Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Movie Review: Wake Up

by M. J. Joachim

Movies and movie reviews, just one more way writers share their work with the world…

Director: Jonas Elrod & Chloe Crespi
Cast: Jonas Elrod – Biographical Documentary (2010)

Following Jonas for three years while he documents his experiences with the paranormal, namely that of being able to see souls among us was rather interesting. He touches on some unique situations, exposing us to what I consider valid perspectives of his experience.

While the movie is definitely home-made, it is also interesting and deserves its due. Wake Up is a thoughtful film, inviting and encouraging people to think for themselves, operative word being, THINK.

Wake Up gets the following rating:

Story: 2.0
Acting: 2.0
Pace: 2.0
Overall Average = 2.0

Rating Scale: 

1 – Horrible
2 – Okay
3 – Good
4 – Wonderful
Thank you for visiting Writing Tips.

M. J.

Note: For those of you curious about my upcoming book reviews, I’m currently in the middle of two (so far) very intriguing books – one ebook and one hard cover. I’ll be writing and posting my reviews as soon as I finish reading them.

©2013 All Rights Reserved
No part of this review may be copied in any way, shape or form. Links to this review are more than appreciated.

Movie Review: Little Men

by M. J. Joachim

Movies and movie reviews, just one more way writers share their work with the world…

Director: Rodney Gibbons
Cast: Mariel Hemingway, Michael Caloz, Ben Cook

As a long-time fan of Little Women, ever intent on reading Little Men which still sits on my shelf, watching this movie was a wonderful way to learn the story. 

Little Men is a delightful 1997 version of a classic family tale of boys being boys, men being men and women being women. This is a timeless treasure for people of all ages, beautifully written and warmly portrayed on the screen.

Little Men gets the following rating:

Story: 4.0
Acting: 3.0
Pace: 3.0
Overall Average = 3.3

Rating Scale: 

1 – Horrible
2 – Okay
3 – Good
4 – Wonderful
Thank you for visiting Writing Tips.

M. J.

Note: For those of you curious about my upcoming book reviews, I’m currently in the middle of two (so far) very intriguing books – one ebook and one hard cover. I’ll be writing and posting my reviews as soon as I finish reading them.

©2013 All Rights Reserved

No part of this review may be copied in any way, shape or form. Links to this review are more than appreciated.

Movie Review: Backwards

by M. J. Joachim

Movies and movie reviews, just one more way writers share their work with the world…

Director: Ben Hickernell
Cast: Sarah Megan Thomas, James Van Der Beek

In this 2012 Sports Drama about big dreams, high hopes and strong determination, viewers of Backwards witness a soft tale exposing the human response to shortfalls the unexpected surprises that sometimes come from them.

The main character, Abby, is determined to make the Olympic Rowing Team. She’s tried for years, sacrificing much of life’s (other) offerings along the way. At the ripe old age of 30, her last chance appears to have slipped away, which takes a huge toll on her emotionally and mentally. 

It’s time to move on, but rowing is all she’s ever done. The obvious choice is to coach a girl’s high school rowing team; in doing so, she learns a lot about more than just being a rower. 

Backwards is a gentle story about the fragility and resilience of the human spirit. It is a heart-warming tale about second chances, overcoming defeat and putting things (and people) in our lives, in proper perspective.

Backwards gets the following rating:

Story: 3.0
Acting: 2.5
Pace: 2.0
Overall Average = 2.5

Rating Scale: 

1 – Horrible
2 – Okay
3 – Good
4 – Wonderful

Thank you for visiting Writing Tips.

M. J.

Note: For those of you curious about my upcoming book reviews, I’m currently in the middle of two (so far) very intriguing books – one ebook and one hard cover. I’ll be writing and posting my reviews as soon as I finish reading them.

©2013 All Rights Reserved

No part of this review may be copied in any way, shape or form. Links to this review are more than appreciated.

Movie Review: Arbitrage

by M. J. Joachim

Movies and movie reviews, just one more way writers share their work with the world…


Director: Nicholas Jarecki
Cast: Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Tim Roth, Brit Marling

Gere plays a wealthy billionaire in this 2012 Independent Drama about money, lies and betrayal. Sarandon, ever the dutiful wife and matriarch looks the other way, as her husband cheats (even on their marriage vows) and lies his way to success, while raising her upscale family.

It’s a tale most of us are familiar with, an old story with the usual twists, turns and cover ups. I couldn’t help but think of the Kennedys when Gere accidentally killed his mistress in a car accident, he managed to walk away from and cover up. 

The realism of the story is what truly caught my attention. The rich are powerful indeed, and their lies seem easier to ignore in the grand scheme of things; their betrayals seem less poignant and demand less consequences, regardless of a system based on justice for all. 

Moving money (fraudulently) to get what you want, is all part of an average day’s work in high society. Black mailing your spouse after looking the other way too many times, is considered the path of least resistance, to keep the money in the family, where it belongs. 

All things considered, Arbitrage gets the following rating:

Story: 2.5
Acting: 3.0
Pace: 2.5
Overall Rating = 2.7 

Rating Scale: 

1 – Horrible
2 – Okay
3 – Good
4 – Wonderful
Thank you for visiting Writing Tips.

M. J.

©2013 All Rights Reserved
No part of this review may be copied in any way, shape or form. Links to this review are more than appreciated.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Book Review: Millionaire by Kasim Kaey

by M. J. Joachim

I tried. I really tried, but there is no way I’m going to make it through 53 chapters of Millionaire. All I can say is, when you ask someone to review your book, it’s probably a good idea to proofread and edit it first. Rather than carry on about why this book is so hard to read, let me offer a few writing tips to consider, before you publish your manuscript.

  • Use Spell Check. 
  • Make your chapters consistent, so the entire story flows and makes sense to your readers. 
  • Develop your characters, allowing their dialog to enhance their traits, not define them. 
  • Simple sentences are fine, as long as your work isn’t choppy. Give the reader some credit here. Compound sentences require proper punctuation, to express their full meaning accurately. 
  • Clarify your thoughts and refine them. Random, abstract thoughts should be part of the writing process, not inserted unexpectedly throughout the finished work. 
  • Avoid mutilating the English language. Use common English phrases correctly and be sure you know the actual words that are in them, prior to quoting them in your manuscript. 
  • Proofread and edit your work. Let others do the same. Writing is hard work. If you want yours to rise to the top of the pile, your work needs to be fine-tuned before you publish it. 

Needless to say, Millionaire will not be added to our Recommended Reading List.

Thank you for visiting Writing Tips.

M. J. 

©2013 All Rights Reserved

Friday, August 2, 2013

Book Review: Morality for Atheists by M. Adams

by M. J. Joachim

Wow! That was painful! Just goes to show anyone can write down and say anything in a book! 


The gist of the message of this book is that atheists are people too. They do what people do which includes using a moral compass (albeit without any religious affiliation or belief in God). They raise children to be good upstanding citizens and they even donate to charity. In short, people are people and people do what people do. You certainly won’t get any argument from me on that point. 

However, you might when you try to tell me what Catholics believe and you clearly don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re likely to make me shake my head, when you claim theists only behave morally because of their fear of God and the Ten Commandments. 

It was all I could do to keep from saying, “post hoc hasty generalization” (reminiscing about my college course in logical thinking) out loud with almost every point Adams tried to make throughout the book. 

From a personal perspective, it is clear to me that distinguishing people by creed, deed and motive is not a course of action anyone needs to engage in, especially when trying to conjoin these three things together, as if without one aspect of these, the others become annihilated. 

Atheists without Morality will not be added to our Recommended Reading list, because, although I firmly believe there are moral atheists who practice good deeds out there, I find the logic and assertions in this manuscript faulty at best. I also was completely turned off by some of the formatting throughout the book, which included various points made in CAPITAL and bold letters. Okay already. I get it. You didn’t think your readers would be open enough to your material, without emphasizing it in dramatic form. Spare me, okay. I are a college graduate!

Thank you for visiting Writing Tips,

M. J. 

©2013 All Rights Reserved

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Book Review: Playing for Pizza by John Grisham

by M. J. Joachim


Immersing myself in Italian culture and the NFL while reading John Grisham’s, Playing for Pizza, was positively a delightful experience. The fictional story centers around an American pro NFL, third-string quarterback whose only claim to sport’s history is how badly he screwed up in the Super Bowl. Everything else he did in his American career was clearly forgotten, as Rick Dockery boldly led the Cleveland Browns into a dismal, disappointing and unprecedented loss.
Turns out, Dockery couldn’t get an American contract to play football anywhere after that, and his agent boldly paved the way for him to play NFL in Parma, Italy. It wasn’t an easy sell, but once Rick (or Reek, as his fellow Italian football players fondly call him) landed and started playing football in Parma, nothing would ever be the same for him again. 

Still a player among the ladies, he met and entertained a few of them in the story, even stretching his interest in Italy’s unique and intriguing culture of opera and architecture to do so. Cuisine in Italy is not to be missed either, apparently, as you could practically smell the aromas presented while flipping through the pages. Oh, to have some of those decadent cheeses and irresistible sauces, sensually tantalizing my taste buds right now!

Dockery’s contract was with the Parma Panthers, and his “assigned” mission was to help them win their first Italian Super Bowl. Yes, they really do have a Super Bowl in Italy too. Soccer is the much more prominent sport there, which easily explains the title of the book. Italians play football for the love of the game, the thrill of victory and even the agony of defeat. They play for enigmatic male bonding experiences and to look and feel manly – they play for pizza, dreams and memories. 

Playing for Pizza is a fun and energetic football story, one that everyone who loves football will appreciate. It’s also a story about humanity that lends insight into human emotion and our ability to overcome past mistakes. Light, fun and easy to read, Playing for Pizza is joyfully being added to my Recommended Reading List.


 

Thank you for visiting Writing Tips.

M. J. 


Note: I added an update to my recent Bend Me, Shape Me review. This book touched my heart and prompted me read and conduct further research about homelessness. Consequently, I published another book review for Danielle Steel’s book, A Gift of Hope, today on my Effectively Human website, and have added Bend Me, Shape me to my Recommended Reading List

©2013 All Rights Reserved
Photo Credit: Pizza al Taglio, Rome, shoebill 2, public domain