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Trailer Snark (December 30, 2016 Theatrical Trailers)

Welcome to Trailer Snark, a weekly column covering trailers for movies that will be released this week with thoughts from our roster of bloggers (Jessica from The Female Perspective, Ken from The Crank File, Jim from The Front Row View, Rob from Spector for Hire, and Great Stories founder Chris).  Thanks for reading, and enjoy the previews!

The Trailer Snark team is taking a break for Christmas, so this week’s edition will be without commentary.  Happy Holidays!

Live By Night (Warner Bros) – Crime/Drama
Rated R for strong violence, language throughout, and some sexuality/nudity
Tag Line: The American Dream has a price.
Starring: Ben Affleck, Elle Fanning, Brendan Gleason
Plot: A story set in the Prohibition Era and centered around a group of individuals and their dealings in the world of organized crime.
Running Time:  128 minutes

Hidden Figures (20th Century Fox) – Drama
Rated PG for thematic elements and some language
Tag Line: Based on the untold true story.
Starring: Taraji Henson, Octavia Spencer
Plot: Based on a true story! A team of African-American women provide NASA with important mathematical data needed to launch the program’s first successful space missions.
Running Time: 127 minutes

Gold (TWC-Dimension) – Crime/Drama/Thriller
Rated R for language throughout and some sexuality/nudity
Tag Line:  Prove ’em all wrong.
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Bryce Dallas Howard
Plot: An unlikely pair venture to the Indonesian jungle in search of gold.
Running Time: 121 minutes

20th Century Women (A24) – Comedy/Drama
Rated R for sexual material, language, some nudity and brief drug use
Tag Line: None
Starring: Annette Benning, Elle Fanning, Greta Gerwig
Plot: The story of three women who explore love and freedom in Southern California during the late 1970s.
Running Time: 118 minutes

Paterson (Bleecker Street Media) – Comedy/Drama
Rated R for some language
Tag Line: If you ever left me I’d tear my heart out and never put it back
Starring: Adam Driver, Nellie, Goldshifteh Farahani
Plot: A quiet observation of the triumphs and defeats of daily life, along with the poetry evident in its smallest details. Running Time: 118 minutes

Live

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Trailer Snark (December 23, 2016 Theatrical Trailers)

Welcome to Trailer Snark, a weekly column covering trailers for movies that will be released this week with thoughts from our roster of bloggers (Jessica from The Female Perspective, Ken from The Crank File, Jim from The Front Row View, Rob from Spector for Hire, and Great Stories founder Chris).  Thanks for reading, and enjoy the previews!

The Trailer Snark team is taking a break for Christmas, so this week’s edition will be without commentary.  Happy Holidays!

Passengers (Columbia) – Sci-Fi/Drama/Adventure
Rated PG-13 for sexuality, nudity and action/peril
Tag Line:  Every moment counts.
Starring:  Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt
Plot: A spacecraft traveling to a distant colony planet and transporting thousands of people has a malfunction in its sleep chambers. As a result, two passengers are awakened 90 years early.
Running Time: 116 minutes

Sing (Universal) – Animation/Family
Rated PG for some rude humor and mild peril
Tag Line: Auditions begin 2016.
Starring:  Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth McFarlane
Plot: A koala named Buster Moon has one final chance to restore his theater to its former glory by producing the world’s greatest singing competition.
Running Time: 108 minutes

A Monster Calls (Focus Features) – Drama/Fantasy
Rated PG-13 for thematic content and some scary images
Tag Line: Stories are wild creatures.
Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones, Lewis MacDougall
Plot: A boy seeks the help of a tree monster to cope with his single mom’s terminal illness.
Running Time: 108 minutes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvZrnt9b7vU

Fences (Paramount) – Drama
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, language and some suggestive references
Tag Line: None
Starring:  Denzell Washington, Viola Davis
Plot: An African-American father struggles with race relations in the United States while trying to raise his family in the 1950s and coming to terms with the events of his life.
Running Time: 138 minutes

Silence (Paramount) – Drama/History
Rated R for some disturbing violent content
Tag Line: Sometimes silence is the deadliest sound.
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Liam Neeson
Plot: In the seventeenth century, two Jesuit priests face violence and persecution when they travel to Japan to locate their mentor and propagate Catholicism.
Running Time: 161 minutes

Assassin’s Creed (Twentieth Century Fox) – Action/Adventure/Fantasy
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, thematic elements and brief strong language
Tag Line: Your destiny is in your blood.
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons
Plot: When Callum Lynch explores the memories of his ancestor Aguilar and gains the skills of a Master Assassin, he discovers he is a descendant of the secret Assassins society.
Running Time: 115 minutes

Why Him? (Twentieth Century Fox) – Comedy
Rated R for strong language and sexual material throughout
Tag Line:  Of all the guys his daughter could have chosen….
Starring:  Bryan Cranston, James Franco, Zoey Deutch
Plot: A holiday gathering threatens to go off the rails when Ned Fleming realizes that his daughter’s Silicon Valley billionaire boyfriend is about to pop the question.
Running Time: 111 minutes

Patriots Day (Lionsgate) – Drama/History/Thriller
Rated R for violence, realistically graphic injury images, language throughout and some drug use
Tag Line: The inside story of the world’s greatest manhunt.
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Michelle Monoghan, John Goodman, J.K. Simmons
Plot: An account of Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis’s actions in the events leading up to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the aftermath, which includes the city-wide manhunt to find the terrorists behind it.
Running Time: 133 minutes

Merry Christmas from the Trailer Snark Team!
Merry Christmas from the Trailer Snark Team!
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Trailer Snark (December 16, 2016 Theatrical Trailers)

Welcome to Trailer Snark, a weekly column covering trailers for movies that will be released this week with thoughts from our roster of bloggers (Jessica from The Female Perspective, Ken from The Crank File, Jim from The Front Row View, Rob from Spector for Hire, and Great Stories founder Chris).  Thanks for reading, and enjoy the previews!

Rogue One (Disney) – SciFi/Action
Rated PG-13 for extended sequences of sci-fi violence and action
Tag Line: Save the rebellion. Save the dream.
Starring: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Forrest Whitaker
Plot: The Rebellion makes a risky move to steal the plans for the Death Star, setting up the epic saga to follow.
Running Time: 134 minutes

Rob: #$%^ yeah baby!  Finally!!!  It doesn’t take a Jedi Master to recognize that The Force will be strong with this one.  I have secured two sets of tickets for sneak previews to kick off the viewings.  I am upset at the quantity of reshooting that is rumored to have taken place because the film was allegedly too dark.  We need a dark Star Wars film.  This film screams out for the Dark Side.  The Empire has the galaxy in a death grip during this particular period of time.  It’s time for the bothan bodies to hit the floor!  Fear.  Anger.  Hate.  Suffering.  And, yes….a sliver of hope, the spark of Rebellion.
Jessica: Yes. Yes. YES! Im seeing this in IMAX as a birthday gift. I cannot wait and I am super super duper stoked!
Chris:  Adventure. Excitement.  A Jedi craves not these things.  I ain’t no Jedi.  Bring it on baby!

Collateral Beauty (Warner Bros) – Drama
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and brief strong language
Tag Line: We are all connected.
Starring: Will Smith, Edward Norton, Kate Winslet, Keira Knightley
Plot: Retreating from life after a tragedy, a man questions the universe by writing to Love, Time and Death. Receiving unexpected answers, he begins to see how these things interlock and how even loss can reveal moments of meaning and beauty.
Running Time: 97 minutes

Chris: A fantastic cast and a pull at the heartstrings won’t prevent me from staying on target.
Rob: It’s not Rogue One.
Jessica: This looks like a really lovely, heart-warming story, but it’s got nothing on Rogue One! I would watch this at home though.

A Kind of Murder (Magnolia) – Drama/Thriller
Rated R for language and some violence
Tag Line: None
Starring: Haley Bennett, Jessica Biel, Patrick Wilson
Plot: In 1960s New York, Walter Stackhouse is a successful architect married to the beautiful Clara who leads a seemingly perfect life. But his fascination with an unsolved murder leads him into a spiral of chaos as he is forced to play cat-and-mouse with a clever killer and an overambitious detective, while at the same time lusting after another woman.
Running Time: 95 minutes

Jessica: Can’t even deal with this, it’s not Rogue One.
Chris: Meh…..maybe on Netflix.  A less thrilling thriller it would seem.
Rob: This is also not Rogue One.

Solace (Grindstone Entertainment) – Crime/Drama/Mystery
Rated R for violence and bloody images throughout, sexuality, nudity and language
Tag Line: How do you stop a killer who can read your mind?
Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Abbie Cornish, Colin Farrell
Plot: A psychic works with the FBI in order to hunt down a serial killer.
Running Time: 101 minutes

Rob: Also a movie not worthy of my attention this week because it’s not Rogue One…  But wait!  Dr. Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins), Detective Velcoro (Colin Farrell), & $%^*ing Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan)!?!?!? Ok, you have my attention for a couple minutes.  Looks decent I suppose.  A possible rental down the road.
Jessica: Oh Dr. Ford, love you, but not Rogue One, don’t care.
Chris: This movie has been sitting on a shelf for over a year looking for a distributor.  Not sure how this bodes for the film, especially since they are dumping it into the same release week as the new Star Wars.

Tickets Purchased: It’s unanimous, as if you thought any different!

See what we did there?
See what we did there?
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The Female Perspective: A Wee Little Break & New Years Celebration!

Welcome! This is a weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website! Or find me on Facebook at @JLMetcalfAuthorArtisan!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc


Hello Friends!!!

This weeks blog is a day late and a bit different than the norm. I am going to be taking a bit of a break as I need to focus on other projects — Namely finishing as best I can my fourth novel, the sequel to “The Last Daughter of Lilith”!!! I have a title, FINALLY, which I will reveal when the publishing date gets a bit closer and I have AMAZING cover art done by the one, the only, Frankie B. Washington, which I will also reveal when the time is upon us.

For my last blog of 2016 (thank you Jeezus that 2016 is almost over) I wanted to end the year on a positive note. When so much is going wrong in the world it’s hard to focus on the good things and it can be even harder for those who are alone or feeling unloved to find the light in the dark. So I wanted to offer up a few New Years traditions that can maybe help start 2017 off on a positive note.

And as the legendary Leonard Cohen once said;

There Is a Crack in Everything, That’s How the Light Gets In.

Also, being perfectly imperfect is the best way to be, you’ll have way more fun that way.

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New Years Traditions 

A Jar Of Good Thoughts — It can be fun to get a nice jar, a nice, big jar, and place it somewhere that you cannot overlook or forget about it. Next to the jar put a small notepad or a basket of small pieces of paper. Next to that put a pen (or pens) and every time something good happens in the new year, no matter how small it seems, even if you got a new, cool pair of socks (thanks Celeste) or awesome Prince earrings (Jenny!), you write that on the paper, put it in the jar and by the end of the year you have a jar that represents every good thing that happened to you that you then read out loud with friends, or alone. Whatever suits your fancy.

A Cleansing Fire — Fire is the ultimate cleanser. It burns the just and unjust alike. It can destroy and it can be the impetus for rebuilding. It can be devastating or deadly, or it can be cleansing and forward-looking. In this case, we want the fire to represent the good that is to come and our break with anything bad in the past. Build up a nice, SAFE bonfire in your fire pit and/or fireplace or wood stove. Write down all the things (good or bad) that happened and say them to yourself (or out loud if you feel safe) and toss them into the fire.  Let those thoughts, occurrences burn up and be ashes, let them be free and in turn, you’ll be free of them as well. Free to enjoy the new year lighter and freer, with an open heart.

Have a New Years Puja! — A puja, put simply, is an act of worship. I learned about it in my yoga training and it is an amazing and lovely experience. Most importantly, you don’t have to be some yoga guru to perform one. You can hold a New Years Puja right in your own home!

Importance of New Year Puja

New Year is one of the most popular occasions for the people of India. It is celebrated on 1st January, i.e. the first day of year according to solar calendar. The New Year day is very prominent for the life of a person as it is the day for new beginning leaving all the mistakes, miseries, bad habits behind and making resolutions for performing good deeds, improving oneself in every fields and achieving great success. The New Year day also holds enormous astrological significances. It is the day on which the earth begins a new revolution around the Sun. Lots of people hold puja on this day with a desire of happy and prosperous year ahead. They make new resolutions and promises in front of the god and ask for strength and blessings to fulfill those resolutions successfully.

How to do New Year Puja

The New Year Puja basically consists of offering prayers either in a temple or at the one’s house. It may also consist of other rituals like Havans, Aarti and donations. Usually, the New Year puja is accompanied by a feast among the participants. The Puja is done while focusing on wishing for prosperity and success for the participants in this New Year.

~ Click here for more info.

More than anything else, make New Years a day of letting go of the past and a stepping forward into a new year that is full of possibility and hope (no matter who is president). We can all get through this together. We are one, we are powerful and we are ready to face whatever comes our way with grace, sensitivity and most of all, love.

Happy 2017!!!
Happy 2017!!!

So tell me, how are you going to celebrate the end of 2016 and how are you going to step into 2017? Tell me in the comments below!

See you in 2017 Friends!!!

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Trailer Snark (December 9, 2016 Theatrical Trailers)

Welcome to Trailer Snark, a weekly column covering trailers for movies that will be released this week with thoughts from our roster of bloggers (Jessica from The Female Perspective, Ken from The Crank File, Jim from The Front Row View, Rob from Spector for Hire, and Great Stories founder Chris).  Thanks for reading, and enjoy the previews!

La La Land (Lionsgate) – Drama/Musical
Rated PG-13 for some language
Tag Line: Here’s to the fools who dream.
Starring:  Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling
Plot: A jazz pianist falls for an aspiring actress in Los Angeles.
Running Time: 128 minutes

Jessica: I don’t really know what I just watched, but it looks fun and unique. Plus I really like Stone and Gosling so I’m into this.
Chris: I typically do not dig on musicals, but this one grabbed me right from the start and the advance buzz on this movie has been electrifying.

Office Christmas Party (Paramount) – Comedy
Rated R for crude sexual content and language throughout, drug use and graphic nudity
Tag Line: Party like your job depends on it.
Starring: Jason Bateman, Olivia Munn, Jennifer Aniston, T.J. Miller
Plot: When his uptight CEO sister threatens to shut down his branch, the branch manager throws an epic Christmas party in order to land a big client and save the day, but the party gets way out of hand…
Running Time: 105 minutes

Chris:  I am attending my wife’s company Christmas party this evening.  Maybe I should catch an afternoon showing for some inspiration? 
Jessica: Oh so stupid and silly, I’d watch this at home for sure.

Miss Sloane (EurpaCorp USA) – Drama/Thriller
Rated R for language and some sexuality
Tag Line: Make sure you surprise them.
Starring: Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong
Plot: In the world of political power-brokers, Sloane takes on the most powerful opponent of her career and will do whatever is required to win.
Running Time: 132 minutes

Jessica: Looks really interesting to me, plus I also enjoy Chasten. She’s always solid.
Chris: I like Chastain, but this trailer really didn’t do it for me.  Perhaps I will catch it on the small screen.

Befikre (Yash Raj Films) – Comedy/Crime/Romance
Not Rated
Tag Line:  Those who dare to love.
Starring: Vaani Kapoor, Ranveer Singh
Plot: Set in Paris, Befikre is a free spirited, contemporary love story of Dharam and Shyra, who find love in an impulsive, engaging series of experiences. Doused in the spirit of Paris, it celebrates love- sensual, carefree and focused on living life to the fullest.
Running Time: 132 minutes

Chris: Well, that was a lively trailer.  Points for that.  Almost felt like a big music video.
Jessica: No idea what I just watched but man it looks like fun!

Tickets Purchased:  Two for Office Christmas Party!

The Christmas Party was crazy this year, yo!
The Christmas Party was crazy this year, yo!
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The Female Perspective Gift Giving Guide

Welcome! This is a weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website! Or find me on Facebook at @JLMetcalfAuthorArtisan!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc


It’s that time of year when people are frantically searching out the perfect gift for loved ones (or, in the case of so many commercials, all those totally random people in your life) and I thought I’d offer up some suggestions to help!

I am a huge Christmas geek. I love it. I wait patiently for Thanksgiving to arrive so I can finally decorate my house for Christmas. I enjoy picking out gifts for the people I love and in recent years, have had some fun sending out Christmas cards with my partner. It really is my favorite time of the year and I make no apologies for sounding like a total geek about it.

Sometimes it can be hard to come up with gifts. Some people just buy what they want when they want it, leaving not a lot on their list. Some people are just fussy. Some people just deserve coal in their stocking. For those that have been nice all year long, here are a few ideas!

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Gift Certificates are Super!

Yep. To some this seems like a cop-out but really, what is bad about getting some a gift card to their favorite store so they can go pick out something they really want? Why is that a bad thing? I personally have fun with gift cards I receive because I can spend some time really seeing what I need — whether it be cat litter or other household items or new clothes or even a massage or facial gift card. It’s all good and it’s fun to shop with pretend money! Makes you feel rich and fancy.

These Stores Are Pretty Amazing

Here are some of my personal favorite websites to pick up goodies.

ThinkGeek.com — They have so much stuff for the nerd in you life. From Star Wars to Star TrekGame of Thrones and so much more, it’s hard to NOT find something the geek in your life will … well, geek out over! I personally am drooling for this Spellbook wallet.

Shari’s Berries — Maybe you want to get your special someone a tasty treat for Christmas instead of a toy or clothing item. Maybe you hate baking, well then Shari’s Berries is perfect! They have amazing treats (their chocolate covered strawberries are amazing) and they deliver when you need them to. It can be a bit pricey, but it’s worth it for the quality product.

Etsy.com — Come now, haven’t we all sat on Etsy for hours pouring over all the cool handmade stuff? There is a lot to be had on Etsy and most of it is from small business owners, which is an amazing way to support local business and/or small business. Which makes this a win/win all around! Your loved one gets an awesome, one-of-a-kind gift and you’ve made a small business owners day by purchasing their items! FYI: I have a pretty cool shop on Etsy called JuiceyCreativeWorks.etsy.com, make sure to check it out!

When In Doubt, Spread Love and Joy!

Really for me Christmas is not about the gifts, sure it’s a blast getting and giving gifts, but Christmas has always been about time spent with family, that feeling of joy that abounds in the world. I know for a lot of people, Christmas can be a time of stress or sadness. Those people need love too. One thing you can do is make another’s Christmas holiday merry but donating to Toys For Tots  or find your local giving tree and pluck a card off of that and give gifts to families in need. It’s easy and it really does warm your heart.

This year there are many people suffering, whether it be out in South Dakota by the pipeline or in places like Flint, Michigan or all across the world in places like Syria and Afghanistan. No matter what anyone celebrates, December should be a time of love and joy and whatever we can do to help others is welcome. There is always donations to places like Planned Parenthood or the Red Cross. Whatever you support, try your best to give if you can. And if you cannot give, spread the word and spread cheer.

Happy Holidays, whatever one you celebrate! And if you have suggestions on places to shop or donate, please add them to the comments below!

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Trailer Snark (December 2, 2016 Theatrical Trailers)

Welcome to Trailer Snark, a weekly column covering trailers for movies that will be released this week with thoughts from our roster of bloggers (Jessica from The Female Perspective, Ken from The Crank File, Jim from The Front Row View, Rob from Spector for Hire, and Great Stories founder Chris).  Thanks for reading, and enjoy the previews!

Jackie (Fox Searchlight) – Drama/Biography
Rated R for brief strong violence and some language
Tag Line: I want them to see what they have done to Jack.
Starring:  Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard
Plot: Following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy fights through grief and trauma to regain her faith, console her children, and define her husband’s historic legacy.
Running Time:  99 minutes

Jessica:  I am starting to think that Portman can do anything. This looks like an interesting take on her story.
Jim: Absorbing and very moving. Doesn’t it seem like Natalie Portman was a kid just a few years ago?
Chris:  A national tragedy always makes for compelling fare.  And a story told from the perspective of the First Lady is a welcome perspective.

Incarnate (BH Tilt) – Horror
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of horror violence, terror, disturbing images, brief strong language, sensuality and thematic elements
Tag Line: None
Starring: Carice van Houten, Aaron Eckhart
Plot: A scientist with the ability to enter the subconscious minds of the possessed must save a young boy from the grips of a demon with powers never seen before, while facing the horrors of his past.
Running Time: 91 minutes

Chris:  Looks like a fine candidate for the Raspberry Awards!
Jim: Another day, another cliched horror movie trailer.
Jessica: I’m inclined to agree, another day, another cliched horror movie.

Man Down (Lionsgate) – Drama/Thriller
Rated R for some disturbing violence, and language throughout.
Tag Line: None
Starring:  Shia LaBeouf, Jai Courtney, Gary Oldman
Plot: In a post-apocalyptic America, former U.S. Marine Gabriel Drummer searches desperately for the whereabouts of his son, accompanied by his best friend and a survivor.  Running Time: 92 minutes

Jessica: Shia LeBeouf is the male version of Kristen Stewart for me. It looks like a good, painful movie to watch. A reminder of the cost of war.
Chris: I was caught by surprise with this trailer.  Not a big fan of the Beouf but I will make an exception here.

Tickets Purchased: Two for Jackie (Jessica and Jim) and One for Man Down (Chris)

Jackie and family
Jackie and family