BANKS OF THE LITTLE MIAMI
A JOURNAL OF THE ARTS
VOLUME NINE
SEPTEMBER 2005





WAY DOWN YONDER IN NEW ORLEANS

This volume of Banks Of The Little Miami is dedicated to the people of the Gulf Of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea who have dealt with enormous natural catastrophes in the last twelve months.  Hurricanes Charlie, Dennis, Frances, Ivan, Jeanne and Katrina combined to take many lives, destroy a great deal of property and damage the hopes and dreams of millions.  As this is being written, more storms are predicted to enter this region.  No place was affected more than New Orleans.  This wonderful city that has prided itself in its welcome and incorporation of many great cultures has been hit hard.  The motto of this city has always been: "Let the good times roll."  It will be this same spirit that will serve as an inspiration for the entire region as it rebuilds structures and returns hope to the hearts of citizens.
 

LAISSEZ LES BONS TEMPS ROULER!

The suffering and loss of life may never be fully calculated.  Please send these people your love in whatever form you can.

"There is a comfort in the strength of love;
      'Twill make a thing endurable, which else
      Would overset the brain, or break the heart."
 
(From "Michael"  By William Wordsworth)



CONTENTS
Cotton And Bone is one of the most stunning poems we have ever read.  From Seattle Anne Fraser has provided us with a talent laden expression of the ageless and timeless.  Hopes, dreams and frustrations are brought to our hearts with the unmatched imagery and skillful expression of Cotton And Bone by  Anne Fraser.
 

Everything Aurora Antonovic writes turns to gold in our hearts and minds.  Yes, we are fans of this Canadian poet.  So are legions of editors and readers literally around the world.  In this volume she writes of love in all of its depth and meaning. As usual, we are soon captivated by her skills and insights.  Enter and enjoy the words of a poet who no longer belongs just to Canada, Aurora Antonovic belongs to the world.
 

Ben St.Aubin is a most excellent writer.  Think I'm exaggerating?  Visit his web site at:  http://www.benzpage.com   and you'll understand why we are proud of his contribution to this volume.  There is a depth to these poems that truly astounds the reader. The two poems we are privileged to present from this Michigan poet will move you.  Join us in exploring the world and words of  Ben St.Aubin.
 

Bruce Reeve never ceases to excite us with his photographic compositions.  This Canadian photographer tells a story while using no more words than those required for a title.  The great ones have always been able to somehow do that.  In this volume he captures the poignancy of Canada's past and present through a lens that explores natural beauty along the way.  Enter and enjoy with us these wonderful compositions by  Bruce H. Reeve.
 

Journey is more than a very moving and well crafted poem.  It's all of that but it is also good philosophy.  Elizabeth Farrell has given us a prescription for hope and survival.  One is reminded of Camus' conclusion that Sisyphus proved the struggle toward the heights is enough to fill the heart.  We are most proud to present Journey by  Elizabeth Farrell.
 

Jack Bowman is one of the most interesting people we have ever encountered.  Period.  He has done it all.  He is an educator, artist, writer, performer and poet.  I don't have the space to do justice to what he continues to accomplish. Start here and then perform your own Google search about this multi talented man: http://members.tripod.com/~jackbowman/biograph.htm   In our current volume we present  The Poets.   This poem is dedicated to Anton N. Nyerges.  Mr. Bowman writes: "He was the teacher that influenced me most while at Eastern Kentucky University.  He died May 21, 1989.  I thank him for the knowledge he gave me."  We thank Jack Bowman for the opportunity to publish  The Poets.
 

This volume contains four selections from a very talented Texan.  She once worked in the areas of technical publications and marketing communications. She has since taken up poetry composition. While she still considers herself very much a novice poet, her work has appeared in a number of Web-based and small-press print journals over the past years.  I'm sure you will enjoy and be moved by the poems of  Janet Davis.
 

The recent hurricane tragedies along the Gulf Coast of the United States have touched many people deeply.  Help and good wishes have poured in.  Dawn Fox has crafted a most thoughtful and meaningful expression about the sad situation.  We join her in her concern as we present her poem,  Only The Roofs.
 

Here are some photos from along the storm ravaged Gulf Coast.   Photos
 

Nick Zagarac is a man of sharp wit and incredible talent.  He knows more about films and filmdom than anyone we've ever encountered.  He can converse passionately and intelligently about far more films than most people could name.  In an earlier volume he amazed us with his discussion about the 100 greatest movies of all time.  This accomplished critic writes screenplays and also comments about those aspects of the passing show that interest him (and us).  We are pleased to share Nick Zagarac's insights about the worst films of all time.  A Brief Summary of 50 Movies I'd Rather Forget
 

In previous volumes I talked about the need for athletes and editors to "finish strong."  I will again take my own advice.  It wasn't an easy choice because this particular volume contains what I humbly feel are some of the best artistic expressions being created today.  It started strong and continued strong.  When Sarah Still presented her current contribution I didn't know how to classify it.  She helped me by refusing to give it a name.  I think this is part of the message.  Whether you read it as prose, poetry or a series of enlightened journal entries you will come away glad for the experience.  We are pleased to present the thoughts of  Sarah Still.  


                                          Ann Fraser

Cotton and Bone
 
 
Washerwomen gather at
the shore before dawn,
casting out nets of silence
and gray laundry, spreading
beaten shapes across
stone, hoping for the sun
to rise and crack the cold
that stiffens both cotton
and bone.

Soon they will gather
their skirts into bundles,
carrying out only what was
brought, stepping through
acres of rocks collected in
childhood and shadows
lying face-to-face in tall
grass.  Sister, sister
tell me,

How many days since we
stood and watched the sun
rise over olive groves and
the faces of young men? 
How long since the song bird last
lifted from our fields?
We have tripped and fallen, 
lying sprawled upon the backs
of our mother's dreams. 
 


 
Cotton And Bone
Copyright © Anne Fraser
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED







Aurora Antonovic
ONTARIO, CANADA
 
 
Sunday Night Supper
 
 
Food tastes better
When eaten while I’m nestled in your arms;
Even cold, day old rice,
Takes on a certain exotic flair
When you feed it to me,
With worn chopsticks
While I sit on your lap,
And lean against your chest,
And feel the softness of
Your favourite T-shirt,
While your beard tickles
My face.

 
 
 
 
 
 
Your Love
 
 
Your eyes
Never leave me
When we are together,
They are like a
Lingering caress,
That begins
At the top of my head,
And flows with the waves
Of my hair,
All the way
Down,
They trace the outline
Of my every curve
With the kind of
Gentle brazenness,
That only
Age-old intimacy
Can bring about.
They repeat the pattern,
Again and again,
All the while burning,
Your love,
Into my soul.

 
 
 
 
 

A Box Of Tea
 
It hails all the way from China,
hand picked from a mountain high enough
to escape the ravages of pollution.
 
swathed in red satin,
nestled within a wooden box
of ornate design,
hand painted in strokes
heavy with symbols,
and etched in fine gold lettering
 
Tucked within the leaves
come warm wishes
for a speedy recovery
 
Scoop a teaspoon into one cup of boiling water,
strain after five minutes,
stir with a drop of honey, if so desired,
and all my love.

 
 
 
 
 
Souvenirs
 
 
From the Orient
You brought me many gifts:
A red silk blouse embroidered with gold from China,
Art from Korea,
Unusual pen sets from Japan.
England brought hand-painted china,
Complete with a tea pot that looked like it arrived
From days gone by
Amsterdam gave T-shirts and hats,
Holland, wood and ceramic crafts
Germany, Zeppelins in various shapes, sizes, and forms,
And, now,
As you have returned from Switzerland,
You attempt to comfort me for the nine lonely days away from you
By sitting me on your lap and feeding me bites of creamy Swiss chocolate
Punctuated by even sweeter kisses
But the only souvenir I have really wanted,
Is ever, only, you.

 
 
 
 

When
 
 
when I was a little girl
I learned the magic of planting seeds in sun-warmed soil,
 
sat unnaturally still, while sunshine danced
its colour amidst my errant curls,
 
felt the cocoon of love I thought was forever
 
and without even asking,
butterflies would come to rest
upon my waiting shoulder

 
 
 
 
 
Sunday night supper
 
We sit in the coffee shop
while he slowly butters his croissant,
speaking emotionlessly 
about how sick he is of poetry.
I clasp my red parcel of works
to my chest,
holding back disappointment
and the urge to tell him that fourth latte 
is not good for him.
He bemoans his very successful career,
telling me all the tragedies that will befall 
each of us in life:
sorrow is no respecter of persons, apparently;
I hang onto every word,
although I sadden more
with each new revelation he has to offer,
until he reaches out a hand
fingers shiny with butter;
“Let me see them, Little One”,
He takes the red parcel from me,
carefully and thoughtfully reading each poem
with the patience he put into buttering his croissant.
“Is good,” he concludes, 
“but never say what can be implied”.
Quickly, he slashes out mistakes
with his ever present nubby pencil --
he does in seconds what I could not do in three nights
He leaves more marks on my poetry
than the oily fingerprints, as he smiles sadness
but leaves gladness 
with his act of kindness,
even though he is sick of poetry.

 
 
 
 
In Love
 
 
I am in love with the little chickadee that
visits me daily in its yellow and gray jacket.
 
I am in love with the bend and sway of the tree
outside my office window as it dances to the
 willowy tune of the playful breeze.
 
I am in love with the wind’s many moods, that can
 alter as rapidly as my own.
 
I am in love with thundering rain, steady snow, and
 hail storms that ensure never a dull moment.
 
I am in love with the ocean that I have never seen.

 
 
 
 
Exquisite Love
 
Exquisite hour of love,
Magnificent beyond words!
It calls to me,
It sings to me,
“No, I won’t forget you,
I will come back to you
When you least expect it.”
Love creeps to me at night,
Whispering my name,
Like a tickle from a feather,
It breathes in my face
With iris from Florence
And Mysore sandalwood
With promises of great things
That hang in the air
No illusions, only reality
 
Exquisite love
Will be mine
It has been promised
Since the beginning.
 


L’Amour Exquis
 
L’heure d’amour
Est très exquis,
Plus magnifique que des mots peuvent le dire!
Il m’appele,
Il me chante,
“Non, je ne vous oublirai pas!”
Je viendrai chez vous,
Quand vous ne l’attendez pas.”
 
L’amour me visite la nuit,
L’amour chuchote mon nom,
Comme le chatouillement d’une plume,
Il respire sur mon visage
Avec iris de Florence,
Et bois de santal de Mysore,
Avec de promesses de grandes choses
Qui s’accrochent dans l’air,
Sans aucune illusions,
Mais seuleument la réalité
 
L’amour exquis
Sera le mien
Ainsi promis
Du commencement

 
 
 
ALL POEMS
Copyright © Aurora Antonovic
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED




Ben St.Aubin


Sunset Fields of Brown
 
She sits with winnowed withered lines,
among her kith and kin;
with holes agape to wooded glades,
the forest rushes in.
No more she seeks the salty breeze,
that drove her willing heart to sea,
No longer does she sail,
but lies,
among the rooted trees.
Clinging vines with flowered pennants,
bedecking lonely promenades;
tides of grass,
stroke soft the keel,
that seeks yet to ride the waves.
With rooted purpose vine and leaf,
wrap the vessel now aground;
until she sails new seas of green,
and sunset fields of brown.
 

 
Death Wish
 
My personal hell is a prison I build,
from brigand ways and callousness;
blocks made of coldest moral thread,
denial, self pity and avarice.
Pathetic walls and heartless floor,
a box barely one mind wide;
emptied but for insane desires,
and fleeting thoughts of suicide.
My hell is not the burning hell,
the hell of certain retribution;
my hell is cold with the cowardice,
of self willed execution.
 


 
 
Sunset Fields Of Brown and Death Wish
Copyright © Ben St.Aubin




BRUCE REEVE



 

FUR TRADE


 
 
 

LOWERED EXPECTATIONS


 
 
 

OWEN SOUND


 
 
 
 

UNTITLED   The Red River At Flood Stage


 
 
 
 
 
ALL PHOTOS
Copyright © Bruce H. Reeve
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED






 

Elizabeth Farrell


Journey


I have brought myself this far
to this spot that struggles
like waves upon rocks

pushing against a wind
slipping and stumbling
wearing blinders of the solitary

shouting into silence
I have drawn no response
fear like a giant hand
pressing on my heart

I have brought my life this far
a furrow in the sand 
waiting to be washed by the tide

Yet with each step
a new day forms
carried with the effort
pushed to the summit of a hillside
standing above the struggle
a shining monument
 


 
 
Journey
Copyright © Elizabeth Farrell
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED






Jack Bowman

THE POETS
 
Who were the poets
That passed us in the night fog of our youth
Their long dark coats stirring the fog.
Letting us feel the moonlight
Asking us to kiss the evening star
To caress the warmth of the sun
To taste the words on our tongue
Who were these poets that loved us
That gave us the instant of dream
And calmed our exploding soul
They taught us to lick the rain drops
To listen for a falling leaf
To run barefoot in the dew
Their words now echo in the thunder
Flash in the light
Brighten our night
Who are the poets that NOW
Walk in the dawn
Who NOW touch the glowing souls
Brushing away the darkness
They are the dreamers
That dream of dreams
And bathe naked in the rain
They ignite the dark  moon
They distill the dew
They are me and they are you.

 


 
 
 
The Poets
Copyright © Jack Bowman
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED





Janet Davis


Flat, Tall Land

We grew from seed, in neat rows.
We grew long like cornstalks
and shafts of wheat in the land
my grandfather understood.
And the land grew too,
flatter and wider, three hundred sixty
degrees of sameness to young eyes.

Summer: toasted from too much
midwestern sun.
Winter: bleak from too much
midwestern frost.

The land broke all odds, continued to thrive.
It grew tall, even after we had stopped,
even after most of us had dispersed
ourselves to concrete shelters
decades and minds away.

We returned with my grandfather,
to bury him the first day of spring.
The wind whipped us with cutting chill
until the last rose had been placed,
then…stillness.

The farm: divided up, ragged.
The house: hollowed from others’ neglect.
The bridge: barely used, barely passable.
The town: bereft of identity.

But the land had kept up its pace,
swelled, exploded, now too large
for us, large enough to engorge us.
We left again, rejoined our own
   lives in progress.

We longed to live there.
We couldn’t live there,
couldn’t revisit as children.


 
 
 
 
 
They grow amidst rocks

I’ve made for them fine beds
of garden soil, fed and pruned
them, provided care in lieu
of covers.

But some will grow better
uncoached, amidst the rocks
and in small crevices: moss rose,
vinca, likewise zinnia. They’ll crane,
happily crowded, to reach
the light and air.

Not so humans. We’ve long
known their roots need deepest
soil—else their souls will choke
or wither.

Yet their heartssometimes
require the rocks. Humans also
crane to meet the sun—except,
discord and loss they choose
as mothers.
 
 
 
  
 
Barely Autumn

I didn't know it was autumn,
not from the rushed, stuck city scenery
or the dizzying suburbanscapes,
hardly from the mercury.
I couldn't see it or hear it or imagine it,
just barely sense it.
We have no clear seasons here,
just barely seasons.

Was the slower morning sun a clue
or my oddly impatient thoughts
of wrapping up the year,
or ozoned skies translating to autumn gray?
I can't master subtleties like those.

You'd think I'd be certain:
the neighborhood pool long
since closed on weekdays,
just barely open;
my morning walks resumed
after harsh daily blaze
and prolonged attacks of killer mosquitoes;
children's voices no longer of summer.

We have no new palette at fall's debut;
now continuous green, with faintest tarnish,
bronzes, golds arriving far too late
and the shift from leafed to dull so gradual.
Yet the TV weather guru insisted
the calendar date was not a hoax.

It's autumn, officially.
Others more in sync
could acknowledge the transition,
but someone had to tell me.


 
 
   
 
Natural tendency

I’ve learned about the country
from a thousand pages of bark
scribed by lucky poets,
dreamers, nature walkers.

It’s as if they weren’t imagined:
pockets of wild blackberry,
embroidered fields, shaded streams.

I must be the only
one bred in the city
who hasn’t broken away.

My mind is comfortable
where it is, breathing in
the chaos and the fumes.

Will my body tighten, what
kind of ogre will I become,
if I hurl myself into
the enticing lap of the land?
 


 
 
 
All Poems
Copyright © Janet Davis
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED





Dawn Fox

Only the roofs
 
Only the roofs
Like islands
Above the water
In rows
Like graves
Which they are

It's quiet
Very quiet
Except where people shoot
At their frustrations
At their hope

Fire
Thirst
Dirt
Surrounded by water
Will Mardi Gras
Ever return?


 
 
 
Only the roofs
Copyright © Dawn Fox
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED






 
CRAP-TAC-U-LAR
A Brief Summary of 50 Movies I’d Rather Forget
 
by Nick Zegarac
 
For anyone who loves, or loves to hate, or maybe even hates to love BAD movies there is no denying that, at the very least, they are a part of our theater going heritage. In fact, there have been more bad films than good. And if the good have retained something of their original sparkle in our hearts, the bad have tended to ricochet about the darkened recesses of our minds like a turgid little Pac-Man, eating away everything but a brief and incoherent reference to a film that is genuinely awful. Bad movies are regrettable to our collective consciousness. But they also serve to reinforce for us what is a bad movie and what is clearly less than. We judge the bad on a multitude of levels; how it compares to something we saw last year, last month, last week; how good the acting is; how lousy the editing is; how tacky the whole presentation seems to come off, and so on. And in the final analysis, as an audience we get something out of seeing bad movies just as much as we do in seeing the good. For here I am, toiling over the better half of three days trying to come up with my worst ever movie list that I am sure will insight many who read on to indulge in more than just a casual, wicked little grin. Bad movies then are like dirty little secrets that we hesitate to mention in mixed company, only we cannot help ourselves with the prospect of ruining someone else’s evening by explaining just how awful our initial confrontation with these lackluster works of art was. We tell a friend, “It’s pure crap. You should see it” or suggest in earnest, “rent that some night for a good laugh”, knowing full well that there is nothing even remotely redeeming about the recommendation made.  So, in homage to that inconsequential boulevardier of the back row, the guy who snickers at stupidity and shakes his head in thorough disgust when he recognizes that he’s been had, here is my list of nothings that are easily disposable from our hearts. If only I could make them disposable from my mind.
Ultra-Christ (2003)

No sense in starting off timid. If there is an ounce of tributary and sainted respectability to the good book in this movie, I’ll reassess my evaluation of director Kerry Douglas Dye’s marauding fantasy as a godless careworn and wholly incendiary piece of anti-religious tripe. Jonathan C. Green plays Jesus as part bearded hippie weirdo, part savvy political adversary set against the antichrist; the NYC Parks and Recreation Commissioner (Samuel Bruce Campbell). Returning to Earth circa present-day, Jesus soon discovers that ? as per his first visit to our planet ? we’re no closer to accepting him as our savior than on his last try out. However, on the advice of a market research analyst, Jesus suits up in spandex (think ‘The Greatest American Hero’ meets ‘The Robe’) to become Ultrachrist ? an urban crusader for the goodness in every man. The film is as inane and inarticulate as it is blasphemous. At one point, in consultation with the skeptic, Molly (Celia A. Montgomery), Jesus attempts to quell her concern by explaining that, “Just because Father Barry grabbed your tushy in Sunday school is no reason to spurn all religion,” to which Molly replies, “You really are Jesus…or a friend of Father Barry.” May lightening come from the sky and strike them both down.

The Blair Witch Project (1999)

Reportedly a patchwork of recovered footage from three film students who mysteriously disappeared ? this film was ‘the truth’ behind something called ‘Blair Witch’. Nice try. Clever marketing. Guaranteed box office.  But what’s with the moniker “the scariest movie ever made?” Clearly some people don’t get out much…okay, at all. Even the first twenty minutes of stop animation in “The Evil Dead” packs more terror than the penultimate finale of this film. Also, viewing on bigger screens tends to cause problems with one’s equilibrium ? that much is guaranteed.  
 
Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (2000)

No book. No shadows. Just a lot of dead air and even less plot than the first film…if that’s possible.  Director, Joe Berlinger has set the bar fairly high for a new low in incoherent storytelling. Can you say “mentally deficient and lovin’ it”…I know you can. After this film justly tanked at the box office a planned second sequel was quickly shelved.  
 
Wicked Stepmother (1989)

Bette Davis walked off the set because the script was so bad. Undaunted, director Larry Coken hacked together one week’s worth of Davis footage by throwing in a wrinkle about Davis’ character turning into a cat, who thereafter morphs into actress Barbara Carrera. In the end it was all fluff and nonsense, about an over the hill witch who shrinks pensioner widowers for their life savings. Gee, just writing about it is an embarrassment.
 
Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace (1999)

George Lucas launched marketing sensation volume two with this stultifying, by-the-numbers, poorly acted and effects laden bastardization of his original masterwork. The genuinely annoying stab at recreating the charm of Chewbacca with the irritating Jar Jar Binks was a miscalculating from which the film found it difficult to recover. With more CGI than a Nintendo game system, the graphics were impressively dull ? rendering the whole galactic odyssey more of a travesty of inner-stellar proportions. At 2 hours and 15 minutes the film easily outstays its welcome by at least 1 hr and 48.
 
Battlefield Earth (2000)

Scientology guru Ron Hubbard is clearly a nut…and not just for his religious teachings. His novel was the (cough, gag, cough some more) inspiration for this story about an alien security chief (John Travolta, looking as though he has been accosted by a makeup artist from the new Muppet movie) who uses slaves to mine his gold. A sleeper in the not so flattering sense of the word, the film is as lavishly absurd as the most expensive preschool production of all time.
 
Barb Wire (1996)

It’s 2017 and buxom "Baywatch" bombshell, and sometimes porn star with an attitude, Pamela Anderson Lee is a kick-boxing bar owner in the last free city in America. No, it’s just too awful to go on.
 
Drop Dead Fred (1991)

If only director, Ate de Jong had. Fairytales are usually good choices for box office but not when the imaginary character in question (Rik Mayall) is an ill-tempered, mean-spirited and thoroughly unlikable evil doer who sometimes threatens life and limb in the name of ‘good clean fun’. Leminy Snicket, The Cat In The Hat, How The Grinch Stole Christmas (live action) and Howard The Duck…get a clue. The marketing geniuses behind the film’s inherently tacky tagline of “Dishes, relationships, wind - this guy breaks everything” must have been educated at Harvard or at the very least force fed though Willy Wonka’s trash compactor.

The Gods Must Be Crazy (1981)
 
…or at the very least on crack. Made in 1981 but released internationally two years later this is one of those potentially racist yarns about the simplicity of African bush-men who discover a Coke bottle and assumes it is a gift from God. Whatever…like anyone is that stupid. There’s only one aspect more annoying than the film’s central plot: its two sub-plots. The first investigates the marital relationship of a REALLY annoying couple, the second involves a group of gun-happy terrorists that kidnap schoolchildren. Yeah, that’ll leave ‘em laughing.
 
Grease 2 (1982)

Why?
 
Xanadu (1980)

Olivia Newton-John as Kira, the daughter of Zeus? Yep, and headlining a roller rink with Gene Kelly as its clarinetist.  Strung together by director Robert Greenwald and an editing crew that clearly did way too much partying at Studio 54, the plot goes nowhere, the special effects are NOT special and the script is, well, just plain BAD.
 
Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

Shameless in its borrowing of the title from John Carpenter’s hit “Halloween” this film tells a completely unrelated story; all about a sadistic manufacturer of children’s masks. Once you put the seeming harmless rubber on your head, bugs come crawling out of your mouth. No, I don’t see the correlation either. There’s also some benign subplot about a female android who tries to break a reporter’s nose by shoving it through his brain. And I wonder why I can’t get Hollywood interested in any of my sane screenplays.
 
Heartbeeps (1981)

Epically pitiful offering for 1981’s Christmas Day. Andy Kaufman and Bernadette Peters are robots building a baby out of spare parts. No, I’m not kidding. Stan Winston’s make up is pretty impressive in an otherwise forgettable 70 mins.
 
The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996)

As a silent movie it wasn’t bad. As a B-50s midnight drive-in cult classic, it was remotely passable. But this third and aspiring high brow treatment with Brando as the mad scientist, is flamboyant schlock; totally void of the scares it promises to deliver and about as coherent as dressing in fishnets and a thong expecting rain.
 
The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking (1988)

I supposed having been directed by Ken Annakin (The Pirate Movie) this one ought to have been expected. The books by Astrid Linstrom are cute and cuddly. The film is anything but. Pippi’s a little troublemaker who is forced to sing her way through one lackluster musical production number after the next. Now I understand why some kids end up on the back of a milk carton.
 
Wild Wild West (1999)

On television it was a forgotten little has been with a cult following. On the big screen it emerged as, well… Will Smith tried to infuse the production with spunk, rapping the title track in a music video that actually tells the whole story in annotated form So why see the movie? Kenneth Branagh was in it too as the quadriplegic “Loveless”, riding his gigantic mechanical town-crushing spider on route to his own detriment. Oh, the mighty have indeed fallen.
 
Popeye (1980)

Robert Altman is one of my favorite directors. But this film falls in Dr. Phil’s “what were you thinkin’?” category. Robin Williams does an adequate job of recreating the cartoon hot head…but why a musical? A bad one, at that! Disney and Paramount co-funded it. The public left it to sink at the box office.
 
The Postman (1997)

Oh yeah, smell the blood. A pointless post-apocalypse saga about a dutiful survivor who attempts to bring hope to remnants of once proud outposts, now desolate communities on the verge of extinction. A downer and boring, the film never had a chance. Kevin Costner was top billed as the Postman, but his laid back presence, which usually is the source for his appeal was on this occasion charm free.
 
Sextette (1978)

Mae West’s cataracts were so advanced she couldn’t see a thing throughout filming. Lucky her; for she might otherwise have taken notice of the heavy diffusion director Ken Hughes had to use during her close ups. Even so, West looks like rigor mortis set in three weeks earlier. One had to swallow a box of Gravol not to gag on the heavy handed musical numbers that were slapped together and written in the vein of the sultry Mae West that was a forgotten thing of the distant past. A queasy feeling too was apt to overcome one during the burgeoning romantic scenes between Marlo Manners (West) and Sir Michael Barrington (Timothy Dalton). It is a credit to Dalton that he did not heave on camera; either a tribute to a strong constitution or some really good tranquilizers.
 
Showgirls (1995)

A coming-of-age tale about a naïve trollop who lap dances her way to the top ? did anyone honestly think this was a feel good movie…no pun intended.  Bad dialogue, bad script and enough nudity for the Playboy channel. When profits tanked, MGM remarketed the film as a comedy…hey? Why not soft core?
 
Striptease (1996)

What I want to know is why, after Showgirls, any one was still willing to fund this film about a single mother (Demi Moore) who strips to raise money for a custody battle. Something of a manifesto in its “strippers of the world unite” message, director Andrew Bergman could not decide if the film was a lighthearted farce or serious melodrama. As horny congressman, David Dilbeck (Burt Reynolds) was in his element. First pitched to the public as a drama, then a comedy ? then pulled, reedited and billed as a drama/comedy, the indecisiveness left audiences wondering how much consideration the story had been given before cameras start rolling.
 
Jaws 3-D (1983)
 
Director Joe Alves managed to make the least out of what was until then a legitimate franchise about the terrors inflicted by a great white shark. But on this occasion that original premise was deflated by its 50s gimmick of 3-D photography. What emerged from the depths was not terror but laughter as the cardboard fishy indulged in a feeding frenzy inside Florida’s Sea World theme park. Pointless, scare-free and absolutely waterlogged, the film is memorable for its extremely bad 3-D effects and shoddy matte paintings that make Jaws look like a rubber toy with plastic teeth.  
 
Best of The Best (1989)

It suddenly strikes me that if Eric Roberts was not an actor he’d be standing behind a counter somewhere asking if one would like fries with that. This Rocky rip-off is about a U.S. Karate team and its aspirations to kick a little macho ‘tootie.’ But in its testosterone driven madness it’s unintentionally hilarious. Director Robert Radler must have done an incredible tap dance to convince James Earl Jones to briefly appear in this film of zero merit which gleaned only the most repulsive aspects from its Jean-Claude Van Damme/Schwarzenegger/Rambo philosophy toward guerilla-style film making.
 
The Avengers (1998)
 
I am not sure what this film was attempting to be. The 60s television series was a slick and stylish cloak and dagger piece with the luscious Dianna Riggs and laconic Patrick McNee at the helm. This film?: something of a weather channel misfit with weird (really weird) characters and not an ounce of tact to boot. Ralph Fiennes and Sean Connery must have desperately needed the cash.
 
The Apple (1980)

This is a personal fav I love to hate. Like another nearly forgotten monstrosity, “Thank God It’s Friday”, “The Apple” takes the tender and engaging genre of the classic Hollywood musical and makes it insufferable. Variety called it "a shockingly amateurish affair that offends for both its incredibly poor execution and colossal waste of talent." That’s assuming talent was actually present during filming. Reportedly Cannon Films offered souvenir soundtrack records to moviegoers on their way into the theatre and were rewarded with smashed albums on the sidewalk and the remainder being wielded at the screen. Get on them dancing shoes, girlfriend.
 
Can't Stop The Music (1980)

Painful. Just painful. I love a good musical, but this is nothing like one. Originally called "Disco-land,” the film’s distributor AFD panicked when the “Disco Sucks” movement suddenly caught on. A change of title was considered sufficient enough for everyone to hope for the best.  But not with Village People, Valerie Perrine, Steve Guttenberg, and Bruce Jenner…are you serious?!? The film gave “the people” that tacky cult classic ‘YMCA’ and yet another good reason to declare, “Disco Sucks!”
 
Santa With Muscles (1996)
 
John Murlowski’s feel good meter was set on overdrive in this drivel that has an evil millionaire (Hulk Hogan) get whacked on the head and thereafter believe that he is Santa Clause. Clearly designed with the holiday market in mind, the film was yet another example of why ? to so many people ? family entertainment translates loosely to stupid schlock done in really bad taste. Stooge-like, miserable and hopelessly misguided, it had a brief theatrical engagement before being rushed through to video. Either way, fiscal expectations far exceeded anything the film delivered in concrete good tidings.
 
Waterworld (1995)

This waterlogged “Heaven's Gate” of the 90s had Kevin Costner as a benevolent amphibian besought by Dennis Hopper and a band of jet skiing eco-ruffians who want to stop him from finding dry land.
 
From Justin to Kelly (2003)

A sort of road show “Where the Boys Are” this film takes that already low brow plot and degrades it further with a string of vignettes about surf-drenched guys with washboard stomachs who cruise for big boob girls in bikinis; result raucously impractical house parties teeming with unprotected sex that never ends badly in the contraction of STD’s, AIDS, unwanted pregnancies or allegations of date rape - okay. Into this mélange comes Kelly (Kelly Clarkson) a cautious bar singer who meets up with college student Justin (Justin Guarini). No kidding ? the two become lovers in the most tender, purest form of unrequited respectability. Oh, please: like the scores of spring break bikini clad worshipers of Joe Studly who invade Miami Beach every year are looking for lasting love and the guy who’ll one day father their kids. Misguided, dull and ultimately clichéd, I suppose the film is no more so than any number of like-minded film-flam about knocking sandals under the swaying palms. What’s particularly irksome about this outing is that it doesn’t even try for something fresh but rather leaves an unflattering stain in the forgotten recesses of one’s brain, reminiscent of the other in one’s under shorts.

The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living And Became Mixed Up Zombies (1964)

Okay, one creature in particular. Jerry (Ray Dennis Steckler) is a beatnik who falls in love with Angie (Sharon Walsh) a stripper he meets at a carnival. The daughter of a gypsy fortune teller (Joan Howard), Jerry is hypnotized by the gypsy into becoming a zombie. I’m still not certain how that’s done. It doesn’t really matter because shortly hereafter Jerry embarked on a killing spree that included some truly whacked special effects and laughable dialogue. The film’s tagline of “monsters come real, crash out of screen, invade audience, abduct girls from their seats, not in 3-D, don’t miss it” was as misguided, rambling and incoherent as the story and title of the film, which rarely fit on any marquee brave enough to advertise it.

3 Ninjas: High Noon At Mega Mountain (1998)

Okay, follow me on this one; three brothers - Rocky (Matthew Botuchis), Colt (Michael O’Laskey) and Tum Tum (James Paul Roeske) are enjoying a Saturday afternoon at Six Flaggs with their gal pal and computer whiz Amanda (Chelsey Earlywine) when suddenly an army of ninjas, led by the evil Medusa (Loni Anderson) take everyone ransom. It’s up to retired TV star, Dave Dragon (Hulk Hogan) to break Medusa's vicious plans. Those plans however are never quite made clairvoyant, leaving Dave and company with little to do but trek around the park in a sort of travelogue promo for Six Flaggs that ends badly. A dull, charm free film with little to recommend it to anyone not already suffering from drug-induced coma, one wonders how much money the Hulkster was paid for this yarn, and how he ever hoped to regain something of his former stature as an over-the-top theatrical wrestler afterwards.

Girl In Gold Boots (1969)

This film predates Julia Roberts’ stint as the hooker cum star in Pretty Woman by nearly three decades. And it says something about the directorial prowess of Gary Marshall that his film did not degenerate into the sort of schlock-happy slut fest that this film is. Michele Casey (Leslie McRae) is a young babe waiting tables to make a buck. She is persuaded to use her talents elsewhere by Buz Nichols (Tom Pace) a disreputable agent-type who drags Michele to L.A. where ? no kidding, he puts her fast to work as an aspiring go-go dancer. Michele meets top star, Joanie Nichols (Bara Byrnes), a real artist of the feather boa and thigh high plastic boots. But stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Michele quickly learns the ropes (and the pole, and the G-string, and the backstage badinage that comes with selling one’s self in trade as rough trade) and triumphs (well, that’s a matter of opinion) as a better um…‘dancer’ than Joanie. What is perhaps most telling about this film is how little we are told about the reigning sex trade trollop, Joanie. Where did she come from and, more to the point, where will she end up now that her booty is bumped out of the limelight? This isn’t really director, Ted V. Mikel’s forte. Instead we get a dirty little film all about dirty little secrets that don’t get told entirely to either our prying eyes or perked up ears.

Lust in the Dust (1985)

Playing like a John Waters’ flick, this camp revamp of David O. Selznick’s lurid 1946 melodrama ‘Duel in the Sun’ is about as thoughtless, misguided and misplayed as a prairie rose transplanted in Central Park. The film follows the exploits of, oh how shall I say this tactfully…okay, FAT actress, Divine, as dancehall hostess Rosie Velez. She gets lost in the desert but quickly gets a leg up on life when Abel Wood (yes, that is what it means) drags her by the hair to his hacienda in Chili Verde. At a saloon run by Marguerita Ventura (Lainie Kazan as horsy number two) word breaks out that there’s a golden treasure buried in the hills just awaiting Abel’s greedy little hands ? other appendages optional. The film clumsily weaves together a tapestry of raw sexual desire, cold desperadoes and innumerable references to guns and ovens as subliminal substitutes for male and female genitalia. In the end the guy with the biggest pistol wins, coming home to the most piggish gal with her five course meal sitting on the stove. Freud would have been so pleased.

Spice World (1997)

Made for no other reason than to cash in on the temporary and immediate hype of Britain’s pop tarts, the film follows its entourage of mostly fictional characters around as they ridicule royalty, dish with their fans, and, ogle and feel up some studly ? if mute - underwear models. It’s pure eye candy without the saccharine and so marvelously free of the misperceived importance that often attaches itself to such mediocre tripe that one has the innate belief that it may well become a cult classic in forty years time.

Surf Nazis Must Die (1987)

When Leroy’s (Robert Harden) grandma, Eleanor ‘mama’ Washington (Gail Neely) is unceremoniously capped by some Neo-Nazi surfer dudes, Leroy turns himself into a one man arsenal of rage; think Charles Bronson’s Death Wish series on a surf board. Not really, just think it. In the post-apocalyptic future anything’s possible. Ascribed the usual dismal landscape that has dogged every sci-fi thriller since Blade Runner, this homage to sun, fun, Hitler and really bad gangster and Kung-Fu movies is just about the most ravenous mutt around. It’s full of ethnic stereotypes that are embarrassingly funny and mired in the sort of bad acting one has come to liberally expect from such thought-numbing grand gulag.
 
I Spit on Your Grave (1978)

Okay, I don’t see how penetration was NOT possible in this graphically disturbing flick from director, Meir Zarchi that plays more like semi-hardcore snuff than anything else. It has since acquired some rarified following as a cult right of passage for anyone without an ounce of decency or shred of integrity to their name. The film follows writer, Jennifer Hill (Camille Keaton) who, after being brutally raped by a gang of guys in the park, barely escapes to her apartment only to find the same troupe of reprobates waiting for round two inside. It’s shocking and tasteless and generally uncomfortable to watch. Thereafter, Jen turns into a twisted psychopath and goes on a revenge rampage that will make most stomachs turn. Renamed “Day of the Woman” after some idiotic feminist critics perceived Jen’s revenge as woman identifying and ultimately liberating ? in either incarnation this is one of the most heinous and completely unrewarding movie experiences one is ever likely to unhappily stumble upon. To see it once is to have one’s artistic sensibilities where film art is concerned brutalized forever.

Whore (1991)

The moral to Ken Russell’s contrite little melodrama (if moral is a word that can be used to describe such a film) is that being a hooker ain’t easy. Shot pseudo-documentary style, and following the comings (no pun intended) and goings of call girl, Liz (Theresa Russell) the film has clearly been conceived as something of a follow up to Scorsese’s Taxi Driver ? albeit with none of Scorsese’s skills to excite us with the seedy backdrop of life on the streets. Robbed of a central heroine or hero, what ultimately develops is a convoluted series of vignettes that illustrate for us what we already knew ? that it’s better to expand your mind than spread your legs for advancement in a world all too easily fooled into slipping into something more comfortable. Get ready for that hot shower and cigarette.
 
Hercules in New York (1970)

The chief selling feature of this film was hushed observance of the mammoth girth of then pro-bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger. Filmed during Schwarzenegger’s ‘off season’ there was much to admire in his titanic muscular form ? much more than developed from the threadbare plot that had Hercules bored by his idyllic life on Mount Olympus and thereafter escaping for a vacation to Mother Earth. Herc’s get contemporized by Helen Camden (Deborah Loomis) who clearly has her eyes on the prize. Out of all the films included in this list, this is the one I most regret adding. It’s tacky and aimless just like the rest, but so much more fun to watch as Schwarzenegger’s lips move like the out of sync caricatures in Kung-Fu classics, and someone else’s polite voice issues from that towering monster. From this offering few could have foreseen where Schwarzenegger’s future in either film history or politics lay.

Anaconda (1997)

Any movie that has resident bubble-head Betty White costarring as a foul-mouthed hick who tells cops “If I had a d _ _ k, I’d tell you to suck it” doesn’t get my vote for high brow entertainment. It has even less of a chance when the plot is all about a giant snake. Jon Voight’s performance is so hellishly awful that I can not look at Midnight Cowboy in the same way since.
 
The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1994)

As if once were not enough this film continued ? or, more to the point, repeated the twisted tale of Vilmer (Matthew McConaughey) and his deranged family which includes the inarticulate slaughter-happy Leatherface (Robert Jacks) ? oh, those crazy kids. With a shared pastime for brutally murdering, then stuffing people, the plot thickens, or perhaps curdles is a more fitting word, when Jenny (Rene Zellwigger) and her friends stumble across the clan in the middle of nowhere ? hence, nowhere to hide. I doubt either McConaughey or Zellwigger want to remember this turgid tripe as part of their resume, but there it is; traditional, torrid and chocked full of forgettable moments that should have become lost on the cutting room floor. A copy of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre is housed in the Smithsonian Institute. No copies of this follow up ought to be made readily available to the public.
 

PERSONAL CODA BEFORE THE DELUGE

My top ten picks for the absolute biggest disappointments of all time are films that one might not think of at first, or perhaps, as the most obvious, because they have been afforded that seeming respectability of star power and formidable corporate financing. Yet these films, more than any of their tactless predecessors, are guilty of a greater artistic sin. For they have been given ever tangible opportunity to fashion greatness but have fallen into the miserable doldrums of precocious and banal entertainment along with rest. They are decidedly second rate and second class in all their first class accoutrements. But unlike the aforementioned movies on this list that made no false claims as to their absence of quality, the following list of movies sought more devious deceptions ? to lure the unsuspecting public into the theater with the promise of good storytelling and great art ? only to reveal contempt for both our understanding and our artistic sensibilities. On that level and score, then, these are the absolute lowest of the low.

10) Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

Stanley Kubrick's last film is unworthy of his formidable talents. In it Tom Cruise played foppish doctor, William Harford. After learning from his drunk and slightly high wife, Alice (Nicole Kidman), that she had a fleeting sexual fantasy about some marine stud she caught sight of while in the lobby of the hotel she and Will were honeymooning in, Will decides to go Alice one better by traveling the seedy underworld of Susie one-by-night. There - true to incomprehensible Hollywood form - everyone reacts to Will sexually. Personally, (and I don't think this is mere because I happen to be a heterosexual guy) I have never found an aura of animal magnetism about Mr. Top Gun. Aside: I can appreciate a handsome man, like say, Cary Grant or Clark Gable - for they are stunning examples of genetically superior male material. Yet, from the moment Will decides to ditch Alice there’s a strange asexual quality about him that does not compliment this story that just doesn't make any sense. A series of vignettes lead Will to a bi-sexual house party where he is nearly raped. But at the last moment Will is 'redeemed' by the prostitute he refused to have sex with earlier. The chemistry between Cruise and Kidman just isn't there. Watch their early love scenes - even the kisses they share look unhealthy. The film begins and ends abruptly. Forget that there's no closure to the story. Kubrick rarely ties everything up neatly. What Eyes Wide Shut utterly fails to do is even suggest that the story being told is worth the telling.
 
9) Myra Breckinridge(1970)

Is there anything more idiotic than a transsexual tale in which a disgustingly unattractive man goes to Europe, has a sex change, and comes back to America as the sexy, man-hating - though thoroughly hot Myra (Rachel Welsh). Gore Vidal ? who is usually into bashing other people's merit as writers really had no business commenting on anyone’s literary prowess once the dust had cleared on his hopeless bit of nonsense. Rachel Welsh - who, let's face it, was just another firm pair of breasts as far as Hollywood was concerned - comes across as way too feminine to be believable as Myron/Myra. Most transsexuals will tell you that no matter how much estrogen you ingest it is difficult to cut out all traces of masculine behavior just because you’ve traded in your parts. Mae West, clearly over the hill, is remarkably terrible as Leticia Van Allen; a vixen more dirty ol' bag than anything else, who comes across as something of an old French whore in grandma's clothing.
 
8) At Long Last Love (1970)

Peter Bogdanovich ought to have known better. That he sought to pay homage to musical comedies of the 1930s is admirable. That he was able to recreate the look and feel of those glorious art deco settings is commendable. However, that he chose to cast girl friend, Cybil Sheppard and Burt Reynolds as his Fred and Ginger-ish couple is, not mere laughable, but a complete travesty. As Michael Oliver Pritchard III and Kitty O'Kelly the two are about as comfortable together as x-rated porn at one’s senior prom. And their ineptitude on the dance floor became a miscalculation from which the musical highlights never recovered. From start to finish the film is a colossal romantic cliché, peppered in terrible dialogue (also written by Bogdanovich) and an absolutely horrible score that has one pining for a couple of reels of Fred and Ginger to help cleanse away the truly bad taste left in one's mind thereafter.
 
7) Glitter (2001)

Director Vondie Curtis Hall must have been on drugs at the hospital at the time this dud was being shot. Described in press releases as “a loose bio of its star, Mariah Carey” (* if that's the case, Ms. Carey has my deepest condolences), Carey is Billie Frank, a shy, young girl who is sent to an orphanage by her alcoholic mother. But who needs heartache? Before you can say “twinkle-twinkle, get down” we are teleported to retro 1983 where a sexy record producer, Timothy Walker (Terrence Howard) thinks Billie is the next Judy Garland (Aside: she's not!). Enter the unscrupulous but equally sexy DJ, Dice (Max Beesley). Stop me if you've heard this one before. But Billie's contemplation of Tim or Dice is about as tension laden and wrought with melodrama as having to make the choice between Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi. In the story, as in life, the pressure gets to be too great and Billie suffers a mental breakdown. My only question thereafter is did Mariah do this film for money or as therapy?

6) The Mask (1994)

Chuck Russell proves that all one needs to make a smash hit out of an incredible snore is a manic celebrity who's behavior is maniacal crack addict personified. Jim Carey is Stanley Ipkiss a shy bank clerk whose love meter is raised by Tina Carlyle (Cameron Diaz). But he's a wet noodle when it comes to entertaining women or sticking up for himself for that matter. So his chances with the fabulous Ms. C are, well, Z...as in zero. That is, until he discovers 'the mask'. Since this film we've come up with all sorts of like minded flicks about normal guys who don jackets, spandex, belts, whatever and become superheroes incarnate. But The Mask isn't really one of these. He's more like an anti-hero, prone to mischief and more than slightly superficial misogynist views of women. Oddly enough, none of this bothers Tina who takes Stanley as her good guy from nine to five, but would prefer his alter ego in the bedroom thereafter.

5) Bye Bye Birdie (1963)

...my sentiments exactly. Accomplished musical director, George Sidney ought to have been able to make something more of this minor Broadway sensation than what ultimately transpired. But the story of an Elvis-esque rock & roller, Conrad (Jessie Pearson) whose arrival in a small town generates palpitations of earthquake magnitude in his adoring teen audience was, flat, flat, FLAT! A subplot involved inspired chemist and aspiring songwriter Albert Peterson (Dick Van Dyke) who is convinced that he can make his fortune and marry his girlfriend Rosie (Janet Leigh) if only he can get Conrad on the Ed Sullivan show. Overly inflated, and with set pieces that failed to become integrated into the collective whole, the film’s two prize hams - Dick Van Dyke and Paul Lynn did their utmost to become scene stealing nuisances. There was little to admire in either the story or its direction. What emerged then was a point of contention that further proved the great Hollywood musical dead.

4) Gigli (2003)

Can you say just plain bad...I know you can. When lowly thug, Gigli (Ben Affleck), is assigned to kidnap the psychologically challenged younger brother of a powerful federal prosecutor to save his mobster boss from incarceration, he gets more than he bargained for in Ricki (Jennifer Lopez), a gorgeous, free-spirited female gangster. This was basically the beginning and end of the plot, for Gigli soon acquires a change of heart. He doesn't want to be gangster. He doesn't want to be involved in a kidnapping. He just wants Ricki. Made at the height of the romantic cloak and dagger scandal that ultimately became known as “Ben-ifer” the film was an action packed slug that oddly enough did not hurt either actor's career. There is not much else to comment on other than the film did not make much of a splash one way of the other, a benign footnote to cinema art that is best left forgotten.
 
3) Stepping Out (1991)

Okay, want to see a really awful Liza Minnelli film? I didn't think so. Liza is Mavis, a dance instructor who takes a bunch of reprobate left-footers and transforms them into a dance troop that still cannot put two feet together and come up with Gregory Hines. Oh well, this is the sort of “hey kids, let's put on a show” yarn that made her mother, Judy Garland famous, but with Judy and Mickey Rooney the idea - if dated by today’s standards - was immeasurably fleshed out by some great dancing talent and the mind boggling choreography by Busby Berkeley in the original hey day. Liza is not that fortunate. The film goes back and forth, trying to make up its mind whether it’s going to be the not so valiant successor to Fame or homage to Babes on Broadway. As a result, it's neither, and oh such a waste of the gal who first dazzled us as Sally Bowles in Cabaret.
 
2) House of Wax (2005)

Okay, the original wasn't high art. But at least it attempted to provide a story in which the mayhem evolved. In that original, Vincent Price is a sculptor whose hands are disfigured during an arsonist fire of his treasured wax museum. Price, of course seeks revenge. In the remake we get just about every rotten cliché that horror films have degenerated into but without the obligatory fright fest we are expecting. Plot in totem then had a bunch of horny kids (fronted by no talent Paris Hilton) bumping uglies in a forest when a homicidal maniac decides to pick them off one at a time. The survivors escape for help to a nearby town that - surprise, surprise - is abandoned and made entirely out of wax. Forget the improbability associated with this concept (ergo, that the sun would have melted the whole place into a pile of goo long before - or the unquantifiable amount of paraffin needed to build such a showcase to the macabre. In the end we get what Price already gave us in the original - a chance to see the whole noir-ish candle go up in flames. But by then the remake has outlived its welcome by at least five reels and left one wondering why anyone would have financed such a project in the first place. Burn baby, burn.
 
1) James Cameron's Titanic (1997)

With the largest budget in film history ? two-hundred million - and a glittering roster of supporting talent aboard a full size mock up of that incredible leviathan this should have been the definitive recanting of that fabled maritime disaster. But with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet at the helm it turned out to be - as Cameron had attempted to warn us in advance - a romance where the ship just happens to sink at the end. Unfortunately most everything became fairly waterlogged before the berg came into view. The script is a mess of clichés made problematic by two mismatched leads. As spoiled rich girl, Rose DeWitt Bukater, Winslet looked about forty; DiCaprio’s penniless artist, Jack Dawson barely pushing eighteen. The gratuitous nude scene was unnecessary. Winslet's not a well built gal. Besides, the fortitude and manner of the day would never have permitted even the contemplation of such salacious behavior. The script, such as it was, relied on filler; the backseat boffing of Jack and Rose inside a jalopy in the cargo hold, a brutally idiotic moment when Rose’s fiancée, Cal (Billy Zane) terrorizes Jack and Rose by firing shots from his valet’s pistol, a couple of short lived moments where Kathy Bates tickles our fancy as 'Molly Brown' and some pretty spectacular computer graphics of the ship sailing into the sunset - like a commercial for Carnival Cruise lines that just happens to end badly. Stellar supporting cast, Francis Fisher, Kathy Bates, Victor Garber, et al. were given only the most superficial bits of trivia to receipt before being whisked into the background. Overall then, Titanic was a film that lost more than steam once the ship set sail from South Hampton - it lost my respect.


Copyright © Nick Zegarac
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED






SARAH STILL

Inspiration is all around... All we need to do is open up.
If you let your doors of faith open,
you will find more truth.
If you trust yourself and the divine light, 
you will delve deeply further into the world of love without regret. 
Your passion will come within yourself first.
You will sense that money isn’t really anything of value-
It is just an energy exchange.  
That to be successful, all you truly need to do is spread the most joy 
and help the most people attain their truest potential...
With the Empowerment of Unconditional Love.




A Feast of the Truth
 is Merely seen as a Misunderstanding,
Shown Brightly by Blue Incandescent Eyes
 Gazing Inwards.
Seeping Bliss, a Waters edge Glimmered Deeply,
Caressing Beautifully, a Notch of Cloves in Time.
Surrounded by Affection,
One’s Personal Power can Graze with More Prominence
than a Red Rose Speaking out.
 

Divine Guidance is available to the many souls who wander, Sometimes not knowing.  Many times one can feel insecure, but there is Always a Loving Hand to Cast Away Anything you No longer need or want in your life. To let go is the best thing to do.  Accept help from a Higher place.  Make Peace, Love, Joy, Light & Harmony your priority- Let yourself Live in the Moment.  Have Clarity- Be Tranquil- Don’t let Negativity get you down.  Follow your heart. Listen to the Wind of your Spirit, Dancing Breezily with the Fairies, Angels and the Highest Vibrations possible. Find Balance.  Know yourself first with Kindness and Love.  Know that you are Truth. Know you Deserve Abundance and Prosperity.  Remember to Always send Love to those you know and to the many surrounding your Planet who may need Love or Happiness.…

 
 

 Lay down unto the Wind.  Let your Sorrows flow into the Air of Passion.
                                        Caress your Wings with Peaceful Glances,
                         Delving Deeply over the Mountains Filled with Harmony.

 
 

There is a Circle of Love awaiting your Arrival...
Join us with your Pure Heart...
Join us into the Realm where Anything can Happen…
You will Sense a greater Joy, an Inner Harmony,
and a more Tranquil State of Being.
You will Light up with Higher Vibrancy.
Your Soul will feel more Enriched;
it will have more Passion for Everything. 
You will be more Aligned with your Truth…
Your Spreading of your Newfound Love will Include an
Everlasting Abundance in Your Life.
You Just have to Open your Taste of Desire with Passion to
Unfold Your Love to Explore the Angelic,
Fairy and Elemental Realms Once Again...
Remember the Mystical World is A Wondrous Place to
Breathe upon ...and Nature is a Pure Undiluted Place to go to
Revitalize your Very Essential Self...

Inspiration is all around... All we need to do is open up.
If you let your doors of faith open,
you will find more truth.
If you trust yourself and the divine light, 
you will delve deeply further into the world of love without regret. 
Your passion will come within yourself first.
You will sense that money isn’t really anything of value-
It is just an energy exchange.  
That to be successful, all you truly need to do is spread the most joy 
and help the most people attain their truest potential...
With the Empowerment of Unconditional Love.


A Feast of the Truth
 is Merely seen as a Misunderstanding,
Shown Brightly by Blue Incandescent Eyes
 Gazing Inwards.
Seeping Bliss, a Waters edge Glimmered Deeply,
Caressing Beautifully, a Notch of Cloves in Time.
Surrounded by Affection,
One’s Personal Power can Graze with More Prominence
than a Red Rose Speaking out.
 

Divine Guidance is available to the many souls who wander, Sometimes not knowing.  Many times one can feel insecure, but there is Always a Loving Hand to Cast Away Anything you No longer need or want in your life. To let go is the best thing to do.  Accept help from a Higher place.  Make Peace, Love, Joy, Light & Harmony your priority- Let yourself Live in the Moment.  Have Clarity- Be Tranquil- Don’t let Negativity get you down.  Follow your heart. Listen to the Wind of your Spirit, Dancing Breezily with the Fairies, Angels and the Highest Vibrations possible. Find Balance.  Know yourself first with Kindness and Love.  Know that you are Truth. Know you Deserve Abundance and Prosperity.  Remember to Always send Love to those you know and to the many surrounding your Planet who may need Love or Happiness.…
 
 

 Lay down unto the Wind.  Let your Sorrows flow into the Air of Passion.
                                        Caress your Wings with Peaceful Glances,
                         Delving Deeply over the Mountains Filled with Harmony.

 
 

There is a Circle of Love awaiting your Arrival...
Join us with your Pure Heart...
Join us into the Realm where Anything can Happen…
You will Sense a greater Joy, an Inner Harmony,
and a more Tranquil State of Being.
You will Light up with Higher Vibrancy.
Your Soul will feel more Enriched;
it will have more Passion for Everything. 
You will be more Aligned with your Truth…
Your Spreading of your Newfound Love will Include an
Everlasting Abundance in Your Life.
You Just have to Open your Taste of Desire with Passion to
Unfold Your Love to Explore the Angelic,
Fairy and Elemental Realms Once Again...
Remember the Mystical World is A Wondrous Place to
Breathe upon ...and Nature is a Pure Undiluted Place to go to
Revitalize your Very Essential Self...

 
 

Remember to Soar into the Unknown with Peace. 
Soar far into the State of Being that You were Meant to Live,
Just by Feeling and Breathing Your Inner Worth. 
You are a Wondrous Treasure that No-one can Break-
You can Climb the Highest Obstacles with Ease.
Your Glance upon the Mountains is Surmountable;
For you have the Courage and Strength that No-one can Truly see. 
Your Passion is Your Survival. 
You sing Your-self In Abundance with Everything you Do, Think, Say or Act upon…
          You Realize, and say Goodbye to Anything Not of your Truth,
Your Light, Your Radiance, Your Beauty, and Your Love, in Yourself, and Others…
Everything Else Except this is all an Illusion of what Should be…
When You know What really Matters… In the Heart…of Unconditional Love…
Again, for Yourself and Others.
 
 

Remember to Soar into the Unknown with Peace. 
Soar far into the State of Being that You were Meant to Live,
Just by Feeling and Breathing Your Inner Worth. 
You are a Wondrous Treasure that No-one can Break-
You can Climb the Highest Obstacles with Ease.
Your Glance upon the Mountains is Surmountable;
For you have the Courage and Strength that No-one can Truly see. 
Your Passion is Your Survival. 
You sing Your-self In Abundance with Everything you Do, Think, Say or Act upon…
          You Realize, and say Goodbye to Anything Not of your Truth,
Your Light, Your Radiance, Your Beauty, and Your Love, in Yourself, and Others…
Everything Else Except this is all an Illusion of what Should be…
When You know What really Matters… In the Heart…of Unconditional Love…
Again, for Yourself and Others.


Copyright © Sarah Still
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED



From The Editor


DAMAGE ALONG THE GULF OF MEXICO