Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Review: Exodus-Gods and Kings

Went to see the new movie Exodus starring Christian Bale last weekend.  I was expecting a remake of The 10 Commandments with Charleston Heston.  Like the original Moses movie, Moses was portrayed as royalty.  Ramses was his cousin and they were brought up like brothers.  Moses saved Ramses's life during a battle that further elevated his status with Pharaoh.  
Moses's true destiny was revealed once he took Ramses's place at Pithon to check on the Jewish slaves.  Moses learned where he came from and who he was.  Ramses found out as well and Moses fled Egypt.  After marriage and kids outside of Egypt, Moses spoke with God for the first time.  There was a burning bush.  He knew he must free his people.  
Moses returned to Egypt and threatened Ramses, now his enemy and the Pharaoh, into freeing the slaves.  Ramses refused to take Moses seriously.  Plague, frogs, insects, bloodied water, pestilence, and ultimately Passover/1st born deaths forced Ramses to let the slaves go, but then something happened to make him change his mind.  (Scholars believe the Jews ransacked Egypt before they left, but the movie doesn't go into that).  The Egyptians chased the Jews to the sea.  A tidal wave killed the Egyptians, allowing the Jews to be free.

I studied this book with friends in a Bible study group.  Not that I'm an expert, but am well-versed enough to point out that this movie strayed from Exodus in the Bible. 
This is what was expected!  Got tidal wave instead.

First of all, where was Aaron?  In the Bible Moses AND Aaron approached Ramses.  Aaron's staff turned into a snake and ate up Ramses's magicians' snakes.   Ridley Scott, the director, must have felt Aaron was an insignificant character in the Bible.  Moreover, when God talked to Moses, He was portrayed as an angry child.  
Is this movie a metaphor of some kind?  A symbol of the absurdity of religion?  And the tidal wave????  C'mon!  Parted means split-why was that changed?
What is Scott trying to say?  Does he think God is a spoiled brat that likes to mess with us by using His power arbitrarily?  Does he think the Bible is a story?  Then there is the rewrite of Moses and his wife, Zipporah.  In the movie, Moses returns to Zipporah's home with 500,000 Jews.  In the Bible, Zipporah's father, Jethro, takes her to Moses with their children in the desert.  Finally, let's not forget about the Ten Commandments.  In the movie, Moses chisels them out.  In the Bible they were written by the hand of God.  

My Review: The movie's director clearly has a different agenda then bringing the Bible to the silver screen.  Was he making fun of Jews and Christians?  Does he feel that his vision is more important than the Bible?  I'm not really sure, but I can say that I left the theatre wanting my money back.  The movie Noah that came out last spring also deviated with the Bible story.  I did like that movie because I felt Noah and God were respected, but now I'm starting to wonder if this is part of a plan to take the Bible and rewrite it so that religion fades away and eventually ends up as nothing more than a "myth" or "legend" to be studied in a future English class a few centuries down the road.  There are two kinds of people who went to see this movie-religious and not-so religious.  The religious ones will see the glare of edits from the book of Exodus.  I worry about the not-so religious.  Will they see this movie as a true depiction of Moses?  'Why read the book when you can watch the movie' seems to be the growing consensus among today's youth.  I give this movie 1 star.  Ridley Scott, you should be ashamed of yourself.  This was a real slap-in-the-face to Christian and Jewish believers.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Author George Dalton Stops By: A real cowboy who writes about the West.

Thanks, George, for stopping by.  Do you consider yourself a romance writer?

No Dina, not in the literal sense. However many of the scenes in my novels are very romantic.  

What makes a book romantic? 
Tender feelings or emotions between two people, or a person and a thing.  

Why did you choose the old west for your setting? It was a time of hardship, strong characters, and uncomplicated love. 

Do you ride horse-back?
 I have ridden horses all my life. I grew up on a small ranch in east Texas, My wife and I owned a ranch until 2005, yes I have herded many cows, doctored many cows, branded many cows and helped deliver many baby calves. 
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Collision-Dreams-George-Dalton-ebook/dp/B00LX956MY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1418483481&sr=8-2&keywords=george+dalton

If Collision of Dreams became a movie who would be the perfect cast?
I am ashamed to admit that I don’t watch enough movies to know the names of very many actors and actresses today. John Wayne is dead, Clint Eastwood is too feeble. Merle Street is too old.  Tom Cruse is too short, Tom Selleck is too old. I guess .I would have to nominate Dina Rae and that good looking husband of her's.
LOL, George!

Who do you like to read? Louis L”Amour, Zane Gray, John Grisham, Clive Cussler, W.ER.B. Webb, Karen Kingsbury, Mary Higgins Clark, Dee Henderson, Elmer Kelton, J. T. Edison. And Max Lacado.

What makes a good book?  A good book is any book where you have a difficult time finding a place to stop reading and go do something else.  

Favorite mistake when writing is..................no mistake should be a favorite, but the one I struggle with the most is telling rather than showing the scene.  

Do you have any advice for new writers?
IF you are writing fiction get a note and post it on your screen that says,WHAT IF, and then let your imagination go with it.
If you are writing non fiction try not to tell the story like it is an accident report.

Thank you for taking time to talk with me Saturday and invite me to your blog. I had a fantastic day, sold almost $1,000.00 worth of books. WOW!  

I will be at Barnes & Nobile in North East Mall after church.  I will be signing books they have in inventory rather than books that I have bought so I won’t make as much money but... hey.

Thanks again,

George Dalton
PS: You know you can still order one for that husband of yours and get it in time for Christmas.Emoji

I love writing, I love meeting the people and I love redoing the reviews. Somebody actually got some enjoyment out of reading something that I created, how good is that?
George, it's been a real pleasure!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Organ Donors: Dead Body Parts Are Like Modern Day Chop Shops

A few nights ago American Greed aired an episode about a New Jersey doctor, Michael Mastromarino, who was convicted of illegally harvesting human bones, organs, tissue, and other body parts from corpses awaiting cremation or burial.  Medical companies purchased the parts for big money.  The doctor had a few staff members who would cut into the dead bodies, take the parts that they could sell, and then sew up the corpse once finished. They provided fake donor agreements as justification for their theft.

The doctor purchased bodies from funeral homes for up to $1000 per body.  Sometimes he would order his crew to replace the bones with PVC piping, a move that eventually got him arrested. He and his crew did not test the corpses for cancer, HIV, or any disease that could infect a recipient.  Several living recipients accused Mastromarino's company of negligence and the direct cause of their new diseases/infections.
This got me thinking.  We all know that we can donate our body parts, but what about selling them off?  Why not cut out the middle man (the harvester) and sell them wholesale or directly to the hospitals? Yes, quite a gruesome thought during the holiday season, but what else would you expect from a horror writer?
Notice the PVC piping.
Legally speaking, a dead body is the legal property of the deceased's relatives or beneficiaries.  So that should mean the ones who inherit the body have the right to sell the parts just like they have the right to sell off the deceased's house or car or stock or bond or whatever.  Interestingly, the government doesn't see it that way.  Unless the corpse while living makes her/his wishes crystal clear, the government can take the organs and do what they want once the corpse at one point during life checks off on being a donor.
What usually happens is the government gives the corpse to doctors and hospitals who in turn make money off of the parts while harvesting the organs and implanting them in patients.  Organ transportation companies also get their fair share of the profits; and the families of the deceased get nothing.
So why be an organ donor?  I suppose on some level it doesn't matter.  Someone like Dr. Mastromarino can just steal the body parts, provide phony documentation, and then have the body cremated without anyone knowing.  I doubt he is the only one who has thought of this scam.  But for those who play by the rules and get possession of legitimate donors, why shouldn't the family be compensated? Shouldn't families of the dead or even the living have the right to sell off organs?  Leave a comment.  Love to know what you think. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Conspiracy Theory: Illuminati in Pop Culture

I was listening to one of my favorite radio hosts, Alan Parks of Conspiracy Queries, while walking my dog yesterday.  The podcast inspired me to blog about brainwashing used in the music world.  As mentioned on the show, there are way too many award shows.  There used to be the Grammy, the Oscar, the Emmy, and the Globe.  You can count the Cleo if you like advertising.  Now we have an award for just about every kind of music and TV show.  I once loved to watch these shows, looking especially forward to the glamour of the celebrities.  Today it's overkill.  The guest on the radio show, book store owner (Conspiracy Culture in Canada), made some incredibly interesting points, two of them I want to share and elaborate on.
1. Today's hit music is used to brainwash the youth.  
People claimed music was the devil's work back in the days when jazz came onto the scene and then when Elvis the Pelvis rose to stardom.  What makes today any different from the past?  Most of today's songs come from half of a dozen song writers.  Max Martin is the most famous.  He's a 43 year old Swede who hit the big time back in the '90s and still maintains his kingdom of hit music.  He has written and produced hit songs for just about everyone-Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, N Sync, Pink, Celine Dion, Avril Lavigne, Jessie J, Christina Aguilara, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Maroon 5, and Kelly Clarkson, just to name a few.  He's had the 3rd most number one singles of all time (19 number one hits), only behind Paul McCartney (1st with 32 number one songs) and John Lennon (2nd with twenty-six number one songs).  And he's still young.  He's written 51 total top ten hits.
Many claim his hit songs are analogies, codes, and metaphors for slavery and mind control.  One example is inserted below.
Britney Spears's "Hold it Against Me", a Max Martin hit, tops them all in terms of Illuminati overload.  Pseudocultmedia says, "We also see another reference to the “good girl gone bad” motif, the sex kitten exploitation that happens to most female Illuminati slaves. At the beginning of the music video we have Britney dressed in white, and after her occult blood ritual is complete (we see the IV lines rip from her body as they spew neon coloured paint, AKA her blood, everywhere) we see the new Britney Spears, programmed, laced in black leather and ready to show her allegiance to her masters."

2. A sexy dance meant to hypnotize the audience in Fritz Lang's 1927 Metropolis movie has been showing up in music videos. The movie is about thinkers (elite) and workers (slaves) in a New World Order Society.  The character Maria is an android whose goal is to start a revolution among the workers.  Pop stars copy Maria's seductive/hypnotic dance performed from the movie, adding fuel to New World Order conspiracy theory.

Maria the robot performs the "Whore of Babylon" Dance in "Metropolis"

Beyonce as Maria the robot

This dance as well as the entire movie has masonic images, suggesting an elite, inner circle who runs the world.  Beyonce, Madonna, and Lady Gaga are some of the celebrities who have copied this dance.  For what purpose?  It's not likely that their fans are even aware of this old movie.  Is it some kind of initiation?  A masonic ritual or passage into elitism?  Is the dance meant to hypnotize or brain wash?  LEAVE A COMMENT-very curious!

As a New World Order conspiracy junkie this movie is on my MUST SEE list.  A review will soon follow.  Hope you enjoyed the post and it got you thinking next time you listen to music.  Special thanks to the fabulous Alan Parks and his guest!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Review: Season 4 of American Horror Story

This year's American Horror Story is about circus freaks.  The show takes place during the 1950's in Jupiter, Florida.  Jessica Lange is the ringleader of a bearded lady (Kathy Bates), a man with a clawed hand (Lobster Boy nickname), a three-boobed woman (Angela Bassett), Siamese twins (Sarah Paulsen), world's tiniest woman, and many more.  

Jessica Lange's character is an amputee who wants to become a famous singer.  She hopes her freaks will attract people from Hollywood.  She wasn't always an amputee.  Her character started off as a French woman living in Berlin during World War II.  She worked as a dominatrix and starred in rough pornos.  In one of her films, the director drugged her and then hacked off her legs, leaving her for dead.  One of her best customers saved her.  Years later, she turned to alcohol, depression, and her freaks, choosing to live a life as an outcast.

The season begins with a killer clown on a murder rampage.  He is not affiliated with the freak show.  He soon gets a fan who wants to follow his footsteps.  His fan is a good-looking, rich, spoiled sociopath who wants in on all of the bloody fun.  The rich kid has been practicing to be a serial murderer for years by killing animals all over the property of his mansion.  (I think the actor who takes the part of the killer clown's sidekick was also the actor in a made-for-TV movie about another rich kid who killed his girlfriend and then video-taped himself with other friends bragging about it and even re-enacting it with a Barbie doll.)  My point is this-the perfect actor to make your skin crawl.  Anyway, his mentor, the killer clown, gets killed during one of his murders and now it's up to the rich kid to continue what was started.  He begins by slashing up his maid.  His mom is upset, but covers his tracks by getting rid of the body.  He then hits a gay bar and picks up a male prostitute.  His paid escort is also his next victim.  Shades of Jeffrey Dahmer? This story line has lots of blood.
The Siamese twins were hidden away until their guardian is murdered.  One of the twins tried to kill the other one which landed them in the emergency room.  The news covers the story.  Jessica Lange reads about it and then recruits the twins into her freak show. They are the starring attraction.  Although the money starts rolling in, Jessica Lange is jealous because she always wanted to be star.

Lobster Boy, the man with the pincher claw hand, is one of the most complicated characters.  He knows that he is a freak, yet wants a normal life.  Early in the season he gets a side job jamming his claw up womens' vaginae.  He's got the magic touch.  His mother, the bearded lady, and father, the new husband to the 3-boobed lady, are also freaks.  He might not remember, but his mother flashes back with a ghost about how her son was born into exploitation.  As she gave birth, her husband charged people to watch.
My Review: Writers of Freak Show American Horror Story prove that the imagination is truly limitless when it comes to horror.  Asylum, Coven, and Haunted House look like children's stories.  The two serial killer clowns freak me out the most.  I also like the con-artist who is trying to kidnap the Siamese twins for money.  Jessica Lange is one of the finest actresses the world has ever known.  Love, love, love her!  She might be old, but she is still one hot mama.  The director maximizes the creepy factor throughout the show.  My only complaint is the music.  David Bowie and Fiona Apple were not around in the 1950s.  I do not like it when cultural time lines are blurred.  Otherwise, if you like violence, emotional discomfort, twisted people, and revolting scenes, then this show is for you!  So far, Freak Show is the freakiest of all the American Horror Stories.  5/5 Stars

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Movie Review: Gone Girl

Forced my husband to take me to the new movie Gone Girl last weekend, starring Ben Afleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, and Carrie Coon.  I did not read the book by Gillian Flynn.  Friends told me it moved too slow.  However, the story line sounded interesting, plus the movie people always tend to cut things out and speed things up.

For those of you who know nothing about the movie, it's basically a simple story about an unhappily married couple.  The wife, Amy, disappears on their fifth anniversary.  As the police investigate, the husband appears to have been involved in foul play.  Forensics show us a covered up blood stain and broken furniture that look staged with the goal of the appearance of a break-in.  The husband is having an affair with hot 20 year-old.  The wife's diary is found, describing him as a money-draining, cheating, abusing, good-for-nothing bum.  Despite the absence of a body, the husband is convicted of murder in the court of public opinion.  He fights back, getting a Johnny-Cochrane style attorney who wants to defend the husband.  The tables soon turn and we discover that the wife is not dead.  Without giving too much away, the plot took on many twists and turns.

My Review: I enjoyed this movie from start to finish.  All of the actors were brilliant.  The way the plot was laid out made me feel like I was spying on this couple's lives over sitting in a movie theatre.  The story reminded me of Fatal Attraction, Chinatown and Dial M for Murder, yet still seemed original.  The movie felt like the best of Alfred Hitchcock and Roman Polanski rolled up into one.
Emily Ratjakowski makes a small but noteworthy performance as Ben Affleck's girlfriend.  I predict she will become a big star-gorgeous woman.  She is currently on the cover of this month's Cosmo.

 Patrick Neil Harris's character added even more intrigue.  My only complaint is wanting to know his character a little more.  His back story was unfortunately rushed.  My husband, who hates thrillers and wanted to see Bill Murray/Melissa McCarthy in St. Vincent, even liked the movie.  This is my pick for best movie of the year and hope the Academy sees the value in a blockbuster hit.  Loved it and recommend that everyone pay the 10.00 or whatever the ticket price.  It's one of the few movies that is worth every penny. 5/5 Stars

Thursday, October 30, 2014

6 Shows That Will Add Some Fright To Your Halloween by Elizabeth Eckhart

6 Shows That Will Add Some Fright To Your Halloween

With Halloween just a few days away, why not consider staying in this year and enjoying a new or classic horror television series. Here are six horror-themed television shows that will put you in the mood for the scariest night of the year.

1. The Walking Dead: Not only is this series breaking cable ratings records left and right, The Walking Dead is easily one of the most disturbing and frightening pieces of zombie filmmaking ever seen on the big or small screen. While it pushes the boundaries of gore on television, it also tugs at the heart as the series follows a small group of survivors trying to exist in a post-apocalyptic world overrun with zombies. The Walking Dead currently airs Sunday nights on AMC.

2. The X-Files:  Most television experts have hailed The X-Files as one of the definitive television shows of the 1990’s. It is also the show that pushed the boundaries of decency opening the door for so many of today’s horror-themed shows. From fluke-like creatures that live in the sewers to a house full of inbred mutants, the exploits of FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully are just as frightening today as they were in the 1990’s. The show, which ran on the FOX network for nine years, is available on DVD and on DTV in your area through most streaming services.

3. Sleepy Hollow: For a new and frightening take on the Headless Horseman legend, check out Sleepy Hollow, which currently airs Monday nights on FOX. The show brings Ichabod Crane and his nemesis the Headless Horseman into the modern day New England town of Sleepy Hollow. With horrifying demons, monsters and good old-fashioned scares, this is definitely a show that should be watched with the lights off.

4. Grimm: What if the creatures from Grimm’s Fairytales lived among us and we never knew they were there? That’s the premise of Grimm, which follows detective Nick Burkhardt, who is from a long line of guardians called Grimms that strive to keep balance between humanity and the mythological creatures that exist among us. The show features some of the most creative monsters ever seen on television including creatures inspired by wolves, spiders, jackals and even mermaids. Grimm airs Friday nights on NBC.

5. American Horror Story: This anthology show earns its name well as it is easily one of the creepiest, scariest and most stylish shows on television. Each season features its own unique story and the current season airing on FX each Wednesday night may be the best. This season, entitled Freak Show, takes place in 1952 in Jupiter, Florida where a group of freak show circus performers have pitched their tents. Get ready to meet the most unsettling group of performers ever seen, from the bearded lady to the conjoined twins. It also features the most terrifying clown ever portrayed on screen, who is so creepy the clown from Stephen King’s It suddenly looks like a children’s performer.

6. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: If you like a little fun mixed in with your scares, then this Joss Whedon-created series is an ideal choice. During its seven seasons that ran from 1997 to 2003, Buffy and her band of vampire hunters, called the “Scooby Gang,” strived to save their high school from every manner of demonic and evil creature. While horror fans will enjoy the vampires and monsters, get ready to be sucked in by some of the most likeable and fun characters ever portrayed on television. The show is available on most streaming services and DVD.

Thanks, Elizabeth!  My personal fave is American Horror Story, but all are great shows!  Happy Halloween and thanks for the post!