Monthly Archives: April 2018

Celebrating the Films of Military Actor R. Lee Ermey (1944-2018) Who Passed Away This Week

r lee ermey

Die-hard drill instructors, jailbreaking football coaches, and corrupt backwoods sheriffs. It was all just another day of work for former Marine Corp. drill instructor-turned-actor R. Lee Ermey, who died earlier this week. Ermey was an incredibly dynamic character-actor with an instantly recognizable face and rambunctious personality. The Kansas native joined the Marine Corp. in lieu of jail time after he’d been arrested twice by the age of 17. He began his career serving as a drill instructor in San Diego during the early 1960s before eventually being sent on a 14-month deployment in Vietnam. He was injured during his tour in 1969 and was sent to work as a staff sergeant in Okinawa before being medically discharged in 1972, ending his hopes of a long military career. After moving to the Philippines to attend college, Ermey married and began taking odd jobs in television commercials before landing his first film role as Sgt. Loyce in a movie called The Boys in Company C, which followed five young Marine Corp. recruits from their bootcamp training to their deployment in Vietnam. Continue reading

Steven Spielberg’s ‘Ready Player One’ Is A 1980s Cinematic Nostalgia Trip

WARNING – SPOILERS!!! Pac Man, Back to the Future, and Blade Runner are only a few titles that make up the 1980s cinematic nostalgia trip in Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One, now playing in theaters. Based on the novel by Ernest Cline, Ready Player One follows a young man named Wade Watts who lives in a dystopian United States in 2045. Humanity, as Wade knows it, is plagued by a failing economic system, an ominous corporate-governing body, and a tainted outdoor environment, all the result of an energy crisis caused by global warming, corporate greed, and the depletion of Earth’s fossil fuels. Since the real-world is no longer a pleasant place to spend your time, Wade, like most people, spends his days in the OASIS, an interactive virtual reality comprised of games and puzzles from every video game, movie, book, or television show made primarily between 1980 and 1990, although there are a few exceptions. The OASIS is the mind-child of James Halliday (obviously Cline’s own doppelganger) who, prior to his death, left a hidden Easter Egg inside the OASIS that, if found, provides the winner with his massive fortune and control of the corporation running the OASIS, and that’s where Wade’s (or Parzival as he is named in the OASIS) story begins. Continue reading

‘Make Music Day’ Is Back With 4,500 Concerts and Free Events Nationwide This June

make music day

If you’re looking for more to do this summer than walk to the pool or have an occasional beach day, why not plan a trip around the annual Make Music Day festival this June 21st? Make Music Day is a worldwide event that features concerts, impromptu jam sessions, music lessons, and free events in more than 800 cities across 120 countries. Last year, 4,138 free concerts and events were held in 53 cities across North America in coordination with additional celebrations in cities around the world. All were held on June 21st. As impressive as that is, the organization is looking to one-up itself this year by adding more than 350 additional events to the line-up! That means plenty of destinations to choose from for a midsummer weekend road trip. Fête De La Musique was first started by France’s Ministry of Culture. It was held on the summer solstice in 1982 and since then has become an annual worldwide phenomenon, a celebration of music where all are welcome to participate or merely take in the atmosphere. Check out Make Music’s local links for Minneapolis and Chicago to find events happening in an area near you this summer, and get out and sing on June 21st!