The Descendants: Oscar worthy or just another rainy day film?

During one of my very few attempts to step away from my computer, my job, and my apartment, I decided to go to the movies. For those of you who actually follow this blog, I guess I will say my dating fast is over (it was peaceful while it lasted), and I went on a date (or something like a date I guess) to the movies. My outing led me to view The Descendants with George Clooney. Overall I would give the move 2.5 out of 5 stars. I must say the previews of the movie were appealing, the actual movie…umm could have been better. To my surprise other people actually loved this movie. Important people loved this movie. It was the rave at the Golden Globes, and George Clooney received an Oscar nomination for Best Actor, while the movie received a nomination for best picture.  Wow, who would have thought. I must say that Shailene Woodley had an excellent performance, I hope to see her in future films.  My recommendation: It would be an excellent Netflix film (if you are bored and have a quick 2 hours to waste).

What fascinated me about The Descendants was that the movie takes place and was actually filmed in Hawaii. It is always amazing to see Hawaii on the big screen. To know that I can go outside my door and bear witness to the full beauty of Hawaii is always an added perk of living on the island.  While other movie goers may dream of living here to experience the serene atmosphere and ocean waves, I have the pleasure of living in that world daily.

The Descendants is based on the novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings, a writer who actually grew up in Hawaii. I can probably imagine as in all novels turned movies, the novel is probably much better. The overall story was one that had a good balance of the struggles of the Hawaii of the past to the Hawaii of the present. While explaining the current struggles of Geoge Clooney’s character and the breakdown of his immediate family life,  a touch of native Hawaiian history was thrown in to add an increased dynamic to spice up the overall dullness of the movie.

While the movie had good intentions, I felt something was missing, well a lot was missing. I kept waiting for that climatic moment that would bring out heartfelt emotion. It never came.  Since I haven’t read the book, I can only blame it on the Hollywood effect. To live in Hawaii, has greater raised my understanding of Hawaii and the struggles that native Hawaiians have faced in times of industrialization. Not to be misunderstood, Hawaii is a great place to live, however everyday is not a walk on the beach. One of my favorite lines from the movie was during the initial narrative recited by George Clooney’s character as we are introduced to him. He is explaining that everyone on the mainland thinks it is great that he lives in paradise. The narrative ends with  “I think paradise can go fuck itself”. In essence that one line was the most realistic line of the whole movie, maybe because I have heard that exact same thing from a few of my clients, and some days I can relate to that exact same feeling. While to the outside world, Hawaii is all sun, Hula, and Mai Tai’s, to some of the people who live here island life can be a daily form of torture and devastation.

When Hollywood makes movies, of course they make them for the glitz and glam. A movie made in Hawaii may also be considered propaganda for tourism. The island must look like a place where people would love to come visit and spend lots of money. That part I get.  What was missing was the local style, and the local people. Hawaii is an extremely diverse state, yet diversity was greatly lacking from this movie. Again I will blame the Hollywood effect, often movies are one dimensional with a lack in diversity.

So does George Clooney deserve an Oscar for The Descendants? I would say no. I will give him credit his performance was good, but I have seen him and others do much better. The Decendants came off as simple. It was a simple movie, with an attempt to incorporate a complex story line. Not the best of movies to watch (even if you are bored for two hours). Should it get the Oscar for Best Picture? Definently not. I am not sure what the criteria is for a Best Picture winner, but I am sure this movie does not meet the critera.

Maybe I am judging The Descendants too harshly, hey who am I anyway, my opinion doesn’t really matter. But what do you think? If you have seen The Descendants do you think that it is an Oscar worthy film?

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences

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29 and counting….wow 30 is almost here

Less than two months away from turning 30! We are down to the final stretch, and enter panic mode. Well I guess that is what is supposed to happen. I have been contemplating what I should actually do for my 30th birthday. How do you celebrate the Big 3-0, what should I do to kick off this new decade of life? I want the next 10 years of life to be my best 10 years of  life, how can I make that happen? Sure, I am possibly over thinking this turning 30 thing a little bit too much. There is nothing I can do to stop it from happening, it will happen no matter how much I kick, scream, and cry. Its life. You get older, live with it, the end.

I recently thought that I would like to have a blow out party, that would deter me from having my very own pity party. If I have a semi real party, with actual people, maybe that will ease the torment of thinking about what life is actually like at 30. I want to still have fun at 30. I actually want to have more fun than ever before. So in my mind an awesome 30th birthday would be something that includes throwing a major party at Tao in Las Vegas, with streamers, a huge cake, and a well known DJ. It would be something like umm, Kim Kardashian’s 30th birthday. Ok, I know I am not Kim Kardashian, and I do not have anywhere near Kardashian money so a club party in Vegas will not be an option. Well at least not for this year, maybe next year we can shoot for that option.

So what is a good way to bring in your 30th birthday! I want to do something that matches my personality. I am 30 and the world is my playground. I live in the boundaries of very few limitations. I see myself on a path to extraordinary. What type of event expresses that notion? Do I go for a grown and sexy vibe, or do I go for a young and free vibe? Honestly, I really wish I had someone to plan a party and I just show up. I am not a party planner. I have a new idea for my life everyday, so obviously I will have a new idea everyday on ways to celebrate this overdramatized  milestone of my 30th birthday. I am not the first person in the world to turn 30 but, it is the first and only time turning 30 will happen to me. I owe it to myself to make it a memorable experience, who knows when the next memorable experience will happen to me.

I have less than two months to enjoy my last days in my twenties. Some people want to be married by the time they are 30. If I was one of those people then I would have to hurry up and find a husband real quick. But I am not. I never really thought of what it was going to be like when I turned 30, well not until I turned 29. Then 30 was hitting me in the head hard, I was forced to create an image of what life is like at 30. Soon enough I will find out for real. So what should I do to celebrate my 30th birthday? Should I go over the way of full on party, or low key and relaxed? Whatever I do, I sure hope it is fun.

Any ideas on how to celebrate the big 3-0?

 

 

Positive thoughts, positive ideas, positive experiences

New Black television shows: What is the formula for making them better?

     The Game has returned to BET for season 5. Last week started a whole new season, with whole new episodes of The Game. If you have no idea what The Game is, check out the link. If you have ever been a watcher of The Game, continue to follow me. Are you watching this season of The Game? How do you like it? Does it make you want to turn off your TV and wished it had remained in the cancellation abyss when it was canned from the CW network? Yeah I thought so.

I used to be huge fan of The Game in its original seasons. I would watch it religiously, even with the many random day and time changes, I would do my best to follow the show whenever it was on. Like many other Game fans, I was sad to see it come to an end. I felt a perfectly great show was removed from television for no apparent reason. Each of the characters felt genuine, and the story line was such that it made the whole concept exciting from week to week.  Then suddenly poof! It was over.  Only for 2 years later to be brought back to life on BET. But is the Resurrection of The Game really a good thing, or should it just have stayed a distant memory of a good show that was prematurely cancelled?

The Game had a lot of fans, those fans screamed, yelled, and petitioned for a great show to be brought back to TV. BET heard the cries and  picked up the game. However, fans wanted a show that was once great to be brought back to TV. Fans did not request a show that has the same name, and most of the same actors, but its come back is as horrible as ever. The memory of a great show, has turned into watching a sad TV show, substance free, just actors and words.  The original realness is gone. The attraction of seasons 1-3 that brought the show to a dramatic climax has been lost at BET. To see The Game on BET is as if  someone said;  they want a show, give them a show, any show, it doesn’t even have to be a good show, but people will watch because this is the show they wanted.

Is that fair to the viewers who have supported The Game for so long, starting from season 1? No of course not.

Sadly that message seems to apply as the overlying theme in all shows targeted towards African-American audiences lately. The connotation of give them a show, any show, and they will watch unfortunately is not just specific to The Game. BET has another sitcom that comes on after The Game, Let’s Stay Together, yeah that show doesn’t have much appeal either. What is it with new age African-American television shows that make them appear unrealistic, over the top, and basically straight boring?

I remember when I couldn’t wait to watch The Cosby Show, A Different World, or Girlfriends. These shows had my attention from start to finish, they were shows of quality. You can tell these shows were a product of time, energy, and a well executed script.  Best of all, these shows attracted viewers of every racial group. Those shows weren’t specifically made for African-American audiences, they had the ability to cross color lines in the television world.

I recently watched an episode of Tyler’s Perry’s sitcom For Better or Worse, again I was disappointed in the portrayal of African-Americans on TV. The over the top, overly dramatic antics will never make good television. It just makes the show hard to sit through for more than five minutes. Although I had long been over Tyler Perry’s sitcoms for some time, I thought I would give his new one a chance. Without supporters shows get cancelled right? After wasting precious time of life watching, I can just say that I would be very understanding if that show did get canceled. Despite my opinion, Tyler Perry continues to attract a wide audience, and his show did do considerably well despite its poor story lines. So even if I am not watching, I know someone is watching.

Yet, there is a point where it is quite disturbing where the only representation of African-Americans on television comes in the form of poorly formulated sitcoms, or overly hostile women on Reality TV shows . Shouldn’t we be at a place where the media views us in a better light, and gives us the respect of at least  incorporating more minority characters into basic network television. It is great that BET, TV One, and TBS offer a platform to cast the talents of African-Americans on television, but if a show is created don’t we owe it to ourselves and our culture to at least demand,  and have expectations for a quality show that can work with any audience.  It may be time to abandon the I’ll take a show, any show, as long as Black people are in it mentality, and say I’ll take one great show. At least then we can watch it for the quality of the show, and not just because the entire cast happens to come from the same racial group as me.

Positive thoughts, Positive energy, Positive experiences.

Friendzone: Is it really as bad as it sounds?

Honolulu from Diamond Head.
Image via Wikipedia

Quick life update: In 2012 I have returned to dating.

One thing Hawaii is not lacking is available men to date. Now as for high quality available men,  that is a different story. This is one situation where quantity is not better than quality. However I must deal with it, roll with the punches, and perhaps one day a true high quality man will enter into my existence. As for now, well back to the dating scene.

Dating is a tricky situation at times. I am obviously not going to have a connection with everyone I date. However, sometimes even if there is no possible chance of having a love connection, I would like to think that I can at least make a new friend from the situation. Can men and women ever just be friends, or does that notion leave universal existence after we graduate from elementary school?

I hear it a lot from my male friends that no guy ever wants to be friendzoned. Yet, I have met many of my male friends in my adult life, and we have successfully managed to have a platonic relationship up until this point (well with most of them at least). Men usually tell me that no girl is really just a friend, they are just waiting for that  one opportunity to hook up. They sit back and wait patiently,  play the friendship role, but if the opportunity is there to cross the line, then they are ready to jump. It becomes hard to have friends of the opposite sex if all they are waiting for is that one lonely moment where you will hook up.

Well I learned that lesson this past weekend. During one of my past adventures in the world of online dating , I met a man who I knew we would not work in a relationship, however he would better fit in my life as a friend. We hung out a few times, and never hooked up.  There were no hidden messages as we were truly just friends. Or so I thought. See,  I am as transparent as possible when it comes to dating, so I informed him that we will only be friends and I’ll show him fun things around the island.  I am always ready to make a new friend, and he agreed to the situation that presented itself at the start of our friendship.  Over the next few weeks, we went out sparingly and he would tell me about females that he was dating, I gave him relationship advice. I had no problem with that, that’s what friends do, discuss everything including relationships right? I was under the impression that we would just continue to be friends, apparently he was under the impression that we would eventually have more than friendship. What went wrong here?

On New Year’s Eve we went to a party in Honolulu. As he began to drink the questions started to come out. The questions, such as why was I single? I answered as honestly as possible. “Since I am dating for a relationship that will eventually lead to marriage, I have high standards for the men I date. I know what type of man I want, and I just have not met him yet. ” He was offended by that response. To me it was nothing against him, it was the truth. Apparently he felt like he was not good enough for me. He was only good enough to be in the friendzone.

I made a horrible attempt to explain to him that I want and need a man in my life who is stable, secure in life, strong in his career. Someone who already has the basics of what he wants, and is now working on ways to move forward. Someone who has accomplished goals, and has the determination to keep going. Not to say to him that he won’t be that man, however he is not there right now. He is just not the right man for me. He is a friend.

When I put him in the friendzone, I left him to question his own inadequacy in relationships.  I may have tested his manhood. I made him question why he was not good enough. Though that was not my intention, those were the results. I felt guilty. I will take the blame, because perhaps I did lead him on by allowing him to enter my life as a friend knowing I would never want anything more. What happens next is up to him. I will still be a friend if he is willing to remain in that zone. If he wants to end communication with me, then I will understand that also. Adult life is so much more complicated than elementary school. Is it ever possible for men and women to just remain in the friendzone?

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences!

We all have a story, what’s yours?

We all have a story to tell, whats yours?

The only way you can really know a person is to actually know their story. Know their history, know where they came from, how they got to their current situation. It is easy to pass judgments on others, to make assumptions about their present lives because we do not know, or put little effort into caring about their back story. The story that has made them who they are, the story is what has created the person who you see in front of you.

One thing I have learned through my career is that everyone has a story. Though some stories may look the same, they are all very different, the differences make us all unique, the stories create inspiration for others. Hawaii has a large homeless population. Each of my homeless clients has a very unique story. To look at an individual homeless person, it is easy to pass judgment. To assume they have caused their own situation. However, they also have a  story of survival, a story of hope, of story of love, a story with an ending that is yet to be written.

Recently I saw a man living in a box. I wondered what is story was. I also thought that no matter what life I lead today, it is also very possible that I could end up living in a box. Life is not to be taken for granted. To many of the homeless in Hawaii, Hawaii is not paradise. Hawaii is a living hell. Some feel stuck, some feel empty, some feel that everyday is the same, no movement. The ocean waves become torture, the daily sunshine enhances one’s own personal misery. Depending on the way you view their story, it could be one of sadness, or a story that inspires change in your own life.

Since everyone has a story that is unique, start by taking the the time to stop and pay attention. To listen or to watch, to allow ourselves into the world of someone else because they may hold the key for that change that we need for our own lives. In 2012, make it a year where we view the world through the eyes of others. Expanding our lives by allowing an understanding of the story of others.

Tell your own story without fear.  Keep telling it. Your story can create change, can inspire, you can make the difference. For the new year, try something different for others. Allow others to know you, to understand where you come from. Stay positive, decrease assumptions, and live without judgments.  Be open. Inspire.

What’s your story?

 

 

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences.