Daily Archives: June 15, 2019

Rocketman Movie Review

A good biopic more than tells the story of the film’s subject. It reveals their humanity.

The new film Rocketman tells story of legendary musician Elton John (Taron Egerton).

Born Reggie Dwight in 1947, his early years were not exactly sunshine and roses. His parents, Sheila (Bryce Dallas Howard) and Stanley (Steven Mackintosh) don’t have an easy relationship. The ruptures in their marriage extend to the relationship with their son. Stanley is cold and demanding. Sheila is slightly more maternal, but I wouldn’t describe her as the ideal mother. The only person who genuinely loves and supports the future rock star is his grandmother Ivy (Gemma Jones).

As a young man, Reggie starts to build a career as a musician. That career becomes a reality when he meets Bernie Taupin (Jamie Bell). But as often happens, success gets to Elton’s head. While his career thrives, so does his relationship with John Reid (Richard Madden). Adding to all of this is his growing addiction to alcohol and drugs.

This movie is interesting, especially in the sub-genre of music biopics. The narrative can be described as musical-like, with the songs driving the narrative. Instead of lip syncing to pre-recorded songs sung by the real life Elton John, Egerton does his own singing and is surprisingly good.

What strikes me is that the narrative underneath the music is the story of a man who is fighting lifelong demons of mental health and self esteem. His story, regardless of one’s sexuality, is a reminder that one can overcome one’s demons and live a full life.

I recommend it.

Rocketman is presently in theaters.

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Filed under Mental Health, Movie Review, Movies, Music

Dear America, Please Do Not Vote for Bill de Blasio

My Fellow Americans,

The 2020 election is little more than a year away. Among the many candidates who are running under the Democratic ticket is New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

I beg of you, please do not vote for him. He talks a good game, but his actions do not match his words. During his initial 2013 campaign, he referred to NYC as a “tale of two cities” and promised to fix the problems that separate the wealthiest New Yorkers from the poorest New Yorkers. Six years later, those problems have not been resolved.

It doesn’t take much to see that his promises are nothing but air. The schools are a mess, the MTA and NYCHA are hot messes, homelessness is going up and the imbalance has increased, not decreased.

Like many Americans, I want to see a progressive politician in office. But I also want someone who follows through on their campaign promises.

Sincerely,

A Fellow Voter

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Filed under New York City, Politics

Thoughts On Sarah Huckabee Sander’s Exit and You Know Who’s Comments During the ABC Interview

I think it’s pretty safe to say that there is no perfect presidential administration. There will be mistakes made along the way. There will be members of the public and members of the political class who disagree with the President and his/her people. However, there is something to be said for respecting the rule of law and respecting the established political norms.

I think it is also pretty safe to say that you know who’s administration respects neither.

Earlier this week, the rotating door of White House staff turned once more. Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced that she was resigning from her post as Press Secretary. This woman has made my skin crawl for as long as she has held the position. She has continually lied, belittled the press, fudged the facts and like many in the administration, has forgotten that it is the voters who are responsible for keeping her employed.

If this was not enough, you know who was interviewed by George Stephanopoulos. During the interview, he stated the following: “I don’t — there’s nothing wrong with listening. If somebody called from a country, Norway, ‘We have information on your opponent,’ oh, I think I’d want to hear it.”

After the interview, he then walked back his statement, which shocks nobody. But what bothers me is that he would gladly receive information, about whomever is his opponent in 2020. From my perspective, this speaks to his lack of morals, ethics and the fact that his needs are more important than the needs of the country.

Just another reason why he is ill-equipped to run this country.

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Filed under Politics, Television, Thoughts On....

Doris Day: The Untold Story of the Girl Next Door Book Review

Celebrity status is akin to almost becoming a deity. But we forget that those celebrities are human beings who go through the same experiences as much as the ordinary Jane or John Doe on the street does.

In 2009, writer David Kaufman released his biography about the late actress Doris Day. Entitled Doris Day: The Untold Story of the Girl Next Door, the book tells the story of Day’s life as a contrast to her screen image and the roles that she played.

Born Doris Mary Kappelhoff to German-American parents in 1922, Day grew up in Cincinnati. Known to movie fans as the virginal girl next door with just enough sexuality to make her interesting, she was Queen of the box office in the 1950’s and early 1960’s. What is interesting to me as a reader is that her image as an actress and her real life was drastically different.

She was married four times and had only one child via her first husband. None of her marriages could be classified as pictures of marital perfection. Her longest marriage was to her manager, Marty Melcher. Though the marriage started out as an ideal love match (he also adopted her son), it did not end well. The irony of this time in her life is that this period in her personal life coincided with unparalleled career success.

Clip starts at 2:14

This book is amazing. I felt like I knew the real Doris Day, not the Doris Day whose image had been so carefully cultivated by movie studios. This is a story of a woman who survived so much and was able to live a full life in spite of what she had experienced.

I recommend it.

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Filed under Book Review, Books, Movies