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Posts Tagged ‘Los Angeles’

A SCI-FI ROMANCE WITH SATIRICAL OVERTONES

OMG!  HER, written and directed by Spike Jonze is a cleverly conceived part Science Fiction, part Romance, and part Comedy movie. For the first 20 minutes or so, I was a bit bored (this IS a slow-moving film) and was offended by the subject matter;  I say offended ( a strong word I know) because I have my own thoughts about the morbidly absorbed techno generation who text each other while sitting in the same room, who only shop online, who don’t call their parents but rather send emails or worse yet, messages via Facebook!  Okay so now if you didn’t know, you know I am in that other generation; first wave of the Baby Boomers and the offspring  of The Greatest Generation.

So what we have here is a look-see into the not so far future world.  Los Angeles, which in my opinion was a great choice for the location, is now all grown up with skyline of high-rise buildings, still in the gray shroud of its signature smog.  Hard to miss the smog since all the walls everywhere seem to be made of glass.  Ironic since glass might lend itself to intermingling, interaction and involvement with another human being, but instead it’s a clear and translucent cocoon where everyone cuddles with oneself and one’s computer.

DETACHED or otherwise self-involved, society has come to the point where a company can exist that writes your letters for you!  Hand-written print-outs too!  Theo, played so poignantly perfect by Joaquin Phoenix spends his day authoring these letters which are filled with emotions that he must feel on some level but channels them into ghost-written missives.  

DETACHED and in Theo’s case, also bereft that his wife has left him, spends his evenings playing a virtual reality game with a foul-mouthed Pillsbury Dough Boy. This game (soon to be reality?) requires no headset! Not even an Oculus Rift! Hopefully, eventually, Theo will get off the planet, wonder where he’ll go next?

DETACHED ON STEROIDS happens when you fall in love with your OS (operating system).  True it’s  a highly evolved OS but nonetheless it lives in a hard drive.  This particular operating system is intuitive, learning from its user and evolving in nano seconds what takes a human years to learn.  It mirrors your thoughts, it reacts to your emotions, it lives to meet your every need and it’s available 24/7 – as long as you have that thing in your ear!

No need to go into the details of this love affair which happens not to be so unique in this new and wondrous world, I’ve already put in enough spoilers.  Go see the movie just to be mesmerized by Scarlett Johansson powerful off-screen performance.  She is Samantha, the living voice of Theo’s operating system.  She is magnificent!

Scarlett Johansson.

Scarlett Johansson aka Samantha (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My original title for this blog was going to be; And The Moral Of The Story Is….

Here’s a verbal exchange between Samantha and Theo near the end of the movie: 

Theodore: I’ve never loved anyone the way I loved you.

Samantha: Me too. Now we know how.

And this is what came to mind, another quote, author unknown:

“People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. When you figure out which one it is, you will know what to do for each person.When someone is in your life for a REASON . . . It is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend, and they are! They are there for the reason you need them to be.Then, without any wrong doing on your part, or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered. And now it is time to move on”.

Who would have thought that person would be an OS?

Is This Your Samantha?

Is This Your Samantha?

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Busted in rust

Dear Diary:

Oh God, I’m going to be sick.  I’m sure I’m gonna throw up!

I hate that school; I hate my parents for making us move.  They don’t care about me.   Making me go to that snotty school.  I don’t fit in.  I’m not pretty.

Oh God, I can’t go back, they can’t make me!  I can’t bear to see that boy again. I’ll run away!

What if his locker is near mine? I’ll die.  He was right, I AM ugly.  And they all laughed and snickered when I walked by and he said “Hey YOU- You’re SO BUSTED”.

This a blog hop: http://www.velvetverbosity.com

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Contagion  is what happens when the wrong pig meets up with the wrong bat. 

Sitting at a bar, you reach into the bowl of peanuts, a waiter picks up an empty glass, the school nurse takes a young boy’s temperature…all these and more seemingly innocent and every day occurrences are caught on camera and through the genius of editing, the lens lingers  ever so slightly longer than normal.  And there you have it; the path of a rapid, virulent, super bug virus as it swiftly travels along the road paved with human touch.  We don’t realize how much of what we do, and what we touch affects other people until something like this heretofore undiscovered and unnamed virus begins its deadly trip around the world.

The movie moves forward while flashback snippets in the form of video surveillance camera footage step backward and show us just how Beth (Gwyneth Paltrow) became patient zero and set off an outbreak of MEV-1 and a pandemic nightmare.  The portentous device of posting the day and date timeline on the screen brings the horror of how quickly a virus can multiply and spread exponentially, decimating the huge populations of such cities like, Los Angeles, Chicago, Minneapolis, and more.

Director Steven Soderberg brings his genius of fast-moving, everything-happening-at-once style he used so effectively in Traffic to this his latest work.  There’s no grandstanding, no spiritual or religious overtones to wring out your emotions.  No, this film plays it straight and factual.  We are terrified, horrified and shaken, but not because we’ve been exposed to (no pun intended) to half-dead zombies stumbling across the screen.  Instead, the camera pans through a deserted airport, sweeps over trash littered streets and lines of desperate citizens standing in line for government hand-outs of food. 

The real heroes in this movie are intelligent government employees and level-headed scientists.  Matt Damon gives a fine performance as the cuckolded husband of Beth, his best moment is at the hospital when he fails to comprehend the fact that his wife is dead.  Kate Winslet delivers a solid performance as the field agent who gets sent out to Minnesota to head up government disaster containment. 

By far in my opinion, Jude Law was the outstanding star in the movie.  It was hard to believe that the scuzzy guy with the bad complexion and rotten teeth was really Jude Law.  Playing a disgruntled left winged blogger, he incites the masses with his inflammatory, accusatory diatribes against the CDC and the pharmaceutical companies.  Conspiracy theories are full blown! 

This movie is certainly worth the price of admission.  It’s a  brilliantly directed film dealing with a terrifyingly grim subject, and one that the audience quickly realizes is all to close to reality.   With SARS, H1N1, AIDS and ebola and ecoli outbreaks in our recent past, this movie resurrects the fear of contagion and births new concerns about biological warfare…and well it should.

A coronavirus that may cause SARS. (transwikie...

SARS Virus

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Liz Taylor, Elizabeth Taylor legend, Richard Burton, Eddie Fisher, Michael Todd, Michael Jackson, Rock Hudson, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, National Velvet, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Paul Newman, White Diamonds, violet eyes, Cleopatra, Richard Burton

A True Hollywood Beauty

They made a song celebrating the deaths of Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens The Day The Music DiedElton John wrote a song honoring Princess Diana when she was killed in a car accident, A Candle Blowing in the Wind. They dimmed the lights of Broadway for the likes of Paul Newman and Natasha Richardson , Ron Silver and Jill Clayburgh. When Michael Jackson died, his music was aired both on radio and TV for days.

What will they do to honor Elizabeth Taylor?

She was a star for over 50 years and that’s a hell of a long time to be in the public eye.  As a child actress, she was as good as Margaret O’Brien and Shirley Temple BUT she was able to make the seamless transition into adult roles.

She was beautiful that goes without saying;  She had a luscious curvaceous body, an exquisite face with the forever-famous violet eyes.  She could embody the role of a country girl, a vamp, a drunken sot, a conniving bitch, a regal empress – you name it, she probably played it.  Clearly a Hollywood legend.

Loved and admired by her fans and friends, Elizabeth Taylor was known to be a kind, honest, generous and a loyal friend.   We all know about her steadfast relationships with both Rock Hudson and Michael Jackson proving just how loyal she could be.  She was also an entrepreneur who knew way back when before the term branding was being tossed around that she herself was a brand to be marketed;  White Diamonds made her a fortune.

On the other hand, she was self-indulgent, a drunk, a junkie, guilty of at least 5 of the 7 Deadly Sins, a heart-breaker, a home-wrecker and 8-time divorceé, proving either she was not a good wife or she made very bad choices or perhaps she was incapable of truly loving another person.  She was condemned from the pulpit of Catholic churches for her roles in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.  I remember sitting in  Sunday Mass at St. John’s RC church in Middletown, CT  when Father Miller delivered a hell fire and brimstone sermon condemning Cleopatra and warning parishioners that going to see “that movie which was playing down the street ” would be a sin!

When it’s all said and done and “at the end of the day” as my daughter, Chiara, likes to say;  Elizabeth Taylor was a legend, a title appropriately conferred and not lightly given.  Thank God, for the preservation of films and let’s hope (if they haven’t already planned it) that TCM has a week of Elizabeth Taylor films.


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The government of Egypt may have severed the digital communication between Egypt and the rest of the world, but Egyptians all over the world are standing up in solidarity for their country.  Here in the United States, there were protests and rallies in all the major cities; New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles.

In front of the United Nations, Egyptians and sympathizers gathered in protest over the situation in Cairo. Take a look at these photos, they are the Faces of Protest.

United Nations, New York city, Cairo Egypt protest, Egyptians

Wearing your National colors!

Photo by Murray Head

Egyptians, protest, United Nations, New York City, Cairo

Citizens of the world

Photo by Murray Head

Cario protests, Egyptians, United Nations, New York city

Red White and Black

Photo by Murray Head

Muslims, Egyptians, Cairo protests, United Nations NYC

Hear Me World

Photo by Murray Head

Egyptians, Cairo protest, United Nations, New York city,

The Face of Protest

Photo by Murray Head


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Meyer Lansky at 54 St. police station, New Yor...

Image via Wikipedia

This is week 27 and who among you is with me on this?  Are you reading the Wednesday Conspiracy Theory blogs?  Do you think this theory is valid, does it ring true?  Remember what they say on RUBICON – Every conspiracy is not a theory”

 

JEAN SOUETRE

After Kennedy’s death, French Intelligence asked the FBI to help locate Jean Souetre, a French Secret Army Organization (OAS) terrorist previously jailed for attempting to kill French President Charles De Gaulle.  According to a CiA document dated April 1,1964 (which surfaced in 1977), the French claimed Souetre was in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, and was expelled by U.S. authorities 18 hours later.  Concerned with security for De Gaulle’s upcoming Mexican visit, they wanted to know whether he had been sent to Mexico or Canada.

When Jack Ruby was jailed for killing Lee Oswald, his lawyer asked him if he knew anyone who could damage his defense.  Ruby mentioned Thomas Eli Davis III with whom he had run guns and jeeps to Cuba.  In 1963, Davis, while on probation for bank robbery, obtained a U. S. passport.  By Decem ber he was in a Tangier jail, charged with running guns to the OAS.  According to the FBI, Moroccan authorities intercepted  a letter from Davis that referred to Oswald and the assassination.  Davis was apparently released from jail through the efforts for mysterious CIA agent code-named QJWIN, a foreign nation with Mafia connections who was recruited for the AZ/RIFLE team, a CIA assassination unit run by ex-FBI agent and Cuban exile handler William Harvey.

Is Jean Souetre QJ/WIN? OAS terrorists were deeply involved in heroin trafficking.  In 1963, the main American distributor of Marseilles-produced heroin was the Lucky Luciano syndicate run by Meyer Lansky and Tampa mafia boss Santos Trafficante Jr., formerly of Havana, who was William Harvey’s partner in the CIA-Mafia plots to kill Fidel Castro.

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