Tag: New York City

Chris Evans’ Before We Go is a blissful departure

“There will always be a struggle. You just have to choose who you are going to struggle with.”

When the summer winds start to deaden and all the superheroes go back to their sheds located galaxies far far away, that means it’s about time for lighter more sophisticated fare.

With no offense to the metal suit bodied big hammer swinging angry poster boy crowd, I like a little wistful light fairy tale romance with a few shades of real life bold mixed in as Labor Day approaches. Captain America himself, Chris Evans. took a holiday with Before We Go. Evans went behind the camera for the first time and directed a sweet little gem about a man and woman who run into each other by accident at Grand Central Station and embark on a one night adventure as past, present and future ties that bind are discussed.

Evans pulls double duty as Nick, a soulful if saddened trumpet player who sees a woman in distress miss a train. Brooke(played by the just right for the part here Alice Eve) gets a little help from Nick and New York City becomes their playground as time is killed, parties are hit, and the dark night seems to evolve into infinite possibilities. The real time aspect of the plot(which was penned by four different writers) helps the quick 88 minute film keep steppin’ and allows the actors to stay on their toes. The dialogue feels like it’s improvised and that’s a good thing.

There’s nothing heavy happening here. Brooke is a married woman dealing with a crisis and Nick has a past that’s set to hit him in the face that very night. It’s an old school romantic walk between two people picking up the shattered pieces of their heart and looking for the puzzle board they belonged to. The whole film has the feel of a play and that’s what Evans had in mind when he made it. For a guy who spends way too much time in a tight suit fighting invisible creatures on green screens, the chance to put on a coat and venture out into the mysterious cold NYC night with a beautiful woman must have seemed like a day at the beach to the actor. It all moves smooth and easy.

Evans shows a simplistic if assured hand with the camera here, allowing the actors and locale to do the most lifting. He isn’t trying to be Spielberg here. I picture this movie as the kind Edward Burns could have made for a nickel and shot in 11 days back in the 1990’s. Like I said, old school.

The leads are easy on the eyes. The story is familiar if wistful and when you choose New York City as your third wheel, little can go wrong. Well done, Mr. Evans. I can only hope the actor takes a similar adventure between Civil War and Infinity Wars. If you don’t know what those titles mean, that’s because you probably favor sweet little tales like Before You Go.

Check it out on Itunes and On Demand this weekend.

10 Things I Am Doing When I Get To NYC

People ask me where I want to go when I have the time and money, and every time it’s an easy answer. New York City. The land of maniac life and beautiful soul. Where so many things have happened and will happen again. A place of heroic energy and everlasting grace. I don’t need to step outside my country(you are next Italy) to have a good vacation or basically escape. I want to go to New York and that’s as clean cut as it gets. I can’t answer many questions faster than I can this one. What kind of things will I do when I get there? A shit load of tasks and activities. Here are the 10 things I am doing right off the plane.

1. Visit the 9/11 Memorial and Freedom Tower. Newly named one of the tallest buildings in the world, the tower is a given but I want to go walk along the fountains.Freedom-Tower-at-sunset-Courtsey-of-Port-Authority-of-New-York-and-New-Jersey I want to stop and look at as many names as I can on the engraved markings around the fountains. I want to think about what that person would be doing if they were alive today.As you can tell from reading my 12 years later post on that horrible day, it rocked the shit out of me and I was thousands of miles away in the Midwest at college when it happened. The event was so catastrophic and powerful at the same time that it stretched across the world to effect many people. I still can’t shake it to this day. I don’t have to go into detail about it to tell you why. When I am walking around those fountains and see people there, I want to talk to them about that day. If it doesn’t tear open wounds, I would love to hear about the individual strength people showed and how it changed their life. In this world, you learn by asking and listening. I want to soak up the experiences of that day and what followed afterwards. I want to take my kid there and tell him what happened, who got back up off the ground and became a more united front ever since that horrible Tuesday 12 years ago. One of the most important things a parent has to do is teach his kid about the history of where they walk. Tell them what happened and why. Preach to them a little about remembering these kind of things. It’s makes the next generation that much stronger.

2. Times Square. I want to walk towards the middle of it and just let it suck me in. Stand there. Arms stretched out and just exist. Bucket list check off.

3. Find and talk to 10 strangers on the street. Get them to tell me a story about the city and how tough it is and the true nature of the beast. Have them tell me fuck off. Give me directions to a great restaurant which will include a story about proposing to their wife. Sure, I will be turned away by a few people but I am sure I will learn a lot from a few others. This is what the world revolves around. Human interaction. Shared stories. I am as social and energetic as anyone around, so this is basically me investigating the idea that strangers carry the best stories. I may not understand a word they are saying at times but I am going to listen. I want stories and I want them now.

4. Get a slice. Quite simple. I want a slice of pizza and I don’t want a New York style slice. I want a slice of pizza from a New York joint. I want that skinny weak paper plate that can immediately turn into a taco as you fold the pizza up to eat it too. Grease in the goatee and a pizza so good that you taste it on your breath 4 hours later.

5. SEEK OUT STRONG BLACK COFFEE. This man will surely find a Starbucks. That isn’t a new thing. I could find the Starbucks in a small town with no sign, 10 planted bombs and no sense of smell. I want a cup of strong joe from a NYC mom and pop shop. I want some place to sit me down and pour me a cup of coffee where the spoon stands straight up. I want a man with a old vest, button up shirt and pocket watch with disheveled hair to serve me a cup that I won’t forget and sell me a pound to take back home that comes in a wrinkled brown paper bag.