Friday, October 31, 2008

Changeling: Clint the switch hitter

Rating: ***

Posted By on Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 5:56 PM

Clint Eastwood
STARS Angelina Jolie, John Malkovich


Like Mystic River and Flags of Our Fathers, Changeling is good, not great, Clint Eastwood, although as far as emotional resonance is concerned, the latest from the consummate director certainly reverberates more strongly than either of those other features.

Based on a true story and brought to the screen via an ambitious screenplay by J. Michael Straczynski, Changeling stars Angelina Jolie as Christine Collins, a single mom whose only son (Gattlin Griffith) goes missing one fateful afternoon in 1928. The Los Angeles Police Department, mired at the time in corruption, spots an opportunity to do something right and eventually reunites the mother with her boy. The only problem is that they bring back the wrong child, but rather than risk further embarrassment for the department, a zealous captain (Jeffrey Donovan) decides to drown out Christine's protests by any means necessary, including labeling her as an unfit mother in the press and going so far as to have her locked up in a mental institution.

Eastwood's stately picture slowly extends its reach, as various other plot elements circle the central story of a parent's unbreakable bond with her offspring; while some suffer in the mix (John Malkovich, as a crusading reverend fighting for Christine's rights, could have benefited from more scenes), the overall result is a movie that will disappoint only those who require tidy endings wrapped up in pretty bows. Along the same lines, those who find fault with the brutish depiction of Christine's tormenters fail to grasp the patriarchy of the period (the story takes place a mere eight years after American women were given the right to vote); Jolie, on the other hand, understands this angle and aptly plays Christine as a woman whose frustrations with the system often match her fear for the safety of her child.

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Zack and Miri: Making whoopee

Posted By on Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 5:55 PM


By Matt Brunson




STARS Seth Rogen, Elizabeth Banks

The latest from writer-director Kevin Smith is always likable even if it isn't always inspired. As he proved with Chasing Amy (still the Citizen Kane of his output), Smith can deftly pull off the proper mix of sweet and funny and raunchy; in this case, though, only the "funny" clears all hurdles, as the "sweet" is of the standard variety while the "raunchy" often overwhelms the picture.

Continue reading »

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Pumpkin wall in Elizabeth featured on

Posted By on Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 4:52 PM

This is the fifth year that the residents in Elizabeth neighborhood have created their pumpkin wall at 537 Lamar Ave. This year, the wall features a lighted Obama sign. The Wall Street Journal's Photo Journal picked this photo of the carved pumpkins as as one of the "pictures of the day."

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Happy Milk-Bone Halloween

Posted By on Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 4:33 PM

Time for a warm and fuzzy Happy Halloween moment.


Charlotte resident Vicki and her dog Maggie has been named a finalist in the Milk-Bone Moment contest. Click here to find their photo and vote for Maggie to become the first Milk-Bone Spokesdog (and so her owner can win a good chunk of change).

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Photo of the week

Posted By on Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 4:16 PM


Since the trend this election season seems to be choosing completely inexperienced women who no one has ever heard of for running mates, I would like to take this opportunity to offer my services to Barack Obama in lue of Biden. I may not be able to see Russia from my house, but I have been out of the country and do not need a $150,000 wardrobe, since I know how to dress myself properly and without using wolf fur as an accessory. The main reason I wish to offer my services to Mr. Obama is this: I'll get you your own pretzel. Sure, Biden may share, but me? I'll totally buy you a pretzel, Mr. President. Anytime.

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Obama's Craigslist lustfest

Posted By on Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 3:55 PM

Check out the ticket section of Craigslist, where folks who have tix to his election night party are trying to score more than victory:

Looking for a super hot chick to be my date to the Obama event. I have no problem pulling hot girls in general so since I have Obama tickets you have to be not just hot but like super model hot, or if you look like Eva Longoria. Wanna be my date to Obama?

I have an extra ticket to the Obama rally and am looking for someone who'd like to go with me for free. I will be awarding this ticket strictly on looks and welcome all women to reply to this ad.

I am a normal guy who is just looking to have a good time with a beautiful woman. Please reply to the ad with a current picture of yourself with your beauty on display. Nudes are ok.

Alas, some folks think this is a wee bit crass:

Continue reading »

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Tour the NC vineyards

Posted By on Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 2:38 PM


Take advantage of the crisp fall weather and go on a day-long trip to nearby vineyards with Falling Leaves Luxury Wine Tour tomorrow. The $159 all-inclusive tour offers wine tastings at 4 wineries (Rag Apple Lassie, Black Wolf, Shelton and Hanover Park), winery tour, vineyard walk and lunch, and touts that it will luxurious.

The tour departs from Piedmont Town Center in SouthPark at 10 am and will return at 9:30 pm. Reservations are needed.

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No more election!

Posted By on Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 2:09 PM

I cannot wait for this presidential election to be over. I am officially tired of this race. No more attack ads. No more debates. No more duplicity. No more hypocrisy. No more "spin" on the word change. No more lunacy. No more extremism. No more of one of the candidates, both of whom are overexposed. No more stomping. No more promises. No more foolishness. No more long lines. For now.

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Mecklenburg County Board of Clowns?

Posted By on Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 1:36 PM

The County had better hope Vilma Leake doesn't win the District 1 seat on Nov. 1.

Leake, currently a member of the School Board, would be another player in the already crowded circus of the BOC.

Bill James and George Dunlap are going at it already. In the Charlotte Observer, James called Dunlap a thug and Dunlap, according to WBTV, said James should put his sheet back on. That's what was reported last night.

James released a statement that says:

The vote [Thursday] to appoint George Dunlap is legally questionable as no verifiable information was supplied to the County Commission to determine if George was qualified. I refused to attend for that reason. Had I been there I would have voted ‘no' because the Board has performed no review to determine George's qualifications and the Mecklenburg County Democrat Party's track record is less than encouraging (think Mackey).

Even so, George's appointment (and Vilma's likely election) will provide a target rich environment for the GOP over the next two years by highlighting the past thuggish behavior of certain Democrat members.

George's long record of thuggish behavior towards white women is frankly scary. It will be interesting to see if he will be able to control himself or (as he said in the Observer today) ‘instinctively' assault or harass the members of the Board of Commissioners the way he did so with white Female School Board members or employees over the years. Specifically, when asked about his assault record of violent sexism by the Observer he said that it "happened instinctively."

Let's hope that he doesn't ‘instinctively' pummel Jennifer Roberts or Karen Bentley over the next two years.

It is frankly sad that the best the Democrats can come up with is someone who admits ‘instinctively' attacking white women while refusing to offer even the most weak of apologies for his actions.

I ‘instinctively' oppose violence as a way to solve societies problems and George should apologize to those he has hurt.

Welcome to the County Commission George.


Commissioner Bill James

Let the sideshow begin. Things can only get worse if Leake joins the board. She's known to be outspoken and for battling her Republican counter parts. Sorry to say this, but Bill James makes Larry Gauvreau look liberal. The BOC is going to be a joke and who's going to suffer? The citizens of Mecklenburg County.

But for James to play the race card with Dunlap before the first meeting -- is this a new record? Will we ever have government that works in this county?

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There's no candy here

Posted By on Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 1:16 PM

So, it's Halloween, but everybody isn't in the giving mood. For goodness sakes, we're in a recession and have you seen the price of chocolate lately?

Here's a message to the kids: Don't knock on the door with the light off. Inside that house may be a person who lost their job today and they don't want to give you a damned thing.

If the light is off, you could be disturbing a groove. What if this is the only chance that a two-wife-having police officer has time to see his mistress? He's the one getting all the candy and probably not going to share. And then there is someone like me, who really doesn't want to be bothered. I feel as if I have the right to toss eggs at any beggars, ur, trick or treaters who knock on my door.

Think about it -- Charlotte residents complain about homeless people asking for money for food, but these same people dress their kids up in ridiculous outfits and encourage them to beg for candy. Something in the water doesn't compute.

Moral of the story is, if the light is off, just don't knock.

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