Launch of XIII

If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you might remember me whining about something called XIII. Well, after much anxiety, deliberation, hemming, hawing, and whatnot, some of it is finally available for your reading pleasure (or displeasure) at xiiifiction.wordpress.com. More will be posted as time goes on, but because I’m a normal human being with other commitments, it’s not a priority. Hence, there is no set posting schedule, but I will update this blog on the 13th of every month with links to whatever I’ve posted on the XIII blog (and if I’ve posted nothing, I will say that, too).

XIII is an unnecessarily long mythic fantasy soap opera. The closest thing it can be compared to is Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series, which should give you a clue about how awful it is. You’ve been warned. For background, if you’re crazy enough to take interest, at the bottom of this post is a list of previous posts on this blog in which I discuss (or rant about) XIII. Some may include spoilers. I honestly can’t remember which ones do or don’t.

I’m not posting XIII directly on this blog because it’s not entirely my creation (to make a very long story short), and I never intended to share a super-long piece of fiction here. (THE ARCHIVES is only about 36,000 words, so it doesn’t count as “long.”) I also want to keep this blog the way it’s always been, which is primarily a way for me to share my thoughts on whatever random topics happen to be in my head at the moment.

Anyway, if you are so inclined, feel free to follow XIII at xiiifiction.wordpress.com. Thank you always for liking, commenting, following, and reading.

Low Key and Slow Paced

Movie: Uncertain Terms
Director: Nathan Silver
Genre: Indie/Drama
Description (from Netflix): His marriage is failing and he needs a break, but falling for a pregnant teenager wasn’t part of the plan.

Spoiler alert!

Sometimes Netflix has surprisingly good stuff. Uncertain Terms was rated one star, probably by viewers who wanted something with a little more action or sex scenes. Uncertain Terms might not have been a five-star movie, but it wasn’t a one-star either. For starters, it didn’t feel I was watching a movie. The characters spoke like real people, and they looked like real people
because the actors weren’t Hollywood beautiful or even well known. The only issue I had with the dialogue was that there was a ton of profanity, but I didn’t feel as though it was unrealistic for the characters’ situation. The other two issues I had with the movie were the use of the appallingly disgusting Rhia song “My Neck, My Back” and the fact that the man who fell in love with the
teenager should have known better, but in a way I could sympathize with him based on what little of his backstory I knew.

What I enjoyed most about the movie was that it was on a small scale. The drama took place in a home for pregnant teenagers somewhere in New England (I’m thinking Massachusetts), so the scenery consisted mostly of dense green forests and paths through the woods. Because the pacing was slower, the movie seemed to be longer than it was, and you felt as though you got to know the characters better as a result. The writers erred on the side of using minimal dialogue, which was a nice change of pace from movies that only show off the writers’ “wit” through a bunch of snark. In short, the movie was type of story that I really enjoy writing and reading about: something more low-key but with drama that still manages to cause a great effect, basically the antithesis of superhero movies or stuff with over-the-top CGI and special effects.

Many of the Netflix reviewers who rated the movie one star complained about the ending, but I disagreed. The ending was actually better than what I had predicted, with the main character returning to his wife and the teenage girl awakened to the fact that she had almost gotten hurt in a situation that was rapidly getting out of control. It’s an indie movie, so it’s not going to appeal to the masses, but it’s good to know that at least one director in the world knows that not all movies have to be loud to get their point across.

The Lifetime Movie Network

Lifetime movies. Sanctuary for women who come home from work exhausted, sit down in front of the television, and sink into oblivion with one of these shows.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Lifetime movies. I especially like the ones where the teenage girl gets bitch-slapped by her mother for having sex out of wedlock or something.

I feel like one of these days, I could write a Lifetime movie. They’re essentially like mini-soap operas. There’s sufficient drama, there are teen girls getting pregnant, getting into drinking, and getting into drugs, and boys getting into their pants.

They’re tearjerkers. Moms and daughters get over their respective hissy fits at the end of the movie and hug each other in a tear-filled reunion.

I really loved Mom at Sixteen about a girl who gives birth when she’s a teenager. To protect her daughter, the girl’s mother passes the baby off as her own and takes care of him while her daughter continues her high school education. Throughout the movie, the girl comes to terms with the fact that the baby is her own and she needs to take responsibility for it. She finds the father of the baby, who is predictably a scumbag, and who doubts that the child is his. There’s also a subplot!

The girl’s gym teacher, young, blond and attractive, cannot have a child of her own. She and her husband are looking to adopt. They also council the girl who is the teen mother. The gym teacher eventually finds out that the girl is actually the mother of the baby, not her own mother. It’s extremely obvious from the way the movie is set up what will happen; it was like a huge spoiler.

I’ve also seen She’s Too Young, which dealt with the issues of casual teen sex and sexually-transmitted diseases.

That one was a little bit too unrealistic for me, mostly because of how the main character’s nerdy best friend is always on hand to protect her from the big, bad older boy who gave her the STD.

Another one I saw was The Party Never Stops: Diary of a Binge Drinker, which was very realistic in my opinion. Virtually the same kinds of things happened to my best friend and the character in the movie.

They started college, had unruly roommates who got them into drinking, slept with guys while they were drunk, had pregnancy scares, etc. The movie really is a tearjerker at the end – I think it was my favorite out of all the Lifetime movies I’ve seen that have been somewhat memorable.

So, do you watch Lifetime movies? Why? Which one is your favorite?