Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, August 17, 2013

MVNews this week:  Page 15



 Mountain Views News Saturday, August 17, 2013 



Book Reviews by Jasmine Kelsey Williams 

By Sean Kayden


 As we’ve endured a plentiful amount of effects-laden blockbusters this 
summer season, it’s utterly refreshing to come across a small film that 
possesses real special effects, beautiful acting and superb storytelling. In the 
film, “The Spectacular Now,” writers Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber 
crafted a joyously heartfelt, wryly humorous, endearingly sweet coming-of-age tale that embodies the 
teenage human spirit. Director James Ponsoldt, who’s 
coming off his critically acclaimed 2012 Sundance hit 
“Smashed,” once again brings a deep sensitivity to the 
film. “The Spectacular Now” on the surface appears to 
be another coming of age, puppy love story, but it’s so 
much deeper than merely just that. In fact, it tackles a 
considerably darker theme that unfolds in the third act. 
The film is a rare on-screen depiction of two 18 year-old 
high school seniors who look and feel like real human 
beings. Sutter and Aimee’s relationship doesn’t seem 
manufactured. The mistakes they make feel authentic and they’re hell of a lot more confident on the 
outside than on the inside. 

 The charming and self-possessed Sutter Keely (Miles Teller) lives in the now. He’s the life of 
every party and rarely takes anything seriously. This also may contribute to the fact that he’s always 
loaded. Sutter’s either drinking out of his flask or a big gulp cup mixed with hard alcohol. He isn’t 
a mean alcoholic, but a guy always looking to have a good time. When his girlfriend, Cassidy (the 
luminous Brie Larson) breaks things off, Sutter gets wasted and wakes up the following morning in 
the front yard of Aimee Finecky’s (the effervescent Shailene Woodley) house. Aimee is a typical nice 
girl. She’s intelligent, innocent, and different. Aimee has grand dreams of the future, and Sutter lives 
in a delusional fantasy known as the spectacular now. However, somehow, they’re drawn together. 
As their relationship begins to bloom, at first as a deep friendship, then more so as it continues on, 
Aimee falls hard for Sutter. When we get into the third act, Sutter seeks out his estranged father played 
by the terrific Kyle Chandler. Sutter sees a spitting image of himself within his dad. This realization 
greatly haunts him. Without getting to deep in rehashing the story, I must say that both the writing 
and acting are top notch. Miles Teller is a star in the making. This breakout performance is one of 
the best of the year. Shailene Woodley is equally as good. Both actors are destined for a bright future. 

 “The Spectacular Now” just does everything right. The characters in the movie feel like people 
you and I would know. There are no false moves here. Nothing seems forced or modified. The story 
unfolds naturally and there’s so much beauty on display. It doesn’t rely on nostalgia or any artificial 
beats. This is a truly stunning portrait of what it’s like to be the youngest you’ll ever be. When you’re 
on the cusp of a new chapter in life, filled with both promise and uncertainty. “The Spectacular Now” 
will have you remembering what it was like to be young, free, and carrying much needed momentum. 
It also reminds you that all that can be gone in a heartbeat. Wherever you are in life, don’t forget that 
living in the now will prepare you in living for tomorrow, for better or worse that is. 

Grade: 5 out of 5

LIFE AND WORK By Chip & Dan Heath

 The middle of August means that summer will soon be 
ending, and should prompt you to start prepping for going 
to back to school, or back to work, but may also mean the 
end of summer reading. However, this next pick with its 
bright green cover and eye-catching title, might just give 
you a pick-me-up to help make a fresh start for the months 
ahead. “Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and 
Work” by Chip and Dan Heath is yet another long title 
but one that is sure to be beneficial in the long run. Chip 
and Dan Heath dive headfirst into the psychology and 
breakdown of the decisions we make in everyday life; from 
big decisions to simple ones. As early as the first chapter, 
these two authors highlight critical factors relevant to 
decision making, the process of how we as individuals make 
these decisions, and then discussing factors depending on 
our outcomes.

 Chip and Dan provide the steps of decision making, 
but also the negatives that are also associated with it: 
encountering a choice (1), analyzing your options (2), making a choice (3), and then living 
with the final decision (4). The negatives are not just also key factors that are opposite of the 
decision-making process, but could also be viewed as the setbacks we face each time we have 
to think about the choices we make: a narrow frame of mind can make you miss options; the 
confirmation bias of making your choice leads to gathering only self-serving information; 
short term emotions can tempt you to make the wrong choice, and with the final decision, 
you’ll not only live with it, you may be overconfident about how the future will play out. With 
Chip and Dan explaining the concepts early on, the chapters build up from each step and 
consequence, providing more explanations on how to counter the negatives, and therefore 
resulting in us being able to make more clear-conscious goals that will not have as much of 
a negative impact. 

 “Decisive” is not just a how-to book, but also one that provides instruction on improvement 
and planning ahead, which is able to benefit any parties involved. Copyrighted in 2013, 
receiving praise from various critics, as well as praise from Washington Post, Times, and Wall 
Street Journal, “Decisive” will not just help you in making decisions, but in also weighing the 
pros and cons of what you want to achieve and how to get there in the best and beneficial 
way possible. 

Directed by: Jason Ponsoldt

Written by: Scott Neustadter 
Michael H. Weber 
Based on the novel by Tim Tharp

Released Date: August 2nd, 2013



Celebrating the 20th Anniversary since Production in New York City, BROWN GALS 
RISING is a life-time of poetry, developed and produced as a choreopoem--the poetry of 
investigating and celebrating self and the five different aspects of one woman. The book 
comes with a DVD that includes a performance by the late legendary R&B artist, Phyllis 
Hyman (1949-1995) who also starred in the original production.

In films, “CeCe” she can be seen in the top rated YES MAN starring Jim Carrey, DANCE FU 
starring Kel Mitchell and directed by Cedric The Entertainer, and numerous independent 
films. She also appears in several national and regional commercials. Cece is also touring 
WATERMELON-GIT IT WHILE IT’S HOT! As an MC Extraordinaire she was one of 
the first female Guest Host of Amateur Night at the APOLLO. She is the Founder/Artistic 
Director of MOSAIC JEWELS THE GEMS OF COMEDY, taking funny to a whole new 
dimension (diverse female sketch and stand-up). As a writer and Spoken Word Artist, 
CECE has published and produced works “BROWN GAL’S RISING”, “JUST AS I AM” 
and “JUKEBOX POETRY” to public and critical acclaim. Cece is the Founding Artistic 
Director PLUMEings Productions from November 1984 - Present.

Irma P. Hall, star of Lady Killers, A Lesson Before Dying, Midnight in the Garden of Good 
and Evil and Soul Food, contributed the original Foreward Poem to BROWN GALS 

BROWN GALS RISING, was prophetic when first produced 20 years ago. It stands as a 
timeless and classic read today. Buy it! Read it! And ENJOY it!!!

For more information on CeCe, other members and our FREE membership offer through 
October 15th, visit

Also Coming To The Playhouse...............


WHAT: “The Lion in Winter.” 
A play.

WHO: Written by James Goldman. 
Directed by Michael Cooper. 
Presented by SMPH 

WHERE: Sierra Madre Playhouse, 
87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., 
Sierra Madre, CA 91024. Ample 
free parking behind theatre.

WHEN: September 27- November 
16, 2013. Fri. & Sat. at 
8:00, Sun. at 2:30. A Champagne 
reception and buffet follows the 
Friday, September 27 opening 
night performance.

 “The Lion in Winter,” a comedic 
drama, was originally produced 
on Broadway in 1966 and 
made into an Academy Award 
winning film in 1968. It is an 
enduringly popular stage comedy 
that combines keen historical 
insight with humor that bristles 
and burns. 

 The award-winning Michael 
Cooper directs. His long resume 
includes many shows including 
the acclaimed SMPH production 
of “To Kill A Mockingbird”; 
and “One for the Road” (partial 


 The Tap Chicks are seasoned tap 
dancers who dazzle with youthful 
energy. A favorite at the L.A. 
County Fair for many years, their 
previous performances at the Sierra 
Madre Playhouse have sold 

 The Tap Chicks were originally 
formed at Pasadena Senior Center. 
They are choreographed by 
Pam Kay, who also provides musical 
accompaniment, comedy 
and vocals.

 The fully costumed act dances 
to music ranging from Broadway 
tunes to 40s favorites to contemporary 
songs. The dancers are 
mature in years (ranging in age 
from 50 to 84) but young at heart. It’s a good idea to reserve tickets. Their last ten appearances have sold out. 

 There will also be a special guest 
vocalist., Franny McCartney.

 Sunday, September 8, 2013 at 
2:30 p.m. The Sierra Madre Playhouse 
is at 87 W. Sierra Madre 
Blvd., Sierra Madre, CA 91024. 
Tickets are $20 general, $17 for 
seniors (65+), $12 for children 
under 12. 


WHAT: “Murder 
In Disguise,” an interactive 
murder mystery.

WHO: Presented by SanZman 
Productions Renaissance 
Murder Mystery 

WHERE: Sierra Madre Playhouse, 
87 W. Sierra Madre 
Blvd., Sierra Madre, CA 

WHEN: Sunday, August 25, 
2013 at 7:00 p.m.

ADMISSION: All seats $20.


 When a distinguished judge is 
murdered, the evidence points 
to a prominent lawyer. Things 
look grim, and his only option is 
to conduct his own defense and 
uncover the real killer in this, 
the trial of his life. The tension 
mounts, the clues are elusive, but 
can he put it all together? You, 
the audience, are the jury, and 
must ultimately decide if he does.

We’d like to hear from you! 

What’s on YOUR Mind?

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