MY LAST POST

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"THIS IS MAJOR TOM TO GROUND CONTROL..." YES, PEOPLE, I'M LEAVING THE "BLOGOSPHERE" TODAY. "LET IT BE." OR AS THE RUTLES SANG: "LET IT ROT" (YOUR CHOICE). A WORD OF THANKS TO MY " FOLLOWERS" (EXCUSE ME, FOR SOME REASON WHEN I USE THAT WORD, I CAN'T HELP BUT THINK OF LIFE OF BRIAN !). … Continue reading MY LAST POST

The Most Meaningful Lyrics I Have Heard

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This is just my personal list I want to share with all, not "the Ten Commandments", no hierarchy involved. Choose the best, explore the rest, share yours if you please. I'll appreciate to learn and hear great lyrics I still don't know. To all the songwriters and performers: Thank you for the music. These are … Continue reading The Most Meaningful Lyrics I Have Heard

The Best Music Movies And Documentaries

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MOVIES Love And Mercy (2014)Amadeus (1984)Cadillac Records (2008)Drumline (2002)The Music Lovers (1971)Ray (2004)El Cantante (2006)Selena (1997)Hendrix (2000)Elvis (2005)Great Balls Of Fire (1989)Nowhere Boy (2010)The Buddy Holly Story (1978)Shine (1996)The Music Never Stopped (2011)Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)Bird: Charlie Parker (1988)La Bamba (1987)Mo' Better Blues (1990)The Doors (1991)Get On Up (2014)The Jazz Singer (1980)Pirate Radio (2009)Why Do Fools … Continue reading The Best Music Movies And Documentaries

All You Need is Ears III

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INDIA In the western world, many of us have come to be inspired by and appreciate India's best classical music thanks to The Beatles' musical curiosity and courage. They introduced the sitars' sound (just like earlier they had used the Cuban bongos on "Till There Was You" and "And I love Her") on "Norwegian Wood", … Continue reading All You Need is Ears III

Nuovo Cinema Paradiso

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In Rome, Salvatore (Jacques Perrin) has received a message from his mother who lives in Giancaldo, Sicily. Turning his face away from the woman lying next to him, pretending to sleep, he begins reminiscing. He hasn't gone back in thirty years. It's time to return. When he was a kid, everyone called him Toto. As … Continue reading Nuovo Cinema Paradiso

5 Eye-Opening Documentaries

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The following documentaries have the potential of changing your life: STICKY: A (SELF) LOVE STORY (2016) This extraordinary informative and funny documentary deals with the M word. This is the word people don't want to admit to, feel ashamed by, and chastise others for. What word is that? Murder? Not. Money? Nah. Masturbation! Still taboo, … Continue reading 5 Eye-Opening Documentaries

All You Need Is Ears II

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ITALY Yes, love is overrated and inflated, but still, love is all we need; even if it's just a dream, it's worthy. Remember your first? Unforgettable. Love songs are not the same today. Neither is love, although there are love songs that never die, no matter how our current "modern" innovations have changed our social … Continue reading All You Need Is Ears II

Malena

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In a small town in Sicily, during the last years of dictator Mussolini, lives young and beautiful Malena (Monica Bellucci). Since her husband left for the war, she has become the object of desire of most men in that place. The women hate her with the same passion. Her only sin is her attractiveness and … Continue reading Malena

The Exonerated

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Contrary to the empty thrills of most horror movies and their ridiculous premises, sometimes real terror happens to people who find themselves wrongfully accused and convicted of heinous crimes. Some even pay with their lives, as director Bob Balaban presents in this 2005 film. This is not a conventional movie; there's no recreation of events … Continue reading The Exonerated

All You Need is Ears

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A LITTLE RANT ABOUT "MY" MUSIC AND LIFE I've loved music since I was 5 years old. I wasn't born with the talent to play it, but I'm a devoted fan. I used to spend hours listening to my uncle's Soviet- made short wave radio while sitting at my home porch, back in Cuba, my … Continue reading All You Need is Ears

Mr. Holland’s Opus

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A beautiful and touching story about a composer (Richard Dreyfuss) whose dream is to make his living by creating music and ultimately his own opus. However, life has other plans for him. We meet Mr. Holland on his first day as a high school music teacher in the early 1960's. He rushes home every day … Continue reading Mr. Holland’s Opus

Genius

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Maxwell Perkins (Colin Firth) edited Hemingway's and Fitzgerald's books, and besides his admiration, he became their friend. Naturally, the same happened when Thomas Wolfe (Jude Law) walked into his office one New York ordinary day in 1929. Expecting to hear the usual dreadful words from the editor: "we regret to inform you we're not interested", … Continue reading Genius

Apocalypto

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Not for the faint of heart, this is a violent film about survival. In a pre-Columbian Central American jungle, Jaguar Paw (Rudy Youngblood) lives peacefully with his tribe until a surprise attack by a gang of brutal Mayan warriors destroy his village. They kill his father and most of his friends, but managing to survive, … Continue reading Apocalypto

Soldier Blue

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Cresta Maribel Lee (Candice Bergen) was kept by the Cheyenne Natives for two years. Now on a wagon escorted by Union soldiers, she is heading to Fort Reunion to join her awaiting fiance when suddenly the convoy is attacked. In the turmoil, she is able to escape and hides behind some bushes by a hillside. … Continue reading Soldier Blue

Hawaii

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Here is a story about love, fate, manipulation, religious zeal, sacrifices and disappointment. Set in the 1800's, the story of Abner (Max Von Sydow) and Jerusha (Julie Andrews) is one of the best acclaimed novels by author James Michener. Jerusha loves Rafe (Richard Harris), a sailor who's been out to sea for too long. His … Continue reading Hawaii

Papillon

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Based on his book, here's the true story of convict Henri Charriere. Sentenced to life in the penal colony of French Guyana in the early 1930's, Papillon (French for butterfly) (Steve McQueen), as he was called because of his tattoo, is determined to escape the cruelest prison system of his times and pays a high … Continue reading Papillon

The Theory of Everything

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In 1963, Steven Hawking (Eddie Redmayne), a brilliant young astrophysicist is enjoying his time at Cambridge, England, where he lives a physically active life while getting ready to present his thesis about a single equation that could define the Universe. At this crucial time, he meets Jane (Felicity Jones) who is studying Spanish Medieval Poetry. … Continue reading The Theory of Everything

The Vietnam War

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Fear is an emotion capable of producing salvation or destruction. In the case of the Vietnam War, as this documentary series demonstrates, fear caused the latter. The fear that other nations in the East (besides China, the Soviet Union, and North Korea) would adopt Communism as their political system and influence others nearby caused a … Continue reading The Vietnam War

Lawrence of Arabia

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Lawrence (Peter O'Toole) and the men riding camels next to him had just crossed a vast and brutal desert. Nobody wants to go back to look for one of their own men left behind. They believe is that man's fate. Lawrence refuses to believe that and considers the possibility to save the man even if … Continue reading Lawrence of Arabia

The Bridges of Madison County

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Directed and starred by Clint Eastwood in 1995 and with Meryl Streep's moving performance, this film is much more than an extra-marital affair. This film is about life itself and the choices we make. Francesca is an Italian housewife living with her husband and two teenage children in the Iowa countryside. She feels her life … Continue reading The Bridges of Madison County

The Queen of Versailles

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Although its title is attractive enough, this 2012 documentary by Lauren Greenfield could also have been called "Back To Reality." Jacqueline and David Siegel are wealthy Floridians who are parents to eight children. She is 43 years old, he is 74. They both come from middle class backgrounds. David is the founder and owner of … Continue reading The Queen of Versailles

Restoration

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Eleven years after Cromwell's puritan rule, in 1660's London, Charles II is restored as the King of England. Doctor Robert Merivel (Robert Downey Jr.) is a very busy and frustrated physician. He is also a man who spends his nights and money in parties and prostitutes. Nevertheless, he is not happy. John Pearce (David Thewlis), … Continue reading Restoration

The Godfather Trilogy

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Even when these three films are categorized by many as just a great gangster saga, they are more than just that. They are about the disintegration and tragedy of an immigrant Italian family. Director Francis Ford Coppola, with a remarkable cast, recreates the story of Michael Corleone and his family from the Mario Puzo's novel. … Continue reading The Godfather Trilogy

Jeremiah Johnson

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Directed by Sidney Pollack and starring Robert Redford, this film is one of the few outstanding westerns made in the 1970's (1972). It's about courage, persistence, ingenuity and compared to others of the same genre, it's also refreshing to watch. Pollack did a very good job creating a more believable hero here while adding one … Continue reading Jeremiah Johnson

Alexander

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The Revisited 2007 version of this film is, in my opinion, one of the most underappreciated in movie history. Maybe because of its controversial director (Oliver Stone) or because of its frank and open sexuality shown at the time, this final cut, released after the theatrical version, hasn't been as widely accepted as Braveheart for … Continue reading Alexander

Grave of the Fireflies

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In September 21, 1945, Seita (voiced by Robert Spencer), a Japanese adolescent begins remembering from the afterlife how he and his little sister Setsuko (Corinne Orr) tried to survive, both the bombing of their town by American planes and its aftermath. After the Empire of Japan surrendered, the protagonists faced hunger, illness, and the cold … Continue reading Grave of the Fireflies

Thanks for Sharing

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Here's a story about addiction and the fragile process of recovery. Most people would relate those words with drugs and alcohol. In this case, it's about sexual addiction. Although questioned and doubted to be a "real" addiction, sexual compulsion has become a common, stigmatized, and unconventional behavior. Director Stuart Blumberg takes us through the routines … Continue reading Thanks for Sharing

Wrestling Ernest Hemingway

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Frank (Richard Harris) is a lonely 75-year old retired sea captain living in Florida. Sitting on a bench park, he tries to start a conversation with another senior sitting across from him, but the fellow is immersed in solving a crossword puzzle and pays no attention to his small talk. Frank has stories to share, … Continue reading Wrestling Ernest Hemingway

Before Night Falls

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Based on poet Reinaldo Arenas' autobiography, this 2000 film by director Julian Schnabel exposes what it was like for a homosexual dissident writer to live under political persecution in Cuba two decades after Fidel Castro took power. His most known phrase referred to the fact that under Communism "they kick your ass and expect you … Continue reading Before Night Falls

Pawn Sacrifice

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Regina Fischer (Robin Weigert), a Russian Jew emigre raising her two children by herself in Brooklyn, New York, and her anti-establishment acquaintances are being watched. Bobby, her son, is growing up in this environment, but his refuge and passion is the game of chess. He's so good at chess that soon, he begins to play … Continue reading Pawn Sacrifice

Invictus

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In 1995, South Africa was a nation wounded by many years of institutionalized racism and segregation,and although still divided, elected its first black president: Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman). His new government introduced a new flag and national anthem which appeared to divide the population even more. Most whites wanted to hold on tight to their … Continue reading Invictus

Shane

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This little big western has no pretense of great thrills or action sequences. It's the characters simplicity and a few key moments that deliver like a punch to the face. From the novel by Jack Schaefer, the story is simple: a gunman called Shane (Alan Ladd) stops by a settler's family ranch and witnesses how … Continue reading Shane

Lust for Life

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One of the greatest stories on film, this is the story of painter Vincent van Gogh. Directed by Vicente Minelli in 1956, was passionately played by Kirk Douglas. The story begins by showing us how this young man tried to find his destiny and calling by enrolling as a missionary. At first, the strict church … Continue reading Lust for Life

The Inner Circle

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Filmed entirely in the now defunct Soviet Union in 1991, now Russia again, and based on real events, this film shows how life was for Ivan Saushin (Tom Hulce) and his dear wife Anastasia (Lolita Davidovich) more than twenty years after the Communist Revolution inspired their whole nation. It's 1939. The young loving couple live … Continue reading The Inner Circle

Food, Inc.

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This 2008 informative documentary deals with how what we eat has changed more in the last 50 years than in the previous 10,000. Considering than the average American supermarket has about 40,000 products and that almost every one of them is available all the time, we would not suspect the food industry guilty of concealing … Continue reading Food, Inc.

Young Frankenstein

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Silly, juvenile, and funny, extremely funny is director Mel Brook's 1974 parody of 1931 classic film Frankenstein. Here's a comedy that has endured the test of time. Gene Wilder plays Dr. Frankenstein, grandson of Victor, the mad scientist who was able to bring life to a corpse many years before. Back at his grandfather's original … Continue reading Young Frankenstein

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

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Walter (Ben Stiller) is a shy fellow in his thirties who would like to date his new co-worker Cheryl (Kristen Wiig), but his frequent daydreaming is an obstacle to his intentions. They both work for Life magazine. Walter manages the photo negatives that are chosen for each cover. However, their jobs might be at stake … Continue reading The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

The Time Machine

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Based on the H.G Wells classic science fiction novel and directed by George Pal, this 1960 movie tells the story of George (Rod Taylor) who is captivated by the concept of time traveling. It's New Year's Eve, 1899. As the new century approaches, George has invited home some of his friends to show them his … Continue reading The Time Machine

Falling Down

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Mental breakdowns are as common today as in the mid-90's Los Angeles when, on a hot summer morning, William "D-Fens" Foster (Michael Douglas) reaches that point. Stuck in traffic, he abandons his car continuing on foot towards Venice Beach, where his little daughter and ex-wife live. Unemployed, angry, frustrated, with a restraining order prohibiting to … Continue reading Falling Down

When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts

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Director Spike Lee presents to us a simple but impacting story of a very complex and tragic event in this 2006 four-part documentary series: the gut-wrenching aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Through Lee's skillful presentation of news clips, interviews, and an informative history of past hurricanes hitting this once festive city, we witness … Continue reading When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts

Spartacus

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A solid action drama from the pages of history, based on a Howard Fast novel, this epic has influenced and inspired important leaders and people who pursue justice all over the world. Spartacus was a slave most of his life. Later, trained as a gladiator for the Romans' entertainment, he watched their cruelty at its … Continue reading Spartacus

Rich Man, Poor Man

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Based on Irwin Shaw's novel, this is one of the best miniseries made in the 70's. Rudy (Peter Strauss) and Tom (Nick Nolte) Jordache are teenager brothers growing up in the years after WWII. They live in Port Phillip, New York, where their father, a German inmigrant (played by Ed Asner) works long hours at … Continue reading Rich Man, Poor Man

Yojimbo

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Sanjuro, (Toshiro Mifune) is a scruffy samurai wandering the countryside. Undecided in which direction to go to get hired, he settles for a town nearby. Once there, he finds out there's a conflict going on between two powerful factions that control all the business in the place and have the townspeople living behind closed doors … Continue reading Yojimbo

PANAMA QUERERTE 10

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20 de noviembre de 1983 Querida Abuela: Mi papa ha podido conseguir un trabajo "por debajo de la mesa" como dicen aca y eso nos ayuda a vivir un poco mas holgados. El se siente mejor aportando algo en lugar de estar sin hacer nada. Es en una empresa de unos paisanos que viven aqui … Continue reading PANAMA QUERERTE 10

A.K.A Doc Pomus

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Have you ever wondered who wrote this or that melody? What was the author's inspiration? What may have influenced a particular song? In the case of this documentary, you'll learn about a particular songwriter who few know, but many know his songs and enjoyed them throughout the years. American songwriting bloomed in the mid 50's … Continue reading A.K.A Doc Pomus

PANAMA QUERERTE 9

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5 de septiembre de 1981 Querida abuela: Como están por alla? Espero que bien. Se que me has escrito, pero las cartas desde alla demoran mucho. Cuando podamos hablar por teléfono, me cuentas de ustedes. Por lo menos mis cartas demoran un mes nada mas. Hace poco tuve mi primera "cita" con una muchacha de … Continue reading PANAMA QUERERTE 9

Top 5 Relevant Documentaries -Summer 2019

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THE FOG OF WAR (2003) You've probably have heard about "fake news", but have you heard about "fake wars?" In this film by director Errol Morris, former secretary of state Robert McNamara explains in details the intricacies of the Vietnam War, including how it was provoked and almost manufactured. Why America has always got be … Continue reading Top 5 Relevant Documentaries -Summer 2019

PANAMA QUERERTE 9

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26 de Septiembre de 1981 Querida abuela: Esta semana comence la escuela. Me tengo que levantar todos los dias a las 6:30. Para alivio mio, no tengo que usar pantalon corto como habia temido. Aun asi, me siento raro. Soy el unico con vellos en los brazos. El uniforme es de color azul y la … Continue reading PANAMA QUERERTE 9

The Rolling Stones: Ole, Ole, Ole! A Trip Across Latin America

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I was video hunting for something to watch that could keep me awake after a hard day at work on Friday night. After a few bad choices that didn't do the trick, half-asleep, I stumbled upon this music documentary from 2016. Wow! This was better than 3 cups of Cuban coffee! From the first scenes … Continue reading The Rolling Stones: Ole, Ole, Ole! A Trip Across Latin America

The Beatles Anthology

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This 1995 documentary miniseries is the definitive historical account of the most influential rock band of the twentieth century. John, George, Paul, Ringo, and their producer George Martin among others, take us step by step to the birth of The Beatles, passing through the good and the bad, and arriving at their last collaboration: Free … Continue reading The Beatles Anthology