Movie Review: Let’s Be Cops

IMDb: It’s the ultimate buddy cop movie except for one thing: they’re not cops. MV5BMjI3MDY2ODQwNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjUzNjE4MTE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,674,1000_AL_When two struggling pals dress as police officers for a costume party, they become neighborhood sensations. But when these newly-minted “heroes” get tangled in a real life web of mobsters and dirty detectives, they must put their fake badges on the line.

I’m really late on this one, but I just had to share a few thoughts.

I believe the main theme of the movie was to say that it is never too late to find yourself and take responsibility for your life. Now, that might be a bit heavier than the actual message, but I just need to get this off of my chest.Read More »

Movie Review: Assassin’s Creed

Back before my husband and I became parents, we had all the time in the world to play video games (him) and watch movies/T.V. (me), but now its a rare occasion, and typically only when it is paid for such as gift cards for his games or friends lending us movies to watch, etc. Makes us sound cheap, but it’s just not what we choose to spend money on anymore. Every now and then we get to combine our interests and spend time doing what we both like.

Assassin’s Creed was supposed to be that perfect mix. It wasn’t.assassin_s_creed_movie_poster_2016_by_fincher7-dad26yg

IMDb: Through Abstergo a company that creates a revolutionary technology that unlocks his genetic memories, Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) experiences the memories of his ancestor, Aguilar de Nerha (Aguilar Of Nerha), in 15th Century Spain. Callum discovers he is descended from a mysterious secret society, the Assassins and Templars, and amasses incredible knowledge and skills to take on the oppressive and powerful Templar organization in the present day.

IMDb Rating: 6.1/10

My Rating: 4.5/10

***SPOILERS***YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED***Read More »

How to Handle Bad Reviews

Have you ever tried something that just didn’t go the way you had hoped and turned into a bad experience? Sometimes we can ignore them, others we feel propelled to let others know about our horrible encounters. We all come across these events in our lives not matter the person, place, or thing of focus. Bad customer service; blast them on social media. Malfunctioning product; unpleasant reviews on company website. Read a lackluster novel; ream the author out on GoodReads.bad-reviews-online-yelp

There is no easy way to handle harsh reviews, but I have come up with a few steps to help my fellow providers of any product or service to come out stronger after such abuse. Before we begin, I want to be clear that there is a very real difference between constructive criticism and plain rude comments. Constructive criticism is exactly that, a positive offering from a consumer to help strengthen the seller’s position within any market. Malicious reviews do not fall in this category, and sometimes can be a little hard to swallow. This is where my focus will fall because constructive criticism is part of everyday life, so we should be acclimated to these types of comments whereas verbal lashings for most are a bit further and farther in between.

*Disclaimer: I am an author, so this will be geared more towards my colleagues, but all suppliers are welcomed to cite whatever piece they find valuable from this post.

1. Read the comments with an open mind.

Do not attempt to read reviews or listen to customers with a turbulent or distracted mind. Whatever is going on in another part of your life, whatever has previously upset you either work related or otherwise, forget about it for all of the amount time it is going to take you to complete this process before reading/hearing any sort of cruel negative feedback. Clear your mind, steel it if you are new to this process, and continue to the next step.

2. Don’t take it personal.

Remember the first step. Read the comments with an open mind and don’t take it personal. I of all people know that this is hard to do especially when a reviewer is literally dragging your name through the mud, but we have to remember that to them whatever product or service they were provided with did not meet expectations and therefore has let them down. This can be heightened dramatically as the cost to the consumer is higher. No matter what the reviewer has said, don’t take it personally, and continue on.

3. Find the constructive pieces.

Unless the customer is literally just throwing profanities and cursing your very existence, during these times of frustration, we all just want our voices heard. Again, if the reviewer is just lamenting that you occupy space on this planet, it is best just to ignore it and/or advise them to provide feedback at such a time that it can contain constructive points. If the consumer is frustrated, but still explaining why pertaining to the product, then there is hope for something constructive and possibly a lesson to be learned. It may be hard to sieve through some of the not so helpful points, but again, remember our previous steps and focus on what can be helpful advice.

4. Do not respond.

This may be equally hard to do, but specifically to my fellow authors, do not respond! Unless you are on the phone or in person with the disgruntled customer, do not respond. List out the constructive points as you read the statements with an open mind. Even if you think you have the end-all-be-all comeback, do not respond. This is about learning to find what is helpful to better yourself in the future.

Revert to the previous step if you are face to face with an unhappy consumer: advise them to provide feedback at such a time that it can contain constructive points, and if it does contain such points, acknowledge them, but do not offer excuses or explanations. Just listen and give their concerns merit. Do not take anything said to you to heart. Remember, it isn’t personal. They just want to be heard.

5. Remember that you are not perfect.

No one on this planet is perfect. We all perform the same mundane tasks every day between bathroom usage and clothing rituals. You will never make everyone happy no matter the product or service you provide, but we can at least continue to understand that there is always room for growth and use these scenarios to our advantage. If a reviewer says that your story lacks dialog, try to add more in your next. If a customer states that your product brakes too easily at this certain piece, evaluate their concern and strive to make it better. We can take these moments of criticism and strive to make ourselves. Not perfect, but better.

6. Grow.

We are all human, and life is a continuous saga of learning lessons. Be the bigger person, and better yourself from the experience. Take what you can from each lesson, and let the rest go. (Not to sound too “Frozen”-y.) Everything we do, we can get better with practice and determination. Never give up, just accept this new challenge and rise above it.

My husband will look at me at times and ask how I can stand to see some ill-intended comments. My answer is always that I take them and choose to grow from them. I refuse to let it get me down because then what does that accomplish. We all have too choose to be better, to strive for more, and with each new project, that is exactly what I do. In a way, I guess I am breaking one of my own rules with this post, but to all who have provided feedback on any of my works, I thank you for helping me reach for higher heights, and I will always strive for greater.

Let me know of any tips that I may have left out, or different ways you may cope with such comments. If you just need a listening ear, I am here for that also!

The Walking Dead Midseason Premiere

I have been a fan of The Walking Dead since the beginning. Rick Grimes is my dude, and Carl is my boy. When the show first began, I was hooked hard and couldn’t wait for each episode. There have been a few very disturbing scenes as well as lackluster screen writing along the way, but ultimately, I have remained loyal to the show up until recently.

During the whole Glenn debacle, I have honestly felt a little stung by the franchise that they would treat their fans that way, but they always find a way to drag me back. Since the entire gory scene in the woods, Negan has really come into his role as the new big bad even with some not so villainy lines, and he has become the sole reason I have come back to the show following this mid-season break.the-walking-dead-season-7-rick-lincoln-michonne-gurira-cci-key-art-1200x707-1

Seriously, though, these writers are not doing this series any favors right now. Did you hear some of the lines in the subject episode? CORNY! Rick gets back to Alexandria, and he and Sasha exchange like three words that are the epitome of cheesy acting. I don’t fault the actors though because I know what they are capable of, but the writings is taking a turn for the worse.

I just hope Negan sticks around long enough to carry the show for a little while. For an older than me gentleman, he is very attractive even with his cocky, domineering attitude. He is really hitting his role for me as of recently, but maybe I am just trying to fill the hole Daryl has left due to their lack of designated time to the beautiful Norman Reedus. Sigh.

Movie Review: Arrival

mv5bmtexmzu0odcxndheqtjeqwpwz15bbwu4mde1oti4mzay-_v1_sy1000_cr006401000_al_Hubs and I have been playing catch up on our movie watching. The Arrival movie was not one that I was particularly interested in, but hubby wanted to see it. Jeremy Renner is in it, so I figured I’d take one for the team.

IMdB: When mysterious spacecraft touch down across the globe, an elite team – led by expert linguist Louise Banks – is brought together to investigate. As mankind teeters on the verge of global war, Banks and the team race against time for answers – and to find them, she will take a chance that could threaten her life, and quite possibly humanity.

The above descripition is way more dramatic than I actually think the movie was, and I’m really not sure what chance they are referring to. Silly, IMdB. It could have been a decent movie, but it was ruined for me.

***SPOILERS***YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED***

Read More »

Movie Review: Deepwater Horizon

If you have never heard of Deepwater Horizon, then my friend, you live under a rock and/or are a vampire. If it’s the latter then I’m glad we’re friends. It was a strange coincidence that my husband and I watched this literally the same week I had a discussion board assignment on the tragedy. There was obvious dramatization to some of it and inaccuracies, but overall I really think this movie was very well done.

mv5botezndu0otgxm15bml5banbnxkftztgwnja0odm2ote-_v1_sy1000_cr006741000_al_IMdB: In April 2010, there is no oil exploration operation in the Gulf of Mexico to compare with the Deepwater Horizon oil rig with its size or sheer depth of its drilling. However, the project for the BP oil company is beset with technical difficulties to the point where the general operational supervisor, Jimmy Harrell, and his Chief Electrical Engineer, Mike Williams, are concerned potentially dangerous trouble is brewing. Unfortunately, visiting BP executives, frustrated by the project’s long delays, order curtailed site inspections and slanted system tests to make up for lost time even as Harrell, Williams and his team helplessly protest for the sake of proper safety. On April 20, the workers’ fears are realized in the worst possible way when the rig’s various structural and system flaws spark a catastrophic cascade of failures that would create a massive blowout and explosion that threatens them all, even as it also begins the worst environmental disaster in US history.

I’m not going to claim any spoilers because as a proclaimed above, the Deepwater Horizon tragedy has been deemed the worst environmental disaster in US history, so you can pretty much guess what happens in the movie. If you can’t, here’s some light reading for you: 100 Days of the BP Spill. I absolutely loved this timeline as it was part of the reading for my discussion board in my Social Responsibility in Business class.

Mark Wahlberg had a great performance in this movie, but let’s be honest, when does he not perform well. I wonder if he spent any time with the man he was casted to play, but if you watched the CSPAN coverage of the Senate hearings on this tragedy, you heard his story already. Mike Williams stood before a selected committee and recounted the night of April 20, 2010 when Deepwater Horizon exploded and 11 people were lost at sea. This courageous man did everything he could to help his fellow shipmates, but this incident could have been completely avoided had BP not been so greedy.

I was a little wary that this movie was going to be a big political circus, but it was honestly just the retelling of a man’s story with a bit of Hollywood dramatization thrown in. It will make you mad, I promise you that, but not for the wrong reasons. The families that have been torn apart by this tragedy, my heart goes out to them still, even seven years later.

It was a great movie to watch, but the idea that these people had to actually go through something like this is crazy to me. It was 2010! How can something like this still happen? I’ve read where they tightened the regulations on the blowout valve to hopefully avoid another tragedy like Deepwater Horizon. Any engineers out there that can create an even better failsafe? I challenge you!

 

Movie Review: Hell Or High Water (2016)

Hubs and I have been on a movie kick recently. We typically stick to the more popular movies being released, but when we came across Hell or High Water, we couldn’t help but appease our curiosity. Chris Pine, Jeff Bridges, and Ben Foster in a bank robbing film set in west Texas. What better cast could you ask for?mv5bmtg4nda1ota5nf5bml5banbnxkftztgwmdq2mdm5ode__v1_sy1000_cr006741000_al_

Following a series of armed robberies at a number of branches of Texas Midland Bank where very little money was taken, we learn that the motive of unemployed oil and gas worker Toby Howard (Chris Pine) and his brother — just released from prison — is to raise enough money to pay off the reverse mortgage that will forfeit their recently deceased mother’s ranch if not paid off. Oil was discovered on the ranch and in order to secure the future of his sons and ex wife, Toby needs $43,000. After two of the robberies, curmudgeonly Texas Ranger Marcus Hamilton (Jeff Bridges) and his American Indiana deputy partner pick up the trial and just miss foiling the next, and last robbery.

***SPOILERS***You have been warned***Read More »

Star Wars: Rogue One Review

Hubby and I had a mommy/daddy weekend over the New Year holiday, and besides actually spending the night out for the big ball drop, we also decided to see the new Star Wars movie. We are definitely Star Wars fans, but since Disney has taken over LucasFilms and has decided to release movies on or around our daughter’s birthday every year, we will consistently be late to the viewing of these movies. mv5bmjewmzmxodizov5bml5banbnxkftztgwnzg3otazmdi-_v1_sy1000_sx675_al_

Hear that Disney! Make the release dates later!

The basics of the movie are: In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves.

***SPOILERS***You have been warned***Read More »

Book Review: Mine to Keep by Cynthia Eden

Remember my post a few weeks ago? Well, at the end of it, I said I needed to do my homework and not read the next novel in the Mine Series. Guess what I didn’t do?

Mine to Keep by Cynthia Eden41rahhxsxpl

Rating: 4

Mine to Keep is the second novel in the Mine series by Cynthia Eden, published and self-published author of romantic suspense and paranormal romance novels. This first novel hooked me into the story of Skye and Trace, and I just couldn’t let them go! I had to know what happened next in their story. Did Trace finally come clean about his past? Would Skye be able to handle the burden of his secrets?

Skye shoved her doubts and fears away. This was Trace. They’d survived hell before. They could survive anything that came their way. “I already have everything,” Skye said softly.. – Mine to Keep by Cynthia Eden

Just a month following the horrific stalker/abductor incident that shook Skye’s world, the nightmares wake her nightly, and Trace’s guards follow her every move, but she demands some normalcy back into her life. Determined now more than ever to start her dance studio, Skye pushes herself beyond her limits to achieve her dreams, but a dark cloud follows her every move. She knows Trace has secrets and has done things he wasn’t proud of, but why couldn’t he trust her enough to share his burden? Didn’t he understand that anything that touched him, touched her, too?

When you put your trust in the wrong person, you opened yourself up for all kinds of hurt. – Mine to Keep by Cynthia Eden 

Trace would do anything to make Skye happy. Shower her with gifts, promise a future, help her get her studio off the ground. He just couldn’t understand why she needed his past, too. There was nothing there that she needed to know, or so he thought. When a ghost from his past comes back to threaten his future, his life, and everything he ever loved and trusted, he faces the very real possibility of losing Skye again, but this time not just by breaking up. He has to let her in, has to reveal his true self, but will it be too late?

***SPOILER ALERT***

Another amazing novel by Eden to add to my love affair with Skye and Trace. I’m hesitant to move on to the third Mine novel because I am still on suspenseful romance clouds, but I am hoping that even though the focus is on new characters introduced in this book that Skye and Trace will still be in the background.

The first novel was absolute tops in my opinion. This second novel while fantastic as well didn’t leave me with the same happy sigh at the end. There was a whole scene dedicated to Skye being upset that Trace basically watched her from afar for ten years plus had guards on her without her knowledge, but I really didn’t understand why she was upset until the very end of it. I wish her feelings had been fleshed out a bit more, but once her “I was put in a cage that I didn’t even know I was in,” speech came about, I was totally on board!

Then the ending left me hanging a bit. Trace comes back, but what happens next? Back to the penthouse? Back to the private island? Marriage, babies? Don’t leave me hanging, Cynthia! 🙂 I love this romance between Skye and Trace, and feel that Skye became even stronger in this novel than the first. Hopefully, they are still secondary characters in the rest of the Mine series, but I won’t know until my homework is finished. (Wink, Wink)