Episode #27: “The Many Saints of Newark” (2021 film) *Spoilers*

In this episode Mark talks about the 2021 American crime film “The Many Saints of Newark” directed by Alan Taylor and written by David Chase and Lawrence Konner. A prequel to David Chase’s HBO crime drama TV series “The Sopranos”, the film stars Michael Gandolfini, Alessandro Nivola, Leslie Odom Jr., Jon Bernthal, Corey Stoll, Billy Magnussen, Michela De Rossi, John Magaro, Ray Liotta, and Vera Farmiga. Set in the 1960s and 1970s in Newark, New Jersey, using the 1967 riots in the city as a backdrop for tensions between the Italian-American and African-American communities, the film follows the teenage years of Tony Soprano in the midst of a violent gang war his uncle and family are involved in.

Episode #26: “You” (TV series) – Season 1, a review

In this episode Mark does a review of the first season of the American psychological thriller television series “You” developed by Greg Berlanti and Sera Gamble. Based on the 2014 novel of the same name by Caroline Kepnes, the story follows the character of Joe Goldberg (played by Penn Badgley), a New York bookstore manager and serial killer who falls in love with a customer, Guinevere Beck (played by Elizabeth Lail), and quickly develops an extreme, toxic, and delusional obsession with them.

Episode #25: “Frankenstein” (1931 film)

In this episode Mark talks about the 1931 American science fiction horror film “Frankenstein” directed by James Whale, produced by Larmmle Jr., and adapted from 1927 play by the Peggy Webling, which in turn was based on Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel ‘Frankenstien; or The Modern Prometheus’. The film stars Colin Clive, Boris Karloff, Mae Clarke, John Boles, Dwight Frye, and Edward van Sloan.

My Poem “The Mark of New York”

Every time I am asked about where
my favourite place in the world might be,
I close my eyes, I smile, and I am instantly
transported back to the metropolis of my dreams:
the one and the only, New York City...
no other city compares,
no other place is more special in my heart,
no other city do I remember every second of
and every experience that I had while being there,
no other place shines brighter -
because to me it will always be
an inspiring constellation of 8 million stars
each with their own individual story to tell
about how they choose to leave their mark.

It's been 8 years since I was last
in the city that never sleeps,
but there isn't a day that goes by
when I do not think about
all that I saw and all that felt while I was
visiting the city filled with so many
buildings literally capable of scraping the sky...
it's been a long time since I was
walking down the various avenues and streets
from one side of the island of Manhattan to the other,
but I always find comfort in the fact that,
though I am far away, I can return to
New York City any time I want, in my mind -
and when I am there I see things,
I remember things, I see details,
I remember people who make
the "Big Apple" the place that it is:
like no other, special, powerful,
and one of a kind.

I would love to go back to New York City one day...
I would love nothing more than to wake up,
to get dressed, to head to my favourite
Starbucks cafe on Fifth Avenue -
where I used to eat breakfast, lunch,
and enjoy a late night caramel latte
or a machiatto on a regular basis,
and during the daytime, as well after dark -
and also revisit the places that I love
and feel like I know so well,
which got under my skin
from the instant that I saw them
and I immediately found myself in awe.

I would love to go back in time...
I would to get back in that yellow taxi
and once again return to the pools of rememberance
that lie in the shadow of the Freedom Tower,
and once again pay my respects to those
who lost their lives on 9/11...
I would love to go back to the place
that I could never get enough of
and rediscover and explore the things,
the places, and the feeling of unbridled
kinetic energy and electricity
that New York City has that has the ability
to gift to those who are lucky enough
to be able to visit it, or call it home -
because, take it from me, no other city
on Earth leaves its mark upon you
after you have been there like New York.

Episode #24: “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (1986 film)

In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite films: the 1986 teen comedy film “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” written, co-produced, and directed by John Hughes. The film stars Mathew Broderick as Ferris Bueller, a high-school slacker who skips school for a day in Chicago, with Mia Sara and Alan Ruck.

Episode #23: “Collateral” (2004 film)

In this episode Mark talks about the 2004 American neo-noir thriller film “Collateral” directed by Michael Mann and starring Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Jada Pinkett Smith, Mark Ruffalo, Peter Berg, Javier Bardem, and Bruce McGill. The story of the film centres around Max (played by Jamie Foxx), a cab driver in Los Angeles, and Vincent (Tom Cruise), a customer/hitman who offers Max a high fare for driving to several locations around the city as a way of carrying the contract killing of several targets indicted in a federal grand jury case.

My Poem “The Best of Us”

Each of us can find contentment
doing things that make us happy...
each of us can find hidden secrets
about life, about people,
about every day things or situations
that can make us all take another look
at the world, and at ourselves,
and allow us to realise that there
is more seemingly "small things" -
simple gestures, simple tokens -
that mean the most in the long run
and down the line when a smile
on a face is all that we crave.

Each of us need things to explore...
each of us need one another...
each of us need both windows and doors...
each of us need the feeling of being
included and not excluded from
what is going on in the world,
in the galaxy, in the quest of humanity
and all life everywhere to find the next
check point on the journey
that is their purpose -
whether that is to be found in a forest,
on a mountain top, above the clouds,
or below the waves on the seafloor.

Each of us can do extraordinary things -
even if we might not innitially
recognise our gifts for being as profound
and as impactful as they are...
each of us make mistakes,
each of us do things that we regret,
because each of us are human -
and I believe our failings should not
forever be considered mortal sins
by some from which we can
not move on from, learn from,
and change as a result...
each of us are a miracle, worts and all...
each of us are soulful individuals
who over our life will feel feelings
and emotions from love to guilt -
but, to me, the spectrum of what
people are capable of symbolises
everything about life that nobody
can do anything about:
some things just are what they are,
just as each of us are who and what we are
and have always been destined to be since birth -
as were, and as will always be, the best of us.

Episode #22: “Steve Jobs” (2015 film)

In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite films: the 2015 biographical drama film “Steve Jobs” directed by Danny Boyle and written by Aaron Sorkin. And Mark also reflects upon the lasting legacy of the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

Episode #21: “Lucifer” (TV series” – Season 6, a review

In this episode Mark does a review of the sixth and final season of one of his favourite TV series, “Lucifer”, which recently premiered and concluded on Netflix, starring Tom Ellis and Lauren German. And Mark also talks about what he enjoyed about the series as a whole, the cast, the characters, and whether the series ended in a satisfying way. *Spoilers within*

Episode #20: “Nobody” (2021 film)

In this episode Mark does a review of the 2021 American action thriller film “Nobody” directed by Ilya Naishuller and written by Derek Kolstad. The film stars Bob Odenkirk as Hutch Mansell, a bored family man, who, after he and his family are robbed during a home invasion, finds himself returning to traits of his clandestine former life and enacting vengeance upon a Russian mobster. The film also stars Connie Nielsen, RZA, and Christopher Lloyd.