Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Creative Life

The Creative Life

Creative minds don't work a 9-5, we work 24/7/365.
We don't know what a lunch break is.
We don't know what weekends are.
We don't know what vacations are.
Every waking moment we are working.
Even in our dreams.
We live this.
We breathe this.
We are this.
That's the creative life.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Lebron Walking Same Path As Iverson

I was on Twitter, per usual, and discussing the Celtics/Cavs game 6 matchup with a few people that I follow. One of these people who goes by the Twitter name of @McAllenYork RT'd another Tweeter @The80sBabyBabyy who said "Allen Iverson did all the shit Lebron James does now." Now, upon reading this I wasn't quite sure what he meant by that. But after giving it some thought it was like a light switch went off in my head: Lebron James's career has the potential to go JUST like Allen Iverson's if he continues along the path that he is going right now and I'll explain how.

-Allen Iverson came into the league as the number one draft pick by the Philadelphia 76ers just as Lebron James did to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

-Both were the cornerstone pieces of each of their respective franchises and were chosen to lead their teams to the promised land: The NBA Finals. And both players single handily were able to accomplish both goals, but fell short of achieving the ultimate goal and winning it all. Iverson losing to the Lakers in 5 games, and James being swept by the Spurs in 4.

-Both have played on the USA Olympic teams, won the NBA MVP award, multiple NBA All-Star appearances, as well as a scoring title or four, as Iverson did that in as many times in a row.

That's just a bit of backstory comparisons on the two amazing careers of each athlete. Now, we all know that both players are also known to be selfish, egotistical, possess a God complex that's out of this world, and very bad sportsmanship. Remember Iverson's infamous "PRACTICE?!" rant and Lebron storming off court after the Orlando Magic series in the 2009 Playoffs? Both also orchestrate a lack of making their teammates better and trying to involve them in games, thus alienating themselves not only from their team, but coaches and the organization they play for itself. One thing I have always said about AI is that he lacked a true mentor in the league to take him under his wings. To show the young guy the ropes, what to do and what not to do. What to say and what not to say. I feel this is what caused the eventual downfall of Allen Iverson later in his career. He simply had no clue what to do outside of "doing him." Well "Doing You" does not translate to a Larry O'Brien trophy. I say this because well...Lebron also has these same exact similarities that Iverson has. As well as no rings. And I'm starting to believe that Lebron James actually will follow the same path as Iverson, Malone, Barkley and other great basketball players and never ever win a championship.

I don't believe Lebron leaving Cleveland will necessarily bring him a ring, but what I do believe is that a change in his attitude will ultimately bring him that ring. Ask Kobe Bryant after Shaq left what he had to do in order to get his first ring. Kobe enlisted the help of other NBA players. Magic, Jordan, Kareem. They all offered Kobe advice and gave him the keys to succeed in the game. Kobe SOUGHT greatness. Lebron just wants it handed to him on a silver platter, as did Iverson. I hate making the Kobe/Lebron comparisons but this is why Lebron doesn't hold a candle to Kobe: the will to be great. Lebron is just way too talented and gifted to not win a championship someday. I admire him as an athlete. He's an amazing player and a joy to watch. I thought I've seen it all with Jordan, then Kobe, and now Lebron is just raising the bar even more. But if he doesn't win a ring then what? Do the scoring titles, MVP awards, All-Star appearances mean anything if you don't get the real prize? I think not. And no one can convince me otherwise because you'd be lying to yourself. You don't enter in a beauty contest to get Miss Congeniality, you enter in a beauty contest to WIN the beauty contest. Kobe could have left LA but he didn't. He stayed. And he worked his ass off, stayed in the ears of Jerry Buss, and 5-6 years removed from the Shaq Era he gets his 4th ring. He may have done it "alone" but not necessarily. He was a better player than he was years ago because his attitude changed. He had the wisdom of players before him installed in him that willed him to the finals and capturing the ultimate prize. That's what Iverson lacked. This is what Lebron lacks. A true mentor. You can also blame it on the fact that AI and Lebron's fathers weren't in their lives growing up either, Kobe's father was in his life. So was Jordan's. This blog can obviously take a turn into something else, so I'll stop here. But you can't deny the fact that if Lebron continues to act like the way he does, just like Iverson did, that he'll retire as one of the greatest players of all time without a ring. How can a "King" be a king without a ring? I don't believe its too late for Lebron, but he needs to wake up quick fast and in a hurry. Maybe AI can mentor Lebron since he's recently walked this path. Now that'll be something, wouldn't it?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Iron Man 2 Review

I went. I saw. But Iron Man 2 didn't quite conquer as I hoped it did. Don't get it twisted, the movie is still worth paying full ticket price for and enduring the full two hours (plus the "surprise" ending after the credits) and I highly recommend that you do. It just could have been SO much more. It just seemed like something was missing to really send this movie over the edge to greatness but instead it JUST missed short. The only thing is it wasn't just in one area, it was in many. It was like Swiss cheese. Tasty, but yet filled with holes. To compare, its like having 500 experience points to spend on your Final Fantasy party but you spend all of them on improving magic but you don't even touch your attack power and strictly rely on that to get by. There's nothing wrong with that, but what if you run into that ONE monster in the forest who is immune to magic? Now what? That's what I feel Iron Man 2 tried to do which is hide behind the witty, charming dialogue and special effects (magic) hoping to throw off the fact it lacked an Iron Fist (no pun intended) to really make the movie better than its first installment. Hopefully you guys were able to follow that geek-laden analogy.

Where it did shine was with the leading man and woman, Tony Stark and Pepper Potts played by of course Robert Downey Jr and Gwyneth Paltrow respectively. They both killed every scene they were in on their own and even more so when they were on screen together. One of my favorite scenes with them was in Pepper's office and Tony was coming in to apologize for his earlier behavior, as he usually does so this isn't much of a spoiler here. I wish I could say the same for Tony's new rivals. Iron Man's new foes played by Sam Rockwell and Mickey Rourke as Justin Hammer and Ivan Vanko aka "Whiplash" weren't as complex and dangerous as I hoped they would be, BUT that's just me. But despite this, Rockwell embodied the depressing and starving for attention Justin Hammer as your typical "mad scientist who just wants to be respected and admired at any cost" bad guy. Vanko was for a lack of a better word "meh" to me. I didn't feel threatened by him in the slightest and this is Mickey Fucking Rourke we're talking about here. He did make an explosive entrance in the race track scene that you see in the trailer. That was done exceptionally well. But he fizzled out and never gained any momentum back in to the story except one scene towards the end where you really saw how whacked out he is and then quickly died out again. Honestly, Iron Man was more threatened by the reactor in his chest that was slowly killing him than Vanko.

Don Cheadle held it down filling in the role that Terrance Howard walked away/dismissed from as James "Rhodey" Rhodes/War Machine. And no I'm not saying this because he's my favorite actor ever EVER...ok partially it is. But he balanced well if not better with Downey Jr than Howard ever could. And don't get me started on the awesomeness that was War Machine, I'll let you all enjoy that yourselves. Scarlett Johnasson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow is so damn sexy I can't even put it into words. Her introduction to be part of Tony's team of assistants was very witty and hot at the same time. And she was kicking ass and taking names in typical Black Widow fashion. At first I was skeptical as her being The Widow but she did the role justice and I can't wait to see more of her. Samuel L. Jackson as Samuel L. Jackson w/ a nifty leather coat and eyepatch was a miss for me. Then again, its Samuel L. Jackson so having him as Nick Fury and basically making Nick Fury into Jackson isn't a bad idea at all so take it how you see fit. Special shout out to Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan and his cool guy driving skills. Not so much fighting skills, but his driving was pretty smooth.

As for the story the Swiss cheese analogy comes into play once again, but in the "wait wtf happened" kind of way. I think there was too many moments of witty dialogue that at times the story dragged along just for brief moments. Jon Favreau obviously just let the actors have at it and improv scenes to pass the time instead of create a moment and some of these scenes could have been cut out and used as extras on the DVD. I also wasn't too keen on The Avengers tie-ins either, they came off more like a total separate storyline and movie altogether rather than really being apart of Iron Man's universe. Tony Stark/Iron Man's true foe was not his opponents but was the battle within. As most superhero movies with their second installments, wasn't quite convincing enough, that is until he fulfilled the secret task that his father left him. The revelation was a bit anticlimactic but at least it got the point across. The build up for it wasn't as satisfying as I would have liked it to be. It also went over a lot of people's heads after talking to them afterwards and seemed a bit rushed in order to get to the finale of the movie. And THIS is what everyone was pretty much waiting for anyways. The last 20 minutes is basically what the whole movie should have been. If this was an action short film submitted to Sundance it would have cleaned house across the board. Every main character had their personal moment of awesomeness sprinkled with amazing and topped off with supercalifragilisticexpialidociousness. The hair on my arms were standing on end as everything came to an explosive and thrilling close.

SO in closing, I say go see the movie. It gets two thumbs up with a twist from me. This was far and between my favorite movie of 2010 so far. Despite the glaring holes I was able to notice with my trained film eye. Nonetheless, the movie definitely had enough thrills and chills in order to keep the average movie goer satisfied all the way to the end. Even better you can also take the kids to see this as they will enjoy the show just as I did.

Monday, May 3, 2010

My Hero-Free Verse

My Hero

Where are you when I need you the most?
I see you near, but I feel as if you're far away.
I call for your aid and it falls on deaf ears.
I'm slowly slipping away, and you don't even notice until its too late.
Your hand slips from my grip and I free fall down the cliff.
I feel the weight of the air crushing my heart and soul.
I feel the sting of the tears streaming down my face as I see the ground below me getting closer.
And closer.
I brace myself to hit rock bottom, but I don't feel the impact.
I turn and see you holding me, once again saving me from this fatal fall you have sent me on time and time again.
The air, as usual fills my body and I feel alive once more and can go on.
But this time, I am going on without you.
This time I have the strength to leave you and you no longer can catch me.
I am my own hero now and can save myself.
Thank you, and farewell.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Best News Ever

Three days ago, I wrote and submitted a poem to a blog site that is ran by published author Olive Rosehips (I love her name) entitled "I Spy". Olive is currently accepting short fiction and poetry to be featured on her site and I was hoping to be one of those that made it. This morning I received an e-mail saying that she is going to be featuring my poem on her blog site! You can find the post here which is a link to her blog site and my poem: I SPY But that's not all. Olive is actually putting together an anthology to be released in print sometime in August...and my "I Spy" piece is actually one of the ones chosen! For those who really know me can understand how huge this is for me. I was seriously fighting back the emotion I had. This is just crazy and I'm just typing from sheer emotion right now at how excited I am to receive this honor. All day I've been holding back "The Best News Ever" and here it is if you haven't quite figured it out yet, I'm getting published! I want to personally once again thank Olive for taking the time to read my poem, let alone feature it on her site and to use in her anthology. I'm extremely humbled right now I don't even know what to say anymore. I just wanted to share this with everyone all at one time, except my brother who I woke up this morning to share the news so he knew. I have never EVER submitted any of my pieces, stories, scripts or poems to any type of contest or anything of the like. For this to happen just three days after submitting it is an obvious confidence booster and this is just the beginning and bringing me a step closer to my dreams.