Oculus Movie Review

Oculus-poster-with-Karen-Gillan

Oculus

Rating: Pretty Damn Good

This movie has a bit of controversy when it comes to reviews. Abstract movies have a tendency to elude the majority of audiences, so it says a lot for this film that it turned a huge profit at the box office. While many people who viewed it were left saying “I didn’t get it” and “that was stupid” there were a select bunch of viewers who couldn’t help but applaud the movie as it came to a close, myself included.

 

oculusconfusedWhat you’ll hate:

-For some, the story telling style is confusing

-For some, it wasn’t gory enough

-For some, it moved too slowly

 

 

oculusapple

Plenty of cringe moments in Oculus


What you’ll love:

-Classic horror done right, it’s amazing how typical this movie is when you look at its basic components, and yet it’s one of the most original films I’ve seen in a while. It succeeds where many horror films fail.

oculusplottwist

Doubting reality is a regular theme

 

-Mind fff… er… mind blowing plot twists and turns

-A creative villain

-An ending that leaves you thinking about the movie long after its over

 

 

JE3_4956.NEF

The children acted well enough to kind of steal the show

-Great acting by all

-It makes you want a sequel

If you liked “The Fountain” and “Memento” and really wished people in those movies were spine-tinglingly murdered by a supernatural force, you’re going to love Oculus.

 

It’s becoming more rare that I feel a movie is so good I want to own it, but this one is definitely on my list. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Thanks for reading,

Kephra

kephrarubin.wordpress.com

I post as often as I can, but due to a slight case of dyslexia sometimes it is difficult to post quickly. I have to rewrite my work many times for it to be clear and concise. Subscribe and you’ll always know when I have something new up. Thanks in advance.

Posted in Movie Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Vivian Maier and Understanding an Artist’s Desire to Hide Their Talent

Vivian Maier Hid Her Amazing Artwork From the World, but Why?

Vivian Maier Hid Her Amazing Artwork From the World, but Why?

Vivian Maier and Understanding an Artist’s Desire to Hide Their Talent

Vivian Maier is an artist whose work was recently discovered. Many close to her did not know she was a photographer. Why did she hide her art? Who can say for certain, but as an artist who has struggled with expressing his own art, here is one perspective on why artists hide their talent.

To understand a true artist, you have to understand pain, you have to let it inside you. True artists are intuitive creatures, people who are so connected to the world that its pain is felt in their own soul. They are tortured and bear burdens no one should have to bear, because someone has to pay for the horrible things of life.

Yet, within that chasm lies an outstretched hand. It is a part of the artist that wishes to be seen, to be loved, to connect instead of self isolate.

True soulful artists are bound by a universally unwritten truth. If their work needs to be packaged and sold with a press kit attached in order to be felt and understood-they have failed.

For their work to be revered without needing to draw attention to it themselves is the highest compliment; to be discovered.

So, sadly, they hide their talents from the world, while somehow still hoping to be seen. If the world is lucky, it one day witnesses the expression of such a soul.

Personally, I believe it is the responsibility of the world to seek out artists, not artists to battle for the world’s attention. True art keeps our hearts alive and protects them from falling into numbness.

While we do not need art to survive, we most certainly need it to thrive.

So, while it may pain the artist, it is my true belief that pushing to witness their art is important, so they can feel some sense of discovery before they pass. If the opportunity for such understanding never comes, it would be good of us to do our best to understand the struggle an artist faces with exposing their own art to the world, and honor their work in the wake of their passing.

Short video about Vivian Maier

Thanks for reading,

Kephra Rubin

kephrarubin.wordpress.com

I post as often as I can, but due to a slight case of dyslexia sometimes it is difficult to post quickly. I have to rewrite my work many times for it to be clear and concise. Subscribe and you’ll always know when I have something new up. Thanks in advance.

Posted in Philosophy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

If It Gets Them Out to the Range, It’s a Good Thing

Allowing curious new shooters to express themselves visually can help soften them to possible ownership

If the appearance of a firearm makes them interested in joining the community, perhaps it is a good thing.

If It Gets Them Out to the Range It’s a Good Thing

While the fixation on cosmetic features has hurt the gun rights movement, it can also help it.

Potential new firearms owners who come from a background without an avid gun culture are most likely exposed to mass media far more often than actual firearms and their owners. It is because of this, some potential new owners may gravitate toward firearms that are perhaps more theatrical than practical.

Seasoned owners may oppose this and that could be a mistake.

As others judge us based on the cosmetic features of our firearms, to judge others for similar reasons seems hypocritical. Beyond that, such alienation could create a social barrier that results in new owners not seeking proper instruction, or enough of it. Any risk to the firearms community of losing new members sets the stage for further struggles in the gun rights movement.

The Beretta CX4 Storm has a spacey appearance that many owners dislike, yet mocking someone who finds the firearm interesting seems counterproductive to the gun rights movement.

The Beretta CX4 Storm has a spacey appearance that many owners dislike, yet mocking someone who finds the firearm interesting seems counterproductive to the gun rights movement.

I know from personal experience, the jokes and teasing that comes along with judging the appearance of a firearm can do a lot to limit a novice’s involvement, at least at the initial stages. I was raised anti-gun. It was a very difficult journey to owning my first firearm.

It was difficult for a variety of social reasons, some of the very reasons we are discussing here. I liked the Beretta CX4 Storm, and even now I cannot deny it has a spacey appearance. I was ridiculed for it, and other’s opposition to the choice became a subtle barrier between me and the firearm’s community.

Perhaps, aesthetics are the only aspect of firearms a novice can understand.

I certainly did not grasp how firearms worked, why people owned them, or what purposes they served their owners. I was curious to learn, however, and that showed an effort towards understanding. Why was that desire to understand not encouraged?

In fact, the negative reactions I encountered along the way put doubts in my mind, and made me hesitate on my first purchase. Months went by before that changed when a new friend gave a different reaction. While he did say that he would have preferred I purchase a practical 22 rifle to get started with, he felt that the recoil of the CX4 Storm would be manageable and the ammo inexpensive at the time. As long as I let him educate me on the safety precautions involved in ownership he figured, why not?

He saw the bigger picture, and the importance of introducing new shooters to the firearms community. When he saw that there were no safety concerns or chances that an overpowered firearm might ruin my first experience, he let it go. If aesthetics were what piqued my interest, then it was a gateway towards my acceptance of firearms. It needed to be nurtured, not judged.

We are guiltier than we would like to admit.

Many of us are accepting of any safe interest in firearms, however, anyone with an internet connection can witness firsthand how alienating owners can be. Far more frequently than one might think, people are ridiculed for even so much as showing interest in something splattered in a crazy paint job, or boasting an extra shiny finish, and it serves no purpose to owners, or gun rights. When we witness the alienation of people who may be at the delicate infancy stage of their involvement in firearms, we have to ask ourselves, why?

Why ridicule someone at all?

Is this so offensive that we would prefer to see the owner uncomfortable and alienated? Why?

Is this so offensive that we would prefer to see the owner uncomfortable and alienated? Why?

Why put someone in a situation where they feel the need to avoid the firearms community, which could cause them to avoid seeking proper training and regular instruction? Why create friction in a situation that could help further the gun rights movement if handled in a more positive way? Does nickel plating really offend that much?

If they want a wild paint job, or if they think some spacey firearm design is intriguing, why is so much effort being expended to make these individuals feel unwelcome? What does making anyone feel unwelcome do for any movement, let alone the struggle to attain equal rights for gun owners?

Sure, it's important to take firearm safety seriously, but if the owner does, what's the harm in a fun paint job that keeps them interested and active, along with eager to introduce others to the gun rights movement?

Sure, it’s important to take firearm safety seriously, but if the owner does, what’s the harm in a fun paint job that keeps them interested and active, along with eager to introduce others to the gun rights movement? Everyone “with the program” is already part of the movement, and we are not enough, we need to search outside the comfort zone to thrive.

Perhaps we worry that a focus on appearance will create a lax attitude towards safety and respect for firearms. This is valid, but there are plenty of people who covet the grade of wood used to make the stock of a more traditional firearm. More importantly, it overlooks the role we each play in this community. When we choose to be involved in our local communities and properly introduce new owners to firearms, we have an opportunity to ensure they understand the safety and respect that comes with them.

Obviously, if this were the majority I would not be involved with firearms. It did take the guidance of a good person to usher me into ownership, though, and it took far too long to get there, in my case. In regards to my friend, I eventually thanked him very enthusiastically. Not just for taking me to my first gun show where I bought my CX4 Storm, not just for taking me to my first trip to the range and ensuring I felt comfortable by putting a strong focus on safety, but for the encouragement, and welcoming attitude towards my initial interest in firearms, for making me feel comfortable enough to enter a new, unfamiliar, and frankly intimidating world. He said a lot in response to my thanks, but one thought stood out for me to this very day.

“Hey, if it gets you out to the range, it’s a good thing.”

Encouraging the new shooter to engage in the safe enjoyment of firearms, preferably guided by an NRA Certified Instructor, is important to the gun rights movement. Getting actively involved in our local communities can usher the novice into a nurturing environment, which is vital at that budding stage. There they can be introduced to a great first experience that can help them see that firearms, when properly handled and respected, are not capable of causing problems, but can be the cause of many great things.

Looking beyond appearances can help ease tensions and encourage new owners to do more than simply purchase a firearm and stick it in a gun safe. It can help to create a solid community that welcomes curiosity and encourages new owners to seek guidance and instruction. Not only does this approach create a safer and more enjoyable experience at our local ranges, it also strengthens the gun rights movement as a whole. New owners are more valuable now than ever before. Regardless of what the firearms they find interesting look like, realize that hey–if it gets them out to the range, it’s a good thing.

We are almost the majority, let’s keep growing.

Thanks for reading,
Kephra

crazy+gun+weaponQ

 

Next Gun Article: Dos and Don’ts When Talking With Women about Guns

I post as often as I can, but due to a slight case of dyslexia sometimes it is difficult to post quickly. I have to rewrite my work many times for it to be clear and concise. Subscribe and you’ll always know when I have something new up. Thanks in advance.

Check out my first novel: http://www.amazon.com/Walk-Through-Valley-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00EZFION6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1393548399&sr=8-1&keywords=walk+through+the+valley+book+1

Posted in Philosophy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Falling (poem)

Image

Falling

The higher I rise the further I fall
There was a time I reached for the sky
I rose up high
Now it feels like I’ve been falling all my life

That little voice
Watching those little dreams
The feeling opened me
Broke through my armor and let me breathe

And now it hurts to be this free
Taken from me,
Can’t close the armor around me
I left it all behind

Now I’m falling from the sky
I used to hum for little ears at night
Now I’m a stranger in those little eyes
Too many tears to let outside

Broken, I am broken deep inside
Paid the price to feel alive
Wouldn’t go back, I don’t know why
I guess I can’t regret those times

So I fall from the sky
I don’t know why
I can’t stop trying to fly
Reaching for the sun at night

I can still feel the tiny hands
Still hear the tiny laugh
Still feel that little breath
Sleeping on my chest

The higher I rise the further I fall
There was a time I reached for the sky
I rose up high
Now it feels like I’ve been falling all my life

By Kephra Rubin

Copyright 2014 all rights reserved

I post as often as I can, but due to a slight case of dyslexia sometimes it is difficult to post quickly. I have to rewrite my work many times for it to be clear and concise. Subscribe and you’ll always know when I have something new up. Thanks in advance.

Next poem: To Be Whole Again

Like my poetry? Check out more in the poetry section here, and then check out my novel Walk Through the Valley: Book 1 which features poetry as well.

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

My First Bad Review, and It Was Still 3 out of 5 Stars

Astra Daemon; She didn't like it

Astra Daemon Didn’t like it

She Didn’t Like it

Writing Walk Through the Valley: Book 1 was a triumph for me. Being slightly dyslexic, writing is not impossible, but it is a struggle. I was shocked that someone from a professional website, zombiephiles.com, wanted to review my novel. Most people I see in interviews that talk about bad reviews talk about being torn to bits, but in the end I still got 3 out of 5 stars and the reviewer made some points that will make future books better. Considering everything I have stacked against me, I’d say this is great encouragement. Check out her review, and check out the novel and see if you agree.

http://www.amazon.com/review/R109FE5EXNT4LG/ref=cm_cr_pr_viewpnt#R109FE5EXNT4LG

Ursula K. Raphael is a top 1000 amazon reviewer who has posted more reviews than I can count of everything from books to coffee mugs, she can be found on zombiephiles.com

I post as often as I can, but due to a slight case of dyslexia sometimes it is difficult to post quickly. I have to rewrite my work many times for it to be clear and concise. Subscribe and you’ll always know when I have something new up. Thanks in advance.

Posted in My Novels | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dead to Wake (poem)

Image

Dead to Wake

Dead

Raised on pain, in so many ways
Learned to turn off my skin
And drift away
Learned to close it all up
And just escape

But I blocked out the pleasure when I blocked the pain
Locked up the smiles when I locked the hate
If I let one out–the other gets free
Can’t go without love–so I do bad things

People warned me, said that I’d get hurt
Said love can’t exist in this world of dirt
Thought I could take it–I survived so much
So naïve to the nuances of love

I thought to be cut so deep, would help me see
That there really is a heart inside of me
It’d help me believe I can feel these things
To know I can reach what everybody dreams

But the theory is different from reality
It cut deeper than I thought it would ever cut me
Through my heart, right down to my soul
Oh my god
I actually have a soul

Suffered my whole life from the outside in
Now I’m suffering deep under thick skin
That’s a pain I never felt and it’s got me good
I guess it’s a pain that should be understood

So I face it, let it change me
Become a better friend and a part of my family
Work harder for myself and my dreams
Real love’s starting internally

That’s why I can’t breathe, the death inside of me
Gripped around my lungs all this time been choking
Have to let go, let my soul go free
What I did to survive, is done, let it bleed

What was done to me is done, let it bleed
No more room for revenge, so just bleed
Let it die so the heart inside can thrive
Let it grow, let the soul go and let it shine

I guess love is always there, gotta let it inside
People do care, so you gotta be kind
Darkness is there, but so is the light
There really is a point to this thing called life

Wake

Written by Kephra Rubin

Copyright 2014

I post as often as I can, but due to a slight case of dyslexia sometimes it is difficult to post quickly. I have to rewrite my work many times for it to be clear and concise. Subscribe and you’ll always know when I have something new up. Thanks in advance.

Next Poem: Falling

Check out Walk Through the Valley: Book 1, my first full length novel

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

American Mary, a little known movie that deserves a view from all horror fans

Image

American Mary

Rating: Pretty Damn Good

Take two twin-sister film-makers, toss them in a blender with the cult wonder-woman of horror Katharine Isabelle, add in a dash of intelligent social satire and a full scoop of dark tendencies and what do you get?

No, not that.

American Mary, written and directed by the Soska Sisters, is a surprisingly intelligent and creative horror film that I found to be refreshing over most recent horror releases, using far less budget to do it.

What you may not like:

-The ending is kind of abrupt and while the majority of the film seems to have a moral goal, the ending never really sums it all up. Granted, I’m sure it could be explained to me, but at that point something more could have been done. Staying consistent with how a story is presented, through and through is important.

-American Mary kind of reminds me of “The Other Guys” which is in a completely different genre, but both can’t decide if they are fantastical or serious. Things seem gritty and real one moment, then surreal the next. You have to abandon some realistic expectations and try not to say “that could never happen” in order to enjoy some parts of the film, this is why the moral tie-in at the end would have made the movie a bit better. It’s easier to abandon skepticism and just watch the movie with a clean slate when you feel like there’s a point to it all

Image

What you’ll Love: 
-Katharine Isabelle hasn’t lost a step in her ability. It is tough to be an actress, you have to be able to survive while waiting for the right roles to come in, and few film makers truly want to challenge their actors. She consistently manages to hold on to her principals while still having more fun than most people ever will

-There are horrific scenes that are directed so ingeniously. It is the scenes with the least happening that somehow manage to be the scariest moments of the film, the Soska Sisters aren’t just edgy, they’re smart and clever, can’t wait to see what they make next

Image-A great social satire on certain aspects of society, while paying deep respects to other parts, perhaps giving clues to the directors’ personalities

-Enough gore to keep it interesting, enough uniqueness and cleverness to make you watch it twice

ImageOverall it is well worth the purchase, they get paid even if you just watch it on Netflix, so definitely check it out one way or another. I’m really impressed with the Soska Sisters and plan on checking out their first film, Dead Hooker in a Trunk, which I admittedly rolled my eyes at and never bothered to look into, which of course now I feel was a fool’s move. Apparently it is very low budget, but if it comes close to this it should be awesome as well. I hope these two cast Katharine Isabelle in more roles, she’s really overlooked for reasons I don’t fully understand, especially when it comes to horror which hasn’t exactly seen any stand out characters as of late.

Check it out and see what you think for yourself.

American Mary
http://www.twistedtwinsproductions.net/americanmary.htm

Thanks for reading,
Kephra
kephrarubin.wordpress.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Walk-Through-the-Valley-Book-1/1388765984687972

Like my writing style and interests? Want more? Check out my first novel Walk Through the Valley: Book 1, a Vietnam War/Zombies mashup that features deep character development, thought provoking subject matter, and a new type of zombie.

http://www.amazon.com/Walk-Through-Valley-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00EZFION6

Due to a slight case of dyslexia writing is very difficult for me, I cannot post as often as most people, subscribe and you will always know when my next project is finished.

latest poem: http://kephrarubin.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/to-be-whole-again/

latest gun: http://kephrarubin.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/dos-and-dont-when-talking-with-women-about-guns/

latest zombie: http://kephrarubin.wordpress.com/2013/11/11/an-interview-with-ex-special-forces-soldier-about-zombies/

Posted in Movie Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment