Southern Girl Movie Review- The Undershepherd

If you know me personally, you know I’ve been talking about this movie for weeks.  I was thoroughly impressed with Russ Parr’s last film, “35 and Ticking”, so I was anxious to see this one.  The cast is amazing as well and features some heavy hitters, such as Isaiah Washington, Lamman Rucker, Louis Gossett, Jr., Vanessa Bell Calloway, and Malinda Williams, just to name a few.  Not only that, but as someone who grew up in the church and has my own thoughts regarding mega-churches, I wanted to see how this film played out.

I will admit the movie had some outrageous stuff, but at the end of the day, Russ did it again.  This movie won me over; it was excellent.  It was well-written, and the cast was amazing.  Isaiah Washington plays rogue pastor L.C.  Case.  Based on the previews, I thought his character turned corrupt.  Turns out he started that way.  I won’t give the plot away, but I will say this film had some unexpected twists. 

The main thing that I think audiences will take away is that corruption, greed, and power can turn good people bad, no matter where they are-the boardroom, the State House, or the pulpit.  L.C. allowed his need for power affect ALL of his actions.  He had a wife who loved him and a congregation that hung on to his every word, yet he abused them both.  At the end of the day, instead of L.C. believing he was a servant of God, he thought he WAS God.  Unfortunately, this can happen to people in the pulpit.  And sadly, parishioners get caught up in the hype, too.  They begin to worship their pastor and put him on a pedastal.  When that happens, that never ends well. 

Last weekend at the American Black Film Festival in Miami, “The Undershepherd” picked up numerous awards.  And Russ is in talks with various distributors to bring the movie to the masses.    Hopefully, you’ll be able to see it in a theater near you very soon.  If the film does come to a city near you, I highly suggest you go see it.  During the showing of the film last night at the DC Black Theater Festival, Russ made an appearance and answered a few questions.  He also agreed to be interviewed for the blog, so don’t be surprised if you see an interview with him in the near future. 😉  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

Find Your Happy

I was talking with one of my favorite cousins yesterday.  He’s about a decade older than me, but for some reason, we talk on a somewhat regular basis and can talk about anything.  He’s one of my family’s comedians, and without fail I will bust out laughing no less than 3 times when we’re together (in person or on the phone).   During our conversation, I shared that I was happy…like REALLY happy with my life.  Of course, he says, “What’s his name?”  After trying to shoo him off for about 2 minutes, I finally shared that I had met someone.  But I reassured him that this new dude had NOTHING to do with my current state of happiness (though he does help).   And I don’t want you guys to get excited, either.  It’s too soon to see to how this will play out.

I think I’m happy because I feel like I have my life back; actually, I know that’s why.  I’m doing what I WANT to do.  No more working and rushing to a part-time job.  Finally being able to create my own schedule.  Doing what I want and enjoy doing it.  Making travel plans without making sure I request off from a PT job.  And making plans for my future and being excited about them.  After my sojourn to NYC this weekend to see “A Streetcar Named Desire”, I plan on using this summer to begin studying for the GMAT.  Yep, this Southern Girl is going back to school.  And I only plan on applying to one.  I’ve visited the school, participated in a diversity weekend, and met people in the admissions office.  If I know where I can go (and what I can afford) there’s no need to apply to 10,000 different programs.  If I don’t get in, oh well-I keep trying until I do…or maybe look elsewhere.  But I’m thinking positively, so none of that will be a concern! 🙂

I’ve thought about working with a life coach.  More specifically, with someone that I admire from a blogging/writing standpoint.  And I have to admit, I never thought about working with or needing a life coach before.  But when this person tweeted that she had become certified and was looking for clients, I hopped on the e-mail and sent her a message.  She responded back and stated that she wanted to work with me.  Honestly, the main reason that I would work with her would be to figure out to best manuever myself in the freelancing world; I honestly feel like the other aspects of my life are going where I want them to go…for now.  Plus, having a life coach ain’t cheap.  I need to figure out if this will be beneficial in the long run.

The gist of this post is basically to share it is the responsibility of each of us to “find our happy”.  I’m a big proponent of changing the things in your life you don’t like; don’t sit around and wait for it to happen.  God helps those who help themselves.  And I honestly believe (and am a witness) that God brought me to the current state of my life.  I know that I could not have done anything without Him; but I also had to take some steps in the right direction.  Am I saying my life is perfect?  Absolutely not.  But it’s better now than it was 6 months ago.  I implore you all to find YOUR happy-not your parents’, your mate’s, your kids’, but YOURS.  You’ll thank yourself for it.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

“Dallas” on TNT

In a world where (quality) scripted TV has gone to Television Heaven and reality TV has reared its ugly head, I am happy to say that there may be hope yet!  Last night was the series premiere of “Dallas” on TNT.  Yes, the show that your mother, grandmother, and aunts used to watch in the late 70’s to early 90’s is back with J.R., Bobby, and Suellen.  And little John Ross and Christopher are all grown up. 

This show was AMAZING last night!!!  I was on the edge of my seat!  “Dallas” is very reminiscent of the original, but it has deceit and cunningness (is that a word???) on a whole new level.  And everyone has an agenda, even the people you least expect.  I love it! 

Now, some may say, “Elle, what’s the difference between this show with lies, sex, and greed and the women on these reality shows?”  Well, I’ll tell you.  First, this tv show is make-believe.  Do families like this exist?  Absolutely.  But this show is fictional, and the people are portraying these characters.   Which leads me to my second point-the people on these shows are actors, which means they have talent.  They’re earning a paycheck for work, not (just) because they want their 15 minutes of fame. 

And “KUDOS!” to TNT for bringing back this show.  TNT is quickly becoming one of my favorite channels.  Not only do they show re-runs of “Charmed”, my favorite show in high school, but they also brought back “Southland” after NBC stupidly dropped it to bring on “Law & Order: LA”, which was quickly cancelled after its premiere.  “Southland” is the bomb-dot-com, so if you missed this past season, you need to take this weekend to watch it On Demand or on Netflix.  It’s another amazingly great show.

So, I implore all of you to start watching this show.  It’s great, it’s awesome, and Jesse Metcalfe and Josh Henderson are HAUTE!!! 🙂  The Ewings are back with a vengeance.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

PS The best shows come on during the summer!  I can’t wait for “Big Brother”!  (Yes, I know it’s reality, but it’s totally different than the RHO…., BBW, and BGC. And I know some of you will challenge me, so let’s have at it. :))

Benevole Hosts Walk-A-Mile 2 in Atlanta

So, I’m a HORRIBLE person for not sharing this with you guys earlier!  Benevole, an organization near and dear to my heart for multiple reasons, is hosting its 2nd fundraiser in Atlanta this weekend.  Your favorite Southerner girl will be back in the “real” South this weekend! 🙂  And Southern Mom is coming down!  For those of you in the “A”, I truly hope you all will purchase a ticket and support Families First, one of Atlanta’s oldest non-profits.  All proceeds (yes, 100% of ticket sales) go straight to Families First!  How many non-profits do you know of can say that?!?!  Anywho, read the press release, and go to the website and buy your ticket!  I look forward to seeing ALL of you on Saturday!

Contact: LaToya Grant                                                       FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

E-mail: latoya.grant@benevoleinc.org

BENEVOLE RETURNS TO ATLANTA FOR A NIGHT TO REMEMBER

Atlanta, GA (May 1, 2012)

Join Washington, DC based  Benevole, Inc. as it host its 2nd Walk-a-Mile in  Someone’s Shoes (Walk-A-Mile 2) Fundraiser and Cocktail Social on Saturday, June 16, 2012 at the AtlantaPerimeter Hotel & Suites from 7-11 pm with a preceding VIP reception for sponsors. The donation per person is $25, and the evening includes heavy hors d’oeuvre and an open bar. In keeping true with the organization’s mission of supporting existing non-profits, proceeds from this event will go to Families First, a non-profit in the Metro Atlanta area that has been in existence for over 120 years. Families First, originally an orphanage for homeless girls, has continued to evolve with each decade to respond to the changing needs of family. Today, Families First provides solutions to over 40,000 Georgia residents; these children and families face some of life’s greatest challenges. Benevole CEO and co-founder, George L. Slaughter, stated that he hopes “to raise both awareness and funds for this great non-profit” and “desires to become the bridge between the benefactor and the beneficiary”. Slaughter and co-founder Jason Smith* created Benevole to advance human rights by meeting immediate needs and building lasting partnerships with community organizations operating on the front-lines. Benevole has three pillars on which it focuses – education, health, and hunger. Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.benevoleinc.org and must be secured no later than June 9, 2012. High heel shoes are mandatory for men and women. No photography will be allowed. Those seeking to make donations may to do so by visiting the website above and clicking on the donation link.

For free food and an open bar, you can’t beat $25… #IJS  And you’ll feel good on the inside.  Not just because you have a full belly and you’re relaxed-but because you were selfless, looked outside of yourself, and gave back to those who have a little less than you.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

*Name has been changed.

She’s Cuter Than Him…

At the age that I am, a large number of my friends and fellow peers are getting married.  (As a matter of fact, one of my best friends and sorors just got engaged this weekend.)  They’ve finally met “The One” and believe they want to spend the rest of their lives with him or her.  I totally applaud them.  But, I have to admit, there are times when I see people and think, “How did HE get HER?!?!?”  Don’t act like you guys have never thought that in your life.

Last week, my BGF (Best Guy Friend) TyAnthony and I were having a conversation about couples we knew.  I’m not sure how we got on the topic, but we noted…well, maybe I stated…”You will see more situations where the woman is more attractive than her mate than you will men who don’t have attractive women on their arm.”  Ty said that was not always the case.  So, we named a few of our male classmates who married women that were not considered “attractive” (by general standards) or less attractive than their mate.  While the number of men with unattractive mates was small, we both acknowledged on a larger scale, women are more likely to date unattractive men. 

Ok, are we being a little shallow?  Possibly, but let’s be real, people.  We pretty much summed up the attractive factor could be contributed to one main thing-women are more likely to look at the total package of the man while men are visual creatures and are going to be attracted to the physical.  I personally believe that more women will stay with a traditionally unattractive man because he’s the total package-he treats her well, they have the same goals, and he knows what he wants.  And I’ve heard a number of my male friends say that looks will get you (a woman) in the door, but when it comes to a life mate, they want an attractive woman who’s intelligent, has goals, and can hold it down for her man. But I don’t know if I believe that.  Most men will sacrifice smarts and domestic abilities to have a pretty woman on their arm.  On the other  hand, I don’t think women make that same decision.

If I can be completely honest and transparent with you guys, when I first met The Boy, I didn’t think he was all that cute.  But after getting to know him, that didn’t matter to me.  He had me cracking up on our first date.  And from there I was hooked.  With the current guy, he’s cute, but there are some things that do not make him my Dream Man physically.  But once again, the total package-how he treats me, his personality, etc.-are fantastic, so the physical doesn’t really matter.  I wonder if men think the same thing when they meet a woman. 

So what say you, SGITC audience?  Are TyAnthony and I completely off our rockers?  Or do we have valid points?  The floor is yours.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

Southern Girl Movie Review – Dark Shadows

A few weeks back, my mom received some movie passes to a theater in My Hometown, SC and decided she wanted to take me with her.  Since I was coming home for Memorial Day weekend, she wanted to use them then.  She also wanted to see “Think Like a Man”.  I told her this particular theater probably would not be playing that movie by the time I came home, but she was adamant about waiting.  Well, I was right.  So she and I decided to see “Dark Shadows”.  I love Tim Burton and Johnny Depp together, and my mom loved the original show when she was growing up.  Not to mention, we used to watch the mini-series together when I was little.  So we decided to make a date of it on Memorial Day.  And my aunt came along.  Sad to say, this movie left a lot to be desired…like A LOT…

The film was so bad Southern Mom AND Southern Aunt walked out on it.  Southern Aunt walked out first; my mom left about 10 minutes after she did.  My aunt was expecting it to be scary like the original series.  My mom was expecting it to be a little less…sexual (really it was just one scene that made her leave).  I was just expecting a well-written film. 

I never thought I would say this about a Tim Burton film, but this movie was boring.  Like I started to drift off to sleep boring.  There’s not just one thing that I can tell you about this film that made it so bad.  It was the whole thing.  The end was ridiculous.  Some things in the plot could have been better executed. 

I apologized to Southern Mom when she came back to get me (I mean, I did want to see how the stupid thing ended) for picking this movie and wasting her passes.  She was very gracious and said it wasn’t my fault and that it was ok.  So, if you’re thinking about seeing it…don’t.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.