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Entries in Moday Movie Meme (157)

Monday
Apr222013

Strength, Skyfall and Theme Songs #atozchallenge #Monday #movie #meme

“Let the Skyfall. When it crumbles, we will stand tall. Face it all together.”

British singer Adele penned and performed one of my favorite songs of all time – “Skyfall.” Winner of an Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Original Song, it is the theme to the latest James Bond movie of the same name. I find it especially inspirational because the above lyrics from this tune could be used by anyone as a sort of mantra for getting through tough times.

In the last 60 days, I found out that at least two people I know lost a close family member, two more individuals have been in and out of the hospital for serious health issues and several others have faced technological, legal, financial, physical and personal problems. This isn’t anything new – at any given time we are all dealing with like 99 problems and counting. Just last summer, I met a dude with lung cancer (I think it was in the lungs…it’s been a while, so I forgot the location of the cancer) who told me that he wanted to blow himself away. What does this song have to do with the unrelated difficulties these strangers’ are dealing with? The common ground they have in shared setbacks.

On Saturday this past weekend, someone said to me “At least you woke up this morning,” after I mentioned having a very long and not-so-pleasant week. I’m all too familiar with that saying, as it’s been repeated by many people over the years. In fact, I have developed a rather strong aversion to it because I could never understand the point of it. I always thought “What’s so damn special about waking up in the morning; especially if you’re still in the same predicament (or worse) than you were in yesterday?" Fortunately, I’ve began to realize that I may be looking at it all wrong. The special sauce in waking up in the morning is your ability to get out of or go through your predicament. This can be done even quicker if you learn from someone else who has already done it or is doing it, which is where Adele comes in.

I perceive the lyrics to the “Skyfall” song to be a testament to the fact that no matter what you’re going through, regardless of how bad it is, there is someone else who has either dealt with the same problem or is currently facing it now.

Although the friends and family that many people look to for solace in whatever issues they have, is an awesome source of support, there is also a sense of unity in the fact that you can find strength in strangers.

Men, women and even children whom you would have probably never met otherwise had it not been for you stumbling in life are now a source of strength. This doesn’t just work one way either – you might be a source of support or inspiration for someone and not even know it.

So, maybe that’s what’s so special about waking up in the morning – you just might learn something about someone that makes you glad that you did wake up – or you just might be the person who makes someone else glad that he or she woke up in the morning. I suppose, when you look at it that way, there’s nothing like knowing you have the world on your side to stand tall with when it seems like sky is crumbling down. Keeping on topic, the theme for this week’s Monday Movie Meme is inspired by Adele, Stumbling Blocks and YOU: Inspirational Movie Theme Songs.

Share on your blog or in the comments section, the most inspirational movie theme songs that you ever heard. It would also help if you add why the song(s) inspire you. I already made it clear what one of my top selections for this week’s meme is; now it’s your turn!

What are some of the most inspirational movie theme songs YOU ever heard?

How do YOU cope with the falling skies in your life?

Monday
Apr152013

Movies Made Me Do It #atozchallenge

Movies made me try a mojito cocktail drink once, in Manayunk. Unfortunately, it made me sick, but I still have Michael Bay’s cop action flick “Bad Boys II” starring Will Smith, Martin Lawrence and Gabrielle Union to thank for that.

At least now, I know that mojitos are not for me.

Movies also made me want to visit New Orleans, although, I still haven’t gone and was skeptical about it following Hurricane Katrina. The drama “Eve’s Bayou” starring Lynn Whitfield and crime thriller “Double Jeopardy” starring Ashley Judd and Tommy Lee Jones are the culprits for my interest in that city. I guess you could say that these experiences and desires are cases of life imitating art.

For some time, however, I’ve been wondering about the opposite effect of what happens when art imitates life. What does that look like? Does it manifest in a depressing dramatic piece that makes you want to slit your wrists? Is it an action-adventure flick where the hero wins in the end and everybody goes home happy? Or, does it embody that of a light slapstick comedy where characters don’t take life too seriously? Maybe it shows itself in the form of a horror or thriller film that keeps you on the edge of your seats and no matter how much you want to look away, something about it keeps you willing to be there for the ride. So, why aren’t some of us as excited about our lives as we are movies?

If art imitates life at times, be it either fantasy or reality, we’re the ones inspiring these very stories. Yet, we are less enthusiastic about going about our day-to-day activities than those of fictional characters in imaginary worlds. For those who find this observation hard to believe, I ask of you just one simple question – If YOU could step outside of yourself for a minute and then watched the movie trailer or preview of your life, would you want to go see the full feature? If the answer is yes, then kudos to you for living a fulfilled and exciting life – feel free to share your tips, tricks and/or secrets on how the rest of us can follow suit. If the answer is no, or even if it’s that you’d rather wait for it to come out on home video or cable, then it’s time to do some serious auditing of why that is and then what’s it going to take for you to change that.

Many people can’t wait until opening weekend to see the latest release that’s had the most buzz or is featuring their favorite actors. We camp out for hours on sidewalks, sometimes in unsavory weather conditions, to be first in line for the good seats at midnight showings of “Twilight: New Moon.” We order advance tickets for “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” because we’d be damned if we show up to the theater and it’s all sold-out. We opt for IMAX 3D because standard definition no longer cuts it when “Iron Man,” “The Dark Knight” and their friends are saving the world with super powers and fancy gadgets.

We even plan ladies nights out for “Sex and the City 2” and dress to the nines, like it’s the friggin’ high school prom – despite the fact that no matter how big of a fan you are of Carrie and her gang, it wasn’t even that good. When those two hours have passed, the end-credits on these movies begin to scroll and the theater lights to up, we feel entertained, satisfied – maybe even a little complete. Then, we go on back to our own lives -- where the thrills are few and far in between, the laughter is nowhere to be found, the camaraderie among friends and strangers alike is long gone and the freedom we felt to take our days by the horns and explore all that awaits us to the fullest of our abilities, just dissipates into thin air.

Of course, I’ll be quick to make it clear that there is nothing wrong with watching movies. I want everyone to watch as many movies (including mine) as they can in whatever amount of time is given to them.

When we start to use film as our constant escape from a life that doesn’t measure up to our expectations or quest for happiness or hopes and dreams or whatever it is that we’re seeking, then there is something wrong with that picture. You don’t need Tyler Perry or Madea to find religion, if that’s what you want in your path. You don’t have to watch “Waiting for Superman” or “Won’t Back Down” before getting involved with a local education system that you’re not happy with. You don’t have to replay “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” or “The Hangover” in your head to live vicariously through their vacations and pastimes.

Consider how sad it is that many people wait until a release date to have fun – as if it’s the only time that they think they can or deserve to enjoy their time; when there is no guarantee that they will even be here tomorrow. The thrills of life do not reside solely in two-hour blocks of Movie Theater showtimes. If we want to be amused, inspired or mesmerized by an experience, we must go out and create it for ourselves at every opportunity that we receive to do so. It would be awesome if one day, many of us lived the kind of lives that someone would want to make a movie about. That would be some kind of life – one that film producers and/or directors reflect on during television interviews and then tell reporters that YOU made them do it!

On another note, the theme for this week’s Monday Movie Meme is loosely based on today’s topic: Going Places. Share on your blog or in the comments section, movies that made YOU want to do something that you never did before. I’ve already listed some of my selections in the above A to Z Challenge post. Now, it’s YOUR turn!

What movies made YOU want to do something you never did before?

If YOU saw a movie trailer or preview of your life, would you buy a ticket to see the full length feature?

Monday
Apr082013

Monday Movie Meme – Give Me a G for… #atozchallenge

My Art History teacher once said “Life sucks and then you die – but you get to pay some taxes in between.” It is a statement that always makes me laugh because I’ve replayed that classroom lesson back in my head quite a few times since then.

Anyone who has gone through the brunt of some of life’s troubles such as disaster, illness and related woes would agree that, yes, it does suck.

 

Let’s not forget, however, the one truism that we can always count on in life whether we want to or not – it could always suck more!

You do not have to look far to realize that on any given day, you’re in a much better position than someone else, somewhere, who would kill to walk a mile – maybe even literally -- in your shoes. While everybody’s situation is different, there are usually options for finding an upside in the circumstances, thoughts, people or feelings that often bring you down.

It’s a shame that most of the time, it takes a funeral or the learning of someone else’s plight for us to realize that in some ways, we pretty much have it made – at least compared to worse-case scenarios. Still, looking in from the outside gives us a glimpse of what it’s like to really live a life that sucks. Then maybe we would start to appreciate the small edge that we do have, even if it’s a small one.

Do you want to trade your friends or family for a new set because they aren’t treating you well or showing you respect? Do you think they’re annoying? Mean? Embarrassing? Careless? Well, at least they’re not like throwing televisions or other large electronics at you like Precious’ mother is doing in Lee Daniels’ drama, “Precious” starring Monique, Paula Patton, Gabourey Sidibe and Lenny Kravitz. You’re also lucky that they didn’t lock you up in a cage and act like you didn’t exist, the way King Louis XIV’s twin brother does in the action adventure film “Man in the Iron Mask” starring Leonardo DiCaprio. You also might want to keep in mind that the people in your life aren’t deliberately trying to get you killed like Faramir’s father, Lord Denethor, is in “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.”

Do you hate your job and or co-workers? Do the administrators or teaching staff at your school stressing you out? At least they aren’t black mailing you, following you and putting wiretaps on your every move the way a Harvard Law school grad’s employer and colleagues are doing in the thriller “The Firm” starring Tom Cruise and Gene Hackman. By now, you get the idea that whatever misfortunes have come your way, they can be better tackled – or at least managed well -- with a more frequent practice of one thing: Gratitude.

Share on your blog or in the comments section, ONE movie you can think of that features people showing gratitude. Be sure to link back to this post and visit the blogs of fellow Monday Movie Meme or A to Z Challenge participants. Here is my selection for this week’s Gratitude theme.

Gran Torino

Walt’s neighbors leave flowers and baskets of food on his front porch after he chases away a local gang who attacked their son.

What movie can YOU think of that features a form of gratitude from one person to another?

Can YOU describe one of the most poignant “it could always suck more” moments that you ever had?