Sunday, April 6, 2014

CAPTAIN AMERICA - The Winter Soldier: A Review

I'm ashamed to say I didn't know a thing about Captain America as a character--I thought I did! Really!--But when the movie began, I realized I didn't have a clue. I didn't know what was going on for the first 30 minutes and that may be why I thought the first half an hour was kind of slow and boring. Clearly, this seemed to be a continuation of a story and I was clueless. I didn't see Captain America: The First Avenger or The Avengers which was huge at the box office. The previews for this latest installment looked pretty good, so that's what inspired me to go. After those first 30 minutes, I was all in! :-)

I kind of started to catch on to who Captain America was: some kind of WW2 hero who was turbocharged somehow. There was a lot of heart-pumping action and the graphics were awesome. I just loved all the characters! It was so much fun! It was nice to see Robert Redford out doing his thing again, though he has aged considerably. I don't even think he's that old, but has a lot of sun damage (sunscreen, people, for real!). I remember reading years ago how much time he spent on the slopes and the reflection of the sun off the snow is a killer.

Now, Chris Evans, who plays Capt. America is the complete opposite. That guy is the epitome of a "peaches and cream" complexion. He skin looked so pretty and flawless, that alone added to my watching

Anyhoo...I will definitely be catching the next movie, as it ended on a cliffhanger--it had a definite conclusion, mind you--but there is clearly more work for the Captain to do and his "frenemy", The Winter Soldier,was kind of cute too, so I'm looking forward to catching all the boys on the silver screen again soon.

Now I have to see the first two movies...oh, and I did look Captain America (the character) up on Wikipedia! Lol....

Toodles, y'all!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, March 28, 2014

DIVERGENT, the movie: A review

If you haven't read my prior post before this one, please take a few minutes to do so. I'll wait......back? Good. Because of the mediocre reviews and sucky preview trailers, I wasn't in any hurry to see DIVERGENT, so I skipped opening week. I was pretty skeptical about how it would fair at the box office. It came in second last week, way stronger than some of the recent YA adaptations. Nice! I decided to check it out today.

Let's get right to it. I enjoyed it---a lot! Dare I say, I may have even liked it more than The Hunger Games! Sacrilegious, I know. I'm still trying to decide.

I thought people that hadn't read the book would be confused, but no, the main character, Tris, explained the premise in a voice-over, Bella style, and it was pretty interesting. It's been a couple of years since I read the arc, so I had forgotten some elements, but things came back pretty quickly. DIVERGENT has much more action than I expected, too. It moved at a steady pace and kept you on your toes about what was coming next.

What really surprised me was the romantic element. DIVERGENT did a great job with the romantic tension! The film played the young girls in the audience like a fiddle. I never heard girls swoon, titter and gasp so

I thought it was so cute that Zoe Kravitz and her dad are in competing dystopian films: She in DIVERGENT and he, Lenny Kravitz, in The Hunger Games.

I'm really looking forward to the next installment. The reviews didn't do this film justice. Go see it!

Toodles, y'all!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

DIVERGENT: Will it hit the sweet spot?

After the cinematic glory that was TWILIGHT and now The Hunger Games, YA books that have hit the movie theater have landed with a heavy thud: Beautiful Creatures, I Am Number Four, Mortal Instruments, The Host, Vampire Academy...there may be more, but that's all I can think of right now.

I happen to have really enjoyed Mortal Instruments, but it was hardly a blockbuster. I wonder if they'll even make part two. I'm a fan of I Am Number Four, too, but since that was out in 2010, I guess they won't be filming the continuation of that saga either! Someone on Twitter was begging people to go see Vampire Academy because she loved both book and movie so much, she wanted it to have a good box office opening. It had terrible reviews.

I plan to go see DIVERGENT because I read and enjoyed the book, but if I had to depend on the movie trailers and previews that have been advertising it, I would not be that drawn to it quite frankly. Based on the marketing I've seen, I wouldn't really understand what the story is about. If people haven't read the book, I question whether they would rush out to see it.

This is the complete opposite of my experience with TWILIGHT. I didn't even know it was a book, initially. I saw the previews in the theater five months before the release date and was immediately intrigued. I thought Edward was some sort of alien or made up my mind right away to see it when it came out. I still didn't know it was a book until I was sitting in the theater on opening night and commented to the girl next to me about how packed the place was. I couldn't understand it! You could barely find a seat. That's when she told me it was a book series and how much she enjoyed them. I ended up leaving the theater that night after the show and headed straight to Barnes & Noble to become part of the TWILIGHT, it was fun while it lasted and I make no apologies. I'll always remember being a part of that pop culture moment fondly. :-)

As for DIVERGENT...will it strike box office gold? I hope I'm wrong, but I kind of doubt it. I understand the studio producing it, which is the same one behind TWILIGHT, I believe, has high expectations. How do you think it will do? We'll all know in two more days....

Toodles, y'all

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Say, what?!

I love watching figure skating and I've been clued to the TV while the Olympics are on. I did a double take yesterday. Did my eyes decieve me? Nope. They did not. Lo and behold, that rarest of rare birds made an appearance on the rink: a black girl! Lol...I must say, I was totally surprised to see Mae Bernice Miete from France. It was only after I saw her that I thought about that age old are there no black girls in figure skating? I don't recall seeing a black girl compete since Tai Babilonia. Remember her? And she was only half black.

What would really be interesting to see is a black pairs couple. That would really turn some heads! I've never seen a black guy compete in figure skating either, come to think of it. Oh well, dream on...

Toodles, y'all!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Why? I just want to know why...

If you're a mom with sons, would you pose with them like this? If you're childless and may have sons in the future, would you do it then? What kind of message is this behavior relying to the young men; to society?

This is a 45 year old mother with her two sons, ages 17 and 20. Maybe the rational is that if you're a very hot looking mom, you get a free pass to do things the average looking mom can't do. The pics above were in a leading fashion magazine. Does that make it okay? The shots below are random, candid family shots. Don't you, your friends and family members take fun shots with their kids at the beach like this? Huh?

We're in a world today that promotes perversity; that calls evil, good and good, evil.

Do you know the difference?

Read your bible to get a clue. Start in the book of Romans and check out the first chapter. Who are you going to believe?

Toodles, y'all...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Two Questions.

Remember when Justin looked like this?!

I have two questions when it comes to the pop star, Justin Bieber: One, What happened to this kid and two, where are his parents?

I remember when he was a sweet little kid singing songs in his little baby voice. Since he's gotten older he seems to have turned into someone a lot less desirable. Is this what sudden fame and fortune did to him? Is he feeling extraordinarily empowered and thinking of himself more highly than he ought to?

In his prison jumpsuit being booked.

What does his mama think about all of this? I saw her on the news, I think it was last year, hawking a book she wrote. I think it was about being his mom! His present behavior isn't a great endorsement. And where's his daddy?! I never hear about him and wondered if he knew his dad or if he was deceased. I swear, I was wondering about this to a friend as I was reading the paper and when I looked down, there was a picture of Beiber's dad accompanying an article about Justin's recent DUI and speeding arrest! The article said his dad was in the car with him and witnessed his arrest...Okaaay...In the photo, his dad was wearing a wifebeater, gold chains, tattoos...he looked pretty thugged out. Not what I would have expected.

I know Justin is nineteen, but he seems to need a good spanking and firm, sound advice. Does anyone in his life have the guts to give it to him?! If not the spanking, at least the advice! Lol...

Toodles, y'all

Sunday, January 19, 2014

What Does She Do?

It's award season and I've been glued to the tube watching them all: Golden Globes, People's Choice, the SAG get my drift. I believe it was during the Golden Globes that Kelly Osbourne came to my attention. Somebody was remarking on what she was wearing and that's when it hit me: Kelly Osbourne? Why should I care what she's wearing? Who is this woman anyway and why is she there?

Don't get me wrong. I have nothing against the girl, I just don't have a clue about what she does that makes her noteworthy. Ahh, yeah..I know she's Ozzy Osbourne's daughter and her mother is Sharon Osbourne, one of the hosts of The Talk (how did she get that job, by the way----but that's a question for another

What does Kelly do? Is she an actress, a singer, a writer perhaps? I don't have a clue. Beyond being on her family's reality show years ago, what qualifies her to be a celebrity, garner public attention?

If anyone knows, fill me in, because right now I'm left scratching my head in confusion.

Toodles, y'all!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

If You've Been Blessed to Live to See a New Year...

As the old year ends and the new one takes its place, remember this:

Life is short. Shorter than you realize. Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that made you smile.
Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we're here, we should dance!

Praise the Lord and be blessed, y'all!


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Why...Why did I have to click on it....?

The other night, I fell asleep too early and woke up in the middle of the night. I laid in bed waiting to fall asleep again, but it wasn't happening. I couldn't get back to sleep to save my life! I recently upgraded my phone and it has a bigger screen, so I've become slightly obsessed with it. I LOVE to go online with it! I grabbed it and decided to hit some sites. Paul Walker came to mind. The first Fast and Furious movie has always been my favorite. I remember when I went to see it in the movies with some of my friends and we sat and watched it twice! When it comes on TV, I always watch it, no matter how many times it comes on. Over the weekend, several of the Fast and Furious movies were playing. I haven't seen all of them, so I watched all the ones that came on. I guess because I did this, Paul Walker was in my head.

I goggled him and of course, there were reports about the terrible tragedy of his death. It was quite depressing and sad and I had a feeling I should just stop while I was ahead, but I decided to click one more link. Big mistake...

It took me to pics of the crash site which has been seen numerous times on TV. What I wasn't expecting to see were pictures of Paul's burned and ravaged body! Oh Lord...One of my friend's said maybe it wasn't real. Maybe it wasn't. I hope not, but it looked pretty believable. It was the same locale I've seen on TV.  One picture was of the burned car with a tarp over it, covering the bodies, but you could see the burned knee of Paul's friend sticking out under the steering wheel. A couple of others ones showed a body lying next to the wreck in a body bag, burned to a crisp! That is NOT how I want to remember him! Damn!! I want to scrub the image out of my mind! Adding credibility to this debacle, it was announced on the news today that someone is trying to sell photos of the corpses to the highest bidder. I don't think a magazine like People will buy them, but I don't think a tabloid like The Enquirer can resist. I remember seeing autopsy photos of President Kennedy in The Enquirer. And let's not forget, they posted the pics of Whitney Houston in her casket. Oh my goodness...What can one say? It's just all so sad...*shaking my head*...sigh...Goodbye, Paul...

Be blessed, ya'll...

Saturday, December 7, 2013

In Remembrance...

...of the most sweetest and joyous girl ever, our Sweetie. Her name is never far from our lips and thoughts of her are always in our heart.

We still love you, my girl!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Movie Review: PHILOMENA

I love to watch Judi Dench in historical British movies. I think I've seen her in one contemporary movie several years ago and she was awesome. She always seems to play a hideously, mean woman! Lol...the role of Philomena Lee is a complete 180 for her. Philomena is a soft-spoken gentlewoman and it was refreshing. I didn't miss that "old meanie" one bit! Ha!
Philomena is based on a true story; the 2009 book called The Lost Child of Philomena Lee. Philomena had a child out of wedlock in 1952 Ireland and was disowned by her very Catholic family. She was sent to a convent for unwed mothers where she gave birth to her son, Anthony. Let me tell you, that place was scary. It felt like a prison. More than one mother and child lost their lives there---and remember, this was a true story---Unbelievable. The mothers were allowed to see their kids for an hour a day. When Anthony was a toddler, about three, he given up for adoption and it wasn't really done with Philomena's consent. That happened to a lot of the mothers there. It was horrible. Imagine bonding with your child for several years and they're suddenly gone. The convent was selling babies to couples in the US.
Philomena eventually moved on with her life, but she never forgot Anthony. She was obsessed with wondering if her son ever thought of her. She eventually met a journalist named Martin Sixspence. He decided to write a "human interest" story about her. The saga ends up with them in the US trying to track down her son.

It's a tearjerker. I heard more than a few sniffles in the theater and shed tears myself. I don't want to give away a major spoiler. I'll just say that Philomena's son became surprisingly accomplished. I'll leave it at that...
I came away from the movie with one important lesson: Mercy. You have to extend mercy if you truly know God. The nuns at that convent showed an amazingly lack of it. And again, it was all true...*sigh*...
Go check out PHILOMENA.
It's worth it.


Monday, November 25, 2013

Movie and Book Review: Catching Fire

I enjoyed reading The Hunger Games and liked the movie. I REALLY loved Catching Fire---both book and movie! When I was reading it, I couldn't wait to see how they were going to adapt it for the big screen. I'm happy to say I was not disappointed.

This second installment of the Hunger Games saga is so much richer and deeper. The characters displayed a real depth of emotion about death and dying; about the destruction of people by their government...It really makes one think about what could happen in the world when people are powerless.

I always like the Peeta character in the novel, but wasn't too keen on the selection of Josh Hutcherson as the actor to play him. I think he kicked it up several notches this time around, so I liked him a lot more, but I still couldn't stop focusing on how short he is compared to Katniss and pretty much everyone else in the film! Lol...

In the book, Finnick Odair, one of the competitors in the Games is described as having "extraordinary beauty", so I was looking forward to seeing an awesome hottie...didn't quite fellow chosen was nice looking (see fellow below on the right), but far from extraordinary or swoon-worthy. He did start to look better the longer the film went probably didn't want the guy to overshadow Peeta or Gale! At least they showed more of Gale this time!

Catching Fire will totally leave you "hungering" for Mockingjay. I still have to read it! I haven't read the reviews of the book, but it's my understanding that some people were disappointed with the conclusion to the saga...uh oh...well, I 'll find out soon enough. In the mean time, go see Catching Fire. It's good---real good!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, November 22, 2013

Scary Part Two...

This present administration has limited independent journalists access to the White House. What this means is that the White House will be using their own official journalists that are paid for by tax payer dollars. Essentially, these guys are more favorable to the president and the White House kind of produces their own press. I don't know about you, but this doesn't sound good. It sounds a little "iron curtain" like. Apparently, since the press has become more critical of the administration in response to the whole health insurance mess, the White House has decided to "punish" them and deny them access and the opportunity to ask questions.

The congress has also changed filibuster rules so that the minority party--whoever they may be--will have less power and ability to affect issues. Not a good thing. After all, the minority party represent people too.

Now people don't have to enroll in the health care plan until after the midterm congressional elections. Now why do you think that is? Could it be that if people saw what the insurance plans consist of, they'd reject them and the congressman that voted this into law? Are people really that ignorant that they don't grasp this? Apparently the government seems to think so. Boy, I hope they're wrong.

When changes happen slowly and in small measures people don't notice. It's called incrementalism. By the time they realize something is wrong (like with the recent health insurance changes), it may be too late and they find out they don't have as much choice or control over their lives.

Pray, people. Pray and ask the Lord to open the eyes of your understanding. It may take time, but I believe dark days are ahead. Pray to survive them.

Be enlightened.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

OMG! Bryan is back and he's offering you the chance to win up to 500 dollars doing what you love!

Bryan Cohen
If you like to write stories, blog posts, and more and love to read, my guest blogger, Bryan, can help you do it all! Check out his post below, expand your learning curve and maybe put a few more bucks in your pocket. Take it away, Bryan...

Your Writing Sanctuary and/or Shack
by Bryan Cohen

I sat on the blacktop of my dorm's basketball court, surrounded by construction noise when I realized that I could write anywhere. I don't know what it was I was scrawling on a piece of looseleaf that day, as my fellow classmates looked at me like I was crazy, but the machines were doing their work and so was I. That was over a decade ago, and yet it was one of the most important lessons I ever internalized. I didn't write my first book in an office. I wrote it in other peoples' offices during temp jobs. I put together some of it in my "economy studio" in which my office was the same room as my kitchen and my bedroom. I later put the finishing touches on the book on top of a luxurious $100 table my wife and I bought from Target. My writing time was inconsistent and erratic but I got it done wherever I could.

I think some writers put too much emphasis on finding their writing sanctuary: the perfect place to make their novel or non-fiction a reality. There's some merit to locating a place where you feel less distracted and blocked. I wrote part of my first book on an inherited queen size bed I later had to toss out because of bed bugs. I wrote my latest half in my office and half in my favorite, quiet, gluten-free pastry shop. Finding the right locations for writing made an impact, but the major difference between my first and latest book is me.

I grew from writing in all those different places. I improved by putting in more time and absorbing the different energies around me as I wrote. I think I needed to write in that tiny studio with the giant window that let out nearly all of my radiator heat during the Chicago winter. I had to reinforce the knowledge that writing could take place anywhere and under any condition. I still get writers block, like any other writer, but I've learned the lesson that I can find my writing sanitary or shack anywhere. Am I out of inspiration in my office? It's time to go to the coffee shop! Coffee shop too crowded? I'll try taking a trip to the edge of Lake Michigan. Or the back seat of my wife's parked car. Or even a bench located underneath the growling Chicago Transit Authority elevated train tracks.

If you can make your hallowed writing ground anywhere, there's no such thing as writers block. The next 500 words may be right around the corner. All you need to do is move.   

About the Author

In honor of his new book, Cohen is hosting the “1,000 Prompts, 1,000 Dollars" Writing Contest on his website. Click the link to find out how to enter!

Bryan Cohen is an author, a creativity coach and an actor. His new book, 1,000 Creative Writing Prompts, Volume 2: More Ideas for Blogs, Scripts, Stories and More is now available on Amazon in digital and paperback format. His other books include 1,000 Creative Writing Prompts, The Post-College Guide to Happiness, and Ted Saves the World. He has published over 30 books, which have sold more than 20,000 copies in total. Connect with him on his website, Build Creative Writing Ideas, on Facebook or on Twitter. 

My sincere thanks to Bryan for his words of wisdom and offering such a generous opportunity to enrich writers and readers.

Toodles, ya'll!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Movie Review: All Is Lost

*Shaking my head*...All I can say is that my thoughts while watching this movie were: "OMG. ALL IS TRULY LOST!!!!" I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Let me tell you what the story is about. Robert Redford is the only actor in the movie. He plays a nameless man that takes his yacht, the Virginia Jean, on a solo voyage in the Indian Ocean. All is well until his boat hits a big metal shipping container that is floating in the sea and rips a big hole in his boat. The darn container shouldn't  have been there in the first place! It's all down hill from there.

The entire movie is a one man show of how Redford struggles to survive as his boat takes on water. It kind of reminded me of The Life of Pi, but that had a lot of other actors in it. This one only had Redford. Essentially there was no dialogue either, unless you count a few shouts for "help", an expletive and a few words spoken into a radio that quickly goes dead.

You know, I would have thought that if you're on a boat in the ocean and need to be rescued, if a ship passes by, you're in like flyn. Not so fast. A big ship won't even see you. Shocking but true. If there is no one looking out at just the right moment, they'll pass right by you! They won't even hear your screams. So close, but yet so far...

Redford was pretty amazing. He had no one to play off of except the elements and the dire circumstances of the environment. I didn't know if I could stand spending almost two hours watching one guy who doesn't talk, go about his day trying to stay alive, but it does draw you in. I did get caught up in how he was going to make it--or not.

As the movie ended, a woman in the theater told me she didn't think he made it. She made an interesting argument which I hadn't considered and it made me question my original thoughts. I won't go into detail because I don't want to ruin the film with any spoilers. After all, the hold-your-breath-moment is whether he's going to make it out alive or not.

You decide. Then tell me what you believe!


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Who's sorry now?

The president said he's sorry, but who's the sorriest? Him or the millions of people who have been kicked off their insurance plans? Him or the millions who have to pay more for less coverage.  Hey, I have nothing against the president on a personal level, but I don't have a lot of sympathy for a fellow who is arguably in the most important position on the planet with every imaginable resource at his command. With all the expertise available at his fingertips; every technological and policy expert willing to share their wealth of knowledge with him, this mess is the result? Is this disaster the best multiplied millions can buy?

You see, part of this problem is what happens when you don't respect money; when money seems to come from a infinite black hole, a bottomless pit. That's why government is so unconcerned and wasteful. They take money AKA revenue from other people. If they don't have enough or screw up, they just take more. The people are a faceless mass. There's no name or intimate knowledge of the people behind those dollars. They're just social security numbers. Pull up the number and exact more dollars when you need it. Or, you could always borrow and/or print it into the trillions.

To be continued...