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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, February 26, 2007


MOVIE REVIEW: Last House On The Left-1972

For Mari's 18th birthday, she and her friend Phyllis are planning to leave their rural town to see a rock concert in the city. Before the concert, they are looking to score some weed. They run into a dude named Junior (Marc Sheffler) who tells them he knows where they can get some and takes them to an apartment where his lecherous pals are waiting. The crew, 3 males and one female, are all escaped convicts and very dangerous. Krug (David Hess), the leader of the gang informs the girls that they won't be leaving any time soon and begins to terrorize them with a serious of threats. Meanwhile, Mari's parents are planning a surprise party for their daughter and become concerned when she doesn't come home. The next day Mari and Phyllis are tossed into the trunk of a car and the crew takes them deep into the woods, where the car stalls. The terrorizing continues in the woods until tragedy strikes. The crew discovers a house in the woods and asks the residents for help with their stalled car. Lo and behold.....the crew have stumbled across the home of (insert suspenseful music here) MARI! Will Mari's parents discover the crew's evil deeds and retaliate or will they become victims themselves? No more spoilers from me y'all!

This is Wes Craven of "A Nightmare on Elm Street" fame first film. This film is 10 times scarier than Freddy Kruger because this shit could actually happen. I consider this film the "Grand Guignol" of horror. Even though I've seen this film several times the impact never diminishes. I could just feel the despair the girls in the movie felt. Certain parts of this film are just plain uncomfortable to watch. It's probably due to the realistic quality of the film, which was filmed on a shoestring budget. The settings and wardrobe are straight up 70's, complete with wood paneling and bell bottoms. There are hilarious parts to the film as well, mainly the goofy music which was scored by the lead baddie, David Hess, this helps to ease some of the tension in the film. Wes Craven went on to direct many horror classics such as Scream, The Hills Have Eyes, The Serpent and The Rainbow etc.. but this one is still my absolute favorite. Contains strong violence, nudity, and foul language. Ladies, don't go looking to buy weed from strange dudes, once you find you a good weed man, keep him!

VERDICT: 4 Soul Claps

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MOVIE REVIEW: The Departed-2006

Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) was looked after by Irish crime lord Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson) from a very young age. To show his appreciation for Frank's care, Colin becomes a high-ranking police officer to ensure that Frank and his cronies are one-up on the police. Meanwhile police academy cadet Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) is summoned by Commisioner Queenan (Martin Sheen) and his subordinate Dignam (Mark Wahlberg) to go undercover as a flunkie for Costello to infiltrate his operation. He must first commit a crime and spend time in prison for "street cred". He obliges and after release, he is recruited into Frank's organization. Both men are conflicted over their involvement with Costello and his crew. Colin's personal life begins to suffer and he becomes neglectful to his police psychologist girlfriend. Meanwhile Billy is agonizing over his role in the dastardly acts that ruthless Costello assigns to him. Billy is so distraught that he turns to a police psychologist for help. Both Billy and Colin come to the realization that there is a leak within both the police force and Frank's crime organization but neither can pinpoint the source. Will Billy sleep with the fishes at the hands of Frank and his gang or will Colin become someone's prison bitch after it is discovered that he's a rat? No more spoilers from me y'all!

By now everyone knows that The Departed won the Best Picture Oscar. I can honestly say rightfully so. This was truly a work of art. Scorsese has outdone himself with this picture. The film is gritty, realistic and raw. I did not feel like I was watching something that was cranked out by the Hollyweird machine, the film had an Indie quality to it. I generally am no fan of wee wunderkind Mr. DiCaprio but I was greatly impressed by him in The De-PAH-ted (that's my exaggerated Boston accent lol). He did a superb job and he looked and acted like an adult instead of a child playing dress-up. Jack Nicholson is always magnificent but a little over the top in this role, I found myself laughing when I should have been terrified. You could tell he was having a ball playing this role and that's not a bad thing. Ditto for Mark Wahlberg, his role was over the top but in a good way as well. Matt Damon has the most low-key role because his character required him to stay cool under pressure and he did a great job delivering the goods. I usually stay away from ensemble cast pictures because each well-known actor struggles for screen time but I am glad I took the plunge to see this. Ultra-violent and loaded with foul language...if you've ever seen a Scorsese film (Goodfella's anyone?) then you know these are his calling cards and he doesn't shy away from it here either. I highly recommend this film, please rent this if you love gritty crime thrillers. This strictly for the grown and sexy so put the rugrats to bed before watching.


VERDICT: 4 Soul Claps (indeed)

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Friday, February 23, 2007

FRIDAY FLASHBACK JAM PART DEUX: DEEE-LITE-Groove Is In The Heart 1990




Crazy fun, just like me. Happy Friday Y'all!

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FRIDAY FLASHBACK JAM: Eric B and Rakim-Follow The Leader 1988



When this video was released, there was nothing else like it on the market. Never before had anyone used the "Godfather" scenario in a rap video. Great video, great song. Rakim is a legend and there are very few on the hip hop scene today that can match his skills.

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

ECCENTRIC DIVO AND COOL 70'S DUDE: Jimmy Castor



















I could not decide whether I wanted to make Jimmy Castor a Cool 70's Dude or a Eccentric Divo, but this guy is so fly I decided he should be both. Jimmy Castor is a singer and musician that is responsible for some of the funkiest songs ever put on wax. He is also one of the most sampled musical artists that many people have never heard of. Some may consider him a novelty act, but listen past the goofy lyrics and you will hear some the strongest musical content this side of the planet. This cat certainly put the fun in funk! With his group The Jimmy Castor Bunch, the band had song titles such as Hey Leroy Your Mama is Calling You, King Kong, Bertha Butt Boogie, and Troglodyte. These songs were hilarious and you could dance your ass off to them. The track It's Just Begun is considered an essential break dance classic and was featured in the film "Flashdance". The video posted below is from a local television show called Big Chuck and Houlihan that I LOVED as a kid and still airs in Cleveland to this very day. The show features B-movies,skits and other nonsense. The skit they are doing in the video is performed to Jimmy Castor's song "Bertha Butt Boogie". It is absolutely hilarious and depicts Jimmy's song perfectly. I was really shocked this was available on You Tube.

Cool Fact: Jimmy was the replacement for Frankie Lymon after he left the singing group, Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers.





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Friday, February 16, 2007

FRIDAY FLASHBACK JAM PART DEUX: Michel'le-Something In My Heart 1989

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FRIDAY FLASHBACK JAM: Black Moon-Who Got Da Props 1993


One of the last great hip hop groups. Happy Friday People! *pumps fist in the air for the real hip hop movement*

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

RANDOM TEN: FAVORITE RAPPERS















1. Gift Of Gab from Blackalicious
2. KRS-One
3. Large Professor from The Main Source
4. Black Thought From The Roots
5. Ghostface Killah
6. Rakim
7. Big Daddy Kane
8. Queen Latifah
9. MC Lyte
10.Mos Def

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!


I want to wish everyone a happy Valentine's Day. May you and your special one have a great day filled with love and joy. If you are single don't fret, enjoy the gift of you....there is no greater love. I have included a video of one of my favorite love songs, the words are so beautiful. This is Debarge singing "Time Will Reveal" on American Bandstand. Enjoy.


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Monday, February 12, 2007


MOVIE REVIEW: Heading South 2005

Brenda (Karen Young), a flighty white woman from Savannah, GA, travels to Haiti in search of Legba (Menothy Cesar), the guy who helped her reach first orgasm three years prior, at age 45 (he was 15)! Upon arriving at the beautiful beach resort, she finds him, along with two other White women who have come to Haiti looking for sexual fulfillment. Cool, reserved, yet bitchy Ellen (Charlotte Rampling) is an island veteran and it is clearly understood that Legba is her property. Her commanding presence is a little intimidating to Brenda but it does not deter her from pursuing her dream. Sue (Louise Portal), a plump uncomplicated woman from Montreal has designs on a fellow by the name of Neptune. Brenda has no problem expressing her love and affection for the charismatic Legba but Ellen plays it cool and calm. Legba plays both women like a fiddle, stringing them along to get whatever financial rewards he can get out of them. Ellen’s true colors begin to show when Legba begins to spend more time with Brenda than her. Meanwhile, Mr. Lover Man Legba has problems of his own when he discovers that his true love has been forced to become a mistress for a powerful dictator. He and his friends also fear constant harassment by the local police. Will Brenda snag her chocolate fantasy or will she leave the island empty-handed and heart broken? No more spoilers from me y’all!

This film had me in a quandary. On one hand it was highly upsetting to see poor Black men being taken advantage of by horny old White women, especially the underage ones. The explanation in the film was “the laws of pedophilia are different in Haiti”. WHATEVER, if it’s wrong in one place then it should be wrong universally. You don’t hang your morals up at the door just because you are visiting another country. On the other hand, I actually enjoyed this film. The three female characters spoke in first person to explain what their reasons were for visiting the island. All three women stated they would never date a Black man from the US. I suppose they were attracted to the Magical Mandingo dang-a-lang of a Black man with no shoes on and possessing very little money or education *rolls eyes*. Ellen’s character had me wanting to jump through the screen to whip her ass, what a bitch! I guess that would mean Charlotte Rampling did a fantastic job because I sure did hate her. The Brenda character was just too weak for words. I really wished she would have slapped the wrinkles off Ellen’s face. Beautiful scenery and great shots of Haiti round this film out nicely. The film features full-frontal nudity and strong language. This is a film that should be watched with your very own ADULT Mandingo Warrior.

VERDICT: 3 Soul Claps

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Friday, February 09, 2007

FRIDAY FLASHBACK JAM PART DEUX: David Bowie-Blue Jean 1984



David Bowie is my Mr. Jenkins, he is the absolute truth. I have all of his essential tunes from his Ziggy Stardust days to the present.This is one of my "wake me up" songs. If I'm feeling a little sluggish, I pop this into the cd player and I'm instantly refreshed, no coffee needed.

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FRIDAY FLASHBACK JAM: Sprinkle Me- E-40 Ft. Suga T 1995


*Singing* Timah Timah, 40 widah, sprinkle man, sprinkle me! Happy Friday people!

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

ECCENTRIC DIVA: Marlena Shaw

I love unique, distinctive singing voices. Ms. Marlena Shaw fits that bill. Her voice is a little bit jazz, a little R&B and a whole lot of soul. I first discovered her talents after hearing her song "Woman Of The Ghetto" a few years back. The 6 minute song starts off with her speaking to the audience then she launches into one of the most soulful and passionate songs I've ever heard. I could feel the words she was singing. After that I was hooked and went on a quest to learn more about this talented lady. Ms.Shaw began her singing career in small jazz clubs around the country. Her talents were spotted by the legendary Count Basie and she sang with his orchestra for four years. After leaving the orchestra to strike out on her own, she was the first woman to be signed to the famous
Blue Note Records, a leader in the jazz recording industry. She also toured with Sammy Davis Jr, how cool was that? At age 63, Ms. Shaw is still recording and touring and if she ever came to Cleveland, I would be there with bells on. Any woman who is bold enough to have an album titled "Who Is This Bitch Anyway?" is my shero! Unfortunately You Tube did not have any good videos of her performing but I did find a video of a DJ playing her song "California Soul". Please ignore his boring commentary *smirk*

Noteworthy Tracks:
Woman Of The Ghetto
Yu Ma/Go Away Little Boy
Feel Like Making Love
Pictures and Memories
California Soul



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Tuesday, February 06, 2007


MOVIE REVIEW: Sympathy For Mr.Vengeance 2002

With his sister in need of a new kidney, deaf art student Ryu (Hy-kyun Shin) quits school and takes a job working in a factory to fund her transplant. He approaches her doctor about the operation and is told that he does not have the right blood type for donation. Ryu seeks help from a black market organ service for help but things do not turn out as planned. The hospital later contacts him to say they have a donor match but Ryu no longer has the needed funds, 10 million won ($10,000). Desperate for cash, Ryu devises a plan along with his militant girlfriend to kidnap the child of his wealthy former employer Park Don jing (Kang Ho-Song)...you see homeboy was fired from the factory. The trio forms a bond with the little girl and ensures that no harm comes to her. Meanwhile Park is gathering the needed funds to recover his kidnapped child. Once Park discovers that a tragic accident has claimed the life of his daughter, he goes on a quest for vengeance. Ryu is on a similar quest to get revenge against those who bilked him out of his money and left him high and dry. Will these two men snuff each other out before they can get their comeuppance? No more spoilers from me y'all!

Talk about moving at a snail's pace, this movie was so damn slow! I contemplated turning it off several times. The action really picks up towards the end, if you stick with it, the reward is good. A bloody finale where there are no clear winners or losers always work for me. This film is weird, wild and imaginative.... just like most Asian extreme cinema. The acting was pretty good. Hy-kyun Shin as Ryu was compelling as a green-haired deaf mute who does the unthinkable to save his belvoed sister. Kang Ho-Song rocks as the dad so hell-bent on revenge that he will stop at nothing to achieve it. A must-see scene is the sex scene using sign language..hilarious! To sum up the movie, it is a sad tale of desperate people doing desperate things. The subject matter is dark and harsh, yet surprisingly funny (nevermind me, I am morbid lol). Asian cinema is hard for some to follow because the story lines are all over the place and you need a good attention span to keep up. This film is the first saga in a trilogy by director Chan Park Woo. The second was Lady Vengeance and the third was Old Boy. If you check my archives, I have reviewed them as well. Out of the three, Old Boy was the most spectacular...perfect in every way. It is not hard to follow at all, a plus for Asian cinema newbies. Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance is in Korean with English subtitles, has strong language and contains extreme violence.


VERDICT: 3 Soul Claps

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Sunday, February 04, 2007


MOVIE REVIEW: The Hole 2001

Best friends Frankie (Kiera Knightly) and Liz (Thora Birch) plan to spend the weekend in a little-known underground bunker deep into the woods. The only entrance into the bunker is through a thick steel door lined with concrete (sounds fun huh?). The girls enlist of the help of school nerd Martin to help them plan the event. They invite along Frankie's boyfriend Geoff and his best friend Mike(Desmond Harrington), whom Liz has a huge crush on. After a night of partying and bullshitting, Martin does not return to let the group out of the bunker. They end up trapped inside with very little food or water for ten days. Liz emerges from the bunker, apparently the only survivor of the party gone wrong and she refuses to speak to anyone about what happened initially. Martin is picked up by the police and questioned. This is where the story really unfolds and if I tell you any more, I'd spoil it for you. You know the drill, no more spoilers from me y'all!

What a super-tight whodunnit thriller! A perfect example of horror done well without a crazy man stalking folks in the woods. The horror here is more psychological but there are some gross-out moments thrown in for good measure. The thought of being locked up in an underground bunker makes my vagina dry as the Sahara Desert, but some folks love the ultimate thrill. I'll have my fun above ground thank you very much! Thora Birch did a great job playing a teen with a crush so deep that she would stop at nothing to make it happen. Kiera Knightley usually doesn't impress me in either the looks or the talent department but I think she did a fine job in this film. Desmond Harrington is a seriously slept-on actor. I've seen this cat in other films, mostly indies, and I can't understand why he doesn't get any shine. He's handsome and he plays a great psycho. With the exception of Thora and Kiera, the rest of the cast looked entirely too old to play teenagers, that would be my biggest complaint. Other than that, this was an exception little British film with a great cast.
This one is not for the kiddies, so put the little buggers to bed and enjoy.

VERDICT: 3 1/2 Soul Claps

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MOVIE REVIEW: The Devil Wears Prada 2006

Naive young journalist Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway) applies for an assistant job at one of New York's top fashion magazines, Runway. The job would require her to be at the beck and call of bitchy (but fab) fashion editor-in-chief Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep).To her surprise and to the surprise of the current assistant Emily (Emily Blunt), she gets it. Once Andy starts working, she is constantly ridiculed by both Miranda and Emily about her fashion sense and her work ethic. She finds a friend in Nigel (Stanley Tucci), the assistant fashion editor of the magazine. He becomes somewhat of a fairy godfather to Andy, helping her step up her game in the fashion sense department. With her new look and attitude, Andy is ready to show boss-from-hell Miranda that she is more than capable of being an invaluable assistant. Miranda's impossible demands start to take over Andy's personal life and she often puts her family and friends, including live-in love Nate(Adrian Grenier) on the backburner. Meanwhile, there is a coveted trip to Paris for Fashion Week hanging over the heads of Andy and Emily and Emily believes she is a shoo-in to accompany Miranda on the trip. But surprise! The trip is handed over to Andy on a silver platter. In Paris, Andy discovers that another magazine editor is out to steal Miranda's job. Will Miranda become the baddest old broad in the unemployment line or will Andy play Captain Save-a-Bitch and rescue Miranda's job? No more spoilers from me y'all!

*Yawn* I put off seeing this movie for a long time. I just knew it would be the same predictable Hollywood fodder and I was right. They didn't even try to include any cool twists to make the film less predictable. It's the typical ugly girl becomes pretty and the toast of the town. Ugly/pretty girl experiences conflicts of interests with friends and family and wonders in the end if it was all worth it. Maybe I'm too jaded but this is what I got out of this. Not to mention, it was overly moralistic. Just tell me a great story dammit, I don't need a lesson in morality. The real star of this movie were the clothes and Meryl Streep's white lacefront wig...the wig should get an Oscar nomination by itself haha! Meryl is a great actress and never disappoints so I wasn't surprised that she did a good job in this film. Stanley Tucci is another fine actor that never disappoints. Anne Hathaway bores me to tears, she just doesn't do it for me. Emily Blunt as the snarky English assistant Emily was pretty funny. Do I think Meryl Streep deserves an Oscar nomination for this? No. Overall I'd say this is a good film for those who like typical cineplex crap-a-doody but it is not a film I will be adding to my library. This film is rated PG-13, so you can watch it with your loyal dog Rover and dear old grandma alike.


VERDICT: 2 Soul Claps

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Friday, February 02, 2007

RANDOM RANT: CRAZAY for EBAY






















EBAY is another one of my weaknesses. I just love scoring shit I don’t need for a fraction of the actual cost. I especially use EBAY for vintage clothing and shoes. My only complaint is I feel like the less I pay for an item, the longer it takes for shipping. I assume the sellers feel that since you paid under 10 bucks for something, you shouldn’t expect to get it in a timely manner. BULLSHIT! I won the auction, paid what was asked from me so I want my stuff PRONTO! I recently won this beautiful purple vintage dress on the BAY. I won the auction on January 19 and PAID on January 19. I just received my package yesterday, February 1st!!! WTF?? The seller was in freaking Indiana and I’m in Ohio! Now I’m no geography major but that’s not far from me. It should not have taken almost two weeks to arrive. I have received packages from California within 5 days using normal shipping methods. I’m very pleased with my purchase (the dress looks MUCH better on my body) and the seller even included a beautiful hand-written card. I guess I won’t leave her negative feedback. Sigh, I’m such a wuss!

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

FRIDAY FLASHBACK JAM PART DEUX: Dred Loc- Me'shell Ndege'ocello 1993


This woman makes my knees buckle. She's fine and also a damn great musician, the perfect package*swoon*.

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FRIDAY FLASHBACK JAM: Ownlee U-Kwame 1990


*Sigh* I remember when I thought it was a good idea to leave the house rocking polka dots from head to toe. Oh well, Viva La 90's!

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