The Harvest 3.5/5 STARS

Yes, yes, I’ve got a movie review for you!  I’m a sucker for dark movies, but I thought this one–The Harvest–was worth recommending.  As someone who has trouble sitting through long movies, I found The Harvest(1hr 44min) very watchable.  From start to finish, the pacing was perfect.  I’d like to add that this movie deals with the death of one’s child, among other sensitive topics, so keep that in mind if you’re sensitive to that.  Even I was on edge, mouth twisted in disgust when things really started to get creepy.

A sickly boy(Charlie Tahan) is isolated from the outside and other children, “to keep his strength.”  His abusive mother(Samantha Morton) is a doctor, and mild father(Michael Shannon) a nurse.  When mounting evidence shows that the mother doesn’t truly care about the boy’s longevity, only the neighbor girl(Natasha Calis) can shine light on this dark family.  All of the characters in The Harvest are believable, with familiar dynamics that hearken to real life.  For example: the mother puts the father down by reminding him he’s just a nurse, and she an MD.  The father, conversely, resents her status as a doctor.

The movie opens with a pleasant scene: kids are playing baseball, parents yelling encouragements from the bleachers.  One kid, Bobby, is hit with the ball and flops to the ground, unresponsive.  Adults crowd around him, but you can hear a woman calling: “Please, let me through… I’m his mom. Let me through.”  Bobby is taken to hospital and saved.  His mother, relieved, thanks the doctor with a hug.  This seemingly inconsequential scene will not make sense until the very end of the movie.  Actually, I went back and watched the opening again because I had nearly forgotten it as it seemed totally unrelated.  Folks, I was wrong.  Go back and watch the beginning again if you need to: it really frames the message of the movie.


Sidenote: The Harvest is available on Canadian Netflix.

 

13 Things I Hate

(Inspired by It’s Black Friday’s video Stuff I Hate)

Enter the Hate, and give life eternal.

In no particular order, here are some things that I hate:

  1. Boring eyeshadow palettes.  They’re everywhere! They advertise themselves as bold and sexy, but they’re really just 6 different shades of brown.
  2. The trolls who smoke in front of no-smoking signs, around children, etc.
  3. People who eat like food is going out of style.  Stop slurping like an alien and leave some for tomorrow!
  4. Pop music. I think this point needs no explanation.  Moving on;
  5. People jaywalking and otherwise walking dangerously.  You give pedestrians a bad name. (Cue Bon Jovi).
  6. Neighbours having noisy karaoke parties.  I’ve had personal experience with this…
  7.   Uninformed idiots who choose to use faulty reasoning for their arguments and ignore proper methods of debate, especially when they have a huge following on social media.
  8. Superhero movies and cartoons advertised towards adults. I hate this, so that you can hate me.  You’re welcome.
  9. Humidity. Yuck!
  10. People who support Hillary Clinton because of her sex (this is kind of a repeat of number 5, but it has to be said).
  11. Sloppy wet lipstick that gets everywhere.  I swear I wasn’t smooching a moose.
  12. Not having sunscreen/proper sun protection.  Skin Cancer affects us all, y’all!
  13. Navy Blue–the natural enemy of black.  I’ve never heard someone say that their heart is Navy, because Navy is a crappy colour.

Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Mask You Live In 4/5 STARS

When men complain about the pressure to be tall and muscular, they’re right.  They’re absolutely right that they’re expected to be physically imposing.  At it’s worst, they’re expected to assert their power through violence.  And, underneath the posturing, they are forced to hide their feelings.

The Mask You Live In, available on Canadian Netflix, lays all of the ways we set boys up for failure out in the open.  Most of us are desensitized to the messages beaten into us, that we become blind.  Not just physically, but psychologically, by the way we talk, what we watch, and who we idolize.

A few criticisms I’d make is that it’s alluded that boys watching “bondage porn” are somehow more toxically masculine.  While porn is a problem in the ways it portrays sex, I don’t really agree with the insinuated evil of kink/BDSM.  I’d like to add that different ways of having sex are fine as long as they are consensual.  I wish they had had a sex educator in the documentary explain this point…

Overall, I agreed with the film’s main ideas.  It covered the causes and effects of Toxic Masculinity and the Demonization of Femininity.  The Mask You Live In made me very emotional in spots: I teared up, and I’m not one to cry during movies.  Most of the time, I was just nodding my head.

Are There Real Wizards in Iowa?

Ted Cruz claims that Americans “overwhelming(sic) disagree” with same-sex marriage, and that polls claiming most are in favor of marriage equality are “skewed.” Ted Cruz knows this because, naturally, he’s a wizard and can read the thoughts of millions of Americans without breaking a sweat.  His magic powers are so great, that he knows better than to believe the results  of multiple polls. Polls such as this one and this one.

You’re a wizard, Teddy.

I Plead Innocent to Charges of Being a Hipster

Maybe it’s just me–actually, it certainly is just me– but I love a good old-fashioned art film.  I know, I sound like some silly lumber-sexual hipster trying to be “edgy.” Bear with me, I beg of you.

I try really hard to enjoy blockbuster action movies, but they’re just so BORING. I pick them apart and point out all of the poor writing, cinematography, casting, everything and it soon becomes painful to watch.  Also, the score–oh gawd, the score! My poor ears!  Not all “mainstream” movies are awful, of course, but many of them should be dumped into the inky depths of the ocean, never to be seen again.

For example; I saw the movie Pan in theaters, and I was raving(positively) about it for some time afterwards. Every little detail built up something that parents could ponder while their children enjoyed the basic story and visual spectacle. This one is not ocean material..

In the pursuit of a good film, I have done much IMDB scouring and have come to a conclusion. I love surreal films from the ’60s.

They’re Baaaaaack!

OMG THE X-FILES ARE BACK. Ahem, errr… Yeah.  Seriously, Scully is my hair inspiration(hairspiration???). She was the badass suit-wearing ginger that I aspired to be as a young’un.  She was also inspiring in the first few seasons because of her cute lil’ baby face. I don’t think there’s anyone else on TV who has had that little bit of softness to their face(and she didn’t get flack for it!). After the first few seasons it went away, which made me kind of sad.  These days, actors(and models) are expected to either be super skinny or “plus-sized.” The truth is(out there), plenty of young women are in between…  Anyways, that’s my X-Files Revival Rant— it seems we’re all entitled to at least one.

Hairspiration!

Mah face is so sawft and skwishay

 

The Artist Among the Manufactured

Since the death of David Bowie, I’ve been feeling pretty blegh…  I guess I’m having a mini existential-crisis. With him gone, I’m wondering: who will be the “mainstream” face of breaking the line between “men’s clothing” and “women’s clothing?”

I really like movies, and when I was a young teen, I saw the movies Cabaret(with Liza Minelli) and Victor Victoria(with Julie Andrews).  They are definitely on the (non-existent)list of my favorite movies ever. I remember watching them and thinking, “I wanna be like that.”  I wanted to sing and dance and cross-dress.

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Lucas Lanthier

I saw some interesting pictures today of Lucas Lanthier, a musician I found out about only this week(oh, the joys of The Internet).  In one he is wearing thick black mascara, red lipstick, and a ghostly pallor. The other, a lilac dress.  These two photos inspire me, and I hope they inspire those who are looking at them right now.  Lanthier, however, is not a “mainstream” artist, so one must brave the depths of Tumblr to see more of his bold outfits.

To me, David Bowie was a true artist, someone whose life was a work of art. What he wore, what he said, what he did, all created his Magnum Opus.

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Lucas Lanthier(in a dress)

When he left, a hole was blown in the fortress of pop culture. The world needs somebody who will be the artist among the manufactured. Someone who will break barriers, challenge society, and make tunes that can be played on the radio in your dentist’s office.

And so, the crisis continues. To reiterate; who will be the “mainstream” face of breaking the line between “men” and “women?” Is it me?  Is it you? Is it us?

A Wacky Dream and Uma Thurman

Last night I had a dream that I was on a stage, rehearsing for a performance. It was some kind of musical. I was playing a member of a team of heroes, the main characters of the production. When the curtain lifted, music played, and the chorus break-danced. Immediately, I skipped around, meeting the other heroes, and we jumped through a closet in the wall to another universe. In this other universe, we couldn’t sense time.  Everything was covered in blue shadow. We found ourselves in a wallpapered foyer with many narrow, crooked hallways calving from it. Through the close air I crusaded to the end of one hallway. Then I spat insults at a squat baby-faced thing. It’s head soon rolled off it’s neck, defeated.

This process of dancing, running into the pocket-universe, and slaying a beast was repeated over and over again in the dream.  Each time, I took a different route, quashing a different creature. How disturbing they were… What a strange dream!

If that ruined your good mood, here is a still of Uma Thurman coked out in Pulp Fiction. That’ll make everything better, surely!  Have a nice day!

My face when I realize nobody likes me at all.

Tell-Tale Tramp Stamp

Check out these Edgar Allen Poe inspired temporary tattoos.

Want! Seriously, I love his short stories. Poe has left an indelible and sometimes invisible mark on our culture. He dreamed up stories you have probably seen spoofed/adapted into TV, music, writing, movies, etc. Unless you’ve read the originals, you’d never know, of course. Go Poe!p40922025_2Post Script: Oh, it’s just like the black cat that keeps coming back…! With increasingly strange appearance, causing madness.