Poem: We

poison.jpg
All countries of the world,
have their own agendas,
their own appearances,
the customs of the past,
meeting the feelings of the present.
 

Wars are being fought,
on all sides,
between and among us,
where we stand,
we all eventually fall.

All of us spit at the other,
encouraging the snickering,
knowing it is wrong but still marching,
left, right… left, right… left, right,
not remembering blood is red when exposed.

With closed eyes,
inability to see clearly,
the charming beauty before us,
far too wrapped up in our own cocoon,
we have swallowed the rotten meat.

They feed us poorly,
our skin turns raw colors,
the leaders know their power,
where they stand,
but a few remaining will not ingest the poison.

2019

Poem: All Around Us

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For every man that wakes up,

no matter what time of day,

no matter what he does for a living.

Here, I am.

Here, I will stay.

Here, I will not die, today.

For every child that goes to sleep,

no matter how many books are read,

no matter how tight the teddy bear is held.

Here, I am.

Here, I will protect.

Here, I will do my duty, tonight.

For every woman that questions,

no matter what hour it might be,

no matter how much it stings.

Here, I am.

Here, I will influence.

Here, I will challenge, all the time.

For every body that breathes,

no matter what they look like,

no matter what they feel they must do.

Here, I am.

Here, I will be.

Here, I will continue, forever.

2019

Poem: Before Me, Revenge

crops

We were under the clouds.

I stood before you, you looked at me.

With your middle eye, you winked.

I could not look away.

 

Angry with envy, green as the giant.

I grew taller and stronger.

Seeing through the mockery,

we were eye to eye.

 

Night rain became dry earth.

The next day, ripened fruit appeared.

I took a bite.

You did not like it in my hand.

 

Ripping it away,

taking what was promised to me,

I grew until my pants fell to my ankles.

My anger rising. 

 

You took off.

We ran through muddy water,

destroying forest trees and growing crops.

No one gets away without consequence.

2019

Poem: Rough Edges

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I’m not what I used to be,
the insides are now out,
and the up is now down.
If I seek a better life for myself,
am I the bastard still?
This is what is feels like
after all these years
when you thought of me as worthless.
Useless and easy to throw away,
Viewed as a coward,
when my head was buried in the sand.
Like vomit in a toilet,
I’ve been easy to flush down,
a nuisance of the worst kind.
It sticks to me,
the inability to sleep at night,
the knocking on my  brain
keeps me awake.
Pounding before I fall asleep
and pounding  hours before I should wake up.
Fighting continuous battles I do not want.
Open my eyes, you told me,
and function properly at a capacity of your doing,
your own choice.
Right or wrong,
I don’t deserve this punishment.
It’s easy to point at weakness,
bring another to the knees,
and gather one more time
to laugh.
When you aren’t capable of looking
at your own faults,
at who you have turned into,
someone different.
I’m not what I used to be,
but neither are you.
2019

List of Movie Reviews Since 2017

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I’m not usually one to re-post past entries, but since I put in the work here it is.  These are all the movie reviews I’ve written since I started this blog.  There’s been changes along the way.  I had more than I realized and probably invested more time than I should have.  Either way, I doubt I’ll stop writing them, but I’m doing them at my leisure more and more these days.  The rating system is below for those not aware of it.

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Movie Reviews So Far by Pisaries Creator

Movie Review: Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood (2019)

Movie Review: John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019)

Movie Review: Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Movie Review: Black Panther (2018)

Movie Review: Sorry to Bother You (2018)

Movie Review: Bad Times at the El Royale (2018)

Papillon (1973) or Papillon (2017)

Movie Review: Aquaman (2018)

Movie Review: Battlefield Earth (2000)

Movie Review: Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

Movie Review: High Noon (1952)

Movie Review: Smokey and the Bandit (1977)

Movie Review: BLACKkKLANSMAN (2018)

Movie Review: The Meg (2018)

Movie Review: Mission: Impossible – Fallout

Movie Review: Beirut (2018)

Movie Review: Red Sparrow (2018)

Movie Review: I, Tonya (2017)

Movie Review: Coco

Movie Review: Get Out (2017)

Movie Review: Showgirls

Movie Review: All the Money in the World

Movie Review: Thor: Ragnarok

Review of Jaws Franchise

Movie Review: IT (Part One)

Movie Review: Dunkirk Does Deliver

Movie Review: Get to Know the Movie Called Chuck!

2019

3 More Quotes

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angelouquote

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2019

Book Recommendations: The Bluest Eye and Beloved

“Sunk in the grass of an empty lot on a spring Saturday, I split the stems of milkweed and thought about ants and peach pits and death and where the world went when I closed my eyes.” (from The Bluest Eye)

“She is a friend of my mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order. It’s good, you know, when you got a woman who is a friend of your mind.” (from Beloved)

*******

The Bluest Eye

Publisher: Vintage International

Publication Date: May 8, 2007 (Reprint edition)

Page Number: 206

*******

Beloved

Publisher: Vintage

Publication Date: June 8, 2004 (Reprint edition)

Page Number: 321

*******

I’ve been thinking about past books I’ve read.  Toni Morrison popped into my head.  Then, I found out today she died yesterday.  Not saying it means anything, but something like this doesn’t happen to me often.  She left behind great work.  I’ve only read two of her books (shame, I know): The Bluest Eye and Beloved.  They are great reads, full of raw detail and human tragedy.  Both include parenting or lack thereof, the roles of men and women, self worth and personal responsibility, and living in an unforgiving society.Her bookBeloved was the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1988.

The Bluest Eye centers around a young girl named Pecola. The Great Depression has ended.   She loves Shirley Temple and is fascinated with her “whiteness.”  Pecola believes her problems would be solved if she were white.  The verbal taunting would stop by children her age, adults would look at her without suspicion, and she wouldn’t be blamed for things she didn’t do.  Her parents have little interest in her well-being.  Her mother is too preoccupied in drowning her own sorrows in movies.  Her father hates his life and takes it out on people around him.   Having no support system, she finds herself pregnant and alone at a young age.  The two girls Pecola met earlier, Claudia and Frieda, try to help her by planting flowers.  They want her baby to live, but after everything Pecola has gone through, there doesn’t seem to be much hope for her future.   The only thing Pecola seems to have left is the love for her blue eyes.

Beloved centers around a woman named Sethe.  She is a female slave before the Civil War.  During one of her escapes attempts, she manages to kill one of her children in order to keep them from experiencing slavery.  In honor of her child, she has a headstone engraved with the word “Beloved.”  The story cuts and back forth in time, between the freed Sethe and the enslaved Sethe.  She currently lives with her grown daughter named Denver.   She finds companionship in another freed slave named Paul D.  He has a hard time with his emotions, but they are right for each other.  Things get complicated when a woman named Beloved comes to stay with them.  Sethe, feeling guilt over killing her child, does everything to keep Beloved happy.  She believes she is the reincarnation of “Beloved” and her increased interest turns her every which way.   She loses her job and becomes a shut in.  One day she mistaking her surviving daughter’s employer for someone from her past.  After Sethe attacks him, her life further unravels.   Beloved becomes distant, Paul D returns, Denver prospers, and Sethe remains guilty for what she has done.

*******

If books are supposed to keep you engaged, both of them do this.  If books are supposed to educate, they do that too.  If books are supposed to have a message, they definitely succeed.  Sometimes a person from nowhere comes in, rattles the foundation a little bit, and leaves a lasting impression.  In this case, it was Toni Morrison, who wrote not uplifting stories, but realistic stories on societal hardship, personal turmoil, tragedy and its pain, but with a little sliver of hope.  

Toni Morrison

February 18, 1931 – August 5, 2019

Vitoria - Graffiti & Murals 0392
Zarateman [CC0]

2019

Movie Review: Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood (2019)

Quote from Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood by Rick Dalton

“No that’s my stunt double Cliff Booth.”

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Executive Producer: Georgia Kacandes

Writer and Director: Quentin Tarantino

Major Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio as Rick Dalton, Brad Pitt as Cliff Booth, Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate, Emile Hirsch as Jay Sebring, Margaret Qualley as Pussycat, Timothy Olyphant as James Stacey, Julia Butters as Trudi, Austin Butler as Tex, Dakota Fanning as Squeaky Fromme, Bruce Dern as George Spahn, Mike Moh as Bruce Lee, Luke Perry as Wayne Maunder, Damian Lewis as Steve McQueen, Al Pacino as Marvin Schwarzs, Rafal Zawierucha as Roman Polanski, Kurt Russell as Randy, Costa Ronin as Voytek Frykowski, Damon Herriman as Charles Manson, Madisen Beaty as Katie, and Maya Hawke as Flower Child

MMPA Rating: R for language throughout, some strong graphic violence, drug use, and sexual references

Running Time: 2 hours and 41 minutes

*******

It Arrived.  Did Anything Leak?  No, Not to Me.

Quentin Tarantino was afraid spoilers would plaster the internet by those who watched the movie before it’s official release.  I didn’t have the time to scour everywhere on the internet to see if I could find any.  Frankly, I didn’t have the desire to do it either.  On that note, there won’t be any major spoilers in this review.  Most of us already have a brief idea of what Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood  (2019) is about and are familiar with Quentin Tarantino’s stories and directing.  If you haven’t watched any of his films, I would start with Pulp Fiction (1994) or Jackie Brown (1997) and if you like those, then watch the remaining seven.  I listed them near the end in the order of least to best liked as it seems everyone else has done too when reviewing this movie.  This movie has it all: creativity in the rewriting of history, nostalgia of Westerns, importance of foreign cinema, acting longevity in Hollywood, and the star lifestyle including drugs, drinking, and destruction.  Because it had historical aspects as did Django Unchained (2012) and Inglourious Basterds (2009), there wasn’t much I didn’t like about Tarantino’s ninth film.  Besides, it was nice to see some old landmarks in Hollywood and Los Angeles area.  This movie is basically for people who love what movies utimately provide: an escape for a few hours from reality even if it’s about version of a historical period in time.

What’s Behind Quentin?  It’s Called His Shadow.

Tarantino likes to write and direct his own material.  He’s earned that right and then some.  Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood is produced by Columbia Pictures, Bona Film Group, Heyday Films, and Visiona Romantica and distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing.  The running time is 2 hours and 41 minutes with a R rating.  The major cast is Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Emile Hirsch, Margaret Qualley, Timothy Olyphant, Julia Butters, Austin Butler, Dakota Fanning, Bruce Dern, Mike Moh, Luke Perry, Damian Lewis, Al Pacino, Rafal Zawierucha, Damon Herriman, Kurt Russell,  Victoria Pedretti, Costa Ronin, Madisen Beaty, and Maya Hawke.  Tim Roth, James Marsden, and Danny Strong shot scenes, but were not included in the theatrical release. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is a comedy/drama about an actor and his stunt double.  Both are approaching the age where losing their place in Hollywood is becoming a reality although for different reasons.  It explores the culture of the late 1960s in Los Angeles and the changes occurring taking place.

Hollywood in CA is a Combination of Many Things.

hollywood

I doubt Hollywood in CA gets confused with Hollywood, FL, but just in case one is the birth place of film and the other is a city in Broward County.  Here is a short summary of of Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood.  The movie begins with Rick Dalton (actor) and Cliff Booth (stuntman) giving an interview on a movie lot.  They meet with Marvin Schwarz, a producer, who gives Rick suggestions for his next career move.   He rejects the advice and has hopes his neighbor, Roman Polanksi, might help him.  At a Playboy Mansion party, we see the likes of Steve McQueen, Michelle Phillips, and Jay Sebring.  Enter the first viewing of Charles Manson.  Since Dalton loves to reminisce about his “glory days,” he often watches himself before his TV show was cancelled.  We find the reason why Randy is cautious about Cliff that leads to a scene with Bruce Lee.  The career of Sharon Tate evolves as she indulges in her fame while Rick has a heart to heart conversation with a young actress who likes to be called Trudi and has some trouble on the set.  After finishing helping Rick, Cliff goes on a little ride with a hitchhiker named Pussycat.  He drops her at a ranch he used to work although he hasn’t seen George Spahn in quite a few years.  He meets a handful of questionable people there and stands his ground with the gang.  Six months have passed and upon returning from Rome, we learn Rick has found love and Cliff reunites with his dog in Los Angeles.  It is now August 1969.  As Rick, Cliff, and Francesca drink and relax on this night, another chance meeting with the hippies sets the ball in motion.  This is what we have been waiting for, the grand finale, where dog food, knives, and fire are involved.

Let’s Talk About That End Scene, Shall We!

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There are a handful of scenes that stand out from the rest.  One was Rick’s interaction with Trudi.  The other was Cliff at the ranch.  The third and one I liked the best was the showdown on Cielo Drive.  I had no idea what to expect.  The ending was not what I thought it would be, but I was satisfied.  There were a lot of moving parts, and I felt closer to the characters compared to some of his other movies.  Maybe because it wasn’t dripping in blood and more blood, I found Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood had a subtle kind of payback by the end.  You can’t go wrong with the barrel full of actors and actresses.  Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Margot Robbie played their roles well as did the Manson Family members.

It Comes Down to This Shot.

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Madame Tussauds

Yes, I highly recommend this movie because it’s written and directed by Quentin Tarantino.  It’s also a great story and while some scenes could have been shorter, overall it kept my attention almost 100%.  Sure, the theater scene of Sharon Tate watching herself could’ve been shorter.  The scene between Cliff and Bruce Lee would never have happened in real life.  It just wouldn’t.  There is no way in hell, but the purpose of the scene was not supposed to be realistic.  I get it.  I loved the scene of Rick with his lines.  It’s a film I could watch again and again.  While not near the top out of all his movies, Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood is better than Death Proof (2007), but not Reservoir Dogs (1992).  My pecking order of his movies are from least liked to best liked.  I separated the Kill Bill movies for obvious reasons to me because they are not on the same caliber.  Therefore, instead of 9 movies, I listed 10.  If you put them together, they would in the top five (more than likely number 5) and then you’d have 9 total.

10. Death Proof (2007)

9.  Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004)

8.  Inglourious Bastards (2009)

7.  Pulp Fiction (1994)

6. Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood (2019)

5.  Jackie Brown (1997)

4.  Django Unchained (2012)

3.  The Hateful Eight (2015)

2.  Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003)

1.  Reservoir Dogs (1992)

For Those Departed And the Ones Still Alive.

Sharon Tate Valley of the Dolls 1967
20th Century-Fox [Public domain]

The primary focus of this are the people who had long careers in Hollywood and those that were ended too soon although there are a few Manson family members included since they were in the film.

*******

Wayne Maunder played by Luke Perry was a TV actor and starred in Westerns like Lancer.  Maunder is still alive, but Perry died in March 2019.

James Stacy played by Timothy Olyphant was a TV actor and starred in Westerns like Gunsmoke.  Stacy died in September 2016.

Joann Pettet played by Rumer Willis was a TV actress and starred in The Night Gallery.  Pettet is still alive.

Steve McQueen played by Damian Lewis was a movie actor and starred in The Magnificient Seven.  McQueen died in November 1980.

Bruce Lee played by Mike Moh was a movie actor and starred in The Green Hornet.  Lee died in July 1973.

*******

Sharon Tate played by Margot Robbie was a movie actress and starred in Valley of the Dolls.  Tate died in August 1969.

Jay Sebring played by Emile Hirsh was a hair stylist.  Sebring died in August 1969.

Wojciech Frykowski played by Costa Ronin was as screenwriter and actor.  Frykowski died in August 1969.

Abigail Folger played by Samantha Robinson was Frykowski’s girlfriend.  Folger died in August 1969.

 

*******

George Spahn played by Bruce Dern was a ranch owner who allowed the Manson Family to stay at his place.  Spahn died in September 1974.

*******

Charles Manson played by Damon Herriman was a cult leader.  Manson died in November 2017 in prison.

Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme played by Dakota Fanning was a cult member who tried to kill President Gerald Ford in 1975.  She is still living and was released from prison in August 2009.

Charles “Tex” Watson played by Austin Butler was a cult member who was a part of the Tate murders.  He is still living and is serving a life sentence.

Patricia Krenwinkel played by Madisen Beaty was a cult member.  She was named Katie in the movie and is still living and is serving a life sentence.

Susan Atkins played by Mikey Madison was a cult member.  She was named Sadie in the movie and died in September 2009 in prison.

Linda Kasabian played by Maya Hawke was a cult member.  She was named Flowerchild in the movie and given immunity for her testimony.  She is still living in obscurity.

Kathryn “Kitty” Lutesinger played by Margaret Qualley was a cult member.  She was named Pussycat in the movie and is still living.  She left the Manson family in October 1969 and contacted the police and testified against the family.

*******

I rate Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood NEAR PERFECT…

which means Four Fingers and One Thumb at 96%.

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2019

 

TV and Documentary Recommendation: American Masters (1985-)/The Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin (2018)

As a precursor, I’ve been in my rewriting phase of one of my novel ideas.  It’s been a long process.  One year passed, then another, and here I am in 2019.  You’d think that me working so long on it, I should have a great masterpiece.  I’m telling you 100%, it will not be, but it’s an idea I needed to get on cyber paper.  Trust me when I say the writing pain in real and everything that might come after it too.  I’m hoping to finish this rewrite by the end of this year so I can have a few people hack it to pieces (make suggestions to the flow, wording, missing stuff, etc).  Then, guess what’s next?  Another rewrite but hopefully not as long and in depth.  I’m also hoping all this confusion, self-doubt, fear subsides in addition to ignoring the need for perfection, which leads to my other stories written in half the time and rewritten in half the pain.

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This documentary couldn’t have come at a better time last Friday night as I was in bed, thinking about sleep but not wanting to go sleep, as I’ve picked up this nasty habit of watching TV.  I was set to watch something else, but realized that was a rerun.  As I was flipping the channels, I came across Ursula K. Le Guin talking about her father.  I watched the rest of it, despite never being into science fiction or reading any of her books.  Of course, I had to watch the 15 minutes I missed and buy a few of her books this past weekend.  The part that stuck with me was how she found herself again, even in her twilight years, and how she allowed herself to change and grow as a writer.   A female writer who influenced many fans (pissed off some in her later writings that she talks about) and other writers, science fiction or other genres.  She gave me hope to keep writing until I’m gone.  Le Guin’s legacy will not only be her books, but her creativity, drive, personality, and history.  It’s all woven into her writing.  She has an impressive amount of work: novels, volumes of short stories, essay collections, children’s books, and poetry.  You can watch this documentary by Arwen Curry on PBS American Masters, also known as 9th episode of season 33.  The trailer is below.

2019

 

5 August Quotes on the 5th

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myaquote

ulaquote

wsaquote

blaquote

2019

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