DVD: Defiance, Killshot, and Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus

Degiance

Killshot is director John Madden’s adaptation of an Elmore Leonard crime novel and stars Mickey Rourke, Diane Lane, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Thomas Jane. Lane and Jane play a couple placed in the Federal Witness Protection program after witnessing a crime. Rourke plays a hit man sent out to search and destroy the couple, picking up psychopath Gordon-Levitt along the way.

Daniel Craig stars in the World War ll movie Defiance. Based-on-a-true-story, the Edward Zwick directed film centers on four Jewish brothers living in Nazi-occupied Poland who escape into the forest and join Russian resistance fighters against the Nazis. The film falls flat from fake Polish accents and over sentimentality but Craig looks rather fantastic in leather.

Come on and admit it. You’ve dreamt of the day when Lorenzo Lamas and Deborah Gibson both star in a movie about prehistoric sea monsters set on destroying California. Now it is here. Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus are two sea monsters who just love to tear down San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge and take on the acting chops of Lamas and Gibson.

Drag Me To Hell

Drag Me To Hell

Drag Me To Hell is the much anticipated horror movie from director Sam Raimi. Raimi’s unique talents brought him to global success with the Spider-Man franchise but what fans really know and love him for are the 1980’s and early 1990’s Evil Dead movies that mixed horror, gore, and comedy in equal measure. The Evil Dead, Evil Dead ll, and Army of Darkness are considered classics in their genre.

With a plot that’s strictly in the now, Drag Me To Hell tells the story of ambitious LA loan officer Christine Brown (Alison Lohman) and her boyfriend Clay Dalton (Justin Long). When the mysterious Mrs. Ganush (Lorna Raver) begs her for an extension on her home loan, Brown denies the extension in order to impress her boss. Mrs. Ganush’s house is repossessed and in turn she places a curse on the loan officer. Brown’s life soon becomes a living hell.

No Tipping suits me just fine

Only in America do customers stupidly tip. I am on the side of the Europeans. Also in Asia, you don’t tip at restaurants or in taxis. This is an American bad habit. Why should people be tipped for doing their job? Only in America are people tipped for doing their job. And before you say -waiters don’t get paid enough -that isn’t my problem that he/she chose to be a waiter. That’s his/her fault. Go get another job.

I don’t get tipped for doing my job so why should I tip others for doing theirs? And this whole guilt thing we have to go through when we are in America as Americans look at none tippers as wrong doers when Europe and Asia don’t tip because the workers there get a decent wage. I’ve just been in China after living in the US for six years. And it’s just like Europe in regards to tipping.

What a breath of fresh air. In China there’s no tipping unless it is something to do with travel and then they take the Americans for every dollar they are worth because they know Americans have to tip.

I’ve just returned to the US. I will not tip ever again. Why should I tip someone for bringing my food to me? Why should I tip someone when I have to bus my own tables?

WHY SHOULD I TIP SOMEONE FOR DOING THEIR OWN JOB?!

China: Ginger Liu Photography

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China is home to the largest trading/shipping port in the world.

New York did the dumbest thing in the world for constructing a multi-billion memorial structure at ground zero. Why didn’t they build the future? All that money on the past when China is rocketing on and “New York has stopped building.” The history books will note this as one of America’s biggest mistakes. They had a chance to show the world that they were back in business; instead we get this huge white elephant. What a waste of money and self-importance. It is probably the dumbest mistake yet.

View my work on Fotoblur

Star Trek offers nothing for women

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Star Trek was okay. Shame about the women or absence of positive roles for women in the new 2009 movie. Surely 40 years after the first TV Star Trek, male filmmakers could have written better roles for women. Instead we have Uhura getting undressed, we see her legs (maybe the next movie we will see her tits and ass), she’s totty for Spock. Wow. That was it. Bring back Ripley!!! Star Trek sucks for women.

I feel let down. I was looking forward to an adventure and some heroes. But all we get is lads in space. How very disappointing for young girls. Nothing much has changed in Hollywood. Many male film critics I know have the same opinion about Uhuru. Awful role. I hope things improve for the next movie.

Lost is 100 and Smallville is near to the end

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Lost reaches its 100th episode and Smallville’s eighth season could be the show’s last.

It’s always sad to see the end of the line of a long running TV show. When shows like Smallville,CSI, and Law & Order appear in our living rooms, year after year, there’s solid comfort in the familiarity of the story and the complexities of the characters who seem to grow with us in every season. Over time they develop a history and we talk about these characters as if they are real. If our own lives are falling apart around us we can take comfort in the knowledge that our favorite cast of characters will never let us down or beat up on us. Television writers are careful not to b/s the fan base with lame Dallas-like dream plots or heroes getting over death and destruction as quickly as the commercial break ends. Seeing a character leave a show feels as bad as having to say goodbye to a much loved work colleague or secret love that dare not speak its name. When the end is near and characters are left dangling without ever getting the boy or receiving a resolution, we are left with an empty void that begs comparisons to the end of relationships. Only a new lover or fresh new TV show can sooth the pain. And so it is with Smallville, now in its eighth season and arguably its last. It is time to cut the cord and let this one go.

In 2001 Warner Bros. dared to come up with a fresh new take on DC Comic’s ultimate hero, Superman. Eight years on and Smallville managed to surpass even Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ssix seasons to retain its hardcore fan base. With infinite plot and story lines, Smallville’s “reamagined” Superman story juxtaposed teenage angst and life in a small town with earth centric villains and visitors from outer space. Add Tom Welling’s tall, dark, and hansom turn as the shy fumbling teenage Clarke Kent andMichael Rosenbaum’s shiny-headed charismatic nemesis, Lex Luthor, in to the mix and WB had a hit on their hands.

This week sees the release on DVD of season number eight. I think we can all agree that this should be the end. Michael Rosenbaum departed at the end of season seven, leaving a huge gap in the show and WB are stretching things just a little too far if we are to continue to believe in the teenage complexities of life with the average age of the cast pushing thirty. Welling’s is thirty-two.

So, if it is the last series, my advice to you is to watch all eight seasons in one sitting and take comfort in watching Tom Welling’s glorious six-pack -forever and ever available for living room viewing.

While we are on the subject of long, drawn out television series, Lost aired its 100th episode last night. I must admit I never really got into the series, not because I objected to the premise of the show, but because all of my friends and family watched it. And just like Fox’s 24, I was reminded every day how much out of the club I was for not getting addicted. I went through the exact same experience when The Da Vinci Code came out on hardback and again on paperback, and let’s not forget every single book of the Harry Potter series. I was told that by not watching Lost or reading Harry Potter, I was somehow a non-conformist, a rebel if you will, for not joining in with the masses. No doubt I would have eventually watched Lost in my own time, especially as it is packed with UK and US hunks Dominic Monaghan, Naveen Andrews, Matthew Fox, and Josh Holloway.

The series maybe too far gone for me to get into now but if I happen to catch a mild strain of swine flu which puts me on my back for the next couple of weeks, who knows if 100 episodes of Lost might see me through the worse of it.

Great cinema must be taught in schools

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Ronald Bergan is spot on in his article in the Guardian about schools needing to educate students on world cinema but is dead wrong to use two of the best films to come out of contemporary Hollywood as poor examples of cinema today.

You can not say one film is “better” than another. That’s personal opinion. I studied European film at film school in London and while nothing excites me more than watching French New Wave for the feeling of artistic superiority it briefly gives me (joke), Hollywood at its best is also something to be treasured and adored. There is a lot of crap that comes out of Hollywood but that is because they have the luxury of mass production. When Pulp Fiction came out, I wanted to dismiss it as some overrated film for boys. But what makes this film great is the fact that is has stood the test of time and stands up as an example of intelligent filmmaking. Shawshank Redemption is a great story cast with a couple of great lead performances. It too stands the test of time. You will notice that both films rely on great dialogue and strong characters. These films have as much validity to be studied at school as any French film of 1960’s. I would not have said this when these films were released. Surely the proof of a great movie is the shelf life of that movie. I just find it odd that the author picks two of Hollywood’s greatest movies as a bad example of Hollywood. Does this author know anything about contemporary film or does his knowledge stop at 1977? Why not pick something truly crap to come out Hollywood. There’s plenty to choose from and all are mostly forgotten despite relative success upon release.