Opinion

Priest says PM showed 'grave disrespect' to church

August 17, 2015

Prime Minister Perry Christie showed grave disrespect to St. Agnes Anglican Church during a recent funeral, Anglican Archdeacon Ranfurly Brown said.

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A crisis of leadership - part 2

August 17, 2015

“Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

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The view from Europe: Baha Mar too big to fail

August 15, 2015

Hardly a day passes without a new twist in the increasingly tense and acrimonious legal battle over the unfinished $3.5 billion Baha Mar resort on New Providence in The Bahamas.

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'Fantastic Four' -- not even remotely fantastic

August 14, 2015

Fantastic Four (Rated B)
Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell
Genre: Action Adventure
Dwight's Rating: 2 stars

Fantastic Four, you say? Well, perhaps Fantastic Three-Fourths!
Not because these heroes aren't "fantastic" or because only three out of four of them are special. Rather, it's because something's not quite right about this reboot of "Fantastic Four" -- based on the Marvel Comic superhero team -- lending it the overwhelming sense that this movie is only three-fourths of a whole.
Well, maybe it's more accurate to say two-thirds! And those first two-thirds begin a long, LONG, set-up for what promises to be an exciting showdown. These anticipation-building moments are actually the best part of the production, simultaneously providing an in-depth study of some potentially interesting characters.
We are transported to an alternate universe, as four young outsiders gain superhuman powers as their physical forms are altered in unbelievable ways. Reed Richards (Miles Teller, "Whiplash") becomes Mr. Fantastic, able to stretch and twist his body at will, while best bud Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell, "Billy Elliot" and TV's "Turn: Washington's Spies") gains immense strength as The Thing.
Johnny Storm (Michael B. Jordan, "Fruitvale Station" and TV's "Friday Night Lights") becomes the Human Torch, able to control and project fire, while his sister Susan (Kate Mara, "Brokeback Mountain") becomes the Invisible Woman. Together, the team must harness their new abilities to prevent the evil Doctor Doom from destroying the earth.
It's at this point -- the third and final act (the third-third) -- when things completely fall off a steep cliff. That long, slow, build up, and that ultimate showdown that we had been so eagerly awaiting is quickly ruined, with an inexplicably lukewarm battle scene that is hurriedly addressed and wrapped up far too neatly and conveniently. It's as if the production crew ran out of studio time, and was told to vacate forthwith.
The film feels half-baked. Yet shockingly, at just over one hour and 40 minutes, may actually be too short! (Egad!). Although, arguably that long initial set-up could have been shortened or rearranged.
Blame the director? Not so fast! Director Josh Trank has publicly been critical of the finished product, claiming he had little or no say in the final cut, and that executives at 20th Century Fox essentially took over. Things have been getting even nastier in the press now, as reports of behind-the-scenes and off-the-set chaos abound. It's clear that something went terribly wrong. And that's most unfortunate.
However, I honestly wonder if "Fantastic Four" should have made it to theaters in the first place. It feels an awful lot like the pilot for a TV show. And it really should have been or still should be considered better suited for television. It could certainly be more promising than Marvel's current TV offering, "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."
This leads me back to what is now becoming my ongoing rant about superhero comic book movies, and what seems like a bombardment in cinemas of a new superhero franchise or sequel every single month.
A small percentage of these are amazing ("Guardians of The Galaxy"), some of it is promising ("Ant Man"), but a lot of it is complete and utter dreck. Marvel gets most of the blame because it's been leasing out the rights to its comic book characters to many different film studios, and everyone is trying to get a piece of the pie -- hence the sense that there's a ceaseless parade of these flicks every year.
Ironically, Marvel's archrival -- the more judicious and selective DC Comics -- has been gaining some ground with a slightly more conservative approach. DC has been having some better success at television, most recently with the well-regarded "The Flash" and "Gotham". And early reviews for its upcoming "Supergirl" are good, although bizarrely both "Gotham" and "Supergirl" will be pitted against each other on Monday nights this fall.
On the movie side, the most talked about and anticipated superhero comic book feature film in a long time appears to be "Batman v Superman" -- although I have a very bad feeling about that one.
But at what point will all of this be too much? "Fantastic Four" is being called a flop, making only about $25 million ($65 million worldwide) in its opening weekend on its estimated budget of at least $120 million budget. (It opened second to the still-going-strong, and very exciting, "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation".)
"Fantastic Four" could have been the victim of other bad reviews. But I wonder if the issue isn't just simply burnout. Because, regardless of whether it's Marvel or DC or whomever, these are all superhero comic book characters, and there are many similarities. And with all the reboots and sequels and spinoffs and prequels, it feels like we're seeing the same things over and over again!
If only the film studios would recognize that the more they continue to crank these out, the more they will become just like the evil corporations they so often rail against.
And soon almost four-fourths of us will be praying for any superhero -- or even a super villain -- to come and shut the whole thing down!

o Dwight Strachan is the host/producer of " Morning Blend" on Guardian Radio. He is a television producer and writer, and an avid TV history and film buff. Email dwight@nasguard.com and follow him on twitter @morningblend969.

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Don't stop praying

August 13, 2015

So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, "May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them

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I don't understand but I trust

August 13, 2015

Let me tell you at the outset that there are many, many things that I don't understand about life.

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Baha Mar: PLP conflicts of interest and spectacular hypocrisy

August 13, 2015

When Prime Minister Perry Christie and the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) were courting and beseeching Sarkis Izmirlian to redevelop Cable Beach, no one in the party was singing Bob Marley's "Redemption Song"

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DPM: No one should disrespect Office of the Prime Minister

August 12, 2015

Deputy Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis said yesterday that no one should disrespect the Office of the Prime Minister.

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Bahamian banks should offer green loans

August 11, 2015

I believe that one of the major factors stifling the growth of the renewable energy industry, besides the inability of successive government to develop a bipartisan energy plan, is access to comprehensive financing options.

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The anatomy of leadership in The Bahamas

August 11, 2015

The question as to whether leaders are born or made is one that will continue for years to come with valid arguments being put forward on both sides of the debate.

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It's time to decriminalize marijuana for personal use

August 10, 2015

Marijuana is illegal in The Bahamas. If police catch you with it, you’ll be arrested and prosecuted.

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Crisis of leadership, part 1

August 10, 2015

"A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves."
- Edward R. Murrow

Last month, The Bahamas celebrated its 42nd anniversary of independence from Great Britain that was ushered in on July 10, 1973.

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The difference an election cycle makes: Why are we surprised

August 07, 2015

Bahamians seem to expect things to change every five years. They expect the people they voted out five years before to have come back different from when they left.

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Munroe: Izmirlian entitled, ungrateful

August 07, 2015

Attorney Wayne Munroe, QC, said yesterday that he believes Baha Mar CEO Sarkis Izmirlian is an "entitled and ungrateful" man.

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Learning lessons from Baha Mar

August 06, 2015

At one time in their relationship Prime Minister Perry Christie and Baha Mar developer Sarkis Izmirlian were as thick as old comrades. They cooed compliments and encomiums to each other.

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The irrational fear of Cuba opening up

August 05, 2015

After 54 years of hostility between Cuba and the United States of America, the former opened an embassy in Washington, D.C. - the U.S. capital of course - on Monday July 20.

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Corporate governance and public corporations in The Bahamas

August 04, 2015

The debate and focus on good governance has been for the most part constrained to the private sector. This may not be unrelated to the emphasis on good corporate governance practices by regulatory agencies and governments particularly in the aftermath of financial scandals that have plagued corporate giants over the last few decades.

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Big Dragon on Campus: China's soft power-play in academia - part 2

July 31, 2015

Self-censorship
The administrations of many universities hosting Confucius Institutes across the globe have self-censored their activities to keep from offending China. In 2009, North Carolina State University cancelled a visit by the Dalai Lama, after the director of the school's Confucius Institute warned that hosting the Tibetan leader would disrupt "strong relationships we were developing with China."

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Discipline defines you

July 30, 2015

We all know I believe, that in order to be successful at anything one needs to set goals and objectives and then work hard each and every day to bring these goals to fruition.

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