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Final Thoughts On 2016

No, this will not be some memoriam to every celebrity who died this past year. While I too was saddened by the losses, it’s our individual lives and how those loves affect others that means the most. I won’t even discuss my personal woes, because the reality is, they’re mine and I own them. It’s called accountability and while this is in no way a pat on the back, it’s a lost art.

 This year has been a stressful one for me, but how can I complain when I have friends who have lost their parents, their siblings, their husbands and wives, even their children? I can’t in good faith ask for their pity or even their sympathy, or is it empathy, when I know the pain of losing the person who matters most to them. I can understand and show empathy and from where I am now, I can only do so by quietly dealing with life. Not the lemons we equate to bad tidings, but life.

People are enamored by clich├ęs and their use of them says a lot about how we misunderstand our existence. Life isn’t meant to be …

A Quick Story About Stuff

Living in a studio apartment for over a decade, then moving into a home that wasn't mine, followed by my current locale, a motel room, has lead me on a search for a new home. But, what do I "need?" What we want is at the forefront of our everyday lives and an entire capitalistic industry has fed of our desires, but it ignores what we need.

I won't bore you with the mathematics, but have you ever thought about hotels? I'm not talking about the Waldorf Astoria or the ones you see in Dubai. I'm talking your standard hotel room. Maybe even your standard motel room. You're paying somewhere in the vicinity of $100 for what you need. In actuality, you're getting more than what you need and you're paying much more than you should, but most of the money is going towards convenience. As I look at "my" room, I have everything, but a stove. I have two beds, I need one. I have three chairs, I need two, should I decide to entertain a guest. I have a n…

Christmas Alone

This blog used to be much more personal. A way for me to get off my chest and mind the things I couldn't always talk about. Nobody read it, which made it somewhat like screaming at the mirror, but for whatever, it helped. I gave it up a while back, when I started talking to real people, but I started to realize their ideas, thoughts, opinions and often their criticisms, were entirely based on their lives and not mine. I lost my outlet and I started to internalize. I'm not saying this will be my go to source for therapy, but maybe I need it. Maybe I don't. Maybe internalizing isn't such a bad thing after all. I mean, nobody really wants to hear other people's problems anyway, unless of course, they can make a buck off of them.

So an incident happened back in November and it put me in a bind. Without getting into a long-winded, detailed account, I threatened someone. Apparently, I threatened them in the worst way I could. I threatened to treat them as they had treate…

November 2016 Movies

I Was Born, But - Ozu's 1932 silent film plays like a Japanese Our Gang and it's wonderful.The Victim - Thai horror film has as good a first hour as any I've seen, then the puzzle begins.The Sea Of Trees - Van Sant fails, by making the most predictable movie ever made.Cold Fish - Starts off strong, but devolves into splatter film with very little to admire.Sausage Party - A 90 minutes dick joke that lost me in the first 90 seconds.Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword Of Vengeance - Part one of six is everything you could want.Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart At The River Styx: Wonderful second part delivers loadsLone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart to Hades: A tad slower than the first two, but quite good.Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart In Peril - A little better than third, but still fun.Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart In The Land Of Demons: Gets back on superb starting track.Lone Wolf and Cub: White Heaven In Hell - Superb finale. Absolutely brilliant set.I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House…

October 2016- Movies

Bound To Vengeance - Well above average rape revenge film. Two leads are amazing.Sweet Bean - Touching, simple tale about three lives that find meaning from each other.Moebius -Ki-duk Kim delivers the oddest film ever about castration, fetishes and incest. The Shallows - If not for the lovely Blake Lively, this would be a worst movie ever candidate.The Darkness - Despite a nice cast, this fails on every level. As horror, it's a sleeper.Swiss Army Man - Dano is amazing in this hilarious and touching film, but truly awful ending.X Cross - Japanese horror that works initially, but then gets silly. Not awful, but not good.Cat People - Classic thriller/horror, uses light and sound to create wonderful tension.Devil - People stuck in elevator. Decent acting gets buried beneath silly non-twist.The Witness - Doc about Kitty Genovese detailing her brother's search for answers. Odd!The Wailing - Popular Korean thriller/horror did nothing for me. Two and a half hours of zzz!The Nice Guys …

September 2016 Movies

'71 - Solid beginning, but then just becomes a painfully predictable chase movie. Unoriginal!Stranger Things - Far from perfect, but one of the more fun series' I've watched in a while.Detour - 40's B-movie noir. Just over an hour and I loved it. Needs a big time remake.The Adventures of Prince Achmed - First animated film f0m 1926. Pretty, a little too rapey.I Killed My Mother - Xavier Dolan writing this at 16, is almost as amazing as the film itself.The Road - Cormac McCarthy adaptation has me wondering why I bother. Why Viggo, Why?The Square - Tense documentary. Limited in its focus, but powerful message.Behind The Mask: The Rise Of Leslie Vernon - Brilliant idea, unravels after 30 minutes.Money Monster - Much better than I anticipated. McConnell was the standout in exciting film.Broken - Roth is great, but newcomer Eloise Laurence is the star. One of the 10 best of last 5!Exit To Hell - Kane Hodder Grindhouse film. Easily one of the worst movies ever made. 4 Months…

2016 NFL Predictions

I skipped this last year, but will fully admit, I'd never have guessed my Broncos would be in the Super Bowl. This year, I had two clear cut favorites (Colts and Cardinals) a month ago, but things might have changed. As usual, I go through each game....yes, I predict all 256 games to come up with this. I know, pathetic, but I enjoy it and I've had some success in the past. So here it is. The seed of the playoff teams is in parenthesis

AFC EAST
New England Patriots* (2) 12-4
New York Jets 7-7
Buffalo Bills 7-7
Miami Dolphins 4-12

AFC NORTH
Pittsburgh Steelers* (3) 11-5
Cincinnati Bengals* (5) 11-5
Baltimore Ravens 9-7
Cleveland Browns 3-13

AFC SOUTH
Indianapolis Colts* (1) 15-1
Houston Texans 9-7
Tennessee Titans 6-10
Jacksonville Jaguars 4-12

AFC WEST
Kansas City Chiefs* (4) 10-6
Denver Broncos* (6) 10-6
Oakland Raiders 8-8
San Diego Chargers 7-9

NFC EAST
New York Giants* (4) 9-7
Dallas Cowboys 8-8
Washington 6-10
Philadelphia Eagles 5-11

NFC NORTH
Green Bay Packers* (1) 13-3
Chicag…

August 2016 Movies

The Lobster - Typical Lanthimos...is it good or bad? Does it matter? You can't stop thinking.The Wave - Norwegian disaster film goes the way of 70's TV movie of the week.Amer - Modern day giallo. Sensual, visually stimulating, but a bit of a snooze. Worth a look.The Hunger - 1983 Vampire flick with beautiful people, being beautiful. So wonderfully 80's.Songs My Brother Taught Me - Scenic, well-intentioned, but needed more feeling.The Terminator - Still holds up, but so many flaws, especially that synthesized score.Purple Noon - The original Mr. Ripley shines with Delon in the lead. Great fun.High-Rise - The most literal allegory ever made. Absolute rubbish, especially Evans and Irons.The Prowler - Good movie? Not really! Amazing Tom Savini SFX kills? Absolutely!A Monster With A Thousand Heads - Tense crime drama that makes it point in 70 minutes.Baskin - From Turkey, the scariest and complex horror film I've seen in quite some time.Viridiana - Bunuel's tale of a co…

Been Forever

I've been meaning to write a blog for a while now, but didn't want one filled with emotion. Been a rough month for me personally and going it alone has been tough. The usual suspects have been absent from my life, but most of all people have just been busy. Sure, I could quote some internet meme about how if people care they'd make time for me, but that's not always true. I've been there. I've had work, little league, personal relationships, my family commitments and I was young. I woke up at 6:30 and went to bed at 1:30 and not once did I have a minute to step back and say "this isn't living." Did I have fun? Of course, but for four years, I essentially became a slave to routine. I didn't go out with friends, didn't drink, didn't even really know what I was doing when I relaxed. I stared at screens, playing games or watching the same movies I'd seen before or ones that looked just like it.

But wait, this isn't a cry for help. …

July 2016 Movies

Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse - Very funny, but lacks horror feel. Good acting.Francofonia - On paper, a brilliant docudrama about art preservation during war. On paper!A Brighter Summer Day - A very simple story, enhanced by it's beauty. Four quick hours.The Girl In The Photographs - As bad as a horror movie can get. An all-time dud.I'm A Cyborg, But That's OK - Surreal look at mental illness, is scattered, but works.Bill Cunningham New York - Funny, touching and possibly even deep. He was NYC fashion!Hail, Caesar! - Coen Bros. offer an homage to post-war Hollywood and nail it. Casting is A+Event Horizon - Cult Classic did nothing for me. No twists or turns and silly script. Boo!Green Room - Run-of-the-mill claustrophobic thriller. Silly script, but solid cast makes it work.Rams - Icelandic drama about two brothers, their farm and the loss of their rams. That's it. Wrestling - Short by director of Rams. Odd homosexual tale that just feels weird.3-Iron - A Kore…

June 2016 Movies

Felt - Billed as horror, this sad drama about dealing with rape is odd, but effective.Beau Travail - This simple story feels like a complex dream in Claire Denis' hands. Brilliant!Krampus - Silly, funny at times, but definitely a failure as a horror film. The Danish Girl - Vikander stands out in a miss-the-mark fictional twist on interesting story.Extraordinary Tales - Animated Poe Anthology is so good on paper, but never translates.Deadpool - Overhyped, silly, with some very funny moments, but the film is rather boring.Emelie - It's not perfect, but it's what horror should be. Tense, uncomfortable and exciting.Anomalisa - Charlie Kaufman strikes again. The film resonates, but lacks something in the end.Joy - Arguably the worst script ever written. The movie manages to fail in every way possible. The Battle Of Algiers - Content could be debated, but the look and sound is impeccable.10 Cloverfield Lane - Obvious, silly and boring, but surprisingly well acted. A waste of tim…

May 2016 Movies

By far, the least number of movies I've watched in a month in almost two years (since I've been keeping track).

Tiny Homes House Hunters - Silly, but some cool houses. Son Of Saul - Auschwitz from almost a found footage style. Cinematic Masterpiece.Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Truly horrible in every way, but script and acting is atrocious.Philomena - Dench and Coogan's chemistry shines in this hilariously poignant film. The Club - Poorly shot and directed film about repenting priests (or not). Didn't work for me.The Girl In The Car With The Glasses And A Gun - Stylish. Hard to like; impossible to hate.Close-up - Abbas Kiarostami's masterpiece is what docufiction should be. Left me speechless.The Traveler - Kiarostami's first. A boy experiences life. Surpasses 400 Blows in my opinion.The Lady In The Van - Despite Maggie Smith's presence, you never feel it. Awful last half.L'Eclisse - Antonioni's third part of "Trilogy," doesn't work a…

April 2016 Movies

Bridge Of Spies - Hanks' best role since Big, but movie loses steam trying to appeal to masses.Vegucated - Funny, thoughtful look at the importance of convincing people to go vegan.The Killing Of A Chinese Bookie - Style over substance is influential, but club scenes drag.The Exterminating Angel - Bunuel's look at upper class fragility and the results. Fascinating!The End Of Summer - Ozu's penultimate film, is funny, charming and ends beautifully.The Hallow - Truly horrible, but distracted by beautiful co-star.Chi-Raq - Spike Lee combines Do The Right Thing with School Daze and Greek tragedy.Steve Jobs - Fassbender, co-stars, direction and cinematography are A-plus. Best of 2015.Almost Mercy - Need some humor and misses the mark consistently, but solid lead.The Conspiracy - Great idea, solid start and then becomes a cheap ambiguous mess.A Woman Under The Influence - Cassavetes' masterpiece. Rowlands and Falk are superb.The Forest - Great premise and decent acting can&#…

It Would Have Been Her Happiest Day

This Friday, my niece was born. I received the message via text, with a picture attached. I cried. I was so overcome with happiness, I couldn't contain it. Later that day, I finally spoke to my brother and he told me all was well. He is not close enough for me to see this wonderful addition and with the way we've all become robots to technology, I've not even spoken to my sister-in-law yet. Everything has been through our phones, but very few voices have been heard and I am anxious to hear her coos and giggles, cries and sighs. It will, I imagine, melt my heart.

Yesterday, I had a different feeling and it shook me; physically. I knew it was coming, but I wasn't ready for how it came upon me. Someone mentioned their parents "not being ready to be grandparents" yet and I laughed, told them they have time and went down to make myself some lunch. As I sat in the kitchen, I thought about my brother and his wife, staring in wonder at the life they created and the s…

March 2016 Movies

Room - Cliche driven, poorly written script can't be saved by wonderful acting. Bedevilled - Korean drama/horror works in many ways, but that ending really bothered me.Captain America: The Winter Soldier - shockingly bad, after solid first film. The Trial - Welles' adaptation of Kafka novel as metaphor for Nazi Germany. Perkins shines.Last Shift - Underrated horror flick, with very solid performance by star and unnerving tension.Indigenous - Panama Jungle meets The Descent. Yep! Aside from good looking women, a dud.Criminal Minds: Season 9 - Repetitive, but character development and chemistry is its charm.Macbeth - Poorly adapted script and too much scenery, makes play lose all play quality.Crimson Peak - First complete letdown from Del Toro. One of the worst movies I've ever seen.Hannibal Buress: Comedy Camisado - Very slow start, but the last 20 minutes is hilarious. The Tribe - Sign language...no subtitles. One of the most bizarre films ever. Troubling.Up - Emotionally …

February 2016 Movies

Nurse (3-D) - Aside from scantily clad beauties, this is a sad attempt at sexploitation.Flu - Korean thriller about avian flu. Forty minutes of editing could have made this a gem. Last Year At Marienbad - Artsy puzzler with no payoff. Thankfully, it's much richer than that.Rome, Open City - Rossellini's war film has highs and lows, but the end to both parts. Wow!Wake In Fright - Cult classic that doesn't live up to the rep. Pleasance is brilliant, but that's it. Hard To Be A God - Epic, but is it great. Hardest movie you'll ever judge. Gruesome and bold. Days of Heaven - Malick's stunning look at life and love on the run. Style trumps substance.The Visit - Shamalyan's dud, never works on any level other than humorous rapping, Persepolis - Animated coming of age story works well, despite some serious lags.Tokyo Chorus - 1931 silent Ozu, works common tale into something special. Poignant 10x.Ip Man - Wonderful action and solid acting, lift this above most of …

January 2016 Movies

I'm adding a little change, with my top three movies, bottom three, biggest surprise, biggest letdown.
Joyeux Noel - A beautiful true story, hurt by over-dramatization. Still works on some levels.A Pigeon Sat On a Branch Reflecting About Its Existence - Dreadful in every way.Cracks - Aside from a lovely to look at cast, the movie fails to deliver, Eva Green though.Monster - Korean crime thriller fails, due to too many undeveloped characters.Making a Murderer - Poorly done, but makes its point. About 8 hours too long.Sicario - Del Toro is the real gem, but Blunt takes nothing and makes magic. Great film!Silenced - Korean film about real life horror at school for the deaf. Well done, but horrifying.Experimenter - Silly biopic about Milgram's obedience testing. Stumbles from start to finish.Pay The Ghost - Nic Cage horror flick. Works, for about an hour, but then unravels horribly.Unfriended - Might actually be worse than The Gallows and Willow Creek. Awful!Slow West - Good, not g…

Free Writing - Take 100

Very rarely, do I write from my phone. Then again, today, or should I say yesterday, wasn't your typical day. I've been certain things for certain people, but not on this day. I was not the person one turned to, the one who shared a mutual admiration with. I was not the older brother, the funny one, the first to know. I was nothing, to anyone and as I stood at the base of a semi-frozen waterfall, I realized my insignificance. I realize that this one would move on and that one would simply find someone else to share with. I realized I'm not the pillar of strength, the guide or the one with sage advice. I left the crashing sounds of the water, emerged onto the street and as I hobbled home, even the thoughts of home wore me down. I stepped slowly, wishing to dash, but physically hindered. I cake across across a schoolyard, laughter bellowing, then turned and walked. The only thoughts, about how all that I want is slowly becoming as realistic as stopping that water from rushin…

Movies of 2015

I, Frankenstein - Better than anticipated and Yvonne StrahovskiRoom 237 - Silly, aside from the obvious observations - war, genocide, labyrinthThe Outlaw (Korean) - Garbled mess with some worth ideas, but fails on each.Deliver Us From Evil - Great lead up to a disappointing final 20 minutesIda - The best movie of the year, if not the last fewVenom - Awful horror with a good castBarricade - Will from Will & Grace sucks in this supernatural nightmare.Calvary - Incredible film by the people who made The GuardSamurai Rebellion - Mifune. Slow start, but wow what a finish.H.H. Holmes: America's First Serial Killer - Documentary - Crap!Neverlake - Extraordinary take on Frankenstein.Blood Valley: Seed's Revenge - One of the worst movies ever made.Knuckle - Documentary about Pikey clans and their ongoing feud. Good, but sad.Only Lovers Left Alive - Jarmusch delivers the 3rd greatest vampire movie ever made.Fright Night (1985) - Re-watched. Sans Chris Sarandon, a truly horrible film…