Category Archives: Movies

Take Your Pills…To Become The Best


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After watching that bizarre documentary Wild Wild Country on Netflix, I was thirsty for more crazy PR nightmares.  Usually I bounce back to one of my various Netflix series, but I was craving for something more educational this past weekend.  I searched around for any more interesting documentaries about cannabis only to stumbled upon some popular title about pills.  It was time to learn about America’s Adderall addiction in Netflix’s Take Your Pills.

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Image result for Netflix Take Your Pills

Image result for Netflix Take Your Pills

Take Your Pills hit the Netflix shelves on March 9th 2018.  The series looked at how people are seeking a performance edge through Adderall, Ritalin, as well as other prescription stimulants.  From professional athletes to college students, many people are taking stimulants like Adderall for that extra boost in their work.  In the hypercompetitive nation of America, people from all walks of life look to prescribed stimulants in order to gain the upper hand.

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Image result for Netflix Take Your Pills

College students were a major focus for the film.  Rather than consume psychedelic substances like cannabis or LSD, young adults are ‘tuning in’ to substances like Ritalin and Adderall.  Students are taking in that one Adderall before working on their final term paper, art project, video, or even studying for their final exams.  Its great that they are working hard for their grades and all that, but it also sparks a dangerous message about our nation’s working environment.

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Recreational use of Adderall or Ritalin isn’t just something people partake in during their time in college – young professionals working in highly competitive job fields are also takings stimulants as well.  These young professionals use stimulants to gain a boost in their careers (the documentary featured examples such as software programming and even finances).  There’s a joke from Silicon Valley where Richard Hendricks tries to score Adderall from kids after finding out that half of the kids use it in Palo Alto.  As funny as the joke is, it definitely rings true to reality in Silicon Valley.

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At the end of the day, the question becomes what kind of society have we created where Americans everywhere are increasingly using stimulants like Adderall to get ahead?  When we did start accepting the idea of giving children medicine just so that they can pay attention in class?  How exactly did this nation become so hypercompetitive where aspiring professionals are using (even abusing!) stimulants to get ahead?

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People back in the 1960s would have never imagined giving their children pills ever in their life; we now live in a world where not only is it the new norm in society, but now find it crucial to have children taking stimulants just to do good in school. What exactly is that ultimate reward they reach in the end?  More money?  Fame? A higher position in the company?

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Imagine what kind of effect this has in the communications industry, especially in the high-stakes career of public relations.  Is this where PR professionals are heading towards?  Taking Adderall or Ritalin daily just to get through thousands of emails for the week?  What’s most disturbing is that its probably happening in agencies right now.

We need to step back for a moment and think about what kind of society we are creating.  There has been so much advancement in technology over the past decades that Americans are finding it harder and harder to keep up.  This competition is being mirrored all the way back to elementary education where parents are fighting to get their children into the best preschools possible.

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If you want to learn more about this disturbing rise of stimulants, then definitely check out Take Your Pills on Netflix.  It’s the kind of documentary that makes you wonder – what would you take to be the best?

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Marvel Movie Marathon


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Marvel has been killing it in the movie industry lately.  The well-known comic book publishing company has been releasing a string of superhero movies for their audience.  Their latest film Black Panther raked in over a billion dollars since being released last month (even beating Tomb Raider with a haul of over $27 million!).  From Iron Man to Dr. Strange, every type of superhero has been brought into the big screen each year.

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Next month will be quite a show with the release of Avengers: Infinity War.  It’s only a month until the movie premieres and Marvel already has a major marketing tactic prepared for the film’s release.

Calling all Marvel fans – Marvel is hosting a special 12-film marathon to celebrate the release of Avengers: Infinity Wars!

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Two AMC Theatres (Empire 25 on Times Square NYC and Disney Springs in Orlando) will host the marathon at 1:30 on April 25th, where tickets will go for $75 per person.  The El Captain Theatre in Los Angeles is hosting a screening on the same day where tickets go for $100 each.  Listed below are the movies being featured for the marathon:

Iron Man 
The Incredible Hulk
Thor
Captain America: The First Avenger
Marvel’s The Avengers
Guardians of the Galaxy
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Captain America: Civil War
Doctor Strange
Spider-Man: Homecoming
Black Panther
Avengers: Infinity War

All of the films will be showcased, leading up to the premiere of Avengers: Infinity War.  Marvel fans certainly don’t want to miss out on this fantastic screening.

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This is a really cool marketing tactic from Marvel.  Marvel is working alongside with AMC Theatres to get audiences pumped up for their newest film.  What’s interesting is that this isn’t AMC’s first Marvel marathon they put together.  AMC hosted a series of Marvel films back in 2015 to celebrate the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron (Marvel only had 11 films created back then).

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I have seen most of these films from Marvel and thought they were really well done.  Marvel does a great job of showcasing a cast of colorful superheroes that have a rich storyline attached to each of them.  Each superhero is struggling with their own issues, but they come together to defeat the main enemy who is looking to destroy the world.  The Avengers was an interesting way of weaving the characters and storylines together for one major blockbuster film.

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Any self-respecting Marvel fan should definitely head to one of these theaters on April 25th.  It will be another action-packed movie marathon that leads to another exciting chapter of the Marvel series.  Check out the Marvel movie marathon next month!

MakeSandcastlesNotWar – Two Years Later


Ladies and gentlemen… today is a VERY special day.  No, it is not about PI day nor will it be six days until Spring (but THAT’S exciting too!).  Today is… wait for it while you hold my beer…
THE TWO-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF MAKESANDCASTLESNOTWAR!            `Image result for Surprise crowd gif

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I…just…WOW.  Two years.  It already has been TWO years full of PR nightmares, TV criss-crosses, business WINS, Netflix/TV binge-watching reviews, philosophical journeys and many other crazy shenanigans.  We’ve dived into some intriguing ideas as well as some of the most twisted PR stories that would affect audiences for years to come.  While some businesses crossed the line, others formulated a unique product or service to offer.

Just think that we have covered a span of these topics in just TWO YEARS.  My mind is still boggling even as I type this two-year anniversary post.  After being away on vacation for a few days this past weekend, it’s finally time to celebrate this special day.

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So last year we dived back into the first blog post topic about Jonathan Blow’s The Witness.  Ironically enough, it was a blizzard outside (like the one that is currently happening now!) and it was the perfect day to celebrate.  It was already a year since MakeSandcastlesNotWar was created, so we entered the time warp (*Swoosh*) to see how it all started.  This was a fantastic voyage of nostalgia about a dreamy puzzle adventure game.

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But for today’s anniversary, things are about to get weird…and I mean, REALLY WEIRD.  This will be a post like no other.  Today isn’t just an ordinary nostalgic post looking back in time.  We are in the midst of a…BLOGCEPTION.

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We’ve finally done it folks – a blogception has occurred on MakeSandcastlesNotWar.  There has been some strange topics popping up here and there, but this is where things will get really bizarre.

It’s about time I explain – a blogception is when a blog post is written up about a previous blog post relating to a post that was written before.  The blogception consists of only one post, BUT it becomes tethered to other similar posts from history.  There are two or more subjects happening at once, but yet they still become connected to construct a concrete story.  With all of these subjects floating around at once, your mind can’t fully grasp around the mere fact that it actually WORKS.

Hold on folks, because things are about to start…NOW.

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March 14th, 2017 – it was the day we were exploring a post about the first video game topic about The Witness.  There was so much to celebrate that day – more followers, increasing number of views, many widespread topics stemming from major categories, and even other surprises that were in stores.  I had to kick off the celebration by introducing the story of how this blog came to be.

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After studying PR in Salem State University, I was enthusiastic to continue my blog work.  I truly enjoyed the writing work I completed, so I took it upon myself to build this magnificent creation that would become MakeSandcastlesNotWar.  This sandcastle would become filled with various content – reviews, criss-crosses, PR nightmares, philosophical journeys, field trips.  Every new topic was a new adventure into another world.  Even when diving back into a familiar subject, there was always a new gem waiting to be discovered.

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And if you’re wondering…YES, there were still more topics to discuss from The Witness.  Months (even YEARS) after playing The Witness, I found so many aspects I enjoyed about it.  From the challenging gameplay to the philosophical wisdom from the audio logs, The Witness offered so much as a puzzle adventure video game.  It was these strings of posts that would lead up to the blogception that we have discovered today.

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Here we are folks – a year later after traveling back into time to discuss the first post the year before.  It’s truly a mesmerizing and glory idea to behold.  This blogception has truly given a sense of how far things have come.  What was once a small experiment on writing about some of my favorite things has blossomed into a fully-grown entertainment PR blog.  Two years later and I still gain the satisfaction of writing about more incredible ideas.

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What makes this even better is that the adventures still continue.  We still have SO much to discover in this thriving and chaotic world of entertainment PR.  There’s always another philosophical journey to write about or some TV criss-cross waiting to be found.  Who knows, there may be another flourishing business that starts sinking due to a PR nightmare.

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Times have truly changed since creating this blog post; what hasn’t changed is the initial ambition for discovering new and exciting ideas.  Whether we go forward or backward, we’re always connected one way or another.

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Writing this blog has truly been a blessing.  It has been a crazy journey since launching onto the WordPress platform.  Two years later and I still enjoy writing posts each day.

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Two years later…and the journey still continues.  What new adventures awaits us?  Who will we discover in the next TV criss-cross? Where will the next PR nightmare happen?

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For now, we can just remember this one thing… Make Sandcastles, Not War.

2018 Golden Globe Awards!


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Happy Monday readers!  Many people bundled up during some of the coldest weather ever this past week and the worst of it is over (FINALLY!).  Since I was too busy fighting off the bitter cold, I’ve rarely checked the TV schedule to see if any events were happening.  It wasn’t until yesterday afternoon that I found out about the 75th Golden Globe Awards airing later on.

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Ah, yes – The 75th Golden Globe Awards.  Just the thing to distract my mind from the bombogenesis this past weekend.  Four hours packed of glitz, glamour, and the whole shebang!  It was perfect timing for escaping to La-La Land for a little while.

It was quite a night for the hottest movies and TV series that were nominated this year.  There’s also the continuing trend of streaming services (Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime!) appearing in some of the categories.

Let’s check out the highlights for this year’s Golden Globe ceremony:

Time’s Up Campaign & Dressing in Black

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Image result for 75th golden globe awards

There were two trending clothing items were the main stars of the Red-Carpet event – the ‘Time’s Up’ pin and dressing up in black.  Time’s up is a campaign initiated by hundreds of actresses and women who work in the entertainment industry to fight against sexual misconduct across the America.  Women dressed in black as a way to stand in solidarity with many victims of sexual harassment and assault.

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Two distinct clothing trends, one common cause – winning the ever-growing fighting against sexual misconduct across the nation.  These trends come in the wake of the mass sexual harassment stories popping up around Hollywood, with the first being Harvey Weinstein (you can read that PR nightmare here).  Months after the stories were released, many men and women aren’t backing down and staying silent about the issue anymore.

Major Nominations

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The Shape of Water was the most nominated film this year.  It ended up taking home Best Director (Guillermo del Toro) and Best Original Score (Alexandre Desplat).  I saw this on Christmas and the film was absolutely amazing.  Guillermo del Toro created an incredible story that featured one awesome sea creature.

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For TV series, Big Little Lies snagged the most nominations.  The popular HBO series ended up winning 4 awards – Best actress for Limited Series or Television Movie (Nicole Kidman), Best Supporting Actor for Television Series (Alexander Skarsgard), Best Supporting Actress for Television Series (Laura Dern), and Best Limited Series or Television Movie.  It was a popular winning choice that featured a shocking story with disturbing truths.

            Kudos to Big Little Lies and The Shape of Water for receiving the most nominations this year!

Roseanne & Dan Conner Return!

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Roseanne and Dan (Rosanne Barr and John Goodman) came to the stage to present the award for best TV drama series.  90’s fans would remember the couple from the ABC series Rosanne.  Ironically enough, Rosanne will be returning in March this year on ABC.  It’s great to know that Rosanne and Dan will be back on Television after being cancelled for over 20 years!

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Be sure to check out Rosanne this March.

Handmaid’s Tale – 2 Wins

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Hulu’s popular series The Handmaid’s Tale took home two wins – Best Series and Best Performance in a Drama Television Series (Elizabeth Moss).  The Handmaid’s Tale was one of few TV series hailed from a streaming service.  Such streaming services like Netflix and Hulu are releasing more original content for its audience.  Their selections are so popular that they are taking up more spots on the nominations.

Here’s to hoping streaming services produce more unique series for everyone.

The Post – Featuring Sarah Paulson

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            American Horror Story veteran Sarah Paulson presented the nomination for the film The PostThe Post is a political thriller film depicting journalists from The New York Times and The Washington Post who published the Pentagon Papers that regard the U.S. government’s involvement during the Vietnam War.  Sarah Paulson stars as Antoinette “Tony” Pinchot Bradlee in the film.  While The Post did not take home any major wins, it did receive six Golden Globe nominations.

American Crime Story Cast Preview!

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Not only did AHS vet Sarah Paulson present the nomination for The Post, but the main cast of American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace appeared on stage as well.  The cast got up to present the award for Best Actor in Limited Series or TV movie.  American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace will air on January 17th on FX and there will be coverage about that story a little bit later!

Thelma & Louise – 26 Years Later

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Our last highlight was Thelma and Louise reuniting on stage after 26 years.  Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis starred in the nostalgic 90s film Thelma & Louise about two friends who embark on a road trip with surprising consequences.  The duo appeared together on stage to present the award for best drama film.  It was incredible to see an amazing duo reunite together once again in the spirit of entertainment.

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Another Sunday and another Golden Globe Awards event finished.  There were many big wins, intriguing causes pointed out, and unforgettable reunions of famous characters.  It was surely a glamorous night in Hollywood yesterday.

Let’s see what Hollywood has in stores for us this year for the 2018 season!