Family Friendly Review of IMAX Island of Lemurs Madagascar

Family Friendly Review of IMAX Island of Lemurs Madagascar

I love being on the Warner Bros. distribution list for upcoming children’s movies, which I suppose I landed on because of my apparently good SEO here on Family Friendly Daddy Blog.

(Other features of as theirs I have covered include The Lego Movie, Dolphin Tale 2, and Sesame Street: The Best of Elmo 3.)

So I jumped like a lemur at the chance to review the Blu-Ray Combo Pack of IMAX Island of Lemurs Madagascar, which includes the Blu-Ray, DVD, and digital version of the movie in Digital HD with UltraViolet. This is the first time I’ve had the chance to review an IMAX feature.

I love IMAX! When I think of IMAX, I always know it’s going to be about something compelling and larger than life.

(Back in 2nd grade, in 1988, I remember my Cub Scout troop saw an IMAX movie about space shuttles. I remember how I began coughing as I truly believed the heavy smoke from the launch was blowing through the screen.)

This wildlife documentary (which is narrated by Morgan Freeman) takes place in the island country of Madagascar, which I didn’t realize until I watched it that it’s the only place in the world where lemurs exist. That is because no lemur has ever survived in captivity off the island of Madagascar.

Family Friendly Review of IMAX Island of Lemurs Madagascar

Actually, my family learned a lot of interesting things about lemurs. For example, it’s the females that are in charge, which is not what Iwould expect for primates.

There are many types of lemurs; the smallest kind being the pygmy mouse lemur, which is the smallest primate in the world. However, up until a couple of hundred years ago, there was a type of lemur the size of a guerilla, but it was hunted to extinction.

I imagine it would be difficult for a person not to be equally entertained and fascinated with this film, as my family certain was.

The Blu-Ray and Digital HD includes a bonus 3D version; as well as Making of Island of Lemurs: Behind the Scenes, The Cutest Lemur, and Go-Kart Racers.

This Blu-Ray Combo Pack of IMAX Island of Lemurs Madagascar will arrive on March 31st, 2015.

I really enjoyed sitting down with my family to watch it. I know my son did as well- it kept him from having to take his Saturday afternoon nap!

dad from day one: Feng Shui Dad

Week 1.

Being that I spend most of my lunch breaks at Borders, over the past year I have been acquiring a small library of discounted books.  One of my purchases off the “five dollar clearance rack” was a huge colorful book on Feng Shui.  While I have yet to spend much time really learning these ancient Chinese secrets, I did scan through a few chapters.  One of the concepts of Feng Shui that I did pick up on warned against long uninterrupted straights, whether the layout of the house is based on one basic hallway or the driveway to the house has no turns.  Without turns and interruptions along a straight path, one might “fall out of the house and out of their own yard”.  That’s considered “bad Feng Shui”.

If you are able to grasp that concept for the most part (which I think for some strange reason I can), then maybe you can understand my recent perspective on how having Baby Jack relates back to Feng Shui, if nothing else, in my own sleep-deprived head.  Recently, some of my cosmic insecurities have been heavily resolved as I realize that by being a parent, I am forever in the middle of a generation, no longer the tail end.  I am no longer the tree itself, but instead one of the branches on someone else’s family tree.  No longer am I a coastal state like Rhode Island or South Carolina, exposed the possibility of breaking off in the Atlantic Ocean, only separated by a few thousand miles from giant Africa; instead, I am now landlocked Kansas.  Like sitting in the middle of the third row seat in a 15 passenger van on a church mission trip to Mexico; like no longer being on the outer edge in a herd of zebras escaping from a hungry lion, so am I.

As a parent, I now feel more Feng Shui.  I will not “fall out” out the universe into outer space without it being immediately noticed.  Because I am no longer simply a husband; I am a father.  And being a father doesn’t simply hold importance in the direct care of my son, but also in an undeniable eternal sense.  Baby Jack is not just simply a cute little Bambino.  He is a spiritual being who I am responsible for.

I am no longer an island of any kind.  More than ever before, I am needed and necessary in this world.  What I do from this point has potentially everlasting outcomes.  I won’t look back on my life when I’m an old man and think, “I  lived such an empty life.”  Because I will always be linked back to my son.  So cosmic, man.

“These moments, they can never last; like a sad old man with his photographs keeps wishing for the things he can not change.”

-Guster, “Architects and Engineers “


LOST- Answering Questions that Were Left Unanswered When It Ended

LOST lives on!

The writers of LOST are getting exactly what the want- for their fans to continue discussion about what really happened in the finale and to give each other reasonable explanations for all the show’s mysteries.  Here’s my attempt at answering a bundle of popular questions.

“So did everyone who crashed on the plane died in 2004, and that’s why they were all in purgatory (“the holy lobby”) together at the same time?”  No.  Each character died at whatever point they died in real life.  Charlie drowned in 2004.  Jack was stabbed to death in 2007.  At some point later, as the island’s protectors, Hurley and Ben eventually died- whether they were murdered or died of old age, in who knows what year. 

Everybody at some point died, (like we all eventually will) but not because of the plane crash in the first episode.  Because the afterlife is not restricted by time, they all met up at the same time in purgatory (the waiting time before they go to Heaven) before entering Heaven together.  So all people arrive in the afterlife at the same time, essentially, since time doesn’t exist in the afterlife.  For more explanations of the finale, read this: LOST Recap: Finale- “The End”.

“Did Ben not go to Heaven?”  He did go to Heaven.  Eventually, maybe even ten minutes after everyone else.  But he wasn’t ready to enter when the rest of them were.  He didn’t feel worthy because of all the bad things he did in his life- he had trouble accepting the fact he was worthy.  But ultimately he redeemed himself by protecting the island post 2007 when he became the #2 to Hurley.

“How was Jacob able to leave the Island?”  Jacob was never really confined by the limitations of the past. 

“What did it mean to be “special”?”  This is referring to seasons 1 and 2, regarding the children.  They were special because they were children.  Since it was impossible for babies to be born after the bomb exploded in 1977, the Others (Ben, Juliet, etc.) wanted to raise them as their own, hoping they would eventually forget the ways of the world they were born into.

 “Why did Ben and Widmore hate each other and want to kill each other’s daughters?”  They got in each other’s way since they were both strong-willed men who were very focused on what they wanted out of the island.  Ben wanted to please Jacob.  Widmore wanted to make money of the island’s electromagnetic properties.  So when Widmore indirectly killed Alex, Ben wanted revenge by killing Penny.

“What was the Smoke Monster, and why no name?”  The Smoke Monster was a manifesto of the evil that was held inside the island by that plug.  I’ve heard that in the season six DVD’s, we will learn that the Man in Black’s name was Samuel.  But ultimately, the fact that he didn’t have a name just made us more intrigued by the mystery of it all. 

“Who was on the island before “Mother” and the twins?”  Other random people just like them.  They weren’t important since they were before Jacob and The Man in Black and had not contact with Jack Shephard, whose human life the show was based around.

“Is it really an island or a “cork” to guard the door between Heaven and hell?”  Not between Heaven and hell.  But between hell and Earth.

“What was the deal with the numbers? Just Hurley’s curse or did they have some importance overall?”  It was just Hurley’s curse- just a very interesting part of his life.  Some people’s lives are filled with peculiar coincidences.  Even the flight gates were these numbers, Jacob couldn’t have planned all the number coincidences.

“Was Jacob’s cabin built to contain the Smoke Monster? The ring of ash around it?”  Absolutely.  It was an attempted trap to contain him.  The holy ashes prevented him from crossing- we’ll never know why.

“Why did people “see” Walt after he left the Island?”  The Smoke Monster scanned the memories of people and would use those images as library of people to appear as.

“Where did Michael the Russian come from? And how did he know Korean? “  He seemed to have military experience, which would explain his ability to speak multiple languages, especially because of Russia’s proximity to Korea.  The Others hired him at some point based on his useful credentials.

“Who was Henry Gale that parachuted onto the Island?”  A random, unlucky guy who for some reason ended up there like the rest of them.

“In Jacob’s cabin, who said “Help Me” to Locke? And Ben couldn’t hear it.”  That was Jacob trying to recruit Locke as a candidate, but Jacob didn’t want to recruit Ben.

“Who was Dharma and were they important? Were their experiments important? ” They were a group of scientist who came to the island to explore the capabilities of the island and its mysterious electromagnetism, which obviously healed people of cancer and caused the crippled to walk.

 “Who built the 4-toed statue?”  An ancient people group a long time ago, possibly the first to inhabit the island- one of which may have become the very first protector of the island.  Maybe centuries before Jacob was born circa 10 A.D.

“Libby used to be crazy and was in the institution with Hurley. Then she was fine and sold Desmond her boat?”  She was unstable- she was absolutely crazy at times, then at others, seemed perfectly normal.  The craziness was taking over her normal life.

Got more LOST questions?  I’m ready to tackle them.  Just leave them in the form of a comment.  Thanks.

LOST Recap: Season 6, Episode 15- “Across the Sea”

Biblical Esau losing his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of soup

I refuse to refer to Jacob’s twin brother as “The Man in Black”- I will only refer to him as “Esau” until I am given an actual name from an upcoming episode, if that even happens.  To me, the struggle we see between Jacob and Esau on LOST is at least 50% familiar from the Biblical book of Genesis.  So that’s why I call “The Man in Black”, Esau.  Here are some comparisons:

In the Bible, Jacob and Esau were twins, like on LOST. 

In the Bible, Jacob was smooth-skinned and Esau was hairy.  On LOST, Jacob dresses in white, Esau in black.  They are physically opposites in both instances. 

In the Bible, Jacob was his mother’s favorite.  On LOST, the mother favored Esau.

In the Bible, Jacob took Esau’s birthright.  On LOST, Jacob took Esau’s destined role as the island’s protector. 

The greatest thing I learned from watching “Across the Sea” is this: Jacob and Esau are not the original “eternal life” cursed inhabitants of the island.  The woman who raised them (the stepmom from the movie, Juno) had been cursed before them, evidently from drinking what I am currently calling The Fountain of Youth, making her (and eventually Jacob) the protector of the island. 

By drinking the water, a person gains eternal earthly life.  And apparently a person once a person does that, they can only die if someone who hasn’t drank from The Fountain of Youth or is The Smoke Monster kills them.  That is the “loophole”.  The only way to lose eternal earthly life after drinking from The Fountain of Youth.

Going back to the Season 5 finale, Ben killed Jacob.  And Ben had never drank from The Fountain of Youth and he definitely wasn’t The Smoke Monster. 

And of course that’s why Juno’s stepmom (the lady who killed Jacob and Esau’s real mother, who was evidently Spanish, like Richard) thanked Esau when he accidently stabbed her to death.  Because he freed her from having to live forever on the island.  Though it meant she could no longer be the protector of the island, she had at that point already given the water to Jacob and he drank it.  Perfect escape for Juno’s stepmom.

So who was the first person to drink from The Fountain of Youth?  Mysteries…

After Esau lost his human body by becaming The Smoke Monster, he decided to take on the form of his now dead body by default.  That’s why he appeared to still be alive in the Season 5 finale as Richard’s slave ship was coming up in the distance. 

I predict that Jacob and Esau had been playing their “I’m trying to kill you” game for a decade or two before Richard arrived, because they were both familiar that the fact that men come to the island to destroy and that it always ends the same.

Jacob reading Everything That Rises Must Converge

I will close with notable quotes from “Across the Sea”:

“It’s inside of every man but they always want more.”  -Juno’s stepmom referring to the light that turned Esau into The Smoke Monster.

“If the light goes out here, it goes out everywhere.”  –same thing

“One day you can make your own game and make up your own rules.”  -Esau to Jacob

“I needed you to stay good.”  -Juno’s stepmom

“I’m special, mother.”  -Esau

“Promise me you’ll never go down there… It’s worse than dying.”  -Juno’s stepmom warning Jacob about the light that turns people into The Smoke Monster.