Category Archives: film

Guest Blogger: Maddie Carens

The best new movie I’ve seen in a while has to be Craig Brewer’s 2011, Footloose.

I know it’s a remake, and unfortunately I never saw the original, but in any case I think it is a crowd pleaser for people of all ages (13+). It was very well done from beginning to end with actor choice, special effects, music and costume.

To help you get an idea of what you find in Footloose, here’s your quick synopsis. 17 year old, Ren MacCormack moves from Boston to a small southern town in Georgia, where he will now live with his aunt and uncle.

In this town three years earlier there was a tragic accident where five high school seniors on their way back from a dance party were killed. After this incident that affected so many town-wide, there were many laws put into place including “no public dance.” Ren McCormack uses his determination and convincing to try and get this law abolished. Throw in some teenage love, and Dennis Quaid as the local minister, and you have a fabulous combination of action and enjoyment.

Because this movie is based on dance, I think it was really ideal that the director chose characters that actually have solid dance ability and history, making the use of stunt doubles virtually invisible. This is not your next High School Musical, this is a developed, feel good flick, that had me dancing in my seat once it ended.

FW: Corn Dog Movie

OK, I have done this freewrite several times already but last night I sat through yet another viewing of Stick It. This damn flick!

Those of you that know me already know I am a huge fan of gymnastics. I especially like gymnastics because I pretty much like watching people fall on their asses. And no one falls better than a gymnast. So elegant, so graceful, so splat on their face.

so yeah, I love Stick It simply because it’s all that gymnastics stuff and the movie is basically a big FU to USA Gymnastics. The climatic moment of the film is when one of the girls is up for a vault and she gets points deducted for having her bra strap show. All the gymnasts are pretty pissed at the stupidity and limitations of the judging committee so they end up pretty much blowing the entire meet by doing their own thing.

Best scene: Wei Wei’s beam routine. This chick “rocks it out” (as any Toddler’s and Tiara contestant would say). it kicks some major ass. And it’s fun to watch. Thank GOD for YouTube.

yeah, I can watch this stupid movie a million times and still be pretty content. It was on ABC Family all weekend of fall break. And I watched it all six times. And yeah, I do already own. It is what it is.

Guest Blogger: Shane Samuel

The Sexual Secrets in Disney Movies

Disney is known to many for its squeaky ‘clean’ image and for being the birthplace of the infamous Mickey Mouse. However, Disney has a dark side, one that seems to have a fascination with explicit images and sex. Almost every major Disney film, from the Lion King to the Little Mermaid has been under fire for the use of explicit images. Many would say that it is not the fault of Disney instead it is the artists who draw the images that are at fault, but I disagree. I am sure the people in Disney review the films before shipping them around the world and definitely see the images. That is like saying Disney producers do not realize that all of the villains in their films are of a darker skin tone. Even more interestingly, not only is Disney infamous for it sex sells attitude but for its blatant racism and sex is good ideology. For example, in the film Who Framed Rodger Rabbit Donald Duck called him “a goddam stupid nigger,” another example is in the movie Aladdin, where Aladdin is heard saying “Good teenagers take off your clothes.” Disney seems to have a clear perversion for telling children about sex. Below are stills from some of our favorite Disney movies and the explicit images found within:

The Lion King:

The word ‘sex’ is clearly seen in the stars.

The Little Mermaid:

The Priest is erect.

The image of a penis is seen in one of the kingdom’s tower.

The Rescuers:

A naked woman is seen the background.

Make it so.

We read The Hunger Games for my Adolescent Literature class this week. I love this book. I loved it so much when I first read it; I had to teach Adol Lit just so I could make it required reading for everyone. It’s an amazing text.

If you don’t know what The Hunger Games is about, or have never heard of it, you have been either living under a rock or are simply deprived of some serious quality American popular culture. The biggest news of pop culture in the past two weeks—aside from Charlie Sheen’s tiger blood and Lindsey refusing a plea deal—is that they have cast the role of the main character in The Hunger Games movie that is coming out next year. Apparently, everyone who is any female of acting caliber has read for, or at least wanted this role. Names from Abigale Breslin to Hailee Steinfeld have been mentioned but ultimately, the character of Katniss Everdeen went to Winter’s Bone actress Jennifer Lawrence.

In class, several of my students’ referred to this text as science fiction. Many wrote in their text response for the book that they didn’t care for science fiction so they had a hard time getting into the plot. I assigned this text as a dystopian novel: America in the future is a desperate place where the overruling government requires each of the segregated twelve territories to send two children into the Hunger Games each year where they fight to the death. Very much like The Giver and Brave New World, this text is classified as dystopian.

It never even occurred to me that this plot—or dystopian novels—could be classified as science fiction. I am not kidding. I never considered myself a fan of science fiction. In my mind—like many people, I am sure—lovers of science fiction are anti-social misfits that spend too much time analyzing the forcefield capabilities of the Enterprise. But as I write this, I realize: I know what the Enterprise is. That already makes me one of them.

I had to really face my sci-fi roots this week. No one has ever accused me of liking sci-fi—and I say that like it’s an accusation, a negated identity that I would never want to be associated with. Yet in this month alone, I have started rewatching The X-Files from episode one, something I just did a few years ago.

I have also listened to an audio version of Fahrenheit 451—again a revisit for me.

I also referenced the new Battlestar Galactica in last week’s blog post and quoted from Firefly in an email to a friend.

And the other night, I had a dream about Jean-Luc Picard buying me the new iPad2 as a gift for Easter. (don’t ask. I can’t even believe I am admitting this on a public blog.)

Apparently, I do like science fiction. Apparently, sci-fi fans are not all anti-social.

OK. You have me on the misfit description.

The SPARK Summit

From the SPARK Summit on the sexualization of women and girls in the media and its effects on young women:

Whoa, Noah! Hold the boat!

Well, I know you all know Miley Cyrus. Let me introduce you to her little sister, Noah Cyrus:

Cute, huh?

She’s an aspiring actress, having already appeared on a few eps of Hannah Montana and taking the lead voice in last year’s English version of Ponyo.

She is a pro at walking the red carpet.

Of course, many child actors are, so I suppose this is not a big deal. Until she walks the carpet dressed like this on Halloween:

No, I don’t suppose this is a big deal to anyone. It’s a costume, right? I mean, really. She’s cute!

I mean, it’s no big deal that she poses with a bunch of other girls—that’s her on the left, in the back—hanging onto a stripper pole.

If you are still struggling with this notion about how problematic it is when we sexualize our little girls, you need to start getting critical, fast.

It should make you uncomfortable to watch a little girl singing Akon’s “Smack That” in front of a group of adults. Encouraged by a group of adults.

Especially with lyrics like this:

smack that all on the floor / smack that give me some more
smack that ‘till you get sore / smack that, oh-oo

Or dancing to Ke$ha’s “Tik Tok” and posting it to You Tube:

And yeah, I got those lyrics, too:

Before I leave brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack

You should wonder where her parents are when she leaves the house dressed like this:

That would be Noah in the middle. Wearing the push-up bra that is peeking out from under her shirt. And to be fair, I shouldn’t make you question where her parents are since I have given you the answer. Yeah, that’s Tish Cyrus, Noah and Miley’s mom right there on the left. Oh, I’m sorry. Did I mention that Noah is 10 yrs old?

She was only 9 when she made those videos. And posed on the red carpet. But hey, isn’t this how all 9 yr old American girls are behaving today? Think again.

Guest Blogger: Grace

Over break, I made it my personal mission to find the scariest horror movie that Netflix could instantly provide me. After sorting through ratings and topics, I decided on The Girl Next Door, a 2007 film directed by Gregory Wilson. I had no idea what to expect, but after finishing the movie, I could not sleep for two nights.

“Horror” is not the category that I would place this film in. Instead, maybe “highly disturbing physiological gore” would do. The film follows the lives two young girls who are sent to live with their Aunt Ruth because their parents died in a car accident. Aunt Ruth turns out to be OBSESSED with purity when it comes to the girls. She attacks the girls, calling them “sluts”, because the new generation (this is in the 50’s) is “impure”.

*SPOILER ALERT*

This idea of feminist purity leads her to let her sons do whatever they please with the girls. Aunt Ruth lives alone, because her husband cheated on her. The hatred for sexual young girls may stem from his actions. Her sons treat her as a Queen, and she has rule over the entire masculine household. The battle between the issue of femininity and masculinity domination does not last long, because in the end, the boys (and Ruth) take all power.

I suggest that if you have an interest in Women’s Studies that you watch the film, because it encapsulates a jaded old women’s control over two young girls, through her sons. This movie was based on the true story of the torture of Sylvia Likens. Do not watch it just because Saw didn’t scare you. The gruesome events that take place in the film will make your stomach churn.

Guest Blogger: Stephen Raulli

Happy Halloween!

Is anyone noticing how our beloved Disney princess’ get, um, altered around Halloween? I think these costumes redefine ‘Happily Ever After,’ if you get my drift.






(Ok, this one wasn’t a stretch)


Oh! And every princess needs her prince!



Well, not all of our Disney characters’ costumes have been altered…

Sugar, spice and everything nice?

I tried to avoid this. Really I did. Because every person on the planet who owns a blog and writes about popular culture spent the summer blogging about Lindsay Lohan. I mean, who doesn’t know the story by now: Linds blew off her probation and court ordered alcohol classes and landed herself in jail for 13 days on a 90 day sentence (oh that wacky California! Unless you actually murdered someone, they ain’t got room for your zaney law-breaking antics! So you’ll only serve about a third of your sentence. You’re welcome!)

And then a 90 day stint in rehab turned out to be only 23 days because—surprise!!!—Lindsey, apparently, is not nearly as addicted as they thought! She is just a regular Hollywood starlet!

So yeah. This summer, I had TMZ on my screen at 4:30 to hear Harvey spew the news about Lindsey. And now, she is out of prison, out of rehab and it remains to be seen if she’ll clean her act up.

But don’t fret, folks. Because while the news on the Lindsey front may be waning while she plays new and improved, we have Paris Hilton’s latest arrest—a felony charge!—on drug possession in Vegas last week. Her (recent) mug shot:

This is all pretty big news. Lindsey’s FUBAR was all over the news for all of summer and her twitter followers grew by a good half million. The mishaps of contemporary Hollywood starlets are a boon for business all the way around; the paparazzi keep us hooked the way we like.

But here is where I have issue: that whole double standard thing. We seem to want to see our young, female stars muck up—who wasn’t rooting for another LiLo stumble so we have even more to gossip about on facebook? I mean, look at this blog post; I knew all the details of Lindsey’s case without even having to look them up.

I struggle with the celebratory moment in our popular culture when we beat the hell out of our female starlets but tend to celebrate their male equivalents. I realized this after I got a glimpse of this headline:

Moviegoers still want to see Mel Gibson films

You should have heard about Mel Gibson’s summer escapades by now. Gibson is heading to court on various charges, one of which is domestic abuse against his ex-girlfriend and mother of his most recent child. There is no denying that Gibson has a temper—various people that have worked with him in the industry have admitted to seeing it come out when he drinks.

Meanwhile, a series of audio tapes have been leaked to the press—who leaked them, is still under investigation—and they are full of hate-spewing, racist and misogynistic rants. So I am not quite sure why a man that is tied to domestic abuse is still lauded by audiences.

Which brings me to a similar Hollywood star that seems to avoid any of the public distaste that the likes of Lindsey and soon, Paris, is facing.

Charlie Sheen was arrested in December of last year for assaulting his wife:

he allegedly threatened to kill her and brandished a knife after she told him she wanted a divorce.

So while Lindsey’s career has taken a nose-dive due to her various illegal activities, Sheen—who has a history of violence against women charges filed—was rewarded with the highest salary paid to a TV star, $1.25 million per episode. That’s more than this guy makes:

The point here is that we seem to have a double standard set in how our female stars are allowed to screw up. Within our ideology, we expect our male stars to be in the news for issues such as arrests due to drug and traffic violations. Because after all, boys will be boys. But not for our girls. We want them much better behaved. Consider another example. Remember this?

Miley Cyrus was only 15 when this photo was shot for Vanity Fair by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz. It caused such a scandal, the starlet ended up apologizing for the shoot. Yet this is a pretty routine pic that has graced the walls of many a tween:

This is Taylor Lautner. He is 16 in this shot. No one seems to have a problem with this. Especially the adult female fans of Twlight.

Just sayin’.

One day, my prince will come!

It always amazes me how many responses I receive on a blog post that mentions the Disney Princesses. My only guess is it’s because so many of you grew up watching these films at a time when Disney really started marketing the princesses as something aside from the actual film. When I was younger, the characters were not marketed nearly as much as the film, itself.

Given that the first Disney store opened in 1987, many of you were about to hit your toddler years just as the store’s influence and number was kicking it into high gear. Thus, these characters became a huge part of your childhood.

So to offer equal attention to the Disney princes, I found this little gem this morning: