Saturday, June 23, 2018

Solo: A Star Wars Movie

Taking a character from a well-known and beloved movie franchise and giving him or her their own movie can be difficult. When it was announced there would be a stand-alone Star Wars film about a young Han Solo fans were excited then there was some stories about troubles on the set and a new director taking over and the same fans got worried and the backlash about the movie began. The internet already hated it even before it premiered in theaters. But this long time Star Wars fan never gave up hope and when I heard Donald Glover (who will always be Troy on Community to me) was going to play a young Lando Calrissian, I knew I had to see it.

When we see Han for the first time he is, what one from the Victorian days, a street urchin stealing from the streets for a watery living creature. All he wants to do is run away from this life and be a pilot. Once he escapes he joins the military and runs into a thief/smuggler Tobias Bennett played by Woody Harrelson. This will be the man who will teach Han what it takes to work outside of the law.

From director Ron Howard, Solo has many reasons to give it a chance.

From the look of Woody Harrelson’s character to the story itself this film is the space western that I have heard George Lucas speak of when he explains the premise of the original trilogy.

Questions I never thought of were answered, like how he got his name and I was excited about learning how what I already knew about Han came to be.  For example I really loved seeing the beginning of Han and Chewie’s friendship. All of which made me like Han more.

The new character, like those in other Star Wars films just add goodness to the universe we love, even the new droid L3-37 (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) is such a joy to watch.

What can I say about Lando, charming, delightful, adorable and funny.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The Middle 2009-2018

Have you ever watched a sitcom family and said "They are just like my family."  Well the Hecks may not have been my family exactly but there were quite a few similarities.

The Middle was about a loving family living in a rural town called Orson in Indiana.

There was Mike, husband and father ( Neil Flynn). He was a tall man of little words. He worked at the query and loved sports, the Colts being his favorite team. He may not have always known how to show his feelings towards them and at times they got on his nerves but Mr. Heck loved his wife and 3 kids.

There was Frankie, wife and mother (Patricia Heaton). Although she wasn't great at having a career, first as a used car sales woman than a dental assistant, Frankie was a good person. Even with a broken stove and dishwasher she always had (take out) dinner on the table every night. She loved her husband and three kids, even when they drove her crazy.

The was Axle, the oldest kid (Charlie McDermott). He was a high school football player who slacked off but was still able to get accepted to college. He shared a room with his brother and picked on his sister. He may have not been the perfect son or brother but was there for his family when they needed hm.

There was Sue Sue (Eden Sher), the middle child and only girl in the Heck family. Whether it was cheerleaders or dancing failure did not stop her from trying what she loved. Sue cared about everyone she met and was best friends with Brad. She loved animals and rainbows. Sue Heck was the heart of her family.

Finally and always forgotten there was Brick, (Atticus Shaffer). Being the youngest he was overlooked a lot. Brick and his quips were a staple of the show during its entire run and I loved every little thing he did but my favorite tick was how Brick would repeat words looking down and in a whisper.

The Middle was one of just a handful of shows my dad actually liked. It was the perfect family sitcom and it may have not gotten the ratings and recognition it should of but will always have a piece of my heart.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Black Panther is Here

When he first appeared at the end of Captain America Civil War I immediately liked Black Panther so when the character got his own movie I knew it would be good. I didn't know it would be the money maker and cultural phenomenon that it has become and I couldn't be happier.

When his father dies T’Challa becomes king of Wakanda and the newest Black Panther. A place with advanced technology, Wakanda is an amazing (fictional) country in Africa. Five tribes live in this beautiful land and the people do what they can to keep it as is. No outside contact allows them to thrive. If Wakanda was real I would move there (with their permission) in a heartbeat.

Directed and written by Ryan Coogler and starring Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B Jordan, Martin Freeman, Danai Gurira, Angela Bassett and Forest Whitaker, Black Panther is the perfect superhero flick. Although everyone was good and right for the role they played my favorite character is Shuri played by Letitia Wright, she is the sister of T’Challa and his head inventor/scientist. She is awesome and funny. Ms. Wright stole every scene she was in. It was her character who designed the Black Panther costume and ALL of his gadgets including what I call the ultimate self-driving through virtual reality car (and plane). But Shuri isn’t the only kick ass female in the movie, ALL of Wakanda’s warriors are women and they rock.

Black Panther is a comic book movie that has truly deserved all the praise it has gotten and once you see it will leave a lasting impression long after you leave the theater.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Carl Grimes 2010-2018 (TWD series)


When we first met you 8 years ago you were just a kid who loved his mom and thought his dad was dead. You were sweet and didn’t want to ever hurt anyone let alone kill another human but in the apoyloclise a boy has to grow up. Unforantally you had to grow up faster than those your same age, You killed Shane to protect your father, you came face to face with a deer and had a moment of piece before you were shot and brought to Hersall’s farm, you became quick friends with Michonne and after helping her give birth to your sister you, out of pure love, killed your mother. Although you lost an eye after getting shot (again) you never gave up hope.

Carl, you were the future of this new world but more importantly you were the reason your father, Rick, did what he did. He cared for and loved you and in doing so was able to help a group of good, fighting men and women survive. I truly believe it was because of your friendship with her that your father allowed himself to fall in love with Michonne.

Carl, your dad handed over his official sheriff’s hat to you and you wore it every day with pride, you were a son to Rick and Lori and brother to Judith (who you named) . A friend to Michanne, Enid and the rest of Alexandria. You were a fighter against all those who would show you harm and helped strangers when you believed one needed help. A killer of Walkers. And in the end you believed in a better world.

Carl Grimes, I miss you but will never forget the boy who grow to be a brave young man (in just months) and when all is said and done I will never eat chocolate pudding in the same way again.


Monday, January 22, 2018

Heath Ledger Remembrance Day

“I miss you like the sun misses the flower, like the sun misses the flower in the depths of winter” (A Knight’s Tale 2001).  Every year on this day I think of this quote from my favorite Heath Ledger film.

This year marks 10 years since Heath Ledger’s death at the age of 28.
9 years ago Entertainment Weekly Magazine ran a cover story for the first anniversary of his passing and while I couldn’t bring myself to read the article I still wrote a letter to the editor. In the following issues that letter was edited and published. That was the day I started calling myself a writer.

10 years later and I still can’t bring myself to read that, or any, article about Heath Ledger. Not written in the original e-mail that I sent to EW was how for days right after his death I felt as if I had been kicked in the stomach. I know that grieving over the death of a man I never got the chance to meet sounds stupid but from the first moment I saw him on screen in The Patriot in 2000 I was hooked and became an instant fan. Heath Ledger was talented and beautiful. He was a reason to go to the movies, in fact I am sure there are a couple of movies he was in that I would not have seen if he wasn’t a part of them.
10 years and I still miss going to a film to see him. He was so good, I’ll even go so far as to say he was one of the best actors of his generation.
10 years later and I still think of Heath Ledger. I think of ALL the movies he could have made. Every movie I go to the theater to see I think of him and of what could have been.
10 years later and since watching his final film (The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus 2009) I haven’t been able to bring myself to watch more than 10 minutes of any movie, including the ones I have memorized, he is in when I come across one on TV. There is three or four that I have yet to see because I never got around to doing so when he was alive and now may never watch them.

10 years later and I still remember how it felt as I watched my local news and not wanting to believe it when the anchor had to report that Heath Ledger was dead.  
 10 years later means that Health Ledger has been gone more years then I knew he existed.
I woke up that particular morning early and happy to watch the Oscar nominations live on TV and went to sleep heartbroken.
It doesn’t feel like 10 years have gone by since Heath Ledger passed away but life does still go on. I still have dreams to make come true. Dreams that include the stories I write being published. A life where I am a Hollywood director and making good films with ALL of the actors of whom I care about, love and admire.
I don’t ever again want to feel the way I did on January 22, 2008.
For an actor who is irreplaceable I will always love, never forget and will keep my promise to Heath Andrew Ledger.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Question-Who was your first fictional character crush?

I am pretty sure my answer is Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill
(source: Senior High School Year Book '98)
and 30 years later my love for him is still strong. I waited a long time to see Luke on the big screen and after the tease we got of him at the end of The Force Awakens I was anxious and excited for his return in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

It was well worth the wait. I should add that as the decades passed by, a cute young man who wanted more for his life than to be a farmer on Tatooine became an even more handsome older man who has seen and been through a lot, now a little darker and unsure of the future

For as much as I love Luke Skywalker with the new films comes new characters. As the story continues it is good to see that Finn (John Boyega) and Rey’s (Daisy Ridley) beautiful and undeniable friendship continues to be a crucial part of the story, but as much as a like them it is Poe (Oscar Isaac) who has quickly become my favorite newbie. What can I say he makes me laugh and his attitude towards fighting an enemy is bold if not following the plan and he seems like a good fun guy to hang out with, but it is his “love” for a droid named BB-8 that makes him a good human. Then there is General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) who, because I always tell the truth on this blog, I don’t remember from the previous film but this time I noticed him and for a bad guy I truly enjoyed him.   

But we met them in the last film. In The Last Jedi we meet a few more characters. The standout performance for me was by Kelly Marie Tran who plays Rose, when Finn first comes across her she is smart and adorable and soon becomes a key element to the story. Speaking of adorable characters I already mentioned BB-8 who although a “robot” is fun and sweat. I may not always understand him but I will always worry about him. Here we have more new creatures that make this film come alive-the funny, cute and furry Porgs and the beautiful Crystal Critters.

As for the story itself, written and directed by Rian Johnson the film picks up where the last one left off. After all it is that continuation that makes each Star Wars trilogy an epic adventure. Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is growing in strength and Rey is doing everything she can to be his equal. In fact it seems that a new element of The Force is discovered by way of excellent scenes featuring the two actors.

The look of the film is as wonderful and amazing as expected. There is a part of the movie that takes place on a glamorous planet full of rich and fancy upper class characters to look at but not so nice to know. 

Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Gwendoline Christie, Anthony Daniels, Laura Dern and Billie Lourd also star

The Last Jedi is a perfect addition to the Star Wars franchise. Once again each actor (those we have met and the newbies) brings all he or she has to the telling of the story. Thrilling and breathtaking it has everything fans have come to love about each movie. I am faithfully looking forward to whatever happens next.

Cheers to the cast and crew of Star Wars: The Last Jedi and to Carrie Fisher I send love to a life and career that will never be forgotten.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Winter in Western NY (Quick take)

I am not sure if my writing talents can truly describe the cuteness that I saw driving around but since I didn't have a camera on me I shall try.

A field of snow deep enough that it makes it difficult for a man to walk through but one was and as he did so he was paving a path for a dozen or so small goats to follow, in a single line, behind the man.
Also three prefect deer ran across the road and leaped into another snowy field on the other side.

What one sees when they have to leave the house because of Cabin Fever in the winter.