Saturday, May 20, 2006
Forget (lest we use other words from Carlito's lexicon...) The Da Vinci Code - re-discover 1993's Carlito's Way instead - and its recent PREQUEL too
Specialty cable channels have been debunking it - at least - these past few weeks, with special documentaries making it very clear that all of the outrageous claims made in Dan Brown's book and central to the movie's plot are completely fabricated and absolute utter lies. The Priory of Sion is a 1956 invention, weaved by another fake (Pierre Plantard) - Leonardo Da Vinci was never a member. DNA testing has proven, without a shadow of a doubt, that there is no trace of a genetic link between "Jesus' people" and the Merovingian royalty... (The DNA expert, ironically, used the expression "it would take a miracle" to bridge that sort of gap and find a genetic link there!)
I could go on...
But I won't (not here anyway).
Instead, I will encourage people to ignore the Da Vinci Crap and look towards unpraised gems of the cinematic past - and today, I call to your attention one particular gem, from 1993 (that year, again...) and I point out to you that a PREQUEL was made and released straight to video in 2005...
Because this film did need -and was so very worthy of- some kind of continuation... any kind. (Yes, it is - it is one of those movies where you wish you could rewrite the ending - where you wish something could be done for the main character so he could that elusive paradise - Paraiso - he so often refers to all throughout the flick... Ah, well - atypical unhappy endings reflect reality in many, many ways...)
So, don't head to the over-priced theaters; head to the video clubs instead!
Again, as before, this post serves as a preview of an IMDB review by yours truly - and while you check it out, check out also some of the lines from the movie - such dialogue is rarely as acceptable as when it is exchanged between quality actors in a quality film based upon a quality book too! AND directed by a quality director as well - second only, in my book, to the great Scorsese! Ron Howard can only DREAM of being up there with these guys... Audrey Tautou may be perkier but she has not the substance of a Penelope Ann Miller. And Tom Hanks, my man - he's still no Pacino in his prime. I dare even suggest that Benny Blanco is a better villain than that awful albino in the Code crapfest! See now; if you follow my advice, you will win out on every level! A better film - with none of the crap attached to it! Those are extras no moviegoer or film buff should be looking for... ever.
What an underrated yet truly great film! The Brian De Palma-Martin Bregman-Al Pacino association sparks obvious comparisons to 1983's Scarface, their first collaboration - however 1993's CARLITO'S WAY is
the richer film in so many important ways. It has so much subtext, emotion, delves far deeper into the mind and even the soul of its main character with the result that Carlito Brigante becomes someone you root for and care about - which was not necessarily true about Tony Montana, despite his gory end in "Scarface"...
The name "Brigante" makes one who speaks French immediately think of "brigand" - a bandit from the gutter right there. The irony here is that it is the name of the reformed criminal and very much worthy human being that we wind up 100% behind in his hopeless quest for a brand new life... a future... and el paraiso.
The romantic scenes were an oasis of bliss amidst the grisly world and
tangled web that was weaving itself around Carlito as the movie
unfolded (thanks to Carlito's crooked counselor but also, quite
ironically too, thanks to Carlito's own willingness to reform and "be
good"...) Verily, the romance with Gail (what a luminous -what else-
performance by Penelope Ann Miller) is what humanizes this film.
Whereas Scarface was soulless almost, cold and all about the
underworld, this film has a soul and this romance is it. She is the angel who can lead the way to the dream of El Paraiso for Carlito - the sharpest contrast there could be; he dresses in black and she is blonde, with a porcelain complexion and ethereal almost! The problem is that she is not the only ethereal presence in the film, and the other one is a ghastly one that haunts him and will never go away until it destroys him. That ghost finds an eerie embodiment in "Benny Blanco" (another -of many reasons- to hate John Leguizamo; this role right here!) and Carlito will pay the price for sparing someone that could come back to haunt and hurt him... This unfortunate bit is my lone gripe against this masterpiece; but a happy ending would have cheapened this ode to the human frailty, probably...
For, indeed, Carlito's Way has a message - and that message is that, no
matter what we do, we cannot escape what we are - "our way"- and we are
destined to follow the course of that until the end. No matter what our
The supporting cast is phenomenal here, Penelope Ann Miller and Sean
Penn especially. Special mentions go to Luis Guzman and even one Viggo
Mortensen, who is far from his Aragorn form here - which only proves
that he has some range... He is no Pacino, but then again few are... or
ever will be.
Think of it: Al Pacino has played it all; here, he is the fallen one
seeking redemption. And achieving it, though not in the happy ending
formulaic way. This same splendid thespian has played the same type of
role before - and none were quite alike! Each role has his unique feel
and proper substance. Pacino even played the fallen angel who will
never seek redemption and he was MORE than believable in that role as
well! Truly, he is one of the GREAT ONES. And Penelope Ann Miller holds
her own opposite this great thespian. Unlike what many have said, she
was NOT miscast here. AT ALL. She hits every note she has to hit, in a
truly luminous performance. I would say that she has the same
attributes too; every role she undertakes, she gives it a new twist,
even if only through some small, almost imperceptible nuances and nothing else, making it all, in the end, new and fresh. One has only to compare all of her previous roles - Gail is unique. And beautiful - not just to Carlito either. That old Joe Cocker song never found a better subject to "give it life" than this character right here.
This film does leave us with a sad ending though - a lyrical one but
one we were hoping not to see. Gail's fears and words come true in the
end - and it is bitter irony to realize that we could have had the
"happy ending" here only if Carlito had kept his "way" like it used to
be - ruthless all the while through.
Friday, May 19, 2006
This one is truly appalled by the obtuse preponderance that prevails in this world - on this mudball that is, verily, free falling through the Milky Way... Well, let it fall. The best thing that could happen to the Earth is if it would be treated as God's own soccer ball... Maybe that would instill some good old-fashioned common sense into thick and numbskulls alike that run rampant -and roughshod- over all and everything alike...
This one is irate over a million things of that order, a gazillion times over...
This one is despondent at the mere thought of what depths humankind can attain or, indeed, sink to; imagine what it is that this one feels when laying eyes upon such examples of lowliness, "live" and in person...
This one feels indeed like adding to the quote above, some simple words for all to grasp; "this isn't right. This isn't even wrong... It is just stupid, plain and simple!"
Yup - *this one* is not a happy camper... yet again. The culprits for this sorry state of being know who they are - and they may rejoice, for the time being... But let it be known, here and now, that your rejoicing will be very short-lived.
On another level now...
This one was thinking of blasting the Dan Brown saga on this day... not so - it can wait 'til tomorrow.
This one was thinking of maybe mocking the "May 19th" running joke surrounding the release of another piece of rotting celluloid... that is not worthy of this blog and will -maybe- wind up relegated to another "network affiliate" here... if even that.
This one has seen Videocodezone.com strip him of the pleasure of putting up elaborate playlists even; as if that was too much to ask for... Some of us are truly not allowed a single moment of genuine fun or an outlet to relieve some stress, it seems - not with it being tagged by some kind of unnecessary complication, eventually...
Still, surely ONE VIDEO will not be too much to ask for... Hence, here is your "Luminous Friday Night Video" - again, fitting. As much as the quote above... Enjoy it here though rather than right here on TLB Prime - for, since this whole month's worth of posts has been archived, the MAY 8TH POST'S MUSIC takes precedence over anything else...
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Aye - it is!
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
The link today is about a family of color that is, unbelievably enough (to me), living through even more dire times than I presently am.
The Etibako family has lost, overnight and around Mother's Day to boot, not only their mother but several other family members in a very suspicious home fire...
"Stephan Etibako, eight years of age, his two sisters and his mother, along with a fifth person, were killed in a deadly blaze at the Etibako townhouse just before 4 a.m. Monday."
The mother, Adela Etibako, had arrived in Vancouver from the Congo in 1998.
She was an examplary citizen, helping the Congolese community which is a tightly-knit community that truly holds together. "On Mother's Day, hours before she would die, Etibako cooked a feast for people at her church" - that alone says it all about the woman Adela.
A friend of the family stated on CTV Newsworld that he had not known such sorrow since 1990 - the year that his father died.
I see all manners of synchronicity here, again, as I just lost my own father - whose health problems truly began in 1990. And one of my own mother's names is very similar to "Adela" too; Adelina. All of this pain and sorrow brings me into a sense of kinship with men and women of colour - and my father's country, Portugal, is no stranger to Africa. In fact, Portugal is now always helping its former colonies there (Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde) - the same colonies that "won" their independence in violent insurrection and bloodshed... only to turn now to the former colonizer in order to avoid devastation at the hands of two of the four horsemen; famine and death.
The most spectacular bit of synchronicity is that, in the Etibako tragedy, "police suspect an arsonist may have been responsible, setting their home ablaze with gasoline. Two weeks earlier, someone threw a Molotov cocktail about two blocks away."
They appear to have enemies - again, the hateful face of bigotry, rearing its ugly head into the picture. In my family's case, I know for a FACT that some hateful old coots, older than my father, are not-so secretly elated and overjoyed to hear of his passing... They always hated my family's name, the men of the family first and foremost, and wished my elders ill all throughout what is now a grudge several decades old... They won't throw Molotov cocktails or get into arson only because they are neither so obvious nor young enough for these activities - that is it. Otherwise...
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Christians continue to sin after they are saved - we will not be free from sin until we die or Jesus comes back. However, becoming a Christian results in a changed life (2 Corinthians 5:17). A person will go from producing the acts of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21) to producing the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). This change does not happen instantly, but it does happen over time. Paul tells us, "And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God" (1 Corinthians 6:11).
Copyright © 2002 - 2006 AllAboutFollowingJesus.org, All Rights Reserved.
The Christian will be tempted... stumble and fall... but he will remain faithful in his heart. Repentance will fill his heart. And forgiveness will be allotted.
And so is God's Forgiveness given - so easily obtained. All we need, to be found worthy of it, is repentance. And Love.
If God Will Forgive like this, why do we - miserable gnats that we are threading upon this earth for but a very short time - why do we find it so difficult to forgive... and to love?
Monday, May 15, 2006
When the pain becomes too much to bear... we are tempted to look to the skies above and shout "send me an angel"...
I would be remiss though if I did not lament the fact that the 1983 hit "send me an angel" was recently covered by a cete of marilyn manson wannabees collectively known as "deadstar assembly"... As if it wasn't lamentable enough that the original hit's perpetrators, a band called "Real Life", has always been overshadowed by the OTHER band with a hit song titled "send me an angel" - the equally heinously named (as d.a.) Scorpions!
To be fair, the Scorpions' song is just as good - and, some might say better written too - but Real Life's ONE BIG HIT deserves special consideration... It was always a favorite of mine and that is telling; for my fondness for the underdog at an early age was surely indicative that I would be one as well. And, in REAL LIFE... underdogs seldom know bliss. If ever.
Hence the need for immediate help from a heavenly attendant - asap - please God. (I posted prayers recently here; this turns out to be another one...)
Sunday, May 14, 2006
Happy Mother's Day (Warning: the following is not upbeat all the way through though - and no, I am not like Eminem)
Mother's Day is here once more - and though some mothers did beget the likes of Ted Bundy, Adolf and Osama, others did bring into this wretched world the likes of Karol Wojtyla... André Bessette... Manuel Raposo... Jean Vanier... Thérèse De Lisieux... Lucia Dos Santos... João Pimentel.
And even the mothers who brought forth the Generation Y deserve flowers on Mother's Day
After all, ours is not to ask why...
Mother's Day is always of special significance for me personally - for it comes mere days after my birthday.
Mother's Day this year will be of special significance for my mother, as per usual, but twice moreso since it is the first such special day that she will see through without the company of the man who prayed so much that she would survive the day of delivery...
And I do know many more proud mothers worthy of being celebrated on Mother's Day - too many to list but they know who they are and their sons and daughters will honor them on this day; I need not do it for them.
Mother's Day could be extended in an allegorical way too, in order to celebrate Mother Earth... but then, shouldn't we honor Father Time as well?
I could refrain from asking more questions (such as "do Gen-X'ers really celebrate their mothers too - let alone honor them, and their fathers?" or "What do Generation Y kids do today, when, all year long, their mothers are unable to answer when someone asks Y they were born - pull a Ferris Bueller?" or "What about the mothers of Generation Z today?!?") and skip this entire exercise to return pronto to my mire of distress.
Since, as the case truly is here, just as I did not celebrate my birthday, my mother feels not like being celebrated either; she'd rather have her husband back.
But dear old dad is gone - on doctors' orders.