World Chaos Roundup #1

With a new year under way, I wanted to try a little something new for my blog. Along with Movie Mayhem and the continuing adventures of Write A Novel With Me, I’m going to add a new weekly (or bi-weekly in some cases) post with my thoughts on events and news items that sparked my interest — or in some cases, my ire — as well as anything exciting that is news-worthy as it relates to my life and career. I don’t know how long this will last, or if anyone will even find it interesting, but it’s worth a shot. And please, whether you agree or disagree, don’t hesitate to leave your thoughts on these items in the comments section below.

In this, the first full full week of 2015, I will discuss the drop in movie attendance, the picks for Hall of Fame induction and a couple of movie-related items.

People aren’t going to the movies anymore
With 2014’s ticket sales hitting an all-time low in North America, the industry can’t believe people have stopped attending the cinemas. I mean, with mostly pure digital projection, massive IMAX selections and state-of-the-art 3D, how has attendance dropped? Could it be the high price of tickets (not to mention concessions) that could cost a family of four to spend upwards of $80? Could it be the glut of alternatives, such as Netflix and Redbox, that allow consumers to relax in the comfort of their home with a entertainment center that is just as good as a typical theater (without the sticky floors)? Or could it be that the films people are most hungry for are sent to VOD services rather than a theater that’s overloaded with computer generated rehashes, reboots and sequels? Then again, it could be because people are tired of dealing with rude and inconsiderate people. I think it’s option E: All of the above, with an emphasis on the heavy lack of originality. For whatever reason, studios have decided the only way they are going to get butts in the seats is with name recognition, meaning if it isn’t a sequel, prequel, reboot or rehash (re-imaging!), then it doesn’t belong in the cineplex. Neither do any film that costs less than a $100 million or doesn’t have at least three actors people recognize (or are overexposed). The problem is, people are tired of it all and have turned to these alternative sources because of the originality they provide. In fact, due to the growth of cable, television has exploded with quality and originality as well. Where just ten years ago, a movie star wouldn’t debase themselves by doing a lowly television show, today, incredible actors (strictly movie stars) have chosen to jump ship and head to television because the material far exceeds that of film. If the studios would take some risks now and then (meaning, stop kowtowing to the lowest common denominator), quit relying so heavily on special effects (because you know practical effects can be just as powerful, sometimes even more so… thanks J.J. Abrams) and LEAVE THE EIGHTIES ALONE (the last golden age of cinema, where the majority of films were creative, fun, original and weren’t scared of offending anybody), then maybe they’d be able to lure fans back to where it all began.

The Government wants to dictate your diet
Apparently, when the government gets involved in your healthcare (*cough*health insurance*cough*) they now get to tell us what we should and shouldn’t eat. It seems some committee somewhere that advises the agricultural department in what is “healthier” for the people and the environment is going to be releasing a new report about why everyone should reduce their intake of red meats and expand their intake of fruits and vegetables. First of all, where does the government get off telling me what I can and can’t eat? It’s been an issue for quite awhile now (how many regulations are there on food nowadays?), and though they’re just recommendations for the time being, if someone doesn’t stop them from continuing down this path, eventually, it will become a mandate that foods we once enjoyed will be gone from our lives. Not everyone like, or can eat, a diet of fruits and vegetables, or chicken and fish, just as everyone can’t eat nuts or gluten. Besides, I don’t understand how eating more fruits and vegetables is healthier for the environment. Unless we’re ready to follow China’s lead and start regulating the population, forcing everyone to eat healthier will only lead to an abundance of people living longer, thus needing further resources to sustain them, which in turn will do exactly the opposite of what these so-called “experts” are seeking to do (unless all they want is control and power). What happens then? Nature will take whatever action necessary to save herself, despite the arrogance of people who believe they can control her. If the government wants to help, they should disband this committee (thus saving the government — or the taxpayers — some money) and let the farmers do what they do best — give the majority of the population what they demand. If that’s more fruits and vegetables, so be it. At least it was what the people want, not the rabid government elite who continually thumb their noses at the “average” man by telling us they know better.

Teaser trailer bombardment
When exactly did teasing a trailer become the next big thing? Thanks to Marvel, last week! First, they release a teaser for an exclusive new trailer for The Avengers: Age of Ultron that will air during the National Football Championships on Sunday, January 12.

They follow that up with a release of the tiniest teaser trailer ever (because you can’t discriminate against the army of ants who are really excited to see the movie) as a fun way to promote the “human-sized” trailer of their new Ant-Man… teaser trailer premiere, which aired this past Tuesday after the premiere of Agent Carter.

Next up, the exclusive teaser trailer for the teaser trailer for a teaser of Captain America: Civil War.

Amazing Spider-Man 3 Rumors
After the Sony hack a few weeks ago, confusion set in as to the future of Spider-Man, as well as Andrew Garfield’s involvement as the wise-cracking webslinger, and whether Marvel would find a way to “share” him to join The Avengers storyline. However, this week it was reported that extras were being hired for a third installment of The Amazing Spider-Man, which if true, we may be see The Amazing Spider-Man 3 sooner rather than later. On one hand, having Spider-Man join the Marvel universe would be an awesome move, but doing so would mean losing Andrew Garfield, who I find a welcome presence behind the mask. He brought a charisma to the role that Tobey Maguire (though really good in the original trilogy) never really captured. And unlike a lot of people, I found The Amazing Spider-Man 2 to be a very well-done film with a surprising and emotional climax (probably because I was unaware of the comic book storyline). So to see a third installment come together with this particular cast would be fine (so long as Venom and Sandman are nowhere near it!), but if it doesn’t come to pass, I’m fine with that as well, so long as the studios wait a good thirty years before trying to start over. By then, Marvel may just have the rights back to do as they please.

Johnson, Smoltz, Martinez and Biggio chosen for Cooperstown
This July, four deserving players will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Randy Johnson made a name for himself with a tall, lanky frame that helped him destroy batters with his brutal fastball and an even deadlier slider (literally… poor bird). He also appeared in the criminally underrated baseball fantasy, Little Big League. John Smoltz was the third best pitcher in the trio of Aces (namely, Tom Glavine and the professor himself, Greg Maddux, who based on stats, is actually better than Cy Young, the pitching maestro for which the coveted pitching award is named after) that led the Braves to domination in the nineties. I didn’t follow Pedro Martinez as much as the rest, so I can’t speak much about him except to say he was a rock star on the mound. And finally, Craig Biggio, who I liked to call “Hit Me” Biggio because of his magnetic ability to somehow draw the ball into his body, should have been inducted two years ago when he was first eligible (seriously, what took them so long?). Not only is Biggio one of, if not the best second baseman to play the game, he is one of those very rare players these days to earn all of his incredible stats, including his berth in the exclusive 3,000 hit club, with the same team. No matter the reason, the honor is much deserved for all four of these incredible talents. Congratulations.

Phoenix Moirai Wedding Videography and Design prepping for facelift
For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been considering re-branding the wedding division of my business by giving it a more appropriate identity that differentiates it from the main design/writing/videography portion of Phoenix Moirai Design and Publishing. Along with developing a new website specific to weddings, I have given my logo a facelift to help brand the new sub-division with a softer, more appropriate and elegant personality:Print

I’m also nearing completion of the final draft of my newest novel, Memoirs of Keladrayia (book two in the Jaxxa Rakala Saga). When finished (which should happen in the next couple of weeks), I will be announcing the release date. Stay tuned!

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