Friday, March 16, 2012

The Descendants to Blu-ray and DVD March 13




A Guide to Camping
Experience the Heartbreak and Humor When the Academy Award® and Golden Globe® Winner Comes to Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD March 13

In The Descendants, it was a tradition of the King family to go camping on their ancestors' land. In this feature, we will explore some cool places and interesting new ways to camp with your family, including the best time of year to go camping, what to bring, and fun activities to do on site.

Based on the best-selling novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings and set in Hawaii, THE DESCENDANTS is a sometimes humorous, sometimes tragic journey for Matt King (George Clooney) an indifferent husband and father of two girls, who is forced to re-examine his past and embrace his future when his wife suffers a boating accident off of Waikiki. The event leads to a rapprochement with his young daughters while Matt wrestles with a decision to sell the family’s land handed down from Hawaiian royalty and missionaries.

Where to Camp


If you’re a beginning camper, you probably want to start by finding an organized campground within driving distance. Campgrounds can be either public (usually run by a government agency, like national forests) or private (usually run by individuals or businesses, like campground resorts or RV parks). Public campgrounds will likely offer you the most options and are usually set up by the government to preserve the area, so you should research those near you. You will also want to make sure that the campsites you are looking into offer the amenities that you need. Think about whether or not you will require things like a shower, bathrooms, and areas for cooking and cleaning your dishes. Also, consider what kinds of activities you might want to engage in before booking your campsite. Will you want to play water sports or swim? Do you like to hike? Look for sites that will be able to accommodate your needs, and remember to book ahead because popular campsites can fill up many months in advance.

When to Camp


Though people typically assume that the summer is the best time to go camping, the spring might actually be your best option! Though the summer boasts warmer nights and less hectic schedules for families with children, the spring often has less busy campgrounds (which means you have a great selection to choose from, more privacy, and usually less expensive reservations), similar temperatures to summer (though perhaps not as scorching during mid-day), and less pesky summer bugs like mosquitoes! In most regions, camping in the spring offers you the same things that you love about summer, but without the added burden of camping during peak season.

What to Bring


Knowing what to bring on your camping trip really depends on where you’re going, what time of year you’re planning on camping, and what activities you want to do while you’re there. In general, there are some basic things that every camper will need. Unless you are camping in an RV, you will need a tent so that you will be adequately protected from the sun, wind, rain, bugs, etc. Tents also provide you with privacy from other campers and give you a place to store your clothes and other necessities away from the elements. You will also need a sleeping bag, a pillow, and a pad. Remember that you are, essentially, sleeping outside on the ground, so you will want something that will make you as comfortable as possible and provide you with enough warmth for whatever region you’re camping in (in some places temperature will drop drastically at night, even in the summer). Additionally, don’t forget to bring plenty of water (you may not be near a water source), food and cooking supplies. Some campsites have grills, but if yours doesn’t you might want to bring something like a propane stove for cooking, and all the necessary accouterments (pots and pans, utensils, spatulas, charcoal, etc.). Also, remember to bring basics like a first aid kit, any medications you may need, extra clothes, etc. Before packing, make sure you have planned your trip out thoroughly and make yourself a checklist of everything you will need.

Fun Activities


For some people, the mere act of leaving the city and setting up camp to relax in the wilderness is enough. If you’re not one of these people, there are still plenty of things you can do while camping to keep yourself (or your kids) entertained. Depending on your locale, you can do things that are unique to your locale. If you’re camping in a mountainous region, try going for a hike, or doing a photo scavenger hunt for animals and plant life native to that region. If you’re camping near a lake or another body of water, you could take a leisurely swim, fish (if the area permits it), or try canoeing, sailing, jet skiing, etc. Some campsites also have areas for sports, like baseball fields, basketball courts, etc. Check in advance to see if your campsite has these things, and then make sure that you bring the necessary equipment to play! You can also bring desks of cards or small board games and play with your group around the fire after a long day of hiking or swimming. Another fun (and practical) activity is to have a picnic. Get your whole group involved in setting up a table, getting a fire started, and cooking. Finish the meal off with some good old-fashioned s’mores around the campfire! 

Banished to Boarding School

Experience the Heartbreak and Humor When the Academy Award® and Golden Globe® Winner Comes to Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD March 13

During the film, we find out that Alex, the oldest King daughter, has been sent away to boarding school for acting out - but she sure isn't the first difficult child that has been banished to boarding school on film! This Top 10 list will illustrate some other films where boarding school plays a role in the plot, including Flirting, Rushmore and Dead Poet's Society.

Based on the best-selling novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings and set in Hawaii, THE DESCENDANTS is a sometimes humorous, sometimes tragic journey for Matt King (George Clooney) an indifferent husband and father of two girls, who is forced to re-examine his past and embrace his future when his wife suffers a boating accident off of Waikiki. The event leads to a rapprochement with his young daughters while Matt wrestles with a decision to sell the family’s land handed down from Hawaiian royalty and missionaries.

if….


if…. is a 1968 drama about a British boarding school that is known for its severe punishments and the mistreatment of younger students by the older students (the Whips). The film focuses on three “outcast” students who are punished particularly severely at the hands of the Whips, and their eventual plan to retaliate on their oppressors. The films ends in a bloody battle between the outcasts and the rest of the school. The film won the Palme d'Or at the 1969 Cannes Film Festival.

.Au Revoir Les Enfants


Au Revoir Les Enfants is a 1987 French film that is based on actual events experienced by writer/director Loius Malle. The film takes place at a French boarding school in 1943. The school’s headmaster has introduced three Jewish students who must hide their true identities in order to evade the Gestapo. The film follows the friendship of one of the Jewish students, Jean Bonnet and another student, Julien Quentin. Eventually, the three Jewish students and the headmaster are captured and taken to concentration camps.

Dead Poet’s Society

Dead Poet’s Society is a 1989 film set in a conservative prep school in Vermont in 1959. John Keating (Robin Williams) is the radical new English teacher at the uptight Welton Academy Prep School. Through his unorthodox teaching methods, like standing on desks and tearing pages out of books, Keating is able to help his students discover and explore their true passions in life, like writing and acting, instead of succumbing to the lives their parents have prescribed for them.

Flirting


Flirting is a 1991 Australian film set in two different boarding schools in 1965. The film stars Noah Taylor, Thandie Newton and Nicole Kidman as students attending boarding schools across the lake from each one another. Danny (Taylor) meets and falls in love with Thandiwe (Newton), a Ugandan-Kenyan-British girl. The couple is faced with racism and political turmoil, and must meet secretly in order to develop their relationship. Eventually, the couple is forced to separate, with letter writing as their only remaining connection.

School Ties


School Ties is a 1992 film starring Brendan Fraser, Matt Damon and Chris O’Donnell. Set in the 1950s, this film is the story of David Greene (Fraser), a Jewish student from Pittsburgh who is given a football scholarship to attend a prestigious prep school in New England. After it is revealed that he is Jewish, David is ostracized from his former friends and anti-Semitism begins to plague the school. 

Scent of a Woman


Scent of a Woman is a 1992 drama starring Al Pacino and Chris O’Donnell. The film is about a preparatory student (Charlie Simms) who takes a job as an assistant to a cantankerous, blind retired Army officer (Frank Slade).  Frank takes Charlie on an extravagant trip to New York City with the intention of committing suicide once the trip has concluded. Charlie convinces Frank not to kill himself, and Frank helps Charlie win a disciplinary hearing at his school. Al Pacino won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance.

Rushmore


1998’s Rushmore is the story of Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman), a precocious 15 year-old student at the prestigious Rushmore Academy. Max befriends Herman Blume (Bill Murray), a wealthy industrialist who has two children in school with Max. After Max’s unauthorized and failed attempt to construct an aquarium at the school, he is expelled and forced to attend public school. Following his expulsion, Max and Blume begin battling each other for the affections of first grade teacher Rosemary Cross.

The Emperor’s Club


2002’s The Emperor’s Club stars Kevin Kline, Emile Hirsch, Jesse Eisenberg and Paul Dano. The film focuses on the fictional men’s prep school, St. Benedict’s Academy, in Andover, MA in the mid 1970s. The film tells the story of a passionate Classic professor who encounters a difficult and corrupt student. The film picks up 25 years after the group’s graduation, and shows that the boys continue to learn lessons from their old teacher even into adulthood.

Les Choristes


Les Choristes is a 2004 French film that is set in a boarding school for troubled boys in 1949. The film focuses on a new teacher at the school who starts a choir, and helps the boys become happier, better behaved, and find hidden talents. The new teacher also helps expose the atrocities of the cruel headmaster, while nurturing Morhange, a young boy with an amazing voice and a true talent for music.

The Harry Potter Series


As much as we Muggles don’t want to admit it, Hogwarts is, at its core, a boarding school. The film adaptations of the wildly successful series of novels focuses on the titular boy wizard who travels to school to develop his wizarding skills. In the process, Harry and his friends embark on exciting adventures and face many obstacles and dangers, including some not-so-abnormal teen moments, such as asking a girl to a dance, and navigating a new (or in their case ever-changing) building on your first day of classes. 






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