Music and Movies during a sports lull: While We’re Waiting

Happy Friday everyone. It’s great to be here even as I’m still winding down from one hell of a downer of a Browns season. I’m happy I didn’t have to delve too far into parade talk over the holidays. So, let’s talk about movies.

I got to see Star Wars in 3d IMAX and it was incredible

I know that Cleveland has a large-format screen, but we are still missing a legitimate IMAX. Over the holidays I was out of town and we had access to one of those really giant, legitimate IMAX screens so the whole family went to see Star Wars. It was the second viewing for me, and I think I liked it even better the second time. The movie still suffers for being the middle child in a trilogy that hasn’t been completed yet, but I think it has a chance to be considered a classic once we find out the resolution for this Kylo-Rey storyline. The most interesting thing about Star Wars, however, is the amount of time we’re willing to invest thinking about this film series.

Maybe people spend almost as much time thinking about the Marvel Universe these days, but I think Star Wars is still on another level. Most other movies have to beat you over the head with their messages and stories for fear they won’t be heard. Star Wars is almost its own genre because they can play it more subtle knowing that people can pick these things up on third, fourth, or fifth viewings of the films. It makes me wonder how much impact that has on the directors as they’re putting their own personal spins on the films.

Back to the screen, IMAX is just a different level. When you’re watching an IMAX 3d movie, the screen is so big that everything feels like it’s floating right in front of your face. Not in a goofy way, but just in terms of how close or inside the film you actually feel. When Poe goes on his daring run, you feel yourself dodging with him. As the salt speeders are shooting across the expanse leaving their red trails behind, you get a feel for just how far they have to go to try and meet the danger that’s approaching them. The sense of remote size you’re supposed to get from Luke’s island is more apparent in those overhead drone shots when you can move your head from side to side to take it all in. And the earth-shattering sound of the battle scenes end up impacting you far more than the simple surround of the standard digital theaters we’re used to visiting around town.

I’d stop just short of saying it’s worth a drive to Pittsburgh or Columbus to see it, but it’s a close call.

I’ll admit it. I liked The Greatest Showman

I like the greatest musicals, but I wouldn’t say I’m a fan of the genre. Yet, after having occasion to see The Last Showman,1 I’m kind of blown away just how blown away I was by it. Everyone loves Phantom. Wicked is great. Fiddler is a classic. I never saw Cats, but “Memory” is one of the greatest songs ever written. I am not a fan of movies that are musicals, generally speaking. Once is really cool with Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova singing duets, but it’s not a typical musical where they have exposition in the lyrics of the song. It’s a movie where the characters are musicians and perform their songs as a part of the story. I despised Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge. And yet, when I watched Wolverine (Hue Jackman) and High School Musical (Zac Efron) singing the story of P.T. Barnum, I was game for some reason.

I don’t like to look at reviews before seeing a movie and I’m glad I didn’t for this one. It’s a scenario on Rotten Tomatoes where the critics are overly harsh, but the audience loves the film. Despite that, I sometimes find myself tainted by an overly low critic score.

Maybe you won’t like it, but if there’s one thing I can share with you that might convince you it doesn’t stink, it would be this song.


Need some happy music? Try the Mowgli’s

The end of the year turned out to be pretty low stress, but for whatever reason, coming back into 2018 had me on edge. You ever have those weeks where you just can’t seem to calm yourself down. Can’t take the edge off your nerves? That’s the kind of week I had for no reason in particular. I was searching for some happier music to listen to because most of my favorite stuff is angsty or sad. After hunting around a bit, I came across a band called The Mowgli’s. In particular, I became addicted to their song, “Spacin Out.” It made me wonder where this band has been and how I missed them for so long.

  1. we had time to kill before a flight and we saw most everything else that was appropriate for the whole family []