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Captain Kirk leads his crew to hunt down one man, who is terrorizing their organization. It takes their crew into enemy territory, where they learn a lot about the people who lead them and what people will do for the people they care about… in essence, nothing is as it seems. I will say that I walked away from the film loving the same things that I loved in the first one: The characters. I love the relationship between the hotheaded James Kirk and the seemingly emotionally withdrawn Spock. The chemistry between Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto is perfect and makes the characters come alive in a way that even non-trekkies feel. Added to the already amazing cast (Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin) is Benedict Cumberbatch. As a huge fan of the Sherlock series and everything else this amazing Brit does, I thought he brought so much to his character. Yes, John Harrison is the villain but Cumberbatch portrays him as one-part enchanting and one-part terrifying. I was transfixed, and I truly felt like he fit in perfectly with the movie.
Star Trek into Darkness was an amazing film that I was fortunate enough to see last night at a premiere. I think I loved it for a few different reasons but one of them being that I am not a trekkie and I still loved every second. Ok, so not every second, because the pacing of the film in the beginning was off. There were these abrupt cuts to various scenes of transition that made it appear choppy and underdeveloped. However, after about 45 mins that changed for me. I was eager to find out what the next step in the plan was going to be or how they were ever going to get out of some risky situations. (Spoilers) I think the first 45 minutes seemed choppy because they had a few different storylines going on, but once they killed off a few people, it started to come together and flow.
Overall, this is a great movie full of action and bromance. I was nervous going into it because I thought nothing can top the first one, but this one was actually better. J.J. is a great visual storyteller. The angles of some scenes showed just enough and then there were scenes that showed the grandness that you are accustomed to seeing in Star Trek. It is definitely worth a watch on the big screen (maybe not in 3D, which to me is a waste of money 9 out of 10 times) with a large group of people. It is a movie of fun but it is also highly emotional. Definitely a must-see.
This month is Child Abuse Prevention month. I work for Child Advocacy Center, and all this week I have been working extra hard because we had about 20 different events. As the month comes to a close I wanted to share some startling facts with you:
1 in 4 girls is sexually abused before the age of 18
1 in 6 boys is sexually abused before the age of 18
1 in 5 children is solicited sexually while on the internet.
Nearly 70% of all reported sexual assaults (including assaults on adults) occur to children ages 17 and under.
An estimated 39 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse exist in America today.
During this month I have met some amazing people as well. I had the opportunity to talk to Chris Gavagan during our 5th annual Darkness to Light Facilitator conference. He is making a documentary on the abuse he suffered as a child by his hockey coach, and the impact it had on his family, his adult-life, and his mindset. His presentation was so beautifully executed that he did not have a dry-eye in the entire conference.
I also was fortunate to meet Dave Moody, a prominent business man and President of Moody Construction. He gave a moving speech (his first time) about the abuse he suffered because of a babysitter. You can read more about his struggles and triumphs at www.Moodyspeaks.com
These two survivors, and now champions for children, who that even when the worst happens, you can achieve greatness and turn pain into testimony. They are using their voice to stand up for children; saving lives and healing wounds. Although, April is ending, we must remember that it is our responsibility to champion the needs of children and protect the most vulnerable all year round.
*Pic from Official The Walking Dead FB and Website*
So I know, I know. People are obsessed with The Walking Dead (comics and show) and there are true fanatics. I have heard of Walking Dead weddings and people with Walking Dead Tattoos. That type of dedication is amazing, and I am sure the creators, cast and crew must be thrilled to be a part of something that connects with people on that level. However, I do not yet possess the ability to allow such permanence in my life (I can’t imagine the wedding photo viewing party 30 years from now with the kids). Yet, I still find myself advocating for this show to all of my non-watching family, friends, and randoms. I love the show. I connect to the show, not because I want to meet a walker in real life (although I really want to do the Run for Your Lives) but because I understand the value it imparts. The Walking Dead is not just about a bunch of people trying to outrun a bunch of zombies. The Walking Dead is about people being the most of themselves in dire consequences. It is about an insanely high desire to connect to people, to survive, to be compassionate, to struggle with good and evil. It is about people being…well human. When you take away all the distractions (phones, money, jewelry) people get to show their true humanity. This show allows me to connect with Rick, Michonne, Daryl, Herschel, Glenn, The Governor, Laurie, Andrea, Shane, Carl in a way that would not be possible otherwise. To see a mother want to give her child “normal” in a abnormal world, people feeling jealousy, love, envy, hate, and to understand that everyone wants to belong to someone even if it is physically impossible. This show is the most realistic show on TV. It gives you the sense that people can be as evil and as good as they want to be, but they are still nurtured to those ends by the people (or lack of) surrounding them. The moral compass in the show has to adjust because the times have changed, but people still feel, love, and hope. Last night’s episode showed me that. The team was forced to come to terms with the fact that the outside force of destruction could touch any of them. That at some point, connections will only create pain and sadness but that does not mean banish them. The Walking Dead shows that you have to cherish them. You must hold on to people, even in the saddest and scariest of times, because they are what make you want to go on. You should love and befriend because no one should die alone, and none of us should face this alone. The Walking Dead should make us not only think about the cool ideas of zombie and survival gear but we should all think about what makes us good or bad. The Walking Dead is the realest show on TV and if you are not watching after three seasons you have truly missed an amazing piece of life-work.
In 2010, RED started a pledge declaring that by 2015 we will have an AIDS-free generation. This goal seemed lofty for m any, but I for one was excited to see this goal. I felt that it was possible and highly likely that this could be attained. If country leaders, organizations, and regular everyday people stepped up their awareness plan, invested in retro-viral meds, and more education we could create a generation of babies with a 0% Aids infection rate. That day would truly be amazing and I am excited when that is a normal occurrence. Now another breakthrough this week: A baby from Mississippi was cured of HIV. While some experts have claimed that the results of this case does not really mean much for an AIDS cure in Adults, I think there is a much bigger picture that people are missing. This story lends itself to hope and a surge of energy to HIV/AIDS research. Oftentimes, I hear people say, “They are never going to find a cure.” I think this way of thinking is not only detrimental to victims of HIV/AIDS but to potential funders, supporters, and future researchers. While I am very much an advocate for the here and now, and doing all we can to get retro-viral meds and awareness of life after a positive diagnosis; I do believe that hope in a cure can only spur more research and knowledge. I was so excited to read this story and I hope that people can see that the continued hard work and faith by researchers, scientist and donors can only help to create HIV/AIDS-free generations for all.