Category: Movies

The Family. The movie and the straw that broke my Italian back.

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So. I haven’t blogged for a while. Ya know, it happens….and when I say “it”…I mean LIFE. Comes at ya quick and unfortunately sometimes I don’t have enough time in the day to get down and blog. Getting ready to welcome a new human into the world and into my family has been time-consuming. That, on top of some work mayhem, has made it difficult. BUT…with all that said here we are. And we are here because something got my juices flowing so I carved out some time to make this happen.

We went and saw THE FAMILY the other night out in Westfield NJ. This was said event…the one that got my juices flowing. Let me first say…the movie was pretty freaking awesome. Bobby D was Bobby D. Meaning he. was. AWESOME. And while it made me feel way old to see Michelle Phiefer looking so, well…OLD. She was awesome too. Throw in that girl from Glee and Tommy Lee Jones and you’ve got yourself a fantastic cast that executes on a witty script.

The story of a constantly displaced family in witness protection delivered some serious laughs. The comedy was steady throughout as was the theme and story of “The Family”. The family was tight…they loved each other. They had to. Always being moved around and living in foreign lands they didn’t have much else to lean on other than their family unit and they seemed to always make the best of what some may have considered a shitty situation. The brother-sister duo attacked a new school with a strategic and calculated approach that quickly led to them achieving serious status and protection from the typical crap that can sometimes make life in high-school, and certainly any new school, so difficult. That was fun to watch. The little bro orchestrated the take down of some bullies and the sister showed the entire school how to treat a lady and how to NOT steal her pink pencil-case. All thru the immediate and potentially alarming drama they had a positive and can-do/”no one can touch us” attitude. Solidarity as a family unit was beautiful to watch between bro and sis and that clearly stemmed from Mom (Catwoman/Michelle Phiefer) and Dad (Bobby D) who were as close as close can get…you could tell there was nothing they wouldn’t do for each other.

Normally I would go a little more in-depth on a movie review BUT I don’t want to ruin your potential viewing experience by saying too much about the plot line and/or spill the beans about the ending. BUT here’s the thing…this ISN’T a movie review blog posting. Surprised? This post is something more, something different. This is about the juices I spoke of before and how they are flowing because – while the movie was a good one…it pissed me off.

Let me explain…

While enjoying the movie I couldn’t help but think about how absolutely sick and tired I am of the movies and TV shows that come out depicting all Italians as prosciutto loving, pasta eating, bad suit wearing, big sun glasses having, bad-tempered, non-intellectual, mobbed up, sub-humans!

Wow, that felt good. But, I mean…right?!

Every single movie, including “THE FAMILY, with an Italian “Family” is so filled with stereotypes it’s disturbing. The fat guys with bad accents, chomping on meats and cheeses, muttering “MADON! FUGETTABOUTIT!” were everywhere in The Family. Frankly and unfortunately it’s just become the norm for any newer programming including Italians to show my people like that…it’s sad and I am over it.

I say all that with a clear understanding and opinion that the classic movies are un-touchable. Godfather can do no wrong…Goodfellas is a gem…The Sopranos was the best…Casino is wonderful…you get it, the list can go on. But all these movies/shows are 10+ years old and were tremendously more relevant to the times it was set in than any new movie that comes out nowadays. Unless I missed it…The Family was set in modern-day. I feel like modern-day mobsters and the mafia have all but disappeared and if (not that I know of any…) they still exist they are way less out in the open, operating quietly with subtle movements as organized crime is a big no-no. With that depletion of mafia dudes…shouldn’t the insane stereotypes in Hollywood also trend downwards? Well I’m not seeing it, capeesh?!

Now, like with most stereotypes…the ones in the movie(s) are generally true. Come to a family gathering of mine and you can bet your ass you’ll see some cured meats and soft cheeses on the table along with dark red wines and all the carbs you can eat. Do some of us have on gold chains with crosses on them? Sure. That doesn’t mean we’re sitting around running numbers, breaking legs, racketeering, extorting and/or laundering money. It just means we like to eat and drink and some of us enjoy gold chains. For a long time I never noticed it – but when you say “I’m 100% Italian” – people judge you due to what they see in the movies and assume you are mobbed up and/or have a Uncle/Cousin/Nephew in the joint. Could I have your legs broken? Sure…but not because I’m Italian…because you are an idiot. Just like any other ethnic background could. So stop thinking weird things about me – you jabroni!

I’d like to end this long, admittedly crazy, rant with a plea. A plea to Hollywood.

HOLLYWOOD – I like mob movies. I’d never ask you to stop production of mob movies. But can we keep it modern-day appropriate and, please, have some Italian characters be something other than a mobster from Brooklyn? You do know we are capable of other things right? Doctors, Lawyers, digital media executives! Let’s show the world, together, Italians can make a positive contribution to society, OK? Please comply…otherwise my Uncle Vito is going to come to your house with a baseball bat. I mean it. Thank you! Signed, Chris Signore

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Hey SPIKE! – Kickstarter is not for rich people

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http://www.businessinsider.com/spike-lee-kickstarter-film-details-2013-7

Spike Lee is rich – He is worth an estimated $40 Million dollars. The median net worth for a family in the US is roughly ~$100k. So using those figures let’s estimate that Spike is 400 times more rich than an average Joe. 400 times! So should he be raising money at all? Further…when you think about those figures…$1.25 Million to Spike Lee, which is the amount he is trying to raise for his film, is 3% of his NET worth. That would equate to around $3k for normal people for some perspective. So it’s not a totally insignificant amount of money but point being…he can do it himself. He shouldn’t need to leverage Kickstarter for a pet project that benefits only him at the end of the day. I’m sure SPIKE would feel that hit to his bank account if he plopped down $1.25 mil on something but he is in a different stratosphere. Perhaps he moves his court side season tickets a seat or two off center or…(gasp) even a few rows back to make up for that hit to his funds.

This dude is LOADED and if he is dying to make a film where he has 100% of the creative control then I gotta say spike “Do the right thing” and pony up and get it done! Don’t use crowd funding and ask your “fans”, most of which are not RICH like yourself, to donate money for your creative freedom when you are more than capable to do it yourself. Kickstarter is not a new pool for you to pull more wealth from so to potentially generate even more money for yourself and yourself alone.

Famous/rich people should not use Kickstarter – it’s counter to the original intent of the platform and completely silly when you really think about it.

Probably the best movie ever…

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/mlb-big-league-stew/sandlot-cast-members-reunite-20-years-later-actual-185930717.html

I LOVE THE SANDLOT.

There is only a handful of movies for me that I could watch again and again without getting totally sick of them. Sandlot is one them. It’s the best.

that is all.

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Admission

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Have you guys seen this one? Marketed as a quirky rom-com starring the lovely and talented Tina Fey alongside Mr. Paul Rudd himself, a certified comedy superstar, Admission was set up to be pretty awesome. Some…i’m sure thought it was. Me…not so much.

A giggle… maybe two – that’s all it got from me. And more than a lingering feeling of “oh, how sweet. That was funny…That Tina Fey did it again!” I was left with a resounded “WTF…are you serious?!”

“But Chris…” you say “Why the violent reaction to such a generally pleasing film?” Welp…I’ll tell you and if you anything like me (there aren’t many of us) you were offended too.

Near the end of the movie, really the climax of the whole story line, good ol’ Tina’s character is carrying out her duties as an admission officer at Princeton university. She is pleading her case for a young, talented, quirky dude who…she thought was potentially her son (she found out later it wasn’t). This kid was bright…didn’t really care about grades but had a passion for learning. Tina was hell-bent on getting this kid into the school. It was about his core – his ideas- his unconventional talent and intelligence…and she believed was the perfect candidate for Princeton and that he generally deserved to get it. That’s all well and good…Atta girl TINA, do your thing! But… what’s not cool at all is how she totally sabotaged the entire group of other candidates she was responsible while trying to get “her son” to stand out and gain ultimate approval from the rest of the admission board. Not cool Tina…Not cool.

What did those kids do wrong? They wanted to go to school there too. Read with a monotone and not impressed/ blasé’voice she says “4.0…perfect SATs and ACTS…first chair violin….captain of the Lacrosse team…4 brothers and sisters…chair of the non-for profit homeless soup kitchen organization…blah blah” Totally not doing her job and not giving poor Bobby (whatever their names were) their far chance at getting into the school as she did for her “SON”. Lamesauce. This is not America. I mean…was it only me that has issue with this?! Maybe it was…but I can’t stand for it.

All I wanted was a good laugh and a happy ending to end my busy work week and start my weekend…what I got was a ball of frustration brought on by intense hypocrisy that seeded this crap pile of a movie. Hey TINA – he’s NOT your son, stop cheating and do your job. Bobby deserves the same chance your not-Son does and he actually did the work and has the resume to get there too.

end scene.

Back in action! (CABLE GUY.)

Cable guy

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FIXED. It was a painful few days but we made it. Cable and internet are back on!

The window the lovely folks at FIOS gave me was 8am to 8 pm on a Wednesday. Awesome right? And wouldn’t you know it – they called me right at 8am (once I was nice and situated at a coffee shop with my laptop about to dive into the day using internet) and said they were on their way. Isn’t that nice of them?

The cable guy showed up and fixed my issue in 15 minutes. He said “Power surge. Happens all the time.”

One part of me wanted to jump for joy the other wanted to punch him in the face. Cable was BACK but it really took 5 days to schedule this appointment which took all of 15 mins to fix?!

MUD

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Thanks to my cable being out…the wife and I were forced to look at other options, than watching fantastic TV, in regards to how we were going to spend our Sunday afternoon. Thanks to an hour at the driving range, some yard work and a movie…we did it! Passed the entire day (up until now) without any TV or internet. You’re impressed right? It wasn’t easy and if I told you that living cable-less was somehow strangely gratifying and/or eye-opening I would be totally lying. I will say…that forcing ourselves to go to the movies was a total blessing in disguise.

We checked out fandango, looked at the options and decided to go see MUD. Reese was all up in the news for her drunken privileged, “do you know who I am” rant so I said “lets check it out!” and I’m so glad we did because it was great.

Mud is a fantastic story that hits home for anyone who has ever idealized love and or looked up to someone who may (or may not) have been the perfect role model and life guider. What starts as a simple storyline, at it’s core, revealed subplots that weave themselves in a way that actually made the movie pretty heavy and even a little complex after its all said and done. Mud walks the line beautifully between a story depicting a somewhat childish/idealistic view on life and love (which was refreshing)… and a very serious tale of friendship, trust and the realities of relationships (which was poignant and real).

Mud is new in theaters – so I don’t want to give too much away of the actual story and/or what happens throughout the film. What I do, absolutely, want to share is that you should see this movie. It’s 100% engaging and captivating from the first scene until the last. So many movies are enjoyable…but not truly special. This movie is special and it’s because of the characters. Without being overly complicated there are at least 6 characters in this film that you are immediately invested in and truly care about.

Not in a long time have I left a movie theatre and said, “That was awesome”. This time I did. See Mud.

My Nightmare (cable is out!)

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Is there anything worse than having your cable and internet out?! I say no.

On Friday we started work on a renovation to our home. I’m pretty excited about it…We are finishing our attic and adding a bathroom to make a really sweet guest room. This will add value to the house and give us a great place to store some grandparent/babysitters when our little bundle of joy arrives in October. What does this have to do with cable? Well I’ll tell you…

Like I said, on FRIDAY, the dudes started working…on FRIDAY NIGHT I get home and NOTHING. No TV…no internet…no phone. This makes me unhappy. We went three weeks without any of these services (yes, THREE weeks) around hurricane sandy and those were trying times my friends. When the cable doesn’t work its stirs up some crazy emotions and fundamental pet peeves of mine and they combine for a super cranky Chris.

#1 I love Tv. It’s how I unwind and stay up to date on all things happening in the world. Sports, news and entertainment – that’s what I need in my life. When my TV doesn’t work I find myself wanted to cause bodily harm to anyone who impedes the resolution of my problem.
#2 I hate when things don’t work the way they should. Especially things that you use everyday. Only thing worse, MAYBE, than cable being out is if your cell phone doesn’t work.
#3 Not having internet/wi-fi makes me feels like it’s 10 years ago and I can’t connect to the outside world with any kind of effectiveness. UGH – should I try the dial-up connection so I can at least check my email?

Oh…and it just so happens to be a wonderful weekend for TV (most of them are). This weekend includes exciting programming like GOLF, The Kentucky Derby, post Mayweather fight commentary the YANKEES home series, Game of Thrones, Mad Men and you know I could go on from here. Just listing those things out made my blood boil a little bit.

Back to the story – I fumble around my home for about an hour…plugging in and un-plugging in every box, modem and power source that may have cause this unbearable issue. NOTHING. Called Verizon, waited on hold, talked to someone who didn’t have a clue and clearly needed to schedule an appointment for someone to come and take a look… now here is the kicker. “Sir the next available appointment to get a technician to your home is……..Wednesday MAY 8th.” Mind you…it was FRIDAY May 3rd when this happened.

May 8th?! Come on Verizon…can’t you do better than that? “No sir…unfortunately that is the soonest available appointment.” (I wanted to scream but I kept it together as best I could.)

Being that the dudes had started work that day I immediately called them to see if they did anything that might cause the problem. I had to take a deep breath because if they DID potentially do something that caused me to be out of cable and internet for several days…we were going to have some harsh words. Forget my attic…I need my cable!

Called the contractor and he walked me thru what they did all day and that might have affected the cable. Really no mystery solved here….They unplugged one power source and then put it back at the end of the way. No big deal. This shouldn’t cause me to lose service to the whole house. OK…they are off the hook.

Now…all I can do it wait. And blog. And wait some more. Funny thing is I can’t even post this little gem (as I’m writing in MS Word, because I can’t connect to my wordpress app, obviously, duh).

As the story develops you better believe I’ll keep you updated because this is the center of my universe right now and if you can’t blog about what is at the center of the universe than what can you blog about?