Clareified

Where does the good go

Archive for October, 2010

Pulp Fiction Tuesday

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010 by Dawn Summers

This is the footage I was looking for last week!

I always wondered about this scene. Are we really to believe that Esmeralda is real? Or is this Butch’s subconscious talking? I say subconscious.

October movie reviews

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010 by Dawn Summers

More Than A Game

This is a basketball documentary about Lebron James and his three best childhood friends. I’m not much of a basketball fan, but after the Lebron brouhaha, I rented it to find out who this guy is and why he gets to be on TV for an hour and then gets to move to Miami. Seems pretty unfair all around. It was okay. If you’re a Lebron fan, you’ve probably already seen it. There’s a great part where he and his friends decide to go to the local Catholic school instead of the public high school and Lebron has a quote in there about how they’ve decided “to take their talents to” St. Whatever it was. I laughed. He’s had the same PR staff since he was 14! And they say he’s not loyal.

Ponyo
This movie was weird and creepy and did I say creepy? And weird. Plot? A fish becomes a human girl, but for her to stay a human girl, a seven year old boy has to promise to love her forever. Uh huh. Am I the only one who can imagine the “how could you sleep with my best friend? I gave up being a magic fish for you!” argument that ends with him going “GOD DAMMIT WOMAN, I WAS SEVEN!” And then broken glass? Just me? Okay, moving on.

I love you, Beth Cooper

I loved this movie. I know, I know…who didn’t want to see Sylar cut open that cheerleader’s stupid head and suck her brain out…or whatever it is he did to take powers? But she totally works in this movie. She’s just obnoxious and self absorbed enough to be the homecoming queen type, but vulnerable and insecure enough that you don’t hate the protagonist for being in love with her even though she’s never spoken to him before. It’s a funny silly “one crazy night in High School,” movie that would have made John Hughes smile.

A Prophet
So, this movie is about a French prisoner. Who is in prison in France. For committing some French crime. Oh, but he’s a Muslim, so the other French prisoners are all “You’re not French! You’re Muslim!” And then they beat him up. A kingpin in the prison decides to make him a minion, so then the other prisoners stop picking on him. There is a super gross murder scene. Oh, and the movie is in French. All in all, I give it 7 out of 10 Frances. I hope I do not have to tell you that is not a good thing.

Get Him to the Greek (2010)
This was a GREAT movie. 1. P. Diddy > Justin Timberlake ALL DAY EVERY DAY AND TWICE ON SUNDAYS! He was hysterical as the music producer mogul with five kids and a heavy dose of crazysauce. That fat dude from those movies that I usually hate (Superbad? Knocked Up?) was terrific as the straight man assistant (just going to show that I was right! He is NOT funny!) And the guy who plays the has-been rockstar was spot on. The songs were funny, the situations were funny…I laughed so hard… and I was at work, so that was probably inappropriate. GREAT FLICK! SEVEN AMERICAS!

Just Wright (2010)
I liked this movie. Queen Latifah is spot on as the tom boyish rabid basketball fan. Common was good as the injured basketball player she rehabs back to health and Clair Huxtable is in it! Definite rent. Six Americas.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
This movie was retarded. I give it ten out of ten Frances.

After Life
This movie was weird. It’s about a school teacher who dies in a car crash and that guy whose name might be Liam Neeson (or he might be the guy I always confuse with Liam Neeson) is the funeral home director. He is trying to prepare her body for burial, but she is all “dude, I’m not dead!” And he’s all “yes, you are! And I’m preparing your body for the funeral!” But then it turns out that maybe she’s not dead and he’s just a psychopath who finds wounded people and drugs them so they look like they’re dead. But then it turns out that maybe she is dead. I dunno. We’ll call this six Frances.

Nadie Conoce a Nadie (1999)
This movie is sorta cool. It’s a Spanish flick, set in Spain. It’s one of these noirish whodunits, so I can’t say very much more without giving stuff away. But the main guy is a crossword puzzle maker who ends up at the center of an international terror plot against Jesus. No Frances at all for this movie! I give it four Americas!

My Name Is Bruce (2007)
Vomit. Barf. Hurl. Blurgh. This movie is so stupid. It’s supposed to be a spoof on the Evil Dead movies (which I think is why I ended up renting it…during my Evil Dead phase I added it to my queue.) Bruce Campbell plays himself, but an exaggerated version. In the movie, he is hired to kill this monster because the town believes he actually is Ashley, but in reality he’s just a selfish movie star. Of course, he then comes to realize he can put the needs of others ahead of himself and fight the monster after all. I give this movie twelve million Frances.

Southland Tales (2006)
I don’t know if Justin Timberlake has ever been in a good movie, but… no, correction: Justin Timberlake has never been in a good movie and Southland Tales is no exception. This movie has such a star studded cast it’s actually pretty unbelievable how terrible it is. Though, Sarah Michelle Gellar is in it and except for three or four movies, her movie resume is about as terrible as Timberlake’s. HOWEVER, The Rock is in this movie AND HE IS SHIRTLESS about 80 percent of the time that he’s on screen. So… this movie earns itself a solid one and a half Americas! You’re welcome. Plot? Dude. Did I mention that The Rock is SHIRTLESS? Moving on.

All About Steve (2009)

Um… so… *whistles* I kinda sorta…um… liked this movie. Judge me? I JUDGE YOU! Yeah, that’s right. Deal with it! Sandra Bullock is wonderful! And the story is very empowering and cute and it ends exactly right. You find yourself rooting for Mary the whole way. Okay, her outfit is a bit off the wall, but other than that…the story of a plucky crossword puzzle writer searching for love in all the wrong ways, is terrific. Hmmm…I saw a lot of movies about crossword puzzle writers.

Alice in Wonderland (2010)

This movie was great! My friend Fisch said he didn’t like it, so I avoided it for a long time, but having pretty much wiped out the shelves at my local Blockbuster (see above where I rented All About Steve) I had no choice, plus, you know I have that Johnny Depp thing. It was great though! Way better than the Alice in Wonderland movie I remember from my childhood. This one made sense and was fun and triumphant and not at all annoying! Definitely six Americas. At least!

Jennifer’s Body (2009)
This movie was also great! I was going on and on about how much I loved 2012 on twitter and one of my friends sarcastically (I think) said that if I liked 2012 so much, he bets I’d LOVE Jennifer’s Body. But joke’s on him, I totally did! It’s a brilliant horror movie which also kinda cleverly captures the nature of teenage girl on girl friendships. It really is an almost perfect movie.

Ice Castles (2010)
This movie is, I guess, based on a true story of a promising ice skater who has a freak accident while skating, which leaves her blind. With the help of her boyfriend and inner strength, she competes even with her blindness! You’ll laugh, you’ll cry…um…no you won’t. It’s actually pretty meh. I rooted much harder for Mary in All About Steve. The blind ice skater girl is sad and all, but…okay, I’m going to stop now before I get letters from blind people. Are blind people on the net? Is there a Braille reader for blogs? Okay, so I’m going to stop now. Definitely.

Robin Hood (2010)
Do you remember how terrible Southland Tales was? Yeah, if it were a choice between watching that again or watching this Robin Hood again, I would throw myself off a building. What do you mean “do I know what the words ‘choice between’ means? Of course, I do. This Robin Hood was awful! It’s some prequel to the Kevin Costner Robin Hood, except there’s no awesome “I would die for you,” song and then they splice in footage from Elizabeth and Saving Private Ryan. OH AND IT’S THREE HOURS LONG. NO BUENO. TWO BILLION FRANCES.

The Experiment (2010)
This movie sucks. Why is that fat black guy from The Crying Game making such bad movies all of sudden? He was great in that “rawr I’m an African dictator and I kill people movie.” The premise of this dungpile is that these guys sign up for a study. They get paid two thousand dollars a day to play their parts in a prisoner/guard simulation. Of course, things go badly when the guards get power hungry and the prisoners say they’re not going to take it anymore. Blah. Four Frances.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)
This movie was meh. I could tell they really really really wanted me to see it in 3D at a movie theater. But I could really really really tell it was going to suck and I was going to be mad that I had wasted money on it. Um…so the plot is a king adopts a street urchin boy even though he already has two biological children. They all grow up and when it comes time to pick an heir, the father is murdered. Street urchin boy is accused and then he finds a dagger that can take him back through time. The sworn keeper of that dagger is a beautiful woman. You figure the rest out. Yep. It happens just like that. One France.

Titanic 2 (2010)
I tweeted this movie as I watched it. As I believe my tweets to be brilliant, I will recap them here:
“Yes, I rented this. SMH.”
“You get on a ship called the Titantic 2, you deserve whatever you get.”
“I’m a nurse NOT an electrician” – direct quote from Titantic 2.”
“There was one survivor of the Titanic 2, hopefully the third one won’t make any mistakes.”
One hundred Frances.

Letters to Juliet (2010)
I thought this movie was cute. Very very predictable, but it’s a classic, no nonsense chick flick, so what did you expect? American writer goes to Italy, discovers an old love letter seeking advice, she decides to answer it. Old lady comes to Italy to follow American girl’s advice that she look for her long lost love. Old lady’s grandson, pissed the hell off. Voila.

MacGruber (2010)
FOUR HUNDRED BILLION FRANCES. There is nothing funny nor charming about this movie. Also I think some guy sticks a celery in his ass and prances around naked.

Killers (2010)
This movie was good! By far Ashton Kutcher’s best movie. Katherine Heigl did not irritate me and in a movie where her husband turns out to be a spy and there are assasins trying to kill them, I did not once hope that they would be shot to death. Talk about high praise!

Caligula (1979)
I don’t know why I rented this movie. There were a lot of boobs. A lot a lot of boobs. I’m still a little traumatized.

Solitary Man (2009)
This movie is TERRIBLE. It stars Gordon Gecko as a guy having a middle aged crisis and he’s chasing younger women and won’t let his grandson call him grandpa because then people will think he’s old. But then he sleeps with the daughter of his girlfriend and she has her mafia ex husband threaten his life and then he’s all in the hospital with no one and his ex wife comes back and says he needs to choose, the life as her husband again or chasing after floozies. Bah. I dunno. But more importantly, I DIDN’T CARE.

A Quiet Little Marriage (2008)
This movie is brilliant! It’s about a newlywed couple. The wife decides she wants to have kids, the husband has this loser younger brother who he has taken care of his whole life, so he definitely doesn’t want to have kids. So she starts poking holes in the contraception and he starts grinding up birth control pills and putting them in her tea. Hijinx ensue.

Can’t tell you how often I’ve watched this

Monday, October 18th, 2010 by Dawn Summers

In Buffalo…

Friday, October 15th, 2010 by Dawn Summers

Nothing is as it seems.


Photo SharingVideo SharingPhoto Printing

Tricks of memory

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010 by Dawn Summers

I trust my memory above all things.

Its images and words are crystal clear to me. For particularly memorable moments, I can recall whole scenes, word for word; gesture for gesture at a moment’s notice. They can make me laugh or cry as sincerely as they did as those episodes unfolded in real time. I often have to remind myself that 1. Not everyone can do this and 2. It’s kind of weird and I really shouldn’t go around acting like stuff that happened ten years ago, is still real or relevant. No matter how vivid it is to me.

Elana once made me laugh in that “ouch, I better laugh or else I will cry” kinda of way when she said that she has the same problem sometimes.

“What do you mean you don’t remember that we had lockers next to each other in the eight grade? Oh, you’ve married, graduated from medical school and had three kids since then…right. Understandable.”

Yep. That’s just about it. Memories are great, as long as you remember that they are frozen in time, not you.

But, when the time is right, it’s cool to be able to hit “slideshow” in your mind, sit back and enjoy.

In D.C. by Elizabeth Alexander

In D.C. there are black women
with golden Afros and African-
print jumpsuits. Sidewalks sizzle

in summer, a languid,
loving fizz, a Hey Girl
hissing from the streets,

ambient, hey girl on all sides. Walk
up and down Georgia Avenue
or Florida Avenue or Columbia Road:

How you doin’? Hey.
You never know what you will miss
when you leave, what will call you

back, what will disappear
forever, or what was never there
quite as you now see it, hear it, write it

in memory’s poem.

Regrets…I’ve had a few

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010 by Dawn Summers

I like listening to Butch talk about killing Floyd in the ring.

Personally, I don’t like boxing. When I was young I used to love it. But, that was during the prime of Mike Tyson and fights only lasted 34 seconds. The first time I watched an actual boxing match, where it went on for rounds and rounds – men with no personal beef, just punching each other in the face for money and my entertainment, I found I had no stomach for it and looked away. I’ve never looked back.

But I suppose that’s what boxing is supposed to look like when done well, right? Two men going the distance?

Not one man dead and another on the run.

St. Louis greets me with fireworks

Monday, October 11th, 2010 by Dawn Summers

And no Jake, I didn’t die:

Never is Enough

Friday, October 8th, 2010 by Dawn Summers

Have a good weekend!

I was in Iowa a lot longer than I thought

Thursday, October 7th, 2010 by Dawn Summers

New post up at the new blog! You didn’t forget about the new blog, did you?

My country tis of thee

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010 by Dawn Summers

Brooklyn is famous for its Labor Day parade.

Immigrants and their children make floats and costumes and dance through the streets under various West Indian, Carribean and Latin American flags. My extended cousins did it every year. And every year my mom would urge me to join the kids on the Panamanian float. And every year I’d say the same thing.
“I’ll join the American float.”

I never much went in for that “dash American stuff.”* Until I turned nine, I spent a few weeks, each summer, in Panama. I could barely understand my cartoons. I couldn’t really speak Spanish without being laughed at for my accent and called “gringa.” All my cousins would beg me to let them come back to New York with me. They believed the streets in America were paved with gold and we ate McDonald’s everyday. I did nothing to dispel these views. But they were Panamanian. Me? American.

Of course, as I got further in my American history studies and started to move in circles other than those in my small East Flatbush community where everyone else was also children of dark skinned Panamanian immigrants, I learned that my simple worldview hadn’t always been the case; heck, there were people who still didn’t think it was the case.

Pasty faced boys who screamed “Go back to Africa” as they rode past me waiting at a busstop in Bensonhurst -an Italian-American neighborhood, chapters in my history books about people who look like me legally being counted as a fraction of a person, learning that my gender wasn’t even afforded the right to vote until the 1900s, they served as constant reminders of a centuries-old struggle.

How does it feel to be a problem, Du Bois famously asked.
I don’t know, stronger more eloquent people before me made sure, that for the most part, I am culturally and legally accepted. Barack Obama doesn’t become President of the United States without dogs and fire hoses being turned on Southern teenagers.

There are other “problems” now: Gay people, Islam practitioners, the transgenered, single mothers.
The arguments and the protests are always the same. They are not us, therefore they are a threat to us.
If history is our guide, we will come around. Today Lt. Dan Choi is dismissed from the military for being openly gay. Tomorrow, somewhere, a new Governor, his partner and their twin Chinese daughters Liza and Judy will be sworn into the statehouse. Today there are irrational protests to burn Korans, tomorrow the winner of the Academy Award for Best Actor will give a shout out to Allah.

We will recognize “them” as “us.” We will end legal barriers to “their” full participation as the Americans they are.

Then America will be America again. The America it wasn’t to the Indians, or the slaves, or women or those of Japanese and Irish descent. And we can all finally focus on what truly threatens our society: zombies.

Let America be America Again by Langston Hughes

Let America be America again.

Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed–
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There’s never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek–
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one’s own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean–
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today–O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That’s made America the land it has become.
O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home–
For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,
And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came
To build a “homeland of the free.”

The free?

Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we’ve dreamed
And all the songs we’ve sung
And all the hopes we’ve held
And all the flags we’ve hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay–
Except the dream that’s almost dead today.

O, let America be America again–
The land that never has been yet–
And yet must be–the land where every man is free.
The land that’s mine–the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME–
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose–
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,
We must take back our land again,
America!

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath–
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain–
All, all the stretch of these great green states–
And make America again!

**Without going into a lengthy discussion, “African-American” is synonymous for “black.” As there is no country called Africa, it obviously does not indicate that I am “African.” The term is a proxy for race. It’s about as accurate as saying, because I have brown skin, I am “black.”