Year: 2016

The Judges Have Spoken

The Judges Have Spoken

My thanks to the judges of the 24th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards competition for their thoughtful analyses of my books, Get the Picture?!: Conscious Creation Goes to the Movies and Consciously Created Cinema: The Movie Lover’s Guide to the Law of Attraction, both of which I entered in the contest. Their kind words and generous support of my work are truly appreciated, and I wanted to share their insights with the readers of this blog. Both books were entered in the Inspirational category and were judged on the following criteria: Structure, Organization, and Pacing; Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar; Production Quality and Cover Design; and Voice and Writing Style. Each area of evaluation was graded on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning “needs improvement” and 5 meaning “outstanding.” And I’m pleased to announce that both books scored 5 across the board. As for the specific comments of the judges, here’s what they had to say about each title: Cover design by Paul L. Clark, Inspirtainment “GET THE PICTURE?! CONSCIOUS CREATION GOES TO THE MOVIES by Brent Marchant is a superb book that amazingly combines two disparate topics: movies and metaphysics, for an excellent read. This book ...
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‘The Innocents’ contemplates faith and the mystery of creation

‘The Innocents’ contemplates faith and the mystery of creation

“The Innocents” (2016). Cast: Lou de Laâge, Agata Buzek, Agata Kulesza, Vincent Macaigne, Joanna Kulig, Eliza Rycembel, Katarzyna Dabrowska, Anna Próchniak, Klara Bielawka, Pascal Elso. Director: Anne Fontaine. Screenplay: Sabrina B. Karine and Alice Vial. Story: Philippe Maynial. Dialogue and Adaptation: Pascal Bonitzer and Anne Fontaine. Web site. Trailer. It’s been said the Lord works in mysterious ways. In fact, in some cases, those mysteries are so cryptic that it’s difficult to fathom what could possibly be behind them. That’s where one’s faith can be seriously tested, as a group of Polish nuns discover for themselves in the days shortly after World War II in the gripping historical drama, “The Innocents,” now available on DVD, Blu-ray disk and video on demand. In December 1945, the sisters of a Benedictine convent near Warsaw are perplexed when they begin falling ill in severe pain. However, true to form, the strict Rev. Mother (Agata Kulesza) wants to address the matter internally, keeping outsiders at bay. But, recognizing that the sisters are ill-equipped to handle the situation, Sister Maria (Agata Buzek), a member of the order who frequently gets into trouble for taking matters into her own hands, seeks medical help. She sneaks out ...
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‘Manchester by the Sea’ wrestles with redemption, forgiveness, choice

‘Manchester by the Sea’ wrestles with redemption, forgiveness, choice

“Manchester by the Sea” (2016). Cast: Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler, Lucas Hedges, Gretchen Mol, Matthew Broderick, C.J. Wilson, Tom Kemp, Anna Baryshnikov, Kara Hayward, Tate Donovan, Josh Hamilton, Jami Tennille Mingo, Heather Burns, Susan Pourfar, Ruibo Qian, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Ben O’Brien. Director: Kenneth Lonergan. Screenplay: Kenneth Lonergan. Web site. Trailer. It’s been said we can never go home again. But what if circumstances arise that force us into doing just that? How will we respond? Can we handle it? And what will the fallout be? Those are among the questions raised in the new domestic drama, “Manchester by the Sea.” Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck) lives a rather unassuming life. As an apartment building custodian in Quincy, Massachusetts, he tends to the everyday repairs of tenants and the upkeep of the common areas while leading a quiet existence in a one-room basement unit. It might not seem like much, but it seems to suit his needs just fine. However, Lee’s routine undergoes a major shock one day when he receives word that his brother, Joe (Kyle Chandler), has passed away from congestive heart failure. Even though Lee knew that his brother was living with the condition, the news ...
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The Meaning behind Movies

The Meaning behind Movies

Are movies just entertainment, or are there messages we can learn from them? Tune in to the next Positive Vibrations Roundtable podcast on Self Discovery Radio, where I’ll discuss the subject with author Sam Hawksmoor and show host Sara Troy. The broadcast will be available for the next week by clicking here and from the show’s web site for on-demand listening thereafter. Join us for some fun and thoughtful movie talk! ...
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‘Christine’ struggles with integrity, ambition

‘Christine’ struggles with integrity, ambition

“Christine” (2016). Cast: Rebecca Hall, Michael C. Hall, Tracy Letts, Maria Dizzia, J. Smith-Cameron, Timothy Simons, Kim Shaw, John Cullum, Morgan Spector, Jayson Warner Smith, Kimberley Drummond, Lindsay Ayliffe, Ritchie Montgomery. Director: Antonio Campos. Screenplay: Craig Shilowich. Web site. Trailer. Staying on top of things when we’re under constant pressure to perform can be challenging enough, even under the best of circumstances. But, when we add to that issues of unresolved ambition, the pursuit of integrity, personal problems and health concerns, we might easily be pushed over the brink. Such is the case for a troubled television reporter seeking to do worthwhile work and make a name for herself in the disturbing new biographical drama, “Christine.” Based on actual events, the film follows the life of 29-year-old Christine Chubbuck (Rebecca Hall), a struggling TV reporter in Sarasota, Florida, at a time (1974) when broadcast news was undergoing a number of changes, both technologically and in terms of content, even at the local level. Sensationalization of the news was fast gaining a foothold, giving rise to the “if it bleeds, it leads” philosophy still in use today. For stations like the one Christine worked at, such exploitation was seen as a ...
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‘Doctor Strange’ urges us to reach the peak of our potential

‘Doctor Strange’ urges us to reach the peak of our potential

“Doctor Strange” (2016). Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Tilda Swinton, Benedict Wong, Mads Mikkelsen, Michael Stuhlbarg, Benjamin Bratt, Scott Adkins, Zara Phythian, Alaa Safi, Katrina Durden, Umit Ulgen. Director: Scott Derrickson. Screenplay: Jon Spaihts, Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill. Comic book source material: Steve Ditko. Web site. Trailer. Even when we think we’ve reached the pinnacle of our success, there’s always another summit to be surmounted. That new peak may not be what we’re expecting it to be, taking us in a totally different direction from what we’re accustomed to, but the accomplishments we fulfill when we reach it could be far more fulfilling than we ever imagined. Such is the case for an arrogant know-it-all who embarks on a new life path in the riveting action-adventure, “Doctor Strange.” Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is a supremely accomplished New York neurosurgeon – and he knows it. He makes sure everyone else knows it, too. In fact, he’s so enamored with his own abilities that he believes there’s virtually nothing he can’t do. And that may be true – that is, until he’s gravely injured in a horrendous car accident that leaves him clinging to life. It appears ...
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