Category Archives: Entertainment Reviews

Powerball Now 403 Million!

The big “64” today!

Labor day, birthday!
Yes folks, each year we all have a day in which we celebrate our special day as they say, our birthdays! And today is mine, I hit the big 64 today. Have a great day all.

‘The Last Ship’ – It Could Happen

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Now in its third season on TNT Sunday nights, “The Last Ship” from executive producer Michael Bay is a definite to add to your summer viewing list.
The well-scripted, well-acted drama tells a tale that is very realistic in not just possibility, but falls into the realm of probability.
A virus broke out around the world going pandemic. Billions died.
Prior to the outbreak, a US Navy ship with a CDC virologist on board had been dispatched on a secret mission to the Arctic. That mission was to find the source of the virus which had recently been discovered and find a cure.
After the virus went pandemic, The Last Ship was making its way back to the US of A. The good doctor was doing her best to find a cure or vaccine.
Circumventing Russia Navy ships and submarines bent on getting the cure, not yet found, for the Motherland, and various other evil types along the way, the ship made it back to US waters to discover the government gone and people struggling to survive, rebuild.
After vanquishing the Russians, who had encircled the ship at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the ship and crew ran into a new foe – former Irish Republican soldiers who were immune and trying to establish a new world of only immunes.
The second season ended with discovery and distribution of the cure and the end of the immune movement. The season also landed on a thud with the murder of the brave doctor who found the cure.
A new president installed in a new capitol based in St. Louis, Missouri, starts Season Three. The US and The Last Ship are doing their part to distribute the cure to the rest of the Earth.
Only two major powers remain – the US and China.
My favorite Baldwin brother – Adam – is one of the stars.
What makes this so probable is evident by reading or watching the news and current events.
Ebola.
Zika.
Super Bugs.
What could be next?
The more resistant viruses and bacteria become to antibiotics and vaccines, with constant mutation, could such a threat strike the globe without warning?
For those who are end-of-times enthusiasts, especially Christians delving into the apocalypse, this falls right into line with prophecy.
The Seven Seals.
One-Third of humanity wiped out.
Wormwood falling out of the heavens and into the oceans and streams, making water undrinkable, unusable. Aquatic life dying out.
For a Sunday night of viewing steeped more than virtual, but real-world, you cannot beat, The Last Ship.
As the little boy in “Angels in the Outfield” was so fond of saying, “It could happen.

‘Mr. Smith Goes to Washington’ – 2016 Morality Play

On this rainy 4th of July, I am enjoying watching Frank Capra’s 1939 classic, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” on TCM.

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This story of patriotism warring against greed and avarice is so appropriate on this Independence Day. An unknown is plucked from obscurity to fill the term of a Senator who has died in office.
Full of optimism, Jeff Smith, played brilliantly by Jimmy Stewart, arrives in Washington DC to run smack into the reality that the august body of government is filled by corrupt politicians. The story tells of how he flails against the tentacles of special interest which have ensnared the lawmakers in a web of money and power to the detriment of “we, the people.
This cinematic masterpiece appears to depict the genesis which has given rise to the current 2016 election season.
Nearly 80 years later, the voters are angry and lashing out at special interests controlling Washington and the Establishment which perpetuate the entanglements of money with the seat of government.
What was true in 1939’s fictional account gives insight into the diehard support and why so many are still “feeling the Bern.” We see why Bernie Sanders has yet to concede.
The angst of 1939 is alive in the hearts of 2016 voters who have propelled Donald Trump to be the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. Those who have seen the movie may want to put it on the list for summer viewing again before this fall’s election.
Those who have never seen this classic may do well to watch it. Yes, I know being in black and white the appeal to Millenials may be limited, but would be worth their time to watch and learn.
My recommendation would be 5 out of 5 cornstalks.

BrainDead – DOA?

Last night I caught the premier episode of a new series from CBS, BrainDead.

BrainDead

This was an hour I will never get back.
Tonight, the network airs the second episode. I have yet to decide if I will tune in and hope for a better hour than Sunday’s fare.
The premise of the show is an attempt to satirically explain the craziness of the 2016 presidential election.
Apparently it is a remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. If so, this version is more camp and more poorly written than the cult classics upon which it is loosely based.
Per the writers, a mysterious crate was shipped in from Russia. Hidden inside are bugs which look like giant ants. The ants are invading peoples craniums through one ear and expelling the brain through the other ear as a blob of sticky gel that explodes everywhere.
For some reason, all those who have been infected by the bugs have an affinity for one song,  the Cars “You Might Think”, which plays over and over.
Is this a tip of the hat to Descartes saying, “I think, therefore, I am?”
Since it is apparent none of the infected have a brain with which to think any more, it makes for a nice ongoing joke.
The crate contains the remains of a meteor that crashed in the Russian outback, which of course the Smithsonian just has to have a look. The crate is opened and uh-oh, no more brains.
While I love one of the stars, Tony Shaloub of quirky private eye Monk fame, and that the show is from the producers of one of my favorite, former shows, The Good Wife, neither the trailers nor last night’s episode draw me in to fit it as part of my summer viewing schedule.
Maybe I was expecting too much.
Maybe I was not expecting the show to be so decidedly biased for Democrats and for Republicans.
Maybe I need to tune in tonight and allow the show to grow on me.
Question is: how many brain cells will die before anything sprouts to life?
OK, I will give it one more try tonight. But, if there is no hook to fit in my jaw, I am out of here.

Sunday Gospel: ‘Til the Storm Passes By

Americans this Sunday morning woke to the tragic news of the worst mass shooting in US history.

Over 100 people were victims of a terrorist attack by a lone gunman, who pledge allegiance to the Islamic State on a 911 call while he was killing Americans out on a Saturday night at a dance club in Orlando, Florida.

Of that number 50 were killed. Another 53 were critically wounded, prognosis not yet known.

It happened that those victims were gay, but they were still our sons, our daughters, our brothers, our sisters, our cousins, our mothers, our fathers. They were still Americans struck down by a jihadist.

I recalled listening to my father in sermon after sermon as a child growing up in the parsonage talk of how his father would gather him, his sister and wife together in the storm cellar in Arkansas to wait out a storm, a tornado passing by. Grandpa would pull them all into his arms and hold them until it was once more safe to rise and meet a new day.

On this Sunday when Americans are dealing with the aftermath of a storm of terrorism, it only seemed appropriate to post this gem of hope written by the late, great Mosie Lister as performed while I was with The Crystal Valley Quartet. Take hope and have faith as you listen to‘Til the Storm Passes By.

Sunday Gospel: Shepherd of Love

Today’s Gospel music comes from a live recording of a group of children known as The Lighthouse Beacons back in 1987 at The Lighthouse Chapel in Dugger, Indiana where my step-father, the late Reverend Jack Hollifield, was pastor.

Mom (Sharon Hollifield) provided me with the cassette recording from that Sunday morning service with the children singing which was broadcast later that afternoon on WNDI in Sullivan, Indiana on the “Rays of Hope.” I was able to record this on my computer from the cassette Saturday afternoon.

The transfer and the recording are by no means professional or of the greatest quality, but the message of the song and the love of The Lighthouse Beacons shine through. To think some of these children, including my sister Leticia Maxey, are now in their 40s.

Enjoy!

Sunday Gospel: The Meeting in the Air

How well I remember as a young boy every Sunday morning listening to Gospel Jubilee and other singing shows before heading off to church. One song that always got the heart racing, feet tapping and hands clapping was “The Meeting in the Air“.

But it never could ring and touch hearts and souls like when the congregation would raise the roof on a Sunday night getting happy singing this old Gospel standard.

Here we have The Crystal Quartet performing the hymn at the Mt. Olive Christian Church on the outskirts of Spencer, Indiana.

I am playing the piano and featured on the third verse with the solo lead. But not before making a key change from G to C.

Enjoy!

Sunday Gospel: Couldn’t Take It Any Longer

In honor of Mother’s Day, from her album, Gospel Originals, here is Couldn’t Take It Any Longer, written and performed by Sharon L. Hollifield (Mom).
Enjoy!

Batman Versus Superman: A Review

My son, Kevin, and daughter-in-law, Hailey, went and saw the new Marvel flick about a war between Batman and Superman last night.
Here is Hailey’s review of the movie:
Love or hate Batman v Superman, when Wonder Woman shows up and her theme kicks in it’s by far the hypest thing ever. She comes off looking so powerful, I am SOOO excited for her movie next year.

BvS has a lot of problems (mainly editing, pacing and Jesse Eisenberg) but we still had fun with it. The Justice League setup was forced and rushed, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t still excited for it. Batfleck is the best on-screen Batman I’ve seen and I’m super excited for him to get a solo movie. Kev and I agree what they should have done is rebooted Batman first, then done Man of Steel, then done BvS. Still, nothing can kill my hype for Justice League, not even Zach Snyder. (Also, spoilers, but we both guess that Jared Leto’s Joker is Jason Todd, it would explain why Batman has kind of lost his mind in this movie – speaking of which, I’m cautiously optimistic for Suicide Squad… it’ll either be really good or really cringey)
THANKS, Hailey (http://haileyivy.com)
I have asked Kev to submit his review as well.