2014's Top 5 Cinematic Masterpieces

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Spoiler Alert

What's the first thing you do when you're contemplating watching a movie? Do you reach for the remote only to have Netflix suggest you a film list based on your 'watching preferences?' Perhaps you read a movie review to decide whether or not the film is worth watching. If you're the latter, you'll find the following review of 2014's top films helpful in deciding what you'll watch next.

The most difficult part of writing these reviews was not critiquing them but rather, it was narrowing down my contenders. With hundreds of movies released annually, at first, this task seemed near impossible. In 2013 alone, 698 films were released at the cinema (MPAA), making it very difficult for great works to get the screen-time they humbly deserve. This review does just that: it pays homage to what I have meticulously evaluated to be the top five cinematic masterpieces of 2014.

Jim Carrey: Behind His Many Faces

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Life doesn't happen to you, it happens for you. ―Jim Carrey

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Ah, movies! Whether you're home sick from work, just finished a long day at the office, or simply yearning for a break from your daily shenanigans, movie and TV actors are always there to get you through the day. Whether you're into slapstick comedies, heartfelt dramas, or romantic love stories, you can always count on your favourite actor performances to bring your tiresome day to an enjoyable close. Many of us claim we love actors and have watched all of their films but very few of us know more than what the media feeds us about our celebrities. Very rarely do we stop to think about how our favourite actors and actresses have made it to the status they are today, at the forefront of comedy with Hollywood's biggest film stars and giants.

At the forefront among these giants is Canadian-born comedian Jim Carrey. This feature article aims to expose an unsightly part of Carrey's early life in an effort to demonstrate that with enough perseverance and ambition, we can overcome anything to attain our dreams.

How to Shovel Snow Safely

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Ah, snow! If you're a Montrealer you either hate it or embrace it, but one thing's for sure: you have to deal with it. Unless you're Pitbull or Oprah, you've likely had to shovel snow, whether the process involved clearing your entire home's walkway or simply digging your car free with a tri-fold trunk shovel. No matter the severity or frequency of your shoveling, proper form is imperative to avoiding injury. According to WebMD, "The task sends on average more than 11,000 adults and children to the hospital every year", which gives reason for the following illustrative how-to guide.

While snow and ice can create hazardous situations for everyone, seniors and people with disabilities are more susceptible to injury when performing the task. However, shovelling is not the only means of clearing a walkway; due to their ice melting properties, salting and sanding your property can also help reduce the potential for slip-and-fall incidents, which can cause serious injuries.

Safe snow shoveling requires not only the right tools, but equally proper preparation, good technique and knowledge. The following is a guide illustrating how to safely shovel snow to avoid injury.

Surviving Cancer: An Interview with Theresa Priolo

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"You'll never know the outcome, but if you have a lot of faith and you're strong, you have better chances of making it." When questioned about her support network during her two and a half year treatment, this was Theresa Priolo's answer, a 53-year-old lymphoma cancer survivor, wife, and mother of two. Armed with a bachelor in biology from our very own Concordia University (1986), and over 25 years of first-hand experience working at the Montreal General Hospital in parasitology, microbiology and hematology, Theresa's field experience elegantly compliments the retelling of her lengthy journey to recovery. Her knowledge base allows you into the world of a cancer patient's sentiments like never before seen, while her endless praise for church and family serves as a reminder that having a support network is key in all such circumstances.

An interview with a cancer survivor, one who has also worked in the very system she was treated, lends a fresh perspective to the inner workings of cancer rehabilitation. When asked about her treatment experience, Theresa affirmed that her specialized knowledge, experience, and personnel resources allowed her to be better prepared for the two-and-a-half-year-long journey she was about to embark on. "I was blessed, I really was. Within a week and a half, everything was done." How nerve-wracking it must have been to witness the systematic caring of patients from the opposite end of the health spectrum: Theresa was no longer the caregiver but now one of her own patients. She was now under the very microscope and scrutiny that her patients once were.

Robin Williams: Driven by Madness

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"You're only given one little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it." -Robin Williams

Arguably, the single-most repeated question newcomers to stand-up comedy repeat themselves when watching a performance is "Was what he said true or is he making it up for the show?" Well, for Robin Williams, the argument can be made that, yes, most of it was true. The interesting aspect about Williams' life is that what drove him to the peak of both his intellectual and vocational career as a writer, producer, director, comedian and actor was also what slowly led him to his suicide; it was a case of bitter irony.

Finding Myself

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I have always struggled to determine a career path. During my final year in cegep, I decided to enroll in a humanities courses entitled "Sociology of the Family"; through this course, I came to realize that I have a keen interest in the way society works. Having found a direction now brought me joy and a sense of fulfilment. By the end of cegep, I had taken plenty of sociology courses and my love for the field had only grown stronger. Sociology is one of those disciplines that reshapes and molds itself based on each person's individual experience and perspective, making it unique and dear to me.