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Friday
Jul012011

Becoming Happy: A Lesson in DVD Therapy and Time Management #GBE2 #NaBloPoMo

GBE2,NaBloPoMo

One upon a time, I aspired to have a large house complete with a money vault like the one that Scrooge McDuck owned on DuckTales. I fantasized about swimming around in my large pool of gold coins and green dollar bills through a sea of 5s, 10s, 20s, 50s and 100s......and then I became an independent filmmaker.

After deciding to shun a possible career in fine arts in favor of what I imagined would be a lucrative future in the movie business (after all, Steven Spielberg makes money), I learned the differences between independent film and studio films and also realized that film is no better than art. It's just a different medium.

GBE2,NaBloPoMo

Fast forward six years and I have become one of those "filmmakers" who spend more time trying to make ends meet than working on new projects.....all while in the pursuit of ultimate happines in friendship, peace, love and spirituality.

I used to think that if I just had enough money (doesn't it always start that way?....if I just had enough of this or that), I would be able to afford to make movies while also covering all that comes with the cost of living. Now, I think that mastering time management skills can lead to happiness in a variety of ways and am glad that Beth at Word Nerd Speaks reminded me of this when she wrote about the fruits of a money tree buying time from having to deal with obligations that take up time. She is spot on and I think that it's all about applying Theodore Roosevelt's suggestion of "Do What You Can with What You Have Where You Are" effectively to achieve the results that we want in life.

Instead of viewing life as a burden or one's goals as such, using these things as tools to live the life of our dreams can not only be fulfilling but also get us closer to our destination...whatever that may be. Movies are an expense no matter which way we view them....from a filmmaking point of view (read: production costs) and from a consumer's point of view (read: theater tickets; DVD Retail; VOD; Premium cable, etc.) but they can also be just the thing that we need to either get into or remain happy and in a positive state of mind. Here are some ways to use movies as a remedy for some of life's troubles that get you down.

Depression (mild, bummed out depression where your day or week just sucks so bad that you don't want to get out of bed, not clinical depression): You know that saying "laughter is the best medicine"? Well, laughing can be a useful way to feel better if you get depressed or upset so this may be a good time to pop in a DVD or two or three or however many will get you out of your funk.

Watch comedy movies to laugh, which may be one of the quickest solutions to feelings of depression or anxiety. About 15 minutes into the movie, you'll likely forget about what was making you upset in the first place. Do not, however, watch comedies featuring elements that are related to what is making you feel down.

If you have a bad relationship with your in-laws, then a comedy that is unrelated to family issues such as "Anger Management" with Jack Nicholson and Adam Sandler may be a better choice than watching "Meet the Parents" starring Ben Stiller and Rober DeNiro.

Unfortunate: Do you feel like a bum? A loser? A broke person who just cannot seem to get your financial house in order? If so, it may be useful to remind yourself that there are situations worse than yours that other people are dealing with. Have you ever went a whole day without eating? How about an entire week without food or money to buy any food? If not, be grateful and watch movies that have characters who are dealing with tough circumstances but somehow find a way through it.

These movies will not only make you thankful for what you do have but movies with these types of storylines will likely also motivate you to be a survivor and not feel like life has handed you a bad deck of cards. A few recommendations for movies that do not sugar coat tough times include "Slumdog Millionare," "Cinderella Man" starring Russell Crowe and "Fight" which you could proably relate to since this particular movie is a documentary featuring real stories with people who are going through life just as we all are, trying to figure it all out.

I'll add two additional categories to this list before the weekend is out.

Many of the important things in life such as achieving dreams or goals, having friends and finding love do not cost a dime. However, the tools to maintain these things such as supplies or equipment for creating artwork, telephones for communicating with friends and a radio to dance in the living room with romantic partners (okay, the last one is not exactly a NEED but I'm sure you all get the point) require money because the retail stores and telecommunications companies that offer these tools are not going to provide them to us just off of the basis of our good looks and charm.

The solutions to finding happiness in life seem so simple and easy to obtain, yet money continues to be an issue whether it is necessary to help us find the time for more enjoyable activities or it is necessary to help us avoid whatever fears we have....fear of being poor, fear of being hungry, fear of failure, fear of judgement by others, etc. so maybe in some way, money can buy time but money cannot buy life.

Since the best things in life are free, why are people so unhappy?

If we focus on what makes us happy while taking care of what we need, then maybe we will eventually get what we want.

On Beth's Hushing the Hungry Heart, Cat Muses said that time "is much more precious than money" while Disconnected added "it normally takes the death of someone close for people to realize how precious time is and how temporary money is" and I agree with these comments. After all, if we spend most of our time chasing money every minute of every day, we will likely wake up one day as a senior citizen and wonder where all of our time went.....and we'll still have bills to pay.

GBE2,NaBloPoMo

Since we can't take money with us when we die, then it's going to get spent anyway whether we have it or we don't and since we only get to live once, we might as well do it in a way that is enjoyable.

I won't be swimming in a vault filled with gold coins or paper money anytime soon but if I learn to use my time wisely, then I will be able to figure out how to do what I enjoy in a way that will also ease financial burdens that take up too much time in my day. By using time to live life to it's fullest, I may be able to stop worrying about money or the lack of it so much and start enjoying what I have, where I am, the best way that I can.

In the meantime, I plan on watching a lot of DVDs and streaming many films on VOD to get me through those gray and cloudy moments....they don't call it ENTERTAINMENT for nothing!

What movies make YOU feel better about life and all that it has to offer?

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Monday
Jun272011

Movies Featuring Epic On-Screen Battles

Which movies come to mind when someone mentions battle scenes? Here are my selections for this week’s monday movie meme topic of “Epic Battle Scenes,” where The Bumbles asks participants to share on their blog “battle scenes that are so epic, they make you stop everything to watch.”

Gladiator
Are you not entertained?!!

For all who may not be aware by now, I am referring to Ridley Scott’s 2000 film starring Joaquin Phoenix and Russell Crowe. This movie has some epic battle scenes, probably with the last battle being the biggest of all for a number of reasons. Crowe played the hell out of his role as Maximus Decimus Meridius in the film.

Troy
Is there no one else?

This is the movie that caused me to find Brad Pitt to be very appealing, for the first time ever. I knew who he was before watching “Troy” but the battle scenes in this movie had me viewing him from a whole different perspective a Pitt played the character of Achillies.

Honor is a common denominator between “Gladiator” and “Troy,” which makes their battle scenes stand out among other films that also have such epic scenes. Russell Crowe’s character wanted to honor his family while Brad Pitt’s character wanted to honor his people....just on his own terms without making permanent allegiances with any one nation.

In “Troy,” Pitt was also affected on the home-front as far as family is concerned but those particular circumstances are an example of the fact that there not only is a difference between boys and men but there is also a difference between fighters and warriors. Fighters battle for the sake of obtaining victory over their opponents and possibly winning the respect of those whom they admire while warriors battle for the survival and safety of themselves and their people and possibly to gain some sort of political power in a time when voting on papers or machines was just not the way that they handled things such as disputes over land, resources, workers, civilians or ruling power, etc.

Thanks to Sandy at You’ve Gotta read This! for choosing the topic of “Epic Battle Scenes.”

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Monday
Jun202011

Depressing Movies You Don't Want to Watch

This week’s monday movie meme is all about films that are downers. The Bumbles says to share on your blog movies that make you “totally bummed out,” as Depressing Movies is the topic chosen by Sandy at You’ve Gotta Read This. Here are my selections for the list of movies that do not make audiences feel any better after watching them.

Manic
Having just finished watching this movie yesterday, it ranks right up there with movies that are a downer. In fact, I considered turning “Manic” off about half-way through the film but that was mostly due to the shaky camera scenes that can make audiences dizzy while focusing less on the scene and focusing more on where one can get some aspirin for a developing headache that is just-a-brewing.

“Manic” is about a boy who is sent to the juvenile ward of a mental institution to deal with his violent outbursts, after he beat a teenager with a baseball bat. The depression felt from this movie comes more from disappointment than anything else. Just when it appeared that the main character was making progress, he goes downhill all over again.

Precious
While it garnered some critical acclaim, box office success and put it’s starring actresses and Tyler Perry on the Oscar radar, this movie doesn’t do anyone any good....point blank, period!

A friend of mine told me that she thinks “Precious” is a good movie but it’s one of those movies that you need only watch once because it is not a film that you’ll want to watch again due to the depressing content. Um, I wouldn’t want to watch “Precious” again and that is due to several reasons, so I guess she’s right! I honestly wouldn’t even recommend that anyone who hasn’t already watched this movie do so now because why subject yourself to 100+ minutes of anger and sadness? Just don’t....unless you like watching movies about child abuse, incest, ignorance and the ghetto.

Mystic River
Another reminder of why people should not be quick to jump to conclusions about things because speculation does not always solve a problem or get someone any closer to finding the truth, whatever that may be.

Murder in Mississippi
I bought the DVD for “Murder in Mississippi” a few months ago during an angry and rushed shopping splurge (It’s a long story. Well, it’s actually a short story but I don’t feel like talking about, okay?) and wished that I would’ve just rented it from Netflix or somewhere. This movie makes me question whether goodness can among mankind can ever prevail or if most people are just pure evil while others are cowards who either become part of the problem or just step aside and allow the evil to flourish.

Thank goodness for the Comedy genre. Movies in this category are usually a nice pick-me-up!

Of all the movies on this depressing film list, "Mystic River" is a movie that I would watch again. Not because if it's depressing nature, but because it is a good movie.....Sean Penn, hello?