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Showing posts from December, 2014

Quickie Review - Faust (1926)

R.W. Marnau's vision is mesmerizing from start to finish. Much like Nosferatu, years, possibly decades ahead of its time. While it didn't captivate me in the same way that Nosferatu did, I can't dismiss its brilliance. With all that has happened in the near almost 90 years since its release, it's better off if one ignores any historical background on anyone involved and enjoy it for the artistry. To deny, those with black hearts aren't capable of beauty, would be naive.

Faust is the timeless tale of man's struggle between good and evil and what we would trade in return for an improved state. Whether that be for ourselves or for others. The religious symbolism here isn't cleverly hidden, like many of today's films, but laid out for us to see and then critique. As we find with any struggle, it's our strongest emotions that guide us. Even if they appear selfish, they prove to be just, as the movie depicts.

Like all of Marnau's films, the use of lig…

Quickie Review - Child Of God

James Franco directs his version of a Cormac McCarthy novel. What could go wrong?

 If you can get past the fact that there is a plot hole in nearly every scene, then you are a better person than I, for I found them so incredibly distracting, it started to feel as if they were inserted on purpose. Franco's face on the poster, might be the biggest. I don't hate James Franco and actually believe he's a decent actor, but if you watch this, you'll understand my confusion.

My real problem has to do with the lead actor. Scott Haze simply can't act or was given truly poor direction from Mr. Franco. His mumbling was so bad, that many I know with suspect hearing would have definitely required subtitles. His mannerism and actual look failed to convince me this was a man without a home. At no point is there a decline in his appearance, despite some obvious time going by. So often we fall in love with the performance of someone deemed "troubled," ignoring the fact the…

Christmas: Things I Simply Don't Understand

Did anyone show pictures of their Christmas trees before social media? I have a theory behind this and it has nothing to do with the tree. I think people like to show off the fact that they can afford lots of presents and they post it almost to shun others. In their competitive minds, if they had more presents, they won some event they created in their heads.

If you're on Twitter, it's amazing how single girls out girls who are dating. One girl wrote word for word what about ten of my friend's wrote. Everything from "Santa did good," "the boy did good" "I think I'll keep him," etc. Even better was the one girl who said "Watch how many bitches show off their Michael Kors bags and then post something about 'present being nice, but it's really about who you are with.' Bitch you lying." I actually counted at least three people who not only did this, but did it with Michael Kors bags.

Ugly food. Now listen, not all Christm…

The Year Christmas Was Cancelled

I'm not trying to be Scrooge, but I've officially canceled my Christmas this season. I don't wish anything, but the very best for all my friends and family, but I'm done. This year has been a particularly difficult for me physically, mentally and now financially. That being said, I've made the most out of it, but I'm done. The past few weeks, with all that has gone on in the world, has shown me so many people's true colors, that I've become a little jaded at the belief that all that hate just upped and disappeared, because of a ripped off page on the calendar. The irony, of course, being that today was celebrate the birth of that man who told everyone to love one another.

I'm not trying to be negative or ruin anyone's day. Well, four people who read this might sense a bit of cynicism, but they get me. I'm just tired of the fact that we can't love thy neighbor the same day every day. That we can't share this familial joy on a Tuesday …

Life Doesn't Have A Color - #AllLIvesMatter

A million metaphors to destroy both "sides" arguments, but the fundamental problem is that there are sides. One side have always been the outcasts of society and they were kept that way for years, by the government and those who work for it. There is a dark, painful history to their anger.

One day, 13 years ago, brought up day after day this week. Some who lives 3000 miles away, speaking as if they were there. I read a note from a man, 28 years old, tells how he bleeds blue, because of that day. He was 15 at the time. Don't use my tragedy for your benefit. I suffered too, but have never stooped to using it as an excuse for another man's actions. I too have had a job where my life literally hung by a thread every day. I have never dreamed of telling others of it. I don't know what it is like to wake up black or wake up and put on a uniform. I've heard countless stories about both and not once did they truly see the other side. Isn't the job of both, to lea…

The Elf On The Shelf Is Nothing More Than Bullying Your Kids

Every Christmas since I joined Facebook, my news feed is filled with that silly little elf. Sure, last year I had fun and posted pics I found around the net of the elf doing blow off of Barbie's ass and such, but I don't have kids and I wouldn't allow that little guy in my house if I did.

Here's the problem with it. It's bullying. Just because you attach a cute story to it, you're instilling the fear of no gifts to a child who is still naive enough to believe in Santa. Sure they will laugh when they awaken to see the Elf making cereal, but that wears off quickly and the thought that the elf might possibly have been watching them is creepy enough, but monitoring their behavior? That's plain sick.

I have a big problem with what I see friends doing these days and calling it parenting. I'm not saying a DVD from time to time isn't a needed break, but I know people who use this for hours on end. The lack of imagination they are using will hamper them soci…

2 Quickie Reviews - Dead Snow 2 & Hansel & Gretel: Which Hunters

First off, you don't know Dead Snow, here is how I explain it to everyone. It's a Norwegian zombie film, but the zombies are fast, organized and don't want brains or to eat flesh necessarily. Oh yeah, and they are Nazis. To tell any more would be to ruin the fun, but it gets better. They made a sequel that starts right where the first left off.  The best part is that the sequel might actually be better. It's hilarious, has some nice looking (fully clothed) women and just enough over the top gore to make horror fans happy.

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is far different. In what could have been a very great movie with a little more humor and better action, it fails to really pull you in. The odd thing about this, is both movies are directed by the same guy. A little more camp and funny dialogue, which there is some of and this one could have been great. It really did have the basis for a good idea and has its moments, but never finishes them off. That being said, it…

Monday Morning Observations

So much happens these days and we get our information instantly. The reasons are both good and bad, but it allows us to find out some necessary things, such as weather and traffic and it also forces our hand into making assumptions. Some of us wait for information, but most jump to ill-advised conclusions and then that silly little bastard named pride jumps into our minds. That is why the this weekend's parades were seen as so awful by some and so beautiful to others. Some have a vested interest because of the color of their skin and others because of the job they hold dear to them like a child. I won't pretend to understand anything other than pride. I only wish people didn't confuse pride with right and wrong. Pride has caused my faults to cause me more harm than they should and they've magnified my achievements, but what they can do on a large scale is move mountains. Some to clear a passage and some to throw down upon others. Both of these are happening from both &…

Questions about The Nightmare Before Christmas

I've copied and pasted my questions that I wrote on the IMDB website. Yes, the same one I get trolled every time I don't like a popular movie. 

Every time someone doesn't like something, they get trolled to no end on this site. So I'm going to ask a few questions and see if some can make some sense of the hoopla surrounding this. Yes, while hard to believe, I'm just getting around to seeing this.

1. Aside from the animation technique, what is it that truly grabs you about the movie? The music? The dialogue? The story?

2. Does anyone else feel that of all the Disney, Pixar, etc movies that have come out, that this one is the most simplistic? It's obviously made for kids, but it has so little to offer adults (IMO).

3. What in your opinion was the moral? As an adult I took a somewhat cynical look at it as being a "stay with your own kind" type of thing. If one was to really dig, you could come up with tons of racial, religious and class talking points, b…

Three People

I was thinking about three people today. I'm not friends with any of them on social media and I guess in many ways, you could say we're not friends anymore. I don't remember anything happening that wasn't civil, but the connection has been lost. 
The first is someone I simply lost contact with. I worked with him briefly and while we were never close, I sort of took him in, since he was an out of town guy. I found that we had fun when we went out, but I always had this sense he wasn't very honest. He always had me drop him off somewhere other than home and I later found out that he was staying at his grandmother's house. He invited me over at one time and when I asked if she lived alone, he said yes. The house was very modern and there were not pictures of any kids or grand kids. I played cards at her house and she was apparently out of town. I think he sensed that I felt there was something up and after, we never really spoke. I also always felt he had a child,…

Quickie Review - Guardians of the Galaxy

Without giving anything away, let's just say this. If you want to laugh, be excited and listen to some pretty groovy tunes. this is the movie for you. Normally, I'd tell you about the great camera work, dialogue or subtle nuances that appealed to me, but this is just pure fun. In my opinion, the special effects actually kind of suck. The story isn't anything new, but it works. The cast is a group of oddball space cowboys and they all get thrown together. Basically, if you like Star Wars, but you're too impatient to watch three movies, check this out. Lots of big names and some you might not quite recognize.

Now listen, I normally despise sci-fi and even more so, superhero movies. This is both and it is neither. It is first and foremost an action movie, but secondly it's a comedy. Even better, it's message is somewhat timely and when you throw in the amazing music, it's a can't miss. Sure you'll be bothered that it leaves a possibility for a sequel, …

Free Writing - Take 67

I haven't had more than ten headaches in the past 15 years. I think I've had one steady headache now for a week, maybe longer. In that time, I have had weird sleeping habits. An hour there, two hours there, the occasional four hour marathon there. Never feeling rested when I awake. The heat from one room dries out my sinuses, while the bitter cold in the rooms I frequent most, has my entire body so tense, my neck feels as if I'm the freshman nerd, getting a Vulcan neck pinch by some senior who is beaten at home. I now feel for those I know who are always cold. It's hard to enjoy anything. Coffee goes cold in mere minutes and food loses it's taste as the warmth leaves and the juices run away, the meat tougher with every chew. I spend as much time as I can, tucked away beneath the sheets. This isn't odd for me, as I've lived in a place for a decade that allowed only for a chair and a bed, the horizontal position being the favored choice. I hated that place, b…

Quickie Review - Dog Soldiers

How this 2002 horror flick escaped me is a mystery. Someone on Twitter mentioned it a few days ago and I threw it on top of my queue. Glad I did. It's fun from beginning to end. Unlike most horror films, the acting is actually enjoyable, the monsters look pretty real, thanks to a lack of CGI and the violence and gore is perfectly balanced with just the right amount of horror.

Often I make the mistake (in other people's opinion) of going into horror films with the same expectations as regular films, but foreign horror has taught me that horror doesn't have to be all camp and poor acting. It can actually be a piece of art just from the simple fact that the acting is taken seriously. Dog Soldiers would be good if the enemy wasn't a monster and this is why it works. It could as easily have been Rio Bravo or Assault on Precinct 13. But it's not, it's Dog Soldiers and it works almost perfectly. Even within the twist, the little homage to past movies of the same ilk a…

I'm Officially Done For The Year

Yep, for the next 22 days, I'm politics free on Facebook. I've come to realize that people's bias is so strong over the state of things in this country that even as they're stating their non-bias they are being biased. So for the next three weeks, I'll stick to pictures of my lunch, movie reviews, sports babble and the occasional story of inspiration and/or frivolity. I'm truly done for the year and possibly, we'll see, done with Facebook in the near future.

I've moved away and not that it matters, but I feel like when I do come back, it will be to faces of people I don't really know. The amount of hate and vitriol displayed over the past four months has been nauseating. I have some friends who have dropped the N word, but two sentences later mention their "black friend." I just can't take it.

So for most of you who have told others what a jerk I am and how I'm stupid, a hypocrite (almost always using the word incorrectly) or simpl…

Quickie Review - The Retrieval

The Retrieval is one of those movies where you read the synopsis and tell yourself, "No thanks, I'm not in the mood for this." It's the odd era of American History that nobody talks about. When slavery wasn't really legal, but wasn't really illegal either. It was an odd time and this story, which tells of a young black boy and his "uncle" who are sent out to coax a freed man to come home, so that their bounty hunter "boss" can collect and pay them. 
The obvious conflict of interests here are the least of the story. The story is so simply told, but with such incredibly complex themes, that you lose yourself in the story, much like a stage play requires you to really fixate on the minute details. I don't know if the writer/director Steve Eska thought of this, when filming, but each of the main character's gaits is different and perfectly describes their attitudes towards life and their own self being. It's a pretty incredible fea…

Quickie Review - Oculus

Oculus is the newest entry into a long line of horror movies that feature nearly all the exciting parts within the trailer. There is nothing new here and sadly, it's been done so much better and actually with the same symbolic "bad guy." The one thing Oculus has that some of the lame horror geeks out there will go gaga over, is production value. It's a clean film, which in my personal opinion, hurts it. I prefer grittiness in my horror, but that's a personal craving.

Oculus has a very nice looking and serviceable cast. The acting isn't the problem, it's the painful predictability. I'll just say this. The apple scene I saw coming a mile away and even the buildup was horrendous. The film is low on gore, violence and any real scares. There is also no clear reason for anything that happens, meaning the writer and director went into this with clear intentions of having a sequel, a la Insidious.

The shining star is Annalise Basso, who plays the younger vers…

What I Took Away 7/1-7/7

I'm at my happiest alone, in bed, watching a movie with a cup of coffee. Sure the touch of another is missed, but there is something about completely absorbing a film that makes me feel whole. Even if it's terrible, I look for things. I spent about 20 minutes trying to think of how I'd do it differently and I must say, my version of the movie, which I'll write a quickie review of tomorrow, would be better. Much better.

A friend made a statement about intelligence, average intelligence and what makes someone less or more intelligent than the average. OK, maybe her statement was more simple, but the comments that followed, including mine, challenged and confirmed her beliefs. I believe we're dumb. We're universally dumb and if we don't strive to learn something new each and every day, we fail. Today I learned that some people think Selma of the civil rights movement was a person. People are dumb.

Today I came to the conclusion that routine will be my undoing,…

A Personal Blog

I know nobody reads my blog. When I started it, I figured I'd post some funny, silly and maybe thoughtful things that friends would get a kick out of. I soon realized that most of my friends are too busy to read anything more than two or three sentences long. Ironically, they claim to be very aware of the world around them and why it's falling apart. I spend three or four hours a day just trying to make sense of a crazy world I'm part of and people who have actually told me they don't read because my blogs are too long, tell me they know better than I about why people are protesting. I guess I'm missing something.

I find it interesting that I was thinking about something, rather someone, wondering what they are up to. We shared a "moment" and I hesitantly wrote about it long ago. I was looking back and realized that memory popped into my head and onto these pages right around the same time of year, a few years back. Maybe it's the cold that brought ba…

Tired of the Hate

I've written three blogs tonight and deleted all three. I'll just say this. If you see that I'm no longer your friend on Facebook, please don't think this doesn't mean we're not "friends." It simply means that I'm weaker than you and while you can and have put up with reading things that you disagree with, I can't handle your racist tones. If you defend someone because he's your friend, but bash every other black person, because he's a thug, that is racism. Your loyalty doesn't mean you're not racist, it just means you're selective.

I don't mean for this to only apply what is in the news now. If you think there is comedy in women being raped, I'm going to have to stop reading your posts and I assume, you mine. I've always found it interesting that men with daughters continue to be friends with rapists, but that's your business. That women support the husbands of their beaten friends. I've never understoo…

Quickie Review - Godzilla (2014)

I'm just going to come right out and say it. It's easily, without question, one of the worst movies ever made. Now, this is not to say there isn't something for people to like. It's two hours of mind-numbing stupidity, but with that comes relaxation for some. Many thing I have overrated Raid: Redemption, because the plot is pretty simplistic and the acting is pretty much nothing more than being able to fight, but I found so much more and non-stop entertainment. Even it's weak sequel had some flashes of brilliance. This movie, none. Even the most exciting scene, the HALO drop is so silly, because when you see what happens, you realize it's completely unnecessary.

So why is it so terrible? Bryan Cranston to start. Now I must admit that I have not sat through eight seasons of Breaking Bad and to be honest, I've only seen four episodes, but I can say without question, from what I have seen, he's easily one of the worst actors alive. He's a good guy and …

Free Writing - Take 66

I've been making lists in my head lately and while it's something we all do, these have been so scattered. I've been thinking of songs I love that I haven't heard in ages. I've been thinking about people I've been meaning to reach out to privately, but fail to do so, because liking a silly picture is so much easier. Lists of things I'm dying to eat or books I need to read. I've been thinking about how my desire for knowledge has been waning, because I have nobody to share it with. Even my sports, the thing I spoke so often on Fridays through Mondays, is a thing of the past. I've been jotting down in my memory bank all of the people who I miss and all of those who I thought would miss me more. I think about the ever growing list of people who were constants who mean nothing to me anymore and I to them. I've been making lists of the things I did, each and every day, that I've not done in this, my 155th day away. I took a break from this, looke…

Quickie Review - Pontypool

Pontypool is one of the few movies, I've ever watched, been absolutely amazed with (most of it) and then read the writer and director's comments in interviews and was at a loss. So much so, it changed my view of it. This in no way is meant to take away from Stephen McHattie's brilliant performance in the lead role.

While I realize the film takes place in Canada, I felt throughout that this was a strong social commentary on how talk radio and media in general has created so much hysteria that anything is possible. I felt, like War of the Worlds, this film was entirely about hysteria created by the spoken word, which, because the movie was made in 2008, coincided with the ending of one administration and the true rise of power for cable news. There were other things, I won't bore you with, like the plays on words, the anagrams and a few others, but this is where I was let down. I read the interviews and comments and absolutely none of this was intentional. In fact, the e…

A Dream About The State Of Music

I had a dream about music. Something I love, but have let slip away from my daily life. I'm so frustrated with music being secondary to the ugly packaging it's wrapped up in. Ever since people like Elvis, became legendary, while the writers and true performers, who sung with passion and danced with feeling, slipped through the crack, music has gone downhill.

Gone are the days of paying homage to the greats like Robert Johnson. Robert Johnson, the man, the myth, the legend. Does anyone remember when the box set of lost recordings came out. It was the biggest moment in music history at the time and how many people say outside of a Tower Records, waiting to grab the genius' work? This is done for Dave Matthews, Guns 'n' Roses and One Direction. Bands who have cornered a market on sameness. For every Nirvana, there are twenty grunge bands who would have yelled to Cobain to grab his shine box, but they marketed themselves to the future Starbucks sipping, hipster wannabe…

Belated Giving Of Thanks

Ever since I joined Facebook, I'm amazed at how shallow people are. Even those, who I thought shared common views with, fall into this selfish rut, sometime after Halloween. Thanksgiving always brings out what most feel is their sincerity, thoughtfulness and unselfish side, but then why is every posts the same? Why do so many thank people for all they do? Why would you choose a holiday to share your admiration? Isn't it a cliche? I'm not saying, you aren't thankful, I'm simply saying it's selfishness you are praising, not sincerity. Why are all but a handful of posts about what others have done for them. Whether big or small it's all about how we benefited from their actions. I'm sure, I could scroll back or check some old blogs and find the same, but I doubt I've ever seen this time of year as solely a time to acknowledge help. I've always been one who values what people do for us. The people who I share a mutual bond with where the giving isn&…