Gosling and Stone Co-Star in Enchanting Homage to Hollywood Musicals

 

La La Land,  Film Review, Kam Williams, Golden Age of Hollywood, Damien Chazelle, Emma Stone, Ryan GoslingLa La Land

Film Review by Kam Williams

Gosling and Stone Co-Star in Enchanting Homage to Hollywood Musicals

If you only see one movie this year, you need to get out more. That being said, La La Land is the picture to catch. This nostalgic homage to the Golden Age of Hollywood is a panoramic masterpiece which makes very effective use of every inch of the big screen.

Written and directed by Oscar-nominee Damien Chazelle (for Whiplash), the picture was shot in CinemaScope, a supposedly-obsolete technology that fell out of favor with filmmakers in the late Sixties. Here, Chazelle resurrects the wide-angled lens for a last hurrah in service of an old-fashioned musical unfolding against a breathtaking array of L.A. backdrops. La La also features an enchanting original score composed by Justin Hurwitz who  collaborated with college classmate Damien on Whiplash as well as his debut offering, the deceptively-unassuming Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench.

This relatively-ambitious romantic romp revolves around Sebastian Wilder and Mia Dolan, struggling artists played to perfection by Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, respectively. Their talented supporting cast includes J.K. Simmons, John Legend and Rosemarie DeWitt.

La La Land,  Film Review, Kam Williams, Golden Age of Hollywood, Damien Chazelle, Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling

After a showstopping opening staged on a gridlocked freeway where stuck motorists suddenly break into song and dance, we’re introduced to the likable leads. We learn that jazz pianist Sebastian’s a purist playing for tips in dingy dives while trying to save enough cash to open his own nightclub. Mia’s an aspiring actress who divides her time between fruitless auditions and a thankless job as a barista at a coffee shop right on the Warner Brothers lot.

Seb and Mia are strangers who initially experience only aggravation whenever their paths serendipitiously cross. Eventually, sparks do finally fly, which inspires them to belt out mellifluous and melancholy tunes. More importantly, they fall in love and encourage each other to pursue their elusive dreams.

Since it would be unfair to spoil any of the ensuing plot developments, suffice to say that Gosling and Stone are pure delight, whether warbling or just generating screen chemistry. A charming crowd-pleaser that richly deserves all the superlatives it’s undoubtedly about to receive over the course of the upcoming awards season!   

Excellent (4 stars)

Rated PG-13 for profanity

Running time: 128 minutes

Distributor: Summit Entertainment / Lionsgate Films

Source:  Baret News

Top Ten DVD List for December 6, 2016

 

This Week’s DVD Releases

by Kam Williams

Top Ten DVD List for December 6, 2016 

Top Ten DVD List for December 6, 2016

                     

Don’t Think Twice

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01IV40HUY/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Kicks

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01LR0DS1O/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20   

Author: The JT Leroy Story

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01MCV9Q0X/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

I Am Bolt

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01M7QR5F6/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Call of Heroes

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01M06JJEO/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

The Secret Life of Pets

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01I5JT9L8/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Knucklehead

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01M1AR6LL/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Jason Bourne

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01I0HVPA8/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Greenleaf: Season One

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01LA4N3EY/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

The Secret Agent

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01JPN6MQ8/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Honorable Mention

Mad Max Fury Road / Mad Max Fury Road Black & Chrome Edition

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01LTHM352/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

The Fight Within

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01M09C5NR/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

On Meditation

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01LXCINJ2/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Mudbloods

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01LWP1UEO/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

SMART: Specialized Mobile Animal Rescue Team

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01M6WKILV/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Jennifer Lopez: Dance Again

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01LTHNHLQ/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

In Order of Disappearance

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01M0Y5Y7Z/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

The Shannara Chronicles: Season One

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01LYW59NW/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Dead Rising: Endgame

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01MF50VZ6/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Never Open the Door

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01M30E46Q/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

The Hollars

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01M67WY1I/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

The Possession Experiment

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01M09U6S5/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Decommissioned

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01LTHMFNC/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

The Unspoken

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01M6YXBF2/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Me, Myself and Her

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01LY3L1J9/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Mavis!

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01N59GDMQ/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Nova: School of the Future

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01J4Z93U4/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Frontline: A Subprime Education

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01KWM41VE/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Frontline: the Choice 2016

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01KWM4218/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

 

Source:  Baret News

L’Chiam Ephraim!

 

Ephraim Sykes

The “Hairspray Live!” Interview

with Kam Williams

L’Chiam Ephraim!

Ephraim Sykes plays Seaweed J. Stubbs in NBC’s production of “Hairspray Live!” airing Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 8 pm ET.

L’Chiam Ephraim!Seaweed J. Stubbs is a hip and kindhearted dancer who befriends Tracy Turnblad in detention and teaches her some new moves. He is also the son of Motormouth Maybelle (Jennifer Hudson) who falls in love with Tracy’s best friend, Penny (Ariana Grande).

Ephraim was an original cast member of “Hamilton” when the 11 Tony Award-winning musical opened on Broadway in August 2015. Prior to that, he  appeared in four other Broadway musicals — “Motown the Musical,” “Newsies,” “Memphis” and “The Little Mermaid.”

His television credits include “Vinyl,” “Smash” and the Emmy Award-winning comedy “30 Rock,” and he can be seen in the upcoming Woody Allen series “Crisis in Six Scenes.” 

Kam Williams: Hi Ephraim, thanks for the interview.

Ephraim Sykes: No, thanks for having me, Kam.

KW: What was it like working on such an historic show like Hamilton?

ES: Omigosh! It was a trip! An incredible journey, to say the least. I started working with it two or three years ago when it was just a reading, all the way though Off-Broadway and then on Broadway. It’s an honor and a blessing to be a part of something that’s become a part of American culture, changed theater and touched so many people

KW: Tell me a little about your character in Hamilton, George Eacker?

ES: He’s the guy who killed Alexander Hamilton’s son, Philip, in a duel close to the same spot where Hamilton himself was slain by Aaron Burr.

KW: Wow! What a coincidence!

ES: Yeah, it’s kind of weird.

KW: Why did you leave Hamilton?

ES: I needed to take a break because my body was kind of beaten down from having done such a strenuous show for almost two years. I’d been on Broadway non stop for almost a decade. so, my body was kinda tired. And literally, on the day that I started my medical leave, I heard about Hairspray.

KW: Seems like you’ve done a lot on the stage. How did you get from St. Petersburg, Florida to Broadway. What’s your background?

ES: To be honest, I came more from a concert, dance and music background. I did ballet, jazz and modern dance in a performing arts high school. I also studied a musical instrument and grew up singing in the church choir. After high school, I entered Fordham’s Alvin Ailey program, so I was really concentrating on dance. After I got my degree and finished dancing with the Ailey Company, I got my first Broadway audition, which really altered the trajectory of my career. 

KW: Which is your preference, the stage, TV or film?

ES: There’s nothing like live theater where you can actually feel an audience react to you in real time. But I really do have a love for the film and TV worlds as well.

KW: Tell me a little about your approach to playing Seaweed in Hairspray? Did you watch a video of the original Broadway production?

ES: Absolutely! But I have to approach it differently, just because I’m a different person. However, I did study Corey Reynolds, Elijah Kelley, Clayton Prince and everybody else who’s played Seaweed in order to better develop my version of him.

  

KW: What’s it like working opposite a couple of powerhouses like Jennifer Hudson, who plays your mom, Motormouth Maybelle, and Ariana Grande, who plays your love interest, Penny?

ES: I have to admit it’s a bit nerve-wracking coming into the studio with some giants like them, but it’s exciting overall to be a part of it, because they are not only talented but down-to-earth, sweet loving people who love their work. I’m excited to see what we all cook up together. 

KW: It seems like this production has the most star-studded cast of all, including a return of Harvey Fierstein who originated the role of Edna Turnblad on Broadway.

ES: I think it’s going to be a fun time. The great thing about Hairspray is that, like Hamilton, the show’s the star. The story itself is extremely timely and relevant.

KW: What message do you think people will take away from Hairspray?

ES: The power of the story is that sometimes, when our words fail, music prevails. Music can breakdown barriers!

KW: Ling-Ju Yen asks: What is your earliest childhood memory?

ES: Walking into the doors of the church where my father was pastoring. I got to experience God at a young age.

KW: Was the church a meaningful spiritual component of your formative years which shaped you?

ES: Yes, and it remains a driving force in my life to this day. It’s a constant that’s helped me combat anything that’s come against me, especially my own fears.

KW: Who loved you unconditionally in childhood?

ES: My family, my parents, my sisters, my grandparents, and even my church family, my first dance teachers and my theater family .

KW: When you look in the mirror, what do you see?

ES: I see Ephraim. Someone who’s never been before and will never be again. Something that’s perfectly and uniquely me. Something that God created on purpose.

L’Chiam Ephraim!

  

KW: What is your favorite dish to cook?

ES: I’m not that great a cook. [Laughs] But I do really enjoy my own spaghetti.

KW: The Morris Chestnut question: Was there any particular moment in your childhood that inspired you to become the person you are today?

ES: Watching my father unite a city with love during a race riot. I still really admire and look up to him, and try to be like him. That brought out my heart for the community.   

KW: If you could have one wish instantly granted, what would that be for?

ES: Oh, that’s easy. I’d like to see Michael Jackson perform live while in his prime.

KW: What is your guiltiest pleasure?

ES: It’s somewhere between eating really good food and binge-watching really great movies and Netflix type of stuff.

KW: The Viola Davis question: What’s the biggest difference between who you are at home as opposed to the person we see on the red carpet?

ES: I try to be as funny and extroverted both places, but I can actually be introverted and pretty shy on the red carpet. At home, I’m always cracking jokes and saying ridiculous things. I can be my full self at home.

KW: Harriet Pakula-Teweles asks: With so many classic films being redone, is there a remake you’d like to star in?

ES: That’s another great question. What comes to mind is one of my favorites, West Side Story.

KW: Larry Greenberg asks: Do you have a favorite movie monster?   

ES: Wow! The flying dog from The NeverEnding Story. And the huge, monster dog from The Sandlot.

KW: Judyth Piazza asks: What key quality do you believe all successful people share? 

ES: Self-assurance. They know how unique and special they are. 

KW: The Pastor Alex Kendrick question: When do you feel the most content?

ES: When I’m around great live music. 

KW: The Dana Perino question: What keeps you up at night?

ES: My goals. My big ideas and my dreams.

KW: Teri Emerson asks: When was the last time you had a good laugh?

ES: I had a really great one last night with my girlfriend. 

KW: What advice do you have for anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps?

ES:  Find what it is you love to do and run non-stop at it, and the doors will open up for you.

KW: The Tavis Smiley question: How do you want to be remembered?

ES: As somebody who tried to bring people together.

KW: Finally, what’s in your wallet?

ES:  Not much! [LOL] An MTA Metro card for New York City that takes up too much of my money.

KW: Thanks again for the time, Ephraim, and best of luck with Hairspray Live!

ES: Thank you very much, Kam.

Source:  Baret News

Gain all Access Mobility with Roundabout Woodsman

  Gain all Access Mobility with Roundabout Woodsman

By Craig Lamb

You are a waterfowler hunting solo with your prized retriever. Getting to the blind takes a four-wheel drive to pull through mud holes and keep on the two-track. Behind your truck is that aluminum jon boat. Launching that beast alone is a real hassle. Get it launched and you spend more time loading all the gear, a dog and yourself. All of the above is part of the fun, maybe, of hunting. That task can be made much more hassle-free by ditching the tin rig for a smaller, stable skiff that can fit in the pick-up truck bed.

The solution is made by Roundabout Watercrafts in Ruskin, Fla. The choice is Woodsman, a round skiff that is stable, compact and easy to load and unload. You spend less time getting ready for the hunt and more time in the blind. You can also hunt solo or add the optional 2-Seat Conversion Kit for a hunting partner. Best of all, you can be sitting in that blind once you climb into the boat. The wide beam spans 72 inches, the width of the Jon boat commonly used for getting to and from the blind. From stern to the tip of the boat the boat is just over 6 feet, offering plenty of deck space for a solo hunter, dog, and gear. What sets the Woodsman apart is the ability to shoot 360 degrees from inside the boat. That lessens movement needed to get into shooting position, making the boat ideal for hunting wood ducks and other waterfowl in tight squeezes around timber. blind

Concealment is easier since you can stay hidden until it comes time to shoot. Add an optional Ameristep Field Hunters Blind to simplify concealing the blind. You can store a blind bag and even more gear, from bulky items like outwear and waders, inside the three roomy storage compartments. Keeping all your gear organized, dry and within a hand’s reach is impossible in a long skiff. The boat can carry a lot of gear and in fact, has a weight capacity of 674 pounds before gear.   specifications

  The Woodsman comes in five optional packages to suit the needs of any hunter. The boats come with a camo finish. Package A is the basic setup with the boat, hatches, cleats, aluminum transom plate, 3/4-inch pedestal mount, and hinges. Cost is $1,095.

Get Yours today Roundabout Watercraft.com  

 

Original Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle.com  

Carolina Skiff Owner Spotlight

  Carolina Skiff Owner Spotlight 

By Craig Lamb Chris

Lanier’s job requires spending a lot of time on the water. That means he knows a thing or two about boats, and his personal choice for a fishing rig is a Carolina Skiff 19 DLX. “It’s unstoppable, bullet-proof and built like a tank,” says Lanier. Lanier, 35, has spent his entire career in the U.S. Navy and the Marine Corps. Currently, he’s a dive instructor specializing in training corpsmen skills in deep-sea rescue and recovery. Lanier is currently assigned to the U.S. Naval Diving & Salvage Training Center in Panama City, Fla.

2016-11-22-11-06-35

Photo by Chris Lanier

Between the base and his home near Mobile, Ala., is some of the best fishing on the Gulf Coast. Lanier’s 19 DLX gets plenty of good use in the bays, flats and coastal rivers of northwest Florida. “The high gunwales make it possible for me to take it six or 10 miles off the coast for amberjack,” he says. “Then on the way back in I can cruise into some really shallow flats for reds and trout.” “I can do it all from the same boat,” he adds. “It’s just awesome to have two boats in one with the Carolina Skiff.” Lanier discovered the durability and reliability for which Carolina Skiff is known while stationed in South Carolina at Marine Corps Recruit Depot on Parris Island. “Durability was a big part of why I chose the Carolina Skiff,” he adds. “I wanted a boat that could last years and I’ve got it.” Lanier repowered the 2004 model in 2016. That’s when he switched to a 70 h.p. Yamaha outboard. He customized the rig by adding sea decking at port and starboard at the stern. He also added the decking to the lid of a Yeti Tundra 45 Cooler that doubles as a casting platform when cruising the flats for redfish. The Carolina Skiff 19 DLX is ideal for Lanier’s style of fishing. It’s a top performer in near-shore waters and inshore flats. Call it the pickup truck of the boating world.

20160514_082303-1

Photo by Chris Lanier

From a day of hardcore fishing to an evening cruise it adapts to any need around the border waters between deep and shallow. The DLX draws very little water, so getting back into ultra-shallow water is easy. Lanier recognizes the soft, dry ride made possible by the patented hull design with splash guards that limit bow over spray. Positive tracking keels on the running surface keep the boat tracking true while maneuvering without the typical flat-bottom side. The durability factor of his Carolina Skiff is an attribute recognized early on by Lanier. Patented box-beam construction produces a solid, durable, non-flexing hull that is completely wood free. Durability includes peace of mind for Lanier and other Carolina Skiff owners. Foam flotation exceeds U.S. Coast Guard requirements, providing positive flotation while adding sound deadening throughout the hull. “It’s just a cool boat all around and I plan to keep it a long time,” says Lanier. Check out the lineup of Carolina Skiff models at carolinaskiff.com. You can find a dealer, learn more about the brand legacy, and build a boat on the website. You can also contact Carolina Skiff and request a catalog. Join the community of Carolina Skiff followers at the Carolina Skiff Facebook Page.   Original Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle.com

Love Gurus Date Despite Philosophical Differences in Delightful Romantic Romp

 

The Bounce Back,  Film Review, by Kam Williams, Shemar Moore, Bill BellamyThe Bounce Back

Film Review by Kam Williams

Love Gurus Date Despite Philosophical Differences in Delightful Romantic Romp

 

Love guru Matthew Taylor (Shemar Moore) is the author of the new best seller, “The Bounce Back.” Accompanied by his enterprising business manager, Terry (Bill Bellamy), he’s been hawking the self-help book on plenty of TV and radio programs.

Since Terry believes that “Image is everything,” he’s concerned that Matthew hasn’t settled down since his divorce. “A relationship guru should be in a relationship for longer than a minute,” he counsels his BFF/boss.

That sentiment is echoed by Matthew’s teenage daughter, Aleya (Nadja Alaya), who says, “Dad, you really need to get a girlfriend.” Nevertheless, her father tends to settle for one-night stands, like the one he recently shared with Lizette (Marta Cross), the makeup artist at a TV station where he’d just appeared.    

Matthew finally meets his match, literally and figuratively, the day he crosses paths with Kristin Peralta (Nadine Velazquez), a fellow therapist also making the rounds on the talk show circuit. Trouble is, while there’s evidently chemistry between the two, they have conflicting advice to offer folks nursing wounds from a painful relationship. 

The Bounce Back,  Film Review, by Kam Williams, Shemar Moore, Bill Bellamy

Matthew’s simplistic suggestion is to “Get out of your head and into action.” By contrast, Kristin doesn’t think the solution is quite that easy. She says, “Therapy’s a marathon, not a sprint.” After all, she’s still recovering from having her heart broken over six years ago.

Consequently, she views Matthew as a charlatan exploiting the vulnerable. And she tells him so to his face, snarling, “Quick fixes like yours are always a scam, whether it’s a book, a pill or a seminar.”

Confrontation makes for great TV drama and, soon enough, the two therapists find their services in demand to debate their contradictory philosophies head-to-head. However, the more time they subsequently spend together making personal appearances, the more the feelings between them have a chance to develop.

The Bounce Back,  Film Review, by Kam Williams, Shemar Moore, Bill Bellamyv

But can a relationship survive on chemistry alone? That is the pivotal question posed by The Bounce Back, a delightful romantic romp directed by Youssef Delara (Filly Brown). The movie is most reminiscent of Think Like a Man, another urban-oriented soap opera revolving around the battle-of-the-sexes.

Nevertheless, this novel contribution to the genre stands on its own and thus warrants recommending, between a solid script with a couple of cleverly-concealed plot twists, and a plethora of praiseworthy performances on the part of a talented cast topped by Shemar Moore, Nadine Velazquez, Kali Hawk, Sheryl Underwood and the versatile veteran, Bill Bellamy.

Confirmation that opposites do, in fact, attract, even shrinks dispensing diametrically-opposed dating advice!    

Very Good (3 stars)

Rated PG-13 for profanity, sexuality and brief drug use

Running time: 104 minutes

Distributor: Freestyle Releasing

Source:  Baret News

Charity Begins at Home

 

Charity Begins at Home

by Amy Lignor

 

Turning a blind eye is easy for some; preferred by others. But the fact is that the bad doesn’t become good – in any area – unless eyes are open wide to not only see what’s occurring, but also to gain the knowledge needed to stop the bad from getting even worse. Remarks are made about “other countries” and what they do wrong when it comes to the harming of animals for profit. However, in order to have this loathsome business, referred to as Wildlife Trafficking, continue, the ones erasing species from the face of the Earth must have customers. Like all business and industry, if no one is buying then there’s there no one to sell to. And whether it’s believed or not, the fact is that the United States is currently one of the largest markets in the entire world.

Yes, it’s true that we have many organizations that work their tails off trying to stop species from being killed. We have the EPA and people who act like true “law and order” when it comes to saving and maintaining the animals we love, especially in the U.S. However…wildlife trafficking continues to grow. Now a $10+ billion-a-year industry, there is a list of wildlife products that are highly illegal and highly desired by consumers in the United States. Endangered species provide jewelry, clothing, furniture, and ridiculous souvenirs absolutely no one needs, and although an overwhelming majority of Americans say this is detestable, many are unaware that the products they purchase are actually a large part of the problem.

 

Data was put together by the EPA and other independent organizations that showed an average of 80% of Americans have no awareness of the illegal wildlife trade happening in the U.S. Therefore, it’s about time to open the eyes and actually see what America is helping to grow.

 

We begin with the elephant. Only two species of elephants (Asian and African) even exist on this planet today, and they are necessary to their environment. Fact: One elephant is harmed every 15 minutes. Fact: Approximately 33,000 are murdered each year. The way things are going, in ten years elephants will be a thing of the past. How do we stop the rapid progression of kills? Stop the demand for ivory. And be very careful of people trying to pass it off as “antique” ivory, because nine times out of ten it is not.

 

Bengal tigers, white tigers – the wild tiger is absolutely stunning and the world would lose a true wonder if these animals keep losing their lives at the rapid rate they are right now. You don’t have to go back to the prehistoric age to a time when 100,000 tigers roamed this world. Yet now, the current numbers are estimated to be less than 3,200 (with half living in India.) Disgustingly enough, although China and other Asian countries are the principal market for the tiger’s bones, claws, whiskers, and other assorted parts utilized in traditional Asian medicines, America is a consumer as well. How does America get out of this game? Stop the demand for tiger skins. I can’t tell you how many carpets, flooring, rugs, home décor companies, etc., you have to choose from. You most certainly don’t need a murdered tiger on your floor to give the room panache.

 

The horror happening to the Rhino is actually quite well-known. There were five species and now all five are close to complete and final extinction. Habitat loss is one reason, yet the rhino horn being used in dumb souvenirs and, like the tiger, utilized in traditional Asian medicines, is also a huge threat to the stunning animal. Again, Asia is the largest market; however, rhino-related products have been confiscated in the U.S. during the last decade.

 

Out of the seven sea turtle species, six are endangered or threatened. International trade is prohibited by law. Does this work? Not at all. Even in America the demand for eggs and turtle shells (AKA: tortoiseshell) helps spawn a poacher’s desire to continue the killing.

 

Even at home, the American Black Bear is being hunted illegally each and every day. Wild bear populations around the world are becoming far smaller than they once were, because of farmers and hunters who help fill the demand for bear paws and other, even more disgusting parts of the beautiful creature.

 

Again, there are those out there working tirelessly, day and night to stop these crimes from happening. Yet it’s time to open everyone’s eyes wider than they’ve ever been opened before. Fact: As long as there is a demand, there will be a supply. Help STOP the demand!

 

(If you see anything even remotely odd when it comes to the illegal killing/trafficking of animals, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has a special TIPS line at: 1-844-397-8477.)

 

Source:  Baret News

Exploring the Holidays Around the Globe

 

Exploring the Holidays Around the Globe

by Amy Lignor

 

Thanksgiving has been had. Games have been watched and the golden turkey has caused a great many belts to be loosened. So…here it comes!

 

From hanging the stockings on the chimney with care to the red-nosed reindeer who had to be there; from Santa heading down that chimney just right to lovely sleigh bells ringing softly in the holiday season, traditions, Poinsettia, Yule log, nativity, did you know, Mistletoe, holiday magic, Christmasnight, the holiday season is a truly wonderful thing for all ages. And, no, it’s not the high-tech new smartphone or laptop that is as skinny as Twiggy was in the 60’s that makes this time of year the best; it’s the feeling of joy, laughter, spending time with family and the kindness that suddenly descends even on the worst of mankind. Well…maybe not the worst. But definitely that next door neighbor that seems to always be crabbing about your cat having the nerve to “water” his rose bushes.

 

We all have our own traditions, and even share some with other countries around the world. However, there are a lot out there that are cool to not only learn about, but also, perhaps, to add to our own little family fun time.

 

Many of the Christmas traditions we celebrate date only as far back as Victorian times, where most of it was “invented” during the early 1860s. Odd, aye? After all, our country was fighting a war against ourselves at the exact same time that this truly awe-inspiring event was being “brought together” with several well-known traditions coming into being.

 

In Sweden, the people actually honor a saint. Celebrated every December 13, St. Lucia (AKA: St. Lucy) has her day. Most of Scandinavia considers this to be the beginning of the Christmas fun, sometimes addressing it as the “little Yule.” So, what occurs? It may seem odd, but a family’s oldest daughter gets up early, dresses in a white gown complete with a red sash, and puts a crown made of twigs holding nine lighted candles on her head. (You definitely want to make sure you don’t trip wearing this outfit or “little Yule” could end up sparking a massive conflagration.) This is a day of pure light – from candles illuminating all the rooms and windows in the home, to a parade of torchbearers, ending in a celebratory night where everyone who carries torches throws them on a large pile of straw and a bonfire is had by all.

 

Norway is actually where the Yule log came into being. It was the ancient Norse who utilized the special log when they celebrated the return of the sun at winter solstice. “Yule” is actually derived from a Norse word meaning “wheel.” You would think it would mean light or fire of some kind, but this group believed that the sun was a great ‘wheel of fire’ that rolled toward and then away from the earth.

 

Germany gets a big round of thanks for the beauty of the Christmas tree. They were all about decorating those evergreen lovelies, ever since the beginning of the 17th century. German immigrants that came to the U.S. in the 1820s were the first to decorate Christmas trees, in the state of Pennsylvania. Another little known fact is that the first American newspaper, in 1848, actually printed a pic of a Christmas tree which caused the tradition to go countrywide in only a few short years.

 

Our friends in Mexico added the well-known decoration, the Poinsettia, to the holiday and an Englishman named John Horsley brought about greeting cards. Hallmark definitely owes this man a great deal. Back in the 1830s when he began creating small cards with holiday scenes on the outside and blessings written inside, he ended up laying the foundation for what would become a billion dollar industry.

 

Celtic people actually hung Mistletoe in their homes for good luck, but the English hung it from ceilings and above doorways in order to be the first to “sneak” a kiss without having to apologize for their ungentlemanly behavior. It worked, and definitely spread to the U.S. And when it comes to Christmas carols, it was also in England where musicians would travel to the richest of homes (hitting all those castle along the way), and perform some unforgettable Christmas songs, hoping to receive some gratuity in exchange.

 

In France, where Christmas is referred to as “Noel,” a log will burn in some fireplaces from the Eve of Christmas right through New Year’s Day in order to gain good luck for the harvest. Italians call Christmas “The Birthday” (Il Natale), and Eskimos in Canada celebrate a festival called “Sinck Tuck” that includes dancing and gifts.

 

When it comes to the nativity, it was St. Francis of Assisi who actually created the first “living” nativity scene back in 1224, in order to better explain the birth of Jesus to one and all of his followers.

 

In the end, whatever traditions you may celebrate this time of year, always remember this one very important thing: Never fail to experience the incredible magic that comes along with the holiday season.

 

Source:  Baret News

For movies opening December 2, 2016

 

OPENING THIS WEEK

Kam’s Kapsules

Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun

by Kam Williams

For movies opening December 2, 2016

 

MOVIES OPENING THIS WEEK,   Kam's Kapsules,  Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun,  by Kam Williams

 

BIG BUDGET FILMS

Incarnate (PG-13 for terror, profanity, disturbing images, intense violence, sensuality and mature themes) Horror flick about an unconventional exorcist (Aaron Eckhart) who meets his match while attempting to free the mind of an 11 year-old (David Mazouz) possessed by a vicious demon. With Carice Van Houten, Keir O’Donnell and Catalina Sandino Moreno.   

Jackie (R for profanity and brief graphic violence) Natalie Portman plays Jackie Bouvier Kennedy in this intimate portrait of the First Lady unfolding during the days following the assassination of JFK (Caspar Phillipson). Co-starring Peter Sarsgaard as Bobby Kennedy, Gaspard Koenig as Teddy Kennedy, and John Carroll Lynch as LBJ.

INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS

Anonymous (Unrated) Fact-based crime thriller revolving around a teenage hacker (Callan McAuliffe) who resorts to online identity theft to help out his cash-strapped parents (Vlada Verevko and Genadijs Dolganovs). With Lorraine Nicholson, Daniel Eric Gold and Clifton Collins, Jr.

Best and Most Beautiful Things (Unrated) Overcoming-the-odds documentary about Michelle Smith, a 20 year-old, blind, autistic woman, still living at home with her mom, who starts exploring her sexuality in a free love community.

Bobby Sands: 66 Days (Unrated) Inspirational biopic based on diary entries written by the late martyr during the hunger strike which drew the world’s attention to the Irish Republican Army’s cause.

Bodyguards: Secret Lives from the Watchtower (Unrated) Security is the theme of this documentary exploring the secret world of those who risk life and limb to protect the politicians and the rich and famous. Featuring appearances by Justin Bieber, Kim Coates and Whoo Kid.

The Eyes of My Mother (R for disturbing violence and brief nudity) Psychological thriller, shot in black-and-white, about the traumatized daughter (Olivia Bond) of a surgeon (Diana Agostini) who morphs into a monster after her mother is murdered in their secluded farmhouse by a traveling salesman (Will Brill). With Paul Nazak, Flora Diaz, Clara Wong and Joey Curtis-Green. (In English and Portuguese with subtitles)

A Girl like Grace (Unrated) Ryan Destiny portrays the title character in this coming-of-age drama as a grieving 17 year-old who is taken under the wing of her late BFF’s (Paige Hurd) street-wise big sister (Meagan Good) after the friend commits suicide. Featuring Raven-Symone’, Garcelle Beauvais and Romeo Miller.   

Man Down (R for disturbing violence and pervasive profanity) Suspense thriller about a U.S. Marine vet (Shia LaBeouf) who is accompanied by a fellow vet (Jai Courtney) during a desperate search for his wife (Kate Mara) and estranged son (Charlie Shotwell) upon returning to the States after serving in Afghanistan. With Clifton Collins, Jr., Gary Oldman and Tory Kittles.

Run the Tide (PG-13 for profanity, mature themes and a sex scene) Dysfunctional family drama about young man (Taylor Lautner) who kidnaps his young half-brother (Nico Christou) and heads for the California coast to save him from their just-paroled, meth-addicted mother (Constance Zimmer) and her good-for-nothing ex-husband (Kenny Johnson). With Johanna Braddy, K.C. Clyde and David Barrera.

Things to Come (PG-13 for drug use and brief profanity) Midlife crisis drama, set in Paris, about a high school teacher (Isabelle Huppert) forced to reinvent herself after being left by her husband (Andre Marcon) for another woman. Cast includes  Roman Kolinka, Edith Scob and Sarah Le Picard. (In English, French and German with subtitles)

Two Trains Runnin’ (Unrated) Delta documentary recounting the search conducted for a couple of legendary bluesmen in Mississippi at the height of the Civil Rights Movement.

 

Source:  Baret News

Skeeter Boats Comes Up with Cure for Cabin Fever

 

Skeeter Boats Comes Up with Cure for Cabin Fever

By Craig Lamb

  If you are overdosing on TV fishing shows, mindlessly flipping through tackle catalogs, or feeling down and don’t know why, then you are not alone. Count yourself among most of the fishermen in the entire country. We have cabin fever. It’s common this time of year when hunting and football overtake wetting a line on the list of weekend priorities. Or, it’s just plain too chilly and the days too short to go fishing. Rest assured that a cure on the way. skeeter-boats_bass-fishing_bass-masters_ That cure comes from a boat and outdoor shows coincidentally held during the dead of winter, when you can’t go fishing. The tradeoff is you can see, feel and hear what is to come in spring, even though not on the water. You can also get great deals on the latest gear you need to catch more and bigger fish. Show season is also the best time of year to become a new boat owner. Boat dealers are eager to make deals, which is why they exhibit at shows. Manufacturers roll out new models. It’s a win-win all around. Skeeter Boats is introducing its newest model in the Solara. Read more about it here. The Solara will be introduced at the Chicago Boat, RV & Strictly Sail Show. Dates are Jan. 11-15 at McCormick Place. You can also see the new model introduced at the Minneapolis Boat Show, one of the nation’s largest. Dates are Jan. 19-22 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. 2017-bmt-fx21le The Solara joins a full lineup of custom-made models that are part of the Skeeter family. That includes quality built, performance driven and feature packed freshwater and saltwater models. Since the first Skeeter was built in 1948 the company has set the standard, raised the bar and led the industry in innovative design and construction of bass boats. Read more about Skeeter’s history and innovations here. Walleye and multi-species deep-V boats, high performance, center console bay boats made by Skeeter are also the top choice of serious anglers. That includes, of course, the legendary bass boats. Skeeter owners prove the point. This year, Skeeter was nominated the CSI award for the 14th consecutive year for Excellence in Customer Satisfaction for Fiberglass Outdoor Boats. The awards are the highest honor in the industry as recognized by the National Marine Manufacturers Association. Find your cure for cabin fever by attending a boat show, and be sure to come by the Skeeter booth. You can meet pro anglers and a dealer nearest you. Check out the new Solara and the rest of the Skeeter family at these shows worthy of a weekend road trip. Chicago Boat, RV & Strictly Sail Show Jan. 11-15 Atlanta Boat Show Jan. 12-15 Georgia World Congress Center Minneapolis Boat Show Jan. 19-22 Minneapolis Convention Center   In the meantime, get your boat show fix at skeeterboats.com. You can request a brochure or download a catalog, build your dream rig, and get Skeeter Team merchandise to wear to the shows.  Got a question? They’ve got answers at the Skeeter factory in Kilgore, Texas. Call (903) 984-0541, or find the nearest dealer here.   Original Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle.com