Tag Archives: megan

Academy Award® Nominated: Up In the Air

Ensemble post by: Audiegrl, Geot, Bluedog89, BuellBoy and Ogenec

Up in the Air
From Jason Reitman, the Oscar®-nominated director of Juno, comes Up in the Air, the timely odyssey of Ryan Bingham (Oscar® winner George Clooney), a corporate downsizer and consummate modern business traveler who, after years of staying happily airborne, suddenly finds himself ready to make a real connection.

Ryan has long been contented with his unencumbered lifestyle lived out across America in airports, hotels and rental cars. He can carry all he needs in one wheel‐away case; he’s a pampered, elite member of every travel loyalty program in existence; and he’s close to attaining his lifetime goal of 10 million frequent flier miles – and yet … Ryan has nothing real to hold onto.

When he falls for a simpatico fellow traveler (Vera Farmiga), Ryan’s boss (Jason Bateman), inspired by a young, upstart efficiency expert (Anna Kendrick), threatens to permanently call him in from the road. Faced with the prospect, at once terrifying and exhilarating, of being grounded, Ryan begins to contemplate what it might actually mean to have a home.

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Credits

Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jason Reitman
Screenplay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sheldon Turner
Writer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Walter Kern
Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ivan Reitman, Daniel Dubiecki, and Jeffrey Clifford
Executive Producers .Tom Pollock, Joe Medjuck, Ted Griffin and Michael Beugg
Production Designer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Steve Saklad
Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dana E. Glauberman, A.C.E.
Costume Designer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Danny Glicker
Music . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rolfe Kent
Music Supervisors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Randall Poster and Rick Clark

The cast includes: George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick, Danny McBride, Jason Bateman, Melanie Lynskey, Amy Morton, Sam Elliott, J.K. Simmons, Zach Galifianakis, and Chris Lowell

44D’s Reviews

Ogenec
Up In the Air is cool, old school film-making at its very best. Yes, I love watching mindless action movies as much as the rest of the gang. But I also appreciate movies with layers and layers of dialogue. Unfortunately, unless you subscribe to TCM, such movies are hard to come by. Especially in major studio releases. So I don’t know how Jason Reitman got this movie made, but bless his soul, he did. (A little movie called Juno probably had something to do with it.)

It’s hard to come up with a short list of the things I loved about this movie, but I’ll try. I’ve already mentioned the dialogue. But calling it dialogue is a huge disservice; more accurately, it’s repartee. And executed by two of the finest actors in Hollywood — George Clooney and Vera Farmiga. George is a man of many talents, but he is never more impressive than when he is channeling his inner Spencer Tracy. (See Out of Sight for another stellar example.) But I think he met his match in Vera Farmiga, who, as far as I am concerned, is the Meryl Streep of her generation. Except sexier. 🙂 Man, you have got to check out the scene in the airport lounge. The banter, the sexual tension, the double entendres… I was ready to light a cigarette right there in the theater. We need to see more of these two together, stat!

I’m running out of space, so I’ll briefly mention other highlights of the movie for me. It deals in a very deft way with the conundrum that, even as the world gets more interconnected, many of us feel so alienated and alone. It is very timely in its depiction of the horrible state of the economy, and how no industry — even one dependent on an economic downturn — is immune. And finally, it deals with the importance of love, and of family as an anchor in turbulent times. In so doing, the movie perfectly illustrates this saying by my favorite poet, Robert Frost: “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” Wonderful movie, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.”

Did You Know?

With the exception of the famous actors, every person we see fired in the film is not an actor but a real life recently laid off person. The filmmakers put out ads in St. Louis and Detroit posing as a documentary crew looking to document the effect of the recession. When people showed up, they were instructed to treat the camera like the person who fired them and respond as they did or use the opportunity to say what they wished they had.

While at Lambert Field in St Louis, Ryan tries to make an impassioned speech to Natalie about Charles Lindbergh’s plane The Spirit of St Louis. Officially, Lindbergh’s plane was a Ryan NYP (New York to Paris) so the two share the same name.

When the character Bob, played by J.K. Simmons, shows Ryan a photo of his two children, it is a photo of Simmons’ real children.

Six Nominations

Best Motion Picture
Best Director
Best Actor (George Clooney)
Best Supporting Actress (Vera Farmiga)
Best Supporting Actress (Anna Kendrick)
Best in Adapted Screenplay

Back to 44-D’s Virtual Red Carpet to the Oscars®Back to 44-D’s Virtual Red Carpet to the Oscars®

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Filed under 82nd Academy Awards, Best Actor, Best Adap Screenplay, Best Director, Best Picture, Best Sup Actress, Culture, Entertainment, Hollywood, Pop Culture, Uncategorized, Video/YouTube

In First Lady’s Roots, a Complex Path From Slavery

Posted by Audiegrl

Fraser Robinson III and his wife, Marian, with their children, Craig and Michelle, now the first lady.

Fraser Robinson III and his wife, Marian, with their children, Craig and Michelle, now the first lady.

New York Times/Rachel L. Swarns & Jodi Kantorr—In 1850, the elderly master of a South Carolina estate took pen in hand and painstakingly divided up his possessions. Among the spinning wheels, scythes, tablecloths and cattle that he bequeathed to his far-flung heirs was a 6-year-old slave girl valued soon afterward at $475.

In his will, she is described simply as the “negro girl Melvinia.” After his death, she was torn away from the people and places she knew and shipped to Georgia. While she was still a teenager, a white man would father her first-born son under circumstances lost in the passage of time.

michelle_obama2009-02-10-vogue_cover_2In the annals of American slavery, this painful story would be utterly unremarkable, save for one reason: This union, consummated some two years before the Civil War, represents the origins of a family line that would extend from rural Georgia, to Birmingham, Ala., to Chicago and, finally, to the White House.

Melvinia Shields, the enslaved and illiterate young girl, and the unknown white man who impregnated her are the great-great-great-grandparents of Michelle Obama, the First Lady.

michelle_obama22009-02-10-vogue_Viewed by many as a powerful symbol of black advancement, Mrs. Obama grew up with only a vague sense of her ancestry, aides and relatives said. During the presidential campaign, the family learned about one paternal great-great-grandfather, a former slave from South Carolina, but the rest of Mrs. Obama’s roots were a mystery.

Now the more complete map of Mrs. Obama’s ancestors — including the slave mother, white father and their biracial son, Dolphus T. Shields — for the first time fully connects the first African-American first lady to the history of slavery, tracing their five-generation journey from bondage to a front-row seat to the presidency.

The findings — uncovered by Megan Smolenyak, a genealogist, and The New York Times — substantiate what Mrs. Obama has called longstanding family rumors about a white forebear.

More @

One Paper Trail to the White House

Click here for research

Click here for research

Recent research from Megan Smolenyak, a genealogist, and reporting by The New York Times offers previously undisclosed details of First Lady Michelle Obama’s family tree. The findings provide the first link to a white ancestor in Mrs. Obama’s past, and trace the steps her family members took as they journeyed from slavery to the nation’s most storied house in five generations. Click here to view.

The Family Tree of Michelle Obama, the First Lady

Click here for the interactive family tree

Click here for the interactive family tree


Revelations have emerged recently from the research of Megan Smolenyak, a genealogist, and from reporting by Rachel L. Swarns and Jodi Kantor of The New York Times. Click here to view.

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One Family’s Roots, a Nation’s History

henry-louis-gatesHenry Louis Gates Jr., Annette Gordon-Reed and others discuss what Michelle Obama’s family tree says about America. Click here for the discussion.
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Filed under Culture, Geneology, History, Uncategorized, Women's Issues

44-D True Crime: Former Reality Show Contestant Brian Lee Randone is Charged with Killing His Girlfriend

TrueCrime-490X136
Posted by Audiegrl

You all might remember us covering another reality show murder case last month. Ryan Jenkins a self-professed millionaire and contestant of VH1’s “Megan Wants A Millionaire” was accused of killing his wife, Jasmine Fiore in LA, and then fleeing to Canada where he committed suicide. My post “True Crime: Have Reality TV Shows Gone to Far?” suggested that reality shows needed to employ more thourogh vetting processes, before more people get hurt. Here we go again….

Brian Lee Randone

Brian Lee Randone

AP—A self-proclaimed preacher who was on the TV beauty pageant “The Sexiest Bachelor in America” will be arraigned next week for allegedly torturing and murdering his girlfriend, an ex-adult movie actress.

Brian Lee Randone, 45, was charged last week with one count of murder and one count of torture. He was scheduled for arraignment on Sept. 29 and faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted, said Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

Randone remained jailed Friday on $2 million bail. Robison did not know whether he had an attorney.

Randone was arrested on Sept. 11. Prosecutors said he beat and choked Felicia Lee during a domestic dispute at their apartment in the foothill community of Monrovia, northeast of Los Angeles.

He then dialed 911 to report she was unconscious, investigators said.

“It appeared to be torture prior to the murder,” Sgt. Brian Schoonmaker, a homicide detective working the case, said Friday. Lee apparently suffered dozens of injuries in the 24 hours before she died, Schoonmaker said, but he did not provide details.

More @ Associated Press

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Filed under Media and Entertainment, True Crime, TV Shows, Uncategorized

44-D True Crime: Have Reality TV Shows Gone to Far?

TrueCrime-490X136
Posted by Audiegrl

I remember in 1992 when MTV’s “Real Word” series got started. It was fun to watch a group of young people try to get along with each other. Most of the shows contained at least two people that you just knew were going to clash. Great TV right? Well, nowadays you can pretty much count on in-house fighting, spitting, lots of cursing bleeps, contestants with criminal records, and lots and lots of hook-ups. The reality stars of the nineties, should be astounded at the so-called ‘Reality Stars’ that are being made in 2009. Many people who participate in one reality show, are often given the chance to participate in other reality shows on that network, or given their own shows ($$cha-ching$$). The new brand of reality star has their own agents, publicists, and fan clubs. They can be found on Facebook, YouTube, and if they do something really outrageous, they will be featured in a ‘Greatest Reality Star Moments’ type special. That was as far as they could go with their ’15 minutes of fame’. That is, until Ryan Jenkin’s came along.

Ryan Jenkins and Jasmine Fiore

Ryan Jenkins and Jasmine Fiore

Jenkins didn’t win is spot as reality TV’s most outrageous star by fighting or cussing, or spitting. He won that spot by killing his wife. (Or for legal reasons, I should say, allegedly killing his wife.) Ryan’s alleged actions have turned the world of reality TV on its ear. Ryan was involved in both VH1’s ‘Megan Wants a Millionaire” and “I Love Money 3“.

Police believe that Ms. Fiori was strangled in the early hours of August 14th. Security camera’s show Jenkins leaving the hotel later that morning by himself with a large suitcase. This is the same suitcase police would find in a dumpster containing the mutilated body of Ms. Fiore. Thinking that the removal of her fingers and teeth would deter investigators trying to identify the body, her killer forgot one important thing. Fiore was quickly identified by the serial numbers on her breast implants. At that point Jenkins became a person of interest and a suspect. Jenkins was a native of Canada, and many believed that he would flee there, because Canadian courts will not extradite people accused of capital crimes. After a week long international chase, Jenkins body was found hanging from a coat rack at a Canadian motel an apparent suicide.

It has been rumored that Jenkins used his marriage Fiore to gain US citizenship. But Jenkins was also going to be facing a judge for allegedly striking Fiore on the arm. It was discovered that Jenkins was convicted and did 16 months in Canada for beating another girlfriend. So he already had a record of domestic abuse when he was vetted for the two shows. That must have been some serious vetting, right? Not so much.

Cast of Megan Wants A Millionaire

Cast of Megan Wants A Millionaire

Right now VH1 and 51 Mind Entertainment, are trying their best to distance themselves from Jenkins and from each other. They immediately shelved the remaining ten episodes of ‘Megan Wants A Millionaire‘, word had it that Jenkins was one of the final two millionaire contestants. Which means that Jenkins would have been in every episode right to the end. When I said ‘shelved’ that is not giving them enough credit. They totally obliterated MWM from all commercials, their website, Itunes, ect. A week later they announced that they would also be shelving ‘I Love Money 3. Jenkins was featured in this series as well, and it was rumored that he actually WON. So once again, he would have been in every episode, right up to the end. So in this case, by shelving both shows, they get credit for doing the right thing.

What I really want ask is this? How can 51 Minds Entertainment (who produces the show for VH1), expect a different outcome when they don’t properly eliminate potential candidates who have a criminal record? In this country, most jobs are closed to you if you have a felony on your record. Why do they keep rewarding contestant’s bad behavior? Case in point, Megan Hauserman and Sharon Osborn got into a physical alteration on the reunion show of ‘Charm School 2“. Megan threatened to sue. So amazingly now she has her own ‘Megan Wants a Millionaire” show. Is that how you reward fighting on national TV? Giving the person their own show?

Yes, I know, in our culture outlandish behavior is always rewarded by 15 minutes of fame. And yes, I am guilty of watching them too. But America’s unhealthy addiction to watching damaged people make fools of themselves also has a price…

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Filed under Crime, Hollywood, Media and Entertainment, Police, Pop Culture, True Crime, TV Reality Shows, TV Shows, VH1, Violence, Women's Issues