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Movie Review: Jungle Cruise * Filled With Humor And Adventure; Inspired By The Famous Theme Park

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Movie Review: Jungle Cruise * Filled With Humor And Adventure; Inspired By The Famous Theme Park

Join fan favorites Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt for the adventure of a lifetime on Disney’s JUNGLE CRUISE, a rollicking thrill-ride down the Amazon with wisecracking skipper Frank Wolff and intrepid researcher Dr. Lily Houghton. Lily travels from London, England to the Amazon jungle and enlists Frank’s questionable services to guide her downriver on La Quila–his ramshackle-but-charming boat. Lily is determined to uncover an ancient tree with unparalleled healing abilities–possessing the power to change the future of medicine. Thrust on this epic quest together, the unlikely duo encounters innumerable dangers and supernatural forces, all lurking in the deceptive beauty of the lush rainforest. But as the secrets of the lost tree unfold, the stakes reach even higher for Lily and Frank and their fate–and mankind’s–hangs in the balance.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Eshaan M. comments, “Starring such talented actors as Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt and Jack Whitehall, the film is inspired by the famous theme park ride and liberally incorporates details from it as well, like the boat captain’s terrible puns and a reference to the “back side of water.” It’s a great family film!” Calee N. adds, “I love how the Jungle Cruise makes the magic of the riverboat attraction from Disneyworld come alive. The humor and adventurous nature of the movie held my attention throughout the film. Movies with bold and funny female leads have always been my favorite.” See their full reviews below.

Jungle Cruise

By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

Take a trip to the Amazon Rainforest in Disney’s new, beautifully produced film Jungle Cruise. Starring such talented actors as Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt and Jack Whitehall, the film is inspired by the famous theme park ride and liberally incorporates details from it as well, like the boat captain’s terrible puns and a reference to the “back side of water.” It’s a great family film!

Set in 1916, Jungle Cruise opens in London, during a meeting of scientists. McGregor Houghton (Jack Whitehall) is presenting to the crowd as his sister, Dr. Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt), goes about her mission to collect a precious artifact from the archives. She ropes her brother, a rare gay character in the Disney universe, into the adventure she’s been chasing since her childhood, determined to journey into the Amazon to an area called Lágrimas de Cristal and find a magical healing tree called the Tears of the Moon. Lily hates the rough-around-the-edges, scam artist Frank (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) as soon as she sees him, but she grudgingly agrees to employ him as their skipper down the Amazon, with the conniving German aristocrat Prince Joachim (Jesse Plemons) nipping at their heels. Many adventures follow and the characters, as different as they may seem, grow close as a chosen family. There’s also a pretty unusual supernatural backstory.

As with any Disney film, the production quality of Jungle Cruise is incredibly high; each and every small detail in regards to the graphics and overall look of the film has been addressed thoroughly. This film’s previously-mentioned punchy one-liners delivered by Dwayne Johnson allude to this film’s origins in the theme park ride. The Rock undoubtedly, unquestionably puts on the best performance of the film, and his chemistry with Emily Blunt’s character is what truly carries the film through some slow moments when the script seems to lose purpose. Viewers begin to forget the overall goal of the mission as plots and relationships mix. However, this problem only shows up in the last third of the film. Another major star in the film is Jack Whitehall. His character is especially significant given that it’s one of the few instances where you can see an LGBTQ+ character on screen, and his struggles coming out in a rigid, heteronormative society are beautifully represented in a heart-to-heart with Frank. In summary, the cast and production quality take this film to a new level, while the script tends to bog it down.

Jungle Cruise promotes teamwork, grit, the victory of good over evil, and, my favorite message, that no matter how different we are, there’s always something we can unite over. We’re always stronger together.

I give Jungle Cruise 4.5 stars out of 5 and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. Jungle Cruise premieres on July 30, 2021, in US theaters and for a fee on Disney+.

Jungle Cruise

By Calee N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

I love how the Jungle Cruise makes the magic of the riverboat attraction from Disneyworld come alive. The humor and adventurous nature of the movie held my attention throughout the film. Movies with bold and funny female leads have always been my favorite.

In the Jungle Cruise, Lilly Houghton (Emily Blunt) searches for an Amazon legend called the Moon’s Tears. Her goal is to find the legend in order to advance modern medicine. Lilly’s fearlessness takes her to the Amazon River, where she meets and hires the comical skipper, Frank Wolff (Dwayne Johnson), to take her on her quest. They soon realize that they are not alone in their pursuit of the Tears. Together they face the dangers of the Amazon River and encounter the supernatural.

The academic world did not support Lilly’s pursuit of the Moon’s Tears and she could not find funding or support. Her perseverance leads her on an adventure that she never envisioned. Although her strong willpower may be challenging to handle, MacGregor (Jack Whitehall) and Frank accept her for whom she is. We also learn that Lilly’s brother rejected the calling of many females because he had other interests, and Lilly was the only person who embraced him for being himself.  I applaud director Jaume Collet-Serra for creating a high-energy, action-adventure film with a fun twist. The talented cast with Emily Blunt, Dwayne Johnson and Jack Whitehall are all superb. The music by James Newton Howard helps brings accentuate the action of the film. The Amazon River scenes and supernatural characters are very realistic looking, thanks to the camera work by Flavio Martinez Labiano and art direction by David Lazan.

The messages of this film are about determination and acceptance.

I give Jungle Cruise 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults.  Jungle Cruise premieres in theaters and on Disney+ July 30, 2021.

Keywords: movie reviews, by kids for kids ,jungle Cruise, Emily Blunt, Dwayne Johnson, dwayne the rock johnson, jungle cruise, jungle cruise movie,disney,2021,the rock, jungle cruise disney, adventure, disneyland resort, walt disney world,entertainment,new movies 2021,the magic kingdom

2021 Rainbows, STARS, and Sparkles

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Empowerment
2021 Rainbows, STARS, and Sparkles

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MIRACLE MOMENT®

“The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.” ~ Albert Schweitzer

MESSAGE FROM CYNTHIA BRIAN, Founder/Executive Director

One of the profound pearls of wisdom that my daughter taught me is that we have to endure the rain if we want to witness the rainbows. 2020 has been a cataclysmic year like no other we have witnessed. Over 1% of the population of the United States have died from the Covid-19 pandemic and millions are sick. Our hearts are heavy with grief over those we lost too soon. Social unrest, political tensions, racial violence, rising unemployment. shuttered businesses, shelter-in-place orders, isolation, online-schooling, and other challenges have afflicted our nation in a devastating manner.

Yet, we are resilient. We are hopeful. And with a vaccine available in the near future, we can look forward to enjoying rainbows. It has been a difficult ten months for everyone and we all share in the sorrow and the pain.

Chin up.

Remain optimistic.
Be kind.

Help others.

Be happy.

Be grateful.

As we come to the end of 2020, I personally thank you for your support of Be the Star You Are!® as we struggled to continue our outreach programs. Like everything this year, it hasn’t been easy, especially without in-person events and fundraisers. But BTSYA has continued to increase literacy and positive media messages without a delay in production.

Our volunteers have read hundreds of books and written excellent reviews to help parents, teachers, students, guardians, and kids find relief through the pages of a book. Make sure to check out the reviews at http://www.btsya.com/book_reviews.html and also visit our literacy partner’s site at The Reading Tub: https://thereadingtub.org/books/be-the-star-you-are/

Our two radio shows, StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® and Express Yourself! Teen radio never missed a week of broadcasting while showcasing authors, actors, activists, artists, musicians, poets, entrepreneurs, medical professionals and other creatives who could help listeners get through these tough times with joy and positivity. (https://www.BethestarYouAreRadio.com)

Operation Disaster Relief continues year-round.

Please consider making a tax-deductible donation before December 31. Thanks to a temporary provision in the CARES Act, in 2020, you can elect to use charitable donations to deduct up to 100% of your AGI. If you have the means and you want a tax deduction, this is the time to do it.  (Naturally consult with your tax advisor).

Two easy ways to donate: 

By check to Be the Star You Are!

PO Box 376

Moraga, Ca. 94556 

or 

through PAYPAL GIVING FUND with 100% going to BTSYA with NO FEES:  https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504.

If you donate via check, a tax receipt will be sent to you via email or mail. If you donate via Paypal, you will get an instant receipt. If you send us a copy of your Paypal donation receipt via email, I can personally acknowledge your contribution and send you a receipt from BTSYA as well. Send your Paypal receipt to cynthia@BetheStarYouAre.org.

Another way to donate is by purchasing any of our books and other items.

May rainbows fill your days in 2021 showering you with stars and sparkles.

Wishing you healthier, happier, holistic New Year! Celebrate being alive.

With gratitude,

Cynthia Brian

Founder/Executive Director

Be the Star You Are!®

PO Box 376

Moraga, California 94556

Cynthia@BetheStarYouAre.org

https://www.BetheStarYouAre.org

http://www.BTSYA.org

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DONATE: https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504

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Links to Help You During Difficult Times

Jillian Day of 508assist.org, generously provided these links to help everyone and especially those with any disabilities now and in the future.

What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws: This article explains workers’ rights as they apply to the coronavirus.

How to Best Seek Medical Treatment During the Pandemic: This is a great resource for anyone who needs to seek medical treatment now and in the coming months.

How to Ease Social Isolation During the Pandemic: This article offers coping strategies to those feeling isolated.

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THOUSANDS OF BOOK REVIEWS FOR TOTS TO TEENS

When you are seeking a great book for young readers, check out the thousands of book reviews at our literacy partner, The Reading Tub.  Be the Star You Are! volunteers read and write honest, first person reviews with recommendations for similar books. The amazing Executive Director, Terry Doherty, double-checks every submission for accuracy and authenticity. https://thereadingtub.org/books/be-the-star-you-are/

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ONLINE SHOPPING GIVES BACK!

To avoid exposure to coronavirus in stores, shop on-line. We have a dozen suggestions for you to shop, save, and stay safe while supporting Be the Star You Are!. Most are offering major discounts or sales. for all of your shopping essentials.

1. AmazonSmile donates .5% of purchases https://smile.amazon.com/ch/94-3333882

2. Discounted books at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/shops/be_the_star_you_are_charity

3. Giving Assistant: Shop. Earn. Give! Use Giving Assistant to earn cash at 3500+ popular online stores :https://givingassistant.org/np#be-the-star-you-are-inc

4Stock up on autographed, first edition books from our StarStyle® store and we will include extra goodies with your order. Plus, through the holidays we are including a complimentary CD of beautiful, relaxing music to help you decompress. https://www.CynthiaBrian.com/online-store.

5. Are you a gamer, lover of new software, or other digital content? Buy all of your favorites at Humble Bundle. http://ow.ly/cYs130iN6n4

6. Modern Nursery: https://bit.ly/2WQv7lJ

High-end furniture and decor for the new baby in the house!

7. Abba Patio: https://bit.ly/3eXTJPV

Quality gardening products including umbrellas canopies, gazebos, hammocks, furniture, and more.

8. Botanical Interests: https://bit.ly/39spMXe 

Seeds and botanical art. Free garden coloring book and other downloads.

9.Fifth Room: https://bit.ly/2D4ymPL 

Beautiful structures and furniture for

outdoor and indoor living including gazebos, pergolasbridges, sunrooms, pool houses, and more.

10.Nature Hills: https://bit.ly/301ZgAV 

Extensive selection of plants, seeds, bulbs, and garden accessories plus trees, shrubs, and perennials.

11.Sunnydaze: https://bit.ly/3bpr1rb

Fountains, fire pits, hammocks, outdoor furniture, garden gnomesand accessories with FREE shipping.

12. SunBasket: https://bit.ly/2DipPsT

Healthy meal service delivery with fresh, organic ingredients. Eat clean. . Feel Great!

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LINKS YOU CAN USE

Positive Results: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/positive-results

About Us: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/about_us

Programs: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/programs

How to Help: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/how-to-help

Blog: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/blog-1

GREAT NON PROFITS REVIEWS: https://greatnonprofits.org/org/be-the-star-you-are-inc

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GUIDESTAR/CANDID: https://www.guidestar.org/profile/94-3333882

We invite you to volunteer, get involved, or make a donation. Make a DONATION through PAYPAL GIVING FUND and PAYPAL with 100% going to BTSYA with NO FEES:

https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504

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HAPPY and HEALTHY 2021

Sending you rainbows and sparkles for a healthy, healthy, healthy

New Year. Health is wealth. The rest will follow.

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THANKS!

Be the Star You Are!

PO Box 376

Moraga, Ca. 94556

www.BetheStarYouAre.org

www.BTSYA.org

Planning for 2021 Now as the IRS Has Released Inflation Adjustments for 2021

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Business
Planning for 2021 Now as the IRS Has Released Inflation Adjustments for 2021

As we look forward for the coming 2021 tax season, we can start planning for 2021 with these adjustments from the IRS:

  • 2021 Standard deductions:
    • Single and Married Filing Separately $12,550
    • Head of Household $18,800
    • Married Filing Jointly $25,100
  • Maximum capital gains rates of zero:
    • Single and Married Filing Separately $40,400
    • Head of Household $54,100
    • Married Filing Jointly $80,800
  • Kiddie tax threshold is unchanged and remains at $1,100
  • Adoption Credit Expenses $14,440
  • Section 179 begins phaseout at $1,050,000 and fully phases out at $2,630,000
  • Retirement Plan Amount for 2021 (All are unchanged from 2020)
    • 401k contributions – $19,500, 50+ catchup at $6,500
    • Simple-IRA contributions – $13,500, 50+ catchup at $3,000
    • Individual IRA’s and Roth IRA’s – $6,000, 50+ catchup at $1,000

There are other adjustments for 2021, I would be happy to discuss during the 2021 planning and discovery process.  With these number now, we can set goals and make plans for success in 2021 and beyond.

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