Posts tagged ‘Albert Einstein’

Review on John Wick: Chapter 3 Parabellum (2019)

Parabellum, meaning preparation for war, or in Wick’s case, total mayhem and destruction, thoroughly fulfils the fans’ long-awaited expectations and more. This writer was caught off guard on more than one occasion, so much so that I had to cover my mouth to stifle the gasps that would involuntarily escape, time and time again.

What do we know of John Wick? He is the ‘Baba Yaga’ or boogeyman; the love of his life, his wife Helen, dies of cancer; he loves his dog so much that he’s prepared to kill anyone who harms it; he is renowned for killing three men with (gasp) one pencil; his infamy precedes him, whereby he is both respectfully feared and at the same time, admired in awe; he has integrity and yet, has no compunction when he is obliged to fulfil the rules of the ‘high-table.’

Surrounded by a recognised cast of players of the calibre of Ian McShane, Laurence Fishburne, Halle Berry, Anjelica Huston, Common, Cecep Arif Rahman, Yayan Ruhian, Mark Dacascos, Lance Reddick et al, the audience sees more of Wick’s dual persona and the fear, respect, awe and reverence that his enemies, total strangers and his colleagues have for him. Incidentally, Ian McShane, Lance Reddick and of course, Keanu Reeves, are the only actors to appear in all three of the John Wick films to date.

In this third story of Wick’s brand of havoc, we see our hero reluctantly forced to defend himself against assailants and their blood-thirsty greed to earn the US $14 million bounty placed on his head for killing his arch-nemesis on ‘consecrated ground,’ namely the off-limits New York Continental Hotel. The High-Table, as a consequence, designates Wick ‘excommunicado,’ meaning he is no longer under their protection and is denied the privileges and access to the underworld’s limitless resources.   

Whilst some opine that the combat scenes went on for far too long, fans of martial arts would no doubt drool at the variety and sheer expertise of the art, especially the scene between Wick and two worthy opponents, Shinobi 1, played by Cecep Arif Rahman (of The Raid) and Shinobi 2, played by Yayan Ruhian (also of The Raid). Both actors are renowned masters and instructors of Pencak Silat, the Indonesian martial arts. The choreography, the brilliant execution of the moves and the obvious respect between the three combatants, is both credulous and awe inspiring. Zero, an equally formidable opponent, is played by Mark Dacascos with both ferocity and continuous onslaught. Chad Stahelski, the director of the movie and the martial art, stunt coordinator, makes a cameo appearance on the zebra crossing/crosswalk during the scene where Wick gallops past on horseback.

In Parabellum, the regular players develop in character and yet, the viewer is left in the dark as to their loyalty or aversion to Wick. Ian McShane, the protagonist who plays Winston, is an enigma, as is the Bowery King, played by Laurence Fishburne, while ‘boots and all’ Halle Berry, who incidentally, broke three ribs while filming, holds her own as Sofia, an ex-assassin and manager of the Casablanca Continental Hotel. Are they for or against Wick?

Asia Kate Dillon is introduced to this film as the ruthless Adjudicator for the High-Table and both she and Mark Dacascos, having been diehard fans of John Wick 1 and John Wick 2, spoke of immediately accepting the offer of their respective film roles without even having read the script. We, once again, see the stylish, lean and lanky Lance Reddick in his usual role as Charon, the concierge of the New York Continental Hotel. It was a delight to see his role develop in the movie.

Granted, the blood-thirsty and gory scenes capture the viewers’ focus and attention whilst keeping them on the edge of their seats, and the tense and often dramatic scenarios, keep the adrenalin pumping. Yet there is light, comedic relief interspersed in between, which helps to ease the suspense, the stress and the tempo.

For those interested in keeping score, Wick’s kills amount to 77 in the first of the series, followed by 128 kills in John Wick 2 and in this film, the total amounts to 94 people killed.

Is this the last of the series? Does our hero meet a grizzly end? Is there more to come?

Die-hard John Wick fans will need no persuasion to see Chapter 3Parabellum and get their fill of the master in full-fledged action.

(C) Wendy Robinson July 2019  All Rights Reserved

 

The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil,

but because of those who look on and do nothing. ~ Albert Einstein

When the heart is touched

Whenever I go for my morning walks, I tend to see something beautiful along the way. Some mornings in winter, I see the cobwebs heavy with dewdrops that are so dazzling in the sunlight that they would be the envy of any diamond Jeweller.

On the odd occasions when I do walk in the evenings, I see beautiful sunsets that paint the expanse of sky in glorious crimson and fingers-of-God rays that I often gasp at the sheer beauty of the backdrop.

Some evenings, I get a stunning view of the sky while waiting for the lights on a bridge, which is about five minutes from my home. Determined to capture the scene, I pray that it will still be there by the time I get home and race onto my balcony with my camera.

These are the times when the quote by Albert Einstein, ‘There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle,’ comes to mind.

When my daughter was young, she was fascinated by her older brother’s careful, time-lapse photography recording of a nymph insect in its hard shell. It had latched onto a brick pillar on our front porch and was shedding its hard case or exoskeleton shell, to emerge as a winged adult, Greengrocer cicada.

The process takes hours and even when the adult cicada emerges, more time is taken to pump up the wings until they unfold, expand to their full size, dry out and harden, before it spreads its wings to fly away.

My young son, who was ten at the time, was patiently filming the entire process in 20 to 30 minute gaps and recording the stages in a book. A young herpetologist in the making, this undertaking was his own initiative.

Knowing how important this was to him, I allowed him to stay up later than usual, despite having school the next day.  He took his last frame just before bed, and asked me to take as many shots as I could before retiring. At this stage the cicada had completely emerged and its wing had unfolded and hardened, but it was yet to fly away.

The next morning, he rushed downstairs instead of following the usual ritual of brushing his teeth, dressing, gathering his school books and backpack for school. I made allowances for this special project while warning him to ensure he left enough time to eat his breakfast.

I stopped in midstride in making the school lunches, when he appeared at the door. His eyes stricken and his mouth quivering, he held out his camera to me. It was then that I noted the opened back of the camera. The film had been exposed!

His little sister, seated, eating her breakfast, piped up in her three year-old voice to demand of her brother, why she couldn’t see the pictures of the cicadas in the camera. While I knew she had no understanding of the enormity of the damage that had been done by exposing the film, I nevertheless proceeded to tell her that her brother’s long hours of work were ruined and she was never to touch the camera again. Needing to help her understand further, I began to formulate my words when my son interrupted me.

Hugging his baby sister while gently patting her at the same time, he kept telling her it was okay. I looked on with amazement at my son manfully shouldering his obvious disappointment and yet at the same time, trying to shield his sister from any wrath that might befall her. Feeling a fierce pride in him, I managed to hold my tears in check and wordlessly gave him a hug.

Yes, there are times when nature overwhelms us with her beauty and her unfolding treasures, but there are also times when we are overcome by the sheer generosity of the human spirit.

© Wendy Robinson

Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future. ~ Paul Boese

What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.  ~ Pericles

I LOVE quotes …

I LOVE quotes and I collect and record them. I’m actually almost finishing my seventh book of random quotes.

Random? Yes, but I’m proud to say they are recorded neatly, leaving a gap of two lines between each quote, and using only black pens. Yes, siree!! Black pens!

I know I sound obsessive but my careful scribing hopefully denotes how much I delight in my collection; how moved I am when I read something profound, or how it tickles my funny bone at reading the sarcastic, rapier-wit musings of Mark Twain or Oscar Wilde.

One would expect to enjoy the witty, at times, off-the-cuff  quips of these renowned writers, but would one necessarily expect deep, thoughtful and meaningful remarks from a genius mathematician like Einstein, or the iconic, Rastafarian, reggae singer, Bob Marley?

You’ll be surprised or you may not, at the insightful and oft-times, philosophical observations of the aforementioned men. I’m so enamoured with Einstein’s reflections, I’m sure, shhh … I’ve fallen for the genius. If I had to pick a quote, and there are soooo many, wonderful ones from the great man, it would be this:

The ideals which have lighted my way and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been kindness, beauty and truth.  ~ Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

And not to be outdone, one from that body and soul-moving, Nesta Robert ‘Bob’ Marley:

You never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice.  ~ Bob Marley (1945-1981)

Perhaps I’m being obtuse but I doubt very much that many would expect insightful and at times, almost poetic observations from any, dry, mad-looking scientist like Einstein. Formulas yes, but beautiful truths, not on your cotton-pickin Nellie!

Perhaps it’s the hair!! It has to be!! Einstein with his electrified, unkempt and uncut image, or the dread-locks under the rasta, tri-coloured beanie of the smiling, Jamaican. Hmmm… perhaps not!!

I wanted to finish with a meaningful, heart-catching, soul-grabbing, up-lifting quote but there are too many to choose from, so I’ll merely end with this encouragement:

You are not too small to be effective. Just ask a mosquito in a dark room.  ~ Anon

© 2013 Wendy Robinson

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