Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Is the Tree of Life Growing For You?

"The only way to be happy is to love. Unless you love, your life will flash by." I've been thinking about this since I saw "The Tree of Life" starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn four days ago. We all need love in our lives, right? We need to love and we need to be loved, but are we all finding love? I mean true love... not just love for now. Some choose not to love, because they fear they'll be hurt. We all know the saying "'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all." But what if we can't find true love, will our lives flash by? I feel like it will. People go through different phases of life - childhood, high school, college, the working world, relationships, marriage, kids, success, failure, hardship, joy, retirement and so many other things, but if there's no love mixed in, doesn't your life tend to feel like one big phase, instead of a bunch of different ones? If you spend your whole life working and not focusing on what really matters, what do you end up with at the end of your life? I'm thinking probably not a whole lot. What do YOU think?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Art of Surviving

"We live alone. We die alone. Everything else is just an illusion." That's how "The Art of Getting By" begins. The movie stars Freddie Highmore and Emma Roberts as high school students getting ready to graduate and dealing with the usual issues of grades, parents, friends and falling in love. Highmore is a bit of a fatalist. He believes the opening statement, but do you? Let's take a look. Do we live alone? I'm sure we all feel alone at various times in our lives, but do we really live alone. Certainly, we have friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives, children, other family members and co-workers. Sometimes even when we have the most people in our lives, we feel the most alone. We're lacking something - a connection, a bond, someone who understands what we're going through at that particular time in our lives. Do we die alone? Pretty much. Many of us will outlive our spouses. Some will even outlive their children, which is always tragic. Even if we're surrounded by loved ones when we die, we do in fact go off to Heaven or wherever we go completely by ourselves. Is everything else just an illusion? I don't think so. Unless you're David Copperfield or Criss Angel, I don't think everything else is an illusion. Some people do live their lives in their own world completely out of touch with reality, so I guess in a sense, they are living an illusion. But if it's real to them, does that make a difference? Who are we to tell someone else if their thoughts and beliefs are real or an illusion? If it's THEIR reality, is that enough? Is learning the art of getting by enough? Or should we strive for something more? Simply getting by doesn't seem like a very rewarding or enjoyable life. What do YOU think?

Hamlet 2 Be or Not to Be - That Is the Question

"Hamlet 2" stars Steve Coogan as a wannabe actor, who's appeared in a series of embarrassing commercials, but takes a job as a high school theater teacher to pay the bills. In his mind, it's a temporary situation. The movie starts off posing the question "Where do dreams go to die"? In this movie, out on DVD, dreams apparently go to Tucson to die. But is that where they truly are buried? You'll have to see the movie to find out, but let's talk about that. People dream of being actors, rock stars, astronauts, but at what point do you throw in the towel? Not everyone can become a famous actor, not everyone can become a legendary rock star, not everyone can walk on the moon. While some try harder than others and really attempt to make their dreams come true, others just sit back and wait for it to happen. Some set goals for themselves - if I'm not a series regular on a sitcom by the age of 30, then I'll go to law school and become a lawyer. If I'm not making a decent living as a musician by the time I'm 35, I'll become a music teacher. But what about those people, who are 40, still struggling to pay their rent and still clinging to the hope that one day, they will make it? People say if you follow your dream and do what you love, it will work out, but will it? Does it always work out for everyone? It just doesn't seem possible. Los Angeles is full of people, who moved there to be famous. It's also full of broken dreams and bitterness. So, I want to know what YOU think. When should people take a dose of reality and say "Ya know what? I gave it a try and it didn't work out. What are my other options? Maybe I can make a living at something else that will make me happy enough and do what I TRULY love in my spare time." DISCUSS. Thanks.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and in the Fountain of Youth

Ahoy, mateys! Today, we're talking about Johnny Depp's latest quest - to find the fountain of youth. Penelope Cruz joins the popular franchise in the latest, "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides". Finding the fountain of youth, huh? My initial thought was "Yeah! Wouldn't that be awesome? I could feel and look young forever and ever". But then, I really thought about it and changed my mind. While I loved childhood and I REALLY loved college, I decided that I'd like to experience ALL stages of life. Being carefree as a child was incredible... accomplishing things as an adult has been rewarding... but I wouldn't want to trade one for the other. I want to experience marriage, kids AND growing old. Yes, that's right. Retirement sounds kind of nice right about now. Spending time with my grandchildren? Fantastic! Being one of the oldest people around and being able to talk about how life used to be, not simply because I read about it, but because I lived it? All that sounds simply divine to me. Plus, if you were the only one who found the fountain of youth and all your friends and family were growing old without you, wouldn't that be awful? I think it would be. C'mon, you scallywags. This is when you weigh in! What do you think?

Just Friends? Are You Sure About That?

It's time to talk about a rental, one that's been out for a few years now. "Just Friends" stars Ryan Reynolds as a fat kid in high school, who's in love with his best friend, Amy Smart. At a graduation party, he decides to finally tell his long-time love that he is, in fact, in love with her, but she responds by saying "I love you... like a brother". OUCH! So, what does he do? He gets skinny (and hot), moves to Hollywood, becomes a ladies man and becomes a successful music executive. Flash forward ten years when he gets stuck in his Jersey hometown around Christmastime and runs into Smart. He loses all his confidence and starts acting like the overweight, dorky kid from high school. OK, so "just friends". You've heard the term a million times. "Me and so and so? Oh no, we're just friends." But if you've ever seen "When Harry Met Sally", you know that men and women can't ever really be friends, because one of them always wants to be with the other. Often times, when that person admits it, the two stop being friends all together... but other times, the two end up being a great couple, because they knew each other as friends first. You never know what will happen. So, do you risk it all telling that person knowing that you could lose him or her forever or do you go on living a bit of an untruth just so you can keep that person in your life? Has this happened to you? Care to share your experience? And here's something else to ponder, there's a recurring theme in the movie that says if you're just friends, you will go to LUNCH with that person. If he or she thinks it's a date, you'll go to DINNER. I admit, if I'm trying to keep it on a friendly basis, I feel like lunch is safer. Dinner gets a little riskier. Thoughts on that? Either way, next time you say "oh, we're just friends", think about if that statement REALLY is true.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Let's Meet at Midnight in Paris

When you think of time travel, you don't initially think of Woody Allen, but maybe that's what we've been missing. Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard and a fab cast of so many others take us to another time in the City of Light, so that got me thinking. Which era would you travel to if you could? Of course, we never think the decade is that fantastic when we're living in it, but once we have time to get away from it a bit, we sometimes want to return. 1980s, anyone? Ahhhhhh, those were some good years!!! I've always thought I belonged in the 50s - poodle skirts, a convertible T-bird, hanging at the malt shop - oh yeah, I could get used to that. Everything was so perfect then, wasn't it? I know, I know, on the outside maybe, but I don't think I'd have a problem living in Pleasantville. What about you guys? Pick your favorite era and tell us about it. Why do you think you'd fit in better then? Do tell!

Super 8 Gets a Super 10

Yes, once again it's been a very long time since I've written. Sadly, that's what happens when you host, produce and write a five day a week national t.v. show. Though I've seen a million movies in the last few months (o.k., maybe hundreds of thousands!), I have not been able to share with you... until now. "Super 8" brought me back to a time that I feel needs to make a comeback. The neighborhood kids spend their summer making a super 8 movie about zombies. Of course, there's a whole lot of other stuff mixed in that I won't reveal, because it's a shhhhhhhhhhh... secret! But remember the days when kids would ride their bikes around town, play outside and use their imaginations? I miss that. Nowadays, kids are so stuck to their computers and video games... and don't get me wrong, they have worth for sure, but can't we find a balance? One hour a day on the computer and then head outside? Or even if the weather's bad and you have to stay inside, why not trade technology for some construction paper and watercolors, a journal and a pen or an instrument and some sheet music. We need creativity to continue in this world... and we have to start with the youngins'. Perhaps a nice start for your family would be to head to the theater and see "Super 8". That way, you can capture the imagination that J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg had as kids and continue to bring to the big screen for our enjoyment.