Film School Even For The Disadvantaged

One of my favorite things about the world of film is its availability to just about anyone. There are movies to entertain anyone, from small children to adults of all kinds. Film genres embrace horror, romance, comedy, drama, and many combinations of these. Whether you enjoy cutting edge drama, classic films, or a gentle romance, you can find a film to enjoy.

Almost anyone can get involved in the world of film, too. As long as you have the passion, the talent, and the work ethic, you can find a job in the film world. Obviously, acting roles are reserved for those who possess a certain in born talent for adopting fictional roles, but there are many other jobs out there. Stage hands, producers, directors, writers, prop assistants, makeup artists, cameramen, and more can be filled by people of all stripes who receive the right training and put in enough hard work.

The problem is that there are, at times, obstacles that prevent people who dream of entering the film world from receiving the training they need to excel in their chosen role. One of the most common of these obstacles is finances. For instance, if someone is unable to pay for cosmetology school, they will never be able to become a makeup artist for the next feature film. Or, if someone cannot afford to attend film school, they can never pursue a career in film production.

Single mothers, more than many other groups of people, face the financial pressures that make it difficult to pursue any career dream, including the dream of participating in the film world. These women must provide for their families without the support of another person who can contribute emotionally, physically, or financially to the operation of the household. Often, they are forced to take whatever job they can find just to make sure they can feed and clothe their children.

This is why financial assistance for single mothers, and scholarships for single moms, is so vitally important. In addition to help such as welfare, food stamps, or WIC, these single mothers often need financial assistance and scholarships that will help them to go to school to learn new skills and pursue jobs that will help them to support their families in a career that they enjoy.

This point was driven home to me when I met a woman named Jeanine while I was at film school. When she divorced from her husband, she had to move from being a stay at home mom to a working mother, and was only able to find a minimum wage job. Her move out of poverty only occurred five years later when she received a scholarship to attend film school, where she was preparing herself for a career making movies.
In my opinion, anyone, including single mothers, who has a passion and vision for film should be allowed to pursue their dreams. This is why I support and advocate for any program that offers the kind of assistance women need to make it possible for them to pursue their film dreams.

Depression’s Toll: Robin Williams’ Suicide

Obviously, I love film. I have spent the past decade studying, practicing, thinking about, and writing about film. Through the years, however, I have noticed that the film world is a microcosm for many of the troubles that plague the world in general. It seems as if the film world takes these problems and amplifies them so we can see, through the struggles of our favorite actors and actresses, how many other, non-famous people, struggle as well.

When Robin Williams took his own life in August, I was reminded yet again that depression is one of these struggles.  Consider, for instance, actors and actresses like Heath Ledger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Gwyneth Paltrow, who all battled depression at one time or another.  Robin Williams was only the latest, and perhaps most prominent, in a long line of men and women who have lost the battle against the darkness of depression.

Robin Williams’ struggle with depression was a long one that he endured since at least the 1970s and 80s. The darkness that led him to take his life may have been deepened by his diagnosis of Parkinson’s, but had existed at least since the death of a close friend in the 1970s.  It made itself known at other points in his life and film career, and resulted in a number of addictions in the 1970s and 1980s.

When I look at Robin Williams’ life and struggle with depression, I also see the connection that so often exists between depression and struggles with addiction.

 

I’ve written previously on this blog about the frequency with which actors and actresses seem to fall prey to addictions, like marijuana addiction, other drug addictions, or addictions to alcohol. The reasons that many film stars face addictions are varied. What I did not touch on was how often these addictions become intertwined with the presence of depression in their lives.

Robin Williams faced addiction throughout his life. These addictions included struggles with alcoholism and cocaine addiction.  In order to try to overcome his attachment to these substances, he entered rehab several times, most recently in 2014 for help with alcoholism. It is impossible for us to know exactly how his depression and addiction were linked, but it is clear that the struggles were powerful and deep and that his suicide was ultimately a tragic result of being unable to overcome these battles.

When faced with the darkness of depression, sometime it is easier for people to fall into addiction because that addiction can mask the pain that depression brings. It is also possible that addictions give rise to depression. Regardless, we can see through Robin Williams’ life and death that the link between the two is strong, and that although it can be easy to judge others because of their struggles with addiction and depression, we should remember that they are human beings, facing struggles that, unless we have experienced them ourselves, we can never truly understand.

Jurassic Park on Location: Understanding and Enjoying the Hawaiian Backdrop

hawaii

Jurassic Park is a truly classic sci-fi movie. Who can forget the stunning natural views and that terrifying T. Rex? The heart and soul of this movie, however, comes from its stunning, mystical scenery. Set primarily on the Hawaiian islands of Oahu, Niihau, Maui, and Kaua’i, the filming locations serve as the perfect backdrop for the action packed film.

The scenery, of course, served as a compelling reason for Stephen Spielberg and crew to use the islands as film locations. Hawaii’s breathtaking waterfalls and lush vegetation are an ideal setting for a movie about dinosaurs. After all, we all think of dinosaurs roaming a wild, uninhabited rainforest-like environment, and Hawaii provides just such a location.

Interestingly enough, however, the locations were not only chosen for the views, and were not the setting of the events in the movie. If that were the case, the movie would have been filmed in Costa Rica, where the plot supposedly took place. Instead, the Hawaiian islands were chosen because they offered a more stable, and accessible, location for filming.

In addition, they provided familiarity for Stephen Spielberg, who had worked there in the past and who was therefore familiar with the terrain and filming challenges. The island of Oahu served as a filming location for some scenes because of one of these filming challenges: A tropical storm that made filming on the original location of Kaua’i impossible. In fact, the only truly on location spot for the entire movie was Red Rock Canyon in Montana, where some dig scenes were supposed to have taken place in the movie.

Fortunately for fans of Jurassic Park, you can still visit the filming locations in Hawaii. These locations are truly stunning, with thriving vegetation, breathtaking mountains, and gorgeous trees, and beautiful waterfalls.  When visiting these sites, therefore, plan to have your breath taken away by unmatched beauty, and definitely bring your camera. What you saw in the movie was only a taste of the raw beauty you will encounter when visiting these filming locations in person.

Try not to get your hopes up too high, however, about actually seeing remnants of the film. In addition to a decided lack of dinosaurs, you will also not see much of the film sets left. For instance, the entry gates in the movie are only tall metal poles now, and the helicopter landing area isn’t even available for viewing except by plane.

While you can research your favorite scenes and arrange your own stops at their filming locations, you may find it easier, and more fun, to take a movie tour instead. These tours cover major filming sites not only for Jurassic Park, but also for many other movies. Whatever you decide, however, just make sure you take the time to really enjoy standing in the same spots that you have seen in the movie. Imagine yourself in the middle of a park full of dinosaurs, facing down that crazy Tyrannosaurus Rex, or participating in any of your favorite scenes. The movie will undoubtedly become more alive to you as you stand in the places where it was created and give you an even deeper appreciation for a film you already love.

4 Action Sports Movies You May Have Missed Out On

Let’s make this clear: action sports movies are more than just action sports. Characters portrayed in such films tend to have nuanced and deep relationships that we can all relate to. Global themes are being explored and powerful messages are revealed to viewers. Conflicts go above and beyond the filed or court and runs a lot deeper than one team against another. Action sporting movies are some of our favorite moives of all time, as they showcase action sports really greatly!

Nevertheless, action sports movies should still have elements of awesome sports qualities. They should include sports that are outside of the mainstream and give the viewer a good idea of what goes on with that sport. While I’m not big into all extreme sports (some of that is just crazy) , but I do really like playing some extreme sports. I have been slowly building up my paintball collection lately, and have even gotten a new mask and gun! I got the advice after reading the guide from my buddy mark

Here are 4 of the best non-box office action sports films that you may have missed out on (and worth watching):

Flow (2006)
70,000+ handmade surfboards, 15 international titles, 6 world championships, and one man who had a hand on it all. This full-featured documentary covers the remarkable history and lives of a surf team from the Channel Islands, with legendary surfboard maker Al Merrick leading the way.

The movie describes the colorful careers of the island’s skilled surfers which include Tom Curren, Dane Reynolds, Kelly Slater, and their close relationship with the man who made their boards. For Merrick, kindness and passion evolved into something bigger than many of us would ever imagine. For this reason alone, Flow is one of the most inspiring action sports film today.

The End (1998)
At the time of this movie’s release, The End was considered to be one of the best action sports films ever created. Highlights from the movie include the climatic careers of Andrew Reynolds, Heath Kirchart, and Jeremy Klein. These legendary skaters have skated in front of street signs, bus shelters, or any shed they can spot — all edited under the musical track of David Bowie’s “Under Pressure.” It doesn’t get a lot more thrilling than this.

That’s It, That’s All (2009)
This movie is the “Star Wars” of snowboarding. Hardworking and creative filmmaker Curt Morgan follows the life of Travis Rice around the globe for a few years as he takes his skills to astounding new levels. In the end. The result is an awesome action sports film worth watching. While it may be a bit difficult to tell if this movies is about helicopters or snowboarding, you’ll still be astounded by its scenic shots and out-of-this-word jumpers.

Let It Ride (2007)
This movie talks about the life of snowboarding. Craig Kelly has all the answers you need about snowboarding including world championship titles, global competition, and experience. Jake Burton even gave him an offer to work for his own snowboard company — which he respectfully turned down.

Instead, Kelly made a decision to dive into the wild so he can discover himself and his natural surroundings. Kelly has contributed so much into this film and snowboarding that snowboard fans will be in debt to him for the rest of their lives. Let It Ride is a form of his payback worth accepting.

Losing it Like Bridget Jones a.k.a. Renee Zellweger

Renee Zellweger’s effective weight loss after taking on the Bridget Jones’ role is inspiring.

No doubt, Bridget Jones’ Diary is one of the more popular flicks for ladies who are starting to get overly depressed about being heavy and loveless. But what made this film series stick to the memory of movie fans worldwide is the way Renee Zellweger, who took on the role of the title character, gained and lost the weight so quickly, like, in the blink of an eye. Yes, she was criticized for it. Still, you cannot deny the fact that a lot of women would love to know what happened and how they can apply Zellweger’s weight control secrets in their less than starry, out of Hollywood limelight life.

In Hollywood, Everything Has a Price

We didn’t know about what made her gain over 20 pounds and jump from being a size 4 to becoming a size 14 for the first installment of the movie about the thirty something singleton. What we know is that Zellweger was allegedly offered $122,000 for every pound she gains to shoot the second installment, which was released in 2004. There was also a buzz that the A-list actress also got a $100,000 offer for every pound she will lose with some professional weight watchers. Apparently, the actress can go by on her own and turned down such a lucrative offer. She did lost the extra weight she carried all along shooting the Bridget Jones’s films by herself, reversing what she did to gain them. It might seem not too simple as it is said but it is.

To gain the weight, she stopped her workout regimen, which is a staple in the daily grind of her life. She also downed boxes and boxes of pizzas, packages and packages of sweets and junks and all the anti-slim food variety. When she was ready to lose all the excess weight, she hit the gym again, spending two hours with a personal trainer daily. She also switched onto a diet of mostly tuna and cold fish, dressing free salads, and raw fruits and veggies. The crash diet course worked for her but does that mean you should adapt it, too?

You have to think twice about that as the actress herself is not keen on repeating her feat the third time to prepare for the next installment in Helen Fielding’s novel series, according to reports.

Losing Weight in Style

Showbiz watchers and even regular weight watchers are wary that people are going on crash diet courses just to keep up with the Hollywood celebs. With more and more people ranking at the obesity field, diet plans of all shapes and sizes have also come forward to give people hope that spotlight-ready body is achievable. But you do not just bite on every offer. You should be able to scrutinize whatever diet plan you are looking at to be sure you are on the safe side. Getting help through consultations with a physician is a must. A medical professional will be able to measure your body’s capabilities against the demands of a certain diet and workout regimen.

It is also ideal that you do your homework well enough. The newest diet craze that is making waves involve HCG injection kit. Learn more here. There are also versions of HCG diet pills on the market. Click this site to know more details.

More Shoot Locations: Bring Your Fountain Pen for Autographs

So I know everyone is quite excited to hear that Bradley Cooper, Chris Pratt and Emma Watson have all been announced to star in the new drama meets science fiction thriller Marking Time.  The actual premise of the movie seems, in my opinion, idiotic.  A time traveling fountain pen.  Yawn.  But, if stars as big as those three have all signed on then the script must be good, right? I’m holding out hope.

As you know, I review many, many movies and know a lot of people in the industry who give me the heads up about movie plots, shoot locations and the like.  However, the buzz surrounding this movie has been strange.  It’s like people were told to keep quiet.  The fact that we finally know who is starring in Marking Time is a huge deal.  Although I know most of the shoot locations, I know almost nothing about the actual plot.  What I do know is that Emma Watson’s character comes into contact with this time traveling fountain pen after her grandmother dies and leaves it to her in her will.  Along with the fountain pen, she receives some cryptic message about time travel and eventually with the help of Chris Pratt’s character, they both figure out how to utilize the pen for that purpose.  Apparently something goes wrong as only Emma herself was supposed to travel through time and somewhere Bradley Cooper is in the mix.  Will keep my feelers out so that you can learn more about the plot.

Marking Time‘s screenwriter’s grandmother apparently had an obsession with Waterman Fountain Pens.  I did a quick Google search and these pens are far from cheap.  In fact, the least expensive one I saw on bestpensintheworld.com went for about $3,600, whereas the mean price was approximately $10,000.  For a pen.  Waterman Fountain Pens were originally made and manufactured in New York.  To keep in touch with the state, most of the shooting will be done in New York, but out in Brooklyn and Long Island where apparently it was cheaper for the crew to shoot.

The shoot will take place over ten days, all on location in both Williamsburg, Brooklyn and Manhasset, Long Island.  In Williamsburg, check out Kent St., as all roads between 2nd St. and 7Th St. along Kent are set to close.  In Manhasset, a little road called West John St. will be the backdrop for the famous Waterman Fountain Pen storefront.  Apparently there is this swanky mall in the area that the director fell in love with as soon as he laid eyes on it.

I am told that there will be a very familiar face on location.  What I don’t know is if it is an actor/actress or a director to help stand in.  For those of you who don’t already know, Ron Howard is directing this film and he has all sorts of friends in the industry willing to lend a hand for a couple of days.  My guess is it will be some New York-based talent.  I will not be able to make this location shoot, but if any of you out there do go, please drop me a line to let me know how it was!

How Celebrities Maintain Glowing Skin and a Healthy Body

Celebrities have to do everything to ensure that they have a beautiful skin and healthy body. Otherwise, they won’t stay relevant in the business.

Being a movie or TV star might seem easy and can pay a huge amount of money, but it is not as easy as it looks. In fact, being a movie star entails a lot. You need to maintain a good body and overall look in order to remain appealing. Otherwise, newer stars will replace you and you will be forgotten. As Heidi Klum always says, “In fashion, one day you’re in, and the next day, you’re out.” This applies not only in modeling, but in the entertainment world in general. Therefore, celebrities are always faced with a huge challenge of making sure that they look good.

Maintaining a beautiful skin

To ensure that they look good on cam, it is obvious that celebrities apply tons of makeup. Of course, this is what the role requires of. It is also much better to put on makeup to look even better on screen. However, for celebrities who naturally look good, it is more of an advantage. Take note that after the movie was created, the next step is to advertise it. People will see them in flesh and they can no longer hide their impurities with makeup. Therefore, they have to maintain a healthy and glowing skin. For most celebrities, having enough sleep is a must. However, due to the hectic schedule, they can barely maintain it. Yet, for celebrities who really want to have healthy skin, they see to it that they can get enough sleep.

There are those who go through surgery just to maintain their skin while some others go for non-invasive procedure. They also use certain products. Whatever their secrets are, the point is they don’t just let their skin stay dry and let their skin cells die out. They always do something. In fact, there are celebrities who have used lifecell antiaging cream and have proven that it is worth every penny. If you are interested in lifecell wrinkle cream, go to http://www.happierandhealthier.org/lifecell-anti-aging-cream-reviews-life-cell-really-work/.

Keeping a healthy body

Aside from a beautiful face, celebrities also need to have a healthy body. Though there are celebrities who don’t really care about their size, A-list celebrities do. They are not just ordinary celebrities. People look up to them. Therefore, they need to have a beautiful figure. Some of them even have to endorse certain products. They will only get such endorsements with a healthy body. Thus, it goes without saying that they hit the gym as often as they could. They also watch what they eat. They might have even paid someone to check on their food so that they can maintain a healthy diet. There are also those who follow certain procedures that are deemed safe and effective. If you are interested in the flat belly forever system, you can go here. A lot of celebrities say that it works. You might make the most out of it too.

In short, it is not easy to be a celebrity. They have to go through a lot just to keep a positive image. For most people, being beautiful on the inside is what matters most. However, for celebrities, sometimes, it has to be skin deep.

Air Compressors are a Huge Help in Movie Sets through Airbrushes

Movies can’t be completed without costumes and props. This is why airbrushes are needed. These tools are formed using air compressors.

Do you ever wonder how precise certain costumes or props in movies are? If you take a look at them, the details are so perfect that you think it is real. Of course, you know those are not real. Those are just painted. These movie props and costumes came to life with the help of airbrushes. Airbrushes help a lot because they spew paints in smaller proportions. This is something that cannot be achieved with the use of an ordinary brush only. Airbrushes work because of air compressors. The pressurized air inside the bottle is what gives the airbrush that kind of force to create a beautiful result.

It takes skills

Even if airbrushes are useful, they can’t be used just by anyone. It needs to be learned over time. You cannot just wake up one day and realize that you have to use airbrushes for a movie set. However, airbrushes can be used for some other purposes. If it is not as specific and as details as movie props, then you might be able to learn it quickly. However, for movie props where people are so keen of the details, then you have to be extra careful. For instance, the Spiderman mask is very detailed. It is not just an alternate of black and red colors. It is something that must be airbrushed carefully. If you don’t have that skill, you won’t get the same quality result every time.

Precision is the key

To begin with, air brushing is an art. Hence, those who deal with movie props and costumes are artists in every sense of the word. They are artistic and really creative. However, it is not just the artistic side that must prevail. Airbrushes need precision. It is very fragile. You can’t just use it and do whatever you want. You need to take control. You must have delicate hands in order to achieve the desired result. It takes time to master the skill, but once you are there, you can deal with just about anything.

Starting to learn

If you really want to give this a try, then you have to invest on the right tools. Of course, you need the best airbrush. Find an airbrush that was made using high quality air compressors. In order to know more about air compressor, read these small air compressor reviews. If not, you can also learn more about air compressor through Air Tool Guy. Once you have the right tools with you, the next thing to do is to practice. Start with the basics in using the tool. You can seek help from experts if you need a push to get started. Once you have the basic knowledge in using the airbrush, the next thing to do is to make your own movie prop. Start with something simple. In fact, it is best if you copy an actual movie prop so you can have something to compare your final output with. Over time, you will do well and even become a professional airbrush artist.

Paying Celebrities to Wear Designer Jewelry

There are jewelry designers that will do whatever it takes to sell their items, even paying celebrities to wear their designs.

During red carpet events, you might see celebrities donning expensive jewelry to match their outfits. You might think that they have spent a lot for the jewelry. Of course, they can’t wear anything cheap to those huge events. However, not so many people know that there are celebrities who are so big that instead of spending their own money to buy jewelry, they are being paid to wear jewelry made by certain designers.

According to reports, among the biggest celebrities who are paid to wear jewelry are Jennifer Lawrence, Catherine Zeta Jones, Sandra Bullock, and Kate Winslet. Designers run after these celebrities because they know that by just walking out wearing their expensive jewelry, it is already an endorsement. Some sources say that celebrities are paid even up to $500,000 just to wear the jewelry during red carpet events. There are also those who go for a package deal where they ask the celebrity to sign a contract about wearing only their jewelry for the entire awards season. For instance, Jennifer Lawrence and Lupita Nyong’ O are among the hottest celebrities during awards night in recent years. They are the ones who are paid more.

Jewelry on movie set

Aside from red carpet events, there are designers who also wish to have their items shown in movies. It has been proven time and again that people are very keen to details when watching movies. Therefore, if the actors wear jewelry, there is a tendency for the people to buy the said jewelry as well. Meryl Streep is among the most awarded celebrities in Hollywood. This is why designers are dying to have her wear their jewelry on set.

The same thing is true for Catherine Zeta Jones. In her 2008 movie, she was seen wearing this necklace that was taken by the paparazzi while she was shooting for a film. This has become an instant hit and sales of that particular jewelry increased drastically.

Several years ago, Sex and the City was among the most viewed TV series. It was also during this time when Sarah Jessica Parker sealed the deal as a fashion icon. People are watching the series not just because of the story, but because of what Sarah wears as well. This of course, includes her accessories. This is why jewelry designers Akiyo and Renee Lewis had their career take off when they started providing jewelry for Sarah during the show.

Is it worth the price?

You might think that it is crazy for designers to pay celebrities just to wear their jewelry. However, you have to understand that paying them for an actual commercial is even more expensive. Therefore, if they can just pay the celebrity a few thousand dollars just to wear the jewelry for certain appearances and photos will spread like wildfire, then it is good enough.

If you are inspired to buy jewelry as well, you can check out the best Red Gemstones by reading the Semi Precious Stones Guide. Once you have made your decision, you will feel like a real celebrity.

A Closer Look at Kitchen Nightmares

There will not be anymore screaming and shouting matches between world renowned chef and restaurant owner Gordon Ramsay and those who own restaurants and the chefs that run these restaurants because as of last year, Ramsay himself blogged that Kitchen Nightmares will have its last run. This is bad news for those wanting to watch the show some more. The reality show has garnered so much popularity that a lot of struggling restaurant owners have learned a thing or two from the past six seasons.

Unfortunately with this sad news comes the end of one of the most enduring restaurant rehabilitation TV shows. Ramsay admitted that the 10-season run of the popular TV show was a phenomenal achievement. It all started in 2004 with the British Kitchen Nightmares version then in 2007, Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares was brought to the United States of America and its ratings went off the hook and virtually annihilated other shows with similar trends and plotline.

The show was based in only two countries, the United Kingdom and the United States, but the show was successfully sold and watched in more than 150 countries and was watched by over millions and millions of viewers around the planet. He said in his blog that he had a wonderful time with the show but then it is time to pack things up.

This show became so interesting to viewers because it brought Gordon Ramsay to different parts of the United Kingdom at first, then to different small and big cities in the United States of America where he tried to rehabilitate individual restaurants by helping the owners and the chefs to gain back the reigns of the restaurants they own and are running.

One of the highlights of the show was when Gordon Ramsay attempted to fix the problems of Amy Baking Company, which was located in Scottsdale, Arizona. This was one episode wherein Chef Ramsay himself gave up on the attitude of the owners of the restaurant and for the very first time, he walked out on a restaurant. This episode was at the centerpiece of a lot of memes created to describe what went on between Ramsay and the couple who owns the restaurant.

Ramsay himself admitted that Kitchen Nightmares was the show that put him on the international television map, one that made him a household name. He is happy though that he was able to put joy in the faces of his fans and viewers and was able to help fix some restaurants. Though not all of the restaurants he helped rehabilitate went on to attain success, at least he was able to share his views from his vast experience to these clients of his and who knows, maybe they can apply what he has taught them in their future restaurant undertakings. One would be like considering reading home appliances reviews similar to those found in this site before making an investment.

Is Ramsay sad to say goodbye to his show? Yes he is, but he also said that it would not be the end of it all. His fans will still see him in future shows.

Chefs and restaurant owners alike do not want to see the show go just like that. One of the things that made these fans follow Chef Ramsay’s show is the fact that they learn something from him other than just cooking, perhaps similar to using the only the best in one’s trade, like the best rice cooker that can be found here.

With all that has been said and done, there is a wild rumor going around the United States entertainment industry that Ramsay just might revive the Kitchen Nightmares show anytime soon. This will certainly put a lot of smiles to the faces of his fans.

Point Break v1.0

I went back a couple of decades recently. No, not time travel — except in the sense that watching an old movie can take you back in time. It definitely was interesting to go back to when there were no mobile phones, very few laptops, and even surfboard technology was not as advanced. Yes, I watched Point Break, the old Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves movie. And, yes, good stand up paddle boards were a thing of the future at the time the movie was shot. That’s not to say that no one ever stood up on a surfboard and tried to paddle using whatever was available (kayak paddle? canoe paddle? oar?), but paddle boards had yet to become a thing. I’m not involved in surf culture at all, but I can imagine that the gist of it is the same. After all, the crux of it is still a man or woman out on the waves in quest of the ultimate ride, and for many, the camaraderie of others trying to do the same. That camaraderie figures large in Point Break and, of course, it still present today and perhaps even enhanced by our hyper-connected culture.

In case you are not familiar, Point Break is a 1991 movie based in California where FBI agent Johnny Utah (Reeves) infiltrates a surf community led by Bodhi (Swayze) in order to investigate a number of bank robberies that may have been committed by surfers. Utah and Bodhi develop a complex friendship that later changes and develops into a part-enemy relationship as Utah tries to gain proof of the surfer’s crimes. I won’t reveal any more in case you are planning to watch it too. All in all it is a really good crime/action movie with plenty of interesting twists and chases, and lots of guns and knives — yes, there are big hunting knives held to throats as you’d expect, but woman to woman as you wouldn’t expect, rather than man to man. Rotten Tomatoes rates it 68% and the Internet Movie Database gives it 7.2/10. Personally, though I felt its datedness detracted from it a little, I would happily give it 7.5/10 as it kept me engaged all the way through. Swayze was excellent at walking the line between keeping us rooting for him and wanting him to get caught. The portrayals of surf culture felt authentic though an insider might disagree, but even then, a generous viewer would be forgiving, I think, considering it is a movie and willing “suspension of disbelief” is a requirement.

So, by all means: rent it, watch it. It is a movie full of suspense, a charismatic performance by Swayze, and an early performance by Keanu Reeves (it’s interesting to compare Reeves performance to his latest in John Wick, and yes, as you’d expect, he has put on a little weight). The surf shots, too, are a lot of fun, and if you have a free-spirited side you’ll find yourself envying the good-natured and laid-back beach and surf lifestyle of the 80s and 90s. Of course, watch for the remake coming out December 2015!

Mini Reviews: Underrated Horrors of the Past Year You Should Definitely Watch

There’s something very primal about feeling fear. It’s one of the last remnants of behavior that helped our ancestors survive their daily struggles. So it’s no wonder that we have been trying to capture that same fear through words, writing, and movies. This past year saw some of the best movies about macabre ideas come to light and they vary in theme and ideas. Overall, it was great for horror fanatics, but sometimes the most interesting films go very deep under the radar. Here are some of the prime horror movies that went unnoticed to the public at large.

The Babadook

Sometimes, you don’t need gore and violence to make something very terrifying. What The Babadook does well is world building through dialogue and visual clues. It’s never made explicit whether or not the thing haunting a single mom and his son does so because of malice or if it’s real in the first place. It’s also got an eerie atmosphere that carries well throughout the film. The Babadook doesn’t even show itself excessively; the director instead chooses to pick the best moments when the demon rears its ugly head. Overall, it’s a great film that illustrates the slow descent to madness depression can lead to.

What We Do in the Shadows

Over the past half-decade many classic monsters have been taken and redefined with new meanings and metaphors. Though most of them are more romantically inclined, the shift was expected ever since Ann Rice came out with her riveting Vampire Masquerade series. The premise is simple; a group of vampire buddies live together in modern day New Zealand. Each character represents a different stage the vampire genre has gone through. But the important thing here is how each joke methodically picks apart vampire lore while still establishing deep connections between each of the roommates.

The Voices

Ryan Reynolds has had a very rocky career, which only feels like it’s finally getting its groove over the last year. However, his latest exploit called The Voices, is exceedingly good, being more of a character piece, which really puts Ryan Reynolds’ talents on stage. The premise is simple; Ryan plays a young, hardworking man with a strangely bright outlook on life. Since he has little friends, the only source of social contact he maintains is with his cat and dog, but there’s a twist. His cat and dog answer his question, and it becomes evident how this young man is very unstable.

Killers

Serial Killers are often the subject of tons of horror movies and these characters are often well developed when they take the spotlight. Killers takes that same trope and adds a little bit of its own dark charms. The film starts out like a torture themed slasher and quickly evolves into a film about voyeurism, obsession, and how dark things often turn out for worst for everyone participating in the violence.

These are the four most underrated horror films from 2014 to 2015. Check them out and find which films sends shivers down your spine. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to look into a few water ionizers consumer reports found here and other water enhancing products because I watched Piranha 3D again and I don’t trust the tap water in my home anymore.

Just for Kicks – Sneaker & Shoe Documentary

On the surface, a movie documenting sneakers doesn’t seem all that in interesting. But after watching the first 30 minutes of a new documentary, I began to slowly realize the underground sneaker movement is truly fascinating.

This documentary isn’t just about sneakers. What is really being documented is American culture, history and a melting pot of youthful passion. It’s more than just fashion, music and lifestyle.

The sneaker revolution started in the 1970s and no one even noticed. The people wearing sneakers at the time did so out of necessity. The B-boys of the 70s couldn’t dance in a standard shoe, so they opted for sneakers. The new born DJs playing disco funk also required slick movement, which was difficult to get from a standard pair of shoes. The early rap stars had a number of reasons for wearing sneakers, but portraying an image and going against the grain was always a top priority.

The first section of the film interviews the old-school players from New York including a Run DMC group member. This is a fascinating trip down memory lane. The origins of the sneaker are fascinating and packed with humor.

The middle section of the film addresses the gang culture associated with sneakers. Back in 1984 a young Michael Jordan slipped on his custom-made basketball boots. In 1985 the demand for the Air Jordan shoes was something unexpected and unprecedented. The Air Jordan shoes took America by storm and everyone wanted a pair for themselves.

The problem for a number of people was raising the money to buy a pair. $80 for a pair of CrossFit shoes (website) today is nothing, but back in the 1980s, this was big money. The people who could afford a pair would often fear being mugged in the street by gangs and thugs unable to afford to buy a pair for themselves.

The gang culture of the 80s thrived on wearing the latest sneakers on the market. If they couldn’t take the shoes they would steal them from stores. The story continues with the rise of gangs controlling the drug market and sneakers being one of the luxuries purchased with the money.

The final part of the film focuses on the modern day “sneakerhead.” This is a term used to describe anyone who collects sneakers. This section of the film is very interesting and opens the door to a whole new world. The dedication of the sneakerhead community is outstanding. The willingness to travel hundreds of miles to wait in line to buy a limited-edition pair of shoes is extraordinary.

I also was not aware of the price some editions can be sold at, for example, over $2,000 for a vintage pair of Adidas and insane amounts for first-edition Jordans. Recently Nike launched a new pair of shoes called the Metcon 1, which sold out in under 10 minutes and could then be found on Ebay for triple the price.

If you enjoy fashion, music and culture I am sure this movie “Just for Kicks” would be appealing. And if you class yourself as a sneakerhaed, this is a must-watch film.

How Drop Dead Diva Can Inspire You to Pursue a Career in the Legal Field

Jane’s life as a lawyer in Drop Dead Diva is such an inspiration to pursue a career as a lawyer.

It has been a year since the last episode of Drop Dead Diva was aired, but until now, I can’t get enough of it. The six seasons of this series depicting the life of a busy lawyer was totally inspirational. Drop Dead Diva revolves around the life of Jane Bingum. She used to be Deb, a sexy aspiring model, who was engaged to Grayson. However, she got involved in a car accident and died. Upon entering heaven, she switched the return button and things changed since then. Deb returned to earth, but in the body of Jane. Prior to her death, Jane was a lawyer who was totally dedicated with her job. She eventually got hit by a bullet covering up for her boss in the firm. Her lifeless body became the instrument for Deb to return to life and.

Since then, Deb lived the life of Jane. She has Deb’s memories with her, but she also got Jane’s intelligence and brilliance as a lawyer. She needs to completely live Jane’s life though and not tell anyone about this weird turn of events. In each episode, the series showcases a case being handled by Jane and her fellow lawyers at the firm, including Grayson. Though the series is about Jane’s life and all the exciting twists, it was also focused on legal cases and how she has won, even the most difficult cases to win.

An inspiration

Lawyers always have the connotation of being liars. People think that their job is to twist the truth and go far just to protect their clients and earn money. The firm, which Jane is working for, is also more concerned about money more than anything else. However, this did not stop Jane from pursuing justice. She fights for what is right and has never twisted the truth in any way. She has brought justice to several clients and won all cases, from the simplest ones to the most complicated of them all.

Seeing Jane and how she works at the firm is truly an inspiration. If people like her with such brilliance as a lawyer work hard to pursue for justice, then the world will be a better place. In each episode, she has helped convict criminals, pull down big companies that are bullies, and even give assistance to those who are in need for free. She has shown that there are a lot of values in being a lawyer and she does not fit to the stereotype of what a lawyer really is.

Be the next Jane Bingum

I was inspired by this series and it has also inspired a lot of other people. If you have started watching it just now and you have also felt inspired in a way, then it is never too late to start a career in the legal field. In fact, you can enroll for online paralegal programs at http://certifiedparalegal.net/online-paralegal-programs/. Once you have finished the program, you can start working as a paralegal or push for a degree in law. If you want to help in other ways, you can enroll at the American Red Cross Learning Center through this site. Just like Jane, you can help change the world for the better.

The Best Critter Films of All Time

I love critter flicks, they’re so campy and funny. We need more of them! But here’s my rundown of the best pest movies of all time.

10. Food of the Gods (1989)

An unintentionally hilarious and cheesy adaptation of the HG Wells classic novel. There are giant rats, mosquitos, maggots and (although not really a pest) giant chickens. The fight scenes involving the giant chickens taking on a human are hilarious.

9. Alligator (1980)

A mutant alligator goes crazy in New York City. Plenty of gore and action and some good special effects – well for the time anyway.

8. Attack of the giant leeches (1959)

When it came out this was often a double feature with another classic pest film – The Wasp Woman. The leeches look like a cross between a leech (naturally) and an armless octopus. It’s set in the Florida swamps and opens with a hillbilly out in the swamps doing some hunting. He sees one of the giant leeches in the water and shoots at it to no avail. But instead of running he stays where he is. With giant leeches around this was not a good plan!

7. The Killer Shrews (1959)

Another of the 1950s B horror films. The film is very funny and shows that it generally is not wise to start doing any genetic experimentation on a desolate island with no escape from whatever you create, in this case shrews,very big ones.

6. Gnaw: Food of the Gods2 (1989)

Yes indeed there was a sequel to Food of the Gods and if anything it’s even worse than the original. It was an effort at combining slasher films with big monster films. The Giant Rats are accidentally released by a scientist who has created them and they then go on a binge of eating people. In one memorable part there is a pool party planned but the person organizing it doesn’t want to cancel it – it’s only people eating rats around after all. The party as you can imagine does not end too well.

5. Rogue (2008)

This is an Australian film featuring crocodiles, but don’t worry Crocodile Dundee isn’t back. Some of the characters are a bit annoying and it takes itself very seriously, don’t film makers know that they these kind of films are supposed to be fun. But the crocodile is very realistic and is involved in some good fights.

4. Caddyshack (1980)

Yes a gopher is a pest so can include this one. Has a great cast including Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Ted Knight and Rodney Dangerfield, and is a comedy classic. Particularly great are the scenes where Bill Murray chases the gopher and dances to a Kenny Loggins song, pure genius

3. Willard (2003)

This is a remake but a good one. Stars Crispin Glover and is really creepy. Watch out for the cat chase scene.

2. Snakes on a plane (1996)

This one actually stars someone well known – Samuel L. Jackson. The plot is that the baddies want to kill a witness who is travelling by plane so put a load of snakes on the plane to get rid of them. They might have found an easier way to try and bump them off, but it makes for a fun film anyway.

1. The Birds (1963)

Had to include this Hitchcock classic. The master director does a brilliant job of ramping up the tension. Tippi Hedren is the star under attack from birds, Rod Taylor her co-star. Whenever I’m out and see a flock of birds, it makes me a bit nervous after seeing this film.

So there we go, from rats to birds it is the list of the best films about pests of all-time, and not a pest controller in sight to sort them out.

Saving Private Ryan: As Close As You Can Get To WWII

I’m a huge fan of Second World War era movies, and one of my favourite ones, although quite clichéd by now, is Saving Private Ryan. Named the best war film ever in a poll of movie fans in 2009, the Steven Spielberg film is far from perfect, with a near-perfect start, a somewhat rocky middle section and an overly sentimental ending. However, it has all the markings of a genuine modern war epic.

The opening sequence, lasting for 27 minutes, is a tour de force, depicting the assault on Omaha Beach on June 6th of 1944 in manner that rivals the graphic content of any authentic war footage. I still remember, how, on my first time watching it, I was confronted with the chaos that the soldiers had to face on that hellish beach, when a soldier in the movie had his arm blown away. He staggered, shocked, exposed to more fire, and then he collected his arm, for he would need it later. There aren’t many filmmakers who would dare go as far as Spielberg did with this particular scene. It was a scene that made audiences truly uncomfortable, and was a supremely fitting tribute to the brave troops who paid the ultimate price for freedom that day.

When the initial fighting has died down, a moving score produced by John William accompanies a spectacle of the carnage, as we observe the name ‘Ryan S’ on a dead soldier’s gear. This dead man is the third son of Mrs Ryan of Iowa, and two of his siblings have also lost their lives in the same bloody conflict. The scene where she is informed of this terrible news was hauntingly poignant.

It is decided by Gen. George C Marshall, that the fourth brother, Pvt. James Frances Ryan, who got scattered with 101st Airborne Division on the night before D-Day, has to be brought home to his mother safe and sound. And to this end, Captain John H. Miller, played to perfection by Tom Hanks, is given the task of leading a small rescue team through enemy territory to make contact with, and bring back, Private Ryan, portrayed by Matt Damon.

After this, the movie becomes a typical rescue mission affair but Tom Hanks plays the role of a decent man coming to grips with the horror and chaos of war sublimely. A supporting character that I admired a lot was Private Daniel Jackson, a crack sniper who uses his M1903A4 Springfield Rifle to great effect throughout the move. This single character was responsible for developing my interest in guns in general and sniper rifles in particular. An excellent site I follow on guns and gunsmithing is www.gungods.net, you should check it out.

The film climaxes with a last stand in the town of Ramelle, where Miller’s squad is hopelessly outnumbered and outgunned. It is a visceral film in its totality, but also manages to deliver a message of hope. When Miller says, ‘Earn it’ to Private Ryan in one scene, it seemed like Spielberg himself was actually addressing the audience.

Even to this day, there are parts of this movie which send chills down my spine due to the sheer brutality of what they show. And that, I believe, is the mark of a movie that will stay evergreen.