Wednesday, 3 June 2009

The Contract and more

It is difficult to sit at the desk and work when the sky is perfect blue and temperatures warm to hot and very hot throughout the day and evening. My mind is back to days in Southern France and Northern Spain and Greece, Greece, The isle of Greece beckon along with Italy.

I ventured out in the afternoon to the post box and then down and along Ocean Road and across to Azda when I could not resist an offer on a whole pineapple for £1, some strawberries also at £1 a carton, coleslaw, a lemon and Milano salami at £1.07 100grams compared with the packed at £1.37. The best deal was with shell on prawns where there are 500g frozen packs for £2.14 compared with £1.24 for 200g and which works out at under 87 pence for the same quantity. I will divided into two 250g portions for £1.12.

On the return journey with the weight of the food I was tempted by the taxi bus from Market Square. However there was over half an hours wait so I made my way to the station lift which I hate using because it is fully enclosed, small and temperamental but it cuts out the first steep part of the hill now that the Azda escalators are no longer available. I was soon joined by four others who all had mobility problems and the delay suggested it was not working and then I heard an announcement that a cleaner was required to go to the South Shields lift. There were some Youths overlooking from the platform above as I made my way back to King Street to trek home but as I had not seen anything from the below I resisted the temptation to go up an challenge them. I walked slowly and eventually made it home but the walk back was not enjoyable.

Earlier I had another bonus when booking to take the car to Isle of Wight. The standards fare is £92, but there was on offer a reduced short stay fare of £65 for three nights which I had nearly booked before deciding to investigate changing the car. The delay was fortunate because of a new special offer which reduced the price to £45. I will travel over at 11.30 and return on the 10am as there is some distance and a visit before the overnight stop.

I made a mistake in believing that the World 20 20 competition started on Monday when what is happening is a number of warm up games. Sky TV are showing all four games with a choice of two from Lords and Nottingham. I enjoyed the last moments of Ireland against Holland. The scores tied and therefore what happens is called the golden Over in which both teams try and score the most runs without losing more than three wickets.

In the evening I watched an entertaining adventure as long as critical judgement was suspended. The Contract stars Morgan Freeman as a hardened contract killer who is now free lancing after years of service on behalf of the USA government. The plot requires considerable stretches of credulity. Morgan employs four ex army colleagues on his latest assignment which is to assassinate a reclusive figure who is for or against stem cell research, it does not matter which. For some reason the assassination involved killing the son in a fake accident and then killing his father when he attends the funeral of his son. This is the first stupid plot component

Unfortunately for everyone concerned Morgan has a car accident beforehand and goes to hospital which leads the authorities to finding that out who he is and being taken into custody by the local police who are asked to hand him over to National agents, one of whom appears to be a high level female part of Homeland security with her own agenda and comes across as just as ruthless as Morgan willing to sacrifice innocent civilians and go to any lengths to protect the fact that the government may be involved in the operation as she has contact within of the team and at one point orders the execution of Freeman. Still with me, For someone as skilled and successful as Morgan it is beyond belief that his cover story could so easily be penetrated and that under US law he could be taken into custody without having committed any offence

The four members of the hit team stage an elaborate fake roadside break down in order to free Morgan from the police but the rescue attempt goes wrong and the vehicles plunges down in to a river where Morgan survives although handcuffed after killing his captor. It is never clear why a team of five is needed for the kill plot and why the transfer of Morgan from the police to homeland security is undertaken so badly. Then story become ridiculous

A former policeman turned school sports coach is trying to cope with the loss of his wife three years before from cancer and an unhappy teenage son who blames him for promising that his mother would recover. The son is brought to father by the local cops after being caught smoking pot and in order to try and re-establish meaningful contact father takes his son on a camping trip and they are crossing a bridge at the start of their trip when they spot Morgan and the policeman in the water. So far this is credible but then Morgan gives the father good advice to let him go and for the father and son to continue on their way. The father played by John Cusak decides to take the man prisoner and walk to the highway to get a phone signal and call for help.

On reaching the highway the son is asked to go to ahead and contact a state vehicle seen on the road but before he does witness the killer’s support team gun the vehicle driver down. This is odd because the driver is heard to say that he has phoned through seeing the wrecked police car in the river. What is the point of the killing other than to warn the lad not to proceed to confirm that the group are ruthless killers.

The trio head then head off into the wilderness where fortunately the son has experience through a previous field trip and further long the river bank they encounter a young couple at the river side. The girl is the practical one who has hated the idea of the camping trip and the boyfriend is a panicky wet. Eventually he is persuaded to accompany the trio rather than continue in the direction of the Killers team.

The five survive torrential rain, getting down a cliff side and crossing a ravine on a dodgy bridge which they then destroy. Unbeknown to them the killer’s team have got hold of an official police helicopter. The police in these films are always stupid. The reason why the Killer’s team tried to rescue Morgan and out themselves in danger is because only he has access to the bank at which their fees will be paid. This makes them as stupid as the police for entering into the contract without ensuring payments especially in the event of their deaths. Such men never appear to have parents, brothers, sisters, wives, girl friends or children who need to be taken care of. This is an important component because they have to die without anyone in the audience caring about what happens to them and their families.

Given this it is not clear why they then agree to kill Morgan on the orders of the homeland security woman. The team then kill the boyfriend and the remaining four take refuge in a cabin where they are tracked down by surviving members the killer’s team and fortunately by the police after the father manages to overcome and force the helicopter to crash land. In the fracas Morgan takes the son hostage and somehow manages to get him into a motel and bound and gagged while he goes off to complete his assignment. The ultimate completer finisher which I understand only too well. The police however believe the target is the President who is addressing a rally nearby but only the father appreciate who the target is after watching a TV news bulletin about the funeral. He goes to find Morgan and his son and his intrusion enables Morgan to realise he has become the target. The kill is aborted and the son is found but is this not the end of the tale. Morgan, proves that he is really a nice guy as he catches up with the Homeland security woman who warns her to leave the son alone. Father and son attend a social barbecue back at home at which the widowed fiancĂ©e is also invited with the prospect of a relationship as the girl has the son’s approval. And would clearly make a great substitute mum. They listen to news where the death is announced of the original assassination target. Wow three cheers for the state assassin. The big bad world continues as before

I bet British politicians wish they were in now in a Hollywood film. They are going to get their comeuppance soon, especially the Labour Party ones.

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