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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Favorite Christmas Movie

The Bishop's Wife (1947) ranks at the top of our favorite Christmas movies. Episcopal Bishop Henry Brougham (David Niven) ignores his wife (Loretta Young) and daughter as he obsesses over fundraising for a new cathedral. He pleads for divine guidance, and an angel, Dudley (Cary Grant), arrives. That's right… Cary Grant portrays an angel! Ya gotta love it! Abundant humorous moments soar throughout the film.

My husband and I watched it as newlyweds, and the following dialogue inspired our first family tradition.

HENRY BROUGHAM
Tonight I want to tell you the story
of an empty stocking. Once upon a
midnight clear, there was a child's cry.
A blazing star hung over a stable and
wise men came with birthday gifts.
We haven't forgotten that night down
the centuries; we celebrate it with
stars on Christmas trees, the sound
of bells and with gifts. But especially
with gifts. You give me a book; I give
you a tie. Aunt Martha has always
wanted an orange squeezer and Uncle 
Henry could do with a new pipe.
We forget nobody, adult or child.
All the stockings are filled...
All that is, except one.
And we have even forgotten to
hang it up. The stocking for the
child born in a manger. It's His
birthday we are celebrating. 
Don't ever let us forget that. 
Let us ask ourselves what He would
wish for most... and then let each
put in his share. Loving kindness,
warm hearts and the stretched out hand
of tolerance. All the shining gifts
that make peace on earth.

Thanks to Bishop Brougham's sermon we hang a stocking for Jesus each year, placed between ours--in the center--to represent how we want Christ in the center of our lives. 

There used to be more stockings--one for each child and pet--but we've gone full circle, empty nesters with three stockings, shown below.  Mine on the left, Kurt's on the right, and the Savior's in the center.


On Christmas Eve, we each fill out a card with a promise (our gift) for the upcoming year--service to others, overcome a bad habit, show more gratitude--and place the gifts in His stocking, removing and reviewing the cards from the previous year. 

A treasured family tradition brought to us by our favorite Christmas movie.

Friday, December 18, 2015

It's a Wonderful Life Without...

Friday: Comic Relief

I love the comic twist that Studio C gave to "It's a Wonderful Life."


(It's from last year, but it still cracks me up!)

Monday, December 7, 2015

I Love Movies!

Monday: Dialogue, Lines, or Quotes

This might explain the difficulty experienced when asked, "What's your favorite movie?"
People who like movies have a favorite. People who love movies couldn't possibly choose.                 ~ Nicole Yatsonsky

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

How to cook a turkey...according to kids.

Time for some holiday laughter.

Kids explain how to prepare the turkey...

(beginning at approximately 2:09 in the clip)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Books-to-film.

Wednesday: Point of View

For a several weeks I consistently wrote "My Take" posts on movies I viewed, but for the past few weeks I slacked off from watching movies and read a couple novels instead. Both books would make great films…

The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom (Thought provoking, with profound insights.) Some of his books have been made into films (Tuesdays with Morrie; The Five People You Meet in Heaven; For One More Day; Have a Little Faithso I hope The Time Keeper follows suit.

Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan (Although categorized as "youth fiction," it's an enjoyable adult read. Well-written.) According to IMDB, this one is in development! I look forward to seeing it on the big screen.

Having read The Time Keeper, I almost feel guilty saying this, but…

So many books, so little time.
So many movies, so little time.

Have you read any books you'd like to see in film?

Monday, November 16, 2015

More beautiful than expected.

Monday: Dialogue, Lines, or Quotes


The moment we cry in a film is not when things are sad but when they turn out to be more beautiful than we expected them to be. ~Alain de Botton
That was my experience while watching Life Is Beautiful (1997). Actually, first I bawled my eyes out because it was sad, then I cried because of the film's beautiful message.

What movie made you cry when it turned out more beautiful than expected?

Monday, November 9, 2015

A gentle drizzle.

Monday: Dialogue, Lines, or Quotes

Last week I posted my take on Amazing Grace (2006). That film had fantastic lines, and this one still dwells in my thoughts.


JOHN NEWTON
God sometimes does His work with gentle
drizzle, not storms. Drip. Drip. Drip.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Studio C and the Walking Dead

Friday: Comic Relief

Surviving walkers... oh my goodness... this cracks me up!


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Take 29: Amazing Grace

Tuesday: My "take" on a film.

Amazing Grace (2006)


"Behind the song you love is a story you will never forget."

When I first heard about this film, I misunderstood the tagline (above) and assumed the movie was about John Newton, a former slave ship captain who became a preacher and wrote the lyrics for the stirring hymn "Amazing Grace."

The film, however, is about William Wilberforce (Ioan Gruffud) who went before the British Parliament year after year in a quest to end the slave trade.

John Newton (Albert Finney) is part of the story, as he was Wilberforce's preacher, mentor, and friend. Newton's past involvement with the slave trade haunts him...

JOHN NEWTON
I wish I could remember all their names.
My 20,000 ghosts, they all had names,
beautiful African names. We'd call them
with just grunts, noises. We were apes,
they were human.

Such sorrow and deep regret over his cruelty leads him to pen "Amazing Grace! How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me!..."

The song profoundly influences and inspires William. He, too, feels drawn to devote his life to God. Sitting in the grass, looking at a spider's web, he tells his butler...

WILLIAM WILBERFORCE
It's God. I have 10,000 engagements of state today
but I would prefer to spend the day out here getting
a wet arse, studying dandelions and marveling at...
spider's webs.

RICHARD THE BUTLER
You found God, sir?

WILLIAM WILBERFORCE
I think He found me. You have any idea how 
inconvenient that is? How idiotic it will sound?
I have a political career glittering ahead of me,
and in my heart I want spider's webs.

He struggles with a decision... devote his life to God, or continue in the political arena, alongside his friend William Pitt (Benedict Cumberbatch) who aspires to become Prime Minister.

WILLIAM WILBERFORCE
No one of our age has ever taken power.

WILLIAM PITT
Which is why we're too young realize
certain things are impossible.
Which is why we will do them anyway.

Wilberforce eventually realizes that his Divine mission is to fight for the abolition of slavery, thus both ambitions--to serve God, and continue in politics--align. His purpose and passion drive the crusade and nearly destroy his health, but his perseverance is, well...amazing. 

Amazing Grace. Produced by the same group (Walden Media) who brought us The Chronicles of Narnia movies; Holes; and The Giver, it's a quality film worth watching. 



Notes on content:
  • Some references to the rape of female slaves, but no nudity or sex shown.
  • Mild profanity in racial slurs and some words considered profane in Britain.
  • Descriptions of slave conditions, which include violent acts, but none shown.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Video Prompt for November and December



It's the 1st of the month; time for a new video prompt. I have yet to receive any submissions for this blog's Video Challenge, but plan to continue posting monthly prompts... I have hope!

Perhaps it sounds ridiculous, but the best thing that young filmmakers should do is to get ahold of a camera and some film and make a movie of any kind at all. ~ Stanly Kubrick
Not just young filmmakers, but any novice filmmaker. And with digital, who needs film? Grab a camera, make a short video (1 to 3 minutes) then send me the youtube link.  (See guidelines here.)

The video doesn't need to be fancy or professional, just tell a story (beginning, middle, end) following the prompt.

*Video Prompt for November and December (Due December 31, 2015):

A storyline of your choice, but include gratitude either in dialogue or action. 


*Note: The end of the year gets hectic, so, I combined November and December to give more time.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Comic Relief: Parody of Thrillers

Friday: Comic Relief

I've said it before and I'll say it again, scary movies scare me. I do, however, appreciate Alfred Hitchcock thrillers. He's a master of suspense. So with today needing Comic Relief and tomorrow being Halloween, and since I'd rather laugh than scream, here's a trailer for my favorite Mel Brooks comedy: High Anxiety... a parody of Alfred Hitchcock films (Psycho, Vertigo, The Birds, and others). 


Have a happy, safe, and funny Halloween!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Ring in the dialogue.

Writing prompt: Write a blog post inspired by the word: ring.


In keeping with the theme of this blog, I thought it would be fun to find movies with ring in the dialogue.

Ready? … Line, please!

Okay, I've heard various versions of this nursery rhyme, but never quite like this from The Wizard of Oz (1939)...

WICKED WITCH OF THE WEST
Ring around the rosie, a pocket full of spears! 


I haven't seen The Book of Life (2014), but I got a chuckle out of this line when I noticed which character was speaking...

GRANDMA
I was a beast in the ring.  A beast!


Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) has some great lines in Iron Man (2008)...

TONY STARK
Iron Man. That's kind of catchy. It's got a nice 
ring to it. I mean it's not technically accurate.
The suit's a gold titanium alloy, but it's
kind of provocative, the imagery anyway.


Based on these two lines from Stardust (2007), we can get the impression of love and jealousy.

VICTORIA
Do you know, Humphrey's going all 
the way to Ipswich to buy me a ring.

TRISTAN
Ipswich? Victoria I'm talking about 
London or Paris or... A ring? 
Why is he... What kind of a ring?


And speaking of love, I gotta include The Notebook (2004)...

YOUNG ALLIE
No, I made a promise to a man.  
He gave me a ring and I gave him my word.


Don't keel over from shock, but I've never watched Rocky (1976) or any of the sequels, and I need to, right? Knowing it's a story of triumph, I assume this line refers to Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone)...

JERGENS
Tonight, we have had the privilege of
witnessing the greatest exhibition of guts
and stamina in the history of the ring.

Contrast that with this single line, taken out of context, and it makes Daniel (Ralph Macho) in The Karate Kid (1984) sound like a lost puppy.

DANIEL
Where am I, this ring over here?

When I saw Independence Day (1996), I enjoyed the interaction between David (Jeff Goldblum) and his father Julius (Judd Hirsch)...

JULIUS LEVINSON
It's the White House, for crying out loud.
You can't just go up and ring the doorbell.

Mushu (voice of Eddie Murphy) was my favorite character in Mulan (1998). Not all of these lines have the word ring included, but they help set up the humor in this scene...

FIRST ANCESTOR
Mushu! These are the family guardians. They...?

MUSHU
...protect the family.

FIRST ANCESTOR
And you, oh Demoted one?

MUSHU
I... ring the gong.

In Clueless (1995), Cher (Alicia Silverstone) gives very sound advice…

CHER
Dee, when your allergies act up,
take out your nose ring.


(If you knew nothing about the films, other than these lines, would any of them seem like a ringer?)



Writing prompt from:

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Take 28: The Great Buck Howard

Tuesday: My "take" on a film.


The Great Buck Howard (2008)


"Greatness is a state of mind."

Earlier in the year, I mentioned the book 151 Best Movies You've Never Seen by Leonard Maltin (see post), and added The Great Buck Howard to my "want to see" list. I finally got around to viewing it... and... (drum roll)... What a gem!

After dropping out of law school, Troy Gable (Colin Hanks) stumbles into a job as personal assistant to Buck Howard (John Malkovich), a has-been mentalist hoping for the comeback of a lifetime.

They travel small town circuits, where Buck does cheesy performances in half empty auditoriums, and always exclaims...

BUCK HOWARD
I love this town!

The eccentric, cantankerous entertainer does not make life easy for Troy.

BUCK HOWARD
There is a reason, Troy, I am called
the Great Buck Howard... Not the Okay
Buck Howard, not the Not Bad Buck Howard--
--The Great Buck Howard!

But, Troy hangs in there, knowing that although this job doesn't make his heart race, it pays the bills and oddly fits his life--it feels right. 

Sometimes our niche finds us when a current job turns into a stepping stone to a dream.  Other times, after reaching the stars, we return to the niche we had all along.

TROY GABLE 
What happened in Vegas?

BUCK HOWARD
You know, I don't really belong in Vegas anymore.
I belong in places like these. I love what I do.
I love these towns. I love these people.

Greatness is a state of mind.  It doesn't have to be about glitz, glamour, "making it big" or what others view as success. When we genuinely love what we do, it might very well be our calling, our niche.


Notes on content:
  • A few sexual references (innuendos), no nudity.
  • Mild profanity.
  • No violence.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Comic Relief: Kid scripts for Bridge of Spies

Friday: Comic Relief

I don't follow late night television (I'm sawing logs by that time), so this was new to me... Jimmy Fallon's Kid Theater. In this particular video, elementary school kids wrote scenes for Bridge of Spies based only on the title. The funny writing and performances made me laugh out loud!



Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Take 27: The Chosen

Tuesday: My "take" on a film.

The Chosen (1981)


The friendship between two teenage boys starts off a bit rocky...

REUVEN MALTER
You are weird.

DANNY SAUNDERS
I am?

REUVEN MALTER
Yeah, you are. You look like you
walked out of another century.
You play baseball like Babe Ruth.
You talk like you're from another planet.

DANNY SAUNDERS
Thanks for the compliment. 

Although both boys are Jewish, they come from vastly different upbringings. Danny (Robby Benson) was raised in Hasidic traditions, with siblings, a loving mother, and a rabbi father who communicates with him through silence. Reuven (Barry Miller), on the other hand, is an only child whose widowed academic father, a Zionist, speaks liberally.

Despite their differences, they become inseparable friends...until their opposing views regarding the formation of Israel create a gulf between them almost too wide to cross.

The film is rich in culture, relationships, and dialogue. A scene in the latter part of the film touched me deeply and made me reflect on our relationship with God, our Heavenly Father. Sometimes we don't understand God's ways, but His reasons always tie to an abiding love for us, and in His knowing the experiences we need in order to become compassionate and merciful beings.

I can't recall who recommended this film to me. I wish I could thank them. This film sticks with me in a good way.


Notes on content:
  • No sex or nudity
  • Some mild name calling, and racial slurs.
  • No extreme violence, but some bullying and fighting. Also, some graphic images of the Holocaust are shown.


Monday, October 19, 2015

Oh, for the love of wit!

Monday: Dialogue, Lines, or Quotes

In the PBS series Downton Abbey, the character of Violet Crawley (Dowager Countess of Grantham) has the best lines...filled with savvy candor and punch. I applaud this favorite:

VIOLET
Vulgarity is no substitute for wit.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Someone Special: Malala

Thursday: Point of View



A writing prompt from Mama Kat--"Write about someone special"--prompted me to post about Malala Yousafzai. I read her memoir two years ago, I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Talibanand made a note: we need strong females, such as Malala, portrayed in our movies.

Sometimes films give the impression that a strong female is one who can kill people with her bare hands, guns, or arrows, all while dressed in skin tight clothing revealing plenty of cleavage.

But it takes more courage to stand for what you believe, without violence. Malala is an example of such courage, and a superb example of a strong female.

As the title of her book reveals, Malala was attacked, shot at point blank range, for advocating education for girls.

In a recent Super Soul Sunday interview, she told Oprah that the attack changed nothing in her life "except that weakness, fear, and hopelessness died and strength, power, and courage was born. I feel stronger than before."

She is the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, and during the 2014 ceremonial speech she said, "I had two options. One was to remain silent and wait to be killed. And the second was to speak up and then be killed. I chose the second one. I decided to speak up."

The recently released documentary, He Named Me Malala, tells her story. I am eager to see it.

Oprah said, "When we see a living, breathing example of real courage, it lets us know we can reach higher to be our bravest selves."

We need more examples of real courage, in life and in films.


Writing prompt from:

Mama’s Losin’ It

NOTE: When I linked this post to Mama Kat's blog, I didn't notice until too late that it chopped off the link title and reads "Someone Special: Mal"  I sent an email to Kat asking if it can be edited. I am new at this…lesson learned… double check the info before linking! 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Take 26: The World's Fastest Indian

Tuesday: My "take" on a film.



"It's never too late for the ride of your life."

Never too late and never too old to follow a dream. Based on the inspiring true story of Burt Munro (Anthony Hopkins), the film follows his golden-years-quest to set a land-speed record in 1967 with his 1920 Indian motorcycle. 

He travels from his home (a shed) in New Zealand to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, USA, overcoming obstacles and making new friends along the way. Almost naive during his travels, I found myself worried that someone would rip him off or take advantage of him. But his quirky (sometimes salty) open and friendly chatter, along with his acceptance of everyone, endeared him to others.

That's not saying his journey (and the story) is without conflict, but it doesn't come through people around him and that's a pleasant change in a film. Everyone he met seemed to help him along and encourage him to reach his goal. No one tried to pull him down or sabotage his efforts. Imagine a world filled with such individuals--people pursuing their dreams and helping others do the same. I want to be that kind of person.

Notes on content:
  • There are a couple sexual situations, but no nudity.
  • Some profanity, including a few vain references to deity. And he sometimes uses terms or slang that might be considered profane in other countries.
  • No violence.


Monday, October 12, 2015

Films that stick.


Monday: Dialogue, Lines, or Quotes

"Big opening weekends are like cotton candy. The films you will remember over time are the films that stick in the consciousness of the audience in a good way."  ~Robert Redford

Which films stick in your consciousness in a good way?

Friday, October 9, 2015

Lines with a twist.

Friday - Comic Relief

Lines of dialogue with a twist, an unexpected element, give moments of humor.

In Despicable Me 2, Dr. Nefario admits to Gru that he misses being evil... he's received an offer of employment elsewhere. And, of course, one must consider the employee benefits, right?

GRU
Dr. Nefario!  Come on,
you're kidding, right?

DR. NEFARIO
It's a great opportunity for me,
bigger lab, more evil, full dental...

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Take 25: The Cokeville Miracle

Tuesday: My "take" on a film.



What a refreshing film! During a time when negativity and vulgarity abound in the media, The Cokeville Miracle stands out with quality filmmaking and a faith-promoting message: miracles happen.

Based on an actual event, the film depicts the crisis in May 1986 when David and Doris Young, wielding a bomb, rifles and pistols, held children and teachers hostage in a small elementary school in Cokeville Wyoming. 

The disturbed couple gathered over 100 students and teachers into a classroom. Hours ticked by. The bomb exploded. The death toll? Two...David and Doris, the perpetrators. All of the hostages survived the explosion and gunshots. That is a miracle...and it's not the only one. The investigation uncovers other miraculous points prior to and during the blast.

The film can uplift and give hope. Still, it might cause some to question, Why were the Cokeville hostages given these miracles, yet other victims in hostage situations were not so blessed?

The filmmakers don't attempt to answer that question. Miracles, by definition, are unusual events believed to be caused by the power of God. Since God is omniscient (knowing all things past, present, and future), it stands to reason that we don't always understand His ways. Miracles often come to those with faith, yet it can take great faith to accept that sometimes miracles do not come.

In Cokeville, Wyoming, for reasons not completely understood, miracles came in abundance on that fateful day.


Notes on content:
  • No nudity or sex
  • No vulgar language
  • The scene when the bomb explodes contains images of violence. There are also images of blood and wounds, but not in a gory or graphic way. (Although all hostages survived, not all escaped without injury.)


Monday, October 5, 2015

Meeting destiny...

Monday: Dialogue, Lines, or Quotes

Words that make me go, "Hmmm..."

From Kung Fu Panda:

OOGWAY
One often meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it.

Is there truth to that? Have you experienced it?

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Continuing The Video Challenge

My apologies for not keeping up with the monthly video challenge. Life got a bit off-kilter for a time and I had to let a few things go to regain balance. (And yet I started a blog to chronicle that journey. Go figure.)

Anyhoooo... here it is October 1, time for new video prompts. These prompts are randomly pulled out of three separate boxes, and this time they seem to fit together. Plenty of room for imagination, though.

October Deadline: (October 31, 2015)
Character: mom
Location: playground
Prop: chalk

(You choose the storyline, but at some point we need to see a mom, a playground, and chalk. They do not need to appear at the same time or throughout the entire video.)

Click the Video Challenge Guidelines tab above (or click here).

Friday, July 17, 2015

Follow a Disney journey

My friend Shannon loves all things Disney. She and her friend, Melissa, have embarked on a journey to watch every Disney movie ever made. According to the list on their website, that's 644 films.

Shannon and I studied film and served as interns together in Italy. While waiting in a museum line for nearly two hours, we played numerous rounds of 20 questions based on Disney films. I lost nearly every stinkin' time. She knows her stuff!

Follow their adventure at: Magical Movie Journey.  From the website, click on the blog link for their Disney movie reviews.

Good luck, Shannon and Melissa, may the Mouse be with you!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Movieclip fail.

A few years ago, when I searched for legal ways to insert movie clips, I came across "movieclips.com" which gave permission to embed their clips for free! I used that site numerous times on this blog.

Now I discovered Fandango recently took over the website. They don't have near the amount of clips, and they no longer have an option to embed the clip... only a link.

And that's not all. The movie clips I embedded in previous posts no longer work.

Very disappointed right now.

If you know of a legal way to share embedded trailers or clips, please let me know.


Thursday, July 2, 2015

July Video Challenge

I almost forgot to post the prompts for July's video challenge. (No videos were submitted for June, but I continue to hope...)

July Deadline: (July 31, 2015)
Character: bus driver
Location: stairwell
Prop: camera

(You choose the storyline, but at some point we need to see a bus driver, a stairwell, and a camera. They do not need to appear at the same time or throughout the entire video.)

For guidelines (including the email address for submissions) click the Video Challenge button on the sidebar.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Summer movies for families.


An on-line article (7 must-see summer 2015 movies for every family) ranked the movie titles listed below. Most of them sound fun!
  1. Inside Out ◆ My six-year-old granddaughter talked about this movie for months before it finally released. She saw it last weekend and loved it, as did her parents and younger siblings. Animated emotions. I lived it during menopause, but still want to see the film.
  2. Shaun the Sheep  What??? This is coming to the big screen! My grandchildren introduced me to the clever TV show, and I look forward to the movie releasing in August.
  3. Batkid Begins  A documentary slated to hit the theaters this weekend. Not sure how I missed the news about San Francisco becoming Gotham City to grant a wish to a 5-year-old with cancer, Miles Scott, who wanted to be Batman for a day.
  4. Minions  Another animated film I look forward to! This one releases in July. I get a kick out of the minions in Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2, however, a different screenwriter wrote Minions, so hopefully the characters remain lovable.
  5. Paper Towns ◆ A mystery flick fit for teens due out July 24. The story sounds interesting, but I will wait for more information on content before deciding if it's a must-see for me.
  6. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. ◆ I'm interested in the movie, for sure, since I used to watch the TV series years ago… but, again…I await more information on the film content.
  7. Jurassic World  This one already opened, but it doesn't interest me. I posted about how the characters in Jurassic Park should say "no" to going again. (Nooooo! Say "no" to these things!) Well, I say "no" to seeing yet another Jurassic movie.
I added most of these movies to my busy summer plans. Laughing in an air conditioned theater sounds like a fun way to beat the heat.

Monday, June 1, 2015

June and July video prompts.

The deadline for May's video challenge passed with no submissions. That's okay. It was the first month of hosting the challenge, and hopefully it will grow. If you know anyone who might be interested in participating, please share the link to this page. 

Upcoming prompts:

June (Deadline: June 30, 2015)
A plot or subject of your choosing, but must end with the dialogue: "And that's how it happened."

July Deadline: (July 31, 2015)
Character: bus driver
Location: stairwell
Prop: camera

(You choose the storyline, but at some point we need to see a bus driver, a stairwell, and a camera. They do not need to appear at the same time or throughout the entire video.)

For guidelines (including the email address for submissions) click the Video Challenge button on the sidebar.

I look forward to viewing the videos!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Deadline approaches for May's video challenge.

The deadline for this month's video challenge rapidly approaches. I made a handy dandy button for the sidebar for easy access to the instructions.


This month:

May (Deadline: May 31, 2015)
Character: scientist
Location: park
Prop: train

I look forward to the viewing the entries!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Increased role of alcohol in films.

Watching an old movie with characters often lighting up a cigarette, I told my husband, "I forgot how smoking wasn't an issue back then." So a recent on-line Deseret News article piqued my interest: "With smoking declining on screen, experts turn attention to alcohol."

I didn't realize the role of alcohol in films had increased!

Used with permission from Deseret News.

The article stated, "Even as smoking rates and depictions in entertainment have fallen, another problem has risen to take tobacco's place on the silver screen: Alcohol."

Movies often demonstrate that alcohol is an acceptable way to deal with problems or emotions. Sadness, anger, bitterness, loneliness, and even happiness (time to celebrate!), all seem to warrant alcoholic beverages.

Young people are especially vulnerable to how alcohol is depicted in film "because the brain's centers for impulse and behavior control aren't fully developed until around age 25." So when films give an unrealistic view of alcohol consumption, young minds aren't equipped to sort out reality. They see the fun, glamor, escaping problems, and not the negative impact of death, abuse, accidents, rape.

Hollywood voluntarily cut back on smoking in films and television after the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement restricted manufacturers and advertisers from targeting youth. And since that time, tobacco use among teens has been greatly reduced. Hollywood receives some credit for that.

Here's to hoping Hollywood will soon voluntarily diminish the role of alcohol in films.




(The quotes and information are from "With smoking declining on screen, experts turn attention to alcohol" by Chandra Johnson, May 19, 2015, national.deseretnews.com  Click here for the complete article. )

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Take 24: Avengers: Age of Ultron

Tuesday: My "take" on a film.


The computer generated images in the opening scene were so hokey I literally thought it was depicting a video game and that any moment the camera would zoom out to reveal someone playing an Avengers game on their big screen TV. But no such reveal came and I realized it was meant to be the actual movie.

An action flick, for sure, held together with snarky quips and humor. That's about all I took from it. Confusing at times, but maybe I missed vital information early on while distracted with the CGI.

As the action went on and on and on, and yes, on… I became bored. Is it over yet? No. Still more fighting and explosions. And, thankfully, some more humor.

James Spader does the voice of Ultron. Amazing how the animation of Ultron mimicked Spader's mannerisms and expressions. Superb. I'd watch the movie again just for that. And to maybe figure out the confusing plot points.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Avengers (2012) and had high hopes for Age of Ultron, but to quote my husband, "Meh."

Still, I'll watch the next sequel. There's always hope.

Notes on content:

  • No sex or nudity. 
  • Mild profanity.
  • Violence and explosions galore.


Friday, May 8, 2015

What We Can Learn From Movies

Friday - Comic Relief


From Ebert's Bigger Little Movie Glossary: A Greatly Expanded and Much Improved Compendium of Movie Clichés, Stereotypes, Obligatory Scenes, Hackneyed Formulas, Shopworn Conventions, and Outdated Archetypes  (Full reference citation below.)

The title's long, but it's a quick and fun read.

Here are few favorites from the chapter "Things You Would Never Know without the Movies"

  • A detective can only solve a case once he has been suspended from duty.
  • All computer disks will work in all computers, regardless of software.
  • An electric fence powerful enough to kill a dinosaur will cause no lasting damage to an eight-year-old child.
  • Creepy music coming from a cemetery should always be investigated more closely.
  • If you decide to start dancing in the street, everyone you bump into will know all the steps.
  • It does not matter if you are heavily outnumbered in a fight involving martial arts--your enemies will wait patiently to attack you one by one by dancing around in a threatening manner until you have knocked out their predecessors.
  • Medieval peasants had perfect teeth.
  • Mothers routinely cook eggs, bacon, and waffles for their family every morning even though their husband and children never have time to eat it.
  • One man shooting at twenty men has a better chance of killing them than twenty men firing at one man.
  • When confronted by an evil international terrorist, sarcasm and wisecracks are your best weapons.
  • You're very likely to survive any battle in any war unless you make the mistake of showing someone a picture of your sweetheart back home.
And of course...
  • If you find yourself caught up in a situation that could be cleared up quickly with a simple explanation, for goodness sakes keep your mouth shut.


From:
Ebert, Roger (2013-07-30). Ebert's Bigger Little Movie Glossary: A Greatly Expanded and Much Improved Compendium of Movie Clichés, Stereotypes, Obligatory Scenes, Hackneyed Formulas, ... Outdated Archetypes (Backlist eBook Program) (Kindle Locations 2509-2510). Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC. Kindle Edition.


Friday, May 1, 2015

Reel Focus Video Challenge



Reel Focus kicks off a monthly video challenge. Make a short video using the prompts posted on here, and submit it by the end of the month.

Short on time? Choose a prompt for a future month and shoot for that!

(These are random, pulled out of a box.)

May (Deadline: May 31, 2015)
Character: scientist
Location: park
Prop: train


June (Deadline: June 30, 2015)
A plot or subject of your choosing, but must end with the dialogue: "And that's how it happened."


July Deadline: (July 31, 2015)
Character: bus driver
Location: stairwell
Prop: camera


Guidelines:
  • Include the prompts for the month you are submitting. When given a prompt for character, location, and prop, they do not need to appear together or throughout the entire video, but must be included at some point. 
  • Submissions must be for general audience. Avoid vulgar language or gestures. No nudity, sex, or extreme violence.
  • You retain the rights to your video, but by submitting it to Reel Focus Video Challenge you give permission to share the video on this blog.
  • Videos must be at least 1 minute but no longer than 3.
  • Avoid use of copyrighted songs or images. Stock footage is okay as long as you have permission or the right to use it (and please include that information in the credits).
  • Upload your video to youtube, and keep it unlisted until after it posts on this blog.

Have fun! Be creative!

To submit a video:
  • Send a link to your video in an email to trudy.reelfocus@gmail.com
    • subject line : (month) Video Challenge
  • please include (this will be shared when the video posts to this blog)
    • first name
    • age
    • general area where you live (state or region, for instance)
    • a tagline for the video (or a brief synopsis)

Videos will be posted a few days after the submission deadline, allowing me time to view them prior to posting. (If a video does not follow the guidelines, it will not be posted.)

Did I overlook anything? Post questions in the comments section.