Saturday, July 12, 2014

Becoming Transformed.

Apparently my last post according to Google was at the end of May. For me, life has become quite hectic and busy with grad school and work dominating more and more of my time and energy. Due to some staffing difficulties at my job I am being forced to take a good many on-call shifts where I have to work extra aside from my typical shifts (which have been increasingly draining). Then when I am not working I am partaking in grad school work, homework, projects, and lots of academic reading (which is extraordinarily boring). There is very little time for self-care and relaxing, or even having fun. Of course as a result of all of that, my writing has taken a beating (as have many other aspects of my life); I have not been doing any as I feel like I am in survival mode right now. The world certainly hasn't improved either since my last post, and has gotten worse with the crisis in Iraq growing, Syria still burns and rages on, Afghanistan is threatening to splinter, Ukraine is getting better but still is in the throes of danger from Russia, there is a child humanitarian crisis occurring in the U.S., and it seems as if the United States is loosing more and more allies with each passing month, or fracturing relationships with other nations. Even though I didn't live back during the 70's it really seems like history is repeating itself; doubt, fear, no faith in government, scandal plaguing the U.S. federal government, and despotism and radical terrorism on the rise. Essentially, things aren't looking up, not to mention that many of the economic systems of the world remain quite shaky. It would seem that the people of the world need a large boost of confidence and competence...or rather the leaders of the world's nations. Keeping in tune with the post's rather humdrum nature so far, I saw Transformers: Age of Extinction recently and was reminded that once again Michael Bay should move on to something else. Very loud, very computer animated, and very violent and destructive; not a very good combination when you have lousy screenwriting and poorly directed action sequences. The bright spots to the film were Kelsey Grammar (as an excellent villain) and Stanley Tucci as a world class scientist creating his own transformers. More bright spots to the film were no Shia LeBeouf or his character's parents, as well as some other obnoxious reoccurring characters. Mark Wahlberg is an excellent actor, but it wasn't his fault (or any other character) that the story and screenplay were atrocious (seriously, people get paid thousands and possibly millions of dollars to just write usually 135 pages of material and they can't even write something even a little bit decent). The film was incredibly deafening, and the action sequences were relentless. None of the action had any real taste or ingenuity behind it; there was no flow, just brute tactics, no dynamism. If all you want from a film is action, then you are watching the right film. For someone like me though that has seen high quality acting, high quality writing, and high quality directing and amazing action sequences (George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Ridley Scott, and Bryan Singer) it is a very difficult film to watch. It's like when you've eaten really good chocolate or cheesecake, it's hard to go back and eat the not so great stuff. May sound snobbish, but it's the plain and simple truth. If you want a great action flick I would suggest X-Men: Days of Future Past. That film demonstrates two things: Bryan Singer is the only person who can create well made X-Men films, and the film also stands as a great example of an action film that has excellent acting, dynamic action, and good writing. To end on some good news, I have less than a year of school remaining before I graduate with my Master of Arts in Industrial and Organizational Psychology! Very excited about that; now all that remains is surviving up to that point.

Transformers: Age of Extinction trailer

Hemlock Grove season 2 trailer (just started watching it, pretty intense so far)

X-Men: Days of Future Past clip