First sentence: Charlotte Jenkins knew her own mind.
Charlotte Jenkins knew her own mind. Not a quality many considered admirable in a woman. For any man, woman, or child of her color, it was entirely unsafe - when so many saw them as inferior, naturally subservient, even subhuman. All too maddening how the white gentleman and ladies never managed to notice that the blood welling from whip-broken skin was just as ruddy as their own.
She’d been six years old - by her own retrospective count - when she’d announced into the semi-darkness of the tiny cabin that one day she’d read the bible and write books the same as any of the fine gentlemen up north. In the moment before her grandmother’s scarred hand slapped across her face, Charlotte could have sworn that her father’s quiet half-smile was illuminated by the last few flickers of the candle.
She’d been too young to understand then, but through the recollecting eyes of a young woman she knew that simple expression hadn’t held indulgence, but hope.
In April of 1853, Lucinda Jenkins - “Miz Lucy,” as she was known to so much of the farm for so long - married Mr. Vernon Sterling in a shower of orange blossoms, champagne, and valuable human wedding gifts, thus transforming Charlotte from the fields to Charlotte Jenkins. Many would have simply called the new title a mere distinction, a way to separate Mrs. Sterling’s belongings from those of her new husband. But Charlotte, twenty-three and a sharp-minded, quick-witted belle in every right but name, wore it proudly as an identity made anew - the “coming-out” presentation that the world denied her.
I know the date on this post isn’t the date of Halloween, but since I’ve been too busy to go on the Internet, it took me some time to be able to make this post. But Holy Cow, Halloween was amazing! Just like every year. The only “bad thing” is that my husband is a boring old man, and refused to dress up, saying that it’s “only for kids” (which is a lie! Look at how amazing I look in my bunny suit!) But I, of course, won’t force him to dress up if he doesn’t want to. We all still had a wonderful time despite this, and the kids had so much fun trick or treating with their friends. We did get a lot of candy, and since we don’t really eat a lot of sweet stuff, we might have enough for an entire year (we might give some of it away, but make sure the kids won’t notice).
I hope that you guys, like us, had an amazing Halloween! After trick or treating, the kids were told to pick one piece of candy, and then we went to Sam and I’s bedroom to watch some cartoons together. All in all, Halloween was amazing!
The Kings of Summer director Jordan Vogt-Roberts is the latest in the recent line of indie directors to quickly be promoted to helming a major studio blockbuster, following up that Sundance hit with the $190 million budgeted Kong: Skull Island. Like his contemporaries Colin Trevorrow and Gareth Edwards (among others) though, it seems that him getting the gig was less about him being able to bring his indie spirit to a larger canvas than it was the studio wanting a hot name without a lot of clout that they could push into doing whatever they needed done to satisfy their own corporate agenda. Vogt-Roberts has spent the past year or two going on ad nauseum about his influences for this latest King Kong incarnation and they’re the kind of trigger titles that incite fanboy optimism, like Indiana Jones and more than anything else Apocalypse Now, as the film is (pointlessly) set in the waning days of the Vietnam War. Anyone thinking this was going to be anything different from your standard blockbuster fare would be in for some major disappointment though, as Kong: Skull Island fragrantly displays that its only true influence is more corporate greed and the lust for the almighty dollar.
No matter what hot indie director or how many talented actors you want to throw at this thing, it’s just another giant mess manufactured by a studio desperately scrambling to find whatever IPs they can smash together to make some half-baked attempt at an “expanded universe” that’s all the rage these days, logic and creativity be damned. Kong: Skull Island is one of the messiest displays of the follies of this trend to date, existing purely as a means to set up a future showdown between King Kong and Godzilla with a litany of other big beasties in the coming years. Foolishly, like Godzilla’s most recent reboot, the supposed star of the show barely seems to make an appearance here, which is quite the feat considering his ridiculously oversized stature which has him about ten times the size as his most famous incarnations in the past. The big ape definitely doesn’t have anything resembling the personality or agency that we’ve seen him have in the past, instead existing merely for the sake of it, showing up here for the sole reason of the studio being able to say that they introduced him before the big showdown in a few years time (hey at least it’s more groundwork than Batman v Superman did).
The majority of the movie is spent with a myriad of other creatures, vague and uninteresting baddies who attack the overstuffed cast of anonymous human characters who crash onto the titular island and then spend the movie blandly walking around until the two hour mark hits and it’s time for whoever is left to pack up and leave, probably never to be seen again since this movie for no reason takes place decades before the rest of this inexplicable “universe”. Despite having a talented cast made up of veterans like Samuel L. Jackson and John Goodman (and a really odd and unaddressed Richard Jenkins cameo?) and fresh faces like Corey Hawkins and Jason Mitchell, as well as the painfully bland primary roles for Generic White Leads Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson, Skull Island struggles to make any of its characters even the slightest bit interesting or engaging to watch on screen. Fair shot to Larson, she at least gets one memorable moment (that’s one more than Hiddleston) that represents the saddest attempt at a blockbuster to be more socially conscious and progressive for our current era as her character tries to diffuse the entire dramatic climax of the movie, a standoff between Hiddleston and Jackson, by literally walking into frame and shouting a variation of “Wait guys stop being mean!”. It’s a moment so awkwardly conceived and horribly delivered that even her co-stars look embarrassed to be there for it, and thankfully the movie itself seems to realize how terrible it is by immediately moving on with the scene and forgetting it ever happened.
Whether they’re main characters getting killed off in ways so unceremonious that the other characters literally don’t even seem to notice or just glorified meat sacks spouting generic dialogue into thin air until they get boringly torn to shreds, this cast is limp as the day is long and there are simply way too many characters in this thing to have so many of them be lacking any kind of presence or excitement. Thank god for the cinematic gift that is John C. Reilly at least, who plays a downed World War II pilot stranded for decades on the island before the new crew runs into him, as he represents the latest blockbuster character/performance that is a thousand times better and more interesting than everything else going on around him. Maybe a movie all about Reilly’s character could have provided some lasting sense of entertainment value or worth in any regard. Kong: Skull Island, unfortunately, isn’t that movie. Instead it’s just another creatively inert corporate mess that has no reason for existing beyond those big green dollar signs in the eyes of studio heads following the latest trends.
The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) will present its 24th annual Academy Awards Viewing Party Wonderful Crazy Night on Sunday, February 28, 2016, at West Hollywood Park in Los Angeles. Elton John and David Furnish will host the gala event. The Foundation is profoundly grateful to its Presenting Sponsors BVLGARI, M∙A∙C Cosmetics, and Neuro Drinks and Diana Jenkins for supporting this important event so generously.
This year’s event co-chairs are Tim and Jane Allen, Beck, Boy George, Naomi Campbell, Jim Carrey, Ciara, Chris Colfer, Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, John Demsey, Zooey Deschanel, Jennifer Kelly Dominiquini, Roland Emmerich, Stéphane Gerschel, Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka, Debbie Harry, Stephanie Horbaczewski, Samuel L. Jackson, Diana Jenkins, Caitlyn Jenner, Quincy Jones, Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban, Billie Jean King and Ilana Kloss, Heidi Klum, Ryan Kwanten, Fred Latsko, Shelley Lazar, Sandra Lee, Rob and Sheryl Lowe, Eric and Janet McCormack, Joe McMillan, Lea Michele, Matthew Morrison, Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne, Katy Perry, Tyler Perry, Adam Press, Andrew Rannells, Smokey and Frances Robinson, Zoe Saldana, Steve Sims, Britney Spears, Sharon Stone, Jeffrey Tambor, Steven Tyler, Denzel and Pauletta Washington, and Allison Williams.