Thursday, March 21, 2013

Diary of a Fangirl: Justin Timberlake's "The 20/20 Experience"

I've been a fan of Justin Timberlake since his N*Sync days, and as he has grown and matured both literally and in the music industry, I've appreciated his style of music.

I haven't bought The 20/20 Experience, but I am seriously contemplating doing so (I don't take buying an entire album lightly.  Maybe I'm one of those music snobs).  There are only ten tracks on the album (and the songs averaging 6.9 minutes) for eleven bucks.  His first single, "Suit & Tie"--I have to be honest, I wasn't crazy about it upon first hearing it.  But I will say that it represents a true testament to successful marketing.  After hearing it over and over again in commercials and on the radio, I've come around to liking it very much.

This latest album only has ten singles, and after listening to the samples given, I realized that my earlier thought that "Pusher Love Girl" was the best song on the album is more than likely correct.  I loved that song upon first hearing it at Justin's Grammy performance earlier this year.  "Blue Ocean Floor" seems to have potential...but I am not sure.  It's a bit reminiscent of Radiohead, actually.

I'll probably end up buying just those two singles.


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Diary of a Fangirl: "The Power Trip" Review

So, I've been a fan of Jackie Collins since I was thirteen years old.  I started with Hollywood Wive: The New Generation, and read all of her books (except for maybe one or two) between then and now.  The bulk of those books were read while I was in high school.  It's interesting reading an author's work from start to present--you get to see their growth and strengths.  I definitely think that Ms. Collins' work midway through was her best--particularly the Santangelo series.

Which brings me to "The Power Trip..."

The book was definitely a page turner--a super model and her billionaire Russian boyfriend celebrate her thirtieth birthday on a custom yacht with a special guest list of a movie star and his girlfriend, a soccer player footballer and his wife, a gay Latin sensation and his boyfriend, a senator and his wife, and a journalist and his journalist friend.  Right before the last day of the trip, the yacht is held for ransom by Somalian pirates...

However, I had some issues with this particular book:

The ending was definitely open ended, setting this up as a part one (just un-officially), which is fine, but I felt unsatisfied.

The main heroine--Bianca the super model--I had a ton of issues with her.

1. Like most of the black people in a Jackie Collins novel, she was biracial--black and Cuban.  I would like for there to be one regular black heroine with brown eyes as opposed to green.  This is a common Collins trope (mixed race black woman with green eyes).

2. She makes racist comments, but says she can't be racist because she's black and has been called names herself.  This, however, does not negate her racist comments, and I can't imagine someone actually believing that bullshit (i.e. I can't be racist cause I'm black).

3.  She's a bitch, and not in a good way.  This wouldn't normally bother me, but she doesn't get to redeem herself by the end of the book.  Disappointing because I wanted to like her.

4. She is the lead female of the book, and yet on the cover, there is some white woman on the yacht who doesn't fit the description of any of the other characters in the book.  It's a Jackie Collins novel, after all, so I think if there was a hot black woman on the cover of just one book, it still would have sold...

Other than that business, I did like the Flynn character--the journalist.  If I had to guess, I'd say that the next book will be mostly focused on him, and I do look forward to that.  Additionally, I do think it's a great read, in spite of my issues with it.


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Diary of a Fangirl: River's Edge

Damn, this film was all kinds of messed up.

"River's Edge" is a film about a high school student by the name of John, who strangles his girlfriend Jamie to
death.  He disrobes her, (and maybe even more than that), and then proceeds to show off her lifeless body down by the river to his friends--maybe seven all together.  His two seemingly closest friends--Layne and Matt--have two opposing views.  Matt is visibly upset, whereas Layne goes on a rant about helping John stay low and get rid of the body.

I actually wasn't able to watch it all the way through--initially, it didn't grab my interest in the first forty minutes or so, and the repeat showing of the naked dead girl was both disturbing and off putting.

But what was most disturbing was the lack of call to action out of most of the characters.  But perhaps what was even more disturbing was the fact that the film, released in 1986, has stood the test of time, and can even be applicable to today's disaffected youth, and hell, disconnected adults.  John later that day shows his other friends--friends who are also friends with his murdered girlfriend Jamie--and not one of them (even Mike, who gets so freaked out that he runs away), do nothing.  Clarissa, who has a picture of her, another girl and Jamie on her nightstand, goes so far as to go to a payphone, while wondering if John would kill her next, and ultimately makes no call to the police.  Matt, though it takes him a few hours...does.

Another character later also has a call to action moment (figuratively, and not literally) in regards to dealing with John, who slowly becomes [even more] unhinged as the day wears on, and reveals himself to be a true sociopath.

"River's Edge" was dark and interesting, with some fine acting by Crispin Glover.  I could stand to watch it again if it were on, but I wouldn't seek it out.  A film of a similar note, but perhaps an inverse, now that I think of it, is "Bully," (2001) starring Brad Renfro, Nick Stahl and Bijou Phillips.