The Best Deleted Scenes: Total Film

Posted on December 29, 2012 at 3:27 pm

Total Film has a great list of the 50 best deleted scenes, and what kind of impact they would have on the storyline.  It’s a lot of fun to look at deleted scenes on DVDs, but it is usually easy to tell why the scene was left out.  One exception is a favorite of mine, “That Thing You Do.”  There is actually an alternate version available with some deleted scenes that include some more mature material added in and a slightly different end credit sequence, telling us what happened to the characters.  Cracked also has a funny piece about absurd deleted scenes — a lot of overlap, but some good commentary, plus the clips themselves.

There are extended versions of some films like “The Godfather” and “Lord of the Rings.”  And scenes deleted in order to get a particular rating from the MPAA are sometimes added back in so that the DVD can be issued “un-rated.”  Even if only a few seconds are added and it is almost impossible to notice the difference, some consumers will be attracted by the chance to see something that had to be cut.

I don’t really like the idea of many different versions of the same film unless, as was the case with “A Star is Born,” some lost footage was recovered and re-edited to let us see the film as the director originally intended.  If I could see any film re-cut to restore the director’s vision, I’d pick Orson Welles’ “The Magnificent Ambersons.”

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Understanding Media and Pop Culture

Free This Weekend: Ebook About Parenting

Posted on December 29, 2012 at 8:00 am

This weekend only, get Annie Fox’s ebook, Teaching Kids to Be Good People: Progressive Parenting for the 21st Century for free on Amazon.

“Not all teachers are parents, but all parents are teachers. When we teach kids to be good people who possess the social courage to do the right thing, we help to make the world a safer, saner, more accepting place for all of us,” Fox says. This is a very personal, step-by-step guide to teaching your children to make healthy choices (online and off). Because being good is not enough.  She explains that we have to do good and gives simple, accessible ideas on how to have “conversations that count.”

It’s a pragmatic and funny guide that includes essays, podcasts, prompts, tools, questions, answers, and self-assessment quizzes to help parents become engaged in this process and inspire your children to do the right thing when no one’s watching, and when everyone is watching.

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The Best (And Worst) Movies of 2012 — Plus Best Docs, Best for Families, Most Fun, and More

Posted on December 28, 2012 at 8:00 am

My list of the best movies of 2012:

 

Zero Dark Thirty

Argo

Lincoln

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Brave

Silver Linings Playbook

Middle of Nowhere

The Avengers

ParaNorman

Runners-up: Life of Pi, Moonrise Kingdom, Arbitrage, The Sessions, Looper, Skyfall, Wreck-It Ralph

 

Best documentaries (any could be included in the top ten of the year): The Queen of Versailles, Searching for Sugar Man, Chasing Ice, The Waiting Room, Escape Fire, Brooklyn Castle, How to Survive a Plague

 

The top 10 for families:

 

 

 

Brave

ParaNorman

Wreck-It Ralph

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted

Mirror, Mirror

Pirates: Band of Misfits

The Secret World of Arietty

Hotel Translyvania

Frankenweenie

Ice Age: Continental Drift

(more…)

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A Blessed Kwanzaa!

Posted on December 27, 2012 at 8:00 am

Kwanzaa is a holiday created by Dr. Maulana Karenga, professor  and chair of Africana Studies at California State University, Long Beach. He holds Ph.D.s in political science with focus on the theory and practice of nationalism (United States International University) and in social ethics with a focus on the classical African ethics of ancient Egypt (University of Southern California).  The seven-night ceremony is a deeply meaningful connection to the history and community of African-Americans, who pay tribute to unity, responsibility, purpose, creativity, faith, and more.

This year’s theme is US and the Well-Being of the World.  Best wishes to all who celebrate Kwanzaa!

For more information, try Sesame Street – Elmo’s World – Happy Holidays and The Black Candle: A Kwanzaa Celebration, with Maya Angelou and Chuck D.

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