Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Tribute to Robin Williams

A Brilliant Robin

Ever since you and Mindy met,
I have never been able to keep my eyes off you.
When I saw you sail in with Olive
and flex your big forearms,
I knew you were a brilliant Robin.

I never needed toys
cause I watch you for amusement.
I never had to go fishing with grandpa
because I was watching a king on the screen.

The way you made us laugh with Comic Relief.
It was like watching poetry in motion,
like you were the leader of a dead society.
And you touched our hearts with more than comedy.

You’ve been everywhere from cold Moscow
to seeing a good morning in Vietnam.
Just to see you do what you can do
is a real awakening.

The way you can change colors
by turning into a big blue clown,
making dreams of a pauper come true
easier than saying Bibidy Bobidy Boo.

You’ve even changed sexes,
and proved that being an old lady
can be funny and lovable.
It’s almost like you have artificial intelligence.

Then, there is your voice
that hides so many others.
If I didn’t know any better Jack,
I’d say you were a machine covered in furry skin.

You can’t be real.
It’s like you popped out of Neverland
because you never get old in spirit.
There’s always a fresh joke for you to tell.

No birdcage can hold you.
I would have an easier time
trying to catch air with hands.
Your humor is what dreams can come.

You have done so much a man can do.
It’s almost like you have Insomnia
because you never seem to sleep.
You should be man of the year.

If there was a museum of you,
I’d wait all night there with happy feet.
I’d take a picture of you,
and rush it to one hour photo.

I hope somehow I get to meet you someday.
So, until then I will say thank you for everything.
You are a brilliant Robin, and, until there is another,
Good Hunting Mr. Williams.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Ant-Man Shrinks the Competition

Marvel and DC Comics have superheroes that are mirror images of each other minus certain character traits or purpose. Marvel for example has the assassin Deadpool who is known as the “Merc with the Mouth.” His mirror image is DC’s Deathstroke, the mercenary for hire. Virtually the same only Deadpool is a mutant and more of a comic relief and Deathstroke is the serious professional. Marvel has Tony Stark or Ironman who is a billionaire but is more fun-loving and easygoing while DC has Bruce Wayne a.k.a. Batman, another billionaire, only more dark and serious.

Another DC character that has a mirror image is Ray Palmer who is better known as The Atom who has the power to shrink to the size of a molecule. Marvel’s version of him is Hank Pym who is the first Ant-Man. Both men are well renowned scientists who dream of creating a world without illness and violence and are dragged into the action by various forces. The difference is Ant-Man has an additional talent which is his technology allows him to connect with ants and uses them to help him with his adventures. Now Marvel has taken the next step in introducing new fans by bringing Ant-Man to the big screen.

Ant-Man opened last weekend and while hopes for the movie were as minimal as could be due to delays and loss of its original director, the film has received gigantic applause. Out of all the superheroes and their amazing powers, the ability to shrink doesn’t sound appealing at first. In Marvel we’ve seen a man in an iron suit, a demi-god, a monster with incredible strength, and a super soldier so a hero that shrinks doesn’t sound so cool at first. Marvel though is blessed with better story telling than DC and that’s why this film doesn’t disappoint and is number one at the box office. Ant-Man is a two hour film that gives better understanding to why being able to shrink is an ability to take seriously.

It starts off in the early days of S.H.E.I.L.D. with surprise appearances by known Marvel characters and Michael Douglas staring as the intelligent scientist Hank Pym. After realizing what others want from Pym’s creation, he decides to do the one thing that he has to in order to keep it from falling into the wrong hands. After decades in seclusion he returns when he finds out that his former protégé has created a similar suit and plans to sell it to an unknown buyer. Now in fear that his nightmares are about to come to reality he turns to Scott Lang for help.

Played by Paul Rudd, Scott Lang is an intelligent man who made a poor decision that got him locked away and destroyed his life. Now given a second chance to make things right, he prepares to step into the smallest shadow ever created with the help of Hank Pym and a reluctant ally. During the course of the movie, Pym is forced to face old demons that have haunted him for years and in certain ways connect him with Scott on several levels. Paul Rudd’s debut into the action scene was well done and while this role required him to take a more serious turn he still portrayed some of his well-known comedy in the movie. Also in the movie are surprises during the film that will further connect Ant-Man to the rest of the universe and of course their signature post credit scene.

Ant-Man is scheduled to return in Marvel’s next film and arguably it’s most anticipated, Captain America: Civil War. What part Ant-Man will have in the movie is unclear but in a war that pits Captain America against Iron-Man, this film may have introduced us to the wildcard. No word yet on a sequel but considering the critic’s praise and the overwhelming acceptance of the Marvel fans, another one will most likely be coming. Big congrats to everyone involved because virtually nobody thought this film was going to be a success when it was announced. Ant-Man is great summer movie filled with action and comedy that can be enjoyed by every one of all sizes. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Comic-Con 2015

Well another Comic-Con is in the books and from what I’ve read and heard from people who attended, it’s done nothing but add more anticipation to next year’s line-up of movies. The most popular comic convention of the year took place last weekend in San Diego, California. Fans came from all around to dress up or cosplay as they call it and have fun with others who share their love for DC or Marvel. Comic-Con is also the place to go to get great deals on memorabilia, meet famous celebrities and get a first class look at upcoming movies. The convention never fails to amaze and this year was no disappointment to the fans who were able to attend.

DC wowed the fans by displaying costumes, bringing in the new batmobile for fans to gaze over, and showed fans what to look forward to with new seasons like Arrow. Stephen Amell stopped by to show fans the new attire he’ll be dawning when the show returns October 7th. Marvel’s presence wasn’t as strong as it should be considering its dominance over DC. Fans were hoping to get a sneak peek at Captain America: Civil War or hear news about other heroes like Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity Wars or Thor: Ragnarok but nothing happened which stinks. Marvel was still able to grab the attention of the audiences with previews of their other two movies coming out this year.  

Marvel and DC pulled out everything they had for next year’s movies and fans got more than what they wanted with sneak peeks for Deadpool, Batman vs. Superman, X-Men Apocalypse, and Suicide Squad. For decades the cinemas have been conquered by Marvel with their ongoing success but now it seems like DC is catching up with their much anticipated Batman vs. Superman: Dawn. With the promise of a new trailer to show, fans were overwhelming pleased with the first look at Lex Luther and Wonder Woman. The new trailer also gives a wider explanation into why these two titans will collide and how Lex Luther’s is involved.

Another trailer revealed is Suicide Squad which features the return of the Joker now played by Jared Leto. Some haven’t agreed with the look of Jared Leto as the Joker which some have considered a colorful Marilyn Mason. After seeing the trailer though it’s clear that David Ayer is taking this film completely serious. Suicide Squad focuses on some of Gotham’s most dangerous criminals like the assassin Deadshot, Killer Croc, Captain Boomerang and the sexy psychopath Harley Quinn. They’re brought together by Amanda Waller who runs a government agency that recruits villains to commit operations that the public aren’t meant to know.

Think of them as a supervillain version of the dirty dozen but only difference is there’s no parole for these villains, just the promise to live another day only to die next time. Leading the group is Deadshot played by Will Smith who has received praise for his portrayal as the man that never misses. He’s had a run of bad luck with his movies since the release of After Earth so this film may be what he needs to rejuvenate his career. This film will also be the first time to see the ever popular Harley Quinn on screen played by Margot Robbie hot off her last film The Wolf of Wall Street. Another first timer making his big screen debut is Marvel’s Merc with the Mouth, Deadpool.

Deadpool is going to be the first movie coming out next year in February to set the bar with the burden of having to compete with Batman vs. Superman later on in March. Deadpool is a mutant armed with a variety of fighting skills, advance healing abilities and a filter free mouth full of witty things to say that leave the audience wondering, “What the hell?” Fans have been waiting to see the comedic anti-hero for the longest time. While one’s run is starting early next year, another run is finishing in May in the form of the X-Men.

X-Men Apocalypse will be coming out on and it will mark the end for two who will make their final appearance as their characters. This will be the final X-Men film we see Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique and Hugh Jackman will be done with Wolverine after this and Wolverine 3. This may not be a big deal for Jennifer Lawrence who has only been in two films but for Hugh Jackman, it’s the end of an era. He was the break out start when the franchise started and it sky-rocketed his career gaining him lead roles and A-list status. No rumors yet on who could possibly replace him in future films.

Whoever takes up the claws will have a huge shoes to fill but no matter who replaces Jackman, Marvel has lost an icon. Another icon that will be saying goodbye next year is popular film maker and comic fan in his own right, Kevin Smith. He has stated that after Clerks 3 he will be retiring from directing after the film is finished. It’s been a long run for Kevin Smith and to hear him not making films anymore is heartbreaking at best. Clerks 3 is scheduled to be released on August 1st 2016 but it’s early so things change.

It was a memorable event this year that was fueled by movies that fans have been waiting to see for the longest time and ended with heartfelt goodbyes. This was most likely DC’s year at Comic-Con as fans really seem to enjoy the darker, more adult version of their superhero films. For people like myself who grew up watching the red underwear and the star spangled bikini, it’s an adjustment. Some people still disagree with the direction DC has gone but in the end it’s about what sells and after this year’s Comic-Con it’s clear. People are ready to open the wallet next year when arguably the two most popular characters in comics finally go head to head. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A Fallen Angel

A Fallen Angel
An angel is falling from the sky.
She is in a vortex, helplessly
going down a downward spiral,
screaming for help in mid air.

She looks so pure and innocent.
She is an angel, but she can’t fly.
And, as I look with a hawk’s eye, I see
her wings are broken.

I wonder why she has been sent to this realm,
a realm of my vision,
an endless forest were disruption meets oblivion
and lost souls meet renaissance.
She lands in the lake of my forest.

She is 5 foot 2 and about 130 pounds,
But, like a small stone, makes no splash,
just ripples in the water.
Yet, the impact sounds like that of an atom bomb.

I get on my stallion, the eternal mustang,
and ride to the lake where I see her
floating on her back like a flower.
I pull her out and go back to my cabin in the forest.

I put her in my bedroom
because there is no other.
I sleep in front of the fireplace
and wonder where to start.

The next day, she wakes up,
and I come in with breakfast.
She is startled, but I calm her down.
I tell her that I am a friend.

“I am one who cares for all.
I give comfort and shelter to those in need.
You may simple call me friend
because that’s all I’ll ever be.”
She eats the eggs I’ve made for her and
drinks the water that I’ve purified.

After a while, I finally ask her,
“Angel, why did you fall from the sky?”

She says, “I lost my way.
I just got bored with eternity,
so I wanted to leave.
I got my wish, and now I have nothing.
That’s why I guess I’m here,
to be forgotten.”

I say to her, “He doesn’t forget, and he does forgive.
Somebody so beautiful should express happiness, not fear.
In time, you will learn to smile again
and never again feel sorrow.”

With her wings wrapped and her body healed,
she begins to live with me here in the forest.
We take walks in the morning to see the sunrise and
have dinners in the front window of the cabin to see the sunset.

I cook her all my favorite recipes
from lasagna to baked ziti.
But when we get to the desert --
freshly made cherry pie -- her favorite.

Weeks after her arrival, she asks me,
“Why are you here?”

I tell her the truth.
“I was once lost like you were.
I fell just as you did, but found my way.
But unlike me, you still have a choice.” 

She asks, “What kind of choice?”
I say, “You’ll know it when you feel it.”
She gets confused, but, months later,
confusion turns into compassion.

Many times, she welcomed me to bed with her.
Every time I declined, not because of un-attraction.
It was just going to make it easier on me in the end
because I knew the day was approaching.

A year has passed. Her wings are healed.

She flaps them up and down
and gets herself off the floor.
I smile at her success, but she can see
my invisible frown.

The time has come, and I say, “Let’s go to the lake.”
But when we go, there is no lake,
just an open field with a ray of light in the middle.
She sees now the choice that must be made.

Leave or stay?

There is no turning back.
But, before she makes the choice,
she asks me with a heart-broken voice,
“Why did you stay?”

I say, “I wasn’t the first.
I knew I wasn’t going to be the last.
I made the choice to stay
and help other angels like you and I.”

She asks, “What if I stay with you?

Help other angels by your side?
I can’t image eternity alone.
I don’t want that to be your fate.”
I say, “That’s not your choice to make.

This realm is of my vision.
This is my eternity, and this is how I choose to spend it.
If you decide to stay, I will be the one that goes.
Either way, one of us is leaving, and it’s going to be you.”

She says, “How do you know?”

I say, “Because you’ve learned again what’s most important.
Eternity is what you make of it.

This is mine, and I do it with pride.
Now you can go and find something to take pride in.”
Angel says, “I will miss you.
You gave me back so much.”

I say, “You’re welcome.
That complement is why I do this.

Now, it’s time to fly.”
She hugs and kisses me goodbye
then slowly moving towards the light,
never taking her eyes off me.
With new wings, she heads back to paradise.

As she disappears into the light,
I say, “Lord,
your child has returned to you.
My love and wishes go with you angel.”

I turn back and head for my cabin.
My energy is now spent.
My body is weak.
My head is light as a feather.

I now go to bed and sleep
until the next is sent.

Sample from my book Madness in a Recession available now!
Enjoy and thanks for following.