‘A Ghost Story’ is a passionate exploration on life after death

Slow moving yet ambitious take on grief

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I’ll warn you up front, ladies and gentlemen: A Ghost Story is a slow moving yet ambitious piece of filmmaking. It takes aims at what we leave behind after death, and the idea that one could get the answers in death that he couldn’t find in life.

David Lowery recruits his Ain’t Them Bodies Saints team of Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara to portray C and M, a couple that go through a traumatic process when one of them dies unexpectedly. Without a ton of dialogue or moving parts, Lowery directs from his own script a tale about the many ways people grieve. Affleck’s C returns to his house as a ghost, complete with the white sheet and eye holes, to look after his wife and the home that he left. There are certain things that C needs to know before he can pass on, and they don’t have to do with M alone.

The great thing about ghost stories is the countless ways it allows a filmmaker to be inventive with. Once he returns as a ghost, C’s story line doesn’t have to deal in a pure linear form. He can visit his wife in the present, or go back to one of their existential fights, or battles over whether to move or stay in a home that carries special meaning to C. Continue reading “‘A Ghost Story’ is a passionate exploration on life after death”

Five Things I Know: Thrones envy; baseball misery; a car’s best friend

Hey! Do I have your attention? Let’s greet this despicable Monday with a few thoughts.

5. If you haven’t watched Game of Thrones yet, stop holding out. It’s worth the time. Fuck Walking Dead and Prison Break. GOT concluded season 7 last night and there are approximately 18 months until the eighth and final season, so get on it. The show’s storyline is so well written and multi-faceted that you leave every episode wanting more. Sword, wolves, dragons, sex, and utter brutality between humans wrapped around powerful character development. It’s like the medieval version of Sopranos with more fucking and killing. Do you like sword fights and action? Yes. How about sex and nudity? Yes. What about dragons burning everything in its wake? Whatever you desire, Thrones has it and tells a story that keeps you off balance and just enough in the dark.

4. We will never have enough time. I work two jobs, take care of a house, try to stay in shape, and have a family. All I hear is just relax and take a moment for yourself. Well, when I do that, who is doing my laundry and cleaning my house? Who cleans up the dog piss on my couch? Am I showing enough attention to myself and loved ones? The next day after a mental cleanse is never easy. It’s not even noon and I’ve already gotten my kid to school late and screwed up the side mirror on my car. There’s never enough time in life to do what needs to be done for you and everyone else. All we can do is try as hard as we can to get enough done. Today I need to drive to make money, write to stay sane, and also work out a bit. And be a good husband and father. There’s never enough time and I feel like I’m letting people down constantly.

*I also have to find time to watch TV shows. Can I buy a few hours of time? Bribe a clock? Persuade a day to slow down? Serious answers only.

3. Up and down baseball seasons are hard to cover. The Cardinals can’t decide if they want to drift away or flourish, so as a writer, I’m constantly juggling moods. “They’re shit”, “All they need is this”, and “Give Peace a chance” have all made appearances. Fans hate you if you’re too positive and grill you when the negativity sets in. Here’s my unfiltered: Calm the fuck down. Let’s all take a minute. More often than not, fans and writers will be disappointed. Until MLB becomes the Oscars and 8-10 teams can win the award the big prize.

PS: Get your shit together, Cardinals. To quote a man named Red, get busy living or get busy dying. I’m tired, Boss.

2. Give me a movie about troubled writers trapped in a love quarrel in the beauty of New York with a great cast, and I’m all over it. I don’t care if it’s preachy or self-indulgent. I’m yours. That’s why “The Only Living Boy in New York” gets my vote. Also, Jeff Bridges is amazing in the movie. Still underrated as an actor. More than the dude. Watch this and last year’s “Hell or High Water”.

1. Drive your cars carefully. My car was new a few months ago and now it feels like it was put through a Fast and Furious film shoot. The descent is real and taking your car to a shop turns us into little kids scared at the amount of punishment it will receive. Drive slower. Be careful. Take care of your most important friend.

One more thing: Conor McGregor acquitted himself well against the best of the best in Floyd Mayweather Jr., but know one thing: the boxer toyed with Conor for seven rounds before picking off the tiring MMA champ. It wasn’t as close as some made it seem. It wasn’t a brutal stoppage either. In the end, I imagine Conor whispered to Floyd, “what took you so damn long?!”

Boxing is a sweet wonderful science. No one can step in and be great. That said, Conor did well.

Song I’m listening to: Tony Crown covering “Fly Like An Eagle”.

Show I’m watching and liking: Ozark.

That’s all. I need more coffee.

Comment, share, and react accordingly.

-DLB

Here’s What I Know, Volume #11: Night King mood swings; Trump doom settling in; Suit and Jacket greatness

Live from The Princeton Heights Night Watch, I ramble on. In no established order and without fancy flow, let’s talk.

  • We may disagree about who bats fourth in the Cardinals lineup or how greedy the NFL is, but there is no place in life for racism. Bigotry is a fucking disease and we need Marion Cobretti to kill it. The events in Charlottesville and our President’s (mouth vomit) response to those shitty occurrences confirms how fucked we are for the next four years in the White House. Our POTUS has to use twitter to properly connect and instead of shooting down racism, he talked about a winery. Where are you, Michael Douglas?
  • Too bad Al Gore is busy making sequels to An Inconvenient Truth. Trump may get us all killed before global warming does.
  • PSA: If you constantly talk about people attacking your beliefs on social media, you are an ATTENTION whore. A soapbox can only hold the weight of someone’s hurt feelings for so long. Again, you know who you are.
  • Coffee is a true mood boost. I felt like gathered and grounded shit a few minutes ago. A few sips of Great Value (yep, cheap Walmart k-cups) coffee and I feel like I can at least rake some leaves or fold some laundry.

Continue reading “Here’s What I Know, Volume #11: Night King mood swings; Trump doom settling in; Suit and Jacket greatness”

Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dunkirk’ throttles and informs

The World War II film delivers big time with an unconventional perspective.

The method of war is simple: soldiers are stationed to protect the civilians back in their homeland. But what if the civilians had to rescue the soldiers?

Welcome to Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, a vivid film that takes an unconventional route to telling its incredible tale. Nolan gives the World War II genre a fresh entry by tapping into a true story soaked in survival, grit, and miraculous efforts from a different angle.

In the depths of World War II, the British and French armies had their backs against the wall. Whether it was through the air with fighter jets or on the ground with artillery fire, Germany was closing a door real fast-and this particular battle came to a head on the beaches of Dunkirk, France. Continue reading “Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dunkirk’ throttles and informs”

‘War for the Planet of the Apes’: A potent summer blockbuster

Here’s a sequel that works and adds a soulful touch to the franchise

Paranoia and fear: deadly tools when placed in the wrong situation with two different species staring down the barrel of their fates.

Matt Reeves' latest epic saga in the world of apes and humans-War for the Planet of the Apes-shows the once innocent Caesar (breathtaking work from Andy Serkis) in a vengeful light. The humans have taken out thousands of apes, and target Caesar's camp next. An unimaginable loss at the hands of a Colonel (Woody Harrelson) with his own brand of vengeance planned.

This sets Caesar on a mission to end the human fight against the apes, but at what cost? When your actions carry repercussions that affects not only your family, but your species, how does one react to tragedy?

The most flavorful thing about the Apes trilogy is that along with the gorgeously shot action sequences, Reaves (who helms the new Batman solo film) pauses to ask important questions about the sinister ability of humanity. When threatened by something they haven't seen before or do not understand, their reaction comes from a place of fear and paranoia. Continue reading “‘War for the Planet of the Apes’: A potent summer blockbuster”

Here’s What I Know, Volume 10: Moving, Lynn, Spidey, beer off tap

A stream of consciousness of all the non important shit in my head

Live from the waiting room at the Princeton Heights, it’s time for another edition of HWIK: everything fit to print inside the head at the moment. No holds barred takes from the Douche Canoe(new name I saw on Twitter).

As I sip cup of coffee #3, let’s get moving.

  • Moving sucks. If I could take a cold nap from the day before to a month after, that would be swell. You find out just how much extra shit you have when you move. Lots of tag along nik nak bullshit. How many books and decorations do you need in life? The answer for me is seven totes. The wife is planning on gutting everything in the house except for breathing entities, so stay tuned for more shrink patient type confessions.
  • Lance Lynn didn’t throw his last pitch on Busch Stadium’s mound Sunday, but let me say this about him: he did a good job. In about 5.5 years of service, he has produced nearly a 14.5 WAR(wins above replacement) for the Cardinals for just under 16 million dollars. That’s a great bargain if the sabs wore you out. He throws old school cheddar, never got the appreciation from the fans, and his post game interviews should open in Friday nights and come with popcorn. While I wanted value for him this week due to his eventual departure, I’ll enjoy watching him pitch a few more times.

Continue reading “Here’s What I Know, Volume 10: Moving, Lynn, Spidey, beer off tap”