Love Will Light The Way…

Hello all. This afternoon I spent doing much of nothing. A little laundry, a cat nap or two, and watching movies. One of the movies I watched left me in tears which of course means that it was great. And it also means I need to share it with all of you. And that you NEED to watch it. The movie is Midnight Sun.


MIDNIGHT SUN is a romantic tearjerker about 17-year-old Katie Price (Bella Thorne), sheltered at home since childhood with a rare genetic condition, a life-threatening sensitivity to sunlight. Having only her father Jack (Rob Riggle) for company, Katie’s world opens up after dark when she ventures outside to play her guitar.

One night, her dreams come true when she’s noticed and asked out by her longtime crush Charlie (Patrick Schwarzenegger), whom she’s secretly watched from her bedroom window for years. As they embark on nightly summer excursions, Katie’s risk to sunlight grows and she’s presented with the gut-wrenching dilemma of whether she can live a normal life with her newfound soul mate...

This movie took me on such an emotional rollercoaster. And more than that, I could honestly see myself in them. In the way the father loves his daughter. In the way the best friends, Morgan and Katie, love each other. In the way Katie and Charlie fall for each other.

The shared memories, the happiness, the sadness, the emotion, all of it made the movie and pulled you in and kept you close until the very end. And even after.

Life is never easy. For some, it’s even harder. And life is never, ever fair. But somehow, some way, love always makes it better. Even if for just a moment…

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Heartbreakingly Uplifting….

Anyone that has ever read my blog knows how much I enjoy a good movie. And ones I personally consider to be great, I do a post about. Well this one, the one I’m going to tell you about, blows any other movie I’ve watched in a long time completely out of the water. Out of the atmosphere.

The movie is:

I CAN ONLY IMAGINE

The inspiring and unknown true story behind MercyMe’s beloved, chart topping song that brings ultimate hope to so many is a gripping reminder of the power of true forgiveness.

I’m sure you’re heard the song at least once. After all, it is the #1 Christian song in America. Even of you aren’t particularly fond of Christian music, I have no doubt you have heard it somewhere. It has been played on nearly every radio station in the U.S.

And with 2.5 million copies sold, it is the best-selling Christian single of all time, having been certified 3x platinum by the RIAA. As of 2018, it is the only Christian song to reach that milestone.

Still not sure? Click this link to watch the official video:

Okay, so I’m not writing this about a song or to sing its praises. (No pun intended). I’m here to tell you about a movie. The movie that tells the true story behind such an awe inspiring song.

And believe me, the backstory is even more awe inspiring that the song. In fact, when I watched it in the theater, I was not the only one shedding tears. Sniffles could be heard throughout the darkened room. And more than a few people left the theater red eyed when the lights came back on.

PLOT:
Growing up in Greenville, Texas, Bart Millard suffers physical and emotional abuse at the hands of his father, Arthur. When Arthur becomes terminally ill, he finds redemption by embracing his faith and rediscovering his love for his son.

Years later, Bart’s troubled childhood and mended relationship with his dad inspires him to write the hit song “I Can Only Imagine” as singer of the Christian band MercyMe.

There are a couple of big names starring in this movie but even if there weren’t, I know it would not detract from the movie. I’m not sure anything could.

DENNIS QUAID

American actor who has starred in many movies including:

The Parent Trap

A Dog’s Purpose

The Rookie

The Day After Tomorrow

CLORIS LEACHMAN

An American actress who has had many starring roles and appeared in several shows including:

The Beverly Hillbillies

The Last Picture Show

The Longest Yard

Raising Hope

TRACE ADKINS

An American songwriter, singer, and actor, he has topped many country music charts with his amazing musical ability.

Here’s a few memorable quotes from the movie:

Brickell: Let me ask you something Bart, what are you running from?

Bart: My dad. He, uh, he…

Brickell: …he beat you, didn’t he? Ya ain’t got no poker face kid.

Bart: I carry that. I have to live with that, you know. I always will.

Brickell: Then write about it. Stop running from it. Let that pain become your inspiration.

******

Memaw: Imagine what he is seeing up there, just imagine!

Brickell: What is the name of your band again?

Bart: It is “Mercy Me”. Because when I told my Memaw that we were starting a band, she was like “Mercy me, get a real job!” And I was like: “Oh, Memaw.”

******

Bart: And the guys were like “Did she really say that?” and I was like “Yeah, we have to name the band mercy me”. So we called it.

******

Brickell: [to Bart] You got talent, you got potential, you can sing, but I don’t think you found your song, found your soul.

******

Arthur: Dreams don’t pay the bills. Nothing good comes from them. All it does is keeping you from knowing what is real.

******

Brickell: [to Bart] Son, the sheer volume of words that comes out of your mouth is exhausting. You are not ready. That’s what I think.

Here is the official movie trailer if you would like to get a sneak peek:

This is one movie you do not want to miss. Just be sure to keep a box of tissues handy because you will definitely need them.

ENJOY!!

A parents worse nightmare….

Hi everybody. I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything. You know, busy life and all. 😥

But I had to share an amazing movie with you. I rarely have time to watch them but this one is SO GOOD.

It’s called Kidnap and it stars the talented Halle Berry.

Curious? Check out the description below:

A typical afternoon in the park turns into a nightmare for single mother Karla Dyson when kidnappers snatch her young son Frankie.

With no cellphone and no time to wait for police, Dyson jumps into her car to follow the vehicle that holds Frankie.

As the pursuit turns into a frantic, high-speed chase, Karla must risk everything and push herself to the limit to save her beloved child.

This movie is truly a parents worst nightmare. Turning your back for just a moment and poof! your child is gone, taken by a stranger.

Luckily I have not had anything remotely like this happen to me and I would never wish this on my worst enemy. There have been a few times I have had a little scare but thankfully it turned out fine.

There are so many kids taken and kidnapped now that the very idea of losing your child is terrifying, crippling even. In most instances, the parent does not know they are missing until it’s too late but in this movie, Karla (Halle Berry) witnesses the kidnappers taking her child and is able to give chase.Despite everything that is thrown her way, Karla never gives up.

Halle Berry gives an excellent performance in this movie, making you feel her terror as her only son is ripped away and her frustration as time and time again, she is unable to stop the events from unfolding.

This movie has several highs and lows, stomach dropping scenes, and more than a few shocks. It was such a good movie that even my husband was on the edge of his seat the whole time.

But it definitely makes you think about the what-ifs. True, you can’t keep your child/children in your sight 24/7/365 but there are a few things to help you keep them safe.

  • PAY ATTENTION

It is so easy take your eyes off of them for just a minute because of distractions. While at the park, the store, ball games or wherever, pay attention to your kids. Watch them play or better yet, play with them.

  • SAFETY IN NUMBERS (ALWAYS make sure your kids are not alone. Have them play with friends, other family members, etc)
  • GIVE THEM A CURFEW

They may think it’s punishment or that you don’t trust them but it’s just a parents way of keeping them safe.

  • CHILD SAFETY KITS

These allow you to keep your child’s info all in one place and handy in case they do go missing (hair or fingernail clipping sample for DNA), latest picture, age, height, weight, birthmarks, characteristic, etc)

Here are just a few sites to get your free child safety kits:

https://www.childsafekit.com/

https://secure.pollyklaasaction.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=291

http://www.missingkids.com/ChildID

You can also check with your local police department for safety kits as well.

  • CELL PHONES

If you’re avle to buy one for your child/children, do so. Yes, they can play games, watch videos, etc on them but they are also a good way to stay in touch with your kids.

  • USE A LOCATOR APP

There are a ton of apps, free and not free, that allow you to keep track if your kids movements and locations.

  • COME UP WITH AN ALERT WORD

For example, perhaps there is a certain word or number they can text or speak in case of danger. Make it short, easy to remember, and confidential.

  • KNOW THEIR PEOPLE

Get to know their friends, boyfriends/girlfriends, etc. And know their friends’ parents, their addresses and phone numbers.

  • KEEP TRACK OF THEIR SOCIAL MEDIA ACTIVITY

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. I’m not saying stalk your kids. Just keep an eye out for them. Because unfortunately there are bad people that use these platforms to trick kids.

Hopefully these ideas will help in keeping your kids, and other kids, a little safer.

Thanks for stopping by.

IT is here….

Hello everyone. Sorry I haven’t written any posts lately. Between work, working on book 3, reading and reviewing a few books, and kids returning to school, life has become pretty hectic again. But now that I have a spare moment, I wanted to tell you about a movie I saw last week.

IT

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If you haven’t heard of this movie by Stephen King, “Master of Horror”, by now, I will be totally shocked. But just on the off chance that you have no clue about it, here is a quick rundown:

Seven young outcasts in Derry, Maine are about to face their worst nightmare–an ancient shape-shifting evil that emerges from the sewer every 27 years to prey on the town’s children. Banding together over the course of one horrifying summer, the friends must overcome their own personal fears to battle the murderous, bloodthirsty clown known as Pennywise. 

This movie is most likely the cause behind a lot of people’s fear of clowns or Coulrophobia. I know that at least for my best friend it was. She can’t even look at Ronald McDonald without breaking out in a fear induced panic.

As for me, I loved the original show. But then again, I am a major fan of Stephen King and anything spooky, creepy, and scary. So of course when I heard there was a new release of this movie coming out, I made a vow to go see it opening day.

For over a year, I planned to watch this iconic movie from my childhood. I wanted to be there for the late night version. Creepier, darker, more spooky. You get the idea.

Unfortunately, once the day arrived, my plans got changed. Now if I wanted to see IT, one of my favorite scary movies of ALL time, I would have to go to an earlier viewing if I wanted to see it in theaters. And I did! I mean, I’d been planning it and waiting anxiously for a year. So there was no way I was missing IT.

I went to the movie. Nestled in a comfortable seat, surrounded by darkness and the smell of buttered popcorn, I watched the newest version of a movie that stuck with me throughout the years. This new movie followed the book and the original version closely. There were a few changes but not many and not significant enough to detract from the story line and definitely not worth mentioning here.

Okay, I knew the movie would be good. I mean, it’s a Stephen King movie. And I knew it would be more up to date. But what I wasn’t expecting was how much BETTER it was. Darker. Scarier. More detailed.

I LOVED it!

*(I learned later from a reliable source that at the late night showing, there were actually red balloons floating in the theater and a person dressed up as a clown. All to add to the scariness of the movie. And I missed it…By the way for those that don’t know, red balloons are IT’s calling card.)*

Here is a comparison of the IT before and the IT now:

 

How about these movie posters?

 

Both are very well done. Enough to give you chills…

The actors for both movies are as follows:

AS PENNYWISE:

Tim Curry                                           Bill Skarsgard

 

AS BILL DENBROUGH:

                                    Jonathan Brandis                                   Jaeden Lieberher

 

AS GEORGIE DENBROUGH:

Tony Dakota                                  Jackson Robert Scott

 

AS  BEN HANSCOM:

                            Brandon Crane                                                 Jeremy Ray Taylor

 

AS STANLEY URIS:

                                    Ben Heller                                          Wyatt Oleff

 

AS EDDIE KASPBRAK:

Adam Faraizl                                               Jack Dylan Grazer

 

AS MIKE HANLON:

                                   Marlon Taylor                                              Chosen Jacobs

 

AS RICHIE TOZIER:

Seth Green                                          Finn Wolfhard

 

AS BEVERLY MARSH:

Emily Perkins                                           Sophia Lillis

 

While researching the making of this new version, I came across some pretty interesting details about the movie and actors. Check them out below:

  • Whenever Pennywise’s eyes look in two different directions, there are no special effects used for that. Director Andres Muschietti had planned on using CGI to achieve this and informed Bill Skarsgard of this but Skarsgard then demonstrated that he could do it on his own and that is what is used in the film.

 

  • Andy Muschietti kept Bill Skarsgard sepearate from the child actors up until they had to shoot scenes together. On the day of their first scenes together, the production staff warned the kids about how scary Skarsgard could be while in character. The kids brushed it off, claiming that they knew he was just an actor in costume and that they were professionals and would be fine. However, when the time came for Skarsgard to be Pennywise for the scene, the kids were genuinely terrified. Some even cried…

 

  • 27 is a number that often becomes associated with this story.

*This movie was released 27 years after the original television release.

*In the book, It returns to Derry every 27 years.

* Jonathan Brandis, who played young Bill in the original film, dies at 27 years old.

*This movie was released one month after Bill Skarsgard (Pennywise) turned 27                    years old.

  • Bill Skarsgard had admitted that he was so into his performance as Pennywise that he would have constant nightmares during production.

 

  • Bill Skarsgard (Pennywise) was born in 1990, the same year that the original was released.

 

  • The trailer for this film enraged real life professional clowns, who stated that the Pennywise character will encourage people to think of clowns as scary and murderous. Rallies to defend the good name of clowns in the U.S. are planned for October 2017, one month after the movie IT is released in theaters.

 

  • When asked if he would write more about Pennywise, Stephen King declared he would never write about IT again. Because he was too scary. Even for him…

Thanks for stopping by my blog. And if you get the chance to watch IT and are brave enough to, please do. Enjoy!!

 

Looking for a pysicologocal thriller? 

Although you may not be familiar with the name M. Night Shyamalan (I’m not sure how that’s possible but i suppose it could happen), you have to know at least one of the movies on his list of hits:

  • The Last Airbender
  • Signs
  • The Sixth Sense
  • The Village
  • The Happening
  • Afterearth
  • Unbreakable
  • The Visit
  • Devil
  • Lady in the Water

But not all of his films are included in the horror/suspense genre. Here’s two movies that totally took me by surprise as being his work:

  • Stuart Little
  • She’s All That

Yeah I know, unbelievable right? 

Well, if you loved any of those movies, here’s another one of his thrillers to check out. 

SPLIT

   

STARRING JAMES MCAVOY AS KEVIN

Though Kevin (James McAvoy) has evidenced 23 personalities to his trusted psychiatrist, Dr. Fletcher (Betty Buckley), there remains one still submerged who is set to materialize and dominate all of the others. Compelled to abduct three teenage girls led by the willful, observant Casey, Kevin reaches a war for survival among all of those contained within him — as well as everyone around him — as the walls between his compartments shatter.

This movie will keep you on the edge of your seat. As you meet the various personalities, you become more and more drawn into the dark and twisted world and mind of Kevin. 

For me, it enthralls me just because I like the suspense, the unknown, and the strange  behavior of people. I want to know the hows and whys of their unusual actions. What makes them go from being an average child into the person they’ve become. 

So if you enjoy a dark thriller that makes you stop and question the recesses of the human mind, this movie is for you. Enjoy!

Hi everybody. So the last few days I have watched several movies but only 2 truly stand out as great. I am going to share my take on both if them in the next few days. First up, A Dog’s Purpose. 

Now unless you live under a rock, you had to have heard of this movie. Whether it be the emotional turmoil of the plot or perhaps the controversial aspects such as animal cruelty. Either way this movie made headlines. And after watching it, it made it’s way into my heart. 

Starring roles include:

DENNIS QUAID


BRIT ROBERTSON


JOSH GAD


Here’s a quick look inside the plot if the movie. 

A devoted dog (Josh Gad) discovers the meaning of its own existence through the lives of the humans it teaches to laugh and love. Reincarnated as multiple canines over the course of five decades, the lovable pooch develops an unbreakable bond with a kindred spirit named Ethan. As the boy grows older and comes to a crossroad, the dog once again comes back into his life to remind him of his true self.

This movie had it all. Happiness, joy, love, laughter, sorrow, anger, heartbreak. At times, I adored the characters and other times I grew so frustrated with them I nearly began giving them a good chewing out. (Like they could hear me right?) I smoked, laughed, and yes, even cried. A true roller coaster of emotions.

Although it didn’t rank very high in the review category, don’t let it sway you from taking a chance on it. I loved this and who knows, you might too. So check out A Dog’s Purpose today. Enjoy!

A GREAT-ER kind of movie….

Good morning all. I’m here to share an amazing movie with you. If you haven’t heard of it, then please take the time to look it up, rent it, watch it. You will not be disappointed. The movie I’m talking about is                 

                          GREATER

The story of Brandon Burlsworth, possibly the greatest walk-on in the history of college football.

You do not have to be a football fan to enjoy this movie because although Brandon’s goals were to become an Arkansas Razorback and eventually for an NFL team, the movie is about much more than that. 

It’s about faith, family, ambition, determination, drive, and beliving in yourself when no one else does. And if after watching it, you aren’t touched, then you better check your pulse because you may not be alive.

Brandon Burlsworth worked hard for everything he had and everything he wanted. But one of the best things was that unlike a lot of people, he was not only focused on himself but also on his friends and family. He made those around him believe not only in him but in themselves as well. 

He was living his dream-playing for the Razorback team, graduating with a master’s degree, and signing with a NFL team when out of no where, tragedy struck.

Sadly, Brandon was killed in a car accident one day in April 1999 while on his way to pick up his mom for church services. 

His death rocked not only his family, friends, fellow players, and coaches but also the the entire football industry and fans. 

It was a tragic loss of great man. A kind and and gentle giant with the biggest heart and soul anyone had ever known.

In the months following his death, there were several things done to honor Brandon:

  • Brandon’s jersey #77 is retired at the University of Arkansas. It is only the second retired football jersey in school history.
  • His locker is enclosed in a glass case in the Razorback locker room.[7]
  • The Harrison Youth Center in Harrison, Arkansas, was renamed the Brandon Burlsworth Youth Center in May 1999.

The Indianapolis Colts wore his initials, BB, on their helmets for the 1999 season.


In addition to these, Brandon’s family and friends created several charities and organizations in his name:

  • Brandon Burlsworth Foundation

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Brandon-Burlsworth-Foundation/191029321118

In honor of his work ethic and Christian values, the Christian organization’s mission is to support the physical and spiritual needs of children, in particular those children who have limited opportunities. The foundation’s logo prominently features Brandon’s signature boack-framed glasses. 

  • Burl’s Kids

http://www.brandonburlsworth.org/burlskids.html
For this program, the Burlsworth Foundation provides underprivileged youth a chance to attend Razorback and Colts football games. Since 2000, the Foundation has bought 30 tickets to each Arkansas Razorbacks home football game. The tickets are distributed through Razorback Clubs across the state. The children are a big part to the foundation. The children are given an official “Burls Kid” T-shirt and replica glasses similar to what Brandon wore on the field.

  • Eyes of a Champion

http://www.brandonburlsworth.org/eyeschampion.html
The Brandon Burlsworth Foundation, in partnership with Walmart/Sam’s Optical Department and independent optometrists across Arkansas, provides eye care to thousands of pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade students. Primarily they come from working families that cannot afford extras like eye care and do not qualify for state funded programs. Applications must be submitted by school nurses or counselors and are available in English, French, and Spanish.

  • The Brandon Burlsworth Football Camps

http://www.brandonburlsworth.org/footballcamp.html

These camps are for youngsters going into 3rd grade through 9th grade. They are held once each summer at F.S. Garrison Stadium in Harrison, Arkansas, and War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock, Arkansas. Children are given a chance to learn from former Razorbacks. Past participants included Anthony Lucas, Clint StoernerJoe Dean DavenportMadre Hill, Grant Garrett, Russ Brown, Barry Lunney Jr., Chad Abernathy, Michael Smith, Lucas Miller and others. The campers learn football skills but more importantly, they are taught throughout the day about character, attitude, morals, priorities and the desire to do it “The Burls Way.”

Memorial ScholarshipsEdit

Each year the Brandon Burlsworth Foundation gives out several awards and scholarships at various school levels. Eighteen students at the University of Arkansas who are primarily from smaller towns and who are characterized as academic “overachievers” receive $5,000 scholarships. Additionally, a Razorback football player who began his career as a walk-on, but then earned a football scholarship, is honored as the year’s Burlsworth Athletic Scholar. The students are selected by the University of Arkansas Scholarship Committee and are recognized in a ceremony in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

High School Football AwardsEdit

High School awards include the Brandon Burlsworth High School Football Awards. Every high school football coach in Arkansas has the opportunity to nominate one player from the team. Those players receive a plaque and a copy of “Through the Eyes of A Champion, the Brandon Burlsworth Story” autographed by Brandon’s mother, Barbara Burlsworth. An even greater honor, the Brandon Burlsworth Championship Award is presented at the Arkansas state football championships games to one player from each team for conduct above and beyond expectations.

State Championship AwardsEdit

Harrison (Arkansas) High School continues to award the Brandon Burlsworth Award to one male and female athlete who best exemplify the strength of character and work ethic known as “The Burls Way”.

The Brandon Burlsworth Award is given out yearly to a male and female at Harrison High School and the University of Arkansas.

In 2010, the Burlsworth Trophy was created and named in his honor.[13] The award is given yearly to the most outstanding Division I FBS college football player who began his career as a walk-on.

TO SOME, BRANDON BURLSWORTH WAS A HERO. TO MANY, HE WAS AN INSPIRATION. TO ALL, HE IS GREATER.