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Friday, December 25, 2015

Film Review Friday with Fidel Reyes - Star Wars: The Force Awakens

“There has been an awakening, have you felt it?”

After years of anticipation Star Wars: The Force Awakens has finally arrived to the theaters of our galaxy, but does it live up to the magic and grandeur that fans have come to expect from the Star Wars saga? In short, yes. However, more than a simple yes is necessary to explain why Star Wars: The Force Awakens manages to succeed in capturing the essence of Star Wars.

To begin the approach of director J.J. Abrams is well executed as he manages to bring a classic feeling to Star Wars while bringing a new voice and exuberance to the franchise. Through the use of practical effects, compelling set pieces, and emotionally investing characters Abrams proves that he is not only an avid Star Wars fan but a great director for the franchise.

Meanwhile, the script, co-written by Abrams, Michael Arndt, and Star Wars Original Trilogy scribe Lawrence Kasdan is a great script that captures a grand sense of the epic intergalactic struggle between good and evil. While, the script does a fantastic job in presenting a grand space opera it surprisingly, and successfully, presents a personal journey that acts as coming of age story wrapped in a love letter, and tribute, to the Star Wars Original Trilogy.

While the story helps connect the old and the new it is the characters who make the film both great and intimate. First off, newcomer Daisy Ridley’s performance as Rey is not only a highlight for the movie, but a highlight for the series since she manages to create a compelling and complex character that possesses all the qualities that people admire in a strong protagonist. John Boyega’s performance as Finn is a witty and energetic performance that brings both levity and conflict to the story. Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron acts a likeable and heroic figure with a heart of gold. Meanwhile, antagonist Kylo Ren, portrayed by Adam Driver, creates a complex and humanized villain that is a dark and menacing enigma.

And last but not least, Harrison Ford returns as the charismatic Han Solo, bringing back the magic that was present in the past and still manages to further develop his character in an emotional and witty manner. On a side note, Ford immersed himself so much into his return to role that it is difficult to imagine that he ha not played Solo in 32 years.

Another great trait that The Force Awakens possesses is successfully using nostalgia, from the original trilogy, in order to help advance the plot of the story and to introduce themes and metaphorically driven context to further a well known mythos in a self-contained story. The use of nostalgia in The Force Awakens successfully helped J.J. Abrams immerse his audience into a fantastical world where adventure ensues. Not to mention, that the score by the iconic John Williams also acts as a nostalgic tool that blends into the story, sets, and characters that J.J. Abrams, and company, set out to create in The Force Awakens.

However, the nostalgia and throwbacks to the Star Was Original Trilogy that make Star Wars: The Force Awakens so great also create the the film’s greatest flaws. The film’s flaws stem from the preoccupation of fitting in references, or Easter Eggs, from the original trilogy which can cause viewers to lose focus on the film’s central focus and conflict. At times The Force Awakens feels like a story that has been seen before, since the film explores similar characters, emotional story arcs, set pieces, and final climax as 1977’s Star Wars: A New Hope. While The Force Awakens acts well as a standalone entry in the Star Wars Saga the film’s focus on nostalgia can make it feel like a soft-retelling of A New Hope.

The Force Awakens also suffers from a lack of given information, since certain plot points are presented as if it should be known by the audience or are never retouched later on in the film. Undoubtedly the questions that The Force Awakens will probably be answered in future installments, this is the start of the trilogy after all, but one can’t help but feel that the film could have done more to try to explain certain plot points and empty gaps.

While the film possesses a small amount of flaws they are so minor that they neither affect the pacing, enjoyment, or grand sense of adventure that director J.J. Abrams and company managed to craft. Watching the movie, it can clearly be seen that the film was made through hard work and loving care for the Star Wars Saga, since the clash of old and new creates an immersive experience for both new and longtime fans. While The Force Awakens is not quite perfect as a film it manages to be perfect in its mission to capture the magic, epic scale, and interesting characters that series creator George Lucas created back in 1977.

Overall, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a great film that is eloquently put together, beautiful in visual and metaphorical context, and vibrant in its richness of heart and soul. J.J. Abrams has crafted a beautiful film, in technical and narrative aspects, that will transcend generations of Star Wars fans all across the galaxy.

Final Grade: A

Monday, November 16, 2015

"RETRIBUTION"

Check out this action-packed, student short film I starred in last year!



https://www.facebook.com/steele.stephens/videos/10205323396268026/?pnref=story

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

STEELE BODY WORKOUT OF THE DAY: BACK

Level: Advanced
Time: 1 hour

DEAD LIFT
4X8

PULL UPS
3X8

LAT PULL DOWN
3X8

BENT OVER ROWS
3X8

SEATED ROWS (HORIZONTAL GRIP)
3X8

SEATED ROWS (VERTICAL GRIP)
3X8

Rest 1 minute in between sets and rest 2 minutes in between each exercise.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

First Week of School Limerick

I thought I was ready for school
Now I know I was a fool
Due dates, exams
Trying to cram
When I'd rather be out by the pool

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

STEELE-BODY WORKOUT OF THE DAY: LEG DAY (DON'T SKIP IT)


LEVEL: Advanced

TIME: 1 hr.


SQUATS: 4x8*

LUNGES: 3x10 each leg

LEG PRESS: 4x8

LEG EXTENSION: 3x10

HAMSTRING CURLS: 3x10

STANDING CALVE RAISES: 4x12

SITTING CALVE RAISES: 4x12


*[# of sets]x[# of repetitions]


For a complete, personalized workout program uniquely created for your fitness goals text me at (713) 264-1635 or email me at steelestephens@hotmail.com. Programs start as low as $30.00!



Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Two Little Birds

Two Little Birds

By: Steele Stephens

Slashed to the soul
Healed and reopened
Mostly my fault
Nonetheless broken


Swimming upstream
Even though it's a bust
Completely confusing
What love is and lust


Fed up and out
Self pityingly cynical
I turned my back on
Patterns so cyclical


Taken by current
Swept downstream, away
From all of the pointless
Meaningless pain


That slash in my chest
Metaphorically speaking
Though painful and slow
Ended up healing


That's when I saw you
Whimsically beautiful
Singing a song
Captivating, unusual


Caught my attention
Hooked like a fish
Everything that I
Could ever have wished


That's when I said
What I needed too say
I like how you fly,
Can I join you today?


This current of air
Is easy and new
I want to explore it
Just me and you


If it gets rough,
Tough, fast, or slow
We have each other
No matter the flow


I don't know much
But I know I love you
If you are a bird
Then I'm a bird, too

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Evolution of Heartbreak


"Discrepancy" by Peyton LaBeau

Here I am again in this old familiar place

The good that I’ve been trying to do gone without a trace.

Rock bottom seems to be where I’ve been spending all my time.

And I keep falling lower, every time I try to climb.

The ghosts from my past have been haunting me relentlessly.

Trust issues in my life due to all of the discrepancy.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Sarah By: Robbye Lewis

Sarah
By: R. Lewis

I rest my eyes upon your face and examine every line
I treasure every warm embrace that grows sweeter with the time
I seek my comfort in your words they seem so strong and bold
Yet, underneath there lurks the fear of death and growing old
Oh, bold one dare I say to you oh, dare I tell you how
I wish to walk where you have been I wish to be there now
For you see you will live
a thousand years a million journeys strolled
You will live forever in my heart with the stories I have told
For my vibrant youth I owe to you my steadfast love I deem
To pay you back is beyond reproach and never could I dream
To give you back what you have shared the years will tell the tales
Of precious moments frozen in time and never do I fail
To think of you before I drift into complacent sleep
And dream of days eternity holds for all of us who weep
To dance upon the wispy clouds so free of any pain
To be together one and all and never part again

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Can you even hear me? By: Robbye Lewis

Can you even hear me?
By: Robbye Lewis

Can you even hear me
no matter how loud I cry
To scream in bitter anger
at life still flying by
Then once upon a dew drop I hear the song of old
I remember  sweetest laughter from days so long ago 
The warmth of summer sunshine dawn breaking on my skin 
I close my eyes with one deep breathe I'm in that place again
I saunter through my memories sweet treasures that I hold
Gently wrap around me like velvet  to my soul 
I hear the gentle rhythm waves dancing on the sand
Be still and know I am with you.. The words that saved all man
As ocean breaks beneath me my soul remembers sweet 
The gifts that life has given placed gently at my feet 
This place so sweet I
treasure my touchstone  on the sand 
It saved me then, as it does now by God's own gentle hand

Monday, July 13, 2015

Want to have your work published on my blog?

Are you a creative person with no idea where to showcase your work? Steele Stephens: Open Static is here to help! With hundreds of views per day, your work can be noticed quickly and significantly. Email me at steelestephens@hotmail.com to get your music, art, poetry, writing, journalism, movie reviews, and anything else you create the attention you've been looking for! 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

be Kind

be Kind
By: Steele Stephens

Faggot, dyke, tranny, twink
Nigger, kike, brownie, chink
Bimbo, slut, whore, cow, cunt, bitch
Douche bag, asshole, dick, prick, priss
These are mean things we call others
Without taking time to bother
Thinking about what it would
Do to us if we just could
Take off the black blinders of
The insecurities in us
That is all that meanness is
Sad stabs to fill emptiness
But those jabs just tear more holes
In others and the cycle flows
A bloody torrent of coagulating pain
Driving all of us insane
A sorry struggle to fulfill
The voids in us that we all feel
Spitting spiteful wicked words
At those we do not think have worth
They in turn pay their pain forward
Passing it down, someone else gored





This sickness we can rewind
We just have to be more kind. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Before

Before they were gods, I watched them cower. Before they cowered, I watched them rise. We all did. They were the essence of our generation. They were without exceptional talent. They were without significance. But we gave it to them anyway. They brought hope to the hopeless, encouraging us to believe that someday, we too could be like them. We watched as they lived their lives, tossing wealth and luxury around like they were entitled to it. They created significance out of insignificance as the world fell deeper and deeper into existential, unobtainable materialism. 

Then came the Great Purge. They cowered in their fortress, blocking themselves off from the chaos. As the Ninety-Nines rose up and burned the Temple of the Ones to the ground, they were nowhere to be found. I was there. We took what we deserved. The Wealth was distributed evenly to all people of the Planet. We unified ourselves as a species. Interconnected and socialized by our technology we had won. Decades passed. They were all but forgotten. We began to unravel, our unity crumbling. 

From the long settled ashes of the Purge, they rose, incubated by time. They were perfect. Unchanged and beautiful, the People responded to their emergence with awe. They told us they had supported us from the beginning, catalyzing the disdainful ingredients for our revolution. They said they had created our materialism, our Chasm between the Ninety-nines and the Ones in an effort to hasten our unity, all the while immortalizing their minds and their bodies for when they should return to ensure the unity they had created would remain. With our society on the brink of collapse we accepted them absolutely. They were our Saviors. We gave them the power to rule. We gave them the right to judge. We gave them their divinity. We love them, we follow them, and we still keep up with them. They are the Kardashians.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Multi-level Marketing: Good or Evil?

Multi-level marketing companies have gotten a bad wrap over the years. We all know that one friend who used to be cool until he got involved with that pyramid scheme bullshit. Now all he wants to do is pitch his "business" to you every time he sees you. What an asshole. Multi-level marketing companies suck.

Well, not so much. With a quality product and an emphasis on respect, multi-level marketing companies are a very efficient way to sell legitimate products. The Internet is connecting everyone everywhere through social media and the like. Marketing and networking are becoming as easy as logging in, typing up a post, and hitting share. Facebook's ad campaign feature allows you to find interested leads without having to bother all your friends and family. LinkedIn can connect you to people with similar business interests. Twitter is basically a bulletin board all your friends can see. Post about the opportunity, let the interested parties come to you. Technology is making the multi-level marketing business model more and more favorable for everyone involved. It's relatively cheap, it's highly efficient, creates more jobs, gets products on the market quickly, and allows people the freedom to work how they want, when they want.

Multi-level marketing isn't a bad business model. It is, in reality, a highly effective and highly efficient way to sell a product. As long as the product is legitimate and the sales people treat their leads with respect and professionalism, multi-level marketing companies stand to do big things in this golden age of Internet connectivity.
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