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I found the weirdest thing…

Recently I helped W clean his house in preparation for a bar-b-que he was throwing. There was A LOT to be done so everyone was assigned an area to tackle. Ironically due to my last post, I was assigned to clean the kitchen. (I made some comment about putting the woman in the kitchen but resigned myself to the area anyways).

I don’t like doing my own dishes let alone the dishes of a house full of boys but I wanted to be helpful. Let me tell you guys the place was starting to shine, it never looked better. But as I was scrubbing the countertops, I moved a traffic sign that was leaning against the wall that the boys used for decoration purposes, and I found the weirdest thing behind that traffic sign!

A colony of ants had moved in. I knew the guys had ants; there was always a couple we found and squished in every room of the house. But I had hit the mother load and because I was completely not expecting to unearth that many all congregated in one place I let out an ear-splitting scream (how very like a woman of me) and all the boys came running. It was lucky that while we were at Wal-Mart the night before we picked up some ant traps and ‘raid’. One of the boys sprayed the mass quantity of ants until the bottle of raid ran dry and the fumes were obnoxiously strong.

After that little scare the rest of the day ran smoothly and we had great weather for the bar-b-que. When everyone left at the end of the night I curled up on the couch with W and we watched some television. He chose not to put on a movie this time but the show he did pick to watch seemed to fall inside the category of macho.

The first episode of “Hogan’s Heroes” was in black in white. Apparently it aired in the late 60’s, early 70’s. I had never even heard of it before but the basic theme for the series centers on a German POW camp during WWII. An American prisoner, Colonel Hogan, coordinated an international crew of Allied prisoners running a Special Operations group from inside the camp. Though Hogan could escape he chose instead to help others break out. I was skeptical when W told me what he wanted to watch, but after 3 episodes I found the show watchable and even funny at times. It had a “Three Stooges” feel to it, but included some witty repartee as well.  

 
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Posted by on May 4, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Macho/Feminist

Those two terms above have been thrown around multiple posts on this blog and are the underlying factors that drive my writing. Both the words macho and feminist alike, are interesting terms with unique interpretations.  For men and women they represent characteristics that are extreme and exceedingly towards one end of a spectrum.

Macho Man Randy Savage

Macho Man Randy Savage

 

According to urban dictionary, macho is, “A male person that acts like he is the king of the world. Generally shows a degrading attitude towards women and sensitive men.” Or, “A male who cannot “lose face” in front of his mates or women. Most macho men have the emotional range of a teaspoon and have enough empathy to fill the ink tube in a pen.” Honestly, these definitions may not be fair but to be “macho” evokes stereotypical associations that cannot be avoided.

I use the term macho in the title of my blog to describe these films I have been watching which strongly suggest violence, a lack of empathy, and men so full of muscle I don’t understand how they don’t just tip over when they walk! The only women in these films are naked or playing a damsel in distress type and need to be saved from harm. So if you are looking for female empowerment look elsewhere.

That brings us to the next word, feminist. Before I took a woman’s studies class I had believed women who were known as feminists burned their bras and didn’t shave. I certainly know better now, but how many people still hold that archaic and ignorant view? Due to my boyfriend and this blog I haven’t seen many films that empower women to be strong, equal, and independent.

This past Sunday, however, when I was hanging out with some of my girlfriends, I was able to see Dolores Claiborne a film starring Kathy Bates, and based on a Steven King novel. Bates played the character of Dolores, a women who was accused but never found guilty of murdering her husband, and then under suspicion again for killing an elderly woman in her care. I don’t want to give away all the twists and turns of the film, of which there were many, but Dolores is a strong woman. She is like a rock and though there are an awful lot of obstacles for her to overcome, including an alcoholic husband, little funds to support her daughter and a verbally abusive employer, she does what she has to to survive.

 
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Posted by on May 4, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Who is John McClane?

What did you watch this weekend? Well, I spent my weekend getting acquainted with the all-American hero John McClane from the well-known Die Hard movie franchise. It may be hard to believe but before this weekend I had never seen a single film in this series! I know shocking right? But, as I had to explain to about five boys, who asked me, “Don’t you watch good movies?” Yes, I do watch good movies but I am a girl and we have extremely different tastes.

So there I sat, watching this action packed macho thriller in a room full of boys, and I have to say, I got pretty into it. We started with the first film and I was introduced to Bruce Willis’s character, John McClane. McClane is a New York cop, who is in Los Angeles to see his estranged wife Holly. McClane ends up at Holly’s Christmas Eve work party on the 30th floor of this huge skyscraper. Along comes this big bad group led by none other than Severus Snape. Yes, you read that right. Alan Rickman, who played Snape in the Harry Potter films, played the antagonist Hans Gruber in Die Hard (There was much laughing by the boys when I made this discovery).

 

While Holly is being held captive with her co-workers by this group of terrorists, McClane is using everything within his power to fight against these bad men, shoeless no less! I really came to appreciate this character and found it endearing when he would have little conversations with himself, I guess you need to be a little bit crazy to do any of the things he does in the film.

Die Hard: With a Vengeance, number three in the series was the next film to be crossed off my list. All the boys said the second film wasn’t as good so we skipped it. What I loved about this film was the awesome pairing of Bruce Willis with Samuel L. Jackson. They made a truly dynamic duo whilst roaming around New York City, with clues left by ‘Simon’, who was actually the brother of Hans Gruber, the mad man McClane killed off in the first film. There were a lot of twists and turns in this one and I enjoyed trying to figure out the clues before the characters did.

Overall, I have to say that I found these (at least these two) Die Hard films to be a captivating and exciting. Many times I was on the edge of my seat in anticipation of what would happen next. I’m looking forward to seeing the other films in the series.               

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

A review of reviews

For a change of pace I thought it would be prudent to gain some perspective on the ways in which others critic movies. Anyone can watch a movie and give their opinion on it, which I feel is what I have done so far on this blog, but I would like to be able to eventually have a succinct style to my reviews. I acknowledge that I have a lot of room for improvement and there are many things I can learn from studying the movie blogs of others.

 I was led to one blog, http://geriatricfilmreview.tumblr.com/, by my cousin, who is a part time actor and a very interesting and humorous character to say the least. The site is called ‘Movie Reviews by Old People’ and it is hilarious. While obviously fabricated, it offers reviews on recent films by some elderly citizens at the West Cherryhill’s Golden Years Home. The latest post was by a Mr. Muscare who reviewed “Never Say Never” (The Justin Bieber movie). Here is a sample of what he wrote:

 

“I like that Bieber boy.  He can sing and dance, and he has such a sweet smile, like Shirley Temple, but better.  My wife Barbara didn’t like it, she said it was too loud, but I thought it was just right.  This is the type of movie that makes me miss having a basement.  A place to go when I wanted to be alone, after I would play with all the neighborhood boys after my ice cream run around the block.” 

Up next is a site, http://www.btchflcks.com/, recommended to me by the professor for my blogging course, it’s called ‘Bitch Flicks: The Radical Notion that Women like Good Movies’. This site is, “devoted to reviewing films through a feminist lens. We’re interested in conversation about movies—good and bad—and the roles that women play in them. We strongly believe that movies both shape and reflect social values, and that the post-feminist leanings of many women today are misguided.”

 

Looking around the site I clicked on a review for Winter’s Bone, a film I myself have seen. The summary they gave was very thorough, and I appreciated that they went into detail about where the film took place and how the fact that it gave a raw depiction of poverty in the U.S. was what made it a captivating movie. Overall I thought this website did justice to empower females in the movie industry and in addition allowed for discussions of movies to take place on their site, giving an exclusive look on both sides of the spectrum.

There are also some very well-known and respected sites for movie reviews including http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/. When I think of movie reviews I trust when Roger Ebert gives it two thumbs up, or down. His site is easy to follow and to navigate. Also, there are links to buy his books, links to buy movie tickets and a link to receive his newsletter.

 
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Posted by on April 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Updates!

Well readers, spring break has ended and it’s back to the real world. Break was rather short and monotonous for me. I waitressed or bartended every day that I was supposed to be “relaxing” and let me tell you it did not recharge my batteries or give me a tan! Now that school has started up again I have work or class every other day. Will this tiresome schedule never end?

I did allow myself to get some rest and relaxation watching movies, while spending some much needed quality time with my boyfriend. I swear W is taking advantage of this blog by making me watch even more ridiculous macho movies. He decided it would be fun to think of five movies, label them one through five, have me pick a number and that would be the movie we would watch.

I was only allowed to choose one of the five in the running, so I chose Demolition Man. I have seen it way back when and actually enjoyed it. Sandra Bullock stars alongside Sylvester Stallone and she is one of my favorite actresses. So when it came time to choose a number I came up with a genius plan to pick the movie I wanted. I knew W wouldn’t make my choice number one but since he had trouble coming up with movies I knew without a doubt it would be number two. And what do you know readers? I got exactly what I wanted.  

Other movies I watched over break included It’s Kind of a Funny Story, a film starring Zach Galifianakis. I highly recommend this satirical comedy which is based on a depressed teen who checks himself into a mental hospital. It left a bitter sweet impression upon me but I was left smiling thorough my tears.

Another film I saw is Tron: Legacy, which I viewed with W and his room mate. Based on the previews I did not think I would enjoy this film, however, the visuals and extravagant light display that composed the majority of the movie made the plot slightly better in my mind. It was convenient to have two nerd boys in the room I must say because I was a little lost with the technological aspects of this film. Watch it and tell me what you think!

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Oh my caricature!

Hey there readers! I’m going to be watching a new macho movie tomorrow (although W refuses to tell me what it is). Until then I decided I would whet your appetite for macho movies with a rundown of films I have seen by the following big-name stars in the action genre (who also happen to be some of W’s favorites, and some of my least favorites).
Chuck Norris – “Violence is my last option.”
  • None (not that W hasn’t tried to force me to watch one)
  • Steven Seagal – ““I am hoping that I can be known as a great writer and actor some day, rather than a sex symbol.”
    • None (Thank God)

     

    Clint Eastwood – “Go ahead, make my day”
    • Unforgiven
    • Dirty Harry
    • Million Dollar Baby

    Sylvester Stallone – “They drew first blood, not me.”
    • Rocky
    • Rocky II
    • First Blood (Rambo)
    • Tango & Cash
    • Demolition Man
    • The Expendables

    Arnold Schwarzenegger - "Failure is not an option. Everyone has to succeed."

    • Terminator I
    • Conan the Barbarian
    • Commando
    • Twins
    • Total Recall
    • Kindergarten Cop
    • Last Action Hero
    • Junior
    • Jingle All the Way
    • Batman and Robin
    • The Expendables
     
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    Posted by on March 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

     

    Eastwood? No!

    My idea for this blog stemmed primarily from my boyfriend (let’s call him W), but there was another factor that led to this creative endeavor. I am currently taking a course on cinema. The course is called cinema of liberation. I’ve seen one film in the class so far and that’s “In the Name of the Father”.

    Recently, we started on our second film, a Clint Eastwood film, Unforgiven. Now I’ve never actually watched a film Clint Eastwood was in, although I’ve most likely watched one he’s directed. But in the first hour or so of this film, I found it interesting and thoroughly enjoyable. So I felt the need to text W and question him on why he had never shown it to me before. Now of course he became defensive because he’s definitely mentioned watching Eastwood movies before but he said I always said no, which is true. I guess I carry around this notion that all Eastwood films are about cowboys and that’s just not what I’m in to. 

    Watching Unforgiven encouraged me to try another Clint Eastwood movie so W suggested Dirty Harry. Having finished watching it I have mixed feelings. There was a decent, suspenseful plot in which Eastwood played a cop tracking a serial killer. The movie was made in 1971 and it was easy to tell given how young Eastwood looked. (Let me tell you he wasn’t bad looking back in the day!)

    There was a lot of female nudity in this movie which didn’t really do anything for the plot but I guess becuase it was a typical guy movie so I should have expected it. I learned from this movie that there is more to Clint Eastwood than cowboys and I shouldn’t be prejudice against him until I’ve actually watched something he’s in. I finally discovered where the quote, “Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk”, came from! I haven’t finished Unforgiven yet but when I do I’ll be sure to give a more complete analysis of it.  

    Dirty Harry

    Action: 8 Plot: 7 Overall: 7.5

     
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    Posted by on March 1, 2011 in Uncategorized