Monthly Archives: March 2013

Do You Believe in (Sexist) Magic in a Young Girl’s Heart? Beautiful Creatures Review

***THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS***

Beautiful Creatures (2013), while perhaps better written than, oh, say Twilight,
may be shelved next to other movies (specifically teen orientated) that use sexist story-linesBeautiful Creatures (2013) about women, reinforcing particularly the theme of women’s inherent evilness. I will probably express in too many words my disappointment in watching this film, but I’ll try my best to keep it brief (head’s up, I fail).

The entire premise of this movie centers around Lena Duchannes’ sixteenth birthday, at which time
her “caster” (i.e. witch) powers will be “claimed” for good or evil.

Let me just pull over the plot car here for a moment, because this is where the sexism starts.

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Spring Breakers (2013) Review

***This review may contain spoilers***

Spring Breakers (2013)

[Singing] “Four little chickies came down to da beach. Four little chickies got out of my reach. One little chickie got shot in the arm. That little chickie went back to the farm.” – Alien (James Franco)

Enfant Terrible. By definition: a person known for shocking remarks or outrageous behavior. Or perhaps more fitting: a usually young and successful person who is strikingly unorthodox, innovative, or avant-garde. This is a term often used (and I mean way too often, so I figured, why not join in?) to describe filmmaker Harmony Korine whose latest film Spring Breakers is the film of the moment. If you scour the Internet in search of opinions on the film, you may come across such enlightened responses as “Worst Movie Ever” or perhaps you’re more inclined to go with “This Shit Sucks”. But of course, there’s always a flip side.

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Finn vs. Focus

As a writer, I find that certain things need to be in order for me to create, most especially important is this: location, location, coffee. It’s bad enough that my creative mind wanders away (waaaaay far away and off tangent), but external distractions are everywhere! If I am trying to write at home (keyword ‘try’) this is even more true.

Enter Finn. He’s six years old, with red hair, brown eyes, and he is completely bent on having my constant attention. Did I mention he’s my dog?

You may be thinking, big deal, just tie him up or put him in another room. Sure, that could work… except that he absolutely detests it and that will result in him baying loudly until I finally give in and release him. You may also think that he could just lie quietly at my side while I type away. Sadly, no. The scene goes something like this:

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Down and Downton

The basketball is loose. I turn. I pivot. CRACK. I fall. The kids laugh. I yell. They stop laughing. Just like that. My foot ligaments. Torn. My stubbornness won’t allow me to see it. I finish up my shift. I walk on it and drive with it as if nothing had happened. But once the shoe came off, I knew it had. Long days in bed with my foot propped up and iced. It’s stiff as a board, but I wiggle my toes as a way of routine to make sure there isn’t an axe (or perhaps a saw) in my future. How do I occupy my time? Not writing of course, although that’s what I should be doing. After all, it is my dream. To be a writer, and perhaps to be famous, but that’s just about the greatest contradiction I’ve ever heard. In fact this whole situation may be the best writing material I’ve ever come across, or perhaps the worst. It’s a very thin line after all. But nonetheless, back in the seventh or eighth grade, although I can’t remember exactly as I refer to those years as the Dark Ages, the same thing occurred. I was playing basketball with a group of childhood friends. I turned. I pivoted. And CRACK. I fell. Same foot, but worse consequences perhaps. I had a cast then, not now, although if this doesn’t heal quickly enough one could be in my future. Oh yeah, that reminds me, how am I actually spending my time as a one-legged man? So far, it’s been spent watching Downton Abbey. You see, I watch virtually every critically-acclaimed show around. I know, quite pretentious, but considering you’ve made it this far I guess that doesn’t do much to deter you. Anyway, it’s the kind of show that revels in torturing your favorite characters. I yell at my computer, “That’s Mr. Bates damn it!” but it does no use. It’s actually quite funny, cause I feel like a Julian Fellowes character right about now. I’m a cripple. My dreams have gone by the wayside (for a few days but it still counts damn it). Perhaps most of all, I feel trapped in a circumstance which I really have no choice in. And it’s realizations like that that force me into action. “Hey Dad, fill up my water bottle! More ice! More Cheez-its!” Yeah, I live with my dad. Probably the nicest guy to ever exist. He has to put up with me after all. But hey, I’m not complaining. This is my life. Whether I chose it, or it was chosen for me. So I stand up. CRACK. Fuck my life.

-Andrew

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Potato Salad Pillow Talk

So yeah, did I mention that I live with my parents? Most days
anyway. It’s alright, I mean it is what it is. I’m twenty-six years
old, and I sleep on a fun-size bed, a door and two feet away from my
parent’s true-size one.

Dad’s a Civil War Junkie, and my Momma’s addicted to Facebook. So the
majority of my nighttime freedom is spent discussing reenactments gone
wrong and giving tutorials on updating a cover photo, or my all time
fave — de-friending someone. My mom actually does that a lot. She
even de-friended me once.

One particular evening, I was treated to yet another fascinating
parental topic: potato salad…. Yeah, that stuff you eat. So there I
was, lying in bed, trying to make peace with my current situation
(wannabe writer living with her parents), when I heard this popular
BBQ side dish mentioned.

My father and mother spoke in hushed voices and occasional giggles (I
know. Gag.), trying to determine the perfect recipe. Dad argued that
it was the mayo that made it great. Hellman’s and the right amount —
no need to overload. Momma said it was definitely the relish that
brought it together. Like the kind Aunt Judy makes.

As I lied there, in my fun-sized bed, listening to this “you can’t
make it up” pillow talk, I couldn’t overcome an intense desire to
dissolve into my mattress and leave it all behind. Surely, this had
to be a true blue low point if ever there were one. I mean, could my
life be any lamer?! Potato salad — are you kidding me?

BUT…

At about that moment, I caught a whiff of fabric softener. That
expensive kind Momma buys. My Dad laughed out loud, and our dog,
Champ, jumped up and curled right into the crook of my legs.

And I found myself thinking, mayonnaise, relish, and just a little bit
of mustard.

-Hillari

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The DVR Debacle

Okay, so everyone at some point has had to explain a technological advancement to a parent. Maybe it was the DVD player, a new cell phone, or Facebook. Regardless of the subject, it’s a frustrating process. Explaining to my mother how DVR works wasn’t the hard part. The actual challenge came when we realized that all of our favorite shows premiered not only on the same night, but also at the same time! My mother, who is a saint for letting her 26 year old daughter continue to live with her, loves any ABC drama produced by Shonda Rhimes, while I prefer to watch the Thursday night NBC comedy block. So if you are thinking “you’ve got DVR, what’s the problem?” The problem is my mom feels the need to watch Dr. McDreamy rescue patients from the natural disaster of the week *while* it’s taping! To be accommodating, I watch Ron Swanson and the Parks crew back in my room. Do any of Jim’s pranks on Dwight take up space on the DVR? Absolutely NOT! What about “Troy and Abed in the morning”? Of course not! How could they? The DVR is full of hours upon hours of hospital antics followed by affairs and presidential scandals, all of which have been previously watched. I realize that in a world of war, recession, and The Real Housewives of insert random city, my DVR problems are not so bad. I guess it’s just one of the little drawbacks a dreamer must face while living at home with her ever supportive mother. Well, I’d better end my rant now and head back to my room. It would seem that my DVR is “on call.”

-Ashley

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MiserableWelcome!