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The Musings of an Eccentric Diva

Welcome to the Musings of an Eccentric Diva. My motto is: Giving Hollyweird movies the finger one movie at a time. Enter at your own risk (insert evil Vincent Price laughter here).

Monday, January 29, 2007

MOVIE REVIEW: Notes on a Scandal 2006

Crotchety old history teacher Barbara Covett (Dame Judi Dench) is a lonely spinster who is highly regarded, yet feared at the school where she teaches. The school is a haven for troubled kids and Barbara has very little sympathy for them. At the start of the Fall semester, a beautiful new art teacher Sheba Hart (Cate Blanchett), sparks the interest of faculty and students alike. Barbara is instantly mesmerized by Sheba and they become fast friends. Barbara even becomes a fixture in the Hart household, acting as a make-shift “aunt” to their children. What Sheba doesn’t know is that Barbara is keeping a personal diary of their friendship and is secretly plotting to make Sheba her love muffin. During a school production, Barbara discovers that Sheba is having an affair with 15 year-old student Stephen Connolly (Andrew Simpson)whom she refers to as “The Leprechaun” (snort). Barbara swears that she will remain silent about the affair as long as Sheba promises to end it. Sheba does not heed Barbara’s warnings and continues to see her teenage paramour. Barbara sees this as an opportunity to land her prize catch using emotional blackmail as bait. Will Barbara capture her blonde goose or will she send Sheba running in the opposite direction? No more spoilers from me y’all!

Woo hoo! This film is awesome. The Oscar nominations for both Cate Blanchett and Dame Judi Dench are well deserved, especially in the case of Ms. Dench. This is clearly her vehicle and she has no problem taking the lead. She is deliciously evil as the lonely school marm with latent lesbian tendencies. She's usually so well put together, so it was shocking to see her look every bit of her 72 years. Cate Blanchett is terrific as a Bohemian gal stuck in the mundane world of suburbia. The young man who played Stephen Connolly did a fantastic job and he certainly looked all of fifteen. I really appreciated that they didn’t resort to cheap shocks to heighten the drama. The delicate subject matter was handled very well and it allowed you to get immersed into the characters without being overly angered by Sheba’s actions. There was never a dull moment and I was on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen next. I had to go to the bathroom so bad but didn’t move for fear I’d miss something lol. The ending satisfied and I did not feel cheated. In summary: GO SEE THIS FILM!!!!

VERDICT: 4 Soul Claps!


Friday, January 26, 2007

THE RANDOM TEN: Favorite Movies

*It was hard trying to nail down my favorite movies because I have so many*

1. Kill Bill vols 1&2
2. Saturday Night Fever
3. Claudine
4. The Human Tornado
5 Superfly
6. Putney Swope
7. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery 1&2
8 Ali-Fear Eats The Soul
9. The Gates of Hell
10.Old Boy


FRIDAY FLASHBACK JAM: Crucial Conflict-Ride The Rodeo 1996

Aww shucks, this was my jam! Giddy up mofos and Happy Friday!


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

MOVIE REVIEW: Shadowboxer-2005

Mikey (Cuba Gooding Jr) and Rose (Helen Mirren) are an assassin team, lovers and last, but not least, stepmother and stepson. Mikey is a man-child who is totally dependent on Rose for guidance. Their relationship is reaching a crossroads because Rose is dying of cancer and she's fearful of Mikey being left alone. They primarily work for sadistic crime lord Clayton (Stephen Dorff) and their orders are given to them by a wheel-chair bound man. Clayton contracts them to kill his wife Vicki, whom Clayton suspects of cheating on him with one of his associates. Mikey and Rose arrive at Clayton's mansion to carry out the orders but Rose changes her mind when she discovers that Vicki is pregnant, and then goes into labor once she discovers she's a marked woman. Rose and Mikey help deliver the baby and then flee with mother and child. They contact shady, young doctor Don (Joseph Gordon Levitt) and his cokehead nurse/girlfriend Precious (Mo'Nique) to examine mother and child to ensure that both are OK. Mikey and Rose relocate with Vicki and her son to a house in suburbs and together they become a make-shift family. Meanwhile, the duo continue doing assignments for Clayton while he continues his reign of terror, unbeknownst to him that his wife and child are alive and living right under his nose. After Rose's death, it is Mikey's job to carry out her wishes of protecting Vicki and her son. Will Mikey be able to fulfill Rose's dying wish to protect mother and son or will he have to dig graves next to Rose to plant them in? No more spoilers from me y'all!

I have waited and waited, and waited some more for this film. When finally released, it never reached theaters here and I was so bummed out about that. I had to wait until the official DVD came out. Let me start off by saying this film was without a doubt worth the wait. I cannot express how awesome I thought this movie was. After it was over, I stood up in my living room and cheered. Cuba Gooding Jr. has redeemed himself in my eyes. For me, this was his greatest role since Boyz in the Hood. He was a cold-blooded killing machine, rendered emotionless due to a traumatic childhood. Helen Mirren is my Ms. Jenkins! She is so gosh-darn beautiful and a very talented actress. The relationship between her character and Cuba's was believeable, the incestuous undertones do not distract from their on-screen chemistry. The sex scenes between them were HOT! Who knew Cuba had such a banging body? Stephen Dorff plays an excellent bad guy, he's my favorite villain from the Blade series. My girl Mo'Nique did the damn thing in her first serious role, I hope this will set a new trend for her instead of always playing the comic foil. Joseph-Gordon Levitt is becoming an Indie movie darling, I wasn't a fan of 3rd Rock From the Sun but I'm certainly impressed by his acting abilities. I really appreciated the director's vision of pairing up unlikely couples; older White Helen Mirren with younger African American Cuba Gooding Jr. made the story much more interesting. The cinematography was excellent. The phenonmenal Vivienne Westwood was responsible for the wardrobe and boy were Helen and Cuba were sharp!!! This film is not for the faint of heart, it is brutal and honest. It contains nudity, drug use, and foul language.

VERDICT: 4 Soul Claps (without a doubt)


Monday, January 22, 2007

RANDOM WTF: Shirley Q. Liquor

My best buddy in blogosphere Dareal sent me a link to some videos by a character called Shirley Q. Liquor. Shirley Q. Liquor is actually a white gay man named Chuck Knipp who dresses in drag to portray a southern Black woman that wears tacky clothes and hair, speaks with horrible grammar, and dons Blackface. Apparently this Shirley Q. Liquor character is very popular with gay and straight crowds and the live performances are sold out. Shirley makes an appearance on Rupaul’s last CD and has performed with comedian Tracey Morgan, formerly of Saturday Night Live fame. Not to mention, she has a 90 second radio segment predominantly heard in the Southern region of the US called the “Daily Ignunce”. Since becoming aware of this character, I’ve become somewhat fascinated by him/her. I watched all the videos on You Tube that were available and I came to this conclusion: If this were a Black man or woman portraying this character, it would be the funniest schtick in the world to me, but since Mr. Knipp is white, I cannot reconcile with myself that this is funny. I find the Shirley Q. Liquor character offensive and this is just another form of Blackface in my opinion. I LOVE offensive, off-color humor, and I consider myself highly open-minded but this one went right over my head. I really would be interested in knowing what others think after watching the video posted below.


Sunday, January 21, 2007


I got tagged by my beautiful sister in blogosphere Afrobella to post five things that me that I've never discussed on my blog. It took me a while to get around to this because I couldn't think of five things about me that anyone would care to know. I usually find it pretty easy to write about movies, music, and bullshit but it was quite a challenge for me to talk about myself. Here goes:

1. I am DEATHLY afraid of snakes, ladybugs, raccoons, and rats!
I can't even watch these creatures on tv. I will never own genuine snakeskin belts, shoes, or purses (besides it's tacky as hell). Raccoons are some of the most horrifying creatures on this Earth. One morning while leaving for work I saw two in my backyard and in two years I have REFUSED to park my car back there, I just leave it in the driveway. And don't get me started on mice, I once moved from an apartment because I saw one.

2. I don't take personal compliments well.
Every time someone compliments me on my personal appearance, I feel the need to offset it with something negative, don't ask me why but I'm trying to work on that. For example:
Complimenter: You are very pretty.
Me: Thank you, but you should have seen what I looked like before I put myself together.
If someone compliments me on my work or accomplishments, I take it very well but personal compliments always throw me off.

3. I have no desire to visit warm-climate, sandy beach vacation spots
The thought of sand between my toes makes my stomach queasy! My idea of a perfect vacation would be somewhere that has interesting architecture like Prague or Italy. Japan is my ultimate vacation spot, it's the place I want to visit the most before I die, Ibiza would be second choice.

4. I cannot STAND raw veggies
With the exception of the usual suspects that come in the average salad, I cannot stomach raw veggies. Yes I know, they are good for you blah, blah but I at least need to have them steamed to enjoy them. Things such as raw carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, greens peppers cannot be covered in enough ranch dressing for me to eat it, they will sit untouched.

5. I became a mother for the first time in my late teen years
I beat the odds by going to college and obtaining a degree not too long after my child was born. I also beat the odds that says most teen mothers will have a second child within two years of the first child. My kids are eleven years apart and the second child was was planned and thought about from start to finish. No abortions or miscarriages in between! I am not an advocate of teen motherhood but I will say that if it happens, it is not the end of the world and it should not deter a young woman from seeking a better life for herself and her child. It can be done, it's just much harder.

Voila! Five totally random facts about me and I'll even throw in three bonuses
***I love everything old; that includes old music, old clothes, old movies, and old people. I'm a thrift-store junkie!***

***I have a fear of entering a crowded room alone, that's why I'm usually super-early to social functions***

***If I were super-rich, my dream pet would be a chimpanzee. I'd dress it up in cute little clothes like it were my own child***

Now it is my duty to tag some of my other favorite bloggers to post five random facts of their own: James, Jayspice, Nikki, Saun, and Blk Grl
My best buddy in blogosphere
Dareal was bad enough to post 25 random facts about herself a while ago...she's always trying to show everybody up dang (rolls eyes)! haha


Friday, January 19, 2007

FRIDAY FLASHBACK JAM: Potholes In My Lawn- De La Soul 1989

I don't think a lot of people were ready for De La Soul when they first hit the scene. This video and song were so different than anything else on the market at the time. Eventually 3 Feet High and Rising became a classic, must-have album. De La is still the shit and I own every last one of their cd's.


Thursday, January 18, 2007

THE RANDOM TEN: Favorite Male Singers

1. Donald Fagen (of Steely Dan)
2. Stevie Wonder
3. Prince
4. Michael Franks
5. Raheem DeVaughn
6. Bob Marley
7. Michael MacDonald
8. Dwele
9. Gil Scott Heron
10.Gerald Levert/ Otis Redding (tie)


Sunday, January 14, 2007

MOVIE REVIEW: I Love You Alice B. Toklas- 1969

Uptight Jewish lawyer Harold Fine is becoming bored with his seemingly perfect life and his overbearing mother (Jo Van Fleet) adds to the conflict. Harold finally gives into marrying his girlfriend/secretary Joyce (Joyce Van Patten) and together they set a wedding date. After learning of the death of a family friend, Harold agrees to take his hippie brother Herbie (David Arkin)and his flower child girlfriend Nancy (Leigh Taylor-Young) to the funeral. After the funeral, Harold picks up a hitchhiking Nancy and agrees to let her stay at his home for the evening. Realizing that he is in love with Nancy, he flees from his wedding ceremony. Harold ditches his boring life in favor of living the hippie counterculture lifestyle with Nancy, leaving poor Joyce heartbroken. Will Harold Fine becoming another hippie dropout or will he finally see the light and go back to his comfort zone with Joyce and Mommy? No more spoilers from me y'all!

Peter Sellers was the man! With the exception of the Pink Panther films, I loved all his other movies and this one happens to be my favorite. The tainted brownie scene cracks me up every time. This is a hilarious story of a man going through a mid-life crisis. I think a lot of people actually feared the hippie movement because they didn't understand it and this film captured that sentiment. Peter played Harold Fine very low key, unlike his Inspector Clousseau role in the Pink Panther films. His transformation from uptight lawyer to hippie is laughable and very cliche'. Leigh-Taylor Young is absolutely breathtaking as free-spirited Nancy, possessing both innocence and sex appeal. Jo Van Fleet playing Harold's mother steals every scene...she's a riot! The shots of 1960's LA and Venice Beach are eyecatching. I also love the requisite lava lamps, psychedelic colors, and wacky clothing that are hippie movie staples. There are some politically incorrect words and scenes which makes this feel a bit dated but it's nothing too serious. This film contains suggested nudity and drug use.

VERDICT: 4 Soul Claps


THE RANDOM TEN: Favorite Female Singers

1. Chaka Khan
2. Minnie Ripperton
3. Clara Hill
4. Sade
5. Jill Scott
6. Nina Simone
7. Stevie Nicks
8. Astrud Gilberto
9. Bebel Gilberto
10. Shirley Bassey


Friday, January 12, 2007

FRIDAY FLASHBACK JAM: Atomic Dog-George Clinton 1982

I wonder if George Clinton knew he was creating a classic while in the studio making Atomic Dog? This song is ageless and there ain't no party until this song comes on.


Monday, January 08, 2007

MOVIE REVIEW: The Final Comedown 1972

Johnny Johnson (Billy Dee Williams) has had it with "da man"!!!! A college graduate, Johnny is turned down for jobs he's qualified for and constantly harassed by the "pigs". Against the wishes of his god-fearing mother, he plans to stage a riot with help from his friends from the hood and several liberal White kids. Early on during the riot, Johnny is critically wounded. The gang must continue without their leader's help and the race is on to find a doctor to help him. Will Johnny achieve his mission of becoming Harlem's answer to Huey Newton or will he be just another dead martyr? No more spoilers from me y'all!

Woohoo, best dollar I ever spent! I found this film at the register of my local Walmart for $1! My description was brief because if I told you any more, I'd give away too many of the interesting parts. A moustache-less Billy Dee gave a convincing performance of a young man who is fed up with racism. This was certainly a departure from his usual sexy man roles such as Louis McKay in Lady Sings The Blues. D'urville Martin, a Blaxplotation vet is awesome as Billy Dee's right-hand man. The message of this film was very heavy-handed, it tried a little too hard to drive the point home. I know racism was much more apparent in the 70's but this movie doesn't make me feel the events that took place were justified. With that aside, this was still a great little hidden gem of a film and a time capsule of the sentiment of the 70's from the Black perspective. The film score was awesome, I am currently hunting down a copy of it. Contains scores of violence and strong language. Next time you are stocking up on Ajax and toilet paper, check out Walmart's dollar film section, you may discover a treasure of your own.

VERDICT: 3 Soul Claps


COOL 70's CHICK: Miss Piggy

You could not tell me that Miss Piggy wasn't real! She certainly was real in my very young eyes. Miss P. was a ride or die chick that would cut a bitch over her man, Kermit the Frog. A true plus-size diva, she had the most fabulous wardrobe and hair! Her golden blonde tresses were enough to make Farrah Fawcett green with envy. There are plenty of other Muppets but Miss P is by far my favorite. No Botox needed for this curvy cutie, she has held up very well and was last seen appearing in commercials for Pizza Hut. Show those young chicks how it's supposed to be done Miss. P!


MOVIE REVIEW: Secuestro Express-2005

In Caracas, three local thugs, Budu (Pedro Perez), Trece (Carlos Molina), and Niga (Carlson Madera) are looking for the perfect marks to fuel their kidnap-for-profit heist. Affluent couple Carla (Mia Maestro) and Martin (Jean Paul Leroux) are heading home from a night of drugging and partying, making them easy targets. The gang kidnaps the pair and contact their parents demanding ransom. While waiting for the cash, the gang takes Carla and Martin on a drug-induced, bloody ride. Their first stop is to score some blow at the home of Columbian gay drug dealer Marcelo (Erhman Ospina). Martin is left in the hands of Marcelo while the gang and Carla go elsewhere. They return for Martin and continue with their mission. With guns constantly waved in their faces and facing the possibility of being tortured or killed, it is a race around the clock for the couple’s parents to come up with the demanded ransom. The pair discover the gang 's motives are not what they appear to be. These are thugs with a mission. When asked why they are being targeted, the gang answers them by basically saying they have no right to flaunt their wealth when most of the city is poor. After a strange turn of events, Carla is left to fend for herself. Now Carla must rely on her wits to keep the sadistic trio from making an example of her. Will Carla’s dad come up with the cash or will he have to don his best black suit for her burial? No more spoilers from me y’all!

Alright let me start off with the great points of the film. Overall, this was a great edge-of-your-seat thriller! It was good and violent, the Tarantino influence was apparent in this film. I truly felt a genuine sense of terror and sadness for the characters. Anytime I watch a movie where someone is haphazardly waving a gun in a person’s face, it makes me a bit tense. The acting was pretty good considering that some of the actors had no previous experience. Apparently the men who played the three thugs are well-known rappers in their country. The cinematography was very nice….it provides a glimpse into Venezuela’s landscape, both the city and the slums. Shot with handheld digital cameras, the film has a grainy and realistic appeal to it. That was the way the director intended it to be since he was a victim of a kidnapping himself. Now here’s the bad stuff. The notion of the “bad guys” being darker skinned and the “good guys” lighter skinned Latins bothered me a bit. The roughest guy in the bunch just so happened to be the biggest and the darkest one. Maybe this is a reality of Venezuelan life? I would not know since I am not very knowledgeable on the subject. Also, I felt there was a homophobic dark cloud hanging over this film…the homosexual angle was handled in a very unsympathetic matter. In Spanish with English subtitles, this film is ultra-violent and filled with nasty words and sexual innuendo. Please put the bambinos to bed before watching this little gem.

VERDICT: 3 Soul Claps


Friday, January 05, 2007

FRIDAY FLASHBACK JAM: Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See-Busta Rhymes 1997

I really miss the fun-loving Busta Rhymes, the new swole-up, super-thug Busta is a real downer. His older videos are some of the most creative in the rap game and he wasn't afraid of making himself look silly. This video is one of my favorites, especially the scene where Alek Wek magically appears out of the water...BEAUTIFUL!


Tuesday, January 02, 2007


Every now and then I'm going to do my lame version of David Letterman's top ten list (but not nearly as funny). It will consist of ten things or people I like under one subject. I thought I'd like to start off the new year with laughter, so I'm posting my 10 favorite comedians.

1. Richard Pryor
2. Dave Chappelle
3. Bernie Mac
4.Martin Lawrence
5.Chris Rock
6. Eddie Murphy
7. Bob Newhart
8. Mo'Nique
9. George Carlin
10. Dennis Miller


COOL 80's DUDE: Ray Parker Jr.

Not only was this dude fine, he was mad talented as well. He wrote and arranged music for many well-known artists such as Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Denice Williams, New Edition, and the list goes on. Did I mention he was fine? I was a bigger Ray Parker Jr fan when he was with the group Raydio...his songs with the group were more soulful than his solo joints, but he did have some great pop hits in the 80's. Ray Parker Jr became a household word with his theme song from the movie Ghostbusters. I had the privilege of seeing him in concert two years ago and the man still looks and sounds great.


Monday, January 01, 2007

MOVIE REVIEW: The Black Dahlia 2006

Based on the James Ellroy book of the same title, the film is a fictional retelling of the events surrounding the infamous Black Dahlia murder case. A young woman named Elizabeth Short (Mia Kirshner) is found murdered and dissected below the waist in a field. Policemen Dwight "Bucky Bleichert (Josh Hartnett) and Leland "Lee" Blanchard (Aaron Eckhart) are assigned to the case. They become partners and best buddies, making it a threesome with Lee's girl Kay Lake (Scarlett Johansson). While gathering information about Ms. Short, they discover her life was not so picture-perfect. Apparently she ran in unsavory circles...prostitution, stag films, and *gasp* lesbianism. Lee becomes obsessed with the case and neglects his job, new friend Bucky and his girl Kaye. It is up to Bucky to take the reins to find the killer and keep Kaye company in the meanwhile. No more spoilers from me y'all.

Let me start by saying that I've been fascinated by the Black Dahlia case since my teen years. When it was announced that a big-screen version of this film was being made, I jumped for joy. When they announced Brian De Palma was directing, I damn near peed myself...I am a HUGE De Palma fan. But alas, this was one big ass letdown. What a mess! It had all the trappings of a great film but the pieces did not quite fit. There were so many plots going on that it made me forget what the film was originally about. By the end of the film, I no longer cared who killed Elizabeth Short. In my brief description I did not include the other plots because there was just too much going on to describe. The cinematography was breathtaking...they did a really good job of capturing 1940's California. The costuming was beautiful and believable. The best performances of the film were Mia Kirshner as Elizabeth Short and Fiona Shaw as Ramona Linscott. I wish people would stop casting Josh Hartnett in serious roles, he reminds me of a grown-up Alfalfa from the Lil Rascals. Scarlett Johansson was beautiful to look at but did not have much to offer as far as acting goes. I believe this film will become a cult classic in a couple of years...I found myself laughing at the absurdity of it all. Mr. De Palma, please go back into the studio and redeem your good name, because this film was pure crapola!

VERDICT: 1 Soul Clap


MOVIE REVIEW: The Descent 2005

A group of five women adventurers enjoy a day of white water rafting. Sarah (Shauna MacDonald) and her husband are headed home when another car slams into theirs and poor hubby is impaled by a pole. Also killed in the crash is Sarah's very young daughter. A year later, the women band together for another adventure and also to help Sarah get over her tragedy. They are joined by Holly (Nora Jane Noone), another adventure enthusiast. This time the ladies decide to go cave exploring in the Appalachian Mountains. Juno (Natalie Mendoza), the unofficial leader of the group, has hand-picked this cave. Once they reach the bottom of the cave, things go horribly wrong. The crew discover that the cave was previously uncharted, they lose a bag of equipment, and a tunnel collapses, almost trapping Sarah. While looking for an alternate way out of the cave, the crew discovers they are not alone. Will they all leave alive or will the cave dwellers pick them off one by one? No more spoilers from me y'all!

It took me a while to get around to seeing this film. Based on the descriptions I'd read, I thought it was some sci-fi garbage and I DESPISE sci-fi. This was actually a really decent horror film. I am claustrophobic so it really played into my fears. I was terrified long before the cave dwellers were introduced. The acting was top notch, the ladies displayed genuine terror. Natalie Mendoza was great, she certainly was one badass chick! Some may have a problem with the way this movie was filmed because it's mostly dark with the exception of flashlights and flares used by the actors, but to me it enhanced the spook factor. Also, the movie starts off a bit slow but that works for me. A slow build-up gives me time to care about the characters before their untimely demise. If you rent this, please try to grab the unrated version which has a bit of a different ending than the theatrical version. This film contains no nudity but it does have a shitload of violence and gore.

VERDICT: 4 Soul Claps



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