Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, September 29, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 11



 Mountain Views News Saturday, September 29, 2012 




Book Reviews by Jasmine Kelsey Williams 

Review By Sean Kayden


By Elizabeth Flock

For this next 
selection, ‘Me 
& Emma’ does 
have children 
as the main 
but do not take 
this lightly. This 
moving piece 
of work by 
Elizabeth Flock 
is not meant 
for children, 
but for readers 
to understand 
how there 
can be a dark 
side for any 
First printed in 
2005 and then copyrighted in 2008, Elizabeth 
Flock weaves a blunt story told from the 
perspective of eight-year-old Carrie Parker 
and where she stands in her own life. Carrie 
alone provides plenty of insight to the reader 
and is not afraid of bearing her emotions: how 
she tries to act as a protector for her sister 
Emma, coping with the loss of her father and 
introduction of an abusive stepfather, and a 
mother who shows little emotion to her. Her 
backstory also has a solid foundation with 
her opinions on her interactions with the 
other characters, her struggles at school, and 
retreating into her daydreams. ‘Me & Emma’ 
is the type of story that is not afraid of giving 
an honest presentation, which the reader 
will anticipate if they give this one a chance. 
Carrie does not once falter in her tone when 
explaining her situations to the reader and her 
internal dialogue of what she really wishes 
to express. Her thoughts concerning her 
sister, her mother, father, stepfather, and the 
prospect of running away from home to try 
to find a better life could be related to other 
children at her age, but the difference here is 
that Carrie shows a patch of bravery. Readers 
will sympathize with her on this because 
even though she does not show outright 
bravery, she tries to be strong for both herself 
and Emma. Flock does not disappoint and 
instead will keep the reader guessing as to 
the outcome of each predicament for Carrie 
and her sister, even when there is an abrupt 
surprise that takes the course of the story into 
an unexpected direction. In essence, ‘Me & 
Emma’ is a story of finding courage, strength, 
and learning to persevere through any trials 
life will throw at you, which is what Carrie 
Parker and her sister Emma will strive to 
teach readers from childhood to adulthood.


The dog days of summer may 
be upon us, but that doesn’t 
mean we have to settle for 
the summer leftovers at the 
Cineplex. End Of Watch, 
written and directed by David 
Ayer (Street Kings, Harsh Times) is a shocking, often 
gruesome portrait of sex, drugs, and money in the 
nasty streets of LA. The movie follows the lives of two 
police officers as one of them films their daily routines 
and adventures through LA for his film class. When 
the two police officers pull over someone for a routine 
traffic infraction and discover money, drugs, and guns, 
they unknowingly become a target for the Mexican 
cartel as they’ve interfered with their operations. What 
separates End Of Watch from previous police films is 
how the cops here are shown as the “good guys”, not 
shady, dishonest, and corrupt. Secondly, the entire film 
is shot in documentary-style, with handheld, steady 
cams attached to most of the actors. With this particular 
style of filmmaking, Ayer is able to bring a completely 
visceral and often surreal experience for the viewer. You 
feel as if you’re right there with them in a ride-along. 
Speaking of ride-alongs, both leads, Jake Gyllenhaal 
and Michael Pena went through intense and grueling 
training for their roles. Both thespians took their roles 
seriously and wanted to provide authentic performances 
as their portrayal of two hardcore street cops. Films 
about cops over the last few years have suffered from 
clichés and tedious pacing like last year’s stiff “Rampart” 
and the dreadful 2011 Sundance dud, “The Son Of No 
One.” Even Ayer himself has had a few missteps within 
the world of police officers after writing his masterpiece, 
“Training Day.” However, this time around, Ayer 
has rebounded in making not only the best cop film 
arguably since “Training Day,” but also one of the best 
films of 2012 period. 

 Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Penn are partners in 
the LAPD as well as best of friends. Their friendship 
is stronger than anything and they would take a bullet 
for one another. Pena plays Mike Zavala, a husband and 
new father, who seeps into his role effortlessly. Zavala 
is fierce, but loyal. He doesn’t back down to anything 
or anyone. He’s the guy you want by your side when 
things get heavy and out of control. At the same token, 
he provides many of the films comedic parts as well as 
arguably being the emotional core of the movie. While 
Gyllenhaal may be the most recognizable actor in the 
movie, Pena’s performance is his absolute finest. The 
long time supporting character is definitely due for 
some recognition and with this turnaround should be 
considered for a best supporting actor nod. Not to be 
outshined, Gyllenhaal, who’s a fine actor in his own right, 
gives what I call the performance of his life as officer 
Brian Taylor. He’s perfect in the role and the chemistry 
both he and Pena share on screen is phenomenal. These 
guys and their daily heroics enthrall you, even if the two 
guys never feel or consider themselves as being heroes. 
Between the action, chummy dialogue, and police 
procedures, there are the love stories. You have Zavala 
becoming a father to the woman he’s been with since 
high school. Taylor becomes involved with a woman 
named Janet, played by the lovely Anna Kendrick. These 
scenes show the men out of their uniforms, their strong 
bond to one another, and the normal lives they attempt 
to lead. While sometimes these external sequences may 
interrupt the flow of the action, they do supply the 
audience with the realism of their existence. If anything, 
it makes the film more authentic. 

 In all honesty, there’s really nothing I can say negative 
about this film. Maybe the only quarrel is the central 
storyline being a bit light. The storytelling structure is 
unlike most films. Instead of some huge story arc, there 
are random, daily events happening for the partners. 
After I think about it, Ayer does do something different 
with putting much of the focus on the cops rather than 
the “bad guys.” You know the villains are ruthless. They 
may not have much of a personality besides being evil 
and to get invested in their lives would unnecessarily 
expand the film too much. There are a plethora of other 
films you can view to see the why bad people make bad 
choices in the first place. Anyway, without a doubt, 
the audience will be distressed by some of the images 
they’ll witness. The final scenes are brutal, haunting, 
and will knock the wind out of you. There is one curious 
decision Ayer makes in the closing scene. When you 
think the movie is about to conclude, there’s one more 
little anecdote to tell. While it may not appear entirely 
pertinent, it does, however, leave you a bit happier than 
you just were merely five minutes before. Ayer’s decision 
to do this is somewhat bold and unpredictable. But 
everything Ayer does is here is bold and unpredictable. 
End of Watch is the real deal and arguably the first great 
American film of 2012. 

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

“End Of Watch”

Written & Directed by: David Ayer

Release Date: September 21, 2012

Rated R for strong violence, some disturbing 
images, pervasive language including 
sexual references, and some drug use

Do you have to many books at home? Wondering 
what to do with them? Come to The Book Rack and 
trade them in for a book you have not read.
We have 1000's used and New books for 
your reading pleasure.
204 S. First AveArcadiawebsite: bookrackarcadia.comPhone 626-446-2525



ASK Dr. Wei-Ching Lee: 


Q: I feel stiff especially in my neck, shoulders, and legs from my hour long 
commutes to work. What can I do to help relieve the stress on my body from 
my commutes?

A: Most of us spend the majority of our waking lives sitting down. Our 
bodies were not meant to take on the stress of sitting for long periods. Yet 
many of us have jobs and commutes that require us to sit for long periods 
at a time. These commutes are taking a toll on our health. In fact, the 
American Journal of Preventative Medicine found that in a study of 4,000 
commuters, those with the longest commutes had poorer cardiovascular (aka heart) fitness, larger 
waist circumferences and higher blood pressure. 

Not only are we sitting for long periods on our commutes, we are also sitting doing office work. 

You may not be able to get your heart pumping much or lift weights during your commute, but you 
can do plenty to offset the stiffness of sitting.

Next time you finish a long commute, try these moves at your desk while you are sitting in your chair:

POSTURE PULL: Extend your arms in front. Then while keeping your hands in place, think of lifting 
your chest and bringing your shoulders back as if you are bringing your shoulder blades together. Try 
not to shrug your shoulders but instead think of bringing them back and down. Improving your 
posture helps alleviate stress as well as prevent shoulder injuries.

NECK TENSION RELEASER: Grab your seat with your left hand. Place your right hand on your 
head and gently pull to the right. Hold, then repeat with the other hand.

PIRIFORMIS STRETCH: Cross your legs. Then gently lean forward until you feel a stretch in your 
buttocks. Hold for 10-15 seconds and switch sides.

SEATED HAMSTRING STRETCH: Extend your left leg forward. Reach your right hand out towards 
left toes. Hold for 10-15 seconds then switch sides. 

As with any exercise program, please discuss with your physician before performing any of these 

Wei-Ching Lee, M.D. is a UCLA-trained board certified physician specializing in Physical Medicine 
& Rehabilitation at Arc Motion Rehab Medical Clinic at 55 E. Huntington Dr, Suite 219, Arcadia, CA 
where she provides non-surgical care for muscle, bone, and nerve conditions. If you have any pain, 
injury, wellness, or exercise questions for future articles, please email Dr. Lee at info@PainRehabMD.
com. You may reach Dr. Lee at 626-817-3422.

So we live in an image-conscious world. From fashion magazines to billboards 
and ads on the street, in stores and everywhere else, it has become 
impossible to avoid the constant reminder of what we are expected to look 
like and what is considered “beautiful” by today’s standards.

Do you find this annoying? Pervasive even? Personally, I do. One reason is 
that behind this never ending visual assault hides a simple purpose: to make 
us buy stuff. Stuff we don’t necessarily need, but we buy it anyway, because 
- ever so briefly - it’ll make us feel good.

Another reason is the pressure to be perfect. Perfection is a self-defeating 
goal that takes us away from what is truly essential: who we really are.

Look at yourself in the mirror: who do you see? Mirrors can be deceptive: while we’re caught up in 
the reflection, we don’t see the person, just the image that’s projected. It’s the same with life. Are you 
really living your life as you want it? Or are you so caught up in trying to live up to standards that 
perhaps are not completely yours, that somewhere along the line you have lost sight of what’s truly 
important: you?

In your yoga practice, there’s no room for that. No competition, no standards, no being judged and 
looked down at. 

In your yoga practice, there’s no need for mirrors. You are encouraged to be yourself. Actually, there’s 
no other option: you can only be yourself. With your abilities and your limitations. No one there will 
push you to be something you’re not, or to make you do something you don’t want to. For the length 
of time you are on your mat, you get to be as genuine, as authentic, as free, as much yourself as is possible. 
In your yoga practice, you are always perfect, because you are always you.

So stop looking at yourself in the mirror! Live your life, not the reflection of your life. And if you’re 
not sure where to start, may we suggest: your yoga mat?

Namasté, René



“Who Shot Doc…? At the Sock Hop?” is billed as “The 1950’s

Musical Murder Mystery.”

 The scene is the Hillview High Gymnasium, decorated for the 1952 Fall Formal, 
themed “Once in a Blue Moon.” So come prepared to enjoy an evening of fun, costumes 
(optional) and…murder! Dress up in your poodle skirt or formal, leather jacket or sport 
coat and bow tie, and relive this special event with an interactive murder mystery filled 
with song and dance!

YOU guess the murderer.

 This is a presentation of SanZman Productions Renaissance Murder Mystery Players. 
At Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre, CA 91024. Ample 
free parking behind theatre. Sunday, October 21, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. Admission: $20. Seniors 
(65+) and students, $17. Reservations: (626) 355-4318. Online ticketing: www.sierramadreplayhouse.