Archive for November, 2016

Movie Mayhem – Moana

Disney Animation has always been a roller coaster of a company, rising to the peaks of imagination for a few years only to dip into the valleys of banality for a few more, then returning to the top once again before dropping and… you get the idea. Before the most recent uptick in creativity, the last peak era was between 1989 and 1995, when some of the greatest Disney films outside of the original run of films were released (including Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King). Somewhere in the late-90s, though, Disney began to falter once again (yes, there were some decent films, but nothing on the scope of the previously listed behemoths), giving way to a much more creative endeavor known as Pixar, which stole every bit of Disney’s once dominant thunder, even as Disney distributed those very same Pixar films. Read Full Review

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Book-Related Swag Giveaway


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Promotions, advertising and marketing can be a real pain, especially for those who aren’t social media savvy, or have no money to advertise. I’ve tried different things in the past to promote my work, once asking readers to translate the title of a novel using only the moves of a chess game (tying it into the events of the book) to setting up an online scavenger hunt (again, because it related to the plot of the book). Both failed dramatically. But that’s not going to stop me from trying new things to get the word out about my books and encourage reading, reviewing and sharing. Learn More

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Movie Mayhem – The Edge of Seventeen

Hailee Steinfeld came out of nowhere back in 2010 to deliver an extraordinarily layered performance in her first major film, True Grit. Since then, she’s managed to carve out an interesting career in a variety of films that run the genre gamut from science fiction to comedy in both indie and major studio offerings. She’s more than capable of bringing heightened power to any role while at the same time staying hidden in the background. Not classically beautiful, yet far from ordinary plain-Jane, Steinfeld sits somewehre in between, conveying a commanding beauty while digging deep into the trenches, unafraid to get dirty within the cracks of her vulnerability. She commands this attitude perfectly in the coming-of-age drama The Edge of Seventeen, the study of how an invisible high school student can only find their place when they stop looking to be like everyone else and start looking at what makes them unique. Read Full Review

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Movie Mayhem – Almost Christmas & Arrival

Two films came out this weekend that couldn’t be more different. Almost Christmas is a run-of-the-mill Christmas dramedy and Arrival is a quiet, thought-provoking science-fiction drama. One follows all the rules, staying true to the cliche elements of the genre; one breaks the rules by presenting its subject matter in a smart, realistic fashion. One has a black cast with a token white guy; the other has a white cast with a token black guy. That last one was a joke, of course, but the point I’m trying to get across is that it’s perfectly acceptable to travel the ledge on either side of the spectrum, so long as the final product is entertaining and taps into the emotions the filmmakers were attempting to embrace. Familiar and comfortable can be just as engaging as introspective and unique. Read Full Review

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Movie Mayhem — Hacksaw Ridge

I’m not afraid to say it — I’ve been a fan of Mel Gibson since Lethal Weapon. I’m not going to say everything he’s starred in has been solid gold, but up until now, there hasn’t been one film that he’s directed that I haven’t thought was an extraordinary piece of cinematic artwork, and that includes his mostly underrated feature directorial debut, The Man Without A Face, a small, poignant study in a relationship between a man and his student that bravely explores how that type of relationship can be taken out of context, but one that helps each person heal in different ways. Gibson’s newest directorial effort, Hacksaw Ridge, adds to his unique repertoire, proving once again that no matter how you may feel about the man personally, there’s no denying his intellect when it comes to capturing the heart of a story and conveying it in the most genuine way possible, holding true to the convictions of who he is as a man and what he believes as a Christian. Read Full Review

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