Eddie Redmayne Stars as Wizard in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Spinoff

 

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,  DVD Review by Kam Williams, Eddie Redmayne, Samantha Morton, Harry Potter Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Eddie Redmayne Stars as Wizard in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Spinoff

It’s New York harbor in 1926, which is when we are introduced to Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) as he disembarks a steamship from England that’s just docked at the pier. The young wizard has to resort to a sleight of hand to slip through customs, since his suitcase is filled to the point of bursting with a unique brand of contraband.

Newt happens to be hiding a menagerie of mythical creatures with unusual names like obscurials, bowtruckles and dougals. Given the unreliable latch on his tattered, leather satchel, it doesn’t take long for a mischievous niffler to escape. We soon observe the odd-looking critter breaking into a bank vault where it proceeds to indulge its insatiable appetite for gold by stuffing its pouch with glittery coins.

Newt, however, must get it right back under wraps ASAP, before it arouses the suspicion of Mary Lou Barebone (Samantha Morton). She’s the leader of the New Salem Philanthropic Society, a group of no-majs, aka muggles (meaning ordinary human beings), dedicated to the extermination of wizards and witches.

Newt whips out his wand to recapture the naughty niffler in front of Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler), an affable Everyman applying for a loan with hopes of opening his own bakery. Trouble is, since the unassuming fellow has just observed the use of magic, wizardry protocol calls for his memory to be wiped clean on the spot.

But Jacob not only flees before being “obliviated,” he inadvertently takes Newt’s bag of tricks with him to boot. Next, Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston), a comely witch with the Magical Congress of the United States of America, comes to Newt’s rescue.

Thus unfolds Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a visually-captivating adaptation of the J.K. Rowling best seller of the same name. Although the book was alluded to in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, one need not be familiar with the Potter series at all to appreciate this delightful debut of a fantasy franchise designed for five episodes.

Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne (for The Theory of Everything) delivers afresh conveying an endearing vulnerability as the picture’s bashful protagonist. And he is ably assisted in this endeavor by a stellar supporting cast composed of both A-list actors and an array of computer-generated creatures.

Redmayne’s enviable acting range makes Newt Scamander a far more engaging and emotionally- accessible character than Harry Potter ever was. Heavens to Hogwarts! 

Excellent (4 stars)

Rated PG-13 for fantasy action violence

Running time: 133 minutes

Distributor: Warner Brothers Home Entertainment Group

Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Extras: Over an hour of expansive, multi-part feaurettes; 11 deleted scenes; and Before Harry Potter: A New Era of Magic Begins!.

To order a copy of the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack , visit: https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01LTHOAGM/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20 

Source:  GIG News

Made in the U.S.A. Should be the #1 Path for Businesses

 

Made in the U.S.A. Should be the #1 Path for Businesses

by Amy Lignor

 

The popular show called “Shark Tank” offers investors that back up small businesses – businesses that then turn around and make millions and are able to hire more and more American workers each year, still mentions something that breaks the heart in almost every episode. The fact that overseas manufacturers could save the entrepreneur who’s speaking a The popular show called “Shark Tank” offers investors that back up small businesses – businesses that then turn around and make millions and are able to hire more and more American workers each year, still mentions something that breaks the heart in almost every episode. The fact that overseas manufacturers could save the entrepreneur who’s speaking a great deal of money and lower their costs. Is that particular fact true? Well…unfortunately it is. However, as business has been changing, and America has been attempting to get back on the horse, many big names have proven that you can succeed and manufacture your product line in America, all at the same time. They are not about to go out of business anytime soon, and they take a whole heck of a lot of pride in the fact that their products are “Made in the U.S.A.” Don’t believe? Keep reading.great deal of money and lower their costs. Is that particular fact true? Well…unfortunately it is. However, as business has been changing, and America has been attempting to get back on the horse, many big names have proven that you can succeed and manufacture your product line in America, all at the same time. They are not about to go out of business anytime soon, and they take a whole heck of a lot of pride in the fact that their products are “Made in the U.S.A.” Don’t believe? Keep reading.

Grado is a name that all audiophile’s relate to in a big way. You might too, although you just needed the product, perhaps, and had no idea what an actual audiophile was. Grado Labs creates headphones that are used by an army of professionals in the music industry. For 60+ years now, they have making this high-class product line in good, old…Brooklyn, New York.

Along the same lines, another big name in the technology world makes its home and produces its amazing products in…New Jersey. The high-performance computers that are used in gaming and media production comes from the minds, hearts and manufacturing facilities of MAINGEAR.

Strangely enough, also in the computer world, is a product by the one and only Apple that is only produced in the United States. Now, yes, Apple does outsource a large percent of its manufacturing to China, but when it comes to the Mac Pro desktop console, Apple keeps that creation close to home – with production only coming from their facility in…Texas.

 

When we go to the world of transportation, two names sit atop the “Made in the U.S.A.” list and should get a big round of applause for keeping their products in American hands. URB-E is the name behind the only foldable electric scooter produced in the States. A very popular creation, these scooters allow you to travel up to fifteen miles per hour, and then fold up so that you can carry them on subways or in elevators or any other cramped space you can think of. And all this ingenuity is found each and every day in…California.

 

Also in California, in the town of Fremont, is a factory that is all about electric-car production – the Tesla. Tesla cars are becoming an empire, just the way General Motors did long ago. If all other manufacturers of cars set up in the U.S., just think of how many American jobs could be had.

This next one is definitely not a tough one. Everybody in the world knows the name Zippo, especially American soldiers which is the customer base that made Zippo a household name in the first place. What many may not know, however, is that since 1932 these iconic lighters have been produced out of their headquarters located in…Pennsylvania. Yet another big name in that state has its own “must-see” production company, that’s a lot like a giant carnival, in a city named after their actual brand: Hershey U.S.A.

 

One more name that is well-known in American households is MAGLITE. With this company you are talking about flashlights, lamps, and all different types of lighting products that are the “one and only choice” for people out there. Whether it be businesses, estates, empires, or individuals, MAGLITE has made sure to provide the best products to light up the world since 1979. And they do this all out of an 11-building facility based in Ontario…California.

 

There are many, many others out there who have brought their products back to the good, old U.S.A. in order to provide jobs and increase the wealth for this country. So when it comes to finding the “best manufacturer for your product” just make sure you consider America first. After all, it’s been good to some pretty popular names out there that have lasted a long time, and will continue to for decades to come.

 

Source:  GIG News

Yamaha Marine Receives 2017 Silver Star of Excellence

 

Yamaha Marine Receives 2017 Silver Star of Excellence

From American Technical Education Association and the National Technical Honor Society® for Contributions to Technical Education
RECOGNIZED FOR CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE MOTORCYCLE AND MARINE SERVICE PROGRAM AT THE TENNESSEE COLLEGE OF APPLIED TECHNOLOGY (TCAT) CHATTANOOGA

Yamaha Marine Group announced today that it was awarded the 2017 Silver Star of Excellence from the American Technical Education Association and the National Technical Honor Society®.  Yamaha was recognized for its contribution to the Motorcycle and Marine Service Program at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) Chattanooga.

The Silver Star of Excellence is awarded to a business in recognition of specific contributions to technical education such as donations of equipment, facilities, training, financial assistance and support such as internships, apprenticeships, and advisory committee members.

Left to right: James King – Vice Chancellor, TCAT System; Jimmy Jones – Master Instructor, TCAT, Chattanooga Sate Community College; Ed Grun, Senior Instructor, TCAT, Chattanooga State Community College; Joe Maniscalco, Division Manager, Yamaha Marine Service; Parks Chastain, Department Manager, Yamaha Marine Technical Training; Jim Barrott, Director, TCAT, Chattanooga State Community College

“Yamaha Marine started its relationship with the Tennessee College of Applied Technology in 2002, and its support has grown each year. In addition to significant product and equipment donations in the last few years, the company has provided full dealership access to Yamaha training materials for technicians in training in an effort to help them become more profitable assets for potential employers,” said Sandra Krebsbach, Executive Director, American Technical Education Association. “As a TCAT technical school program sponsor, Yamaha also has generously provided staff for advisory board meetings and Skills USA®State Competition Judges, going far above and beyond to support student learning program standards and the success of marine industry training overall.”

“Yamaha Marine is committed to helping dealers recruit new technicians by preparing students for a fulfilling and high-demand career in marine service,” said Joe Maniscalco, Division Manager, Yamaha Marine Service.  “We are gratified to support the Motorcycle and Marine Service Technology Program at TCAT Chattanooga for many years and are honored to receive the Silver Star of Excellence award as we both pursue shared goals for the industry.”

In addition to the award, Yamaha was inducted into the National Technical Honor Society® Educator Industry Hall of Fame at the ATEA National Conference on Technical Education on March 15, 2017.

Yamaha Marine products are marketed throughout the United States and around the world. Yamaha Marine Group, based in Kennesaw, Ga., supports its 2,000 U.S. dealers and boat builders with marketing, training, and parts for Yamaha’s full line of products and strives to be the industry leader in reliability, technology, and customer service. Yamaha Marine is the only outboard brand to have earned NMMA®’s CSI Customer Satisfaction Index award every year since its inception. Visit www.yamahaoutboards.com.

Original Source: Yamaha Outboards.com

Caro on the Straight and Narrow

 

Niki Caro,  "The Zookeeper's Wife” Interview, New Zealand, Director/screenwriter, Whale Rider, North Country, Holocaust, Jessica ChastainNiki Caro

“The Zookeeper’s Wife” Interview

with Kam Williams
Caro on the Straight and Narrow

Director/screenwriter Niki Caro is one of the most successful filmmakers to emerge from New Zealand. After completing a BFA at Elam School of Fine Arts in Auckland, as well as a Postgraduate Diploma in Film from Swinburne in Melbourne, Australia, Niki wrote and directed a number of highly-acclaimed shorts.

Sure to Rise screened at the 1994 Cannes International Film Festival, and Footage was shown at the 1996 Venice International Film Festival. Her first full-length feature, Memory & Desire, focused on a Japanese married couple and was selected for Critics Week at the 1998 Cannes International Film Festival. It went on to win four New Zealand Film and Television Awards, including Best Film.

Niki’s sophomore offering, Whale Rider, explored the Maori community of Whangara on New Zealand’s East Coast, and made an impact globally. Whale Rider was seen by millions of people and won over two dozen prizes around the world, including top honors at the Toronto (the People’s Choice Award), Sundance (the Audience Award), Rotterdam, San Francisco, Maui, and Seattle (Best Film) Film Festivals. The film’s star Keisha Castle-Hughes landed an Academy Award nomination for Best Lead Actress, becoming what was then the youngest nominee ever in the category.

Niki next directed North Country, a drama set on the Iron Range in Northern Minnesota. The film starred Charlize Theron, Frances McDormand, Sissy Spacek and Woody Harrelson. Theron and McDormand were nominated for Oscars in the Best Lead Actress and Best Supporting Actress categories, respectively.

Continuing to illuminate real lives and real communities onscreen, Niki directed the sleeper hit McFarland, USA, starring Kevin Costner. Set in California’s Central Valley, the inspirational docudrama chronicled the real-life exploits of an all-Latino cross-country track team.

Here, Niki talks about her new film, The Zookeeper’s Wife, a World War II biopic starring Jessica Chastain as an intrepid heroine who saved hundreds of Jews from the Holocaust.

Niki Caro,  "The Zookeeper's Wife” Interview, New Zealand, Director/screenwriter, Whale Rider, North Country, Holocaust, Jessica Chastain

Kam Williams: Hi Niki, thanks for the interview. I’m honored to have this opportunity to speak with you.

Niki Caro: Oh, that’s very kind of you to say, Kam.

KW: I love all your films. In fact, your last one, McFarland, USA, was #13 on my Top 100 list for 2015.

NC: That’s amazing! You’ve made my day.

KW: I was really moved by it, as I was by this one. I went into the theater a little skeptical about the plot. Even though it’s true, a story about a woman saving both zoo animals and hundreds of Jews during the Holocaust just sounded a little farfetched. Yet, you had me weeping by the end of the picture.

NC: Great!

KW: What interested you in The Zookeeper’s Wife?

NC: The radical humanity of the Zabinskis.

KW: Was that from reading the book?

NC: No, I’m ashamed to have to admit I hadn’t. Neither had I ever heard of Antonina Zabinski [played by Jessica Chastain], let alone of the role she played in history. Here was this intriguing story in script form that I couldn’t believe was true. And yet it was. I felt it offered a really new way to talk about the Holocaust, a way that really spoke about heart, hope and humanity. And about feelings too.

KW: The movie has many tasteful touches of humor. How did you manage to do that without offending the audience? How do you know what humor will or won’t work when you’re dealing with such serious subject matter? It must be hard making sure you don’t cross a line.

NC: Well, I always take my inspiration from the true story, which in this case was Antonina. It was wonderful to me that her instinct to nurture and protect animals translated so effortlessly to the human species. And the way she created a sanctuary was so feminine. That influenced the filmmaking in a very big way. It’s a very feminine look at the Holocaust. It certainly speaks about war in a very feminine fashion. Of course, war didn’t just happen to men, as many war movies suggest. It also happened to women, to children and to animals, and I felt that this film uniquely gave them a voice. And it gave women, in particular, a way to express femininity as strength.

KW: Absolutely! I definitely don’t remember ever seeing war presented so intimately from a woman’s perspective.

NC: Well, there you go. We’re still somewhat unfamiliar with stories being told from a female’s point-of-view. So, i hope that makes this story kind of fresh.

KW: It sure does. After I saw the film, I couldn’t help but wonder why the movie wasn’t released during awards season. This movie has Oscars written all over it.

NC: That wasn’t my decision. There are a whole lot of factors that are weighed in determining when a movie’s released, and none of those determinations are made by the filmmaker. [Laughs] But I’m really happy it’s being released now.

KW: I point it out only because you’ve already directed three actresses to Academy Award nominations, and Jessica Chastain does such a terrific job, here. I just think the film would get serious Oscar consideration, if it were released in November or December.

NC: It still could. And if that is the case, it will really have earned it, because it will have stuck in people’s minds.

KW: What is your secret to coaxing Oscar-quality performances out of actresses?

NC: Gosh! the first secret is in casting really great actresses with whom I can have a genuine collaboration, and remain open to their contributions and their brilliance. I try to create an environment on set where they feel very secure and very supported, so that they can take risks and do what I hope is some of their best work.    

KW: When did you develop your interest in directing? Were you one of those kids who was constantly playing around with a video camera as a child?

NC: No, playing around with video cameras was not from my generation. [Chuckles] I never even saw a movie camera until I was in my late teens. I loved movies, but I didn’t necessarily think I could make them. Growing up in New Zealand, I thought of movies as something that Americans made until I saw a film by Jane Campion.

KW: The Piano?

NC: No, her first film, Sweetie. That movie knocked me sideways. I couldn’t believe it, because I recognized it. And I must admit it’s super-weird. But, for the first time, I saw something I recognized from my own world. That gave me a huge amount of confidence. And I remain incredibly inspired by her.I’m a great, big fan of hers. 

KW: Who are some of your other favorite directors?

NC: Back then, I felt very similarly about the work of another New Zealand filmmaker, Vincent Ward. Now, in terms of what I’ve seen recently. Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight was absolutely stunning. And so was Damien Chazelle’s La La Land. I love musicals. He’s adorable, Damien. A lovely person. And so talented.

KW: Ling-Ju Yen asks: What is your earliest childhood memory?

NC: I remember the joyousness of sitting in the bath at the age of 3, listening to the radio with my dad and singing “Me and Bobby McGee” at the top of my voice.

KW: When you look in the mirror, what do you see?

NC: Oh God! [Chuckles] I see myself.

  

KW: Is there any question no one ever asks you, that you wish someone would?

NC: Sorry, I’m drawing a blank. I’ve been asked so many questions.

KW: Larry Greenberg asks: Do you have a favorite movie monster?   

NC: I want to see that new Kong movie, but monsters isn’t so much my preferred genre.

  

KW: What is your favorite genre?

NC: I love drama, obviously, especially when it’s really human, when it’s funny, and when it lifts me out of my world. And I love documentary, too.

KW: Tell me a little about your upcoming film, Callas. I assume that’s about Maria Callas.

NC: Yes, it’s a project I’ve been working on for a very long time, and won’t be making in the near future, because I’m moving on to Mulan. But Maria is very special to me.

KW: Finally, what’s in your wallet?

NC: I have two passports, a picture of my mother, my brother and me on a very unremarkable-looking beach. And some pictures of my kids, and a bunch of airline cards.

KW: Thanks again for the time, Niki, and best of luck with the film.

NC: Thank you so much, Kam. Have a good evening.

Source:  GIG News

Family Fighting to Save Kron, Pit Bull Sentenced to Death in OR

by Denise Carey-Costa

A family in Merlin, Oregon is fighting for the life of their pit bull named Kron, (pronounced Crone) who has been sentenced to die by Josephine County Commissioners Simon Hare and Dan DeYoung.  Kron’s crime, attacking livestock, which according to Commissioner Hare, is an automatic death sentence. The incident occurred on March 11, 2017 in Merlin, Oregon, a small town outside of Grants Pass, Oregon.

Kron escaped from the yard and decided to go exploring as dogs often do.  He ended up on a neighbor’s property and was startled by a horse there. Kron bit the horse on its muzzle. The horse’s owner came out of the home and shot at Kron. After shooting him in the head, he shot the dog again in the neck. Fortunately, Kron’s owner arrived on scene and rushed him to the vet. Miraculously he survived after a lengthy surgery. The bullet that went through the side of his neck is too dangerous to be removed, so it must stay lodged there. The horse sustained minor injuries, no stitches were needed, but received treatment with antibiotics.

Image: Kron with family

On March 16th, 2017, the County Commissioners ordered Kron to be picked up by Animal Control, and the family was told he would be euthanized as a dangerous animal. Kron’s family went to the hearing on March 21, 2017 where they pleaded for his life. Unfortunately, their pleas fell on deaf ears; County Commissioner Simon Hare insisted Kron be put down.  According to a family member, Mr. Hare stated he already made his decision, but he must go through the hearing, however was not going to change his mind.  He is of the belief that any dog chasing/attacking livestock should be killed. Of the three board members, Simon Hare and Dan DeYoung voted to have Kron euthanized. Commissioner Lily Morgan voted to keep Kron alive.

According to Kron’s family, he is a sweet, gentle dog who has never been in trouble before, never hurt a person or another animal. He sleeps with the young daughter of the family. He acted out of fear and the need to defend himself against a horse, a creature he has never seen before. He is an indoor house dog who just wants to give hugs and sleep on the couch. The opposing party, the horse’s owner, however claims Kron is an aggressive, dangerous dog. He told the local KDRV News that Kron not only attacked his horse, but lunged at him and his wife as well.

An alternate proposition was made that could save Kron’s life.  Kron’s actual owners live in Albany, Oregon. The family in Merlin were just caring for him temporarily when he escaped.  The owners are wanting to take their dog back to live with them in a suburban area hours away from the injured horse and other livestock but the county says “no” to this solution. According to Commissioner DeYoung, it comes down to liability and only killing the dog will prevent him from biting anyone or anything again.  He and Commissioner Hare concur that euthanizing the dog is the only solution.

Kron’s family is going to continue fighting for their dog. They are going to appeal the council’s decision before a hearings officer. If the hearings officer does not overturn the decision to kill Kron, the family can appeal the circuit court judge next.Until then, Kron cannot be killed while his case goes through the appeals process. Family and supporters of Kron staged a peaceful protest in front of the Josephine County Courthouse on March 25th, 2017.

Since Kron has no history of prior attacks and the horse sustained very mild injuries. killing Kron serves no purpose other than to be vindictive against him and his family. He can easily go live out his life in peace in another location.

A petition to save Kron’s life has been set uphttps://www.change.org/p/simon-hare-save-kron-s-life.

As well as a Facebook page for Kron’s supporters. https://www.facebook.com/events/1885290888408184/.

To speak up for Kron, the County Commissioners can also be contacted directly.

Josephine County Courthouse Simon Hare
500 NW 6th Street
Grants Pass, OR 97526

Phone: (541) 474-5221
E-mail address: share@co.josephine.or.us

E-mail address: lmorgan@co.josephine.or.us

Josephine County Courthouse Dan Deyoung
500 NW 6th Street
Grants Pass, OR 97526

Phone: (541) 474-5221
E-mail address: ddeyoung@co.josephine.or.us

*This story was first published in Pet Rescue Report and is reposted here with the author’s permission.

About the Author

Denise Carey-Costa is a journalist, author, and award-winning documentary filmmaker. She was recently awarded the Best Producer Award from the Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards for her latest film, Growing up with Hollywood (January, 2016). Her first film Tony’s Tale, Tragedy in Arizona (August 2014) was the winner of eight national film festival awards including several Audience Choice Awards. She has also written numerous children’s books promoting kindness and compassion for all creatures. Among her children’s books are A Tale of Three Tails, Edwin’s Flight, Lucky, and Angelina’s Angel. And her non-fiction piece Tony’s Tale Tragedy in Arizona. She lives in Orlando, Florida, where she works with local rescue shelters. 

Top Ten DVD List for March 28, 2017

 

This Week’s DVD Releases

by Kam Williams

Top Ten DVD List for March 28, 2017

This Week’s DVD Releases, Kam Williams, Top Ten DVD List, 03/28/2017

20th Century Women

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01MRA563W/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01LTHOAGM/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

A Monster Calls

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01LTI21YY/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Silence

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01LTI119U/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20 

Jack Taylor: Set 3

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01MRMBAE0/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Patriots Day

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01LTI1WBC/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Blow Up [Criterion Collection]

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01MSZLUQ6/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Monster High: Electrified

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01N5SAI3C/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Frontline: President Trump

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01MSWRN9G/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Wishmaster Collection [4 Film Set]

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01NCYUBIC/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Honorable Mention

Arsenal

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01N4N2SE4/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Source:  GIG News

Whitetail Hunting in Illinois is About Making Memories in the Heartland

 

Whitetail Hunting in Illinois is About Making Memories in the Heartland

 

Whitetail hunting is the most popular area of the hunting universe in this day and age. When it comes to the great state of Illinois, there is one guide that is all about making your trip not only a success, but one of the most memorable experiences you can possibly have. And seeing that most of the dates sell out quite quickly, now is the time to research, review and then reserve your 2017 incredible whitetail hunt.

www.heartlandlodge.com

If you are looking to have a whitetail deer hunting trip with a premier outfitter,Harpole’s Heartland Lodge is the place for you. Specializing in archery deer hunts, along with gun hunts, Heartland is the original deer hunting outfitter and lodge in Pike County – and they can absolutely boast the fact that trophy whitetail hunts have been their specialty for the last 21 years…and counting.

 

Harpole’s is rated the absolute best in all areas you can think of when it comes to having a hunting trip that is nothing short of spectacular. Even the outfitter staff deserves and receives an A+ across the board, offering you a truly dedicated and full-time whitetail manager, full-time assistant whitetail manager, support staff and guides who work year-round in order to ensure that your hunt is off-the-charts.

 

Beginning in the winter, Harpole’s staff scouts bucks that survived the fall hunting season and are looking for new tree stand locations. The staff then moves on to late winter and early spring which is filled with tasks, from walking the woods looking for whitetail sheds to over-seeding the clover food plots. Early spring is spent planting new food plots, while summer is spent maintaining the plots, glassing and videotaping deer that come into the fields, and checking trail cam photos. When the late summer months arrive, planting the brassica food plots and new clover plots take over the daily work, so that when fall once again appears, every single step of the process has been done. All that’s left is to guide you to the perfect spot so you can have the best hunt imaginable.

 

Harpole’s diehard crew also makes archery hunting available. This is a passion absolutely shared by the entire whitetail staff who shoot their bows year-round, always practicing and always looking forward to when that next archery “party” arrives.

 

Pike County Illinois deer hunting has become legendary, and Harpole’s Heartland Lodge is the reason for the unbridled thrills that whitetail hunters experience when they utilize Heartland as their chosen guides. It doesn’t hurt that you are talking about one of the most stunning areas in the country. Located in the middle of incredible Illinois deer hunting country, centered between the Mississippi and Illinois River drainages, Heartland has always provided large whitetail bucks the perfect habitat. They understand the four key ingredients to having a quality deer herd: genetics, food, habitat, and a good age structure. By understanding this, they have been able to produce huge bucks and quality whitetail deer hunting for over two decades. And with their strict management program in place to preserve growth, Heartland continues to be at the top of the list for hunters who are searching for whitetail bucks not found anywhere else.

 

Harpole’s Heartland Lodge also provides first-class accommodations. Even though hunters may not think this is as important as the hunt itself, having a good night’s sleep and a great meal are just as important as the aim you bring with you. And at Heartland, receiving a comfortable bed after a long day’s hunt is the perfect way to “cap” off the day.

 

Various archery and gun hunting packages are available to one and all, but booking needs to begin as soon as possible, seeing as that Heartland’s customers continue to be repeat customers who will make sure they snag one of the pristine packages. Packages run from the Four-Night, Three-Day November Packages to Five-Night, Four-Day December Packages; Four-Night, Three-Day Muzzleloader Packages to Seven-Night, Six-Day Archery-Muzzleloader Combo Packages; Four-Night, Three-Day Firearm Doe Hunts, and the list goes on!

 

Harpole’s also rolls out the red carpet every year and welcomes both seasoned veterans and those who are just learning how to deer hunt. With deer hunting tips and strategies from Heartland’s professional and talented guides, everyone is sure to have an incredible time.

 

Memories are ready to be made, so head to www.heartlandlodge.com today to view everything from private rooms to luxury suites, and make your reservation. The only difficult part will be waiting for the months to go by so you can get to that beautiful Illinois country and bag that champion whitetail you’ve been dreaming about.

www.heartlandlodge.com

Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle

Holocaust Drama Recounts Daring Exploits of Heroine Who Save Hundreds of Jews

 

The Zookeeper’s Wife

Film Review by Kam Williams

Holocaust Drama Recounts Daring Exploits of Heroine Who Save Hundreds of Jews

In 1928, Dr. Jan Zabinski (Johan Heldenbergh) became the director of the Warsaw Zoo. Over the next decade, he ran it  with the help of his wife, Antonina (Jessica Chastain), who was something of a wildlife whisperer. The institution flourished under their control until the outbreak of the Second World War in September of ’39 when Hitler invaded Poland.

The Zookeeper's Wife,  Film Review by Kam Williams, Dr. Jan Zabinski, Warsaw Zoo, Diane Ackerman, spine-tingling, quality performance

The zoo was closed to the public after being repeatedly bombed by the Luftwaffe during the siege of the city. However, the Zabinskis continued to live on the grounds with their young son (Timothy Radford) and the beleaguered animals that survived the attacks.

But once Warsaw was occupied by the Nazis, the couple was ordered to report directly to Lutz Heck (Daniel Bruhl), the Third Reich’s recently-appointed chief zoologist. Despite being married, Heck never bothered to hide his lust for attractive Antonina, shamelessly forcing himself on her as they attended to the agglomeration of exotic beasts scattered around the premises.

Knowing that resistance was futile and might cost her her life, Jan directed his wife to submit to the unwelcome advances. And he understandably ended up feeling utterly emasculated by the frustration of failing to prevent her being pawed by the creepy Hitler henchman.   

The Zookeeper's Wife,  Film Review by Kam Williams, Dr. Jan Zabinski, Warsaw Zoo, Diane Ackerman, spine-tingling, quality performance

Nevertheless, the  Zabinskis did find an avenue of retaliation in the Polish the resistance movement. Joining the Underground, they secretly helped smuggle Jews destined for the concentration camps out of the Warsaw ghetto. Furthermore, they hid the escapees on the grounds of the zoo at a time when death was the punishment for attempting to liberate a Jew.

This is the spine-tingling series of events chronicled by The Zookeeper’s Wife, a fact-based docudrama adapted from Diane Ackerman’s best seller of the same name. Ackerman’s book, FYI, had, in turn, been based on an unpublished memoir by Antonina Zabinski herself.

The Zookeeper's Wife,  Film Review by Kam Williams, Dr. Jan Zabinski, Warsaw Zoo, Diane Ackerman, spine-tingling, quality performance

Directed by Niki Caro (Whale Rider), the picture stars Jessica Chastain as the fearless and endearing title character. The two-time, Academy Award-nominee (for The Help and Zero Dark Thirty) delivers another quality performance here, which is no surprise given how Caro has previously coaxed Oscar-nominated performances out of a trio of talented actresses (Charlize Theron, Frances McDormand and Keisha Castle-Hughes).

A bittersweet biopic belatedly paying tribute to an unsung heroine who selflessly put her life on the line in the face of unspeakable evil.     

Excellent (4 stars)

Rated  PG-13 for violence, disturbing images, mature themes, smoking, sexuality and brief nudity

Running time: 126 minutes

Studio: Scion Films

Distributor: Focus Features

Source:  GIG News

Gonzaga Celebrates the Final Four

 
Gonzaga Celebrates the Final Four

by Amy Lignor

 

“Beauty & the Beast” may be raking in the dough at movie theatres everywhere, but it is the Princess Cinderella that appears at the core of the NCAA headlines.

 NCAA headlines, Cinderella Teams, Gonzaga Bulldogs, Mark Few, Zags, Duke, Final Four 2017We all have our “Cinderella Teams.” Heck, they even made a movie after the Hoosiers who once set the world on fire. But as this weekend winds down, it is the Gonzaga Bulldogs that find themselves ready to put on the glass slipper, or watch their ‘coach’ turn back into a pumpkin, depending on what their near future fate turns out to be.

Those who can remember 1998-99, remember that the Gonzaga Bulldogs were also a Cinderella team back then. Being the 10th seed in the Sweet Sixteen match-ups, they went on to lose (like so many others have over time) to the Connecticut Huskies (67-62). Connecticut (most especially the women) became used to being the No. 1 seed, but this season may just be Gonzaga’s chance.

 

As of Saturday, the “Gonzaga Phenomenon” took over the airwaves. Coach Mark Few, who was actually serving as assistant during the first Cinderella moment for this team, told everyone this time around that Gonzaga did not want to be “a one-hit wonder.”

 

It’s not like the Zags were hideous since 1998/99, by the way. It was in 2006 that they scored like there was no tomorrow…unfortunately, for them, there actually turned out not to be. It was in 2013 that they were officially the No.1 seed going into the Sweet 16, yet they banged their heads up against Wichita State and had to say goodbye. In 2015, the Zags once again arrived but lost to what eventually turned out to be the national champions, Duke, during the Elite Eight.

 

This time, Few has built the team into one that has the numbers and the players to win it all. On Saturday night at the SAP Center, they finally got over the “proverbial hump” and celebrated their first entrance into the Final Four. Not only that, the game they played was not even close. We are talking a game between the Zags and 11th seeded Xavier that ended 83-59 – a lot like the Connecticut female games usually end up being.

 

The net was finally cut down by Gonzaga hands, with Few taking the rest and then turning on the top step of the ladder, where he screamed down to his team: “Might as well win it!”

 

The team screamed back, letting the world know the Gonzaga Bulldogs are more than ready to snag that national title. Unlike, however, normal Cinderella teams in the past that really did look too naïve to understand the point of it all, the Zags look very put together and most definitely have the right amount of talent needed to make Spokane, Washington more than proud.

 

Even Few stated that this current squad’s ability “to really, really protect the rim at a high level” is different than in the past, and having the defense hold the No. 1 ranking through the entire tournament in adjusted defensive efficiency backed up that remark.

 

So…what will happen now? Many of the so-called “experts” are coming together to say that even though Gonzaga has given the NCAA a “Cinderella” story this year, the Final Four is exactly how far they’re going to get. This is the first time since 1995 that the Final Four is being played west of Texas, so it makes complete sense to see an East vs. West battle for it all. But, in the end, the experts say that Kentucky has too many weapons for anyone to take them down, not even a “princess” waiting to be crowned.

 

Keep one thing in mind, however. These are also experts who said that the Atlanta Falcons would have no problem bringing down Tom Brady and the Patriots to nab the Super Bowl title this year. See how that worked out?

 

Source:  GIG News

Scorcese Faith-Based Docudrama Revisits Rude Reception of Christianity in Japan

 

Silence,  Blu-ray Review by Kam Williams, Shusaku Endo, historical drama, thought-provoking, Liam Neeson, Adam Driver, Andrew GarfieldSilence

Blu-ray Review by Kam Williams

Scorcese Faith-Based Docudrama Revisits Rude Reception of Christianity in Japan

Portuguese traders first landed in Japan in 1543, followed soon thereafter by Francis Xavier and other Jesuits. So many locals started converting to Christianity that, less than a decade later, the emperor issued an edict banning Catholicism and ordering the expulsion of all missionaries.

Violators were forced to either renounce the religion or face crucifixion, which resulted in many of the faithful’s going underground to avoid persecution. Consequently, when a  cleric disappeared, it was often difficult to discern whether the missing person had been martyred or was merely in hiding.

This was the case with Father Cristovao Ferreira (Liam Neeson) who had been spreading the gospel around Japan for close to a quarter-century before he suddenly vanished without a trace after sending an ominous last letter to a friend. The ensuing silence prompted a couple of his proteges, Fathers Garrpe (Adam Driver) and Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) to mount a desperate search for their mentor, despite the fact that discovery of their identities might mean instant death.

In 1633, the perilous trek began, and that ill-advised expedition is the subject of Silence, a  faith-based docudrama directed and co-written by Martin Scorcese. The movie represents a bit of a departure for the legendary Oscar-winner whose name is most closely associated with gory gangster flicks like Goodfellas, The Departed and Mean Streets.

  Based on Shusaku Endo’s 1996 best seller of the same name, the film was a labor of love which took Scorcese almost three decades to bring to the big screen. The legendary filmmaker ostensibly identifies with the picture’s protagonists questioning whether God even exists.

Clocking in at a patience-testing 160 minutes, the deliberately-paced production could easily have shaved another half-hour off the final cut and still delivered the same emotional impact. Blessed with a trio of inspired lead performances, Silence is nevertheless apt to be well received by Born Again Bible thumpers.

A thought-provoking, historical drama chronicling the ultimate test of faith. 

Very Good (3 stars)

Rated  R for disturbing violence

In English and Japanese with subtitles

Running time: 160 minutes

Distributor: Paramount Home Media Distribution

Blu-ray Extra: Martin Scorcese’s Journey into Silence

To order a copy of Silence on Blu-ray, visit: https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01LTI119U/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20 

Source:  GIG News