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Dec 18th
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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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Giving and Giving, Then Giving Some More

2014 is almost over. Wednesday, Dec. 17, the Jewish Festival of Light, Hanukkah, begins. We are in our last week of Sag and last two weeks of December. Sunday, Dec. 21 is winter Solstice, as the sun enters Capricorn (3:30 p.m. for the west coast). Soon after, the Capricorn new moon occurs (5:36 p.m. for the west coast)—the last new moon of 2014. Sunday morning Uranus in Aries (revolution, revelation) is stationary direct (retro since July 22). Uranus/Aries create things new and needed to anchor the new culture and civilization (Aquarius). We will see revolutionary change in 2015. Capricorn new moon, building-the-personality seed thought, is, “Let ambition rule and let the door to initiation and freedom stand wide (open).” Capricorn is a gate—where matter returns to spirit. But the gate is unseen until the Ajna Center (third eye), Diamond Light of Direction, opens. Winter solstice is the longest day of darkness of the year. The sun’s rays resting at the Tropic of Capricorn (southern hemisphere) symbolize the Christ (soul’s) light piercing the heart of the Earth, remaining there for three days, till Holy Night (midnight Thursday morning). Then the sun’s light begins to rise. It is the birth of the new light (holy child) for the world. A deep calm and stillness pervades the world.The entire planet is revivified, re-spiritualized. All hearts beating reflect this Light. And so throughout the Earth there’s a radiant “impress” (impressions, pictures) given to humanity of the World Mother and her Child. The star Sirius (love/direction) and the constellation Virgo the mother shines above. For gift giving, give to those in need. Give and give and then give some more. This creates the new template of giving and sharing for the new world.

 

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