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Blu-ray Shopping Bag: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Article) - 4/8/2014 4:53:43 AM

I'm enjoying The Hobbit films but they feel so padded to me.  With LoTR they put the story from 3 books into 3 movies.  Fair enough.  And they were able to trim some of the fat from the books to make the movies smoother (a little too much fat for the theatrical runs, some important stuff got left on the cutting room floor but was put back in the director's cuts).

The Hobbit was a shorter book than any of the 3 chapters of LoTR, yet they have stretched it to 3 movies.  In the first film they had the extended sequence (that went on and on and on) of the dwarves eating dinner in Bilbo's home with singing.  Yes, it was in the book.  But it should have been cut out of the movie or at least trimmed waaaay down.  When you start to check your watch during the film, something is wrong.

The second Hobbit film had extra elves.  It was nice to see Legolas again and, while he didn't make an appearance in the book, if he had been in a few scenes when the dwarves were being held captive by the elves it would have enhanced the movie.  But we have a new subplot about new character Tauriel getting a crush on one of the dwarves and following them to Laketown and Legolas follows her and there's tracking in the wilderness and long conversations about conformity vs independance.  It's all nice enough and interesting enough but it's just a big fluffy pillow tied around the movie to extend the running time.

And one of the dwarves is injured in the escape from the elves and there's lots of angst about that, another big fluffy pillow that wasn't in the book.

This epic trillogy could easily have been told in 2 movies or even in one.  And as much as I like Peter Jackson and his vision of Tolkien's work I just get the feeling that the decision to make this a trilogy is mainly a financial one, not an artistic one. 

I totally understand that movie studios have to make money in order to survive and to keep producing films for us to enjoy.  But it's not like the first 2 films haven't been profitable.  It's better to leave the audience wanting more than sick of the whole business.

Mania Review: Noah (Article) - 4/4/2014 4:36:24 AM

As per the CDC's website...



Thimerosal is a mercury-containing preservative used in some vaccines and other products since the 1930's. There is no convincing evidence of harm caused by the low doses of thimerosal in vaccines, except for minor reactions like redness and swelling at the injection site. However, in July 1999, the Public Health Service agencies, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and vaccine manufacturers agreed that thimerosal should be reduced or eliminated in vaccines as a precautionary measure.

Since 2001, with the exception of some influenza (flu) vaccines, thimerosal is not used as a preservative in routinely recommended childhood vaccines.

Mania Review: Noah (Article) - 4/3/2014 8:36:18 PM

Is the Bible fair game to be loosely interpreted for a movie like any other source material?

I would say yes.

I've never read the Bible.  But what I know of the story of Noah is this.  God saw that the people of Earth were wicked.  There was one riteous man left named Noah.  God commanded him to build an ark and use it to preserve 2 of every animal in the world.  It rained for 40 days and nights.  A raven flew off but didn't find land.  A dove flew off and returned with an olive branch, indicating that it had found dry land with trees on it.  Noah landed his ark on that land which, after the water drained away, was the top of a mountain.

All of these things happened in the film.

But if you stuck to that synopsis your screenplay would be about 20 minutes long.  So they added some other stuff to make a more riviting human drama.  They gave the characters personalities and put in some conflict between them to give the actors something to do besides build a big boat.

I don't know a lot about Arnofsky who directed and co wrote the film.  I have no idea if he's a Christian or an Athiest or of some other religious persuasion (though I suspect a non Christian would find some subject other than the Bible to make a movie about).  I don't know what his motive is for choosing the story of Noah for his film.

Anybody who takes a big budget motion picture as a faithful adaptation of the Bible, historical event or any other source material is pretty gullible.  Perhaps some people will be inspired to find an actual Bible and read the story of Noah for themselves.  Then they can judge for themselves if they think the story is true or not.

King Kong vs. Godzilla Blu-ray Review (Article) - 4/3/2014 5:58:01 AM

Robert, you need to catch Destroy All Monsters wherein aliens put mind control devices on Godzilla and all the other monsters of Earth (and there were a lot of them) and sent them crashing through major cities all over the globe!  Now THAT was a fine monster flick!

Mania Review: Noah (Article) - 4/2/2014 9:32:38 PM

The 'research" that linked vaccinations to autism was faked.  The scientist who did that study has since admitted that he faked it in order to peddle his own alternative treatment.

And while I'm not ready to say that there can never be a bad reaction to a vaccination I am prepared to say that they prevent a lot more pain and suffering than they cause.  When was the last time you heard of an American dying or even getting sick from polio or smallpox?  These diseases used to kill thousands of people every year.  Why don't they now?  Vaccinations!

Diseases like measeles that WERE pretty much a non issue any more are now making a comeback.  Because people, frightened by the faked autism study, are no longer vaccinating their children.  People have forgotten how serious these diseases are because, due to vaccinations, they haven't seen anybody get them and have no experience with them.

And as for climate change, I'm old enough to have seen it happen.  When I was a girl we used to go ice skating every winter.  The ponds would freeze, sometimes the ice would get a foot thick!  We'd get out our skates and go skating at one of the local parks.  Well it's been a decade or more since the ice has gotten thick enough in the winter for skating on.  We get cold snaps, sure.  But it would warm up again so the ice that formed when it was cold would melt again. 

And now it's gotten so bad that the very air currents have changed which is what made the dreaded Artic Vortex come down from Canada and cover the United States this winter.  I know it's a paradox and counter intuitive but that's what the weathermen were saying this winter.  Or don't you get the Weather Channel?

And even with Arctic Vortices and snow out the ying yang the ice wasn't thick enough to skate on this winter.  If you wanted to ice skate you had to go to a rink and skate on artificial ice.

Mania Review: Noah (Article) - 4/2/2014 7:09:18 PM

Bridging the gap between science and what we can't explain is all very well.  But denying science in the name of faith is silly.  Once everybody thought the Earth was flat.  Once everybody thought the Earth was the center of the universe and the sun revolved around it.  The faith of the people in these ideas didn't make them true.

Those who preach against science in the name of faith are doing themselves and everybody who listens to them a great disservice.  And they are doing the rest of us a great disservice as well.  We get senators who think that rape can't make a woman pregnant.  We get congressmen who don't believe in vaccinations.  And we get lots and lots of people who don't believe in climate change. 

We get people who think that God gave us dominion over nature and it is ours to rape and dispoil, and won't work to nurture or protect it, especially if it cuts into profits for their companies.

Mania Review: Noah (Article) - 4/2/2014 10:20:42 AM

Keith, the Hymalayas, including Everest, were produced by plate tectonics.  The Indian subcontinent ran into the Asian plate and the sea floor which had been between them was shoved up to create the mountain range.  That's how marine fossils ended up on top of the tallest mountain in the world. 

Mania Review: Noah (Article) - 4/2/2014 5:58:14 AM

I didn't understand every term Calilasseia used but I got the gist of her/his arguement.  By the laws of physics as we understand them, the actions described in the Book of Noah are physically impossible.  And that's perfectly true.

You could say, I suppose, that it describes miracles of God who can do anything He wants to.  That He used His Godly powers to preserve the fresh water fishes and keep them safe in his deluge of salt water ocean.  That He transported kangaroos and elephants and giant pandas to the middle east so that Noah could shelter them in his ark.  That the ark was magically big enough to shelter two each of a million species of animal, bird and insect and that there was room enough to store food for them for months of floating around.  That He created lots of extra water on Earth, enough to cover Mt Everest, and took it away when it suited Him.  But at this point God is doing so much work and making so many miracles that you wonder why He didn't just disintigrate all the humans who displeased Him and leave the rest of the natural world alone.

There is archaeological evidence that there WAS a big flood in the middle east in prehistory caused by an ice dam (left over from the last ice age) breaking and creating the Black Sea.  They have found the remains of several villages and small towns, the height of urban living back then, at the bottom.  I'm sure that to any of the local residents who survived that looked like the world had been covered by water.  And I'm sure someone loaded his livestock onto a boat and survived the flood.  And the story was retold and embellished over the years until somebody wrote it down and it became the basis for the Book of Noah.  A kernel of truth in an ocean of fabrication.

Scientific jargon doesn't scare me.  I didn't understand everything Calilasseia wrote but if s/he is a physisist and knows these things why shouldn't s/he share them?
 

Mania Review: Noah (Article) - 4/1/2014 5:46:47 PM

Just got back from seeing the film.  I enjoyed it very much.  I thought the performances were excellent from most of the cast.  The FX were interesting to watch.

I did get a little impatient with Noah towards the end of the film but overall I thought it was very good.  An A plus is a little high.  I'd give it a B plus.

Mania Review: Noah (Article) - 3/31/2014 5:54:08 PM

There was a big hubbub from a certain Christian sect  that Harry Potter was evil because it glorified witchcraft.  They held a rally at which they burned Potter books and DVDs.

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karas1
Date Joined: October 3, 2006