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Showing posts from June, 2017

Review: Despicable Me 3

Thanks to an invite from the publicity team, I took my 13-year-old daughter and her friend to a special screening of Despicable Me 3 . We really loved the first movie. My daughter was Agnes for Halloween that year. The second movie fell flat for the overly racist stereotype of El Macho. I STILL SEE YOU, BENJAMIN BRATT! The theater was packed with families, many in Minion t-shirts, and kids who did not any of the sugar they were about to ingest from the concession stand. Since it was a special screening the organizers kept trying to get our attention for giveaways and rule announcements. Nope. The kids were too excited to shush for a free t-shirt. So the movie... This movie was better than DM2, but still far from the magic that made Despicable Me the franchise we keep going back to. As I said, I took my teenage daughter and while she liked it, it was clear it wasn't a home run. It was a hit with the younger kids we were surrounded by. They laughed, giggled, and danced in thei

In reality Wonder Woman is a beautiful retelling of The Little Mermaid

Hear me out friends. Disney's The Little Mermaid is my favorite classic princess movie. I saw it multiple times in the theater as a teen and have seen it enough to spot the plot a mile away. So let's do this. Ariel is a girl who lives in a protected world free from humans, dreams of adventure, and is super curious about humankind. via GIPHY Diana is a woman who lives in a protected world free from men, dreams of adventures, and is super curious about men. One day a storm/war casts a man into the water and Ariel/Diana dive in to save him despite knowing contact with a man is going to make her dad/mom really upset. She brings him to the shore and when he wakes up he sees her... In The Little Mermaid , Eric "forgets" all about Ariel after the beach. Where in Wonder Woman, Diana stays to fight alongside Steve. But both Ariel and Diana end up venturing out into the world of humans... They are both fishes outta water (Ariel, literally!) and find hum

I'm finally ready to talk about the Wonder Woman movie...

Goddess knows that I had to see the movie at least two times before I could truly sort through all my feelings. Sitting in the theater the first time was like an out of body experience. I was there and knew I was there, but it didn't feel like it. I was somehow disconnected from the emotion of being there. Perhaps because my brain was taking a zillion notes a second. The second time...omg...the second time was overwhelming. First we got to the theater after the movie had already started - 2 minutes, that's ok. But when we got into the theater it was packed and we couldn't find seats. OMG! Where would we sit? Thankfully my daughter spotted three seats in row two. After we sat down it dawned on me...the theater was sold out in the second weekend. YES!!! AUDIENCE REACTIONS I found it odd that in both viewings there was little applause or cheering as in other eagerly anticipated movies. It was almost as if we were all stunned that we were actually at the Wonder Woman movi

International Women’s Media Foundation creates award to honor Gwen Ifill

The loss of Gwen Ifill is one of those pieces of knowledge that causes me to stop breathing when I remember it. At a time when we need hard-hitting journalism, there is a gaping hole in our media without her. The folks at the International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF) feel the same way as they just announced a new award in Ifill's name : Ifill was a bright light in the news industry, an incredible role model and mentor for young journalists – especially women journalists of color – and a friend of the IWMF. The Award will be given annually to an outstanding woman journalist of color whose work carries forward Ifill’s legacy. In addition to the award, the IWMF will develop a corresponding program focused on mentorship and network building. It will be open to both journalism students and women journalists of color working in the news media. Candidates for the award will be evaluated on criteria including their record of outstanding achievement in journalism, and the

Book Review: Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor is a novella that at first is a scifi adventure, but in the end is the perfect gift for a recent graduate. I swear it was fate that had me read this book during graduation time. Binti is book one in a series that eagerly awaits its third volume. Binti is a young woman gifted with a combination of mathematical, engineering, and diplomatic skills with the tried and true eagerness to know more than her hometown. And with that framing comes her family's insistence that she stay put and follow tradition. But we meet Binti as she makes a run for her chosen path and into the great unknown world of university. As the only one of my sisters to leave home for university and having worked on a campus full of first-generation university students this story hit home like a dagger. Binti's awkwardness at traveling alone, being an only, and negotiating space where "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" does not hold true is something many readers may fe

I can't believe I still have to blog about Planned Parenthood

Like a lot of people I turned to Planned Parenthood during college.  Those were the days when Planned Parenthood sold birth control pills that fell under some weird rules that ended in the Dubya era so a pack of pills was maybe $10, maybe a bit less if I bought more than one at a time. But most of the time I bought a pack each month, having to hike over to the clinic off campus and say hi to the staff. Which might be why I love Planned Parenthood so much and ended up volunteering with them soon after college. via GIPHY Ah, the good old days of the late 1990s when passing out free condoms seemed to be the height of being a radical. That's how I spent one summer...passing out free condoms at street fairs in Chicago. But of course that was just to get people to the table. To get them talking. Once we lured people in with the free condom we would register people to vote, talk to them about how even with a Democrat in the White House, reproductive rights were being threaten

The Feminist Burden Wonder Woman Carries

Every summer blockbuster film arrives with anxiety over its reception. Will it be the summer champ? Will it be liked? Movies based on beloved harassers such as comic book heroes come with extra anxiety over reception. Then there is Wonder Woman. Summer 2017 felt like a lifetime away when word came in 2014 that our favorite Amazon princess (Sorry, Gabrielle) would find her way to the big screen. But honestly as we crept closer and closer to the day my stomach churned. Why? The Wonder Woman movie will be the first woman superhero since Electra in 2005 and that was a flop. Not to mention Catwoman , but we must. In addition, Wonder Woman has a woman director. When this film started up filmmaker Lexi Alexander publicly stated she wouldn't take the job if offered over the pressure placed on women directors. If the film flops, not only will the director take the fall, but will all women directors? This may be one of the biggest challenges to feminism in pop culture. Will feminist