Monthly Archives: May 2016

Thank You Is Not Enough

Tomorrow is Memorial Day.

Thank you is not enough.

Tomorrow we remember our brothers and sisters who gave their lives for our freedom.

Tomorrow I remember my grandfathers and my uncles who came home to their families when their brothers in arms did not.

When I wake up tomorrow, I will be grateful for the freedoms that I have and I will say thank you to those who laid down their lives for those freedoms.

Enjoy Memorial Day.

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All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation Book Review

Once upon a time (and still in some parts of the world today) the worst thing a woman could be was single and childless.

Rebecca Traister’s new book, All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation, explores not only the history of single women in this country, but how the modern single woman deal with being single today.

Mingling interviews with single women of various races and economic levels with press clippings from the past, Ms. Traister examines how single women in the past dealt with the challenges of a life without a husband compared to today. She also speaks to the reasons that women today choose to delay or entirely put off marriage.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. As a single woman, I appreciated both the historical aspect of the book and the reasons why women today are choosing to either temporarily or permanently put off the traditional role of a wife. I also appreciated the fact that she spoke of the fact that women of color have been single, working mothers for generations while white middle class women are relatively new to (compared to women of color) the idea of being single and working for a living.

I recommend it.

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Filed under Book Review, Books, Feminism, History

Flashback Friday-Big Momma’s House (2000)

In some professions, going the extra mile is part of the job.

In Big Momma’s House (2000),  Malcolm Turner (Martin Lawrence) is a FBI agent. His specialty is using complex disguises to catch the bad guys.

His latest case is protecting Sherry Pierce (Nia Long). Her ex-boyfriend, a convicted bank robber is on the loose. To make sure that Sherry and her son are safe, Malcolm impersonates Big Momma, Sherry’s elderly, corpulent grandmother. While it starts off as a job, Malcolm’s feelings for Sherry start to veer away from the professional arena and into the personal arena. Will Malcolm reveal his true self and can he complete his mission?

Following in the footsteps of Eddie Murphy, Martin Lawrence plays both the comedy and the action while using the fat suit to up the comedy ante.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

 

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Throwback Thursday- What’s Love Got to Do with It (1993)

Fame and celebrity is not all that it is cracked up to be. Behind the glossy photos and the gold-plated awards is a life that can sometimes be difficult.

The Tina Turner biopic, What’s Love Got to Do with It (1993), begins with the future superstar, then known as Anna Mae Bullock, as a young girl in the American South. The film then picks with Anna Mae as a young woman. Meeting Ike Turner, she will change her name and become one of the most iconic performers of her generation. While Anna, now Tina is a global megastar, she also is being abused by her husband. Finally taking matters in her own hands, Tina decides to leave her husband and the band that made her a star. But the fight to maintain her career has only begun.

 

Starring Angela Bassett as Tina Turner and Laurence Fishbourne as Ike Turner, this film is not only a reminder of the fact that not all that glitters is gold, but we can also fight against what is holding us back.

What I like about this film is that is not cheesy or schmaltzy. Nor does it go on forever. Based on a book written by Tina Turner and Kurt Loder, the film is one of the better biopics that I have seen.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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Filed under Books, Feminism, Life, Movie Review, Movies

Happy Birthday, Thelma And Louise

25 years ago, a new buddy action adventure film premiered. While most movies within the genre had male protagonists, this film had female protagonists who added one more crack to the glass ceiling.

That movie is Thelma and Louise.  Thelma Dickinson (Geena Davis) is a housewife. Her husband would prefer that she stay in that little bubble of everything that is being a housewife. Louise Sawyer (Susan Sarandon) is a waitress whose musician boyfriend is never home. Together, the women will go on a journey to not only free themselves from the confines of their past and what is considered to be “appropriate” for women, but they will also help to  inspire the women in the audience to free themselves of their shackles in their own lives.

 

This movie is revolutionary. Even today, 25 years after the initial release, the journey that the lead characters go on continue to inspire women. What also makes the movie stand out is that there are still very few movies with strong, female protagonists who are not reliant on a relationship or a romantic partner to get by.

Happy Birthday, Thelma and Louise. Thanks for the inspiration.

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What Matters in Jane Austen?: Twenty Crucial Puzzles Solved Book Review

When it comes to classic novels and the authors that wrote them, there are two camps: those who look at the books from a scholarly or academic perspective and those who read and re-read the books because they simply adore them.

Jane Austen’s novels are no exception.

In What Matters in Jane Austen?: Twenty Crucial Puzzles Solved, Professor John Mullan from University College London takes reader into the nitty-gritty questions that only someone who had stopped counting the number of times they’ve read a Jane Austen novel would ask. He asks questions about why certain character have one or two lines before only being referred to, the real age of the characters versus the performers who played them on stage or screen and the significance of how the characters refer to each other.

This book is amazing, as is its author. I’ve been fortunate enough to see him speak twice. He is as warm, funny, engaging on the page as he is in person. I will warn my readers that this book is for the serious Janeite.  A reader who has casually picked up one of Austen’s books or a reader who is new to the Austen literary universe might not completely understand what Mr. Mullan is stating. But what I loved best about this book is that teeters on academic without talking down to the reader or sounding like a dry college textbook.

I absolutely recommend this book.

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Filed under Book Review, Books, Emma, Jane Austen, Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility

Beauty And The Beast Trailer

I know I am not the only one kvelling over this trailer. Yes, we’ve all see the animated film and some of us might have seen the stage version.

But there is something about this movie that is I can’t help getting excited about. I can only hope the movie lives up to the hype.

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Filed under Beauty And The Beast, Movie Review

Save Home Fires

As a woman, I find it hard to watch television when strong, capable, fully human female characters are sometimes hard to find.

Home Fires  (2015- Present) is one of those programs that contains these characters.

Set in a rural English village during World War II, the program is about the women of the village who despite their disagreements and setbacks have to learn to make the best of it during wartime.

The first season aired on PBS last year. I found the drama to entertaining and frankly, it was nice to see fully developed human female characters who were fully capable of standing on their own two feet. While the trailer for series 2 has been released, there is no word as to when it will air in America.

Sadly, the second series might not air in America as ITV is contemplating cancelling the program.

I get it. Not every show has a long life span and some shows, frankly are so bad that cancellation is obvious, it’s just a matter of time.

I would just hate for a program with female characters that send a positive message to be cancelled in place of other shows that continue to blast out archaic stereotypes or send less than positive vibes toward the female audience.

Happy Sunday and I look forward to series 2 of Home Fires.

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Filed under Feminism, Television

Captain America: Civil War Review

Movie sequels, especially superhero movie sequels are a questionable topic. The film has to appeal to the general audience, while staying true to the narrative from the source material and the previous films.

Earlier this month, Captain America: Civil War hit theaters.

The film starts off with The Avengers trying to prevent a terrorist attack in Lagos, Nigeria, While their mission is successful, the destruction that comes with such a mission is not unnoticed.

The UN, via Secretary Of State Thaddeus Ross (William Hurt) presents our heroes with a choice. Sign a document that would allow them to continue with their work, but with supervision, or not sign and potentially be outside of the law. The line in the sand in drawn when Captain America (Captain America) and Falcon (Anthony Mackie) lead the side that is against the document while Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and The Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) are all for signing the document.

The disagreement becomes tenuous when  Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) is found to still be alive and accused of murder.  This murder hits close to home and has the potential to destroy The Avengers in a way that nothing else can.

I expect these kind of films to contain action scenes. It’s part and parcel of the genre. The problem is when the narrative is overtaken by action scenes.  For my perspective, the narrative was there, but I wish the fight scenes could have been reduced (or left to the extras section of the DVD) and more of the overall narrative could have been present on-screen.

Do I recommend it? Well, it leads to the next film, but the plot is starting to become a little thin for me.

To answer your question, it’s a maybe for me, but someone else may disagree.

Captain America: Civil War is presently in theaters. 

 

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Filed under Movie Review, Movies

Flashback Friday-The Smurfs (1981-1990)

Childhood cartoons are like a lovely dream. A flashback to a time when life was not so complicated and the worst conflict in your life was kept to the small screen.

One of my favorite childhood cartoons is The Smurfs (1981-1990).

The Smurfs are a race of small, blue, elf like creatures that live in the forest. They simply want to go about their lives without incident. But the evil wizard Gargomel wants to use The Smurfs for their magic, if only he can catch them.

What can I say about this cartoon? As an adult now, it is simple. But as a child, it is fun, entertaining and just enough excitement to keep a child entertained and busy for 30 minutes.

I recommend it.

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