THE ABSENCE OF LOVE DOES not necessarily mean that the empty space has been filled in with hate. Until the heart has grown up its loves tend to be relatives, friends and inanimate objects. It is not until one crosses over the border into true love where hate may become a future player. I have, as I am sure many of you, experienced a love shared that comes to an end. Not the type where both parties have agreed to move on, I am talking where one person breaks trust with the other. This is where hate can take over; but I am getting ahead of myself. As far as I am concerned anyone who can experience love will live I believe a more satisfying life. It is so much easier to love than hate someone and love is different for everyone. Do you remember the first time you went out on a date? It can be a scary and exhilarating experience all at the same time. DATING SOMEONE USED TO BE A ritual where 2 people would have to meet face to face; unless of course it was a blind date, but even then each person’s 1st contact (such a Star Trek comment) would be a face to face encounter. I am guessing for some of you this is a foreign concept? With the introduction of the internet, dating has taken on a whole new persona. For some their comfort is getting to learn about a person before committing to meet them; others may have specific ideas on what would create a comfortable environment. I remember in school when everyone started or attempted to date someone. There were some students who were interested in the person they wanted to go out with on a date. And there were some who would settle for anyone or almost anyone to date just so they would not be perceived as being different. Ahh, different; now there is a word most people do not want to take on as a label for themselves. Now here is the funny thing, what one considers different may be the exact thing someone else finds attractive. Plus I like to say, “Different from what?” When it comes to love of the heart, there really is very little difference from person to person. BURDENED WITH A DEEP SECRECT Simon Spier, played by Nick Robinson (Jurassic World, The Kings of Summer), felt he was the only one. It was not until he heard about someone’s posted comments that he felt he could experience something his friends had felt. This dramatic romantic comedy also starred Josh Duhamel (Safe Haven, Transformers franchise) as Jack Spier, Jennifer Garner (Mother’s Day, Danny Collins) as Emily Spier, Alexandra Shipp (Straight Outta Compton, X-Men: Apocalypse) as Abby Suso and Logan Miller (Before I Fall, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past) as Martin Addison. For a coming of age story I felt this script did it justice. There was an easy blend of drama and comedy that the cast convincingly portrayed. I did feel some scenes were farfetched or cheesy but all in all the writers tried to maintain a realistic setting as they gave each character their own issues. High school already comes with its own potholes and I enjoyed the way the cast made their way through the obstacles. As a side note I was surprised by the crowd’s reactions to this film. They all seemed to be into the story; in fact, at one point the 2 young adults or teenagers (it was hard to tell in the dark) next to me were crying what I think were tears of joy. This film is not so different from other similar movies; however, it does a better than average job in telling its story.
TENSION could be felt in the air, at least by me, as I walked into the company’s lunchroom. It was not a big room, only accommodating a few tables and chairs. Sitting down next to a couple of employees, I joined in on the conversation taking place. While we were eating and talking I did notice 2 employees whose way of conversing was stilted. They each would participate but I noticed they never made eye contact with each other, even if the topic of conversation related to one of them. The other employees around the table did not seem to notice or if they did they were not fazed by it. If you ever sat around a group of people and one person had an attitude, you would feel it. I could not understand what was going on as there was this “stale” dead air in the room when either of these 2 employees said something. SEVERAL weeks later, long after I forgot about those two peculiar employees in the lunchroom, a co-worker was talking to me and made a joke about one of those employees from that time. She could tell I did not understand the joke and asked me if I knew the story about those 2 people from the lunchroom. When I told her no she informed me the 2 used to be married to each other, making it sound like it was common knowledge. Obviously it was not that common because I had no idea they were married at one time. Replaying as much as I could remember about the conversation we had back then I could at least see where the topic could be an uncomfortable one for the divorced couple. I asked my co-worker why they were divorced; she told me about the rumors some people were saying about the former couple. From what she told me I was amazed either of them could work in the same company as their ex-spouse. It is funny having that little bit of unexpected knowledge has changed most of my interactions with either employee. I could say the same thing about what I found out in this latest installment of the sci-fi franchise. BATTLE after battle, war after war; there must be a reason why Earth will not be left alone by these Transformers. Could there be a solution to once and for all rid our world of this destruction? This action adventure starred Mark Wahlberg (Patriot’s Day, The Gambler) as Cade Yeager, Anthony Hopkins (Red Dragon, The Elephant Man) as Sir Edmund Burton and Josh Duhamel (When in Rome, Las Vegas-TV) as Colonel William Lennox. Within a short period of time I realized the script and the story to this film was utterly ridiculous. The explanations being told about why such and such was happening defied any logic. I know this is a science fiction film, but I still appreciate a good story. The script was a hodgepodge of folklore, fantasy, historical references and an assortment of other components; that I found made one big, long mess of a picture. It also did not help that the movie played for 2 hours and 29 minutes; there was no reason to have such a long film. There needed to be a tight editing job to the script. Also I wished the action scenes had been more distinguishable. With action whirling by it was hard to figure out who or what was going on. I could not wait to escape this picture. There was an extra scene early in the credits.
1 ½ stars
There are some people who are not cut out for the responsibility; for it is a lifetime commitment. I have seen all types of parenting skills; some I have admired, some horrified me. It is curious that we need a license to drive a vehicle, but we do not need one to have a child. I remember a case study we discussed in one of my college psychology classes. A married couple had two sons, where the oldest one committed suicide with a rifle. The following Christmas the parents wrapped the gun up in holiday paper and gave it to their surviving son as a gift. What kind of message do you think the parents were trying to convey to their child? This romantic comedy took a light hearted look at parenting. Katherine Heigl (Knocked Up, The Ugly Truth) and Josh Duhamel (Transformers franchise, When in Rome) played Holly Berenson and Eric Messer; two available single people. They had been fixed up with each other on a blind date that went bad very quickly. Because they each were friends of the married couple who had brought them together, Holly and Eric were still forced to see each periodically. When a tragic accident suddenly took the lives of their friends, Holly and Eric discovered they were the co-guardians of the couple’s infant daughter. The two adults who could barely stand each other now had to share parenting responsibilities in raising little Sophie. How would this work in the best interests of the baby? The idea of the story was a little far-fetched; I mean c’mon, who lists someone as guardian without talking to them first about it? Katherine, Josh and Josh Lucas (American Psycho, A Beautiful Mind) as Dr. Sam, were good in their roles. Instead of tackling some tough issues, the writers took an easy way towards the ending. I also thought the pacing of the movie dragged at times, going through similar scenarios with Sophie. It takes a certain kind of person to raise a child and now I see it takes a particular group of people to bring the story to the big screen.
2 stars — DVD
More times than not, the body can heal quicker from a physical attack than from an emotional one. The body immediately works at repairing itself where the mind tends to absorb the emotional abuse, letting it settle close enough to always be heard. It takes much effort to overcome that strange voice talking from the inner mind. Running away is usually only a temporary option. Such was the case for the main character Katie, played by Julianne Hough (Footloose, Burlesque), who found herself one day in the small coastal town of Southport, North Carolina. Deciding to settle down and leave her past behind, Katie tried to keep to herself even when widowed shop owner Alex, played by Josh Duhamel (Transformers franchise, When in Rome), tried to help her out. Could Katie really leave her old life behind and find happiness in this peaceful place? Adapted from the Nicholas Sparks (The Lucky One, The Notebook) novel that I did not read; I was surprised by the suspenseful opening scenes. Beautifully filmed, Julianne and Josh were okay in their roles as they made a handsome couple. I thought David Lyons (Eat Pray Love, Storm Warning) as Tierney did a better job of acting; his character was creepy. It was possible the script made his role easier, since the rest of the formulaic story was syrupy and rushed in places. The scenes felt forced to me, as if the goal was to get a reaction out of the audience instead of the actors. I found one of the twists in the story to be utterly unnecessary which made me angry enough to lower my rating of this dramatic film. Before I am asked, this movie worked as a date movie. By the end of the film I was physically tired from sitting and unsatisfied emotionally.