I’m so ashamed. It’s been around for more than 30 years and, until two days ago, I never watched My Neighbor Totoro. I know, I should be horsewhipped, but I can honestly say it was worth the wait. I needed it after the week I had, and it helped me in more ways than you can imagine. I never laughed so hard in all my life.
You see, I lost my sister this week. She was my older sister, Trina, and to be honest, we didn’t have a lot in common. We fought more than we agreed on things, but still, she was my sister and I loved her. It’s been a difficult start to the new year, but watching My Neighbor Totoro helped.
Satsuki reminded me of my sister, a strong older sister always looking out for her sibling. Strong, fierce, and domineering . . . That was my sister. Losing her hit me harder than I thought it would. It made me realize my own mortality and that it can happen to any of us. It’s how Satsuki felt when she thought she lost Mei, and how Mei felt when she was worried about her mother in the hospital. And who was there to help? Totoro!
That giant forest spirit, a lovable bundle of fur with a smile that can erase any pain, saved those girls. And you know what? He saved me too. He helped me get through my grief and focus on what we had, not the “coulda, shoulda, woulda” that bewitches us all when death occurs. Totoro made me forget all the sadness when I watched him and the other spirits do their dance over the acorn tree seedlings, or when he smiled and bounced after hearing the water drip on the umbrella. It was so hilarious.
I loved every moment of this movie and it was what I needed to bring me back to 2022 and focus on the year ahead. I can’t look back, can’t live with regrets or grieve forever. Life goes on, and thanks to Totoro, I know that.
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Mark Piggott is an independent author of the Forever Avalon fantasy book series and other fantasy/steampunk novels and short stories. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon and as an audiobook from Audible and iTunes. The Dark Tides: Book 2 of the Forever Avalon Series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from iUniverse Publishing and at Amazon, and other booksellers. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from Austin Macauley Publishing, and at Amazon and other booksellers. His latest fantasy novel, The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart is available through Lulu and other booksellers.
Get ready for the steampunk historical fiction, Corsair and the Sky Pirates, coming soon from Revolutionary Press; and The River of Souls novella, coming soon from Curious Corvid Publishing. The Prometheus Engine: Book 4 of the Forever Avalon Series and The Last Magus: Dragonfire and Steel are future installments of my current fantasy book series, coming soon.
I’ve been wanting to write this blog for some time but I never got around to it. I know I’ve mentioned Krull and shown my love for this movie in previous blogs, i.e. Top sci-fi/fantasy movies of the 1980s, etc., but I’ve never focused in on just how AWESOME this movie is. You had an all-star cast (by today’s standards), a fantastic storyline, and great special effects (okay, by the 80’s standards anyway!) So, why has this movie been relegated to the back shelves of video stores, streaming services, and the dustbin of many dvd collections. The fact is it shouldn’t be. This movie is a gem that should be watched and often. It’s binge worthy in more ways than one.
Krull is a 1983 science fiction/fantasy swashbuckler film directed by Peter Yates and written by Stanford Sherman. It followed the journey of Prince Colwyn and a group of outlaws on the planet Krull who are attempting to save Princess Lyssa (Colwyn’s bride) from the Beast and his army of Slayers from her captivity in the Black Fortress, an impregnable citadel that teleports to a new location at dawn. To aid in his fight, he seeks soothsayers, sorcerers, a cyclops, and a mystical weapon called the Glaive.
The film stars an ensemble cast: Ken Marshall as Prince Colwyn, Lysette Anthony as Princess Lyssa, Trevor Martin as the voice of the Beast, Freddie Jones as Ynyr, Bernard Bresslaw as Rell the Cyclops, David Battley as Ergo the Magnificent, Alun Armstrong as Torquil, the leader of a group of outlaws (including early screen roles for actors Liam Neeson and Robbie Coltrane), John Welsh as The Emerald Seer, Graham McGrath as Titch, and Francesca Annis as The Widow of the Web.
The first thing you need to understand that this is the early 1980s, when everyone was trying to match the popularity and box office bonanza that Star Wars brought with it. So, it had a big budget for special effects, marketing, etc. I mean, Krull had an arcade video game, not something they did for every movie. They really thought they had a box office hit on their hands. Unfortunately, the critics were not on their side.
Critic Janet Maslin found Krull to be “a gentle, pensive sci-fi adventure film that winds up a little too moody and melancholy for the Star Wars set”, praising director Yates for “giving the film poise and sophistication, as well as a distinctly British air”, and also “bring[ing] understatement and dimension to the material.” Baird Searles described Krull as “an unpretentious movie … with a lot of good things going for it.” A retrospective review by AllMovie journalist Jason Buchanan hailed it as “an ambitious sci-fi/fantasy that even in its failures can usually be forgiven for its sheer sense of bravado.” Ryan Lambie, reviewing for Den of Geek in 2011, called it “among [t]he most visually creative and downright fun movies of the enchanted 80s” and “a well-made film, and an entire galaxy away from other cheap, quickly made knock-offs that showed up in the wake of Star Wars.”
Everything sci-fi that came into the movie theater megaplexes of the 1980s was compared to Star Wars or considered a Star Wars ripoff, but Krull was different. It had one thing that other movies did not… Magic! This was a full-bore fantasy genre movie locked into a world of science fiction. Yes, Star Wars has some fantasy elements in it with “the force” and other abilities, but in Krull, we are talking swords and sorcery. I mean, there are three certifiable “Gandalf-type” wizards (and one “not so much”) in the mix here. Krull blends the two together so perfectly that you don’t know what your watching, and by the time you do, the movie has already sucked you in.
Then there’s the weapon… The Glaive. It’s a bladed, flying metal starfish that, in truth, reminds me of Xena’s Chakram in how it flies through the air and returns to his hand. We are told in the beginning of the movie that the Glaive was just a myth, but the old wizard Ynyr knows where it is and that Colwyn will need it to defeat the Beast. My one complaint about this movie is that we don’t get to see him use it until the very end. Granted, the final fight between Colwyn and the Beast and Slayers is fun to watch, but it’s not enough. I mean, this weapon is what sold the movie to many fantasy fans like myself, and we didn’t see enough of it. You have to wonder how many D&D Dungeon Masters tried to recreate this weapon in a game (hint, I did!)
This movie also has your various fantasy tropes including magical beasts (Fire Mares or “Clydesdales on Steroids” running across canyons without stopping), magical beings (Changelings that kill with a touch) and an ancient, albeit bad ass soothsayer, living in the heart of a spider web (the Widow of the Web, aptly named). Not to mention a cyclops with a tragic back story, a great overhand throw, and a heart-breaking death (sorry for the spoilers but it’s true!) This is a true fantasy world invaded by a space-faring megalomaniacs hell-bent on destroying one world, then the next. You get this from the end of the movie when the narrator (Ynyr) proclaims they (Colwyn and Lyssa) would rule Krull, and their son would rule the galaxy! Really? I’d like to see that sequel!
The special effects were, without a doubt, some of the best to come out of the 80s. It’s not CGI, but the different sets combined with brilliant costumes, make-up, and effects blended well together. The fighting was a little staged and rigid in places, but it was overall well done. I loved the weapons of the Slayers, firing off a laser blast from one end before turning it around to use as a sword. The main magic we see used by the wizards in this movie was foresight and shapeshifting. There was no fireballs or lightning bolts, but transformations into everything from a tiger to a puppy (yes, a cute little puppy!) With all that, it was laid out brilliantly in the story.
Like I said, this movie is not Shakespeare and it’s nowhere near Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, or other big movie genres. Krull is just plain fun, from start to finish. It’s a great story to follow along, interesting characters to laugh and cry with, and keeps you in your seat from beginning to end. Krull is a movie that should be part of a film festival, not relegated to the back row of your dvd collection. If you haven’t seen it, watch it today! If you have seen it, but not in a while, pull it out and watch it again! See what you’re missing!
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Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon fantasy book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides: Book 2 of the Forever Avalon Series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from iUniverse Publishing and at Amazon, and other booksellers. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from Austin Macauley Publishing, and at Amazon and other booksellers.
It’s a Christmas tradition (at least in my house) to watch a Star Wars movie over the holiday. First, I spent the holidays thrilling over The Mandalorian and Baby Yoda. Then, on Christmas Day, I got to see the end of the original series with Episode IX.
My son called me before I saw it to let me know he really didn’t care for it and I may be disappointed. I wasn’t fazed by his review. After all, he liked The Last Jedi.
BTW, NO SPOILERS HERE!
In any event, I think people seeing this movie will either like it or hate it. It’s that polarizing. The way the story of Rey, the Resistance, the First Order, the Jedi and the Sith, and the Emperor all came to a conclusion was a bit clunky. It was all over the place, from beginning to end, not sure which way was up or down, light side or dark side, etc. But even through all that, the story came to a close with a bang, not a whimper. It was brilliant.
The way this all started out, I thought they were taking Rey down the dark side, learn to control her emotions or end up like Vader and Kylo Ren. We all got that vibe from images in the trailer. Luckily, there was more to it than that. Rey’s story is the most complex within the movie, and I wish it didn’t take the whole movie to sort it out, but I’m glad it finally did.
The Rise of Skywalker ticked all the right boxes for a Star Wars movie… Epic battle scenes, beautiful vistas, balanced comedic and tender moments, and “edge of your seat” suspense. It was quintessential Star Wars.
One of the things I tend to hate about Star Wars movies is the over/under use of characters. Rose, who played a big role in The Last Jedi was so under used here. Likewise was Dominic Monaghan. You don’t bring in someone like him to Star Wars and give him four lines. I am thrilled they were able to work in the last scenes of Carrie Fisher. It was an appropriate end for “our” princess!
I loved the various cameos and the nods to characters from film, television, books and comic books. That’s one of the things that made this movie great for me. They didn’t forget where the story began and brought it to a close.
We can now look forward to new stories from the Star Wars universe, or so we’re told by our Disney Sithlords. Let’s hope we get more like The Mandalorian and less like The Last Jedi.
WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN CAPTAIN MARVEL YET!
I’ve never been one to rely on reviews, which is kind of weird since I write them on my blog now. Anyway, I go the movies because I want to see it, ignoring the bad reviews or condemnation. I don’t regret going to see 1980’s Flash Gordon but I really regret going to see 1995’s Waterworld. In any case, the same can be said for Marvel movies.
I have seen every Marvel movie in the past 10 years. I do have some regrets there too (i.e. Iron Man III and Thor: Ragnarok) but they still had some good moments in them too. In any case, I saw Captain Marvel this week and, despite the weeks of awkward publicity and bad stories, it was a genuinely good Marvel movie. In fact, I would say it’s one of their better movies.
First and foremost, Brie Larson was great. Although, I think she went for the emotionless route too much. She has Danvers’ grit and determination down pat, and she finally showed some emotion in her reunion with Maria Rambeau near the end, but still… She’ll need a little more than that sly grin to carry her down the road in future movies. She has the look and the attitude, and now she has an origin.
Did they change her origin for the movie? Yes, but they stayed true to it while making her story fit into the MCU. Overall, they did a great job, especially since they did it as a prequel to the current Marvel universe. They changed a few things, like making Mar-Vell a woman (great performance Annette Benning) and turned the Skrulls from villains into a race to feel sorry for. However, Marvel’s been making these adjustments to the MCU since the beginning (i.e. making the villain Ghost a woman, casting Heimdall and Valkyrie with black actors (best decision to date), and making the Mandarin an idiot). Even a comic book purist like myself can appreciate the brilliance behind the casting and creative license.
I loved the fact that you had to sit through the whole movie to understand her complete backstory. It wasn’t difficult for someone like me, who knows her origin like the back of my hand. But for anyone else, it’s a great way to learn about her character. Also, by adding in the younger versions of Agent Phil Coulson and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). I especially loved finding out how Fury got his eye scratched out. There are plenty of “Easter Eggs” in the movie too, from how Fury came up with the Avengers Initiative, how the Tesseract got back into Shield’s hands, the space-pager and plenty more.
The Kree are turning into the true intergalactic villains of the MCU, in both movies and television. The movie left things open for the return on Yon-Rogg (Jude Law) and the Supreme Intelligence, although I’m hoping for the floating green octopus head next time around. As for the Skrulls, who can say. Even though Marvel got back the Fantastic Four from Fox, I doubt we’ll see them terrorizing Earth or the “Super Skrull” anytime soon.
The plot kept me engaged the entire movie and it was fun. It had a good mix of serious and humor. The movie made a big statement about sexism in the 80’s and 90’s, showing the bad side of men in the military (“You know why they call it a cockpit…” Gimme a break!). This was the time of “Tailgate” and other scandals like it, so bringing it into the film showed how far we’ve come with women pilots in the military. You really get the feel for that with the “Women of the Air Force” commercial they showed before the movie.
Captain Marvel got a lot of bad press and internet “trolls” trying to bring it down, but the movie is too good for that. It’s a fun movie that brings together the MCU, heading into Avengers: Endgame. That’s only a month away, and I can’t wait!
I’ve watched a few documentaries in my day, but I never paid movie theater price to see one… Until now! If you get a chance, go to the theater to see “They Shall Not Grow Old”. It is worth the price of admission.
Peter Jackson did a great service to the men who fought in World War I in producing and directing this film. What I learned about the war in history class and other films doesn’t compare to what I learned from this movie.
Hearing the stories from the soldiers themselves, and seeing the images as clear as if it was filmed with modern equipment stands out and shows the real horror, and sheer bravery, of the men who fought in this war.
The technology used by Jackson not only colorized the footage, but also turned 2D to 3D. Some of it was footage never seen before, like bodies sinking in the mud and much of the trenches, rats crawling everywhere, “trenchfoot” and other wounds. I know it sounds gross, but this isn’t a Friday the 13th remake. This actually happened to men as young as 16.
It was funny how Wonder Woman brought World War I to the silver screen recently, even movies like Flyboys or classics like Goodbye Mr. Chips and All Quiet on the Western Front. These movies showed the war from a film perspective but without the realism that a documentary. What made Jackson’s film different is the great work his crew did in cleaning up, colorizing and turning 2D to 3D. They even added sound effects and people talking as if it was footage taken today. It made the war real for me, 100 years after it happened.
Watching this documentary reminded me of the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan. Steven Spielberg went out to make the Normandy landing real for those watching the movie, shooting with hand-held cameras and really showing the horror of war. I saw that in this movie, but it wasn’t done through special effects. It was real.
To hear the men who fought in this war talk about the training they went through, the day-to-day life in the trenches, even their off-duty time in France was a great way to tell the story. It was scary to hear how, on the last push against the German line, the British soldiers readied themselves in the trenches and they had guns in front of them, and guns behind them (aimed by their officers, ensuring they would charge across the field).
We need every school child watch this movie. It needs to become a teaching tool for educators to teach about World War I, about what these men went through and what happened when they got home. I always though that those who served in Vietnam were forgotten heroes, but so were the men who returned to England after World War I. It’s sad that anyone who volunteered to serve their country should be treated that way.
This is a FIVE STAR documentary and I highly recommend you see it in the theater if you have the chance. You won’t regret it.
I recently watched the remake of the Ray Bradbury classic “Fahrenheit 451” and, unlike some remakes, this one was spot on. It was updated to reflect the influence of social media and the control it has on society today. It still paid homage to the original, including the original movie, while bringing it into the modern world.
The casting of Michael B. Jordan and Michael Shannon was brilliant. They were a perfect foil for the other, each one with their own demons and secrets. I loved how Shannon (as Beatty) spends his nights at home, writing down his own thoughts on tissue paper with an illegal pen, burning them at dawn. At the same time, Jordan’s Montag kept a collection of relics including a Blockbuster videotape of the movie “Taxi Driver” in his bathroom vent.
All under the watchful eye of Yuixi, a futuristic version of Alexa which scares the Hell out of me. The movie talks about the influence of social media, bringing back memories of Mark Zuckerberg and his testimony about Facebook controlling what people see. Everything they do is broadcast live with emoji’s littering the screen from the millions of viewers. The movie showed us the future we are heading to in our social media driven world.
Then there’s the books. I found it interesting that the only three books available to people is the Holy Bible, Moby Dick, and To The Lighthouse. The rest? As the firemen teach the little kids… Burn them! It’s sad to see all the classics burn like this. It’s a testament to the staying power of literature that’s represented in these books. That’s why I love this book, this movie, this story… Ray Bradbury wrote a classic that stands the test of time.
The ending may have changed in this newest adaptation, but the story stayed true. When you erase literature, you erase history. Beatty talked about this when he showed Montag a copy of Huck Finn, how it offended black people so they burned it, erased it. That’s the bigger meaning of this story. You may not like what was written before, but you can’t erase it completely. To do that would wipe away the history as to why it was written and lessons we can learn from it.
Fahrenheit 451 remains to be a classic, in any form. It should be a required read for every child in school today just for the fact that it will show them the right way and the wrong way when it comes to books and history. We have to teach them the right way, otherwise the story Fahrenheit 451 will go from being a fantasy to being a reality. Remember that next time you toss a book aside.
First things first, this is going to be somewhat SPOILER FREE, though I doubt that’s necessary. After opening weekend, with more than $630 million at the worldwide box office, I doubt most of the secrets are out. I will be cautious in my review, but there will be some snippets of juicy information. You have been warned.
That being said, AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR was–without a doubt–the best Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movie to date. I was enthralled the entire movie. There was no lag, no slow spots, it was rolling thunder from beginning to end. Think of this movie as the waves off the North Shore in Hawaii… With each breaking wave, it built up, bigger and badder, until it finally broke across the shore.
In case you need a run down, Avengers: Infinity War brings the entire MCU cast of characters together to face off against Thanos, the Mad Titan. He wants to collect the six Infinity Stones (Power, Space, Time, Reality, Soul, and Mind) to achieve his ultimate goal… Wipe out half the population of the entire universe. In his twisted mind, doing this will save the universe from over-population, starvation, and war. Its going to take the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy to stop him.
First thing I want to mention is the many surprising deaths in this movie. I don’t know if those killed will stay that way (because, like all its comic books, Marvel has a way of constantly bringing dead characters back to life) but it was shocking, none the less. Again, I will not say who dies (SPOILER) because of the surprise deaths. I will reserve judgement for Avengers 4, coming out next year, to see if those killed are permanent or not.
Next, the villains. Thanos is played brilliantly by Josh Brolin. He is as evil, sick, calculating, twisted and deadly as he is in the comics. He uses the Infinity Stones to their complete potential as he brings down the heroes, one-by-one. His lieutenants, on the other hand, are another story. In the comics, the Black Order were so deadly that it took everything, and then some, to stand up to them. Yes, they are quite powerful in the movie and give the Avengers a run for their money. Overall, though, I found them to be less than worthy of being Thanos’ children.
Another complaint I have is the use of the Hulk (FYI, some spoilers here). He started out the movie better than expected. He went toe-to-toe with Thanos on the Asgardian refugee ship. It was so much fun to watch the fight, and a great way to start the movie. Yet, throughout the rest of the movie, he wouldn’t come out of Banner. It was as if the Hulk was afraid to face Thanos and his minions again. Yes, Bruce Banner stepped up to do the job, but it was hard to watch at times. That is definitely not the Hulk we all know and love since the 60’s. The Hulk is the strongest one there is. He needs to come back in Avengers 4.
On the positive side of all this was Thor. The Thor in Avengers: Infinity War makes up for the joking idiot we saw running around in Thor: Ragnarok. He was the essence of the last Asgardian, out to avenge his people. To do this, he goes to the dwarves of Nidavellier (who forged Mjolnir) to forge him a new weapon. There they find Eitri, the master weaponsmith, played by the unbelievably awesome Peter Dinklage. Yes I know, a dwarf playing a dwarf, but in Avengers: Infinity War, the dwarves of Nidavellier are three times the size of Thor. When Thor arrives in Wakanda to join the fight against Thanos’ army, he kicked ass with his new weapon Stormbreaker, and the audience erupted louder than any other point in the movie. Thor was the hero, the Avenger, we all knew him to be.
There were plenty of other surprises in this movie that tied back to all 18 previous films. It was incredible to watch and kept me on the edge of my seat: Spider-man in his “Iron Spider” armor, complete with retractable legs, Iron Man’s “Bleeding Edge” nano-tech armor, finding out a certain Captain America is STILL ALIVE, and of course, Nick Fury’s return and the tease for Captain Marvel. It was all a comic book geek’s wet dream (apologize for the vernacular, but it’s quite accurate).
I think Avengers: Infinity War is a fun movie for anyone to see. It may take any non-comic book movie goers a little bit to understand the story as a whole, but it’s still an exciting roller coaster ride. It’s worth the price of admission to see it, especially in Real 3D and IMAX. The visuals are that impressive. So, great story, great cast, great visual effects, drama with the right amount of comedy, laughter and tears, shock and awe… It’s all in Avengers: Infinity War. A+++ Marvel! It was worth the wait!
Four days and counting until the release of Marvel’s “AVENGER: Infinity War” hits theaters, and I, for one, have been waiting for this since I saw Thanos’ grinning mug at the end of the first Avengers movie. It’s what everything has been boiling down to over all 18 Marvel movies. With that said, it’s always good to go back to the source material to fully understand what you’re getting yourself into.
Here are three essential reads that will help you better understand some of the major elements involved in the story behind the movie. Granted, they have been altered some to fit the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), but the basics are all there.
The Death of Captain Marvel (1982) — Jim Starlin created the first Marvel “graphic novels” with this masterpiece bringing about the death of one of Marvel’s beloved characters. Although there have been others to call themselves Captain Marvel, including a new movie coming out with Bree Larson as the titular character, Mar-Vell was the original. After discovering he’s dying of cancer, Mar-Vell takes his final journey by taking on his nemesis, Thanos. as he heads into the afterlife. This is not only a classic comic, but a great glimpse into the psyche of Thanos and his obsession with death. It’s also a glance into the cosmic universe side of Marvel and into the love given from the entire roll call of the Marvel universe to the original Captain Marvel.
The Infinity Gauntlet (1991) — The majority of the Infinity War movie is based on this Marvel mini-series from 1991. After Mistress Death brings Thanos back from the dead, she orders him to eliminate half the universe, to correct what she calls a cosmic unbalance. To do this, Thanos decides he needs the six infinity stones to complete the task. Collecting the stones, he begins to not only wipe out half the universe, but to take over all of eternity as well. This is the quintessential comic that has the ENTIRE backstory you need, from the infinity stones, his obsession with death, the gathering of heroes, EVERYTHING. There are even scenes from the comics that will be seen (and have already been seen in the trailers) from the comics. You will be more than prepared for this movie , even if you just read this one comic.
Infinity (2013) — The main thing you’re going to find in this series is the villains that are supporting Thanos… The Black Order. The story behind Thanos searching for his Inhuman son, the destruction of Attilan, the release of the Terrigen Mist across the Earth is all inconsequential. The Black Order are the ones you’ll be interested in. Proxima Midnight, Corvis Glaive, Cul Obsidian (Black Dwarf in the comics) and Ebony Maw are his powerful and mysterious lieutenants, doing Thanos’ bidding without question. You’ll also see the Outriders, Thanos’ army (which appear in the battle of Wakanda scene in the trailer) and learn about them and their abilities. Again, you have to ignore the back story and just read it to learn about the Black Order. It will also give you a glimpse into something we may see more of down the road in the MCU… The Illuminati!
So, if you can, pick up these reads and hit the books before Friday. They are available as digital downloads so it should be easy to snag a look. See you at the movies!
I don’t like to touch on religion a lot in my blog. It’s a subject that can go ten ways from Sunday, for lack of a better word. But after seeing “I Can Only Imagine” at the movies today, I just can’t help myself. No matter what you believe when it comes to God, this movie will bring you closer than ever before.
As much as I love the fantasy/adventure genre in most of the movies I watch, its rather refreshing to sit through a real heartwarming, family, faith-based movie. The story of Bart Millard, lead singer of the Christian band Mercy Me and writer of the song “I Can Only Imagine” is one of personal struggle, abuse, and redemption. This is the story of how he fought his demons to follow his dream of being a singer/songwriter, that ended with him writing the most popular song in the history of Christian music.
The beginning of this movie was heart wrenching. His father abused him, mentally and physically, and his mother left him behind with his abusive father. Even with the love of his longtime girlfriend, he kept the pain from that abuse bottled up inside. It caused him to almost lose the passion he had for music. Then his life changed forever, and he wrote the song that would change him, his band, and the world of Christian music.
This is a simple story… No plot twists, tricks, or things out of left field. The story flows beautifully that it draws you in with each passing moment. The music is the heart of this story and it will bring you to tears. From the moment he started to reconcile with his father until the very end, it was like Niagara Falls. It brought joy to my heart and soul, to the very end, when he sings his iconic song for the first time. You can’t help but feel the presence of God, especially at the very end.
Like I said earlier, its so nice to see a movie like this out of Hollywood. Faith-based movies are on the rise, and I think Hollywood is starting to take notice. Even the actors and actresses are beginning to see the change in the industry. Dennis Quaid, who played the father Arthur Millard brilliantly, said “I hadn’t’ heard the song, but when I read the script it hit me so profoundly in the heart in a place where I don’t even have words.”
“And that’s what the song does and it grows on you, too. Just like you grow in the Spirit, the song grows on you in that way, too. In the end, it’s just a song of joy,” he concluded.
If you need to find that something to lift your spirit, fill your heart with love, and bring you a little bit closer to God, you need to see this movie. Even if you don’t have that kind of relationship with God, see this movie. It might just change your perspective.
This has been one of those weeks that makes me wonder about the human race. I know some people can be quite gullible, but this is one of those things that makes you do a double-take. As a writer, I enjoy taking people into another world through my stories; but when those same people can’t separate fantasy from reality, I start to worry. Here’s what I’m talking about:
The Black Panther movie is premiering this week. The movie is being hailed as one of the best Marvel comics movies yet. The visuals of the amazing world of Wakanda is breathtaking, and that’s where people seem to forget that this is a movie.
With all the political divisiveness in the world today, people see a country like Wakanda as a beacon for Africans, a utopia where “colonialism” never took place. They seem to forget that this is not a real place. It’s understandable to imagine a world as technologically advanced as Wakanda–with a powerful leader, incredibly strong people, and rich history–could be real. It’s something to aspire to, but these people don’t seem to realize its not real. Believe it or not, Wakanda, the Black Panther, the entire world there was conceived and created by two ordinary white guys (Stan Lee and Jack Kirby).
Lee and Kirby actually created Black Panther in the 1960’s, a few months before the Black Panther Party was founded; but these same social challenges inspired both the political movement and the super-powered African king. “At that point I felt we really needed a black superhero,” Lee recalled. “And I wanted to get away from a common perception. So what I did, I made I made him almost like (Fantastic Four’s) Reed Richards. He lives in an area that nobody suspects it because on the surface it’s just thatched huts with ordinary ‘natives.’ And he’s not letting the world know what’s really going on or how brilliant they really are.”
In the world of Marvel comics, Wakanda is a place of mystery; but if you read Twitter this past week, people act like its a real place in our world today. They’re using it as an example of what “could be” for African as a whole. That’s all well and good, but unfortunately, a giant meteor containing a super metal (vibranium) hasn’t crashed into the continent just yet.
The great thing about a movie like Black Panther is that its getting people talking about diversity issues, inclusion, and racism. The problem is when its taken to far. Sometimes, discussions like these often lead to violence, and that’s wrong. I’m a firm believer in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.–“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
I believe in that, I truly do. As a writer, we have to be that spear in the war of words when it comes to “social justice” in our world. It’s our responsibility to make examples to inspire people, not incite them. Creating a place like Wakanda is a dream, an example of what “could be” in our own world. Now, lets take those words from “fantasy” to heart and try to make them a “reality” in our world, not the other way around.