Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Sly: The Next Generation

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
This weekend was pretty chill… not gonna lie… basically it was a bunch of running around for groceries & such… and then Saturday night we had a wonderful Portuguese dinner with Izzy’s Aunts and some of their friends. We ate suppas… which apparently some Portuguese sweet bread with roast beef, cabbage and au jus over the bread… and we also had Easter Bread… and some of our amazing homebrew. Good times…
Sunday morning, we then met up with a few at a small restaurant called Joy of Eating in Vallejo for a Portuguese breakfast… which was very similar to an American breakfast but with sweeter bread. I had chicken fried steak with scrambled eggs & potatoes with scallions. Mmm mmm mmm…
Aside from that, not a whole lot to report… we relaxed a bit… watched some shows… did that whole thing. The movie we watched though was a great little kids flick called “Song of the Sea” which is an Irish animated tale from director Tomm Moore (“Secret of Kells”) and the voice talents of… well, honestly the only I knew was Brendan Gleeson. Anyway, the story is about a family that mans the lighthouse out in the country… it starts with a pregnant mother (you know where this is going, right?) reading a story to a young boy… and then there’s a sweet family moment, putting the kid to bed… and then UGH time for the baby to come out… and the mother is never seen again… but the sad father has a little girl named Saoirse… who the little boy now kinda hates because… you know, this baby took my mother away. Rrrrr! Six years later, the little girl discovers that she has some mystical powers… and the stories go from there… but all I can say… is go f**king see this movie! With your kids! It’s a great kids flick… the animation is absolutely amazing & inventive… voice acting is okay… seriously, it’s pretty sweet, go see this movie now. I’ll say it again, rent it & check out this flick with your family… it’s cute, funny & everything that you want in a kid’s flick. Enjoy! You’re welcome!
Tuesday night, we had some training for a big Meals on Wheels event this weekend… and because I had done it a few times before, guess who was nominated to be a captain for the event? And guess who found out about it at the training last night? Not that it’s a huge deal or anything… or that I’m really ill-prepared, because I have the utmost confidence in my competence… but yeah, odd that I volunteer to help out & it’s like “Hey, you’re taking this over, is that cool?” “Ugh… sure? Yeah… so… anything changed since last year.” “Oh yeah, a whole new thing… but you’ll figure it out & teach others.” “Yup… can’t fail!” Anyway, we went through it last night & yeah, it’s gonna be a great event to raise a few million bucks for a great charity!
After training, Izzy & I watched “Find Me Guilty” starring thespian Vin Diesel as a low-level gangster who represents himself during the longest-lasting RICO case in the history of the United States with the Mafia… and yes, it’s based on a true story. This movie is directed by Sidney Lumet (most famous for the classic “12 Angry Men”) and also stars the likes of Peter Dinklage (“Game of Thrones”) and Ron Silver (bad guy in “Timecop”). The premise of the story is that Tony (Diesel) is a guy who’s serving a 30 year prison sentence for drug trafficking… when he’s brought into a conspiracy case against the Mafia, basically because the state thinks that they can get him to be a witness on their side in return for a reduced sentence… but they’re wrong, Tony won’t turn on his friends. While everybody else on the defense is lawyering up, he decides to represent himself since… well, his last lawyer took $250,000 of his money to completely screw the pooch & get him 30 years. More on the lead actor later… but I just want to mention that Peter Dinklage and Ron Silver are amazing in this movie. Dinklage always is... as Izzy put it last night during his speeches, “What’s happening is totally boring… but he has my attention with every word.” Or something like that… not sure if that’s an exact quote. Basically, he’s able to keep you captivated during otherwise boring blah blah blah that you see in most courtroom movies. Ron Silver also does a great job as the judge… like where it actually stands out in a few scenes, which was kind of unexpected. Basically this movie is a little odd (hence why it wasn’t a large release) as a lot of the context & music choices make it seem like a f**king black comedy… which it kind of is at times… but it’s also a courtroom drama… and a heartfelt drama most of the time… so it’s got a really weird feeling throughout. Overall though, I’d say check it out… it may just blow your mind… but probably not.

Okay… I’ll admit it… I’ve never really seen Vin Diesel as a real actor. I’ve mentioned before that he’s basically the Sylvester Stallone of our generation… like a caricature of what an action star should be, more than a real thespian. However, I’m starting to realize a few things about that comparison that is quite prophetic… and also reassuring for his career. They may be two of the smartest mother f**kers in Hollywood. I mean… think about it. Okay, Sly back in the late 70’s had what very well could’ve been a one-hit wonder in “Rocky” that he turned into six (and counting with “Creed” later this year & let’s face it “Grudge Match” is another Rocky) movies based on that fairly one-note character… the semi-likeable, dim-witted, ultra-motivated boxer. Not only that, he then also had the “Rambo” franchise… and “The Expendables”… that’s AT LEAST THREE TRILOGIES!!! Including two in the 80s! That itself is commendable… and the man can barely talk! Let’s not forget one-off masterpieces like “Demolition Man”, “Tango & Cash”, “Over the Top” and all that. Occasionally he tries some more dramatic stuff like “Copland” & something like whatever “Oscar” was supposed to be… but he knows his strengths & has now basically rebooted his career in his SIXTIES to continue his money-making empire with “Expendables” and “Bullet to the Head” and stuff like that. It’s f**king insane! Vin Diesel… seems to be modeling his career after the same kind of thing… but with a few key differences… first off, he can actually speak. Yes, the voice is deep & gravely… but he also has the ability to annunciate when needed, hence voice over work like Groot and just less parody & frustration from the movie viewing public.  Here’s food for thought… the original Rocky won Best Picture and had a sh*t ton of sequels… and nobody watched “Rocky Balboa” except me. Conversely, the original Fast & Furious was so critically acclaimed that VIN DIESEL DIDN’T EVEN STAR IN THE SEQUEL & the 3rd movie went straight to DVD… and yet #7 in the serious is breaking every Spring release record and grossed a billion dollars in the past ten days! The Riddick trilogy is his Rambo… in the dark. “The Pacifier” is his “Stop! Or my Mom Will Shoot” but Vin’s was actually kind of funny. He pulled out some great acting in this “Fine Me Guilty” flick which I argue that Sly really hasn’t been able to do in any of his films. All I’m saying is that this guy could be one of the smartest guys in Hollywood… and we’ve all underestimated him because there’s no way that he can look the way he does AND be super-intelligent… like Stallone… like Schwarzenegger… like The Rock. All I’m saying is… keep an eye on this guy… he’s making studios stacks of cash… he’s social media savvy… and he & Terry Crews could be governors of your state sooner than you think.
This weekend is going to be fun… we have Learn to Homebrew Day this Saturday & Sunday we’ll be helping out at the Meals on Wheels event! Lots of good times! Have a great day everybody!

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