Saturday, June 22, 2019

What's Next On My List? We Are Marshall

I have been thinking about writing about this movie for a while now. I finally decided to cover it because I see a resurgence of movies and TV shows based on real life events in the streaming era of Netflix and Hulu, and they seem to be getting more popularity than ever before. And as such it is a good idea to go back to this gem.

The winning football team of Marshall University suffers a terrible plane accident and all the players die in the crash. Only the assisting coach and some of the players currently on the bench remain, but one outsider, one coach, still sees the chance to make this school great again. He sees that this university still encompasses the spirit of that team, and football Sundays are the only way for people to respectfully move forward with their lives: by honoring that team every chance they get.

I got a hold of this movie because of Matthew Fox, and quite frankly, I would have given him a lot more screen time, as his scenes with actual dialogues were not in majority. Which was a shame, because he had wonderful interactions with McConaughey, and their on-screen chemistry was spot-on. Turning over, the lead himself was outstanding: before this I had seen several movies of McConaughey, but up to today this is my favorite. The movie encompasses a very important lesson: grief has no expiration date and nobody faces it the same way. This outsider, this coach comes in, and the way he forces football onto some makes those still in pain seem like he is disrespecting them. But actually, I do believe he teaches them that for some life has to go on. Nobody holding onto a ledge can make it long without falling. What this coach's approach has taught me is that there are more ways to respect those who passed than just sitting in silence. Some might have disagreed, but the love he brought to his job was simply indisputable.

Watch it? I find that this movie somehow fell between the cracks and many did not see it. This tragedy was one of the worst things that ever happened, and yet it is not the only one.This movie wished to tell this story to showcase how some are never forgotten, and that we all deal with grief differently. Because this tragedy is not unique - we have had more bush crashes, plane crashes and deaths of young hopeful people than I would like to admit. But as such, we have to go on... some things in life we will never get over, but there is hope in helping each other through it. And this movie in particular tries to convey that important message.

Until the next item on my list!
_ _ _ _ _

Jack Lengyel - Matthew McConaughey
Red Dawson - Matthew Fox
Nate Ruffin - Anthony Mackie
President Dedmon - David Strathairn
Paul Griffen - Ian McShane
Annie Cantrell - Kate Mara

Saturday, June 15, 2019

What's Next On My List? Hawaii Five-O (2009)

Every summer I gather together the last season of this show so I can spend 40 minutes every other day in Hawaii with my favorite police team of all time.

Stephen McGarrett is a retired Navy Seal who goes back home to Oahu, after his father is killed by a suspicious organization. He is given the chance to run his own task force to deal with harder cases, and for it he hires the best: Danny Williams, a detective from New Jersey who is his exact opposite; Chin Ho Kelly, a young police officer who was put off the force for wrong reasons, and Kono Kalakaua, a sniper shooter right out of the police academy. As time passes outside outside members help them with cases, and an excellent cop from Chicago joins them, Lou Grover. As well as a tech consultant, Jerry Ortega. Finally, their team changes, with another Navy Seal, Junior Reigns and finally Tani Rey, a strong woman who was kicked out of the police academy, but McGarrett saw potential in her. Each episode covers a single case, but in the background there is always a much larger story playing out, and each season just gets me to come back for more.

“- You know what you are?
- Annoyed with this conversation.”

This is actually a remake of a show of the same name, that ran from 1968 to 1980 with twelve seasons, and main characters by the same name. I remember that before season 6 started, lead actor Alex O'Loughlin was very excited, because none of his shows have ever gone that far before. There was an interview and a video where, before the shooting started, locals blessed the shooting location (you can watch it here!), but they have done that at the beginning of several seasons. And that is what I love about the series: there are a lot of episodes that deal with the cultural history of the island, and I feel not only that they are respectfully making the best out of the surrounding they have, but they teach me a lot. I am fascinated by Hawaiian culture, and I do believe that the list of things I have learned are partly thanks to having wished to look up everything after hearing about them in the show (let it be that only one of the islands still uses the old Hawaiian language, the meanings of mahu and kahuna, and wishing to say thank you with mahalo, just to mention a few).

“- You know, for a woman who died in a car bomb 20 years ago, you are remarkably put well together.
- Thank you, I’ll take that as a compliment.”

Season 1-8:
I was thinking whether or not I should do a season by season run down of the show, or just talk to you about it in general, and I decided to go with the second for one reason: it is hard for me to pinpoint best and worst storylines, since, I loved them all. When season 8 begun, there was a change in cast, which I will tell you I was worried about. Now, the reason for that was that the co-stars were not receiving the same pay, and they decided to quit. I was super bummed, and altogether still not happy about how it went down, but actually, the change of blood did do some good to the show as well: certain dynamics were getting simply old. As far as the money behind the show is concerned... I do not know much than the tabloid magazines say and none of the actors have addressed the issue as far as I know, so I will leave it at that. I do often miss those old characters, but they wrote some great ones after making up for their loss.
Then, I love that each season has a Halloween episode and a Christmas one (Mele Kalikimaka!), which despite the sand and the hot beach in the background are still very festive. Then, there are some recurring characters, and some family members played by exceptional actors like Carol Burnett and Melanie Griffith. As well as old actors from the original Hawaii Five-O series, and Magnum P.I. (which was also remade just in 2018, and it is set in this world, using some of the characters you have come to know and love in this series over the years). There are some cases that are pretty clean cut and you can guess where it is going, but that is mostly due to the fact, that even episodes that focus on character development, like a Thanksgiving episode, or others were Steve is forced to go overseas, still include a case that needs solving in the background. Others, that do focus solely on the case, always shock me cause I have no idea what the outcome is gonna be and it is thrilling to watch.

“- Have you ever mentioned any of this to Detective Williams?
- No. That would be inappropriate.
- What? Sharing your feelings? Telling the people in your life what they mean to you? How is that inappropriate?
- Well, perhaps you’re right, but it’s just something I’m not comfortable with.
- Oh, I get that. It isn’t easy for you, but you’re going to have to get past that. You’re not going to be working with stiffs anymore. You’re going to be interacting with living, breathing people on a daily basis. Gonna have to learn to open up and share your feelings. Trust me. It’s a good thing.”

Now, I am currently watching season 9, and no spoilers, but some familiar faces have already popped up and some actors that I am just delighted to see on this awesome show. I like detective stories, obviously and I have seen hundreds of shows like this, but somehow this is still the one I look forward the most.  When I can finally binge it, it means that it is summer for me too. This cast, this series really conveys the idea of family. Every police drama you see tries to force on you the "No man left behind" gimmick, and I get that, but for some reason I also feel it when it comes to these characters. When one of them leaves, I feel sad. When one of them is in danger, I am scared. Although I have learned the little word ohana from Lilo & Stitch, I can tell you that this show brings it to life every single time. They might just be great actors, but I refuse to believe that that is all that it is. People who care about their projects showcase that. I do cry quite often when it comes to this show... It is simply emotional when you have spent as many years watching it as I have.

To conclude, I do find this to be a timeless gem, that you can get into at anytime, even start right now if you haven't seen it yet! In season 8 a dog joined the cast, and I have been calling him puppy cop and it just feels me with glee when he is around. I just love this show, the fact that it is set in Hawaii is significant, but, it is also smart and it has heart. It was announced that they are gonna get a 10th season and I am super happy for them!

Until the next item on my list!
_ _ _ 

Steve McGarrett - Alex O'Loughlin
Danny Williams - Scott Caan
Chin Ho Kelly - Daniel Dae Kim 
Kono Kalakaua - Grace Park
Kamekona - Taylor Wily
Lou Grover - Chi McBride
Max Bergman - Masi Oka
Jerry Ortega - Jorge Garcia
Junior Reigns - Beulah Koale
Tani Rey - Meaghan Rath
Dr. Noelani Cunha - Kimee Balmilero

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Blogger: "Ki kellene találnom mit akarok csinálni [az életben]"

… miert mi van, ha nem?

Az elmúlt két hónap nagyon érdekes volt, ugyanis nem egy beszélgetésem volt arról, hogy barátaim szomorúan a tenyerükbe hajtják a fejüket és közlik velem, hogy most már ki kellene találniuk, hogy mit akarnak csinálni életük végéig. 

És tudom, hogy ezek olyan nyomások a kinti világból, amik ránehezedtek a vállainkra és ennek az elkeseredése, hogy az a tempó, azaz irány, amellyel járják saját útjukat nem megfelelő valamiért ellehetetlenít olyan helyzeteket is, amik öröm forrása lehetnek.

Én csúnya lázadó leszek és ellen megyek annak a gondolatnak, hogy ha tudjuk mit akarunk dolgozni életünk végéig, az majd megoldja a problémáinkat.

Persze, mindenki hallja a klisét a fülében, hogy minden rendben lesz, ameddig jól fizető munkád van - de azt nem hallja meg, hogy a jól fizető munka nem feltétlen az, ami boldoggá is tesz minket, tehát a logikus konklúzió: A munka nem a boldogság szinonimája.

Első gondolat az, hogy mindannyian ki akarjuk venni a részünket, letenni valamit, amit büszkén hagyunk majd meg az utókorra. És ezzel semmi baj nincsen, de miért pont a munkában akarjuk megtalálni, azt a valamit? Természetesen az a legkézzelfoghatóbb, és mivel azt a nyomást is megkapjuk, hogy számítson azaz élet, amit élünk ezen a pusztulásba forduló bolygón, persze, hogy azon van a hangsúly, amit a legtöbb ideig fogunk csinálni életünk folyamán. De nem elég a kinti nyomás, magunk is ráteszünk egy lapáttal és ez igenis veszélyes. 

Nézzük például a felsőoktatás problémáját.

Hány szak, hány három éves képzés, hány mesterszak, hány egyetem, hány országban és hány nyelven elérhető ma egy átlag európai érettségizett diáknak? Még akkor is, ha valaki, mint én, hétévesen kitalálja, hogy mi akar lenni, ha nagy lesz (majd gondoltam meg magam vagy 40x), mégis, hogyan várhatjuk el, hogy valaki elsőre eltalálja, hogy mit akar „csinálni élete végéig”? Én büszke vagyok minden barátomra, aki folytatja a tanulást (bármilyen formában, legyen ez csak önképzés könyvekből otthon), hogy tovább keresse önmagát és azt, ami boldoggá teszi. És pont azért, mert abszurd elvárni bárkitől is, hogy legyen olyan szerencséje, hogy ha megfogta azt az apróságot, amit nem utált a gimiben, és azt választja tovább tanulás gyanánt, hogy akkor az legyen, amit élete végéig csinálnia kell. ÉS ÉLVEZZE IS.

A gimiben viszont van fixen kb 10+ tárgy, ahhoz képest a 100+ szakhoz, amit tanulni lehet felsőoktatásban, mégis hogyan várható el bárkitől is, hogy igazán megtalálja a helyét az első próbálkozásra? Én például angol szakra mentem, ugyanezzel a mentalitással, a gimiben elérték, hogy totálisan hülyén és használhatatlannak érezzem magam, és angolul tudtam, hát mi mást tanulnék? És már a szakon voltam két éve, amikor megtaláltam azt, ami igazán érdekel és ez volt az Amerikanisztika. Nem nyelvi tanárnak szánt engem az ég, és ha arra a két előadásra, ami miatt megtaláltam magam nem tudtam volna bejárni óra ütközés miatt… nem akarom tudni hol lennék most. 

És akkor valaki végig szenvedi a három évet, hiszen valaki üvöltözik vele, hogy diploma nélkül sehova se megy, és a munka, amit lehet, hogy közben megálmodott viszont elérhetetlen marad, mert a diplomája nem elég ahhoz, hogy elkezdhesse… Ezért is hangsúlyozom azt, hogy: 

A munka nem a boldogság szinonimája.

Természetesen jó, ha az embernek örömet okoz, ami a foglaltsága, de ezzel egy időben egy fajta lehetetlen elvárás is tud lenni. Egyrészt, az időbeosztást senki sem választja ki, sem a kollégáit, és a fizetés is mindig vita tárgya… lehet, hogy megtaláltad már azt, ami boldoggá tesz, de lesznek hátul ütői. Kliensek, főnökök, feladatok, csapatépítők, és sorolhatnám még. De mind ez gond nélkül átvészelhető ha arra emlékezteted magad, hogy az életed a munkahelyeden kívül is!!! És pont ezért nem szinonimája a boldogságnak a munka! Keresheted örökre a tökéletes helyet, de szerintem sokkal fontosabb ha összességében hátul ütők ellenére jól érzed magad, mert az ad elég energiát, hogy legyen időd minden másra ha kijöttél a munkahelyedről. Többek között arra is, hogy az álom munkád, amit nem fizet meg a mai világ, azt csinálhasd még hobbiból és keress vele valamennyit, mert ilyenből is sokat ismerek. Az ilyen embereknek is azt mondom, hogy lehet utálni, hogy a kreatív munka nem hoz a konyhára, vagy megtalálni a legjobb módját annak, hogy legyen is bevétel és olyan munka is, ami örömöt okoz. 

Képzelj egy vidéken élő embert. Tegyük fel, hogy bakter. Senkit nem érdekel, hogy mit csinál abban a félóra, egy órában, míg várja a vonatot, míg várja a munkát, és lehet, hogy a legjobb modellező a világon, de nem az a hívatása. Az csak örömöt okoz neki. És Guinness könyvekbe kerülne be, de ki nem szarja le a történetelemben hagyott lenyomatát, ha ő maga élvezi az életét? Én arra az emberre féltékenyebb vagyok, mint arra, aki milliókat keres. És ennek ellenére öröm forrása a munkája, hiszen olyan beosztása van, ami ad időt arra, ami a legboldogabbá teszi a világon.

Utolsónak muszáj megemlítenem, hogy nem az otthonról dolgozó emberekről beszélek, akik saját kis cégüknek a vezetőik. Hiszen, ők megtalálták, azt, ami munka is és boldogság is. De az is veszélyes, ha valaki a saját idejét osztja be, hiszen annál nehezebb egy vonalat tenni a munka és az életünkben minden más között. Ezért is a legfontosabb, mielőtt ilyesmibe kezdünk, azaz önismeret.

És az önismeret olyasmi, amit nem tanítanak sehol a világon. 

Ahhoz, hogy tudd, hogy mit akarsz igazán tanulni, hogy milyen munka helyzetben tudod a legtöbbet kihozni magadból ahhoz el kell fogadnod, hogy az önismeret bőven a gimnázium után kezdődik. Amikor már nem vagy összezárva idiótákkal, akik azt éreztetik veled, hogy soha nem vagy elég, vagy pont azt, hogy a gimnázium az életed kimagasló pontja és több ilyen nem lesz. Az élet, igenis, csak utána kezdődik. Nem is csoda, hogy ott olyan körülmények között vagyunk, ahol nehéz kilátni a burokból, kitalálni, hogy mi legyen utána és ezt sajnos sok ideig visszük magunkkal. 

Én úgy gondolom, hogy az oktatás igenis hibás azért, amiért ritkán tolnak diákok elé önismereti teszteket, amiért nem tanítanak alap pszichológiát, amiért nem mutatják be a szakokat csak 900 oldalas kézikönyvet vágnak hozzánk, amiért nem olyan nyelvvizsgákra készítenek fel, amiket el is fogadnak külföldön, hogy a totálisan felesleges osztályfőnöki órák nem beszélgetéssel telnek és még sorolhatnám órákig...

És ha a nyomás a családból jön, akkor ott is meg kell fogni mindenki kezét és rámutatni arra, hogy mindent megteszünk, de nem csak 3 lehetséges karrier közül lehet a mai világban választani, a munkapiacot nem befolyásoljuk soha, a diploma igenis fontos, de, hogy megszerezzük egyre nehezebb kitételekhez van kötve. És nagyon fontosak azok a hobbijaink, amik a munkán kívül vannak. Soha nem szabad azokat figyelmen kívül hagyni. 

Sajnálom ha ezt mondom, de... lehet, hogy soha nem fogunk történelmet írni, soha nem találjuk meg, amit igazán csinálni fogunk életünk végéig, mert lehet, hogy a személyiségünknek megfelelően olyan opció még nincs is a mai világban. De ez teljesen rendben van. Ne a társadalmi definíciókat nézzük, hanem a saját emberi boldogságunkat. Ha egy buta irodai munkánk van, ami mellett viszont mindenre van időnk, és sosem felejtjük el a dolgokat, amik boldoggá tesznek, annak egyszerűen ELÉGNEK KELL LENNIE... mint annak, hogy honnan adózunk életünk végéig. 

Úgy gondolom, hogy elég nyomás van már rajtunk, nem okos dolog a saját ellenségünknek lenni. És ha a legnagyobb hátul ütője annak, hogy még nem tudjuk mit akarunk csinálni örökre, hogy jobban megismerjünk önmagunkat, az részemről az egyik legjobb kimenetel.
_ _ _ _ _

Két kis filmet is forgattam az évek folyamán, ahol a szereplők pont ezekkel a gondokkal kűzködnek, ha érdekel, itt megtekintheted őket:

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Blogger: Advice For A Younger Me

Today marks ten years since I turned legal... since I can drive, vote, go to prison for messing up my taxes and well, drink. Which is something I am definitely getting addicted to, when I mess up my taxes and go to prison. Nonetheless, in these ten years I feel like I have learned more about life than I would have ever thought possible... and if I could give advice to myself when I was 18, these are the things that I would say. With that, I hope somebody can use these now to help them through anything that comes their way.

If you lose someone, or something, for whatever reason, you need to remind yourself that you alone understand how important it was to you. Losing something also means losing a part of yourself; despite the popular saying of "People don’t change", they do very much, especially if they are hit by a trauma. You can grief a friendship, a death, the end of something good, truly, it does not matter what it is, you are allowed the sadness that it causes you. Keep in mind, that even if something was a year ago, if you have feelings about it now, it is present to you. On that note, it also means that grief can last two or max three weeks as well. The pain of losing someone is not determined by any rule. Being able to say goodbye properly is a way to shorten the grieving period, but if you cannot do that you will have to find another way to get closure – do not be ashamed to look for ways to do that. You might be fine for weeks, and then a puppy video will make you cry for days, remember: that is normal. Feelings don’t abide to any rules.

You sometimes read inspirational quotes on how you do not have to apologize if you no longer want toxic people in your life. The dilemma comes when you are related to that person, and not only you put pressure on yourself because you should care for family, but so will the rest of your family. Let it be a brother, a cousin, even your parents. We are all different people and how we react to each other can have consequences. I am not saying that you should forever block family from your life; I am saying that you are not forced by blood to take on more than you are able to. It might seem easier to get rid of a friend if they are toxic, but in reality, moving on from any relationship is extremely hard. It is ultimately true that you do not choose your family, and that is why you should not give yourself a hard time if you need to distance yourself from them, no matter what your aunts might think of you over a dinner at Christmas.
Beware, however, that you might be the toxic one for someone else. This does not mean that you are the antagonist in your own version of course, but be careful, at the same time you will always be the villain in someone’s story. There is no control over this, but that shouldn't scare you. If you are not meant to be in someone’s life, they are not meant to be in yours, and that is OK. They will prioritize themselves, and so should you.

The career options in today’s world are basically infinite. Not only the career options but the schools, and the number of countries where you can continue your studies is overwhelming: there is pressure. I do believe that only the 1% is able to find their dream major and dream university and will get their dream job at first try. That having been said, all your life you’ll be told that you are aging, that you are getting older and you will not be young anymore, but do not let that influence you. People are as old as they feel. Think of the actors like Alan Rickman, who was 32 when he had his first acting role. So are we saying that he wasted the first thirty years of his life? Of course not, if anything, it prepared him for the next chapter of his life. I think that everybody will find themselves if they are allowed to make mistakes. That is the key here: mistakes are not necessarily a bad thing when it comes to jobs and schooling, because we learn a lot about ourselves. Stop putting pressure on you to find the right answers immediately. Go and get experiences and stop being scared of not getting it right the first time, because that is how you will find what is really meant for you. Even if we are not getting younger, I am sure that the prospect of waking up at 60 and feeling like you wasted your life is far worse than getting a couple of temp jobs over summers to see what you are good at and what you enjoy.

As I look around I see so many relationships where people are miserable, and why? Because they are scared to be alone. They are scared that they have found the only person who "tolerates" them. And is that what you want? Somebody, who tolerates you? As surprising as that may sound, nobody will ever love you enough for you to start loving yourself. Some are lucky, they heal together with others, but forcing yourself into a relationship will not change your luck. I spent years on my own, and it got me ready to appreciate my time alone. All those essays you read on people preferring to be single? Read them. Not everyone is meant to have the fairy tale ending, but it is a happy ending still if you learn to love yourself. When you are not happy in a relationship, ask yourself, is it better to hang around until you finally find someone new, and get into a whole new relationship, where you make the same mistakes, and you stay again, unhappy and over and over and over… or, spend time to get to know yourself? Learn more about your friends? Take yourself out for a coffee and a good book? There is nothing wrong with that. It is incredibly easy to make the same mistakes because we fear the unknown. So make sure that solitude is not the unknown. Being alone can be scary, but that is why people should be taught that there is nothing to fear.

You might be sharing facebook posts about how what you learned in chemistry is totally unnecessary, and I will admit that I have done that too. But nobody is stopping you from going up to your dad and asking him "Hey, how do I do my tax returns?". Aren’t you tired of teachers blaming parents and parents blaming teachers? Because I am. The thing in between is you, and you can be mad that the education system sucks, and you can be mad that we should learn more useful things in school, and everybody will agree with you. But use that anger and fuel it into something important. Make sure you teach your children how to change a tire, use a drill, make scrambled eggs, get a bank account and do their taxes. Or go beyond that: make it your issue to improve education. Even if you don’t go that far, know that complaining about something is a long way from finding a solution.

Weddings are for one a good example. I was just listening to the podcast Dear Hank and John, from a couple years back, where John talked about how he and his wife, in a room of engaged people, were the only ones who talked about the future: the house, the kids, their dreams, all of it. They were answering the question of somebody planning to propose to their girlfriend, and they emphasized how that should not be a surprise scenario (it is the moment of the proposal, but make sure it is something you both want). I, on the other hand, only heard stories about girls being certain that their boyfriends were about to break up with them and then they showed up with the ring. Now, I have no idea what kind of relationships those were, but they did not sound like the ones where people sat down and talked about the future, if they were thinking they were about to be dumped... so what do you do in that situation? Why do you say yes? You have a 10 second window before the other person has a heart-attack, and you know what, you might change your mind after you accepted or refused their offer. Do not be afraid to do so, communicate! And that goes for everything: from deciding to go on the roller coaster you know scares the hell out of you, to trying seafood for the first time - you CAN change your mind again. And on that note: sex. Yes, it is rape if the other one doesn't stop AFTER you changed your mind and have spoken out on it. See? Communication. If you don't want to do something, that is OK, do not worry about hurting someone, you will do so by not trusting them enough to voice your concerns. So if you finally see them in front of you, and it is romantic, and you feel like saying yes, do, however, if that is where life leads, do not marry that person.

If you keep giving advice to your friends, don’t try and pretend to be someone you are not. If you tell them to make changes, don’t be afraid of change yourself. If you tell them to quit school, or quit work, or leave a city, or a whole country, then don’t be scared to do it yourself. And if you are scared, be ready to defend that. You might be giving advice to someone who is your opposite, in that case I am not forcing you to do the same thing, but be sure to know your limitations and to not come off as a hypocrite. Every situation calls for its own solution, it is great thing to help someone in need, but do not try to be more than you are. The best advice sometimes is admitting that you don’t have the answers they are looking for either, but you are there to listen. You'll see that people come to you for advice exactly for that: the ability to admit when something is bigger than you.

The love you feel for a friend is the same you feel for a lover on many occasions. I was just watching Felicity (1998), where the main character lost one of her friends, for various reasons, and she deemed her sadness over it stupid, because it is not like somebody died... but then her guidance counselor says "That is exactly what it is like". Once somebody is gone from your life there is a sort of emptiness that comes with it. And that goes also back to my point about grief not having an expiration date. But what is important, is that no matter how much you love someone, how much you click perfectly in certain things, sometimes it is just not what is supposed to happen. And you fight. You hurt each other, a lot. I have had more friendships like that than I can count... and in the end it all came down the fact that I could not love them for who they were. I, as much as I fight it, have expectations from a friendship, based on the years I spend with that given person and well, I can be impossible. And I had to learn that I cannot expect somebody to change, nor should they just to be friends with me. About a year and a half ago a friend of mine moved away from the city and well, we had problems before, but they did not really matter, until the distance made it clear that this was all one-sided. Actually, I think the other just had problems showcasing her emotions, but to me it felt like she never cared and that was the last nail in the coffin. Me wishing she be more open about her feelings towards me was something that I could ask for but should have never expected of her. I miss her, she was a special someone, but we hurt each other more as a result of it all.
You know, leaving someone while you still love them might be the hardest thing you will ever do, but sometimes it is better than letting it turn into hatred and disgust, which will leave a scar that might never heal. And the same goes for lovers, you know, when you thought that person was the one, leaving them will be a bitch, but sometimes, when you recognize the signs, trust your gut, maybe letting go is the best answer. 

"Did you ever look back at some moment in your past and have it suddenly grow so vivid that all the intervening years seemed brief, dreamlike, impersonal—the motions of a May afternoon surrendered to routine?"
- Roger Zelazny, Doorways in the Sand

These might not seem like very positive messages, but actually these are the things that could have avoided me a lot of pain. And I hope they will help someone else too one day!

Until then, happy birthday to me, and well, to you if you happen to read this on a special day!

Sunday, May 26, 2019

What's Next On My List? 101 Dalmations II: Patch's London Adventure

In a previous review, The Queen's Corgi, I talked about my ultimate favorite dog breed, the adorable and fluffy corgi, and how my obsession with them began with this little animated cartoon over  15 years ago. Because it is a sequel, I do think it is one of the most underrated movies out there, but as it is my favorite, I just had to talk about it.

Patch feels unnoticed among his 100 siblings, but he is determined to change that. He gets the chance to meet his idol Thunderbolt, the hero dog from his favorite series. But as they meet, the illusion of a simple actor pains Patch, but he decides that he can be a hero if he acts instead of following others. Cruella tries to get the puppies for herself again, but Patch alone decides to stop her.

I chose this movie from hundreds at the video store, because I loved the poster and I just thought: puppies! Sequels were not a big thing when this came out and that is a big shame. I loved the characters in this story: Cruella is done, we have seen how she goes crazy but I liked that she was at her lowest in this movie. She lost the fight, in the previous one, but she does have an unhealthy obsession and that is how it is dealt with in this movie, as a disease in her brain. In the original she is an evil person, but wanting to harm animals in this quantity is sign of a bigger problem... she befriends an artist by the name of Lars (voiced by the brilliant Martin Short), who wants to help her with her obsession, but he is unwilling to murder for anyone. Cruella decides to kill the dogs herself, but Patch intervenes, with the help of Thunderbolt himself. Thunderbolt has to learn an important lesson, and it is this little pup that helps him with it: his strength is not measured by a script, but by himself. Aside from the very good moral values taught in this movie, from believing in ourselves and standing up for what is right, which I find already make it an excellent children's story, it is simply very funny.
The best character is of course Lightning, the sidekick, who wants to get Thunderbolt out of the show in order to become the star. He is so chubby and so evil and I just love him so much. He is voiced by the wonderful Jason Alexander, and his motivations for wanting to be in the spotlight all come from a very clear motivator: jealousy. To me this alone was a lesson worth teaching, the fact that if we do not address the issues that make us bitter inside, we are bound to be consumed by them. I just wanted to pet this character sooo bad... despite being a backstabbing little fur ball of evil, he was simply so adorable, I couldn't hate him! I need to get a corgi!

Watch it? Definitely recommended to anyone with children. It is a very funny story with lots of physical comedy and a wonderful moral lesson. I feel like the "creepy" factor from the first movie was toned down a bit, and it is a perfect story that connected 101 Dalmations with the live-action 102 Dalmations movie. And despite what many Disney sequels might look like: this is beautifully drawn and animated with some of the best voice actors in the business.

Until the next item on my list!
_ _ _ _ _ 

Patch  - Bobby Lockwood
Thunderbolt - Barry Bostwick
Lightning  - Jason Alexander
Lars - Martin Short
Cruella  - Susanne Blakeslee