Saturday, July 24, 2010

Salt-Movie Review

I have to admit that in real life, I am not a huge fan of one Ms. Angelina Jolie but I have to give props where props are due: When it comes to action movies Angelina Jolie is the woman! I mean seriously, she does it all and she does it well.

So for this review I will have to look past the fact that she is a home-wrecker long enough to focus on her craft.

In the her new movie Salt, Jolie plays CIA agent Evelyn Salt who is accused by a Russian defector of being a Russian spy. What ensues after this most untimely accusation is a big budget, Hollywood-style, action-packed rat race to clear her name and foil an elaborate plan to destroy America in the process.

That is pretty much the nuts and bolts of the film. While many aspects of the plot were intriguing as it related to action, international espionage and high tech weaponry, there was really nothing exceptionally original about the plot.

The biggest redeeming factor is that Angelina Jolie proves once again in this film why she deserves to be one of the highest paid female actresses in the game. Her ability to continuously make you believe that she is whatever kick-butt-now-and-take-names-later, hard nosed, action-hero vixen that she happens to be playing at the moment is nothing short of justified fodder for the entertainment of the masses.

Liev Schreiber was pretty on point in his role as Agent Tim Winter, Salt's only ally, and Chitwetel Ejiofor was plausible as Agent Peabody, the super-alpha agent who is hell-bent on getting his man (or woman) by any means necessary.
While I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, I have to admit that I wish it would have had just a little bit more of a wow factor with respect to the storytelling aspect. But overall, it was a worthwhile movie-going experience.

At the end of the day I give Salt a solid B+.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Ode to a Good Man- A True Love Story

I have to start this story off by asking the question: Do you believe in love at first sight? I do. I do because I have experienced it first hand. I met my soul mate one day in August and two weeks after we exchanged our first "hello" we were talking about getting married.

I reflected on that as I sat in my bathroom at the age of 18 anxiously counting down the torturous 3 minute time period it would take to see if the tiny little strip on the pregnancy test would let me off the hook by showing the negative sign, or seal my fate by displaying the dreaded positive sign. My heart seemed like it was going to jump right out of my chest.

As the seconds ticked away a million thoughts ran through my mind: What would I do if I was? What would he say? What would my parents say? And worst of all, what if he turned his back on me and I ended up having to do this alone?

By the time I had finished running through all the scenarios, my 3 minutes were up and sure enough there it was as big and bold as ever...a blue plus sign. Then three more pregnancy tests later there was still a big fat blue plus sign. There was no getting around it, I was pregnant by the man I had fallen in love with after only few months.

So, being the super control freak that I am and hating to have unknown variables in my life I decided to tell him and my parents immediately and get it over with. After all, what was done was done so I may well go ahead and get it over with.

After crying a river in my parents' bathroom, I pulled myself together and went over to his house and sat him down to tell him the news. Much to my surprise, a smile lit up his face and he immediately held me and told me that he was going to be there for me no matter what and not to worry about anything. He then asked if I had told my parents and I told him that I had not.

"Do you want me to come with you?" he asked. I told him no. I didn't think it would be a good idea for him to be there when I told my father, as you could imagine, he wasn't going to be too happy about his 18 year old daughter being knocked up by some guy she'd just met.

Needless to say that after I told my parents, my father reacted just as I expected. But the deed was done and there was nothing more I could do so I went to work in hopes that maybe time would fast forward him from being angry and disappointed to loving his little girl again.

As the hours went painfully by at work, I could hardly concentrate as I tried to figure out how I was going to deal with the situation at hand and before I knew it, it was time to go home. When I got there, much to my surprise even though his car was in the shop, he was sitting in the study talking to my father.

This man, my man, had jumped on his bike and rode the distance while I was at work to come and sit face-to-face and man-to-man to talk to my dad about his intentions for our child and our future. I was overwhelmed. Right then and there I knew that even though I didn't deserve it, God had blessed me with a good man.

From there we decided to move in together because I felt that it would be best for me to leave my parents home. As a young couple we got to know each other not only as lovers, but as people and ultimately best friends.

With a sense of urgency toward becoming a father, he immediately sought to secure a job with benefits and as a result had to forfeit his college basketball scholarship. He never once complained and he always made sure that I was comfortable and provided for.

Before we knew it the holidays were right around the corner. Our new life together was going extremely well and we grew to love each other more and more everyday. Then one day while we were out, he turned down a dark dirt road out in a countryfied area and proceeded to drive toward an area I had never seen before. As we approached some dark forbidding farmland I started feeling like I was being dragged into a scene from a bad horror film.

Just as he pulled into a wooded area and put the car in park, I frantically began looking out the window to survey my surroundings and off in the distance I could see a white sheet blowing in the wind. With the darkness having set in, with no street lights and bare trees at the end of November, you could only imagine what the scene looked like. Needless to say that by this time, I was getting a little scared and I demanded that he take us back out to the main road.

He just looked at me and laughed and said, "Let's go see what that is blowing in the wind." I said, "Are you crazy? We're on someone else's property, that could be some KKK mess or something!" And he just laughed and continued driving toward the sheet that was blowing in the wind.

So now I'm mad and frantically trying to figure out if I'm going to jump out of the car or what and he stops directly in front of the sheet which I'm starting to notice has some writing on it. I look a little harder to see what it says and spray painted on this sheet in the middle of nowhere are the words "Will You Marry Me".

By the time I finish reading and turn to him, I see that he is holding a box with an engagement ring in it with a smile on his handsome face and he said, "Janaya, will you marry me?"

That was 14 years ago and today I am still happily married to that man. The man who has always made me feel like a queen. The man who has always been a loving father to our children. The man who supports and encourages me in everything that I do. The God-fearing man that I will gladly follow where ever he leads. The man that I thank God for everyday and proudly call my husband.

There is so much negativity circulating in the media about men, relationships and everything in between that I just felt like putting something positive in the universe.

Ladies, good men do still exist. We just have to learn to recognize them when they are right in front of us. All too often we let them go or pass them by because of some flashy, fast-talking, charismatic disappointment that has the ability to get all up in our heads.

I'm not saying that my story is typical or that young girls should go out and try to get pregnant at a young age, rather I just felt like sharing the story of a man who made a conscious decision to step up and take care of his responsibility.

A man who I have been blessed to have been given the privilege of spending my life with and I wouldn't trade him for the world.

This is my ode to a good man. I love you Rockey.
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Saturday, July 3, 2010

Poetic Jusitce: Congrats to Elin Nordegren-Woods

I'm going to start by saying that I know that I'm going to get a lot of flack from the fellas for this one be it.

Recently, reports surfaced stating that Elin Nordegren-Woods (the estranged soon-to-be ex-wife of golf star Tiger Woods) would be receiving a $750 million divorce settlement. After this announcement was made people went on the nut on both sides of the fence arguing about why this woman should or should not receive that amount of money.

Well, here's my take on it: she deserves every penny of whatever she ends up getting.
 So what if Elin never swung a golf club other than to allegedly break out the windows of Tigers vehicle when she found out about his affairs. When that man stood before God and the rest of the world to take that woman as his lawfully wedded wife, he made a commitment. And that commitment was meant to be honored until death do them part.

I get really tired of hearing men make excuses for the men who get caught up in these situations by saying things like: Women go after high profile men so what does she expect? It's the nature of a man to want to conquer as many women as possible. Or, and this is the one I hate the most, maybe he has a sexual addiction.

Well let me just tell you that is just a heaping helping of a bunch of crap on top of crap. There is no excuse for a MARRIED man, or woman, to cheat and I applaud Elin for being strong enough to walk away with her head held high. All too often these things happen and women will overlook it just because society says that this is what men are supposed to do.  Kiss my grits with that mess!

If a person feels that they still have "wild oats" to sow, then that person should NOT get married; plain and simple. It is selfish to expect someone else to be understanding just because you want to have your cake and eat it too. Every marriage has it's ups and downs, but that's called being in a relationship. If you are unhappy with your current circumstances, be man or woman enough to go to your spouse and talk about it. If the problems can't be worked out, you don't just get to cheat, you seek any other alternative possible to try to work those problems out. That's what marriage is about. Nobody ever said it was easy!

So in this situation, and situations like these, it seems like the only thing that really truly gets these guys' attention is when you hit them where it really hurts: in their pockets. While the money won't take away the pain and humiliation that was suffered from the infidelity, it goes a long way for soothing it.

So fellas, whether she walks away with $100 or $750 million, don't hate on Elin.  Rather you should pull your boy by the coattails and tell him to take note so that it doesn't happen to him.  Next time tell him to ask himself: Is the jump-off really worth losing half? I tend to think not.

But then again, I'm just a woman. But you better believe that if my hubby messes up, I'm not just going to try to take half and I ain't lying...just read one of my books. :-)

 Anyhoo, until next time...keep it in your pants and you won't have these types of problems.

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