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Feb 11th
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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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Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

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