Uncategorized

R.I.P Seal

Hey guys not a classic movie review, but I’ve had a pretty bad week. As you guys may recall in my first blog I talked about my family story, more specifically my pets dog Monty, whom we lost in 2014 and Seal my brother Nick’s perfect cat. Well Monday Seal wasn’t moving around too much, getting up every now and then but barely reacting to me and my mother. So after my brother came home from school we went to. I tried to remain calm, thinking this is probably just a bug, but at the same time I knew he was 15 years old, for a cat that is very old. Before I knew it tears were coming out, yep that did not help my brother.

When we got to the vet Seal’s body temp was pretty low, but the vet wanted to run a few tests before we move forward with anything, so we did get to keep him for a night. Next morning I’m getting ready to go to the gym before work, when my mom called me downstairs. Seal’s breathing was very rapid, imagine after a run. My mom wanted to wait still for the results, but we both started crying knowing it wasn’t gonna be good. Nick decided to stay home from school because he didn’t want to leave Seal. I however couldn’t, my job is part-time I cannot afford to take a day off, I decided to skip the gym and go straight to work so I could leave early. Before I left I said my goodbye to Seal just in case.

I am allowed to have my phone out at my job and every minute I wasn’t hearing anything was killing me. My co-workers tried reassuring me, but tears kept falling at the worst time. Finally my mom texted and said Seal’s liver and kidneys were bad, he wasn’t in any pain thank God, but there wasn’t any medication for him, and even if there was we risk being back there next week. I told my mom I understood and if she and Nick had to make a decision it was OK. I also told her if the decision was made to call me after, no text. About an hour later I got the call.

I left work as soon as my work was done. My dad came home early to be with us as well and we had family friends bring us baked goods. I comforted Nick before he went to bed, telling him he did the right thing and we would never forget Seal. We all remembered the good times we had with Seal, I will never ever forget what Seal did to our family making our lives so much better. I will miss the small things about the black beauty in our life. GOd bless you Seal.

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classic, film

Classic/Modern Move Reivew The Princess Bride

As you guys have read I love recommending films for people to watch. Now obviously people may have different tastes than I do, some would rather watch a movie like Sharknado over a classic like Casablanca (yes I know weird combination there) but I do respect people’s opinions. I cannot force someone to like a movie or TV show I love and vice versa. I always say “If you want me to watch (insert title) I will, doesn’t mean I have to like it. However anyone who knows me will tell you if you have not seen and liked “The Princess Bride” then we cannot talk until you do.

If for some reason you have not watched this movie, allow me to give a simplified version. At the start and a few times in the film you will see a young Fred Savage being read the story by his grandfather (the late Peter Faulk). Oh yeah there is a book before the movie, but this is one of the few times where the movie is better than the book. Buttercup, played by Robin Wright loved two things in life: riding her horse and tormenting the farm boy Westley (Carey Elwes). All he ever says to he is “As you wish.” One day Buttercup realizes when he says that he is telling her “I love you” and she discovers her love for him as well. Their time together is brief before Westley leaves to earn enough money for marriage. His ship is attacked by the Dread Pirate Roberts, who never leaves anyone alive. Buttercup swears to never love again.

Five years later Buttercup is unwillingly engaged to Prince Humperdink (Chris Sarandon) when she captured by three men, the smart and (no pun intented) short tempered Vizzini (Wallace Shawn), the strong giant Fezzik (the late great Andre the Giant) and the vengeful Spaniard Inigo Montoya, (Mandy Patinkin) whose background I will withhold to remain spoiler free, with the intention of killing her. While I cannot tell you why they kidnapped Buttercup I can say they are not the only ones who have plans for the Princess Bride, sorry need to be spoiler free.

I absolutely LOVE this movie, Robin Wright Carey Elwes, Andre, Mandy Patinkin, Wallace Shawn; everyone plays their parts perfectly. This is one of the movies that should never EVER be remade, and I swear to God if that happens I will not watch it. This is one of the funniest, most quotable movies there is out there. I could see it on TV at any point and know exactly where I am. It airs constantly, so you cannot tell me “I can’t find it.” I also know for a fact Fathom events will have the Princess Bride for an upcoming event in the fall check your local theater and see if they are doing it. I just re-watched this movie with my brother, whom is very hard to please with a not Batman movie and he liked it. I looked over and saw him chuckling at the parts I loved, cringing when necessary, every little action told me he was enjoying the film. Trust me if my brother likes a movie it is REALLY GOOD. Also if again you haven’t watch the film, keep an eye out for there are a few people you may recognize along the way. If this review doesn’t encourage you to watch it, trust me there will be people in your life that will.

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classic, film

Classic Movie Review: Singin In the Rain

As you guys are well aware I’m an old soul when it comes to movies. There is nothing wrong with the movies we have now or a few decades ago, but I love many classics. You may remember my review of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, a great film if you haven’t watched it, but today I’m picking something a little more fun: Singin in the Rain.

Haven’t seen or heard of this film, allow me to give you a quick summary. Gene Kelly stars as Don Lockwood a silent movie actor whom falls in love with a chorus girl Kathy Sullivan (Debbie Reynolds.) There is so much more to the story than love. This film takes place around the time when silent films were starting to fad and talking pictures are forcing studios to adapt. It’s not a problem with Don, but his frequent leading lady Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen nominated for an Oscar for the role), cannot act, sing or dance to save her life although she thinks she is not only great but Don’s girlfriend. Don, Kathy and his best friend Cosmo (Donald O’Connor winning a Golden Globe for this role) have to make their next movie great for the talking pictures.

This musical is very light hearted and it is a great watch for the family. The music numbers are absolutely top-notch; cannot possibly be any better Gene Kelly without a doubt is one of the best actor dancers in film industry and he proves it again in the film. One of his best dance numbers maybe in his career is with Cyd Charisse. Dream sequence maybe did not make sense in the movie kinda but by the end of the sequence no one cares about that except the phenomenal dancing. I know Debbie Reynolds and Gene had issues on set, but by the end of the film  they did become friends. Donald O’Connor steals the spotlight as the comically funny best friend, and has a stand out number himself with Make Em Laugh, makes me laugh everytime I watch it. And of course Jean Hagen is so good at being the squeaky villain you will hate her.

Now I have got a funny story about this movie. A few years ago I was in my last community college class before going to Rutgers. It was a film class, we studied about what goes on behind the scenes with movies, camera work, lighting, how they get incredible shots, music, you get the point. In a class like this we did watch movies or clips of movies that had to do with the lesson over the week (it was a summer course and we met twice a week.) Now one week the lesson was about transitions in movies. The teacher was having trouble deciding what movie to watch regarding the lesson. I must confess I did not watch the Singin in the Rain movie yet, but I had seen a production not that long before (besides I looked up the movie enough to know what it was about.) So I suggested the movie, and my hand to God, everyone in the class said “What is that?”

I’m used to hearing “I haven’t seen it” or “Haven’t watched it.”, but Singing in the Rain gets parodied a hundred times, I was shocked no one in my class had even heard of the movie. It made up the teacher’s mind and we watched it the next class. I’m pretty sure my classmates liked it. I did see a few people laughing during Make Em Laugh. One girl even said after that number “That was awesome.” So if the people in my class that liked B- rated horror flicks liked those movies, why not try this?

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Holiday

Christmas Memories

Before I go into my post, I want to wish everyone here a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, New Year; Happy Holidays.

The holidays in my family are always a treat. Truth be told I rarely remember presents, but I do treasure the memories I made with my family over the holidays. My mother’s side always celebrated Christmas while my dad’s side celebrated Hanukkah. Yep I celebrated both holidays; my co-workers say I’m lucky, getting more presents. Honestly getting presents is not what I love about the holidays; it’s being with family.

Hanukkah is always fun in my home, depending on what night of the year it lands on (this year is Christmas Eve!) Unlike most Jewish families mine open all of our presents on the first night. I remember getting Broadway Plaques of shows I’ve seen or shows I’m going to see thanks to my parents. My brother, real simple anything Batman related you can possibly think of. We do keep traditions alive by lighting up the menorah. Again we are not traditional. Instead of lighting candles we have an electric menorah with bulbs instead of candles. It’s just me, mom, dad and my brother; my grandmother lives in Florida and my uncles are too far away.

Christmas has many great memories for me. We would go up to my aunt and uncle’s home in Connecticut, and they had a HUGE house. My grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins would all be there; it was awesome. Gathering around the tree, opening presents, my uncle playing “A Christmas Story” non-stop, and ended with Family BINGO. It was like that for a few years until my aunt and uncle moved to Manhattan. We would then celebrate Christmas in my grandparents home, until they both passed away. Since then Christmas was spent sadly far from the family for a while, meeting when we could. Thankfully my aunt and uncle decided to retire in Brooklyn and my uncle’s girlfriend has a great home in Albany as well. We meet when we can, this year we will be on Christmas Day.

My family does have a tradition. All the adults pull a name out of a hat. If they are not in the immediate family we have to buy presents for them. We are allowed to ask if there is something specific they want. No gift cards, unless asked and maximum is $100. This year I bought for my aunt, no spoilers here, but I hope she likes my present. One of my most memorable presents came from my cousin. I had asked for about ten DVDS of movies I loved but did not own. I told him if he could buy three or four of them that would make my Christmas. Some DVDs would have been difficult to find so i told him not to worry if he couldn’t. Come our meeting, I opened his gift (which looked like a shoe box) and all ten DVDs were inside. I could not believe it, had to give him a big hug after. Not my gift, but my uncle is a little nuts and would give random gifts to all of us. My mother, his sister, would receive this for a gift: a frog statue dressed like a butler and a tray. We still have it.

These are some of my wonderful holiday memories, I hope to make some more tomorrow. Once again, Happy Holidays.

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Uncategorized

The Difficulties of Writing A Blog, But Also While Looking For a Job

Most people having a blog means saying whatever you want regardless of consequences, those same people probably post not so nice comments on the Internet. Right answer: no! There will always be consequences. If you are looking for a job and they are considering you for this position they will look you up on LinkedIn, Facebook; EVERYTHING! So that post you made ranting about let’s say this year’s politics will NOT look good to an employer. Regardless of their own political views they have to abide by the company they work for and if there is something that you know will not look good delete it as soon as you can.

Now for me, doing a blog has been difficult. There are so many topics I have thought of, lists I’ve always wanted to put out there and be judged, but before I opened up WordPress, I had a thought: What would this look like to the places I’m applying to or want to join in the future. It’s not like I’m doing something embarrassing like comparing Disney characters, but it would still look bad. I have no choice but to either disregard my blog or think of something better.

I hope this can help those out there wanting to write, but having difficulty deciding when is the appropriate time to write.

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Advice, Job hunting

Job Seekers advice from Someone STILL Looking

Looking for a job? Need as much help as you can? Parents and friends are always there, and there are many job sites to place your resume. That was has been like for me the past six months since I graduated college. I have been looking at writing and journalism jobs through Indeed, Zip Recruiter, Monster and many other job boards websites. Good idea of course, but sometimes you get responses from businesses you don’t want.

I do not know if they looked at my resume or noticed how young I am but I have gotten emails from insurance agencies asking me for an interview. Needing the experience of talking to employers I went, and I was disappointed. If you go in expecting a one on one interview it did not happen with me. I was in a room with at least five other people hearing the recruiter talk about how great our insurance company is and how much you would make. After two interviews like those I refused to look at the emails from insurance companies asking for jobs again.

My second bad experience actually came from applying to jobs. When looking for jobs always look at the company before hitting apply now. I have gotten emails and phone calls from staffing agencies, either from them seeing my resume on a job site or applying for the job I wanted, asking me to either meet with them almost immediately or within the week for ANOTHER job I was not interested in. If able I did meet with them, but I was appalled. Not only did they not want me for a writing job but a secretary job instead they needed to see my birth certificate, social security number and/bank account before I even talked to the boss. I refused, not wanting to give personal information to people I had not meet not knowing what they would do with them. If the job is at a staffing agency I do not apply.

I should say that I do have a job, had the same job for years, but I want to do a job in the field I gradated with. So if you are still reading please allow me to give some advice.

  1. Do not just apply for any job, look for jobs you want and the ones that your resume will prove you are the best candidate for the job.
  2. If approached from jobs you did not apply for, you can say no.
  3. Having experience is always great, but keep having experience regardless of the job. If you are still at the same job since high school/college keep it as long as you can do the work. My latest part-time job liked me not just for my journalism background but because I still had a job.
  4. Unless you want to, do not let insurance and/or staffing agencies try and influence you into taking a job there. It may not be the job or company you want to to work for.
  5. Never reach the point of “I’m desperate for ANY job!” It does not look great for companies looking at you and you may regret the job taken.
  6. If job board sites are not working, try emailing directly to the companies you want to work for. There is always a way to get in touch.
  7. Never stop looking, always apply for jobs or contact those in charge every day.
  8. If given the chance use a cover letter and examples of your work. It may influence the HR department to recommend you.
  9. If an interview is scheduled, always dress professional unless other wise instructed. Men wear suites, ties and nice shoes. Women: dress, one color shirt, maybe a matching or dark undershirt if needed, work pants not khackies, high heels or flat shoes and finally a jacket or shawl.
  10. Besides dressing, always bring your resume and examples of work with you to an interview.
  11. If after applying, and interviews you get a no do not despair. Pick yourself up and keep looking.
  12. If during or after the interview you are unsure to take the job, ask if you can think about your decision. They will more than likely say yes. If they need an answer right away it may not be the job for you.
  13. When thinking about your decision to take the job ask the people you trust 100% if this is a great job. If you get paperwork have them look at it before putting your name on.
  14. After the interview, even if you are not going to take the job, send a thank you email. Show appreciation.
  15. If you are not going to take the job please let the employer know the day after the interview, show that you have thought about it.

I hope this helps people look for jobs and give them a small piece of mind.

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film

James Bond films, in order from least to best

I love writing down lists about my favorite things, not Julie Andrews like but still I have to write. So I’ve decided to put some of those lists out here and let you the viewer decide if I’m crazy or not. Today I want to talk about everyone’s favorite secret agent that has been around 50 plus years: Bond, James Bond. I am going to rank the true Bond films (in other words the bad version of Casino Royal and Never Say Never Again will NOT be on here.) I am ranking them based of my overall opinion, I’ve learned a long time ago critics do not always get everything right. Let’s get started.

24. Moonraker. Probably no surprise this is at the bottom, right. Bond in space whomever came up with that idea must have been nuts. Now not everything in this film is bad it does have an intriguing villain and a decent Bond girl, but even that could not save this picture.

23. Quantum of Solace. I think we can all agree out of Daniel Craig’s films as 007 this was clearly the worst. Picking up after Casino Royale ends Bond’s quest for revenge seems to alienate himself from MI6. I love a rebel as much as the next gal, but this was done pretty poorly. No memorable characters in this whatsoever.

22. The Man With The Golden Gun. Now if I was judging this film based on villains this would be top 5 easy thanks to Christopher Lee’s perfomace as Scaramanga, but like the critics in 1974 I’m judging the picture as a whole, and it was not as impressive. This was supposed to be the film where Bond meets his match, but no thanks to unnecessary parties (Holly Goodnight I’m looking at you, but that is a story for another day) this film failed to impress me.

21. The World Is Not Enough. I actually liked this movie, other than Denise Richards’s part. It had a memorable villain in Elektra the first and so far only main female villain as well as her henchman/lover in Renard. In my opinion Renard was the last great henchman in the Bond franchise. Meanwhile the story was pretty good, had its twists and overall a good, not great, addition to the Bond franchise

20. License to Kill. Without a doubt in my mind the darkest of all the Bond films. Timothy Dalton’s final appearance definitely left an impression, good or bad depending on your opinion.  A ruthless villain to boot and this film is a good watch

19. The Living Daylights. This is a Bond film that may not be as known to fans, but it is a decent watch. Good action sequences, better chemistry with Bond and his lady friend, good not great villains; overall I would have given it a B-.

18. Octopussy. This one is a little more campier than the other Bond films, but it is a joy to watch. Personally I also loved Maude Adams’s performance at the title character, not just because she was actually age appropriate for Roger Moore’s Bond but because she always teased the line between good evil.

17. Spectre. As of this writing the latest Bond film that is out. I was not disappointed by the film, although the predictability got a little annoying. Christoph Waltz was OK as the villain, had two great Bond girls and much better performances from Ralph Fines, Naomi Harris and Ben Whishaw as M, Moneypenny and Q (of course no comparisons to the predecessors.) I also LOVED Sam Smith’s song “Writings of the Wall with that title sequence very haunting.

16. A View to A Kill. Probably surprised this is as high on the list huh. Trust me this has more to do with the performances of the films villains Christopher Walkin and Grace Jones than anything else in the film. I do liked how it was in the United States and showed some beautiful shots of San Fransico. This film does have flaws, but understandably so for Roger Moore’s last time as Bond (he was DONE.)

15. For Your Eyes Only. Believe me I do not like this film this much thanks to Bibi (god she was annoying.) I actually enjoyed the action the film provided. I felt this film had taken pretty good risks for the time being. P.S the opening scene is a must see.

14. Casino Royale. If there were some doubts on Daniel Craig’s debut performance as 007 maybe just maybe they went out of the door with this film. I cannot forget about Eva Green as the dubiously divine Vesper nor Mads Mikkelson’s Le Chife a truly unforgettable bad guy. I remember watching this for the first time and the tournament scenes were making me very nervous. I’m not a card player so I was not sure what was happening, but it was still nerve racking. This film set up the next three, so I’d probably watch this first of the Daniel Craig’s.

13. Diamonds Are Forever. For Sean Connery’s final run as 007 officially it did not disappoint. With multiple Blofelds and one of spunkier Bond girls to date it is a great watch.

12. You Only Live Twice. OK the whole Bond has to go Japanese parts were pretty offensive no doubt but this film is still watchable. Great action sequences, the start of a long road with Blofield and more beautiful women than Bond knows what to deal with. Also the title sequence is remarkable.

11. The Spy Who Loved Me. Now this is where the great films start coming in. I really loved The Spy Who Loved Me as a whole: action, acting, chemistry, gadgets; the whole nine yards. Roger Moore and Barbara Bach had a great love story much more believable than many of the other Bond films, we got to meet Jaws; overall this is one of the peaks when it comes to Bond.

10. Tomorrow Never Dies. This film is only this high for a few reasons. Brosnan’s performance, great action, probably one of the most memorable Bond girls of all time in Wai-Lin, memorable crazy villain and last but not least the gadgets. My only complaint about the film was the lack of chemesity I felt between Bond and Lin. Other than that it was cool.

9. Die Another Day. Surprised to see this film so high. Believe me it was all about the action, gadgets and ladies not the effects. I loved both Jinx and Frost in here. Good villains and henchmen but the effects did not do this film favors.

8. From Russian With Love. I have seen this film on many top 10 Bond films lists and yet people are like “What is that” when I tell them. This was a great follow up to Dr. No with it’s action and memorable villains. On another note this started the trend of big blond henchman but no one had come close to Robert Shaw’s performance.

7. Skyfall. Definitely one of the best Bond films in recent memory. Great song, action, villain and who could forget Judi Dench’s final performance as M in my opinion the greatest in her career.

6. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. One of the most memorable Bond films but this time for the right reasons. Sure George Lazenby’s performance was not great as Bond, but that is forgivable with the AMAZING performance by Diana Rigg as the only woman to marry Bond Tracy. Sadly this film has one fo the most heartbreaking moments not jsut in Bond films but in entertainment all together.

5. Live and Let Die. Yes the film has some questionable moments but overall I was in awe. Roger Moore’s first try as 007 did not disappoint. I also loved Jane Seymore as Solitare, and I am not big on damsels in distresses. Add an equally great villain to boot and you have a great Bond film.

4.  Dr. No. The first has to be in the top 5 because it started it all. From beginning to end this film will lay the ground work of the franchise, action, a great villain in Dr. No and of course the beautiful Honey Rider has the most iconic swimsuit entrance maybe in film.

3. Thunderball. I am proably the only person to love this movie as much, but I was very impressed. Given the time period when the film was released and how 75% of the film was underwater I had to give the film makers the praise they deserved.

2. Goldeneye. Yep this cannot be a surprise. This film was everything a 90’s Bond fan thought was missing in the other films. Memorable action sequences, just as memorable villains and women; plain and simple it was AWESOME. On another note did anyone else take as much joy as I did when Alec died.

  1. Goldfinger. No shocker this is number one. I do not think this film will ever be topped with it’s story, women, henchman and of course Goldfinger himself. You cannot find a better Bond film than this one.
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