“Snow White and The Huntsman” Trailer”

Kristen Stewart. Really though?

When Hollywood asks me to suspend my disbelief for one hundred and twenty minutes in a dark movie theater, I say okay, fine. I’ll believe that Jennifer Love Hewitt and her band of annoying friends are being chased by a dude they killed a year ago or that Shia LeBeouf’s Corvette is a big menacing robot with even bigger friends.  I’ll believe that Will Smith is a superhero with a drinking problem or that he can save the world from aliens.  Sure, I’ll believe that.  However, when you try to tell me that in a beauty contest, the mirror would choose Kristen Stewart over Charlize Theron, I call bull.

I have given a name to my pain.  And it is Kristen Stewart.  They have chosen one of the most wooden young women in current film to portray the eponymous heroine and quite frankly, it’s inexcusable.   No matter how you look at it, in no parallel dimension could Stewart even remotely be considered a threat to Theron’s beauty.  Of all the times for Hollywood’s powers that be to decide NOT to cast eye candy, why would they ignore the one story in which it actually made sense to do so?  If the actress chosen was just not as pretty as Theron but was actually talented, I would relent.  However, the casting director managed to find an actress with abysmal…I mean questionable abilities and literally two facial expressions (bored and slightly annoyed) with an occasional bonus: the blank stare.  Since she’s naturally wooden and does not seem like a natural foil to Ms. Theron’s undoubtedly malicious portrayal of the vain, wicked queen, I have to wonder if she could single-handedly prevent this from being a good film.

It made no sense why she was the final choice when acting heavyweight Charlize Theron and Chris Hemsworth fresh off his “Thor” triumph had been cast in other high profile roles.   Then like a nasty fart, it hit me right in the face: Twilight.  Reason number 592 why that film franchise continues to ruin the world: It allows substandard actors/actresses to be hired in high profile roles which they have no business going near.  Since this film would be competing with another Snow White film also set to release in 2012, there had to be a final clincher in the competition for the biggest audience possible.  Enter Stephanie Meyers’ monster.  The throngs of teens addicted to “Twilight” and likewise the actress portraying the lead character are likely to flock to this movie.  She doesn’t have the sex appeal factor that Taylor Lautner and his abs have or that Robert Pattinson and his hair does but she’s still recognizable and familiar to these teenage hoards.   It feels like a dirty trick to use Kristen Stewart for power over her built in audience than for her [lack of] talent.

The trailer makes this production look worthy of the blood money I’ve labored to produce working my dead end gig at Macy’s but we all know trailers can be misleading.  But with the producers of “Alice in Wonderland” behind this film as well, it should at least be aesthetically appealing with interesting visuals and style.  And check out the freaky mirror.  That alone is a deft re imagining of a major “character” and is keenly frightening by itself.  It even gave me the creeps.  Maybe I’m giving Kristen Stewart too much credit in her ability to bring down an entire film with her perpetually glazed over stares or maybe I just haven’t seen her in the right films which truly showcase her talents…but I doubt it.  Everybody cracked on her in “The Runaways” and they can’t be all wrong.  Check out the trailer and let me know if one wooden actress is all takes to bring down a potentially entertaining film.

Youth of America, your lack of Halloween enthusiasm sickens me.

Youth of America.  We need to discuss something.  I understand that you’re used to getting your way and that you could very well go out and have your parents buy you all the candy you want.  I realize this.  Really.  However, in my day, we worked for our goshdarn candy and you will do the same if I have a thing to say about it.

The fact that your parents paid a hundred bucks that they bled and sweat for a costume you to wear for ten minutes of photos, an hour and a half of hardcore trick or treating and the residual half hour of your parents carrying to the last couple of houses before they finally take you home and toss the costume away in favor of your pajamas.   Listen, it’s not actually about you.  It’s about your parents.  They wish to see you just for one night, physically resemble the little terror that you are in life instead of that cherubic face that plagues them when their favorite shoes end up in the toilet or daddy’s flat screen mysteriously ends up with a controller through it.

But for the rest of you, this holiday is something completely different.  Adolescents and teens, Halloween is a test for your creativity.  Come up with an awesome costume using your wits alone.  Work for your candy.  Earn. Those. Cavities.  Don’t show up to my door like I owe YOU something.  And for pete’s sake, even if you know your costume sucks or you think you’re too old for trick or treating, do what all adults have learned to do: FAKE IT.  Fake the enthusiasm.  Pretend you’re excited to be out.  Do not sigh as though I’m wasting your time or I haven’t given you the specific brand of candy you wanted.  I could have given you rocks.  Instead you got sugar.  Be happy I didn’t feed you to the hell-hound that lives next to my bed.

Next year will be better.  Next year must be better.

Trailer Check: The Divide

With most post-apocalyptic films, the major themes dealt with are struggles to find food and the development of hierarchies within the groups of survivors.  But, with all of these studies in social deconstruction after a catastrophic event, few deal with the effects of sickness in addition to social issues and nutrition.  In a zombie apocalypse scenario, the threat of sickness is much more obvious and is shambling down the street in search of brains.   Obviously.   But, in the case of a nuclear event, those who survived would be given the rare opportunity to see their bodies decompose before their eyes.  This element could be crucial in instilling even more fear than your standard nuclear aftermath films.  This combined with living in an enclosed space with few food rations is bound to bring out the crazy in people.

“The Road” was a fantastic character study illustrating the bond between father and son in a post apocalyptic setting.  “The Divide” appears to give us another character study between strangers in the basement of a building after what appears to be a nuclear explosion.  Milo Ventimiglia (“Heroes”) and Michael Biehn (every other James Cameron film including “The Abyss”, “Aliens” and “Terminator”) look poised to deliver intense performances and with this subject matter, I expect nothing less.  The trailer I found on rotten tomatoes looks incredible.  Lets hope this enters the percentage of post-apocalyptic films that makes the grade and ignore the fact that the guy who directed this also directed “Hitman.”

2011 Music Restock

2011:  A good year for my music library

“Rome,” the concept album by collaborators Daniele Luppi and Danger Mouse (one half of Gnarls Barkley) featuring Norah Jones and Jack White.  This atmospheric and moody album was inspired by scores of Spaghetti Westerns predominantly directed by Sergio Leone.  Not only was this performed on vintage equipment (an increasing rarity these days) but the orchestra was made up of musicians who originally performed Spaghetti Western scores.  The entire moody album plays like the score to a film and inspires beautiful and varied visual imagery.   And despite its sometimes melancholy sounds, there is a subdued sensuality to it.  The vocal and lyrical contributions from Jack White and Norah Jones match the forlorn score perfectly.  Atmospheric and moody.  Hello soundtrack for life.

Okay, so Cee Lo Green’s “The Lady Killer” actually came out in 2010 but I didn’t get it until 2011.  This splendidly produced album was comparable to “Rome” in that it sang the imagery of a film or story to you.  The first single “Fuck You!” was bound to be a hit by its very nature but the rest of the album lived up to the first single’s hype, and maybe surpassed it.  Finally, we get cohesion from a solo Cee Lo album with his distinctive voice and soulful track composition.  From the upbeat tracks to the ballads, the lyrics are clever and the old-school vibe is on point.  Another album that is nearly perfect.  Cee Lo, I love how weird you are.

My countdown for Adele’s next album started right after I got finished listening to the first one so, it goes without saying that I was excited.  Adele’s followup to her debut album, “19” became both a critical and commercial hit.  “21” showcases the raw power of her voice which has the uncanny ability to turn even her mediocre tracks into spun gold.  She is a tremendous live performer and in an age where live performances are either good by virtue of their flashy antics, Adele stands alone moving audiences wearing understated black with a lone microphone as her prop.  Her songwriting has gotten clearer in relating her pains compared to the poetry from “19”.  I didn’t love every single track on this album but it was well worth the wait and she is worthy of the hype.  Heartbreak always makes for good albums.

Remember the days when you would literally count the hours until an album dropped and waited in line outside of Sam Goody or Virgin Records Stores or something with a tent and hot chocolate and pee in a water bottle.  For me that was this album.  So, I did the 21st century equivalent and waited until 12am precisely on July 12 and downloaded this album from Itunes.  Sorry guys, but I had been saving a giftcard for months so I could get it with no issues.  Incubus has not had a completely new album out since the 2006 release of “Light Grenades” and I was getting antsy.  The announcement of this album literally had me on edge until it finally debuted.  It wasn’t exactly what I expected but honestly, Incubus albums never really are.  Without realizing it, they single-handedly deliver albums never the same as the last and right now, they’re working on subtlety.   This album is all about nuance and lushness.  Incubus audiences are literally split over this album.  You either vehemently hate it, love it or enjoy it and appreciate it for their musical growth and the lush production.  I fall in the latter category.  Admittedly, it isn’t my “go-to” Incubus album but it is a beautiful album none the less.  Worthy of the wait?  Hell yeah.  This quintet always manages to improve from the last album both as a unit and as individual musicians.   This album allows the listener to hear individual nuance and brings even more musicality and refinement to their already impressive catalog.

I’m proud to say that after a year long drought, my Itunes library has been restocked and my ears are ecstatic! Keep it comin’ guys, keep it comin’.

Holmes, what have you done?

There is no doubt that Guy Richie’s spin on Sherlock Holmes took a beloved and notoriously stodgy character and made him exciting.  The movie was entertaining and fun with interesting visual effects and absurdly great chemistry between Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law as the eponymous hero and his long suffering partner.  Here’s the problem.  Now, everyone and their grandmother in Hollywood is going to try to use the same formula.  Take a sodgy, slightly boring classic and make it into an action packed blockbuster.  I love Guy Ritchie and I’m not going to knock his formula because it worked and hopefully, it’ll work with the sequel too.  But….”Anonymous” and “The Three Musketeers” make me a tad nervous.

“The Three Musketeers” is helmed by Paul W.S. Anderson, the man responsible for both the “Resident Evil” film series and the tragedy that was “AVP”.  Explosions and gooey stuff see to be this man’s favorite mediums and action films are his genres.  But, I”m not sure this is such a good idea for a man who hasn’t proven himself to at least be a stylistic visionary just yet.  And although “Musketeers” has the incredible Oscar winner Christoph Waltz (Inglorious Basterds) and a few other really good character actors amongst the ranks, I’m not sure they’ll get as much screen time to make the film worth it.  And as much as I love Milla Jovovich, anything with Orlando Bloom must be taken with a grain of salt.  Besides, do we really need another version of the same story?  Oh wait this one’s in 3D.  Sorry but it’s still unnecessary.

That being said, I don’t think I’d mind seeing “Anonymous”.  Roland Emmerich usually deals in big scale, apocalyptic type films but this time he’s approaching Oxfordian Theory.  Okay….once again, I’m not quite sure about this but after perusing the cast, it’s pretty impressive.  Vanessa Redgrave, Rhys Ifans, David Thewlis, and Sir Derek Jacobi as the narrator.  Prestigious and known English actors.  However, this film might not be in the same vein as the other two.  The main reason, it’s been included is that the trailers market it as far less laborious than standard historical fare.  Emmerich very well may have put some kind of vicious action in this film to make it more palatable for the masses, and to accurately portray England’s bloody history.  But despite that, there aren’t too many films broaching this touchy subject of whether or not the man we have lauded for creating so many masterpieces were actually penned by Shakespeare.  Apparently just the notion of this possibility has historians at odds and the theory itself has gained more support (or believers) in the past few decades.   I just hope they didn’t approach the marketing the same way they did with “Drive”.  Still, we’ll see.

Maybe these fears that Richie’s “Sherlock Holmes” has created a monster template for which Hollywood will now try to emulate are wildly unfounded.  But, I’ve already read a few scathing reviews on “The Three Musketeers,” so it already isn’t looking good.  It probably comes down to popcorn fodder versus a credible film.  Stylized or not, only Anonymous gets a spot on my “To See” list.

“Boy Meets World” = eternal happiness

Reblogged from hellyeahboymeetsworld.tumblr.com

So even though me and my brother have probably seen every episode of “Boy Meets World”…twice, we still DVR the episodes every time they come on ABC Family.  Do we have problems?  Probably.  Are we ashamed?  NEVER!!!  What can I say?  It makes me happy.  And it makes a couple other people I know ahheemmroomieahemmm fairly content with life as well.

The Birth of my Baby ‘Fro.

11 months old

11 months!!!

The first step to recovery is admitting your have a problem.  I had a problem…with straightening my hair.  The hardest I ever worked was probably on keeping my hair straight on a regular basis.  It really was a problem but one that I only acknowledged after I went to college and a friend commented on it…and my RA.  Yeah, my poor unsuspecting RA knocked on my door to see why there was smoke coming from under my door which was consequently why the hallway was looking a bit foggy.  I assume she figured I’d be holding  blunt but I was actually holding a flat iron and was in the midst of madly straightening my hair.  Talie told me she could always tell when I was doing my hair because the hallway would be cloudy.  I believed her, but I didn’t stop.  And so the abuse continued until senior year of college when she took the brave step at beginning to go natural.  Albeit, Talie did it accidentally but nobody in my immediate circle was without a creamy crack addiction so her decision was inspiring.  As was my baby brother’s decision to lock his hair.  The idea rolled around my brain until that fateful day when I took the time to read the back of a relaxer box.  After seeing a laundry list of chemicals that I’d just as soon not have anywhere near my hair let alone my scalp and seeping into my brain with the potential to turn me into a zombie (which is a legitimate fear), I decided that was my absolute last relaxer.

Wanna hear the saddest part about this whole thing?  I still couldn’t bring myself to stop straightening my hair until 4 or 5 months after the decision to stop relaxing.  It doesn’t need to be said but my hair wasn’t in full agreement with my continued allegiance to my flatiron.  It soon lodged a formal complaint by beginning to break off in strategic locations.  Point taken.

After loads of experimentation with every hair product I could find in my house (and a few relatives homes), gorging myself on natural hair blogs and watching natural hair divas on Youtube (who are fabulous by the way), I came to the conclusion that straw sets and roller sets were my new best friends.  Had to go to Product Junkies Anonymous eventually but I am proud to say that I have since recovered.

There’s no emotional and dramatic Big Chop episode in this story though.  What can I say?  I’m a big chicken and being bald or rocking a serious TWA just wasn’t in the stars right for me.  That being said, the women who are out there rocking those styles, are my own personal heroes with more cajones than I will ever possess.  My route was more gradual and every month or so, with another half inch of hair that grew, another half inch of relaxed ends met with a pair of sharp scissors and tumbled screaming into the sink.  And every time another half inch left, the more excited I could feel myself getting.

Having been getting my hair relaxed since about age 13, memories of my actual texture were far and few between.  What did it look like?  Would I recognize it as the same from my childhood?  Would I like it?  Would it like me?  It sounds strange, but my hair had been a complete stranger.  In hindsight, living with my straight hair was like living with a crackhead that was constantly jonesing for a fix (ie. straightness) that you can’t ever remember seeing sober.  Well I was about to see it.   Then he setback occurred.  Boredom crept back in and cutting more and more of my hair off became inevitable but there came an answer to this problem.   Box. Braids.  Did ’em meself too.  They aren’t perfect but the get the job done.  Now, as I approach the one year marker since my last relaxer, it’s hilarious how different my head looks in the mirror.  It’s funny because even when my hair is at its biggest and most rebellious and doing exactly what I don’t want it to do, I still like it better than I did when it was straight.  Dude, my hair came out of the closet and its real happy about it.  For now, I nurse my baby ‘fro with love, oils, shun petrolatum, embrace its curls and absolutely cannot wait until it gets bigger and more obnoxious!  Cheers, baby ‘fro.

Dear Tyra, Stoppit.

Warning. This is a rant. Nothing eloquent. Now we all know that Tyra’s completely over the top and dramatic but she has also been making moves for herself, especially where hair care is concerned. Her episode on hair involving black children, more specifically black little girls was sad but horribly truthful. It happens. However, early this evening my lovely roomie, T, shared with me a very troubling video. Naturalistas will understand and e’rebody else…well I’ll try to explain. In order to do this, I’ve drawn up a short list of things wrong with the single video that I saw that lasted all of one minute and about 40 seconds. One hundred minutes of video actually had me upset enough with Tyra and her minion to spawn an entire blog post. Brava, Tyra. Brava.

1.First of all, this lady that has told us she’s a “professional” has see-through edges. Like as in I can see her scalp through her hair. As a “professional”, I’d hope you’d know how to take care of your business before trying to give me tips on managing mine. No, miss lady. No.

2. Secondly, I’d like to be superduper mean and say that this lady either has a speech impediment that she’s trying really hard not to let show, or she’s reading off of cards. I understand that you want everyone to understand you so yo enunciate ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING. However, you just come off as weird, unnatural and having some issues that require a class on public speaking. Tyra, you should have found a better spokeswoman.

3. What exactly was the production value? I mean, this lady is probably just in front of a sheet in Tyra’s house but you could at least have have made sure we knew it had 1000 thread count and was made of the finest Egyptian cotton. I think even Bin Laden’s videos had better scenery and a far better prop master. At least try to make us seem like you put some kind of effort into this instead of realizing at the last minute that you had another segment to do.

4. Personally, I wanted her to show us exactly what her hair would look like after using all of this madness on her hair. If you’re going to spew all this crap at me, at least provide me with a before and after shot just so I know that if my hair ends up looking like yours, I’ve clearly made a wrong turn on the road to fabulousness.

5. Nowhere, during my learning about styling natural hair have I seen any of the lovely women on Youtube use curling iron on their hair without a roller set or anything else less invasive. She makes it sound like this is safe for your hair…without a real heat protectant and is safe to do often. Maaaaybe she didn’t mean it that way, but it certainly didn’t seem like it.

And now for my biggest problem with this:
6. You want me to leave this curling iron on my hair for how long? 60 seconds? I’m pretty sure hair or any texture would at least begin to disintegrate. Even in my most extreme phase of flat ironing my hair, I did not leave it on there for an entire minute at a time and just wait for it to burn off. What hair stylist do you know that subscribes to such ideals and still manages to keep clientele with healthy heads of hair. No, it’s ok. I’ll wait. None? Didn’t think so.

I almost feel like someone gave this woman a wikipaedia page on how to handle natural hair. But not a good one. Like one of those pages written by complete morons.

Thus I have come to this conclusion: Tyra and Miss “professional” type lady, I’d like you both to sit down and shaddap! Leave natural hair to actual professionals and the absolutely fabulous women on Youtube. Please and thank you.

Note: In the middle of writing this post and trying to view the rest of the posted videos, they were made private. Funny eh? I’ll assume Tyra took a hint from the pissedthehelloffcannotbelieveshesinsultinguslikethistruthful comments made on her videos. Thanks Tyra. It’s appreciated but please, call somebody else for natural hair tips!

#19 on the list of Crap They neglect To Tell You About Post-College Life

#19 on the list of Crap They Neglect To Tell You About Post-College Life: You’ll really really miss your roommates at extremely strange times.

Roommates are kind of like built in safeguards for bad relationship decisions, homework help, watching Criminal Minds (and really bad movies), bad hair days and your own personal fashion consultants especially when two are fellow music majors and one was a fashion major. Yeah. My roomies have all been kick-ass artsy hotties. What can I say? We roll deep yo. Anyway, since I no longer live with them, they’re no longer my own personal mirrors to present outfits and the spoils of recent shopping trips. Be that as it may, I’ve found a new way to get through to my lovelies…and whomever else may be lurking. So here you are. Post #1 on my shopping spoils…

Okay look. It’s not a new idea but this was my first attempt at putting it into practice. Instead of going to uber-cheap, soul-sucking, fringe-putting-on-everything Forever 21 why not try the neighborhood thrift store. Everyone knows that I’m pretty hooked on the wonders that lurk beneath the grime of the thrift store on route 38 and despite my love for it, even I had fallen victim to trend-lust. More specifically, I’d fallen in love with the midi length chiffon skirt. Don’t ask why, I just did. The way they flow and flutter in the wind or the way they can go perfectly with a t-shirt and still manage me make me look feminine. Hang on. Even the cheapie ones on Forever 21 start at $15. Okay $15 for an investment piece or a classic closet staple is one thing. A gamble that starts at $15 a pop that I’m not sure about isn’t exactly a wise decision. So, I decided on the next best thing. My wonderful grunge laden, funny smelling thrift store for the super cheap opportunity to try out a recent trend. And it’s even better when the thrift store pays off.

Not sure you can tell from the picture but this thing was a win on so many fronts. It’s black which means it not only will with everything I can wear it to work. Score. Plus, it’s got pleats (which I do love) but they aren’t severe or super sharp which keeps the skirt floaty and soft. And on top of that, it’s washer safe, thank goodness! On the downside, it was a little big so I had to pin it and belt but you can’t really tell and it’s incredibly sheer which means either biking shorts, tights or a slip underneath. And besides none of those things really matter because I got to scratch my trend itch AND I spend exactly $1.50. Beat that.