(Image Credit Mark Burgess/Egmont Publishing/The Best Bear In All The World)
As I walk into winter…random, hopeful observations along my trail as the days get colder…but also longer.
A thought or two about the latest installment in the “Star Wars” franchise. As with most add-ons to an iconic entertainment library you’re going to find a diverse variety of opinions about how well the filmmakers did or did not honor the spirit of the legendary series. I saw the original “Star Wars” when it first opened. I’ve seen all the other movies. Considering what this new film’s ambitious goal was, a genesis tale docking directly into the opening moments of the saga that unspooled almost forty years ago…I think they did a good job.
Except for the ending of course – admittedly a deal-breaker for some.
Others might say both endings failed…but I was good with the first one.
Those cryptic observations might entice you to see “Rogue One” if you haven’t already committed. I recommend doing so because ultimately I found more “good” than “evil” within. It was far from perfect – the movie could never reach those lofty expectations anyway – but still quite entertaining. I hope/may the Force be with you in any event.
“We have hope. Rebellions are built on hope.” – Jyn Erso, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”
I am confident the good folks at Disney hope everyone gets out and sees the film. They can use a big win after hearing the latest numbers from their ESPN property. The self-proclaimed “Worldwide Leader In Sports” has been losing subscribers at hyperspace speed as more and more folks cut their enormous cable bills, cut down on following sports altogether, etc. Sports are contained within the entertainment industry now. It’s only a game? It’s only a business. There are also rumors Disney might go rogue and also sell a battle-weary ABC. As I have noted before there are a lot of entertainment options these days – the competition for one’s time and attention has never been fiercer.
Proof? Some industry observers feel the number of active scripted television shows could approach 500 in the next year or so. According to FX Research 455 scripted original programs aired on American television in 2016.
In 2006…that number was 192.
The wife and I see about 30-35 motion pictures a year (in theatres). 336 movies are eligible for the Best Picture Oscar this year.
In 2013…that number was 289.
Back to TV…we watch a decent amount. I don’t know how interesting it is or how much you learn about someone based on their viewing list but what has our attention now includes…
Elementary, Supergirl, Scorpion, The Flash, Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., Blindspot, Arrow, Survivor, Modern Family, DC Legends Of Tomorrow, The Big Bang Theory, Supernatural, Last Man Standing, The Amazing Race, iZombie, Stitchers, The Librarians, Playing House
There are no streaming shows here…that will change in the near future. We have a few we hope to start watching soon.
Hope is what I (still?!) have for professional and collegiate sports to eventually get their acts together and, as the money inevitably decreases from networks as they balance their ledger sheets to keep stockholders happy, decisions going forward might be based more on what is best for players and fans…not for those soulless, cash-driven, egomaniac owners, administrators and coaches.
Until if and when that happens…Philadelphia Phillies fans got some much-appreciated hope in the last day or so with the acquisition of one Clay Buchholz from the Boston Red Sox.
One headline in the local paper: “Fifty Shades Of Clay” (”Fifty Shades Darker” drops into theatres February 10 by the way…).
A combination of Clay wearing out his welcome in Beantown and a crowded list of potential starting pitchers there landed Buchholz here. He was not good – OK he was bad – for most of last season…but most all of the bad times were up at Fenway. His road numbers this past year are very much in line with his career marks. He’s 32, automatically becoming the grizzled veteran among a group of up-and-comers the Phils will send to the hill in 2017.
You know a couple years ago the Phillies had a $180 million payroll and were only behind those traditionally high-spenders the Dodgers and Yankees. Their projected payroll now is about a third of that. They are trying to acquire talent to stay competitive until they can fill all the holes left from that veteran corps that aged in place after winning it all in 2008.
And, after an Eagles season that finds the coach woefully inept in even the most basic of management skills…to another eventual mega-loss season for a Sixers team whose coach can’t even tell the media if “stars” are playing until he first checks with upper management…well, we can surely use this Christmas present of sporting hope. (The Flyers are doing OK but me thinks we’re still a ways away from another Stanley Cup…)
I take note of a Little League Baseball complex whenever I drive by it this time of year. I love the way the winter sun dances across the diamonds, the grass and dirt equally frozen, hard, unforgiving. It reminds me no matter how cold it gets or how much snow we get those fields will arise as one in a couple of months and start being prepped for yet another baseball season full of hope.
I played on those fields from ages 7-12. That was a long time ago. But the fields remain…as do the memories…which come to the surface for a visit every Christmas.
Childlike wonder? Yes, even we adults are capable of it.
A final word on hope for those who might question how much to have as we approach another New Year. It has been an “interesting” time for America.
For the world.
I have NEVER, EVER seen more cars and trucks sporting brown antlers and red noses than this Holiday season.
They are EVERYWHERE.
There must be hope if there are more people than ever pretending vehicles are reindeer.
Accidents between deer and vehicles are way down. Maybe our real deer – buying into the camouflage – actually think they’re looking out for fellow deer (albeit slightly larger and faster).
We should all look out for one another.
More than ever.
Walking hopefully into Winter…