Movie Fone – By Todd Gilchrist
It only took a first viewing of ‘Tron: Legacy‘ to know that I really liked the film, but I admit that it wasn’t until the second that I really knew why. Like so many other science fiction and fantasy opuses, it’s filled with a visual splendor, if not a sort of glorious self-indulgence that is likely to delight most viewers, and indeed it shows them things that they have never seen before. But its story has a deceptive denseness that is at once legitimately complex and spectacularly flimsy, which will no doubt engender a significant and perhaps deserved dislike from folks who are insufficiently inspired to probe deeper – much less watch it again…
Garrett Hedlund (‘Friday Night Lights’) plays Sam Flynn, the headstrong but aimless son of Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges), a computer programmer and corporate CEO who disappeared under mysterious circumstances in the late 1980s. Now 27, Sam lives alone in a reconfigured garage and only visits his father’s company long enough to stage elaborate pranks that undercut its bottom-line profiteering. But after former ENCOM figurehead Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner) tells Sam that he received an unlikely page from Kevin’s long-abandoned arcade, the younger Flynn decides to investigate further.
Discovering a secret room behind the rows of dusty 1980s video games, Sam hacks into what appears to be his father’s computer. Subsequently, he is sucked into a futuristic, computer-created world where he is forced to compete in various games of physical skill by Clu, a fascistic dictator who curiously also happens to look just like his father. But when a young woman named Quorra (Olivia Wilde) intervenes and rescues him from the game grid, Sam begins to discover the complexity of this world, which was actually created from the ground up by his father before he was trapped inside it decades ago…
In a fairly stunning if not-quite-successful experiment using the performance-capture technology that made the cat people of ‘Avatar‘ possible, Jeff Bridges not only plays himself in the film at his current age, but also delivers a performance as his ’80s-era self, complete with digitally-designed facial features that make him look more like he just shot ‘Starman’ than ‘Crazy Heart.’
Because it seems like the filmmakers were developing their technology concurrently with Cameron’s, Clu seems more in line with the computer-generated not-quite-human beings of ‘Beowulf‘ or ‘A Christmas Carol‘ than the standard-bearing Na’vi, who looked realistically and recognizably like the actors performing them. Nevertheless, the creative choice to have Bridges play himself at two different ages – and to pull it off with such a high degree of success – sets an auspicious and significant precedent that should have some interesting repercussions in future films…
Although some of the supporting characters are relatively forgettable, the one most crucial to the story – and unexpectedly, the overall success of the film – is Quorra. Olivia Wilde has possibly the second most-irresistible smile I’ve ever seen, but there’s not a false moment in her performance, and she gives Quorra a dimensionality and substance that the film doesn’t require, but certainly benefits from. The simultaneous combination of her strength and naivete places her somewhere between Ellen Ripley and Trinity in the continuum of kick-ass female characters, and the purity of her enthusiasm is infectious, giving even dramatic scenes an extra jolt of energy but turning action set pieces into explosive sequences that are both epic and personal…
Standard – Ross Lydall and Justin Davenport
A rioter managed to push a stick into the royal limousine and jab her in the ribs. Camilla’s terrifying ordeal came as a baying mob surrounded her and husband Prince Charles when they rode through central London in the vintage Rolls-Royce last night.
A police source said one of the car’s rear windows was opened in error as tuition fee protesters moved in.
The attack is the biggest royal security breach in decades and raises new questions about protection of the couple. Charlie Gilmour, the son of Pink Floyd guitarist David, was with protesters in Regent Street when the car was hit.
The Standard can now reveal the security breach was even more serious than first believed, with thugs managing to reach deep into the car’s interior.
Armed officers were seconds from drawing their guns but the police driver managed to accelerate away from trouble.
Police sources have revealed that the Duchess was “very scared” when the yob leaned into the car. He said: “She is laughing about it now but everyone was rather shaken.”
A Clarence House spokesman said today: “Their Royal Highnesses understand the difficulties police face and are always grateful to them for the job they do in challenging circumstances.”
The Rolls-Royce was surrounded as it drove down Regent Street to a Royal Variety Performance at the London Palladium, with protesters kicking at the doors and shattering a rear window. At one point it was rocked and hit with paint bombs…
Miley Cyrus celebrated her 18th birthday by experimenting with a bong and catching a case of the giggles — but sources say she was not smoking marijuana.
The video was shot during a party at Miley’s L.A. area home 5 days after her 18th birthday.
According to a source connected with Miley … the smoke filling the bong is a natural herb called salvia which has psychedelic qualities. Possession of salvia is legal in California.
As for the video … the source tells us it was shot by one of Miley’s friends — and the theory is someone stole or copied the video from that friend’s camera.
Salvia (Salvia divinorum) is an herb common to southern Mexico and Central and South America. The main active ingredient in Salvia, salvinorin A, is a potent activator of kappa opioid receptors in the brain.These receptors differ from those activated by the more commonly known opioids, such as heroin and morphine.
Traditionally, S. divinorum has been ingested by chewing fresh leaves or by drinking their extracted juices. The dried leaves of S. divinorum can also be smoked as a joint, consumed in water pipes, or vaporized and inhaled. Although Salvia currently is not a drug regulated by the Controlled Substances Act, several States and countries have passed legislation to regulate its use. The Drug Enforcement Agency has listed Salvia as a drug of concern and is considering classifying it as a Schedule I drug, like LSD or marijuana.
People who abuse salvia generally experience hallucinations or “psychotomimetic” episodes (a transient experience that mimics a psychosis).Subjective effects have been described as intense but short-lived, appearing in less than 1 minute and lasting less than 30 minutes. They include psychedelic-like changes in visual perception, mood and body sensations, emotional swings, feelings of detachment, and importantly, a highly modified perception of external reality and the self, leading to a decreased ability to interact with one’s surroundings.5 This last effect has prompted concern about the dangers of driving under the influence of salvinorin. The long-term effects of Salvia abuse have not been investigated systematically.
Extent of Use
In 2009, NIDA’s Monitoring the Future Survey of 8th, 10th, and 12th graders asked about salvia abuse for the first time—5.7 percent of high school seniors reported past year use (greater than the percent reporting ecstasy use). Although information about this drug is limited, recent salvia-related media reports and Internet traffic suggest the possibility that its abuse is increasing in the US and Europe, likely driven by drug-related videos and information on Internet sites.3 Because of the nature of the drug’s effects—its use may be restricted to individual experimentalists, rather than as a social or party drug.
For more information on the effects of hallucinogenic drugs, see NIDA’s Research Report on Hallucinogens and Dissociative Drugs. For more information on Salvia divinorum and the Controlled Substances Act.
NY Magazine – By: David Edelstein
Good news: The Fighter is mistitled. It’s not about another raging bull. It’s about a whole raging family: bulls, cows, even raging heifers. It opens in 1993 in the blue-collar section of Lowell, Massachusetts, where the punching doesn’t stop at the ropes and the air is alive with epithets: Ya junkbag, ya skank, ya cheap bastahd. At last, the famously pugilistic filmmaker David O. Russell (he once yelled at his Three Kings star George Clooney, “You want to hit me? Come on, pussy, hit me!” then grabbed him by the throat) has found a set of characters more quarrelsome than he is: two half-brothers, Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) and Dicky Edlund (Christian Bale); Micky’s bartending squeeze, Charlene (Amy Adams); their boozy, bottle-blonde mom, Alice (Melissa Leo); and their fearsome armada of big-haired sisters. Ironically, the title character, Wahlberg’s Micky, is the movie’s peacemaker. He just wants everyone to get along so he can pummel people outside the family to a pulp.
The Fighter takes awhile to find its footing. It opens in a faux-documentary style, with the emphasis on faux: Once again, Massachusetts accents prove to be the kryptonite of superstars. Bale’s Dicky, once a boxer and the “pride of Lowell,” is now the subject of an HBO whatever-happened-to doc he thinks is meant to herald his comeback. But it’s actually about how he became a crackhead — which is bad for Dicky but good for Bale, who gets a chance to do one of those overcommitted-Method-actor transformations that leaves him with bones popping out of his sallow flesh. He’s terrific, but, you know, ick. It’s the faded junior welterweight Micky — now working in construction — who decides to give the ring one more shot. In this he is assisted — and prodded, and sometimes browbeaten — by his new girlfriend…
Sea Shepherd’s fast new interceptor vessel the MY Gojira arrived late afternoon on Saturday, December 4th in the port of Hobart after a near weeklong journey from her home port of Fremantle, Western Australia. Gojira was greeted by the Steve Irwin and Bob Barker vessels, the new Nancy Burnet helicopter, and a very excited group of international crewmembers anxious to begin their journey to the Southern Ocean to put an end to Japan’s illegal whaling operations.
After all vessels complete their safety training and replenish essentials, the fleet will depart Australian waters within the next few days to carry out their mission and stop whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.