I AM

It is amazing to find things that truly resonate with you. A nice piece of art, an awesome song that makes your soul move, or in this case a movie that illustrates exactly how you feel.

For years those close to me have heard me talk about how relationships and connections with other people is what is really important. When a connection is severed or a bond it lost, I really feel it. The movie I AM really puts things in very simple language and truly makes you think

So many people spend countless hours trying to obtain wealth and status only to feel empty in the end. I know understand the need for money to survive but there has to be a point of balance where getting more “stuff” should yield to being a better person and capable of sharing with others. I don’t think is all about giving your money away either, but just being truly able to share yourself with others.

The wife and I just spent a wonderful weekend with friends from out of town and their kids. It was an amazing time connecting, sharing and just being happy. It is amazing what can happen when people are open to create and awknowledge the importance of connections and how that is what we really are all about as humans. It is not about the individualism of “I have to be first!”

The One Percent

Money and being rich is a very interesting subject to me(wow I wrote that six years ago). Jamie Johnson is someone that is very interesting to me, almost like Anderson Cooper he was born into a very rich family but want to make their own mark in the world. I watched his documentary Born Rich a while back, and recently was able to catch The One Percent. Both films have the same theme, wealth; but the second one speaks more of responsibility. Are the rich supposed to give their money away? Why does only one percent of the population in the U.S. have all the wealth?

While all those subjects are something that can make a series of post, what I want to share is something very simple. After watching the whole movie about wealth and economic policy and very rich people being very arrogant …. the whole movie was made worth while by a Taxi driver. The guy said some things that I wanted to share with everyone that read this, mostly because it spoke to me in a very real way.

This is totally paraphrasing the guy’s word but the ultimate message is there. After Jamie lets him know that he is driving someone from the Johnson & Johnson family the word rich seems to trigger something in the Cabby’s head and he says simply…

I am rich because from my family I learned;

The following qualities are worth more than money and you cannot buy,

My Family taught me how to love people for who they are, not who I want them to be

Taught me how to get along with people,

Taught me to treat people how I want to be treated,

Treat each person for who they are and not to clump them together because we are all different in our own way.

The dude in a handfull of lines defined true personal wealth. I still hold the same feeling I did a while back, that some of the happiest people I have ever met or interacted with did not have a dime to their name… and yet so many, with so much are constantly so unhappy.

The Karate Kid 2010 (***)

The original Karate Kid is one of my favorite movies. I think getting into martial arts can be traced to this movie planting a seed at an early age. I agreed with Mr Deguia that there was no reason to remake this movie, and I am going to have to agree. Out of the movies that I saw as a child and loved, this one probably stands alone with standing the test of time. I have seen it as an adult and I still get excited at the same spots, embarrassed when the car has to be push started, etc. However, I was intrigued with what they could have done with this time tested classic movie that probably filled up Karate dojo’s all over the world more so than Chuck Norris.

Lets get what I hated about the movie out of the way. The pacing of the movie was just horrible. This movie could have been edited to be at least 10 minutes shorter, and some scenes that were supposed to add drama just ended up being boring and lets hurry up moments. I also did not have to see Beijing as a character, seriously I already saw enough of the birds-nest and the cube during the Olympics. Jaden Smith is too young for the part even though he did an excellent job with the part, the kid just looked way too young for the situations he was in.

Now with that out of the way, the movie was a lot better than I had expected. The martial arts were solid and Jackie Chan was an excellent teacher. The story was truly reinvented, and not simply because it was taken across the globe instead of across the country. While you recognize scenes and tons of little tips of the hat at the old movie, this movie stands on its own.

Smith is an excellent actor for his age. I did not think he could carry a movie on his own but the kid is great. He has a lot more charisma than Daniel San. Nobody knows how the future will turn out for this kid as an actor, but he does not seem to lack talent.

Even though I will always love the original because it was part of my childhood, this movie will probably make more sense to this generation. If you are a fan of the old one, it is respectful to it and it does not try to replace it. I believe it is worth the price of watching it in the multiplex and it might just make you feel like a kid again.

Kick Ass (***)

Since hating the movie Watchmen I have read the graphic novel thanks to Nuke. I am also patiently awaiting the arrival of Iron Man 2 and looking forward to a Thor movie. With good movies about superheroes come horrible ones, and thankfully Kick Ass is not one of them. I will try to keep this review as spoiler free as possible because I think you should enjoy go and enjoy this movie. It might not be a full spend 10 bucks to go see it, but I felt like watching it and only paying matinee prices was a complete WIN.

Since I did love the movie, the first thing is to let you know what I did not like. Marketing for this movie was great but can be confusing for parents. Do NOT be fooled into thinking that this is something that kids can watch. The themes and action is very adult in nature. I saw way too many kids in the movie and it made me question parents sanity when they expose their kids to that much blood.

There is a back story to the movie that could have made an excellent movie all on its own and it was beautifully presented. I like the art, style and tone of this movie. I am not into dark comedies, or at least I was not… this movie executes that in a very crafty way. You don’t love the characters or hate them, you just watch them interact and tell a story full of laughs and emotions. Escapism at its best.

There are plenty of surprising moment in the movie and that is what makes it great. I love watching movies where I cannot predict the plot from scene to scene but just simply sit back and wait for the next surprise. This movie was full of that.

The acting was superb and I wish I would not spoil half of the movie by telling you who my favorite character was, I am sure you will figure it out once you see it. The movie is left open for a sequel but I am sure this was just a one movie type of deal. Go watch it before it goes off the theaters… or catch it as soon as it gets to the dollar show! That would probably make it even better.

Gamer (**)

If boobs, butts and blood are not some of your favorite B words, then go back to the Bible and stay far, far away from this movie. Despite the title of the movie, this one is not family friendly and if I ever got around to doing my little icon based movie rating, this one would have a little devil right next to it. There are enough bare bodies on this movie to make it a 5 star on the XBox Netflix rating system.

The story is not a bad one, just poorly executed. The pace of the movie seems to move a different speeds making it almost feel like several different films spliced into one. While I do get that the different “worlds” are supposed to feel different, the movie pace just does not seem to make them all feel part of the same universe even if they are different realities within the same.

I did not hate the movie, it was entertaining and I went into it with lowered expectations. Just like GIJoe, the movie has pretty effects that would make a kid say, cool and awesome; with the big difference that this movie is not for a kid.

The character build lacks flavor making everything almost feel too formulaic. That would not be a problem if the movie was not addressing some issues that are relevant to our times, such as social disconnect due to technology and violence in video games. I don’t think the movie deserve the name gamer, since it was really not about the gamer at all.

Acting was probably what made this movie not a single star, or even a no star. While the dialogue was not the best, all the actor did their best to play roles. Even Luda did a good job with his role. Dexter was good as the villain, even funny at times. The stars earned their paycheck, however there seemed to be no budget for the rest of the actors because everyone bellow the main roles felt like an extra that got to say a line or two.

If you want to get to see some free boobies without actually filling your computer with viruses, this is an ok rental. Just don’t rent it for a family movie night thinking that the dude from 300 is going to be in a cool action movie.

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