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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Reel Thoughts: 9 is the Loneliest Number

If you crossed WALL-E with the Terminator franchise, then synthesized it through a World War II milieu, you would have 9, Shane Acker’s visually stunning animated film.

Like WALL-E, the film takes place in a world devoid of human beings, but like the Terminator, this world was destroyed when intelligent machines turned on mankind and killed them all. All that is left is what looks like war-ravaged 1940’s Germany and a band of nine creatures made of burlap and metal parts, and a fearsome machine-monster named “the beast".

When “9” (voiced by Elijah Wood) awakens for the first time, he sees his creator lying dead below him. He ventures out, where he meets “2” (Martin Landau), an elder adventurer who is seeking a way to defeat the beast and allow his friends to live in peace. “9” inadvertently revives the original machine that destroyed mankind, and soon the band of small survivors are battling a variety of cool but deadly mechanical creatures, including a snake monster with the head of a devil baby doll.

9 is scarier than most animated films, so it isn’t a movie to take all kids to see, but it is suspenseful and filled with wildly imaginative fights and set pieces.

Similarities to WALL-E continue when the cloth creatures crank up a Victrola they find and out floats Judy Garland singing “Over the Rainbow,” as opposed to Barbra Streisand’s cohorts singing “Put on Your Sunday Clothes.” The difference is the sense of ever-present danger lurking in 9’s destroyed world, although both films have technology as the villain. I recommend 9 as the product of a very imaginative visual team. If Acker could have imbued his burlap heroes with more life and soul, 9 would be a timeless classic.

As it is, 9 lags behind District 9 in character development, and probably behind Nine for out-and-out entertainment potential.

UPDATE: 9 is now available on DVD and Blu-rayfrom

Review by Neil Cohen, resident film critic of Movie Dearest and Phoenix's Echo Magazine.

Asin Hot Photos, Asin Pics, Cute Asin Wallpapers, Images & Pictures Gallery

Asin Thottumkal
In 2004 Asin Thottumkal was shooting for the Telugu film ‘Gharshana’ at a lake in Nuwara Eliya, a popular hill station in Sri Lanka. Shooting was proceeding on two boats.

When pack-up time was announced, Asin was sitting in one corner of the boat and she suddenly saw water pouring in. “I am thinking, ‘Hey, this is slightly odd but maybe it is no big deal ’,” she says.

The next moment Asin, who does not know swimming, found herself in the water, along with 17 other people, as the boat sank. The lake has a depth of 60 feet. “It was a Titanic moment,” she says. “I remember an assistant director shouting, ‘Somebody please save Asin.’” As Asin sank she held her nerve, flailed her arms and legs and managed to come up for breath. It was when she sputtered for breath for the third time that she began to feel traumatised. “I felt I had reached the limit,” she says. “Suddenly I felt a tug. Somebody was pulling my shirt collar.” The person dragged Asin towards the back of the upturned boat. Asin clambered on and when she looked back, she was surprised to see that it was her own father who had rescued her. “He is a good swimmer,” she says. “When he saw me go under, he jumped in.

Thanks to him, I have a second life.” And, thankfully, everybody else was also saved, most with only minor injuries. Cameraman Raj Shekhar was not so lucky. In a bid to save Asin, he jumped in and his shirt was caught on a nail on the boat. He lost balance and, later, consciousness and remained under water for a few minutes before he was rescued. “Even now he suffers from a back ailment,” says Asin.

At the restaurant at Alappuzha’s Punnamada Backwater Resort, Asin laughs easily. She is intelligent and articulate, and at 8 pm she does not give an impression of tiredness even though she had been awake since 3 am shooting a commercial for Tanishq Jewellery, for whom Asin is the brand ambassador.

Sitting next to her is Alpana Parida, Head-Marketing & Merchandising, Tanishq. “Asin is like a flower,” she says. “She conveys absolute freshness.

This became one of the big hits of 2004.

The good run in Tamil continued in 2005 when she starred in of the biggest hits, ‘Ghajini’, with Surya. When ‘Ghajini’ was released Asin went to Satyam cinema in Chennai on the first day to see the first show with the audience. “It was very exciting,” she says. “Instead of watching the film, I observed the reactions of the audience. The audience laughed wherever they had to laugh and cried at the right places. It was then I was able to understand what worked for me and what didn’t.” In 2006 Asin got a chance to star opposite Kamal Haasan in ‘Dasavathaaram’ where the star played ten roles. So what is the singular impression that she has of Kamala Haasan? “It is his passion for cinema,” she says. “He is so knowledgeable about all aspects of filming. What I learned from him is how to have the intensity to go on and on. Look how much he has achieved. And he is pushing the limits all the time.” Now Asin has moved to Bollywood and has just bought a flat in the upmarket Bandra area. Three films will be released soon: the Hindi remake of ‘Ghajini’, with Aamir Khan, a film produced by Walt Disney called the ‘19th Step’ and ‘London Dreams’ whose hero is the controversial Salman Khan.

“I found Salman simple and down-to-earth,” she says.

“He speaks straight from the heart and that may have caused a negative perception to arise about him in the media.” For ‘London Dreams’ Asin was reportedly paid a fee of Rs 1.5 crore.

Not bad for a 23-year-old from Kochi with an unusual name. So what does Asin mean? “It means purity,” she says
source :(express buzz)

DVD Review: Observe and Report

I have to admit: I love Jody Hill’s absurd and obscene television series Eastbound and Down. It creates one of the best alternate realities I’ve seen in any show. It is artistically grotesque and gratuitous. People say whatever they want in front of anyone…and it doesn’t seem to faze anyone. It’s walking a fine line, making this kind of comedy, but one only needs to watch Eastbound and Down and then take a look at something like Step Brothers (both are exec produced by Will Ferrel) to see how one does gratuitous comedy well. With Hill’s newest film Observe and Report I fall somewhere in the middle. There were moments in Observe and Report that reminded me of the failings of Step Brothers and the successes of Hill’s own Eastbound and Down.

The film is obviously indebted to Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy as head of mall security Ronnie Barnhardt (Seth Rogen) lives in his own alternate world. He feels like every person who enters the mall is his to protect from the evil of the world (there is a subtle commentary here on how Travis Bickel was protecting New York from the scum of the 70’s, and here Barnhardt is protecting his town from the consumer-minded mall crowd who mindlessly lap up all the new “stuff” that is pitched to them via ads). His narration is a lot like Travis Bickel’s – guiding us through moments of the story constantly reminding us that he’s keeping his world (the mall) safe for those that enter.

The story is thin on the surface (like I said there is some interesting stuff beneath the surface here) as a flasher running around the mall exposing him to every woman he sees. One in particular Ronnie is smitten with: Brandi (Anna Farris) who is a cosmetician at the mall. The flasher act as a catalyst for the downward spiral Ronnie goes down. He is so delusional there’s a great scene where he asks Brandi out on a date, she sees that he is taking pills for his bi-polar disorder. She says "I didn't know you partied like that...". Ronnie then gives her the bottle of pill and stumbles his way into having sex with her…oh, never mind she’s passed out and there is clearly vomit on her pillow. The scene is now infamous, but there is a key phrase uttered during the moment that makes it funny, and not just a date rape joke gone awry.

There are, however, many jokes that just kind of fall flat. The absurdist humor doesn’t always work as we see with the cameo of Hill stalwart (and Eastbound and Down star) Danny McBride as a crack dealer, Ray Liotta as a cop who doesn’t think much of Ronnie, and rivalry between Ronnie and a Middle Eastern booth merchant at the mall that leads to one of the weirder Dada-esque moments.

Another reason the film isn’t a total success is the casting of Rogen. Ronnie is both earnest and ugly, and Rogen can play the former, but it’s impossible for Rogen to be unlikable. His pudgy face doesn’t work for this role and his range as a comedian isn’t there yet. He just wasn’t right for Ronnie as he could only pull off the sympathetic part of Ronnie and not the insane part that makes us question our empathy towards the character. The aforementioned Danny McBride would have been perfect for Ronnie.

The stuff that works is great, though, and familiar if you’ve seen Hill’s television show (or other feature film The Foot Fist Way): Ronnie and his co-worker go on a drug induced rampage beating the living hell out of skateboarders, Ronnie happening upon Brandi and Liotta’s detective having sex in a car, and countless scenes that play like Rupert Pupkin greatest hits of uncomfortable moments – specifically a psychological exam Ronnie takes for the police department and a sit down with Ray Liotta where he learns he isn’t going to be on the force…at which point one of Liotta’s co-workers who is hiding in a closet comes out and says “I thought this was going to be funny…but it’s just kind of sad”. Exactly.

Hill has talent, and even though Observe and Report doesn’t always work there are countless moments in between the awkwardness that show you this is a one of a kind director. He films a showdown between Barnhardt and the police with the same kind of deranged energy found in Mean Streets. The final chase seen to the very appropriate Pixies song “Where is My Mind” is a nice touch, too, and he employs his North Carolina film school friend Tim Orr to shoot the picture. There’s nothing overt about the aesthetic letting us know the moments where Ronnie has lost his mind; rather, Hill just leaves it up to the viewer to understand that this is an unstable character who does bizarre things for the sake of the “law”, but really he’s just off in his own little world.

Hill came from the North Carolina film school where he met Danny McBride, Tim Orr, and David Gordon Green (who directed half of the first season of Eastbound and Down) and you can see the talent that is there. Hill isn’t interested in making traditional comedies. His tastes lean more towards the Dada-esque and the absurd, creating characters who say things in front of others that they could only get away with because they exist in their own alternate world. I didn’t think one way or the other about Observe and Report, but I have noticed that I can’t stop thinking about it. Certain scenes keep playing over in my head, and I keep thinking about Ronnie’s character and how we don’t see too many characters like that in comedy. So, despite its flaws I find myself still thinking about it, and that’s saying something for a comedy (which are usually memorable or so bad you can’t wait to get the taste out of your mouth). Fans of The King of Comedy, or just alternative, un-PC comedies will enjoy the allusions throughout Observe and Report and will find something humorous amidst the obscenities and absurdity.

SketchCrawl #24

Its TODAY! Everybody get out there and draw!

To locate a group in your area or join up with the LA group click the links.

For those who don't know what this is:
SketchCrawl is a day long world wide drawing marathon that happens every couple of months. This event is for sketchers from all walks of life, on different continents, for anyone with a piece of paper and any form of drawing utensil. It's about getting out there, enjoying life and taking a little time to appreciate everything. Even if there isn't a group in your area, and even if you're busy that day I'm sure you'll find something inspiring. Just pick up a piece of paper and draw it, even if you're not an artist it's all in good fun.

Everyone have a wonderful day, Happy Sketching!

MD News Desk: Emmys, Ahoy!

Keep up to date with all the latest from the entertainment world with the MD News Desk:

The Latest on TV:
- Tomorrow is primetime TV's biggest night with the live presentation of the Emmy Awards on CBS. How I Met Your Mother's Neil Patrick Harris is not only a nominee (and predicted winner), he's also the host.
- Speaking of HIMYM, its fifth season premiere is this Monday, along with the season 3 bow of another fave CBS sitcom, The Big Bang Theory.
- Also on Monday, Dancing With the Stars kicks off its biggest season to date over on ABC with a special three-night premiere "event". We'll have our eyes on such early favorites as singer Mýa, Iron Chef Mark Dacascos, the sassy Debi Mazar and our Official Crush of the Season, snowboarding champ Louie Vito.

Awards Watch:
- Here are the winners of the 1st Annual Primetime Visibility Awards, including True Blood, Ugly Betty, John Barrowman, Luke MacFarlane and Chad Allen.
- Will Annette Bening and Hilary Swank face off at the Oscars for a third time?
- Penélope Cruz as a bisexual in Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Oscar Nunez as the gay accountant on The Office were among the winners of this year's ALMA Awards.

- Henry Gibson, the comic character actor best known for his stints on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In and Boston Legal, passed away Monday night at the age of 73. His film roles include four movies with Robert Altman, including Nashville.

Out in Film:
- Hairspray director Adam Shankman has been made a permanent judge on So You Think You Can Dance.
- Oscar winning screenwriter Christopher Hampton to adapt the novel Netherland to the screen.
- George Takei and Brad Altman will go where no gay married couple has gone before: The Newlywed Game.
- Fred M. Caruso reveals the divine inspirations behind his Big Gay Musical.
- Iron Chef Cat Cora opened her new restaurant at Walt Disney World.
- Alan Poul, producer of Six Feet Under and the three Tales of the City miniseries, will be honored at Outfest's Legacy Awards.
- Saffron Burrows is in talks to join Law & Order: Criminal Intent.

Women We Love:
- Forget "Secondhand Rose", how about secondhand Streisand?
- Sissy Spacek to get some of that Big Love.
- You say you didn't catch the Tony Award winning Liza's at the Palace when it played New York? Well, now you can catch it on TV ... or DVD!

From Screen to Stage:
- Matt Lucas plays Kenneth Halliwell, lover and murderer of playwright Joe Orton, in the new West End play Prick Up Your Ears.
- Andrew Lloyd Webber will pen six new songs for his upcoming London stage version of The Wizard of Oz.
- Speaking of ALW: While his Phantom of the Opera recently celebrated its 9,000th (!) Broadway performance, he revealed that its sequel, Love Never Dies, will land on the Great White Way in November 2010.
- International gigastar Dame Edna Everage will return to Broadway later this season in the aptly-titled It's All About Me.

Coming Soon:
- Tim Pocock, who played young Cyclops in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, has revealed that he will reprise the role in X-Men: First Class.
- Coming to a TV near you: A Spanish version of The Golden Girls.
- Not coming to a TV near you: That MTV remake of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
- With the unexpected ouster of Disney chairman Dick Cook, Johnny Depp is now leery about a fourth Pirates of the Caribbean.

And speaking of pirates: Today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day! Here's a video tribute that will have you speaking like a Sparrow in no time.

Friday, September 18, 2009

3 Environmental Thumbs

Some backed up environment thumbnails I just realized weren't uploaded.

halo hat sunshine (higher)


i thought my status was demoted...

the hat/crown pattern around j depp seems to correlate nicely with the lil miss sunshine pattern recently stumbled upon. Abigail Breslin wears a top hat for the wonderfully satirical end for "Little Miss Sunshine",

Rihanna from "Umbrella" video

Miss breslin will be starRing with Depp in 2011's "Rango" witch has something to do with birds (and the sun?)...

...along with Isla Fisher. Island Fisher, the water bringer, ref'd by Indras in Rocky Rebis Horror, which starts off with some androgyny-talk, which i'll get to...

and Somebody said somethin about Islands... Rich?

[peep the vortex formed by the mountain and the whirlwind-like area]

{...and the rainbow}

nice rainbow ring vince. floWers even...

Breslin stands in ring, which reflects the halo and by extension of patterns confirmed here, as well as the hat (and the moon, and ferris wheels, and clocks... so i guess everything is everything...). The ring becomes the sun around sunshine girls Dunst and Panettiere from Yellow Fever; miss sunshined... oh and the flower- almost forgot...

the sunshine art and hayden's uniform screams gold and red like Juno...

and Abigail from Little Miss Sunshine...

...who confirms patterns further with her halo headband and rainbow ring bracelets. red and gold kiss Ferris wheels and wonderland in the recently mention Aventureland art.

The red and gold seems to me to be connected somehow to the blue and gold of the Tut Halo headdress... male/female? if so, the androgyny fits right in with the red and blue coming together in other patterns.

next step: go [gaga] Purple!

Here is the red/gold theme along with the red spot (pots/stop/tops) or dot associated to the Master and er/RE/Ra/Ray inside the vesica piscis of MasterCard.

Not sure how to interpret the 'Card in gold' seen on this powerful and omnipresent symbol of commerce and trade. It could be darC/dark; the juxtaposition of bright solar gold and dark giving us a yin yang effect. Car (Chariot) is present which is something Arrowsmith is very into. (Reminds me to highlight a theme of blue cars Kirsten Dunst likes to drive around in..)

The Red and Gold Spots overlap and merge to become RE. They hang in an all embracing ocean of blue.
Here the blue/gold arches play with the red spot/eye of Winnipeg "Embrace The Spirit"

Kevin- Great post Toure! Cool additions from Jake too!

I just wanted to throw these two pics in the Mix because I happened to have done a Meditation on The Aeon or Judgement Tarot card today. Color is a big part of the science of the Tarot and this post jumped out at me today because Im resonating with Fire, which is the elemental Attribution of the Aeon or Judgement Tarot card, in which the Main colors are Red and Orange! The Aeon is symbolic of Spiritual Transformation, Revelation, shedding of the Old and awakening to the New, Purification, and strongly the Transformation from one Aeon to Another. This card represents the influence of the Fire from the Archetypal and Celestial realms entering into the physical and transforming matters.

Theres a Red Dot on Ra-Hoor-Khuits hed symbolic of the Sun, and theres also a Red Dot on the Winged Globe between the Legs of Nuit. If you notice theres Wavy lines connecting the Red and Orange bands of energy beneath her as well. These colors are all communicating the movement of Spirit through Fire. Note the letter Shin, symbolic of Fire connecting the Red and Orange bands as well. These resonate with the Spheres of the Sun and Mercury on the Tree of Life. This all resonates with Spiritual transformation in the material realm.

Just wanted to throw out the Red and Yellow Hair on the ArChangel Michael whos element is Fire on the Original Rider Waite Deck, this card connects the Sphere energy an motion - Mercury-Hod to Earth- matter and integration-Malkuth, this path strongly to me with the idea of Spiritualizing Matter as it is the 21st of 22 paths at the end of the Creative process in Kabbalistic Tarot. Thanks for sharing everyone! Namaste <3>

For some reason I came across the posters for the animation film Arthur. 

The character Arthur is voiced by Freddie Highmore, who also happens to star with Johnny Depp in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He plays Charlie.

Perhaps the name Highmore is a clear pointer to this child actor's spiritual resonance. He is also the voice of Astro Boy, soon to be released. More high indeed. A Boy that flies.

In the posters below his association with Yellow Flowers tells me he is an actor to follow. Maybe this star has something to teach us. Yellow is the colour of joy and the first colour of flower to blossom in the spring.

Funny enough, Freddie Highmore also stars with Johnny Depp in the film Finding Neverland. I wonder what kind of synchromystic wisdom exists in understanding the relationship of the two actors. They do connect in films with mystical themes.

Is it a Master and Student relationship between two stars?  

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