Tuesday, 8 November 2016

The Best Movies Set in the Gateway to the West

St. Louis has never been the most popular setting or shooting location of films. When Missouri’s film office was shut down in 2011, tax credits were no longer offered to film production companies. As a result, the film industry came crashing down.

Image source: okroads.com

There are movies in the past, though, that served as gateways. These films showed the great city and its culture on the big screen. The following are a few examples: 

National Lampoon’s Vacation and Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
St. Louis was the setting of some of the scenes of these John Hughes classic, bestselling comedies. Both films had the iconic 192-meter Gateway Arch as a backdrop in memorable scenes. In National Lampoon’s Vacation, another American icon, the Wagon Queen Family Truckster shared the shot with the arch.  In Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, one of the funniest dialogues in cinematic history had the arch in its background. 

Up in the Air
In the 2009 movie that was nominated for seven major Academy awards, St. Louis’s own Lambert International Airport was mentioned by George Clooney’s character as being significant in the evolution of aviation.  Up in the Air is the last notable Hollywood movie set in the city. 

King of the Hill
Filmed and set almost entirely in St. Louis, the 1993 film about a young boy living in the Great Depression era was never a box-office hit, but it is considered by film experts to be one of the best works of Director Steven Soderbergh. 

  
Hi, I’m Tracy Luttrell, a marathoner and a movie buff.  The 1957 classic The Spirit of St. Louis is one of my favorite of all time.  See this LinkedIn profile to read more.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

The Importance Of a Massage After a Long Run

Sore muscles are no longer unfamiliar to a dedicated runner. Those who are into the sport have to endure this again and again. Even if it’s a common occurrence, it’s not a pleasant one, and we all need to find ways to take away the pain. As for me, a good massage is always the best therapy for sore muscles.

Image source: Thecompleteherbalguide.com

While it isn’t yet proven that having a massage can push toxins away from the body, recent studies show that it can reduce inflammation and improve immunity. When one part of your body is feeling unwell, it is highly possible for the other parts to follow. Having a massage helps ease the pain and contains it so that the rest of the body won’t get sick. It also reduces delayed onset muscle soreness or that numbness you feel on your legs after running a marathon.

Aside from helping the body relax after a long day of training or competing, having a massage also helps runners endure more training. Instead of making the body weaker after helping it calm down, it actually prepares it for the days ahead.

Image source: Youtube.com

Now that you know the importance of a good massage after a long run, why don’t you book an appointment scheduled after a tiring run? Tell me if the positive effects are also true for you.

Tracy Luttrell here. One more thing that relaxes me after a long run is watching my favorite film, ‘The Spirit of St. Louis.’ What about you? Let me know on Twitter.



Friday, 22 July 2016

Cry Fest: The Greatest Dramatic Movies

There's a certain feeling of relief after having a cry fest over sad films. An extremely stressful day will make you want to break down, but you can’t because you’re too busy for that, right? After a whole week of trying to suppress all those emotions, a good ugly cry while watching a sad movie on a weekend just lets everything out. Here are great sad movies to let those tears rolling.

The Pursuit of Happyness

Inspired by a true story, the movie is about single father Chris Gardner (Will Smith) who strives to make ends meet for him and his young son (Jaden Smith). He was able to land an unpaid internship as a stockbroker but without any salary, they were evicted from their apartment and were forced to sleep on the streets and homeless shelters. The scene where Chris broke down and cradled his son in his arms behind the locked doors of a public bathroom is heart-breaking. This is a genuinely inspiring story of a father's love and overcoming life's toughest obstacles.

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 Image source: denverpost.com

P.S. I Love You

After losing the love of her life, Holly Kennedy (Hilary Swank) has to move on and keep living. She starts to receive letters from his late husband, Gerry (Gerard Butler), starting on her 30th birthday. Gerry organized to send her the letters before he died to help his wife move on from the pain and to eventually start to live a new life.

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 Image source: weltbild.de

Good Will Hunting

Will Hunting (Matt Damon) is gifted in mathematics but opts to work as a janitor at MIT. When Professor Gerald Lambeau (Stellan Skarsgard) discovers Will's gift, he did his best to help him maximize his potentials by recommending him to get the help he needs from a psychologist, Sean Maguire (Robin Williams). It was tough to have Will open up to Sean, but when he finally does, you’ll start sobbing along with Damon.

Titanic

Any list of sad movies is not complete without the James Cameron hit. Everyone knows how it's going to end and everyone knows it's really sad, but people still watch it, anyway. It's an ultimate sob fest when Jack finally lets go of Rose's hand and how she kept on asking him to come back as he goes deeper down the water. Plus, the scenes of couples and families hugging each other to accept death are throat-clenching. I’m telling you, “Titanic” is a sure-fire cry fest film.

Hi, I am Tracy Luttrell and one of my favorite films is ‘The Spirit of St. Louis.’ If you have excellent movie recommendations, send me a tweet.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

The End? What i Think About Open-Ended Films


There is no perfect recipe for a blockbuster movie. It’s not always boy meets girl, or poor suburb student makes it big in the city. The film industry is evolving and is manipulated by different trends. But there are times when people’s comments or experiences affect what should be seen as a “good plot.” For example, in the ‘60s, people saw a lot of violence and sex on the big screen. The ‘80s saw a lot of summer-themed and teen angst films. The ‘90s were heavy with CGI and franchise films.
Image source: psychologytoday.com
Some filmmakers do not simply stick to just one theme or trend. There are those who defy this thinking but still make a good product.

These days, a lot of filmmakers are into open-ended films. These are not really common, but it works on certain plots and themes. Christopher Nolan is a director and writer who has done various films with this kind of approach. He had everyone on the edge of their seats when the infamous top from his 2010 film “Inception” confused viewers if it stopped or not.

Everyone had their own interpretation of the “Inception” ending. Some people say that the top did not stop because Cobb was already in his happy place, and he did not want reality to ruin the fantasy for him. There were those who thought Cobb’s top stopped, prompting that he’s finally living in the real world and has come home to his family.

Years after “Inception” hit the theaters, Nolan talked about the ending of the story in an interview. But to his fans’ dismay, he did not give a clear cut answer if the top stopped or not. For him, the ending should remain subjective, because he wants the viewers to chase their own realities.

Image source: tribune.com.pk
I appreciate open-ended plots. While I enjoy watching movies that have a linear storyline, it’s refreshing to see something that will make me think. For me, these films give viewers the liberty to make up their own endings. With this kind of plot, people are more engaged in the conversation and tend to think critically by questioning their own realities and endings.

Hi, I’m Tracy Luttrell, a movie enthusiast from Pennsylvania. My all-time favorite film is “The Spirit of Saint Louis,” but I also enjoy watching open-ended movies. Love movies? Let’s talk about them on Twitter!





Monday, 30 May 2016

Now Showing: The Best Romantic Comedies Of All Time

They can be overly cheesy and optimistic, but nothing beats a good romantic-comedy. A beautifully crafted rom-com makes hopeless romantics and even the most jaded audience swoon. Let’s take a look at some of the best romantic comedies of all time: 

Image source: cnn.com

Pretty Woman
 
Starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, “Pretty Woman” is the unlikely love story of a prostitute and a business millionaire. The film is one of the most commercially successful rom-coms of all time and is arguably, one of Robert’s most iconic roles. The director initially wanted to create a dark drama about prostitution in LA but in the end, opted to create a fun, light-hearted film.


Love Actually
Image source: mentalfloss.com
 
This 2003 film is an adorable movie showcasing the stories of different couples falling in and out of love during the festive Christmas holidays in England. “Love Actually” fills your heart and breaks it at the same time with all the funny, heartwarming, and complicated love stories. Who would ever forget Hugh Grant’s dance routine and the famous poster board scene with Keira Knightley? 

Notting Hill
 
A charming romance of a bookshop owner who falls in love with a glamorous movie star, “Notting Hill” is yet another one of Robert’s most memorable films. Written by Richard Curtis, the director and screenwriter of “Love Actually,” this 1999 film is a blissfully romantic and heartfelt story that will be remembered by generations. 
Image source: wikimedia.org

Hello! My name’s Tracy Luttrell. I’m a huge movie buff from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. My favorite film is ‘The Spirit of St. Louis; but I’m also a sucker for cheesy rom-coms. Subscribe to my blog for more on my hobbies and interests.

Friday, 20 May 2016

Run The World: How I Prepare For Destination Races

It started with a fun run. Then I found myself getting more into running. After attending a few marathons in my state, I tried going to other states like Florida and Colorado. But it was at a half-marathon in Kauai when I realized how much I wanted to explore famous sites of the world through marathons.

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Image source: Theclymb.com

However, I am also aware that preparing for destination races means training twice as hard. If I am going to a place with a warmer climate, I need to prepare my body for the heat and humidity. When the destination is in a cold and frigid area, I need to prepare myself to run with extra layers and through slippery roads. My gear has to be customized to the different temperatures. If my shoe gives way during a run at a tropical destination, I might not be able to finish the race. It’s important to invest in quality gear to aid with the speed and agility.

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 Image source: Active.com

Research is also important when it comes to destination marathons. Aside from the weather, you also have to think about the culture and the race route. Say, if you’re going on a marathon in Spain, the announcements would most likely be in Spanish. So when I go to that part of the world, it’s a must for me to learn phrases and terms that would get me through not just the race but also the whole journey. What if I encounter a medical emergency? I need to have the ability to communicate my situation simply to the locals.

My love for running is intersecting with my other interests in life like traveling. It’s a wonderful thing and I’m looking forward to participating in more destination races. In the next few years, my goal is to join at least a half-marathon in Europe and Asia. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that by that time my speed has improved and I’ll have the opportunity to travel to far-off places.

Tracy Luttrell here, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I am into joining marathon races and fun runs. My dream is to do more destination races in the future so I can see other parts of the world and test my endurance in the sport. Besides running, I’m also passionate about watching movies. The 1957 film ‘The Spirit of St. Louis’ is one of my favorite films of all time. Subscribe to my blog to know more about my interests.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Telltale Signs of a Movie Lover

My friends often tease me about being a movie geek, and I have no objections. I love movies so much that I have to watch at least three films a week. The movie bug bit me while I was watching “The Spirit of St. Louis” years ago and since then, I’ve been on the lookout for the next big screen hit. 

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Image source: Moviesmyway.wordpress.com
Some of my friends enumerated the qualities other movie fans and I share. According to them, my “people” always quote dialogue from the last movie we watched that not everyone understands. Sadly, though, unless it’s “Titanic” or “Terminator”, no one might get my references. According to my friends, I tend to point out the details that not everyone might notice. I tend to spot Easter eggs in Marvel films early on. Sometimes, I can also guess which film is by a certain director even just by watching a short clip. I can usually tell when a film is by Steven Spielberg, Christopher Nolan, or Wes Anderson. 

As a movie lover, I am into all its elements-- the shots, the words, and the music. Sometimes, you just have to watch a film over and over again to appreciate all these parts. There are times when you have to hit pause just to process what’s happening. This is the reason I like to watch my favorite films repeatedly. I discover something new every single time. And it’s all worth it. 

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Image source: Screencrave.com
Hello there! I’m Tracy Luttrell, a marathoner from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I also consider myself a movie buff. 'The Spirit of St. Louis,' a film about the great aviator Charles Lindbergh, is my favorite movie of all time. Let’s talk running and movies on this blog.