Rocketman

10/10

This movie is fantastic, imaginative, and musical storytelling of Sir Elton Johns’ life. Elton John is played by the wonderfully talented Taron Egerton. This movie has all the things I love, music, fabulous outfits, and a compelling story with truth and fantasy.

Egerton performs as Reginald Dwight | Elton John in this movie depicting the career and life of Elton. The opening scene takes place in an NA|AA group meeting, then quickly taking us back in time to see young Reginald, his family, and his blossoming piano talent. We get to witness his dysfunctional family dynamics, how he grows his musical skills and finds stardom and his best friend/songwriter – Bernie Taupin (played by Jamie Bell). The movie shows the viewer Eltons’ wild or unstable side and who the negative influences were in his life, ie, his manager John Reid (played by Richard Madden). We see Elton hit rock bottom with his sex, cocaine and alcohol addiction, and the alienating effects of said addictions. The movie shows how Elton leaves a performance to get help with his mental health and addictions. The film ends on a happy note, we learn that Sir Elton has maintained his sobriety, virtually my entire life, and has settled down with his husband and children.

The beauty of this movie is that the story is true but is fantastical. There are unrealistic and dramatic elements throughout, but all seem pretty necessary to tell the story of the legendary Sir Elton John. This film is a musical, with majestic scene transitions that revolve around classic Elton songs. That was probably my favorite element of the movie. If you go into this movie expecting a biopic like Bohemian Rhapsody, it will not meet your expectations. These are two different movies, going in two different directions, about two different people|groups (though for sure there are miraculous similarities).

I give this movie a ten out of ten. Of course, the story is excellent, it is a great tale to hear how Reggie Dwight became Sir Elton John. I really enjoyed the daydream elements of the movie, I love Elton John songs, and musicals in general, which means I really enjoyed the mix and match of songs, acting, and montages. A bonus is that I’m obsessed with Taron Egerton’s singing, and it’s his voice you hear throughout the movie. I suggest you see this movie if you like any of the elements as mentioned above.
Go see this movie! You will love it, because who doesn’t love Elton John?

John Wick: Chapter 3 Parabellum

9/10

This movie is precisely what you would expect in the John Wick chronicles. It is entertaining, packed full of action, not too much dialogue and of course Keanu Reeves.
–I am super late to jump on the John Wick bandwagon. I do not like to watch things where animals get hurt, and if you are familiar with the John Wick movies, that is the spark that brings Mr. Wick back to the assassin world. (I literally watched the first two movies the week before I saw the third in theaters. I prepared my heart for the first one and knew I was in the clear for the others)–

This third installment stays true to the world we were introduced to in John Wick. It is action packed, continually keeping the audience on their toes. This movie shows more of the bureaucracy that is the High Table – we are introduced to more characters in upper management, like The Elder, Sofia (Halle Berry), The Adjudicator, The Director (Anjelica Huston) and so on.

To open the movie, we find Mr. Wick (Keanu Reeves) right where we left off in John Wick: Chapter 2. Mr. Wick is running (along with his dog) from and fighting every assassin in the tri-state area due to the $14 million bounty out on him. Because of Mr. Wick’s actions in Chapter 2, he has been labeled excommunicado, and unable to seek asylum or use resources run by the High Table. This causes Mr. Wick to rely on his own marker and call on a favor. Mr. Wick has to travel across seas and back again. On this adventure, Mr. Wick travels to Morocco to call on a favor, he also meets more dogs and of course does some more over the top fighting. While in Morocco, Mr. Wick encounters – The Elder, the supreme leader of the High Table. Mr. Wick is given an assignment and heads back “home.”

After Mr. Wick returns from his adventure overseas and returns to the New York Continental, Mr. Wick, Winston and Charon (everyone’s favorite concierge) plot against the High Table though their motivations to revolt are not the same. This is an action movie, so there are some elaborate fight scenes throughout the film, the best one, in my opinion, happens towards the beginning of the movie. You may need to shield your eyes. But I have to say that all of the fight scenes are entertaining and give me minor anxiety attacks.

Staying true to the John Wick story style – things are not nicely tied up at the end. Is there a John Wick 4 in the works? Maybe. I don’t know, I didn’t research it. But purely going off the movie, there is definitely an opening for chapter 4. I would give this movie a 9 out of 10. I won’t say that the dialogue in this movie is exquisite, but the action and storyline keep progressing and engages the audience. If you like to watch Keanu act out cool martial art moves and what not – check it out.

Finding friendship through personal growth

Anyone who knows me semi-well knows that I have had one hell of a year, or two, or life. The past few years have been a struggle for me. I struggle to be social, I struggle to be happy, I struggle just to be, and this had made me not the most pleasant person to be around. All apologies. I am working on this.

Over the last decade – I’ve accumulated fabulous friends, but honestly, I think of almost every one of them as an acquaintance, and I treat them as such. I am sincerely thankful for them, but I have a problem with building meaningful relationships with people.  I’m not sure why that is my default move, professionally I would suggest my upbringing is the cause, but I can’t blame everything on my parents- or can I? – No I guess I cannot. Reflecting on philosophy, let me share that there are three types of friendships – utility (useful), pleasure (enjoy same activities), and good (mutual admiration). I believe people search me out for a utility friendship because I am always looking to make myself useful. I have attempted to work towards having a good friendship but end up with either a utility or pleasure friendship. This is not a bad thing, but it is just not as fulfilling as a good friendship. In social psychology, I learned that the role of friendship is pivotal to the development of class, status, and power. Which is why I issued myself a challenge. Being from the lower class, I could use a little help increasing my status and power.

I have challenged myself this year to be a more engaged friend and develop those good friendships. I can’t say that I’ve been successful yet, but I believe and hope that I am on the right path.

As part of this challenge, I decided to I join a social club, Junior Woman’s Club of Fort Worth (JWC). JWC is a great group of women in the Fort Worth area that combines a social and service into one group. JWC is made up of countless remarkable people, embodying all types of personalities, experiences, and professions. I really fancy volunteering at our club-wide events, getting to meet women outside of the two groups I joined. I really do love it when I make a new contact. Making a connection with someone is not hard for me, maintaining and building a more solid relationship that is what I need to work on.

So back to this challenge, I assigned myself – making friends, keeping friends, being a better friend – altogether that shit is hard. Joining JWC has put me in the situation to make friends, but is it has not made me a better friend. I have still just been expanding my pool of marvelous acquaintances.  

If you did not know, friendship is tied to your self-perception. With a poor self-perception, how can one expect others to want to build a  rapport? To succeed in my challenge, I need to be working on being a better friend, and do that, I need to work on myself. I’ve put off working on myself for almost thirty years, I guess now is an excellent time to start. To commence personal growth, I have been trying to take care of myself better- physically and mentally.  I have been taking time actually to focus on me instead of others. Don’t get me wrong, I have had my narcissistic moments in the past, but overall, I have had a tendency to become preoccupied with meeting others needs before my own.

My version of self-help – Move more, Think less, eat better.

I started doing yoga, and I am so pleased with my yoga instructor and yogi mates. I have in general just made sure I am on the move more – hiking, walking, soft jogging (because I cannot run), etc. In addition to yoga and other forms of fitness, I started meditation, two to three times a week. I am not exceptionally good at being alone with my thoughts yet, my small attention span causes me to drift away and lose my clear headspace.I have also been creating and reading more.

Furthermore, I have been a little more cautious about what I eat and put into my body. I try to limit my gluten and sugar intake (this is another challenge within itself), I have given up eating meat, and I have been sticking with a routine of probiotics and vitamins. These simple changes and additions to my life have helped me gain some clarity, assisted me in decompressing, and readjusting my attitude | perceptions.

I know that I am still a work in progress, but I think these resolutions will help me to be a less anxious, neurotic, fatigued, and pessimistic friend.

Things that I intend on continuing in the future to be a better friend:

  • Listen more
  • Communicate more
  • Trust more
  • Give more
  • Find others to share my passions with
  • Challenge others to do the same