Message counting

malexandria,

Are you aware that the message counts for the forums are off by one? As in if someone posts after me in this topic it will say that there is only one message when there are really two.

Sounds like the counter is zero based 🙂

Vanilla Sky: Widescreen Collection

At the end of the brief “Prelude to a Dream” featurette on Paramount’s new “Vanilla Sky” DVD, director Cameron Crowe refers to his picture as everything to a “puzzle” to a “nightmare” to a “psychedelic dream.” Is he accurate?

Not quite, though “Sky” will be remembered as Crowe’s art picture, a dramatic leap off of the mainstream tour bus he boarded back in 1989 with his directorial debut, “Say Anything,” and rode through the progression of success afforded to him with “Singles,” “Jerry Maguire” and last year’s “Almost Famous.” Ultimately, it’s a miscalculated leap, as “Sky” fails to capitalize on its riveting concept and across-the-board phenomenal performances. Instead, it packs a cruel, unkind ending that will abuse the trust of anyone who shouldered the emotional load and stuck with the difficult film to its bitter, cold and scientific end. Crowe’s not entirely to blame, as he’s working (religiously, I’m told) from a Spanish film entitled “Abre Los Ojos” (“Open Your Eyes”) by Alejandro Amenabar. Still, Crowe had to know the ending stashed up his sleeve was tough to swallow, so he razzles and dazzles before he delivers it, but he’s just not convincing enough not to lose us completely once the solution is floated.Crowe establishes the film’s desired tone almost immediately, opening with a disorienting and fantastically hollow dream sequence. David Aames (Tom Cruise), the spoiled inheritor to a publishing giant, lives the life others dream of. When not hobnobbing with celebrities, he’s courting supermodels. But all that changes when he meets Sofia (Penelope Cruz), a Spanish beauty who shows up to a party with David’s best friend, Brian (Jason Lee), but is instantly attracted to the magnetic playboy.David and Sofia spend one night together, a magical journey of infatuation and intrigue that’s familiar only to those lucky in love. The next morning, he leaves Sofia and is confronted by Julie, who has reached stalker status. David gets in Julie’s car, more to patronize her than to accompany her anywhere, but Julie drives off. She’s angry. She’s upset. She feels betrayed by David. And then, she drives her car off of a bridge. What follows is David’s psychological descent into madness, which we’re treated to in snippets. Though he survived the car crash, we catch up with David much later. Horribly disfigured from the accident, he sits in prison for murder, retelling his story to a skeptical psychiatrist (Kurt Russell) who’s none to eager to listen to David’s conspiracy theories. To reveal more would be criminal, and wouldn’t help clarify anyway.The material driving “Sky” just seems too coarse for Crowe, and the execution escapes him. When his charming trademark touches surface, they’re out of place, so bouncy Peter Gabriel tunes underscore dramatic readings and emotional breakthroughs. If anything, it’s an exercise for him, but he’s out of his element, and not playing to his strengths.“Sky” is so close to art. It’s ghostly and beautiful, but not Crowe’s forte. If it’s not your forte to stay with a movie, waiting patiently for a gratifying payoff, than “Vanilla Sky” is not for you. There are no small payoffs, and few enticements to continue playing along. You have to gut it out, just to receive an ending that won’t even satisfy you. But it makes no apologies, and it carries it through to the bitter end. Does that justify watching it? Unfortunately, no.Grade: C-THE EXTRAS“Prelude” is one of two entertainingly brief featurettes included with the “Sky” DVD. It follows Crowe and his team through production, accompanied by a narration that occasionally sounds like the director convincing himself (as well as us) that he’s created a masterpiece. The person holding the camera asks crew members, “What does this scene mean?” Oddly, no one can give a legitimate answer.The other feature, “Hitting It Hard,” follows Cruise, Cruz and Crowe on a global press tour to promote the film. The DVD contains an unreleased teaser trailer, as well as the international cut of the original trailer. A photo gallery comes equipped with an introduction by photographer Neal Preston, while a Leftfield/Afrika Bambaataa music video for “Afrika Shox” rounds out the supplementary features.Back to the meat of the DVD, Crowe, joined by wife Nancy Wilson, sits down for a commentary track that features snippets with Tom Cruise. Right off the bat, this commentary track beats out the one recently recorded for Crowe’s “Jerry Maguire” because it limits Cruise’s output. Nice enough guy … nothing to say. Wilson’s musical talents were better served on “Almost Famous,” as that soundtrack made more of an impact than here with “Sky.” Still, the track is lively and informative, something I’ve come to expect from Crowe – who’s suddenly very active with his films on DVD.Last but not least, the “Sky” DVD includes an interview with Sir Paul McCartney, who received an Oscar nomination for the title track he recorded for the film.Grade: B+OVERALL EXPERIENCE: CAfter viewing “Vanilla Sky” on DVD, I’m pleased to announce I’m not more satisfied with the film and its weak conclusion than I was going into it. The DVD is worth checking out for the Times Square scene alone. Beyond that, it’s Crowe’s void … fill it at your own risk.By Sean O’ConnellMay 21, 2002

EA / To Have and To Hold Prologue – 4

[i][b][size=medium][color=003399][font=Arial]Chapters 5,6,7 & 8 Now Up In Fanfiction Archive!! Thank You.[/font][/color][/size][/b][/i]

To Have and To Hold

Another EA alternative

Prologue

Ten-year old Danielle was engaging in her favorite exercise. She was throwing mudballs at little boys that were her own age, maybe a little older. She had the upper hand as well. She was so involved that she hadn’t heard one of the house servants calling her.

“Come, Danielle, ” Paulette called. “Your father wishes to speak with you.”

Danielle looked up. “Coming, Paulette.” She looked down at herself.

“Come on, Danielle,” one of the boys called, “You hardly have any mud anywhere.”

Danielle looked up. “Not compared to you, Henry,” she said laughing

“Look at me,” Henry’s eleven year old cousin, Francois, answered. “I am covered from head to toe in mud.”

“As am I,” Danielle’s ten-year old friend, Gustave agreed.

Twelve-year old Henry laughed. “Your mother is going to throw a fit when she sees you like this.” He turned his attention to Danielle. “And you, Danielle de Barbarac, this is no way for a noble lady to behave.”

“You should talk, Your Highness,” Danielle answered him wiping some of the dried mud off her dress. “You are a Prince.”

“Prince in training,” Henry laughed. “That’s the way my father likes to refer to it.”

“DANIELLE,” Paulette called again. “Come inside and bring my son with you.”

Danielle looked at Gustave. “Ready?” she asked.

“I suppose so, but Henry is right. I am going to get it.”

Henry laughed. “You’ve already gotten half the province on you already.”

They all laughed, including Gustave.

“The two of you don’t look any different to me,” Danielle said. “Come along, Gustave, we have to get back.”

The two of them turned to go.

“Danielle,” Henry called out. “Wait a moment.”

Gustave stopped to wait, as did Francois, but both Danielle and Henry waved them on.

“Will I see you later?” Henry asked.

Danielle smiled. “You know how my father is.” She leaned a little closer, “I will try. The usual place?”

Henry nodded. “Yes, the usual place. The ruins at Amboise.”

“DANIELLE,” Paulette called a third time.

“COMING,” Danielle called back. She gave a last look to Henry, turned and ran as fast as she could to catch up to Gustave.

Henry watched Danielle and Gustave run to the manor door where Paulette was waiting for them.

“She’s wonderful, Henry,” Francois said.

“Yes, she is, cousin,” Henry agreed. And she will be all mine, Henry thought and smiled.

“Come, Francois, let’s get back to the castle.”

[ Edited by susan on 2002/5/18 2:52:21 ]

[ Edited by susan on 2002/5/19 9:23:16 ]

EMTV 14 – Bond and The Matrix Are Back and We have the Scoop!!!!!

Hey, hey, hey, on this week’s exciting episode, we have the television premiere of footage from Jame’s Bond’s latest outing Die Another Day and The Matrix Reloaded! Plus we have footage from EA Game’s James Bond game “”No One Lives Forever”” and the new full length video from Eminem’s unreleased “”The Show”” album!

If this isn’t enough to make you watch, we have an appearance from Hugh Grant and Nicholas Hoult from about a boy, and our extended review of Episode II, and news on the May 28th release of Harry Potter on DVD!!!!!! On the couch for this week’s episode is Michelle Alexandria, Lora Bofill, and Monty.[url=http://eclipsemagazine.com/tvshow/emtv14wm.wmv]So check out the show. Click Here to watch it in streaming media format!!!!!![/url]

About A Boy – Fun

I checked out “About A Boy” last night, and you know, I’m coming around to liking Hugh Grant now. It was a funny, intelligent, well written movie. The only thing wrong with it was I found the accessive Narration irritating at times.

We also had a pleasent surprise because the Weitz Brothers themselves were on hand to intro the movie. I would give the film a B or maybe B+.

And since this is a word of mouth screening, I may actually post my review next week, it opens May 17th.

Episode II – Quick Take

Since I’m having a ton of computer issues, and I have to wade through 500 emails before I format my HD again to resolve my issues, I want to give you all the word on Episode II in a few sentances or less. I’ll give you a full articulate review later in the week when my issues are resolved. So do not take this as my “official” review.

In short Episode II is probably the best SW out of all of them. Before you all yell at me, let me state up front, I’ve never been a fan of the SW Trilogy. I thought each film had major flaws – in SW all the Tatooie desert stuff puts me to sleep almost every time I watch Star Wars, in Empire – I hated the Dagoba stuff and can’t stand Yoda, in Jedi it was those damn Ewoks, and in Episode I it was Jar Jar.

Well Episode II is certainly not without it’s flaws, namely really bad and stilted dialog. But if you can look past that, the film is an amazing feet of special effects, Episode II had a lot of “WOW, That is so cool” moments.

Natalie Portman was beautiful and really good, Hayden Christianson was servicable, he’s not going to set the world on fire, but he was definitely tolerable. The chemistry was there, but it was not quite enough to really hold the film together.

The CGI “eye candy” alone is worth the price of admission. The effects were simply breathtaking, everything from Padma’s home planet with it’s lush greenery to the cloud city, etc, was simply awe inspiring. If you liked the crappy CGI that was used in LOTR’s Rivendell scenes, you will weep at the sheer beauty of Padma’s home planet. Just awe inspiring.

Again the dialog in the film was stilted and laughable in several spots, and the movie is surprisingly dialogue heavy, not much “action” in it at all. If you are going into this expecting the two or three good galatic battles, you are going to be sorely disappointed. Episode II should be used as a textbook on how to use special effects to enhance a film, and not just because “you can”.

Oh, and did I mention the evil Jar Jar is in this? Sure he’s only in it for about 5 minutes, but that’s 5 minutes too long. But it was so funny when (Spoiler Warning)

Jar Jar is the one who convinces the Senate to hand over complete control of the Republic to Palpatine. Too funny.

The final 30 minute battle just kicks all kinds of major ass. Your mouth will fall open into a huge gape. And then, Yoda! As much as I can’t stand Yoda, well, I won’t tell you what happens, but you will both stare in wonder and laugh at the same time. Let’s just say Yoda ain’t a Jedi Master for nothing!

Yes, Episode II is fairly shallow, yes the dialog is horrible, yes the “romance” is cliche filled, but the WOW factor overcome the films other faults .

Just “WOW”, is what most folks will be doing during several scenes in this film. Close your ears (you know the story anyway) and just gawk at it’s sheer beauty. Final Grade A

[ Edited by malexandria on 2002/5/12 0:11:03 ]

Favorite Girl Power Films?

What are your favorite “Girl Power” films? Films that have strong female leads who kick ass or take charge? Off the top of my head I would say

Long Kiss Goodnight
Terminator 2
Charlie’s Angels
V
Ever After (although, that’s probably stretching
the criteria a little)
Zorro
The Gena Davis Pirate Film, I forget the
name, but the last 30 minutes of it, she’s kicking
all sorts of pirate tail.

and I can’t think of any others at the moment.

[ Edited by malexandria on 2002/5/19 14:56:49 ]

[ Edited by malexandria on 2002/5/19 15:37:17 ]

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