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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Lost – The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham

You think you know someone, then they choke you to death with a rope you had planned on using to kill yourself. Sigh. Oh well. All’s well that ends well, right? These probably weren’t the first thoughts that crossed John Locke’s mind when he came back to life on the island, but they might be pretty close. It’s no surprise that the death and resurrection of the character would be so satisfying. After all, Terry O’Quinn’s performance throughout the series has always been on point. The difference between Locke as he is presented as a desperate old man to the Oceanic 6, then comparing that to the cool customer he is once he returns to the island is a display of how masterfully O’Quinn can portray the character.

The journey of Locke to persuade the Oceanic 6 to return and the subsequent resurrection on the island was both a heartwarming and heartbreaking one. Much like the scene this season where Sawyer (Josh Holloway) sees Kate (Evangeline Lilly) again on the island (How’s that for alliteration?), we were offered a glimpse into the more vulnerable side of Locke, even getting a little bit of insight into the one love that he lost. But did he really lose Helen Norwood? Maybe it’s just a case of trying to anticipate one twist before the next, but that gravestone we saw looked mighty ordinary. Could Helen still be alive?

The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham helped definitely draw the line between Benjamin Linus (Michael Emerson) and Charles Widmore (Alan Dale). What is brilliant about said division is that we genuinely have no idea whose side we or the islanders should choose. The coldblooded twist of Ben to manipulate Locke in order to get information about Jin (Daniel Dae Kim) and Eloise Hawking (Fionnula Flanagan) was not only downright evil, but it led to one of the best endings the show has offered in a while.

Is there anything that comes out of Benjamin’s mouth that we can trust? He told Locke last season that whoever moved the island couldn’t return. So why is he back? Was that not part of the plan? If so, then why does he tell Locke that he is going to miss him? Let’s go ahead and set the record straight. Benjamin Linus is one of the greatest and most complex characters we’ve ever seen on television.

The fifth season of Lost has efficiently tied up a great amount of loose ends, but the question is where are we headed now? Will Ben be able to convince Locke that the ends justified the means in terms of his death? What happened to Aaron? (William Blanchette) We’re not sure, but we are certain that Lost is hitting its stride. Wherever Lost takes us, we will follow.

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Friday, July 3, 2009

Boy A (2007) DVDrip

I've been thinking for a while that after Hollywood stops trying to reinvent itself or more like cannibalizing itself by going back and remaking classics, mostly ruining classics, they should just look at the news, the really news, stop idolizing and picking on their own, and see what tragic or wonderful world, it can be. "Boy A" is a perfect example of what happens when the media gets a hold of a spectacular story, one that might be tragic or devastating, but it still offers enough drama to cast a spell on us. Write a good book about it ("In Cold Blood" comes to mind), adapt it into a couple of decent films, and you can certainly catch fire.

"Boy A" explores an obscure case in America, but apparently a very famous one in England, telling the story of a released convict who might have more than a few problems adapting back to society. It is essential that his identity remain secret because the consequences can be horrendous for all parties involved.

The audience's main concern at first appear to be whether the main character has been rehabilitated and is able to deal with his new freedom. Garfield's performance is so good, it brings to mind the vulnerability shown by Timothy Hutton in "Ordinary People", that of a bruised soul that is very strong but also quite close to an emotional collapse if not nurtured properly. Garfield's character is damaged from his early life to the abuse he suffers at the hand of his childhood friend, the one that eventually gets him in jail. It is not very clear how responsible he is for the crime that eventually incarcerated him, but what is clear is that he needs a lot of support, and any interference will be catastrophic.

In the end, we know there has to be some type of revelation, and it is the degree of the pain that the revelation brings that we want to see and we dread all the time. We grow to like this young man. Maybe because he might not be very different from many in our world, maybe because he is another victim of a cold and fractured society. The film will open wounds in many who have been disappointed and hurt, and it will mostly teach a few people a lesson about what we can do to prevent any more tragedies like these from occurring again.

It is an admirable achievement.

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Life is Beautiful AKA Vita è bella, La (1997) DVDrip

It's 1939. The ebullient, playful Guido comes to town. He works as a waiter under the watchful eye of his uncle, an elegant man who is a Jew. Guido falls for Dora, a schoolteacher, whom he calls "princess" and courts by popping up at unexpected times. She dumps her fiancé to choose Guido. The film jumps ahead to the war's last months. Nora and Guido have a child, Giosué, and when Guido and the lad are shipped to a concentration camp, Dora voluntarily follows. Although the men and women in the camp are separated and a child is in mortal peril, Guido finds ways to communicate with Dora, to hide Giosué, and to convince the boy this is an elaborate game, a special contest to win a tank.

The film starts in the 1930s when Guido relocates from the country to a large Tuscan town where he falls in love with schoolteacher Dora. She is already engaged to another guy, but Guido stills fights for her. The story continues 5 years later, during wartime, Guido is married to Dora and they have a son called Giosue. Guido is of Jewish origin, and he is sent to a concentration camp with Giosue and Dora follows them, only to be sent to another part of the camp.

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Malèna (2000) DVDrip

On the day in 1940 that Italy enters the war, two things happen to the 12-year-old Renato: he gets his first bike, and he gets his first look at Malèna, a beautiful, silent outsider who's moved to this Sicilian town to be with her husband Nico who promptly goes off to war, leaving her to the lustful eyes of the men and the sharp tongues of the women. During the next few years, as Renato grows toward manhood, he watches Malèna suffer and prove her mettle: her loneliness, then grief when Nico is reported dead, the effects of slander on her relationship with her father, her poverty and search for work, and final humiliations. Will Renato learn courage from Malèna and stand up for her?

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Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008) DVDrip

The movie is absolutely hilarious. I loved it. It met and exceeded by (very high) expectations. Jason Segall proved he can hold down a leading role and an extremely funny script. Part of the reason this movie is so funny are the "funny 'cause it's true" aspects of Peter's method of dealing with his breakup. Although the honeymooner's plot was a little unnecessary, everything else was great. All the characters were really funny and the dialogue and situations were hilarious. Definitely worth paying for to see in the theaters and watching it with everyone else around you busting out laughing as well is a worthy experience too.

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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Tight, Huh?

A guy and a girl are in a heavy make out session when the girl asks the guy to put his finger inside her. He does.

She asks him to put two fingers inside. He does.

She asks him to put his whole hand in. He does.

Then, she asks him to put in his other hand and clap. He puts in the other hand, but he can't clap.

She smiles, "Tight, huh? I told you I was a virgin!"

Punishment for Gates

Satan greets him: "Welcome Mr. Gates, we've been waiting for you. This will be your home for all eternity. You've been selfish, greedy and a big liar all your life. Now, since you've got me in a good mood, I'll be generous and give you a choice of three places in which you'll be locked up forever.

Satan takes Bill to a huge lake of fire in which millions of poor souls are tormented and tortured. He then takes him to a massive coliseum where thousands of people are chased about and devoured by starving lions. Finally, he takes Bill to a tiny room in which there is a bottle of the finest wine sitting on a table. To Bill's delight, he sees a PC in the corner. Without hesitation, Bill says "I'll take this option."

"Fine," says Satan, allowing Bill to enter the room. Satan locks the room after Bill.

As he turns around, he bumps into Lucifer. "That was Bill Gates!" cried Lucifer. "Why did you give him the best place of all!"

"That's what everyone thinks" snickered Satan.

"The bottle has a hole in it!"

"What about the PC?"

"It's got Windows 95!" laughed Satan.

"And it's missing three keys,"

"Which three?"

"Control, Alt and Delete."

Police chief hates you

Ten Signs The Police Chief Hates You

10. He sends you on drug raids....alone.

9. He refers to you as "Our Little Mascot."

8. The job description in your contract includes "crash test dummy" and "pepper-spray test subject."

7. Instead of a gun, you were issued a water pistol.

6. He always tells you that only wimps call for back-up.

5. He lied to you about an "officer exchange program" and put you on a plane to Siberia.

4. He doesn't like to be seen with you in public.

3. He makes up "missing persons" and then sends you to look for them.

2. You always get the patrol car with the flat tire, no gas, a dead battery, and a broken air conditioner.

1. Your locker is also the broom closet!!

Reasons to stay at work all night

1. Act out your version of a company takeover.

2. Find a way to change everyone's password to "chrysanthemum".

3. Around 3:20am, play connect-the-dots with lights still on in other office buildings. Keep going until you see a small woodland creature.

4. Sneaking in the boss's desk could land you an unexpected promotion.

5. Draw stick people in all the landscape pictures on the walls, and in the morning, be the first to point out "what a terrible thing that someone did this to such beautiful works of art".

6. Go into the other gender's bathroom without fear of being caught.

7. Run up and down the hallways screaming, hoping security will come so you can have someone to talk to.

8. Leave prank messages on the CEO's voice mail.

9. Finally, a chance to live out a dream and pretend to be your boss.

10. Elevator surfing!

Shottas (2002) DVDrip

A bit uneven, Shottas suffers from low quality transfers that just add to the film's problems. My dvd copy would sometimes cut to a black screen that would say: Insert more robbery scenes here. Technical problems aside: the meaningful dialogue is quite slim- character development seems aimed at an increase in robberies, the direction is lop-sided and meandering, never really wanting to show you much more than hot chicks and nice whips(would have made for a nice extended music video). While I did like the music, it's over-used and just sort of "there"- didn't do much for the film other than elicit some head-nodding on my part. The Anderson character is a joke-he's a political-bad guy cut-out. And how about that "tongue-in-cheek" joke about Wyclef's character banking on a music career? Horrible. Did I care what happened at the end of the film to the main characters? Not really, they were bad people who did bad things, a sentiment I held regarding Cess Silvera's directing effort.

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Kabluey (2007) DVDrip

For being a low budget movie, one doesn't expect the thrills and spills of the typical mainstream family comedies out there. A friend of mine recommended this as a great movie in which he 'laughed the whole way through.' I decided to check it out for myself. Optimistically, I sat down looking forward to a classic, but after 40 minutes of slow paced bad acting my patience was starting to grow thin. I thought the blue suit idea had a lot of potential and would take the main character on all sorts of wild adventures with all kinds of characters, however many dragged out boring scenes of the same characters (mad woman driving past in Ford Capri trying to run him over), which were unfunny in the first place consumed a fair proportion of this God-awful movie instead. This left me really frustrated and I've lost count of how many times I had to sit up to stop myself from falling asleep.

For the entirety I gave the movie a chance to get better, but it never did pick up. For being a comedy movie I was shocked,... I did not laugh once, nor did I find anything funny about the film. The storyline was boring (Father goes off to Iraq and brother takes care of his kids and his wife gets him a job, because she is fed up with him) and the acting was atrocious.

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Jumper (2008) DVDrip

In Ann Arbor, the teenager David Rice was left by his mother when he was five years-old; he does not have a good relationship with his father; and he has a crush on his schoolmate Millie Harris. When David gives a snow globe with the Eiffel Tower to Millie, the bully Mark Kobold throws it onto a frozen river. David tries to retrieve the object, but the ice shatters and David fall under the ice. Suddenly he teleports himself to a library and discovers that he has the ability to jump anywhere he wants. He decides to run away home, moving to New York, and uses his power to rob a bank vault. Eight years later, David is living in a fancy apartment in New York and having a life full of adventure, traveling to the most exotic places in the world. He decides to visit Millie in Ann Arbor and invites her to visit Rome. While in the Coliseum, David meets the jumper Griffin that explains to him that the dangerous Roland Cox and his team of Paladins are chasing him and his family and friends are in danger.

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Picture Perfect (1997) DVDrip

Kate is working on a career at Mercer Advertising, but she is passed up for promotion because she is 'not stable enough', still being single and having no ties to the company. She makes up a story about being engaged to Nick, a guy whom she just met at a friends' wedding. All seems to work out well for Kate. She even gets the attention of a colleague she had always wanted, but then events take a dramatic turn forcing her to 'present' her alleged fiancee to her boss.

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