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Happy Valentine’s Day from Ike

A short story from my anthology entitled “Path of a Bullet – A Collection of Short Stories Featuring Ike”

Open Heart Sandwich

You love her, but she loves him, and he loves somebody else. You just can’t win.”

The J. Geils Band – Love Stinks

 

“Ahh, Valentine’s Day,” Brewski said, leaning back in his chair. “Love is in the air.”

“Is that what that is?” Ike asked. “I thought it was low tide.”

Brewski went into the cabin of Ike’s boat and returned with a fresh beer. “You gotta admit, Valentine’s Day is much easier when you’re single”

“It’s a lot cheaper too.”

Brewski raised his beer. “I’ll drink to that.”

Ike looked at his watch. “It won’t be cheaper for me, though. Not tonight anyway.”

“Why? Don’t tell me you’re in love.”

“Love? Too early to tell, I just met her a few hours ago. I’ll let you know in the morning.”

“You’ll be paying alimony by noon tomorrow.”

“Quite possible,” Ike said.

“Who’s the lucky winner?”

“A natural blonde with legs until tomorrow. Works at the Casa Monica, some kind of event coordinator or something.”

“Does Miss Natural Blonde have a name?”

Ike pointed at Brewski. “Yes she does. It’s…”

“Take your time,” Brewski said, sipping his beer.

“…Laura.”

“Congratulations, you remembered. That’ll impress the hell out of her. I know it impresses me!”

“I’m picking her up in an hour. She wears a name tag. Takes the guess work out of it.”

“It’s convenient that she works in the nicest hotel in St. Augustine. You won’t have to walk the three blocks back here later.”

“Yeah, kinda looking forward to it. I’ve never stayed there before. I wonder if she gets the room gratis.”

“Even if she does, the tips you have to leave will still set you back.”

“She looks like she’ll be worth it.”

Brewski downed his beer, stood and stretched. “Well you enjoy your evening. I’m going to find a bar with a band and cheap beer.”

He handed his empty to Ike as he hopped off the boat onto the dock. “Remember,” he called over his shoulder, “safe sex is more than just a good idea.”

 

Mandy turned her back and pretended to be interested in the large, tarnished cannon in the square. She casually repositioned herself behind a family of tourists, consulting their St. Augustine tourist guide, so she could watch him weave his way through the crowd of tourists and college students filling King Street.

The more she watched the more her heart fluttered.

If there was a man on the planet more perfectly suited for her, she hadn’t found him yet, and she’d been to six states, plus Jamaica.

There was no doubt in her mind…they were meant to be together and all she needed to do was make him see how right for him she was.

There was no way he wouldn’t see it.

She trotted across King Street and fell in behind a pair of couples celebrating Valentine’s Day in The Nation’s Oldest City. They provided perfect cover, allowing her to admire him without the possibility of detection should he turn around. Not that she wanted to hide from him, but she didn’t want him to see her until the moment was right. It had to be more, much more, than a random glance on a crowded street.

Someday they would reminisce about the way they met and she wanted it to be a story worthy of a romance novel. In the future they would be entertaining guests and somebody would inevitably ask, So how did you two meet? Mandy would gush and her answer would always start with the same four words, spoken with the purest kind of love—It was Valentine’s Day…

The rest of the details weren’t finalized yet, but it wouldn’t be long.

When he entered the lobby of the Casa Monica Hotel and paused for a moment in the doorway to the ballroom, framed by an arch of roses and red balloons, she became even more convinced that God had put her here, at this moment in time, to fulfill her destiny…their destiny.

 

Roger wasn’t sure exactly when he lost the charm and good looks that had enabled him to get laid at will throughout high school and two years of junior college, but he was sure of one thing…he had banged more broads in those six years than the combined total of the following twenty-five.

If somebody had told him back then that there would come a day when he’d actually pay for sex, or worse, become a pudgy, balding, porn-watching cab driver, reduced to giving himself the hand-jobs that girls had once lined up to perform, he would have laughed in their face.

He now sat in his pickup, watching Mandy from across the square. Mandy had been the closest thing to a relationship he’d had in quite a while—if you could call six dates and one night in bed a relationship. He just couldn’t understand why, after their night together, where he was almost certain he’d done all that could be expected of him, she had suddenly become totally unavailable. Wouldn’t answer her phone, was never home when he stopped at her place, even though her car was there, and she had stopped coming to the Four Winds where they had met.

He glanced at the bouquet of carnations on the passenger seat next to him, thankful there was a Winn-Dixie a block from Mandy’s apartment and for the brainstorm that had reminded him that women loved getting flowers. All he needed now was the right time and place to give them to her. With the flowers, and a little bit of luck, maybe he could talk her into a repeat performance of their night together.

If she would just stop moving.

For the last half hour he had followed her from her apartment to downtown St. Augustine. He watched as she parked her car and walked to the marina, hung out on the docks for a while, acting a little weird, then walked to the square and finally across King Street toward the big fancy hotel.

He had parked his truck, dropped some coins in the meter and followed her inside, passing under the banner announcing the Valentine’s Day pirate party where guests were invited to Surrender the Booty.

He felt a little out of place in the lobby, dressed in jeans, but he didn’t care. When she walked through the archway made of roses he followed her.

 

Ike snatched a glass of wine from a passing pirate-waiter and an hors d’oeuvre from the tray of a serving wench as he wove his way through the crowd. Standing in the center of the room, next to a six-foot-round chocolate fountain, he spotted Laura working the crowd on the far side of the room. His eyes took in her long legs as they flowed from her red pumps up to the hemline of her glittery red skirt. He admired the way the small red blazer hugged her curves and the way her blonde curls sat on the shoulders like epaulets.

He could certainly pick them.

From across the room Laura spotted him and shot him a perfectly seductive smile without neglecting the couple she had been talking with, then added a discrete gesture that told him she’d make her way to him momentarily. Ike sipped his wine as he observed couples drinking each other in.

Love was certainly in the air…along with the smell of molten chocolate.

Laura excused herself from her conversation and strolled toward Ike, pausing to exchange pleasantries with guests along the way.

Her smile seemed to grow wider with each step closer to him.

 

Mandy stood transfixed next to a table in the ballroom. She watched Ike sip wine next to the huge chocolate fountain. The way he looked somewhat out of place in the roomful of happy loving couples, yet at the same time blended in as though he belonged, only deepened her admiration for him.

She needed to get closer. This was the perfect opportunity. All she needed to do was gather her thoughts and figure out what to say.

Hi, Ike. You don’t know me, but I’ve been watching you…

No – too stalkery.

Hi. Your name is Ike, right? My name is Mandy. I clean the boat in the slip next to yours. I see you all the time.

No – it needs to be something that will get his attention.

Maybe just a nice smile and a simple Hello while she showed him some cleavage?

Wait a minute. What the…? Who was this bimbo?

A long-legged blonde woman sauntered up to Ike and hugged him, planting a kiss on his cheek. They smiled at each other and looked around the room, the woman pointing and talking, always with the smile. Worst of all, Ike seemed to have more than a casual interest in her. No surprise, since she was dressed like a high-priced hooker.

Mandy’s nemesis placed a hand on Ike’s chest and pointed off in another direction, then left his side.

Mandy followed her.

 

Roger stopped in his tracks and scanned the room, momentarily losing track of Mandy.

A pirate, complete with a cutlass hanging from his belt, presented a tray full of wine glasses to him.

“Good evening sir,” the pirate said. “Wine?”

Roger looked from the pirate’s face, down to the plastic wine glasses, then back to his face. “Is it free?”

“Yes sir, it’s complimentary.”

“Sure.” Roger snatched a glass, downed it and exchanged the empty for a fresh one.

“Thanks.”

The pirate nodded and moved along.

Roger spotted Mandy walking across the room toward the ladies room.

Cool. While she was in there it would give him an opportunity to figure out what to say to her.

 

Mandy entered the ladies room and sidled up beside the blonde, who was leaning over the granite counter to check her makeup in the mirror. The bitch had the nerve to smile at Mandy’s reflection in the mirror. Mandy decided there was no point in beating around the bush.

“Who the hell do you think you are?”

The blonde blinked, glanced around the room and then pointed to herself with a Who, me? Look on her painted-bitch face.

“Yeah, you,” Mandy said. “You think you have a chance with him? I got bad news for you.”

The blonde just stared at her, like she didn’t know what Mandy was talking about. Mandy grabbed her by the hair and dragged the Barbie-doll wannabe into a stall. Mandy kicked the door closed and slammed the woman’s face into it.

“How do you like that, bitch?”

Mandy spun her around and clamped a hand over her mouth, forcing her against the stall door. Barbie face was full of panic, like she had never bled before…or gotten into a fight.

“You listen to me, bitch. Ike is mine, he just doesn’t know it yet. If you got any idea what’s good for you, you’ll forget about him. Understand?”

The blonde nodded rapidly. Mandy gripped the woman’s hair and plunged her head into the toilet. The woman crumpled onto the floor sobbing, her face dripping with water, tinted red with her own blood.

Mandy left the stall, checked herself in the mirror, made a quick adjustment to her chest for maximum exposure and left the bathroom smiling.

 

When Roger spotted Mandy leaving the ladies room he inhaled deeply, took a look at the flowers in his hand and prepared himself. If he timed it right he could head her off at the chocolate fountain.

He downed his wine, dropped the empty glass on a table and started toward her.

 

Ike kept one eye on the ladies room door. The dark-haired woman who had entered the bathroom shortly after Laura had already exited and was heading in Ike’s direction, with a look on her face that was a weird mix of seductive and nervous.

As she drew near she smiled and opened her mouth to speak.

Ike’s attention was torn from the stranger when Laura burst out of the ladies’ room, wet and bloody.

Ike could see she was crying. She was calling something to him but the music was too loud. Now she was frantically pointing at the dark-haired woman, who was standing directly in front of him—smiling.

“Hello, Ike…” the stranger said.

Another woman on the far side of the room caught a glimpse of Laura and screamed. The band stopped playing and all eyes went to Laura—except for the eyes of the woman in front of Ike

The room grew increasingly silent.

“…I’m Mandy. I’ve been dying to meet you.”

“Ike,” Laura called from across the room. “She’s crazy, watch out.”

 

Mandy was within arm’s reach of the man of her dreams and she finally had his undivided attention. Nothing was going to stop her now.

From behind her she heard somebody shout something about crazy. She ignored it. From her right came a familiar voice that filled her with dread, momentarily distracting her.

“Mandy,” the voice said, “what’s happening, babe?”

Ike wasn’t paying attention to her. His eyes were focused on the commotion behind her. Mandy turned to see Roger approaching carrying a bunch of cheap-ass flowers.

“What the hell are you doing here?” Mandy spat at him.

Roger let the flowers drop to the floor and a look of pure wrath took over his face.

 

Roger’s mind went blank.

He couldn’t process everything that was happening fast enough to make sense of it. The only thing that was obvious to him was that Mandy was clearly interested in this gorilla standing in front of the fountain.

Not tonight, he thought, I’m not settling for no second place tonight.

The gun went off in Roger’s hand before he was even aware he had drawn it.

 

Ike’s attention went from Laura and her warning cry, to the woman standing in front of him, and then to the man approaching from the side…the man who had pulled a gun and was bringing it up to point it at Ike. Ike side-stepped quickly to his left and collapsed the gunman’s right knee with a solid side-thrust kick. As the man crumpled to the floor the gun went off. Ike grabbed a cutlass from a nearby waiter.

 

Roger watched as Mandy’s torso was immediately covered in blood. The force of the bullet had knocked her into the fountain where her blood was mixing with the flowing chocolate. What have I done? How did this happen? Despite the agonizing pain in his knee he stood and turned the gun back toward the man who had caused him to kill Mandy.

 

The lunatic with the gun was struggling to his feet and bringing the gun around for another shot. Ike plunged the cutlass into the gunman’s chest, giving it a sharp twist before pulling it out. The gun dropped to the floor and the wounded man clutched at the gaping wound in his chest as he staggered sideways and fell into the fountain. The air was filled with the smell of the chocolate mixed with the smell of gunpowder and blood. A woman fainted.

A crowd stood in silent horror around the fountain.

Ike looked at the chocolate flowing over the two corpses and into the holes in their chests.

He handed the sword back to the dumbfounded waiter.

“Nothing like chocolate covered hearts for Valentine’s Day,” he said.

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Danger, Will Robinson! TV and Movie Remakes are Getting Out of Control

On the advice of a friend I began watching the NetFlix remake of the classic TV series Lost in Space.

After watching the first two episodes I will say this…it has one thing the original series (1965-68) didn’t have – a budget.

Money, as we all know, changes everything.

Sometimes for the better…sometimes not.

Having a little bit of do-re-mi to throw behind it, NetFlix has created a show with some great special effects, really good costumes and extremely believable settings. Things blatantly absent from the original series – even though it was considered “lavish” at the time.

But here’s the thing…not having big budget effects (the laser guns were about as high tech as it got back then), costumes (many of the “aliens” encountered by the Space Family Robinson wore costumes borrowed from some of Producer Irwin Allen’s other TV shows of the era) and settings (there was no CGI to create realistic space scenes or planet-scapes in those days, so most of the worlds visited by the Robinson’s had a very familiar look to them) is a big part of what made the original series so much fun to watch.

There was a lot of tongue-in-cheek humor about the original series, which also added to its appeal. In its third, and final season it was up against the ever-so-campy Batman so the big wheels at CBS  must have figured if you can’t beat ‘em – join ‘em. I once saw an interview with Mark Goddard (Major Don West) where he said there were times when he would discretely cover his mouth with his hand, and turn away from the camera in order to hide his laughter.

So what’s the bottom line?

Am I saying the original series is better than the new one?

Actually – no, I’m not.

So, I’m saying the new one is better?

Uhh…no, not saying that either.

Lemee ‘splain…

As I said before – in the world of Hollywood (or in this case NetFlix) it’s all about the Benjamins. I’ve never sat in on a production meeting but I imagine one would sound something like this;

HEAD SUIT: “All right people, we need something new. Who’s got the next big thing?”

GUY-IN-SUIT #1: “Remember that old show My Mother the Car? Why don’t we remake that?”

HEAD SUIT: “Was it popular enough to still have a viable audience?”

GUY-IN-SUIT #1: “Probably not.”

HEAD SUIT: “Next.”

GUY-IN-SUIT #2: “How about Mr. Ed?”

HEAD SUIT: “The talking horse? How would you like to go back to the mail room?”

GUY-IN-SUIT #3: “Hey. How about Lost in Space? It was pretty popular, and with Star Wars refusing to die we should be able to really cash in.”

HEAD SUIT: *nodding* “You might be on to something there.”

 

How does this answer the question of which is better?

It doesn’t.

Because asking which version is the best is like asking “Was the 1965 Corvette better than a 2018 ‘Vette?”

If you asked 20 people this question you’d get 25 different answers.

The same holds true for remaking old TV shows and movies. Whether they are better or worse depends entirely upon who you ask.

For me – the new Lost in Space strayed too far away from the original story for me to form an objective opinion. I’ve enjoyed it so far, but only after I stopped making mental comparisons to the original.

But in all honesty – this post is not really about which show is better. It’s about a question I’ve asked in several other blog posts:

Why, in a time when there are more authors and more original story ideas than ever before, is it necessary to remake a show (or a movie) that has been off the air for 50 years?

I’m not a fan of remakes. I mean, if I said ‘for my next book I’m going to rewrite Moby Dick’ would you buy it?

Probably not…

So why would you pay to see the rehashing of something you’ve probably already seen before (new story lines notwithstanding)?

With all that being said, here is my other point…I have decided to pitch my novel Unfinished Business to all the major (and some of the minor) networks and see what happens.

Who knows? Maybe a guy in a suit will avoid the mail room by suggesting something totally new instead of remaking The Flying Nun.

Wish me luck.

 

As always – thank you for reading

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It’s About Time!! (Literally – Doomed to Repeat is All About Time – and it’s Available Now)

There’s a saying about boat ownership I’m identifying with right about now  – “The two happiest days of a boat owner’s life are the day he buys it, and the day he sells it.”

Having never owned a boat (yet) I can’t speak to the veracity of that claim, but I can say this…two of the happiest days for an author are the day he conceives of a new story idea, and the day the story is set loose on the world in the form of a new book.

Along the way there are highs and lows.

There are days where you think you’d better send the tux to the cleaners for that inevitable stroll on the red carpet…and days where you feel like donating your computer to charity because it is the vessel which contains the worthless drivel on which you have wasted countless hours.

In the end, it’s always worth it, because you never get tired of releasing a new book.

It’s a feeling that’s hard to accurately describe.

I wouldn’t put it up there with the pride you feel when your child graduates from college, but it’s at least as great as that day where you no longer need to buy diapers for him/her!

But I digress…

Let’s get to the meat of this here sandwich.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am proud to announce the release of my eleventh novel (16th book) Doomed to Repeat!

From the day I released my first novel, Living the Dream, I’ve wanted to write at least one historical fiction story – and I can now scratch that off my writing bucket list.

I may even do it again. Somewhere around the time I was writing my second book I had an idea for a story whose beginning takes place during the Civil War…so that may become a reality in the near future.

In the meantime – Doomed to Repeat is available for purchase as a paperback, and for your kindle simply by clicking here or on the cover image above.

No spoilers, but the story begins in a top-secret bunker in Nazi Germany, and ends in current day Flagler Beach, Florida. Ike and Company have their hands full dealing with a corrupt US Senator (perhaps a bit redundant), two strangers who show up on the beach with amnesia, a mystery corpse, the CIA, and the KGB.

The advance reviews have been overwhelmingly positive so I’m pretty confident it will be well-received.

I hope you enjoy it!

 

As always – thank you for reading

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24 Minutes – Not Much Time, but a FREE Book!

Okay – I have good news and bad news…and more good news.

The good news is – beginning at midnight tonight (Tuesday night – Wednesday morning…however you want to look at it) and running until midnight Sunday November 18, 2018 my novel 24 Minutes will be FREE!

 

The bad news…this is the final giveaway of the Pre-Doomed-To-Repeat-Release Giveaway.

If you’ve been following along you know that I have made 8 titles available during this giveaway and nearly fifteen hundred books have been downloaded!

But wait…there’s MORE good news!

The reason the giving is over is…drum roll please…my new book Doomed to Repeat will be available for purchase at this time next week!!

I am really excited about this because the early reviews are saying Doomed is my best work yet…so I’m anxious to see how you rate it.

Oh – I almost forgot…still more good news – each time I release a new book I lower the price of one of my previous books to $0.99. Which means that once Doomed is available for purchase, the kindle version of Backseat to Justice will be priced at 99 cents!

 

I think that’s it…

24 Minutes will be the final selection offered in the Pre-Doomed-To-Repeat-Release Giveaway, Doomed to Repeat will be available next week and the price of Backseat to Justice will be slashed!

Enjoy!

 

 

 

As always – thank you for reading

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Bohemian Rhapsody…Just See It

The band Queen never appealed to me to the extent where I would say I loved them…or even really liked them.

They had several songs I liked quite a bit, a few that I didn’t mind and some that I would tolerate because I was too lazy to change the station or switch to another song.

On my radio program (Friday nights from 7pm-10pm on 97.3 FM – FlaglerBeachRadio.com) I throw in a Queen song every now and then because I know that there are listeners out there who really enjoy them.

With all that being said, I will now tell you that the movie Bohemian Rhapsody is a must see not only for those who have a Queen tattoo, but for the casual fan as well.

The hard-core Queen fans will love it no matter what I say about it, so I’m really directing this review at those who think “That’s the band with the gay guy who sang that song from Wayne’s World, right?”

Right. That’s who they are, but there’s a lot more to their story and Bohemian Rhapsody shows it by going far beyond another “rockumentary”.

It’s not done in the style of an A&E “tell-all”. There’s no grainy backstage footage overdubbed by a monochromatic voice describing the highs and lows of the band, and there are no interviews with groupies, roadies or record company execs revealing the band’s best-kept secrets.

What you get, instead, is a movie.

If you had never heard of Queen before, you would think it was a movie about a fictitious band from England who struggled to make it and eventually did. Naturally, they have setbacks and stumbling blocks, but the picture is so well made that you find yourself getting lost in the story regardless of your opinion and knowledge of the band and its history.

Naturally, the story revolves around charismatic front man Freddie Mercury and the way he took the band from total obscurity to superstardom nearly overnight.

I assume (although I could be wrong) that some of this was exaggerated to make things more interesting, either way…it’s a gripping rags-to-riches story.

The acting is near flawless, led by a brilliant performance by Rami Malek as Mercury. At times you are convinced you’re actually watching Mercury.

The casting for the other band members is also well done to the point where actor Gwilym Lee could actually pass for Brian May.

I have read other reviews which panned Bohemian Rhapsody on the grounds that the writers tip-toed around Freddie Mercury’s sexuality and his contraction of AIDs.

I disagree with those reviews.

I think the matter was handled well. As you watch the movie you are well aware of what’s going on in Mercury’s life without being subjected to gratuitous sex scenes.

Finally, there is the music.

As I stated earlier, I have never been a huge fan of the band’s music, but after watching the movie and getting a better feel for the band as four guys from England, as opposed to the members of one of the biggest rock bands of the 70s, I am going to re-examine their music with a more open ear.

I’m pretty sure I won’t regret it.

One final thought…don’t wait for Rhapsody to be released on DVD or NetFlix…see it on the big screen.

It’s well worth it.

 

As always – thank you for reading

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What Goes Around Comes Around – and it’s FREE BOOK Time Again!

Here we go again…another week – another FREE BOOK!!

My latest novel Doomed to Repeat is through the editing phase and is now being formatted. Release is probably a week away – two at most.

What that means is you get another FREE BOOK! And possibly another one next week!

This week the featured selection is Full Circle.

 

Full Circle has a very long history which you can read about here…but to make a long story short, it was my first attempt at writing in 1988. It was shelved, uncompleted, less than six months later, dragged out of mothballs in 2015 and rewritten from scratch, keeping only the main theme from the original.

The story is not much of a departure from my usual stories, although Ike only makes a brief cameo appearance. The one significant difference between Full Circle and my other work is the role played by Karma.

Karma is a funny thing.

We all want to believe in it, but at the same time we all know somebody who deserves a bit of comeuppance, yet never seems to get it. When people say to us ‘Don’t worry, Karma will take care of them’ we can only reply ‘When!’

Sometimes it seems that Karma is right up there with Santa Claus and The Great Pumpkin…you can only believe in them for so long without proof.

Well, I won’t tell you that Full Circle offers proof of Karma’s existence, but I will tell you it certainly offers a healthy does of hope! Sort of the way the empty glass of milk and the cookie crumbs kept your hopes alive for the existence of the big man in the red suit!

So, there you have it…Full Circle is Free from midnight, Tuesday November 6th, 2018 (Monday night…Tuesday morning – however you want to look at it) until midnight, Saturday November 10th, 2018.

Note: This offer is not affected by daylight saving time!

One final thing…this is week #6 of the 2018 Pre-Doomed-To-RepeatRelease Giveaway and so far I have given away almost 1,500 books!

I’ve also gotten several very nice reviews, and as any author will tell you – that makes my day!

 

As always – thank you for reading

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Hollywood Wastes Another Five Million Dollars

I’ve never written a movie review before, but as they say, there’s a first time for everything.

Movie spoilers are one of my biggest pet peeves so there’ll be none of that here. My only goal is to help you in your movie-watching decisions.

I happened to be home alone on Halloween this year and I had just finished a good book (The Last Detective by Robert Crais) so I decided I’d do something I’d never done on Halloween…watch a scary movie.

Perhaps a bit cliché, but it seemed like the thing to do.

I scrolled through NetFlix for a few minutes, avoiding the typical scary movie selections and settled on one that sounded promising, since it featured several things that I enjoy – SCUBA diving, sharks, vacations and good looking women.

The name of the movie was 47 Meters Down.

Synopsis:

Two sisters on vacation in Mexico decide to go shark spotting and end up trapped in a shark cage at the bottom of the ocean with very little air and several Great White sharks patrolling the water.

I didn’t want to waste the entire evening blindly scrolling through the entire NetFlix library, and the premise was intriguing enough, so I fixed myself a cocktail and hit play.

Where do I even begin?

I think we should start with something positive…the trailer was very captivating.

Okay – so much for positive…

Soon after American tourists Kate and Lisa meet a couple of guys in a Mexican nightclub, they decide to join these two strangers the following day SCUBA diving with sharks.

This is where the first red flag went up in my mind…you see, these guys aren’t associated with any reputable tourist operation…they just “know a guy.”

So the girls show up at the dock in the morning, and we meet the captain who will take them on their adventure (I didn’t even recognize Matthew Modine in the role of the captain). They take a skiff from the dock to the captain’s boat – second red flag – it looks like it’s staying afloat by luck. Then we see the shark cage! Red Flag number 3!! At least when Hooper showed up at Quint’s boat with his shark cage, it was shiny, aluminum and had flotation pontoons at the top. Our two heroines are about to climb into a rusty, steel cage that is probably older than both of them combined, but younger than the worn and frayed steel cable attached to it.

I suppose these things could be written off as foreshadowing – so let’s move on…

Javier and Louis (the two guys who talked the sisters into this party) go down in the cage first.

Now – maybe it’s just me, but since there is a suggestion of romantic interest between the four main characters, wouldn’t you think they’d go down boy-girl, rather than boys first, then girls?

Anyway…the girls finally get their turn (despite repeated objections from Lisa, who has never been diving before).

The cage is lowered to the pre-determined depth of five meters and all is good. Kate and Lisa are laughing, taking selfies and telling each other how awesome the experience is.

Meanwhile, I’m asking myself, how can they communicate with each other, and the boat, when their ears are not enclosed within the full face masks they’re wearing?

Oh well, movie magic, I suppose.

So after a couple of minutes, SURPRISE!, the tattered cable from which the cage is suspended snaps and sends the girls plummeting to the ocean floor, 47 meters down (such a clever title).

So here they are, after a panic-filled drop that seemed to last twenty minutes, (it was only about twenty seconds, but the director decided to show it in the style of an NFL replay booth) on the bottom of the ocean with one tank of air each, and they have to figure out how to survive and make their way back to the surface…

Being a certified SCUBA diver, I can say that this is where the real problems with the movie begin to rear their ugly heads.

The factual inaccuracies regarding diving are so numerous I don’t have time to list them all. All writers, myself included, rely on suspension of disbelief, but whoever was at the keyboard for this script didn’t even try to make it semi-plausible.

Every story needs a bad guy, so let’s look at the villains of the movie.

The sharks.

The (mostly CGI) sharks are portrayed as ruthless, predators lying in wait for a free meal. Apparently, if you’re a shark, you’d much rather wait for the two humans to come out of the cage than go after the countless smaller and slower fish within fins reach.

Chalk up another one for one of Hollywood’s biggest (and most inaccurate) stereotypes.

Our heroines have two options, stay in the cage until they run out of air and suffocate, or leave the cage and swim to the surface hoping not to become snacks for the sharks.

Like I said – no spoilers here, instead let’s look at the technical aspects of the film; the directing, lighting, camera work, acting, etc. were good, but not good enough to save a poorly written screenplay.

When you boil the whole thing down, my opinion of this movie is as follows;

There are many more worthwhile ways to spend an hour and a half than watching this movie. Cleaning the cat box, baking a nice roadkill-pot-pie, volunteering for clinical trials at the local STD clinic…the list is nearly endless.

On a scale of 1 to 10, I give it a one, only because Claire Holt (Kate) looks good in a bikini.

Perhaps the thing that bothers me the most is that Hollywood continually puts out this kind of crap as if they can’t find any good stories when there are thousands of independent authors out there with stories that would blow this garbage out of the water (pun intended).

47 Meters Down is about half as deep as this movie should be buried.

 

As always – thank you for reading

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