Hurts so good…

House of the Rising Sun – A Review of Sorts

So, last night was a night just like any other night where, at 8pm(ish), I shifted the butt from the office chair to the recliner and happily fired up the new Fire Stick (a Prime Day upgrade (half-price and 2 free months of HBO!) from an old stick that had been rode hard and put away wet if you know what I mean) and the big screen and, with much hope and anticipation, began yet another heroic search through the multitudinous movie apps for something fun and entertaining to watch for the night.

You feel me?

(I recently finished watching The Wire (for the third or fourth time, can’t exactly recall) so I’m still feeling a bit Omar-esque. Hence the, “You feel me?,” if you know what I mean).

Long story short, it wasn’t long before I surfed upon a flick starring Dave Bautista and immediately had to put on the brakes.

You know Dave, right? Drax from Guardians of the Galaxy.

Basically, he’s the poor man’s* Dwayne Johnson if you know what I mean.

Well… this man** – meaning yours truly – is certainly poor, which means I’m also a big Bautista fan so, at this point, I’m pretty much inclined to just go ahead and watch the flick.

But being the discerning viewer that I am, I must first watch the associated trailer and look up its Rotten Tomatoes score.

Not that I really needed to.

I mean, it’s one of those flicks that you can tell pretty much right away that it needs to be graded on a curve just to be given a B movie credit if you know what I mean.


Which is just fine with me.

I’m far from an A-grade kind of guy…

And in my view for most aspects of life, and the Creative Arts in particular, a B is pretty darn good.

But still, since I fancy myself a writer, including a writer of the scripts, I tend to look deeper into the makings of any movie that I choose to watch.

I especially like to dig into the both director’s and screenwriter’s pasts.

Long story short, I discover that the screenwriter for the flick, Chuck Hustmyre, is also the author of the novel it was based upon.

Now I’m really intrigued since I’ve kind of been there and done that…

In a very small way, mind you.

But still, I got to do the whole (short) story to (short) script to Hollywood (short) movie thing with Leave and I really, really want to do it again but this time in a feature film kind of way if you know what I mean.

And I want to direct the mother fucker it, too!

If you know what I mean.

But anyway, back to the present reality…

Long story short, I began checking out who this screenwriter/novelist Hustmyre was in a slightly green with envy kind of way if you know what I mean.

So I check out his website of course, and come to find out we had similar life trajectories.

I mean, he spent twenty years in law enforcement and I spent twenty years in the military so…

We’re basically brothers in my book.

We even kind of look alike…

Two old, pasty white dudes.

Seen one you’ve seen ’em all.


After checking out his website, I of course head straight to his Amazon page to punish myself further with lust and envy.

First thing I do when I get there is, after quickly skimming over his review count — not that great, btw, which made me feel a little better (not because I’m happy about it!! c’mon, I’m not that much of a jerk (usually)), giving me hope that even without a massive following he was still able to break into Hollywood with his own script so perhaps with my even less than massive following than his I too could become a Hollywood feature film screenwriter if you know what I mean — is check out the book the movie was based upon.

By this time I’m already about a third of the way into the movie…

Yes, I like to multi-task when I “watch” movies.

Which is one reason why I don’t mind watching less than great movies or TV shows.

I don’t feel so bad when not giving them my undivided attention.

But when I “Looked Inside” House of the Rising Sun and started reading through the front matter of the book, my heretofore cleaved attention was instantly made whole and focused completely on what I was reading…

House of the Rising Sun front matter
I know this image is hard to read but since I can barely figure out how these stupid WordPress blocks work, I’m having a hard time figuring out how to link the image to its address so you can click on it to view it full-size (writing posts in html is so much easier); so if you want to get a better view of what’s written you probably should just check it out at Amazon and “Look Inside” for yourself by clicking here.

Is that frikkin’ awesome or what?!

I don’t know how many times I’ve read where the author of a book gets screwed over by the movie adaption…

And I’ve probably read just as many accounts of where the screenwriter gets equally screwed over by the director’s “vision” of the script.


I can kind of relate. Leave the short film is a far cry from the script I wrote for it, and an even farther cry from the short story from which I adapted the script from.

Which is why in the future I want to direct that which I’ve written.


So it goes, as my main man Kurt Vonnegut was often inclined to say…

But damn!

After reading Hustmyre’s diatribical (new word) front matter body slam of the movie’s director I knew I made the right choice in my movie selection for the night and I closed the laptop with much glee and satisfaction, snuggled my but deeper into the recliner, and gave the flick my complete and undivided attention for the rest of the way to its brutal end.

Yes the movie is bad.

Horribly bad.

Painfully bad.

And I loved every disastrous minute of it.

*non-gender specific

**gender specific


Say it like you mean it

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