Category Archives: Movie

Where’d Ya Go Review?

This is review is for a book I read a while ago but it is so good that I wanted to talk about it. Plus the movie rights have been acquired and I really hope this comes to the big screen.  I love it that much.  If you haven’t read this book already I highly suggest you pick it up. It is great for a summer read on the beach, lounging in a hammock, or just sitting in you back yard.  You will love this.



Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple

Bernadette is different. She is an architectural genius; an unapproachable private-school parent; a stubborn wife; but above all, a loving mother to 15-year-old daughter Bee.  Bernadette causes draws attention, and causes chaos where ever she goes, and this is a no-no in her upper class Seattle area.  Her life and her choices have made her an extreme agoraphobic and relies on a virtual assistant for even the most basic of tasks.  But when her daughter Bee claims her reward of a trip to Antarctica for acing her report card, that really sends Bernadette spinning.  One day, she goes missing and Bee complies emails, letters, notes, official documents the works, in order to try and find her mother.  The roles of mother and daughter reverse in this can’t put down read.

This book is utterly hysterical.  I was literally laughing out loud. My husband looked at me with wide eyes wondering what on earth I was reading.  I could not put this down.  I was reading it every chance I got and I was sad when it came to and end.  I highly recommend this to anyone looking for good laugh.


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Filed under Books, Movie, Reading, Reviews

Saw it and Loved it

I have mentioned before but I feel I should offer my review for Catching Fire.  It was a great adaptation of the book. Were parts missing, of course, but did it overly effect the flow the movie, no.  The actors all worked well together (Jena Malone huge surprise for me).  I really have to say that the way the movie flows does a fine job setting the final two installments up.

My students are thrilled that I saw it. And my husband is finally happy that I won’t be talking about how “I can’t wait to see it” anymore.  I enjoyed it and have spoken highly of it. And now I can’t wait to see the last two.


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Catching Fire…Caught the world on FIRE

So Catching Fire the second movie in the Hunger Games franchise raked in a whopping $161 million dollars this weekend.  WOW!!!

I am trilled that a book series turned movie franchise generates this kind of fan base.  So I am even more thrilled when students are emailing me over the weekend and telling me

“Dear Mrs. S

You have to see Catching Fire!  It was wonderful. Please see it this weekend so we can talk about it on Monday.”


“Ms. S

This was the best movie ever! So much better than Hunger Games.”


“Hi Ms. S

Catching fire was great. And I still think Peeta is cuter.”

These are just some of the emails I received over the weekend.  And even if some of the people who are seeing the movies have never read the book, I’m ok with that…because 9 out of 10 have and that makes me smile.

So to answer the emails…

I will be seeing the movie, just before Thanksgiving. I am waiting until Friday.

I hope it is as good as the first movie because they did a great job with that.

Both Gale and Peeta are cute…but Gale is a tad cuter. Just my opinion.

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Filed under Books, Movie

Wanna see a good movie…read the book

Do not get me wrong, I love the movies.   Really.  I do.  I love everything about them.  But I must say that when Hollywood gets its hands on  a book, tends run into difficulties.  Some cases being the mere size of the work (ex. Anna Karenina), or maybe the subject (ex. The Road), or more often than not the extremely strong fan base attached to the work and want to see these epic features (ex. The Watchmen).   However, it is in these cases we forgive, for they took a chance of bringing meaningful works to the big screen, which is truly not an easy feat, since one must stay true to the original work, but also condense said work into a 2 hour feature.  Some have the potential to bring to life the characters on the page with great success (ex. A Clockwork Orange; To Kill a Mockingbird); while others are viewed as good even though they still didn’t quite measure up ( ex. A Time to Kill)

But  for every good case of book to movie, there have been bad, no horrific ones.  Hollywood tends to take several liberties that skew away from the original material.  I give you The Scarlet Letter starring Demi Moore and Gary Oldman as a prime example.  I love Gary (paging Sirius Black) and Demi Moore has had her fair share of good roles.  But my goodness, what happened in this movie would have Hawthorne  rolling over in his grave.  Why do I use this as my example, well lets see: THEY CHANGED THE ENDING!  That should be reason enough. What makes it even more astounding is that they felt the need to change the ending because they believed that not many people read the book so they wouldn’t know the difference.  Well I read the book. I saw the difference. And so did most of America.

But I digress.   I speak to you today as a reader and a movie watcher. And one who takes both roles seriously.  So when books become movies, I start to get anxious.  My mind races with “Who are they casting and are they a good fit?” ” Are they planning on removing/adding anything to the movie that was/was not in the book?”  “How are they going to shoot some of these scenes, or are they going to rely on CGI effects?”  So when I heard about the following books that are coming out or currently in the works I became both excited and nervous.  So hopefully the screen versions will live up to their written counterparts.  I am looking forward to seeing them, but remember, for every Hunger Games there is an Bonfire of the Vanities.

1) Ender’s Game




2) The Book Thief



the book thief







3) The Wolf of Wall Street







4) Gone Girl











5) Blue is the Warmest Color

blue is the warmest color

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Filed under Art, Books, Movie

Flipping a Classroom with Screeny

As I am working creating my how-to videos for my libraries, I have stumbled upon many screen capturing applications and sites.  I have posted about them on this blog and I would like to add another one to ever-growing list.

Screeny is a MAC based application that works on your computer and allows you to capture not only the whole screen but smaller sections of it.  Use the built-in camera or an external one to capture video and pictures at any size.  This is also supported by the Cloud where you can upload the images or videos directly to your cloud account. It allows for easy compression of videos for uploading to the cloud. The application uses Quicktime and is always saved at the highest possible quality.  You also have the option to capture audio as well, or add audio to your video.

This is a great app to help in your quest to create a more vibrant flipped classroom.

SCREENY iOS only $14.99


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Filed under apps, Flipped Classroom, Images, Movie, Presentation, Technology, Video

Get in Touch with Your Creative Side

Another day and another way to express yourself.  So this time I would like to introduce some apps that provide the opportunity to get creative.  Similar to my post about the app Paper these apps allow you to create amazing images and videos. Now remember all of these apps can be used for school based projects.  Some might work for the educator while some might be more fun for the student. But don’t forget, all are fun for everyone!


TYPE DRAWING  for the web and iOS $1.99

This app is amazing for typography.  All you do is type the sentence you would like to use and then by using your finger or mouse to draw an image and the words from your sentence becomes the body of the image or use the text to go over current images.



OVER for iOS

Everyone knows a picture is worth 1,000 words, but sometimes only a few will do. Now a great way to enhance your images is with the app Over.  Over allows you choose from different fonts and type what you would like to say anywhere over the image.




STEfor iOS $1.99

I can not tell you how much I am in love with this app! I can devote a all blog post to just this but I would simply keep repeating myself with this one phrase: THIS APP IS AWESOME!!!  This app makes it easy to create amazing animated GIFs and Quicktime movies.  You get full control of everything from the frame rate, to deletion of images, to exposure and timer settings.  This is a great app for students to use to create amazing stop motion videos.




iSTOPMOTION for iPAD  $9.99
Another create stop motion app that was the winner for the Macworld Best in Show 2013.  This app is used in hundreds of classrooms and allows you to create your own animated movies.





WHAT THE FONT for the web iOS and coming soon for the Android  Free
Did you ever see a font used in media, like say a magazine, a website, and ad or even a poster, and did you ever say wow I really like that I wonder what font that is?  Well wonder no more. Simply take a picture of the font in question, and by uploading it from your photos What the Font will give you the details.  Like many barcode scanners for your phones, the technology can read the image and provide you with the information about the font in question. This is perfect for designers who might see a particularly interesting font and wonder how they can get that.


images-2LUME for iOS  $1.99

The first light only drawing app out there.  Instead of using paint or pencil, use light to draw images, text or enhance already taken photos.  A great way to make a photo stand out.  Just think what one can do with this app if you want to enhance an image of Thomas Edison?

unnamedCINEMAGRAM for iOS and Android Free

So lets say you have picture saved as a GIF, and you want to add a little animation to it. Well how about picking and choosing which part of the image you animate.  Similar to instragram but you are using video instead. Buy using the different features you can freeze certain parts of the image while the rest stays animated. Its definitely worth a look.



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Filed under apps, Art, Creativity, Images, Movie, Presentation, Technology, Video

Flipping Out in the Classroom

Everyone is flipping out, but in a good way.  The Flipped Classroom has become the latest craze in education and I for one am a huge fan.  Now educators and focus more on practicing the materials taught and more guided research instead of spending entire class periods lecturing.  Students love it too!  Homework is no longer just read from the book, answer the questions or fill in the worksheet; now they watch a video answer questions or be prepared to discuss the next class period.

Science and Math classes are especially enjoying this model because it allows the teacher to show how to solve a problem or run an experiment and the student can view it as many times as needed until they understand the concept.  Language Arts teachers love this too, because they can show how a book  influences the movie version or show an interview with the author on why they choose this style of writing.  History teachers, how great would it be to show video of the actual debate between Nixon and Kennedy?

But I am getting overly excited again (like I said I am a fan).  My fellow educators have been asking me how to create this videos. I spoke once before about aTubecatcher, but I feel I need to mention a few others so that you don’t have to wait for post after post to learn about them. So here are some of the ones that I highly recommend for flipping your classroom.  Most require you to download the program, but Quicktime for Mac based products should already be available to you and is easy to use. Remember once you create you video or screen shot you need to save/upload it somewhere.  My school created a Wikispace, while other educators choose to use YouTube, SchoolTube, TeacherTube or  the blog of their choice.

Have fun! Now go flip out!

Screen Shot Programs
Screen Recording Programs

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Filed under Flipped Classroom, Movie, Presentation, Technology, Video