I HAVE NOTHING BUT ADMIRATION for someone who spent their entire life working to achieve one goal. During a social engagement I was talking with one of the guests who happened to be a plumber. From the conversation we were having, he expressed how he always wanted to be a plumber ever since he was a little boy. While the other kids were playing at the public swimming pool, he was in it trying to figure out where the water was going in the vents by the side of the pool walls. Another time his parents caught him trying to take apart the kitchen sink and drain with his children’s tools. I found it interesting to meet someone who had only one goal and did not care what other people said about him. He did say his parents were not thrilled that he dropped out of college so he could devote all his time to learning his craft. Seriously, one must give him credit for knowing what he wanted to do and then pursue it to make it happen. How many of us wind up in a job that we either dislike or have no investment in it? THINKING BACK TO THE DIFFERENT paths I was on for a career choice, it amazes me that I settled into a position that nurtures me. At one time I wanted to be a full-time fitness professional; like the people you see on the infomercials who have trademarked an exercise method. While that was going on I still had dreams of being either a writer, psychiatrist or veterinarian. All of this superseded my earlier career hope of being an international DJ. Remembering all of this, all I can say is I certainly had eclectic tastes. Do I have any regrets that I did not achieve one of these as my sole profession? Not really, as you can see I had varied interests back then; I never devoted all my time towards one path. On the plus side I presently continue to get much joy out of teaching fitness/yoga classes and writing these movie reviews. I realize not everyone experiences joy from what they do, so I am quite grateful. And if and when the time comes where I can no longer do one of them I cannot imagine I will feel lost. These things are only a part of me, they do not define all of me; unlike the main character in this dramatic, film festival winner. AFTER A SERIOUS HEAD INJURY Brady Blackburn, played by newcomer Brady Jandreau, had to find a way to redefine himself since he was being told he could not do what he loved. Based on a true story this film was made up of newcomers; there was Tim Jandreau as Wayne Blackburn and Lilly Jandreau as Lilly Blackburn. Written and directed by Chloe Zhao (The Atlas Mountains, Songs My Brothers Taught Me), I was at first thrown by this movie. I wasn’t sure if I was watching a documentary or a drama. There was a simple pureness to everything in this picture. From the landscapes to the script to the acting; there was no additional fillers. I cannot say there was action in the story; it was more like a slow burn. Add in the close-up shots and they only intensified the emotional level which I found compelling. The sport depicted in this picture was something I truthfully never gave much thought to before; however, I believe this was an honest and real depiction of these riders. I guess I have only seen the top players on television since this story showed a whole different side. The story to me was haunting and I can only imagine how it must feel being told you cannot do what you love.
3 ¼ stars
That moment when a person first feels love for another person takes place at different times for each of us. A mixture of intuition, common sense and infatuation play a part on the timing when the switch gets flipped and we fall in love. There are some people who need time; they have a long distance racecourse type of method for falling in love, where the person has to pass checkpoints to earn further passage. Now other individuals can fall in love with another person right at the beginning, first sight. No matter which way it happens, if that kernel of love is not nourished it will never survive. As for myself, not only do I believe love has to be nurtured and fed, I feel when it is strong it can overcome many obstacles. Having had my share of long distance relationships, the only way I was able to maintain them was due to the strength of my love. The same could be said for the past relationships that were local too. With my hectic schedule of working and teaching, it can be a challenge to find free time to maintain and further grow a relationship. I used to date a stage manager who had a schedule opposite of mine; where I had free time on the weekends, they had weekdays open. It took some creative thinking to try and find times we could get together. The relationship did not last long, due to both of us not feeling a deeper connection to make those compromises one needs to make if they want to make the relationship thrive. DRAGGED to a bull riding competition college student Sophia Danko, played by Britt Robertson (Dan in Real Life, Delivery Man), was not enjoying it until contestant Luke Collins, played by Scott Eastwood (Fury, Gran Torino), gave her his cowboy hat. With Sophia about to move back to New York to pursue her love of art with an internship at an art gallery, she could not see how dating Luke would fit into her plans. Based on Nicholas Sparks’ (The Notebook, The Lucky One) novel, this romantic drama was dead on arrival. The main issue was the poorly done acting; Scott was stiff and wooden. In fact, the only one that came close to being believable was Alan Alda (Tower Heist, The Aviator) as Ira Levinson. It was a shame because I did not mind the story within the story aspect to this film, though both story lines were predictable. Also, the script needed a rewrite to get rid of the manipulative scenes that clearly were done to pull at the viewers’ hearts. Sitting in the theater being bored was no way to try and get me to fall in love with this movie.
1 3/4 stars