Friday, May 31, 2013

Contagious Kindness

Random Acts of Kindness

I had a hard time thinking about what to write for the Random Acts of Kindness Blogfest that pertained to my blog. Then I considered writing about kind acts within some movies I have watched. But, then it hit me! I should write about the 'make over' shows that really help people.
I guess the show that kicked off this experience for me was Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (2003-2012). This show took needing homes and transformed them over a short period of time, while the home residence were sent away on a mini-vacation. Watching this show always made tears of joy in my eyes and would always reaffirm that there were good people in the world and that they were able to do for others. This really hit home for me because a lot of the episodes helped families with special needs children or family members. Having a son with multiple disabilities and challenges, I can relate to the frustrations that the families were living with. 
Another show that I really enjoy watching is Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares (2004). Thanks to Netflix, I was able to watch both the US and UK versions. I prefer the UK because the language was not 'bleeped' out. I think Gordon Ramsay might get a bad rap because of his other show, Hell's Kitchen (2005). There he seems to be constantly yelling and screaming at people. Through watching his programs though, I have learned he does this because he has a passion about food and his art of combining fresh ingredients and high standard of serving. I love watching Kitchen Nightmares, because he helps restaurants that are in trouble. Through his acts of kindness, they not only transform the individuals or staff, but the decor as well. You can see how appreciative people are for his help, and it helped me to see him in a different way - not an arrogant (you know what) that he sometimes can be portrayed as being.
There are many reality shows that help the less fortunate. These are great programs that I think more people should watch - instead of the arguing, no-class, productions that seem to be more popular these days. If more people filled their life with the positive reality shows, I think it would be more beneficial to our society. But, that is just my thought for the morning.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Our Favorite Movies Bloghop

I have this idea for a bloghop. I have a love for movies so what better way to get a bloghop rolling then sharing our favorite movies. Blog about your favorite movie, easy enough - right? Visit your neighbors and comment on their movie that they blogged about. While you are there, if you have not done so already, join their site and check out their blog. Then, for the blogs that you comment on, choose an actor or actress from their designated movie and write about a different movie that they have been in. Utilize hashtag #OFMB when sharing blogs. As more people join the hop, the more opportunities there will be to write about movies we love.

Seven Degrees of Blogging Bliss #SDoBB

Fill in the information below to get started and don't forget to grab the button!

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Movies in Review: Safe Haven

This review contains spoilers
When watching the preview for Safe Haven, it reminded me of the premise of Sleeping with the Enemy (1991). However, While Safe Haven is in the same class, it can also hold its own. I would definitely recommend this movie, especially if you like romantic thrillers. It starts off with Julianne Hough's character dramatically running away, an escape. She utilizes a neighbors help, entering as a brunette and leaving as a blonde. This evades police in their attempts to apprehend her. From what is perceived at this point, her hands were sodden wit h blood.
Her escape was provided by means of a bus, where she comes across a sleepy town that is just the pace she's looking for. She decides to stay after the owner of the country store caught her eye and she was charmed by his small daughter. She seeks employment with a local restaurant and starts to set-up her new home, in the middle of the woods. Here, she meets a seemingly snooping new neighbor "Jo". They might have started on the wrong foot, but they become friends and Jo gives her a different perspective that she needs to learn trust again.
Josh Duhamel (Transformers) plays Alex, the gentlemen that the leading protagonist lady needs in her life. Julianne Hough (Dancing with the Stars), we're introduced to as "Katie" and forms an instant bond with Alex's daughter. Hesitantly, she begins a friendship with Alex and his family and soon develops into more between the two, Alex mad Katie. This, being the First Lady that Alex has had feelings for since his wife had passed a few years prior.

Meanwhile, the detective that was intensely searching for Katie I'm the beginning of the movie, continues his search vigorously. The questions that kept going through my head at this point were
: How were the police so quickly notified that they were in hot pursuit of Katie? Why is this detective so intense about this case, while seemingly not caring about any other cases? It was evident to me that he was involved with Katie on some spectrum. When he coordinated a wide net in the hopes of catching her, he sent out wanted posters to possible districts. The notice was put up on the police stations board and semi covered up at the same time. In his frustrations toward his failure to find her, he begins to drink alcohol relentlessly. Ultimately, his poor choices and alcoholic tendencies leads to his suspension from the force. This adds fuel to an already furious fire, and he now sets out to find her.
Katie has dreams and memories that she struggles with, through this we learn the truth of what happened and why the detective is searching so intensely for her. When the detective arrives in the town where she has started her new life, the thin thread that was holding his semi-civility together unravels. There is a twist at the end too!
Safe Haven is so nice I watched it twice (excuse my dorkness). It is definitely included in my favorites list. Until next time or the next... dream ~ K.E.Nowinsky

Movies in Review: Mama

This review contains spoilers
Having watched Del Toro's projects before, I knew that there would be his ability to combine humanistic storytelling with "smart" horror. What is smart horror you ask? (Besides opposite of dumb horror) I consider smart horror that to which doesn't depend on the bells and whistles of generic Hollywood mass produced crap. The only thing I didn't like entirely was the ending, while it was unique, it was a little disappointing to me. I would recommend this movie to individuals that also liked Insidious (2010). Which was another "smart horror" (although I'm worried because they are making an Insidious 2).
Mama has Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones) as an edgy couple. Both artsy, he sketches pictures, she plays base and is in a band. It was interesting seeing Jessica's character with short black hair, when she has beautiful long red hair in real-life.  Our introduction of Annabel (Jessica Chastain) is of her in the bathroom alone reading a negative pregnancy test. She expresses her gratitude and excitement before joining up with her boyfriend. I think this is a glimpse toward how they do not particularly want children (of their own), or at least she doesn't (more along the lines that she doesn't want to mess them up).
 Nikolaj portrays two twin brothers, Luke and Jefferey. The movie opens with Jefferey retrieving his two very young daughters. It is evident that he is in distress (of the mind) and they set-out on the road where soon they are in an accident off of the side of the road and deep into wooded territory. They survived the crash and set out to find shelter they discover a practically untouched home in the middle of the woods. Once inside the father, distraught and delusional, starts to take a very drastic measure when something makes quick work of his mortality and disposal. The girls are seemingly left to fend for themselves - or are they?
With the father and his two daughters missing, his twin brother never gives up on their discovery. 
Having survived the couple years before their discovery in the woods, without a sane adult figure, left the girls live nearly like animals. Now rescued, they're taken to an institution and are placed under the care of pediatric psychiatrist Dr. Dryfuss (Daniel Kash). When Uncle Luke finally is able to take his nieces to their new home with his girlfriend Annabel, they get more than they bargained for. Luke discovers his nieces weren't the only ones that had been brought to their home. 
When "cool Uncle Luke" unknowingly discovers Mama, he ends up in the hospital leaving Annabel and the girls to fend for themselves. Annabel struggles in the beginning, but I think the mystery of Mama unleashes her own maternal instincts and the need to protect the girls. The girls psychiatrist withholds important information for his own selfish reasons and when he sets out to find some proof only leads to his demise.  With Dr. Dryfuss out of the picture Annabel seizes an opportunity to utilize the Dr's files to learn more about the case. What she discovers coordinates with not only past hospital records for the individual now known as Mama, but that the eldest girl has expressed the same story as well as Annabel's dream of the past (before she knows what she had dreamed about).
However, Mama gets jealous when Annabel starts to form relationships with the girls. Meanwhile Luke, while still in the hospital gets an unexpected visitor that gives him a message he can't ignore. He skips out to do his own investigating into the message he receives. While angered Mama starts to act-out at their house and is semi-attacked by the twisted spirit leaving her unconscious. When she awakens, the girls are nowhere to be found. Knowing, she sets out to where it all began where she runs into her boyfriend, the girl's Uncle Luke. Together, the continue into the wooded area to the home in the middle of the woods. With no luck in finding his nieces within the abandoned house, outside they discover the girls are with Mama on a cliff that is crucial to Mama's storyline.
It becomes clear that Mama wants the girls for herself and starts to lead the girls out toward the edge of the cliff. The eldest girl is reluctant to go, while the youngest is loyal and unconditionally trusting of Mama. While Luke, using himself as a shield to protect the sudo-family, Mama again renders him unconscious leaving Annabel to defend the girls. With intense determination she holds on and manages to reclaim the eldest niece. I totally didn't see the ending, but it was climactic. 
It is rare these days, maybe from Hollywood's desensitizing horror, that I actually jump from the suspense or scare. Mama had me jumping a few times and both my boyfriend and I enjoyed this movie and would easily watch it again. So, until next time or the next... dream ~ K.E.Nowinsky 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Movies in Review: Red Dawn

"We're gonna fight, and we're gonna keep fighting... The rest of you are going to have a tougher choice. Because we're not going to sell it to you. It's too ugly for that. But when you're fighting in your own backyard, when you're fighting for your family, it all hurts a little less, and makes a little more sense. Because for them, this is just a place. But for us, this is our home." Matt Eckert (, 2013) Red Dawn (2012)
I have to be honest, watching this made my anxiety level go from stressed to almost near panic. It may be paranoia, but this could become reality (tell me again why our second amendment rights are being scrutinized?) Also, I am usually leery about watching re-makes, as they hardly ever compare to the original. My sister actually suggested that it was a good movie, so I thought - what the hey!
Red Dawn (1984) depicted the invading Russian armies, 2012 it is Asian armies (I believe China). Something I think that is reflective from the story line to real life is that there are those that follow like sheep to the slaughter and then there are individuals that will fight for what they believe in. I love the speech that the Eckert brother's give, explaining how this is our back yard, this is our families. To the invading armies this is just a place for them, but for us this is our home.  We can say that we are free (even though we're not) but, we are privileged - because of the brave. Meaning, we can lead our lives because of the brave men and women that have fought for our freedom through out time and still to this day.
I would have really liked to have seen the Eckert sons as real life Hemsworth brothers. It was a little surreal to watch Thor be a big brother to Josh Peck, just wasn't believable to me that they were brothers. Other than that, I enjoyed watching the movie and would recommend it to individuals that do not have a fear of our country being invaded.

Disneys Paperman

Since I did not see Wreck-it Ralph (2012) in the movie theaters, I didn't get the pleasure of watching this Disney short on the big screen. As a sucker for "love conquers all" shticks this was Disney's fine quality wrapped up in 7 worth while minutes. The animation was perfection. The only thing that bothered me (very slightly) was I thought the lady protagonist looked a little like Ariel from The Little Mermaid (1989). However, this slight didn't hinder my enjoyment. I loved the originality and spirit of this film. It gives the illusion that a man would go that extra mile to kindle a spark. It was very sweet and even humorous.
"Upon its victory at the 85th Annual Academy Awards, "Paperman" became the first Disney animated short film to win the Best Animated Short Film Academy Award in 43 years since "It's Tough to Be a Bird", as well as the first Disney animated film (feature-length or short film) made by Walt Disney Animation Studios to win an Academy Award since "Tarzan"." (, 2013)

I loved the animation in this movie. It feels fresh and crisp. I liked that the color palate was very simplified, it gave the story and product a timeless feel to it. Released November of last year (2012) Paperman is a Disney short that both children and adults can enjoy. It might have a sophistication to the story line, but I think there are a couple elements that kids (of all ages) will enjoy, and that's the paper planes.

"When the film won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short, producer Kristina Reed began throwing paper airplanes adorned with lipstick marks off the balcony where she was seated. She was escorted out of the theater by security, but was allowed to return 10 minutes later after a short protest." (, 2013)