Ten Movies that will NEVER Happen.


BELIEVE ME these will never happen!
50 First Dates: 10 years and 4 kids later”.

The Waterboy II: Mama Moves Back In”

Fast Times at Ridgemont High: 40 Year Reunion”

How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days and Still get Palimony”

The Breakfast Club: Bender Goes to Washington

Beverly Hills Cop: Retired My Ass!”

“The Wedding Singer: Out of Tune”

The Goonies:  Where’s the Cave?”

Charlie’s Angels:  Contracted Out”

Ferris Buehler’s Day Off:  Again?”


The Ebb and Flow of Life

“Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one.”Stella Adler, and she was absolutely right on that one.

If I could add anything to that phrase, it would be the word “still” after the word “that”.  Isn’t it odd that we can go through so much–both good and bad and the artists are the ones that motivate us or evoke tears?  When I say “artist” do you think I mean someone with a paint brush or a camera?  Then you are only partially correct. I’m referring to those who can create worlds with their pens as well–or the actor or actress that can allow a character to come through them like a shaman allows the spirits to breathe through them.

All of these can move us to tears, inspire us, make us angry as hell or even, for some strange reason depending on what is put out there, can cause us to tell the world to go screw itself for a day.  I love a good psychological roller coaster ride when I watch a film which is why a lot of the 80’s flicks for the teens didn’t impress me too much. However there are two exceptions: “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” and “The Breakfast Club“.

Now what happens when the artists go through such crap that they don’t want to create?  It is not that hard to answer. Those closest to them and those who support them should rally around them and send them love. Yeah, that’s right–LOVE.   You know, that word society likes to associate with the “f” word a lot?  However it means so much more than that.  For those of us who love putting the word to paper, writer’s block is what happens to us if we fear not measuring up, or something has happened that has mummified our muse.

They key to the cure is to encourage the writer to keep writing, the painter to keep painting, the photographer to keep snapping pictures, the actor or actress to keep  acting and the singer/songwriter to keep on singing and composing.  Let them know what they have done for you and how they have inspired you.  Sometimes those who tell them their work is crap are nothing more than corporate “yes” men. If we are the ones buying the work, we should be dropping lines on occasion.

When they inspire us, they also do remind us that we STILL possess a soul as well, do they not?

A few of my friends are really going through some crap right now. They are always on my mind and in my thoughts. If I could reach out across the distance and hug them or let them simply be free to vent, I would.   I’ve been in places where nobody else would want to tread, that is for sure.  Instead of hardening me, I have become more empathetic  about many things. Given what I have survived and come out of, I would say that is a good thing because I could have easily become anything BUT empathetic toward my fellow-man/woman.

Some people have seen a few snippets of my life.  Some were there and watched me go through it.  I often get asked how I survived it all and kept my marbles.  The answer a simple. I grew up in an age where it was one thing to wish those who hurt you into the “cornfield” as depicted by the “Twilight Zone“.  It was (and is) quite another to send them there. No individual is worth the creature one would turn into if they actually carried out such thoughts–but then again, thoughts can become “things”, right?

Well they nearly did when I was 12–and the scenario was NOT a good one. Therefore I’ll save it for another story with another vile creature of a villain that will either get killed off in a horrible way and/or will learn what it was like for his/her victim to suffer.  There is nothing like the pen to describe these ebbs and flows in our life cycle–but it is so much more  fun to carry out our fantasies in fiction.

If your life feels more like it is ebbing than flowing, then maybe it is  time to pull out the pen again or the brush and go for it!  Have a good evening!


WE NEVER Seem to Notice What is WORTH Noticing, Do We?

This is a post unlike any I have ever done, but I think it took someone else to describe what it is I tend to look for…Deeds…Not personalities…Actions do speak louder than words, don’t they?  We spend most of our youth being programmed into what others want us to be, but when do we become ourselves?

I learned early on that life for me was one cage evolving into another. I spent most of my life watching shows and movies looking for heroes to save me from the hell I called my life from the time I was a child.  Then I came to a harsh realization.  No hero was coming.  No one was hearing me crying from the time I was 11 to the time I was grown–except me, a mouse named Brutus (at one point) and the air.

Until anyone can tell me what it is like to be so scared to leave one’s own room that they crouch over a hole in the floor to piss under the house rather than risk sneaking to the bathroom, then nobody can tell me what fear really is.  I learned early on what it is, but I never learned how to do anything but to mentally escape from those awful memories.

One of the movies I love the most now is called “The Shawshank Redemption“. When I watched that, it was the day I realized I had escaped and I felt very empowered by the fact.

When I watch movies, I look for things that CAN play out in life.  Because I knew there were no heroes, I hated the Marvel comics and such my brother loved.   I hated cartoons like Johnny Quest and such because, again, they weren’t real.  It was the musicians that caught my attention then. Many sang about things I wanted to feel.  If there  was anything I wanted to feel it was to feel loved for the person I was inside….

Most of those same cartoons depicted good winning over evil, but in my home it seemed that it was the evil winning. It was eating at the heart of my family like a cancer.  I endured a lot and survived.  I truly did live in a war zone.  Any step I took could result in all hell being unleashed.

As a result I grew weary of Hollywood and all the fake heroes being put out–but I still had a thing for “Fast Times at Ridgmont High” and (as I have discussed before)  “The Breakfast Club“.  I can also assure you that the tale of each kid in that latter movie in some way mimicked my life–except for Claire’s. I related most to Ally Sheedy‘s character who (she says) was ignored.  Nobody really knows what went through her head…

However by then, for the most part I stopped  spending  money on movie tickets because I realized that much of what was coming out was hype more than substance. The one movie I SHOULD have went to see was “Chariots of Fire”.  At least the two main characters were real and did exist.  Ian Charleson and Ben Cross brought the two men to life for me in that film when I finally saw it a few years ago.  In hindsight, not many will dispute the idea that Ben Cross should have gotten an Oscar (or at least the nod) for how he brought Abrahams to life in that movie, but for whatever reason, that did not happen for him.

He played a bigger role a few years before that and very few people took note of this during an interview he did–but they damned well should have.  The man stood up for what he felt was right and that, in my book is more worthy of being book material and/or put on celluloid than this bloody trash Hollywood keeps throwing at us as of late…Ben put himself on the line and could have ended up in a Russian prison for it years ago.  I hope he writes that story soon.  That is the type of story we need out there…Not this Depp/Burton “Dark Shadows”  fiasco  or the “Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” crap!

If you’re interested in knowing what the hell I am talking about, I will refer you to an interview he did in 1982–the year my son Eric was born.  Had I read this interview then, the man’s picture  would have been right up on my wall next to John Lennon’s for having the guts to stand up for what he believed was right in a time when the political turmoil was immense.  That is a person worth looking up to.  Too bad I never knew about this until YESTERDAY because to me, THIS  is what heroes are really made of. If actions do indeed speak louder than words, then the words he spoke in this interview should have resulted in his actions screaming at an entire generation or two.

I remember going to NYC in 1981 and seeing Russian subs off of the coast so I know if I had seen this, I’d have done a double take!

Mr. Cross, you can be as humble as you want to be, but this is one story that does need to be shared. I am glad the interview was still available…

Here is the link:


I know the action he took to help a Russian couple trying to leave Communist Russia (which was a prison cage in itself) screamed at me quite loudly–and while he has such a knack for bringing these characters he plays to life, it is this time that should be shared with the world because there is a message in it worth hearing and seeing–and it is real.

Sometimes it takes conscience and a bit of unbridled individualism to do the right thing.  He certainly did so, and for that he has my utmost respect.  Right now he plays a villain called “Mr. Rabbit” on the Cinemax show, “Banshee” and he is doing an excellent job.  I hope this opens many doors for him to come, as he certainly deserves that after all these years.

Yeah…I’m talking about the same guy who played Harold Abrahams in “Chariots of Fire”! This guy is probably one of the bravest people I have NEVER met!

And here is a link to a performance the Galina and Valery Panov did after their defection…They were so marvelous!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMMbdG6eB-8

Plot…The most important 4 letter word that doesn’t start with “S”or “F”…

Catchy title, right?  ***Ahem***…Some struggle with characterization, some with plot.  Those that struggle with plot might find this useful as they won’t be creating new vernacular words when they hit the rut! PARENTS:  IF you use my blog, there will be times that I talk to students as I would in a non-teaching capacity.  They are less bored that way.  I want to make them laugh a bit and enjoy it!

Whether you are in an English Literature class,  Theater Arts class, Creative Writing class, etc…One cannot possibly deal with plot without an understanding of the different types of conflict. In American schools you are usually introduced to these in the 9th grade, but now, schools are so busy trying to control chaos and teach social skills that many students are not understanding this concept.  As a result, they are left to their own devices on assignments  much of the time because the teacher has to keep one eye on the  ED student (emotionally disturbed) while keeping the other eye on the class bully. I am going to break this down so EVERBODY who does not understand it can get a grip on it.  IF you do understand it, great! You are exceptional! Pat yourself on the back!  Anyway, it is NOT that hard.

The different types of conflict are:

Man vs. Man–This is THE physical struggle

Man vs. Nature /Environment/Circumstances–This is the “classical” struggle.

Man vs. Self–This is the psychological struggle

Man vs. Society–And this is the social struggle.

Man vs. Destiny/Fate

Now you will see this from time to time in writing:

External and Internal  (and all conflicts fall into one of these categories).

1. The external struggle deals with forces outside of a character.  These forces can be anything from a serial killer trying to get to him/her, a fight between relatives, wars, bullying, political hostilities resulting in mass bull, etc…

Man vs. Man, Man vs. Nature and Man vs. Society  are usually going to involve external conflict.  Some stories have mixtures of all of it but there is one thing you need to remember whether you are writing a story or some type of essay for an English teacher:  There is NO such thing as a good one that has NO conflict.  The only place you will see no conflict is in a didactic piece of writing.   By “didactic” I am referring to literature specifically designed to teach a moral–or a lesson of some type–and if you are a student that easily translates into boring stuff that you do not want to touch with a ten foot pole.   Much of the time, instruction on morals, excessive factual or educational information in writing falls into this rut.  Alexander Pope‘s Essay on Criticism falls into this mess.  Steer clear if you can because to droll on excessively about these subjects bores you as much as your instructor does if their voices are monotone. Example:  The “Clear Eyes” commercials–that dude…Get it? Got it? Good!  IF you’re not familiar with him, here is a prime example of the monotone, boring voice:


And that’s from Ferris Beuller’s Day Off!

2.  The internal struggle deals with a struggle within the character’s own personality.  Man vs. Self is the perfect example of this.  When one battles his/her inner demons, habits, etc…That is what this refers to.

Now that we’ve got that cleared up, I’m going to give you all plot examples without running  the characters into the cataract (hopefully).

Man vs. Man:  Best example here is from the movie “Batman: The Dark Knight”–Batman vs. The Joker

Man vs. Nature:  The movies  “10.5” or “The Perfect Storm”

Man vs. Society:  “Falling Down” or “John Q”

Man vs. Self:   “American History X” and “An Officer and a Gentleman

Man vs. Destiny/Fate:   I am going to use the movie “Ikiru” here.  This man knows he is dying, but is fighting to make a difference in the days he has left–as in trying to define his legacy.  One could say it is this type of conflict because of what actually gets done or not done. Watch this and think about it.

Now for a few more differences:

Man vs. Nature   “The Johnstown Flood” (True Story) by David McCullough

Man vs. Society  “The Giver”, “To Kill a Mockingbird”

Man vs. Man         “The Ascent” (Get the old 1980’s movie with Vincent Spano and Ben Cross in it)

Man vs.  Self          “Journey to the River Sea”  Eva Ibbotson  *Ironic one to pick, right?*

Man vs. Fate          “Jaws”…YES there was man vs. nature here but there is also an element of man vs. fate and both worked in this book.

Alright…Now that you have that quick rundown, you should be able to glean whatever else you may need for testing from your literature textbooks, or simply by listening to that boring stuff being added to it in English classes!   Now see! I think I’ve given you a good idea of what to look for in a short reading on a blog!

I think the only way you could make this more exciting for yourself is to read it aloud, imitating the character of Spiccoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High !

The End