Images via Sindura Sriram.
Hey everyone, it’s me, your local movie critic, your rag time gal, here to help you out with a pop culture pickle. Did you watch any of the top blockbuster films this summer? Probably not, considering that this has been reported to be the worst summer box office record in ten years. Why didn’t you watch more movies, Tiffany? Why didn’t you satiate the corporate monster’s big, big appetite?
Anyways, I took a cinema class this summer and I’m in an introductory MCM course this semester, so I am definitely qualified to give you the low-down on all the hot summer flicks. These bite-sized, quirky yet poignant reviews will aid you tremendously when you’re trying to awkwardly flirt/make small talk with people at parties.
I hate online shopping. I don’t understand how people do it. The clothes never look as good as they did online, or they don’t fit, or they arrive two weeks later than they were supposed to, or all of the above. I avoid online shopping at all costs, and would much prefer to waste hours at the mall in order to find several items that I am 100% sure about buying, than to spend 20 minutes accidentally spending crazy amounts of money on 4 pairs of shoes that I most likely won’t be able to squeeze my feet into and will consequently have to return. Also! I hate returning things. Why has no one invented a high-tech solution where you can just snap your fingers and get your money back and be freed from the object you don’t want taking up space in your room. Like are you seriously telling me I actually need to repackage and re-mail this thing I don’t even want all by myself, in order to get my own money back??! The inhumanity. Continue Reading…
I’ve been rocking some pretty sweet looks around campus lately. So sweet, in fact, a number of strangers have come up to me asking for my autograph. “Oh my goodness, you must be that celebrity everyone is talking about! You look so famous!” they yell, pushing autograph books in my face and taking pictures with me. Much to my own dismay, I am not a celebrity. But, I can share these quick fashion tips that will help you look famous and get noticed around campus.
At the risk of permanently destroying my carefully manicured image, I would like to make a confession: I am guilty of making pop culture references that I am not at all qualified to make. Maybe this means that I’m a terrible person. Maybe it just means that I’m stealthy and sneaky, like the cool spy kid I always wanted to be (which is funny because I’ve never seen Spy Kids). It’s not that I’m above admitting that I’m woefully uneducated in the popular (and even unpopular) media department. I can own that. In the past fifteen months, I have seen exactly two movies in theaters, and not many more outside of theaters. I know there have been good movies. I know that I would probably love some of them. So yeah, keep telling me that I have to go see X,Y, and Z. I’ll smile and nod, but don’t hold your breath—it’s not happening.
And as for TV shows? I’m currently watching Friends for the first time if that tells you anything. (So much. It should tell you so much.) My knowledge of early-2000s PBS shows is decent (Between the Lions still has my heart), and I’m well versed in the joys of the Food Network, but staying up to date with anything recent is just too much for me.
Celebrities? My knowledge of them is a complete joke too. I was talking to someone about how great Chris Pratt and Anna Faris are, and then I realized I don’t think I’ve actually seen either of them act in anything. I’ve just seen a few too many “Celebrity Couples Who Make Us Believe In Love Again” listicles, and so I feel like I know them personally. What a fraud I am.
Somehow, my brain has still amassed a collection of random characters, movies, and anecdotes to sprinkle into conversation and writing. I’ve definitely pulled this stunt in Rib posts—that Frozen reference? Yeah, I’ve never seen Frozen. Sue me. But I also don’t live under a rock, so I know that there’s a snowman named Olaf and a reindeer named Sven and an obnoxiously catchy song called “Let It Go,” and that’s been enough to get me through so far.
So where does all of this knowledge come from? If I wanted to remain mysterious, I’d offer you the vague explanation that my family often uses: “I read a lot.” But since I’m already baring my soul to you with this confession, there’s really no point hiding the rest of it. A lot of it comes from Buzzfeed quizzes and listicles—Which Celebrity Couple Are Your and Your BFFL, Which Disney Princess’s Shoes Are You, 18 Gifs from 90s Sitcoms That All Younger Siblings Will Relate To, etc., etc. It’s amazing how much mindless, scrollable media a spongy brain with a still-developing prefrontal cortex can absorb. I’ve also stored a lot of references from episodes of Gilmore Girls (they pack a lot into forty-two minutes), tabloid headlines in the grocery store checkout line, and shameless borrowing of the pop culture “with-it-ness” of my much hipper friends. I catalog their infinite wisdom and save it for a rainy day.
Do you want to be just like me? Honestly, it’s pretty easy. I recommend a healthy twenty minutes of pop culture exercise every day—watch some #educational and #wholesome Snap stories, scroll through Buzzfeed, ask your friends about the latest episode of [Insert Relevant Show Name Here], watch celebrities play silly games with Jimmy Fallon. And then start dropping those references like you’ve got nothing to lose. Once you start, it’s hard to stop. Sort of like how when the balloon house in Up starts going up, it just won’t stop. (Is that what happens? I’ve never seen Up, but I know there are balloons on a house and I’m assuming they are supposed to make it float…) And remember, don’t shoot for the stars if you’re not ready, because then you might end up stranded in space like Matt Damon. Nailed it.
Self-graded. Keep track of your answers!
What’s your biggest Mariah Carey jam?
A. “Touch My Body”
B. “We Belong Together”
C. “All I Want for Christmas Is You”
E. I can’t pick. I’m a MC super fan!
What’s your philosophy about love?
A. Everyone’s replaceable. Either you worship the ground I walk on, or you take a hike.
B. There’s a special someone out there for everyone.
C. I just want to find someone to cozy up next to. Hot chocolate, fireplace, bearskin rug – the works.
D. Hit and quit, baby. What’s commitment?
E. I can’t wait to marry my best friend.
What’s your best asset?
A. My ability to let things roll off my back.
B. I’m the boss. I always know how to take charge.
C. I’m a lot of fun to be around!
D. I never let people push me around – I’m assertive, but not aggressive.
E. I sparkle! Look at me go!
You’re on Netflix. What’s in your “Continue Watching” queue?
B. The Notebook
C. Love Actually
D. The Grudge
Worst memory of your adolescence?
A. I really flubbed at the school talent show. I may or may not have fallen off the stage.
B. My high school boyfriend broke up with me for my best friend. But it’s cool – I just dated his best friend.
C. I walked into school with my underwear on the outside of my pants. Whoops.
D. Someone spread a nasty rumor about me, and it never went away.
E. I went all out at prom. Someone filmed me dancing and put it online – talk about a lack of coordination. Yikes!
If you got:
MOSTLY A’s: You’re the infamous New Years Eve performance.
You don’t let anybody tell you how to do you, and you certainly don’t mess around with bad sound designers. If you can’t hear your backing track, you can’t hear it! Not your fault. People pay attention to you, and though others might think that’s more of a curse than a blessing, you know that all press is good press. Keep loving yourself and the world will follow suit.
MOSTLY B’s: You’re her breakup with billionaire fiancee James Packer for backup dancer/inevitable fuckboi Bryan Tanaka.
When it comes to love, you’re not going to settle for less (less being, in this case, a million dollar ring and the occasional double yacht vacation – one for you, one for your boo, of course). Honestly though, can you blame yourself? Look at that MAN. Good for you, MC.
MOSTLY C’s: You’re the “All I Want for Christmas Is You” Catastrophe.
OMG, clean your shit up! You’re lucky people love you so much – otherwise, you’d be totally lost. You’re a wholesome, well-intentioned soul that sometimes makes a mess, and who certainly didn’t see any of this “adulthood” stuff coming. How do you pay bills? What’s a G-Call? You’re just trying to spend time with your friends and have a good time, and who can blame you for not having time to do your work?
MOSTLY D’s: You’re that beef with Eminem from back in the day.
Anyone who messes with you better be prepared to face the consequences. You’re willing to go to any length to get revenge on your enemies – you might even write a song about them, then make a music video for that song in which you dress up as them, then pretend to stalk yourself. Watch your back, Nick Cannon.
MOSTLY E’s: You’re the hot mess of a performance from the 1998 World Music Awards.
In the end, your clumsiness is an asset. Your friends think it’s endearing that you feel uncomfortable on the dance floor, or that you’ve tripped up the steps a couple times. You used to feel a lot more insecure, but over time you’ve come to realize that you’re great the way you are. Still, at times you wish things were different and that you could bust a move like everyone else. Two words: dance class!
NONE OF THE ABOVE: You’re Mariah Carey herself! Congratulations, you fabulous tramp.
So the Oscars were this past weekend. Lots of drama, cookies falling from the ceiling, mildly racist jokes by Jimmy Kimmel, robbing of Lin-Manuel’s EGOT, and the revolutionary win of Moonlight. Our so-called “president” has yet to tweet about any of the events of the night, but when he does, I imagine they’ll look a little like this:
If listening to Kacey Musgraves in earnest has taught me anything, it’s to stay connected to my ~roots~. So in an attempt to stay connected to my home state of Kentucky while following my arrow in the bustling metropolis that is Providence, I’ve been reading local Kentucky news. Continue Reading…
This week on Rib Classic Movies, we tell the story of young actress Sarah Clapp, who, at the tender age of twelve, took the film industry (of the Boston suburbs) by storm when she starred in two movies produced by her creative arts camp class “Big Strange Movie.” In that fateful summer of 2009, she captivated an audience of small children, her immediate family members, and those with a keen eye for pure talent. With her short frizzy hair, teeth that had yet to be straightened by orthodontics, and stiff on screen presence, Sarah had that special It Girl quality which makes it even more unfortunate that she withdrew from the spotlight.
Sarah’s first film was Enter the Namuh, the story of five cousins who gather in a spider invested attic to summon otherworldly spirits for shits and giggles before going on interdimensional romps with creatures called Namuh. Sarah plays Sarah, the eldest cousin, a quiet and powerful visionary who looks completely possessed throughout the entire film. In the one interview Sarah gave after the movie’s release, she is quoted as saying that “we had an audition of sorts where we had to react to being pursued by a paranormal force and, well, I was pretty shy so I just kind of stood there and looked into the distance.”
It is this intense gaze that anchors the film, as we open with a slow zoom on Sarah’s steely blue stare. Set to a soundtrack of Gregorian chants, the cousins embark on their strange individual, journeys surrounded by an aura of mystery. On their adventures, they meet a memorable supporting cast of characters, including a steampunk weatherman, a counselor dressed up in an ape costume, and the all knowing, metallic lipstick wearing goddesses Chaniqua and LaFonda, who contribute heavily to the surrealist landscape of the film.
Our Indie Darling/America’s Sweetheart Sarah is noticeably absent in the middle of the film, but she returns just in time to save her cousins from being trapped in these realms forever. Though a character of few words, she holds immense power—both in terms of her supernatural abilities, and her ability to command attention in khaki cargo shorts. At the end, Sarah must sacrifice herself to save her cousins, and the film ends where we started, with her trademark blue eyes. The last scene is of her in a wheelchair staring out a window while the rest of the cast waves from the outside. The most apt description for this ambiguous ending is “trippy.”
This is the type of movie that you’d come across in the corner of a dusty consignment store, watch late at night, and wonder–“woahhhh, did I just hallucinate that?” because it simulates a drug trip. For it’s psychedelic special effects and high fantasy, Enter the Namuh could easily become a cult favorite for people who are into that sort of thing.
Later that summer, Sarah showed her versatility by taking on the role of the smart and sarcastic vampire hunter Daphne in the film Escape from Vampire Island. In the thick of the vampire craze of the mid-2000s, this film approached vampire lore from a variety of interconnected angles: vampire children displaced from their home, vampire campers trying to keep their identities a secret, a documentary film crew on the beat, and the vampire hunters on a mission, known as Black Coats for their polyester uniforms (think, “Matrix Junior”).
Sarah steals every scene she’s in–wearing cat eye sunglasses while steering a canoe, inspecting a syringe full of garlic juice, and eventually embracing life as a vampire when she gets bitten at the end of the film. There are many unforgettable scenes throughout the movie, such as an elaborate chase sequence set to a rendition of ‘Paint It Black’ performed by the camp’s resident rock band and a poignant scene where a vampire child disintegrates into a pile of pebbles, but the most memorable scene for Sarah Clapp fans is when the Black Coats recruit a cyborg to help with their mission. When a malfunctioning bot knees her annoying male cohort in a sensitive region, Sarah quips “I like these robots,” showing her undeniable comedic chops.
While only a few copies of this film survive, the film trailer is online. One might stumble across it after watching every Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan video, or listening to a lyric video playlist of the Twilight soundtrack in a moment of intense existential confusion. But once the artistic and cultural significance of this film is widely recognized, Escape from Vampire Island is sure to be shown at art houses on nights celebrating the occult, the bloodthirsty, and the Sarah Clapp.
We may never know what happened to Sarah Clapp after that summer of cinematic excellence. Some say she is a student at Brown University, but obviously those people are just thinking of the less impressive Emma Watson. But for her nuance, her pathos, and her complete inability to act naturally on camera, she is a performer hard to forget.
Images via Sarah Clapp.
There are two things that women in Hollywood are always being mercilessly judged for. The first is their dating life. Taylor Swift (who is generally a problematic person, I know, I get it, but not for this particular thing) gets this a lot whenever she’s seen with a new guy. Kristen Stewart was aggressively slut-shamed when it came out that she had cheated on Rob Pattinson, even though people don’t bat an eyelash when guys do the exact same thing. It’s gross and we’re not gonna do that here.
The other thing people judge women for is their appearance/taste in clothes. That’s also gross, but we’re gonna do that here. Welcome to “Who Wore It Best: Joe Jonas Edition,” where we evaluate which of Joe Jonas’s previous girlfriends wore him best. Let’s begin.
Speaking of Taylor, she did pretty well with this one. Back in ‘08, Taylor accessorized her Joe with a beautiful gold outfit that made her look like a gladiator goddess. And that smug smile, like she knows she’s on the brink of becoming hot shit? Good, good, and good. Bonus points for getting him to do those T. rex arms. Score: 7/10
Next up, we have Ashley Greene wearing this disaster. That coat? Too big on her. That other coat? Too big on him. Her headband is tacky, and his hair looks not great, and those smiles scream, “We don’t like this.” Not to mention he outed to the world that she took his virginity? Poor girl. Truly a tragic fit. 0/10.
Here, believe it or not, is a picture of Demi Lovato wearing the Joe Jonas. I know. It is really them. So right away, we’re off to a horrendous start with all that Photoshop. This picture is from Teen Vogue, where Joe and Demi did a joint interview and somehow managed to break up before it even came out, so they had to tack on a weird alternate ending with each of them commenting on the breakup. Yikes. And then Demi got depressed and had to go to rehab and put out a sad memoir and an album of poorly written empowerment songs? There’s nothing of any merit here. -10/10
Then there’s 4th of July Gigi showing off her 4th of July Joe. She boldly paired this special holiday edition Joe with a blue and white bikini, striped towels, and, what’s that? His ex-girlfriend’s house? Duuuude. Wow. Fearless. Especially since this ex-girlfriend is notoriously catty about her guys’ new girls. Well done, Gigi. I can even look past that awful “G. I. Joe” couple name. 10/10.
Not a girl, but look at those shirts. Those pants. Those facial expressions. That hair. Everything about this. Clearly these guys wore it best. Damn, boys. Lookin’ good. 10000/10.