Tuesday, March 26, 2013

'Spring Breakers' Review

Spring Breakers, though full of actresses you might recognize from the Disney Channel, is a wild, raunchy ride full of drugs, guns, gangs, and even a good old fashioned murdering spree, all brought to you by director Harmony Korine. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Vanessa Hudgens said this film was a "monumental piece of art...that is eye candy." Okay, sure...it may be more like a monumental piece of garbage that after you see it, you'd never think twice about remembering it, unless you are a guy looking to see a bunch of girls in bikinis or if you can look at it like it's a true mockery of today's youth.

Faith (Selena Gomez), Candy (Vanessa Hudgens), Brit (Ashley Benson), and Cotty (Rachel Korine-- Harmony Korine's wife) are four bored college students who had planned on going to Spring Break, but fell short when it came to how much money they had saved up.  In order to get quick funds, they rob a fast food restaurant.  Before you know it, they're already on a beach doing the whole "Spring Break" thing and hitting up parties full of drugs-- for which they immediately get arrested for.  You might think they’re finally getting caught for their robbery, but they are really just getting busted for being at a party with cocaine, so they only have to spend two days in jail or pay a fine...but they have already run out of money.

After some time in jail, a corn-rowed drug dealer, with a shiny grill in place of a smile, named Alien (James Franco) comes to their rescue and bails them out.

After a few hours with Alien at a local park and then at a garage party, Faith says she feels too uncomfortable and gets on a bus to go back home.  Instead of the other girls agreeing with her, they blankly stare at her while she expresses how wrong it feels to be rolling with drug dealers. She leaves, and before you know it, the other three seemingly brainless girls are wrapped up in Alien’s world of crime and drugs...and even now part of a feud with Archie (Gucci Mane) and they couldn't be happier.  At one point, they ask their new pal, Alien, to play something inspirational for them on his outdoor piano, and he starts singing Britney Spears to them. This leads them all to join in and have a "moment." (Unless this really is a satirical jab at how today's youth has no idea what real music is, this was one of the film industry's worst moments.)

The ending--spoiler alert-- is so ridiculous, that it is laugh-worthy.  Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Benson’s characters are the only two left on vacation (Cotty goes home after being shot by someone in Gucci Mane’s entourage) and they are planning revenge on Gucci with Alien. When it all goes down, however, James Franco immediately gets shot down and dies, yet Benson and Hudgens walk through an entire gang of armed drug dealers with ease, shooting them down one by one.  As though these gangsters were up against two of the most powerful criminals of all time, they all get shot down by two bikini-clad airheads like they never had a chance.  Meanwhile, James Franco doesn't even make it three steps into the gunfight (like a little girl).  

This movie was AWFUL. The only people who could possibly enjoy it must be 16 to 25 year old guys, simply for the constant boob-flashing of random spring-breakers not affiliated with the barely-there plot. The satire theory might be wishful thinking. The only actors who really had to do any work were James Franco and Selena Gomez, who was the only girl who thought befriending Alien was “‘spicious.”  The other girls literally probably weren’t even given a script for the movie, because their main purpose was to be a dumb bimbo in a bathing suit who was drunk or high.  By the end of the film, you lose so much respect for Vanessa Hudgens and her terrible blonde dye-job and Ashley Benson.  

There seemed to be quite a bit of media attention on Selena Gomez finally ditching her squeaky clean image for this role, but once you see her part, it is rather disappointing.  She plays a Jesus-loving college student who isn’t even aware of the robbery until after the fact, and who ditches the story around the same time James Franco enters.  So, she comes out of the whole movie with her squeaky clean image intact.  Yet, she got tons of media attention, as did the movie, for “stepping out of her boundaries.”

Our Vote: This movie gets a C- or a D+, and the only thing worse than Vanessa Hudgens is Vanessa Hudgens with blonde hair and a bad manicure.

Image Credit: 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Which Finale Was Better? 'Pretty Little Liars' vs. 'Girls'

As women, we all have guilty TV pleasures or shows that we watch alone with snacks while we polish our toes.  These are shows that we have to watch alone, because our boyfriends or husbands wouldn't dare lessen their masculinity by watching.  For me, at this time of the year, it's time to say farewell to Pretty Little Liars and Girls, which both aired their spring finales this week.  Just a few months ago, it was American Horror Story: Asylum.  But don’t worry, because the sooner these spring finales wrap up, the closer we will be to the Summer's best show: True Blood.  But, I'm not a TV junkie.  I promise.

Season 3 of Pretty Little Liars wrapped up last night and a couple of things were revealed, but as the mystery of "A" goes, we really didn't learn as much as was promised.  If you’ve kept up with the show, you know that the episode promised to finally reveal who
Red Coat”, or the leader of the “A-team” was.

What did we really learn? We learned that Spencer joined the A-Team as a double agent and kidnapped Malcolm to take him to the circus.  Also, Spencer and Toby (yes, he's still alive) meet up at a secret location to talk about how Toby only worked with "A" to protect Spencer.  Finally, we get a glimpse of the girl in the red coat and it's Allison.  But, there's a catch, only Mona and Hannah saw her and they were disoriented from almost being burned alive.  We also learn that Red Coat, or Allison, might not be after the girls, rather protecting them from another group of people, who even want Mona dead.  Jenna and Melissa (Torrey Devitto-who we interviewed last year) may be a few of the real culprits. At the end of the show, Mona is side by side with the girls, just as confused as everyone else and Allison has, as usual, vanished.  As for a shocking finale, the girls find Detective Wilden’s car pulled out of the lake and when the open the trunk, they all gasp in equal parts horror and shock.  We’ll have to wait until the June premiere to find out what or who was in the trunk.  

What did you think of the show's finale? Are you impressed with the information revealed or did you hope to really find out who Red Coat was?  

On another network, the second season of Girls ended this past Sunday and even though the season wasn't as entertaining as its first, the finale offered a little bit of hope for all four of the girls who seemed to do nothing but struggle for the entire season (well, we still haven’t heard from Jessa since she ran away from her father’s house.)  Hannah and Adam finally rekindle their relationship, in the middle of Hannah's emotional and mental breakdown. When Adam ran through New York to get to Hannah's apartment, it was tear-worthy, even if Hannah, was more annoying than usual this season.

Girls is one of those shows that even if you love to hate it, you still watch it every week.  We stuck around all season for an episode like the finale and we finally got to see something good happen, instead of Marnie tragically singing at a party she was invited to out of pity, Hannah shoving Q-tips into her eardrums, or Jessa visiting her father after her divorce only to cry about her childhood.  (I would talk about Shoshanna's dilemmas, but thinking about her voice makes me want to reach for a bottle of Tylenol to nurse an oncoming migraine.)

Image Credits: ABC Family, HBO

Friday, March 15, 2013

Seven Tips for Handling Massive Change

by Sarah Davis

The more terrifying positive changes are, the more rewarding they will be in the end. Even so, you’re never prepared for how surreal, difficult, emotional, strangely satisfying, and as previously mentioned before, terrifying, they are.

Most of us want change.  We think about it, we dream about it, we see counselors for it.  We beg the Universe to change it up...and we usually think about BIG changes.  Then, one day, your life changes and you realize that a BIG change is hard.  Remember how surreal it was to go from middle school to high school? Or high school to college? Or college to...the real world? Life is full of “next levels.”

It is a new territory that you know nothing about and while you wanted this change, the old you has to tiptoe through this new path and discover how to get used to this change moment by moment. Forget day by day, big changes require you to learn new things moment by moment. Luckily, it’s just as terrifying for EVERYONE. So, while it feels incredibly different (like you are a fish who is trying to learn how to survive on land), we all go through this. While it may be a different situation from one person to the next, coping with change is the same for everyone-- terrifying, hard and somehow incredibly satisfying. Here are seven tips to feel more comfortable during this turbulent and scary time of your life...

1. Do as much as you can every day, but know when you’ve hit your limit.  Lately, my plate is so full with change and with the same old things that I have to watch how overwhelmed I get.  Usually, when I get up in the morning, I feel refreshed, rested, and inspired.  However, throughout the day and as more and more reminders of how many full plates I have pop up, I begin to stress myself out with worry.  At a certain time of the day, usually right before bed, I have to tell myself to turn off the thoughts of worry (and the lights) and get some rest, because I probably need it.  By taking it “one day at a time”, I can focus only on what the day brings, and then get rest.  Then, the next day, repeat the process.

2. Talk about the changes with people you know you can trust & who have been through the same changes.  I think this one is the most important thing you can do when you’re dealing with a lot of change, because hearing that other people have been through what you’re going through AND can offer you gentle, reassuring advice is very soothing.  Throughout my experience in life, there are plenty of people who are more than willing to scare the shit out of you by offering you unnecessary and insane advice which will not help you at all.  If you are a woman, you know that catty women seem to be the culprits of this one- they love to create drama and gossip, so if they get you terrified and you open up, they will have some juicy gossip about you.  Listen to me when I say, it’s totally okay to stay away from people, or shall we say maniacs, who you know are going to cause you stress.  Talk to people who won’t judge you or scare you, only listen to you, comfort you, and give you inspiration.  

3. Stop worrying about what other people think about you.  You’re a human, I’m a human, we’re all just humans.  We are all making mistakes and we’ve all done something embarrassing.  The sooner you get over it, the sooner you’ll feel more comfortable and stop judging yourself so harshly for not getting it right the first time during this time of change, a time that as we’ve mentioned, you know nothing about to begin with.  

4. Give up on beating yourself up.  As we just talked about, change is a time when you are bound to fumble around.  But, this is not the time to beat yourself up.  Seriously, if there is any little treat you can give yourself during this time it is this: never beat yourself up.  When you’re handling each moment that comes up, do it the best you can (and by “best”, I mean the best that you think you can do, not how well you saw someone else do it.) If you have to approach something a little more gentler, or take extra time to do something because it seems like it’s more than you can handle at the minute, trust your instincts, and do it how you feel you should you do it. You might not understand this new time very well, but you do understand yourself, so use that to your advantage. These times of massive change are truly the times when you should be most gentle on yourself (and likewise, gentle on people who are going through situations similar to yours.)

Big changes also bring up emotions-- so let them flow. I often feel sad that my old life is gone during times of change, even if all I did was beg for my life to change at the time, but I have to tell myself it is okay to feel like this. Everything you feel is normal and everyone else feels the same way, even if they try to act like they can handle change better than Jesus Christ would.  

5. If you are at a point when you know you need help, don’t question it.  This is pretty self-explanatory.  If you are lying on the floor in pain and you think that an ER sounds like a cozy bed, you probably need to go.  On a similar note, if you need to get help because you are struggling, get your ass to wherever you need to go. If this means that if you need to put yourself first and take a day off of work or take a pay-cut, or crawl to your parents, you better do it. It doesn’t look stupid to ask for help, it looks stupid to suffer when help is available.

6. Do not bring negative emotions from past overwhelming situations into what you're going through now. Sometimes when life bombards us with change, we have the option to embrace fear. Fear isn't just about the future, it also contains negative ghosts of emotion that creep back into our lives, even if we think they're gone, when we are feeling vulnerable. When we let fear control us, we think we should remember how we felt about other, completely different, yet equally overwhelming times from our past that ended negatively. Maybe we felt really bad back then about how a situation went down, so we think maybe we should be feeling bad now. Or, maybe we should be feeling guilty for how we dealt with something back then. 

However, if there is any theme of "massive change", it's that this is BRAND NEW time. It's okay to be scared during this time and it's okay to remember times when things didn't work out, but it's not good to judge this new chapter of your life based on these fear-produced negative memories. There is healthy fear that keeps us on the right track and then there is unhealthy fear that does nothing but set us back. Give yourself a break! Your life is meant to be full of miracles, not a funeral for your failures, right smack-dab in the middle of change you've prayed for. Give yourself a fair chance at all of this change, without negative emotions that don't mean anything, creeping into the picture. Shake these creepy ghosts off easily, because they aren't real. What is real, is all of this crazy change you're going through, so focus on that!

7. Journal. Nothing is more soothing than writing down exactly what you're going through. For me, writing things down gets them out of my head and I can see them more clearly. I feel calmer after listing out things that scare me about a situation or how I am feeling when I am going through change.

TIP: Don't worry if you are going through major life changes-- this means big positive things are coming your way. These will be changes that you will be so proud of yourself for sucking it up and making them happen. All of the terror and fumbling around will one day be a fond memory.

Image via Indulgy

Michelle Obama Covers Vogue

by Sarah

First lady Michelle Obama covers Vogue for the second time for the magazine's April issue.  In the interview, Barack Obama's lovely wife opens up about how both her and her husband put their family first, what she has learned over the past years as the first lady, and her hopes for every American family...or so you might expect when picking up the magazine.

While the cover and title of the article, "Leading by Example: First Lady Michelle Obama", suggest the focus is on Mrs. Obama, once you start reading, you notice that Jonathan Van Meter is chatting with Barack Obama for most of the time, not the just the first lady. I must point out that I found this is a little confusing and gives the impression that Vogue was after an interview with the president, not the first lady.

“Well, patience and calm I’m borrowing,” the first lady finally says amidst a rather dry conversation with the president, and occasionally Michelle, about how strong their marriage is. She’s been asked what she has learned over the course of Barack Obama’s run as president of the United States. “Or trying to mirror. I’ve learned that from my husband, that sort of, you know, ability to not get too high or too low with changes and bumps in the road . . . to do more breathing in and just going with it. I’m learning that every day. And to the extent that I’ve made changes in my life, it’s just sort of stepping back and seeing a change not as something to guard against but as a wonderful addition . . . that can make life fun and unexpected. Oftentimes, it’s the way we react to change that is the thing that determines the overall experience. So I’ve learned to let go and enjoy it and take it in and not take things too personally.”

The president goes on to flatter his wife before Jonathan Van Meter writes about how beautiful Barack Obama’s hands are. While I know Barack Obama is hero-worthy, I truly wasn’t prepared to find Vogue’s main cover story writer nestled into his asshole complete with a euphoric grin on his face. Michelle Obama, maybe, but not her husband. (I just want to point out that I did not expect to find this article in Vogue so amusing-- almost a satire of what an article should be-- but I did, and brightened up my whole day.

Finally, after a few more paragraphs, Michelle gives the most generic fashion advice to one of the world’s most stuffy fashion magazines, encouraging women to “just wear whatever makes them feel comfortable.”

“I always say that women should wear whatever makes them feel good about themselves. That’s what I always try to do. . . . I also believe that if you’re comfortable in your clothes it’s easy to connect with people and make them feel comfortable as well. In every interaction that I have with people, I always want to show them my most authentic self.”

Before you know it, Jonathan is ending the article with a first person account of how the president recognized him when he went back to the White House after his interview took place....  

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Guilty Pleasure: 'Catching Fire' Cast Portraits Released

Yeah, yeah, this isn't a blog for teenagers or children, but we can publicly admit it: we are obsessed with The Hunger Games. Stop acting like you aren't, too.

Catching Fire, the second installment of the The Hunger Games trilogy, isn't going to be in theaters until November 22, 2013, but until then, fans have this just released "Capitol Portrait" of Katniss Everdeen to obsess over.  

Jennifer Lawrence sure has been taking the world by storm lately.  The actress went straight from "it girl" at the Oscars in a beautiful white Dior gown back to being her fictional "it girl" Hunger Games character after the release of this photo. Many fans are speculating if this is her wedding gown; to which we might add-- Katniss has the most one of the most unique wedding dresses we've ever seen. 

Other cast "Capitol Portraits" for Catching Fire were also been released this past week, including Effie Trinket, below, played by Elizabeth Banks. Does anyone else feel like stealing Effie's shoes? 

Image Credits: Lionsgate 
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