Monday, June 27, 2011


While syndicated review columns are available to many news outlets, I personally do not believe in posting a review unless I have seen the item in question myself or one of The Free Choice E-zine's staff has done so.
Therefore, although (movie) reviews are not as prolific here as they might be elsewhere, the following are my genuine opinions on two films I have recently seen.

It is easy to view an adaptation of anything with preconceived notions of how the subject matter should be, based upon your experiences with the source material.
There are comic book fans that have commented about how this movie is not always true to the periodicals it's based upon, but taken on its own merits, Green Lantern is a fun movie.
As an origin/debut movie, it works well. Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds), while a cocky jet pilot, is a bit hesitant to assume his new assignment as part of an Intergalactic peace keeping force known as the Green Lantern Corps.
While their portrayals here might not be as detailed as they are in the comic books, the villains Parallax (voice of Clancy Brown, who has done voice work for DC/Warner Brothers animation before) and Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard) were creditable threats.
It must be pointed out that if Hammond wasn't affected by Parallax, who thus became aware of the existence of our solar system and Earth, it could have otherwise been years/decades before the threat came our way, and by then it would have been too strong for anyone to deal with.
Jordan, while not easily so, believably defeated Parallax based upon previous events in the movie prior to encountering the main villain for himself.
Blake Lively as Carol Ferris and Mark Strong as Sinestro were totally believable in their roles.
The CGI was on par with this film's peers, giving us credible aliens/other Green Lanterns, and presented a valid image of an Intergalactic force, while not losing sight of the new recruit.
The only additional scene is in between the main cast and crew credits, teasing at the possibility of Green Lantern 2, with a story line any comic book fan will tell you they saw coming from a light year away.

While the movie never came right out and said exactly how much time has passed since the end of the last installment of this franchise, Johnny Depp has not lost one iota of his performance as Captain Jack Sparrow.
Having made his way to England in order to rescue a former crew mate, Sparrow winds up in a race to find and claim the legendary Fountain of Youth that Juan Ponce de Leon is supposed to have discovered.
Jack and his friend Joshamee (returning performer Kevin McNally) get mixed up with English and Spanish contestants, as well as the legendary pirate Blackbeard (played by Ian McShane) and his daughter Angelica (Penelope Cruz) who, to make matters even more complicated, is a former love interest of Jack's.
As the race progresses across the Atlantic Ocean for parts unknown, or at least unidentified, it is revealed that one must acquire a mermaid's tear for the fountain's magic to work properly.
While some can argue that the movie might have been a bit long at 137 minutes (compared to Green Lantern's 114) there is no denying the fast paced action and high adventure to be had.
I would love to know what happened to Serena the Mermaid (Astrid Berges-Frisbey) and Sam Calflin (Phillip Swift) after their last on screen scene, although the explanation as to why there was a missionary on board Blackbeard's ship was a little thin in my humble opinion.
The only additional scene is all the way at the end of the final credits, and sets up the potential for the next movie. But that scene also makes me wonder if Naomie Harris at some point will be reprising her role as Calypso from the third movie. If so, you will hear no complaint from this viewer.

Both Green Lantern and Pirates 4 were presented in 3D at my local theater. While the technology has come a long way from the days of the red lens and blue lens glasses, I personally think the effort was totally wasted on Pirates 4.
While used to great advantage in the special effect and outer space scenes in Green Lantern, On Stranger Tides stood on its own merits and didn't need it. After all, what's so exciting about a ship's prow or an occasional sword point coming right at you?

There are some who say this 'fad' is wearing out its welcome rather quickly because of its over use. I'm afraid I have to agree with that, to a point.
The technology is much better than 3D's debut in the 1950's, but it needs to be used more to a specific movie's advantage than any studio's potential box office return.
Case in point: think about James Cameron's Avatar. That was the first movie I ever saw in the new 3D and well worth the extra ticket money.
In other words: don't complain about the gimmick, just its over use.

As previously stated, the above are just my personal opinions about the movies. Yours may vary.


The following is just my personal opinion. Yours may vary.

As another summer is upon us, I look upon all the reruns and the so called "new" fare, composed of mostly so called 'reality' shows, in puzzlement.
Do the major networks really expect us to watch this stuff?
There is no point in commenting on most of the summer fluff, so I will concentrate upon two stalwarts of television: Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune.

As far as I know, you can make a week's worth (five episodes) of Wheel of Fortune quicker than its sister program, because WoF doesn't have returning champions like Jeopardy!
On the other hand, since Wheel does more location shooting and awards bigger prizes, viewers get to watch more episodes of Jeopardy! in any given season. WoF is in rerun mode now, while Jeopardy! is still presenting all new episodes until the end of July. But both series will be back for new seasons around Labor Day 2011.

Although the genre even has its own cable channel now, game shows are not as prolific on network television as they once were. Only The Price Is Right beats Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune for longevity, but the Merv Griffin created series have withstood the test of time, as Alex Trebek and Pat Sajak were recently presented Lifetime Achievement awards at the Daytime Emmys for hosting their respective programs.

The two shows are syndicated, with many alternate versions available for viewing too. Check your local television listings for time and channel.

Sunday, June 26, 2011


Hello Everybody! Ms. Waxy Dragon here!
Now that Dragon School is out for the summer (and who would have thought I would have to go to school to learn how to be a dragon. After all, I was BORN a dragon!), I'm flying back into everyone's lives to brighten their Sundays with more Funnies!
Autumn the Puppy and I will hopefully be splitting weekend duties like we used to, and as usual all comments can be sent to our Editor-In-Chief at
But for now, it's open mike time, and I've got plenty of jokes to tell!

Why did General George Washington and his men spend the winter in Valley Forge?
They couldn't afford the air fare to Miami!
Of course, being a dragon and having wings, that's no problem for me. I just take off and go wherever I want to. And most of the time, I don't even lose my luggage or get charged a bunch of excess fees just for flying.

What would you get if you crossed a trout with an apartment?
A flat fish.

Why did the cat run away from the dogwood tree?
Because it was afraid of its bark!

What do you call a surgeon with eight arms?
A doctopus!

Is it true cats read Good Mousekeeping?

If Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster and Bruce, the mechanical shark from the Jaws movies teamed up to make a new film together, would it be called Loch Jaws?

They say talk is cheap, as long as it isn't an attorney doing the speaking.

What happened when the dog went to the flea circus?
He stole the show!

Where do shellfish go to borrow money?
To a prawn broker!

Oh boy. It's great to be back in action again! But I'm out of room for this weekend, so have a great week everybody and one of us ladies will be back next weekend for more Sunday Funnies!-wd.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Amongst events that have happened around the world this past week...
*Civil unrest continues in Yemen, Syria, and Libya.
*Although the act is expected to be challenged, the state of New York has passed legislation that in time will make same gender marriages legal within their boundaries.
*President Barack Obama has announced that over 30,000 United States military personnel will be withdrawn from Afghanistan by next summer. France has since made a similar statement regarding its own personnel.
*The strain of E.coli currently causing medical problems in Germany has been discovered to be a new combination of two existing strains.
*A previously unknown tribe might have been discovered within Brazil's portion of the Amazon Rain Forest.
*This famous painting by Vincent Van Gogh on the left, originally believed to be a self portrait of the artist, is now thought to be a portrait of the artist's brother Theo Van Gogh. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

*Representing California, Alyssa Campanella was declared Miss America for 2011.
*The comic book industry lost legendary pencil artist Gene Colan on Thursday.
*The entertainment industry is sadder for the passing of actor Peter Falk, perhaps known best for his portrayal of Columbo on television.
*Clarence Clemons of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band has passed away.
*A spokesman for Glen Campbell has announced that the musician has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

*Rory McIlroy won the 2011 US Open golf championship.
*The second round of Interleague play in Major League Baseball continues through next weekend.

For more news at any time, either scroll down to our IN OTHER NEWS feature at the bottom of your monitor or visit any reputable news source.


Another weekend is upon us, and to reflect the current weather patterns across the country, we have a mixed bag of enigmas for you this weekend.

Based solely upon the number of films in it, what is the most successful movie franchise of all time?

Sadly, we've lost actor Peter Falk this week. Although he is best known for his portrayal of everyman detective Columbo on television, Falk had some memorable movie roles too.
Can you identify these movies Peter Falk appeared in, based upon the alternative titles given?
01. The Killing Company
02. Earth is crazy, insane, nuts, (and) loony.
03. The Cash Monarchs
04. Not Enough Crooks
05. The Inexpensive Investigator

We'll reveal all next weekend. But for now, let's look inside THE ANSWERS BOX, and see the results from June 18's Puzzle Corner.

<---Radio--> is a two way radio.

"I played the janitor. You played the mommy-tor." is an actual line from The Hollies' 1967 hit Carrie Anne.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Hello Everybody! Autumn the Puppy here.
And of course, I have some good Father's Day themed jokes for you to share with dear ol' Dad.

A teacher asked her student how old their father was.
The student replied, "My Dad is as old as I am."
"How can that be?" asked the confused teacher.
"He didn't become a father until I was born."

A young English lad asked his father if he had ever been to Egypt.
The father replied no, which caused the child to ask, "Then where did you get mummy?"

What does a baby computer call its father?

Hmmm... I thought I had more than that.
I guess it just proves that being a parent is a serious business.
After all, anyone can be a father. That's just simple biology.
But it takes someone special to be a dad.

In any event, HAPPY FATHER'S DAY, and please be back next weekend for more Sunday Funnies!

Saturday, June 18, 2011


Tomorrow is Father's Day.

Amongst the events that have happened around the world this past week, include:
*The unfortunate continuance of civil unrest in Syria, Libya, Iran, and Yemen.
*The United Nations' Security Council says that Iran is secretly buying banks in hopes to sidestep sanctions. Meanwhile, Nepal is now hopefully clear of all previously planted landmines.
*The UN also issued its first rebuttal against discrimination of gays, lesbians, and transgender beings as the world organization adopted an LGTB rights resolution.
*There are now over 30 confirmed dead in the 2011 E.Coli breakout between Germany and Sweden, including the loss of one child.
* Embarrassed Congressman Anthony Weiner has decided to resign his post.
*Although it will still be awhile before she can resume her duties, Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords returned to her home state this week on leave from her continued therapy, after being shot in the head by an assailant earlier this year.
*Parts of this planet witnessed the first lunar eclipse of 2011 earlier this week.

*The 60th beauty pageant competition for the Miss USA title title is being held this weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada, with the winner expected to be crowned at the end of the contest Sunday night.
*DC Comics, home to such legendary characters as Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, has announced a relaunch of their entire line scheduled for this September, with every title the company will publish from that point starting completely over at issue 1. There have been mixed reactions from comic book readers young and old since the news first broke.

*The second round of Interleague Play is under way in Major League Baseball.
*The Boston Bruins beat the Vancouver Canucks for the 2011 Stanley Cup in professional hockey. To say that some Canadians were bad sports about the outcome is a serious understatement.
*The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat in the 2011 NBA Finals.
*For the 33rd year (since 1978) in a row, there was no winner of horse racing's Triple Crown.
Animal Kingdom won the 2011 Kentucky Derby while finishing second in the 2011 Preakness Stakes to Shackleford. Both horses were defeated by Master of Hounds in the 2011 Belmont Stakes.

For more news at any time, either scroll down to the IN OTHER NEWS feature at the bottom of your screen or visit any reputable news source.


Another weekend is upon us, and puzzle fans know what that means!

Something familiar is represented by the image below. Do you know what it is?


Usually when we play this game, we cite misheard song lyrics and ask what the real verse was. But there are some tunes that intentionally have weird lyrics. Do you know what song the following real verse came from?

"I played the janitor. You played the mommy-tor."

We'll reveal all next weekend. But for now, let's look inside THE ANSWERS BOX and discover the results of our Monkee-ing Around themed Puzzle Corner from June 11, 2011.

01. {Daydream Believer, Ziggy Stardust} = Davy Jones
While that is his given/legal name, the other performs under the name David Bowie to avoid confusion with Jones, who sang Daydream Believer.
02. {Mickey Braddock, The Monkees} = Micky Dolenz
Braddock was the name child star Dolenz used for the show Circus Boy.
03. {Michael Blessing, Different Drum} = Michael Nesmith
Blessing was a stage name for Nesmith, who wrote the song that eventually became a hit for Linda Ronstadt and The Stone Poneys.

While some believe that the second season closing theme to The Monkees' television series is "In This Generation", the song's official title is For Pete's Sake, because it was co-written by Peter Tork and Joseph Richards.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


The genre had its heyday between the 1930s and the end of World War 2, when the likes of The Shadow, Doc Savage, and other adventures roamed the pages of magazines that only cost one thin dime, in a time when times were tough and readers were looking for escapist literature.
Today, pulp is making a serious comeback in such places as the Indiana Jones series of movies, the return of many of its original stars in new adventures, and a brand new characters and books carrying on the grand tradition.
Pro Se Press is just one of the many publishers producing NEW PULP for today's readers.

Amongst the company's recent releases are The Rook: Volume 6 by Barry Reese and Yesteryear by company co-founder Tommy Hancock.

Future volumes will include Fortune's Pawn by Nancy A. Hansen; Creeping Dawn: The Rise of the Black Centipede by Chuck Miller, and my first contribution to the genre: Hugh Monn, Private Detective.

For more information about these, as well as other pulp releases and news, you can visit any of the following websites: or

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Hello Everybody! Autumn the Puppy here!
Our first order of business today, I have gone back to my original avatar because not only do my fans like it best, but also because you could see one of my people's hands in the background of the other one, and I don't want anyone to think that I'm just a spokes canine for someone else.
I'm my own dog!

Anyway, speaking of speaking, let's face it, sometimes English can be a crazy language.
After all, there are no eggs in an eggplant.
Hamburgers don't have ham in them although, depending upon the butcher shop, sometimes you're just plain lucky if there's any meat in them at all.
A pineapple is neither an apple, nor does it come from a pine tree.
English muffins were not actually invented in England, and french fries were not created in France.

Admit it folks, sometimes we do take the English language for granted.
After all, I'm a Golden Retriever and I have yet to actually retrieve any gold, much to my "owner's" disgust.
Quicksand actually works slowly, but it still sucks.
Boxing rings are actually square, so where does that leave Madison Square Garden?
Guinea pigs are not really pigs, they're rodents, nor do any live in New Guinea that I'm aware of.
Think about it. If a vegetarian eats vegetables, do you really want to know what a Humanitarian eats?
Why do you people ship goods by truck and send cargo by ship?
For that matter, why do you park in a driveway and drive on a parkway?
And why call it rush hour when nothing moves?
How come your noses run and your feet smell? And trust me, I've been around enough Humans to vouch for that last part.

But let's face it, the English language was invented by people, and it reflects your creativity.
And some of you can be very creative.
After all, thanks to you Humans, I'm fed and watered on a regular basis.
I'm loved and cared for, and you're great at scratching the itchy spots I can't reach, like behind my ears.

Well, that's it for this weekend. Have a great week, and please be back here next time for more Sunday Funnies.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Amongst the events that have happened around the world this past week...

*Fazul Abdulla Mohammed, highly wanted in Africa as a known member of Al Qaeda, was shot and killed while trying to escape arrest by Somalian police.
*Civil unrest continues in Yemen, Syria, and Libya, where NATO forces are maintaining a presence.
*Although many want him to resign, House of Representatives member Anthony Weiner is taking a leave of absence to seek professional help for his sexting problem.
*A recent report filed by the Japanese Government to the International Atomic Energy Agency is expected to result in future reactor design changes in light of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear disaster.
*An official cause for the E.Coli breakout in Germany has yet to be determined, although some experts think that the situation is lessening, as fewer victims have been reported over the last few weeks.
*While Adrian has become the first hurricane of the 2011 season, forecasters expect it to stay in open water and only be a threat to navigation.
*Maqbool Fida Husian, also known as the Picasso of India, has passed away at the age of 95.

For more news at any time, either scroll down to the IN OTHER NEWS feature at the bottom of your screen or visit any reputable news source.


Although the official date is not until September 12, Davy Jones, Peter Tork, and Micky Dolenz are touring this summer in celebration of The Monkees 45th anniversary. Whether or not Michael Nesmith joins them at any point remains to be seen.
In any event, I thought this weekend we'd have some puzzles themed around a certain group I like. Ready?

Each group has something in common. Do you know what it is?
01. {Daydream Believer, Ziggy Stardust}
02. {Mickey Braddock, The Monkees}
03. {Michael Blessing, Different Drum}

Each episode of the Monkees' first television season ended with a reprise of the opening theme. But viewers heard a different song at the end during the second season. What was the name of this tune and who wrote it?

We'll reveal all next weekend. But for now, let's peek into THE ANSWERS BOX and discover the results from June 4's Puzzle Corner.

Based solely upon it's time in theaters, The Rocky Horror Picture Show from 1975 is the most successful movie of all time. It is still playing on weekends in select theaters on a regular basis, having started the midnight movie movement back in 1977.

LOFOOLSVE? was shorthand for the song Why Do Fools Fall In Love? originally recorded by Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Hello Everybody! Autumn the Puppy here!
Now, despite the fact that I'm still just a(n eternal) puppy, I've already been around the dog house a few times observing this thing everybody calls life.
Unfortunately, the magazine is no longer in publication except for the occasional special, so instead I'd like to talk about the thing it was named after.
For a simple four letter word it backs a mighty big impact.
It encompasses the entire universe. This one and all the others out there in the cosmos. When you stop in the evening and look up at the night sky, it makes you stop and realize just where we fit in the grander scheme of things.
But you Human beings keep dreaming and trying to achieve more, and I applaud you for it.
After all, no one for settle for the sky being the limit when there are footprints on the moon!
Yet a lot happens in between the start and the finish and that's what makes life so interesting and not just a Milton Bradley game.
I've figured out that at times, the only real difference between kids and adults is the cost of their toys.
It figures that once you get your hands (or paws) dirty, your nose will start to itch.
It figures that the more stupid something you do is, the more likely it will be video taped. Otherwise, YouTube and America's Funniest Home Videos would have gone out of business ages ago!
Why I need a dog license is beyond me. I was born a dog, I know how to be a dog, so why do I need a license to be a dog? I can't use the stupid thing for anything other than to prove I am a dog, and if you can't tell that just by looking at me...
And of course I've come to the end of another post.
So have a great week everybody and be back here next weekend for more Sunday Funnies!-AtP.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


Amongst the events that have occurred this past week...

*Germany and its European neighbors is facing one of the largest E. Coli outbreaks in recorded history.
*Civil unrest continues in Syria, Yemen,and Libya over the long term regimes in those countries. NATO is still maintaining a presence in Libya.
*Ilyas Kashmiri, a known member of Al-Quida suspected of wanting to take over for the late Osama Bin Laden, has reportedly been killed in an attempted raid of a terrorist meeting.
*The World Health Organization has reassessed its earlier opinion and now considers cell phones a possible carcinogenic hazard to human beings. This ruling was based on completing an examination of the data originally presented to the WHO, and the organization urges further study on the issue.
*The Space Shuttle Endeavour safely returned from its final mission.
*Jack Kevorkian, known for his support of assisted suicides, has passed away from pneumonia and kidney problems, ailments he had been hospitalized for since May 18.
*The 100th anniversary of the launching of maiden (and only) voyage of the RMS Titanic was celebrated this week.

*Actor James Arness has passed away at the age of 88.

*Dan Wheldon won the 2011 Indy 500 auto race.
*The Dallas Mavericks are competing against the Miami Heat in the 2011 NBA finals, while the Boston Bruins face off against the Vancouver Canucks for the 2011 Stanley Cup in professional hockey.

For more news at any time, either scroll down to the IN OTHER NEWS feature at the bottom of your monitor or visit any reputable news source.


Well, another weekend is upon us. So let's take a brief break from whatever else you might be doing outside and keep our minds sharp.

Based solely upon its length of time in theaters, what is the most successful movie of all time?

What is represented by the image below?


We'll reveal all next weekend. But for now, let's peek inside THE ANSWERS BOX for the answers to the May 28 Puzzle Corner.

Out of the letters in the word MEMORIAL, you can form: a, ail, aim, air, ale, am, ammo, are, arm, ear, earl, elm, I, ire, lair, lam, lame, lime, lore, ma, male, me, meal, memo, mile, mime, mole, moral, more, oar, or, oral, ore, real, realm, ream, (and) rile. Other possibilities besides the 37 listed might be possible.

"There's a bad moon on the rise" is sometimes misheard as "There's a bathroom on the right."