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5 Movies We're Obsessed With
Mar 21, 2020  
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5 movies we're obsessed with that will leave you wanting more. Guaranteed to make you laugh, cry, and question life.

1. La La Land

2. Bruce Almighty

3. Empire of the Sun

4. The Kingsman (all of them)

5. Parasite (oh, yes!)

Ella Enchanted: Movie Version
Mar 19, 2020  
by Cici Mack
ELLA ENCHANTED MV Title Page

THE MOVIE VERSION OF ELLA ENCHANTED IS NOT LIKE THE BOOK by Gail Carson Levine
Find the recommended movie and book here:
DVD: Ella Enchanted
Streaming: Ella Enchanted
Book: 
Ella Enchanted

Study Guide compares the novel ELLA ENCHANTED by Gail Carson Levine to the movie version Ella Enchanted (2004) starring Anne Hathaway, Hugh Dancy, Cary Elwes, Minnie Driver, and Vivica A. Fox. The main plot line and characters survive this film even though 18 chapters of the book are omitted from the movie.

RECOMMENDED MOVIE: Ella Enchanted (2004) starring Anne Hathaway, Hugh Dancy, Cary Elwes, Minnie Driver, and Vivica A. Fox.

WHAT’S IN THE BOOK THAT’S NOT IN THE MOVIE?
Lady Eleanor’s funeral, Apple the centaur, Chock the parrot, gnomes, zoo, Finishing School, Hattie’s wig, Sir Peter’s financial problems, Edmund of Wolleck, sliding down the bannister, Lela, ball gowns, white mask, pumpkin coach, lost glass slipper, King Jerrold, and Queen Daria.

WHAT’S IN THE MOVIE THAT’S NOT IN THE BOOK?
Narrator, Edgar, Heston, Benny, paper boy, newspaper, escalator, Frell Community College, Prince Charmont’s fan club, poison crown, dagger, Ella in prison, fight at the coronation.

WHAT’S THE SAME?
Magic book, ogres, giants, elves, Ella and Char’s romance, Mandy, Lucinda, Sir Peter, Dame Olga, Hattie, Olive, Slannen, and Areida, Lucinda’s gift of obedience, Sir Peter’s marriage to Dame Olga, Ella’s marriage to Char.

Download the Study Guide Now: Ella Enchanted: Movie Version

5 Binge Watching Snacks
Mar 19, 2020  
by Cici Mack
Movie-Popcorn 0 2

Consider the amount of time you spend binge-watching shows (and usually binge-eating along with it). Consuming mindless amounts of junk food only to find down the road our bodies do not love us for it. That’s why small changes like ‘binge-watching’ snacks are important and can make a big difference.

Here are 5 that we're obsessed with. Enjoy with your favorite hummus, guac, salsa or by themselves! What are some of your favorite binge-watching snacks?

1. Real Food From The Ground Up Cauliflower Stalks 

2. Real Food From The Ground Up Butternut Squash Pretzels

3. Siete Grain Free Tortilla Chips

4. Popcorners Snacks Variety Pack

5. Angie's BOOMCHICKAPOP Sea Salt Popcorn

Huckleberry Finn: Movie Version
Feb 25, 2020  
Huckleberry Finn MV Title

THE MOVIE VERSION OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN IS NOT LIKE THE BOOK by Mark Twain
Find the recommended movie and book here:
DVD: The Adventures of Huck Finn
Streaming: The Adventures of Huck Finn
Book: Huckleberry Finn

Study Guide compares the novel Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain to the movie version The Adventures of Huck Finn
 (1993) Even though this Disney movie omits 24 chapters of the book, it still covers the main plot lines and characters fairly accurately. Too bad the movie left out Tom Sawyer who dominates most of the omitted chapters.

RECOMMENDED MOVIE: The Adventures of Huck Finn (1993) starring Elijah Wood, Courtney B. Vance, and Jason Robards. A Disney Picture. 

WHAT’S IN THE BOOK THAT’S NOT IN THE MOVIE?
Tom Sawyer, Judge Thatcher, Aunt Sally and Uncle Silas, Aunt Polly, Emmeline Grangerford, Tom Sawyer’s band of robbers, Jim’s rattlesnake bite, the search for Huck’s body, the flood, the floating house, The Royal Nonesuch, the circus, Colonel Sherburn, Jim as a sick Arab, Tom and Huck’s rescue of Jim, Tom’s gunshot wound . . .

WHAT’S IN THE MOVIE THAT’S NOT IN THE BOOK?
The fight with the bully, the wanted poster, Jim as a Grangerford slave, Pap’s body on the steamboat, Jim’s whipping, Jim as a Swahili, the attempted lynching of Jim, Mary Jane Wilks firing a gun, Jim’s arrest, Huck’s gunshot wound . . .

WHAT’S THE SAME?
Widow Douglas and Miss Watson try to civilize Huck, Pap kidnaps Huck, Huck stages his own murder, Huck and Jim’s raft trip on the Mississippi River, Huck dressed as a girl, the Grangerford and Shepherdson feud, the king and the duke try to swindle the Wilks family, Huck runs away at the end . . .

Download the Study Guide Now: Huckleberry Finn: Movie Version

How to Kiss in the Movies . . . a brief history of the rules.
Feb 17, 2020  
Heart Red-001

*Featured Artist: @trishalyonsart

The first movie kiss lasted 19 seconds. Cinema pioneer Thomas Edison went to a Broadway theater in 1896 and filmed the kissing scene in the play The Widow Jones. Edison called his short film The Kiss.

Actor John Barrymore holds the record for most movie kisses, 119 kisses in Don Juan (1926).

The movie studios cracked down on kissing after Marlene Dietrich kissed a woman in Morocco (1930). After the girl-on-girl kiss, movie studios agreed to abide by rules (The Hays Code) that restricted excessive and lustful kissing. The kisses had to be between a male and a female adult who could kiss for only 3 seconds.

Director Alfred Hitchcock found a way to cheat the kissing rule. In Notorious (1946) Hitchcock directed Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman to kiss for 3 seconds, stop for 3 seconds, then kiss for 3 seconds, stop for 2 seconds, etc. The actors nuzzled each other between kisses so it looked like one long 2 ½ minute make-out session. The movie did not get industry “approval” but Hitchcock didn’t care. Neither did Billy Wilder in 1959 when Some Like It Hot did not receive “approval” because of a lingering kiss between Marilyn Monroe and Tony Curtis who was dressed in drag.

The 3-second kissing rule lasted until 1968 when the current movie rating system was adopted. Movie-goers didn’t see two men kiss on screen until Sunday Bloody Sunday in 1971.

The longest movie kiss was 3 minutes, 24 seconds in Elena Undone (2010).

Bridge to Terabithia: Movie Version
Feb 16, 2020  
BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA MV Title Page

THE MOVIE VERSION OF BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA IS NOT LIKE THE BOOK by Katherine Paterson
Find the recommended movie and book here: 
DVD: Bridge to Terabithia
Streaming: Bridge to Terabithia
Book: Bridge to Terabithia

Study Guide compares the novel Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson to the movie Bridge to Terabithia 
(2007) Many plot points are accurate in this movie version of Bridge to Terabithia. The movie adds plots, characters, and themes that are not in the book, but the general story sticks to the book. It’s worth watching if you keep in mind that in the book Jess and Leslie are 10-years-old, not teenagers, and the book does not have a giant troll and flying monsters.

RECOMMENDED MOVIE: Bridge to Terabithia (2007) starring Josh Hutcherson, AnnaSophia Robb and Zooey Deschanel. Directed by Gabor Csupo. Walt Disney Pictures.

WHAT’S IN THE BOOK THAT’S NOT IN THE MOVIE?
Bessie the cow, Jess can’t swim, the sacred grove, King of the Mountain, Christmas gifts, Easter service, paper dolls, cremation, funeral wreath, the National Gallery, the Smithsonian, characters including Grandma Burke, Mrs. Pierce, Wilma Dean, Bobby Sue Henshaw, Mrs. Prentice and Billy Morris.

WHAT’S IN THE MOVIE THAT’S NOT IN THE BOOK?
The greenhouse, pink sneakers, abandoned pickup, the treehouse, the lost keys, squogres and vultures, the giant troll, Mr. Bailey, Scott Hoager, Alexandra, Kenny the bus driver.

WHAT’S THE SAME?
The rope, the flooded creek, Terabithia, Prince Terrien, the race that Leslie wins, the stolen Twinkie, the Burke’s gold living room, the trip to the museum with Miss Edmunds, Mrs. Myers, Leslie’s accident, Jess’s drawings, the trick played on Janice Avery, Leslie’s gift of art supplies, Gary Fulcher.

Download the Study Guide Now: Bridge to Terabithia: Movie Version

Lord of the Flies Boys as Grown-ups
Feb 15, 2020  
Lord of the Flies-art

*Featured Artist: @trishalyonsart

What kind of men did Ralph, Jack, and Roger become? After their rescue from the island, they had their whole lives ahead of them. Childhood behavior is a reliable predictor of the kind of men they grew to be. Here are some possibilities based on the boys’ personalities and moral traits revealed on the island.

ROGER: Only one boy on the island is evil: Roger. His sadistic tendencies include cruelty to children and animals. He throws rocks at the younger boys. He tortures the female pig before he kills it. He murders Piggy. He tortures Sam and Eric. Roger’s tendencies indicate that he is a victim of child abuse himself. Roger is so damaged emotionally and psychologically that he cannot break the cycle of abuse. Prediction: Roger falls into a life of crime. He winds up spending most of his life in prison.

JACK: Jack isn’t evil. He is willful, ambitious, and needs to control people and events. Jack has a track record as a leader. At school he is head of the choirboys. He uses his political skills to depose Ralph, the elected leader on the island, and persuades the choirboys to join his tribe. He recruits all of them except Simon. Jack is not a team player. He has to be in charge and is willing to break rules and use violence to get his way. He likes wielding power and managing a large operation. Jack is uncompromising and competitive. Prediction: Jack becomes the CEO of a corporation, a real estate developer, or the mayor of a large city.

RALPH: Ralph has leadership skills, plus a sense of ethics and compassion. He is mindful of the younger, helpless children on the island. He also recognizes Piggy’s intelligence and tries to protect him from Jack and his tribe. Ralph believes in the power of laws and civil organization. He acknowledges the conch as the symbol of free speech. Ralph is an organizer. He oversees the building of shelters and devises a system for watching the signal fire. He is dedicated to the ideals of living in harmony, social welfare, and civil rights. Ralph is willing to work out solutions to problems through diplomacy and compromise. He has the ability to identify priorities.  Ralph sees the big picture. He recognizes that the most important goal for the stranded boys is rescue. The signal fire is the number one priority. Prediction: Ralph becomes a lawyer and advocate for social and environmental causes, the president of an international charity, or a career diplomat.

Download the Study Guide Now: Lord of the Flies: Movie Version

To Kill a Mockingbird: Movie Version
Feb 15, 2020  
To Kill a Mockingbird MV Title Page

THE MOVIE VERSION OF TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD IS NOT LIKE THE BOOK by Harper Lee
Find the recommended movie and book here:
DVD: To Kill a Mockingbird
Streaming: To Kill a Mockingbird
Book: To Kill a Mockingbird


Study Guide compares To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee to the movie version To Kill a Mockingbird
 (1962) This is the ONLY movie version of the novel and a classic. Gregory Peck won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Atticus Finch.

RECOMMENDED MOVIE: To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) starring Gregory Peck. Screenplay by Horton Foote. Directed by Robert Mulligan. Produced by Alan Pakula. A Pakula-Mulligan, Brentwood Productions Picture.

WHAT’S IN THE BOOK THAT’S NOT IN THE MOVIE?
Aunt Alexandra, the history of the Finch family, Uncle Jack, cousin Francis, Nathan Radley, Link Deas, the air rifles, the fire at Miss Maudie’s, the mud man, Scout’s painful experiences in first and second grade, Dill’s Aunt Rachel (in the movie she’s called Aunt Stephanie), Jem’s destruction of Mrs. Dubose’s flowers, Scout’s discovery of trinkets left in the knothole, the children’s visit to Calpurnia’s church, the story takes place over 2 ½ years.

WHAT’S IN THE MOVIE THAT’S NOT IN THE BOOK?
Dill’s aunt Miss Stephanie Crawford (in the book her name is Miss Rachel), the judge’s request that Attitcus defend Tom Robinson, Jem’s discovery of the first trinkets in the knothole, Tom Robinson’s father, Arthur Radley’s cementing over the knothole, Miss Maudie as a younger woman, the trial as the main action, the reduced role of Mrs. Dubose, the story taking place in one year, Atticus throwing a glass at Tom Robinson in the courtroom.

WHAT’S THE SAME?
The setting in Maycomb, Alabama in the 1930’s, Scout’s fights at school, the trinkets in the knothole, Atticus’s shooting a mad dog, the trial of Tom Robinson, Bob Ewell’s spitting on Atticus, Boo Radley’s rescue of Jem and Scout on Halloween.

Download the Study Guide Now: To Kill a Mockingbird: Movie Version

Heart of Darkness: Conrad’s Congo Diary
Feb 13, 2020  
Heart of Darkness Art

The only diary Joseph Conrad ever kept was a journal he wrote during his six months in the Belgian Congo. He worked on a steamer that sailed up the Congo River to an inner station. Conrad used his notes eight years later to write the novella Heart of Darkness, published as a three-part serial in Blackwood’s magazine in 1889.

Was there really a Kurtz who embraced the life of a savage chieftain? How common was it for Europeans to go native after spending time in the jungle? The surrender to the dark side once a man arrived in Africa happened a lot. Several men are thought to be the model for Kurtz including Georges-Antoine Klein, the agent for the trading company Conrad worked for. Other Kurtz-like nominees are Leon Rom, a Belgian soldier, Edmund Musgrave Barttelot, explorer, Tippu Tip, slave trader and Henry Morton Stanley, a Welsh explorer.

Download the Study Guide Now: Heart of Darkness: Movie Version

Huckleberry Finn 2: The Sequel
Feb 10, 2020  
Huckleberry-Finn-art

*Featured Artist: @trishalyonsart

Mark Twain left us hanging. What happened to Huck Finn? A new sequel to the movie version of Huckleberry Finn could satisfy our curiosity. At the end of the novel, 12-year-old Huck decides he can’t live with Widow Douglas anymore and endure her attempts to civilize him. Huck says, he’s “been there before.” Instead he decides to “light out for the territory.” He runs away.

The territory in the mid-1850s was all of the United States west of the Mississippi except for Texas and California. Like Mark Twain himself, the streetwise and gregarious Huck would shun hard labor on a farm or ranch and head for the bustling city of San Francisco.

Huck doesn’t need to work. He was awarded half of Injun Joe’s gold at the end of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Judge Thatcher invested Huck’s $6,000 and pays him a dollar a day in interest. That’s plenty to live on in the 1850s. Huck likes to be around people, he’s observant, and he has a habit of assuming different names and identities. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck introduces himself by five different names and personal histories.

As much as he likes to pose as a character, Huck would find acting too demanding. He would have to memorize lines, take direction, and be locked into a schedule. Huck is a free spirit who doesn’t like to be tied down. He needs to be in control of his time and movements. Most of all Huck craves adventure.

So in the sequel, Huck becomes a freelance newspaper reporter in San Francisco like Mark Twain. He ventures down to the harbor, out to the gold mines, and into the redwood forests and Yosemite to find out what’s going on.

Does Huck fall in love and settle down? Maybe . . .  in Huck Finn 3!

Download the Study Guide Now: Huckleberry Finn: Movie Version