Saturday, June 15, 2013

Movie Review: Man Of Steel


I usually try to avoid going into movies with any expectations, but this time I was hoping that with Christopher Nolan’s producing and Zack Snyder’s direction – I would, at the very least, be able to come away with even a little appreciation for Superman. I may have also expected epicness, considering Nolan’s body of work and Snyder’s ‘300’.

That being said, I’m sad to have come away with just a “good”. I very much appreciate good, hard, continual action in a flick (which MOS has), but usually not at the expense of good dialogue. [I gave Fast 6 a pass. They don't know any better]. They may have been a bit overzealous with the CGI and explosions, although beautifully done, but the dialogue and character development was unimpressive (in my opinion). 

Lois Lane, as a result of this crappy dialogue, was underserved as a [main] character. In most instances in the plot, the character seemed to be awkwardly placed in very incredulous situations - which I describe as such because I saw no evidence of her motivations or anything that would get the audience behind her. This is why I cringed when the "kissing scene" came into play. There was absolutely no chemistry between Kal El (Superman) and Lois to speak of.

Henry Cavill’s performance was good though. He embodied Superman very well (and very sexily). I’m hoping to see him come into his badass-ness in a possible sequel.

Dearest Michael Shannon, on the other hand, was a bad fit as General Zod (in my opinion). I did find him to be quite sympathetic towards the end of the flick. His monologues about being created for the sole purpose of protecting Krypton made me realize that he was not entirely villainous – just menacing and ruthless in carrying out his job. This realization came a bit late though, as my opinion of him had already been soured for a majority of the acts in the movie. Shannon was not entirely believable as the “villain”.
The score was Hans Zimmer-worthy, it had beautiful shots and an adequate cast. Overall, a good, fun watch – especially for action junkies and appreciators of robust men with perfectly coiffed hair in body hugging garments. I'm sorry to say that I personally would not want to see it again, mostly to spare myself another headache - which I did leave the theatre with. It was confusing trying to follow all the action that was taking place.


Special thanks to Palace Amusement (@palacemovies) for the #MeetUpJa invite.

Friday, April 20, 2012


There's a very delightful, inspiring video that I watch every few days or so to help keep me on track creatively and in general. It's titled "29 Ways To Stay Creative".

This creator of this visual masterpiece, To-Fu Designs, compiles a list of quirky yet TRUE, sincere and accurate ways to get creative juices flowing. It is also doubles as legitimate instructions for aspiring and existing entrepreneurs. Aside from some of it's more frivolous suggestions like the one  that prompts us to  'sing in the shower' or 'read a page of the dictionary', if followed, the rest can help to make and sustain a successful entrepreneur. This list represents a culmination of all the lessons an aspiring entrepreneur could/should learn in order to carry out their various entrepreneurial endeavours.

1     - MAKE LISTS




5     - QUIT BEATING YOURSELF UP                       





10    - BE OPEN



13    - COLLABORATE                                           

14    - DON'T GIVE UP                                           






20  - TAKE RISKS (Sometimes I feel like I need to do something drastic, that is, make the biggest, most risky leap; not considering whether or not or how hard I fall - just to break my dependence on the safe side of life. In truth, as I have mentioned before, the would-be quality of my work suffers because I tend to not be willing to break the mold and tackle things that I normally deem too risky or 'not done'. Still a work-in-progress though...

21   - BREAK THE RULES                                   




25   - STOP TRYING TO BE SOMEONE ELSE'S PERFECT (It's true that some of us *points to self* sometimes only see ourselves in relation to others. We try our best sometimes to live up to others' standards and kill ourselves trying to impress others. I have news though..... we will NEVER in our lifetimes be satisfied with ourselves or our work if we aim to please anyone but ourselves first.



28  - HAVE FUN


Young Entrepreneurs Interview Series - Part Deux

I mentioned earlier that I went to the YEA expo last semester and met some of the young entrepreneurs.
The lovely ladies that own and operate the nascent pastry and beverage manufacturing company, Coffee Connoisseurs, have obliged me by allowing me to interview them. So, we cozied up one Sunday afternoon on one of the benches in the lovely breezeway of the Mona School of Business and proceeded with our honest and open conversation - one of a few which gave me a real insight into the daily struggles and triumphs of young entrepreneurs in Jamaica.

Dian Campbell and Sharon Thompson are both inspired, inspiring visionaries who got an idea and leaped at it. As anticipated, their journey to success is still a rough one (complete with physical and financial setbacks and lack of support from the government, to name a few)- but they are determined to " it the right way".

I've put together a snippet of what they had to say...

Accounting & Finance REDUX: Making Sense out of Dollars & Cents


I was made to sit through a fast-track session on accounting, complete with spreadsheets, profits, losses, blah blah... all that good stuff.

You know, there's a reason I'm in the humanities and NOT in the Social Sciences, Pure and Applies Sciences, etc. That's because I've done the the whole accounts thing way back in high school, but failed quite miserably. It is to be noted that I failed miserably not because I'm not smart or numerically inclined, but because I had woken up one day and decided that this is something that seemed slightly intimidating and I simply was just NOT going to even try to tackle it. Afterall, I had just gotten the hang of Math, and this was just gonna dampen my mood.
So I did away with it.

NOW, I'm being made to face it again. I'm having to eat the words "...screw this...I'll never have to do accounts in my life". This time, there isn't the option of whether or not I'm gonna try. Knowledge of accounting at even the most basic stage is so important to entrepreneurs with new or existing businesses - big or small. Keeping all expenses, expenditures, profits, losses, cashflow, and that whole shebang under close watch is a necessary evil for people like me who cringe at the very thought of it. IT MUST BE DONE.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Young Entrepreneurs Interview Series - Part 1

I dragged my friend and made a trek out to the Wyndham Kingston Hotel one Sunday afternoon last semester to check out the annual Young Entrepreneurs Association of Jamaica expo that was put on by a company called Value Added Services. I must admit, 'twas a fun outing, but not very exciting and even less inspiring for an upcoming/wannabe entrepreneur (me). It was what I would call a "dry" event. However, I did get to meet a few young entrepreneurs, who I would later on consider to contact for my research documentary project.

I had the pleasure a few weeks ago, while attending one of my entrepreneurship class sessions, of hearing the President of the Young Entrepreneurs Association of Jamaica and CEO of Value Added Service speak on entrepreneurship. He spoke quite eloquently and was very convincing, inspiring, and all around impressive. I thought: "...this must be fate...all these people are crossing my path, so I HAVE to do something with this". Sooooooooooo...... I tracked him and some of these young entrepreneurs down in an effort to pry some information from them.The result is a bunch of interview footage that I broke down and put into my research documentary.

I really don't see myself uploading the entire documentary, so I have put together a few of these interviews for my blog series. Nevermind the unsavoury background noises and the pseudo bad quality of the video. The weather forced us into positions we never intended to go for this interview, but the show had to go on. So,

Here goes......

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


I'll be the first to admit that I have no business doing 'official', formal business.
I've always consoled, rather, excused myself from learning anything about business and finance with the
notion that "I'm an artist" and engaging in business would corrupt my art. (Drama queen over here... I know)

I always sit and daydream about making films, running a production company and all that jazz. I'm usually confronted very soon after, however, by the thought of having to get corporate support for any of these projects.

"A painful fact of life and business is that you NEED corporate support. Without it you cannot function for long or go very far

Wise but very brash and painful words from Mr. Robert Davis, delivered in our little entrepreneurship finance class presentation recently. At first, I was quite weary of having to sit in a 3hr presentation of what I thought would be some finance person filling our heads with false hope about where we can get money to finance our projects. I thought this guy had the hard task of speaking his message louder than the ear-filling chatter about there not being any money or opportunities for us and blah blah blah. I tuned in anyhow.

The looming question that was at the forefront of everyone's minds was WHERE IS,WHO HAS, AND HOW DO WE GET THE MONEY?                                                

All was not lost though. Got some good knowledge going forward.

1. The first lesson in wrestling (read: business) is learning how to fall. Falling is inevitable, so before we learn how to 'play the game' - learn how to fall.

I must admit that the very idea of failing and facing disappointments cripples me. As a result of this, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I would prefer to tuck myself away in a nice comfortable corner in life rather than take a risks and being disappointed. Bit by bit, though, I am training myself to think and act otherwise for the sake of living my "best life" (word to Oprah). Davis encouraged us to expect failures and rejections and strengthen ourselves emotionally to continue pushing on.
Stay tuned......

2. You will never achieve higher than you believe.

You must first believe in your own project for potential sponsors to believe in you or it.

3. Act to minimize pain and maximize pleasure.

One of the very basic needs in a human's life is 'pleasure'.This can be applied to every facet of life, including business. In making any deal, doing any venture, convincing anyone to sponsor your project or buy your product or service - make sure to dish candy for the eyes, ears and mind dammit! Make sure you pitch your ideas or projects to the right people though.

4. You have ONE CHANCE to impress
First impressions last, we've all come to realize... and they don't take but more than a minute to be made! This is true in life and in business. This reality, I must admit, is nerve-racking for a metaphorical nail-biter like myself [read: occasional performance anxiety like a bitch!]. Anyway, if you, like myself, can manage to hold it together for 5 mins. you can show that you really believe in your project, and that it works for THEM.

Robert mentioned that we should try to start from the top down when dealing with these corporate entities, because trying to get past these haughty, supercilious 'gatekeepers' could prove to be an impossible task.
So.... find someone at the top, get a business 'Godfather', make them an offer they "cannot refuse" and GET THAT CHEESE!!!!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Crazy Ones...and a Documentary

I'm going to start this thing off by saying that I still haven't found my much needed blogging 'voice', albeit having written a few entries here and there over the years. So, we meet awkwardly, again.

Speaking of being at a loss for words... I completely forgot to mention in the inaugural entry, the fact that I had been working on doing a documentary on young people and entrepreneurship in Jamaica for my final research project. I just wanted to highlight and celebrate those who have chosen to take 'that other road' I spoke about earlier. Those "crazy ones" (word to Steve Jobs) who give a big fat middle finger to the status quo and make something happen for themselves.

I decided to completely emerse myself into the world of entrepreneurism in an effort to gain as much knowledge as I can about it, while hoping that somehow some of that 'special stuff' that these courageous souls possess would rub off on me. Honestly, I am more interested in the latter than anything else *tee hee*.

This production of this documentary, that happens to be running concurrently with my entrepreneurial skills course, is a way for me to get a sneak peak into what it takes to do that stuff and to get the chance to get my Michael Moore on and pick at a couple of these brains.

There is so much more to the entrepreneur-oriented (a legitimate phrase in my world) mind than I ever expected there to be. What I thought before was just sheer luck and the right amount of money and influence turned out to be (in most cases) a wicked cocktail of qualities that one would have to take a sip in order to run a venture successfully, or even have the gall to try.

I'm gonna go ahead and end this with a short, yet piercing speech thing that Steve Jobs gave, in all his Steve Jobs goodness.