Linda Stirling Unmasked: The Black Whip

: Dragged from her chariot by a mob of fanatical vigilante Christian monks, the revered astronomer was stripped naked, skinned to her bones with sharp oyster shells, stoned and burned alive as possibly the first executed witch in history. A kind of purge that was apparently big business back then.



HE SAID, SHE SAID: Confessions Of A Shopaholic


By Gerald Wright

The Disney Film family adapts Sophie Kinsella's books, Shopaholic Takes Manhattan and Confessions of a Shopaholic for the big screen. I've never read the Shopaholic series of books, however there are a few books on the adventures of the fictitious addictive shopper Rebecca Bloomwood. It seems only right that this movie concerning credit card debt, job searching and money management would be released as the U.S. waits for a plan to recover from its economic recession.

Isla Fisher (Wedding Crashers and Definitely, Maybe) stars a Rebecca Bloomwood, a trendy New York City twenty-something young woman who has aspirations of working for a top fashion magazine. However she has an obsession with shopping that conflicts with the focus on getting her journalism career started. She has little and no help from her best friend Suze (Krysten Ritter) and husband whom she shares an apartment with. All the while her credit card debt is uncontrollable, until she catches the eye of wealthy executive Luke Brandon (Hugh Dancy) and gets a job at his tabloid as a financial journalist.

The premise is not for Rebecca's past to catch up with her new promising life in this RomCom. As sincere, as this story is in its concept, the film isn't crisp or powerfully funny. The performances are at DVD standards at best mainly for the lack of timing in the comedy. In order to do this comedy a range of comic tactics from absurdity to mockery, to sarcasm to irony must be displayed. Each of the tactics of comedy must disturb, disrupt, alter and change things from what is expected. Unfortunately, this film is predictably familiar without the unexpected witticism required. There were times while watching this movie I reflected on The Devil Wears Prada (2006), when Isla's performance slightly resembled Anne Hathaway and Kristin Scott Thomas (Academy Award nominee) as the wealthy Allette Naylor - owner of Allette Fashion Magazine - closely resembled Meryl Streep, but that was only a brief moment of reflection. I was looking for more emphasis to be place on the mockery of how Rebecca received her job and how she was able to scam her way into a television spot as a fashion consultant. To ridicule the pretensions, rules and traditions that we are surrounded by, such as jobs, promotions and the economy and poke fun at it would be a comedic statement. Mockery is an aspect of comedy that works.

Luke Dancy looked like a fish out of water as the love interest of Isla Fisher's character Rebecca. The lack of sauciness suggesting that sex is involved and perhaps naughty, but fun, can raise a knowing smile. Even at a PG rating sex sells and the movie could have been more interesting, rather than a irritating shopping spree on film. The great veteran actress Joan Cusack, is seen in a deplorable role. It was a shame to miscast her, John Goodman, John Lithgow, Lynn Redgrave and Julie Hagerty in this film. It was a waste of gifted talent in a bad movie.

Directed by: P.J. Hogan
Running time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Release date: February 13, 2009
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Drama and Adaptation
Distributor: Touchstone Pictures
MPAA Rating: PG



By Prairie Miller

Isla gets bagged, in this big screen bid to have your designer duds and wear them too. While predatory airhead female mall stalkers with too much lipstick are supposed to symbolize pretend finger wagging, as the movie fabulously flaunt shameless product placement pricey designer labels.


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