Showing posts with label musical. Show all posts
Showing posts with label musical. Show all posts

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Begin Again - A Movie Worth Watching

Have You Seen the Movie Begin Again?

It's all about FEELING. You'll Feel from the beginning to the end, And When it Ends, you'll Want More.

Begin Again, starring Keira Knightley and, Mark Ruffalo, and Adam Levine, transports you to a place where the ugliness of personal mistakes takes a back seat. At the same time, you become a participant in the artist's musical life. The music is the focus; the characters follow, and everything works. 
If along with realism, music and art, you intimately understand the hidden mystique of a city, you'll feel even more from this movie
The story centers around the once Grammy Award-winning success of Dan Mulligan. Still, currently, down-on-his-luck character Dan Mulligan, played by Ruffalo, meets a recently heartbroken yet fiercely independent singer-songwriter, Gretta James, played by Knightley. They decided to make an outdoor album with each song performed in different locations of New York City, making this the energy that fuels the music. The city's heart automatically beats with the music, and although the city isn't directly a dramatized focal point, its pulsating imperfections connect every aspect to the characters.

If you're drawn to movies that depict the intimate flaws of people but can still manage to ooze beauty via the complex backdrop of urban life and the souls within, this one wins.

Some Movie Facts:
  • Begin Again premiered in September 2013 at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)
  • Keira Knightley learned to sing and play guitar for the movie
  • The song 'Lost Stars' was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song
  • Fans of The Voice will remember Adam Levine performing Lost Stars with Season 7 finale contestant Matt McAndrew
  • The soundtrack for the movie was released in June 2014, with most of the songs performed by Knightley and Levine.
Lost Stars, a magnificent song, is now part of my playlist. Here's the video of Adam Levine performing Lost Stars, from the scene in the movie:

Personally Speaking, Begin Again is among my top ten all-time favorite movies. Mark Ruffalo's character is powerful; he is also one of my famous actors... and I also appreciate what he stands for off-screen.

by Barbara Tremblay Cipak

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Monday, January 5, 2015

Toy Review: Great Gift for a Grandchild

I recently had the opportunity to visit my grandson. I am a long-distance Gramma, so this visit was long-awaited and much anticipated. He is already 19 months old and I haven't visited since he was a couple of months old.  

While there, I was able to see what toys he enjoyed most and what toys he already had before I went to the store to add to his toy collection.  I bought several things for  him and he seemed to enjoy everything I gave him.  But there was one toy that seemed to stand out as something he enjoyed more than the others. I have to say that I was surprised that of the things I bought for him, this little Laugh & Learn Sing-with-Me CD Player seemed to be his favorite.

Because it is made by Fisher Price, I expected it to be of good quality.  It is.  I didn't fear that anything would break while he played with it.  I suppose the "CD" door could pop off if pulled with enough force, but it didn't seem at all fragile while he played.

Laugh & Learn Sing-with-Me CD Player photo by Amazon
It is important to know that the name of this toy is slightly misleading. It does not play CDs.  The discs have titles of those sing-along songs that many of us learned as children.  The discs are for the child to insert in the slot at the top or to open the door and place them inside.

When the door opens, there's a little voice that says, "ooooopppeeeenn". She also announces when the door is closed.  He enjoyed triggering that voice.  The voice made me smile.  

The buttons, when pushed, light up and trigger music to play.  I sang along with the ABCs, 1 - 2 Buckle My Shoe, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and more. Oh how he giggled with I sang Itsy-Bitsy Spider complete with the hand motions. 

This toy is clearly good for helping to develop his motor skills.  The handle is the right size for his little hands, and he enjoyed carrying it around. He enjoyed learning how to put the discs into the slot and into the door as well as learning to push the buttons on his own.  Putting the discs into the slot took some time and concentration. But for some reason, he stuck with it and enjoyed doing it.

If you are looking for a gift for a baby shower, your child, or your grandchild, I highly recommend this Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Sing-with-Me CD Player. 

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

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