Honoring his Memory – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

5803aa10f233395ea187bc9b2268ae69In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., here’s my review of “Selma.” Several theaters are showing this movie today, such as Alamo Drafthouse Cinema here in San Antonio. A must see, if you haven’t, and a good one to see again if you have!

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in a letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963.- BMT

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Review – Selma Movie – directed by Ava DuVernay

In one word – Powerful!

Fantastic performances by David Oyelowo, Oprah Winfrey Cuba Gooding, Jr.and the entire cast. The cast is a diverse group of actors that were carefully selected. Most of the actors look like the actual key players from the movement. The cinematographic use of lighting was fantastic.

Speaking for myself, a Generation Xer, I didn’t fully understand the magnitude of the oppression and the brutality that African Americans and their supporters faced during the early 60s and the “peaceful” marches lead by Dr. King. I only heard about the freedom marches in school history books, reprinted news articles, and short clips of old news footage. “Selma” gives insight into the “back stories” of the marchers and brings the characters from the history books to life. Their faith in the Lord, in Dr. King’s vision, and their passion to fully obtain their God-given rights kept them strong and fearless. After seeing this movie and understanding the lengths they went to, to be able to vote, every person who is of age to vote should exercise that right every time!

These civil rights activists can be considered modern-day martyrs – heroes. They all marched knowing the dangers they would face. Just as our Lord gave himself up, knowing he would be put on the cross and like so many others that died for their causes. I believe this is why Dr. King called for members of the clergy throughout the U.S. to march with him. As an Orthodox Christian, I heard that His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos supported Dr. King, but I didn’t realize he actually marched with him across the bridge in Selma.

The movie starts out very dark and progressively gets brighter signifying the accomplishment of their mission at the Birmingham courthouse. It was impressive to see the direct impact that Martin Luther King, Jr. and all his followers’ (black and white) march from Selma to Birmingham had on President Johnson’s effecting laws ensuring the voting rights of African Americans. Proof that violence isn’t necessary to effectuate change.

You may find these articles interesting.

http://www.toledoblade.com/…/Unitarian-minister-recalls-nig…

http://usa.greekreporter.com/…/black-history-month-and-the…/

When you see the movie, look at this photo. It’s amazing how much the movie characters look just like the people in the photo!

archbishop-iakovos-and-martin-luther-king-at-selmaSelma Movie is definately Oscar worthy! It opens Friday, January 9 – see it! – BMT

Comments, Please

What do you think? Please post your comments, memories, or favorite quotes.

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Rest In Peace, Jerry Van Dyke

jerry_van_dyke_2825370103929_croppedRest in peace, Jerry Van Dyke Our deepest condolences to Dick Van Dyke and family  on the loss of one of TVs legendary comedians. Jerry was the younger brother of Dick and played along side him on episodes of the The Dick Van Dyke Show as well as Diagnosis Murder. My favorite episodes were both based on sleepwalking. But he also had his own career. He played Luther on the TV Series, “Coach.”  What were your memorable Jerry Van Dyke moments?http://start.att.net/news/read/article/fox_news-jerry_van_dyke_comedian_and_actor_dead_at_age_86-rfoxnews/category/entertainment#.WlGrMW4BfU4.email

Et Tu, Matt? Matt Lauer fired from NBC

This is really getting out of hand. Matt Lauer made some hypocritical statements about other offenders over the last few weeks. Disgraceful.
Men, keep your hands and lewd comments to yourself. Women, if it happens to you, report it ASAP. If management doesn’t listen, move up the ranks.
Today Show did the right thing in letting him go – but if they received complaints before and did nothing – shame on them! – BMT2832px-matt_lauer2c_may_2009_28429

Social Security Scam Alert

IMG_3713WARNING do not open the email or click on link to “check your social security account.” It’s a scam. If you look closely, the link contains underscores, which would never happen with a government site not to mention the real site address is http://www.ssa.gov. I recommend you delete the email and share this warning with friends, especially those that are not on social media and/or are easily scammed.  Call your parents to let them know.

I personally received this email today. I know that the IRS issues your social security account summary by mail NOT email.

You are welcome. – BMT

Harry Connick Jr. replaces Billy Bush on NBC ‘Today’ show (shared post from counton2.com)

(CNN)- NBC “today” show looks to be setting the stage for life without billy bush. Singer and actor Harry Connick Junior announced Friday that he’ll be co-hosting the third hour o…

Source: Harry Connick Jr. replaces Billy Bush on NBC ‘Today’ show

 

Congratulations Harry!!! We at Reviews of the Arts SA (#Reviewsoftheartssa) are so excited for you!

“Deepwater Horizon” – Movie Review

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Photo of movie screen taken by me before the movie.

“Deepwater Horizon” #deepwaterhorizonmovie dramatically tells the story of the Deepwater Horizon (#deepwaterhorizon) oil spill and explosion that occurred on April 20, 2010 about 41 miles off the coast of Louisiana. Unfortunately, the technical cause of the oil well explosion is way over my head, so rather than bore you with the details and technicalities of the actual event, if you want a full background, I would direct you to the Wikipedia page – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deepwater_Horizon_oil_spill.

I am embarrassed to say that I barely remember hearing about this event. That may just be my ignorance or the fact that 2010 marked the beginning of some serious health issues for me. Perhaps I just wasn’t “tuned-in” to current events or maybe it didn’t get the news coverage it deserved due to the political nature of all things oil related??  I don’t know, but this story of the worst oil spill in U.S. History needs to be told and director, Peter Berg, and screenplay writers Matthew Michael Carnahan and Matthew Sand do a great job telling it.

The cinematography is incredible. I thought it was especially effective that the movie began with the audio of a hearing asking Transocean employee, Mike Williams, to recount the events. As he gets to the point of the explosion, it goes quiet, we can feel Mike’s hesitation as he goes back to the dark place in his memory where he really doesn’t want to go, and the opening credits begin. Of course there are many scenes with injuries, blood, fire, and explosions that add the necessary “shock value,” but this movie is more than that. This movie takes a very personal approach. The camera focuses on their individual faces. We see that the workers are ordinary people, we learn a little about their personal lives and the loved ones that they leave behind every time they go out to sea.  We see that most of them have a good rapport with each other. They kid around and seem to work well together.  The movie gives more focus to the fact that the crew of 126 that was on board the Deepwater Horizon was just performing their daily routine when suddenly they became faced with an extraordinarily catastrophic chain of events. In a matter of hours, these average oil workers became superheroes, risking their lives to save the lives of their co-workers.

The acting is phenomenal.  Mark Wahlberg plays Mike Williams, one of the heroes, who seemed to have a premonition that something would go wrong as he kissed his wife goodbye at the heliport just before he took-off to work, offshore, on the Deepwater Horizon for what was supposed to be 21 days.  Kurt Russell plays “Mr. Jimmy” Harrell, essentially the captain of the rig. Mike and Mr. Jimmy work for Transocean, the owner of the Deepwater Horizon. John Makovich plays Donald Vidrine, one of the BP Oil Company representatives that smugly made some fatally disastrous decisions. You hate him (and BP) right away and you can sense that the crew doesn’t like him either. The Transocean crew seems resentful of the way BP, who (they make a point of stressing) is just “leasing” the rig, was exerting its control over the rig operations about which they knew very little. Those decisions were cost-driven and gave no priority to safety and the “human factor.”  Bottom line, it is evident that monetary greed is what caused this disaster.

I was especially moved by a particular scene – when the injured survivors are on board the rescue ship, after role is called, they all kneel down and recite the Lord’s Prayer.  It is rare, (especially in movies) but awesome when it happens, to see victims immediately giving thanks and praise to God, instead of asking “why?”. It was also very somber at the end of the movie to see the photos of the eleven crew members that died.

I think this movie is excellent. Another “must see”.  I highly recommend you buy your tickets early.  I saw this on the day of its third or fourth screening and people were turned-away because the theater was full.  Please go see Deepwater Horizon and let me know what you think. – BMT

P.S. Country Music Fans, there’s a cameo but well-done performance by Trace Adkins, who plays the father of one of the deceased crew members.

Rest in Peace Gene Wilder

Together again, in Heaven.  Gene Wilder and Gilda Radner.

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Gene Wilder and Gilda Radner in 1986 – photo from Wikipedia.org

Gene Wilder. Born Jerome Silberman on June 11, 1933 died today – August 29, 2016 from complications due to Alzheimer’s Disease. He was 83 years old.

I probably realized it when I watched the film a few years ago, but it was interesting for me to read today at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_Wilder that his first movie role was in 1967, as a hostage in “Bonnie and Clyde.” There are so many awesome roles he played but one of my favorites was “Stir Crazy” with Richard Pryor and of course, “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.”  May he rest in peace. – BMT

What’s your favorite Gene Wilder movie? Please comment below.

Rest in Peace Garry Marshall

Somehow this sad news fell under my radar. Writer, producer, actor, Garry Marshall passed away on July 19, 2016.  He was 81 years old. As I feel it is always better late than never, I want to send my thoughts and prayers to Penny Marshall and the entire Marshall family. Garry Marshall was so incredibly talented, it would be terrible not to pay tribute to him. If you aren’t familiar with Garry’s career, just think back to your favorite TV show or movie since the 1960s and he probably had something to do with it. You name it, he’s likely written, produced, directed, and/or acted in it! Just to briefly list his accomplishments in television, he wrote for the Tonight Show Starring Jack Paar; The Danny Thomas Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Lucy Show, Gomer Pyle, and The Odd Couple, just to name a few.  More notably he was the creator and executive producer of classic hits such as Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley (starring his sister, Penny), Mork & Mindy, Angie, Joanie Loves Chachi, and he was the executive consultant for the current version of The Odd Couple, with executive producer, Matthew Perry.  Over the years, Garry starred in several TV shows and movies, including Goldfinger, A League of Their Own, Murphy Brown, The Simpsons, The Majestic, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Louie, Two and a Half Men, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Hot in Cleveland, and The Odd Couple.  

Garry was born, Garry Kent Masciarelli on November 13, 1934 in the Bronx, New York. His father, Anthony Masciarelli, an industrial filmaker, changed the family name to Marshall in 1934. Though I am not certain why, I do know that back in those days, due to discrimination, many Italian-Americans changed their names to something they believed to be less “ethnic.” Being a New Yorker of Italian descent, I have a special place in my heart for stars like Garry. I always enjoyed listening to him give interviews. His voice, that New York accent, always took me back home. I couldn’t post about Garry without a video clip, so here’s an interview Garry did on “CBS This Morning” in 2012 to promote his book, “My Happy Days in Hollywood.”  Such a humble and down-to earth man; they just don’t make them like that anymore.

(Video obtained from YouTube)

Movies Directed by Garry Marshall:

1982 Young Doctors in Love
1984 The Flamingo Kid
1986 Nothing In Common
1987 Overboard
1988 Beaches
1990 Pretty Woman
1991 Frankie and Johnny
1994 Exit to Eden
1996 Dear God
1999 The Other Sister
1999 Runaway Bride
2001 The Princess Diaries

2004 Raising Helen
2004 The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement
2007 Georgia Rule
2010 Valentine’s Day
2011 New Year’s Eve
2016 Mother’s Day

If you are like me, you may be reading this list, thinking, “I didn’t know he did that!”  As you can see, not all of his work was comedy, but all of his work was brilliant!

In my research, I came across some of his quotes, “It’s always helpful to learn from your mistakes because then your mistakes seem worthwhile.” He also said, “Learn to work with people you wouldn’t go to lunch with.” Wise words to live by, don’t you think? The world has lost another great artistic legend. Rest in peace Garry. Eternal be his memory.

What’s your favorite Garry Marshall accomplishment? I’d love to hear about it.- BMT