THERE ARE CERTAIN EVENTS IN OUR life that we can never let go of or forget. I have a relative who has never liked clowns; whether in person or on television, this relative had a strong reaction the first time she saw a clown. She and her family went one day to a local carnival that came into town, pitching their tents and rides in a nearby neighborhood. They were walking around, checking out all the rides, when a man dressed up as a clown spotted them and started to make his way towards them. Waving his hands in the air while laughing out a “helloooo”, the little girl looked at him and let out a shriek. Before her parents could pick her up and console her, she picked up a rock and threw it at the clown. The rock fell short, but it made the clown stop in his tracks as the little girl ran behind her parents. It took some time to calm their daughter down, deciding it was best to leave the carnival. I am here to tell you that little girl has never forgotten that clown and wants nothing to do with any clowns even up to this day. THAT LITTLE GIRL IS NOT THE only one who carries a fear for something from one’s childhood. One thing I am still afraid of are bats; not the baseball kind, the flying ones. When I was a little boy I was traumatized by a bat that got into our house. I still remember exactly when it happened. It was an early Saturday morning and I was the first one who had woken up. I had gone into the living room to turn on the television, so I could watch Saturday morning cartoons. As I was lying on the floor with my pillow and blanket I heard a sound above my head. It sounded like loose clapping. When I looked up I saw a large, dark thing flying around the upper window panes. I freaked out and let out a scream as I covered my head with my blanket and raced back to my bedroom. My yelling woke up the family as you can imagine. Everyone came running out to look for me. I never saw but heard it took a broom and plastic trash bag to get the bat out of the house. Another thing that has bothered me all these years are louvered closet doors; all because of this movie franchise. IT HAS BEEN 40 YEARS AND a day hasn’t gone by where Laurie Strode, played by Jamie Lee Curtis (Freaky Friday, A Fish Called Wanda), hasn’t thought about the man who almost killed her. Her nightmare isn’t about to end just yet. This horror thriller also starred Judy Greer (27 Dresses, 13 Going on 30) as Karen, Andi Matichak (Miles, Evol) as Allyson, Haluk Bilginer (Ben-Hur, The International) as Dr. Sartain and Will Patton (The Postman, The Punisher) as Officer Hawkins. This was one of the best sequels I have seen this year. I thought the writers created a believable chapter for this film franchise. There was a mixture of nostalgia, campiness and old school thrills in the story. I feel those who at least remember parts the first movie will better enjoy this picture. There were a few brief bloody scenes, but I appreciated many of them were more suspense filled with visual clues than actual violent gore. I did not expect to enjoy this film as much as I did; for me, I felt most of my emotions were tied into my memories of my life back when I saw the first film. Which probably has kept fueled my dislike of louvered closet doors all these years.
It would be easy for me to say the word “no” is a restrictive word. Instead, I will say it can be constrictive. I am not referring to times where the word “no” is used for safety concerns, like telling the driver not to go down a particular road because the bridge is out or telling a child they cannot play on the outdoor jungle gym because of its rotting wood. When it comes to telling a child or an adult they cannot do something because of someone else’s preconceived notions, I then have an issue with it. I learn by making mistakes; in addition, I feel failing a task provides a blueprint on how to deal with consequences. Let us face it; part of living is dealing with consequences. Why shouldn’t we get practice in dealing with failures and successes? If I piled up all the noes I have been told in my life, like bricks at a construction site, I could build a rather large addition onto my house. In my opinion as long as the possibilities are spelled out, let the individual discover for themselves what their true potential can be. WITH no money, no training, nor legal documentation; four Hispanic high school students formed a robotics club to enter a nationwide NASA sponsored contest. Even though the previous winners came from some of the best Ivy League schools in the country, the 4 students would wind up building something better than just a robot. This movie was based on a true story and had all the markings to be a real inspirational story. I found the casting to be an interesting mix with George Lopez (Valentine’s Day, Balls of Fury) as Fredi Cameron, Marisa Tomei (The Lincoln Lawyer, Parental Guidance) as Gwen and Jamie Lee Curtis (A Fish Called Wanda, True Lies) as the Principal. Including the actors cast as the students, everyone did a decent job of acting. The weak link of this film was the script. I figured there was going to be some humor interjected into the story since George was in it. However, the humor for the most part fell flat. There were times where it was easy to figure out what was going to happen to some of the characters. I even wondered if some of the things really did happen or were they written into the story for dramatic effect. It was a real shame because the true story appeared to be so good; I just wished the writers would have given the characters more levels to delve into and develop. As photos of the real individuals flashed onto the screen I have to tell you I was a bit awestruck. Here were people who despite hearing the word “no” so often in life, did not let it stop them from dreaming.