Flashback Friday-Mystery Men (1999)

Sometimes superhero movies take themselves a little too seriously.

In 1999, the genre was given the satirical treatment in the form of Mystery Men.

When the local superhero Captain Amazing (Greg Kinnear) is captured by the local super villain Casanova Frankenstein (Geoffrey Rush), it’s up to a ragtag group of superhero wannabes to save the day. Led by Furious (Ben Stiller), the group includes Bowler (Janeane Garofalo) and Blue Raja (Hank Azaria), this bunch of second-rate superheroes must band together to save their city and their superhero from destruction.

As I recall, what I enjoyed about this movie is not the DC, Marvel Comics type movie that many fans of the superhero and comic book genre have come to expect. The film had an underbelly of dark satire that was unique to the genre and made the audience laugh.

And of course, what a late 1990’s movie without the requisite theme song sung by Smashmouth?

I recommend it.

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Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood Book Review

Before Trevor Noah succeeded Jon Stewart as the host of The Daily Show, he was a biracial child growing up in  apartheid era South Africa.

Last year, he published a memoir of his very unique childhood entitled Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood. Noah’s father, a white man of Swiss/German descent, was in his son’s life as much as the white father of a biracial child could be back then. His black mother, whose ancestry in South Africa went back generations, was his main parent. Loving, but strict (and perhaps a bit intense), she raised her son with a firm, but free-spirited hand. In the book, Noah talks about what it was like to grow in South Africa when the country was divided by very firm and enforceable social, racial and economic borders.

What I really loved about this book is that unlike other celebrity memoirs, it felt authentic. There was nothing forced or fake about his stories. It was as if he was sitting in front of me and we were having a conversation about his childhood. I also loved that there is a universal quality to this book when it comes to childhood, growing up and how our perceptions of us, our world and our parents change as we get older.

I absolutely recommend it.

 

 

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Filed under Book Review, Books, History, Television

New Randy Rainbow Video-“Desperate Cheeto”

Randy Rainbow has been my saving grace since last November. The perfect satirical light in the darkness, he reminds us about the power of freedom of expression and how both art and satire are important, especially in this political climate.

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October 11, 2017 · 10:04 pm

Eminem On Donald Trump

One of the best aspects of our democracy is not just freedom of speech, but art that flows from that freedom.

Eminem recently released a rant about Donald Trump.  It is perfect, brilliant and he states exactly what needs to be said.

I must warn that the video contains adult language and images.

 

Perhaps if enough of us speak up, the madman in Washington DC will be removed and cooler, more reasonable heads will actually get back to governing this country.

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Filed under Music, Politics

Malala Yousafzai Starts College

It’s no secret that an education is the doorway to a better life. It is also no secret that many girls have had received either no education or minimal education that leaves them woefully unprepared for the world.

Five years ago Malala Yousafzai, a teenage girl from Pakistan, dared to speak up against the Taliban for denying girls the right to an education. They tried to kill her. She survived and became stronger than they thought she was.

This week, she started college at Oxford University.

For many women and girls, Malala has become an icon of this generation’s feminists. She is the voice in the crowd that will stand up for women’s rights when others remain silent.  She will continue to light the fire not just under the figurative behinds of women who feel like they have no voice or power, but she will continue to inspire men to join their wives, sisters, mothers and daughters in the fight for true equality.

I expect nothing but great things from Malala in the future. But the first step is always an education.

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Filed under Feminism, History, International News, World News

The Making of Jane Austen Book Review

There are more than enough books, both fiction and non fiction about Jane Austen and her work to fill up multiple libraries. The question is, which book stands out from the pack and which book remain on the shelves?

Devoney Looser recently published her newest book, The Making Of Jane Austen.

When Jane Austen died in 1817, her genius as a writer, satirist and observer of the human experience had yet to be fully appreciated. Writing about the artists, dramatists, activists and academics who spread the word of Jane Austen over the years, Dr. Looser expands upon the legend of her subject and explains how Austen has become this giant of literature and pop culture that we know her to be today.

I loved this book. Dr. Looser was also one of the keynote speaker at this past weekend’s 2017 JASNA AGM, but to me, that is the cherry on top. She writes in a way that speaks to both the newbie Janeite and the Janeite who is thoroughly entangled in everything that is Jane Austen.

I absolutely recommend it.

 

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Filed under Book Review, Books, Jane Austen

The Last Jedi Trailer

The official trailer for The Last Jedi has come finally been released. I got very excited when I saw the trailer, but as usual, Lucasfilm is not surprisingly cagey with the details.

The only thing I know that I am more that stoked and I will definitely be needing a box of Kleenex for the rumored sendoff for Carrie Fisher.

BTW, the duel between Finn and Captain Phasma looks amazing.

December is coming quickly. 🙂

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Thoughts On The 30th Anniversary Of The Princess Bride

A few weeks ago, The Princess Bride celebrated its 30th anniversary.

Fred Savage plays a young boy who is home sick from school. His grandfather, played by Peter Falk reads the boy a story. The story is The Princess Bride.

Buttercup (Robin Wright) is a young lady from a poor farm family chosen to marry Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon). While she has agreed to go on with the match, she is mourning the loss of her true love, Westley (Cary Elwes). It has been five years since he was murdered. Needing a break from the craziness  of her upcoming wedding and her memories of her late beloved, Buttercup goes out for a ride. The rest is movie history.

This movie, except that it is pure genius. While the basic narrative to heavily steeped in classic fairy tales, the humor is modern and is can be very adult.

If I had to choose a favorite scene, it would be the one with Billy Crystal and Carol Kane. It is comedy at it’s best.

Here is to the 30 years of laughs from The Princess Bride. I hope that in 30 years, we will continue to laugh.

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Filed under Fairy Tales, Movies

Thoughts On The 2017 JASNA AGM

Imagine if you will, an academic conference, but with a twist. Add in a dedicated fandom with lots of goodies to bring home (and a good amount of attendees playing dress up) and you have the 2017 JASNA AGM.

Held in Huntington Beach, California, the title of this year’s conference was Intimations of Immortality. We remembered Jane on the 200th anniversary of her passing as we celebrated her life, her books and her legacy.

The AGM is more than my vacation. This year it was a chance to visit California, spend time with my friends and celebrate anything and everything relating to Jane Austen. It is a chance to thoroughly geek out and know that the people you are with understand why you geek out. It was a chance to dress up, dance and spend three days thoroughly immersed in Jane.

While I enjoyed the AGM (as I do everytime), it was the company (and the heavenly beach in Southern California) that always makes an AGM worth it.

Next year, Janeites  (as we are commonly known) will congregate for our next AGM in Kansas City where we will be celebrating Persuasion and hopefully not fangirling over Amanda Root (Anne Elliot in the 1995 Persuasion).

I hope to see you all there.

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

Thoughts On The Harvey Weinstein Scandal

It’s nothing new to hear of powerful men using their stature and/or name to gain sexual favors from less powerful women in trade for something else.

Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein’s name has recently been added to this list. Several women have come forward, claiming that over the past few decades, Weinstein has set up meetings with young actresses, who believe that they are meeting with him to advance their careers. Instead, he meets them, expecting sex.

If nothing else, this story reminds me that not only is feminism alive and well, but it still continues to be necessary in 2017. While we have no doubt come very far, there are also many battles to fight. Mr. Weinstein is not the first man, nor will he be the last man who believes that not only is he immune from the law, but that young actresses willingly submit to the casting couch to work in their chosen careers.

I keep hoping that as these men are publicly outed and vilified, that things will change for the better.  Women will not be seen as mere sexual playthings, but as full fledged human beings.

Mr. Weinstein will get what is coming to him, either in this world or the next. Perhaps this will finally send a message once and for all about how women are still being treated in 2017.

Perhaps is the key word here.

 

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Filed under Feminism, Movies, National News