My Most Anticipated Films of 2018

Happy New Year! After covering the most anticipated books of 2018 in my quarterly newsletter, True North Tales, I wanted to share an overview of the films I’m most excited about this year. There’s so many movies, more than what I have room for here, but this is a list of films and trailers that caught my eye.

A Wrinkle In Time: releases March 9     There’s been a lot of hype about this, and I’ve already seen the trailer which is full of beautiful special effects and thrilling action. My biggest fear? That it won’t be as good as the book. I LOVE A Wrinkle In Time, and I hope the production company does this film well. (XX fingers crossed…)

Solo: A Star Wars Story: releases May 25     This movie intrigues me, and I’ll probably go to see it, if early reviews are good. Despite my love of Star Wars, I refused to see Rogue One because of the ending. Let’s hope Ron Howard gives Solo a better finish.

The Incredibles II: releases June 15        Can I just say I’m thrilled about this film? The Incredibles is/was my favorite animated Pixar movie, so the news of a sequel is just fantastic. It focuses on Elastagirl (aka Helen Parr) and the emerging power of their little boy, Jack-Jack. Check out the adorable teaser trailer here.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom: releases June 22     For those of you who didn’t get enough dinos from the last film, I present this one. The characters head back to the island to save the remaining dinosaurs, but find far more. I like the idea, but I’ll be honest–although I enjoyed it, the original Jurassic World scared me. I don’t know if I’ll spend money at the theater for this one.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald: releases Nov. 16     I loved the first FB film. Did you know there are five films planned? The producer, David Heyman, plans to release one film every two years. I can’t wait to see Johnny Depp’s performance as Grindelwald.

Ralph Breaks the Internet: releases November 21     This sequel to Wreck-it Ralph finds Ralph and Vanellope searching for a spare part to fix an arcade game. Their hunt leads them to new worlds and new characters, such as the Disney princesses.

As I said, there are so many more movies to be excited about, but these are the ones I’ll be watching. If you have any others on your “To Watch” list, please share them in the comments. I’d love to know about them!

And have a wonderful New Year!

A Silent Resolution

Our Christmas tree is still up, the tiny lights filling the living room with a soft glow. Unwrapped packages lay scattered under the tree, and a garbage bag of crumpled wrapping paper slouches in a corner, waiting for trash day.

Amid this scene of a successful Christmas holiday, I’m sad. Post-Christmas blues usually find me, as well as 25 percent of other Americans. I only need to wait it out and focus on some of the plans our family has made before everyone gets back to “the daily grind.” The feeling will blow over sometime in January.

Maybe the sadness materialized because I’ve broken with tradition and made a resolution for 2017. That’s rare. I avoid resolutions because I don’t like feeling like a failure. Typically, a fantastic idea hits in late December, and I decide to lose weight or eat less chocolate (how ridiculous is that?!) Then sometime in the spring, I realize the resolution I came up with several months ago is unattainable, and I revert to my old habits.

But this year, I’ve found a weakness, a behavior I want to fix. I interrupt others, speaking over them as I cringe inside with embarrassment. I could blame it on self-centeredness, or social awkwardness, or narcissism (which, here we go again, makes me feel like a failure, because I don’t like to think I have those problems). But I’ve always talked fast and thought fast, and my amazing family loves me anyway. With people who don’t know me well, I struggle to keep my mouth shut when a thought pops into my head. I’m afraid I’ll forget it. But with 40+ years of living this way, I’m determined to end the rudeness. I’ve had a couple victories in the last week, and I’m looking for many more in 2017.

This thinking about resolutions made me wonder. Do you make them? What were they? If any of them were successful, how did you attain that success? Leave a comment—I’d love to hear about it!

The Naked Truth About Naked Selfies

empowerment
Last week, Kim Kardashian took naked selfies and posted them on Twitter. I don’t follow the Kardashians, but some of the talk shows picked up the news. I saw the edited version of the selfie and heard there was backlash from it, some of it from celebrities, like Bette Midler and Chloe Moretz. But there was also some defending her choice, mentioning “empowerment” and “using her body the way she wants,” which I’ll get to in a minute.

After some of the celebrities’ comments, Kim responded by mentioning her $40 million dollar paycheck and her popularity, as if that excused her behavior. I was trying to wrap my mind around the idea of a naked selfie tweeted to millions of followers. The idea of empowerment stuck with me long after I turned off the talk show.

Kim’s audience is made up of 18-24 year-olds, young men who find her attractive and women interested in fashion and the Kardashian brand. She has over 41,000,000 followers on Twitter. This is her life. This is what she does. (If looking good was my job, I might spend time checking myself out in my bathroom mirror, too. I just wouldn’t put it out there for everyone to see.)

These selfies are porn. Really. I’m surprised no one’s calling it what it is. Aside from the porn issue, millions of female followers who received an eyeful of Kim’s assets are self-comparing in their bathrooms. They’re learning, “This is what I have to look like. This is how I get attention. It’s okay.” And we wonder why teens are sexting. Dosomething.org says “24% of high-school age teens (ages 14 to 17) and 33% of college-age students (ages 18 to 24) have been involved in a form of nude sexting.” While boys are more likely to send sexually explicit messages, girls are more likely to send nude or semi-nude images.

These pictures aren’t about empowerment. Empowerment means to give power or authority. There’s nothing authoritative about standing in front of your bathroom mirror and showing everyone what God gave you. Anyone with a camera can do it. Instead use empowerment to share the memo “I’m more than just my sexuality. I’m a person of value and it doesn’t matter what I look like.” It’s hard to get the message across when you’re naked.

A talk show host praised Kim for “using her body the way she wants.” Good for her. But just because you want to do something doesn’t necessarily mean you should do it. Kim claimed she wanted to be known as someone other than a person famous for her sex tape. She should start acting like it.

I don’t have a problem with Kim Kardashian. I have a problem with any person, celebrity or not, who uses pornographic nudity to “share,” empower, or otherwise seek attention. Girls are being sexualized at younger and younger ages. Kim could do girls a great service by using her platform differently: show girls how to be powerful with their clothes on.