A to Z Challenge: “O” Out of the Furnace “Release Me” #OutOfTheFurnace #PearlJam #ReleaseMe #AtoZChallenge

I’ve joined in for the A to Z challenge this year which runs from April 1st to the 30th. My choice of theme is Music from Favorite Films. I’ll be sharing the songs in order of film title and will write a little about my thoughts on the movie as well.

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My movie choice for “O” is Out of the Furnace starring Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana, Forest Whitaker, Willem Dafoe, and Sam Shepherd.

The film is about two brothers who are both struggling to re-enter society due to different circumstances. Russell (Bale) has just been released from jail after serving time for driving while intoxicated which caused a horrific accident resulting in deaths. He returns home to a girlfriend who has moved on with another man; a brother struggling  with demons from multiple tours he endured in Iraq; a dead-end job as a mill worker; and  a deceased father. Rodney (Affleck), Russell’s brother, is bare-fist boxing for money to help pay for his gambling debts to John (Dafoe), a bar owner/bookie he’s involved with. Russell tries to steer him in the right direction.

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Russell: “Come work at the mill. There’s nothing wrong with working for a living.”

Rodney: “Working for a living? I gave my life for this country and what’s it done for me? Huh? What’s it done for me?!!” Continue reading “A to Z Challenge: “O” Out of the Furnace “Release Me” #OutOfTheFurnace #PearlJam #ReleaseMe #AtoZChallenge”

A to Z Challenge “N” Nacho Libre “Religious Man” & “Encarnación” #AtoZChallenge #NachoLibre #JackBlack

I’ve joined in for the A to Z challenge this year which runs from April 1st to the 30th. My choice of theme is Music from Favorite Films. I’ll be sharing the songs in order of film title and will write a little about my thoughts on the movie as well.

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“N” was more difficult because there were a handful of movies with great music to share besides Nacho Libre including Napoleon Dynamite and Night at the Roxbury to name a few. All are funny movies, but nothing tops Nacho Libre in my opinion. Any movie with Jack Black is at the top of the heap for me.

The film begins with Brother Ignacio (Jack Black), a monk who grew up in a Mexican orphanage and now (as an adult) cooks for the children living there. The monastery doesn’t have much money and Ignacio is forced to use the same old ingredients repeatedly,  which doesn’t please the children. As a child, Ignacio always dreamed of being a wrestler, but he’s motivated even more now to make money for the children. He secretly becomes the luchador Nacho and pairs up with a man named Steven Esquelito who hates orphans, but joins in for the money anyways.

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Continue reading “A to Z Challenge “N” Nacho Libre “Religious Man” & “Encarnación” #AtoZChallenge #NachoLibre #JackBlack”

A to Z Challenge: “M” Mystic Pizza “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” & “These Are The Times To Remember” #AtoZChallenge #MysticPizza

I’ve joined in for the A to Z challenge this year which runs from April 1st to the 30th. My choice of theme is Music from Favorite Films. I’ll be sharing the songs in order of film title and will write a little about my thoughts on the movie as well.

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My film choice for “M” is Mystic Pizza starring Annabeth Gish, Julia Roberts, and Lili Taylor. This movie is a coming-of-age story following three young girls from the seaside town of Mystic, Connecticut. Two of the girls are sisters and one is their best friend, but all three are just out of high school and work together at Mystic Pizza: a pizzeria  famous for a sauce with secret ingredients.

Continue reading “A to Z Challenge: “M” Mystic Pizza “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” & “These Are The Times To Remember” #AtoZChallenge #MysticPizza”

A to Z Challenge: “L” Labyrinth “Magic Dance” & “As The World Falls Down” #AtoZChallenge #Labyrinth #DavidBowie

I’ve joined in for the A to Z challenge this year which runs from April 1st to the 30th. My choice of theme is Music from Favorite Films. I’ll be sharing the songs in order of film title and will write a little about my thoughts on the movie as well.

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Labyrinth quickly became a favorite movie as a child. For me it was easy; I fell in love with this magical story even with all its creepiness. Labyrinth seems to be one of those movies you either love or you hate. Most of my family love the movie, especially my youngest daughter who dances and sings to all the music. We’re super excited for the remake which is in the works!

Continue reading “A to Z Challenge: “L” Labyrinth “Magic Dance” & “As The World Falls Down” #AtoZChallenge #Labyrinth #DavidBowie”

A to Z Challenge: Music from Favorite Films “K” Karate Kid II “Glory of Love” & Cobra Kai “Don’t Look Back” #AtoZChallenge #CobraKai #KarateKid

I’ve joined in for the A to Z challenge this year which runs from April 1st to the 30th. My choice of theme is Music from Favorite Films. I’ll be sharing the songs in order of film title and will write a little about my thoughts on the movie as well.

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Anyone a Karate Kid fan? I grew up watching the movies and have been a fan since the very beginning. Believe it or not, there isn’t one Karate Kid film that I haven’t enjoyed, even the newer remakes with Hilary Swank and Jaden Smith. Nothing beats the originals though.

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In Karate Kid II, Mr. Miyagi (Noriyuki “Pat” Morita) returns to Okinawa because his father is dying. He agrees to take Daniel (Ralph Macchio) with him not knowing that trouble awaits upon their arrival with Miyagi’s former best friend Sato and his cronies. Mr. Miyagi is reunited with a past love, Yukie, and Daniel falls in love all over again with Yukie’s niece, Kumiko. Everyone struggles to make peace with Sato while Daniel runs into trouble with Sato’s nephew.

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This second film is beautiful with interesting additional characters and an all new plot. It was nice to learn more about Mr. Miyagi’s past and why he left Okinawa in the first place. I’ll never stop loving Mr. Miyagi with all of his life lessons.

Daniel-san, never put passion before principle. Even if win, you lose.

Overall, this is an excellent follow up to the first film. Continue reading “A to Z Challenge: Music from Favorite Films “K” Karate Kid II “Glory of Love” & Cobra Kai “Don’t Look Back” #AtoZChallenge #CobraKai #KarateKid”

Book Review: Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer #BookReview #2019ReadingChallenge #EchoNorth #Retelling

Echo North 

By Joanna Ruth Meyer

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My review:

The first quarter of Echo North was wonderful and had me captivated as everything was setting up, but the rest of the book was up and down for me. I wanted to fall in love with this book, but it turned out to be just an okay read for me.

The story begins with Echo, a young girl who lost her mother at birth and now lives with her father and brother. After attempting to help a wolf in a trap escape, Echo is attacked and her face is permanently scared. She’s treated differently because of her scars and ends up working in her father’s bookshop with little belief in herself. After being reunited with the wolf who attacked her, she agrees to live in his magical house for one year which will spare her father’s life. The wolf intends for her to be the new ‘keeper’ of the house because he’s dying and there is no one to tend to it. Echo wishes to find a way to save his life as she struggles to help keep the house from unbinding, with more rooms disappearing each day.

“Everyone is searching for their true selves. But everyone hides their true selves from each other. Look for the truth. If you find it, you will see through the enchantment.”

I love retellings and did feel the similarities (although subtle) to Beauty and the Beast and East of the Sun and West of the Moon, but the book had some definite uniqueness to it. I can say with certainty that I haven’t read a book with a library of enchanted ‘book mirrors’ in it before, where you enter a mirror and become part of the story within in, visiting all different sorts of book-worlds, all containing different adventures. The idea is unique to me and what I found most interesting in the tale. I also had questions throughout the story with certain parts that were puzzling, but appreciated that everything was nicely wrapped up by the end of the book.

Continue reading “Book Review: Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer #BookReview #2019ReadingChallenge #EchoNorth #Retelling”

A to Z Challenge: Music from Favorite Films “J” John Wick “Killing Strangers” #AtoZChallenge #JohnWick #Movies #Music

I’ve joined in for the A to Z challenge this year which runs from April 1st to the 30th. My choice of theme is Music from Favorite Films. I’ll be sharing the songs in order of film title and will write a little about my thoughts on the movie as well.

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Update:

I couldn’t post yesterday because my youngest son broke his arm after dancing on a slide. Kids will be kids! Of course it had to be his dominant arm, so it’s going to be an interesting couple of months. I’m hoping to keep up with the April challenge and some book reviews, but a hiatus may be on the horizon. I apologize if things get a little quiet, but I’ll try to keep up with everyone’s posts too.


My film pick for “J” had to be John Wick. Here’s a quick summary:

John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is an assassin who’s been in retirement since he married his wife Helen. After losing Helen to a terminal illness, John receives a puppy which was arranged by Helen before her death. This new puppy is helping John as he deeply mourns his wife and tries to move on. An encounter with a group of Russian mobsters leaves John beaten to a pulp after his vintage Mustang is stolen and his new puppy is killed. John becomes enraged, coming out of retirement, and setting out to take revenge on everyone responsible.

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John is a man of focus, commitment, sheer will, something you know very little about.

Continue reading “A to Z Challenge: Music from Favorite Films “J” John Wick “Killing Strangers” #AtoZChallenge #JohnWick #Movies #Music”

A to Z Challenge: Music from Favorite Films “I” Innerspace 1987 “Cupid” #AtoZChallenge #Innerspace #SamCooke #Movies

I’ve joined in for the A to Z challenge this year which runs from April 1st to the 30th. My choice of theme is Music from Favorite Films. I’ll be sharing the songs in order of film title and will write a little about my thoughts on the movie as well.

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Innerspace is a favorite 80s movie and a great one for music.

In this Sci-Fi comedy, Lt. Tuck Pendleton (Dennis Quaid) volunteers to participate in a science project where he’ll be miniaturized. He’s put inside a pod and shrunken down to microscopic size before being sucked back into a syringe. The plan is to be injected into a rabbit, but things quickly go awry when the science project is hijacked. In an attempt to save him from being kidnapped while in the syringe, the head scientist injects Tuck into a human named Jack (Martin Short). Not long after, Tuck discovers that he’s actually inside a human man after he implants a camera into the optic nerve. Not only can Tuck see what Jack sees, but they can talk back and forth to each other as well. Together, these two have to find a way to get Tuck back out before Jack is taken out by the bad guys or Tuck runs out of resources.

Continue reading “A to Z Challenge: Music from Favorite Films “I” Innerspace 1987 “Cupid” #AtoZChallenge #Innerspace #SamCooke #Movies”