Friday, January 23, 2009

Top Ten Feel Good Films of Today

Alright, I decided to take a break from homework and chose my Top Ten "Feel Good Films." These films will come off the top of my head, in random order:

- Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day - I loved this movie. Amy Adams is adorable, as always. Lee Race, the tall stud from Pushing Daisies, is fantastic! It has a great message, and everything about it is surprisingly believable.

- The Gods Must Be Crazy I & II - Any one who has seen these won't question my choice. They are amusing, light, and an interesting social commentary, without being in your face.

-Life is Beautiful - Only this film could make a person walk away from the Holocaust seeing the sunshine.

- Amélie - This French film must be seen edited. No matter what mood I am in, it cheers me right up. Audrey Tatou makes a perfect modern Audrey Hepburn.

- Arsenic & Old Lace - Although this film is about murdering old ladies, it is hilarious and light, thanks to the charm of Cary Grant.

- Singin' in the Rain - Singing, dancing, humor? What could be better? The title says it all.

- Some Like It Hot - My favorite of Marylin Monroe's, plus, it's got cross-dressers! Bonus!

- Juno - No "Feel Good" list could be complete without this film! Michael Cera and Ellen Page are perfect! Just perfect!

- How to Steal a Million - Audrey Hepburn + Peter O'Toole's eyes + art + crazy eyebrows = two hours of fun, charm and sunshine.

- Better Off Dead - Don't let the title fool you. This classic John Cusack is anything but dark. It's combination of ridiculous characters, awkward situations, and witty one liners makes one of the best films in all of history.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Jurassic Park Part Deux

Alright, my beliefs about reintroducing the Woolly Mammoth may be naive and idealistic, but I'm 18, so it comes with the package.

PROS for Mammoths:
- great for science
- great for zoos and businesses that will keep them
- great for teaching and field trips in school

CONS for Mammoths:
- what will happen to the ecosystem? A sudden introduction could throw off the whole food chain, even if we control their diet
- Mammoths have had no time to evolve or adapt to our lifestyles. The last time they saw humans was back when cave painting was a huge fad
- One has to wonder if playing God here is just an open door to playing God later.

So, that's my opinion. I've never been too keen on science, anyways.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

And You Thought Jurassic Park was Fake...

Thanks to discovering preserved Woolly Mammoth sperm and DNA, scientist believe that they can clone or recreate the Woolly Mammoth. This would be a great step for science. It would bring scientists closer to discovering the secrets in DNA. But is it worth it?

I think no. My dad thinks yes. I'll explain my opinion later, but I'm curious about yours. What do you guys think?

There's the link, if anyone's interested.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

One who cries out, sings and dreams within us all

Quidam: an anonymous passerby, also, the name of the Cirque de Soleil show.

The show is whimsical, haunting, exciting, surreal and breathtakingly beautiful. It also combined a surprising element of playfulness. Overall though, it was dark.

It is a story about a neglected child, Zoe. Her parents fight and ignore her. She is approached by Quidam, a headless man with an umbrella. He leaves her his hat, and she escapes into her imagination full of mystery, haunting beauty and comfort. Here, Cirque de Soleil awes its audience with breathtaking acts, preformed magnificently. The first half of the show was haunting. Everything appears to be dying, alone. Single red balloons fall from the sky. The actors try to cheer up the young girl. The performers work together and get stronger and stronger. The red balloons increase in size, and the feeling is sheer optimism when the young girl gives back the hat and rejoins her newly united family in reality. Quidam stands alone on the stage and offers his hat to the audience, inviting us to dream with him.

The entire performance had me on the edge of my seat. I saw a Cirque de Soleil performance in Minnesota, but I enjoyed this one much more. It was much more... avant-garde in a way. I know I've said "haunting" a lot, but that's the only word I can think of to describe it. The music, as always, was beautiful and live. The performers were perfect. Everything felt like a dream. It was an amazing experience, one I hope to repeat again and again.

Cirque de Soleil described it perfectly : "Quidam highlights our frailties and our anguish in the face of the new millennium that lies before us. It also underlines differences, conveying positive feelings and resentment and confronting our dreams with our nightmares. Quidam is more scripted than previous productions, integrating performance and theatricality to a greater degree, and draws on the emotional relationships between the performers in the troupe."

"Quidam: a nameless passer-by, a solitary figure lingering on a street corner, a person rushing past. One who cries out, sings and dreams within us all."

Sunday, January 4, 2009

It's a Brand New Year

2009 is now upon us. Exciting, isn't it!

My cousin Abby, who's over here visiting, my sister Sariah, and I went to see Wicked, the musical. I've seen it a couple of times, but these were the best seats that I'd ever had.

Coming home at 10:00ish on a New Year's Eve in London was not so smart. The Tube was crammed with drunks, or soon to be drunks. Beer cans and vodka bottles were spread out everywhere on the chairs, floor, everywhere in the Tube. Not really thinking, I sat down, right into a booze soaked seat. It was disgusting! My pants were completely soaked. Yuck.

Hyde Park, Westminster, and Trafalgar Square had fireworks, but we didn't go. All the standing spots were filled by the time we left Wicked. We tried to watch the Hyde Park fireworks from our roof, but an apartment building completely hid them from us. Dang. Instead, we played catch phrase and kinda stopped to do the count down. My first word of the new year was foul. Very promising start, I know.