted ObamaCare might not be affordable | Fox News

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Once bitten: COBRA (1986)

Every now and then I like to give a "shout out" to an action film I like. The "action" movie genre has provided me with a lot of thrils and fun over the decades and it's a film genre I like almost as much as horror and science fiction...almost.

The props in this post go out to the film Cobra, a co production of the Cannon Group, Warner Brothers and Golan-Globus which was originally theatrically released back in May, 1986. This action film is directed by George P. Cosmatos and has a final worldwide box office figure of about $160,000,000.

This movie's primary "star" is Sylvester Stallone. Stallone, who gained worldwide fame portraying boxer "Rocky Balboa" in the various Rocky films as well as ex Green Beret "John Rambo" in the First Blood films, was peaking in terms of his box office appeal by the mid 1980's. In Cobra(1986), Sylvester Stallone plays loner, tough guy Los Angeles Detective Lieutenant Marion Cobretti(nicknamed "Cobra"), a guy who relishes in taking on the cases that no other cop in the LA police department wants. Those cases typically involve tracking and stopping some of the city's most violent and psychotic criminals. As Cobretti declares to an armed criminal during the early part of this film: "You're the disease...and I'm the cure." You can be sure that Stallone's character "cures" a lot of people in this movie. The cast for Cobra(1986) includes Andrew Robinson, Reni Santoni, Brigitte Nielsen, Brian Thompson and Art LaFleur.

The film's story:

A lone figure clad in a dark overcoat walks in a Los Angeles supermarket and begins randomly firing off shotgun cartridges into any shoppers nearby. The L.A. police congregate outside the supermarket, contemplate a raid into the store but instead opt to call in their resident "cleaner", Lt. Marion Cobretti. Cobretti roars up in a vintage 1950 car. "Cobra" enters the supermarket and eventually dispatches the crazed shooter with his customzied 9mm Colt pistol.

Later, supermodel Ingrid Knudsen(played by Brigitte Nielsen) witnesses a brutal roadside murder committed by several masked assailants. Her problem: she sees one of them and these killers, who we learn are a radical group calling themselves the "New Order", make it their mission in life to hunt down and kill the supermodel who has witnessed their random attack on a motorist. Enter Lt. Marion Cobretti who, along with his partner Sgt Gonzalez(played by Reni Santoni), is tasked with protecting Ingrid Knudsen from the "New Order" killers. Actor Brian Thompson plays the leader of the "New Order" and is very effective in the role. Thompson's character is a worthy adversary for the "Cobra".

Lt. Cobretti, his partner Gonzalez and another female cop travel north of L.A. to try and better protect their witness, Ingrid Knudsen but the female cop with them is secretly in cahoots with the "New Order" and phones in their location(a motel along the northern California coast) to them. The "New Order" descends on Cobretti's location and all out war ensues. Cobretti and his "New Order" adversaries are all armed to the teeth. Cobretti employs grenades, his pistol and a machine gun as he battles it out with the killers. The body count definitely ramps up at this point in the film. Most of the deaths in this movie come courtesy of firearms but at least one individual(a bad guy) is incinerated alive and another "New Order" killer is doused in gasoline and torched.

A final showdown eventually ensues between "Night Slasher", the leader of the killers and Lt. Cobretti inside a giant foundry. (no other spoilers)

This movie has been put through a meat grinder by critics and I would be the first to admit the acting Cobra(1986) is rather pedestrian. Art LaFleur is fairly straightforward as Cobretti's boss "Captain Sears", a square jawed, no nonsense type who, while wary of Cobretti's "take no prisoners" method, also realizes that the "Cobra" is a needed resource for dealing with the criminal dregs of the city. Andrew Robinson plays smarmy, sarcastic "Detective Monte", a by the book cop who is more bureaucrat than police officer and who opposes Cobretti at every turn during the movie.

As average as the acting is in Cobra(1986) I don't watch this and other action films for the acting. I watch these movies for the action, fights and shootouts and in that regard this movie doesn't disappoint. Recommend any action movie fans who haven't seen this movie put it in your Netflix queue or rent it from your cable TV provider.

Cobra(1986) is available on single disc DVD and BD. To see them for sale at Amazon click the link: COBRA(1986) Blu Ray

A theatrical trailer:

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Triple threat: fifty years of King Ghidorah

On this day(December 20th) way back in 1964 the kaiju "King Ghidorah" made his first cinematic appearance in Toho's Three Giant Monsters: The Greatest Battle On Earth. In the west we know this film by it's American(and international) title: Ghidrah The Three Headed Monster. King Ghidorah is an enormous, three headed and golden skinned space dragon who in this movie arrives to Earth inside a giant meteor. The monster escapes the confines of the meteorite in a giant fireball and begins an immediate rampage. Each of King Ghidorah's heads can discharge highly destructive, lightning like energy bolts and the space dragon uses these "gravity beams" to annihilate buildings while it's wings cause hurricane force winds as the creature flies overhead. Godzilla and Rodan, who have been fighting each other in this movie, eventually join forces with larval Mothra to fight the three headed space dragon. The combined might of Earth's three monsters succeeds in driving King Ghidorah away and back into space.

This film remains one of my all time favorite kaiju movies. King Ghidorah has gone on to appear in numerous other Toho kaiju films including Invasion Of The Astro Monsters(1965 -aka "Monster Zero"), Destroy All Monsters(1968), Godzilla vs Gigan(1972) and Godzilla Vs King Ghidorah(1991). The three headed space monster also squares off against adult Mothra in the 1998 Toho fantasy film Mothra 3 - Invasion Of King Ghidorah. King Ghidorah has long been considered, and I think justifiably, as one of Godzilla's greatest and most powerful on screen rivals. It's been reported that King Ghidorah will appear in the planned, 2018 sequel to Legendary Pictures' film Godzilla(2014).

Check out the Toho trailer below to see King Ghidorah's first appearance in movies:

I own the 2012 Classic Media DVD release(R1) of Ghidrah The Three Headed Monster, still my favorite kaiju film featuring this grand and menacing monster. This release offers the movie in its 2:35.1 Tohoscope widescreen aspect ratio and in both English audio as well as the Toho version in Japanese language with English subtitles. To see this DVD for sale at Amazon click the link: GHIDRAH THE THREE HEADED MONSTER Classic Media DVD

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Monsterland Forums - eight years on the web and still going

It's hard to believe that my internet message board, MONSTERLAND FORUMS, is over eight years old. In fact, this online community will be celebrating it's ninth(9th) year online on January 30th, 2015.

This message board community enjoyed a quick rise in posting activity between 2006-2009 with our peak activity in 2009. Since that year posting activity has been on the decline BUT the board itself has retained a core group of active members(including myself). I'm likely going to purchase a full domain for this online community in 2015.

As always anyone is welcome to check out and join Monsterland Forums. There are discussion forums for just about everything ranging from movies(all genres) to video games, music and sports. To access this message board click the link below:
Monsterland Forums

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Bite this - Queen Of Blood(1966)

With the recent additions of the MGM (HD) Channel and the Sony Movie Channel(HD) from my cable TV provider I've managed to watch many movies I've heard about but have never seen...including QUEEN OF BLOOD(aka "Planet Of Blood"), written and directed by Curtis Harrington and theatrically released by American International Pictures(AIP) back in 1966. The cast includes Basil Rathbone, John Saxon, William Hopper, Judi Meredith and Florence Marly, the latter who plays a green skinned female alien with a hypnotic stare and decided taste for blood. Up until now I've considered 1967's MISSION STARDUST to be the most bizarre yet enjoyable outer space sci-fi movie. QUEEN OF BLOOD may be that film now for me. The visuals in this movie, said to have been made on a scant budget of $50,000, are actually appealing at times and the movie itself is very colorful. I'm planning on buying PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES(1965) on Blu Ray in a week(or two) and I'm going to also buy the MGM DVD of QUEEN OF BLOOD(1966). Recommend any fan of older sci-fi and sci-fi/horror films check this one out!

Queen Of Blood -1966- by dashgami_itto

QUEEN OF BLOOD(1966) can be purchased online at Amazon by clicking this link: Queen Of Blood MGM DVD