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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Girl, Positive

All in all, Girl, Positive is a wonderfully scripted and enlightening film. The movie centers around teenager Rachel Sandler (played by Desperate Housewives' Andrea Bowen). Rachel is stunned to learn that she contracted HIV after a one night stand.

As Rachel deals with the news, we also get a glimpse into the life of Sarah Bennet (90210's Jennie Garth). Sarah is a substitute teacher living with HIV and has caught the eye of the school's principal, Tim. She is concerned on how her HIV status will affect this burgeoning relationship.

The movie clears up a lot of misconceptions that people have about HIV, such as only gay people get it or that you tell what a positive person looks like. It also shows just how difficult living with HIV can be and the impact it has on one's every day life.

While the film does start out extremely slow it quickly grabs your attention, the ending was realistic if albeit a little predictable. The film also stars Erik Von Detten and features music from Ryan Huston, an artist I think you should check out.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Moral Ambiguity In The '80s

During the last couple of weeks I have had the opportunity to view three '80s films that I haven't seen in awhile. While the films were still good there were three distinct WTF moments that happened.

Trading Your Girlfriend In For A Newer Model
[Caroline is very drunk]
Caroline: Who's he?
Jake: That's me.
Caroline: Who are you?
Jake: I'm him.
Caroline: Oh, ok.

While Sixteen Candles is supposed to be about a girl's family forgetting her sixteenth birthday, it centers mostly on super stud Jake Ryan. For any teenage girl (at least in the '80s) he was the ultimate wet dream. The hunky seemingly perfect senior willing to jettison his hot, perfect, girlfriend for the gawky sophomore in a quest for something more serious. The movie wraps Jake in a pretty little bow and presents him to Molly Ringwald like a gift from the Gods and everything is happy.

Except for one glaring error Jake hands his too drunk to notice current girlfriend off to a geek with no problem. A nerd he has known all of a single day. Before the trade off he callously says "I can get a piece of ass anytime I want. Shit, I've got Caroline in the bedroom right now, passed out cold. I could violate her ten different ways if I wanted to." He then proceeds to say "I want a serious girlfriend. Somebody I can love, that's gonna love me back. Is that psycho?". (No Jake but I get the funny feeling you might be.) Surely there are more than one reason violating a passed out girl would be wrong.

The only thing he says to his new found geek pal is to make sure she gets home and not to leave her in parking lot somewhere. How about "Dude don't take advantage of her" or better yet "What am I saying, I'll let her crash here and break it off with her then". Nope he hands over the keys to his Dad's Rolls Royce and lets them go with nary a thought to her well being.

Later in the film Caroline wakes up in a church parking lot with the geek and is sure she and him had relations. However rather than be furious at what her "boyfriend" and this geek put her through, she likes being with the geek and has a nice break-up with Jake to boot. If any boyfriend of mind had stuck me with a stranger while I was too drunk to comprehend what was going on, he'd be in traction for a long time.

You Tricked Me Into Sleeping With You And It's O.K

Revenge of the Nerds is the ultimate nerd fantasy. The nerd-driven Tri-Lambda house goes head to head with the abusive jock-driven Alpha Betas. In true '80s glory the nerds stand up to their tormentors, win the coveted student council spot, and one of the nerds (Louis) steals the head Alpha's girlfriend (Betty) from him.

How Louis won Betty is highly questionable. At the big carnival Betty wants boyfriend Stan to go off and fool around with her. Stan who is happily manning the kissing booth refuses. Betty goes off to sulk in this weird moon setup, Louis grabs Stan's abandoned Darth Vader costume and follows. Betty assumes Stan had a change of heart and nails him without Louis identifying himself or even removing said mask.

Betty is stunned to find out that she has slept with a nerd but since nerds are good in the sack and jocks are not, she's totally cool with this near rape experience. The couple will later turn up in the sequels happily married. Again if it were me, traction, 'nuff said.

Intergalactic Bestiality

Unlike the two aforementioned mentions there is nothing truly right about Howard The Duck. The only good thing I remember aside from the unbelievably catchy title song......

was this cool little Pez dispenser that my Mom got me. It lasted until I cadged the cigar from Howard's beak and gave it to my Ken doll. Yes kiddies we had Pez dispensers with cigars, we also had candy cigarettes which I miss, but that's a whole other rant, moving on.

Howard is an alien duck who is suddenly plucked from his planet and thrown into 1980s Cleveland. He meets meets up with punk rocker Beverly and has to battle evil overlords in order to try to get home. However getting home will ultimately destroy Earth so Howard makes the ultimate sacrifice and stays put. But at least he has Beverly who has no qualms about macking with a duck. Because apparently it isn't bestiality if he's from another planet. I beg to differ I would end this with if it happened to me but I won't. Because I would never date a duck.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Top 10 Best Movie Kisses

I was watching Princess Bride on cable a few days ago and while the movie touted it as the best kiss of all time, I disagreed. While it was a nice kissing scene, I couldn't say it was the greatest movie kiss of all time. These are my picks.

10. Empire Records 1995: Corey (Liv Tyler) goes up to the roof to profess her love for AJ (Johnny Whitworth.) He in turn surprises Corey with the news that he's going to attend art school near Harvard so they can be together. This kiss was a sweet little ending to a pretty cute film. Screencap Courtesy Of

9. Sweet Home Alabama 2002:
Melanie (Reese Witherspoon) is moments away from marrying Andrew (Patrick Dempsey) when she realizes she is still in love with her ex husband
Jake (Josh Lucas). Sh
e breaks it off with Andrew and meets up with Jake on the beach. In the midst of a rainstorm they duo reunite.

Screencap courtesy of Me.

8. Gone With The Wind 1939: After successfully getting Scarlett (Vivien Leigh) and company out of Atlanta, Rhett (Clark Gable) decides to join the soldiers in the final battle against the North. Scarlett is upset as she was banking on Rhett taking over and getting them safely back to Tara. Unaware if he will live of die Rhett plants a kiss on Scarlett.

Screencap courtesy of

7. 13 Going On 30 2004: Awkward teen Jenna Rink (Jennifer Garner/Christa B Allen) is transported into the future into her 30 year old self. She learns a lot of life lessons including just how much childhood best friend Matt (Mark Ruffalo/Sean Marquette) means to her. Granted a second chance Jenna has her dream wedding to Matt and lives happily ever after.

Screencaps Courtesy of

6. The Breakfast Club 1985: 5 students from different cliques get to know one another during a Saturday detention. The Princess Claire (Molly Rignwald) gives into her attraction to bad boy Bender (Judd Nelson) and surprises him with a kiss. "Why did you do that?" he asked to which she replied "Because I knew you wouldn't."
Screencap courtesy of

5. Titanic 1996: Rich girl Rose (Kate Winslet) is on her way back to New York via the Titanic. Trapped in an arranged marriage she meets and falls for Jack (Leonardo Dicaprio) a poor but adventurous artist. After a fun filled day together they share a kiss on the bow of the Titanic. This scene is oft mocked and overused but I still like it.
Screencap courtesy of

4. St. Elmo's Fire 1985: This film follows the life and times of 7 college buddies their first year out of college. Law student Kirby (Emilio Estevez) becomes reacquainted with Dale (Andie MacDowell), a woman he shared one date with freshman year. Kirby turns his life upside down trying to impress her. After following her up to a ski cabin he becomes stranded and is forced to spend the night with Dale and her boyfriend. The next morning Dale tries to let down Kirby easy but he plants a kiss on her that makes her look as if she's changed her mind.

Screencap courtesy of Me.

3. Pretty Woman 1990: Heartless corporate raider Louis meets Hooker With A Heart Of Gold Vivian one night. Vivian agrees to be Louis's companion for the week at the bargain price of 3000 dollars. However the duo soon fall for one another. On his way to return to New York Louis changes his mind and arrives at Vivian's apartment where the two kiss on the fire escape.

Screencap courtesy of Me

2. The Virgin Suicides 1999: High school Lothario Trip (Josh Hartnett) falls head over heels for Lux (Kristen Dunst). After being forced to spend a boring evening watching television with her entire family Trip is set to leave. All of a sudden Lux leaps into his car giving him a passionate kiss before running off.

Screencaps courtesy of

1. Back To The Future 1985: 80s teen Marty McFly (Michael J Fox) accidentally goes back in time and interferes with the meeting of his parents. Faced with the possibility of fading out of existence he tries to encourage his nerdy father George (Crispin Glover) to chase after his mother (Lea Thompson) who has fallen for Marty. Moments before Marty fades away George gets the courage to kiss Lorraine and makes history right.

Screencap courtesy of

Monday, August 18, 2008

Karin Slaughter's Beyond Reach

I don't know whether to applaud this book or hate it. I discovered Karin Slaughter by accident. A couple of years ago I had been a member of the Doubleday Book Club. However I had forgotten how obnoxious filling out those monthly book cards were. I am not sure of the official name but they send you this card advertising whatever book they are pimping that month. If you space and forget to send it back telling them you don't want it, they up and send it to you.

This usually got me stuck with a boring book I did not want. But then Karin Slaughter's Triptych came in. I was hooked, her writing was dark and intense. And unlike other mystery/suspense novels I have read, I did not guess the ending. I went right out and ordered Faithless and Indelible that day.

Imagine how thrilled I was when I discovered Beyond Reach in the book rack at work and eagerly dove into the lives of my favorite Grant County denizens, Sara Linton, Jeffery Tolliver, and Lena Adams.

The book opens up with Lena in the center of a hideous murder in her hometown. Jeffrey and Sara promptly go there to try to fond out the truth about what happened. However Lena is less than happy about their presence and demands that they leave before escaping police custody and disappearing. As we read about Sara and Jeffrey trying to clear Lena's name, we learn the circumstances that led up to the murder.

This book is typical Karin Slaughter, dark and intense with enough twists to keep you on the edge of your seat. Normally I would have loved this book but the ending really broke my heart. It was so senseless and unexpected that it left a negative feeling in me after I was done reading. What sucked is that I did love the book and never has a final chapter ever negated my joy of the rest of the novel.

I am loathe to give away the ending here. However if you are curious Karin Slaughter has posted a letter on her official website defending her actions. The letter is long and rambling and does not really convince me that her idea to kill off a major character is a good one.

The story will continue in 2009's Genesis but I am not sure if I want to read it. Only time will tell.