Movies: Rapid Review “The New Mutants”

Starring: Maisie Williams, Charlie Heaton, Anya Talylor-Joy, Blu Hunt, Henry Zaga, Alice Braga

The New Mutants is listed as a horror film and directed by Josh Boone. It is a superhero movie that was shot and is paced more like a horror flick than an action film. With its troubled past and excessively long delays in being released, it is easy to dismiss this low-budget slice of comic book entertainment brought to the silver screen. But I wouldn’t be so quick to ignore what it offers. Despite its small cast and extremely limited filming locations, it is a fun little popcorn flick that deserves some attention. From the opening scene and voice over about an old Indian legend, the film builds quickly and doesn’t spend much time going deep into any of its characters; especially the primary antagonist, Cecilia Reyes played by Alice Braga. This isn’t necessarily a negative though. At times I wished it would have dived a bit deeper behind each character and the sinister organization puppeteering Cecilia’s actions, but the speed at which the film moves keeps you interested and eager to see where it is headed.

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Movies: Rapid Review

Rapid Review: Unhinged (2020)

Staring: Caren Pistorius, Russell Crowe, Gabriel Bateman

Unhinged is billed as a thriller directed by Derrick Borte with a screenplay by Carl Ellsworth. From the start of the film’s credits all the way through the final scene the movie emphasizes, if not a little too blatantly, that our world has become increasingly violent and impatient. Russell Crowe does a great job playing a mentally unstable “forgotten” man in a society that doesn’t have time to recognize the efforts of those that have worked and bled to make ends meet. With a gradual build for the first fifteen to twenty minutes the film lines up actions and characters in a way that foreshadows the events that follow in the second half of the first act all the way through to the credit roll. At times the foreshadowing is really “in your face” and can detract from the overall enjoyment of the film. Well-paced and perfectly edited, Unhinged is a worthy first movie in the post shut-down world of cinema going. Though it is billed as a thriller there are a few moments of pure horror-like pacing with added jump scares to pull a hearty “oh sh*t” from the audience; I certainly shouted it a couple times. Fear not it was under my breath.

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Motivational Thoughts: Challenge

Recently I started a journey to improve my health and physical fitness, and by extension, my overall appearance. This has been a journey I’ve taken before and have had obstacles jump in the way. Some physical ailments, some injuries, and some mental/emotional roadblocks. I’ve struggled with my appearance most of my life; “you’re too skinny”, “you’re not skinny enough”, “you’re too short”, “you’re balding”. And none of those are as critical as my own self-talk. For all the discussions of “body positivity”, there is a surprising lack of leeway for men. Men are supposed to be strong, unemotional, big biceps, six-pack abs, and chiseled jawline. Then again, men are supposed to be emotional enough not to be an a$$hole, total “dad-bod”, nurturing enough to be a good father, and still need that chiseled jawline. This is separate of the requirements related to masculinity.

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Motivational Thoughts: U R > U Think!

Today’s “Quote of the Day” over on my FB Author’s page was about confidence and comparing yourself with others. It really got me to thinking about my own self-confidence and how easily it is smashed; normally because of my own sabotaging self-talk. But with that thinking, I was able to reduce the whirlwind of my insecurities to an easily understandable southern breeze. (weird metaphor I know, but just go with it)

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Walking Within the Colors

The faint vibration of the jet idling on the tarmac waiting to taxi down the runway was lulling to Chasin. The rhythm of it and the targeted breeze of his vent hitting him on the top of his head made him feel sleepy. If he could have let himself go, he would have faded off quickly. The days leading up to this moment, the day before he was getting married to Einar, were packed full of plans and last-minute adjustments, and the break he had now to chill was food to his soul. The idea to get married in Tennessee in late October was his, but Einar loved it; he’d always wanted to see the fall colors in the U.S. The captain’s voice broke his thoughts momentarily, but not understanding what was being said, he drifted off again into his own thoughts.

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LGBTQ+ Short Story: Walking Through the Blossoms

This was the trip Einar had been looking forward to for the better part of three months. It had felt like eternity passed since the last time he was able to travel. The more he was able to venture to different places and see different environments the more inspiration he felt. Poetry flowed from him freely, and he loved it. But there was nothing going to best the inspiration he felt, the joy he experienced, when he would finally see Chasin’s face again. Iceland was a fairytale come to life when the two had stumbled upon one another, but that was nearly a year ago. Berlin was confirmation that the two really felt something special when they were together. His mind wandered off to the night they made love in the hotel. The city lights sparkled in the large window of their room like stars. Music played softly in the background, and the mild scent of vanilla and cedarwood filled the room. They had showered together and used some off-brand soap they had never heard of before, but it smelled amazing. Clumsily falling onto the full-size mattress throwing their towels to the floor next to the pile of winter jackets and long underwear, they held their kiss. The room disappeared, and they were floating, suspended in the euphoria of what they felt. The emotions that stirred every time Chasin held his hand was a feeling he never wanted to be without again, and he knew it.

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LGBTQ+ Short Story: Walking Among the Snowflakes

The sun had barely broken past the buildings behind me, but it had already cast its pinkish morning hue to everything around me. I gazed, unaware of my surroundings, at the chiseled and crumbling pieces of the Berlin wall that remained as part of a memorial. It was, as it still is, difficult for me to understand the extreme nature of a time when an entire city could have a thick concrete wall cutting through it. The cold winter air bit at the exposed flesh of my face. I had only just arrived in Berlin two nights prior, but I felt like it was a city, The City, I belonged in. My flannel lined Chinos, dark blue, barely held the cold radiating from the metal bench I sat upon from numbing the back side of my legs.

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Blackwood Forest: The Naked Werewolf

The moon was inching its way down as the forest began readying itself to welcome a new dawn. It was still dark, but light would surely break soon. It was the still calm hours of early morning that Wren loved. The faint scent of fire, wafting out into the woods from the nearest houses to its edge, hung lightly in the air. Wren soaked it all in through his heightened senses. Having recently changed back into human form from his wolf-self, everything felt far more intense.

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Motivational: Forget Mistakes?

Forgetting past mistakes and failures can be a positive thing, on an individual level, but, as a societal whole, it is not necessarily the appropriate response. While I do advocate for self-growth, for myself and those around me, with the idea that you should not allow your past mistakes to define your future, ignoring them as a society is a sure-fire way to repeat them. On an individual level, keeping mistakes and failures ever-present in our mind is not beneficial for achieving the target goal of becoming a better citizen of this beautiful and diverse world. We should learn from them, move past them, and chart a new course accordingly.

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