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Monday
Apr062015

Enjoy these Extras from My A to Z Co-Host Intro!

So far this month we’ve discussed real life superheroes, depression, child abuse and some foolish behaviors douchebags at the movie theater. Today’s post is all about the bonus material from my A to Z Challenge Co-Host Introductions including the Fifty Shades of Nicole piece I wrote for the A-Z Blog in March.

Do you like to watch special features usually seen on movie DVDs, such as outtakes, trailers and the like? Well, E is for Extras, as I present to you six videos of extra content where I tell you some random things about me, based on prompts from men and women who served as assets in my Mighty Minion Bureau.

The topics in these videos range from blog design, Harry Potter hauntings, drug dealers and British films to how I financed my movie. Plus we’re just getting started; more will be added to this playlist in the coming weeks. Enjoy!

*If the video player isn't showing up in your browser, Click Here to Watch my playlist directly on YouTube.

All this talk about Extras has me thinking of the toys, etc. that come with kids meals at McDonalds. I wonder why nothing usually comes with the meals for adults! So answer me this…

E is for EXTRAS

 

Would YOU be more likely to buy a value meal/combo at Chipotle, Subway, Burger King, etc. if it came with a DVD movie?

Saturday
Apr042015

How to Dodge those Douchebags at the Movie Theater

Your movie going experience doesn't have to be a nightmare.

The first time I recall hearing term “Douchebag” was during a conversation with some Penn State University students. Shout out to the Nittany Lions! Anyway, I understand that it usually describes rude men who are acting like tools. Whatever the case may be, today I’m gladly deeming those at movie theaters whose mothers didn’t teach them any home training, as well as folks who are just downright jerks, equal opportunity recipients of the this title. Yes, that means it refers to everyone including women, as no one in this camp is excluded, given their tendency to behave badly at the Cineplex.

To those of you who are growing tired of visiting the movie theater only to regret it because people in some of the seats, or rows, nearby are acting a fool, I understand your plight. To those of you who would rather skip the movies altogether and opt for Redbox, Netflix, Hulu Plus, iTunes, Roku or some other new invention that allows you to see Tom Cruise do his thing in the latest installment of Mission Impossible from the comfort of your living room, I get it. To anyone who bounces back and forth through various forms of media consumption including being selective about the movies you are willing to fork over gas, ticket money and babysitting fees for, I’m with you.

In an attempt to help make our nights out at the movies as enjoyable as they can be, here are some ways to dodge those douchebags that ruin things for everybody else.

Patronize movie theaters that enforce strict policies on behaviors that drive you nuts. If you’re not interesting in being around children then perhaps cinema houses like the Ritz theaters in Pennsylvania -- which have an age requirement prohibiting anyone under six years old to enter -- might be right up your alley. If you can’t stand the way people don’t show courtesy to others when using their cell phones in public, then theaters with some kind of no-texting or no-talking policy such as the Alamo Drafthouse (which also bans late arrivals, among other policies) in Texas, California, Arizona, Missouri, Colorado, and more, could be your favorite go-to spot.

D is for DouchebagsIf our legal system has taught us anything, it’s that order comes from more than just some legislator’s stamp of approval on a bill. Don’t just take signage on the walls of a movie theater as indication that they don’t allow people to act a fool on the premises. Ask around and if possible, go check out a screening yourself just to get a first-hand account on how they roll at that particular location.

Mind the hours and days you visit the multiplex. This should go without saying but the time and day of the week you decide to venture out for a motion picture show will likely determine how pleasant your experience will be or not. If you don’t like being around people who tend to create their own soundtrack to the movie while it’s playing on screen, then steer clear of late night showings and opening weekends. Catch a show during the mid-week and early afternoon hours; even get tickets late morning showtimes if they are available.

If at all possible (as in, the movie you want to see is showing there), select small theater houses over multiplexes. Smaller cinemas can only accommodate one or two screens, which reduce the chances for every Tom, Dick and Harry to show their asses while you’re trying to enjoy your two hours of action. Another upside about smaller theaters is that they tend to attract well-meaning family types who are seeking some much needed relaxation time; as well as film snobs who like to soak in every little detail of a scene so they can critique it later with their friends during Sunday brunch. These folks are serious about their movie-going experience and will not tolerate unnecessary shenanigans, so you’ll have the comfort of knowing you’re in good company.

None of these tips guarantee that you’ll always be able to attend a movie screening that is free of obnoxious people. However, these ideas are a starting point to help you enjoy your night out at the cinema without having to listen to cell phone alerts or screaming babies.

What tricks do YOU have up your sleeve for dodging annoying people at the movie theater?

Friday
Apr032015

Who Cries for the Little Children?

Photo courtesy of Alicja ColonI felt for the young Leonardo DiCaprio during those scenes where he longed to escape Robert DeNiro’s cruelty in “This Boys Life.”

Yet, nothing prepared me for the day when I witnessed a guardian yelling, cursing and hitting an adolescent boy who he appears to be walking school.

That was the scene playing out on a city street, one early weekday morning I wish could have ended with the simple press of a “pause” or “stop” button because the events taking place here just didn’t seem right.

Maybe I failed remember that for many children who have starring roles in scenes like these, children who you may never get to know, this kind of story is the norm.

Oh but how could I forget about the time I heard of a mother yanking her daughter around by the hair.

Luckily for this little girl, a close friend of her mother had good timing and was there to intervene.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the first incident, so who knows how many times the scenes starring this beautiful, bright and cheerful little girl I once knew, have played on “repeat.”

Maybe I could stand to learn a lesson from that person who intervened, on how important it is to speak up for the little ones who were cast in awful, heartbreaking roles that they never auditioned for. I can only wonder how many of us heard Derek Luke when he asked who would cry for the little boy, beaten and molested by his foster care parents in “Antoine Fisher,” and yet it seems like we’re not listening when it occurs outside of the movie theater and away from TV screens. 

So I write this today not only because I remember how difficult it was to watch those biographical dramas made famous by Oscar winning actors -- portraying real life experiences of men who were once boys suffering at the hands of the very people who were supposed to protect them from harm; but because I also remember walking down the street that morning and feeling helpless like nothing could be done to defend a young child whose day has already started off on the wrong foot.

I remember being in disbelief when learning that someone I knew had a tendency to lash out at her kid for petty reasons, or maybe no reason at all. Maybe it’s because I also remember not knowing the difference between what falls in the category of discipline and what constitutes abuse.

C is for ChildrenOr maybe it’s because I remember how we’ve all been trained to mind our own business – after all, no one wants trouble. At least, that’s what you learn from spending a lot of time in the cities, where everyone is doing their own thing. Thanks to social and cultural norms that vary from one nation, religion, generation, etc. to another, there has been a dangerous slippery slope that leaves far too many children vulnerable to neglect, violence and death.

I write this today because yes, I came, I saw, I heard, I remember, I’m listening and I too am wondering who cries for all of the little children when the rest of us don’t.

My A-to-Z Challenge post for Letter C is in honor of National Poetry Month and National Child Abuse Prevention Month. 

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