Steel Magnolias Remake: Yay?!



If anyone mentions Dirty Dancing or Steel Magnolias, I always say it's my favorite movie. They're like 1a and 1b for me. I've seen them both a million times, and enjoy each like it's the first time every time I watch.

When I was a kid, I would watch Steel Magnolias every day. My mom would ask why I was watching it again. It's so sad, she would say. It is, but it's also hilarious was always my response.

I love Steel Magnolias so much that I read the play it's adapted from. No, I didn't see the play. I read the play. That's love.

Last week, Lifetime released the trailer for its all-black remake of Steel Magnolias. I knew they were making it. I just wasn't sure what my reaction should be. And I'm still not.

As a general rule, I don't see the point in remakes, especially when the remake adheres so strictly to the original. But then I think of a remake that I do enjoy and I wonder if I'm being too harsh.

I saw the original Parent Trap with Hayley Mills as a kid because it was mentioned several times in The Babysitters Club. Then Lindsay Lohan's version was released, and I enjoy it almost as much as the original. They changed just enough the story to make it seem fresh, but still remain faithful and respectful to the original.

But then we have the Footloose remake. I haven't seen it, but I did see the trailer, and it didn't look like they had changed anything beyond the choreography, which begged the question - what was the point? I haven't felt compelled to watch it. Perhaps I'm being too harsh, but from the outside looking in, that's how it looked.

So when I saw the link on Twitter for the Steel Magnolias trailer, I hesitated for a few seconds and then clicked. What would I get? Similar, but different enough or the same thing?


Have I mentioned that I've seen Steel Magnolias a million times? There are only a handful of movies for which I can recite most of the dialogue.

So, yeah, that trailer? At least 95% of the dialogue is the same, which begs the question - what's different from the original version that made a remake a necessity?

Yeah, they changed the characters to be black, but is that really enough of a difference to justify a new movie? I guess I should reserve judgment until I see it. Maybe they will surprise me.

And I will be watching if only to see what they did to my favorite movie. I won't be able to help myself.


Which I guess is the reason Lifetime made the movie in the first place.

Thursday Links

1. I love celebrity news and celebrity couples. (Keep the duhs to yourself, peanut gallery). But it's always funny to watch TV shows or movies with stars who used to date each other. I love Gossip Girl (stop judging me) and Serena and Dan dated for a few years. And there they are on the show giving each other longing glances (sometimes). It makes me giggle. Anywho, here are some celeb couples who worked together after splitting.

2. I love Twitter. (Remember, keep the duhs to yourself). It's fascinating watching it grow in importance. TV, especially, has latched on to it and now both are helping each other grow.

3. This made me giggle. Who wore it best? Mariah Carey's baby Monroe or Kim Kardashian?

4. Hip hop is an ingrained part of American culture now, but the music genre is only around 30 years old. I liked this look back at one of the early stars, Big Daddy Kane.

So yeah, all of my links today were on the entertainment side and none on the sports side. I looked for some interesting ones, but honestly, the sports side of my brain has been consumed with the Penn State debacle. It sickens me, it hurts me, it pisses me off that football was deemed more important than protecting kids. I can only hope that the kids have found help or will now seek it out and they find or have found a way to live a happy, peaceful life.

I'm a Better Writer Now, Right?



Last night I watched Revenge. It was only the second episode I've watched, so I'm still a little confused about some things and I'm too lazy to go look it up. Regardless, I'm enjoying the show and its intrigue.

Will Emily Thorne succeed in her quest for vengeance against those who harmed her family (something to do with her dad)? How much does she care about her boyfriend or are all her shows of affection just part of her revenge plan?

But, anyway, I got a nice, little giggle last night. When another character confronted her about her past, Emily called up someone who's been helping her and said, "I need your help...again." Dunh dunh dunh! Fade to black.

Why did that make me giggle? It was the "again" part. It was put in to tantalize viewers as we were introduced to a brand new character, Warden Stiles, and make us want to stick around through the commercial break.

But really? I'm pretty sure Warden Stiles remembers Emily asking her for help in the past. She doesn't need the reminder that this isn't the first time.

This probably caught my attention because of my writing aspirations. I'm more cognizant of word choices and what works and what doesn't as I strive to become a better writer (and published). Even when I'm reading books during my leisure time, part of my brain is still focused on craft and the choices the author makes.

I don't want the reader giggling or rolling their eyes, which takes them out of the story, when they're reading my books. I strive to make my writing, especially the dialogue, as natural as possible.

I like to think dialogue is one of my strong suits. It's my favorite part of writing in any case. I'm lucky (or crazy depending on your viewpoint) because my characters "speak" to each other in my head. It's very easy for me to go to that place in my mind where they're talking to each other (and thinking to themselves) and I just type it as it comes to me.

But I also like to read the dialogue out loud to make sure it really does sound as natural spoken out loud as it does in my head. I don't want to pat myself on my back too hard. :)

I also constantly ask myself, is this is how people talk? Is there a better way to say this?

This process works for me.

How would I have written the scene between Emily and Warden Stiles?

Emily: I need your help.

Warden: Again, Emily?

Emily: Yes. It's a matter of life and death.

Dunh dunh dunh. Fade to black.

OK, not great. But a little more natural - I think anyway.

What do you think? Am I totally off base? How would you have written the scene?

Tuesday Links

Since I haven't done this in a bit, here are a few links while I look for my motivation. If anyone finds it, please send it back to me ASAP.

1. I don't think it's any secret how much I love the 80s. I watched this segment on Good Morning America, especially the montage towards the beginning going "Oh! Oh! Oh!"

2. I love how Sesame Street tries to keep the show interesting for parents who watch the show with their kids. And no, the link won't take you to the p0rn crap that someone uploaded when they hacked into Sesame Street's Youtube channel.

3. Sports Illustrated has a tumblr, where they post sports photos old and new. It's kinda really, really cool.

Moneyball mixes together the two things I try to mix together on this here blog - sports and entertainment. So here are two links inspired by the movie/book.

4. Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland Athletics, is lauded as a visionary, but really he's like every other GM. He hits on some players and misses on others. Like who?, you might ask. Take a look!

5. Hollywood loves a great sports movie. Actually, Hollywood loves a hit. Here are the highest grossing sports movies.

Separated at Birth?

To the surprise of no one I'm sure, last night, I watched the American League Championship Series between my Texas Rangers and the Detroit Tigers and I had a moment. Michael Young, my all-time favorite baseball player, (and usually clean-shaven) strolled up to the plate and I thought, "OMG, he looks like Teen Wolf!" I'm not crazy, right? Right?


Tuesday Links

1. Should student-athletes be paid? That question has been asked forever it seems like. My initial reaction has always been "no" because I have a hard time seeing how that process would work and because many student-athletes get free educations. But I understand why some think they should or at least the student-athletes who  bring big bucks to their schools and the NCAA. This study puts their worth at six figures! That's something to think about.

2. I'm not a Trekkie or a sci-fi person period, but it's kind of cool to look at the Star Trek gadgets that are no longer fiction.

3. After the first weekend of college football, I kept seeing references to how awful Maryland's uniforms were. I did a little Internet search and found this. Oh my!

4. I'm a nerd. I love trivia, especially the pop culture kind, so it makes my heart happy that VH1's Pop Up Video is returning. Here's the first video.

5. I hate beauty pageants, but the commentary during the swimsuit portion of the Miss Universe Pageant was hilarious, you have to admit.

Old Links

Remember how I whined about being busy? Yeah, still true. However, I did save a some links a few weeks ago, but didn't post them. But they're still cool/interesting even if the info's a bit old.

1. Anne Hathaway raps! I love her.

2. A Cleveland Indian's player was going to miss the birth of his child. Until his teammates stepped in to help.

3. The University of Miami is in deep trouble with the NCAA because a felon alum confessed all the illegal stuff he did for the school to the NCAA. Fascinating reading!

Tuesday Links

I've been busy and now I'm tired, so today's links will be few. But still great.

The Serious

1. I have a degree in sport management. I minored in sociology. These two interests collide in this article about the world of "elite" travel youth travel teams. The madness needs to stop.

The Nostalgic

2. Have I mentioned that I love sports and pop culture? A few times, probably. Which is why I love this roundup of iconic athlete food commercials.

The Funny

3. Seems things didn't work out with the Bachelorette Ashley. Shaking my head. What a shame.

4. Borders could have avoided bankruptcy if only the company executives had followed this guy's advice.

5. Last, but not least, everyone knows the black best friend is the best best friend to have.

Tuesday Links

1. Jaleel White will always be Steve Urkel, but he's not a kid anymore...or a nerd. At least not in Cee Lo Green's new video for Cry Baby. He's a ladykiller, who knows how to cut a rug, yes he is!

2. The NBA owners may have locked out the players, but Kevin Durant is keeping busy. This dunk is ridiculous!

3. I loved the mother-daughter relationship and the rapid-fire pop culture references in Gilmore Girls. I still miss the show, but the show's creator is working on a new project - adapting The Nanny Diaries for ABC. I'm curious to see what she does with a concept that started as a book, then turned into a movie.

4. I wrote about my love for Twitter here and its (probably) unintended usefulness. But Twitter also has benefits for athletes (and other celebrities) and their fans.

5. I had to include this one because it made me laugh. Folks are still passionate about their allegiances to either *NSYNC or the Backstreet Boys. Last time I checked there were almost 900 comments!

As for me, I always have been and always will be an *NSYNC fangirl. ALWAYS!

6. Equal opportunity may soon be extended to the NFL gridiron - in one capacity anyway. Female referees, anyone? I'm down.

7. Think of that movie scene that makes you tear up EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. It might be on this list. A scene from my favorite movie is the first one listed and I got a little misty-eyed just reading about it.

8. This is just too funny not to share. Novak Djokovic is a throwback, that's all. :)

Crazy, Stupid Love. Reviewed

I rarely go to the movies. I guess I just never got in the habit growing up. Movies are definitely the weak spot in my pop culture database.

This is not to say that I don't like movies because I do. I see commercials all the time for movies I'd like to see. I just never do.

Anyway, a friend called Saturday and said she was interested in seeing a movie. My response: How about Crazy, Stupid Love? The trailers made it look funny. It definitely fell in the category of movies I wanted to see, but was too lazy to do. But now I didn't have an excuse not to see it.

Obviously, the big stars of the movie are Steve Carell, Julianne Moore, Ryan Gosling, and Emma Stone with Kevin Bacon and Marissa Tomei and a small dose of Josh Groban adding to the hilarity. And they're all great.

Carell plays Cal and Moore plays Emily, his wife. The movie begins with Emily telling Cal she slept with a co-worker and wants a divorce. That doesn't sound funny, but it is! His physical response to the news had me giggling out loud.

But this movie isn't just about the adults.

Cal and Emily's son, Robbie and his babysitter, played by America's Next Top Model's Analeigh Tipton, also have substantial parts and probably have even more screen time than Emma Stone. Their storyline is funny, sweet and a little (hilariously) uncomfortable.

Actually, the whole movie is funny and sweet and a little (hilariously) uncomfortable. Gosling plays a womanizer, who takes Cal under his wing. While Cal goes along with the plan, he never really forgets his wife, and she doesn't forget him.

I really enjoyed the little comedic surprises that popped up throughout the movie. Every time I was like, "Oh that was funny! I didn't expect that to happen."

And, as an extra bonus, the music used was cool, too.

In short: I loved Crazy, Stupid Love. It was definitely worth me breaking my "don't get off the couch" way of living.

P.S.  Gosling's character has a move that he uses on the ladies. Yeah, it would have totally worked on me. lol. :)

A Music Channel that Actually Plays Music - Seriously!

Maybe everyone has heard of Palladia and I'm just seriously late to the party. It's happened before. But since it's new to me, I had to share. I "discovered" Palladia few months ago. It's an HD channel grouped with MTV AND VH1 in the channel listing in my cable system. As we all know, MTV and VH1 stopped caring about music a long time ago, so I'm ecstatic that Palladia exists.

All those MTV Unplugged and VH1 Storytellers episodes? They've found a home on Palladia.* Since I figured out the channel was there and what it was, I've watched concerts featuring Lady Gaga, Adele, Usher, Sara Bareilles, Kanye West, and Cee-lo Green. And those are just the ones that immediately popped into my head. There are more.

I watched a documentary chronicling the lead-up to the release of Beyonce's latest album 4. It was fascinating to watch if only to hear her talk about why she decided to relieve her father of his managerial duties. She said she wanted to gain more control over her career. Is that spin? I'm sure to a certain extent it is, but as Beyonce is very private and doesn't publicly address issues like this often, it was nice to get an explanation directly from her.

A few weeks ago, I watched Madonna's Truth or Dare. Although it's twenty years old, I'd never seen it. I was fascinated.

Madonna seems remarkably unaffected by her fame. I kept wondering if she did a sequel today would she still come across that way. She did a show in Michigan and said she loved being home, which is funny because she basically makes England home now and people make fun of her for faking a British accent.

Also, I loved how she said she found it weird that celebrities assumed a level of friendship with her and other celebrities just because they happened to be famous.

Anywho, I make it a point to stop by Palladia to see what they're showing when I'm channel surfing. For those who don't care about the pop and R&B scene, they show a lot of other stuff like country, classic rock (there was a ZZ Top concert on a few days ago), and indie rock music. I'm not into bands like Mumford & Sons, but if you are, know Palladia isn't ignoring them.

And they show videos, too. As someone who was raised on BET, this makes my heart happy.

Basically, Palladia has something for everybody. Yay for its existence! It's totally epic and awesome.

*Funny enough when I went to Palladia's website, I saw that it was owned by MTV and VH1. Guess that explains why the channel has the rights to air all those old concerts. And maybe why MTV and VH1 are fine with airing so little music these days.

Tuesday Links

OK, so last week was bad. I didn't blog. I was busy and lazy. I could've done the links and Jam of the Week only, but I felt like that was cheating.

I'll tell you later on in the week what I was doing. (How's that for a big market tease?) I promise to do better with the blogging this week. And now that I've typed that, I actually have to do it.

In the mean time, here are the Tuesday Links.

1. Still mad about Netflix's price hikes? Well, Walmart has jumped in the game. Better yet, there's a relief fund for white people who love GAP khakis.

2. College athletes don't get paid, but schools and conferences make MILLIONS off them anyway. And some student-athletes do get paid and the schools get into all kinds of trouble when it's discovered. This guy thinks we should just end the charade and pay star student-athletes out in the open. Hmm. Maybe I'll blog my thoughts on the subject someday.

3. This video is just too funny. A Dad turns into the Double Rainbow Guy at a Little League game.

4. Any Mad Men fans? An  enterprising fellow took some time to do an unofficial remake of the opening credits.

5. Love this column about the time-honored tradition in baseball of trading talented, proven players for a gaggle of prospects who may or may not develop into Major Leaguers. It seems like a good idea, but I'd rather have the proven player.

6. Want to know who invented the high five? Yeah, you do.

7. This twitter exchange makes me giggle. Over and over.

8. An NFL player demonstrates his love for his wife through song.

9. So you already know I love nostalgia. Or my 80s and 90s versions of it anyway. I worshiped Saved By the Bell, so this video of White Collar's Matt Bomer doing the Bayside cheer melts my heart. And this columnist is crazy for being mad at Zack. She should totally be mad at Kelly for breaking Zack's heart!

And speaking of nostalgia...

10. Kenny Ortega plans to direct a remake of Dirty Dancing. Sigh. I love Ortega. He was Dirty Dancing's choreographer, and since this is my favorite movie, I knew that and adored him for it. He also choreographed Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Shag, two movies I also love. He directed High School Musical, which I think is supercute. And I haven't mentioned that he choreographed Michael Jackson's tours. So yeah, I have mad love for Ortega. But WHY he is remaking a movie that is so classic and iconic? Leave it alone, Kenny! Even Baby agrees!

Tuesday Links

1. In the grand tradition of Hollywood not being able to come up with any new ideas, apparently there are two new Snow Whites being filmed. Let the death match begin. Comic-Con was the perfect place to release photos from the Kristen Stewart/Charlize Theron version. Of course, that was two WHOLE days after photos from the Lily Collins/Julia Roberts version were released.

OK, I'll be nice and say the two movies really do look and sound different. Only time will tell if that's true and which version is better.

2. I've been listening to Adele's 21 A LOT the past few months. Yesterday, I stumbled across a track by track explanation of the CD Adele does on her website. Very cool to watch. Be warned though. Adele has a potty mouth.

3. Yankees' player, Curtis Granderson, who is black, says he's concerned that he doesn't see many black faces in the crowd at games. ESPN writer LZ Granderson doesn't think MLB has a problem. Yes, there are fewer blacks, but there are a lot of Hispanic and Asian players adding to the diversity of players.

My quick take: I agree with Curtis. All sports want to attract the best athletes and compete with each other to do so. If fewer blacks grow up watching the sport, then fewer will choose the sport to play, including the world's best athletes. Those fantastic athletes will choose football or basketball or soccer or whatever instead. Baseball misses out. There's no guarantee that they would choose baseball over football, but how can they ever get to that place of deciding whether or not baseball is their first choice if baseball never enters the equation?

4. One of my old bosses sent me an invitation to join his Fantasy Football League. I've never done it because my stomach turns at the prospect of having to cheer on a hated Giant or Eagle. Gross. BUT for those who do like to partake, here's a Draft Day Manifesto that should help you assemble the best team possible.