A Blog Reviewing various interests
in art, science and Social Issues
in art, science and Social Issues
Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup with Spinach - Inspired by Italian cuisine. Orzo pasta, spinach, beans and all-natural chicken are slow-simmered in a lemon-infused chicken broth.
List of Ingredients:
1) Put 2-3 bell peppers of your choice - coated in oil in the oven to roast up (375 temp or higher) - for 30+ minutes - watch carefully!!! Take them out after they are very browned and put in a plastic bag. Steam affect will allow you to remove burnt skin easier. After they are cleaned up - chop into small chunks and leave to the side.
2) Heat 2 tablespoons of any olive oil of your choice in a very large stock pot. I like to use lemon infused (Target has one) and garlic infused olive oils. Saute 2 chopped onions in the oil and let them get really cooked - transparent or browned a bit. Add salt & pepper.
3) While onions are cooking - Pull roasted whole chicken or Large roasted chicken breast off the bone and leave to the side.
4) After onions are grilled - add the roasted bell peppers and stir for a few minutes
5) After 5 minutes add pulled chicken. Add some salt & pepper. Stir for another few minutes.
6) Drain and wash beans and leave to the side.
7) Drain half a bag frozen spinach. Make sure spinach is squeezed hard of excess water. Leave to the side.
8) Add chicken broth and water and bring to a boil. Add minced garlic and other herbs of your choice. Add more salt & pepper if needed.
9) After it comes to a boil - Add orzo pasta and lemon juice and lemon rind - cook 9-10 minutes. At the 5 minute mark - add beans, and spinach. Add more salt & pepper if needed.
No spoilers – so read on!
“Star Wars: Episode 8 - The Last Jedi,” reaches deep into the last 30 years of Luke and Leia’s life showcasing superb performances by Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher. It provides many answers from Episode 7, but “The Last Jedi” supplies Star Wars fan’s more tantalizing questions. Perhaps the Light and Dark side of the Force are more intertwined. A relationship that is symbiotic in nature rather then adversarial. That pain, forgiveness and letting go is all a matter of perspective. How each person sees the same event so differently can affect choices in incredibly dramatic ways.
“Star Wars: Episode 8 - The Last Jedi.” resumes where Episode 7 left off. The Resistance is evacuating before the First Order decimates their base. Kylo Ren’s (Adam Driver) ferocious yet shaky embrace of the Dark side again provides more doubt about his true role with the First Order. Meanwhile, Rey (Daisy Ridley) is seeking Luke’s guidance, yet finding the path to understanding her role to be precarious and in some ways mirrors Ren’s path.
With all the action, the twists, turns and hair raising moments; Episode 8 provides this viewer deeper insight about the Force’s potential and legacy. There were key moments with each Force user that broaden the impact and possibilities for the Light and Dark side.
The first was during the initial evacuation of the base. In Fisher’s last, grand performance, Leia shows the audience an incredibly focused mind and control of the Force. A reminder from Episode 4; even her father, Darth Vadar, was unable to break Leia’s will. The second moment is with Rey learning about the Force with Luke. Her raw abilities not only shakes the foundation where she stands but also terrifies and reminds Luke the choices he made in the past. Choices that are still affecting his last Padawan with same raw power, Kylo Ren. Ren admits he is a monster, but the audience still sees potential for change. It is those choices with his Master, Supreme Leader Snook, that Ren shows his abilities are gaining refinement and strength. The last pivotal moment is with Luke confronting Ren. Although Luke has no want or need to continue the Jedi, this key scene only shows the true power of his abilities as Jedi Master.
“The Last Jedi” is a vital part of the Star Wars Saga. It provides uncomfortable and harsh answers. The film draws the audience into a galaxy far, far away that is not so pretty as they remembered 30 years ago. Perhaps the bad guy and good guy, like the Force, is not something that can be easily explained.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Episode 8) review by benMUSA
Starring Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern and Benicio del Toro
"The Good Doctor," Dr. Shaun Murphy, played by the brilliantly talented Freddie Highmore showcases a young doctors introduction to his first residency at San Jose’a St. Bonaventure Hospital. The hospital’s board is hesitant to hire an autistic savant with incredible visual, spatial and memory diagnosing skills due to his lack of interpersonal skills and bedside manner.
The pilot episode bravely confronts the hiring decision of the prestigious hospital. The president of the hospital, played by the great Richard Schiff, argues with his fellow board members that preserving the hospital’s reputation is not the right choice. As his mentor, Richard’s character passionately fights for Shaun’s right to work. The only other person that sees Shaun’s capabilities is Antonia Thomas’ role as resident Claire Browne. Her earthy empathic character shows how some people are born to be caring and forgiving doctors.
Throughout the episode, glimpses into Shaun’s life as a child and his close relationship with his brother develops a better understanding of Shaun’s mental and emotional hardships. The scenes into his past are not to justify why Shaun should be hired, but to explain who he is as an adult. Throughout each scene Highmore beautifully shows how each day someone with autism can live a normal life. This is not a young man who needs help organizing his daily activities or living in his own apartment.
“The Good Doctor” is about society’s lack of effort to understand what each individual can offer to society. Just as the civil rights or gay rights movement, The Good Doctor, shows autism is not a hindrance or a failing. It just simply asks the viewer what’s wrong with a capable brilliant autistic man wanting to be a doctor?
"The Good Doctor" review by benMUSA
(ABC Series - just ordered a full season 10/3/17) - Based a 2013 South Korean show with the same name.
Starring Freddie Highmore, Nicholas Gonzalez, Antonia Thomas, Richard Schiff, Chuku Modu, Beau Garrett, Irene Keng, Hill Harper, and Tamlyn Tomita
#video #autism #savantsyndrome #blog #thegooddoctor #abc #review #benmusajournal #medical #drama
No spoilers – so read on!
Netflix's original series, "Million Yen Women" unfolds with 5 mysterious women living with an under appreciated writer named Shin. Through the course of the series, the viewer glimpses the past lives of each character. At times, each mysterious woman provides shocking insight to the extreme and sometimes curious choices they made to survive.
The story begins when Shin (played by Yojiro Noda) walks into his disheveled home to be surprised by one of the mysterious women. She was invited to live with him and was instructed to pay him 1 million yen each month for rent. The same invitation is sent to all the women who show up the same day. The series goes back and forth from the moment they move into Shin's home and 6 months later when they are required to eat dinner together as part of the invitation rules. The other major rule is that Shin cannot ask any personal questions about any of his tenants. This adds even more suspense and mystery. All the female actors (Rila Fukushima, Rena Matsui, Miwako Wagatsuma, Rena Takeda and Yuko Araki) perform superbly. The actors enjoy the ability to limit what the viewer wants to know — who are they, why were they invited, and why these 5 women?!
As the show progresses, the story has many abrupt and emotional turns that deepen the mystery. Shin becomes the central figure. A young man that has dealt with so many tragedies. It draws each of the mysterious women closer into Shin’s daily struggles as a writer. Noda deftly portrays Shin's dark depression. How Shin is emotionally cold with little regard to his appearance and unable to really draw out the prose laying deep within him. Rila Fukushima (known for her part in "The Wolverine" and as Katana on the CW series “Arrow”) brings a very strong performance as the hyper-sexually expressive Minami, who rarely wears clothing while staying at Shin's home. What is so surprising is that no one seems bothered by her nudity other then the youngest of the women, Midori, played by Rena Takeda. Her fine performance shows a timid high school student growing to become the most tenacious woman out of all the tenants. Rena Matsui, Miwako Wagatsuma and Yuko Araki round out the other actors and each provide surprising nuances to characters that often would be considered very stereotypical.
"Million Yen Women" is a thrilling story with wonderful performances by an ensemble cast. With 12 episodes, the show is a perfect Sunday afternoon binge and I recommend this series highly for anyone who enjoys suspenseful mysteries.
Million Yen Women review by benMUSA (a Netflix Original Series)
Based on the manga series "100 man yen no Onna tachi" by Shunju Aono
Starring Yojiro Noda, Rila Fukushima, Rena Matsui, Miwako Wagatsuma, Rena Takeda, Yuko Araki, Yuya Endo, Kaito Yoshimura, Moeka Hoshi, Juri Ihata, Mariko Tsutsui, Kanji Furutachi, Tetsuhiro Ikeda, Takashi Yamanaka, Tomoya Nakamura, Lily Franky
Apple started the 2017 World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) with a splash focusing on major upgrades to many of its core products and operating systems.
Since there were so many interesting features and updates, I will be breaking it down by timeframe when these upgrades will be available to the public.
iMac 21.5" and 27" have been updated with the Kaby Lake processors, the 7th generation in business class CPUs. Starting with the 4K 21.5" models, the iMacs will have at least 1TB Fusion storage. Fusion drives are a hybrid that combines normal hard disk drive with flash storage. The fusion drive automatically manages the content so the most frequently accessed files are stored on the faster flash storage. One great addition to accessories and choices when customizing your iMac that wasn't mentioned at the Keynote is the Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad. In addition, more powerful graphics cards with embedded Video RAM, higher allocation of Memory (up to 64 GB for 27") and USB-C integration pushes these iMacs into a more powerful class of desktops. Apple is still continuing to such powerful desktops affordable by reducing the the cost of the 1st tiered 21.5" 4k model to $1299.
The MacBook's have similar upgrades to the processors, graphics cards, memory and storage. The 2015 model MacBook Pro has been retired. There are now 2 models of the 13" size that come without the Touch Bar and Touch ID and 2 models include the Touch Bar and Touch ID. Pricing has been dropped to $1299 for the 1st tiered model for the 13" MacBook Pro model.
An exciting new device is the iPad Pro 10.5." It comes with a screen nearly 20 percent larger than the 9.7-inch model. Capacity has been increased starting with 64 GB and going all the way up to 512 GB. Also the processor has been upgraded to A10 with the newer 12 MP cameras for both 10.5" and 12.9" models. Both models get new colors for smart covers in the regular material and leather. Also some beautiful leather sleeves that can hold the Apple Pencil are available.
Available in the fall:
tvOS was briefly discussed in the beginning of the keynote to discuss the partnering of Amazon Prime Video.
The newest iOS for iPhone and iPad - iOS 11 - is a big step in core features and refinement. Some of the updates for the iPad include new customizable Dock, a files app to store docs locally or in many different cloud services, and drag and drop features. Other new updates include peer to peer Apple Pay, Do Not Disturb Driving Mode, a more natural voiced Siri with better learning programing to offer better suggestions and a complete revamp to the App Store. One of the more mind blowing announcements was the introduction of ARKit SDK. A set of tools or "kit" to help developers build AR (augmented reality) apps and games to the iPhone and iPad. The demo by Wingnut AR shows the incredible possibilities for education, research and business for such a tool (Check out the video below!)
macOS Higher Sierra will be the newest operating system for desktops and laptops. Many of the upgrades and features to macOS Higher Sierra will go unnoticed for most avid Apple customers, but the updates are key in staying ahead of the new faster hardware. The new macOS will have an advanced 64-bit architecture for today's flash storage technology. It will also be more responsive, have better security features and also include HEVC video coding to support more efficient use of 4K video.
The last of the software upgrades is watchOS 4. Apple again continues its refinement with this latest watchOS. Apple fans will continue to have more customizable options like the Siri watch face and assistant for more intuitive reminders and advancements to the Activity, Workout App and Music App.
Available in December:
Apple's newest edition to its family is HomePod. A Siri enabled speaker system that allows someone to control their music collection and become a general voice activated personal assistant. With Homekit platform, HomePod can help control many aspects of a room or home such as temperature control, window shades and security systems.
The last is the titan of all the announcements yesterday - the iMac Pro. Set in a sleek uniform body as the updated iMacs, the new iMac Pro has the distinctive color of Space Gray to set it up apart from it's siblings. And that is the only similarity. The iMac Pro can be configured to 8-, 10, or 18-core Xeon processors. With the introduction of the new graphics card - the Radeon Pro Vega, the iMac Pro is set itself to be on top of a mountain of powerful desktop computers that haven't been created yet in such a uniform body. Add up to 128 GB of memory and 4 TB of SSD Flash storage the upgrades alone are remarkable to consider in such a small form factor. With 4 thunderbolt 3 (usb-c) ports and true 5k display, the iMac Pro is a super powerful desktop for many types of professionals, not just those in the gaming or film industry.
The 2017 WWDC Keynote was an intense showcase of many expectations. Apple pushes the boundaries of design and refinement that many now are beginning to appreciate. You easily get many of what Apple offers in specs and hardware elsewhere, but the Apple iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS cohesiveness is what sets Apple to succeed. The initiative and refined nature of all the operating systems to communicate with each other will always bring Apple fans back wanting more and pushing the company to do more.
#apple #wwdc2017 #imac #ipadpro #ios11#ios #macos #watchos #applewatch#appletv #macbook #macbookpro #keynote#homepod #macoshighsierra
His friend and widow talk about his respect for Islam
– Originally published on December 9th, 1992 in The Battalion
By Anas Ben-Musa
The current interest in the life of the Malcolm X from various fads and films has created some misperceptions, declared his friend, Imam W. Deen Mohammed.
W.D. Mohammed is the son of Elijah Muhammad, the late leader of the Nation of Islam. W.D. Mohammed knew Malcolm from 1952 until his assassination. They became good friends when Malcolm worked for the Nation of Islam.
W.D. Mohammed stated most intellectuals interested in the life of Malcolm are trying to make it a “black thing.”
“Malcolm was a person drawn more to Islam than anything else,” W.D. explained. “He respected Islam more than anything else.”
Many African-Americans are not focused on Malcom, W.D. asserted. Rather, they are focused on Africa and the idea of African-Americans having their own Islam, he said.
“They are going into myths and creating their own stories of Islam,” W.D. Mohammed clarified. “This discredits the Islamic faith and discredits interest in Africa. A real intellectual accepts the truth.”
Malcolm traveled to Mecca, Saudi Arabia in 1964 with the help of two Egyptian friends to learn more about Islam, W.D. Mohammed said.
“He returned convinced that he should not be identified with that facet of Islam that was surrounded by misinformation,” W.D. Mohammed said.
“The pilgrimage helped clarify his views,” said Malcolm’s widow, Dr. Betty Shabazz.
W.D. said Malcolm realized the meaning of being a Muslim and the diversity and history of the Muslim world.
“Malcolm contributed to broadening American people’s minds to face the reality of the Muslim world,” W.D. reaffirmed. “There is a great, big Muslim world out there of over 1 billion people. Malcolm helped bring that out.”
“He has a great impact on all people, not just a particular organization or religious affiliation,” Dr. Shabazz said.
W.D. indicated many people try to follow Malcolm but fail because they are not truthful to themselves or what’s going on around them.
Malcolm was a man with a brilliant mind, W.D. revealed.
“He was a person with an independent mind, a person who was trying to get somewhere, W.D. stated.
“My husband did what he had to do,” Dr. Shabazz said. “He paid a debt to our ancestors and their efforts. He was a committed man.”
Malcolm’s deeply religious beliefs caused him to break away from the Nation of Islam in 1964.
“Malcolm was a man going through changes,” W.D revealed, “He changed from the old idea of the Nation of Islam to the universal understanding of real Islam.”
He said Malcolm even adopted the name to Malik Shabazz.
“He changed his name before he broke away from the Nation of Islam,” W.D. explained.
Malcolm had changed his surname from Little to X in 1952 as a form of protest.
“I’ll continue to use Malcom X as long as the situation that produced it exists . . . as long as there is a need to protest and struggle and fight against the injustices that our people are involved in this country,” Malcolm said in a 1964 speech.
Changing his name was one example of the evolving views of Malcolm, W.D. indicated.
“He saw moral contradictions in the man that fascinated him, that captured his mind and had also earned his respect, the honorable Elijah Muhammad,” W.D. described. Elijah, W.D.’s father, had relationships with two of his secretaries. W.D. confirmed his father secretly accepted them as his wives.
Malcolm had high moral standards and felt he needed to leave the Nation of Islam, W.D. said. “Malcolm couldn’t stop with the Nation of Islam, and he couldn’t stop with my father.”
#malcolmx #civilrights #bettyshabazz#nationofislam #wdmohammed #islam #throwbackthursday
A week after the elections, I am still numb. The results confirmed my fears and validated the worst aspects of this country. This nation has yet to grow up or become a true democracy. After civil wars, demonstrations and numerous lynching, on November 8th, the Electoral College decided the best path for this country was NOT CHANGE but a REGRESSION to the past.
So let’s start with the facts:
The country elected President Hillary Clinton into office. Clinton has 61,782,016 votes, while Trump has 60,834,437 votes. This is the vote count so far with over 80 million voters who decided not to participate.
FYI: This happened before in the last controversial election of 2000. Gore had 50,999,897 votes, while Bush had 50,456,002 votes.
Be aware this has only happened 5 times – 1824, 1876, 1888, 2000 and 2016!
All this proves is the “establishment” Trump vents about so often is the very same institution that presented him the Presidency. In fact, only the electors of 29 states’ (plus District of Columbia) are obliged to vote the same as their state’s popular vote. The rest can vote against their state’s popular vote.
Alexander Hamilton described the idea of the electors as, “A small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated [tasks].” This notion that the “general mass” has no ability to understand the issues or have the information needed to make a decision is incredibly antiquated and shows a lack of faith by the Founding Fathers. Frankly, the framers of the Constitution would be lost by the amount of information every citizen is inundated with on a day to day basis. The Founding Fathers were just simple, flawed SLAVE OWNING men. Many ideas they were “concerned” with dealt with their own self interests. The Electoral College needs to be removed from the election process. It makes no sense that all of Congress is chosen by the popular vote yet the Presidency cannot be chosen by the people directly. And the idea that this Constitution is some sort of Holy Grail that can’t be changed shows another lacking of this country’s ability to progress.
As a voter that participated in every election, I observe more of the true nature and ugliness of this country with each election cycle. The lack of empathy towards the less fortunate, the racist views pointing in many directions; the result is the entitled and privileged minority flexing its political and financial influence to ensure their upper-class position. Now this privileged class has pushed for their own to be President-elect. Trump has consistently made this voter feel inadequate and unwelcome.
This is my deepest concern. Why as a citizen who holds dearly the traditions of Abraham (peace be upon him) want to live in a country that day after day says “YOU ARE NOT WELCOME!” Why would I pay my taxes to support a regime that denounces what I am?! Why would I fight and keep voting for change when the very foundation of this country only promotes and ensures the safety of elite?! Why do I need to prove myself AS A CITIZEN and justify who I am?!
I firmly believe part of why I struggle with socializing or just pursuing any career is due to over compensating, trying prove to everyone that I am a good guy. FOR THE LAST FREAKING TIME - I DIDN'T DO ANYTHING WRONG!!!
I have little faith or hope for change after these election results. In fact, I am beyond discouraged and disgusted. I am just someone who lives in a country called the United States of America because I am too embarrassed and frustrated to consider myself a citizen. And I have always considered myself a global citizen. This whole idea of chanting USA or being nationalistic is narrow minded and as obsolete as The Electoral College.
So for those who voted for this madman Trump, I don’t care to hear your opinion. To me your actions spoke loudly to the future of the world in general. The safety of service people and military personnel will now be in dire jeopardy because of the Electoral College’s choice. Too many of you decided that a Black man as President was too much to handle, so you alienated every woman and voted for the polar opposite – a misogynistic cry baby. So block me, unfriend me, I don’t give a damn! And when this country suffers by his actions and words, I will have little sympathy. Mark my words this country will suffer greatly in its safety, global influence and respect.
No spoilers – so read on!
For Marvel fans, Doctor Strange brings a distinctive new chapter to the Marvel Universe. And for this fan, it brings life to a favorite comic book hero. Perhaps one of the most powerful Marvel characters, Doctor Strange merges science, mystical magic and spirituality.
Born Stephen Vincent Strange, the doctor in his earlier career was considered one of the top neurosurgeons in the world. Played brilliantly by Benedict Cumberbatch, Strange’s success was partly due to his over inflated ego and keen intellect. As with many Marvel heroes, Doctor Strange undergoes a metamorphosis after a career ending accident that left his hands unable to perform surgery.
In his desperation to heal his hands, the doctor forgoes the usual paths of science and medicine to seek the help of mystics. The location of where Strange finds his powers is a bit vague. Comic book lore indicates a hidden land high in the Himalayas. The filmmakers decided to keep the location more centered in urban area of Nepal. This fit well with the other urban locations where the story delved.
Cumberbatch proves himself worthy of this role. Providing a nice balance of playfulness and intensity that often was shown throughout Doctor Strange comic book history. What was a great surprise and treat was the casting of Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One. Often shown as an older man of some Asian background, this casting was a refreshing take on the character. The only actress that could pull it off with such bravado is Swinton. As always her measured and ethereal charisma brought the Ancient Ones character a feeling of great depth. Swinton always leaves the audience wanting more.
Without Cumberbatch and Swinton’s pivotal performances, the film would have felt uneven and flat. The addition of incredible technical and innovative CGI is what gives Doctor Strange that distinctive appeal all fans have been hoping to experience. Lastly, Chiwetel Ejiofo with his stoic, unbending performance as Baron Mordo casts a vision of what is to come with Doctor Strange.
Overall, Doctor Strange begins a wondrous chapter in the Marvel Universe. Delving into the notion what many perceive as mysticism and magic is actually how the universe exists.
Doctor Strange review in IMAX 3D by benMUSA
Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Mads Mikkelsen and Benedict Wong
#DOCTOR STRANGE #BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH #TILDA SWINTON #CHIWETEL #CHIWETEL EJIOFO #ANCIENT ONE #MARVEL #MORDO #MAGIC #MYSTICISM #EYE OF AGAMOTTO #DARMANU #REVIEW
No spoilers – so read on!
Nostalgic exuberance best describes the latest chapter in the Star Wars saga. From the beginning director JJ Abrams throws the audience back to their childhood. When Star Wars presented hope and wonder that influenced numerous generations.
The opening scene harks to the original film – creating an eerie foreboding. SW fans sense the dark side still has a strong presence in the galaxy. Even though the Emperor and Vader have perished, the First Order has risen to take hold of the power vacuum. The legendary actor, Max von Sydow, reminds us the Force is out of balance and warns Resistance pilot, Poe Dameron. A new character introduced by Abrams while interspersing old favorites. There is no heavy handiness to his method of reintroducing favorite characters – organic and inorganic. Viewers will appreciate the comedic comradery of stormtrooper Fin (John Boyega) and the fiercely independent Rae(Daisy Ridley). Both have somber pasts that offer only vague insights to the last 30 years. It tantalizes the audience and reminds fans what has happened to Luke, Leia, Han and Chewbacca?
With all the action and nostalgia, Episode 7′s story focuses clearly on this fan’s primary question, the influential role of the Force throughout the galaxy. “The Force Awakens” begins seeding this question in the minds of the audience. Essentially, how can a dying “faith” as stated in Episode 4 (the original Star Wars) come back from the brink of extinction? What role does it play 30 years after Episode 6, “Return of the Jedi.”
Masterfully, Abrams shows us the wonder and terror of the Force throughout Episode 7. Like First Order warrior and leader, Kylo Ren (played by Adam Driver), the audience is unsure of the present situation. Although Kylo Ren is a menacing master of the dark force, his lightsaber unsheathed shows the shakiness of his path. Looking closely the audience can see the serrated edges of his lightsaber. Nothing like the clean perfect lines of his predecessors and their light sabers. Episode 7 is introducing fans to a whole new aspect of the Force.
With the latest CGI technology balanced with amazing real life-size sets, the technical crew of this film is truly the shining stars. In some ways they steal many scenes. “The Force Awakens” sends the audience to spectacular terrains and harsh landscapes without the need of supercomputers crunching vast data. The landscapes, like John William’s virtuoso score, set the emotional pitch throughout the film.
The Force is everywhere; it surrounds us and binds us. Episode 7 shows us again how it can be a sense of hope and wonder.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Episode 7) review in IMAX 3D by benMUSA
Starring Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill,Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Max von Sydow
#HARRISON FORD #MARK HAMILL #CARRIE FISHER #ADAM DRIVER #DAISY RIDLEY #JOHN BOYEGA #OSCAR ISAAC #LUPITA NYONG'O #J.J. ABRAMS #GEORGE LUCAS #STAR WARS #THE FORCE AWAKENS
The hard-hitting comedic punch of Melissa McCarthy and Paul Feig is brilliantly show-cased in their latest film, “Spy.” Once again director and writer Paul Feig creates a masterful backdrop to display McCarthy’s delightful improvisational talents. A top-billing she deserves and should have earned after her Oscar-nominated role in “Bridesmaids.”
The fun doesn’t end with McCarthy. The supporting cast of Jude Law, Rose Byrne, Jason Statham, Allison Janney and Miranda Hart make “Spy” a well-rounded farce.
Feig’s setting for “Spy” is a tongue in cheek acknowledgement to 007. McCarthy plays CIA desk-jockey, Susan Cooper. A bright, cyber tactician who graduated at the top of her class; unfortunately, her docile demeanor has sabotaged her ability to get any “real-world” assignments. Even though on the field Cooper happens to be lethal, just ask her last instructor. The video clip of her graduating obstacle test is stomach wrenchingly funny and disturbing. With the cautionary blessing of her boss, played by Allison Janney, Cooper ventures onto her first mission to thwart the sale of a nuclear bomb.
In her way is Statham’s character who tries to sabotage her attempts to get intel and stop the sale. Statham plays a disheartened CIA spy who doesn’t believe Cooper is capable of completing her mission. Many times Statham steals the scene with his rantings and ravings as the toughest spy while he follows McCarthy throughout Europe.
Rose Byrne as the arms dealer and femme fatale, Raina Boyanov becomes the bunt of many hilarious improvisational jokes when she meets and befriends McCarthy. Byrne’s eccentric hairstyles and McCarthy’s grim wigs almost take on their own persona in many scenes. Yet it doesn’t stop Bryne or McCarthy from delivering delicious zingers at each other.
“Spy” has a great cast and script that allows the masterful improv, McCarthy, to shine throughout the film. She gracefully plays the straight man to let her supporting cast sparkle. This role shows her evolving as an actress and developing as a multi-faceted comedian. “Spy” is definitely another notch in McCarthy’s comedic black belt.
Spy (2015) film review by benMUSA
Starring Melissa McCarthy, Jude Law, Rose Byrne, Jason Statham, Allison Janney and Miranda Hart.
#MELISSA MCCARTHY #JUDE LAW #ROSE BYRNE #JASON STATHAM #ALLISON JANNEY #MIRANDA HART #SPY #SPOOFS #PAUL FEIG #COMEDY #SLAPSTICK #FOUL HUMOUR
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