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Aug 31st
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First Class is in Session

blog_xmenBack at the turn of the century, Bryan Singer's reverent cinematic take on the X-men helped establish a tone for comic book movie adaptations that can still be felt to this day. By taking the source material seriously Singer managed to hit a sweet spot for moviegoers that grounded Marvel's mutants in a familiar reality, yet still allowed for many of the super hero flourishes expected from fans who'd waited years to see these characters come to life on the big screen. Later he followed up with an incredible sequel in X-Men United, which expanded upon everything great about the original and would go on to relax in a comfy spot near the top of a lot of "best comic book movies ever" lists.

Unfortunately, everything pretty much fell apart after that.

Singer split from the series in order to take a crack at a certain Kryptonian in Superman Returns (the results of which were um...let's just say it was a bad move), and the reigns of the third entry were handed over to Brett Ratner - A director known at that point primarily for those Jackie Chan/Chris Tucker Rush Hour movies. Ratner's X-Men: The Last Stand made plenty of money for sure, but to put it mildly was a huge creative disappointment for the hardcore fans. After offing several major characters in an attempt to "wrap up the story,"  the future looked bleak for those hoping to see a return to the quality of the original 2 flicks (The less said about X-Men Origins: Wolverine the better).

So now here we are several years later with a brand spanking new X-Men movie opening across the country this weekend. With a new director in Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass) and even a new time period, First Class marks a deliberate attempt to restore some clout to the franchise. Hell, Singer is even involved again this time in the role of producer as well as being the proud recipient of a story credit. Set during the Cuban missile crisis, this prequel details the forging of a friendship between a young Charles Xavier (Professor X) and Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto) that we all know will eventually be taking a hard turn south. Featuring a new crop of mutants along with plenty of surprise cameos for the eagle eyed nerd, I have to admit that I'm really looking forward to checking it out. The casting across the board is pretty intriguing (whoa what, Kevin Bacon!?) and I dig that it's set in the same era as when the original X-Men comics debuted. While I might not be a Marvel guy in general, of course I'm always extremely satisfied when any adaptation of my favorite medium is done right, regardless of it's publishing origin. In short, yes I can't wait to toss ten bucks at it this weekend.

My severe man-crush on Michael Fassbender has absolutely nothing to do with it.

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The Meaning of ‘LIFE’

With a new documentary film about his work, and huge exhibits on both coasts, acclaimed Santa Cruz nature photographer Frans Lanting is having a landmark year. But his crusade for conservation doesn’t leave much time for looking back

 

Seasons of Opportunity

Everything in our world has a specific time (a season) in which to accomplish a specific work—a “season” that begins (opportunity) and ends (time’s up). I can feel the season is changing. The leaves turning colors, the air cooler, sunbeams casting shadows in different places. It feels like a seasonal change has begun in the northern hemisphere. Christmas is in four months, and 2015 is swiftly speeding by. Soon it will be autumn and time for the many Festivals of Light. Each season offers new opportunities. Then the season ends and new seasons take its place. Humanity, too, is given “seasons” of opportunity. We are in one of those opportunities now, to bring something new (Uranus) into our world, especially in the United States. Times of opportunity can be seen in the astrology chart. In the U.S. chart, Uranus (change) joins Chiron (wound/healing). This symbolizes a need to heal the wounds of humanity. Uranus offers new archetypes, new ways of doing things. The Uranus/Chiron (Aries/Pisces) message is, “The people of the U.S. are suffering. New actions are needed to bring healing and well-being to humanity. So the U.S. can fulfill its spiritual task of standing within the light and leading humanity within and toward the light.” Thursday, Aquarius Moon, Mercury enters Libra. The message, “To bring forth the new order in the world, begin with acts of Goodwill.” Goodwill produces right relations with everyone and everything. The result is a world of progressive well-being and peacefulness (which is neither passive nor the opposite of war). Saturday is the full moon, the solar light of Virgo streaming into the Earth. Our waiting now begins, for the birth of new light at winter solstice. The mother (hiding the light of the soul, the holy child), identifying the feminine principle, says, “I am the mother and the child. I, God (Father), I Matter (Mother), We are One.”

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of August 28

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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