A SINGLE NICKNAME CAN PROVIDE A PERSON with unlimited joyfulness. It also can stab you, leaving a noticeable scar on your psyche. I have been the recipient to a multitude of nicknames. Within my family I have a nickname that was given to me at a young age. Only family members refer to me with this nickname. At school I had other nicknames that were ugly; ugly in the sense they sprung from a place of hatred. Anytime I heard one of these nicknames I would mentally hunker down, doing my best to tune out the sounds around me. I wasn’t the only one who was bestowed a nasty nickname. There was one boy who was bestowed with the moniker, Booger Nose. He was called this name for a few years at least. There was another boy who had a Germanic last name, sounding like something large and overbearing. It did not help that the boy was overweight with large features and thick glasses. He received a nickname that was a twist on his last name, making it sound like grizzly bear. It was not a far leap to see the name was picked to match his girth, especially when you would hear the way the boys said it. THE NICKNAMES THAT PIQUE MY EARS are the ones that are not recognizable words. I know someone who is referred to as Deeb by their significant other. The name was a combination of two English words, but you would not be aware of them just by this one name. The words were picked to describe a feeling between the couple; something they only share with each other. There is another person I know who has the nickname T-Dub. It is a combination of a couple of sounds in their name. These types of made up words are terms of endearment between two people; though, others may use the words as a sign of familiarity. I happen to remember every nickname given to me, even though several of them have not been uttered in decades. Some of the people who come up with these nicknames may not realize the damage they are inflicting on the individual. A few of you may remember how I rarely ever utter the “F” word pertaining to overweightness. I have heard that word and its variations enough in my younger days to last a lifetime. With my sensitivity to nicknames, I was immediately struck with the one the main character was given in this film festival nominated movie. WITH SO MANY PEOPLE AROUND HER focused on her weight Willowdean, played by Danielle MacDonald (Every Secret Thing, Patti Cake$), decided to enter a beauty pageant to make a political statement. And the pageant happened to be run by her mother Rosie, played by Jennifer Aniston (Cake, We’re the Millers), a former beauty pageant winner. This comedic, musical drama also starred Odeya Rush (Lady Bird, The Giver) as Ellen, Maddie Baillio (Hairspray Live-TV movie) as Millie and Bex Taylor-Klaus (The Last Witch Hunter, Arrow-TV) as Hannah. Though the story has been done before in various ways, I thoroughly enjoyed the execution of it in this movie. Danielle was wonderful in her role, to the point I could relate to parts of her character. Make no mistake, the message the writers were conveying came across fully without being preachy. Now granted the story hit close to home for me, but I feel I am being objective here. I enjoyed the cast and felt they interacted well together. Part of the reason fell on the director; I thought the subtleness in several scenes was the perfect touch to accentuate the story and message. Willowdean’s nickname is one that I think I will remember for a long time.
3 stars — DVD
BEFORE I TELL YOU ABOUT THE different tricks I was made aware of, I want to say in no uncertain terms I never did any of them nor would I condone such things. I do not want someone to read this and think one of the tricks would be a great thing to do; they are definitely not. With the holiday Halloween fast approaching I am reminded of the outrageous stunts a few students did when I was in school. One boy would take dog poop (I never knew if he even owned a dog), wrap it in newspaper, put it in front of a person’s front door, light it on fire, ring their doorbell, then run somewhere nearby to hide. When the person opened the door, the first thing they would do is stomp on the newspaper to get the flame out. I think you know what happened next; I do not have to elaborate any further, do I? Another student used to bake chocolate chip cookies to pass out to the trick or treaters; but instead of using chocolate chips, they would use brown colored laxatives that they cut up to look like chocolate chips. These examples are only a couple out of the ones I had heard about in school. THERE IS SOMETHING ABOUT HALLOWEEN THAT brings out the worst in people; I believe it. I had an apartment down in the city and every year I would stay indoors for this holiday because people would get crazy. I have wondered if there is some psychological thing about dressing up in a costume and taking on the persona of that character. It just seems as if people feel they can act out in ways they normally would not do. There was this one time I remember walking down a crowded street where it seemed as if everyone was in costume. One guy was dressed as Harpo Marx, the one with curly hair who never spoke but used a horn. He was going up behind people and scaring them with his horn; blasting it just before he would poke them in the buttocks with it. No one was safe since he was doing it to both men and women. I was surprised no one punched him. Seeing stuff like this was the reason why I decided to always stay home on this holiday; I do not want to deal with people acting out. Speaking of Halloween bringing out the worst in people, it evidently applies to movies because this film would be a good example of it. WHEN A TRAVELING FRIGHT SHOW OPENS in town, a serial killer finds the perfect place to feed his needs. Everyone attending will think he is part of the show. This horror picture starred Bex Taylor-Klaus (The Last Witch Hunter, Scream: The TV Series) as Taylor, Reign Edwards (The Bold and the Beautiful-TV, MacGyver-TV) as Brooke, Amy Forsyth (Beautiful Boy, The Path-TV) as Natalie, Courtney Dietz (Vampire Academy-TV, The Gifted-TV) as Britney and Christian James (Dollface, Freefall-TV) as Quinn. Because I was told it is always better to start out saying something positive before a negative, I will say I enjoyed the last scene of this movie. Up until that time I was bored senseless. The acting was pitiful, the script was void of reason, there was nothing that I had not seen done better before; I felt the writers only used an outline as a script without doing anything creative. Every scene was predictable, so there was never a point where I got surprised. How many times do I need to see an axe being swung into a chest or a syringe stuck into an eyeball? If this is the caliber of movies coming out for Halloween I vote we fast forward to Thanksgiving.
1 ½ stars