I Am 29 Years Old And I Am Just Now Starting To Read More Novels.

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Can you write a novel if you haven’t read many?

Do you love to write even though you haven’t read many novels? I do. Is that possible?

I hear all the time that if you don’t love to read than there is no way you can love to write or be a writer. I guess time will tell on that one but I am just going to come right out in say it: I don’t LOVE to read.

Or at least that is what I would tell myself. That is changing.

I love to tell stories. I grew up on movies. I can quote all of my favorite movies and have seen so many of them I would feel very confident in a game of movie trivia. I can name directors, actors, screenwriters and I was also the go to person for my sister to call when she worked at a local video store. The reason she would call me was simple. A customer would come in, not know the name of a movie, and would only describe the plot, the actor, or even a scene. She would call me, confidence in her voice as she knew I would be able to guess right away what it was. “You’re awesome. I knew you would know it.”

Books on the other hand? Not so much.

I read the occasional book when I was growing up. Holes, Goosebumps books, sports non fiction books, just anything that was short and I knew I could get the maximum points on an A.R. test. I always preferred to spend my free time in high school playing basketball, watching movies, or watching tv. Or playing video games. The only reading I would do, and it was quite a bit, was for articles about movies, movie reviews, and screenplays. I would even read how to articles and stories and listen to a few audio books but I even then put those to the side to listen to music instead. I have a very active imagination and mind and I am always wanting to do multiple things at once. Only when I would watch a film would I be totally invested in that and be consumed by it. Sometimes, even with that, I would have a movie or story idea pop in my head that I wanted to write and make. Lately I have read or listened to quite a few entrepreneur books but when it comes to fiction, the thing I want to write, I haven’t read many novels at all.

When I am writing I feel at peace and my fingers can’t move fast enough. I love telling stories, creating characters, and having that creative outlet. I just couldn’t, actually to be more accurate, wouldn’t read. It’s not because I don’t love the ideas, the characters, the creativity of the books, it’s because I allowed myself to believe that I couldn’t focus and sit still long enough to read through some chapters. That my mind would wander on that story idea, or that movie scene, or anything where I wasn’t totally invested into those pages I was reading.

Once I started to think about it, that mindset was the same I would take with my writing, or with any creative endeavor I tried. I am a good reader, and read every single day but when it came to opening up an actual novel I got intimidated. Then I remembered I read all the time. Any time I try to learn something I will read article after article after article. I just wasn’t reading novels. Not because I didn’t love the stories being told or because I didn’t want to but because I lacked the discipline.

The reason I am sharing this is actual quite simple and even a little embarrassing. I mean what kind of aspiring creative who wants to write screenplays and books doesn’t read a ton of novels? How could you possibly write a novel if you haven’t read many of them?

That is why I am sharing this with you. Because that is me and I am okay with it.

I decided to start reading novels. In fact, right now, the first novel I am reading is ONE OF US IS LYING by Karen M. McManus. I am loving the book so far by the way. I love stories that are set in high school and am in the process of writing something in that setting with characters who are in high school. So I looked at it as almost inspiration and research. I can’t tell you how many book stores I have been in, which I absolutely love going to by the way, and would love looking at the covers and getting excited about the story that is contained within those pages. I would usually leave with nothing but a film magazine or a gift for someone. Why is this? Why do I love these books, these stories, these creative minds who are doing exactly what it is I want to do, and I haven’t even experienced a ton of these novels?

I am not even sure if I know the answer other than that I love stories. I love to tell them. I love to write them. I love to create them. No matter the field whether it be in a movie, tv show, or a book, or even a joke. I love to be a storyteller and my imagination is full of these ideas and stories. The funny thing is, is that I am loving reading these books. I will have some coffee and sit in read a few chapters. I am loving the writing process, well the outlines aren’t as fun, but I love how I feel when I am typing away at the computer and bringing these stories and characters to life. So maybe you do have to read a lot to write a book. I’m not sure, if that’s the case I am way behind on reading enough to actually write a good book. Time will tell.

But what I do now is this. Each of us has our own story, our own voice, our own process. I feel I am constantly learning, trying to become a better writer, and right now trying to become a more disciplined reader. Just like with writing, once you start on that first page it becomes easier. The story comes to life and you have a great time and you wonder why it took you so long to start reading novels. Or writing that novel. Or starting that screenplay. Just start and see what happens. I did, and now I am on a journey to start reading as many novels as I can. I am going to start with one a week and see how I do. I started ONE OF US IS LYING last week so I am already going at a slower pace than normal because I still fall into the old habits of “I will just see what’s on tv, instead.” or “Do I really feel like reading right now?”. Those same habits that has me sitting here at 29 years old and I can count on two hands how many novels I’ve read. I even become a little nervous about sharing that since I am in the process of writing the 3rd draft of my screenplay for a tv pilot. I am also in the outlining phase of writing a novel. Can it be done? Will I be not taken seriously because I haven’t read a lot of novels? Will people I respect and admire brush me off and not take my book recommendations or writing seriously because of this? I am not sure. These are the things that go through my head. I want to build a community of people who are creatives and who are writers who maybe have the same type of background or thoughts. I want to talk to people about stories and about writing and work as hard as I can to have these stories come to life, but will they accept me since I haven’t read a lot? Should I care?

Well, I am reading. I am going to have opinions on the book and on the writing and even though I haven’t read a ton of novels. Even though I haven’t published a book or sold a screenplay, I am going to continue writing. Maybe it’s bad writing, maybe it’s good, but I love to tell stories and I can only get better from here. So no matter if you’re 29 or 59 don’t be ashamed of what you haven’t done yet. Maybe you gave up on learning guitar (I have but still want to learn), maybe you gave up on being a poet, or an actor. Maybe you want to be those things but you’ve never read a lot of poetry, you haven’t acted a day in your life, and you have never studied a guitar riff and how to do one yourself and when you listen to music you just let it take over your mind and you get lost in it. That’s fine. We can all do these things and we can all try. No matter the experience level and no matter what people tell you that is giving you even more reason not to start in the first place. Let’s keep learning, let’s keep growing, and let’s keep writing. In the paragraphs above I mentioned if I should care what people thought about me trying to write a book when I am just now starting to read novels. The answer to that question is no. I am constantly trying to become more self aware of who I am and what I can do. I strongly believe I can do this and it doesn’t matter how many novels I have read. to a lot of people reading that may laugh at this and say it does. That is totally fine. We all have our process and our journey and this is mine. Whatever yours is, just now I support you and want to see you succeed. I want you to throw away these excuses and worries that I have talked about here in this blog. Just be yourself, 100% real and watch what happens. I am doing that now. This blog was hard to write, but I hope if you are like me, and you want to start and build a community of people who want to write and tell stories than it helps you. I am halfway through my first novel of 2018 and I plan on reading a lot more as the year goes on. I hope to meet authors and tell them how much I admire them even if I haven’t read all of their books. I hope to people who have read way more than me and get recommendations from them on what to read next. I am constantly learning from all of you. So there it is world, I am 29 years old and I haven’t read hardly any novels in my life. I am in the process of writing a screenplay, developing ideas for a movie, and am laser focused on writing this novel. Will you join me?

Follow me on Instagram so you can see what I am reading, talk about books, give me book recommendations, and follow along on my journey to write and publish a book.

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I Found Some VHS Tapes

Should I start collecting?

I was in my closet finally moving some things around trying to make more space when it appeared.

THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY on VHS.

Should I start a collection? Should I post it on Instagram (already have)? The nostalgic wave has come over me and now I am thinking about all the incredible VHS tapes I use to own but don’t know what happened to them. I don’t want to go buy ones from ebay or anything because those weren’t mine!

DAMN.

I want that GOOD BURGER VHS tape. Where are you?! Now I am talking to VHS tapes and I don’t know how to feel about that?

Be kind, rewind. Remember that? Remember when a VHS tape was more than just a tape. It was a beacon of cinematic light that illuminated your television set.

Do I even have a VCR? I found a VHS for Rudy! And Fight Club! Wait a minute I was too young to have owned these movies when they came out on VHS. Are these mine? Oh look, Shawshank Redemption. Oh no. These aren’t my VHS tapes at all. They are my brothers.

Sorry, brother. Would you like me to return these video tapes?

LIKE if you enjoyed. If you didn’t that’s cool too but go ahead and give it a LIKE anyway so it looks like I have some good writing ability. Thank you so much for reading!

JUSTIN BURDEN

Out Of Popcorn: A Short Story

“Popcorn… it’s good.” -me

Open the pantry. It’s not there.

Search the kitchen. It’s not there.

Look under the bed. It’s not there.

It is popcorn and it’s not there.

A movie is not a movie if there is no popcorn. The sound of chewing and crunching is the only true way to experience dialogue but where is it? Where is this delicious popcorn you aren’t able to find. Was it all in your mind? The buttery flavor was just a thought? Wasn’t it popcorn that you had just bought?

The movie is on pause, there is no more time. To find the popcorn to pop but then you stop, and a lightbulb goes off. In your minds eye or whatever and then you remember…

You left the popcorn in the car, you cursed and cursed because you thought there was no more. You jumped up and down when you finally found it and then just like that, you can watch the movie in peace. You don’t want to share your popcorn not even one peice. You realize this story was a poem or a rhyme and not a short story after all. But, instead a PSA, to never, ever watch a movie without popcorn, because then, where would you eat this delicious treat? The store? The car? The mall?

So in closing with a bag of popcorn in hand, I will eat it and eat it until it dissolves like quick sand. Okay, this shit is getting forced and now I’m just rhyming to rhyme, the moral of the story is…

THE POPCORN WAS INSIDE OF YOU THE WHOLE TIME.

Literally, it was. You ate all the popcorn and forgot you did. It’s ok though, it happens. It’s soooooo good. Oh yeah the short story/poem is over. FOLLOW me for more random shit like this about movies, tv, and pop culture. I post every day. This was my first short story poem though so hopefully it was passable enough for a LIKE! Thanks for reading!

JUSTIN BURDEN

If You Want To Create A Master Villain, Take Some Notes From GOOD BURGER

Kurt Bozwell is hands down one of the most diabolical villains in cinema history.

All great films, especially superhero films and action films, have one thing in common…

MEMORABLE VILLAINS.

Good Burger, the Nickelodeon film of the 90’s that featured Kenan & Kel, is no exception. This film is a masterclass in creating a memorable villain.

His name is Kurt. Kurt Bozwell (Jan Schweiterman). He is the manager and owner of Mondo Burger, the gigantic burger chain that threatens to dismantle the local Good Burger across the street. What makes Kurt such a diabolical master villain is that he doesn’t just want to put Good Burger out of business, but he wants to humiliate them in the process.

SPOILERS BELOW:

On the surface, Kurt looks like he will be just a typical cartoonish type villain. A one note character with a silly agenda who makes it difficult for our heroes, especially Dexter (Kenan Thompson) who takes a job at Mondo Burger after wrecking his car (without a license) into his teachers and needs to pay if off by the end of summer. This is problematic because Dexter is a jokester and Kurt won’t have it. Kurt let’s his new employees, who are all high school to college aged students, that their LIVES are now Mondo Burger. “You can forget about your friends, you can forget about your family, because from now on, Kurt is both your mother AND your father.” This leads to Dexter saying “Kurt must look awfully strange naked.” Which leads us down the path of Dexter being fired and needing to be hired at Good Burger.

Let’s think about that line for a second though. This is a burger joint, where you are going to make minimum wage, and Kurt who is only a few years older than his employees, tells them that he is their mother and their father. That their lives are now Mondo Burger. He delivers the line with such force and power that you are terrified into doing a great job for him. He is almost a cult leader in the way he manipulates his two right hand men who go along with everything he does, because, well, it’s Kurt and he gives you really cool futuristic body suits and makes some of the biggest burgers known to man. This man has true power and charisma.

When Ed’s (Kel Mitchell) secret sauce starts bringing in a ton of service for Good Burger and making Mondo Burger look bad in the process, Kurt even tries to hire Ed and make the Good Burger sauce for Mondo Burger. Then he hires Roxanne (Carmen Electra) to try and flirt with Ed, make him fall in love with her, and then have him give her the recipe so she can take it back to Kurt. The level of evil genius is off the charts. Just when you thought Kurt couldn’t get any crazier, that his evil plan couldn’t get anymore complex, he does a few unthinkable, unimaginable things. Ones that I think Nickelodeon was incredibly brave for showing and makes me so proud to be a 90’s kid because I am not sure if they would do this today, for showing how far he would go to put Good Burger out of business for good.

Kurt catches Ed and Dexter trying to infiltrate Mondo Burger dressed as women and find out that Kurt has been putting an illegal chemical into his Mondo Burgers that increase their size. When he catches them he commits them to an asylum called DEMENTED HILLS so they can’t tell the public. Haha wow I love this movie so much!

So while Ed and Dexter are at Demented Hills, Kurt then proceeds to sneak into Good Burger and taints Ed’s secret sauce with SHARK POISON! SHARK POISON!!!!! He is caught by Otis, the old man who works at Good Burger and then has HIM COMMITTED TO DEMENTED HILLS AS WELL! This is the stuff of master villain legend.

So let’s do a quick recap of those last two events that elevates Kurt from good villain to an absolute legendary villain in every sense of the word. He has the power to send 3 people to an insane asylum, and he also wants to put Good Burger out of business so bad that he infects the sauce with Shark Poison so every customer is going to be very sick! All this while he is illegally inserting chemicals into his Mondo Burger burgers. This dude cares only about the dollar and the power that comes with it. Will stop at nothing until everyone is out of his way and luckily Ed and Dexter are able to thwart these attempts before Mondo Burger became a serious chain, endangering the lives of everyone who consumes it.

Good Burger came out in 1997 and I feel that Kurt Bozwell is still one of the very best villains in the history of movies. I think a lot of modern movies can learn a lot about studying this villain, the performance, and implement those elements into their movies. I love Nickelodeon for making this movie and I still watch it and holds up today 20 years later. If it is one thing that will carry on, its the legend of Kurt Bozwell. Thank you cinema for giving us this gift, and thank you Kenan and Kel for stopping him. The world depended on it.

Thank you so much for reading! If you enjoyed this blog please leave a LIKE. If you want to quote Good Burger COMMENT BELOW! FOLLOW me if you want to read daily blogs on movies, tv, pop culture, nostalgia (mainly 90’s), and more! 

JUSTIN BURDEN

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What Your Favorite Movie Theater Candy Says About You

We all have a favorite movie theater candy, don’t we?

Picture this: You are standing in the concession line to check out the latest action blockbuster film. You know you want something other than popcorn and a soda. You know you are going to need something with a little zing, a little sugar, so you start contemplating what movie candy you are going to choose. Some of us are lucky, we already know what that candy is, but some of us aren’t so lucky. Some of us suffer from what I like to call “I like all the candies syndrome”. It’s ok if you suffer from this, because I do. I love all different types of candies and to be honest I like to mix it up a bit.

Now I go to a lot of movies at Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas now. You actually go sit down and you have a full menu to choose from, including candy. Yet, there is something magical about standing in line at theaters with concession lines and wondering which candy you are going to choose. Now my usual go to candy is Sour Patch Kids. I love those and they seem to pair very nicely with a Root Beer. But sometimes, I must say, I need some chocolate to pair with the salty, buttery taste of that delicious popcorn so I switch over to Goobers or Raisenettes. If I am feeling really crazy, sometimes I opt for Skittles. Hell, I may even get two bags of candy. These are the thoughts that go through my head at these times. I figured out though, that whatever candy I choose, says something about me in that moment.

SOUR PATCH KIDS: I’ve noticed that I usually choose these when it’s one of my most anticipated summer blockbusters of the year. I want something I trust. Something that gives me that sugar jolt and sour boost needed during those great action sequences. Let’s be honest, sometimes your candy doesn’t make it past the trailer phase, so Sour Patch Kids are a good candy to have because the sourness can slow down your eating of them and you can enjoy. The only negative with Sour Patch Kids is that taking a sip of soda afterwards is an odd concoction of flavors.

SKITTLES: Skittles I usually go with if I don’t get any popcorn. The reason being is because Skittles at movie theaters usually come in the bigger bags. They also are impossible to stop eating. So once that bag is open you literally taste all of the rainbow in the span of a few minutes. So I usually choose these during comedies since when I am laughing I am not going to eat as much in fear that those candies will fly out of my mouth, hit the ex NFL linebacker sitting in front of me, which results in a very scary situation where I have to apologize and offer the rest of my Skittles as a peace treaty of sorts.

GOOBERS: This is the candy you choose when you want to get a little fancy. Goobers pair incredibly with popcorn. You have some popcorn then you have some Goobers, the flavor combination is out of this world good. The only bad thing about Goobers is that they melt in your hand if you choose to eat them that way or share them. So I suggest picking these during a drama and not a horror film. A drama you will be more relaxed as with a horror film your palms are going to be sweaty. Regardless this is the choice if you want your movie candy game at the movies to be less sharable because let’s be honest… a friend or family member is going to be less likely to ask for some Goobers than they will some sour or gummy candy. It’s the melted chocolate I am telling you.

RAISENETTES: This is the perfect option if you want chocolate but also want a little added zing to the proceedings. These candies are delicious and pair great with popcorn. All rules apply to these as they do Goobers except say you are allergic to peanuts, this is the alternative. It’s one of those candies that you will likely choose if you want the entire theater around you to say “he must be allergic to peanuts” or maybe you just love raisins. I don’t know. It’s your journey.

ANY OTHER CANDY NOT LISTED: I went with my top 4 choices of movie candies that I go for when I go to the movies. You probably have a different option and I will just say that if you do then great and I think that says that you are a lover of a bunch of different candies as well.

If you enjoyed this blog please give it a LIKE. I post daily about movies, tv, and pop culture so give me a follow if that sounds like something you would be into. Thank you so much for reading!

JUSTIN BURDEN

ROAD HOUSE: The Original Bar Rescue

Before Jon Taffer’s hit show there was a Patrick Swayze film called ROAD HOUSE that taught us that “pain don’t hurt” and must have been the direct inspiration to BAR RESCUE.

As I sit here watching Road House for which seems like the 100th time I realized more and more how this movie must have influenced the show Bar Rescue. If you haven’t seen either of these things, to put things simply, it’s a movie and a show about a guy who comes in to help clean up a bar, make it profitable, and remove the toxic behavior by any means necessary. Now obviously Dalton played by Patrick Swayze in Road House, has to deal with a lot more danger than Jon Taffer. He has to deal with drunk bar fighting, a alcohol tycoon who wants to ruin him, a karate master who always only uses one button on his shirts, and people trying to kill him every night at the bar. But they also have some shared goals. Dalton and Jon Taffer (who is the host of Bar Rescue who embraces solutions, not problems) both have to deal with shady incompetent bartenders, family and co worker drama, and trying to bring in a better culture to the bar business for maximum profit.

While Dalton rips throats and roundhouse kicks his way out of situations, Jon Taffer uses his uncanny ability to scream and yell until every vein in his neck is shown to the audience. Taffer belittles (if you aren’t doing your job properly) in such a way that it is almost Shakespearian. Dalton is more calm and composed but he expects the same standards from his staff and leads by example.

Here we have two men. Two legends. Trying to better the bar business. They each have their own methods but they both more often than not get the job done and have built legendary reputations.

This is a short blog because what else needs to be said. If you have ever wanted to enter the bar business and do it the right way, you either called Dalton or you called Taffer. Patrick Swayze gives a great performance and has so much charisma that you can’t picture anyone else playing the role of Dalton. Hell, I would argue that if Swayze wasn’t involved the film wouldn’t even come close to being the cult classic it is today. Road House is one of those films you really have never even seen once all the way through. It’s one of those movies you watch while doing something else and put on during those moments because its just good enough to be enjoyed, mindless fun without having to become too attached to it. But not good enough to where it distracts you from your work or your surfing the web. And Jon Taffer has become such a bar icon not only in the business sense but now with his larger than life personality, you realize the show wouldn’t work without someone like Taffer. Both men are so different but share the same goals.

Those goals are to live in a world where you can go to a great bar, feel safe, and make a profit. So I think I speak for all of us when I say… thank you Dalton and thank you Jon Taffer. The bar business is better because of yall’s example.

If you enjoyed this blog please give it a LIKE and make sure to FOLLOW for daily posts about movies, tv, & pop culture. Thank you such for reading!

JUSTIN BURDEN

The Quest To Find Something To Watch on Television

In the age of Netflix, YouTube, and VOD why it’s still a great feeling when you find something to watch on TV by channel surfing.

Let’s be honest we all get overwhelmed with the abundance of choices on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, VOD, and YouTube. There is so much content out there for you to watch that it’s almost impossible to say “There is nothing on TV” anymore. Gone are the days where you have to check your local TV guide to see what was coming on your favorite channels. Gone are the days where you have to be in front of the TV on a Thursday night to watch your favorite tv series. So how come every once in awhile…

I LOVE THE THRILL OF CHANNEL SURFING.

Look, I don’t know about you all, but as I posted in my blog “NETFLIX STRESSES ME OUT” I discuss how sometimes there are almost too many choices available for you to watch and it becomes a stressful evening trying to navigate all the different choices. Sometimes, if you still have Dish Network or DirectTV, you just want to flip around the channels and see what is on. Sometimes it is absolutely maddening to know you are spending “x” amount of dollars a month and there never seems to be anything on TV, but you surf anyway. You start at the bottom and work your way through all the channels, hoping that the Television broadcasting Gods have somehow managed to have something on their channel that fits your current mood. This is the thrill of the surf and the thrill of finally finding a movie or tv series that is on that makes you stop, no matter at what point in the movie or series it is, and sit back and enjoy television.

This happens from time to time, I will be flipping through channels not really knowing what I want to watch but miraculously, sometimes, it’s there. That film I have seen countless times and love but didn’t necessarily think to put in the Blu-Ray or wanted to make the full commitment of starting a film to completion.

This is what happens. You may have SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK on Blu-Ray, you may love that film, but anytime you go to watch a movie you aren’t in the mood to start it. Because putting in a film you have the idea in your mind that you have to watch it from start to finish, it’s the commitment that holds us back. But say at that same exact moment, you see that SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK is on the BRAVO channel, it’s already 26 minutes into the movie but you know this movie so well and it’s on and you can just put it on there and enjoy the rest of it. The beauty of it is, there was no commitment, no discussion on “What should we watch”, it’s all right there, picked for you, and even though you didn’t realize it, you were in the mood to watch this movie.

I love the choices that modern technology gives us and would hate having to ONLY rely on what the channels on DISH Network are showing that day. But every once in awhile, when I don’t know what to watch, and don’t feel like starting a movie, it can be a fun and rewarding experience to channel surf once again. So grab your remote, cross your fingers, and flip those channels. Who knows, maybe you will find that long lost 80’s Jean Claude Van Damme movie you couldn’t remember the name of on SyFy network. Happy Channel Surfing my friends.

If you enjoyed this blog or have experienced this please make sure to give this post a LIKE and COMMENT. I post daily about movies, tv, and pop culture so FOLLOW me if you would like!

JUSTIN BURDEN

WACO Series Review: A Fantastic Ensemble Shines In Paramount Network’s First Scripted Series

Let me go ahead and just say if you love great acting and a show set during real world events, you are going to really enjoy WACO. I did.

I had thought about writing a review after each episode of this 6 part television event but ultimately decided I wanted to wait until it’s conclusion to dive into the series as a whole. If you just want to know if the show is good or not and don’t want to dive into spoiler-y type territory then yes, I thought this was a very good show that I really enjoyed. It was anchored by a career best performance from Taylor Kitsch as David Koresh and another fantastic performance from Michael Shannon as FBI negotiator Gary Noesner. I don’t want to discount the other performances here either that we will get into during the bulk of this review but all of them were wonderful.

I’ve already touched on the strength of this series being the ensemble because it is. Taylor Kitsch really shocked me with how damn good he was in this role. I’m not saying Kitsch isn’t a strong actor but he really hasn’t had a chance to show his range in some of the projects he is known for. Even his work in True Detective Season 2 is dismissed it seems because of the overall hatred for that season. Kitsch really transforms himself here and is absolutely brilliant. His line delivery, his pitch in his voice, his weight loss, and that mullet! Not only does he look the part but he is the part. He really does great work here and shows incredible range.

Michael Shannon, once again, is amazing as well. With each episode that goes by there was a different layer to the performance that I think an actor of lesser talent than Shannon maybe couldn’t of pulled off. The character could of been in danger of being one note, considering most of his time is spent on the phone trying to negotiate with different members of the Branch Davidians or pleading with his bosses about the way they are doing things, but it never got to that point because of Shannon’s extreme depth that he gave the character with nuances and backstory. There is one scene I really loved where he is eating a cheeseburger form WHAT-A-BURGER with his negotiating partner and goes into a story about how he wishes he would of got bacon on his burger which leads us into a hilarious story about using bacon in a hostage negotiation.

It’s moments like this when WACO really shines. Character moments. These are the things we didn’t get to see on the news or in the headlines and to see behind those doors and the different politics and situations that were in place made for effective television. The cast was so solid here. Paul Sparks as Steve really shines here as well as David’s right hand man and decision maker. Rory Culkin gives a solid performance here as David Thibbodaeu. But a performance I really enjoyed and an actress I am excited to see what she does after this is Julia Garner as Michelle. She is super effective here and brings a lot of depth and emotion to her character. Even John Leguizamo shows up for a few episodes and does really great work. Truly the entire ensemble, even ones I didn’t mention by name, was the highlight of this series.

I enjoyed the show’s patience. Which I think was a deliberate move on the show’s part. I think the show wanted you to feel like you were in this situation which at times frankly seemed boring and was a ton of waiting. Now, I get that boring in real life and boring in television is two different things but I appreciated the fact that the show took it’s time with how the events unfolded and focused on the characters and the psychology of these characters and what they were going through. On all sides. When the metaphorical shit finally hits the fan (which happens a few different times during the series’ run) it is effective.

I am sure there will be a debate on whether the Branch Davidians and mainly, David Koresh were presented in an accurate light here which I will leave to the people who have a way better understanding of what went down but just from a series perspective, I think they could of shown a little more of some of the questionable and more messed up aspects of some of the things that have been reported to have gone down within the walls of The Branch Davidians. I think it would of been interesting to navigate that throughout the show. Constantly asking yourself on both sides why certain decisions were made and forcing the audience to constantly make judgement calls on each interaction. Again, I will leave this to the people with way more knowledge on the subject matter and stick to talking about the series as art.

In closing, I think Paramount Network has started off very strong with their original content. This is a very strong and good effort and a series I really enjoyed. I also think Taylor Kitsch may be in line for some awards recognition by years end. I would recommend this show because of the strong ensemble work and confident direction. Just be patient going into it and then maybe after the series is over, do what I am going to do, and watch some different documentaries and read some more articles and learn a little bit more about the events that happened in Waco, Texas in 1993.

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JUSTIN BURDEN

Quentin Tarantino Casts 2 A-Listers For His New Film

I woke up to news that Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming film ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD has cast not only Leonardo Dicarpio but also Brad Pitt in the two lead roles.

I don’t have to go into the reasons of why this is such a big deal to cinema fans but I am going to anyway…

LEONARDO DICAPRIO and BRAD PITT TOGETHER in a QUENTIN TARANTINO MOVIE!!!

Two of the biggest movie stars paired with one of the most iconic directors in film history coming together to hopefully bring an incredible cinematic experience. Not only are Leo and Brad movie stars in every sense of the word but they are phenomenal actors. Mix that with Tarantino’s uncanny and unique dialogue plus the fact it deals with very controversial subject matter all set in 1969 Hollywood and we could have the biggest hit of Tarantino’s career.

Movie stars are becoming a thing of the past as big budget intellectual properties have taken over the cinematic landscape. There are only a few A-list movie stars who can carry an original movie in theaters without it being tied to one of those properties. But you mix them together, kind of like the super team building happening in the NBA right now and you could have something that not only makes a major profit but also is a true reason for people to GO TO THE MOVIES.

It’s refreshing to see in the age of superhero films, remakes, reboots, and movies based on best selling books that we are going to get another original Tarantino film with two of the biggest movie stars in history. It’s important that we still get these types of films not only because they are going to be great films (hopefully) but also because it’s good to have variety at the theater. Most films are usually big budget superhero films, remakes, animated films, and horror franchises. Tarantino is one of the few directors working today where you call it a “Tarantino film”. It doesn’t fit into any one genre. It’s a wholly unique cinematic experience.

It will be interesting to see how Sony manages this film and if they are going to follow similar marketing techniques and if we are going to get a full on Tarantino experience (my guess is yes) and how they are going to market it for next summer. All that will be speculated once we start hearing more about the film.

But for today, for right now, if we are just talking about cinema and nothing else surrounding it… This is extremely exciting news for cinephiles. I for one can’t wait to see this film and to hopefully bring back a resurgence for these types of films in the future. We only have one Leo, Brad, and Quentin but we should have more unique filmmaking voices get a budget, get some movie stars, and make some movies. There is room for both. That is my hope anyway.

Are you excited for this film? Let me know in the comments!

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JUSTIN BURDEN

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