So I misnumbered last week’s post. It should have been week twenty-four. Ooops! I’ve corrected it but it was tweeted out wrong and posted to my FB wrong as well. Oh well!
It’s Sunday going into Monday and my first long weekend of summer break. I plan on enjoying these moments, as one should…
The Fabulous Filipino Brothers [Hulu] – I very much enjoyed this one because 1) it’s about a Filipino family, 2) it was funny, 3) it was set super locally in nearby Pittsburg. It looks like they filmed locally as we did find the family house on Google Maps and one of the restaurants featured is actually one out here. It was a very fun watch and if you’re Filipino or just interested in experiences of other American cultures, I would definitely recommend it.
Baahubali: The Beginning [Netflix]- Another Indian movie from S. S. Rajamouli (RRR). Love the gorgeous visuals, the action, the emotion. It definitely ends on a cliffhanger but I enjoyed everything leading up to the end. Can’t wait to watch the conclusion!
The Fifth Element [limited release in theatre] – One of my favorite all-time movies is in the theatres for a couple of days and we just couldn’t resist. The movie still holds up on the big screen. Not sure if we ever watched it during its original theatrical run but I’m so glad that we got to see this time. It still looks good and even if you know what happens, it’s just as entertaining as the first viewing.
Elvis [in theatres] – I don’t think I was too interested in this movie when it was first announced but Priscilla Presley and Lisa Marie Presley’s praise for it gave me pause and soon enough, I thought, why not watch it? Maybe I will see what they see in it. I didn’t really think that Austin Butler physically favored Elvis but I guess I just needed to see him move and talk like him.
The movie is GORGEOUS, on the eyes and in the ears. The way Elvis’ music was used just added such depth to a story we all know, if just in bits and pieces. I consider myself a fair Elvis fan– I enjoy much of his music, I’ve seen Blue Hawaii a few times, and if I think about it long enough, he was probably my first exposure to the whole fan phenomenon. Not my own, but the people in my family. My dad likes to sing his songs and I remember going to a couple of shows of Elvis to the Max (IYKYK). Even though I’m probably considered “young” to be a fan of Elvis, as he died when I was six, his music has been part of my whole life.
Even a movie as long as Elvis cannot encompass the whole of his life so there were many broad strokes and liberties taken to his story in this telling, with the focus being on his relationship with Colonel Tom Parker. It was well done. Austin Butler as Elvis was fantastic. He had the voice and the moves and the heart. If there’s ever been an Oscar turn, this one is it, imho.
His story doesn’t have a happy ending, which accounts for some of the tears I had by the roll of the credits. They chose to end the movie with “In the Ghetto,” and a different memory sprang to mind, which doubled my tears.
I thought back to a moment in 1999, sitting in the audience at the Nob Hill Masonic Center, while Kevin Smith (he played Ares on Hercules and Xena) sang “In the Ghetto” for the evening cabaret during the weekend’s Herc/Xena convention. I remember closing my eyes and just listening as Kevin seemed to channel Elvis with his rendition of the song. When I hear that song, I try to listen for Kevin. So hearing it at the end of the movie made me cry not only for Elvis and his life but for Kevin and his. It felt so oddly and singularly personal, which is probably why this film feels like a gut punch, beautiful and haunting…
I just don’t know what to say about the state of our country right now. I don’t know enough to speak on anything but I do know that I’m EXHAUSTED by the continual doom. I don’t have any solutions so I choose to be positive about the things I can. I tell myself to be a good person, a compassionate soul, a listener. I’d rather make someone smile than inflict misery on anyone. I’d rather focus on what I can control than the things I cannot. It doesn’t mean I don’t care because I most certainly do…
My cousin mentioned that she heard the song “Don’t Dream It’s Over” by Crowded House and it reminded her of me. Something about a dance. I smiled because the memory was my Junior Prom and I realized I’ve told the story many times but I’ve never written it down. I should write it down someday…
“… Now I’m walking again
To the beat of a drum
And I’m counting the steps to the door of your heart
Only shadows ahead
Barely clearing the roof
Get to know the feeling of liberation and release
… Hey now, hey now
Don’t dream it’s over
Hey now, hey now
When the world comes in
They come, they come
To build a wall between us
You know they won’t win..”