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  • film reelSchool may be in session for another month, but summer is already here at the box office! With all the big budget movies hitting theaters earlier and earlier each year, the summer movie season now runs from May to August. In fact, the first of the summer blockbusters, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, opens in theaters tomorrow! This summer, the movies with the biggest buzz range from superheroes, animated heroes, a range of comedies, and a few based on best-selling books. Which movies are you most looking forward to seeing in theaters this summer? Vote in the poll or let us know in the comments!

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  • It’s Spring!  The air is warmer.  The sun is a bit brighter.  And we seems to notice the birds a lot more.  Well, maybe I should say that I notice birds more.

    Now I don’t know much about birds and there are few species I can recognize without referring to a guidebook.  But birding is a growing activity in the United States.  Maybe because it doesn’t take special equipment -- just binoculars, maybe a camera, a notebook to write down the species seen, maybe a guidebook.  Or maybe birding is growing because baby boomers like myself are retiring and have more time to go for walks in parks and woods.  Or maybe because birds are just beautiful and are lovely to hear.
     

  • inspire othersIn 2006, the American Film Institute released a list of the 100 most inspiring American movies: AFI’s 100 Years…100 Cheers. It’s an interesting list that definitively answers the question, does a movie need to be sentimental to be inspiring? Looking over the broad range of genres present in this list, the answer is a definite no. Moviegoers can find inspiration in films that invite them to open themselves to love, stand up for what they believe is right, fight the good fight, and rediscover the innocence of childhood. Even superhero movies, like the recently released Captain America: The Winter Soldier, encourage audiences to aspire to be greater.

  • He was born Joe Yule, Jr.  His parents were vaudeville performers who brought their toddler on stage when he was only 15 months old.  He made his screen debut during the silent era in 1926.  The following year he began a series of films playing a boy named Mickey McGuire.  By 1932 he changed his name permanently.  He kept “Mickey” and made his last name “Rooney.”  He could act, sing, dance, and play several musical instruments. He was at home in comedies, dramas, and musicals.  By 1939 Mickey Rooney was the number one box office star in America.

  • captain americaEvery movie fan has that person. That one friend whose movie tastes align almost perfectly with their own, who is willing to re-watch old favorites, make fun of bad movies, and discuss each minute detail of a new movie. I am lucky enough to have two such people, one of whom is my younger brother.

  • On April 3, Doris Day will celebrate her 90th birthday.  And I plan to watch a few of her movies to commemorate. 

    However, it will be difficult to choose just a few.  I mean, Doris Day starred in so many fun films that I love.  Because Day could do it all.  From her beginnings in musical comedies, she branched out into dramas and straight comedies.  Her co-stars were among the top talents in Hollywood.  From the late 40s through the early 70s, she worked steadily before finally retiring to devote her time to animal welfare and rescue.

  • OscarsThis past Sunday, the 86th Academy Awards were held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California. The culmination of awards season, the Academy Awards are an exciting night full of glitz, glam, tears and lots of golden statues. This year, host Ellen DeGeneres brought laughs to audiences watching in the theater and at home with a long-running pizza bit that resulted in pizza actually being delivered to the celebrities in attendance, and a star-studded selfie that broke Twitter. Movie montages of the heroes, both real and imaginary, that have come from movies, a celebration of the 75th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz, and a moving In Memoriam helped round out the celebration of film.

    Although the big winners at this year’s Oscar ceremony weren’t overly surprising, some of them were momentous. With his win as part of the husband-wife team behind Frozen’s hit song “Let It Go,” Robert Lopez became the twelfth and youngest (at 38 years old) member of the EGOT club. His previous wins include a Grammy and Tonys for the Broadway musical The Book of Mormon, as well as Emmys for the children’s cartoon, The Wonder Pets.