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The Last Four Movies That Will Star Robin Williams

By now, you may have learned the tragic news that celebrated actor Robin Williams tragically passed away today at age 63. One of my personal favorite actors growing up, Williams is best known for his wide range of talent as both a comedian and dramatic powerhouse. The word to best describe him, honestly, will always be memorable. His films simply left a lasting impression.

Films like AladdinMrs. DoubtfireGood Will HuntingGood Morning Vietnam, and of course, Dead Poets Society will be remembered as some of Williams’ best work. But there are still four more films to be released that feature the deceased actor. Here they are:

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb

The third film of the Night at the Museum movies (about a museum where the exhibits come to life) will see Robin Williams reprise his role as Teddy Roosevelt.

The movie will be released on December 19th of this year, and you can watch the trailer below.

Merry Friggin’ Christmas

Another comedy coming this holiday season is Merry Friggin’ Christmas, which stars Robin Williams and Lauren Graham. In it, Williams plays a man who visits his dysfunctional family at the holidays, only to realize he left his son’s gifts at home and must travel back home with his own father to make it back in time.

Christmas opens on November 7th, 2014.

robin williams merry friggin christmas

Boulevard

Williams stars in this indie drama alongside Bob Odenkirk (Breaking Bad). It debuted at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival and will be a drama centered around a married man who must confront his “secret life.”

A wide release date has not yet been announced.

the-boulevard-robin-williams

Absolutely Anything

In what will likely be his last onscreen offering, Williams lends his voice to “Dennis the Dog” in this film about a man who discovers he has magic powers. The film also stars Simon Pegg and Kate Beckinsale in live action roles.

The film will open sometime next year.

robin williams absolutely anything

Of course, several other projects were “in the works” for Williams, including a possible sequel to Mrs. Doubtfire. The actor had tough year as of late due to the cancellation of his CBS comedy, The Crazy Ones.

It’s hard to say goodbye to an actor who has meant so much to so many people. It’s even harder to say goodbye so suddenly. But I hope that you will make the trip to theaters to finish Williams’ work. I know I will.

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Chivalry Isn’t Dead. It Just Looks Different.

Chivalry means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. But it certainly isn’t “dead.”

The popularized version might be. That is, if you define the merit of a concept by how it permeates culture. In that sense, many of us (myself included) would concede that the “mainstream” version of chivalry as defined by “knights in shining armor” and a strict code of etiquette is certainly an afterthought for most people.

And if you only define chivalry literally, then I suppose you consider it to have been dead since the days of medieval knights in shining armor.

But that’s not the type of chivalry we’re talking about, and it’s not even close to what our elders would call it.

The widespread view of chivalry comes down to various types of acts that are influenced by a holistic attitude. The acts in question are things like opening doors for others, taking someone out on a nice date and exercising manners.

As I said before, these acts are influenced by an attitude that begs them genuine. The attitude is a layer of sincere respect for the person receiving the kind acts you’ve bestowed upon them.

Put that way, it’s easy to see why chivalry doesn’t have to be constrained to just one gender or even role someone may play.

Chivalry can be an extension of how you treat your parents, friends and neighbors. Not just your lover. But that’s getting out of focus.

Sticking with just the lover thing, chivalry is commonly placed on the shoulders of men, and I believe rightly so. That doesn’t mean men are the only members of society to be chivalrous. It just means that chivalry is expected from men by men.

We set the example, basically, and it’s no one else’s fault when we fall short (no matter what Elite Daily tells you). Women shouldn’t have to tell men that they need to step up their manners, for example. Men should be telling each other.

Now, this is the part where we lament over how men are no longer chivalrous. It’s “dead” or something. But I think you’re talking about something else. The acts we associate with chivalry are falling by the wayside, maybe. Fewer men seem to be willing to evoke the symbol of a “modern” gentleman, whatever that means (because it’s so difficult to easily define what a modern gentleman is or is even supposed to be).

chivalry

The idea of doing things to prove that you’re chivalrous isn’t as popular these days for a lot of reasons. But that attitude of respect and dignity toward the opposite sex? If you pay closer attention, you’ll find that many men and women still exercise this. No one has to tell you that respect is a good thing. It’s something we still expect and appreciate when we see it.

Over time, I think it’s been easier for women to see through the empty, fake chivalry that men use to receive a reward. That is, men who use chivalry as a tool, instead of a lifestyle, to win the woman’s body over her heart.

So men have adjusted. Many aren’t as quick to “fake it” and be a nice guy because they know it’s futile. You either have that attitude of chivalry, or you don’t. If you do have that attitude, you’re still not a perfect gentleman. You’ll still make mistakes. But you’re working toward that role when you default to the idea of being kind, over being reckless.

I see chivalry everywhere. Not as much as I see disrespect, sadly. But I still see it when men ask a girl on a date face to face instead of texting her. I see it when someone opens a door for someone else, regardless of gender. And I see it when men don’t rush intimacy out of respect for the other person and themselves.

And yes, many men exercise “traditional” chivalry honestly and successfully.

Of course, I suspect my standards might not be high enough. If you’re like me, you were raised to always go the extra mile when it comes to respecting others. Not just with your attitude, but with actions that reflect that attitude. I just wouldn’t be so quick to judge one man’s chivalry over another’s. You know, unless it’s terrible.

 

Thanks for reading! You can subscribe to this blog by email via the prompt on the sidebar. Otherwise, be sure to stay connected with me on Twitter (@JonNegroni). I’ll follow you back if you say something witty and awesome.

The Pixar Detective, Chapter 9: Our Doom

Hey everyone! Welcome to The Pixar Detective, a serial novel I put together based on the Pixar Theory. The following is a fictional story that explains the theory that all of the Pixar movies are connected and exist within the same universe, using original characters and artwork. The story answers a lot of questions you may have about this theory, but through its own ongoing narrative.

The story originally launched in April, and we’ve recently completed Part 1!

It is available as an iBook on iTunes, which you can check out here. If you can’t use iBooks, you can also download the PDF version. 

Once you’re finished, check back to our Table of Contents, where we’ll be continuing the story through Part 2. A new chapter is released every two weeks on Tuesdays. And please be sure to leave your feedback in the comments for us to read through. Enjoy!

pixar detective chapter 9

 

PREVIOUSLY, ON THE PIXAR DETECTIVE.

In their continued search for Mary, our heroes found themselves within the secretive (and dangerous) government facility known as the Hexagon. But Stevin and his new friend, the monster known as Mr. Sumner, have been captured by the facility’s head madman, the Maestro.

pixar detective chapter 8

Meanwhile, Wallaby decided to go his own way by sneaking into the Hexagon by himself. Unfortunately, he was discovered by the strange, seemingly unstable agent known as Flo. With a few strategic lies, Wallaby convinced Flo that he is also an agent, and she agreed to escort him inside.

wallaby

Also inside the facility is the mysterious “super” known as Sadie. A girl who has the power of “Dominion.” But what is this power and why is she important? We’re about to find out.

sadie

Use the prompt on the sidebar to subscribe for updates or just follow me and Kayla on Twitter to stay connected – @JonNegroni – @KaylaTheSavage

Creativity Winks.

I’m writing this as I ride a bus on my way to a bookstore in San Francisco, where I’ll be picking up my own copy of Creativity Inc. 

The book is written by Ed Catmull, who you may know as Pixar’s current President, along with Amy Wallace.

It’s a book about creative leadership, or to be more specific, creating an environment that allows people to create. And maybe not just create, but be incredibly creative. You can imagine why Catmull has the authority to write such a book, considering he’s been in charge of one of the most creative companies in the world (and not only when it comes to movies).

creativity winks
You can click the image to purchase the book for yourself and/or read reviews.

So I’m pretty excited to get my hands on the book, as I’m sure it will provide valuable insights into how I can foster a creative environment for myself. Which is why I’m writing this post and titling it “Creativity Winks.”

Because I certainly can’t lend anything as credible or even profound as Catmull or anyone else in Pixar’s leadership. But before I inundate myself with the wisdom of the experts, I do want to share with you my takeaway about what it means to be creative.

And that’s just it right there. Being creative is missing the point entirely. Everyone is creative, especially about things they care about. Some people try to say that “creativity” is being inspiring when it comes to a topic they aren’t passionate about. But that’s definitely not it either (they’re just confusing skill and empathy with originality).

Creativity winks at us. Our minds (depending on who you are) flash brilliant moments of incredible originality almost routinely. It’s just up to us to play those moments out. Or save them for later.

That moment when a catchy tune gets caught in my head – and I realize I’m the one who thought it up – is a “wink” of creativity that will be lost forever in a matter of minutes. Unless I take out my phone and record my humming. A few days later, I’m figuring out the chords for a new ukulele song I’m writing (yes, this is a true story).

Creativity also winks at me when I write fiction. Some of you may follow along with my serial novel, The Pixar Detective, and I’ve been asked routinely how I come up with the story and characters on such a consistent, uninterrupted basis.

Well I’m certain that if I tried to write an entire chapter of The Pixar Detective in one sitting, I’d produce something that isn’t my best work. And that’s because it takes time for flashes of creativity to arrive. For some of us, it can take hours, days, or even weeks.

What I’ve found, though, is that the frequency in which these “winks” arrive is progressively increased as we apply those ideas when they do come.

In other words: the more you create, the more creative you will become. It’s a simple, but hopelessly ignored concept.

So creativity winks at us. And I’ve learned from experience that some of the most brilliant ideas we can come up with are as fleeting as they are wonderful. But if you take the time to write them down and play them out, you’ll immediately set yourself apart.

Thanks for reading! You can subscribe to this blog by email via the prompt on the sidebar. Otherwise, be sure to stay connected with me on Twitter (@JonNegroni). I’ll follow you back if you say something witty and awesome.

It’s OK Not to Dream Big.

Do your goals and ambition control you?

They don’t “control” me, though “control” is a funny word.

My ambitions guide me, and they shape me as I realize them. But they in no way prevent me from enjoying the moment, whichever one that is.

Like any other generation that looks smugly down on the one slightly younger, I routinely roll my eyes at kids and young adults I see on Instagram, Vine and Twitter. The frivolous entitlement, fixation on pop culture (that yes, I share with them) and obsession with selfie-fueled narcissism all make me cringe when I loop that Vine.

But then I am met with the “other” kids who are in a totally different state of mind from their counterparts. These are the selfie kids who just finished school and want to seek wisdom for what they should do next. I love to relate to them because one of my most vivid memories encompasses my first summer after college.

And how absolutely terrified I was.

Life starts with big dreams we haven’t thought through. Life continues on after you’ve realized your dreams will actually take a lot of work (that you may not be willing to do).

My dreams have always been based on values I have. Not fame, and definitely not my career. My dreams aren’t “big” in the conventional sense. I never told myself that someday I’ll change the world. I never promised my family and friends that one day I’ll be the best writer with the best writing job. Mostly because that will never happen.

Instead, I crafted my dreams around what I cherish. My spiritual life. Writing. Changing the worlds of people I love.

I accomplished some of those dreams, and some unexpected things have happened as a result of that.

They didn’t happen because I forced them too. I started a blog because I love to write, not because I wanted to be the next “whoever.” I simply wrote about the things I love and let myself grow.

You’re probably in the same boat, whether you’re a blogger, journalist or just someone with a cool story to tell. Don’t worry about who’s going to read your thoughts. Get over the fact that you probably won’t accomplish every single desire your happiness-starved heart demands of you.

Your passion is way more fulfilling than happiness, after all.

So it is OK to dream big. But it’s also OK to simplify. And it’s way better to dream “well.” You’ll have an easier time weeding out the ones that aren’t worth having.

The Pixar Detective, Chapter 8: The Hexagon

Hey everyone! Welcome to The Pixar Detective, a serial novel I put together based on the Pixar Theory. The following is a fictional story that explains the theory that all of the Pixar movies are connected and exist within the same universe, using original characters and artwork. The story answers a lot of questions you may have about this theory, but through its own ongoing narrative.

The story originally launched in April, and we’ve recently completed Part 1!

It is available as an iBook on iTunes, which you can check out here. If you can’t use iBooks, you can also download the PDF version. 

Once you’re finished, check back to our Table of Contents, where we’ll be continuing the story through Part 2. A new chapter is released every two weeks on Tuesdays. And please be sure to leave your feedback in the comments for us to read through. Enjoy!

pixar detective chapter 8

 

PREVIOUSLY, ON THE PIXAR DETECTIVE!

Stevin, Alec and Wallaby continue their perilous search for Mary, who has presumably gotten lost in time. Along the way, our gang finds themselves in 1935, tracking down the past version of the only person who left a trace in Mary’s room, where she was last seen.

pixar detective
Mr. Sumner.

Only, it’s not a person. Our heroes have found someone who claims to be a monster from another world. His name is Mr. Sumner, and he claims that in a mysterious government facility, he was forced to engage in experiments meant to transcend time. To find out what happened to Mary, the gang must take Mr. Sumner to this facility and find a way to communicate with his future self.

pixar detective
Willem (left) with Sadie, the first super.

Meanwhile, a villainous mastermind who simply goes by “The Maestro” is concocting a plan to create an army of “supers.” His prime research subject is a young girl named Sadie, who has a mysterious power known as Dominion. The Maestro has placed three new agents on an unknown mission surrounding this experiment: Willem, Flo, and Peaches. And, of course, their mission takes place within the same government facility our heroes are about to invade: the Hexagon.

Extra Credit!

Why is this government facility called “The Hexagon?” You may have guessed that it has a lot in common with “The Pentagon,” which is the real-life headquarters of the U.S. Department of Defense. Of course, the Pentagon itself wasn’t built until the 1940s, as opposed to the fictional Hexagon that takes place within a city called Metroville (sound familiar?) in 1935.

Use the prompt on the sidebar to subscribe for updates or just follow me and Kayla on Twitter to stay connected – @JonNegroni – @KaylaTheSavage

Why I Won’t Be Watching ‘Lucy’ (The Scarlett Johansson Superhero Movie)

I rarely delve into negative articles about avoiding movies. I usually like to talk about all of the things I love and find interesting about movies, both good and bad. And then movies like Lucy pop up.

The film, starring Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman, is about a woman who is accidentally exposed to a street drug that allows her to “transcend” her brain’s normal limitations. This gives her incredible psychic powers that eventually progress to become capable of bending reality itself.

There are some cool things the movie has going for it. Scarlett Johansson is a fun actor. I won’t say she’s great, because I hesitated when I considered that (which is a sign that an actor probably isn’t that great).

I’ll say that I enjoy her performances for the most part, especially in Woody Allen movies. Seriously, have you seen Match Point?

lucy match point

Another positive for Lucy is that even though the film is yet another superhero movie coming out in a year crowded with superhero movies, it at least seems fresh because it’s a French film directed by Luc Besson (The Fifth Element). It’s not Marvel. It’s not DC.

But then we get to what the movie is actually about. And it’s terrible. For the millionth time in the history of pop culture, people are trying to tell us that we would gain superpowers if we could just gain access to 100% of our brain’s “potential,” but we’re cursed with only being able to use 10%.

Great TV shows and movies have gone down this road, including Fringe and Limitless. But before we get into it, here’s the trailer (in case you haven’t seen it yet or need a refresher):

The entire premise is a laughably dumb fallacy, and the trailer flaunts it, giving us progress reports of where the main character falls on the brain percentage scale. Johannson at one point actually says something along the lines of, “I just hit blah blah percent” like it’s her Twitter feed.

The worst offense of all? They dared to involve the great Morgan Freeman in this mess. Hearing him give a lecture in a college about this actually caused me emotional pain.

Because no, you don’t only use 10% of your brain. The weird thing is plenty of people know that this is a false concept, but it’s still purported like it’s true, anyway.

To be more accurate, you’re only using around 10% of your brain’s functions at any one time. It’s like how you don’t use the full capacity of all of your muscles at any one time. Because you don’t need to. Using 100% of your brain’s functions goes by another name: a seizure.

But not according to Lucy. It causes you to have wicket hand multiplication powers.

lucy movie

Plenty of people have given a pass to shows and movies that try to shove this misconception down our throats. I’m one of them. I still enjoyed Limitless, mostly because the movie didn’t base its entire story around the idea. Unlike Lucy, it was more about the main character. At least in the trailer.

And even though Limitless was a silly premise, we had a good time watching it.

Movies are about escapism, after all. They don’t have to be scientifically accurate in order for us to enjoy them. But I’m going to point out that there’s a line. When you have a movie that’s being this blatant about its flawed premise, I just can’t get behind it. I’m going to pass on Lucy.

Could I change my mind? Maybe if it looked like a better movie. Maybe if it wasn’t another superhero movie that would push me further to a state of mind in which I’m actually sick of this genre (which I really hope won’t happen).

lucy movie

To be clear, I don’t discourage anyone else from going out and enjoying this film. I’m sure it will make plenty of money and entertain millions. I just know I wouldn’t be one of them. I’d rather watch a movie about talking apes.

Thanks for reading! You can subscribe to this blog by email via the prompt on the sidebar. Otherwise, be sure to stay connected with me on Twitter (@JonNegroni). I’ll follow you back if you say something witty and awesome.

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