Posts Tagged ‘Movies’

My Personal Review of the Movie “Avatar”

12/31/2009

I just went to see it tonight in 3D IMAX. The place was jammed packed – and it’s about 2 weeks since its debut.

First of all, go see it. Seriously, there’s no other like it. It may not be one of those movies you’d go back and see 3 times in a row, but you’ll enjoy every minute of it – irrespective of the 2:40 duration. (Just some advice though: If you do walk in with a 44-oz gulp of soda, wait some time before you drink it. Luckily for me… and my entire row, I heeded this advice). The greatest part about the film is that I can describe it in a 1,000 words and even try to spoil it, but to enjoy it fully you’ll have to go see it.

If I have one piece of criticism here it is: The film gets all credit for its technological novelty and innovation and little for its predictable and somewhat-cliche story line.

Ok. The movie. It was as great as I expected it to be. I expected it to be powerful. And it was. I expected it to be meaningful. And it was. And I expected it to be amazing. And it was!

I’m more a fan than a critique when it comes to decent movies. I liked Shawshank Redemption (who doesn’t). I enjoyed Titanic (I know many didn’t). I’ve seen the movie Gladiator more times than I should have, and I occasionally browse IMDB’s 250 Best for my nights off (The Dark Knight, V for Vendetta, Confidence – all favorites).

But when you see Avatar, you begin to truly appreciate certain things; the magic of CGI (Computer Graphic Imaging), the sense of depth involved, and of course, Director James Cameron. I love how technology had to “catch up” with his vision for the film.

When you experince Avatar you suddenly want to visit Pandora and the gorgeous Halleluja Mountains. You want to meet the Na’vi. You want to fly on the back of a Banshee and just slap Colonal Quaritch. It’s an experience thing. Which is why the “IMAX 3D” version adds so much to the equation.

On Powerful. The movie portrays a story of conviction. One that truly pits possibility against probability, and necessity against comfortability.

Our hearts and minds are not machines and we’re subject to interpret reality based on the environment we live in. As we do that the lines that differentiate good and evil, real and fake, right and wrong, begin to blur incredibly.

Imagine finally being able to run after being paraplegic. Imagine seeing your entire sacred shrine destroyed in smoke and flame. Imagine being betrayed by the people you’ve come to entrust with your life. Imagine realizing that the people and world you live with share an entirely different set of moral values than you do.

On Meaningful. I find it intriguing how intensely spiritual the film is. The world of Pandora is bound by this electrifying energy that yins and yangs the process of life into perfect balance.

The film is a great questioner of sorts, sifting through your biases eager to crack any underlying flaws. Is it always permissible to kill in order to protect? Is it always immoral to conquer in order to improve? Why would God ever choose a side? If we peer through the looking-glass of our own history we can spend hours arguing each side.

On Amazing. Everything about the film is spectacular. The creativity of a new world, the originality of its story, and with special effects, which are not merely “special”, but dynamic methods of transporting you into an unbelievably enchanted fantasy¬† you wish was all possible in the local realm.

All in all, I have to give Avatar two thumbs up and Cameron a great hand for opening doors to worlds we couldn’t even dream of!

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The Legend of the Goat

09/23/2009

From the mean streets of Harlem came the greatest basketball the world has never known.

Upon his retirement Lewis Alcindor, later to become known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, was asked who was the greatest player he had played with or against. After a long silence, he answered, “That would have to be “The Goat”.

From “The City Game”: In the litany of quiet misfortunes that have claimed so many young athletes in the ghetto, it may seem almost impossible to select one man and give him special importance. Yet in the stories and traditions that are recounted in the Harlem parks, one figure does emerge above the rest. Asked about the finest athletes they have seen, scores of ball players in a dozen parks mention Connie Hawkins and Lew Alcindor and similar celebrities. But almost without exception, they speak first of one star who didn’t go on: Earl Manigault.

In the HBO Special Rebound: The Legend of Earl “the Goat” Manigault, a young man growing up in Harlem, mentored by a janitor in the Harlem parks, builds his reputation as a star. But trouble with school and drugs brings the legend to his knees. Nevertheless, he returns to society to help the younger generation develop their abilities, their game and their potential.

Earlthegoatmanigault2We often think of success as a goal or a dream fulfilled.

We have visions of Olympian Gold Medalists or Nobel Prize winners. But in truth, motivation can being great people to do great things without much stage or hoopla involved. There is no real reason why a seasoned music artist should get any more credit than a recovering alcoholic. Everyone has to fight their own battles. Some become renown legends to the world, others become positive role-models for their families.

Success is not a destination, but a process, a relentless consciousness to do better.

To get back up when we fall, no matter how hard or sacrificing it may be. To do your best. To shake it off when you’re down, and deny righteousness to those who doubt your inner strengths. To become the greatest you could possibly become.

Earl recognized that although he could never again be the athlete he once was, he was able to influence the lives of younger, less experienced souls. Life is not about overcoming all your weaknesses. That would only make us mediocre. better to develop your strengths. That way you become proficient at one skill in a manner that makes yourself truly unique and valuable.

Everyone has to fight their own battles. And those who do fight, well… they’re all stars in my book!

Movie Review

06/23/2009
For anyone who hasn’t watched “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” you’re missing out one great movie. It received an 8.1 rating on imdb.com (that’s very good). Long though it is, the film provides a phenomenal perspective on life – only in reverse. Benjamin, instead of growing is old, is born old and grows ever younger.

Here are my two favorite quotes from the movie:

“You could be mad as a mad dog at the way things went, you can swear and curse the fates, but when it comes to the end, you have to let go”

“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.”