Discovery Channel’s True Crime Series “Killing Fields” featuring Forensic’s Expert and Mom, Lori Morgan

Have you ever wondered what your life would have been like if you had followed your dream of being an actress or an astronaut, etc?   Forensic Expert and Mom, Lori Morgan not only achieved her lifelong dream of being a forensics expert after she became a mom but she’s now being featured on The Discovery Channel’s new true crime TV series “Killing Fields”.  “Real Posh Mom” participated in a recent question and answer session with Lori about her life as a forensics expert and how she juggles her career and family.

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But first here are the details about this exciting new series “Killing Fields”.  It’s on Tuesday nights at 10/9c PM, and is Discovery Channel’s first-ever true crime series.   I don’t know about you but I’m a huge fan of Netflix’s “Making a Murderer,” HBO’s “The Jinx” or “True Detective” so this is definitely a series that I will be checking out.  It is uniquely Discovery with an exploratory feel tracing the criminal investigation in real time.

Close up of Retired Detective Rhodes Sanchez and Detective Aubrey St. Angelo at burning sugar cane field.

Close up of Retired Detective Rhodes Sanchez and Detective Aubrey St. Angelo at burning sugar cane field.

The story follows homicide detectives as they reopen the case of a young woman found in the Louisiana swamp lands, a body dump site, where the forces of nature often erase evidence of a crime. Tormented by an unfulfilled promise to solve the 1997 homicide investigation, Detective Rodie Sanchez comes out of retirement to rework the case that has haunted him for the past 18-years. Armed with cutting edge investigative technologies, Rodie puts together a top-notch team including Detective and forensics expert Lori Morgan.

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Originally a stay-at-home mother, after her children were in school, Lori sought a new challenge and went on to earn her degree in forensics.  Lori is often first to hop into her vehicle to attend to a crime scene in the show. She is the liaison with the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab and is tasked with the job of finding a piece of evidence that can be used in conjunction with modern day forensics to help solve a case.  We had a chance to catch up with her and ask her about what it’s like to be chasing killers, while balancing life at home with her family.  Here is what she had to say:

What drew you to the field of Forensics?

I was always interested in the field of Forensics – even before I even knew what it was. When growing up, my brother and I would read stories about crimes and serial killers.  While most kids shy away from that kind of stuff, or be a little afraid, that wasn’t in our case.  But interestingly enough, even though I was so interested in that as a kid, I didn’t go into this business when I first went to college.

Was it hard making a career switch later on in life?

The challenge was finding a degree program that would work into my life with my family. I never wanted to take away too much time with them to study or be in class. The hardest part about studying was that I usually had to study late at night, after my children went to bed. Some nights I was so tired that I would just have to throw in the towel and wake up super early to study. I also tried to get as much studying done while my kids were at school.

What is it like to have a full-time job as detective and a busy family life at home?

My days are packed — working full time and then going home to try and have quality time with my three teenagers and a husband. That in and of itself is a big challenge.

Are your kids interested in following in your career footsteps?

So far, no. None of my children have expressed an interest in Forensics. They see how much I love my career but they also see the late nights and long hours that doesn’t have very much monetary compensation. I tell my children that their career choice should be something they have passion for because the money aspect of it will only keep them happy for a limited time.

Was it strange to have a TV crew following you around in your daily routines?

When we first began the project, I don’t think any of us realized the magnitude of it all. In the beginning, it was strange but now we’ve all gotten used to the crew. And we’re actually going to miss them when they leave.

Is working as a DNA detective just like CSI, True Detective or those other shows on TV?

Not exactly.  We don’t always get that perfect DNA profile to give a lead that will end up with an arrest or a suspect. There aren’t machines yet that draw up this beautiful fingerprint every time. A lot of times we have to deal with very small partial fingerprints that yield nothing, and the same goes with DNA. It’s only a 50-50 shot that you’re going to get that DNA profile, and then when you do get it, that person has to be in the national database system for you to even get a coded hit.

 Anything else you’d like to add?

The mystery deepens each week and the clues keep coming in.  Be sure to watch Tuesdays at 10/9c PM on the Discovery Channel.

Get to know Lori even better by watching YouTube Clip – Featuring Lori:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpLokB6MOr4

“KILLING FIELDS” reached a new high with 1.84 million viewers last week and has grown consistently each week across key demos. The series continues to build not just a large male audience but last week’s episode set new ratings highs for women as well as younger viewers. The series also has cemented Discovery as the #1 unscripted cable net in the 10/9c PM hour across key demos. Shot in real time, the season finale is on February 9 at 10/9c PM on Discovery

Sneak Peek Clip: Killing Fields – Episode 4 airing Tuesday, January 26 (FOR POSTING ONLINE)

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZK_OOw8PWg

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Real Posh Society Presents: Most Romantic Movies

Most-Romantic-MoviesFall has arrived and so have the rainy days and cool nights. This means one thing, updating our Netflix List with some of our favorite movies and discovering new ones. It is no secret that we are hopeless romantics, and movies can capture some beautiful moments of storytelling. We experience the pleasures and pitfalls of courtship, the embarrassments and the successes of declaring our feelings and what “happily ever after” can be. Take a look at our list of the most romantic films ever made, and let us know if there’s anything we missed in the comments below, so we can add them to our Netflix List.

#1. Casablanca (1945)
Favorite Quote:
“We’ll always have Paris.”
Romantic Moment: Bogey tells Ingrid Bergman to get on the plane with her husband, or she’ll regret it. Maybe not today…

#2. Vertigo (1958)
Favorite Quote:
“Only one is a wanderer; two together are always going somewhere.”
Romantic Moment: Judy finally gets the hair right and “Madeleine” lives once more.

#3. Princess Bride (1987)
princessbrideFavorite Quote: “As You Wish.”
Romantic Moment:When Buttercup realizes that her long-lost love, whom she believed was dead, is actually alive and holding her in his arms.

#4. Say Anything (1989)
sayanythingFavorite quote:
“I gave her my heart, she gave me a pen.”
Romantic Moment: Come on, like you don’t know. Window. Trenchcoat. Boombox. Peter Gabriel. Drop mic.

#5. Beauty & the Beast (1991)
Favorite quote:
“I love you.” With those three little words, Belle breaks the spell.
Romantic Moment: Belle teaches the beast to dance.

#6. The Last of the Mohicans (1992)
last-of-the-mohicansFavorite Quote:
“Stay alive. No matter how long it takes, no matter how far, I will find you.”
Romantic Moment: Declaring undying love against a thundering waterfall.

#7. Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
Favorite Quote: “When I met my wife, it was so clear. I just knew. I knew it the very first time I touched her. It was like coming home, only to no home I’d ever known. I was just taking her hand to help her out of a cab. And it was like… magic.”
Romantic Moment: Young Jonah schemes to get his dad to New York to fulfill her wish to meet atop the Empire State Building on Valentine’s Day. They almost miss each other—but of course, this is a movie, and as they take each other’s hands for the first time, the entire city lights up.

#8. Romeo & Juliet (1996)
romeo_julietFavorite Quote:
“A plague on both your houses! They have made worms’ meat of me.”
Romantic Moment: DiCaprio and Danes making loved-up eyes at each other through the glass and water of a fish tank.

#9. Titanic (1997)
Favorite Quote:
“Where to, Miss? To the stars!”
Romantic Moment: Oh, where Leo claims to be the king of the world, and just for a moment we all believe him. 😉

#10. Chocolat (2000)
Favorite Quote: “Life is what you celebrate. All of it. Even its end.”
Romantic Moment: When Roux he returns unexpectedly to Vianne.

#11. Tuck Everlasting (2002)
Favorite Quote: “If there’s one thing I’ve learned about people, it’s that many will do anything, anything not to die. And they’ll do anything to keep from living their life.”
Romantic Moment: Young Winnie dancing by firelight.

#12. Love Actually (2003)
Favorite Quote:
“To me, you are perfect.”
Romantic Moment: The WHOLE movie because it intertwines together multiple tales of love gained and lost. Everyone will have a favorite tale, and they will not always be the same.

#13. Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind (2004)
eternal-sunshineFavorite Quote: “I’ve never felt that before. I’m just exactly where I want to be.”
Romantic Moment: That final conversation in the hallway, in which the repetition of the simple word “ok” means so much more than just “I love you.”

#14. The Notebook (2004)
notebook-003Favorite Quote:
“Do you think our love can make miracles?”
Romantic Moment: That moment they meet again just after Allie learns about the 365 love letters from Noah that she never received.

#15. Pride & Prejudice (2005)
Favorite Quote: “You have bewitched me, body and soul, and I love, I love, I love you. I never wish to be parted from you from this day on.”
Romantic Moment: Darcy’s love confession to Lizzy. Both of them. 😉

#16. Once (2006)
onceFavorite Quote:
“What’s the Czech for “Do you love him”?”
Romantic Moment: In a local music shop, an impromptu jam session between the two near-strangers shapes the gorgeous, Oscar-winning ballad “Falling Slowly.”

He Named Her Malala

Not long ago the new school year started for us across the United States. For my family and I know for many, schedules were shifted meaning earlier wake up times and cranky kids. My Inara, now in second grade in Laguna Beach, California, sighed heavily and expressed her annoyance at both the early rising expected of her in the morning and the interruption to her summer social life. I brushed her hair and told her a story about a girl on the other side of the world who was forbidden to go to school, but risked her life to do it anyway. I told her the story of Malala Yousafzai.

#HeNamedMeMalala on #RealPoshMom

A week later, I was honored to learn more of the young woman’s story at an advance screening of He Named Me Malala, by documentary filmmaker Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth, Waiting for Superman), opening October 9th across the country. The Fox Searchlight film is a portrait of the teenager’s life back in Pakistan and now in the UK, and it depicts not only what happened the day that a Taliban gunman shot her for speaking out and defiantly attending school, but also the evolution of her family, culture, country, and personal mission. Despite obvious opportunities to be preachy, the film stays on course about the central unifying issue: the importance of raising and educating strong girls to become powerful independent women, and the positive effects that this has and could have on the world.

There were moments, as I suspected there would be, that moved me to tears. The tears didn’t come from shock, sympathy or devastation, but rather from gratitude. Gratitude for a father who broke tradition by celebrating and sharing the birth of a daughter, gratitude for parents who instilled a passion for education in their children, and gratitude for a family that has every right to spread hatred and fear but instead spreads inspiration and strength to all who will accept it.

#HeNamedMeMalala #FoxSearchlight #RealPoshMomThere were also moments of laughter. Malala is a teenager with two little brothers to torture. To them she’s the annoying big sister getting too much attention and making them do their homework, not the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize and an international hero. Still the love in the family is evident and heartwarming, especially between father and daughter. Even when you wonder why this man willingly made his daughter a target, you begin to understand the long-term goal: ensuring that in the end she would get the education she is entitled to and the platform she longed for. When she was asked during a conference call last week what it was her father did to make her this person, she explained, “It’s not what he did. It’s what he didn’t do. He didn’t clip my wings. He allowed me to move forward, even though I am a girl.”

Wanting an even deeper understanding, I have been reading the memoir I Am Malala, choosing passages to read to Inara before bed at night. She and I cuddled on the couch to watch Stephen Colbert interview (and do card tricks with) the young woman last week on The Late Show, and we were both jealous when a friend in New York watched our young heroine speak live at the Global Citizen concert in Central Park. I am proud of my daughter’s interest and have even used Malala’s story in discussions about inequality around the world, including in our own country. It has all been a learning experience for us both. I intend to take Inara to see the film when it is released on October 9th and she is looking forward to it. Because the subject matter can be disturbing the film is rated PG-13, but as we’ve discussed it at length and are reading the book together, I am confident that my 7-year old can handle it. Other parents should take appropriate precautions, but know that it is told from the perspective of a very intelligent and peaceful young woman, and it is at no point unnecessarily violent or disturbing, beyond what it should be in order to be truthful.

The evening after the screening was back-to-school night for my daughter, whose public elementary school overlooks the Pacific Ocean and is surrounded by a state park in southern California. The principal boasted that all classrooms had less than 20 children, and the teacher showed off the iPads and laptops available to each student, all thanks to all of the generous support from the parents and community. While I am grateful that my daughter and her friends have the opportunities they do, I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed with sadness at the inequality of education. Even within our own country there are children lacking basic school supplies and quality teachers due to lack of funds and interest. As a mother with one daughter and another one on the way, my heart aches especially for the 60 million girls around the world who should be in school today but do not have access to education. It doesn’t have to be this way. It shouldn’t be.

#HeNamedMeMalala #FoxSearchlight #MalalaYousafzai

With the release of this film comes the opportunity to create and spread the #WithMalala movement in support of the Malala Fund. The goal is to enable all girls, everywhere, to complete 12 years of safe, quality education so that they can achieve their potential and be positive change-makers in their families and communities. They work with partners all over the world helping to empower girls and amplify their voices; they invest in local education, leaders and programmes; and advocate for more resources for education and safe schools for every child.

“Do I speak for myself?” Malala asked during our call, “Am I going to use my voice?” She did. Let us join her, and start by visiting the sites, seeing the film, and spreading the word.

#HeNamedMeMalala

#HeNamedMeMalala #FoxSearchlight #MalalaYousafzai

 

“The Intern” Movie Review

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I loved “The Intern”!  I attended a preview of it last week by a special invitation from fellow Fashion Blogger Leah Frazier, and I was more than pleasantly surprised with how well-written, funny and relevant it was to adults of all ages.  The movie might be somewhat more impactful to the over 50 crowds who are retired or thinking about retirement but I think the 20 and 30 somethings will thoroughly enjoy it also.  They will be able to relate to the issues that they face in today’s world of  technology, the struggles of balancing career and families, and how women/men relationships have changed in the last few years.

Here’s the plot:  Ben is a successful businessman who is retired and a recent widower.  He’s a real go getter who tries to keep himself busy with new hobbies and activities but he’s really lost in the new world he’s found himself in.  He’s searching for something to fill the void in his life and he’s more than a little excited when he sees a flyer advertising for “Senior Interns” at a new fashion website.  Ben jumps into the opportunity feet first and what you find yourself watching next is a pure fun.

The Intern

Who would have thought years ago that the great, dramatic actor Robert De Niro who was known for roles in “The Godfather” and “Goodfellas” would have become such a great comedic actor? And Anne Hathaway as the young, ambition driven CEO is a delight  to watch as always.    There are many great moments in the movie with the two of them playing off of their “reverse” roles as boss and intern and at the same time such sweetness to watching their relationship develop and grow.  There are also some hilarious scenes with Ben and the twentysomethings who work at the company who grow to love and respect Ben as a mentor and get into little trouble along the way..

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This movie is primarily about relationships, all different kinds of relationships.   “The Intern” is directed by Nancy Meyers who has given us some classic relationship movies such as “Baby Boom” and one of my all-time favorites “Somethings Gotta Give”.  “The Intern” explores the sometimes painful path that people take after their career and romantic relationships end.  It also examines the struggles that young people have balancing successful careers and families.  It gives us all hope that you can find relationships in the most unexpected places and times and you should never judge people by their age or sex.  Everyone has something to offer.  Relationships – isn’t that what life is all about?

‪#‎theinternmoviedallaswww.theinternmovie.com

Rating: PG-13 (for some suggestive content and brief strong language)
Genre: Comedy
Directed By: Nancy Meyers
Written By: Nancy Meyers
In Theaters: Sep 25, 2015 Wide
Runtime: 2 hr. 1 min.

 

 

An Interview the Young Star of “LITTLE BOY”

Little boy imageThe movie LITTLE BOY is opening tomorrow, Friday, April 24th and it sounds like a wonderful family movie! LITTLE BOY is a film about a young boy who is willing to do whatever it takes to bring his dad home from World War II alive. The heartwarming story will capture your heart and lift your spirits as it reveals the indescribable love a little boy has for his father and the love a father has for his son. Set in the 1940s, LITTLE BOY is an instant cinematic classic that captures the wonder of life through the eyes of a 7- year-old little boy. Written and directed by Smithsonian Institute Award winning director Alejandro Monteverde, LITTLE BOY highlights themes of faith, hope and love in the face of adversity.little boyFrom the filmmakers who won the prestigious Toronto Film Festival People’s Choice Award for their movie Bella, LITTLE BOY features an all-star cast with two Oscar nominated actors and is directed by Smithsonian Institute Award Winning Director Alejandro Monteverde; produced by Eduardo Verástegui and Leo Severino; written by Alejandro Monteverde and Pepe Portillo.
littleboy3 The cast includes some wonderful, well known actors such as Kevin James, Ted Levine, Michael Rapaport, Tim Wilkinson and Emily Watson.  The 7-year-old main character, Pepper Flynt Busbee is played by the actor, Jakob Salvati.  Jakob is a terrific and gifted young man who already has a lot of credits for someone his age.  He has appeared in the TV series Grimm and Cleaner.  I recently had the great opportunity to interview this very talented young actor:
Jakob 2 Jacqueline:
Have you always wanted to be an actor?

Jakob:
Yes, it’s always been a dream. I’d like to be one of those actors who people can recognize on screen and look up to as an inspiration.

Jacqueline:
What do you like most about school?

Jakob:
Language Arts is the best part of school for me and my favorite subject.

Jacqueline:
What was your experience like being the star of a major movie?

Jakob:
It was a privilege and it was great even though it was hard work.

Jacqueline:
What did you learn from the film about bullying?

Jakob:
As far as bullies, they only go after the weak, so if you’re being bullied I would say to stand up for yourself like Pepper in LITTLE BOY movie.

Jacqueline:
What are your interests/hobbies when you’re not acting?

Jakob:
I like to hang out with my family and watch family movies. I also like to play soccer, and I love parkour!

Jacqueline:
Do you have any advice to other kids who want to be an actor?

Jakob:
I would just say to pray about it and work hard and one day that chance will come.

LITTLE BOY deals with some powerful themes such as prejudice, bullying, love, hope and never ending faith.  It is sure to move you and your family.  It could also help open dialogue with your children about issues in their own lives. I can’t wait to take my teenage boys to see it! Rating is PG-13.

For more information go to:  http://littleboyresources.com/

Real Posh Society Presents: Our Favorite Books, Series & Movies

Coffee-BooksThe winter weather gives you the perfect opportunity to finally take some well-deserved you-time. Grab a blanket, a hot cup of coffee and discover these books, series and movies, handpicked by the REAL POSH SOCIETY. You’ll have a fabulous time inside while weather outside is less delightful. 😉

JENNIFER, OWNER OF REAL POSH MOM
Books tip
A dazzling, heartbreaking novel is what Anthony Doerr does best. All The Light We Cannot See is one that will be hard to put down! The Boston Girl is about family ties and values, friendship and feminism told through the eyes of a young Jewish woman growing up in Boston in the early twentieth century. If you’re not into the tearjerkers and would rather keep your reading lighthearted, I’d highly recommend Bossypants by Tina Fey.
Get All the Light We Cannot See, The Boston Girl and Bossypants.

Movie and series
I’m currently wrapped in are the final season of Psych and afterwards will start with Royal Pains. Yes, I know, they both come from the same network, but characters are always wanted, right?! 😉 The Monuments Men by Robert Edsel and Bret Witter, tells the story of a group of museum directors, art curators and art historians who risked their lives during World War II to save pieces of art that Hitler planned to destroy. As an art lover and history buff, this movie did not disappoint. I’d highly recommend watching it and then reading the book for more details.
Watch Psych and Royal Pains on Netflix.

JAYNE, WRITER AT REAL POSH MOM
Books tip

Depending on my mood, I am rotating between Life in Motion by Misty Copeland, a biography about the only African American soloist dancing with the prestigious American Ballet Theatre. Next, Civilization by Niall Ferguson takes you on your own extraordinary journey around the world. Lastly, NW is Zadie Smith’s masterful novel about London life. I may not be able to travel the world as much this year, but I can escape into books in my home state of California. 🙂
Get Life in Motion, Civilization and NW.

Movies and Series tip
My favorite can’t-miss shows are Elementary and The Americans. I’m desperate for the return of MadMen and Homeland, and I can watch hours of Chopped on Food Network. Into the Woods is a favorite musical of mine since childhood, and Disney did a great job, with a good deal of the music and humor intact. The cast of the film, led by Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick and James Corden are uniformly excellent.
Watch The Americans and Madmen on Netflix.

JACQUELINE, CONTRIBUTOR AT REAL POSH MOM
Book tip
The Language of Flowers is written beautifully by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. The Victorian language of flowers was used to express emotions: honeysuckle for devotion, azaleas for passion, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it has been more useful in communicating feelings like grief, mistrust and solitude. If you like character studies, this is your next great read. You will love learning the meaning of communication through this life story of flowers.
Get the book here.

Movie and Series tip
I am totally hooked on Downton Abbey and look forward to watching every episode. With great acting, great character development, great story, beautiful scenery and the costumes, all of it is so well done…love, love, love! House of Cards proves just as bingeworthy as Downton Abbey, with more of the strong performances and writing. Because once you start, you won’t stop! Filmed over 12 years with the same cast, Boyhood is an amazing storytelling project, where you connect to the characters in a whole new way.
Watch Downton Abbey and House of Cards on Netflix.

What is the best book you’ve read lately, and the most inspiring movie you have seen? Tell us!

How to Train Your Dragon 2 Grows Up

HowToTrainYourDragon2The thrilling second chapter of the epic How to Train Your Dragon trilogy returns to the fantastical world of the heroic Viking Hiccup and his faithful dragon Toothless. The inseparable duo must protect the peace – and save the future of men and dragons from the power-hungry Drago.

Hiccup has grown up from a boy to a young man. As much as he has grown up, so has the content of How to Train Your Dragon series. Compared to the whimsical, childlike wonder from the first movie, the sequel has an examination of the clash between good and evil. I would recommend this movie for kids 7 years and older, as the younger kids may not understand all that is happening and also might be scared by some of the battle scenes.

How to Train Your Dragon 2‘s poignant focus on the power of family’s influence is deeply compelling. I don’t want to go into too much explanation of this, as it would definitely be a spoiler. It’s the kind of pro-family storytelling that inspires you to want to be a better, more helpful, more loving member of your own family. Hiccup isn’t left to just follow his dreams, rather he learns about responsibility and leadership, as well as the work required to see things through.

How to Train Your Dragon 2 is every bit as entertaining and engaging as its predecessor. This summer, let your family take flight in the theater with How to Train Your Dragon 2.

Run Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Content Warning: Rated PG

The Fault in Our Stars #TFIOS

the-fault-in-our-stars Hazel and Gus are two extraordinary teenagers who share an acerbic wit, a disdain for the conventional and a love that sweeps them — and us – on an unforgettable journey. Their relationship is all the more miraculous, given that they met and fell in love at a cancer support group. The Fault in Our Stars, based upon the #1 bestselling novel by John Green, explores the funny, thrilling and tragic business of being alive and in love.
#TFIOS It’s a truth we all know. We want our happily ever after endings. But we know that happiness on earth is fickle and fleeting.

In The Fault in Our Starswe find that the stars haven’t been especially kind to these two lovers. They don’t have the time we’d wish for them—time to get jobs and have kids, to grow up and grow old. They’ve been given a finite number of days together—and even those days are filled with the looming problems and anxiety that cancer inevitably brings. And whenever it seems like something wonderful might finally happen, it goes awry. Each star they cling to, including each other, has a fault inside—a scratch, a split.

But even given such faulty stars, the two find joy and fulfillment. They have each other. They’re loved. They live. Yes, maybe their days are built on borrowed time, but it’s better than no time, and Hazel confesses that she’s “grateful for our little infinity.”#TFIOSReview Sadly, one fault Hazel and Gus share is that they don’t always make the wisest of choices. But here’s the thing: Because it is quite good—a persuasive, emotional story with strong, positive messages about sacrifice, hard truths and true love. I recommend this movie for teens ages 15 and older, and if you are a parent, be prepared to have a talk about this movie. They will probably have questions or at least have some thoughts about this movie as well.

The Fault in Our Stars is a little like its title. For all its sparkly power, it has scratches and splits. Bu then again, it’s hard to see a film with crystal-clear eyes when you’re always dabbing them with a Kleenex.

Run Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
Content Warning: Rated PG-13

X-Men: Days of the Future Past

image003 (1)The ultimate X-Men ensemble fights a war for the survival of the species across two time periods in X-Men: Days of Future Past. The beloved characters from the original “X-Men” film trilogy join forces with their younger selves from the past, “X-Men: First Class,” in order to change a major historical event and fight in an epic battle that could save our future.

Believe it or not, with this latest entry in the franchise we have 14 years of X-Men pics tucked under our cinematic belts. X-Men: Days of Future Past reunites director Bryan Singer, much of the original cast and newer characters—from earlier sequels and prequels—for one big hard-driving action flick.

This film has the same well-crafted flow of most of its predecessors, the same noble superhero exploits and electrifying spectacle. It has a recognizable struggle between Professor X and his longtime friend/nemesis Magneto. As their younger selves, the two metaphorically arm wrestle once again over the good and evil in the hearts of men.

This X-Men incarnation, however, also boasts the elusive and curious element of time travel. With ticking-clock urgency, we jump back and forth between the past and the future to see how each alternate world’s events unfold and how actions will impact the present. The right choice made long ago, after all, might just erase evil decisions, give the dead new life and change a universe for the better. It’s the sort of stuff that gives us something to chew on in relation to our real-world day-to-day. The film’s time travel adjustments illustrate how choosing well today can have a rippling positive impact for years to come.

X-Men: Days of the Future Past makes for an action-packed movie experience. But those time travel leaps come packed with problems, too. Certain short-term jumps, for instance, result in characters dying in a variety of ways. Impalements, decapitations and explosions take certain lives over and over before we reach a more satisfying conclusion. It’s all seen in a relatively bloodless superhero style. For this reason, I would recommend this movie for kids 13 years and older. Add in full rear male nudity and some profanity, let’s just say the kids and adults, can get an eye and earful of all sorts of things.

Run Time: 2 hours 14 minutes
Content Warning: Rated PG-13

Fed Up Address US Food Addiction

Fed Up MovieFed Up is the film the food industry doesn’t want you to see because more of us get sick from what we eat than anyone ever realized. Produced by Katie Couric and Laurie David (An Inconvenient Truth), Fed Up blows the lid off everything we thought we knew about food and weight loss revealing a 30 year campaign by the food industry, subsidized by the US government, to mislead and confuse the American public.FEDUP_2There’s not a lot new in Fed Up, a documentary about the nation’s obesity epidemic. But it’s a decent summary of the issue, taking square aim at corporations and politicians. Fed Up personalizes the problem by introducing us to individuals, many of them are kids, who are struggling with their weight, and it looks at the sense of frustration and failure that many of them have.

One of the movie’s most helpful segments criticizes the notion that burning calories through exercise can undo poor eating habits. Many people seriously underestimate the amount of exercise they need to compensate for a candy bar or bottle of soda and feel crushed when they don’t lose weight.

It’s hard to argue with the Fed Up‘s basic point, “Sugar is poison.”

Run Time: 1 hour 32 minutes
Content Warning: Rated PG