Archive for April, 2011

April 22, 2011

“Women Unite, Take Back the Night.”

This week was by far my favorite of the year: Take Back the Night Week.   It was the 32nd year that Ohio University women banded together to fight for safe streets. Personally, it was my second.  Throughout the week,  student organizations held different events ultimately leading up to the march.

Last year was the first time I had participated in Take Back the Night and it was an experience I will never forget.  Hundreds of women gathered together to support the fight against sexual and domestic violence, but it went far beyond just a gathering.  The night started off with numerous speakers, putting  faces to the pandemic that we strive to eliminate.  These stories are enough to make people wonder, how many people do we know that are struggling with this?  I personally know  many who have been a victim, a survivor, of sexual and domestic violence.   The stories are  enough to give you goosebumps.  The statistics alone, the fact that one in four of the college women that gathered there last year and again tonight will be the victim of attempted or completed rape. It is a tragedy.

But it is the march that really gets you. The power a group of women holds, their voices as their weapon, trying to fight something society so easily accepts as a part of life.  Here we are, college- aged women, and we cannot even walk alone at night. It is something that is even hard to imagine — total freedom.  As I and hundreds of women marched through the streets, revealing our power to others, if even only for that hour each year, it is enough to spark an emotion  that will last forever.  The feeling of sisterhood, of finally speaking out, it is something you can’t find anywhere else than in the brisk night air in the presence of others fighting the same fight.

I must say though, that events like this make me wonder. How can women come together so strongly then return back to their individual groups as if solidarity had never occurred?  But even more importantly how will that help us? I hope that if this night is a glimpse into the power women can have when they unite, that someday every woman will realize it. As for taking back the night, well, there is a lot that needs to be done before we can look at the stars again.

April 16, 2011

“Rio” is a Riot

Don’t let the animation fool you “Rio”is a movie even adults can enjoy. Although the film may target the younger audience, the older crowd can definitely have more than just a few laughs.

The movie opens in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with a band of colorful, exotic singing birds setting the mood for a beautiful visual experience with the bright colors of South American jungle. The blissful scene is quickly interrupted by a group of bird smugglers with burlap sacks, and it becomes evident this not just a happy-go-lucky musical.

The storyline is based around the cleverly named Blu, a blue macaw voiced by Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network), who is snatched from Rio the moment he steps out of his nest. After falling out of the poachers’ truck he ends up in the small town of Moose Lake, Minn. . In a twist of fate, Blu is rescued by a red-headed girl named Linda (Leslie Mann), and they become inseparable.  The adventure truly begins 15years later when the duo is visited by Tulio, an awkward, bird-loving Brazilian scientist, who reveals to Linda that Blu is the last male blue macaw.  Blu must then leave the comfort of his domestication and return to the wild Rio to carry on the species with Jewel (Anne Hathaway), a female blue macaw.  The film turns to the developing love between Jewel  and Blu as they try to escape their nappers  and Blu finally learns to spread his wings while meeting an entertaining group of friends along the way.

The hour and a half computer-animated movie, which is offered in 2D and 3D, is directed by Carlos Saldanha (Ice Age).The majority of the film takes place in Rio during Carnival, which allows for an exciting array of colors, scantily clad characters and a soundtrack full of samba.  Most of the comedy comes from the character of Luiz, the drooling English Bulldog, who is voiced by Tracy Morgan, and the rest of the Brazilian Gang.   Other famous voices behind the animated characters include George Lopez, Jamie Foxx, Wanda Sykes, and Jane Lynch.

Some characters such as  Nigel, a bitter cockatoo, burst into a song at moments that seem inopportune for a solo, and it seems that Saldanha should have focused less on the music and more on the comedy.For an audience with high expectations, this film is definitely not the new “Lion King,” but worth the money.

Overall, a lot of the funniest parts can be seen in the trailer; however, staying for the end definitely makes the movie worthwhile.  The storyline, typical of many children’s movies is nothing too exciting, but the visual aspects of the movie will keep even a whiney baby’s interest.