robert sinclair

Which Bioshock character should you fight?
  • Jack Ryan: I mean, you could, but you'd get your ass handed to you. Besides, hasn't this poor baby had enough? Don't fight Jack Ryan.
  • Atlas: Fucking do it. Fucking- I will PAY you to beat the shit out of this Irish bastard. Fight Atlas. Fight Atlas and win.
  • Brigid Tenenbaum: You could fight her, but why? She's done nothing to provoke you. The woman is probably dying of lung cancer anyways. Leave Tenenbaum alone.
  • Sander Cohen: Fight the creepy son of a bitch and bring me back his painted mustache.
  • Andrew Ryan: Sure, fight him. It'll probably change nothing, and you'll garner nothing but the knowledge that you're his test tube bastard, programmed from birth to do the bidding of a looming capitalist overlord.
  • Frank Fontaine: Kill the looming capitalist overlord.
  • Subject Delta: You could, but at what cost? He's a gentle giant. You'd be better off giving him a hug. He's just trying to be a good dad, okay? Don't fight Delta.
  • Sinclair: Sure, you'd win, but what pleasure would you derive from it? I mean, the man's tried to apologize for his wrongdoings. I guess if you're one to hold grudges, then maybe you could fight Sinclair.
  • Eleanor Lamb: She will kick your ass and smile while she does. Just... don't. Don't fight Eleanor Lamb, please.
  • Sofia Lamb: Sure, but it really wouldn't be that great of a fight. She's probably not that strong. You might have to fight off some splicers to get to her, but ultimately it really wouldn't be that satisfying of a victory.
  • Booker Dewitt: Kick his ass. You'll lose, but it'll be totally worth it to kick his teeth in a little bit. Fight Booker Dewitt.
  • Elizabeth Comstock: Look, you could fight Elizabeth. Or you could not mess with space-tearing punch-packing genius babes and leave the room with all bones intact.
  • Zachary Hale Comstock: Fight this man. Fight him to the death. FUCK Zachary Comstock.
  • Daisy Fitzroy: Fight her. But know that you WILL lose and it'll be devastating.
  • Rosalind or Robert Lutece: Don't fight the Lutece twins. They won't land a single blow, they'll just find a universe where you got your ass kicked and your nose will bleed until you die of anemia or something.
10

“The Emperor Jones” by Eugene O’Neill

Irish Repertory Theatre, 2017

Starring Obi Abili, William Bellamy, Carl Hendrick Louis, Sinclair Mitchell, Angel Moore, Andy Murray & Reggie Talley

If 17-30 year olds call Mike Wheeler “daddy” you 1-sigh and leave before they keep being nasty 2- call them on their bullshit and tell them how wrong/sick/scary/uncomfortable for Finn/nasty/uneducated/scary/unhealthy/unethical it is. I really don’t see anymore solutions.

Robert Xavier Burden - Dinosaur Toys (2016).

It took 1600 hours of studio time over 14 months to create this 12ft x 8ft painting of nearly 100 different toys spanning several generations of dinosaur influence on pop culture.

The First Lost World: KING SOLOMON’S MINES (‘37) by Greg Ferrara

When H. Rider Haggard published King Solomon’s Mines in 1885, he started an entirely new genre of literature, that of the Lost World. Many tales by many different authors would follow, the most famous probably being Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World or Edgar Rice Burroughs’s The Land That Time Forgot. Still, there’s something to being the first that sets you apart. And when the genre becomes big, as the Lost World genre did, it can make the initial outing look a bit creaky, as each successive hit adds something to the mix. And so, I find myself writing up KING SOLOMON’S MINES, the movie from 1937, the first cinematic adaptation of the work. Though many would follow, the first one set the tone for decades of fantastical adventure movies to come.

The first movie adaptation continued another tradition, that of Hollywood drastically changing the work it was adapting to suit the different needs of the cinema. And the different needs of an audience nearly fifty years after the original work had been published. A father/daughter team are introduced in the movie, Patsy O'Brien (Arthur Sinclair) and Kathy (Anna Lee). The two Irish transplants have been trying to get rich mining diamonds in Africa only to come up short. When they run out of money, Kathy convinces a hunter to let them travel with his wagon train. The hunter, it turns out, is Allan Quartermain (Cedric Hardwicke), the most celebrated hunter in all of Africa. He agrees to take them on and becomes fond of their company.

When they come across another wagon in trouble, they stop to help, only to find one man is carrying a map which he claims leads to King Solomon’s mines. He soon dies but his guide, Umbopa (Paul Robeson), is ready to continue the quest. O’Brien steals the map and heads out on his own. Kathy wants to follow, but Quartermain has been hired by two men, Sir Henry Curtis (John Loder) and Commander Good (Roland Young), as a big game hunting guide. When they all meet up, Kathy takes one of their wagons, leading to a pursuit and, eventually, all of them start searching for the mines.

Robert Stevenson, who would become one of Disney’s most successful live action directors, was still early in his career when he helmed this production, but after only five years in the business, his talent was fully formed. The film moves along at a brisk pace and even has some visual flourishes that stand out as among the best of the 1930s. The shots near the end, inside the mines, as the lava flows and erupts, seem incredibly innovative, calling to mind everything from Mount Doom in the LORD OF THE RINGS (’01, ’02, ’03) franchise to the heated fight between Obi-Wan and Anakin over the lava pit in STAR WARS: EPISODE III – THE REVENGE OF THE SITH (’05). There was even a point where I had visions of INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM (’84). And the scene of the group travelling across the desert is strikingly modern in its eerie use of music, signaling unease and disquiet with every new step.

Of course, Stevenson was also under strict studio orders, no doubt, to make sure Paul Robeson got at least two songs during the course of the movie. And indeed, he does, but even those are filmed in a way that integrates the songs into the movies such that they are unobtrusive and genuinely consistent with the story.

The biggest problems with KING SOLOMON’S MINES come with the dated ideas of noble savages and god-like white men. Given that the source material was penned in 1885 and the movie was made in 1937, there is remarkably little that is cringe-inducing in the movie. The character of Umbopa, who it turns out is royalty, is played excellently by Paul Robeson, and is in many ways the true star and protagonist of the story. Which leads to the second problem, Allan Quartermain. He is, ostensibly, the lead but is quite a dull character throughout. Of all the characters in the movie, the lead guide, spends almost the entire affair following others and reacting to their situation after the fact.

Other adventure movies in lost worlds would follow, and certainly some of them were better, but despite the passage of over 130 years since the publication of the novel, the first movie adaptation is still the best one we’ve got. Sometimes you get it right the first time.

4

Now will you go home!?
Oh, but I am home. I live here. I’m Mr. Farley, or you’re Mrs. Tyler. Remember?

Tyrone Power and Gene Tierney in That Wonderful Urge (1948)

Movie Review: “Chicago: The Terry Kath Experience”

Fist-time filmmaker Michelle Kath Sinclair wanted to get to know her father - the late Chicago guitarist Terry Kath - and make sure he had a shot at getting his dues as one of rock ‘n’ roll’s great players.

Kath died of an accidental, self-inflicted gunshot wound (he thought the weapon was unloaded) in 1978 when Sinclair was just 2 years old. After finding a bunch of his old Super 8 videos and realizing she knew virtually nothing about her dad, Sinclair decided the time was right to try to piece together his story and tell it to the world.

After a successful crowd-funding campaign and a 2016 release at film festivals, the resulting documentary, “Chicago: The Terry Kath Experience,” is now out on home video.

Originally titled “Searching for Terry,” the film was renamed, presumably to reflect on Jimi Hendrix, who was reportedly bowled over by Kath, and to illustrate that the Chicago guitarist’s talent might’ve been more evident to more people if he’d played in a smaller group.

Sinclair relied on those found videos, old photographs and archival footage of Chicago - the less that’s said about the hokey cartoon scenes the better - to paint a picture of the band from its founding as the Big Thing to its debut, self-titled album as the Chicago Transit Authority to its mammoth success as Chicago and through to Kath’s untimely death at age 31.

The pre-Chicago recordings of cover songs and the Chicago-era concert footage are the biggest attractions as viewers get to see and hear Kath in action and understand why many fans and contemporaries believe he is the most underrated guitar player of the rock era. There are no complete tracks - a shame as the film runs only 80 minutes, leaving plenty of room for a few - and a soundtrack album would be a fine addition to this labor of love.

That Kath still looms large even 39 years after his death is illustrated by the tears horn players James Pankow, Lee Laughnane and Walt Parazaider shed while remembering their founding axe man. It’s made clear by the fact that Peter Cetera, who looks ridiculous in shades and earrings and who’s had nothing to do with the band since his 1985 departure, even skipping its 2015 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, participated in the “Experience.” And it’s reinforced by the presence of Joe Walsh, Jeff Lynne, Steve Luthaker (Toto), Mike Campbell (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers) and Dean DeLeo (Stone Temple Pilots), all of whom marvel at Kath’s six-string prowess.

“I often found myself wondering, 'How in the world did he get a guitar to sound like that?’” Walsh, whose James Gang used to tour with Chicago, says to Sinclair during their interview.

Producer James William Guercio, Chicago keyboardist Robert Lamm, former drummer Danny Seraphine and Kath’s family members also take part.

The film repeats the much-quoted fable - perhaps it’s true - that Hendrix once told Parazaider that Kath “is better than me.” It finds Sinclair and her mother, Camelia Kath, traveling back to Colorado’s Caribou Ranch Studios, where Chicago recorded most of its Kath-era albums, to reminisce about the old days and see the studio one last time before it closed for good later that same day in 2014.

On the way, Camelia says her husband was planning to form a guitar-centered band called Cook County, which she pointedly says would have not had a horn section. Whether this was a side trip or whether Kath was planning to leave Chicago permanently is unknown. What is certain is Kath was unhappy with the band’s foray into balladry, such as Cetera’s “If You Leave Me Now” and “Baby, What a Big Surprise,” which appeared on Kath’s final records, Chicago X and XI, respectively, while the guitarist was still cranking out gritty rockers like “Mississippi Delta City Blues” and “Takin’ it on Uptown,” the latter of which had no horns.

When she’s not seeking her father, Sinclair is on the hunt for his famed “Pignose” Telecaster guitar and this search gives the film a suspenseful, if predictable, arc.

In the end, “Chicago: The Terry Kath Experience” looks like a first-time filmmaker’s product - amateurish but heartfelt, too parochial for a mass audience but essential viewing for existing fans. But because of the lack of full-song performances and more-complete storytelling, it is unlikely to satisfy Sinclair’s goal of taking the gospel of Terry Kath to a new generation of fans.

Grade card: “Chicago: The Terry Kath Experience” - C+

12/22/17

My TMI fan-cast

(I made this before the TV show casting and even though I love love love the new cast, I’m just leaving this here)

Clary Fray: Molly Quinn (age: 21)


Jace Herondale: Hunter Parrish (age: 27)


Simon Lewis: Robert Sheehan (age: 27)


Isabelle Lightwood: Adelaide Kane (age: 24)


Alec Lightwood: Grant Gustin (age: 25)


Magnus Bane: Godfrey Gao (age: 30)


Maia Roberts: Jaz Sinclair (age: )


Jordan Kyle: Luke Pasqualino (age: 25)


Sebastian Morgenstern: Conor Mclain (age: 22)


Valentine Morgenstern: Paul Bettany (age: 43)

What do you guys think?