Capitalism: A Love Story, A review

October 30, 2009

Michael Moore surprised me lately, on Hannity, on the View, on any interview he’s done to promote his latest movie, Capitalism: A Love Story. Because I’ve always strongly disliked the guy ever since he berated Charleton Heston in Bowling for Columbine. Seriously, I couldn’t stand him- so obnoxious, but this time around, he seems different:

I’m so glad I saw this movie because I appreciate this different perspective on things, that perhaps democracy isn’t tied to capitalism, that maybe the U.S. should focus more on the democracy part…that if capitalism is a broken system, why are we still using it?

And surprisingly, about half an hour was devoted to Moore’s insight into what Jesus would do.

I took notes on a napkin while watching the film, wanting to be able to talk about it but there was so much info I can’t sum it all up, but there are a few things I can tell you: Moore thinks Reagan was basically a crook, he wishes FDR’s 2nd Bill of rights (you can watch a video and read the text) had gone through, he interviewed Bill Black who said Geitner was corrupt. He disagreed with the bailout and thinks Washington’s corrupt (does that sound familiar to anyone?), but he has hope for Obama’s presidency.

And for all of you out there who are afraid that viewing this film might “indoctrinate” you, then don’t watch it.  But if you can handle seeing someone else’s point of view, no matter how contradictory to your own, you might see some truth in it, some commonalitites.

Because indoctrination, that word everyone is throwing around, happens when people start believeing one side of the story whole-heartedly without thinking for themselves or listening to see if there is anything true or right on the other side.

I’m not going to grade this because it’s a documentary but if you want to see the rest of the Hannity/Moore interview here’s part 2, part 3, and part 4. I loved watching it.

Travel Writing review

October 29, 2009

by Andrea Burke

Travel Writing by Peter Ferry turned out to be one of my favorite books of the year. I finished it in two days because I just couldn’t put it down.

In a nutshell: A high school English teacher, Peter Ferry, witnesses a young woman’s death. Specifically, he was in the car next to hers, and minutes before she drove into a light pole, he believes they had a moment. She was obviously shaky and he thought about stopping her somehow, but he didn’t.  And the event changes his life.

Probably what kept me glued to Travel Writing was the mystery- Ferry takes it upon himself to disprove that the young woman, Lisa Kim, willingly ended her life and to prove that someone else had a hand in her death. Because of his obsession, he begins to lose those around him, and you have to wonder how far he’ll go for someone he never knew.

And that’s really why I love this book- It all becomes about boundaries. Ferry tests the invisible lines between fact and fiction, reality and fantasy, and our own limitations in travel and in relationships. The story searches for how we can change those lines, stretch ourselves and grow unexpectedly.

I loved this book, and I hope you enjoy it too.  A

So You Think You Can Dance, take 1

October 28, 2009

Well, my favorite show is off to kind of a bland start. If you missed it, this was my favorite number from last night:

And because of the World Series, the judges chose who they thought was the worst- LAME! I didn’t agree with half of their decisions. There were way worse girls than Ariana (who went home), like little wifey Ashleigh:

But isn’t Jakob amazing? He did all the dancing while Ashleigh walked around and hit poses.

Overall, a fine beginning, but I miss last season.

But to end on a positive, I loved this routine from Monday’s showcase:

The Halloween Movie Essentials!

October 26, 2009

by Andrea Burke

This was actually a hard list to make because the horror genre is sub-divided into many smaller genres. You have your slashers, your suspense, your vamps, goblins, werewolfs, ghouls, Your classic ghost stories, the horror films with a comedic edge, and for me, I have the ones I grew up watching that are inevitably cloaked with nostalgia, like Arachnaphobia or It (I’m objective enough to see they’re both horrible in their own special ways, but still…).

But the top 10 were chosen for being well-rounded: a good story, good characters, and of course, a few good scares.

Top 10 Horror movies for Halloween Week

1. Psycho– I posted the original theatrical trailer starring Hitchcock himself which is a little long, but I love Hitch.

2. The Orphanage– (not to be confused with the lame-looking “The Orphan” that recently came out) You may not have heard of this Spanish film, but it is the absolute best “horror” movie from the last decade. Its produced by Guillermo del Toro, the man behind Pan’s Labyrinth

3. Halloween (NOT the Remake, The Original with Jamie Lee Curtis)

4. The Omen

5. Rear Window

6. Wait Until Dark

7. Nightmare on Elm Street– Just recently saw this one, and it would be higher on the list if the main girl would have been more likable.

8. The 6th Sense– The movie that introduced us to M. Night, still his best movie to date.

9. The Others

10. The Lost Boys – Okay, this is a little Vampire number from the 80s and it represents its decade well. 24’s Keiffer Sutherland plays one of the vamps.

Why these 3 Horror “Classics” didn’t make the list:

1. The most obvious omission: The Exorcist. I’ve seen it. And more than scared, I was grossed out. I get it- the devil is inside this young girl making her do repulsive things, but instead of being afraid of the devil’s power, which is what I assume we’re supposed to be afraid of, I just wondered what kind of sicko would want to film this real live girl acting out the part of a devil-possessed girl.

2. Rosemary’s Baby. In high school, I made a big group of friends watch this after it got named #2 on some Horror movie list. It turned out to be overrated and boring even though some of the dream scenes were disturbing.

3. Night of the Living Dead. Here’s one I haven’t seen, something new to watch this week because its on Netflix Instant View!

Hope you all have a safe and happy Halloween!

Hanna’s Hotties and Notties: “The Clash of the Titans”

October 24, 2009


Players vs. Cheerleaders

Being a Tennessee gal with an avid love for football and for my team, the Titans, I can’t go much longer without  pointing out the total Nottieness of our so-called football team this year. And while it pains me to do this, our pathetic band of so-called athletes must be called out. This is a team that has been repeatedly run-over, run-down, and pushed around by their opponents, and the pathetic thing is, they don’t even seem to care. I mean, just last year the Titans won 12 games in a row!!! So, I have to ask, what the HELL happened? 

Here’s what makes me really mad, lets talk about how much money is being spent on these losers players, starting with the leader of the pack,  QB extroadinaire, Kerry Collins. This miracle worker (for the other teams) gets paid $2 million a year to throw the ball to the other team…8 times. The turnover ratio is -10. I already need duct tape to keep my head attached, and I’m just getting started.

The miserable cornerback and hothead, Finnegan makes almost $7 mill and next to the QB, the Titan’s pass defense has to the most embarrassing part of the Titan’s team.

Vince Young, by far the priciest makes well over $7 million big ones to…sit on the bench.

Crumpler is at over $2, Justin Gage, almost $6, Jevon Kearse is sitting pretty at $3 million. You get the picture. Now in my mind, these guys seem to be making plenty of money, enough to motivate them (I would think) to want to get out there on Sunday, one damn day a week, and at least attempt to play hard. Wow, what a notion. But this year at least, apparently not. Now they may as well lose the rest of their games just to get some good draft picks (calling Tim Tebow) and just start over. It’s so bad, that Coach Jeff Fisher is TRYING to get fired. Titans, until you start playing with some heart or playing at all, you will sadly, remain Notties in my playbook.

On the other hand, the Cheerleaders always look insanely hot and could probably punt, pass, kick, and throw better than any of the pansies on the Titan’s roster this year. Gals, keep the hotness up, someone has to make this team look good.



October 21, 2009

by Andrea Burke

The top 20 was originally scheduled to air last week, but finally, FINALLY, this show is about to get good. And we the viewers deserve it after suffering through all the audition episodes! And having to listen to Tyce be a bitchy prima donna.

Tonight, the season really starts, If you’ve never seen SYTYCD, here’s a look at 3 of my favorite numbers!

First up, Season 5 winner Jeanine (my favorite from the beginning of the season) and her original partner Philip with Hip Hop.

Next Season 3’s Danny and Lacey, who can now be seen as one of the “pros” on Dancing with the Stars.

And the last for this post, one of the most talked about pieces from season 5: Kayla and Kupono choreographed by the brilliant Mia Michaels.

There are so many other dances I could post, so much beautiful art to come out of this TV show (who’d have thought), but I’ll leave it at that.

Watch tonight to see the top 20! And then, the dancing really begins!

P.S. While we’re talking about Wednesday night TV, I’m back on board for the Glee episode directed by Joss Whedon, but that’s another post.

Mrs. Draper, TV’s Most Tragic Character

October 21, 2009


Like many of you out there, I have become completely addicted to AMC’s Mad Men.  I think because it is the only show on TV where the acting is eloquently underplayed, subtle. And my favorite character by far is the beautifully tragic heroine, Betty Draper, portrayed flawlessly by January Jones.

Ms. Jones is perfect at maintaining that bored persona of the rich, successful 60s housewife (not that I would necessarily know, but that’s how I’d imagine it!!!); and she does so with a shrug of indifference. You think that nothing surprises Betty. And January Jones plays that nonchalant indifference without so much of a thought.

However at a much deeper level, I wonder how much longer Betty will allow the wife-cheating antics of her husband to go on as she strives ever-so-hard to portray the perfect American family living the perfect American dream. Will her latest discovery of Don’s previous marriage finally push her over the edge; or is Betty truly indifferent to what goes on around her? I think not, and that is what makes her that much more tragic.

Will Betty ever truly confront her husband, Don, and kick him to the curb for good, or will she just get revenge while continuing to bear the persona of the quintessential housewife? Only time will tell, and I for one can’t wait to find out. Oh the subtle drama of Mad Men. I simply can’t get enough, not of the show, of Sterling Cooper, of Don’s escapades, and definitely of January Jones, Mrs. Betty Draper. If you haven’t yet, get your Netflix and get the first two seasons. You won’t be sorry.


Gibbs, Goofy as Always (so how did he get his job?)

October 21, 2009


Every once in a while we see some brilliance from what Rush lovingly refers to as the “drive-by media,” and most of that brilliance most of the time comes from ABC reporter Jake Tapper.  I love how Tapper really holds Robert Gibbs to the flame here on the ridiculous war the White House is waging against Fox News.

Tapper: It’s escaped none of our notice that the White House has decided in the last few weeks to declare one of our sister organizations “not a news organization” and to tell the rest of us not to treat them like a news organization. Can you explain why it’s appropriate for the White House to decide that a news organization is not one –


Gibbs: Jake, we render, we render an opinion based on some of their coverage and the fairness that, the fairness of that coverage.

Tapper: But that’s a pretty sweeping declaration that they are “not a news organization.” How are they any different from, say –

Gibbs: ABC –

Tapper: ABC. MSNBC. Univision. I mean how are they any different?

Gibbs: You and I should watch sometime around 9 o’clock tonight. Or 5 o’clock this afternoon.

Tapper: I’m not talking about their opinion programming or issues you have with certain reports. I’m talking about saying thousands of individuals who work for a media organization, do not work for a “news organization” — why is that appropriate for the White House to say?

Gibbs: That’s our opinion.

Good for you Jake! Glad to see you are at least trying to get to the bottom of it. But what really ruffles my feathers is Gibbs response. I mean, how exactly did he make it as far as he did when he can’t even tell the difference between an opinion show like Hannity and Beck and a real news show like Shep Smith’s?  I challenge anyone to show me where Fox is biased in their actual news reporting! In the words of Vizzini, from one of my favorite movies,  “INCONCEIVABLE!”


PS: For more great reads on the matter check out HOT AIR and a different perspective, check out Andrea’s post!

Andrea’s Pop Culture Essentials

October 20, 2009

The things in Pop culture I want to see/hear/ read for the week of Oct 18-24. This week is slim.

1. Paranormal Activity. I know this was on the list last week, but I will actually be able to see it this week! Ajay theaters has improved- first they show 500 days of Summer and now this?

2. Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk. Never read any of this Nobel Prize winners stuff, but this seems like it might be a good place to start, despite the name.

3. I Am the New Black by Tracy Morgan. I just like him whether he’s Brian Fellows or Tracy Jordan.

4. Amelia starring Hilary Swank is out Friday October 23. This movie is the first in a slew of Oscar contenders coming in the next couple months.

5. Some of you may be excited to know Transformers 2 is coming out on DVD Oct. 20. I’ve seen it, it’s okay at best.

6. Classic of the Week: set your DVRs for The Night of the Hunter Friday night at 7:00 on TCM.

7. Treehouse of Horror XX! (the customary Simpsons Halloween episode) Click the link to watch it online!

And Next week a special edition of The Pop Culture Essentials- Halloween Edition!

His Truth is Marching On

October 19, 2009


I came across this rendition of The Battle Hymn of the Republic on Twitter, and while I don’t normally get into this kind of stuff, hearing this version of the much-loved song literally gave me chills. So in light of the Obama chanting going on in schools, I thought it would be nice to hear something old school and beautiful. And after hearing this song again for the first time in a while, I was really struck by the lyric, “while he (Christ) died to make men holy, let us live to make men free, his truth is marching on.” I know this may sound cheesy, and I know that I am just one person, but I truly hope that in some small way, I contribute to the freedom of others, whether by giving to charities, volunteering, or fighting for what I believe politically. But enough of all that kissy, kissy, mushy stuff! Enjoy!