EVERYTHING THAT ONE IS BORN WITH works together to achieve a harmonious state throughout the body. This is part of my belief system, that we can achieve this harmonious state when we are in balance. I know when I am stressed I usually can figure out what is causing it. With the schedule I keep there are multiple opportunities for me to get stressed out. I find myself thinking about what I need to do instead of being present in the moment. When I am in this state of mind I am much more forgetful, which in turn causes me further stress. It feels like I am jogging in one of those hamster wheels that goes around and round without going anywhere; there is no down time for me. To get back in balance I would need to stop overbooking myself and take some “me” time. The body and mind are so connected; when one is lacking something the other tries to compensate. Well known examples of this would be Ludwig van Beethoven and Helen Keller. Though he lost his hearing his mind filled in the tones he was putting together for his musical pieces. Helen was blind and deaf but her mind and sense of touch for signing were extraordinary. RECENTLY I WAS OBSERVING A martial arts class. One of the participants had underdeveloped arms; they were small for their body size and looked as if they stopped growing at the elbows. I watched this member as the class was put through a variety of exercises. It was incredible to see how the lack of arm strength was made up by the amazing leg strength they incorporated into their one on one exercises. I know it is a cliché to say “when there is a will there is a way;” but in the case of this student, their mind and body found a way for them to be an active participant in the class. I am in awe when a person is denied one sense or body part and another one fills in the gap. People who are blind tend to have exceptional hearing capabilities. Or those confined to wheelchairs usually have powerful upper body strength. In the case of the main character in this biographical dramatic comedy, I started out not being sympathetic towards him; however, as the story unfolded I found myself going with him on his journey of discovery. A NIGHT OF PARTYING AND DRINKING led to a horrific accident that would change the life of John Callahan, played by Joaquin Phoenix (The Master, You Were Never Really Here), in unimaginable ways. Based on a true story this movie also starred Jonah Hill (War Dogs, True Story) as Donnie, Rooney Mara (Carol, Side Effects) as Annu, Jack Black (The D Train, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle) as Dexter and newcomer Tony Greenhand as Tim. The fact that I went from being an unsympathetic viewer to admiring Joaquin’s character tells you how impressed I was with his acting skills. He has an eclectic body of work already and each character he does always leaves me amazed at his acting abilities. The rest of the actors were not slouches by any means; they were wonderful. I felt the director handled not only them gracefully but did a beautiful job with the script. Nothing came across as preachy or inspirational; the director took what was a tragic event and found a way to mine the humor and sadness in equal portions. As for the story, the theme may have a familiar feeling to the viewer; however, the execution of it makes it worthwhile to watch. If for nothing else this story will show you not to give up hope because when you lose one thing, something else will take its place.
The first woman in history to have five #1 singles off of one album is a major accomplishment. Even in this era of auto-tuning, the fact remains Katy moved records. With this documentary I was hoping to get a deeper glimpse into the life of this daughter of two pastors. Seated in the audience, I scanned the crowd, noticing the majority of people were 4 to 12 year old girls with their parents. It seemed odd that the younger kids would be into Katy Perry, but with her cartoon looks and sugar pop songs, I guess it made sense. For me, this film failed in providing anything meaningful; for the most part, it played out like an extended music video. To Katy’s credit, she is devoted to her fans and appears to put on the best concert each and every time. I looked for it, but I believe Katy sings live and for that I commend her. When it comes to concerts I am old school, expecting the artist to be singing live and I know that is not the case these days. Usually when the singer has complicated dance steps they are lip synching. As you will see, Katy kept her moves more basic and simple. There was nothing special in this movie. Scenes were snippets of places and times; I never felt Katy was letting her hair down, so to speak. So she was not wearing make-up, big deal. I found the entire movie experience bland and fluffy. And if it wasn’t enough having a noisy audience, this was the movie where I had the altercation with the father; who let his two daughters scream, cry, talk and whine. You have been warned.
1 2/3 stars