Sunday, January 25, 2015

American Sniper: Review with Conspiracy Twist

Clint Eastwood's new flick, American Sniper, has the country buzzing with mass controversy.  The movie is based off of the book by Chris Kyle, the U.S.'s most decorated sniper.  He wrote a book about his life as the deadliest sniper with 160 kills over the course of 4 tours. Tragically,  Chris Kyle died by the gun shot of one of his own.  Once finished sniping, Kyle used his celebrity status within the military and visited veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome.

The story is not pro-Iraq war or demeaning to liberal views.  I'm not sure why there is any controversy.  Just a story about an American hero who had ideals only found in novels.  Chris Kyle was the kind of American that we all should aspire to be.  It's because of men and women like him that enable me and every American to have an opinion (which is more than our Western counterparts like England, France, and Germany have).  Chris was a Christian, helping others up until the day he was murdered.

My Review: As far as I'm concerned, Clint Eastwood can talk to chairs all day.  He possesses a subtle genius in movie-making that no one can touch.  This movie was a simple story about a great man's short life-nothing more and nothing less.  At times, Eastwood quietly brings up legitimate questions of the Iraq War.  One scene that took place at a funeral had the mother of the deceased read a letter questioning the point of war.  In another scene, an Iraq battle during Chris's last tour, presented the frustration of the soldiers who were assigned to protect civil engineers while building or rebuilding something for the "new" Iraqi government.  This was also the moment in the movie when Chris decided to call it quits.

Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller looked like the real Chris and Taya Kyle.  They were believable as a military couple.  Cooper was especially brilliant in the scenes with no dialogue.  His facial expressions were flawless.  Miller portrayed his wife as a likable and understanding spouse who stood by her man through it all.  Hope this movie wins all of its nominations.  Clint Eastwood should have gotten an Oscar nod for director.

Chris Kyle's killer, Eddie Routh, killed Kyle and Kyle's friend, Chad Littlefield, when taken to a gun range near Chaulk Mountain, Texas.  Reportedly, Routh had a history of mental illness with 911 calls from relatives who worried about him killing others and/or himself.  
Routh's mother approached Kyle and asked for his help regarding her son.  Routh's so-called PTSD is unclear.  Routh's trial is coming up this February. 
Maybe Kyle died in the way the mainstream media reports or maybe this was a little too nice and neat.  Other Navy Seals have also been mysteriously murdered after their military service was up. LEAVE A COMMENT!  
Some conspiracy theories are as follows: 1) Jesse Ventura had a lawsuit against Kyle-(hit on him because of lawsuit-doubtful, but one of the more popular theories). 2) Chris Kyle stepped over the line in military secrets and was getting too famous-(government hit).  3) Kyle was a huge 2nd Amendment advocate and very respectable.  He was very vocal about his pro-gun stance (an anti-gun group hit).
Eddie Routh

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Guest Writer Elizabeth Eckhart Stops By: 2015 Horror Frenzy-This Year's MUST-SEE Flicks

2015 Horror Film Frenzy

No horror movie has ever outpaced the technology of its time. Even the greats succumbed to the limitations of their eras. Think about a Halloween remade for the present, with all its special effects tuned up. 2014 films like Open Grave and Signal didn’t really hit the mark with the public, even though they ended up being entertaining to an extent. On the other hand, movies like Ouija drew in audiences to witness unspeakable acts of horror to much financial success. The year 2015 promises a solid lot of horror films for fans of every ilk. From remakes to originals, no horror film addict should go wanting this year.

A movie driven by the ever-charismatic Guillermo del Toro, this movie plays into the fear that most people have about a house with a history. An old house in an otherwise charming place turns out to have some rather unattractive characteristics. A few of the local residents also carry baggage of their own. In contrast to many recent horror flicks, this one promises a psychological and human edge.

If you have ever had a fear of doctors and seemingly random tests, this film will scare the living daylights out of you. The opening scene finds our protagonist in just such a situation, and things don’t get any less bleak. This series of films drives viewers increasingly further into a desperate hole with little hope of escape. The beginning of the movie, though, turns out to be only one step towards a resolution to the protagonist’s misfortunes that have culminated over the course of the previous films.

In the 80s, Poltergeist horrified pretty much every sentient individual with access to a little money for a theater ticket. It’s widely considered a classic and if you haven’t seen it you can stream it or watch it on demand with providers like iTunes and DirecTV. The classic plot revolves around a family that has moved into a house built over an inauspicious location without knowing it. Things start out on a slightly comical, bizarre tone, but quickly move to more threatening possibilities. The remaking of this classic ghoul thriller was created by the experienced hands of Sam Raimi, a veteran of scary movies.
 Starring Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy, this version of the internationally known Frankenstein by Mary Shelley looks at the story, originally published in 1818, from another angle. Instead of seeing things through the monster’s eyes or those of the good doctor Frankenstein, we finally get an idea of what Igor might have thought of the situation. The postmodern take on the classic novel gives the tale a new spin.

Who doesn’t look forward to an all-out melee between humans, vampires and zombies? Kitchen Sink throws in all that and much more with an ironic wink to fans along the way. The film also plays on some of the 1980’s themes of teenagers against the system, as they remain the sole defense against the supernatural beings at large. Bob Odenkirk, from Breaking Bad and the soon-to-come Call Saul, makes an appearance in this flick.
In an odd combination of older horror themes, this Spike Lee film puts its protagonist into a tight spot. He suddenly has a desire for blood like a vampire, although he doesn’t fit the stereotypical vampire aspects. His journeys bring him through a gauntlet of all that society has to offer. On his way, he puts much of those norms into question.

In this second installment of the series, a group of kids stir up trouble with a very inhospitable resident of the Eel Marsh House. While they are not the first to face off with the specter, they would really like to be the last. The film attempts to convey some of the ways history impacts even the people who seem the most removed.

Obviously, horror depends on what we fear in our particular lives. Strangely enough, the things that scare us tend to be somewhat universal. As the horror genre evolves, it delves deeper and deeper into the areas we dread the most.

Thanks, Elizabeth!  Another great post!  Look forward to seeing these flicks.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Week 2 of Magazine Diet Challenge

This week I plan to follow the diet on the cover of Woman's World magazine.  Like the other diet, it's a Paleo diet.  I guess Paleo diets are the "new" thing.  Supposedly, the diet mimics what scientists believe cave men and women ate before agriculture was practiced.  The diet claims to heal sluggish thyroids, melt away fat, and even relieve some MS ailments.  

This diet has more variety than last week's diet.  There is no limit on portions (yikes!).  Here is a brief overview of the menu.  The food cost approximately 60% more than last week's menu.

Breakfast: Paleo Pancakes OR eggs, protein, and fruit OR Larabar bar or Clif Kit bar

Lunch: Bacon, turkey, tomato, and guacamole lettuce wrap, dates, and almonds OR Greek salad with chicken and grapes OR chicken and apple

Dinner: Chicken skillet OR Shepherd's Pie OR pork chops, apple salsa, and green beans

Snack: Paleo Chocolate Shake OR veggies and guacamole OR egg and veggies OR fruit and almonds

Leave a comment if you are dieting!  Love to interview a success story.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Results of Magazine Diet Challenge

Last week my blog was about using magazines for diet menus in hopes of slimming down for 2015.  My first diet experiment is ready to record.  I chose the Female Friendly Paleo Diet found in First magazine to begin my journey.  The menu consisted of three meals and one snack.

Breakfast: Banana Pancakes (Made with eggs, cocoa, bananas, and very little flour)
Lunch: Egg and Chicken Frittata (a quiche-like egg/veggie omelette) with a spinich salad
Dinner: Meatloaf (eggs/veggies/meat), whipped cauliflower, spinich salad
Dessert: Brookie (eggs, a little flour, coconut sugar, and some other stuff)

Report Card
Cost of Food  B
(2 items on the list I could not find-almond and coconut flour-used regular flour) 
Ease of Preparation A
(You eat the same thing every day, so you cook it all at once)
Taste of the Meals C-
(Eat the same thing everyday, get sick of it)
Hunger Level throughout the day C-
(Two days I was so hungry I couldn't fall asleep until well after midnight)
Cheating Level A-
(I ate some extra Brookies, used regular salad dressing, and put avocado in salad for 2 days)
Weightloss A      
Down 5 pounds!

Tomorrow I will post my new diet.  Please leave a comment if you are dieting too.  Weightloss stories are welcome!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Why is Everyone Upset with the Pope?

Pope Francis has been under scrutiny since elected Pope in March of 2013.  The circumstances were extraordinary. Pope Francis's predecessor, Pope Benedict, resigned from this post, making Benedict the first pope to resign in 600 years.  Many conspiracies state Pope Benedict could not take the deception of the Vatican Bank or mounting pedophilia scandals, but who knows the real reason.  There was a tell-all butler in some of these stories, but he has disappeared from the headlines.

Before Pope Francis was even the Pope, many were suspicious because of an ancient prophecy.  Malachy, a 12th century Irish bishop who was later declared St. Malachy, predicted Peter the Roman would be the last pope before The End of the World.  Pope Francis's father was Peter of Pietro and was from Italy before the family moved to Argentina.  
For the last 900 years or so Malachy batted a thousand in terms of pope predictions.  He had a vision on his way to Rome that enabled him to name every pope, 112 total, who would rule until Pope #113 also known as the last pope before The End.

It's only natural for Doomsday preachers to place a microscope on Pope Francis.  This pope adds plenty of fuel to fire of prophecy.  Some of the liberal/out-of-the-Catholic-box examples the new pope has done and said are as follows:
1) The Pope stated that Catholics are too "obsessed" with abortion and gay marriage.
2) The Pope sympathizes with Communism and Socialism.
3) The Pope appears to condone a one-world religion-Chrislam. (Conference at Vatican last November as an example)
4) The pope recently stated that animals go to heaven despite backing that up with scripture.
5) The Pope stated that evolution theory does not conflict with Bible.
That's quite a list for a pope who has been in power for less than two years.  Many believe he might usher in the anti-Christ as written in Revelation.
???????  Leave a comment!

Friday, January 2, 2015

2015: Magazine Weight-Loss Challenge

It's that time again-time to stop stuffing my face and sitting on my fat ass watching TV.  Time to start eating right and exercising. Time to get serious-less talking and more doing.  For the record, I did lose some weight in 2014 simply by avoiding GMO food when economically feasible.  It's not enough.  Cheers to a slim and trim 2015!
My dieting begins with the Paleo diet in this issue.

My weight-loss program: I am not a doctor, nutritionist, personal trainer, etc., just a writer who could lose some weight.  I like to buy cheap magazines with diets on the covers at the supermarket, specifically First and Women's World.  I will use these magazines for my diet menu and then review each diet.  Each week I will allow myself one fattening meal to keep sane.   

This week: Female-friendly Paleo
Breakfast: Banana Silver Dollar Pancakes
Lunch: Chicken Frittatas
Dinner: 40 Clove Roast Chicken
Dessert: Luscious Chocolate Pudding Cake

Please leave a comment if you are also dieting.  Love to interview a success story.  

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.