Reviews by kjmclark
A Comedy?!?!?
I think you'd either have to be a 1%er, and think it's funny that the little people can't get their act together, or be in the lower 20%, and be able to laugh along because your life is like that, to think this is a comedy. Look to your left, at the subject listings for this movie on the AADL website. There's one listing for 'comedy', and five listings for drama. That's much closer.

This movie is a drama about how the loss of a mom creates an unhinged family. They don't have any money, and very little goes right for them, ever. Welcome to modern America. This is a really great movie to watch with your older teen kids (too much sex/nudity for younger kids), to help make them grateful for what they have. It's also very hopeful, and while you have to sigh and shake your head at their botched attempts to make due in life, you have to admire the sisters for breaking even, given the mess that their mom's death left behind. It's a fairly upbeat movie about some very downbeat topics.

Also, just about anything Amy Adams makes is worth seeing, and the same for Emily Blunt. This is one of the recent movies where Emily Blunt uses an American accent. That alone is worth the time. But for most of us, there won't be any chuckling.
The books are *NOT* the show!
I've never seen the cable series based on these books, which from all the descriptions I've heard/seen is nearly X-rated. The books aren't any more than PG-13.

A bad thing about the books is that unlike, say, the Harry Potter series, there is not much in the way of building to a climax/resolution in this series. You could just about read from the middle of one book to the middle of the next book and call that a volume. With as many story lines as the author maintains at a time, and his apparent intent to keep writing these things for years, they do tend to run on a bit.

On the other hand, the author is doing a great job of maintaining all of the story lines as interesting, semi-distinct threads. And unlike a lot of 'going-on-forever' book series, some of the main characters are actually losing the 'Game of Thrones' and being killed/dying, while others just mentioned in previous books are becoming more prominent.

Worth the time reading them, though the library doesn't have enough copies to give you time to finish each book unless you're reading about an hour a day. You might be surprised how fast that hour is up.
Missing the point
The previous review misses the final point of the movie. Yes, the wealthy company head partners do make a bet and destroy one man's life while making the other a partner. However, in the end, the two young people figure out what happened, and work together to get their comeuppance on the two who started the whole thing. So the two who were manipulated turn the tables on the two original schemers.
Much better than M2
Looks like DreamWorks brought back their A-team to do this 'Madagascar'. This was the kind of funny, over-the-top action that the first movie had, but unlike the second one, this had an actual storyline. Using Cirque du Soleil as the theme was a really inspired idea. It's a good reminder to go see a real Cirque show when you get a chance.
What the 2nd Amendment Really Means
One side says the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution says it applies to state militias. Another side says it's an individual freedom. They're both right, and they're both wrong. The founding fathers didn't all agree on what they meant when they wrote it - Jefferson was in favor of an individual right to bear arms, much like today's NRA. But Madison wanted strict limits on gun ownership, and they had to settle for a compromise, that we're still fighting about today.

This is a fascinating history of the evolution of the meaning of our 2nd Amendment as our country changes from a small country at war with the world superpower to the superpower ourselves. From what started as a civic duty that every colonist owed their independent country (State) and their confederation, to just before the modern Supreme Court's interpretation that the "militia clause" is meaningless, Prof. Cornell goes over each major event in the country's history that changed the way we've looked at the right to bear arms.