Populations at a Glance

According to UN Department of Economics and Social Affairs, by 2030 there will be around 8.5 billion people in the world.  This was listed in 2015 and now we are in 2019.  Here are some statistics for the largest populations in terms of cities and countries.  China and India are the only countries with more than a billion inhabitants.  Since I live in the United States, I included the largest states.  The largest city continues to be New York City, the largest populated state is California.  The other statistics were taken from 2017 and 2018.

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Movie Recommendation: Control (2007)

Quote from Control by Ian Curtis: “Existence. Well, what does it matter? I exist on the best terms I can. The past is now part of my future. The present is well out of hand.”

control

Producers: Iain Canning, Anton Corbijn, Deborah Curtis, Todd Eckert, Lizzie Francke, Megumi Fukasawa, Peter Heslop, Satoru Iseki, Akira Ishii, Korda Marshall, Orlan Williams, and Tony Wilson

Director: Anton Corbijn

Writers: Deborah Curtis (book) and Matt Greenhalgh (screenplay)

Major Cast: Sam Riley, Samantha Morton, Alexandra Maria Lara, Joe Anderson, James Anthony Pearson, Harry Treadaway, Craig Parkinson, Toby Kebbell, Andrew Sheridan, Robert Shelly, Richard Bremmer, Tanya Myers, Martha Myers Lowe, and Matthew McNulty

MPAA Rating: R

Running Time: 2 hours and 2 minutes

*******
Because people were either excited for or brutally against Bohemian Rhapsody, here is a movie that wasn’t controversial when it was released.  When I saw Control at The Fairfax Theatre (closed in 2010), it was a movie that encompassed Ian Curtis’s whole life.  It wasn’t shy of portraying him as a tortured person, which stemmed from depression due to his epilepsy, conflicted emotions about having a family versus a more independent lifestyle, and his inability to deal with fame.  Curtis’s creative influences on Joy Division, a rock band from England, and his destructive tendencies with his family, are the basis of this movie.  The band members included guitarist and keyboardist Bernard Sumner (James Anthony Pearson), bassist Peter Hook (Joe Anderson), and drummer Stephen Morris (Harry Treadaway).  They would later form New Order.  This was Anton Corbijn’s debut directing a feature-length movie, as he is mostly known for his music videos and photography.  He later would direct The American (2007), A Most Wanted Man (2014), and Life (2015) which I recommended a few years ago.  Ian Curtis is played by Sam Riley, Debbie Curtis is played by Samantha Morton, and Annik Honore is played by Alexandra Maria Lara.  Their manager, Rob Gretton, is played by Toby Kebbell.  If you aren’t a music fanatic, it doesn’t matter because this movie offers a good story where the main character is pulled in too many directions and comes to a unpredictable end for most involved.

I rate Control Four Fingers and One Thumb at PERFECT with 100%

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2019

Going Back to the 1980’s

There were 33,493 movies released in the 1980s according to IMDb.  I was going to narrow it down by the major genres according to AFI, but that doesn’t work since I’ve only seen a few animated movies from this time.  I definitely need more than two to have a list of five in every genre.  I next thought I could cover the most popular directors from that time, but that would cover basically a lot of movies.  I’d like to make this somewhat manageable.  I then thought about the movies that defined the 1980s, but that would take a whole month to try to come up with a suitable list.  I finally decided to just wing it and see what happened.  Here it goes for now, but later I will probably expand on this decade in some way.

1980

This was the year of 9 to 5, Private Benjamin, and The Blue Lagoon.  I decided to pick Coal Miner’s Daughter, which is the story of Loretta Lynn, a mother of four from Kentucky that became a famous country singer.  It stars Sissy Spacek as Loretta Lynn. It is directed by Michael Apted.

Fun Fact: Sissy Spacek beat Meryl Streep for this role.

1981

This was the year of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Superman II, and The Postman Always Rings Twice.  I decided to pick Mommie Dearest, which is the story of Joan Crawford and her adopted daughter, Christina.  It stars Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford.  It is directed by Frank Perry.

Fun Fact: Faye Dunaway needed a voice coach to help her after she lost it due to all the screaming.

1982

This was the year of Tootsie, Rocky II, and Annie.  I decided to pick E.T the Extra-Terrestrial, which is the story an alien stranded on Earth and the relationship with a boy.  It stars Henry Thomas as Elliott and Drew Barrymore as Gertie.  It is directed by Steven Spielberg.

Fun Fact: The theatrical run for this movie was over a year.

1983

This was the year of Flashdance, Mr. Mom, and Risky Business.  I decided to pick Trading Places, which is the story of a businessman and con man.  It stars Eddie Murphy as Billy Ray Valentine and Dan Aykroyd as Louis Winthrope III.  It is directed by John Landis.

Fun Fact: Eddie Murphy had no understanding of commodities trading.

1984

This was the year of Gremlins, Footloose, and Splash.  I decided to pick The Karate Kid, which is the story of an old master who teaches karate to a teenager who just moved to California.  It stars Pat Morita as Mr. Miyagi and Ralph Macchio as Daniel LaRusso.  It is directed by John G. Avildsen.

Fun Fact: Chad McQueen is in the movie.  He’s Steve McQueen’s son.  His character’s name was Dutch.

1985

This was the year of Back to the Future, The Color Purple, and The Goonies.  I decided to pick Witness, which is the story of an Amish boy and his encounter with a police officer.  It stars Harrison Ford as John Book and Lukas Haas as Samuel.  It is directed by Peter Weir.

Fun Fact: This was Viggo Mortensen’s film debut.

1986

This was the year of Top Gun, Aliens, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.  I decided to pick The Name of the Rose, which is the story of murders in an Abbey and how a friar is sought to solve these deaths.  It stars Sean Connery as William von Baskerville and Christian Slater as Adso von Melk.  It is directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud.

Fun Fact: The preparation for this movie was five years.

1987

This was the year of Fatal Attraction, Three Men and a Baby, and Lethal Weapon.  I decided to pick Predator, which is the story of a special operations team sent to Central America on a rescue mission.  It stars Arnold Schwarzenagger as Dutch and Carl Weathers as Dillion.  It is directed by John McTiernan.

Fun Fact:  The human body count in the movie is 69.

1988

This was the year of Rain Man, Twins, and Die Hard.  I decided to pick Young Guns, which is the story of a group of gunmen seeking revenge.  It stars Emilio Estevez as William H.  Bonney, Kiefer Sutherland as Doc Scurlock, Lou Diamond Phillips as Chavez y Chavez, Charlie Sheen as Dick Brewer, Dermot Mulroney as Dirty Steve Stephens, and Casey Siemaszko as Charley Bowdre.  It is directed by Christopher Cain.

Fun Fact: Kiefer Sutherland accidentally popped his squib blood pack, which had taken an hour to rig up.

1989

This was the year of Batman, Dead Poets Society, and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.  I decided to pick My Left Foot, which is about a man with cerebral palsy who paints with his left foot.  It stars Daniel Day-Lewis as Christy Brown and Brenda Fricker as Mrs. Brown.  It is directed by Jim Sheridan.

Fun Fact: Brenda Fricker has only been nominated once for an Academy Award and won it for this movie.

2019

HBO has Great Shows

When HBO (Home Box Office) was launched in 1972, I’m sure it didn’t have as much variety as it does today in 2019.  It has grown to become a place to watch quality and engaging television programming in the comforts of your home.  While I would love to have it, I would never leave my apartment and would just be adding more to my list of things to watch.  There is such a thing is overdoing it.  So, that means I found other ways to watch their shows, buying them later, and here is a list of the ones I’ve seen and recommending.  Some shows lasted only a few seasons and left a bitter taste in my mouth due to lack of closure, but at least Deadwood is coming back in a TV movie.  I still have The Wire, Band of Brothers, Elizabeth I, Mildred Pierce, True Detective, and John Adams to watch, but I’m confident these are great too.  Some have been sitting on my shelf too long.  One show is in the last season.  Yes, The Game of Thrones, I’m talking about you.  I’m sure I’ll be reading about it as the last six episodes dwindle down to the last to see who really does conquer Westeros. The first episode airs on April 14 and the last on May 19.  I’ll have to wait until it comes out on DVD.  The shows are in order of the broadcast year.

oz

Oz (1997 to 2003) was created by Tom Fontana and is about the Oswald State Correctional Facility.  The two characters that become a staple of this series is Tobias Beecher (Lee Tergesen) and Vernon Schillinger (J.K. Simmons).  They shine on the screen as their relationship becomes messy as each season passes.  You see the good and bad activities that occur in a male prison where it really is every man for himself.  It has a great cast It lasted six seasons.

 

 

 

 

 

thesopranos

The Sopranos (1999 to 2007) was created by David Chase and is about a New Jersey Capo and his troubles within the organization and his family.  Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) and Carmela Soprano (Edie Falco) do their best to keep their business and family intact.  The realities and consequences of being born and part of organized crime is the basis of this show.  There will be a prequel called The Many Saints of Newark where James Gandolfini’s son, Michael, is going to play him as a young Tony.  It also includes Ray Liotta (maybe the Chantix commercials will stop now), Jon Bernthal, Corey Stoll, Alessandro Nivola, Billy Magnussen, and Vera Farmiga.   It lasted six seasons.

 

 

 

six feet under

Six Feet Under (2001 to 2005) was created by Alan Ball and is about a family that owns a funeral home in California.  The Fishers are led by Ruth (Frances Conroy), the mother of Nate (Peter Krause), David (Michael C. Hall), and Claire (Lauren Ambrose), and also includes significant others that come and go.  They work as well together as any dysfunctional family does.   It has a great ending I still remember.  It lasted five seasons.

 

 

 

 

 

carnivale

Carnivàle (2003 to 2005) was created by Daniel Knauf and is about a traveling carnival during the 1930s.  As Ben Hawkins (Nick Stahl) finds his place, he realizes there is a line between good and evil that he must face, mainly in Brother Justin Crowe (Clancy Brown).  This show had great promise, and wished it had kept going.  I guess I’ll never know what really came of Ben, Justin, and everyone else.  I have a feeling it dealt too much in the supernatural that turned viewers off.  It lasted two seasons.

 

 

 

 

deadwood

Deadwood (2004 to 2006) was created by David Milch and is about Deadwood, South Dakota.  Many of the characters are based on actual people including Seth Bullock (Timothy Olyphant), Al Swearengen (Ian McShane), and Calamity Jane (Robin Weigert).  This town is basically full of corruption and deal making.  It’s not hard to like this show.  The Deadwood TV movie is coming out this year with many characters reprising their roles including Doc Cochran (Brad Dourif), Sol Star (John Hawkes), Joannie Stubbs (Kim Dickens), and Martha Bullock (Anna Gunn).  It lasted three seasons.

 

 

 

rome

Rome (2005 to 2007) was created by Bruno Heller, William J. MacDonald, and John Milius and is about Romans during the last days of its existence.  Lucius Vorenus (Kevin McKidd) and Titus Pullo (Ray Stevenson) are soldiers trying to survive during the times of Julius Caesar (Ciarán Hinds).  I can understand more why this was cancelled due to the costly sets, but it was a good show about the Roman Republic.  It lasted two seasons.

 

 

 

 

 

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True Blood (2008 to 2014) was created by Alan Ball and is about vampires and inhabitants of a small town called Bon Temps (think French) in Louisiana.  The trio of characters of Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer), and Alexander Skarsgård (Eric Northman) form relationships over the course of the series.  As vampires and humans try to exist with each other, how long depends also on other supernatural forces.  It lasted seven seasons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

boardwalk empire

Boardwalk Empire (2010 to 2014) was created by Terence Winter and is about Enoch Thompson (Steve Buscemi), more popularly referred to as Nucky as he forges alliances with those who can fill his pockets with money.  With Atlantic City as the place to be during Prohibition, everyone wants a slice of the pie including the women.  This show is pretty much on the same par with The Sopranos.  It gets hold of you and never lets you go.  It lasted five seasons.

 

 

 

 

 

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Game of Thrones (2011-) was created by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss and is about noble families forging alliances and fighting against each other in a quest to control the Seven Kingdoms.  You don’t have to look far for the theories and predictions of how it might end.  The relationship between Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) and Jon Snow (Kit Harington) is definitely a highlight. The White Walkers will probably get some more screen time, but it’s anyone guess what happens to all the characters.  It’s going to be epic.  Don’t fear because there will be a continuation in a spin-off.  When it ends, it will have lasted eight seasons.

 

 

2019

Coloring: Pick Any Card

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2019

Relax a Little Bit in the Fury of Life

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Here is my fourth journal entry type.  So, I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve and am mainly honest with where I am in life including my struggles, my successes, and my hopes and dreams.  I’ve had this push and pull with being healthy as much as I can and find jogging/running is the only way for me to lose weight.  It works for me time and time again, but I’ve never have really been able to keep it off.  My weight fluctuates year by year and as we all know your metabolism decreases as you get older and have to work a little harder (in my case a lot harder) to get even minor results.  I think finding the time to have balance in one’s life is what I’m going through now, and when I don’t get through my list, then I spread it out into the week so I don’t freak out or get down on myself.  So far, I’ve been able to adjust my thinking to being okay with not jam packing everything into one day or even one week.  There’s a lot of pushing and pulling people do to themselves whether through words or actions.  I’m a person who tends to put pressure on herself so I other people putting pressure on me is usually not a good thing.  Living a well rounded life takes work.  I really needed to have to put my running shoes on today in order to jog/run for 4 miles because my goal is to lose weight, not gain it.  I decided to not go as hard and fast as I did the other day as I needed to give my knees a rest and let’s face it, I’m still starting getting into an exercise routine again.  So, as March is now here, I’m continuing to match my future goals with current actions as much as possible.  Everything has it’s time line, and finding that happy medium where pushing yourself just right is a good thing.  One day is only one day from a certain angle, but from another it is something different.  I guess today I looked at today from a different angle.

2019

Underrated and Overrated Movies Actresses and Actors of Today

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When I first moved to Los Angeles, I rented an apartment that Hollywood actresses and actors stayed.  The executives would then shuttle them to any of the studio lots for whatever movie they were in and after a long day, bring them back to this apartment. It had an elevator, I think, but it wasn’t operating at the time.  You could tell the building had been around for a while as the architecture was a throw back to that time period.  While this practice is no longer being used, here is my list of current underrated and overrated actresses and actors.

The underrated actresses and actors come first because they deserve more spotlight.  This doesn’t necessarily mean they are bad, but for whatever reason they aren’t given the chance to be a powerhouse star like the ones we already know.  Although on the flip side, they probably aren’t looking for stardom and just want to act.  Here they are in no particular order.

AA

Emily Blunt

Angela Bassett

Lili Taylor

Michelle Yeoh

Tilda Swinton

Amy Adams

Rachel Weisz

Michelle Williams

Margot Robbie

Rooney Mara

*******

Don Cheadle

Steve Zahn

Domhnall Gleeson

John C. Reilly

Ben Foster

Antonio Banderas

Oscar Issac

Walton Goggins

Byung-hun Lee

Gael García Bernal

The overrated actresses and actors come last because they get enough spotlight.  This doesn’t necessarily mean they are bad either.  Maybe, some of the movies they starred in weren’t that good.  When you start talking about craft, basically two come to mind for their lack of it.  People’s fascination for them doesn’t match what they offer on the screen movie after movie.  Sorry, but it’s just how I feel.  I’m not going to tell you if they are male or female as you will have to make your own decisions regarding this list.  Here they are in no particular order.

RR

Angelina Jolie

Scarlett Johannson

Kristen Stewart

Jennifer Lawrence

Emma Watson

Kate Hudson

Halle Berry

Gwyneth Paltrow

Jennifer Aniston

Reese Witherspoon

*******

George Clooney

Leonardo DiCaprio

Tom Cruise

Dwayne Johnson

Liam Neeson

Mark Wahlberg

Will Smith

James Franco

Jeremy Renner

Robert Downey Jr.

And there you have it, my list of underrated and overrated actresses and actors.  I was going to put up pictures, but in the whole scheme of things does it matter.  If you are wanting to see their faces that much, I will leave it up to you to browse the internet.

2019

Book Recommendation: The Aquariums of Pyongyang

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Authors: Kang, Chol-Hwan and Pierre Rigoulot

Publication Date: August, 24, 2005

Publisher: Basic Books

Page Number: 238

I’ll always remember my Korean professor who defected from North Korea to South Korea.  He spoke of the dangers on both sides.  You must really want to leave there because there is a good chance you won’t make it.  For those that don’t, you will be sent to political prison camps, tortured, or executed.  But as with everything, the chance of freedom from the control, disease, and hunger the North Korean government forces upon its citizens is much more powerful.  The defectors usually exit by the way of China and then after a while enter South Korea or other countries where they have the freedom to watch more than a few television channels and learn that it was North Korea who instigated the war instead of South Korea or the United States.  They realize how twisted the North Korean regime is including their contradictions of its leaders as they demonize everything but Communism, but love certain parts of Western culture such as Hollywood movies and Dennis Rodman.  As they learn more about their homeland, they realize the depths North Korea takes to compete with South Korea and to be noticed as a formidable country on the world stage.

While The Aquariums of Pyongyang gives some historical context, it is mainly the story of Chol-Hwan as he lived a good life in North Korea until the government decided his family was a threat.  His family, except his mother, became political prisoners for many years at Yodok, a concentration camp.  The bad thing is it wasn’t the worst of the camps, but the good thing is he was eventually released.  He entered as a child and left as a teenager complete with anger and ingenuity.  He clearly struggled and witnessed violence and death on a massive scale, but he also speaks of things he learned.  I felt  there were times he wrote his experiences at a distance, and while I understand this given its gravity, I wished there had been a little more emotional description.  I did get more of this in the last few chapters, but ultimately he wrote it the way he wanted to because it’s his story and no one else’s.  It may hint that as a child he wasn’t in a place to adequately and willingly express his emotions as he spoke of his issues dealing with what happened once he was released.  There was no denying he was a number in a cruel place where the guards and enforcers suffer just as much as the prisoners.  There is no winner or losers when it comes to its citizens.  There are only losers and bigger losers because the real enemies are those no one can talk about except to cherish them 365 days of the year.  It’s silence and fear on one side and brainwashing and control on the other that sustains the North Korean regime.  This book was written for the sole purpose of educating what these principles have done to a family and to a country as a whole.

2019

TV Recommendation: The Good Place (2016-)

Quote from The Good Place by Chidi Anagonye: “Principles aren’t principles when you pick and choose when you’re gonna follow them.”

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Creator: Michael Schur

Producers: Michael Schur, David Miner, Morgan Sackett, Drew Goddard, David Hyman, Joe Mande, and Megan Amram

Directors and Writers: Many

Major Cast: Kristen Bell as Eleanor Shellstrop, William Jackson Harper as Chidi Anagonye, Jameela Jamil as Tahani Al-Jamil, Manny Jacinto as Jason Mendoza, Ted Danson as Michael, and D’Arcy Carden as Janet

Rating: TV-PG

Episodes: 13 in Season 1 and 12 in Season 2 and 3

Episode Length: 22 minutes

*******

Created by Michael Schur and produced by Fremulon, 3 Arts Entertainment, and Universal Television, The Good Place first aired in 2016 on NBC. I recently watched all three seasons and while I wasn’t sure of it in the beginning, I now 100% recommend this show to anyone who likes Ted Danson and comedy. The premise is about four people who have died and live together in an after world with way too many frozen yogurt establishments unless you love frozen yogurt. The main cast who have died are Eleanor (Kristen Bell), Chidi (William Jackson Harper), Tahani (Jameela Jamil), and Jason (Manny Jacinto). In addition to the foursome, there is Michael (Ted Danson) who created this Good Place and his loyal sidekick Janet (D’Arcy Carden). They are never far away and give their expertise and knowledge. There’s a lot of laughs throughout the seasons as everyone in the first tries to deal with the fact they are dead and how to cope with it. They each have soul mates and continue to “live” as normal as possible for dead people in season two despite major revelations. I didn’t think they could top the first two seasons, but season three manages to do that by going deeper yet. It takes something engaging to keep my attention when it comes to comedy, and this definitely did in all respects of story, characters, concept, and production design. The show has been renewed for a fourth season, which isn’t surprising.  Go watch it.

I rate The Good Place with Four Fingers and One Thumb at 100%

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2019

End of February 2019 Quotes

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2019

 

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