HOLIDAY CRUNCH

As the calendar progresses, this week states that it’s the final days counting toward December 25th, the day known as “Christmas” where most of the seasonal shopping revolves around. It’s the time where the retailers, both as a real store and those that exist online, are making haste to grab those last moment customers in to spend their little hearts out in order to grab their goods.

So far, the retail industry is seeing their numbers up. Even through the official seasonal shopping days end on December 24th, some places will be offering deals for those post-Christmas sales were folks can come in to exchange the girts they received from other folks in order to get what the gift giver really wanted–assuming that the obtained a receipt for the item that would make it a whole lot easier to exchange! For those gift givers that will include a receipt with the gift(s) they give, don’t worry! Many of these retailers will provide a receipt without a physical price posted. This method is provided since the gift receiver won’t necessarily know how much an item was purchased for. This will also hide the fact on how that same gift giver was either very generous or notoriously cheap!

Then again, there are those gift cards that have been popular over the recent years. One can give a card valued as little as five dollars and as much as $100.00. This will allow those to mosey over to the retailer of choice to get whatever the card giver would ever want. It’s an alternative method upon giving some kind of token gift that may not necessarily be wanted or desired! Scented candles are somewhat nice for what they are, but for those that have a limited use for scented candles, then that item is all for naught! And no offense to those that give and/or receive scented candles! That item isn’t for everyone. Just like fishing tackle would be a choice for one, but seen as another piece of junk to somebody else! You get the idea!

However, there is more then spending toward the season just to give gifts. There is the dread to paying for it all once those credit card statements arrive in January. Just around the time that the last of the post-New Year’s events are finally swept under the rug, there is the evil dread for paying for it all! Around the time that Black Friday was looming, a quarter of those that that racked up credit card debt from the previous year’s seasonal shopping period still owed an amount yet to be completed and paid. The amount due from last year’s shopping spree doesn’t include interest that was racked on the card(s) used! With that being said, one may not pay off their 2016 seasonal antics until 2018 or even later!

Then again, there are alternatives to spending for spending’s sake. There are opportunities to give a gift without going into debt. Many folks are giving a gift based upon a personal service or favor, such as a promise or offer to provide a service to the person in the form of domestic duties (housekeeping or related), or some kind of other element that isn’t physical per se, but as an offer to provide an aspect that would be more appreciated than let’s say, a cheese and cracker kit, a bottle of middling quality wine, or scented candles! (And again, no offense to those that give and/or receive the above noted items!) However, a gift such as a promise to look over a person that may not be able to take care of one’s self or to provide gardening services tends to be limited to family members, close friends, are those that fall in between! It’s not necessarily suited to a person one barely knows. However, in spite of what the commercialization may point out, it’s the whole notion of what makes the season bright! One can find this season for what it’s suppose to stand for, or what it just means toward the person in terms of generic merry making. It’s all within the eyes of the beholder!

On that note, there are a few more days left to take part of the season. As it may state, it does come once a year, so grab any opportunity one can! Just make sure one takes it easy on the tom and jerry–and this writer isn’t referring to the cartoon characters! But you already knew that–right??
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

MOLLY’S GAME (STXfilms) stars Jessica Chastain as Molly Bloom. She once competed to become part of the Olympic ski team, but an accident during her time trials placed her out of the running. Planing to go to law school, she decided to relocate to Los Angeles to get her life in order. Her first job was working as a cocktail waitress at a club owned by Dean Keith (Jeremy Strong). He eventually hires Molly as an office assistant where he not only runs his club, but operates a backroom high stakes poker game inviting celebrities from Hollywood, professional sports, and others that have deep pockets (a.k.a. money) to play around with. Before long, she becomes more involved into the poker games where the said high stakes are exchanged. Soon, she branches out on her own, running poker games first in LA then moving to New York, dealing with people in show business, business executives, and even the Russian Mafia. However, she gets in trouble with the FBI as part of a raid. She turns to attorney Charlie Jaffey (Idris Elba) to clear her name in order to get the feds, as well as the Russian mob, off her back.

This feature film, written and directed by Aaron Sorkin and based upon the published memoirs by the real Molly Bloom, takes a premise that is a cross between a “heist” and a “scam” feature, and blends these two topics into a movie that comes nearly close in succeeding, creating a character study on how an almost innocent person becomes mixed up into something that become far over her head, while enjoying the financial success it brings. Unlike other movies that takes upon such a premise such as the 1990 release of Goodfellows where the characters in that picture hold colorful personalities and are fun to bond to, Molly and her bunch stand as mildly amusing at best, and rather bland and somewhat boring at its worst! Jessica Chastain as Molly is appealing when she is outside of her skiing antics and more in the heavy poker game arranging. When she was just a lowly person in the poker games, her role is rather amusing. When she turns into a leader of the games, she becomes more melodramatic than anything else. Idris Elba as Charlie Jaffey tries to become another interesting person as he descends into Molly’s world, but doesn’t succeed to capture that interest! He does comes close many times throughout the film, but never hits it on the head! Perhaps the reason for these near misses is due to Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay. Arron tends to write his material that’s rather talky, suitable for a stage play and/or a television program one would find via a streaming media source. In other words, the movie works better for the small screen (television/video) that the big sized one! (Movies) The dialog spoken and the action that goes along it all has its moments, but again, it’s better suited for video where such dialogue and the characters that speak those words matter more than action seen on the viewing area!

Also appearing is Kevin Coster as Molly’s father who was at one time her ski coach, along with Michael Cera, Bill Camp, Brian d’Arcy James, and Graham Greene. Outside of Coster, the supporting players are not big name stars per se, but are more known as supporting or characters actors better suited for indy films and/or TV fodder.

MOLLY’S GAME is far from being a bland picture. The subject matter is amusing for what it is, but isn’t as fun to experience as it could have been! It appears why this title exists in the first place is for it to become nominated for some kind of movie award. However, this feature is competing with some 32(!) titles released within the month of December alone. This amount dosen’t count for the films released in November as well as the other titles released earlier this year that are of this caliber! Just know when to fold ‘em…!

MOLLY’S GAME is rated “R“ for cussing and limited violence. Opens on December 25th in selected theaters. Opens in wider release on January 5th, ’18
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On December 13th, The Library of Congress’ National Film Preservation Board announced the twenty five film titles that will be entered as part of the LOC’s National Film Registry.

Under the guise of the National Film Preservation Act, the LOC chooses twenty five titles that are “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant. The films must be at least ten years old at the time of creation or public release. Any motion picture can be chosen as long as it meets those guidelines, and do not necessarily have to be commercial productions. (Amateur and home movies can be selected.)

Each year, the LOC selects the titles are suggested by the LOC’s film preservation staff, moving image scholars, as well as the general public.

Listed below are the twenty five titles along with its year of release/creation. A “#” in front of the title indicates that it is a non-feature length film. (Short subject, amateur film, etc.

Ace in the Hole (aka Big Carnival) (1951)
Boulevard Nights (1979)
Die Hard (1988)
Dumbo (1941)
Field of Dreams (1989)
#Fuentes Family Home Movies Collection (1920s and 1930s)
4 Little Girls (1997) 
Gentleman’s Agreement (1947)
The Goonies (1985)
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967)
He Who Gets Slapped (1924)
#Interior New York Subway, 14th Street to 42nd Street (1905)
La Bamba (1987)
#Lives of Performers (1972)
Memento (2000)
Only Angels Have Wings (1939)
Superman (1978)
Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser (1988)
#Time and Dreams (1976)
Titanic (1997)
To Sleep with Anger (1990)
Wanda (1971)
#With the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in Spain (1937-1938)

For more details on the above titles including titles of other films on the registry as well as how to vote for the 2018 selection, visit the LOC’s National Film Preservation Board web site at http://www.loc.gov/film
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This issue will be the final edition of Accessibly Live Off-Line for the 2017 calendar year. We will be taking the next week off, and will return with Vol. 23-No. 1 the week beginning on January 1st, 2018.

On behalf of the staff and management of ALOL, we wish everyone a safe and progressive holiday season! See you in ’18!
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is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2017 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

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