Edwin Boyd: Citizen Gangster

Edwin Alonzo Boyd  was a Canadian gangster and folk hero famous for his bank robbing exploits during the 1950s. The 2012 movie Edwin Boyd : Citizen Gangster was written and directed by Nathan Morlando, the film stars Scott Speedman as Boyd also includes Kelly Reilly, Brendan Fletcher, Kevin Durand and Charlotte Sullivan. Boyd was something of a folk hero in Toronto in the 1950s, a charismatic figure who dominated the media coverage for years — that meant newspapers and radio broadcasts, in those days.

Edwin Boyd was born on April 2, 1914 and was a second World War veteran, following in the footsteps of his father who fought in the first one. Post returning from the war, father of 2 young kids Eddie is working as a bus driver in Toronto. His dream however is to be an actor. We see him spending time with his wife and kids and being the family man. One day after he helps a wheelchair ridden man, Boyd throws his hat and leaves his job. Despite criticism from his father, who is now a police man, he then tries to meet up Lorne Green at the latter’s acting school but is told to sign up for classes which cost him money he can’t afford. To provide for his British war bride wife Doreen and his 2 kids, he robs a bank disguising himself with makeup. He buys a new car and buys things for his family, telling his wife that he got an acting job.

However she catches him removing the makeup and he confesses to her. After a few more heists he becomes a local celebrity and is soon caught by the cops. Boyd’s renown really takes off when he is finally captured and jailed and meets some new friends behind bars, mostly Lenny Jackson (the imposing Kevin Durand), a fellow veteran with a prosthetic foot in which he hides the hacksaw blades he needs to escape. Another experienced bank robber, Willie Jackson, aka “The Clown” also joins the two and they escape via the bars of the jail. They met a friend, Valent Lesso from Cochrane, one of the violent members of Lennie Jackson’s original gang, and the four became a team. Lesso was a talented musician who couldn’t find work; he changed his name to Steve Suchan and became a bank robber. The 4 soon become what will be known as the Boyd Gang and pull off several heists and live the high live with their respective lovers. Eddie becomes famous for his jumping over counters, moving quickly, and carrying a gun and also charming the women in the banks that the group steals from.

Things go sour when a drunk Willie is caught by the cops and thrown in jail. Suchan and Lennie Jackson working on their own end up in  a gun fight with a couple of cops kill a detective. They were later wounded and captured in a gun fight and ended up again in the Don Jail, charged with murder. Once again the 4 escape from the jail but using tips from a passerby, the cops finally catch the rest of the team, without Boyd, in a barn and are taken to jail. At the crack of dawn the police crept inside a house rent by Boyd’s brother that they had on surveillance and capture Boyd and his wife while they were still in bed. Steve Suchan and Lennie Jackson were sentenced to death for killing Detective Tong and were hanged back to back. Eddie got eight life sentences and Willie Jackson got thirty years. Willie Jackson and Eddie Boyd were both released in 1962. After his release he tries to reconnect with his now ex-wife but she has remarried and wants nothing to do with him. She however comforts him when her current husband throws Eddie out of the house viciously.

Eddie, under the name John, went to Victoria, British Columbia, where he drove a bus for disabled people and married a disabled woman whom he met on the bus. He took care of her for the next 35 years, until they went into a home. He was a pillar of the community and is given an award for his work, his past life being unknown to people there. What is not shown in the movie is that 2 months prior to his death, Boyd told a CBC producer that he had once killed a couple and left their bodies in the trunk of a car in High Park, Toronto years before his notoriety as a bank robber. The crime fits the September 11, 1947 murders of Iris Scott and George Vigus. Before a formal investigation into his confession could commence, on May 17, 2002, after a visit from his wife and his son, and a phone call from his former war bride and the mother of his three children, Edwin Alonzo Boyd died at age 88.

The movie suffers from the script which could have been a bit more elaborate and some dry spells which drag a bit but Speedman delivers his role of a lifetime in this movie and for that I have to award it high scores. A first time director also probably hindered what should have been a much bigger movie. 8 outta 10, mainly for the acting of Speedman, Kelly Reilly and  Kevin Durand.

The Big Bang Theory – Season 4

At the beginning of the fourth season, Howard borrows a robotic arm and uses it to for a massage at home and then to masturbate. Due to executing the wrong program he gets his genitals stuck in the arm and has to call Leonard and Raj for help. Meanwhile, Penny comes to know of Sheldon’s new friend, Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik), when Sheldon reads out loud her text message. To everyone’s surprise, Sheldon announces his plans to conceive a child with Amy via in vitro fertilisation with Penny being the surrogate mother. Penny suggests that he should first go out with Amy on a date. Since Sheldon cannot drive, and because the date was Penny’s idea, she is forced into giving Sheldon a ride and ends up chaperoning.

Sheldon builds a robotic replication of himself which he calls a “Mobile Virtual Presence Device” that would go through all the hazards of life that Sheldon would otherwise have to endure, while he stays behind in a “secure, undisclosed location” (his bedroom). Sheldon and Amy are very compatible with each other, as evidenced by how well they can play “counter-factuals”, a game they invented requiring them to know what the other is thinking when answering a question about “an alternate world that differs from ours in one key aspect” (Leonard flunks miserably when he attempts to play this game). However, Amy’s presence does not go down well with the other guys, who already find it difficult to handle Sheldon by himself, and they start hanging out at Penny’s apartment to escape “ShAmy” (the name the guys gave for the couple). However one day at lunch, Amy belittles Sheldon’s occupation as a theoretical physicist relative to, in her opinion, her more superior occupation of neurobiologist, prompting Sheldon to terminate their friendship. Following the breakup (or according to Sheldon, “our friendship outlived its utility), Sheldon adopts 25 cats as a substitute for Amy. It takes Sheldon’s mother to use reverse psychology to get him to reconcile with Amy.

When Amy asks Sheldon to meet her mother, he becomes worried she wants to be his girlfriend, and embarks on a series of attempts to avoid her. She eventually tells him that she only wishes to please her mother, who wishes Amy to socialize. Meanwhile, Leonard, frustrated by the fact that he is the only one of the men without a girlfriend, invokes the “Girlfriend Pact” with Howard, last mentioned in “The Creepy Candy Coating Corollary” from Season 3. Howard gets Bernadette to set Leonard up on a date with Joy, one of her friends, whose obnoxious, inappropriate behavior makes for a horrible date for Leonard. Nonetheless, Leonard agrees to another date with Joy because he may get to have sex with her. Raj’s sister Priya visits and re-ignites a heretofore unrevealed past romance with Leonard, despite Leonard’s pact with Howard years earlier that they would not try to date her in deference to Raj. When Sheldon discovers Priya leaving Leonard’s bedroom one morning, he finds out that Leonard and Priya had sex and tries to devise an elaborate, flawless lie to cover it up, but Leonard’s inability to maintain the lie results in his blurting out the truth to Raj, in turn setting off a chain reaction in which each of the four men reveal heretofore unrevealed inappropriate behavior that each has concealed from another man in the group. Wil Wheaton returns and the 4 dudes have an altercation with him outside a theatre.

Penny gets Leonard to act as her boyfriend when her father visits. When an intoxicated Raj complains that “no girl ever wants to kiss him,” Bernadette shows sympathy for him and he attempts to kiss her. In a slow motion scene, Howard stops Raj from kissing his girlfriend, however ends up to be the one being kissed. Penny gets back with her ex Zack and they all dress up as superhero to go to a comic book store new year’s eve party. Sheldon is kicked out by the remaining 3 as he dominates the creation of a new app and plays his theremin as a lament. Amy asks Penny to join her, Bernardette and the other guys on a trip to a science conference in Big Sur, California, as she believes them to be best friends.  Raj develops a crush on Bernadette after she calls him a “hottie” and starts fantasizing about her. After two daydreams in which a departing Howard (once leaving to work at a university in Israel for two years, and once dying after being hit by a truck) tells Raj to take care of Bernadette sexually, he decides that he’s “definitely not gay”. In Raj’s last daydream, he and Bernadette perform a Bollywood style dance number, and he says that, dance number aside, he’s still very much not gay.

Leonard sleep with an older benefactor for funds for the university. Leonard & Priya later become a couple and stat hanging out at Raj’s apartment more, upsetting Sheldon who briefly attempts to get his own group going. Priya tells Leonard that she is uncomfortable with having Penny around her boyfriend every day. Penny spreads a rumor that Bernadette is thinking of breaking up with Howard. After the rumor finally reaches Priya, she informs Leonard that Raj has a crush on Bernadette and even writes poems about her. When Raj hears the rumor from Priya, he gets excited, as he could finally have his own shot with Bernadette. Howard is completely unaware of all this and plans to ask Bernadette to marry him. The others try to stop him from asking, as they believe that he will be blindsided when Bernadette rejects him, with Raj being the only one that selfishly encourages Howard to go through with his plan. When having dinner one night, Howard pulls out the proposal ring, as he can’t imagine a better time to ask her than with all of his friends around. Despite the protest of the others, he gets on his knees and starts to talk. At that moment, Bernadette cuts him off in what appears to be a rejection, however she actually accepts his marriage proposal, completely devastating Raj at the same time. Sheldon and Priya later clash over changes she has made to Leonard’s & the gang’s routine.

A lonely Raj decides to take an experimental drug to overcome his shyness in speaking to women. Mrs. Wolowitz is taken to the hospital after a bout a food poisoning which Howard thought was a heart attack when he told her that he was going to marry Bernadette. It turns out that Howard’s mother actually likes Bernadette a lot. Meanwhile, Leonard’s and Priya’s noisy sexual encounters sends Raj to spend the night at Sheldon’s apartment. When Leonard finds him in his bed, he proposes that Raj moves in with Sheldon until Priya finds her own place. Penny stops by, stays for dinner and the both of them get drunk from the wine Raj served. Penny tells Raj that she “screwed up”, as she shouldn’t have broken up with Leonard, and that she would be “on” him (Raj) if they weren’t friends. Priya receives a video call, Leonard overhears that she is moving back to India and storms out revealing their relationship to her parents. At the end of the episode, Sheldon discovers Leonard sleeping on their couch, Penny wakes up and is horrified when she notices Raj in Leonard’s bed beside her. She tells him that last night never happened and tries to sneak out of the apartment; however, they are busted by the others. Penny just states that “it’s not what it looks like” and leave Sheldon, Leonard and Howard confused. Sheldon inquires “What does it look like?”