Friday Film Review: Heavy Metal

Photo from Fan Pop
Photo from Fan Pop

Oi.  What to say about Heavy Metal.  First off, I watched this because of its cult status.  I understand why it has a cult status, I just don’t understand the movie.  Perhaps, it was just that I wasn’t taking the right kind of drugs when I watched it…  And believe me, I don’t understand it NOT because I’m easily shocked or I haven’t seen weird films.  I’ve seen a lot.  But this film, I just did not get.

OK, so this is an animated movie, shot in multiple different animation styles (stop motion, drawing, rotoscoping, etc) and it’s broken down into several vignettes that are all connected by a green orb.  An EVIL green orb.  All while having a “thumping metal soundtrack.”  To be honest, at least half, if not more of the score was not metal, and almost the entire score of the last vignette was by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Oh yes, let’s just go ahead and talk about that one.  I’ll back track later.  The last vignette is the climax.  It focuses on our heroine, a very busty, mostly naked woman that doesn’t talk, spends a lot of time getting ready, and fights rapists.  OK, maybe that’s an over simplification, but that’s my interpretation.  Zach and I watched this together, and despite the copious amounts of animated nudity, he fell asleep during the final act.  It was too long.  I understand they had a fancy orchestra and they wanted to get their money’s worth, but it was TOO LONG.

Backtracking…

The film as a whole is about how evil this orb is.  I’m not exactly sure what it does, but it makes people chaotic, women get naked and sometimes zombies?  The timeline jumps around too, both past, present and future, with a little sci fi added (outerspace and other planets).  John Candy does a lot of voice acting too.  Think of this movie as a poetic, animated sci fi, in which all the animators loved drawing the same boobs over and over again.

I’m going to stop writing now, because actually writing this review is boring me.  There isn’t a lot of interesting things to this film. I feel like it’s something that would be playing in the background while people got high at a friend’s house.  BUT – people love it, for all it’s ridiculousness.  Maybe teenage boys would like it better than me.  But seriously, if you really are just wanting to watch animated boobs and sex, just go to PornHub.com.  Yeah, I just linked to Porn Hub.  What?  Don’t click unless you want to see penises right away.  You’ve been thoroughly warned.  In all seriousness, if you love the movie, that’s fine.  I’m not judging.  I understand.  It has a weird charm to it.  But I am not going to highly recommend this to others.

Favorite Line: “Sucker play or not, I must have turned her on somethin’ fierce. I mean, this dame was goin’ for broke. Maybe it was her first time with a New Yorker, I dunno. Anyway, nothing beats good old American know-how. And I was givin’ this broad the Stars And Stripes For Ever.” – cab driver.  I have no idea what he meant by “Star and Stripes” in regards to sex.  Someone please explain.

Favorite Scene:  Probably the one where the red-headed secretary has sex, and then begins a relationship, with the robot.  That was weird, but also oddly endearing.

Movie Stats:
Date: 1981
Director: Gerald Potterton
Length: 86 mins
Rating: R (for nudity, and lots of it!)

Currently streaming on Netflix.

Movie Night suggestions.

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Products I Love: Sunless Tanner

Today is lazy day.  I would consider it my only day off, except that I still have to do laundry.  I ate cake toast and spilled coffee all over myself.  And it was weird how I did it too.  It was as if I was a terrible actress trying to purposefully do it for a commercial involving stain remover.  I just threw my head back with a large amount of coffee spilling everywhere.

Speaking of acting, remember past blogs where I talked about my film roles in small films?  I kind of miss doing it.  But, I did 5 in just a few months, and I seriously need to get a few other things done before I get back to acting.  My New Year’s goal was to be a primary character in ONE film, I ended up being on in 5.  Win.  For now.  The next acting goal I have is to be a little more selective.  And in order to do that, I need more preparation.

Anyway, today’s post is the first in a series I would like to call, “Products I Love.”  I’ll discuss products I love.  It’ll be simple.  I’m not paid to promote any of these, and they will range from any kind of product, big or small.

Today I’d like to talk about sunless tanners.  Now, I actually don’t like wearing a lot of bad chemicals, at least, I try not to make a habit of it.  Everything I use on a daily basis is completely natural and ethical and doesn’t have cancer causing stuff in it.

However, this year was the first year in many I decided to wear shorts.  I got all “body image” positive (I’ll do a post on that later).  My legs, unfortunately, are one of the areas I’m super insecure with.  Mostly because, despite frolicking in high altitude sun, they never get one lick of color.

Not.  One.  Lick.

It’s my super Irish genes.  They give me my beautiful, ghostly white skin.  I’m not embarrassed per se, but my legs can blind people.

So I went searching for natural sunless tanners.  Because, you know, I’m not gonna wear that awful tanning oil or go get sprayed with nasty smelling chemicals.  I actually thought it would be a hopeless venture.

But I was wrong.

I found a few options that looked good.  Alba had one, but the one I ended up buying was Caribbean Solutions Beach Colours.  When researching both products, I found that Beach Colours had even less of the harsh chemicals than Alba.  It also got even better reviews.  But I’m not dissing on Alba.  Because seriously, it’s way better than getting the awful chemicals.  If you’re a loyal supporter of Alba products, get it!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

So how does it hold up?

To be honest, I only use it on my legs.  I’m also not going for Jennifer Aniston’s beautiful bronzed legs.  I just want my legs to match my upper half (i.e, my arms) that end up getting color during the summer.  So, I basically apply it once or twice a week.  That’s it.  It looks totally natural, no one has commented on my legs.  Which is good!  I don’t want people commenting on my legs, good or bad…

It fades naturally, not streaky.  In fact, it works better than anything I’ve ever used in my life.  And I used to use a lot of the traditional products when I was younger.

The smell?  It’s actually not too bad, when comparing it to traditional products.  No one has noticed a weird smell from me.  But again, I only use it on my legs, and they are usually not near my nose.

It’s cost effective.  I’ve been using it all summer and I’ve barely made a dent in it.  Even though it comes in a smallish jar, it goes a long way.  And the best part?  It leaves your skin feeling soft.

Pro-tip: I keep mine in the bathroom, and the lotion got too hot and I think separated a little.  I just took a Q-tip and whipped it around.  No biggie.  Good as new.

So there you go.  If you want a little color on your skin but are sensitive to chemicals, here’s a solution.  You can even buy it on Amazon!

Until next time.

Products I Love

Birthday Madness

Have you ever had a day where you just did NOT feel like getting out of your pj’s?  Well, today, I got up, made breakfast, fed the dogs, got dressed, walked the dogs, worked out, went grocery shopping, pulled weeds, cleaned the kitchen and THEN I showered and got BACK into my pj’s.  But I have a perfectly sane explanation.

Zach’s birthday is today, so we’re going out to dinner with his parents.  I don’t want to get ready for that several hours early, but I also don’t want to be smelly for the rest of the day.  There.  That’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for why I’m in my pj’s.

Anyway, today has been hectic.  Currently, Penny is growling at me because she thinks I’m typing too loudly.  And it’s going to rain.  It’s been THAT kind of a day.  I would make myself more coffee, but whenever I drink coffee later in the day, I get an upset stomach.  Not good.  My body knows I need to sleep at night.

Lately, art has been calling me.  I have this strong inclination to be creative.  In all aspects.  Like, do something different every day.  I think I might do that.  Set aside an hour every day and work on something creative.  Mix it up.  I think I’ve been stressed more than usual lately, and I’ve had no outlet.

So I’ll make this short.  I’ve had a few post ideas in mind, just not had enough time to do them.  However, tomorrow, I’d like to start a “products I love” page so I can talk about, well, products I love.  For fun.  Trust me, I’m not getting paid to do it.  I just like promoting things that are awesome.  For free.

Until next time.

“Now and Tomorrow”

I don’t normally write love poetry, but I found this little one in my journal.  Enjoy.

“Now and Tomorrow”

When the scariest moment
Was telling you I loved you
When I just couldn’t find the words
But my heart spilled onto the page
And the music sang out in the sky
You made me free.
We have more than a song
We have a band, a lifetime
I have the world in your eyes
I want to live in it now, with you.

To say I’ll catch the stars
And put them in your eyes
Would not begin to do me justice
All I have is my heart
And the promise that it is yours to keep
I love you now
And I want this moment to last forever.

Copyright 2009 Meg Swensen

For more creative writing, click HERE.

Productivity and Hot Dish

I’m totally excited for this week.  Granted, as I was waking up at 5:15 this morning, I cursed the day and told it I wouldn’t be attending any sort of productive event.  However, as soon as I walked the dogs and drank my coffee, I’m definitely ready.  I have a million things to do, and stuff is always getting in the way – but, bring it on, week!

This past weekend wasn’t that eventful.  There were fantasy football drafts, but I didn’t really take any part in them.  It was nice to see all my friends together though.  We washed the dogs and did a lot of dog blanket laundry (which was awful because there was so much hair we had to vacuum out the washer!).  All in all, it was a productive weekend where we kind of wrapped up all the little things we need to do so there is less to do next weekend.

I must apologize for the lack of Friday film reviews, and daily blogs in general.  I’ve been so busy I haven’t watched anything.  And I’m tired most nights that I want to be in bed by 9pm.  I will get it done this week though, and add in a new weekly topic to make up for it!

But today I want to talk about hot dish.

Hot dish?

Hot dish.

I’ve never heard of this term before going to visit North Dakota.  Apparently it’s just a casserole.  However, if you are from the northern part of the midwest and disagree, please feel free to correct me.  Needless to say, I can’t eat hot dish because of the copious amounts of gluten.  There’s also the heartburn, indigestion, and insane amount of calories most of these dishes contain.  BUT – I was kind of craving a comfort food of the pizza variety, but didn’t want to do more than just toss a bunch of ingredients together.  So I found, basically, a gluten free, “healthier” version of a pizza casserole.  It’s super easy to make (and make your own version) and it’s very tasty.

You can find the recipe HERE.  The changes I made after making it a few times, were that I add a lot of spices to make it spicy, and I use a tomato and basil spaghetti sauce instead of pizza sauce to make it more moist and less heavy.  And I’ll change up the cheeses for variety.

Zach and I always joke that the next time we visit his grandma in ND, we will bring her this “hot dish.”  And, we actually probably will.

Until next time.

Halloween and Parties!

I’m starting to feel a little bit like myself again, as in, my anxiety is fading a bit and I’m more inclined to be motivated to do things again.  Last week was just too stressful.

I know I must be feeling better, because I just spent 30 minutes on Pinterest looking at the Halloween boards (and obsessively pinning).  I know, I know, Halloween is MONTHS away.  But you have no idea how serious we take Halloween.  It’s our favorite holiday.  We spend the most time on it.  And we get super excited about it 6 months before it even comes.  If you’d ever like to meet an adult that get more enjoyment out of Halloween than any child, well, hello there.

The reason Halloween is on my mind today is because I’m planning my husband’s birthday party for the end of the month.  Despite the fact I’m an introvert, I actually LOVE throwing parties.  I don’t like having parties on MY behalf (ie, I hate having a birthday party for me) but I love throwing them.  I take them seriously, plan games, stage everything, and make sure everyone has fun.  I try to come up with at least one or two cute appetizers and food presentation is just as important as how it tastes.  I believe throwing a party in which people just stand around in clicks drinking is an atrocity!  I’m kidding, of course.  Those can be fun with awesome people.

But party planning is an art for me.  That’s probably why I don’t do it super often.  We didn’t have any parties this last year, but that was more out of stress and having so many house renovations going on.  When we had a break, we just wanted to get away, not entertain.  I hope by next year, that will change.

Next month we’re also going to be working on the main living area.  We will be refinishing the furniture and putting up framed pictures and art, so it looks lived in.  We are the weirdest couple ever.  There are absolutely NO pictures of us anywhere in the house.  I swear to god we love each other and use cameras, we’re just… bad at framing things?  And I decided to be weird and hang up wall art that was left in the house when we bought it – pictures of escalators in Cuba, and Cuban advertisement art.

Of course, I’ll be posting updates, and “soft” tutorials on my progress.  That includes party/holiday stuff!

Until next time.

Apologies and Controversy

Yes, I totally promised blogs last week  that didn’t happen.  But, I wasn’t feeling well, and neither was my dog, and I had to spend a lot of time at the vet and making her feel better/worrying a lot.  Last week was just a mess, and I’m so glad to be on a new week.  It’s already going much more smoothly.

A couple of updates:
I had to stop the Conscious Cleanse.  I got very sick on it.  Like, really, really sick.  I stayed on it for a week before I finally had to throw in the towel.  I had developed allergies and sensitivities to raw and some not raw vegetables.  I had less energy than ever and took 3-hour naps.  I was bloated and itchy all over, especially on my ribs.  No matter how many different things I tried, it failed.  It got to the point I completely lost interest in any kind of food.  So, I’m back to eating semi-normally – I’m just cutting out dairy and sugar for the most part (and other processed foods).  And, I’m only eating thoroughly cooked vegetables for a bit.

I am continuing my creative projects, some getting close to the end, others starting to gain momentum.  That’s good.

I deleted my Facebook app on my phone, so now I’m on MAYBE twice a day.  It was a little uncomfortable at first, but now I like it.  I’m even on my phone less in general.  “Facebook, not even once!”

I’m starting to watch Criminal Minds again, so I’ll expect to have the most horrifying nightmares of my life again.

OK, I think I’ve caught everyone up.  Now for the “controversy.”

The thing in Ferguson is bothering me a lot.  I am a semi-obsessive Twitter user, and I’m following the entire thing closely.  Every night, I hold all of those people in my thoughts, and I hope no one will get hurt.  I know they have to do this.  The people in that town have lived with injustice too long, and everyone has a breaking point.  I’m disappointed at how the mainstream media is reporting on it – and I only know how they are reporting on it because I’ve talked to people that ONLY get their info from regular news outlets.  The police are 100% in the wrong and are dangerous.  I’m glad Amnesty International is getting involved, because, apparently, we don’t know how to treat people here.  Ahem, excuse me, I mean non-white people.

I feel helpless.  I know a lot of people do.  So I try and make awareness.  They need the world watching, at the very least.

But, it’s a war zone there right now.

All to protect one murderer (yes, I said it.  I’m not a journalist so I don’t need to say “alleged.”  Bah!).

I hope the boy’s family gets the justice they deserve.  I hope everyone in the town gets justice.  I hope the people of Ferguson can one day, soon, not have to flinch in fear when they see a cop passing them, or have to worry about looting, or that their child will be hit with tear gas or rubber (or real) bullets.  I hope it’s soon.

I may not have faith in the system, but I have faith in people.  I’ve seen people move mountains, crumble governments/empires and have compassion for the smallest of creatures.

You can do this, Ferguson.

Until next time.

Let’s Have a Serious Talk About Depression

I know today is the day I post creative writing, and I promise I’ll do something tomorrow.  But I really wanted to talk about depression first.

When celebrities die, I don’t normally feel like someone jabbed a knife in my stomach.  But yesterday, that would be a very perfect description for how I felt when I heard that Robin Williams died.  I can’t think of anyone that was involved with my life more than people I actually knew.  I had hoped that it was a hoax.  But in all honesty, I knew it was true when I heard it.

I knew that Williams had been struggling with depression.  I knew he had a history with substance abuse.  I knew he was bi-polar.

I knew how he must have felt in his last moments.

I’ve struggled with depression almost my entire life, though, to be honest, it’s much less of a struggle now.  I didn’t have normal teenage angst.  My parents couldn’t understand why I just couldn’t BE HAPPY.  Nothing was really wrong with my life.  Sure, I had to deal with bullying.  I dealt with abusive relationships.  But even when things went well, even when I was a YOUNG CHILD, I was depressed.  I missed a lot of school because I just couldn’t get out of bed.  It continued in college (and got much worse).  I was in and out of therapy and taking drugs but nothing helped the darkness that I had to fight against on a daily basis.  Most people in my life didn’t even know.  I always put on a smile in public.  Everything was always “fine” and “dandy.”  To me, I wasn’t even living.  I was in pure survival mode, and I never believed I would make it through the day.

But, I did (obviously).

It’s actually really terrifying for me to even do this post.  I’ve never openly talked about my depression.  It was always (and still is) something I considered shameful.

I really, REALLY think that having someone you can completely confide in makes all the difference in the world.  Sure, therapists are awesome, but at the end of the day, sometimes you just need someone you can truly connect with.  Connection.  Human interaction.  Touch.  All of those things.  It helps.

The other thing to remember is that IT’S OK TO FEEL BAD.  You are NOT bad for feeling bad.  I used to (ahem, still do actually) get stuck in these cycles of feeling bad and then feeling bad for feeling bad.  It’s OK.  Just do whatever you need to do to get through it.

Reach out to someone.  No, really.  Reach out.  Open up.  Cry.  Let someone else help you with that heavy burden.  I promise, they can handle it.  And that load is too much for one person anyway.

Even though I don’t believe there’s a “wrong” way to deal with depression, and I just previously said “do anything to get through it,” I also advise against abusing drugs or alcohol.  You think it dulls the pain.  I’ve also been there.  It makes it worse.  Trust me.  If you already are and need help out, please get help.  It’s OK, you’re also not a bad or weak or terrible person for doing it (get those nasty thoughts out of your mind!).  You can actually get help by calling 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit HERE.

It doesn’t always “get better.”  If it’s not getting better and you feel hopeless, tell someone.  It’s OK.  You’re not weak.  There’s nothing wrong with you.  It’s just some of us are wired differently, is all.

The reason I really wanted to make this post is that I know Robin Williams influenced millions of people.  Almost everyone loved him.  And losing someone like that can be a trigger for more hopeless feelings.

I’m sad and I’m disappointed.  I had hoped that he was getting the help he needed.  But he is a reminder of a fine line some of us walk.

Until Next Time.

For more help (ie, you need to talk to someone):
1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Take5
Or send me an email.  Seriously.  I’ll listen (read).

“You will have bad times, but they will always wake you up to the stuff you weren’t paying attention to.” – Robin Williams

New Beginnings and Experiments

I like to look at life as just one big experiment.  Some things work, some don’t.  But you’ll never know which way it goes until you try it out.  This stresses a lot of people out (myself included), but I try to remember to be kind and forgiving to myself when I “fail.”  I will even feel guilty for starting something I think I’ll really like, and then quit doing it because I actually don’t like it at all.  This is exactly what happened with college.  I got a degree in something that I now know I want nothing to do with.  But I’m not sure if I would change anything.  We live in a society where, when you quit something (unless it’s cigarettes), you are frowned upon.  You’re a dirty quitter.  You’ll never amount to anything if you don’t stick it through.  Success comes with perseverance and hard work.  Failure is for the weak.

Meh.

I fail at things on a daily basis.  In fact, I failed miserably this morning.  Today is the first day of my cleanse, and my breakfast smoothie was a disgusting disaster.  I had been up late the night before prepping things, and woke up at 5am this morning for more prep so I could have time to walk the dogs.  Needless to say, I’m tired, cranky, and completely overwhelmed.  But, after I poured what looked like baby poop down the drain, I sat down at the kitchen table with a banana and chia seeds and made a new plan.  And not just for cleanse-friendly meals.  I had a little more clarity this morning.  I realized, I had way too much on my plate.

I think the reason I “fail” so much is because I try a lot of things.  I’m not afraid I won’t like it, won’t be good at it, etc.  If I ever feel like I’m being forced to do something, then I don’t feel right.  Granted, you should stick through things you DO like, even (and especially) when they get hard.  That’s not what I’m talking about here.  I’m talking about sticking with something that doesn’t click with you.

I feel like my entire life has changed more in the past 8 months than it has in the past 20.  Honestly.  I’m much more aware of the world, who I am, and what I want than I ever thought would be possible.  And the great thing is, it’s nothing what I expected.  And it’s awesome (usually).

So, I hope you were able to follow along on my tangent.  I can’t really tell if I’m making sense right now.  I need some carrots.

Until next time.

Friday Film Review: I Think We’re Alone Now

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This week’s movie in review is a documentary about two people that claim to be in love with Tiffany.  You know, the 80s pop star with the song, “I Think We’re Alone Now.”  I just need to be really upfront about one thing I was completely taken aback by the film though.  I seriously did not know she had more than one album.

OK, so this is a low budget film.  They use handwritten paper notes for titles (cute).  The cinematography kind of looks like it was shot on a phone.  I’d say iPhone, but I’ve actually seen really well done movies on that platform.  It’s a short movie (60 mins), so if you’d like to watch it, I’d recommend it.  It’s really uncomfortable though.  I spent the entire 60 minutes creating new wrinkles on my forehead.  It’s really hard to talk about this movie without giving spoilers, but I will do my best.

First off, I need to go on a short rant about the director.  Shame on you.  This was clearly exploitation.  Shame on you.  You have no honor, and deserve no respect (boy, am I using polite language!).  I was seriously the luckiest person in the world to have an amazing teacher for my first film class that said, “never sacrifice people for art.”  I have NEVER forgotten that.  You do not need to do that to be a good artist.  And your film wasn’t even that good.  So, shame on you.

I’m done now.

So, these two people that are “in love” with Tiffany have problems.  The first guy we see, Jeff, has Aspergers.  He had a restraining order taken out against him, by Tiffany, in the 80s.  He doesn’t really understand why people are upset with his behavior.  He’s also smart, paranoid, religious, and fights against fascism.  The second person, Kelly, is an intersexed person who identifies as female, however, the film refuses to recognize that part of her, and in fact is extremely condescending to that part of her (I’m glaring at you, director).  I’m actually not sure why she has slurred speech, because the film never addresses it (and probably wants to further “other” her differentness, like she talks funny because she has two sexes).  I’m assuming she slurs her speech either because she has brain damage from her bike accident (where she also developed her obsession with Tiffany) or because she’s drunk or high.  I’m going to go with a brain damage/drunk combo, because she seemed to nod off a lot in interviews.

As you can see by my descriptions of these two people, the movie isn’t about Tiffany.  And after about 20 minutes, it didn’t focus on their obsession with her as much.  It was really a weird peek into the lives of “not normal” people.  Do I think these two people are akin to the stalkers that break into celebrities houses?  Kill people?  No, not really.  The film actually might have been more interesting if it followed sociopaths instead of these poor, unfortunate people.  I spent all of my time feeling bad for them.  My mothering instincts kicked in.  I wanted to shelter them from the mean world and the dark motives of the film.  

Listen, I really actually DO feel for celebrities dealing with stalking.  I know a lot of people like to be assholes and say, “that’s what you get for being famous,” but no one ever deserves to be violated like that.  

I’m also sensitive to the issue of stalking, especially by someone who has a disorder.  I knew he just wasn’t able to separate what was in his head and what was reality.  But I also had a strong feeling to self-preserve and didn’t want to get hurt.  Sometimes, the situation can be muddy when one person suffers from a mental disorder.

Ugh, I lost where I was going on this review.

Here we are.  So WHY do I recommend this movie?  Well, I like the gritty realism of it.  I kind of hate documentaries that add drama by pushing you a certain direction.  Actually the LACK of organization on this film worked to its benefit.  You can see a lot more sometimes.  You’re also a lot more likely to draw many different opinions because there’s little motive.  Also, despite the film exploiting these people, you actually do start seeing them as human beings.  Maybe because I was working against the film.  Maybe it was the little tiny moments with them where you really can relate with them.  I don’t know.  But I’m also not freaked out by differently-gendered people or anyone on the autistic spectrum.  A lot of people are, and the film highlights, for good or bad, that exact thing.

Click on the picture at the top to read a very different review of the film.  Apparently, this person thought the director was a well thought out genius that gave an even-toned look at the subjects (raising eyebrow in doubt).  Make your own conclusions.  Add this movie to your queue, because either way, you’re going to be enthralled and entertained for an hour.

Favorite Line: “I’m straight.  I just fight against fascism.” – Jeff
Favorite Scene: The kind of back-and-forth montage of when Jeff goes to an erotica convention and tells his pastor about how wonderful everyone was and that they were all “saved.”  He also gave a model foreign nudie mags where she was the cover girl and she didn’t even know!  Such a guy.

Movie Stats:
Director: Sean Donnelly
Release: 2008
Rating: NR (There is swearing and few boobs at the convention)

Currently Streaming on Netflix.  

For more movie night recommendations, click HERE.