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Monday Movie Meme - The Great Manipulators

The theme of this week’s Monday Movie Meme is all about characters who try to get one over on others: The Great Manipulators.

Share on your blog or in the comments section, some of the most manipulative movie characters you’ve ever seen.

In a film, these are the types of people who play mind games on others or toy around with their target’s emotions. Or maybe they simply get a kick out of taking advantage of the vulnerabilities in a system, community or business. The folks in this category usually have some type of agenda, unless they are just plain evil. Either way, their antics are generally no fun for the people they interact with as the plot thickens and the scenes play out.

Here are my selections for this week’s The Great Manipulators theme.


Played by Sarah Michelle Gellar in the romantic drama “CRUEL INTENTIONS,” this rich private school brat embodies all that is wrong with mean girls and abusing one’s popularity. The saying that suggests keeping your friends close and your enemies closer may not be a good idea in this particular case. She uses her influence to gain the secrets of those in her inner circle and exploit people for her own benefit; tugging at the heart strings of the unsuspecting whose integrity and innocence gets corrupted by this disgraceful, jealous and insecure bitch.

Rowena Price

(aka David Shane aka Katherine aka Veronica…yeah, how about that!)

Played by Halley Berry in the mystery drama “PERFECT STRANGER,” investigative reporter embarks on an undercover operation to solve the murder of her friend. The thing is, this wannabe vigilante who snoops into a wealthy executive’s habit of extramarital affairs starts opening a can of worms that involves all sorts of funny business. She’s not the only one with tricks up their sleeve, which places her among a cast of characters who are each trying to get over on one another in this movie.


Played by Joaquin Phoenix in the historical action drama “GLADIATOR,” this poor excuse for a son who stole control of the Roman Empire, is one merciless son of a bitch! He uses threats of violence and death to gain the allegiance of senators, warriors and his own family.


Played by rapper T.I. in the crime thriller “TAKERS,” this ex-con puts the freedoms and safety of his crew in jeopardy, all because he has an ax to grind.

Who are the most manipulative movie characters YOU would add to this list?


From Texas to Shanghai - Sydney Aaliyah Michelle on Tattoos, Multiplex Theaters and Life after Law 

If binge watching movies on iTunes was a sport, Georgetown University graduate Sydney Aaliyah Michelle has an early training advantage over her would-be opponents.

This contemporary romance writer from Texas, who got a tattoo commemorating her first novel “Another New Life,” is on my Mighty Minion Bureau team for the 2015 Blogging from A-to-Z Challenge. I recently promoted her to Special Agent – (the top “Asset” aka “Operative” among my helpers), as its Sydney’s third year assisting me in the April Blog Hop.

You can find this self-employed event coordinator enjoying Lobster Ravioli and Sidecar cocktails.

After learning that Sydney climbed the Great Wall of China, I invited her to give us the scoop on how life has evolved since her days as a lawyer.

The Madlab Post: What advice would you give to single women who are traveling abroad for the first time?

Sydney Aaliyah Michelle: I truly enjoy traveling alone especially to a new place. It allows me to explore on my own agenda and my own timetable. Before I travel someplace alone, I do a lot of research. Read about the place your visiting, have an agenda and follow it.

When I travel alone, I don’t skimp on hotels or transportation late at night. I may walk everywhere during the day, but I don’t take any chances putting myself in situations that could be dangerous. Use common sense and you’ll be fine.

Sydney's tattoo story features her love of lotus flowers and the idea that beauty can emerge from less than ideal situations.Did any stigmas of being tattooed ever have an impact on your relationships or career?

When I got my first tattoo, my parents weren’t thrilled, but I was 21, not much for them to say.  My second one, they helped me design it. They don’t love them, but they’ve accepted them. Men love my tattoos, they are all sexy and feminine, so no issues there.

I paused for a minute before getting my most visible tattoo on my left wrist, and my current boss tried to have an issue with it. My tattoos are a part of me, but don’t effect who I am or my abilities, so if someone fired me or didn’t hire me for having tattoos, I wouldn’t want to work for them anyway. 

What area of law did you practice?

I had always wanted to go to law school, but I like the idea of being a lawyer more than actually being a lawyer. I practiced law for about 9 months working for a huge law firm doing bankruptcy litigation. I sat in a small room with 10 other people 12-14 hours a day, 6 days a week reading documents on a computer. It wasn’t the kind of life I wanted to lead.

If you were a broke, ramen noodle eating artist who needed to relocate immediately, where would you move to get back on your feet? 

I would move to Singapore. I could be a beach bum and still have enough access to modern amenities to live comfortably with not a lot of money. It is an inspiring place as well, so it would feed my creative soul. Great mix of cultures. 

How many foreign languages are you fluent in?

With all of the countries I have visited and lived, I still only speak English fluently. I have some conversational Chinese and a few words slip out when no English word can quite convey what I am trying to say.  These are my three favorite Chinese words:

Hau zho bu jian – Long time, no see.

Bu zhidao – I don’t know.

Bu ming bai – Understand.

Can you tell me about your adult contemporary romance novel "Another New Life"?

Sydney released two novels, 'Hope for Her' and 'Hope for Him,' since the debut of 'Another New Life."

Here's the book blurb...

When Miranda’s talent wins her a piano performance scholarship to the University of Texas, she arrives on campus determined to experience everything college has to offer and to keep her secrets in the past where they belong.

An easy task, until the first guy who catches her eye happens to be someone, she’s known all her life.

Eight years have passed since the last time Miranda and Troy saw each other.

Can Miranda focus on her future with Troy while preventing her past from tearing them apart all over again?

Why is The Joker from "THE DARK KNIGHT" your favorite movie villain?

Heath Ledger’s performance was incredible. If it has to be our lasting image of him, I couldn’t think of a more pivotal role to immortalize his talent.

Plus, the Joker has one of my favorite lines from any movie and he delivered it brilliantly...

 “If you’re good at something, never do it for free.” 

Where do you prefer to watch movies?

I prefer to watch movies at a big, stadium seating, surround sound theater. If it’s a blockbuster, epic, anything with an 'AVENGERS character in it, I have to watch it at the theater first. Day-to-day movie watching comes from iTunes rentals. Even though I have 30 days to watch them, it’s pretty typical for me to watch three movies in a row on the final few days of the rental period.

You’re stranded on a desert island and can only have one movie and one book...what would you request?

This may be cheating a bit, but I would probably request the "LORD OF THE RINGS" Trilogy – that counts as one long movie, right? I find something new every time I watch it.

The book I would request would be “Under the Dome” by Stephen King. I think it’s pretty brilliant writing and I might find some new found kinship with the characters being stuck somewhere. 

Thank you Sydney Aaliyah Michelle for riding with me for three years straight on the alphabet wheel!

Now, for everyone else, tell me...

How many movies could YOU watch in a row?

Which cities or countries have YOU visited more than once?


Monday Movie Meme – The Big Reveal #atozchallenge

This week, the Monday Movie Meme is based on a two-year old tradition created by Blogging from A-to-Z Challenge participant Mina Lobo, encouraging people to roll out their themes together: The Big Reveal.

Share on your blog or in the comments section, movies featuring scenes where revelations impact characters.

It doesn’t matter whether these surprising moments changes a situation for the better, for the worse or even not at all, so long as something is revealed. Here are my two selections for this week’s The Big Reveal theme.

Jumping the Broom

Family secrets disrupt a bride and groom’s wedding plans, in this comedy drama about two families from different sides of the tracks whose conflicts overflow during a weekend at Martha’s Vineyard; starring Angela Bassett, Paula Patton, Laz Alonso and Mike Epps.

The Crying Game

It seems like rude awakenings never cease to exist in this romantic crime drama about an Irish Republican Army volunteer who adopts a new identity and starts dating the lover of a British soldier he kidnapped; starring Stephen Rea and Forest Whitaker. 


Hosted by Hungarian storyteller Zalka Csenge Virág at The Multicolored Diary, the 2015 Theme Reveal Blogfest provides a great opportunity for you to get a jump start on your A-to-Z experience. Here is how it works:

Sign up on the Linky list below, and on March 23rd (Monday) publish a blog post in which you reveal your theme for the A-to-Z Challenge. Tell us why your theme is exciting and what to expect from it! Once your blog post is up, visit all the other blogs on the Linky list to find out hints on themes being announced.

Mark your blogging calendar for March 23rd!

What movies have YOU watched that contained big revelations?

How many people do YOU anticipate will be doing the Blogging from A-to-Z Challenge?