Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A discussion on Welcome to the Rileys ******spoilers******

I felt some further discussion was warranted on Welcome to the Rileys as my post on it last week was very brief. If you haven't seen the movie and do not wish to be spoiled, then do not read beyond this paragraph. If you have to wait for the DVD, and many of you have no other choice, then come back then. This post will still exist.

I live in Austin and we were in that second group of cities to get the movie on November 12th. Austin is allot smaller than Chicago and they didn't get the film? WTF?

After I saw the movie on 11/16, I emailed my friend, fanfic author "the shrew", AKA @edmett


Just saw it.   Just walked in the door. You told me you would be curious as to my reaction to the "nudity"

I do not see how anyone of a mature mind can take anything sexual from this movie. They did a good job of making her perfect skin look oily, on the verge of a acne breakout. I wasn't turned on by her dirty mouth, either, not in this setting. I would have been had I heard Bella talk that way LOL

I felt paternal towards Mallory most of the time.   It broke my heart that she didn't go home with Doug and Lois.   The ending only gave the slightest glimmer of hope.

Are people making an issue of the 1.5 seconds, split between two different shots, that we see Kristen's bare ass?  This movie certainly didn't encourage the "in the gutter" part of my brain. 

This email goes on to my ramblings of how Kristen really seems to be turning Bella into a sex symbol after seeing some pictures from Brazil
@edmett replies to me

Okay, so more thoughts on WTTR -- yeah, people that haven't seen the movie, some of them still think that she looks "hot" in the movie, and that she is sexy in it.  No, that really isn't the point, as you know from having seen the film.  That paternal feeling is exactly what they were trying to invoke in the audience -- well, paternal or maternal.  You are supposed to care for the girl and want to take care OF her.  Her life is tragic, and we are supposed to want to make everything better for Mallory.  Just like we are supposed to want to help Doug and Lois.  Their pain is so palpable and engrossing.  My heart broke for both of them as well.  Lois for feeling responsible for her daughter's death.  Doug for losing his daughter and blaming his wife. 

BUT, the point of the film is that all three of the characters go through such a journey.  They are all essentially the waking dead.  Dead to the world.  Dead to the good in life.  Dead to human connections.  Doug tried first to recapture that in his relationship with Vivian, but when she ACTUALLY died, well, I think that showed him the difference.  As he tells Lois, "he isn't dead."  He wanted to live.  Which then set everything else into motion.

I think Doug and Lois got some closure about their daughter's death through their interactions with Mallory.  I know that sounds obvious, but I just mean, I think that it helped them both to realize that with teens, there can be little control.  I think it helped them see that they weren't "responsible," and in a way, they got to say a better goodbye to their daughter through Mallory.

The time that the three characters were together allowed them all to reach out again.  The fact that Mallory calls Doug at the very end tells me that she still wants that human connection.  She wants to have him be part of her life. She needs him as a friend. She needs him as a grown up that she can run to in times of serious need.  In a way, Doug allowed her to recapture a small part of her stolen childhood.  She had to learn about letting people help her, accepting it.

What do you think?
my reply to @edmett

I think your analysis is freaking awesome and I wish could have said it so gracefully.

I didn't feel enough hope, at the end.  It was only upon further reflection and finally this email from you to put it in the right perspective.

Clearly, anyone thinking there was anything sexy about it got it wrong.  Did they even see it? Yes, she has a nice butt (correction an amazing bodacious butt) however those scenes weren't racy and I do not think Jake Scott intended them to be.   I am glad my paternal reaction was what they were trying to accomplish.

The scene at the end, the one that was trying to say "there is hope" is the one time they didn't alter Kristen's naturally stunning face.  She was very pretty in that scene and it must have been for cinematic effect to contrast the mood with the rest of the movie.

My pessimistic side is what dominated my feelings in the theater at the end.  Yes, she was calling Doug, but she was on the way to Las Vegas to continue working in the sex trade.   I wanted her to say to Doug "so, I have never been to Indiana" thus deciding to live with the Riley's and let them all continue to heal each other.   But that may have been too unbelievable, IDK.

2nd reply from @edmett

I had the good fortune to read the draft of the script that had a more "rosy" ending.  People thought it was too unbelievable, and not realistic enough.  Perhaps my view of the end is still with the impression that it reaches that first ending -- in which she IS living with Doug and Lois.  I think they DO get there, it just takes longer.  And without showing MORE of their transition and growth, then it might not have played out well on film.  Reading it, it totally worked for me.

That is always what I have said, that those people who thought it sexy got it wrong.  No, Jake Scott NEVER intended to sensationalize or sexualize the story.  He de-emphasized that so strongly.  WTTR got down to the deeper issues at play.  Sure, she is a stripper and prostitute, but what does that mean?  This movie delves into answering that question.

You are right about that last scene.  The natural beauty of her face, it came through.  She is more natural.  She may be going to be a stripper, who knows? Perhaps she is only going to dance from then on?  I like to think that when she leaves, she is more in control of her life, and is able to make more decisions to get out of that life. 

I have been thinking about writing a fanfic about WTTR that picks up where the movie left off.

Now, what did you think about the movie? Even if it's February and you just watched on DVD, give us your thoughts below.

***just added****
One more thing. I pieced this together last night and I needed @edmett's OK before publishing. I had not even thought about contributing to the WTTR fund before this morning. I hope some of you will contribute $5 or whatever you are comfortable with. I know its not a charity. I send plenty of money to good causes. This is more of an indulgence, but I think its worth the effort.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A look back at Brazil

As always, everything I write is my opinion.

I think we got way more than expected or should ever ask for. So much that everyone should be beyond satisfied for a very long time.

The trip didn't start well from my perspective. I guess I am wary about what I think makes Kristen uncomfortable. And my opinion about that could be wrong.

First, we had pictures of them on the plane. That is never cool when they aren't aware. Then there was a crowd at the airport followed by screaming girls outside of the hotel. Those shrieks are more annoying than watching and hearing long nails scraped slowly over a chalkboard...why do girls do that? Its been young girls reaction to scream like this since the days of Elvis and The Beatles. Perhaps its like a heard instinct and they have no control over it. But I wish they would be taught early on to channel their excitement some other way.

Rob and Kristen are always kind and accommodating to these crowds, and if they were uncomfortable they do a very good job of concealing it. I imagine them
relieved and exhausted once they finally get to the room. I knew that crowd was waiting on them and I doubted we would see much of the pair.

I got an email about pictures on Sunday afternoon and I reluctantly stopped watching football for a little while. I was almost shocked to see
the couple waving from their balcony. I would have never expected to see that. That was the first of many surprises.

I suspect that behind closed doors
and with their friends, R/K are probably as touchy/feely as anyone we know. But when it comes to the public, I have accepted that Rob and Kristen will be less touchy/feely with each other than they will be towards their platonic friends. I can't blame that attitude at all, mainly because of the money involved in pictures that show any type of affection.

After seeing those balcony pictures, I felt something was different. Perhaps a new level of acceptance and/or serenity from Rob and Kristen. They know that most of their fans love seeing them together. And it must be annoying to have to fight against your own nature. In seeing Kristen with her friends, she appears to be a touchy/feely person, or even a hugger. To hold back on that with her boyfriend has to get old. I also think Rob has always wanted to grab her and hold her possessively in public but that he has refrained per her wishes. His behavior didn't change that much in Brazil.

It was really Kristen that seemed change, IMO. If Robert has complete freedom I think we would see allot more affection. Last week Kristen had her hands on Robert often. That was surprising. But it made sense to me after the balcony pictures. I really did sense something different. Even as they were leaving Brazil last Saturday Kristen was touching Rob. That may have been a first in an airport. I do not expect this freedom from restraint to hold, but it might.

Tons of pictures, some authorized others not. I don't feel guilty about the Street scene and the Beach set pics. Most of the others should not have happened.

On the street Rob and Kristen had to know that it wasn't just production cameras. They certainly didn't back away from each other between takes. They seemed very relaxed and were linked by hand or other touch in most of the pictures. The minority groups claim R/K "were just staying in character" --- Thats BS and those haters know it. Rob and Kristen could play Edward and Bella in their sleep. And if they were method acting, then why didn't Robert keep his American accent?

The waterfall pics probably should not have happened. It was hard to tell if some of those were on camera. This is when they looked the most like Edward
and Bella (due to makeup and hair) but they had to be Rob and Kristen because Edward Cullen doesn't smoke. They had their hands on each other in a casual way, which they usually do not do in public. They probably thought there were no cameras in this scenario. Kristen was pointing at something. Was it photographer hiding in the trees?

The pictures I really feel guilty for looking at are the ones when they went swimming. Its not like they did anything of note, but hadn't they been told that were were 60 armed guards on the premises? Its not what they did or didn't do. If they were lead to believe they had privacy, then the waterfall, piggy back, and swim pictures shouldn't have happened.

The pictures on beach with the cameras rolling ---- those were very hot, and the camera seemed close. Those pictures have to be good for business. I was not following all of this when the New Moon Italy set pictures came out. I do wonder if, once these pictures have been seen everywhere, is this something that brings in even more fans? Thinking about that scene, Bella trying to seduce the reluctant Edward, with the visual of Kristen in those short shorts --- for me was great. I bet Rob had difficult time pulling of the reluctant part (-: JK

I read a translation from a Portuguese Robsten site. The extra that hugged Rob during the street scene was saying she doesn't regret doing it. She seemed to be bragging and said that anyone that gets that opportunity should take it. I have to mention this which almost sours my favorite moment of the week, which was Kristen's reaction: The punch she wanted to give and pretending to pull her shoes off. I liked it. Rob and Bill Condon were smiling then, too. I would enjoy seeing Kristen get possessive and this was the closest we have seen.

It would be great to see Kristen tell her haters to FO and "Rob is hers so deal with it." Since she won't say that, plenty of fans will do it for her.

So this super secure lockdown in Baton Rouge is upon us. We were paid in advance for that.

Kristen was great in Welcome to the Riley's

I haven't posted in forever. Sorry. But today I am doing this short one and another longer one.

I saw Welcome to the Riley's Tuesday night. I had read enough about the movie going
in that I knew what to expect. The first thing I noticed was: Wow. They did a good job of giving the prettiest girl in Hollywood oily skin. And greasy hair. I knew that was Kristen in there, so I wasn't fooled, but they did a good job of making a beautiful girl not so pretty.

There is nothing sexy about this movie despite the 1.5 seconds they show Kristen's
bare butt. You see her bruises right away and its obvious she
is too young and probably a runaway. I am allot younger than James Gandolfini, but
my reaction to Mallory was also somewhat paternal.

Kristen was very impressive. I expected this. Seeing her break down got to me.
And it was touching that Doug's motives with Mallory were about feeding his need
to nurture. He wasn't phased by Mallory's sexual advances. But we know in real life there are 50 year old men who do take advantage of teenage runaways. Yes, that's creepy. Kristen's character was a person who has to put up with these creeps.

As for award season, I am far from an expert, but it seems to me that performances
not as strong as Kristen's have won Academy Awards. I hear the competition
is really stiff and I don't want to set myself up for disappointment, but the performance was there.

I have not seen Speak, but I know that WTTR is Kristen's 2nd film with regards
to young woman and abuse.

That topic is apparently very important to Kristen.

Briefly I wanted to add this thought because I have never spoken about her being
being criticized for using the word "rape" last spring.

Did she need to apologize? After seeing the footage of Kristen being literally attacked as she was leaving Sydney last June, the word seemed applicable. Dictionary.com has many definitions, including these.
#4.an act of plunder, violent seizure, or abuse; despoliation; violation.
#7.to plunder (a place); despoil.
#8.to seize, take, or carry off by force.
These definitions easily could apply to what she was describing, which was having a group of 20 guys intimidate and take, by force, her privacy and/or dignity. She knows how it feels. Most of us don't so who are we to judge. As a man I should not and will not ever use that word when describing anything that has happened to me. Its not politically correct. But for a woman? If she hadn't apologized, then it would have dragged on forever, but I call bullshit on the whole deal.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What's on your mind?

I have been waiting for the Brazil trip to be over with to write a new blog entry. However, if anyone has a good idea for a post, then leave a comment.

What would you like me to discuss?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

My email exchange with Anne Rice

To my surprise, Anne Rice responded to my email just a few hours later.


First a qualifying statement, I have read all of the "chronicles" and you were my favorite author between the early to mid 1990s. Last year or the year before, despite all the negativity surrounding "Blood Canticle" I very much enjoyed it the audio version of that one, which is the likely end to the series. I hope you write a few more. My favorite was the Marius book.

Anne, I don't think you understand Stephanie Myers fictional universe well enough to make the comment regarding "immortals in high school." Perhaps you have this confused with the "Vampire Diaries": a television show show targeted to a high school audience and very much centered around high school.

Vampires in Twilight's paradigm don't go to high school. Only the small coven, which refers to themselves as a family, attends high school. This small group is living a life of sacrifice. They resist human blood. They don't kill. They are outcast among the vampire society, which has no respect for human life. This small group, the Cullens, seek to live among humans and to be of service if possible. They are trying to convince the humans they live among that they are also human. The coven leader, or father, is a doctor. His wife is an architect. The other six were made immortal at a young age. To blend in and not be discovered, it's necessary for them to attend high school. They move every five years or so and start over.

Anne, with your conversion to Christianity, I would think you would admire this group of vampires who seek to be as human as possible AND above all be of NO HARM to humans.

Your comment seemed judgmental and misinformed.

Austin, Tx

from Anne Rice
to Dan XXXX
date Thu, Nov 4, 2010 at 12:50 AM
subject Re: Mischaracterization of Twilight
mailed-by gmail.com
signed-by gmail.com

hide details 12:50 AM (9 hours ago)

My comments were strictly based on the movies.
In every interview I always state that I have not read the
books, and I have seen only two films.
The interview was concerned with the deeper meaning of "the vampire" in literature and film.
I was offering my opinion on the question of immortals,
immortal sensibilities and how we imagine them.
I have always wished Miss Meyer every success with
her books, and enjoy acknowledging her accomplishments.
I don't really understand why these remarks got so much attention.
I've explained my feelings about all this before.
And frankly, I don't think my feelings one way or the other
about Twilight are very important.
I'm asked about it over and over and over and over.
There is a value to telling the truth in an interview.
Thanks for your letter.


there was also a follow up email. I went to her website and see that as of July, she has left organized religion. She still celebrates Christ, but not "The Church." Turns out she and I have similar views on that subject.