More Howard Shanker Movies

Here are even more relevant movies that Howard Shanker might enjoy, based on stance on environmentally-friendly, sustainable development and growth, war, comprehensive healthcare, addiction, and social services, and governmental abuse. We are also including a few movies for those cigar aficionados even though we all know cigars are not environmentally-friendly nor particularly good for your health….but

In addition, while watching these movies take a look at the hair styles of the various actors. I knew that actors wear wigs all the time and haven’t really thought too much about it. However, my wife recently went online to a wig boutique and bought herself several Jon Renau wigs without my knowledge. (Jon Renau is apparently a well known wig brand.) The first evening my wife wore one of her new hair alternatives was to a fund raising event. When I met her there I assumed she had gone to a hair salon and had her hair “done.” Imagine my surprise when we got home and she whipped off the Jon Renau wig. I was flabbergasted at how realistic the wig had looked all that evening and it made me realize that a high quality wig is no longer discernible. My wife disagrees to some extent which is why I want to see if you can tell which actors are wearing wigs and who are not.

On a more serious note, the other night we watched A Star Is Born, the film that Bradley Cooper co-wrote it, he produced it and stars in it. Rotten Tomatoes Movie Info blurb says: Seasoned musician Jackson Maine discovers — and falls in love with — struggling artist Ally. She has just about given up on her dream to make it big as a singer until Jackson coaxes her into the spotlight.

The film reminded me of a friend of mine who ended up ruining his life and the relationships with everyone who cared about him. That was maybe 30 years ago before all the advances in developing anti craving medications, detox medications and rehab approaches. When a friend wanted to cut down his excessive drinking I pointed him to a website called LifeBac that offers a medication, baclofen, that suppresses alcohol craving in 92% of people and allows 65% to return to lower-risk drinking levels without affecting taste or enjoyment. It requires a steadfast commitment because the titration of baclofen involves increasing the dose slowly and progressively along with a personalized program and monitoring of the person’s progress.

If you are interested check it yourself. Although the FDA in the US has not approved baclofen for treatment of AUD, Baclofen is FDA approved to treat pain and certain types of spasticity (muscle stiffness and tightness) from multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, or other spinal cord disease). France granted an approval to baclofen for alcohol dependence in 2018. At this date, it was estimated that approximately 200,000 patients received a baclofen prescription for alcohol use disorder in France. You can tell I am pretty well versed in this anti craving med since I had to learn a lot about it to convince my friend to try it.

A Star Is Born

Bradley Cooper’s pop masterpiece is a grand entertainment—and it’s an emotional juggernaut for anyone who’s been around mental illness and addiction struggles, one that doesn’t hit a false note. The film centers on a fading rock star (Cooper) who’s a depressed mess, and a rising pop star (Lady Gaga) he becomes involved with. The longer you sit with it, the more you’re struck by the audacity of the first-time feature filmmaker’s achievement. A Star Is Born was nominated for 8 Oscars, winning one for Best Song (“Shallow”).


This film, based on the novel Push by Sapphire, is about an obese, illiterate black 16-year-old, who struggles to get through the hardships of her young life, which includes getting raped and impregnated twice by her father, chronic physical and mental abuse from her mother, and being saddled with one child with Down’s Syndrome. Oh, and becoming HIV-positive. One of her glimmers of light comes in the form of a seen-it-all social worker who stops long enough to care.

Cape Fear

Robert DeNiro’s character in this 1991 remake by Scorsese smokes an impressive Casa Blanca Half Jeroboam cigar. It was a massive cigar when you consider it, five inches by a massive 66 ring gauge. Ironically how many times did you see DeNiro’s character’s with his cigars & humidors in a shot? You certainly saw the cigars all the time. But a humidor…I don’t remember. And considering that in real life a cigar connoisseur would certainly have at least one humidor, it seems strange. Now for those who are not familiar with the term humidor, it is a container, either a box which sits on a desk or shelf, or free standing cabinet that is designed to store and age cigars in a controlled environment. Interestingly a humidor can also be an entire room, A quality humidor maintains its environment at the optimal humidity range of 68 % to 72% at room temperature via a hygrometer gauge to measure the humidity level inside the box.


Ron Perlman, as the comic book character, Hellboy, smokes Joya de Nicaragua cigars in the movie. After all it makes sense since those 4 7/8 inches by 42 ring gauge cigars are some tough-as-nails smokes and Hellboy is one tough dude. But did you ever see him taking a cigar out of a humidor?

The Hurt Locker

This Oscar winner directed by Kathryn Bigelow wisely doesn’t take a hard stance about the war in Iraq, eschewing the war in the background in order to focus on U.S. bomb diffusers’ dangerously volatile, daily grind.


This film, directed by Roman Polanksi, takes the environmental theme, merging it with the governmental conspiracy theme, then baking it in an oven at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. With a little sprinkle of film noir, you’ve got a masterpiece of a film that you know Howard Shanker would root for.

All The President’s Men

This film, based on the non-fiction book by journalists Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward and directed by Alan J. Pakula, chronicles the Watergate break-in and ensuing The Washington Post scandal, which led to the resignations of H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, not to mention the revelation of the Nixon tapes. It’s knee-deep in governmental conspiracy, all the way to the top.


This film is a political statement if I have ever seen one. It is about the human race invading another planet & raping it of it’s natural resources at the expense of the inhabitants of the planet. The humans begin in the outlying areas but soon find themselves needing to move entire tribes to get to their resources. We are willing to do just about anything to get what we want. Luckily a small group of humans band together with the locals to start an uprising. They are not nearly a heavily armed but they are fighting for their planet. Soon the tribe calls upon all of the surrounding tribes, then the animals that inhabit the planet get involved as well but as we all know our race does not give up without a serious fight. When all is said & done, the dust settles to find the planet has successfully defended itself from our assault. Eventually, they kick all but a few humans off of their planet but I have a feeling we are not going to give up that easily. We will be heading back soon.

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