Posted in Freedom Friday

Friday Tradition

Weekends are for movies. Friday nights are for science fiction or retro. I’m not sure what I’m watching tonight, but whatever it is, I’m sure it will be perfect. Last weekend I watched The King of Comedy with Robert De Niro and Jerry Lewis, a Martin Scorsese film about an obsessed comic who goes too far with wanting to be on TV. Not science fiction, the 80’s movie was nothing short of clean fun.

Space war
Space war

The other day I watched Mars Attacks! with pretty much everyone who was anyone in Hollywood in 1996 starring in the flick. This proved to be another hilarious romp, but this time it was science fiction.

I’m not sure when this tradition started. All I remember is how Friday nights became The X-Files night and once the show had moved to Sundays, I had a massive void to fill. Incidentally, one of the first movies I watched for a Friday night was Mars Attacks! and it became a type of template for what I wanted out of the evening.

All the Men in Black movies became a Friday night staple at my home, too. They deliver on fun with a twist of science fiction. The wonderful thing I like most about the movies is their consistent 50’s theme while set in the 90’s and 2000’s. For instance, the flying saucers, which everyone knows is nothing more than a throwback to the old sci-fi flicks that hit the drive-ins in small towns across America during the cold war, make a valiant appearance.

Flying saucer
Flying saucer

Part of my Friday night viewing pleasure is retro viewing. I’m talking about watching one of those 80’s action flicks with plenty of cheesy lines, and a thousand explosions that would cause serious sonic damage to the structural integrity of my house’s foundation. We’re talking Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger damage here. I’m a sucker for those movies. Anything but the movie Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot will work here. If it’s Predator, I’ve seen it a gazillion times. If it’s any of the Rambo movies, I’ve seen them another gazillion times. Nothing quite beats a muscleman hero with a smart-alecky attitude to get my testosterone pumping full throttle. These movies never cease to entertain me on a Friday night.

Lastly, I do hold a special place for those one-offs where no other night will do to watch the movie other than a Friday night. I’m talking about real bad movies. The kind of movie that would embarrass your mother if she were watching it with you. The kind of movie that would cause someone to have the desire to walk across a busy freeway. The kind of movie that would make someone wish a train would derail and crash into the house to bring them sweet relief. Can I get away with one more bad movie joke? The kind of movie that would cause you to say, “drop your gun, I’m Superman,” knowing full well the robber will shoot to prove you wrong. Somehow, these movies make for a fun start to great weekend.

I hope you enjoyed this Freedom Friday post. What a treat to go back to the days when habit became tradition and I now have something to look forward to every week.


What do you watch during movie night? If you have more than one movie night, what kind of themes do you have?

Posted in Women Who Wow Wednesday

Family Women

Today’s Women Who Wow Wednesday feature has not one, but two women who wow! If you haven’t seen The Family, grab yourself a copy and enjoy some good ol’ fashioned dark comedy.

The Family
The Family

Not wanting to spoil it for anyone, I’ll only give you a general idea of the film’s premise.

Set in the quiet climes of Normandy, France, the Blake family relocates to what appears as an interesting square-peg-in-a-round-hole situation. Written and directed by Luc Besson, the writer and director of Léon: The Professional, the audience has some pieces to put together before the true picture of the film reveals itself.

Starring Michelle Pfeiffer as Maggie Blake, the pragmatic mom of the family, she proves right away that she can be a handful. As soon as they move into the new digs, her first remark to her husband Fred (Robert DeNiro) is, “It’s cold here.” He quickly says, “I’ll make a fire. Okay? I’ll make a fire.” That’s power.

First things first, Maggie walks into town and she finds the village folk aren’t so nice. All she asked for was where she could find the peanut butter in a small market. The owner didn’t have to speak French behind her back thinking she only knew English. He didn’t have to allow his customers to diss on the Americans, “They liberated us in ’44 but ever since they’ve overrun us.” And he didn’t have to say, “They eat burgers for breakfast, lunch and dinner.” Not at all.

Of course, Maggie, being the practical person she is fixes the situation the best way she knows how. She bombs the place.


Then there’s Belle Blake (Dianna Agron), the daughter. A genuine belle. Blond, blue eyes, and incredibly attractive. Every male in the new school can’t help but turn his head in appreciation of her great looks. Every male, that is, including the idiots. She gets into a car with four idiots who thought they could drive her to a park and take advantage of her. Little do they know she grew up in tougher neighborhoods. When one of them decides to slip the shoulder strap from her dress and says, “Oops,” she smiles. They smile back. After all, they unloaded the car to have a picnic.

Now to Belle, being American and all, what picnic would it be without tennis? Right? She pulls the racquet from the trunk of the car and beats the crap out of the boy with the sticky fingers. Her solution.

The women of The Family are not ordinary women. Not at all. They have a way with making things work, even if situations are unworkable. They don’t take flak from anyone and they always, always get what they want. What’s more beautiful than a woman who knows what she wants?

Besides, they look like girls who can get things done.


Have you seen The Family? What do you think of the women in the movie?

Posted in Women Who Wow Wednesday

Karen Hill

Ignored as a date, Karen gives him another chance. Couldn’t stand him, obnoxious, fidgeting around—that’s what she thinks of her future husband. Promises to meet him again on a Friday night and he stands her up.

Lorraine Bracco as Karen Hill in Goodfellas
Lorraine Bracco as Karen Hill in Goodfellas

“You’ve got some nerve standing me up. Nobody does that to me. Who do you think you are, Frankie Valli or some kind of big shot?”

Henry Hill tries reasoning with her telling her he thought it was the following Friday.

“It was this Friday and you agreed, so you’re a liar!”

On their first date, Henry takes Karen on a whirlwind trip through the service entrance of the fanciest restaurant in town. A special table at the front, fine food, a live show with the king of the one-liners, she didn’t know what to think. Henry pays for everything in cash. They even have Bobby Vinton sending them a bottle of the finest champagne.

One day, Karen calls Henry, screaming the boy across the street pushed her out of a car when she wouldn’t respond to his advances.

“He started to touch me. He started to grab me. I told him to stop. He didn’t stop. I hit him back. And then he got really angry.”

Ray Liotta and Lorraine Bracco
Ray Liotta and Lorraine Bracco

Henry takes care of it. He marches across the street and pistol-whips the boy ten times, breaking the kid’s nose. To make his point, after having some words with him, Henry pounds the kid one last time.

“I know there are women, like my best friends who would have gotten out the minute their boyfriend gave them a gun to hide. But I didn’t. I’ve got to admit the truth. It turned me on.”

The couple marries and things change quickly. She realizes she’d married into two families.

“We weren’t married to nine-to-five guys. But the first time I realized how different was when Mickey had a hostess party. They had bad skin and wore too much makeup. They didn’t look very good. They looked beat-up. They talked about how rotten their kids were and about beating them with broom handles and belts. When Henry picked me up, I was dizzy. I don’t know if I could live like that.”

Whatever Karen thinks of her new family, she reasons around the quirks.

“Being together all the time made everything seem all the more normal.”

What normal is, is what normal does.

“We always did everything together, and we always were in the same crowd. Anniversaries, christenings. We only went to each other’s houses.”

And this is where I come in. I write my Women Who Wow Wednesday series in the context of strong women who stand on their own two feet. Fighters, if you will, who aren’t afraid of taking on someone or something greater than themselves. Although Goodfellas comes from a true story, characterization of real people is inevitable. Karen Hill falls into that category.

For a while, she plays by the rules, respecting her husband, keeping the status quo with his crew. But it’s that ability to think for herself that gets her in trouble. More to the point, her ability to go against the flow makes her unique. In a world of murder, deceit and betrayal, Karen demonstrates a strong conviction to do what she thinks is right.

In the end, isn’t that what matters?


Have you seen Goodfellas? What do you think of Karen?