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.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Perfect Combination: How to Pair Wine with Food

Pairing wine with food like a match made in heaven is not that hard to do. A perfect pairing is as simple as taking a bite, sipping wine, and tasting good, contrasting flavors.

World class chefs practice taste balance when it comes to determining food and wine. The taste of food should never override the flavor of wine, and vice versa. Here are tips for finding the ideal combo:

Salad
When you’re having salad, your wine should have higher acidity. Chances are, your salad tastes bland—which is why you’re pairing it with a strong wine for palatal balance.


Image source: winefolly.com


Meat and poultry
Your wine should match the color of the meat you are eating. If it’s chicken or turkey, pair it with a delicious white wine. If it’s beef or pork, settle with a dark, red wine.

Dessert
When pairing wine with dessert, the former should be sweeter. Choose sweet, sparkling wines for a fruity flavor.


Image source: forbes.com

There are also foolproof, timeless food-wine combinations like dry rosé with cheesy dishes, Pinot Noir for earthy flavors, and Pinot Grigio for fish-rich foods. Muscadet is great for oyster, Riesling and duck à l’orange are a great mix, and Champagne is a perfect match for anything salty.

Hello, I am Tracy Luttrell. I breathe wine, sports, and “The Spirit of St. Louis.” Read similar articles on wine tasting when you visit this blog.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Ready, Set, Go: Marathon tips for Beginners

Running a marathon is not something to joke about. It takes months of training and preparation to be able to finish a marathon with good time. Here are a few tips you have to take to heart if you want to join your first marathon:

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Image source: promarathon.com

Don’t over train

The first rule is that you shouldn’t do too much, too soon. Set a healthy pace for you to get used to the intensity of your training regimen to avoid injuries and over fatigue.

Warm up and cool down

Warming up and cooling down afterwards are normal for any physical activity. This is especially important when running so you won’t get cramped muscles or any kind of strain on your body.

Set realistic and flexible goals

A sure way to dissuade you from running more marathons in your life is by setting the bar too high. It’s okay to aim for a good time but know that it’s more important to finish the race than to beat a certain time.

Invest in proper gear

When running, it’s imperative to get the right equipment, especially shoes. Investing in quality equipment is a good way to avoid injury and improve your running skill.

Taper your training

To taper your training means to lessen the intensity of your workout to prepare your body for the real thing. Over training is not advised because it heightens the risk of injury and may affect your overall time.
 
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Image source: promarathon.com

Hi, I’m Tracy Luttrell and I do half marathons and watch movies like “The Spirit of St. Louise” in my spare time. Subscribe to this blog to learn more about marathon preparation and proper training.