Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Review of Sorts: The Way We Were 1974

I know, I know,  what the heck am I doing reviewing a movie that had it's 25th Anniversary Edition formatted in 1999?  On VHS!!  Well, truth be told, I was strolling around the Saline District Library and saw the title.  I had always heard about "The Way We Were", and of course I knew the theme song sung by Barbra Streisand.  I knew she and Robert Redford were the stars and I figured it was just a really good romance, chick flick.

Well, was I ever pleasantly surprised!  Yes it is a romance, but with a lot of substance!  For those of you readers who know me, you probably know at least two of my passions: writing (no-brainer there) and politics.  This movie has them both in spades.  As a matter of fact, he, Hubbell Gardiner (Redford) is a writer, and she, Katie Morosky (Streisand) is an activist/writer for radio. And kudos to selecting the name "Hubbell". What a cool name for a beefy and sensitive guy, and it rolls well off of Streisand's tongue whether she is crying it, laughing it or yelling it.

Hubbell and Katie are truly opposites, and have this incredible roller coaster relationship in the 1940's, amongst all that goes with that time, as quoted on the movie jacket, "foreign war, domestic prosperity and McCarthy-era paranoia in Hollywood."  For those who aren't into politics, no worries, it is not in-depth enough to be boring or a distraction.  The relationship itself is a classic one, that mirrors the relationships we all have had, and I'm sure some people still have in current day.

I love this movie, and Redford never looked better! (Seriously!)  Streisand is beautiful and the storyline just as attractive. I recommend it highly.  Not only is it a good movie, but it is a kind of motion picture history that I hope doesn't get lost among the archives. It is worth renting, I'll probably find a way to own it.  The best way to view it though is for free, from your District Library.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sports For Chicks: Hello's The Masters 2010

I love the Masters.  I love the prestige, the gorgeous course, the hunky biceps and the green jackets.  We get a real feel of southern Augusta, Georgia hospitality and an inside look into the Augusta National Golf Club.

I don't understand how some people think watching pro golf is a bore.  Like any sport, once you are behind a player or two, it is impossible not to let the lust for great competition take over.  Especially on Sunday, the fouth day of the tournament, when the sun is setting and your favorite player is at sudden death with the second place player.  It is suspenseful, hold-your-breath-please-sink-it-in-the-hole-please-please-please competition that ranks with any other knock- down -drag -out action in the world of sports.

You might have heard of a little distraction this week.  It appears Tiger Woods is back in play (Really?  Hadn't heard...).  As a matter of fact, tonight (Wednesday) he is being honored by the Golf Writers Association as the 2009 Male Player of the Year.  Yep.  He's being honored for playing golf, as he should be.

You heard me correctly, he should be.  Tiger Woods, despite his off the course behavior which is none of our dang business, is the best, winning-ist golfer in the world.  I for one am glad he is back. He is exciting to watch.  He is fun to watch.  He is SO good at playing golf!   It appears other fans and players feel the same.  And certainly, the PGA is thrilled to have him back because they finally will have their audience back and sponsors are lining up in droves. The Masters Tournament Management expressed their disappointment in him, well, someone had to, for the viewers who want Tiger Woods to pay in some way, professionally, for something he did personally.

Even if you don't want to watch Tiger Woods, there are so many delicious players to keep your eye on...any one of them could break forward and claim the green prize.  Slocum, Kelly, Weir, Els, Kim, Cabrera, Cink, Harrington, Goosen, Furyk, Mickelson....and the list goes on.

I like Phil Mickelson too because he is so "pro-woman and their rights", he appreciates his wife, his mother, his daughters.  Mickelson's wife and mother were both diagnosed with cancer in the last couple of years.  This past weekend, for the first time ever, Mickelson let someone else sub-out his Caddie for the last few holes of the tournament.  Who was the lucky fan?  None other than his wife's cancer doctor.  Pretty cool.  Phil's a classy guy.

The only golfer I don't care for is Vijay Singh, because of some less than polite views he has toward women golfers.  Just rubbed me the wrong way and I haven't liked him since.

Anyway...tomorrow is the big day.  Day one of Masters 2010.  Dig into the luscious greenery, the beautiful bridges and gardens, the hunky biceps and the cool plaid's the Masters baby.  Hellooo Augusta.

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Surprising Review: The Price of Beauty with Jessica Simpson

I will be the first to admit that I put Jessica Simpson right into the "no substance" category when she was at her peak, filming Dukes of Hazard, wearing the daisy dukes (and no, I didn't see the movie, but didn't really have to with all the hype).  Then her relationship/personal life was all over reality TV (more lack of substance), and then all the drama with her on again/off again relationship with Dallas Cowboy quarterback Tony Romo was on every newsstand.  With all of this fluff media, my opinion of her worsened.  Any mention of Jessica Simpson and I was like, "blech! enough already".  If only the press would give so much attention to smart, successful, beautiful women who make their way on more than looks alone.  Give me brain power, culture and substance--PLEASE!

Next was her shoe line.  Jessica Simpson Shoes.  Not bad, but did she really design them?  Could I trust that she actually operated the business and didn't just promote it with a pretty face?  Where were the shoes made?  Could I be sure they weren't being glued together by 8 years olds in some country without child labor laws? Would she even know?

I didn't really give any more thought to Jessica until I started to hear her fighting back against all the bad press she was getting for her weight.  Yep, according to the tabloids, the daisy dukes would fit no more.  What stood out, however, was that Jessica Simpson started pleading her case for healthy women who weren't exactly a size 0.  I think I heard she was a size 12 at that time, a very standard size for the everyday American woman, yet the media was killing her, calling her fat, tubby, and wallowing in ice cream sundaes.  For the first time, my opinion of her began to change a bit.  Not because she was heavier (I would like her at a size 0 too if I got some brainpower with it!), but because she seemed to finally be being herself, and standing up for what she thought was right and healthy for her body, and to hell with everyone else.

So now, imagine my surprise when I hear Simpson is doing a new show for VH1 called "The Price of Beauty".  Simpson and her pals travel the world to see what women do in other cultures to maintain their beauty, and how each culture differs.  Before I could give it any more props other than "cultural fluff", I thought I'd better do my homework.  While it is true, some of the story lines mirror the same headlines we have here in the U.S. For example, in Mumbai, the show did a piece on how people are only perceived beautiful there if they are copying what they see on the silver screen of Baliwood.  Not too substantial.

But then...

The Simpson group traveled to Thailand where fair skin is meant to be more beautiful.  The fairer the better, because tan skin signifies one working outdoors, meaning less status.  For that reason, the cosmetic industry in Thailand puts bleaching cream in just about every kind of foundation there is, much like our obsession with the opposite, our bronzers, or "sun-kissed" cosmetics sold here.

Jessica and her group met a woman whose life was ruined by too much bleaching cream.  She had been a singer, had wanted fairer skin, but after using a bleaching product and going in the sun, her complexion was completely ruined.  She stopped singing.  Her husband left her. Tragic.  A true price of beauty.  Jessica was noticeably affected by this woman's story, and she talks about it here.

 I think it is brave to travel the world and be submerged into other cultures and customs, and to make the point that being obsessed over beauty has it's costs.

I'm all for being the best you can be, looking and feeling your best too.  As long as what is on the outside compliments what is on the inside...substance.  The Price of Beauty is no Frontline, heck, it's not even a Dateline, but it does show a different side to Jessica Simpson, where she is being educated right along with the viewers.  Let the substance begin.