Category Archives: Recommended Movies

Inspirational Mothers Day Contest

mothers day contest

Countdown to Mother’s Day!

Very seldom in life do we meet people with such amazing gifts that we are left stunned. Earnestine Robinson is one of those rare people. She is able to create music so intricate, many consider it impossible to do without a background in music. Despite no formal music training, with her faith and family, she rises from humble southern roots to become an unlikely composer of classical music that takes her all the way to Carnegie Hall and to a world premiere in Europe.

Earnestine does not  question her source. She trusts God to guide her and just continues to create extraordinary music that has taken her all the way to Carnegie Hall three times.
While some stories are interesting and others explore and push the reader to think, it is usually the inspirational stories that touch the soul. Her book “Driven by Faith” is a “must-read” for anyone who has struggled to answer the question, “Why am I here?”

Earnestine’s gift is more than just creating some of the most beautiful music you will ever hear. It’s also about family, faith and giving back. To this end, Earnestine and her family are holding a contest, one that could include you and your mother.

Join us for this very unique “Countdown to Mother’s Day!”

1. Submit in 500 words or less your special Mother’s Day story.It can be funny, sentimental, bold or all of these and more. Submit  HERE.

 

2. Each day, prior to Mother’s Day, come back and share special thoughts you have on the upcoming special day on Earnestine’s timeline on Facebook.

3. Share your thoughts with all your friends.

The first 100 people to actively post on Earnestine’s timeline will win the opportunity to participate in a special live, online Earnestine Robinson Master Class. She will discuss and take questions on how to find your purpose and the role of faith in reaching your destiny.

On Mother’s Day, three winners will be chosen and each receive a $100 gift card from Amazon and a copy of Earnestine’s book “Driven By Faith”. Each of the stories will be posted on Earnestine’s Facebook page.

Make this your best Mother’s Day ever!

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Feeding the Homeless…in Style!

feed-the-homeless

MediocreFilms “pranked” a homeless shelter – by turning it into a 5-star restaurant. Find out how you can help people in need by sharing a prank at Prank It FWD.

 

Roger & Me gets Restored

Warner Bros. is releasing  the completely restored, newly-remastered 25th anniversary edition of  Michael Moore’s, ROGER & ME.

“It’s the first time this has been done for any movie of mine, a full 4K digital restoration from my original 16mm negative. The result is a mind-blowing version that now should live on for, well, for as long as the planet lets us stick around.

In addition to supervising this restoration, I’ve recorded an all new director’s commentary track to go along with it. It’s completely uncensored and straight from the gut. I do not talk about “how I lit” the little bunny rabbit. I do name names and candidly tell you about the unlikely history of a film that should never have gotten made.

 

ROGER & ME is the movie, as many of you know, that began my career as a filmmaker. It is, shockingly, every bit as relevant today as it was when it came out in 1989. Though I didn’t realize it at the time, it foretold the systematic elimination of the American middle class and, in its wake, the so-called American Dream — the dream that promised if your hard work made your boss rich, you would be rewarded with a few simple comforts like your own home, a college education, affordable medical care, and a nice, long paid vacation.

ROGER & ME, through my telling of the story of GM and my hometown of Flint, warned that the wealthy had other plans for you in the 21st century — the crux of which was “no more sharing of the pie.” A few would still get to be rich, I predicted; the rest of the citizenry would fight over the remaining crumbs when not distracted by inflated fears of foreign threats or scary domestic events like gays marrying or a President who faked his papers at birth.

And what has happened since ROGER & ME? Well, Wall Street’s wealth multiplied three times over — while workers’ wages remained stagnant or decreased, and benefits and pensions became nothing but fond memories of a bygone era.

Twenty-five years ago I saw the beginning of this, and instead of screaming from the mountain top, I made ROGER & ME. It (along with “Do the Right Thing”) was the most acclaimed film of 1989. As one critic wrote, “It has ignited a modern-day documentary movement.” It was the first nonfiction film shown in mainstream multiplexes and shopping mall cinemas — 1,300 of them. This had never happened before with a documentary. ROGER & ME set the all-time box office record for a doc (a record that was later broken by “Bowling for Columbine” and then again by “Fahrenheit 9/11”).

Two years ago, Lincoln Center wanted to have a special night honoring ROGER & ME. They discovered — to their horror and mine — that all the existing prints of my film had been ruined by time and the elements. That set me and Warner Bros. into motion and, after the Library of Congress designated ROGER & ME a “national treasure” last December (which placed it on the federally-mandated list of films that must be preserved), Warner Bros. spent tens of thousands of dollars not just to preserve my film, but also to bring it into the digital era. The results of their restoration are nothing short of stunning.”

Blackfish – the Movie Sea World DOES NOT want you to See

We have talked about THE COVE – where A group of activists and filmmakers traveled to the small village of
Taiji, Japan, to secretly obtain footage of a heavily guarded operation
that captures  dolphins for SEA WORLD  and then  kills the rest of the captured  dolphins to use as meat. Meat full of MERCURY that is now killing people that eat it. 
NOW Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s documentary Blackfish
follows Tilikum, the orca responsible for three deaths while in
captivity, including the 2010 death of Dawn Brancheau, a 40-year-old
trainer at SeaWorld, which made headlines around the world. It looks
devastating to an entertainment industry bent on putting these creatures
in tiny pools, and should be.

The documentary premiered at Sundance and is due for theatrical release next month.

See part of THE COVE
Sea World  NEEDS TO BE STOPPED. 

Cirque du Soleil $5 Viewing for Charity

Taking place in Las Vegas on World Water Day 2013, last Friday, this original full-size production featuring 237 Cirque du Soleil artists and guest performers will only be presented once. This not-to-be-missed evening in celebration of water will be filmed by 12 cameras to create a very exciting 90-minute special just for you. It’ll be as close as you can get to front row seats.
Be moved by incredible performances from Jackie Evancho and David Garibaldi from America’s Got Talent; an appearance by Victoria’s Secret model Oluchi Orlandi wearing a Roberto Cavalli gown; a dance piece by So You Think You Can Dance judge Sonya Tayeh; and an original composition by award winning composer Danny Elfman.
Thanks to our partners, you can take part in this exclusive global philanthropic event dedicated to raising awareness and funds for ONE DROP , so that one day water will be accessible to all, forever. You are also invited to visit the One Night for ONE DROP online auction at Charitybuzz.com/ONEDROP. Starting March 1, you can bid on once-in-a-lifetime celebrity experiences, art, memorabilia, VIP event packages and more.

BULLY The Movie EVERY Parent MUST WATCH with Their Kids

The powerful documentary 

BULLY is now on Blu-ray & DVD! 

 

 

  “The Most Important Film of the Year.”

– Marlo Thomas, Huffington Post

 

 “This movie really does have the power to save lives.”

– Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle


$10 at AMAZON!  

Bully

From
Sundance Award-winning filmmaker, Lee Hirsch, comes a beautifully
cinematic, character-driven documentary following five kids and families
over the course of a school year.  Offering insight into different
facets of America’s bullying crisis, the stories include two families
who have lost children to suicide and a mother awaiting the fate of her
14-year-old daughter, who has been incarcerated after bringing a gun on
her school bus.  With an intimate and often shocking glimpse into homes,
classrooms, cafeterias and principals’ offices, BULLY is a powerful and inspiring film that every educator, parent and teenager should see.

 

 

Make a difference.  

Join the movement.  

Learn more about BULLY at: www.thebullyproject.com

Cloud Atlas Comes to Film!

CLOUD ATLAS is a new movie everyone is talking about!   It’s An exploration of how the actions of individual lives impact one another
in the past, present and future, as one soul is shaped from a killer
into a hero, and an act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a
revolution. Each encounter we have with someone affects our lives and our roads we take in life.

The lavish cinematisation of David Mitchell’s sci-fi yarn could become the first genuine art-house blockbuster. But will it?

The transformation of British writer David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas novel into an outrageously ambitious wannabe blockbuster with a purported budget of at least $100m really is one of the marvels of 21st century film-making. While Hollywood bean counters wring their hands and promise more austerity each time a movie such as John Carter haemorrhages cash, elsewhere in the world (Germany in this case) funds have somehow been raised for a labyrinthine assembly of interconnected, fractured existential vignettes with a cast packed with Oscar-winners and a near three-hour running time.

WATCH THE 6 MINUTE TRAILER!

Sometimes the Thing you Most Want, Doesn’t Happen.


I love Netflix, because I can watch all the movies I want, that I missed at the theater.  So last night I watched  Love & Other Drugs .  A 2010 romantic comedy film co-written and directed by Edward Zwick and based on the non-fiction book Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman by Jamie Reidy. Stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway.


The plotline centers around a  woman suffering from Parkinson’s, who  befriends a drug rep working for Pfizer against 1990s Pittsburgh backdrop. She feel’s unworthy of a close relationship because of her disease, which is in stage 1. She feels broken. She knows  someone will have to care for her one day. Dress her; feed her; deal with her dementia; and change her under garments. She wishes that on no one. So she avoids relationships.  But true  love conquers all!

And beyond that, I am reminded of that great story The Station: A Reminder to Cherish the Journey . “The Station” brings a profound message that reminds one to embrace the journey of life. And not keep telling yourself, when this or that happens, I will have arrived.

TUCKED AWAY in our subconscious minds is an idyllic vision in which we see ourselves
on a long journey that spans an entire continent. 

    But uppermost in our conscious minds is our final destination–for at a certain hour and on a
given day, our train will finally pull into the station with bells ringing, flags waving, and bands
playing. And once that day comes, so many wonderful dreams will come true. So restlessly, we
pace the aisles and count the miles, peering ahead, waiting, waiting, waiting for the station.

    “Yes, when we reach the station, that will be it!” we promise ourselves. “When we’re
eighteen. . . win that promotion. . . put the last kid through college. . . buy that 450SL
Mercedes-Benz. . . have a nest egg for retirement!”

    From that day on we will all live happily ever after.

    Sooner or later, however, we must realize
there is no station in this life, no one earthly
place to arrive at once and for all. The journey is the joy. The station is an illusion–it
constantly outdistances us. Yesterday’s a memory, tomorrow’s a dream. Yesterday belongs to a
history, tomorrow belongs to God. Yesterday’s a fading sunset, tomorrow’s a faint sunrise. Only
today is there light enough to love and live.


At the closing of the Love and Other Drugs, Jake says,

I used to worry a lot about where I would be when I grew up….
like how much money I would make…or that someday I would become some big deal.

Sometimes the thing you most want,  doesn’t happen.

And sometimes the thing you’d never expect to happen, does.

In life you meet thousands of people and none of them really touch you.

And then you meet one person and your life is changed FOREVER.”







INSIDE JOB – A Must See Movie About Corruption and the Downfall of our Economy

I just saw this last night.  

WOW.

Every person in America needs to watch this.



From Academy Award® nominated filmmaker, Charles Ferguson (“No End in Sight”), comes “Inside Job ” the first film to expose the shocking truth behind the economic crisis of 2008.

The global financial meltdown, at a cost of over $20 trillion, resulted in millions of people losing their homes and jobs.

Through extensive research and interviews with major financial insiders, politicians and journalists, “Inside Job” traces the rise of a rogue industry and unveils the corrosive relationships which have corrupted politics, regulation and academia.

This film will make  you SO ANGRY. All the financial “experts”  keep making the rich richer and the poor, poorer. And they answer to NO ONE. 

This film attempts to provide a comprehensive portrayal of an extremely important and timely subject: the worst financial crisis since the Depression, which continues to haunt us via Europe’s debt problems and global financial instability. It was a completely avoidable crisis; indeed for 40 years after the reforms following the Great Depression, the United States did not have a single financial crisis.

However, the progressive deregulation of the financial sector since the 1980s gave rise to an increasingly criminal industry, whose “innovations” have produced a succession of financial crises. Each crisis has been worse than the last; and yet, due to the industry’s increasing wealth and power, each crisis has seen few people go to prison. In the case of this crisis, nobody has gone to prison, despite fraud that caused trillions of dollars in losses.
 
I hope that the film, in less than two hours, will enable everyone to understand the fundamental nature and causes of this problem. It is also my hope that, whatever political opinions individual viewers may have, that after seeing this film we can all agree on the importance of restoring honesty and stability to our financial system, and of holding accountable those to destroyed it.

Our world will NEVER be the same – unless someone is held accountable.


Narrated by Academy Award® winner Matt Damon, “Inside Job” was made on location in the United States, Iceland, England, France, Singapore, and China.


Buy it on DV for under $14   Inside Job

Visit  Inside Job – The Site

The SHIFT Is About To Hit The Fan! I AM

 Yesterday I commented, “we run and mange about 15 blog sites. Most of them make money…Official Life By Design, does not. But we try to keep it up to share with others, ways to grow in life. The stuff they DON’T teach you in school.”

We have a PASSION for this site and sharing knowledge that helps us grow as spiritual beings. That’s why I refuse to close this site. Money or not.

And after that post, I  happened to see Oprah  yesterday, who had on  Tom Shadyac, a famous, rich  movie director.  Who has a life-changing movie out this month, I AM.

He had millions of dollars, 3 houses, private jets, but knew he was not happy.  We have become a society of WANT WANT WANT and forgot why we are here –  and what REALLY makes us happy.


In his latest project, a documentary entitled I AM, Shadyac asks some of today’s most profound thinkers, two questions – What’s wrong with our world, and what can we do about it? This moving, inspiring film won the Audience Choice Award and the Student Choice Award at the Mountain Film Festival in Telluride Colorado, where it premiered.


I AM is an utterly engaging and entertaining non-fiction film that poses two practical and provocative questions: what’s wrong with our world, and what can we do to make it better?   

   In I AM, Shadyac steps in front of the camera to recount what happened to him after a cycling accident left him incapacitated, possibly for good. Though he ultimately recovered, he emerged with a new sense of purpose, determined to share his own awakening to his prior life of excess and greed, and to investigate how he as an individual, and we as a race, could improve the way we live and walk in the world.




Armed with nothing but his innate curiosity and a small crew to film his adventures, Shadyac set out on a twenty-first century quest for enlightenment.  Meeting with a variety of thinkers and doers–remarkable men and women from the worlds of science, philosophy, academia, and faith–including such luminaries as David Suzuki, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Lynne McTaggart, Ray Anderson, John Francis, Coleman Barks, and Marc Ian Barasch –  Shadyac appears on-screen as character, commentator, guide, and even, at times, guinea pig.




3 big points –

WE ARE ALL CONNECTED

WE DON’T NEED TO TAKE MORE THAN WE NEED

FOLLOW YOUR HEARTS GREATEST DESIRE.

It is really  as  MUST SEE movie for everyone.

You have heard about doomsday coming?  December 21, 2012?  Well, I don’t believe it’ll be like the movie 2012!  In fact, Shirley Maclaine was  on TV last week and she see’s it as a huge global shift of sorts –  not so much the explosion of the world as we know it. A New Age interpretation of this transition postulates that during this time, Earth and its inhabitants may undergo a positive physical or spiritual transformation, and that 2012 may mark the beginning of a new era.

And it’s funny,  the tagline for I AM is  the SHIFT is About to Hit the Fan!

I think this recession has brought so many of us to our knees, for a reason. To re-examine our lives and what’s next? and what is really important. It so funny in my business, there is so much “competition”. Yet I approach “competitors” and see the synergy of working together; collaborating. But some small minded  people only see competition. We are here and connected – to COLLABORATE.  Get it?!


I AM – The Documentary



Go see it!

Michael Snell