Tips to SLAY your AP History Essays

When I was in class, my teacher gave us a couple of lists of tips. Here are the ones that I found useful:
1. Take a position and STICK TO IT.

Remember that you need to argue a point in your essay. Nothing is neutral, EVER. It’s fine to note what the opposite argument to the point you’re making might be. However, only do this is you are confident that the way you combat this argument will strengthen your stance.

2. Make your references as specific as possible, but make sure they’re factual.

Facts strengthen essays. It shows you know what you’re talking about! However, if you’re not sure about a piece of information in terms of accuracy, leave it out. Don’t harm your credibility.

3. Answer the ENTRIE question in your thesis.

The best way I did this was to underline each part of the question, number each part, then cross that number off once I had successfully addressed in my thesis. Then, of course, you just need to facts and analysis to back it up.

4. Use past tense and third person consistently.
History has happened, it’s done. Keeping a clear tense will make your essay cleaner. Same situation with using ONLY third person. For as much as your opinion matters in a DBQ, no using “I” to talk about your opinion, nor using “you” to appeal to your reader. You need to do that through third person only.

5. For DBQ’s, use the rule of “Three groups of three”
You are required to show your argument from three different points of PERSIA. Let’s say, worst case scenario, you fail to analyze one of your documents correctly. If you only have two documents in a group, and one is wrong, you’re left with one correct document, and one is not a group. You have then lost major points on your essay. However, if you have three documents in a group, and one is wrong, you still are safe with a group of two!

6. Know how to answer the prompt.
I present to you the great page of instruction definitions! Refer to this when you’re not sure how to answer what your prompt is asking of you 

 **Note “SPRITE” is just another version of PERSIA

All The Topics to Know for the APUSH Exam (as told by my APUSH teacher)
  • Revolutionary War/Constitution/Articles of Confederation
  • The First Party System: Federalists and Republicans
  • Revolution of 1800
  • Jacksonian Democracy (1824-1840)
    • the Bank War
    • the spoils system
    • Indian Removal Act
  • Antebellum reform movements and the Second Great Awakening
  • Causes of the Civil War and sectional differences
    • political parties (Democrats vs. New Republicans)
    • economics
    • social differences
  • Reconstruction (1863-1877)
    • successes/failures
    • 13th - 15th amendments
      • connections to the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s
  • Industrialization and Big Business/The Gilded Age (1860-1910)
    • vertical and horizontal integration
    • trusts
    • steel, oil, and railroads
    • Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan
    • growth of cities
    • immigration
    • changes in politics and political machines
  • The Populist Movement and agrarian discontent
  • The Progressive Era (1890-1920)
    • an effort to deal with the adverse effects of industrial capitalism
    • the Progressive Presidents
  • The Indian Plains Wars (through 1890)
  • Spanish-American War (1898)
  • IMPERIALISM: Philippines, Hawaii, Panama, Cuba, etc.
  • World War I
    • causes/effects
    • the home front
  • The Red Scare
  • The 1920s
    • sources of conflict (economic, political, and social)
    • effects on women, African Americans, and immigrants
  • The 1930s, the Great Depression, and the New Deal
    • Hoover vs. FDR
    • economic, social, and political reforms
  • World War II
    • results, the home front
    • effects on women, African Americans, Native Americans (Navajo codetalkers, etc), Japanese Americans, and Mexican Americans
  • The Cold War
    • foreign policy
      • where and when
    • 1950s
      • conformity, suburbs, Baby Boom, domestication of women, challenges to conformity, expanding economy, consumer culture
      • similarities to the 1920s
    • 1960s
      • civil rights movement (who, what, when, where, why, successes and failures)
      • Lyndon B. Johnson and the Great Society (1963-1968)
        • domestic and foreign issues
    • 1970s
      • Richard Nixon (1968-1973)
        • foreign and domestic policies
        • detente and Vietnam
        • the Southern Strategy and Watergate
    • 1980s
      • Ronald Reagan (1981-1989)
        • foreign and domestic policies
        • tax cuts
        • military spending
        • shrinking of the government
        • the new right
      • George H.W. Bush and the end of the Cold War
  • Bill Clinton and Barack Obama

Hey Chem kids taking the AP Chem Exam on Monday, or on the make-up day, here are some review powerpoints that go over the ENTIRE course and have practice questions & video links as well, they are very useful at least I think, and might help you study/review if you need it!! just click the links below (they are not mine, but a collaboration of multiple AP Chem teachers!)

PP1: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_sFm6oYQJoMSFdRVGVGX1J3Tlk/view?usp=sharing

PP2: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_sFm6oYQJoMRVNxR3BtWGJkeGM/view?usp=sharing

PP3: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_sFm6oYQJoMZmV3QlNTd1lNTU0/view?usp=sharing

also hit me up if you need any help w concepts, I have a pretty good grasp of the entire course and it would be helpful for me as well!! If any of the links are broken let me know!

please reblog & share, especially if you know you have high school followers who might be struggling!

The AP United States History Exam is right around the corner. These next few weeks are the most stressful time of the year for most students. So, if you are going to procrastinate, you can procrastinate with style! Here is a list of movies, musicals, videos, ect. that came to mind while I was studying during the year. They are a lot of fun to watch, but they are educational, and most of them are free!

TV Shows:

Liberty’s Kids: a super cute, animated series that takes place during the American Revolution, and highlights some of its aftermath. There are 40 episodes, but each thirty minute episode is full of concrete details. Start watching the first episode here 

Drunk History: Really funny with some topics not often discussed in the textbooks, but very relevant. 


Hamilton: obviously this is a no-brainer. The music is full of concrete details and has helped me so much during my multiple choice practice tests dealing with early US development. You can listen to the full soundtrack here. Below is a shortened list of songs that have the most relevant concrete details.

Dogfight: Probably my favorite musical. It’s one night in America during the Vietnam war, and there aren’t a ton of concrete details, but the parts here (starting at 1:19) and here (10:25) accurately reflect the time period. You can start watching the whole musical here. (warning: there is a lot of cursing)

Pocahontas: Okay, let me preface this by saying that there are a lot of inaccuracies in this movie. A lot. But if you disregard the portrayal of Pocahontas and John Smith, there are some CDs. Listen to the Virginia Company for some of the highlights. 

EDIT (7/9/16) : Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson: Though there is some explicit language I picked out the songs that have some great concrete details on Jackson’s presidency and philosophies.

  • Populism Yea Yea: a helpful definition of populism
  • The Corrupt Bargain: this event always confused, and this song definitly clears it up (featuring Henry Clay, John C. Calhoun and John Quincy Adams)
  • The Saddest Song: really sums up Jackson as a president in a different point of view


Schoolhouse Rock: Reconnect with your childhood and refresh on some historical events!

The XYZ Affair: i

t may be weird, but you will definitely remember it

The Gadsden Purchase:

Never forget

So that’s my list. All of the links are italicized. If you have any movies/musicals/videos/songs/ect that you think would help feel free to message me and I will add it to list. Good luck to everyone on the test this Friday!


1453  Constantinople is sacked by Muslim forces

1488  Bartolomeu Diaz rounds the Cape of Good Hope

1492  Columbus encounters the Americas (God, Glory and Gold.)

1517  Martin Luther’s posting of the 95 Theses

1520  Diet of Worms declares Martin Luther an outlaw

1524-1525  The Peasants’ Revolt takes place in Germany

1534  Act of Supremacy passed in England → Henry VIII becomes head of the Anglican Church

1545  Council of Trent begins The Counter Reformation

1555  Peace of Augsburg (cuius regio, eius religio →whose region, his religion)

1585-1589  War of the Three Henries in France

1588  Spanish Armada destroyed by the English and “The Protestant Wind”

1603  Elizabeth I Dies → Tudor Dynasty Ends and the Stuart Dynasty Begins

1618-1648  The Thirty Years War (Treaty of Westphalia ends the war in 1648)

1642-1646  English Civil War (Roundheads vs. the Cavaliers)

1649  Charles I is executed → Oliver Cromwell begins his rule

1660  Stuart Restoration in England through Charles II

1688-1689  Glorious Revolution in England→ William and Mary of Orange replace James II and sign the English Bill of Rights

1643-1715  Era of Louis XIV  The Sun King (l’etat c’est moi)

1689-1725  Reign of Peter the Great in Russia

1756-1763  The Seven Years War

1789-1799  Era of the French Revolution (Radical Stage → late 1792-1795)

1799  Napoleon comes to power

1805-1815  Napoleonic Wars are waged

1814-1815  The Congress of Vienna meets (Main principles: Legitimacy, Conservatism, Compensation & Balance of Power)

1819  Peterloo Massacre in England

1830  Belgian Independence

1832  Reform Bill in England Passed

1848  Revolutions break out across Western Europe (France, Austria, Italy and Germany)

1861  Serfs emancipated in Russia under Alexander II

1870-1871  Germany and Italy Unification

1884-1885  Berlin Conference is held (“Scramble for Africa”)

1894  Tsar Nicholas II comes to power in Russia (the last of the Romanovs)

1905  Sunday Bloody Revolution in Russia → “The Dress Rehearsal”

1914  Archduke Franz Ferdinand is assassinated → WWI starts

1917  March and November (Bolshevik) Revolutions in Russia

1918  Treaty of Brest-Litovsk is signed →Russia withdraws from war

1918  WWI ends

1919  Treaty of Versailles is signed

1918-1921  Russian Civil War (Reds vs. Whites)

1922  Mussolini comes to power in Italy and establishes the 1st Fascist government

1922  Russia officially becomes known as the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) → The Soviet Union

1923  Adolf Hitler leads the Beer Hall Putsch in Germany

1924  Lenin dies

1928  Stalin is firmly entrenched as the leader of the Soviet Union → begins the first of several 5 year plans

1929  Stock Market Crash in the US → The Great Depression begins

1933  Hitler comes to power in Germany

1938  Munich Conference (Peace in our time→Neville Chamberlain)

1939  World War II starts with Germany’s invasion of Poland

1945  World War II ends (V-E Day → May 8, 1945 and V-J Day → August 15, 1945)

1945  First session of the United Nations is held

1945-1989  Cold War (U.S. vs. S.U. begins and begins to end in Poland)

POST WW II  Decolonization → European colonies become independent

1946  Winston Churchill gives the “Iron Curtain” speech

1948-1949 Operation Vittles→the Berlin Airlift

1949  USSR successfully tests first atomic bomb

1951  European Coal and Steel Community formed (sounds like the Zollverein)

1953  Stalin dies and is succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev → destalinization begins

1954  French forces defeated in French-Indochina at Dien Bien Phu

1956  Hungarian revolt against the Soviet Union → it is crushed by the Soviets

1957  Rome Treaty is signed → The European Economic Community (EEC) is created = Common Market

1957  Sputnik is launched by the Soviet Union → the first space satellite

1958  The fifth Republic is born in France and Charles de Gaulle becomes President

1961  Berlin Wall built → dividing East and West Berlin

1961  Soviet Yuri Gagarin becomes the first man in space

1962  Cuban Missile Crisis → 90 miles off the coast of Florida

1963  Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique is published

1964  Leonid Brezhnev becomes leader of the Soviet Union

1966  Under President Charles de Gaulle, France withdraws from the common NATO military command

1968  “Prague Spring” occurs in Czechoslovakia → it is crushed by the Soviets

1968  Student revolt in France (Paris)

1978  Pole Karol Wojtyla elected Pope → Pope John Paul II → 1st non-Italian in 455 years

1979  Margaret Thatcher becomes the first female Prime Minister of England (“The Iron Lady”) (Mags loathes no one more than this heinous twat)

1979  The Soviet Union invades Afghanistan (eventually becomes their own “little Vietnam”)

1980  1st independent labor union in the Soviet Bloc formed  “Solidarity” led by Lech Walesa of Poland

1980  Ronald Reagan elected President of the US (calls the Soviet Union an “evil empire”)

1985  Gorbachev becomes Soviet leader (implements policies of perestroika and glasnost)

1986  Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant accident in the Soviet Union (specifically the Ukraine)

1989  Berlin Wall comes down

1989  The “Velvet Revolution” occurs in Czechoslovakia → Vaclav Havel becomes President

1989  The Soviet Union withdraws its forces from Afghanistan

1989  Romanian leader Nicolai Ceausescu is overthrown and killed

1990  Lech Walesa becomes President of Poland

1990  East Germany and West Germany reunify into one Germany

1990  The first McDonalds opens in Russia

1991  Attempted coup attempt in the Soviet Union → The Soviet Union begins to disintegrate

1991  Boris Yeltsin becomes President of Russia → former 15 republics of the Soviet Union form the Commonwealth of Independent States (C.I.S.)

1991  Yugoslavia begins to break apart

1992  Maastricht Treaty signed

1997  Tony Blair becomes Prime Minister of England → 1st Labor Party leader in 18 years

1999  Eurodollar becomes the single currency of the European Union (EU)


3-19 to 3-20-17 | 38-39/100 Days of Productivity

is it bad that I keep forgetting to post especially during weekends ? hopefully it’s okay for me to take a pic of what i did yesterday - study for a math test (the content seems pretty easy tbh, so i pray i did well on the test today ^^”)

other than that, it’s the same old new see that oxymoron right there hehehe set of notes for a new chapter of apes. sometimes this class is too fast for me to keep up with, but you know … i’m a strong woman. i gOT THIS. I CAN DO IT.

🎶 currently listening to : Plz don’t be sad - HIGHLIGHT formerly known as BEAST (a song that you can just dANCE all night to)

AP Human Geography: Agriculture Review
  1. What is the difference between subsistence and commercial agriculture?

    1. Subsistence agriculture is the production of only enough food for your family and not for sale. In LDCs.

    2. Commercial agriculture is the production of food for sale. It is in MDCS. The system of commercial farming in MDCS is called agribusiness.

  2. What is the difference between seed and vegetative planting?

    1. Seed agriculture is the reproduction of plants through annual planting of seeds.

      1. 3 Hearths in Eastern Hemisphere   

        1. western India, northern China, and Ethiopia.

        2. From western India, it diffused to Southwest Asia, where wheat and barley were first domesticated; these two grains later fed Europeans and Americans.   

        3. In southwest asia, also domesticated herd animals such as cattle, sheep and goats.

        4. from southwest Asia, seed agriculture diffused through Europe and North Africa.

        5. diffused eastward to northwestern India and the Indus River Valley. From the china hearth, millet diffused to South Asia and Southeast Asia.

        6. millet and sorghum were domesticated in ethiopia.

      2. 2 Hearths in Western Hemisphere

        1. southern Mexico and northern Peru

          1. Southern Mexico- squash and corn/maize   

          2. northern Peru- beans, cotton, and squash

    2. Vegetative Planting is the reproduction of plants by direct cloning from existing plants, such as cutting stems and dividing roots.

      1. the first plants domesticated in Southeast Asia - roots like taro and yam and tree crops like the banana and the palm.

      2. From the Southeast Asia hearth, it diffused northward and eastward to China and Japan, and westward through India, Southwest Asia, tropical Africa and the area around the Mediterranean Sea.

      3. Other hearths- West Africa and northwestern South America.

        1. West Africa- palm trees and yams

        2. South America- manioc, sweet potatoes and arrowroot

      4. From South America, it diffused to Central America and eastern areas of South America.

  3. What are the three steps of shifting agriculture?

    1. Cut down vegetation and clear the land

    2. The land is burned to remove vegetation, drive away pests, and this gives nutrients for planting.

    3. Immediately begin planting in the ashes and left alone for a while.

  4. Where were the first plants cultivated? How?

    1. Southeast Asia through vegetative planting. Plants- roots like the yam and taro and tree crops like the banana and the palm.

  5. What is the township and range survey system?

    1. The American system

    2. encouraged settles to disperse evenly across interior farmlands

    3. grid-like pattern drawn without reference to natural terrain

    4. 1 square mile could be sold as whole half or quarter

  6. What is the difference between vertical and horizontal integration?

    1. Vertical Integration

      1. the company owns everything needed in order to make that product

      2. more control

      3. when end product is successful, higher benefit

      4. less rigorous collaboration

      5. efficiency over flexibility

    2. Horizontal Integration

      1. company has several diff companies under it in order to produce something

      2. less control

      3. more collaboration

  7. What are cons of using GMOs? Pros?

    1. cons

      1. money going into labeling and research

      2. already certified organic foods

      3. no health danger

    2. pros

      1. animal DNA

      2. have the right to know what’s in their food and what companies do to it

  8. What is the significance of the first agricultural revolution?

    1. The Neolithic Revolution- diffusion of agriculture practices

    2. drastically changed human life

      1. increase in reliable food supplies

      2. rapid increase in total human population

      3. job specialization’

      4. widening of gender differences

      5. settled people vs. nomads

        1. settled people thought their way of life was better

  9. Draw and explain Von Thumen’s theory.

      1. Ring 1: Market Gardening and Dairy

        1. nearest bc perishable and spoil quickly, expensive to deliver

      2. Ring 2: Forest/ Wood

        1. bulky and heavy to transport

      3. Ring 3: Field Crops

        1. less perishable, more of wheat and grains

      4. Ring 4: Animal grazing

        1. needs a lot of space

  10. What are the current trends in organic agriculture?

    1. the presence of chemicals in soils and ground water, people are concerned about the chemicals.

    2. US, Western Europe, and Jpan

  11. What is the significance of the second agricultural revolution?

    1. 18th century in Western Europe

    2. preceded industrial revolution, so it could be possible to feed the growing cities

    3. higher yields

    4. improved crop rotation

    5. improved equipment and better farming methods greatly increased the productivity of European Farms

    6. “the larger the farm and better the production, less farmers needed

  12. Why is slash and burn agriculture unsustainable for the future?

    1. Deforestation

    2. Erosion

    3. Nutrient Loss

    4. Biodiversity Loss

  13. What is the metes and bounds land survey method?

    1. English System

    2. natural and man made features used to show irregular land patterns

    3. used along eastern seaboard of the US

  14. Why has shifting cultivation been practiced for centuries in many places?

    1. used in places where soil is not particularly fertile and where grasslands or forests are present

    2. provides a source of food and income

  15. Why might people be against the Green Revolution?    

    1. Green Revolution: 3rd Agricultural Revolution

      1. 20th century

      2. biotechnology

      3. new higher yields of crops

      4. expanded use of fertilizers


      1. poor countries can’t afford the machinery seeds and fertilizers

      2. fertilizers can lead to groundwater pollution and the reduction of organic matter in the soil

      3. overfishing

      4. Sub Saharan Africa- not enough food

        1. the population is increasing faster than food production

      5. Groundwater depletion

      6. not a balanced diet bc land is devoted to ONE type

  16. What techniques were used in the Green Revolution?

    1. biotechnology

    2. machinery

    3. genetic technology

    4. fertilizers

most missed MCQs

Here are some random facts that were the most missed questions on my Euro midterm that was composed of old AP questions 

  • Banking was the main source of the Northern Renaissance financial success
  • The end of Italy’s renaissance was the sack of Rome by Emperor Charles V
  • The anabaptists were mainly considered ridiculous by the other sects of Christianity because of their strict belief in the separation of church and state
  • When the Jews, Moors, and Huguenots were expelled from Spain and France respectively, it negatively affected the economy because these races were made up the middle class.
  • The direct effect of St. Bartholomew’s Massacre was the War of Three Henrys aka a civil war.
  • The Fronde was a noble uprising in which they tried to keep their rights
  • The Robot were the manual labor serfs in Bohemia
  • A result of the 30 Years War was the maintained political fragmentation of the Holy Roman Empire
  • The cause of the inflation of prices in Europe during the 15th and 16th centuries was the increase of population and precious metals
  • The reason behind Oliver Cromwell’s quelling of the Irish Rebellion was because the Royalists were attempting to overthrow the government.
  • Pride’s Purge is when Cromwell received control of Parliament and got rid of the House of Lords aka the nobility. It was left as the Rump Parliament
  • Intendants were used in French provinces to keep control and wtch of the people
  • Dutch Art focused of the average people and the middle class life
  • 17th century rulers supported academics that offered technology and prestige
  • Kepler proved mathematically that the plants’ path is in the shape of an ellipse
  • The metric system is an enduring change of the French Revolution
  • Edmund Burke was a foreigner who wrote a critic of the French Revolution
  • The major mid-17th century trade center was Amsterdam
  • The Civil Constitution of the Clergy curbed the power of the clergy
  • The COncordat of 1812 reconciled with the church but did not give its major rights back
  • The aim of the Congress of Vienna was to restore the previous monarchs to the throne and to return and keep the balance of power
  • IN Boccaccio’s Decameron you saw popular anticlerical beliefs
  • Oliver Cromwell was not a leader in the 30 Years War
  • Politique were instrumental in ending the wars of religion
  • Charles V did not go to parliament first
  • Marriage was tightly controlled by the law and parental guidance
  • The most important thing to an Enlightened Despot was the codification of a law
  • The growth of trade led to the growth of towns into national units
  • The consulate under Napoleon is very similar to the rulings of an enlightened despot
  • The 2 European powers that defied the pattern of absolutist government were England and the Dutch Republic
AP Chem summary: Chapter 1


Chemistry: the study of composition, structure, properties, and changes of matter.

  • Composition of matter relates to the kinds of elements it contains 
  • Structure of matter relates to the ways the atoms of these elements are arranged 

Property: any characteristic that makes a sample of matter unique 

Molecule: an entity composed of two or more atoms with the atoms attached to one another in a specific way. 


States of Matter: the three physical states matter exists in; gas, liquid, solid

There are two types of pure substances: 

  • Elements: has a single kind of atom and is represented by a chemical symbol (basically anything on the periodic table of elements) 
  • Compounds: composed of two or more elements joined chemically 

The Law of Constant Composition/ The Law of Definite Proportions

The elemental composition of a pure compound is always the same 

Mixtures: have variable compositions and can be homogeneous mixtures (solutions) or heterogeneous mixtures 


Physical and chemical properties can be used to identify a substance 

Physical change: matter does not change its composition (ex: Changes of state; gas to liquid, etc) 
Chemical change (Chemical reaction): substance is transformed into a chemically different substance 
Intensive properties: independent of the amount of matter examined (internal qualities) 
Extensive Properties: relate to amount of substance present (external qualities) 
Scientific Method: dynamic process used to answer questions about our physical world; can lead to scientific laws (general rules that summarize how nature behaves) Makes use of hypotheses (tentative explanations) which can be tested and refined into theories that can predict the results of future observations and experiments.


Measurements in chem are made using the metric system and SI units. 

length- meter (m), mass- Kilogram (kg), time- second (s).  

Kelvin = Celsius + 273
Celsius = (5/9)(Fahrenheit - 32) 
Density = Mass / Volume 

1.5 + 1.6 

All measured quantities are inexact to some extent 

Precision: how closely different measurements of a quantity agree with one another Accuracy: how well measurement agrees with the accepted or “true” value Significant Figures: one estimated digit, the last digit of the measurement. Certain rules must be followed. 

Dimensional Analysis: a problem solving technique where units play a major role within the calculation using conversion factors (ratios constructed from valid relations between equivalent quantities)  

It’s the grand finale of our big list of monstrous ape movies.  Forty movies – most of them crap – and we’ve reached the culmination.  (Click here for the big list.)

Today’s is Kong: Skull Island (2017).

Originally posted by hiddlescheekbones

I’ll go first:

Simply put, this was a great load of fun.

Some have criticized this film for not having the “heart” or “emotion” of previous Kong films.  If I want emotion, I’ll watch Peter Jackson’s.  If I’m in a classical mood, I’ll watch 1933′s.  If I want a flush of nostalgic fun, I’ll watch Toho’s King Kong vs. Godzilla.  (I will not be watching 1976′s again for any reason.)

With this one, I get fun, kick-ass action.


Kong is well realized.  He’s huge and bipedal (obviously closer to ‘33′s Kong than a real gorilla).    The other creatures are very creepy and cool.  There’s a tall, bamboo-legged spider with tentacles and crab claws.  There are loads of tiny, blue-blooded pterosaurs.  The Skullcrawlers, of course.  They’re well designed and used, too.  A giant squid (a nice nod to the Toho films) gives off a big gush of ink when its stepped on, just before Kong slurps its tentacles.  

The action is thrilling and occasionally stunning.  The helicopter attack is great; the spider’s attack is frightening; the skullcrawlers are suitably formidable.  

Characters?  There’s plenty of humor from them but not so much that it’s distracting or inappropriate.  John Goodman is our Monarch guy, our connective tissue to Godzilla.  Samuel L. Jackson is the career military guy not ready to “abandon” the war and not ready to give up when his men are killed.  John C. Reilly is engaging and expository comic relief as the WWII pilot who’s lived on the island for decades.  The two cast members who feel the most perfunctory?  Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson.  Yeah, both serve a purpose, plot-wise, but I didn’t connect with them in any meaningful way.

Story?  Well, it works fine.  Goodman wants to take one last stab at proving the existence of monsters lest Monarch lose its funding.  He’s also a believer in the “hollow Earth” theory … that there are chambers throughout the crust dating back eons and eons.  Turns out one of these chambers is where Godzilla came from, another is where Kong came from, etc.  On this island, they can prove the theory, find monsters, and get funding.  They get a military escort and Bob’s your uncle.  Of course, it all goes awry.  (Awry in the best possible way.)

Another thing I really enjoyed: the natives.  The Iwi tribe of this island are far better realized than any other native culture of Skull Island we’ve seen.  These people seem to have a history and a story beyond just saying “ooga booga” and throwing a female to the giant ape every once in a while.  Those scenes were very welcome, intriguing, and I found myself wanting to learn more about them.

What doesn’t work?  Other than the aforementioned shrugworthiness of Hiddleston and Larson’s characters?  I would say that many of the action scenes were often a bit too stylized.  Not every bullet, punch, or bite needs to be slo-mo’ed, speed ramped, rack zoomed, and/or color tilted.  It got a bit tiresome after a while.  Other than that, the look of the film was very bright, colorful, and crisp.  Generally, I liked the photography very much.  (Again, just tone down the stylized effects.)

I would love to see more with this Kong.  Also, it’s very cool to note that John C. Reilly’s character said that Kong still “has some growing to do,” which means he’ll be the right height for his bout with Godzilla in 2020.

SPEAKING OF WHICH … the post-credits scene.  I loved it, of course, but I’m pissed that the Toho credit for the characters was included in the credits just before the scene.  My son and I saw that line and said, “Wait, what?!”  And then 30 seconds later, we got the scene.  It just would have been much better if we could have been surprised.  (Include the Toho credit after the scene.)

Kong: Skull Island … “an unconventional encounter.”  4.25 out of five chest thumps of awesomeness.

My son’s turn:

Well, today we have Kong: Skull Island. So, Monarch - a division that tries to prove Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms - is almost dry of funding, when they hit a last mission to Skull Island. When they arrive there, however, they are quick to assume that animals here don’t occur normally. Wildebeests 50 feet high, spiders that have legs of trees, and the King of them all, Kong. Kong quickly takes out all of the helicopters they rode in on, and the general of the mission is set on finding ammunition, and taking him out. The rest of the crew learn that Kong protects the world from Skull Crawlers, a two legged lizard, with a head shaped like a skull (duh). The Skull crawlers get in a huge fight with Kong, he almost dies trying to beat them, and they return to learn that Monarch is back, but Godzilla, Mothera, Rodan, and King Ghidora have been discovered!! The visuals were amazing, the songs were used well, and the script was great too!

So, rating-wise, I’ll say 5 out of 5 chest-thumps of sequelness!!!


Next, … that’s the end of our “monstrous ape” list, but we’ll be doing apes again soon just in time for the next Planet of the Apes film!


4 out of 5
This book kind of surprised me with how much I enjoyed it. I had expected to get dry historical fiction and instead got exploding language and an evolving symbol of love. Janie’s life grows and changes with each husband, finding more and more of what she wants from life. The book was a wonderful exploration into the marriage and wants of a black woman in the early 1900s. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good historical fiction.


20160430 1:08am • 29/100
I DID IT GUYS I FULLY ANNOTATED AND REVISED MY APWH REVIEW BOOK IN LESS THAN ONE WEEK ㅠㅇㅠ ((granted, I had already studied/highlighted most of it throughout the term as a supplement)) Nonetheless, feeling pretty confident about our practice exam tomorrow morning!

3-22-17 | 41/100 Days of Productivity

Another test tomorrow gAAAAAAH! And I got two more on Friday :’))) oKAY. I’m gonna work hard and show the test what I’m worth !! hopefully i’m gonna kick butt

Currently studying for a human geography test tomorrow, the highlighting looks kinda messy but I’ve managed a highlighting system that works for me ^^

🎶 currently listening to : It’s You - CNBLUE (loving their latest album)


The Movie Maestro’s Reviews: King Kong (2005) dir. Peter Jackson

If you were one of those who was disappointed by Jackson’s King Kong, I strongly urge you to give it another try. With such incredible effects work buoyed by a strong, clear concept, heartfelt performances by Brody and Watts, and heaping helpings of adventurous fun, I would class Kong as one of the most important films of the past 20 years. So many other movies now use the mo-cap technique pioneered in large form here, and Andy Serkis still has one hell of a career as the master of said technique. And most importantly, I still cry watching Kong’s fall. Maybe I’m just soft, maybe I’m misguided. Or maybe its that Jackson has finally given us the tragedy he’s always seen and loved in the original.

Read the full review at themoviemaestroblog.wordpress.com