I promised myself a scrumptious chocolate cupcake from Cheers when I finished my freelance project (interestingly enough, it has cupcake in the title, but I didn’t think of that at the time). I’m done, so I finally deserve that cupcake. Chocolate is good motivation.
There’s sooo much to write about! First, let me say that I will be writing about Dark Knight at the end of this blog, so consider everything else I say in between now and then SPOILER space!!
I’ve been a subscriber of Entertainment Weekly for years. Recently, they underwent a major facelift. I really like the new look and all that it’s brought with it. One of my favorite parts of EW these days is Mark Harris. In the July 25 issue, page 18, he talks about the Katherine Heigl debacle(s) in a kick-ass, cunning way I can only dream of. I was cheering by the end of “Heigl Kicks Heinie” (giggle, so do you Mr. Harris). Here’s my favorite line from the essay: “And I like the fact that her mouth – which is not even slightly ugly – is connected to her brain.” Thank gawd Heigl has a white knight in Mr. Harris – she doesn’t need one, but it’s nice to have somebody recognize that she’s not talking shit just to talk shit. “My God,” Harris says, “do we really want our stars to be that boring? …. Being honest – what a shockingly inappropriate tactic!” When I went looking for the link, I saw that EW has the essay on the front page. They’re smart cookies, they are. Even when I’m poor, I pay for my EW, and everything they’re doing lately ensures that I’ll keep doing so. (There’s also a great article on Sugarland in the same issue).
Then, a friend of mine sent me an email linking to this NY Times essay written by my friend Margo Rabb, “I’m Y.A. and I’m O.K.” A must read, even if you never plan to write Y.A. because it has a lot to say about genres and publishing and advertising that writers need to hear. Also, as someone who does write Y.A. and also writes other stuff, I’m tired of Y.A. being so disrespected. In the essay, Margo quotes someone saying to her, “My God. That’s such a shame” when she tells the person her book is Y.A. WHY? Young adults are the people who still actually read books, after all. Teen-driven books are selling HUGE, getting made into movies and are actually being talked about. There’s a lot to be said for a well-respected literary book…if anyone reads it to say anything. If anyone pays attention. But why can’t you be a great writer and write Y.A.? Why is it inferior, or selling out? Read the essay.
And this is REALLY cool. A while back, I heard about a book called “Not Quite What I Planned.” It’s 6 word memoirs by known and unknown writers from the staff of SMITH Magazine. I zipped through 50 pages of it while waiting in the drive through at the bank. It’s a quick, powerful, engrossing read. Coolest of all, there’s a website and they have ongoing 6-word memoirs as well as calls for submissions on specific topics. Here’s some of my favorites so far:
“I asked. They answered. I wrote.” – Sebastian Junger
“I still make coffee for two.” – Zak Nelson
“Almost a victim of my family.” – Chuck Sangster
“Tombstone won’t say ‘had health insurance.'” – Dean Haspiel [Amen!]
“Made a mess. Cleaned it up.” – Amy Henderson
“Boy, if I had a hammer.” – Tim Barkow [Amen again, though I don’t know what Dean meant.]
Was VERY sorry to see that Estelle Getty died yesterday. I’m really not ready to lose any of the Golden Girls, but especially not Sophia.
Now to Dark Knight. Spoilers – you were warned before, so don’t be surprised. Alright, LOVED it. Probably not a surprise if you’ve heard any of the reviews. Like when I recently saw I’m Not There, I was so engrossed in the movie, in Heath Ledger’s performance, that I forgot he was dead. Literally forgot. His Joker is the creepiest, saddest, most frightening villain I think I’ve ever seen. An anarchist with no compassion, no true history, an ADD kid grown up and stripped of his ability to care about what happens to him or to anybody. Someone who starts fires just to watch them burn. The emotion and the thought behind the plot are completely sound but then there are also those incredible, breathtaking action sequences. Ledger’s performance, no matter how stellar, would have faltered if his villain hadn’t been given truly devious and diabolical things to do and man did they give him diabolical plans (can YOU answer the essential question: that boat or my boat?). I barely breathed for the last half of the movie and it ALWAYS had my attention, despite it’s length. I will say, having thought about it for almost a week, that I think they could’ve slimmed the movie down and could’ve saved most of Harvey Dent’s transformation into Two-Face for another movie. Two-Face is a good enough villain for his own movie. As it was, the transformation felt a bit rushed, almost disrespectful. A bit bewildering after the emotional upheaval of all the come-backs and the crap-not-coming-backs. That’s my ONLY criticism, however. For a while at the beginning, I was more amused than I should’ve been by Christian Bale’s Batman rasp (always been a BIG Bale fan, since Newsies, even if he doesn’t like that movie, I do and always will) but then I just bought it, hook, line and sinker. I can easily imagine Oscars for this movie (not just a posthumous one for Ledger), can easily anticipate that it will become a “classic,” and I firmly believe that it’s better than the original Nolan Batman flick. Really. I don’t know HOW he’s going to top it with his next, but I’m firmly convinced that if he can’t top it, he can make a very, very solid installment to bookend it.
So, whew, after all that. NOW, I’m re-reading the Twilight books before Breaking Dawn comes out, anticipating the movie AND Harry Potter in November. And tonight, I’m going to be smack-dab in front of SYTYCD (REALLY not pleased that Kherington got kicked off last week. She’s one of my favorites) with my cell phone only accepting calls from my mother and Julie and only if they want to talk about SYTYCD. Password is: paso doble.