Sunday, November 11, 2012

Best Wishes to Leonardo DiCaprio

Greetings and salutations. Today is a beautiful day, one to spend out and about, painting the town red, which is what my dad and I are doing. Together, with his two friends from Ukraine who are visiting for the week, we are going to Atlantic City! That statement called for an exclamation point, I apologize to those who hate those punctuation marks. Anyway, other than it being a lovely day, today also marks the birthday of a great actor: Leonardo DiCaprio. Indeed, today the fantastic actor turns thirty-eight, which is a year more than he was last year when I wrote a post commemorating his achievements. Can you believe it has been a whole year since I wrote that? (Happy Birthday Leonardo DiCaprio! Yes, it's buried deep within my "archives".) It is astounding how fast time flies, absolutely unfathomable.

Since I already have something dedicated to him, I figure, instead of praising his work yet again, I will simply assure you: yes, I still consider him to be a fine actor. The finest of his time, perhaps. Being such a marvelous actor, the innocent bystander would expect him to have an Oscar to his name; alas, the Academy has been occupied awarding recipients such as Jeff "The Dude" Bridges and Mo'Nique. Forgive my foolishness. Despite these shameful shortcomings, Leonardo DiCaprio may finally--finally, at last--receive an Oscar this year. For what, you ask? Django Unchained. Quentin Tarantino's latest masterpiece about an ex-slave driver and bounty hunter wreaking bloody havoc in the stylish Civil War era. Of course, this terrific director is who makes this entire picture stylish. It is because of him, also, that America now knows the name Christoph Waltz, who delivered a magnificent performance as Colonel Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds, to which he earned a Best Supporting Actor statuette. Quentin Tarantino will most certainly make the same accomplishment with Django Unchained, giving the under-appreciated Leonardo DiCaprio his long-overdue Oscar victory. In Django, Leonardo DiCaprio portrays a sinister, devious plantation owner (aren't they all?), and, based on the trailer, it appears that he will be fantastic. He may very well brings another one of Quentin Tarantino's gloriously-written villains to life in a way noother could have managed, just as no one could have embodied Hans Landa so flawlessly as Christoph Waltz had. As for Leonardo DiCaprio in Django Unchained: From his sleek yet revolting appearance to his elegant demeanor to his velvet-smooth Southern drawl, it is stating the obvious saying that he will be received kindly by critics as well as myself. (Velvet is smooth, right?) Unfortunately, Entertainment Weekly does not see as I do, a shock of course considering what crystal-clear Oscar potential the film harnesses. They listed Django Unchained, in their Oscar Predictions article in the previous issue, as a "long shot" in the Best Picture and Best Director categories; Leonardo DiCaprio and Christoph Waltz were both listed in the second-rate "other contenders" for Best Supporting Actor, which is utterly unacceptable. I just won't accept it. Here's hoping that the magazine will be dreadfully wrong.

In case the film slipped your mind altogether, here's the new trailer for Django Unchained. A sort of "For your Consideration" presentation. Even though the public cannot vote on the Academy, perhaps one of you will be crazy enough to pull an "Occupy Wall Street"-type stunt and have the film earn--deserve--all the esteem it is sure to get.

P.S. I truly wrote this on the date this post entails, but failed to publish it in time.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day

Previously (on Desperate Housewives...yes, I'm still watching it), I was never interested in politics, and that includes the presidential election. Granted, during the last election, I was yet to enter high school, therefore oblivious to terms such as "financial deficit" and "affirmative action", so I could not even fathom the possibility of actually following politics. Now, however, I am fully engrossed and am eagerly anticipating the verdict on who will assume the helm of this country. Will Barack Obama be reinstated for another four years, changing basically nothing? Or will Mitt Romney take charge, possibly improving the state of the United States? Unlike before, this year is a real "nail-biter", mostly because of the presidential debates, specifically the first one where Obama was defeated. Despite that advantage by Romney, I'm sure Obama will win because not many people like Romney. A friend of mine actually said that if Satan were a human, Romney would be him. Even my dad has a negative feeling towards him, instinct-wise, and I've never known his instinct to be wrong before. Who knows what will unfold today, as states are counting up their final tallies. Truthfully, I am leaning towards Romney.... I don't know why I'm embarrassed to admit that, but much of what he has to offer as president is appealing to me. Of course, like many Americans, I'm not entirely knowledgeable on certain issues or their importance. I am aware that the economy and foreign affairs are highly significant, but what I don't know is how the candidates intend to fix those issues. The past few weeks, I've been immersed in their campaigns, researching their platforms on their official websites, but all I see is that they will improve. And, I think to myself, obviously improvements are what Americans want and need: but how will you accomplish these great improvements? This source of confusion is not uncommon on people, I hope, but at least I'm trying to understand.

You may be asking yourselves, "If you don't fully understand either candidate's campaign, why are you leaning towards Mitt Romney?" Well, one quote he said really touched a "so-true" nerve in my mind, and it was even more impacting because it was listed on Obama's website under the "why Romney is wrong for America" page. Romney said: "It's not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person." He is referring to the apprehension and killing of Osama bin Laden, the supposed leader of al Qaeda. This one quote, which Obama intended to shed a negative light on Mitt Romney, actually stirred me into supporting him. Killing one terrorist who may have been responsible for a major attack that happened more than ten years ago is not worth spending billions that could have gone toward ending the war in Afghanistan, to save thousands of American soldiers, or to ameliorating this dreadful economy I've been hearing about. It is not even a certainty whether al Qaeda was behind the events of 9/11, and, even if they were, they have not made an additional attack since then. That brings me to believe that they were not the mastermind; if they wanted to attack America, they would make numerous attempts, not become scared by the pseudo-intimidating "War on Terror". Even by killing Osama bin Laden, nothing will change: there are many other terrorist organization in existence, and the killing of one terrorist will not weaken any of them. There are still rumors of nuclear bombs in the Middle East--in Iran, I believe--and war still rages in Afghanistan. Tell me how catching one terrorist--who has been in hiding for all those years--will bring peace to the entire world. Sorry for my cynicism and if I do not share the "American spirit" many claim to have, but I just don't see any reasonable rationale for spending billions of dollars to kill someone. To sum up, if Mitt Romney has such an insight on one way of the way America spends its money so frivolously, it's logical to see how he can improve the economy in more ways as well. As passionate as I may sound by saying all this, I am in no way a political person. I am neither Republican nor Democrat. I just happen to agree with some of what one candidate, who happens to be Republican, has to offer.

Because it is Election Day, I've had a feeling to watch something political, preferably relating to the hypocritical, devious mechanics of the election. And, fortunately, there is such a film that describes how candidates sway voters into choosing them, and in that film, it follows on person who forgot to vote: Swing Vote. Oddly, this movie is not widely known, which I consider to be a damn shame because it is one of very few fictional films that, I believe, keenly depicts how an election proceeds. However, instead of watching a fictional illustration of an election, I've taken the path of reality, which is my way of saying that I have decided to watch the actual election coverage on ABC News. (The coverage can be viewed on CBS, NBC, and another network or two, but I chose ABC because of Modern Family.) Anyway, I will return to focusing on the information given by Diane Sawyer and political analysts. Good evening everyone, and I'll see you in the future, possibly in a new America. (Not really. Nothing will change, I'm sure. Good night, and good luck.)