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Least Among Saints (2012)
Did you ever do something wrong, because it was the right thing to do?
Martin Papazian didn't do anything wrong when he put his heart into the production of LEAST AMONG SAINTS, a story regrettably true-to-life in its depiction of Anthony Hayworth, an 8-year veteran of the United States Marine Corp, struggling with his return to civilian life.
As a Writer Papazian does a wonderful job of weaving a believable story, with honest characters and situations, and just a few continuity issues (you know how I am about details) . And no, the story isn't anything new, or ground-breaking, but it is happening today and will continue into the near future. Hirsch-Papazian have produced a film every American, because there will be a military veteran in their future, a vet who often risked everything in our name, and may be needing some help adjusting to being home, in addition to our thanks.
As a Director Papazian brought out performances from his cast that are in-line with my own sense of reality. From the fresh-face of Tristan Lake Leabu, to the quirkiness of Laura San Giacomo (who i love and expect to be quirky) almost all of the performances felt organic.
Sgt. Anthony Hayworth, our returning hero struggles with his demons and Martin Papazian's performance as a man often at odds with himself, rings true, or as Anthony's ex-wife says, "He's a good guy, sometimes he just tries to hard." Martin's acting is never trying or hard, I spent a decade in the military community, and I've met men like Sgt. Anthony Hayworth before. He was a friend of mine.
I enjoyed "Lest Among Saints" because it made me think (that's my thing). And each of us are capable of becoming "least among saints", but only when we choose to give a darn about someone else, and then try to make a difference.
For more on Veterans assistance visit Fenix281.org
Won't Back Down (2012)
Does the Education of the future matter to you?
If you have a child in school tomorrow, or plan to have a child in school in the next decade, go see "Won't Back Down". Not because the writing is good, or the acting is good, but because the story could be from your own backyard, your own child's school.
This isn't a summer blockbuster like the "Avengers", and audiences loved the "Avengers", but none of us are super-heroes, nor will we ever be. We are all capable of being the type of hero so well portrayed by Maggie Gyllenhall and Viola Davis - Parents. Every adult, that experiences this film will understand that it does not take super-powers and a shiny costume to be a hero to a child, or a community.
So, yes, educating the next generation does matter. Who's going to be your Doctor, your Lawyer, your CEO in 30 years...a child being born today. If that child doesn't get an adequate education...how will they be able to achieve their dreams? How will our country survive through a generation of D and C students?
Go and enjoy "Won't Back Down" for what it is - Sometimes funny, sometimes heartwarming, striving to make us all see that somethings are worth fighting for.
PMS Man (2012)
Looking forward to the further adventures of PMS MAN.
An interesting mash-up of NAPOLEAN DYNAMITE works at THE OFFICE and becomes the GREATEST American HERO, but the hero looks a lot like SNL's "PAT". Which is to say, there is some room for growth of the series. So, the animation is amateurish, but we all remember how SOUTH PARK looked 15 years ago, and I'm looking forward to improvements that will surely come with experience from creator Daniel Gulla. Some of the animation "mistakes" did make me laugh though. ROBERT BURTON's Voices captured the essence of the male characters very well, and like SOUTH PARK & FAMILY GUY, I'll expect to see the rest of the cast make marked improvements over the run of the series. Where I appreciate the series is in it's ability to make me giggle. No huge guffaws here, but a lot of smiles and giggles. The jokes reminded me of stupid morons I've met in my everyday life, people that the law says I can't throw down a stairwell. And that's where a series like this gains it's following, by allowing viewers to see their own lives as not quite so bad, since their co-workers aren't likely to be blessed by a SUPREME BEING with the powers granted to PMS MAN. Oh GOD, I hope this isn't based on a true story. :-)
Little Candy Hearts (2010)
Left a saccharin taste...
If you've read any of my other reviews you know that the most important part of any film is "THE STORY". Part of story is presenting characters that the audience cares about. In "LITTLE CANDY HEARTS" the relationship between the couple is never shown as more than a "friends with benefits" arrangement. Because the woman has yet to share her home with the man, we become suspicious of her, and ultimately we are never given a reason to care about either character. When one of them must kill the other, we just don't care. The plot twist was obviously coming, and it neither surprised nor intrigued us, because we no longer cared.
Rat-Man's true colors start to show
In this, the second full-length episode, we get a sense of just how crass Rat-Man is, when Rat-Man thinks he'll get anything more than gratitude from a 5-year old. The LITTLE-GIRL is portrayed wonderfully, and you can't blame Rat-Man for wanting to help her, but dude, perhaps Rat-Man could work on his negotiation skills before "rescuing" people. Afterall, we all just want a decent job, one that uses our own unique skills, and to get paid. But, when dealing with the Rat-Man, paybacks a beach! I'm still laughing, because after all, I WANT TO GET PAID, too. LOL. Even if Rat-Man had a payment plan, I think he'd get screwed over by someone's lawyer, and end up having to pay more than he charged. The pay-off in this episode is still making me smile, 15 minutes later. I think you'll enjoy it as well.
Rat-Man fights crime on the mean streets, and he generally means well, in his own kind of way... as long as there's something in it for him. When Rat-Man saves the COUGAR, a damsel in distress, he gets less than he expected, or more than he wanted...you decide.
This is by far one of my favorite episodes of Rat-Man, and the series just gets better and better. I hope that none of you end up on the wrong end of Rat-Man's brand of vigilante justice. Though I'm still not sure if it's worse to be his victim or the woman he's cashing in on saving.
Fight on, Rat-Man. FIGHT ON!
Rat-Man takes action.
In the first short segment we learned that Rat-Man is in a bind. The 1% are after him, cause Rat-Man's strapped down - financially. With no side-kick to depend on, Rat-Man must use his own two hands to pull himself up. So, Rat-Man takes to the crime-ridden streets in search of.... A PAYDAY. Out on the mean streets of the city, Rat-Man has skills, valuable skills, life-saving skills. What is your life worth to you... at least $20, right? Can one man, even a RAT-MAN, fight crime and solve his own monetary problems? Watch and find out, but don't expect Rat-Man to live a life of ease fighting crime...sometimes the criminals fight back. Rat-Man is out there, in each one of us struggling to survive, and when you need him, maybe he'll be there for you, just remember...nobody works for free.
Rat-Man: The Series (2011)
"Rat-Man: The Series" hits close to home, and your funny bone.
Matthew L. Schaffer's long shelved series "Rat-Man" has finally found a place in today's world. With newcomer Robert Burton on board, ratings have been great for the fledgling series, now in it's second season. Robert Burton is a stand up comic, actor, and an INCREDIBLE voice artist who also works for NBC. Given the fact that RAT-MAN wears a helmet, but Burton still has to deliver the subtle points across with no visible facial expressions, it's kind of amazing to watch. Rat-Man is a recession (or depression, depending on how you view the economy these days) hero. He's got money problems, (who doesn't) and not a lot of money. What he does have though is a lot of attitude, the ability to fight, and a desire to make ends meet by fighting crime. So what if he has to charge you a little something to protect you? Unfortunately, for RAT-MAN, it's his pursuit of justice that inadvertently make viewers laugh, due to the predicaments he ends up in. It never really works out for Rat-Man, but I think the viewers out there all agree: the more screwed up it get's for Rat-Man, the funnier it will be for us. Thanks Rat-Man...