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Friday, March 29, 2013

Charlotte’s Web

I was a young boy in elementary school when I first learned of this story. We read the book in English class and then watched the ensuing Hannah Barbera animated movie from 1973. (The year I was born) I remember Paul Lynde was the voice of Templeton. (the rat) It was appropriate because he had a very unique voice that played perfectly as a rat. The only voice I could put both a face a voice to in this movie was Julia Roberts as the title character. (maybe because my sister told me she was Charlotte the night before.) It doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that both film were perfectly cast. All be it, strictly a voice cast. The voices added much need recognizable characteristics to their perspective animals. This movie is about three friends that are literally of different species. Charlotte the spider, Wilbur the pig and Templeton the rat formed a devoted friendship quickly and it rapidly developed as the story line blossomed. A menagerie of creative if only two-dimensional (intentionally) characters surrounded them. I once again was able to revert back to my childhood and see this movie with optimistic youth and innocence. Good upbeat movies are always an escape for me. They are a way to forget about the dreary drones of daily decadence. E.B. White’s original book was sort and sweet as many children’s books are the story relied on its simplicity and brevity. The pictures (by Garth Williams) are what brought the book to life and gave the story it’s magical appeal. I was amazed the by the illustrations then and am amazed yet again today by the cinematography. The blue skies were breathtaking and majestic, the meadows a welcome change to the ugly, litter ridden, never changing parking I see outside my window every day. Oh how a dream of a farm life occasionally. The only downside to this entertaining kids story is the poorly placed humans in this movie. They seemed to have equal screen time but have much far less importance in this rare live action anthropomorphic screenplay. The writers’ barley touched on the potential love story between Fern (Dakota Fanning) and the “boy next door”. Perhaps that was intentional in order remain true to the original book and reduce the running time to only 97 minutes. Grade B

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A note from an editor!

Hi Matthew,

Thank you for the time and effort you put into this piece, especially on a Saturday morning. I can tell you definitely took good notes of everything that was going on during the event!

We still have some work to do before this piece is ready to print. Your piece has a lot of information, but it doesn’t sound like a news article. What was the point of his speech/presentation? Why was he addressing this audience? What is Vanguard? What does the company do – who does it serve? You spend a lot of time narrating (for example, how he was injured), but did not report on the purpose of the event. You can maybe mention his appearance/joking about it in a sentence or two, but do not take several paragraphs to do so. Also, I like how you mentioned where the name “Vanguard” comes from.

There are a lot of spelling errors in this piece – make sure you proof read each sentence carefully.

I know I am getting back to you a little later I hoped, and I’m sorry about that! But if you have time tonight, please go through my suggestions and try to rework your piece. You can send me what you have tonight/tomorrow morning. Please bring a copy of it to the meeting tomorrow and we will discuss it further from there.

Once again, thanks for your hard work and promptness! Remember this is a learning process, and we are all part of the Waltonian team!

Talk to you soon!

Ten Most pathetic movie stars that still have careers.

(In A - B -C Order)

1. Hayden Christensen

2. Tom Crusie

3. Kevin Costner

4. Keeanu Reeves

5. Denise Richards

6. Adam Sandler

7. Arnold Schwarzenegger

8. William Shatner

9. Sylvester Stalloan

10. John Claude Van dahm