Tag: movies

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San Diego River, Mission Valley

While walking home from UltraStar Cinema in Mission Valley, after watching “Ad Astra” on opening day, I crossed over San Diego River along Mission Center Road. Ripples upon the water delighted my eyes, which demanded capturing the moment, and I did using iPhone XS.

The film, starring Brad Pitt and directed by James Gray, is in essence about the consequences of solitary living—astronaut Roy McBride, his hero father Clifford McBride (Tommy Lee Jones), or all the living creatures (including humans) of Planet Earth. Somehow, looking down the river—even with the roar of Friday afternoon rush hour behind me—I experienced a moment of welcome solitude, ennobled by having just seen “Ad Astra”. Hence, the Featured Image and its companion.

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AT&T sinks FilmStruck

For two years, I have been an annual subscriber to FilmStruck. Tonight the relationship ends, as AT&T shutters the service. Go back a few months, when making promises about consumer benefits, AT&T merged with Time Warner. Since, services like Direct TV Now cost more, while others are going or have gone. There is, or was, nothing like FilmStruck on the Internet—well, for content obtainable legally. Not that AT&T brass care.

The service was a cinephile’s dream. Where else do you see movies cataloged by director, or are there fascinating extras available almost nowhere else? I chose “Night to Remember” as Featured Image because it is one of my favorite classic films and for the accompanying interview with the last living Titanic survivor (before she died). Her recollection is rare footage that punctuates the movie’s storytelling. 

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Six Films Every Journalist Should See

Yesterday afternoon, I started watching movie “Spotlight”, which later won Best Picure during the 88th Academy Awards. Following the Oscars, I finished the film, which warrants inclusion in my list of movies that every news gatherer should watch. If there are others worthy, please prompt me. I previously posted, on Dec. 30, 2014: “You Could Study Journalism, or Learn as Much Watching These Five Films“.

All six movies offer valuable lessons about responsible news reporting and ethical boundaries that matter in the real world—beyond the ideals that J Schools teach, regardless the kind of journalism you practice.  My ebook Responsible Reporting: Field Guide for Bloggers, Journalists, and Other Online News Gatherers identifies five types (and really should count seven): Advocacy, contextual. conversational, mob, and process

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Responsible Reporting Section 3 ‘What You Must Do’: Chapter IX

I owe you an apology. Months ago I promised to finish serializing my ebook Responsible Reporting: Field Guide for Bloggers, Journalists, and Other Online News Gatherers, before releasing it into the public domain. The last installment was in mid-October, with one chapter and the Afterword remaining. As I prepare for the New Year, not leaving loose ends is top of mind. Thus, with a huge sorry, this evening I present the closing chapter (but exclude the outdated March 2014 Afterward), The book will release into the public domain to start 2016.

I have posted from Chapter IX before, on Dec. 30, 2014: “You Could Study Journalism, or Learn as Much Watching These Five Films“. Each movie teaches lessons about responsible reporting—some by illuminating irresponsible and/or unethical behavior. The last in the list expresses in an exchange between characters something that should be embedded into the synapses of every 21st Century news gatherer: 

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Survivor

Frak the critics. I really enjoyed Survivor, which released to theatres yesterday. Or not. The official reviews are dated May 28 or 29, 2015, but I can’t find the movie playing on the big screen anywhere locally. I streamed from Google Play, which has the film for rental or purchase, last evning.

I didn’t read reviews until after watching the flick and seeing something shocking: Rotten Tomatoes 0 percent. Yes, Yes, the action thriller is overly predictable. But sometimes you sit down to eat fine steak and wine, while other times glutton down s`mores and ice cream. Burp. Pass the Bud, Bud. Survivor is a junk food feast along the lines of Taken—which got two sequels

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You Should ‘Begin Again’

Here in the United States, iTunes’ Movie of the Week is Begin Again. The 99-cent rental isn’t enough to pay for this delightful film, which I purchased over the holidays and watched with my wife. Grab it now.

There’s something appropriate about the movie being, if for no other reason than the title, Apple’s first cheap rental of the new year. The plot’s arc: music producer Dan Mulligan’s redemption from past mistakes. He must begin again, or be lost. With no money, and no record company, he convinces singer-songwriter Gretta James to make an album. Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightley play the leads. 

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‘If I Stay’ Review

Yesterday, at my suggestion, the Wilcox couple watched If I Stay, which I grabbed from iTunes. The movie is much better than expected, and, reading professional reviews later on, grossly underrated by the critics. First-time fictional director R.J. Cutler delivers a poignant, if at times disjointed, coming-of-age drama.

The tonal quality reminds of two other family-centrics films fitting the genre: The Lovely Bones, directed by Peter Jackson, and Sidney Lumet’s Running on Empty. All three focus on a teen in transition, where the family dynamics are canvas for a larger love story. The Cutler and Jackson films bring tears, while Lumet might just make a liberal, or perhaps radical, out of you. 🙂