Saturday, July 1, 2017

Time To Move On

This blog has been at this location for over ten years.  In the early going, I had switched my free domain name from www.clydestuff.blogspot.com to just clydestuff.com.  And it has remained that way since then.  And although my writings over the past few years have been infrequent, this domain was always part of me.  It was mine.  I owned it. 

Every year since then it has renewed automatically.  Over the past couple of years it has renewed it using my credit card I use for other Google things such as My Play and Google Drive.  But not this year.

Now Google wants to force everybody into using their biggest new thing, Gsuite.  Gsuite is their latest entity to round up businesses and get them to use Google for all everything.  At a price of course.  But no exceptions.  You use Gsuite, or you’re out whether you want it or need it.  And beyond renewing my domain, I don’t really need it. 

And using the free Gsuite to try and renew this domain was an endless nightmare.  Yet, it renewed a domain I no longer need or use, and should have expired back in May at the least, earlier if you want to take into account that it renewed the domain automatically on my credit card that was on file for other things Google besides blog renewal.  But getting and renewing this domain just wasn’t going to happen.

Even clicking on any help link or “speak to someone” did nothing but run you in circles one way or another.  Most of the time it brought up repetitive canned answers.  Or it would invite you to upgrade your Gsuite account at a huge fee to talk to a live person.  Talking to a live person (supposedly but probably not) on Twitter was about the only upgrade I could afford.  And guess what?  It did nothing but give me the same canned response I had read over and over and over and over and over for hours.

Finally after hours wasted on this, and accomplishing nothing it dawned on me that because I didn’t have thousands of dollars to stuff in Google’s wallet, that my blog and my problems meant nothing at all to them.  I mean, they’re a multi-hundreds of billions maybe trillions of dollar company.  Me?  I’m just a freeloader who paid a crummy $10 a year for my domain and $9.99 a month for storage.  So much for that.  This was my final response to them on Twitter:

I wrote some rather nasty replies last night but after calming down, I deleted them.  I have every right to be angry, but realized it accomplished nothing.  I've never had any trouble with Google until now, but when you guys step in it, you step in it bigly.

I did everything you suggest.  The best I could do was to get logged in under an old blog name that I never use anymore and should have expired a long time ago.  But I figured that would work for both of my blogs.  I was wrong.  I paid $10 and got a renewal on a damn blog I haven't used in over a year, and which should have expired a long time ago considering that credit card was out of date since 2014.

But somehow for two years, you were able to use my other credit card, the same one that pays for my Google storage, to renew my domains for two years.  But not this year.  This year you insisted that I go through Gsuite, although I have no real business, and my blog was never anything more than my own personal writings, reviews, rants and opinions, written for the most part to please myself.

And to make matters worse, I received emails from Gsuite, and emails from Enom.  I had never gone through Enom before and figured it as being Spam.  Who wouldn't?  But I tried.  Boy how I tried to renew through Gsuite but it just wouldn't let me sign in under www.clydestuff.com and did nothing but run me around in circles.  I could only hope it would renew on my same card I used for other google services including Google Drive and Google Play.  It didn't.

And last night after finding my domain gone, I tried every which way possible to renew it.  But it absolutely refused to acknowledge I had a second domain beyond the old unused corporate owned USA.  It's ridiculous that you wanted to force me into Gsuite, that I have no use for as an individual with a blog and no lofty expectations.

Initially, it wouldn't even let me revert it back to the old clydestuff.blogspot.com.  I had to finagle and jump through hoops just to get that done. It still won't even redirect people from clydestuff back to that one.  So thanks to whatever you guys think you are achieving with this, I'm basically screwed.  And enom?  I finally tried them.  They linked me back to you and your endless tail chasing.  Go figure.

I'm of a mind right now just to close up shop, take the writings that I really want and move over to Word Press.  Frankly, I don't even need Google Drive I'm paying $9.99 a month for and have mostly kept as a matter of convenience.  I can get one Terrabyte of storage on Amazon for way less than that and I'll probably do that.  They win by default after I had already planned to stick with you guys.

I suspect I'll post this letter somewhere.  Maybe I'll take a screen capture video of all the steps I tried to go through just to renew my domain, which should have been nothing more than having to update a credit card.  Then post it on youtube.  Instead, I had to have something forced down my throat which in the end, never enabled me to do what I needed to do anyway.


So I guess I'll be moving on to other pastures. Maybe not greener, but this experience has really darkened my opinion of Google blogs and unnecessarily so. I'll keep you informed.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Thanks to Trump and the GOP, Insurances Rates Will soar (just as I predicted)

RyanI’ve been over and over this again and again.  If you think the Republicans dead-headed single minded purpose to destroy the ACA won’t affect you because you already have insurance, you’re in for a very rude awakening.  Speaking of deadheads, this is what over 60 million of you lazy ass thinkers voted for with your simple minded approach to politics.

But the GOP says they’ll be able to change the outcome if Democrats will only give up their values and shit on the American public along with them.

From the Washington Post:

We now have our first clear evidence that President Trump’s threats to blow up Obamacare — whether or not he actually intends to make good on them — are going to hurt a lot of people here in the real world. In Trump’s mind, these threats are supposed to force Democrats to make a deal on repeal, but minimal logic reveals that this is extremely far-fetched — meaning the only impact his threats will likely have is a destructive one, for no evident purpose whatsoever.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina has announced that it intends to try to raise premiums by 22.9 percent next year. The company says it would have tried to raise them by only 8.8 percent, but it is going for the larger increase because the Trump administration has not said whether it will continue paying the law’s so-called “cost-sharing reductions” (CSRs) to insurance companies, which subsidize out-of-pocket costs for lower-income people who get insurance on the individual markets. Democrats in Congress want to appropriate money to cover these subsidies, but Republicans have not done so.

In an interview with me this morning, Brad Wilson, the president and chief executive of Blue Cross Blue Shield North Carolina, said flat-out that the failure of the Trump administration and Congress to guarantee that these subsidies will continue is why rates are going to soar for hundreds of thousands of people in his state.

“The failure of the administration and the House to bring certainty and clarity by funding CSRs has caused our company to file a 22.9 percent premium increase, rather than one that is materially lower,” Wilson told me. “That will impact hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians.” The company says it has approximately half a million customers getting individual insurance via Obamacare.

“We filed a 22.9 rate increase for 2018 based on the assumption that the CSRs will not be in place,” Wilson also said. “The rate increase would be 8.8 percent if the CSRs were guaranteed for 2018. Because they are not, the rate is 22.9 percent.”

Trump has repeatedly threatened to cut off the CSRs. Doing so could cause many insurers to exit the market, potentially costing millions their insurance, while causing others to dramatically hike premiums. The administration paid them for May, but officials continue to refuse to say whether the payments will continue after that.

But it must be stressed that Trump’s own stated rationale for threatening to cut off the payments is just nonsense. The threat appears rooted in pique over the failure to secure the “win” of repeal. Trump has repeatedly said the threat will force Democrats to the table to make a deal on Obamacare’s future. But Republicans are currently pursuing a repeal-and-replace plan that would do a lot more damage to the law than ending the payments would, so it’s unclear why any Democrats would join them in that effort, in response to a threat to do relatively less (though still severe) damage.

Read more using the link

Trump's Son-in-Law Jared Kushner: Just another Trump bastard who'll take and take and take until there's nothing more to give.

Kushner Properties
This country has turned itself over to The Trump Crime Family.

From the New York Times Magazine:

Warren sent a letter reporting the problem to the complex’s property manager, a company called Sawyer Realty Holdings. When there was no response, she decided to move out. In January 2010, she submitted the requisite form giving two months’ notice that she was transferring her Section 8 voucher — the federal low-income subsidy that helped her pay the rent — elsewhere. The complex’s on-site manager signed the form a week later, checking the line that read “The tenant gave notice in accordance with the lease.”

So Warren was startled in January 2013, three years later, when she received a summons from a private process server informing her that she was being sued for $3,014.08 by the owner of Cove Village. The lawsuit, filed in Maryland District Court, was doubly bewildering. It claimed she owed the money for having left in advance of her lease’s expiration, though she had received written permission to leave. And the company suing her was not Sawyer, but one whose name she didn’t recognize: JK2 Westminster L.L.C.

Warren was raising three children alone while taking classes for a bachelor’s degree in health care administration, and she disregarded the summons at first. But JK2 Westminster’s lawyers persisted; two more summonses followed. In April 2014, she appeared without a lawyer at a district-court hearing. She told the judge about the approval for her move, but she did not have a copy of the form the manager had signed. The judge ruled against Warren, awarding JK2 Westminster the full sum it was seeking, plus court costs, attorney’s fees and interest that brought the judgment to nearly $5,000. There was no way Warren, who was working as a home health aide, was going to be able to pay such a sum. “I was so desperate,” she said.

If the case was confounding to Warren, it was not unique. Hundreds like it have been filed over the last five years by JK2 Westminster and affiliated businesses in the state of Maryland alone, where the company owns some 8,000 apartments and townhouses. Nor was JK2 Westminster quite as anonymous as its opaque name suggested. It was a subsidiary of a large New York real estate firm called Kushner Companies, which was led by a young man whose initials happened to be J.K.: Jared Kushner.

I made it through the article and there are other incidences of this type cited. It's just another Trump scam to squeeze every nickel or dime out of those who can least afford it, and to do it for no other reason then that they can. The whole thing makes me sick to my stomach. But with Trump as president that's an every day occurrence. Use the link at the top to read the whole unabridged article.

Dan Rather on Donald Trump’s Lack of empathy.

Trump Car 2While Donald Trump had no trouble tweeting congratulations to a Republican shit stain that body slammed a reporter, he has not even acknowledged the heroic actions of a college graduate and an army veteran father of four.  So much for Republicans giving a shit about Veterans.

These two men gave their lives protecting the lives of two teenage girls, one of whom was wearing a hijab.  They didn’t have too. Earlier I saw a video of a man sucker punching a guy with cerebral palsy, and two onlookers did absolutely nothing about it but walked away as if it were nothing.  In the larger scheme of things, we’re well on our way to making these kind of incidents the norm.

If there’s an act of hate spewed out by the bigotry, hatred, and racism of those who support the GOP (and there are many) they completely ignore the sacrifice and blood shed of those heroes who don’t fit their political agenda.  It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if by next Memorial Day, the Fake News Crowd spews, “Remember those who died in battle, except for the Democrats, the black soldiers, the Hispanic soldiers, etc. etc. etc.”

Dan is probably wasting his breath here.  But the point is well made.

Dan RatherJoy Reid

Sunday, April 9, 2017

The Twitter Thing: Who knew?

The things I run across on Twitter.  Conspiracy theories and everything else.

Richie Rich

Jurassic Park

Planeteers

Saved by the Bell

Who knew

I’ll wrap it up in a ribbon with this one.

C87w1yxVYAAJj6U

Oh hell, why stop there.

C89lvr3UIAAD2Nf

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

This and That: You know you’re in the 60’s when

One of the characters who is pregnant, in labor, and in a hospital lights up a cigarette like it was nothing. A doctor actually shedding tears over losing a patient. Marvel when the Chief of Staff lights one up right outside the surgical wing.  Then there’s the woman who is getting ready to have a C-Section.  This is when they gas her up like she’s Barbara Graham

Dr. Kildare, Season 2, Episode 1: Gravida One

While Kildare assists in the case of a pregnant woman who shows a lack of enthusiasm and even hostility to the idea of giving birth to her first child, Gillespie is involved in the case of the hospital's original benefactor, who is suffering from a perforated ulcer.

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Monday, February 13, 2017

Clyde’s Movie Palace: Daddy’s Gone A-Hunting (1969)



Daddy Movie Marquee
Completed Cast
Completed Crew
I first saw Daddy’s Gone-a-hunting at either a neighborhood theater or drive-in. I can’t remember for sure which of the two it was. But what can you expect? It’s been close to 50 years since the thing was released. You don’t expect me to remember every little detail about every film I ever saw, do you?

What I do know is that back in 1969 or 1970, I liked it. But does it still hold up in 2016?


As Daddy opens, we’re informed almost immediately that our main character is a young lady from the United Kingdom who has arrived in the US via jet, landing in San Francisco. And we know all of this because Director and Producer, Mark Robson, goes out of his way to make sure we see the San Francisco International Airport sign on the building as the plane lands, a Welcome to San Francisco sign as she walks through the terminal, and that she is carrying a shopping bag that literally screams UK at us.

Welcome to San FranciscoAs our blonde gal friend goes through customs, we discover she’s an artist, possibly a fashion designer. We get all this information in a mere 1 minute and 35 seconds of screen time while we tap our toes and snap our fingers to the title tune, Daddy’s Gone A Hunting, sung by Lyn Robbins, lyrics by Dory Previn, and music by John Williams.

Yes, that John Williams who hammered out the score to this film while Star Wars was just a gleam in George Lucas’s eye. But that aside, I like producers, directors, and writers like Larry Cohen and Lorenzo Semple Jr. who keep things moving along and don’t beat around the bush with unnecessary details and unwanted minutiae. Unlike this review.  Throw up a few signs, pretend it’s a real airport, and we’re off and running.

The name of our blonde world traveler is Cathy Palmer (Carol White). No, we didn’t find this out by watching the movie credits. Much easier to look it up on the IMDB beforehand.

After arriving at the downtown airport bus terminal, Cathy is shown how we welcomed visitors to our country back in the good old days when she is shoved on her ass by some fat-assed old hag while getting into a taxi. She should have called Lyft.

To add insult to injury, she is hit in the noggin with a snowball by creepy but friendly Kenneth Daly (Scott Hylands) who just wants to have a meet cute with young Cathy so he can get to know her slightly, and get in her pants a lot.

The snowball should have been a dead giveaway that this guy oozes creepiness and slime out of every pore in his body but naïve young British blondes in San Francisco for the first time probably would probably overlook the fact that Ken somehow managed to find the only car in San Francisco that just returned from a ski trip and miraculously managed to still have snow on it that did not melt on the way back.

After explaining that the snowball was the only way young Ken could find to introduce himself, just before Cathy turns on the waterworks, Ken asks the most pertinent question in the whole movie, “Do you think I’m nuts?”
I’m sure Cathy’s instincts should have been, “Yes, you’re fucking nuts. Don’t you have, “Hello, I’m Ken” in your vocabulary?” But before she can get the words out of her mouth, Ken finally says, “Hello, I’m Ken” which brings a smile to Cathy’s face.



Begin Piano Montage.

Ken takes Cathy to a cheap hotel before going back to his own seedy little apartment. He lies on his bed in his boxers giving the cinematographer time to pan around Ken’s humble abode as a way of letting us know there’s something really off about this guy. Cut to smiling Cathy taking a shower. Cut back to Ken who has actually been counting the minutes it would take for her to check in and take a shower and start circling the want ads before he calls her on the phone to make his next move.

End Piano Montage.

Piano MontageHe invites her to the Top of the Mark, a popular drinking place in San Francisco that is part of the Mark Hopkins Hotel (oh, now I see) that is located at the highest point of downtown San Francisco (Thanks Wikipedia). And we know its popularity continues to this day because it’s been around for over seventy years now.

Cathy sketches away as Ken praises her work, telling her he has all kinds of contacts but doesn’t use them because he doesn’t want to be a sell-out. Cathy on the other hand says, “Show Me the Money.”

Ken grabs her by the hand, goes through a window to the outside (right past a waiter who shrugs his soldiers and acts like this is an everyday occurrence (Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t), climbs up a ladder to the roof (definitely not an everyday occurrence), then finishes it off by pointing out where Cathy can get a job, which she does at a place called Emerson, Spencer, Nayfeck, and Simpson. It’s also where she meets her first really true normal friend, Meg Stone (Mala Powers). As for the scene at The Top of the Mark, I’ll just say we’ll be revisiting this particular location before it’s all over with.

Time for another montage.  This time with piano, orchestra backing, and the great vocals of Lyn Robbins.


Begin Full Musical Montage:

Ken waits downstairs when Cathy returns from her interview and gives her the “I told you so” gesture, lifts her up in the air, and true love that will last forever descends from the skies to brighten their lives.

With a new job, Cathy is able to rent her own place, that will become Cathy’s and Ken’s place quicker than you can say, “Who’s that banging on the piano”. Cathy gets a package with a big red bow delivered to her with Ken standing there all sheepish like. Inside the box is a foil bag with a snow ball, just like the one Ken smacked her on the head with. We can almost hear her ask, “What’s this, a snowball?” And Ken answering, “No, it’s a tool to pry your pants off with.”

She crumbles afore mentioned tool all over him, they kiss, make their way to the bedroom, and our instincts about it not being a snowball at all are proven correct as Ken and Cathy take to the bed while we have a cat’s eye view of the proceedings.

End Full Musical Montage.

Full Musical MontageFast forward some unspecified amount of time later.  Think in terms of days, weeks and/or months. Not hours.  Not specified.  Doesn’t matter.

It would seem that the true love that would last forever has not lasted quite that long. Ken, as we suspected, is a bum who mostly likes feeding parakeets to the cat. Cathy is working hard and mostly footing the bill for their not so hunky dory lifestyle.



When she dares to point this fact out to Ken, telling him, “I don’t think you’re completely well,” he shows his appreciation by giving her and the cat the boot out of her apartment that she probably signed the lease for and has been paying the rent as well.

All this, and we’re only fifteen minutes in not to mention I’ve already used up two and a half pages in Word? Oh me oh my. There’s a good reason why Director Robson sped through all the romantic mushy stuff. That’s because Daddy’s Gone A Hunting was never a movie about an ill-fated romance beyond being a set-up for everything that comes next.

Cathy holes up at Meg’s place where it is revealed she’s going to have a baby. Meg recommends an abortion, but Cathy isn’t convinced. Instead she sets up a meeting with Ken to let him know she’s going back to Jolly Old England where life is beautiful all the time and they have nice things like Big Ben, London Bridge, Monarchies, and Fog. She has no intention of telling Ken she’s pregnant, but Ken has found out anyway thanks to a lab result coming in the mail.

Cathy insists it’s all over. Ken insists he’ll follow her across the Atlantic so he can tell Mama Palmer and Papa Palmer about their slutty daughter. Cathy calls Ken a fool which promptly earns her a slap across the face as all the other patrons in the restaurant go, “oooooooooh” but don’t put down their martinis to help her out.

Slap in the KisserThe slap and the threats from Ken to stalk her also seem to knock some sense into Cathy who decides to take Meg’s advice not to wait around for the Roe vs. Wade decision so she can give birth to the spawn of Beelzebub.

AbortionI don’t know what the abortion views of Director Robson were, but he seems to go out of his way to make it look as evil as possible complete with an overly dramatic musical flourish from John Williams, close ups of surgical instruments complete with a surgical table and stirrups. It makes one feel as if they’re in Dr. Frankenstein’s dungeon instead of a professional, sanitary, doctor’s office.

Medical InstrumentsAfterwards, Cathy is once again confronted by Ken, asking for forgiveness, saying he’ll change at which point she informs him there isn’t going to be a baby. But instead of telling a little fib like, “I had a miscarriage,” she lets Ken draw his own correct conclusion that she had an abortion and “she had no right to do that.”

“Don’t you know what you did,” he tells her. You murdered my baby.”

And this being 1969, a woman who has an abortion for whatever reason, needs to be punished in the worst possible ways despite the fact that she was carrying the spawn of Norman Bates twin brother.

If you thought Cathy’s first foray into True Romance happened fast, it’s nothing compared to the 5 second courtship she has with Jack Byrnes. No I’m not kidding.  They meet, cut to wedding, cut to the back of a station wagon in the garage for a quick consummation of the marriage vows.


WeddingAnd in another minute and a half, Cathy, who seems to have the genes of a bunny rabbit, is with child once again, and shopping for baby furniture. I guess there were no condoms in the glove box of the station wagon.

It isn’t long before Cathy’s past in the form of Ken comes back to haunt her.  And here you thought the cost of that abortion was just going to be some cold hard cash.

As I said, this is not a movie about love found, love lost, and love found again. It’s a movie about punishment and revenge. The punishment is what Cathy has to endure simply for making the mistake of shacking up with a snowball throwing maniac, and the revenge is what Ken has on his mind because Cathy dared to erase him from her life in every way possible. To say Ken has Daddy issues is an understatement.

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner
The film does have more than its fair share of suspenseful moments the rest of the way as Robson sets a nice quick pace.   You just have to ignore a few minor plot holes and a few unbelievable coincidences.

For instance, Ken just happens to be working as a department store Santa at the very same store Cathy is buying baby furniture, thus letting him know that Cathy is very much pregnant.

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This is Ken’s cue to dump the Santa gig and start a new career as a maniacal stalker of Cathy and just about every one she comes in contact with.  Exactly what does he have in mind. For me to say anything would spoil it for you.


This is where the movie excels. Once you get past the hogwash of the set-up, the suspense is fast and furious for the last hour and fifteen minutes. And with Cathy’s husband Jack Byrnes running for Congress, it makes it that much more difficult for her to spill the beans in regards to her former relationship with Ken and the fact that she had an abortion. You have to remember that this is way before the Age of Trump where a political candidate wasn’t allowed to grab pussy, invade locker rooms, or talk about lusting after your daughter on national radio. So she’s pretty much left to deal with Ken on her own until we get to the well laid out suspenseful conclusion.

The film succeeds in spite of its flaws thanks to the two leads. Carol White has a wide eyed vulnerable naiveté that convinces us that someone who is making their first trip to the U.S. could be an easy mark for snowball throwing jackasses. Later, when she realizes Ken is stalking her, she plays the girl with the guilty conscience who sees him even when he isn’t really there so well that at times even we’re not sure what’s real and what’s not.

This is the only Carol White film I have seen although I do have Poor Cow, an earlier film, in my library. In that film, her character makes some very unwise decisions as to whom to fall in love with, a problem that ironically, spilled over into her real life.

Poor CowHer bios tells us that despite her acting abilities, she was vulnerable and insecure succumbing to drugs and alcohol. White passed away in 1991 at the age of 48 but even her cause of death is in dispute.

From Wikipedia:

White starred opposite Alan Bates, Dirk Bogarde and Ian Holm in the film adaptation of Bernard Malamud's The Fixer (1968) and then travelled to Hollywood in 1968 to make Daddy's Gone A-Hunting (1969). She appeared in Something Big (1971), and had major roles in Dulcima (1971) and Made (1972), with the singer Roy Harper. During the late 1960s, White was considered one of the most promising actresses in British cinema, but her problems with alcoholism and substance abuse, as well as unhappy relationships with male stars such as Richard Burton, Frank Sinatra, Oliver Reed and Paul Burke, hindered her career. She did, however, have a prominent role as a hostage in The Squeeze (1977).

After living in Hollywood for several years, White returned to London to star in Nell Dunn's play Steaming at the West End's Comedy Theatre, filming Nutcracker at the same time. Despite receiving excellent reviews for Steaming, she often was late, missed performances, and finally was sacked. In 1981, a biography, Carol Comes Home, by Clifford Thurlow, was published. Although White received publicity for the play and the biography, she was not able to renew her career. She returned to the United States, where she remained for the remainder of her life.

Scott Hylands does creepy stalking mental patient as well as anybody except for maybe Anthony Perkins. Even his early obvious manipulations and seductions of Cathy will want you to take a hot shower, just to wash away the ooze factor. This film was Scott’s first starring film role. He would go on to have a long long career, mostly in Television as either a guest star or co-star in several TV Series.Scott Hyland Ironisde
I liked Mala Powers as Cathy’s friend but she’s not given much to do although she does appear in several key scenes. Everybody else is just generic, including Paul Burke, whom director Robson hauls over from Valley of the Dolls, as Congressional Candidate Jack Byrnes and husband number two.  But unlike Robson’s previous film, he dispenses with the more soap operish story elements rather quickly.  I guess he had his fill of that on Valley of the Dolls.  James B. Sikking is on hand as an FBI agent, Dennis Patrick took a break from his continuing duties on Dark Shadows to play the abortion doctor Dr. Parkington, and Rachel Ames moonlights from General Hospital to be his nurse.
 
Clyde's Movie Palace Grade  BProducer/Director Mark Robson also had the good sense to bring legendary Academy Award winning Cinematographer Ernest Lazlo along to the San Francisco shoot.  Lazlo does an excellent job of giving us a feel for the city.  Funny, but with legendary artists such as Lazlo and Williams, you’d think more people would be looking this film up. Especially Williams who still seemed to be a bit crystalized and had yet completely burst out of his cocoon.

Given the chance, I hope you’ll check Daddy’s Gone A Hunting. It may not be a great film, but for the most part it’s an above average thriller that will keep you on edge through the last hour as well as any other film. And saying that I’ll give this film a better than average score of a B.