Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Frozen (2013) ***

Another weak 3 stars. Formulaic and too many songs but the tale has a slight fem-empowerment angle which is somewhat interesting and several well done sequences. Could have used a bit more editing.

Scalia Thinks Having Two Phones Is Suspicious -- NYMag

"Owning a second cell phone, like, say, a BlackBerry for work in addition to a better one for everything else, is not a concept familiar to the Supreme Court justices, never known for their technological acumen. During arguments today about the rights of police to search phones without a warrant following an arrest, Chief Justice Roberts, 59, and Justice Scalia, 78, expressed shock at the very idea..."

It's not that complex, really. It's just a series of tubes...

Monday, April 28, 2014

Angel Heart (1987) ***

Atmospheric noir thriller still holds up thanks to a good script and some very good performances particularly Lisa Bonet. (May not be entirely appropriate for members of PETA.)

Friday, April 25, 2014

A New Leaf (1971) ***

A weak three stars because this isn't the picture the director wanted to make and it shows. Still there are plenty of good one-liners and some good supporting work, but Walter Matthau, as good as he is, is miscast.

Capital Man - The Chronicle of Higher Education

"Piketty’s argument recently got an indirect boost from a much-discussed study published in February by the International Monetary Fund, hardly a radical body. The study, a multicountry analysis of income inequality, found not only that there is 'scant evidence that typical efforts to redistribute'—taxes and credits—'have on average had an adverse effect on growth,' but that lower inequality was generally associated with faster growth.' As Jonathan D. Ostry, the study’s lead author, put it in an email to me, 'this logic was indeed an eye opener for us.'"

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Seeing red? The mind-bending power of colour - Telegraph

“'The whole point of colour vision is not to inspire poets, but to allow contrast detection,' says Russell Foster, professor of circadian neuroscience at the University of Oxford. 'You’ve got a much better chance of detecting an object against a background if you have colour vision.' Birds are the masters at this, he says – they are tetrachromatic, having four colour detectors, and would see things that we see as a single red as an infinite, glorious wash of colours."

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Day Christ Died | TaborBlog

"Today, with Passover and Easter falling together during the same week, I write this post on a Thursday night, on the eve of 'Good Friday.' I have been convinced for several years now, as I explain in my book, The Jesus Dynasty, that Jesus died on Nisan 14th, which in the year A.D. 30, fell on a Thursday not a Friday. So this is indeed, the 'day Christ died.' He was put in the temporary rock hewn tomb just before sunset, and Friday, the following day, was the first day of Passover. This means the Passover meal or Seder was eaten that Thursday night, just as the Gospel of John records (John 13:1; 18:28). The next day, Friday, was indeed a 'Sabbath,' but not Saturday, the weekly Sabbath, but rather one of the seven “annual” Sabbaths of the Jewish festival cycle (see Leviticus 23:7). This means there were two Sabbaths, back to back, Friday and Saturday, that year. Sunday morning, when Mary Magdalene went early to the tomb and found it empty, it was indeed 'three days and three nights' that Jesus had laid in that tomb (Thurs, Friday, Saturday nights), which comports with the tradition that Matthew has received (Matthew 12:40). Surely a million Sunday school kids over the years have asked, not to mention adults, how can you get three nights, from Friday to Sunday morning. It simply will not work."

Monday, April 14, 2014

They Drive by Night (1940) *

This one doesn't hold up. George Raft and Bogie play truck driving brothers struggling to start their own trucking company. That's about as interesting as it gets.

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) ****

As layered, detailed and delicious as the favorite treat of the central character M. Gustave H, concierge at the GBH. A film that demands multiple viewings if only to savor the production design. Style is the substance.

Jiminy Glick in Lalawood (2004) *

Martin Short is a very funny guy and his Jiminy Glick character is hilarious, but this movie is painfully un-funny. Ill conceived and a waste of a fine cast.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

8 Million Ways to Die (1986) **

Attempt at a modern noir starts promisingly but becomes repetitive and nonsensical. A waste of a good cast.

Barton Fink (1991) ****

Master class in how to take an intellectual exercise and turn it into a highly entertaining film. Spectacular, inventive, smart, funny, beautifully shot with a standout performance by John Turturro.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) **

I realize this is a sci-fi fantasy film, but the script relies on characters doing too many implausible things, and the director shoots action sequences without any regards for real physics. The final sequence on the Golden Gate bridge (and you KNOW the final sequence will be there since the picture is located in the Bay Area) is nicely done.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Mean Girls (2004) **

Not as funny as you'd think, but I'm told it nails some of the more annoying aspects of high school at the turn of the 21st century. Some enjoyable parts, just not enough of them.