Archive for December, 2015

Resolutions of Time

Another year has come to a close, so it must be time to reminisce about the year we’ve left behind and look forward to the year ahead. It’s also when a lot of people begin to make plans to once again get their weight under control, eat better and exercise more… anything and everything to be a healthier person.

Not me. Read On For My 2016 Resolutions

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Movie Mayhem – Daddy’s Home

The end of a movie — that is the climax and resolution — can sometimes make it break it. If the end is good, it can raise the stature of the rest of the movie and help you overlook its flaws. If the end is bad, it can kill a relatively good movie and make the two hours you spent following the characters through their journey feel wasted. And then, of course, there are times when the end of a film is so killer, as is the case with Daddy’s Home (who’s last fifteen minutes are pure magic), it reminds you of how disappointing the road traveled actually was. Read Full Review

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Movie Mayhem – Star Wars: The Force Awakens

For the last few months, I’ve been praising the marketing department at Disney for the way they’ve handled the marketing of Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens. They’ve meticulously given fans a taste of what’s to come without revealing any major spoilers or giving us a clear plot. All we knew was it involved a stormtrooper with a guilty conscious who meets a young recluse, both of whom are thrown into the middle of a brewing war led by a sinister Darth Vader worshiper. All of this secrecy led up to the ultimate question:

Where is Luke Skywalker? Read Full Review

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Movie Mayhem – In the Heart of the Sea

At one point in Ron Howard’s compelling drama, In the Heart of the Sea, Herman Melville (Ben Whishaw) takes a break from transcribing the tale of the whaling ship Essex (used as the inspiration for the famed novel, Moby Dick) to iterate his fear over his ability to interpret the devastating story, not because he can’t tell it well enough, but because he may not be the right person to write it. It’s a sentiment that digs into the depths behind the meaning of the film: can one rise above their fears to accomplish the impossible, whether that be writing one of the most treasured books ever written, or surviving at sea for three months with hardly any food or water at your disposal. Dare I say the story told in In the Heart of the Sea is better than its product? That’s not to say the film, based on Nathaniel Philbrick’s award-winning non-fiction book In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex, is better written than the classic novel, but the story in some ways certainly feels more raw than Melville’s interpretation. Read Full Review

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A Book Lovers Christmas

With Star Wars: The Force Awakens just a week away, it means Christmas is upon us. Have you gotten something for everyone on your list yet? The grumpy grandpa that doesn’t like anything? The geeky brother who’ll string you up if you confuse Star Trek with Star Wars (or vice-versa)? The cousin you don’t know well enough to shop for? The little sister who wants nothing but expensive Santa gifts?

What about the book lover in your family? You know, the one who is never without a book in their hand, or has so many books, you’re about ready to cast them on Hoarders. You’re in luck, because I’ve compiled a quick list of quirky, off-the-wall and practical gift ideas for a very, merry book lover’s Christmas. Check Out the List

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Movie Mayhem – Krampus

Krampus is one odd little duck. Coming out of the theater, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. Was it supposed to be a “run/hide from the demon” style horror film or a goofy, Gremlins-esque horror romp? Given the cast, which includes straight-man Adam Scott, award magnet Toni Collette, funnyman David Koechner and snark-master Conchata Ferrell, it could have gone either way. But with such a roller coaster of tones running through the film, I couldn’t lock down whether it worked well or was a complete mess. After a few days of assessment, I’ve come to the conclusion that Krampus is a film that might have gained a cult status… had it gone more in the direction of Gremlins mayhem than the standard dysfunctional family gets attacked bedlam. Read Full Review

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Charles Dickens—Using Symbol, Theme & Allegory to Create Enduring Stories

Kristen Lamb's Blog

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Why are there certain stories we just can’t get enough of? Why do some stories fade away while others become staples for every generation? Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol has been made into all kinds of movies, plays, cartoons, musicals and there are countless variations of Dickens’ original story: A grumpy old miser who is transformed by the power of love.

Today we are going to explore the many brilliant layers of a very simple and timeless tale and maybe even extract some lessons to make our own writing even better.

One of my all-time favorite movies for the holidays is The Muppets Christmas Carol. I believe I’ve seen this movie a few hundred thousand times. I’ve worn out three VHS tapes and at least three DVDs. I play the movie over and over, mainly because, well, duh,  MUPPETS! I drive my husband nuts playing this movie over and…

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