Movies that Matter – Hidden Figures

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The power of this movie is like the title says, hidden. The children had seen the trailer and they come to us determined to see this movie and discover more about this once little-known story. When we sat down in the cinema we were all eager to discover the story.

Watching the struggles these women, Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson played by Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe endured yet the determination they possessed was inspiring. They lived in a time when being a woman and one of colour was not exactly an easy thing to be. Despite that, these women learnt and discovered how to use their brains to be the author of ground breaking accomplishments that have been marked on history’s page to be acknowledged and remembered by all.

Hidden Figures

When we got out of that movie the quiet smile on my Kylie’s face was noted by all of us. The movie had does its part in continuing to inspire her to be more than just a drone in society but to strive to accomplish something noteworthy and significant. Also a line she noted that she is determined to take to heart was what Vaughan told Jackson when the latter kept complaining about the fact she could not be an engineer, “quit talking and do something about it”. That is now her attitude, making sure that she shows action rather just talking about it.

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She Is Growing Up

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After the kids went to bed Mr. Divine and I had a long talk about Kylie’s request to go on a date. She was getting to that age and we needed to allow her to start to understand boys and the way they behaved.

“I want to hide her forever,” whispered Mr. Divine as we moved outside to enjoy the quiet night while we talked, ignoring the that TV played in the background. I climbed between his legs and settled against his chest as his arms cuddled me against him.

“I know,” I replied but she needs to know and understand and experience. The fact she talks to us is important and I would like to keep it that way.”

“Yes,” he said with a sigh.” There is so much insane stuff going on daily it makes you frightened to let your children out the door.”

“The thing is by not letting them out we will do them a huge disservice. There will come one day when we are not there to do everything for them and to protect them.”

“My wife, the brilliant one,” whispered Mr. Divine against my neck.

“Do you your undercover investigation thing. I know that will be the only way you will be completely comfortable,” I murmured.

Mr. Divine’s laughter vibrated against my cheek. “You know me much too well.”

Young Men

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Young love on the horizon.

Deep breath people, but my young lady has a young man who is interested in her and she seems to like him as well. She came to Mr. Divine and I full of jitters wanting to find out if she could to a movie then for ice-cream with him. I looked at her almost biting off her finger waiting for an answer.

“Relax Kylie,” urged Mr. Divine. “Tell us about the guy. Why do you like him?”

She sank down into the nearby chair and started to tell us everything. How she met, Radley. The way he behaved, why she thought he was so awesome. It was easy to see that she was captivated by this guy.

“He asked me to go out a while ago but I told him I had to think about it first.  I wanted to discover who he really was as a person first. He was patient and he waited on my decision, also he wasn’t nasty about it like some other boys who asked me out before.”

I smiled, understanding her caution. After seeing my last marriage I know she wouldn’t just jump into a relationship.

“We’ll have a talk and let you know in the morning .”

She looked at us and smiled. “Okay,” then dashed off back to her room.

“A date,” said Mr. Divine with a sigh pushing fingers through his hair.

“Yes. A date.” I replied and cuddled into his arms. Things were about to get interesting.

Photo by Crew on Unsplash

Movies That Matter – Mary Poppins

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The kids and I were relaxing in front of the TV one day with no clue what to watch so we started to go through our old DVDs. That is when we spotted Mary Poppins and we jumped eagerly at the chance to watch it again.

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An older movie done by Walt Disney in 1964, this musical stars Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins, Dick Van Dyke as Bert and Karen Dotrice and Matthew Garber as Jane and Michael Banks. According to the write-up on IMDb.com, this movie is a

In turn of the century London, a magical nanny employs music and adventure to help two neglected children become closer to their father.”

Have a peek at the trailer

In the midst of the singing and the dancing is an understory of the neglect that children of these times faced. They were often passed on to be taken care of by nannies or maids, evident is the outright dismissal of their opinions and feeling. Sadly we also see the belief that money or things will make everything perfect but as the show progresses it becomes evident that it does not.

When the movie is finished, the children and I had a chat about what we watched. In the middle of the catchy songs and acrobatic dancing, the key thing they noted was that the movie was that the movie pushed the idea of happiness and the joy of the simple things of life. We also talked fact that childhood is so fleeting and that the complications of daily life often distract parents for just taking the time to just be with their children. The movie made that painfully evident. In the end, we renewed our vow to be a strong, close family and always remember to find time to be together.

Later on, we had a look online and saw that “Mary Poppins Returns” seems to be in the cards for 2018. We can hardly wait to see the results. So for a laugh and good old fashion comedy perfect for the whole family look for Mary Poppins.

Movies that Matter – 10, 000 B.C.

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Every now and then an epic is released and we are given the chance to look at a created world that is based on a loose concept of our past reality. Many people will, did and do pick at the errors that they see on screen, but I look to look for more than accuracy when watching a film like this. Writers often take liberties with a story unless the express intent is to create an unmarred and truthful representation of a specific event.

Ten_thousand_b_cTo me, 10,000 B.C. is a depiction of several elements of history urged together to form one story. The fact there is a story in this movie is more important to me than the setting.

In 10,000 B.C. we see a young boy, D’Leh, Steven Strait who meets a young girl, Eviolet, Camilla Belle who is brought to his tribe due to a tragic event that made her an orphan and he falls in love with her. Over the time they grow up and D’Leh will not give up his love. Things get complicated because Eviolet and her future are tied to a prophecy. Events don’t occur as expected and to compound matters, the Eviolet is kidnapped by raiding invaders lead by a Warlord played by Affif Ben Badra.

Filled with determination, D’Leh goes after the woman he loves and his people with Tic’Tic, Cliff Curtis and Nakudu, Joel Virgel. Along the way,  the three encounter more people affected by the raiders and with D’Leh as their leader, they start to chase after the invading raiders. The magnitude of what the rescuers must do becomes clear when they see the number of people who have been enslaved by the raiders. The task becomes, trying to get the enslaved on their side to overthrow the evil tyrants that have been oppressed and murdering for so many years. The fight that follows takes courage and a unified front to gain the desired outcome – freedom.

When I watched this movie with the children, they loved the visual effects and the scope of the story that took them back in time. By the time it was done, they were overjoyed and punching the air at the outcome. During our discussion later, they expressed how appalled they were of the cruelty of the people who considered themselves better than the people they kidnapped. That movie led to a huge discussion about the concept of entitlement and the people who often exercised the concept. By the time we were done we talked about kindness and compassion to our fellow humans and I felt confident I was raising decent children.

Movies that Matter – The 13th Warrior

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This is a movie I like to watch but so far I have not subjected my children to it. My main reason for holding off showing it to them is the huge amount of very realistic blood and gore portrayed. Despite that, I like the movie.

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This 1999 film stars Antonio Banderas, Vladimir Kulich and Omar Sharif and it is about a young man, played by Banderas, who falls for the wrong woman and this results in him being sent far away to serve as an ambassador as punishment. His life is now always in danger and as things become more complicated he stops at a Viking village and ends up being chosen to go on a quest with the new Viking ruler to help stop a mysterious threat in a faraway Viking territory.

The key thing I noted was that in the movie we have a man thrown into a situation where he doesn’t understand the language or the culture but he must battle with twelve other men to win a cause that is not his own. What struck me about this movie is the way the main character Antonio Banderas starts to learn and understand the language and culture of these people he has been placed with and in turn, they started to learn from him. The characters each started out with huge differences between then, but in the end, by living and working together their united knowledge and efforts prevailed against the terror that resulted in their quest.

Unity despite obvious differences. That is what I take from this movie and hold on to every time I watch it and when my kids are older we will watch it and have a debate to see what they think .

Movies that Matter – Sahara

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I love Clive Cussler books, and I really mean love. To me, his books are like a history lesson and a full-blown action/adventure movie all rolled into one. So when I saw that his book ‘Sahara’ was being made into a movie I was beyond excited. The movie didn’t disappoint then and it still doesn’t now.

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Starring Matthew McConaughey, Penélope Cruz and Steve Zahn, the plot is based on the main character’s Dirk Pitt hunt for a civil war ironclad battleship called the Texas that Pitt was convinced was lost somewhere along the Niger. Along the way he and his long time friend Al Giordino meet up with U.N. scientist Dr. Eva Rojas on the hunt for a mystery illness that she is convinced is a plague. As the movie progresses the complications and revelations continue to a much deserving ending. Here is the trailer, check it out.

Did I like this movie? You can bet I did. I enjoyed it so much I bought it on DVD and I watch it often. When the kids first watched this movie they were in awe. To them, the movie was like a modern version of the Indiana Jones movie, only with the water related aspect involved. They loved the adventure, the discovery and the problem-solving element of it.

As usual, when the movie was done, the kids and I had a discussion and they had a lot to say about what they saw and heard.

They loved the comradery of the two main characters, as well as their adventurous, can-do attitude in the face of danger. Also the determination these men had to do the right thing at any cost. The thing the children found truly disturbing was the attitude of the villains in the story and some of the things they said. Lines likes the ones exchanged between two of the villains, Yves Massarde and General Kazim.

“Don’t worry. It’s Africa. Nobody cares about Africa.”

The words made them wonder how such a statement could be made or that type of sentiment exist. They also noted that greed was one of the driving forces in the plot and the lack of care or consideration for their fellow human beings displayed by the bad guys.

By the end of our talk, my children understood that having a good moral standpoint was not always easy and maintaining it was twice a hard. They also came to understand that some people were not just bad, but evil and the only thing that mattered to them was their financial gain. We talked a lot that night and the children even went as far a debating about what could lead a person to become like this.

Most would not think a movie classed as an action/adventure could fuel such philosophical debate, but it did. From ‘Sahara’, my children learnt it is sometimes a hard road being good and that come people only pretend to be good. Like I said, a movie worth watching again and again. Watch it and let me know what you think.

Socializing

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A concert can really make a good day better.

In the past, I never went anywhere, but with my husband leaving me and coming to the realization that I was almost a recluse I started to take steps to change that. Things had changed a  lot in the past few years and I must admit by the time my divorce was final I had developed an active social life. Now I attended concerts, exhibitions and various other types of events by myself or with the kids and each one was uniquely amazing. Now that I have married, things have changed.

I still go out to these types of events but now I also go to what I consider as business networking events with Mr. Divine. I have learnt that to know what the movers and shakers are doing in the business and money making area, we needed to go where they were. So now, along with the going out for pleasure, we also go out several times a month to business events. We are meeting a lot of interesting people and discovering so many new and exciting business prospects. I’m excited about and enjoy this new type of going out. Learning a lot and loving it. I can hardly wait for my next event to expand my knowledge and plan my next possible business venture.

New or Old…Annie is worth it

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Watching TV can be both boring and interesting but in my house, we are determined to make things fun. SO….we have started a kind of a movie competition to keep things interesting. So, as a result, I decided to add my thoughts to my blog post lineup. This week we decided to play old vs new and we are trying to see which is better. Mr. Divine, the kids and I have come up with “Annie” and we have sat down to watch both to figure out which is better. If that is even possible. Here are the links below so you can see the trailers of both movies so you can check them out and see if they call to you. Go have a watch and drop your opinion in the comments.

“Annie” 1982

“Annie” 2014

Annie, Annie glorious Annie. Good fun and a good laugh. That is what I thought when I was younger and I have the same feeling now. Last week the family watched both versions of the movie, the 1982 version starring Aileen Quinn, Albert Finney and Carol Burnett, as well as the 2014 version starring Quvenzhané Wallis, Cameron Diaz and Jamie Foxx. When we were done or more like while the credits were rolling the debate started.

Warning Spoilers to come. Kind of…lol. The core of both movies was the same. The orphan girl that is always in trouble, cute and too cheeky for words, uses her charm to get herself placed in the care of a millionaire for a period of time. Over time she wins his heart, but when he plans to adopt Annie, events lead to her ‘her parents’ turning up. It is discovered the parents are a fraud and after a chase, Annie and her millionaire are reunited.

In each movie, there are differences to make each movie relevant to the time period that it has been set in. Despite these differences, the core thing that we talked about was that in each movie the Annie portrayed exhibited a strong determination to get what she wanted. Her joy of life was also unfailing despite being faced with so many difficulties. That discussion resulted in us talking to the children about the concept trying to find and hold onto the good things that are happening to you in life and using those events, no matter how big or small, to fuel our daily paths. The kids noted it was not always easy to be happy when so many bad things could happen to them. I told them that was the key time to look for the good things or joy of the moment.

I reminded Kyle that she had been vitally important when it came to pulling me out of the dark place I had retreated to when their father left. I then when on to explain that even though I had gotten up and started to “function”, I put the word in air quotes for her to fully get me. I have not started to come back to myself until I started to look at the good about the situation. I explained that the good things keep me focused on the what could be and by keeping them in mind I fought even more to have more and more good and joyous times.

That movie ended up opening a deep long conversation that gave my children a lot to think about. Yes ‘Annie’ comes of as a simple musical about a little girl who seems to ended up singing her way to a better life, but if you listen past the music you will see that that the movie is truly about determination and doing what you must to win despite even though the odds seems to be against you.