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Rocking The Law

What do you when your band has guitarist problems? You hire your lawyer to play for you!

Yes, 80s rock band Dokken had several personnel changes on guitar, that finally their attorney Jon Levin stepped in to fill the role in 2004. Levin, now 51, who was the guitarist for German band Warlock, took a break from music in the early 90s and became an entertainment lawyer and served as legal counsel, working with Jim Paidas, of Paidas Management, on a myriad of licensing programs; some of which include Orange County Choppers, Dog the Bounty Hunter, American Hot Rod, and Rockstalgia and a few musiceians. He was invited by one of the membrs of Dokken to play guitar for them in 1998 and over the course of the next few years played in some of their shows before becoming a permanent member in 2004.

He’s been with the band ever since, enjoying the career resurgence they’ve had since their 2008 return-to-form album, Lightning Strikes Again. Levin himself, who now co-writes most of band’s material, had a strong hand in shaping that record. “I wanted us to do a Dokken-sounding record,” he explains — a concept Don Dokken was slow to commit to, but has since fully embraced. Now, when Levin goes to perform with Dokken at big classic rock and metal festivals, he’s a rock star guitarist onstage and a rock star attorney backstage. Of the Rocklahoma festival, which Dokken last played in 2013, he says, “So many of the bands that were there, I represent someone in the band.”

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a 2017 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics superhero team Guardians of the Galaxy, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is the sequel to 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy and the fifteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film is written and directed by James Gunn and stars an ensemble cast featuring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn, Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell.

Ok, fresh off watching it last night I am disappointed in the film. It wasn’t as good as the first one. There are some good points and some bad points. Let’s look at the storyline first. After first helping Ayesha, leader of the Sovereign race, to protect valuable batteries from an inter-dimensional monster, the Guardians piss the Sovereign race off because Rocket stole some of the batteries for himself. Well, they did have it coming because they put them down and even questions Peter’s parentage but anyways….In invading the fight of the large unmanned drone vessels, the Guardians are aided by a mysterious figure but their ship crash lands on a planet. The mysterious figure turns out out to be Ego, who says he is Peter’s father! He invites Quill, accompanied by Gamora and Drax, to his home, while Rocket and Groot remain behind to repair the ship and guard Nebula.

Ego explains that he is one of the god-like Celestials, and exists as the planet on which they are standing. In his travels he took the guise that they see, of a human, and visited earth where he met and fell in love with Quill’s mother Meredith. He then had to leave but on learning of his mother dying, sent Yondu Udonta to fetch him but the Ravager never brought Peter to Ego. He has been looking for his son ever since and on hearing about the feats of Star Lord, he knew it has to be his son. Gamora & Drax interact with Mantis, an emapth who was raised by Ego and it’s clear that she wants to warn them of something but she keeps it to herself. Meanwhile, Ayesha hires Yondu Udonta and his crew, who have been exiled from the greater Ravager community for child trafficking, to recapture the Guardians. They capture Rocket, but when Yondu shows reluctance to turn over Quill, his lieutenant Taserface leads a mutiny with help from Nebula. Taserface imprisons Rocket and Yondu aboard Yondu’s ship and executes his loyalists while Nebula leaves to track down and kill Gamora, whom she blames for all the torture inflicted on her by their father, Thanos.

While imprisoned, Rocket and Yondu bond. Groot, together with Yondu’s loyalist Kraglin, frees Rocket and Yondu and they destroy the ship and its crew as they escape, though not before Taserface tips off the Sovereign fleet. Nebula arrives on Ego’s planet and attacks Gamora and the pair reach an uneasy alliance when they discover caverns filled with skeletal remains of various alien species. Ego reveals to Quill that in his travels he planted seedlings upon thousands of worlds which can terraform them into new extensions of himself, but they can only be activated by the combined power of two Celestials. To that end, he impregnated countless women and hired Yondu to collect the children; they all failed to use the Celestial power, so Ego killed them, until he found Quill. Ego uses Quill to activate the seedlings, which begin to consume every world. Quill is hypnotized into helping Ego, but fights back after Ego reveals that he deliberately caused Meredith’s death as his love for her distracted him from his purpose.

Rocket, Yondu, Groot and Kraglin arrive at the planet and the reunited Guardians reach the core of the planet, where Ego’s brain is housed, and fight the Sovereign’s arriving drones. Rocket makes a bomb out of the stolen batteries that Groot plants on Ego’s brain, while Quill battles Ego with his newfound Celestial powers to allow the other Guardians to escape. The bomb explodes, killing Ego and causing the planet to disintegrate. Yondu sacrifices himself to save Quill, who comes to realize that Yondu did not deliver him to Ego in order to spare him from the fate of Ego’s other progeny, and that Yondu was Quill’s true “dad”. Having reconciled with Gamora, Nebula still chooses to set out and attempt to kill Thanos. The Guardians hold a funeral for Yondu, which is attended by dozens of Ravager ships, acknowledging Yondu’s sacrifice and accepting him again as a Ravager.

Post credits scenes have Kraglin takes up Yondu’s telekinetic arrow and control fin; Ravager leader Stakar Ogord, inspired by Yondu’s sacrifice, reunites with his ex-teammates; Groot starts growing back to normal size, exhibiting typical teenage behavior in the process; Ayesha creates a new artificial being with whom she plans to destroy the Guardians, naming him Adam; and an astronaut discusses several experiences on Earth with a group of uninterested Watchers.

While it has it’s funny moments (mainly Groot, Mantis & Drax but others too) the film lost it’s charm on me due to the mystical powers of a god like creature. When they go down to the core of the planet and see a brain – oh sweet Satan! Having said that casting Kurt Russell in the role of Ego was a great choice though why Sly Stallone was in it for a bit I don’t know. Same for Michelle Yeoh who was in for 2 seconds. The mystical elements aside, it is a fun ride. The visual effects is awesome. I loved baby Groot and Mantis is so sweet that I fell in love with the French actress, Pom Klementieff, playing her. I will give it a…reluctant 8 outta 10!