Friday, May 8, 2009

Star Trek Rocks; Mother’s Day Thoughts; Update of Coal Film, “Out of the Ground”

Hey World Family, Falcon has heard from the Johnstown Area Heritage Association. Shelly Johansson said this:

We plan to show it as part of the Johnstown Film & Wine Festival, which is held July 8-11; although it's too long to be part of our film shorts competition, Andy McAllister has agreed to be part of a panel discussion for new and aspiring filmmakers. We are arranging for a showcase of films by our panelists, and "Out of the Ground" will be part of that. Schedule has yet to emerge, but stay tuned -- you can follow the Johnstown Area Heritage Association on Facebook, or go to, or sign up for e-mail updates at

Thank you, Shelly! We are thrilled that Andy will get an opportunity to share his insight on his journey making this extraordinary film. Falcon and Dove will see you there!
Please join us this July!

Falcon is still recovering from last night’s midnight screening of Star Trek. Here’s the quick review…

J.J. Abrams is a master filmmaker! This is his genre and he did some extraordinary work on this project! It is wonderful to watch, and may, just may be the best Star Trek movie. I know, that is tough, but see it for yourself, and you be the judge. I am talking cinematography right now, although the rest is pretty stellar, too.

Pittsburgh Native Zachary Quinto is marvelous as Spock. Go Central Catholic! Many, many people I talked to over the past many months doubted that he could do the job, not because of his acting, but because so many people saw him as Sylar from the hit television show, Heroes. He stepped right in as an intelligent, emotionally complex, completely authentic Mr. Spock. He had some very difficult scenes that could have fallen away under lesser thespian hands, but he completely claimed every glance, every eyebrow, and every near-tear. Nice job, Zack! You have shown tremendous versatility and flexibility. I hope you continue to advance your resume; you certainly have a future as a Vulcan for some time to come.

This entire cast was strong, right down to Karl Urban as Bones (who would have thought?) and Chris Pine as Capt. James T. Kirk (very well done for this young growing actor), Eric Bana as Nero (Eric, you are normally in roles where you are so hot; this character was nastily disturbed), Zoe Saldana as Uhura, (beautifully developed, smoldering, brilliant characterization), Simon Pegg as Scotty (I love Glaswegians, and he is no exception; reminds me a bit of Billy Boyd’s comic relief as Pippin in Lord of the Rings), John Cho as an extremely well-skilled Sulu, and Anton Yelchin channeled the voice of Ensign Chekov. He was a fey younger version of the classic character; simply adorable.

Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman should be commended for putting together a plot that had strong continuity and fascinating nuances. The material was handled with taste and reverence in spots where it was required, but could easily have become contrived. It didn’t.
This is a strong film, and the first great hit of the summer movie season.

Don’t forget Little Ashes, which is getting much more attention than I originally thought it would, but Robert Pattinson has exploded on the pop scene because of his role in Twilight. He is a strong, imposing actor, and portraying historic Surrealist Dali is not easy, yet he does it, and is doing another challenging film, How to Be. He is much more talented than he likely to get credit for right now. I hope the press gives him a break, and begins to talk about his versatility as an artist rather than who they think he is dating at this second.


It is that time of year again: honoring our mothers; your mom, sisters, daughters, cousins, friends, and of course, Mother Earth, and Mother Nature. Even if you don’t have a woman in your life to honor as a mom, please do something that honors the only mother that nurtures you from birth to death without question or judgment: the earth.

Do some clean-up project, help on a community garden, do some recycling, volunteer in your community…you know, something that honors the spirit of nurturing.

Many Race for the Cure events happen on Mother’s Day around the country. You can register right up until the day of the event, so go ahead and get involved. Spend the morning of Mother’s Day with others honoring the spirit of sacrifice and survival. Let’s keep moving toward a cure, and support the cause.

The typical flowers, chocolates, and brunch and dinner events are also nice, but thing about gardens instead of just cut flowers. First Lady Michelle Obama has embraced one of my passions: the organic garden. Everyone, whether they just have a couple of window sills, or some steps to place potted plants should have some sort of living botanical growth in their lives. Get together with family and friends and give a neighbor a container garden. Seriously, as little as $10 in plants and a couple of containers from the local dollar or thrift store and a little dirt can change someone’s whole outlook. Look around you; do you see anyone who needs a little emotional lift? Go for it!

Most importantly, say what you feel. Or don’t say it, and just give them a bug hug. Sometimes, what you don’t say can be even more powerful than what you do. There are emotions that defy description, and a hug can go a long way to convey it.

Mothers are not the only ones who should be honored on Mother’s Day. Teachers, mentors, those who have taken care of others in lieu of raising their own children should be honored. Yes, those who adopt are moms (I am amazed how often this comes up; of course they are moms), and don’t forget those that have lost their children. I know, that is a sensitive issue, and everyone handles this differently. I know one thing: they are still moms. They are probably still doing things to nurture others in their lives. You don’t have to bring up the loss; simply let them know how much you appreciate them in your life.

Have a great weekend. To all the moms out there: thank you for all that you do, and continue to do for others. Let’s help improve the condition of women al over the world. Let’s take care of the planet. That is the greatest way to give back on Mother’s Day.

Falcon and Dove

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