Monthly Archives: January 2015

American Sniper, movie review

There’s a lot of controversy swirling around this movie. Honestly, I didn’t know it was based on a true story until I was in the theater. From that aspect, the movie is touching, especially at the end when the real footage of the funeral procession is shown.

However the movie itself plays more like a history channel biography than a thrilling war movie. At times, I was reminded of “Zero Dark Thirty” but in the end, the movie was too disjointed. A quick scene is shown, then large chunks of time would pass before you would rejoin the plot. This left most of the audience feeling distanced from the characters.

At no point did I bond with a character strong enough to feel or share in their emotions. Which is sad, because there was some very powerful acting involved.

 

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Selma, movie review

As the title implies, this movie focuses on one event in Martin Luther King’s life. The oppression black people faced in Selma, Alabama. The goal was simple: enable black people to vote. Such a right was legal, but additional restrictions could be put in place that would prevent blacks from registering to vote. The movie does a great job of explaining to you how impossible this simple task of registering was. And with only white people voting, whites who murdered or maimed black people could do so without punishment.

Using the media as witnesses, MLK would “peacefully” antagonize the prejudice white people into publicly attacking the black people. The blacks would not fight back. Hence, images of these black people being murdered and maimed would then spread across America. The plan worked great in towns were there were hotheaded white people who had no problem beating a black man. The movie even mentioned that MLK’s strategy failed in some towns, where the sheriff would peacefully cart off the protesters. I personally found that funny.

Selma was a town with a hotheaded sheriff. So MLK went there and the peaceful protests began. The movie would go from a scene of advocates and politicians rambling speeches, to a bloody scene of black people being beaten or murdered. The result was jarring. I’m nodding off, half asleep as MLK gives a speech, then bam, bunch of kids getting blown up is flashed in my face.

The white people are shown to be monsters as a whole. This is exaggerated by the fact in the beating scenes, their faces are not shown, but every black person’s face is. You follow a few people in particular, so when they die you’ll be extra touched.

A few not well-known facts are brought to light as well. The most shocking to me was the fact MLK cheated on his wife. In fact, most of the preachers he traveled with did. MLK was very charismatic and his popularity made his ease of access to women very easy. Looking at history though, most religious leaders have this quality. MLK just wasn’t able to hide it as well as most because the FBI had surveillance on him.

His adulterous deeds were downplayed and made a subtle part of the movie. It was done very artfully and did not demonize him at all.

I went to this movie hoping to learn a bit about history. And I did. But the greatest learning point for me was how effective protesting can be. MLK’s movements acquired his goal. The protests I see today are silly in comparison. People standing outside with signs saying, “support our troops” or “end the war”. Those people are accomplishing nothing. The protests in this movie have a set goal and they accomplish it.

If all the so called activists and protestors of today would go see this movie, THEY would learn a great deal.

Sadly, I predict this movie flopping. After watching it, I have no idea who the target audience is. It’s filmed well though. But the mix of monologues and horror just wasn’t appealing to me.

 


CENTCOM Family Activities Association college grants

Want to help support our youth? And feel secure in knowing that 100% of your donated money went to the cause? The CENTCOM Family Activities Association is just that. All money raised will go toward a $500 grant awarded to one senior high school student or college student a quarter. Applicants must have ties to the military, ie parents, grandparents, ect, and must submit a written essay. If you are interested in supporting, please visit the link below.

The program is entirely run by enlisted members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. Click the link below to visit the site and see more details.

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Monster, by M.K. Barrett, book review

I normally don’t like books in a medieval/fantasy setting. Most of them just aren’t written well. But after reading the free sample on Amazon, I realized this book might be an exception. I was already hooked.

There is all this lead up with the main character, Mirabella, getting married to a guy who is going to abuse and rape her. It’s a medieval setting, where she is a commoner who catches the eye of a prince. I’m like, this is gonna be like some twisted fantasy version of “Fifty Shades of Gray”, right? Cause the scenes where the prince is teasing her, she actually likes it.

But then, on the wedding night, before they actually have the sex… she jumps out the window and runs away! Totally escapes!! Now I’m sure I was supposed to be rooting for her. But honestly I was disappointed. There was all this lead up and then it didn’t happen.

So I started skimming. Cause I was like, if her husband doesn’t catch and rape her, this book isn’t worth reading. Well, my skimming showed me that she goes to a cave, meets a monster who has a “manhood” as big as your arm. They fall in love and make love. Then this green guy shows up, some aquatic monster. He has sex with her, also has a huge manhood. Then the two male monsters have sex. Then they all have sex. And then they find her husband that she ran away from and they roast and eat him.

And I’m only halfway into the book. Talk about plot twisters.

I went back and read the parts I’d originally skimmed, even though I never got my husband rape, the book had earned a read anyway.

After a lot of monster romance, Mirabella runs away. This girl likes to run away. After several more, near rapes, (I never do get a real rape, *sigh*), she ends up being taken to a village of people where her grandmother lives. Their leader raped her for two weeks, or made love, I dunno, it was hard to figure out which. Then he got upset cause they didn’t bond. (oh yeah, her people can only bond to one person, the first person they mate with. But she’s special and can bond with more than one, so… she’s normal?) Anyway, they did bond but he didn’t think they did, guess it gets hard to tell when you’ve bonded with like a dozen people. So he decides to execute her, but their form of execution is twisted, like something out of a Saw movie. They whipped her, did some other stuff, and then stuffed a device in her that would spring open and cut her up from the inside.

Wow, right? In the end she sorts out her human-monster polygamy relationship and it ends happily ever after.

So… it was an amazing read and I’m giving it five stars. It’s written very well, especially considering the genre. Like I said, I normally avoid medieval fantasies because they are written horribly. Although some of the events are a bit crazy, it all makes sense with the plot and the rules of this author’s world stays consistent. My only warning to readers is, be prepared for the fact this is a dark erotica, and that it’s very graphic.

Monster by MK Barrett


Unbroken movie review

A lot of people will probably praise this movie because it’s the patriotic thing to do. The true story is based on Olympian Louis Zamperini’s struggles during World War II. (Fun fact, he was also the Grand Marshall in the 2015 Rose Parade, but died this past year. His family was in the parade in his place.)

I want to phrase this correctly, because I am totally on board for respecting our veterans’ struggles and giving them the respect they deserve. But to me, all Zamperini did… was survive. I watched a two hour movie about a soldier who survived a POW camp. And he happened to be in the Olympics before then. Okay… a lot of famous or noteworthy people served and survived wars. His story is special because?

I kept waiting for the answer to be explained to me. For two hours I waited. Wanting there to be some hidden message in the movie. Scenes dragged on, where, well, all the POW people did exactly what they trained to do. No one did anything noteworthy. No heroics. They all simply survived.

I agree Zamperini’s story should be told. All veterans should have their story told. But this movie told me nothing a simple newspaper article couldn’t. The only part of the movie that tugged on my heartstrings was the real life clip played during the credits, of Zamperini carrying the Olympic torch at age 80. And it would have touched me just as much if I’d seen it on the news.

So… I’d recommend passing on this movie. Sorry, but you’ll probably get a more riveting story talking to a real life veteran than sitting through this two hour propaganda movie for Louis Zamperini.


Into the woods, movie review

Yet another movie taking a new dark twist on the classic fairy tales we grew up with. You’d think we’d all be bored of the revisions on the same old stories. But alas no, because now, the stories are taking on a dark twist, almost being a horror, but not quite, and adding a splash of witty humor.

I have a hard time recommending this movie for kids. Cinderella’s stepsisters cut off part of their feet in an effort to fit in her shoe—they don’t show it but they make it clear what is happening. There’s some almost-adultery, and main characters are killed off-in again, near horror movie fashion.

This is darker than Maleficent was, like, I never thought I was watching a musical horror show when I was watching Maleficent.

But my disagreement with the PG rating aside, I enjoyed the movie. I really did. It was like a modern day Monty Python movie, with a focus on fairy tales. The characters were constantly making me laugh. If you can tolerate the singing, because there was a lot of singing, then I’d recommend the movie.

Everyone who was in the theater seemed to have a good time. Except those who had brought their young kids… yeah, there’s going to be some awkward questions for mom and pop later.