A Warner Brothers What If

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Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson, James Cagney and George Raft. What if someone at Warner Brothers could have gotten these four greats into one movie?  Wow, what a classic that would have been! They could have given it one of those typical Warner Brothers titles, “We Die As One”,  “Rush Of Night”,  “Four Way Stop” or “The Heat’s On Us”.

Any combination of the three actors would have had the makings for an excellent movie. Thankfully we did get several pairings of twos: Robinson and Raft, Bogart and Cagney, Raft and Bogart, Robinson and Cagney, Bogart and Robinson, Cagney and Raft.

Although they never appeared together in one film they sure made a lot of movies on their own.  Here are my favorite movies from these classic Warner Brothers tough guys.

Humphrey Bogart – My favorite of the bunch. So hard to pick just a few, he made so many excellent movies. Even in some of his lesser movies he tended to give a strong performance.

Casablanca
Dark Passage
The Maltese Falcon
Sahara
Sirocco

James Cagney – Cagney and Bogart were great together on screen. It’s a real shame that they were not able to make a movie together later in their careers. Key Largo, released in 1948 starring Bogart and Robinson , is gold because Bogart and Robinson were mature actors, both at the top of their game. To have seen Bogart and Cagney together around this time period would have been fantastic.

The Roaring Twenties
Angels With Dirty Faces
G Men
The Public Enemy
White Heat

George Raft – Acting wise the lesser of the four, but he had the most mainstream appeal of the group.

They Drive By Night
Invisible Stripes
A Bullet For Joey

Edward G. Robinson – Hands down the most versatile of the four and the best actor in the bunch.  Robinson and Bogart appeared together in five films. Although Key Largo is generally mentioned as a Bogart and Bacall movie, Robinson really steals the movie.

Key Largo
Bullets Or Ballots
The Amazing Dr Clitterhouse
Double Indemnity
Kid Galahad

Comfort?

So many of us desire comfort, and there’s nothing wrong with that. We daily strive to be comfortable in this life. However, far too many of us desire comfort over happiness. Our comfort zones create an easy place to stay, even if it means staying too long. Whether it’s a bad relationship, a job or even a beloved home in an increasing decaying neighborhood, we tend to linger too long. Sometimes we stay so long that we fall asleep at the wheel and miss out on many great opportunities. Far too often we feel that the risk of change is too painful. Change is inevitable although many try to run from it, seeking the comfort of the past. If we decide to leave comfort behind and walk away from our comfort zones, than the very change that we fear may well bring true happiness. Happiness that we never will find in the midst of living in our own comfort.

Jose Reyes- The Mighty Fallen

 

How the mighty have fallen. Former Mets All Star shortstop Jose Reyes has been designated for assignment by his current team, The Colorado Rockies. The Rockies have ten days to trade or release him, or he may accept a demotion to the minor leagues.

Wow! How did we get here? At one point Reyes was considered one of the most dynamic players in baseball. He is a four time All Star and he won the National League battling title in 2011 when he batted .337.

Since leaving the Mets as a free agent at the end of the 2011 season he has played for The Miami Marlins, The Toronto Blue Jays and The Colorado Rockies. He has been a solid, but steadily declining ballplayer. I hope that this recent news is not the end of career. At 33 years of age I would say that he still has a few more good years in him.

In hindsight the debate that raged several years back seems rather silly now. Many were debating which New York team had the better shortstop. Well, the team from the Bronx had a shortstop  that should be a future first ballot Hall of Famer. Nuff said.

 

 

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X-Men: Apocalypse, Third Time’s A Charm?

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I saw the newest X-Men movie, X-Men: Apocalypse, this past week. Here are a few thoughts.  Beware there are spoilers.

 

The Good:

James McAvoy is excellent as Professor X.
They finally got the look of Magento’s helmet right.
Nightcrawler is back!
It always good to see Hugh Jackman don the claws.
Aside from a few cheesy moments early on Apocalypse was a really good villain.
Angel, Storm and Psylocke were good in the few scenes that they appeared in.
Very cool to hear Metallica’s The Four Horsemen blasting through the theater speakers.

 

The Bad:

It seems the casting department went out of their way to cast odd looking actors to portray Cyclops, Jean Grey and Nightcrawler.
Why did the writers go so overboard in portraying Mystique as a hero? Makes no sense, Mystique is a villain.
No Colossus?!?! Why leave one of the best X-Men off the team?  His all too brief appearance in X2 is one of the highlights of the entire X-Men movie series.
Does Magneto really have to be in every X-Men movie?

 

The Ugly:

Jennifer Lawrance is a dud, her performance is dull, boring and passionless.  In the Mystique makeup she is just weird looking.
At times the movie was a bit slow. How is it possible to make a boring X-Men movie?  The prior X-movies were not wall to wall action, but even in the quieter moments they were never boring.

 

Overall I enjoyed a good portion of the movie, however I was extremely underwhelmed. At the end of the movie I left the theater feeling rather unsatisfied.  This certainly was not the case when I saw Captain America: Civil War or Batman V Superman. Overall the director, Bryan Singer, has done a great job in the previous X-Men movies. However, I do believe that it may be time for him to step aside and bring in some new blood, with a fresh and different approach. The characters of the X-Men are far to exciting to be featured in underwhelming movies like this one.  For all of it’s faults at least X-Men: The Last Stand was an exciting movie.

The Inevitability Of Change

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Things change, life is fluid. Even when we do not want change it happens regardless.

 

  • Your best friend meets the love of his life and gets married.

 

  • Your favorite television show goes in a new direction that has you scratching your head.

 

  • Your church decides on a makeover and puts down new carpet and paints the walls.

 

  • The singer from your favorite band decides to go solo.

 

  • Your place of employment decides to close the doors.

 

  • You look in the mirror and notice grey hairs.

 

  • A loved one dies.

 

Great and small, change is inevitable, like it or not. How we deal with it is the challenge. Do we face it head on and embrace it, or do we run from it, knowing that we can only run so far. Like the passing of the seasons change is inevitable and it is beyond our control.