Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sometimes New does Not Equal Better.

August 2010 is when I began writing this blog, and that was over 4 years ago, and it is still going, not as strong but still going. I have reached over 1000 posts finally. My website has halted completely unfortunately, but there should be enough information to keep people busy on that for a while, until I figure out what to do with it eventually. It was lovely to have a relaxing weekend, although I haven't touched any writing in a while. I suppose right now my focus is really narrow on grad school and surviving it. Since I was able to complete my homework in a fashionable time, I was able to watch a movie tonight Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. The film stars Kenneth Branagh, Keira Knightley, Chris Pine, and Kevin Costner. Well, the title of my blog says it all. Ever since Harrison Ford did his last Jack Ryan film, neither Ben Affleck or Chris Pine have been able to break through with the character, and no one can compare to Alec Baldwin and The Hunt for the Red October; the best Jack Ryan film of all time, and possibly best sub film of all time (and yes that is a genre type). So it was weird hearing Keira Knightley without the British accent, but I guess she did alright with the character, even though there wasn't much for her to do. Kevin Costner's character had potential, but it was never fully developed. Kenneth Branagh was potentially a great villain, but became quite powerless early on I thought. Chris Pine....is well...came off as an action hero, not a thinker, or analyst as he so frequently reminded everyone. The story was boring, the plot mediocre, and the screenplay choppy. It wasn't a horrible film, but it wasn't good; it was merely tepid and received a similar response from film goers. Hopefully they'll either give some thought to the next screenplay and set of characters, or stop making films built around this character. Well the week awaits with all of its troubles and splendors. May everyone have a lovely time.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit trailer

The Hobbit: Battle of the 5 Armies trailer (looks good, should be interesting to see the conclusion)

Saturday, September 27, 2014

"Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down...."

I think that last year I stated that October was the month from hell, well it looks like September has been that as well for this year. I'm not certain if it's the same exact reasons as it was last year, but it seems that way. Grad school full time and working full time still are not a really good idea, but I have no other alternative, unless I want to be stuck in an unpleasant field and place my entire life. Work has been especially stressful because we have been so short staffed, yet still remain quite busy, and you can see the toll that it is taking on the departmental staff. As obvious by lack of blogging posts and absence on Twitter, I haven't been writing much of anything except for work and academic language, and it isn't really that fun or interesting most of the time. This sucks truth be told, but I find that I have very little energy for such things after school and work stuff, which dominates my life right now. I just started watching this show (which is my mindless escape from reality) called Boss starring Kelsey Grammer as a Chicago Mayor Thomas Kane (is this a parallel to previous Mayor Tom Daley, not sure but I wouldn't be surprised). It is an intense political show which lacks the finesse of House of Cards, but I think it is a more accurate portrayal of real life politics that take place today in Chicago, which power, money, and muscle dominate rather than the virtues of democracy. Illinois politics are some of the most corrupt in the United States (it has a number of previous governors in jail for corruption charges) and it is all because of Chicago and the greater surrounding area around it. I would say that very little honest and decent politics come out of Chicago. I am only going to write this once and let it be; President Obama did come from Chicago, and after watching this show, it kind of gets you thinking. Kelsey Grammer's performance is amazing; wow! Watching him in his character is awesome! All of the secondary characters are good as well, but they all revolve around him and as the show progresses you begin to understand how this man (Mayor Kane) has the "keys to the kingdom." If you haven't seen it and enjoy well written and well acted political dramas, then you'll like this show. Speaking of political dramas, President Obama seems to have finally found some guts and has finally decided to do something about the apocalyptic mess in the Middle East. Granted it is far too little, too late; I highly doubt bombs will destroy anything right now and will just create more animosity and strife. I also find it interesting that he finds a voice of justice and determination when a non-governmental force is violent and kills civilians without pause, but when an organized government is doing it against it's own people, well apparently to the Obama administration that is an entirely different matter. I don't even know how I can empathize with the people who are suffering out there in Iraq, Syria, Iran and other places where the violence is spilling out to. After what seems like over three years of blogging about the growing issue, I don't know if there is anything left to say. I try to make people aware of what is happening out there, and the only thing I can say is there is a mid term election coming up; please vote for people who want to protect not only our liberties and freedoms, but also help protect those in the world who cannot protect themselves. It is our greater duty as the most free, wealthiest and most powerful nation in the world. For now at least.

Boss Season 1 Feature

Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Into the Woods trailer (I hope Disney doesn't kill it)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Another Kind of D-Day on the Horizon?

Tonight I watched a film that I had never seen before today oddly enough considering the subject matter. Saving Private Ryan was I doubt I have to say it, a great success and feat for Steven Spielberg as filmmaker. Well written, well shot, well cast, and well produced it was quite something; I don't know if I've seen quite another war film like it. Tom Hanks proved once again that he is one of the finest actors of the current age, and only the best can be said of the supporting cast as well which was peppered with great talent. D-day in Europe, what happened at Normandy was an incredible gamble by Eisenhower and God only knows how it worked due to so many things going wrong that day, and the many thousands that perished like cannon fodder. If Hitler hadn't been stopped though, many more thousands would have died in Europe, Africa and perhaps farther westward and eastward. Was war with Hitler avoidable; no. The man had war on his mind from the very moment he became a political figure and nothing would have changed it; the man was still in denial that he was going to lose up until the moment he blew his brains out. Some men can never be reasoned with no matter how much one tries. Considering the difficulties that people are experiencing in Ukraine, Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq I honestly don't grasp quite why nothing is being done since we've seen in our past what happens when evil goes unchecked and liberties are crushed. There always is a price to pay, but it doesn't amount to the price that willful ignorance costs....ask the German people about how that feels. To me it seems as if evil men and women have strong footholds around the globe like never before and the people who are free are doing nothing but remaining behind their safe havens and comfort. What to do about it? That I am uncertain, but something certainly needs to be done. The greatest measure of a person I think is what he or she is willing give up to help another person without any reward or benefit. I often think about that in my line of work in the mental health business, specifically in the realm of psychiatric crises. After watching this film, I also thought about what I would have been like if I had been on that beach. Bullets flying everywhere, dead bodies wrangling in the ebbing tides of the ocean with blood and body parts everywhere. Would I have made it? Would I have gotten shot in the head, lost a limb, or sat hidden cowering somewhere? I suppose every man would like to think that he has the guts to act like an action hero, but in reality where people die left and right in war, it's a whole different matter. I salute all of those brave men who pushed to take Normandy, and since then all of the men and women who have died in the pursuit of liberty and making a better world for those left behind.
Well, I have been writing nothing whatsoever which is quickly becoming the story of my life; the writer who doesn't write. Between grad school and working 50 hours a week, I'm finding it difficult to remain sane, so I end up doing a lot of nothing when I am not doing the aforementioned tasks. The good news is I have been doing grad school for over a year now, and I essentially have half a year remaining! I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. In three months it will be December! Wow. Time flies, and apparently the more stuff one does, the faster it goes by. Well, I hope that everyone is doing well enough. Please do remember the people in Syria, Ukraine, Iraq and Afghanistan who are suffering due to the conflict taking place in their home along with the countless others around the world who are suffering cruelly because of tyrannical rule (China, North Korea, Russia, etc.)

Saving Private Ryan trailer

Beach Landing scene from Saving Private Ryan

Dracula: Untold trailer (looks good, but not at the same time. Depends how they play everything out.)