1. are under 18
2. have a really low MCT score
3. have Adam Sandler/tinkerbell/some sweaty bloke's sixpack as your profile picture
4. have Adam Sandler in your "favourite actors"
5. have the playboy bunny as your profile skin
6. have the word "sexy" or "princess" in your e-mail address
7. ryt yr msgs lyk ths lol xxxxxxxxx
8. list "chillin" as one of your interests
9. have got a profile that's wall-to-wall widgets
then don't bother...
Key to my ratings system:
5 stars In the presence of greatness
4.5 stars Inspired
4 stars Impressed
3.5 stars Thoroughly entertained
3 stars Satisfied
2.5 stars Not offended
2 stars Indifferent/bored
1.5 stars Irritated
1 star Insulted
0.5 stars Angry!
"More generally (and this applies to Christianity no less than Islam), what is really pernicious is the practice of teaching children that faith itself is a virtue. Faith is an evil precisely because it requires no justification and brooks no argument. Teaching children that unquestioning faith is a virtue primes them - given certain other ingredients that are not hard to come by - to grow up into potentially lethal weapons for future jihads or crusades. Immunized against fear by the promise of a martyr's paradise, the authentic faith-head deserves a high place in the history of armaments, alongside the longbow, the warhorse, the tank and the cluster bomb."
The final installment of the Bourne franchise sees Matt Damon finally discovering who he is and who's behind this fine mess he's in. I must admit, I found this film an odd one. The usual formula of a thriller involves the story being set up for the first two thirds of the film, and the last half hour climaxes with a frenetic action set piece. In The Bourne Ultimatum, it's the other way round! The first hour and a half is more of Greengrass' wobbly cam following an earnest looking Damon as he runs through interchangeable corridors, chases down generic bad guys and speeds through traffic. There is literally no plot til the last half hour. It reminded me of The Matrix trilogy in that the second film seemed irrelevant, and the two sequels could easily have been compressed into one superior film. But as it stands, it's an entertaining enough thriller which ties up the story satisfactorily (if unsurprisingly) and at least the direction contained more drama and less seasickness than the second (the climactic car chase is actually very impressive indeed.) Still not as good as the first but it will please fans of the series.
Former US Labour Secretary Robert Reich's examination of the growing economic gap between the rich and poor makes for very sobering viewing in a kind of financial version of Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth. If anything, Reich's reputation and employment history makes him an even more credible figure and he clearly and concisely explains how this massive inequality in the distribution of wealth occurred and how it will affect the workers of his country. Of course the entitled right will dismiss everything he says as "propaganda" and "socialism" but anyone with any sense of impartiality will see it as mere common sense; if the super rich continue extracting all the wealth from an economy and fail to inject anything back as they consistently do through tax evasion, investment in the financial sector instead of job creation and manufacture, and the use of offshore accounts and tax havens then the system becomes unsustainable. Reich himself makes an likeable and straight talking front man and although the film, like An Inconvenient Truth, is based upon a lecture, his affability and use of attractive and informative infographics means it never fails to entertain, despite the rather worrying message. Fascinating stuff and I'd have to say that anyone who still thinks that unfettered capitalism is a good thing after viewing this film must be the economic equivalent of a Creationist!
A future society that subdues its populace with an emotionally inhibiting drug is enforced by a police force of "clerics" who execute all those accused of "sense crime". Dismissed by most upon its release as just another Matrix clone, there are superficial similarities; stylistically the action choreography and costume design are very similar. There's a lot more going on under the surface however, as it takes cues from the likes of 1984 and Fahrenheit 451 in its depiction of a totalitarian, book burning society and message of individuality and what it means to be human. But by far the biggest difference is in its star; Christian Bale's far superior range makes for a performance that's both emotionally engaging and believable in its depiction of a man suddenly in conflict with everything he had been taught and dealing with emotions he has no experience with. Equilibrium is a very under-rated film in my opinion and is everything a sci-fi movie should be about; style, action, strong concepts and a message about the human condition. More V For Vendetta than The Matrix and definitely worth seeking out if you like sci-fi with a political slant.
A disgraced journalist and a young researcher who has been the victim of serial abuse throughout her life join forces to discover the fate of a girl who disappeared from a small Swedish town 40 years earlier. I was nowhere near as enamoured with the Swedish original as many others seemed to be, but this big budget American reinvention achieves something very rare; a Hollywood remake that is better than the original. Daniel Craig is a much more charismatic protagonist, Rooney Mara's Lisbeth seems like much less of a caricature and the supporting cast that includes Christopher Plummer and Stellan Skarsgard provides much more dramatic depth. But it is Fincher's dark, brooding visuals that give the necessary texture and the result is a film that feels more adult and less sensationalist than the Swedish version. Like The Departed and Insomnia before it, TGWTDT is proof that a Hollywood remake CAN work in the right hands if the bigger budget is spent on talent rather than superfluous special effects.