Cadi: Let’s talk about Captain America: The Winter Soldier. I just saw this movie in theaters. I think it was worth my money.
Michaela: You think? It’s worth your money again and again and again… (et nauseum)
C: Guess who my sister’s favorite superhero is? The Winter Soldier continues the story of Steve Rogers, a.k.a…
M: CAPTAIN AMERICA!
C: Steve has already helped save the world twice in the first Captain America movie and with the Avengers. Now he has to be the hero again, even while trying to adjust to life in the 21st century.
M: Which is dumb, cuz the century he came from was much better.
C: Granted, it was a lot different back then. And this movie is a lot different from the others.
M: More political intrigue.
C: Fewer impossible stunts.
M: But it was definitely an action movie. If it was not, I would be angry as Hulk.
C: Since you’re the Capsicle fangirl, what did you like most about the movie?
M: Captain America. Duh.
C: Ok, what did you not like about the movie?
C: If anything.
M: The kissing. She needs to stay away from-
C: Spoilers! Spoilers!
M [whispering]: He’s mine!
C: Know who I liked the best? The anti-hero.
C: Also, the familiar faces.
M: Yeah, it’s probably not a great movie to start with if you’re brand new to the Avengers’ universe.
C: When we watched Captain America: The Winter Soldier, we came away with this:
M: Never give up on the ones you love.
C: Déjà vu.
M: Sometimes Nick Fury is wrong.
C: How does that apply to anyone?
M: Never bring a knife to a gun fight.
C: Well, that’s true.
M: Bring a shield instead. Always be Captain America. Unless you can be Batman, then be Captain America.
C [putting on Batman mask]: Ok, Marvel, we’re done.
Let’s talk about Jack’s Life.
Jack who? Not Jack the Ripper, Jack the Giant Slayer, Jackie Chan, Jack Frost, Jack Sparrow, Jack-in-the-box, Jack and Jill, Crackerjack, Monterey Jack, or a Jack of all trades. And Jack Skellington is too dead to even have a life, so no.
This book is about the life of C. S. Lewis. No, really, it is. When he was kid, Lewis insisted that his friends call him, “Jack.” You probably would, too, if your name was Clive.
This book was written by one of Lewis’s stepsons, Douglas Gresham, one of the producers of the Narnia movies. But we’re not talking about those today.
C. S. Lewis is the favorite author of many readers and writers… including me. This is the second biography I have read about C. S. Lewis, and I would recommend it for anyone who in interested in his personal story.
Ok, time for flip-sides.
Gresham’s writing style is reminiscent of his stepfather’s. The book is any easy and enjoyable way to get the facts.
Some people might find it too simplistic. If you are looking for full details, you’ll have to supplement with other materials.
As a boy, Gresham read The Chronicles of Narnia and thought the author must be a very exciting person. When he finally met Lewis, he was surprised to find just a simple, old man. Those who love Lewis’s writings today might be similarly surprised by how uneventfully his life rolled by, especially in his later years. But that doesn’t mean his story is boring – far from it.
When I read Jack’s Life, I came away with this:
Being a hero sometimes means fighting a very long and quiet battle for faithfulness. C. S. Lewis is my favorite author more for his character and legacy than for his writing
What do you think about C. S. Lewis, his life, and his works? Comment below and let me know!
Let’s talk about “Just Give Me a Reason.”
This song is by *flipping cue card upside down* P!nk. It’s about a year old now. You’ve probably heard it in random stores and elevators. It has lovely vocals, stuck-in-your-head-all-day lyrics, and an inspiring story.
Basically, it’s a conversation between a girl and a guy about how their love is being strained. But, don’t worry; this isn’t your average Taylor Swift break-up song. On the contrary, this couple is trying to learn how to love again.
What a great theme!
But, on the flip side, I’m wondering about a couple things.
(*with cue card* I think it was the upside down “I” that started making me suspicious.)
She said he was talking in his sleep. He said it’s all in her head. So basically either he’s lying or she’s schizophrenic.
*Cough* Well, this is a song about two people in love. I guess it’s ok for you to talk about sheets and stuff. At least it’s a better love story than Twilight. I should probably cut that. Someone might get offended. *shaking head*
Oh, the music video. No, no. Very rarely are those things a good idea. Simple lyrics are your friend.
“Tear ducts and… rust”? And thus the lovers became radioactive! Or something.
When I heard “Just give me a reason” I came away with this:
Love never fails. We are all bent and scarred, but true love is faithful. I think that is a message our world really needs to hear, so, right on, P!nk.
But, seriously, for the sake of dignity, please flip that poor “i” before someone thinks it’s an exclamation point.
Let’s talk about Ghost.
This book was written by Wayne Thomas Batson. He’s one of my most favorite authors ever. It’s pretty new off the press, published in early December. It would make an awesome late Christmas present to yourself. This is Mr. Batson’s first book published specifically for adults, but it won’t be the last (it better not be the last), because Ghost is just the first book following the adventures of John Spector. See? That’s him right there.
John Spector doesn’t remember much about his past. But this isn’t your typical case of amnesia. Spector chooses not to remember because of what his past is filled with. What John Spector does remember is that he has a mission to find someone who has been… well, naughty.
And why am I suddenly dressed like someone from The Matrix? No, real reason, actually. John Spector doesn’t even wear this kind of stuff. But it does look cool.
I think the story is part Ted Dekker and part Criminal Minds, part supernatural thriller and part mystery. That’s a cool blend.
But there were some parts of the story where I felt like the book couldn’t quite make up its mind, like it was having an identity crisis. “I don’t know if I’m a mystery or what!”
The villain, Smiling Jack, is pretty tricky. He kept me guessing until the end. And that’s hard to do for someone like me.
On the other hand, John Spector is a pretty awesome character himself. He has stupid attacks just like everyone else, but he makes up for it… sometimes.
The story is centered around a theme very relevant for our world today.
Some people will be offended by that theme.
When I read Ghost, I came away with this:
There are always two sides; two sides to the same story, two ways that circumstances affect people, two sides fighting a battle, and even two sides to the same person. We can only see one side most of the time, so we can’t always see the whole truth. In fact, truth only comes from the One who can see both sides.
Yeah, good luck riddling that one out. Read the book, you’ll get it.
Michaela: Let’s talk about Frozen!!!
Cadi: This is my sister, Michaela. She’s a little excited about Frozen.
M: No! I’m Anna. You’re Elsa.
C: Frozen is Disney’s latest…
M: And greatest!
C: …princess movie.
M: It’s about two sisters named Anna and Elsa.
C: Elsa is the older sister and she has magical powers over ice and snow. But her powers are dangerous, so she has to keep them secret.
M: Even Anna doesn’t know about Elsa’s abilities. All she knows is that Elsa has always given her the cold shoulder.
C: Ok, now it’s time for flip-sides.
M: You mean like this? Elsa is boring *walks across shot* but Anna is awesome!
C: Um, no. Why don’t you just let me take care of the negatives?
M: I positively loved the characters! They feel like real people. You totally believe that people like this could actually exist.
C: I expected Elsa to be more in control of her powers. From watching the trailer, I thought she would be summoning huge snow storms and avalanches and throwing massive icicles and such. But no. We get a castle that has, like, only two rooms. Oh, and an unintentional snowman.
M: Speaking of the snowman, the humor in the movie was actually funny, unlike most cartoon humor. Voice inflections, timing, and clumsiness were all combined to make me ROFL.
C: There’s no room to roll in theater rows.
M: It was hilarious.
C: There were basically no explanations for any of the back-story. What is the origin of Elsa’s powers? How did Kristoff become an orphan? Why are the trolls experts in everything?
M: And why were king and queen fully dressed in the middle of the night?
M: The music was the best I’ve heard in a long time from a Disney movie. The songs get stuck in your head very easily. Literally, I’ve been singing them non-stop since we saw the movie.
C: Yeah. The music was beautiful. So was the animation.
M: I thought you were doing the negatives?
C: *pushing Michaela’s face out of shot* Shhh.
C: When we watched Frozen, we came away with this:
M: Never give up on the ones you love.
C: True love means putting others before yourself.
M: Overall, the movie made me appreciate my sister more.
M: So, if you don’t have a sister, don’t watch this movie! Just kidding. Really. Go watch it.
[Blooper reel: Basically (and I quote)]: “I am too funny to be contained in a video!”
Hey there, guys. Sam here with video number one of Story-Shorts, a brand new mini series from storyshoutout.com, designed to help you add romance of life and adventure into your everyday hum-drum. Without further ado, video one’s topic is: singing a song differently than you normally would. Kind of an odd topic, isn’t it? Well, actually, yes it is (I admit that), but it’s also a whole lot of fun.
So, if you sing, let’s say “Happy Birthday” or “Away in a Manger” you might sing: *sings normally* “Away in a manger.” Woa, stop. That’s great. It’s good that you can sing in your normal voice and have pretty good results. What’s more fun is to then take that and say, “Ok, I can do it normally, but what if I was to go: *sings in deep voice* away in a manger?” A lot deeper. Or, “*sings high pitch* Away in a manger!” Phew, a lot higher, wow. Obviously, one of those will work a little bit better than the other. Singing high is not something I do very well. But that’s part of the fun!
Maybe you like to sing a song with an accent; an English accent or an Australian accent. Well, then take it and put maybe a German accent on or a Spanish accent. This is all about having fun, trying something different.
I’m not saying, if you’re in a choir or singing with friends and family, you need to be singing in this kind of funky way. But if you’re just chillin’ with maybe one friend or don’t have anything going on or signing a song you enjoy, hey! Flip it into a different accent! Flip it into a different pitch! Have some fun with it! This is a little way that you can add something different to your standard hum-drum.
Probably not gonna sound amazing. At least, it doesn’t when I do it. Maybe it does for your voice, I don’t know. But it’s fun. It’s different. Give it a go! You don’t have to do this every day. You don’t have to do it in public. But it’s worth a try.
Alright, that’s video number one, done! We’ve got many, many more coming down the road. If there are ways that you personally already add romance of life and adventure into your day-to-day, hey, let me know! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Leave a comment on Youtube. Leave a comment on the StoryShoutOut page. Or, if you know me online, contact me directly. That’s totally cool.
Have a great day, guys, and happy singing! It’s good!
Let’s talk about The Scarlet Pimpernel.
There are many books that need to be made into good movies and this definitely is one of them.
The Scarlet Pimpernel was written by Baroness Emmuorc… somebody.
The storyline takes place in 1792 during the French Revolution. The name of the Scarlet Pimpernel hides the secret identity of a brave Englishman who rescues people from the guillotine.
FYI, a scarlet pimpernel is a small red flower that grows wild in Great Britain. I’m trying to grow a pot of them! It’s not working.
The book mostly follows a French woman named Marguerite who is caught in the middle of “ONE LONG TREACHEROUS RIDDLE!” (Ahem, that was from the musical, which is awesome in its own way.)
Actually, Marguerite is caught in between the bloodlust of her country and her belief that the Scarlet Pimpernel is a hero. She must choose between saving two innocent lives.
This book was the original duel-identity hero story. It inspired characters like Zorro and Batman.
So, flip sides: what’s great, what’s not?
There are some really funny parts.
It reads a little slow, but not bad for being a classic.
Marguerite is a strong female character. She is both loyal and brave.
She suffers from CCSA. If you’ve never heard, CCSA stands for a terrible disease called chronic character stupid attacks. “Duh, the Scarlet Pimpernel was right in front of me, but I still dunno who he is!”
The bad guy. Oooh, the bad guy is so good. He’s sarcastic and clever and freaky! He’s the king of either-or choices.
There was no sword duel in the book.
The Scarlet Pimpernel character was very original when the Baroness first wrote the book but we might be desensitized to his awesomeness these days. I still think he is epic.
When I read the Scarlet Pimpernel, I came away with this:
There is too much injustice in the world for us to just sit quietly and do nothing. Evil is dangerous and out for blood. Someone has to stand up for the oppressed. But who said we can’t be creative with our fight?
La, if you’re going to live, you might as well enjoy the sport of the battle. Mm! Tazo Passion Fruit. My favorite.
Comment below if you want me to say, “Hi!”
Let’s talk about The Christmas Shoes.
This song was made by the group NewSong, a band whose devious members apparently enjoy tearing my heart to shreds and leaving me crumpled on the floor in a puddle of my own tears.
If you haven’t heard this song yet, may your days continue to be merry and bright. The rest of us are still trying to control our emotions. It’s a yearly battle.
The story is about a young boy who is trying to buy a pair of shoes on Christmas Eve. Spoiler alert: the shoes are for his dying mother.
His mother. IS DYING. ON CHRISTMAS EVE!
On the flip side, why is this kid trying to obtain material possessions after his father clearly stated, “There is not much time before your mother dies?” Come to think of it, why is this kid even out shopping without adult supervision? How is making Mamma beautiful for Jesus a picture of Heaven’s love? Like Jesus cares what Mamma looks like. Like Mamma cares what Mamma looks like! She’s DYING! She’s probably dying from worry because her son is missing on Christmas Eve.
When I heard The Christmas Shoes, I came away with this:
*singing* It’s what Christmas is all abooooout!
Yeah, last time I checked, Christmas was about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.
Actually, if there is something I could take away, it would be thankfulness for the good health of my family this season and also for the hope that, when health finally fails, we will meet Jesus. And He won’t care what we’re wearing on our feet.
Yeah, the sign on Heaven’s gate is like, “No shoes, no service! Sorry!” Not.
Christmas can be a lonely time of year. So, if you want me, a random stranger, to say “hello” to you in a future video, post your name in the comments under this video. Then you won’t be lonely and you’ll have a great story to tell about the time an internet wacko talked to you like on the Romper Room magic mirror.
Let’s talk about Doctor Who.
I gotta put on my converse for this one.
Doctor Who is a time traveler who tries to save the universe from various bad guys. He almost always has a companion with him. Or two… or however many can fit inside his spaceship. He is actually an alien who can avoid death by a process called “regeneration.” Basically, if he’s dying, he can make himself a new body. That’s kinda the genius behind this 50-year-old British television show; new faces for the Doctor just aren’t a problem.
See? I even have the Tardis painted on my nails! *sigh* Sometimes, I’m embarrassed by my own nerdiness.
So, flip sides. What’s good, what’s bad?
The Doctor is very clever and funny. He’s always coming out with a witty saying or a creative way to save the day.
The Doctor is so arrogant; I just want to slap him. All the time.
It is so cool how the Doctor and his companions travel space and time. Literally anything can happen. You’ve got all of these people and plot lines that are just weaving together and it is just so fantastically complicated!There is no point because it’s a TV show! There is no ultimate goal that they’re trying to get to. It’s just running around saving peoples’ lives and weird aliens. Kinda sounds like my life.
It is scary sometimes. You will never look at tally marks or stone statues or shadows the same way ever again.
Oh, look there goes the last Dalek! Oh, no, look, there goes last Dalek! “The last Dalek” is an oxymoron. There’s always another Dalek.
The Doctor has lots of friends and companions and they just add this great flavor. I just love the relationships between all of them.
A lot of the girl characters are like, “There goes another one who gives her heart away. Go figure.”
Bowties are not cool. They are like fabric mustaches you wear around your neck.
When I watched Doctor Who, I walked away with this:
Our universe is endless, our world is so complex, and our history is so rich. There is so much to discover out there! Yeah, bad things happen and people die, but there are beautiful things too. There are things that will explode your mind. Like babies who call themselves “Stormageddon.”
See what I mean? Even our own minds, you just can’t comprehend them.
Let’s talk about The Clockwork Dragon.
My friend Sam recommended this book, so I read it. Then I asked him if his recommendation had been a prank. Probably not the most politically correct thing I’ve ever done.
The Clockwork Dragon is a collection of short stories written by 3 authors. Each story chronicles the doings of a golden music-box dragon figurine. Yes, the dragon statue has doings.
This book is free for Kindle on Amazon.com right now. That’s where I got my copy of the story.
So, let’s do the flip-sides for this anthology:
Since the title mentions clockwork, I expected this story to be steampunk, but it wasn’t.
First there was an insecure teenager, then there was a grandma, then there was a ship’s captain, then there were fairies, then there were mermaids. *Confused shrug*
I loved how the thread of the dragon wove through all of the stories.
But I felt like the weaving never made a complete pattern. There was no happy… well, no, there wasn’t even really any kind of ending. Yes, the book is an anthology, but I need closure, people!
It was an alright, short weekend read and the price was right.
It was just not my cup of tea. This is my cup of tea *drinks tea.* I kept waiting to be blown away, but I was mostly just confused and a little creeped out.
When I read The Clockwork Dragon, I came away with this:
STAY AWAY FROM GOLDEN DRAGON FIGURINES!
But on the serious side, I did like how, when some of the characters were in trouble, they cried out to Jesus for help. It was a good reminder that, no matter how lost you feel, Jesus will rescue you if you ask Him to. Even your bad choices can’t stop Him from saving you.
My friend Sam told me that he thinks The Clockwork Dragon “was a fantastic anthology in creativity and breadth of story genre.” Did we even read the same book?
Eh, whatever. Read it and decide for yourself, if you want to.
Sam is my friend, but now he is your friend, too. He is graciously providing the next few giveaways books for StoryShoutOut. So, if you like free books, go to storyshoutout.com and click on the giveaways button. Believe me, Sam has some awesome books he is just itching to give you. Itching.
Storyshoutout.com. Free stuff. Go, go! *sips tea* Ah, see, my cuppa is Tazo Passion Fruit tea. Best ever.
Let’s talk about…. “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” – Snape
This book was written by Robert Lewis Stevenson. The story starts with a lawyer named Mr. Utterson (cow). Utterson is the trusted keeper of his friends’ wills. One of his closest friends is Dr. Jekyll (sheep), but Jekyll’s will is something of a mystery to Utterson because it states that: “In the case of the decease of Henry Jekyll, all his possessions are to pass into the hands of his friend and benefactor Edward Hyde.”
But Utterson has never heard of Mr. Hyde and has no idea who the fellow is. Until, that is, he heard of a heartless crime committed by an ungentlemanly figure by the name of Mr. Hyde (t-Rex).
Utterson suspects that Mr. Hyde is blackmailing the good Dr. Jekyll (t-Rex attacks sheep). Since Utterson is Jekyll’s friend, he sets out to solve this strange case (cow leaves). Bye-bye!
Right, time for flip sides. This one will be fun:
*Jekyll* Robert Lewis Stevenson was an amazing writer. The poetry of the book intertwines with the suspense of the story in a rare elegance.
*Hyde* It takes place on another continent in another century; call me stupid, but sometimes I have to try hard to figure out what they’re saying. “The stillness was only broken by the sound of a footfall moving to and fro along the cabinet floor.” How’s he walking in the kitchen cupboards?
*Jekyll* The characters are deep and pop off the page realistically.
*Hyde* Except this one time someone dies for no real reason at all. What is this, Les Miserables? If people could die of pure shock, we wouldn’t have Halloween… boo. *Person screams and dies*
*Jekyll* The story goes straight to the point. It has to with only this much room to tell it and this much glossary to explain it.
*Hyde* What kind of an ending is that?!?
When I read The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, I came away with this:
A lot of people in the world today think that man is inherently good. But if that’s true, then why does one evil act give birth to another one? Something bad happened in your childhood so now you have issues you can’t overcome. Someone hurt you so now you’re bent on revenge. I don’t know if Mr. Stevenson called himself a Christian, but he certainly gave us a sobering picture of the hopelessness of man without Jesus Christ.
But the hopelessness of just man, I mean, women are obviously angels. Right, Professor? “Obviously.” – Snape
Let’s talk about Epic.
No, not the fairy people movie.
This book! It was written by John Eldrege and it is EPIC (See? Says so right there). This is one of my most favorite non-fiction books. Why? Because it’s about fiction!
Well, not just fiction. This book draws parallels between the stories we love and the real world – our story.
The things that make up a great story are that way because they are the same things that make up our story; once upon a time, happily ever after, joy, sorrow, true love, suspense, adventure….
Epic presents the picture of God as a skillful author who has written our future and our history, and we have copied His methods in our tales.
J.R.R. Tolkien said in his essay On Fairy Stories, “The Gospels contain a fairy story, or a story of a larger kind which embraces all the essence of fairy-stories.” This is the idea of this book; that the story God has written for us is the very epic which our hearts have been longing for.
The only bad flip side to this book is it’s too short! (For real, look, this much epicness should not be contained in such a small binding.)
When I read Epic, I came away with this:
The battle between good and evil is dangerously real. Just as real is the promise of happily ever after for the good guys.
It is amazing how God keeps pursuing us because He loves us, even revealing Himself to us in fiction. There is nowhere to hide from Him, not even in other worlds. He is everything good from every hero we have ever been inspired by. But He’s way better than all of those heroes because He is real and that is epic.