‘Beasts Of No Nation’

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Whether it’s pre-teen sicarios murdering for Los Zetas (depicted stunningly in Don Winslow’s “The Cartel”) or the widespread use of child soldiers in Africa, the brutalization and “violentization” of very young boys is more common than any of us like to contemplate. Netflix has produced its first original movie on the subject, directed by Cary … [Read more...]

Strike Back

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  The final 10 episodes of my favorite TV show start airing on Friday. We're talkin' Cinemax’s “Strike Back.” Here’s the set-up: “A high-octane, globe-spanning thriller with storylines ripped from today's headlines, Strike Back ... focuses on two members of a top-secret intelligence agency known as Section 20: Michael Stonebridge, a … [Read more...]

Apaches vs. Copper Mine

Wendsler Nosie Sr. of the San Carlos Apache speaks against the Resolution Mine. (from Al Azeera America Tonight).

It's an old story. Apaches have been taking on copper mines since Mangas Coloradas forced the abandonment of the Santa Rita digs back in 1837 (that's an epic tale of treachery, slaughter and revenge). Right now, the Apache are trying to preserve a piece of the Tonto National Forest that is special not only to them but to rock climbers and hikers … [Read more...]

‘How Long The Old Ballads Lingered’

Border Reivers depicted by the great Angus McBride.

John Maddox Roberts’ and Deuce Richardson’s comments regarding the Border Reivers on the "hot pursuit" piece inspired me to dig out an essay I originally wrote for the late , lamented Robert E. Howard blog The Cimmerian. I’ve edited the piece to be a little less Howard-centric. One of these days I’ll take up the torch of the Reivers of the 16th … [Read more...]

Hot Pursuit Crosses Frontiers

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India’s toughest special forces conducted a cross-border raid into Myanmar last June, after militant attacks in India. There’s a border war going on in that Asian region and the action of the Indian forces is a classic anti-guerrilla operation — one that would have been familiar to U.S. soldiers and scouts in the American Southwest c. 1880. From … [Read more...]

Machete Western

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3kDomRsgfI Gonna head WAY south of the border for this one. From The New York Times: The Argentine director Pablo Fendrik presents “Ardor” as a “machete western” — that is, a western transplanted to the thick rain forests of South America — but its plot draws just as much from Tarzan as from Sergio Leone, … [Read more...]

Bond Goes South of the Border

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Guess me and Craig McDonald aren't the only ones crossing the border into Old Mexico. So's James Bond, at least for the opening segment of "Spectre." The trailer dropped yesterday. Oh, my. Dia del Muertos masks. Monica Bellucci. "You're crossing over to a place where there is no mercy." I turn 50 on the November 6 premier date. My … [Read more...]

Mythologizing A Mountain Man Epic

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Director Alejandro G. Iñárritu has made it plain that his movie “The Revenant”  mythologizes the saga of mountain man Hugh Glass. This is a good thing. From Grantland: “He was attacked by a bear, he was abandoned, and he had to go 300 miles to get revenge — this was what is known about him,” explains the 51-year-old Iñárritu, sipping something … [Read more...]

The Villa Hit

Pancho Villa and his escort were shot to pieces on the streets of Parral on July 20, 1923.

July 20, 1923 They shot the hell out of him. No time for last words, with nine rifle slugs slamming into him a he sat behind the wheel of his 1919 Dodge Roadster on a dusty street in Parral, Mexico. They say he reached for his pistol as he died. I believe it. His secretary, Col. Miguel Trillo, tried to climb out through the passenger door, … [Read more...]