Entertainment

Attitude, discipline and reliability

March 31, 2017

Believe me, today's title contains three most important words when it comes to being successful in life, and they are attitude, discipline and reliability. The first of our trio of very important words is attitude. There's no doubt about it whatsoever, if you wish to have what we generally refer to as a good life across the board, you've got to cultivate a good, positive, and indeed, very pleasant overall attitude. I'm sure that most of my valued readers have repeatedly heard the catchy phrase "your attitude determines your altitude", which means, in effect, that provided you have the right attitude, you'll be able to proceed up the ladder of success and thus be a winner in life.
So number one: We have established that having a good attitude is vital for a successful life. However, let's face it, it can be difficult at times to consistently have the right attitude when one is going through a rather rough period in one's life, which, let's face it, we all go through from time to time. We'll also have to deal with others whose attitude stinks, to put it mildly.
And my friend, here's where our second word in today's success recipe comes in, namely discipline. There's no doubt about it whatsoever, if you wish to be successful across the board by having the right attitude at all times, it's going to take a whole lot of discipline on your part. Even when you don't feel like it you must discipline yourself to do the right thing at all times.
So attitude and discipline are vital to success across the board. Finally, if you wish to become successful and maintain your level of success in life, well then, there's no doubt about it, you've got to develop reliability in all that you undertake. People need to be able to rely on you to have the right attitude and be a very disciplined individual. So there you have it. A simple three-word formula for success across the board -- attitude, discipline and reliability.

o Think about it!
Visit my website at: www.dpaulreilly.com.
Listen to "Time to Think" the radio program on STAR 106.5 FM at 8:55 a.m. & 6:20 p.m.

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Heineken Party: New York, New York
Heineken Party: New York, New York

March 28, 2017

It was 1933, a time when gangsters like Al Capone ran the streets, backroom gambling ran rampant, prohibition was law and drinking only happened at speakeasies..A rumor began to spread that after 11 years, prohibition was coming to an end. Being the quick minded entrepreneur that he was, Freddy Heineken...

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Sunshine Insurance Sponsors BIFF's Youth Film Workshop

March 27, 2017

Sunshine Insurance (Agents & Brokers) Ltd. has partnered with the Bahamas International Film Festival (BIFF) for its 2017 Youth Film Workshop...

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Becoming Warren Buffet, Candid Documentar Chronicling The Life The Billionaire Investor, Debuts Exclusively on HBO
Becoming Warren Buffet, Candid Documentar Chronicling The Life The Billionaire Investor, Debuts Exclusively on HBO

March 27, 2017

HBO announces the exclusive debut of the original documentary Becoming Warren Buffet, premiering on April 24 at 21hrs AST*. With unprecedented access to his day-to-day personal life, the film tells the improbable story of how an ambitious...

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Danny Glover featured in Bahamas acting masterclass

March 27, 2017

Acclaimed Hollywood actor/director, Danny Glover, was featured alongside other top industry talents during the Bahamas Artist Movement (BAM) 2017 Dream Project Masterclass Workshop.

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'I remembered as a kid, seeing dead bodies washed up on shore...'

March 27, 2017

“Cargo,” written and directed by Kareem Mortimer, had its world premiere at the Miami International Film Festival this past weekend. This compelling Bahamian drama opens with bodies washed ashore, portending the tragedies involved in human smuggling. Kevin (an excellent Warren Brown) is a down-on-his-luck and deeply-in-debt white Bahamian fisherman who needs to improve his life. He has an ailing mother and angry wife at home, and his son is about to be thrown out of boarding school for unpaid tuition.

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Can't stop we now

March 23, 2017

Carnival has been happening in New Providence longer than you might think. Tomorrow, as they have done many years before, the University of the West Indies' Centre for Hotel and Tourism Management (CHTM) will be "chipping" down the road as they celebrate their annual Caribbean Carnival.
As far as I know, no one has railed against CHTM's Carnival for the thing itself. It's the expressions of myriad Caribbean countries coming together to celebrate a thing that has brought their countrymen together all across the globe. Carnival does that -- it unites people from all cross sections of life and all countries in the region.
The We March group has recently decided to raise up their collective fists against Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival. They want it postponed.
They have marched against the government on a number of issues in the past five months. And many of those issues absolutely justify a march.
But, postponing carnival for many stakeholders and foreign ticket holders is not an option. We March has clearly not considered the ramifications of its intentions.
The real issue for most people in the arena of carnival is its annual budget and the possible mismanagement of funds. Bahamians were concerned that despite spending more than $20 million in two years, the country had nothing to show for the investment but pictures, videos and debt.
However, carnival bands and entrepreneurs who built industry around carnival had deeper concerns. And those individuals continue to contend with balancing acrimony and anticipation. However, the government's handling of the people's funds is not their issue, and whatever squandering might one day be uncovered is not their business.
Stephan Rolle, whose company BlueMonkey Bahamas is promoting internationally its travel packages to New Providence for Bahamas Carnival, risks losing everything if carnival were to be postponed -- so do the carnival bands.
"We've exceeded our expectations and have bookings from persons from all across the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and as far as Europe, just for Bahamas Carnival. And despite our pleas, moved forward with zero assistance from the government, the Ministry of Tourism or the Bahamas National Festival Commission," said Rolle.
"The interest locally and internationally for Bahamas Carnival is there. The opportunities for local entrepreneurs exists ... to cancel or postpone Carnival now, 40-something days away, will kill whatever chances Bahamas Carnival had to develop.
"Additionally, any cancellation now will not just hurt my business, but will also hurt the reputation of The Bahamas internationally, much like how crime has hurt the reputation of [New Providence] internationally."
While I do not expect for one moment that the government would take postponement into consideration, the larger conversation is whether the We March organizers took the time to consider the economic costs for their fellow Bahamians if their plea was adhered to by government.
It is quite fine to offer dissent on national issues. Countries need dissenters to keep their leaders honest and deepen conversations on national issues.
What Rolle and the carnival bands are asking for is the chance to make their products work.
President of the Bahamas Carnival Band Owners Association said this week that the bands would go on the road come what may (no pun intended). But, there is an expectation from international visitors and Bahamians alike that their weekend would consist of more than that.
For the moment, Bahamas Carnival needs the investment by the government. It is We March and the Bahamian people's job to ensure they spend what they say they will, on things that will advance the product and the country.
People love carnival. It's why some Bahamians spend thousands of dollars each year to go to not only Trinidad, but Caribana (Toronto), Cropover (Barbados), Miami Carnival, Germany Carnival, Nottinghill Carnival (UK), Jamaica Carnival, et al.
I am personally considering the fledgling Hollywood, California Carnival in June, simply because the experience is amazing everywhere Caribbean people and carnival enthusiasts come together to have an amazing time, to amazing music, feeling the amazing energy that only carnival can create.
As I mentioned last week, kudos must be extended to the Bahamas National Festival Commission (BNFC) on certain fronts, but especially to the carnival bands for creating an amazing road experience and even more amazing costumes.
That's the experience people travel for. They want to don costumes, become bacchanalists and let themselves be free in a world stricken with barriers. We need to be free.
But We March is right. We still need accountability. Take the right stand on the issues and we'll stand with you.
"We March organizers ought to again consider the position of its members before committing to this issue, as the group could stand to lose the majority of its support, many of whom are millennials and are either some way involved in Bahamas Carnival, either as band owners, or service providers, or simply as revelers," said Rolle.

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'Beauty and the Beast' is overall quite pleasant

March 23, 2017

Beauty and the Beast
(Rated A)
Cast: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Kevin Kline
Genre: Fantasy/Romance
Dwight's Rating: 3 Stars

The jury's still out on whether this is a good thing we should all get behind, or a further sign that there are few new and fresh ideas left in the world today.
Nevertheless, Disney continues its roll out of "live-action" versions of some of their most popular animated films.
Most recently we had "Alice in Wonderland" in 2010, which, at best, was only "inspired" by the animated tale, as it took quite a few liberties with that story. On the other hand, 2015's "Cinderella" was more in line with its animated forebear, as was last year's amazing "The Jungle Book".
While these movies are based on flicks from the 1950s and '60s, the era known as the "Disney Renaissance" had been hitherto unscathed. That famous period was ushered in by the "The Little Mermaid" in 1989, and marked a revival of Disney Animation, producing some memorable and box office-shattering classics.
The studio followed up on the success of "The Little Mermaid" with monster-hit "Beauty and the Beast", and even bigger box office performances for "Aladdin" and the grand daddy of them all, "The Lion King". At the same, there was also the launch of Pixar, which would produce the first computer-animated films for Disney, and change animated movies forever.
But for the traditionally animated musicals for which this Renaissance era is noted, "Beauty and the Beast" was arguably the high water mark. It earned six Academy Award nominations and made history as the first animated film to be up for the Best Picture award! And, of course, that eponymous hit song took home the Oscar for Best Original Song.
Disney appears to be hoping to mine that success into this burgeoning new category of "live-action" semi-animated films. As with the 1991 version, Belle (played by a real-life Emma Watson) a bright, beautiful and independent young woman, is taken prisoner by a beast (Dan Stevens) in its castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle's enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the beast's hideous exterior, allowing her to recognize the kind heart and soul of the true prince that hides on the inside.
I got to re-watch that 1991 classic last year for the first time since I saw it shortly after its original release. While I know a great many people say their favorite Disney movie from this era is "The Lion King" or "The Little Mermaid", I've always thought (and still do) that "Beauty and the Beast" was the best of these films.
It was a stunning achievement at the time, and still holds up well today. Sure, compared to contemporary animation standards, it looks like a painting from the 1800s. But "painting" is the key word here. While not as complex as today's computer animation, it is still beautiful, in a quaint way. This, combined with that timeless score and spectacular Broadway quality songs, like "Be Our Guest", has made this an unforgettable masterpiece.
So, to say a lot was riding on this "remake" is an understatement.
Well, the live-action version is definitely classic Disney. It sticks mainly to the original film, updating it ever-so-slightly with some subtle 21st century sensibilities. But those cheery messages about never giving up on finding true love, and about accepting people for who they are -- no matter their faults -- are all still there.
Some aspects are still a little cheesy, and a little out of sync with some modern views, but Belle is, as always, a renaissance woman -- perhaps the most modern of all of the Disney heroines of this era.
The film drags a little in the middle, and Belle's openness to accept her captor seems to enter warp speed at one point. It seems odd to even mention "chemistry" here, but some parts feel a little forced with Belle and the Beast. Poor "Harry Potter" alumna Emma Watson having to cozy up to and interact with what would become a computer animated bovine with hooves and horns probably didn't help that situation.
Otherwise, Watson is excellent, dispelling any doubts that she was not perfectly cast in the role. In fact, the entire cast shines, particularly Luke Evans as pompous braggart Gaston, and Josh Gad as his sidekick LeFou.
This is still a largely "animated" film, and the voice cast is filled with some acting A-listers. You may not immediately recognize all the voices, but stay for the credits and be pleasantly surprised.
If you're familiar with the previous version, once you hear those classic songs, you'll feel right at home. And if you haven't ever seen it, these songs are just as catchy as they were in the '90s; at least one of them will be stuck in your head hours after you leave the theater.
In some scenes, however, when you reflect on the silliness before your eyes, you'll want to remember that this is a 'Disney' musical -- it ain't "Grease" or "Chicago". (Ironically "Beauty and the Beast" director Bill Condon wrote the Oscar nominated screenplay for "Chicago"). But just look over to the side, and I'm sure you'll see the kids enjoying it.
So, the new "Beauty and the Beast" looks great, sounds great, is funny at times, dark and daring at others, and overall quite pleasant. But to what end?
What is the point of doing a live-action version of a beloved animated film? Is it better than the animated version? Is it supposed to be? For some, this will render the animated version obsolete. It is painfully clear that a live-action film like this couldn't even have been dreamed about in the early '90s. The computer-animated sequences here make what was state-of-the-art back in 1991, look like the doodles in a child's school notebook.
One wonders if Disney hasn't unwittingly turned the animated version into a museum piece destined to a life on Turner Classic Movies.
Perhaps only the most nostalgic among us will venture near it henceforth. While indeed some of the magic from the older edition didn't translate to this film, the grandeur of these modern and spectacular visuals may be enough for most to overlook its less weighty emotional impact.
So, should we prepare ourselves for live-action versions of "Aladdin" or "The Little Mermaid" next? Will we have to redefine what is meant by "live-action" when Belle spends most of the movie talking to an animated teacup or candelabra? Is it too far-fetched to believe someone is probably thinking "live-action" versions of "Bambi" or "The Lion King" would be good ideas?
Some members of the jury would probably say it's too early to be worrying about that, and that for now we should see this embrace of the technology du jour as a good thing, and simply go along for the ride.

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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Who made the world what it is today

March 23, 2017

Now the question posed by the title of today's article is a very important one for everyone in my reading audience to answer. Who made the world what it is today? Well my friend, I wonder what your answer to that provocative question is. Actually, I was listening to a talk show host on radio in The Bahamas a little while back and he asked at one point during his afternoon show the following question, "What has become of our country?" I immediately went to my computer and put up a post on Facebook stating that the people of The Bahamas by our thoughts, words and actions over a long period of time, have in fact made The Bahamas what it is today. But my friend, this applies to any country in the world. Yes it does.
You see, we so-called humans have an inborn tendency to always look for a scapegoat to blame everything on. However, the truth of the matter is this: If there's something wrong in your life, well then, you my friend, and no one else, must accept responsibility for your life in its totality. We must all stop the perpetual blaming and thus own up to the fact that we caused whatever is wrong with our life, or collectively we -- you and I and everyone else -- caused whatever is wrong in our country and ultimately in the world. It's a matter of cause and effect. Yes it is. Simply put, what we put out over a period time, well eventually, it must come back.
Yes indeed, no matter how hard we try, and boy do we collectively try, we cannot avoid the fact that the whole universe and everyone and everything in it are governed by the universal law of cause and effect, what we put out we will eventually get back. So, if our individual life or the life of our particular country is not as it should be, we have to change first before our life or the life of our country will change for the better.

o Think about it!
Visit my website at: www.dpaulreilly.com.
Listen to "Time to Think" the radio program on STAR 106.5 FM at 8:55 a.m. & 6:20 p.m.

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Myra-Maud brings her unique music style once again to Eleuthera...All That Jazz Festival

March 23, 2017

Since Myra-Maud's breathtaking performance for the opening celebration of the 2011 Women's Soccer World Cup, her international popularity has grown -- and she will be bringing her unique music style that has been influenced by jazz as well as traditional Creole and Latin music, to an Eleuthera stage as she headlines the fifth Eleuthera...All That Jazz Festival.
Myra-Maud will lead a performers list that will also include the Steve Coven trio from Toronto; two Italian London-based musicians, saxophonist Tomasso Starace and pianist Massimo Colombo; and local Bahamian artists Adrian D'Aguilar and the Jazz Cats, featuring vocalists Anuschka Wright and Osana Neely.
The Eleuthera...All That Jazz Festival will be held March 29-April 2.
Festival founder and chairwoman Patricia Leigh-Wood said they are thrilled to bring back some artists who have been popular in the past, as well as having exciting new international artists at the festival.
Myra-Maud most recently appeared in a gospel musical at the Folies Bergeres in Paris, and performed a Whitney Huston tribute with the Leipzig National Orchestra.
The Steve Coven trio has established themselves as one of Canada's cultural ambassadors. The band has released 10 critically acclaimed albums. Many of their compositions have been used for national and international film and TV productions.
Starace and Colombo are prolific composers and have performed at many international jazz festivals since they started playing professionally in the 1990s.
And both Wright and Neely are enjoying increasing success at home and in the United States.
Profits from the festival are donated to the historic Haynes Library in Governor's Harbor, which provides support and resources to the local community through a multitude of free services and outreach programs -- especially for children -- for homework assistance, arts and crafts and computer proficiency.
The jazz festival also adds to the educational objective by running a "meet the instruments" session at the library for children.
"The festival has been an extremely welcome addition to our annual fundraising, and since its first year in 2012 has provided more than $50,000 to our funding," said Michele Johnson, Haynes Library president. "Last year we used the donation towards refurbishing and providing new equipment for our computer room. Few students on the island can afford a computer at home, so this is an essential educational tool for them," she said.
As well as supporting the Haynes Library, the festival also aims to provide valuable contacts for Bahamian musicians in the international music scene and encourage visitors to Eleuthera as a cultural tourist location.
The five days of events will include a sunset concert and jazz night at St. LeoRose in James Cistern on Wednesday, March 29 at 6 p.m. It will feature an evening of light jazz with an assortment of different artists from the festival. The cover charge of $20 is in aid of the Haynes Library.
Jazz Vespers at St. Patrick's Church in Governor's Harbour, featuring inspirational music from the classic jazz repertoire, will take place at 5:15 p.m., with Jazz in the Harbour at 1648 Bar & Grill-French Leave resort up next at 7:30 p.m., and a $20 cover charge which will also go to the Haynes Library.
Jazz at the Fish Fry in Governor's Harbour happens on Friday, March 31 between 7:15 p.m. and 9 p.m., free to the public. It will be a musical jam session with All That Jazz artists and other musicians performing an open jam session.
A musical workshop and meet and greet with the musicians at the Haynes Library takes place between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 1, with the Eleuthera...All That Jazz Concert at The Levy Preserve on Saturday, April 1 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $75 in advance, $100 at the door.
A Sunday gourmet jazz lunch concert on the beach between 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. will close out this year's festival. Tickets are $150 in advance, $175 at the door.

o Details on the performances, artists and how to purchase tickets or sponsor the festival are available on the website at www.eleutheraallthatjazz.com.

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HBO to Premiere Two New Original Films
HBO to Premiere Two New Original Films

March 21, 2017

From groundbreaking documentaries and films to award-winning series, HBO continues its longstanding commitment of delivering the most talked-about, riveting and thought-provoking content...

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KALIK Junkanoo Victory Fest
KALIK Junkanoo Victory Fest

March 21, 2017

Kalik, the beer of the Bahamas was proud to host and celebrate the achievements of the One Family Warriors, Colours and Roots Junkanoo groups. Kalik Junkanoo Victory Fest...

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March 20, 2017

HBO has announced the premiere of the fourth season of its original comedy series, Silicon Valley, debuting on April 23rd at 22hrs AST*, simultaneously with the United States...

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Aspiring Bahamian Child Actors Affordeda 2-day ​Experience with "LETHAL WEAPON" start Dany Glover...

March 20, 2017

Acclaimed Hollywood actor/director, Danny Glover, will be featured alongside other top industry talents during the Bahamas Artist Movement (BAM) 2017 Dream Project Masterclass Workshop...

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Hollywood Actor Danny Glover to be featured at BAM 2017 Acting Masterclass

March 20, 2017

Aspiring Bahamian Child Actors Afforded a 2-Day Experience with “LETHAL WEAPON” star Danny Glover , Jeffrey Poitier, Charmaine Neville, and more...

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Fyre Festival set to boost Exuma economy

March 16, 2017

Exuma is set for a huge economic boost the last weekend in April and first weekend in May with Fyre Festival executives preparing to bring almost 3,000 people in for the music festival.
Exuma's National Family Island Regatta will also be taking place at the same time. Bahamians typically pour into Great Exuma for the regatta, filling hotel rooms and rental properties.
According to the Fyre Festival website, the first weekend of the festival, April 28-30, is already sold out and the second weekend, May 5-7, has only VIP tickets remaining online at a price of $3,495. These tickets include private air travel from Florida to the Exumas. It is not yet known if tickets will be made available for locals.
Guardian Business contacted Fyre Festival officials last week for comment on the project, but only received an automatic response stating that someone "will respond to you directly if there is further interest".
"We are very excited that The Exumas have been selected as the home of Fyre Festival," Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe said in a release recently.
"This music festival will bring to The Bahamas one of the largest events ever hosted in our destination, and we are delighted to welcome all attendees to our island. We're working closely with the Fyre Festival team to ensure that visitors have an unforgettable trip to the Exumas. We're looking forward to sharing the beauty of our island with guests of Fyre Festival, just eight weeks away."
Guardian Business understands that the festival organizers plan to have a job fair on Exuma today, to find temporary workers interested in being a part of the festival crew.
Sources also revealed that the organizers have contacted officials at Sandals Emerald Bay to inform them that the festival could attract a significant number of private yachts to the resort's marina.
The initial plan called for Fyre Festival to be held on a private island. However, Guardian Business learned yesterday that the event will likely be held on a private development property in or near Farmer's Hill.
It is understood that one of the festival's principals is American rapper Ja Rule. The concert is named after Ja Rule's entertainment company, Fyre.
Fyre Festival is likely to bring thousands of dollars to Exuma's economy and New Providence-based companies, as entertainment equipment and many general setup requirements will likely come from both islands.
Heavy hitting artists like Major Lazer, Migos, Lil Yachty and Blink 182 are expected to be some of the acts at the sold-out Fyre Festival. A source revealed that Bahamians could be asked to be opening acts for the concert.
The National Family Island Regatta is also expected to get a welcome boost from 3,000 extra bodies on the island in April.

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Tickets now available for Cacique Awards

March 16, 2017

The business of tourism will be on full display at the Baha Mar Convention Center on April 8, as the Ministry of Tourism presents the 17th Cacique Awards. Tickets for the glamorous event are now on sale.
The prestigious event represents the highest honor in tourism, as it celebrates the brightest and best in the country's number one industry.
Categories for the awards include transportation, local airlines and tour operators, creative arts, handicraft, special events, the Cecil Rose sports and leisure award, sustainable tourism, human resources, manager of the year, chef of the year, employee of the year -- front of house and back of house -- sales executive of the year, hotelier of the year, the minister's award, the Clement T. Maynard Lifetime Achievement Award, the Blue Ribbon Panel Award, the Willie Love Award and the People's Choice Award.
Writer and Chorography Director of the program Ian Poitier said he is excited about this year's gala, as it is the first event of this magnitude being held at Baha Mar.
"We are going to bring the usual glamor and excitement that people have come to know and love over the years. In addition, this year we want to draw people into the world of tourism, hospitality and what it is like if you're involved in tourism. The business of tourism is our theme and we are going to look at the mechanics. There are thousands of people involved in that process and each one of them plays a vital role," he said.
"Baha Mar is spectacular for the region and for the world, and one of the reasons why breaking ground for Baha Mar has been of such interest is the scale of it. That is now coming to fruition, and so having the Cacique Awards there makes it all worthwhile."
Tickets for the Cacique Awards are $50 and all proceeds go to a scholarship for deserving students of the tourism and hospitality program at the University of The Bahamas.
Tickets can be purchased at the Ministry of Tourism by contacting Evamae Ferguson at 302-2078.

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'Kong' looks good, but cast wasted and wasting our time

March 16, 2017

Kong: Skull Island (Rated T)
Cast: Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, John C. Reilly
Genre: Fantasy/ Science Fiction
Dwight's Rating: 2 Stars

At the heart of it, this is ultimately a deeply tragic tale!
No, not the story of King Kong - the giant ape who unfortunately encounters the Earth's most dangerous beings (humans), and winds up losing his freedom and life as a result.
Rather, it's the tragic tale of the career of Brie Larson. One year removed from winning an Academy Award for best actress in the amazing Oscar-nominated film "Room", here she is making faces of shock and awe next to an oversized, computer-animated simian and other freakish prehistoric creatures in "Kong: Skull Island" - a National Geographic TV special on steroids (or even more potent narcotics).
Alas, Larson is not alone in these tragic circumstances. And like some of this film's hideous monsters, this tragic tale has wide-reaching tentacles that have captured several other notable actors, who must have either lost bets or are getting significant tax right-offs for their appearances here. John Goodman, who was so excellent last year in the fantastic "10 Cloverfield Lane", is wasted in a role that could have gone to a day player. And Samuel L. Jackson, who more and more seems to be playing the exact same character in every movie, is back with an even angrier version of that same angry guy.
And speaking of same, haven't we seen this movie before? Not just the Kong movies - the original or the remake or the other remake or all the spinoffs and their spinoffs - but also when it was called "Godzilla" or "Jurassic Park" or last year's "The Legend of Tarzan".
In this "Kong: Skull Island" version, set in the 1970s following the end of the Vietnam war, scientists, soldiers and adventurers unite to explore a mythical, uncharted island in the Pacific Ocean. Cut off from everything they know, they venture into the domain of the mighty Kong, igniting the ultimate battle between man and nature. As their mission of discovery soon becomes one of survival, they must fight to escape from a primal world where humanity does not belong.
So essentially, this is the story of Kong, but without the always-insane plan to capture him and put him on display in New York City. The expedition, with its scientists and soldiers and adventurers, is massive, and with so many members it's hard to keep track of all of the characters being torn to shreds by the island's creatures.
Things aren't all bad though. The film looks good. The freakish animals are really something - skin-crawling in many regards. When someone gets killed, the abundance of exposed guts and gore is realistically disgusting. The fighting scenes between Kong and the many monsters are quite...um... great... I guess. What else do you say when you watch a supersized gorilla and lizards fight to the death for what seems like an eternity? Fun times? Well, sure!
But again, unfortunately, it's the human cast that is wasted and wasting our time. The screenwriter is to blame - screenwriters actually. There are three of them. And that is painfully clear, as it seems these writers decided to each take on a different role in crafting the story and must have had few interactions with each other. If ever a film was written by committee, this was it.
As such, different actors must have got different instructions on what "Kong: Skull Island" was all about. British actor Tom Hiddleston, who is one of the lead heroes, must be campaigning to be the next James Bond. That has to be why he's so "Mr. Serious-Business-Action-Hero" here. And some internal memo about this being an epic war flick would explain why Jackson is just a little too intense and over-eager in this role.
Perhaps a less uptight approach to the monsters-on-the-loose dilemma like that of Chris Pratt's character in 2015's "Jurassic Park" would have been more appropriate, especially as writer number two decided he was writing for a full-on comedy. John C. Reilly ("Step Brothers" and "Chicago") is tasked with providing the comic relief. And he's actually great. But the massive tonal shifts between scenes with Reilly and with Hiddleston/Jackson feel exceptionally bizarre.
Not helping the situation is that the third writer must have been told this was an homage to B-movie horror films. So, Oscar-winner Larson and Goodman and others are left to ham it up for the camera, looking mind-blown and terrified at all times.
Striking a better balance, are two stars from "Straight Outta Compton". They're not playing characters from that movie (though that would have been interesting). Instead Corey Hawkins and Jason Mitchell (Dr. Dre and Easy-E, respectively, in "Compton") as a geologist and a soldier, respectively, are the most rational and realistic in their responses to this ridiculous scenario.
While Mitchell's character - the stereotypical wisecracker from every single war movie ever made - is also mainly there to lighten the mood, and at first seems bound to soon end up in the belly of a beast, his one-liners give way to something approaching the moral compass of the group and the film.
Yes, moral compass! There is a lot going on here!!
So what is "Kong: Skull Island"? Two hours of watching people and animals die in a serious war/action film but at times-madcap comedy? Yes! Think of it as "Independence Day" with giant monsters instead of aliens, or "Transformers" with giant monsters instead of alien robots, or any Marvel or DC-Comic movie with giant monsters instead of aliens or robots or mutants or super villains. You get the drift.
Also, apparently, you should sit through the credits for an interesting post-credits scene. I was too eager to get out of the theater, so I missed it. But hint: there'll be more of these movies.
And I really hope this Internet rumor is a mistake. But somebody is planning to do a remake of "King Kong vs. Godzilla", the wacky and immensely-popular Japanese film from the 1960s. This one may be called, get ready, "Godzilla vs. Kong". Wow!
Not knowing when to call it quits; perhaps the greatest tragedy of all!

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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You can change a life

March 16, 2017

Let me commence here today by asking you a simple question, which of course as usual I want you to answer with complete candor. Now here goes with the question: Are you happy right now with every aspect of your life? Now I would presume that we'll get a variety of answers to that question, ranging from perhaps "Yes I am" to "No I'm not" to "Maybe" to "It's pretty good, but it could be better". I guess in the long run, if we're being totally truthful, no one's life is perfect, all need improving in some way.
For example: perhaps you're quite satisfied with your job and do in fact enjoy your work immensely; however, your personal life is in a shambles, as you're just not getting along with your spouse or significant other. It could of course be the other way around, perhaps your personal life is great but you're not happy with your career as you appear to be standing still, so to speak, and not advancing as you had expected to. And of course other parts of your life could be virtually non-existent, like your social life or the spiritual part of your life.
Well my friend, if that really is the case, I'm here to state that as the simple title of today's article succinctly puts it 'You Can Change A Life' and make it into something truly special and indeed successful....yes you can!
So today's the day for you to do an in-depth study of your life, across the board. Then having done that, if some areas of your overall life are lacking, well then, put some specific plans in place to turn things around, so that all will be well in all facets of your overall life once again. Yes indeed, today is 'Change Day' in your life and affairs. Now go to it!

o Think about it!
Visit my website at: www.dpaulreilly.com.
Listen to "Time to Think" the radio program on STAR 106.5 FM at 8:55 a.m. & 6:20 p.m.

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