The Do-Over (2016) (A Netflix Original Film)

So I watched this in a spur-of-the moment, tired of doing my college classwork moment. I am not sure what I went in expecting this film to be like.


What’s it About?

When Max (Adam Sandler) and Charlie (David Spade) fake their own deaths and assume the identity of two men, they soon find themselves living the lives of two sought out men, one of whom is on the FBI’s most wanted list. Thinking they landed in the spot of a luxurious life with a new home, new name, new car, and new mansion, they find themselves in a race against the clock to save their lives and find what the two men were hiding.

Who is in it?

Adam Sandler, David Spade, Paula Patton, and Kathryn Hahn, with an excellent supporting cast including Sean Astin, Nick Swardson, Matt Walsh, and Renee Taylor.

Should You Watch It?

Okay, this film is surprisingly serious. Don’t get me wrong, it is definitely comedic, but the root of the film is an extremely controversial topic.

Sandler and Spade make a pretty good comedic team. Max’s character is definitely hiding something and his go along, slightly psychotic character is a lot of fun to watch, and is even disturbing at times. Charlie’s character has a pretty pitiful life and it is quite sad to watch. He is definitely more uptight and reserved when compared to Max and it makes it even more interesting to watch.

It is hilarious to see the same guy get hit with a car three times. He really couldn’t catch a break.

The ending was actually very good. The film starts off focusing on just the comedic aspect, then this meshes in the middle with action, and the film ends with resolution, comedy, and had a scene that really brought it all together.

Okay, here is the spoiler DO NOT READ IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW. We discover that the men Max and Charlie were portraying actually found a cure for cancer. A pharma company that would lose trillions if a cure was found makes an offer to the doctor that Spade’s character is pretending to be if he were to bury the cure. The doctor refuses and this gets him killed. This is all I will say in case anyone read this part anyways so it doesn’t give away too much.

Overall Thoughts:

I would give it a 7/10. The camera work, cuts, editing, music, fight-scenes, locations, and technicalities were all very well executed. There was an actual story with a problem that many people discuss today. There were times where I felt like a scene went on for too long or was unnecessary and took away from the quality of the story , or that the script was pushing too hard to try and be funny instead of letting it be naturally comedic and let it flow a little better since at times it was too scripted. Be aware that there is nudity in this and crude language if that bothers you.


Money Monster (2016)


Okay guys, I have to admit I have been super excited to see this movie! I have been disappointed in a lot of Clooney movies over the years, but this has Julia Roberts (plus) and was directed by Jodie Foster (definite plus).

What’s it About?

Lee Gates, a Finance TV Host of a show called Money Monster, gives his viewers tips on stock. After suggesting one stock was “safer than a savings account” many  of his viewers invest into IBIS Global. However, after one night, and what IBIS claims to be a “glitch,” 800 million dollars is gone, *poof* just like that. Kyle, a guy who invested everything he had ($60,000) in this stock, wants answers and takes Lee hostage to get those answers. The money monster crew and Patty, the director, helps talk Lee through this as he wears a bomb vest and tries to not get shot by Kyle who is flailing a gun around. Trying to follow his demands while broadcasting the whole thing live, it is a race to find answers and keep everyone alive.

Who is in it?

George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Jack O’Connell, Caitriona Balfe, Dominic West, and again it is directed by Jodie foster.

Should You Watch It?

Yes. Yes you should. Will you like it, I don’t know. I for one actually loved this movie. Here are my thoughts:

I thought it was very intense, and at times it was even comedic. I wouldn’t go as far to call this a comedy, but I (and the rest of the audience in my theater) did find ourselves laughing at times. Plus if you wanna see Clooney doing some WEIRD (yet hilarious) dancing, then you should definitely give it a shot.

The acting was very good. Each actor did a good job of staying in the moment and to me that really conveyed to the audience.

Though it is a pretty typical hostage/action/thriller, there are some unexpected twists and turns. “No one asks questions when they are making money, just when they lose it.”

The camera angles are confined to the control room and to the studio room cameras. For a big part of the film we are watching as if we were watching the show. It isn’t until we get closer to the end and Kyle and Lee leave the building that we are exposed to a wider range of camera angles.

Kyle’s pregnant girlfriend cusses him out and calls him a loser for the whole world to see until the police shut off the feed. I mean she really lays into the guy, but he did lose all of there money and strapped a bomb to Lee Gates so I guess that would make me mad too.

Overall Thoughts

I would give this a 8/10. There was room for improvement and I wish that it created an unpredictable ending, and that it was a not-so-typical hostage thriller movie but I still found it to be refreshing to watch. It reminded me of John Q in some ways, which is fine because I root for the guys who are trying and doing there best but get screwed over by people “higher than them.”


New: Movie Reviews

I will start doing movie reviews this week. It will take me a couple posts to find the right groove of writing a review, but I will get the hang of it. This is a learning process for me, like blogging is.

It is important to know that I am a big movie buff. I go to the theater almost weekly and I happen to own over 500 movies. Okay, I know that is a lot.. I won’t even try to deny it, but I could be spending my money on worse things like drugs, but my addiction is movies (and tv shows, and books). Plus Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Netlix add to the list of movies I have and could watch.

I will watch pretty much anything – romance, rom-com, comedies, horror, sci-fi, action and adventure, children movies, classical, westerns, indie-films, documentaries, or just those really weird movies that no one has ever heard of. Though I am telling you all now, I refuse to watch Fifty Shades of Grey and the other Grey movies when they come out, so I cannot help you there.

There are very few films I have seen that I absolutely do not like or couldn’t make it all the way through. I am usually very good at understanding that each film is a result of a person(s) creativity and I respect that. As a person who has made short films, a documentary, a full length film, and multiple videos here and there I get it. When you make something it is the result of your creativity and I think that is something to be appreciated.

I am excited to actually write the reviews – every time I watch something I have a verbal review for it but now I will get to write it and post it, yay! Plus, this gives me more of a reason to start re-watching some of my movies and some new ones.

So if there is a movie that you are thinking about watching (or buying), but aren’t quite sure if you should, let me know. Or maybe you are worried about kid-friendliness and anything such as language, nudity, sex, etc. If I have it I will re-watch it, if I don’t I will find it and watch it, and if it is in theaters I still might go watch it!

When he became a she – walking in love

Great post. I have found myself in a conversation about this constantly – it is all about love. Follow Jesus and the example that he has set for us. We are not better than each other as people, we are all flawed and we have all sinned. What we can do is love each other.

just a jesus follower

walking in love blogThe other day, Zac and I went into a retail store and were greeted by an associate.

I soon recognized the associate as someone I used to go to church with years ago. Someone close to my age, who I had shared many years sitting next to in our small little church.

But, he had changed.

He was now a she.

I could tell my friend recognized me, but didn’t think I would recognize them. They helped me around the store and their hands were shaking almost uncontrollably the entire time.

I knew why.

They were afraid.

Afraid of what I might say if I caught onto who they were.

Afraid of seeing the shocked Christian look of horror on my face.

Afraid of my judgement or God knows what Bible verses I just might hurl at them.

Afraid of being shamed.


I decided to…

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Time, Time, and More Time

I feel like I need more time in the day, don’t we all though? Currently I have my college classes and classwork, a newish workout schedule, 40 hour work weeks, weekly grocery store trips, cooking, baking, fun activities, and maybe socializing somewhere in there. I wonder where I fit in the time to read and write (and make blog posts). I’d like to say life is settling down a bit, HA! Yeah, that won’t happen.

We do what we make the time to do. Consistency is key for me. When I add something new into my schedule I just have to move things around and make the time in my day to do whatever I am adding on. For example, I am on day 70 of working out today, and the first week was easy, the weeks after it gets harder and harder. “Ugh, I want to do something else,” is typically what screams through my head as I prepare myself, but working out is for me to relieve stress and feel better so I make the time for it. Simple luxuries like reading, writing, and blogging, are all things I have to make time for. Work, well that’s 40 scheduled hours a week so it doesn’t matter much if I want to do it or not.

And crazily I always add more onto my schedule. I like being busy though. In my junior year in high school I spent most school nights at school until 10 pm and Saturdays at school for 8 hours working on a documentary for 8 months in addition to regular class work and work. I worked a double shift on Sunday to make up for missing Saturday, and then spent Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday at school with Thursday’s and Friday’s at work. Prior to a knee injury my schedule was filled with gymnastics, cheerleading, dancing, basketball, and any sport I could get involved in. I feel odd if my schedule isn’t jam packed with something to do, it has been like that since I was 5.

I want to add more onto this schedule – more time to volunteer, more time to learn something new, more time to do more and to grow more. I think that it is important for a person to keep growing and expanding themselves and for me this is getting involved in something new. I took the time to learn to bake and cook, and then I took time to learn about being healthy and working out, and then I take the time to focus on school to expand my knowledge.

Part of my enjoyment from doing so much is meeting new people, learning, growing, and trying new things. I like to “get outside of myself.” To me, it is important to be exposed to new ideas, and new people with opinions, beliefs, and ideas that differ from mine. I have met so many great people from event planning for a local dog rescue group, or for donating baked goods or selling baked goods, I have met people who share the same interests as me, or who can teach me a thing or two more about crocheting.

There is a lot of world to experience, a lot of things to try and do, so my goal is to try and do as much as I can and fight through the times that I hold myself back. It may make my schedule crazier, and I may not be able to create more time, but I want new experiences and to meet new people from all walks of life. So I just make the time that I already have work.

To a New Age

Well, I am officially 20 years old.. yikes! I am actually still really young, hopefully with a lot of years to live and a lot of adventures to take. My birthday was Friday, and what a great day and weekend. First, on Friday I only had approximately 300 words left for NaNoWriMo, and I DID IT! What a great birthday present to myself, I finished my word count goal. I only got 4 stories in, but I am excited to edit them some and then share them with all of you and then write some more.

I love birthdays – not just mine – but all birthdays. Birthdays are like a new year to me, this birthday however was very significant. This was the first birthday without my dad to be here to wish me a happy birthday and to celebrate – but he would have wanted me to be happy and have a good time so I did. Each birthday I sit down and make a list of what I want to accomplish in my year until my next birthday. Kind of like a new years resolution – but new years resolutions (for me) are about goals where I can strengthen my relationship with God, how I can help others, how I can improve as a person to be kinder and compassionate, and so on. My birthday resolutions are about actual goal setting: what will I accomplish at work, at school, with filming/writing/reading (even blogging), how do I want to grow in what I am doing, and so on.

Birthdays also remind me of how blessed and loved I am. I think I have forgotten about so much of that this year because I have been so busy and distracted with everything life is throwing my way. The birthday wishes and messages and time spent with my loved ones is what made the weekend so great. I have been extremely thankful for this past weekend because it was a good reminder that my life is so full of people who love me and I can thank God for giving me another birthday to celebrate, another year to live, another year to be.

I am excited to see what 20 brings – I have much to learn, much to do, and much more to live.


In God We Trust

Okay guys, stop going to court over the word God. GOD GOD GOD GOD. There I said it.

I find it saddening to hear how many people try so hard to remove God from every. little. thing.

“In God We Trust”

“One nation under God”

God in school, God in the workplace, God in the world.

The truth is, there is no way to make everyone happy. I got in trouble in junior high for praying before my football game: no other cheerleaders prayed with me and I did so silently to myself. I got in trouble because the person in the stands did not “want her child exposed to that kind of behavior and was tired of Christians forcing their religion onto her.” I didn’t say anything, but it didn’t stop me from praying in public. I am not forcing my religion on anyone if I am quietly praying to myself.

Side comment: I do not force my religion on other people and many Christians don’t. If I am around someone new and mention God, my religion, or praying for them, and they inform me (hopefully politely) that they are not religious and are more comfortable with not talking about it then I respect them and their wishes. Everyone is different and that includes when it comes to religion and I respect and honor that – if I was in their position I would want someone to do the same for me. I will do what I am called to do – love them no matter what.

The pledge, the money, the little things here and there are part of our history and our beginnings. It is not there to offend, or to “force” religion, it is there to symbolize our beginnings as a country and that is something to be honored and respected – it is traditional.

I think that there are so many other battles to battle. Religion is a right, the lack of religion is right, believing and having faith is a right, choosing not to believe is a right – that is that. We should be fighting sex trafficking, terrorism, racism, public education quality, health care quality and health care expenses, college expenses, the minimum wage battle, poverty, THE WORLD/NATURE (you know, the place we live in but keep destroying), the rise in suicides/depression/anxiety and a number of other illnesses that are not understood by a handful of society, medical research, the fight for women to have equal pay, the fight for women to breast feed in public and not feel ashamed, the right for women to have paid parental leave, and this list could go on. Don’t get me wrong, I will always fight for my right to religion. I will fight for me to be able to believe in God, and say Jesus, and pray in public. God’s Not Dead 1 and 2, and the next installment which will come out are great examples of ways Christians have to fight for their right to believe because we are having to fight for it. But I am not going to give up on the other battles that need people to fight for them and maybe more people will turn to fight those battles too. We may not all agree on religion but we could agree that sex trafficking is wrong, or that racial division is still present and harmful, or that people should all have the opportunity to good healthcare and so on.

My point is – why are we spending so much time in a battle for and against religion when the right to or to not believe is just that – a basic right. Whether or not you are religious, the world needs good people doing good things. People who put time and effort into doing good and making the world good whether that be for religious or personal reasons. There is so much we as people have to offer this world. Our diversity and difference can make us that much more effective if we work with each other to do good.


Awareness, Acceptance and Appreciation (a post for Autism Awareness Week)

The Left Hand of Ehud: Matt's Bible Blog

cd6d96c6463e1ff83e454e4d15a25080On Saturday I wrote a post for Autism Awareness Day, and ever since then, thoughts about autism, disability, the church and goodness knows what else have been bouncing around my head. It’s like a whack-a-mole game in there sometimes.

One thing that’s been interesting this week has been the way in which Autism Awareness Day/Week/Month is framed in terms of language. Some autistic commentators prefer the use of ‘acceptance’ over ‘awareness’; others find that, on April 2nd, they become a resource for everyone who wants their awareness of autism raising and that becomes exhausting when you find social interaction difficult in the first place.

All that in mind, I’ve been thinking about how this relates to autism and the church, because that’s my hobby horse. And if autism is a spectrum, so is our ecclesiastical response to it.

It starts with awareness, of course, it has to. There has to…

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Episode 1 – The Only Episode That Never Ends

Guys, I went into my towns courthouse for the first time yesterday! It was weird, but just like you see on the movies! I was very intrigued by the whole process. I also hate that it was such a big deal for one simple piece of paper.

I am a law abiding citizen (except for the speed limit, and one lane right/left turns). I have never been pulled over or given a ticket (except for the one that I got from my local university for parking in the wrong spot, but if they would repaint the lines then that would not have happened, but whatever). Anyways, the hearing for my dads estate was yesterday morning. Since he did not write a will, it has been a long process for me to become executive/administrator/whatever over the estate.

Me (court filing person for estate), my mom (witness 1), my aunt (witness 2), my uncle (guest 1) and my brother (guest 2), all entered the dainty, empty room. As we entered I said, “Whoa I have never been in a court room before! This is cool… and odd.” They chuckled. My lawyer informed me I got to sit in the front in the rolly chair next to her – seriously that was cool I felt like I was on a TV show or movie – and then talked me through the process while laying her briefcase and papers everywhere.

We stood for the judge, sat when he commanded us too, the lawyer and attorney general guy did the opening statements with a lot of legal terms I did not understand and then we went on. Most of the questions I got were yes and no questions, I did my turn, then my mom, then my aunt. After the lawyers did an ending statement with some more legal terms that just went right over my head, though I wasn’t completely listening, the judge dismissed us.

The story really isn’t the point I guess, but it was a nifty first experience for me and I just shared that with you (poorly, but I did). Plus it was practically the highlight of my day.

Any who, my dad passed away almost 3 months ago on the 20th of this month. No one would talk to me until I got this piece of paper saying I was administrator/executive over the estate. That means for 3 months I have been waiting and waiting and waiting to go to court for a total of 10 minutes and then get a PIECE OF PAPER, and I filed for a hearing back in early February but my lawyer died and we had to restart the process. Gah, it has been aggravating. Then, I thought, I would be able to take care of everything I needed to for my dad’s estate because I finally have this PIECE OF PAPER.

Nope, wrong again. Everywhere I went I needed more papers, and have to wait for weeks for said papers. Each time I tried to do something they needed another paper and the next place needed another paper but a completely different paper from the previous place. Needless to say I spent my whole afternoon yesterday going from place to place and making a circle around my decently sized town. I also spent the whole afternoon on the phone, and even after all of that I got pretty much nothing accomplished except making a two page to-do list which was originally 3/4 of a page.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but losing someone and trying to take care of their stuff should not be this difficult (and expensive). Stupid government involvement and greedy companies. Can’t people just have time to grieve without having to worry about how they are going to pay for a funeral, and a lawyer, and a CPA, and whoever else? My brother, bless his heart, has had to take out over 7,000 in loans just to pay for everything. Isn’t losing your dad as a 19 year old, or losing your dad in general payment enough?

Seriously, if any of you readers have lost a parent, or loved one, who did not have a will, was it this difficult for you?


Perception: Me Versus the World

The other day I was chatting with one of my coworkers, and a family friend of about ten or more years, and he told me, “You are always happy,” and that really got me thinking about how much of a ‘fake front’ I have put up for most of my life. To this day, I have not told my mom, step-dad, or (while he was alive) my dad about my depression and self-harm. Occasionally I get this urge, and a brief moment of warrior-like courage and convince myself I will tell them. But, by golly, if you met my dear mother you would understand why I didn’t tell her. I love her to pieces, but she is not easy to talk to, not easy to talk to at all! I am not close with my step-dad really so that makes sense, and my dad always saw me as his “perfect-happy-little girl” and I would have done everything in my power to let him keep that perception of me – though it was far from the truth.

If you read my testimony (Before and Now) I give a brief explanation of my journey through depression and self harm and how that has brought me to where I am today. I always walk around with a smile on my face, even in the worst of times I still smile for the world. If you ask the majority of my friends and family, they will probably tell you the same thing – I am always happy. Don’t get me wrong, I am (now) generally a happy person. As I delved into my relationship with God more, I found so much to be happy and thankful for and that alone is a mood booster. Even when my dad died earlier this year, aside from the funeral, I only cried and broke down when I was alone. At the lowest and hardest points in my life I focus on making other people happy and then let myself feel my emotions later, alone. I smile, I laugh, I joke like nothing is wrong. This can be a toxic thing – I am working on this and slowly making progress – but at least I have learned to share the weight on my shoulders with God and not do it all alone.

I will always be a person to make other people happy because I have been on the other side of the line. But I spent so many years convincing people that I was happy, that life was grand. It is a lie to agree that I am always happy, and have always been happy, but hey, I did a good job of convincing the world, right? I feel like there is an expectation for me to be “the happy one,” and that makes it harder for me to show a different, truer side of me, when life gets hard.

Now since last year, and more so this year, I am generally a happy person. There are a couple of moments here and there, because life is hard and that’s okay. It is okay to feel sad, hurt, angry, happy, in-between or somewhere in the middle. It is okay to feel bleh. It is okay to feel. It is also okay to let people know how you are feeling, and I am coming to terms with that, since it is a battle with myself. Even this year as I have faced probably the most difficult year of my life, I have put on my happy face for the world (my progress is slow). I figure though, if I can conquer the battle I have with myself, and then conquer the stigma that I am the happy person, then I can overcome that perception I WANT people to have of me and just simply be me.

There is a saying that there are three sides to every person: the first side is the person that people see in public, the second side is the person that you are at home and around your close friends and family, and the third side is the person that you only know and is the side of you that only you (and God) know. I add God into that third part because he knows me better than I know me and in my time when it is just me and him, I am more honest and upfront with myself than I am ever am. I think this is a true expression (at least for me it is).

For me, the first side of me that people see in public is that over-the-top happy and chatty person. I talk to EVERYONE in public and just go around like the world is mine.

The second side of me is a bit mixed – part 1 and part 2. Part 1 is my brother, close friends, and boyfriend who know a bit more about my depression and my true feelings, but they still don’t see the whole picture, they only see what I allow them to see (which still consists of a happy me at almost all times). Part 2 is my whole family, with the exception of my brother, who only know a bit about my true thoughts, feelings, and struggles. They almost only see a happy me, but not to the same degree of the public me.

The third side of me is the complexity that was me, is me, and will be me. The truest part of me that there is and the part that I share with myself and with God. Here I am a mix of light and dark, a person with scars, open wounds, and healed wounds. It is the most intimate and innermost part of me and I don’t dare share that person with the world. I might give a glimpse or two, but not much past that.

I see the same thing in the people around me – the three versions of themselves. Maybe we all do the same thing to a certain degree. Maybe we all have this perception of ourselves that we have created for the world around us to see and we stick to that.