Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the month “December, 2012”

It’s Just Another New Year’s Eve

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As 2012 comes to a close, WordPress is sending bloggers annual reports culling together interesting statistics about their blogs. Considering I started my blog less than six months ago, I’m thrilled that it has been viewed nearly 5,000 times by people in 85 countries. Thank you to all of my followers and regular readers, including Vic, Hollin and Daniela, among others; your support is greatly appreciated.

Below is a lovely song by Barry Manilow that’s perfect for this time of year. And with 2012 behind us, I wish you all a happy and healthy 2013!

Louis CK: Turning 40

Here’s a funny clip of comedian Louis CK’s thoughts on turning 40.

Book Excerpt: Dead End

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When it comes to pieces I’ve written, so far, I’ve only posted poetry to my blog. Below is the prologue to an upcoming thriller/horror book I’m writing; I call it Dead End. Enjoy!

Dead End

Tom stepped into the night, not knowing what to expect…yet a feeling of foreboding hung in the nighttime mist.

The streets were desolate and it started to drizzle. Tom’s face was flecked with small beads of water, and it felt good on his warm skin.

Seemingly out of nowhere he heard footsteps from behind, so Tom peered over his shoulder. The ominous man wore a trench coat, which hung loosely from his tall, thin frame. In his right hand his fingers were clasped around a walking stick. It was hard to see, but it appeared to have a metallic wolf’s head on top of it.

Tom didn’t know the man, but, for some reason, he instantly feared him and quickened his pace. As he did so, he heard the man’s footsteps increase in rapidity. As Tom passed shuttered businesses and abandoned houses, all he could hear was the rhythmic pounding of the man’s footsteps and walking stick.

Then, he heard nothing. Tom turned around and no one was there. He breathed a sigh of relief and stepped under a tattered awning to call for a cab from his cell phone.

A thunderclap let out and the skies opened up. In a matter of minutes Tom was drenched from head to toe in a deluge of water. His grip on the phone slipped and it hit the sidewalk with a wet, hard smack. To his dismay, it was cracked and beyond repair.

After covering so much ground, he was determined to walk home and save the money that would have been spent on the cab. Lord knows he’d now need it to replace his phone.

As he crossed the intersection and approached a side street, cold, wet hands gripped his neck and threw him to the pavement. Tom shook his head, looked up and found himself face to face with the dark figure from earlier. But this time he was in an alley with a dead end.

Tom could barely see the man through the sheets of rain. What he did see was the man’s walking stick cutting through the darkness, and what he heard – and felt – was it connecting with his skull. Tom tried to fight back, but the man kicked him in the gut and viciously brought the stick down hard on Tom’s head one last time, breaking the cane in two. Cloaked in darkness and covered in blood, he died in that alley. And all he could see before breathing his last breath was the blood-soaked wolf’s head of the walking stick, gleaming in the moonlight.

Movie Review: Jack Reacher

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Lee Child is one of my favorite authors, so when I heard a movie was coming out based on one of his books, One Shot, I knew I had to see it. The film is called Jack Reacher and it stars Tom Cruise in the lead role. As I mentioned in the past, many fans of the Jack Reacher novels doubted that Cruise could pull it off. However, I’m glad to report that he was exceptional in this role. Not only did I find myself believing that he was Jack Reacher, but Cruise was incredibly charming on screen too. The supporting cast did a fine job as well, especially Robert Duvall, who injected some humor into the serious plot.

Speaking of the plot, I have yet to read One Shot, so I can’t say how the film compares to the book. But I can say that it was an intriguing tale, even though certain “twists” were predictable. What made the film even more enjoyable was the cinematography and score; both were beautifully done and kept me engaged from start to finish.

Whether or not you’ve read Lee Child’s engrossing novels I highly recommend you see Jack Reacher. It’s an entertaining movie filled with action, humor and drama that is sure to please almost anyone.

Below you’ll find the official film synopsis and two clips.

Synopsis

Six shots. Five dead. One heartland city thrown into a state of terror. But within hours the cops have it solved: a slam-dunk case. Except for one thing. The accused man says: You got the wrong guy. Then he says: Get Reacher for me. And sure enough, ex-military investigator Jack Reacher is coming. He knows this shooter-a trained military sniper who never should have missed a shot. Reacher is certain something is not right-and soon the slam-dunk case explodes. Now Reacher is teamed with a beautiful young defense lawyer, moving closer to the unseen enemy who is pulling the strings. Reacher knows that no two opponents are created equal. This one has come to the heartland from his own kind of hell. And Reacher knows that the only way to take him down is to match his ruthlessness and cunning-and then beat him shot for shot.

Be Aware

The holidays provide us with the time to reflect and be grateful for what and who we have. With this in mind, below are the beautiful lyrics to the Bacharach and David song “Be Aware.”

Be Aware

When the sun is warm where you are, and it’s comfortable and safe where you are, well it’s not exactly that way all over.

And somewhere in the world, someone is cold, be aware.

And while you’re feeling young, someone is old, be aware.

And while your stomach is full, somewhere in this world, someone is hungry.

When there is so much, should anyone be hungry?

When there’s laughter all around me and my family embraces surround me, if I seem to be forgetful, remind me.

That somewhere in the world, people are weak, be aware.

And while you speak your mind, others can’t speak, be aware.

And while your children sleep, somewhere in this world, a child is homeless.

When we have so much, should any child be homeless? Homeless?

No, not even one child! Be aware.

Christmas Day

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The barren streets are filled with snow.

The aroma of pines, wines and homemade treats hang in the air.

Through frosted panes of glass, lights are gleaming and hearts are beaming.

One and all come together to spread love and good cheer.

Gifts are given, tales are told, while memories are created between young and old.

Movie Review: Bernie

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I just watched Bernie, a dark comedy starring Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine and Matthew McConaughey. Based on true events, the film focuses on the relationship between the lovable Bernie Tiede, played by Black, and the grumpy 80-year-old millionaire, Majorie Nugent, played by Shirley MacLaine.

Since first taking notice of Jack Black in High Fidelity, I’ve been a big fan of his work, on and off the screen. In Bernie, he takes his acting ability to another level and melds his music and thespian talents like never before. In addition to being both funny and believably dramatic, Black sings several times in the film, providing his formidable voice with the opportunity to shine.

While Jack Black stole the show, the other actors in the film did a wonderful job of drawing me into the film’s premise. Shirley MacLaine was delightfully obstinate and grouchy, and Matthew McConaughey, while unremarkable, served well in his role too.

I went into Bernie not knowing what to expect, and I left it feeling completely satisfied. It was time well spent and it deserves your attention. To whet your appetite, below is the official synopsis and trailer.

Synopsis

In the tiny, rural town of Carthage, TX, assistant funeral director Bernie Tiede was one of the town’s most beloved residents. He taught Sunday school, sang in the church choir and was always willing to lend a helping hand. Everyone loved and appreciated Bernie, so it came as no surprise when he befriended Marjorie Nugent, an affluent widow who was as well known for her sour attitude as her fortune. Bernie frequently traveled with Marjorie and even managed her banking affairs. Marjorie quickly became fully dependent on Bernie and his generosity and Bernie struggled to meet her increasing demands. Bernie continued to handle her affairs, and the townspeople went months without seeing Marjorie. The people of Carthage were shocked when it was reported that Marjorie Nugent had been dead for some time, and Bernie Tiede was being charged with the murder.

Bring On Tomorrow

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Today was my last day at my current job. During my time there, I had the good fortune of working with many talented people on a variety of exciting projects. Now, I’m going to enjoy the holidays, relax and get ready for my new job. 2012 was a great year for me, and I’m looking forward to 2013. With this in mind, here’s one of my favorite songs, the appropriately titled “Bring On Tomorrow.”

Patti LaBelle – ‘Twas Love

Patti LabelleWith Christmas almost one week away, many of us are being assaulted with holiday standards everywhere we turn. While I enjoy timeless Christmas standards, I’m a big fan of original songs. One of my favorites is Patti LaBelle’s “‘Twas Love.” It’s a perfectly crafted pop song with an infectious melody. Below you’ll find a link to it on Spotify as well as a video of Ms. Patti singing it live. Enjoy!

 

My Christmas Tradition

Santa

Christmas is my Dad’s favorite time of the year, and it’s mine too. Like many parents, he loves to reminisce about the days when I was a little, chubby child sitting on Santa’s lap. Clearly, I’ve changed quite a bit since then; I’m taller, thinner and, of course, older. However, to keep the spirit alive, I still get my photo taken with Santa every year and give it to my Dad. It still brings a smile to his face and a tear to his eye. I may be older, but in his eyes, I’m still his “baby.”

Santa Photo

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