Sunday, March 30, 2014

NOAH (the Movie) Misses the Boat!

Saturday night is typically date night for many couples and I went to the movies with my hubby of 21 years to see Noah, a film that had all the components in place to be a blockbuster good time.
It wasn't.
I'm not extremely familiar with the Bible story and this review doesn't come from a Christian background. Or a Muslim background, or anything but a background of someone who enjoys a good movie. Noah did not deliver.
Let's just start by saying that in the theatre of maybe 70 seats (it was one of those order drinks and food to your chair), three people walked out of the movie. I would've gone too but tickets were expensive and I didn't know until afterwards that my husband was hoping it would get better, make sense, justify the time and money.
For me, Noah was not worth the price of admission. And then some.
Where to start?
The studio that made this disaster headed off Christian group dissention  by saying that Noah is not the Biblical story--not exactly. No, no it is not. But that's not entirely responsible for this flop.
The movie opens with a cheesy explanation of the biblical tale of how the world began with Adam and Eve, saying that angels came to earth called Wanderers to protect one family that had branched off after Cain killed Abel. Turned out Wanderers were giant rock monsters that talked and judged mankind. Come on People!
What genius at producer headquarters ok'ed this? This guy to the left.

Hubby and I both surmised that the rock monsters were drawn and voiced by Optimus Prime people. Hauntingly similar to a transformer.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. Here's the story in a nutshell. Noah's family moves from a wasteland to find Methuselah, his grandfather, for wisdom. Noah has seen visions and believes he's been chosen to save the world. He's had a direct message from the Creator. When Methuselah's seed from the Garden of Eden sprouts a landscape of forested hardwood, the building of an ark begins. The enormous ship's construction is largely due to the strength and power of the Rock Monsters. Otherwise, how could a family of five create logs to make this football field-sized floating box?
The ark on screen was impressive but when the animals arrived, the film took on a new cheesy quality with fake CGI animals arriving in droves that immediately went into the ark and fell asleep due to an herb that Noah's wife, played by Jennifer Connelly, concocted.
The animals slept side by side in great lumps, thereby eliminating any cool scenes with actual animals. Missed opportunity.

Noah himself becomes Daddy Dearest as he refuses his sons potential wives on the ark --wives that would help them repopulate the world. He's interpreted the Creator's mission to mean that he is supposed to repopulate the world with animals only. Humans are too selfish, hateful to continue and Noah and his family must live out their final days knowing they are the last of a species. But the "adopted" daughter becomes pregnant with his eldest son's baby and as the rains come Noah vows to let the baby live only if it is a son. Why? Because there are no girls besides mom and grandmom in the world to repopulate with? If it's a girl he's worried that one of his sons will impregnate the female? The implication was that one of the boys would eventually rape their niece/daughter.
The rain comes, the rock monsters head back to the sky in a firework display (Transformers) and the ark floats off. They've battled Cain's people (a barbaric lot) who are trying to get in the boat, and one of Noah's sons, who's devastated that he didn't get a wife, harbors Cain in the animal hold as an act of revenge on his father.
Let's stop here for a bit to tell you that Noah and family are veggies. They don't understand or condone the eating of meat. The film is touted as having an environmental edge. Is this why? But, Cain eats meat and sets about eating the animals to stay alive and get stronger from his injuries incurred in battle. My hubby, in his infinite humor, thought Cain should have been seen eating a unicorn instead of the rat/lizard we saw, thereby explaining the unicorn's extinction.That was how bad/boring the movie was. We had to think up funny stuff to amuse ourselves. Connelly turned in a good performance, her best scene where she defied Noah. I must note that Anthony Hopkins also did a fine job as Methuselah. He was lucky his part was as small as it was.
The best part of the whole movie was Emma (Hermoine Granger) Watson as the adopted daughter.
She turned in a solid performance, had the best part in terms of future damage control for an actor's career, and actually got to challenge Noah at the end.
The character of Noah was a controlling, delusional patriarch who went on a bender after the ark beached on a hill and an island eventually appeared. When he sobered up he returned to his family to take his place at the head of the pack. I found this the most unbelievably insulting part of the whole film. Not the bender. But that a man who'd been willing to commit unspeakable crimes a month earlier and had driven off his son was allowed to resume his place as the leader. Accepted again. Yuk.
Not only did the women let him back in the family but they let him lead them. The final scene was insulting to women. Even after making the mistake of believing they would be the last of their species and steering them all to horrific heartache, he was still the best one to lead the group?
I'm not familiar with how the world became repopulated according to the Bible but I left the movie thinking that one of Emma Watson's children would be in charge of having the babies, adding a whole new dimension to the words family love.
When the movie ended, my husband and I hurried out of the theatre with a bad taste in our mouths and talked all the way home about the lack of anything redeeming in the movie Noah. If the CGI's were impressive we didn't notice because we were too busy being talked down to by the sheer unbelievability of the movie. According to media packets Noah wasn't screened before release. If it was, I think it would not be the top box office winner this weekend.
Go ahead, spend your money if you're curious, but be sure to take hand cream or a book so you won't feel like you wasted 2 1/2 hours of just sitting there.

Kim Hornsby is the Bestselling author of THE DREAM JUMPER'S PROMISE a story with no rock monsters or similarities to the Bible. With 206 reviews on Amazon, most 4&5 star, Jumper is becoming known as an Indie Favorite. Nominated for Best First Book by Indi RomCom and up for Best Paranormal of 2013 by Chanticleer Reviews, Jumper is on sale now at Amazon.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Chris Harrison Throws Juan Pablo under the Bus

It’s taken me a week to figure out what I want to say about The Bachelor Finale with Juan Pablo last week and now I can sum it up with one title. The Bachelor TV show threw their bachelor under the bus.

I understand from what I’ve read that the producers ended up not liking Juan Pablo, speaking out against him, saying he was their least favorite Bachelor. They might have had good reason, but from what we saw on the finale, Chris Harrison mercilessly badgered Juan Pablo. It was squirm-worthy.
While watching from my home, we were simultaneously disgusted and bored by how Chris wouldn’t stop trying to get Juan Pablo to say that he actually loves Nikki Ferrell. But nope, J.P. would not say it on national TV, instead explaining that it’s a personal moment and not something he takes lightly or wants to share with BachelorNation. Nikki seemed perfectly fine with Juan’s decision.
So my question was this: Why not let it go? They looked happy. They were still together. Just because The Bachelor loves to have happy couples, needs to have happy couples to justify their show and keep viewers, the smartest move would’ve been to stop trying to take him down on national TV and focus on the fact that they are still together. By badgering, you looked stupid.
As Juan Pablo said, they lived this unreal fairytale of fantasy dates and traveling for four months and now they were going to start their real relationship. That was the gist of what he kept trying to tell Chris Harrison during the uncomfortable interview. Basically, we like each other a lot and are going to see if it carries over into the real world.

And good for him, for them. Just because Sean and Catherine Lowe have chosen to let cameras in their bedroom and sex life, doesn’t mean every couple wants that. And, as I recall Sean Lowe took his shirt off every time they asked him and cooperated with the Bachelor producers 100%, including letting his wedding be televised as a Bachelor special. Who knows what they offer these contestants. I read somewhere that Mike Fleiss (the show's creator) offered a nice sum of money for Juan to propose. Who knows if it's true.

But Juan Pablo wasn’t having it. You could see that this guy just wanted to be done with The Bachelor and everything it's done or hasn't done for him. What was the big announcement that Chris thought would be revealed that night? Apparently Juan Pablo was set to appear on Dancing with the Stars, and he and Nikki were planning to move to Los Angeles for those weeks that Juan Pablo was on the show. But they dropped him when bad publicity made J.P.'s stock plummet. The perverted remark didn't help (see earlier blogs for my explanation of the word perverted) and when Juan Pablo became one of the most controversial figures in the history of The Bachelor, I'm sure DWTS bowed out of its offer.
The weekend after the finale, March 15/16, the lovebirds attended a wedding in the Dominican Republic and were reported as looking very happy and in love. Have you seen the youtube movie he had made for her that says "I love you" in Spanish? It's cute.
Nikki posted this picture of them at a wedding on Instagram yesterday (Sunday March 16).
And the picture below was taken by the press in the DR:

Sure, the guy might have some problems with more than language but my beef is with the producers of the show and how they not only deserted Juan Pablo at the end but turned their non-successful ending into a witch hunt. Trying to make something marketable out of Juan Pablo's boring ending, they turned on him like a pack of hungry dogs. I admit it would be hard to continue a farce if you don’t like him and if he’s not cooperating, not following the contract’s stipulations but the final episode made Chris and his cronies look downright bully-ish--Chris asking Sean to add his two cents, Chris interrupting Juan Pablo and then walking off the set between commercials, all made it look like our beloved Bachelor host was taking it personally and that’s never good for an interviewer, or an executive producer. IF you read Chris Harrison's interviews from the morning after the show, he makes it sound very personal, especially when he says the couple on stage just kept digging themselves in deeper and deeper. In my opinion, Chris was the one with the shovel. 

I was extremely disappointed in the finale because of how they handled whatever was going down for them. Chris Harrison should've moved on, cut to commercial and put Des and Chris or Sean and Catherine in the hot seats to ask how things were going, or gone into the audience.
I was then equally disappointed that the new Bachelorette is Andi Dorfman. She may be a perfectly wonderful person but her cross-examination of Juan Pablo and name-calling wasn’t classy and left a bad taste in my mouth.
I'm not sure if I’ll tune in for Andi’s season. Anyone who teases someone because of his accent is not someone I want to support.
What about you? Will you watch this summer?

Kim Hornsby is the bestselling author of The Dream Jumper's Promise, a bookclub suspense novel that hit bestseller status with Amazon Books. Priced at only $1.99 for an ebook, the story about a Maui scuba shop owner whose husband goes missing, has 184 reviews on Amazon, most of them 4 and 5 Star.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Juan Pablo Witch Hunt

I think we can all agree that Juan Pablo Galavis, this year's BACHELOR, is sexy, charming, and a great first date if you are a single twenty-something woman.
But, as seen on The Bachelor's The Women Tell All last night, I think we can also agree that the women were collectively upset that J.P. did not get to know most of them, nor did he care to. He was congenial, polite and fun to look at. They wanted more.
As Chris Harrison said, Juan Pablo had his favorites and did not pursue the others. Was he on the show to meet and marry the love of his life? Who knows? We only get to see what the director of the show wants us to see.

Regardless of his intentions, Juan Pablo has proven to be a controversial Bachelor if only for his inability to filter his thoughts in front of the camera. He's been misinterpreted in his views of gay relationships, has played favorites on the show and even told the outspoken attorney, Andi Dorfman, that she barely made the cut to the final three women. To add to that he also mentioned to her his overnight date with Clare, something that makes Andi steaming mad. Juan Pablo may be immature in some ways, insensitive in others, and an opportunist, but he's also easy going, a good sport and sympathetic. He's done well for The Bachelor franchise with his pecs and six pack, his Latin accent, and undeniably attractive athleticism. All physical attributes, yes, but remember, this is not the History Channel. There's a reason we watched every week and it wasn't for the amazing conversations.

Juan Pablo's first language is Spanish. He has trouble with English, whether the women on the show want to admit it or not. He's unfamiliar with our thousands of expressions and English/Americanisms we take for granted. If you think he knows exactly what he's saying all the time, you are wrong, like calling his daughter "my little package" on camera several times until a producer told him it sounded like he was referring to his "small penis".

Judging from the witch hunt last night, here's some bones of contention with the ladies:

He had a strange sense of fair. When it came to kissing, he tried to resist kissing them all and those who he was able to resist, he told them he was abstaining because of his daughter. That didn't sit well.
My take: He kissed who he wanted. Renee waited for that first kiss because she's a mother, which J.P. explained last night is something he holds in a very high regard. If he really liked you, he kissed you, ladies. Move on.

He took Clare off to the hot tub during a group date, thereby showing disrespect to the ones left behind. If you know how this show works, there are huge clumps of time where the technicians set up for certain shots and the girls have to sit around amusing themselves. Filming a show like this takes a lot of time, logistics, and has the 'Talent' waiting for hours each day. This is why actors have fancy trailers where they can knit and keep busy while the show works on camera angles, lighting and arranges the set. To have two people gone for an hour might have been disrespectful to the other girls but this is the nature of The Bachelor. He's going to like some girls more than others. If that hurts your feelings, what are you doing on a reality show competing for the attention of one man amongst 25 women?
My take: Yes, he was disrespectful and zeroed in on Clare a lot.

He went 'swimming' with Clare and no one knew she'd snuck out, not even her roommates.
 Surprisingly, the ladies did not talk much about Clare being sneaky. As a matter of fact, they mostly stood up for her saying if J.P. had zeroed in on them like that, they would have done the same thing. Taking it back the next morning left Clare feeling cheap but if she hadn't started crying (something that always makes J.P. go into Daddy-mode), the incident might have blown over without a lot of fuss.
My take: What the Bachelor was trying to say to Clare was that he has no willpower where she's concerned and he needs her to be mindful of Camila because he can't do it.

Kelli was upset last night. She brought up J.P.'s comments on having a Gay Bachelor someday. Apparently she has a gay parent and took offense at the use of the word "perverted." For anyone who doesn't have a dictionary, perverse means to "deviate from conventional behavior". Society has changed it's meaning to include sexual deviants but in a broad definition anything that isn't conventional can be called perverted. Talk about lost in the translation! This comment and those tears coming from the girl who said she bet Clare had swallowed lots bigger stuff than a little piece of octopus, on national T.V. And now she's all over social media making fun of Juan Pablo's accent. She and Andi Dorfman.
My take: Girls can be mean. Unless he intentionally hurt you, be quiet. And shut up Victoria who was so drunk on her last night on the show, she should never have come back for Women Tell All. Don't try to tell the viewing public that J.P. has no problem with the language. That's called diverting attention from yourself to gain allies. Watch House of Cards.

Juan Pablo bragged in private with Andi on their fantasy suite date. Men brag. J.P. is doing M&M commercials, Muppet Movie commercials, has the media's attention. So he's braggy and likes to name drop. Stand up and walk out, Andi, say he's not the man for you. Don't make faces about how awful he is. The media goes nuts with every little thing while THE BACHELOR is running on T.V. The perverted incident and Andi's character assassination were both blown out of proportion. To the left is a picture of Juan Pablo and his ex girlfriend, the mother of his daughter, reading what US magazine has concocted about their relationship. I'm sure it was not good.
My take: The media can ruin a career, make or break a person and I don't think anything should be said lightly on national T.V.

He didn't ask the women about themselves. Basically, he wasn't interested and doesn't have enough Bachelor smarts to know he should've pretended to be interested or he'd be raked over the coals in women tell all.

He said "It's Okay" a lot. If I spoke Spanish I might say "Mucho Bueno" a lot too.
My take: Andi, you do a thing with your mouth a lot and you don't see me telling you to stop it or I'm going to strangle you. Chill pill in order. And stop teasing him on social media. It's mean.

Once again, Sharleen tried to assume her superiority over the whole show by not taking back her comment about wishing she was dumber, thereby insulting all the other ladies on the show, as well as Juan Pablo. Oh, Sharleen, I bet you were a real nerd in school.

What's going to happen next week? If Juan Pablo went into this unique, coveted, and difficult situation of being the  next Bachelor on the premise that it would further his career and he might get a girlfriend out of it, that sounds about right. The girls have ulterior motives too, believe it or not. Here's Nurse Nikki not looking like a nurse.

When you really think about it, is this T.V. reality show the best way to meet women and find someone who loves you for who you really are? If you answered yes, read on. Look back at past Bachelors and tell me that no one else has gone on the show with ulterior motives--the prince who had a home shopping business empire, the British Guy who wanted a green card, the comedian who ended up marrying and divorcing the soap opera star, the vintners, the Texan who was on twice, and on and on.

Sean Lowe and Jason Meznick are unique examples of Bachelors who were actually looking to meet the love of their life, but remember how Jason ended up with Molly after initially choosing Melissa?

Next week The Bachelor airs from St. Lucia, where Juan Pablo, Clare and Nikki have time to get to know each other better. After fantasy dates  and meeting his family, both girls end up crying in their respective hotel rooms as their boyfriend walks solitarily up a jungly hill in a tuxedo.

My take: I'm thinking we might not have our happy ending with this one. Judging by the tears next week, maybe true love is not found. If Juan Pablo doesn't ask one of them their favorite color, their religion, and where they went to school, the whole thing might signal he's just not that into either, and The Bachelor will blow up in everyone's face.

Regardless of Juan Pablo's agenda and the final outcome, let's give him a break, shall we? Just because we have a taste of Bachelor Love ending in a wedding (Sean and Catherine) remember that most people go on the show for adventure, free trips, free booze, and exposure on TV for a career, not to mention the alumni cruises and parties afterwards.
Not everyone is innocently looking for love.

Kim Hornsby is the bestselling author of The Dream Jumper's Promise, a romantic suspense novel, set in Hawaii that has almost 200 reviews on Amazon. A download is 0.99 and includes a recipe for teriyaki chicken with mango salsa.
Kim also publishes short novellas based on The Bachelor, called THE HUSBAND HUNT, free for download on Amazon Books.