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Year: 2013

‘Dallas Buyers Club’ celebrates the power of transformation

“Dallas Buyers Club” (2013). Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, Jennifer Garner, Denis O’Hare, Dallas Roberts, Steve Zahn, Kevin Rankin, Griffin Dunne, Michael O’Neill, Deneen Tyler, Scott Takeda, Martin Covert, Ian Casselberry, Bradford Cox. Director: Jean-Marc Vallée. Screenplay: Craig Borten and Melissa Wallack. Web site. Trailer. When we meet those who are set in their ways, we’re often tempted to think they’ll never change. We frequently assume they’re so entrenched in their beliefs that they’ll always be as they are. But is that really the case? What if dramatically new circumstances arise that significantly affect their realities? What then? That very scenario provides the basis for the storyline of the new, fact-based drama, “Dallas Buyers Club.” Rodeo cowboy Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) loves to party. The hard-drinking, fast-living good ole boy likes his liquor and the ladies, and he looks to cut loose whenever he can, usually with his running mate, T.J. (Kevin Rankin). But Ron’s wild man lifestyle eventually catches up with him; after years of uninhibited sexual exploits and relentless drug use, he collapses and ends up in the hospital, where he’s diagnosed with AIDS. His physicians, Dr. Sevard (Denis O’Hare) and Dr. Saks (Jennifer Garner), deliver the sobering ...
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My New Ebook Manuscript Is Finished!

My New Ebook Manuscript Is Finished!

I’m absolutely thrilled to announce that yesterday I finished work on the manuscript of my new ebook, Consciously Created Cinema: The Movie Lover’s Guide to the Law of Attraction. It’s been a long time coming, so you can imagine the sense of satisfaction that comes from this accomplishment. This ebook is a followup to my first work, Get the Picture: Conscious Creation Goes to the Movies, which was released in 2007. It follows a similar format, introducing readers to conscious creation concepts (some of which are new to this book, others of which are restatements of principles outlined previously) as illustrated through film. The movies profiled in this text are limited to releases that have come out since the publication of Get the Picture, from 2006 through the end of the 2012 film awards season. I’m very excited with the results, and I hope you’ll agree with me. Work on the ebook production process is about to begin, as is work on a long list of administrative tasks related to cover design, marketing and promotion plans, copyright registration, updating my web site, etc. I’m hoping to get the ebook released in finished form in the first quarter of 2014 (I’m ...
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Inconsistency hampers uneven ‘About Time’

Inconsistency hampers uneven ‘About Time’

“About Time” (2013). Cast: Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy, Lindsay Duncan, Lydia Wilson, Richard Cordery, Joshua McGuire, Tom Hollander, Margot Robbie, Will Merrick, Vanessa Kirby, Tom Hughes. Director: Richard Curtis. Screenplay: Richard Curtis. Web site. Trailer. Wouldn’t it be great if we literally had the ability to rewrite our past? Think of all the mistakes for which we’d get a chance to make amends. But would we be the same people we’ve become if we had the opportunity to do so? Would we get the hoped-for satisfaction we seek from such pursuits? And what if the altered circumstances carried unforeseen consequences? Those are some of the questions raised in the new metaphysical romantic comedy, “About Time.” The men in the Lake family carry a secret about a very special ability, one that Tim (Domhnall Gleeson), a bright, young, though somewhat geeky lawyer, is about to learn on his 21st birthday. The messenger of this news is Tim’s kindly father (Bill Nighy), a retired professor who enjoys his days of leisure on the Cornwall seacoast. Despite a few minor eccentricities, dad seems pretty grounded, which is what makes his startling revelation all the more difficult for Tim to accept – ...
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Overstatement plagues excessive ‘12 Years a Slave’

“12 Years a Slave” (2013). Cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Brad Pitt, Paul Giamatti, Paul Dano, Sarah Paulson, Alfre Woodard, Lupita Nyong’o, Garret Dillahunt, Adapero Oduye, Scoot McNairy, Taran Killam, Kelsey Scott, Quvenzhané Wallis, Cameron Zeigler, Liza J. Bennett, J.D. Evermore, Bryan Batt. Director: Steve McQueen. Screenplay: John Ridley. Book: Solomon Northup, Twelve Years a Slave. Web site. Trailer. Tales of overcoming adversity have long been the stuff of storytellers, from the days of the ancients to the present. Their stories have enlightened legions of listeners and, more recently, in the age of cinema, viewers. Such sagas have profoundly moved audiences, filling them with inspiration, hope and the courage to carry forth under trying conditions. When well told, those stories prove incredibly effective. But, when their recounting doesn’t live up to their subject matter, the result is disappointment, as is the case with the new historical biography, “12 Years a Slave,” based on the memoir of the same name. In 1841, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) was living a good life. As an accomplished violinist, this successful African-American free man enjoyed many of the same privileges as his Caucasian counterparts. He was happily married to his beloved Anne (Kelsey ...
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‘Fifth Estate’ dissects the clarity of intent

“The Fifth Estate” (2013). Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Daniel Brühl, Laura Linney, Stanley Tucci, Anthony Mackie, David Thewlis, Peter Capaldi, Moritz Bleibtreu, Alicia Vikander, Carice van Houten, Alexander Siddig, Jamie Blackley, Jeany Spark. Director: Bill Condon. Screenplay: Josh Singer. Books: Daniel Domscheit-Berg, Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World’s Most Dangerous Website, and David Leigh and Luke Harding, WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy. Web site. Trailer. How clear are we about the motivations driving our actions? Are we sure about the nature of the beliefs we draw upon in creating our reality, or is there some doubt in our minds about the truthfulness of our alleged intents? Getting a handle on the level of clarity we employ when engaging in these practices may perplex and challenge us, even when our motives supposedly appear patently obvious and purely altruistic. But what if they’re not? Such is the conscious creation quandary dissected in the new docudrama, “The Fifth Estate.” The film, said to be based on actual events, chronicles the rise of the web site WikiLeaks and its enigmatic founder, Julian Assange (Benedict Cumberbatch). The site was created to expose questionable, unethical and even illegal activity by corporate ...
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‘Rush’ reveals what drives us

‘Rush’ reveals what drives us

“Rush” (2013). Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Brühl, Olivia Wilde, Alexandra Maria Lara, Pierfrancesco Favino, Christian McKay, Colin Stinton, Augusto Dallara. Director: Ron Howard. Screenplay: Peter Morgan. Web site. Trailer.The drive for success is a curious phenomenon. What impels it? And why would anyone pursue it with seemingly unrestrained fervor, especially when the prospect of danger lurks at every turn? Those are just some of the questions addressed in the new, fact-based auto racing drama, “Rush.”The world of Formula One grand prix racing was abuzz in 1976 with the rivalry between two talented but very different drivers, England’s James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Austria’s Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl). The devil-may-care Brit drove with reckless abandon, his foot lodged to the pedal to push for whatever speed he could muster out of his McLaren machine. Lauda, by contrast, was the consummate tactician, who believed that preparation was everything when it came to readying his Ferrari for the track, a carefully calculated strategy that helped him earn the Formula One world championship title the year before. But, despite Lauda’s success in 1975, he faced very different circumstances the following year, as this film shows.The rivalry between Hunt and Lauda actually began in 1970, ...
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