Saturday, December 28, 2013

Top Ten Worst Hit Songs of 2013

Greetings Pups,

And now for the not good songs. At least, the ones that I found not good. I can full on guarantee that some or even many people will disagree with me. I mean, some of these were pretty high on the Hot 100 list, which means that a lot of people liked them. But, as we all know, quality and popularity do not always go hand in hand. These here are just the ones I didn't like for whatever reason.

Now, there were a TON of bad songs this year, and I listened to all of them. And the reasons they were bad were all over the place. Some were boring, some were pointless, some were downright offensive. This was hard. However, despite the fact that I'm not a fan of "inappropriate" language, I didn't put things on this list just because a song had it. Also, I didn't put any songs on here just because they were boring, especially since boring can range from being boring to the point of where I don't care to boring to the point where it angers me. The former did not make this list. Because I didn't care enough. These things may have played a part, but I did my best to balance things out. I hope I did a good job.

Again, I used Billboard's Year End List, and anything on that can qualify, despite when it might have been released. And if you think something is missing here that has already been released, it might be something that hasn't made enough of an impact on the charts yet to get on the list for the whole year. Not this year, anyway, but I'm sure they'll make it in 2014. If I do this again. So here we go. The worst hit songs of 2013. According to me.

#10. "Scream and Shout" Will I. Am featuring Britney Spears - I do not like Will I. Am. Never have. Let's start with that. Now, as for Britney Spears, I've never actually hated her like so many people have and probably still do. Was I ever a fan? Well, at best, I think there were moments when I could say, "Not bad". So take someone who is teetering on my scale of likability and combine her with, perhaps, the most overrated "artist" of the last ten years, and you get this mess. Yeah, this thing is not good. At all. Then again, I pretty much never like anything with which Will I. Am is involved. It's not my fault since so much of it sounds the same. Look, Britney, I'm glad your personal life has been improving. How about we let that spread over to your musical life?

#9. "Girl on Fire" Alicia Keys - Someone once told me that, whilst Alicia Keys is a very gifted musician, she can sometimes fail when it comes to lyrics. I may have to agree with that. Not that I'm judging, necessarily, considering that I'm the exact opposite of that many times. But this time, I just don't get it. And with that title, it's like she was telling the whole world, "I saw The Hunger Games and I liked it!" I can't be the first person to notice that. I just know that Alicia Keys can do better than this. I hope she does.

#8. "Feel the Moment" Pitbull featuring Christina Aguilera - Well, the good news is that this is not worse than the Men in Black 3 song. However, this one does also have some inexplicable sampling added in there, not to mention Pitbull talking about how he's been all over the world and is rich. At least, he isn't talking about that in lieu of talking about aliens and whatnot, like "Back in Time". So, a little better. But still not good. And, if an artist would like to stay relevant, why would he pick someone who is completely irrelevant to accompany him? I'm talking Aguilera here. She just isn't that important anymore in the music industry. I know she's on The Voice, but she barely does that well either. And being on a show where you judge singers does not make your own music any good. Not saying she can't sing sometimes, but who cares anymore? Both of these guys need to reevaluate and make better music.

#7. "Try" Pink - Is she trying to make some kind of inspirational anthem here? Because it doesn't work with her. When I think of Pink, I don't think of someone who is going to inspire me to be the best person I can be or to keep going no matter what. I think of why I can't tolerate being around rude and arrogant people. Look, I try not to mix up how I feel about a person's, well, personality and their musical abilities, but with a song like this, it's hard not to do that. I just don't buy it.

#6. "Love Me" Lil Wayne featuring Drake and Future - I don't like this song because they tricked me with this title. I thought maybe Lil Wayne was going to pull an old school LL Cool J and make a nice, sweet love song. THAT DID NOT HAPPEN! I can't even go into detail, but this was just wrong. Maybe I was offended as a woman, or just a person, but I was offended.

#5. "We Can't Stop" Miley Cyrus - So this is supposed to be ... a party song? Okay, I guess, lyrically, this could be considered the anthem for a wild party (Hello, blatant cocaine and Ecstasy references!), but musically, this practically sounds like a perfect ditty for afternoon tea with grandmother. In other words, BORING! It's just depressing, and not only because it's meant to be a party song. Maybe it could work as an after party song, complete with hangovers and self-loathing. No, it's still being sung by Miley the Sharp. No deal. This song is awful. (P.S. Bright Side! Go to You Tube and search this song with the name Scott Bradlee. Just trust me!)

#4. "Boys 'Round Here" Blake Shelton featuring Pistol Annies and Friends/"Mama's Broken Heart" Miranda Lambert - For the sake of these two, I hope the couple that makes crap music together stays together. Though, all things considered, I doubt it. Let's start with Blake. So this is a country song about drinking, trucks, partying, hos and, oh, yeah, maybe we'll pray if it doesn't interfere. How riveting. And is he trying to rap on this thing? Like, legitimately? Look, buddy, you are no Eminem. You're not even Matthew Perry in The Ron Clark Story (Just watch the movie, and you'll get that!) And now for Miranda. Again, this title tricked me. I thought this might be a heartbreaking song about a girl whose mother goes through a very difficult time but somehow survives. No such luck! It's pretty much saying, "Mama didn't know how to get revenge on the man that done her wrong, but I sure do!" Hmm? A vicious breakup song from Miranda Lambert? Never heard that before. Tell me, will this revenge scenario involve kerosene? And, by the way, the videos that go along with these songs make them even more awful. Look, I don't like Blake Shelton anymore, and I never liked Miranda Lambert. And whilst their popularity seems to be rising with the public, to me, they are getting worse by the moment.

#3. "Started From the Bottom" Drake - I do believe that the Rap Critic from TGWTG did the best interpretation of the lyrics for this song by saying, "My friends and I were broke, but now we're not. My friends and I were broke, but now we're not. My friends and I..." You get the picture. And that's all the song is. A rapper talking about how he and his friends were poor, but now, thanks to him, they've got money and whatnot. Groundbreaking. And this tough life of which Drake speaks kind of doesn't seem that bad. Perfect, no, but when you mentioned getting stuck in traffic as one of your life problems, I find it difficult to sympathize. And the monotony of this alleged song is ridiculous. It could probably hypnotize you to sleep. The thing is that I don't Drake is untalented. It's just that this does not confirm that.

#2. "Wrecking Ball" Miley Cyrus - Oh, hey, welcome back, Miley. Some of you may be surprised that I hate this song more than "We Can't Stop", but there is a reason. If there is one thing I despise, it is people who are fake. Admittedly, when I first heard the song, I gave Miley some mild props. Not that I'm a fan of hers or that I think this song is any good, but because of the content. I thought, 'Okay, she's digging deep into her emotions and being brave enough to share her own story of heartache with the world'. Love a song or hate it, I tend to give people credit for doing that. Then, I found out that five people took part in writing this song - FIVE! - and Miley was NOT one of them! Well, you got me for a sec there. Cleverly played. So, the one thing I gave thing I gave her credit for wasn't even real. Sad thing about this song is that, in the hands of a better producer and a better singer, this could have been...better. Maybe not by all that much, but still. Also, it kind of rips off "Somebody That I Used to Know" by Gotye. So I guess it really would be much better in the hands of a better artist.

#1. "Blurred Lines" Robin Thicke featuring T.I and Pharrell- On the Billboard Year End Chart, this song came in at Number Two. That means that it was very popular. How? This thing is terrible. Forget all the controversy about the video or the fact that the music may or may not have been stolen. I, personally, have a tad bit of an issue with any song that has been described by multitudes of people as "rapey". No lie. If you would have gone on Twitter when this song first came out and searched the word "rapey", probably %99 of the posts would have been about it. Who wants to be known for that? And why are they, not only getting away with it, being praised for it? Is it because they are famous or (according to some) good looking? Is that why they can say these degrading things about women? I suppose so. So if you're poor and ugly and nobody, you probably shouldn't sing this in public or YOU will be in jail. Look, I'm sorry to get on a soapbox about this one, but I was severely offended by it. I know that most of us have issues with anything remotely reminding us of rape, but, for personal reasons, I am extremely angered about this. And the fact that I live in a world that would make this popular, makes me sad. Sorry.

Well, that was a downer. So there is my personal lists of song that were, at best, sucky and, at worst, I don't want to even talk about it anymore. Again, this is just my opinion. I'm sure some of my worst are the best for others and vice versa, but it was still fun and a good way to wrap up the year. Hope you all enjoyed it.

Love and full moons,

Becky the Writer

Friday, December 27, 2013

Top Ten Best Hit Songs of 2013

Greetings Pups,

So I've been thinking of doing some top ten lists featuring the best and worst hit songs of random years. It's tougher than it sounds, though not by that much. It's just when I look at that list of one hundred songs from whatever year, I realize how many I have forgotten or, perhaps, have never heard in the first place. So, to ease myself into doing that on a semi-regular basis, I decided to do what a lot of the pros will be doing around now. That is doing a best/worst list for THIS year. Now let me explain how I will be doing this.

If you'll notice, I said "hit" songs. I do not think I could fairly judge every single song that was made this year, so, in order to give myself a focus and a place to go for help, I am choosing these from Billboard's Hot 100 Year End List. Makes it easier. Keep in mind, you may see things here that you wouldn't expect for a couple of reasons, like say they came out actually last year. Well, there can always be a yearly overlap. But I decided that if THEY put it on, then I could put it on. Simple as that.

We're going to start with the best. And, as always, these are just my personal favorites. I am not an expert. I just know what I like, and for whatever reason, these are the songs that I found most enjoyable. So off we go.

#10. "Highway Don't Care" Tim McGraw with Taylor Swift and Keith Urban - Oh, Tim McGraw. How are you still so successful despite being an actually talented artist and also a really nice guy? It's a wonder. Now this song is very much the kind we have come to expect and love from Tim McGraw. Just a very well-done, country love song that may or may not make you cry. And that's without the epic video. Also, we get Taylor Swift here. I know she has a ton of haters, but I actually like her a lot. And these two sound good together on this song, as well. And I include Keith Urban, though he does not sing, but he does give us a nice guitar part at the end. Good times.

#9. "I Will Wait" Mumford and Sons - There's a banjo in this song. I like banjos. And I like when they get played really fast. In general, I like when musicians can play their instruments fast and not have it sound like a mess. That's exactly what we get here. There's something I dig about the bluegrass sound in these modern times. Thanks to Mumford and Sons for helping to keep it alive.

#8. "Royals" Lorde - It seems there may have been another song written with poor people in mind that was more successful, but I like this one better. Say what you will about Lorde, and trust, I have yet to make up my mind where she is concerned, this song manages to stand out. It's different, and it's got such an interesting sound that drew me to it quite easily. I just hope that no one falls into the traps of being popular in lieu of being herself.

#7. "Mirrors" Justin Timberlake - So, Justin Timberlake and I have an interesting history. I was never a big fan of 'NSync, nor his solo career. I have actually been known to say that I like him as a comedian way better than I ever liked him as a musician, especially since he took over SNL (Bring it on in to Omeletteville, indeed!) However, I must be honest here, and honestly, I do like this song. With some people, I tend to go in with certain expectations, and I rarely expect to like his music. I do this time, though. I'm sure he's thrilled about that.

#6. "My Songs Know What You Did In the Dark (Light 'Em Up)" Fall Out Boy - Another one I did not see coming. I mean, it's Fall Out Boy, another act about which I was never too crazy. But I heard this song, and it got to me for some reason. I don't know. It kind of sounds like old school mixed with new stuff. That's always a good thing for a band to do, and I think they did it really well here.

#5. "Next To Me" Emeli Sande - I love when artists come along, and you can just tell that they are going to be different. They're not cookie cutter at all. They are unique. Emeli Sande is one of those artists, and this song is great. It's so soulful and genuine, and despite the fact that I heard Glee butchered it, I think it will last a long time and be remembered.

#4. "Brave" Sara Bareilles - I've liked Sara Bareilles for quite a while, gravitating toward her because she reminds me of the singer/songwriters of yore. This song just shows, yet again, how great she is. And so many people like this song, especially Katy Perry. Yeah, she REALLY liked this song. To almost a plagiaristic degree. Sorry, I had to bring it up. But who cares about that? This is about Sara and her awesomeness, not to mention originality. What a gal!

#3. "Wake Me Up" Avicii - Another genre of music I have never been into all that much is the whole techno, dance, made by a DJ stuff. So this song, again, took me by surprise. I think it took a lot of people by surprise, what with the mix of that techno/DJ thing with some country sounding music. There's a fun combo. Now, technically, Avicii is the stage name of Swedish DJ and producer, Tim Bergling, and he put this all together. But I would be remiss to mention the great vocals done by Aloe Blacc, an American soul singer, and the acoustic guitar by Mike Einziger. See, collaboration is good.

#2. "Ho Hey" The Lumineers - Yes, I did not expect to see this song on this year's Billboard list either. But it was there, so I had to put it here. It's that good. I like this, again, because it's different, but it also has a nice simplicity to it. And that does not mean that it is simple. I hate when people confuse those two things. It is well-crafted to the point where I say, as a songwriter, "I don't think I could do anything like that", yet it is so straight forward in the storytelling that I feel like I can relate to it. And that's what makes a great song. Raising the bar whilst still holding out a hand that can reach the masses.

#1. "The Way" Ariana Grande featuring Mac Miller - That's right. This is my favorite hit song of the year. I'm kind of shocked. Not that it's not good. I just thought I, personally, would have picked something else, something a bit closer to what I usually hold in high regard. But I can't help it. I absolutely love this song. It just makes me so happy. It reminds me of music that was popular in the eighties or early nineties, but still done for today, all fun and "poppy" in it's purest form. And Ariana Grande is so cute and has such a great voice, better than a lot of these young singers out there. Then, you get Mac Miller who is super fun on this. So, yeah, this is the winner for the year. Not a ton of things I hear on the radio puts a nice smile on my face, but this did it the most.

And there are my favorites for the year. You can agree or disagree, that's always fine with me. But these are the ones I will most likely listen to often in the coming years, maybe even longer. As opposed to songs where hearing them one time was one time too many. We'll get to those next time.

Love and full moons,

Becky the Writer

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Reindeer Games - Movie Review

Greetings Pups,

You know, even though I don't do the whole Christmas thing, I do enjoy a good Christmas movie every now and then. So let's talk about Reindeer Games. Okay, if you've heard of this movie, you may have also heard that it sucked. And if we're talking about the theatrical cut or a version you'd see on television, then you're probably not wrong. To enjoy this movie at its best and understand how good it is, seeing the director's cut is nothing short of a necessity. More on that later.

Let me get to a quick explanation of the plot. I say "quick" because that's all I can do without spoiling the whole thing, what with all the twists we get with this one. Basically, Ben Affleck plays this guy named Rudy who is in jail and has a cellmate named Nick. Nick has been writing letters to a chick named Ashley played by Charlize Theron. When Rudy gets out, he finds Ashley and convinces her that he's actually Nick, then they meet up with her brother, Gabriel, and a bunch of criminals. And hijinks ensue. That's about it. I know that plot seems a bit...whatever, but that's just the foundation. Add all the rest of it in, and you get something kind of great. Oh, and speaking of great, let me say a bit more about the cast.

Okay, I know that I mentioned the leads already, Ben Affleck and Charlize Theron, and, in my book, that takes major points off the film. Yeah, I'm not a fan of these two, and it's not good to have the two main characters played by two actors you can barely tolerate. However, we are redeemed when it comes to the rest of the cast. Starting at the top, as Gabriel, we have the wonder that is Gary Sinise. That's good enough, but even better, this is not nice, Detective Mac Taylor-type Gary Sinise who we've come to know and love. No, this is bad dude Gary Sinise, and it is fantastic! Yeah, he's got this long hair and whatnot and he's all "GRRRR!" the whole time. SWEET! But as great as that is, we also get Clarence Williams III, Danny Trejo, James Frain, Dennis Farina and the overwhelmingly entertaining and underrated Donal Logue. Now THAT is a cast.

So, you may be wondering what went wrong, despite having a stellar (for the most part) group of actors and a good premise. Well, sometimes a director and the studio can disagree on what the final product should be when it comes to a movie. Understandable. And sometimes, the disagreements can make way to negotiations which can possibly make a film better, what with everyone keeping each other in check and being objective. Not in this case. Holy Crap! Not in this case!

The director of Reindeer Games was John Frankenheimer, the guy behind such phenomenal films as The Manchurian Candidate (the original one, for crying out loud!), Birdman of Alcatraz, Ronin and George Wallace, which also starred Gary Sinise. So, yeah, this guy knows how to have a vision for a film and execute it masterfully. Of course, the studio thought that wasn't good enough, apparently. What they did was do test screenings, the jury duty of Hollywood. And it would seem that after test screenings, they only want to speak to the people who don't like the film, because talking to everyone would be too productive! What the complainers complained about was that it moved too slow due to some of the dialogue, so the studio basically told Frankenheimer, "Hey, take out all of the talking. Oh, and while you're at it, cut out a boat load of scenes that explain why characters are doing what they're doing." Genius! Because who needs something ridiculous like character development in a movie!

Let me explain something to you people who make films. If I don't know crap about the characters, I'm not going to care about what happens to them. How is someone's death going to cause any effect on the audience if we barely know anything about them or even why they are there in the first place? We can't, that's how! I get that I'm not expert, and I do know that editing in movies is a necessity. But it has to make sense. It has to make the film better, not worse. Unfortunately, all of the studio interference made this movie majorly flop. Still, there is hope, my friends.

When the film was released on DVD, Frankenheimer insisted that it be HIS cut that people would now be able to see, and thank God for that, because, when allowed to see the original vision of the director, you can see that this was actually a good movie. And the uncut version is barely twenty minutes longer than the theatrical one, bringing its length to a mere 124 minutes, credits included. So it's not that long, even with the added footage. I seriously do not know why they didn't just leave it be for the theatrical release. It would have done much better at the box office. Oh, yeah, and it also would have been able to be released at Christmas time, as the title suggests it should be, instead of February, an infamous dumping ground for the crap movies from the previous year. Oh, Hollywood. What the heck with you sometimes?

So, to conclude, despite what you may have heard, or even seen yourself by way of a television viewing, Reindeer Games is quite an entertaining movie. Is it perfect? No, of course not. Is it worth a watch? Hecks yeah! If for nothing else than Gary Sinise and the dart scene! (Just trust me on that one!) So, if you're sitting around this or any other holiday season, and you don't want to watch It's a Wonderful Life or 24 hours of A Christmas Story, I say check this one out.

Love and full moons,

Becky the Writer

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Top Ten Leonard Cohen Songs

Greetings Pups,

So Leonard Cohen. Yeah, I like him a lot. I think I've made that clear in the past. Still, one thing I have never done here is make a list of my favorite songs by this great man. Not that I haven't wanted to do this. In fact, I have been working on this for quite a while. But it is so hard to pick favorite songs where people like Leonard Cohen are concerned. He has so many amazing ones, more so than I think some people even realize. But I managed to make decisions, and now I am happy to share them with you all. Keep in mind, I thought I would add some of my own interpretations of these compositions. Why not? Leonard Cohen's work can be quite a conversation started and everyone always has their opinions on it. Gotta love an artist who can get people talking. Off we go.

#10. "Sisters of Mercy" - I have heard some interesting interpretations of what this song might mean, from the "sisters" being angels to them being hookers. Hey, whatever, right? I've always liked this one because of the melody. It's one of the simplest that Leonard has ever written, in my opinion anyway, and also I can sing it really well. Again, in my opinion.

#9. "Suzanne" - Look, I'm not saying that I bought a house near the river, or that I always have Constant Comment tea to give to some guy that might happen to stop by, or that I consider myself half-crazy sometimes, just so I can be Suzanne in my own way. I'm not going to say it, but, you know, stuff happens in life. Am I right?

#8. "Hallelujah" - Not as high on the list as you thought, is it? Look, I'm not judging this based on the countless sub par covers of this song, or the one good one (Thank you, Jeff Buckley!) No, I am looking at this as if Leonard's original is the only version. And it's really good. It shows how much he likes to put in some religious imagery and how great of a storyteller he is. It also, believe it or not, shows a bit of how well he can inject some humor into his work. Just read the long version of the lyrics, and you'll know what I mean.

#7. "In My Secret Life" - This was the opening track on the album Ten New Songs, the first one he had released in a decade. It was a great pick for that, kind of setting the tone. And, lyrically, it feels very real and true to life. But that's just Leonard being Leonard, I suppose.

#6. "The Traitor" - Okay, so this song just might be about betrayal of some kind. It's a guess of mine. Interestingly, I think it may be about someone betraying himself. And the way he is betraying himself is by settling for something less than true love. Something else I really like about this is all the images and mentions of war that he puts in here. I guess it was his way of saying that love is a ... battlefield? Oh, no!

#5. "A Thousand Kisses Deep" - In the documentary Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man, he says some fascinating things surrounding this song. What hit me the most was when he talked about how you never get to your masterpiece when you're looking for it. You always slip into it once you learn to let go. Once you stop trying to be the best, you become your best. I'm sorry, but this man is brilliant. And it is those words of which I think whenever I hear this song.

#4. "Famous Blue Raincoat" - "What a twist!" Yeah, that might be what some people say at the end of this song the first time they hear it. Of course, I'm taking about the framing here. Now this is actually a song about a love triangle, something that has been overdone by so many people. Nothing wrong with that, but it's all about finding a new way to present a type of story that we've all heard before. That is definitely what he did here.

#3. "Tonight Will Be Fine" - Admittedly, what made me fall in love with this song was when I heard Teddy Thompson sing it. Sorry. But listening to the original is amazing, too. Leonard has written about love from every angle that it can be done, but this has always seemed like one of, if not the most straight forward love song he has ever made. Sure, the lyrics are still classic Cohen, but in a simpler, easier to attain way.

#2. "Anthem" - "There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." I think it's these words that bring everyone back to this song again and again. Of course, all the lyrics are amazing, some that hit extremely close to home for me, but these particular ones define the entire song for a lot of us. That idea that flaws can make you see how wonderful everything is when you didn't before is a very good one. Leonard has even described it as something of a credo. I agree.

#1. "If It Be Your Will" - I have actually heard people describe this song as a love letter to God. I can see why they might think that, since Leonard often speaks about spiritual things. My personal interpretation has always been close to that. To me, this song has always felt like something of a prayer, and I do love songs like that. And if it is a prayer, it sounds to me like a song of praise and mercy and hope. Hard to get any better than that.

Let me say this again, I love Leonard Cohen. I love the way that he and his work almost seem like one and the same. Just listen to the man speak. When he talks, just in conversation, so much of what he says is said in a way that practically sounds like a song all on its own. And that is how a true artist, a write in particular, should be. Our work should be a major part of who we are, enough so that others don't have to ask what we do. They'll just know. If I had a conversation with Leonard Cohen, not knowing who he was, I would know he was a writer, because of the way he speaks. It's how all of us writers should be, and he is a great inspiration for it.

Love and full moons,

Becky the Writer

Friday, December 6, 2013

Joni Mitchell: Woman of Heart and Mind - Documentary Review

Greetings Pups,

Did I mention that I'm a writer? Because I am. And I love being one. As I may have said before, I began with poetry, then moved on to songwriting and short stories and novels, and finally, this blog. I'd say the most personal of all those is the poetry, which is usually directly connected to the songs. I love being able to tell my stories through them, and I love when people ask about the stories behind them, as well as about my own process. And if there is one thing in which I absolutely relish, it is hearing other people share their own stories with me and the world at large. Therefore, I gravitate toward things like documentaries wherein the subject is a great writer. Enter Joni Mitchell: Woman of Heart and Mind.

This film was released in 2003, originally part of the PBS American Masters series. It is, easily, one of the most in depth and well-made documentaries I've ever seen. It takes us from her youth right on up to the present, as it should. And what it truly focuses on is her music, though, as I said, we do get all the wonderful stories that inspired the music. We hear from so many people who were right alongside her throughout her long career, like colleagues and friends, her contemporaries, who admittedly were always trying to keep up with her brilliance as a songwriter. And, of course, we hear from Joni, because who better to share all these tales than the woman herself.

Oh, and before I go on, let me say that all of you need not worry about one thing. This documentary is certainly not one of those cheap, unauthorized one. You know the kind. The ones where some narrator says, "And then Joni wrote a song called 'Both Sides Now'", but we don't actually get to hear "Both Sides Now". And then the narrator says, "And then Joni recorded a masterpiece album called 'Blue'", but we don't actually get to hear any songs from "Blue". You guys know what I'm talking about. You know about those "documentaries", and you probably hate them as much as I do. Well, calm down. THIS is not THAT. No, we get a ton of music in this, as well as clips of performances and whatnot, and it's great. I think it has to do with the fact that Joni was involved with the making of this. And thank God for that.

Speaking of Joni's involvement, she really did not back away from anything when it came to telling about the experiences of her life. She talked about her marriage at a very young age that kind of didn't work out so well, and her unexpected pregnancy, giving up her daughter and then finding her again, and about her relationships, mainly, the one with Graham Nash. She, indeed, shared the good, the bad and the ugly, and I so admire her for that. It is difficult to share things that are, most likely, still a bit painful, even years and decades later. But she never shied away from being open in her music, so it's no surprise that she was open in these interviews.

One thing about this documentary stuck out with me. Sure, everyone who has anything to say here says that Joni was and is a superb songwriter. No kidding. And I do love how Graham talks about watching her create her music, saying "It was a great thing to see somebody taken away by vision". But what they all specifically speak on is her lyrics, calling her one of the greatest poets. As someone who began in poetry and still considers that my strongest asset, I appreciate their saying that overwhelmingly. Someone even went so far as to tell us that, back then, being a great poet was even more revered than musicality. Times have changed, indeed. Still, it brings me such joy to know that, at some point in history, this was true. And it gives me hope that it may be true again someday. Actually, I personally have always gravitated towards Joni because of her words. Yes, she has this gorgeous voice and has created amazing melodies, but it's her words that have touched me the most. She has managed to come up with so many lyrics that can make a person stop and say, "Where did that come from?" And I think every writer hopes to be able to do that on their own. It's probably why Joni has inspired so many people.

So, if you are a fan of Joni Mitchell's, you will probably love this documentary. If you're someone who just knows about her because everyone does, or you've heard a few songs you like and always wanted to hear and know more, this is an excellent place to start. When it comes to documentaries, I'd say this is one of he best, especially when it comes to really telling the whole story.

Love and full moons,

Becky the Writer

Monday, December 2, 2013

Life is Fragile

Greetings Pups,

So I'll assume by now that everyone has heard about the passing of actor Paul Walker. I've said often that I've become a bit non-shockable when it comes to any stories from the Hollywood world, but this was something I didn't see coming. I don't think anyone did. You think when someone is young and healthy, they have a lot of time ahead of them, but if this tragic event teaches us anything, it's that you never know. There's a lesson we seem to have to re-learn quite a bit in our lives.

I'm not going to do some tribute to Paul Walker, since, honestly, I didn't know much about him. I don't even think I've seen any of the Fast and Furious movies. But, judging by what I did see him in, he was a really good actor, and he always seemed like a nice guy. Still, I think I'll leaver the tribute making to those who knew a lot more than I did. And my heart does break for those who knew and loved him.

But I guess I will say this. I don't believe in letting the fear of the unknown or what might happen next control your life, but I do believe in realizing how fragile your life can be. I think we're all only guaranteed the things that we've already gotten, so we should appreciate our future before it ever becomes the present. That way, we can be sure to give thanks for it. We all just have to be prepared for anything and make sure our hearts are right, but we should use that to remind us how precious life is. Say thank you for every breath and every moment and keep those you love close.

Love and full moons,

Becky the Writer

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Assault by Retail

Greetings Pups,

I'm going to be quick today because tomorrow is a holiday, I hurt my back and I'm still trying to finish my book. But I do have something that needs to be said. Technically, this complaint of which I will speak can be really be applied whenever, but since we are right in the throes of the worst shopping time of the year, I thought I'd say something now. And, no, when I said "worst" rather than "busiest", it wasn't a typo.

I am actually speaking today to those of you who own or run businesses, from the smallest of them all to the biggest in the land. Normally, I do enjoy shopping a bit, though I am the type who goes to the mall as soon as it opens, as to avoid, you know, the others. I like going out and getting things I need or want and then coming home satisfied. I like getting something in a store, taking it to the cashier, paying for that one thing and then leaving. Do you see where I'm going with this?

There seems to be this new trend going around, or maybe it's not so new, wherein people who are checking you out at a store ask you if you want to get about 157 OTHER things besides your initial purchase. To the point of being annoying and even rude. Look, I'm okay with people asking me to donate a dollar or whatever to a charity. I expect it this time of year, and I think it's nice that stores do that. But all the other stuff, no. No, I don't want to pay money to join your retail cult and get %10 off MAYBE everything in the store. I kid you not, there are a lot of stores that I don't even go into because I know I'm going to get attacked. I get with big business, employees have to do what they're told, but, hey, Big Business, stop telling your employees to do these things.

I especially hate it when "luxury" stores hound people this way. And these days, luxury pretty much means everything besides food and clothing. Even with those two, I'm not so sure. If you sell CDs, or books, or games, or that kind of stuff, you might want to just be grateful for every customer you get and not pester them to the point where they don't want to come back. Appreciate their business by just accepting the business they give you and then letting them go.

Anyway, I'm done complaining. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I have much for which to be grateful. So Happy Thanksgiving, and if you are one of the shoppers going out Friday morning, or even Thursday night (WHY!?), be safe and behave!

Love and full moons,

Becky the Writer

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Straight From the Theater Review - Thor: The Dark World

Greetings Pups,

Despite my being overwhelmed with a load of work concerning my new book, I did manage to sneak out for a couple of hours the other day to see a new movie. Well, new-ish. I finally went to see Thor: The Dark World, which has been out for two weeks and has probably already been seen by everyone who intended to see it. Yeah, I get a little behind sometimes. But I thought I would go anyway. Now it has been a while since I saw the first Thor, but I managed to follow along just fine. That's not exactly an easy task with me sometimes when it comes to these kind of movies. Anyway, if you haven't seen it already, let me give a quick, spoiler-free synopsis.

First, we get a little 'once upon a time' action when they tell us about Odin's father fighting with these Dark Elves who want to destroy the universe with something called the Aether, and this is all going on many, many ... whatevers ago. The Dark Elves do not destroy the universe, obviously, because they are somewhat defeated, though a few of them do survive. Luckily, the Aether is stashed away where it can do no harm. Ever. Of course, it can't.

Cut to present day, where we're dealing with a boat load of stuff. In Asgard, Loki is standing trial for whatever he did on Earth in The Avengers. I don't really remember because I am not a fan of that movie. Because of reasons. But let me just say "Team Edward Norton". Also, Thor is missing Jane. And Odin's all "Whatever with your weak, 'won't live five thousand years' girlfriend!". On Earth, Jane is missing Thor. Who wouldn't? Am I right, ladies? Also, she's missing Dr. Erik Selvig, because she can't find him either, at first. But she's got Darcy. Yay, in my opinion, though I have heard some people say her character was a bit irritating in this one. Come on, guys. She's the comic relief and I think she did a good job. Also, she gets herself a cute intern. Double yay. And, yes, Thor and Jane are reunited, as you may have guessed by the trailers. Then, some hijinks ensues.

Basically, the story is about those Dark Elves wanting to destroy the universe ... again! Something about the Nine Realms coming together, wherein all the lines between different worlds start to blur, if you will. I really liked how they visually portrayed all of this. Actually, speaking of that, I do think the visuals in this are a lot better than they were in the first. That could be because I didn't see the first one in the theater, or because I think we spend way more time in Asgard than we do on Earth in this sequel. Either way, it was really stunning to see, and I didn't even see it in 3-D. Okay, let's talk about those actors.

Most of the cast from the first Thor are back. We've got your Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Stellan Skarsgard, Rene Russo and my girl, Kat Dennings, just to name a few. Again, Tom Hiddleston kind of steals the show as Loki, because that's his job, I guess. Also, this time we get Christopher Eccleston as Malekith the Bad Dude. But herein lies a problem. Due to certain people clearly wanting to cater more to fan service than having a really compelling villain, we actually get a very generic villain. And I don't blame the actors for this. Christopher Eccleston did the best he could with the material he was given, but sadly, that material had him playing a character that was not that memorable. How? How do you make Christopher Eccleston, one of the most dynamic actors I have ever witnessed, kind of boring. And then there's Hiddleston. Look, I get it. The ladies love Loki. I am fine with his being in the movie and even having some great stuff to work with, and Tom also did a wonderful job. But he was not the villain this time. Not the main villain anyway. So that leads to the story, as grand as they tried to make it, not seem to have such high stakes.

But, all in all, I'd say this was not a terrible movie. It's actually kind of good in some areas. Much better than some of the stuff that Marvel has been giving us. If you liked the first one, I don't think this one will disappoint you. Also, you'll get some sequel bait, if not for another Thor movie, then definitely for the next Avengers movie. That's fine. I kind of like when they do that. So, if you haven't already seen it and you're a fan, go see it. It's worth a trip to the theater, if for nothing else than those beautiful visual effects I mentioned. I just hope that when it comes to things like story and characters, they try a lot harder next time.

Love and full moons,
Becky the Writer

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Book Writing Crunch

Greetings Pups,

For those of you who visit this blog regularly, you may have noticed that the number of days between my posts, the last few times anyway, has been growing. As much as I wish that wasn't the case, I do have somewhat of a good excuse. I've been trying to finish up a new book for publication, one that I pray will be ready and selling by the end of the year. The actual writing aspect has been done for some time, but I am now doing the technical things, the typing and editing and whatnot. Yeah, I am not so crazy about that part of the process. I am a writer driven by creativity, and not to say this part can't be creative, but just not as much. Nowhere near as much.

So that is what has been occupying a load of my time lately and has, therefore, been slightly interfering with my blog. Now I have still been putting stuff up, but I do my best to work on my posts so they are worth reading and entertaining. With little extra time, I haven't been able to do that so much, and I don't want to put up a bunch of crappy stuff, even if I can edit later. That's why things aren't going up as frequently as they normally do, and why it might be that way for a bit longer.

The good news, though, is that, if all goes well, I should be completely finished with this new book very soon. And even though I will be spending much of next year working on another new one, as well as polishing up some older novels that I've written over some time, I will certainly put a lot of effort into what I write here. Because I appreciate everyone who reads my blog, and I certainly don't want to short change anyone.

So say a little prayer for this time in my life, and that will be greatly appreciated as well. Also, it will be very, very helpful.

Love and full moons,

Becky the Writer

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The One Seasoner's Club - Time of Your Life

Greetings Pups,

A lot of great actors and actresses have been on shows that lasted only one season. Some more than others. One fine actress who has had to endure this is Miss Jennifer Love Hewitt. In the nineties, she was on such "One Seasoner's Club" contenders as Shaky Ground, The Byrds of Paradise and McKenna. But today, I'm going to focus on a short-lived series of hers that I actually watched, Time of Your Life.

Time of Your Life aired during the 1999-2000 season and was a spin-off of Party of Five. Love (yes, I'm calling her 'Love' in this thing!) played a character named Sarah Reeves Merrin in both shows. In Party of Five, she was mostly known as Bailey's girlfriend. Or so I've been told. Yeah, I didn't really watch the show all much, but I was a big fan of Love's. Still am. So I decided to follow her to the show, Time of Your Life. In that spin-off, her character heads to New York City to find information about her biological parents. And she makes a new group of friends. And that's really all I can remember about it.

Well, that's all I could remember about it. Then, I did a bit of research, and it served to jog my memory. At least enough to give you all a quick synopsis of the plot and the characters.

As I mentioned, Sarah goes to New York to find her roots or whatever. She ends up staying in an apartment that her mother once lived in, where she rooms with Romy, an actress. They also have this landlord named Cecilia, who I seem to remember being a bit mean, or somewhat standoffish, at least in the beginning. Then, there was Joss, a girl with whom Sarah works at a bar, and J.B., a guy who lives in the building across from the girls and is Romy's boyfriend...occasionally. Oh, and of course, we need a love interest for Love. Enter John Maguire or Mag, as he was called, because why not? He worked in a music store and was Sarah's also occasional boyfriend. Man, I guess no one had a super steady relationship on this show.

Anyway, besides Jennifer Love Hewitt, this show had some decent actors that may look familiar. We got Johnathon Schaech, probably best known for his role in That Thing You Do!. Pauley Perrette, best known for her role on NCIS, and Jennifer Garner, best known for ... being Jennifer Garner. So, yeah, I'd say the cast was pretty solid, and the show most likely had a built-in fan base from Party of Five. So what went wrong?

Frankly, who knows? At the time, Jennifer Love Hewitt was very popular, but I guess the show just didn't catch on with audiences. Sometimes, that just happens. Or, perhaps, their target audience was busy watching the debut season of Angel. The ratings were kind of low, and apparently, FOX tried to save it by putting it on hiatus for five months. Huh? Then, they made an attempt to bring it back in the summer, dubbing it "Summer of Love". Get it! Puns! Well, that didn't work either, and the show got cancelled.

So, did it deserve a second season? Um, yes and no. I think sometimes, with a spin off, the people making it can get a bit complacent, thinking that since they clearly already have a fan base, they don't have to try so hard. I'm not exactly saying that's what happened here, but when I watched it, I felt like they could have tried a little more. But I didn't think it was that bad, and I do love Love, so I think with another season they might have improved things.

And there you have my thoughts on Time of Your Life. Not great, but not bad. Does it really matter though? We still have the adorable Jennifer Love Hewitt around. What more could we want?

Love and full moons,

Becky the Writer

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Top Ten Star Trek Episodes

Greetings Pups,

So let's talk about Star Trek, shall we? I was one of those people who was pretty much raised on it, but, exclusively, on the original series. We never messed with the other ones. Although, I have seen TNG, and I liked the few episodes I have seen. I certainly enjoy myself some Patrick Stewart. Just speak, sir. Just speak, and I'll be happy. Still, I have always been a hardcore fan of the original Star Trek, which may or may not have had to do with the extreme crush I had on the William Shatner. Yes, I said THE William Shatner. I should also say the YOUNG William Shatner, so there will be less judgement. P.S. This crush may show its face a few times in this post. That aside, it's kind of amazing that Star Trek barely lasted for three seasons, but it had such an overwhelming effect. Compare that to certain shows that have had much longer runs, but that you would struggle to even remember. I'm looking at I can't remember that lasted longer than Star Trek. I guess it's the quality, not the quantity. And, say what you will about Star Trek, I don't think anyone can say it's not entertaining. So, why not do a top ten episodes list?

Now I'm not going to go into some big synopsis about the show or the characters. I would like to assume that everyone, even non-fans, know what the deal is. If not, I welcome you to do a bit of research, and then come back. Also, I may be giving some spoilers, so I'd say this list is for the true fans. I hope they all enjoy it. And forgive me if I leave out any obvious picks or put in some not so obvious ones, but, for one reason or another, these are my favorites. Here we go.

#10. "Charlie X" (Season 1) - Whilst we had many great characters on the Enterprise on a regular basis, we also got a lot of interesting ones showing up for only one episode. One of them was a guy named Charlie. So, the crew of the Enterprise takes aboard a seventeen-year-old kid who was found abandoned in some wreckage or something. Initially, he just seems a bit awkward and everyone tries to help him and whatnot, but then he starts to get a little obnoxious and showing that he, apparently, has some strange psychic powers. Seriously, he does this creepy, eyes roll back into his head thing. Weird. It seems to be triggered by this crush he gets on Yeoman Janice Rand, and why wouldn't that happen, what with that awesome beehive of hers? She does, however, ask Captain Kirk to speak to him about the proper way to treat a woman. Does anyone else find that a bit hilarious when you think about it? Anyway, Charlie does wreak some havoc, but they also show him as a bit sympathetic, proving that Star Trek can give us some complex characters. We also get some freestyle Uhura singing whilst Spock played a ... I'm not sure, I think it was like a Vulcan auto-harp or something. Good times. Oh, and a shirtless Captain Kirk. Something I found quite appealing at the time. Yeah, sorry.

#9. "This Side of Paradise" (Season 1) - So the Enterprise has to check on this Federation colony that has been exposed to some radiation and make sure they're okay. While there, Spock runs into this woman, Leila, who apparently had a thing for him back in the day, naturally. They also find these strange flowers that spray spores and make people act a bit weird. What everyone really remembers about this one is what happens to Spock. He gets sprayed and starts acting, for lack of a better word, human. He's laughing and swinging from tree branches and calling the captain 'Jim'. Okay, maybe the tree branch swinging isn't exactly 'human'. but whatever, it was still kind of great. It also did good to give Leonard Nimoy a chance to have some fun, as well. Finally. It can't be easy on the face muscles to remain so stoic all the time.

#8. "The Way to Eden" (Season 3) - Yes, this is my only pick from Season 3, and some people consider it one of the worst, actually. Sorry, but I find it very amusing. If you want me to call it a "good/bad" episode, fine. The basic plot in this one is that this doctor and his followers come aboard the Enterprise and demand to be taken to a planet that they consider paradise which they call Eden. Because...original! But let's be honest here. This one is all about the hippies. Yes, some members of this little group are, in fact, space hippies. Groovy. Hey, it was 1969. Are you really shocked at this? And they sing. More singing. Apparently, someone wanted a musical, and this is the closest we ever came, I think. Heading out to Eden, yea brother, indeed.

#7. "Who Mourns For Adonais?" (Season 2) - Hey, do you like Greek mythology? Well, then, you're either going to love this episode or hate it. Okay, the Enterprise is strolling along in space, as it tends to do, and they see a giant green hand, which grabs them. No lie. Then, they see the face of a guy with a golden wreath on his head, saying that they have to obey him or he'll crush them, which he does, a little bit. Anyway, Captain Kirk agrees to go down to his planet with a team. A team that does not include Spock, because space face does not like his pointed ears. Go figure. He does mention something about Pan, though. Turns out, that this guy claims to be the god, Apollo. He keeps referring to them as his children and that he wants to take care of them as long as they worship him. Oh, and he also gets the hots for this female lieutenant named Carolyn. Of course, he does. That's what the gods do, am I right? But, wait! Scotty also has a thing for her. Catfight! Well, Apollo does give her a dress that's a little, well, it's a tad on the slutty side. I kid you not. She was barely covered on top, so I'm not really sure who gets a point in that one. Anyway, shenanigans ensue, but, eventually, Apollo turns out to be a bit of a cry baby. Don't they all.

#6. "Arena" (Season 1) - Kirk fights a giant lizard man and builds a gun that basically shoots diamonds. I'm sorry, do I have to tell you something else to explain why I love this episode?

#5. "The City on the Edge of Forever" (Season 1) - This episode is considered by a lot of people to be the best of the series. Obviously, I agree that it is very good. Okay, the plot. Somehow, Dr. McCoy, after tending to Sulu, accidentally injects himself with an overdose of cordrazine, whatever that is, and it makes him go a little crazy. He ends up beaming down to a planet and jumping through this time portal, where he alters the past and causes the ship and the whole Federation to be non-existent. Kirk and Spock must follow him and see what he altered, hopefully fixing it. They end up in NYC (Yay!) in the 1930's (Boo!) and meet an activist named Edith Keeler, played by Joan Collins. Shock of all shocks, Kirk falls for her. Unfortunately, she is supposed to die. What McCoy did was save her life which actually altered history. So they had to let her die to set things right. It actually is a very powerful episode, and the acting is really top notch. In fact, I would say it's some of Shatner's best.

#4. "Miri" (Season 1) - I think I may have mentioned that I'm not exactly a kid person, and this may be where it started. And I was a kid when I first saw it. After getting a distress signal from a planet that looks a lot like Earth, Kirk and his landing party head to it. First, they get attacked by a humanoid creature who is very strong and covered with bluish splotches. After they fight him off, he seizes and dies. Then, they find a young girl named Miri, who tells them that they are "grups" or grown-ups. The "grups" have all died, after turning crazy and violent. Holy crap! There is so much random stuff in the Star Trek world that can turn someone crazy. Anyway, it is because of this strange disease that there only children left, since it hits you when you reach puberty and start growing up. Really? Are you sure you don't want to say it hits you on your 16th birthday so you can be more cliche? Anyway, the disease that affects them is also starting to affect the landing party. Long story short (maybe), the kids go a little crazy, a little early I guess, trying to defend themselves. Crazy and kind of annoying. No, wait, really annoying. And, of course, Miri, the girl hitting puberty, crushes on Captain Kirk. Why not? Obviously, I'm not going to judge. I guess I should say something about the kiddie cast. Miri is played by Kim Darby, who would go on to success in the classic True Grit, and Michael J. Pollard was great as Jahn. Some of the kids had Star Trek ties, like the daughters of William Shatner and Gene Roddenberry and the sons of Grace Lee Whitney, who played Yeoman Rand. Also, we got John Megna, best known as 'Dill' from To Kill a Mockingbird., and Iona Morris and her little brother Phil. Yep, the wonderful Phil Morris, who would one day play The Martian Manhunter on Smallville, was in this episode. WOW! This guy loves outer space!

#3. "Space Seed" (Season 2) - And here we have the episode that led us to the greatest of the Star Trek films, Star Trek: Into Darkness. Oh, crap! No, I meant Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan. Sorry, my Benedict Cumberbatch crush sometimes takes over and I say crazy things. Yes, it is here where we first meet Khan Noonien Singh, a villain that will live in infamy and get a legacy all his own in the world of Star Trek. And Ricardo Montalban. Just...Ricardo Montalban. I really have nothing else to say about this one.

#2. "Mirror, Mirror" (Season 2) - Have you ever seen a show where a character has an evil twin or an evil clone and said evil one shows their evilness by the fact that they have a goatee? I think this may have been the inspiration for that. This is the one where Kirk, Uhura, Scotty and McCoy get sucked into some kind of parallel universe where the Enterprise is a little different. Different, like Spock has a goatee, and everyone is more savage. I mean, even Sulu, and I hate to use this word, gets a tad 'rapey'. Yeah, everyone kind of hams it up in this episode, and it is actually very entertaining. However, if you are someone who has always found the micro-minis that the women wear to be a bit demeaning, please don't watch this one. Whilst the regular attire of the female officers clearly shows that the Federation does not have much use for women above a Size Four, the outfits in the parallel universe are basically a big, flashing sign that says "No Fatties Allowed". Still, a great episode, though.

#1. "The Trouble With Tribbles" (Season 2) - I like to laugh, and this episode never fails to make me laugh. And whilst the other children were asking for puppies and kitties as pets, I had my hand out waiting for a Tribble. They purred! Seriously, they full-on purred! I don't even think I have to go into plot here. The point is that the antogonists-ish are these little balls of fur. Of course, we get an actual bad guy in the end, but these little suckers annoy the crap out of the crew as they multiply. Yes, I said multiply. I know that, for the most part, this series is a drama, but, to me, this comedically charged episode is the absolute best.

And there you have it. I don't know if I can be called an actual Trekkie, since I don't really own any memorabilia, I've never been to any cons, and I certainly have never dressed up as a character. But I am certainly a fan of Star Trek. It's just straight up, really great entertainment. Always has been, always will be.

Love and full moons,

Becky the Writer

Monday, November 4, 2013

Making Some Changes

Greetings Pups,

Okay, so some of you who read this blog regularly may have noticed a few changes. Well, one in particular. I have changed the name of the blog and how I will be signing each post. Because...who knows? I guess, now that everyone knows that I'm behind this production, it doesn't really matter what I'm calling myself. So, I've switched from a nickname to my actual name. My actual first name anyway, and I am a writer so I added that as well. Now I'm Becky the Writer, because I am. So I went back and amended all my posts, hopefully. I don't think I missed anything, but I will probably go back and do some more checking.

Now for those of you who officially follow me on this blog, my URL has not changed. You know, the ".com" part. I was going to change it, but all the redirecting and whatnot is a bit complicated for me to figure out. Besides, a lot of people are getting to me now, through my website, so what would really be the point. But if I can find some computer genius to work some magic, then maybe. I'll be sure to say something if that ever happens.

That's about it. Everything else is still the same and will continue to be the same. I haven't changed what I'm doing or what I'll be writing about, so if you like what I've been doing, it's all good.

Love and full moons,

Becky the Writer

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Movie 43 - Movie Review

Greetings Pups,

I know that officially I referred to this as a review in the post title, but let me amend that a bit by calling it a warning. See, I enjoy writing reviews on my blog, and I have a lot of fun talking about less than good films. I devoted an entire week to doing so, after all. And even though I might discourage you all from seeing something if I think it sucks, I usually say, in the end, that if you think you'd like it despite the quality and whatnot, go ahead and check it out. Today, however, I will be telling you all straight up to not see this movie. And the film I speak of is Movie 43. Perhaps, you've heard of it.

For those of you who, thankfully, have never come across anything about this movie, let me give you some info. Not too much, though, because I don't want you to have the bad dreams. Movie 43 is a "comedy" anthology film consisting of a bunch of sketches with different actors, writers and directors, all with the framing of a guy pitching ideas. I know that doesn't sound so bad, but that's only because I haven't gone into any detail on it, and I don't think I will very much. But I do believe I can say, with absolutely no hyperbole, that this is the worst thing I have ever seen in my life. Ever.

As I said, there are different types of bad movies. The funny ones, the crazy ones, the boring ones, right? This is none of those. This is uncomfortable bad. Very uncomfortable. I mean, it is tasteless and disgusting and humorless and literally pointless. There is not a single redeeming quality in this thing. Not one. Well, unless you enjoy things like bestiality, racism, incest and just a touch of child pornography. Yeah, I consider a girl of fifteen or so to be a child, forgive me. I guess somebody thought that this all was a good idea. So, needless to say, the content is my biggest problem here, but let's get to my other biggest problem. Let's get to the cast.

I am utterly dumbfounded at the level of acting talent they got to be in this film. Seriously, if you just saw half the cast list, you would think someone was producing an epic masterpiece of cinema. Obviously, that is not what happened. Now, don't get me wrong. There are plenty of actors here that I would expect to see in a film this crude. People like Johnny Knoxville, Seann William Scott, and Seth MacFarlane. Yes, I was not shocked that they were a part of this. I am, however, shocked that Adam Sandler didn't show up here, what with his history of trying to convince the world that pedophilia is hilarious. But then we have other actors who are not only good, but critically acclaimed and highly respected. People like Kate Winslet, Gerard Butler, Uma Thurman, who probably did this to overshadow her Poison Ivy past, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, who clearly did this to prove that, yes, she could sink lower than Catwoman, Naomi Watts, Liev Schreiber, who I'm guessing is here because he thought we needed another reason to believe that his brother is a better actor than he is. Yeah, Liev, your little bro has played a guy named "Pornstache" and it's still more respectable than this. Seriously though, I really just don't know how or why all of these people agreed to be a part of this abomination. Although, I have heard some stories where that is concerned, none of which I will discuss, because they are way WAY too despicable. Just trust that there are a lot more abhorrent people in Hollywood than any of us ever imagined.

Okay, let me end this already. As someone who truly cares about you, my readers, I am pleading with you to never, ever put yourself through a viewing of this film. Warn your friends, warn your family to just stay away. You will thank me and anyone else who tells you not to watch this. There are plenty of good bad movies out there. You don't need to put yourself through this.

You know, I will end by saying one positive thing about this movie. At least, they cut out the part with the necrophilia. No, I'm not kidding.

Love and full moons,

Becky the Writer

Friday, November 1, 2013

Supergirl - Movie Review

Greetings Pups,

I think we have gotten spoiled in the past few years, especially when it comes to our superhero movies. Just look at those last few years. Now, I'm not saying I like all. In fact, I mostly do NOT like them. Still, they look good, I guess, and I assume at least a few people are trying. But, my word, has it been a roller coaster ride where these films are concerned, in the past thirty years. We still see some bad ones occasionally, and back in the day, we had a few good ones. But what I remember as a child in the realm of superhero movies was not very positive. I had things like Superman 3, Superman 4 and, my review target for today, Supergirl. Yes, I am picking on Krypton today, it would seem. They'll get over it.

When I speak of the fact that we've always had some bad superhero movies, I think of how a lot of them have one thing in common. Every one that has had a female protagonist has been considered, at best, not so good, and, at worst, downright horrible. That could be for any number of reasons, but I've always felt like no one ever bothered to put a ton of effort into them. One of the pioneers of such was the 1984 film, Supergirl. This one landed right smack in the middle of the whole Superman movie franchise. I think a lot was riding on this, due to the disappointment of Superman 3. In fact, I heard rumors that the plot was supposed to center on Superman falling prey to a female villain and Supergirl coming to help him. Then, that got whittled down to him having a cameo, then just nothing. And we ended up with a very confusing and convoluted plot, such as it was, which left a lot of people wondering "What the heck?" So I suppose that means that my sharing the story with you will be difficult for us all. I'll try though, and P.S. Spoilers!

The movie starts in Argo City, which was once a part of Krypton, but somehow broke off when it exploded and managed to survive. Is that even possible? Anyway, we meet a pre-Supergirl Kara Zor-El played by Helen Slater. She lives there with her parents, Zor-El and Alura played by Simon Ward and Mia Farrow. And she has a creepy old guy, best friend named Zaltar. And it's Peter O'Toole, in the role that screamed, "Okay, you won't give me an Oscar. Now I'm gonna act like someone who doesn't deserve one!" To be fair, I don't think the bad performance in this was his fault. Most likely, the crap of the script rubbed off on him. Anyway, Zaltar's got this magic wand that he makes stuff with, like trees, and Kara is impressed. She's even more impressed when she sees that, in order to bring life to his art, he has taken the Omegahedron, the power source of the whole city. Yeah, so I'm all for suffering for my art, even making others suffer occasionally, but risking the lives of everyone I know would be pushing it a little even for me. Especially when the entire rest of the planet has already blown up!! Cautious much!

Anyway, they talk about Earth, to where Kara knows that her cousin has gone. Her cousin who WE know as Superman and Clark Kent, but who she only knows as Kal-El. Keep this mind because it is very important later. So Zaltar speaks of leaving with Kara and then with Kara's mother, as the young girl uses the wand to make a bug looking creature, which she brings to life. It ends up flying around and busting a hole through the sheet of plastic that protects the city. Exactly. Why would a city that comes from a world that just blew up take precautions greater than that of covering themselves with plastic wrap? Anywho, the Omegahedron gets sucked through said hole, as does Kara almost. Then, everyone gets mad at Zaltar for taking the power source and losing it, which will result in the slow death of the city. Yeah, they are justified. He says he'll go get it in this ball looking spaceship thingy, but Kara climbs in it first, and off she goes. Kids, am I right?

Okay, so f I'm going to give this film any compliment concerning the special effects, I must admit that the visuals they have as she's going through space are pretty cool to see. Oh, and speaking of space, may we now address the thing about this film that has been cause for much confusion over the decades. When Zaltar is talking about Earth and the other planets, he tells her that those places are in outer space, but Argo City is in inner space. What the crap? I've also heard it referred to as the space between spaces, which doesn't help much. So I did a little research to see if I could get a decent explanation. The main consensus seems to be that inner space is another dimension which exists between water molecules deep in the ocean. Go figure. However, if that is true, explain to me how the Omegahedron falls out of the sky when it comes to Earth. Oh, and she apparently got her powers when she goes from inner space to outer space. Way to retcon the entire reason as to why Kryptonians have special powers in our world. I say we just call all of this Hollywood science and move on.

So, we watch Kara on her journey for a couple of minutes, then cut to some people on a picnic by the lake. And it's Faye Dunaway playing an "I wanna rule the world" magic lady named Selena, and she is with her she hangs out with, Nigel. All of a sudden, the Omegahedron falls from the sky into a bowl of ... something that makes a squishy noise when stuff falls into it. Somehow, Selena knows that this thing is magic and decides to use it to take over the world, as you do. In the meantime, Kara emerges from a lake and starts crushing rocks and using her heat vision to make flowers bloom and flying hither and yon. My, she certainly has learned to use her powers quickly. You know what she's not doing quickly? Looking for the power source to take back to her city in order to save the lives of everyone she knows! I guess we can give her the benefit of the doubt, since she got a little distracted due to being almost assaulted by a couple of guys in an alley. Yes, this is a thing that happens quite soon after her arrival on Earth. Why did this scene happen? Filler, maybe? Also, this is where she reveals that she knows that her cousin is Superman on Earth. I don't know HOW she knows that, since there is no way she could. Oh, wait, the script told her.

Anyway, thanks to this little detector bracelet that Zaltar made for her, Kara figures out(finally)that the Omegahedron is in the vicinity of an all girls school, which apparently means she has to enroll there. What? But here's where things get even more ridiculous. First, she changes her clothes and hair, magically, by walking behind trees. So be it. Next, she meets the principal where she joins the school with the name Linda Lee and says she was recommended by her cousin, Clark Kent. Again, how does she know that's what his alias is? There is literally no way! And, then, the cherry on top is that her roommate ends up being Lucy Lane, as in Lois Lane's sister. Also, Jimmy Olsen is in town because he is sort of dating Lucy. WHAT are the flippin' odds? And Linda/Kara proceeds to spend her time doing a bunch of schoolgirl things, because she has nothing better to do apparently. Now please don't say to me that this is no different than Superman integrating himself into life with the humans. There is a huge difference. Superman is on Earth pretty much permanently, so he must create an alternate life. Supergirl, however, is on the clock. She doesn't have time for this silliness. But, whatever, we need something to drive the plot forward.

In the meantime, Selena has decided that this random landscaper dude named Ethan is going to be her consort as she rules the world. Yeah, good choice. He was cute and all, but he could barely put a sentence together. Anyway, she gives him a love potion that will make him fall in love with the first person he sees when he wakes up ... for a day. Yeah, the spell lasts for a day. But Selena gets distracted, landscaper dude wakes up and wanders out of her house and into the town, where Selena sends a bulldozer to catch him and bring him back. Whatever works. But it doesn't. Havoc is wreaked, there is collateral damage, Dirty Harry style, except not near as cool, and Supergirl saves Ethan. So, of course, he wakes up and sees her, as Linda, mind you, and falls in love with her. Selena freaks out, because she's watching from her crystal ball. May I remind her that the spell only lasts a day. Wait it out, sister. And, ultimately, this is what our superhero movie will become. Two girls fighting over a boy. What the heck?

Oh, sure, they try to toss some things in there, like Kara getting sent to the Phantom Zone where she finds Zaltar only to lose him again. Why even bother? And, of course, the lame battle at the end where Supergirl, at one point, apparently forgets that she can fly, but eventually beats Selena and takes the Omegahedron back home. But that was just to throw us off the scent that this was nothing but a bad chick flick with occasional superpowers. Because what else are you going to do with a female protagonist AND antagonist? All girls do is fight over boys. Well, that and shop, but I guess we didn't have time for that. And that is the movie.

So, in my opinion, I think this thing had potential to be, if not very good, at least, a little good. But everything went awry and we ended up with this. You know, I actually think Helen Slater wasn't that bad as Supergirl. She just had nothing to work with. And Peter O'Toole and Faye Dunaway, what were you doing here? Look, in the realm of bad movies, I say check this out once, just to say you've seen it. And mock it. But once is enough. Still, if you want a great Supergirl thing to watch, get yourself to Smallville Season 7. That will make it all better.

Love and full moon,
Becky the Writer

Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Haunting (1999) - Movie Review

Greetings Pups,

Remakes. What the heck with remakes? I seem to recall doing an entire post about this less than stellar phenomenon, one I still do not understand. And the reason why I don't get it is because, much more often than not, the people in Hollywood make the genius decision to take a movie that is already good, sometimes near perfect, and wrongly think that they can improve upon it. Yes, they really did a lot to make better films like Psycho or House of Wax or, today's target, 1999's The Haunting.

This movie was based on the 1963 film of the same name. Now I may, one day, do a review of that, so I don't plan on saying too much, though I may have to bring up some comparisons. It's almost necessary. I can begin by saying that the original The Haunting is pretty much brilliant. It's not so much a horror movie as it is a psychological thriller. It's all about Dr. Markway (Richard Johnson) taking three people to a house that is believed to be haunted. No kidding. He chooses people who are in some way connected to the paranormal. First, there's Theo (Claire Bloom) who is a psychic, and Luke (Russ Tamblyn), the heir to who currently owns the house and a skeptic. But who we focus most on here is Eleanor, or Nell (Julie Harris). She is a timid woman who has spent years caring for her invalid mother and doesn't really understand why she was chosen for this. As the story continues, we begin to see Nell mentally unraveling, but also beginning to feel strangely comfortable in the house. As the audience, we start to wonder if the haunting referred to in the title is less about the house and more about Nell and her personal demons. And for most of the movie, you don't know if it's all ghosts or just her. All of this gives the film a depth and complexity that one normally doesn't find in a supposed horror movie. There is this incredible subtlety to everything that happens, as to make you think about all the events you are witnessing.

When it comes to the technical aspects of The Haunting, it's just a wonderfully made film. Robert Wise was the director, so, obviously, you're probably not going to be disappointed. He did an amazing job at making every little thing count. The sets were perfect, especially the house they got for the exteriors. You feel uneasy just looking at it. And the most important thing is that it was filmed in black and white. Robert Wise even had it put into the contract that it had to be filmed that way, and he was very right. I try to imagine what this movie would have looked like in color, and it just wouldn't have worked.

Bottom line is that this is a brilliant piece of cinema that should be seen by everyone. It was so brilliant that thirty-something years later, someone decided that they could make it better because they had computer stuff and whatnot. Yeah, no. And so that brings us to the remake of The Haunting. Oh, dear. And, again, major, major spoilers ahead.

So this movie was made in 1999, directed by Jan de Bont. Yeah, that's a mixed bag on that one. I mean, sure, he directed Speed, but he also directed Speed 2. So, yeah. It stars Liam Neeson as Dr. Marrow, Lili Taylor as Eleanor/Nell, Catherine Zeta-Jones as Theo and Owen Wilson as Luke. Not a bad cast. They would have been even better if they had something substantial to work with, but whatever.

Now this remake has several differences from the original, starting with the reason why the doctor brought them to the house. He claims to be doing a study on insomnia, which is what he will be telling his subjects, but it's really a study in fear. I don't really get that change. Plus, it strikes me as something that might be, if not illegal, certainly unethical. Oh, well. Hippocratic oath, schmippocratic oath. Am I right? Anyway, we eventually meet all our characters, starting with Eleanor. In this version, she is also a woman who was taking care of her sick mother, but, though she's not the most outgoing person, she doesn't seem nearly as timid or shy as the original. Then, we get our Luke, who is in no way related to anyone having to do with the house. Nope, he's just some kind of irritating guy, who may or may not be a little high. Or, perhaps, that's just Owen Wilson. And, finally, there's Theo. Hey, remember how I mentioned the subtle way things were handled in the first movie? Not here, and certainly not with Theo. In the original, they simply and barely implied that she might be a lesbian or bisexual, probably because, back then, they couldn't have non-heterosexual characters in films as easily as they do today. In the remake, we are reminded of her sexuality with pretty much every line she says and every action she shows. I mean, look, it's fine if being bisexual is a character trait, but it kind of became her only character trait, and that's not what this film was supposed to be about. Moving on.

So they all get to the house, including two of Dr. Marrow's (don't get attached)assistants, and before they go to bed, he tells them the story of the house's original owner, Hugh Crain and his wife, Renee. They wanted kids, but never got to have any, due to the fact that they all died at birth. This caused Renee to kill herself and Crain to become a recluse. Um, nighty-night, everyone? Oh, wait, no. Before they actually go to bed, we see a piano unwind one of its wires and attack one of the assistants causing both of them to have to leave. So, I guess the mystery of whether or not the house is really haunted has been taken care of. Don't get me wrong, though. I would have been quite happy if all the effects in this thing were as practical looking as that first one. That is not what happens. More on that later.

And then, off to bed with everyone, including the doctor, because he's ... not doing any scientific studies on their sleep/fear? Seriously, wouldn't his whole thing, no matter which it is, require him to do some observation, maybe take some notes? I don't know. During the night, Eleanor and Theo are woken up by some banging in the walls. Everyone gathers in the kitchen where Luke suggests it might be noise from the old pipes. They all think that could have been the explanation. Well, THEY think that. WE don't, because we already know the place is officially haunted. Remember, piano incident? Actually, the whole 'noise in the walls' scene was done fairly well, but then we get to our next 'scary' scene, or as I call it, the "Welcome to the Movie, CGI. You're Never Gonna Leave, Are You?" I'm not kidding. The film becomes like seventy percent CGI after this point, though I might be being kind about that.

First, Eleanor starts seeing these little ghost children under her sheets, which doesn't freak her out all that much for some reason. It would freak me out, but I don't like kids, really, so that could be it. Then, the house starts to pull the big time scaries by making mean faces at her. No lie. The room she is in scrunches up and turns into a mean face. What the heck? Now, one thing that was the same in both films was Eleanor starting to pretty much fall in love with the house, but in the first movie, it's presented as being creepy and kind of disturbing, which it was. Here, it's almost painted as delightful and comforting and, dare I say it, whimsical. No, movie, it is not any of those things. It's creepy. But that's just the start, because soon everyone finds Eleanor in this little room she discovered in the house. It is apparently the room where a baby was born to Hugh Crain's second wife, Carolyn. Wait, who? Oh, but we're done yet. Eleanor informs everyone that SHE is, in fact, Carolyn's and Crain's great, great granddaughter. She says that Crain stole children from the mills, murdered them and burned them in the fireplace so that they'd have to stay in the house with him forever, and she is the only one who can help the children pass on. WHAT! This makes no sense! Certainly not in context of the original story. them pass on? You are not Jennifer Love Hewitt, woman! But, wait, there's more!

They all try to run out, but the house locks them in. Which brings us to the most hilariously awesome scene in the film. I'll just say it involves Owen Wilson and the giant fireplace. Perhaps, you've heard of this. There's got to be a clip of it somewhere, and I suggest you find it. Anyway, it ends with Eleanor facing the ghost of Crain, spouting off all this nonsense that it's about family, calling him 'Grandpa', no less and some crap, then she defeats him with the power of love or some crap and goes to Heaven or wherever with the spirits of the children. Again, WHAT! And everyone who survived leaves. The end.

Hey, movie..BITE ME!

Yeah, I just can't with this thing. Seriously, if you look up any top ten list of the worst remakes ever, chances are, you'll find this one there. It's pretty bad. Forget the fact that the people who made it were arrogant enough to think they could improve upon the brilliance of the original because they had computers and stuff, but even as a standalone, it's not very good either. It's too much and not enough. So, if you want to watch a good movie called The Haunting, hustle yourself back to 1963. If you want a movie called The Haunting for bad movie night, this one can probably be added to your list.

Love and full moons,
Becky the Writer

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Teen Witch - Movie Review

Greetings Pups,

When I was younger, I seem to remember a lot of adults looking at me like I was, well, less than. Just because I was young. Why do some grown-ups look at kids and teenagers like they have no profound thoughts or like they're totally vapid? I don't know, maybe because of movies like Teen Witch.

Okay, so we all know that when one thing becomes popular, many other things come along to try and copy it in order to cash in. The popular thing we've been dealing with for the past five years or so has, obviously, been Twilight, but back in the day we had a situation like this albeit on a smaller scale. In 1985, a great movie was released called Teen Wolf starring Michael J. Fox. You kids today may know it as what spawned one of only three decent shows on MTV. Now, naturally, because of its success, the movie had a sequel, which wasn't that great, at all. But they couldn't stop there. Since they apparently thought that only guys watched and liked Teen Wolf, they decided to do a girlie version of it. Oh, so kind of like how someone thought only guys eat Count Chocula, so, therefore, we got Frankenberry. Because, you know, girls, pink. Of course! And it looks like boys are wolves and girls are witches. Go figure. Anyway, this is how we got Teen Witch. So let's get to the plot of this thing, such as it is. And I will be giving a few spoilers, though not the ending. How nice am I?

Teen Witch is a 1989 comedy, technically, starring Robyn Lively as Louise Miller, a high school student, who is kind of a nerd. A nerd who we eventually find out is as vapid and self-absorbed as the popular kids. More on that in a second. Hey, wait. Robyn Lively is playing a shallow teenager. Clearly, the ability to do that runs in her family, since her sister, Blake, is best known for playing one of the most egomaniacal characters ever on television. Moving on. So, Louise is a nerd, because the leads in these kinds of movies always are, and she is crazy about the hottest guy in school whose name is Brad. Of course, it is. And he is played by a twenty-six year old actor. No lie. Well, this was 1989, which means that this film could have simply been serving to prepare us for the "high school" cast of Beverly Hills, 90210. She also has a best friend named Polly, an out-of-touch mom and dad, and a little brother who is, without a doubt, one of the most irritating characters I have ever come across in a film. Anyway, let's get to where the story kind of takes off.

One night, Brad is out driving with his girlfriend, Randa, a mean, blond cheerleader(Could this thing get any more cliche?), and he kind of hits Louise with his car, accidentally, I suppose. He offers to take her home, but she declines and ends up at the house of Madame Serena looking for help. Madame Serena is played by someone you may recognize, Zelda Rubenstein, the "this house is clean" lady from Poltergeist. She's always fun, am I right? Anyway, Madame Serena finds out that Louise is the reincarnation of a witch that was her friend many years ago, and she will develop her powers when she hits sixteen the following week. And that is exactly what happens.

So there's thunder and lightning and rain, and she gets her powers. Of course, Louise goes through that phase of not really knowing how to work them or understand them, so she has to go back to Madame Serena for help. She gets all these books that tell her what she can do, and what she can do is basically will anything to happen. Of course, her spells are undone by water, though. Yes, we all know the drill. Witch, water, no.

Now here comes the fun part. What does Louise want? To help people who are going through hard times? Nope. Boy! She wants Brad to love her, so she casts a spell, and he does. But then she's all, "I don't want him to love me because of a spell." So she cancels it or whatever, and since unenchanted Brad apparently only dates the most popular girl in school, Louise casts a spell on herself that makes her just that. Okay, we've got problems with this scenario, twofold. First of all, I don't know why she wants this guy, other than the fact that he's old enough to rent a car for her. Second thing, Louise, if you cast a spell on yourself to make you the thing he wants, it's pretty much the same as casting a love spell on him. Just saying.

Anyway, Louise does become popular, everyone loves her, but her best friend just thinks she's turned mean. There are these white guys who rap, not to be confused with the cheerleaders who do a full-on musical number in the locker room about how much they like boys. Yeah. Then, everything comes to resolution, sort of, at a dance, as these movies always do. So, this actually has quite a few things in common with Mean Girls, except there's magic, and Mean Girls was way better. By the way, thank you, Lizzy Caplan, for not rapping. We love you.

Apparently, this is one of those films that, in retrospect, some people have a soft spot for, mostly due to nostalgia. It has become a bit of a cult classic, I guess, but let's not kid ourselves. This is not a good movie. I don't personally find it all that interesting, but I can see how people might get a kick out of it. To be fair, it had a few amusing moments, and Robyn Lively was kind of cute as the lead. I've actually seen her in some things since this. She's become a pretty good actress. But overall, this just wasn't for me, so I'm not sure if I can officially recommend this film. Still, if it seems like the kind of bad movie you would enjoy, go for it.

Love and full moons,

Becky the Writer

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Birdemic: Shock and Terror - Movie Review

Greetings Pups,

Hey, remember the movie The Birds? Remember how great it was, what with the fantastic story that built up all that tension and the amazing visuals and the wonderful acting? Well, get that out of your head, my friends, because today we are talking about Birdemic: Shock and Terror. This is going to be interesting.

Birdemic: Shock and Terror, or just Birdemic as most people call it, is a 2008 film that has become something of a legend in its sheer, utter awfulness. I've heard it referred to as an independent, romantic, horror film. Whatever you say. It certainly does look like an indie film, and they do try to cram in some alleged romance and horror. They do not, however, make much of an effort to cram in any good acting or writing or directing or...anything. Yet, in all the failure, it has become a favorite for the bad movie nights in homes all across the land. I can certainly see why.

And so I have chosen to review this ... gem of a film. I guess I should warn of spoilers since there is so much I have to say about the stuff that sort of happens. But I could tell you every tiny detail and it will not compare to the thrill of seeing it for yourself. No reviewers words can do this thing justice. And away we go.

We begin with the credits, of course, which last about four minutes and consists of some Grade-A stock music that runs on a loop, repeating itself about sixfold, and footage of a guy driving. Just driving and driving and driving. You may think that sounds boring, but they switch it up on you, for sure. I mean, in some shots, you're looking at the car driving from the outside, and then it's like you're inside the car. I know, calm down, right? Actually, if you enjoy listening to that kind of music, whilst watching people do things like drive or walk or applaud or sit there and wait for the director to say "Cut!" which he should have done a good thirty seconds earlier, then this is the movie for you. Because there is a ton of that. Come to think of it, if this movie would have been called Establishing Shot, that would have been much more accurate.

So we've got this guy, Rod, who is some kind of software salesman, and one day, he runs into this girl he used to go to school with named Nathalie,(Yes, spelled with an 'h'!)who is an aspiring model. And she's doing quite well, since one minute we see her doing a photo shoot at a place with a "One Hour Photo" sign in the window, and the next she finds out that she's getting the cover of Victoria's Secret. I am about %74.8 sure that this is exactly how Tyra hit it big. Anyway, they go out on a date and have some riveting conversation. Then, we find out that his best friend, Rick, is dating her best friend, Mai. What are the odds? We all know what that means, right? Double date! So they go on a double date to the movies where they see An Inconvenient Truth. Remember that. It's important to the plot, sort of.

In amongst all of that, we get to see Nathalie interact for a few minutes with her mother, and Rod score some multi-million dollar deal at work. And, of course, since things are going so well between them, Nathalie introduces Rod to her mother in another conversation that last about three minutes and adds nothing to the story. And, again, the new, happy couple go out for a night of dinner and dancing(allegedly) and then go back to a hotel room for some extracurricular activities. If you know what I mean. And the movie is half over.

What's that you say? I've already discussed half the movie and I've failed to mention something? Well, what could it be? Oh, are you referring to - BIRDS!?! Well, here's the deal, pups. You don't get any in the first half of the film! Wait a sec. Let me amend that statement. Twenty-two minutes in, as Rod and Nathalie go for a walk they see some birds in a tree, then, about fifteen minutes after that, they find a dead bird on the beach, with some actual(I think) sea gulls in the background. And then, finally, FORTY-SEVEN MINUTES INTO A NINETY-THREE MINUTE MOVIE CALLED BIRDEMIC, we get some actual bird action. Shall I continue?

After the night of ... whatever between Rod and Nathalie, in the very next scene, we are, out of nowhere, bombarded with the most glorious CG birds you will ever see in your life. And they are accompanied by airplane zoomy sounds and even more CG in the form of explosions. It is, quite frankly, the most fascinating thing ever created by human beings.

Now here is where the bird part of Birdemic begins. Rod and Nathalie first baracade the window to keep the birds out, and after a while, they decide to leave with another couple, Ramsey and Becky, in their van. But they must have a way to defend themselves? They begin with hangers. Yes, hangers. But then they upgrade to a machine gun. I'm not kidding. This guy had a machine gun in his car. He also had a smaller gun, too, because, you know, everything in moderation.

On their little adventure, they pick up two annoying kids, and they stop at a store for supplies. So they can leave with them. Instead of staying where they have shelter and whatnot. Nope, got to get back in the car. And that leads them to this other random guy who says that the birds have bird flu and it's because of global warming. Yeah, remember how I said that movie they saw was a plot point? Well, throughout this film, they pepper in, very unnaturally, all these references to global warming. I guess this is an environmental movie.

Anyway, Becky dies rather uneventfully, and then we get the bus scene. Oh, yeah. The group comes across this bus with a bunch of people in it, and they don't want to get off, because, you know, birds outside. But Ramsey pretty much drags them off, only to have them all be attacked by the birds either spitting or puking on them, I can't decide. Either way, this stuff is apparently like acid, so they all die. WHAT THE HECK AM I WATCHING?

So, Rod and Nathalie and the kids go to a gas station to get gas in order to go to somewhere else where they won't have supplies or shelter like they would at the station. But after they leave, they are carjacked by a guy who wants their gas. He gets it, then a bird gets him. Then, they get out of the car to go into the woods for water. Interesting, since they had just acquired a huge case of it from the store. But if they didn't go into the woods, they wouldn't have met the treehouse man, who says that the trees are his family. Because why not? But the birds come again, so they flee in their car, only to find on the side of the rode, Rick and Mai in their car, dead. What are the odds again?

Finally, they all go to the beach, after they run out of gas, to fish and then cook the fish on an open fire. And that will not attract the birds at all! Seriously, the kids starting whining that they didn't want fish but rather a Happy Meal. It seemed annoying at first, but having a Happy Meal in this situation almost seemed logical compared to what they were doing. And surprise of all surprises, the birds come back, forcing them into the car. Again, it is a wondrous sight to see. Then, they fly away. Everyone gets out of the car and Nathalie says something like, "Why did they stop?" Okay, it's a bit presumptuous to think that they stopped for good, considering they attacked about a minute ago, and there were longer stretches of time where they weren't attacking, but they always came back. Who cares though? We have reached the mandatory ninety minutes, which means we're done. And so our four survivors look at the horizon at the totally realistic birds flying away. The end.

Wow. Just wow. This movie is downright awful. The story, the dialogue, the acting, all awful. And yet, I am telling you that you should definitely watch this. It is, to say the least, an experience. And it is one of those movies that, if someone somewhere starts a conversation about it, you do not want to be left out. So watch Birdemic and then watch The Birds to make the pain go away.

Love and full moons,

Becky the Writer