Blog Archives

Richard Donner is Super, Man

Richard Donner’s 1978 cinematic masterpiece Superman is considered the greatest (and the most perfect) superhero movie ever made. That’s not just my opinion, but the opinion of some of the most influential people in the movie industry. Director Christopher Nolan said the following regarding the Richard Donnner-directed Superman.

“I said, ‘I want to do for Batman what Dick Donner did for Superman,’ ” Christopher Nolan humbly states in the opening of his nearly half-hour conversation with the director of the original “Superman.”
Kevin Jagernauth, IndieWire

Need more proof of the super genius Richard Donner showcased in that unforgettable origin story of Kal-El/Clark Kent/Superman way back in the late ’70s with Christopher Reeve?

How about getting the super rivals DC Films president Geoff Johns and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige to wholeheartedly agree on the personal impact and storytelling legacy of 87-year-old Richard Donner and, specifically, that Superman film (a priceless DC property)?

Some of Hollywoods biggest stars, in front of the camera and behind the camera, gathered together recently to celebrate and honor the unforgettable work of the legendary director and producer Richard Donner at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Los Angeles. Actors and actresss from his most popular movies were in attendance, including the primary cast of Lethal Weapon and the kids from The Goonies.

Here are a few of Richard Donner’s films/credits:

  • The Omen (1976)
  • Superman (1978)
  • Superman II (1980)
  • The Goonies (1985)
  • Lethal Weapon (1987)
  • Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)
  • Lethal Weapon 3 (1992)
  • Maverick (1994)
  • Lethal Weapon 4 (1998)

This celebration of Mr. Donner’s work reaffirms the belief (and I’m a firm believer in the following) that a cinematic masterpiece does not always require mind-blowing special effects or the biggest explosions or the use of bad language for the sake of using bad language for that edge or street cred. Sometimes, a great movie just requires a hero people can believe in who struggles with similar issues and moral dilemmas as the people watching in theaters and at home.

That, above all, is Richard Donner’s storytelling legacy. In this sense, Richard Donner is a super man superman.

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RIP Don Rickles

Comedy just got a little less insulting.

Famed insult comic Don Rickles died today at the towering age of 90. While many might have suspected being in his cross hairs would be a terrible thing, it was quite the opposite. As a matter of fact, receiving the Don Rickles burn became a badge of honor. One of the greatest gifts a comedian can achieve is the elasticity to say just about anything to anybody and have the audience laughing every time.

Robin Williams was one of these very rare comics.

It’s difficult to attempt to encapsulate the storied career of Don Rickles, but the following video does a commendable job at this trying feat.

Particularly in the modern PC Era, we needed Don Rickles now more than ever. Let’s all remember and honor the magic of his insulting (yet heartwarming) comedic style.

RIP Don Rickles.

A Crash Course in Listening

“Speak softly and carry a big stick”
–President Theodore Roosevelt

Perhaps we should listen to softly spoken words and, from there, determine what we’ll carry…

Steven Spielberg is the greatest movie director of all-time. But how did he become a movie directing icon? The highly sought after position of Hollywood movie director requires mastering expensive, virtually unavailable and evolving technology, acquiring an acute knowledge of cameras, lighting and effects, gathering a Scrooge McDuck vault of gold coins for a single film and projecting an unforeseen vision of the world to be successful. People (business partners and fans alike) trust you to deliver on the biggest stage/screen. A hiccup could derail your dream in the same time it takes for two trains to crash.

Or, that’s the precise amount of time it takes for you to see everything.

Teachers come in all forms.

And when you realize that, you’ll be admitted to the greatest show on earth.

Happy Monday!

Lightning struck last night in Rio for the third time.

Usain Bolt is scary fast and awesomely entertaining. NBC journalist Bob Costas made the astute observation that Bolt is not a show-off, but is, more accurately, a showman. And Mr. Costas was proven right late last night when the legendary Jamaican sprinter beat American rival Justin Gatlin by .08 seconds in the breathtaking 100m final for his mind-boggling third consecutive Olympic gold medal and immediately joined in festive celebration with his countless fans along the rail of the track immediately following his epic conquest. His warm-down style is by far the best in the world.

Above all the entertaining bravado, Usain Bolt is a class act. This video/interview is from a few years ago.

The world-class 100m Olympic final was pretty close.

  1. Usain Bolt (9.81)
  2. Justin Gatlin (9.89)
  3. Andre De Grasse (9.91)

Even with the razor-thin margins between Bolt and Gatlin & Gatlin and De Grasse, Usain Bolt dominated everyone’s focus at the finish line. The man that Mr. Costas determined is now a more famous figure in Jamaica than Bob Marley (hmmm…?) is a larger-than-life athlete and persona. Standing (and sprinting) at a towering 6’5″, the “Lightning Bolt” has kept our attention for several Olympics and international competitions.

Back in 2013 at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia, Mother Nature went as far as to validate Usain Bolt’s perfectly given last name.

Remember this surreal, once-in-a-lifetime moment?

lat-bolt-wre0010839745-20130811

(Olivier Morin/AFP/Getty Images)

Fans of Usain Bolt won’t have wait long to see his next strides toward Olympic glory. The Jamaican sprinter will run in the 200m tomorrow morning. As his 9.58 seconds world record in the 100m, 19.19 seconds world record in the 200m and the picture above reveal, you know something special will happen.

Wherever Usain Bolt is, a show is sure to follow.

A lightning show, to be specific.

Have a Showstopper Kind of Week!