Script Bits - Werewolves, Robots, and Lawyers

This week's Script Bits is up over at FiveSprockets.com

You can catch Script Bits every Tuesday and the Movie Release Report every Friday over at FiveSprockets.com, which is quite handy when you aren't sure what all your options are for weekend movies.

Screeners of, "The Men Who Stare at Goats" and Michael Moore's, "Capitalism: A Love Story" just arrived today and I'll be posting a review of, "My One and Only" here soon. Hooray for holiday breaks that allow you to catch up on film reviews and awards voting!


The Best Action Heroines

I can almost say I wrote the book on them...

But for now it will have to be, "I wrote the blog on them."

With my background in film studies and my regular participation in the Women's Film Critics Circle, (..and okay, my slightly unhealthy obsession with action and adventure movies...) I thought now was as good a time as any to do something with my lingering pet project, a book in progress on action heroines of film.

Since I'm still not even really half done, I figured I'd put it out there to the world as a blog in progress with chapters. Nothing like "Born For Geekdom", which features regular entries. More like an online collection of essays.

This will give it room to grow, but it won't languish in darkness any longer. I find that I'm most productive when there's a plan in place, so this works quite well for me!


My very talented friend, Aron Deppert, designed the banner, just as he did for this website. Many thanks to him for sharing his talents!


How to Geek Out

This is a post that's been up over at Ehow.com where I have over 100 articles published. But the site has recently changed it's rules and will now disallow opinion articles, which means many of mine will be coming down. So any relevant to Born For Geekdom will have a new home here! Here's the article, "How to Geek Out". 


If you've been holding back on your geeky obsessions because you've been afraid that it would make you immature, you've been robbing yourself of one of life's greatest joys. Geeking out can help you relax, provide you with free therapy, lead you to community, and can actually help you set your feet on the path to living your dreams. Here are 5 easy steps to help you get all the benefits from your inner geek. 

Step 1

Lose your inhibitions. I mean, not all of them. Don't break any laws and try to avoid public nudity. But anything about yourself that you find embarrassing, whatever it is, just go with it. Your inhibitions could be the very reason why you aren't following your dreams or feeling fulfilled.

Step 2

Reconnect to your childhood. I'm a geek for lots of things, Star Trek, movies, Disney, comics...I geek out over at least a dozen "silly" pursuits. The truth is, they're all things I loved when I was a kid. So if you're feeling less than inspired, go back to what it was that you really loved in your most formative years, before you had to think like an adult and learn to live with self-doubt. Even if your passions have changed as a grown up, remembering what it was that affected you emotionally as a child can help you reconnect with how to be inspired all over again.

Step 3

Channel your inspiration. What does it make you feel like doing? Do you want to share your passion? Maybe you could geek out as a Sci-Fi columnist. Do you feel particularly inspired to create? Maybe you should be a photographer or a painter. Start following your inclinations. When you feel inspired, try to figure out what it is that you want to do with that without censoring yourself.

Step 4

Find other geeks. Get inspired by the way other people have followed their passions. Ask them how they got where they are today and use that information to make your own way. I know a professional pirate. No kidding, that's what she does. She dresses up as a pirate and makes appearances, and she's paying the bills with this. There is a way to make a living geeking out. There is a way to take your geekdom into the real world. Don't be a scary shut-in geek who doesn't use his/her geekiness for the benefit of others. Share it! It's a gift.

Step 5

Don't ever stop. One geeky thing can always lead to another. My love of sharing cool stuff as a kid lead to my desire to be a film critic and a writer as an adult. And I am constantly finding cool new things to geek out over, which usually leads to some strange new adventure or unexpected gig as a magazine writer and interviewer of very cool people. Which is something I never would've planned for myself, but it happened through a natural progression of following the geek trail. So keep looking for inspiration and keep acting on whatever it is that catches your fancy!

Oh, and just FYI, consider this a bonus tip...

Don't get confused. Geeking out and being unhealthily obsessed are two different things. A healthy geek lives and operates in the real world, so no month long LARPing excursions, okay? I mean, you've seen, "Mazes and Monsters" right?


10 Sassy Dames of the Silver Screen and the Movie Musical

1. Lana Turner in Ziegfeld Girl

This was one of Turner's finest and most complex performances. In it, she doles out the sass to family, friends, bosses, and her boyfriend, played by Jimmy Stewart. Her complex character eventually ends up in some proverbial hot water.

This film is tough to find clips of, so I'll treat you to the trailer which shows plenty of evidence of Turner's fine performance. My favorite line? "You're not the guy to defrost me."

2. Ginger Rogers in Shall We Dance

Rogers usually played hard-to-get against Astaire's over-eager. But I think her funniest and sassiest performance was in, "Shall We Dance" where Rogers plays an exhausted starlet hardened by the world of showbiz.

This film contains themes of masking, female ambition, and living in a man's world. All of which Rogers handles expertly. As Astaire frequently noted, watch her do everything he does here "backwards and in heels", and this time...on roller skates.

3. Angela Lansbury in The Harvey Girls

Ever wanted to see Angela Lansbury fist-fight with Judy Garland? That happens in this movie. Once upon a time, before Lansbury was solving mysteries, serving tea, and ruling Broadway, she was a character actress who specialized in the stereotypical "bad girl". And she was a total dish.

4. Jane Russell in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Russell was consistently ahead of her time. Especially in this movie, where she not only managed to raise eyebrows in a now funny but once scandalous routine, but she also was able to parody her co-star, Marilyn Monroe in a bold impression that could've easily been considered an insult. Russell was fearless and as a result, unforgettable.

5. Betty Grable in Pin Up Girl

In this film, Grable plays a con-artist so good she fools her way into a musical theater career. Grable was typically in films centered around some kind of con. "The Merry Widow" is below and it's a good example of how most of her songs stood in sharp contrast to her sunny characters. This juxtaposition meant she could sing about rather dark material.

6. Katharine Hepburn in Bringing Up Baby

This is possibly Hepburn's sassiest role ever, just watch the trailer if you don't believe me.

7. Cyd Charisse in Singin' In The Rain

I doubt there's anyone on the planet that doesn't know about this famous dance. But here, Charisse has the chance to play the man-eater, a gangster's girlfriend in Gene Kelly's extended daydream. This is a legendary performance in the world of dance and it only takes seconds to understand why.

8. Rita Hayworth in Cover Girl

In this film, Hayworth plays a woman punished for her career ambitions, a repeating theme for her onscreen. You could read a lot into this seemingly innocent number which comes at a pivotal time in the film, in which Hayworth stands in for a mannequin to dance with Gene Kelly.

Her character is consistently forced to choose between what others want her to be for them and what she wants to be for herself. If you enjoy this, watch "Put the Blame on Mame" from Gilda next.

9. Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot

Monroe was often relegated to the role of vapid nymphette, but in this case, she portrayed a complicated woman who refused to play by society's rules. Her character can be timid about it, but she refuses to live as a woman "should've" at that time. Often Monroe was cast as a character with two faces, one seemingly passive to men, but one also aware of the persuasive power of her femininity. It was a constant through all her films.

10. Eleanor Powell in The Broadway Melody of 1940

You haven't seen a high kick until you've seen an Eleanor Powell high kick. (Why do I feel like I should be holding a cigar and talking like James Cagney when I say that?) At the 2:45 minute mark of the video below, Powell starts dancing...and I'd be more than willing to bet you've never seen anything like it.

Runners up for the list were Ann Miller, Martha Raye, Carmen Miranda, Audrey Hepburn, and...oh who am I kidding? There'll just have to be another list.