Movie Review: The Florida Project

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The Florida Project

Never in my life have I wanted to punch the screen as much I did while watching The Florida Project.

This isn’t to say that the movie was bad. Actually, it probably made the movie good because my emotions were so invested.

The story in a nutshell: Dirt poor mother Halley lives with her young daughter Moonee in a motel room near Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Entire motel, along with several neighboring properties, is filled with these transient, semi-homeless people. The manager of the motel has a soft spot for all of the characters that live there and takes advantage of loopholes in law to allow them to stay, as long as they are paying their rent. Moonee and her friends cause trouble every day while the mom is selling whatever she can, including herself, to make ends meet.

Here is why I believe the movie is being considered for awards season: the well-off people that vote for these films probably think the film is so far-fetched that it is deserving of awards. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s unrealistic at all. I could see this same scenario occurring in cities all across the country. When people are poor and desperate, they do whatever they can to make it.

However, this doesn’t alleviate the Halley’s responsibility to bring up a daughter with manners and maturity. The Moonee’s behavior is so awful— yet the movie clearly demonstrates that she actually knows right from wrong, especially when the motel manager is involved.

So when did I want to punch the screen? Not when the mom is selling perfume in hotel parking lots. Not when the ragtag kids are begging tourists for ice cream money. Not even when the kids set an abandoned condo on fire.

I was most furious only when the mom is continuously setting bad examples for her daughter. No matter how poor you are, I believe you still have an opportunity to do right when it comes to manners and being a productive citizen.

I wish I could make this film required viewing for every person in a city like Naples, Florida. People that live within their bubbles and don’t realize how things can really be when you step into the world beyond your own front door need to see this film. And then perhaps they can take a step back and see what kind of community-based action is needed in parts of our country. Because if this film is any indication, clearly some parents prove that their best just isn’t good enough.

In short, see the movie. But be prepared to be angry.

 

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American Idol… oh, what was I thinking?

Dear Wednesday Night,

I want to watch American Idol, because I just love the train wreck that is… Nick… er… Rya…er…Rand… er…Mariah Carey!

However, Survivor is also on— at the same time!

And then PBS really threw a wrench into everything with their airing of the Peter, Paul and Mary 25th Anniversary Concert.

So, Wednesday night, you really got me.

I guess I’ll just youtube Puff the Magic Dragon since that’s all I really know about PPM, anyway.

And Survivor is online.

So, American Idol won. Heavy sigh.

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First off, Nicki was late because of traffic. No comment, because I really do like her. But how embarrassing and diva-like. Your name isn’t Justin Bieber, Ms. Minaj.

Now, I’m not going to do this every week. Because, quite frankly, nobody cares. But I’d like to share some thoughts about this week’s performances.

This week, the idols were required to sing a song from a previous Idol winner. Talk about shameless self-promotion! I do it all the time, admittedly. But I’m a small-time author, not a mega-monster former hit show!

Dim the lights, here we go:

CURTIS FINCH JUNIOR

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This song by Fantasia, I Believe, has always bothered me. I always thought it was due to her lack of reading ability, but Fantasia always sang, “catched a shooting star…”. Yeah, catched. Well, Curtis sang it the same way. So grammar doesn’t matter anymore in popular music.

What was up with that Paisley jacket? Did Curtis borrow it from the pre-deal-a-meal Richard Simmons?

Keith Urban is so ridiculous. How much time does he spend on his hair? Does Nicole just sit there and flat-iron for him? Is that where she’s been?

 

JANELLE ARTHUR

What’s with these short skirts? She obviously can’t walk by the children’s department without stopping.

Thank God Nicki showed up. She is the only reason I can watch. What a character. Like the black, blonde Betty Boop with a slightly more nasal voice.

 

DEVIN VELEZ

“I can do more than just the ballads and Spanish.” Ok. But this was still a ballad, in my opinion. If the song doesn’t provide opportunity for movement = ballad.

Mariah Carey evidently discovered that they make shirts with necklines nowadays.

 

ANGIE MILLER

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Is that Miley Cyrus with a wig on? Did they stock the dressing room with oats? Apples?

Poor Angie showed absolutely no emotion in this performance.

And those kids in the front of the stage— they can’t peer up that dress? A slutty outfit does not equal a good singer.

A billions dollars, Nicki? She looks like a billion dollars? She may be able to clear a billion dollars in a million tricks. And what’s with the hoodie, Minaj? Is this some sort of Trayvon Martin message?

It’s clear that the judges are pushing for a female winner.. because this performance was sub-par, not stellar.

 

PAUL JOLLEY

Broadway Theatrics? And you don’t know where it’s coming from, Paul? Really?

Paul is like a girl that wants to be a model and can’t shake the IDEA of what models do. He does the same thing— picturing what a singer looks like when they sing and he just can’t shake those faces.

But… he sounded okay. Maybe he’s better than I thought!

Randy just claimed that he’s “not going to talk about the sexuality,” yet by saying that, he did. Nigel Lythgoe, producer of the show, has been attributed to a quote-rumor circulating about making sure a girl wins and, “outing Paul and Lazaro” if you have to… is this part of that challenge, Randy?

 

CANDICE GLOVER

I can’t stand violins. But other than that… I just can’t find anything at all to poke fun at with this. She’s downright awesome and has thrown herself into the competition with that performance.

And, Keith— don’t call her baby. It just sounds strange.

Mariah just admitted her skirt is too tight? Join the club.

And Ryan knows how to work a skirt, according to Mariah? Not news. Not news.

 

LAZARO ARBOS

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I  don’t know what was happening with the socks or shoes… But Lazaro needs a serious boost of self-confidence. It must be hard to feel any confidence when struggling with speech difficulty like he has dealt with his entire life. But he is lacking confidence— one little boost will lift him into this competition. Everybody loves an underdog, me included. And who can resist that face?

 

KREE HARRISON

Kree should win this whole competition, barring any major screw-ups. And thank God— because Kree knows what pants are!

And now, thanks to Nicki Minaj, I’m hungry for waffles. Thanks, Nicki.

 

BURNELL TAYLOR

Is Paisley back in and nobody told me? Should I head to the Salvation Army and clean ’em out?

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I’m sorry. I fell asleep. Can someone fill me in?

 

AMBER HOLCOMB

I’m glad she sang the original Idol song… the song that hooked me on the show from the start.

Normally I’d ask about the number of Cheetahs that were sacrificed for a dress/pants combo like that… but I actually thought she looked very nice.

More importantly, I was surprised at the generosity of Ms. Mariah Carey, who apparently loaned out her industrial hair-blowing fans for this performance.

Randy once again displays the show’s not-so-subtle bias against the males competing this year.

And thank you, Mariah, for acknowledging this blog’s above observations.

 

 

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Movie Review: Lincoln… zzzzzz… zzzzzzzz….

 

 

 

 

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Oh, how I wanted to enjoy this movie.

As a self-admitted politics junkie, I was excited to see this film because I was promised a political process film, not a biography. And that’s just what I got.

However, Abraham Lincoln was a man like any other. All of our Presidents are human beings, first— or at least they should be. This movie seems to forget that fact and instead treats him as a Saint or a Greek God. I imagine that, if Steven Spielberg could have re-imagined the whole history, he might have even given Lincoln Greek columns at his nominating speech. You know, like this:

Obama Greek Columns

 

I think historical films should take a historical look at their subjects. Unfortunately, as much as President Obama likes to refer to Lincoln, and as much as Steven Spielberg likes President Obama, I think this movie was borderline propaganda. I don’t want to say this, but that’s how I felt while watching it. I expected the clouds to part and the rising of the oceans to stop.

Besides this, the movie just… barely… plodded… along. I couldn’t keep my interest, as much as I tried and as much I love history and politics.

Don’t get me wrong— the acting was spectacular. Daniel Day Lewis obviously fell in love with his character. He will win the Oscar on February 24th. And I really like Sally Field… I mean, I really, really like her. So I would like to see her walk away with a little gold man later this month.

Yes, the movie was big and historical and one-of-a-kind and OHMYGOD Spielberg(!!!) directed it. But I just didn’t like it.

Is that OK? Does that make me a bad person?

Thanks for visiting this blog! As you see, it is not supported by advertising. If you would like to personally support this blog and its authors, please visit Amazon to purchase our Children’s Book, Pete the Popcorn! If you don’t have a child in your life, donate a copy to your local school or library! Also, we LOVE it when people LIKE us on Facebook. To learn more about our books, please visit www.PeteThePopcorn.com