Posts Tagged ‘Review’

The Rings of Akhaten

April 8, 2013

Spoilers! (You’ve been warned)
I didn’t like “The Rings of Akhaten”.

Here are some reasons:
1. Children
2. Singing. Really? So much singing.
3. The secret song to open the secret door to make a secret escape is “A-a-a-a-a”?
3b. Why is there a secret door when the Vigil can apparate. Also, why is it needed when the main door can easily open?
4. The door changes its combination millions of times a minute, but the sonic screwdriver can find the combinations quickly enough?
5. The door is heavy? WTH? How does the mass of the door make a difference to the doctor?
6. Sure. Let’s go on a flying moped instead of taking the Tardis even though we had to the rent the moped by giving away a memento from a deceased relative.
6b. How can a moped keep up with a beam carrying a single child?
7. Way too religious/spiritual. What happened to science?
8. The leaf somehow tells infinite stories but nothing else does? Everything has infinite possibilities. (My shirt, for example, might have been made into your shirt, a completely different article of clothing, or just burned up in a field fire.)
The ending didn’t resonate with me.

I watched and waited for something interesting to happen and I was disappointed. The episode never really started. I was severely underwhelmed.

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Movie Reviews for 2011

December 27, 2011
Films released in 2011 that I saw in the same calendar year

You can see a full list of films on Wikipedia

Films are listed chronologically
Title Genre Rating
The Green Hornet Superhero Action Comedy 5
Unknown Thriller Action Adventure 4
Hall Pass Blue Comedy 5
The Adjustment Bureau Romantic Thriller Political 6
The Lincoln Lawyer Legal Drama 4
Win Win Sports Comedy Drama 7
Source Code Science-fiction Techno Thriller 7
The King’s Speech Historical Drama 2
Your Highness Fantasy Blue Comedy 4
Fast Five Action Adventure 5
Thor Superhero 4
Bridesmaids Black Comedy 1
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Fantasy Adventure Action Sword 6
Midnight in Paris Romantic Comedy Fantasy Historical 8
The Hangover Part II Blue Comedy 5
Beginners Independent Drama 6
Bad Teacher Blue Comedy 7
Transformers: Dark of the Moon Science-fiction Action 3
Horrible Bosses Black Comedy 4
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 Epic Fantasy 7
Captain America: The First Avenger Superhero Historical 8
Rise of the Planet of the Apes Science-fiction 6
The Help Drama Comedy Historical 9
Conan the Barbarian Fantasy Sword Sorcery Action 1
Colombiana Action Gangster 6
Our Idiot Brother Drama Comedy 7
Drive Drama Action Gangster 6.5
I Don’t Know How She Does It Comedy 4
Moneyball Sports Drama 6
The Ides of March Political Drama 6
The Three Musketeers Steampunk Action Historical 4
Margin Call Financial Thriller Historical 5
Anonymous Drama Historical 3
Tower Heist Crime Comedy 6
Immortals Epic Action Fantasy Adventure Drama 4
J. Edgar Biographical Drama Historical 4
Hugo Family Adventure Drama 3
Mission Impossible Action Comedy Drama 6.5
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The Tug Of War Tour

February 18, 2010

I attended the The Tug Of War Tour on Tuesday evening. I didn’t watch any of the youtube videos or read about it (aside from this interesting article).

All I gathered about the show was it featured a Muslim guy and gal and a Jewish guy and gal engaging in debate through the mediums of poetry and hip hop. I wasn’t sure how much tension there would be or whether I would find listening to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to be entertaining.

The show, produced by @ffidler, was held at the Nuyorican Poets Café. The bouncer at the door let me in 30 minutes early because of the foul weather. This was fortuitous, as I accidentally miscalculated how much time I had between the movie and the Tour.

The show kicked off with a drum solo by Swiss Chris. The solo was impressive. He drummed on everything in his area. (His use of drumsticks that continuously changed colors was nice eye candy in the dim room.) The floor, a chair, curtains, oh, and, a drum set. He was very energetic and talented. His ability to twirl his drumsticks while simultaneously keeping a beat was impressive.
My only criticism is from where I sat, in the back, left corner, I wasn’t able to see a lot of the drum performance. (Especially when he was drumming lower than knee level.) If the stage had been elevated it would have been better. However, that’s a limitation of the venue, not the performer.

After the drum solo, the emcee, Simply Rob, introduced the women. They got up on stage, with their scripts in hand. They seemed slightly awkward standing in public and reading off a script, but only for the first few moments. They quickly got into their roles. They promised in their introduction (deliver in rhyme) that they aren’t here to kill each other or sing “Kumbaya my lord”. They suggested that through poetry they could express their own perspectives and understand the emotions of the other.

The two women, Tahani Salah, an American Palestinian-Muslim, and Vanessa, the @hebrewmamita, an American Jew of Syrian-Russian ancestry, had completely different modes of dress. While they both wore sweat-like stretchy pants, Tahani Salah wore a head covering, while the Hebrew Mamita wore a sleeveless shirt.
Both women are attractive. (Later, when I watched the youtube video for the event, I saw that she wore a jacket or a longer sleeved shirt in a prior performance. On Tuesday evening, she did not. I had to concentrate on the words she was saying, because otherwise my mind would have drifted to more physical things.)

After they finished, Simply Rob introduced the men, Mazzi, a Persian Muslim, and Sneakas, an Israeli Jew. (Mazi wore jeans. Sneakas wore purple pants. The pants fit in perfectly with his word play.) They came out and introduced themselves with a lively hip hop beat and dance.

The Hebrew Mamita, got up and recited a heartfelt poem about her inability to defend Israel for its actions. It was obvious she’d wrestled with her Zionism and her humanism and found a conflict between them.
And, so it went, a serious introspective poem by one of the woman followed by a lighter hip hop piece. This is a clever way to keep the audience from burning out on serious things or losing themselves to the rhythm and incapable of following the deeper message.

One exception was a piece performed by the men, in which they explored what an Israeli soldier and a Palestinian terrorist are thinking in the moments leading up to a conflict. That was almost completely serious and the crowd was moved by how it progressed.
Both of the women delivered a piece that really didn’t fit with the evening. The Hebrew Mamita spoke about her aunt and her Sephardic heritage. And, while I think that a discussion among Jewish people about the treatment of Sephardim is important, it didn’t seem to fit the theme of the Palestinian-Israeli relationship. Tahani Salah spoke about her relationship with her father. She added a bit at the end to make it connect to the overall struggle, but I think she lost some of the audience by taking a long time getting there.
However, their poems were highly entertaining and full of emotion.

There was one part where both women stood on stage, back to back. First, the one facing the audience spoke. When she finished, they exchanged places and the other spoke. This was my first artistic performance, so I don’t know if that is a common artistic device. The women didn’t appear to be addressing each other, so I didn’t understand the need for the dramatic pose.

I especially liked:

  • The Hebrew Mamita’s story about getting an abusive text message on Passover night. She had a great observation that her youtube channel is often attacked by a religious Orthodox Jew for her dress and words. When she said, he (the attacker) watches everything she makes, I laughed.
  • Tahani Salah’s pieces. The one that resonated most with me was when she pointed out that most people would have a hard time telling an Israeli from a Palestinian. Underneath it all, all we are is humans.
  • Mazi’s energy. It’s not easy for me to dance in a room full of people dancing. Mazi put on a solo dance performance that made me want to jump up and dance along!
  • Sneakas’ word play. Not only were his puns and word tweaking funny, they were also insightful.

Overall, I had a really good time. The performances were entertaining from beginning to end. I was struck by the energy of all the performers. I wish the show had dug more into the motivations of why each side acts the way it does, but, I understand the limitations they face in keeping it entertaining, not too heavy, and mainstream. I would highly recommend this to anyone who can think critically. If you are scared of the possible tension of the two opposing viewpoints, don’t be! Come, see for yourself. You won’t be disappointed. I give it 8 out of 10.