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The fact that the earth's resources are running out should not be news to anyone. We can't turn on the television, read a newspaper or magazine or even surf the internet without being confronted with depleted fuel sources, world-wide food shortages, dwindling water supplies and an ever-worsening atmospheric condition. We are pushed and pulled and prompted to make changes that will make a difference on a global scale, and at every turn we're presented with the results of our labor... or perhaps our indifference.

It's obvious that we need to make changes—not just in the way we live our lives and treat our resources, but in our attitudes about these situations as well. If we continue to ignore our planet's problems, then we can easily be seen as a part of them. If we take it upon ourselves to make some small changes of our own, however, we can be part of the solution.

There are several different ways in which we can replenish and renew our own external and internal resources. For the sake of our planet (and perhaps our pocketbooks) we can recycle and repurpose the refuse created by our daily consumptions; for the sake of our personal well-being, we can remain open-minded about the need for self-improvement and self-acceptance. Renewable resources are invaluable, particularly when they come from within.

This week's Friday five portrays different ways to make a change, both on personal levels as well as for the betterment of others. Although the results aren't always what our main characters would have expected or asked for, there is something to be said for simply making an effort.  

Pretty In Pink : The penultimate pairing of Molly Ringwald and John Hughes, this film cleverly displays the resilience of the human spirit, and it's ability to be renewed through strength and fortitude. Andie's mom is gone, her dad is an alcoholic, and her best friend is a geeky guy who just happens to be desperately in love with her. She drives a second-hand car and maintains an eclectic personal style by repurposing old clothes into something new. When she catches the eye of one of the "richies", though, can she repurpose the out-of-date attitudes of those around her? Also stars Jon Cryer, Andrew McCarthy and James Spader. Rated R

High Fidelity : Sometimes the best way to prepare for our future is to preserve our past, and no one misunderstands this concept more than vintage record store owner Rob Gordon (John Cusack). Rob has all of his memories tied up in his music, but he's done himself the grand injustice of having learned all the wrong lessons from his mixed-tape of mistakes. In an effort to regain control of his future, Rob decides to revisit his past. Also features Jack Black, Tim Robbins and Lisa Bonet. Based on a Nick Hornsby novel and adapted by John Cusack. Rated R

Trailer Park Boys - The Movie : Spun-off from the wildly popular Canadian television series of the same name, this movie provides us with grand examples of how everything that could possibly go wrong, will! Julian, Ricky and Bubbles concoct a scheme to score a load of cash that will enable them to launch the marijuana money-maker of their dreams. When there attempted burglary of an ATM land themselves in jail, however, they have to cool their heels before they can renew their efforts. No discarded product is overlooked by the guys in their struggles for financial independence, but even their bottle recycling activities have failure written all over them. Rated R

Bruce Almighty : Bruce Nolan (Jim Carrey) is a television reporter who just can't seem to catch a break. He feels the whole world is against him, and in the midst of a temper tantrum challenges God to give him a chance to run things for a while, since he certainly couldn't do any worse; God (Morgan Freeman), with his everlasting sense of humor, takes Bruce up on his offer and disappears on a heavenly vacation. Although Bruce is initially thrilled to be the master of his own destiny, he quickly discovers that the world's problems are more than his arsenal of personal resources can handle. Then, when he loses Grace (Jennifer Aniston), he realizes the root of his discontent can be traced to the depletion of his faith--and that only the ultimate sacrifice can renew it. Rated PG-13

Needful Things : Into the town borne from the mind of Stephen King comes Leland Gaunt (Max von Sydow), proprietor of all things vintage--and most things coveted. He boasts an inventory to please even the most skeptical of shoppers, and at prices to fit any budget. What his customers don't realize, however, is that the cost to having everything you want is far greater than any price tag. When neighbor is pit against neighbor in Gaunt's vicious game, only sheriff Alan Pangborn (Ed Harris) can find the strength to draw upon in resistance to the evil at work.



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