Monday, June 02, 2008

Ready, Set, Read

You remember how I said there's always strange electronic activity around me? Friday night I was writing at my computer when I heard the weirdest sound. It was a cross between an alarm and the sound you hear at the end of an NBA quarter. I looked up from my computer and thought I saw this red rectangle shaped thing flash on my TV, which was on. I waited but it didn't happen again. I got up to see if it came from the TV but realized the TV was on mute. So that was enough to make me think that it was some earthquake warning that flashed. Those PSA's work even if your TV is on mute, don't they? DON'T THEY? So I spent the entire night waiting for an earthquake. Or tornado. Tornado? In any event, it's never happened before and probably won't again.

A few weeks back I said that No Reservations was a really shitty movie. I only said that because I hadn't seen 27 Dresses yet. This is what happens when Not Walking Meets On Demand and the person in question is losing her mind. That person being me, of course.

I don't know how 27 Dresses got made. It's so formulaic that you'd think one person in Hollywood would say, "Jeeze, how many times have we seen this equation? Pretty girl made to look not so pretty in the beginning and in love with the wrong guy then meets another guy who of course she doesn't like only to find out later on in the movie, after she's had a remarkable transformation into a pretty girl, that the guy she doesn't like is really the right guy." Even if Katherine Heigl is wearing a Wonder Bread paper wrapper and has no arms and legs she looks fabulous. Why don't they make movies out of some more interesting, in-depth reading, like these two books?

1. Driving Sideways by Jess Riley. A woman gets an organ transplant from a guy named Larry and that organ leads her on a cross country trip in search of a mother who abandoned her and the real story behind a freak who steals her purse.

2. Unpredictable by Eileen Cook. This is the story of a woman whose man walks out on her so she pretends to be psychic to get him back. I will just say that the story of the car moving is really genius and I only wish I had had the opportunity to do this once in my life. For reals.

They can't make a movie out of this next book but it sure has the best quotes outside of a Joe Eszterhas book.

3. Off The Record by award winning journalist Allison Samuels. This book unveils the behind the scenes look at what famous black people go through in movies, sports and music. Did you know that Michael Jordan's inside crew call him Black Cat? Me neither. And that Eddie Murphy single-handedly transformed the word 'posse' to refer to hangers-on? Me neither. Here are some other quotes from this book:

"After getting an Oscar nomination for What's Love Got to do With It?, Angela Bassett sat by the phone for months, waiting for work to come her way again. But she didn't work again for another year and a half."

"...(John) Grisham's unhappiness about Denzel Washington costarring in his film The Pelican Brief. It took the actress Julia Roberts to insist that he be cast. "He didn't see the character I played as being black," Washington said of the best-selling author. When I asked Grisham, he denied it."

"Whoopi Goldberg was also one of the two -and only living- black actresses who'd won an Oscar in the past. Goldberg won a Best Supporting Actress award for Ghost in 1991. Yet (Halle) Berry's tear-filled acceptance speech did not acknowledge Goldberg or Hattie McDaniel, the first African-American to win an Oscar (for Gone With the Wind) at all. Goldberg was royally insulted by this slight, and when I mentioned that perhaps Berry forgot in her moment of joy, the comic responded, "She looked at my black face the entire night. How could she forget?...You figure, if she's not going to recognize me, why should anyone else? And if she did forget, why haven't I heard from her? Why didn't she call or write to say she forgot?"

End of chat.


  1. Yikes! I liked 27 dresses.

    I read a snippet of Driving Sideways and liked what I read. Maybe I should stop being a slagathor and buy it already!

  2. I read a movie review this weekend that had a rating I've never seen before: out of 4 stars, the Houston Chronicle's reviewer gave it NONE - as in ZERO stars. The lowest I'd ever seen them rate a movie before was half a star - and I think 27 Dresses was one that got that rating. Oh, the movie? The Outsiders. Another one to put on the "Avoid" list.

  3. My daughter was here last week and we watched Knocked Up.
    Waste of my time. I know it's bad when I start playing word games on my laptop during a movie.
    Maybe I'm just to old to "get" Apaptow's humor.

  4. Almost done with Driving Sideways--review and giveaway on my blog tomorrow.

    Poor Whoopi--Oscar isn't being good to her. She got dissed this year when she was left out of the host retrospective.

  5. Does the book mention why Whoopi thought Halle should have acknowledged her? After all, I don't recall Halle (who attended with her whitey white mom) mentioning any of the 70+ white winners either.

  6. Bee, go buy the book or I'll hurt you.

    jami, not surprised to hear it got half a star.

    little miss, I liked Knocked Up and laughed at that one. But I'm 12at heart.

    jenn, Whoopi's laughing all the way to the bank with these omissions.

    jenee, Berry's entire speech when she won her Oscar was about all the black people who had made it possible for her to stand up there and get one. And people say no one remembers the Oscars from year to year.

  7. We watched a really good documentary this past weekend called "My Kid Could Make That." It's about a four-year-old artist who takes the art world by storm until 60 Minutes suggests...

    I don't want to spoil the twist.

    I think you'll really like the film.

  8. I finally ordered Driving Sideways since I haven't won a copy.
    Did you know that in 1823, Alexander Twilight became the first African American to earn a college degree? It was from Middlebury College in Vermont. That has nothing to do with black actors. Just an interesting bit of trivia.

  9. thotlady7:57 PM

    Wow, a little touch was Ms. Goldberg.

  10. thotlady7:58 PM

    *touchy,darn that 'y'.

  11. I had the same reaction to P.S. I Love You.

    (Thanks for the mention! And yep, Unpredictable WAS optioned...)

  12. Hey thanks for the mention- anytime I'm mentioned with Jess it's a good day for me.

  13. Beckie7:32 AM

    Well...I was going to buy some new shoes today..Now I've spent my shoe money on books. Oh well guess I'll have to read barefoot at the beach.

  14. Anonymous8:53 AM

    wow- I did hate NO Reservations and kinda liked 27 dresses....but dont all movies have similar premises? and please write more- whenever i scroll down i still see that chocolate cake and it makes me hungry for cake.

  15. I just saw Juno the other night for the first time. Dude, I am SO behind.

  16. Hmmm..i guess i need to start reading. Those books sound great. For some reason my 18 year old son, who watches gladiator movies and action hero stuff, really liked PS I love You ... I think it was the soundtrack and the bar scenes. I thought it was ok. I tend to go on my son's recommendations...been doing that for quite some time. What does that say!