Posted in Wednesday Warriors


In the film Oz the Great and Powerful, James Franco plays a Kansas carny performer who has overstayed his welcome. In every town he visits, he performs the same scam. He first gains the trust of those around him then he takes advantage of them until either they throw him out, or he has no choice other than to run. You see, Oz is not your ordinary circus performer, he is a very good circus performer who knows people and how they work. That is why he makes an excellent profile for today’s Wednesday Warriors.

James Franco as Oz
James Franco as Oz

In Kansas, Oz is your typical sideshow act. He’s a magician, an illusionist, a performer, an example of what is right in the world—or at least that is what he thinks of himself. Meanwhile, he has wooed multiple women with the same technique he has used countless times. A music box does wonders to a woman’s heart.

But not everyone admires the dashing actor. Husbands, in fact, hate him, and would do anything to see him hanging from a tree until dead.

When Oz attempts to sweep the wrong girl off her feet, his worst nightmare becomes a reality. In an effort to escape an enraged spouse, he hops into a balloon and casts off to places unknown.

The resourceful Oz has no one to rely on than himself. Yet, how different is that from the other times he had to make a quick getaway from other folks who have wanted to make him part of a funeral procession?

The Great and Powerful
The Great and Powerful

What Oz doesn’t count on is the twister that suddenly makes an appearance during the most inopportune time. With the winds wailing, the balloon lifting to heights beyond comprehension, Oz can only dream of a time when his feet will once again walk on solid earth. He will never again take to flight in order to thwart the evil musings of a jilted lover.

After having landed in a place unknown, he discovers the land is not what he expects. He notices the large flowers, the waters alive with creatures he has never imagined and the air running amok with birds that have the ability to swallow him whole. Indeed, Oz is not in Kansas anymore.

As the story progresses, Oz comes upon two sisters (Mila Kunis and Rachel Weisz) and a kingdom filled with riches. His eyes fall on the treasure promised to the heir of the fortune—a great wizard who will save the land from the Wicked Witch and her minions. Without knowing what the prophecy means, Oz becomes the unwitting center of the story. But he has more on his mind than saving a people from a woman he could dismiss with a wave of a hand. Oz has the treasure in mind that he wants to inherit all to himself.

The film could run a predictable course where Oz steps on everyone’s dreams as a means to exact his greed-filled desires. But in true Disney fashion, Oz becomes a bigger man than he would have otherwise predicted for himself.

Revealing more of the story would also mean to ruin an experience for the viewer that would highlight a man’s willingness to put aside his own desires for the love of a people.

And seeing Oz in that position of growth is not only inspiring but also a miracle.


Have you seen Oz the Great and Powerful? What do you think about Oz’s growth in the film?

Posted in Wednesday Warriors

Mr. Incredible

Mild mannered. Father of four. Husband to a flexible wife. The muscle-packed Bob seems out of place working for an insurance company. His forearm alone is about the size of his boss’ head. So what is this hulk of a man doing working in one of the most low-key positions the corporate world has to offer?

Bob Parr is Mr. Incredible
Bob Parr is Mr. Incredible

Wednesday Warriors presents Mr. Incredible (a.k.a. Bob Parr), the animated superhero who makes fighting an archenemy look easy.

[Spoilers lie therein.]

Mr. Incredible was once a daily headline. He, along with the rest of the other supers, protected the country from criminals hell-bent on robbing, pillaging and killing innocent bystanders. But with great power comes great lawsuits. Eventually, the supers couldn’t come up with the cash to pay the judgments for the massive damage they had caused to the nation’s infrastructure and had to go into hiding.

Bob is one of those supers.

Mr. Incredible
Mr. Incredible

Dressed in a white shirt, black pants and sporting a tie tucked tightly around his neck, Bob can imagine a better place than sitting in an office watching a mugging take place just outside his boss’ window. Suffice it to say, once his boss gives him an ultimatum, Bob doesn’t work there anymore. Neither does his boss, considering a trip to the hospital reveals that almost every bone in his body is broken.

Bob’s life from drab insurance adjuster takes a turn for the better when someone contacts the former superhero with a special mission. The mission isn’t exactly what he expected though. He finds himself the target of a sinister plan—a plan dedicated to eliminating supers everywhere.

What becomes his escape from the real world suddenly throws Bob wanting to escape from a nefarious genius. It doesn’t help him in the least that his wife and children are supers as well. If anything, they all become targets to the evil menace who wants to see his arch-rival dead.

The film The Incredibles highlights what happens when good intentions yield bad results. Among the hilarious jokes resides a powerful story built on the simple premise that good overcomes evil. Within the smart dialog comes the character Mr. Incredible. He’s strong, resilient and difficult to get rid of. His power though, does not come from his sheer physical strength but his willpower to do good, even if it means dying for what’s right.

That is what it means to be a true hero.


Have you seen The Incredibles? What did you think of Bob?

Posted in Freedom Friday

Do You Want to…

There’s a running joke in our family these days that has grown out of control and poses a threat to our sanity. Not really, but once you know what it is you’ll know what I mean. Ever since the release of the movie Frozen, we’ve been taking turns singing the words to Do You Want to Build a Snowman? in a new and original way. We replace the words “to build a snowman” with pretty much anything that pops into our head.

Frozen's Olaf the Snowman
Frozen’s Olaf the Snowman

Like this: Do you wanna read Freedom Friday?

It started with innocent intentions. One of us—I will not name names—me—began to sing the words to the snowman song whenever it snowed. Given I live in Canada and it snows a lot, especially last year, I was singing the opening phrase quite extensively. You can read that as meaning others in my family were telling me, “Stop singing that snowman song.”

Of course, if someone tells Jack he shouldn’t be doing something, what does Jack do? Yep, Jack keeps on doing it. [End of Jack’s third-person dialog.]

So, I did what any other normal person would do—become excruciatingly annoying.

Not only did I sing the song when it snowed, but I also sang it when it didn’t with the added incentive to change the words to suite my needs.

Like this: Do you want to cook some chicken?
Like this: Do you want to have some sushi?
Like this: Do you want a have a party?
Or like this: Do you hate me for my singing?

And on and on it went. Eventually, I’d worn the family down so much that they too fell to the Dark Side.

Now, a year later, we’re all singing it.

At the dinner table: Do you want to pass the salt, please?
In the garage: Will you ever wash the car, dear?
While shopping: Do we need some extra olives?

Naturally, because I write about zombies, I have to have my own version of the song:

Do you want to kill a zombie?
Will you shoot it in the head?
Will you throw it off a cliff and sigh
Watch it fly
Until it’s fully dead?

So really, the moral of this post is this: if you want to change people you should never have to change yourself. Be a nuisance and you just might get what you want.


Do you want to leave a comment?

Posted in Women Who Wow Wednesday


Once upon a time, there was darkness throughout the land. The light did not comprehend it nor did it exist in the midst thereof. For within that darkness lived bitterness and anger, which swallowed goodness, and brought with it fear to those who desired peace. Out of true love’s kiss came the darkness.

Angelina Jolie is Maleficent
Angelina Jolie is Maleficent

As part of this month’s tribute to women who rock Horror, included in today’s Women Who Wow Wednesday is Angelina Jolie’s timeless Maleficent.

*** May contain spoilers. Skip to the last paragraph for the summary. ***

True love’s kiss can usher a new dawn or can destroy a land.

Protector of the Moors is Maleficent, one of the greatest fairies ever to live. She swoops and soars across her domain, giving aid to those in need during a time when the light ruled the Moors.

When she was a girl, she meets Stefan, a young farm boy who wanders on the Moors to steal treasure. An embarrassing confession later, Stefan and Maleficent grow in friendship. After a time, Stefan once again steals something belonging to Maleficent, but it happens with true love’s kiss.

As the years pass and as Stefan draws closer to greed, lust and envy, Maleficent protects the land from evil invaders who want to pillage it. She confronts the human king who wants the Moors all to himself, banishes him and hails victorious over the evil tyrant. However, it does not discourage the wicked king from enacting an edict to charge any member of his court to bring back Maleficent to the castle—dead. In exchange they will receive the kingdom as a reward.

Stefan appears again to Maleficent. All the years of loneliness that had passed between them seems as yesterday to the couple, as they share a tender moment. Once Maleficent rises from a deep sleep, Stefan is gone, as are her wings. Stefan becomes king.

Maleficent's Angelina Jolie
Maleficent’s Angelina Jolie

In the wake of her loss, Maleficent falls into darkness. Her power increases, and the seed of resentment captures her heart, left empty by the betrayal of her only love, Stefan. All the fairies bow to their new queen.

Then, King Stefan has a daughter. Maleficent, being cordial, invites herself to the christening where she bestows a gift to the princess—a curse. The little girl would grow to be sixteen at which time she will prick her finger on a spindle and fall into a deep, deep sleep, forever to remain but for true love’s kiss.

Without a doubt, Angelina Jolie is Maleficent. Beyond the incredible effects that renders her the awesome power she possesses, her subtle pose, smile and glint in her eyes conveys more than volumes of exposition. And in some respects, it makes us believe the darkness is good.


What did you think of Angelina Jolie’s portrayal of Maleficent?

Posted in Women Who Wow Wednesday


Once upon a time, in a faraway kingdom known as Andalasia, lived a maiden with whom the prince would share true love’s kiss. Her name was Giselle, and she dreamed of holding hands and dancing with her one true love.

Amy Adams is Giselle in Enchanted
Amy Adams is Giselle in Enchanted

How many of you think this is Sleeping Beauty? Show of hands, c’mon. How about Beauty and the Beast? Anyone for Shrek? I threw that last one in to see if you’re paying attention. Disney has the whole princess theme down pat. They even had it working in the movie Frozen. Well, it did have two princesses.

In the film Enchanted however, true love’s kiss is a bigger deal. It’s what brings ever-afterings so happy—that’s what the song says. The opening lyrics declare that to spend a life of endless bliss you’ll just need to find who you love through true love’s kiss. Pretty catchy, don’t you think?

Enchanted Giselle
Enchanted Giselle

This is where Giselle (Amy Adams) comes in. She’s the free-spirited embodiment of pure optimism. Her cheerfulness is so infectious that people dance in the street when she’s around, they sing in full choruses in the park, and even the animals gather to help with her chores. There’s nothing too difficult for Giselle, there’s nothing impossible for her.

That is, until we meet the prince. A real winner here. He believes in true love’s kiss, too. As soon as she drops into his lap, he’s dreaming of being married to her in the morning, finishing each other’s duets, and in years to come, reminiscing of how they grew love through true love’s kiss.

It gets better from here, but I’m not going to spoil it. Suffice it to say, Giselle learns what real love is all about. This includes the pain and the emotion attached to real love, the hardship and work behind it all, and the growth that takes place when real love hits someone who doesn’t expect it.

No matter how many times I watch this movie, and no matter how many times I listen to her voice, I always experience joy knowing I can relive my favorite moments over and over again. If anyone deserves to be part of Women Who Wow Wednesday, it’s Giselle, not because she can slay a dragon in one fell swoop, but because of her sense of wonder noticing the world around her. That childlike innocence captured on film makes her someone everyone ought to know in real life.


What did you think of Enchanted? What did you think of Giselle?

Posted in Monday Mayhem

Olaf the Zombie

Last week’s Women Who Wow Wednesday featured Anna and Elsa from the movie Frozen. A couple of my readers had asked if I would consider writing about Olaf the snowman. You see, they thought Olaf exhibited zombie traits and it would make for a great subject for a Monday Mayhem post. At this moment, I agree.

Olaf the snowman
Olaf the snowman

However, at the time, I didn’t see how an animated snowman would become the symbol of zombieism in a Disney movie about two siblings trying to mend their relationship after a grave fallout. I’ll admit, even I couldn’t see the connection.

But after careful consideration, multiple viewings of Frozen, and plenty of ice cream—I don’t know, I’m just making this up as I go along—I’ve come to the conclusion that Olaf the snowman is in fact a genuine, true to life, not of this world zombie. Well, that’s to say Olaf displays undead tendencies. Let’s see what I mean—I’m dying to find out, too!

For those unfamiliar with the movie Frozen, I’ll give you a quick spoiler-free summary.

Princesses Anna and Elsa are sisters. Elsa has this magical power to conjure snow out of nothingness. She’s so good at it that she can create an ice rink with a simple step of her foot, a storm with the wave of a hand, and a snowman that talks. Yes, we’re talking about Olaf. He’s what we call possessed. Maybe not, but his personality is warm and cuddly.


On numerous occasions, Olaf falls apart. Much like a zombie, even after losing his head he still manages to stay alive while his parts try to find themselves. On one hand, it’s funny. Who doesn’t want a talking snowman who falls apart and succeeds in putting itself together? On the other hand, it’s creepy. Imagine strolling in the middle of the backyard during winter to find the snowman you had broken into pieces confronting you with revenge on its mind for what you did. Not so different from zombies, huh?

Then there’s the whole summer melting thing. Olaf loves summer. He hasn’t a clue as to what summer would do to him, but he loves the sun. In a part of the movie where he finally gets close to fire, he realizes he’s hot, and he begins melting. For a split second, you could attest to the fact you saw a zombie in Olaf’s melted state. I’m talking rotted eyes, skin falling off its body, skull appearing from under the snow. It’s quite disconcerting. I wouldn’t want to be in the same room while this happens.

Have I talked about the possessed limbs yet? I haven’t? Well, then. Olaf’s arms are branches stuck in his torso from Elsa’s conjuring. If they detach from his torso, they remain alive, crawling, bending, grabbing—similar to zombies. Have you seen zombie arms independent from their bodies? They’re crazy sights. They have a life of their own. In Olaf’s case, his arm separated from his body and smacked someone in the face. But we won’t get into that, will we?

So, do you see how innocent Olaf the snowman is really a zombie in disguise. I wouldn’t have believed it either hadn’t I seen it for myself.

Now I’m wondering if I should build a snowman next winter.


What do you think of Olaf the snowman/zombie? Would he pose a threat to humanity?

Posted in Women Who Wow Wednesday

Anna and Elsa

If you haven’t seen the movie Frozen and want to see it, don’t read this post. I will spoil it for you. Jump to the last paragraph. If you have seen it, then you will know why I chose both Anna and Elsa as this week’s Women Who Wow Wednesday feature. I couldn’t choose one or the other because one wouldn’t be complete without the other. Therefore, it’s a special day when I not only can chat about one inspiring character, but also present a second one who equally inspires.

Frozen's Anna and Elsa
Frozen’s Anna and Elsa

Princesses Anna and Elsa were little girls when it happened. Elsa has a magical gift. She’s able to spin snow from nothingness. With the wave of a hand, she’s also able to create frozen mountains, ice rinks and snow slides. But one morning Anna’s excitement got the best of her. Wanting Elsa to play with her in the palace, Anna coaxed her to create an indoor winterscape complete with an ice rink and snowman. Unable to keep up with Anna’s delightful exuberance, Elsa blames herself for the accident that follows.

Years later, when Elsa becomes Queen Elsa of Arendelle, during the evening festivities of her coronation, she turns on her sister, forbidding her to marry a man she just met. This doesn’t sit well with Anna prompting her to ask why Elsa has grown cold toward her. Little does Anna know that Elsa is attempting to protect her from her magical powers with, of which she believes she once supposedly attacked Anna.

Elsa and Anna
Elsa and Anna

This leads Elsa to lash out in fear of hurting anyone else. She retreats to the mountains, conjuring an ice castle where she plans to live for the rest of her life, alone from everyone and anyone she loves. Anna has all she can do to blame herself for her sister’s sudden departure from the kingdom and desire to live alone.

As the story progresses, the audience has a first class seat to enjoying one of the most interesting relationships Disney has ever created.

Anna’s optimism is contagious, and her forgiving nature, incredible. No matter how many times Elsa shuts her out, Anna remains firm in her belief that they will one day be sisters again, just like it was when they were little girls. At the same time, Elsa tries her best not to hurt anyone with her ice powers. She doesn’t care if no one understands, as long as everyone’s safe, that’s what’s important to her.

Frozen is nothing short of amazing. However, the characters Anna and Elsa are two personalities one will not easily forget. As beautiful the music is and as funny as the story goes, nothing comes close to the interactions these sisters have with one another and the ultimate joy they express when being together.

If you’re looking for a story to keep you entertained, Anna and Elsa’s will inspire and enrich in the film Frozen. One thing though, one view’s not enough to absorb all the little character nuances. Prepare to become enthralled many times over by the movie’s music and magic.


Have you seen Frozen? Did you like the character Anna? What did you like most about her?