National Trivia Day

Today marks National Trivia Day.

Trivia day is the perfect day to share all of those silly little facts that almost nobody knows, making this day fun and interesting one to spend with friends and family or browsing the internet sharing and learning new things.

Did you know?

  • Trivial Pursuit was first created in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in 1979?
  • Monopoly was invented by Elizabeth Magie in 1904 and the original name was the Landlord’s Game. The game was a critique against the injustice of capitalism.
  • Men are 6 times more likely to be struck by lightning than women.
  • Basketball was invented by a Canadian
  • Avocados are poisonous to birds.

Movie Theatre Crowds

Do you ever catch a movie on TV and think about when you saw it for the first time at the cinema? I do. I remember where people laughed or were shocked or anytime the crowd reacted loudly and in unison.

I’m an introvert and usually preferred to stay home alone than to mix with a large group of people I don’t know. There are some exceptions. I have great memories thanks to movie theatre crowds.

star-wars-2082969_1920I remember waiting 6 hours for Star Wars Episode 1 tickets with my little brother. We had skipped school/work in order to get these tickets back in 1999. People had come in full cosplay and everyone was happy. It was a cold day and the cinema owner let the first few stay indoors near the ticket machines. We ordered pizza as a group and had great conversations. That day we were all good friends.

I remember waiting in an extremely long line to view a early showing of Star Wars Episode 2 with my little bother and my cousin back in 2002. We were going in just after the journalist showing. As they came out, they looked at the long line and notice I was the only women from the door to as far as the eye could see. I got interviewed by several journalists and got some nice Star Wars marketing goodies reserved for journalists. I remember my cousin and brother thinking it wasn’t fair.

dancing-dave-minion-510835_1920I remember going to the movies with my young child to view Despicable Me in 2010. In excitement my child screamed the name of the movie. Being French speaking, it came out a bit wrong. Instead of Despicable Me, she said Spit Vomit. The crowd erupted in laughter, including us and to this day (many, many years later) we still call it Spit Vomit.

I remember winning tickets to an early showing of Twilight: Breaking Dawn in 2011. I had one 2 tickets so I brought a friend with me. We ended up meeting one of the actors who passed a lot of time in our section, probably because among the crowd of young teenagers, we were the only ones about his age. We also passed in the newspaper and on television that day.

 

 

 

Review: Persepolis

Persepolis is not your average animated movie. The movie follows a young girl through the Islamic Revolution in Iran.

“War. Revolution. Family. Punk Rock. All part of growing up.” – Persepolis

You can read the big lines in the news and never truly understand what happened. Seeing this movie and following the progress of this young girls life makes you understand from the point of view of someone who actually lived through the revolution.

John Wayne isn’t a role model

I have no desire to cater to racists of any kind. That is why I always speak up when someone says they like John Wayne. I personally cannot understand how people can idolise a man who was so incredibly racist and sexist.

“I don’t feel we did wrong by taking this great country away from them. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it to themselves.” – John Wayne

That is some colonial bull-shit right there. You can read the rest of the interview here. Trust me, it gets much worst.

John Wayne was a guy who dominated the film industry and screwed over people of colour. He didn’t care about the actual lives of people of colour.

 

Review: Quantico

I am currently listening to Quantico and it is quickly becoming one of my top favourites series.

Quantico is about a group of young new FBI recruits going through training. The interpersonal relationship is well developed. There is excellent intrigue, humour, twists, mystery and drama.

Each character highlighted in the series have incredible strengths and weaknesses. Sexuality, race, gender is all in the forefront without being the end story.

I don’t want to say too much because the twist and turns are part of what makes this show enjoyable.

Some of my favourite quotes:

“Drunk on punch and white priviledge” – Quantico – S1:11 “Inside”

“Dream job and dream husband. I thought those were mutually exclusive.” – Alex “No, that’s just the media trying to hold us back.” – Quantico – S1:11 “Inside”

Review: Glow

I should start this review by saying that I am not a wrestling fan.When I watched the Pilot episode, I wasn’t convinced I would like a show about women wrestling. I decided to give it a shot because I had heard a lot of good things about the series.

The series is about 14 misfit actresses (every shape, size, colour and background) in 1980’s Los Angeles who were hired to play wrestlers for a TV show named “The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling” (or G.L.O.W.). Most of them have no experience with wrestling what so ever. Their introduction into the world of wrestling helps the audience who may also be new to wrestling get into the story.

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The series, I found out, is a very fictionalised account of the true story behind an 80s wrestling franchise. The creators Liz Flahive (Homeland) and Carly Mensch (Weeds, Orange is the New Black) built their own G.L.O.W. team from scratch. It has nothing to do with the women that formed G.L.O.W. in the 80s. They’ve made their own thing, and it is colourful and surprisingly fun with the funky costumes, body slams, witty banter and profanity. It has a great story arc, not an episode or character wasted.

My interest peaked in the very first the show’s very first scene, when Ruth (Alison Brie), an actress, delivers a monologue in an audition and raves about the role, commenting on how few roles like this there are for women. She is then told by the casting agent: “You’re reading the man’s part.” It is obvious that Ruth knew this and chose to make a point.

The women face sexism and racism on a daily basis coming from every direction, even their own internalised bias.

“Nobody respect lady wrestlers. It’s like the midgets, you are a sideshow.” – GLOW S1:E4

One aspect of the show that I truly appreciated seeing was that fat women were fat, not just a tad over a size 10 like they are often portrayed in the entertainment industry.

In the first episode, we see some personal drama unfold between the women. The story arc of having one woman sleep with her best and possibly only friend’s husband is a tired cliché. Having the Debbie (Betty Gilpin) point out that Ruth saying “it just happened” is an absolute lack of responsibility in the official dissolution friendship is absolute gold.

“Things just don’t happen. People make choices. They want things and they go for them.” – GLOW S1:E1 “Pilot”

The background 80s music made me dance more than once. In the second episode, the first song you hear is “The Look” by Roxette, immediately placed a smile on my face. “Pressure” from Billy Joel and “Rock You Like a Hurricane” by Scorpions are also an all time favourite of mine.

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In the second episode, the way the characters are presented made me think of the theatre play “Chorus Lines”. The play takes the audience through one day in the lives of 17 dancers, all vying for a spot in the “chorus line” of a Broadway musical. Each of them is asked to step up and say what makes them different and special.

It becomes clear from the second episode that one of the main subplots revolves around Ruth having difficulty finding her alter-ego for the ring and resisting becoming the ultimate bad guy. She might not like it at first, but she still fights for the show to happen. Mostly because she has nothing else.

“Look I don’t like you, strong bird. Take that in. Hold on to it. Try not giving a fuck. There’s a lot of power to that. And relax. The Devil gets all the best lines.” – GLOW S1:E2 “Slouch, Submit”

Seeing the women find their wrestling personas and team up is hilarious.

The show is a comedy, but there are many moments of drama. I cannot say that I was eagerly looking forward to each new episode, but it had enough to keep me going back for more.

 

 

 

 

Review: Blackway

If you have been a victim of rape, domestic violence or/and stalking or if you are sensitive to those type of stories, please be warned that this movie might be a major trigger. This movie is very dark and extremely violent. Some of this violence is aimed towards young children and animals.

A young woman, Lilian, walks into a police station shaking to report an assault followed by stalking, by an ex-cop turned violent crime lord. Her story is questioned, her reasons for coming forward also questioned, it is clear that the local sheriff doesn’t believe her or doesn’t want to be bothered by her problem. He’s being very dismissive. He hints that she exaggerating the entire situation. She is told that there is nothing they can do and move back to wherever she is originally from. He assures her she’d be happier this way. This is a reality that so many women have encountered.

When her truck is trashed and her cat is killed by the man in question she seeks out a man who she was told could help her. She doesn’t find him. She is told by a group of old white men to buy a new cat and move to another town and forget all about her troubles.

Lilian refuses to do so, saying that this is her home and that she shouldn’t be the one to relocate. No one is willing to help her.

“What is wrong with you people?! I grew up here. I own property. I put a lot of work into it. I will be damned if I let some asswhole run me out of town.”

One older man, a retired logger, volunteers to help and he is immediately told he shouldn’t get involved.

“This isn’t your fight. You didn’t go asking for this.” “Neither did she.” “It would be better for eveyrone involved if she just left town.”

It’s just easier to get rid of the victim than bringing a real criminal to justice.

The movie that had captured my interested in the beginning, started to wave as the story developed.

I was a little annoyed that the only minorities (native and black) shown in the movie are the construction workers who are all involved in some way or another with this crime boss. The only one who speaks up is the only white man in the field.

The men are numerous and the women are sparse in this movie. The little women who do appear on screen, have little to no lines and are only there to play the role of wife or daughter to the man currently talking.

As they look for the evil crime lord. Lilian is advised to move, to simply give this man what he wants and hope for the best.

She doesn’t say a word when confronted by a disgusted sexist guy in the bar. She is rescued by her male friend who fights for her honor. Even when her friend is threatened with a knife, she just cowers in a corner.  What happened to the woman who wasn’t going to let an ass-hole run her out of town. Where is the fire? Where is the fight?

I was pleased when I heard the quote below. At least the script doesn’t blame the entire situation on the victim and admits that the problem is the criminal and no one else.

“It doesn’t matter what you did. Blacklist is just a piece of shit.”

In conclusion, it isn’t the worst movie I’ve seen, but also far from the best. It had the possibility of being a much more powerful movie, but it fell short. The story was too simplified to truly appeal to the type of audience it was aiming for.

 

 

 

Arrival – Movie Review

Arrival isn’t your usual action pack science fiction movie. It stand apart and I appreciated that. As a movie watcher, I enjoy having a variety of movie to watch, instead of watching the same “winning” formula repeated movie after movie.

ufo-1962807_1920For those who enjoy reading, Arrival is an adaptation from the 1998 short story and novella “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang.

A core idea at the heart of the film is that an intimate relationship exists between the language you speak and the way you perceive the world. I believe this is true, but not nearly to the extent this movie indicates. I know that linguists rolled their eyes as soon as the Sapir-Whorf Linguistic Relativity Hypothesis was mentioned. The  hypothesis is poorly understood by the public, but it’s still a great movie.

There was also a pretty dumb statement at the beginning: “Portuguese is different from other Romance languages because the Portuguese thought of language as art.” Any linguist will tell you that isn’t a correct statement.

Word exposure, and reading expand your possibilities, and horizons.

What I also enjoyed is that the main character, Louise Banks, isn’t a stereotypical female character, obsessed with finding love and fitting into a box made for working women.

 

Movie Review: Wonder Woman

I went to see Wonder Woman at the Theater on June 1st with my daughter. We had both been looking forward to this movie viewing. The Wonder Woman trailer was epic with great action scenes. The chemistry between Gal Gadot and Chris Pine. You can see that the director, Patty Jenkins, put true passion into the making of this movie.

The Wonder Woman trailer was epic with great action scenes. You can see that the director, Patty Jenkins, put true passion into the making of this movie.

“I just gave everyting that I had to trying to never drop the ball and make sure it really lived up to everyting that I could.” – Patty Jenkins

This movie generated a lot of controversies before it even hit the movie theatre.

It was important for me to see the movie on opening weekend. Unfortunately, women don’t get chances to fail in the movie industry. People are placing too much pressure on one movie, like everything for women hinges on its success or failure. Men get numerous chances to make superhero movies or movies with male leads. No one left a crappy movie saying that we’re done making ‘men’ movies.

The movie lived up to the hype and I couldn’t be happier and relieved that it did. The action scenes are truly spectacular and the special effects are truly amazing. The story does honour the original comic book stories with a few exception like every movie I have ever seen. I find that the Wonder Woman movie couldn’t have had better timing as now. Its message is still very accurate and timely.  I am looking forward to seeing it again with my husband.

Some men aren’t happy about a women-only screening of Wonder Woman in Texas, which was organised by a charity and only happening in 2 locations, and are making a bigger issue about it. They are making more of an issue and being much louder in their protests than women having a male-only committee to reshape an entire country’s healthcare system because hurt feelings have more importance than woman’s actual lives. It seems that it’s okay for discrimination against women that has a very real impact, that is actually killing them, but it’s not okay for men to have their feeling hurt. I find this entire situation completely ridiculous.

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