- Created on Thursday, 22 December 2011 13:07
For movies opening Dec. 23, 2011
BIG BUDGET FILMS
“The Adventures of Tintin” (PG for violence, drunkenness and smoking) Steven Spielberg directs this animated adaptation of the classic comic book series about an intrepid young journalist who is abducted from Europe to Morocco where he escapes his kidnappers to embark on a perilous quest for hidden treasure. Voice cast includes Daniel Craig, Simon Pegg, Andy Serkis and Toby Jones.
“The Darkest Hour” (PG-13 for profanity and violence) Sci-fi horror flick about the struggle to survive of a quintet (Olivia Thirlby, Emile Hirsch, Rachael Taylor, Joel Kinnaman and Max Minghella) stranded in Moscow during an invasion of Earth by aliens in need of a power supply. With Dato Bakhtadze, Gosha Kutsenko and Veronika Ozerova.
“Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” (PG-13 for profanity, disturbing images and mature themes) Post 9/11 drama about a 9 year-old boy’s (Thomas Horn) desperate search for the lock that matches the mysterious key left behind by his father (Tom Hanks) who perished in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. With Sandra Bullock, Viola Davis, John Goodman and Jeffrey Wright.
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” (R for rape, torture, brutal violence, profanity, frontal nudity and graphic sexuality) David Fincher directs the English-language version of the Swedish thriller based on the first installment of the Stieg Larsson trilogy about the effort of a disgraced journalist (Daniel Craig) to restore his name by solving a decades-old missing person case with the help of a sociopathic computer hacker (Rooney Mara). Cast includes Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgard, Robin Wright and Joely Richardson.
“Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol” (PG-13 for violence and intense action sequences) Fourth episode in the espionage franchise finds Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his fellow secret agents (Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton, Simon Pegg and Josh Holloway) going rogue to clear the IMF’s name after a bomb blast flattens the Kremlin while they just happened to be carrying out an undercover operation in Moscow. With Ving Rhames, Michelle Monaghan and Tom Wilkinson.
“War Horse” (PG-13 for ) Steven Spielberg directed this World War I saga about a young man (Jeremy Irvine) who enlists in the British Army after his beloved horse is sold to the cavalry. With Emily Watsaon, Benedict Cumberbatch and David Thewlis. (In English and German with subtitles)
“We Bought A Zoo” (PG for mature themes and mild profanity) Screen adaptation of Benjamin Mee’s bittersweet memoir recounting the grieving widower’s (Matt Damon) decision to relocate his family to a dilapidated estate with 200 exotic animals on the premises with hopes of refurbishing the zoo while rebuilding their lives. Cast includes Scarlett Johansson, Thomas Haden Church, Elle Fanning and J.B. Smoove.
INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS
“Albert Nobbs” (R for profanity, sexuality and brief nudity) Glenn Close plays the title character in this genderbending drama about a lesbian who passed as a man for over 30 years in order to survive in 19th Century Ireland. With Janet McTeer, Brenda Fricker, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Brendan Gleeson and Mia Wasikowska.
“The Flowers of War” (Unrated) Historical drama based on the Geling Yan novel about a mortician (Christian Bale) who poses as a priest in order to save the lives of prostitutes and parishioners during the Japanese’s rape of Nanking. With Shigeo Kobayashi, Bai Xue and Paul Schneider. (In English, Mandarin and Japanese with subtitles)
“In the Land of Blood and Honey” (R for sexuality, nudity, violence, rape, ethnic cleansing and profanity) Angelina Jolie directed this romance drama set during the War in Bosnia and revolving around a Serbian soldier (Goran Kostic) who reencounters a Muslim ex-girlfriend (Zana Marjanovic) now being held captive in a POW camp. With Fedja Stukan, Branko Djuric and Nikola Djuricko.
“Miss Minoes” (PG for rude behavior, smoking and brief profanity) Carice van Houten stars as the title character in this kiddie comedy about a cat which morphs into a woman in order protect its quaint hometown from developers with evil intentions. Cast includes Theo Maassen, Sarah Bannier and Pierre Bokma. (In Dutch with subtitles)
“Pina” (PG for sensuality, smoking and partial nudity) Reverential biopic about modern dance maven Pina Bausch (1940-2009), featuring both tributes to and performances of four pieces by the late choreographer. (In English, French, Russian, German, Spanish, Croatian, Korean, Italian and Portuguese with subtitles)
- Created on Thursday, 15 December 2011 13:06
For movies opening Dec. 16, 2011
BIG BUDGET FILMS
“Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked” (G) Animated adventure finds Alvin (Justin Long) and company running amuck on a luxurious cruise ship only to end up stranded on a tropical island after being accidentally being tossed overboard. Voice cast includes Jason Lee, Matthew Gray Gubler, David Cross, Anna Faris and Alyssa Milano.
“Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” (PG-13 for drug use and intense violence) Guy Ritchie directs this international crime caper in which the renowned sleuth (Robert Downey, Jr.) and his loyal sidekick, Dr. Watson (Jude Law), match wits with their archenemy, the intellectually-intimidating Professor James Moriarty (Jared Harris). With Noomi Rapace, Stephen Fry, Rachel McAdams and Eddie Marsan.
INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS
“Addiction Incorporated” (PG-13 for brief profanity) Whistleblower documentary about Victor DeNoble, the corporate scientist gone rogue whose damning testimony before Congress singlehandedly exposed the tobacco industry’s deliberate efforts to make cigarette smoking as addictive as possible.
“Carnage” (R for profanity) Roman Polanski directed this class-conscious drama, set in Brooklyn but shot in Paris, about two couples (John C. Reilly and Jodie Foster and Kate Winslet and Christoph Waltz) who decide to talk after their sons (Elvis Polanski and Eliot Berger) are involved in a schoolyard brawl. With Nathan Rippy, Tanya Lopert and Julie Adams.
“Cook County” (Unrated) Prodigal Papa drama about a recently-paroled ex-con (Xander Berkeley) who returns home to mend his relationship with his estranged teenage son (Ryan Donowho) only to discover that the boy’s uncle (Anson Mount) has turned the place into a meth lab teeming with addicts. Support cast includes Polly Cole, Makenna Fitzsimmons and Yankie Grant.
“Corman’s World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel” (R for violence, nudity and profanity) Reverential biopic about Roger Corman, the legendary B-movie director who helped launch countless film careers, including those of Jack Nicholson, William Shatner and Robert De Niro, while cranking out a never-ending string of low-budget offerings. With appearances by Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, Pam Grier, Peter Bogdanovich, Peter Fonda and Ron Howard.
“The Pill” (Unrated) Better-late-than-never comedy chronicling the efforts of a confirmed bachelor (Noah Bean) to get a girl (Rachel Boston) he just shared a one-night stand with to take the Morning After pill. With Anna Chlumsky, Jean Brassard and S. Lue McWilliams.
- Created on Thursday, 02 February 2012 11:41
If you’re stricken with cancer, you may believe your world is coming to an end. Such was the case of a 49-year-old woman who could not see past her illness until she decided to look up and live. The thought of death was too much for her to bear because she’d be leaving six children behind.
Like anybody whose body is being ravaged by cancer, the thought of death can tax the body even further and slow the healing process. But this woman was thinking about the future of her children in the event of her death. She couldn’t focus on healing; she focused instead on all her unfulfilled dreams and aspirations.
She was troubled and afraid. The laugher was missing and the smile that once framed her face was inverted most of the time. Tears would well up in her eyes and flow like an open faucet. Did she think anyone cared? Not really, she told me. She felt alone, unable to discuss her problem, because everyone, she believed, wouldn’t understand.
People smiled in her face, she said, but she believed their smiles to be fake. No one really bothered to find out what she was going through. She believed everyone was out for his or herself and could care less about the pain that had permeated her body and the fact that she was laden with depression.
This woman actually thought the people close to her were her enemies. She was vexed by dread and doom and did not believe the positive comments and the encouraging words that she’d receive from concerned friends and loved ones. That’s because the debilitating illness that she was battling had gripped her mind and caused her to think negatively.
The diagnosis of cervical cancer was too much to bear, too much to shoulder. And like most people who are stricken with a deadly disease, questions loom: Why me? Why did this have to happen to me? Did I do anything wrong to deserve this? Why did this have to happen at this time in my life? Lord, can you give me a few more years?
After wallowing in self-pity, she soon realized that she was much to blame for her health problems. It was no one else’s fault. The problem was, and has always been, a choice of lifestyle and the kinds of food that she used to eat.
So could the inevitable be corrected to keep death at bay?
Sure. The woman was working three jobs and not getting any rest. She was constantly under stress at home and on the job in a hostile environment just to maintain shelter and provide food for her six children. She wasn’t eating right and, of course, neglected her body.
I’m certain that millions of Americans are faced with similar circumstances: They’re discovering that it’s hard dealing with cancer or any other dreaded disease. It happens to the best of us. It can slip up on you and me like a thief in the night and rob you and me of our lives.
There is good news about cancer or any other ailment. When dietary changes are implemented, the body is able to start an internal healing process in ways that most of you thought was impossible or unbelievable. You cannot listen to others. You should know your own body.
This woman had a choice to make. And it was a simple one. She realized that her health was more important than her two jobs and even her children. She started making some small changes to her diet. She also started meditating. To her surprise, she was able to regain her health and went about the rest of her life as if nothing had ever happened.
The friends and loved ones that she’d surrounded herself with were just as amazed as she was when her health improved to the point where she was no longer in the danger zone. They pelted her with questions: How did you do it? Do you still have cancer?
When I asked her how she responded to the questions, here’s what she told me: “They saw me and laughed under their breath. They had more important things to listen to than my issues. So I decided to do what was best for my family and me. I pray that no one ever has to go through the embarrassment of a life-threatening illness.”
There is an array of food that has been documented to help with cancer. Check out the website www.prevention.com
- Created on Friday, 27 January 2012 11:41
Shame! Shame! Shame!
That’s what I’d said to myself after watching TV the other day and being bombarded by a number of commercials trying to entice the viewing audience to super-size the fast food meal being pitched. I couldn’t help but utter those famous words of Gomer Pyle, the naïve, dorky Marine played by Jim Nabors, whose shrilling voice spoke volumes.
After thinking about those commercials and the heavy emphasis on larger food portions, I now see why there are so many health challenges in our society. “Would you care to super-size your fries, your drink?” the attendant will ask you at most fast food restaurants.
Question: Do I really need a double portion? In my Gomer Pyle voice: “Shame! Shame! Shame!”
Sometimes it’s difficult to decide what is good and what is bad. But a double portion of anything is not always good for you. Food is enticing to begin with, but overeating is unhealthy. We tend to act on impulse and purchase food that we wouldn’t otherwise purchase. Blame the ad masters for producing those commercials that whet our appetite for scrumptious, delectable, yummy treats in double portions.
I remember those days when I would go to Krispy Kreme and watch the bakers make fresh doughnuts from scratch. I couldn’t wait to tear into one of them – or a dozen of them for that matter. The anticipation of eating hot, fresh, glazed donuts would send my taste buds into a frenzy. I couldn’t resist the temptation. The syrupy sweet treats succeeded at breaching my will power.
Shame! Shame! Shame!
There were repercussions, of course, to overeating and indulging in unhealthy food. I stand accused. For my ignorance, I picked up more weight than I’d wanted. And my health started teetering around the danger level. So I decided to make better choices in my food selection and eat healthy to stave off the imminent possibility of death. So you see, you’re not alone in this struggle.
Now that I’m a wellness coach and personal plant-based chef, I’ve devoted my life to helping others overcome the temptation of eating double portions of unhealthy food. When I receive e-mails from individuals requesting ways to resolve their health problems, I’m amazed how little they know or understand their bodies. Are we so confused about unhealthy food that we just don’t care about the risk of consumption?
Here’s what I tell my clients:
You’re in control of your own health and whatever you consume you have to take responsibility for, good or bad. Take ownership of your faults and stop blaming other individuals for your weaknesses and bad decisions. Only then will you begin to conquer your health problems.
Food can be addictive and comforting, and provide a safety net for your emotions when you know you’re totally out of control. Life has its ups and is downs, but you must chart and plan the remainder of your life living healthy. If you fall short of your goal, be strong and stand firm on your belief that you’re going to reach optimum health as long as you don’t give up.
Trying to achieve good health after the body is weakened from unhealthy food choices is difficult to correct sometimes. It all depends on you, though. Like a road map, it’s hard to get to your destination if you’re not sure where you’re going. That’s why you have to read the right literature and follow the examples of people who are turning their lives around. They’re no longer tempted by the lure of TV commercials and the forbidden doubled portions.
If you’re on a journey to health and wellness, make sure you follow the right path. Don’t waver. Don’t be misguided. Don’t be tempted by what you see and lose your mind like I did at Krispy Kreme. When I think about it, those doughnuts were super delicious, but unhealthy nonetheless.
Eating the right food in today’s society is a chore in itself, but worth every morsel of food you put in your mouth. It will keep you out of the doctor’s office and keep you looking radiant and alive. On the other hand, if you succumb to temptation, all I’m going to say is: Shame! Shame! Shame!
- Created on Friday, 20 January 2012 11:40
Dr. Timothy Moore
The nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine released a list in December of five of the unhealthiest cookbooks of 2011. Several of the Food Network’s top chefs and their cookbooks made the list: “Guy Fieri Food,” Jamie Oliver’s “Meals in Minutes: A Revolutionary Approach to Cooking Good Food Fast,” “The Neely’s Celebration Cookbook,” “The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook,” and Paula Deen’s “Southern Cooking Bible.”
“The high-fat meals in these cookbooks are real recipes for disaster,” said PCRM’s Nutrition Education Director Susan Levin, M.S., R.D.
“It’s great that Jamie Oliver and other chefs are focusing on fresh and local ingredients, but some of these recipes have more calories and cholesterol than a Big Mac. The real key to healthful eating is moving away from high-fat, meaty meals that increase the risk of obesity, heart disease, and cancer.”
Levin has a valid point, one that I’ve been making each week in this column: Eating the wrong food can “increase the risk of obesity, heart disease, and cancer.” And eating the wrong food will even kill you. That’s a fact.
“One serving of Hot Buffalo Wings (three wings) contains 910 calories and 85 grams of fat; meat-heavy diets raise obesity risk,” the PCRM wrote about Paula Deen’s wings.
The PCRM is right in its criticism of Deen’s calorie-laden, cholesterol-raising dishes and the risky dishes of other chefs as well.
My point was proven when I read a slew of news reports recently over the Internet that Deen, the queen of Southern cooking, is stricken with type II diabetes. Now she can no longer eat the artery-clogging dishes that rocketed her to fame.
I’m not picking on Dean, but it was inevitable that her heavy-buttered dishes would be the detriment of her own health. She is not alone, though. Diabetes, digestive issues and overeating seem to be a problem for everybody. Here’s the remedy: Eat food that is rich in nutrients and full of disease fighting phytochemicals, such as bok choy, cabbage, carrots, kale, Swiss chard, broccoli, asparagus, and collards.
Sorry Paula, but you cannot eat a diet rich in butter, sugar and fats and think this type of lifestyle will never catch up with you. I’m a chef myself, and I’m not the least bit surprised that Deen has become the victim of her own doing. Chefs, you see, don’t always prepare healthy dishes.
I suppose Dean will change her lifestyle. She has to if she wants to live the remainder of her life in good health. In fact, she has already begun to address her health problems. It has been reported that she will be the spokeswoman for a pharmaceutical company pushing the Novartis diabetes medication that she takes.
According to tabulated food consumption data collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average American eats nearly one ton of food each year, or about 2,700 calories per day. In one year, Americans eat 200 pounds of meat, 56 lbs. of corn, 415.4 lbs. of vegetables, 29 lbs. of French fries, 23 lbs. of pizza, 24 lbs. of ice cream, 273.2 lbs. of fruit, and drink 53 gallons of soda. Americans also consume 2.736 lbs. of sodium per year, which is 47 percent more than recommended.
The overindulgence of food will expand the waistline and increase the body mass index by more than 30 percent by the year 2030, “The Lancet” (thelancet.com), a prestigious print and online medical journal founded by Thomas Wakley in 1823, reported.
So reduce your consumption of food and consider the following: Swiss chard offers nearly half the recommended daily amount of vitamin A, which helps fight skin, breast, liver, colon and prostate cancers. And one cup of raspberries can offer you more than half a day’s dose of vitamin C.
It’s been reported that women who eat nuts five times per week are 27 percent less likely to develop Type II diabetes than those who don’t. The good thing about eating fruit and vegetables is that they reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by 20 percent when eating at least eight servings daily.
A single serving of grapefruit gives you 100 percent of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of Vitamin C. Eating bok choy can boost your RDA of potassium by 8 percent. And if you eat a single cup of red cabbages, you’ll get 85 percent of all the Vitamin C you need.
I’m sure Paula Deen is familiar with the statistical data. At this juncture in her life, I believe she’ll make the right decision to eat healthy.