Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Curious Case of Brad Pitt

I don't have anything against Brad Pitt, He just isn't one of the actors that fall in my "must see his next movie" category. Before today I had seen only four of his movies, Oceans 11, 12, 13 and Mr. & Mrs. Smith. They were all fun movies (except "12") that didn't particularly challenge the acting skills of any of the cast.

I don't even hold his escapades with Angelina against him. If anything, she makes Brad more interesting. I even thought that maybe her acting ability might rub off on him in this movie...wrong!

I thought the story of Benjamin Button was intriguing. A baby is born showing the physical traits of an old man, and over time grows younger. The movie was loosely (and I do mean loosely) based on a short story by F.Scott Fitzgerald. The times and places are very much altered for the movie. You can read the whole thing in eleven pages online here.

The home base for the movie is New Orleans and spans the time from WWI to Hurricane Katrina, but has none of the historical significance that I expected. The photography is beautiful, but after 2 1/2 hours, I was ready to get to the end. The only thing left to learn was how Benjamin came to his end. It was a tediously long sequence of events. I was glad when it was over. I didn't even stay to watch the credits; I didn't care who was involved.

I give it 2 stars. I promised Sweetie I wouldn't drag him to any more movies this year.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

My Sweetie loves Christmas

The first photos Sweetie sent me before we met were not of him but of his house, all decorated for Christmas. His decorations were the kind that would light up the sky to guide the way to his neighborhood. My idea of Christmas decorations had been a tree, some garland here and there in the house, and some electric candles in the windows.

By the time he had decorated his house that year, he had brought me some extra lights he had so I could light up the shrubs in front of my house. I had never had so much Christmas lighting before. He had also told me of how he had broken up with his previous girlfriend after two consecutive Christmases when she had been out of town and had returned to spend more time catching up with her girlfriends than with him.

After we married, and he moved to Raleigh, he adjusted his decorating to our house on the cul-de-sac. Our front yard does not have as much space as his old house situated on a corner lot. He makes up for it by overflowing to the edge of the neighbor's yard, and decorating the back yard. Inside we have animated Santa and Mrs Santa as well as animated angels. We have a Christmas Tree in the front foyer as well as one in the bedroom. This morning, he turned on the tree lights before he got dressed.

Sweetie even decorated a tree for my brother who recently had ankle replacement surgery, and can't get around very well.

That's my Sweetie, my own personal Santa.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Seven Pounds

I really love Will Smith. He's like one of my own, although mine don't have such ears. I feel like he owns July fourth and Christmas, so I had to see Seven Pounds.

With all the hype and secrecy, I was fully prepared for a tear-jerker. As a matter of fact after bad news from my periodontist this morning, I was going to find comfort in a good cry. I really didn't try to figure it out, but I did within the first half hour. Everything else after that just served to confirm what I knew was going on. That was disappointing, and I couldn't get my good cry on. Something about Will Smith being so morose to the point of being creepy just wasn't getting it for me either. And it was a long movie..."OK, let's get to the crying part." It was 2 hours after 30 minutes of trailers. So now I know that Dustin Hoffman will crash another wedding, there is another Madea movie coming, TD Jakes with Morris Chestnut(huh?), and Dirty Harry...a very old Dirty Harry is back.

They were so secret about this movie that people were just not getting the title. The woman in front of us in line asked for tickets for "Round Seven." The people behind us want just "Seven." They don't explain the title, but once you see it, you'll get it (if you can stay awake til the end).

I give it two stars.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Channeling Diane Sawyer

I never liked the sound of my voice. I hadn't paid much attention to it until I heard it on a recorder when I was in first grade. That was not what I wanted to sound like, and I became self conscious about it. I secretly wanted to sound like my friend Zelma. The teacher selected her to be the narrator for a skit we were doing in second grade.

Then in high school I tried out for Radio Workshop at school. I selected James Weldon Johnson's "The Creation" for the piece I recorded. I didn't get selected, but my friend Alva was. The teacher called me in to explain why I didn't get in. She played my recording and I sounded tentative. I didn't like my voice. I got through high school, college, and into my career without having to present anything until a mentor pushed me into Presentation Skills training. UGH!!

Somewhere along the line I discovered that if I had a whiz-bang technical presentation with all the critical information that my audience wanted, nice bullet points, nobody cared about my lack-luster voice. My audience was attentive, I got applause. I still didn't like my voice.

When I published my memoir, I forgot that somewhere along the line I would have to read some of it aloud...*groan.*

So far I have gotten by with small groups. I do cozy conversation pretty well. As a matter of fact when I have been called upon to speak, (my church-lady thing) I do the cozy conversation to the big group, and I can get by. A joke and a song, and nobody notices the creaky voice.

I've heard poets and authors do readings. Some sound like me, and will put an audience to sleep. Some shout their prose like a preacher, putting the fear of God in the audience. Some have that lovely cadence and pitch.

I decided that I'll strive for Diane Sawyer. We're about the same age, have the same kind of alto, the trace of Southern accent. I want her cadence, the way she lifts the ends of sentences without sounding like a valley-girl.

Maybe I'll just keep it short, before anybody falls asleep.