It’s My Birthday and I’ll Hub If I Want To
Today is my birthday and though I won’t tell my age, I do want to take a moment to share some of my favorite things. I normally keep my hubs in the area of movies and TV, but on occasion I feel the need to share about some things I really love. This is one of those occasions.
My name is Vanessa and I was born and raised in Oakland, California, home of the A’s and Raiders and a crap load of homicides. I’ve moved around a lot as a pre-teen, but eventually went back to Cali where I eventually graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Film. I loved movies before, but studying film gave me new insight and perspective when watching. Now I love movies even more, especially horror movies, and have a propensity to annoy the hell out of my husband when I argue that certain favorites of his lacks narrative flow or a protagonist arc. I think he would prefer I go back to my old stand by pre-college, “I don’t know, that just sucked.” I still pull that one out of my bag of critiques, but usually after a theoretical discussion. I love UC Berkeley and almost every professor I came in contact with.
I am a bi-racial butterfly (™Jade from America’s Next Top Model) and am half Mexican and half black. I have brown hair and eyes and am shorter than Tom Cruise. I know, that’s pretty short, right? I married an awesome guy who is a Michigan boy with Italian, French Canadian and some other Euro countries who has light brown hair and blue eyes. So, what do you think my daughter looks like? Yep, and the irony is that he named her Raven. Go figure. I will say she was named after Edgar Allen Poe’s short story of the same name, but still. I will also note that I fought like hell to keep her name from being Lenore and was a war worth winning.
My Raven Ann is now 6 and will be 7 later on this year. She was born with a hole in her heart. More specifically, she was born with no separation between her left and right ventricle. They didn’t think she would make it, but her surgeon performed a few miracles, including a pacemaker since the age of 3 months, and she’s around to terrorize the world like any other kid her age. Just the other day she, along with a few of her friends, took plastic sharks out to hunt vampires and zombies. I think I have an idea for Tarantino’s next movie. What would you guys expect from my daughter? She laughed at death, now she's hunting zombies and vampires. Raven the Vampire Slayer kinda has a nice ring to it.
I mentioned in another hub that my mom is a rolling stone. She likes to travel and is currently going to Costa Rica not too long from now. What I didn’t mention is that she spoils my daughter to no end. Raven has been to Disneyland 4 times and my mom has flown her to Disneyworld twice. Her next birthday will be another trip to Disneyland where Raven will get the special Bippity Boppity Boop treatment. You ever heard of that? No? Well, it’s when a little girl goes to a salon in the middle of Disneyland, gets a Princess dress that’s more expensive that most of my clothes and gets her hair done with so much hairspray that it stays shellacked that way for days…even after showering.
Several years ago Raven dressed up as Tinkerbell and we had people asking us to take her picture. She's not a part of the attraction, folks! Disney doesn't pay us, so just move along. That part is insane, but I have to admit that I have a love for Disneyland, especially after they incorporated Jack Skellington into the mix. Raven’s favorite ride is Pirates of the Caribbean and she loves to point her plastic sword at the skeletons and say, “arg”. She does make me proud. Now, if I can only get her to not hide when we go on to the Haunted Mansion. She laughed at the movie…
My Favorite Actor
I don’t know how I do it, but I always bring up movies in my conversations at home too. So, I think I’ll mention my favorite actor for the moment. I say for the moment, because my favorite actors always change depending on how they progress in their career. There are some that I’ll always adore, like Denzil Washington, some that I’ll like despite themselves, like Tom Cruise and others who I used to like, but have made choices that have made them fall out of favor in my world, like Russell Crowe.
Right now, my favorite actor is Takayuki Yamada. Don’t know him? I’m not entirely surprised. He is in the acclaimed film 13 Assasins, Crows Zero, Crows Zero II and Gantz. If you don’t know these movies, let me do a real quick introduction. If you have Netflix, watch 13 Assassins on stream. It is one of the best movies made last year. For the Crows series, I did a quick review in one of my hubs about high school gang films and that tells you a lot right there. Check it out. He’s an amazing actor that emotes in a way that’s universal. He takes a role that could be hammy (Crows) or almost invisible (Assassins) and not only elevates it to another level, but makes his role essential and memorable. He isn’t the lead in any of these movies, but he’s the one that stand out and the one who you can’t help but be drawn to.
- The Top 10 Best High School Gang Movies
This is the Top 10 List for the Best high school gang movies every filmed. They're violent, forceful and teenagers who don't care about their parents or the law. See if your favorite made the list.
- Violence, Sex and Body Parts: An In Depth Review of Takashi Miike's Audition
This in depth review of the film Audition is filled with spoilers, but if you're interested in a different prespective of a film you love give it a try.
- Looking Into and Beyond the Excessive Violence: An In Depth Review of Takashi Miike's Izo
Izo is a violent, discussion starting and baffling film about a mass murderer who doesn't allow death to stop his killing spree. Directed by prolific auteur Takashi Miike, Izo can mean many things to diffeent viewers. I wonder if the violence means m
My Favorite Director
So, what do 13 Assasins, Crows Zero and Crows Zero II have in common? My favorite director, Takashi Miike. He doesn’t always make great movies or movies that I would suggest to everyone, but he makes movies that stand out for better or worse. He is a new variation of Stanley Kubrick, a director not committed to genre, stylizations or content, but you always know when you’re watching a Miike movie. Not only that, but the director is prolific. He’s the Samuel L. Jackson of directing, sometimes pushing out 4 movies a year. He’s no joke, though. These aren’t color by the numbers movies. Each film is unique, like Audition, and shows the amount of thought it takes to make them, like Izo. I think it’s funny that Miike thinks that everyone could be a director. That may be true, but not everyone could do what he does. If you think Tarantino and Rodriguez are risky directors, they both take a back seat to Miike.
About Me in a Hub
So, that’s a little about me and some of the things that are on my mind on this February 7, my birthday. The age of Aquarius is never ending in my household and though I am one year older, I am that much happier. I don’t live in California anymore, but I’ve adapted to having 4 seasons here is Washington state quite nicely. I plan on doing more hubs on film history, TV shows and movies this year and now that I’m thinking about it, I’m going to do one on my top favorite Takashi Miike movies. I might do another one on Kubrick or on Disney, but I know I will do more. If any of you have a movie hub or a top 10 list you want done, just tell me. I love writing and that’s an awesome thing to do, especially on my birthday.
Thank you Hubpages and all of you who have followed me and read my hubs. I very much appreciate it