I was able to catch up on a few movies lately. The 355, King Richard and Spider-Man: No Way Home. I had reservations to the latter two because of the press about Will Smith and my fears that it would jade my watching experience. I have also been concerned about my perception of Spider-Man movies, their over-rated nature and disappointed with the explicit language in my last attempt to catch up. My impression is that they are quite the deviation from their more real, humble beginnings. Marvel’s ego and commercial danger gets someone like me lost and somewhat turned off at times. Ranking the three however had some different turn out than I expected. I was disappointed with The 355. It was too much of a “girls’ power night out” vibe that didn’t totally make sense in many of the characters’ decisions. There was some impressive acting, energetic action and colorful sets. Still I was more annoyed, frustrated and confused than tuned in. In second place was Spider-Man: No Way Home. Actress Zendaya got my attention early with dynamic, compressed movements and expression. The plot for the first half bothered me as it was blurred by what sometimes felt like a showing off of special effects, but in the second half and conclusion, I decided it really was a one sentence necessary component for fans. I envyed the trio’s friendship and in the end, that’s how they broke the viewers heart possibly setting up another sequel. I think there were some obvious sell outs with advertising, prompting buyers with video game scene setups, Legos mentions and more. It wasn’t totally untasteful and sometimes I want to believe it was true to the spirit of our inner child and hero, but life isn’t usually like that. They didn’t have to glorify Pepsi for example eventually grossing over a billion in the box. So maybe their ego isn’t strong enough to be an even better example. In first place is King Richard. The biggest catch of this movie is having waited to see it until after the news of the lead actor standing up for his wife. Being he was the first “Man of the Year” on our blog, you would know I’d be nervous to see another Will Smith movie without some healing time. After seeing the scene where he is beat up and nearly killed after standing up for his character’s daughter, I found it dangerously ignorant to comment on his real wife in passing and expect to escape without consequence. It’s a lose-lose situation and I would have to pick Will’s world with the decision he made. I’m losing respect for celebrities and organizations shaming him. Now the second catch is the title. I would never have guessed this movie was about the story of the famous tennis players Venus, Serena and their Father Richard. Let’s not forget about Richard’s wife at the time, Brandy Price. Is “King” a nickname? I couldn’t find any reference on Wikipedia, nor do I remember it mentioned in the movie. Anyways that is main reason I first passed on the movie because I thought it was about some Roman soldiers. Of course I know about these tennis players having played tennis as a kid with my Dad and friends as well as collected sports’ cards. I didn’t know the story, nor anything about the tennis culture scene, so there were lots of surprises. The whole production was appropriately gripping and the cast was fun. The timing of it being in the Redbox and my mood swaying to see it was impeccable because I felt a deeper connection to an actor’s struggle between the roles they choose or must play and my idea of God interacting with sub-realities or imaginations. I left theater in high school towards college to pursue exclusively music despite a scholarship opportunity for some point in this philosophy. I couldn’t stand seeing my girlfriend with someone acting as their lover for example. Today my regret is small, though the change would have been enormous and I can’t help but wonder since I’ve failed at several important measures of success in the field of music. The long road is not the easy road and I believe I chose the shorter path sometime between grade school and high school following my musical heroes.

Three notable celebrity deaths on May 26th:

Ray Liotta – Goodfellas, Field of Dreams and others.
Alan White – Drummer of Yes and Plastic Ono Band.
Andy Fletcher – Keyboardist of Depeche Mode.