Murder Mystery #SundayScreening Movie Review

Would you prefer to watch the video review, instead of reading it? CLICK HERE

TITLE: Murder Mystery (2019)
DIRECTOR: Kyle Newacheck
WRITERS: James Vanderbilt
STARS: Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, Luke Evans, and Terence Stamp
GENRE(S): Action, Comedy, Crime, Mystery, Romance
RUNTIME: 97 minutes
RATED: PG-13

SHOW RATING OVERVIEW

WRITING: ★★★  CINEMATOGRAPHY: ★★★ STORY: ★★★ ACTING: ★★★
OVERALL: ★★★

STORYLINE:

A New York cop and his wife go on a European vacation to reinvigorate the spark in their marriage, but end up getting framed and on the run for the death of an elderly billionaire.

MY 2 CENTS:

Writing: ★★★ The writing is really the only thing holding this film together and it wasn’t that great. It has a decent plot – a New York cop and his wife go on a vacation they probably can’t afford and they end up getting framed for the murder of a billionaire. I guess they would have motive because they don’t have much money to start with, but come on.

Alternate Ending… There were hints at the beginning of the film… Jennifer Aniston’s character commented on how her husband, played by Adam Sandler, never listens. She has wanted to go on this vacation for years. In fact, it’s their honeymoon, but they have been married for a pretty long time already. Second hint… he was reading a murder mystery on the plane – she loves them. Where, as an author, I thought the film should go was that Adam Sandler was saving money for years, planning the perfect murder mystery vacation for his wife. In the end we would find out it was all a big game, just like in the movie The Game.

Nope, that isn’t what happened. You’ll just have to watch it for yourself to see the disappointing end.  

Cinematography:  ★★★ There were some decent shots when they were in the car chase, but other than that, the cinematography was nothing to write home about.

Story: ★★★ I thing I covered this when I was talking about the writing. I would have done things a bit different with the ending to allow for a plot twist that this movie failed to give the viewers.

Acting: ★★★ I’ve never been a huge fan of Adam Sandler; he tends to yell to much in his films. However, he didn’t do that in this one. No, in fact, he was very subdued. The acting wasn’t terrible, but it could have been better.

I like Jennifer Aniston, I have since her time on Friends, but she is a lot like Brad Pitt… nice to look at but a little one noted when it comes to character development.

MY FAVORITE QUOTES:

“All women are actresses, dear. I’m just clever enough to get paid for it.”

Check out my YouTube channel and the video review below… and make sure you hit subscribe so you never miss a video.

View the Official Trailers Here!

Scene shot by shot with Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, and the rest of the cast!


Other movies with Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston!


Are you ready for AMAZON PRIME DAY July 15 & 16?



Week 21 – #WritingWednesday Challenge

Today is the 21st Edition of #WritingWednesday!!!

Remember, #WritingWednesday is an EASY, STRESS-FREE, weekly writing challenge.

  • Read the writing prompt below,
  • Spend 5 minutes writing (in your own voice or the voice of a character you’re writing) whatever comes to mind,
  • DON’T EDIT what you write! IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE PERFECT!

The goal is 5 minutes of creativity.

Today I am writing in my own voice.

Today’s writing prompt:

What are you feeling, right now!

I'm drunk ~
Not on alcohol or even love.
I'm drunk ~
Grief pulls me under and rattles my shell.
I'm drunk ~
It's not a tipsy sort of dizziness.
I'm drunk ~
It's a heavy, sinking feeling sweeping over me.
I'm drunk ~
Hollow... Senseless... Desperation
I'm drunk ~
Vacant... Void... Agony
I'm drunk ~
Plummeting... Falling... Sinking
I'm drunk ~
It's the sting of your loss pulling me under!
I'M DRUNK!

Dedicated to my Uncle Dan (Danny Tapaninen Feb. 19, 1955 – June 24, 2019) You will forever be in my heart!

© 2019 Nina Soden


Alright, now it’s your turn. I’d love to see what today’s writing prompt inspires in you. So, if you are willing, go to the comment section below and start typing. Take 5 minutes and let’s see what you come up with! 

What are you feeling, right now?


Are you an author who is looking for ways to stay organized and on track with all your writing goals? Check out my author workbooks below. They are full of all the tools I use in my writing process!

Are you working on a manuscript, but need a little help getting organized? Check out SO YOU WANT TO WRITE A BOOK ~ An Indie Author Guide to Outlining and Planning Your Next Novel

It isn’t just for indie-authors. I have filled it with all the tools I’ve learned over the years and use on a regular basis with each book I write

.

Want help meeting your writing goals? Check out JUST WRITE: The Ultimate Author’s Bullet Journal

CHECK OUT MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL HERE AND DON’T FORGET TO SUBSCRIBE!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpT3nSZ13WwQ0KFDroYj_kg



Week 20 – #WritingWednesday Challenge

Today is the 20th Edition of #WritingWednesday!!!

Remember, #WritingWednesday is an EASY, STRESS-FREE, weekly writing challenge.

  • Read the writing prompt below,
  • Spend 5 minutes writing (in your own voice or the voice of a character you’re writing) whatever comes to mind,
  • DON’T EDIT what you write! IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE PERFECT!

The goal is 5 minutes of creativity.

Today I am writing in the voice of Tommas, one of the characters in the novel I am currently outlining. I’m not sure if this will be a selection in the novel, or just part of my character development journal.

Today’s writing prompt:

What modern technological device takes up most of your time?

My life is essentially ruled by one device, the metabolic piezoelectric sensor version 5.3. It’s a small device I wear on my chest to detect the changes in vibration levels throughout my body. It connects to my nervous system, through a series of wires attached at the ends with sticky nodes, and transmits data directly to a central computer at the corporate offices of Operation Atlas. There, a team of medical professionals monitor my health and another team monitors my every move.

I haven’t always worked for Operation Atlas; I used to be free. It wasn’t until some of the younger metamorphs were discovered that the company was developed and the hunt began. It’s my job, if I want to survive, to locate others like me… others with powers that the organization deems useful. Not all metamorphs are high priority but those that are, like the oracles, the psychokinetic, and the incendiaries they assign to me.

© 2019 Nina Soden

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Alright, now it’s your turn. I’d love to see what today’s writing prompt inspires in you. So, if you are willing, go to the comment section below and start typing. Take 5 minutes and let’s see what you come up with! 

What modern technological device takes up most of your time?

* * * * * 

Are you an author who is looking for ways to stay organized and on track with all your writing goals? Check out my author workbooks below. They are full of all the tools I use in my writing process!

Are you working on a manuscript, but need a little help getting organized? Check out SO YOU WANT TO WRITE A BOOK ~ An Indie Author Guide to Outlining and Planning Your Next Novel

It isn’t just for indie-authors. I have filled it with all the tools I’ve learned over the years and use on a regular basis with each book I write.

Want help meeting your writing goals? Check out JUST WRITE: The Ultimate Author’s Bullet Journal

Sections in this comprehensive planner include, but are not limited to: 
* Future Log
* Year at a Glance
* Books to Read
* Writing Playlist
* Social Sharing
* Monthly Goals
* Daily/Monthly Word Count Tracker
* To-Do Lists
* Shopping Lists
* Notes Pages, Etc.

COVER REVEAL ~ WHIZZERS by Michael J. Sahno

WHIZZERS by Michael J. Sahno
A recovering alcoholic, Mike, discovers his six-year-old cousin, David, travels through time as a whizzer to bring comfort to those in need. Mike soon finds himself along for the ride, and while he gets the opportunity to bring solace to some of his greatest heroes, he must also confront his own greatest demons.

PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY!

BLOG TOUR DATES/LINKS:

7/19 – Tony Riches – tonyriches.com

7/20 – Fiona McVie – authorsinterviews.wordpress.com

7/21 – Jacob Rundle – jacobrundle.com

7/23 – Nina Soden – ninasoden.wordpress.com

7/24 – Kimberly Hunt – revisiondivision.com

7/25 – Els Ebraert – bforbookreview.wordpress.com

7/26 – Lisa Arpino-Hodorovych – quoththewriterbookreviews.com

7/31 – Christina “DZA” Marie – dzamarie.com

How to Regain Focus and Concentration #MindfulnessMonday

bright rainbow colored watercolor paints isolated on white paper

Today’s #MindfulnessMonday Tip: Regaining focus and concentration can help reduce stress and overload while increasing joy in your life.

In today’s society where everyone is practically ruled by our devices, multi-tasking has turned into a major stress inducer for most people. Mindfulness can help to strengthen your ability to stay focused on one task at a time, allowing you to be more efficient and effective than multi-tasking ever could.

So the real question is how to pull ourselves away from our smart phones and gain a deeper focus and concentration on the really important things in life.

Three things you can do to help regain focus and concentration:

  1. Try meditation – Just by learning a simple, one-minute, breathing exercise you can start to take control of your wondering mind. Whenever you start to feel your focus drifting away, take 60 seconds (just one minute) to pull that focus back to where you need it to be with a quick breathing exercise.
  2. Practice simplicity – By reducing the clutter in your life, you will also reduce the distractions. Try donating or recycling unneeded possessions, adding your phone number and address to Do Not Call and Do Not Mail lists, stop checking those social media accounts that are no longer providing you joy and happiness.
  3. Focus on the people around you – Don’t allow distractions to pull you away from conversations with loved ones. One way to do this is putting your phone away whenever eating, or better yet put them on the table when eating out, whoever picks up their phone first gets to pay the bill.

Today’s Mindfulness Exercise:

60-Second Breathing Meditation

Your breath is a great took to help train your mind to focus your thoughts and increase concentration. Whenever you start to feel your mind wander or become overloaded use this two-step meditation to bring you back to the present.

Step 1 – Notice your breathing. Pay attention to the sensation of the air around you; how it feels as it enters your nose then travels down into your lungs. Pay attention to the rise and fall of your chest and abdomen as the air moves in and out of your body. Don’t change the way you breathe, let the air move in and out as it normally would, just be aware of the sensations involved with the act of breathing.

Step 2 – Count your breaths. The first breath in and out is 1, the next breath in and out is 2, continue until you reach a full ten to fifteen breaths. As you relax, your breaths will get longer and ten to fifteen relaxed breaths should take you close to a minute.

Mindfulness Journaling Prompt: How did the 60-Second Breathing Meditation make you feel? Did your mind wander during your breathing? If so, what were you thinking about? How many times did it wander? Were you easily able to return your focus to your breathing once you realized your mind had wandered?

Mindfulness journaling can be very private. However, I would love to invite you to comment below and share your experiences with this short 60-Second Breathing Mediation.

* * * * *

Check out my #MindfulnessMonday YouTube Series and don’t forget to click subscribe so you never miss an episode!

EPISODE 23 ~ Stress Is a 6 Letter Word

EPISODE 22 ~ Mindfulness Myths

EPISODE 21 ~ Mindfulness Isn’t MAGIC

EPISODE 20 ~ Eat Cake

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The Invisible You by Nina Soden

Would you like to take the 52-week challenge and experience a more mindful existence? Check out The Invisible You ~ 52 Weeks of Meditations, Activities, and Writing Prompts to Help you Discover You!
Photo by: Mikel Healy

I’m certified in Holistic Stress Management and Mind/Body Fitness. I’ve been practicing Mindfulness for 10+ years and am passionate about helping others in their pursuit of a more mindful existence.

Ben Is Back (2018) #SundayScreening Movie Review

Would you prefer to watch the video review, instead of reading it? CLICK HERE

Title: Ben is Back (2018)
Director: Peter Hedges
Writer: Peter Hedges
Stars: Julia Roberts,
Lucas Hedges, and
Courtney B. Vance
Genre: Drama
Length: 1 hr. and 43 minutes

SHOW RATING OVERVIEW
Writing: ★★★★★ Cinematography:  ★★★ Story: ★★★★ Acting: ★★★★★ Overall: ★★★★.★ (4.25)

STORYLINE:

Ben Is Back follows the charming yet troubled Ben Burns (Lucas Hedges), who returns home to his unsuspecting family one fateful Christmas Eve. Ben’s wary mother Holly Burns (Julia Roberts) welcomes her beloved son’s return, but soon learns he is still very much in harm’s way. During the 24 hours that may change their lives forever, Holly must do everything in her power to avoid the family’s downfall.

AWARDS:

Lucas Hedges won the award for Best Performance by an Actor 23 and Under at the Los Angeles Online Film Critics Society Awards. I’m actually surprised this movie didn’t bring in more awards.

MY 2 CENTS:

Writing: ★★★★★ Let me start by admitting that I’ve never suffered with Addiction or known anyone who has, not really. Watching this film, I was moved. The truth in the scenes and the raw openness of the dialogue draws you in rips your heart out. Writer Peter Hedges, who also happened to direct this film, does a wonderful job of telling Lucas’ story. I think the message was powerful and devastating. He doesn’t sugarcoat the pain, deceit, and manipulation involved in an addict’s life.

Cinematography:  ★★★ There was nothing special or different about the cinematography in this film. It wasn’t great… it wasn’t terrible… it just was.

Story: ★★★★ I recently watched ‘Beautiful Boy’ with Steve Carell… another movie about a son who is an addict, only this time it focuses on a father-son relationship. If I had to compare the two movies, I’d say ‘Beautiful Boy’ was more realistic. With that said, I’ve read a number of reviews for ‘Ben Is Back’ stating that the story is unrealistic, the events would never happen, and that Julia’s character would never do the things she does in the film. As a mother, I will say, there is very little I wouldn’t do to help my children.

Acting: ★★★★★ Really, there are only two performances that need to be discussed; Julia Roberts and Lucas Hedges because they carried this film. Without them, there wouldn’t be a story.

I’ve always loved Julia Roberts, she gives everything to every roll she takes and with this one… she is raw, exposed, desperate, and unconditionally loving. She gave an outstanding performance and, as a mother, left me in tears.

Lucas Hedges really impressed me with his performance. Sure, he is the director’s son and it probably got him the roll, but I think he held his own. I am not at all surprised that he won an award for this performance. In this brief 24-hour glimpse into his life we are both swept away by his playful nature with his younger siblings and blindsided by the devastating admissions into his past. Hedges does a beautiful job portraying not only the victim but the instigator.   

MY FAVORITE QUOTES:

“You don’t know what you’re doing. I’m not worth it. If you really knew me, you’d be done with me.” ~ Ben Burns

I think the reason I love this quote so much is because it shows just how much someone can fail to see their own self-worth. Ben is convinced he is no good, can do nothing right, and will always fail. But when he says this, he is talking to the one person in the world who will never be able to see him that way, his mother.

Check out my YouTube channel and the video review below… and make sure you hit subscribe so you never miss a video.

View the Official Trailers Here!

Interview with Julia Roberts on Good Morning America

Week 19 – #WritingWednsday Challenge (1 day late)

Today is the 19th Edition of #WritingWednesday!!!

Remember, #WritingWednesday is an EASY, STRESS-FREE, weekly writing challenge.

  • Read the writing prompt below,
  • Spend 5 minutes writing (in your own voice or the voice of a character you’re writing) whatever comes to mind,
  • DON’T EDIT what you write! IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE PERFECT!

The goal is 5 minutes of creativity.

Today I am writing in my own voice!

Today’s writing prompt:

What do you need right now?

Time! I need time.

It’s Thursday afternoon and usually I post my weekly Writing Wednesday post on, well… Wednesday. Unfortunately, or maybe luckily, I was on vacation this last week and my blog got put on the back burner. I think we all need a little me time, but right about now, I need more work time.

I’m trying to catch up, with everything. I have a stack of books about a mile high that I need to get through, a list of movies about two miles long that I need to watch and review, a number of author interview requests, blog posts to set up, and a self-publishing course to create.

So yeah, I need time. If you have any extra that you’d like to loan me, I’d forever be in your debt.

© 2019 Nina Soden

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Alright, now it’s your turn. I’d love to see what today’s writing prompt inspires in you. So, if you are willing, go to the comment section below and start typing. Take 5 minutes and let’s see what you come up with! 

What do you need right now?

* * * * * 

Would you like more sources for daily writing prompts? Click on the links below for great writing prompt journals I think you’ll really love!

This Self-Discovery Journal provides more than 200 thoroughly unique & enjoyable writing prompts. Skyrocket your self-esteem, develop your creativity and explore all area’s of life: Writing Prompts about your love life, Writing Prompts to better deal with social anxiety’s
Writing Prompts for finding empowering strategies to deal with worries, stress and failures.
And much, much more
Do you want to know yourself better? Self-discovery and self-revelation aren’t easy. With simple but provocative questions about wishes and fears, memories and beliefs, secrets and dreams, All About Me will reveal everything you ever wanted to know about yourself but never thought—or dared—to ask. Whether you fill it in or answer questions out loud, this is the perfect gift for your friends, your family, your loved one… and you.

* * * * * 

Are you an author who is looking for ways to stay organized and on track with all your writing goals? Check out my author workbooks below. They are full of all the tools I use in my writing process!

Are you working on a manuscript, but need a little help getting organized? Check out SO YOU WANT TO WRITE A BOOK ~ An Indie Author Guide to Outlining and Planning Your Next Novel

It isn’t just for indie-authors. I have filled it with all the tools I’ve learned over the years and use on a regular basis with each book I write.

Want help meeting your writing goals? Check out JUST WRITE: The Ultimate Author’s Bullet Journal

JUST WRITE is the Ultimate Author’s Bullet Journal designed as a planner-journal hybrid to help new and experienced writers stay organized while still fostering creativity. Track your project progress, plan your writing and publishing goals, maintain your personal/business to do list, never miss another deadline or appointment again, keep track of writing ideas, schedule and log social sharing and blog post ideas, keep a record of books you’re reading or want to read, maintain a running playlist, etc.