Thursday, October 17, 2019

Raising Dion Netflix Review

Are you watching Raising Dion? Have you watched Raising Dion? If not then you need to.

A few years ago, there was a short trailer circulating the internet featuring a young mother and her son who had superpowers. It seemed to get some traction and I myself was pretty excited about the concept of this potential film. Then it faded away. Fast Forward to October 2019 and Raising Dion produced by Michael B. Jordan, who also makes a few appearances in the film, is released on Netflix.

Raising Dion, starring Alisha Wainwright,  Ja'Siah Young, Jason Ritter, and Michael B Jordan is about a young mother who finds out her eight-year-old son has superpowers and the lengths she will go through to protect him.

This Netflix science fiction series was really entertaining. The production quality was impressive and the cast came together nicely. I always enjoy John Ritter in most of his projects and he did not disappoint in this series. There are some twists and turns that come together in a nice package. I really liked Ja'Siah Young as Dion. He brought a level of realism to the character.

The writing and storyline were paced really well. I felt for Nicole, Dion's mother played by Wainwright, in dealing with the loss of her husband and not only raising a young boy alone but having to deal with his superpowers too! There was enough meat in this story to keep me engaged for the entire season and anticipating the next one. Netflix, when is it coming out?



Spoiler Alert
Spoilers Ahead

Nicole's sister was getting on every single one of my nerves. I get she was frustrated with her sister but she was over the top with her condescending tone and the way she was treating Nicole. I am glad she finally came around. The way it happened could have been done better though. She was deleting the records right there for everyone to see, practically begging to get caught.

Ritter as Pat was sooooo good. When he kissed Nicole, I was like back up. You are supposed to be the godfather, that is all. I will be honest I was not expecting him to be the crooked man at all.

I was disappointed when Mark came back for two seconds. I felt like they should have found a way to keep him but I get it.

I for sure knew that boy was going to be a problem. He was so upset when Charlotte left him to go back to Dion. I was surprised he ended up killing his aunt but not so much that the storm found its way too him.

Suzzane was a witch but I had a feeling she was not going to be all bad, even though she cannot be trusted. They still have to deal with the dying area and figuring out how Dion comes into play with that.

I really hope they do not end up canceling it because I am really excited about the next season.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Where to find Happiness

I never thought that a lot of money or fine clothes--the finer things of life-- would make you happy. My concept of happiness is to be fulfilled in a spiritual sense. - Coretta Scott King
Yellow Background
I was watching a documentary and Allison Mack was on the screen. They were detailing how she fell into a cult that had sex slaves. She was one of the main characters in Smallville, a very popular show in the early 2000s. Mack was saying that she seemed to have everything she ever thought she wanted- a great career, money, friends and etc but was still unfulfilled. Regardless of all these things she felt her self wanting more. In essence, Mack stated that she was not happy.

I do not know that people, in general, give thought to what happiness is and what it means for them to be happy. To do that is to practice a level of mindfulness and we definitely do not do that enough. Life is to be filled with moments of happiness, moments that bring us joy. Happiness is a feeling that ebbs and flows. I think some people confuse it with a state of perpetual being. More importantly, happiness attached to material possessions is shallow and fleeting.

Mack found herself looking for happiness even though she possessed all the things she thought would make her happy. She thought she was learning about how to fulfill herself from this group that turned out to manipulate her vulnerability and her need for belonging. It is a person's desire to belong that cults and gangs take advantage of.

It is never too late to evaluate one's own self and start down the path of mindfulness living. One of the most powerful tools at our disposal is the sense of connection. Knowing that you are part of a larger foundation that you can tap into that allows a person to be more confident and secure. People fill this need with spirituality, family, friends, and/or meaningful work or organizations.

If you feel materials things will bring you happiness, then start by restructuring your thinking. Analyze why you feel that way and what it is you are truly seeking by amassing things. You will find that it may be acceptance. Lastly, if you are seeking acceptance due to self-doubt, step outside of yourself and give back to your community or someone in need. Practice kindness and see how you will grow.

Happiness does not come from things or outside sources. You have to be in a state of self-love to receive and enjoy the happiness gained from real-life experiences.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Gemini Man Movie Review

Gemini Man, starring Will Smith is going on its second week of release. So far it has a worldwide gross of just over 62 million, which is probably disappointing considering the budget. 

It is about an excellent government assassin who decides to retire. Unfortunately, as these things go, he becomes the target of a new and improved assassin who turns out looking and reacting just like him.

So for this review, I have to revert back to the what-I-love versus what-I-hate format.

Loved:

  • Will Smith's acting. There were subtle things that he added to give both of his characters some flesh and grounding. 
  • The camera shots. I enjoyed the overall cinematography and feel of this film
  • The set, architecture, and colors. It was like the set was its own character
  • The fight scenes and motorcycle chase between Henry and Henry Junior were pretty fantastic.

Hated:

  • The plot/writing was beyond predictable. I was left wanting more.
  • Henry Junior's face was not consistently convincing. The close-up shots were great but when he was far away, something was downright disturbing. The GC was disappointing. It was a distraction.

The film had the potential to be great. It seemed to have all the right ingredients. Unfortunately, you cannot have a great film if the writing and plot is crap. It could have been a B+ but actually earned a C-. Clive Owen as the villain could have pushed it to a solid C, maybe even a C+ but he was regular. He was not bad but he was not impressive. So C - it is.

It pains me to say you can wait for this one to come out on video.

Moral of this story: Never give up on yourself even when it's your ownself fighting against your best interest.

Stress Management in Five


“Stress is caused by being 'here' but wanting to be 'there'.”
― Eckhart Tolle

And there is nothing wrong with that.
There are many different reasons why stress exists in our lives. The most popular message about stress is that it is bad for you. I do not want to completely contradict that but angle our notions from a different perspective. Unmanaged stress can lead to chronic stress which tends to contribute to unhealthy conditions in our lives. The stress we regularly experience is not necessarily bad. It is a part of our lives.

Stress is what happens when we have to shift our thinking and go in a new direction. Stress happens when we have to meet a deadline. Stress happens when we have to run for our lives or plan for a dinner party. Can you imagine life without a little bit of stress?

I am already a master procrastinator, and without the energy I get from my stress reactions, I may sit on my butt forever and never put my plans into motion. I love Tolle's quote because it captures the essence of stress perfectly. Stress is the catalyst that our lives need and we are the change agent.
If you want to be there, you have to get yourself up and take action so that you will not be stuck in the 'here.'

In order to better take advantage of the energy that our stress produces we have to:

  1. Have a level of awareness of what triggers our stress
  2. Know yourself/your body and how you feel when you are stressed
  3. Make a plan to take action
  4. Do something. Whatever it is that you need to do that will get you closer to there.
  5. Lastly, decompress. You have to take some time to relax and unwind. Even if it is ten minutes toward the end of your day. 

Whatever you do, keep moving forward and remember to breathe.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Be Still

Learning how to be still, to really be still and let life happen - that stillness becomes a radiance. - Morgan Freeman

There is a time when a person needs to move and shake it out, dance it out, work it out or whatever physical activity is required to calm our body down. Sometimes there is this nervous energy inside of us that the only thing we can do is shake our body. Then there are other times that we really need to be still.

More often than not, we need to pause and be still. It is not simply being still as in not moving. This type of stillness will take practice and patience. This is the stillness that we can draw energy from and peace from and allow the divine/universe to speak to us. This is the stillness that allows us to receive good vibes and discern what we need in our lives.

Stillness Exercise
1. Close your eyes
2. Breathe in and out through your nose for three sets
3. Tighten and relax your muscles
4. Breathe in and out for five minutes

If it helps to have a focus point instead of closing you eyes, you can look at a nature picture.

In the Shadow of the Moon Movie Review

In the Shadow of the Moon stars Boyd Holbrook, Michael C. Hall, Cleopatra Coleman and Bokeem Woodbine in a time-traveling thriller that tries really hard to keep the audience on its toes.

Can we talk about Bokeem Woodbine? This dude is a solid B (that might be pushing it, okay C) actor. He really should get more acting jobs because I really think he can handle whatever comes his way. He handles that 80s hair number like a pro in this movie. His hairline was all kinds of jacked up 😆. I tell you this, he may not be an A-list actor but he stays working, and that is the most important thing.

Cleopatra Coleman as Rya was a delight. I look forward to seeing her in more works.

The movie follows detective Locke, played by Holbrook, as he chases down a serial killer that unbeknownst to everyone is actually a time traveler that is trying to avert disaster in the future. There is a twist towards the end of the movie that I won't give away but I was not really surprised about. Netflix gets points for trying.

I annoyingly appreciated Locke's character development. It was very plot-driven but appropriate. It was annoying only because I wanted him to be better, looking like a homeless beggar throughout most of the film LOL. I think my favorite aspect of this film is the actual killings themselves. Now there were some plot holes, but you have to accept a certain level because it is a movie after all. However, overall, I found this film enjoyable.

I thought the pacing of the film was well done. The plot was strong enough to keep my attention. The beginning definitely pulled you in enough to keep us watching. The acting was decent to say that I was not distracted by bad acting. The cinematography was done well also. Nothing earth-shattering. Just a solid film, although, I wanted something a little more at the end but not quite sure what.


Lesson Learned: Sometimes you may not be ready to face what you're chasing, and is it really worth throwing away the blessings of the present.

In Locke's case he did not derail his life because he was living with both the past and the future as his burden. He could not let go of the outcomes of the past which cause him to bypass his life in an effort to make amends in the future. He was the epitome of not living in the present.

Rating C+



Friday, October 4, 2019

Feeling Stressed? Take Time for Yourself

Scattered
fragments of my
overwrought emotions
escape my control until I
take time



Overthinking things seems to be my specialty. Overthinking inevitably leads to worry and worry leads to anxiety and anxiety leads to stress. In other words, I am a stress magnet, inviting unnecessary stress into my life on a regular basis. If I did not actively combat my thoughts of worry, I would certainly be a walking trainwreck.

I know I am not the only one. Chronic stress is a plague on not only the US but globally as well. How can we have an impact on the amount of chronic stress that we have to deal with? We start by better handling acute stress. Acute stress is the day to day stress. Acute stress is life. The goal is not to do away with stress altogether. That is not at all realistic because any change that we have to adjust to causes a potential for stress. Therefore, we have to work on how we use the energy from that acute stress.

In order to first use that nervous, stressful energy for good we have to get our minds in a place that allows us to be receptive to the good vibes around us. Do not ignore that the smalled shift in your mindset can have a great impact. Before, you continue in the cycle of worry, anxiety and stress pause and take ten.

Take Five
  1. Stop, breathe and shift your thoughts towards gratitude. Start a deep breathing exercise and a mantra of gratitude in which you are simply grateful for breath and the ability to fill your lungs with air and invigorate your cells with oxygen. 
  2. Think about five things, people, or activities that bring you joy.
  3. Do ten deep breathing cycles (inspiration and exhalation) while focusing on those five things. 
  4. End with a self-affirming mantra. 
  5. Stretch it out and conquer your day

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Rihanna's Savage X Fenty Show


Rihanna has got fashion houses rethinking their whole lives right now. Her Savage X Fenty Show premiered on Amazon Prime this weekend and it is pure fire! Not only is the show unique in how it displays fashion and the models she is using, but the show also displays the versatility of her line at the same time.

I cannot imagine one thing that I cannot do in the selection of lingerie the dancers and models are wearing. The way they are working it, I can probably complete a triathlon in that lingerie at it will still hold up. Rihanna is turning the fashion and makeup world upside down, and I am so here for it.
I loved everything about her show. I especially loved that she had all types of models and dancers, but when my girl Normani came out, I was undone! I have been rooting for her ever since Simon Cowell first put Fifth Harmony together on that show. I would have loved for her to perform instead but she absolutely killed her set regardless.

I have read that some could have done without the rappers but I loved that too. Firstly, all of the hits were particularly appropriate, signifying high intensity and confidence. The energy was hype and sliced in at the right time to offer exciting transitions. Lastly, the plain white set was the perfect backdrop the contrast against the colors and diversity of the dancers and models. The complicated geometry of the set worked well in that it was functional but also served as a parallel to the distinctiveness of the group Rihanna that was able to bring together.

Bottom line, it is a fun show. The marketing angle is on point because I sure did hop on over to the website to price check some of the designs I saw. The show and Rihanna’s success is a testament to stay true to yourself but before you can do that, you have to know yourself and safeguard your dreams and aspirations. Rihanna has received a lot of criticism for her style and approach to life in the past, but it seems that she has taken her personality and approach to life into the business world and it is working for her. Only someone with a strong sense of self can manage to position herself to acclaim this level of success outside of her musical career.

Stay true to self and do not be deterred.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Don't Catch Misery


Don’t Catch Misery

Miserable people want to spread their misery. Don’t catch that shit. It is really like a disease that craves to attach itself to unsuspecting innocents. Sometimes the carriers are not even aware of their infection. These people live in this negative, ugly space and when they talk the message is usually gloom and doom.
 
Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 
There is a difference between a negative person by personality and a person who finds themselves in such a stressful situation that all they can do is focus on the frustrating aspects of their life. Both can change but both will take hard work. The former has to be willing to look deep within himself and assess where this pessimism is rooted. The latter has to really step back and look at her current situation, how she got there, and what she can do to change it, all while making an active effort to be grateful and observe the good that remains in her life.

While these folks are working through their issues, they can still affect the frequency the people around them. Do not allow your good vibrations to be altered by their ongoing negative emotions or words. Continue to be affirming and uplifting. Continue to see the way things can be done instead of all the ways that it cannot be done. Continue to strive for improvement instead of complaining about all the reasons why something is wrong.

People always say to remove yourself from that person but sometimes that is not always realistic. What if it is a person we love, and we would like to provide support? I understand that. However, please be mindful of your own energy and guard it well. Pay attention to your words when you interact with that person. Meditate or pray before and after the exchange. This will help you rebalance yourself and your mind.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Embrace this Moment


photo by Dawid Zawila

Embrace 
the gentle kiss 
of the wind, reminding 
us that in stark stillness remains 
life’s breath


We can easily invite unnecessary stress into our lives by worrying and overthinking certain details. There are times that a person can be dealing with a stressful situation and she allows it to consume her entire being. It is so easy to unwittingly find ourselves caught in the cycle of stress. It is in those moments that we need to step back and appreciate the smaller things. It is in those moments that I encourage you to stop and breathe. 

It’s not just about the breath. I want you to take that moment and think of the smallest things that we take for granted like your feet for example. Most importantly, I want you to remember in that moment that you are alive and can feel and can take action. Think of nothing else but your potential. Just breathe and be thankful or just be. 

At some point, you should write down all the things that you are thankful for and have it handy to reference when needed. Embrace not only life at the moment but embrace yourself for living it.