"Terrible boyfriend? We can fix him. Complete tools transformed into knights in shining armor." These are the promises of the opening credits of Tool Academy, VH1's latest trash-tastic series in which women drag their truly terrible boyfriends through a relationship boot camp in hopes of turning them into nice guys. The tools agreed to come on the show thinking it was called Mr. Awesome, a competition to determine "the biggest Alpha male in America." After they learned the show's real premise, they all stayed on in hopes of proving themselves to their girlfriends...and winning $100,000 for being the best boyfriend.
If you're wondering what makes a tool a tool, it appears to be a combination of made-up names (Celebrity, M.E.G.A., Matsuflex, etc.), excessive hair gel, and behavior that's just…well, look if you dare.
(Note: The videos in this post contain ads. Blame it on VH1.)
Big news from the Sundance Film Festival this past weekend: for only the third time in the festival's 25-year history, the Sundance jury and the audience awarded their top honors to the same film. Push: Based on the Novel by Sapphire (a title designed, no doubt, to distinguish the film from the sci-fi action film of the same name starring Dakota Fanning that hits theaters later this year) won the Grand Jury Prize as well as the Audience Award. Comedienne Mo'Nique also received a Special Jury Prize for Acting for her dramatic performance in the film. Push is an adaptation of author and performance poet Sapphire's powerful story about a young African-American woman who struggles to overcome incredible obstacles, including illiteracy and a harrowing history of abuse. The film's star, newcomer Gabourey Sidibe is receiving rave reviews, as well as her co-stars Mo'Nique, Paula Patton, Mariah Carey, and Lenny Kravitz. Unfortunately, all of this momentum may not translate into a chance at the box office.
If you are at all a frequent user of Facebook, you have probably seen a number of your friends "donate their status to ____" or join "One Million Strong Against ______." Heck, if you are one of my Facebook friends, I probably invited you to join my pro-Katie Couric group. While there are obvious networking benefits for activists using Facebook, has the website taken the bite out of civil disobedience?
As a big horror fan, I've been excited to see what My Bloody Valentine 3D would do for the genre, which trades primarily on thrills and spectacle. But even if I wasn't into horror, the film would be worth taking note of because it's one of the first contemporary films shot in 3D that is not a family picture (and not animated, at that). The film's success will no doubt be a benchmark for studios considering shooting other films in 3D. So I'm disappointed to report that, while the film is something of a technological marvel, its (mis)treatment of its female characters is nothing to be excited about.
The "Mexico City Policy" was instituted by Reagan, reversed under Clinton, and re-instated by George W. Hopefully Obama's decision won't be just another flip of the coin, especially since this policy has sweeping consequences for health care around the world.