Movie Review: Locke (2014)

If I told you about a 90-minute movie where everything takes place within the interior of a car and there are no car chases, you probably wouldn’t be interested in seeing it.

What if this movie starred Tom Hardy? Okay, maybe you would be a teeny bit interested. But that is a pretty big maybe, right?

Well, Locke is that movie and I have to tell you: It is pretty darn brilliant!

The movie stars Hardy as Ivan Locke, a man making an evening drive from his workplace into London. The movie takes place almost in real time. In the beginning of the film, Locke makes a phone call while driving and explains to the other person that he is on his way and will arrive in about 90 minutes which is about the length of the film.

The film and the camera itself focuses on Locke as the other characters only “appear” via speaker phone. There are calls home as Locke explains to his sons that he won’t be coming home that evening. Calls to an employee and his boss take place to coordinate logistics for the next day’s construction job. There are also calls with a woman named Bethan who at one point asks, “Have you even told your wife someone is having your baby?”

Oh my. Not to make a pun, but that really sets the stage for one interesting ride.

With Locke the filmmakers show that one doesn’t need explosions or special effects to create a thrilling ride for audiences. Each phone call is a desperate attempt by Locke to prevent his world from crumbling around him. The minimalist nature of the film combined with the intensity of the story make for an emotional ride for the audience. You become the passenger in a car going to an unknown place yet you are curious how you will get there.

Locke is written and directed by Steven Knight.




Not That Kind of Black Girl

I was having a conversation with one of my friends who I have known for a few years and she mentioned a music artist. Conversation went a bit like this:

Friend: Hey, have you heard Artist’s new song?

Me: Who?

Friend: You know who I’m talking about!

Me: Ummm… no I don’t. Who is Artist? And why do you think I know who that is?

Friend: You know…because you’re black.

Okay, before you raise any pitchforks, let me clarify that my friend is black as well. But she is one of those people, black or white or whatever, that automatically assumes I am familiar with every black artist that comes on the scene.

I have these types of conversations once in a while and it does frustrate me. What frustrates me the most is when someone puts off a vibe that I am not “black enough” or will lose my “black card” because I do not do any of the following:

  • Watch BET
  • Watch Tyler Perry anything
  • Listen to R&B
  • Listen to rap (which for the record I do- but mostly pre-2000s rap)
  • Watch the latest black film that has been released
  • Live in a black neighborhood
  • Graduate from a black university
  • Have only black friends
  • Exclusively date black men
  • Go to a black church
  • Talk with a black dialect

Now, this doesn’t frustrate me enough to go off on any of my friends, although I will tease those I’m close to that if it isn’t a song by Foo Fighters or Patty Griffin, don’t ask me if I’ve heard it. But I do find it insulting that not enough people recognize that the black community, like all communities, is diverse. For the record, I tend to:

  • Watch Sundance Channel or IFC
  • Watch Wes Anderson or Coen Brothers anything
  • Listen to rock music (hence my love for Foo Fighters)
  • Listen to singer/songwriter or alt-country music (hence my affection for Patty Griffin)
  • Watch independent films
  • Live in a racially diverse neighborhood
  • Graduated from a predominantly white liberal arts university
  • Have mostly white friends
  • Date men of all races
  • Go to a racially diverse church with a white senior pastor and black associate pastor
  • Been told I talk with a northern/midwest/Californian accent (considering I’m from Tennessee, this always amuses me!)

My point is that there is no one way for a person to behave if they are black just like there is no one way for someone to behave if they are any other race. C’mon- how insulting would it be for people to assume that all women watch Lifetime Channel or listened only to Sarah McLachlan… although I do happen to love Sarah and have been to two Lilith Fairs in the past, but you know what I mean, right? There is diversity within all races. There is no “If you are _____ then you must act/think/do _____”.

I think that’s it for my soapbox. And on that note, I leave you one of my favorite Foo Fighters songs, The Pretender. That may be ironic that I am picking a song with the title “The Pretender”. But I just seriously (bleepin’) love this song!



First Impressions: My Big Fat Fabulous Life

Yeah. It’s been a long (bleeping) time since I have updated my blog. So long that I’m not even going to count back how far. Do I have a good excuse? Well… does binge watching Netflix and naps count as a good excuse? Okay, maybe not. But I got lazy with writing. And by “lazy” I mean I couldn’t figure out what to write or how to put my thoughts down.

Soooo…. anyways… Here we are again. Happy 2015, y’all!

Okay, at this very moment I am watching a show called My Big Fat Fabulous Life on TLC. Have you heard about it? I just discovered it today. It’s about a gal named Whitney who was once a slender girl who loved to dance. But due to a condition called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), she gained over 200 pounds. With a fresh outlook on life, she is trying to find her way in this world, just like the rest of us.

Check out this video of Whitney discussing how dance helped her turn her life around.

I’ve only watched a bit of this show, but I absolutely love Whitney’s spirit! I can identify a bit with Whitney. I too was diagnosed with PCOS in my mid-20s. While I never gained 200 pounds, I have found it difficult to lose weight, a common side effect of this disease. Before you get all, “Well, just eat less, exercise more. Eat healthy foods. Blah, blah, blah!”, let me drop some knowledge on ya: With PCOS, you can do all the “right things” regarding weight loss and the scale still won’t budge. Often you can do all the “right things” and the scale will still go up. This is frustrating as hell!

Dude- before I go off on a total PCOS tangent, let me get back to the fabulousness of Whitney.

Again, I absolutely love her. I love that she is out there enjoying life and not hiding or crying under the covers like some people expect fat girls to do. I love that she shows her vulnerabilities and struggles on the show. I love that she turns to dance, her first love and passion, to express herself, exercise, and help inspire others. Hats off to you Whitney!

Visit TLC’s site to learn more about My Big Fat Fabulous Life.