Just In Time (for Halloween 2021)

As if I don’t have enough movies in my collection already – let alone horror films – the postman delivered these today:

The Wolfman Complete Legacy Collection contains movies made from 1935-1948: Werewolf of London (1935), The Wolf Man (1941), Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943), House of Frankenstein (1944), House of Dracula (1945), She-Wolf of London (1946, starring Lassie‘s own June Lockhart), and Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948); and a number of Bonus Features (Monster by Moonlight documentary, The Wolf Man: From Ancient Curse to Modern Myth, Pure in Heart: The Life and Legacy of Lon Chaney Jr., He Who Made Monsters: The Life and Art of Jack Pierce, The Wolf Man Archives, Abbott and Costello Meet the Monsters, and more).

From the back cover:

The original Wolf Man is one of the silver screen’s most unforgettable characters and, along with the other Universal Classic Monsters, defined the Hollywood horror genre. The Wolf Man: Complete Legacy Collection includes all 7 films from the original legacy including the eerie classic starring Lon Chaney Jr. and the timeless films that followed. These landmark motion pictures defined the iconic look of the tragic monster and continue to inspire countless remakes and adaptations that strengthen the legend of the Wolf Man to this day.

Last week I received an excellent werewolf movie I ordered
which I had reviewed back in 2018:

Time to settle in with a good horror flick,
some popcorn, and my sidekick.

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“You’re out of your damn mind!”

That’s what Stephen A. Smith would say to Max Kellerman – who (along with Molly Qerim Rose) is his co-host on First Take – if Kellerman had come up with this list. I adore Stephen A., but REALLY!?! I have to call him on it…

Last Friday, Stephen A. Smith unveiled his Stephen’s A-List: Top 5 Sports Movies:

  1. Rocky III (WTF!?!)
  2. A League of Their Own
  3. Friday Night Lights
  4. Jerry McGuire (again, WTF!?!)
  5. Any Given Sunday

A shout-out to A League of Their Own but I’ve never liked the Rocky franchise and stopped seeing them after Rocky II. (Although I admit to loving the Rambo series.) And Jerry McGuire?? What the hell is up with that? When I hear the words “sports movie”, that is one that NEVER – EVER – comes to mind.

So, what would be on MY A-List: Top 5 Sports Movies? Glad you asked!

  1. Driven

    C’mon the film has Burt Reynolds, Stallone (who wrote the screenplay and co-produced), Kip Pardue, AND Gina Gershon – plus some killer special effects – where tasteful amounts of CGI were used! (Yes, I have the DVD.)

  2. The Replacements

    An all-too-oft-told story (My favorite!) about a group of misfits who save the day! Solid cast: Gene Hackman, Keanu Reeves (I’m a BIG fan.), Orlando Jones (Office Space, Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant), Don Favreau, Rhys Ifans (Vanity Fair, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, The Informers), Jack Warden, and a number of NFL alumni. My favorite scene involves the Replacements’ cheerleaders:

  3. Slap Shot

    FUCKING HANSON BROTHERS!! (Can you guess which two were played by brothers?) Stars Paul Newman (He needs NO introduction.), Michael Ontkean (Twin Peaks), Lindsay Crouse (Bye Bye Love, The Arrival), Swoosie Kurtz (Sisters) in her first movie role, and Paul Dooley (Breaking Away, Sixteen Candles, Grace Under Fire). A classic. (I have the DVD…’cause it’s a CLASSIC!!!)

  4. Remember the Titans

    Set in 1971 and based on a true story, the movie has a stellar cast: Denzel Washington (Philadephia, Fallen, The Bone Collector), Will Patton, Wood Harris (The Wire), Donald Faison (Clueless, Scrubs), Ethan Suplee (Blow), Kip Pardue (Driven), Hayden Panettiere (Raising Helen), Ryan Gosling, Kate Bosworth (Blue Crush). I especially loved the ongoing repartee between the two little girls. Inspiring – with the underlying message still relevant today.

  5. AND MY TOP PICK…drum roll, please…

  6. Major League

    Again, top notch cast and a Sports Movie CLASSIC! (Do I have the DVD? Need you even ask…) We’re talking a bunch of rag-tag misfits saving the day once again, only this time it’s MLB. Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen – an underrated actor who I love, and fuck all you haters (Two and a Half Men, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – the only one worth watching in that film, Wall Street, Young Guns, The Arrival, Spin City), Corbin Bernsen (L.A. Law), Margaret Whitton, James Gammon (Urban Cowboy, Silverado), Rene Russo (The Thomas Crown Affair), Wesley Snipes (New Jack City, Rising Sun, Demolition Man, Blade franchise), Neil Flynn (Scrubs), and Dennis Haysbert (Waiting to Exhale, Allstate ads) as Pedro. To this day when I hear the song “Wild Thing”, this is what plays in my head:

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adj. lacking in vitality, force, or conviction; uninspired or uninspiring

The ancient Greeks felt that people are known by the heroes they crown. America is a nation of hero-worshippers. We hoist them on pedestals where the adulation lasts until someone better comes along or said hero’s reputation becomes tarnished. It’s during times of great national stress that our need for heroes becomes feverish. During such times, the crowning of a new hero makes us feel like things are gonna be OK…

By hook or by crook Tom Brady was on the path to becoming this year’s Super Bowl Hero and it appears the “stars” were aligned correctly because Tampa Bay won last night’s game by a mile. It was a strange game that really should’ve been played at the end of 2020 – a strange year. It would’ve made more sense.

In addition to being weird, the whole Super Bowl “experience” yesterday was lackluster.

Unlike the NBA which is fast-paced and athletes highlight their abilities by taking on a number of positions – all in a single game – footballers are defined by and confined to their positions on a team. As a result, at any given point in time there are very few NFL players who are EXCITING to watch. Their team may not win the game, but you sure as hell have a good time watching “that guy” do his thing – and do it with PIZZAZZ. Patrick Mahomes is one of those guys.

Even when struggling under the Buccaneer’s defensive line, watching him throw passes was still magic. He reminds me very much of Steph Curry (PT/SG for the Golden State Warriors). Whether on the court or the field both men OOZE pure joy. They are loving what they’re doing! (No small feat in the the “No Fun League”.) But aside from watching Mr. Mahomes, the rest of Super Bowl LV felt soulless – and that goes for the commercials. (In what universe could anyone call those “Super Bowl Ads”?)

Yep, in spite of Brady’s win at home (a first in Super Bowl history) I doubt if it will be remembered as memorable in any way.

If not for the wonderful company and good food, I would’ve changed the channel…

A small shoutout to the Halftime Show. Although I couldn’t stand the singer it was visually entertaining. I especially liked the backdrops and the lights on the dancers’ gloves but what was up with those mask-like face coverings? They reminded me of what Claude Raines’ character wore in The Invisible Man.

In terms of excitement, Kitten Bowl 2021 was more thrilling BUT I do have a couple of beefs:

  • What a lame excuse for their Kitten Halftime Show. I’m seeing more and more of this and it sucks: running video clips found on the web. If I wanted to watch video clips of cute cats I can see those anytime, anywhere. It was a cheap move which I hope they don’t repeat next year.
  • Hallmark’s website for the Kitten Bowl usually showcases the teams and profiles each of the cat-aletes. They did neither this year.
  • I was also disappointed they didn’t have the Cat-lete Card Creator where you can upload a photo of your cat and create your own Kitten Bowl Trading Card. Diego has three:  2017, 2018, and 2019.

Thank God(dess) football season’s over.
Now we can all focus on BASKETBALL.

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The Genius Myth

The Great Conjunction opened a portal whereby the world is entering the true Age of Aquarius. You can read my Post on that here.

Author Michael Meade writes, “There is a poem at the heart of things and a mythic story in the heart of each of us.” But there’s a lot of hate, rage, fear, and divisiveness in the world right now. Remember that old adage that “the only constant is change”? It’s time to embrace that with open arms.

n. a tendency to cause disagreement or hostility between people

n. a proverb or short statement expressing a general truth

So, in the spirit of Aquarius (Which symbolizes thinking outside the box, embracing chaos, freedom, humanitarianism, progressiveness, and social change.), I would like to share with you some thoughtful quotes from “The Genius Myth” by Michael J. Meade. These passages are a call for each of us to let go of our fear, hatred, rage, and the notion that “we are losing everything” or that “all is lost”.

Seek that story within you and start writing a poem for the whole world to see.

(Note: All emphases are mine.)

We may be closest to hearing the call when we feel most alone or in trouble, for genius hides behind the wound and one of the greatest wounds in life is to not know who we are intended to be or what we are supposed to serve in life.

Myths are oracular in the sense that each person can receive a message or an insight that relates to their life circumstances…let them speak to us, wherever and whenever we find ourselves seeking guidance, permission, or understanding.

We need the intermediaries that keep us close to the spirit of life, to the wonders of nature and to the subtleties of our own inner nature.

When we place our immediate conflicts in the territory of an archetypal story we can better see the nature of our problems…

In these dark and uncertain times, there can be great value in imagining a bit of star in each human soul.

Whether we know it or not, our lives are acts of imagination and the world is continually re-imagined through us.

Something ancient in us bends us toward the origins of the whole thing. We either drown in the splits and confusions of our lives, or we surrender to something greater than ourselves.

Hearing a story awakens the mythic story living in each of us.

When we are connected — to our own purpose, to the community around us, and to our spiritual wisdom — we are able to live and act with authentic effectiveness.

The point in this life is not simply to “become somebody,” but to become who we were each intended to be when we first entered this world.

To become oneself by contributing one’s native gifts and talents to this troubled world: that is the job to keep applying for and a work worth spending an entire life doing.

More quotes from “The Genius Myth” at GoodReads.

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Stevie Nicks and Cyndi Lauper

I love books and I love to read. I’ll take on any and all topics that interest me or that pique my interest.

n. the state of wanting to know or learn about something or someone

Lately I’ve been checking-out library books on gardening, food/cooking, psychology, fiction, and non-fiction. I also make a point of reading biographical/autobiographical tomes specifically covering rock personalities (or in the case of Cher, style icons). What I really noticed about these biographies is that some just present you with a list of events or points of interest while others offer you a real glimpse inside the person (or band). I prefer the latter.

For example, let’s take the Cher biography, Cher: Strong Enough. I’ve been a fan of hers since the 1970’s but, with the exception of a Reader’s Digest look at how Sonny & Cher became Sonny & Cher, the book became a chronology of her TV shows…season by season, episode by episode. In the end I knew no more about CHER than I did before. Let’s compare that book with Cyndi Lauper’s A Memoir.

Cyndi Lauper did not hold back. All the hardships, struggles, and very painful memories were put out there for the reader to see. (Those who are aroused by such misery will LOVE this book. Yes, I’m being snarky.) Who she was and who she became was never compromised by those circumstances. She maintains a wonderful outlook on life:  [1]In the darkest place, shed the brightest light.” I am now a huge fan.

Back in August I read Ann and Nancy Wilson’s autobiography, Kicking & Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul, and Rock & Roll. With the exception of having an infamous ancestor, I felt it was a rather impersonal look at the lives of two very influencial women. Who ARE Nancy and Ann? Answer: Two very nice ladies who faced (and overcame) more than a few challenges. But I already knew about those challenges going in. I don’t feed off drama, but I felt there were more layers to their personalities that were never discussed. Perhaps they wanted to keep it that way.

Let’s turn to Stevie Nicks. I finished reading one biography, Stevie Nicks: Visions, Dreams, and Rumours, and am in the middle of a second one, Gold Dust Woman: A Biography of Stevie Nicks. Neither were written by Ms. Nicks but I have a clear vision of who she IS aside from who she APPEARS to be – which are not that far removed. Both books were personal enough to engage and delight me. Aside from the mystical aspects, I love where her head is at. She is similar to Lauper in that she chooses to nurture herself in such a way that is counteracts the sometimes negative aspects of living a rock and roll lifestsyle. I am a fan.

For those of you who are interested, I also found these biographical books to be uniquely personal:  True Love (Jennifer Lopez) and Dancing With Myself (Billy Idol). Surprisingly, Idol’s book is so filled with introspective inspiration that I’ve re-read it several times.

There have been a number of studies done about how what you watch on TV affects and influences your thoughts and behavior. What a surprise that the more negative info we take in the more negative we become. TV shows have been cashing-in on other people’s misery for decades now, and the more famous the person is, the more we salivate over their pain.

This is not my thing. Never has been. It’s just another symptom of the DARKNESS that’s enveloping our World and our psyches. I don’t want to be a part of that and I don’t want it to become a part of me. Marcus Aurelius once wrote “The things you think about determine the quality of your mind. Your soul takes on the color of your thoughts.“, and Christiane Northrup, M.D., has documented how these same thoughts affect the body and its ability to remain healthy.

I want to be the one to walk in the sun
Cyndi Lauper (Girls Just Want to Have Fun)

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[1] Lauper, Cyndi (2012). Cyndi Lauper: A Memoir. Simon & Shuster. p. 82.