Archive for January, 2010

Introducing George Clooney as Ernest Hemingway

January 23, 2010

I was once asked if as I wrote my Shades of Hemingway series had I a mental picture the actors I would want to have play the characters therein.  I half way joked that I’d like to have Leonardo DiCaprio play me but I hadn’t really thought about who would play the others.  That is until now…

Last night I watched the Help For Haiti NowDefault.asp broadcast and as soon as I saw George Clooney begin his introduction I thought, “He’s the one!  He is the one I’d select to play “Hem” in the stories I have written about encountering Ernest Hemingway’s ghost and the adventure that followed.”  So while I admit it isn’t like Margaret Mitchell picturing Clark Gable as Rhett Butler while writing Gone With The Wind, it intrigued me to make up a list of actors to play the parts of the major characters in all four books, i.e.:  Shades of Hemingway, Medium Exposure, Deja’ Voodoo and the latest; Bone Island Abattoir (which hasn’t been published here yet, but it’s coming!)  To read any of the afore mentioned stories, search the AMRFP archives under “Hemingway”.

So, as I said earlier…  Leonardo DiCaprio nm0000138   would be cast as “Christian Fiore”, a.k.a. “Chris”.  Leo has an incredible range as an actor.  He could carry the emotional uncertainty of the hero plunged into an adventure he had not been ready for. 

George Clooney nm0000123   would play “Hem”, Ernest Hemingway’s 40-year-old apparition.  Hemingway’s creativity and popularity was at its peak when he reached this age.  Ernest Hemingway was as celebrated as any American author, but was also an avid outdoorsman and ladies man.  George Clooney personifies the Ernest Hemingway mystic; masculine, complex and intriguing.  George could portray the impish, good-humored “Hem” with authentic relish.

I think that Harrison Ford nm0000148   would make a remarkable “Papa” Hemingway.  Cast against type would put Harrison’s full range as an actor to the greatest test.  Could he be the 60-year-old reflective ghost that struggles against the machinations of “Hem”, the strongest of the three Hemingway personalities?  I think so.  Harrison Ford’s presence would lend an inner strength and melancholy to the great man who aides “Christian” on his quest.

“Ring Lardner, Jr.” is the spirit of a 20-year-old Hemingway jolted by the grim realities of war.  Though he is the weakest of the shades, he plays a vital part in encouraging “Christian” to face the dangers that lie in store for him.  Robert Pattinson nm1500155    could easily sink his teeth into this role.

For the character of “Keith” I had to think of a guy that could be both likable, warm and charming to begin with but beneath the surface hides a cold, calculated killer.  For this atypical bad guy I thought of Jeremy Piven nm0005315    He has the ability to be the best buddy and yet smoulder as someone sinister.

Megan Fox nm1083271   would be my choice to play “Brett Jordan”.  She could be a strong police detective that is sexually assertive but also vulnerable to the influences of the kyklos tod mene.  It would be a cinch to have “Christian Fiore” become enthralled with her.

Joshua Jackson nm0005045   would be perfect for “Robert Jordan”, the rookie cop and “Brett Jordan’s” kid brother.  He has the quiet fortitude that embodies this lost soul.

For Key West Detective “Jake Barnes” I had to look no further than the morning show, Canada AM and Jeff Hutcheson. 20090828?s_name=AM  Seen every day as Canada’s top weatherman, Jeff is the perfect character to play “Christian Fiore’s” gregarious on again, off again side kick.  I don’t know of any acting credentials for Jeff, but his clever delivery and robust personality would be a natural fit.  Jeff reminds me of the big brother everybody imagines they’d like to have.

I think I’d like to see Jennifer Lopez nm0000182   as “Naty Revuelta”.  I realize that the character is of a mixed Cuban/American descent, but I think Jen could pull it off.  She could play the part of a heroine that not only inspires but rescues “Chris”.  Ultimately “Chris” falls in love with this latino beauty and I don’t think that is too far-fetched.   Jennifer is looking for a role to lead her back as a credible actress and I think this one could do it for her.  It doesn’t hurt that Lopez co-starred with George Clooney in the movie, Out of Sight.  If not Jennifer, I’d like Eva Mendez nm0578949   for sure.  It may be possible to place both in there because of Naty’s sister, Rosetta.  Though not a big part, either actress could make it memorable.

 Next comes “Manolo a.k.a. Sgt. Garcia.”  I enjoyed Michael Pena nm0671567   as “Daniel” in the movie, Crash.  I think he could easily come off as the good guy Cuban police officer who is secretly in cahoots with the villain(s) of The Shades of Hemingway.  Also Andy Garcia nm0000412  would be a good choice, he might even double as director.

Last but not least of my casting call would be Benicio Del Toro nm0001125   as “Lord Cristobal”.  I could see him as the manipulator having been out maneuvered by a conniving former ally.  He has a strong though restrained persona that would play well as a man lost in his own evil practices.

Of course, I realize this is just a dream cast that would no doubt cost a jillion dollars and I wish there was a way I could squeeze Tom Hanks nm0000158   into a cameo, but the next best thing would be to call on Ron Howard nm0000165   to direct.  After all, The Shades of Hemingway series does have a happy ending… or does it?  If it doesn’t, maybe we should use Martin Scorsese nm0000217 .   Clint Eastwood nm0000142  might be a good choice, too.  What do you think?

Look for Shades of Hemingway, Bone Island Abattoir to appear here soon.

P.S.  All images appeared in the Internet Movie Database except for Jeff Hutcheson who came courtesy of the Canada AM home page.


Does God Hate Haiti?

January 17, 2010

Of course, by now the world is aware of one of the worst natural disasters in history affecting the island nation of Haiti.  Less than a week later estimates  list the death toll at between 45-50,000 people.  Photos of anguish and suffering abound in newspapers, television and the Internet.  Cries for help have been heard and a worldwide outpouring of support has responded.  It always seems that at a time of natural disaster we set up a united front no matter our politics to come to the aid of those who suffer such tragedy.  And that is a good thing.  Compassion is what sets us apart from the cold, cruel and calloused world of indifference.


So I wonder at some reasoning out there.  There are those that have said that Haitians some how deserved to suffer calamity.   A natural disaster such as the earthquake at Port-au-Prince is none other than the hand of God exacting punishment on the heathenish, devil worshiping inhabitants according to Pat Robertson. 


So I did a little research… (you knew I would, didn’t you?) 

Does Pat Robertson know that 80% of Haitians profess a Catholic faith and another 16% Protestant?  This is confusing to me because if their religion is similar to ours, why would God punish them for the “sins” of 200 years ago?  Pat seems to think that God causes this poor country to suffer from a history of corrupt government, mis-managed social programs and poverty because of a “pact with the Devil.”   What kind of godly man makes such a claim?  And do such sayings draw people closer to God or push them further away?

Another bully pulpit is under the watchful eye of Rush Limbaugh.  He says that we pay enough taxes that go towards foreign aid and because our country is in such sorry shape now a more concentrated effort at relieving Haiti is not necessary.  Do we put a price tag on our sense of humanity?  When Rush was suffering from those chest pains a short time ago and was uncertain as to whether  his time had come… did he say a prayer to the God of Pat Robertson?  I’m not a big fan of Keith Olbermann, but his comments here are interesting…


I like to think of God as a god of compassion, one that doesn’t hold past sins against us if we are truly sorry for them and try to do better.  Isn’t that what the Bible teaches?  If the Haitian people of old did such a despicable thing as make a “pact with the Devil”, how long will passing generations since have to pay for that abomination?    Would it go on indefinitely?  Are innocent people forever cursed as Pat Robertson has indicated the Haitians are?  And in our time of need; do we gather unto ourselves, turn our backs to the downtrodden and say,” We have given enough in the past and cannot help you now” as Rush Limbaugh has indicated?  

We claim to be a Christian nation.  Our charity should not come as a matter of convenience but as a matter of pride, because now and always…  it is the right thing to do.


Dark Matter of a Light Nudge Theory

January 16, 2010

Two Cents Worth in the Nickel City
The Dark Matter of a Light Nudge  Theory

My first visit to the Science North Inco Cavern was most satisfying.  Not only because of the theatre setting carved out of solid rock and the friendly staff, but for the subject matter being presented by our guest speaker, Professor Stephane Courteau of Queen’s University in Kingston..  Or should I say, because of the Dark Matter…

Professor Courteau is an energetic astrophysicist that quickly warmed up to his subject by reminding us of the great men of science past, Galileo and Sir Isaac Newton among others and how their contributions lead us to where we are today in our quest for knowledge about the universe.  Professor Courteau entertains us with the current thinking of the beginnings of the universe.  Where time and space beginnings the size of a pin head started, not with a haphazard “big bang” but more like a benevolent, light nudge.

With the measurements concocted using Einstein’s theory of relativity, Newton’s discovery of gravity and Galileo’s realization of objectivity, we gained further evidence of mass and substance in our universe.  Planets were theorized to exist though they could not be seen based on the “wobble” of their neighboring planets or the stars set in their orbits.  Mathematical calculations based on the patterns of movement and the precise expansion of the universe gave evidence of black holes, black stars, black energy and the perplexing dilemma of dark matter.

Dark matter in space has all the characteristics of mass but cannot be seen, though its presence is theorized because of its gravitational effects on visible matter.  There are rotation curves of spiral galaxies and other signs of missing mass that appears to be more dense than its visible counterpart, which comprises less than 10% of the known universe.  The movement of galaxies adds to the strength in the belief of dark matter as other star clusters wink off and on while the density of other solar systems pass by.

Interestingly, here in our area is the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory which Professor Courteau predicts will be receiving the Nobel prize within the next 10 years because of its research coinciding with the existence of dark matter.  Neutrinos are elementary particles that travel through mass near the speed of light and are not diminished by distance.  Because they are very hard to detect, Professor Courteau estimated perhaps one or two a year may be found at SNO.  Will neutrinos unlock the secrets of dark matter?  Is dark matter comprised of neutrinos or does it emit neutrinos, somehow affect neutrinos or simply eat neutrinos for breakfast?

All of this discussion of the origins of the universe started giving me a colossal headache until I recalled what I had read recently about dark matter discovered in the human brain.  Pictures of the brain’s “dark matter” had direct correlation with the universe’s “dark matter” when their photographs were placed next to each other; in fact, their characteristics were identical.

Could this “light nudge” theory of the origins of the universe just be the sparking synapse of some cosmic brain’s creative thought, “Let there be light”?

Dark matter, it’s not just for astrophysicists anymore.

Is the film “Avatar” racist?

January 12, 2010

Okay, we interrupt our normally scheduled program to comment on the latest phenomenon…

I took my beautiful girl out last Saturday night to see the much ballyhooed movie “Avatar”.  I am probably what you would call a typical movie lover.  Seeing the rave reviews and the revenue mount, I thought I’d stop and see what all the hubbub was about.  My BB is also a great film buff, though our tastes can vary slightly depending on context and themes, but we try to stay open-minded enough to be a willing participant to the other’s choices.  “Avatar” was my choice.  She was a bit reluctant to feed the James Cameron machine, but joined in with good spirits.

Surprised at how good “Avatar” was, we both agreed it was an enjoyable adventure.  Not just because of the special effects, which were astonishing, but the storyline itself was excellent.  The fact that we enjoyed it in 3-D only enhanced an already mind-blowing experience.

But today I read on the Internet people are complaining that “Avatar” has racist overtones?  Pah-leez! 

I for one did not think of it as anything but a good story with an excellent moral, but I guess if you look for it you can see something racist in just about anything, even the Bible. 

Why do we have to put labels on things that may actually do some good?  I think it is a shame that there are those who constantly stir up prejudices and find that they do no great service towards anyone.  Instead of moving us closer to a harmonious society we are continually being pushed apart by choices singled out by some as being “racist”. 

If you want to see a movie where the good guy is white or black or red or yellow, choose that movie.  But don’t call me racist because I happen to enjoy a flick that has a person of one race saving a particular group of people of another race.  Why is that bad?

And folks… we are all different.  Regardless of skin or origin or language or beliefs,  differences are what makes us unique.

“Avatar” is a worthwhile film.  The message is inspiring.  There is more to right and wrong then race, plain and simple. 

Viva la difference!