Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Robin Williams Edition

Welcome back to the Entertainment Guru News and Views for this week in August, 2014. I wish I could be coming here with great news. Instead, I come with the death of a great comedian, actor and writer.

I walked in the door on Monday evening.. I was dealing with a pseudo-emergency in my head when I looked at my wife on the couch. She had opened her computer and was immediately met with bad news. By now you all know I am talking about Robin Williams.

Monday afternoon, Williams died of an apparent suicide. Williams was 63 at the time of his death. He had a well known battle with drugs and alcohol through his life. He also suffered from depression. He had checked in himself into rehab earlier this year in an attempt to fight his disease. As of this writing we don't if he was doing drugs or drinking at the time that he ended it all.

What we do know is the joy that Robin Williams brought into each and one's lives. There are some actors that are known for one thing or another that doesn't touch every single person's life. That doesn't take away from the talent that they have. But I highly doubt there is a person that has not enjoyed something from Robin Williams' tremendous career. From his turn as a teacher in an all boys' school in "Dead Poets' Society" to being a Genie in Disney's "Aladdin" to being Teddy Roosevelt coming back to life in the three "Night At The Museum" movies. That doesn't even include his Oscar winning performance as a teacher to a troubled genius in the film "Good Will Hunting". And that is just a small handful of his memorable movie roles. But he did so much more than that.

He recently starred in a CBS comedy called "The Crazy Ones" where he was the head of an advertising company along with his on screen daughter Sarah Michelle Gellar. But an older generation he was Mork, the lovable able in the 1978 comedy "Mork and Mindy".

Along side fellow comedians Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg, he co-hosted the "Comic Relief"
telethon which benefited the homeless in America. The event ran for several years and featured famous and up and coming comedians such as Dana Carvey, Jim Carrey, Bobcat Goldthwait, Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock just to name a few.

The list of comedians that he helped inspired would be long enough to fill a blog. His frantic style of comedy was one of a kind, just like the man himself.

We will never know what his mind frame was as he decided to end it all. Whatever it is, his demons got the best of him. And because of that the world lost an inspiration. Robin Williams was a genius, a dark genius but a genius none the less. It also goes to show that you could be world famous and it isn't enough to make you happy.

My hope in all this is that we shine a light on depression. It's not something you can "just get over". For people struggling with depression it is a daily fight. Some days are easy to cope, with aren't. There doesn't even need to be a cause to trigger one's depression. It just happens.

Entertainment Guru News and Views would like to offer our condolences to his family. We all lost someone, but it's nothing compared to your loss. To his friends, count your blessings that you had someone in your life as amazing as Robin Williams. And to his fans, your comedy and legacy will live on. Thank you for the memories, Mr. Williams.


Friday, August 8, 2014

Four Trailers Edition

Welcome back to the Entertainment Guru News & Views blog with our not so fancy but still new logo. I hope that you enjoy it!

There are some very interesting looking movies coming out, so I thought I would show you some trailers and give my opinions on them. Sure, I could look at the Guardians Of The Galaxy trailer, or something big like that. But let's face it, everyone will be looking at that. Instead, I want to shine a light on some of the smaller movies that will be coming out soon. First we are going to take a look at not one but two new Aubrey Plaza movies. First, here is "Life After Beth"

In what is the third romantic/zombie movie we have seen (Behind Shaun Of The Dead and Warm Bodies), Dane Dehaan stars as a man who lost his girlfriend, Beth. But it turns out that Beth didn't die. She is now a zombie. He tries to maintain a relationship with her, until she goes a little crazy trying to eat brains. I mean if anything is a deal breaker, I would think that would be it. It looks very strange, but funny at the same time. I had never really seen anything of DeHaan until The Amazing Spider-Man 2.  But I think they would make a cute on-screen couple in a very unusual but cool sounding movie. I mean zombies are cool now, so why not take it in direction you would not expect a zombie movie to go.

Plaza returns in a bit of a dramatic role for her in the drama "About Alex". A group of college friends reunite after Alex (played by Jason Ritter) attempts suicide. The friends are played by Max Greenfield, Jane Levy,  Maggie Grace, Max Minghella and Nate Parker. It seems that no matter how long these friends are apart, they fall back into their old habits and friendship. I have a serious weakness for movies about reunions. It looks funny at times and very depressing at times. But it does look well acted by the entire cast. It's refreshing to see movies like this are still getting made in the face of all the super hero movies we see.

Another drama with a touch of comedy is "The Skeleton Twins". Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig play twins (though really they look nothing a like) who both have near death incidents on the same day. They are estranged from each other, having not seen each other in ten years. I like to see actors play against their strengths. Both Hader and Wiig are comedic actors, having spent so much time on Saturday Night Live. But here they get to stretch their acting skills just a little bit.

And speaking of actors totally stepping out their comfort zones, I offer you this. It is a romantic comedy starring The Boy Who Lived, Daniel Radcliffe. Radcliffe, to this point, has only done Harry Potter movies, a horror movie (The Woman In Black) and a dramatic performance in "Kill Your Darlings". But now, he shows a funny side in "What If". It looks so different for him, but he seems to be very comfortable in his role. I enjoyed the trailer and I know I will enjoy the movie.

There you have it. Four trailers for your consideration. I hope that you will see these movies along side the big action movies the next time you are looking for a flick to see.

Thanks to IMDB for providing the trailers.