Sunday, August 7, 2016

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. The tough spot is over and with it, new leaves are being turned. Those who were busy have found a little time for me and I have to remember, they owe me nothing. Facebook makes us forget that. Someone or some thing dies and we post. We are inundated with compassion and sympathy and then it stops, unless we feed it. Are we still grieving or have we turned it into something else? I was grieving two weeks ago and I did it alone, as I always do. Even in the midst of the turmoil, I turned loved ones away, even shunning the very thought that they were; loved ones. It's over now and while this year, memories hit harder, I combated it with the things I've now embraced. Moments with my cat, sharing glances with a deer or simply listening to the leaves, amidst the daily pollution of car alarms, power tools and people talking to themselves or are they tiny people in an earpiece?

I used to use this blog to combat my inner battles, but realized too many people heard about, not even read, my blog, and felt they knew me. I'm approaching an anniversary of sorts. A friend from the past read one of them and reached out. That person and I shared one silly connection and from it grew a friendship like none I've had before. We're both in different places, but in some ways, we've seen the abyss and decided to hightail it out of there...but we don't forget it. Sometimes, when we know we shouldn't, we stare into it and guess what, it never really stares back, it just invites us in. Many days we wonder, should I have turned and run from it or embraced it. The unknown of every decision is something many of us struggle with every day. At times, without a sole understanding, we do what is best for the moment and we shield others from unnecessary pain, by choosing the wrong path and then we spend the rest of our lives wondering if it really wasn't the right one.

It's been 12 years, since my mother passed and while her illness took her life, her wisdom and her compassion, it's slowly crept into me. I'm not the person I was when she passed, for better and for worse, but I think she'd be proud of the way I stand up for myself and even more so, of how I stand up for others, sometimes simply by saying "Good Morning."

Monday, August 1, 2016

July 2016 Movies

  1. Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse - Very funny, but lacks horror feel. Good acting.
  2. Francofonia - On paper, a brilliant docudrama about art preservation during war. On paper!
  3. A Brighter Summer Day - A very simple story, enhanced by it's beauty. Four quick hours.
  4. The Girl In The Photographs - As bad as a horror movie can get. An all-time dud.
  5. I'm A Cyborg, But That's OK - Surreal look at mental illness, is scattered, but works.
  6. Bill Cunningham New York - Funny, touching and possibly even deep. He was NYC fashion!
  7. Hail, Caesar! - Coen Bros. offer an homage to post-war Hollywood and nail it. Casting is A+
  8. Event Horizon - Cult Classic did nothing for me. No twists or turns and silly script. Boo!
  9. Green Room - Run-of-the-mill claustrophobic thriller. Silly script, but solid cast makes it work.
  10. Rams - Icelandic drama about two brothers, their farm and the loss of their rams. That's it. 
  11. Wrestling - Short by director of Rams. Odd homosexual tale that just feels weird.
  12. 3-Iron - A Korean film that says so much without a single word uttered by its lead.
  13. The Chaser - Haunting, depressing Korean crime thriller. Pulls zero punches. 
  14. The Last Picture Show - Either the best bad movie or the worst good movie ever made. Sam!
  15. Midnight Special - Sound and sights add to this epic effort by Nichols. Almost too much!
  16. Elvis and Nixon - Michael Shannon and Kevin Spacey do what they do, strong support.
  17. The Enforcer - Re-watched. Eastwood isn't as great as I remember. Almost funny it's so bad.
  18. Sauna - Finnish horror alleged to be deep. Atmospheric, but pretty standard symbolism.
  19. Vivre Sa Vie - The segments vary in their appeal, but the ending came off campy, ruining it.
  20. Kes - Critically acclaimed, but my personal feelings about animals and kids made me hate it.
  21. A Serious Man - Coen Brothers flop! Absolutely horrible, stereotypical crap.
  22. Darling - Repulsion meets The Haunting, without the direction. Lead is excellent though.
  23. True Grit - Coen Bros almost miss with ridiculous finale, but solid acting makes it worthwhile.
  24. Fright Night - Remake doesn't work, but Poots and Collette are sure nice to look at.
  25. Good Bye Lenin! - Painfully slowly and poorly acted, but then magical fine fifteen minutes.
Top Three: Midnight Special, A Brighter Summer Day, 3-Iron
Bottom Three: Francofonia, Event Horizon, The Girl in the Photographs
Biggest Surprise: Bill Cunningham New York
Biggest Letdown: A Serious Man

Pretty weak month of movies. Some "classics" didn't live up to their billing and I might just have to accept that I am not much of a Godard fan. The real trend this month seems to be movies that either fall apart or somehow work at the end. I also wan't to add that Midnight Special is a movie I will return to and will either find it lacked something important or is one of the better films ever made. It left me speechless, but was it a case of overthinking every single scene?