Archive for the ‘Press’ Category

Hurt Me, Baby

Monday, March 21st, 2011
Intern Rebecca here with thoughts on Kathryn Bigelow…
While I do not know the writer/director/producer personally, I must admit, in the last year I have felt a deep range of emotions for Kathryn Bigelow.
I cried for her when she became the first female ever to win an Academy Award for directing. I laughed for her when her ex‐husband, James Cameron, made a fool of himself at the Golden Globes by speaking in his own made‐up Avatar language. I feared for her when I realized that at the spry age of 60 she can never slack off again, because if she does she will forever set an example of not only why women really shouldn’t direct, but also why they shouldn’t be given Oscars for it. I felt even more anxiety for her when I realized she’s 60 and that she can never look any less hot than she does now, for it would only be another reason why women should never direct.
But now, I just feel sorry for K‐Big. Can’t a director get some peace and quiet after
their passion project goes all the way and wins the Oscar? Apparently not. Seems the Bigster is being SUED for her film The Hurt Locker by some man who claims the movie is about him. The lawsuit, filed by Sergeant Jeffery Sarver, started way back on the eve of last year’s Academy Awards, but it’s back this year, in full force as Sarver claims the film has done irreversible damage to his character since it took home the golden statue last March. According to the claim, Sarver’s fellow troopsters in Afghanistan are teasing him hard core, saying he clearly doesn’t know how to follow correct procedure because they character who is maybe him in The Hurt Locker doesn’t follow correct procedure.
Um, guys, it’s called a movie…?
From what I can scrounge up via The Internets, here are the facts of the case:
Sarver’s Side:
1. He wants money. More specifically, he wants compensation for the big bucks the film eventually grossed. (I guess big is relative when you’ve been frequenting Friday double features in Afghanistan.)
2. He claims he used to go around saying, “The hurt locker,” as well as the film’s famous line, “War is a drug.”
3. The character whom he believes to be himself in the movie takes improper action. This has led his real life buddies to tease him, as if the improper actions taken in the movie were really taken by him in real life.
Bigelow’s Side:
1. Free speech. If she says a procedure happens one way in her movie, it happens that way!
2. Free speech! She can write whatever characters she wants.
3. On the characters, she and screenwriter Mark Boal interviewed over 100 soldiers in the course of writing the script. They all informed the creation of the characters. I repeat, no one person was used as a model for the protag.
4. Again, free speech. Also, it’s a movie.
The lawsuit has sparked some hefty debate in cyber world over the past few weeks. I’ve even read blog posts left by parents of Sarver’s fellow soldiers saying it is true, their sons are teasing him! Therefore, K‐Big should pay up! She did this!
Um, side note to the parents: why don’t you tell your sons to lay off the nice Sergeant instead of spending your time blogging?
Naturally, Bigelow hopes the case will soon be dismissed, and Server says he’ll keep holding out for ever for the mullah, whether he’s in Afghanistan or Los Angelistan. Given the number of folks interviewed for the pick, and that, again, it is a movie, I say the guy has no case. Who knows, though, I’m not a lawyer. So what do you think?

Bitter Sweets

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Intern Rebecca here, with news in from Candy Land…

Corporate chocolate giant Hershey’s is suing rival corporate chocolate giant Mars for use of the color orange. Last time I checked, neither of their products are rich in Vitamin C, so what’s this about?

Hershey’s says Mars’ new product, Peanut Butter Chocolate Dove Promise Squares, is piggybacking off of Hershey’s Reese’s well known advertising campaign by using the color orange, plus a splash of brown, in their packaging.

Mars’ says the lawsuit is bogus, as it’s nearly impossible to depict a chocolate peanut butter product without using orange and brown in the packaging, and I have to agree. I’m not going to eat anything called “peanut butter” that’s the color purple, and neither would Oprah. Unless it’s Acia peanut butter, in which case I will follow Oprah and buy at all costs.

Nor am I going to confuse Dove Promises with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Dove Promises offer a heartfelt message with every serving, such as, “You deserve this chocolate,” or, “You look amazing, eat ten more!” Reese’s just display the depressing nutritional facts, which are defiantly not guilt free. Once Reese’s start telling me to forego the gym because I’m above it, I’ll agree there’s something fishy happening.

This could all be nasty courtroom backlash from a case last winter when Mars sued Hershey’s because Mars felt their rival’s new Bliss Chocolates were too similar to the Dove Promises. If that’s the case, maybe both chocolatiers should take a break and enjoy some of their own products, which might remind them, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”

And the color Orange is certainly small stuff. This can’t really be a case, can it?

The Confidence Game

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

In our last week as Bintel Brief gurus, we abandon any pretense that we’re giving legal advice and instead harness our inner Dear Abbys to help a letter writer with confidence issues…

Dear Bintel Brief,

When I was growing up, and throughout college, I would characterize myself as a pretty confident person. I felt excited by the world, and all the possibilities in it; almost nothing seemed impossible. But a couple of years out of school, and into the working world, my faith in my own abilities has diminished. During meetings at work, for example, I’m often silent — having convinced myself that whatever question I ask or statement I make will sound silly to my colleagues. Where I used to see possibilities, I now see limitations, and that’s holding me back. What should I do to become a confident person (and therefore, a happy person) once again?

YEARNING FOR MY OLD SELF

Dear YFMOS,

Despite the fact that neither of us Epstein sisters has ever been much for athletics, we are about to throw a few sports metaphors and a pep talk your way, so let’s get ready to rally!

Okay, the first thing we need to remind you of is that even though you’re older now, anything is still possible. Likely you’re capable of making more things happen now than when you were just a little pisher, so don’t let your puppy dog sense of self trump the adult that you’ve become. Remember, you’re living in the Land of the Second Act, which is where all the good stuff happens anyway. And if you’re a former celebrity you get at least two more acts beyond that and a trashy reality show documenting your fall and recovery. But the true reality is, the only thing that changed between the salad days when you believed you could accomplish anything and today is your perspective (and okay, maybe a pants size or two.)

Don’t misunderstand, we know that feeling like you have limitations can be crippling, but what’s actually holding you back is the feeling itself, not your abilities. So here’s where we encourage you to “get your game face on.” Confidence — and the sense of self-esteem you project to others — is what people like your co-workers will respond to. They’ll respect views and comments that are spoken with authority. You may feel like it’s not the greatest idea or the best proposal, but guess what? Simply by stating it with confidence will make it sound sexy. Self-doubt gives off a stink and everyone in the room can smell it. That’s why it’s critical to believe in yourself and if you can’t do that, then make like a porn star and fake it.

When athletes face teams with better records, they don’t just throw in the towel and ride the bench till the time runs out. They get themselves into a mind set where they believe they can win then they go out and give it their all. Those athletes, like porn stars, fake it till they make it, too. In case you were wondering, yes, there’s definitely a Tiger Woods reference in here somewhere… But the same holds true for everyone. Self-defeatism becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy so just by conning yourself into the belief that you can achieve things, believing in the value of your ideas and contributions, that’s how you start to make things happen again.

Now sometimes we forget how to be our own cheerleaders, and sometimes we can’t even remember which race we want to run. We find ourselves running on the treadmill we hopped on years ago because it was there in front of us, not necessarily because it was a road we would have taken if all paths seemed open to us. Maybe the reason you’ve lost confidence is because you haven’t fully committed to the career in which you find yourself. So here’s your assignment: Go buy a journal. Start out on your first page detailing the interview Oprah will have with you when you’ve achieved your goal. Figure out what the accomplishment is that you’d be most proud to tell her about, and then write it down as if it’s already happened. Explain in detail how you got to your goal, and what you will do with your success now that you’ve achieved it. Have fun with the assignment and you will see that as you let the words flow, you will begin to refine your dream and your path to get there until it is achievable. Continue writing entries to refine the steps you will take, and write them down as you check them off until you get to your goal. One more thing: Don’t be embarrassed. Brag! This is your private space to express your dreams in a no judgment zone. Once you know what you want to do and have a roadmap of how to get there, you will find that your joy will return.

And perhaps needless to say, that’s something we state with confidence. Go you!

Amy and Robin

Biggest Legal Stories of the Year… Beyond SO SUE ME, JACKASS!

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

Well, seems our response to Worried Jewish Mother’s question has yet to be posted on the Forward’s website (and now we’re a bit worried we may have pissed off some Jews with our response…).  So in lieu of linking to our answer today, instead we’ll share Amy’s thoughts on the biggest legal stories of the annus horribilis that was 2009.

Here’s our girl on My Fox Philly (and though some might argue the point about the Madoff case, since it technically unraveled in Dec ’08, we think you’ll still have to agree that Amy’s hair looks particularly nice in this clip.):

Location, location, location…

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Bintel Brief readers in The Forward gave us another great question to answer this week, and this time the subject’s Manhattan real estate, a subject near and dear to Robin’s cold, cold heart.

Here’s the Q and for the A, click below…

Dear Bintel Brief:

My husband and I live in New York City and are getting ready to buy our first apartment. We realize that a home purchase is a sizable financial commitment, and we are preparing to take the plunge.

Adding to what is already a tremendously stressful decision-making process, we are considering buying a building with friends that we would then split into separate apartments. A decent amount of actual livable square footage is hard to come by in a large city when working within a budget, and we feel this would be a smart way to each get more square feet for our hard-earned dollars. I’ve been told we could essentially condo the building or turn it into a cooperative so that each family is only liable for their own apartment. What contractual precautions should we take to ensure everyone is protected? Is this as good an idea as it sounds? Or, are we entering into a minefield that could potentially blow up our friendships?

Click here for the answer to: MIXING REAL ESTATE WITH FRIENDSHIP

Prenup — I Do or I Don’t?

Monday, December 14th, 2009

As we mentioned, we’re answering questions for readers of The Jewish Daily Forward’s Bintel Brief this month.

Here’s the first great question, and to see our response, click the  our response link below:

Dear Bintel Brief:

I just got engaged to the man of my dreams. He is five years older than I am, and he comes from a family of means. He also earns a much higher salary than I do. My fiancé recently told me that his parents, whom I adore, want me to sign a prenuptial agreement. I could see that he was really nervous telling me about his parents’ apparent wishes. He also told me that our relationship is more important than money — adding that if I strongly opposed the idea of a prenup, he wouldn’t force the issue (but that could, in turn, cause problems with his family).

In theory, I think all married couples should have an agreement like this. But in practice it’s feels terrible to be asked to sign one. It also makes me wonder what my fiancé’s parents think of me.

What should I do?

PERPLEXED BY PRENUP

Click me for Amy & Robin’s Response…

Getting Our Yentes On!

Friday, December 11th, 2009

This month we have the honor and privilege of being the guest advice gurus for the Bintel Brief, a column for the Jewish Daily Forward (which is published in both English and Yiddish!) So if you have a question for us, by all means email us here: bintelbrief@forward.com

Legal Eagles Have Some Advice for Forward Readers

By The Bintel Brief

Sisters Amy Feldman and Robin Epstein, the authors of the new book, “So Sue Me, Jackass!: Avoiding Legal Pitfalls That Can Come Back to Bite You at Work, at Home, and at Play” (Plume) will be the Forward’s next guest Bintel Brief advice columnists.

Feldman is General Counsel at the national placement firm the Judge Group. She is also a nationally syndicated radio correspondent on legal issues and appears weekly on the local Fox morning show “Good Day Philadelphia.” She specializes in employment- and consumer-related issues.

Epstein is a journalist, author and a contributor to the public radio show “This American Life.” She served as the head writer and on-air sidekick for “Clued In,” — a gameshow for teenage girls, and teaches sitcom-writing at NYU. She is the author of 13 published children’s books, and co-wrote the novel “Shaking Her Assets” (Berkeley Trade, 2005).

If you have a question for the Bintel Brief, email bintelbrief@forward.com. Questions selected for publication will be printed anonymously. New installments of the Bintel Brief are published Mondays at www.forward.com.

Amy on the Ludlow Porch Show…

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

Fresh off her CNN star turn, at 11:15 AM Amy will be on the southern classic, the Ludlow Porch radio show (on the FunSeekers radio network). So if you’re in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina or Kentucky, you can listen to the broadcast on your radio.

Otherwise, listen to Amy stream live here!

funseekers

Happy T-Day, y’all!

AMY on CNN at 10:30 AM!

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

Tune in momentarily and catch Amy on CNN LIVE at 10:30!

cnn

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

America’s News HQ

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

We had a fantastic time on Saturday on the Fox News show, America’s News HQ!

We will upload the video as soon as we figure out how to transfer it from the DVR, though unfortunately we can’t promise when that will be… We’re actually having a variety of technological issues here today… Can’t seem to turn off the heat in the house either…  I’ve already lost about 5 pounds of water weight and may melt into a puddle before I finish this post…

Rick Folbaum

Rick Folbaum

But the lovely hosts, Rick and Juliet, were a lot of fun and

Juliet Huddy

Juliet Huddy

we owe them a deep debt of gratitude for jumping our Amazon ranking like crazy yesterday!