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The Bad Batch: A New Clone Wars Series

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The Bad Batch – image from imdb.com

The new Star Wars animated series, The Bad Batch takes place after the supposed end of the Clone Wars. They include Hunter, Tech, Wrecker, Echo, Crosshair, and a Gonk Droid. Caleb Dume hires them as reinforcements to help him and his Jedi master Depa Billaba’s soldiers fight against the Empire.

They go into action and within a few minutes take out a majority of the enemy. Afterward, Dume and Depa thank the Batch and get ready to have the rest of their soldiers launch a counterattack. However, Order 66 gets broadcast.

This causes their soldiers to attack Billaba and Caled. She manages to take their attention away from him allowing the teenager to run. However, unlike the rest of the Bad Batch who want to protect the young man, Crosshair aims his blaster at the teen and shoots at him.

This surprises the rest of the batch who must now protect Caleb from one of their own. As they near a cliff Hunter tries to convince Caleb he and his remaining men want to protect him. Caleb refuses to believe it, jumps off the cliff to land on the other side where he makes his escape into a forest.

Later back at their base at Kamino, they find it overrun by stormtroopers and hear the Clone war is over; the Empire has won. Yet the Bad Batch soon have their loyalty tested by Admiral Tarkin. They survive a live ammunition test only to be sent another mission to test their loyalty a second time.

This happens because Crosshair accuses the rest of the team of allowing Caleb to escape. The mission to take out insurgents, however, the team finds none instead families who are trying to escape the Empire.

Now the Bad Batch is more confused and heads back to Kamino for answers. Instead, they get arrested except for Crosshair who gets taken away to have his loyalty chip programming increased.

The first episode ends with the remaining Batch members escaping their prison cell with a little girl named Omega.

In the second episode Omega and the team hook up with Cut, a former soldier who is now married with kids. The reunion allows the team to catch up with Cut and find out more about what is going on.

Amid this Omega goes outside with Crew’s kids to play. She learns to catch a ball and toss it to the other kids. The fun ends when the ball goes beyond a wire fence. However, instead of leaving the ball Omega decides to get it only to have nexu.

Crew’s wife and the Batch go into action to scare the nexu away and save Omega. The rest of the episode has the Batch helping Crew and his family get off the planet and they want Omega to go with them.

The little girl does not want to yet she reluctantly agrees until the moment comes to board transport. Without speaking, she conveys to Crew and his wife that she will return to Hunter and the other Batch. Omega does so and escapes with them aboard their spacecraft.

I like these two episodes. The three-dimensional animation and the look of the characters is very good. I like the action and the connections made between the Bad Batch and Omega. The only thing that felt off is Caled who looks like a teenager but sounds like a grown man. I now know why Freddie Prince, Jr did little to change his voice to match his character.

The Bad Batch: A New Clone Wars Series
Ruminate Central –: Christy’s Review
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Between Two Worlds: Scott’s Story Part 6

Image courtesy of Paul Brennan and publicdomainpictures.net

Carla smiles as she watches Scott’s eye and body animated at the table as he continues the bedtime story from last night. Earlier while mixing pancake batter, Jessica rushed into the kitchen in her nightie to tell her Dad was looking at his arm as if something were wrong with it.

She stopped mixing the batter and put the bowl down on the kitchen counter then gave her eldest child a quick hug and told her not to worry. Jessica’s face indicated to her she was not so sure about her mother’s words until a few moments later Scott hurried into the kitchen as he shouted a question to John and Adam. After witnessing this Jessica smiled and hugged her back before letting go to hurry to her room to change out of her nightie into her school clothes, a white shirt and blue shirt with knee-high blue socks and black shoes.

Carla turned back to the counter, picked up the bowl, and made her way to the stove to pour some batter into the hot skillet. Now she thinks about how far Scott has come from the first time she met him a decade ago. At the time nineteen-year-old, Carla was a student nurse. She stood outside in the fall cold in her purple scrubs with two other nurses hearing the sirens of an approaching ambulance they could not see yet. A few minutes later the ambulance backed up towards them with one of the crew opening the back doors as it came to a halt.

Carla and the two other nurses quickly got a hold of the gurney, not it up and standing on its wheels than with the help of the crew member. Carla then took the IV line and held it away from the gurney while the two other nurses and ambulance crew member got the gurney with the patient strapped down out of the ambulance. All the while the crew member them told about the patient as they rushed him inside.


“Eighteen-year-old male, overdosed on Percocet and Vicodin. His brother and two friends found him passed out in the basement curled up in a ball in pain, shivering and clammy to the touch. They told me this is not the first overdose the patient has had. I have him Naloxone to knock him out of septic shock and get his high heart rate down.”

A few minutes later as she, the other nurses gathered his vitals and gave them to the attending physician when suddenly the patient, sat up and splattered them with the contents of his stomach. All of them instinctively jumped back as he threw up before falling back down on the gurney worn out. It was soon after looking at his young man with his clammy skin, the freckles barely visible on his pale skin, his shaggy brown hair, and his blank hazel eyes made a spark in her, a connection in milliseconds, she never expected.


However, Carla would not realize what had happened with that one look until she saw the patient lean over the hospital bed rails to pick up a plastic bag with his belongings from a nearby chair. The patient brought it to the bed and looked inside as the bag sat on his legs. He took out his dark cloth wallet, opened it, and stared at the driver’s license. What a strange thing to do she had thought and in the next second she felt differently about this patient than the others, she had to help him more.

Christy’s Short Stories

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Daniel Craig as James Bond in Casino Royale

Video from the James Bond 007 Youtube Channel

The 2006 version of Casino Royale and the first Bond movie with Daniel Craig has near constant action that grabs you from the opening sequence right to where he is trying to nab someone to interview. Except his suspect runs away forcing bond to give chase for several minutes until the suspect’s death in an explosion killing both the suspect and military troops. Bond uses said explosion to escapes and he later able to obtain information from the suspect’s cellphone to get the name of a banker who finances terrorists  Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen) who finances terrorists.

However, Bond does not go directly to face Le Chiffre instead he must stop one of his hired terrorists who wants to blow up a plane. Once Bond accomplishes this he heads to Montenegro where he will take part in a poker game. His goal to prevent Le Chiffre from winning and making money for the terrorists he represents.

Bond gets help from Vesper Lynd who works for the Financial Action Task Force of Her Majesty’s Treasury(Eva Green), intelligence operative Rene Mathis (Giancarlo Giannini, and CIA man Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright). The poker game is tense and Bond nearly dies once during the hours long game.

As I wrote the film is near constant action, violence, and has an added romance between Bond and Lynd. I like the pace of the film, its very quick and the story is solid. It is not better than the original Casino Royale I think that one is better than this one but it is still good. And this story line does continue into the next film Quantum Solace.

Daniel Craig as James Bond in Casino Royale
Ruminate Central –: Christy’s Review

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Between Two Worlds: Scott’s Story Part 5

Breakfast Cereal image courtesy of Steve Buissinne and publicdomainpictures.net

“Dad, asks John, now that the prince has the evil King’s plans, will that be enough to over throw him?”

“No, he will need at least three people who advise the King to confirm his plan to capture the other nations’ kingdoms,” says Scott.

“But the King wrote on the scroll,” says John.

“Actually the King told someone else what to write, he didn’t do so himself.”

“What do you mean the King didn’t write what is on the scroll?” asks John.

“It is the King’s plan but it is in a different person’s writing so it gives him deniability,” says Scott.

“What does that word mean?”

“It means the King can say what is written on the scroll is not true because he did not write on it and whoever really did is trying to harm his status.”

“Like calling someone a fibber?”

“Yes like calling someone a fibber.”

“So how will the Prince convince the King’s advisors to go against him so he can be overthrown?” asks Adam.

“He will talk to his most trusted advisors including his brother to figure out how to get their servant friend to be hired to work for the evil King. And once they can do this their servant friend will gain the confidence of others and hopefully convince them to choose to go against their King for the greater good of all the nations.”

“Hopefully it won’t take so long that the evil King starts his plan and finishes it,” says John.

“Oh I am sure it will happen faster than that, the King’s plan when it goes into effect will many months to finish. I am sure as this story goes on we will find the Prince will work as fast as he can and get this done in a month or two.”

“I sure hope so I’d hate to see the Prince’s father being forced to turn his kingdom over to the evil King,” says Adam.

“That would be terrible,” says Adam.

“Sure would be. Okay guys I have to get changed for work and you have school,” says Scott as he gets up from his chair at the living room table.

“Hope your day is good Dad,” says Adam

“Have a good day,” says John a second later.

Christy’s Short Stories

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Synchronic (2019) Film with Anthony Mackie

Synchronic image from imdb.com

In the first few minutes of Synchronic the viewer meets two New Orléans paramedics and long time friends Steve and Dennis. The first few calls they have are to treat various people who took a new drug that causes them to hallucinate and for a few either badly harm themselves or die from the experience.

It wears on Steve (Mackie) who decides to buy up all of this drug in his town and burn it. However, a man who was in the shop behind Steve follows him out and tries to buy the small supply of the drug off him out but Steve turns him down.

Later at night Steve finds the same man hiding in a closet in his home and forces him to explain himself. The man tells Steve he made the drug and its effects bends time and causes the person who took it to time travel. However, the maker’s explanation does not sway Steve’s mind that the drug is deadly and he tells the man to leave his home empty handed which he does.

Days later when Dennis’s daughter disappears Steve decides to try the drug and see for himself if what the maker says is true. And if it is then perhaps he can bring his friend’s daughter back. Through trial and error Steve figures out he must return to the same spot he traveled to in order to return to his own time. All of which he has to do in a span of seven minutes or risk being stuck in the past.

When the film began the time shifts made me wonder if the two friends got stuck in a time loop but soon things did clear up for me and well before Steve finds the drug maker in his home. I do wonder though if Steve meant to destroy the drug and said he did why it later turns out he has a few packets left? Yet these two flaws do not take away the fact Synchronic turns out to be strangely good film that Mackie shines in.

Synchronic (2019) film with Anthony Mackie
Ruminate Central – Blog Central: Christy’s Review

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Between Two Worlds: Scott’s Story Part 4

Image courtesy of Loren Biser and publicdomanpictures.net

Scott is in the bathroom washing his face and with his head still bent over the sink; without looking he grabs a towel hanging from a ring next to him. After two good wipes, he replaces the towel to dry. As Scott does so he glimpses something black and gray on his right arm. Once the towel is back on the ring, Scott touches the area and remembers how he chose to get the tattoo.

At the time he felt his life could not get any lower and painful. Scott and a friend stole a bottle of hydrocodone from a local pharmacy. Afterward, they went back to his friend’s apartment, crushed a few pills and snorted them then repeated it until the high hit. All the dread, the depression, and self-hate melted away and Scott felt like he was floating in epic goodness just like his friend.

Later on the high began to ebb and the two chose to snort more hydrocodone. Only their bodies did not agree with the increased doses and both felt terrible muscle pain. Scott wished he could fight it enough to reach up over the couch where they were lying to pick up the phone receiver to call for help. His friend said hell no. If Scott made the call the police would come with the paramedics. His friend did not need another charge on his record because he would go to jail. No, they would tough out the pain. Reluctantly Scott agreed.

They survived and without drawing attention from his friend’s neighbors who could have easily called 911 for them. And it led to Scott choosing to kick his drug habit. When he got to six months clean, he got the tattoo.

Just as the memory finishes, the tattoo fades away, Scott takes several deep breaths before brushing and flossing his teeth. A few minutes later he exits the bathroom but instead of getting out of his pajamas in his bedroom, he needs to the kitchen to find John and Adam making cereal. “Boys, I want to finish the story over breakfast. Sound good?”

Christy’s Short Stories

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Between Two Worlds: Scott’s Story Part 3

Child and Book Image courtesy of George Hodan and publicdomainpictures.net

“The prince swings the rope with the grappling hook at one end skyward toward the tower and the open window. He does not immediately lets the rope go until he believes the hook will grip so after five swings each a wider arch finally let’s go and just as he saw in his mind’s eye the hook makes it up to the open window and grips the ledge. The prince tugs twice to make sure its tight before moving back a few…

“Dad, will the prince’s boot heels slide against the brick tower?” asks Adam.

“Nope, he put metal grips on his boots to prevent that from happening,” says Scott.

“When?” asks Adam.

“Before he got ready to swing the rope,” says Scott.

“But you didn’t mention that last night,” says John who sits on Adam’s bed near his covered feet.

“Sorry bud I didn’t mean to forget that detail,” says Scott.

“That’s okay Dad, you mentioned it now,” says Adam.

“ The prince stops a moment and puts gloves on his hands to protect them from the friction of the rope then puts his left foot a few inches up, backs up a little then pulls back so the rope is taught then put his other foot on the tower wall and slowly inches his way up. After a few minutes the prince makes it to the open window and carefully makes his way into the tower. Leaving the hook and rope in place, the prince crouches down and waits for his eyes to adjust to darkness of the tower room. Once they do he looks around a large desk with scrolls on top, could one of these have the plans he is looking for? “

Just then there is a gentle knock on the door, Scott and the boys turn to it and see Carol standing in the doorway, “You will need to end the story here Honey, Jessica is already asleep and these two are still awake.”

“But Mom, the prince is about to steal the evil king’s plans,” says Adam.

Scott reads the time on the clock sitting on the bed’s mantle and says, “Your Mom is right you guys should have been asleep already. John go to your bed and Adam scoot down and pull up your covers so you can sleep.”

“Dad,” pleads John, can you quickly let the Prince find the right scroll?”

“No buddy it will have to wait,” says Scott.

“Rats,” says John.

Christy’s Short Stories

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Between Two Worlds: Scott’s Story Part 2

Car Traffic Accident Damage Image courtesy of Video Girl &publicdomainpictures.net Scott sits in his driveway unable to get out of his car. He is aware that ten minutes quickly going on eleven have passed on the dashboard clock since his arrival to his home. Inside of his house Scott knows his wife is simultaneously plating…

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Between Two Worlds: Scott’s Story Part 1

Image from PublicDomainPictures.net and courtesy of Elisa Xyz Scott drives his tan Toyota Celica away from his video and game store after a long day with his employees. The traffic got heavy right after schools let out and the kids poured in to get their hands on the latest Nintendo and Genesis games to play over the…

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Get on Up: A 2014 film on the life of the Godfather of Soul, James Brown

Get on Up Image courtesy of imdb.com

The 2014 film, Get on Up, takes an autobiographical look at the Godfather of Soul; James Brown starring Chadwick Boseman and directed by Tate Taylor.

  
Over the course of several years, I have seen documentaries on James Brown and several of his recorded concerts.   As a result, I think Chadwick nails Brown’s voice and his dance moves. Plus, he did some singing in the film too.  
However, Boseman gets let down by the time sequences of film and editing which are uneven.  It introduces us to James Brown toward the end of his career, then to his childhood, future concerts, how he started, back to childhood or any of the previously mentioned without something to connect them so it makes sense to the viewer. 


One specific is one of the first scenes in the film where Brown visits one of the business he owns. He gets upset at a woman who used the bathroom in the building, and it appears to finish quickly until much later in the film when I found out the incident leads to him being chased by the police.


A second instance occurs a while later at after concert party when Birdy comes into the room to tell Brown a woman who introduced herself as his mother wants to see him.  We do not get to see Brown with his mother and hear what is said between them until near the end of the film.

If the sequences in the script, and editing had been better the film could have risen to the level of Chadwick’s amazing performance.

Get on Up: A 2014 film on the life of the Godfather of Soul, James Brown
Ruminate Central – Entire Season 1: Christy’s Review