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Birth Facts. [Jun. 7th, 2011|08:39 pm]
Cameron Rice

So I read this:

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http://jezebel.com/5806347/woman-sues-over-ex+boyfriends-heinous-miscarriage-billboard

And I feel the need to make some points of truth here: As we all know, both the man and the woman help in the birthing process. Being that both parents carry one half of the baby within their wombs. The man carries the top half in his womb and the woman carries the bottom in hers (which is why woman still have to get the ultra sound to find out the babies sex, because that top half doesn't have breast yet... hopefully). When the woman goes into labor they have sex one more time, where the man puts the top half of the baby into the woman. Within the woman the baby is fused into an amalgamation of a finished baby. So when it comes to abortion, a woman should ask permission, because otherwise a man still has the top half of a baby stuck in his womb, with no bottom half to complete it. 

Right? That's how it work right? I'll be a great father. So stop being selfish, women- because we get morning sickness, too.

Go men's rights!


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Top 15 films of 2010 [Jan. 1st, 2011|06:34 am]
Cameron Rice
Top Fifteen of the year:

So it’s the end of the year and that means it’s time to throw down my favorite films of ‘10. This year there will be fifteen instead of ten. Why? Well it’s my list. Also I felt like there were enough great films worth talking about to make a list of fifteen. Now it should be noted, I can’t see everything hard as I may try, and there were a number of films that had I seen them may have been on year but I won’t know till I see them. That list includes: The Town, 127 Hours, Wallstreet 2, The Ghost Writer, Exit Through the gift shop, Blue Valentine, The Fighter, or King’s Speech. Once I see them, you all will hear about it. But for now, let’s get started.

15-13.

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A-team/Expendables/Pirhana 3D: The reason I’m combining these three films into one review is because talking about them individually will get repetitive. The fact of the matter is these movies were just pure fun. There seems to be the idea that unless a film is dramatic in nature or says something about the human condition that it’s not worth talking about. I think that’s a load of crap, because films are supposed to be entertaining or hit you emotionally, and those emotions can be just having a good time at the theater, which these three films do.

A-Team: A team is a film that easily could have tried to be too serious. Tried to become a post 9/11 film about terrorism and a group of mercenaries. Face could have been a Jason Bourne like fighter doing parkour. But director Carnahan and the writing team did exactly what you should do with an A-team move. And that’s just make a fun movie about a group of guys who aren’t going to do any fancy dance-fu. They’re just going to kick some ass. From the opening helicopter dog fight scene to the tank falling out of the airplane. A-team was just a lot of fun at the theater, but a really well done ton of fun.

Expendables: This is a film that I’d been looking forward to for about a year or two. When it was announced I remember saying “This should be called MAN! The movie.” It’s easy to dismiss this film as a silly actioner, and to some degree it is. The story line is nothing more then you would fine on any straight to video action film in the 90’s but due to the amount of characters in the film, the simpler the story the better. The thing that makes this film work is the personalities on screen. From Stallone and Mickey Rourke to Stone Cold Steve Austin on the villain side. It also has to be noted how well this film does at showing off the different fighting styles of each actor and making it work. It’s not simple to throw in fist fighting to UFC style fighting to Jet-Li’s style of martial arts and make it seem like it all works. That these men would stand next to each other. And despite a scene or two it was great to see an action film where you can see what’s gong on. You can see the punches being thrown, the bullets hitting people. It didn’t just go for the “shaky cam” look the entire time. It’s also funny, like actually funny. Stallone has a great way of writing conversation between people that feels real, that’s evident going all the way back to Rocky. And he’s still able to do it here. The down time between the guys feels like conversations you would hear between drinking buddies. Also Jeti Li and Jason Statham super kick a guys head backwards. If you can’t appreciate that, then what the hell is wrong with you?

Pirhana 3D: Now while I can appreciate that 3D should be used to bring the audience into an experience. There is something great about a gimmick film every once and a while. Pirhanan runs with that gimmick, the whole gimmick of doing a 3D monster movie. This film easily could have fit into the “Grindhouse” film set from Tarintino or Rodriquez. The casting of Christopher Lloyd as a fish shop owner is just hysterical and he steals every scene he’s in. The opening homage to Jaws with Richard Dreyfus is a great opening to the film and sets you up for what you’re about to experience. But it’s also well directed. Aja has made straight up horror films before this and it shows. The giant fish attack on a Spring Break concert is really well constructed, building the tension before all hell breaks lose. This is also probably the most violent film I’ve seen in a while, also featuring the longest amount of time spent on female nudity. This film is violent, exploitive, sexy, in your face, and I loved every minute of it.

12. Winter’s Bone

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A detective film set in the Ozarks and the detective is a 17 year old high school girl looking for her father. Winter’s Bone is a mood piece from the very first scene. And the tension builds from scene to scene as the main character Ree Dolly tries to find her father, going from family member to possible family member trying to discover if her father went back to making crystal meth or if he’s just dead somewhere. It’s not a complicated story, and because it’s simple it’s easier for you to be brought in and be invested in Ree’s journey. Jennifer Lawerance is the actress everyone is talking about when this film is discussed, and they should. She’s amazing and if she doesn’t win the Oscar for best actress then she should at the very least be nominated, she gives a wonderfully subdued performances, but the whole film is on her back, if she were to be an “okay” actress, the film wouldn’t work, but she does great work. But all the actors do great work in this film. It’s also the little things that make Winter’s Bone really come to life. You hear random gunshots in the distance, no one reacts. It’s just part of life. Stray dogs are seen through many of the scenes. Just wandering around. And it’s those little touches that make this films work. It’s a simple story but it’s the small things that make this movie jump off the screen and suck you in.

11. Waking Sleeping Beauty

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The documentary about the fall then rise again of Disney Animation from the late 80’s to the mid 90’s. This film could have been made and basically be a giant commercial for Disney. A “Aren’t we great!? Look at these awesome movies!” documentary. Something that would work better on as a DVD special feature. It’s not. This film, directed by Don Hahn, who produced Beauty and the Beast, Lion King and The Hunchback of Notre Damn, looks at the Walk Disney Animation company from the “Great Mouse Detective” to “The Lion King”. The move of the animation team from the Disney studio to a shack like studio in Glendale. The bringing in of Jeffery Katzenberg to run animation like it’s own movie studio and the power that Howard Ashman and Alan Menken’s music brought to the films and the creativity in making these films. The film, which is primarily home video shot by the animators and talking heads from all the people involved, actually has an arc to it. There’s a story in all of this and that’s how a group of people who were down and out and for a period of time looked like they were no longer needed, became the powerhouse of animation again in the 90’s. This isn’t a film just for Disney buffs or animation fans, it’s an interesting underdog story, these people just happen to be animators. Hahn gets everyone he can to do interviews on the film and discuss that era. We also get to see personal drawings done by the animators of either each other or situations that were happening to them or even contest that were held. It’s a great documentary and a great story.

10. Black Swan

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If someone would have asked me a few years ago who I thought was going to be the next “Cronenberg”, the director to take body horror and mix that in with eroticism and paranoia, I wouldn’t have thought of Darren Aronofsky, but Black Swan proved it to me. Aronofsky is one of my favorite directors working today, and I think it’s the fact that he is so in your face. He’s not a subtle director; if he has a point to make he’s going to make sure you understand that he’s making it. For some people that doesn’t work and I understand that, but I love it. I love seeing a modern day director that swings for the fence and pushes his audience’s comfort levels. From the sounds being loud or even overpowering at times, the images being shocking, the repetition of score from Clint Mansell, Aronofsky is an extreme director and I appreciate that. With Black Swan, his first horror/suspense film he continues to push. Any scene with sexuality is interrupted by a horror image or sense of discomfort, making the two parts of your brainwork with each other, the frighten side and the side of arousal. The use of shaky cam and close up gives the audience of feeling of being there and the film works as having a sense of unease through it all. The actors do a great job of bringing out that ease and discomfort. I’ve heard some say Natalie Portman only has to act scared or sad through out the film. Maybe true, but we also have to believe the ending when she becomes the Black Swan. If that doesn’t work, the film doesn’t work. And it works, she pulls off the Black Swan. Mila Kunis is great in every scene she’s in, bring in the comic relief from time to time, Barbra Hershey brings a great amount of gravity to the over bearing mother and Vincent Cassel as the dance director who knows what he wants but does it such a sleazy way just makes the film come to life. It was also great to see Winona Ryder in a film again, if only for ten minutes. It’s the art house horror film I’ve wanted for sometime.

9. Kick Ass
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I’ve made the argument that not all films can be all things. I often hear complaints about horror movies that aren’t funny or comedies that lack drama. That’s always caused me to roll my eyes because that’s not their intended genre or what the filmmaker was going for. You can’t have everything in a film. But for me, Kick Ass comes pretty damn close of having everything in a film and not making it feel like it’s bloated. Directed by Mathew Vaghn, Kick Ass does a damn good job of going from emotion to emotion. Being hysterically funny one minute, to giving us a great action scene the next. Giving us a sweet story with Hit Girl and Big Daddy (granted, a fucked up heart warming story). We get the hero’s journey and more. It’s also nice to see a superhero film take the R rating and run with it. Kick Ass is violent and full of language, not every superhero movie should be this way, but going with the mind set of “What if a normal person became a superhero?” it does. We also get some great performance. Chloe Moretz as Hit Girl, a character that easily could have been a one note joke that kills itself thirty minutes into the film works and that speaks volumes of the young actresses talent. Nick Cage gives one of his best performances in the last few years, this along with “Port of Call New Orleans” show me Nick Cage is back doing real acting in interesting films, and it’s great to see. Also Christopher Mintz-Plasse breaks out of his McLovin role and is now The Red Mist. I hope we get a 2nd one because I want to see these characters continue, I want to see what happens next, and with these actors, not just on the comic book page.

8. Shutter Island.

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A 1950’s style pulp thriller directed by Martin Scorsese. That’s what Shutter Island is and it’s awesome because of it. I won’t go into how gorgeous the movie is, it’s Scorsese, of course it is. The thing that makes Shutter Island work is the film holds up over multiple viewings. Some people bemoaned the fact that they say the twist coming a mile away. I make the argument that even if you saw it coming doesn’t mean the movie isn’t good. What? Do you never watch a movie with a twist a 2nd time because you know the end now? Of course not. This film works because it’s not all about the twist. The film builds to that twist and it’s only on a 2nd viewing you can see how wells it’s done. Everything is set up that you can take the film in two ways, that the twist you are told is a lie or that it’s the truth and it works both ways. That’s not at all easy to do. This film is very much of another time. It’s a 50’s thriller to its core. The acting, the dialogue delivery, the structure of the thing is very much a 50’s style pulp story. Martin Scorsese made a Val Lewton movie; he made a very very good Val Lewton movie. If this film didn’t work for you the first time, or the “twist” had your rolling your eyes, give it another try. You may catch things you didn’t notice before or see it as a completely different movie.

7. Robin Hood

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Robin Hood is a movie that is getting so much flak, I don’t get it. People were just ready to hate this movie it seems. Either because they don’t like Russel Crowe or because they are apparently such giant fans of Robin Hood that anything deviating from the source material is blasphemy. Before this movie came out all I heard was “Why do we need another Robin Hood movie?” (Btw, most of these folks loved Sherlock Holmes with Robert Downey Jr.) Then the movie comes out and all I hear is “Why isn’t it like other Robin Hood movies!?” This movie basically is Robin Hood Begins, and I didn’t mind that. We see the character build and grow into the Robin Hood we know. And with Scott behind the camera, you end up getting a damn good-looking movie. It was so refreshing to see a movie where real people ride real horses on a real beach. I know there was some CGI in the film, but with Scott you know the CGI that is there is there in purpose of the story, not in the “oh look, pretty cool what computers do now huh?” way. Also Cate Blanchete gives a hell of a performance as Marion, she shows grief in many ways, not just in tears. When her character is grief stricken, it’s all over her The battle scenes are fantastic, Scott can do battle scenes like most people shoot talking scenes, it’s his bread and butter, but that doesn’t make then any less exhilarating. And it was great to see a villain with no grey. The villain is an asshole to the end. You hate his guts and when he gets his comeuppance you can’t help but cheer a little. Yes this is Robin Hood Begins, and I think it’s awesome for being so.

6. How To Train Your Dragon

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When it comes to Animated films, Pixar tends to be king. Due to the over saturation of the Shrek franchise and other films that are “okay” at best. It’s easy to write off Dreamworks animation. But this year Dreamworks produced perhaps the best film their studio has put out and that’s How to Train your Dragon. This film does what I loved about animated films growing up, and that’s that it was an adventure film. Sure the film had a message to it, but like any great film that may have a message it has that message given to the audience by character and plot development. Not having your characters just telling the audience “Here’s the point. Onto the next scene.”. It’s not heavy handed. The flying scenes in this film alone are worth a watch, just on TV they are still exhilarating. The voice cast is great, having names but not “stars”. It’s just a great film for the family, that may sound chilche but it’s true. It’s not just about the kids on this one, the parents or even people who have no children in their family can love this movie. It’s like being a kid all over again, and it can be rare for a film to really give you that feeling.


5. True Grit

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The saying “The Devil is in the details” works great for any Coen film. But it’s probably never been truer then in True Grit. True Grit is a classic film made in a classic way. A number of westerns have been made in recent years. But there’s been the urge to make them “modern” in the film making techniques and in the language. True Grit is a classic Western, there’s nothing flashy going on and that’s what makes it work. The language feels genuine and old timey (it might not be, I didn’t live back then so I couldn’t tell you but it feels right). And all the actors make this film, it’s an actors film, from Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon to the smaller roles or characters that have two lines, every character adds to the interesting story that is True Grit. The film is funny and action packed, and going with that classic Western feel, you see everything. The Desert, the forest, the mountains. See these old cowboys going on a man hunt. And you can’t talk about True Grit without talking about the star making turn by fourteen year old, thirteen at the time of filming Hailee Steinfeld as Mattie Ross. She plays a real person, which is not easy for a child actor to do, they can often come across as “actors” and not “people’ Steinfeld has no problem with that. Years from now I’m not sure if people will look back at this film as a “Coen’s classic”. It’s not as bleak as “No Country” nor as hysterical as “Raising Arizonia” but it should go down as one of their best made. It’s a damn well made film by damn good filmmakers. Like Shutter Island it’s a film out of it’s current time, and that’s why it’ll be remembered years from now as the film it is, not by who made it, it’s that damn good.

4. Toy Story 3

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It would have been very easy for Pixar to make Toy Story 3 another “Toys go on an Adventure” film. It could have been easily disposable fun entertainment and would have made as much money. But they didn’t. Pixar took their time and made perhaps one of the most “human” films they’ve ever made. They did a simple but perhaps a brilliant move by aging this sequel in real time. This time around, the toys don’t just go on an adventure we actually see the toys deal with the idea of mortality, usefulness in life and dealing with loss or the idea of loss. Pixar took these characters to the next phase of their lives, the next natural step these characters would have to take to grow, not just doing a re-tred of the first two films and sending them on another wacky adventure. It’s also one of the best prison escape movies I’ve seen in a while. The prison just happens to be a childs’ daycare run by a pink stuffed bear. The addition of new characters was well handled because they didn’t overpower the film, which can happen when you bring in new characters. With sequels the writers so badly want to show you the new things they crated they forget that you’re there to see the characters you know and love, Toy Story 3 doesn’t have that problem. The new characters push the story forward while giving our old favorites new developments. It’s also a damn funny film. From the “method acting” hedgehog to Mr. Tortia head. It’s not all about seriousness and emotion here, it’s also hysterical. The script by Little Miss Sunshine screenwriter Michael Arndt gave us the simple thing of real human emotions, and put that into Toys. Another masterpiece for Pixar, and a great end to the trilogy that is Toy Story.

3. The Social Network

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About a year ago when it was announced a Facebook movie was being made, everyone scoffed, it became the easiest Internet joke. But what Aaron Sorkin and David Fincher ended up bringing to the screen wasn’t a movie about a company starting up and becoming successful. They created a movie about friendship, betrayal and absolute power corrupting absolutely. All those elements are some of the most basic plots of classis stories, using those troupes to tell this story made the movie more then a simple “Behind the scenes” kind of movie. And Sorkin’s fast, stylized dialogue gives the film a real break neck pace along with Trent Reznor’s score. Scene about coding feel like the most fascinating scenes ever, as opposed to being dull or just basic set up, every scene feels like it’s really important and has a force pulling the audience along. Jesse Eisenberg takes the character we have seen him play before and make him something more. Maybe it was the dialogue or just the simple looks he gave, but his Mark Zuckerberg comes across like a dangerous animal. Sweet and unassuming at one point, ready to strike and attack at another. A film I can say safely that people will be talking about ten to twenty years to come as a great movie and maybe an important movie.

2. Inception

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After the success that was the Dark Knight, people began talking about Inception in terms of “The movie between Batman films” much like “The Prestige”. A good movie, a very good one in fact, but not one people were rushing out to see again and again. This was all before it came out of course. Inception ended up becoming the movie to see, due to its complexity and fantastic action scenes. But what makes Inception an enjoyable film for me is that it’s a genre film. It’s a bank robbery movie done very creatively. It’s a story we’ve seen before time and time again. A crew of guys, all with their specialties have to do “one last job” before they can quit and there’s the femme fatal from their past getting in the way. The fact that it is all done within the dreamscape and within the mind is what makes the film pop. The story is both familiar and new. It’s the familiar aspects that grab the audience and bring them in. it’s the new aspects that kept them coming back and trying to figure out the puzzle piece. It also shows how great a film done primarily with practical effects can still be. It’s the first film in a long time that had me go “Okay, how’d they do that?” Some have said this film lacks humor, which I disagree with. You just have to look at Tom Hardy and Joseph Gordon-Levett play off each other to see that’s not true. But even if you feel that’s true I say “So what?” This goes to my case that not every movie needs everything. There’s little to no comedy in “Taxi Driver” or “The Exorcist” and those films are classic. Inception is a fantastic film that holds up wonderfully on multiple viewings and it has firmly cemented Christopher Nolan as one of the best filmmakers currently working today.

1. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

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The best film of the year to me is the Swedish Phenomenon and the first of the Millennium trilogy. Now I realize the year this came out officially is 2009, BUT it didn’t come to the states till mid 2010, and I couldn’t see it legally till 2010, so it makes my 2010 list. There were two more films in the series, both good, but the 1st is the best. The thing that makes Dragon Tattoo a film you want to see again and again, despite it’s bleak atmosphere and harsh storyline, are the performances. Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth and Michael Nyqvist as Blomkvist make these characters come to life, you fall in love with them and want to see them triumph. Her acting in this is so good that Rapace has basically become a international star, and deservedly so. She’s amazing and brings such great nuance to her role, as does Nyqvist. Sometimes acting is all in the eyes and these two do so much fantastic work with their eyes. Salander is a character that feels powerful and tough and that can be difficult to pull off but Rapce does that. The directing by Niels Arden Oplev brings to mind other great bleak detective films done by Davind Fincher (who’s now directing the remake) and Roman Polanski. Some have complained that the mystery story the two are trying to solve isn’t interesting or groundbreaking stuff. I think that part of the story is fine, but it’s the macguffin, the thing to bring these two together, at the end the story is about Lisbeth and Blomkvist and the growth they go through. Just like Philip Marlowe stories are about us getting to know Philip Marlowe. The same for Sherlock Homles, the cast of CSI and now Lisbeth and Blomkvist. It’s not about the mystery, it’s about the characters. Larson has created one of the best female characters maybe in the last ten years. She will last a long time as an iconic figure now, due to this film and the portrayal by Rapace. 15 to 20 years from now, maybe other writers will come and write more adventures for Salandar and Blomkvist, just like Holmes and Marlowe. But for now, we have this amazing film to watch, and re-watch. A remake is coming out this year, and it may be good, hell it may even be better in different aspect. This film was also a message film to some extent. Larson wanted to bring to light the harsh realties he perceived in Swedish culture to the treatment of women. The original title of this was ‘The Men who hate Woman”. But like the other films on this list though that is there, the message is clear, it doesn’t bash you over the head, and it’s not overwhelming. You care about the message because you care about Lisbeth. This film may be made again and again because it’s that good, but for me, the Swedish version, with these actors, is my number one film of the year.

And that wraps up 2010. 2011 seems to be another great year for film. Can't wait to see what I love then.
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(no subject) [Jul. 31st, 2010|09:30 pm]
Cameron Rice
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Eminem's new album, my thoughts. [Jun. 23rd, 2010|07:16 pm]
Cameron Rice
I don't normally talk about music, but I wanted to talk about this.

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Eminem is an interesting artist to say the least, especially in the last year. You can't talk about his latest album "Recovery" with out talk about his last album "Relapse". And you can't talk about "Relapse" without taking his career into account.

For me, Eminem is one of those artist who's albums I buy the day of release. I was surprised when I picked up "Relapse" to hear many of my friends, even rap fans say "Eminem? Really? Is he still any good?" As if he was a passing fad from high school. Like I picked up the most recent Eiffel 65 album. I'd argue that among the people Eminem came up with in the last 90's early 00's, he's one of the few that is still musically relevant. Kid Rock is now a spokes person for Jim Bean, no one's seen Limp Bizkit for quite some time (Though Durst did appear on Tom Green's talk show recently and that was interesting.) Korn has lost two members (one to religion, the other to hand problems) and isn't as well regarded as they once were, System of a Down has broken up, Britney Spears is nothing but a tabloid seller and so on. Eminem is one of the few artist from that era that matters still and still has something to say. By the way, who would have guess in 99 that Eminem and Justin Timberlake would be the two artist still relevant?

In 1999 when "The Slim Shady LP" hit (I was in 7th grade at the time), Eminem was the artist everyone was talking about. "Who is this guy?" was the question on most people's minds. His career would, of course, blow up, becoming not just the biggest rapper in the world, but for a time the biggest recording artist. He even went on to make a rather good movie (Yes "8-mile" is a good movie, which shouldn't be a surprise with Curtis Hansen behind the camera. Don't believe me? Go check it out again.) In 2005 when "Encore" came out, Eminem said he was taking a break, there was rumors that he was actually retiring. From 2005 to 2009 Eminem went to got re-married and re-divorced from his ex-non ex-exagain wife Kim. His friend "Proof" was killed, and he went to rehab for an addiction to pain killers and sleeping pills.

How would Eminem fair after four years? Rap may not have changed that much it would seem. But in four years Kanye West went from being "The Jesus walks guy" to one of the biggest rappers ever. Jay-Z retired and came back. Dr. Dre was now selling Dr. Pepper and head phones, and Ice Cube was now a family movie star and 30 for 30 documentary director. How would Eminem fair? When "Relapse" came out. It seems everyone was expecting to get a hard hitting documentary style album. What came out was Eminem trying to reclaim his spot in some ways. Doing what he did best. The album had skits, songs about murder, ragging on the new pop stars. But it lacked something, and in the end that might have been truth. "Relapse" is by no means a bad album, but it feels like the album he made trying to find his footing once again. In fact Eminem himself has said that "Relapse" was a disappointment to him creatively.

Now a year later, we have "Recovery". This is that soul searching, personal piece I believe many expected "Relapse" to be. There's no jokes, he doesn't do any funny songs and in fact only referes to himself as "Silm Shady" only a few times, the songs featuring other artist aren't the predictable 50 cent, Dre, or other artist Eminem is associated with. This is an album straight from the heart, he talks about his addictions, his pain and the loss of his best friend. This album may not work for all rap fans, because it almost isn't a rap album. There's a lot of interesting pop like numbers. It's more like Eminem is doing straight poetry with music playing in the background as opposed to hip-hop. The fury and pain is back in his voice, his heart is back in it and he's got something to say once again. He's not singing about a party, or how rich he is, doesn't mention any pop stars and I don't believe mentions his mom once.

That's not to say the whole album works, a few tracks here and there aren't as great as others. But overall I'd say it's a very satisfying album and it's a look into the man. But the best tracks are the ones where you can tell his heart is in it. "Talkin' 2 Myself" is Eminem talking to his fans, "25 to Life" is a song about his frustration with his relationship to rap music, "Love the Way You Lie" ft. Riahnna about abusive relationships (which I'm sure cant be lost on anyone as to why Riahnna is on the track with him) and finally (and maybe the best song on the album) "You're Never Over" a dedication to his fallen friend Proof. He even sings on the album a bit, though he is by no means a singer, I didn't mind it because it was his way of getting the message across in other means beyond rapping. I know a lot of rap fans hate the singing, but again I don't know how much of this is a rap album, as much a documentary into the person set to music. Different kinds of music, not just beats.

You can almost look at Eminem's albums in pairings of two. "Slim Shady" and "Marshall Mathers LP" is the introduction of the man and him perfecting his craft. "The Eminem Show" and "Encore" are the big years, the excess years, and (even by his own admission) the drug years. Now with "Relapse" and "Recovery" we get the return of the man and his explanation as to where he went. This feels like the album that will be the one people point to and say "This is when he changed as an artist." Some people may not like the change, but in a way, you got to respect it. Is this his best album? No. "The Marshal Mathers LP" is by far his best album and him at his most furious, he was still fighting to get into the rap game and get out of the sophomore slump. But "Recovery" is by far his most ambitious album, his most personal album and more then worth the listen and purchase.

Rating B+
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Glee review from Eric [May. 6th, 2010|08:24 pm]
Cameron Rice
My friend Eric wrote a very interesting review of Glee. Agree, disagree. Let me know, let's discuss Glee!

“Glee” gives itself a “Bad Reputation” by Eric K.

So “Glee” returned four weeks ago with the less-than-spectacular episode “Hell-O.” That episode was followed by “The Power of Madonna,” “Home,” and this week’s “Bad Reputation.” All four of these episodes felt like they were missing something. I’m willing to look past the fact that Regionals hasn’t been mentioned since “Hell-O.” However, “Hell-O” seemed to lack a triumphant return and kind of just picked up like “yeah, we’ve been promoting the hell(-o) out of this show for the past four months, but we’re just going to pretend like nothing’s really happened.” “The Power of Madonna” seemed to lack an actual plot, while “Home” lacked good music other than Mercedes singing “Beautiful” by Christina Aguilera. And this week’s episode seemed to be missing not only music, but also any type of hook to make me want to watch.
I’ve broken the past four episodes down for you the way I see it:

The Good
“Vogue” – I thought this song was the best of the night. The story line surrounding it was stupid, yeah, and overall the song was not necessarily needed, but I loved it and thought Jane Lynch did a great job singing it.
Hummels and Hudsons Unite! – For the most part, I really liked this story line introduced in “Home.” Both Mike O’Malley and Romy Rosemont did a wonderful job with their parts. Even Cory Monteith played it pretty well. Chris Colfer, on the other hand, was the part I did not like. I think that Kurt was being way too selfish with this story. After all, the entire reason he did it was not to make his father happy, but to get closer to Finn. But like I said, for the most part I liked it.
Quinn – I really like that she was there for Mercedes in “Home,” and I liked her role in “Bad Reputation.” However, I do miss the mean Quinn. Then again, she can’t really do much on that level anymore seeing as how she’s kicked off the Cheerios squad.

The Bad
Regionals – The first part of the season was all about sectionals. Not every episode was dedicated to the glee club going to sectionals, but they would still let you know that sectionals was off in the distance. This part of the season has mentioned regionals once that I can remember… and that was in “Hell-O.” Sure, with that episode we got introduced to Idina Menzel’s Shelby Corcoran, but what was the point in introducing her? So we could watch her and Schue hook up? Essentially the episode said “hey! She’s important… okaynowyoucanforgetabouther.”
Kurt's singing – I think my main problem with whenever Kurt sings by himself is that he sounds like a twelve year-old girl. He does not sound like an 18/19 year old guy… it’s weird. I think it would be a little better if he didn’t sound like he was trying to sound like a woman. I don’t mind the character, and honestly think that Kurt is hilarious, but when he sings, it’s weird, and I don’t like it.
Sue Sylvester having a heart – In the episode “Wheels,” we were introduced to Sue’s “handicapable sister” (as Sue puts it). I loved that moment and thought it was amazing and absolutely loved that episode. However, since then, we’ve learned more about Sue and that she actually is a person. Sue’s the kind of character we love to hate – if there’s a reason to love her, we won’t hate her. The problem with giving her a heart is that we hate her less and less, and like her more and more, and that takes away from what he loved about the character in the first part of the season. She’s had some great one-liners and is probably the best character on the show, but by giving her more screen time and making her more human, they are ruining Sue Sylvester.
Emma and Will’s relationship – I was not a fan of the two getting together at the end of the first half of the season. I’m glad they’ve broken up and all, but I think that the way that they are playing this relationship out is no bueno. I was happy to see Emma grow a backbone and put Will in his place, but at the same time I am getting so pissed off at Will for the way he acts with everything. He’s probably the most immature character on the show. Maybe there should be a separate category for Mr. Schuester, but I really dislike the way that he and Emma have been interacting lately.
Finn kind of forgetting that Quinn and Puck are having a baby together – At the end of the last half of the season, we saw Finn freaking out… and it was poorly acted, but besides that point, Finn has like… COMPLETELY forgotten that his girlfriend cheated on him with his best friend and is pregnant because of it. Now he’s all about Rachel, which is weird because he never even mentions Quinn anymore.

The Ugly
Guest Star Overload – If I’ve talked to you at all about Glee, I said my biggest fear was that the show was going to become somewhat of a “who’s guest starring this week?!” I think that I’ve been right for the most part. The first episode was mainly about Jesse St. James and Vocal Adrenaline, the next episode was all about Madonna. The entire episode was built around her with hardly any plot. Then there was “Home” with Kristin Chenoweth. I like Chenoweth, but her return to the series was totally unnecessary. This week Olivia Newton-John guest starred. I don’t hate N-J, but seriously, can anyone tell me what the point of her appearance was? Yeah, I thought so.
WHERE THE HELL IS JESSALYN GILSIG? -- One of the best characters from the first part of the season, like her or not, was Terri Schuester. She’s appeared a total of 5 minutes on the past four episodes. Sure, she’s singing “Loser” (Beck song) later in the season, but I don’t get why she’s gone.


Best Character so far: Brittany
Worst Character so far: April Rhodes (sorry, she was NOT needed)
Best song so far: “Gives You Hell”
Worst song so far: Home, One Less Bell to Answer/A House is not a Home Mash-up, A House is not a Home, Ice Ice Baby, (and) U Can’t Touch This
Best random moment: Stephen Tobolowsky’s appearance on “Bad Reputation”
Worst random moment: Mr. Schue and Shelby Corcoran hook up

What to look forward to: Regionals; Jesse/Rachel/Finn drama; Quinn having a baby; more Sue awesomeness
What not to look forward to: “Dream On”
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Doc Talk: Believe: Bigger, Stronger, Faster* [Apr. 4th, 2010|07:38 am]
Cameron Rice
Doc Talk: Believe: Bigger, Stronger, Faster*

I've always been an avid watcher of films. And I've tried to litter the occasional documentary in my film watching here and there. But over this last year, I find I'm watching more documentaries then anything else. Thanks to Netflix Watch Instantly most of my free time is spent watching up to four documentaries a night. And since there are so many good ones, and since there are so many different kinds, I wanted to start doing an article highlighting the occasional documentary. Try to get some people to see it, talk about it, and tell you where you can find it. 

Note: To me, a documentary is still a film. It needs to be entertaining and compelling. No matter how interesting the subjects may be, if there is no story, there is no movie. I understand that some, if not most documentaries are one sided looks at a certain subjects, and some people may say that they are "manipulative". To which I say, well yes, it's a film, and films are often there to manipulate to make you feel something. That's why there's sad music in scenes where you should feel sad and such. So I won't be coming at these as a "this is BS because of such and such facts". I'm going to try to come at these more as "Does this work as a film?"

So...Let's Talk Docs. 

This weeks article is dedicated to the recent oscar nominee "Bigger, STronger, Faster*"

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Date of Release: 2008.

Length: Hour and Forty

Director: Christopher Bell

Story: Director Christopher Bell is the middle brother of three boys. The Bell brothers, growing up in the 80's, the era of big men, big muscles and big egos, grew up idolizing the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Hulk Hogan, and Sly Stallone, men who, in their public personas, told the American people the way to success was by hard work, determination, vitamins and prayers. The three brothers try to live by that code. When it was revealed their heroes had in fact used steroids. All three brothers would end up using steroids to reach their goals. Mike "Mad Dog" Bell, a wrestler, Mark "stinky" Bell, a weightlifter, and director Christopher, who would stop using, believing he was cheating to get to his goal. Bell decides to make a film about exploring, not just steroids, but his family. The era in which they grew up, and is it really cheating, if it's all in the name of entertainment?

Thoughts: I went into this film knowing nothing the night I saw it, it was playing at my local theater. The name caught me. I saw just the poster, and I was in. Come on! Look at that poster! You can't say no to that! I thought I'd get either a fun 80's nostalgia trip, or just an odd little documentary about wrestling. I had no idea. But I got something more, I ended up getting a film, that is still one of my favorite documentaries. Being a fan of both wrestling, and 80's era action films, this film spoke to that inner child in me. If I had brothers I could easily see myself growing up like the Bells.

Bell comes at the steroid issue from all sides, neither coming down for or against the drug. He asks the questions about what are the moral implications, is it cheating or is it just enhancement? Is there a reason to feel guilty over the use and what are the real side effects? Why is steroids so vilified when other drugs do worse damage? And what is it in the American psyche that makes us want to be Bigger, Stronger, Faster?

He looks at the drug from the angle of body building, wrestling, baseball, and even comic books (He has a great little interview with Stan "The Man" Lee.) He looks at the bigger issue of not just steroids but body image in general. This all sounds like a lot I know, but it flows, it flows wonderfully. But what makes this film work, and the reason it's so good, is because it has a lot of heart. In this big issue, it's really about a family trying to live up to their standards of the America Dream and to find some sense of happiness, and for these three brothers to live up to the standards set by their heroes. This movie is also quite funny, having a good sense of humor along the way. And it uses images and scenes from movies, television and news media to great effect, both comic and dramatic. This is the documentary I've seen more then any other. I'm constantly sitting people down to watch it. Even if you don't think you care about the issue of steroids, this movie is worth your time for the entertainment value alone. So go, seek this one out.

Rating: 10/10.

How can you see it: It's on Netflix watch Instantly here



After the movie: (This is stuff to check out once you watched the film): An interesting interview with Bell, worth a listen and how he was able to make the movie here Also, and sadly soon after the film was released Mike "Mad Dog" Bell passed away. The story can be found here it is not believed to have been caused by steroid use.

So, if you have already seen this film, OR this article compelled you enough to watch it, what do you think? Do you agree or dis-agree? And feel free to spoil in the comment section if you wish. Just let it be known you'll be spoiling if you do. 

Come back next week for more "Let's talk Docs". Next week, the MPAA.
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(no subject) [Apr. 4th, 2010|07:31 am]
Cameron Rice
Note: Sorry for missing the last two weeks, life got crazy, there was illnesses then birthdays, then just waves of laziness, I won't lie. But we're back on schedule, kind of.

I've always been an avid watcher of films. And I've tried to litter the occasional documentary in my film watching here and there. But over this last year, I find I'm watching more documentaries then anything else. Thanks to Netflix Watch Instantly most of my free time is spent watching up to four documentaries a night. And since there are so many good ones, and since there are so many different kinds, I wanted to start doing an article highlighting the occasional documentary. Try to get some people to see it, talk about it, and tell you where you can find it. 

Note: To me, a documentary is still a film. It needs to be entertaining and compelling. No matter how interesting the subjects may be, if there is no story, there is no movie. I understand that some, if not most documentaries are one sided looks at a certain subjects, and some people may say that they are "manipulative". To which I say, well yes, it's a film, and films are often there to manipulate to make you feel something. That's why there's sad music in scenes where you should feel sad and such. So I won't be coming at these as a "this is BS because of such and such facts". I'm going to try to come at these more as "Does this work as a film?"

So...Let's Talk Docs. 

This weeks article is dedicated to the recent oscar nominee "Believe: The Eddie Izzard Story."



Date of Release: 2009.

Length: Hour and Half

Director: Sarah Townsend

Story: In 2003 comic Eddie Izzard was getting ready to embark on his first comedy tour since announcing his retirement from stand up amid controversy in early 2000. The film tells two stories, Izzard, the stand up comic, preparing himself for his tour, doing small house shows, getting the material ready. And Eddie Izzard the young man who wanted to grow up to become an actor, and who went through some tough times to get there.

Thoughts: I am a big fan of Eddie Izzard. I first came across his work with his HBO special "Dressed to KIll" in 2001. Since then I have tracked down all of his DVDs, CDs and have seen him live when he came to LA. I even own a "Cake or death" t-shirt. Point being, I'm a big fan. So I was looking forward to checking this movie out. After viewing it, I fall somewhere in the middle. It's not bad by any means, there's a lot of meat i this film to chew on. You discover that Eddie, like many many comics, is a bit of a sad clown. Someone who didn't have the best life, may not be the happiest person normally, but the love to bring joy to others makes them a performer. Now being a big fan, a lot of what was covered in this doc I already knew and a lot of footage is from his stand up special which I have already seen. That's not a bad thing, there just wasn't a lot of discovery. For anyone not familiar with Izzard or just having seen one of his specials or just "The Riches" then this is a film worth checking out. Each biographical bit of the film in introduced with a Terry Gilliam-like animation. But it's not Gilliam, so it's not quite as good, but you see what they are going for. The film is a mix of talking heads (Izzard, peers, family, etc) and performance footage. The performance footage pre-fame being some of the most interesting bits. We see Izzard as a street performer, in a comedy troupe, and his first times doing stand up. It's a fascinating look at the evolution of a performer. And finally, we see a one on one scene of Izzard explaining to us why he's doing what he's doing, it's both very revealing and a bit heart breaking, but damn good film making. This isn't the best documentary about a stand up comic, but, it's a pretty damn good one. Worth checking out.

Rating: 7/10.

How can you see it: At the moment it's not on netflix watch instantly. It'll probably be there soon because Netflix gets documentaries quicker then anything else. But at the moment it is on DVD to rent from netflix. It's also available on Amazon on demand, if you have a roku box, it's 3.99 to rent, if you don't want to wait for netflix disc, give it a rent.

Whatever you do don't...: Watch all of Izzard's stand up specials followed by this, alot of repeat.

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So, if you have already seen this film, OR this article compelled you enough to watch it, what do you think? Do you agree or dis-agree? And feel free to spoil in the comment section if you wish. Just let it be known you'll be spoiling if you do. 

Come back next week for more "Let's talk Docs". Next week, we're going to try to pump...YOU UP!
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Doc Talk: The Cove [Mar. 4th, 2010|06:57 am]
Cameron Rice
Doc Talk: The Cove

I've always been an avid watcher of films. And I've tried to litter the occasional documentary in my film watching here and there. But over this last year, I find I'm watching more documentaries then anything else. Thanks to Netflix Watch Instantly most of my free time is spent watching up to four documentaries a night. And since there are so many good ones, and since there are so many different kinds, I wanted to start doing an article highlighting the occasional documentary. Try to get some people to see it, talk about it, and tell you where you can find it. 

Note: To me, a documentary is still a film. It needs to be entertaining and compelling. No matter how interesting the subjects may be, if there is no story, there is no movie. I understand that some, if not most documentaries are one sided looks at a certain subjects, and some people may say that they are "manipulative". To which I say, well yes, it's a film, and films are often there to manipulate to make you feel something. That's why there's sad music in scenes where you should feel sad and such. So I won't be coming at these as a "this is BS because of such and such facts". I'm going to try to come at these more as "Does this work as a film?"

So...Let's Talk Docs. 

This weeks article is dedicated to the recent oscar nominee "The Cove."



Date of Release: 2009.

Length: Hour and Half

Director: Louie Psihoyos

Story: In the 1960's dolphin capturer and trainer Ric O' Barry captured five dolphins. He trained these dolphins to perform for the television show "Flipper". When the show ended, Barry continued to take care of the dolphins. When the main dolphin named Cathy, died in O' Barry's arms. In O' Barry's eyes, Cathy had committed suicide. From that day O' Barry dedicated his life to the preservation and rescue of captive and hunted dolphins. Director Louie Psihoyos and his team follow O' Barry to the shores of Taiji Japan. Where Dolphins are killed and captured yearly. The crew try to get a camera into this hidden "cove", to capture the slaughter and show the world what is happening. But the fishermen, the authorities, and the local Taiji government do everything they can to cut them off and stop the production and rescue. It's up to Psihoyos and his crew to use their techniques in the film industry and hiring some of the worlds best diving experts to get to the secrets in the Cove.

Thoughts: This film deserves its Oscar nomination and possibly the win. The thing that makes this film work, on many many levels, is it feels like a film. That's not to say it feels fake or fabricated. This is perhaps the closest a documentary can come to feeling like a spy thriller. It's like a real life "Ocean's 11". The director gets together experts in every field, special effects people, camera operators, deep sea divers and dolphin experts, and set about a mission to film this hidden (and forbidden to outsiders) area. I've read some critics say that "for this film to work, you need to believe a dolphin can commit suicide, or willingly kill itself." I don't believe that to be true. You know O' Barry believes this to be possible, he's the main subject of the film. As long as he believes it, then the story of this film, the drive of this man, works. Now I won't beat around the bush, for anyone squeamish, yes, you do see Dolphins getting killed in this film, there are scenes of violence. But these scenes are hidden camera footage, this isn't "Saw" featuring dolphins. It's not overly brutal, but you do see dolphins dying and other powerful imagery. But beyond that this film is also beautiful looking, with many great angles and shots. Once you do some research on director Psihoyos, you find that he's also a photographer, having done work for "National Geographic". That's not surprising, as scenes of both beauty and horror have a very picturesque quality to them. The music in this movie is also quite good. It has a simple melody repeated through out the film, but it works. Having a dream like quality to it when we see dolphins swimming around in their natural habitat. And this film has, perhaps, one of the best, fist pumping, hero style endings I've seen in any film, documentary or fictional in years. Do you have to care about the cause to enjoy this movie? I don't think so, I think you have a well enough crafted film and story to get behind it none the less, but i might not hurt. However, I think if you sit down and watch this film you will get something out of it. Does it go through every angle of Dolphin slaughter? From the POV of the fishermen and what Sea World thinks? No. That's a much larger story and it's not the story of this film. That would possibly make it far to scattered and give it no overall vision. These subjects are touched on, but they aren't explored to their fullest. Perhaps more time could have been spent on dolphins in captivity, but that feels like another possible film altogether. The fact that the film makers decided to concentrate on this one particular person and this one area of the world and build on it from there, really gave this film a through line. A line you follow right to the end.

Rating: 10/10.

How can you see it: At the moment it's not on netflix watch instantly. It'll probably be there soon because Netflix gets documentaries quicker then anything else. But at the moment it is on DVD to rent from netflix. It's also available on Amazon on demand, if you have a roku box, it's 3.99 to rent, if you don't want to wait for netflix disc, give it a rent. It's worth the 3.99. It was available on YouTube to rent, but it doesn't appear to be anymore. Just add it to your queue, hopefully it'll be on watch instantly soon, but in the mean time, snag the disc.

Whatever you do don't...: Eat a tuna sandwich or wear a Sea World shirt while watching, it's possible you will feel a large amount of guilt. Soooo much guilt.

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Follow up (Stuff that isn't mentioned at the end of the film): It was up in the air as to whether or not this film would screen in Japan. Some have said they found the film racists to some extent (The white people coming in and telling another culture how to behave). The film did end up going to the "Japan International Film Festival" in 2009. And was very well received by the Japanese people who expressed shock and outrage over what was happening on their shores. This film also caused the annual dolphin slaughter to be delayed, it didn't stop it, but it was delayed and is being further investigated. For more info on the film as a whole, there is a great interview over at NPR by Terry Gross with Louie Psihoyos and Ric O' Barry. It's a great listen.

So, if you have already seen this film, OR this article compelled you enough to watch it, what do you think? Do you agree or dis-agree? And feel free to spoil in the comment section if you wish. Just let it be known you'll be spoiling if you do. 

Come back next week for more "Let's talk Docs". Next week, try to brighten the mood up a bit, the last two docs have been a bit sad, next week, we bring the funny. See you then.
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Let's Talk Docs: Dear Zachary [Feb. 24th, 2010|09:42 pm]
Cameron Rice
 I've always been an avid watcher of films. And I've tried to litter the occasional documentary in my film watching here and there. But over this last year, I find I'm watching more documentaries then anything else. Thanks to Netflix Watch Instantly most of my free time is spent watching up to four documentaries a night. And since there are so many good ones, and since there are so many different kinds, I wanted to start doing an article highlighting the occasional documentary. Try to get some people to see it, talk about it, and tell you where you can find it.

Note: To me, a documentary is still a film. It needs to be entertaining and compelling. No matter how interesting the subjects may be, if there is no story, there is no movie. I understand that some, if not most documentaries are one sided looks at a certain subjects, and some people may say that they are "manipulative". To which I say, well yes, it's a film, and films are often there to manipulate to make you feel something. That's why there's sad music in scenes where you should feel sad and such. So I won't be coming at these as a "this is BS because of such and such facts". I'm going to try to come at these more as "Does this work as a film?"


So...Let's Talk Docs.

This weeks article is dedicated to "Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father".



Date of Release: 2008.

Length: Hour and Half

Director
: Kurt Kuenne

Story: On the date of November 5, 2001 Doctor Andrew Bagby was murdered. The perpetrator of the crime was his ex-girlfriend Shirley Turner. She avoided authorities and ran back to her home country of Canada. While there, it is discovered that she is 4 months pregnant with Dr. Bagby's child, son Zachary. Through a number of legal headaches, she is never punished for her crime. Andrew's parents move to Canada to be a part of their grandson (and thus their son's murderer's) life. Director Kurt Kuenne, life long friend of Bagby, takes it upon himself to travel around the globe, filming interviews and stories from friends and family about the slain Doctor, to one day show Zachary, so that the boy can one day know who his father was. While the Bagby parents try to find justice for their son.

Thoughts: This is one of those films that, when it's over, it stays with you. It causes a lump in your stomach, and if you don't cry at least once during the film, you are not human. I saw this films a couple of weeks ago, and it still sticks with me. Certain moments still play out in my head. Some people have called this documentary very "depressing". They aren't completely wrong, it is quite depressing in scenes. But I think this is also a great film about the drive some people have for the ones they love. The pain people are willing to go through for the people they care about. And to me, that is a very powerful message. It's also a film about how one man can touch so many lives in such a profound way. It's also an interesting look at the Justice system, perhaps not in America, but it's interesting none the less. This film has been met some controversy due to its editing style, and voice over. To me, these things made the movie. It made it feel like part Spy film, part Legal Drama. They help convey the overall story of the film, and it makes the viewer feel, at times exhausted. Which isn't a bad thing, because for the family of Andrew Bagby, it's an exhausting situation. Director/Composer/Editor Kuenne went to film school and made shorts for years, I think all that added to a very cinematic experience with a real life drama. This is a great documentary, and a great film. It makes you perhaps every emotion in the book. You'll go from laughing to crying to awing. This is a documentary about people, not the horrific event, but the people it affected. It's a simple, yet large story, told very, very well.

Rating: 10/10.

How can you see it: It originally aired on MSNBC a number of times. It is now available on netflix watch instantly so if you have a box or don't mind seeing something compelling on your computer, watch away.

Whatever you do don't...: If you have any real interest in watching this film, just watch it, don't look up anything on the case until you've finished watching the movie. It's like reading a wikipedia version of a book or fiction film before you see it or read it. So just watch this, it's great.

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So, if you have already seen this film, OR this article compelled you enough to watch it, what do you think? Do you agree or dis-agree? And feel free to spoil in the comment section if you wish. Just let it be known you'll be spoiling if you do.

Come back next week for more "Let's talk Docs". Next week, just in time for the oscars, I'll be talking about one of the nominated Docs. See you then.
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The Oscars...my guess [Feb. 2nd, 2010|06:31 am]
Cameron Rice
So the Oscar noms have come out today. Here they are.

BEST PICTURE
AVATAR
THE HURT LOCKER
INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS
PRECIOUS
UP IN THE AIR
UP
AN EDUCATION
A SERIOUS MAN
DISTRICT 9
THE BLIND SIDE

BEST ACTOR
Jeff Bridges - CRAZY HEART
George Clooney - UP IN THE AIR
Colin Firth - A SINGLE MAN
Morgan Freeman - INVICTUS
Jeremy Renner - THE HURT LOCKER

BEST ACTRESS
Meryl Streep - JULIE & JULIA
Carey Mulligan - AN EDUCATION
Gabourey Sidibe - PRECIOUS
Sandra Bullock - THE BLIND SIDE
Helen Mirren - THE LAST STATION

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Christoph Waltz - INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS
Woody Harrelson - THE MESSENGER
Christopher Plummer - THE LAST STATION
Stanley Tucci - THE LOVELY BONES
Matt Damon - INVICTUS

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Vera Farmiga - UP IN THE AIR
Anna Kendrick - UP IN THE AIR
Mo'nique - PRECIOUS
Penelope Cruz - NINE
Maggie Gyllenhaal - CRAZY HEART

BEST ANIMATED FILM
UP
CORALINE
THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG
THE SECRET OF KELLS
THE FANTASTIC MR. FOX

BEST DIRECTOR
Kathryn Bigelow - THE HURT LOCKER
James Cameron - AVATAR
Quentin Tarantino - INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS
Jason Reitman - UP IN THE AIR
Lee Daniels - PRECIOUS

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Nick Hornby - AN EDUCATION
Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell - DISTRICT 9
Jesse Armstrong and Armando Iannucci - IN THE LOOP Geoffrey Fletcher - PRECIOUS
Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner - UP IN THE AIR

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Quentin Tarantino - INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS
Mark Boal - THE HURT LOCKER
Pete Docter and Bob Peterson - UP
Oren Moverman and Alessandro Camon - THE MESSENGER
Joel and Ethan Coen - A SERIOUS MAN

Here's who's getting it, this isn't who I want to win, this is who I'm pretty damn sure is going to get it

Best Animated Film: Up
Best Actor: Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart)
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz - INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS
Best Actress: Meryl Streep (Julie & Julia)
Best Supporting Actress: Mo'nique.
Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow - THE HURT LOCKER (Or Cameron)
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Mark Boal - THE HURT LOCKER (Maybe Tarintino but eh)
Best Adapted: Up in the Air
Best Picture: Avatar.

So there you have it, there are your winners, it's not maybe all I want to win, but it's who will win.

So what are my thoughts?

Awesome surprises: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Crazy Heart, a great film, would not have worked out as well if she didn't bring her A game, and she did. Up and District 9 getting best pictures noms is also quite awesome.

Now from the above list, who would I like to see win? Well I can't disagree to much with the "I'm sure will win" I'd love to see Gyllenhaal surprise everyone and take the oscar, same with Niel Bloomkamp for screenplay, as for best picture, though I did love, and i mean LOVE Avatar, I'd want to see District 9 or Up get it, mostly because those were amazing and that'd be some great surprises.

Any snubs in my opinion? Where's the love for Moon? Sam Rockwell should be up there, he was awesome, but nothing, B F'in S. Also, I won't lie, was hopin for some love for Jackie Earl Haley for "Watchmen" but that's me, I know that, that wasn't so much a snub as much of a "oh that would have been nice"

So there are my predictions (They are right) and my thoughts. Let's see how it goes in March.
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